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(Once over writing -- may come back later and touch it up) The pain was, well, exquisite. In fact the pain was most likely what was keeping me alive. I was too damn uncomfortable to die at the moment. I was lying on a cold rock next to the sea. Waves were sporadically breaking over me and I could feel the lingering remnants of fel energy. I was altogether cold, wet, and in pain. Open your eyes. Open my eyes? Open your eyes! What? Why? Begrudgingly I opened my eyes. I was greeted with the sight of an entirely pissed looking nathrezim walking towards me. Something about them always disturbed me. Maybe it was the bald head with glowing eyes. The fangs? Perhaps the wings? Or was it the fact they had hooves for feet? It was probably all that, plus the horns, and the fact that they were large and unfriendly. This one was as pale as death and equally pissed off. Assuming death was an angry person. His mouth was moving but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. In fact I actually couldn’t hear anything at all. I was surrounded by cliffs. Chances were I either fell or was otherwise thrown off the side of one of them. The sky was dull and wisps of green energy swirled through the twisting clouds above. The cliffs and rocks were all a desolate gray. The nathrezim flicked his wrist downwards. The gesture somehow seemed elegant and pompous. A wickedly curved sword slowly faded into existence in his hand. “ursed elf! You think you can steal from me!? I will show you the meaning of mercy! You will herald me as your savior when I end your life after the years of torment awaiting you!” The sudden return of sound was painful. I groaned and rolled onto my back. “Go suck a lemon or something. You Burning Legion types all sound the same. Find some originality or something.” Not my best insult. The nathrezim, however, seemed impressed. He roared and covered the last few steps in a single bound and started to bring his sword down towards my head. So much for years of torment. My reflexes kicked in and I moved. It was honestly not possible what I did, but I never played by the rules anyways. Rules were boring. My father wanted me to be a mage. But mages were boring. All that time studying books. Sure making fire was neat, but I could never bring myself to devote so much time to… books. I liked swords. I like daggers. I like brawling. So I studied those things. I was forced to learn magic still. So I learned how to manipulate my body and time surrounding it. My father may have just saved my life. Sixty years later. Or was it less? Whatever. He was a jerk. I sped myself up and slowed time around me. The demon was wicked fast though and I still barely had time to roll. As the world spun around me I saw a small tuft of red hair detach itself from my head. Stupid demon. It was silly and probably not the best use of my advantage but I was annoyed at losing hair so I kicked my foot out towards where I estimated the demon’s private parts would be. That is if demons procreated. Following through I ended up behind him and on my feet. I could feel the pressure of the spell mounting in my head. I wasn’t a full mage and I lacked the discipline to maintain spells to this degree for long periods of time. Reluctantly I let go of the strands holding the spell together in my mind. The nathrezim screamed in pain. Apparently they do procreate. “Insolent wretch! Puny elf! I will feed your intestines to the hound! The world will shudder at your pain!” Amusingly the nathrezim’s voice was shriller. The demon turned to face me. “Your world will burn.” The demon grinned. It was at that point I realized I had made a mistake. Nathrezim are sorcerors. I had expended what magic I had left in me and used it, well, poorly. The demon flicked his non-sword hand at me. Dark energy lashed out. I ducked and barely dodged it. He followed through with more blasts and I darted around on the small rock. I couldn’t keep this up forever. I grabbed a handful of pebbles and tossed them towards the demon’s face. Reflexively he threw one of his hands up and I leaped at him. I didn’t know where my blades were so I instead swung my fist at his face. The nathrezim had anticipated my move. He lowered his arm with a cruel grin and lashed out with his sword. Stars filled my vision and I crashed to the ground. The demon must have used the flat of his blade rather than the edge. “You wish to keep my trinket little thing? You are cunning. This is true. Fine. Take it. But I shall take from you.” The demon knelt over me and looked down at me still grinning. “I wish to play a game.” He raised his right hand over my face and for the first time I noticed another thing about them that bothered me. Their fingers end in claws. “Bear my mark and know you are hunted. Harbor my gift and know that the shadows are no longer safe. I will come for you little pup. Fear the dark.” With that the demon dug his claws into the right side my face his middle finger sank into my eye and my vision went dark there. The demon stood and looked down at me. “Your world will burn. Elf.” With a smug grin the demon faded. I laid on the rock staring at the sky. The darkness from my right eye began to fade and in its place was fire. As time passed I realized what I was seeing was the latent energy of the world. It was utter chaos. Today had not been a good day.