| He awoke slowly and looked about him wondering for a moment why he was still alive. It was then that he noticed the golden tile floor inlayed with diamonds and rubies and he realized he was no longer among the living. He guessed he was in the Netherworlds, the place the dead go when they are called from life. Or perhaps it was the God's Domain itself. If it was so he was indeed a priviledged soul. Not ever remembering being dead before, he realized that it could be either place. He pulled himself to his feet and noticed that his wrist wounds were healed. Infact there was no visible scar and no blood stains on his clothes, which only confirmed his suspicions of having died.
'Where in death am I', he thought aloud as he looked about him.
His surroundings were a marvel to behold and he gazed on them with
awe, not knowing that only a handful of mortals had seen this wonder in the past ten thousand years. The hall seemed to be entirely carved of gold. Spanning one hundred and fifty feet in the air and stretching away so far into the distance, that it's walls could not be seen. The ceilings themselves were covered in gold and glass and somehow the sunlight that shown through made strange rainbow patterns on the floor and in the air. A large mural dominated the ceiling. Winged beasts and horse headed men fought each other in bais relief, highlighted here and there with brilliant colors. The battle stretched on and at times seemed to move and take on a life of it's own. The Telumaster could only stare with mouth gaping, transfixed. He stood there for he knew not how long and as he stared, the battle did come to life in his mind and in his eyes. Some sort of magic had brought the carving to life. He watched facinated as the winged shapes fought the horseheads in wave after wave. Each fighting as if there very
existance was at stake, (for indeed it was). Suddenly Kraylinar was aware that he was no longer alone in the hall. He felt eyes looking at him, but as he pulled his gaze from the hypnotic battle scene above, and looked about him, no one could be found.
It was then that he heard the voice, in the distance. A women's voice, most lovely and lazy, and it was singing. The song echoed about the hall. After listening he was able to discern that it was coming from his left. He decided then to
follow it to its source, for until now, he was not sure which way he should proceed. There seemed good enough chance that if he found the source, he'd find someone else in this place, and perhaps an understanding of where he was.
'All the more reason to find it's owner', he thought as he began walking.
Although he walked at first, he soon found himself jogging. He did not wish for the song to end and to loose his direction. Several minutes went by and he ran steadily across the golden polished floor. Slowly his vision began to clear and he saw the end of the hall, (or at the least one of the many walls). His stride increased, as did the speed and volume of the song and then he came to a halt in front of a huge door. Although the door stood thirty feet high, it was still dwarfed by the hall itself. As he examined the door, he immediately noticed that there was no visible lock, or handle. Reaching out his hand, he touched the spendidly carved door and it responded, slowly opening of it's own accord. He stepped backwards, started a bit, as the door swung wide. The first thing he felt was wind on his face and the smell of flowers. His eyes beheld rolling hills and streams and gardens. It was a beautiful spring day in all it's promise. The landscape was stunning. The like of which he had never before seen in his long life.
A tall woman was playing a harp and singing in a large clearing among the short trees. She was surrounded by several other figures. All were human shaped except that all but one had heads of animals instead of the norm. One of them, a tall man, was completely human, or more than human. His body burst with such immense power that it's human form barely contained it and it's beauty and power took away from and absorbed the beauty of the song. The song slowly ended as Kraylinar approached the group. The woman finishing her song, suddenly looked up and saw Kraylinar in the distance, coming towards them. Startled, she drew in a deep breath and all the animal headed creatures immediately turned towards him. Only the powerful man did not stir. Some the creatures even crouched on all fours. Some growled, one roared, and two began barking at his presence. The woman who had been singing backed away and turned; disappearing into the gardens. The barking shapes stopped there noise and sprang away after her. Only five of the figures remained when Kraylinar entered the clearing through an opening in thorn bushes. The creature that had roared, had the face of a tiger. He wore no clothes and was covered in long fur from head to toe. He purred as his tail danced and he stared at Kraylinar. He seemed fasinated in him and watched him like a cat would watch a mouse or bird. The other three creatures, beside the man, had similiar feline features, but more like domestic house cats and there bodies had no fur and were clothed. They were without a doubt females. They all backed away behind the man tiger who seemed about to pounce at Kraylinar.
At that moment the tall man stirred and put his hand upon the shoulder of the man tiger. He rubbed his fur in a delicate motion, petting him. Without a word the four figures went down on all fours and sprang away into the gardens in the opposite direction of the woman.
'The song did it's work I see', the man finally spoke. He seemed pleasant enough, but distant.
'Greetings great lord. My name is Kraylinar, known as The Telumaster in my own lands, and I regret that you have me at a disadvantage. You see I've no idea of who you are, where I am, nor how I came to be in this place.
The man sat down on a large rock, a lone island in the waves of grass. He folded his hands on his lap calmly and spoke, 'Know you not who I am? Was it not you that summoned me?'
The Telumaster knocked, 'Aye my lord, you are the Great Green God of Strength. Indeed I did summon your holiness. I humbly ask forgiveness for that offense.' He said all this as he bowed low in a flourish, like a noble before his king.
'I hold no grudge. If indeed I did, your request would have been denied, and you would now be in the lands of the dead. Come.' He motioned with his hands towards him for Kraylinar to be seated near him.
The Telumaster slowly approached and seat himself on the tall grass. He did not wish to offend and so sat below the great lord, in respect to his power. 'Lord, what it is that you wish of me?'
The Tall God regarded him solemnly. He seemed to be pondering what next to say. Kraylinar felt very uneasy under his gaze. It was as if he were looking right through him, reading his thoughts and hopes and wishes. 'I can grant you what you wish, if you will do a task for me. Be warned! I ask not this lightly, but in earnest. What say you?'
'Readily would I agree sir, if only I knew what it was that I wished so much.'
'You wish to return to the living and find your lost son. Eventually you will find that there is another. Great destiny lies before them, in which you are intertwined, and will play a key role.'
'They should proclaim you also lord of hearts, for mine have you read. Albight scarely did I guess it could ever be accomplished. You are indeed most generous my lord.'
'Speak not of my generousity until you know of my errend. I wish you to travel to the netherworlds as a living man, and retrieve for me a soul of a lost one. For into that domain I may not travel, and those few that I have sent into it's depths over the millenia, to do this self same task, have been destroyed by the domains guardians. Perhaps now, at the time of the rebirths, I shall be redeemed at last.'
'The one that you will seek has no name, for the dead no longer know their names. You will know her by her guise and a jewel that she wears. For she is clothed in an azure dress, and the gem that shines from her bossom gleams with a pale green light.'
'No more do I know, and little would it help you in this quest. The land of dead, I know little of, and its ways are hidden from my sight. If you journey there, you go without much guidance.'