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The Death of Life
At a young age, he was kind; none knew what cursed event changed him. His family—and all who saw him for that matter—loved him. His father led a simple life as an average infantry soldier, tending to the farm during the peaceful times in the lost world of Narul and then marching off into battle for short periods to defend their homeland of Azeldomen. They dwelt in a small village—a mere speck in the vast nation of Azeldomen in its full splendor. The town sat about a two days’ walk from the capital of Azhad. This village of about one hundred residents (mostly farmers and foot soldiers) stood a bit south of the capital city, lying upstream of the city. And, fairly regularly during the times of war, his father would go off into battle and usually return within a few months. On one occasion, his father left and did not return for years and years. At age nineteen, the young man went off to discover what happened to his father. In the city of Azhad, a military officer informed him that his father’s body had been found, dead, in the river Almenltan, the same stream which both his hometown and Azhad lay on. Upon hearing this news, he vowed to seek revenge on the nation of Azhad for its part in the death of his father because, without this nation, his father would not have been forced to go to war and there, die. And with this vow, he named himself Revenge.
For the next fifteen years, none heard from Revenge—not his friends, family, or anyone else. And then, in October of the fifteenth year, a great storm came upon the land. Lightning struck many homes in Azeldomen, causing massive fires in cities. The people of Azeldomen, after being at the mercy of the storm for ten straight days without cease, began to wonder what curse had brought this awful tempest upon them. Then, an advisor in the king’s courts remembered back in his youth, when he had been friends with the alleged Revenge.
“My Lord,” said the advisor named Halfor, “Recently, an acquaintance of old came to my memory, a good lad that mysteriously vanished fifteen years ago to this day after his father was found dead in a war. He swore revenge on Azeldomen and has not been heard from since. I fear that, somehow, he has taken magical power over the weather and caused this terrible storm to come upon us.”
Now, the king—being a very superstitious man—believed this story and immediately entered a state of panic, ordering extra guards to be posted around the great castle in which he dwelt and ordering the gates to the city to be closed. He ordered magicians to be placed at his side to guard from any evil spells that this so-called Revenge might cast. As the lightning struck all around him, the king felt that the storm targeted him alone. Then, as a bolt of lightning struck a small dwelling only a few blocks from the castle, a great fire erupted inside the house, quickly spreading to the buildings around it. The king gave a scream of horror as the lightning bolts struck closer and closer to his castle.
Halfor, watching this all and remaining very silent, suddenly disappeared from the room, though nobody noticed. He had seen, in that moment as the lightning struck, the face of his long lost friend. And he knew now that Revenge caused this chaos—the burning of cities and the violent winds. Wisely, Halfor had left the city, knowing its terrible fate, so, when half of Azhad was burned to the ground and the king suffocating from the smoke in his palace, Halfor stood far away in the country.
This wise elf knew what he had to do; indeed, he had realized this even before the great storm had come. Halfor was on his way out of Azeldomen, hoping to stop the madness of Revenge before he destroyed all of Narul. Halfor was on his way to the Second World, a world that appeared exactly like Narul, save in this world, there were no living beings. It lay there, uninhabited and wild, a land kept secret from most, but Halfor had heard of it, for he had traveled all across Narul in his younger days and visited wizards who spoke of this parallel world. Halfor knew he would have to go to this world and fight off Revenge in a place of great magical powers, but for now, Halfor rode towards the forest, where he could travel to the Second World in secret.
Three days it took him to reach the forest, and he felt exhausted when he finally found himself hidden behind the great trunks of these ancient beings. There, he uttered a spell that opened a passageway between the two worlds. Suddenly, he landed in the Second World. He could not immediately tell the difference when he entered the Second World, but, as his eyes began to adjust, he noticed that this world appeared a bit grayer than Narul; the colors seemed less vivid.
As his eyes looked out beyond the trees, he saw, there in the sky, a bright red light—the light of burning Revenge. Revenge had become so full of hatred and grudges that he had turned into a red ball of fire. And from his position in the sky of the Second World, Revenge cast this raging storm upon Azeldomen and, now, the rest of Narul.
Halfor let out a cry when he saw what had become of his friend, but this could’ve proven to be the cause of his own downfall, for when he let out that yelp, Revenge heard it and turned his eyes to the source, spotting Halfor. Within seconds, a huge beam of fire struck the forest near the elf, singeing the trees. Several more of these came, all barely missing Halfor as he stood horrified. Then, through the flames and beyond the burning trees, Halfor saw a figure, another elf—his once dear friend.
Looking like some kind of ghost, Revenge moved towards Halfor with a frightening look in his black eyes. Halfor immediately realized that he would not be able to stop his acquaintance of old with mere words. Drawing his sword, Halfor approached Revenge. He realized now that this battle was not only a battle between two people, but a battle between good and evil. Whichever of these two sides came out of this fight the victor would also spread either good or evil across Narul.
Interrupting his thoughts, Revenge stabbed at Halfor, but the agile elf dodged the blow. Halfor struck back with a powerful blow to his opponent’s head, but just before the sword crushed his skull, Revenge uttered a spell that blocked Halfor’s blade. Dodging a slash at the midsection, Halfor shouted out a spell that sent Revenge flying backwards and slamming into the ground. Now, with his enemy lying on the ground, Halfor had but to stab him with his blade and this evil would be stopped, but some bit of mercy still remained in his heart for his old friend.
I cannot kill him, thought Halfor. He was once my dear friend, and he deserves a second chance to make himself a better person. He left Revenge there and threw down his sword.
As Halfor strode through the burnt remains of the forest, a spark of anger entered the unconsciousness of Revenge’s heart. Suddenly, he stood with more evil power than ever before. Uttering a magical word, Revenge cast a spell that would not only kill Halfor as he walked away from the battle scene, but would also enter every man, woman, child, and elder in all of Narul.
It infected Halfor first, throwing him to the ground. Then, this black spell spread across all the lands of Narul, infecting every person it touched. It covered Narul in a black cloud, and its ruler, Revenge, became part of that cloud. For, though nobody knew this, Revenge was never a living being, but something more. He was the Dark Force and always will be the Dark Force, and was waiting for somebody to allow it into his heart and always will be waiting for somebody to allow it into his heart, for in a living person alone could the Dark Force survive, and in a living person, it would spread like a plague of death, killing all who it passed. A simple emotion became a terrible darkness that would cover the land, and beginning an age known as the Death of Life.