Chapter I: The Beginning

In the world of Kentonaka, the wondrous land of the Jikeds, war was spreading. There were some Jikeds who chose the side of the darkness, and those who chose to fight it.

Jikeds of Kentonaka were descendants of elves and humans, with a reddish tan skin. A Jiked was a fairly tall and flexible creature, generally a little shorter than six feet, that lived in villages. Male Jikeds generally had black hair and were considered adults at the age of twenty five. Female Jikeds, however, had hair the color of silver, and were considered adults at the age of thirty for they matured later in life than the males.

Jikeds were generally joyful creatures that loved merriment and happiness. But, ever since the war began, and Dark Jikeds invaded their beloved land, they had lost their cheerfulness and had become concerned with training and preparing to defeat the dark ones.

Hantak was a coming-of-age Jiked, he was twenty four, with light brown hair, which was unusual, and he was still childishly stubborn and rebellious. He was quite tall for his age and kept his fathers steel axe on his back. He was the apprentice of an older Jiked named Kaslan, who was also his adopted father.

Kaslan was famous among the Jikeds, there was not a soul anywhere that didn't know who he was, he was the chosen one of the light side, he was supposed to lead the light side to victory. He was tall, well built, very strong, black haired, and carried a steel sword sheathed on his side. He rarely ever talked about his past. Kaslan adopted Hantak when he was just a baby right after Hantak's parents were murdered.

Ever since he was young, Hantak's lands had been ravaged and battle scarred by the war. His mother and father were killed in a raid when he was young. Then he was found wandering in the woods by Kaslan who took him to the village of Girkag, where Kaslan adopted Hantak, and they lived and trained together.

As they often did, Hantak and Kaslan left on a short training journey together into the nearby forest so Kaslan could teach Hantak more of the ways of life and the ways of the warrior.

They had a specific training spot in a field near a freshwater stream that twisted and turned through the mountains into the ocean. The trees in the forest were dense, but their training spot was bare. The deep sword marks in the trees surrounding their training spot were evident marks of training battles.

You have greatly improved, Hantak." Kaslan acknowledged as his sword and Hantak's axe collided in a blurry of sparks.

"I know." replied Hantak, he spun around and swung his axe.

Kaslan lowered his sword to the ground, "That is enough training, we should return to the village now."

"Why? Are you afraid of me beating you?" stubbornly protested Hantak as he spun his axe around.

"No, young warrior, we must return to the village to strengthen our defenses to prevent an enemy raid."

"Alright then, master." said Hantak sarcastically.

Kaslan spoke in a stern, yet caring voice, "You must learn more respect for your elders, young warrior."

"Fine, I guess you're right, we should get back to the village." They both sheathed their weapons and started walking on the dirt path that lead to their village.

They walked together in a line, with Kaslan in the front as they approached the last steep hill before their village, Kaslan came over the hill and stopped in total shock as he looked at the last burning remains of their village. A large dark Jiked raid had destroyed the village while they were out training.

The clouds of black smoke were billowing high and mighty above the plains that the village once stood on. The path that the army marched on was evidently scorched and covered with ashes. Their once noble plains were now burned and destroyed. The bloody bodies of the Jikeds of both sides, that had fallen during the battle, littered the ground.

Kaslan turned to Hantak and said, "Stop where you are, do not go past me, and do not look upon what has become of our once great village."

"Why? What happened?!"

"The darkness has spread upon the village," Kaslan looked down in sorrow, "And has smited all of its inhabitants."

Hantak slashed his axe deep into a tree in anger, "If we hadn't gone training we might have been able to save them! Who did this?!"

"This is the doing of the Dark Lord Bixen. If you would like to have your revenge, then we must become stronger and slay the dark lord."

"He is going to pay for all of the villages he has destroyed, and all of the people he has killed!" Hantak yelled out in anger as he hit the tree a second time, this time the tree collapsed before him. He looked down at the ground with an expression of sorrow.

Kaslan looked understandingly at Hantak, "We mustn't act so hastily, young warrior. Bixen far overpowers you."

Hantak looked up, still in a state of rage, but slightly puzzled, "What does my strength have to do with anything?"

Kaslan focused on him, looking stern, "Everything has to do with your strength, now we must go."

"Go?" asked Hantak, "Our village was destroyed, go where?"

"To the north, to Nattok, the capitol of the Kentonaka, and the capitol of the light side, so you can complete your training."

"I have enough training, let us go to the dark lord!" argued Hantak.

"No, we must go to Nattok, your training is not yet complete," Kaslan explained, "You are not ready to face the dark lord Bixen."

"If we have to…," Hantak replied stubbornly. They then began their journey to Nattok.

There were two way that a person could get to Nattok, the short and dangerous one through the Goana caves and the long and safer one through the Alkanat Mountains.

The Goana caves were teaming with goblins and other creatures and the path took only about week. The Alkanat Mountains didn't have many dangers, however the trail was very long and the winding path takes six months to complete. Fortunately and unfortunately, they were about to come across a very severe detour.