BEYOND THE APOCRYPHA OF THE DARK CRUSADE

How do you survive in a society in which logic and reason are viewed with great
suspicion? In a time when science is despised and deemed the work of Satan?
In a land where those who dare experiment are exiled and executed?

How do you live in a culture where science and religion oppose each other and
will stop at nothing to gain influence over the minds of men? Where each vie for
the very souls of men? In a place so distorted,  the line between Good and Evil
has disappeared between ordained destiny and damnation?

Imagine the Dark Ages of Medieval Europe during the time of the Crusades
and the exploits of the Knights Templars.  Recall the Albigensian Crusade
against the Cathars from 1209 to 1229.  In 1210, Pope Innocent III, unleashes
"Orders  of Fire and Sword" against those outside the Truth of the Church.
When about  to lay siege to the French city of Beziers, the Bishop was asked
how the crusaders would be able to tell the good Catholics from the heretics, his  
reply  was, in effect, "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset" ("
Kill them all, God
will know his own
.") This is the origin of today's "Kill them all, let God sort them
out" phrase. And to this day, this edict is, at least doctrinally, enforced and is
known as "Nulla salus extra eccesium" (
Outside the Church there is no
salvation
.)

Now envision these Dark Ages light years beyond our own galaxy, in a far
distant place where the Trident Empire is similar in structure and authority to the
Roman Catholic Church of that time. Imagine the Knights Templars as its
military crusaders (Recall their connection to the Holy Grail) --[Codelax] and the
Dark Archives as the Realm's spiritually guiding force (the Papacy). Within the
Archives are zealot agents (part Illuminati, part Inquisitor) and disciples of the
Dark Sciences, (known as "Black Coats," who seek the "Truth" and holy relics
of the Realm) as similar to the infamous Gestapo of the Third Reich.
(Remember Hitler was obsessed with holy relics and the occult and the Knights
Templars were renowned for their almost supernaturally advanced architectural
skills.)

It is the Sixth Millennium in the Known Realm of the Trident Galaxy.  Within the
Empire, a secret society known as the Dark Archives has been created. With
absolute authority, its agents set out to locate and retrieve the Lost Ark of Souls.

Having complete impunity, they begin to purge the Realm of what they consider
the spiritually unclean.

Chosen as the Empire's name and symbol, the Trident spear of Neptune
signifies the Emperor, the Prince, and the Codelax,  ("the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost, i.e., the Trinity). Its three prongs represent the three military strains of  the
human race and reflects the diversity of Mankind. Its tips point out an ordered
Universe; Heaven, Realm and Man.

The Empire's nemesis, the Triskelion, takes its name from the Triumvirate
formed by the  three Seraphims (
highest order of the angels) cast out of Valhal
(
Norse heaven). They hold that Cosmocrater, (Grand Creator of the Cosmos -
material universe, physical world - Greek myth
) made them,  and as such, they
are not subject to be ruled by the Emperor nor belong in his domain. (Some
Christian texts proclaim the Angels of God created Man when ordered to
"furnish the house of the Lord.")

The term Lord and Emperor is used interchangeably with GOD, as he is both
ruler of Valhal and the Realm. GOD, in this context, is an anagram for
Governor Of Domain and neither signifies nor suggests any One True God.

This stand alone novel contains a Preface, Prologue, Preamble, Epilogue,
Codices and a nine page Lexicon. The Lexicon provides the origin and
meaning of the names and terms used in the novel to give the reader a deeper
under- standing of their importance in the story. Many cultures throughout history
can be found on its pages, though most are taken from Anglican, Greek, Norse
and Roman myth and lore. You need not be a historian nor a mythology scholar
to enjoy the adventure. Latin phrases and their  translations are sparsely
included to represent the "ancient tongue of the lord" and to create a certain
sense of authentic scripture.   

Author's Note:

This novel is not for the faint of heart. It contains graphic, gruesome and
grotesque depictions of violence. It is through such physical suffering that the
spirit is forged and the soul purged of impurity. The more painful the experience,
the more important the lesson. And the greatest lesson to learn in the conflict
between Good and Evil is to discern between Good and Evil.

In war, it is wise to know your enemy. But when the greatest threat lies beyond
death, only those who truly know themselves shall be saved.

                      "From the hottest fires come the purist ashes."

Some tell me they cannot read this book before going to bed because it gives
them nightmares. Not once have I ever dreamt of my work. I am not frightened
by what I can control. My work is my retreat. My creation is my explanation and
my escape from the nightmarish world to which we awaken each day. A dismal
place filled with carnage and chaos, where beauty and all that is Good, is but a
fleeting moment, to be swallowed by a swelling torrent of Evil sweeping through
hollow souls. A world in a time when even the devout are torn between the
covenant and corruption. A place where love and lust is but a heartbeat apart.
Where honorable and horrible is in the eyes of the beholder. A place where
violence invades our daily lives and whisks us away from those left behind. We
are born into a world from which there is no escape but death. Our fate known, it
is how we choose to live till that end, that not only makes us what we are, but
prepares us for what we will become beyond this existence.

            "It is in the blackest abyss that the spirit shines brightest."

Just as I believe there is Evil in the world, I believe there is Good in it. One is not
mightier than the other. The power given each comes from within us. It is we,
who choose and direct this force. And once taken unto us, it becomes a part of
us that can never be evicted. Thus, we are a collection of choices, the sum of
which defines our lives. The consequences of which fill our hearts with joy, or
break our hearts in despair; quench our thirsty souls with wholeness, or break
our spirits in empty loneliness and bitter isolation. And should our wounds
become so deep that they pierce the soul, only heaven has the power to heal
them. For it is not that we perish because our bodies fail us. We die because
our soul fades within us. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience,
and we long to go home. That our spirits continue to come into this worldly place
of woe and wonder is a testament to our resolve to find within such a place of
violence---beauty, love and inner peace.

This book is very scary.  Who would believe our history if it were told using aliens
and monsters? Who could believe it? Who would want to believe such things
actually occurred? Though set in another time and place, it could well be the
story of our own savage saga written in science fiction form. Past, Present, and
Future merge into events that will continue to repeat themselves, again and
again, as mankind descends into the Material Universe across the stars. It is in
our nature. As the NeuroTech Gilguy would say, "That is the way we are wired."

DarkLord Seito admonishes Starla for questioning his motives by reminding
her, "We both come from a Race that killed the son of our GOD. Do not judge
me."

If you have ever wondered what would scare the hell out of Satan, this book is it.
©COPYRIGHT 2012   D. L. BURT

All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or stored by any means
without the expressed written permission of the author under penalty of
copyright infringement laws.

All characters herein are based on the
Apocrypha of the DARK CRUSADE
and
Chronicles of the DARK CRUSADE novels and game series
and remain the intellectual property of the author.
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