Prologue

77 11 7
                                    


Tests.

They don't merely occur on paper or in the safety of a school. Why would they? They are inherently designed to be universal.

It's quite easy to forget that these schools exist as a safety net for your most dangerous tests to begin: the tests of adulthood, community and culture. Where we can grow and prosper without the dangers of the real world looming over us and reminding us all just how cold and unforgiving it really is. Even colder than the everlasting winter which presses us all down with an icy grip: poor, rich, black and white-all of us.

Look at us. We, Man, have forgotten that we are the descendants of power. By products of countless tests that have either passed with flying colors or failed with a margin of resourcefulness left to survive. Not live. Survive.

But any failure is a true failure. Our failures in our most useful tool-magic-has cast what remains of our greatest nation into fragments of debris and destitution. We brought an inevitable darkness, an inevitable Abyss filled with creatures of calamity. Taint.

Calamity brings fear and fear brings darkness. Yet even in this darkness, we learned to rule our magics like a hammer to rebuild: to grow. Magic has become the last beacon of life for us. We learned to survive once more and then we've started to live.

From this survival came those who lurk in the darkness and those who embrace the light. It's a paradise the likes the old world of science could never imagine... for some.

And for others, it's a nightmare that only death can cure. So what does that mean for us? How do we rank in this Test of Humanity? We humans constantly fall to our own foolishness, telling ourselves bedtime stories filled with twisted truths and blatant lies, convincing our children that Heroes exist in their hearts and that all things can be fixed with a guardian in shining armor-who in the end, kill like any villain or monster. It's sickening.

I'll hedge my bets in darker places. So go ahead, rebuild your fragile structures; prance about in what remains of the "free" world; ignore the whispers of the past; but hear my warning, because I will only give it once.

There will be a reckoning eventually, and it will be bloody.

But I am beyond myself. Allow me to tell you about my beautiful baby boy, Tybalt "Ty" Gerard Dubeaux. A cold prince of his own right. Let me tell you about his Test and how he came to fail...

Ebony AntebellumWhere stories live. Discover now