—-Blood of the Ascended: Chapter 1—-
Naberius hadn't bothered to open his eyes. It had been a long, dreamless sleep. He wanted nothing more than to drift back into that infinite darkness, that peaceful slumber. His bare chest rose and fell slowly as he lay there on his back. Naberius rolled over onto his side, the cold stone felt good against his cheek. He brushed a few long stands of obsidian from his face. Naberius paused as he ran his fingers through the thick hair matted with sweat against his forehead. He reached down to steady himself and found only air.
Small bits of jagged-rock cut into his hands and knees as Naberius crashed to the cave-floor. The sensation of pain felt foreign to Naberius. The room was a blur of darkness and flickering torchlight. Naberius inhaled sharply. Blood. The air was thick with the stench of it… blood of the Ascended.
“Good Morning!” Julien could no longer hold back as he doubled over with laughter. “Pleasant dreams?” Julien called out to the stark-naked man.
“Only darkness…” Naberius muttered as he rose to his feet.
Naberius’ black eyes searched the cave around him. An evenly spaced ring of six alters carved from the living rock encircled Naberius and his central alter. Each alter was adorned with strange spiral designs cut into the stone and inlaid with small violet gemstones. The surface of each of the six outlying slabs were drenched in a grisly mixture of thick black oil and crimson blood. The blood on the alters had worked its way into the intricate spirals as if they were so many tiny canals. He glanced up at droplets of the mixture that fell from overhead. Through the waving torchlight could see countless figures shrouded in black robes. They stood against the walls of the cave silently watching him. Naberius’ rippling muscles tensed as he realized that he was surrounded. His dark eyes darted around the room for a weapon.
“Julien of New Dubuque.”The odd, greasy little-man in black introduced himself with a dramatic gesture.
Julien took two quick steps forward and leapt onto the alter that stood between him and Naberius. Julien’s boots splashed blood and oil up onto the bottom of his black robes. Julien brought his hands together. Each of his long, bony fingers were painted black. Julien idly twisted at the ring on his index finger. The obsidian band he wore was inlaid with a circle of six small diamonds with a spike of the dark obsidian jutting from the center. Julien ran his hands over his greasy black-hair as he pulled his hood back. He was a wiry man, a head shorter then Naberius with shoulder-length slicked-back hair and a thick black-mustache.
“Have fun with the zombies, Lord Naberius!” Julien said as he pulled a small knife from the sleeve of his robe. With a flick of his wrist Julien casually tossed the blade to Naberius.
“You and I are going to be best pals!” Julien winked as he twisted back around.
Julien splashed up more of the foul red and black mixture as he leapt down from the alter. Naberius snatched the blade out of the air as the strange little man dashed off, giggling to himself with child-like exuberance. Julien disappeared off into the darkness of the vast caverns beyond the wavering light of the torches.
Dark figures of all shapes and sizes suddenly rushed in towards Naberius from back against the walls of the cave. Each of the dozen black-robed figures drew blades of their own. Naberius wasted no time as he lunged forward and thrust his knife forward into the throat of his nearest attacker. Warm blood splattered across Naberius’ face and upper body as he shifted his feet. He tore the blade sideways from the first man’s neck and slammed it into the skull of the woman to his right. The first man gurgled blood as he stumbled back into one of the seven alters. Naberius fought to free his knife from the woman’s skull and she hung limp against the weapon. The black-robed man with his throat slashed open suddenly straightened back up. Crimson viscera gushed from the grievous wound and splattered across the stone with each step the man took as he shambled back into the fray.
Naberius winced at the sudden jolt of pain as an unseen knife plunged into the exposed flesh of his back. Naberius finally jerked his own blade free as another knife flashed in front of his eyes. With his free-hand Naberius reached down and caught the new attacker’s wrist. Naberius used the young boy’s momentum to fling him in the opposite direction, Naberius ripped the knife from the tumbling child’s grip as he sailed through the air and collided into two more of the hooded figures.
Naberius swiftly weaved through the chaos and worked his way the far end of the cave. He twirled the pair of blood-soaked knives between his fingers as he looked into the milky white eyes of the zombies. Naberius pressed his back against the wet, stone wall. He also felt the wetness of own blood oozing down his naked back and legs. Red blood, human blood…
Screaming louder with each blade slice,
the ritual demands her sacrifice
He cuts deep, down to the bone,
blood flowing through grooves cut into stone
Surgical precision, his hands will not falter,
as he spills her blood upon the alter
Great Cthulhu shall claim his gift,
reach into our world through the rift
Deep within the ruins of Earth,
she’s writhing in pain against the tentacles’ girth
Her mind is filled with unspeakable visions,
as black oil boils out from the incisions
Tentacles lashing like a thousand tongues,
one last scream escapes her lungs
Magic most foul and nefarious,
bring flesh to the bones of Naberius
“How long have I been here?” a man’s voice came out of the darkness. “I used to try and keep track of it… but time is a funny thing, it’s not really anything if you think about it…” the voice continued.
In the absence of time before the light, cannibalistic mutants move through the night
In the darkness of space, In the absence of the human race
“We woke with the sun, we slept with the night, counting down the days until we die… it all became irrelevant here in this eternal darkness.” The voice seemed to wander from place to place “It is as they, that God loved mortal man more than any angel. But have you asked yourself why that is?”
A lonely light cries, A sickness that burned their black eyes
Adam heard the sound of footsteps as they moved back towards him. “With His infinite power and wisdom, why did He make you so weak? The span of your existence so short? The scope of your perception so narrow? This speck of light you call the universe has never been eternal. I know this better than anyone, better than any creature born from His light. I alone know the futility of His Crusade against the darkness. I have seen the universe end countless times. I have seen billions of worlds die, stars burn out, devoured by darkness… all the souls in your Heaven torn to shreds, over and over… an endless cycle of death and rebirth. ”
Back into darkness alone with the rage, that was the end of the first age
Adam suddenly felt the ground beneath him, he stumbled forward a few steps, each footfall echoed with the distinct sound of bones snapping. A sudden burst of light blinded Adam. He shielded his eyes from the intense heat as a pillar of fire spiraled upward from the ground, mere feet from his face. Adam stepped back as the flames grew higher. His vision came into focus as the inferno illuminated the darkness. As far as the light carried in every direction there were great rolling hills and valleys of strange skulls and bones. None of them looked to be human, or demon. An emaciated man with long blond hair stepped out from behind the ascending tower of flame. His frail form was adorned with a simple white robe. Adam met the man’s gaze, looking into his golden eyes “It was only you and me, Adam…”
In the beginning of this fight I used to dream in Black and White,
I lost sight of what was wrong and what was right
“The door slammed shut behind us. No way back, only forward… my sins were far too great to pass through The Eye…” The man turned away from him, towards the flames shot upward into that endless black sky “Please come back for me!… I used to call out into the darkness. They used to laugh, they used to mock me, challenge me… Death’s Sweet Embrace, My only companion… together we bathed in the neon black blood of the ancients. ” he gestured absently to the rolling expanse of death beneath their feet. “It used to be three” he pointed to the diamond-incrusted longsword in Adam’s right hand. Heaven’s Gate. “The sword and me, together for eternity” The man in white lifted his left hand and a black katana materialized in his upturned palm. he clenched his fist around the hilt of the unholy weapon. Death’s Sweet Embrace.
all these soldiers lying dead and decayed ,the fallen warriors of your crusade,
and now even when I pray, I see the world in shades of grey
“I was the first Angel.” Two glorious white-wings tore through the back of his robes. Adam’s eyes went wide with sudden realization, this was the White Guardian who spawned the countless hordes of demons. Lucifer’s arrogance had doomed Earth to a fiery death “Perhaps it was out of His loneliness and despair that I was allowed to retain my memories and soul…”
Now I must open the door, harness the powers to win this war
Lesser men would run and cower, but I feel the incredible power
Create a new race, apart from His grace, powers beyond time and space
Beyond the Ascended, I am the White, the right hand of the holy light
Another dimension beyond His reach where strange creatures growl and screech
Create a legion of nineteen, to construct the God Machine
A race of demons strong and brave enough to fight back a constant wave
Of the ancient and arcane, enraged by my presence on the astral plane
He turned back to Adam with tears in his golden eyes. Wisps of dark smoke rose from Lucifer’s obsidian-katana as it radiated black-magic. “Each time, I was reborn to fight again, to lead His armies into battle. I was the only one who saw it coming, I was the only one who saw how weak He truly was, this time I couldn’t bear to see everything end the same way They had the audacity to call me a traitor, But it doesn’t matter how they remember me, if I fail only God and I shall know the truth… That I was the only one with the strength and conviction to stand against the old ones… The only one willing to fight when God Himself has abandoned all hope!” Lucifer took a step forward and with a mighty flap of his wings the White Guardian tore through the air towards Adam Sapphire.
Lucifer Enters the God Machine, the results were unforeseen
He would never return, and once again it all must burn
an army with no master, through the portal, the great disaster
demons that Lucifer spawned, enter our world from the great beyond
“Hurry! It’s almost time!” Julien called behind him as he raced up the ancient stone steps.
Naberius tried to keep pace with the spry man in black. His heart pounded, his nude form was drenched with sweat and blood. His flowing waves of ebony hair whipped behind him as he ascended to the surface. He had been chasing after Julien for hours now and the staircase seemed to continue on up forever.
Julien disappeared from Naberius’ view for a moment as the stairs wound up to the left. As Naberius turned the corner he saw Julien at the top of the stairs. A full moon and an ocean of stars overhead illuminated the night. Around the entrance of the cave there were vast, rolling hills and valleys of tall prairie grasses. The fields were dotted with jagged rocks and small, scattered trees. Naberius collapsed to his knees in the grass. It felt like his heart was about to burst at the seams. The cold wind groped his posterior, slapping sharp blades of grass against his skin and sending a shiver throughout his entire body.
“Look at those stars, my lord” Julien said. He made a wide sweeping gesture to the stars overhead.
“This is what the great prophet Mordecai spoke of. The Eye of God shall gaze down upon the ruins of Earth!” He turned back to Naberius with that oddly sincere smile. Naberius’ face was red with exhaustion as sweat dripped down his chiseled abs.
“It wasn’t easy you know-…” Julien frowned as he twisted his mustache between two fingers. “…finding six Ascended maidens.” Naberius said nothing.
“Your Father made sure of that” Julien continued.
Naberius knew the truth of it. The Dungeon Master had hunted the Ascended Guardians to the brink of extinction. Julien pointed a finger to an empty portion of the of the night sky. Naberius’ black eyes searched the spot, but there was only darkness.
—-Blood of the Ascended: Chapter 2—-
James Hope blew a kiss to a group of witches in colorful dresses. He brushed a strand of long blue hair from his handsome, cleanly shaven face. The witches giggled to each-other as the tall, muscular wizard passed by. Throngs of witches and wizards dressed in extravagant clothing and robes of every design and color moved through the intersecting hallways as James strolled down the maze of hallways.
James swiftly maneuvered through the familiar passageways making his way towards the great library. Wizards in official blue military robes saluted him as he walked. James smiled and returned the salute to each of them. James’ was dressed in similar robes but his were far more dashing. His lavish sky-blue and white robes were inlaid with dozens of small sapphires.
“Over here!” a man with short blond hair and bright-yellow robes called to James as he entered the library. The walls were decorated with an odd assortment of tapestries and paintings of vast alien landscapes, and epic battles between wizards.
“Hey Vic!” James nodded to his old friend as they locked arms in greeting. “You had something for me?”
“Ah yes… they should be here any minute-…” Victor paused as he turned to scan the room. “I think I see them coming.” he gestured to the far end of the library
Two wizards dressed in sleeveless tunics and tight leather slacks wove their way through the library. Long yellow scarves flutter behind them shimmering in the light like spun gold. They navigated past an array of luxurious couches, tables and chairs filled with people who were studying and conversing within the common area of the library.
“Good to see you my friend!” Victor grinned to one of the men.
“James, this is Terrence. He owns Terry’s Kind-Buds in the Emerald Kingdom” Terrence was a man of average build with a shaved head and dark goatee. “… and I don’t believe I’ve met your friend-…”
“Richard” the other man stepped forward. “My friends call me Richard Roll”
“Because he rolls the fattest blunts.” Terry explained.
“You bring over some of that Emerald Herb?” James smirked as the four men sat down around one of the many tables.
“Bags!” Richard replied as he reached down into his pack and produced two hefty sacks of the herb.
Richard tossed the bags of Emerald Herb on the table in front of James and he reached back into the leather pack. He retrieved an ornately crafted glass smoking apparatus. The word ‘Truth’ was spelled out with silver wire twisted around the carb.
“This bong was blown by the great pyromancer, Furgis the Firestarter in the Ruby Kingdom.” Richard told them with a grin.
“That’s a pretty sweet piece.” James looked impressed.
Richard loaded a fistful of the green plant into his enchanted glassware.
“When it comes to packing tight bowls, that boy has the gift.” Terry said with a laugh.
“I have been named the true smoker.” Richard raised the Bong of Truth to his lips. Richard drew upon the magic the great wizard had invested in the bong. The enchanted glass turned white with magical smoke.
“So, Richard?” Victor asked. “What are you planning on studying here in the seven kingdoms?”
“I’m thinking of doing a double major.” Richard said as he exhaled and passed the Bong of Truth to James.
“Dad! Where are you?” a girl called out
“Over here, sweetheart” James called back to his eldest daughter Terra. Long black robes with red roses stitched into the fabric clung to her petite frame. The skinny red-headed girl had two little black horns that jutted from her pale forehead. She had once asked James where her horns came from. James had told her that thirteen years ago Adam and I had been doing some heavy drinking in Rhy’Din City and decided to go ‘halfsies’ on some demon concubines.
When the women had asked if the two travelers carried ‘protection’ Adam had gestured to the massive Greatsword slung across James’ back and said Don’t worry, ladies. You’re safe with us. James chucked at the memory and took a hit from the Bong of Truth. He handed the glass apparatus to Victor and looked down at his half-demon daughter.
“What’s up?” he smiled.
“I need help with my homework, Dad” She held up a stack of papers covered in esoteric writing and elaborate symbols. “This stuff doesn’t make any sense.” Terra whined as she tugged at James’ sleeve and looked to her father with expectant hazel green eyes.
“What are you working on?” James asked.
“General magic studies.” she replied.
“That’s easy,” James reached into his pack and pulled out a small leather pouch. “Do you remember Adam’s song about the seven kingdoms?” He asked her as he opened the pouch and seven small gemstones tumbled out onto the table.
“Of course!” Terra laughed as she began to sing the song her father had taught her.
Ruby, sapphire, citrine, emerald, obsidian, diamond, and amethyst
Fire, ice, science, nature, darkness, light, and energy
Fire and ice
Hot and cold, making us shy and making us bold
Science and nature
Always at odds, the will of man and the will of gods
The endless darkness and the holy light
Cause us to love and cause us to fight
Should we look to the ground or into the sky,
For lost lovers after we die?
I know one day we will truly be free
As we return to pure energy
I’ve heard the elders speak of Heaven and Hell
we all return to the Great Soulwell
“Reactivation of the God Machine!” Julien exclaimed. His black robes billowed in the wind as he threw his arms up and called out with wild excitement to his naked companion.
Naberius squinted his eyes as they scanned that empty portion of night sky. His dark eyes went wide as a tiny blue speck of sapphire flickered to life in the exact spot Julien had shown him earlier that night. Blue light began to expand outward from the newborn star like a halo.
“No!” Julien screamed furiously into the night sky “Why is it blue?!”
“…the birth of a blue star.” Naberius said to himself.
The widening circle of light passed over nearby stars. For an instant each star grew brighter then suddenly winked out of existence as cerulean death rippled from the sapphire speck tossed into a sea of obsidian. Thousands of stars were instantly obliterated as the gate to the astral plane collapsed. Just beyond the expanding outer edge of the azure ring there was a flicker of purple. Julien’s smile returned when he saw the small flash of amethyst in deep space.
“The nearest planet capable of supporting human-life just happens to be-…” Julien started.
Naberius grinned. It was Earth. After ten-thousand years he would finally have his revenge against the seven kingdoms.
Seven orbs of white light slid through the gelatinous purple miasma The living mass of violet tissue twisted back over itself as it reformed into a solid structure in their wake. Bolts of electro-magical lightning arced from sphere to sphere.
“How are the shields holding, Vic?” James asked.
Victor Storm’s fingers moved in elegant swirls and skillful thrusts over the smooth white stone. Electricity crackled through Victor’s fingerless, citrine-studded control-gloves as his hands swept across the surface of the polished stone tablet. Corresponding tracers of light flashed across a pane of glass imbedded in the marble alter he stood before.
“Focus crystals are at 98% charge.” Victor replied as he checked the cosmic-internet read-out on his monitor.
King James Hope the seventh breathed a sigh of relief as he slumped back into the luxurious sky blue velvet of the of his throne in the control tower of the Sapphire Kingdom. Through the skylights the shields high above his keep flickered with white magic against the pulsating folds of alien flesh as the seven kingdoms of Neo Valhalla traveled through the X-Zone.
“I don’t like the purple stuff, Daddy.” a blond-child whimpered as she squirmed in James’ lap and looked up at him with bright golden eyes.
“quit acting like such a skybaby,” her older sister snapped back. “and It’s called extrazone!-…”
“-…Terra called me a skybaby!” Halley cried as she tugged at the James’ blue and white robes.
James hushed his two daughters. “Don’t worry sweetie,” he tousled Terra’s wild red hair and wrapped a muscled arm around Halley’s shoulders to comfort her. “It’s just like when you reach into your bag of calling for Blizzard the Lizard-Wizard.” James explained to his youngest daughter “it just takes longer because we aren’t using anchors.”
Halley fumbled through the pockets of her white dress until she finally withdraw a little leather pouch. She focused her thoughts on the number one and reached into her bag of calling. Glowing purple liquid splashed out of the small bag as she removed a stuffed blue-lizard from the rift. Halley hugged the toy lizard to her small chest. The violet extrazone twisted back into the bag as she drew the strings closed.
—-Blood of the Ascended: Chapter 3—-
For the one-thousand three-hundred and thirty-seventh time Sol tried to turn his head. But as much as he tried to fight against the invisible bonds, he could not move even a single fraction of an inch. Sol knew that she was right there next to him. If only he could turn his head just a bit, he would be able see her. Sol could only stare blankly ahead at the iron bars of their cell.
Sol had always loved Luna. The two had been inseparable ever since their days in the orphanage. In his youth Sol had often cursed the soldiers who kidnapped them away from the Sun-Eater Society. He now felt a deep sense of regret that he had been so cold to the men of the village. Those soldiers had fought valiantly against the necromancers and their Sun-Eater minions. But perhaps they were the lucky ones, Sol thought. Their spirits had passed on to the Great Soulwell. They would be empty marionettes strung along by the necromancers. Sol, trapped inside his own body was able to see, hear, and feel everything.
“The necromancer told us not to come down here, Willard.” a man’s voice called. A wave of terror washed over Sol as footsteps descended the stairs and echoed throughout the dungeon.
“He’s not here now, Is he?!” another voice snapped back at the first man. “Anyway… we’ll just clean the whore up before Julien returns.” He chuckled.
Sol’s fear suddenly evaporated into seething rage. He tried with all his might to make his body work. He could see two shadows moving through the dungeon to their cell. Two burly men in leather armor came into Sol’s fixed field of vision. The bigger man had a tattoo of a inverted, five-pointed black star on his forehead.
“I’ve gotten used to the zombies, but these ghosts always creep me out,” the smaller man complained. “I always feel like they’re watching me.”
“They are watching you, idiot.” the man named Willard with the Sun-Eater tattoo on his forehead laughed. “Witches and wizards need their souls to cast spells.”
“But, Lieutenant!” the other man argued. “I’ve seen those zombies use magic-weapons, and they don’t have souls.”
“That’s not the same thing, those are imbued with magic beforehand…” Willard sighed as he explained “It’s different then actually casting a spell. Crack a book for once in damn your life, Ryan!”
“Either way… we shouldn’t fuck with him,” the other man pointed to Sol. “The bastard torched fifty Sun-Eaters with that red-magic of his!”
Ryan clicked his tongue as he gestured the sun-shaped charm that hung from Sol’s neck. Spikes of gold encircled a single, red-ruby. The two captives were sitting on a stone bench at the far end of the otherwise barren cell. Stitched into the front of each of their white robes was the inverted, black star that marked them as part of the Sun-Eater Society. A silver necklace, shaped like a crescent-moon was nestled between Luna’s two perky bosoms. The silver moon was inlaid with a blue sapphire.
“Open the cell!” The big man instructed. His leather-clad cohort fumbled through a ring of keys until he found the right one. “He’s harmless now.”
The man with the tattoo on his forehead grinned as the cell door swung open. The towering brute strolled confidently into the cell. The Sun-Eater flexed his large bicep as he pulled his meaty arm back and balled his fist. He looked down at the captive wizard with a wicked grin. Lieutenant Willard towered above Sol.
Sol’s head jerked violently to the side as Willard’s meaty fist came across his jaw. It had only been a brief instant, but it was enough. Sol had felt Luna’s warm breath on his cheek. Her perfect breasts rhythmically rose and fell. Those violet eyes that sparkled with little flecks of gold had met his. Ribbons of blood splattered across the black star on Luna’s white robes. Sol simply sat back up. He could only stare blankly ahead at the iron bars of their cell. Those pure white robes had been defiled with his blood.
The Big Sun-Eater lieutenant grabbed Luna by her silver-hair and lifted the ice-witch to her feet. He twisted her around by her long hair as he shoved the woman towards the other brute clad in blood-stained leather. Luna’s ghost-white robes fluttered up past her knees as she stumbled awkwardly across the prison cell. Ryan caught her around the waist as she doubled over in his arms. The Sun-Eater Ryan dragged her down onto the stone floor of the dungeon. Lieutenant Willard unfastened his belt as Ryan grabbed a fistful of Luna’s robes and yanked them up over her rear-end. Sol sat there quietly on the bench as the Sun-Eater eagerly grasped his growing bulge. Sol could only stare blankly ahead at the iron bars of their cell.
Xan’thar stretched out over the hot stone. The mid-day sun warmed his scales as they shifted color to perfectly match the sheet of grey rock beneath his muscular, reptilian body. Everyone in Xan’thar’s unit had been on edge since last night.
He had been asleep in their barracks when a fellow soldier had shaken him awake, yelling that a new God was being born. Xan’thar had raced to the surface-world with his fellow lizard-men to look up into night sky.
“The star of Adam,” the lizard-priests had called it “the sixth king shall enter the Sapphire of Souls” Xan’thar heard Father Grom’lok say.
Across the sweeping expanse of twinkling white light the sapphire star had stood alone. A small point of blue light within in a perfectly symmetrical ring of darkness. In all his years of active-duty in the United Earth military, Xan’Thar the lizard-man had never seen anything so incredible.
” Anything to report, Xan?” a voice emanated from the talisman around Xan’thar’s thick, scaled neck.
“Nothing but endless fields-s-s of grass-s-… s-s-sir.” The lizard-man replied as he pressed two clawed fingers against his Digi’talisman communication device.
His thick tail swished from side to side as he inched across the hot stone towards the edge of the high pillar. He pressed an almond-shaped eye to the sight of his .50 caliber sniper rifle. Xan’thar’s raptor gaze scanned the great plains through his weapon’s sight.
Naberius wiped a bit of sweat from his forehead as they walked. He took a slow, deep breath of the clean air of the valley. The mid-day sun beat down against his black robes. The dark robes suited him. Naberius had always liked to wear black. Black like his eyes. Black like the thick waves of hair he had pulled back off his neck into a ponytail. Black like the wings Adam Sapphire and James Hope VII had clipped ten-thousand years ago.
A horde of nearly fifty black-robed men and women of all ages trailed lazily behind Julien and Naberius. Julien led them through the seemingly endless fields of gently rustling emerald and gold. Julien had given him the blood-soaked robes when one of the zombies had simply collapsed dead into the grass. Julien had left the naked body there in the dirt without a word. The necromancer had only occasionally spoken to the zombies to give them simple instructions. The rest of the time they would just mindlessly follow at Julien’s heels. Naberius barely listened as Julien chattered on and on about the glorious kingdom of New Dubuque.
Naberius glanced down at a long shadow that had moved over the tall grasses. He shielded his eyes from the blinding sun in front of the two of them. Naberius squinted through his fingers as he looked up he saw the silhouette of a lone pillar of grey stone. A loud crack of thunder echoed through the valley. Naberius turned just in time to see Julien’s brains explode from the back of his skull. The impact threw the necromancer from his feet. Julien hung there for an instant as his lifeless body twisted through the gentle breeze. An ear-splitting chorus of screams echoed throughout the valley. Each of the fifty soulless-sycophants simultaneously slumped into the chest-high grass. They were now truly, and irrevocably dead.
His ears were ringing from the shot and the inhuman screams that had followed. Naberius lowered himself to one knee in the dirt and slinked through the grass as swiftly as he dared without disturbing the long shafts of emerald and gold. Naberius crawled over to the necromancer’s body. The bullet had passed through the exact center of the necromancer’s forehead. Julien’s face was still frozen in that expression of sudden surprise as Naberius hovered over his lifeless corpse. Blood bubbled up from the head-wound and gushed out over Julien’s greasy black hair, and that ridiculous fucking mustache. Naberius reached down and twisted the diamond-encrusted obsidian band from Julien of New Dubuque’s finger. He grinned as he tucked the magic-ring into his pocket. Naberius knew the power of these necromancers’ rings. A single prick of its obsidian spike would make any creature your slave.
Luna’s face was pressed into the cold, damp floor of the dungeon. She heard the fap fap fap of Ryan’s free-hand as he forced her head down against the ground. Her knees scraped against the rough stone. Luna’s head was wedged up against the iron bars of the prison cell. The wet sound behind her quickened its pace as she felt the Sun-Eater Lieutenant thrust himself deeper into her womanhood. Luna’s full breasts rocked back and forth as they brushed against the wet floor. Her hard nipples chaffed against her blood-splattered white robes. Luna thought about the times she had played healer with Sol. Luna imagined that the big, disgusting paws that groped her behind were his. Fuck me, little brother.
“I’m almost there!-…” Lieutenant Willard grunted.
From the darkness the flash of a ghost-white sleeve caught Willard around the neck. With a wet pop, Luna suddenly felt the Sun-Eater withdraw. Willard grunted as a long ribbon of white fluid shot across the small of Luna’s back.
“You’ve experienced Heaven-…” Sol said as he dragged the Sun-Eater further back into the corner of their prison cell. “Now burn in Hell!”
The Sun-Eater flailed against the wizard’s grip as he tried to break free. Sol clasped his other hand over Willard’s sweat-drenched face. The inverted, black-star on Willard’s forehead crackled and hissed as his skin began to bubble. Red-magic flowed through the wizard’s hand. Willard screamed in mortal agony as his eyes burst like two hot grapes. The other Sun-Eater pulled a knife from his boot as he tucked his manhood back into his leather trousers. Ryan scrambled to his feet and charged towards Sol. His heavy boots slapped against the wet floor.
With a flash of blue light. Ryan’s foot was caught in a shaft of razor-sharp ice that burst from the dungeon floor. The blue-magic tore through the Sun-Eaters foot and locked him in place as he collapsed. Sol released his grip on Willard as the knife clattered across the dungeon floor.
“Get the knife, Willard!” Ryan cried out to him as the blinded Sun-Eater lieutenant fell to his knees and groped blindly for the blade.
“You bastard!-…” Lieutenant Willard’s yelled as fingers touched the knife’s handle. “-…I’ll kill you!”
Luna looked up into her brother’s wild, violet eyes. Those same eyes that shimmered with flecks of gold whenever he smiled at her. Lieutenant Willard’s screams of agony renewed as the white-hot steel melted in his hand. Sol’s long, silver-hair whipped through the air as he threw his head back with rage. Willard screamed at the top of his lunges as flames engulfed his body. Luna’s nostrils filled with aroma of burnt flesh as the brute rolled back and forth across the floor of the dungeon.
“You were right, Ryan-…” the wizard turned his attention to the terrified Sun-Eater with his foot frozen to the dungeon floor.
“-…you shouldn’t have fucked with me!”
Xan’thar rolled onto his back and pulled the trigger. The barrel of the sniper rifle was inches from his attacker’s face. The man in heavy plate-armor seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere without a sound. The sound of thunder once-again echoed throughout the great fields as the .50 caliber round shot straight up towards the bright-yellow sun.
The startled lizard-man tried to jerk his sniper rifle to the side and take another shot, but the man had the barrel of the big gun in his muscular grip. Silver-hair cascaded down over his broad, armor-plated shoulders. A deep scar formed a ring around the man’s neck, as if his head had once been cut from his body and reattached. His violet eyes seemed to stare right past the surprised lizard-man as his long, white-cape caught in the wind…
“Ob-s-s-sdian Edge?!-… The Fallen Guardian?!” Private Xan’thar gasped. “It’s-s-s too late-…! He’s here!” the lizard-man franticly hissed into his digi’talisman! “S-s-storm Julien’s watchtower!”
The heavily-armored man wrenched the rifle from Xan’thar’s grip and hurdled the weapon off of the pillar of stone. With his back turned, the lizard-man saw the inverted-star of the Sun-Eaters emblazoned in black on the cape. Xan’thar reached for the pistol holstered below his arm-pit. Before he could draw his back-up weapon a second man’s hand sprung up from the ledge. Sharp, black finger-nails drug into the scales beneath his chin as the lizard-man slid back across the stone plunged head-first off the ledge. Xan’thar drew his pistol as he twisted through the sky as fired wildly back over his shoulder at the fluttering, black robes as the two plummeted towards the tall grasses below.
Naberius had heard the gun-shots and even from a distance he had instantly recognized the man atop the pillar in the billowing white-cape. Naberius had not seen his estranged brother, the Fallen Guardian known as Obsidian Edge for ten-millennia.
Naberius’ creator, the Guardian known as the Dungeon Master had raped the wife of king James Hope the sixth. During the second great war Naberius had led his father’s forces against the Transcended King Hope VI and had eventually killed him. Naberius had coveted the power of the Transcended, but the dying king of the Guardians had sent his power to earth, where it had been absorbed by a human. Obsidian Edge had been an ally in the war, an assassin trained specifically to kill Ascended Guardians. Edge Hope eventually betrayed Naberius and sided with his half-brother, James Hope VII.
Naberius slipped Julien’s ring onto his finger and moved through the grass towards the pillar. Naberius reached down and picked up the sniper-rifle had landed in the grass as a blur of grey scales and fluttering black-robes crashed to the ground before him.
“By the gods…” a man in black robes rose from the tall grass. “Mordecai said you’d be a perfect clone, but the resemblance is uncanny” The Black Guardian smiled warmly to Naberius as he dusted himself off. “It’s like looking into a mirror.”
“Ezekiel the Black…” Naberius recognized the voice.
“We’ll catch up later,” Ezekiel grinned Ezekiel dragged Xan’thar the lizard-man with him by his tail. “I see you took Julien’s ring. Hurry up and use it! We can use this one’s sharp-shooting skills against the rest of these Reptoids.”
Ezekiel raked his fingers back through his long, obsidian-black hair. Naberius noticed the obsidian-band on Ezekiel’s finger. The necromancer’s ring was inlaid with a ring of six diamonds with a spike of obsidian in the center. It was identical to the one that he had pulled from Julien’s dead finger.
“You sure you don’t want to use him?…” Naberius gestured to Xan’thar. “…you killed him…”
“No thanks, old friend.” Ezekiel the Black tossed the big lizard-men at Naberius’ feet. He looked back over his shoulder. “I’ve got Edge.” Ezekiel turned back to his clone. “Heal that lizard and then use the ring.”
“Heal him?” Naberius raised an eyebrow.
” You’re going to have practice that white-magic of yours now that you’re one of the Ascended.” Ezekiel shrugged.
“An Ascended Guardian?!…” He looked genuinely shocked.
That fool Julien of New Dubuque hadn’t even bothered to tell Naberius he could still use magic. He had only been able to use black-magic as a half-demon. It had simply never occurred to Naberius to ever even attempt to use white-magic. He had killed countless wizards during the second great war and extensively studied their various methods of combat. The former high-commander of the Nineteen Legions of Hell had developed an encyclopedic knowledge of all seven forms of magic.
“…wish I would have known that earlier…” Naberius sighed.
“Ezekiel the Black and Naberius the White… I like the sound of that.” The Black Guardian grinned.
“Hey! Let me out of here!” the prisoner called to Sol and Luna as they ran by his cell “I’m a wizard too!”
The silver-haired witch and wizard stopped. They exchanged a few words to each other in low whispers. Luna gestured towards the prisoners as Sol sighed and folded his arms.
” Well…” Luna put her hands on her hips. “Show me some magic, wizard”
“They call me Weed,” he grinned.
The man smirked and pulled a tiny seed from his tattered cloth tunic. A thread of green-magic arced from the prisoner’s glowing fingertip to the small seed in the palm of his hand. a shaft of emerald-green unfurled as the seed split apart. The seed quickly grew in a small, seven-leafed plant.”I guarantee you won’t forget the name. Take me with you and you’ll have a life-time supply of it.” The strange wizard plucked a small bud from the Emerald Herb, he shoved it into his pants pocket and tossed the rest of the plant to the dungeon-floor. “Plus, I know the land. I grew up in New Dubuque.” Weed’s green eyes sparkled from behind his vast, unkempt waves of dirty brown hair.
“They call me Sol of the Fire.” The pyromancer unfolded his arms. “My sister and I were captured by necromancers and brought here from east of the great divide. I suppose that we could use a guide-…”
“-…and the herb,” the ice-witch added as she exchanged a look with her brother “I could definitely use some of that right now…” she paused for a moment. “Oh, yes… I am known as Luna of the Tides”
“You guys have such sweet names!” Weed laughed. “I should be like… Weed of the-…” he scratched his head “Weed of-…Weed the Ever-Growing… Evergreen-…”
“-…Let’s hurry up and get out of here…” Sol sent a stream of red-magic into the lock on Weed’s cell door with a slight wave of his hand.
“Why did they you put you down here?” Luna asked.
“That’s kind of a funny story-…” Weed started.
“What’s the punch line?” Sol wasn’t in the mood for a long story.
“Some people just can’t handle their shit. Everything in moderation, right?” Weed chuckled. “Not this guy, Ezekiel Black. This is a man who believes that if he isn’t stoned twenty-four-seven he’s going to turn into a demon. For real, this guy is a fucking psycho. He kills a bunch of people in a bar-fight over-… I don’t know, basically nothing. But the police don’t do shit because he’s part of the Necronymous. No, blame me… I must have gave him some bad shit. Like it’s my fault every time Ezekiel flips out. But yeah, we should probably get out of here before he comes back.”
“There’s another Necromancer headed here?” Luna gasped.
“Yeah, to bail me out and pick up you two from Julian… who’s obviously dead. Since you two are out and about. Let’s just get out of here, I swear I’m not trying to fuck with you guys. I don’t want to deal with these people anymore” Weed explained. “There’s got to be something going on upstairs, I’m surprised there’s not a bunch of soldiers here by now… I heard you guys from all the way down here, you were all like ‘Burn in Hell!’ and then he was like ‘Die! You bastard!’ or whatever. Then you were like ‘You shouldn’t have fucked with me, Ryan!’ That was a bad-ass line, dude. Did you just come up with that on the spot?” Weed rambled on as Sol’s red-magic melted through the lock.
“You know, we’re probably going to have to fight our way out of here…” Luna said to prisoner
“Don’t worry about me, I can do some pretty bad-ass magical shit too” Weed grinned at her as the iron bars swung open.
“Yeah… we’ll see, Weed.” Sol muttered under his breath.
“Last time I saw Ezekiel he was ranting about a Sol and Luna… and someone else named Naberius. I never remember half the shit he tells me when he’s like that…” Weed explained. “Something about your father.”
“The Fallen King?” Luna’s violet eyes widened.
“Enough!” Sol fumed. “Edge Hope is nothing more than an empty puppet.”
“Maybe there’s still a chance…” Luna grabbed at Sol’s sleeve “What if he’s still in there? If we could kill Ezekiel then maybe-…”
“You want to end up like him?! We could have spent the rest of our lives like that!” Sol yelled as he grabbed his sister’s arm “We won’t be able to do shit if they recapture us! Is that what you want? If I wasn’t-…” Sol’s voice cracked. “We’ve wasted enough time… we need to go now!”
—-Blood of the Ascended: Chapter 4—-
“This is what I have foreseen… reactivation of The God Machine. A blue-haired man from the lower dimensions, is he the one that the prophecy mentions? Ezekiel, come forth and take this knife… but heed my word and don’t take his life - the blade’s poison will create an infection, absorbing all the darkness to create a reflection. Torn from his flesh shall be a perfect clone, the more he fights the faster it’s grown. I shall take his power for my own, and return the father to his vacant throne. I shall sit at the foot of the devil, and return once more to the ninth level. For too long I have been cursed, to live down here on the first. Take what you need and do your worst, you’ll be generously reimbursed. If you fail don’t bother coming back. I trust this to you, Ezekiel Black.”
One man’s journey, one soul to sell
one man’s Heaven is another man’s Hell
lyrics beyond comprehension
my mind is a portal to another dimension
filling up bowls, filling up hitters
so far beyond all the other rhyme-spitters
the mind is willing, killing is fulfilling
keep on trilling ‘til I get top billing
living in the basement and unemployed
creating new worlds out of the void
listen to the sounds of my radio stream
keep my eyes shut, remember the dream
forget the world, no need for careers
turn this shit up and go deaf in both ears
reject this reality and instead
just listen to the voice in your head
I’ve written this song a thousand times
every line was scripted, written into your program
every word thought out in advance, every notion preconceived
what if I told you that I created this universe just for you?
would you let it burn?
I would die for you again and again
but I was only playing a game, going frame by frame
would you still tell me that you loved me?
what if I told you that you were an NPC?
would you stay with me, just another NPC
I want to live my life free, I’m not just another NPC
standing on the ledge, I see the blue sky
I’ve found the strength that I need to let you die
I’ve been dead since the fall of Earth
this is the tale of Adam’s rebirth
I’ve spent ten thousand years trapped in endless night
now I’ll open my eyes and embrace the light
I’ve faced my demons and I’ve severed the cord
memories of her no longer guide my sword
Should we place our faith in those dreams?
through the tears and through the screams
with our hearts bursting at the seams
we bid farewell to those crumbling regimes
please come with me just take my hand
we’ll leave this Earth behind for distant land
is it childish to believe in a fantasy?
is it childish to place all your faith in those dreams?
Step onto the Astral Plane
using one-hundred percent of my brain
once again I’m thrown into strife
I only feel alive when I’m fighting for my life
cutting as far and as deep as I can
fighting for the very survival of man
a realm beyond time and space
cleansing every demon from this place
Through the battle he moves like a ghost
silently onward without word or boast
parrying blows with a flick of his wrist
he sees his target emerge from the mist
cutting through men with incredible speed
a detachment of demons follow his lead
black robes flowing - blades swinging as they run
carving a path - marked in crimson
leaving his minions behind to die
with a great leap he sails through the sky
towards the wizard with the sapphire hair
their eyes meet as he glides through the air
the wizard lashes out with a psychic blast
but Ezekiel Black is moving too fast
in an instant he’s closed the gap
blades collide with a thunderous clap
a flurry of spells and steel
powers so great that it seems unreal
a deadly dance - they twist and spin
the flash of a knife - an insidious grin
Ezekiel connects with the knife to his eye
a sickening sound and a terrible cry
the wizard’s allies move in to assist
he tears out the knife with a blood-spurting twist
he spins around on the balls of his feet
the man in black makes in a hasty retreat
Adam doubles over in unbearable pain
as Mordecai’s poison flows into his brain
stare into the night with eyes black as coal
a fallen angel whose sold his soul
a diet of drugs just to keep his mind clear
through his mission of violence and fear
forcing back all of that blinding rage
always keeping the beast in its cage
pops more pills ‘til his vision gets distorted
a wild beast who should have been aborted
Black Guardian in the service of a demon
who loves the sounds of the innocent screamin’
never should have let this one live
what you’ve done we can never forgive
slice stab slash and hack
kill ‘em all Ezekiel Black
slice stab slash and hack
for your sins you can never go back
Adam stares into the mirror as black smoke dances from his empty eye socket
he wipes a bit of vicious obsidian ooze from his cheek
alone in his quarters he silently wait
as the enemy marches to the gates
an epic battle in the great beyond
he is the peddle in the pond
take up your sword my liege
Elysium is under siege
we shall not kneel and submit
to the creatures of the pit
a promise of powers beyond imagination
will it doom us all or bring us salvation?
bonds we share and the cords we sever
win this war and we can live forever
stand together not for glory or vanity
we must stand together to save humanity
Colossus’ fists are pounding at the shields
he must release all the power he wields
you must spill their blood this day
you’re the one to whom they pray,
all those Gods that they revere
stare back at you in the mirror
let that darkness flow into the void,
all who stand against you shall be destroyed
let the darkness into your black eye
by your hand, they shall all die
The corridors echo with laughter and screaming,
spiraling downward to the ancient ones dreaming
listen well my dearest friends,
if this is where our story ends…
even though we die in vain,
they’ll carry on and endure our pain
the machine’s burning and the system is crashin’
we press too deep in the heat of our passion
Is there something to truly fulfill me
could you ever trust me really
every day they try to kill me
find their bodies scattered among the debris
up here alongside the Gods
fighting against impossible odds
restart the game in prestige mode
embrace these gifts that have been bestowed
stay here with me, my friend
I’m falling off of the deep end
stay here with me, my friend
tell me again that it’s all pretend
up here where it all began
the will of Gods and the will of man
his fate was sealed with a kiss
my fate was sealed by my own hubris
all these creations of the mind
so many feelings left undefined
so much blame left unassigned
so much is forgotten and left behind
stay here with me, my friend
I’m falling off of the deep end
stay here with me, my friend
tell me again that it’s all pretend
Mainstream science cannot explain
the universe and the human brain
many nights I have tried
reach into my mind and touch the other side
status quos must be rejected
torn apart and resurrected
minds and souls astral projected
we converge and are intersected
use your head and draw your own conclusions
don’t buy into their mass delusions
close your eyes, set your mind free
ride on a wave of cosmic energy
—-to be continued—- adamsapphire.bandcamp.com