Mirucullus – Episode 1: Daphne the Cyber Gnome – Daphne was a Cyber Gnome, born in the valley of Kall four thousand years ago. She was the last of her kind, and every time someone sought after to learn about the old days -or the old ways- had to invite her to dinner. Don’t let the name mistreat you, though. She might be a Cyber Gnome, but her mechanic parts were only her heart, brain, and eyes. Her stomach was more than well preserved, and all she wanted from life was to satisfy her gluttony. She could eat for ten whole days of a Garnishian week, and not get full at all. As a Gnome, though, she had other special abilities. She was one of the last magic users across the realm, and one of the last Grand Illusion Casters.
She loved more than everything her illusions. Even now, during the times of the Great Peace, she was wishing and praying a foe to come, so she could use her Shadow Clones or the Majestic Dragon Ark again. Nevertheless, after the treaty signed by the nine kingdoms ten years ago, no foe or deadly magical threat appeared anywhere; at least not until the present day. Because, Daphne was going to be the first to witness, the peace that brought so much hope to this ancient land breaking into million pieces, in less than three minutes. It was the first bone of Chominos -a favorite board game- dropping itself on the next one, and the next one after, creating a chain of events that would destroy the clarity of the last decade.
It happened on the eighth day of the eighth solar cycle, and for many inhabitants of the desert it was a sacred day; but not for Daphne. She was visiting Ginoa Leroy after his request, a librarian in the minor town of Minalstis, south of the Hamansh the capital of Jerul, one major city in the middle of Cojarna desert. Minalstis was one of the dozens small towns, representing the technology of the new ages, by hosting one of the wall-net crystals in its center and a landing tower on its North side for Teszellins -big balloon-like mechanical transporters.
The seventy-years-old Ginoa had one last request from the immortal cyber gnome before he rested his soul forever. Inside his library, he had a book as old as Daphne was, maybe even older, sealed by high magic and written in a language that not even the Neo – Bards of Geonya kingdom could translate. He wanted to know more about that book, and he had summoned the right person for this task.
Daphne ate and drank all the food and liquor she could enjoy, and at the end of their siesta, which took more than four hours, the old librarian brought forth the old book. It had a hard cover of black color, and thick silver chains, hard-pressed deep into its rough surface, were surrounding it. Holding it, Daphne closed her eyes and used her unique magic detection spell. Moments later, the power she detected made her open wide her eyes and looked straight to Ginoa’s.
“Where did you find this, old Ginoa?” she asked him surprised with her electric female voice.
“It was here when I first started …” he began telling in a slow pace, “… and no one knew the reason for its existence, or why someone restrained it like that.”
“The magic this book keeps inaccessible my friend, is strong for any of us …” she answered back worryingly, “… and I am enlisting myself into those unable to handle it.”
“Can you read the letters?” Ginoa asked, pointing the engraved symbols on the cover.
“Yes.” Daphne nodded, “I can. It is one of the nine Abysmal languages, the Samuarrian. It was used mostly by Dark Summoners. And this book here is a Demonic Grimoire.”
“Is a what?” The librarian asked staggered, raising one eyebrow.
“Dark Summoners were using these books in the past for bringing demons from the Abyss. There is a strong reason for this book to be sealed, believe me.”
“And what does it say?” Ginoa asked once more, a little bit frustrated by Daphne’s restricting warnings.
“It mentions the demon’s name …” she answered frowned, “Mul’Gar, a water demon. Probably an outcast of Abyss, since there are no engraves or symbols suggesting his rank in the Abysmal quarters.”
“Thank you my dear …” Ginoa giggled, “… you were more than helpful.”
His voice was so different, younger and deeper, and made Daphne turn her gaze on him at once. Looking on his face, she could observe many of his old features altered, and his riddled skin almost gone. His eyes had changed from brown to a dark blue, displaying a growing evil gaze in them every passing moment. Also, Daphne’s Arcane Sight could see an ominous dark aura surrounding his body. It was channeling a magic essence, with power exceeding hers.
“All I needed was his name …” he said a second after, his voice fully altered, “… I was looking for his years now.”
“Who are you?” Daphne asked, tightening her fists in a battle-ready stance.
“My name will soon come up, but not now.” He giggled, “What matters now is the awakening of my minion …” his gaze became even more threatening towards her, “… and your demise.”
Following his words, the unknown man disguised as Ginoa all that time, start creating a cloud of shadow among his hands. Daphne speculated that unlucky Ginoa was already dead and that she was the central part of his wicked schemes. If she didn’t act rapidly, she would probably have ended like the poor librarian. But she was more than prepared. By the end of his spell, the unknown man had formed a scythe made of shadow and was attacking her with incredible force. Striking her, he only managed to cause a blue electricity wave, which shocked him and tossed him several feet back from where he was standing. He screamed and cursed, but no one was there to receive his words of anger. For some obscure reason, when he realized she was not there anymore he laughed like he knew something Daphne didn’t, and continued with his plan.
The cyber gnome was standing far away on the top of a sand hill, watching the transformation of Minalstis into the Eternal Swamps. She could see the demon coming into life, in the center of that town. She was listening to the agonizing screams of that city folks and feeling powerless to do something on her own. She could feel them transforming into demonic minions and wailing souls, phantoms, and bloodthirsty ghouls, depending on the demon’s bad will. With immense sadness in her eyes, she was observing the dark cloud of the mighty demonic aura, covering every building with moss and planting tall and intimidating trees. When the alteration finished, the once advanced-technological town of Cojarna desert was nothing more than a never-ending swamp.
Daphne knew she had to do something. The last demon hunters’ guild she recalled stopped existing almost a hundred years ago, and the only thing left to them was some equipment and a secret base. She had to recruit new people and to do that she needed someone that knew the right people for the job.
As she gazed for the last time the Abysmal manifestation in front of her, she promised to herself she would come back. The battle wasn’t over, it just began, and she was greeting it with a promise for revenge.