I have been reading too much X lately, and I can almost guarantee that's what inspired this story. That, and spending too much time in the New Age sections of bookstores. So read it, enjoy it, wonder what the hell goes through my head on a daily basis.

Seven of Swords

Prologue

In the beginning, there were the Elements. Water, Fire, Wind, and Earth. They mingled and blended, and eventually from their energies, they formed the world, and the creatures that inhabited it.

These creatures were all different, and equal. In the beginning, they worked together, surviving the harshness of the world they lived in. Humans huddled with the wolves to stay warm in the cold nights, they hunted with the bears to feed themselves. There was really no difference between them and the others. They all suffered together.

The Elements watched this world they had built, and three of them were proud of the harsh harmony that had been forged. Water, Wind, and Earth believed that the rough equality was correct.

Fire was different. Fire had favored the humans, from his energy came their minds and hearts, and he wished them to have a higher place.

The Others refused to do so. They had all created the creatures of the world, and under no circumstances would they even consider raising one above all their other creations. But Fire was adamant. He would give the humans something so that they could raise themselves above their fellow animals.

He gave them himself.

Wind watched as her brother cast himself from the heavens in the form of a great flamebird, to a place on the surface where he would be found first by the humans. She watched as he burst into destroying flames, killing himself for the sake of that which he had created.

In his place was a tiny human child, sleeping in the ashes. He was found by a man, who took him to the village, along with the sacred knowledge of Fire.

"He has betrayed us." A darkly angry voice came from behind Wind. Water was dangerous when angry, all his emotions bubbling to the surface. He and fire had clashed the most often over the creation of the world. "And now the humans will be afflicted with his vices as well as his strengths. Driven by ambition and pride."

Wind said nothing. She knew that his words were true, and that the harmony that had been envisioned was no longer possible.

And she knew that Water would make his proud brother pay. It would not be soon, but already she could feel it.

A war between the Phoenix and the Dragon, as the humans would term them, was gathering.