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Isolated but not alone, in the mountain fortress known as Fyntarda, Palyphany stared into the crystal sphere. Salcus, Polyphany's succubus slave, slapped a rhythm upon the lifeless stomach of the goblin that shared her pillow in the corner of the necromancer's study.
"I'm hungry," she said with a pout and a purr, "these things you feed me just are not sufficient. Release me master to feed upon better...," she slapped the dead goblin hard, "...cuisine."
"Damn!" Paliphany slammed the table with her fist.
Salcus jumped to her feet, her bat-like wings quickly raising her to the twenty foot ceiling.
"I almost found a way off this dull excuse for a world, and some imp went through the gate before I could sustain it! Damn! It will be months before the stars are right again." Paliphany paced about the lab in her skin-tight black leotards, her youthful body hiding countless years of experience.
Salcus recognized that pace and hoped Paliphany would not notice her by the ceiling. Though Paliphany stopped pacing with her back to her, a chill went down the succubus's back.
"Come here Salcus." The soft feminine voice held the cold edge of madness.
"I will get one of the servant's. I really have to go.Please master allow me to.." Salcus's plea was cut off with a gesture of Polyphany's hand as she spun to face the spiritual demon.
"I said, Come here." The voice remained cold and even as a bolt of energy extended out from Polyphany's hand and pulled the succubus into her.
"Please master." Salcus beat her wings in vain trying to draw away from the Dark Necromancer of Fyntarda.
"Fine! Then you shall perform for me my puppet!"Paliphany used the beam of force as a rope and flung Salcus against the wall hard. The loud snap, and the irregular shape of her wing brought a smile to Paliphany's face. She swept her long black hair from her green eye's.
With a giggled she shooed Salcus, "Go on. Get a body.Hurry now. I am tiring of this game."
The patronizing tone of Paliphany's voice terrified Salcus, ignoring her pain she opened the door and shouted, "Guard! The master wishes to see you!"
Walking in smartly, the creature stood over six feet tall. Covered in a green fur, it sniffed the air nervously with its canine snout. As he went to one knee, his back was covered only by a royal blue cape.
"I await your command, " Spoke the creature with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. Guarding the Necromancer was a punishment many failed to return from.
"Stand." Paliphany commanded.
The guard had not even begun to comply when his body stood and froze at a standing position. His head was still able to move. He looked at his body as it refused to move to his commands.
"That's better." Paliphany moved her hand as if it held a dagger and split the creature's chest open. The guard howled in pain. It's body refusing to fall to the ground.
"Go on Salcus. You know what to do."
Salcus limped up to the still frozen and screaming guard, and reached into its chest. Pulling out the creature's heart, she held it before the guard's dying eye's. The sounds of the creatures hysterical terror filled the room and echoed into the outer halls. Paliphany closed her eyes and listened to the sounds as if they were a musical masterpiece.
When the sounds died, and the heart ceased to beat, Paliphany mumbled a phrase and the creature vanished. The heart remained in Salcus's hand.
"Ahh, sweet Salcus," she said moving to the injured succubus. Reaching out she cradled the demon's head to her chest and stroked her hair. "I shall try again when the stars are right. I will escape this exile."
Salcus, still holding the heart, bit into it like an apple while she tolerated the necromancers' strokes.
"You are hungry, and hurt. Go. Return to your home, but come quickly when I call!"
Salcus broke the embrace quickly. She ran to the center of the arcane symbols, embedded in the tiles, in the center of the room. She vanished in a puff of violet smoke. The still warm heart slapped to the tiles.
"Soon Salcus," Paliphany spoke in a trance, still in communication with the demon, "I must learn more of this world that knows nothing of stars."
Going to the shelves filled with massive tomes and parchments, she searched impatiently through them with her eye's. Finding a tube marked Qentenyan creation on the top shelf, she waved her hand from the tube to her desk. She began by reading carefully.
Before the beginning there was Ya. Ya desired to give, thus Ya became the beginning. First created were the heavens and the inumerable Thatise. Given unto the Thatise was the purpose to make full all of creation, so that Ya could give unending life unto it.
Ya divided the creation into chasm's of void and set out the Thatise to make full creation by each of the Thatise filling the chasm's as they saw fit ....
Paliphony impatiently skimmed further down the large intricate runes:
So it was that Coadell transformed of himself into a large pyramid and upon its base his tears became a great water. The water not only filled the base of the pyramid, but also arose from its borders in impenaterable walls that arched from each side to met above the center of the base, where it fell back unto the waters in the center of the base.
Remembering the strange sky she saw through the crystal she became excited.
Upon Azelius's completion of the last casm's of creation, the innumerable Thatise sang glory to Ya and awaited the giving of his gift. Ya came to give unto the chasm's of creation and there was much celebration and love for it.
Ya, after appreciating the chasm's, looked to his Thatise, " There is a part of me missing yet."
The Thatise grew fearful of Ya's wrath. Looking unto Azelius's final creation Ya filled with pleasure as he reached into the chasm and pulled out the Pyramid that was Coadell. Upon it Ya gave his gift. Gently he laid it back into the chasm.
"Oh how lovely!" she exclaimed to the empty room. "My beautiful impish half-elf, you are a gate. I have no need for the stars."
* * * * *
Paliphany strode out of her study without noticing that the missing flynd guard had already been replaced. The two guards followed behind her obediantly as she went down a series of steps. When she turned abrubtly to enter another chamber, the guards posted themselves and relaxed slightly.
"This place gives me the creeps, " the new flynd guard whispered to his terrified partner in a strange low language, "I don't understand why she needs us to guard her with all those, " he pointed to the row of meticulosly dressed and armed skeletons against the wall across from them, "things around."
The original guard just stared back at the new flynd.
He was young, too young to be on this duty. He could think of nothing to tell the youth, he ears were still filled with the dying sounds of the last guard to stand in the youngster's position.
"Silence yourself and be still, and if your lucky you'll survive." The older guard went back to a formal attention.
" Oooo, Aren't we proper today. " The youngster allowed the wall to support his back as he picked the dirt out of his canine ears. Three more hours before relief would come. He disregaurded the older guards warning. To him, most of the older flynds seems paranoid.
Ilfrean, the world Paliphany had been exiled to over ninety years ago, was a wild and diverse planet. To Paliphany it was prison. She desired escape simply because her father had exiled her to this place. She still had her dark arts, and could still rule her nine other worlds through the crystal her father had given her. It appeared that her father, the High Wizard of the Gallactic Imperium was unaware of the total powers of the crystal sphere, but controlling gates through the sphere had proven to be beyond Paliphonies powers many times in the past.
Paliphany plotted how to recover the half-elf she had seen walk through her gate, and committed his appearance to memory as she stitched the chest of the flynd guard closed. If she was correct about the gift of Ya, she could use the half-elf's body to escape Ilfrean.
"Completely undetectable", she congratulated herself aloud.
The town the half-elf had entered was unfamiliar to her. She cursed herself for not learning more of Ilfrean's geography, as she finished her last stitch. She needed more information about the town, maybe one of Duke Brekege's men would recognise the town. She dropped her work and opened the door.
"Have word sent to Nogash that I wish to see one of Brekege's generals here immediately."
The older guard, named Barun, bowed low and averted his eyes, "Of course your highness, I shall see to the matter personally."
"Anything to get away from this place" Barun thought to himself, as he trotted off.
"What are you staring at!?" Paliphony shouted to the younger flynd guard.
The younger guard stood dumfounded trying to comprehend the meaning of the flynd corpse in the other room it's furless chest showing large stiches.
The reaction always seemed to confound Paliphany. Many creatures seemed not to be adverse to the presence of undead, until they were confronted with a zombie of their own heritage. It was a bothersome trait. It required alot of adminstration to keep separate her undead minions from her live counterparts.
"You aught not be so curious, " Palipany's voice became playfull and melodic. "Come in, I'll show you my work." Paliphony knew she was running low of live flynds and wondered what kind of creatures she would animate next, as she closed the door behind the stupified guard.
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