Chapter 1- In Complete Darkness
Unaware of my surroundings, I am alone and in complete darkness, I strain to see even the slightest glimmer of light; but alas there is only emptiness. The cavern that shelters me from the outside world also envelops me in fear. I yearn to hear even the faintest sound, a direction to focus upon, but still nothing; nothing but the beat of my heart pounding inside my chest. I would scream; but I fear that someone might find me, so I continue to hide. For now I am safe inside this cave, but I know in time the Morshmen will come. All men are aware that King Mord’s soldiers the Morshmen, fear complete darkness, for in darkness the Spectra exist. But in time they will enter the cave, if King Mord so commands them. So for now, I hide; knowing that I must eventually leave this place of solitude.
I find myself falling in and out of sleep and know not if my eyes are opened or closed. I dream about my family and Nicosta; the fishing village where I grew up. Father and I were fishermen and each day we would cast our nets into the vast openness of the Baltar Sea. I will never forget the day I fled my village, the air was warm and the sky a brilliant blue. Mother often remarked at how my eyes match the sky and said that my spirit could calm the savage seas. I struggle to escape my dreams, but sadly I can not. I see my younger sister Amelia at mother’s side as she prepares supper, and hear her call out to father and I to come to the table. My stomach reminds me that it has been at least two days since I had last eaten. I wake to find that I am hungry and it is hard too concentrate. For the first time I realize that I can never return to my family or the home that I love and although my heart aches, I try to focus and stay awake. I know that I must be strong and find a way out of this cave, surely the answers cannot be found here in the darkness. So again I ask myself the question that continues to haunt me; do I really want to know what awaits outside of this cave?
This cave which shelters me also frightens me. I pray that somehow this is only a dream, but sadly this is not; it is real and this nightmare refuses to release me. For I must discover for myself what it is that I am to accomplish. Alone and in complete darkness, I search for a solution, an escape from the abyss. Then for the first time since I entered the cave, I hear a sound. Wind swirls through the cavern and brushes against my face and then it stops. I wait and listen, again I hear the wind and feel its cold bite, and so I begin to crawl toward the breeze. For the wind to enter the cave; means there is a way out of the darkness. Then in the distance, I see a glimmer of light. My heart quickens and I know I must move forward, for beyond this cave lies the answers. Why was I burdened with this responsibility and why I alone was chosen to be a Guardian?
My name is Robert Scott and I am15 years old, no longer a boy, but not quite a man. My family and I lived isolated from much of the world, except for the few surrounding homes within my village. There were many secrets hidden from me by my parents, secrets that I have only begun to understand. The only account I had about my family history has been told as fables, or so I thought. The story explains; that long ago there were Three Great Kings and each possessed a stone; a stone so brilliant that the human eye could not stare directly into their light. Alone the stones looked rather plain, however when the stones were placed together they contained a power unsurpassed by any other known to man. These Noble Kings were burdened by the miraculous powers their stones possessed. They were all too well aware that if the stones had ever fallen into the wrong hands; that the same magnificent power could be used for evil. Evil so unspeakable that it could not be controlled; and so knowing this, the three Kings parted never to see one another again, each taking a single stone with them and thus protecting the secret and guarding their stone.
I collect my thoughts and continue to focus upon the task ahead; I search for the light that marks my escape. As the glimmer of light turns into a beacon, I stand up and exit my solitude and I am ready to face my fears. As I step outside of the cave I realize that it is dusk; the moon is full and the air is crisp. I look around and try to get hold of my bearings; I am high atop the Golbotros Mountains and I can see King Mords castle in the distance. King Mord is large despicable man with dark features whose name invokes fear in all beings of moral standings. For centuries his family boded evil and continue to threaten all of mankind; it is this curse that I can not escape. His empire stands as an ominous fortress built atop of the Golbotros Mountains for all men to see; these are the same mountains that I gazed upon from my home in Nicosta. The Golbotros Mountains separated my home from the rest of the world. They are the same mountains that I was told never to climb. Now, I embrace them; for they are an escape from the village that I would never be able to return to.
As I turn and look out toward the ocean, I see my home burned to the ground by the Morshmen. The Morshmen are the very same beings that live in the distance on top of the mountains in King Mords Castle. My parents warned me never to leave our village, never to wander or climb the forbidden Mountain. Now I sit and stare, at the smoldering light that has cast a glow upon the land, which was once my home. I cry so hard that my head aches. My family, my friends, my home; all burned to the ground by King Mords Army. I reflect upon the last time I saw my family; the day started as any other. My father and I were fishing when he saw King Mords soldiers riding down from the mountains. With little time, father hastened me to drop the nets and swim ashore. He told me to warn the others of the advancing armies; without question I did as father so asked. I would often run through Nicosta as a test of my own stamina and agility. As I reached the shore, I ran through the village as fast as I could; warning all of the eminent danger, but sadly my efforts would come too late. Even before I reached my home mother knew that something was wrong; she had always feared that this day would come.
Mother took hold of my hand and ran into the house, as I stepped onto the porch I caught sight of my sister Amelia off in the field picking wild flowers and somehow knew that would be the last time I would ever see her. Mother told me to hurry and hastened me to the back of the house. She pulled a dresser away from the wall and leaned forward to remove a floorboard. Concealed under the floor was a secret compartment and inside the compartment was a small cloth pouch. More importantly safely hidden inside the pouch was a single stone. She carefully placed the pouch around my neck before speaking. Mother said that I was destined to do great things. She then recounted the fable of the Three Great Kings. She explained that I was a direct descendent of King Michael and that I am one of the Great Kings and a Guardian as well. Mother made clear that it was time for me to accept my destiny and take upon the greatest of all responsibilities. My parents had hoped that the stone would have remained hidden until I was a man. They knew that in time the stone would be entrusted to me; sadly this day has come without warning. From this day forth I must protect the stone at all costs; even if it means sacrificing my family! For the stones have miraculous powers; and if King Mord was ever in possession of any one stone, he would seek out and destroy everyone in his path until all three stones were his; then evil would prevail. With this power King Mord would rule the world.
Mother promised that she would always be with me and placed her hand upon my heart. Then speaking her last words, she said, “Robert, you must run! Run, into the mountains and beyond. You must promise me that you will never stop running until the stone is safe from those who wish to use it for evil. Now, run Robert!” Cried mother, “and never look back!” “No,” I shouted. “Yes” she demanded; “you are a Great King and Guardian of the stone and this is your destiny! The time has come for you to take your place beside the Great Kings and become who you were born to be.” Then she paused before uttering; “Robert, always remember that I love you.” With a heavy heart, she hugged and kissed me as she gazed into my eyes for the very last time. “Robert,” mother insisted, “you are fast and strong, run into the mountains and beyond. Do not stop running until you are as far away from Nicosta then you have ever been before. Now go, before it is too late…” Without question, I did as mother so asked, knowing that never again would I embrace my family. For they are all gone; slaughtered by the hand of King Mord himself.