Chaos and Order: The War Eternal Chapter 1

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Chaos and Order: The War Eternal

“Small Wars”

An Urban Fantasy Tale

The War between Chaos and Order has raged across the multi-verse since the beginning of time. Joel is caught up in it and has to come to terms with the changes to his body and life if he is to rescue his loved ones.


(Set in the Consultant Universe)

Magic has always existed and is now openly acknowledged. 10% of the population is magically sensitive and 5% can actually be taught to cast spells. Only about 1% have the ability to earn a Magic-User 3rd Class license. In a country of 300 million that means there are potentially 3 million professional practitioners. However, it takes hard work and training to develop that raw talent. There are currently, in the United States, about 1 million licensed practitioners. Of that about 100,000 are rated Magic-User 2nd Class, with approximately 10,000 Magic-User 1st Class, and nearly 300 Masters in the entire country.

The multiverse is layered with world stacked upon world. Stretching out along one axis are the Courts of Order and in the opposite direction the Wastes of Chaos. On a second axis are the Empires of Light and in the other direction the Layers of Hell. Along the third axis are the Demesnes of Science where magic is a parlor trick and in the opposite direction Realms of Magic where mechanical devices are laughed about as myth. Through it all the only thing separating each layer of existence is the veil. The veil is as thin as silk and nearly impenetrable unless one has the power and the skill. For those with the ability it can be parted and thus, Elves, Dwarves, Fairies, Ogres, Orcs, Trolls, and all manner of legendary creatures walk the land.

The power of magic is rising. How humanity reacts will chart the course of civilization for the next thousand years. An Age has come to an end, a new Age has arrived and as yet, no one has noticed.

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CHAPTER ONE

Ambush

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The late afternoon sunlight streamed down into the food-court from the high vaulted glass and steel ceiling of the north Californian mall. In the mall parking lot lights had started to come on providing plenty of illumination as the tall thin teenager in a long black leather duster made his way into the food-court. A few of the shoppers he passed gave him a quizzical look since it was too warm for such a coat. By the time he made it to the center of the food-court the mall security had spotted him and were slowly moving in. This caused a grim expression of maniacal delight to twist his pale features.

Reaching under the duster his hands came out with a pair of pistols and before the first overweight security guard could react he opened fire, at nearly point blank, into the man’s chest. Chaos exploded around the youth as customers either ran or dove to the ground trying to escape the barrage of bullets. The teen laughing now spun in a circle firing at anything that moved not really trying to hit anyone so much as trying to cause panic and chaos.

A short distance away a thin athletic looking woman with black hair dressed casually raced toward the sound of the gunfire drawing a pistol from beneath her designer blazer as she ran. The gun looked very large in her small hands as she ignored the screams of the shoppers and the confusion around her. She carefully lined up her shot and squeezed the trigger twice. At the last second the teen seemed to become aware of her. At the same instant, as her gun barked, the teen crossed his forearms in front of him as if to shield himself from her attack.

There was a distortion in the air around the young man and a pair of concentric rings rippled out from where the bullets slammed into an invisible wall raised by the youth. When he looked at the woman his eyes blazed with a red light.

“Caecus Cordi! How kind of you to accept my invitation!”

There was something odd about the sound of the teen’s voice! It had a raspy quality like nails being dragged across a chalkboard.

“X’lye’ous, if I’m not mistaken?!” Not waiting for a reply the woman continued, “I’ll be taking your token with me when I leave here today.”

“I don’t think so,” the teen replied and then jumped straight up and impossibly seemed to accelerate toward the glass at the top of the dome. As he did he once again crossed his arms only this time above his head. The glass exploded up and out creating an exit for him to fly through.

“Shit!”

The woman holstered her weapon and dropped to one knee.

“Hold it right there!”

The security guard had his side arm out and had it pointed at her although he was so hyped up with adrenalin that the barrel waved around drunkenly. The woman glanced with annoyance at the guard and then slapped the flat of her hand against the cool tiles. Instantly the shadows, from a nearby potted plant, leapt up covering her in darkness and a moment later when the shadow dissolved she was gone. The guard looked around in bewilderment and not seeing a threat moved to the first wounded shopper to see if he could help.

Outside the mall the teen came down in the parking lot, landing with a shockwave that rocked the cars around him and caused several alarms to go off. He didn’t pause to look around instead he holstered his weapons and slammed one fist into the palm of his other hand and shouted.

“X’LYE’OUS!!!”

Fire exploded out from his hands and raced along his body and impossibly, instead of burning, his body grew and changed as the fire got brighter and hotter covering him from head to toe in flames. The transformation last only a few seconds and when it was done he was ten feet tall and didn’t resemble a human in the slightest. His clothes had burned away leaving his bright red skin exposed. From the waist down his legs had transformed now resembling a gorilla’s. His torso and arms were still human, but instead of having fingers five long snakes writhed and hissed from the end of each hand. His head was a bald human’s except that his nose and mouth had pushed out into a snout and he had a large set of fangs growing up from his lower jaw. Out of his forehead a pair of horns grew curling like a rams. His huge phallus was erect with excitement as he scanned the sky behind him looking for the woman who’d chased him into the parking lot. Then the fire that had covered his body raced down his arms coalescing into a large spear before flickering out. The spear was at least fifteen feet long with a three foot leaf shaped blade at one end and a spiked butt-cap at the other.

“Caecus Cordi, you bitch, come out and fight!”

In response, the shadows between a row of cars behind X’lye’ous leapt up and out stepped a woman. This woman’s face was the same as the one from the mall but that’s where the resemblance ended. She was fifteen feet tall and dressed in black, white, and grey plate-mail resembling an English Knight. A pair of black wings swept up from either side of her helmet and broad sword hung from her belt. She held a bow in her hands and without saying a word she drew and let fly an arrow with a grey shaft, white feathers, and a black arrow head.

X’lye’ous somehow sensed the attack and spun around avoiding the arrow. With a bellow that broke the glass in the car to either side X’lye’ous lunged forward driving his spear toward the Knight of Order. The knight twisted slightly to one side and blocked the attack with her bow. Then she lifted her front leg and planted a stomp kick into X’lye’ous’s chest throwing him back and into a car ten feet behind him. Before X’lye’ous could climb out she drew another arrow and shot X’lye’ous in the chest.

“AAarghhh!!”

X’lye’ous’s scream echoed around the parking lot. Shadows flickered out from the arrow, twisting out and down so that they quickly covered his chest in a web of shadows that disrupted X’lye’ous’s power.

“I told you I’d be taking your token” the woman said drawing a long dagger from her belt.

Without warning the knight stumbled forward and to the side from a blow to her back. She turned the stumble into a front roll and came to her feet dropping the dagger and bringing her bow around to target the new threat. She was facing an eight foot tall monster with the lower body of a spider. Instead of a spider’s head a human looking body grew up from its thorax and its two human arms were unnaturally long. The creature’s head looked like a human skull since it was covered in a transparent skin. In each of its human looking hands it carried a single bladed ax.

The pain from the ax blow to her back made her grimace as the knight nocked and drew an arrow. Before she could fire she was hit from above. The force of the strike caused her to drop the bow and drove her to her knees as the weight of a third monster came down on her shoulders. It struck an ineffective blow against her armored head causing the shadow-steel to ring. Then a blow struck her neck where there was a gap between her armored shoulder and the protection offered by her helmet. At the same time she was driven face down onto her belly. In desperation the knight reached out to the shadows and pulled them around herself and her attacker. When the shadows vanished both figures were gone.

X’lye’ous managed to pull the arrow from his chest and stumble to his feet. He looked around and seeing the place where the knight had been he roared into the night. As he did flames flickered around his wound and it closed.

X’lye’ous looked at the grey shaft with its sliver white feathers and black arrowhead. “You’ve not escaped yet, bitch.”

***

The moon was just above the horizon and shone down into the clearing when the shadows surged into a swirling knot and then vanished leaving a monster on the back of an armored figure. The monster’s legs at the mid-thigh morphed into a pair of birds legs bending backward at the knee joint, its talons were clutching tightly to the shoulders of the figure under it. Its body was that of a handsome man and it had a pair of large black wings growing out of its back. His head and face were handsome with a strong jaw and high cheekbones. Then a third eye blinked from the center of his forehead as he gazed down at the woman. The only clothing he wore was a loincloth that did little to conceal the huge bulge of his manhood. In each of the Chaos Daemon’s hands he held a weapon known as a Kama, traditionally used by Asian farmers as a sickle to harvest rice.

The Kama in its left hand was covered in bright red blood. For a second the daemon looked around in confusion at the change in scenery. This was all the opening the knight needed. Because most of its weight was on her shoulders she pulled her feet up under her and, twisting her head to one side rolling up and over one shoulder trying to catch her attacker’s legs with her own as she moved. The Daemon snapped his wings once and soared up a good ten feet before he landed and spun around to face the knight. She’d surged to her feet and had drawn a curved long sword which she held in her right hand while her left arm hung uselessly at her side.

“Dar-usk’kin, I should have known! Attacking from above and behind is your signature move. But since when do you answer to X’lye’ous?”

As she spoke the knight circled to her right shadows flickering over her wounded neck and arm. The daemon stood up to his full height and Caecus Cordi, Knight of Order, realized that he was now over twelve feet tall.

“You are mistaken Knight, I don’t serve X’lye’ous, he serves me! I know what you’re trying to do! You think to buy time to heal your wound. I was ready for you! You’ll find a poison in your body that your power won’t heal. Your vessel is already dead!”

“Perhaps, but I’ll take you with me!”

At that the knight lunged forward and Dar-usk’kin, Daemon of Chaos, tried to take to the air, but the shadows at his taloned feet wrapped around his legs holding him to the ground. In shock he failed to block and the knight’s blade as she drove it into his ribs. He swung his right hand Kama in response, but the knight had already pulled her sword out and danced back out of range. Dar-usk’kin’s scream of pain shook the trees around the clearing.

“You’ll pay for that! I’ll take your mark and place it on my throne in Chaos and your unending agony will be an example to all who oppose me!”

By this time the shadows holding his feet and worked up to his waist and the Daemon sliced at them with his blades. With each slice the shadows dissipated slightly. Once free Dar-usk’kin looked around for the knight and growled in anger when he failed to spot her.

Then out of a shadow to his right a blade sliced down taking his right hand off at the wrist. As the hand flew clear bright green mist burst from both the arm and the severed hand.

“NNnnooooo?!!”

The green mist quickly spread until it covered Dar-usk’kin from head to toe. When it dissipated it revealed the unmoving body of a man in a business suit. Blood pumped from his severed arm indicating that he was alive but unconscious. The knight thrust her sword point first into the ground and stepped forward, carefully picking up the severed hand. With some difficulty, since she was only able to use one arm, the knight pulled a ring from the first finger and tossed the hand away.

The ring was made of white gold and showed a stylized birds head with its mouth open mid-screech. Where the bird’s eye should have been was a small emerald that still flickered with power. The knight dropped the ring into a pouch at her side and tossed the severed hand away with a grimace.

She reached up with her right hand and felt her injured left shoulder and knew the poison moving in her veins would resist her attempts to heal herself. For a second she thought about leaving the injured mortal, but then she reached down and gripped his wounded arm and shadows flowed down covering the injury for a moment and when they disappeared the bleeding had stopped and both the stump and wound in his side were covered in new flesh.

The knight went to where she’d left her sword and pulled it from the ground and, after wiping it clean, sheathed it. Suddenly she looked to one side and cursed.

A ball of red flame the size of a fist appeared and rapidly started to grow. Not waiting for X’lye’ous to appear she stepped into a shadow and vanished.

***

The sun had just set when Caecus Cordi stepped out of the shadow cast by a warehouse in Los Angles. If X’lye’ous was tracking her she needed to keep moving. Then she felt blood drip from her left hand to the ground and knew she very little time. He brothers and sisters of Order would offer sanctuary if she could reach them. Normally meetings were set up in advanced and locations were never used twice. She took a moment and focused, the shadows shifted and moved and then took the shape of a Raven. The bird leapt onto her outstretched arm.

“Find my brother Tenebris Lux and tell him I need his help!”

The raven cawed once and soared into the sky vanishing quickly from sight. I need to throw them off my trail, she thought, knowing that if she stayed in her true form her power would blaze out like a beacon to any Daemon or knight in the area. Stealth was her best ally now. The knight placed her hand on her injured shoulder and the shadows again surged forward covering her and when they vanished she stood once more in her human form her left arm drenched with blood.

“We must find you a new vessel.” The voice that spoke came from the woman’s mouth yet its tone and inflection were slightly different and she had a distinct British accent.

“I can’t leave you, Beth! If I do, you’ll die.”

“If you stay in me, we’ll both die. Cordi how many bodies have you worn over the years? Your mission is more important than my life.”

The woman, who’d apparently been having a conversation with herself, moved toward the dark shadows cast by the warehouse wall and disappeared.

***

The wind in Chicago was cold in early March and Beth shivered. Cordi’s power was fading and as it did she felt exhausted. She also knew that the poison was causing her to run a fever. She had enough power for one more shadow-step and hoped that her trail had been obscured enough to slow down the hunters. This was her fourth step since the warehouse in L.A. The memories Cordi had shared of X’lye’ous were enough to convince Beth that it was only a matter of time before he caught up to her. Beth focused on the knot of power inside of her and glanced at her hand as her palm burned with energy, the Mark suddenly visible. It was a sigil made of dark lines swirling in a twisting pattern that vaguely resembled a Celtic knot.

“Find my replacement; one brave enough to continue the fight! Find my successor; one strong enough to bear the burden! Find my heir; one noble enough not to be corrupted by power!” Then in a whisper with tears running down her cheeks she finished her commands, “Find someone able to love, invoke!”

The sigil on Beth’s palm spun and the shadows around Beth leapt forward and then the place where she’d been was empty. Save only for the pool of blood drying on the ground.

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Comments

Hey, Zapper

Great seeing more of these stories. My reading in this universe has been on FM. Nice to see you here!

Hugs and Bright Blessings,
Renee

Thanks

Thanks Renee, I've been wanting to bring more of my older stuff over and the newer stuff I've been working on for some time. I've just been really busy with other projects and real life so getting this done has been hard. Still, I really enjoy this site and want to have most of my stuff here someday.

Cheers
Zapper

Well, this just make you want

Well, this just make you want to read more. Looks to be a great story.

I hope

Thanks! I hope you enjoy the story!

Cheers
Zapper