Alright, so before you begin reading, take this into consideration. This is my first fan fiction I have ever wrote, let alone full length story. I have received good reviews on my writing before, but only in small crowds such as classrooms and whatnot... never before the public. So, as this being my first attempt at public work, I would like to hear your thoughts. Tell me what I did wrong, what could use improvement, or if you don't see anything wrong, just let me know. I'll try to improve my work in the later chapters of the story based on what you guys tell me, so please, be honest. Now, please begin reading, and enjoy.

Prologue: Part one

In the Age of Ancients,The world was unformed, shrouded by fog.
A land of grey crags, archtrees, and everlasting dragons.

But then there was Fire.
And with Fire came Disparity.
Heat and cold, life and death, and of course... Light and Dark.

Then, from the Dark, They came,
and found the Souls of Lords within the flame.

Nito, the First of the Dead.
The Witch of Izalith, and her daughters of Chaos.
Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight, and his faithful knights.
And the furtive pygmy, so easily forgotten.

With the Strength of Lords,they challenged the dragons.

Gwyn's mighty bolts peeled apart their stone scales.
The witches weaved great firestorms.
Nito unleashed a miasma of death and disease.
And Seath the Scaleless betrayed his own, and the dragons were no more.

Thus began the Age of Fire. . .
But soon, the flames will fade, and only Dark will remain.
Even now, there are only embers, and man sees not light, but only endless nights.

And amongst the living are seen, carriers of the accursed Darksign...

It was dusk, or, at least, the time at which dusk used to be. One could no longer see the sky in its radiant beauty as they once could. The sky had grown black, and only the emptiness of dark remained. A group of the famed clerics of Thorolund had ventured off onto yet another of their numerous undead hunts. The hunting party, consisting of a knight by the name of Aloran, a priestess by the name of Anora, and a cleric by the name of Vilor had ventured into the woods of a small village on the Outskirts of Thorolund. Sightings of the hollow undead had been reported, and they had tasked themselves in slaying the creatures.

"This place is tainted. I can smell the death in the air. We should call for a purge of the area when we return." said Vilor, looking around the dark woods with caution, his shield by his side, and mace at the ready.

"Oh, I hardly think that is necessary," Aloran said as he flexed his arms. "After all, with my strength, we could clear out the forest by morning." He let the smirk fall off his face as he looked ahead. A shadowed figure crept towards them. The skin from his bones had become thin and dark, revealing the veins which once pumped hot blood through his body. They themselves had begun to turn black, no doubt cold to the touch. "Halt, if you still have your mind, then you will surrender and be taken away to the Asylum to the north. If you resist, we shall be forced to kill you. You have one chance, so use it wisely and lie face first on the ground."

The creature turned its gaze to Aloran, and let a dry, coarse note out from his lungs. Its jaw dropped as the sound turned to a scream and it lunged at the party in a futile attempt to kill them. Aloran flipped down his visor and braced himself for the impact. The knight bashed the creature with his shield, and stuck his blade deep into the stomach of the crazed fellow. Thick, black blood burst forth as he kicked the now limp and lifeless body off of the blade, splattering over the visor of its killer.

"I don't know why you even do that, Al... I mean, they always attack you, and it's not like somebody who actually still had their sanity would want to go to a madhouse full of murderous hollows..." whispered Anora. She herself now had blood all over her delicate white robes, and was not in the happiest mood. She had never liked killing, whether the victim be an insect or a man, it was the same. And even though she did not like hollows, or undead, as any cleric would, it made no difference. To kill any creature is to take a life, of which she never approved. So when she was forced to join the clerics of Thorolund, she took the path of the healer, and not the warrior. For in her eyes, it is better to bring life and happiness to one's person rather than pain and sorrow.

"This isn't the time for emotion, my dear. The scream surely alerted any other hollows nearby, so do us all a favor and get ready for a fight. This place is awfully close to Lordran, so I would expect many more of them to be coming. We'll protect you, don't worry." Aloran and Vilor both raised their shields to their faces and took their places in front and behind Anora as she raised her torch so light shone all around them, revealing at least ten other hollows of various sizes closing in on them. The undead brandished many different weapons, ranging from simple wooden sticks to small hand axes. The light revealed the emptiness of their eyes, that now were red as fire, brimming with rage.

There was an eerie pause as all waited for somebody to make the first move, and sweat dripped down the back of Vilor's neck. Suddenly, a club wielding hollow dashed towards him, but the lack of skill these madmen have makes them easy to dispose of. Vilor bashed him on the side of the head with his morning star, one of the spikes impaling the hollow's temple and bursting both eyes. Another rushed forward, ax in both hands above his head, striking downward as Vilor raised his shield. He kicked the zombie in the stomach and flipped his mace, bringing down on the back of the zombie's skull. He turned around as he heard Anora scream, for a large hollow had leaped towards her. He took his mace and his the beast square in the chest, mid-flight. As the creature landed with a loud thump, he bashed its face in with the heel of his boot.

The loud clang of metal on metal rang throughout the scene as Aloran deflected an ax with his sword, and sliced open a hollow's throat. And although one managed to leap on him and bite his neck, he thrust his sword through its stomach, and the possibly fatal wound was sealed quickly with newly grown flesh as Anora healed him with one of her powerful miracles. The ax of a deranged hollow narrowly missed him as he turned to block the blow with his shield, but he was not quick enough. The strike of the axe knocked the shield off Aloran's arm, leaving him without much needed protection. He grasped the hilt of his blade with both hands as he brought it down on the hollow's head, splitting its skull in two. He was short on breath and tired, his armor felt like the weight of a boulder on his shoulders, and although it did hinder him, it didn't stop him from finishing off the last hollow, who was about to stab Anora with a dagger. With as much strength as he could muster, he thrust his blade into the side of the creature's rib cage, piercing both lungs, and making a sure kill as he kicked its body off his blade.

Vilor walked over to a nearby tree, and promptly sat against it. "That was a lot of hollows... maybe Cassandra's theory was correct, and they are more active at night..." He removed one of his leather gloves and wiped his forehead. "I need to rest for a bit."

Anora sat down next to him. "No argument with you there, casting miracles takes a lot out of you... " She reached into her bag and pulled out a flask of water, and drinking some of the contents before offering it to Vilor, who chugged down the remainder.

A thump was heard as Aloran tossed his helmet aside. "That was... was... awesome! I bet I killed thirty of those things!" He did a small jump in the air and shook his fists in excitement.

"Actually, it was more like three," noted Vilor.

"No, no... it was definitely thirty... or twenty... maybe fifteen..."

"Or maybe three, Aloran. It was three."

Anora shook her head. "No, it was four. Five if you count the first one that brought all the rest. I remember because I had to heal him every damn time..."

"Nu-uh. I would know if I got hit, okay? Getting hit hurts, you wouldn't know because I always protect you."

"True, but I used my miracles to numb the pain so you could keep fighting."

"Sure you did, that's why there are so many holes in my armor, right?" Aloran spoke sarcastically, but didn't realize that there actually were many dents and holes in his armor where he took some serious blows.

Vilor stood up, ready to leave. "Come on you two, quit your bickering. We have to get moving. If we hurry we can finish the sweep of the woods in the next few hours. I think we should head farther north, deeper into the woods. Maybe we can find the source of the hollows, and if it is a breach into Lordran, we can call for more men to barricade it." He rolled his shoulders and stretched, and then headed deeper into the woods as Aloran grabbed his helmet and followed him with Anora.

The farther they went, the more tired they became, hours felt like years, their canteens had run dry, and each footstep over an anthill was like a leap over a mountain, every step on a rock like a dagger to the foot. "Why do undead hunts always have to take so long? Can't we just burn the forest down?" Said Aloran, who was waving his torch around carelessly. "I mean, the undead are dry and rotting, fire is a great way to get rid of them!"

Anora frowned at the thought of such a notion. "And risk burning down the village? Fat chance. I'm not letting hundreds of people die because of your idiocy." She took the torch out of his hand and held it away from him, as to prevent any carrying out of the idea.

"Well, I hadn't thought about that..." He scratched his chin in thought. Aloran wasn't exactly the brightest of fellows, but he was a damn good fighter. Very few have beaten him in a duel, and he's been known to take on up to three people without getting hit. It's much different when you are fighting hollows, however. They have no sense of self preservation, and only to kill, giving them great strength and speed. Not to mention that they lack any kind of fighting style, making it very difficult to predict their next move.

"Of course you didn't, you never think." Vilor sighed. He had been having a hard time since he had to put his sister down. She was a good hunter, but not the best. She had gotten in over her head hunting a mountain lion miles from home. The beast was much larger than she anticipated, and she was knocked onto a sharp rock. A week later she returned, undead, but not hollow. Vilor killed her out of mercy. He had regretted every bit, he should of stopped her from ever leaving, but he didn't. The guilt had been building up in him since, depressing him. The only outlet that made him feel better was slaying hollows, for he knew that with ever hollow he killed, a person out there somewhere would be that much safer.

As they walked, they began to hear the dry screech of hollows in the distance. Aloran drew his sword, but the strap of his shield had been cut, forcing him to use only his sword. Vilor raiser his shield and morning star once more, but the long walk with no rest had left him fatigued. Anora held the torch high into the air to provide more light as she clutched the straw talisman in her hand tightly.

This time, they gave no pause. There were much fewer than the previous fight, but they were ready. Aloran and two hollows charged at each other, one leaping into the air. He pointed his sword at an angle like a pike as he ran, skewering the first hollow, then spinning as he ran to knock of the body and hit the second hollow with a skull splitting uppercut. He saw a hollow heading towards Vilor, who was occupied with a rather large hollow with an axe. Aloran charged at the hollow that Vilor could not see, and leaped into the air, bringing his sword down with devastating force. He then ran to Vilor's aid to cover him.

Vilor himself was dealing with a tough enemy. The hollow grasped his greataxe with both hands and brought it down on Vilor's shield, making a good sized dent and causing Vilor to lose his focus, dodging the second strike of the great axe by mere inches as he rolled to the side of the hollow and striking it behind the knee with his mace. The hollow toppled over from the blow to the leg, allowing Vilor to crush his skull with a strong blow to the face. He sat there for but a moment to catch his breath, but it was shortlived. A hollow grabbed him from behind, and he tried desperately to shake it off, but his bulky armor made it impossible to reach it. The hollow began biting Vilor's neck as red blood flowed from the open wounds, making Vilor weak as he fell to the ground.

Anora, feeling immense guilt for not being able to heal Vilor fast enough, ran over to Aloran, throwing the torch out of reach and pulling out her dagger, which she only used if she was in much danger. Two hollows walked slowly towards her with broken blades in their hands, and she decided that was too much for her to handle at once. She took the straw talisman in her hand and conjured a powerful wave of force, and threw it at the farther hollow, and then stabbed the closer one in the throat. Blood splattered across her face as the previously knocked down hollow charged at her as she conjured a more powerful wave of force to knock it down when it got close, and sure enough, it did. As the hollow went down she jumped on it and stabbed it in the eye socket. As she stood up, a large hollow with an ax walked toward her. She had never seen anyone as tall or as fearsome as the warrior before her. Paralyzed with fear, should stood there as the hollow knocked her with great force into a nearby tree, cracking her skull.

Aloran, who had been more focused on his own problems the entire fight, had just finished killing what he thought was the last of the hollows. He had cut off its hand and pushed it against a tree, then repeatedly punching it in the face with a spiked gauntlet. After over zealously bashing its face in, he turned to find both of his companions were dead, and large hollow, possibly eight feet tall, looming over him. He looked up to the face of the man before him. "Shit," he said as he rolled off to the side of the hollow, avoiding a deadly strike of his axe. The torch Anora had dropped had lit one of the trees on fire, and it was spreading quickly, creating a very hot environment to fight in. The hollow tried to backhand Aloran with his left harm, but Aloran came down with his sword on its wrist, cutting halfway through as his sword got stuck in the flesh and bone. The hollow cried out in pain as Aloran ran to Vilor's limp body, taking his shield and mace as quickly as he could. The hollow swung his axe with as much strength as he could now use with one hand, but Aloran deflected the blow, then thrusting the mace into the hollow's stomach. The undead staggered from the blow, falling to his knees as Aloran broke his neck with the mace.

The fight was over. The hollows had been slain, the forest lit aflame, and Aloran's companions were dead. His body deprived of nourishment and lacking in energy. The smoke from the flames had been creeping into his armor, and now he was in a sort of self contained gas chamber, coughing, as he breathed smoke into his burning lungs. As he collapsed, all he could think of is how he avenged his companions, and would die with that honor. And like how the sun sets, the light faded from his vision.