(The following is an account that leads to the formation of a society of mages, The Descendants of Paex. They have a strong affinity to the mana group of fire, and try to remain faithful at all times to it. I, Ardeo, am such a mage. This is part I of ?? in the groups history.)
"The Descendants of Paex"
After the Shadows War, an eerie silence crossed the lands, as the world wept for those lost in battle. Much was lost to the darkness, which had to be rebuilt. A society of warbling humans would not be able to sustain itself, and so those who lost little in the war, and those who were emotionally stable, prospered while providing for others. It has been said that they were the ones who leeched off of the misfortunes of others-- Many disagree. The successful were, in fact, the saviors of our lands in a time of turmoil. Out of the ashes rose families of power. Some searched in greed, for the very things that were destroyed; but others, whom the light touched, found a utopia through kindness. Unfortunately, "every light casts a shadow."
The Ryet'Lur family lead a prosperous life-style after the Shadows War. Just beyond the realm of Mileth, a joy-filled family of four lived and thrived on their farm: Terum, the headstrong father; Meyla, the protective mother; Rogne, the bright-eyed daughter; and Paex, the witty son. Terum believed that his family would be safe from the effects of an immoral society, by building beyond the town. Although beyond the rivers, he could still trade freely with the merchants from Mileth, as well as those who traveled from afar by boat. The Ryet'Lur family had discovered the perfect plot of land to farm, the perfect distance from town, and the perfect number of mouths to feed. If not for their lack of news updates, perhaps all would have been well for the family.
The Grimloks, a tribal breed of dark creatures, were an ever growing threat to the sanctity of the developing villages. Continually, something would come up missing, from bread to child, and no trace of evidence would ever lead to the culprit. But, as word generally does, gossip brought the tales of the dark tribe to light. They were slowly growing in power, sacrificing that which they found to their dark gods, and eating that which they stole... I urge you not to ask which was eaten, and which was sacrificed, for there is no true distinction. Nearby townspeople, including those of Mileth, drew together their forces to prevent the Grimloks from attacking. So, in retaliation, the fiends took to raiding caravans, and whatever else contained unprotected valuables. Word soon spread, and the villages stopped their trade-routes all-together.
News of the sudden change was not fleet in coming to the Ryet'Lurs. Actually, it was Meyla who first heard of the changes, those of which explained much of Terum's odd behavior to her. Lately, you see, he had been brooding in deep thought in his study. Daily, he would construct ways of securing their home: Barring the windows, locking the doors, and pitting the land. Before, she had dismissed these as precautions, put in place by a combination of excess in money and time. Perhaps, Meyla did not even ask a single question of Terum, because she had faith in her husband. A small minority tend to believe that she wanted to protect what little time she had left, by instilling a false serenity in the household. Either way, neither parent would let a tribe of sophomoric creatures ruin their daily routine-- Rogne was still told to clean the windows, and Paex was still sent to the general store for wheat. They would be done with everything just before nightfall, and that would be that.
It was Rogne who first noticed the advancing Grimlok. Her heart beat steadily as she witnessed one pair of beady eyes peer through the fence, casting an orange glow upon its rungs. Her heart quickened as Rogne noticed tens... and then hundreds more. She ran to her father's study, where she woke both her father and mother. Her lips stuttered, but her eyes expressed all. Terum leapt from his couch directly to the door locks. Fumbling over his own fingers, and assuring himself that everything would be all right, he turned each one. Letting out a great sigh of relief, surrounded by false security, Terum returned to his family; however, something was terribly wrong.
There were no battle cries, no blood curdling hoots, no clashing of metal upon wood. All was completely silent, as if the world held its breath in anticipation. Then, it happened. What once was washed with darkness, was now bitten at by red tongues of flame. The home, engulfed in flames, was now a tomb. The family rushed frantically, door to window, but each exit was blocked. Terum had made sure that no one could get in, and in his folly, had doomed himself should he ever want out.
It was also at this time that Paex was returning from his errands, a bag of wheat in hand. From a distance, the sky looked red with anger, and blackened with defeat. Smoke wafted from the west, the direction of home, and immediately, Paex's heart sank. As fast as his small legs could carry him, Paex ran to his engulfed house. Flames danced upon its surface, much like the Grimlok danced about the building in their archaic ways. They paid no attention to the terrified boy, when he placed his hand upon a nearby window without regard to the impending danger of the inferno. Unexpectedly, another hand placed its palm upon the window from within-- It was Rogne's. An unnatural warmth seemed to surge from palm to palm, mind to mind. Empathically linked, he wished he could take the pain away from his sister, and so he did. Paex cried out in agony! Millions of hot needles seemed to be trying to escape from inside his frail body, but he suppressed them. Flame bit at his ankles, but did not burn... No longer his enemy, but his captive. In the blink of an eye, his family was dead, and the fire was extinguished. Shocked at the sight of such power, the cowardly Grimlok fled.
They left the poor child lying on the ground, catatonic, oblivious to his surroundings. No longer fighting a battle with the outside world, Paex was now left to conquer the fire he had so readily taken in. His journey had begun so early, that he did not have a chance to enjoy his childhood-- All the was left, were the hardships of the future.
Forged in the depths of my mind,
(A poem I've written, in conjuction with the story. It has an Anglo-Saxon scheme to it)
Flickering upon the cheek of those I find,
I wash over that which has been touched by darkness.
Dancing where there is no music heard.
Warming where there is no heat felt.
Coming at a whim when I am called forth.
I am the Ancient Secret, Creator of Worlds,
Kept under false control, I bide my time.
And when not watched, will bite my master.
Yet, like a friend, I am drawn close
To provide comfort and light your path;
And then I am suffocated-- cut off.
Dying, fading, no longer a cheek in need of a companion.