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The Beginning....or The End ~ Prologue

    The throne room was a huge cavern.  Malevolence rolled across the expanse like a living, breathing invisible monster.  It radiated throughout the chamber in suffocating waves that flailed the mind, stripping all who entered of reason and will replacing it with terror and utter supplication to the desires of the source.  The walls, ceiling and floor were polished ebony of the impeccable quality.  Globes of brilliant smokeless white light were held in place by gold brackets of the most intricate workmanship.  In the middle of the room stood a throne of skulls and smoked gold.  The skulls were from all manner of man and beast.  The armrests were an abhorrence of child’s visages, innocently sweet countenances twisted cruelly by the harshness of untimely and horrid ends into little more than empty blank gazes staring into an eternity of suffering.  The seat; the mortal remains of some seafaring demon of the deep it’s gaping maw of razor-edged teeth cradling a cushion of the finest crushed black velvet embossed with threads of pure gold.   The skulls of small dragons,  minators, ogres, and various fiends from nether realms were impaled on the fanged edges of the upper jaw turned to face the front of the dais  locked forever in the grimace of death throes. On this perversion, sat the origin of this evil. The Master.

    He was a giant by human standards, nearly seven and a half feet tall whose muscles looked as though they had been hewn from obsidian. Shadows of near substantial form encircled his massive form in a living robe of vileness.  He has been human once but greed, twisted passions and an insatiable hunger for all the dark Arts could offer had wrenched every remenant of decency and goodness out of His very being and banished them forever.  His fathomless eyes danced cruelly with the fires of hell as he thought of is latest conquests.

    A dark clad figure slipped into the room without so much as a whisper.  It blended in so well with the shadows as to be invisible.  Invisible to all, save the One who ruled the shadows.

    “Come forward.”

    The deep baritone of his voice resonating throughout the hall and with a small flick of a clawed finger bade the figure to kneel.  The figure was lying prone on the floor before his talon had ceased it’s decent.   Arms outstretched in silent pleas for the mercy of release that would not be forthcoming.

    “You sent for me, Master.” The figure spoke in hushed whispers, eyes downcast lest it’s soul ever be lost in the smoldering depths of the Master’s gaze.

    “That one has passed through the Barrier to the Other Side and taken a new name and form.   Find and eliminate it.  This dagger,” The Master slowly blinked His flaming eyes and an inordinately carved dagger encrusted with crimson gems flickered into being in front of the figure’s downcast eyes. “…will sing if I am pleased with your work.  Mayhap I shall consider your plea for release then.  My emissaries will be waiting for you after you have crossed over.”

    The Master rose to His full stature.  His living cloak whispering tales of eons of abominations as the walked over to the figure, still prone on the ebon floor.  With feline grace, He leaned down taking the figure’s chin in His powerful clawed hand. He forcing the head up with cruel viciousness and stared fiercely into the figure’s panic filled eyes.

    “Do not disappoint Me else the consequences shall be dire.”

    “Yes, Master.  I understand, Master.” The figure, now dismissed, fled from the throne room in complete silence.

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