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Age of Shadows

~ Forloyn Winter (Cali) ~

~ Copyright 2003 ~

Jackal

Walking threw the Empire Base I could feel a whisper in my ear warning me of something. It was an odd sensation as if I was being watched yet I knew I wasn't. More then once I had to stop walking and look around. A few more steps and an image came to my mind, unbidden, a large 'bloody' Dragon roaring its massive head pointed to the moon. It wings spread in magnificence and glory below it at its feet was a pile of bones and flesh. Blood would drip from this massive dragon of death into the pile burning the bones it touched like acid.

'Vicious One'

The image was gone! I looked around yet again to see who whispered the words vicious one or if anyone was around using sorcery on me. "Vicious One...?" I whispered to myself.

'Careful young one, soon you will be tested.'

I spun around this time sure I had herd something surly This was not the wind! "What in the name of Vikus are you?"

'Vikus? Surly you know by now?'

"Know what Deamon?" I was agitated did this deamon not know who it was messing with? It was starting to fray my last nerve.

'Deamon?' It had managed to sound insulted, and then out of nowhere the greatest pain I had ever experienced passed threw me as if each and everyone of my never had caught on fire. Another image came to mind this one different and it was personally painful to watch.

~ the chaos shrine ~

Two people stand before the shrine clothed in shadows in the dawn of day yet Jackal knew who they where he did not know why he knew but he knew. Not only did he know who they are but also he knew this was happening NOW.

"Raven my pet. Times have changed, and it is no longer times I wish to be a part of..." Jackal knew what was to come and he feared it the tone in his mothers voice griped his heart like a vice. Her hand already starting to pull the skull mask from her face as she looked up to the rising sun.

Then the pain came Jackal knew it was the same as the pain his mother felt, and for a brief time Jackal thought he was dying with her. Until the last dregs of pain where dragged out of him and the Queen's body fell limp to the ground where so many noble warriors of her clan had fallen.

~ empire base ~

Jackal felt his world coming back to him and the Chaos shrine faded from his vision and the Empire Base returned. "I will KILL you for this Deamon!"

'For what? Letting you be there as she died? I assure you I had nothing to do with her death.'

He knew of course that the 'deamon' or whatever it was spoke the truth but Jackal was still morning he has just seen his mother's death. "Why are you bothering me? Why did you show me that?" In truth Jackal was glad in a small way to be allowed to see it at least but he was pained too. What kind of sick deamon would let Jackal SEE his mother's death? What did the deamon want?

Part IIa

Jackal

It was not long before Jackal's world started to fall apart around him. He could see those loyal to him banding together and those loyal to the three banding as well. Jackal had to leave Empire and fast, if he didn't there was sure to be a civil war one that could tear the Empire apart from the inside.

Summoning those loyal to him Jackal set off from the home he had known for so long, knowing that he would probably never set foot within the walls again. To make matters even worse where the threat he and his band got as they packed to leave.

'Leave now, and if we every see you here again you will be killed on sight!'

Did they not know that if they had stayed there would be a fight for the thrown? A war within the Empire that would be so bloody it could kill the vary place they where fighting to control.

'It is the Way of Chaos Jackal, To weed out the weak.' Vicious, his voice has still not faded from Jackal's mind He knew he was being lead but he also found it hard to fight it.

"Where will we stay?" Jackal asked himself, as he looked around the encampment his group of loyal vampires had set up just east of the Hedge Maze.

'Seek out the Deamons, they will know.'

Deamons? "Deamons?"

'Seek one by the name of Xavier Cain. He is looking for you Jackal loyalty is but a breath away.'

Part IIb

Xavier Cain

Xavier was sleeping when it came, some might call it a nightmare or a vision but Xavier called it a dream.

Xavier walked among the snow duns of Ice Island as his deamon hordes feed of the polar bears and elves. The snow had a red tint to it everywhere his eye would land. A small smile playing at the corner of his lips as he watched another elf being pulled apart by the deamons. The inhuman screams like music to the deamon hordes.

It changed

He could see spires of stone spring from the snow around the mountain the sky was red with blood he could smell it fresh in the air. Looking around he could see others among their number, not just deamon but vampire and 'mortal' races gathered. Xavier would have attacked and killed them on sight but he could feel the evil in there harts, some greater then the evil in his own. He could hardly believe what his eyes where showing him.

A Realm of Shadows

Xavier woke to the clicking sound at his window looking out there was a bird pecking at the window pain opening with window and taking the message from the bird, he read.

Jackal wants to talk with him...

Part IIc

Jackal

The area smelled of death Jackal could see in the limited light decaying bodies of elves. Jackal has just recalled to ice island to talk with Xavier about a possible alliance and a home for his band of banished vampires. It did not take Jackal long to find were the Deamons had set up camp.

Xavier was the first to approach Jackal the other deamons seemed to be watching him wearily as if they expected all the hells of the underworld to be launched at them. Jackal almost smiled at the weakness he could smell, fear. However he did not for he remembered that these deamons here where to be his allies and the fear in side of them must be stomped out even the fear of him if he was to lead them to stand above all races in this world.

The meeting was short but it decided a lot the island is big and both the deamon clan and Jackals Conclave of Shadows could share it quite easily so big in fact that the island can also accommodate the growth of the town though the years.

Jackal sent the word out that his clan, the wasteland known as Ice Island was to be there new home.

Part IIIa

Jessy Fast

"Last of the clan of the Seraphyn"

I could smell him. He was not far now, asleep. I don't know why he would come to Anfangum but it has made my job easier. I was awake for days on end trying to figure out how I could get to the other lands.

I set fire to the note sent to me by my father telling me that Jackal would indeed be in Anfangum today and just where exactly I would be able to find his coffin.

Coffin... how old Goth could one vampire get? I know that certain impure bloodlines need them but surely Jackal's bloodline was above sleeping in the dirt of ones homeland... at lest I hoped so.

It was not hard to find the house Jackal was taking refuge in. Getting inside that was not easy. It might be a old fable to them, a myth even but there blood has... thinned and even though I am stronger I am still bound by some of the weaker weaknesses like not being able to enter a privet domicile without permission of the residents. The price I pay for immortality.

'Jackal... wake!' My eyes where shut lightly and I could fill Jackal's blood pules threw him he is old but nearly as pure as his clan could be. I nudge him mind awake slowly.

It did not take long before Jackal was answering the door, he steeped aside to let me enter, that was all the invite I needed. I walked passed him and went to look around this hovel he was sleeping in.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?" he demanded he had his voice trained well but I could feel the impatiens coursing threw his mind like a wild river.

"I am Lord Fast, you will call me Serah." It was simple and light my voice almost like music as I glided back toward him and extending my hand to him. I knew that from his many years in the Empire as the Emperor he had to have some idea of what kind of greeting I was looking for. I was right as his eyes narrowed at my hand and he spoke in a cold low tone designed to chill bones and boil blood.

"I don't know who you think you are 'whelp' but I call no man 'lord' and I most defiantly do not 'kiss' the hands of 'mortal men'." He took a threatening step towards me.

I did not react to the threat, the way he thought I would. I simply raised an elegant eyebrow and smirked at him "temper Jackal." However that only served to anger him further and he lunged at me.

"I will kill you mortal!" as he jumped forward to grab me I grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him out of the door into the daylight. His mask protected him from the sun but I quickly fixed that has he kept punching me with blows that would kill any mortal human I ripped the mask from his face.

He yelped in pain the moment the mask was removed his eye darting around for shelter from the sun. He spotted the bag tied around my waist and lunged for it. I muttered the words of a spell but was to late. I herd the gentle hiss of a failed spell as his hand came away with the bag of reagents.

"In lor" after casting the spell he leveled a death glare at me. "You fight well for a mortal." I spit some blood out of my mouth. Jackal's eye locked onto the blood mesmerized as the green blood slowly vanishes before his eyes.

"Give me back my reagents."

Part IIIb

Jackal

I couldn't believe the pull of this boy's voice without even realizing it; I had handed over his reagents. I looked up into his eyes with a question on my tounge it was a mistake. "Your blood is..." but I couldn't finish for I locked his eyes with mine... "Gold..." I whispered.

"My blood is like poison to mortals and even more lethal to lower vampires." His voice some as silk as if he was trying to subdues me... I felt like I was falling into a bottomless pit and would never stop. His gold eyes locked on me I tried to speak again but the only thing that came out was a crack in my voice. His smile slowly faded to a frown as if something he wanted desperately was just taken from him, and with this change of mood he lunged at me.

The oddest thing about it is not that I couldn't fight back but that I didn't want to fight back. My mind and reality was completely altered when I looked into his gold eyes. As if I had entered a trance and was completely lost to the Serah. I felt what had to be fangs pierce my neck and finally sprung into action. I attempted to throw what I knew now to be a vampire away from me. But my arms went weak like all the strength was strained out of them.

I was starting to go numb that I didn't stop resisting my vampirism would not let me give in. I keep shoving at him and kicking but it didn't do anything it was as if I was nothing but a small child or mortal to him. I remember feeding off mortals and how some of them would try and fight back and the thrill I got knowing that no matter how hard they fought they where doomed to die. This must be how they felt, frightened, trapped, terrified.

Then all was Dark.

~ A Dream ~

I was running but from what I don't know. But around every corner I would see the face of my mother and I would run faster toward it. It was always just out or reach always just around the next corner.

I could never catch up to her.

'Don't chase what you can not have, Stop living in a shadow."

~ End Dream ~

I woke with a start, the room was dark but I was not sleeping in a coffin but rather in a bed. I felt around and knew I was not alone for one terrifying moment I thought I was in the bed with that vampire that attacked me. However I the cackle from across the room killed that terrifying thought.

"Oh believe me I was... tempted." I looked in the direction to only see golden eyes looking back at me. I quickly looked away to see who I was sleeping with, Adrianna.

"How did she get here?"

"I sent for her."

"Why?"

"You where asleep for a LONG time young Serah, you needed someone to look after you why I was not around. But now that you are awake, there is work you need to do." With that he got up and started for the door but his voice was still in my mind. "You will not create without my permission, you will descries my name or the clan, and you will follow the Vicious. Vikus is faults she is NOT a goddess.

Part IV

Narrative

Before Jackal's Trip to Anfangum he went in search of his friend Zechs. He found his friend among the ranks of the Forgotten Soldiers. It was at this time that Jackal asked F*S to join the ranks of the Shadow Realm.

With Zechs and the FalleN within the ranks of the Shadow Realm and NOX at the ready Jackal was free to Explore the visions he had been getting lately, they took him to the land of Anfangum where he met an eccentric Seraphyn Vampire by the name Jessy Fast. Jessy Fast converted the blood of Jackal into the pure blood of the Seraphyn (Master Race of Vampires) So that Jackal would be better suited to do the Vicious' work.

And so Shadow Realm sits on the brake of war with all that is good, and evil. All that stands in the way of its progress. The Shadow Realm lead by Jackal Falryx Chosen of The Vicious One.

~End

2003 Forloyn Winter, the Viper

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