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AlMarna: Realm of Ereda

AlMarna: Realm of Ereda

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Published by Raymond N Murray
Beneath the peaceful kingdom of Almarna an ancient evil awaits. Expelled from heaven and bound to a fiery pit. The great Dragon known as The Fallen One awaits resurrection. Now someone will seek it and sacrifice all, including their soul to free it. Who is this person, and can they be stopped in time?
Beneath the peaceful kingdom of Almarna an ancient evil awaits. Expelled from heaven and bound to a fiery pit. The great Dragon known as The Fallen One awaits resurrection. Now someone will seek it and sacrifice all, including their soul to free it. Who is this person, and can they be stopped in time?

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Published by: Raymond N Murray on Apr 20, 2013
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06/18/2013

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Prologue No Rest for the WickedBrilliant fiery flames illuminate the darkness. Their sporadic glints cast reddish orangehues upon the black pumice laded walls. Rivers of magma carve wide trenches through marredscorched ground. Meditating in its darkness a figure sat waiting. Planning and calculating, theyears only served his plan. Patience was a virtue he learned to appreciate. Chains divine inessence, shackled his arms, and feet to the earth beneath him. Multitudes black disembodiedspecters, allies of times past, floated and swirled around him. Their wispy ethereal voices cried
out for vengeance and freedom. “Free us Zaheil,” they moaned. “Make them suffer brother.”
 
“Patience, we will have our time,” said Zaheil.
 They all were once divine beings of beauty and grace. Until The Father stripped them of their heavenly grace and the Arch-Dragons banished them to their infernal home. His silver skinhad long since lost its luster, only a pale gray husk remained. Brimstone seared away his long pure white locks. Six black leathery wings remained they served as a reminder of his former glory. The upper two wings lay furled against his back. His lower four wings wrapped around his body forming black plated armor. On his chest plate resided two serpent heads. They embodiedthe essence of his once divine dragon. Before his fall his immense silver six headed dragonreigned above all others. Second only to The Father. After the Great Divide that pitted brother against brother only three heads remained. The other three were felled by the sword of the Arch-Dragon Michael
, yet his dragon endured. For eons after his fall he mourned the loss of Heaven’s
visage. Zaheil held tight to that pain, for it was weapon and his motivation .All will know how hesuffered, and those responsible for the crimes against him would be handled accordingly. Zaheilcontinued to mediate, he sat crossed legged his palms resting in his lap. Though his grace wasgone, he was remained innately divine. He knew that most of his soldiers fell with him, but a fewmanaged to escape, and through them his will was done. Devotion was the reason he was there,and only an act of pure devotion could free him. Using his vast knowledge of Ereda, he was ablereach out through the divine essences of its creation, and reach out to the world above.Unbeknownst to the peaceful realm above, the wheels of revenge were spinning, and Zaheil began to set his plan in motion.Chapter 1What Dreams May Come Night bowed into dawn as a full moon sat low upon a starless sky. Below its waningvisage a Priestess was in the midst of a dream. Or more like a nightmare.
Visions of a dark underground cavern invaded her mind. A woman unknown, yet familiar dressed in a black hooded robe roamed in its darkness. Light from her lantern illuminated the black pumice wallsas she race down a wide darken tunnel. Her feet pounded against the floor causing remnant ash
 
to flow upward clouding the air. Pain drenched screams and the sounds of clashing metal resonated off the rock laden walls.
“Hurry!” a
deep male voiced yelled from behind her.
“Get to the door!”
 
The Priestess tossed and turned. Her hands tensely gripped the white silk sheets of her white canopy bed.
 As the hooded 
woman approached the tunnel’s end 
her paced slowed. The screams ceased and a deafening quiet stilled the atmosphere. She paused and stared at two soot covered colossal stone doors.
Their hearts pounded in unison, as sense of deep dread whiskedthrough the sleeping priestess. Through a dreamy haze she peered through the hooded
woman’s
eyes.
Wiping the soot away with her hands she raised her lantern. Its light illuminated 
 
images of war engraved upon the door. As she scanned across its stone scape, visuals of winged beingsbattling a titanic six-headed dragon came into view.
 No…No,”
The Priestess pleaded
. “
Pleaseturn away
… L
eave it be.
 
Two large circular handles suited for giants among men rested aboveher head 
.
The hooded woman reached up grabbed one and pulled. Slowly it opened, a loud breathy groan emanated from within. Intense heated air rushed from the sealed room. The stenchof brimstone and ash chocked the air. Gasping for a clean breath the hooded woman and the priestess coughed. The hooded women slowly entered, once inside she stood on a rocky narrowledge overlooking a massive fiery abyss.
At the same time, outside the priestess’ door, her huge yet humble bodyguard, Gregory
Armstrong made his hourly rounds. He wore a white suit trimmed with gold. His trousers andcollared shirt were white. It had gold button which matched its cuffs. Gregory was a Tectons, arace of giants known to be great architect. Few were chosen for royal duties, and fewer accepted
the task. Though it’s considered an honor to be bestowed such duties, most would rather draft
and build instead. Gregory bulky yet muscular eight-foot frame strolled gracefully down theimmaculate hallway. He sported a full beard, and his curly silver locks rested on his shoulders.Chrystal chandelier lights hung from the vaulted ceiling illuminating the hallways. The floorswere white marble the walls were a mixture of white sandstone and brick. Gold etching lined its baseboards. The night was nearly quiet; he could hear the whispers of the younger priestesses, ashe passed by their room doors. In passing
, Gregory knocked on their door. “Go to sleep ladies,”
he said in soft yet assertive tone.
“Yes, Sir Gregory,” they replied.
He waited for their whispers to fade away. Even though he knew they would continueonce he left. His duty was not to enforce behavior, but to ensure their safety. The parents of Almarna had the option to send their daughters, to the sanctuary to train. Of course it was strictlyvoluntary. The High King
wouldn’t have it any other way
. To force one into the order wasconsidered a capital offence. Once there the students were given the title Geni, which wasAncient Almarnan for 
 beginner. After they’ve completed seven Prayer Rites within one of the
seven Kingdoms of Almarna, they are granted the title Priestess. Most girls were sent there at theage of six. Some would seek holy guidance much later in life. The High Priestess Claire Munset,
 
was just such a girl. She was initiated into the order at the age of sixteen. Normally, one wouldnot be eligible for the title of High Priestess at such a late age, but she was an exception.
At the end of Gregory’s
hourly patrolled he took his usual post by the High Priest
ess’
room door. By the door sat a giant black oak desk and an enormous grey wicker chair. As hesettled in, he heard moans emanating from within. He
wasn’t the over protective sort, but he
decided to check in on her anyway. He knocked then waited for her to answer. She did not, so hefigured she was having dream of sorts. He eased the door open, and poked his massive head in.Dim moonlight illuminated the room just enough for him to see. Claire tossed and turned the
white silk sheets crumpled as she lashed about. Gregory didn’t think much of it; the manor was
filled with females of all ages, so nightmares were a given. He eased back and shut the door.After he retook his post, he took a large drafting pad and several drawing pens from his desk draw. There he sat and sketched new building designs. The Priestess continued to dream.
Thehooded woman knew her purpose. As she stood on the ledge she knew a sacrifice was needed so she jumps.
Claire’s body tensed, and her voice cracked, “Why…? Why…?”
 
 As the hooded woman plummeted into the fiery abyss she accepted her fate with openarms. She uttered not a word as the flames consumed her. Once the flaring maelstrom devoured her its flames subsided, but the darkness remained. From within the abyss, guttural maniacal laughter resonated through. As the maelstrom calmed it morphed into a giant serpent eye. Fromit depths an
 great evil spoke directly to the priestess, “You all will know my pain!”
 
Claire cried out, “No…No! Not you! It can’t be!”
Her body flailed she ripped the sheetsfrom her bed. Her screams caused Gregory to rush in he was stunned by what he saw. Claire wasin the midst of a change her Divine Dragon was awakening. The control she had studied years tomaintain was collapsing. Gregory rushed to her side. With his giant hands and innate Tectonstrength he pinned her to the bed. Deep down he hoped it would be enough because he
didn’t
want to transform himself. As he held her down he could see she was struggling for control. Her skin shifted back and forth between its
 bronze tone and her dragon’s scaly pearl white
hide. Her short dark cropped hair grew long, and flowed over her white pillow. Gregory budged slightly asher body violently arched upward testing his strength.
“It’s okay
,
Your Holiness it’s safe!” Gregory
exclaimed
. “
Please, Claire you have to calmyourself.
 Claire
’s
body jerked in fierce spastic movements whipping the sheets away. As theycrumpled by the wayside the silk white night gown she wore was reveal. Suddenly, her eyesopened but they were not hazel brown wonders he hoped for. They were gold and that was a problem. Her dragon was free. Her skin shifted again from bronze to scaly pearl white. Twoleathery white wings sprouted
from her back. Claire’s body arched
upward forcing Gregory back. Her wings unfurled breaking the canopy post.

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Raymond N Murray added this note|
There is a lot more back story...Of course there has to be with a story like this. I'm still deciding how much information to put in. For the most part the Chapter 1 will stay like it is, but the Prologue is still up in the air. But I wanna keep it short, you know.
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