The city below lay bathed in flames. Sounds of screams and cries of anguish filled the night. There is nothing anyone could have done to stop it. I know that now. It was foolish of me to even try; yet I felt I had to. I have lost too much in this world already without adding this city to the list. I sigh and look back at the people I know, who I consider my family, in name if not blood. They stare at me with equally anguished expressions playing across their faces.

"It was not meant to end like this" The oldest of my family whispers, though Erik may wear the body of a young boy of ten, he is the wisest of us all, and the one who started us down this long road of pain and loss.

"Yet it did" Sara replies sweeping her long black hair away from her face "But who's to say it would not have been worse if none of us had answered the call of destiny?" She stared at me, her gaze burning into mine eyes "Are you sorry you answered the call?"

I shake my head and find it is the truth. I was only fifteen when I answered the call that destiny voiced and began down this path and though I might have only rebelled against the idea that I was chosen to do something and wasn't even consulted about it first, now I find myself accepting it and all that came with it. "Are you?"

Sara smiles and shakes her head "It's foolishness to fight ones destiny"

"We must continue onwards" Erik comments "This cities fate will not be in vain" The rest of us, myself included followed him down the hill and back the road that lay alongside it.

The burning city Sarik was the city of my birth, where I lived and was raised until destiny drove me away from the only place that I ever belonged. My name is Jason. This is my story.

~*~

I grew up around the legends and myths of the 'Great One', nobody knows what the Great One's name originally was, it is lost to the sands of time. Despite not knowing his name, his accomplishments could be seen virtually everywhere in Sarik.

By the time I was fifteen I could recite the tales from memory and point out to visitors the buildings the Great One was reputed to have lived, and/or performed some of his numerous famous deeds. Not that made me anything out of the ordinary, I was after all an adolescent of fifteen, who respected the 'Great One' for his deeds but did not go so far as to worship him - as did some in Sarik, no everyone in the city could recite the tales from memory having been raised listening to them as I had.

I never expected to actually meet the 'Great One' or become one of his closest friends. I should backtrack for a minute - well several minutes actually since I'm going to try and start from the beginning. It was early morning and as usual I was last to the table for breakfast - which wasn't very much as most of the profits from my fathers used book shop when right back into it.

I lived with my parents and brothers above the bookshop my father operated and was usually conscripted into help run it. I would have much rather been out exploring the city with my friends but I could never resist the look my mother gave when informing me of my day's activity - at least I could read the mountain of books in between customers.

Again I was conscripted into running the shop, I agreed for my friends had informed me that they had all been conscripted to help their parents in their various businesses that day as well. Mother gave me a dazzling smile when I didn't argue for once, and then turned to scold my brothers for wasting food.

I quickly finished my breakfast and raced downstairs to begin opening the shop. Father joined not more than five minutes later and vanished into a back room to retrieve the till box. Only he and mother had the keys to that box and guarded them like they were priceless - I often wondered what would happen if they both lost the keys and theorised that there was a third that lay hidden somewhere in the house.

Most of the morning when by slowly - we had a few customers but most were leafers, those who flip through books, put them back on the shelves and leave without purchasing anything. I was mostly lost in the book I had saved from being thrown out the week before. Just before noon a odd looking man entered, not odd in the crazy peculiar looking way, but odd in the fact that the first thing he did after entering was walk straight up to me and begin sprouting some nonsense that he had been looking for me and that I had to join him.

"Father!" I yelled, eyeing the man with caution. The man was wearing a broad smile and wearing a look that said something he had been looking for had just been found. He wore clothes that identified him as a member of one of the northern tribes - though I could not see any tribal tattoo upon his face - a colourful shirt of azure beneath a tunic of crimson with a crest of a griffin resting in centre. Dark almost black trousers with knee high boots finished off the look.

Father came out of the back room, hands strained with ink from trying to inventory everything - a near impossible task given the amount of second hand books we usually have in stock. "Jason?" he asked a puzzled look upon his face.

"This man says I must join him" I stated still eying the man with caution while trying not to appear too impolite - after all, any who enters the shop is potential customer.

"What did you do this time?" Father asked me, arching an eyebrow as he did so.

"Me! I have never seen him before today" I protested "I didn't do anything to offend anyone you know did I?"

The man shook his head "No, well no one I would call friend anyway" reaching up he swept a lock of black hair behind one ear and gave me a dazzling smile, one that would have sent my mothers earlier one running in shame, if that were possible.

"Then why must he join you?" father asked before I could speak "Who did he offend that you consider foe?"

I sat silent on the small stool that rested behind a small table as I waited for the man to explain why he wanted me to join him.

"Jason have you felt a tugging, an urge to do something but did not know what?" he asked the broad smile sliding off his face as he stared straight into my eyes. His eyes held me as if in a trance, and as I stared I began to feel the faint tugging he spoke of and memory returned of the two previous times I had felt this.

I nodded and blinked the spell that had held my eyes to his broken. "Yes" I whispered "Why do I feel the tug?"

"My name is Erik, I too have felt the tugging, the urge that there is something out there that I was meant to do" he paused as if considering his words "The one that you, we both offend is a evil one, his name is Dav'Chovy" The noon bell rang, interrupting whatever Erik would have said next.

"Your mother will have my hide if we are not at the table on time, would you like to join us Erik?" father asked, his voice gruff with politeness and yet I could hear a trace of curiosity in it. He too wanted to know more about this Dav'Chovy.

The shop was empty of all but us three, which made closing up for the noon break an easier task than it usually was. Erik answered my father's question with a nod and soon after the shop was closed we headed up the stairs to join my mother and brothers at the table.

Lunch was filled with tension and at the same time curiosity. My brothers bombarded Erik with questions, most of which he either evaded or gave very vague answers to. I could tell mother wanted to pump Erik for information but was too polite to - she settled for glancing at him occasionally and listening to the answers he gave my brothers. I knew she would learn more about him from father that night, probably long after my brothers and I were asleep, or supposed to be for the night.

Afterwards father and I moved back downstairs, but father made no move to reopen the shop and shook his head at me when I made to open it for him. "Erik I would like to know more about this Dav'Chovy" he said a suddenly hostile look upon his face, but his voice was calm for all his expression was not.

Erik nodded "I suppose you would, however I cannot tell you much about him, I should not have even spoken his name"

"Why not?" I asked "Does this Dav'Chovy have eyes everywhere or something?"

"Yes he does" Erik replied "He will soon know that his name has been spoken and spoken by a chosen one - he will know that a chosen one has felt the call and will try and eliminate you before you have the chance to answer the call if possible"

"You have put my family in danger is that what you meant?" father asked, an angry tone entering his voice. "Jason, it is you he wants, right Erik?" Erik nodded "Well then, it seems you have no choice but to leave with Erik"

"He poses no threat to your family if you are not with them" Erik said his face confident, yet there was a trace of doubt I heard in his voice "Jason you must come with me, I will explain more about the call when we are safely out of his reach and also a great many other things as well"

That was one of the last times I ever saw my father, I never saw my mother or brothers again either. I left with Erik shortly after the threat to my life had been realised. The next time I saw Sarik it was bathed in flames. And there was nothing I could do.