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January 25, 2001

Prelude

The wind howled through the empty streets of Dawn. The citizenry huddled behind their barred doors, fearful to step outside in violation of the mad "curfew" established by the Royal Guard. One such citizen had already done so, and his head was placed upon a pike in the center of town as a warning to any others who dared to challenge their will.

The streets, the shops, even Merchant Square and the vendor mall, were empty...only the Royal Guards could be seen, riding back and forth throughout the kingdom on their endless patrols. It seemed they never rested. St. Michael and War Child rode toward Dawn Tower together, canvassed in steel and weapons at the ready. The doors were barred. War Child moved as to bash the door in, but St. Michael bade him to hold. "It will be ours soon enough," he said, a grim smile crossing his face. "At this time tomorrow, Dawn will be ours...!"

***

Inside the Tower, the Royal Court and their soldiers drafted their strategy against the dual threat of the guards and the King's Army by candlelight. Lady Wildstar's face, normally bright and happy, was sullen and grim. How would she be able to abduct the king, that he could be returned to normal and assume the crown once more? Surely he would be well guarded; and the streets promised to be rife with war and chaos. She knew not the answers; but she knew that if they did not succeed in their task, if the Royal Court fell to either the Guard or the King's army, that Dawn was surely doomed. Tomorrow would tell the tale...

***

King Desmond sat at the fire, sharpening his spear over and over again, as Hayloh watched in concern and fear. Were his eyes truly red? Nay, how could such a thing be possible, it had to be an optical illusion caused by the fireplace nearby...

...and yet, there were other changes as well...a dark aura surrounded Desmond, something that could not be seen, or smelt, or touched, but it was there. And although this was her husband, the man she had married, yet in some way she could not descibe, it was not...it was as if something else had been overlayed on top of him, something transparent and evil...

Outside, Lord HellRazor continued his grave task of gathering the King's soldiers and going over the battle plans. And as the hours ticked by, a strangely eerie smile began to cross Desmond's face.

Tomorrow it would be at an end, Desmond thought.

Tomorrow, the traitors and conspirators will stain the fields of Dawn red with their blood.

Tomorrow, Dawn will once again belong to...

...I, Na-Kr...

Desmond paused, momentarily confused. Did he almost say Na-Krul? All this preparation for battle must have had him momentarily distracted.

He returned to sharpening his sword, and the smile once again danced over his lips.

Hayloh wept.

Posted by Nobody at January 25, 2001 7:30 PM

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