In your previous - now legendary - quest, you had traversed a truly
deadly dungeon, where you had beaten its traps, bested its guardians and
then finally overcome that most loathsome Demon they called The Trinitour,
he who watched over the unholy place. You were one of only a handful of
lone warriors who had attempted to find and slay the once mythical
creature. You had to at least try for, if you had failed, as they had
failed, the entire country would have become his and he would have had
it plunged deep into the festering heart of chaos. However ... you were
double-crossed. It seems the Trinitour was a mere puppet, played by far
more sinister hands, or claws, for that which had controlled him was a
Night Demon - a Prince of Hell. So, when you struck your final deathblow
and the Trinitour fell, the Night Demon then revealed its presence and
consigned you to oblivion, where it thought you would remain until the
end of time. It was wrong. As you could feel the endless void begin to
take you, you took a final desperate oath of defiance, "I swear vengeance
on you Demon!" But all you heard as you disappeared from the earthly
plain was a mocking laughter...
|Artwork © Julek Heller|
You screamed and screamed, but no one heard you - a point of colour in
a sea of nothing, endless nothing. So you floated around in the void
and prayed to your God, but no help came; perhaps even a God couldn't
hear the cries of the damned? You cried and cried, for days and weeks on
end: nothing. After a few months of this hellish torture you went insane
and could only babble incessantly for the next few years: insanity being
your only escape from the inescapable. Or was it?
They had searched for you for a long time, since you beat the Trinitour;
they didn't even know where you were: Heaven or Hell. After a year of
searching the three powerful Wizards decided you must be in the worst
place of all; the void, the nothing - oblivion. They looked into this
place with the power of their old minds, and they looked and looked, and
almost gave up, but they still found you. You were floating around in
endless nothing as usual, dribbling and muttering nonsense to yourself,
when two huge eyes spotted you and a great hand - as big as a whale -
reached in and grabbed you...
You awake from your madness several weeks later and suddenly realised
you were somewhere different, somewhere where colour existed, where sound
existed, where smell existed. You sit up on the soft bed and gaze in
wonder at the warm, brightly-lit room about you, at first you think it
must be a dream, you had many of those in the void, only to wake up and
find yourself utterly alone. The room seems real enough though, small and
cosy, with sunlight seeping in through the windows and birds singing in
the leafy trees outside. You got up and prayed to God that this was
real, you walk over to a window and open it, letting in a wonderful
mixture of odours.
"I see you're back with us then," says a friendly voice from behind you.
You look back and find an old man standing there smiling at you. He
has a long white beard and wears a multicoloured cloak and a conical hat.
"I didn't think Wizards dressed like that anymore," you say.
"Like what?" asks the Wizard.
"Oh, er, nothing. Where's am I?" you reply.
"I'm afraid I could not tell you, suffice to say you are somewhere safe."
You look bemused and ask, "Where's all my gear?"
The bearded man says, "I'm afraid that it has all been lost for some time."
You look somewhat dismayed.
"But don't worry - we shall kit you out." Says the Wizard quickly, doing
his best to sound upbeat.
Then you say, "I thought you were a dream, I thought I'd wake up any
The old man's face becomes concerned as he puts a frail hand on your
shoulder and says with a voice full of pity, "You, Warrior, have endured
that which no one should and have every right to feel the way you do."
You feel like crying but just manage to stem the tears, although your
voice breaks a little when you ask, "What am I doing here? I mean ... how
did I get here? Why did you help me?"
The old Wizard grips your shoulder tightly and says, "First meet my two
friends, then you shall learn all my friend."
So you met with all three Wizards and talked with them of your quest, of
the Trinitour, of the Night Demon, of oblivion and of countless other
subjects, and you did learn all...
"So let me get this straight," you say with a look of befuddlement, "you
rescued me from the void because you think I might be the ... er ...
'Chosen One'?" The three old Wizards, all looking, sounding and acting
almost exactly the same, smile and nod at you. "I might be the one 'Spoke
of in prophecy?' the one 'Destined to slay the Night Demon?' and 'Free
the lost souls of Hell?'"
The first Wizard you met says with a grin, "Oh yes my friend, you may
well be the one."
You pause for a moment, before laughing for the first time in years and
saying, "Give me a break!"
The three old men laugh with you, before the second one you met says,
"Glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humour Warrior!"
You stop laughing for a moment and say, "I have a name you know, only I
seem to have forgotten it for now."
The Wizards smirk at this, then the third one you met says, "But that is
your name my friend, that is what you are now known as throughout the
You look astonished and blurt out, "I'm known as 'Warrior'? Now that's
what I like to hear!" So you carry on talking with your three friends
for quite some time...
"You what?" you say with a gasp.
"Yes," says the second Wizard, "He is here too."
You look shocked, to say the very least, and shout, "The Trinitour is
here with us? He's here with us because you rescued him?"
The third Wizard speaks in answer, "Of course we rescued him, how are you
going to complete your test without him?"
You look positively stunned, not to mention utterly furious, but you
just manage to say through clenched teeth, "Why ... in ... the ... name
... of ... all ... that's ... holy ... would I want his help? And what
The first Wizard looks stern when answering your questions, "He's part
of the legend too you know and, you must remember, his every action was
directly controlled by the Night Demon - he was just another pawn in the
game. As for the test, we shall discuss that later."
You look bewildered and state angrily, "How the hell did you get him here
anyway? I thought I killed him!"
To which the second Wizard answers, "You killed his body, not his soul,
and we found his soul floating in the void, just like you."
The anger suddenly fades from your face to be replaced by a look that
could almost be understanding, "You mean, the Night Demon damned him as
well - its own creation?"
"Indeed we do," they say as one, "but now you must rest, and soon you
can meet him." Then, before you can say anything else, you find yourself
teleported back into your room, feeling very tired...
The Trinitour greets you courteously, getting up from his great stone
chair to tower several feet above you and offering you one of his four
clawed red hands, you refuse. The Demon doesn't seem remotely fazed or
offended and merely points to another smaller wooden chair in the middle
of his bare room. You eye the chair with suspicion and say with a frown,
"Another of your pathetic traps Demon?"
Which brings a toothy smile to all three of his horned heads, "Not at
all!" says the middle one, "And even if I wanted it to be I doubt it
You sit down in the chair and ask, "What do you mean?" To which he
replies, "I have lost most of my powers now old foe, in fact, all I
really am now is just a tall mutant."
You raise an eyebrow at the Trinitour's admittance and inquire, "And
just, may I ask, where are your powers now?"
The Demon looks briefly angry, but checks himself and answers, "The
Night Demon stripped me of them before it sent me into the Nothing..."
The Demon looks sad.
"How long were you in the Nothing for?" you ask. "As long as you." He
replies, then all three of his heads drop and he seems to go into some
sort of trance.
The three Wizards suddenly teleport in between you two old enemies and
the second states, "He is wounded my friend, not physically but [holds
his heart] in other ways. Come, you shall visit him again later..."
You suddenly realise that the Demon really doesn't seem wounded
physically - he seems in perfect health! "Now just wait a moment..."
you say in confusion, "didn't I cut his head off? Or at least one of
The Wizards look uncomfortable and the third one answers nervously,
"Your reputation for violence is, if anything, understated."
Then the second Wizard speaks, "His soul was sent into the abyss,
just as yours was. We built him a new body, just as we built you a
You look startled and shout, "New body? What the hell happened to my
"You don't want to know."
"I don't want to know?"
"No you don't. Now please stop arguing."
Time passes and you busy yourself with sword practise until, "I
suppose you've heard all about this have you?" you say angrily as you
kick open the door to the Trinitour's room after having not seen him
for a few days.
He looks up at you and says with a tinge of sadness, "You mean the 'Test
"Of course I do!" you shout in reply.
"I'll do my very best to help you," says the Demon.
You fold your arms and say mockingly, "And who says I want your help?"
The Trinitour's three heads stare sadly at you and the middle one says,
"Without my help you may not be able to complete the test."
"And supposing I take my chances?" you state.
"Then you may well fail and miss out on your opportunity to deal with the
Night Demon and consign it to the Nothing."
Your face, stance and tone of voice change completely, "Let's get some
more training done then Triny..."
Yes, it seems the three Wizards want to make absolutely sure you are the
'Chosen One', just in case they're wasting their time. After all, they
are talking about giving you the power to destroy a Demon Prince -
something that has never been done before. You must prove to them that
you are worthy of their help by completing the 'Test of Courage': a
deadly journey through a giant forest comprising of trickery, chaos and
worse. This test takes place on this very island, indeed it encompasses
the whole of the southern half of the sizeable land mass, miles and miles.
The first Wizard had led you up to 'The Gate': a shimmering mystic portal
set between two great old trees. He had then told you of the many choices
of paths that the gate led to, but warned you, 'Stepping off the path
means naught but slow death, and perhaps worse,' you shudder at the
memory. However, that was many weeks ago and you and your former enemy
the Demon renegade Trinitour are almost ready...
Late one night the first Wizard visits you in your room and says, "You
may call upon the Trinitour but four times and no more."
You look at him and inquire, "When?"
"That is up to you," answers the Wizard.
"How do I call him?" you inquire again.
"Just say 'Help' and, if he can, he will appear and do your bidding."
The three Wizards find you both in the centre of the island right by
'The Gate'; you practising your sword play, the Trinitour lifting great
rocks. "It is time," says the third Wizard, "you are both ready."
You and the Ex-Demon both look at each other and say as one, "As we'll
The Wizards smile and the second one says, "Then it is time to open
But just as he begins to chant the dispel magic spell, you say, "You
never did tell me - just what is the object of this 'Test'?"
To which the first Wizard answers with a smile, "Why, to survive it of