This was supposed to be published later, but seeing how I’m still having troubles with my game and I can’t get started on Chase’s story just yet, I’ll give this to you guys now.
Far, far beyond the boundaries of the town known as Moonlight Valley, there lies a desolate wilderness. Eerie and hostile towards the living, the land is unfit for humans and other life forms alike. There are no roads to this land, and its harsh, cold climate has turned it into a frozen mountain wasteland.
To the humans, these lands had no name.
To others, they were known as the Forbidden Lands.
These lands have no oceans. No forest creatures roam between the trees and the atmosphere is both cold and inhospitable. There are no streams or rivers, nor any fertile soil.
And yet, In the very centre of those lands, a single waterfall enters through the peak of the mountains. Freezing, crystal clear water crashes in through a layer of rocks, forming a small pond at the base of the structure.
Around this pond, and this pond only, nature had been allowed to blossom.
But this is not what makes it a special place. What makes it special…
Is that this is the home of the Guardians.
Undisturbed by the falling raindrops, the figure levitates just above the water’s surface. Countless lily pads and fire flowers float around her. Her glowing skin and fiery red hair seem to resonate with the fire on the lake’s surface. The flames, kept alive by the levitating being, steadily rise and fall on the rhythm of her breathing.
It is a peaceful scene.
A single, dark-headed figure stands in the shadow of the trees on the shore. He is often there, watching. Waiting. Whereas she radiates with the power of life itself, fiery and bright as the sun, he is her complete opposite. Save for his orange, glowing eyes, his features are so dark that he could easily become part of the tree’s shadow. Silently, he stands there, gazing at the fiery wonder in front of him. Until, eventually, a soft voice calls him forward.
Immediately, he moves. His dark boots make not the slightest sound as they walk right up to the pond, stepping unto the water’s surface without slowing down. Tiny ripples appear underneath his feet as he makes his way over to the middle of the pond. A few metres away from the fiery woman, he stops.
‘You’ve found it?’
‘Yes,’ she says softly, barely moving her mouth as she speaks. Her eyes are still closed. What she was looking at was not in the mortal realm, not even in these desolate lands.
‘Can I get to it?’
‘No. Not from here, at least. It’s hidden too deep for you to reach.’
‘Even with your help?’
‘Maybe. But the risk is too large.’
His face turns dark.
‘There’s something else.’
‘What?’ Nikola asks, his sharp fangs flickering in the light of his sister’s glow. Her voice had changed, and he had instantly picked up on it.
‘The curse. It’s spreading again.’
‘That’s impossible,’ Nikola protests. ‘I’ve blocked it out completely. He shouldn’t be able to do that!’
‘He can. He has the woman, as we feared.’
A low, threatening growl comes out of Nikola’s throat. It rolls past Selene and gradually increases in strength, until it bounces off the rocky sides of the mountain as a full-blown roar. Slowly, the man’s eyes turn from bright orange to a dark shade of red. It was then that the woman opened her own eyes, gazing straight at her brother.
He calms down again. Slowly, his eyes change back from the piercing red to their normal colour, and Nikola looks at Selene with a hint of remorse on his face.
‘It’s all right. But control your temper.’
‘I know. But if it’s got their blood… what can we do to stop it?’
‘We can hide him from it,’ Selene says, with strength in her voice. ‘Delude it for as long as we can. If we don’t do anything, the curse will spread to him too soon… and then they’ll be lost.’
‘I’ve promised to protect them,’ Nikola growls. ‘All of them, everyone who is their blood. I will do whatever it takes, Selene.’
‘And if Maker interferes? What if this is how it is supposed to be?’
‘Then we’ll drag her down from her throne and take her place,’ Nikola growls violently. ‘She created us to guard the Gate, but we’re stronger than that. You know that we are. If we really want to… we could do anything.’
‘I know,’ Selene whispers, suddenly sounding unsure of herself. ‘But… we can’t save Raven from the curse anymore. It’s too late for her already… so where do we even start?’
‘We start by keeping our promise,’ Nikola says softly. ‘We’ll protect Chase. From the beginning, this time. Even if we’re not allowed to interfere directly… we’ll watch over him.’
‘By keeping them away,’ Selene whispers, determination appearing in her fiery eyes. Taking a deep breath, she closes her eyelids again and spreads her arms to the flames around her.
‘But… I’ll need your help this time.’
‘Of course,’ Nikola answers. ‘Always… Are you ready?’
As a response, Selene places her hands in the flames. A move that would have been hurtful for every other creature, but when she pulls back her long, pale fingers, not a single burn could be seen. Instead, the fire starts to behave strangely. It follows her hands, rising up from the flowers and gathering around the woman, after which it twists and turns in front of her body, giving up its energy to her call. Slowly, Nikola moves closer and takes over control, shaping the energy into a gateway.
‘Chase Adams,’ the both of them whisper.
With those words, the energy finally reaches its peak and explodes, sending shock waves all over the tiny pond. The scenery around them distorts and fades away as Nikola and Selene walk through the gateway, entering another realm. They knew what lay ahead. And they would fight it until the time was right… until he was ready.
And so, a new story begins.