Magica - The Story lyrics song by Dio

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It has been a thousand years since the once powerful planet of Blessing
lost its life-giving two suns, and countless millennia since the days of
the great magicians. An expedition of alien voyagers came upon the now
ice-covered sphere, drawn there by an unexplained lone beacon far below the
miles of frozen moisture, they unlocked a written history of Blessing from
its almost undiscovered tomb. So begins the story of Magica.

It was a time of celebration. The Book of Magica and the wizards who had
used its spells so wisely for the good of the people were being honored in
all the great cities of the world. There was however an exception. Where
good thrives, evil survives and evil has plans for survival.

The celebration of thanks and prosperity would signal the forces of
Evilsyde to begin the attack and ultimate capture and destruction of
Magica. The spells from the Book would be used to turn all of those
unwilling to join Evilsyde into statues of stone and send their spirits to
Otherworld, where they would eventually be assimilated into the energy
needed to drive Evilsyde, and maintain its power without the necessity of
the Book and its incantations forever.

Defenses were naturally relaxed during the festive preparations and
although the battle was well-fought by both factions, the minions of the
dark prevailed. Their assault was well-planned and executed to a fault.
After overwhelming their initial opposition, they pushed on to the sacred
ground upon which the Book of Magica rested. They possessed a much weaker
form of magic themselves, and although it would be normally quite useless
against the strength of Magica, the inability of the Wizards to gather
themselves together in time, coupled with the perfect timing and
determination of the attackers, spelled doom for the Book and its
followers.

The leader of the insurrection was the high priest and executioner known as
Shadowcast. His presence could make the naughtiest of children become
obedient and inspire great fear among the adult population. This man, most
vile, would now be ruler of all and answerable to none. His reign would
plunge Blessing into eternal darkness and prepare the way for the coming of
his master, Astoroth, the Grand Duke of Hell.

The capture of Magica did not, however, mean that Shadowcast had finally
reached his goal. He must now find and conquer Blessings Grand Wizard and
legendary hero, Eriel. Eriel, who defeated Evilsyde time and again with his
understanding and use of Magicas spells. He would be the last stumbling
block of total domination.

Eriel had removed himself from the general population in anticipation of
everlasting peace and now he devoted all of his energy to meditation and
praise of his God. Lately though, he had been visited by many temptations
in his dreams. Promises of pleasure, riches and power raced through his
sleeping mind. All these lures had been placed there by Shadowcast, hoping
to avoid confrontation between this dominant man and his own villainous
forces. Eriel however had resisted these solicitations and was now warned
of some impending danger. He managed to make his way to the sacred ground
by cloaking his identity with simple spells, only to be discovered just
before his attempt to rescue the Book of Magica, but not before he was able
to memorize the most important of Magicas charms, The spell of
Restoration.

The ceremony of thanksgiving was now directed toward the transmission of
spirits to Otherworld. One by one the good souls of Blessing were turned to
stone and sent on to their grisly fate, until only the noble Eriel
remained. The spectacle that followed was meant to degrade Eriel and raise
the courage of the cowardly supplicants of Evilsyde, but true to his
indominantable bearing, he promised to return and banish Evilsyde forever.
Then he was gone.

The horrors of Otherworld are now revealed to the masses huddled together
for some small measure of comfort. First the adults were separated from
their children amid cries and pleas for help. Next the old ones were taken
away and assigned to a place very near the assimilation site. They were
guarded by monstrous, misshapen denizens of this shrouded netherland, who
constantly harangued the inmates with promises of pain and extermination.
Intermittent bursts of flame shot up from jagged cracks in the ground,
threatening to consume anyone in its path. Shrieks of torment could be
heard piercing the murky atmosphere, further unnerving the petrified
captives. Only one seemed unaffected by all the inflicted fear and turmoil.
Eriels strength and determination soon pacified the men and women with
whom he was confined. When they all became more calm and subdued, he began
to speak to them softly as an adult to his children. Long ago you
entrusted me to protect the Book of Magica and to be faithful to its
special purpose. It must seem that I have failed you and condemned us all
to oblivion, but fear not! This hell is only a test of your faith and
resolve. The power of Magica did not vanish in fire. On the third day I
will evoke the spell of Restoration. United we shall return to Blessing
and, armed with the strength of Magica, we will be triumphant. Many will
perish, but Magica and our souls cannot be restored until three days have
passed. Take heart my friends. Victory awaits you.

Even magic has its limitations and as Eriel explained to his flock, the
spell could not be activated until a waiting period of at least three days.
One third of the souls of Blessing would be melded into the Evilsyde
collective before Eriel could be effective with the words of Restoration.

The old ones were the first to go. Cries of encouragement and hope were
shouted to the condemned as they trudged slowly to their fate. One by one
they were thrown into the assimilation chamber where a blinding blue spark
gave evidence of their demise. With each burst Eriels heavy heart ached
with guilt for his part in this slaughter of his charges. If only he had
not become so complacent. He above all should never have let this tragedy
transpire.

In the compound holding the young adults, an insurrection of sorts was
occurring. A boy of seventeen years called Challis was urging an uprising
among his captured companions. Futile though it was, it earned Challis a
place in the cell adjoining Eriels. His rantings and ravings were soon
quelled by Eriels quiet urging and the two settled into serious
conversation. Eriel knew his time of assimilation was near and only hoped
it would not be scheduled before the three day waiting period for
Restoration was ended. Shadowcast wanted to personally oversee Eriels
termination but couldn't abandon his duties on Blessing until all was
secure. Would there be enough time ?

Eriel realized some of his own strong qualities in Challis and decided that
this was an opportunity not to be lost. He instructed Challis to remove all
anger from his mind and hate from his heart. Only the pure could receive
and transmit this most important of spells. Convinced that this young man
was ready, he joined with his spirit and gave him these words. Sanasha
Gorath Sollis Arcanna, Words that would resurrect the masses if delivered
correctly and in time.

Over two days had passed before Shadowcast was ready for travel to
Otherworld to deliver Eriel to his fate. His journey through Otherworld was
marked by what could pass for cheers, if they werent shouted from the
mouths of utterly inhuman shapes and forms. Upon his arrival he instructed
the guards to take him straight to Eriel. Once there he announced with
great satisfaction that he would personally supervise Eriels execution in
a matter of hours. Nearby, Challis loudly voiced his objection to this
treatment of his newly met hero and was rewarded by kicks and punches until
he could no longer speak. Eriels heart sank. Had he misjudged Challis and
entrusted his peoples future to a reckless youth? Eriels mind wandered to
his own younger days. He too had been restless and foolhardy, but in time
had outgrown these traits and become the adored leader of Blessing. He
wondered if Challis had yet experienced love. Eriel himself had turned his
back on the beautiful and innocent Annica. She was his intended from birth,
but he couldnt let love for this saintly child cloud his duties to
Blessing and the Book.

One hour remained in the wait for Restoration. Eriels hopes were soaring.
Surely Shadowcast would fail once again. But as that thought surfaced, so
did Evilsydes dark leader. Eriel was led away with head held high, but as
he passed Challis he gave just the slightest nod. A gesture that wasnt
lost on the youth. Eriel was then taken to the assimilation chamber and
strapped to the cross-like structure in the middle of the room. Seconds
were all that stood in the way of resurrection or destruction. Shadowcast
walked to Eriel, presumably to gloat one last time to his old nemesis.
Eriel welcomed the time that would be wasted, but at the last moment
Shadowcast seemed to reconsider and raised his arm in signal for the end to
begin. The arm dropped and, with crackle and hiss, Eriel was no more.
Shadowcast and his minions erupted with joy. Never again to be slaves. Now
to be masters.

Challis heard the cheering and knew that Eriel had passed without time to
summon the spell. Now only he could influence the future. He heard the
rattling of armor and realized they were coming for him. Soon the guards
appeared and dragged the struggling Challis from his confinement. One of
his jailers struck him a mighty blow across the face and suddenly all his
anger left him. He was sure of what he must do. Thunder starts from silence
and he would be thunder.

Challis was taken to the chamber and secured to the cross. Shadowcast
approached him and asked if he had any last thing to say before
assimilation. Challis smiled and said he did. Then with an evil laugh,
Shadowcast raised his arm and announced that his question was only a final
killing joke. It was now or never. As the arm fell in signal, Challis
shouted out the spell: Sanasha Gorath Sollis Arcanna and all hell
actually broke loose. Challis and the good folk of Blessing were bathed in
an incredible rush of light. Shadowcast and all his wicked throng writhed
in agony in the darkness they were spawned from, as the fierce illumination
sought them out and consumed each troll, ogre and gargoyle in a horrible
melting frenzy. Shadowcast, hiding in the last black space to be found,
watched the light creep irresistibly toward him. At the last moment he
cloaked his body with his unpriestly robe and muttered what sounded like an
oath as the light touched the cloth. The robe erupted into flame and then
there was nothing. Surely Shadowcast was also consumed by fire! But that
tale would not yet be told. Now as each remaining citizen of Blessing was
transported instantly back to their home, they found themselves standing
among thousands of recognizable stone statues. These monuments represented
their fallen comrades and would ever be a lasting testament to the dangers
of evil and the power of Magica.

Now came the time of mourning. Funeral pyres brightened the night sky for
weeks and songs of sorrow could be heard across the land long after the
flames had sputtered and died. When the prolonged periods of grieving had
ended, the citizens and their council directed attention to the task of
anointing a new leader and protector of the restored Book of Magica. The
choice seemed a simple one. Challis had resurrected the populace and the
Book, but many questioned his youth and inexperience.

The debate raged on as the time of choosing approached. The candidates were
summoned to the sacred place. Eloquent speeches were made on behalf of them
all. Only Challis lacked a champion and it seemed certain that he would be
passed over. Will anyone speak for the boy? asked the council. The
question was greeted by silence as the judges turned away to cast their
votes. Then the quiet was broken. A handsome woman with golden hair, now
flecked with traces of gray, spoke: Challis must be chosen. This is the
secret I have carried with me for all these years. Although I was once
rebuffed by my only true love, Eriel, our brief union produced the young
man standing before you. Eriel was never to know that he had sired this
free spirit, but he will live on through his sons achievements if you now
find him worthy. So spoke Annica, mother of Challis.

The decision was now reached quickly. Annicas revelation left little doubt
in the minds of the councillors that Challis should indeed succeed his
father. Evilsyde had been defeated, Shadowcast was hopefully destroyed,
Challis had been chosen to lead his people and, despite the huge number of
casualties, the old way of life began again. But, evil does not easily die.
Shadowcast did indeed survive and persist in his attempts to challenge and
conquer Blessing. Great battles would be fought. Brave heroes would rise to
the occasion and legends were created. There was, of course, the
unforgettable War of the Darkpeace when Challis . Ah! But thats another
story!


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