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May 24, 1740 EQ, Cah Bel, Andril Region of Epi 

PROLOGUE
i Nursing Home

CHAPTER 1
i Disputed Territory

i Cah Bel

 



Eastern Exterior Wall of Cah Bel

The wind stirred.  It whipped leaves and dust into little swirls between the fallen, moss covered pillars.

Lenesco walked through the swirling wind waving the golden rod slowly before him allowing it to do the tracking.  The rod, the same that Mr. Hoo Nun held, hummed and glowed with its wings extending towards the ground.  As he passed the rod over the stone floor in one particular spot, the hum from the rod resonated and the inner light wavered.  He crouched down on one knee to verify and the rod glowed intensely. 

“This is the place,” he said confidently.  He looked up at his commander.  “The enemy will come here.”

His commander, a lean, muscular man named Consus came up and looked over his shoulder.  His face showed the weathering of many harsh winters, while his Asian eyes gleamed with the hard, stern look of numerous battles fought and won.  He looked slightly older than Lenesco, older but in better shape.  Both men appeared to be in their early twenties.  Consus drew his heavy scimitar out of its scabbard.  “The enemy, a Firesmyth pretender, comes in a POD.”  

Lenesco had never seen a real Firesmyth.  None in his generation had.  He also didn't know what a POD looked like.  He had never seen one. Neither did he know how the rod worked.  Few did.  On both accounts, he didn't care.  He just followed orders, and the orders he was now following told him to track, capture, and acquire.  He was good at following orders.  That's what made him and the five other Shadow Knights such valuable tools: quick strike and no questions asked.  They usually succeeded.

He wore a loose fitting, dark uniform without symbol or badge from head to foot.  It helped conceal his movements and allowed him to respond quickly.  The only device on his uniform beside the broadsword strapped to his side was a gold band around his left arm just above his elbow.  When activated, this band acted with opposite effect of the rod.  It repelled chronomic waves, making him invisible to the POD and its occupant and since all the Shadow Knights wore the same band, the occupant of the POD would think he was alone.

Lenesco snapped back the two wings on the rod so that they lay flush and extinguished the light.  He glanced toward his commander and nodded.  With a swift and practiced hand signal, Consus motioned to the others several paces behind him.  Without a word, they activated the gold bands and dispersed, hiding among the fallen ruins to wait for their victim.

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Last updated: March 09, 2001.