(Add to the story. Go on, don't be afraid. Jump right in.)
A fire burned in the forest, but it never spread. It burned low and blue near the opening of a cave, as if protecting something or someone inside. When animals or humans approached, it rose high and burned bright. Many people tried to put the fire out. They threw dirt on it, and water, but nothing would quench or smother the flame.
Not understanding the purpose, origin or manifestation of the flame made many afraid. Over time, others came to accept the flame. While seeking to understand, they also found ways to utilize it. Blacksmiths learned that properly protected, they could approach, and as the flame intensified it would allow them to bend and form, and even forge metal, without impurities or inclusions caused by other means.
Folks came to the fire for warmth, realizing a proper celebration could be held around it, when the appropriate distance was established and maintained. People camped nearby, using the mysterious flame as a source to start their own campfires, that they might cook, be filled and fellowship together. For all of these, "the eternal torch", (as it came to be known), was a valuable resource...but those who feared it banded together to plot how it might be extinguished. Regardless of the good it did for those who embraced it, they simply could not bear to live with this light that threatened and confused them, still burning.
There was a child, smaller than most. He was an outcast, deemed unnecessary, unworthy, unwanted. He lived in the forest in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. He had given up hope of a different life... he didn't even remember what hope was. He simply existed. It was a great forest... massive in size and the boy wandered for years, foraging to stay alive. He didn't even attempt to approach the edge of the village anymore... the pain of being rejected to the extreme he had endured made it a mission not worth attempting so into the depths he wandered... deeper and deeper until one icy night, he came upon a heat source. It was just warm at first and the closer he got, the more confused he became. What was this thing he felt, this delicious feeling that his very skin reacted to? Comfort? He had heard tales of the blue flame, but didn't imagine they were true.
Camping near the flame, he experienced perhaps the first good night's sleep he had ever known. Yes, it was all bewildering, but this much he knew...he belonged near that flame. He had never "belonged" before. :'(
The fire brought him good that nothing before ever had. Warmth, of course, but protection from the wild, light at night and his first sense of home. The longer he stayed close to the flame, the more in tune with it he became... it had a life, a voice of it's own and it seemed to be beckoning him to draw closer. He knew the power the unquenchable fire contained, but innately he also knew not to fear. The more he trusted, the closer he could get until one night, he noticed a path... a clear path directly down the middle that led into the cave. How could he have not seen that before?
And before long the flames that warmed his little soul began to speak to him , although not in any way threatening , before long the flame, the voice and the young boy became like one , you see , he learned just what it was that fueled this flame , it was the fire merely searching for lost souls ! And he was lost wasn't he ? Lost to family , lost to the society and the very world ! Sometimes at night the flames would die down enough for him to approach the fire enough to touch it without being burned . It was then that they became very close , quite often the flame would even follow the young boy just far enough behind him as to watch over him where ever he went or what ever he did .
...off in the distance was a large cliff with many caves. In front of these caves were flames of all the colors of the rainbow! Each entrance had a flame of a different color. From the depths of the caves came sounds of different pitches and tones that would be heard at different times of the day and night. At noon a high pitched sound came from the cave with the yellow flame. At night a lower pitched sound would emanate from the purple flamed cave. One morning when the pink flamed cave sounded...
...there was this monk like chanting sound that emanated and another boy that had also been hiding in the woods was there because he was disfigured. This new boy didn't want to be seen by anyone as he was ashamed of his appearence. He was a bastard child thrown in the forest and left for dead over 10 years ago,but he had the voice of an angel. So in the early hours of the morning he would chant and all the animal creatures of the forest would come to listen in awe.....
And that is how the brotherhood began. Two orphans... discarded by the world, bonded by their misfortune. Alone they were weak, tired, hungry... but now, they had found each other. They had the fire for warmth and the cave for shelter. As they grew in size, they grew in strength, and as time went on, they found more discarded children. They became a village of their own. As they now outnumbered the townspeople, they had a choice to make...
...They decided to make thier own township and no outsiders were allowed in. They made a pact that no one would ever bother or harm them again. They could live happily in the community that they created for themselves. Most of them had special gifts and talents that were never noticed from the outside world because they were always judged by thier appearence and weren't ever given a chance to be who they truly were till now. The boy with the beautiful voice sang and chanted every morning before sunrise, to the joy of everybody in this village...the bells rang from the tower up the hill from the caves and....
...they were happy in their isolation. The creatures of the forest became their companions. They learned the language of the owls, the doves and the wolves. They discovered a herd of wild horses living not too far away in a large clearing. In time, the youth tamed these horses and rode them wherever they wanted to go. The horses helped to plough the fields, for the citizens had learned to farm. They grew corn, carrots and beets and all sorts of squashes and melons quite successfully. They drank cow's milk and ate the eggs of the chickens which ran about freely. They were quite content and needed nothing for survival. Winters were mild and the caves provided adequate shelter. They spent their days in peace and contentment, this village of youth of all ages who lived under the protection of the colored flames.
One day a group of 5 teens came upon an overgrown path which led away from the village and the field where the horses lived. The path led in the opposite direction and they were surprised they had never noticed it before. It had actually been paved with red brick at one time, perhaps centuries ago. The path spread before them lined on either side with flowers, overgrown vines and moss. The horses clopped up the path a short distance and turned back. But, the youth made plans to return, with back packs and supplies for a little day trip, perhaps. They would tell no one. It would be their own adventure. Where did it lead? They had to discover. The next morning as the pink flamed cave sounded, they jumped upon their horses with backpacks and supplies and onto the secret path...
...whereupon they discovered the Sacred Tome, said to hold the power of all the Netherworlds in existence! One of the youths opened the text to discover indecipherable runes; however, the leader of the group--a girl called Isira--heard the words of the tome speak directly into her mind. "Over...lord Zetta..." she began to speak, "...is a fool...who has brought...destruction...to his realm..." Though Isira was shocked to hear what she herself was saying, her group members were even more so. "How can you read that?" they asked, "What language is it?" "Who wrote it?" "Sacred Tome? More like sucky...dumb...thing!" But as they clamored on, Isira turned the page, revealing more foreign symbols, but like before, the words seemed to speak aloud inside her mind. This time, the Tome said...
"Turn back! Return to the realm of serenity you have left. To advance on this path is to see more and know more than you are ready to see and know. However, If you insist on traveling onward, memorize everything in Chapter 34 and then bury this Sacred Tome. Let no one you encounter know you have even seen it!" Isira watched as the pages fanned themselves to chapter 34 and she began to "read"...
"You must learn gaelic. You will be traveling to the island of Skye where you are to free the inhabitants there from the tyranny of the over lord, Zetta. You must also learn to use the weapons which Zetta and his evil minions use, which they brought with them after the departure of their alien craft 50 years ago. You will learn about these technologically advanced weapons in Chapter 38 and it is advised that you familiarize yourselves with their uses and mechanisms.
The rest of this chapter will teach you the ancient lost language of gaelic."
They looked at each other questioningly and discussed it amongst themselves, "Shall we learn this lost language? Shall we save the inhabitants of Skye? Shall we travel onward or go back? If we decide to travel onward we will have to go home and study this chapter and learn this language! We can't embark upon this journey before we thoroughly learn it! We can either commit to this mission, or just forget we ever set foot upon this dusty old pathway..."
*Damn you, ninja post. I'll have to adjust my segment...
Isira seemed set on utilizing the ancient language, but one spoke up against her--Tabool, a roughshod, hot-blooded member of the group. "If the citizens of Skye need our help," Tabool spoke, "don't you think it'd be better to just be on our way as quickly as possible? Should we really sit around on our thumbs and have this weird book saddle us with some dead language we probably won't need anyway?"
With an emphatic gesture, Isira stared at him with an intense glare, "Since when were you in charge, Tabool? And since when were you the expert on foreign lands, considering you've not once ever left our village?" She lowered her fists to her side. "The Tome tells us that we must use this language to save these people, and--"
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tremendous red scar appeared in the skies overhead, and from within, two very human hands stretched the scar into a large gash. As Isira and the others watched, awestruck, a humanoid figure pulled itself out of the crimson gash, leaping out of the anomaly and onto the ground in front of the group. The figure was clad head-to-toe in fine navy-blue clothing, trailed by a large cloak, but it was his face that shocked them most: a set of sharp, pupil-less eyes, long pointed ears, and a storm of blood-red hair framed this man's otherwise handsome face. He spoke, "Ah, so this is where this so-called Sacred Tome was hidden. Ever since that meddler Pram banished it to another world, I've been tearing my precious hair out looking for it."
Without hesitation, the stranger sauntered up to Isira and snatched the Tome from her shaking hands. "I really oughtta thank you brats for finding it for me. I guess I'll let you all live for now. Aren't I such a nice guy?" For some reason, Isira found it impossible to speak out against this brash thief--not only had she just witnessed him emerging from a rip in the sky, but she felt an overwhelming, powerful aura emanating from him. Unbeknownst to her, Tabool and the others had succumbed to the same fear, unable to stop the man from whatever his plans were.
"Now," the stranger continued, "I trust that you village peasants are simply too stupid to read the words contained in the Tome, so I'll do you a favor and satisfy your doubtlessly-raging curiosity: It's a cookbook. Just a simple cookbook and nothing more. Be sure to tell your sad little hamlet of the generosity and terror of the great Overlord Zetta. Now, if you'll excuse me, these 'recipes' are making me hungry, and I've got a fire to start..." With a flash of dark fire, the man calling himself Overlord Zetta disappeared without a trace, leaving Isira and the others bewildered and astonished.
They agreed to take on the task. The first paragraph of instruction read:
"Tá do rogha uasal agus selfless chun tú féin a thiomnú do seo faoi deara fiú a bronntar. Is féidir leat tosú do thuras, labhairt, léamh agus scríobh Ghaelach mar cé go raibh sé do theanga dhúchais."
What is this! They knew it was in Gaelic, but they could read it plain as day! It said: "Your noble and selfless choice to dedicate yourself to this worthy cause has been rewarded. You may start your journey, speaking, reading and writing Gaelic as though it were your native tongue."
"Cool!" they all cried in unison. "So it shall be!" They were teenagers after all and needed a cause to fight for! A good worthwhile cause. So, while the generous and terrible Overlord Zetta snacked in the heavens having been reunited with his Netherworlds Cookbook, Isira, Tabool Geo, Jules and Eli made plans. But first, they needed to know what was really going on in Skye.
Jules and Isira volunteered to return to the hamlet to inform the others of their intended mission. They would also gather supplies for the long journey. When they arrived, the girls discussed matters with the elders who were the original two orphans, named Rolland and Emmett. They were now young men and co-presidents of the settlement. They advised the girls according to their wisdom which had increased over the years. "Isira, your brother, Tabool, is not yet at the proper level and must not take part in your mission. He is hotheaded and needs to discipline his temperament. He will be mentoring with me and meditating before the red flame for at least another six months before he is allowed to go on any missions outside our hamlet. Geo and Eli are not only advanced in meditation on the red flame of courage and determination, but also on the blue flame of devotion, loyalty and calmness. They are ready for a mission such as you have described." (Jules had made up a noble cause, but they weren't really sure what the mission would be yet. They would find out when they got there. She was keen on the magenta flame of extra sensory perception and on the purple flame of trust.) "Isira," Rolland continued, "you will not be able to go either, as your sister Issa, of the orange flame, needs you. Jules you may choose one more young man to go in place of hot headed Tabool."
"How about his brother, Rajik?" she asked."
"Yes, he is high in trust having meditated on the purple flame for over a year now. He will be a good protector for you all, as his discernment is very developed."
So, Rajik and Jules gathered what they needed for this journey of unspecified distance, and unspecified purpose. They left the hamlet anticipating freedom and adventure for the first time in their sheltered lives.
As Jules and Rajik approached Geo, Eli and Tabool, they waved and greeted them in the clearing on their horses."Tabool, you are to go back!" called Jules.
"Why?" he asked, rather shocked.
"I don't know, I guess you gotta do some more mentoring with Rolland."
"He thought you would say that... He is offering you advancement on the red flame! You must go back. He says you will be ready later, if you study."
Tabool said nothing as he tuned his horse in the direction of the forrest/ farm/cave/hamlet. They could tell he was not happy.
"Let him sulk... he'll get over it," sighed Jules.
Geo and Eli knew better, but they would not worry about that now. They were finally free and had plenty of supplies. Carrying their riders, the four horses galloped toward the path, manes and tails in the wind.
Tabool arrived back at the ranch. Everything was as it had been: calm, peaceful, thriving... growing, planting, harvesting, learning and studying going on per usual. Everyone seemed content and happy. But Tabool was forever changed. He had seen the overlord rip apart the sky and snatch away the Sacred Tome... "Sure, it is NOT a cook book..." he grumbled to himself. "I want to know what is in that mystical book!" He went to see Isira to ask her what she had seen in the book and how she felt when she "read" it. She told him to forget about it. "It is something we must never discuss or think about ever again!" She went on with her weaving and singing. Could he take her advice?
No. He would never forget that face in the sky or the power the figure emanated. He took to slashing sticks as though they were swords and pretended to have the power of an overlord. He would fight imaginary forces and found himself running up and snatching books right out of other's hands. He practiced laughing cynically at things he thought were ridiculous and everything started to seem ridiculous. At first the others just laughed back at him, but he became more and more annoying to them.
Meanwhile, his studies at the red level were not progressing well at all. "I need to get to the orange level and be done with his tedious discipline of the red flame," he thought to himself. "They are having much more fun over there." In fact, all the flame levels seemed to offer more than what the red level offered.
In short, Tabool was now miserable. "Forget these flame levels!" he declared. I've got to know what is in that Book!"
So, he rolled up his sleeping bag and set off for the path where they had seen the overlord. He decided he would just wait there looking up at the sky. He would not go back to the village. Often, Isira came to bring him a fresh canteen of water and food, and to scold him.
"You are crazy!" she would cry. "The book was a Sacred Tome, said to hold all the power of the Netherworlds in existence! Do you know what that means? Do you know what Netherworlds even are?"
"No," he declared sullenly." But, I intend to find out if I have to sit here for all eternity."
"Then you will die. Die! I tell you... of boredom and starvation!"
Tabool yelled after her as she departed," I will wait here 'til the overlord returns! I know he'll be back. He has to come back!"
"Fine!" she called over her sholder, suit yourself." But, I shall not return. Goodbye!" And she left him there in the clearing, near the red brick path, in the silvery moonlight.
Isira was never able to say quite what happened next, as in the moment of her resolution to abandon Tabool to his fate and follow her destiny, her consciousness slipped away. She remembers waking, with feelings of having had a peaceful dream, but of what, she can never say. Even before opening her eyes, she became aware of the sounds of the sea, and of gulls arguing overhead. Of bees. Of unfamiliar fragrances and the rough kiss of heather on her hands, calves and neck.
She sat up and gazed in wonder at the profusion of wild flowers stretching out to the slate-blue sea, so fresh after the dank forest she had left behind. So was this the Isle of Skye? Nowhere was there a sign of recent human habitation but, looking around, her eye was caught by two strange round ruins, built of dry stone, roofless and windowless. Had she been brought here for a reason? Somehow she knew the ruined roundhouses were waiting for her.
Tabool: Image of a Wild Man
Tabool's skin had turned an amber color. His hair had formed into matted dread locks which reached out like tree branches. Leaves were intwined in his hair, as he now spent most of his time climbing the local Pines, Sycamore Maples and Oaks. He was partial to Oaks as he could sleep in them fairly comfortably. In fact, he had given up the name Tabool and called himself Sir Windsold Oak.
He learned, by trial and error, which berries, nuts, mushrooms and herbs were edible and good to eat. He had almost died more than once in his experimenting and found himself tripping over nameless mushrooms. In his hallucinations, he imagined Overlord Zetta and engaged in obnoxious and loud conversations with him. The members of the cave community could hear the ranting of crazy Tabool off in the distance. They heard him raving in the forest and they sympathized, but there was nothing they could do.
Issa: The Lonely Sister
Graduation day arrived for Issa, as she had finally passed the tests of the Orange Flame. The whole community had gathered for the ceremony. Standing before them all, wrapped in her orange graduation cloth which she and Isira had woven just for the occasion, she gazed into the crowd of fellows. She appreciated their approving smiles and congratulatory praises, but three of her family members were missing: Rajik, Tabool and Isira, her two brothers and sister.
The next day she moved into the cave of the Yellow Flame. There before her, were halls of learning. They contained books upon bookshelves that hardly ended, extending into the dark depths of the cave. Emmet and Rolland welcomed her and spoke enthusiastically about all the subjects she would be able to pursue according to her interests and inspiration to learn. "Almost anything your heart desires!" Rolland explained. She tried to smile along with her enthusiastic classmates. Issa, however, brushed away a trear. How can I study when in my heart, I miss Rajik, Tabool and Isira?! And doesn't anyone wonder how Jules, Geo and Eli are? Well, I certainly do," she thought.
She fell asleep that night dreaming of her true destiny.
Issa awoke with a start the next morning. She knew she would have to act fast. She quickly packed her belongings, backpack, and sleeping bag. She filled her canteen, and procured a sack of foodstuffs from the cook's cave. She told the cook where she was going and luckily the cook understood. She promised not to reveal Issa's escape until she was far enough away. The cook gave her a hug and and an extra loaf of bread and bid her adieu. Issa blanketed her horse, mounted and stealthily rode toward the red brick path, determined to locate her crazy brother.
When she arrived at the clearing, she searched the area while calling his name. No answer. She stood still and listened. Finally she heard a strange whistle. She knew it was not a bird. But it did come from the trees. She finally caught sight of Tabool perched high in a tree on a large branch. As still as a tree branch, he reached upwards with one arm. Upon an out-stretched finger, sat a small bird. He truly seemed to be part of the tree. She recognized him, nevertheless, and yelled his name.
As the bird fluttered away, he complained loudly: "What do you want? Why are you bothering me at breakfast time? And don't call me Tabool. My name is Sir Windsold Oak."
"Oh, so you are knight now?"
"No, not yet, but I will be."
"Well, you do look more like a tree than a knight in your tattered brown clothes and all those leaves in your hair. I shall call you, Sir Tree."
"Sir Oak," he insisted.
"Okay, Sir Oak, Whatever. We are going on a journey," she explained.
And then she stated with all the authority she could muster: "You and I are going to find the others."
"Its about time!" he exclaimed.
He bounded gracefully onto the horse. Her brother smelled of the dank forest, and looked atrocious, but she welcomed his company. She just knew they had a chance to locate the others on the Isle of Skye.
Issa and Sir Oak, travelled North after heading out from their cave hamlet in Surrey, England. Was it a difficult journey for the two? Not during the summer months as there were always relatively jovial fellow travelers trudging along on the roads and routes. They were never short of companionship, nourishment, and water as many folks would share what they had. The pair planned to travel to Lancashire above Liverpool. Then they would head to the coastal town of Fleetwood. Finally they would travel by boat or ship to the Isle of Skye.
Many folks along the way rode in carts drawn by oxen or carriages drawn by horses. Occasionally these travelers felt sorry for the now bedraggled pair and would share space in their vehicles and allow them to rest. Because of their youth, the adults sympathized with their plight and bid them God's Speed on their long Journey to Scotland. After summer and fall had passed, the wind, rain, cold and sleet were constant forces to reckon with, but nothing could stop Issa and her brother.
They had to trade horses more than once. Their new steed could run like the wind and exhibited much spirit. They decided to name the horse Gazi, as he had the energy and grace of a gazelle. Gazi seemed to make the long journey much shorter and by January they reached the coast.
Sure enough when they reached the Isle of Skye, Gazi was already there waiting for them. He stood tied to a pole next to an old stone tavern. He whinnied and nayed and stomped both front hooves in greeting. He shook his magnificent main and swished his long black tail. They ran up to him in disbelief! But, as they threw their arms around him... of course Sir Oak was already on his back.... a tall gruff man strode forth shouting "Get off my horse, you bra... Unhand him, I say! Step away from my steed!" The man wore fine navy-blue clothing trailed by a long cloak. Tabool, now Sir Oak, instantly recognized the small pupil-less eyes glaring out from under his large floppy hood. He grabbed a cane from an elderly man sitting nearby and pushed back the hood. As the elderly man stood up to retrieve his cane he plopped back down to his seat when he saw what Sir Oak had just revealed: a storm of blood-red hair framing an otherwise handsome face!
Issa untied the horse, grabbed the reins and threw them to Sir Oak. He pulled her up and kicked his heels into the sides of the horse. Gazi sped off and kept galloping as fast as he could go and headed into the vast and magical landscape of the Isle of Skye. The Overlord laughed and coughed and laughed and shouted after them," You know you cannot escape me!" And then he pulled on his hood and strode off, a dark and terrible figure against the orange and yellow hues of the wondrous Skye sunset.
Still aghast, Issa was able to utter, "We luckily ran right into what we came here for, but oh the irony! How bittersweet."
She couldn't help but notice that, as the Overload walked into the sunset, he was carrying what looked like a book, under his left arm.
He easily transported himself through the dark matter of space to the township where he first met the gang of youths. He stepped again out of the crimson gash into the midst of the cave community of Surrey, England. The citizens gathered around him as he stood there fuming. But, they were very afraid. Finally Emmet picked up a sword and challenged him, "Dark Stranger, what are your demands. Perhaps we can negotiate a deal or we shall do battle." At this point Rolland and his apprentices of the red flame approached with swords, whips and chains. "You have trespassed onto sacred grounds which are protected by flames which are the colors of all the refracted wavelengths of light." Emmett continued, "We have this light to protect us and our powerful and talented youth. What say you?"
"I say I extinguish all your little flames!" And with the wave of his hand they went out one by one, first the red, then the orange, then the yellow, green, purple and magenta. He did not notice that the blue flame would not go out. It burned barely visible, but it was there. "Your family members stole my steed and have taken him into the depths of Skye island. I had purchased that horse fair and square in Fleetwood where I was working on a...project. He cleared his throat.
One child asked, "What project? Are you a bad man?"
"Nothing!" he roared. "Now where was I, oh yes. I worked in Fleetwood and rode the horse for a week. That horse was dumb as wood and stubborn too. But, he was my horse. Then, I travelled by ferry to the Isle of Skye and took up lodging there. So, there I was in the tavern under the boarding house when up walked your precious Issa and her crazy pest of a brother. They stole my horse right from under my nose!"
The child started at crying the mention of Issa. With the sound of those tears the overlord had had enough, opened up the anomaly and disappeared once again.
Powers of an Overlord
Overlords in this tale have certain powers within boundaries. When they overstep their boundaries they are banned from returning to Earth for a number of days. In this way they are kept in check and prevented from destroying the world.
1. Overlords may only destroy, they may not create.
2. Overlords may come and go at will from the Netherworlds to earth, but only with great fury of emotion and purpose.
3. Overlords may involve themselves with humans, but only in taking advantages of their weaknesses.
4. They are to respect and yield to the power of positivity whenever it is utilized for noble purposes by any individual.
5. Only one overlord allowed per country.
Some overlords go in for shape-shifting, but not O. Zetta. Some manifest as witches, trolls, or warlock-like characters. Zetta was a little over the top with his blood red hair and all, but he passed easily enough as a human. He decided the hair had to go, along with the navy blue suit. He procured some lowly duds and now looked more like a fisherman... on the pirate side. He wore a bandana and to further disguise himself he wore an eye patch. He died his hair with the juice of walnut skins and vinegar. He stunk to high heaven, but he was no longer recognizable as Overlord Zetta. Now he could resume his secret mission.
"I feel like an idiot, constantly disguising myself like this," Zetta grumbled to himself, "but I can't let these setbacks keep me from what is rightfully mine." With the flourish of his hand, he traversed once more through the crimson anomaly into the Isle of Skye. "Now that the Sacred Tome is in my hands, all that's left is to get my sword back."
But Zetta knew he couldn't just raze the island to the ground--at least, not yet--for his sword, the pitch-black blade revered throughout the ages as Arondight, was critical in his plan. The obsidian blade, Arondight, famous in myth for its service in the hands of Sir Lancelot of the court of Camelot, was said to be forged from a meteorite and tempered with a magic fire, making it especially potent as a durable weapon, but its properties made it even more deadly against those who also wield magic. After all, Pram the Oracle still stands in his way, and her magic makes her a formidable foe.
"With the Tome and my sword, that damned Pram can't do a thing to stop me, but first," he paused, "I have to find it before I'm allowed to get ahead of myself." He darted down alleys and streets far more swiftly than his new appearance would dictate, casting his eyes left and right for the right street. "Now, my information tells me the sword is being held by a collect--here!" he exclaimed in what was both a shout and a whisper, halting in front of a weather-worn brick house. The window dressings and 'Garman's Oddities and Antiques' plaque above the door confirmed Zetta's suspicions. "Now," he sneered, "time to reunite with an old friend..."
"Oh, that's so cute," came a high-pitched voice as loud as a gunshot, shattering the silent stillness of the cloudy night sky. "You actually think some mashed-up slab of space debris would be enough to fell me?" it continued, shaking the ground with its sheer force.
Zetta wheeled around, staring agape at the skies above. "Dammit, no! It can't be! How did she even--" he began, but before the question could even be asked, a streak of light cleaved through the clouds before slowing its descent, settling softly in front of Zetta. As the light subsided, the figure of a small girl with snow-white hair, clad in Victorian dress, appeared before him. Her unearthly red eyes seemed to shoot right through him as he stood rigid, seemingly paralyzed.
"'How did she even find me,' you were going to ask? You should already know, you know. They do call me Pram the Oracle, and it's not often that titles are given just for kicks." Pram lowers her arms to a neutral position, walking towards Zetta with slow, small, deliberate strides. "I had foreseen your sad little attempt to reclaim your oh-so-precious sword long ago, and I took it upon myself to destroy it. I would've convinced the local yokels to do it for me--tell them it was a bad omen or something--but the levels of magic in this world are simply pathetic."
"Y-You knew I was--" Zetta began, visibly shaking, before he was cut off again.
"They cling to tribal rituals and some elementary Flame nonsense," Pram scoffed, "yet they can barely control the magic they hold so dear, and as such were unfit to do my dirty work...and now you're here, offending my eyes with your filthy costume!" She slashed her arm through the air, causing Zetta's disguise to vanish instantly, revealing his usual guise. "I shouldn't even let you walk away for working so hard, searching for all those years, to muster your futile opposition against me, but I find it all so gosh-darned amusing that I can't help myself!"
"Damn you, you witch!" Zetta cried out. "Don't think I'm done with you!" With a concentrated mass of fire surrounding his fists, he charged towards Pram and leaped up to deliver a powerful blow, but his body had suddenly stopped--he was frozen, suspended in the air by an unknown force, which then formed a bubble-like shell around him.
"Now you just sit tight and be a good boy," Pram taunted. She then raised her hand to the air, causing her to ascend to the sky once more. "Oh, and about this 'Skye' you were planning on setting ablaze once you found your little toy? I suppose it won't bother you too much if I do the honors?" A ball of blue-hot fire materialized in her hand, and with a quick movement, Pram launched it towards the center of town on a collision course with the central square's clock tower...
Suddenly, broad daylight turned to midnight in the Isle of Skye, except for a blue meteor barreling down upon Central Square. As humanity scurried, the top of the clock tower was hurled through the air, and burned to ashes, before it hit the ground. The ashes disappeared along with the blue flame.
Everyone helped gather the injured, then went inside to shelter themselves from the hell that had come from the sky. The Elders would have to explain, to the terrified citizens, what was happening, and assure them that they should not be afraid. Of course the Elders didn't really know who launched the assault, but they did have an idea. They knew that they had to find the two strangers who had been seen galloping through town on the magnificent, spirited steed. At least that's what the old Shaman surmised, using his acute intuition. He sensed that these youths could lead them to information that would help tame the hysteria that was steadily mounting.
They readied the Army.
The Elder of each district hurried through twisting alleys and broad avenues, to their respective guard towers on the outskirts of town. He who oversaw the Southeast District was the first to arrive, and shortly thereafter, three sharp, quick brays of a trumpet could be heard all throughout the island. Within minutes, a storm of soldiers took to the streets, armed with crossbows and scimitars, marching towards the Clock Tower.
From her high vantage point, Pram saw the mobilizing forces. "Looks like they're already on their way." At that moment, Zetta noticed her eyes flash with an evil glint as she spoke further, "I've just come up with an even better idea. I think I'll leave much of the city intact, after all." Before Zetta could react, Pram conjured up three more blue-hot fireballs and tossed them towards the North, West, and East Districts, demolishing several buildings in each district. "This will prove far more amusing," Pram cackled as she soared back into the heavens in a streak of light. At that moment, Zetta finally was freed from his stasis, but now he could hear the soldiers closing in. "I saw it!" he heard a voice cry out in the distance. "That fireball came from Garman's place!" He tried his best to get up and flee, but the imprisonment had left him drained, unable to move, kneeling helplessly in front of the antiques shop.
Elsewhere, Issa and Sir Oak had been riding through the West District, trying to gather information about the explosion in the center of town, when suddenly a building less than 20 yards away--a derelict warehouse--shattered to splinters in a deafening explosion, with enough force to throw the two of them off Gazi's back. "Wh-what in the world was that?" Issa cried out. "Not even my sister's magic could produce anything that powerful!"
Tabool quickly stands up and draws his sword. "It's him!" he shouts, barreling through the streets without even a moment of hesitation. Flustered, Issa looks around to inspect the damage caused--which, aside from the warehouse complex, appeared to be minimal, and seemed to involve no civilians whatsoever--before mounting up on Gazi once more to follow her brother. "What are you doing?!" she asked as she caught up with him, "Where did your patience, your discipline, go?!"
With almost superhuman grace, Sir Oak vaulted himself onto Gazi's back in a single bound as they sped through town. "I may have cast aside my patience," he growled, "but that fiend won't get away with this wanton destruction!" He knew he was closing in, for he saw a stream of soldiers marching towards the Southwest District, to a street corner near the clock tower. "He must be over there," Tabool said as he steered Gazi onto a different route, to avoid the roadblock of soldiers and reach Zetta first.
As Zetta struggled to even stand up, he heard the harsh clops of a horse's gallop approaching, and within seconds, he saw two familiar figures--Tabool, the youth who had accosted him the other day when he attempted to procure that magic horse, and a young girl who looked very much like the girl who found the Sacred Tome. "This girl," Zetta thought, "looks like that 'Isira' who found the Tome, but she is smaller, and..." If he could reel back in surprise, he certainly would have. "...that aura! Her level of magic is absurd! She could easily take down that miserable witch, Pram! If only I could teach her how to unlock that potential..."
But Zetta had to collect himself and think quickly: Sir Oak dismounted and had his sword at the ready. He had to convince these children to aid him, he had to convince the girl to let him train her in the art of high magic, but the boy's eyes were fierce and determined, and he knew he couldn't fend him off...
"Where is the bloody book, you filthy rogue?" Sir Oak barked, as he lifted his blade high into the air, "Give me the book, and I might spare your wretched life!"
"The book is secure in my secret domain, but you will never be able to find it, so go ahead and kill me if you must" the Overload, Zetta, responded, "But I'm willing to negotiate, as to postpone my execution"
"And what about all this unprovoked destruction that you have unleashed on these innocent people?" Sir Oak, angrily, asked.
"It wasn't me" Zetta replied, "It was that dreadful hag, Pra--"
Sir Oak suddenly felt a sword nudging him in his back. He looked around to see that they were now surrounded by the soldiers from the district. He surrendered his weapon, and he, Zetta, and Issa were arrested, and thrown in the dungeon.
Note: As Sir Oak had surrendered his sword, O. Zetta had grabbed it. The Obsidian/Arondight sword of renown is still apparently in Garman's Oddities and Antiques store, unless, of course, Pram did indeed destroy it!?
Elsewhere, in the vast darkness of the cosmos, Pram the Oracle--who has no need for silly human things like oxygen--observes Zetta through a large, polyhedral crystal. "Oh, shoot," she pouted, "I was going to destroy that idiot's precious little sword." After a moment's consideration, she shrugged. "Oh, well. He certainly can't use it right now, anyway."
"Oh, like a dungeon can hold an overlord? I think not, soldier!" roared O. Zetta. And before being thrown in the dungeon, in great agitation, he had ripped around and sliced a soldier's head off with his newly acquired sword.
New Chapter in which Overlord of Scotland, Saxxony Druid, challenges the Overlord of England, Zetta.
As has been clearly stated there is only one overlord per country. Saxxony Druid had been watching the melee from the Netherworlds via a brass/nickel telescope. In this way, Overlord Saxx monitored all that took place in his territory, according to where he pointed his 10 ft. diameter telescope. (He was greatly amused and pleased with this technology which he had procured from an alien visitation not too long ago.) He watched in righteous indignation of the highest degree when Overlord Zetta killed one of his soldiers on the Isle of Skye. He was beyond furious. He ripped open the anomaly and stepped into and onto the scene.
He materialized his black arabian horse named Gaveston and galloped into town from a distant plain. He rode to the castle of boy King, Elfred.
Elfred was 17. His father had died only a year ago. His mother had fled years ago even though she was Queen. She had escaped to a convent in England in order to be free of the strange politics of Skye. The boy had been educated by his father in matters of war and peace. He was well acquainted with Overlord Saxx, although Saxxony Druid's human identity was that of a noble. Saxx, as a royal noble, lived on two acres of land which had been issued to him in 1308 by King Cassius, Elfred's father. Sir Saxx was often away on "business trips" to assist the king of England, (who during this time was Edward the Second,) and therefore was often absent. But, he always mysteriously re-appeared when the boy king needed assistance. The guards lowered the drawbridge as Sir Saxx approached on his stately horse.
Safely within the castle walls, Efred greeted him in the great hall and they sat down to talk over a pint of ale and turkey legs. "You have a particularly difficult prisoner who sliced off a soldier's head and your men have arrested him. Is this true?" asked Saxx.
"Yes." said Elfred. "He is in isolation. There are two others who were arrested along with him. They are young... about my age. The boy is an interesting sight. I can't figure him out. Perhaps if we dressed him properly and cut his hair...the girl is determined to find her sister and brother. Her brother's name is Rajik. I have spoken to him. He is one of my new soldiers. He came to me explaining that he is the one for whom she is looking. Apparently these two have been searching for Rajik, his three friends and another sister as well."
"I see, a gang of seven youths must be reunited." Saxx said, counting on his fingers." I advise that you bring these two prisoners and the soldier, Rajik, to me."
Meanwhile, Isira was living in one of the old tin mining shafts. She had found an entrance leading from the beach. She had learned to fish and she ate fish and seaweed to survive. She probably could have found her way to a nearby village, but she actually began to enjoy her life there on the beach, living in the cave of the mine-shaft. Everyday she would swim out with a line connected to a fish hook, which she had found in the sand tangled up with debris and seaweed. The water was cold but somehow it did not bother her.
The fishermen's boats would pass by and many of the fishermen imagined her to be a mermaid. One day a work-boat drifted by. Three young fishermen spied the mermaid for the first time. They had heard rumors of the magical girl swimming in the ocean without a care in the world. And there she was! The youths waved and called to her, but she ducked underwater and they could not see her after that. They were determined to discover if she was a human or mythical being. The next day, a Saturday, they set out to discover where she lived, if she was by some chance, truly human.
With them, they brought food, water, and gifts for the "mermaid." It was told by other sailors that she had long flowing hair, like seaweed, so they brought a shell comb. They brought other practical things as well: a beautiful wool shawl, a magnifying glass and some food from the village tavern. They hiked to the remote stretch of coast where they had caught sight of her from their fishing boat. The names of the fishermen were Eli, Geo and Jules, although, as we know, Jules was a female.
The next morning King Elfred summoned Rajik. Sir Saxx and King Elfred greeted Rajik as he walked into the great hall. He appeared tall and serious. He approached them with an athletic gate revealing self-discipline, purpose and intensity of spirit. His stood with self-confidence mixed with humility. His presence impressed them both.
Shortly after, the guards brought forth Issa and Tabool. Tabool still looked like a tree in appearance, but he had greatly changed. He had regained his sanity and had developed maturity after traveling through England, surviving many hardships along the way and enduring all he had experienced. He had seen the overlord's battle and was terrified by what had taken place in town. He acknowledged the overlord's great powers, but abandoned the obsession to gain those powers. He now appreciated his own strength and determined to develop his own abilities and talents. And he felt the desire to return to his studies and master the discipline of the red flame.
Issa broke away from the guards and screamed Rajik's name. As they hugged each other the guards released Tabool as well. The three stood together huddled as though they would never let go. Finally the guards pulled them apart. The three were led to a long table. Sir Saxx and King Elfred both sat patiently in ornately carved maple-wood chairs. The king looked curiously at these youths. He instantly fell in love with Issa.
She had long brown hair and the soft eyes of a doe. He smiled at her and told himself that whatever she had done, it couldn't have been bad enough to deserve imprisonment in the dungeon. Nevertheless, he decided to interrogate her with severe authority. "What have you done in the kingdom of the Isle of Skye to deserve imprisonment?" She started to shake. She looked at Tabool to answer the question as she really had no answer.
Tabool answered with calm honesty, "We stole a horse from the Overlord of England named Zetta." He continued, "But, it was a mistake, because the horse himself wanted to get as far away as he could from the overlord!"
With this admission both the king and the noble roared with laughter.
Suddenly the guards burst forth with Overlord Zetta in handcuffs and chains. Overlord Saxx leapt out of his chair up and drew his sword. Overlord Zetta scowled from beneath the hood of his cloak. The guards held him securely "Why did he not escape," thought Overlord Saxx. "With his powers, he could leave anytime he so chooses!"
Hello, what was this? Suddenly the demeanor of Overlord Z . completely changed. He threw back his hood and revealed his blood-red hair, beady dark eyes and oddly handsome face. He smiled pleasantly and called out jovially, "Why, Sir Saxx, How Be You? We have not had the pleasure of one another's company for quite some time!"
"Silence! You sliced off the head of one of my soldiers!" The boy king continued speaking sternly: "And now you dare to engage in jovial familiarly with my noble!"
The Overlord protested, "I did not slice off the head of your soldier. Why would I do that? Find the death record of the the soldier you say I killed."
The royal records were brought forth and, as the overlord insisted, there was no record of the death." Yes, I grabbed this lad's sword," he motioned toward to Tabool, "but the blade was so dull it did not slice off any heads at all!"
"It must have been an optical illusion of some sort through that telesoscope of mine. I need a telehedron crystal," thought Overlord Saxx."
"And who started all the melee in the village?" continued the king.
"Oracle Pram, Sir," stated O. Zetta.
At this point, Saxx intervened on behalf of O. Zetta. He sensed he was telling the truth. There was no way to hold him accountable.
"What were you fighting over?" Sir Saxx Inquired.
"An obsidian blade, but alas, as far as I know, it has been destroyed and therefore our battles are done. May I return to England now?"
"Yes," replied the king, "And never return!"
The guards released Overlord Zetta and he walked into the orange and purple plains of Skye Island. Unseen by anyone, he ripped a crimson anomaly and retreated into the netherworlds for an unspecified amount of time.
Meanwhile, the three "fishermen" continued their search for the "mermaid." They hiked as far as the mysterious ancient round tower ruins. They explored them with great curiosity. Finally they saw human footprints in the sand which lead to an entrance in the ruins. They reasoned that it had been carved out by the sea in the distant past. They calculated that the ocean was about a half mile away. Jules called into the tower. No answer. They entered the opening and discovered the belongings of an inhabitant. They knew the items had to belong to the mysterious ocean swimmer. They climbed into the tower to get out of the blazing sun which reflected off the slate blue ocean and the expanse of dunes. As they waited for the girl to return, they fell asleep. Finally, in the afternoon, they were awakened by a voice singing in the distance. The three friends watched as the figure approached. As she got closer they couldn't believe their eyes! They recognized her instantly. It was Isira!
This tale is coming quickly to an end. The ending is happy, as all endings should be, and it goes like this: Rajik knew where Jules, Geo and Eli were staying. (History: They had all found jobs and shared the rent for a small cottage nearby. Rajik had lived with them when they first moved in together, but he needed more of a challenge than just working all day on fishing boats. So, he joined the army and moved into barracks near the castle. Jules seemed to one of the boys and, although she had to do most of the cooking and cleaning, they all got along very well. Rajik would visit them every Saturday for dinner.) On Saturday Jules, Geo, and Eli helped Isira pack her belongings and brought her to the cottage. Rajik had brought issa, and Tabool to the cottage the same day. (The king had released his prisoners into the custody of their brother who promised to bring them to the cottage where they would be reunited with the others.)
One cannot describe how happy they were to be reunited! Now, each one of them had developed in different ways. They had all become stronger in regards to the power of their flames; each one representing a different color. Tabool: Red, Issa: Orange, Eli: Yellow, Geo: Green, Isira: Blue, Rajik: Violet and Jules: Magenta. They were happy on Skye, but each one missed the farm/village/hamlet. Each one wanted to return to continue progressing in personal strengths, abilities and talents. They needed the wisdom and guidance of their mentors, Rolland and Emmet. In turn, they would assist in helping teach and care for the other citizens of their village. They were unified in their desires to go home.
But, how would they get home? Oh, what a long journey it would be.
Suddenly Isira remembered something Rolland had told her. He had said, "If all of you ever wish to come home, there is a way to do so quickly. Have each person place their hand on top of the other's in succession. As the last person's hand is placed on top..." Her voice trailed off. Slowly, carefully, one by one, they placed their right hands one on top of the other. As Jules placed her hand last, all the colors of their auras unified and burned as one bright light. They were transported in the blink of an eye back to their village in Surrey, England where they were happily reunited with Rolland, Emmett and their beloved town folk. Oh, and one more miracle had occurred: All the flames of the caves had re-ignighted upon entry into the village in their blaze of white light!
And They Lived Happily Ever After.
"Happily ever after?!" Zetta shouted, "That's crazy! I still have to deal with Pram! I can't let her toy with me forever!"
"There, there," Pram chided, bouncing Zetta off the walls inside another force shield. "You're not important enough for the story to focus on, so stop your belly-aching!"
Right! I forgot to add that whenever you hear the rumbling of thunder and see lightening flash in the sky, it's because Overlord Zetta, wearing his fine navy blue clothing and cloak, and Oracle Pram, in her victorian dress and snow white hair, are still throwing blue-hot fireballs at each other and bouncing each other off the stratosphere. Perhaps that's called love...
in the Netherworlds.
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