Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Prologue - The Four gods

This is a selection from my completed YA manuscript: The Wizard's Pearl

A tale is like a circle - without beginning or an end. But, just as we have a start, so must the tale, and we begin at the breaking of the Circle…

Long ago, Four gods arrived from the dying lands determined to start anew in the rich untouched soil. Asen the Wise and Ger the Mother were the eldest of the Four. They brought with them wisdom and knowledge, fertility and bounty, the richness of the scholar and the fruitfulness of the harvest. Hek of the Dead held dominion over those that had past but he brought truth and justice into the world and little Taia the Child who brought mischief and joy and added love and friendship to the creatures of the world.

Once the Four arrived with the last of the dying red sun on their back, they were greeted at the edge of the mountains by the Wyrms – keepers of the new world and all the fledgling creatures in it. The Wyrms held dominion over the land and regarded the new arrivals suspiciously. But, as they spoke with the Four, the Wyrm soon learned of all they intended to offer to the land and granted them the permission to care for the creatures below the mountains. The Four thanked the Wyrms and promised to respect their territory – to never cross the Cradle of the Mountain and enter into the world of the dragons. The Four then settled into their new land and learned the names of the creatures that inhabited it. Soon,  each of the Four grew to love one race out of the many. It was these races that the Four gifted with their own special touch.

Asen chose the Ravens, the birds who he had picked to sit at his side. He gave them wisdom, allowing a special few to learn the speech of the gods. The Ravens pleased Asen and it was not odd to find him speaking with them often, sharing his own thoughts and learning from them as much as they learned from him.

Ger’s favorites were the Cats, the embodiment of the home. Her gift to them was a special magic that would keep them forever deeply rooted to the land. Her own companion, a Cat she named Felix, was special amongst them. She gifted him with a form in her image and it is through him that all Cats became blessed.

Hek chose the Wolves, fierce and loyal. He gave them the authority to judge good from evil, placing them as the Guardians of the Gate to the Underworld. Hek’s own personal guard was gifted among the others, granted the ability to shift into a form in his own image – strong and powerful. All of the Wolves are blessed with these fantastic forms through Hek’s own personal guards.

Last of all to choose a favorite was Taia, the Child. She drifted from race to race before choosing the ones that reminded her of those they had left behind in the dying lands. Taia chose the humans and to them she gave magic that was rivaled only to their own, placing them in power just below the gods.

And so, all four races lived together in harmony along with the ancient Wyrms who lived high in the mountains. As time moved on, however, the fickle nature of Taia’s magic soon arose as humans began to view their magic far superior than the creatures around them. Soon war erupted between the god’s chosen, casting each race apart. The races became so engrossed in the fighting that they soon forgot the gods who had blessed them. It was then that a human wizard rose to power and proclaimed himself creator of Eirre and ruler of the Cradle of the Mountains. He declared himself Jax, the one true deity and that all other beings came after him and because of him. He was a cruel leader and his name resulted in waves of panic throughout the four races.

As Jax’s followers grew in number, the Four gods knew that it was time to act. They met together, speaking for three days and three nights. On the fourth day, it was decided that four individuals from each of the chosen races would be called together. The Raven, the Cat, the Wolf and the Wizard – their names now lost in time – were given a Pearl by the Four gods to act as a perfect vessel in which to bind the wizard. Asen, Ger, Hek and Taia had each sacrificed their own living power to create the Pearl. They would exist as spirits, no longer able to influence the four races directly.

The four chosen were to make their own sacrifice to trap the false god Jax in the Pearl. The Raven, the Cat, the Wolf and the Wizard would give of themselves to seal Jax, locking him forever in the Pearl. The Cat, the Wolf and the Wizard were willing to follow their gods but at the last moment, the Raven turned away. The seal became imperfect and the three were instantly destroyed leaving only the Pearl, Jax’s corrupted power seeping from the seals, and the Raven.

The Raven, heartbroken at his own cowardice, took it upon himself to take the Pearl and protect it from any who would seek to claim its power. There the Pearl remains and there the Raven sits.

...and we mend the circle and the tale begins again, without beginning and without end.

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