Shouting and screams arose in the early morning. The youngest of humans peeked through their crusted windows and saw a mother being torn away from her daughter. The young girl, not even five, was to be sold to another Kinrik far to the east.
"Don't watch Celi." A young woman said to her observing child, "If they see you'll be taken too."
The child, Celi, clutched onto the woman's dress, hiding her face into her chest. The screams grew louder and then suddenly stopped. Chuckling of the Kinriks sounded the still morning as crows swarmed after the dead woman's body.
~Ten years later~
Celi sat in her grandmother's shack, waiting for a bowl of rabbit and potato soup to be filled for her. Her mother would be working late, her father most likely wouldn't come home until late noon tomorrow and Grandmother would stay in her shack like always.
"Here you go Celi." a bowl of soup was handed to the fair girl. Smiling at the elder woman Celi took the bowl.
"Thanks grandma." Celi took a spoonful and slurped it. Even with the lack of ingredients the soup tasted heavenly compared to what the Kinriks give them. This far west slaves ate cheese and stale bread, sometimes a few slaves would be given pieces of meat if they were good.
The elderly woman sat across from her beloved grandchild, a smile painted onto her old wrinkled face. Celi looked much like her mother did when she was young, long dark violet hair with eyes lighter and gentleness carved into her youthful face. The girl was special, not just because she was her parents' only offspring but because she was gifted with strength. Strength of will, strength of heart, and strength of courage, something no human has ever been born with in such a long time.
"How is it Celi?" her voice cracked with age.
"It's good Grandma." Celi said softly, "I wish Mama and Papa could be here."
"I know they wish they could too." Grandmother said, "They hardly ever get to see you."
Celi glanced at the ground with a sad smile, "Grandmother, do you think...you could..?"
"Tell you that story again?" the woman laughed, "Just like your grandfather use to."
Celi blushed, most teens her age had already given up on the Legends of Valrenous but, Celi didn't. She always believed that the stories would come true one day or another, she just knew they would.
"Alright. Once upon a time, during the Murderous War, our god Thenisyn watched in horror as we the humans dared to fight the Kinrik. He decided that Humans would lose the war and create a small world he named Valrenous, in Valrenous he created four warriors who, once awakened, would save humanity." Before Grandmother could finish her tale a group of Kinrik forced their way into the shack.
"You're under arrest Hag!" One said in his grueling fanged voice.
"Grandmother!" Celi tried to reach for her grandmother but another Kinrik threw Celi over his shoulder, "Eek!"
"You're coming with me brat!" he said with a sickening grin.
Celi struggled to free herself but to no avail, the Kinrik was far stronger than she. A crowd of slaves watched as Celi and her grandmother were taken to the Kinrik castle. The Kinrik castle was an enormous building created by the slaves after their defeat and buried beneath it were those who died building it. It was made of stone and metal and while it beautiful on the outside and most of the inside deep in the basement it was a rotting flesh pit. That was where the Kinriks ate disobedient slaves alive, the Kinriks saw no need to pity a slave by eating it dead. Celi could feel worry swell in her throat as the Kinrik that carried her kick open the large doors and toss her onto the floor.
"Rise you filthy Slaves!" the Kinrik king, Demonas, shouted in his groggy voice.
Celi and Grandmother rose to their feet and stood there staring at Demonas. He was a fat Kinrik, his throne couldn't even seat his whole body leaving much of his blubbery gut oozing out of it. He was such a sickening sight that Celi felt nauseated by it. His face flapped and flopped everywhere as he continually observed the two females, although he really didn't need to move his head around so much just to look at them.
"Are one of you Maliosa Ankida?" he asked.
Grandmother took one step forward and replied, "I am Maliosa Ankida sire."
"Are you the one passing around such an preposterous rumor?" he shouted, "Telling fake legends of a mythical land call Valrenous?"
"Yes sire." she said sternly.
"Guards grab her!" he roared, "She will be my dinner!"
"What?!" Celi tried to hug her grandmother but the Kinrik guard was much quicker than she, "Grandmother!"
"What do we do with this one sir?" he asked, "She's a cute one!"
"Indeed she is." Demonas said with a sinister smile, "Lock her in my room, I'll break her tonight."
Everyone looked at Grandmother Maliosa as she spoke, "I want to offer a challenge to you sire."
The Kinriks laughed at Maliosa, "A challenge? You old croon!"
"Do you truly believe that the legends of Valrenous are false?" she continued, "Then allow my grandchild to prove it."
"Grandmother...?" Celi stared at her beloved grandmother in fear as Demonas considered the idea.
"Continue hag, what's your game?"
"Allow my grandchild and nine other children to go and find the truth of Valrenous. If they should fail then I will go peacefully."
"And what happens if they succeed?"
Maliosa remained quiet, allowing Demonas to figure out the answer on his own. When he did he stared at the brave hag in disbelief.
"I also must add that of the other nine children there must be four girls and five boys." She said, "It must be evened between genders."
"Very well." he repeated. With a snap of his fingers (if you could call it that.) the guards rushed to find the other nine children to travel with Celi.
"Grandmother, what are you thinking?" Celi asked when she was allowed to reach her grandmother, "How can I find Valrenous when I know nothing of it other than a story."
Maliosa placed her hands onto Celi's shoulders and said softly, "Dear child, all your life we've told you the legends and for just as long you believed it. That's all you need to find Valrenous."
"Grandmother..." Celi felt her tear build in her purple eyes, "This is too big of a risk."
"Would you prefer being raped?" Maliosa asked, "Think of what awaits you here and what awaits you in Valrenous, which would be better?"
"Valrenous of course but,"
"Trust me child," Maliosa soothed, "I would never put you in a situation that I knew you couldn't handle."
Just then the doors opened and nine teenagers, all around Celi's age, entered the room. The guards were stunned and worried as was Celi, for these teen came willingly.
"S..sire," one guard stuttered, "These kids insisted on going with the girl."
"Alright then." Demonas said, almost in an upset manner, "You have your group."
"Thank you sire." Maliosa bowed and lead the group and Celi out to the stables, two of the guards followed to insure that Maliosa wasn't trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
"Alright children," she said, "there aren't enough horses for all of you to use so whoever can ride a horse please step forward."
Celi and two boys took a step forward.
"Good, now then." Maliosa grabbed the reins of three horses and lead them out to Celi and the boys, "Hop on, try not to go too fast as the other are going to have to walk."
"Yes grandmother." Celi said as she mounted the white horse handed to her.
"What about supplies?" One of the boys asked, "Are we going empty handed?"
"I'm afraid so." Maliosa smiled, "Don't worry, Celi knows how to make bows and arrows so please don't worry." as she said this Maliosa secretly handed Celi a piece of paper, "Now go on, be on your way now."
"Okay, bye Grandmother." Celi waved as she and her group started for the near by hills of Celka, as they left Maliosa heard a chuckle from one of the guards that followed her.
"Do you really expect Celi to find Valrenous?" the Kinrik asked, "Or is this so she and those kids can escape?"
Maliosa turned with a sly grin on her wrinkled face, "I'm surprised, Jacoda, you've been in love with Celi since you met her four years ago and now you're willing to let Demonas rape her?"
Jacoda looked away, embarrassed.
His fellow Kinrik laughed at him, "I gotta agreed with her, even I would have opposed to Demonas raping a girl I loved, be it a female Kinrik or a slave."
"Aw shut up, Buroges!" Jacoda growled, "I'm not strong enough to go against three hundred Kinrik guards or Demonas!"
"That is why Celi must fulfill her destiny." Maliosa said as she watched her grandchild ride away, "She is the key to finding Valrenous and when she finds it she will awaken Kelith."
"Huh?" Buroges stared at the elder, confused, "But isn't there four warriors she has to awaken?"
"There's a piece of the legend only Celi and I know," she stated, "Valrenous was divided into four different mountains, in each mountain lives one of the warriors."
"Kelith is said to be the strongest of them, but normally the strongest is to be awaken last." Jacoda noted, "Is there something else we're not being told?"
"There's a lot you're not being told," Maliosa said, turning back toward the castle, "But you will not hear those hidden words until the time comes."
~Celi and her group~
Celi remained silent as the group members introduced themselves. The first to be introduced was a brunette named Avia, a young slave girl traded to Demonas a few months ago from the upper north. After her was raven haired boy named Grenga, a slave boy who worked as a hunter for Demonas. Then there was Nikka and her older sliver haired sister Mokia, Tebon and his best friend Dranres, and finally there was Gaina, Zegai, and Yujika.
"So Celi," Avia asked, "What did she give you?"
"Huh?" Celi turned her head toward the dark brunette, "Oh, the paper? Just directions."
"Directions? To what?" Zegai asked while he scratched his horse's head, "Valrenous?"
"Nope, to a secret hoard that has weapons and supplies we'll need for the trip."
"But didn't your grandmother say..."
"We all know that even if Valrenous didn't exist, Demonas would not want us going with supplies so she lied and gave me the directions to the hoard." Celi patted her horse and continued, "We should be getting there soon unless you guys want me and someone else to go ahead and get the supplies."
"I think we should stay together," Avia said softly, " just in case someone's watching."
Grenga nodded, "She's right, where is the hoard anyways?"
"In the Xaina Forest." Celi said, " We'll be going a long way, Kelith is located in Mount. Devousa."
"Huh? I thought we were going to Valrenous?" Gaina asked, "Why are we going to Mount. Devousa?"
"The four warriors were divided, they live on four different mountains and with them is a piece of Valrenous." Celi turned toward her fellow travelers, "Don't worry, as long as we can get to Kelith then finding the other warriors will be easy."
I will be adding a glossary at the end of almost every chapter if I feel it's needed.
Kinrik: Large demons who use to only live in swamps until the Murderous War. They range from buff and handsome to fat and ugly.
Murderous War: This was the war that happened between the humans and the Kinrik. During this war millions of humans were murdered hence the name Murderous. The war lasted five years.
Valrenous: A magical world created by Thenisyn, in this world exists a power that can be used to defeat the Kinrik. Since Valrenous was divided among the four warriors the power can reach it's highest peek when all four warriors are together.
Skill: Sword play and Archery
Skill: Sword play
Skill: Hand to hand combat
Skill: Water magic
Skill: General magic
Skill: Mechanical weaponry