Eric B is an enthusiast of action, adventure and superhero drama, and considers himself observant of human nature. Aside from episodes one and two of this series, he has published two books, about volunteerism and public transportation. Eric B lives in the Midwest, loves to travel and experiments with passions and hobbies.
Sanctuary of the DarkLight
Night Crusaders Series Episode 3: History of Draegahn Part 2
by Eric B
Sanctuary of the DarkLight
Night Crusaders Series Episode 3: History of Draegahn Part 2
by Eric B
Published Sep 26, 2023
Genre: FICTION / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
They have come to bring you salvation…by leading you AWAY FROM the Light!
The alien invasion is over, and the province of Draegahn is FREE! Or so it seems. Fight for Right has assumed provincial rulership, to help the cities and towns of Draegahn to repair themselves, rebuild their localities and establish new customs and culture for their everyday lives. But within this struggle lives a population that has lost faith in its appointed leaders, believing their motives to be in the service not of the people, but of themselves and the despotic alien rulers who had recently held the province under their boot. For this reason, above all, the people have decided to seek new leadership. In the midst of this era of science and technology — the late 25th century — lives 27-year-old Darius, young wizard leader of an avaricious, amoral cult of dark magic practitioners known as the DarkLight. At first merely fun-loving and somewhat narcissistic, a personal tragedy arouses within Darius a desire for vengeance which, in turn, develops into a thirst for power. And this hunger may, in turn, lead the DarkLight to bring upon the people the darkest era of the history of Draegahn! Darius charms the provincial masses with his genuine mystic arts demonstrations, and as his popularity with the masses grows, anarchy and dark religious practices spread, and Fight for Right has an increasingly difficult time maintaining law and order in cities and towns throughout Draegahn. Fortunately for Fight for Right, a crop of light magic practitioners rises out of obscurity to aid them. And, of course, as always, those clad-in-black superheroes known as Night Crusaders come to their aid as well. However, as Darius grows increasingly powerful while he charms the masses, turning them toward the dark side, do even these allied forces of Light stand a chance against Darius?
Adam and Greg, along with their Fight for Righter victims, reappeared in downtown Draegahr City, right in front of Simonia the Witch. Abel and Baines were visibly startled by her presence.
As a favor to Adam, Simonia took control of the prisoners. Adam took Greg to a nearby house, where he introduced Greg to a group of men and women who were loyal to Darius, who called themselves “DarkLight”. Adam and Greg apprised these members of the DarkLight of the present situation. Greg even pointed out the window in the direction at which Simonia magically detaining the captured Fight for Righters could be seen.
Within minutes, Greg learned that the DarkLight had been waiting a long time for an opportunity such as this.
A group of sorcerers told Adam and Greg to follow them outside. There, not even an entire block away, in the middle of the street, was apparently a very deep pit dug in the middle of downtown and covered with concrete. The group of sorcerers that led Adam and Greg to the area combined their magic to clear the concrete away to reveal the pit. As he looked downward into what appeared to be a bottomless hole in the middle of the street, Greg was flabbergasted.
Seemingly from out of nowhere, a multitude of dark-robed men and women began to flood the area like a wave. They formed a community circle around the pit.
“Welcome, Greg!” said one of the sorcerers. “Allow me to introduce you to this province’s best kept secret. You are standing in the shadow of the greatest treasure of the DarkLight. Many decades ago, the family of Darius revealed to a select few a being of such power as the human mind can scarcely conceive. It is through devotion to this great power that the DarkLight was born. And now, for the first time in our lifetime, all of Draegahn shall know the fruits of total loyalty to him who we shall know as our God!”
Those close to Greg and the sorcerer shouted in enthusiastic accord. Greg, Adam and the majority of the attendees were led a few feet back from the pit so that the most devoted members of the DarkLight could begin the procession.
Ceremonial music was being played, and one sorcerer who was dressed like a priest floated above the pit.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the DarkLight, the time of pain and suffering in this province is about to come to an end. Countless innocents in the province of Draegahn of this generation were raised persecuted and enslaved by a tyrant who was not of this world. And our people have too long believed that an organization known as Fight for Right would come to their rescue, release them from their bondage, help them be free. But recent events have proven that these members of the so-called ‘Fight for Right’ were only interested in preserving their own power all this time. Power, I might add, that was granted to them by foreigners of this world! Ladies and gentlemen, Fight for Right is not here to save you. They are here to bind you in their own chains; chains fashioned by greed and power-lust. Now our demonstration of true justice shall be the launching point, where the people of this generation shall receive the power and comfort that is their birthright. Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, let the ceremony begin!”
All of the present members of the DarkLight shouted with joy and praise. Just then, Darius appeared at the ceremony. He stood atop a building in the vicinity, and slowly floated down to the surface, in front of the pit. When the dark-robed sorcerers saw this, they all bowed before Darius.
As Darius descended, he took notice of the curious citizens of Draegahr City that were surrounding the congregation. Darius also saw that members of Fight for Right were in the vicinity, observing. This prompted Darius to shout, “And now we shall begin the incantation!”
The dark-robed sorcerers, kneeled down in front of the pit, joined hands as they began to chant the incantation in Latin. They implored Aargon to rise from the pit they had dug for him. The chant grew louder and more passionate, until a powerful flickering occurred, followed by a series of blasts. Before long, a burst of flame, unlike anything anyone had ever seen, ascended from the pit. The fire personified itself in an abominable creature, which stood 50 feet tall hovering above the pit, with hooves, fangs, and a deep, resonating voice. Citizens in attendance were horrified.
“Who dares summon I, Aargon, the Dark One, from my eternal rest?” the Fire Beast said. Everyone in the area was afraid to respond, as they were frozen in fear. So Darius levitated above the congregation in order to address the Beast of Fire.
“Your Great Majesty, Keeper of Power and Glory, Fame and Fate…it was we, the members of the DarkLight, your most loyal messengers, who have summoned you on this autumn night. We have come to present a gift to you and ask for your grace, so that everyone in the province of Draegahn can know once and for all that he who gives his loyalty to Your Esteemed Power shall know true liberty from the chains of a tyrant’s bond!”
“Darius!” Aargon, the Fire Beast, replied. “I have known and protected your family for generations. Your bloodline has always been most loyal to me. Bring forth the gift you shall offer to me, and you will be rewarded!”
Just then, Greg and Adam brought Abel and Roger Baines, the two Fight for Righters imprisoned by Darius, through the crowd and up to the Fire Pit. Once the Fight for Righters on the sidelines saw this, there were mixed reactions, from curiosity to fear, to panic.
“I am pleased, Darius,” said Aargon. “Fight for Right has been a thorn in my side for ages, constantly persecuting my followers, imprisoning them and putting them to death. Now two of theirs shall be consumed by me this night!”
Darius descended to the ground and kneeled and bowed with his face to the ground in reverence to Aargon. Then Darius rose and shouted, “Throw them in!” Greg and Adam obeyed, throwing Abel and Baines into the pit. The DarkLight began to cheer while citizens who witnessed the demonstration became very much afraid.
The musicians continued to play their instruments so loud, the ground shook.
After seeing two of theirs sacrificed to the demon god, including Abel, their most famous and respected member, Fight for Right came out of hiding and started moving into the crowd, determined to arrest every single present member of the DarkLight.
But just then, Simonia the Witch led a squadron of sorcerers who rose above the crowd and used their magic to freeze the Fight for Righters in their places. Members of the DarkLight grabbed the Fight for Righters and threw every single incapacitated body into the Fire Pit…two hundred in all.
A surge of energy spouted from the body of Aargon and hit Darius, causing his magical capability to multiply.
“Darius, your congregation has pleased me this night,” Aargon said. “From this day forward, you shall have the ability to bestow mystical power upon anyone you choose!”
Darius’s eyes began to glow, and he felt more energetic than ever before in his life.
The body of Aargon vanished, replaced by a strikingly enormous blast of flame ascending from the pit, which stayed still for all to admire its splendor.
Darius levitated above the crowd again, and turned toward the citizens still witnessing the demonstration and shouted, “Give your loyalty to the DarkLight tonight, or you too shall become sacrifices of redemption!”
About the same time, there was a tremendous flash of light emerging from behind a local building. Then a prominent “SWOOSH!” sound was heard, accompanied by a sudden strong but short-lived gust of wind. Seconds later, there standing between the citizens and the DarkLight was none other than ROID, that indomitable superhuman warrior.
“This ceremony is over!” ROID dictated. “Every single one of you demon worshippers had better disperse immediately, or you will be the next sacrifices to your own abomination!”
The Fire Pit became hotter, and the flames within began to rise higher, as though the Fire Beast itself were preparing an attack against ROID. In response, ROID unsheathed his scepter, and told the members of the DarkLight to clear the path or suffer the consequences.
Most members of the DarkLight did back away, but a small handful dared to believe their god would save them from ROID.
ROID’s eyes glowed as he commanded, “Scepter of Power, chill yourself!” And the scepter became and ice rod.
As ROID pointed the head of the ice rod in the direction of the pit, a wind of subzero temperatures shot like a beam toward the fire arising from the pit. Even the fires of the pit could not compete with powers of the ice rod. Within seconds, the entirety of the pit’s fires had been turned into ice. Yet the Fire Beast was not in the fire.
ROID’s eyes stopped glowing, and the ice rod turned back into a scepter, which he sheathed.
The members of the DarkLight who refused to yield to ROID’s command were frozen solid along with the fire. ROID followed up by flying at lightning speed toward a nearby pile of boulders. He grabbed the largest ones and threw them at the frozen fire, shattering all of the ice of the Fire Pit. As a consequence, all the disobedient members of the DarkLight were inadvertently killed as well.
Simonia the Witch appeared suddenly behind ROID with the intent to surprise him. She raised her hands to begin to weave a spell. But, unexpectedly, ROID turned around, grabbed her right arm and pulled her right arm downward as he said, “Nice try, Witch!” He grabbed Simonia’s left arm and held both arms downward as he pulled her close to look her straight in the eyes. Then his eyes flashed, and Simonia’s entire body was turn to stone. Yet somehow her body remained floating. Darius was shocked.
At once, a group of about fifteen sorcerers rose above the crowd and combined their powers in an attempt to wrap ROID in a mystical binding. ROID unsheathed and raised the scepter above his head and shouted, “By the Power of the Light!” and the eyes of ROID and the head of the scepter both flashed. With the combination of ROID’s speed and the scepter’s energies grabbing ahold of the mystic chains, ROID used the sorcerers’ own magic to bind them.
While ROID was busy doing that, Darius held his hands in the air, weaving a spell. But Darius did not realize that ROID saw Darius in his peripheral vision.
ROID, who was far too fast for Darius, said, “Oh no you don’t!” And before Darius knew what was going on, ROID had grabbed Darius by the shirt and levitated himself above the Fire Pit.
When the DarkLight saw their most powerful member in ROID’s custody, they were struck with terror.
“Leave this area immediately,” ROID demanded, “or I will sacrifice your demon leader to your demon god!” All of the present DarkLight, even the magicians, fled as fast as they could.
When ROID saw the area was clearing, and that a party of Fight for Righters was approaching the area, he landed on the ground. As Fight for Right was preparing to place Darius in their custody, ROID pulled Darius close to him, so Darius could look him straight in the eyes.
“You listen to me, Darius, and you listen good. If I ever catch you performing demon rituals in the middle of this or any other city ever again, I promise you, you’re gonna wish you were never born! Now get outta here, NOW!” ROID released his hold of Darius, who ran away as fast as he could.
ROID started moving and searching through debris as Stephan, Abel’s older brother, approached him and said, “Thanks, very much ROID! But we could have taken him in, you know.”
ROID grinned and replied, “You don’t have the means nor the facilities to hold a prisoner the likes of Darius!”
ROID soon found his scepter, which he dropped at one point during the debacle. The head stopped glowing as soon as he grabbed the scepter. ROID pointed the scepter at the magicians that were still bound by their own magic. An energy flowed from the scepter, causing the bound magicians to disappear. Then ROID sheathed the scepter.
“Whoa, where did they go?” a bewildered Stephan asked.
“Delivered to one of your places of incarceration in the county of Zion,” ROID replied.
“Couldn’t you have done the same with Darius?” asked Stephan.
“Yes, I could have,” ROID casually replied.
“Well then why didn’t you?” Stephan asked, with moderate anxiety.
“I already answered that question,” ROID replied, somewhat impatiently. “You do not have what you need to hold a prisoner like Darius!”
“ROID,” Dennis Taylor asked, “were you really going to drop Darius into the pit? You weren’t, were you?”
“Yes, I was!” ROID said determinedly.
Claire Bolson said, “ROID, you can’t be serious! Not in front of all of those people!”
ROID asked in reply, “Do you really believe that demon was going to allow its most devoted follower to be devoured in its own pit?”
The Fight for Righters began to talk among themselves in contemplation, until Dennis said, “Well, I suppose not.”
“Of course not!” ROID continued. “But if you ask me, you Fight for Righters have a whole lot more to worry about than that little incident, believe me!”
“What do you mean, ROID?” inquired Stephan.
“Have you people taken a good look around lately? You’re not exactly fostering a lot of support from the masses these days! I have been in Draegahn for the past two weeks, and the number of people in this province that have lost faith in Fight for Right is mind-boggling. These people do not believe you are doing anything to bring this province out of the shadow of the Invasion Era and into a new future. It is absolutely ridiculous how easily Darius was able to garner the support he needed to summon an actual demon from the dark recesses of The Great Beyond, and onto the surface in the middle of the biggest city in this province! Fight for Right has been put in charge of the people of Draegahn, and thus far, I have yet to see you take charge! Either you people get your acts together, and start doing the job you were assigned to do, or I will bring someone here who will do it for you!”
Then ROID ascended to the sky, and flew away from Draegahn. A few seconds after ROID’s departure, the stone encasing Simonia the Witch crumbled, and Simonia was free. Mere seconds after discovering this, Simonia vanished from the area.
As painful as ROID’s words were for Fight for Right to hear, they realized they could not deny the charges. So they decided to take action to turn the tide of public opinion back in their favor.