Prologue I-1

In a world that is gaining magic day by day, four threads of fate intertwine while it teeters on the brink of war. With humans refusing to acknowledge the changing world and other magical races fighting for their rights, the political situation is strained. Whether these four strands are aware of their impact on the delicately juxtaposed situation or not, their choices could send shock-waves through their world and turn everything they know on its head.

The moon hung low over the chaos below, quickly rising to meet it in the sky. Clouds and smoke obscured the sliver of light that faintly poured through the opaque wisps, desperately trying to bring some illumination to the unearthly cries below.

Shadows darted in and out amongst the fog blanketing the small forest beneath the dark, hazy sky. One particular shadow stood tall, nervously and cautiously proceeding through the wood. Every few minutes they would perceive a squeak, a twig snapping, the thinnest notion of movement in the corner of their eye; they couldn’t tell if the various perceptions were imagined or real.

“Get out of our forest! Get out, get out, GET OUT!” A reedy voice rang out of nowhere hysterically, startling the shadow. The tall silhouette whirled to the source of the voice and raised the bulky object they had lugged through the forest painstakingly. With the press of a trigger, the forest lit up brightly with the harsh intensity of fire. Those few moments were permanently branded into the wielder’s eyes.

The shadow--a man in baggy fireproof gear--wore a look of fear and desperation when he reflexively raised the stream of fire to engulf the small, twiggy figure that had green eyes aglow with rage. The small creature appeared to be a pile of leaves and sticks made living, and it had leapt from a tree branch to attack the man with the flamethrower. The creature’s battle cry had given it away to the man, and in moments it was licked by billowing flames curling around it. With a last, anguished screech, both it and the flames dissipated into ashes.

“Careful, Raymond! We already lost Dan to one of those larger faeriefolk. Stay on your toes!” A gruff voice called across the dark expanse of wood and fog, who had evidently seen Raymond scorch the twig faerie out of existence. The voice’s owner was Raymond’s field sergeant, one of the few leaders in the raid on the forest.

“Dan?” Though Raymond was a fairly large person, Dan had been a giant among men. The fact that he was gone because of these faeries burned a cold hole in Raymond’s stomach. “T-to what?” He didn’t want to know what would happen if one of the tiny faeries would land an attack on him, much less one of the human sized ones.

“Not even a damn troll, it was a naiad. Watch yourself out there.” Sergeant Jackson barked and turned to leave. “Not everything here can be torched and expected to just die. Remember that!” Raymond swallowed, unable to continue. The danger of the situation had not sunk in until that moment. He knew the stories of naiads, and could barely imagine the situation Dan had gotten himself into. He had likely been proceeding carefully next to a stream and before he knew it, a hand had shot out of the water and dragged him in.  Raymond shuddered at the thought.

The End

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