Many star systems play home to different species. Some are peaceful and those desire to fight and become the strongest. Among the warrior races, in the outer circle region of the first quadrant in the Premderian system, orbiting the crimson star on the lone planet of Premderia, there are the Premderians who sat one time were considered the mightiest of warriors in the galaxy but now under the governance of the Federation.
The Premderian’s resemble humans but have evolved to be stronger, faster, and conduct magical abilities. To spot a pure-blooded Premderian, they have a crimson star on the back of their neck. The most common way is their eyes. Instead of white in their eyes, they are black. The pupils of them have a red color that glows with a golden yellow energy around the outside. The other physical feature is on their right arm. Crimson lines appear in rows of four. One line represents a year of life for them.
On the planet there are seven regions. Six of them surround one which is at the very center. To the North there is the Cardine region, considered the coldest and harshest of places to go train. Further Southwest of Cardine is the Vemoit region, full of mountains that expand for thousands of miles that go high into the clouds. South of the Vemoit region going East is the region of Olarof. Mainly it is known for its warm weather. East of Oloraf that expands down south are the hottest of lands to live in is the region known as Jancol.
Further East, separated by oceans of water are two large regions. Both are islands that experience the cold and heat during certain times. The northern islands are known as Ileclar. Most of it is woods and mountains but still habitable. The southern islands belong to the region of Tamong. Mostly known for being a tropical paradise.
Lastly at the center of the planet is the capital region of Masipolt. It is considered the heart of Premderia after enduring at one time the greatest battles when the seven were at war with one another. Now it stands as a shining beacon for them.
Deep in the woods of Braknor Forest, in the Vemoit region, there’s a small farming village. Not even a hundred villagers of different species roam inside. While the adult’s work and the young children play, one sits outside his hut. A very old pure blooded Premderian, whose eyes look shut by his wrinkles squint out into the woods, as he’s done for several days. He rocks back and forth in his chair holding a wooden staff, not paying attention to others.
Six children, not even ten years of age, have the luxury to go play after completing their daily chores. One’s smaller than the rest. A little boy with his wooden sword. His mother had to hold him back and make sure he dressed well enough for the cold weather. After she finished wrapping the scarf around his neck he chased after his friends.
“Be careful, son,” she says while waving goodbye.
The boy pays no attention to her. His excitement to play with his friends. They run into the woods, laughing. He is not the fastest, as he’s the shortest for his age. That didn’t stop him from smiling while they travel up the mountain. When they get to clearing the group starts wrestling around. The little boy arrives late as the roughhousing comes to an end.
“Let’s play hide and seek,” one suggests with great enthusiasm.
“You can be the seeker,” one suggests as they push the little boy down to the ground in a playful manner.
The little boy didn’t mind. He gets back up and still smiles. The other boys start running while the little boy covers his eyes. He hears the others laughing and giggling while they disperse into the woods. Their sound of laughter slowly fades in distance yet the sound of bushes and birds chirping gives the little boy an idea. He continues his count to sixty as silence fell over the woods.
“Ready or not, here I come,” he says with joy in his voice.
The little boy goes running into the woods. He looks in all directions hoping he’s able to spot one of the children with ease. It’s embarrassing to any of his friends if the little boy did find them that easy. Luckily it’s not for him. He looks up into the trees and finds nothing. Next, he’d look in thick bushes but find nothing. The little boy scratches his head while continuing to search.
“You won’t find us,” says one of the children while they giggle.
Something drips on his head. The little boy looks up to the sky and finds it clear, the crimson sun shining as bright as ever. He feels another couple of drops on his head. His hand rubs his head and finds that his fingers have blood on them. He looks up at the different trees. Nothing is seen with the sun blinding most of his vision.
It becomes visible to him when something falls from high up. A body falls, hitting every branch on the way down. He wears the uniform of a Federation soldier. His body’s cut is deep with large claw wounds. The little boy runs as fast as possible to get back to the village. Along the way, he finds the corpse of another one without their head.
Something growl in the woods. It comes from in front of him. He hears the screams of his young friends who cry for their parents. The little boy runs in the other direction seeing another of his friends cut in half from the waist down. He runs till coming to a different clearing, made by that of his kind, an old temple that’s taken back by the planet.
The boy catches his breath while looking around. He hears something running with great speed. It circles all around him. He can’t see it. The sound stopped, and the little boy continues to look all around in different directions. He still can’t see it, till hearing the growl once more. This time the little boy sees its eyes. That of a beast like ones born of the planet but shaped like a beast. It lingers in the darkness, not revealing anything more but a green glowing crystal where the neck meets the body.
He continues running as fast as his feet can take him and runs inside that of the old temple. It is quite dark but the little can still see with his Premderian eyes. He hides between some pillars that are tight together. With everything the little boy has, he tries to control his breathing and shuts his eyes.
They open when he hears the creature growling at the entrance of the temple. Its large claws are heard tapping the stone floor. The little boy sweats as he didn’t open his eyes all the way. The sound of the creature’s large nose sniffing the area makes the boy start sweating. In all directions, the creature sniff as it walks past where the little boy hides. He sees its massive paw and claws and it makes him tremble.
The beast stops close to where the little boy stand. It sniffs once more and begins turning in the direction of the young boy. The little boy whimpers as he hears its growl. The creature turns towards the boy and gets ready to pounce despite it being too large to fit through where the little boy hides. He rushes deeper into the narrow path. He hears the roar of the beast and he shakes. It didn’t stop him from running.
The floor gives out from underneath the little boy. He falls into the blackness letting out a scream. His back hit the ground beneath hard and it makes him dizzy. He slowly regains his senses and sees a dim light with his blurry vision. The picture becomes clear as it is a flame and there is more than one. Torches are lit on the walls. The little boy looks in different directions and there are so many different paths.
“Hello?” He says in a quivering tone but receives no answer.
He has no choice but to choose a path. He goes straight ahead. He shakes immensely while doing so. There is a sound. It is not real loud because it is so far away. Something deep within the tunnels. It isn’t the beast. The little boy still shows fear of hearing it. He goes very slowly down the tunnels and the sound becomes clear. A woman screaming in pain.
“No!” She screams as loud as possible but isn’t the only one.
“Please!” Another shouts.
There are several pleading for some kind of mercy. The little boy slowly creeps down the tunnels. He hears footsteps coming from an intersection and immediately hides behind another. The boy peak his head around and see one dressed in a black cloak and have their faces hooded, concealing the identities.
He didn’t speak to get their attention. The aura they give off makes him feel extremely uncomfortable. The boy is smart and follows them in hopes of finding another way out. He does his absolute best to stay light on his feet and stick to the shadows that are provided. The more he follows them the louder the screams become.
Following the two lead him deeper inside the temple and notice that he is going further down and not up. That didn’t stop him from following them. He wants to call out to them once or twice but stick with the feeling he has about them. When taking a step he hears a scream from the hallway that he’s hiding in. Multiple women begging and pleading like before. The two stop and the little boy rush to hide once more. Both have a laugh and mutter something.
“They should consider themselves grateful. Giving birth to the children of our master.”
“Yes, but I wish we can at least keep the bitches alive and have some fun with them.”
“When the time comes and the master takes this planet, we will have more than our share,” the other says and they both laugh while walking away.
The little boy did not follow the two anymore. His attention turns to the women screaming. He journeys down the hall and comes to something far different. Several doors are on both sides. Hundreds of them. Most of them are closed then there are those open completely.
The ones that are fully opened are empty without torches. He takes hold of the handle, and slowly pull it open. He finds it lit up by the torches in the hall. There is a stone table bed. No blankets or anything else is in the room. The little boy hears the sound of another door opening at the end of the hall and take cover behind the stone table bed.
The little boy hears the sound of squeaking wheels. He watches and sees a large metal pushcart. It is being pushed by another black-robed and hooded figure. He is larger and more muscular than the rest of the others he has seen. Red drip from the cart with flies buzzing around naked corpses of female Premderians. All of them share one other matter. They have the body of someone who just gave birth.
Another hasty sight presents itself as a stillborn covered in blood fall on the floor. The little boy watches the cart pusher pick it up and put it on top of the other infants who are stained in the blood of their mothers. For good measure, the cart pusher pushes their bodies down even further crunching bones while pounding the flesh so it doesn’t happen again.
The little boy’s eyes are shocked and gasp before hiding behind the stone table once more. The one pushing the cart stop for a moment and look around. He covers his mouth to prevent his loud breathing from being heard. The giant hooded figure moves on after a long period of silence.
He waits patiently in hiding. When the squeaking of the wheels pass he is slow peak his head out of the door. The rooms further down are fully open. These have torches lit in them. However, they are very quiet but something still makes a sound. He peak his head in one of them. More that have their faces covered by cloth scrub down the rooms, cleansing them of the blood that stains them. He can’t see their however skin around them is visible but the eyes are black with energy.
He keeps moving but does so as swiftly as possible after seeing the blood and guts that he sees. He tries to keep in control but throws up on the floor. Several times he does it but nobody catches him. In the dark hall, he hides in, there is a light at the end which is very dim.
The little boy follows it in hopes of a way out. He rushes to the end to nearly fall off the edge to a floor just below him. The Premderian boy takes a breath before looking at something. Medical pods, that fill with a red liquid substance. None of them have what those who linger in the dark wanted.
While watching, the little boy feels an incredibly strong presence. One black-robed figure average in size conceals himself under a white mask. The eyes glow silver. The skin that he shows between the sleeve of his robe and glove is dark gray with a hint of blue but is very wrinkly. He still gives off a dangerous aura.
There is another much taller at six feet eight inches. He wears black armor concealing most of his skin. All of them in ancient symbols that he can’t read. A depth of power far greater consisting of both a Premderian and something much darker.
“How many survived the ordeal?” The one with the armor asks.
“None, General Brank. We need more of the boy’s blood. I can have one of my disciples retrieve it during his next cycle.”
“No. The process has taken away from gathering our forces for too long now.”
“If I am given more time...”
“No Steron. The Federation and the Kingdom of Premderia have both begun to notice your activities. We can’t take the risk of them taking action. Tell Gormaur to continue focusing on the girl’s training. Make sure he is given whatever he is needed.”
“This may be your operation, Steron, but remember who was put in charge of it. You best not defy him.” Steron does not contest but asks another question.
“What about the families?”
“All traces of the mothers and their families are being disposed of. They will never know.”
“Such a waste of life. A real tragedy. I can only hope I can be forgiven for these efforts. It is a strategy game that will be longer than one thinks. The Federation is still too strong for us to take on. With the Grand Overseer keeping a watchful eye over everything they have built and expanding their reach it will take time. When it is time, none of them will see it coming.”
The little boy goes back the way he came from. He comes across the sound of a girl grunting and letting out loud yells. The sound draws closer and closer from another hall he didn’t travel to. Feeling that this girl can be in trouble, he willingly travels down it with haste. There are several torches lit at the end of the hall. When reaching the end, the little boy finds himself on an upper level of a large training room.
On the lower level, there is a girl dressed in black fighting with a blindfold. She takes on several dressed in black. All of them are relentless in their attacks but she is so skilled. The boy realizes that she is one of them and makes haste to leave.
Something prevents him from taking a single step more. Eyes glowing dark of energy. In the shadows of the hallway, he sees the large shape of the beast. The little boy tries moving but finds himself frozen while the beast starts growling. In the darkness, the beast shape-shifts into that of a man with eyes that are like a Premderian but without the red energy they are known for. It is pure black in its place with the golden color on the outside remaining. He is half a foot over six feet and quite lean. The boy sees how grim his expression is.
“I am sorry child, but we can’t have you going to tell others where we are,” says Steron. The boy feels a hand touch him briefly on the shoulder and he is frozen in fear. “It is nothing personal.”
In the shadows the tall one watches as green energy surrounds Steron’s hand. It is in the form of a blade. The little boy’s scream echoes throughout the mountains as birds scatter in fear. Everyone in the village can hear it. All of them turn in the direction of the scream, except for one. The old man keeps looking in the same direction. He stops rocking in his chair but continues staring in the same direction. One word he mutters under his breath.
Midday sun comes over Ervanor, the capital city of Premderia, where only premderian purebloods can reside. Built around the mountains is the castle of Selvar where twelve Premderian pure-blooded women prepare themselves, all of them armed and travel light. They wear black cloaks with the crimson star upon them and ready themselves on top of what are known as Drazgovs.
Drazgovs are known as a sizeable red wolf-like creature and have a few black stripes. It has unique features that make it stand out. The drazgov has five tails that are equal in length to its body. In the center of its forehead, they have a dark red gem. Their teeth burn if they bite an enemy of theirs, the same as their claws. Rumors say that they can be equally as hot as fire. On average in growth, they grow big enough that a full-grown premderian can ride on their back.
One of the hooded warriors stands out among the rest. She has gold designs on her hood and cloak. She walks armed with a couple of daggers, a large machete knife, a bow, and a quiver with twenty arrows. The blades and the arrow points all made of premderium steel, considered the greatest steel in the galaxy when wielded by a premderian. Under the hood, her eyes look to the warriors getting ready. She takes notice of them going silent and bowing their heads.
“King Andor,” they say in a soft manner putting their right fist over their hearts then bow their heads
Another starts approaching. She does not pay any attention and continues getting ready. With a single motion he pulls down her hood. She’s in her late teens with a blonde flat top and a rat tail for a hairstyle. Her eyes turn to the one responsible.
He has sixty years of life on his arm. His face has a rugged look about him with his brown hair that is starting to show some signs of gray. His youth is still there like all pure blooded premderians. Unlike the women he stands absent any armor or weapons. The two touch foreheads before they say anything. Even after they do, he continues watching her get ready.
“Are you going to try and stop me, father?” She asks him and he smirks before looking to the balcony.
“If I did, those that are loyal to us would have to clean up a massive mess and I would be bed ridden for several days. Besides, Federation does not see to this important matter. Not like our kind.”
“In our nature, father,” she says and he grunts.
“I only wish your eternal beloved was here to go with you.”
Eternal Beloved; a term to describe Premderians who make a bond with one another by a premderian Honor Guard or the King in a sacred ceremony. They both take a moment and look down where he places one hand on her stomach. His hand glows with crimson energy on its own just from the slightest touch.
“She will be here soon enough.”
“Just don’t take any unnecessary risks, daughter.”
She put her hood back on and mount up. With a single whistle, another creature comes swooping down from the sky. She looks up to see the crimson bird block the sun, before diving down. It lands on top of her shoulder.
The bird is known as a Trenin, grander in size in comparison to an average bird. A Trenin is perceived as being the real rulers of the sky. For a signature, it left a small fiery trail as it blazed with incredible speed through the air. The bird is known for its mystical powers just like many creatures on the planet. Even without its mystical energy, it can be incredibly fierce against any who dare tried hunting it.
“Are you ready to hunt?” She asks the Trenin and she caws again before taking flight.
The doors to the front gate open. The people outside of the castle walls all look and watch as the twelve Premderian women ride through. Andor watched till the gates close in front of him. He walks back to an area for crafting weapons. Already there are two small blades on the table. While crafting he sees several premderian eyes still watching him from the balcony for a brief second. He goes back to his work while the ones watching him go back inside.
Brenna leads on in their ride through the capital city. The Premderians all look to her as she rides down the streets with her colleagues following close behind her. She sees a little girl no older than five dressed up with the same mark they have tattooed on their forearms painted on her forearm. She holds up a wooden sword with a big smile. Brenna smiles and acknowledges her with a nod.
“Be safe, princess,” a woman says loudly with the others agreeing while nodding their heads.
“You have my word,” she tells them with her smile.
They reach the main gates where several Premderian soldiers stand. They salute her by putting their fist over their hearts and bow their heads. Everyone coming and going make way so she and her colleagues ride through. When the roads clear the trenin takes flight into the air. Brenna and her colleagues follow the trenin to where they needed to go.
Their ride takes them onto the edge of Braknor forest. Brenna stop and the rest of the group haunt as well. She looks around from one end of the forest to the other. There’s something powerful she sensed lurking within. Her colleagues watch Brenna dismount and continue to look around for a moment.
She turns her back to the woods and focuses on her Drazgov. Brenna rubs her head for a moment. The Drazgov rub her furry head up against Brenna with a smile. When she finished, Brenna steps aside, and her Drazgov lay on the ground resting. The others dismount from their Drazgovs. Their Drazgovs do the same and rest.
Brenna and her colleagues take a long narrow path, with difficult terrain. For ten miles they walk and climb until reaching a plateau. The group stop and take a moment’s rest to rehydrate. Brenna drinks from her canteen and looks to see the village another ten miles away. After a few moments rest, they pressed on till reaching the village by sunset.
The villagers show some relief at them arriving. All twelve of them stop in the center of the village. The women look around and see their fear. As for the villagers, they show even more surprise at the woman who leads them.
“Is that Princess Brenna?” They ask in whispers.
“Yes, it is. What is she doing here?”
Many hold their eternal beloved closely. Her eyes glance at one, seeing one woman clutching a small wooden sword. The elder of the village walk through the crowd and watch her look around but look at other things that make her curious. The little boy that went into caves is curled in his mother’s arms.
“Where did you find him?” Brenna asks while continuing to look upon the child.
“Right where you are standing,” answers one of the farmers which gets Brenna curious. “He hasn’t said anything since we found him. Whatever he saw scared him into this state.”
Brenna looks ahead and sees the large tracks of the beast. They’re very similar to that of a Drazgov but much larger. She presses her hand against the paw print it left behind. With a single touch shed feel the dark energy. An image comes into her head of the beast. It hides in the darkness of the ruined temple. She hears the roar of the beast which makes her step back.
The birds in the woods take flight into the sky. Everyone watched while Brenna gets up to her feet to observe the fear of the birds. The winds blow incredibly hard. An unnatural wind as she glances into the forest.
“Five of you stay here, in case he tries to come back. The rest of us are going hunting,” Brenna instructs.
“The King isn’t going to like you putting yourself at risk, Princess,” one of her group members comment while checking her rifle.
“He doesn’t like many things I do. That’s why he considers me the most defiant person he has ever met besides my mother. A title I am proud of.”
“Princess,” says a voice of old age. The elder of the village approach. “Do not travel there at night. It’s suicide against him.”
“Careful about who you insult, old man,” says one of the female warriors.
“I do not mean any disrespect to any of you. This beast is no ordinary drazgov. You can sense his power. It is no secret who is lurking in the woods. You’ve heard the stories about him.”
“I have,” she says while looking to the woods. “I am more curious about other matters pertaining to the legendary beast that lurks in the woods.”
“What is more concerning than our children?” One villager questions. “Why can’t we call on the Federation for aid?”
As her warriors calm the villagers’ nerves, Brenna turns her back to them and focuses on the woods. She senses the beast being very close. Brenna has a firm grip on her bow but didn’t reach for an arrow. She gives her back to the woods, looking over her shoulder at them for a brief second before giving her orders.
“We will take caution. We will rest here tonight. I want six of us on watch at all times. Three groups of two keeping tight.”
“What about the people? It is too much ground for us to cover in case this thing tries to ambush the village.”
“We have a school,” an elder suggests as he points it out. “It is small but we can fit everyone in there.”
The suggestion of the elder, Brenna find as a good one. She turns to her colleagues and they see it done. While her colleagues focus on getting everyone inside, Brenna climbs on the roof of the school. She takes a seat and pulls out her spyglass. All around she’d scan the woods and see nothing with the night setting in. Her warriors set up torches all around the perimeter and Brenna continue to look. For a moment she sees some bushes move along with a small growl.
Brenna slowly grabs her bow and an arrow from her quiver. She slowly pulls back with the arrow remaining poised while doing so. A single breath exits her mouth while the bushes continue to move. She continues to keep the arrow pulled back. The bushes stop suddenly and Brenna still keeps her arrow aimed in the direction. Nothing else moves but she’d hear a beast growling in the same area.
During the night, her warriors patrol the streets. She sits on top of the roof of the school, not taking any rest. In all directions, her eyes wander. The sense of the beast close by lurking in the woods makes her have an arrow ready. There’s something else she sense. Something much closer. What she senses to bring her a smile.
“Easy, my daughter,” Brenna tells the child in her womb. “Your time will come soon enough.”
Brenna’s focus on her belly comes to an abrupt halt. She hears the sound of someone coming up a ladder. The elder slowly makes his way up, carrying a bowl of hot soup. He extends it to her and she graciously accepts with a smile. While Brenna eats at a rapid pace, the elder continues staring at the woods.
“It is a dangerous place out there,” he says to her. The elder shakes his head from all the loss. “We premderians are far from what we use to be. It wasn’t that long ago that the galaxy feared to cross us.”
“There are still great warriors among us, old man,” Brenna replies with her mouth full of food.
“So few in comparison to the old days. Back then every pure-blooded premderian was feared. Now here we are where politics and greed are the new traits. Not even your father can stop the change of our people becoming more and more civil despite his efforts to keep the old ways.”
“Do not give up hope yet. There are still those willing to fight for Premderia.”
The words of the elder villager ring true to her. She knows everything that he speaks is nothing but the truth. Brenna looks down at the empty bowl of soup. She turns to thank him but finds him gone. It makes her cautiously grab her bow with haste as she stands up. She finds it not necessary as her eyes spot the elder walking the streets absent fear of the beast possibly emerging. Brenna turns back to look at her pregnant belly.
“I hope you are the spark that changes our kind back to what we were.”
While she looks to her belly, a creature lurks within the woods. It didn’t move as he watches the Princess run her glowing belly. After a simple snarl from the creature, it falls back deep within the woods having a small deep laugh. A black cloud emerges from the paws of his feet and continues to grow.
“Come find me if you can,” he says to himself before hearing his General’s voice inside of his head.
“Do not be reckless, Gormaur. He doesn’t wish for us to know we are here.”
“Yes, General,” Gormaur replies in his mind before Brank tells him something else.
“Enjoy your hunt.”