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Authors Note: This is an alternate universe with an alternate time line.
Birth of a Conflict
Temporal Location: Unknown
Multiversal Co-ordinates: 255.255.255.0.192.168.1.254
Reality: Universe One
In the beginning there had been the void and nothing else. Then a planet had appeared and with it a
being known as The One, who would become The Creator of the Universe. The
Creator had possessed the ability to take control of the volatile energies
running rampant throughout the cosmos and had directed them to build the
foundations of a new reality. However, the task of keeping so much power under
such tight control required his full attention and allowed him not opportunity
to oversee the rest of his creation.
And so in answer to His need, the power reacted and created agents that would
take his place and finish the construction on his
behalf. They were not truly alive, but a part of his existence. They laboured on
his behalf, finishing the dimensions and realms he had formed, filling them with
matter and most importantly: life. For life drew upon the power and in doing so
helped him in his attempts to tame the rampant energies.
Many races had been created, beautiful creatures of every shape and form. Luminous beings, physical beings, some made of thought and others of spiritual mass. They lived within the many realms upon the different planes of existence that had been crafted for them. Some travelled, making the void their home while they explored. Others loved their territory so much that they refused to leave it. It was beautiful and strange, but all was not perfect.
The problem was that while the One had accomplished great deeds, it was still
evolving and struggling to understand its surroundings. For a long time it had
looked upon creation as a child, enjoying all the pretty lights and loud noises,
but as it grew older its mindset also changed. The One wanted to known more
about the universe and the beings it had allowed to live there. It was aware that it was worshipped by those beings his agents had created in
his name, but failed to understand why they would worship him. And it needed to
find the answers.
The power he controlled responded to his needs, creating two beings similar
to himself. They were a part of him, but independent; subservient to his will,
but enjoying a freedom his previous creations did not possess. While they would
follow the path of discovery he had set them on, they would enjoy the freedom to
investigate anything that caught their interest. And as they uncovered new
knowledge, so he too would learn about the cosmos even as he struggled to stop
the power breaking free and destroying it.
To assist the two beings with their task and to ensure that the Creator’s
other needs were satisfied, more beings were created. They would serve the two
beings, carrying out their will to uncover the secrets of reality and to protect
For a time all was well. The two beings explored the cosmos while the lesser
beings spread across existence, integrating themselves into the many realms and
dimensions. As the children of the Creator, they had no problem being accepted
and some came to be worshipped alongside him.
The One learned much as his children studied the simpler beings. He was
especially interested in emotions, something he had been unfamiliar with in the
past. It was however a mistake when he tried to alter his children to feel
emotions and emulate the lesser beings. He did not realise that in doing so he
had exposed them to the possibility of corruption.
The One’s biggest error was that he did not gift his children the same
emotions. Instead he gave some of them the ability to feel happiness and
contentment while filling others with rage and greed. His two most powerful
children were left unbalanced because of his actions and despite his partial
success in reverting them to how they had been before, his mistake had corrupted
one of his offspring enough that he would turned against his own father.
Unknown to the One, he had been feeding his emotions into his creations since
he had discovered them. In response to some unknown need understand what he was
witnessing, he had accidentally poured all the negative thoughts and feelings he had encountered. His
power had altered it to embody everything dark and evil about existence, filled it with the deep need to spread its wickedness and extinguish anything that opposed it
including its creator. His subconscious had increased its powers until it was
almost as powerful as the one that created it. In effect he had made it the single and dominating force of evil within
The cosmos had responded, anticipating his need for their to be a balance.
Even as one of his children was altered to become the embodiment of everything
that was wrong, so the other was changed to stand defy it. However, the universe
could not bestow the powers equal to the Creator, only the One could do that and
He was distracted while trying to cure the corruption of his other son.
And so the One had accidentally created a being of darkness that was almost
his equal and the universe had responded with a being of light that was almost
its equal. Although brothers the changes had caused them to hate everything the
other stood for. The dark being wanted to take the place of his father and knew
instinctively that to do so he would need to dispatch the brother sent to oppose
him. The other felt a need to protect his father and the universe at all costs,
even if it meant slaying his wayward kin.
Even as The One slipped deeper into his struggle to control the ever growing
power that tried to overwhelm him, his sons sought each other out, desiring
battle and victory.
The Dark One as the corrupted being chose to be named moved against his
father, only to find his brother standing in his path. His brother had chosen
the name Paladin and while weaker than his brother, had had the forethought to
recruit the Creator’s other children as an army of light.
The Dark One was stronger, but he was outnumbered. He was also clever enough
not to attack without first attempting to recruit some soldiers of his own. He
possessed the ability to detect the darkness in others and to turn it to his
advantage. He reached out to those Paladin had recruited, claiming those he
believed belonged to him and ordering them to fight their brothers and sisters.
As they sensed the presence of The One’s presence fade, the two sides began
the first battle in what would once again prove to be an eternal war. The two
brothers were determined to erase each other from existence.
To begin with the struggle was a war of words, but soon they turned to physical violence. Their blows had little effect on each other for they had been created as equals, however their battle echoed through the rest of existence, drawing the attention of the cosmos.
The conflict between Paladin and the Dark One rapidly escalated beyond battles into all-out war. Both had inherited The One’s ability to create new things
using the power. They changed their followers, giving them the tools needed for
victory. And while neither could influence the beings sent forth to finish the
construction of the universe, they were both capable of tainting their younger
As the battle between them raged, they recruited armies to fight for their cause, corrupting them with promises of power and glory. Those that agreed were granted access to
levels of power they had only witnessed from their creator.
But mere armies were not enough, they required weapons on a larger scale. To that end
Paladin and his dark foe crafted giant beasts and filled them with the power to
destroy the enemy. Larger than anything previously created, these creatures lacked sentience
instead possessing only an overwhelming urge to destroy their enemies. They were bred to battle and to destroy anything in their path as they stormed through existence.
While Paladin at least thought to grant control of his monsters to those that followed him,
the Dark One allowed his beasts to run amok, not caring about those innocents
that got caught up in the conflict.
Soon both sides tired of using their father’s creations to fight on their behalf and instead created their own warriors.
The Dark One sacrificed his followers and then used the remains to create his
Meanwhile Paladin sought out those follower that he felt reflected his
beliefs and elevated them to new levels of power, granting them a place above
the rest of his army to stand against the Dark One’s chosen. They were intended to act not only as warriors, but as leaders and messengers to his forces. Warriors of body, mind and spirit, the fighting shifted between the many planes, realms and dimensions, spreading destruction wherever they appeared.
Unfortunately Paladin had failed to grasp how much influence the Dark One had
gained within his forces. While many had defected others had remained seemingly
loyal until the time came for them to strike. And a number of those secret
traitors lurked within the ranks of those he had chosen to be a part of his
elite. He had gifted them with his power, elevated them in ways that the Dark
One could not, maning that when they eventually revealed their true colours and
received the gifts the Dark One bestowed, they were far more powerful than those
The commander of Paladin’s new group which he called the Covenant was called
Protos. He was a noble warrior very similar to Paladin in the way he commanded
his troops. He carried a sword that glowed with the light of a newborn star Light had placed within its hilt. There was little it could not cut. With an energy matrix
bound deep within his chest, he was capable of channelling the raw power of existence,
which made him the equal of the Dark One’s vilest servants.
The others had their own attributes that made them vital assets to Paladin’s forces. Though different they were united in purpose and dedicated to ending the evil of
Dark One and his army. Collectively the group was given a final gift: the ability to recruit others as
Paladin had done, allowing them to create the next generation of guardians, the next line of defence against
the Dark One’s hordes.
However, nothing that Paladin did could prevent the Dark One from corrupting
those lacking the will to fight his influence. They were vulnerable to the Dark
One’s twisted promises. He whispered in their minds, allowing them to experience
the nature of darkness. And few were capable of rejecting his offer to change
sides and share his glory.
Many ignored him, dismissing his empty words for the lies they were. Others listened but did not accept his offerings; their failure to completely reject him though only
diminished their usefulness to Paladin’s cause and sewing mistrust through the
Covenant. One not only listened, but accepted the Dark One’s offer immediately, turning against the rest of the Covenant.
And then the Dark One turned his attention to the army that was waiting to be
recruited to his cause: the beings that had been created by the One’s first
servants; the so-called lesser races. Although they would always be inferior to
the Dark One’s elite, those that followed him bolstered the power of the dark
army, making them even stronger.
Though they were imperfect, the Covenant were powerful enough to take the fight to
the Dark One’s forces, slaying many of the creatures he spawned. And with their help,
Paladin was able to drive the Dark One back to an uninhabited plane of existence for a short time and used a great deal of his power to hold the villain there. Without
the Dark One to lead them the army he had created began to fall apart. The beings he had corrupted though remained and continued to fight in his name.
Meanwhile the followers of the Covenant grew into tribes watched over by one of
Paladin’s chosen. Their numbers swelled as they prepared for the day when
Paladin would be forced to release his hold on his wicked brother and the evil being would return. But things did not go well and as time passed the tribes started to fight amongst themselves. The Covenant tried to calm the tensions, unaware that one of their members was secretly undermining their efforts.
The upheaval meant that the Covenant were distracted and failed to noticed when the traitor broke from their ranks under the pretence of checking on
Paladin. They were not at their lord’s side when he was stabbed in the back by the traitor, forcing him to release
his hold on the Dark One. By the time they realised what had happened, the Dark
One had already attacked a weakened Paladin and with the traitor’s help, had defeated him.
The news that Paladin had fallen put an end to the infighting as the reborn Army of Light was mobilised to destroy
the Dark One and the traitors that followed him. But the traitor had selected his tribe from those that were susceptible to Darke’s teachings and at his command they had attacked the other tribes, sowing chaos in the ranks.
Without Paladin to lead them, Protos assumed command of the Covenant and their remaining armies. The traitor and his forces had taken them by surprise and had severely diminished their numbers. The enemy outranked them and had been bolstered by the addition forces the traitor had provided. Still, inspired by the courage of the Covenant, the Army of Light fought on, preventing
the Dark One from claiming victory. To force a shift, both sides started to use the lesser beings of the universe as cannon fodder. For eons neither side was able to hold an advantage. For each warrior cut down on one side, so a member of the opposing army was slain.
In the end though it did not matter whose army had the most fighters; Protos was more powerful than most of those he met in single combat and was capable of fighting four or even five opponents at a time without problems and the rest of the Covenant were valiant fighters. Together the
chosen warriors were almost equal to Paladin himself. Unfortunately without the traitor they were only able to fight
the Dark One to a draw and when the traitor was at his master’s side, the Covenant was always at a disadvantage.
One by one the Covenant fell to the Dark One’s power. For they had been so
focussed on avenging Paladin that they had forgotten the others that had joined
with the Dark One. The Dark One’s forces used underhand methods to draw the Covenant into a trap
and isolate one of their leaders. The traitor would then lead the rest of the Dark
One’s warlords against the lone warrior, overpowering and dispatching him. And as the Covenant’s numbers dwindled, so their armies also found themselves routed on the many battlefields. It appeared that Dark
One would triumph as he set his focus upon his original goal: the One’s throne.
Paladin had survived. Somehow he had clung to existence even as the Dark One
and his new underling had left. But his wounds were severe and there was little he could do to
In despair he did the only thing he could think of in the circumstances. He
mustered his remaining strength to send a message to the one being he felt could
stop his wayward brother: his father.
The Covenant was finally broken. With the Dark One’s power at their command, the traitors had devastated
Paladin’s warriors. Only Protos had survived and having been forced into a confrontation with
the Dark One himself, was on the brink of defeat.
The Army of Light had been reduced to only a few thousand soldiers, battling the Army of Darkness throughout existence. As
te Dark One’s influence had grown, his armies had flourished. Those who followed
the Dark One and his wicked practices were taught to channel power through symbols and written words. Later they would discover the ability to trap power inside an inanimate object such as a wand or to use the conductive properties of some atoms as a means of directing energy. As the final and ultimately the most effective means of focussing the destructive powers at their command, some of the older and most loyal followers allowed the arcane energies to corrupt their bodies, twisting them into sinister forms that could channel the mystical powers
the Dark One offered his followers directly. Some could already direct such
energy in their natural form and were rapidly incorporated into the Army of Darkness.
The forces led by Protos on the other hand lacked the ability to naturally draw on the power without a conduit. Those who could do so were limited in their strength. They were forced to find safe ways to channel the energies. Some copied the use of books and wands to contain magic whilst others discovered that gems and precious metals could also be used.
In the end though it did not matter whose army had the most fighters or which group could draw the most power. Once
Paladin had fallen, the Covenant was the only thing that stood in the Dark One’s way. With Protos destroyed
he would claim victory and then claim his rightful place as The One. The final battle had begun.
Protos, the last member of the Covenant, was injured. His body, made by the
will of the Creator was failing. The once white plating was marred with dents and scorch marks; it no longer shone with light. It had been the traitor that had delivered the fatal blow, striking from behind when Protos had been focussed on
the Dark One. Tossed through the dimensions, he had landed in one of the lower planes, a primitive part of existence that had yet to evolve. As he gazed up at the blackened sky he knew there was a chance that should
the Dark One triumph, it would never have the chance to evolve.
He tried to reach out to the energy that had sustained him throughout the war, but his injuries were such that he found it impossible to focus long enough to use it. It was only stubbornness that allowed him to hold on as long as he did. He refused to give
the Dark One the satisfaction if seeing him give up. He would fight to the end
to protect his creator from evil.
The tide of the war had turned against him and the bulk of his army had either been destroy or drawn away from the front lines. Protos had been trying to rally his forces, any forces at all, when out of the smog had emerged three of
the Dark One’s freakish followers. They were ugly brutes, powerful without question, but little more than fodder intended to tire Protos enough for
the Dark One to hold a real advantage.
They had circled around him, just beyond the reach of his sword, neither attacking nor parrying, laughing at the rewards they would reap for destroying their master’s most hated enemy. He had known that they were delaying, he had seen it in their movements. They appeared eager to attack and take the kill, but in reality they were just there to keep him caged in while they waited for their master to savour the glory.
Protos had raised his sword, allowing his energy to flow through the skilfully crafted blade. The hilt had glowed brightly as he and the weapon became a single entity, moving with precision and grace. The sword had shone and caused his opponents to back up, ready for the attack. Instead of pressing his attack, he had made to retreat, knowing that like a pack of wild beasts they would sense weakness and move in closer.
Three against one, with those odds there was no doubt that they would attack. His sword moved swiftly and slew the first two with a single swing. But that tremendous move had thrown Protos off balance. And though he quickly corrected his stance, the third attacker had ducked inside his guard and lashed out with his own sword. The creature had brought the blade in low and caught Protos on the right knee. Protos had stumbled, surprised that the blow had affected him, but his sword had swung itself around and cleaved off the attacker’s arm.
The burst of dark energy had caught him by surprise and had torn through his side.
The Dark One had been waiting for the opportunity to attack. The two warriors had clashed
many times, but the Dark One had always been stronger than individual members of the Covenant and Protos was injured. Still the leader of the Covenant had managed to frustrate his opponent with his skill. It had been a cowardly blow, but one that was undeniably effective. The traitor had appeared out of thin air and stabbed Protos in the shoulder.
The Dark One did not waste the opportunity to savage his opponent, striking him repeatedly until Protos had fallen. And then together
the Dark One and his warrior had loomed over over the fallen disciple, savouring the moment that had won the war. It was a moment’s delay that would cost them.
The Dark One and his brother were complex and powerful creatures, but they were not completely indestructible. Their bodies could be damaged and even destroyed with a great deal of difficulty.
Paladin’s body had already been damaged beyond even the power The One had gifted his
However, as powerful as Paladin had been, he was not as powerful as the Dark
One. And as powerful as the Dark One had seemed to his followers and those that
fought against him, there was a vast difference between being almost as powerful
as the Creator and possessing the power of the One.
Paladin in his final moments had sent a plea for his father to intervene and
prevent the Dark One from going too far. It was an earnest plea fuelled by
desperation and devotion to the Creator. It was so powerful that for a moment
the One turned his attention away from his eternal task and looked out in to the
And when he did so, he saw the destruction and the growing darkness. This was
not a part of his plan and he would not accept it. For the first time ever, he
left his throne and travelled to the place where Protos had fallen, defeating
the Dark One’s elite with a wave of his hand.
The Dark One saw an opportunity to claim the throne and attacked, only to
find himself unable to move. He was powerful, but the One was all-powerful and
extremely angry. The fight lasted seconds before the Dark One was on his knees,
robbed of the power his father had granted him.
And it was then that The One chose to offer mercy. He gave the Dark One a
choice: to be stripped of all his power and set free to wander the universe in a
form nobody would recognise or to retain his powers and identity in a prison of
The One’s choosing.
Although he had been offered peace, the Dark One was incapable of giving up
his place or the power he had enjoyed for so long. He opted to allow his father
to imprison him, vowing that he would break free and take his revenge.
The One did not argue with the decision because in his mind doing so would
undermine the point of giving his wayward creation the choice. Instead he
decided that if that was what the Dark One wanted, then he would carry out his
With a gesture he banished the Dark One and his followers from his sight and
locked them away from the rest of his dominion. He placed the Dark One behind
many barriers, erecting seals to keep him in. The Dark One’s lieutenants were
restrained within the same prison although he did not worry about their escape
and so left out many of the precautions he had taken to keep their master confined.
And then he turned his attention to the rest of the Dark One’s army and
banished them back to where they belonged. He did not undo the corruption for it
was now a part of them. He decided instead to allow those followers of Paladin
that remained to keep them in check. However, his anger could not be denied and
despite his attempt to fight the urge to take revenge for his fallen child, a
part of him demanded that justice be done. And so he focussed his displeasure
upon the last of the traitors, the one he had yet to sentence. This was the one
he blamed for the loss of Paladin and with an almost dismissive wave of his hand, he
imprisoned the turncoat in the hellish existence he had created for his wayward
son. Except to show how low he considered this being, he did not throw him outside the universe.
And finally he turned his thoughts to Paladin, Protos and the entire Army of
Light that had fought to stop the Dark One. He released them from their duties
allowing most to return to their homes. Those created to serve his will he
allowed to return to his planet where their desire to serve and worship him
would be fulfilled.
Protos and the other leaders of the Covenant were beyond his ability to save.
He could resurrect them, but there was no way to stop death claiming them first.
Realising that death would change them he chose instead to honour their memory,
capturing their essences within the energy matrixes that had granted them their
power. In the future their wisdom, strength and spirit would help others in the
fight against evil.
And finally there was the mater of Paladin. His son had been on the brink of
death when The One had found him, yet his wounds had been healed and he would
survive. But the betrayal and knowledge of death had changed him, robbing him of
the ability to feel the stronger emotions that had once defined him. And in the
moments when he had been certain of death, the words of the Dark One had started
to corrupt him. The change was small, but he was no longer the being the Creator
had unknowingly turned into his Avatar of Light. His soul was no longer clean;
he had become a shadow of his former self.
And so as a reward for his loyalty and recognition that he was no longer the
warrior he had once been, The One used his power to not only heal his son, but
to allow the changes to be reflected in his appearance. He rechristened him as
Shadow and released him from his original mission. Now Shadow would be free to
do as he wished and in recognition of his loyalty, The One elevated him to the
level that the Dark One had once enjoyed.
With his business concluded, The One returned to his planet where he found
that in his absence the power had run rampant. It would take all of his
attention to reign in the destructive energy and bring it back under his
control. As he settled into his task his awareness of the universe faded once
more as his new servants restored the walls that separated his planet from the
rest of existence. As a final act he sent a command to those he had created long ago to oversee
the formation of the cosmos, instructing them to erect walls between the many
planes or reality. Never again would his creations enjoy the freedom they had
once held. But they would learn to live with the new status-quo or they would
fade from existence. Either way in his mind, all was well.
End of Part.
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