The man had been seeking power his entire life, and he was finally near the ultimate source. He was quite gifted in all sorts of magic, but he had taken a particular liking to the darker arts. He wore a robe made of the purest black, supernatural in appearance, as if the cloth itself absorbed all the light around it. "What greater power than Death itself?" His voice filled the vast chamber, an arena of his own design, with only one source of light.
A glowing sphere toward the center of the large room, about the size of a watermelon, managed to offer a gentle blue illumination to every end of the circular floor. The robed figure did not cast a shadow, rather he was the very essence of shadow. The material of his robe was something he had invented on his own, concentrating a mass of dark energy on a simple piece of clothing. It managed to hold form, yet obliterated all traces of the mold, which left nothing but a perfect solidification of darkness. A perfect defense against the light he had grown to hate so much.
Another figure stood in the room, dressed in what appeared to be very simple clothing,looking to the sphere with blind eyes, sensing the agony caused in this room in the years prior. "Dying souls have an eerie light, don't they?" His voice was ragged; He was obviously past his prime, and possibly near death. His body shook uncontrollably, resting himself on a delicately carved walking stick. The shadow turned his hooded face to observe the older man, pointing a robe-covered finger at him.
"Souls are eerie by nature; the very essence of a human life...But with enough torture, they begin to lose their luminous qualities, and can even become black, a very welcome change. There are exactly seventy-eight souls within that sphere, all of which began their existence as bright as the sun itself." He turned his head, admiring the intricate runes etched all along the dome-like ceiling of his chamber. "All of them held a unique fire, signifying their power in life. Nobles, Warlords, Scholars, each of them unique in their strengths..." He paused again, setting his eyes back upon the elderly man.
"So...You've brought me here...in order to make me the seventy-ninth soul, haven't you?" The man's eyes glowed softly, the hazy, sightless orbs reflecting the light of the souls in the center of the chamber. He had a rather long white beard, neatly taken care of. His head was fully covered with hair of the same pure white pigment, stretching down well past his shoulders. His simple clothes were those of an old man with little money, tattered and dirty in their appearance. The white-haired man trembled with age, frigidity, and fear.
The darkness was walking toward the ball of souls, putting a hand out to tenderly caress the shape, causing the light to dim further as it came into contact with the pure material surrounding him. "Yes, elder...Your wisdom and your experience...That's all that remains...The only thing I still need in order to obtain true power." The man pulled down his hood, revealing a very young face, no more than twenty by the looks of it, though almost certainly older beneath it. His eyes had a distinct color, a yellow-red mix unlike anything anyone had seen. He took his hand away from his creation, the light returning to its former state.
The elder's blind eyes narrowed, a scowl apparent on his face. "Power. Power leads to nothing aside from despair, and yet you clearly think it can bring you happiness..." He stood up, having been slouching previously. "What do you intend to do once you obtain the power you crave?" His voice suddenly held a strong will, his body no longer shaking.
"Why, I will do whatever I choose to do...Not that it is any concern of yours, dear elder..." He finally turned his body fully in order to take slow steps toward the newly revitalized older man. He reached into his robe, pulling out a beautifully crafted sacrificial dagger, clearly forged for the express purpose of ending a particular man's life. "You are not long for this world." He stopped walking a few meters away from the man, suddenly cautious about his approach. The elder no longer shook. He only held one hand to the head of his cane, his legs holding him sturdily.
"The shadows are not to be taken lightly, boy. Prophecies have spoken of a simpleton such as yourself attempting to obtain power through sacrifice...It was thought that the meaning was hard work and compromise. No, I suppose it was quite literal. To think I was destined to meet that man, let alone become his target...it's quite humorous..." His wrinkled features, at least those that were visible behind his beard, curved into a smirk.
The younger one stayed his ground, awaiting the elder's move. "I can see you're no feeble old man...No matter, this place was designed for combat." He closed his eyes, and the runes carved throughout the dome suddenly took on life; They twisted and roamed about the wall. At the same time, the orb in the center of the room began to dissipate. "The souls will bear witness to your death, further darkening them...It won't be long after this day that I reach my goal." He puts the dagger back into his robe, instead drawing a rather plain hand scythe, crafted of a simple looking metal.
The older one continued. "Humorous, and at the same time horrible..." His voice grew solemn, eyes looking sightlessly forward. "The prophecy tells that with the eightieth soul, an evil greater than any nightmare would be born. An evil that embodies the shadows themselves, a demon of immeasurable power. I do so hope you can pass on peacefully knowing that your death created such a being." He taps his cane on the ground once, softly. "Just as I will pass painfully, knowing that my life's end assisted in the creation of it as well."
The dark figure chuckled, scythe held out to the side in a ready position. "Once I gather the seventy-ninth soul, I will become immortal...It will never come to pass, unless it is me that this prophecy refers to." He smirks, eyes narrowing as he regains his confidence, taking slow steps toward the other man.
"No, my dear foolish boy, immortality is an impossible goal. There's always something, somewhere, to end your free existence. Nothing is without equal; nothing lasts forever." He lifts his cane from the ground, delicate etchings glowing white along the wooden shaft. Behind him, the wall danced with the life of seventy-eight souls, all of them silently milling about in a single, shapeless mass. "Your life will end here, in fact...When I take it from you." With that, the previously trembling old man leapt forward with feline grace, taking the evil one by complete surprise. The cane was brought down hard in an attempt to crack the young-looking being's skull, but was met by the scythe, which held fast under the strength of the elder.
"Full of surprises..." The strained, dark voice of the yellow-eyed youth escaped his lips. He pushed upward at the cane, forcing it away from him. The white hair of the elder begain to glow, a sharp contrast to the youth's shadowy trappings. "But it will take more than surprises to be my equal, old man..." He made his own charge, scythe held at his side as his left hand thrust forth to the elder's chest, making easy contact and sending him back forcefully.
To the younger's surprise, the elder planted his feet on the wall behind him and effortlessly absorbed the entire force of the impact onto his legs, then resumed a fighting stance, the enchanted cane held straight in front of him. The dark youth charged again, silently closing the short distance between them without so much as a grunt, swinging the scythe only to have it blocked. The two figures, light and dark, battled equally, neither gaining or giving ground. The clashes of their weapons created a torrent of dark energy mixed with white light.
The battle was silent, the weapons most certainly not made of conventional materials. It was a duel of light and darkness in the purest form, the elder's previously torn clothes bleaching themselves white and beginning to glow magnificently. The shadow absorbed every bit of light, and the light cancelled out the shadow, the thin border between the two opposites incomprehensible to mortal eyes due to an absence of anything at all. The yellow eyes of the younger man began to flare, and the souls within the wall seeped out of their runed homes, and surged toward the battle.
Much to the elder's surprise, he was taken over by the glowing essences. While his power was enough to ward off the shadow, the souls of good people were not contested at all in reaching his body. They enveloped him fully and brought him down, silent wails only known to the empathetic older man told him that it was not by choice that they hindered him.
"My power is already immense, elder, and while you are far more powerful than I thought, you are still no match." The youth's voice dripped with confidence, perhaps arrogance, as he held the scythe high above his head, and brought it down swiftly to the elder's throat, penetrating a soul to reach it. It found an easy entrance into the other man's soft, aged flesh, piercing him through the neck and into the floor on the other side of it. "I know that this will not slay you...But I only need you held in place..."
"Pitiful...boy..." The elder's voice returned to a shaky state, the scythe in his neck sealing off his access to his light-given strength. "You know not what you do...This is precisely what has been foretold..." He struggles to lift an arm beneath the weight of the soul energy, as if he were pleading. "I must beg you...not to do this.."
The eccentric youth looked on at the old man with a sadistic grin, re-drawing the sacrificial dagger from his robe. "Your voice irritates me. I think I'll silence it for eternity." He presses the dagger lightly where the old man's heart lay beating beneath his skin, not piercing the flesh but applying a fair amount of pressure. The souls gave the dagger a wide berth, the weapon clearly holding tremendous power. "The seventy-ninth soul. The wisdom and experience of an elder...And the unforseen powers of light he holds. I cannot say this is an unwelcome surprise. It will give me dominion over all facets of the magical world." With that, he plunged the shadowy dagger into the man's chest, piercing the heart cleanly and coming out without a drop of blood on the other side.
The fragile old body of the once-proud elder sagged without warning, showing his death without question. The youth smirked, then let himself begin to cackle maniacally as the souls absorbed themselves into the dagger all at once, all seventy-nine of them filling the blade. "Yes...I can feel the power surging into the blade. It grows with each passing instant, feeding off the energy of each soul that enters..." He pulls the robe aside, revealing his own bare chest.
"Now, I shall fuse my own soul into its blade. I'll become the very essence of power! I'll rule everything in existence! I will be a God among men..." His voice trailed off as he recalled the elder's words...
'With the eightieth soul, an evil greater than any nightmare would be born...'
"Nonsense. I will not die by my own precious shadows, nor will my soul be taken...I am not so foolish as to think that my beloved power would betray me." Without further hesitation, he thrust the dagger into his own heart, and as he expected, felt no pain at all. "Foolish old man..."
Good souls could easily penetrate the elder's light barrier, in the same way that pure shadow could pass the youth's barrier. In a single agonizing second, the naive man felt his soul ripped without warning from his very body, left standing lifeless for a moment with a dagger in his heart.
Suddenly, all was black. The outside world never could explain the brief phenomenon, but for nearly five minutes, no light could be seen anywhere. It was thought that everyone had suddenly gone blind...And they were correct in thinking that. They were blind to what had happened, blind to what had been created deep within the dirt beneath their precious world. Blind to the power that now sought to destroy all life; Blind to the Shade that now lived and shared their precious existence.
But the Shade itself saw everything. It took shape, the same as the ball of souls that previously held all of his power, though much larger and with its own will power. It floated ominously before the youth who aided in its creation, the youth whose eyes were now blank white orbs not unlike the elder's. A slit appeared on the ball of darkness, which opened slowly to reveal a large eye of the same yellowish coloring the youth once had.
"Power leads to nothing aside from despair...Yes, despair is all power can cause. Despair is a dark thing for humans...What better to feed off of than their sorrow?" His voice echoed throughout the empty chamber, the youth's body frozen in place, empty hand near his heart where the dagger once was. "Humans and their lust for power. All the knowledge I have is from them, and I thank them for giving me a wise beginning. I don't need to learn from my mistakes...I've already learned from eighty others."
He observed the frozen, terrified face of the once-arrogant youth, and chuckled with pure darkness. "I will need a wielder once more, to obtain my true power...One with traits utilizing all of my knowledge." His eye closed once more, reaching out to find an ideal host. His eye shot open as he found a perfect candidate. "Yes...The boy...It will be a long process, but I think I can use him..." With that, Shade liquified, leaving the massive chamber forever, headed toward a peaceful village and its unique demonic family.
Thus Shade is born, and begins his attack on Vescreth's family, all a part of his master plan to gain power once more. This ties in to the whole concept of forming into a sword and maintaining all of his power, because according to my whacked out and irrelevant origin story, he started as a dagger of some kind. I might write more some time, most likely relating to this story. Go ahead and hate me for being stupid this time, but meh.