A family torn by the depths of darkness. Colby, the second youngest son sets out on an adventure to find his stolen little brother, but finds much more. Joined by four different travelers, a monk, a swordsman, an ex-criminal, and a huntress, they find themselves fighting off death to save their world as they know it.
The sunlight spawned the day’s beginning, enriching the land with its natural glow. The birds whistled in excitement. The morning air flowed over the landscape. Samuel sat beside a gigantic outcropping tree at a top of a hill. A flowery meadow bloomed around the tree’s base. Samuel lay upon the summer grass, his eyes open towards the sky following the flapping wings of the birds. He grinned rolling over onto his stomach. A butterfly settled peacefully on the flower next to him fluttering its bright wings. In a heartbeat the butterfly took lift and flew up into the open wind. Samuel sat up following it up into the sky with his eyes, his grin slowly drifted away. He turned his head to look at the path leading through a small brush of trees.
Samuel swung his head back, his blonde hair swishing out of his face. He stood up, brushing off his brown jeans. His eyes closed; a large gust of wind passed under his arms. He felt the sensation of lift from the breeze. Samuel imagined the butterfly free, not bound to the ground. He opened his eyes again; the only noise in the meadow was of Samuel’s deep breathes. A quiet chime rang lightly through the meadow. Its resonance tingled the little hairs on Samuel’s arms. The town bell echoed in the distance. He took one last deep breath, and stepped forwards, taking a couple steps forward, beginning into a stroll. Slowly he began to pick up speed, faster and faster, turning his stroll into a sprint.
He ran through the unused forest trail, grazing bushes hanging over the path. Leaping over logs and ducking under branches, he hurried towards the small town in which the bell rang. He reached a gap in the forest wall; it leads out to a small road. Samuel dashed down the road; his face was bright and happy.
Samuel approached the town’s gate. His cheerful face vanished leaving behind awareness and exhaustion looking up at the entrance to the town. The overhanging gates seemed pointless, but it was decorated with beautiful gold trims and wonderful etched designs.
Marching into town Samuel waved at everyone he passed. Samuel seemed too cheerful and delighted; his happiness was like a virus infecting all who had gone near him. The center of the town was alive with people. A statue sat near the center of the market square. A massive building of intercut glass designs and stone brick walls stood behind the town square. A large crowd formed at its base. A trader had arrived from the eastern countries for trade. They always brought interesting items such as jewellery and ornaments. Samuel stuck his hand in his small cloth money pouch it was empty. Samuel checked his pockets; two dirty looking coins settled at the bottom, Samuel frowned.
He looked at the building before him, his frown disappearing, “I wonder if Colby has some money,” he spoke to himself with a cheer. With a sudden burst of happiness, he rushed through the crowd, dodging the hand bags and flailing arms of the excited people.
He pushed through the last of the group approaching the large doors of the immensely beautiful building. The ginormous doors lurched open producing a loud creaking which echoed within the hollow building. The building is a church, but no one sat for prayer, no sounds emanated from inside the building. Everything was clean and neat, nearly sparkling in the sunlight. Many vases and pots sat on pedestals lining the walls with their various shapes and colours. At the other end of the church was a table, blanketed with white stainless table cloth. Atop the table sat large silver bowls containing various fruits and vegetables. Samuel stepped in quietly. He closed the door with as much care as possible.
Samuel walked down the aisle staring at the bowls of food, he hadn’t eaten yet today. The sight of food made his stomach grumble. He looked around the main hall for his older brother, but no one was in view. Samuel walked over to the table of silver bowls and food. Carefully he plucked a grape off the grape vine and placed it in his mouth. One by one, he plucked the grapes, pleasing his growling stomach.
The door to the atrium staircase swayed open. Colby sauntered out; hands held together, he looked similar to a monk in his position. His dark straight hair draped loosely atop his head. He looked over at Samuel, whose face was red with embarrassment. Colby’s eyes were gray, a simple birth defect. It was very rare when a baby is born with colourless iris’, regarding them similar to the eyes of a blind man. Colby wore a light brown jacket, the collar jutted up from his neck; a gray trim encircling it. The buttons on it were done up, making his undershirt unnoticeable. His legs were covered by a light brown pair of trousers
, matching the sweater he wore. He glanced at his brother for a second studying his face.
“What are you doing here Samuel? You aren’t really one for prayer.” Colby asked, turning his head toward the table of food. He peered at the silver bowl; it was almost empty except for the grape vines left at the bottom. Samuel swallowed the last grape in his mouth, quickly hiding the ones in his hands. He took a step back from the table, smiled and bowed, “Hi Colby,” he said with a slight chuckle.
“Samuel, where have all the grapes disappeared too?” Colby asked looking back at his brother.
“I don’t know, they weren’t there when I came in,”
“I always know when you lie you know, especially when you still have a grape in your hand.” Colby walked over to Samuel, who now stood, and plucked the grape from Samuel’s hand. “You could have just gone home for food; you never had to eat the church’s fruit.” Colby said angrily. Samuel’s smile disappeared, he looked down in shame. “I’m sorry; I was just really hungry,”
“That isn’t an excuse; we live in a village full of food,”
“I know, but I dozed off at the big tree,” Samuel looked down, his eyes tearing. He looked back up with a puppy dog face. Colby stared for a second, the sight was heart breaking.
“I hope you know that your puppy dog face doesn’t work on me.” Colby laughed, watching Samuel’s face redden with embarrassment. “Now, why did you come here anyway?”
“I was going to ask you for some money so I could buy a trinket from the trader outside,” Samuel pointed towards the silhouettes of the crowd that has formed outside.
“Why must those traders set up outside the church,” Colby complained, “all right, you can have some money, but try not to waste your allowance again.” He said, grabbing some coins out of his coin purse, handing them to his younger brother.
Although they were brothers, they had little resemblance; Colby had dark brown hair, and colourless eyes, while his younger brother Samuel had blonde hair and hazel green eyes, giving them a non-related look. Colby pondered this while he shooed his brother, he was the only one in his family with dark brown hair. His father had dark brown hair as well, but Colby could hardly remember him.
When he was but a child, maybe four years of age, his father had left to go to Brackenwood. But he never returned, and weeks later, people reported the small town was attacked and many people were taken captive.
“You shouldn’t be so hard on him sometimes you know, your anger can take the best of you if you let it,” A voice came from behind Colby. He turned around. An old man stood in front of the doorway. He wore a large dark blue robe that fell to his ankles. The old man’s face was wrinkled, and a moustache that hid his thin lipped mouth was plastered onto his face. He was balding, but still he had a half ring of hair going around the back of his head with a pony tail holding it all together. The man’s eyes were small; his eyelids almost closed.
Colby bowed to the old man, holding his bow in respect until the old man responded. “Greetings Gemini, it was just, he ate all the grapes.” Colby’s face became bright with embarrassment.
“It’s all right Colby; I was just making a statement,” Gemini chuckled; Colby rose from his bow. He smiled graciously. His cheeks turning a light pink color.
“Alright Gemini, I must take my leave now,” Colby said, bowing his head. He turned and walked down the aisle to the entrance of the church, opened it, and walked out. The large doors slowly swung closed.
Gemini, now alone stood at the altar behind the table of food. He placed his hands on the altar, blue smoke streamed off his skin. The smoke twirled in mid-air, forming into a ball. Gemini lifted his hands off the altar and clasped the small ball of blue lustrous smoke, enclosing his hands. He held it close to his mouth and blew into his closed fists. A stream of smoke came out of his hands, arranging itself on the plane wall behind the altar. Lines of indistinctive writing formed on the wall, slowly changing, morphing into different shapes, changing its language. The reflection shaped itself into an image, splicing the different symbols into lines. A silhouette of five figures stood among in the image. “Your destiny will change the very image of this world.” Gemini grinned, opening a hidden drawer in the side of the square altar stand. He pulled out a small wooden container that had engravings similar to the indistinct writing that was formed by the smoke. “It is time,” he whispered.
* * *
Colby walked around the massive crowd, he felt slightly nauseous. Unsure of the reasoning for this feeling, he attempted to make his way home. The crowd caused a great commotion, making it hard to hear. Colby stumbled passed the statue in the middle of the town square. It depicted large amounts of spiralling sand rising from the ground, half was made up of white clay, and the other half was made up of a black substitute and in the middle of the spiral stood a man. Colby stood and stared at the statues face.
“It’s supposed to depict a great hero of the old tales you know,” A feminine voice spoke out beside him. Colby turned, startled. One of his three sisters’ stood beside him, the eldest sister, Cecilia. She had dirty blonde hair, and she wore an olive green sundress.
“I’m sorry for startling you Colby,” She smiled, “I just came by to say ‘hi,’ I don’t see you here often.”
“Yah, I never really got to admire this statue for very long,”
“This is a symbol of our past, and the great ventures our people once took, I remember those stories I use to read you when you were younger,” Cecilia turned to look at her brother, “Don’t you remember the story Colby?”
“Actually no, I don’t. I haven’t heard it for a long time.” He looked at her, then back to the statue.
“Well, I guess I will just have to tell you it again,”
* * *
“It all began a long ago…” …Our world lived in peace with the realms surrounding us. Their spirit deities acted as gods to us. They each gave specific human beings the power over one of their elemental magic’s, Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. These specific people were known as the guardians. They guarded our world from any danger, allowing us to live in peace. But the peace here did not last; the guardians were attacked, their souls sand powers stolen away. The one who stole the souls of the living and triumphed against the great was a dark soulless man we came to know as Death. He spawned a darkness this land had never seen, raising the dead, and summoning creatures’ from the underworld. One by one, he destroyed the guardians.
Soon, a war began a different era in this world. The guardians were taken disappearing slowly, and for every soul taken from the guardian’s, Death grew stronger. And soon, he challenged the four great deities. His power was almost unlimited. The remaining guardians then attacked Death will all their power combined, but it was useless. Death now took on a different form, his bodies rotting flesh was set a blazed with green fire. His skeleton mutating into a black chassis for the souls he damned. His knew demonic shape resembled a human being, with horns of darkness and wings of black burnt feathers. His hand’s turned into large claws, and his scythe, the weapon he chose, became the essence of his power.
Using this power, he swiped his scythe across the land creating a plague of death and despair. But our great deities would not let this happen, they took back their magic’s from the guardians and bestowing all of their enchantments onto four individuals, who in succession, became the greatest guardians who ever lived. Within them held the very essence of each deity. Rain, a monk, became Guardian of water, bestowed with all the abilities of healing, and purification. Morden, a great swordsman, became Guardian of fire, bestowed with the abilities of melding and destruction. Gestalt, a scholar, became Guardian of Earth, given the abilities to change forms and shapes and creation. And Aeron, a master archer, became the Guardian of Air, with his distinguished ability to reason, was bestowed upon the knowledge of the deities and given the ability of foresight. With these gifts, the guardians fought off Death, guarding the world with all of their might.
Death soon found himself weakening, and with that notion, he took up his scythe and cursed each guardian, turning their powers against them, causing them to fight amongst themselves. While they were distracted, Death fled and destroyed more of the world, stealing away the souls of the young mortals.
While the Guardians fought, the deities started to worry. They had given most of their powers to these individuals who now fought amongst each other. They found this war to be almost over, for they had lost control and had started to fight like the guardians. But within the midst of battle, a boy sat, his hair black as the night. One of the deities, the one trying to keep peace, fled to the earth, and stood in front of weeping boy. The deity took the form of a woman with white hair and dress; she spoke out, “Why must this world come to an end, when the people of it are so young.” The Deity wiped the tears off of the boy’s face. He opened his eyes and stared into the beautiful face of the deity. “Well, you are tough aren’t you,” The boy nodded an answer, the deity smiled at him. “May I ask of you this, can you be my hero?” And with that question, the boy’s face brightened, he gave her a lustrous smile. The deity bent down and kissed the boy on the head, and where she kissed the boy, the black of his hair turned white, and with that kiss, she bestowed upon him the eternal magic, and the ability to bend aura at will.
The deity had approached a young boy, and left behind a young man to be her ‘hero.’ With the deities blessing, the young man took his new powers and dispelled the curse Death casted on the four guardians. The young man and the four guardians set out to fight Death once more.
When they found him, Death found his powers useless against the guardians. The young man and the guardians fused their powers together and placed a curse on Death, trapping his soul into the scythe. They fragmented the scythe into twelve pieces and scattering them throughout the world…
* * *
“…And ever since, we honour our ancestor’s and deities in their triumph against the greatest evil that we have ever faced in this world; the end.” Cecilia’s smiled at Colby, who appeared confused.
“But what ever happened to Death’s creatures?” He asked,
“Some say, they fled with remnants of his the scythe, hoping that someday, they could reincarnate their master.” She poked Colby’s forehead.
“Is he real, Death I mean?” Colby questioned,
“Don’t be silly, it is just a story told to frighten young children.” Cecilia chuckled. She gave a goodbye pat on Colby’s head and turned to walk away, “Tell mum I will be home a little late, alright?”
Colby nodded at his sister, but it was doubtful that she saw. He turned back to the statue. The story intrigued him. He looked back at the statues face. It made him resent his normal boring life. It made him feel feeble. He looked at the base of the statue; the polished marble stone reflected his image. He frowned at his pathetic look. The reflection started to blur, vibrations ran through the statue. The ground under his feet seemed to rumble around him, slightly vibrating his feet. There was an image of some bird-like creature behind Colby; it looked far off, behind him. It slowly grew larger; it faced Colby’s direction and glided toward him, looking more menacing. Stunned, he turned around.