FIRSTWORLD: The Premise by Michael Carpenter

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SUMMARY: Original fantasy; the story of the outcast and the will to resist. Read more (with illustrations) at


( Illustrated version at )

by Michael Menion Carpenter

Dragon-Soul, Child of Chaos, Champion of Lor, the origins of this story long precede the forging of the Pact; they predate the entire New Era. True understanding recalls the time before everything, because the beginning was the dawning of all existence.

There was nothing ... less than nothing. Before anything, there was only the essence and defiance of absence. Fragmented strands of true chaos churned together, stretching ethereally to infinity for an eternity, though not even an instant ...

Until something almost happened.

The ebb of chaos receded just as chance came upon order, and something surfaced that almost passed for recognition. Even incomplete, it was enough. The true form of nothing was shattered forever, and the first awareness that was--and was almost not--was born. It understood all reality, that reality was entirely nothing. It nearly dispersed on the paradox of its own existence but accepted itself as unique and survived. There was only itself, and the great chaos beyond. Curiously, cautiously, it extended itself ... and the motion became reality. Deliberately, it reached again, and once more existence branched outward. Strands of excited thought began to unravel, pushing back the boundaries of nothingness. With no opposition, nothing to gainsay, each idea became as real as the thinker desired. Creation was summoned from absence, twisted from chaos, and declared into being. Thought became the tool for creating a world, the hammer and the forge, the singer and the song.

At the heart of this growing web was the central thought, the will. It made itself into creator. It made itself into flesh and blood. It made itself into Master ...

* * * * * *

Finally, the Master studied the shimmering Lace, vaulting all around him. It was the substance of his mind, a universe of thought. Yet he was not satisfied. His creation was cold, stagnant. So the Master conceived of a way to give life to the Lace, and the First Era opened its eyes ...

* * * * * *

The Master falls today ...

Beneath the murky red sky of Firstworld, the enforcer ran between the looming walls of the broad trench, the rock ground beating rhythmically against the bottom of his three-toed feet. To all sides, channeled within the great corridor, were all his brothers and the roar of thousands of feet trampling on stone. Hairless, genderless, and fearless, the enforcers were soldiers of the Master. Not anymore, 1500 thought. Now we are rebels. His old hide was thick and leathery, the colour of sand, and it was creased around the joints. His shoulders were broad, and his thick arms swung back and forth as he ran. His head was a slight mound on his shoulders, with a small jaw gasping for breath beneath wide golden eyes. A third eye stared unblinking from the back of his head. All around him, his nearly identical brothers raced in a stampeding herd, armed in one or both hands with weapons of iron. 1500's fingers ached, clutching his javelin, and his legs burned from several days of running, from the Canyon of Enforcers through the Forest of Gates and ever lightward into the open sand-lands, and finally into the Master's Walk.

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