Fri May 10 11:07:01 1996
Subject: [AM] A New Life
  The man sat astride a horse on top of a windswept hill.  It would have 
reminded him of a classic scene from almost any stereotypical Earth 
fantasy story, except he had never heard of Earth, or any of the stories 
from there.  His world was this one, was Morius.  And right now, Morius 
  He sat on his horse on this hill, his sword belted to the saddle at 
his side, reflecting on the past eight years of his life.  Constant 
battle, always running, always the fear of getting caught.  But, for 
some reason, it had never seemed to matter to him.  None of it seemed 
real.  Even his own mother had never seemed real.  
  He heard a horse riding up fast behind him.  The man drew his sword 
and spun around.  His face, framed by the whisps of red hair that he 
hadn't been able to get back in a ponytail, softened when he saw who 
  "Kyle, I've got good news and bad news,"  the rider said to the man.
  "I'll take the good news first, Devon."  Kyle replied.
  "Our attack on Cabal's skeleton force in Lorienne was a success.  And 
with the townspeople reinforcing us, we beat back the counter attack.  
We finally have a city on our side."
  Kyle smiled, "Devon, you spoke an understatement.  That's not just 
good news, that's great news."
  Devon grinned, glad to see his commander for eight years and friend 
for eighteen years so happy.  Then his face fell as he remembered the 
other reason he had come up here.
  Kyle saw the expression.  "What?"
  Devon said, "It's your mother.  We found her in Lorienne.  You were 
right about that.  But she's not in good shape.  We don't think she has 
much longer."
  "Where is she right now?"  Kyle asked urgently.
  "A healer's in Lorienne.  Go quickly, for it's a day's ride at normal 
speed.  I can take over in camp."
  Without another word, Kyle pushed his horse as fast as the animal 
could go.  
  The gates to Lorrienne opened, and Kyle was saluted as he passed 
through.  He didn't notice.
  Riding through the streets, he saw a familiar face.  "Sasha, where's 
my mother?"  
  Sasha looked at him gravely, and pointed to a building just across the 
street.  Kyle dismounted and thanked her, tying his horse to a tree.  He 
  The house smelled strongly of herbs, and was darkened.  Kyle made his 
way to a small room in back, where an old man was treating a slightly 
younger woman.  Both glanced up at his approch, the woman only briefly.  
The old man started to shoo Kyle out, but the woman weakly said "No, let 
him stay.  I have to tell him something."
  The healer shrugged, and resumed his casting.  Kyle walked to the 
bedside, and clasped his mother's hand.  He had never seen her like 
this.  After he had left the actrobatic troupe they had been travelling 
with to gather his friends and fight back against Cabal, he had only 
seen her once in a while.  But she had always been a strong woman, and 
it had been her who had urged him to leave, to fight.  She had said if 
she had been younger, she would have begun the rebellion herself.
  Now she lay on this table, looking old, weak.  She had probably been 
in the prison in this town for a while, dehydrated and starved.  That 
was how Cabal treated his prisoners. 
  The healer finished what he was doing, and left the room.  
  She shushed him.  "I have something important to tell you.  And it 
cannot wait.  Twenty four years ago, I fell in love with a man.  We only 
spend one night together.  You resulted from that.  He left shortly 
after that night, and you were born.  I never learned his name, but he 
gave me something to remember him by.  
  "That deck of cards you have, the strange ones that you asked me to 
explain to you.  They are not ordinary cards.  
  "Kyle, you are not of this world.  Your father wasn't either.  I do 
not know where he was from, or where you belong, but it is not this 
  "Your father told me that with that deck of cards, you can contact 
people from his world.  He said if you ever wanted to leave this place, 
contact him and he would take you to his land.  I don't know how he 
knew, but he knew you would be like him."
  Kyle was bewildered.  He felt like the world had just been turned 
upside down, and he was the only one left rightside up.  He didn't 
speak.  He only kissed his mother, and left.  On his way out, the healer 
stopped him.  "She is your mother?"
 Kyle managed a nod.  The healer continued, "She will live.  She is a 
strong woman.  If she had not been, she would not have lived this long.  
As it is, I have helped her regain some of her strength.  The rest she 
can do on her own."
 Kyle thanked the healer and left.  He didn't know what to do now.  He 
had started this, and was determined to see it through, but now he also 
found out that he didn't even belong here, that this was not his world.  
 He made his way back, with a small group from the town, to supervise 
the packing and moving of their camp.  The crested the last hill to see 
an unnatural glow in the night sky.  They spurred their horses forward, 
and saw a full battle in progress, lit by a glow from a great many 
perimeter tents on fire.  Kyle and the rest drew their swords and rode 
into the fray.  
 Somewhere in the battle, Kyle lost his horse.  He slashed left and 
right, blocking blows with his small sword, and killing soldiers with 
his katana.  Somehow, he knew Cabal was in this battle somewhere.
 After a few minutes of serching, Kyle saw his opponant.  He ran forward 
just as Cabal ran Devon through.  Cabal pushed Devon off his sword, 
watching Kyle's friend die slowly.  Kyle was upon him in an instant.
 Both warriors knew the other, and had dreamed of a moment similar to 
this one.  Tents burned around them, the fire giving off a light that 
shined off their swords in the night. Cabal batted aside Kyle's defense, 
drawing a line of blood across Kyle's gut. Kyle blocked an overhead 
slash with crossed swords, catching Cabal's sword between his own.  Kyle 
kicked out, catching Cabal in the gut.  Cabal staggered back, raising 
his sword again.  Kyle batted Cabal's sword aside with his short sword, 
spinning around and cutting into Cabal's side with his katana.  Cabal 
gasped, tried to raise his sword, and failed.  Kyle drove his shortsword 
through Cabal's chest, to the hilt.  
 Cabal looked suprised, looking down at himself as blood bubbled out of 
his mouth.  He fell without a sound.  Kyle freed his swords as the 
battle slowly stopped.  Word rippled outward that Cabal was dead.  One 
brave soul charged at Kyle, screaming.  Kyle killed him quickly.  The 
rest ran.
 Kyle picked someone to be in charge of cleanup.  He went to his tent.
 His had been spared from the burning, having been close to the center 
of the camp.  He picked out the deck of strange cards.  He looked 
through, occasionally taking a look in a mirror.  Then he found a card 
that looked similar to his face.  He stared at the card, shocked by the 
similarities.  Then something happened.  Kyle felt the world shift 
around him, and the face on the card came to life.
 "Who want to talk to me?  You look familiar."
 "I am Kyle."
 "Who?  Wait, I remember."
 Kyle saw a hand reach forward.  He grabbed it, and it pulled him 
through.  He was standing in a castle.  
 "Where am I?  Who are you?"
 "Welcome to Amber, the place you truely belong, my son."
 Kyle then realized why the face on the card had seemed so familiar.  He 
was talking to his father.
Respectfully submitted, 
Kyle Windbringer,
 NRPG:  Here I am.    I know, we still don't know who his father 
is...    (Well, I do, I'm just not telling yet.)