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Prologue

Three jewels orbit the bright Algo star. Palma, intellectual and technological heart of the solar system, is chief among them. Vast oceans and lush greenlands provide ideal conditions for the populace, which has built a complex and powerful civilization. Trade, industry, agriculture... each has been mastered by the industrious Palmans.

Motavia, whose arid deserts are dotted with desolate mountain ranges, stands as a gateway between Palma and the distant third world, Dezoris. Although Motavia has been peppered with a few Palman settlements, and is in fact ruled over by a Palman governor, native Motavian creatures still dominate the landscape. Existing as meager farmers, they are content in bringing life to the near-lifeless desert. The two cultures avoid each other, each preferring to manage their own affairs.

Far beyond Motavia, away from the warming fires of Algo, lies Dezoris. Its countryside ever-frozen, few Palmans have braved the climate to settle here. The only intelligent beings capable of sustaining themselves on this desolate rock are the hearty Dezorian natives, characteristically tall and lanky in appearance. Although the Palmans have the technology to reach this world, little has been gained by doing so. Dezoris exists as an anomaly, an outsider, to the Algo realm.

Palma is currently facing a crisis. Vile monsters, previously limited to the other two worlds, have begun to flood the countryside. To travel between the residential zones is to take one's life into one's hands. Once booming trade towns have collapsed. Taxes have become a debilitating burden. To prevent crime and anarchy, martial law has been instituted over the dominant cities. Ruthless Robotcops roam through settlements, dispensing harsh punishment to any offenders. No one leaves their home unnecessarily. Seemingly, this erosion of society has been reflected within the Palman ruler himself. Once benevolent, he is now never seen by his people; rumors of an evil force having consumed him run rampant. Yet there is no doubt that, alive or not, he fills the populace with unknown dread. It is in such a climate that freedom fighters are born...

- - - - - - - - - -

Deep in some unknown castle, in a grand hall whose massive walls seem ready to crush any who enter, the king sits. He wears a frightening outfit of gold, iron, and silver that mirrors his evil heart. Robed in a blood-red cape, holding a staff that seems to pulse with energy and power, he waits for the servant before him to speak.

"What news have you that you require to interrupt my prayer? What reason have I to allow your continued existence?" His deep tones resonated off the walls of the hall, enveloping the bowed serf before him like a vice.

"My lord, a thousand apologies. Your guard has discovered the location of one of the rebel meeting places. We currently have them under observation, awaiting your command." He trembled as he spoke.

"Where are the gnats hiding, pray tell?"

"They are within the very heart of your kingdom, my lord. They gather in Camineet..."

The king shot to his feet, eyes blazing with untold anger. "CAMINEET!?! The fools seek to challenge me in my greatest city? What conceit fills their hearts! Conceit, or stupidity!"

Measuring his words carefully, the servant responded, "What would you have done with them, my lord? Surely we must take action..."

"Of course we must, you insignificant worm," the king snarled, returning to his throne, "do not presume that you have the slightest notion of how to deal with such matters." Gripping his staff tightly, a smile crept over the king's visage, a smile that filled the man before him with terror. "Kill them. Kill them all."

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