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Shadow: The Rise And Fall Of The King Of Evil
Prologue

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Makai...
The Imperial Castle Of The Demon Trinity...
Before any of the Darkstalkers you and I know were even born...
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Three dark, deadly shapes stood over the frightened old witch, who tended her crystal ball with fear. The minions of the three had captured her, imprisoning her in the dungeons until she had told them what they wanted to know. Now, they had brought her to the roof. As stormclouds thundered overhead, she recited the mystic inchantations that would reveal accurately the future.

"Do this quickly, woman. Our patience is not infinite. Neither is our mercy," barked a massively built, cloaked man. His eyes burned with green flame as the lighting illuminated his long, silvery hair and beard.

"Valdoll, relax. She knows that we will destroy her if she fails us," laughed a beautiful young woman, her body composed seemingly entirely of silver liquid.

"Easy for you to say, Tekla. My empire may ride on her predictions."


Tekla just chuckled. Their third companion, a dark man clad in black robes that hid his face from the world, said nothing, but shook his head, amused by the rivaly between the two demons. He and Valdoll had warred for many years, but then Tekla's ship landed from beyond the stars of the human world, coming to this reality with impossible ease. She had acted as a pacifier between them, forcing he and Valdoll to agree on a truce. Since then, the three of them have become what humans might consider friends, although allies might be a more appropriate term. Together, their combined magic was enough to subjugate the entire world of monsters, which they had playfully named Darkstalkers. For centuries they had ruled together, each one dominating a third of the Makai. But recently, when they had began to plan expansion into the world of humanity, they were put ill at ease by the sudden onset of nightmares. Horrible nightmares, detailing fates for them that they wouldn't wish on their worst enemies. So they had searched the lands for someone with the ability to accurately tell the future, finally coming across this old crone after a short month of searching.

The poor old witch, frightened out of her wits by the combined evil of the three, continued to chant, trying to get the visions in her ball to clear. But then...

"I see something."

Valdoll, Tekla, and the third demon turned to her. "Well, what is it? What do you see?!" Valdoll snapped. Tekla frowned, putting her hands on her hips. The cloaked figure simply glared at her, his eyes glowing underneath his robes.

The witch cowered and looked at her ball. "I-I-I-ah..." What she saw she knew, she just *KNEW* would anger the three of them, and cause her death. So she made something up.

"I see the three of you ruling forever over humanity and Darkstalker alike."

The cloaked figure spoke. "You lie." The witch froze. Tekla and Valdoll turned to their companion, confused. "She lies. She had seen something bad for us, and believes we will kill her for it."

Tekla turned back to the now sobbing witch. "Old woman. Do not lie. Your death will be slow and painful if you lie." Valdoll growled at her, a deep, dangerous sound that added emphasis to the machine demon's words.

The witch whimpered, and turned back to her ball. "Your empires will fall for a time." The three demons glowered, muttering under their respective breaths. "A child will be born tonight, of a werewolf mother and a demon from the wastelands, one so evil that he makes the three of you look like the right-hand men of the Christian god. He will topple all of you, but only one shall be able to take revenge, trapping him in the realm of his father, inside a pool of darkness."

The cloaked figure's eyes widened. The wastelands were under his jurisdiction, but the lands there were barren, devoid of all life, save for demons that no one, not even the three of them, wished to deal with.

The witch continued. "He will remain trapped for many centuries, long after you all are dead, and arise changed into a creature of pure darkness."

"When?" the cloaked figure demanded.

"In the human year two-thousand and one."

Tekla blinked, "That is many thousands of millenia from now."

"I know, my lady. In that time, there shall be many beasts that rise to prominence, seeking dreams that have little chance of surviving."

"Who?" Tekla snapped. The witch cowered.

"Why do you wish to know, my queen? They will not be a factor in your plans by then."

"I am curious. That should be enough reason for you to tell me."

"Curiosity killed the catgirl, Tekla," Valdoll said, smirking.


"Meow."

The witch peered into her crystal ball. "A werewolf that wishes to free himself of his curse. A robot built by a civilization that shall be by then extinct, who shall become a cruel and vicious tormenter, experimenting on our people to find their weaknesses, attempting a mission of extinction that will do a great deal of damage before the mechanism is stopped. A mad scientist on Terra shall create two creatures, one of innocence, one of pure, brutal power. I see a pharaoh, returning from beyond the grave to conquer. A catgirl, chasing a ridiculous dream of acceptance. A merman, who's people shall be nearly extinct at the time of your oppressor's reemergance. The then leader of the bigfoot tribes in the human worlds, in the country called Canada, and the then queen of the soul bees. A zombie, destined to be a lacky forever, who will attempt to gain great power. Two soul-drinkers from China, on a mission of vengeance against our kind. A small child who shall suffer a curse, becoming an emotionless demon, under the care of a dhampir, who will eventually be consumed by darkness. A young girl, whose greedy, murderous mind makes her unknowningly a demoness. Two demonic artifacts, who shall be forged three years from now, who have taken the form of their former owner. A being from beyond the stars, a creature of fire from a world that Lady Tekla knows."

"Hellstorm." Tekla snarled, clenching her fists, which suddenly melted and changed shape into razor edged talons. Her two companions stared at her, becoming nervous. They had never before now seen her angry.

The witch took no notice of this, peering further. "The descendent of the one who avenges will be there, and will try to reestablish the empire his father started. A demoness, created from the excess power drawn from a succubus, the head of a household, that shall be wed to the then ruler of the Makai, a vampire."

All three of the demons blinked. "A vampire?" Valdoll asked.

"Yes, my lords."

The three of them looked at each other. Then they started laughing, their voices thundering across the plains. "A vampire ruling the Makai! HAH! What a concept!" Tekla managed, before cracking up totally. Vampires, back then, were the lowest form of Darkstalker life, the peasants, if you will.

When they had finally recovered themselves, they turned back to the witch. "Which of us will survive?" the cloaked figure asked.

"That I do not know. It has been hidden from my eyes."

Valdoll snarled, clenching his fists as his eyes began to glow. Tekla glared at him until he calmed down. "Are you sure?" she asked, turning to the witch.

"I am sure, my lady. That is beyond even my vision."

"What about the one who is suppossed to unseat us? How does he do it? And what does he do after being changed into... whatever..." she pressed.

The witch shook her head. "I have told you all I have seen. If there was anything more, I would have mentioned it. The only other thing I can mention is that he shall be able to move between the realms freely, without the aid of an enchantment or one of the complicated spells."

"What of the Darkstalkers you mentioned? How do you know their futures?" Valdoll asked, still wishing he could break this insolent old crone's neck.

The witch huffed, her professional pride offended. "My lord, I have not lasted this long by giving inaccurate predicitions."

"True enough," laughed Tekla. Valdoll sneered at her.

"In any case, those are the most likely possibilities for those I mentioned," the witch continued.

"Darkstalkers are few in number. What makes you think that the ones who seek to kill us off will fail?" Valdoll asked, growling. In this millenium, Darkstalkers were limited to a few thousand.

"Because, my lord, by then humanity will be in the billions. Which means Darkstalkers shall be able to sustain themselves also in the billions."

Tekla and the cloaked figure smirked. Valdoll frowned. "Still, Darkstalker hunters need to be taken into consideration."

"Then we shall warn future generations of them, Valdoll, relax." Tekla said, laughing, her voice the sound of crackling ice. Valdoll, still worried, began to discuss the ones the witch mentioned, as well as the beast that was suppossed to unseat them all.

The witch simply regarded them with fear. "May I leave now, my lords?"

The three turned. The witch cowered at the expressions on their faces, which were somehow more horrifying than any other that had been on their faces before now.

They were all smiling.


"Of course, my dear," Tekla said, her voice as smooth as silk. She walked towards the woman, moving fluidly across the ground, almost floating, "You can go. And I'll help you. I will send you to a very lovely place indeed."

Tekla kneeled before the cowering witch, who had becoming paralized by her fear. The machine demon grinned, taking the old woman's head in her hands and drawing her close. Tekla leaned in, and kissed the woman on the face. Passionately.

The witch blinked, confused. Was she being spared? Tekla pushed her tongue into the witch's mouth, feeling around with it. The witch started to relax, but then something changed. Tekla's tongue changed, becoming a tube, creating a powerful vacuum inside of the witch's mouth. The witch's tongue was caught in the suction, and then the unfortunate old crone realized what was happening. Tekla was planning to devour her from the inside out!

*SSSSSKKLLLLRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHH*

Valdoll and the cloaked figure watched with amusement as the witch's skin sagged as her viserca and bones, everything inside of her skin, vanished into the gullet of the machine-demoness. With a final, sickening *SQULCH* that made even the brutal Valdoll nauseous, Tekla finished, throwing the empty skin aside, leaving it for the vultures. Tekla smiled, patting her stomach, which had swollen out greatly from her meal, and walked over to her comrades, her belly shrinking slowly as the witch's meat was broken down into energy for her power cells.

"So now what?" she asked.

Valdoll sighed. "We prepare for the coming of this wretch who would dare oppose us. We are the rulers of the Makai. And nothing will ever change that."

The cloaked figure snorted. "We don't even know who it is. Or what species of Darkstalker."

Valdoll shook his head. "That does not matter, my friend. What matters now is that we prepare ourselves for literally anything. The empire of the Demon Trinity must live on forever."

"On THAT, at least, we agree." The cloaked figure said, nodding. The three demons looked at the sky for a moment, then went back into the castle, not wanting to be caught in the impending storm. None of them noticed the old man on a nearby tower, clad only in tattered brown robes with a worn, black hood, who had been watching them discuss their fate. He giggled, and then vanished with the next flash of lightning.

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Far away, under a bridge, in the hovel of a lonely werewolf woman...
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Jana T'Arousi howled with agony, clutching her bloated belly as she tried to birth to her child. She had almost finished, and gave one last push, straining, the cords in her neck standing out as her burden finally came out into the world. Jana gasped, laying back, catching her breath, shuddering briefly as expelled the placenta. When she had finally recovered, she sat back up and picked up her squalling cub, holding him in her arms, cutting the umbilical cord with her claws, growling pleasently under her breath, her pure-white fur being stained by the birth fluids on his body. She looked about at what passed for her home these days, then winced when she saw where she had thrown her clothes. In her desperation to get them off when her contractions started, she had literally ripped them off of her body, shredding them into uselessness. She chuckled softly and turned to her cub, which had already started to suckle her. A smile crossed her short muzzle as she got up, taking herself and her baby to a window.

"My dear child. I am so sorry to have brought you into the world like this."

She thought back to how he was concieved. She was a thief. She needed to be. She came from a poor family of werewolves, and needed to steal to survive. The Demon Trinity overtaxed their subjects, leaving them barely able to survive. She tried to speak out against them, to insite a rebellion, but that had been quashed quickly, and she had marked her for death. So she had fled, hiding in the wastelands for a time. While she was there, though, she had been attacked, held down and raped by a shadowy demon, used as little more than a toy. She tried to leave the next day, but the demon caught her again, imprisoning her in its realm, violating her every single day for three months. When she had started to show signs of her pregnancy, the demon released her, saying that her child would eventually rule the Makai, but ONLY if she raised him in the art of evil. Jana had lived in this miserable hovel, little more than mud and bricks from the various ruined castles of the human world, ever since then. But now her child was born. She thought back to what the demon had told her. During her time in the wastelands, she had come to blame the Demon Trinity for her suffering.

"'Raise my child in the arts of evil?' Shouldn't be too hard," she thought, bitterly, "I've had so many different kinds done to me, I'll be to give you some real lessons in nastiness. But for now, my child, I wish to simply care for you. We will get to your training eventually, but for now, my baby. I just want to love you. My beautiful little cub, my Malken."

Thunder rolled. And if one listened carefully, one could hear alongside the thunder, the sound of an old man laughing.

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To be continued...
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