"Inficio wake up," a woman's voice shouted from behind a closed oaken door. "You will be late for the Selecting."Inficio's eyes shot open revealing the crimson eyes that had always marked him as different. He looked around his room, if you could call the cluttered closet he lived in a room. Inficio preferred the closet though; it meant that he was not being tortured by the other orphan's, if not for his crimson eyes, then for his tiny stature, or his lack of powers. "Inficio!" the voice shouted once more.
"I'm up," Inficio replied. "Old hag, always riding me, forcing me to do things that I don't want to do," the small Elvin boy thought to himself. Still he was grateful for providing him with a home, even if she preferred all of the other children, a fact that she would often point out. "The Selecting," Inficio smiled to himself, he could finally get out of this forsaken house, and do something meaningful. Of course no one else believed he had any chance of becoming anything more than a farmer. The elf smiled as he got dressed, looking back at his room for the last time.
"What are you so happy about, you are going to be nothing more than a farmer," touted one of the other orphans. But nothing could damper Inficio's mode, he was finally going to get out.
As Inficio neared the site of the Selection he could see hundreds of elves gathered around a large platform. The Elf standing on the top would call out someone's name, they would proceed to stand on the platform, and it would glow one of several colors. Red meant the elf was destined for warfare, blue meant the elf was going to be attending the magic school, yellow meant that he would become a scout, and white, well white just meant the elf was destined for a life of peasantry, something no one wanted. The roll went on, and the elves were sorted into their categories. With the Elvin Magi shouting out names, and the platform glowing.
"Inficio Malum," the Elvin Magi shouted. Inficio began to walk forward nervously, hoping that the platform would become blue, allowing him to fulfill his dream of becoming a royal mage. Inficio stepped on the platform, and waited.
"Look, its white, ha, just like we all said, a farmer!" the boy from the orphanage cackled. Inficio looked down, to see that the platform glowing bright white. He frowned, and began to walk off of the platform, when the Magi shouted,
"Wait, do not move." Inficio stood confused, as looks of confusion began to show on the faces of all of those present. He looked down to see the platform rapidly shifting colors, from white, to red, to yellow, to blue. The platform began switching faster and faster, until some colors began to disappear. First white, then red, and finally yellow. Inficio smiled, blue, he would be able to become a mage. But it appeared the platform was not done. The blue glow became stronger, or perhaps it itself was not getting stronger, but the light in the outside world was being drawn to Inficio. Then suddenly it ended, and the platform became blacker then shadows themselves. "The College of Magic it is then," the Elvin Magi said, the look of confusion still rampant on his face.
Dreams of Grandeur
The next day Inficio moved into the college, and began his training right away, at first he was the favorite of all of the teacher's, he was their little mystery. But it quickly became much the same, Inficio's power's were the weakest in the class, sometimes he could hardly manage to cast a simple light spell.
Inficio sat in his room, meditating on what he had learned. Calming himself, and trying to find the center that he had been learning about. He knew that something was wrong. No matter what he did he couldn't tap into the powers that he felt inside of him. Inficio closed his mind, and drifted deeper into his meditation.
His eyes to snap open revealing striking amber colored eyes, as his legs begin moving him towards the woman's voice that called his name. He wants to stop moving, but some unknown force compels him to press on. His stomach knots in fear, his palms moistening. For several minutes all Inficio can see is the ground five feet in front of him, and the looming darkness ahead. The soft pitter patter of his footsteps echoing throughout the otherwise quiet hallway.
Finally a door appears before him, its oaken face covered in strange runes. Their soft blue glow providing just enough light for the young boy to make out a brass door knob. He pauses, running his hands through his ear length blonde hair. He stands motionless, unable to bring himself to open the door and find out what is on the other side.
"Open it!" says the same penetrating voice he heard earlier before.
His hands reach forward. Ever so slowly getting closer to the doorknob. The ice cold brass freezes his hand as soon as he touches it. He shivers, staring blankly ahead. He wants to open the door, but he can't.
"Go ahead, it is yo..." echoes the strange voice before it is cutoff by a loud crash, followed by a continuous rumble.
Inficio's hand flies off the door as he turns to find what made the new noise. Squinting his eyes and slowly moving towards the noise, his body shivering with fear. Minutes go by, his feet propelling him forward with a mind of their own, with each step the rumble gets louder until it becomes deafening. His ears clamp over his head trying to block out the noise. Then there is a sudden lurch. His hands frantically reach out for anything, something to grab onto, but the entire floor exploded beneath him.
He's falling. The air whizzing by as he gains speed. Pieces of mahogany from the floor floating beside him. Seconds go by, then minutes. He falls for what seems like hours, his cries for help always unanswered.
A great light bursts into being.
And then he is still, lying face up on a circular platform, its marble floors supporting his back. Inficio lies there, breathing deeply, his eyes closed, trying to calm himself down after that fall. "That should've killed me, how am I not dead? What is going on here?" All these questions race through Inficio's head as he lies on the ground.
"Inficio," says the strange female voice he heard on the hallway. Inficio shoots up to his feet, his amber eyes trying to locate the voice.
"Who are you? What do you want with me?" He shouts towards the darkness. "Show yourself."
"Show myself? But Inficio, you already know me" says the voice. "I am Destiny." As Inficio turns he finds himself face to face with a woman in her late thirties. Her dark skin emitting a faint blue glow. Her hair the color of midnight, her eyes the color of water from the darkest depths of the ocean. Everything about her is dark, except for the glow.
"My silly boy, do not try and tell me that you never thought that you were different from all the others. Special in some way. You are going to accomplish many things," says Destiny as she circles around him, inspecting him. "Ah, yes, you will forever change this world you live in."
"What are you talking about? I am not a heroic person, destined for great things," Inficio retorts. "I am not strong, I get bullied and beaten. I am not fast, I don't even know how to use a sword."
Destiny studies Inficio for a moment. "Heroic? I don't recall saying you would be a hero. And strength and agility are not the only good traits."
"You understand perfectly well. Deep down you have always understood, you have always known. You are going to destroy the world as you know it," she says as a smile appears on her face.
"No, I refuse," Inficio responds, his hands clenched in defiance.
"Refuse? Refuse, by the gods, did you actually think you had a say in what you would do? This is your destiny my child."
"I will…I would never…I could never do that."
"One day you will come to except it. Today is not that day. It was all written long ago as all things were. It is a forgotten prophecy now, but at the time the prophecy was quite important."
"No! This is just a dream, that is all," shouts back Inficio.
"Yes it is," Destiny responds. "But where is it written that dreams cannot be truth? One day, you will accept this. For now, you must wake."
"No! I am not going to, I couldn't, I, I, why me?"
"Wake, but remember this dream. For even this dream will shape your actions and guide you along the path that was long foreseen for you."
As the vision of Destiny fades away, so to it fades the light that illuminated the platform, leaving Inficio stranded into total darkness.
Inficio woke in a cold sweat on the floor. His head pounding, he felt different.
"What," Inficio mumbled, "the hell just happened? What power? And how do I use it?" Inficio raised his hand and stared at it. "Peromia!"He shouted the incantation for light, but nothing happened. Inficio let out a groan of frustration. And then out of nowhere he had an idea. Inficio began to search his mind, looking for the power that he knew to be there. When his mind brushed it, Inficio knew he had found what he was looking for, orgasmic was the only word he could use to describe it. The power felt right.
Inficio awoke the next morning and went to class, eager to show his teacher the power he had uncovered. Yet try as he might he still could not do any simple incantations. "Inficio," his teacher said, "I think it is time we talked about putting you in another college." The words struck Inficio like a hammer. Disappointment quickly filled the young elf's face, and just as quickly changed to anger.
"Move me to another college? But I have power, more then you could ever dream of." Inficio raised his hand a bolt of pure darkness launched forward and struck the teacher in the chest, launching him back. The teacher tried to catch his breath as his student walked forward. "It would seem I've figured out how to control my powers," Inficio said.
"You bastard! How dare you strike out at me!" The teacher raised his hand launching a bolt of fire at the Crimson eyed elf.
"Don't do that again," Inficio laughed as shadow's engulfed the flame. "I wonder, could I?" A twisted smile slowly spread over the young elf's face as he reached out with his mind. He quickly found his power, and then found what he was looking for. "Ah it seems I was right, I can see your power."
"What? What are you talking" the teacher's words trailed off as a sudden burst of weakness hit him. "What are you doing?"
"Simple, I am taking your powers," Inficio said, his twisted smile growing bigger.
"Stop, please, don't do," the teacher attempted to plea, but was silenced by the hand of death before he could finish his words.
"Woops," Inficio said, "looks like I won't be attending this class again.
A Special Tribunal
"Inficio Malum, you have been charged with the murder and power draining of 7 of your fellow students, and one of your professors. How do you plead?" asked a well dressed elf.
Inficio smiled and stared at the seven men who would be judging his case. Each of them in matching gray robes, that flowed to the ground. All of them wise beyond their years, all of them powerful. They were the Elder council, judges that tried only the most heinous of crimes. Inficio was honored that they considered him worthy of such a special tribunal. "That would be incorrect. It was actually eight students, two professors, five members of the scout college, an equal amount of their professors, and" Inficio paused, taking note of the shocked looks on the audiences faces, "seven elders." With the last words almost everyone in the audience let out a gasp of shock.
"You insolent fool, you dare threaten us? We who control whether you live or die?" Inficio laughed at their last words, they had no idea how powerful he had become over the last few months.
"Threaten? No, words are for the weak, I act." With that Inficio spun to face the crowd, throwing a blast of shadow into them, launching them back. Inficio snapped his fingers and tendrils of shadow leapt from the ground, entangling the audience and holding them in their places. Turning back to the Elder's and saying "Your turn," Inficio raised his arms as tendrils of shadow crept forward towards the Elder's draining their powers. "Your power's…they feel…wonderful." As the last of the Elder's died, Inficio turned to leave. "You," he said to the old man standing in the door. "I have no quarrel with you, get out of my way, or die."
"Foolish boy, you have much to learn." The old man took his hood off, revealing his face.
The two men stood, starring at one another, each waiting for the other to make the first move. Finally Inficio raised his hand and launched a bolt of shadow towards the wizard. With a flick of his hand Hawk deflected the shadow ball, and sent a bolt of pure energy knocking Inficio back. The crimson eyed Elf wiped the blood from his mouth. "So it would appear that there are still something's left in the world that presents a challenge." Inficio grabbed at the air pulling shadows from nowhere and launched them towards the wizard. Tendrils of shadows exploded from the ground, grasping Hawks legs. Inficio smiled, "Time to die Hawk." Inficio snapped his finger's turning the still trapped elves into pure shadows, and launching them at the wizard. "So much for being the most powerful being in the world." Inficio turned and walked to the door.
"You still have much to learn." Inficio spun on his heels at the sound of Hawk's voice only to see a bolt of flames shooting towards him. The bolt contacted stomach launching the young elf through the door. "Inficio Malum, for crimes against the people of the Void Woods, your own people, I sentence you to exile in the Northern Wastelands." Hawk raised his hand and a bright light appeared over Inficio. The light disappeared seconds later, leaving only Hawk in the village.
Loopholes in Magic
Inficio stood in the frigid tundra known as the Northern Wastelands. He had been exiled in that wasteland for 10 years, unable to leave, forced to stay, at least until today. It had taken ten years, but Inficio found a way to undo the magic Hawk had placed on him, or at least a loophole. Inficio looked down at the dagger he held in his hands, it was woven of shadows themselves. He smiled, he knew what he was about to do was going to be immensely painful. Even he was reluctant to try it at first, but ten years brooding in a bitter tundra can work wonders.
Inficio raised the dagger and plunged it straight into his heart. He could feel it, not the pain, his magic shielded him from the pain. He could feel his soul escaping, his mind freeing itself from his body. And then his body died. His soul rushed to escape, but he grasped it engulfing it in the shadows, and wrenched it back into his body. He had to work quickly. Stitching a soul and mind to things were difficult, but he had been practicing on a village of humans not far from the border of the Northern Wastelands.
Inficio smiled to himself, it was done. He could feel his consciousness expanding, his power flowing through every part of the shell he was now inhabiting. Inficio looked down at his body, the deep gash where his heart used to be, the burn from the bolt of flames that Hawk had struck him with, they no longer mattered. He couldn't die, he was a lich, or at least in a matter of speaking. Normal liches graft their soul to a phylactery, he had grafted his soul to his mind, and his mind to his soul, allowing him to move freely without a body, and making him invulnerable.
Inficio looked at the border that had long kept him in this frigid wasteland. He took a step across it, and for the first time in ten years, magic did not launch him back. Inficio smiled. The world would be his.