Magi Nigri, Prologue 1. by Ross Camsell

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SUMMARY: The Magus Black reminisces on his rise to power, describing the history of the Shadow Resistance.

In a dark chamber of the Palace of the Shadow, the Magus Black sat in his throne, silently pondering over the fate of the world. He'd been up all night, as he had been every night for the last two weeks, since he had been given the huge task. He had to defeat the four beings which ruled the whole world of Evryan. These were the Magus Fire, the Magus Water, the Magus Earth and the Magus Air, who each had empires of almost equal size, covering the whole world, except for the small continent that the Magus Black and his followers lived on. In fact, the four elemental Magi did not even know about it.
Once, he had been a part of their society. Although the memories were clouded and vague, because he was so young, he still remembered. He used to live in Incendria, the capital city of Pyronia, which was the capital country of the Fire empire, as a Child of the Fire. That is, until he reached ten years of age, when he took the Test of Five Elements, as any other child did. He was tested on his strength, intelligence, balance, resilience, and courage. He had succeeded on only three – strength, intelligence and resilience – so he did not have the required qualities to become a Wizard of the Fire. For this, he was exiled from the Fire empire, evacuated to a non-magical country. But all of his friends passed the test, and were taught fire spells. This training went on until the Wizard became sixteen years of age, when they were classified as an adult, but their title didn't change. This was how it worked in the other empires, too; young Wizards of the Water learned Water spells, and so on and so on. So he was on his own.
The country of Ghabani was chosen for the Magus when he failed the Test, and he was to live in the capital city, Rhani, where he joined some of the others like him – they called themselves ‘the exiled,' and called those who knew how to use magic ‘the magicals.' The exiled had always been incredibly jealous of the magicals, and each hated the other. The magicals believed they were better than the exiled because they'd passed the Test, and the exiled believed they were better than the magicals because of ethics. Then, the Magus Black had had a name. He did not know it now, as the first task he'd had when he rose to power as the new Magus was to forget it, just as the other Magi had.
In Rhani, which was an arid city in the Nirian desert, he grew up with his chosen family. He started to make friends with the wrong crowd soon, as many children do. One thing led to another, and he started to commit some petty crimes. His family was not in a state of poverty; far from it. But doing small robberies here and there excited him.
And then, it happened. When he was seventeen years of age, he committed his first murder. It was a drug dealer on the streets of Rhani who had appeared recently and decided to harass him while alone. His friends had urged him to do it, and he had initially resisted, but he eventually gave up, afraid of being ridiculed, and went to the drug dealer with a knife. One of the most clear memories the Magus Black had was of that dealer's face when he felt the knife in his body, between his ribs on the right-hand-side of his body, his green eyes wide and bearded mouth open with shock and pain.

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