Gate Keeper Prologue

Prologue

A lady screams in pain, as her husband looks on. He holds her hand, allowing her to crush his fingers in her iron grip as more pain pulses through her body. The father looks to his wife, and then to the midwife, “Is this normal?”

The midwife looks to her lord. This was the most feared and dangerous man in the Realm and yet, here he is, terrified of something as tiny as a babe. “Yes, my lord. Another push, my lady.” The midwife, a calm and gentle woman who was the best; she was the only one the lord would have to deliver his child. The mother had gone through a painful pregnancy, as the child in her became the little girl they would finally meet. “That is it, my lady. You are doing great.”

The woman bit back a snarl, as she gives one final push, determination and exhaustion mingling on her face. She finally relaxes, breathing to catch her breath, “How much more do I need to do?” She asks through gritted teeth.

“Almost done, my lady. She is about to crown and from there, I can use my magic to help her out.” The midwife rolls her bloodied sleeves up and stands ready with a towel. “Give one final push on my mark, my lady.” The woman nods and closes her eyes readying herself. “Three, two one.” The woman pushes, as the midwife starts doing her magic.

The child crowns, the woman screams and the husband’s face becomes white with terror. The midwife helps the child though the opening into life, using her magic to gently pull the child from the screaming woman, cutting the umbilical cord. The child screams, as it enters the world and the woman finally relaxes completely, leaning against the pillows, sore and tired, but otherwise, a happy mother.

The midwife cleans the child with a soft towel, before wrapping the child up in a blanket. The child stops screaming and falls asleep in the warmth of the blanket. She hands the father the child, “She has both your and her mother’s wings and I am sure one day she will become a beautiful woman destined for greatness.” The midwife smiles to the new father and bows out of the room, leaving the mother and father alone with their baby girl.

The father sits on the bed, next to his wife and lets her hold the new joy in their life. “She is half dark and half light… She will indeed grow up to be a beautiful woman and maybe one day, the queen of my kingdom.” He could feel the pulses of his daughter’s powers as it rippled through the Realm. He wonders how many Realms would feel the birth of his daughter and how each would react to this new being.

There is a light knock on the door, the father stands and opens it to another lady. “Lilith.” The father growls the woman’s name.

She bows to the father, “I have seen something.”

“Then go tell the guards. My wife just had a-”

“Baby girl. Sir, I know. This is why I need to speak to you. I was gazing into the stars when I saw something about your daughter.” She has a pleading look in her eyes.

“Love, who is it?” The woman calls from the bed.

The father steps aside, letting Lilith into the room. “Tis only me, my lady.” She bows gracefully to the mother.

“You said you have seen something about our daughter. Speak now, and then begone from the kingdom. You were exiled when the uprising fell apart in your toy’s hands.” The father stands between Lilith and the mother and baby.

Lilith bows again, “I apologize, my lord. I saw your daughter when she has grown.” She starts reciting the prophecy she saw moments before the girl’s birth. “Your daughter will grow up to be powerful, second only to one person. She will grow up to take the Gatekeeper’s tests, finding the most powerful allies.”

She takes another breath, “She has two paths she can take; one is the path of light, the other, the path of darkness. The path of light will destroy everything she loves, the path of the angels. The path of the darkness will destroy only her, but she will save the rest. There is a gray light that emits from her, the light of the combined souls of the light and dark. She must find her path in the gray to survive and to complete her destiny.”

She sighs, “She will become pregnant with the most powerful child in all of the Realms. The child will be stronger than the Lord God and herself, set out to either save or destroy the world. Her heart will be caught by three men, though a fourth wants her body and power to bend to his will.”

The father and mother look at one another. “How can she find the gray path?”

Lilith replies, “She has to find it on her own. She will see it when she first realizes her power in the Chasm. Protect her, my lord and lady. She will become a powerful queen and protector of the weak, if she can survive the toils of war. No matter the path she chooses, the war will still ignite, as it started with the Orcs and Elves. Teach her well in all aspects of life, as she will need all of the skills she can acquire to defeat the enemies she will face. She will need her father’s silver tongue and her mother’s kind strength. She will rely on everything she is taught and with the skills you both possess, she could conquer the evils and help the goods.” She bows again, before retreating out the door.

The mother and father look to their baby girl and feel the weight of the girl’s future weighing on them. “Mystiri…” Her mother speaks quietly to the sleeping girl. “The only true gray ever born… I hope she lives up to her Potential, my love.”

The father smiles to his wife, “She will. I will teach her everything I know and she will.”

“What about those who would use her power for their own gain?” The mother worries about the suitors her daughter would attract one day. “Those who will not love her, just use her for her power?”

“She will just have to find that out for herself; we can not force her to be with or avoid potential men. I remember another young lady that was told she was going to marry into the highest caste in her society, but instead, went for someone who is considered an enemy of that Realm.” He looks to his wife, love in his eyes.

“That was different, though. I knew you were right for me, that you and I were soul mates. What if they try to trap her into their schemes or if they actually enslave her? There has to be a way for us to prevent that from happening! I do not know what I would do if I found my baby girl being used as a slave for a Lord in another Realm.” She shudders at the thought.

“We will have to teach her what it means to love, what it means to fall into it and out of it. We will have to show her the good side to it, so she will fall into love, but we will also have to show her the bad side to it, so she knows whether or not she is being led on.” He kisses her forehead, “Darling, you should rest and leave the worries for later, for when they matter more. For now, let us enjoy our sweet girl until she grows up to learn how to use her silver tongue and find out just how stubborn she can be.”

“I agree, my love. Is there anything you can do to prevent her from being a beacon to Him?” Their eyes meet and understanding passes between them.

“Yes, love. I need to bind her powers to protect her from those who would try to influence her.” He presses his finger to the little girl’s forehead. A warmth flows from his arm to the girl’s forehead and a cold feeling creeps on the girl’s heart. The parents watch as her wings vanish and she looks completely human. Most of the power locks away into the girl’s Potential, her power dormant until she is older and ready to fight for her life.

“Will it keep her safe?” The mother asks, not wanting to take any chances of the man who sought the mother with ferocity to find their tiny babe.

“Unless she reveals herself to anyone of the angelic race, she will be safe.” He sits next to her again, as she passes their daughter back to him. He looks at her tiny sleeping form and smiles to himself. He looks to his wife, who is slowly drifting to sleep. He kisses his wife on the lips. “Good night, my lady.” He rubs her forehead with his thumb, a comforting gesture.

She smiles, “Good night, my love.” Her eyes close, after staying awake for a twelve hour labor to bring their child into the world.

He takes the girl into another room, letting her mother sleep. He sets the sleeping child down into the crib, “One day, my child. I will look upon you as an equal and then you will surpass my power. I hope that when that day comes, you will be strong enough to destroy those who would take their joy from doing what they can to suppress you. May you never be found wanting and may you rise to the challenges you will face with the determination and dignity that befits you. My darling daughter… Mystiri Lunitaryl Valiente…”

| _-_ |

Light.

Dark.

What makes light and dark so different? How do you distinguish the characteristics of it? What is good and evil? Is someone dark and evil because they come from a hated race or from their actions? Is someone light and good because they are like you or because they do what they can to do good? Could someone be both dark and good or light and evil?

Why do the light and the dark, the good and evil exist? If the Lord God created the world, why did he add that touch of death and decay to the foresting trees of life? Why did he create a world where innocent children die and vile beasts live? Why would he create a world that could one day destroy itself? Why, in all of his omnipotence, did he allow the dark to thrive in a beautiful land, when the light were thrown into the vile wretched territory?

I ask these questions, pray them to the Lord God. No answers for the prayers, for my questions. My master tells me the Lord God must be destroyed in order for my questions to be answered. He says that once he takes the Lord God’s place that he would answer the questions with his omniscience. The Lord God hides these answers from his loyal followers to keep them complacent, he says.

A ripple of power through the Realms, a sign of the ending night and the coming dawn flows through all Realms. The light and dark resonate with the new soul, a power to either save or destroy. A child born of the union of good and evil, of light and dark. A strange child, a wonderful child, a powerful child.

Master says the gray has been born, the only true gray. He says that I will help him, to get a girl… A special girl who holds the power of the ancient ones in her soul. He says I will amass an army after I meet this girl, and I will use her power to destroy the darkness.,. After my master uses her for his purpose. He will use her, but I? I will love her, cherish her and she will be willing use her power to help destroy the dark ones.

Where is she? I ask my master.

She is still a babe, a child who has yet to recognize her power for what it is. She will come to us in due time; when she does, we will ensnare her. She will be a puppet, a pet to both of us, as you are to me. Just wait and be patient. She will come…

He says he is a fighter for the light, but questions plague me, as I learn more of him. Death is a darkness knight, yet my master wants to murder the Lord God. Murder, a vile crime of the darkness, I thought. No, my master tells me, its justice for the plague the Lord God created, retribution for the Lord God for creating the darkness.

My master twists my thoughts and breaks my emotions, making me into something different. It does not feel right, what I am becoming, but master knows all, he says. He says that is why I am his slave, his pet, his puppet. I know not of what I am, a creature created by those with intentions to hurt and heal, to save and destroy. I am a tool to be used by my master in any way he wishes. I am only what he wishes for me to be.

I sit and wait patiently for the girl to grow up. She should know the answers. No… she will know the answers that I seek. She will be intelligent, beautiful and full of the power I crave to serve. She will fill me with answers and pledge her love to me, as I will do for her.

She will know the path to the light and follow it. In my heart had to believe it with everything I was, or else master would twist that emotion. How long do we have to wait? I ask him.

Until she comes for us.

How do you know she will come? Doubt fills me.

She will, it is her destiny. I saw her future in the mirrors, her destiny will require her to meet us and when she does… The master licked his lips, as if he was tasting her flesh. She will be mine… I imagine she will look much like her mother and very little like her father. She will be just as sweet, innocent and naïve as her mother was. Master leaves me to my thoughts, alone in my darkened room.

I smile as I lay on my bed as the wave of her power passes over me, filling me with images and had my senses flaring. I imagine what my mistress would look like in her full glory. A strong beautiful woman, yielding yet stubborn, sensual and gifted. I smell her scent, exotic and wild, yet elegant and light. I lick my lips, tasting her lips on mine, sweet and spicy. I can feel her soft skin as it brushes up against mine, a sensual caress of heat.

She will be mine… I think to myself, allowing myself the fantasy of having her. I envisioned her lying on the bed with me, when she is fully grown. I can feel her touching, feeling and stroking along my chest and arms. I can feel her fingertips lightly graze the hair, making my nerves stand on end, wanting to stop yet wanting more. I can feel her press her hands to me, as I can feel her face resting on my chest, her breaths heightening my heart rate. I can feel her listening to my racing heart and as I hold her in my arms.

Lost in the fantasy, I lift her off me gently and I lay her on the bed. I give my share of touches, caresses and strokes against her light skin. I pressed my lips against hers, a pair of soft lips that hold me until she decides to let me go. She finally does and I sit up, looking at her skin as it glinted in the moonlight against the darkness, my light.

I lean forward and kiss her again, kissing her on her lips, her cheek, her neck, then to her heart. I flick my tongue against her heart and hear her breathing catch. I move to the left, gently playing with her tender flesh, before going to the other side. I can feel her shiver under me as I start to feel her heat rise.

I move towards her stomach, nibbling my way down, grazing her skin with my teeth. I can feel her move her body as I could smell her awaken with moist heat. I revel in that scent, the scent that will one day be mine, as I lick the moist heat, tasting her sweet and spicy condensation. I lick her heat, my tongue flicking her pleasure, while my fingers move in and out of her. I can feel her hymen brush my fingers as I gently play with her. I toy with her, until I know she cannot take anymore.

I move back up, licking my lips of the lingering moisture, as I nibbled my way back to her heart. I flick my tongue on her neck, before biting down. I can feel her heart racing under my tongue, as her pulse throbbed against my tongue.

I settle myself down between her legs and I am gentle as I slide in, with much effort. She is warm and snug as I let myself get used to the sensations she is sending through my body. I pull out of her carefully, before sliding back in with more ease than the first time. I continue this pattern, being gentle with her as she slowly starts to relax a bit.

I lean forward and kiss her lips, thrusting my tongue into her mouth. I feel her tongue dance against mine as I continue to slide in and out of her heat. I let my hands wander across her chest to the tender mounds of flesh above her ribs. I twist and toy, play and tease with her until I feel her body stiffen. I pull my lips from hers and replace it on the other breast, my tongue flicking against her nipple lightly.

I feel her arch her back under me, as I start to pick up the pace. I lick her, nibble her and bite her, as my hand squishes and toys with her. I feel her breathing pick up as she bites into my shoulder, as a release. I smile and stop, pulling out of her completely. She looks at me with confusion in her eyes, until I flip both of our bodies over.

She straddles me, her hair covering her breasts with a sheer veil. I adjust her until she is right above me. She slides down onto me, her heat enveloping me. I gasp as I help her rise above me, before sliding back down. She moves with a grace I have never seen before, as she starts to use me. She slides up and down, as I feel warmth crawl down my thigh. I look to see blood running down from inside of her, and I knew exactly what I had done. She leans forward and kisses me with a fiery passion meant for lovers. I feel myself start to rise to the edge of my gratification.

There is a banging knock at my door, a pounding that I thought was my heart at first, What are you doing? Master asks loudly.

The power is gone, I notice, my fantasy broken by the loss of the power. I search for her, but she eludes my senses. Nothing, my lord! I call back, trying to get my heart back to normal and my body back to its cold self. She may be a child now, just out of the womb, but one day… For that day. I wait, as my master commands of me. He says, I do. Such is the place of a puppet, a pet, a servant… a slave.

| _-_ |

A woman in black royal robes looks up her young son from her throne chair. She sets aside the blood oracle, a dream catcher dipped in blood used to reveal the future of Krov’Nodej Castle. She smiles at her eight year-old son as he stands before her, “My darling lad, what is your matter?”

“I felt a ripple, mother. Something pulling at me, trying to sway my soul. What was it?” He looks unsure of himself, not positive if he was the only one feeling it.

She looks down at her son, the one heir she and her husband were able to have before her husband was killed by the rebels form the North. Her son was already a smaller version of his father and she thinks of the days when he would grow up to take his place at the throne of Krov’Nodej Castle. “That was the birth of a child, little one.”

“Why could I feel that child? What is special about this one, compared to the rest?” He is an inquisitive child, his tutors had told her.

She now has the chance to have this conversation with him, a conversation she has wants to have with him. “My son, she is something none of the Realms have ever seen before. The ripple you felt was the birth of the soul composed of light and dark. She was born with the power to reign and dominate or to serve and bow, depending on the path she wishes to walk.”

Her son looks up to her, “I thought the union of the light and the dark was forbidden and if a child was born from it, it would be an abomination.”

“Yes, my son, that is true, but that has not stopped the child from being born.” She looks to the window to the east, “Son, when you become king of this land, you will need all of the help you can get to defeat the rebels that are tearing our land apart. She can help you, if you allow it. Krov’Nodej Castle is dying, there are clans that want to take your place as King of this Realm.” She looks back to the son, who is looking up at her.

“Mother, I do not want to rule over the lives of others. I wish to become a Gatekeeper.”

She glares at her son, “No, I forbid it. You will grow up to be the king of our people, as your father before you and his before him. You will never follow that path; it is too dangerous for anyone of the royal family. You are my only son, the only heir to the throne of Krov’Nodej. Without you, the Castle will become infested with those without royal blood.”

“Mother, maybe we have ruled this land for too long. Maybe this is a sign that things should change!” He starts to jump into his argument, “The people are dying outside, while you and your court have lavish parties. The commoners are starving while you have banquets for the royalty, who do not need the food. The people are dying because you are too busy looking for something for you to rid-”

She slaps him across the face, “Do not talk to me like that, young man. I am your mother and your queen, so you will treat me with respect as do as I command. Do you understand?!”

He rubs his face with his palm, contained anger flaring in his eyes, “Yes.”

“Yes, what?” She snaps at him.

“Yes, mother, the queen of Krov’Nodej Castle.” He mumbled just loud enough for her to hear.

“That is better.” Her face softens, “Why did you say things that make me hit you?”

He shakes his head, “I was not thinking, mother.” He changed the subject, “Why is she so important, if she is an abomination?”

Her eyes widen, “Darling, you felt her power as it rippled through the Realm. She was just born when the ripples passed through here, look at that kind of power. Look at when she gets older, the power she will posses!” The gears in her mind started to turn, “Son, promise me something.”

“Anything mother.” He says automatically, before he would say something he would regret later. She had let a few comments slide by with just a slap, but there was nothing to say she would allow it again.

“I want you to find this child when she is older. Do what you have to in order to bring her here. Ensnare her mind with visions to make her yours. Use your strength to beat her into submission to you. Capture her soul with a web made of lies. Do what you have to make her yours.” She looks at him, a fierce yearning for power gleaming in her eyes. “Make her power become your power and the Krov’Nodej Castle can do anything!”

He thinks about his mother’s words, I have no wish to rule over a kingdom, much less a girl who can tear me apart with her power. “Mother, there must be another way to save the Castle from the insurgents rather than enslaving a girl.”

“What are you going to use? Love? Look at what we are, child!” She stands up and waves her arms about, remarking about the land. “We are almost as dark as the demons! Why would she fall in love you with when our race preys on the blood of others? She will not fall in love with someone such as you. She will most likely choose another being of light!”

He cringes at her words, “Mother… please…”

“You have to catch her, my son!” She pleads to him, “You have to or else the Castle will fall.” She looks down at him as she sits back on her throne. “I had a vision when she first took a breath of life, my son.” She motions to the blood oracle, “It has shown me the truth in her future that you play a part in. Please, have a look.”

The son looks to the blood oracle, its presence weighing on him. He steps forward and lightly touches his fingertips to the center of it, where the good dreams pass through. He closes his eyes and concentrates on the blood as it drips onto his finger. The blood sharpens his senses to see what his mother had.

The scene opens, a girl is twisting an older him’s arm behind his back. She quickly lets him go and bows to him, not wanting to offend him further. He cannot hear what she is saying nor what the other him is telling her, only the feelings he gets from the other him. He toys with her, making her think he loathes her. She looks at him, her hazel eyes flaring with power as the light at her chest pulsates with her mood. He senses fear from her, but there is also a quiet curiosity emitting from her as she looks at him.

The scene shifts and he sees her in bed with him, eating some sort of soup he does not recognize. She looks horrible, but when she smiles, he can feel the happiness flowing from her. She looks to a large mallet off to the side, near the door to a room he has never seen before. She quickly gets out of the bed, wearing a large shirt over her body. She grabs the mallet and he felt the betrayal as she left.

The scene changes as the other him tries to stop her in a cemetery. She was running towards something and he had to do what he could to stop her. He tackles her to the ground, where she starts yelling at him. He lets her go when another man tries to run forward. He sees her stop the much older man from running to where she was just trying to get to. She says something and relief fills the other him.

The scene shifts again to her wearing a long white, silver and gold dress with a long white veil. He can feel the love for her as she talks to an elf and orc and he realizes he cannot take his eyes off her. She then turns to him, sadness in her eyes as she mouthed words to him. She says something to him and he could feel the sadness in the other him, as she turns away from him.

The scene changes on last time, this time to a Gate. She touches an empty book and it vanishes. He can feel the fear from the other him as she steps forward towards a Gate. She gives the other him and the orc and elf a rueful smile. He watches as she steps into the Gate and vanishes.

The visions ended, leaving the blood oracle in his hands blackened and destroyed. He looks to his mother and realizes that she lied to him about seeing a vision. This could not have been what she had seen, or else she would have never given the oracle to him.

Her voice is honey-sweet as she speaks to him, “My darling boy, what did you see in the oracle? I want to confirm what I saw with you, to be sure you were paying attention to the visions.”

He smiles to his mother, not letting her see his true emotions, “I saw power, mother. I saw how I could get capture her and use her power for my ends. I learned how to ensnare her heart and bind her life to mine, how to break her into nothing more than a vessel for the power she holds. She will come here, mother. She will become mine and as you said, her destiny is decided. All I have to do is wait for her to waltz through that door and her power, her body, her soul will belong to me.” He grinned viciously.

| _-_ |

She is born!

Elation… New emotions… Joy, happiness, excitement and jubilation! Too many light emotions for a high-ranking demon…. Too many for me, a General of the Army of Lucifer… She can wield my power, I choose her!

But how?

I am trapped in this form… She would never wield me unless I can get to her! I have to find a way! My king! Please let me get to her so I can protect her!

“So, you awaken?” A skeletal figure stands before me.

Yes! You felt her, did you not?

The skull nodded to me, “Yes, I did. I have already talked to her father and to the Dean. She will be coming to the Academy when she is grown.”

Please! You must find a way for her to find me! I need to be with her!

The skull nodded again, “I know. You are the only one meant for her.”

Meant for her…

“If she were to wield another, the other will be destroyed within the first hint of her power. With you… Oh yes… With you, she will be unstoppable when she fully awakens into her power. Her father gave me the power to break the seal he placed on her to stop the gathering of races. If the one who pursued her mother felt that, we can be sure that he will try to destroy the girl.”

No! I cannot allow that to happen!

“No offense, General, but in the form you are trapped in… You can barely do more than be used by her. Only an angel can set you free, just as only a demon can set the Nucifera free. Too bad Silvia shed her power when she came to the human Realm and fell in love.”

Can the girl?

“Yes, but only after the war is over. Until then, she will need you in this form. Nevertheless, you will change forms, I fear. Only once, into something more suitable to her needs, as this form is too big and heavy for her to fight well with it.”

Then I will proudly stay in this form for her sake, then. However, when I am free… I relish for that day. I hope she accepts me…

“She will not be yours only, General.” The skeletal figure told me. “She will gather the Prince of the Elves and of the Orcs. But she will also catch the heart of another Prince and an unknown being.”

How do you know this?

“I was watching a lovely woman divine in a pool of water when she fell on the ground, in a trance. I went to help her, but she was lost in the vision that shook her off her limits. I held her in my arms when she started to speak, her voice hoarse and raspy. She was dying, I could feel, the vision eating her soul.”

What was the vision?

“She said she saw a girl with a gray light emitting from her soul stands before an army of death. The girl was surrounded by a Elfin Prince, an Orc Prince, the Heir of Krov’Nodej Castle and myself. She saw you held in her hands, so do not worry about her trying to be rid of her. This army was led by a Horned Black Knight, and the army was trying to destroy all of the creatures of the darkness. This one image killed the woman who saw it, because her mind was not the appropriate receptacle for this vision.”

Why did she have it?

He shrugged, “I think it was because she was not expecting to get anything, but when the ripple passed through here, she must have resonated with the power. That would have brought about the vision she saw and since she was not trained or ready for it, it killed her.”

Why does the Horned Knight want to destroy the creatures of the dark?

“She did not say.”

Is there a way to stop the Army from amasses in the first place and to stop the war?

“No… Do you know about the war between the Elves and the Orcs?”

No, I cared nothing beyond the outside, since I am trapped here.

“Let me enlighten you, then.” The figure waved his hand and a chair appeared. He sat down and asked, “Did you know that the Gates are not the only way to get from place to place?”

Yes, except for Oblivion, all of the Realms are connected by various places of power. Few try to find these places of power except in times of war. Each Realm has a Gate and at least one of these places of power, though it is highly dangerous to use either without proper training or inclination.

The only ones who can use the Gates safely are the Gatekeepers and they are chosen from their races based upon the power they wield. The Gatekeepers are usually ones who are not afraid to leave their Realm and travel around, spreading news and learning everything they could about the Realms. Their knowledge becomes compiled into a book, that is sent to each of the Realms to allow for knowledge to be spread. This was set up to prevent wars that stem from ignorance.

“You are correct.”

Then what started this war?

“There was is a war going on between the Orcs and Elves. It was started about three thousand years ago, over a glen that is between their Realms.”

A glen? As in a small-secluded meadow or narrow valley?

The skeleton nodded, “Yes, that is exactly what started it.”

How did a valley start a three thousand year war?

“The waters in this glen had miraculous healing powers and the Orcs discovered it first. There are no boundary lines between the Realms, so the Orcs had claimed the glen, before the elves arrived one day.”

The elves were not happy with the Orcs having something so beautiful and with a spectacular power to heal, I bet.

“Exactly, and it would have been a peaceful thing, if they had just shared it. The glen was right on the boundary of the two Realms, yet they both claimed it belonged to their Realm. The Kings of the two races met with maps of their Realms, but both maps showed that the glen was in their respective Realms. The two Kings argued for thirteen days, before they declared war on each other.”

Did the glen survive?

The skeleton smiled, “Out of everything that you could have asked, it surprises me that you would ask about a group of trees and a spring.”

It was the innocent in this war. Why should the glen have been punished for the stupidity of mortals?

The skeleton looked thoughtful, “Interesting, a demon who is more interested in innocence than even the angels are.”

Do not mock me, skeleton.

“I am not mocking, it is just curious that for the darkest creatures to experience more of the light emotions than even the more light of the races, vice versa.”

Then what makes my race the darkest, when we never initiated a war on anyone and became more understanding that the intolerable races of the light?

“That is the question for the ages, General. I remember when my race died out… They asked me the same questions, before I left to become a Gatekeeper. I was sent to gather data on the beings of light and the creatures of the dark, to learn what it means to be dark and light. Do you want to know what I learned for that?”

What did you learn from your trials?

His smile was sardonic, “Nothing. I learned nothing of the light and the dark and what separate us… My race was destroyed when I returned from the journey, so luckily, I did not have to face them. It was not my task to find out what makes us different and what makes us who we are.”

Whose task is it, then?

“It is for a group of students that will be arriving to the Academy in eighteen years.”

Will she be in that group of students?

“Yes, she will be.” The skeleton smiled.

| _-_ |

“Husband, did you feel that?” An elegant and beautiful woman walks into a large receiving room, her green dress flowing behind her.

“Yes, my wife, I did. Are our children fine?” The middle-aged king asked his wife, looking up at her from maps of his armies.

“Most did not feel it, but the youngest would not stop crying for the longest time, until he felt it. He stopped crying and even giggled, clapping his hands together, as if someone was trying to make him laugh. When the ripples passed on, he started to bawl again.” She sat in the chair before her husband, looking at the little figurines of her husband’s armies fighting the Orcs. “Not even the sleep spells the maids and I tried could get him to stop. He is quiet now, the ripple sending him into a light sleep.”

“He must have been touched by it.” The husband went back to his armies, trying to find a way to destroy the orcs in a single, final strike.

The wife shifted in her seat, unsure if she should tell her husband the rest. She shakes her head, as her husband dismisses her, because her movement is distracting him from his war. “Husband, this war needs to stop!” She stands and shouts at him. He looks up at her, shock written across his face about his quiet wife’s outburst. She takes this chance to voice her concerns, “This war started over something that could have easily been avoided! This war needs to stop and peace be made between the Realms! This war will destroy our children and their children! What happens when the hatred amassed from this war starts to affect all of our future generations?!”

He gathers his wits about him and responds, “We will not have anything to worry about that. My armies will destroy the Orcs, until there is none left! I will destroy them all and then there will be nothing left to stand in our children’s way, as they take over the Orc lands.” The husband stood up to meet his wife’s gaze, “My darling wife, as long as these abominations exist, there will be wars! After the Orcs, I will send my armies to destroy all armies until the Elvin Nation stands above all others. Our children will rule all of the Realms for the peace that you so desperately want enough to shout at your husband!”

She placed her palm to her chest in a gesture of surprise, “You dare speak of peace? You have done nothing but hindered the quest for peace between the Realms! You have only done harm to destroy those you swore to protect! I see Elvin warriors forced to leave their families to fight in this war! I have seen widows weep over their husbands, fathers and children when they come back from a massacre on both sides! You are blind to everything but your ambition to become the Supreme Lord over the Realms! What happens when the Lord God sees your ambition and decides to enact his angels?! Your army will fall and you will pull men from their families until only the royal family survives! Then what?! You would have single handedly destroyed the Elvin Nation!”

“How dare you!” He screamed at her, “How dare you suggest that I will be the one who destroys the Elvin Nation? It is women like you, who know nothing of their place, that will destroy it!”

“Who know nothing of their place…” She spat on his armies, “It is that kind of ignorance that started this war in the first place… You know nothing of the strength of women, nor of the other Realms! They will destroy us if we go to war in order to control them!”

“Not if I have the other Elvin Nations backing us!”

“They will never unite under your rule!” She looked him square in the eyes, her golden eyes flickering with hatred for him, “Husband, I am leaving and do not follow me.” She turned on the ball of her foot and slammed the door behind her. She could hear the youngest of her children wail, as she heard her husband scream in rage.

She walked to the youngest child’s room and carefully opened and close the door. She stepped over to her son and picked him up in her arms, “Hush, child… You will need to hush for me to get you out of the castle.” She wove a gentle sleep spell over him.

The male child looked up at his mother, before he calmed down. He crooned before he fell asleep in her arms. His maid walked in, “Everything alright, my queen?”

The queen shook her head, “No, all is not right. All of my children will die in this war my husband refuses to end. But not him…” She turned to face the maid, “He will need to survive… He will become king of the Elvin Nation, but only after he fulfills his destiny.”

“Destiny, my queen?” The maid asked, as she took the child from the mother to weave a deeper sleep spell around the lightly sleeping babe.

“One of our dream watchers saw a vision of my children. He saw their deaths in this war, all of my children will be killed, their blood filling the halls.” The queen’s voice wavered. “Immediately after the ripple, another vision came to him, one that I must protect with my life.”

“My queen, you are not speaking sense.” The maid handed the child back to the mother.

“We need to leave, this babe and I. I need to find somewhere where he could be safe until he is grown. Somewhere far from this castle and the war.”

The maid thought for a second, before speaking, “My queen, I have a sister who lives in the mountains on the other side of the Realm. She and her husband have always wanted a child, but she is barren. She instead works as a medicine woman and midwife for their village.”

The queen thought about the maid’s idea, before she nodded, “Saddle up the carriage and you are coming with me.”

The maid curtsied, “Yes, my queen.” She ran out of the room as the queen set the child back into his crib.

She turned towards the door and saw a male elf standing there. “My queen,” he bowed low to her, “I am sorry for overhearing your plan with the maid, but might I ask something of you?” He wore all black under a dark cloak.

“I am listening…” The queen chose her words carefully, knowing this was not a high elf, nor a member of this Elvin Nation.

“Might I ask why this child is more important than the others?” The elf stay bowed, showing her no harm.

“The dream watcher I spoke to told me he needed to survive to meet the child of Light and Dark. He is to grow up to be a Gatekeeper, the first among the elves. He is also to become the King if he survives. He will stop this war with the Orcs and he will stop the war to come, the war of Light and Dark.” She took a breath, “He will help lead the Realms into an age of peace, with the power of the Gray behind him, he will become the most powerful King in our history. He and the other Elvin Kings will help to create a King’s Council; he will unite all of the Elvin Nations under the glorious banner of the King’s council.”

“I understand, my queen. Thank you for indulging my interests. May I suggest another plan for your babe to survive?”

“I am still listening, stranger.”

He did not look up at her as he grabbed a dagger from a hidden sheathe. When he did look up to meet her gaze, she saw the apology in his eyes. “I am taking the child with me, where my people can protect him better since we have no connections to this Nation.” In one swift move, her was standing in front of her, his dagger embedded into her stomach. “I am sorry, my queen, but our dream watchers saw the same thing and knew the plan to protect your child. I will raise him as you would, teaching him how to defend himself and how to rule over his people.”

He laid the queen down, being gentle with her. She tried to speak, taking her time to form each word, “Please…Keep… Him… Safe…”

“I promise, I will.” He held her hands in his, feeling them tighten before relaxing. He watched her chest fall of the last time, as the light of life faded from her eyes. He stood up and grabbed the child in his arm. He looked around the room and started to upturn things, to make it look like she struggled.

He looked to the sleeping child in his arm, then to the queen. “I am sorry, child that you will never see your mother again, but as she said, you must survive.”

He looked to the door, as it started to open. He ran to the window and pushed it open. He saw the maid step through the door and see him. She looked to the scene, then she saw the queen, before she screamed. He took this chance to dive out the window with the child in his arm. Mechanical wings burst out from under his cloak, gliding him to a safe distance from the Castle.

| _-_ |

The three year-old orc looked up to the woman standing above all of the other orcs. She was the grandmother of the young orc, the High Priestess of the Orc Nation and her word was law. Her skin was dark brown, almost black, but her hair was a mix of red and gray. She wore nothing but her hair and a necklace of bone. She spoke, her voice hoarse to match her wizened face, “Today is the anniversary of the birth of the prince! He is to be bathed in blood and his future read in the crystal!”

The three year-old was grabbed by the High Priestess and led to a blood filled pit. She set him down outside the ring that encircled the blood pit. He walked his way to the blood pit and found the stairs that lead down. He slipped on cold blood that spit out of the pit and fell in.

Nobody moved, as the child tried to regain his footing in the pit. He succeeded and stood up in the middle of the pit. He started to wash himself in blood, getting it into his mouth and letting the sweet nectar fill his senses. He bathed until every bit of him was covered in the blood.

He stepped out of the blood pit and walked to the giant crystal wall. He pressed his hand to it, roaring as loud as he could to the wall. His voice was joined in by the rest of the Orcs watching him complete his ritual. He stepped away from the crystal wall and walked back into the blood pit. He stared up the wall, as his grandmother pressed her hand to the wall.

He watched as she went into a trance, and he then fell into one with her. Darkness filled around the two of them. Her voice filled his mind,Welcome to the World of Truth, my grandson. This is the world that nothing can be hidden, nothing disguised. All Visions and Dreams come from this world, filling the minds of those who watch. Do you understand, my grandson?”

The young orc nodded,Yes, my grandmother.”

The scene opened to the young orc, older, much older. He is being crowned King by a new High Priestess, but the High Priestess was not an orc.

“This cannot be!” The grandmother shouted. “Humans cannot enter our lands! They are to be killed on sight when within our borders!”

The scene changed and the young king was sitting on a council with Elves, humans and other people of the Realms.

“No!” The grandmother shouted, angry at what the scenes were showing.

They both shuddered as a ripple passed around them, the scenes falling silent. The young orc felt joy rise in him as the ripple caressed his heart and soul. He looked to his grandmother and watched the expressions change on her face. She nodded to herself, as the ripple ended, “I understand now.”

“What, grandmother?”

“The Gray was born… The woman who crowns you in the first and who sits at the table with you in the second is the child of Light and Dark. If everything goes right on your course, then this will be your future. You will sit with other kings and peace will prevail in the lands. On the other hand…” She fell silent, as another scene opens.

The young orc king is surrounded by thousands of bodies of goblins, orcs and demons. He looks on to see a single knight standing above the bodies, a Horned Black Knight. The knight holds his sword high in the air, swinging it towards the Heavens, “King of Orcs!” The Knight shouts to the orc. “I have defeated your armies of darkness! You are next!”

The King grabs his bow and shoots towards the Black knight. The Orc is joined by a human woman carrying two swords, connected by leather, by an Elf with two gauntlets protecting two translucent swords and by a pale male with a rapier. The orc looks to the others and find camaraderie in them, as he shoots at the Horned Black Knight. The others reach the Horned Black Knight and they all fought as one, forcing him to block on one side, only to be hit on another. The woman flipped and turned, trying to keep the Knight’s attention on her, as the others slashed at him. The king shot off arrows that missed his allies, but hit the Knight. The Knight grabbed the woman and vanished, leaving the others alone.

The scene changed to before the orc became King. He was with a younger version of the woman, who laid dying in his arms. He tried to heal her, but nothing was happening. He pulls a crystal ball out of his coat, and shouts something into it. The elf and pale male appeared out of nowhere, as if they had stepped through a Gate. The elf and the pale male gave him their power, as the pale male dove into the woman’s mind. The woman started to heal from a wound the grandmother and the young orc could not see.

“A healer…” She scoffed at the image, “You are to become the most powerful king we have ever had, yet you will be a healer? There has never been a male orc healer before…”

“Mayhaps that is what makes me more powerful. Instead of being a warrior like those before me, I am a healer to save the land.”

The grandmother looked to the three year-old and shook her head, smiling, “You speak wisely, my grandson. However, none of the other must find this out about you. You would be ripped to shreds if they found this out. I wonder how you became friends with strange ones…”

The image of the prince healing changed to a dining hall. The woman was sitting at a table and the elf sat on one side of her, the prince on the other. The prince stood up to throw things away, when another elf trips him. The girl stands up and helps the prince back to the table. She then picks up the elf, and slams his head into the table. She said something to him, but the elf shook his head. She grabs a giant war hammer, the grandmother recognized instantly. The woman swings it high over the elf’s head, stopping it right above his head. The elf says something and she shouts to the rest of the room something, before sitting back down.

“That answers my question… She must be the Gray.”

“How can you tell?” The orc asked.

“She carries the Cruorem Liliaceae Mortalitas and he has to choose her to wield him. She must have the power to destroy Realms or save them, depending on her choice.”

“She seems like she should save them, if she was willing to help an orc, despite her race being of the light.”

The grandmother smiles to her grandson, “Spoken like a king, my grandson.”

The darkness around them vanished, leaving them with the other orcs around them. The grandmother smiles to her grandson, “I have seen his future in the crystal!”

The orcs roared and cheered, for the prince, as he stood up out of the blood bath and walked towards his grandmother.

She raised her hands into the air, silencing them, “He is to be king of the orcs when he is grown! He is to take the path of the Academy to find the Gray! With her power, we shall end the war with the Elves and bring about an age of peace for all of the Realms!”

The orcs roared and cheered for their prince, the only heir to the orc throne. He stood by his grandmother who told partial truths to his people. His father and mother stepped onto the raised ground, joy reflecting in their eyes. His mother picked him up as his father tousled his hair.

The father looked to his wife’s mother, “He shall find a way to destroy the elves to end this war to bring peace.”

The High Priestess shook her head, “No, my wife’s husband. In the visions, he was allied with an elf, who will one day have great influence over his people. These two will become great friends and together, they will bring peace to the Realms. They will assist the Gray for as long as the Horned Black Knight is alive. Once that knight dies, they will create a council for each of the Realms, centered in the Academy of Anima. They will stop all wars and unite the Realms under a single banner.”

The father looked to his son then back to his son’s grandmother. “If it was seen, then it will pass. How long do we have to wait for this peace to come about?”

“My king, it will be at least a score before he ever meets the Gray. I think a score and a fourth will be the appropriate time measurement until peace.”

He nodded, “By then, there will massacres of the two races…”

“Yes, my king, but one cannot rush the passages of time and the time of visions.”

He looked back to his son, “May there be a court for him to return to.”

 Chapter 1

Leave a Reply