The following are a collection of tales I discovered, or should I say lifted, from the ancient Medievia Library. Lurking behind broken down shelves, under musty volumes, they have fought for hundreds of years to remain untouched. Only after I had stolen these cursed pages from the darkest corner of the library, did I fully realize the librarian's intentions for withholding these bibles of destruction from the curious, prying eyes of mere mortals like myself. The meager mind of the human is not meant to understand the darkest evils of our world, of our imaginations, and beyond.
Beginning the first time I glanced at these decaying, ancient pages, they had a secure grasp on my mind. Feeling compelled to continue studying such extensions of darkness by some unknown force, perhaps a god, my body and soul began to transform. Looking favorably upon those who lived through others' demise, my soul began to blacken and decay. I was no longer a common mortal man. I became a nocturnal, murderous, creature of the night. A loyal subject of what is otherwise known as, The Dark Brotherhood.
Taking on the form of mortal men, we have roamed the world since the beginning of time. The only remaining survivors of Vryce's thunderous cataclysm, we are pure evil incarnate. For eons we have been amassing new demons of darkness to replenish our ranks. Hiding in the woods, ruling the sewers and catacombs, the time has come for our rebirth. Evil will once again reign supreme throughout all of Medievia, while the good and purity of those who oppose us flow through the streets in their blood. This is our manifesto. This is your destiny.
And this, is our story...
-Anonymous loyal member of The Dark Brotherhood
No being, either of good, neutral, or evil spiritual alignment truly knows and understands how and when time began. Everything was, is, and always will be. However, if some "supreme-being", a god for instance, truly gave birth to the breath-taking landscapes of Medievia and the creatures which reside therein, this god created the Breed to reign over it, and thus rule every being. The dead and the living. The real and surreal. This is how it has been, is, and will remain for all eternity now and forever.
PART ONE: ...AND GOD SAID, "LET THERE BE EVIL"...
The Breed, as it was called by all who feared its supremacy, was composed of anything and everything evil, retaining its strength from feeding on the pain, anguish, and fear of its enemies and all things good. The Breed ruled the world which is Medievia with an iron claw. Through pure brute force and warlike tendencies the breed lashed out against its enemies with a ferocity seen no where else in existence. Their skills in thievery, death, black magic, murder, and deception allowed them to remain at the top of the food chain.
There were no towns, trading posts, or castles in these first years of Medievia's existence. One could see no homes, communities, churches, armored warriors, nor any other form of what humans of today call civilization. The survival of the fittest was the law of the land. Lion killed deer, owl destroyed mouse, and the Breed terminated all.
On the surface one could see luscious green rolling hills sprinkled with mile high trees and shrubbery. To the north laid the vast dessert bursting with life of all sorts. The crystal clear water of the many wide rivers and eye-pleasing lakes provided water and food for all creatures of this marvelous land. To the east the rocky snow-capped mountains marched across the landscape, reaching as high as the eye could see in attempt to touch the gods. To the west was dense forestry and underbrush. This sea of green provided habitation for creatures from all stretches of the imagination. Ranging from the mythical beauties known as the Unicorn, all the way down to the minuscule laboring ant.
Life was good for the surface-dwellers. The good-hearted creatures of Medievia knew no bounds for their happiness and joy, however they always knew who thier masters were. For below the crust of this enchanting land, residing in the darkest corners of the planet, was the Breed.
Below the happiness and joy, under the long rivers and marching mountains, resided the shadows. Here lived the murderous creatures of night. Hidden in the dark caverns under millions of tons of stone were the catacombs in which the Breed thrived. These twisting winding tunnels of darkness branched out underground throughout the entirety of Medievia. Few other than the shadows dared to enter the Breed's home, or Underdark as they referred to it. Those who dared enter the Underdark were never seen again, at least not alive. Lost from their frolicking days in the forest to a shadowy grave deep within the recesses of Medievia.
During the day the Breed slept peacefully in their lair, however at night's dawn they emerged from the shadows of the Underdark to feed. Slipping through the night they were one with the darkness, for they were the darkness. Agile and strong, the Breed were an unstoppable killing force. Roaming the world in large packs, they stealthily moved invisibly through the forests and caverns of Medievia at an alarming rate. No prey was too large, nor too small. No creature was safe from the wrath of their hunting.
This is how it had been, was, and always would be.
* * *
Darkness...night had overtaken Medieiva. The moon had momentarily won its endless battle with the sun for ruler of the skies, and now gave off a radiant glow as if gloating for his victory. A thick fog attacked the land, sweeping through the valleys over hills and through the forests. Gracing every crevice of Medieiva with its presence, the fog blinded those unlucky enough to be caught in its misty shroud. The midnight hour had arrived. The time when all creatures withdraw deep within their holes, snuggling close, hoping that their comrade's company will protect them. They sleep, however their dreams are restless with images of the Breed raging through their mind. The deep red eyes of the darkness pierce their soul as they imagine being attacked and devoured alive. Pictures of relatives having their fleshed ripped from their lifeless bodies by the black dagger-like hands of the shadowy hordes taunt their sleep. They awaken in a cold sweat frantically scanning the area, praying to any god who will listen that they aren't the next victim of the shadows. "Just one more day God," they pray, "let me live just one more day."
At first glance the land is dead, no movement, only massive gray clouds blinding the eyes. However the fog-coated Medievia quickly comes to life. The shadows walk. The Breed is on the prowl. Though shrouded in darkness and invisible to the eye, all know they are there. Watching and waiting. The Breed have arrived. Screams are heard racing across the land. Fear spreads throughout all creatures like an airborne virus. Blood coats the ground, as well as the hands of the nocturnal beasts of night. Tis feeding time.
Night turns to day as the sun once again takes his place in the sky. Fleeing to the other side of the world, the moon waits for the time of his retaliation to come. As night fades away, the shadows retreat into the dark recessions of the forest and mountains. The Breed returns to their cavernous home, the Underdark, far below Medievia's surface awaiting the time when they will once again feed on the flesh of the unsuspecting. The gray fog if death dissipates with the night as the fear that grips the land and the minds of all its creatures is stowed away until the next time the Breed is hungry for the thick red life-force of the living. Peace has returned for the surface-dwellers. However this peace is only an illusion blocking the horror of what has happened, and what will happen again.
* * *
The Breed, though extremely warlike and powerful, knew that someday a being of supernatural power would be able to defeat them. The dark prophets of the Breed, whom studied and weaved their black magic in secret chambers deep within the inner sanctums of the Underdark, had devised a plan that would ensure the Breed eternal power and invincibility. Within the core of the planet there was a room filled with all the necessary provisions and equipment for a group of Breed to survive for hundreds of years. The idea being that in the event the Breed face extinction, they're best warriors and philosophers would reside in secrecy within this chamber, until the time came for them to come forth and rebuild the Breed.
As the morning dew began to settle to the ground, the sun took his place in the sky over Medievia. The creatures of the land awoke from their restless slumber and wandered peacefully gathering the days food and water. Tiny birds of every exquisite color of the rainbow fluttered through the gentle wind singing their songs of joy. The softness of the white clouds overhead relaxed the soul and brought a smile to all.
One of these such clouds parted slightly over the top of the largest mountain to the east. Brilliant white light flowed through this opening and sprinkled a magical dust along the top of the monstorous rock. This dust flared wildly in the brilliant sunlight, forcing all who viewed this splendor into a state of perfect peace and harmony with themselves and the world around them. A figure slowly moved down from the heavens within these mystical rays. As the harmonious light dissipated the clouds returned to their place. All that remained of this phenomenon was a small man, floating just above the mountain. Clad in white robes, he was frail, yet gave one the sense of holding unparalleled magical power and strength within. Raising his arms high in the air, this priest of good began telepathically communicating with every creature on Medievia.
"Greetings to all residing on this fair land. I go by the name of Vryce. For years I have been searching for a planet on which to create my new world, yours shows much promise. Although it is populated by many hideous beasts and monsters, I have fallen in love with the land. Your world contains rolling hills, forests, deserts, mountains and everything I have ever hoped for. I have long sought after a world to settle down in, a world to finally call home. My powers are almost god-like, and my grip on the magical powers of the universe are legend among many other worlds. From this day forward you shall worship me as your master."
With these words Vryce's hands begin glowing with a brilliant red glow. Slowly lowering his hands to the base of the mountain Vryce unleashed his ultimate spell. Rifts opened up in the ground as the Underdark began caving in. The ground violently twisted and furiously shook from Vryce's magic. Mountains turned to rivers, and rivers turned to mountains.
The dark prophets of the Breed knew the time had come utilize their secret chamber. Ten warriors and ten prophets took their place within the tomb. Numerous wizards and clerics frantically cast wards of protection on the twenty chosen for this mission of survival. One wizard stood out from the rest. Clad in robes darker than the blackest night, the magi ceremoniously raised his arms as they began to glow with a faint black aura. The Underdark continued quaking violently from Vryce's spell. Enormous rocks began caving in around the clerics as they desperately attempted to finish their spells. The dark magi began to chant out the final spell...
"Zrahkx Ziralm Yelfrain Caarg..." the chanting grew louder, shaking the few remaining walls. The magi's voice changed to one of demonic origin, echoing throughout the unstable tunnels and rubble. "Zrahkx Ziralm Yelfrain Caarg... Zrahkx Ziralm Yelfrain Caarg... Zrahkx Ziralm Yelfrain Caarg..." The magi's eyes began to glow red behind the hood of his cloak, he looked down into the souls of the twenty shadows and spoke. "You will remain in a state of hibernation, behind these magical walls, awaiting the birth of the ShadowLord. The ShadowLord will be born a human boy, and will bear the symbol of our Breed on the backside of his right shoulder. When you awake, go forth and seek out your new master. Teach him all you know. Guide him along the pathway to evil, and we will live again. The ShadowLord will rebuild our ranks then lead us into battle to regain our power, and ensure that evil remains forever over good."
With these last words the entire chasm exploded in a ball of flame, destroying the magi. All that remained of the Underdark was a small chamber, holding the only remaining survivors of the Breed, deep within the recesses of Medievia. This tomb would not be discovered nor touched until the birth of the ShadowLord.