Part One

Prologue

"General!" A young troop clad in light armor ran with his sword in front of him in an attempt to ward off any enemy who stood in his way.

"What is it?" The young troop panted and slowed down to a halt before a tall, muscular man with an elaborately decorated blade. The roar of battle surrounded the two men. Overlooking the battle was a large mountain that cast a shadow on the field. They had to make this discussion short- and keep their guards up. They were behind their own lines, but there was no telling if any of their enemies would manage to break through.

"There have been reports of-" The soldier's sides were heaving as he fought for breath. He had run from the other side of the battle field to deliver this message.

"Well? Spit it out!" The General grew impatient.

"Strange creatures, sir!" He stabbed his sword into the ground to help support his weight. Anyone could see he was fighting to keep standing. "Creatures of all shapes, sizes-" Another deep breath. Sweat dripped down his chin from under his helmet. "All of them- dark in color- yellow eyes."

"Nonsense!" The General muttered angrily. "No such creatures exist in this world."

"But sir-" The troop's two brown eyes bravely met those of his superiors. "I've seen them myself- they're coming from behind the enemy's line!" The General looked up past the battlefield. As preposterous as it sounded- if it where true, then it could spill disaster for their cause. "They are killing without discretion- both our and their forces are being diminished rapidly. At this rate, those… things- they will be the victors of this battle."

"How long ago where these things sighted?" The General took off his silver helmet so that he could get a better view of the situation. The field was bloodied with the bodies of not only his men- but those of their opponent.

"An hour ago, Sir- maybe two." He pulled out a feather that he had been keeping in his glove. "This came from one of them." It was dark and twisted- not like any feather either of the men had ever seen. It's black bristles were tipped with only the slightest hint of silver as they curved into a rather malicious looking point. At first glance, one would think the feather had the capability to slice not only the air- but flesh and bone as well.

"Can you lead me to them?"

The soldier looked up in shock. "Sir. I don't think-"

"Do it." The General commanded. His bloodstained sword began to glow and slowly changed shape into a more cylindrical shape tipped with a strange sphere at the top. The sphere was a airy blue and glowed with a magical power.

"As you command, sir!" The troop picked up his sword and gathered the strength to head back into the midst of the fray. Somehow, he knew that he would not be escaping this place alive.

The two pushed their way through the disaster. Left and right lay dead and dying soldiers, horses, and other unfortunate beings that had been brought into the war. Those who were still standing had all but paused to stare at a growing black cloud that was heading their way.

"What in heaven's name-" The General looked up in shock. Their opponents had been brutally crushed and defeated- but not by his own troops. Another black wave of creatures was seen on the ground finishing off whatever remained on the ground. By both and air these creatures struck. It would only be a few minutes before they reached the far side of the field where the remainder of his force lay wounded and vulnerable. "Tell everyone to run!"

"Sir, what about you?"

"That's an order!" He clenched his staff tightly with one hand and raised it high into the air. The soldier nodded and turned to go. He would not survive to deliver the order.

The General looked at the incoming wave of darkly colored creatures and slammed his staff into the ground. A powerful burst of wind thrust itself forward at the creatures, sending many of the flying ones to the ground and slowing down any on the earth. He pushed the wind forward until he could feel his hands shaking around his staff. His strength was quickly draining- but all he had to do was buy time. He must hold this army back.

The chilling shrieks of the advancing cloud sent a shiver up the General's spine. They were angry and thirsty for blood. His attempts to slow them down was working at least. The beasts struggled against the constant onslaught of the powerful gale that pushed them back. The General in his growing exhaustion, collapsed to his knees but held firmly onto his staff.

As if things could not get any worse, the earth began to shake violently. "An earthquake?" He looked up at the mountain. "No…" If only it were just that. Plumes of smoke billowed up from the top of the mountain. The shrieking of the army grew even more shrill than before as if they welcomed the coming eruption. "Damn it!" Why was this all happening?

A brave roar echoed above the General as a shadow crossed the landscape. With a start the man looked up in fear. "No!" The roar echoed again. "Bahari!" The mountain exploded, sending thousands of rocky chunks raining down upon the field. The General lost his focus and the powerful gale faded almost instantly. He gasped for breath and tried once again to summon the wind to drive back the army but found that he lacked the strength to do so again. "Bahari!" He cried out again.

A layer of smoke and ash began to descend upon the battlefield when at last the rocks stopped hailing down from above. The vile army of creatures no longer had anything to slow them down and were now rushing in his direction. This was the end for him and all that followed him into battle. In his last moments, he looked up to see a painfully familiar shape rush forward at the incoming tide of darkness. "Why?" He collapsed onto the ground. "They're… supposed to be extinct."