Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Shep

Chapter 1

What is said in a shake of a hand or holding ones hand beyond saying; “Hello I am here for you?” Desmands Brandywine knew. A colonel solder in his father's army, more then 7 Melina ago as he and his “Da” or any of our “Dark soldiers” now changed to White” in a blink of an eye.  As our bodies hearts and minds are healed in that blink. We were no longer reinvents of death left behind “The Cross Gate Prison” lying cursed in shallow graves never to see the light again. Innocent or not made no difference when you were forced to be in Hess and Morgan’s Army

There was no mercy, from the town’s people or the High Kings across the, many lands and the realms in the universe known to some behind the looking glass which could soon be soon be merging with ours.… most of “The Masters of Light” that weighed our souls with Morgan and Hess that day. Morgan disappeared once again while Hess hung in a courtyard as his soul was trapped inside a bottle. Then placed and sealed in a large warded glass box with more spells that no one understood what the meaning was, as they cut up each part of his body and spell burned it watching each burn part being sucked in to small bottles and separated and sealed taking them to spots unknown and worlds unknown.

That each of the 40 or so clans was given 10 sealed the person and one on the package. It was binding spell combined with forget me spell that would take way the memory of the package and the person they gave it too. The moment each runner drank the potion and the spells had been placed. They vanish in insistence and returned in less then a blink of an eye sweating and breathing heavily. They couldn’t recall the journey or the person they gave the package too no matter how hard they tried. It was the same with each of the 40 or so clan’s member.

We were told that Hess would never be able to rise again, not in full body form since his body has been burned and separated… scattered across the stars. And his soul was placed so deep in the Cross Bone Gate Prison; guarded by the gods themselves, that there are 20 sets of chamber doors that have been sealed that held neither lock nor key.

For us trained and turned dark as night soldiers of Hess’s Army, watching him being hung and disfigured.  It was horrid sight, but yet joyful seeing many of us cheering and shedding tears… not because he is dead, but because he was. Yet the anger for us did not wane. Instead it gained momentum as the towns people demand the High Council seek out the death penalty. For was it not us that killed and slaughtered many of the towns people in Morgan and Hess name? It didn’t matter if it was against our will. Or the fact we were doing whatever it took to save our own families or the fact that some of us it was a lie.  My Da and I tried to help many of them escape, who now despise us and now call us monsters, and now wanting us to die for the crimes we have done or think we have done or did.

There was no sympathy in High Council eyes when they looked at us standing in long rows of killers, mass murders and thieves. They judged us all on one accorded soulless, hateful killers that had no rights to be judged by any type of mercy with one strike of the gavel without a single word from us. Our jailer lifted his staff binding us to him.  Our dark uniform and bodies clothing changed instances to ghost like phantoms blurring in and out as if the wind it self blew as we fade. We watched as he then opened portal to the Cross Bone Gate Prison. There were cheers of joy, as they cursed our names, mothers hugged their children as she pointed and said. Murders, killers, filthy names or everyone spits at our face and at our feet.  It would be a very long time for many of us before any of us saw the bright blue sky and bright yellow sun showing off our three moons of Barmas again.

We all cringed as we watched the portal close into a spiral of blackness as if we all had journeyed so far that we were long past the after life; feeling the strange coldness settling in. Desmand father had slowly made himself up to him though the line as he took his hand and squeezed it whispering in his ear that everything will be ok. Desmand stated looking around as if his father had gone senile, looking at the green and black swamp land were old bones lay over shields and spears and colorful snakes that were indeed very poisonous then again if you are dead, he doubted that really mattered…. but still he didn’t have to like it.

In the distance he could see a large round building with large out buildings sloping downwards going into the mountains notice lights and doors with little stone walk ways with strange little creature’s running back and forth none stop. Some were sweeping and some were handing of large stacks of cloth. Desmand and his Da never thought hell could be so busy, but if you think about it… Heaven and Hell must run like a city and therefore people are needed to run it. There were thousands upon thousands of little lights, and smells of a large feast being prepared. Everyone tongue melted as we came to a stop and reach and the main bridge which held a large metal laced with bones and a wooden gate. It was sad to see such poor un-kept gate with skulls and lost armor falling apart hung upon it.

Our Jailer reached out his hand and petted two of the skulls lovingly. One on the right and one on the left each hung a large black chain with no lock coming out of their mouth. The Jailer whispered to them as he bowed to them in honor as he reached for his knife and took his right had palm side up and drew the blade across it. Then taking his newly injured hand and squeezed it… allowing the blood to drip down over the two skulls to bathe in his blood. A large gasp of white fog came forth and separated into two personages as ghosts rose above us, they serpentine through us they became irrational. As they stop at certain people yelling pulling the person too the side as if sorting them out.

Our Jailer stroked his chin and walked the line seeing why the ghosts were so angry.  The male ghost pointed at what the person was hiding and the female was whispering. Our jailer creepily smiled pulling out his carving knife said “This goes three ways.” He turned his head slightly to us. “And this goes for the rest of you dirt bags that I rather kill you now, rather then waste our time judging you for your crimes. Everyone here is guilty, or guilty enough to be sent here. Known as the worst of the worst prisons ever constructed inescapable prison. I have three rules before I am allowed to open this gate.

“(1.) You can strip down to your skin. ( 2.) You can hand me all your weapons including wands and staff shields and body armor or you can remove them here and toss them out into our lovely swap. (3) I can kill you and take your weapons and toss you and them out into the swamp and let our nice little pets play with you.)  As for your magic, once had stepped through that gate your magic has been removed. It will be stored safely for those that have earned it depending on their sentencing. For some will be lost to them and be given too someone else who is deserving. It’s away to payback for your crimes you have committed. I will give you 5 minutes to decide as I place you in groups of 24. And return you to bodies instead of shades. We did that to scare off those that are thinking that Cross Bone Gate Prison exists and not a very nice place to be.”

He said a few words as his staff appeared, black as night covered with heads of horses chasing each other around each other.  On top was a large blue gem filled with light caged in circlet wood like silver. Our Jailer was dressed in a black robe form his shoulders to his knees, it was made of stern cloth. Made for one to one too wear in hard winters mount yet he didn’t seem to sweat single drop or sweat. Underneath he wore stern black pants and heavy brown boots Da said they were made of Elk or raised in the high mountains that none dare go. The heavy robe that hung around him was deeply covered with silver and red symbols which caused Da and many others to suck in and gasp. Stating what he wore hasn’t been worn over several generations, and even then it only folklore old gospel. When Desmand asked his father his father shushed him as he watches him more closely

All Desmand and his Da had was a simple carving knife and simple wand Da had his waking staff magical or not he tossed it with his knife into the swamp. Watching bone hands catching them both as it sank down into the depths. Like them, everyone didn’t take any chance, but some them had a harder time with theirs. Stating it was family earldom or they hand crafted it themselves as they shed hard tears as the jailer remind them that he didn’t care and his or her family doesn’t care and neither should they because when or if they see day light again the world as they know it would changed ten times over several 100 years.

However he took the item that was rare and said depending on the outcome of their trial they may get it back. If it didn’t go well he would see too it that their items will be given to someone worthy. Desmand family was poor and Desmand and his father didn’t have that kind of money which was one of the reasons why they joined Hess and Morgan’s army. Yet they never saw the money promised other then a small handful and some trinkets. However he was not pleased with us because we wouldn’t kill… They tried to save as many people they could under Morgan’s nose by creating a prison escape route, from prisons our stock yards. They were runners nothing more.

Once all the weapons, knifes and staffs are gone our Jailer return to the front with his two ghosts, the female stating that he was getting soft over the years. Her husband ghost said.  “Why not? Its a hard thing knowing that these prisoners were unfairly judged by the “High Council of the light”, many of them working for Morgan, after all someone allowed him to escape before he could have been tried. If he had then perhaps most of these idiots would have seen some mercy instead of quick angry trial and we down here know it. Who knows what our council has in mind, but we do know this at least it will be fair.”

We were on are way again march two by two in long rows there were more ghosts that had joined our ranks as a welcoming party as they broke us off into groups of 24, it wasn’t if we could break the rank as many have tried as grew closer as some tried to run even thou there was no where to run too. If you feel a ghost would “encourage” you to get back on your feet or back in line, hear loud screams of pain of that “encouragement.” Some tried to us magic to stop them, but nothing happened. Just like our Jailer said it had been taken way or blocked from us using it. However it felt good to get rid of the shields and the heavy coats that Hess and Morgan forced us to wear, we only wished we could discard all the rest just to feel normal then again this was hell.

It wasn’t long before we finally crossed the long bridge as the Jailer turned around facing us said. “I will take the first group of 24 into the chamber room and passing the rest of you maggots off into manservant's who will then take you to a large holding place which is our banquet hall. “Please forgive us we are not used to having so many guests at once. You are guests and we will attend to your every need. Follow our rules of conduct and your stay will be most pleasant for both us. If not. Be prepared to face the consequences of your actions which we deal with swiftly. Never forget this is a prison. This the worst prison known to wizards and to man regards to all clans and species and a like. Like anywhere else there is always work. We must work to have food on our table, cloths to wear and clean place to sleep, and other duties.

“To us it doesn’t matter how you spend your time. Granted hard labor pays off besides leaning a new skill. So when you are released you can take what you have learned and use it. Yet it can cut down the time on your sentence. But if you rather spend all of your sentences or in your cell in a stasis pod, a sleep for your entire sentence. The more you learn the better, because some of you could see the sun again. Have family and children. The possibilities are endless. You will not age here, in fact if you choose while you are working to decreases your age to the certain point including being born again which could be possible, very, very hard to receive that sort of gift here.

“But could be obtained in with good record almost perfect record and the Council of Light agrees when they visit us from time to time to see how you or we are doing and our prize workers. Then it is more then possible. Now let’s go inside for you have a lot to do in. time… Plus I could use a nice cold pitcher of grog and large bear steak. He tried to escape and killed two have my best friends here, and lost the fight last week. So now I get to eat him and his soul. So don’t piss me off or my friends inside or we will not only kill you we will eat you alive soul and all.”

The main entrance was little friendlier then the two gates we had just walked through. However none of us felt that this was really the front gate watching it shift the moment we were about to reach the stairs. Feeling a hard gust of bad smelling wind that curled my noses and wanted me to vomit the Jailer stood in front of us arm's length and said. “That’s strange why are we treated so harshly?” He bonded us all to the ground where we stood and said for us not to move unless we wanted to get lost in the swamp.  We knew better then try anything as all the ghost surround us and “encourages” us to sit on the ground. While we watched our Jailer walk up towards the mountain as the same two ghosts went with him.

We heard him curse back and forth stating. “Why haven’t you moved that portion of the chambers that are no longer useable to us?  Yes I know it will require a new main entrance, it’s required and we told you that once we have him sealed up nice and tight that he will never ever, that will be leaving his chambers in any form. That was seen to not more then 200 years ago where I had just come from. So I suggest you two fix it, so I can bring this next lot before any of us start drinking from our swamp from the thirst of it.”

We watched as he came back with his two ghosts and two companions that looked like large toads and when we mean large toads we are talking frogs as big as small basket balls warring pinstripe suits against their green and white bellies. One had a pair of wire rim glass on his nose. Once they saw the problem the main dome rotating from back to front swiftly they both tsks with one another. ”Oh My” They whispered back and forth the Male Frog said. “It’s got to be those 20 sealed chambers it doesn’t know what to do with them.”

The female tsks said. “Why didn’t they listen to us in the first place, it was hurried this and hurry that… We have been working hard for 3 centuries when we need at lest 10 even 5 would have been better. But no one asked our opinion, no sir, instead they said looks great, will it hold the worst wizard known to man. We said no, as they laughed as if was some kind of joke on us. They said ‘well… he’ll won’t need a body first and then a key. I say good luck with that. Considering that there is no key that can open these locks consider he would need a body or person with 20 keys made for these doors, yes good luck. Not mention there is no way too release his spirit not behind 20 locked doors that can’t be opened with the right spells to create the key for and every door. No one here knows how to open it and if they try the spirit it self will disappear without the right spells to open the glass box which is impossible without the cell it self shifting into another universe.

Our Jailer went over to them said.” So how are you going to fix it, I don’t have all day as you can see. I have over 500 or prisoners waiting to be checked in and 500 more to be checked in two weeks and the last them in 3 months time if not sooner not mention our regular handfuls that will be released and new ones that will be checking in.  I wonder sometimes if the other side has the same problems as we do.” He made his way back to the group and waited like the rest of us.

We watched the two frogs come to a consensus they quickly took a drawing pad and started to work a solution by looking at a mountain that seemed barren. The female brought her idea to her partner as they shook their heads now adding this and taking way this with angry whispers until they both came to an agreement. They quickly talked their combined idea to all the ghosts and to the Jailer as he added a couple more ideas. Hearing that it was a doable plan for now, but need a full council vote to meet their approval. Our group of 24 got to see a lot that was going on as so did the others, as we sat there watching.

It wasn’t anything new for some of us to see the power of magic as the male frog waved his hands in the air above his head watch a large ornate staff just his size made white bone and green jewels and red crystals appear. Too many of us that was nothing to what happened next was scary part as he started to grow from 2 feet to 30 feet tall each step shook the ground as he walked towards the mountain. Our Jailer seemed unimpressed like this happened every day here.  However it came clear that escaping was a very, very bad idea as Desmand and his Da both swallowed hard watching that not so little toad walking though that swamp unhindered until he reached the mountain.

Once there, he waved his very large staff towards the mountain as the heavy winds above the water from the swamp swirled towards the spot were not so little toad wanted it. The mountain started to crumble like sand in dark pieces of chocolate. The not so little toad moved his left hand over to clean spot as we watched all the mountain debris re-piles he dug deeper and deeper until you could no longer see him the pile of dirt was so high you that it touched the darken sky here that held no sunlight, just the moon that never moves as our only light shining brightly.  We waited as we watched the toad climb out or hopped out in frog fashion dusting off his suit. And looked at the mountain of dirt he had required. Shook his head counting on his fingers of items he needs. Then transformed back into a normal state he started with.

It was his wife turn since he already created a space for the new spot for the part 20th sealed floors were Hess rest on the last floor number twenty soon to be 200th floor according to the Jailer and two frogs being able to do it right in the first place. His wife said we should move back some because been a very long time since she has done this. Or Jailer didn’t bother to move one inch simple told her. “This lot is marked for death why should you and I care how they die. They can die now or later, makes our work lighter is how I see it.” After all this the worst of the worst prisons man and wizards a like have ever known.” She chuckled sweetly at us, but for us it was more like she wanted to eat us seeing her long fangs. Question… do Toads have fangs? Well in case these did.

Once his toad’s wife reached the same height he did. She waved large circles around the ever changing dome; watching it turn into ghost structure as it rose above the other as both of them kept it spinning. You could see rows and rows below it in, in total transparency. Until tell it reached the last floor of the building as kept raising high into the sky in spirit form. The other had a face but it was blank other then there were three large domes on top made of glass ceilings with large points and bone white spider archers. The only good thing was it wasn’t spinning anymore.

We then turned our attention back towards the mountain where the Male Toad did all his hard work as his wife gently placed her part of the prison into the hole with her husband helped to make a perfect fit. It wasn’t perfect, not yet as they congratulated each other on the fine job. His wife stated. “I think we boys got it from here I while attending to make a new front of our main entrance so our friend here can get too work so others inside can do theirs.”

Once again we were told to remain seated where we were. As the female frog went to work talking to ghosts regarding materials she wanted as she redesigned and sent a ghost to inform council the reason for our hold up. Every thing happens in a flurry as materials appear and disappeared in mater of seconds as the female moved and formed a door and nice open patio with large gems of every kind. In the background you could here tools work watch paths being made and bridges being made towards the mountain. Watching the portal open and close bring more prisoners in and materials going and coming either for sale or help with currant projects.

One can hope that dying is peaceful once you have taken that last breath, at least that’s what Desmand had been told most of his life. We had arrived at destination, true we had already been pre-judged by the World and By Council of Light. We have yet to be judged by the Council of Death. True… Hess’s soul was buried so deep inside the chamber itself; some could say the very bottom itself where they keep the worst of the worst.

Which none of us including Morgan would ever be placed, yet that could change as Desmand look around the Judge's chambers and court room when we all filed in taking a seat. They already had placed a spell on each of us making it so none of us can move more then making ourselves comfortable and can speak only a whisper until it was time for us to talk. We were part of a smaller group as we were broken off into groups of 24.

He didn’t know where the others were since we consisted of nearly 500 hundred in total and possibly more. . In those 24 people are 12 woman and 12 men. All the boys and girls under 16 had been filtered out before we all ended up here. I was 17 and missed that by 6 months. People and Council of Light refused to weigh each of are cases individually, with the town’s people calling for our, blood, demanding one final judgment across the board. Things would have been different if Morgan was still chained up in his cell, how he got out of those magical chains was a mystery. Which made everyone even madder, calling for all our blood and not wanting to hear our individual cases, three of council voted to have cooling off period, but the vote was not in our favor,

The court room itself was more like a grand hall of splendor. With large dome ceiling made of green and blue glass. In between the glass was large bone spider like arches glazed white, with huge gemstone blues, reds and green and clear white diamonds at the entrance of the bone arch points. The middle of the dome hung a large diamond chandler that brightens the room, along with the wall where largely carved bench seats, which is divided into two places leading out to the main hall.

The seats were comfortably padded as we all looked towards the three council seats and recorder. Sat above us over looking over us with two staircases sloping downward into the court room; itself decked out in red and gold carpeting, wood in front of where there judges seat  was dressed with drapery of fine silver silk of red with large arrow point outlined in black horse head with blue eyes. The seats themselves were very large and held extra padding with middle one in green and the other two red with a wood backing made of dark mahogany.

The criminal box was right in front in the middle of the room like a cage if you became unruly as you see the top half suspend in the air above it.  The floor was made of river rock slick but dry noticing the square around the criminal box. Desmand swallowed hard not liking the odds one bit, cursing Hess and Morgan’s name. He prayed to his mother’s oracle that if he got a second chance he would do whatever it took including placing his head on the chopping block as so many did rather then serve in their army. A quick death was far better punishment he and his Da is about to receive.

Desmand watched as an ugly Green Toad and Black Fairy that had been transformed to the ugliest creatures he has ever seen; The Black Fairy no bigger then small child at the age of 12. The Green Toad was more in ugly toad fashion except wearing a shiny silver waist coat that looked like it was made from the skin of river fish and bone red tie with black dots. The Fairy said. “Arise and be judged this day by the Council of Darkness, since you have been Judge by your peers and the Council Light. We will judge your souls and sentence you this very day where you belong.”

She bowed as the Frog took the High Council seat only to get up again after been handed a note as he politely excused himself calling a 30 min timeout as 2 more of his friends a huge Black Bear and a large Black Cougar with red eyes sat next to him; Bear on the right Cougar on the left; wearing a waist coat made of Cheetah skin that gleaned red, yellow and hews of greens and blues. The likes Desmand and his Father had never seen before. The Cougar said with a slight chuckle. “I see you wearing my birthday gift dear brother? Watching his dark eyebrows raise and then purrs as he wiggles inside of it and petting the arms of the coat.

Seeing the white arms and claws of white bear tied around his throat loosely and set of golden cup links with is initials TH and three large golden buttons on his waist coat where a fur hat made of zebra skin and its tail wrapped around the base line that came from his sister the Black Fairy and His older brother the Frog who is the head of the council and the High Judge that rules here. While his friend the bear chuckled slightly “I see you got my present as well my dear brother?”

The Bear said. “Yes I did, it is absolutely to die for.”

The Cougar said. “I had to travel far and long to find the perfect one that would look good on you. I wanted you to know how much I love you as my true bother as well as my friend over the last 200 melanomas.

The Bear said. “Thank you for taking great care of finding such present. The white bear was not an easy kill. It was one of kind. Due to its magical qualities… for instants, the wearer can change form and has the ability to become invisible. Other times it remains white as snow glows hues of white in the moonlight. I have here in this envelope the spell and the words you must speak. I paid dearly for it from that ware-cat named Kodarel and her Witch companion Tara.”

He reached into his pocket of multi-color cheetah with a broad-band hat with black fur and white fur around the base of the hat. The fur Cheetah waist coat glossed into rainbow colors. At the neck and the sleeves there was white as silver weave pattern, with golden blocks with the initials BB long the neck small golden buttons with the same initials. “Yet I don’t see our older bother and dear sister wearing our presents during this special occasion. It is not so often we get guest like these before… too taste their crimes, eat their very souls for all eternity. How can we not look our best when it is our turn to dine? Imagine the feast we could have had while feasting on Hess’s soul, before they took his body way and burned it, then scattered it across the galaxy’s and his soul buried it so deep in the cambers no one here can feed upon it, least not yet.”

The Cougar leaned back on his chair placing his feet up having us notice that he was wearing a matching pair of white hard leather shoes with black tassels on top said. “I have spoken to an Oracle while I was hunting down your very rare coat. She told me that their will be a time… in fact many times this will happen because what Hess’s and Morgan has done by killing both the family’s of the White Solon and the Dark Prince himself by mistake; plus the boy’s companion and his family including each of their past generation. He and Morgan have changed time itself, and have killed key wizards and Oracles or having them falsifying the prediction at least to their advantage. Everything they have done was planned and re-planned to total rule the world or all the worlds and stars. (Total World Domination.)

“Somewhere in this lot are to be great warriors and wizards. And some will even be placed on the new Council of Light and some will replace us. Others will be brought forth to serve in Morgan’s Amy again and his new companion. The rest will lay here forgotten and never see daylight again… until the passing of the true light has been passed and the dawning of a new age. But still those that have been forgotten and their souls that have been recast will pass into the light. Never to be seen again. So I have been told, so have I seen, and given the marking of one of the witness, and many things I am not allowed to discuss at this time and certainly not in public.”  The Cougar held out both his two paws showing the Bear and the Fairy the silver white snow flake on the front of his paws.

No one knew what was going on as we all listened to the Bear the Cougar converse with each other. The very fact of them being all brothers and sister was inconceivable, friends not a chance, but family tied by blood that was un-herd of. Considering each of those creatures would kill each other in a heart beat. Not go tracing around the universe looking for rare animals to kill as the gift for their enemy.

Yes Desmand is looking at the impossible as he friends each kissed his friend's paws, watching a runner speed trough the court room handing a note to the Black Fairy. She smiled horrid smile, watching her little wings flutter across the room. She paused. “Lunch will be severed in 2 hours. Giving you time for a quick potty break and take a seat in the main dinning hall with the others, which is two doors down.  Remember to wash your hands and faces so you can remove all the makeup and tears, you will find a change of clothes and shower in the powder room behind you and manservant to help remove all your tattoos and any healing you might need, as well measure for your Chambers clothes.

“After Lunch we will begin promptly starting with your names…. first names first, that being with A too Z first in each group of 24. Because most of you had so many last names you can’t remember them. However we have taken great length to obtain birth certificates and pictures from the time each of you was born with and teen and adulthood and blood samples as well as skin and hair. You will also be under a truth spell the moment you walk out these doors to prepare yourself for your stay here. Again fighting, bickering will only make it worst and can add more punishment to your stay here. We are being nice, that is because so far you haven’t given cause to act out. You only get one chance to be Judge down here, before the council. What you do until then could worsen… for instance, fighting of any kind.

“We will escort you out to your chambers and leave you to your punishment for 1 hundred years or decade… Alone in the dark, and alone in the silence, paying the price for being stupid while waiting to be judged. Which might never happen depending on what is going on in the worlds around us. Remember time is on our side not yours. Right now it might seem you been here with us for a couple of hours, but in truth depending where you came from Ten years has all ready passed and all ready people have already began to forget you. We are eternal almost god like however we still age, but do so every 1 minute of 100 centuries. Your clock however has stopped the very moment you were bonded to us and entered the chambers. Your bodies are in stasis your soul will be removed and placed in the soul chamber once you have been Judge and we will keep it alive and feed upon it. We will discuses this in more details once we are judging you for your crimes from the time you were born until now.  Now line up so we can begin.”

There was lots of grumbling from the harden criminals more so the moment they walked through the door feeling the spell or many spells drape over us.  Some screamed that burns, trying to brush the spell away again noticing it was mostly the big nasty guys that like killing anything that moved on two legs or more deepening on the prey. The Bear and Cougar stepped in pulling those aside with a loud army growl that caused my lip to curl wanting my Da and feeling his hair prickle or stand up straight. It felt like it was turned white on the second growl from Cougar as he and the Bear bounced the bad, bad guys against the wall while everyone else who was smart enough to get out of the way.

I watched as a hand as big as a boulder went up for an upper cut. Fell short as a Black Bear fist rammed hard into the bad guy’s chest. We watched as he gave sharp turn with a pull like a grab with his left paw hand picked the bad guy and sent him through the air as he landed  in a pile of pile of bad guys that didn’t get the message about fighting or chose not too take it seriously.  The Bear growled at us; “anyone else didn’t get the message about fighting or causing trouble?”

We all shook heads as we watched the Bear pull out a small wand that looked like a white bone of some kind and a green gem in the center of the handle that had been carved so beautifully. He pointed down and swirled it. As blue bone cage settled on each of the trouble makers, then lifted them into a row having a manservant take over watching them disappear into a portal. We all cringed after being reminded how steep that punishment can be. None of us wanted that added… that to our rap sheet, it was bad enough we were here at all. We led to the restroom as Desmand notice quickly that it had not been sanctioned off for men and women. Da met my eyes as they nodded “what did you think hell would be like son? You’ll find no privacy or dignity here.”

In the total of our group we had 24 people. They “Had 24 people” coming into question now down too 20 leaving with 9 women and 10 guys and we weren’t aloud to speak other than a whisper and never among ourselves, unless we were given permission, like close friends or family member.  Yet we were clueless when it came to the really bad guys how they manage to scream and talk loudly as well as cause a fight. Unless it was for our and their benefit to see if they would find away to beat the system and us to be reminded that what they say is the truth.

Not many of the 20 in our group stayed with our group. Either by the towns we were taken from or the species we have grown up with in our villages. Others stayed in groups of friendships of likes clans. Those were Hess and Morgan’s favorite kind because they like killing, they are brutal and they have no preference, “who” they killed. Death is their domain, and many of us stay as far away as we can from them, which explained the large gaps between everyone and them. Giving each of us a warning that those that can’t be civilized during these proceeds will be caged like wild and animals and will be dealt with last and add this to their case file when council here decides where you be placed with in the chambers here, the lower the chamber the harder your sentence.

Desmand hated the fact he had to grow up so fast, but it helped having his Da nearby. It was also good to see his face again, However when he looked in the minor what he saw was a man that looked under feed, broken and stark white, even his own hair was nothing more than straw from a scarecrow and his father didn’t look much better. We were soon prodded and poked, and yelling at us to move long like sheep towards the showers. Telling us to place our clothing into the right basket, (Shoes, socks shirt, and pants as well as our under clothing. We didn’t have time for decency as our manservant waited for us at the shower tsking for being so slow. Each of them held a heavy stick in there hands used to pokes as we walked down the line. Between the divider which at the end was bench and a locker that held new robes and clothing for us.

Desmand had lost count how many bruises he had on his body coming here or out in the army and ribs that were still trying to heal and the ones that were newly broken. By the guards in the cell before coming here, plus the black sickness that has started to run though our camp, as a punishment of not arriving faster according to Morgan and a heavy hand of evil vile. There was no cure once Morgan and Hess tracked down and killed all the healers making sure nobody could use that kind of power ever again as well as many other key wizards as well as Oracles.

He and Morgan did everything in their power to make sure that they would rule for time and all eternity. They followed the time line and killed all those that might cause a problem, as they searched for the 5 Keys of Destiny and the items they needed to open them. Nothing but ghost and story-tales around a campfire or told at bedtime about kings and queens of old that held the magic that could restore and build the very planets them selves and as the very creation of people to live on them. Not even the modern witches or wizards believed in such things. Stating those kind things had been lost through out time and should be left alone and buried

It is said it starts with the White Solon and the Dark Prince; however the clues are in the stars known as Morning Twilight. The map itself has been lost as Morgan and Hess have been searching all the catacombs. Now Hess is trapped and leaving Morgan with several problems. (1) Find the map of 5 lost keys and the items  that hide them) (2) Find a way to free his master (3) Find the White Solon and kill him or turn into the Dark Prince. Or do nothing. “Yea right that was never going to happen.

© 2019 Shep

My Review

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I'm having to read this in short bursts, since I read when I catch a moment and this piece is going to take dedication. But so far it seems absolutely worth it.

You really caught my interest with "We were told that Hess would never be able to rise again, not in full body form since his body has been burned and separated… scattered across the stars. And his soul was placed so deep in the Cross Bone Gate Prison; guarded by the gods themselves, that there are 20 sets of chamber doors that have been sealed that held neither lock nor key."
This was really a hook for me, so imaginative and interesting to imagine a person's very soul would need specific guarding by gods to keep them secure. Really wonderful stuff.
So far a great start to what looks like a very well planned and written book, I look forward to getting more into it!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you I really enjoyed writing it and its nearly finished, the first book in its series its only.. read more
This site favors the poets, so short stories and definitely books are harder to get readers, I guess due to time commitments reading them. That being said, I'd recommend maybe giving a short synopsis of the book and then a chapter. In regards to this chap. try this exercise: write the most important sentence of each paragraph. Does the storyline narrative still connect and flow? Another exercise is to read it aloud. Do you stumble over sentences as you read? finally work eliminating word repetition, and extraneous the's, it's, and and's. I've offered these suggestions Shep because it goes a long way toward keeping readers here interested. On here, the hardest part is being our own editors and beta readers. But that's part of the "hard work" and believe me.... it does help.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

thanks, yes its very hard to get readers here. and this a work in progress. but at least something s.. read more

1 Year Ago

all art is a process Shep. The cool thing about original creative art is you can never stop learning.. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on February 6, 2019
Last Updated on December 9, 2019



Santaquin, UT

Updated January 17, 2020 In short I am a Male 52 years of age and Permanently Disabled due to a car accident and suffer from seizures and Sever PTSD. So I have a lot of time on my hands. One of .. more..

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