Chapter 1
Where have the children gone?


Vakka glided forward to the brink of the pit, and the sound of his movement was like branches raking across stone. The sorcerer of immense Earth-Powers looked into the black pool. His baleful eyes glowed a ghastly green within his skull-like face, but nothing mirrored in the Well of Souls until its power was called upon.

The others were already gathered, and without a word, hands were joined, if hands they could be called, for Vakka had arms like the twisted limbs of a tree, and as he joined with the wraithlike nothingness of Claristal, she reflected back his green glow; her form was vaguely female, but she constantly changed, swirling and fuming like a storm cloud. Her eyes were the only things of substance about her, angry red ovoids of light that faded in and out. But of the three gathered, Agamol was betwixt the physical and spirit world, for sometimes he was solid and strong like ice and at other times he was as formless and fast as running water.

They chose a name for themselves, The Vog. It was found in an ancient text which when translated meant, 'the circle of power,' or more precisely, 'the encircling of power.' The Vog also had many lesser beings at their command, spirits, demons and misshapen beasts, all thirsting, begrudgingly, for the power The Vog bestowed on them for carrying out its will.

Vakka's eyes focused into the unknown depths of the black pool. The water (if water it was) churned and roiled and then a small village shimmered into view upon its surface. It was a peaceful, sleepy, hamlet with smoke spiraling out of chimneys and soft beams of light slipping from shuttered
windows. The only sound was joyous song and laughter escaping from a few of the cottages.