1894 words (7 minute read)

Chapter 1


A chill wind blew across the vast expanse of red sand. Tiny grains ripped through the air with enough force to scour flesh from bone. The A’dromium wastes are an inhospitable region surrounded by a series of mountains to the north and a wide fast moving river to the south, creating a large bowl some three thousand miles across in that direction and another six thousand miles across from east to west. During the day temperatures could reach high enough to soften some metals and at night low enough to freeze mercury. It was no wonder that most plants and animals shunned this place. Even the environment seemed like it wanted to kill you.

It was home to an ancient evil that had repeatedly threatened the planet every ten thousand years. And every ten thousand years it won. Life on Rainus was regularly forced to start anew. That is until the last upheaval happened some three thousand years ago, since that day the denizens of Rainus changed. The arrival of the Moonfather and the coming of the soulshards changed everything.

It began with the ten orders of the Shattered Blades. One representative of each of the peoples of Rainus was chosen by the moonfather and granted a soulshard. Objects of immense power that granted not only everlasting life but also control of the elements. There was a shard for wind, water, fire, earth, air, regrowth, decay, the mind, metal, and the soul. A battle was fought between this ancient evil and the orders of the shattered blade, the evil was pushed back to this desolate expanse of desert. And the Shattered Blade has spent the last three thousand years keeping it in its natural prison. Now the world stands on the precipice. Evil slumbers in the A’dromium wastes and the hearts of men have begun to falter. Oaths once spoken with pride are now all but forgotten and only a handful of the Shattered Blades remain.

Merrik lord of Raicus and bearer of the shard of the mind is a tall and powerfully built man, long jet black hair hangs in sheets streaming down his back and draping over powerfully muscled shoulders. He walked from his tent on the edge of the A’dromium and gazed across its deathly vastness.

“I am finished with this Corra.” He muttered, he turned abruptly from his vigil and stalked back into camp.

 His long gold cloak billowing behind him and framing his impressive suit of soul armor, lighter than normal plate metal and stronger than any know substance this armor was almost indestructible, it gave its wearer unparalleled strength and reflexes as well as un matched agility.

As he walked through camp he passed other soldiers, crisp salutes were given but not a word was spoken. It seemed as if everyone in the camp knew that this was the final battle, and that none of them would return to their homes. He reached another large tent and swept aside the curtain to the entrance and strode inside. Sitting at a small portable table was a slender blonde woman with violet eyes, a heart shaped face and a scowel that could freeze water.

“Done with what exactly?” Corra demanded, rising from her seat.

“All of this…the oath, fighting…losing” grumbled Merrik. He walked over to a map of the A’dromium and drove a long curved dagger into its center.

“Someone is feeling a bit grouchy today, tell me Merrik why you would forsake your oath to the moonfather after all this time. It was you that began this in the first place!” she said, the look of mirth on her face only slightly hiding the terror in her eyes and voice.

“Three thousand years Corra, we do not age. We do not love and still we do not last. Of all the carriers you and I are the last, wind and mind. All the others are lost to this evil,” he snarled, it was clear that a heavy weight had settled on his shoulders.

“If we are the last, then we must fight! Dex and Tristam would fight, so would Nod and B’aantgar!: she exclaimed, the wind seemed to pick up with her excitement.

“Yet they are all dead…aren’t they.” Merrik sighed.

“I am done Corra, I will make the final walk and cast off my oath, let evil have its day and be done with this, moonfather be damned!” he bellowed.

With that he rushed from the tent back toward the cliff, as he walked he ripped off his cloak and left it to blow away in the wind. Reaching up he pressed a small gemstone set into the collar of his armor causing his helmet to form onto his head. It flowed from the collar of his gorget, up his neck and around his head. It took on the shape of a dragons face with large scalloped ears and two small curling horns. The liquid stopped flowing and solidified to match the rest of his armor. For him the inside of the helmet was completely see through, but to an observer it looked as if there was no eye holes.

Merrick closed his eyes and reached out with his thoughts to touch every solider in his war camp, once he had made contact with all of them he gave the mental command to form up. Quickly every solider dropped into formation and awaited orders.

The crunch of gravel next to him caused Merrik to open is eyes. He glanced to his left and saw Corra standing there stretching.

“I thought you had given up?” she asked

“I have, but not without a fight, if I am to forswear my oath, I will do it on the battle field, we cannot go quietly. Thank you for making me see the truth.” He replied.

“I am glad you understand.” She whispered, the wind began to pick up.

Slowly Corra rose into the air about three feet, her eyes glazing over to solid white, the wind began to swirly around her and obscure her from sight. With a clap that shook the earth she landed on one knee with her palm placed flat on the ground, a gleaming suit of white soul plate covering her entire body like a second skin. Her armor was not nearly as bulky as Merrik’s. Slowly she rose to her feet and continued stretching.

“It is always impressive when you don your suit.”Merrik said,

“Well Merrik, shall we?” Corra asked,

 Whipping her hand out to her side a long slender blade forming in her hand from a swirl of moist air, tiny droplets dripping from its almost six foot length. The blade had a slight curve in it and tiny whorls and swirls etched into its blade, seeming to flow up and down its length. Most striking however was; that even at almost six feet the blade ended not in a delicate point as one would imagine, but instead in a jagged mess. Almost as if the blade had been snapped off.

“You really expect to kill anything with that sewing needle Corra?” Merrik said, his usual gruff demeanor taking of a lighter shade as the thrill of expected battle began to course through his veins.

Merrik raised a heavily gauntleted hand to his forehead. He made a simple pass in front of his eyes and formed three of his fingers into an intricate braid with his thumb and pinkie touching. His hand began to glow a dark violet, he snapped his hand to his left then quickly straight onto the air. Above him the air seemed to darken to that same shade of violet. The space above Merrik grew darker and darker until it seemed to coalesce into a solid shape, three massive swords hung in the air above him, their blades nearly seven feet long and almost three feet wide, curved along the back to resemble flames and viscously serrated down the cutting side of the blade. Merrik reached up and grabbed one of the swords, as soon as he touched it color flared in the blade and the sword became real. Shining brilliantly in the sunlight the blade looked as though it had been dipped in oil, silver covered by a rainbow sheen that seemed slick to the touch. The remaining two blades began to spin in place on either side of merrik .All three of the swords ended in a jagged edge that looked as if the blade had been broken off.


“Yes Merrik?”

“Lets us end this.”

With that the two shard bearers leapt from their perch above the A’dromium and their army followed.


Merrik wiped ichor from his visor and rested his sword on his shoulder. He surveyed the scene before him, strewn across the desert floor lay the corpses of innumerable worldbreakers. Not one clear race of beings, worldbreakers were so named because of the threat they posed to the world. Some stood several stories tall and weighed many tons. Fortunately these larger ones were rare indeed, their massive bodies and harder than diamond carapace, coupled with massive claws and the ability to spray acid from a gland on their forehead made a difficult foe to deal with. Conversely there were smaller worldbreakers, man sized beings made of rock and flame, others made of some unknown metal and lightning. These beings looked about the same size as a man, slightly taller, just enough to be unsettling. Their bodies were made of some sort of rocky or metallic covering with what appeared to be covering some form of molten rock made flesh or a pulsing blue or yellow flesh that seemed to glow just beneath the skin. These beings were slightly more numerous than their gargantuan counterparts, yet there was a third class, the most numerous and because of their numbers…the most dangerous. Tens of thousands of dead, worldbreakers of every class as well as humans from Merrik and Corra’s armies littered the landscape.

Orange and green blood mixed with red of humans soaked into the coarse desert sand. Several cracks created a spider web across Merrik’s breast plate, still both of his swords spun around his body, effectively creating a cage that was nigh impenetrable, but sheer numbers and brute strength had still taken its toll on him. While he rested he watched Corra at work. She flitted among the worldbreakers, swinging her sword expertly, wherever she struck, blood rained upon the sand, and the horde shrank a little more.