<center>The Shadows of Yserbius II
The Return</center>
<center>an excerpt from the Game Design Document created by the Yserbius Development Team</center>

<center>Chapter 1.</center>
The loud beating and clanging of sword and shield echo through the cool night air. Man against Demon. The Last Great Knight battles a creature some call En-Li-Kil. Blood leaks from the knight's armor. This valiant warrior had sworn an oath. He swore to rid this land of this menace. He fights to keep air in his lungs and life in his body. Warily he circles this denizen of hell, sword and shield raised at the ready. Will he be the last to battle this beast? Time grows short and options shorter still. Sweat eases the friction of the armor gripping his body. He launches another attack. His sword misses its mark and sends stone fragments from a pillar flying. He only knows this: This is where his whole life has led. This is the moment, the final test of all his training and travels.

With ichor oozing from gaping sword wounds, En-Li-Kil
circles this battle-hardened warrior. Unlike times before, when En-Li-
Kil was able to convince other seekers of glory that they had
triumphed, ensorcelled by En-Li-Kil's illusions of death, only to be
followed by his inevitable rebirth, this warrior was not falling prey
to such trickery. Lunging hard at an apparent opening in the knight's
defenses, En-Li-Kil lashes out with long, steely talons. Sparks arc
bright in the dimly-lit room as his claws rake deep ravines into the
knight's breastplate. En-Li-Kil senses there is something different
about this battle, this moment.

The glint of torchlight on a steel blade gives precious
little warning, but En-Li-Kil dodges with a speed frightening in
something so huge. En-Li-Kil is grimly satisfied to hear a sharp
blade cleave only the air in a space that recently held his neck.

There was no one to witness what happened next. Weakened by
the loss of blood, the knight swung an intended deathblow to the head
of the demon, only to find En-Li-Kil to no longer hold the space he
had recently occupied. This, of course, meant he was somewhere else,
unseen. The momentum of the great blade and perhaps the unsure,
weakened state of the man causes the sword to spin the warrior around,
entangling his legs and causing him to fall to the floor. The Beast
savors the final blow to come, rearing back in a strike that is his
favored way of ridding himself such pretenders to glory. Wind howls through the halls, his natural element giving him gaseous form. He leaps at the warrior, his claws outstretched, ready to rip
this knight's flesh to shreds. Ready in the manner of demons to take
his due in blood and rent flesh, to feed.

What followed next cannot be known. Let us imagine someone
had been there that night. Most would have fled to save their own
skin from the inevitable. But perhaps there was someone frozen in
horror behind the stone pillar with scattered fragments at its base.
They were too mesmerized to close their eyes. Their hands were too
paralyzed to stop their ears. They might have heard a terrible cry.
They might have seen how the fallen knight's sword finished its arc
and curved back on itself in a sinuous curve, the result of the
knight's arm choosing the body's final fate without thought. One
might have heard the knight's rasping laughter and sucking breath
drawn into lungs filling with blood. One might have seen En-Li-Kil
impaled upon this sword of forged will and purpose, his arrogant
unstoppable momentum the cause of his final downfall. Sacrifice has
found its way on the cold stone as blood pools and mingles in the
final loss, the final victory. Each to their natures.

Night rolls into day and into night again, in the way of
nights and days everywhere. But in this place, the torches go dim and
eventually go out. They are not replaced. Time goes on and where
once Man battled Demon the unheralded Heraldry slips into history.
The loving signs of exploration and conquest now rust and dust. The
Seasons change, the game board bare. Doorways are now sealed with
nobody to open them. The tavern nestled in the curve of the base of
the volcano grows dim and quiet, its patrons unable to find their way
there any more. All roads to this place are blocked, and few maps
remain. In the outer world old names are whispered, but rarely
recognized. But this place still stirs the hearts and minds of those
who have met and conquered demons, or fallen to them. Remembered
glories live on somewhere out there in simple seekers who wear the
clothes of ordinary people, but pour them an ale, and they will tell
you stories. In their eyes, torch light and steel dance again.


******

'I tell you it was an accident!" says a lower demi-god, 'No mortal
knight should have ever been able to kill En-Li-Kil."

'It was the Sword of Truth I tell you" says the other, 'That sword
removed the Illusion En-Li-Kil was able to weave for so many years."

'Who has played this trick on destiny, my Lord?" Both creatures look
to the head of table somewhere in a distant realm.

'I am not sure my sons." Evil speaks as he turns the events over in his
mind.

'We have no more amusement father," states the younger Daemon. 'There
are no more great battles to watch."

'Where have all the great warriors gone, father?" ask the other.

'There are no more great warriors because there are no more great
battles, my sons." Evil states, but a plan begins to formulate.
'Stand Back, Children and watch the Master at work" The giant Daemon
rises, looks across time and simply thinks his plan into existence.
The childlike Daemons watch across time and smile as they witness
their father's mastery of the Universe.

'FOOLS!" Erupts from thin air followed by a brilliant display of light. 'Do you think to upset the balance of the Universe? You cannot
Resurrect En-Li-Kil so easily."

'Do you think Evil can exist without Good?" The Light says as it
hovers in the same room as the Daemons. 'For if you Resurrect En-Li-
Kil, I shall Resurrect the Last Great Knight"

'Surely you will not." Evil roars across the room. 'We cannot have the
Knight and En-Li-Kil locked in combat throughout the ages."

Good listens to the ranting of Evil for moment, then
speaks. 'There are warriors who once wandered the realm of Yserbius
seeking to remove En-Li-Kil. If he returns, I assure you so shall
they. You have tampered with the natural order of things. It is a
truth that mortal man can fight and win, even against that which is
not living. They have the will and the freedom. Thus I have granted
the same existence to the Last Knight. Some will come one day to rid
Yserbius of En-Li-Kil once more. We will set pitfalls and such in
their path to prevent them from easily finding En-Li-Kil in their
folly, but ever man has been lost in folly, and only through the
forging of his will does he find grace. There will ever be warriors
with the fortitude and skill to try to pass the tests we set. The
Last Knight will come to them and they will be carried to the
battleground where once Good met Evil. And there they shall play out
this battle over again. The Last and again First Great Knight will
assist brave warriors in the defeat of En-Li-Kil. Because you have
given life to that which should not be alive, this scene will play out
for so long as there are those who will come. Your En-Li-Kil will die
a thousand deaths and The Last Great Knight will be resurrected a
thousand times. As long as evil walks the Realm so shall good."

'And that is not all I have done" adds Good

'What have you done now?" Roars Evil as fiery lights shoot out of his
eyes

'I have given life to the Sword of Truth again" Says Good, 'It is with
this that seekers will call the Last Knight to them for the final
battle once they have complete the Quest for the Sword.. Only the
Bravest of warriors will be able to complete the many quest required
to obtain the Sword"

Evil seeing all his plans falling to pieces throws a giant fireball
from fingertips across the room to GOOD. In less than a blink Good vanishes as the fireball passes through harmlessly. Distant laughter rings for sometime in the room.



<center>Chapter II</center>

The sound of a pry bar squeaks as old, dry boards are removed from the
door of a tavern. Hung on old leather hinges, the great oak door makes
an eerie sound as it swings open. Greylok and Madigan ease into the
dark interior, sword in one hand, torch in the other.
A couple old battle-scarred and silent warriors ease into the old
tavern and look around the old place. Memories fill their minds and
tears almost cloud their eyes. Nobody would speak of it if they
caught the glint of them in one another's eyes, but they haven't eyes
for each other. Each is transfixed in memory, searching the dust and
cobwebs for the memories that flood their minds.

'Well, here she be again brother" Says GreyLok. 'Just like I remember
her last"

'Little rough round the edges but she will clean up nicely" adds
Madigan

'Tell me again what possessed you to come back here again?" Ask Madigan

'Too many folks lost and wandering, they've been passin' through
here. They have told me of strange things yonder in the ‘cano and I
been having these dreams" Says Greylok, 'I know in my heart of hearts,
brother, that foul beast has returned."


'We are too old now to fight like we once did, you know that." says
Madigan with a smirk on his face.

His eyes twinkle as he stares out the doorway to the distant volcano.
Greylok adds, "Aye, perhaps we are my brother. We will make ready this
tavern and the rooms upstairs and then we shall dispatch messengers to
the furtherest lands and call forth great warriors of every sort. Both warriors and magicians, thieves, clerics and even the bloody barbarians will be summoned. All will be needed. Where ever there be those who will
stand against Evil or at least want to steal from them, we shall have
them go."

'Brother, many will come. Far too many for this Tavern" says Madigan.

'There are other taverns and Inns in the nearby towns, we and others
will make those ready as well. There will be room enough for all."
With a final look about the place, Greylok walks to the door.

In the distance the evil sound of a vile beast echoes through the
evening night in the volcano. 'Let us make fast" says Greylok 'Lest
the evil forces overwhelm all that is good"



<center>Chapter III</center>

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<center>*****Creators note*****</center>

Brave Warriors, Magi and Healers yes and even you Barbs and Nimble
Thieves of sorts. Welcome to these Tomes.

Chapter I was written many years ago. Few remain who remember that
time. Show Reverence should you ever meet one who was there in that
Great Time.

Chapter II has been written here of late by forces of good and evil.
Their Plan for us has been laid forth.

Chapter III remains Blank my friend because it is yet to be written.
Chapter III will be written by you and I and others like us. What will
be written about us once we return to Yserbius? So make Ready, Sharpen
your sword, and Polish your armor. A Call to arms is being issued.
Your Honor, Your Sword and if need be your Life is being requested to join other brave souls such as yourself once more in the Land of Yserbius.