“As the light eternally blesses the universe with heavenly radiance, the shadows forever lurk in the abyssal crevices of the cosmos, perpetually trying to quench it. We who live in the light must be forever careful of the paths we choose to tread in, for the darkness eternally preys on those who lose their way. As such it is the unspoken duty of those who follow a steady path to prevent the rest from going astray and bring those who have back into the light, for if the lost begin to lead we shall all be swallowed by the darkness.”
- Melador Hatchman, Lord Magus and High Inquisitor of the Elven Inquisition
A tempest of magic tore through the surrounding forest.
The powerful sages that gathered, an unparalleled force one thousand strong, led by some who in the future would be known as legends, barely managed to contain the unnatural havoc that had overtaken the magical plane. The center of their focus, the holy tower of Stonehenge, stood defiant against the crushing torrents of the wavering reality. Above it, the moon stared down like a bloated eye and the blighted light of unnatural stars threw its form into shadow.
For a moment the gigantic tower of rock shimmered with the focused power of the myriad of sages surrounding it. Like water in a drain, the wild ambient magics paused their frantic tides and swirled down into the majestic structure. Finally, many thought, they had managed to establish the tower as a common nexus for their collective might. The crowd of sages watched with both exhaustion and relief as the tower crumbled to its very foundations from the sheer pressure of the onslaught of magic that it was trying to funnel. A rare few even felt a twinge of grief when they saw inevitable and predetermined destruction of what they had labored months to build.
It was some moments more before the last of the supernatural energies were drained. The army of sages was at last able to relax and without the magical distortions perverting the fabric of reality, the natural order reasserted itself in the world. It was with great delight that the sages noted that no longer were they surrounded by mutated life, wrathful winds and tumorus stars. The faintest took this opportunity to collapse into much needed slumber while the still strong stared at them with envy, for they knew that although there was not a single amongst them that was not frayed, there was still much to be done before they too were able to rest.
But the gaze of most fell upon the ruins of the tower, now a mere circle of enchanted yet broken stone. There their leaders were holding a meeting. A meeting that would ultimately judge the integrity of the world.
Indeed, beneath ghostly torchlight, four men were locked in a deep discussion held in ancient elven tongue.
“It soothes my soul to see that the ritual was successful.” Exclaimed the leader of the ancient drow.
“Indeed, there’s no telling what would happen if it had not. Imagine if that…that unspeakable thing was left unguarded. I can hear the world falling to its knees at the mere thought.” Retorted the elven king.
“A magnificent exhibition of magical proficiency, this ritual was. I congratulate you Ildor, Grand magus of the elves. Even my kind would be hard pressed to repeat your stunning performance.” The Elder dragon rumbled with an approving nod.
“I am deeply flattered by your words, my lords.” Bowed the one known as Ildor. “But I must ask that you save such praises for afterwards. We have only managed to make the lock by creating its key. It might be safe as it is, but the key is not.”
“You speak wisdom, my grand magus.” Contemplated the king of the elves.
“Once again the young races surprise me. Your servant’s insight is correct elven lord. These are not the times of my youth, where the very world was able to protect itself. As long as there is corruption in the hearts of our people, the key will be in danger.” Mused out the Elder Dragon.
“We must guard it then, until the end of times if we have to. But it must be done in secrecy lest we risk it stolen. Thankfully, our people know naught of this ritual’s true nature.” Said the drow queen.
“You are right your highness. Walls and armies cannot hold this thing. One capable enough must be chosen and then send to take it away, to the far reaches of the world.” Nodded the lord of the dragons.
For a moment the four stood silent, trying to grasp these words and their implications. One had to be chosen, yes, but who? What manner of being could be trusted with this so called key? There dragons were weakening in this new age and risk of it taken was high. The drows were too cunning and curious as a people for such a task, drow thieves were infamous for their ability to take what they fancied even in impossible situations. Even the elves would have trouble to keep it safe, their usual vanity could lead to unnecessary complications. Other races, such as the demons and the young humanity, were unfortunately too corrupt or otherwise plagued by other faults.
It had to be solved with the quality and ability of one as an individual, then his or her race would be of little importance. He had to be trustworthy, unblemished and strong. As the leaders of the world scoured their minds foe one to act as guard, The Grand Magus of the elves came to a decision. He set his jaw and stood forward.
“I’ll take it.” He spoke with unwavering resolve. “I am the one who orchestrated this ritual and I above all wish to see it serve its purpose as it was meant to be. I am bound to duty for its safekeeping and powerful enough to protect it against any evil. If you permit it my lords, I and my line shall be the ones to guard this key till the end of times.”
[Five thousand years later, Argentum headquarters, Berlin, Germany]
“…And on other news. Infamous businessman and aspiring politician Edward Benjamin Mezmer, has just moments ago finished broadcasting his scheduled speech in the United nation’s conference room. Although the illusive tycoon has once again refused to appear in public, he managed to successfully deliver his message to the world’s leaders and their people through an encrypted voice com channel. During his speech, he emphasized that he would double the security forces in his business buildings, to ensure that no more weapons from would be stolen from his weapon production branch companies and sold illegally. Mr. Mezmer assured his audience that the culprit of the recently exposed gun trafficking ring, would be apprehended and delivered to justice in the near future. Yet to this time, the mysterious mafia lord Tukinode, keeps eluding the long hand of law. Jim, what do you think about….”
“Boss, you were right! Vampire alcove thirty-six in south India’s been wiped out. Four hundred dead, counting a variety of four different races included in the massacre. Fortunately the civilians who choose to run and hide are alright and from what I can hear there have been no underage casualties. Its Arthur alright! This entire thing reeks of Genocide Berserk! I sent half out men to help with the relief effort. I’ll keep you posted. Steward out!”
“This is Arc-mage Count. The stakeout was a bust. Willis just slipped through our guys when we weren’t looking. Agent Green, this is getting ridiculous. The elven inquisition can no longer spear the man-power to keep tabs on the little pup. I know you know he’s guilty and you know we know he’s guilty, heck, the entire magic community knows he’s guilty but with no solid proof, this is just a waste of resources. I’ll try to convince Hatchman to give me a few more months but you better have something good up your sleeve Green, the higher-ups are running out of patience.”
In Berlin exists a two story office building where only a select few are allowed to enter. To the untrained eye, it appears as nothing out of the ordinary. Even the armed guards attending the structure’s single entrance are something one can regularly see in the headquarters of any wealthy company. Yet, what most don’t realize is that beneath this building’s steel walls and reflective bullet-resistant windows, below the lavish cafeteria equipped with chefs of all kinds, just underneath the great conference room with the mahogany table lays a bunker.
Deep within its heart, in a room illuminated only by the light of a thousand monitors and communication devices of all natures, sits a man, a hero. Even with his scarred form obscured by heavy clothes and his crippled and wilted frame confined to a wheelchair, this man fights on for the sake of the world, for the name of justice and retribution. This man, is Special Agent Anderson Green, orchestrate of the Last Sphere of Silver, the final attempt to push back the unnatural darkness that threatened to overtake this unstable world.
Sat as he was, motionless and bathed by lights of every kind, he waited. Today would be the day where his operation would truly start. Sure, he already had agents and of course he had connection with other agencies but never before had he such a great and powerful army of mages under his command. They would arrive today and his campaign would taste glory.
Ever so silently the armored door behind him opened and the ever smiling face of a slender, blond woman appeared from the crack. She was dressed in her work clothes, a short-skirted nurse outfit that seemed to fit her form perfectly. When Agent Green refused to stir, her smile widened and she casually entered the room.
“Mr. Green.” Spoke the nurse in a gentle, melodic voice. “The men you were waiting for are set to arrive in an hour. From what Mr. Owen from the communication department has told me, nearly everyone of your targets received the recruitment letter.”
When her ward said nothing, the woman took it as a sign to continue.
“Reports from our agents in airports and the borders informed me that a satisfying number of the mages we contacted are well on their way to this building. As you commanded, the address was given to them by one of our an undercover soldier cells as soon as they arrived in the country. All of them were silently screened and found to carry no listening of tracking devices. They should be safe to greet. Should I ask the waiters to prepare the conference room in the ground floor?”
Once again, the man remained silent.
“As you wish Mr. Green! Shall we go?” She said and strolled forward. Her hands closed around the wheelchair’s handles and with startling ease, the woman rolled her boss around to face the door. “Come on, lets go say hi to our guests, shall we?” He beamed, moving the two of them into the nearby corridor.
[At the same time, Cult Hidden Base, New York, America]
With a flick of wrist, he revealed his silver wrist watch and with haggard eyes stared down at the arms of the clock. It was almost time. Silently he stood up from high backed chair of the masterfully crafted round table. With a single swift move he grabbed his neatly discarded formal coat and palmed his grey hat to his brown haired scalp. For a moment he paused and his black eyes scanned the dining room with something akin to admiration. The gigantic pure crystal chandelier that hang over head clashed wonderfully with the lavish yet worn decorations, themselves an incredible mix of old English aristocracy and medieval castles.
Beneath the light of the ever burning bewitched torches that lined the round room, the man brooded the fact that such a patrician contraction could be hidden beneath the rotting remains of an American mansion in the outskirts of the ruins that had once been once known as New York. It was pure irony by itself that the armies of the dark Sion, renowned for their brutality and cruelty, had built such a refined base for their master.
Dismissing the case with a light shake of the head, the grey suited man turned around and headed to one of the heavy doors that lined this round room. The dining table was the heart of the old minion base and from it, one could reach anywhere in the underground complex. The man himself, was headed towards his changing room. He had to groom himself appropriately for the imminent gathering between the newly formed cult of the Highborn. His boss would be rather…displeased if he his intermediate’s appearance was a mess and if there was one thing the man knew, it was that you never displeased the boss, not if you liked your life.
He walked in a brisk pace through the one of the myriad of magically crafted caverns of the underground complex. Like every other part of the tunnels it too was filled with a series of catwalks and stone stairs that hand over a bottomless abyss and would, ultimately, lead one to his intended destination in the recommissioned base.
Even as he walked, the pale man’s hand moved with awe-inspiring dexterity and elegance. He swung on his grey coat over in one swift motion; hastily he removed his hat and combed his hair and with great urgency he tried to straighten his recently ironed suit.
Frankly, he hated rushing like that. One appearance was something to be arranged with the utmost care. He knew though, that his guests would soon arrive and that he had no choice but to move as swiftly as his body and sense of style would allow.
For if the stoic man knew one thing and one thing only it was that you never displeased the boss. Not his boss, not now, not ever, no how.
Not if you enjoyed your life.
Made it myself. (Tukinode may not reflect the ideas of his original creator)