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Prologue

A monk walked silently through a dark hall. He was followed by men in armor. The walls and roof of the temple were black while the floor was tiled red and black. There was no light except that from the candles. The monk was wearing a black robe and he said nothing. The men behind him muttered in fear. They gazed about them uneasily. The hideous black stone gargoyles snarled and stared at them, almost as if they were laughing silently. Only the hooded monk was calm and unconcerned. One man, who was obviously the leader since he wore richer armor and carried a longer sword than the others, grabbed the monk's shoulder. The monk stopped instantly and whirled around. His eyes seemed to glow red from under the cloak. The man quickly removed his hand.

" What is it you want, Palman?" the hooded monk hissed. His voice was cold and hard. It alone could freeze an enemy in their tracks. His eyes gazed intently at the face of the warrior. The man gulped and tried to build up some courage.

" Monk, where are you taking us? You said you would take us to he who could grant our master's wish! You said none on this planet could do so, but why are we wasting our time in this THING you call a temple?" he finally said. His face was stern but his voice was that of fear and uncertainty. The monk chuckled. It was a horrible sound.

" How blind you are! Can you not think? No, I guess not. Well, you do not deserve an answer at the moment. You will find out when I choose to let you!" the monk said then abruptly turned around. He continued to walk. The man narrowed his eyes and was tempted to teach the monk a lesson but decided against it. He and his soldiers followed. After many minutes of silence, they reached a huge room. At the end, there was an alter and a huge statue of a snarling three-headed dragon. It leaned over the alter as if it was about to rip someone to shreds. The monk approached the alter. He got on one knee and beckoned the others to do the same. The Palmans stared at the hideous statue. Fascinated, they noted that each head was different in some way. One had a scar over the eye. Another had two horns on it's snout.

" Wouldn't want to meet HIM.." a man whispered to his companion. He nodded. They gazed quickly at the monk when he began to speak.

" Before you is a statue dedicated and possessed by the great Corrosion. He was once a dragon. Long ago, during the first great battle against Dark Force, he was smitten by black energy from the one you call The Profound Darkness. He was turned into a creature more powerful than the Profound Darkness himself. Corrosion would never have been killed by a mere child and his rag-tag band of misfits!" the monk sneered. The men coughed nervously. The leader turned toward the statue.

" THAT is what you brought us to see? A statue of a mutant dragon?" he said, laughing. The monk bowed his head. The statue seemed to turn to look at the leader. Suddenly, a blast of fire came from the head on the left. The man screamed as he burned. Within a matter of minutes, he was nothing more than a pile of singed bones. The men leaped back and stared at the statue. The monk looked up.

" Do not mock Corrosion, or you will end up like him," the monk hissed as he pointed to the bones. The men nodded vigorously. One thing they knew was that you never argue with a monk of a three headed dragon that breaths fire. The monk turned to the statue. " Great Corrosion! These men wish for their master's favor to be granted!" the monk said. The men gazed at the statue. A voice seemed to come from the statue.

Who wishes it to be so? the voice asked. It sounded as though three people were talking at the same time. The monk turned to the men.

" Our boss, Zio," a man named Fiaco answered. Fiaco was a tall, heavily built man. He had black hair and his eyes were green.

Zio?! That fool was killed little over six months ago! How could he want a favor? Dead men don't talk, the voice snarled. The men shifted and stared at the statue.

" We know but he was brought back to life a little while afterward. Dark Force brought him to life when he came to Motavia to go to the Soldier's Temple," Fiaco said. There was a silence, as if the statue was considering.

The fool wishes me to do this favor. What will I get in return? the voice said.

" Zio is prepared to pay you whatever you wish!" Fiaco said, his eyes shining with hope. The monk turned to Fiaco.

" Corrosion only desires one thing!" the monk said.

" What?" Fiaco asked.

I desire sacrifice! the voice snarled.

" You will have it!" Fiaco said, happily.

Give me a good sacrifice! Then, and only then, will I grant you your wish! Be gone! the voice said. The monk motioned for them to follow him. He lead them to the hall.

" I don't think you need to be shown out, am I right?" he asked. The men looked at him. The monk made a gesture and the men dashed down the hall to the exit. The monk smiled. He pulled his hood off. It was a strange creature. It was like a numan. It had the fangs, claws, wings, and ears of a dragon. His hair was blonde and his eyes were blue. He smiled cruelly.

You are pleased, Questar. How so? the voice asked.

" I always love sacrifices. Especially those of other races," the monk said.

You believe them to succeed? the voice said.

" They are desperate enough. Desperation can make people do things they couldn't do before." Questar said as he put his hood over his head. He bowed to the statue and walked down the hall, smiling.

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