It has been a thousand years since the once powerful planet of Blessing lost its life-giving two suns, and countless millennia since the days of the great magicians. An expedition of alien voyagers came upon the now ice-covered sphere, drawn there by an unexplained lone beacon far below the miles of frozen moisture, they unlocked a written history of Blessing from its almost undiscovered tomb. So begins the story of Magica.
It was a time of celebration. The Book of Magica and the wizards who had used its spells so wisely for the good of the people were being honored in all the great cities of the world. There was however an exception. Where good thrives, evil survives and evil has plans for survival.
The celebration of thanks and prosperity would signal the forces of Evilsyde to begin the attack and ultimate capture and destruction of Magica. The spells from the Book would be used to turn all of those unwilling to join Evilsyde into statues of stone and send their spirits to Otherworld, where they would eventually be assimilated into the energy needed to drive Evilsyde, and maintain its power without the necessity of the Book and its incantations forever.
Defenses were naturally relaxed during the festive preparations and although the battle was well-fought by both factions, the minions of the dark prevailed. Their assault was well-planned and executed to a fault. After overwhelming their initial opposition, they pushed on to the sacred ground upon which the Book of Magica rested. They possessed a much weaker form of magic themselves, and although it would be normally quite useless against the strength of Magica, the inability of the Wizards to gather themselves together in time, coupled with the perfect timing and determination of the attackers, spelled doom for the Book and its followers.
The leader of the insurrection was the high priest and executioner known as Shadowcast. His presence could make the naughtiest of children become obedient and inspire great fear among the adult population. This man, most vile, would now be ruler of all and answerable to none. His reign would plunge Blessing into eternal darkness and prepare the way for the coming of his master, Astoroth, the Grand Duke of Hell.
The capture of Magica did not, however, mean that Shadowcast had finally reached his goal. He must now find and conquer Blessing's Grand Wizard and legendary hero, Eriel. Eriel, who defeated Evilsyde time and again with his understanding and use of Magica's spells. He would be the last stumbling block of total domination.
Eriel had removed himself from the general population in anticipation of everlasting peace and now he devoted all of his energy to meditation and praise of his God. Lately though, he had been visited by many temptations in his dreams. Promises of pleasure, riches and power raced through his sleeping mind. All these lures had been placed there by Shadowcast, hoping to avoid confrontation between this dominant man and his own villainous forces. Eriel however had resisted these solicitations and was now warned of some impending danger. He managed to make his way to the sacred ground by cloaking his identity with simple spells, only to be discovered just before his attempt to rescue the Book of Magica, but not before he was able to memorize the most important of Magica's charms, The spell of Restoration.
The ceremony of thanksgiving was now directed toward the transmission of spirits to Otherworld. One by one the good souls of Blessing were turned to stone and sent on to their grisly fate, until only the noble Eriel remained. The spectacle that followed was meant to degrade Eriel and raise the courage of the cowardly supplicants of Evilsyde, but true to his indominantable bearing, he promised to return and banish Evilsyde forever. Then he was gone.
The horrors of Otherworld are now revealed to the masses huddled together for some small measure of comfort. First the adults were separated from their children amid cries and pleas for help. Next the old ones were taken away and assigned to a place very near the assimilation site. They were guarded by monstrous, misshapen denizens of this shrouded netherland, who constantly harangued the inmates with promises of pain and extermination. Intermittent bursts of flame shot up from jagged cracks in the ground, threatening to consume anyone in its path. Shrieks of torment could be heard piercing the murky atmosphere, further unnerving the petrified captives. Only one seemed unaffected by all the inflicted fear and turmoil. Eriel's strength and determination soon pacified the men and women with whom he was confined. When they all became more calm and subdued, he began to speak to them softly as an adult to his children. Long ago you entrusted me to protect the Book of Magica and to be faithful to its special purpose. It must seem that I have failed you and condemned us all to oblivion, but fear not! This hell is only a test of your faith and resolve. The power of Magica did not vanish in fire. On the third day I will evoke the spell of Restoration. United we shall return to Blessing and, armed with the strength of Magica, we will be triumphant. Many will perish, but Magica and our souls cannot be restored until three days have passed. Take heart my friends. Victory awaits you.
Even magic has its limitations and as Eriel explained to his flock, the spell could not be activated until a waiting period of at least three days. One third of the souls of Blessing would be melded into the Evilsyde collective before Eriel could be effective with the words of Restoration.
The old ones were the first to go. Cries of encouragement and hope were shouted to the condemned as they trudged slowly to their fate. One by one they were thrown into the assimilation chamber where a blinding blue spark gave evidence of their demise. With each burst Eriel's heavy heart ached with guilt for his part in this slaughter of his charges. If only he had not become so complacent. He above all should never have let this tragedy transpire.
In the compound holding the young adults, an insurrection of sorts was occurring. A boy of seventeen years called Challis was urging an uprising among his captured companions. Futile though it was, it earned Challis a place in the cell adjoining Eriel's. His rantings and ravings were soon quelled by Eriel's quiet urging and the two settled into serious conversation. Eriel knew his time of assimilation was near and only hoped it would not be scheduled before the three day waiting p
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