The Elementals

Prologue.

Once, long, long ago, the Great Gods of the world blessed their mortal children with the power to control one of the elements: earth, fyre, water, and aire, so that they could defend themselves against their immortal brothers and sisters. Their mortal children lived in peace with their Immortal brethren for a long time, but then Azramad, the oldest immortal child of Azraiel, the Great God of Warfare, decided that the gift bestowed upon his mortal brothers and sisters should have been given to the Immortals instead and raged war upon the realm and all of the mortals that walked upon it.

Azramad gained many, many followers and plummeted the world into chaos and destruction, bringing fear and pain into the hearts of the mortals who called the earth their home. Azramad and his followers slaughtered all of the mortals he crossed without mercy. Even the Faerie people hid from him, afraid that he would enslave them all and bind them into his service, using magic that had once been lost.

The mortals were near helpless in this war, for they had barely discovered the strength and power of their gifts. They did not know how to control it, how to use it. They did not know how to save themselves. Many of the Mortal children begged for help, pleading for the lives of their loved ones. The Mortals offered to sacrifice their gifts if they would be kept safe from the Immortals that would try to slaughter the lot of them.

The Great Gods answered their prayers, taking back their gifts and using them to help fool Azramad and trapping him deep within the mountains of Gakkal. The Great Gods thought their mortal children safe, but Aerie, Great Goddess of Peace, also known as the Oracle, the Seer, the Goddess of Aire, and the Wise Woman, knew better, for she had foreseen that one day, after a great while of peace and prosperity, Azramad would rise again and try once again to rid the world of Mortals, even if they did not have the Great Gods' gifts, for Azramad's hate of the Mortal race would grow.

Aerie warned the other Great Gods, and they agreed to restore their gift, but only to four people, so as to not anger too many of the remaining Immortals who had not joined Azramad or his followers. The Gods and Goddesses of Water, Earth, Aire, and Fyre chose four ruling Kings and Queens of different parts of the world and the gifts were passed from generation to generation, but only to the oldest heir. The Great Gods chose the wisest, strongest, richest and most courageous people of the realm. These Kings and Queens were Isa, Kruin, Valeri and Zion.

Isa was gifted with the element of Aire, Valeri with Fire, Kruin with Water and Zion with Earth.

They each ruled their lands wisely and peacefully, but soon, other Mortals became jealous of their power, and tried to take it for their own, thinking that if they became the ruler, then the power would pass on to them. Great wars started all around, and there was nothing that the Great Gods could do about it but to take away the gift, but they did not, for fear of releasing Azramad. So they did the only thing they could do.

Watch.

Isa.

The silence of the night was shattered as Isa, the ruling Queen of the Iron Hills, gave birth to a baby princess, her heir. One of her maids handed her baby to her.

"Thank you," the Queen said.

The maid nodded in acknowledgement.

The Queen kissed the baby in her arms, cherishing the moment for she knew that they would soon have to part.

"I shall name her Almathea," the Queen whispered.

She turned her head toward a lady dressed in all black hunting leathers who was standing in the shadows on the far side of the room that had just entered through her window.

"My Queen, it is time," the lady said.

Queen Isa sighed sadly, not wanting to be departed from her child so soon. She quickly placed a kiss upon her forehead and wrapped her in a woolen blanket.

"Don't be seen and take good care of her, Dahlia," the Queen said.

"I shall, my Queen," Dahlia replied.

Queen Isa looked at her child once more.

"Goodbye, my child," Queen Isa whispered.

And she watched them flee into the night.

Six days later, Queen Isa was overthrown and killed.

Kruin.

King Kruin ran into his bed chambers and woke his pregnant wife.

"What is it, love?" she asked him.

"My Queen, my love, you must escape, for the my Mortal brethren are upon the castle gates, preparing for a battle. They want to kill me and our heir because they think that they will take the power of the element of Water," Kruin said, "and I know that I will die tonight, I have foreseen it."

"What will happen to us?" the Queen asked, her voice filled with worry.

"My love, you must escape without me. I am not meant to live, but out heir must survive," the King said.

"But...how? How can we escape if they are at the castle gates?" the Queen asked, her panic rising.

"There is a secret passageway that leads deep into the mountains. From there, you must travel to the Valley of the Sun and settle into one of the small villages. You must survive, for if you die, then the end of the realm will be upon us," Kruin said to her.

"I cannot leave you," she whispered, hugging Kruin in her arms.

"For the good of the realm and for our child, you must," he said, taking her into his arms also.

The King grabbed a leather satchel that was already filled with food and peasant clothing and a few gold coins and handed it to her.

"Come," he said, leading her somewhere deep within the castle. They were in the dungeons. He walked up to a cell and looked at the floor for a moment before he pushed a stone, then another and another and another before the stone floor moved. There was a hole big enough for a pregnant women to crawl into.

They heard footsteps approach.

"You must leave now, my love," Kurin said.

The Queen nodded and kissed her love one last time before she escaped into the tunnel and fled into the mountains, and eventually, the Valley. There, she bought herself a small house and bore a son.

Valeri.

Her heart beat faster and faster as Valeri, Queen of the Queendom of Vael, raced through the Forest of the Night in search of safety.

"Hurry, men! We're gaining on her!" she heard a man shout, not far behind her.

Valeri quickened her pace, running as swiftly and quietly as she could. She needed to get away from these men. She needed to produce an heir so that someday, they could help to save the Mortal Realm from the Immortal son of the Great Gods of War. Summoning up the last of her energy, she called her elemental magic of fire to her and burned the trees behind her. She did not want to damage the earth, but it was only a small sacrifice for the greater good of the realm.

"Ugh! She has cast a wall of fire! Bring to me the buckets of water!" she heard the man cry. "Bring me the shovels and dig up the earth to put out these cursed flames!"

Queen Valeri knew that she could run no more. She prayed to the Great Gods and shut her eyes.

-

Hours later, she awoke to the sound of a sweet, hypnotic song.

"Where am I?" she asked, mainly to herself, for she had not seen the Faerie that sat beside her.

"You are in the home of the Faerie," she replied. "We saved you from those wicked, greedy men, for the Great Gods demanded it to be so."

Valeri nodded in thanks, for her brain was empty of words to thank her.

The Queen of Faerie kept Valeri safely hidden in the Forest of the Night until she produced a child that was half human and half Faerie, but the child still carried the magical element of fire. Valeri did not live to teach the child all that she knew, for she died giving birth to her. But the Faerie people kept her child, Anica, safe from harm and taught her of their ways. The Faerie also kept watch over the Royal Line of Fire until the day would come when the world would need to be saved.

Zion.

King Zion would not be killed too easily. He was prepared for a battle, and a battle he would get. His element was earth, and he knew that he had a chance of winning, but he knew that the greedy men would keep coming until he was dead. He could not risk having his son killed in the battle, for he had to continue the Royal Line of Earth.

Arthur, Zion's son, walked up to his father.

"I will not run away like a coward, Father," Arthur said.

"I will not have our line die. You know how important you are, to both me and the fate of our world," Zion replied to his son.

"Father, I shall not die in this battle. You have trained me too well for that. You know that we will win," Arthur argued.

"Arthur," King Zion sighed, "these men will not stop coming until I am dead and overthrown. They will not stop hunting you if they know that you are gone. You must flee here, for they won't have knowledge that you have gone until I am dead and our Kingdom is taken."

"Then I don't need to go right now!" Arthur shouted.

"You MUST go! Get far away from here, because I will not live forever, son. I will not be able to hold against the Mortal men of this realm," King Zion argued back.

"Father-" Arthur started.

"Go!" King Zion's voice boomed through the Great Hall of his castle.

Arthur bowed his head in defeat.

"Yes Father. Goodbye, Father," Arthur said.

It wasn't until Arthur was out of the castle that King Zion whispered, "Goodbye, my son."

-

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