Authors: A. Griffin
Copyright © 2013 A. V. Griffin
All rights reserved.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-63002-728-5
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013900339
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
North Charleston, South Carolina
I dedicate this work to my family and to all those who helped me along the way.
would like to thank my family for believing in this project. Specifically, I would like to thank Michael Johnson for helping me with preliminary editing and creative input. Thank you to Katherine Blythe for giving me ideas when I had writer’s block, Trina Blythe for supporting me throughout this process, and my parents for always telling me to go after my dreams.
Thank you to my entire design team at CreateSpace and my editor, Julie Miller. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to this project. Finally, I would like to thank Professor Cooley and all the students in my creative writing class who liked my story.
always knew that I wanted to write a book, but I never would have guessed that this would be it. One day, the idea of a world of demons just came to me. Strange, right? Actually the birth of this story is directly related to an assignment I had in a creative writing class in college. I already had the spark of an idea for this project, but the assignment gave me the impetus to form an actual story around the swirling ideas that resided in my mind. This story is significant to me because it’s the story that I always wanted to write.
Wisdom begins in wonder.
he fires must be lit.
The thought spun around in Rolmar’s mind for a few moments as he sat meditating in his cavernous domicile. The discalced demon—garbed in heavy, white robes—knew that as one of the three overlords of Pentar it was incumbent upon him to light the fires. The ceremonial meeting would take place in a few days. The task of lighting the fire pits in the seven colonies of Pentar under his dominion would have to be completed before that time. Rolmar had a vested interest in the ritual; if the task was not finished by the appointed time, he would be forbidden from taking part in any future rituals.
The demon’s thoughts were percolating.
It’s time already. Another thousand years have gone by. The Breeksa will be here in a few days, and subsequently, three worlds will meet their end.
Every thousand years, the three overlords of Pentar would hold a conclave in the Great Hall of Bremsa—a Breeksa in demonic speech— to discuss planetary “cleansing.” During the meeting, three planets would be selected for extermination, and one would be assigned to each of the demons.
The planet Pentar was divided into three regions, each of which was controlled by an overlord. Every city was a masterpiece surrounded by a luminous dome. Their technology was the most advanced that the universe had ever given rise to, the result of millions of years of intertwining magic and technology. The Pentarians’ language (known as Crimnock) was not spoken aloud, but communicated through telepathy. The high demons of Pentar tended to use telepathy more than the lesser demons who favored speaking aloud.
Although the Pentarians were a decidedly malicious group, they boasted such feats as interdimensional travel and mastery of telekinesis. Despite their advancements, the people were filled with hubris and hatred, a combination that proved deadly for many unwitting citizens. They despised all civilizations that were primitive, and had successfully annihilated the inhabitants of over ten thousand worlds. The demons felt that it was their obligation to destroy less-advanced societies and viewed this as a way of cleansing the universe.
The cold, marble floor didn’t bother Rolmar, who was still ruminating on the Breeksa. His eyes presently became luminous when his thoughts turned to the planetary extermination.
How will it be done? Destroy the whole planet? Perhaps a mass extinction for the inhabitants, and then the destruction of the planet later. So much to decide…
The destruction of a planet was an involved process to say the least. The Breeksa would last for several hours. They would spend most of the time listening to passages from the annals of the demons, which had been handed down through the millennia. The books contained the history of the demons, principles of magic, and their laws. The annals didn’t exactly indoctrinate hatred or carnage, but throughout the ages they had become the basis for the Pentarians’ arrogance and general disregard for the lives of other species. The first chief doctrine stated, “Strive to be technologically superior to all peoples.” The second said, “Monitor advanced civilizations in order to protect your own from future aggression.” However, the meaning of the doctrines had become twisted over the years, and the Pentarians hadn’t questioned the misinterpretation.
Presently, Rolmar stood and concentrated on teleporting outside of his dwelling. The silver demon closed both fists and focused on dematerializing his body. After saying the incantation, he began to disappear. The words alone would not cause anything to happen—only focused concentration in conjunction with the demonic words made teleportation possible. Once he phased out, he recited the words backward to rematerialize outside.
A sprawling view met the bipedal demon, who was now perched on the apex of the hollow mountain that he called home. The blue mountains of Pentar, which were usually the color of deep turquoise, were now a midnight blue. The great forest of Habnar stood to the north—ominous, foreboding, and silent. A single bird cried out a deafening screech, mocking the silence of the forest. The demon barely noticed the sound, which would have shattered the eardrums of any earth dweller.
The darkness didn’t bother the overlord, whose emerald eyes became even more luminous, enabling him to see perfectly. The silver demon was covered from head to toe with lean muscles, which made him look statuesque. His white robes billowed in the darkness, making him look more angelic than demonic from afar. The chiseled features of his face were not painful to look at, but his eyes were unblinking and filled with malice. They were his most prominent feature. He spread his immense, scalloped wings and winced from a sharp pain. They ached from disuse; Rolmar only made obligatory trips to the lands that he ruled. The demon was chiefly a solitary creature.
Without further hesitation, he took to the air and conjured a holographic map that showed the seven territories assigned to him. He headed off north toward the colonies.
The demons of Yapir had gathered in the town square for the ceremonial lighting. The bipedal creatures held small lights in their hands that gave the appearance of candlelight from afar, but any Pentarian knew that flames were not held in the four-fingered palms. This was magic; a simple spell for the illumination and a more complex one said afterward to give it the guise of a flame. The Pentarians—despite all their prejudices—did have a penchant for borrowing ideas from other cultures, and this was just such an idea.
“I wonder what he’ll say this time. We’re always the last stop on his journey, and he’s usually in a bad mood when he arrives,” said Lamen, a wide-eyed demon who was growing somewhat impatient.
“I don’t know. He never says much,” said the red-eyed demon Klorous. “His eyes do most of the talking.” He shuddered.
“What’s the purpose of this lighting anyhow? The Breeksa doesn’t concern lesser demons.” Lamen grew visibly annoyed and crossed his arms.
“There is no purpose. Does ceremony ever have a real purpose?” replied Klorous, who stifled another shudder.
“I suppose not. I would like to get out of the cold, though. It’s frigid out tonight.” Lamen looked at his pod-like domicile and wished that he were still inside. Then he suddenly looked at Pranock, a green demon who had remained quiet up until this point. “Cast your dome spell, so that we may have warmth.”
Why didn’t I think of that before?
Lamen thought. Pranock closed his eyes briefly and muttered a few indistinct demonic words. After a few moments, a faint ring of fire encircled the demons; the silent fire was almost transparent, yet it burned furiously. Within several minutes, the fire was gone completely, but left in its wake was an incandescent ring—the only indication that an invisible dome now circled the party.
The dome spell was one of the greatest achievements of the Pentarians. Once it had been cast, the invisible force field would protect against any attack from the outside and provided a pleasant temperature for the occupants. Because of the nature of the dome, violence on Pentar had become a thing of the past. Most altercations ended with a stalemate between two very annoyed individuals encased in domes, so the Pentarians eventually grew tired of altercations altogether.
The dome around the demons began to heat up to a comfortable temperature. Lamen was very appreciative of the heating effects of the dome and said, “That’s more like it.”
“I’m glad that I could be of help,” Pranock stated.
Everyone was starting to feel a little more comfortable, until Klorous spotted a silver light in the sky.
“He’s here already,” Klorous said.
“Just as we were starting to enjoy the warmth,” Pranock added in a regrettable tone.
They all watched as the silver glint in the sky grew closer, and eventually they could see an outline of the figure. They could make out the demon’s scalloped wings that reached a span of forty feet. Pranock noted that the high demon’s aura glowed red, indicating the foul mood that the others had already anticipated. After a few minutes, Rolmar alighted; the dome shook, and a few of the demons fell to the ground.
“Greetings, Yapirians,” came the thunderous voice of Rolmar. The lesser demons, who stood a mere three feet in height, were completely dwarfed by Rolmar, whose height exceeded twenty feet.
“We’ve been awaiting your arrival, exalted one,” Lamen said as the dome dissipated.
“Your formalities are disingenuous,” Rolmar said, leaning closer to the group. “Nevertheless, your politeness will keep me from dispatching with your lives for now.”
Without much acknowledgement of the others, Rolmar moved past them and over to the fire pit that required his attention. The pit was little more than a hole in the ground, but as the demon approached it, the pit grew larger. A beautiful, stone wall appeared around its perimeter. The demon made a fist, and a small, sapphire flame came to life at its center.
What a waste of time
, thought Klorous. The thought was directed at the whole group.
Be careful. Have you forgotten that he can read our thoughts?
Lamen was starting to become nervous.
Pranock thought angrily,
Fool! You’ll have us all killed. Quiet your thoughts.
Don’t worry. I’ve hidden our conversation from him—it’s a bit of new magic that I’ve learned.
You’ll end this conversation if you know what’s good for you; he’s more powerful than us all. And I don’t particularly trust your magic— not if it’s up against his
, Lamen thought.
Klorous replied irritably. Without further ado he ended the conversation.
The fire continued to grow, and an iron gate now surrounded it. Each time it grew the gate also grew. The gate was placed there to keep anyone from extinguishing the flame with magic. These flames intensified the powers of the high demons when they traveled to other worlds. Their extinction would undoubtedly compromise the demons’ mission; so protecting the flames was a necessity.
Pentar was an odd planet in that it had several subterranean sources of power. They were known as the Laktemra, and to behold them was quite a sight. Directly below the fire pit was one of the springs that directly fed its flame, and in turn, the demons’ extraterrestrial powers. When the springs were dormant they were colorless, but this one was now a glistening white because of its active state. Rolmar used his full-spectrum sight to see deep into the crust of Pentar in order to inspect the spring.
, he thought. Immediately he turned back toward the group, and everyone took a step back.
“Do not fear,” he said with some amusement. “The chore is done, and your lives are your own once again. I’ll take my leave of you now.”
He spread his enormous wings and took to the air with little effort. Once he was a speck in the distance, the demons all heaved a sigh of relief.
“Until next time,” Lamen said as he watched the silver speck fade into the distance.