Hello, this is my first story posting here and I hope y'all will like it. This has been a work in progress for almost 3 years and I've been wanting to share it somewhere to share my story and also get some feedback. Because this is a work in progress, updates may be irregular, but I've made myse;lf vow that I'd see this book to the end. Originally it was usually a chapter a month but I don't really have a set schedule, which I'm working on, so it might be a little more or a little less. Keep in mind that this isn't professional level writing so it won't have the most perfect grammer and story elements, but it will always be my 100%. Constructive criticism is definitly welcome, so please leave comments and I'll respond to them when I post the next chapter. Or you could always DM me. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I do, so please read and review. Thank you wonderful reader!

- Am


As darkness fell upon the town of Mechem, doors opened and people of all kind -every gender, race, and occupation- exited and began to make their way to the town square. Heads of families pulled their spouses and children close, so they wouldn't be seperated in the crowd. Mothers and Fathers tucked sleeping infants in their arms and tied scarves around their necks to battle the cold. As the wool of the scarves rubbed soothingly against their soft skin, the children's eyes started to drop from the weight of sleep. The older children walked in front of their parents, in a line from oldest to youngest. As more people arrived at the town square, vendors opened up shop on street corners selling lanterns and weapons to those who had not come prepared. The streets began to gradually fill with the vendors' cries of prices and description of items, as well of the excited chatter about the event in the town square.

Finally, the amateur procession stopped when the metal gates of the academy came into view. The crowd waited impatiently as a hooded figure emerged from the shadows and made its way to the gates. It glided across the stone path, slowly but surely, never once speeding up, which only served to further annoy the crowd. No matter how exciting the event in the town square might be, they did not like to stay out so long at such a late time, especially not during harsh winters. But, they waited nonetheless. Events like that one were rare and exciting, and none of them would pass up a chance to experience it. When the hooded figure at last reached the gates, a hush fell over the crowd as, one by one, they walked through the gates. The hooded figure led them to a path opposite the direction to the academy, one lined with lamp posts that glowed with Færie Dust. As they got closer to the town square, the Faerie Dust lamp posts dimmed behind them until the only lamp posts still on were the ones surrounding the town square. Unlike the other places in Mechem, the town square was simple. Plain steel building upon grey concrete adorned the town square, snaking around it to make a circle. Inside the circle were benches and the occasional tree. But, in the center of it all was a silver statue, the only thing that wasn't steel or concrete. The statue was of two men, one was sitting and holding a book in his hand, and the other stood by him. Both men wore grim faces and looked off in the distance with determined and wise eyes; however, like the wind, they were also cold and unforgiving.

As the crowd got closer to the statue, they could see a woman dressed in blue standing next to four soldiers, all clad in the traditional dark armor of the Kriegen. Each Kriegen held a string of steel chains that connected to cuffs of the same metal on a thin, hooded man, who donned the ceremonial brown cloak and silver belt of the Giver. The brown cloak was long enough to cover his hands and bare feet, but when he shifted the cuffs on each limb were visible. The harsh silver color of the cuffs matched the color of the various scars littering his arms and legs.

The woman in blue turned to the congregation with a bright smile and outstretched arms. Her booming voice shattered the undisturbed silence. "Citizens of Mechem, we are gathered here today to honor the traditions that have shaped our beloved City of Fae and have kept Her prosperous through the darkness that has threatened Her in the past. Our city gives us everything that we need and it has never been heard before that She abandoned a vessel in need. She gives freely and lovingly and asks only that we give freely and lovingly back. And with this congregation present, we will present Mechem with Her gift." She turned to the group of Kriegen beside her and nodded her head, giving them permission to step forward and present the Giver to the crowd.

The woman turned back to the crowd and continued. "Look upon this man who has accepted the great honor of being the Giver. He will share everything he has learned as a vessel to another and give them the opportunity to flourish within our city. We have the Giver, now where is the Receiver?" She paused and turned to the left part of the crowd and waited. The crowd simultaneously turned their heads to look in the same direction. After much prompting, a young woman parted from the crowd and walked to the woman in blue's side. Her hands were loosely bound in front of her and her feet were bare, like the Giver's; however, her own cloak was silver with golden accents, and the belt around her waist was lined with glittering Faerie Dust.

The woman in blue turned to the Receiver. "Receiver, will you accept his gifts and promise to uphold the laws and traditions that our beloved Mechem has given us?"

The Receiver nodded her head solemnly. "I do."

"Do you promise to protect Her and care for Her as She has protected and cared for you?" she asked.

"I do," the Receiver repeated.

"And do you promise to live out the destiny She has set before you, as all vessels must?"

"I do."

With that last agreement, the woman in blue turned to the crowd once again and threw her arms to the sky in a sign of praise. "Now" she boomed, "we will commence the Rebirth!"

The crowd erupted in cheers. Finally, the most exciting part of the ceremony was about to begin.

The woman turned to face the statue, and after bowing respectfully, she opened a small compartment at the two men's feet and pressed a red button. She stepped back and watched as the statue slowly began to sink into the ground. The crowd became quiet when the base of the statue opened to allow a large set of silver scales rise from ink black water and lock into position with a loud click! The Statue of Brotherhood had revealed its more sinister form: The Fountain of Justice.

Two Kriegen led the Receiver to one scale while the remaining Kriegen took the Giver to the other. The Kriegen simultaneously pulled the scales to the small ledge and secured the chain under them to a post on the ledge. The Receiver climbed on the scale, and with the help of the Kriegen, was secured to her Giver, who until now had been calm and collected, refused to get on his scale. He grabbed the chain wrapped around the post and shook his clothed head. The woman in blue frowned and shot the Kriegen a glare, an obvious signal that they were to get him on the scale with whatever means necessary. The Kriegen, fueled by fear, grabbed the Giver's arms and roughly pulled him on the scale and quickly secured the metal clamps on his wrists and ankles. When the woman nodded her head, the two Kriegen took off the Giver's hood and the accompanying gag around his mouth. The man's face was unnaturally pale and thin, and his eyes and cheeks were sunken. Though everything about him screamed weak and sluggish, his eyes were sharp and alert. The fear in them was expected, but the strength in his voice was not.

"Help me!" he pleaded. "Get me out of here!"

The crowd ignored his pleas. Instead, they raised their hands to the sky like the woman had done before and cried out their thanks. They thanked Mechem for all She has given them, they thanked the woman in blue for enforcing their laws and traditions, they thanked the Kriegen for protecting them, and, most of all, they thanked the Giver for following his fate.

The woman raised her hand and the crowd quieted down. "Join me as we count off the Giver to his final glorious feat as a vessel."

"Three!" the crowd cheered

"Stop! You don't have to do this!" the Giver exclaimed, his voice level and insisting rather than pleading.

"Two!"

He turned his right arm so that it was exposed and facing the citizens of Mechem. He strained to show them his fading white and pink Mark on his forearm. "I'm just like you. I've done everything you've ever asked of me. I walked the path set before me and killed my villain. I'm a hero. Look at my Mark. Look at it!" The longer he spoke, the higher his voice went. The more time he lost, the more his desperation was evident.

"One!"

"This is murder!" he screeched. "This isn't fair, I never did anything wrong! Help me!"

"Zero!"

The Giver new his attempts to talk some sense reason didn't work, so he did something he promised himself he would never do- he shouted a curse.

"Citizens of Mechem, so happy and great,

You follow so closely and follow your fate.

But Darkness will settle

You'll all fall to metal

In the very disorder you hate"

The Kriegen pushed the scales off the ledges, and the woman in blue pulled a lever beside the fountain. The Giver's scale went down with a bang and he plunged into the dark water.