Out of the Dark

 

Introduction

                The last king of Drosnia was leaving his kingdom. He didn’t know he was leaving it of course, being strapped to the back of a large imposing man who was riding full speed for the mountains at the edge of the valley. This in itself wasn’t even unusual, being strapped to the back of this man, that is, except that this time, he wasn’t out for a nice stroll in the country. No, this time, he was fleeing for his life. Except he wasn’t exactly fleeing, because he was strapped to the back of the big man who was fleeing, so it’s not like he actually had any choice in the matter.

                Hmm…this is terribly confusing, isn’t it? Let me try again. This time I’ll go back a ways before the fleeing began.

                In the beginning, there was nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, ‘cause I mean, there’s a God that I haven’t gotten to yet, but besides him, there was pretty much nothing. Anyway, so there was nothing, and this God, supreme being, whatever you want to call him, I like to call him Rolf, but we won’t get into that now, he decided that there should be something there. You know, where there was currently nothing, and so he created the Universe.

                Now he thought he had done a pretty good job. I mean, there were planets and stars and black holes and ionizing radiation, and everything pretty much seemed to be in place. Except one thing. The force that was, umm, Rolf, err…God, yeah, he noticed that for everything he created, there was an opposing creation. He saw that all these anti-creations were running amok, destroying things he had created. He didn’t like that you see, I mean, he had spent all this time and effort making something from nothing, and here were these things running all around and turning it back into nothing. It was a bit uncalled for he thought.

                So, Rolf decided to do something about it. He gathered up all the anti-creations he could find, and having created everything, he didn’t leave them much place to hide from him, and then he locked them away. He created a second Universe, this one specifically for all the anti-creations. When he was all done, he was very happy and satisfied with his work. All seemed to be in order.

There was only one small problem. We can’t call it a mistake, because we all know Rolf can’t make mistakes, but let’s think of it more as a…oversight. He had created another Universe for the anti-creations to live in, but he had made the slight oversight of binding that Universe together with normal creation. It wasn’t really a problem at the time, because the anti-creations didn’t know that, they didn’t really know much of anything really, but we’ll see as we move along that it might just be the undoing of all Rolf’s work.

Having solved that problem Rolf decided to take a holiday from his work and went on a nice long vacation. As far as we know he is probably still soaking up the sun or catching some waves somewhere out there in the cosmos. It’s not like his Universe needed him though. Not a lot happened while he’s been gone. I mean, life developed, empires grew, galactic civilizations rose and fell, stars died and new ones formed, pretty much a lot of nothing though.

One of the planets in particular became the home of some very special creatures. This planet was known locally as Earth, but then again, all planets are known by their locals as Earth. The people there were also called humans, but again, the same thing applies since human means the people, and if there is only one people, then they would call themselves humans. So, anyway, on the planet Earth there were many different kingdoms filled with many different types of human. One particular kingdom was known as Drosnia.

Alas, we’ve come back to the point, the kingdom of Drosnia. This kingdom was very special. Of all the nations upon the planet, the land of Drosnia was the most prosperous. It’s people were happy and industrious, well-fed and gentle, kind hearted and very patient. Their nation grew as neighboring kingdoms came to understand their ways and peace was prevalent upon the land. The entire planet was eventually swallowed up in the greatness of it’s embrace. For thousands of years everything went perfectly.

Like many nations before, and probably many that are to follow, Drosnia grew in strength and technology. They grew rich and powerful. No man was poor, no one suffered, no one was even mean. It had been that way for a thousand years, but then something changed. New technology was discovered everyday to improve the lives of the people, and finally, it seemed that the newest of them was the greatest of them. Crystals.

That’s not exactly what they were, nor what they were officially called, but crystals seemed to leave a better taste in the mouth then a Crystalline Energy Transmutation Interface Devices. So anyway these crystals did something that had been thought impossible, they gave the user an almost unlimited source of energy. Now you must understand, on this Earth there were many types of energy, and for each type, there was a crystal to give it. The most powerful of these types of crystals were those used for magic, providing mana and will, the energies used for magic.

It wasn’t that magic was rare, indeed, everyone had it to some extent, but it was rare for anyone to be able to use it for any real or meaningful purpose. The few that could were able to use the crystals to make their magic stronger and longer lasting. Of all the mages, as the magic users were called, the most powerful were found in the royal line. They used their powers to help the people and to make wise decisions for them. The crystals amplified these abilities a thousand fold and there was much happiness in the land for this discovery.

Now, it wasn’t too long after the crystals were first used that strange things began to happen in the land. At first it was minor, people began getting ill. For awhile the hospitals were able to cure or reanimate them and things were fine. Soon thereafter however, accidents began happening. At first they were truly coincidences, but then, it seemed that more and more people began to play little jokes and unfriendly tricks on one another. The sicknesses continued as well, getting ever more serious. It eventually reached the point that people were dying and couldn’t be brought back by any means.

It was greatly disturbing to a people who had been able to fix all their problems and found themselves now stumped. As the Pax Drosnia came to an end the world seemed to erupt in turmoil. People panicked and the government and scientists worked tirelessly to discover the cause of the problem. The connection to the crystals didn’t come until it was too late.

The betrayal came in the night while the royal family slept. The assassin and usurper walked through the halls silently and unseen. Magic cloaked him in its folds and he remained undiscovered as both the king and the queen fell to his touch. The royal children were his next target. The eldest two sons both fell before any alarm was sounded. The last son remained secure in his cradle as commotion awoke in the palace complex. The assassin fought his way towards the bedchamber of the youngest siblings, but was rebuked by their guardian, who had become alert at the sound of the alarms. He fled, but the guardian remained watching over his wards.

The assassin did not act alone though. At the time he had begun his attack his soldiers also had moved on the palace and taken the barracks by surprise. The struggle had been brief and bloody. Enemy forces quickly took the palace and the guardian found himself surrounded on all sides. Grinning and brandishing their weapons they advanced upon him.

The sight of the soldiers just proved his worst fears. The King was dead, the two immediate heirs were most likely slain as well. He had no choice as to what to do next. Loyal to the king in heart, mind and soul, the guardian’s allegiance was first and foremost to the throne, and now there was only one heir left. With much remorse the guardian took up the male child and used his last bit of magic, most having been used up during the struggle with the assassin, and transported himself and the last rightful King of Drosnia outside the palace.

This of course brings our story to the point where we began. Uh…if that makes any sense. The child king was strapped to the back of his guardian and was moving quickly as possible towards the mountains. From the hover bike, the guardian had placed his distress call to the secret base within the Drosnic mountains. They had an escape route all planned out in case anything ever threatened the throne. Now he only had to reach them before it was too late.