By: Murasaki

Chapter 1

An old man, the age of 60, sits still atop his rock, in the middle of the bright, grassyterrain. Though his body is plainly still in the present, his mind wanders elsewhere, in thepast, in search of answers. His body shivers violently against chilling air which whipsaround his face and neck, yet his skin stays warm to the touch. His eyes, staringstraightforward and unblinking, fill with tears that lie just on top of his eyelid. Anoccasional moan or whimper comes from his throat, whatever it is he is thinking of mustbe bringing him terrible grief. He begins to have mental images of something thathappened long in the past.An image of the Land of Endochette, the land of "ForeverNight", where nothing but evil, nasty, vile, vampiric beings reside. He had been here justweeks before, gathering something for the Queen of his Kingdom, the Medallion ofDarkon. One of the Darkons had caught him and found out who he was and beganterrorizing him for robbing its colony. It had then went within Chris' home, the Land ofMythal, and captured his family from within their houses with quick success to lure Chrisback to Endochette. The Darkons wanted their gem back and would do anything for it.Now, from within the middle of the Darkon Gauntlet, their homestead, Chris had foundhis family.

They attempted to escape, but they were herded into Deadland, alarge hunting forest of petrified trees and ghouls of nothing more than their own spirit fora form in which inhabits this land.

"Daddy, help me!" A little boy cries out. Heis in the arms of a most beautiful lady, his long, blue hair blowing in the small gusts ofwind. "Daddy, please! They're taking us away! Stop them!" The little one cries outpitifully. The same red bearded man, Christopher Ford, a bit younger, stands there withhis sword drawn and fear filling his eyes. He is immobile, scared out of his mind andknowing not what to do. Well, at least that is how he remembers it. The lady who holdsthis child, named Amanda, is the little boy's Mother, her blonde hair matted to her facewith sweat. She winces with pain as she lumbers with her baby boy with crystal blue hairinside her arms. She separates her lips and speaks weakly toChris.

"Christopher, take the children and run. Get them away from here, now...please..." She whispers as a sudden rumbling fills the air. Beside of Amanda lies her littlegirl, Shannon, bleeding from her stomach and mouth, almost unconscious upon the cold,dusty ground.

As Chris takes a step forward to grasp the little boy by the hand,the rumbling heard, just moments before, explodes into a high velocity storm of blackshadows, each with two dark, ruby red eyes. Treacherous growls come from each of themas they circle in on the small, helpless family. The largest of them, Red Leader,resembling a Werewolf, but with scaly skin, reaches his hand, palm outward, toward thelittle bleeding girl on the ground.

"Come to me, little Ford child. Come to me."He says as he opens his palm. The large, blue and black eye is embedded within it beginsto glow with immaculate force. The light born from it penetrates the little girl'shemorrhaged body and, with unexpected speed, draws her to her feet, directing herquickly over to his side. Chris, his sword already drawn, stands dazed and speechlessbeside of his wife and child, watching with amazement.

"Now that we have yourlittle girl, Christopher, we demand that you return to us our pendant!" He sneersviolently, wrenching his glowing paw around Shannon's throat. "Give it back, and you'redaughter will be spared. We promise," Red Leader says in a low, muffled snicker as hisred eyes glow a deeper set of scarlet. Chris stares blankly, hearing his daughter choke forair. "Alright, alright!" Chris professes. "I'll return it to you if you will release Shannon!Please don't hurt her!" The broodling, from the family of Darkon, raises his hand fromShannon's neck and flings her into one of the other six broodlings behindhim.

"Then return it now. Or we'll just kill you all!" Growls are emitted from theothers, as well as he, as Chris sheaths his sword and draws out the blue pendant from thepocket of vest, reaching it timidly toward the Red Leader. Grinning, the Darkon takes itfrom him with a healthy snatch, drawing back away from him and they seem to disappearwith his daughter.

"No! Bring her back!" Not believing that she was taken sofast, he raises his fists and continues to yell. "You are a coward to run like this without afight!" He continues to wail, saying anything that he thinks could provoke them to returnwith his daughter. Meanwhile, his wife stands far behind him with their little boy,trembling horridly.

"Chris, please, let's just g-ooo!" She shrieks as she, and herson, are captured by one of the broodlings. It stops only suddenly to flash a grin at him,blood oozing from his teeth. "S-s-see this blood? That used to be your daughter," it uttersquickly as it darts into darkness, leaving Chris bewildered and alone amidst the darknessto cry out, swearing at the wind from the middle of nowhere.

"Whatare you doing?" A voice says as Chris finally stops remembering that sad day on theDeadlands. "Huh?" He says silently, dazed from remembering what had happened morethan 20 years ago.

"I asked you what you were doing, dad." The young boymutters again a bit louder. He, around the age of 18, with long, braided, green hair and aset of emerald wings. The Fords, the dragon/mortals of Camelot, were the mostintelligent beings to inhabit this colony. Each dragon/mortal is raised by their real humanmothers and fathers from birth, of course, but once they show traits of the 'Coilsteemer',or 'Dragonism', such as: scales, cat-eyes, colored hair, nails which are retractable, fangs,wings, horns, etc., are sent off to become the warriors of the Land of Mythal. Thisknight-in-training is Marty, the strongest of the youthlings. Chris, also a Dragon/Mortal,became the founder of Coilsteemer just months after he lost his own family. He now hada mother for them, Lady Denae, who cared for each of them as if they were her ownchildren.

Chris then fluttered his own wings and stood before Marty, his eyesstill dripping with tears. They felt cold on his warm, rosined cheeks as he numbly erectedhis head from between his sulken shoulders.

"Come, Martin, let's go back toCamelot," he sighs, looking at the rock, still vividly lost in the memories. "It isn't safe outhere." Marty nodded as if he understood what Chris was talking about and walked withhim back to Camelot, noticing, for the first time, the necklace around Chris' neck. Hiseyes became glued to it when the core of it began to glow. Marty jumped back andyelped softly, looking at Chris. He decided that talking about it would only confusehimself more, so he just let it be.

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