The Island of Volantia
The Island of Volantia drifts among the waves in the far reaches of the sea; whether the island itself moves or simply the seawater set in motion by the wind, has been argued by old seafarers for centuries. The history of the island has been passed down by mouth, from one generation to the next…so who is to be sure how much of it still stands true today.
Volantia is a rather small island—in terms of travel it would take but a portion of a day if by sea, hours if by air, and perhaps a day to three if by land—lush green, rolling planes with trodden dirt paths and sparse forests make up much of the scenery. Some hills have grown so tall one might call them mountains, but most of the larger hills were said to have been carved away by sea water during tempests along the island's journeys drifting in the sea. Even now, large rivers run from the center of the island, as if there were some hidden spring in the island's core; splitting off into smaller streams that then empty into small lakes inland or the ocean along the coasts. One such stream—called the Lapis—runs right through the coastal town of Cornibus.
In Cornibus, townsfolk's livelihood is largely centered around marketable goods brought in from the mysterious yet plentiful wonders of the sea; all sorts of fish and sea creatures as well as jewelry and trinkets. Travelers's ships often take roost in the harbors of the town, bringing with them strange food and pieces of trade, as well as their tales from abroad. Most sailors have a calling to the sea, and uncontainable urge to seek out the wonders, marvels, and phenomena beyond familiar shores…to seek out adventure! How tall are the tales they tell? None can say for sure; but it matters not, since few, if close to none, of the islanders have traveled far beyond the shores of Volantia themselves.
Beyond the town harbor, families planted large orchards and have grown them since from seedlings into fruitful trees and greeneries. With cold weather rarely developing—as a result of the tropical climate—the only concern is harsh, tempest winds blowing over inland from the seawaters. And it is on one particular orchard that our story begins, seated on the shore of the Lapis stream where it eventually empties into the sea. The young couple that resided there included Kozue—a capable biologist and inventor—as well as his wife Nori—a knowledgeable apothecary and biologist. Together they made a life for themselves tending the orchards, and discovering new and practical uses for each of the plants. However, God blessed them even further with two children...twins in fact. The boy was born with striking slivery, blonde hair and gentle blue eyes, while the daughter was born with mysteriously dark, sable-brown hair and deep blue eyes. Some say you can see the mark of great destiny in a child's eyes when they are first born…but most people are too preoccupied with coddling the captivating newborns, to peer deeply into their swirling, colored irises.
From birth, the twins shared an unmistakable bond, as well as a keen curiosity and adeptness in learning about the world around them. The boy's name was Naoki—meaning straight or honest tree—and the girl's name was Sora—meaning sky—on Volantia children are often named after forces of nature or qualities that they might grow into. As it is wisely said, never name your child anything you would rather he or she not become comparable to in the future. Naoki and Sora were home-schooled, as most children were, learning how to read and write, as well as various means of survival and the livelihood of their parents.
Nori gave the children lessons about all the practical and medicinal uses of each of the plants that inhabit their gardens and orchard, and how to read and understand patterns in weather and nature—such as using the stars. Kozue was an inventor, whose family lineage consisted of a line of inventors; renowned for their remarkable accomplishments in flying machines and aerodynamics. Aircrafts, balloons that used hot air and carried baskets underneath them, gliders…the list is endless; yet their father, Kozue, was working on fashioning wings, wings that would mimic the movements and functions to the same effect as birds. Of course, to make a living he fashioned many things from wood and stone that might serve as useful tools to surrounding farmers and townsfolk. Most of Kozue's contraptions were fashioned using natural materials because metal was difficult to find, the island does not have a large reserve of metal hidden in the earth. So, to find metal, one must first know where to look and dig deep into the earth to obtain it. Kozue often went away on trips in order to find and collect metal from different parts of the island, however he kept this metal secret and only uses it for his personal inventions; any other metal samples were bought or traded for at the harbor, with tradesman travelers that bring the metal from islands elsewhere.
For a "renowned" inventor, Kozue and his family lived a rather quiet life in their small house along the Lapis…it was what one might call, the calm before a storm.