Fire and Ice
A thousand years ago, evil known as ‘the Void’ was banished from this world by the four wizards and witches of lore, the portal sealed by immortal magic. The spell was thought to be unbreakable. The Void was sent through the Iris portal, back to Ebon nothing; the cold, empty part of the universe which consumes and corrupts all who enter. The Void is sentient evil, knifing the souls of the living with arctic horror and dread, crushing all before it like a mountain of ice. An aeon it has waited, scheming and clawing at its confines, longing to once again control and devour all…..
A key remains.
The Eight, in their penultimate wisdom, offered hope to a future world. The Eight became as Four and bore children borne of blood magic, one child for each kingdom; four royal bloodlines. Within each of the four a quarter of a key was buried deep within their gene pool. The Eight believed the bloodlines would remain pure for millennia. The key would allow future mages to again deal with the Void.
The Eight didn’t foresee the stupidity of man: the mixing of royal blood. The ancients did not predict the bloodlines completing their full circle one thousand years after the banishment; now only the union of two would complete the cycle.
The Void had known. It had waited, exerting its weak influence on the minds of men through long forgotten artefacts left on Q’xan. Mankind’s corruption did not take long.
Kyros relaxed on the ornate throne in the Great Hall of Zaukal. Gently, he tossed an exquisite gold ball into the air before catching it. The sphere was a miniature globe of their world Q’xan and the Priest enjoyed the electric sensation of his hand clenching an opportune world that knew no firm leader. Tenderly, he traced his finger over the four kingdoms on the sole, massive continent; the deserts of volcanic Yor Kilgor in the west, the steamy jungle-bound Phrengal in the east, the ruggedly mountainous Hyrn Forhe in the north, and his own, soothing water-bound Zaukal in the south.
It was midnight, the sacred hour for his God, Irkyl. Kyros was to meet the Witch Queen of Yor Kilgor. Maegllyn was perfect: her face achingly beautiful, her tall long-legged figure ripe with sensuous femininity and a hip-length aura of molten crimson hair. She intoxicated him.
Beautiful but deadly, Kyros thought with a slight grimace.
Maegllyn had driven a poisoned stiletto through the eye of her older brother, the former king of Yor Kilgor, as he slept. The Priest admired her for the deed: he had slain his cousin, the old king of Zaukal soon after the birth of his heir, Plyan.
Kyros and now ruled as Regent.
Power isn’t for the hands of fools.
The other two monarchs of Q’xan; King Ryo of Phrengal and King Wren of Hyrn Forhe were hard men, forged through the trials of their kingdoms. Phrengal was a deadly region, filled with mystical animals and poison plants; Hyrn Forhe was home to the mythical City of Clouds, an ice cold and brutal land.
Maegllyn slunk into the Great Hall, flitting from shadow to shadow. She glided across the floor, her body electric with excitement; she was drawn towards him, his scent fuelling her passion, fire building in her loins.
“It is time,” she whispered, her mouth titillating his ear.
Maegllyn threw her head back, hair cascading around her pale, smooth body like an aurora. Her lips parted suddenly, back arching as she drove down onto Kyros’ hips, tidal waves of hedonistic pleasure scorching her as she impaled herself over and over with a wild fury. The Queen saw deeply into the Priest’s soul, her obsidian eyes flashing with the heat of their scorched sun, K’lel.
The all consuming power of their union radiated outward, immersing their minds in its terrible potency and sheer beauty.
Kyros reached up and grabbed Maegllyn as she toppled over, ignoring her breathless person. We’re being watched, he thought, throwing his power into the ether and sensing ten other lives in the room.
“We are not alone,” he whispered to the Witch Queen.
“I know,” the fiery woman whispered, her hands clasping around the weapons she had teleported to her side.
The instant the armaments were spotted, the intruders attacked, their shouts suddenly filling the Great Hall. Kyros stood naked and proud as he faced his attackers. He sent a quick, fervent prayer to his God, Irkyl, and was answered with a glow about his hands.
Four warriors leaped at the Priest, their weapons missing as he dodged to the side. Deftly he threw a yellow ball of ColdFire and their souls froze and withered the instant his magic touched their skin. Their dying shrieks were painful to his ears.
He heard Maegllyn cut the throat of the last of her attackers with the ugly serrated edge of her enchanted obsidian sword.
The remaining two attackers stepped into the light, wearing full royal armour.
“The power of the Void will be ours,” King Ryo of Phrengal bellowed, as he and King Wren of Hyrn Forhe surged towards the naked bodies of the Priest and the Witch Queen.
The two kings wheeled and turned, their magical swords flashing as they locked in mortal combat with Maegllyn and Kyros, echoes of the clash starkly ringing down the jade-coloured, marble walls of the empty Great Hall.
“Power like that isn’t for fools,” Kyros ground out.
“And you are fools,” Maegllyn hissed, her sword darting closer to Wren.
Suddenly, there was a sinister deep shadow, which grew in presence, its evil entering the room as the four fought. The fighters stopped, stunned, all turning and staring with horror at what had been unleashed. There was a sudden roaring followed by a shattering cold, seeping into their bones and souls - hurting.
When the darkness had receded, only two remained alive.
“Q’xan is ours,” Maegllyn breathed to Kyros.