A story by Lokinar, initially posted on the Sinister Design forums on September 27, 2007.

The story follows.

Once there was a kid. His father was a farmer and he had to help his father daily with chores and farming. Several miles down the road, there was a great big building with people running in and out of there with fancy capes in all sorts of colors. There were blue, red, black, and white if he remembered correctly. Once he asked his dad about those people. He said “They be people from the academy. They are Telepaths.” One day, he thought he heard clashing of iron, and a weird mystical noise he couldn’t describe. It was like a bell and chimes mixed as one. He went over to the hill where there was a great view of the land miles around, but as he went up, he saw a white mask, floating in a black mist. It turns and when it’s gaze is upon him he hears a metallic sound in his head. Hello little fleshling. What are you doing here now? Should you be here, I think not. I guess I shall have to extermin- As the mask talks, it doesn’t notice the iron clad warrior sneak up behind it and cut it up. “Are you ok there?” the warrior asks. “What’s your name?” “J-j-j-Jarwain…” He replies, frightened “The name’s Jack, and that there, was a shadowling.” “A ... shadowling?” Jarwain replies, before glimpsing a reddish orange glass ball on the ground near Jack. “Yes, and it would do you well if you leave here. There will be more. Well, c ya” Jack informs before dashing down the hill. As Jack runs down the hill, Jarwain kneels down and picks up the red-orange ball on the ground. As he touches it he suddenly feels a desire to destroy everything around him with fire. He wishes to kill with fire, burn trees, and destroy the shadowlings. He feels a flame rise up and fill his body with energy and feels as if he doesn’t release it, he will be engulfed with the fire, but then the feeling stops as suddenly as it started, leaving him with a curious sensation in his head. A sort of power, similar to the flaming desire, but cooler, heartier, and comforting. He tries to release the power, but nothing happens except a gush of wind, and the odd chimes he heard before, but without the bell. As he walked back home he looked out towards his house, and a feeling of dread fills his stomach. Shadowlings have taken over his house.

As Jack runs down the hill, he notices others running towards the hill, but more angled towards the side of the hill. Then he sights an old friend of his; someone that usually thinks one is of the opposite gender when he is drunk, running with the rest. “Hey! What’s up, what’s going on?” Jack shouts to his friend. His friend then slows down and stops near Jack. “Intelligence has sighted a house, near the hill, that has been infested by shadowlings. We are headed over there to burn the house, and the shadowlings with-… What’s wrong Jack?” He asks, as Jack turns deathly pale. “Jarwain!” Jack murmurs before running back towards the hill, faster than the other runners. As Jack ran back towards the house, Jarwain was up to a momentous decision. Whether to fight the shadowlings and save his father, and his 1-year-old brother, trapped inside the house; or ask the Telepaths for help. Part of his head was against the latter, and wanted to fight the shadowlings, but as he turns to go to the academy he notes caped people running towards his house. “Guess I got nothing else to do but fight.” Jarwain thinks, before running towards his home, worried about his friends. As he runs down the hill, he runs into a surprised shadowling, climbing up the hill. What is this fleshling doing here? Maybe he is from the house with the babe and the Telepath. I guess I must bring this fleshling with me. It thinks. Then he directs his speech at Jarwain. Hello little fleshling. The sound reverberates in his head. Would you like to come with me back to your home? “No” replies Jarwain and then he releases some of the energy in his head, the cool kind of energy. The chimes come once more, but he hears a gong this time, and as the gong booms, the shadowling shies back, in mental pain. Jarwain thinks, I can fight them! And as he gathers his energies for another strike, he sees movement at the door. “One; no, two; no, seventy shadowlings!” He counts. They come out, and surround him. As the shadowlings come out, more and more telepaths came, ready to burn the shadowlings, unseeing the lone kid in the throng, summoning up his power. Right before the captain gave the command to fire the fire (pardon the pun) a great big flame rose out of the middle, and small balls of fire came out, striking the surrounding shadowlings. That move was (and is) known as pyro hail.

The watching telepaths became amazed at the many balls of fire coming out of the center, but then armed themselves; ready to attack for fear that there was an uber strong shadowling, wanting to kill them. As the last shadowling fell, the telepaths nearly released their energies before someone yells “Hey! There’s a kid on the floor.” “Is that the person that made the pyro hail?” One guard murmurs to the other, like almost all the others. “Naaaaah, couldn’t be. Look at him for Pete’s sake! He’s just a kid!” He replies. “He may be a kid, but he sure got some potential,” Another guard comments. “This kid may be naught twelve, but he has amazing psy power within him,” an old man steps out of the house. “I am Falstaff, telepath scout and this child is my cousin, Jarwain. Yes, it was he who conjured the pyro hail and vanquished the shadowlings.” Then a black caped person walks out. “If you are a telepath then what is the name of the shadowling’s home city? Everyone knows that name if they are a Telepath!” He says. “Why, Somnus! Any more questions? Anyone? Anyone?” He replies, grin on his face. “Yes! What is the name of the advanced form of feed-” a red cape begins. “Vengance. Any more, and before anyone asks, Psy Shield and indigo orb makes Big shield.” He retorts, before saying “Well I need to get Jarwain here to a healer.” Then a white cape comes out “We’ll heal him on the spot if, and only if, you let us enroll him in the academy.” “You had not need to tell me. I was going to enter him at the academy and as for healing…” he pauses, twirls and disappears in a puff of black smoke leaving the guards in turmoil. One even asks, “How did that old guy learn shadowport?”… There is suddenly a “Poof” and a black smoke at the academy clinic. “Madam, I’d like to enter this child into the clinic here,” Falstaff walks out of the smoke. “Falstaff! Where have you been?” the nurse-on-duty asks. “Didn’t you say you were out and about examining the psy powers of the shadowl-” “SHHHHHH! Not so loud! It’s supposed to be undercover!” Falstaff says, hushing the nurse. “Yes I said I was going to be gone, but now I’m back ‘cause my brother contacted me and asked if I could watch the kids while he went off somewhereabouts.” “I thought he gave up his psy powers!” the nurse says. “He said he would never use them again, but now he did, leaving his kids behind.” He replies. “I think he said he was going t-” just then he was broken off by a groan from Jarwain. “He’s waking up!” the nurse says. “Yes. Hurry up and get him into a bed. C ya.” And then Falstaff disappears in a puff of black smoke again. “Shadowport? He must be learning the stuff, too!” The nurse thinks before bustling off to the beds, Jarwain slumped on her shoulder.

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