Greetings to you, traveler. I'm happy to see you deciding to give this story a try. Welcome to the first chapter of "Forgotten Sands" remake. Yes, a remake – if you're an old fan, than you may actually be aware that some years back I have published a story of the same title here. After a long break I've came to a decision that I wish to give some of my old stories a try, "Forgotten Sands" being one of the titles I'm reviving. This being a remake, you should not expect the story to be the same as it was, especially since FS is probably the one that will see most changes among the tales that are being brought back. Changes include difference in character designs, some details to the plot, narration style and more, one of which is that I intend to skip the overly long intros at the beginning of the chapters. From this point on, if you wish to learn something extra about characters, story or are just curious about changes implemented, I invite you to the end of the chapter, there a more extensive author's note will be present. As a rule, the intros won't be long, unless I feel they should be.

With this written, let us proceed:

Chapter #1: Two Thieves

Volume Cover: Halan stands in the middle, holding his weapon, which is in the spear form, behind his back

Title Page: a huge vault with mountains of coins spreads to every corner of the chamber, while in the middle a scroll rolls down the slope, unwrapping itself

What makes a man? Have any of you ever stopped to really think about it? Is it about the race? Looks? Or maybe its ones' actions that classify a person as human or not? In the end, is that anything more than a matter of perspective?

Since the beginning, humans have always been considered Gods' favorites... why? For what reason? Were they truly worth it? Were they, in any aspect, better than others? Or maybe, in fact, they weren't and their struggle to change that was the very thing that made them stand out? Gifted with free, unyielding will, they made choices that led to glory... as well as disgrace. That is how it's been for centuries and how it shall be for centuries to come.

As a scribe devoted to chronicling history, I have read many books and heard many stories, but there's one that will forever hold a special place in my memory. Although I have not witness any of the events described in it, I remember it well, every detail stuck in my head almost as if I experienced it first-hand.

In my long, endless life, whenever questions about humanity arise in my head, I recall this story, hoping to find answers. I know they are there, I can feel it... but not everything is obvious from the start; sometimes you need a more experienced eye to notice things hidden underneath. First impressions, narrow mind, ignorance... so many obstacles to conquer on the way to enlightenment.

Please, sit down and listen, for the story that I'm about to tell you is not a short one. It is also not a story of thieves, warriors or demons. It is a story of dreams, choices, humanity and life itself. Listen, and once the story is complete, perhaps you'll leave a bit wiser than you are now...

It happened in the desert world of Narthia, ruled by magic and nature. Covered in golden sands that spread over thousands of miles, Narthia's landscape shown little diversity for those brave enough to journey through it; during the day scorching sun siphoned the strength of even the most durable men, while at night the temperature dropped drastically, chilling to the bone.

Huge, populous cities were often the only signs of civilization a traveler would see for days as outside of their walls awaited endless acres of sand and humps, which after awhile all start to blend. Occasional rocks, which granted shade, or scarce oasis were the only relief for caravans that moved through these merciless lands. While mountain ranges and ruins of cultures long lost have also been scattered throughout this hellish wasteland, they tended to be even more dangerous than the desert itself.

Despite these, harsh conditions, balance ruled the world: in Narthia good couldn't overcome evil and evil could not overcome good. This, delicate balance remained unharmed due to the blessings of the Seven Gods who watched over it: Ignus, God of fire and power... Meeve, Goddess of water and life... Gaia, Goddess of earth and nature... Haziel, God of air and harmony… Arji, Goddess of lighting and destruction... Crinos, God of steel and death... and Belios, God of wood and providence. By keeping the gates of the Lower Sphere sealed, these Seven Gods allowed mortals to exist without experiencing interference from gods and demons alike. However, all of that was destined to change.

From the deepest shadows of the world, a demon lord named Balthazar gained power greater than anyone could imagine. Forging weapons from the Black Fire of Kedros, he amassed an army of hell spawn and broke the seal biding the gates of Lower Spheres, allowing his legions to wash over Narthia.

In face of complete annihilation, the Seven Kingdoms united, yet even this wasn't enough to stop the demonic onslaught. As all hope seemed lost, the Gods decided to break their own rule and interfered; using all the power they had, they've managed to push Balthazar back into the abyss as his army crumbled, scattered to the winds. The battle was won.

Sadly, every victory comes with a price; defeating Balthazar robber the Gods of their power and knowing that he may yet returned, they used what little was left to seal the gates to the Lower Spheres again, putting their very souls into seven scrolls meant to work as locks upon them. With this, they hoped to keep the demons in check for all eternity.

But Balthazar was not an ordinary demon; born from humanity's most selfish desires, he couldn't be killed so long as darkness lingers in the hearts of men and men... are weak. Giving in to their lowest instincts, they empower the instrument of their destruction. For the time of Balthazar's rebirth draws ever near and this time the Gods will not interfere.

However this is not the end of our story... our story is merely beginning...

Ulcarol's architecture nor layout never were anything out of the ordinary; the buildings were made of white brick, which has yellowed over time, giving most a sandy look, yet the plethora of shapes that they took managed to provide enough diversity to make one look in owe – from simple squares, through pyramids, spiral towers and ending on palace-like mansions with roofs made into spade-like spikes painted gold – drawing the visitors' attention. The windows were commonly either round or square with no glass to better keep the fresh air floating through during the day, while rolls of cloth cloud be spotted above their frames, which were likely used for protection during sandstorms... and keeping warm air inside in cold nights.

The sun has already risen over the horizon, turning the market district into the busiest place in town; stalls and wagons occupied both sides of the sandy street, each filled with merchandise from all corners of the world: a collection of large, earthen baskets housed colorful grains of spices, hitting nostrils with a wide range of aroma, while jewelry of all shapes and sizes glittered in the burning sun. Foods and clothes were placed on display, while occasional tune of street performers could be heard over the racket of the various vendors trying to outshout one another.

Zora looked around curiously, her golden eyes shifting from one stand to the other, forcing through a lively crowd that grew in size with each, passing moment. She scanned the surroundings with mild interests as she squeezed through the rivers of people, her chin-length blue hair swaying gently as she did. Once she located her target, the girl finally stopped at one of the merchants that sell jewelry, looking curiously at the stock.

Leaning closer, the teen purposely took a pose which accented her rather large chest. Her attire consisted mostly of a white top that left most of her arms and navel uncovered, also sporting a plunging neckline with thin, black strings being the only things keeping the two halves of the upper dress together. Blue outlines in the design also followed to her miniskirt that had vertical cuts on the sides, allowing unrestricted movement, while still exposing most of her legs, thus showing clearly her brown tracking boots with blue laces. A pair of dark blue, fingerless gloves and a bandana in the same color tied around her upper left arm completed the look.

"Well, aren't you a sight" she heard a voice and turning to the left, Zora's eyes settled on a man only a few years older than her with medium-length black hair, hazel eyes and a little beak-like nose. Wearing a black shirt and pants in the same color, both with golden markings along with rather obscenely amount of accessories, consisting of rings, earrings and bracelets, the speaker was exactly the one she noticed. "Such beauty doesn't come around often around here. And you hair is really striking" he added, though the girl noted he was clearly not looking at her hair.

"Not the best opening line there" she replied with a playful smile, straightening herself. "You might wanna work on that."

"When you have as much gold as I do, details such as this are of little consequence" the man responded, smirking.

"Of course, being handsome doesn't hurt either" the female stated as she walked closer to him in order to stroke his chin from below, all the while sending him a kittenish glance. "But, you know, half the fun is in the journey" she proclaimed, pushing his head slightly upwards as she retreated her hand suddenly. She walked pass him and spun around, placing her palm on his chest now: "The rush of cat and mouse game" she whispered seductively, moving her hand as her lips came closer to his ear, the wind of her voice warming the skin. "The anticipation" she continued, now locating her head on his other side while her arm massaged his back. "The sensation of deliberate, soft touch... you should not underestimate the little things" she finished as the guy gulped loudly.

The blue-haired teen took a few steps back, noting that the man shivered lightly as he turned around, his breath quickened: "I guess I'll have to work on that" he announced, visibly excited. "But I'm not exactly well-versed in that department" he admitted, quickly adding in an inviting tone: "I could use a good tutor. Any suggestions?"

"Perhaps" Zora replied with a smile, moving her finger through her lower lip. "But I think a more... private location would make for a better, learning environment... plus it'll be hard to focus with an empty stomach" she went on teasingly, sending him another, suggestive look.

"Why don't we combine the two than?" the man proposed, rising his eyebrow in an attempt to woo her. "The Morning Sun tavern is just around the corner; we can eat there and, after the meal, secure one of the rooms in the establishment. That should make for a decent... teaching quarters."

"Seems that you'll be a quick study" she complied, widening her soft smile. "However one shouldn't take candy... or in this case breakfast... from strangers..."

"Easily remedied: just call me Jarret..."

-Some time later-

Well, that was cringe-worthy Zora thought to herself, shivering slightly at the recollection. Calming down she glanced around the alley, only to see empty crates and trash laying around: I can't believe he actually fell for the old 'have to go to the bathroom' excuse; just in time too, cause the idea of going with him to that room she shivered again. Taking a deep breath, she scanned the area again and believing she was alone, the blue-head reached to her pocket, pulling out a small sack of coins. Once she untied the knock, she quickly counted the gold, growing a little grim at the realization: Damn, I'm still few pieces short... but I'm getting closer. Just one more and it's done... just a little longer Dhalia she closed the sack again and spun on her foot, only to bump right into something: "Wha...?"

"This city doesn't tolerate thieves" a deep, male voice reached her ears, encouraging her to glance up. As she did, she caught a sight of a man wrapped in white robes with Ulcarol's crest decorating the chest. His head was mostly hidden underneath more cloth with just a small crack left for his cold, hazel eyes. But Zora's attention quickly shifted to a scimitar that the masked man pointed right at her. "For this transgression, you'll spend several years in the dungeon."

He's the city guard the young thief realized, feeling her heart speeding up. This is not good; I was so caught-up in success that I completely ignored caution. Stupid she scold herself mentally, slowly rising back to her feet, her eyes still set on the blade merely inches away from her neck.

"Of course, we could always think of some, other way for you to... pay your debt to the society" the guard proposed suddenly, taking off his mask to reveal short, slightly messy, black hair and a beard that surrounded his mouth. He smirked disturbingly as his body bended slightly, moving closer to the blue-head's face.

Zora took a single step back, while sweat began running down her body; she knew perfectly well where this was going and she didn't like it. But than, getting imprisoned at this time wasn't an option either. She felt her throat dry out as she closed her left eye, allowing the guard's hand to rub her cheek gently. The blue-head managed to stop herself from flinching, though just barely.

"Now that's a good girl" the man stated, widening his smirk as he grabbed her face, pulling her closer. The female thief felt her body freeze, unable to make a single gesture of resistance; words stuck in her throat, even though she wanted to scream. When her lips were mere inches away from the guard's, she finally snapped, pushing the man away with all her might, backing into a wall herself, desperately gasping for air.

"So this is your answer?" the guard rather stated than asked, slightly angry. "Not particularly smart" he added, reading his scimitar. "And looking at how frisky you were with that idiot, I would imagine you were more open to less... conventional solutions. Oh well... before prison, why don't I just chop off that silky hand of yours to make sure it never steals again?"

"While a thief that allows himself to get caught does deserve punishment" a new voice suddenly reached the ears of the duo, making them turn to the entrance of the alley. "I don't find what you just attempted very virtuous" the accusation made the guard narrow his eyes, settling them on the mysterious figure.

The new arrival wore a brown cloak with a hood which cast a shadow over the upper part of his face, leaving only a cross-like scar on his left cheek visible from its features. The cape engulfed his body from the neck down, but Zora still caught a glimpse of a white shirt and tight, grayish-black pants which left trouser leg sported a strap with a small box on it. An amulet with what appeared to be a phoenix hung around his neck, completing the look.

What drew the most attention in the teen though was probably his weapon, which was now resting on his right shoulder as the boy held its lower end. The armament looked mostly like a spear made completely of silver, which blade had a shape of quarter of an oval. The long, somewhat thick stick of the weapon had a strange handle growing in the middle, which looked like something used to carry the spear like a bag or basket.

"And who, in blazes, are you?" the guard asked with a slightly bored expression, visibly losing interest in the figure. "This is official, city business which doesn't concern you. Leave now or I'll hold you for obstruction of justice."

"Justice, huh?" the arrival countered with a snort, flipping his weapon. "A rather big word for someone as low as you..."

"Do you wish to test me, boy?" the man questioned, moving into a fencing stance.

"Thought I was done with tests when I left school" the hooded figure shoot back, making the guard rise his eyebrow, while Zora sweat dropped at the poor joke. "Okay, I'm kidding – never went to school to begin with" the mysterious boy joked further, getting an even worse response from the other two people in the alley.

Possibly the worst joke ever the blue-haired girl noted.

An instant later the man charged at him, thrusting his scimitar at the arrival's face. The mysterious figure merely bended back slightly, swinging its own weapon from the side. As the blades clashed, the sword got pushed to the guard's right, leaving an opening which Zora's 'savior' relentlessly exploited; in a flash he spun the spear in his grip, locating its shoe out front just before ramming it straight into the lawman's face instead.

The guard slowed down due to the pain, but recovered much quicker than the hooded one anticipated and immediately swung his scimitar back, leading it horizontally in an attempt to split his opponent's chest open. With not enough time to block, the mysterious figure retreated its spear, pushing the blade into the ground behind himself.

Instantly, using the weapon as leverage, Zora's 'savior' flipped back, dodging the attack, yet had no time to celebrate, for just as his feet touched the sand, his adversary was already upon him, cutting from the hooded person's upper right. His legs still bended from the landing, the mysterious figure used the proximity of his center to the ground and employing his free hand as a third leg, he strafed left, making his enemy swing hit nothing but air.

Coming to a sliding stop, his hood fell back, revealing his face which, much to Zora's shock, didn't put the figure much older than she was, placing him at eighteen or nineteen years of age. Short, a little messy, brown hair fell freely around his head, while his green eyes had a bonus feature of three, parallel cuts going diagonally over the left one. A trio of flat, golden earrings piercing his right ear finished the picture.

A weak 'tch' escaped the boy's mouth, who was evidently not happy about his face getting revealed. The next moment Zora noticed a strange aura emanating from the teen's body just before getting swallowed by the spear as the weapon's shaft suddenly began expanding, the handle twisting itself into a chain. The blade also mutated, turning thinner while it bended, taking on the shape of a scythe as the boy simply called out: "Second Stance: Sting!"

In a flash the mysterious warrior threw the blade back, making the chain wrap around one of the barrels scattered in the alley. With a quick jerk, the boy tossed the 'captured' container right at the guard, who was too surprised by what he saw to react in time.

As the barrel hit him in the face, it smashed into pieces, knocking the man to the ground. Seeing this as an opening, the mysterious teen turned towards Zora, extending his hand: "Lets go" he rather ordered than asked, his expression serious.

She wasn't sure why she listened, but the fact was the next moment they were already running through the streets of Ulcarol, the city guard left unconscious on the sandy ground of the alley. It took them a few minutes to reach the distance they believed to be sufficient to feel safe and only than did the two stopped, both panting from exhaustion, though the blue-head slightly more than the boy.

Finally catching her breath, she spoke up, turning towards her savior: "Thanks for helping me back there, I owe you. I'm called Zora; what's your name?" she asked, this time holding out her own hand as a sign of greeting.

"Halan" the other teen replied, taking the offering. "But there's no need to thank me; us thieves need to stick together. When I saw your little... display in the marketplace" he began, yet paused for a moment as his cheeks turned a bright, red color. Quickly he shook his head, chasing the image away, only now able to continue: "I figured something was off... plus, that city guard took notice too. You really should pay more attention to your surroundings if you wish to be a good thief."

"Actually I don't want to be a thief at all" the blue-head announced, lowering her head. "But I don't have much choice in the matter" she added with a sigh, making the boy rise his eyebrow curiously. "That's not your problem though, I already owe you for saving me from that creep."

"Think nothing of it" Halan responded with a warm smile. "It was my privilege" he proclaimed as he turned around, spinning a small sack of gold in his hand, which instantly made Zora's face drop at the sight:

"Hey, that's mine!" she yelled after searching herself, only to realize her prize was gone.

"Um, no" the boy replied, stopping as he looked over his shoulder. "That was yours... now it's mine. You can treat that as payment for my assistance. You did say you owed me."

"What the heck?! How is this fair?! What happened to 'us thieves need to stick together'?!"

"Well you also said you're not a thief. But I am; of course I steal stuff" Halan shot back annoyed, almost like he was explaining something obvious. "That's what thieves do! And don't try playing the moral high ground here, because you stole this sack first!"

"Oh, don't be like that" Zora's voice changed immediately, taking the seductive tone again as she held her hand back, leaning forward to draw attention to the chest with a cocky smile. "A strong, agile, handsome man like you surely can do well enough on his own without stealing from a newbie" she complimented the boy as she slowly walked closer.

Beating the distance, she placed her palm on his chest and finger walked up, rubbing her shoulder against him, even as the male thief retreated his hand with the sack back: "I would venture we can come to some sort of agreement" she stated softly with a devilish grin as she heard his heart skip a beat.

"I've already seen your work" Halan reminded her, though his face blushed once again. "So I'm not gonna fall for your tricks" he announced, to which the girl move away slightly. "But you can keep trying" he added, making the blue-head's eye twitch at the insinuation.

"Come on; I really need that money" Zora asked, giving an expression of a scold puppy.

"Everyone need money" the other thief responded. "And I find it distasteful to use one's looks to charm others."

"Yeah, probably because with your face that tactic would never work" the girl hissed, crossing her arms as she knew the battle was lost; regardless to the situation, the boy carried a weapon, artifact of Balthazar no doubt, while she was unarmed. Those were lousy odds. Her tone, however, quickly changed as she gave the other teen one, final glance: "Please, don't do this..."

At this Halan froze for the briefest of moments, yet recovered immediately, his resolve unshaken: "A little bonus lesson from our meeting: trust no-one" he advised seriously, instantly using his chain as a grappling hook to disappear on the nearby rooftop.

Zora stared at the spot the other thief flew off to before letting out a sigh as she lowered her head. She could feel tears gathering in her golden eyes as realization slowly dawned on her; this failure was unbearable, but before she had a chance to wallow in self-pity though a rough voice snapped her back to reality: "For someone who stands out this much, you are rather hard to find..."

She felt shivers run down her spine as she glanced over her shoulder to see a man with medium-length, spiky, black hair and crimson red eyes. His mouth was hidden behind a brown shawl with a black symbol of an eye painted on it, while his black bodysuit was partially covered by brown rags hanging from his shoulders. Most disturbing of all were his palms which sported stiff, square-like gloves with blades in stead of fingers.

"M-Miro" she greeted the man with a trembling voice, shaking slightly. "Why are you here?"

"You are late to report back" the man, Miro, explained with a playful note in his voice. "Master Shira does not find that amusing and asked that you be brought back... immediately" he added as he moved the tips of his finger blades through Zora's cheek, somehow avoiding doing any damage. "You wouldn't wish to keep him waiting, would you? After all, he's already so generous..."

"Of course not" the blue-head assured him, tightening her fists as she mustered her courage to get the shivering under control. "Lead the way" and with that the duo marched deeper into the city, unaware that Halan observed the whole scene from the nearby roof, narrowing his eyes.

-Later that day-

Miro led her to a rather spacious building, though surprisingly plain in its design with nothing on the outside that would distinguish it from countless other houses around. Once inside, they entered a vast hall with columns that formed something like a tunnel which directed them to the other side of the chamber where a large table stood before a throne-like chair, while several, simpler seats stood around the furniture.

As they walked, Zora felt uneasy getting glances from the small group of men that occupied the room, but it was only when they reached the table that her skin started to crawl. Next to the throne stood a massive man with big belly, dressed in a green, unbuttoned waistcoat and baggy, white pants tied with a green shawl. He had long, black hair, made into a braid and pointy goatee, while his hazel eyes stared at her with contempt. A large, spiked mace rested on his back, at least twice the size of a regular weapon of similar design. But he wasn't the reason for her uncontrollable discomfort.

The reason was the man sitting on the throne: seemingly bald at first glance, upon closer inspection one could see long stream of black hair, tied in a ponytail, going down his back. Long, thin mustache framed his mouth, while his green eyes felt like poison the moment you gazed into them. He wasn't wearing a shirt, thus revealing a muscular torso, while his baggy, red pants were held by a brown belt that housed two scimitars, one on each hip.

"Ah, Zora, my dear; so glad to see you come back" the man spoke with an evil smirk appearing on his face. "I was starting to get worried when you didn't came back the other night... I almost began to think you actually decided to ran off and leave Dhalia behind..."

"You know I would never do that!" the girl yelled from the bottom of her lungs as anger slowly build up in her. "I told you I would buy her out and I intent to keep that promise" she proclaimed, yet quickly lost her confidence as she utter the next words, glancing to the side: "I... just need a little more time."

"Another extension, Zora?" the swordsman asked playfully, still smirking. "You really are pushing the limits of my good will" he announced, getting up from his throne. Slowly he walked around the table towards the female, the smile on his face undisturbed. "When me and my men captured you and your sister in the desert, I really had no obligation to grant you any mercy... and yet, not only have I agreed to let you roam free, but I've also promised to return Dhalia to you if only you can match the price I was offered for her" he reminded her, stopping in front of the blue-head. Grabbing her chin, he pulled her closer, finally dropping the grin, which wasn't a good sign: "The buyer shall arrive here in four days and you're still rather short on the gold..."

"I had a good catch today" she replied, pushing his hand away. "But... I got robbed."

"You got robbed?" the man chuckled at the statement, shaking his head in negation. "That does not inspire confidence – a thief that loses her spoils to another; rather shameful, whichever way you slice it."

"I still have four days, don't I?" Zora responded, narrowing her eyes. Anger and desperation can be one hell of a boost. "You'll get your money! Just make sure to keep your end of the bargain!"

"I grow wary of your tone and failures, girl!" the swordsman announced with irritation, his face turning grim. "I'm taking a risk letting you do this, so you'd be wise to watch your mouth, especially since a thief's word isn't worth much. The deal is still in effect, but the amount you still owe has just doubled! If you're not gonna play nice, than it's only fair that I, at least, get more gold for going out of my way on your account!"

Zora clenched her teeth at this; she wanted to protest, but that wouldn't do her any good. Just like before, she could only adapt to the situation. With her eye twitching, she spun around and headed outside. Time wasn't on her side.

"Is that really wise, master Shira?" the massive man asked once the girl left the chamber and the swordsman sat back on his seat. "Letting her move around freely puts us all at risk; what if she decides to go to the authorities after all? Or if she collects the amount you agreed upon? You're not actually planning or releasing her sister, are you?"

"Of course not!" the swordsman, Shira, shoot back, growling slightly. "I'm not stupid to double-cross the Black Scorpion! But Zora is a thief – she can handle locks and move around quietly is she really tries... as such, it would be a constant pain to have keep an eye on her while she's imprisoned, which in turn would put a strain on our smuggling operation. It is much more... preferable to keep her occupied with a ridiculous notion she can save her sister without any, real risk. That's the only reason I made that deal with her. She can't go to the city guard and she knows it... plus, even if she decides to run away, it is of little concern; Dhalia is the only one we really need. And she'll never collect the money she needs, because she still has a conscious and there are lines she will not cross. Everything has been taken into an account, Ganza."

"And once the exchange with the Black Scorpion is complete?" Miro questioned with excitement beaming from his voice. "What shall we do with her than? Kill?"

"Why do that?" the ringleader replied, the smirk returning to his face. "It would be a shame to let such a body go to waste; after all, she's just my type" he proclaimed, letting out a sinister laugh, which echoed through the building...

-no way out!-

And let us stop the story there. If you've read the original version of the story, than you've probably noticed that this chapter is very different from the first publication. As said - "Forgotten Sands", arguably, gets the most changes from the three stories that I'm remaking currently. If you are curious about the changes, I'll be including paragraphs regarding difference I implement in every update, but if you haven't red the original tales, than these paragraphs may include spoilers, so read on at your own risk:

Changes to the original version (may include spoilers): while the core plot of each of the three stories being remade ("Dragon Blood", "Final Magic" and "Forgotten Sands") remains the same at the core, FS is the most heavy when it comes to the changes to the story itself. As you might've noticed, the very intro to the chapter is longer and more detailed. If you feel that it seems familiar, than you are right – it is actually a remake of "Rune Raiders" intro as I've decided to implement the more interesting elements of RR into "Forgotten Sands" ("Rune Raiders" won't be getting a remake – sorry to all the fans of that story).

Part of the reason here is that I just don't feel like RR is a unique enough tale on its own; back in the day I published it because I was part of a group that worked out the concept and I really wanted to set it loose, even as the original project itself seemed to have died. So most of the ideas I found worth saving will find their way into the current remakes. Besides, if you actually make comparison, you'll notice that RR intro shares a lot of similarities to FS's one. I find it natural to just combine the two.

Heck, at least one of RR's main cast is gonna appear in FS, shaking up the lead crew of the story. But, as you'll notice, all of the major characters in "Forgotten Sands" got a redesign with Zora being the prime example – her original concept was inspired by my friend's OC, who drew a picture of her for me (I still have that drawing plastered on my door btw), but she just wasn't particularly unique or interesting. So, for this remake, I basically created Zora from scratch – her appearance has virtually nothing in common with the zweihander wielding blonde from the original, right down to her weapon of choice! Only her personality remains mostly in tact, though as you can see I have made her much more flirtatious in hope to make her stand out from the other, female protagonists and in hope to implement a new type of humor into the story.

Halan's appearance changed slightly too, but most everything else is the same, including his weapon and its forms. The most shocking change will likely come in the form of Folko, but that's for later.

Also of note is that "Forgotten Sands" are planned to have more matured tone than the originally did – this being evident with sexual inclinations in this chapter alone as well as the world of Narthia being designed as much harsher and darker than it originally was. I don't think I'll be going "over the edge" too much, but it would pay for you to be prepared.

The core plot of the chapter was also changed: I didn't want for the girl to walk into the tavern, get into trouble and be saved by the boy with unique abilities, which (as I realized upon starting the remake) seemed to be a theme for all three stories I'm currently reviving ^^' So while events still happen pretty much the same way they originally did, there are twists here and there. I also intent to make the second story arc more closer to its original draft (what was publish didn't include many ideas I actually had for it), so be sure that there's gonna be a lot of changes further down the line ;)

Before I finish the chapter officially, I would also like to point out that I'm not gonna make promises regarding the frequency of updates, but I am hoping to make this a regular thing. Of course if this endeavor sparks interest, it would certainly help my motivation. Also I'll be posting this story on my DeviantArt account (my username there is Rongal); if, for whatever reason, you prefer to read those stories there, be my guest – I would actually like to know which of the two is more adequate as this remake is also a bit of a test run for a different project I'm hoping to get of the ground at some point.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day.