I will have more in the future, but this is all I have for now.
Chapter One: IMLADDRILN...
name is Ouralwin Luthiadain. I live in the forests of the Elven realm Ithaliad of Whistannya. The Chosen One of Whistannya
is Blaxioadda. He is a dark, terrible force, built of iron and volcanic rock. I, and many other of my kin, detest him. But
now is not the time to speak of such dark things.
was riding Sathold, my faithful stallion, who's been with me through many dangers. He bears a coat gleaming silver-grey, dark
as a sky of thunder unlit by lightning. His tumbling black mane and tail fell long and loose, his tangled forelock nearly
covering his eyes. The two of of us were very old, very good friends. As I told him we were to ride to Imladdriln, his smooth,
rippling canter shifted to a breath-taking gallop, racing through the forest.
finally reached the Salavandi River, a large, wild river of foaming white, rushing waters, when the Enemy's Black Servants
began to pursue us. They were completely covered in a black, ragged veil. A large hood masked their face. They had voices
of steel, just like their master, Blaxioadda. Their steeds looked like horses, but in heart they were no proud horses. Large
horses they were too, and black, with glistening red eyes.
knew the Black Servants long had great hatred of anything that opposes fire, (except sunlight, they hate that) so I directed
Sathold through the stream and with my sword , Gaemhuul, I slashed at the bridge,
so that the Servants could not use it. This seemed to stop them for the moment, but finally, one by one, they stepped into
the river. I drew my sword, and with hatred burning in my heart I said loudly and clearly, "Dare if thee wilt to cross the
Salavandi River, but to do so thou art not wise, for thee shall suffer great
pain, and then, thee shall die!" Two servants left the scene. Still five remained. First only muttering under my breath but
rising with courage, I spoke an old Elven curse, "Duin, kaulavausa mestrail iien. Rawa destor meil thiien. Reno nevo estra
flicker of lightning, and thundercrack, and then, pelting splashes of rain streaming down over us. On the opposite bank, three
Servants fled in terror of the rain. Only one, the leader of the Servants, remained. In the darkness of the storm, I sheathed
my sword. In the flash of a heartbeat I had my bow twanged, with an arrow knocked at the ready, my cold sea-grey eyes fixed
upon the last Servant. Thunder rolled and boomed overhead. The mighty Servant's steed backed up in fear.
I had defeated the Servants, for the time being. In a cold voice so unlike mine, I announced, "You have failed to destroy
me. Go back to your master, Blaxioadda." Knowing that I was right, he turned around and disappeared into the forest. The thunder
made one last boom, the lightning one last crack, and the rain was gone. I quietly steered Sathold into the woods on the opposite bank. After we'd been going
for a while, Sathold spoke in my mind, "You should have fought them and destroyed
them, Luthiadain. Then they would be gone forever." I sighed, then answered, “No, Sathold. Blaxioadda would take it
as a signal that we want war with him. The Black Servants? He would only create more. It would be in vain for us to destroy
them. Do not fear, Sathold. Someday, Blaxioadda the Accursed will be shattered
to dust, whether by the sword or simply by being outwitted, he will be ash, and all good that was hidden away will come out
again. The Servants, and all those rash, bloodthirsty iron-clad soldiers, his Neon-Okachi, will be gone. Someday, Sathold,
we shall destroy them."
there we rode on in silence, until at last we reached our destination. There was a sudden, very steep drop falling to the
valley. It was all deep forest, and the trees were tall and strong with shining silver bark, illuminated by the moonlight.
Wild animals were plenty in the valley, and streams of clear blue drinking water wound throughout the whole valley. Rushing
waterfalls poured over cliffdrops, catching the sunlight and reflecting it to a dazzling brightness. Various birds called
overhead in a melodic voice. And in the center of the valley, white-stone pathways leading through white-stone chapels and balconies, through ancient Grecian buildings. It was an utterly beautiful place. It
was the home of Erodno the Eldest, my godfather.
walked silently to the center of the valley. Sathold went off looking for other horses, for many elven horses dwell in forest
rather than grassland. Finally, I came to a sapphire blue stream, and sitting next to it, in a chair of entwined pine branches,
was Erodno the Eldest. In his palms was open a large old book with yellowed pages: his Book of Lore. He is 5,032 years old,
hence "Erodno the 'Eldest'". He had the blackest hair imaginable, so dark it hurt even my Elven-Goddess eyes. His sea-grey
eyes, the same shade as mine, were worn with toil, but a smile leapt to his expression when he saw me.
it's been 2,056 years since I've seen you, my friend." Ever since the day I was borne, Erodno's been sort of a father to me,
for on that very day, my first day of life, all the rest of my family was either slaughtered or taken captive. I knew he would
want to talk and make merry, but I had more urgent things to speak of. "Erodno, I need help. War is coming, the Enemy is rising.
We need to gather all the army we can, and we need to be ready, for when Blaxioadda strikes, he will strike hard. Very hard.
Our defenses have to hold."
nodded, then replied, "I will gather the peoples of the other lands in Whistannya for a council. But, Ouralwin, not until
next week. You still
have things to do here, things the prophecies have commanded.
Do not ask me what; even the wisest cannot tell. Also, I need to get my things in order. My Book of Lore still has many empty
pages in the back. It's about time I start writing your story, the story of how Galonstiyl defeats Evil. For we will defeat
evil, and one must not forget that. Tonight, Ouralwin Luthiadain, you will wander through the forest of Imladdriln, and let
the power and beauty of nature take over your heart, so that you may forget all else for a little while."
walked through the moonlit trees silently. I could feel the magic of the wilderness entwining me. The soft breeze lifted my
hair to the West. The scent of pine hung in the nighttime air, overwhelming my senses to the extreme. The whispering of the
trees, the tickle of the grass, the trickle of the streams, the rush of the waterfalls,
the glinting stars against the ever darkening blueness, all these thoughts swirled in my soul. I was in an unbreakable trance
where I was at peace with all nature. A lark swooped down overhead, its bluish-silver
feathers catching the moonlight, and landed among the silver-green leaves of the trees. My light, bare feet suddenly felt
a slight vibration in the grass. I climbed up on a huge rock that happened to be next to me. Looking over the treetops, I
saw a large black blob of something far away, coming closer from the North. They were still about two or three miles away,
but my keen Elven ears could hear the soft padding of many animals moving together in a pack. They were the wild Wolves of
the Clouded Mountains, led by the great wolf-king Athal-Luin. In a long and forlorn chorus, I heard them howl, "Awaa-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!AA-WAA-OOOOOOOOOO-HOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOH!"
Soon, the wolves were close enough for them to look like more than just a blob.
Most were of reddish-brown color; some bore a coat of silver, gleaming in the moonlight, much like Sathold's. At the front,
leading the whole pack of fifty or so wolves, was a black wolf form, darker than darkness itself. His towering form bounded
with graceful speed, his eyes pale light green. His name, Athal-Luin, means 'Fighter for Freedom' in the Wolven tongue. His
pale eyes met mine, and I was surprised to see not only power and wisdom in his eyes but fear as well. I couldn't understand
how anyone against evil, especially Athal-Luin, could have fear in Imladdriln on a night like this.
the Wolf-King began in his deep, husky voice,"Tomarrow night, at the beginning of sunset, you must see me, just as the first
evening stars are to come out. No sooner or later, for only then can I show something that can be shown to you. The questions
can wait." I nodded my head, though I could not begin to imagine what he would show me. Perhaps it has to do with the fear
and anxiety in his eyes. Something was troubling the King of the Wolves, and that troubled me. Heaving a deep sigh, I watched
the pack pad away to the North. I walked steadily back to the stone house and into my bedchamber. After dressing into a silvery
lavender nightgown, embroidered with green flowers, I slipped between the white-feather blankets adorned with green and blue
flowers, the North Star gleaming outside my tall window.
Chapter Two:THE PROPHECY OF THE WOLVES...
That night, I had an amazingly realistic and wonderful dream.
There were two white doves, each with a golden-brown crest, perched upon a thin green
branch, the trunk of the tree an illuminating silver. With the utmost grace, a grey heron swooped down and landed just
above the doves. The three birds glanced up at the full moon, then steadily flew away, until they were just a speck against
the moon, then nothing. The scene changed to a wild beach beside the ocean during sunset. Great leaping green waves lapped
the golden sand. A few stray sea lions dozed among the rocks. A seagull circled high overhead. Dolphins and mermaids leapt
in the distance. The sky was a vivid red-orange, full of wild life. Slowly, the scene started to fade away, until there was
a dream no more.
woke up to the sound of birds. My mind was clouded, my thinking sluggish. Nevertheless, my movement was as graceful as ever,
so I figured I was simply not completely awake yet. I walked outside, though for no reason. A moment later, I was was riding
Sathold, though I did not remember thinking to do so. I unknowingly led Sathold to the Salavandi River, though I had no reason
why. A strange mist began to surround us, and somehow it was not the normal kind of mist. It smelled different, drier. And
powerful. Strange, I cannot explain the smell of power, but I knew that the mysterious mist held power, and I knew this mostly
from smell. The sluggishness of my mind faded away, replaced by never-before-experienced alertness. Sathold's dark grey ears
pricked forward, also on the alert. At first the mist was resistant to let us pass, but a moment later we flowed through it
like one swims in light, cool water.
is very hard to describe how one feels passing through the mist. It seemed to envelope us in protective power, smothering
us with its sweet coolness. One forgot things when passing through that mist, to be replaced by new, clean thoughts that were
fresh with wisdom and beauty. And yet, as deliriously happy as I became in that mist, I was not... content.
these though melted away as the mist cleared, revealing a great valley in the center of towering mountain peaks, soft meadow
grass dominating the misty valley. Sathold stepped forward hesitantly, then trotted down the steep slope into the valley.
I wondered where we were, how we'd gotten ourselves there, and many other things, but for the moment I decided to ignore that.
There were other horses in the valley; one in particular caught my attention. There was a white mare, far off on the other
end of the valley, with a golden flecked mane and a tail of pure white. I contrentrated my own Elven eyes on that mare's,
and discovered that the mare's eyes were a beautiful, deep lake blue, crystal clear as a mountain stream.
I suddenly realized that there was an Elf-maiden in the valley, walking among
the horses. For a split second, I thought I was seeing myself, for she looked nearly just like me. Her long black hair fell
even lower than mine, and a few little white flowers were tucked into her hair. Concentrating on her face, I realized that
her face was nearly the same as mine, only thinner, and her eyes... such beautiful eyes, just like the white mare's eyes.
me, the Elf-maiden whistled loud and clear... so like a robin's call... and the white mare I'd seen lifted her beautiful head
and trotted toward her. Yes, that mare was built for battle, though she did not look it at first glance. As she reached the
Elf-maiden, the mare let her gold-flecked tangled forelock fall over her eyes, making her even more beautiful yet obviously wild. The Elf-maiden stroke the mare's muzzle, then mounted the mare, cantering
over to where I was mounted on Sathold.
are you?" the Elf-maiden asked as she came up to us.
Ouralwin Luthiadain. But what is this place?"
You are not seriously saying you don't know this place? Everyone in Corudia has heard of it. This is the Valley of Mist, in
the center of my Great Mountains. I'm Arwenerindil Hathuldin. So you are the
Goddess of Wilderness? I thought so, when you said 'Luthiadain'."
The Goddess of Nature? I see we have something very much in common. What we don't have in common is that you seem to know
everything about this place and I've never heard of it before. Where exactly are the Great Mountains?"
laughed, and in doing so one thought a minstrel woman with a voice of pure beauty was present. "What, are you from another
it hit me. Arwenerindil might've just been joking, but all of the sudden I knew that this was another world. I met Arwenerindil’s
eyes, and she seemed to understand what I could not say in words. A light dawned in her eyes, and, in that beautiful voice
of hers, she said,
we have some talking to do.” With that she mounted her mare and motioned for me to follow her. We rode far and long,
until at last we cantered into a large, airy cave. The two horses trotted off to graze outside the cave. The strange Mist
I had aforesaid encountered seemed to fill the back end of the cave, but Arwenerindil stayed near the entrance, sitting down
on a grey rock. I sat on one beside her. The Elf-maiden heaved a sigh, then asked me what world I was from. I told her that
I was from Whistannya, and when I said that a troubled look came over her eyes. My facial expression asked her what was wrong.
For a moment there was silence, but at last she began to speak.
are seven planets, Luthiadain. Whistannya, Corudia, Makonwy, Galmagar, Telenta, Earth, and Blakya. Do these sound familiar
I answered in bewilderment.
Arwenerindil went on. “This will take more explaining than I originally thought. Well, long ago, on the planet Blakya,
an evil spirit formed, and a great passion the control the Galonstiyl Solar System. Well, he eventually decided to split his
soul into seven pieces, one for each planet. He chose one person from each planet that he thought would be suitable. Into
each of those people, he placed a piece of his soul into their hearts, and thus bent them to his will.”
“That’s terrible!” I interrupted.
is. But it is also very true.”
what does this have to do with me? No, no, I don’t mean it like it’s not important or anything. I just mean, why
did you have to tell me this when you figured out I was from Whistannya?”
opened her mouth to speak, but before she could say anything, Sathold and the white mare came galloping into the cave and
toward the Mist. A series of arrows came whizzing past our ears. I grabbed Arwenerindil’s hand and together we raced
through the Mist. At last we found ourselves in the forests of the Clouded Mountains, where Athal-Luin and his pack live.
Sathold and the mare could only just be seen trotting off together to the South, presumably to Imladdriln. I turned to Arwenerindil,
who was taking great interest in a little frog by her toes.
she said, ”I’ve never seen frogs like these. In Corudia, all frogs
are neon-blue or brown. This one is green!”
suppressed a giggle. So Arwenerindil had never seen a green frog? Weird that none lived in Corudia. I told Arwenerindil to
follow me, and together we walked toward the great towering pier of rock. It had not been built, but had been there naturally,
and was sort of like a really steep small mountain. When we reached its base, asked Arwenerindil how well she could climb.
She looked at me strangely, then asked if I had really just questioned the Goddess of Nature if she could climb. We climbed
the steep rock face in silence, until we reached the top, which was pointier than an Elf’s ear. I hoped Arwenerindil wasn’t mad at me for taking her to Whistannya. But she didn’t seem to
be. Arwenerindil just seemed like one of those people who was secretive. I walked up to Athal-Luin, who was sitting on his
haunches on the edge of the rock, staring off into the sky.
addressed him. He turned his head so that his sad green eyes met mine. I again wondered why there was such fear in his eyes.
You can always tell a wolf’s emotions through its eyes. I began to stroke his shoulders, letting my fingers sink deep
into his thick, shaggy black fur. He nodded slowly, then padded down into a large crevice in the rock. It was almost like
a cave, only smaller. Arwenerindil stood motionless, staring at the sun sinking behind the far-off mountains. I was about
to call her over, but I stopped myself. For some reason, I had a feeling she was going to listen right from where she was.
I turned back to Athal-Luin. For a moment he was silent, but then he began to talk.
“There is an old prophecy… the witches of Kronadon told it. It tells of a certain Wolf-King, and how he
will betray the Goddess of Wilderness, without even knowing it himself. You know how the witches of Kronadon are… they’re rarely wrong. I fear that I am that Wolf-King. You see, the wolf of the prophecy really
does mean good at first, but later, he’s trapped, and he betrays you so that he can escape. Even knowing of this, I
have a feeling that when the time comes, that wolf will not be able to stop himself. I’m sorry, Luthiadain.”
I sat in silence. How could this be true? Not Athal-Luin, no, he was so loyal. There’s no way. But Athal-Luin
was right about the Kronadon witches almost always being right. I turned to look at Arwenerindil. No longer staring at the
sky, she looked directly into my eyes. Suddenly, I felt something queer, something not altogether unpleasant, but not exactly
normal. I felt a connection… I saw what Arwenerindil was thinking!
This is what was going on in her mind: There was Erodno and a beautiful woman with golden hair, sitting in the Valley
of Mist. Running around them were a boy and a girl, and the girl looked exactly like a younger version of Arwenerindil. In
the woman’s arms there was a baby who had the same exact features of me: raven –black hair, sea-grey eyes, a sly
smile etched into the face. And all at once I understood the unexplainable: Arwenerindil was my sister! And judging by the
look in her eyes, Arwenerindil knew it too. Athal-Luin had long ago padded off into the forest, so we were alone.
A wild and beautiful whinny called in the distance as thundering hooves drew near. Sathold and the white mare approached.
That mare really was the most beautiful horse I’d ever seen, which really was saying something. Arwenerindil began to
stroke the mare, and heard her call her “Elafango”. A beautiful name for a beautiful horse. We rode to Imladdriln,
and the whole way I felt a certain, new sensation toward my sister. It was love. I felt love for her, and it was a love stronger
than anything before. There was just one problem. In Arwenerindil's mind, my father had been Erodno. Why hadn’t he ever
Chapter 3: Ekwyn’s Escape
of my Neon-Okachi, stepped through the heavily-barred iron door to my office. I did not care much for him, for he stammered
too much and always fled in battle.
“Mefa’s armies are gathering,” he reported,
“They will soon arrive to join our own armies. The same of the Iesalth witches. The men of Soradya are armed, but poorly.
They’re weak. The dwarves and goblins of Shwathelne are making weapons
in their forges, but our own weapons can outstand them. Our greatest fears must be the elves of Ithaliad and Salonnwyn of
Whistannya and Eckolaan and Caladeormen of Corudia.
our hosts,” I ordered. “Have them prepared to sail to Ithaliad.”
“What of- of Arwenerindil? Word reaches me that she has met Oural-“
not speak her name!” I hissed.
“Of course. As- as you wish, my lord,” he stammered. “Word reaches me that Arwenerindil has joined-
joined her. What do we do?”
myself will someday go and finish those two off. Now, as I was saying, we need to be ready to sail in a week at the most.
Send Mefa’s top Ta’xama back to him, with word of war. Those fire-birds
are so unreliable. And yet Mefa loves them so much.”
“To be done, my lord,” he answered, bowing as low as he could without toppling over.
myself, I said, “I shall DESTROY those two Goddesses.” Smiling, I thought of that Luthiadain girl writhing in
pain as she died. The thought was rather appealing.
I heard the clanking of metal and Kwathen walked back in nervously.
“What?” I demanded. “Why are you back so early?!!!”
“Th—the chief Ta-a’xama—there’s an a-arrow shaft deep in his feathers,”
he stuttered, “with dea-deadly poison in it.”
Rage clouded my mind. “WHAT!!!!!!!!!!?” I roared. Mefa was my greatest ally. Even if I was more powerful
than him, he was still better than some of the other Chosen Ones. Why did I have to have made Mefa have so big a part in the
destruction of those two accursed Goddesses? I decided to shout even more. “ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT YOU LET YOUR GUARD
DOZE ABOUT WHILE SOMEONE JUST POISONED THAT STUPID FIRE-BIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!? WHERE IS THE BOWMAN WHO SHOT HIM???”
“My lord, no one was there. What- what do we do about the poison, my lord? H-he-he’s dying.”
“I DON’T CARE ABOUT THOSE USELESS-WEAK-VULNERABLE
BIRDS!!!!!!!!! WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY THE BOWMAN WAS EVEN ABLE TO GET IN THERE!!!!! GO FIND WHOEVER SHOT HIM!!! AND IF
YOU RETURN WITHOUT HIM YOUR LIFE WILL NOT BE SPARED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Kwathen left the room, his body shivering in fright. Fire roared in my ears. It licked greedily at my fingers, but
I pushed it away. Unthinkingly I took an iron club and pounded a hole through the rock wall. Cursing, I turned away.
Something caught my eyes. A flicker of movement just outside the hole I’d made. A giant pelasi suddenly emerged,
beating its giant wings into the sky. Pelasi… they were giant creatures with the head and neck of a snake and the body
of an eagle. The witches of Kronadon rode them. The witches… the witches… NOOO!!!!!!!!!! I had a male witch named
Ekwyn held captive. If there was a pelasi here, with a man riding it… Ekwyn had escaped. Another Neon-Okachi, probably
sent by Kwathen, came in and asked if I had seen that. I gave him the honor of going down to the dungeons to whip the dungeon
guards. He was very pleased. I watched as five Ta’xamas flew away without
their leader. So the brother of the Queen of Kronadon has escaped my grasp. Had he been gathering his magic all this time,
all these three long years of his captivity? He must have. The Iesalth witches would have to be punished for not taking all
the magic out of him when I’d first taken him in. So passes another day of ill success. Could that Ouralwin girl really
see the future exactly as it was?
Chapter 4: Ekwyn’s Journey
Mynio the pelasi had calmed down when first sight of the
tropical island of Kronadon first came into view, but I myself had not. I knew this ‘Mefa’ (whoever that was)
would not be pleased about the poisoning of the fire-bird, but I also knew that Mefa was on Blaxioadda's side, so to me that
was good news.
I directed Mynio to a thin strip of sand just surfacing the ocean waters. It was still half a day’s flight to
the island, and it was near dark. From my small leather bag I drew a clump of raspberries I’d found on the small island
we’d stopped at earlier. Mynio nudged me with his enormous reptilian head.
alright,” I told him, trying to sound annoyed but miserably failing. “Here, come on, take them. If you insist.”
Mynio wolfed down over half the berries in a single gulp. Then, his scaly head arched, he snatched another ten berries from
no you don’t,” I said, then stuffed the rest into my mouth. “I need to eat too.”
night, I slept better than I had in a very long time. No nightmares, no whippings, no waking up continuously in cold sweat,
none of the terrors I’d experienced at Blaxiothant. If only it hadn’t been three years since I was last at home,
maybe my sleep could’ve been perfect! What if Blaxioadda had destroyed my kin and taken over Kronadon? What if everyone
had mysteriously died or disappeared? A lot can happen in three years. Suppose they thought I was a spy of Blaxioadda, if
my family wasn’t there to recognize me? But at last weariness took over and I slept long and deep, with many beautiful
dreams of home.
When I awoke in the morning, all my cuts were searing with pain. I had slept on a sandbar in the ocean. Not a good
idea. Salt had gotten into every injury I had, even to the blistered mosquito bite in my ear! Mynio had found a few coconuts
floating around, so that was our breakfast. Strange, I thought, the variety of food pelasi can eat even when a snake or an
eagle would die from it. After a few coconuts we set on our way. At the rate Mynio was going, we would be there within the
hour. In the broad of daylight, I could just make out little witch children running about, and older witches going about their
day. Kronadon was a beautiful island. There was a small mountain in the center with young forest growing into fertile soil.
At the base of the mountain lay fertile meadows of long silken grass with horses and cows grazing peacefully. By the water
all around there was beaches of golden sand and silver rock. Leaping green waves pounced at the shores, whispering its darkest
secrets to the sand. And it all lay right before my eyes. Everything was alright. I was home.
Mynio rocketed down to a green meadow and began eating some grass while I wandered away. A few children ran around
me, then ran off to play with Mynio. I walked through the forest and up the small mountain. My feet led me where I knew I
had to go, to my sister and father. My mother, Mwyn, had died long ago. When
I reached the Hall of the Kings, which was really a soft green grove in the forest, a great surprise was held in store for
When I had last been home, my sister, Ethalmyn, had been a wild witch princess who would have been accepted into a
pack of wolves. But the Ethalmyn I saw here was very different. Her midnight black hair were in their usual wild curls, her
violet eyes contrasting as much as ever to her fair, freckled face. But there was a thin band of silver set upon her brow:
the sign of a Queen. She wore a dark, slim midnight-blue dress instead of her usual ragged bear-hide dress. She still had
her hunters’ knife at her waist, though, which was good, for if Ethalmyn had willingly let herself be unarmed there
was something wrong. I walked up to her, but as for what I was going to say, my mind
was blank. Luckily for me, she was the first one to speak.
I thought you were dead!” I had expected her to say that. After, I had gone missing for three years, and that’s a long time to be missing. Especially for my sister, for whom those 3 years must have
felt like a thousand years. I didn’t say anything; her eyes told me everything. I stood up and walked away. I could
feel her sorrowful eyes following me.
“Ekwyn, were are you going? There’s going to be a council in Imladdriln next week. I’m going, and
you’re coming with me.”
stood in silence. “ I’m not going,” I said. “I’m going back to Blaxiothant. I haven’t
finished my work there yet. I have found no information. When a witch sets out to do something, he or she completes it. No
witch leaves a job unfinished.”
just stared at me. I turned away and called to Mynio. “Remember, little sister,” I said to her, “Father
would never have let me come back without my having information.”
“Yes, he would have. You’ve been gone three years. Any father would let you come back after that. It’s
not like you wanted to be gone that long.” But I wasn’t listening. I climbed onto Mynio’s back, and flew
back over the sea, to the land of eternal evil.