Such a juxtaposition is this.

Between vibrant rock and stone,

Creatures of death walk silent trails.

Their feet whispering between slices of orange and striations of gold.

The Calvarig.

Those who worship The Gate at the end of life,

Who embrace the unknown,

With arms of an inhuman design.

And minds connected as one part to a hive.

The Calvarig.

May you never cross their path,

For there in lies an omen of your end.

Eschew their unholy and unfortunate grounds.

-M.E. InkOwl

A Game of Stone and Blood

Adonius look around the great hall in silence, willing the assembly to listen. Around him Lords from around the vast realm of Darkwell bickered with one another, casting insults and throwing blame upon all those who opposed them.

We descend into madness, he thought, looking at his advisors and their lesser-born. They all shifted uncomfortably in their seats, watching the masses heave and roll. Their group numbered twenty, and like a calm, in a series of rapids, they were present and yet separate from the gathered elves.

My brother has lost his hold on these wolves. There will be blood upon the stones of this hall by nightfall, he thought fear growing in his assuredness. He signaled for D’Trik, the captain of his guard to his side. As his advisors parted Adonius could see others of his alliance in the crowd sharing his same thought.

His brother, Lord Leviathan was already signaling for his advisors to depart. They were secreting themselves in twos and threes through the screaming crowd.

“My lord, how may I be commanded?” D’Trik spoke, eager for his lord to give the word.

Adonius followed a rather rambunctious lot that was making their way to the Emperor’s dais. At their head was the young Lord Dassariot. The Emperor himself was noticeably absent along with his Empress. They had kept the assembly on edge for hours now and it looked as if all the Lords of Darkwell would be waiting even more.

“Dassariot,” he hissed, causing D’Trik to turn back to the crowd, “We must leave before that Usurper gains the crowds attention. Tell our men to leave immediately.”

D’Trik turned to the nearest of his men at arms and as one the soldiers moved. Around them, the crowd parted, too focused on what was happening at the head of the hall to care about Adonius and his party.

Ahead of them, the assembly door stood open and unguarded.

Even the guards have been pulled into this, he thought, picking up his pace, so it has begun, the fracturing on Darkwell.

Behind them, voices rose to a clamor as Dassariot’s men cleared the steps to the dais. Adonius looked around at his group stretched thin and winding between screaming groups.

Ahead of him, the doors were only a stone’s throw away. More screams filled the hall as the crowd began to chant Dassariot’s name.

Nearly there, Adonius hoped, as the first of his men passed under the aged black stone arch.


Adonius looked back into the room as he stepped from the hall into the antichambers and passageway beyond.Half of the Lord’s party was still fighting their way out. D’Trik was bringing up the rear as several younger elves were pushed forward.

Behind Adonius, his brother called to him, “Quickly, Adonius! We must flee this place at once! You fool!”

But Adonius stood his ground, waving his men on.

D’Trik was almost to the door when the imperial guards in their wolf helmed uniforms materialized by either side of the archway.

“CLOSE THE HALL AND BAR THE DOORS!” rang Dassariot’s high tenor voice. Adonius made eye contact with D’Trik as his soldier realized he was too late. Horror struck the younger elves began broke into a sprint. More guards flooded in before the archway and one side of the doorway closed.

“No!” yelled Adonius as he saw the guards draw their swords. D’Trik’s face bobbed in the crowd, resignation calmly settling over his features. He nodded to his lord and then turned away.

“Adonius you fool! Run!” Leviathan was pulling on his arms and at his robes as Adonius watched the last of his entourage stop before the Emperor’s guard. Blades flashed and elves fell, their life’s blood spilling onto the stone floor.

And then the door slammed shut, closing Adonius off from the horrid spectacle.

Darkwell had already begun its fall.

-M.E. InkOwl

A Gathering

We alone, stand before the rising tide.

A gathering of those seeking hope.

Before a brewing storm,

We build unions of peace.

For we are of the Light,

Looking forward to a day of freedom.

Our cause is just as we begin the fight,

The only fight worth dying for,

In the name of freedom.

-M.E. InkOwl




Sisterhood of the Moon

Under a rising jewel,

Far removed from innocent eyes.

A glowing form departed from the sky,

To brush a hand upon the mortal realm.

With ageless limbs infinity manipulated the world,

And knowledge poured from finger tips.

To the East a group of sister’s walked,

Shedding tears for the companionship of death.

They walked upon calloused feet, bare and free,

Wandering where their hearts took them.

When they tread across an immortal’s touch,

The sister’s paused feeling a shaping.

Knowledge changed them,

Knowledge transformed them.

As the moon crossed over their heads power grew,

And from that path did they pass beyond mortal mind.

Beings of understanding did they become,

Beyond the fairness of earthly eyes.

But the darkness waited,

And in their prime the Sisterhood fell.

Knowledge was a thing to be kept,

Kindness withered to loathing.

And all that was good in their hearts, eyes, and mouth

Grew to rancor.

For the goodness could not bare the dark.

With burning brands and sharpened knives the purge began.

Goodness was cut from their teachings, their bodies, and hearts.

Living did not inspire,

And wisdom that should never had been lost, was.

Building walls of the blackest rock they lost sight of the world beyond,

Turning to their own devices, the sought to control.

And so the Sisterhood grew

-M. E. InkOwl

The Southern Wastes

Photo by Todd McKinley

How came we to this land, so cursed and scaled by death,

From paradise were we flung,

Out into a world of pain.

But we grew from the spite we were fed,

In the heat of an infinite sea of sand we founded our empire.

And from our sentence of death, did our forces gather in life.

Between rock and stone, heat and light, did we bind ourselves.

For we are not mere mortal beings

We do not bow beneath the eyes of all seeing gods.

We were there in the beginning,

And it will be by our hands that the end will come.

By the fierce shadow of Ignoctis do we rise,

To bring the darkness,

To end this reign of light.

Here in the wastes of Sartoria.

-M. E. InkOwl

The Occulta

Photo by Todd McKinley

Sybil awoke to the sounds of birdsong. It was a strange sensation, almost foreign.

How long have I been surrounded by dead stone?

She opened her eyes and beheld more green than ever has been seen in her short life. A veritable sea of green stretches through the sky, with only traces of blue between reaching limbs.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, unable to keep her feelings contained. She was a child again, a feeling of wonder sinking deep into her mind. Vast trees as big around as entire citadel towers stood all around her, reaching impossible heights.

“I never . . . Not this much,” she felt herself say. Beneath her, the ground sank into a soft spongy moss. She wanted nothing more than to languish in the spot and giggle to herself. But years of learned propriety forced her to stand and take a survey of the situation.

She was alone, or so it seemed. The sounds of trickling water filled the air about her.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” she asked, knowing full well there would be no answer.


Somewhere far off a bird took to flight, it’s wing beats almost a scream in the forest.

“Hello?” she called again. Nothing.

Call out with your mind, a sudden thought spoke to her, as if whispered in her ear.

Ask us, anything.

The sudden intrusion into her mind left her speechless, and thoughtless. Her legs faltered and she fell back upon the heap of green moss.

“Who are you?” she blurted out, and then remembered the words she’s heard.

Who are you? Sybil asked, her mind echoing as never before as if her thoughts were being listened to, are you there?

Yes, came the reply, more powerful than she could comprehend, yes we are here.

Sybil looked up at the trees once more and then it dawned on her.

The trees.

Who are you, she asked again feeling her confidence grow.

There was a pause and then the trees reverberated.

We are the Forest Occulta.

-M.E. InkOwl

The Devil’s Tooth

Photo by Todd McKinley

It’s said that when the light was divided from the dark, and land torn from the sea, the Darkness could not contain his jealousy.

In anger, he pulled away from the light with jaws of poisonous death.

The light cast him from the heavens, her scorn white hot and eternally sprung.

With mouth spread wide, the Darkness fell, an ungodly scream born from his throat.

And break he did, with shattered teeth upon the mortal realm.

But one tooth stuck fast to a mountain’s peak, never to move again.

And upon that mount darkness grew, from silver-white tooth divine.

-M.E. InkOwl

Beyond The Forbidden

Photo by Todd McKinley

“Quickly now!” hissed Temporus, his voice clicking with impatience, “you see, there, the Bridge of Agrust!”

Below them, the sea crashed upon jagged rocks, seething white and dark azure foam. Mareth pause for an instant, following two of the Calvarig’s slender arms. Around her, Icarus Worn, and the others stood at the edge of broken coastline. Beyond them, across the swirling bay,  foreign stones bespoke safety.

A scattering of islands spanned the divide. Between each a graceful bridge arches from one island to the next.

“The Emperor’s Road,” stated Worn, a note of relief coloring his usually stoic tone.

“We’re close!” said Icarus with a smile. Mud covered his sweaty face, and the dark circles under his eyes showed only a hint of the exhausted they all felt, but they had made it.

“Father should be waiting at the end of that road!” Icarus cheered, starting forward after Temporus. Other beleaguered crewmen took heart at Icarus’s youthful excitement. She watched as bowed heads and wear limbs livened up, and even join in a quiet cheer.

Mareth wanted to share in her companions excitement, but unease rippled within her mind.

Something’s not right, she thought, looking back at the sea, there’s something . . . wrong.

Beyond her then sea moved, roaring in tandem with her deepening fear.

A shadow moved across the noonday sun, and for a moment the feeling left Mareth, that was until she heard the screams.

-M.E. InkOwl

Through a Haunted Glass

Photo by Todd McKinley

What secret lies beneath the sleeping wood?

Where mists of doubt and lies cling to root and stone.

With much stillness, does darkness wait below the silvered surface.

For with the steps of mortal man wake ripples of forgiveness.

Why would the child wake the sleeping giant, to heal it’s mortal wounds,

When would creation fall before the blackness of oblivion?

Which path will you take now? The road lies shatter between each trunk.

From here the Deepening lies Unending.

-M.E. InkOwl

Through A Ruin Darkly

“The wind speaks hidden words, Cereph,” whispered Worn as the two creatures watched the darkening sea.

They stood beneath a broken awning, a golden Sphinx and chestnut centaur.

Cereph continued to stare at the rolling bay, emerald green eyes taking in the world. A glossy coat of golden fur ended at her shoulders and arms were soft human skin began. But her head held a mane of tawny hair that had been drawn up under a circlet of silver.

“I know, friend,” she said, her voice filled with sorrow. Cereph turned to her oldest companion, the centaur’s glossy coat held streaks of grey. How many ages had passed that he had been by her side.

“They will come, I feel it,” she murmured, “I’ve felt it in the ground beneath us and tasted it upon the winds of the sea.”

“Darkwell is coming,” Worn breathed, finishing her though, “but there is something upon the air that you do not speak of, something written above us, in the stars beyond.”

Cereph shifted her gaze to the growing storm and said with a long sigh, “that dream died too long ago, old friend, when Hope was an everlasting river in my heart.”

“Is there no hope?” asked Worn as he laid a hand upon her shoulder. His hooves clicked upon cracked stone floors.

A sing tear fell from Cereph’s glowing eyes, she knew her deepest fears to be true, yet she couldn’t speak them.

After a moment’s pause Cereph responded.

“We are all that’s left Worn, and it is not enough. We stand alone between an Empire and the Sea, a rabble of embattled souls.”

The centaur pawed at the ground, impatience getting the better of him.

“We are the beginning Cereph,” Worn chastised, “the Elemental will come-”

Cereph held back a roar, feeling her hackles rise with her anger.

“There is no Elemental, Worn, look around you, look at our Kingdom,” she gestured to the crumbling edifice all around them, “this place will not hold, and we will fail.”

Worn stamped a hoof and was about to counter, but Cereph raised a hand, turning her face away from Worn, and beyond the sea.

“No friend, it is over. We must ready the city to fight and flee,” she said, pausing before a dark stair. “This is the end.”

With a swish of her golden tail she was gone.

Worn stood in the ruin of Parmara, and breathed in the world around him. He turned back to the sea, nostrils flaring.

“You are wrong, Cereph,” he said to the empty courtyard, eyes full of hope, “the Elemental will come. We must have . . . Faith.”

-M.E. InkOwl