Introduction

Welcome To Aveyond!

At the top of a tower, a cloaked man spoke to an orb.

"Awake, my pet. Awake!"

As if in reply to its master, the orb flashed purple.

He was so close.

So entranced was he by its glow, he did not hear a door bellow open, or the following conversation:

"I'm sorry, Rayina. I must stop him now. If he completes the orb, all is lost."

"You are sure about this? If he catches you..."

"He will kill me,' was the blunt reply. "Yes, I know, but I must try. I cannot let a mad man destroy everything we love. I must go."

"May the Goddess protect you, husband."

He hurried up the steps, to the top of the tower, where the man stood in the rain, talking to his orb.

"You must stop this madness," the man said.

"Trunsten?" Through the rain, the cloaked peered at the newcomer. "What are you doing up here? Go back inside."

"I'm sorry father, it must end here."

"You think you can stop me? With what magic? You have none!"

"Goodbye, father." Trunsten held up his hand. In the base of his palm, a tornado grew. Within a second it was double his size and Trunsten sent it hurtling at his father, pushing him over the edge of the tower.

Trunsten walked down the steps to the balcony bellow where his father lay, injured – and not just from his fall.

"How?" he rasped up at his son.

"It appears I have an affinity for magic after all, father." Trunsten's voice was cold. "You would not teach me because you wanted the power all to yourself. But I watched...and I learned."

"I could have ruled the world...You are taking it for yourself?"

"I don't want to rule the world, father. Your reign of tyranny ends now."

Though weak, Mordred laughed. "You cannot stop the prophecy, son. A Darkthrop will rule the world. If not I, then you or your children."

"No, father. I am the last of our line. Ours is a curse, not a prophecy. It ends tonight. Rayina?" His features softened as he noticed his wife, who unknown to father or son had joined them on the balcony.

"Trunsten, is everything okay?"

"You must go to the village. Tell them that the Darkthrop lineage is destroyed."

Rayina reached out. "Husband, what are you saying?"

"Tonight I break the curse on my family and our kingdom."

"Trunsten," she grabbed his arm, "I will not let you die!"

"Do not argue with me, Rayina. You know it must be done. As long as a Darkthrop lives, mankind is in danger."

"What if..." she trailed off.

"Yes?"

Rayina turned away from her husband. "What if you weren't the last of your line?"

"But I am. We have borne no children, wife." Rayina could not meet his gaze. "Tonight the Darkthrop line ends. The world will be safer for it. You must leave now."

"… As you wish. I will go to the village." Rayina heads to the steps, then turns back. "I love you, Trunsten Darkthrop. You are a better person than I."

She left quickly, not wishing to see what she now knew inevitable.

The world shook as she hurried out of the tower and through the forest.

But knowing what was about to happen did not stop her collapsing to her knees when it did – when a deafening roar broke through the cold night air and the world flashed white. Nor did it stop her screaming.

"Noooo!"