Dark Soul

Dark Soul

By Joe Gensweider

Pain, his life was pain. Fire tore through his veins, he felt as if a thousand pins had been seared into his head. Every part of his body hurt, his head pounded and all of his muscles seemed to be cramped. Pain shot through every nerve, and the worst part of it all, was he could not remember where he was, who he was, or why he was in so much pain. He remembered the menacing laugh and then all was blank and dark, until now.

Slowly, as he huddled by the brick wall shivering in the cold, stinging rain, the pain subsided and he began to gather himself. He was sitting, alone, in a dark alley between two buildings, from the noise emanating from one of the buildings he guessed it to be a tavern. He was wearing tight black pants, a black shirt, and a long, tattered black cloak. He looked down at his hand, it was scarred and welts were rising all over his burnt skin, fire, he could remember something about fire.

"Hurts, don't it?" a deep, scratchy voice said from the darkest corner of the alley.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"I'm your master," the voice answered.

"That's just a little cryptic, now ain't it?"

"Oh all right! But I really wanted to make you play the guessing came," the voice cackled at its own joke. "I'm the one who reshaped you, and gave you life anew. I am Drachak."

"The Dark God."

"How I hate that name," Drachak said, "It is so, so... evil sounding. I'm just an all powerful being being going about his business, and then some people have to go and call me the Dark God."

"Who am I?"

"Um, I do rather enjoy this part, naming my new servants," Drachak remarked, "I think I shall call you Andagar, in the Ancient Tongue I do believe it means dark soul. Rather fitting don't you think?"

"So I'm Andagar," he said, "What am I?"

"You're my servant."

"Why do I feel so damn bad?" Andagar asked.

"Oh, I'm afraid that's the bad part of the rebirth," Drachak said, "And it would be better if you could forget that part."

"What if I want to remember."

"Oh, you will remember, all of it, but only time will reveal the past to you."

"What is my purpose?" Andagar asked beginning to grow impatient.

"Impatience is one of the worst mortal qualities," the Dark God said, "This building behind you is a tavern, above there are rooms for rent. Another one of my servants awaits you in that room, he'll teach you about your magic, and when I think you're ready I'll call for you. Remember, you're face is deformed, until you learn to change it, wrap it up, if people see you in your current form, all hell will break loose. Farewell, Dark Soul."

There was a noise, like the sound of a drunk slurping down his last beer and then Andagar was alone in the alley. Sleep would be helpful, he thought, And I still don't know where the hell I am. Slowly and methodically he ripped a long strip of cloth from the cloak on his shoulder and wrapped it around his scarred face.

He pulled himself up and tried to walk, he legs felt wobbly and he teetered around like a drunk at last call. Finally, he reached the tavern door and burst in to a room full of drunks, dancers, and even waitress or two. Sluggishly he made his way to the bar, a fat bartender stood behind the barrier cleaning small shot glasses with a towel. He was short, and portly, sweated beaded on his forehead, and he gazed on Andagar with piercing green eyes. "Well stranger, are you cold?"

"My name is Andagar, you're supposed to have a room for me."

"Ah, yes. Upstairs, first door on your right," the bar keep said, "Anything I can help you with, a drink perhaps?"

"No," Andagar said, his head was pounding now and he could barely breathe it hurt so much.

Meticulously he worked his way up the rickety old stairs that creaked and cracked under the weight of his feet. Andagar came to the first door on the right and turned the brass door knob, waiting for him inside the room was an odd little creature. It only came up to Andagar's knees, it was covered in tight gray skin that seemed too tight, its big ears were folded against his head. It stared at the scarred man for a moment with huge, fiery red eyes, then said, "Ah, very good! A new recruit for me. Boss thinks you going to be good, very good. And boss can usually tell, he's good at picking you Daken, yes he's very good. You much be special, or else boss wouldn't have picked me, I'm the best trainer you see, I'm the very best."

"Will you shut the hell up," Andagar growled, "My head is pounding and I feel like I've been lit on fire."

"Oh, you have been on fire, yes very much fire, very very much. Boss made you new, calls it the rebirth, but first he has to cleanse you with fire, lots and lots of fire. Your head hurts because when you're reborn it temporarily tears away all your memories, but they'll come back, that's the worst part, the very worst part."

"Do you always talk this much?"

"No, usually I talk more, very much more," the creature cackled, "Come on you need to rest tomorrow we'll talk about you're special abilities, very special."

"What's your name?"

"Name, yes, yes, sometimes I forget how much humans like names, very much. You can call me Vorz, yes Vorz."

"And what are you?"

"I am a Grestick, we serve the boss, we live in his realm, yes his realm."

Andagar hobbled to the bed and fell back on to the lumpy mattress, he didn't care if it was lumpy though. He could've sleep outside in the rain on the cobblestone streets, or on the wooden planks below. As soon as his head hit the pillow he was asleep, but sleep brought the dreams, the dark dreams of a dark soul.

At first the images came in jagged bits and pieces that didn't seem to fit together, it was like taking the pieces from dozen's of different puzzles and trying to put them all in unison. He saw a young boy with dusty brown hair and matching eyes, then he saw a beautiful blond woman weeping on the shoulder of a knight in silver armor. The saw images of several different battles, he saw a tall man with black hair and gray eyes wielding a great sword and cutting through his enemies left and right. The man looked so familiar, where had he seen this warrior, so very familiar. Suddenly their was a gray haired man on a tall white stallion, he was charging, a spear pointed in front of him. Their was fire in his eyes and his mouth was curled around his teeth in an angry snarl.

Pain erupted through his chest, it felt like a spear had been driven through his heart, then their was a dark, menacing laugh, and fire, fire and pain. Andagar woke abruptly, gasping at the evil dream. Bright shafts of sun light broke through the windows and shone on his face, making him squint as he looked around the room. Vorz was still there hopping around in some sort of weird dance in the corner by the door, he looked even uglier in day light than he had in the dreariness of last night. When he saw the Andagar was awake he spun around and bared his hideous yellow teeth in an mischievous grin. "Pleasant dreams?" the little beast asked.

"I wish."

"I bet you feel better now don't you, yes very much better. Daken heal very quickly, one of your special abilities, very special ability healing quickly, very special. Aren't you going to thank me, you should thank me, thank me very much," Vorz said, looking intently at Andagar.

"Thank you for what?"

"Letting you sleep so late, so very late. An hour of daylight is gone already, and you have to learn about your special abilities, very special, the Daken abilities. Boss will test you soon, very soon, hard test, very hard. Come on, get up, we've got to get moving, yes moving."

"Thanks," Andagar grumbled as he got up, he was already dressed, but he groped for something unconsciously.

"Good, you've got your old instincts back, they can save your life, yes your life. Your sword, is that what you're looking for, well your old sword is gone, but this one is better, yes very much better," Vorz said handing Andagar a long, silver sword with some ancient runes on the hilt and hand guard, "Boss said that you were a good swordsman, we shall see, yes we shall see."

Andagar slid the sword into the brass scabbard the little Grestick handed him and attached it to his black leather belt. "This too is for you, yes you," Vorz muttered absently giving the Daken a long, strait dagger. He examined the blade a moment before returning it to the silver sheath and attaching it opposite the sword.

"Where are we going?"

"To the woods around this quaint little village, yes very quaint, very little. No one will see your magic in the forest, no one goes there, evil spirits live there they say, yes evil spirits," Vorz said barking a little laugh.

For an hour after they left the already bustling tavern Vorz made Andagar run through the woods carrying the little Grestick on his back the whole way. The ground was cover with soft, wet leaves of brown, gold, and red. The trees were already bare, autumn was his favorite season he suddenly remembered, but for some reason he didn't remember why. Finally, when he couldn't stand it any longer Andagar stopped and asked, "Either we stop here, or you run the rest of the way."

"Do you think I can run with these stubby little legs, one thing about Daken, they ain't very smart, yes not very smart at all," Vorz said, "But if we must stop then we must, yes we must. Now we get to see what you can do, yes what you can do with your special abilities, very special."

"I'm sorry, but you're going to have to explain what you mean by special abilities to me," Andagar said.

"We both serve the boss, Drachak. I was born in his realm, therefore, I'm not very powerful in this world, you were born here, but you died and somehow or another your soul wound up in Cackat, Drachak's realm yes the boss's realm," Vorz explained, "When the boss got hold of your soul he decided to reshape it and return you to your body with some extra special abilities, only humans can become Daken, yes only humans. And since only you can fight here you're important for Ducuchi, the last battle, yes the very last battle. All Daken have the magic in them, but Grestick have to teach them to release it and how to control it."

"So, you're going to teach me to use this magic?"

"Maybe I was wrong, yes wrong. Maybe you are a bright one, yes a bright one."

"Cut out the damn sarcasm and teach me about this magic," Andagar commanded.

"Oh all right! Spoil my fun, yes my fun. Your blood is gone, only living creatures have blood, and you ain't living, yes you're dead, very dead. The boss, he replaced your blood with Casabek, the power of the magic is in Casabek, you just have to release it yes release it. After the first time it will get easier, yes very much easier."

"Well, how do I release it."

"Imagine a reservoir of energy, inside of yourself, yes inside. Can you see the power, can you feel it talking to you, yes to you. The power of Casabek is your anger and your hatred, yes your anger and your hatred, all of your hatred. Touch the power, feel it, yes feel it. Can you feel it?" Vorz asked.

"I can feel something, but I don't have anything to hate I can't remember anything."

"You can't remember the pain the boss put you through during your rebirth, for some people the boss makes the pain a lot less, but for you he made it a lot more, yes a whole lot. He wanted to hurt you, make you feel bad, yes very much bad, very much."

Andagar was teeming with anger now, and he could feel Casabek flowing through him, hot, evil, and painful. It hurt to feel all that anger and hatred, but it felt good too, he hated Drachak and the evil he represented, but he loved it all at the same time. It felt so good, but it was killing him, the pain was too great, he had to let go of the anger and the hatred, so he did. Andagar screamed as the dark, purple energy leapt out of his eyes, his hands, his mouth, and his chest. There was a loud explosion as the energy left his body and crashed through the forest annihilating trees and bushes, it even seared the ground.

Andagar collapsed to the soft ground clutching his head, the fiery pain was back and once again his head pounded, but he was recovering quickly. He could still feel Casabek flowing through him, he could feel the deep reservoir of power in his soul, but it was distant, like a half forgotten dream. "Very good," Vorz said, "yes, very very good. It usually takes hours for the first discharge, and its usually much smaller, yes very much smaller. The boss said you'd be special, but there is much more to learn, very much more to learn."

For the rest of that day, and many more like it Vorz taught Andagar what the power of Casabek could do. The Daken learned to create energy projectiles to throw at opponents, he learned to channel the purple energy out of his hands and eyes, and he even learn to transport himself from one place to another, instantly. Vorz explained that the sword and dagger had Casabek in them also, and Andagar learned how to manipulate it, just like he manipulated the power in him. He could make both sword and knife glow a transparent purple color, when the weapons were charged with Casabek he could cut through almost anything.

Finally, on a cold morning Vorz pronounced, "You're ready, yes very ready. You may be the best I've ever taught, yes the very best I've ever taught. Better than Gardrelk, yes better than the High Daken himself."

"The High Daken?" Andagar asked.

"Yes, he will be your master once I am finished with, if you pass the tests, yes if you pass," the Grestick explained.

"No," Andagar asked, "I may decide to serve Drachak, but not anyone who is less powerful than me."

"You wish to challenge the High Daken, yes you do. You could beat him, but you are young, yes very young, and he is old, yes centuries old."

As they were speaking there was a distant crash in the woods that brought Andagar's head up, his cold gray eyes surveying the forest. Before long his sharp eyes saw a huge black beast crashing through the woods, cutting down trees in front of him with a battle axe that was bigger than Andagar as he went. A woman in a tight red leather costume stood on the creature's back clutching a long metal chain tied around its neck. "What in the hell is that?" Andagar asked drawing his sword.

"That is a Baraveil riding her Ckahsek, yes very dangerous are the Ckahsek. That is your test, yes your test, if you fail you die, yes even the dead can die, but if you win you go to meet the boss, yes the big boss," Vorz said.

The little Grestick ran and hid behind a felled tree as a ball of purple energy bloomed in the palm of Andagar's right hand. When the ball was as big as the Daken could make it, he threw it at the huge Ckahsek. The ball crashed into the beast's chest, but the oaf only paused a moment and made a loud gurgling noise that must have been laughter. Unafraid, Andagar charged his sword with the power of Casabek then charged the beast. He felt the power flowing through him and it made him run all the faster, if only a moment he had closed the gap between himself and the Ckahsek. When he reached the beast he stabbed his sword into it's left knee then pumped as much Casabek as he could into it. The beast roared and swung the broad side of it's axe down batting the Daken away. Andagar flew through the air, his sword still wrapped tightly it his hands, until he crashed into a tree. He could feel the bones in his back and legs breaking as he was slammed into the giant oak.

He was angry now and Casabek was flowing through him, healing his injuries and giving him the power he would need to destroy the beast. Using his sword to support himself he rose up off the cold, wet ground. He was shaking with the power of Casabek, it was flowing through every cell, very muscle, very vein. His skin began to glow a fiendish purple color; he stabbed the blade of his sword into the dirt, and released the power. The power flowed through his hands in a long wave of purple and crashed into the Ckahsek knocking it flat against the ground. He snatched up his sword and charged toward the beast as it was struggling to get up. The blade was glowing bright purple now, the energy around the sword was crackling and leaping toward Andagar's foe with an unearthly eagerness. Finally, the Daken was upon his foe, he used Casabek to propell his leap and firmly thrust the sword through the chest of the creature into it's twisted, evil heart.

The Ckahsek fell to the ground and Andagar collapsed to his knees atop the beast, gripping the the hilt of his sword and panting like a dog. Suddenly, he felt a paralyzing pain in his back and he remember the woman on the beast, the Baraveil. Andagar spun around and tried to pull his blade from the chest of the dead Ckahsek, but the woman kicked him squarely in the jaw, breaking his teeth and sending him flying off the huge corpse. He could see her more closely now, she was sharply beautiful, with a smooth pale face, dark brown hair, and deep green eyes. The Baraveil was holding a long silver whip in her hands that seemed to be creeping ever closer to Andagar, of its own accord. "You killed one of my best Ckahsek, you're going to pay," she snarled as she snapped her whip around Andagar's arm.

Searing pain traveled up and down his left side, making him collapse to one knee, the pain left his arm limp and his eye blind. Finally, she jerked back and the whip uncoiled itself. The power of Casabek was healing Andagar's body, but before he could strike the whip struck his chest knocking his body to the ground in and uncontrollable seizure. The Baraveil leapt down off her Ckahsek and slowly strode over to Andagar. She bent down over him and gripped the loose rags tied around his head, the Baraveil jerked his head up and smiled insanely at him. "Now you die," she barked as she lifted him to a standing position.

The Baraveil winked at him then back up, Andagar's whole body hurt, but knew Casabek was still there healing him, his anger was only making it stronger. Swiftly, she snapped the whip and it wrapped around Andagar's neck, sending horrible, numbing pain to every part of his body. He knew he had to hold on had to beat her, he had to find out about his life before he had died, but slowly even his hold on Casabek was failing. He stopped the healing and put all his power into the instant transportation Vorz had taught him, he hated the so called "teleportation", but it was the only way, and he knew it.

Suddenly, there was a loud cracking noise and a short lived burst of purple energy, then Andagar was gone. Away somewhere in the forest there was another burst of the purple energy and the Daken's body was once again whole. Andagar collapsed onto his knees as soon as his body was whole, he felt like he had been ripped apart crudely than put back together hastily, of course, that had just happened. After Casabek had sustained his unholy body, Andagar used the power to cloak himself from the Baraveil's eyes and silently crept up behind her.

When he was only a few feet away he drew his dagger and charged it with the power, then he leapt forward. He caught her by the back of the hair, pulling her head back and making her yelp in surprise. Rapidly he brought the knife up into her right shoulder, making her drop the silver whip. He kicked the whip away then brought the knife up to her throat. She whimpered in fear then said, "Please Daken, if you let me live I will show you pleasures no other woman can show."

She loosened the strings on the chest of her blouse and bared her full breasts to Andagar. "What do you say Daken, want to make love?"

"No, bitch!" Andagar snarled as he slit the soft flesh of her throat. He felt her go limp in his arms then he slumped once again to his knee, letting Casabek flow through him, healing him, giving him power.

"Very good, yes very much good," Vorz said creeping out from behind the tree, "Most Daken manage to kill the Ckahsek, but few are able to kill the Baraveil, yes very few. They either fall to her whip, or to her sex, yes very hot sex indeed."

"Now I want to kill this High Daken," Andagar growled as he made his way to the Ckahsek to fetch his sword.

"Soon, yes very soon the boss will call for you, then you can try, yes you will try. Humans are so impatient, yes so very impatient."

"It is time for one last lesson," Vorz said upon their returning to the tavern room, "You need to learn to change your appearance, yes your appearance. So you can go out in public without that mask, yes in public."

"And how do I change my face?"

"No, no, no, not just your face, your whole body, yes your whole body," Vorz said, "It's very simple, yes very simple. All you have to do is imagine the face of the person you want to become in your mind, yes in your mind, then used Casabek to make your face and your body change."

"And this will work on anyone?"

"No, no, no, when you remember what you used to look like in life never try to change into your former self, it will kill you, and you can only shape change into a human form, male or female it doesn't matter, but only human, yes only human, no Ckahsek."

In his mind Andagar was already picturing the fat bartender from downstairs in the tavern. He felt Casabek traveling through every fiber of his being, change him, changing everything, both inside and out. It hurt, not as much as the teleportation, but it did hurt to have every part of yourself reshaped in a single instant. He let go of Casabek as the pain died away and turned to look in the old mirror by the door. He was an exact duplicate of the portly bar tender in every way, even the unruly hair.

"Yes, yes, you are the best Daken, yes the very best," Vorz said, "Now change back."

Changing back was easier, where changing into the form of the bartender had been like changing clothes, this was like washing ones face. The costume washed clean in less time than it had taken to shape change in the first place, and now he was Andagar, Daken in training again, complete with scars and charred skin.

"Now you need to sleep, yes we both need to sleep. Boss will call us soon and you must be ready to present, yes present to the boss," Vorz yawned.

Ever since his training had begun, Andagar's dreams remained the same as that first night, tonight they changed. He saw the same images as before, but he also saw the blond hair woman in a magnificent dress of white standing next to the black haired warrior. Above them a tall, kingly man in a golden crown holding a tall ivory staff was proclaiming something over them. He saw the woman giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, then he saw the boy growing older, playing with the warrior. Then he saw the battle field, the gray haired man charging him, stabbing the spear, again the pain erupted through Andagar's body, but this time he didn't wake up. He saw the black haired warrior wrapped in a fiery shadow, he could feel the man's pain. He heard the laugh all around him, the menacing, horrible laugh. Suddenly he realized who the man was, that was him, that was the rebirth Drachak and Vorz and talked about, he remembered the woman's name Larca and young boy's was Berforin, his wife and son. He couldn't remember his own name, and the dream was fading he wanted to be back there, with his wife and son. He loved them so much, he'd do anything for them, anything. He wanted to get back to them comfort them tell them he was alive, or dead, or whatever, but he was here.

"No!!!!" he screamed as he woke to a strange place.

"Ha, ha, ha, you finally remember don't you, but do you remember it all, do you remember vowing to serve me for the end of time if I could send you back," it wasn't Vorz voice, it was the voice from the alley.

"Drachak," Andagar grumbled, "You did this to me, why can't I remember my name, or where I came from?"

They were in a small room with nothing more than a bed, but the window in the corner looked out over plains of fiery red grass, and the sky was purple. Faraway in the north tall mountain peaks dominated the sky line, Cackat, the realm of Drachak.

"You'll remember everything in time, but the first things you remember are always your last moments, and your most treasured memories. You loved your wife and son above all things, even yourself, so you remember them first," Drachak said, "Vorz told me that you wish to challenge Gardrelk, my champion and personal body guard, the High Daken."

"I'll kill him."

"We shall see," Drachak said booming a loud, devilish laugh, "Come he awaits you in the Pit, all of my subjects are here, they wish to see Gardrelk kill you."

"Too bad I'm going to disappoint them," Andagar mused.

The Dark God roared a laugh and suddenly Andagar was standing on a high float platform that was about twenty square yards. Below, a hundred feet below the platform lava bubbled and cracked, it sounded almost hungry. All around him in chairs carved of stone sat all manner of creatures, he saw Ckahsek, Baraveil, other Daken, Grestick, and dozen of creatures he had never seen before. Above them all in a high throne, carved into the walls of the pit like the other seat sat an odd creature: he looked like a human sized fiery purple shadow, almost transparent. The purple creature raised a hand and instantly another Daken was standing on the floating platform across from Andagar. The fiery shadow must have been Drachak, and this surely was Gardrelk, the High Daken.

Drachak spoke loudly and clearly, so all could hear, "The newest Daken who has come to serve me, Andagar, has challenged the High Daken and my personal body guard Gardrelk. Fight fairly now boys."

Gardrelk pulled a huge silver mace from his belt and charged it with power of Casabek, then he began swinging it over his head. Andagar pulled the sword from its scabbard and saw the feint glow of Casabek grow ever stronger around the silver blade. The High Daken made the first move, throwing a bolt of purple energy at Andagar. The Daken moved his sword to block the bolt, then charged, sword high above his head. Gardrelk met him head on and the sound of metal clashing against metal broke the thick silence that was hanging over the pit. The High Daken blocked every attack that Andagar made with his sword, then he kicked the new Daken in the gut sending him to the floor. Gardrelk swung the mace down, the glowing purple ball cut through the air, but Andagar rolled out of the way just in time to see the silver spike dig into the platform.

Andagar leapt up and threw a ball of purple energy at his foe, but the wily veteran Daken raised a purple shield to absorb the force of the Casabek bomb. Gardrelk pulled his mace free of the floor and swung it over his head creating a swirling storm of Casabek that he flung at Andagar. The younger Daken swung his sword down and an arching wave of energy slipped away from the sword and crashed into the tornado destroying it. For what seemed like an eternity the two Daken battle above the steaming volcano pit, sending bolts of purple energy and swinging sword and mace. Finally, Gardrelk landed the first blow, and a solid blow at that. As Andagar brought his sword high above his head the High Daken swung the mace into his foes chest. Andagar collapsed, dark purple blood was dripping out of the wounds in his chest, but his anger was alive and he could feel the rage of Casabek tearing through his veins.

"You thought you could beat me," Gardrelk laughed as he brought the mace down at Andagar's head. The young Daken had stored so much energy that he was shaking and his eyes were popping out of his skull, when he released it the power came through his eyes and mouth incinerating the mace and leaving Gardrelk starring, wild eyed.

Andagar staggered up and gripped the High Daken by the throat freezing him with Casabek. "Now you die, you cocky bastard," Andagar's voice quavered with the power as he carried Gardrelk to the edge of the floating platform. "Burn in hell," the Daken said as he dropped Gardrelk into the fiery pit. When the High Daken hit the lava there was a loud explosion and purple waves of energy sailed up washing over everyone.

The power of his rage still giving him immense strength Andagar leapt from the platform and landed on the stone stairs leading to Drachak's throne. He charged up the stairs cutting down the Daken and other creatures that tried to stop him, all he could see was Drachak, all he could feel was anger and hatred. When he reached the Dark God he raised his blade (now glowing so brightly that the silver could not be seen) even with his purple, shadowy face and for a moment Andagar thought he saw fear pass across his dark, black eyes. "Explain now, or we shall see if even the gods can die," Andagar snarled.

Drachak quickly regained his composure and said, "You will be a Hunter Daken, and I will explain, privately." The pit faded and they were floating alone high above the volcano riding on the platform. "Not everyone needs to hear this," Drachak explained, "You don't remember yet, but you will, there are twelve countries in your world and each of them serve one of the five gods. Myself, Ganagrail, Vargon, Senepale, and Yarsha. Most humans believe we created the various races and peoples, but we did not we were created by the same ones who created you, the Elder Gods. Long ago, before we began to meddle in the ways of mortals there was a war, the War of the Gods, many of us died and the Elder Gods became so furious that they left forever. We five were the last remaining gods at the end of the war and we began to meddle in the lives of mortal, preparing for Ducuchi, the famed last battle. The winner of that battle will be ruler supreme of the universe, and I plan to be that ruler.

"My most hated foe is Ganagrail, and your purpose as a Hunter Daken will be to hunt down the Galgrail, the highest servants of Ganagrail. You're more powerful than I feared, I had to waste much of my resources to insure that your soul would come to me and I infused you with more Casabek than any other of my creations. Only two other of my servants know the truth of my war, and I expect you also to keep this secret.

"I'm giving you leave to do whatever you want when you're in the living realm, unless I call for you and give you a job. You can hunt whatever you want, I'll always make sure you have plenty of money, and you'll know when a Galgrail or any other High Servant is around, Casabek will burn inside of you. Farewell," Drachak said and suddenly Andagar was back in his room above the tavern.

That day he began a quest, a quest of discovery, a quest to find his past.

Copyright 1997 by Joe Gensweider You can e-mail Joe at: ssuske@worldnet.att.net

About the Author in his own words: "My name is Joe Gensweider, I'm fifteen years old and I live in Yates Center, a very small town in southeast Kansas. I became interested in writing in the second grade and I've been doing it ever since. This is my first fantasy work to be published. I became interested in Sci-Fi and fantasy through Star Wars and I've grown as a reader and a writer ever since. Right now I'm working on several short story series and two novels. I live with my mom and editor, Sharon Suske, my sister, Amy, and three cats and a dog. On weekends, my sister and I visit our dad and lawyer, Leo Gensweider."

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