This is my entry to Serpentking's universe. It takes place between the eternities of Heaven and Hell, or at least their equivalents in this world, in a place unrelated to the realm of the same name in The Land of Nod, called Limbo. Not a Hawaiian dance, a Biblical realm. You know, no offence to Christian people, but I think that the Bible doesn't have enough fantasy worlds. Heck, it only has two, and look at them! Completely black and white, no colour, no variety. I mean, the Norse had nine or ten pretty awesome worlds, and you think that's something, take a look at Buddhist and Hindu myth. They have more planes of existence than you can shake a stick at!
But that's enough of my babbling. Without further ado, here is my story. Perhaps we'll start at the beginning, a very good place to start.
Prologue: The Dawn of the Fourth RealmEdit
In the world of Manvadrasia, only three realms existed. There was Earth, a place of beauty and magic; Heaven, a paradise where the fair souls go; and Hell, where evildoers are eternally punished. But Death had a problem on his hands.
The teenage god didn't know what to do with many a soul that had been… well, average. Not exceptionally good or terribly evil. Just… average. People who had done nothing exciting with their lives. He brought this issue to the other gods, who debated what to do with these souls. Finally, they decided to create another realm between good and evil. Limbo.
And so they created this world from the bones of a thousand dragons and gave it practically everything that the Earth had. Except the spark of life, a spark that had never been in the souls destined for Limbo, a spark which lacked in Hell as well. But just as the first grey souls set out for this grey world, Death wondered. He wondered if perhaps, these people deserved another chance to get that spark. So he sent the souls back to Earth, and they were reborn. This was the first reincarnation, and soon Limbo became unnecessary and was forgotten.
But Death was saddened by this. He had put much work into building Limbo, and he didn't want all that work wasted. So he gave Limbo the spark. Death gave Limbo the spark of life. And satisfied, Death became the god of Limbo. In doing so, he ceased to be a teenager, and he took on the appearance of a wizened old man. His time as Death was over. Now, he was Grayæn, god of Limbo.
The gods chose a new patron of death, one who looked pretty much identical to the original one. Meanwhile, Grayæn made life from dragon bones. He gave them soil and growth and beauty, but he couldn't give them light. The gods forbade it. Limbo would always remain grey…
Dren wandered through the mushroom forest with no particular destination in mind. He just needed to think, about life in general. Decisions, and other things that faced a boy about to become a man. Of course, his thoughts were occupied by the face of Qweya, her radiant smile, her sing-song voice, that fluttering, strange personality he'd been in love with since childhood. Many people thought she was bizarre and avoided her, but it was simply because she was so different that Dren had always adored her. And now that they both approached a respectable age, he wondered if perhaps he should ask her the question he'd always longed to ask.
His musing was interrupted by a strange noise. It was a distant buzz, a hum, which had doubtless been sounding for several minutes but at such low volume he hadn't even noticed it. Now, it was getting steadily louder and louder, and a static charge was building up in the air. Something strange and potentially dangerous was going on, and Dren's first instinct was to run. However, curiosity won out over caution, and he proceeded to where the sound was largest and the charge in the air made the hairs on the back of his hand stand up. Little soarks flickered through the air and blades of reedstalk burst into flames. He backed up as the very air started to glow, and then there was a sudden flash of light.
A man stepped into the light, as Dren cowered in fright. His face was obscured by a black mask. He was followed by a scaly woman who resembled a Naga and a tall man with silvery hair. The man with the black mask nodded in Dren's direction. "Hello. I'm Black Mask. Where are we?"
"What?" Dren stared, gaping. "Well?" inquired Black Mask. "What?"