A thousand years ago, tucked deep in the beautiful woods to the south-
east of Lyramion, there was a small village called Forkbrook. The
people who lived there were blond haired and good natured; they lived by
fishing and hunting and traded with the nearest town which lay two days
travel to the west.

In  this  village  lived  a small boy named Tar.  He was not like the other
village-  lagers.   His hair was as dark as raven feathers by night and his
temper  was even darker.  The other children often teased him and many were
the  times  he  Tar  came home, dirty and covered with bruises, seeking the
soft arms of his his mother and pressing his face into her long blond hair.
He  never cried.  His His mother comforted and loved him, but sometimes she
lay  awake at nigh- night when her husband was asleep and thought about her
strange son.

To  avoid  the  other children Tar often went into the woods alone, leaving
early in the morning when his chores were done and returning just before
the evening meal. His father often grumbled about his son's long absences
but knew in his heart that it spared the boy the cruelty of the other chil-

One  day  Tar  left especially early.  He felt filled with anticipation and
was  determined  to  go deeper into the woods than ever before, even though
his  father  had  warned  him that a heavy storm was coming.  He walked on,
through  hidden vales, crossing small tinkling brooks and using paths where
the  sun  seldom  reached  the leaf-strewn earth.  But he had seen all this
before and hurried on without really looking.

Finally he reached a clearing in the forest where he had never been before.
He felt the thrill of the unknown run through his body and looked up at the
darkening  sky.  On the other side of the clearing, almost invisible in the
deep  shadows,  was  a  bare  mound.  In the mound was a dark hole, the en-
trance  to  a  cave.  Tar slowly crossed the clearing.  He looked up at the
sky  again.   He would have to hurry if he didn't want to get soaked to the
bone.   But first he must explore this cave, which seemed to be calling him
in  a  voice  he  sensed and could almost hear.  Everything in the clearing
seemed to point at the dark cave entrance.  Everything was quiet, so as not
to  dis-  turb  what  was drawing Tar towards the inky black opening.  With
each  step  forward,  Tar  felt  less  in control, more a spectator than an
actual par- ticipant.

At  last he reached the entrance.  A spot of light grew larger, far back in
the depths of the cave.  Tar felt his feet take him forward again.  He
entered  the  cave.  The air inside was heavy.  The smell reminded Tar of
a dead fox he had once found, but this smell was a thousand times stronger.

The light grew brighter and bigger, flickering on the rough surface of the
cave wall. Tar could make out a large shape Iying on the floor ahead. He
didn't know what was producing the light. A distant sound reached his
ears, gradually growing louder. It sounded like water running over stones
but was somehow different.

His  feet  brought him to a standstill in front of the the large shape.  He
looked down.  It was a corpse.  The corpse of a bear.  It had not been dead
for  very  long  but was already starting to decompose.  Now the stench hit
Tar  with  it's  full  force  and  he drew back at the sight of the maggots
twist-  ing  and turning in the rotting flesh.  His feet wouldn't obey him,
not  even when the corpse started to move, started to lift itself, meat and
maggots  falling  from  it  to the floor.  It raised it's head until it was
level with Tar's own and opened it's eyes.  Tar saw life flickering deep in
the mouldering skull, an evil and unclean life.

The corpse breathed in deeply. For a short moment all was still. Then the 
corpse said ~Tarbos~, breathing out a cloud of rotten air into Tar's face.

Tar  regained  control  of  himself,  clutched his face, and stumbled back-
wards.   He could not breathe, could not see, tried to get the foul gas out
of  his lungs, gasping, choking.  He fell back and started crawling towards
the  entrance,  not seeing the corpse of the bear fall to the floor as if a
pup-  peteer  had  let go of the strings.  The flickering light faded away.
The mound started trembling as Tar crawled towards the light, dust and dirt
falling  on  him.   Then he was out- side.  He looked back, blinking, tears
streaming from his eyes.  The mound collapsed with a loud rumbling.  As the
dust settled, all that could be seen was a rough patch of earth.

Tar  coughed and wiped the tears from his face.  He spat, trying to get the
vile  taste  out of his mouth.  He sat still and wondered about what he was
feeling.   He  felt  as  if fire was running through his veins, and it felt
good.   His  head  was  clearer than it had ever been before.  He looked
around  and  saw  everything  anew, every leaf, every blade of grass, every
pebble  on the ground.  At the same time he felt ashamed and shocked, as if
someone had stripped away his body and exposed his naked spirit.

He stood up, spat a last time and looked at the sky. It was very dark now.
He ran towards his village, exhilarated, filled with a strange new power.

The sky was almost black when Tar came running out of the forest. He
stood still, smiling broadly. He wasn't even tired.

"What  are  you  laughing about, dirthead?", said a sneering voice from be-
hind  him.   Tar  turned  around.  It was Mank.  He was always teasing Tar,
call- ing him names, picking fights.  Mank was big for his age.  Tar looked
up  at  him, a cold look in his eyes, and said "Go scratch your flea-bites,
you  horse-faced  dog  turd."  Mank's  eyes  widened, then he smiled.  "So,
learned  some  new  words  from  your  Dad,  did you?" His smile broadened.
"Only, he isn't your Dad, you know.  Your real Dad was a forest pig".

Mank started laughing and some other children who had come to watch
laughed as well. Tar opened his mouth to reply, but then Mank pushed
him hard and he stumbled back and fell to the ground. "See? He can't
even walk properly!"

All the kids were standing around Tar now, laughing. Mank bent over him,
smiled and said "And do you know what your mother was, runt ?~ Tar felt
anger growing inside him, like a fire. "I'll tell you what your mother was."
Tar no longer knew what he was doing, he knew only anger and hate. Ev-
erything turned red. He raised his arm and put his hand on Mank's chest.

"She was..." But Mank never got any further. Tar felt something, some
power running through his arm, through his hand. And he felt something
move violently under his hand, in Mank's chest. It made a sound which
suddenly seemed very loud. Mank's eyes grew very wide. Everyone was
absolutely still, as if time were standing still.

Thunder rumbled. Tar looked closely at Mank's face, his hand still on his
chest. A small trickle of blood came out of the corner of Mank's mouth.
Then he fell back, an expression of surprise and fear on his face.

Everything started to move again, all at once. Children started screaming,
parents ran outside to see what was going on and talked in loud voices.
Only Tar still sat there, his arm raised, absolutely still. And Mank? Mank
was lying in the dirt, very still.

The villagers were moving towards Tar. He looked up at their angry faces.
Then the storm finally broke and it's full force was unleashed upon the for-
est and the village. The rain lashed down, the wind tore at the trees and
houses, flashes of lightning struck four trees at almost the same time and
deafening thunder drowned out every sound.

Tar was sitting on the bed in his parent's room, the storm raging outside.
His mother had told him to wait when she had pushed him in inside, his fa-
ther had only looked at him, angry and disgusted. Now he could hear
them talking outside. He didn't understand why everyone was so angry at
his son.

- "Mank shouldnt have pushed me, I gave himm what he deserved. I did!"

He stood up and pressed his ear against the rough wood of the door. He
could just make out what his parents were saying. "We really tried, but
we knew when we found him. We should have left him in the woods."

His mother was crying. She managed to stop sobbing and then said "But
what can we do about it now?" Tar's father replied "The villagers want to
kill him. They think he's a demon." His mother started to sob even more
loudly. Tar felt his father move to comfort her, hold her, and heard his fa-
ther speak.

"Don't worry, my dear, I know something better. We'll take him to Latheoz.
He's a wizard, he'll know what to do"

As his father took him along the path leading north to the hills Tar looked
back at the village. He saw his mother but she didn't look at him. She had
still been crying when she had kissed him goodbye. She was surrounded
by the other villagers. They looked at him with angry faces, as if he was
something detestable. The children were hiding behind their mothers. He
wanted to look some more but his father pulled him around a bend in the
path. He never saw the village again.

				> 97 <

They camped that night. His father caught a rabbit and roasted it over the
fire. They ate in silence, then slept. Tar's father hadn't said a word to him
since they left.

They reached the house of Latheoz the next day. Latheoz was an old man
and was wearing a grey robe. He lived alone in a small stone house filled
with weird magical objects and a lot of large mysterious books. Tar's fa-
ther greeted him respectfully. The wizard grunted a little and asked why
they had come.

"It is because of him," Tar's father said and pointed at Tar, "He killed an-
other boy. We think by magic. Now the other people want to kill him -
they say he is a demon. I promised his mother, my wife, that I would bring
him to you.

Tar looked up at his father and asked: "Aren't you my father any more?~
His father looked down at him as if seeing him for the first time that day.
He kept looking for a while, not saying anything, then turned back to
Latheoz, who was also looking at Tar. The old man mumbled something,
stood up and rummaged around in a dark corner. After a while he came
back with a big crystal.

"Hold  this",  he  said to Tar.  Tar took the crystal in his hands.  He had
ex- pected a shock or a tingling feeling, but it felt just like a big piece
of stone.  Latheoz laid his old wrinkled hand on the crystal and closed his
eyes.   He  held  still  for  some time, then frowned, sweat forming on his
forehead.   With  a  sudden movement he jerked his hand away and opened his
eyes.  He stared at Tar, then looked at his father.

"Just a big black wall...", he mumbled, seemingly confused, then he came
to his senses and said "I advise you send him to the Seekers of Perilous
Knowledge. They might know what to do with him."They stared at each
other for a while, then Tar's father said " Very well. But how will he get
there?" - "I'll take him," said Latheoz,"I know some of the Seekers."

Tar had never seen anything like the lands through which Latheoz led him.
They had travelled through the foothills of the Bollgar range (Bollgar-

Berge) and were now walking along a steep trail towards a pass through
the mountains themselves. Latheoz didn't talk much but he didn't glare at
Tar either, although he sometimes had a curious glint in his eyes.

Tar could see that the journey was hard for the old man. Even so, Latheoz
rested only for short periods and never ate much. After two days travel
they came down into small rock valley. At it's centre stood a tall tower,
made entirely of cold stone.

"What's that?", asked Tar.

"That's the Tower of the Seekers," answered Latheoz.

"What do they seek?", asked Tar again.

"Perilous knowledge."

"Like moving dead things?"

Latheoz looked strangely at Tar. "Perhaps, yes."

Tar was more interested now. He stared at the tower.

Finally  they  stood  at  the  base  of the tower, after having crossed the
diffi- cult country surrounding it.  Latheoz seemed very tired.

"AIright, here you are. I'm going back now." - "Wait," Tar said, "Aren't
you coming in?" - Latheoz looked up at the tower and shivered. "No, I
don't want to go in there." - "But they won't know who brought me, or
why I'm here!", Tar exclaimed. - "Don't worry," said Latheoz with a weary
smile, "They know we're here."

Then Latheoz turned around and started walking back towards the moun-
tains. Tar looked at him as he grew smaller and smaller, then looked at the
double wooden doors at the bottom of the tower. He reached out to
knock, but before his hand touched the wood, the door opened and some-
one inside said: "Well? Are you going to stand outside all day or are you
coming in?"

Tar looked into the dark hall but couldn't see anything. He stepped inside.
The door closed behind him.

Tar was standing in a dark hall. A man dressed in a dark robe and holding
a torch gestured for him to follow. Tar followed him, up a winding stairway
then down a corridor. Finally he was pushed into a small room where a
bearded man, also clad in a dark robe, sat behind a large wooden desk.
The man gazed sternly at him. Tar felt a little uncomfortable under the
gaze but did not lower his eyes.

After a while the man said: "So Latheoz thinks you're fit to be a wizard."
He looked at his papers and wrote something down.

"What is your name?", he asked without looking up. "Tar." Tar replied.
The bearded man stared at him briefly as if he didn't believe him. Then he
wrote the name down.

"Very well," said the man, "You have some talent, so much is clear." Tar
didn't understand but said nothing. The man looked at him. "Do you have
any questions?" Tar thought intently, then asked "Am I a Seeker now?"
The man smiled and said: "Not yet. But with a little luck, you'll be a true
Seeker one day."

And so Tar joined the Seekers of Perilous Knowledge. The Seekers made
him work hard, but he had enough to eat and his bed was warm and dry.
They also taught him to read and write, and when they saw he learned
quickly, they gave him basic knowledge of Elementals and the Demonic
Realms. Tar absorbed everything they taught him with a speed that sur-
prised even the Seekers and he rose through the ranks faster than anyone
before. But he never made any friends.

                               II - Wizards

Well, Tar, you're doing your Master's test tomorrow. Do you think you'll
make it ?" Tar lifted his eyes from the roll of parchment he was
reading and looked into the eyes of the Master who had spoken to him.
He smiled slowly and said "Of course, Master Zanthi. I don't think there
will be any problem."

Master Zanthi laughed uneasily, having sensed the mocking tone. ~Ha!
You may be the youngest ever to attempt the Master's Trial, but don't over-
estimate yourself. Calling up a third level demon isn't something to be
taken lightly."

Tar smiled again and turned back to his studies.

- Old fool, he thought, the demons are eatiing out of my hand. And I
  have already called up a fourth level demon.

Then he wondered. Things were easy for him. He performed with ease 
those incantations which other seekers considered very difficult.

- They're all fools.

The next day Tar was called at dawn and brought before the council. The
twelve looked at him with stern eyes but Tar stood before them with no 
apparent fear or concern, even though he knew they all felt he was
too young.

Grandmaster Kantoun cleared his throat and spoke. "Brother Tar, you will 
now risk your very being in an attempt to invoke and control a Demon
of the third level, thus proving that you are worthy to be a master.
Do you wish to reconsider?" He looked Gravely at Tar who smiled as
he said "No, Grandmaster".

Kantuon continued to look at him, his expression unchanging. Then he
said: "I repeat, do you wish to reconsider?" Tar looked straight into the
Grandmaster's eyes without flinching and replied "No, Grandmaster."

Kantuon sighed and looked down at the scroll in his hands. A Very well,A
he said, "Go through that door." He pointed towards a door on Tar's right.
"We'll check your progress here."

Tar nodded, walked to the door and entered the Trial Room. It was small
and completely dark except for a tall black candle which cast its wildly
flickering light over the rough walls. Tar sat down and entered the trance
state. Without hesitation he sank down through the outer levels of the De-
monic Realms, casually fighting off the attacks and temptations of the
lesser demons. He stopped on the fifth level to do battle with a group of
demons who were trying to stop him.

After destroying them, he sank further to the fourth level. A demon of for-
midable size blocked his path and attacked him. Tar frowned and coun-

midable size blocked his path and attacked him. Tar frowned and coun-
ter attacked, knocking the demon over the horizon of the realm's non-
space. He waited patiently for the demon to return but it stayed away.

He sank to the third level, quickly sensing a powerful demon in his
vicinity. He honed in on it and bound it with his most powerful binding
spells. It struggled, tried to attack, but Tar simply squeezed his 
mental hand until the demon no longer resisted. He calmly held his grip.
The twelve would soon sense his control of the demon and he would return
a Master.

A giant hand came up from below, grabbed him, enclosing him completely, 
then drew him down. Tars binding spell was broken.

- "Hellfire, a second level demon?

He didnt resist, sensing it was useless, but waited. He felt how he
entered the second level and was thrilled.

He was deeper than he had ever been before. But still he was going down,
and soon he felt himself sinking out of the second level, crossing the final
barrier. The realization of what was happening shocked him.

- Only a Demon Lord could do this!

Then the giant hand opened, exposing him to the first level. He sensed the
huge power which had drawn him down, the immense entity which was
dwarfing his puny human form. He felt fear grow inside him but his curios-
ity was greater.

"Who are you?", he demanded silently. If the Demon Lord gave his name,
he could be called again.

- If I get out of here.

The King of Hell changed his appearance of pure chaos and took on a
shape which could be comprehended by the human senses. A smile
crossed the huge face.

"Greetings, Tarbos. I am Thornahuun. I am your father," said the King
with a thunderous sound which filled the space completely. Tar was

- Tarbos ... The cave ... My father? Prepossterous!

The Demon King's smile broadened. "Goodbye, Tarbos. We shall meet
again." Tar felt himself being propelled upwards, faster and faster. He
screamed: "Wait, Thornahuun! Come back!" But all that he heard from
the Demon Lord as he sped up through the nine levels was great laughter.

Tar was screaming as he came out of his trance. The Twelve came into the
room and surrounded him.

"Tar, what happened?", they asked. "We sensed you controlling the third
level demon when you suddenly disappeared. Where..."

Tar regained control over himself. He stood up without answering,
brushed off their helping hands and looked at Kantuon who gazed calmly
back at him. The other Masters fell quiet. Kantuon spoke: "I don't know
what happened to you down there, Tar, but you demonstrated your wor-
thiness. You are now a Master of the Seekers of Perilous Knowledge."

Tar nodded, completely calm now. But under his calmness burned great
anger and ambition.

Tar sat in his small room and closed the huge book of scrolls he had been
studying with an angry thud. None of the normal tomes contained the
knowledge he needed. He had to invoke Thornahuun and bind him,
forcing him to tell the truth. He thought once more about the mound and
the corpse of the bear, about his parents who had found him, about the
Demon Lord who had called him Tarbos. How else could he have known
that name if he hadn't been the force behind the gruesome messenger in
the mound?

Tar pounded the great book of power with his fist. Useless. It contained
power of which most men only dreamed, yet it wasn't enough to summon
a King of Hell. He needed older, deeper scrolls filled with greater power.

Tar walked to Kantuon's study and knocked on the wooden door."Come
in," came the Grandmaster's voice from inside. Tar entered. Kantuon
wasn't alone. In a wide chair next to his large desk sat a young woman,
not much younger than Tar. Tar hesitated, surprised. Kantuon noticed his
reaction and said "Ah, yes. Tar, this is my niece, Princess Mylneh. Mylneh,
this is Tar."

Mylneh extended her hand. Tar kissed it. She smiled at him. Then Tar
looked at Kantuon, raising his eyebrows. "Princess?", he asked. "Hm,
yes." Kantuon seemed a little embarrassed. "It isn't very well known, but
King Marakahn is my brother. I'd appreciate it if you would keep it to your-

Tar smiled. "Of course, Grandmaster." Kantuon looked at a stack of pa-
pers on his desk. "Meanwhile, perhaps you might like to show Mylneh
around the tower. She will be staying for a while and sadly I haven't got
much time at the moment." Tar hesitated, thinking about his original pur-
pose, then smiled at Mylneh. "Of course, Grandmaster. Your Highness?"

He held out his arm to the princess. "Oh silly, call me Mylneh," she said,
laughing, and took his arm. They walked out of the room. Kantuon
watched them, then sighed and went back to his work.

"I'm surprised at your manners, Tar," Mylneh said as they walked through
the larger chambers towards the centre of the tower. Tar feigned shock.
"Have I insulted you in some way, Milady ?" She laughed. ~Call me Myl-
neh! No, I would have thought that someone who lived in a tower away
from everything wouldn't know how what a girl looked like, let alone how
to speak to one."

Tar smiled. ~Well, Mylneh, our education does not only concern itself with
dark things and you would be surprised at the kind of temptations one
has to resist when dealing with the darker sides of magic."

They walked up the stairs towards the top of the tower. Tar felt pleased by
her interest in him. Out of the corner of his eye he looked at her long,
chestnut brown hair and her dark blue eyes. Her face and body weren't as
perfect as those of the demons who had tried to seduce him, but she was
warm and real, and Mylneh seemed genuinely kind and not out to destroy
him, which was a nice change.

As they came to the top, Mylneh gasped at the incredible sight of the Boll-
gar  mountain  range  all  around  her.   Tar  stood next to her.  It was a
magnifi-  cent  view,  he  had to admit.  Everywhere one looked one saw the
stark, un- compromising beauty of the mountains.  Mylneh looked at him, her
eyes sparkling, laughing.  "It's wonderful!", she exclaimed.  "Yes, it is,"
said  Tar.   "But  you're  not looking at the mountains!  You're looking at
me!" she said, feigned annoyance on her face.


Mylneh laughed at him.  "Silly!", she said, then became more serious.  "You
know,"  she  said  after  a while, "I thought this would be a really boring
stay, but it might become interesting after all." "Why is that?", Tar asked
innocently.   "Well,  I thought the only people I would be talking to would
be these old men." She smiled at him.

The next day Tar visited the Grandmaster again. "Yes, Tar," he said, look-
ing up from the scrolls on his desk, "What is it?" Tar looked him straight
in the eyes. "I should like to read the forbidden scrolls, the ones that are
locked away at the back of the library."

Kantuon sat up. "You're not even supposed to know about them!" Tar
shrugged. "It wasn't difficult to find out. Can I read them?" Kantuon sat
back in his chair. a stern look on his face. "What do vou need them for?"

Tar looked away, then said "It's an experiment I want to perform. I want to
invoke a Demon Lord."

"What?!", exclaimed Kantuon. "Have you gone mad ? Not even I would
attempt to call up a King of Hell! I order you to abandon this experiment!"
Tar glowered, then calmed his features again.

- You old fool, Tar thought, I will have thhose books even without your

"Of course, Grandmaster. I will destroy my notes immediately." Then he
turned around and left. Kantuon watched him leave and wondered why
Tar wanted to invoke a Demon Lord.

Over the next few days Tar and Mylneh saw each other often. Tar showed
her the tower and told her what the Seekers did here, Mylneh told Tar
about her father and the court. Tar noticed that when he was with Mylneh,
he no longer felt angry or troubled. He was happiest when he was with

One night, they again climbed to the top of the tower to look at the stars.
Mylneh was enchanted by the night sky. Tar stood next to her. After a
while he put his arm around her shoulders. Mylneh looked at him. "Tar?"
Tar looked in her eyes. She seemed sad and happy at the same time.

"Yes?", he said. "Kiss me."

Tar raised his eyebrows, but saw she meant it. He took her chin gently in
his hand and placed his lips on hers. It seemed to last forever. Then Myl-
neh pulled back and Tar noticed that her eyes were moist.

"Tar?" she asked. "Yes?" "I must leave tomorrow."

Tar  was  quiet  for  a moment.  Then he recovered.  "What?" - "I wanted to
tell  you as late as possible, so as not to spoil our last few days." - "Is
that  why  I  got  a  kiss?"  His  voice  sounded  bitter.  "In payment for
entertaining you for a while?"

"Tar. Don't make this too hard. You knew I had to leave at some time.
But he had turned away and was leaning on the parapet."


He didn't reply for a moment, then he said "I wanted you to be there. I
wanted you to see it." - "See what?" she asked. He turned around, fire
burning in his eyes. "I'm going to invoke a Demon Lord. I'm going to fight

Mylneh took a step back, frightened by this sudden change in him. "But,
you told me that Demon Lords were the most powerful demons there are."
- "They are. And I'm going to conquer one.  Think of the power I'll have."
- "Oh Tar, don't do it. How can you possiblly stand up to a creature like
that? He'll crush you like a fly!" He looked coolly at her. "He won't. I

"Tar,  you mustn't ..." He interrupted her.  "No-one can tell me what to do
or  what  not  to do.  This is all academic anyway, isn't it?  You won't be
there.   I'll  ask you only once, Mylneh.  Stay.  It won't take long.  I'll
have finished my preparations soon."

But Mylneh shook her head and took a few steps away from him. "No,
Tar. I don't want to be around when you try something like that." And with
that she turned and ran down the steps. Tar didn't stop her. He leaned on
the parapet again and gazed sombrely at the starlit landscape.

- Stupid girl, he thought. You're just as ssmall-minded as the others.

The next day Tar wasn't there when Mylneh left. Instead he sat in the li-
brary and read the forbidden scrolls. He had managed to pick the lock and
break the magical seals. Now he sat there, reading intently, occasionally
making notes.

Time passed unnoticed. He found the spell he needed and copied the vital
parts. He was writing down the final incantations when the door to the li-
brary suddenly crashed open. Grandmaster Kantuon stood in the door-
way, obviously furious. He strode forward to the desk where Tar was
studying, looked down at the scrolls and back at Tar and slammed the
books shut.

"Tar," he said with a voice seething with suppressed rage, "I told you ex-
pressly not to read these books. They are only to be used with consent
from the Twelve and from me. You have ignored a direct order and will re
ceive just punishment. By sunset, you will have left this tower. You may
continue your studies in the small hut on the hill to the north." Kantuon's
eyes widened in anger as he saw that Tar looked back at him levelly, obvi-
ously not impressed.

"Very well, Grandmaster, he said with a calm voice. "I have found what I
was searching for. I have no need to stay at the tower any longer."

He stood up and walked out of the library, leaving Kantuon staring
speechlessly at his retreating back.

The same afternoon Tar left the tower and entered the hut. It had been
standing empty for a while but he had soon made it inhabitable. He never
looked back at the tower.

Tar looked out of the window in his study. It was dark enough now. A
huge storm was forming over the hut. He turned away and prepared him-
self. He now had enough knowledge. He might be able to find and control
Thornahuun. A shudder went through his body. The forbidden scrolls had
been horrible. His very being had felt tainted after reading those ancient,
gruesome books. But now he was ready.

He breathed deeply and entered the magical trance state.  Fast, faster than
ever  before,  he  sank through the first eight levels, slicing through the
lesser  demons  like a hot knife through butter.  Then he once again passed
the fi- nal barrier.  He was on the first level.

He didn't hesitate, but spoke the name of the one he sought.

- Thornahuun!

Surprisingly, the Demon Lord appeared almost instantly. The King had to
be up to something. He looked at the boiling chaotic shape which was
slowly changing into a huge, vaguely human entity. The King was smiling.

"Greetings, Tarbos." His smile broadened. "What can I do for you, my
son?" He chuckled. Tar remained calm, although he felt anger rising up
within him. "Why do you persist in calling me your son?", he asked. "Be-
cause you are, answered Thornahuun. "Do you not remember when we
met in th cave with the mound?" Tar frowned, sensing the King was telling
the truth. "Then my parents did find me in the forest ..."

The King chuckled again.  "Yes.  Your real mother was a witch.  She was all
too  glad  to  be  inseminated by a Demon Lord.  She didn't realize what it
meant,  what  exquisite pain it would cause.  You had burrowed your way out
after  only  seven  months.   You  had quite an appetite." The King laughed
cruelly.   Tar  steeled himself, suppressing his anger.  He had never known
this woman.

"Why did you do this?"

The King looked down at him, still smiling. "Why, I have big plans for you,
Tarbos. You will conquer the world for me."

Tar felt his anger growing almost out of control now. "Not before I con-
quer you!", he screamed, and let power stream from his being towards
Thornahuun. The King was hurled back by the blast but recovered imme-
diately. His smile grimmer, he said "So, that is how you want it, eh? Very
well. I created you. Now I will destroy you." With that he raised his claw
and attacked.

Thus began a magical battle which shook the foundations of the Demonic
Realms. In the natural world, over Tar's hut, a storm raged with unparal-
leled force. In the Tower of the Seekers, Kantuon felt the immense magical
vibrations and concentrated deeply to find their source.

After an immeasurable time, both Tar and Thornahuun stopped fighting.
They were exhausted. Tar's new- found power was a match for the King's
but he couldn't beat him. Neither could the King destroy Tar. Thornahuun
smiled wearily. His plan needed a change. He saw an opportunity for
bringing even more chaos to the world. He mentally called his brother.


It didn't take long. All the Realms had been following the gigantic battle.

   - "Thornahuun, my brother"

Thornahuun did not even consider asking for help.

   - "Bralkur, I shall be defeated."

Bralkur showed no reaction at all.

   - "My essence will enter my son. I ask you to help him if he should need 
      it."                                                           ,,

Bralkur didn't hesitate.

- "As you wish, my brother. Farewell."

Thornahuun raised himself for one final effort. Tar saw the movement and
attacked the King, power flaring from him. However, Thornahuun was not
resisting but was flying straight towards Tar, closer and closer, laughing.
Then he merged with Tar's being. Tar felt his mind being stretched beyond
it's limits as his essence mingled with the Demon Lord's. He reeled at the
size of the King's mind, the world it encompassed, and tried to flee, tried to
hide, but couldn't. His being spread itself across the Demon Lord's, mixed
with it, became one with it. For an eternity, his universe was destroyed.
Then he felt his mind accept it's new form and he slowly, half-consciously
started floating up through the levels of the Realms. No demon blocked
his way.

Kantuon opened his eyes, deeply shocked. He tried to fully comprehend
what Tar had done but couldn't.

- To merge with a King of Hell ... the poweer it would give.

He stood up, covered his face with his hands. He mustn't think about it. A
being with enough power to move mountains, concentrated in one human.
But then he wondered if Tar was really human. He couldn't be, not any
more. He stood up and called for a servant.

- The council must come together. This abommination must be destroyed.

He looked up at the Seeker who had entered. "Call the Twelve," he said
and started at the sound of his own voice. He sounded older, much older
than he really was.

- Nn matter ... The King. I must warn Marakkahn.

Tar came to slowly. He felt as if his body had been speeded up a thousand
times. Somehow, he had managed to control Thornahuun's essence. He
was himself, Tarbos. No longer Tar. He was infinitely more powerful now.
His mind still reeled when he contemplated the size of his new power.

- I have defeated my father. I have his powwer now. He was like a god.
  Yes. I am a god now. TARBOS, GOD OF CHAOS.

He started laughing, louder and louder.  He couldn't stop himself, and he
didnt care. Not even when the hut started trembling with his laughter.

        			III - GODS

Kantuon looked around the circle of Masters. These were the Twelve,
the most powerful Seekers of Lyramion. Few would think of challeng-
ing them.

- Yet now, who will say what we can do abouut this threat?

He cleared his throat. "My brothers, we are in a dire situation. Our former
brother, Tar, has mingled his essence with that of a King of Hell." They
gasped, then all started talking at the same time.

"But ..." "How could he ..." "That's preposterous!"

Kantuon held up his hand, demanding quiet. They fell silent. "It is true, my
brothers. I have already sent a message to King Marakahn. Meanwhile, we
must try to stop him ourselves."

The Twelve looked at each other. Together, they formed a magical force
which knew no equal. Yet each of them felt that they would very probably
lose their lives, and worse, in the coming battle. Kantuon stared at each of
the silent Masters. "Let us go, my brothers."

Tarbos  sat  on  an ornamental throne he had burned out of a large block of
stone.   The  stone  had  originally  been a part of the foundations of his
keep,  which  had  collapsed.  He smiled and looked down at the ruined land
which lay around him.  He heard a sound.  A group of people was approaching
the ruins of his hut.  He waited patiently.  It was Kantuon and the Twelve.

"Ah, Kantuon," he exclaimed with obvious pleasure, "You have come to
worship me. Good."

Kantuon stopped, a grave expression on his face.

- It is as If feared, he thought, the powerr was too much for him.

"We have not come to worship you, Tar. We have come to stop you. We
..." Tarbos' loud laughter interrupted him. It grew louder and more mania-
cal. The Twelve looked at each other. Tears were running down Tarbos'
face now. It seemed as if he would never stop. Finally he calmed down,
and managed to talk without chuckling too much. "You, you want to stop

He burst out our laughing again. Then after a few moments he became se-
rious again. He looked sternly down at Kantuon and the Twelve.

"Seriously now. First of all, you will call me Tarbos. Second, I am now a
God, the God of Chaos, and I expect proper worship. So, if you want to
live, go down on your knees."

The Twelve were shocked at this display of insane, conceited calm. Kan-
tuon turned to them. "My friends," he said in a calm voice, "it is as I
feared. We must combine our powers and destroy him." They gazed at
each other, then, one by one, they all entered the magical trance state,

holding each other's hands so as to form a circle of thirteen. All thirteen
dark wizards sank deeper into their trances, sweat forming on their brows.
A globe of pure energy formed in the centre of the circle. It grew, pulsing
with many colours. Then it expanded and curved toward Tarbos at the
speed of light. Tarbos, who had been watching, held up his hand and de-
flected the incredible power without flinching. He stood up, no longer
amused, and spoke.  His voice was terrible, no longer human.  "So, you will
not  bow before your rightful Lord?  Puny fools!  You will all perish, here
and now! "                                                          

And with that he raised his hand. From the palm of his hand burst forth a
fountain of black energy which shot towards the circle of wizards. The ef-
fect was terrible. They were simply blown to pieces before they could even

Meanwhile, King Marakahn had received his brother's message and sat
with his counsellors in the great hall of his citadel. "Well, Mandek? What
do the wizards say of this threat?"

Mandek, an old man clad in the grey robes of the Keepers of the Balance,
stood up and said with a grave voice "Your Majesty, my eleven brothers
and I have considered this throughout the night. We think this menace
must be destroyed before he is our doom."

The king thought quietly about this and then said ~Very well.  I think this
is  a  matter where magic is the best solution.  But can he be stopped?" He
looked  up and stared at Mandek, who coughed and answered "It is possi-
ble, Your Majesty.  Ancient spells are available to us, for control over
a Demon Lord, which is what this Tar has become if we may believe Grand-
master Kantuon's story."

The King looked vaguely annoyed. "I trust my brother in this, Mandek. He
wouldn't send a message like this if he weren't absolutely sure.~ Mandek
cast down his eyes. "Of course, Your Majesty."

"Meanwhile,"  continued  the  King, aI have sent a messenger to this Tar to
inform  him  that  he  may not enter our land.  It is doubtful that he will
heed this if things are as you say, but we must try."

"Yes, Your Majesty. May I ask whom you have sent?" "It was Sir Mando,
one of my best knights. He volunteered."

Sir Mando rode down from the Bollgar mountains on his tired horse and
looked out over the valley below him. He saw the Tower of the Seekers to
his right. The hut, his destination, was supposed to be a bit further, but he
couldn't see a thing. The sun started to sink behind the mountains when
he rode past the tower which stood there like a black gravestone. Mando
called but no-one answered. Puzzled, he rode on through the big boulders
towards the place where the hut was supposed to be. The land around
him was completely lifeless, the silence absolute. Once he thought he saw
something scurrying away behind a boulder but he didn't find anything
when he looked. He rode on, his unease deepening.

Mando reached the hill where the hut was supposed to be. It simply wasn't
there. Mystified, he tied his horse's reins to a tree and started to climb the
steep path to the top of the hill. Something was Iying on the rocky ground
further up. It was the size of a human hand. He climbed on until he ap-
proached the small object. Then he saw what it was. He turned pale and
sank slowly to his knees. It was a human hand, severed at the wrist and
burned black. He turned it around with his knife. Disgusted, he stood and
walked on towards the top.

Tarbos sat on his throne of rock and gazed around. He was bored. He had
been sitting there for two days and had found out that he no longer
needed food or drink. However, he found that he longed for something

- Mylneh.

He was angry at her. He wanted to punish her, to show her how wrong
she had been, how powerful he had become. On the other hand he
wanted to hold her, to kiss her, to once again experience the simple joy he
had ...

His senses warned him of a living being approaching and he broke from
his reverie. Someone was coming up the hill. No form of life had come in
his  vicinity  since  he  had  destroyed the wizards.  Every man, woman and
child,  every  animal, bird and insect had left the valley.  Tarbos sat up,
all his senses focused on this sudden diversion.

- It's a human. Iron ... a Knight. The firsst to worship the God of Chaos.

Tarbos grinned.

The  blackened  hand  wasn't the only thing Mando found as he climbed to- y
wards  the  top of the hill.  As he came higher, he noticed more signs of a
massacre;  pieces of black cloth burned at the edges, pieces of indefinable
flesh,  more  limbs.  He found an ear in a clump of dead grass.  A sense of
horror and impending doom filled him as he climbed over the last ridge.

They looked each other in the eyes.  Mando flinched and looked away un- der
Tarbos'  terrible  gaze.   A  deep, evil light shone out of those eyes.  He
knew  this  man,  or demon, was responsible for the massacre which had left
the gruesome remains.  He cleared his throat and spoke.  

"I have been sent by the good King Marakahn. He has heard from Grand-
master Kantuon of your despicable action and informs you that you are
no longer welcome in his Kingdom. If you are caught within it's borders,
you will be captured and executed." He said the last words very quietly.

When Tarbos still hadn't reacted after around a minute had passed Man-
do looked up. Tarbos was sitting there, expressionless. Then, he chuckled.
And he chuckled again. He started chuckling more loudly until eventually
he was laughing. Louder and louder he laughed until he was roaring and
Mando felt the ground shake under the force of the demonic glee. Then
suddenly Tarbos sat up and screamed "KNEEL BEFORE ME, YOU WORM!"

Shaken by this outburst of anger, Mando felt himself fall forward on his
knees. Tarbos stood up. Miserable, pitiful human! How dare you and your
puny King address me, the God of Chaos, in such a manner! I have a mes-
sage for your KING."

He  raised  his hands and a piece of Mando's armour and clothing fell away,
revealing  his  naked  belly.  He felt a tearing sensation, starting at his
navel, and gasped as the pain hit him.  Realizing what was happening to him
he  tried  to  stop  it  with  his hands but it was no use.  After a while,
Tarbos  low- ered his hand and Mando looked down at his body with a look of
shocked  disbelief  on  his face.  Tarbos grinned and said:  "Do not worry.
You will not die.  Not until you have delivered my message to your King."

After the messenger had left, Tarbos smiled grimly.

- So, this king thinks to command me. Soon  he will lie grovelling at my
  feet and then I will take his daughter before his uery eyes.

But first Tarbos needed an army. He extended his senses like tendrils into
the ground and searched for all the warriors who lay buried on the ancient
battlefields around the valley. With one thrust of his will he forced their
rotten corpses up. With another he opened a thousand gateways to the
Demonic Realms and ordered demons to come through, bringing new, evil
life to the long-dead bodies.

They  came slithering and shuffling towards his hill, vile light flickering
deep  in  their  empty  eye  sockets.  Some still had flesh on their bones,
others were mere skeletons.  Tarbos looked at his army and smiled broadly.

"Greetings,  my  loyal  servants.   We shall go and conquer a kingdom." The
earth  shuddered  as the demons responded to him, screeching and howling,
clattering their rusty swords against their shields.

Meanwhile,  Mando  rode  as  if a demon was on his heels.  His horse sensed
that  it's  rider  was no longer sane and was on the verge of panic.  Mando
felt  only  the pain from his belly growing worse with each mile.  The only
things  which  kept him from going insane were his oath as a knight and the
message he must deliver to his king.

A lone horse hobbled slowly towards the king's castle. It was visibly ex-
hausted,  trembling  on  it's  feet.   As  it neared the castle, the guards
recognized  a  knight  slumped  in the saddle and led the horse into the
courtyard.   There the knight fell off the horse with a loud crash.  As the
stable  hands  pulled  him  up,  he  regained  consciousness.  The men then
noticed  what was wrong with the knight and backed away in terror.  But the
knight didn't see them and stumbled slowly into the castle.

King  Marakahn  was  listening to the sorry tale of a cheated merchant when
several  servants came running into the great hall, horrified expres- sions
on  their  pale faces as if they were fleeing from something.  The chancell
cellor came to a halt before the king, opened his mouth, his entire body
trembling, and all fell quiet. The chancellor closed his mouth and turned
around, his face filled with terror, to look at the figure who had appeared.
The king who had been watching all this with growing wonder and anxi-
ety, raised his eyes to the wide doorway. The person standing there stum-
bled forward. Marakahn gasped as he recognized the broken man.

"Mando!",  he  exclaimed and rushed forward to help him.  But as he reached
out to grasp Mando's shoulders, he drew back with disgust and horror on his
face.   For  Mando  was not the man who had ridden out to deliver a message
for  his  king.   His  skin  was  pale as a corpse's, his hair as white and
lifeless.  His eyes were dead orbs sunken deep in their sockets.  But worst
was  the  horrible  wound  in  his  belly  - a large hole in his armour and
clothing  exposed  the  ragged  opening  in  his  skin and flesh.  Marakahn
staggered  back as he saw the empty abdomen.  Mando gazed at him, a look of
extreme  pain  in his eyes, and spoke.  "He told me I would not die until I
gave you his message."

His voice sounded like that of an old, sick man. Marakahn stood trem-
bling. "What is his ...", he stammered, then stopped. He looked in Mandos
eyes with pity on his face. "Mando..", he whispered, "Perhaps our wizards

But Mando looked back calmly and grimaced. Marakahn realized he was
trying to smile. Mando cast down his eyes. "No, my Lord." He looked up
and his expression had changed. "Please ..." he said, pleading.

Marakahn swallowed. Then he asked, almost whispering "What is his

Mando  took  a  deep breath and answered " Lord Tarbos, God of Chaos, tells
you  that he will soon come to claim these lands and that he may show mercy
upon  those  who  worship  him  faithfully,  and  that,  and that ..
Coughing racked his weakened body.  He managed to stop for a mo- ment, took
another deep breath, tears glistening in his eyes, and said his last words.
And that he will take Princess Mylneh as his bride."

For  a  number  of heartbeats all went quiet.  Then blood came from Mando's
wound,  a  trickle  at  first,  then growing into a steady flow.  His knees
buck-  led  and  he  fell into King Marakahn's arms.  The blood was gushing
from  the  gaping  hole  in  Mando~s body as the king held him tenderly and
watched  his  face,  tears running down his own cheeks.  The king had never
seen a happier expression on a man's face than on Mando~s when he died.

Marakahn  slowly  lowered  Mando's  body to the floor and closed his broken
eyes.   Then  he stood and looked at the side entrance, where Princess Myl-
neh  had  just come in.  She stared at her father, his grim expression, his
blood-covered  clothes  and  the  body  Iying  in a pool of blood on the st

"Father?" she stammered. "What has happened?"

The King looked down at the body, then clicked his fingers. The frightened
Chancellor came up to him, nervously wringing his hands. "Take Sir Man-
do away," said the King with a harsh voice. "Prepare him for a suitable
burial." He turned around and sat down on his throne.

"Yes, Your Majesty," stammered the Chancellor. He hurriedly ordered
some of the servants to carry the body away and some others to remove
the blood.

Mylneh  walked up to her father and asked again "Father?  What hap- pened?"
The  King,  who  had been staring sombrely into the distance, looked up and
stared at Mylneh as if seeing her for the first time.  ~Mando has brought a
message  from  Tar  ...   Tarbos," he said, staring at the pool of blood to
which  the  servants were attending.  "It cost him his life." He shivered
and  looked away.  Mylneh saw how deeply shocked her father was.  "What was
the message?", she asked very softly.

"He claims to be a god. Lord Tarbos, God of Chaos. He is ... coming here,
to take this kingdom. And ... he wants you as his bride."

Mylneh turned white as she heard these last words, then sadness filled her
soul and her eyes became moist. ~I knew it ... I knew he would go too far."
She looked at the king. "Oh father, will we be able to stop him?" The king
sighed. "I hope so, my dearest. I will summon Mandek and ask him how
the preparations are progressing."

Mandek came shortly after that, looking a little disgruntled. Marakahn told 
him about the message. "Well, Mandek? Have you and your brothers
found the right spell yet?" Mandek cleared his throat. We have found
one, Your Majesty. But there is one problem. He cast down his eyes,
coughed, then glanced briefly at Mylneh before continuing. "The spell
must be cast by thirteen people - four white wizards, four grey, four
black, and ... someone who knew Tarbos." Mylneh's eyes widened. She
opened her mouth to speak but the king cut her off with a gesture and
asked ~Is there any danger?"

Mandek looked down, then answered. There is, yes. It all depends on the
determination of, er, the person who is the, er, focus of the spell." He
glanced at Mylneh again.

The king leaned back in his chair and said "I will not endanger my ..."

But Mylneh interrupted him and said "I will do it." The king looked long at
her but said nothing. Instead he turned to Mandek and said very quietly
"Very well. Prepare her." Mandek sighed. "Yes, Your Majesty." He pre-
pared to leave with Mylneh when the king said Wait. Does it matter
where the spell is cast?" "Uhm ... No, Your Majesty. Why?"

The king smiled. "There is an old castle in the mountains to the northeast
of the capital. It would be much safer there." Mandek bowed. "Of course,
Your Majesty. What is this castle called?" "It's name is too old to be re-
membered. You will call it Godsbane."

Dark, oily clouds hung over the battlefield as Tarbos looked out over his
undead army and smiled. The remains of the army which had opposed
him were fleeing, mercilessly followed by his warriors who needed neither
rest nor nourishment. Soon he would reach the capital and the king's cas-
tle. Then Mylneh would be his and all would crawl in the dust before him.

~Your Majesty, there is another messenger from your army." King
Marakahn sighed, dreading more bad news. "Very well. What is your mes-
sage, good man?"

The messenger looked up. One could clearly feel he had seen many horri-
ble things in the last few days and the king waited patiently until he had
drawn his wits together.

Greetings, Your Majesty. I ... I have been sent by Sir Laneanor to tell you
that the province of North Danormia has been conquered by Tarbos'
army. We ... We were forced to retreat, Your Majesty. They were demons!
Undead monsters! We ..." The king raised his hand to silence him.

"Yes,  I  have  heard many reports like this." He fell silent in thought, a
troubled expression on his face as so often over the last few days."

- If only I could be sure that Mylneh is saafe and that the spell will work.

He pushed these doubts away and forced a smile.

- They mustn't suspect how bad things reallly are.

Alright.   I  thank you for your message.  Do not worry, we will stop him."
But  his  mind  was  filled with the image of Tarbos' demonic army, cutting
through  his land like a sharp sword through flesh, leaving only gray death
in it's wake.

When  Tarbos  was  two days away from the capital, having chased the king's
army  before  him all the time, he sensed a great concentration of magic to
the  northeast.   Troubled,  he went into a trance and sent his mind out on
wings  of darkness towards the source of magic.  Once there, he rek ognized
which spell was being worked and who was the focus.

- Mylneh.

He concentrated on the place.

- It's a castle... Godsbane...

He returned to his body, seething with anger, and changed his army's
course with a single unspoken command.

"Mylneh? What is wrong?"

She looked up. Just now, she had sensed dark fingers obscenely caressing 
her mind. She shivered, feeling unclean. "It was nothing," she told Man-
dek, then went on with the chanting of the Great Spell. Mandek frowned,
then continued with his own part of the spell.

Marakahn  was  pacing the great hall, angry and frustrated in his helpless-

- How can I convince these people that all  will be well when I am not
  sure myself? When nothing seems to stop this Tarbos?

He rubbed his eyes, he hadn't slept properly in days. A weary messenger
entered the great hall and knelt before him. Marakahn grimaced and said
NYes? What is your message?"

"Your Majesty", the man stammered, "Lord Tarbos's army has changed
course. They are no longer heading for the capital!" Horror filled the king
as he asked what he already knew.

"Where is he headed?"

"To the northeast, Your Majesty."

The king sat down on his throne, defeated.

- The northeast ... to Godsbane.

Tarbos  strode  forward  through  the  ranks of his demonic army with long,
powerful  strides,  pushing aside those who weren't quick enough to get out
of his way.  As he neared the centre of the battle he drew his great sword
and walked on purposefully. He felt filled with power and exhilaration.
Soon Godsbane would fall, although all the king's armies were gatheret
here to defend it.

Then Tarbos reached the front line and grinned as he saw the horror Ol
the defenders' faces at the sight of him. He raised his sword and started
hacking. Men fell before him like corn before the farmer's sickle as he
fought steadily onward towards the large gates of Godsbane. He could
have blasted them all apart here and now, but this was much more fun.

Inside, Mylneh heard the sounds of battle raging, the clash of metal on
metal, the screams of the dying. Terrified, she looked at the twelve wizards
but they were all mumbling their part of the spell. She closed her eyes
tightly and continued to chant.

Laneanor had the remaining human knights regroup before the gates of
Godsbane in a last desperate attempt. They held off the demonic warriors
as best they could but they were tired and Laneanor knew that they would
all die here. He fought on, grimly. If they could buy the necessary time with
their lives, so be it.

Then  he noticed the huge warrior who came through the ranks of the en- emy
and  his  eyes  widened with fear.  It was Lord Tarbos.  He looked like the
demon  he  was,  his  face a mask of hatred and passion, his eyes burn- ing
with  evil fire, his armour of the coldest, strongest steel.  Tarbos raised
his great jagged sword and attacked.

Laneanor tried to parry, but after two vicious slashes his own sword was
cut in two. He backed against the wooden gate and looked around for an-
other sword. Then he realized he was the last one left. Enrodar, who had
fought so bravely in so many wars, lay in the dirt, cut from shoulder to
chest. Gambon, who had been his friend for over ten years, lay against the
gate, blood seeping from a score of wounds. Over and under them lay the
other knights.

- All dead.

looked  out  over the enemy's army.  The sky was boiling.  And all he could
see  under  the  cover  of  dark clouds were row upon row of Tarbos' undead
warriors,  with  an  insane  red  light  glaring  from their eyes and flesh
falling  from  their  bones.   Finally  his gaze fell upon the face of Lord
Tarbos him- self.

They looked at each other for an infinite moment. Then Tarbos effort-
lessly lifted the huge sword and plunged it through Laneanor.

Mylneh stood at the centre of the circle of the twelve wizards, holding the
star-shaped jewel in her hands. It was the Amberstar, the jewel which
would capture Tarbos and banish him far, far away.

It  had  taken  long  days  and  nights  to  create  it, but at last it was
finished.   Now  came  the  most  difficult  part; the twelve wizards would
concentrate  all  their  power in Mylneh, who had to focus her entire being
and  direct  this  power  towards  Tarbos.   Mylneh  swallowed.  Mandek had
explained  that  the  least  distraction  would  mean  failure  and instant
dispersal of the combined power.  She closed her eyes again and ignored the
mumbling of the wizards.  All she should think of was Tarbos.

Tarbos  had blasted the gates wide open and slaughtered the few defend- ers
in  the  castle.   He sensed that the magic came from far above him and ran
towards  the central tower.  With a casual gesture he raised his hand.  The
door  set  in the bottom of the tower blew apart into a thousand pieces.  A
knight  who  had been guarding it screamed and ran out, where he fell under
Lord Tarbos' sword.  Tarbos started climbing the stairs.

Mylneh felt her hair stand on end as the power of the wizards gathered it-
self inside her. She frowned, then ignored the curious sensation and con-
centrated on Tarbos again.

Tarbos was almost running up the stairs now, sensing the huge concentra-
tion of magical power in the chamber above him. He came to the last door
which shattered under his hand and then he had reached the source of the
magic. His eyes widened as he saw that Mylneh was the focus of the
twelve wizards' power and he strode towards the centre of the magic circle
with his sword ready in his hand. The wizards kept on mumbling, caught
too deep in their trance to sense or react to anything. Mylneh did not
move but simply stared at Tarbos, horrified.

 - How he has changed...

She  felt the power growing inside hery Tarbos stood before her, his face a
mask  of  hatred  and  anger,  and raised his sword.  Mylneh felt the power
reach  a  climax  inside her and lifted the Amberstar.  Her eyes still wide
with  wonder,  she placed it on Tarbos' chest.  Then she felt a force being
released and the power flowed througfh her into Tarbos.

Tarbos  looked down at his chest and saw his armour beginning to melt under
the glowing Amberstar.  Then his clothes were burned away and his flesh was
touched.   His  scream  made the tower tremble.  He tried to move his arms.
to  destroy  Mylneh with magic, but he was powerless.  Slowly the Amberstar
sunk deeper inside him and he felt how it burned a hole.  through his body.
The  essence of his being was trying desperately to es- cape but was pinned
down  like a butterfly.  He felt his body burning away from the inside.  He
felt a force tugging at his being, drawing it away.  It tore loose from his
body  and  he  saw  his  own  shuddering, burning body being destroyed by a
wide-eyed  Mylneh.   He  was  being  dragged  higher and higher, faster and
faster,  as  if  he  was  falling upwards.  He suddenly sensed where he was

- The third moon!

He was slammed down deep into the core of the cold block of stone that
was Lyramion's third moon.

Without  Tarbos  the  gateways  to  the Demonic Realms were closing and the
demons had to leave the land of the living.  Uninhabited, the bodies of the
undead  warriors  fell  lifelessly  to  the ground.  The entire area around
Godsbane  looked  as  if  a battle had raged there a hundred years ago, not
just  a moment agQ Mylneh looked in confusion at the Amberstar and the heap
of ash at her feet.  Mandek came and gently took the star-shaped jewel from
her.  "Come, Mylneh.  We must go now."

He  took  her  hand  and  led her out of the chamber, followed by the other
wizards.   She  didn't react to seeing the bodies, ancient and fresh, Iying
all  around.  The wizards behind her closed the gates and put great magical
seals on it.  Mandek took the Amberstar and pressed it onto the wood, where
it left a deep impression.  The seam between the double doors disappeared
and,  starting  around the Amberstar, the wood changed into something else,
something  harder and smoother.  The hardening effect spread over the great
doors  and  went  on  over the walls, over all of the castle until entire
Godsbane had been turned into something stronger than stone.


The only way to ever free Tarbos from his celestial prison deep in the
third moon was to perform a counter-spell inside Godsbane, which is
why the great Sealing Spell was put on the castle by the twelve wizards.
Only the Amberstar could break the seal, but the Amberstar had been di-
vided into thirteen pieces. Each wizard kept one of the twelve points of
the star, to guard them. Mylneh kept the centre piece.

To further ensure that no-one would ever try to enter Godsbane, the Guild 
of Paladines was founded, who vowed to guard it's gates forever.

The task of repairing the damage which Tarbos had caused could begin.


This is the tale of what happened a thousand years later.

One night. a dark wizard called Marimon was studying scrolls when he 
felt a tugging force on his mind. He frowned in puzzlement and entered
the magical trance state. Slowly he sank through the Demonic Realms,
where he was soon greeted by a Demon Lord.

"Greetings, Marimon" "How do you know my name?" Marimon stuttered.
"I know many things. I am Bralkur, King of Hell. I want to make a
pact with you."

- He must have sensed my true power.

Bralkur smiled. "How right you are. But I am sure you will be interested in
the kind of power I can offer you." Marmion squirmed under the incredible
aura of the Demon Lord. Then he slowly realized what he would be able
to do with the power Bralkur offered. A sly smile spread over his face.

"Well? What kind of pact?"

Bralkur chuckled inwardly.

- The most powerful are always the easiest  to seduce.

There was only one being where this had not been true.

- I'm going to help your son, Thornahuun.

Sir Marillion stood on the battlements of the small keep which guarded
the ancient castle of Godsbane and thought sombrely about the conversa-
tion he had had with his fellow paladines. They said that Lord Tarbos
would not return after a thousand years, that they were fools to guard an
old castle. Some of them even said that Lord Tarbos was only a myth, a
story to frighten children.

But he believed the story, and he believed the danger was still there.  So
he guarded with vigilance, whereas his fellow paladines slept when they had
guard duty.

A  loud  explosion brought him out of his reverie.  Looking over the walls,
he  saw smoke and fire coming from the gates of the tower.  He hurried down
the  stairs  and  saw  that several other paladines had heard the noise and
were waking the others.  He reached the entrance hall and saw immedi- ately
that a battle was going on.  As he tried to count the numbers of the enemy,
he was surprised when he saw only one man in a black robe.

Marmion stood before the baffled paladines and grinned.

- Fools! Soon you will realize what a wizarrd can do!

A dry voice inside his head added:

- Especially when he is assisted by a King  of HelL

Marmion frowned and raised his hands. Magical missiles flew forth to-
wards the paladines.

Sir  Marillion saw how the paladines who stood at the front fell before the
red-hot arrows which flew out of the wizard's hands.  He felt anger rise up
in him.
- I told all of you that there is still dannger.

He  drew  his  sword  and ran towards the wizard from the side.  Out of the
corner  of  his eye he saw how his fellow paladines were slaughtered by the
blistering  fire.   Raising  his sword, he bellowed his war cry and charged
the  wizard,  who  looked  up  at  the unexpected attacker.  But the wizard
raised his hand faster than lightning and fire flared at Marillion who felt
how  his  body  was  being  engulfed in energy, how his skin and flesh were
burned away, how his bones crumbled.  He felt it all.  His being was caught
in the wizard's fire even thou~h his body had turned to ashes.

Marmion smiled and wiped the sweat from his brow. All the paladines
were dead, even that last one.

- Well how do we get in? We do not haue thee Amberstar.

- Easy.

Bralkur created a disc of glowing light in front of the gates of Godsbane. 
Marmion was surprised.

- What is that?

- A teleport through the Great Seal, right  into the castle.

Marmion fell quiet when he realized the power needed for such a spell.
Then he stepped  through the disc. He had to perform the ritual to free Tar
bos. Thus he would gain ultimate power. Bralkur had said so.

                          The end and the beginning

Only a band of courageous adventurers can stop Marmion, and he must
be stopped for he has enough power to perform the ritual and bring Tar-
bos back to Lyramion.

To stop Marmion, you must enter Godsbane. However, Bralkur's teleport  .
leads through the Demonic Realms, if it is still there at all.         ,

So  you must find the thirteen pieces of the Amberstar.  Some have be- come
lost,  others are still being kept.  You will find clues all over Lyramion.
Once you have found all pieces, you must assemble the Amberstar.  This must
happen in a special place, but sadly no-one knows where ...

Now, go with my blessing. Know that I will try to help you if you really
need me.

Good Luck!