Dawn or Dusk

By Cloud19

Since the dawn of Time, the forces of Good and Evil have existed. Those faithful to the force of Good, as well as those faithfull to Evil believe that their deity is the dominating force. The two forces constantly struggle for the upper-hand, but complete victory for either side is futile. Sometimes the powers seem to sway and one begins to appear dominant, but the forces always remain balanced. Most intelligent people know this, but very few actually can analyze the balance. Nearly every follower of either force believes that the opposing one should be annihiliated, thus the constant struggles. But without Evil, there is no Good, and vice versa. Throughout time, a chosen one will help maintain the balance and to make sure that the scales don't tip. This is a story of one such figure.

"Blood of the Maelstrom line, Keeper of the Balance, The Advocate." The worn traveler paused to take a sip of his cinnamon tea. "These names have crossed the mind of the elightened for ages, but whatever the name only one person comes to mind. Maelstrom, as he is more commonly known as, was the kind of person who would take an outcast, fool-branded scum and show you the wisest of men." A few more ears turned to hear the foreigner's words. The bard chuckled slightly, reminicent of the past. "Yes... I remember the days well. I was wary of befriending the man, for he seemed quite odd. But I'm glad I did... it proved to be a worth-while friendship. "As the days went on, our friendship grew. We began adventuring more and more often, to this cave and that, looking for ancient literature." He smiled. "I didn't care much where we went, as long as we were adventuring. It was all fun and games to me, until that day..." The traveler's face grew grim. "I remember it so well.. it's so vivid." A few listeners shifted in their seats. "It was just another 'quest' I had thought. We were trudging through an abandoned cave. I noticed Maelstrom rambling to himself incessantly. I ignored it at first, but after some time had passed it was difficult to think anything short of him being possessed. "I asked him if he felt ok. He responded with a slight nod. I tried again to ignore his behavior, but it was all too strange.." He furrowed his brow, recalling the event. Droplets of sweat started to form upon his forehead. "Nonetheless, I pressed on with him. We reached a small tunnel that branched off from the main one. Maelstrom glanced down at his crudely drawn map and darted for the tunnel. I absent mindedly followed him. "The tunnel kept getting smaller, or so it seemed. I felt that it might come to an end soon. Then I saw light. It drowned out the light from Maelstrom's torch. It was hard to see where I was going, the light was so blinding." " 'This is it,' Maelstrom calmly said. I ignored him, though I sensed an urgency about his voice. I figured it was just another shiny stone or old piece of junk. Once Maelstrom had stepped out of the tunnel into an open area, I could see that the stone walls were different. Instead of the natural sedimentary rock, the walls were made of a deep colored quartz. It appeared as if the wall were made of mirrors. The sorce of the light seemed to be coming from the center of the room, but I seen no opening in the quartz walls. Maelstrom was blocking my view to whatever stood in the center of the room, but for an instance I caught a glimpse of what stood in the center. Upon a dimond encrusted, golden pedastal laid a deep blue book bound in black leather. Maelstrom began to reach for the book. I sensed danger, and I tried to warn him, but he was caught in a trance, a trance of his own obsession. "He laid his hands upon the book and began chanting strange words... 'invo lum over libra' ... I'm unsure as to what exactly they were, but the book began to glow. I caught a reflection of Maelstrom in the quartz wall. His eyes were wide open and a mischevious grin lay upon his face. I started to retreat, fearing for my life. The light over the book intensified and overwhelmed me." The traveler quieted. He closed his eyes for a moment, and wiped the sweat from his brow. "I never thought he would take his love for the arcane to such a great extent. He'd always mention how he would have to harness the arcane for the betterment of mankind - he had to maintain the balance. I just ignored it and passed it as childish rubbish. Now I wonder if he really had a purpose..." "It is said that he still roams the streets of Iridine, but I haven't seen him... I only hope that he will settle the current unrest among the forces."

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