Chapter 1: A Curious Beginning

"Visions, visions of war, battles, bloodshed, many things I see, so many things. A girl? Princess of Ryera? I am confused, all these visions. The wraith of an ancient evil? I don't understand…why am I asleep in the first place? Why am I in my subconscious self? WAKE UP!" And the dream ended as abruptly as it had started, the dreamer was thrust back into reality by another voice. "Wake up, Sceon!"

"What?...what?! What are you yelling for, Crysta? Sheesh!" Sceon sat up and looked at the pixie companion he had been traveling with. Her voice pierced the visions he was having, then he had a realization and posed a question to the pixie, who was now floating a foot away from his face. "Why was I asleep?"

"What? You dum-dum, you have been asleep for the past two days! Can't you remember anything before now?" Crysta looked at her friend up and down. Sceon stood about six feet and one inch tall, was relatively built, and athletic looking. He had very piercing, ocean-blue eyes, and dark, short hair. He also had one feature that set him aside from many others, a pair of angel wings on his back that sprouted from between the shoulder blades and spanned several feet. Though, he was only half-angel, as his angel mother had a relationship with a human. Being half-angel had a number of effects on his genome, almost like it took the best traits from each creature and they showed up in him, physically.

"Well, I remember going through a strange portal, and we were chasing after…" Sceon got cut off by Crysta who found it necessary to finish the story to make sure he got it right.

"A deer, because you were hungry for some venison!" She huffed a little, irritated at some of Sceon's instincts.

"Haha, well, I am still kind of hungry, since we never did catch that deer." Sceon got to his feet and folded his wings back thoughtfully, rubbing his growling stomach with his right hand. And what a strange deer it was, he thought to himself.

"That's not the point I am trying to make, the point is I have done some looking around and that portal was actually an ancient waypoint to another world!" Crysta nodded, she had read all the inscriptions in the area as they flew through the woods after the abnormally fast deer.

"So what? We can just go back the way we came in." Sceon shrugged, still kind of groggy from the sleep.

"How?" Crysta asked, already knowing the answer.

"Well, the waypoint on this side is…" Sceon looked around for a minute, then after a nother minute of thinking he swept his hands out to his sides and yelled in irritation, "there is no way back!"

"Exactly, the portal we went through was a one-shot deal. There is no way back, at least, as far as we know to this point, because the portal was so unstable it collapsed after we passed through it. You got knocked unconscious by stray energy on the way out of the warp, which is why you were asleep."

"Okay, so let me sum this up. We chased a…really fast deer through a portal to a land far ancient in comparison to our own, a land that is not even our own." Sceon said, sighing slightly.

"Right."

"Okay, so what do we do now, my little blue friend?" Sceon questioned. His descriptive remark of Crysta didn't do her near the justice she deserved. She was about a foot tall, wore blue clothes and had wings that flourished like that of a butterfly. Her beauty was captivating to all who beheld it, but she was a tad too small for many of those captivated. She possessed an attitude as icy as her low level magics. Without a doubt, Crysta had the deepest, darkest sarcasm Sceon had ever heard from anyone, and when she didn't like someone she wasn't afraid to let them know.

"Well, I flew around the area, like I said, not leaving you alone for too long so you didn't get eaten in your…state." Crysta replied, noticing Sceon was looking at her as she had looked at him a moment ago.

"And what did you see?"

"The forest we are in is near an ocean, a very large ocean. The forest empties into a rather large town, and extending out of that town toward the ocean is a long bridge, at the end of which I don't know what." The pixie shrugged."

"Okay, that sounds like enough information at least to start us off. We should probably get to the town and," Sceon looked in his pack real quick then back at her, "re-supply."

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Heh, I knew you were good for something." There was that sarcasm in her voice, Sceon sighed and shook his head.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Crysta." He carried his pack in his left hand and spread his wings out, stretching. She flew over to his shoulder and sat down on it, folding her legs.

"Well, let's get going, shall we?" She said, not really in the mood to fly right now. The two of them (or rather just Sceon) started walking through the forest paths. Sceon looked up in the trees and at the different flora all around them.

"Wow, some of the plants are really different from our world, and I am seeing a few animals that are different too." He said.

"What do you expect? It is a different world!" Crysta said, slightly irritated.

"You don't have to give me an attitude, I was just making an observation."

"Whatever, just keep walking!" Crysta barked the order with continued irritation, and Sceon obeyed, not wanting to make her anymore sour. They continued through the forest and came out of it in a matter of minutes into open sunlight. It was only morning on this new world and mist was rising off of the grasslands between the forest and the town that Crysta had described. Sceon looked at it and thought for a minute. Crysta picked up on the change of his facial expression and questioned him. "What are you thinking about?"

"Just about our home world and what we left behind." Sceon replied.

"What kind of things did we leave behind?"

"Well, first and foremost, I left behind a world that had someone prejudiced me for being half-angel and half-human, because they thought that purebred was obviously better." Sceon sneered a little at the bigotry of the people he had left behind.

"Well, you did meet some good individuals."

"Yeah, they were few and far between though, probably the only one to stick with me thus far is you, Crysta." Sceon sighed.

"Well, that's because I think you are a very fascinating person, despite some of the things I say that might contradict such." The pixie shrugged. "What else did you leave behind on Gaius." Gaius being the name of the world that they had traveled from into the portal to this new, strange world.

"Psh, really, I don't care at the moment, since I can't think of too many good memories I had on that place." Sceon thought again. "What I wonder is…how do people on this world view angels, if they have even heard of them at all? Or rather, if they know about angels, how they view halfbreeds like me."

"Don't worry about it, Sceon, I am sure that everything will work out." The pixie nodded and Sceon felt it even though he wasn't looking at her. The two of them kept on walking and soon passed under the archway at the entrance to town, which connected to a wall that completely surrounded the place. Sceon wondered why the town was walled and if there was a problem. As if in response to the thought two guards turned the corner of the wall and stopped in front of Sceon and Crysta, their spears were in a casual position now, but they could very well be in a fighting stance soon.

"Halt! I don't think I have seen you around here before. What is your name and…what are you?" The first of the guards said, looking the youth in front of him, who couldn't be that much older than 18. He examined the clothes, which were dark blue, the eyes to match, and most peculiar of all, the wings.

"Hey, easy, we are new to this region and we were just coming to re-supply in this town, and maybe rest for a while, we have been traveling a bit. My name is Sceon, and this is my friend Crysta." Sceon nodded to the pixie surrounded by a blue aura on his shoulder.

"Okay, I know that is a pixie, but what are you?" The guard thought to himself for a minute. I have seen pixies on numerous occasions, they find people to travel with and are said to be good companions, but that still doesn't explain what he is.

"Wait," said the other guard, holding up a hand to the first who looked a little apprehensive. "I think this one is of angelic descent." Sceon smiled at the remark, noticing that the guard was smart enough to tell him to not be a full angel, but obviously respected that he was at least part an angel.

"You mean this guy is an angel?" The first guard looked incredulously at his colleague, tapping the butt of his spear on the ground a little in surprise.

"Actually, I am just a half-angel," Sceon shrugged, "and half-human too. You folks don't think badly of that do you?"

"Psh! Yeah right, Mr. Sceon, we try to treat everyone equally around here, except for…that man." Sceon took a mental note of the way the guard said the last two words and nodded gratefully.

"Yeah! We haven't honestly seen any angels here in Ryera, let alone, heh, the whole world of Vernai in a long time. Even the people who travel the world and just pass through our town tell us they haven't seen a trace of any angels in that long!" The second guard laughed a little bit. "If I didn't know any better, I would think a lot of the townspeople would like you, and if you are really lucky, you might get some sort of attention from the royalty themselves!"

"I see. Um, well, gentlemen, could you direct me to a place where my friend and I can re-supply, and maybe even a place we can board up in for the night?" Sceon asked, his thoughts wondering a little bit. Names, Ryera, wait, the princess of Ryera...attention from the royalty of this kingdom, Ryera? I wonder if the princess in my dream and a member of the royal family here are the same person. Interesting.

"Sure buddy!" The first guard exclaimed and pointed down a long road. "On the left, you should come across a store called 'Ryera's Finest' heh, (a funny name if you ask me) there you can get various food items, potions, all kinds of things! Then, on the right side of the main street of Ryera you can find an inn called 'The Good Knight' (they played on words there I think), where you can get room and board for the night. I hear the bed is good and the company can be pretty good too, if you are over the proper age of course." The guard winked and grinned half-wickedly. Sceon didn't doubt that this man has had some good times at 'The Good Knight' before.

"Oh, and one more thing, before you go…" The second guard held up his hand as Sceon started to walk, stopping him for a minute. He pulled a scroll out of his leather overcoat and handed it to Sceon. "Here is a map of our city, and if you flip it over, a somewhat detailed map of what you can find on this continent. Enjoy your stay in Ryera!" He called after Sceon and Crysta simultaneously with the first guard.

"Well, at least the guards are friendly. I am glad we found a nice town to stay in for once." Sceon laughed and looked at Crysta who was smiling also.

"Me too, Sceon." Crysta replied. Her smile, however hid thoughts that she didn't want to share with Sceon. That man…I don't like the way those guards said that, almost as if there is something far more sinister at work on the outside of this town, why else would they have it walled so? I better keep my eyes open and watch Sceon's and my back.