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The end of a Beginning

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Please note that this is a prologue!



Evestin Tir’Sen, Prince-Heir of the Haram Empire, gazed down upon the city of Essus; the Imperial Capital. Snowflakes drifted before his eyes and made their slow descent through the air to the foot of the great tower. The night would have been dark if it were not for all the lights. The city had come a long way since its birth and even now its riches and prosperity were being celebrated. Sounds of music and laughter drifted their way up from the streets radiating from the tower he stood upon. From here the entire city was like the stars for it was the greatest festival of the year: The Festival of Light. Upon the darkest day the lights of an Empire shone out to meet that darkness and repel it. Each man, woman and child lit a candle and customarily placed it in their window. Of course now the event was much changed from its original archaic spiritual form. In this modern age it was used more as an excuse to celebrate, and of course for large enterprises to make money on party items. Evestin turned away from the balcony and walked back into the room he had left stopping to look at his parents. The Emperor and Empress sat upon their respective thrones, greeting the assorted nobles around them and laughing merrily as the night drew on, they were the most powerful people in the world and one day Evestin would take their places.

Looking at the city and palace in such cheer, glamour, and light one wouldn’t think that only one province away the Empire was at war. It had raged for three years now. A great conflict between the powers of the world. A war over not only power but over the very races themselves, it was humanity, united under the great banner of the Haram Empire that stood against the might of the combined armies of the inhuman Illuthai and Dragons. Evestin turned again and began to stride down an adjacent hallway, heading for his room. He grinned. Soon, within perhaps a year, this unholy alliance of races would fall to the might of the Empire. They’d see the right. After all the Empire stood for everything that was good and just. All that was right in the world. Order and justice would be brought to them and they would see its grace, they would see the combined might of humanity, and would bow down as his ancestors had to the Goblin Empire. Oh, they would see.

Evestin heard a crash behind him and turned quickly; ceremonial knife half drawn. His father had warned him about assassins and spies, they were everywhere! But no, it was only a servant perhaps a bit too merry slumping against the wall. He sheathed his blade and continued to pace commandingly down the hall as the servants fled with fear in their eyes. Perhaps they didn’t want to wait on him in this time of merriment. He would have to complain to his father about this. Such impudence wouldn’t be tolerated. Something was amiss however. He stopped for a moment, listening, and felt something small hit his back. Evestin yelled and turned quickly to confront his attacker. It was most likely a nobleman’s son, the little pricks, how they constantly berated him; obviously jealous of his elevated position. But then what did that matter? One day he would be Emperor and those fools, all who had ever slighted him, would be at his mercy. His father told him to find compassion and respect for everyone. Pah! He used to be known as the peacemaker! Did he find compassion and respect for the Illuthai when his Legions crushed them into pulp? He doubted it. Thoughts aside, he now focused on the object of terror before him.

A dark figure strode down the hall, face shrouded by a hood, cloak billowing in an invisible wind. It seemed to radiate both darkness and despair. Seeing a small dart embedded in his lower back, he gasped in horror and made to run but Evestin felt tired. As his knees collapsed under him and he hit the floor the figure stood over him, face still blurred but for two glaring eyes. All faded into blackness.

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