The name's Vyth...Vyth Drydenn and this is my story.
It is now the year 4021. Everything we once knew and called our home here on Earth is no more but, before I go into the details let me take you back awhile to where it all began to go wrong.
Some 2000 years back it was roughly 1999, mankind marveled at the dawn of a new age, technology was advancing, medicine got better, wars got worse and so did health yet many simply went along with it or worse took advantage of one another. Most referred to it as Y2K then or so it was called. Everything then seemed almost perfect for some yet not others. Those that panicked hid, those that didn't fed on the chaos at the cost of others that bread hatred, and something dark awoke.
I recall it like it as just yesterday. In fact it was almost a year ago today. You're probably thinking that's not possible but I'll get to that in a little while. At the time I lived in Frederick, Maryland. It was almost the end of August after going back to school. It was around dinner time and my family and I had just sat down to eat as a strange breeze that blew in from the west. It wasn't hot not cold it was much different making you feel almost dizzy and sick. It felt as if something was trying to turn our insides right side out.
I could hear people outside our home screaming in bitter agony, buildings collapsing, smoke from fires scented the skyline, loud crashes, something was coming, something was indeed very wrong right now. The air froze still right in front of me as I watched my breath fall to the floor. The ground shook as we all huddled under the table but, this was no earthquake, it was something much worse, and it was heading this way. The last moment I ever remembered as a tear from my mother's eye streamed down her cheek. She looked upon my father, held me for a minute as I heard her whisper she loved me and that there was no time.
My father nodded at her, yanking and dragging at my arm. I wondered what in the world might be going on. We both headed to the basement. I looked upon my father thinking what, why here? His arm extended out against the wall at the foot of the stairs uttering strange words I've never heard him speak before. There was nothing but silence, the wall remained blank at first and dust fell to the ground.
He shoved into my arms a string-bound sheet with some things things wrapped tightly inside it. Take these he told me without moving his lips. I thought as I heard him say remember that we all love you, never forget that yet his mouth still wasn't moving and he gazed upon me one last time. I must've been day dreaming for a minute and had no clue.
A loud rumble echoed and the falling dust came to a halt in mid air. The wall in front of us stirred and blurred as a scar tore open the wall out of nowhere in front of us. In a blue gleaming light a dark hooded man with a flame-coated sword stepped out before me. Whoa, what the..what's going on I pondered to myself. I then felt my father look upon me again and I knew he needed something of me.
He nodded to the hooded man and shuttered running back upstairs to help the rest of our family. The hooded man eyed me, mumbling something, more words without moving his lips I heard and then must have blacked out partially as he threw me over his shoulder pulled me through the estranged tear in space and time along with him, then it closed.
Chapter I: A glimpse of Darkness
And then I awoke..
Sitting up I found myself in rather strange place laying in somewhat comfy bed. The room was dark, wood-lined walls, chatter echoing beneath the floorboards, a candle lit the crooked nightstand aside me, and the darkly hooded figure on the other side of the room leading against the wall across. This was definitely not home. It was different almost straight out of a those fantasy books I used to read with swords and magic and all that jazz. I felt the hooded stranger starring at me.
" I see you're awake finally. " he spoke verbally this time.
" What Happened? " I asked.
" What the hell is going on here?! " I questioned a second time.
" Who are you?! What is this place?! Where am I?! And where's my family?!! " I asked again.
The hooded man stepped forward out of the shadow rolling back the cloth lining his head revealing a man whom appeared slightly older than me by a few years. He had a scar to the side of his left grey eyes, sandy-brown hair pulled back into a partial ponytail, dressed midnight-black pants, draped in a charcoal trench coat with strange symbols etched along it's seams. I even thought for a minute I saw the same sword that was engulfed in flames earlier but maybe I was dreaming about that part.
" Relax kid, you're safe for the moment. I'm a family friend but, you may call me Aziell. " he stated.
" Are you going to answer my damn questions?! " I demanded.
Aziell cracked a smile and replied, " In due time kid, In due time. I will tell all there is to know but, first there are a few things we must do. "
I began to stand letting my feet hit the floor only to halt in seconds realizing I had been stripped down to nothing but my boxers.
" Hey! Where's my clothes? " I said looking around as Aziell threw them at me after picking them off the corner chair.
Aziell laughed for a second. " Oh, that was the Lady of the Tavern. She thought you might feel a little more comfortable that way while resting even though I felt it was unnecessary. You'll meet her soon enough but, for now get up and get dressed already! " and he stepped outside the room for a brief minute just long enough for me to put my clothes on.
Lady of the Tavern I pondered quietly to myself for a second and wondered where in the world did I end up? The door swung back open as Aziell beckoned me to follow him. Guess I had no choice so I may as well just go along with him or at least until I figure out what the hell is going on long enough to put two and two together.
We headed out of the room around the corner through a tightly enclosed hallway, down two flights of stairs stacked atop one another beyond what appeared to be a dinning area with a few people glancing at me briefly as we walked out the front door. Before I could blink my eyes we were already outside on a whim amidst a brightly lit sky within a bustling town. Several buildings around and I guess I ended up crammed inside of some small two story hole-in-the-wall tavern glancing back at the impartially glossy-eye, dry patched, wood-framed building with a rugged roof.
" Where in the hell.. are we Aziell? " I asked him.
" Oh, this old place? Welcome to Hallore! " He said looking back at me as he continued on down the road one foot in front of the other.
" Hallore? Old Place? What in the world do you mean? " I said to him aloud with a puzzled look.
" I've never even heard of this place in Geography Class! Heck, it's not even on the Map! " I added.
Aziell grinned for a moment then said, " Well kid, you've got a lot to learn. Everything you thought you knew is far from the truth with the reason being most don't know because they're simply just too blind to realize it. "
" English please! I have no idea what you're talking about! " I spoke in frustration.
" Look, the real truth is despite what you know and get told, everyone is often too busy with their own lives to pay attention to anything else. Basically, the world only sees what it wants to see. It is the nature of humans being so caught up in everything including themselves. Now are you going to keep playing this 21,000 questions game or can we get where we are going already? We could've been there by now if you'd just stay quiet. Next thing I know you'll be asking " Are we there yet? " " Aziell responded with a final sarcastic remark.
" Meh.. " I grumbled then sighed to myself and we kept on walking.
" If anything kid, be thankful your host family you're even still alive! The strange feeling you had then was your mind trying to warn you. You've already had a glimpse of The Darkness on the rise and trust me, that not even the beginning of it. Now enough, I've already said too much. Just know I'm with you for a reason. It's my job to keep you safe any way I can. I will fill you in more soon but, lets just keep going! " Aziell told me.