Braven waited on the dark pier facing out over the endlessly enormous ocean. He checked a device on his arm that looked much like a watch, but it didn't show the time. Rather it showed co-ordinates and a few other characters that we as humans would not be familiar with.
Its not that Braven wasn't a human of sorts, he just wasn't a human from earth. He was a Cloydian. His planet and home, known as Crinthu was in a star system not familiar to our researches, although if they were to examine it they would be surprised to find it roughly similar to the set up of our solar system.
Braven's planet was even similar to ours in many ways. He had evolved from a lower species, there were other creatures that had evolved that were similar to our animals now. The planet had even gone through its own ice age when a comet similar to the one that hit our planet millions of years ago collided with theirs. The big difference was that their planet was much older than ours. All these things had happened billions of years before. Cloydians had stopped evolving but some of the animals around them had not.
Creatures that we would call bears, but they referred to as Roychan's had evolved to the point where they were able to communicate in the Cloydian tongue (mostly english with a few subtle differences), and had created vast social societies. Unfortunately there had been no room for them to create these societies on land, so the Roychan's eventually took their clan's to the water. Or rather BELOW the water.
See Roychan's in the evolution process had developed the ability to access all parts of their brains. Both hemispheres in complete harmony with each other. This provided them with not only supreme intelligence but psychokinetic and telepathic abilities. Using these abilities the Roychan's had parted the ocean long enough to be able to build a vast underwater city.
But the Roychan's did not do this with the best intentions at heart. They were angry at the Cloydians for not accepting them into their own society. The creatures were just as 'human' as the rest of the Cloydians in speech and intelligence, perhaps surpassing the humanoid society. But the Cloydians just were not willing to diverse themselves beyond their own race and species.
It was decided that the Roychan's would have to find another place to live out their lives in a segregated utopia. But before leaving they took two things with them. A small group of unintelligent animals, similar to gorillas, called Chastas. And the other and most important item they took was called the Essence Crystal.
The Essence Crystal had been around before the evolution of the first Cloydians and most believed that it might be the secret to all of life on the planet Crinthu. The scholars had written about how the Essence Crystal had spoken to them, had told them secrets that had aided them in making the planet into a diplomatic and peaceful society. But as life went on as did the Cloydians move past such foolishness and decided that life had started from tiny molecules which had connected with each other to create more complex creatures. The idea that some rock could assist in the process of life was ridiculous.
The Roychan's never lost faith though and believed that if they took the Essence Crystal that eventually the Cloydian's would fall back into war once more. And they were right.
As though by clockwork, a few years passed and tensions began to build between the colonies. Scholars began to disagree with other scholars, and whispers were spoken of the old war machines being repaired and brought back to life. Fear swept throughout the lands and with fear comes more anger and confusion.
It wasn't long before most of the colonies split from each other and words were spoken that had not been said in a thousand years. Leaders were to be chosen for each colony once more and those leaders would decide what actions would be taken next.
Braven was just a child when all this began, a small boy just off his mother's breast and wide eyed, ready to take in the world. Now he was a young man, and almost at his rite of passage into manhood. His eighteenth year of life would mark the day he would be expected to endure the trials.
This was something that had not been used for a thousand years as well. The trials had been banned and eventually forgotten because of their brute and sometimes deadly ways. Many Cloydians had not made it past their 18th year of life after the trials. It was a bloodlust that suddenly the colonies once again craved.
Braven once again checked his watch-like device. The ball of life was just passing down behind the great mountains. He would be leaving soon.
He shuddered, there was a cool breeze but it was not the cause of his shivers. This task he had been laden with by his elder father (his father's father), was a large and daunting task. A journey was attached to it that would be filled with many dangers.
He was alone in his task as well, the Great Winged Elder could only carry one. And it was decided that Braven was the smallest but strongest to carry out this task.
He reached up and clutched the talisman that hung around his neck. It glowed from his touch. It was a piece of the Essence Crystal, the only peace left in the above water world. And it would lead him to his destination.
The great life ball now sunk down away from sight and darkness swept in fully. It was now that there was a swooshing sound that was apart from the wind. He looked up and a giant beast flew down almost upon him.
It cocked its head when it landed staring at him through great glassy eyes. If Braven had been a human he would have recognized the beast as an extremely enormous owl. But this was a special owl. It was known as the winged elder for it had been alive for thousands of years, even before the peace had swept across the land, before the wars had begun thousands of years ago.
He was a beast of great knowledge, and the only other animal, other than the Roychan's that could talk. He cocked his head again and then opened his great beak to speak.
"You are Braven? Son of Alder, son of Hiska?" The voice was so loud and booming that it sounded like more of a statement than a question.
"Y-yes, great elder, I am Braven of the house of Ladra. I seek the Essence Crystal," Braven meekly said.
"You must speak louder child!" The great voice boomed again, "I am quite old and as such, my hearing is not so tuned anymore."
"I am sorry great elder, it is just you are very large and condescending and I am very meek and small," Braven yelled up at the great beast.
The large owl chuckled a hearty chuckle that shook the ground slightly. Braven lowered his head in shame.
"Do not look so sullen young Braven, you must learn that even the small and meek play the biggest parts in our world. Your journey is of the greatest importance and your task will change the way that the colonies are heading now," the Great Elder explained, "You must have faith in yourself if you are to complete this task and save us all."
Braven looked up again at the owl, the large eyes watching him intensely. This task was a very large burden for such a small Cloydian. He was afraid that he would not be able to complete it and therefore shame his family name. But if he did not try he would bring more shame than if he did.
He screwed up what little courage he had and looked out over the water.
"I am ready Great Elder, please take me to the place where I can begin my journey," Braven called out.
The owl looked out over the water with Braven and then after a few moments he dropped a wing down to the ground.
"Than climb up and accept your destiny, young one," the Great Elder replied.
Braven took one last moment to stare out over the water and then scrambled up the large wing onto the owl's back. The great beast flapped his enormous wings a few times and then took flight into the air. Faster than Braven had ever traveled, the Great Elder flew out over the water towards the dark horizon.