Tailos walked the halls of the Eldryn Tower, knowing it was now his own. He felt the presence of the tower’s magical guardian, Incenthyrix… but it acknowledged him as master, and left him in peace. His power had grown. All the world’s other great mages had perished in the war. He was the last spellweaver, and this was now his home.

His chest burned. He could feel his blood afire as it coursed through his veins – the curse that had plagued him from birth had grown worse. But it had changed, as well – perhaps been twisted by the presence of the terrible foe he had so recently faced. The pain was greater… but it wasn’t killing him, as it had been before. Instead, it was changing him, bringing forth the demonic taint that lurked in his family tree.

He wasn’t truly concerned about it. As he entered the tower’s library, his thoughts were on other matters – for he knew that while his appearance might grow fiendish, he would remain himself at heart. That was the other side of his curse, the part none knew about… he was doomed to know the consequences of his own actions.

That was how he knew his quest could succeed. Would succeed. There were moments of doubt along the way, yes – but he could see the possibility stretching out before him, and the salvation at the end of the path.

Salvation… for a time.

That was the dark burden he carried in his heart. It would take time – centuries, generations, long enough for civilization to rebuild and thrive once again.

But the being that had walked through that portal to the far realms would return. What Stanley Miller was – what he was becoming – was as alien to mankind as the creature he had slain. He would conquer its realm, and convert it from a land of chaos and organic mutation to a realm of order, of crystalline perfection…

And one day, he would come to claim this world, just as the Beast had before him. An endless cycle – Tailos suspected it was one that had gone on since the birth of the world.

All he had done was trade one monster for another… and so he browsed the lore and knowledge of the library, and hunted for a way to prepare those who followed.

His hope was for a way to break the cycle, end the threat forever – but he knew he would not find it.

Such were the terms of his curse.

Advertisements