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by Marko Bonacic (mbonaci7@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy   User Review: ***1/2
An artifact named Staff of Ages, that has the power to tear the Veil that separates our world from Ughor Argash, a twisted world of demons, is stolen from the paladins' sanctuary. Now, it is up to High Wizard Venedar and a young paladin Lafael Dwin'urdrenn to save the world from an imminent invasion of demon hordes.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


The sun is shining in a clear blue sky. Suddenly two wooden
practice swords meet with a sharp clack. A young man and a
young female elf are dueling with their practice swords on a
green meadow. They are evenly matched and both are drenched
in sweat. They are MERRICK and LAFAEL.
He charges her and she effortlessly moves out of the way.
With inertia of his attack carrying him, he canít react as
she delivers a hard blow against the side of his head. He
collapses to the ground dropping his practice sword.
Immediately blood starts running down the side of his face.
He smiles painfully holding his head.
Sometimes I forget how strong you
      (rushes to his
I am sorry Merrick. I didnít mean
to hit you that hard. Let me have
a look.
Iím all right. No need for that,
Lafael. Itís just a scratch.
Donít be a child and let me help!
Oh, all right.
There is a big gash over his right eye. As her hands draw
near the wound they start to glow and the wound also starts
to glow and heal leaving not even a scar.
There was really no need for that.


Nonsense! You would have needed
stitches and it would have left a
scar. What use is my healing power
if I canít even help my friend in
Heh, I would hardly call it need.
Itís almost noon. We should be
getting back. We donít want to be
late for the ceremony. Help me up.
They head for the horses picketed at the tree line.
You know I let you beat me just
because you lost last time?
RightÖ And those two times before
Hey, you wouldnít have won that
time if I didnít trip on a branch!
Maybe you would win more if you
just stopped falling over things.
They both laugh.
Are you excited about today? I
know I am!
Me, too. Ever since I was a child
I dreamed about going on
adventures, doing great things,
battling evilÖ And today, me
finally being raised as paladin
after so many years of hard work
is a dream come true for me. They
never thought an half-elf like me
would succeed in becoming a
paladin but I proved everyone


I always knew you would make it. I
know that the elves keep to
themselves and do not interact
with other races that much and as
such you were not expected to have
longings for grand adventures but
you got your inner calling and had
to pursue it. It was a hard road
for you but today it comes to
crossroads where countless
opportunities await you. If
anybody has earned it, it is you.
      (squeezes his hand)
Thank you for those kind words
Merrick. You have always been a
true friend.
So what do you say we get this
show on the road?
Yes. MASTER CORION will be waiting
for us.
They get on their horses and head down the hill towards a
small walled town with a large commanding fortress in its
As they near the town they notice a lone rider wearing a
dark blue cloak with a cowl covering his face and revealing
only long grayish beard. He heads straight for them at a
slow canter.
They stop and turn in his direction.
He seems to be heading straight
for us. Do you know him?
I donít knowÖ
Well, be ready just in case. I
wish we had our swords!
They put their hands on small knives at their belts.


The rider stops in front of them regarding them silently. He
is VENEDAR. Lafael and Merrick anxiously finger their
knives. Merrick starts to draw hisÖ
There will be no need for that,
young paladin. I wish you no harm.
How do you know that he is a
I know many things, young Lafael
HowÖ? Your voice sounds somehow
As well it should. You played on
my knee as a child.
Venedar removes the hood and reveals the face of a graying
old man.
She drops from her horse and rushes to embrace him. Smiling,
he returns the embrace.
All right, all right, child.
Youíll strangle me.
      (they separate)
Ah, I see a girl I knew in a woman
standing before me. It has been a
long time.
A long time indeed! Where have you
been all these years?
Last time I saw you, you were
still living with your parents.
And while I was busy with other
matters, you have already grown up
and left your life among the elves
to become a paladin. And when I
heard that you were being raised


                       VENEDAR (cont'd)
paladin I just had to come and see
for myself. You have changed much.
And you havenít changed a bit! You
look just as I remember you! Why
have you never come to see me?
I wish that I could have but being
a wizard leaves little free time,
you know. But I am glad to be here
Oh Venedar, I am so happy that you
Tell me, do you hear word of your
Of course. Mother and I write to
each other often. She is well but
my father has never really come to
terms with my leaving.
Is he still angry with me?
Iím afraid so. He blames you for
filling my head with nonsense of
adventuring as he calls it.
I am truly sorry for that. If he
could only remember the adventures
he and I hadÖ
That is exactly the reason he was
against my decision to go. He
would tell me that adventuring is
foolish and that it would only get
me killed.


Well, I can understand that. After
all you are his only child and he
never understood that a time
always comes for children to grow
up and move on.
Oh, Iím sorry. Venedar I want you
to meet my friend Merrick. We will
be raised together.
Pleased to meet you.
Venedar? As in High Wizard
Yes, it is so.
Lafael, you never told me that you
were friends with a High Wizard!
Why did you keep that a secret?
I didnít want people to treat me
special. I wanted to be just like
everybody else with no special
Well it certainly is an honor
meeting you.
The honor is mine.
The ceremony will begin shortly so
we must hurry back. We will talk
on the way.


A small boy is going down the main street. He stops by the
stand selling fruits. The owner, who was just in the process
of shouting how fresh his fruit is, seeing him stops and
turns towards him with a frown.
                       FRUIT SELLER
Hey WILLIE! Move away from my
stand, ya hear? Donít ya go tryiní
to steal my fresh fruit again cosí
this time Iíll not just tell yer
mum, but Iíve got a stick right
here with yer name on it! Now off
with ye!
He menacingly strokes a big stick leaning on his stand. The
boy slowly backs away and the fruit seller turns to an old
lady looking at the fruits.
                       FRUIT SELLER
Only the finest and freshest
fruit, maím.
                       OLD LADY
      (picks up the
       fruit then drops
       it back)
HmmmÖ I donít knowÖ There seem to
be some spots on these lemons.
                       FRUIT SELLER
      (takes her hands
       off the fruit)
Please maím, donít touch the fruit
if you wonít buy them and I assure
you they have no spots.
                       OLD LADY
      (waves a fresh
       lemon at his nose)
What do you mean they have no
spots?! And what do you call
this?! Hmm?!
                       FRUIT SELLER
There are no spots on that lemon
or any other lemon, for that
                       OLD LADY
Are you trying to trick me? Iím
not senile, you know!


                       FRUIT SELLER
Maím please. Iím not trying to
trick ya, justÖ
The boy sees his opportunity and dashes for an apple.
                       FRUIT SELLER
Hey!!! Come back Ďere!!! Why, Iíll
show yeÖ
He grabs his stick and runs after the boy.
The boy skillfully runs through the crowd, sometimes between
the legs of people while the fruit seller bumps into people
knocking them from their feet.
He finally crashes into two men carrying horse dung in a
large bucket which flies in the air and lands right on his
head as he falls. The boy smiles and runs away.
Running, he gets to the Fortress and mingles with a group of
kids being led by an older woman. He grabs a bite of the
apple and listens.
                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE
Öand so it came to pass that a
founded The Fortress Of Light
almost 2000 years ago as a safe
haven for all the people with good
in their hearts and as a training
ground for those getting that
ďinner callingĒ to become
paladins. Around it, with time,
grew our small town Safe Haven.
Willie! You are late again!
Sorry Mrs. Pembridge, my da sent
me to fetch some apples for my
sick grandma but I came as fast as
I could, honest!
                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE
Oh, well thatís all right then.
How is she by the way?


Not so good. She canít walk so I
have to bring her things, but my
da says sheíll get better.
                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE
I didnít know that. Well, I hope
she gets better. All right, letís
move along.
They enter a large hall with enormous statues on each side.
                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE
This is the famous HALL OF HEROES
where all the greatest heroes
through the ages are representedÖ
Her voice fades as Willie is swept away by the emotions of
seeing the faces of legendary heroes in full armor and
battle equipment.
                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE
And finally we come to the most
important thing: The STAFF OF
The hall ends to a great round circle chamber. On a
pedestal, bathed in magical light, and suspended in the air
by magic stands a beautifully carved wooden staff with a
golden headpiece in a shape of the sun. Behind it stands a
statue of a bearded man in full plate armor with a
broadsword pressed with both hands to the floor, much larger
than the other ones, as if guarding it.
The chamber echoes with ooohs and aaahs of the amazed
                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE
It is believed that the gods
themselves made the staff and with
it, created the world in which we
now live in, along with other
worlds but no one knows for sure.
It is also said that the angels
themselves gave the Staff to
Rothar for safekeeping and put a
magical barrier around it so that
no one could take it except


                       MRS. PEMBRIDGE (cont'd)
themselves so to this day it
stands here guarded by Rothar
Lightbringer. But come, we must
leave because every minute now the
preparations for the ceremony of
raising young apprentices to
paladinhood will begin.
The children still awed by what they saw, quietly leave down
the Hall.
The banners are rippling in the wind from all the
battlements and the sound of trumpets announces the
beginning of the ceremony. A large crowd has gathered in the
Fortress courtyard where a large decorated platform had been
Ten young people in shining armors wearing their swords at
their side are standing on a platform. Merrick and Lafael
are among them. In front of them stands a large, bearded man
also in shining armor.
As he raises his hand, the trumpets and the crowd fall
                       MASTER CORION
After years of dedication and
training, you now stand here
before me to at last formally
swear to the paladin code and be
raised to paladinhood! The Paladin
Code is the cornerstone of a
Paladin's life! It is the heart
and mind of a paladin and guides
him towards further goodness! It
is the will of the paladin to be
what he truly is, a Champion of
Light! No paladin defies the Code,
for no paladin can exist without
the Code! The Code links the
paladin with the righteous forces
of the universe! It is the common
ground for all paladins, the
common father! A paladin does not
follow the Code! He is the Code!!!
A true paladin doesn't act
against evil because of an order
or expectation of reward, but
because he believes that the light
must prevail! The Code is what


                       MASTER CORION (cont'd)
being a paladin is all about!
Paladins!!! What are the eight
elements of The Paladin Code?!
The young paladins reply in unison.
FEALTY: to The Paladin Code and
light, to those in need, to the
battle against evil to the last
breath! COURTESY: to be polite to
everyone, to maintain
self-control, to behave with
dignity at all times and to
respect friend and foe alike!
HONOR: respect for everyone who
shares the ideals of goodness and
justice, to show mercy and refuse
to inflict undue suffering even to
my worst enemies and to
acknowledge the dignity of all
law-abiding good people,
regardless of race! HONESTY: to
always remain true to oneís self
and others! VALOR: to face the
greatest dangers for duty, to
never retreat when anotherís life
is at stake and to never yield or
flee in battle unless greatly
outnumbered! HUMILITY: to remain
humble in spirit and action!
SELFLESSNESS: to help those in
need and sacrifice my life for
another! FAITH: in light,
goodness, justice and peace!
                       MASTER CORION
Good! You must strive to live up
to the Code and die for the Code
if need be! It is a difficult task
but you have chosen it and you
must live up to it! The path of
the paladin is not for the false
or faint-hearted! I hereby raise
you to paladinhood! From this day
on, everywhere you go you will be
recognized as paladins and
Champions of Light! May the light
shine on you all!
With those final words the crowd cheers and the trumpets
come to life again, playing a victorious tune. All the young
paladins congratulate each other.


Lafael climbs down from the platform. Venedar approaches her
and gives her a warm hug which she returns.
You have achieved what many would
find a difficult task indeed. I am
proud of you. I wish your parents
were here to see you. Especially
your father.
Me too. Will you be staying the
night? I am sure Master Corion
will give you a room.
Yes. The journey here has been
long and there is a lot to talk
Thatís great! Let us go and
She takes his hand and drags him into the cheering crowd.
Lafael is sleeping in her chamber. The doors to her balcony
are open and the curtains are rippling on a slight breeze.
She is having a nightmare.
Glimpses of her dreams exchange. In them, demons with bright
red eyes are attacking her.
She abruptly awakes panting and drenched in sweat. She takes
an oil lamp from her night-stand and as she strikes her
match to light it, she hears a low hiss from behind her. She
freezes and her eyes go wide. In the darkness behind her,
two red eyes glow in the dark as something moves in the
Suddenly the DEMON jumps at her with a shriek. She quickly
spins and throws the lamp at the demon, ducking to the
floor. The lamp hits the demon straight in the head and it
bursts into flames landing on the bed. Lafael is already at
the chair where her sword was hanging from its scabbard.
With a single motion, she pulls it out and turns to face the
demon which is now completely engulfed in flames.
But the demon doesnít seem bothered by the flames and it


crouches on all fours looking straight at Lafael. Again it
jumps at her baring its teeth in a fiery snarl. She is ready
this time. She sidesteps to the left bringing up her blade
in an arc. The headless corpse of the demon crashes to the
cupboard while its head spins to the corner of the room.
She quickly takes her coat from the chair and goes to douse
the flames. As she puts out the fire, she hears the sound of
battle outside her room. She picks up her sword and rushes
into --
to see paladins in their smallclothes battling more of the
demons in the corridor like the one from her room. She lifts
her sword killing the first demon in sight then rushes to
help her comrades. She swings her sword left and right
dealing killing blows. After a short time all of the demons
were dead but still more sounds of combat were coming down
the corridor.
She runs towards the combat and turns a corner. Four demons
are ready to attack. She looks for help but other paladins
are too far away to help her.
She takes a defending guard but suddenly lightning flashes
from a crossing corridor turning the four demons to crisp.
She watches in amazement at the smoking corpses then lifts
her eyes to see Venedar turning the corner.
Are you all right?!
Venedar examines her as if not hearing her.
Master Corion and a paladin turn the corner behind Venedar.
Both have cuts and bruises, their smallclothes torn.
That seems to be the last of them.
Paladins start to gather around them.
                       MASTER CORION
Is everyone all right?
Yes, master! A few injured but
thatís it.


                       MASTER CORION
I cannot believe this! Demons in
the Fortress of Light! I never
thought to see the day! Where did
they all come from?!
I think the more important
question is why they have come. So
many demons in one place, and they
appeared here without anyone
noticing. They couldnít have come
here on their own. Somebody
brought them here for a reason.
                       MASTER CORION
But surely they would know that
they would fail. Even off-guard we
easily defeated them.
So what was the point?
A paladin comes running down the corridor.
They have taken the Staff of Ages!
                       MASTER CORION
What?! That is impossible! What
happened to the guards?
TheyÖ They were killed.
It was protected by powerful
magic! How could anyoneÖ? I must
see this!
It was protected by powerful
magic! How could anyoneÖ? I must
see this!
Merrick was on guard tonight!
They rush down the corridor and open the doors to --


The pedestal upon which the Staff of Ages was held is
broken, the magical barrier along with the Staff gone.
Lifeless eyes of the two guards stare at the ceiling. A
bloody picture.
She tries to rush to his side but Venedar firmly grips her
hand and hugs her.
You canít help him, my dear.
Why did this happen? He just
became a paladin.
I donít know. These things are out
of our control. There is nothing
to be done about it.
I know, but I wish I was here to
help him.
Do not be foolish. Then you would
have perished as well. You did
your part as well as the others.
YesÖ You are right.
She moves away from him wiping away the tears.
                       MASTER CORION
Blast it! I never thought it was
Neither did I. That is why the
demons attacked. To act as a
diversion and while we were busy
fighting them, whoever sent them
took the Staff without anyone
noticing. I would have sensed it
otherwise. HmmmÖ


But who could have done such a
Iím afraid I do not know.
                       MASTER CORION
I will organize a search
immediately. Whoever took it,
wonít get far.
Donít send anyone alone. Whoever
took the Staff surely has much
knowledge in the arcane arts and
the power to call forth the demons
from the UGHOR ARGASH. The
paladins should be wary. We are
surely dealing with a dangerous
                       MASTER CORION
I will tell them. Will you join us
in our search, high wizard?
I will, but on my own. My senses
are attuned to magic and I will
try to find the Staff itself for
it will surely leave a magical
residue. We will meet back here
tomorrow night.
                       MASTER CORION
It will be as you say. Paladins,
letís go!
As Lafael turns to leave, Venedar stops her.
I do not think we will find the
Staff that easily but be careful
I know. I will.
She turns around and runs after the others.


Lafael, accompanied by another paladin, enter through the
gates. Venedar and master Corion are talking in the
courtyard. Master Corion sees them and goes to greet them.
                       MASTER CORION
You two are the last. Do you bring
good news?
We couldnít find anyone. Not a
trace. Nobody has seen or heard
anything suspicious.
                       MASTER CORION
I was afraid of that. All the
other patrols also found nothing.
What about you, Venedar?
No. But we must find out who stole
it and why.
                       MASTER CORION
Do you have any thoughts?
I do not know very much about the
Staff and few still have any
knowledge about its possible uses.
It has been sealed behind the
magic barrier so no one has been
able to study it. But if anyone
knows something about it, it is
the chief librarian of the oldest
library in these parts. The
library at Mancelan.
Iíll go with you!
Are you sure you are ready for
Yes! I am not afraid and Iím as
ready as Iíll ever be.


As eager as your father was. As
long as it is all right with
master Corion.
                       MASTER CORION
She has learned all she could
here. Although abrupt, the time
has come for her to go out into
the world and do valiant deeds.
But I must say that maybe you
should take someone more
experienced with you.
Well, I wasnít planning on taking
anyone. But since Lafael is eager
to come, I think I will find her
company quite useful.
                       MASTER CORION
Well all right then. Lafael, go
out there and make us proud.
Remember all that you have learned
Tank you, Master Corion! I will.
                       MASTER CORION
When do you leave?
Immediately. We have no time to
waste. Lafael, I suggest you hurry
and pack all that you need.
Venedar and Lafael ride out of the forest in front of a
large city, the sun gleaming off its thick high stone walls.
Huge wooden gates lead in and out of the city. A large
palace with a series of spires and battlements sits on a
small hill in the center of the city.
They head straight for the road along which a throng of
people and carts is moving to and from the city.
Amazing! I have never seen such a
great city!


Yes, it is truly magnificent. Many
come here only to see it.
They enter the city moving slowly because of the crowd
blocking their way, their horsesí hooves clicking on the
Venedar takes them down a smaller street ending in a large
square with a great fountain. Straight ahead rises a large
round beautiful building with many balconies. It looks like
an extremely large tip of a wizardís hat.
As they enter they see that the building is hollow from the
inside, its inner wall lined with rows upon rows of books.
From the bottom to the top of the huge structure, every so
often walkways circle the walls like rings with railing
connected to each other by flights of stairs. The bottom
floor is lined with tables and on every table a lamp is lit.
Lafael canít stop looking around in awe.
A grizzled old man, wearing small glasses approaches them.
He is ELGAR.
Ah! Venedar my old friend! It is
great to see you. Your old chair
here has picked up a lot of dust.
Always a pleasure Elgar. I am
sorry I donít come as often as I
used to, but age has taken a toll
for these old bones. Traveling
does not come easy for me anymore.
Bah! That wonít fly with me. You
forget that I know you too well.
Well, I had to tryÖ
You have brought a young lady with
you I see.


Where are my manners? Elgar, I
want you to meet Lafael
Dwiníurdrenn, daughter of an old
friend of mine and a newly raised
An elf paladin? Now that is rare
but certainly not unprecedented.
Aelar Dryearretyn was the first
elf ever to abandon the elven ways
for the calling of paladin.
Elves outcast him and banned him
from ever coming back. But by his
heroic deeds he became a legend
not only among humans, but elves
too, and they could not stop
others who wanted to follow in his
footsteps. Then there wasÖ
Yes, yes! I sometimes get carried
away but since when did you become
so impatient?
Since we have an urgent matter to
discuss with you.
Oh? If itís urgent for you, then
it really is urgent. Iím all ears!
Not here. Could we go to your
Yes, yes, of course!
He starts up the stairs leading to the upper walkways.
      (talking to Lafael)
You know, Venedar used to come
here often and we used to spend
days in debates about this or
that. We would lock ourselves in


                       ELGAR (cont'd)
my office until finally somebody
would come and start breaking down
the door thinking we died. Heh,
heh! I so enjoyed those days. It
is so hard finding someone to talk
to. Everybody these days is either
in a hurry or too uneducatedÖ
They climb the winding steps and platforms.
Öso I said to him: You may be a
high wizard, but youíre still and
old fart just like me and time is
slowly but surely passing us by.
And you know, the young ones these
days, they donít care for the past
and how hard our forefathers
sweated and bled just so we can
live like we do today, they just
want something for nothingÖ
      (notices Lafael's
Why are you looking at me like
They are now almost at the top.
Önow he was arguably the greatest
paladin that ever lived. It is
said that he once slew a black
dragon single-handed! The poor
bastard drowned in a small stream
later. Donít give me that look! He
fell from his horse face first
into the stream but his armor was
so heavy that he couldnít get up
and he drownedÖ
They reach a small door at the top of the stairs. Elgar
takes a large key from his robes.
Here we are.
They enter a small room filled with piles of various books
and scrolls. A table and two massive armchairs are the only
furniture in the room, beside a small fireplace. A closed


door leads to a small balcony overlooking the city. Elgar
moves the books and scrolls from one chair and sits in the
Iím afraid thereís only one chair
and, as you see, it is not often
Thatís alright. Iíll stand.
Venedar sits into the free chair.
Here is your old pipe and tobacco.
So, you didnít lose that old
thing, eh?
Well, I hoped you would come
sooner butÖ
He produces a similar pipe for himself and lights it.
So, what is this urgent matter you
wanted to talk to me about?
      (puffs the smoke
       from his pipe)
What do you know of the Staff of
WellÖ I havenít heard it mentioned
in years. It was made by the most
powerful wizards of old with the
help of the holy angels to protect
our world against the hordes of
demons from Ughor Argash when the
Veil was torn.
I do not understand.
Ah, excuse me. I forgot that you
are young still, so I will tell
the whole story and I will try to


                       ELGAR (cont'd)
keep it as short as possible. You
see, there are many worlds in our
universe. There is the one in
which we live in, but there are
also other worlds with its own
laws and habitants. There are all
kinds of worlds inhabited with all
kinds of creatures but to keep my
story short, I will mention only
two besides our own: ARANGAIL and
Ughor Argash. The former is a
plane where good prevails and the
latter is a plane of unimaginable
evil. There are no such things as
limits there. Everything you
expect to find there is within
reach. Then again, so are the
nightmares you didnít expect.
Ughor Argash is a place filled
with dangers, death, and dismay in
every form imaginable. Violence
and brutality are the way of life
there. There is no other world
comparable to the maliciousness
spawned in Ughor Argash. Now, the
Veil is something that separates
all the worlds and the only way
someone can travel between
different worlds is through the
Veil by gateways and portals. But
gateways are guarded by powerful
beings and not everyone can make a
portal, so traveling between the
planes is very limited. But, over
2000 years ago a small part of the
Veil which separates Ughor Argash
from our world was torn. No one
knows how it happened but it did
and hordes of demons spilled
through that tear into our world,
ravaging and killing everything in
sight. It happened so suddenly
that the races didnít even have
time for an organized defense. The
most powerful wizards saw that the
only way to save our world was to
repair the tear and soon because
the tear was getting bigger by the
day and more and more demons were
pouring out of it. And so it came
about that the holy angels from
Arangail came and helped the
wizards create a powerful artifact


                       ELGAR (cont'd)
with which they could repair the
He waves his hands in the air as if he was doing it himself.
It was imbued by the combined
powers of the wizards and angels.
With it, the wizards battled
through the army of demons until
they stood before the tear itself.
They managed to seal the tear with
that artifact and defeat the
demons. Later the artifact was
named the Staff of Ages and sealed
by the wizards and angels behind a
magical barrier in the Rothar
Lightbringerís Fortress of Light
to wait for the time when it was
needed again, may it never happen.
It has been there ever since,
almost becoming a legend.
Not anymore.
What do you mean?!
Somebody stole it.
But how?! By whom?!
I do not know yet. But I fear the
worst. The demons appeared inside
the Fortress in numbers and while
we were busy fighting them,
somebody managed to take the
Staff. If the purpose of the Staff
was to repair the tear in the
In the wrong hands, it could tear
it open againÖ Light help us!


He looks towards the doors leading to the balcony. Beyond
the doors, on the balcony, suddenly a vertical slash of
bright light appears and starts to expand until it covered
almost the whole small balcony.
An ANGEL steps out from the light. Lafael gasps as she sees
the white wings unfold from his back. He is ARACHEL.
Greetings. I am Arachel, holy
angel and guardian of Arangail. I
come to you in the wake of
unfortunate events that happened
at Safe Haven.
I was wondering when one of you
might show up.
You were there when the Staff of
Ages was taken and took it upon
yourself to try and retrieve it
therefore I come to you with the
little help I can offer, so listen
carefully. The Staff has been
taken by a powerful ARGASI LORD
named BAZADUSH. Since its
creation, Argasi Lords have been
battling for dominion over Ughor
Argash, but neither has ever had a
significant advantage over
another. But now Bazadush has the
Staff and with it, he intends to
tear the Veil and invade your
world. If the Veil remains torn,
the tear will expand until
eventually this world would become
a part of Ughor Argash. Already he
is gathering his army in Ughor
Argash and soon will try to tear
the Veil as it has been torn long
ago. You must travel to the
Bazadushís palace in Ughor Argash
and take the Staff from him.
I do not need to remind you just
how powerful the Demon Lords are
in their world. That is an
impossible task.


That is why you must first go to
the old city of Shaduk Azul and
will protect the wearer from all
All magic?
Than that will help us greatly.
How do we find it?
      (he extends a hand
       and in it a small
This is called a ZENTAR. Hold it
in your hand and concentrate on
the thing you are seeking and it
will point the way. This will also
help you.
      (he reaches into
       his tunic and
       produces a bright
       red stone, the
       size of the fist)
When used, it will activate a
gateway to Ughor Argash, very near
to the Bazadushís palace. It can
be only used twice so use it
wisely. One more thing, he will
tear the Veil at the same place
where it was torn the last time,
in the ISINE VALLEY, in the SARAN
WASTES. I wish you both luck on
your journey. A difficult task
lies upon your shoulders. May the
Light shine on you.
Again the gateway appears on the balcony and Arachel turns
to leave.
Wait! Arenít you coming with us?!
Venedar grabs her arm to ease her but she shakes him off.


No. I told you what you have to
But, arenít you angels supposed to
protect us?!
Firstly, because of the Veil, we
angels cannot abide long your
world, and secondly, we are
guardians of Arangail. We keep it
safe from the evil that would
corrupt it. If we were to leave
our posts, we would be putting
Arangail in danger. We offer our
help whenever possible to those of
good heart, and that is how it has
always been. That is how it will
always be.
He turns and steps through the gateway and it disappears.
ButÖ Damn!
Easy, child. He would come with us
if he could.
This all seems so surrealÖ
She pauses looking at the floor, and then with a new
determination looks at Venedar.
We will go to Ughor Argash and
bring light into the darkness, or
die trying.
Spoken like a true paladin.
What is an Argasi?
Argasi are chaotic fiends that
inhabit Ughor Argash. And Argasi


                       ELGAR (cont'd)
Lords are the most powerful of
them all.
      (turns to Venedar)
We are all in grave danger and if
anyone can help us, it is you my
old friend. I have never, even in
my wildest dreams, thought to see
a holy angel. His coming to you,
is a great hope for us all. I knew
Shaduk Azul is not just a myth!
What I wouldnít give to be able to
come with you. But these old bones
donít serve me as they used to.
I never heard of that place.
It is understandable that you
havenít. It isÖ
      (gives Elgar a
       warning look)
Öan old city of a long forgotten
nation called the SHURAG.
Venedar shakes Elgarís hand.
Thank you for all the help, old
friend, and farewell. We will do
what we must, or everything is
      (turns to Lafael)
We have to go.
Take care, my friends. You are our
only hope.
Venedar and Lafael ride through the dark city. The streets
are illuminated by many torches and street oil lamps.
What will be our course of action?


First, we must go to KING MALARON
and warn him of the danger. Then
we have to find capable companions
for our journey to Shaduk Azul.
Two guards are standing outside palace gates. One of the
guards approaches them.
The palace is closed. What are you
doing here at this late hour?
I am a High Wizard and a good
friend of king Malaron. It is of
utmost importance that we see him
Um, yes, of course. My apologies,
I didnít recognize you at first.
Follow me.
He opens the palace gates and leads the to the palace
courtyard where they leave their horses and enter the
They enter a large room where a large throne sits on a
pedestal. Before the throne stands large table with twenty
chairs. The room is filled with large paintings and grand
tapestries. The fireplace is lit.
Wait here please.
      (he hurries into
       the palace)
After a few moments, a tall heavyset man wearing a
broadsword at his back enters the room. He gives them both a
long and measured look before moving to the side of the
throne. He is AENAR. Behind him enters KING MALARON.
                       KING MALARON
Venedar, my old friend! How long
has it been? Four, five years?


      (looks at Aenar)
Six, actually. I see some things
have changed.
                       KING MALARON
Ah, yes. This is Aenar. He is the
captain of my personal guards.
What happened with Brelval?
                       KING MALARON
He retired two years ago. Aenar
has been with me ever since. And
you? I donít recall you traveling
in such fine company.
King Malaron, allow me to
introduce Lafael Dwiníurdrenn, a
newly raised paladin.
King Malaron, allow me to
introduce Lafael Dwiníurdrenn, a
newly raised paladin.
She bows deeply while he gives a small acknowledging nod.
                       KING MALARON
      (sits at the
So what is this urgent business
that brings you here at this late
hour? It certainly canít be good.
Iím afraid it is. An Argasi Lord
stole the Staff of Ages right from
under my nose and with it he plans
to tear the Veil and invade our
world with his demon army.
                       KING MALARON
Light help us allÖ Is there
nothing to be done to stop this?
We are going to the ancient city
of Shaduk Azul to recover a
necklace that protects the wearer
from all magic and then we will go


                       VENEDAR (cont'd)
to Ughor Argash and try to take
back the Staff but I fear that the
Veil will already be torn by that
time and that is why you will have
to organize a defense.
                       KING MALARON
You are going to Ughor Argash?!
But that is suicide!
That is the only way.
                       KING MALARON
Then I will provide you with the
finest troops to protect you.
No. A small number is needed so we
can travel swiftly and avoid
                       KING MALARON
Than at least take Aenar with you.
He is as good as they come with a
sword and someone who I trust with
my life.
      (looks at Aenar
       and nods)
Very well. Meet us day after
tomorrow outside city gates at
first light.
Aenar looks at king Malaron then nods.
                       KING MALARON
Where will this tearing of the
Veil happen?
At the same place it did 2000
years ago. In the Isine Valley, in
the Saran Wastes.
                       KING MALARON
I will immediately dispatch
messengers to the elves and the
dwarves and start organizing my
own army. How much time do we


I do not know, but I fear it is
not very much.
A SERVANT is listening at the door. He smiles wickedly and
moves away.
He leaves the palace by the servantsí entrance, cloaked and
The servant enters the forest and slows his pace looking
around nervously. A huge SHADOW he does not see looms over
him and two glowing red eyes become visible in the night.
A deep unearthly voice sounds from the shadows.
                       SHADOW DEMON
What news do you bring?
The servant shrieks in fear and stumbles to the ground. He
remains lying there.
                       SHADOW DEMON
Well?! Spit it out you worthless
A wizard arrived with a young
paladin at the palace today, and
they know all about the Staff and
the Dark Princeís plans. They are
going to an ancient city called
Shaduk Azul to find a necklace
that protects the wearer from the
Dark Princeís powers and then they
will go to the Abyss and try to
take back the Staff.
                       SHADOW DEMON
Protect them?! How?!
IÖ I donít know. That is all I


                       SHADOW DEMON
MmmÖ You will go back and follow
them wherever they go. You will
report everything you see and
hear. Now go.
Yes, master.
He quickly gets to his feet and hurries back.
The shadow holds out a red sphere in his black clawed hand.
The sphere starts to glow and a fire starts to burn inside
forming a face.
                       SHADOW DEMON
Master, what do you command?
You will go to Shaduk Azul and
awaken the SHARGOTH. They must not
leave that place alive!
Venedar and Lafael enter a large tavern. It is filled with
people and they are cheering as some kind of competition is
taking place.
With a loud thunk, three small throwing knives drive into
the target pegged to a beam. The crowd cheer.
The thrower is a well muscled, sweaty, BALD MAN. His smile
shows yellow half-missing teeth. A second man, much smaller
and pretty slim, approaches him. He is GWILDOR.
That was some shot, mate! Youíre
killing me, you know.
                       BALD MAN
Well perhaps you shouldnít have
bet all that coins.
Gwildor looks towards a nearby table. On the table are two
bags with fistful of coins each.
Hey, donít get ahead of yourself.
Maybe Iíll get lucky!


The bald man smiles and steps aside. Gwildor moves to the
position, looks at the target, and throws his first knife.
It sticks at the edge of the target. The second one, sticks
a bit nearer the center, and the third sticks into the beam
missing the target altogether. The crowd cheers.
Blast it! Nothing seems to be
going my way today!
                       BALD MAN
Well, thank you for your money,
friend. Buy yourself a drink on
How about one final round? Double
or nothing!
                       BALD MAN
You have nothing left!
Gwildor produces a bag from his pocket and throws it on the
table. Gold coins spill from the bag. Bald man watches the
coins greedily.
                       BALD MAN
I donít know where you got that
money but prepare to be relieved
of it!
The crowd cheers again as the bald man puts another purse on
the table. He moves to the line and throws his three knives.
They all hit pretty close to the center, marking a good
Blast it! Thereís just no stopping
Gwildor picks up the knives and moves to the line.
As he looks to the target, he stops smiling. He throws his
three knives faster than the eye can follow. They all stick
in the dead centre of the target, almost touching.
Guess you wonít be relieving me of
my coins after all, eh?
                       BALD MAN
Why, you littleÖ Iíll kill you!!!


Gwildor produces two long knives, with single-edged blades
slightly deflected at an angle (kukris), and presses them
against the bald manís throat.
No one likes a sore loser. So why
donít you clear on out of here
before you hurt yourself, eh,
                       BALD MAN
AllÖ all right. Just donít kill
Gwildor sheaths the kukris, and the bald man runs out the
front door. The people slowly move back to their chairs
while Gwildor counts the coins with a satisfied smile.
Finished with his counting, he puts the purses away in his
coat and notices Venedar and Lafael looking. He moves to
their table and throws himself into the chair.
Venedar, what a nice surprise. It
is good that you lift your head
from all those books once in a
while, and travel some.
Iíve had my share of traveling.
So you did, so you did. Why, I
never known you to keep such a
lovely company.
Everyone keeps telling me so.
Gwildor rises and takes a deep bow.
Gwildorís the name, milady, and I
offer you my services as your
guide and protector. A big city is
full of dangerous people who would
try to take advantage of a pretty
lass and I would be heartbroken if
something were to happen to you.


Thank you for your generous offer,
but I can take care of myself.
I am sure you can, but if you ever
change your mind, I would be
honored if you would look me up.
This tavern is a place I
frequently visit.
Iím sure it is.
I see you are doing quite well.
Well, I get by. A coin here, a
coin thereÖ I am always open for
new business propositions. I am
sure wizards donít frequently
visit the taverns.
Always the perceptive one.
Thatís me!
Where is Soren?
AhÖ Iím afraid that he met an
unfortunate end at the hands of a
lich, a year ago. It didnít take
too kindly to strangers looking
for treasure. I barely got out
alive myself. He was my best
friend. We were always watching
each otherís backs and when it was
my turn, I couldnít save him.
I am sorry to hear that. I know
how close you were.
That is in the past. Always look
to the future, thatís what I
always say! So tell me, what are
you doing here?


I am organizing a party to go to
Shaduk Azul. Would you be
Him? But heís just a common thief!
I will not put up with that kind
of language! There is nothing
common about it. I am the best
there is!
Iíll bet.
We need someone like him. His
skills will be useful where weíre
going, plus he is experienced in
finding lost treasures.
I do not like it.
Neither do IÖ
Öbut there it is. So, are you
I thought that place is just a
It is real and we are going there.
Whatís in it for me?
Think of it! An ancient city, full
of invaluable treasure. What more
could you wish for?


Well then, you got yourself a
Hmm, I was hoping Soren would also
come, but I guess we will have to
find somebody else.
If youíre looking for experienced
fighters, the ARENA competition is
starting in a few hours. Only the
best of the best are allowed to
enter the competition and I am
sure that the winner can be
persuaded to come.
That is not a bad idea.
What is the Arena?
Gwildor smiles.
Gwildor, Lafael and Venedar find a seat somewhere among the
cheering crowd. An ANNOUNCER walks to the centre of the
Arena and raises both hands into the air. The crowd falls
silent. Words of the announcer echo through the Arena.
Welcome to the Arena of Champions!
Weíve got a special spectacle for
you today! The finest fighters
from throughout our kingdom and
beyond have come to test their
skills in the deadliest
competition in the world! You know
what Iím talking about! Itís the
fight to the death where only the
toughest, the strongest, the most
skilled may survive! And as you
all know, there can be only one
survivor, one champion, the best
of them all! He doesnít just take
the prize money! He takes the fame
and the glory that name him the
crown champion of the Arena of
Champions! And talking about the


                       ANNOUNCER (cont'd)
crown champions, I give you the
champion of the Arena three years
running, the great BRUIN THE
One of the gates open and Bruin enters the Arena. A large
two-handed sword sticks out behind his broad shoulders. A
scary sight. The crowd goes wild as he throws his arms in
the air and screams his battle cry. Again the announcer
raises his hands to silence the crowd.
Quite a sight, isnít he? We hope
that he will be the last man
standing today after he faces
eighteen new challengers! It will
not be easy for they are the best
of the best! And here they areÖ
Small rays of sunlight coming through the cracks in the door
penetrate the darkness of the small cell. VALGARD sits on a
small stool holding a fine sword in his hands. He wears a
black cloak with a cowl covering his face.
He is slowly wrapping a thick leather string around the
swordís handle.
The voice of the announcer is heard through the door as he
shouts the names of the challengers and the crowd cheering
each one.

Valgard finishes tying the grip for his sword and rises
swinging it left and right, testing it. With a smooth motion
puts he puts it back in its scabbard at his hip.
And finally Valgard from SALIGAN!
Valgard removes his cloak and puts it on the chair revealing
a second sword at his other hip, a copy of the other. The
doors open letting the bright sunlight in, and he walks out.
All contestants are standing in a large circle, each one in
front of the door that let him in, and each wearing
different armor and weapons.


Wait! Is that Valgard wearing
dragonscale armor?!
I think he is. Most peculiar.
Where did he come by it? And check
out those swords! Wish I could get
my hands on such equipment. Very
peculiar indeed. He must be very
Is money all you think about?
      (looks at her
       genuinely puzzled)
Pretty much. Donít you?
She rolls her eyes and continues watching. The announcer
gets to the stands and turns towards the fighters.
Arena challengers, FIGHT!!!
A fighter on Valgardís right comes straight at him raising a
lance. Valgard turns slightly to face him but doesnít draw
his blades. As the fighter is almost upon him, waving his
lance in a hard swing, Valgard draws his blades in one
motion connecting at the neck and sends the fighterís head

The fighting continues as he faces other challengers,
sometimes two at a time, but eventually deals with them
until there are no more challengers left. He looks around
and sees Bruin driving his large sword with both hands
through a fallen challenger.

Bruin looks at him and smiles menacingly. With a cry he
lunges at Valgard. Valgard readily meets his attack
skillfully deflecting his blows. Their fight is even until
Bruin tries to finish Valgard with a mighty swing. Valgard
blocks it with his blades.

Bruin is much stronger and Valgard falls to one knee trying
to keep the large sword from splitting him in two. Bruin
smiles victoriously but Valgard suddenly jerks to the side
making his opponent fall on his face.


Bruin rolls and tries to get up, but too late as Valgard
drives his blades into him. The crowd is silent as he wipes
his blades clean of blood, and then cheer in unison.

Valgard moves towards the doors he came through but canít
open them. He turns around looking at the announcer who
raises his hands to silence the crowd.
As I said, this is a special
event! And while Valgard has
defeated our champion, he is not
yet a champion himself! We have a
final challenge for him! He will
have to pass the ultimate test in
skill and courage against one of
the deadliest opponents, the
mighty MINOTAUR!!!
One of the doors open and a huge, 7 feet tall, broad and
muscular minotaur enters the Arena. In its hands he holds a
huge double bladed axe. Its hooves thunder as he charges

The minotaur moves so fast that Valgard barely had time to
throw himself to the side evading its rush. Swinging the
great axe, minotaur attacks again. Valgard rolls to the side
just in time as the great blade buries itself in the ground
right where he was just a second ago.

Getting to his feet Valgard readies himself for another
attack. Minotaur shrieks and swings his axe again. Valgard
evades and the axe smashes into the Arena wall, shattering

Valgard tries to run the minotaur through but only wounds it
as the minotaur jerks its head and butts Valgard, sending
him sprawling. Valgard drops his swords and doesnít have
time to pick both of them up as the minotaur charges again.

He manages to deflect the axe swing, almost losing his sword
in the process. He canít completely evade the second swing
which catches him at the stomach and sends him flying again.

He crashes into the wall and drops to the ground unmoving.
The minotaur raises his axe above its head and roars in

Gwildor stands up.
Blast it! Where did they get that
Minotaur? Well, at least it was a
good show.


Do not be so quick to discard him
What do you mean? Heís as dead asÖ
He gapes as Valgard stirs and sits up. His armor didnít even
How?! That blow would have killed
Anyone not wearing dragonscale
Valgard slowly gets up. Staggering, he picks up both of his
swords. The minotaur notices that its pray is not dead and
shrieks in anger as he moves to finish him off. Valgard
spits out blood and readies himself.

The minotaur charges again, head-first. Valgard spins and as
the minotaur misses him and crashes into the wall, he drives
one blade all the way to the hilt into the Minotaurís side.
The minotaur shrieks in pain and jerks around knocking
Valgard away.

It tries to draw the blade out, but it is driven in too
deeply. It staggers, blood running from its mouth and its
side, and not being able to stand, drops to its hand and
knees. Valgard approaches it, and swings with his sword at
the minotaurís neck spraying himself with blood. The crowd
go wild in the stands.
He did it! I canít believe he did
it! He killed the Minotaur!
Yes. Let us go and talk to him.
Venedar, Lafael and Gwildor walk down a long winding hallway
lit by torches to one of its many doors and Venedar knocks.


Valgard, only half-dressed, is standing by a steaming
bathtub holding a sword.
Who are you?
My name is Venedar. These are my
companions Lafael and Gwildor.
What do you want?
You may stay your hand, warrior,
for we wish you no harm. I am a
high wizard on a quest of utmost
importance and I would like to try
to persuade you to come with us.
      (releases the
       sword and
Not interested.
But you havenít even heard what I
have to say.
I donít have to. Where I go, I go
alone. And I am not a mercenary.
I see. Well, whatever your purpose
in life is, if we fail our task,
it will come down to serving
demon-kind because the blue sky
will darken, rivers will run red
with blood, and all that is good
and beautiful will be twisted and
corrupted until everything you
have ever known is gone, replaced
by evil, pain and suffering. But
if you come with us, together we
can try and prevent that from


Demons? Youíve got my attention.
Come with us and I will explain.
      (thinks for a
       moment regarding
How do I know you are who you say
you are and that everything you
told me is true?
Because I can see the dragon.
      (looks taken aback
       but quickly
All right. I will come with you.
As they leave, Gwildor turns to whisper at Lafael.
What was all that about seeing the
I donít know. He is a High Wizard
after all.
Aenar is waiting on a hill overlooking the city. Venedar,
Lafael, Gwildor and Valgard, ride out of the city and join
Good morning. A fine day for a
journey, is it not?
Good morning. That it is.
Where are we heading, if I may


      (turns to Lafael)
Take out the zentar.
Lafael takes it out and holds it in her hands.
Now, concentrate. Focus your mind
on our need. On the necklace. On
Shaduk Azul.
But how will it know what to look
for if I donít even know?
It will concentrate on your need.
The greater the need, the better
it will guide. Now, close your
eyes and concentrate.
Lafael frowns then closes her eyes. Nothing happens.
Bah! I knew this was too good to
be true.
Venedar gives him a stern look.
Donít try so hard. Just let
yourself go. Try to imagine it.
Lafael breathes deeply and tries again. Again nothing
Iíve seen enough. Iím goingÖ
Suddenly the sphere in Lafaelís hand starts to glow bright
blue and a blue streak of light shoots out of the sphere
straight as an arrow northwards, right through Gwyldorís
Well, Iíll be damned!
Lafael opens her eyes and the sphere goes blank. Venedar
turns his horse northwards then halts seeing a rider


Valgard spurs his horse and rides out to meet the newcomer.
He stops by the newcomerís side and exchanges a few silent
words with him. It looks like Valgard doesnít like what the
rider has to say but after a few moments nods and they both
come riding back. The newcomer is middle-aged and has long
white hair and eyebrows. He is DARASTRIX.
This is my friend, Darastrix. He
will be joining us on our journey
to the north.
      (mumbles to
Darastrix, is it? Well, that
explains it.
      (continues in a
       normal tone)
You are most welcome to join us.
Friends, destiny awaits us!
He spurs his horse and they ride off.
The company of riders moves along the forest road. Upon
reaching a sharp turn, Venedar stops then motions everyone
to follow him into the forest.
The company sits around a camp fire eating and talking. Not
far off, Valgard stands alone looking away into the
The company rides in pairs. Venedar is quietly talking with
Darastrix, Lafael with Aenar. Gwildor is shuffling a deck of
cards unsuccessfully trying to gain Valgardís interest.
The company is riding through a thick forest, Valgard in
front. He stops, signaling others to do so as well.
Whatís all this about? Why arenít
we moving?


Valgard turns and gives him a stern look. Turning back to
the path ahead, he suddenly sees a LARGE WOLF looking at
them. The sound of swords leaving their sheaths pierces the
No! Stay your hands!
They all stop, but donít sheath their swords, still wary.
Valgard dismounts and takes a few steps toward the wolf
looking around.
Whatís he doing? Is he crazy?!
Be easy. He knows what he is
Doesnít look like it to me.
      (speaking to the
We are only passing through! Our
hearts hold no ill intentions!
An elf emerges from the forest. He is dressed in dark green
to blend in with the forest and he is armed with a longbow
strapped across his back, a short sword and a dagger at his
belt. He is LYMUS. Lymus moves beside the wolf and strokes
his back. The wolfís back easily reaches his waist.
I know that. Otherwise you would
have already been dead. Iíve been
watching you since you entered the
I noticed.
Lymusí eyes widen for a second in surprise but he quickly
recovers by shifting his look towards Lafael.
Lafael Dwiníurdrenn, your father
wishes to see you. You will follow


With that, he turns and disappears back into the forest
along with the wolf.
Who the hell does he think he is
ordering us like this?!
The kingís emissary.
Oh, wellÖ Then I guess we better
follow him.
No. I have to go alone.
      (turns to Venedar)
Wait for me at the northern edge
of the forest.
Venedar nods and she rides off after Lymus.
What was that all about?
It is probably better if we do not
So, a kingís daughter. Who would
have thought, eh?
Yes. That must have been hard. Not
only being an elf, but being a
daughter of a king and leave it
all for an inner calling. I must
say I admire that.
I think you must be crazy do go
and do a thing like that. Inner
Gwildor shakes his head in disbelief. Aenar laughs and claps
him on the back.


I bet you would enjoy all that
wealth, my little gambling friend.
But what of all the adventures you
would miss out on?
      (frowns in thought)
He suddenly smiles remembering something wicked.
Yes, yesÖ I guess youíre right.
Of course Iím right! I hope
someday Iíll hear the story that
goes with that smile.
Maybe, if you agree to a game of
That is a price I am not willing
to pay.
There she is. But she is not
Lafael comes riding out of the forest with Lymus
accompanying her.
Everything went well, I assume?
As well as can be expected. Thank
you for waiting for me.
Venedar looks questioningly at Lymus.
I would like to join you on your
quest if you will have me. I am
sure that you will find my skills
as a ranger, as well as my animal
companion you saw earlier, quite


Yes, I believe we will. You are
most welcome to join us. We ride
Everybody has gathered around a campfire, eating and
Whereís that wolf of yours?
Havenít seen him since the Elven
Heís around. Not too close so that
he doesnít spook the horses. And
heís not my wolf. He travels with
me of his own accord.
Really? How so?
Iím a ranger. I have a special
bond with the forest and its
creatures. ARYX chose to follow
You named him Aryx?
No. That is his name.
So, you can talk to animals?
Not really. But I can communicate
with them in a certain way. When
Aryx wants to tell me something, I
see pictures in my mind. I suppose
it is the same way for him
although I cannot be certain.
Gwildor thinks about it for a moment, chewing his last piece
of roasted rabbit.


Well, that sure is something. I
think Iíll go and get me some more
of that rabbit.
He rises and leaves.

Lymus turns to Valgard, who is sitting alone looking at the
I wonder how you managed to notice
me back in the forest? When I do
not want to be seen, I am not
seen. I would think that only a
wizard, sorcerer or another ranger
would have spotted me.
I am neither of those. I was just
lucky I guess.
If it was just luck, then I will
never again call myself a ranger.
Do not berate yourself. My silent
friend was trained at the School
of Grandmasters on Valdas.
Valdas? You mean to say that he is
a Grandmaster himself?!
      (to Darastrix)
You talk too much.
But you know that, Valgard. No, it
takes decades to reach that rank.
But he is a Swordmaster and you
know what that means.
Iím going to get some sleep.
He gets up and goes to his blankets.


Donít mind him. That is just his
way. Heís really not that bad once
you get to know him.
That is true about a lot of
people. I bid you good night.
He rises and goes to his blankets.
A bleak landscape stretches before the company. Dark clouds
loom ahead. Valgard frowns at the scenery.
Lymus rides up beside him and nods.
      (to Venedar)
These are orcish lands. Is this
the only way?
Vendedar looks at Lafael. She takes out the zentar, raises
it in her hand and closes her eyes. The blue beam of light
points straight ahead.
That is our way. Everybody, be on
your guard. We enter dangerous
No more campfires from now on. No
traveling in the open. When we
rest, someone must always be on
guard. Iíll be scouting ahead.
Sounds like youíve been there
I have. Many times.


The company is slowly moving through the rocky ravine. Steep
cliffs rise on both sides and a fog surrounds them.
Itís getting dark. Why donít we
stop for the night?
We have to make it to the other
side of the ravine. If something
were to come through, we would be
in its way.
Orcs are not the only ones who
live here. I wish this damn fog
would clearÖ
They hear horseís hooves in the distance drawing closer.
Fast. They draw their weapons getting ready for anything.

Valgard materializes from the fog drawing reins.
An orcish war party is coming this
way! Twenty strong, in full battle
gear. Get ready!
Wait! We must avoid confrontation
if possible. We will go back ahead
of them, and then return when they
have gone.
Back?! But the ravine is three
miles long! We would lose a lot of
time and we are almost through!
This quest is too important for us
to jeopardize it over a band of
orcs. We will go back.
Valgard glares at him but keeps his mouth shut.


Damn! Alright, we will make a
stand here. Hereís what weíll doÖ
Iím afraid we wonít be going back.
Orcs are setting up a camp at the
southern mouth of the ravine. I
guess these orcs are going there
to meet them.
Darkness has fallen as the ORCISH WAR PARTY progress through
the ravine speaking in unintelligible guttural language.
They all stop as the leader raises his hand. Ahead, barely
seen by the fog, Valgard stands alone in the middle of the
                       ORC 1
What is he doing here alone?
                       ORC 2
He must be mad!
                       ORC 3
Maybe he be that ORCSLAYER?
                       ORC 1
What Orcslayer?
                       ORC 3
You not know about Orcslayer
prowling this land killing our
                       ORC 2
He be human?! I thought it be some
kind of monster.
                       ORC 3
Of course he not be human, you
fool! He just take human form.
                       ORC 2
Yes. What he be doing here alone
                       ORC 1
Why he be just standing there?


                       ORC LEADER
Shut up, you morons! There is no
stinkiní Orcslayer! Heís just a
human stupid enough to be here!
Orc leader takes a few steps forward.
                       ORC LEADER
I thought humans were supposed to
be smart. Youíre not very smart to
walk our lands alone.
Your killing and pillaging days
are over, foul creatures. Prepare
to meet your doom!
Valgard draws both his blades.
                       ORC LEADER
I will decorate my tent with your
head, human!
Orc leader draws his axe. At the same time Aryx comes
running from behind Valgard and leaps for the orc leaderís
throat. The orc doesnít have time to react and drops beneath
the wolfís weight, his scream cut short by Aryxís jaws.

Orcs draw their blades, but a large fireball comes crashing
among their midst and sends some of them flying. With a
scream of fury, Valgard launches for the nearest orcs
slashing left and right.

An orc falls with an arrow sticking from his eye to reveal
Lymus knocking another arrow onto his bow, Aenar wielding
his two-handed sword, Gwildor jumping on another orcís back
slashing his throat with his kukris, and Lafael catching an
orcís leg with her longsword. Darastrix fights by Valgardís
side, effectively cutting down orcs in his path.

A few orcs try to get to Venedar but he makes a wall of fire
in their path, and finishes them with a few fireballs with
Lymus rapidly releasing arrows from his bow beside him.

Valgard faces the last two orcs and quickly kills one. The
other one, seeing that he is the only one left standing,
drops his sword and runs. Valgard takes a small throwing axe
from his belt and just as he was about to release it, Lafael
bumps into him, making him lose his aim.


Valgard looks at the fleeing orc, not believing what just
happened. Suddenly the orc drops to the ground with a
gurgling sound as an arrow penetrates his throat. Lymus
lowers his bow.

Valgard takes his sword and presses it against Lafaelís
throat. Thereís a low red glow in his eyes.
Donít ever do that again! EVER!!!
I couldnít let you kill an unarmed
person from behind.
That thing is not a person!
Valgard! What are you doing?! Calm
yourself right now!
Valgard blinks, removes the sword and turns away, the red
glow gone from his eyes. Darastrix helps Lafael up, who
wipes the blood running down her neck from a small cut.

Valgard takes his axe and goes to the nearest corpse. He
takes the dead orc by the hair and starts chopping his head
What do you think you are doing
Leaving a small warning to the
rest of the orcs.
You go on ahead. Iíll catch up to
      (takes out his
I'll help you.
You two are totally out of your


Valgard and Lymus mount their horses and ride off, leaving
behind half a dozen orcish heads stuck on wooden poles and
The company is sleeping quietly at the foot of the hill. At
the top, Lafael sits alone on a large rock with a faraway
look in her eyes.
I see it is your turn to stand
guard tonight.
Startled, Lafael turns to see him standing only a few feet
away looking away into the night.
Not doing a good job of it. I
didnít even hear you coming.
That is not your fault. I am very
good at sneaking.
Do you mind if I join you for a
little while?
I donít know. Not if youíll try to
cut my throat in the process.
Good point. IÖ I am truly sorry
for that. I promise you it will
not happen again.
Donít make promises you canít
I keep my promises.


Why do you hate orcs so much? I
mean, nobody exactly loves them,
but with you I think it goes much,
much deeper.
Silence stretches for a few moments.
They took something from me.
Something, that can never be
returned and must be paid with
their blood.
I guess I can understand that.
Thank you for the apology. I
really didnít expect it. When I
felt your sword on my throat, I
was sure you were going to kill
me. That red blaze in your eyesÖ
Was that the dragon Venedar was
talking about? Valgard?
She turns but Valagard has gone as silently as he had come.
Almost dead yellowish grass crushes under horsesí hooves.
The dark clouds up ahead seem even darker. The company rides
toward them.
      (fingers the sword
       hilt at his back)
I sense trouble ahead of us.
Thatís just the rain. Itíll start
I sense it as well.
The rain?
No. Trouble.
Gwildor frowns.


Iíll send Aryx to scout ahead.
      (he closes his
       eyes and opens
If I didnít know any better Iíd
say he just blinked. Slowly.
      (points to the
What's that?
I see your elven sight is as good
as ever. Before the Orcish Wars,
this used to be part of the
Borderlands. Unfortunately it fell
to the orcs. What you see used to
be a Borderland city. Iím afraid I
donít know which exactly.
      (frowns in thought)
SaliganÖ I heard that name beforeÖ
You are from Saligan!
Oh! Iím sorry.
Thereís nothing for you to be
sorry about.
Valgard directs his horse toward the ruins.
We can find shelter there.
Everybody looks at Venedar uneasily. He just shrugs his
shoulders and follows Valgard.


The house is located somewhere in the ruined city. It is in
pretty bad shape but offers enough shelter for the company
and the horses. Outside, the rain has started to fall.
Valgard is missing.
You can start a fire so that
everybody can dry up if you can
find dry wood. I donít think it
will be seen from anywhere in this
He starts breaking furniture and piling it.
This wonít be enough. Iíll start
the fire but Iíll need more
firewood to keep it going.
Letís try some of the other
houses. Maybe weíll find some.
Whereís Valgard?
He went outside a few moments ago.
Itís a bit unnerving how he can
come and go without notice.
Yes. Even to me. Well, letís go
get that firewood.
They exit the house leaving Venedar and Gwildor.
A small mound rises just inside the half collapsed city
walls. Valgard walks to the top, not bothering to cover
himself with his cloak. He stops before a plain gravestone
covered in moss. It says:
Forever in my heart


He drops to his knees.
Hello, my loveÖ I brought you
He takes a small beautiful flower from under his cloak. He
plants it in the earth beside the gravestone then clears
some of the moss off.
It will not wilt as long as the
memory of your beauty lives. As
long as I live.
He looks to the sky as if pleading for help then looks at
the flower again.
I have become death. It follows me
wherever I go. I throw myself in
its path and yet it wonít embrace
me. Why? How I long to see you
once againÖ I miss you soÖ Soon we
will be together again. From the
fires of the Abyss I will come to
your arms again.
He kisses his fingers then strokes the flower. He takes a
deep breath, rises and turns to leave but stops in his
tracks as he spots Lafael looking at him in wonder and
sympathy from the doors of a nearby house, the firewood she
collected soaking in her arms.
Iím sorry. I didnít mean to invade
your privacy. I was just
collecting firewood andÖ WellÖ
Valgard descends the mound and looks at the soaked firewood.
I hardly think these will burn.
Lafael blinks and looks at the firewood in her arms as if
seeing it for the first time.
Oh! Yes. I forgot to cover it.
Valgard stares at her for a few moments not saying anything.


Look, I really didnítÖ
You can drop those. Iíll help you
look for more.
He moves off down the street then stops when she doesnít
Come. I think there should be some
in a house I passed earlier.
Confuzed, Lafael drops the soaked firewood and follows him.
Through a wall of fog, scenes exchange of large hounds with
red-brown fur and red, glowing eyes. They run through a
grassy plain breathing fire from their mouths. The baying
sounds they make have an eerie, hollow tone that send a
shiver through any who hear them.

Lymus comes running through the door, breathing hard.

Lafael wakes up with a start. She looks about and sees that
everyoneís asleep around a dying fire. Just as she starts to
rise from her blankets, she hears the same eerie baying she
heard in her sleep.
Everyone, wake up! We have HELL
HOUNDS on our trail! Wake up!
Everybody is up and ready in a flash. They run toward their
horses, packing their stuff.
Are you sure they are hell hounds?
Again, the baying sounds in the night, only closer this
Iím sure. A whole pack.
They mount their horses.


Everyone! Ride!
They spur their horses and gallop through the ruined city
with the sound of the hell hounds closing in.
They stop the horses. Aryx comes out of the shadows running
and disappears only moments later.
What are these hell hounds?!
Hell hounds are fire-breathing
canines from another world brought
here in the service of evil
But why donít we fight them?
We canít take on a whole pack! If
there were only a few of them we
would still have a hard time
defeating them.
The baying sounds once more. Much closer!
They gallop through the forest of twisted trees with large
roots making the passage hard.
They are almost upon us!
They can see the fire and red eyes coming fast behind them.

Venedar stops, turns around and makes a gesture with his
staff mumbling magical words. Suddenly the ground erupts
right in front of the hell hounds, sending some of them
flying and momentarily blocking the path for the rest of

He gallops after the rest.
Will that stop them?!


No! Only slow them and hopefully
thin their number!
They gallop out of the forest and stop to look around. A
large mountain looms ahead.
Thereís an entrance to goblin
caves up ahead. If you could do
the same with the cave entrance as
what you did back there, they
wonít be able to follow us.
Wonít that leave us trapped
Well yes and no. The goblin caves
are numerous, intertwined, stretch
for miles and have many entrances
and exits. But goblins inhabit
Iíd rather take my chances with
the small pests than with those
damned fire-breathing hounds!
Maybe we can outrun them!
You canít outrun the hell hounds.
They never tire.
The eerie baying sounds again.
It seems we donít have any choice.
Yes. To the caves! Lymus, lead the
The company halts at the cave entrance getting off their
horses. Aryx waits for them.


Leave the horses!
They rush inside.
Valgard, Darastrix, Lymus, stay
with me. The rest of you, get
deeper inside and find a place to
hide. If we fail to stop them they
wonít recognize your scent from
the goblin stench.
      (smells the air)
Youíve got that right! It reeks in
I wonít leave you, Venedar!
Lafael, donít argue with me. If we
fail, you must continue on, or the
whole world is doomed.
But why donít we all go inside and
Thereís too many of us. But with
only you three, the scent will be
much weaker.
Venedar grabs her by the shoulders.
Donít worry. We will stop them.
The hell houndís baying sounds from the outside.
Now, go!
Aenar pulls Lafael along.
Come, young paladin. They will do
what they must.


She doesnít resist and the three of them vanish down the

Venedar turns towards the mouth of the cave and raises his
staff, mumbling magical words. Valgard, Darastrix and Lymus
position ready themselves for the oncoming attack.

The cave trembles and small pieces of rock start to fall but
the mouth of the cave remains open.
What is it?
The goblins reinforced these walls
better than I thought.
Better do something quick, wizard,
because they are coming.
As if to his answer, the hell hounds appear in the distance,
six of them, closing fast. Lymus nocks an arrow in his bow
and draws it to his cheek.

Valgard tries again and this time everything trembles much
harder and the roof of the cave mouth starts to crack.

Lymus, distracted by the trembling, starts releasing his
arrows but only a few hit the target. The first hell hound
goes down with five arrows sticking out of him.

A large piece of rock drops to partially block the cave
entrance, but not enough.
The hell hounds come to the cave mouth and the first tries
to jump over the large rock but Valgard throws his throwing
axe and hits it right in the head knocking it back.

The cave mouth starts to collapse completely but not before
another hell hound managed to jump over the large rock
evading Lymusí arrow and breathing fire at Valgard.

Valgard rolls out of the way and Darastrix slashes its hind
legs. The hell houndís legs give way and it tumbles into the
cavern wall.

Darastrix throws away his sword, pulls a knife and throws
himself on the hell houndís back sticking his knife


repeatedly into its side. The hell hound breathes fire,
trying unsuccessfully to throw him of its back, but pretty
soon it lies dead beneath Darastrix.
Youíre really somethingÖ
Thank you, but I did what had to
be done.
Venedar leans heavily on his staff and wipes his sweaty
Are you alright?
Iíll be fine. I just need to catch
my breath.
We should go find the others.
They nod and move deeper into the cave.
The cavern is filled with some kind of yellow stones that
give out a low glow, illuminating the bloody aftermath of a
bloody battle. A group of lifeless goblinsí bodies lie on
the cavern floor.

Lymus walks among the bodies and picks up a small bloodied
They were definitely here. This is
The goblins must have surprised
They gave them one hell of a
fight, though.
I donít see their bodies anywhere.
They must have been captured.


For slavery?
Or food.
Lafael wakes up full of cuts and bruises. Her clothes are
torn and bloodied, her equipment gone. She sits up with a
flinch and realizes that she is chained to a cavern wall
along with Aenar and Gwildor who donít look any better than
Where are we?
In a goblin camp.
How did we end up here?
I guess you were hit on the head
harder than I thought.
Uh! It feels like itís full of
I know what you mean. Well, we
were surprised by a group of
goblins and after a brief fight
ended up here. Aenar here is mad
because he thinks we could have
taken them.
If those little bastards hadnít
sneaked up behind meÖ
Sneaked up? There were more than
two dozen of them!
WellÖ We almost made it.


Almost counts for nothing.
Yes, I remember now. But itís all
She notices the activity in the goblin camp.
What are they doing?
Theyíre preparing for a feast.
Do you think theyíll let us
Oh, yes they will.
They look at him in confusion.
Guess what their main course is?
It takes a moment for them to realize the horrible truth.
Theyíre going to eat us?! But I
thought only orcs eat humans!
The goblins do it just as well.
Weíve got to find some way to
I already tried these chains and I
donít have anything with which I
can pick the lock.


The drums start beating in the camp and a group of goblins
marches towards them. They smile, showing their pointy teeth
and start to tie them to large wooden poles they brought
with them.

They try to resist but to no avail. Thereís just too many of
the goblins.
No! I wonít and up like some
animal over a cook fire! I wonít!
The goblins have to double their numbers to bring Aenar
under control.
You filthy little bastards! Get
off me!
With a few swings of a club, they are calmed and tied to the
poles and carried to the center of the camp. The goblins
stick the poles into the holes in the ground next to a
bonfire and start to pile firewood around them.

The drums beat harder and faster.

They suddenly stop as the GOBLIN LEADER exits his hut. He
approaches the captives carefully looking at each one.

The fire behind him starts to increase its intensity.

Goblin leader stops in front of Lafael and takes out his
knife. He takes a handful of her hair, forcing her head
down. She tries to struggle but his grip is firm. He raises
the knife high above his head.

The bonfire behind him is now impossibly large and the
goblins start to shout.

The goblin leader turns to see what is going on and the fire
starts to take shape of a large fiery monster looking down
on him.

The goblins flee while the goblin leader releases Lafael and
angrily shouts at them. He looks back at the fiery monster
and takes a big swallow.

The fiery monster opens its large mouth and attacks the
goblin leader. The goblin leader screams and flees in

Aenar, Gwildor and Lafael desperately try to free themselves


but the monster just stands there looking at them and
suddenly disappears. The bonfire is burning with normal
intensity as if nothing happened.

Confused, the prisoners look at each other then notice their
friends running towards them.

Valgard cuts Lafaelís bonds and she collapses against his
chest. Awkwardly, he puts one arm around her.
I was sure I was going to die.
Itís alright. Youíre safe now.
Venedar rushes to her side and hugs her. She hugs him back.
Are you badly injured?
No, Iím alright. I just have a
nasty headache.
Thank the light. If something were
to happen to you, I would never
forgive myself.
What took you?! We were almost
Darastrix frees him.
We came as fast as we could.
      (frees Aenar)
Be glad we came at all. We still
had to deal with the entire camp
of goblins.
So that fiery beast was Venedarís
Only a trick. A little grandiose
perhaps, but still a trick. It
wonít keep the goblins away
forever, though.


We have to find our equipment.
Yes, it must be in the chiefís
hut. Iíll have a look.
Hurry, we donít have much time!
After heís been in the goblin leaderís hut for a few
moments, he emerges from the hut carrying a large sack.
Everythingís here!
Aenar, Gwildor and Lafael take their clothes and weapons.

A goblinís head peaks from behind one of the huts. He sees
them and screams for the others.
Damn! Theyíve seen us! Quick,
follow me!
Lymus fires an arrow, catching the screaming goblin in the
chest. They rush towards a small tunnel.

As they near the tunnel, a small group of goblins intercepts
them waving their scimitars and maces. They are easily
brushed aside but then a larger group of goblins exits the
small tunnel.

Venedar extends his staff and fire blasts from its tip
straight into the goblins. After a brief fight, the rest

The company enters the tunnel with Valgard and Darastrix
guarding the rear. They see a wave of goblins coming
straight for the tunnel.
Pick up the pace! More of them are
heading this way!
Huge demon army is gathered in a barren wasteland. Large,
wicked looking BAZADUSHíS CASTLE looms in the distance.
Bazadush, a large red-skinned demon with horns and wings,
steps forth and raises the Staff of Ages. The demons fall



Suddenly bright light bursts from the Staff. The air
A great army has gathered to defend their world. Dark clouds
have gathered above. Lightning crackles and a strong wind
starts to blow. Men, elves and dwarves await the coming

A huge white streak of light appears in the air a few
hundred feet in front of them and suddenly everything falls
silent. The wind and the lightning stop.

With a large boom, the white streak of light explodes into a
huge tear in the air. The demon army pours from Ughor Argash
into Issine Valley. The two armies clash!

Leaning heavily on the Staff, Bazadush smiles in
satisfaction then turns away from the battle.
Aenar slices off the goblinís head. The headless corpse
falls to the ground revealing in the distance more goblins
coming down the tunnel.
Blast it! How many more can there
Gwildor rises from a dead goblin he just killed.
These caves are full of them and
theyíll just keep coming!
Venedar shoots a fireball at the oncoming goblins.
Donít talk, run!
I canít!
An arrow is sticking out from her leg.
Iíll help you. Come on!


He helps her up and she leans on him for support.
Thereís a platform up ahead! I
think it leads to the surface!
They rush down the tunnel and into a --
with an elevated wooden platform in its center and a series
of ropes leading from a small mechanism under the platform
to an opening in the cave ceiling.

Lymus runs up to the platform and looks up.
Hurry! I see daylight from up
They all get on the platform. Valgard puts Lafel gently down
and pulls the lever operating the platform. The platform
starts to rise then suddenly stops.
What is it?!
      (pulls the lever
I donít know! The mechanism
beneath must have jammed!
Iíll go and have a look.
Hurry! The goblins will be here
any moment now.
Darastrix jumps down from the platform and inspects the
I canít see anything wrong with
They hear the goblins coming from the tunnel. Lymus grabs
his bow but then puts it away drawing his sword.
No more arrows.


You better find something fast!
Ah, there it is! Thereís a rock
jamming one of the pulleys. Now,
if I can only pull it outÖ
Darastrix! Hurry!
The goblins enter the cave and attack. They meet the goblins
at the foot of the platform. Venedar shoots two fireballs
but his power fails him when he tries a third and he is
forced to defend himself with his staff.
There! I did it!
They back up to the platform and Valgard pulls the lever
again. The platform lurches upwards with a few goblins
clinging to it but they are squished as the platform enters
the opening in the cavern ceiling. They all sigh in relief.
As soon as they get off the platform, it starts to descend
back to the caves. Aenar cuts its ropes with a few mighty
swings of his sword and the platform crashes to the cavern
Where are we?
I do not know but it is obvious
that we are not in orcish
territory anymore.
We are somewhere to the north.
In any case, I suggest we camp for
the night and rest. Tomorrow, we
will see where our path lies.


The company sits around the campfire. Valgard rips Lafaelís
pants so that he can better see the wound from the arrow. He
cleans some of the blood with a wet cloth.
Why canít you heal yourself? Donít
you paladins have healing powers?
Yes we do, but it doesnít work
that way. The arrow has to be
removed and I have to rest before
I can heal myself.
Valgard takes a knife from the fire and gives Lafael a small
wooden stick.
Bite into this.
Lafael cries out in pain through clenched teeth as he cuts
with the red hot knife and removes the arrow. Darastrix
hands him a small bowl.
Whatís that?
A mixture of herbs that will
prevent the wound from infecting
and help it heal better.
He puts some on her wounds.
Thank you.
Try to get some sleep.
A nearby bush rustles. Everybody is on their feet, weapons
ready. Aryxís head peeps from the bush.
That bloody wolf! How did he find
us so quickly?


      (approaches Aryx)
He senses my whereabouts. As I do
You could have warned us, you
Aryx nuzzles against Lymus and he runs his hand through the
wolfís fur in return.
I assume the area is safe?
Nothing that will bother us.
Then we should all get some sleep
and gather our strength.
The company is preparing to leave the camp. Darastrix
approaches Lafael.
How are you feeling today?
Much better, thanks to Valgard.
Heís experienced in those kind of
He doesnít talk much, though.
Heís like that. Doesnít talk much
and doesnít listen, either. He may
be ill-tempered sometimes, but he
has a good heart.
How long have you known him?


More than ten years. Weíve been
through a lot, him and me.
He doesnít strike me as someone
who makes friends easily.
He doesnít, no. But we met in
extraordinary circumstances. He
saved my life.
At the beginning, he didnít seem
that eager to have you along.
Yes, well, he sometimes doesnít
like what I have to say, but he
must hear it anyway.
Are you sure youíll be able to
travel? We can stay here another
No. We donít have that luxury and
besides, Iíll be fine.
We will talk later if you wish.
She gathers her things and joins the others.
I know that one nightís rest is
not enough for what we went
through so if you will please come
closer and I will do what I can.
They look at each other questioningly then move closer.
Lafael closes her eyes, raises her hands in the air and
speaks a few magical words. A bright glow envelops only her
at first, then spreads to the rest. After a few moments, the
glow is gone and she opens her eyes.


Thatís amazing! All of my cuts and
bruises are gone!
I feel like I could run for two
days without stopping. What did
you do?
I healed all of us and gave us the
energy we need to continue.
Especially since we donít have
horses anymore.
Now, then, if you would be so kind
to show us the way.
Ah, yes. Certainly.
She takes out the zentar and the blue line shoots into the
It seems we are on the right
As they start to leave the campsite, Valgard stops and looks
What is it?
I donít know. Probably nothing.
They follow the others.
The company exits the forest surrounding the ancient walled
city. They look in wonder at the great and strange buildings
as they walk down what used to be the main street.
Iíve never seen structures like
this before.


Yes, it must be thousands of years
And look at the statues on the
buildings. What kind of creatures
are they?
I donít know. This is a city from
ancient times when different
creatures inhabited these lands.
They look like they were the
protectors of these homes.
Protectors?! Then what were they
protecting them from?! They donít
look very friendly.
Would you say than that a hound
that guards your doorstep from the
strangers in the night looks
friendly to a passerby?
No, but these sure are no dogs.
As I said, they were creatures
from ancient times. Who knows what
used to pass for a hound to these
What kind of people used to live
There are books that hint at the
fact that a powerful race existed
long ago. Not Men or Elves or
Dwarves but a different, more
advanced race. But all the details
are lost in the sands of time. The
mere fact that we stand here is a
historic moment in itself.


How did they become extinct if
they were so powerful?
No one knows. Maybe some disease
struck them, or a natural
catastrophe, or a war amongst
themselves. This place holds all
the answers. It is very
unfortunate that we donít have
time to look for those answers.
I donít know if I wish to know
them. This place gives me the
creeps. Letís just get that
necklace and get out of here.
I couldnít agree more.
They come to the main square in the center of which is a
statue broken in half.
Heh, at least we know what their
legs looked like.
Lafael raises the zentar and the blue light points to the
ground in front of what used to be a palace.
It must be underground.
They start towards the palace but stop as Aryx starts to
What is it?
I donít knowÖ He senses something
I canít tell. We better go back
towards the houses.


Suddenly a wall of the palace explodes as the SHARGOTH
attacks them. It is a truly monstrous and terrifying beast.
Its powerful arms end in claws.
Itís a shargoth! Run!!!
They enter the smaller streets with the shargoth right at
their feet, snapping its jaws and knocking down walls. The
company zig-zags through the streets but the shargoth goes
right through the walls as if they werenít there.

They reach the city walls.
Inside the city walls! They were
made to withstand sieges!
But they are old and crumbling
with age!
The ones that stand are five
meters thick! It is our only
To the walls! Quick!
They rush inside through a small opening. The shargoth
smashes into the wall. Everything shakes but the wall holds.
Everyone runs to the top then stop to catch their breath
while the shargoth continues smashing into the wall.
If that thing continues to pound,
this wall wonít hold much longer
and thereís no way out but the way
we came in!
Of all the places in the world, it
had to be right here.
What are we going to do?!
You seem to know what we are
dealing with here. Is there a way
to kill it?


Kill it?! Are you crazy?! Have you
noticed the size of that thing?!
If there is, I do not know it.
There must be something we can do!
Yes, there is.
Valgard looks at him for a moment.
We have to make a plan.
I will lure him away while you
make for the palace.
You canít take him on your own.
Heís more than a match, even for
What, in the nine hells, are you
two talking about?!
That is the only way. Our quest is
too important. You must get that
We will get it, but together!
      (grabs Valgard)
Listen to him, Valgard. It is the
way it has to be. Otherwise, we
risk everything.
Will somebody please tell the rest
of us what is going on?!
Darastrix shakes Valgardís hand.


Do not fear, brother. We will fly
the blue skies again, you and I.
Hysver, orn thurirl. (Soar, silver
Darastrix smiles then moves away.
It has been an honor to travel
with all of you.
He closes his eyes. As he opens them again, they are eyes of
a lizard. He raises his arms and starts to lift off the
ground and transforms into a --
Gwildor, Lafael, Lymus and Aenar gasp in wonder.

Darastrix wheels around in the air and comes down breathing
fire at the shargoth. The beast is engulfed in flames but
the flames soon die down.
It canít be! The flames barely
hurt the thing!
Darastrix makes another circle in the air and dives for the
shargoth crashing into it and sends them both tumbling. They
crash into a building, completely demolishing it.

A fierce battle continues with teeth and claws.
Nowís our chance!
They run into the streets but Valgard stops, hesitantly
looking at the two battling juggernauts.
      (pulls him along)
Come on! Thereís nothing you can
do for him now.
Valgard follows her reluctantly. In the distance, the battle
to the death continues.


The company enters the palace through the doorway missing
its doors. The walls are filled with strange carvings and
pictures ruined by time. Lafael spots a stairway leading
That way.
They go down a winding stairway and enter a --
A streak of sunlight penetrates the darkness through a hole
in the ceiling. It illuminates a pedestal with an ornamented
box. The rest of the chamber is filled with treasure.
Itís just the way I dreamed it
would be. Letís fill our pockets!
Wait for what? Letís go!
Thereís something wrong here.
You feel something?
                       SHADOW DEMON
Of course she does. After all, she
is a paladin, and paladins feel
evil when it is near.
Two red dots light up in the shadows on the opposite side of
the chamber and a large figure completely covered in dark,
wide, flowing hooded robe steps into the light. Aryx growls.
                       SHADOW DEMON
I never thought you would get this
far, but then, I didnít expect a
dragon with you. That was really
surprising. But he is a little
busy at the moment and wonít be
able to help you.


We do not need any help to deal
with the likes of you!
                       SHADOW DEMON
Well, arenít you a fiery one. I
like that.
So you followed us from the start?
                       SHADOW DEMON
Yes and no. I did not need to be
near you to know where you are or
what you were doing.
Then you sent the hell hounds
after us.
                       SHADOW DEMON
How perceptive of you, wizard. You
evaded my traps but now your
little escapade comes to an end!
Its hands transform into dark blades.

Aryx attacks.
Aryx, no!
Aryx jumps for the demon, but the demon extends its
hand/blade and meets the wolf. Aryx yelps. The demon tosses
wolfís lifeless body which crashes into the wall with a
large thump.
Nooo!!! Youíll pay for that!
Lymus rushes for the demon, but a fireball shoots past him
towards it. The demon evaporates and the fireball catches
only air.

It materializes a few feet from the wizard and suddenly a
shadow exits the demons body and enters Venedarís. Venedar
screams in pain and falls to the floor holding his head in
his hands.

The rest of the company attacks the demon but it skillfully
meets their attacks moving quick as lightning despite its
size. Pretty soon, all of the company is bleeding from


various cuts.

Aenar swings his two-handed sword and catches only air as
the demon teleports behind him and strikes at his back.
Aenar tries to evade but he is not quick enough and the dark
blade penetrates his shoulder and throws him against a
nearby wall, knocking him unconscious.

Lymus tries a swing under the demonís guard, but the demon
blocks with one blade and cuts a large slash up his leg with
another, making it useless. Lymus falls to the ground, his
hurting leg keeping him down.

Gwildor stabs his kukris into the demons back all the way to
the hilt. The demon screams in pain and turns around
knocking Gwildor head-over-heals into a pile of treasure.

Lafael takes the chance and runs the demon through with her
sword. Another scream and the demon jerks, wresting the
sword from Lafaelís hands. The demonís blades transform into
hands as it takes out the sword but Valgard drives both his
swords into the demon. A shriek of agony sounds from the
dark depths of the demonís cowl.
                       SHADOW DEMON
No! This canít be happening! No
mere humans can defeat me! You
puny littleÖ
The demon drops dead.
What delusion of greatness.
He goes to retrieve his swords and is surprised to find
nothing under the robes.
      (hands Lafael her
Go and try to heal the others.
Let me first heal you.
That is not necessary.
Please, I insist.
Really, it isnít necessary.


She cleans the blood from one of his wounds. The skin is
completely healed.
      (takes her hand)
Go, help the others.
Valgard goes to a pile of treasure and pulls out Gwildor.
Gwildor spits out a few diamonds. Valgard hands him his
Now that would be an ideal place
to die. But, since that did not
happen, I guess Iíll have to take
advantage of the situation.
He grabs for his backpack and starts filling it with

Lafael heals Lymus and Aenar, then moves to Venedar who sits
with his back against the wall with a blank look.
      (shakes him)
She puts her hands on his head and a bright glow envelops
them both.

After a few moments, the glow disappears but Venedar remains
unchanged. The rest of the company gathers around him.
Canít you heal him?
No. Thereís something terribly
wrong with him but I donít have
the necessary skills to help him.
Physically, heís all right, but
mentallyÖ I just donít know what
to do.


Letís get that necklace, and then
weíll carry him out.
They go to the pedestal and the box. Thereís a hand print on
the top of a box. It has three fingers.
Do you know how to open it?
I havenít yet come across a lock
that I couldnít pick, but this
here doesnít seem to have a lock.
I guess it opens magically.
Thereís an inscription on the
He wipes away the dust.
Do you understand what it says?
Wait. That is written in an
ancient elven language.
Everyone looks at her.
Since I am a kingís daughter, I
had to study elven history in
detail. That included ancient
So what does it say?
ďYou, brother, who are like me
bound to the dragons in blood and
oath, take this necklace of the
dragon-people of Urash and serve
our masters. The blood of the
dragons binds us forever.Ē
Do you know what it means?


Judging by the hand print, Iíd say
that these dragon-people magically
sealed this box and only one of
them may open it.
Do you mean to say that this was a
race of half humans, half dragons
that served the dragons?!
That is what it says.
Well, thatís just great! We fight
through bloody orcish and goblin
territory, manage to escape bloody
hell-hounds, a huge, blood-thirsty
monster, and defeat some kind of
stinkiní demon for nothing?!
Not for nothing. Look at all this
Have you forgotten why we came
here in the first place?!
I know why I came. For this!
He shows the diamonds.
I wonít let some bloody small box
get in my way! Aarrrgh!
He swings his sword, its blade connecting with a sharp
CLANG. The box remains intact.
Stop! Let me try something.
He takes out a knife and cuts his hand then places it on the
hand print. The hand print glows bright red, and the box
opens. A necklace with a pendant in a shape of a dragon lies
How did you do that?! But that


Yes. We donít have time now. Iíll
explain later. Take the necklace
and letís go.
No, not me. You are the one who
opened the box. It is meant for
He looks at the others. They all nod in agreement.
      (takes the
Fine. Can we go now?
Iíll take Venedar.
He puts the wizard across his shoulder and follows the rest.
The company exits the ruined palace and finds Darastrix
lying in the square with his eyes closed. He is not
breathing. Not far from him is the body of the dead monster.
      (runs towards the
Darastrix, no!
He skids to a stop beside the dragonís head.
DarastrixÖ I told you not to go
alone. I told youÖ
The rest of the company, their faces sullen, gathers around
the dragon.
And what would you have done that
would have been of any help?
Valgard smiles and hits the dragon with his fist.
Why you bigÖ I knew you were just


Hey! I am injured, you know.
I was not pretending, but
gathering my strength. I must have
a long rest, but I will be fine.
What happened to Venedar?
I donít know. We ran into some
kind of a demon and I donít know
what he did to Venedar, but I
canít heal him.
We donít know what to do with him.
We canít carry him to Ughor Argash
like this.
I will carry him to the healers.
Are you sure you can fly?
I am pretty battered, but I will
manage. Did you find what you were
looking for?
Yes, we did.
Good. Place Venedar on my back.
Donít worry. I will make sure he
doesnít fall off.
They raise Venedar onto the dragonís back.
Good luck to you, friends. I will
see you when you get back.
He flies away.
Do you mind telling us now how you
managed to open that box?
When I was young, I was a soldier


                       VALGARD (cont'd)
living in the Borderlands.
Saligan, the ruined city where we
camped a few days ago, was my
hometown where I lived with my
wife. One day, orcs came in force
and Saligan fell. My wife was
killed and I was taken prisoner.
They took me, along with some of
the male survivors, north, deep
into their territory. They capture
the men for slavery, but womenÖ
They donít need themÖ So they end
up in their cook pots.
      (he takes a moment
       to gather himself)
After a few days of travelling,
the orcs came across some kind of
a huge altar with a chained
dragon. Apparently, he was
captured by a demon who wanted the
dragonís power for his own. The
orcs wanted to kill the dragon and
take its head as a trophy.
Naturally, the demon didnít want
that so he summoned a number of
demons to fight the orcs. I
managed to free myself and the
dragon in the mayhem that followed
but I got myself killed in the
process. The dragon resurrected me
to repay me.
That was Darastrix?
Yes, although that is not his true
name. The draconic language is too
hard to pronounce.
So how did he resurrect you?


Dragons are magical creatures.
Their knowledge is enormous and
goes back to the ancient times. He
imbued me with his life essence.
Apart from bringing me back to
life, it gave me some other
abilities as well. It also created
a certain bond between us, not
unlike the bond that Lymus and
Aryx had.
So that is why you could open the
box and didnít need healing.
Hey, weíre lucky youíre with us! I
donít know how we would have
otherwise opened that box. But I
guess it was meant to be.
Now, how do we reach Ughor Argash?
Lafael takes out the bright red stone. She closes her eyes
and a vertical slash of red light appears in the air in
front of her and expands into a PORTAL. A wasteland with a
blood-red sky above is visible through the portal.

Valgard places the Necklace of Urash around his neck and
steps through. The rest follow him.

Gwildor pauses looking to the skies.
I wish the dragon had come along.
He steps through the portal.
King Malaron looks at the dead bodies on the battlefield.
The demon army is nowhere to be seen. The rift is much

An elf and a dwarf approach him. They are THAIAN


                       KING BURIN
Where do you suppose they went?
                       KING MALARON
The demons? I do not know, but
they will be back.
                       KING THAIAN
And when they do, we will be
unable to stop them.
                       KING BURIN
We must! The worldís fate rests on
our shoulders.
                       KING MALARON
And on the shoulders of a small
group of heroes.
                       KING BURIN
Do you think theyíll make it?
                       KING THAIAN
I know my daughter. Nothing can
stop her once she sets her mind on
                       KING BURIN
I hope you are right, because we
are running out of time.
The blood-red sky illuminates a barren land and Bazadushís
castle in the distance.

Valgard points towards the castle.
That must be the Argasi Lordís
Not much cover to hide our
Letís hope that their attention is
all on the battle.


Confused, everyone looks at him. He points towards the
castle. Beyond it, there is a large hole in the air and a
large DEMON ARMY is marching towards it.
The company makes a short dash from a nearby cover to the
castle wall.
You were right. Thereís nobody on
the walls on this side of the
We still have to get inside
      (calls quietly)
Over here. I found some kind of
small side entrance.
They join Gwildor beside a small door in the castle wall.
Can you open it?
Does the sun rise in the east?
He produces a small lockpick and fumbles with a lock for a
few moments. The lock rewards him with a loud CLICK. He
smiles triumphantly and opens the door.
Wait! There could be someoneÖ
But Gwildor has already disappeared into the shadows.
Valgard rolls his eyes, draws his swords and follows him.
They quickly move through a corridor lit by torches until
they get to another door. Bone chilling screams are heard
from beyond.

Gwildor looks questioningly at Valgard, who nods. Gwildor
tries the door, and it opens into a --


A corridor is leading to an oval chamber. The corridor is
filled with cells with metal doors. Bloodied hands from
different types of creatures are desperately reaching out
through small holes in the cell doors. But the screams are
coming from the oval chamber beyond.

The company slowly moves towards the chamber. They stop at
the end of the corridor. Valgard peeks around the corner.

The chamber is filled with all kinds of torturing devices.
Dries and fresh blood is splattered everywhere and there are
even pieces of meat on some of the devices.

The screams are coming from a once beautiful, but now
deformed, DRYAD (a magical forest creature in a shape of a
beautiful woman) being tortured by two heavily muscled
demons. The demons are too busy enjoying themselves to
notice the intruders.

Enraged, Valgard attacks! The first demon didnít even
realise he was dead as he was run through with Valgardís
blades. The second takes a nearby spiked club and tries to
fight, but a few seconds later he is left to bleed out on
the floor.

Valgard approaches the tortured dryad. It is obvious she
cannot be saved.
KÖ kill meÖ pÖ pleaseÖ kÖ kill mÖ
With a grim look, Valgard takes out a dagger and stabs her
in the heart and closes her eyes. Lafael wipes away a tear.
We will kill every single one of
these filthy animals.
Nobody argues. They all nod.
Bazadush, a large, horned and winged demon, sits in his
massive throne examining the Staff of Ages. Thereís a thump
at the door.
What is it?!


                       LARGE DEMON
I am sorry to disturb you, master,
but there is some trouble in the
Bazadush puts down the Staff and rises from the throne.
In the castle?! What kind of
The large demon sees that maybe he should have sent somebody
else with the bad news.
                       LARGE DEMON
WellÖ It seems, somehow, a small
group of humans penetrated our
He takes a wicked looking greatsword that was resting
against the throne and advances towards the large demon. The
sword blazes with fire.

The large demon backs away a few steps.
                       LARGE DEMON
IÖ I donít know how they managed
to get past our guards but I sent
a group of my best fighters to
deal with them.
He thought that that would please Bazadush. He was wrong.
A group? You sent a group?! You
idiot!!! You should have sent
He continues to advance menacingly towards the large demon.
Have you even wondered for a
second what would a group of
humans be doing in my castle in
the first place?!
                       LARGE DEMON
NÖ No.
Bazadush now stands directly in front of the large demon.


They are here to try to stop the
merge between our worlds. I sent
my best fiend to stop them and the
fact that they are here tells me
that he has failed. And you think
a mere group will stop them?!!!
                       LARGE DEMON
Please, masterÖ I didnít know.
With a scream of fury Bazadush cuts him in half with his
flaming sword.

He takes the top half of the large demonís body, opens the
door and throws it into --
where a dozen large demons turn to look at the corpse
rolling on the floor.
If you donít want to end up like
him, find and kill the intruders!
He turns to go back to the throne room but stops as the
sounds of fighting come from outside. He looks back just as
doors to the hall burst open, and a demonís corpse skids to
a stop at the feet of a surprised large demon.

Valgard stands in the doorway, both of his swords dripping
blood, the rest of the company at his back.
Kill them!!!
Bazadush goes back to the throne room and slams the doors
behind him.

A bloody mayhem takes place as the company clashes with the

Aenar strikes down a horned demon that tried to flatten him
with a large maul. Half a dozen of the demons are still
standing. Everyone from the company is hurt but still alive.
      (shouts at Valgard)
Kill Bazadush and take the Staff.
Go! We can handle them!


Valgard hesitates then runs towards the throne room.

He enters cautiously.

Bazadush stands holding the Staff of Ages.
You?! But, youíre supposed to be
dead! I killed you!
Well, that dragon had other plans
for me.
The dragon. YesÖ But, here you are
before me again and I can correct
that mistake. You ruined my plans
once and I killed you but I will
not be so kind this time. Oh, no!
I will let you live just long
enough to see your world burn.
My world was burned long ago.
Then I will burn it again! You
will learn humility before the
Argasi Lord, ruler of Ughor Argash
and, pretty soon, your world as
Pretty soon youíll be a dead
ruler, and all of your filthy kind
will be sent back where they
Ha, ha, ha, ha! Brave words,
human. I think I will pull out
that flapping tongue of yours
Enough talk! Hand me the Staff of
You want it? Than come and get it,


He throws the Staff in the air. A red barrier forms around
it and it remains floating.

Valgard attacks.

Bazadush smiles and fire bursts from his hand straight into

Flames die down and Valgard is untouched.
So, you managed to get the
Necklace of Urash, but that will
not save you.
Bazadush lifts his fiery sword and a battle to the death
begins. Bazadush is relentless in his assault.
He uses his strength and his wings well in combat, trying to
throw Valgard off balance. Bazadush seems to have the upper
hand as Valgard grows weary.

With a flap of his wing, the demon distracts Valgard then
backhands him. Valgard flies across the room into a wall and
falls to the ground, dropping his swords.

Bazadush points at the CHAINS hanging from the walls.
And now, I will chain you and you
will be my pet. You will grovel
before me and do my bidding
whenever I wish, however I wish
it. Everyone will see the human
champion in his rightful place at
my side. Ha, ha, ha!
He grabs Valgard by the throat and lifts him up.

As Bazadush puts down his sword to chain him, Valgard takes
out a dagger from his boot and stabs Bazadush in the arm.

Bazadush screams in pain and releases him. Valgard takes a
chain hanging from the wall and quickly wraps it around
Bazadushís good hand and neck, trapping him.

Bazadush tries to free himself with the stabbed hand, but it
is useless. The chain is strong and binds him firmly to the
No! Release me! I will tear your
heart out and eat it while it
still beats! Release me!!!


Valgard calmly picks up his swords.
Eat this!
He plunges both swords into Bazadush. Bazadush screams.
A fiery soul exits Bazadushís body and flies out through the
window, still screaming.

The Staff of Ages falls into Valgardís outstretched hand.

The rest of the company enters the throne room. They are
battered and tired, but alive.
Youíve got it!
Yes, but we still have a demon
army between us and home, and no
one to use it.
That is where you are wrong, my
friend. Look out the window.
Everyone goes to the window. Thereís a dot visible in the
distant sky towards the rift. It is becoming larger and
larger until --

Darastrix, with Venedar on his back, stops in front of the
window. Everyone is delighted.
You didnít think that I would
leave you on your own, did you?
It is painfully clear that you
need supervision until you are
ready for world saving quests.
They all laugh.
The army of men, elves and dwarves is being overrun by demon


hordes but they are still bravely holding their ground. The
kings Malaron, Thaian and Burin are fighting along with
their troops, urging them on.

Suddenly some of the soldiers point to the sky. The three
kings notice it at the same time and shade their eyes
against the sun

Darastrix, with the company on his back, flies down and
breathes fire into the demons. The soldiers cheer, and start
to fight with even more heart.

Darastrix lands on a hill near the rift and the company gets
off his back.
I will now attempt to seal the
Veil. I mustnít be interrupted
while Iím doing it so you must
guard me.
No problem.
As Darastrix flies off to wreak havoc in demon ranks, the
company position themselves to guard the wizard.

Venedar raises the Staff of Ages and a bright light bursts
forth toward the rift. It slowly starts to seal itself.

The demons attack but the company, although battered and
tired, fights them off. Darastrix helps them by breathing
fire here and there, and evading all sorts of demon attacks.

As the rift seals, the demons are dragged back into Ughor

Everyone cheers and Lafael hugs Valgard in delight and
kisses him. He is taken aback and before he can react she
rushes into Venedarís arms. The soldiers carry the heroes on
their shoulders to the three kings.
                       KING MALARON
All of us here on this battlefield
are in your debt. You saved all of
us. You showed courage and valour
in the face of danger and even
travelled to the demonsí realm to
save our world. Your names will be
known all over the world and sung
about for generations to come. You
are true heroes.


                       KING BURIN
Aye, and you will always find food
and shelter among the dwarves,
should you need it. I will arrange
for a historic monument to be
built in your honour.
                       KING THAIAN
I do not know what else to add
except that you will be welcomed
as heroes and friends among the
He puts both arms on Lafaelís shoulders.
                       KING THAIAN
Today is the day I can say that I
am truly proud of you, my
daughter. And although our
opinions have differed often, I
have always been proud of you.
You donít know how much it means
to hear you say it.
They embrace warmly.
                       KING BURIN
Now that the formalities are over,
what say ye we all get drunk!
                       KING MALARON
I will arrange a feast at my
Everyone cheers again.
      (hugs Venedar)
I am so happy that you are all
right. But how?
Darastrix took me to the Fortress
of Light and Master Corion had his
healers patch me up in no time.
Thatís great! I was so scared when
I wasnít able to heal you.


Well, I am all right now. Letís go
and eat something. I am famished!
Thatís a great idea!
A big feast is taking place at king Malaronís palace. A lot
of people have gathered around a large table. Some are
eating and drinking, some are dancing to the tunes of a
small band. The heroes are there as well, enjoying

Valgard walks to the balcony with a cup to get some fresh
air and quietly enjoy a drink looking at the ongoing
celebration in the city.

Lafael joins him.
I figured you would be here, all
alone. It is alright to have fun,
you know.
I know, I justÖ Donít like crowds.
And there I just thought to ask
you to sing a few songs with the
Now, that is something you
definitely donít want to hear.
There, I saw it!
      (looks around)
A smile! I definitely saw a smile.


      (smiles again)
Thatís just the moonlight playing
tricks on you.
No, there it is again!
Well, donít get used to it.
Why not?
Valgard gets a distant look in his eyes.
Where will you go now?
I donít know. Wherever the wind
takes me.
      (touches his hand)
I would like to go with you.
Lafael, IÖ
She kisses him gently on the lips. He is hesitant at first,
but then he puts his arms around her and kisses her back.
Youíre a very persuasive woman
Lafael Dwiníurdrenn.
You have no idea.
Ha, you see! Thatís 5 gold coins
Valgard and Lafael turn to see Gwildor accepting gold coins
from frowning Aenar and Lymus.
What are you three doing?


Nothing, mílady. We were just,
Betting if the moon was full
Yes! Thatís it! The moon!
All three smile in innocence.
The moonÖ RightÖ I bet that I can
kick all three of your asses at
the same time!
They turn and bolt inside as she heads for them.

Valgard smiles to himself and follows them.


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From Michael W. Pitzenberger Date 6/7/2008 ***
Techniques looks good. The script threw me off for a moment, until I realized it was a kid's show.

From John Thompson Date 10/13/2007 ****
Hey man this was freakin awesome!!! I enjoyed every thing.Keep up the great work.I too hope to see it in the movies.

From Dionne Washington Date 6/11/2006 ***1/2
I love the way its written. You have a great imagination. Hope to see it in the movies someday.

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