Alright. This is the rewritten version of Pages of Nightmare. It's revamped in some serious ways. Plot holes filled in, characters fully realized, and story flowing better. More description, intense plot, and beautiful world. I'm keeping the other version up as well though, for copyright reasons. Check the other one out, then compare them.

Time's Decay

The Saga of the Medlean Book

Prologue :


Henrit Umbrin, Archimage of Terras, jolted awake from a sleep plagued by nightmares. Escape to the world of his arcane and symbolic dreams had not come easily that night. Something turned and whirled in his brain as he had prepared for bed, something that resembled intuition, the warning in his guts whenever misfortune was about to befall Terras, or whenever he was in the presence of one with a malignant soul. He had felt it before, meeting with Krimsoth, the Scarlet King of the Dragons, to discuss a peaceful resolution to the Compass Wars. Discussion that had not gone well. He had felt it's opposite holding the infant dragonman Otharg in his arms. A feeling of holy destiny, instead of dark warning. This was the darkness. A warning of doom. He had come to trust these feelings. It was part of being a sorceror, and an even greater part of being half Shaded.

Yet it was not just intuition that fluttered about inside of him. There was something ethereal in this sensation. Something that spoke of forces even he himself, with his knowledge of not only Terras, but even a few of the worlds beyond it, did not understand. He was on the brink of something. That was certain. His dreams would give him answers. They had before. He had long been gifted with prophecy.

It was the voice of Medleose, governing Time, granting him the ability of foresight so that he, in his wisdom and power, could guide the people of Terras safely through the dangers that occasionally overtook them. It was what had made him spirit away the young hero Otharg to his Tower before Krimsoth could slaughter him for his deformity, the dreaming of a dream he did not initially understand. In this dream, a strange white being, with the head, wings, tail and flesh of a dragon, and the body of a man, was basked in a glow of white light, standing atop a hill as a sea of Malidant, Elves, Shaded, Armoroka, Dragon, Goblins and Men tore each other to pieces. The being spread his wings and raised his sword, and all ceased their combat in wonder, eventually joining hands and singing his praise.

When the silver Dragoness, Queen Desola had come to his tower, begging he offer sanctuary to her newborn son, he discovered what the dream had meant. The chick had been born a white dragon- With the body of a man. Krimsoth, the father, was disgusted with this, and had meant to kill the child. Desola flew him to Umbrin's tower, risking her husband's ire. She had told Krimsoth she had tossed the child from atop Krimsoth's Peak, the mountain which housed the dragon city.

Krimsoth, in his paranoia and cruelty, had investigated, and found no corpse. In a rage, he slaughtered Desola, furious that the taint to his bloodline still lived. Krimsoth's fury was of no surprise. He began the Compass Wars with his hatred of mankind and the other races of Terras, who had sprung up in the land once solely inhabited by dragons and animals and begun to desecrate it's plains, hills and forests. The Dragon's adopted their King's hatred, sharing his belief that mankind abused their country, which was the gift of Alphus, Medleose and Omegas to all creatures. Siring a child that bore humanoid traits was a slap in his great face. He searched in vain. His underlings scouring Terras for the child. But never did he find his firstborn son, who Umbrin trained in the ways of magic, honor and swordplay, all the while the meaning of the dream burning in his mind.

Umbrin had hidden nothing from the child, regardless of the sorrow it may have caused him, explaining to him his origins and the nature of Terras in the grip of the War. He spoke of the treachery and carnage wreaked by his Pere, and of his Mere's demise. Vengeance drove the young being, who Umbrin dubbed, 'Dragonboy', and eventually, with his trials passed, 'Dragonman'. Medleose guided him. Umbrin could feel her blessing upon this remarkable creature. After years of training, and almost singlehandedly, Otharg travelled to Krimsoth's Peak and laid waste to the Scarlet King, ending the Compass Wars and fulfilling his destiny. Today, he was renowned. To some as myth, others as hero, and to Umbrin, as beloved memory. A citadel to him had been erected at the Northern Tip of Terras, at the edge of the Hatred Desert, renamed the Othargian Wastelands in the hero's honor. It was there Otharg and his elven bride lived out their last days, beginning a new race, one that signified the union between the races of Terras. The dragonmen.

Finally, despite that strange emotion or force within him, Umbrin shut his eyes and let sleep take him.

The prophecy he experienced was nowhere near as hopeful as his dream of Otharg.

Umbrin saw Terras as it was now, it's mountains, swamps, plains, hills, rivers, lakes, deserts, cities and villages, as if simultaneously. Industry had begun to flare up, men and goblins inventing simpler and easier means to manufacture products and accomplish tasks by use of machines. He saw the places which signified this advancement, contraptions and buildings seemingly harmless and intriguing.

He saw smoke from factory coal fires billowing lazily into the blue sky; witnessed weaponry being smithed in humble facilities; lumber mills chugging on, while loggers cut down trees to feed them; happily going about their work with the pride of a hard laborer; devices hewn that contained combined powders and chemicals to make them explode for use in siege warfare; the economy advancing rapidly and seemingly succesfully, causing cities to expand; the wizard saw schools where children's individual needs where nourished and whose gifts where trained and encouraged for the benefit of the child's self and the world around them. All these things seemed well to Umbrin. He did have some concerns about technology, the abandonment of magic in favor of converting materials... But Terras was successful! In a time of peace! It was good to see it changing. It was then that time began to advance in the dream.

The smoke stacks grew large, carved from cold steel and pumping out an unfathomable amount of toxic fumes. The sky above them was blackened and smoggy. Birds that flew through the obsidian clouds fell to the ground, choking and dying. The revolvers became massive, quick firing guns, which Umbrin then witnessed being turned on innocent people by murderers and corrupt Enforcers, the bullets tearing through the bodies of woman, child, man, elf, Malidant and Dragon alike. The loggers axes become screeching, buzzing machines, and the forests, barely scathed by today's logging adventures, became desolate plains devoid of vegetation. The small bombs became massive ones, their combustible chemicals infinitely more volatile. He witnessed one of these fall upon Malidania, and a great mushroom cloud reached up into the Terran skyline as the ground below was cleansed of tree, animal, landmark and man, and rendered uninhabitable for millenias. He saw the advancing economy, a sign of prosperity, allow the corrupt and greedy to tyrannize the people of Terras, the perpatrators of this tyranny indulging in sick practices and vile acts of self-gratification, while those of honor toiled and bled to pay for these abominations. He saw the expanding cities and villages become massive mazes of towering, uniform buildings, polluting the sky and swallowing ecosystems. He saw those who would resist these changes, and speak out for a better world subdued, tortured, and mowed down in the streets. He saw magic outlawed. He saw imagination demonized. He saw children conformed and abused, the schools that once nurtured and expanded their minds now striving to assimilate them and control their beliefs with altered history. He saw the island which housed his tower, the most mystical place in Terras, replaced with a small city, the ground his Tower once stood upon a building which said, "East Island Superstore". People bought underwear there. He saw the beings of Terras perched in front of flashing boxes which fed them lies and told them what to believe. He saw books burned, he saw the Three forgotten, and he saw honor die.

At the dreams end, all these visions where consumed by the terrifying mushroom cloud, it's poisonous residue, much like toxic snow, whirled about him. His hair and teeth began to fall out. Sores opened up on his body, and strings of bile erupted from his throat. He then snapped back to his own bed-chamber, not yet awake. He was staring in the mirror over his lavatory sink, it's great rim etched depictions of Medleose, the serpentine dragon Goddess, coiled about herself. He saw his room in the reflection. His library, covering all the walls save for the Eastern and Northern quarters of the room. The armoury took up the Eastern, housing arcane weaponry as well as artifacts of great magical power. The statues and paintings, his great four-post bed, each pillar intricately carved with runes, dragons and roses, and the bed itself surrounded by a great, gently turning, convected sphere. The mural on the domed ceiling, depicting all the Gods of Terras, taken from every varying cultural faith, it's center an open portal to the skies above, with a fountain below to catch the rain, still pure and untainted by the sick future.

He gazed at his own reflection then, and found it a shadowy mass with red eyes.

It was then he awoke. His body wracked with convulsions and tears pouring from his eyes. A low moan escaped him, and he brought his hands to his noble, aquiline face to see if his hair and teeth where still present. Finding this so, he swept from his massive bed and onto the balcony, hopping nimbly over the gyrating sphere. He was unapologetically naked. Who would see him, countless swords above the ground at the top of the tower of Alphus? The feeling grew within him, but he was slightly comforted by the Spring wind upon his body. The Gods where still there. Even allowing that sick future to come to pass would not banish their love from this land. "What must I do?" He whispered to the star studded sky, and the crescent moon. He expected no response. The Voice of the Gods was too divine to come in the form of an audible voice. "What must I do to save this beautiful land?"

And while students of the Archimage slept in the countless floors below, some of them also snapped awake, not by the same dream but by a similar sensation; and the wind whipped about and the waves lapped at the Isle's shore, there was only silence. Whatever must be done to bring salvation to Terras, Umbrin must accomplish alone.