A pale figure shrouded in black strolled through the forest, the figure was tall and lean, his face was greyish white, like someone had smudged charcoal on it, his ears were pointed like an elf's and he wore a long black gown which floated and hovered like it was caught in the wind, only slower. His eyes were light sea-green, the whites of his eyes were as dark as night, they moved from side to side observing the figures surroundings, despite the ominous feeling that lingered, strong enough to frighten battle worn heroes, the figure seemed unperturbed, as if it had not a care in the world.

Yellow eyes glared at him from the undergrowth, eyes filled with impalpable hatred and malice, following as he strolled calmly down the corpse littered road. Strange voices hissed, cutting through the silence and yet still the man ambled down the undefined path, stepping on corpses with his bare feet, some fresh and nauseating, others so decrepit they disintegrated the moment the man's feet touched them.

"You're not welcome here, Elf." A cold voice hissed, the voice was silent yet reached the elf without being spoken, almost like a stray thought, but with a certain feel to it that made it clear it was not of the elf's thoughts.

The elf paused, but his robes continued to flow like they were submerged in water, his expression did not change though it remained as dispassionate as before.

"Show yourself wretch." The elf replied in an unflappable tone, neither anger nor afraid.

A puddle of darkness appeared on the floor, two large hairy arms rose out the blackness heaving the creature out of the portal, which evaporated behind it. The creature was hideous; its arms were muscular and covered in black fur a tattoo of an eye with thee smaller triangles above it, like rays was burnt onto its large right arm, two small arms twitched and flailed around wildly under the first pair. It had two sets of lipless jaws, the larger set with thick white teeth snapped up and down like a normal jaw but a second razor sharp set at the sides snapped shut like pincers, only closer to the main set of jaws.

"How dare you walk into my master's domain wretched elf?" The creature hissed, purple spittle flying from its lipless mouth, hissing when it hit the floor. When the elf failed to reply the creatures slit-like nostrils flares. "Answer the question grave stalker!"

"That is none of your concern," the elf replied.

The beast's single sideways yellow eye narrowed, it hissed repeatedly in frenzy, spittle leaping from his mouth like a shower. "Insolent elf, I will rip your eyes from their sockets!"

The creature charged at the elf, its clawed three fingered arms extended towards the elf, jaws wide open. There was a flash of silver and squirt of crimson and the beast lay at the elf's feet. The elf gripped a slender, long blade streaked with red blood at his side

"Do not presume to challenge Lord Autar, fiend," the elf said, this time with actual words, "for I have slain many a Dark Imp greater than thou."

"W-what do you want?" The Dark Imp wheezed, coughing out blood.

"That is not any of your concern, whelp." Lord Autar repeated again in mystic speech. "If you wish to live, join my cause and I will inform you of what I desire."

"Never," the Dark Imp growled. "I'd never follow an Elf!"

Lord Autar smiled coldly; a cruel glint gleamed in his eyes. "Ah, but I am no mere elf, for I too have fallen, curtsy of the Shadow King."

The Imp's eyes narrowed, "the Shadow King is dead! Jielith killed him long ago!"

"No," Lord Autar said, shaking his head. "Jielith was fooled, the Shadow King escaped and was lost in the Labyrinth, but I will carry on his will, I will rid this world of wretched elves and men! Will you not join me? Or," Lord Autar sneered, "Would you rather remain here and be killed by Light Elves?"

The Imp laughed, a sound resembling a cat choking on a hairball, much to Lord Autar surprise. "I serve no Elf, Dark or Light! As for the Shadow King, he is dead you fool, he died in the Battle of Gundumnz. He was struck down by Jielith, the seven demons lords are locked away and the Imp Emperor murdered by Tamenth the Elf-Queen! Who are you to order the creatures of Shadow when those far greater than you dare not?" The Imp jeered, the single oval shaped eye at the top of his forehead was filled with tears of mirth.

Lord Autar's expression morphed into a bestial expression, a look filled with so much malice that Death himself would flee before it. A flash of silver cut through the night, the blade heading straight for the Imp's neck.

Albert Iqvan woke with a start; he could've sworn the Elf's silver blade was a second away from slitting his throat.

Albert shook his head, breathing heavily. "No more horror novels before going to bed from now on!" He muttered, wiping sweat from his brow. What a weird dream, He thought, that pale Elf frightened him, more so than the Imp. The look or primordial rage upon Lord Autar's name sent chills down his spine, Albert often had such vivid dreams but none as chilling as this one, not even the one with the dragon.

Albert glanced at his alarm clock, his mouth dropped open it read 7:00 a.m. "Shit, I'm late!" He cried leaping out of bed (or more correctly, falling out of bed) and rushing to change into his school uniform, A pale red shirt and unadorned black trousers, on his left breast the words Arizona High School was sewn in gold. Albert slung his backpack over his shoulder and rushed downstairs nearly falling in the process, only to find his father, Dr. Iqvan, calmly sipping tea while reading the paper. Dr. Iqvan was a brown skinned man like his son, with neatly combed hair and a short beard, extremely strict piercing blue eyes and a no-nonsense attitude he was not someone Albert would like to cross.

"Son, why are you up?" Dr. Iqvan asked.

Albert paused, confused. "Uh, um- well it's a school day and-"

Dr. Iqvan raised an eyebrow in mock surprise, looking at his son over the rim of his round glasses. "Oh, is that so? Because that's hard to tell, judging by the time you've slept one would think you were on summer vacation!"

Albert gulped, "no dad."

His father sighed, pulling off his glasses and rubbing his forehead like he had a head ache before scowling at his son. "Albert, you're in 9th grade now, your studies are becoming serious and you can't even wake up for school on time! How do you expect to pass the grade?"

Albert stared determinedly at the floor, to ashamed to answer. "Sorry dad."

"Sorry doesn't get you to school on time, sorry doesn't improve your grades and sorry doesn't help you in life!" Dr. Iqvan said, never raising his voice, yet his words were like a slap in the face. As much as Albert hated to admit it he found his dad a bit frightening. Not because he hit him or yelled at him but because of the look in Dr. Iqvan's eyes like he witnessed and done things he wish he didn't, Albert had once asked him whether he'd ever been in war, to which his father curtly replied "yes" and refused to elaborate.

Dr. Iqvan sighed, putting his glasses back on and pointing at the door. "Go," he said simply.

"Uh, what?" Albert asked, scratching the back of his neck, an old habit he did whenever he was nervous.

scowled, "go! To school, you're late!"

"Uh, yeah, right sorry dad!" Albert stammered rushing out the door, closing it behind him and racing towards the school. He heard his dad say something about "kids these days" right before he left but decided not pry.

High School, the single stupidest idea ever conceived, you've got a bunch of teens of varying ages all trapped together for several hours and you expect them not to get into a fight at least once?Albert thought, adding bitterly; though I wouldn't have the guts to fight even if some jerk decked me so it doesn't really matter.

"Mr. Iqvan, nice of you to join us," said loudly, causing several kids to snicker, Albert wisely kept his mouth shut and headed to his desk to sit down. "Ah, no Mr. Iqvan" drawled his pale lips curling into a sneer worthy of his rat-like face. "You see when you come in late you must get a …?" He trailed off clearly wanting Albert to finish the statement.

Gritting his teeth and silently cursing Albert muttered, "Late pass."

Mr. Ropp's pale face morphed into a wide eyed, slightly psychotic smile, making him look like a white hairless rat. "Then go to the office and get a late pass." He said slowly as if Albert was some sort of moron.

Albert slung his bag over his shoulder and headed to the office to get a late pass, muttering and cursing Mr. Ropp on the way.

"Stupid old man," Albert growled, "I wasn't that late, but of course the old dog had to make big deal about it, didn't he?" Albert hated walking down the hallway, the yellow walls of the school were covered with posters with corny slogans on them like; "We aim for the sky, here at Arizona High!" or "I want YOU to put a stop to bullying!" and so on.

Suddenly, Albert felt as if all the air had been knocked out of his lungs, he collapsed on the floor gasping futilely; the room grew steadily darker until nothing could be seen, darkness consumed Albert and with fear, a fear greater than that of death itself.

"You're mine boy!" That was the last thing Albert heard before he lost consciousness.

"Are you sure this is the place?" Lord Autar asked, observing the ruins of a long forgotten castle. "I cannot sense his Magick here."

"Yes lord, I is sure!" A red humanoid figure said his body was thin, wiry and covered with red scales from his head to the end of his whip-like tail; his ankles were higher up than a normal human giving a pigeon-like gait. Two long horns grew out of his forehead turning at the top so that the edges face forward, large bat-like wings sprouted from the creatures back, each wing was about Lord Autar's height. The creature grinned at Lord Autar, his eerie green eyes boring into the Elf's, but Lord Autar didn't back down.

"Then where is it?" Lord Autar asked, gesturing to the ruins, "If it is still alive why hasn't it come forth to face us? We are, after all, trespassing on its territory."

"It slumbers," the Imp said smiling; its bloodshot eyes were glued ahead hungrily at the large gate which was cracked metal bars bent inwards as if something tore past it, something incredibly large; the hole was large enough for school bus to squeeze through. "Koulun is sealed here, bound in the dark caverns of its master, a final insult." The Imp said cheerfully. "He longs to serve Malus Erus, but there's no guarantee he will follow you, though it's likely he will enjoy Shadow Elf for dinner!"

Lord Autar clenched his sword, "Silence whelp, I did not come to free the beast I came to see it." He spat angrily.

"I'd advise you not to do that my lord," the Imp said chuckling, "greater warriors failed trying to do this."

Lord Autar slowly pulled his sword out of its sheath the curved hilt-less blade gleamed in the sunlight. "Choose your words carefully; you would not be the first savage I've slain!"

The Imp rolled his eyes, "my dear elf, you seem to have a fetish for murdering people left and right for little to no reason, I wonder, why that is?"

Lord Autar put the tip of his blade under the imps chin, "Show me whelp!"

The Imp paled, staring the blade as if shocked to see it seconds from slitting his throat. "Where did you get this blade?"

"That is none of your concern-"

"Oh, really?" The Imp said narrowing his eyes, his right hand began to glow with green aura; he pointed his hand at Lord Autar. "Restringo!"

There was a small yet noticeable flash of light and then several white cords flew out of the Imps hand and wrapped around Lord Autar before he could react. "H-how?" Lord Autar said hoarsely in English. "You were powerless moments ago!"

The Imp laughed, gazing gleefully at its arms, its body was considerably bulkier than before and its voice had become deep and malicious. "Lord Koulun gives me strength, shadow-freak!" The Imp jeered, "And now I will have my revenge! You miserable creatures enslaved my kind and now I will rip you to shreds! The Shadow Elves will burn and Lord Koulun will rise again!"

Lord Autar smiled coldly "that's all I needed to hear." His body dissolved into black vapor and the cords fell to the floor.

The Imp stepped back, snarling "so the little elf thinks magic will save him does he? Humph, hide all you want wretch but you shall not-"

A bolt of light struck the Imp from the back causing it to send flying onto the ground and crumple to dust. The shadows joint together until they formed the outline of a humanoid, Lord Autar sneered at the ruins; "if you want to kill me Koulun you'll have to do better than that." He raised his pale wand in the air and swung it like a sword, there was a flash of green like and Lord Autar was gone.