The Wanderer's Wish
If I died in your arms,
Where would you lay me?
If I needed to be helped,
Would you come and save me?
All these questions that could be asked,
The answers, I need never know.
For they are locked away,
Only you know how high the roses will grow.
The colour of our roses,
Bloom in burgundy and blue,
Thorns of hatred are blunt;
Isn't this the way we grew?
A fragrance beyond all encounters,
Deep colours like blood flow,
Into our hearts, deepening this love;
Only you know, how high the roses will grow.
Foreword (The Garden)
Garden is a small shire, within the boundaries of the sinister Nothing. The people, both animated and mortal, keep their shire clean and beautiful. They also protect their shire from natural foes. Life is usually calm and tranquil in this serene shire, known as Garden.
Nothing's infamous tyrant, Natas, wants most, if not all, of Nothing under his total control. He usually leaves Garden alone. That is until he gets bored with his demonic means of entertainment.
The actual land mass, Nothing, is surrounded by a shallow void; namely "Nothing's Void". To the northern tip of Nothing, across it's Void, lies the Ancient Lands. It was there, were the Ancients would wander (and wonder) about. I say used to; as they were all wiped out by an unpleasant plague. The inhabitants of Nothing, were protected from this horrid plague by the sheer vastness of Nothing's Void.
In the following poems and letters, you will have the opportunity of getting to know most of the Inhabitants; most, not all. You will meet the Wanderer, who with the use of his TRIPPER (Time Rectifier in Parallel Places, Envelope Runner), visits the Ancients.
A fact, which you might find startling, is that Garden, Nothing, and their inhabitants actually exist. There is a piece of the Wanderer, in all of us. What's more, Nothing and Garden aren't that far away. Everything has it's good with it's bad.
Everywhere you look, there is a fragment of Nothing in what you see.
Nothing's Inhabitants pt 1
Here I stand in a garden,
Looking over a vastness of Nothing.
My friends stand close by,
Searching it's horizons for something.
We enjoy our own company,
As we know each other well.
Our domain is rarely challenged,
Excepting for the occasional cell.
Seasons change in favour for the foes,
Who march on Nothing's void.
Increasingly closer these villains approach,
Taking our sustenance into the void.
My friends shout, a shout of defiance,
Informing me of our Wandering Friend,
He visits on a weekly basis,
Delivering a blow to our foe's evil trend.
Nothing's Inhabitants pt 2
I too belong to this Garden,
To even the balance of Evil and Good.
My mission, humble as it is,
Is to infiltrate the roots of all good.
The Wanderer I must avoid,
As only he can destroy me.
His vigil is second to none,
Always ready with his army.
I slipped by unnoticed by the Wanderer,
Beginning my attack underground;
Taking by surprise the succulent beauties,
Trembling at the mere mention of my heartless sound.
What's this, the table is turned,
The killer about to be killed.
No mercy to be shown.
Once again, the mission is unfulfilled.
Nothing's Inhabitants pt 3
I have travelled beyond the Garden,
Beyond Nothing's shallow void;
Encountering foes beyond reckoning,
Of whom I have battled and destroyed.
The awe of my universe,
Stretches the limit of many a mind.
The splendour of it's magical beauty,
The wars and hatred of it's kind.
Of this Universe no place is better,
Than in the Garden with my friends.
They're unique, in colour and creed,
Personalities created in different blends.
I befriended, care, and protect,
These creatures of the Garden,
I hope, that you too,
Befriend your creatures, of the Garden.
First Apostle's Letter
Once again, the Traveller sets out on his endeavours. Tripping back in time, to walk amongst his ancestors; the Ancient Ones.
As he has done thousands of times before, the Traveller leaves Garden under the Tenders control. The Tenders are the Travellers companions, when he is in Garden; Garden's armed force and doctorate when he is not.
Although the Traveller only Trips for a short period of time, he is sometimes away for ages. Thus, the infidels, invaders, and plain old foe of nature are tempted to enter Garden's domain.
Inevitably, these unwanted beings infiltrate Garden's boundaries. Havoc breaks free. War finally erupts. Battles, both great and small, are fought with ferocious fury.
But never fear, all will be restored. The dead will live through their young. The conceived will be born. The invaders will be banished.
Yes, the balance of life will be returned.
How do I, know of all of this, you ask?
Is it not obvious that I am he? The God of gods Apostle. The Wanderer. Yes, I am he. The Traveller
Behind a Closed Door
The Wanderer prepared for his trip,
Not looking forward to his absence,
As on his travels throughout the barren void,
He can only think of Garden's fragrance.
The Garden, is never left unattended,
Although the Wanderer is behind a closed door.
He has never seen us at work,
Nor does he know, that we are called the Esor.
He knows of our quiet presence,
Freshening the basis of all growth.
The Wanderer and the Esor's alliance,
Is a powerful, solemn, unspoken oath.
We are one of the many Tenders,
Who care for the Garden's well being;
Keeping it fresh and vibrant,
Appeasing the great All Seeing.
We are the guardians of the air,
Brothers of the underground Esor.
We show ourselves, only to the believers,
Who see us work without flaw.
Infiltraters, like the Dihpa, are our prey,
Disappearing like songs unsung.
We are the lords of all sight,
Fierce and tireless are our young.
We, the Dribydal, use illusion,
As a means to confuse others,
Making them believe we're harmless,
The Garden's lonely, tranquil lovers.
What a wicked web we weave,
Enticing the Dihpa, completely unaware.
Our dragon kin young, just attack,
Leaving the Dihpa without a prayer.
In the Hierarchy of the Garden,
We the Seeb are one of the top.
Having the dual role of midwives,
Plus keeping guard on the new crop.
We work on a seasonal basis,
Whether the Traveller is here or not.
We actually assist in the fertilising,
In a carefree seasonal trot.
We are truly rewarded well,
For the special skills we use,
Either preparing the fertility ritual,
Or just giving the enemy the blues.
When the season is out,
We return home with our treasure.
The Traveller often pays a visit,
Joining in the Feast of Pleasure.
We are the "All Ferocious of the Fierce,"
Warmongers, strategists, destroyers of evil.
Known only as the Niknogard,
Seen only in the guise of a humble weevil.
The Dihpa are seen as a succulent dessert,
Believe you me, we all have a sweet tooth.
Our motto, for the Royal Tenders Guard,
Is, "Destroy all evil, uphold honour and truth."
To hear the battle cry of the Niknogard,
Will deliver a blow to the heart;
To the good, 'tis the blow of uplifting;
To evil, 'tis the sound of Death's Cart.
"Destroy all evil, uphold honour and truth,
Sever the roots, burn it's liars,
Uproot all evil, and as for proof,
We will behead, Nothing's Squires."
A Proud Tender
In ancient times, they had there oddities,
Just as we have them with us now.
Their descendants changed in shapes and sizes,
The farmer forced to put away his plough.
I, am a proud descendant of the Emu,
A proud bird, who roamed the Ancient Lands.
The traits, of no flight remained though,
Imagine a Dragon, stuck fast on Garden's sands.
We did develop larger wings to compensate,
However, our huge bodies are too heavy.
But, this is only a physical restraint;
As the Great One, gave us the gift of Levee.
We are true dragons in all aspects,
Mystics in soul, in body we are Tenders.
We hardly ever, leave the borders of the Levee,
In the same way as the Ancient Pretenders.
Lying still, in a centre of silk,
Silk which has been spun with great care.
A millennium old tradition of craftsmanship,
Captures the Two Eyes, of the Fair.
A silk that can be woven,
A Fair woman's fine flowing dress,
Or used in high emotional states;
Where as it would be used to relieve stress.
The Dincara weave this silk,
Into incredible skyscapes of cumulus clouds,
Capturing the invaders insatiable curiosity;
Imprisoning their thoughts and souls, so proud.
The masters of Sight, are the Dincara,
The professors of sculpture and creation.
They are different in sizes and shapes,
Surpassed only by their shades of creations.
A Modest Tender
I was born to be gentle, yet powerful;
If only the Ancients knew, what I know.
For I am wiser than the Elder Ancients;
Considering I was conceived a million millenniums ago.
I am the youngest of my relations,
However, I have far more important duties.
They range from assisting the blind with light,
To giving enough warmth to the little cuties.
My closest friends, the Nooms, are also Tenders,
In the sense, that they carry out what I do.
Well Not as much, they can be quite lazy,
But I consider them as my nocturnal shoe.
Only one, is greater than myself, Emalf,
Being the Only One, who created me, you as well.
The Great One has many names and faces.
The God of gods, persuader of the infidel.
The Preacher, is what I am known as,
Although I rarely preach of the Great One.
I am a master of arms, subtle and harrowing,
Many a bloody, tireless battle I have won.
My reputation strikes fear into the infidel,
As they know of my savage battle skill.
Occasionally I will show them some mercy;
Mercy in the sense of a swift kill.
My elders, our fathers, the Prayer,
Are even more vicious in any fight.
Their intentions are for the larger prey,
Like the Sloth flying amongst the candle light.
Yes, we live a barbarous life,
Yet at times we are a serene choir.
But a warning must be heeded;
When angered we have the rage of fire.
Second Apostle's Letter
I am writing to you once again, hoping that you are taking care of yourself, and my companions. By now, most would have introduced themselves. At the same time, a lot might not have. Take for instance, the Cogil, who resemble the Ancient Fairy. They need to be encouraged by their own kind.
These shy Tenders are hardly ever seen. But I know within myself, that these beautiful Tenders actually exist.
The Great One, very rarely shows himself openly, but, it is very easy to talk to him. By merely talking to Emalf, or one of the Dribydal, or any of the Great One's friends, it will end up, that you were actually talking to him. As Emalf is the closest to the Only One, messages are conveyed quicker.
Each member of the Tender's Company has their own different dialect. Strange as it is, what you think they are saying, is in fact exactly what they are trying to tell you. It's just that you have been too ignorant, to listen to these thoughts before.
That's right!!! I remember now why I was writing to you.
My trip, is going to be longer than planned. I bumped into an old ancestor. Nathaniel Sirrah-Arkey M. Now, that is old. Anyway, all I ask of you, is if you can keep an eye on Garden's well being for me? Thanks.
Until we meet again, the Wanderer.
Descendant of the Dark
HAH !!! Do you think that you can keep me out? Yes, yes, you. The mere mortal that you are.
Well now, before you even think about closing your eyes, or looking elsewhere, think. Are the knees getting a bit weak? I, am going to grant you an interesting opportunity. And that is to be, that you shall meet and be introduced to my fellow assistants.
Since I'm in such a good mood, strange as it may be, I'll even release you. You may return back to that humble Garden if you so desire. It is there, if you wish to, that you may protect it's inferior beings. If you can!
A mortal! Hah, hah, hah! Has the Wanderer taken leave of his senses?
Take this, this imbecile to meet his destiny.
Ho Hum, it's hard at the top. I've done it again, haven't I? I've forgotten to introduce myself. Fancy that. But, then again, everyone knows that I'm Natas, Descendant of the Dark. Lord of the Infidel.
He Calls Me Sloth
The Master, he calls me Sloth,
He, he and everyone thinks that I'm dumb.
That is not at all true, it's a lie,
I'm intelligent, and what's more, I'm handsome.
The Master is very mean to me,
I mean to say, I am quite hairy;
Plus there is the advantage of not being legless.
But what he does to me is scary.
He tells me that I need a rest,
That I should cut down on a few things.
Anyway, I get myself a silk blanket,
An when I wake up, he's gone and given me wings.
My body needs the warmth of light;
The Master plays more tricks than anyone.
While I'm not looking, in the right direction,
He makes the warm light, as hot as the sun.
Brothers of Gub
I am a member, of the Brothers of Gub.
I, myself am a member of the lower order,
Being just a normal, humble Surtic;
Not even recognised as being a marauder.
One day, I'm going to be something;
Maybe even a Quinharle, or even a Faelminer.
I may even end up being , an Ecal Gub;
That promotion is a raise, that couldn't be finer.
They get the best jobs, and rewards.
Imagine, never again, being placed in the line;
The line of death, the confrontation of good.
Instead of drinking Emils, able to drink wine.
If only he would let me go,
Let me become one of my brothers,
Then, and only then will I sublet,
And show some respect, to the others.
I walk a very tender and fragile edge,
I have to keep a look out all the time.
If my vigil fails, for a slender moment,
I fall into the balance of a rhyme.
If the two lines have a common rhyme,
Then I am to be given the second chance.
But woe, if those lines fall by the wayside,
I'll be thrown in front of the predator's glance.
It's hard, having so many natural enemies,
Being considered as a succulent sweet.
It is cumbersome being one of the Dihpa,
Not even protected by Summer's harsh heat.
The only protection the Master granted,
Is being so small, and our weird shape.
We are grateful, for this gift of oversight,
But we have no means of an escape.
The ominous ground dragon, Wigrae;
Evil, psychic twin of the inferior Niknogard,
Do present myself for you to study, and compare.
A prerequisite, I wish for "no holds barred."
I am larger in size, both physical and mental,
The Niknogard doesn't even come close to me.
I am more ferocious and volatile,
All they can do is fall over and flee.
Yes, I am the largest and the best.
Yes, I am a humble, modest creature.
Put us together in a grand battle,
I'll come out as the best feature.
Oh, what a modest beauty I am,
You can't compare me to anyone.
Come, dance and dine with me,
Join in my great pleasant fun.
Meek of the Squadron
Welcome to the Divisional Aerial Field;
There are so many squadrons to see and greet.
They range from the Sloths to the Sijsads;
We, being the latter are the Assistants meek.
Most of the flying Assistants join forces,
Attacking in the same manner of fashion.
The way we attack is to remove the life force,
This is completed in a frenzied violent passion.
We the Sijsad consist mainly of infiltrates,
Performing in the art of the gracious spy.
We find the weaknesses and or strong points,
Finding out who can or can't fly.
It doesn't always work the way we would like;
The Tenders aren't partial to bribes,
Not through lack of trying to convince;
Tenders pick up all evil nasty vibes.
A quick brief on the rest of the Division.
There are the Feslii, Spaws, Truth Feslii.
These are the squadrons of Aerial Reconnaissance,
Who assist the Sijsad in their relentless pry.
Then there are the Fael Hoppers,
This squadron won't give up in any fight;
Where there's a will there is a way,
And by the way they pack a good bite.
The Takien are of the Minor Meek,
Small, but able to perform delicate jobs.
Most of these occupations are significant,
Disabling weak hearts leaving only their throbs.
There are others both large and small,
But they have already been broken apart;
To re-group into even more powerful sorties.
The sort of information to break the warmest heart.
Welcome to the Laboratory
Welcome to the laboratory of Raspitur,
Alchemist of the infamous Dark Master.
I create all the wonderful potions,
Either destroying growth or making faster.
Creator of all diseases and all vermin,
No job is too big nor is it too small.
All concoctions are to be used with care,
Caring to see who's going to fall.
Wherever I wander in this world,
I leave behind a unique trademark.
It's oddity lies in it's devastation,
Left outside the Garden's outer arc.
Well that's all from me anyway.
You will get to know the rest.
The Master has instructed me,
To send you back to wherever is best.
Tension is beginning to mount,
Having to wait for the inevitable;
Pressure is at a breaking point,
The Garden's fate is undecideable.
Everyone, knows that it is going to happen,
It's just that no one, knows when.
Why, is it starting over again?
The fate of now is probably then.
Minds, running uncontrollably loose;
Anxieties, pumping adrenaline at a phenomenal rate.
Heart is your mouth and so is your stomach,
Nerves unable to contemplate a changing fate.
Memories flood into your mind and soul,
Your throat swells with an emotional lump.
You become aware that you've been shaking;
Your heart no longer beats, it's a persistent thump.
Guidance (A letter from Emalf)
Hi! Doesn't look good, does it?
The Great One, has given me this bitter job. He has given it to me for one reason; that being, whatever happens to Garden, I will still be here. Maybe, just maybe, you'll protect me from the loneliness. The job, as much as I don't want it, is to inform you of the matters at hand. No offence, it's not you, it's the events that I have been told about. They have already commenced.
I've been introduced before. Now it's time to get to know each other a bit better. I'm Emalf, and you are . . . Come on, don't be shy, after all, we may be the only two left. I'd prefer to be friends, instead of two beings, who won't communicate.
There might still be time. I've contacted the Wanderer. He's received the message, but, well, you don't want to know. Well! Whilst staying with his ancestor, his TRIPPER was stolen. Thieves were everywhere in the Ancient days. I did warn him about that.
The Great One, has chosen you, to protect his favourite realm. I have faith in all of His decisions, and in you.
For now, I'll let you think. Guard Garden to the best of your ability. If you ever need guidance and moral support, just look up. You'll find me. I'm always here.
Battle of Lorac
This is where it all started.
A 'modest' Assistant, met some Tenders in Lorac;
A squad of Niknogard were in an Ela House,
When the Wigrae started an all out attack.
The Niknogard were considerably outnumbered;
Everything, was in the favour of the Wigrae.
They had the numbers, and reinforcements.
They had planned everything for this day.
Lorac, is far from civilised Garden;
The squad were on a routine border patrol.
This battle was to be the shortest;
The squads name, to be entered into the War's Scroll.
The Wigrae had proven their point;
In this flurry, they were the largest and best.
As for now they will keep,
Whilst we lay our beloved to an unending rest.
Never before has so many joined forces:
The underground Tenders, the Aerial Acrobats,
The Fey, and their Seen Brothers, old and young.
An alliance formed, with the Mythical Cats.
The Mystical Panther broke free,
His anger pointed toward the Descendant.
Then, almost out of no where, Rexoch appeared;
The great Mystic, holder of the Oracle Pendant.
All these, and ever so more,
Made alliances, pacts, and blood ties.
The atmosphere of this coming together,
United friendship shining in everyone's eyes.
The meek, rubbing shoulders with the great,
The great associating with the meek.
Rexoch struck his staff immediately lighting the sky,
Proclaiming that we will be rid of Dark's reek.
All these great forces have united themselves,
Yet they are unorganised, but ready.
The Wanderer is absent, they need a leader,
Whose nerves are rock hard and steady.
Who will lead this deserving cause?
Who will co-ordinate the battles to come?
Who can cope with the pressures?
Who is five steps ahead of everyone?
When is this person going to speak up?
Not even Rexoch can conjure up such a person.
But Rexoch will handle all communications,
He will be the aide for this person.
Wait! I hear a strangers voice calling.
You will accept, Rexoch will be pleased.
Understand communications are going to be difficult,
But at last, vengeance can finally be released.
Battle of the Heart
The first major battle is fought,
Within all and every Tender's heart.
The rage has to be controlled,
The torment and anger held apart.
These emotions have to be channelled,
Not to be let loose on a wild rampage.
Rexoch decided to appoint Kindaal,
To hold the leash of this enormous rage.
Kindaal is now General of the Tender,
Although he was formerly of the Fair.
His spirit is unbreakable and sincere,
Common Tender think that he walks upon air.
He has already organised the united masses,
Formed them into Battalions and Divisions.
He has chosen the best Captains for the Tender;
The best strategists for the coming missions.
Spies have informed Kindaal of invading Wigrae;
The whole entire force of the Wigrae.
Kindaal has shown compassion in asking for the Niknogard.
It is here that together, they planned V-Day.
Vengeance Day was to go down in history:
Angel Mountain and the sun about to shine.
The Wigrae and Niknogard on opposing sides.
The Wigrae encountered the sun's rays and became blind.
Their vision was restored to meet the battle,
With this the Niknogard commenced their battle cry.
The numbers were more even in this fight,
Except that more Wigrae were going to die.
Casualties resulted, heavily on both sides,
The Wigrae's numbers deteriorated rapidly.
Their true colours started to show,
They began a retreat rather haphazardly.
The Niknogard charged at double time,
Forming the famous formation, the Bull Horn.
The Wigrae became aware of their pursuit,
Thus they planned a counter attack on the second dawn.
The Bull Horn formation is designed well;
Consisting of two major flanks and a front.
When the front encounters the enemy,
The flanks then fold, creating a massive stunt.
The enemy is surrounded by the Bull Horn,
They are at the mercy of their captors.
There is no escape from this deadly weapon,
The captured therefore have to endure their foes rapture.
So it happened to the Wigrae's main force,
Surrounded, from then on they were all killed.
That is except one, who was released,
To inform his master, who won't be thrilled.
The sole surviving Wigrae returned,
To the Descendant of the Dark's hiding place.
Although the Wigrae's life was spared,
He had endured a sadistic chase.
The torment and trauma was horrendous,
So much so that the Wigrae had begged for his death.
The Niknogard would have willing obliged,
Except that he was the only one left.
The Wigrae was directed to Natas's disfigured feet,
It is here that the Wigrae told of his ordeal.
Natas didn't pay any attention to the details;
His pride was severed and shall never heal.
Immediate actions were taken in preparation,
For a retaliatory war, not at all pure.
Natas's anger had taken control over his rationing,
Unaware that he had fallen prone to Kindaal's lure.
Kindaal had guessed Natas was going to be mad,
So mad that he would release the Squadron.
Kindaal couldn't have predicted it any better,
Natas even had Raspitur slaving over his cauldron.
The idea behind Kindaal's master plan,
Was that Natas would forget about his ground force;
Relying mainly on his so called Aerialists.
Kindaal patiently waited for Natas to endorse.
The Preachers are going to remain with the Seeb,
Where they will protect Garden to the utmost.
A small force of Tender will attack Ketpoc;
Natas's main fortress which lies on the east coast.
With Ketpoc under total Tender control,
Natas's ground forces would have no base.
It wouldn't be long before they're useless to Natas;
Kindaal could then march upon Mephisot at a faster pace.
Fall of Ketpoc
It wasn't long before the skies were alight,
With a spectacular display of many a dog fight.
The sky was full of flying Tender and Assistant;
So full you couldn't possibly fly a kite.
Natas swallowed the bait, hook, line, and sinker;
Unaware that the Dribydal had taken an important passage.
The armed Esors and Mystic Dragons soon followed;
Together they overpowered Ketpoc's main Sage.
This turned out to be a silent take-over,
As Kindaal had hoped it would be so.
The captured were placed in dank dungeons,
To squander time on their new found woe.
Yes Ketpoc fell upon a silent fate,
Natas is still oblivious to what has occurred.
One of his main arteries is destroyed.
Maybe he'll never know where he erred.
Path of the Highlands (A Letter from Emalf)
Revenge is sweet, so they tell me. I felt a rush of fear, exploding in every heart and soul of the Niknogard. Yet, fear is an added edge when mixed with vengeance.
So it happened, the Wigrae faced a powerful vendetta. Natas had lost his cool, and in blind rage released his squadrons. They were poorly organised, thus their plight with the Seeb and Preachers was short lived. Natas's Squadron was dealt a heavy blow.
A small band of Dribydal managed to take Iron Passage, by complete surprise. The few Surtics that guarded the passage were shown no quarter.
This gave another band of Esors and Dragons, an easy passage to invade Ketpoc. Ketpoc fell silently, within moments of the invasion. Kindaal, now intends to use Ketpoc, as his lower base for his east flank.
Kindaal made Ferral Second in Charge. Ferral, a member of the Dincara, will lead a force of Dincara, Misty and Antis up along the west coast.
Ferral chose six delegates from the eight tribes of Dincara. Kindaal suggested to Ferral it would be wise to incorporate Misty, of the Cogil, and Antis, being of the Elder Preachers, into his band.
Together, this mob marched on to Ketpoc where they were to meet up with the remaining members of this small band. They were Tyne and Valen, who belonged to the Esor branch of Tenders. This contingent of Tender were going to be sung of, from this day forward. This was the initial coming together of the 'Band of Eleven'.
The Eleven were to scout and ensure the safety of the following major assault. A large force of Tender. In fact the Eleven make a so called 'path of the Highlands'.
Together, you and I, will follow the Eleven and the Tender along the Highlands on the east coast. Occasionally, Runners will inform us of Kindaal's actions in the Marshlands. In turn, the Runner will tell Kindaal of our progress.
Remember, I'm always here, Emalf.
Tyne and Valen waited eagerly, patiently,
They could see the other nine on the rise.
Soon the Eleven were to become as one;
Wiser, stronger, bonded through spiritual ties.
There's; Ferral of the Elite, Leader of the Eleven.
Arak of the Soeh, Master at Arms.
Sil of the Abe, Collector of Long Sight.
Misty of the Cogil, Teller of the Psalms.
Then there's; Pilot of the Sky, Antis of the Elder Preacher.
First Weaver of Silk, Tash of the Nish.
Second Weaver of Silk, Job of the Inco.
Spinner of the Trap, Aaro of the Miche.
Last but not least;
Bo of the Sest, Strategist for the Eleven.
Tyne of the Esor, Master of the Underground.
Valen of the Esor, Artist of Enticement.
Hell has no fury, now that these hearts are bound.
Rexoch made a grand appearance in Ketpoc,
Arriving in a white robe upon a white Unicorn.
He rode the Ancient mythical steed like a Knight,
As he wished to be in Ketpoc before the dawn.
He prepared himself for the Bonding Ritual;
Each individual member of the Eleven was to die.
A death which cleanses both soul and mind,
Then together they are resurrected from this high.
Later that day after the Bonding Ritual,
The People of Ketpoc commenced the celebration;
Which was given for the bonded Eleven's benefit,
Commending their complete and successful transformation.
On the outside the Eleven were the same,
Appearance and their willingness to join in a fight.
But their is a difference in their once opaque eyes;
They can now speak without speaking, yes insight
Misty rides upon Antis's great shoulders,
Who hovers above his brothers formation.
She keeps him intrigued and amused,
With witty, old, needless information.
Ferral is at the point of the arrow head,
Sussing out anything that looks suspicious.
Sil is on his left, Arak is on his right,
Both imagine that anything that is edible, is delicious.
Surviving on the land that surrounds them,
The Eleven make fast progress towards the ranges.
From the arid ranges onto the Highlands,
Where the vegetation and terrain rapidly changes.
It is here that Tash and Job do what's best;
Weaving silk into long lengths of rope.
Misty and Antis have a good old laugh,
While they watch the others climb and grope.
Xenophobia rages throughout the Highlands,
Much like a sinister, rabid disease.
News of the Eleven had swept like wildfire,
Scared Assistants running away upon their knees.
They would take one look at Antis,
Thinking of him as nothing but a stray.
But all of a sudden they see that Ferral,
Sil, Arak, and the rest want to play.
The Eleven play a game of odds,
They bet on the outcome of the next fight.
That is to say how many opponents run,
And how many stand up from fright.
All the wayward Assistants make for safety,
Which they think lies in the Lowlands.
They are surprisingly led to their imprisonment,
Escorted by a branch of gentle Tender hands.
The Eleven broke camp, all was quiet.
The stillness matched it's brother, the dark.
Eerie, but the Eleven enjoyed their rest,
That was until Zech, the Zealot, decided to park.
A Zealot, is an Assistant with a bad reputation,
They persistently squawk about Natas's wisdom.
This Zealot, Zech, has got a big problem,
He is about six castles short of a small kingdom.
Zech sat by the Eleven's warming fire,
Doing nothing but talk, talk, talk.
It wasn't until he noticed Misty,
That he knew he had ended his casual walk.
It was good to know that he still talked,
He will keep the guards at Ketpoc amused.
Ketpoc is forever increasing in the number of captives;
But they are kept well, never mistreated or abused.
The quietude, was far too quiet,
Not unlike the calm before the storm.
Something was wrong, horribly wrong,
They waited, to endure this unseen scorn.
All of a sudden all hell broke free,
The tempest raged with a mind of it's own.
Great old tress came crashing down around them,
They could hear others in the distance, groan.
The skies were alive with bright white snakes,
Slithering towards and striking at anything.
Seas of the sky had broken their banks,
Sending torrents down upon the Eleven's ring.
The Eleven were at the mercy of this entity,
As it's tongue lashed out continuously.
Then, as it arrived it disappeared,
Leaving it's destruction for all to see.
The tempest’s bright white snakes had bitten Saracere,
In turn, the Assistant’s hidden fortress was ablaze.
Who says good things don’t come from bad,
Or that nights can’t turn into days.
The blaze had destroyed the thick foliage,
That concealed Saracere’s now blackened walls.
If it wasn’t for the tempest’s violent actions,
The Eleven would not have seen the ominous Ghouls.
The Ghouls are Natas’s masters of ambush,
They are said to have come from the Ancient Lands.
Ghouls sneak up from behind their unwitting prey,
Attacking in vile and feverish bands.
Today wasn’t their day, no not at all,
They had lost their element of surprise.
The Eleven conquered Saracere in simplicity,
As the tempest had opened their blind eyes.
Refuge (A letter from Emalf)
Well, the Eleven have broken camp, as have the force of Tender. Stroke of luck with the tempest, and Saracere. Maybe, the Only One has his hand in this after all.
Kindaal's Runner, has finally caught up with us. He tells me, of how Kindaal's force have encountered no Assistants, as of yet. Their main worry is all the swamp and marsh insects. If the Assistants don't get them, the insects will eat them alive.
Kindaal has progressed as far as the Isle of the Inner Soat. This is the first piece of dry land, that they have come across since they first entered the Marsh Lands. Surprisingly enough, the insect life is at a minimum on the Isle. Their Company, is going to set up camp, and recuperate for a couple of days.
The Runner also tells, that on his journey across the Between, there was no sign of any Assistants whatsoever. This is not hard to believe. After all, the only water is a mirage of a vast sea. The dunes, are on the move, constantly. Only the experienced, ever cross it, and a lot of them even find it quite difficult. To set up a base, is nigh on bordering the impossible.
We have given the Runner, Hasten, and ourselves refuge, within the walls of Saracere. What an evil and overpowering place. We needn't worry about any Ghouls. The Eleven eliminated the Ghouls that the tempest's fire missed.
I've asked Hasten, when he is ready, to tell Kindaal of our progress. I also took the liberty of asking Hasten to return with Kindaal's orders, as soon as possible.
As for now, we can all do with some rest. Keshna (Cogils farewell)
It is nice of the Tender and the Eleven,
To give me food, and water for the coming trip.
It won't be long before it starts happening,
When illusion and insanity tend to get a grip.
You need a strong mind when you go Between,
It also helps if you can control your imagination.
The mirages there, are so much larger than life;
They can kill and resurrect, without hesitation.
We rarely have to cross the Between,
But when it is at hand, we are vital;
Messengers to the leaders, conveyors of orders.
It's relieving, that Between is calmest at nightfall.
But for now I need much needed, valuable rest,
I have to be completely aware, crossing Between.
My body has to be physically strong;
My mind, has to be clean and keen.
Why, does Natas always send me out here?
Nothing ever happens, nothing is ever alive.
Why, does he always send me out here?
I can't help it if I'm the only one left alive.
He has punished me enough, quite enough,
He has stripped away my great self esteem.
Now all I do, is wander this horrid Between;
Once a Wigrae, now a Shadow Creature called Zeme.
Ever since the Niknogard killed my brethren,
I've lost all strength,
Discovery and Denial
"Well, well, well. What have we here? Zeme has finally gone and done something right. Hard to believe, isn't it Zeme?"
Zeme remained deafly quiet, with the still unconscious Hasten at his feet.
"What's the matter, Zeme! Devil gone and got your tongue?" Natas broke into a sadistic laugh. "Oh well, Zeme! I have plans for you. On your way back to the Between, drop in and see Raspitur."
Unbeknownst to Zeme, Raspitur has created a female Wigrae. Zeme was destined to go back to the Between, as a breeder.
"Before you go, Zeme; wake this Runner."
Zeme unlocked Hasten's legs, which relieved the pain in Hasten's mind. Hasten slowly came out of his drifting blackness.
"So, the swift little boy wakes. Nice to see, that you dropped in. Hmnn, what have you got to tell me little one?"
Hasten, still didn't know what had happened. Why it happened. Where he was. And, who this vile half person is. Then all of a sudden, it dawned upon him. He was within the walls of Mephisot.
"Come on little man. Tell me what's going on."
All Hasten remembered, was the Three Ancient Monkeys; Hear No, See No, Speak No Evil.
"Listen! Young fool. Something is happening, otherwise you wouldn't be walking all over my, MY Between!!!"
Hasten had consciously decided, to become all of the Ancient Monkeys.
"I can see, that I'm going to get absolutely nothing, out of you. But this much I do know; something is alive south of Mephisot."
"As for you, fool, say good-bye to your beloved Garden."
Hasten was placed in the Catacombs of Mephisot. An underground maze of dungeons. They say, that the only escape from the Catacombs is death. Even then, your spirit may well be still entombed.
Natas has set about getting information on what is stirring in other parts of Nothing.
They came from crook and cranny,
Within and around the monstrous Two Towers.
Natas was speaking words of evil wisdom,
Upon the crowd that had gathered in the last few hours.
All forms and shapes of Assistants came to Mephisot,
Forming a large army at the base of it's walls.
They continued to flock for numerous hours,
Shouting answers in unison to Natas's war calls.
Sicta and Verda were made Bosses of the Flyers.
Gnal and Mian were made Bosses of the ground forces.
Natas started dividing both sets into two parts,
Giving each Boss their own strategic course.
Very soon the Bosses were to go on the move,
Taking their followers on a definite course of action.
Natas had all the time in the millennium,
To sit down and laugh at Kindaals reaction.
East Coast ( Ferral's Thoughts )
We've been waiting for Hasten's return,
As he should have returned by now.
Maybe, he's still resting up with Kindaal;
Maybe, he's only away by an hour.
Since he's been gone, things have been stirring.
I think that we are awfully close to the Towers,
Because the fires and chanting are alive;
I don't know if they are Natas's or ours.
I sent a scout out to confirm my thoughts.
He returned to tell me of the Assistant's retreat;
How they were running scared from something,
Unaware of what, he couldn't see through Between's heat.
I do wish Hasten would speed things up,
So I could attack, instead of this dreary wait.
I so wish, Hasten would give me Kindaal's orders,
So that I could seal Natas's deserved fate.
West Coast ( Kindaal's Thoughts )
Where's the Runner, he's been gone too long?
I sent him out to report on how Ferral is going.
Then again, he may be on his way now.
One thing is for sure, my temper is growing.
My patience was at it's tethers end,
So I sent out another Runner on the third day.
The second Runner was only gone for the night,
When he came back, this was all he could say.
"I looked all over the Between Kindaal,
To see nothing, except it's heat haze.
I climbed the Highlands, to see a disturbance,
It looked like the Two Towers were ablaze."
It seems to me that Ferral has progressed well,
Better than I had possibly thought.
Well, time to make a move forwards,
To help Ferral on his fantastic haunt.
The Dihpa have scoured the countryside,
They have rewarded me, with what I want to know.
A force on the East Coast, another on the West;
Now I can get on with this, the ultimate show.
Raspitur is creating some new Shadow creatures,
But I can't wait for them to be conceived.
I have learnt from previous mistakes with Garden,
Personally a different goal will be achieved.
I've selected the best of my numerous mobs,
They will soon be on surprise attacks.
I will use them as a diversion for the others,
Whom have renamed themselves as the Maniax.
The Maniax comprise of Shadow Creatures,
All remaining Sorties, Gubs, and many more.
They, like me, bear an insatiable hunger,
For the forthcoming blood, sweat, and gore.
Higher and Hire
Sicta is to lead, Flying Maniax to the East;
Gnal will control the Maniax following the Flyers.
They will gather other Assistants on their way;
Also to be joined by more, that Natas hires.
Verda will lead Flying Maniax to the West,
Mian will control the Maniax following these Flyers.
Together they will activate the surprise attacks,
Continuing to attack, even when the Tender tires.
My fantastic Wigrae are finally to be avenged,
Raspitur is to set each Niknogard on fire.
I have planned everything to the last detail,
I have even arranged a victory choir.
This is going to be my greatest design,
I will watch it from my tallest spire.
Having now released all the Maniax and Bosses,
Vengeance will continually rise higher, and higher.
Young and Old
This is the time, Natas waited so patiently for,
The concealed story in the Song, is finally told.
Although Ferral and Kindaal won't know beforehand,
They will know it's on for young and old.
Clashes, conceived from clashes.
Death, born out of the slain.
Bloods, forming into pools of lava.
Sanity, swallowed up by the insane.
The Assistants fell upon the Tenders,
Like the tempest did fall upon the Eleven.
All fallen beings, finding immortality,
In their own individual hell, or heaven.
The beast is released, in full force,
No preference, for it devours old and young.
The foretold song, of the final conflict,
In full glory, is now being sung.
Third Apostle's Letter
It's great to be back, amongst my finest companions. It was good to meet and converse with Nathaniel. But "there's no place like home." So the Ancient saying goes.
It seems awfully, quiet. I know, that the Ancient Lands are both hectic and fast. I also know, that I have been gone for quite a while. No thanks to the TRIPPER. But never, have I seen Garden, so, still.
Where are all my finicky friends?
Never, have they forgotten to make a fuss about my travels. They are constantly curious of the Ancient Lands.
Never, before has Garden been so, eerie.
Why does it seem so, lifeless?
Even Emalf doesn't seem to pay heed, to my persistent cries. Cries for answers.
Will someone, please inform me, of these things?
****** ******* ******* ******* *******
So. It couldn't be avoided. You did your utmost. The damage is done. There is always, hope. There is still a chance, that all is not at an end.
You say that this all happened two turnings ago. Then there's a slim chance, that there are still survivors, both Tender and Assistant.
Without having to confirm it, I would say that Natas has disappeared deep within Mephisot's Catacombs. Unable to comprehend this catastrophe. The enormity of it all. His downfall.
The Songs, they were true in what they spoke.
Come, let us search, for our fallen.
Citizen, the Traveller.
It has happened once again, as it has done every millennium or so. The Great One, has means in his ways. These wars, of total annihilation, act as a cleansing process.
In short, the Song stated that a certain tribes bravado, would cause an uproar. From there, war would eventuate. As we can see, the Song was indeed true.
Citizen returned to find his friends, all but gone. He searched for any surviving Tender, or Assistants. He found a few, here and there.
Whilst looking for his friends, the Great One revealed himself to Citizen. It was there, that the Great One told, and sang, to Citizen the New Song.
So, out of fire and ice, Nothing's inhabitants are to be rekindled. As they strengthen in numbers, so will the prophecy come to light in the New Song.
Hasten found his way out of Mephisot's Catacombs. He, like Citizen, was confronted with a new land, and life.
Together, they will regroup, and rebuild Garden. The Assistants will follow their noses, back to Mephisot.
Nothing's activities, for now, are at a dull. But they will pick up in time, of that I am sure.
I was too emotional to explain to Citizen, what had happened. He will learn, and so will the others, as they travel along life's new highway.
Remember, in heart and soul, that no matter where you are, I will always be here. For guidance, companionship, and to enlighten your darkness.