A cloaked figure was walking through a dark and damp cave holding a lantern. Eventually, the cloaked figure entered a cavern that had three pillars set in a triangular position with three people chained to each of them. On the ground beneath their feet is an odd and eerie symbol. The prisoners were two women and a male. One was a woman from a race that called themselves highborns. The next hostage was a plebeian which was a race that lacked magic ability. The last prisoner was a versipellin which was a race of fierce warriors that could channel their inner beasts. They also were known to have feline features.
"Please...thou doth not have to do this! Let me go and I shan't speak of this." The highborn pleaded as the cloaked figure approached her. The figure caressed her face gently as she appeared to tremble in fear. She pulled away from his hand causing him to clench his fist before striking her. She let out a loud yelp as she winced in pain.
"Thy sacrifice is for the tartarean king." The hooded figure said as the highborn began to struggle in an attempt to free herself. It wasn't long before more cloaked figures started shuffling into the cavern. It was five of them and once they were all inside they moved away from each other. A cloaked figure made a hissing sound as she got close to the unknown figure near the pillars.
"Are you certain you can perform this ritual?" She hissed silently as the figure scoffed as he waved her away.
"Do not question my power! I’m a tartarean with the greatest magic potential." The cloaked tartarean gloated as he returned his attention to their captives. The chained versipellin snarled as he tried to lunge at the cloaked versipelln figure.
"Betraying your people to awaken something that can bring an end to us all…its madness!" The versipellin howled. The cloaked versipellin pulled down her hood to reveal her furry feline pointed ears. She snarled revealing her sharp canines and leaned close to the prisoner.
“We have been terrorized by dragons for far too long…it's time we do something about them.” She hissed angrily. The atmosphere in the room became cold as a cloud of smoke began to appear in the room. The cloaked figures tensed up before slowly turning and kneeling before the entrance of the cavern. The footfalls of what sounded like a large figure could be heard.
A set of horns emerged from the smoke first causing the imprisoned highborn's eyes to become widened and her pupils shrank as her lips parted, struggling to speak. She let out a small whimper as a tall tartarean appeared. His red eyes gazed upon everyone in the room as he stood silently. His presence changed the atmosphere as he looked around. Something odd about him was his limbs were covered black.
"By the gods...what sort of tartarean is that?" The imprisoned versipellin shouted nervously as his cold blue eyes showed that he was beyond afraid. The tartarean briefly glared at him before turning his attention to his followers with his menacing red eyes.
"We are here today to force the awakening of the archdragon that is slumbering deep within this mountain. The dragons have become too much of a problem for any of our people to deal with. I'm certain there will be much conflict with this.. Do any of you wish to change your mind about this endeavor?" The tartarean questioned in a deep and rugged voice. No one uttered a word until one of the hidden figures pulled back their hood. It was a highborn and he had a look of regret on his face. The highborns were a race that prided themselves in studying the mysteries of magic and were highly skilled in the practices of it.
"Thou killed my king and I swore I'd find a way to avenge him." The highborn said as the tartarean looked at him silently. Before the tartarean could do anything else the highborn lunged at him throwing a set of daggers that then multiplied into twenty. He watched as the daggers bounced off the tartarean's skin. He was surprised and confused as they did not affect him. Another cloaked figure grabbed the highborn and held him in place.
"Forgive this fool, lord Azok. He knows not what he is doing." The cloaked figure said as she turned trying to reason with the tartarean referred to as Azok. Azok simply smiled as he began to clap his hands slowly.
"What is your name?" Azok asked as he glared at the highborn who tried to kill him. The highborn was hesitant as he pushed the female cloaked figure aside.
"Arlen." The highborn replied, causing Azok to begin stroking his beard as he glared at him.
"The fact you have the gall to speak your truth...I'll let you live." The tartarean said wickedly as he glanced at the other cloaked figures. "Stop hiding your faces from one another. You will no longer have a conflict with each other. It is time you set aside foolish differences." Azok ordered as the cloaked figures all slowly took off their hoods.
The woman who stood beside Arlen was another highborn who had a slight resemblance to him. "I take it this lovely woman is your sister." Azok said as he began walking over to them. Arlen put himself in between her and Azok with a serious look on his face. "Calm yourself, Arlen. I merely wish to speak with her." Azok said with a wicked grin on his face.
Arlen remained in place unwavering, causing Azok to sigh in disappointment. The tartarean that was standing near the hostages raised his hand. A dark magic circle began to form in front of him. Small needles made of energy appeared beside him. They shot toward Arlen and struck him. He fell back and cried out in pain.
"Apologies, Lord Azok." The tartarean said with a bow. Azok nodded before he pointed at him.
"What is your name, Esper?" Azok questioned as the tartarean became nervous and shifted his stance.
"Merith, my lord." Merith said with a bow as Azok frowned, seeming displeased about the name. He looked over at the versipellin and waited for her to speak.
"My name is Murla." The versipellin hissed at Azok. He then glanced over at the other versipellin who was standing silent.
"Uzera is my name." The versipellin said as she bowed once again. Azok then looked at the cloaked figure that had been silent for the longest time. Slowly, they pulled off their hood to reveal they were a plebeian.
“My name is Julian Daywhisk. My people are at thy service.” The plebeian said with a bow as Azok nodded his head. Azok seemed pleased as he then returned his attention to Arlen. Azok stuck his hand into a pouch he had strapped to his belt. Slowly he pulled out a vial filled with a pale blue substance. Azok approached Arlen and knelt before him. He grabbed Arlen by his head and forced him to open his mouth. Arlen struggled as Azok began to laugh.
"The blood of the legendary black dragon can make you powerful beyond imagination. Hopefully, you’re strong enough to maintain your mind." Azok laughed in a deep and rugged tone. Arlen's sister tried to run over to him but Azok looked at her. With a simple gaze, blue flames surrounded him and Arlen. Azok then returned his attention to Arlen and forced the devil's blood down his throat.
"My lord, what is the meaning of this?" Merith asked as Azok stood to his feet. Arlen began to cough uncontrollably as he tried to crawl away. Unfortunately, he couldn't leave because of the hellfire.
"He piqued my interest so I figured I'd like him better if he was changed like me." Azok said as he waved his hand and the hellfire slowly disappeared. Arlen's sister tried to run to him but Azok tried to grab her. She leaped away from him with a surprised look on her face.
"Go away! Leave this place and don't look back." Arlen spat as he pointed to the exit of the cavern.
"I'm not bloody leaving without thou!" She yelled as Azok began to approach her holding up another vial of the black dragon’s blood.
"Then take this journey with him." Azok said with a smile. Arlen staggered to his feet and threw a dagger at the vial. It shattered causing the blood to spill to the ground.
"Thou claims to want to live in peace with other races but thy wicked nature is showing. Now sister, get out of here. I never wanted thou to come with me in the first place." Arlen said as he pulled out another dagger and began to wheeze uncontrollably.
"But...." Arlen's sister started to say but he yelled angrily as he threw a dagger at her but it went past her. She was shocked with horror as he looked at her with bloodshot eyes.
"I don't need thou to bloody save me! Leave got damn it!" He yelled as he watched her back away. She waved her hand as a portal appeared behind her. With great reluctance she disappeared with it.
“How interesting,"Azok said intrigued. "I'm certain we'll cross paths with her again so don't worry, Arlen." Azok smiled as he looked over at Merith. "Start the ritual, I've played around enough." Azok ordered, causing Merith to bow his head and turn toward the hostages who were all trembling in fear.
After the gate opened, a pulse of energy surged from the hilltop of the mountain. A battle between plebeians and highborns was underway. The highborns lacked a king so they were forced to take orders from the king's closest comrade. Rydel Beldros was the leader of the highborn army. He swore to avenge his king and his best friend.
The plebeians had the advantage of numbers and technology.Rydel wanted to kill the person that killed the highborn king. The king had wanted to live peacefully with the plebeians but these people were treacherous. He was betrayed by the king of the plebeians, Asha Faelock.
When Rydel caught sight of him on the battlefield he climbed atop his four-legged beast and began to charge over to him. Rydel struck down the plebeians that got in his way. Before he could get to King Asha a large shadow obscured his vision.
Debris blew everywhere in front of him as something crashed on the terrain. The sheer impact sent a force that knocked him off his beast. Rydel winced in pain as he looked to see Azok emerging from the debris.
"At this very moment, this little battle is over! The dragons are coming. Despite how this all began we are now starting anew." Azok said as he glared in the direction of the plebeian king. "You highborns require a king and with that being said you will be appointed one. One who will be willing to let tartareans have refuge in your country. The dragons took our home so we must find a new one." Azok said in a serious tone as Rydel stood to his feet and picked up his sword. He pointed it at Azok with a serious look on his face.
"We shall not welcome thou into our country and we will be the ones who decide our new king!" Rydel shouted as Azok began to smile wickedly.
"You bear a striking resemblance to a young man I met not long ago. You wouldn't by chance be his father, would you?" Azok asked with a twisted grin on his face. Rydel was shocked and his hands began to tremble. It wasn't fear but the rage that caused his trembling. He roared in anger as he sprinted forward preparing to face the threat before him. He raised his sword as it was engulfed in energy. Naeghi looked intrigued as Rydel tried to bring the sword down on his shoulder. Azok caught the weapon with his bare hand. It surprised him to see that he was bleeding. "I'm bleeding?" Azok said as he pulled the sword away from Rydel. He grabbed Rydel by the throat and looked at him with a surprised look on his face.
"My sword is enchanted with a curse that allows it to cut through anything." Rydel choked out as Azok smiled while he tightened his grip around his throat.
"The fact it couldn't completely cut through me means your enchantment isn't very strong." Azok said as he tightened his grip even more. Rydel's eyes were bloodshot as he began to choke and spit out blood. He kicked and punched in a futile effort to get free but to no avail, Azok didn't let go. After a few minutes, Rydel went limp and was thrown to the ground. Azok returned his attention to king Asha who sat on top of a Pegasus.
"I will have my people yield. You will be welcomed in our country if you are so pleased." King Asha said and Azok nodded his head. He waved the sword in the air and the tartareans howled with joy as they were now going to find their new home.