"Itzi's Story - Prologue"

The warm sea air blew across the island in short spurts of energy. The waves crashed upon the rocky shore with such intensity that one might think the the sea itself was angry with the island. So furious that it wished to rip it apart in an onslaught of sea water and debris. But the sea soon realized it was not possible. For on this island stood the citadel home of the Syndicate, Arx Draconis, and held powerful magic's the likes of which very few mortals had ever seen.

The Syndicate was an underground organization with members in every guild, nation and city. They were no one, and they were everyone. There was one way Syndicate brothers and sisters could tell if a brother or sister was near, and that was by the burning palm insignia of the Syndicate burned into their palms, which would glow when a fellow guildmate was around.

The citadel of Arx Draconis was a sight to behold. By those rare few they ever visited and even rarer, the ones that left alive, the towers of the castle loomed over them like some twisted, cruel god. The spires seemed to pierce the atmosphere and the castle itself seemed to radiate an aerie glow of bluish black. The blackened citadel raised miles into the sky and covered grounds that spanned almost the entire island.

Upon the highest of spires was a room filled with dark shadow, a room that made a perfect circle. If one were to float above the room (and it was not as rare as one might think) the symbol of the burning palm could be seen. There was only one window in the whole room, and that stood above, as a skylight that, even in the brightest sun, seemed to give off the darkness of night. Other than that the room was empty, but for a large, blackstone throne that sat in the back, adjacent to the door. The throne seemed to be made by the best dwarvish stonesmiths, but twisted and dark. It had sharp spikes that penetrated the air around it, and cut into it like a knife through butter. Upon the top sat a dark skull, with glowing green eyes that never burned out. There sat a figure on this throne. He could not be seen, and very few details could be made out. You could not see his face, but the visitor there, as most visitors do, only noticed the bright, two handed sword that the dark figure held on to. The sword gave off a deep, purplish blue flame, and had runes from an ancient civilization, that not even the ancient high elf wizards would recognize. Then, after long moments of staring at the visitor, the dark figure spoke.

"Do you know why you have been called my loyal Druid?" the figure spoke in a deep voice that seemed to make the druid shake. This druid was dressed in a leather vest and loose leather leggings. He carried a book with him, a book in which only he knew the content. His dark hair flowed in the breeze that fell through the window in the ceiling.

"No sir, I'm sorry I was not informed of why I was to meet you." He stampered. It was clear he was nervous, yet he had been here before, but no matter how many times he came, be it 1, or 10 or 100, he would always feel a chill everytime he looked at those dark green eyes that seemed to follow him from the skull atop the throne.

"Good, this is another covert operation, one that I would rather very few people know who started it." The figure, though cloaked in shadow, grinned, and the druid knew it. He hated it when something like this was going to happen. He knew it would involve deaths, and lots of them, so many that it would not be done by the agents of the Syndicate, but secretly provoked by them from the shadows.

"But why sir, I know this will cause the deaths of innocents, why most we do something such as this? It is against my teachings, from the goddess Tunare. I know you have told us to give up our religious ways, but I just can't help but think this is wrong." The druid was practically begging to be moved to a different assignment.

"Ah, my poor Zephy. I know how you must feel. I completely understand your sorrow, especially when I tell you the details. But I will allow you to know that this is for the good of one individual... one you must train" Zephy looked up, a look of confusion on his face.

"Trained sir?" Zephy asked, stunned.

"Yes. You Zephy Rhills, are a very talented druid, and I need you to train for me, a woodelf. One whom is destined to......save us." He gave a slight pause, as if in thought.

"Save us sir? Are we in danger?" Zephy asked in alarm.

"No Zephy, not at the moment, and not for many years to come. But the training of this individual is inpparative to our survival as a whole, and not only that... but to our growth as a power." The dark figure seemed to glow with a radiant, but sinister light.

"I will have our most....... enlightened necromancer Demandred, so start for us, a sort of war between the orc Clan Crushbone, and the woodelf city of Kelethin. You may see to it that few are hurt in this battle, but the elves Cyan and Eliara Mistwalker must die. For it it their son, Florin Mistwalker that I want. I am seeing to it that Demandred gets one of his,..." the figure paused, and seemed to snarl the word as if disgusted by what he was going to say, " pets, to take the child the the Lesser Feydark. There you will have free privilege to tutor him in the ways of combat and in the ways of your druids. He is at a very young age now, so he should remember very few of this, if any, and will look to you as a parent figure. Do not take him back to Kelethin until he is ready, I do not want him to see the city before it is reconstructed. You will be informed when it is time to bring him here, for further training." The shadowed figure finished and leaned back on his throne, seeming pleased with himself.

"Mistwalker..... the name sounds familiar sir." Zephy asked, looking into the sky trying to remember where he had heard the name before.

"Yes, I would think you should know, oh fair druid. The Scimitar of the Mistwalker, now held underneath the belly of the most powerful dragon, Lady Vox." The figure sighed, as if giving a history lesson.

"But..... why has the Mistwalker family not retrieved their sacred sword?" Zephy asked, he had seemed to forgotten the history behind the sword.

Again the dark figure sighed and began the lesson. "The Mistwalker family was a powerful family of Kelethin, lead by the great Laranis Mistwalker, who was a ranger of great power. He had used his magic's, and his talent for the making of fine weapons to create the most wonderful sword to ever sparkle in a rangers hands. After days and nights of hard labor, he had finished a sword that would never dull, and was as light as the butter knife your mother would use to slice the butter that was to be put on your bread. But something was missing. Laranis was much teased by his fellow rangers that he could never find an animal friend. Now this is false of course, as Laranis had many, but he could never choose one he trusted, which many rangers thought to be his downfall in the end. He rested for days so that he might cast the final spell to be placed upon the sword. With help from his wife, Cylithera Mistwalker, a powerful druid of the time, he summoned all of his strength and all of his power and placed upon the scimitar, a spell that allowed the wielder to power to call forth a very powerful mistwolf, not an ordinary mistwolf mind you, but one of immense power, but low stamina, so was only called upon for the most dire circumstances. Thus he created, the Scimitar of the Mistwalker."

"After several years of protecting the city of Kelethin, Laranis became bored with the easy life, and went back to his old days of adventuring, much to his wife's dismay. After visiting many places among the world, he could never find a challenge, whether it would be fighting the wicked undead of the Estate of Unrest, or traveling to the Desert of Ro so fight the vile Sand Giants, or even challenging the wicked Freeport militia, he found no challenge. In his ignorance, he felt he was invincible, and so... sought out the winding caves of Permafrost, there, he would challenge the great Lady Vox. There of course, his demise were met, as one would think, even with such a great and splendid weapon, it was a hopeless battle. No reports of how the battle was fought, or if he was even close to destroying the Dragon, but it is told amongst the barbarians of Halas, that the Dragon Vox, did not come from her cave in over one hundred years."

"Soon afterwards, a blind shaman from Halas, came to the mouth of Permafrost and foretold that one day, a Mistwalker would return to claim his sword, and destroy the vile dragon Vox and reclaim his lost heritage. Thus the legend of the Mistwalker. Many fools have tried to enter and take the sword for themselves. All attempts of course, have failed." The figure sat back, finally finished.

Zephy paced the room for long moments, thinking to himself. Then finally stopped and turned toward the shadow of a man.

"So.....is that your plan master. To train this Mistwalker so that he may reclaim the sword, and then take it from him as he has earned it? After helping him destroy the creature that has been a bane to his ancestors and the death of many brave, adventurers, however foolish they may be?" There was a stern pitch in Zephy's voice, and for the first time it seemed....he was angry at his master.

The figure sat forward, his eyes seemed to gleam red with anger, as if accused of something horrid. Then.....he was overcome in a fit of laughter. Not the evil sinister laugh Zephy was expecting, but one a fellow might spill forth as if told a joke in a local bar.

"Haha! No old friend, of course not. Whether this Mistwalker recovers the ancient sword or not is none of my concern. What is my concern is that if he were to try it, I will not allow his to die." a sudden tone of seriousness entered his voice.

Zephy stood there, a bit relieved but still confused. "Then what is it you want with him master? Why is it you need this boy? Of what importance is he to us?" It was clear Zephy was confused.

"I told you before Zephy. Landar has explained it to me that this boy is needed to us... not even I know why, but then, Landar is our Oracle. That is why he was given the robes of the ancient oracle, and I trust he knows what he is saying." He answered.

Zephy nodded, knowing that Landar the Great, as he was known, was an oracle, and so was given the mystical robes of the ancient High Elven Oracle, that used to go far to an island in the Ocean of Tears to meditate and have his visions come to him....While Landar seemed to find comfort simply in his own chambers, high above in one of the tallest spires of Arx Draconis.

"So then master." Zephy started, "When is this plan of yours going to commence?

"Soon enough Zephy, soon enough. Within the week I hope. It all depends on what Demandred can do in rousing the orcs, which I am sure is not hard." Then the figure stood and continued. "Now Zephy, get some rest, you'll need it. And say good-bye to everyone, you won't be back here for several years you understand this correct?" He asked as Zephy bowed.

"Yes master Dragons....." Zephy said.... he could never get used to that name... Dragons. It was so odd compared to the names of Others. Why is it he wished for us to call him this? He often asked himself, late at night when he thought no one was around.

"Good then..... You have a few hours before dinner is served, so you'll have plenty of time. Besides, like I said, it will take a few days to get Demandred to the GreaterFeydark." Master Dragons motioned his hand toward the door and it swung open, the two guardians did not move.. nor would they ever if so told... they were guardians summoned from different plains of dimensions. These summoned from the plain of fire, and powerful they were.

Zephy nodded and moved toward the door, as he moved into the hall, Dragons tilted his head and grinned as if he knew what was coming.

"Long Live The Syndicate!" Zephy turned around and said, saluting his master, and the door closed.

Dragons tilted his head so his dark hair would fall over his eyes. "Yes Zephy, Long Live the Syndicate.........."

Proceed to Chapter 1
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