Book I > Book II > Book III > Book IV

"Darkness and Evil are not the same thing."

-The Shades, Warriors of Darkness

Table of Contents

  • I:The Beginning
  • II:Another Earth
  • III:War Begins
  • IV:First Evidence
  • V:Threads of Time
  • VI:Nivus Offensive

The first book in a planned four-book series. Enjoy!

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Chapter I:The Beginning

Kaen pedaled down the streets on his bike, and leaned into the corner, the tires letting off a horrible squealing sound. He looked back and saw that he was far ahead of his friend, Dylan, and made a face at him. Suddenly, he passed by an old Grandpa's house, and heard the grandpa holler "Blasted Shade!" at him. Since he heard that about 5 times a day, he naturally ignored it.

The Shade agents watched from the highest branches of the tree. "I think that's him." "No, wait. That can't possibl- AIEEEEEE!"

Pedaling faster, Kaen caught a glimpse of a man with a black hood on falling out of a tree, but payed it no attention; he was winning the race! Until an arrow slammed into his front tire and he went flying head over heels.

"Nice shot. Lets load him in and get the heck outa here." The two Shade agents dumped the unconscious Kaen into a bag, and hopped into a Toyota parked on the grass.

Kaen came to inside a black bag of some sort. He could tell he was in a car, but going where? And who were these people?! KIDNAPPERS, THAT'S WHO!! Suddenly, the car screeched to a stop, sending Kaen in his bag rolling off his seat. He was jostled out of the car by the two men, and was let out of the bag. Finally, he could get a glimpse of his "kidnappers", although it wasen't much: just a black cloak, black hood that hid their eyes, and what looked like a...tunic?

The two agents held each of the boy's hands firmly, then started up their magic. They saw the boy look around in confusion, but payed him no attention. The blue spirals of magic formed a spiral, and all three of them blacked out as they were teleported into Etherspace.

-End Chapter One-

Chapter II:Another Earth

Kaen regained consciousness (again) in a large hall. There was no sign of his captors, they had disapeared without a trace. The place seemed to be brand new, but it couldnt be, it was a 19th century design. A man cleared his throat behind Kaen, making him jump. He whirled around to see a similarily dressed man with pale gray skin and markings on his face.

"Do not be afraid, fellow Shade. I won't hurt you." "Fellow what?" Kaen sputtered. "Who are you, and what is this place?" "You are a Shade, one of four sentient species who can travel the Layers of Time." "No i'm not. Let me go!" "Over time, you shall gain knowledge. In the meantime, welcome to First Earth." "Hey, hold on a second. There's only one Earth!" "Come with me, you have much to learn."

Kaen soon learned that the old man's name was Ulf, and he was in charge of training new recruits. The Shades were a species of humanoids with magical abilities, and were extremely adept at combat. Ulf told him that the world was made of four layers of time: Second Earth, First Earth, Eskaar, and Nireleus. All of them were mainly populated with humans, save Eskaar, which was the homeworld of the Shades. Only four species could traverse the layers of time: The Shades, the Nivus, the Eus, and the Attelles. Kaen felt like his mind was going to blow up from overload of nonsensical information. "And remeber, boy. Any Layerjumper knows that you can only access two Layers at a time. Currently, you can access Second and First Earth. If you ever choose to delve deeper, into the third and fourth layers, you must leave the top layers behind, and can never return to them."

-End Chapter Two-

Chapter III:War Begins

So Kaen was trained in the art of war, and learned how to use magic. Eventually, he became so skilled that he was sent back to Second Earth to seek new recruits. And that was when it happened. War between the Shades and the army of the Attelles erupted, and all Shades on the surface were called back.

It began on First Earth. An enormous army of 10,000 men marched through the green plains, spears bristling. Kaen and his squad circled over them on Shade Dragons, searching for targets. A horn blared. The signal to attack! The small band of Shades scythed through the ranks, attacking, parrying, relentlessly. Kaen parryed a spear with his axe, and slammed his attacker to the ground with the flat side of his sword. He twirled around, swinging with deadly accuracy. For every fallen Shade, 100 soldiers were slain. But the battle was far from over yet.

Kaen watched in awe as a Shade Warrior in orange armor entered the fray, swinging a unique silver blade. He who waded through the field, radiating power like the rays of the sun. He was Valus, the leader of the Shades, the gaurdian of the Vault. And he had entered the battle, swinging the odds into the Shade's favor. As Kaen swung his dual swords, Valus leaped over him, killing three Atelles soldiers in one blow. Both Shades fought wordlessly, parrying, slashing, weaving through the suffocating mob. But they had already established a connection, a mental link. Now they fought as one instead of two.

-End Chapter Three-

Chapter IV:First Evidence

The Attellean commander jumped off of his dragon and challenged Valus. The two combatants dueled it out at the top of a hill, both evenly matched. Parry for parry, blow per blow, the victor was undecided. Then both leaders fell to the ground, as the Layer itself started collapsing into itself. And that was when the tables were turned yet again. Attelleans and Shades watched in shock as the ground started trembling, and towers and trees alike gave in as their foundations, they be wood or stone, were crushed by the ground's spasms. And then it stopped as soon as it had started. But in that moment, the Atteleans and Shades were not truly enemies. Something else was amuck here. Both sides ordered a retreat, and the soldiers, weary, returned to their camps. Throughout the day, the ground would become restless again. It was clear it was coming through the Ether through magnetic waves, most likely from the lower Layers. But if First Earth was like this, what would it be like on Eskaar?

War cannot be stopped, as death is too bloodthirsty. And this was no exception. The highest Archmages declared that the tremors were nothing to worry about, and to keep the focus off such unimportant matters. However, Kaen had a nagging suspicion that not all details on the matter had been set on the table yet, that something was seriously amiss...

"Sir, I think something is wrong." Kaen said to Ulf. "Boy, earthquakes are nothing to worry about. Get back to training." "But sir-" "Alright! You asked for it, no supper for you, trainee! Get back to your line!" Kaen stalked back to the ranks, fuming. if no one's going to help me, i'm going to find out myself.

-End Chapter Four-

Chapter V:Threads of Time

That night, a shadow creeped by the doorway to the barracks, avoiding the moonlight. Slipped past the snoring guards unnoticed, darted forward to the chapel, where the gateway to the Ether stood, its blue glow faded from overuse. Kaen slipped through the portal to Second Earth, and once again felt that dizzing sensation...then...nothing.

"Dude, wake up! Someone call the police! Help!" Dylan screamed. Kaen opened his eyes. "What the heck?" "What happened?!" "Huh?" "You were going down the street, just like usual, and then you flip like 30 feet in the air." Kaen's mind was reeling. "But-" Then it dawned on him. The Layers were called "The Layers of Time". Was it possible that the Ether could alter time itself? He just couldn't wrap his mind around the notion. "What time is it?" He asked Dylan. "5:02" Kaen went slack-jawed. Only three minutes had passed in this Layer, while almost a month had gone by on First Earth. It wasen't possible. It could only have been a dream, a hallucination. But everything was remebered so clearly in his mind, down to the smallest detail. "C'mon, let's go home." He ran down the street to his house, laughing like a maniac. None of it had been real! It was all a dream!

He slept better than he had ever before that night.

-End Chapter Five-

Chapter VI:Nivus Offensive

Kaen woke from his sleep at the sound of sandpaper grinding against a cobblestone. "What the heck?" he murmured. Then he realized the sound was something screeching. Maybe someone had stepped on a cat's tail? And that was when his house caught on fire. "AHHHH!!" he screamed as he leaped out the window, drawing his sword. His opponent was one like he had never seen before. It was a dragon, but with no rider. Instead the dragon itself carried a blade in each hand. He leaped forward and advanced on Kaen slowly, swinging his blades like a buzzsaw. Kaen frantically looked around the roundabout. There was nowhere to run.

-To be Continued!


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