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Eyes Like Fire Prologue
It was a day not unlike any other in the plains of Wiltshire. The sky was clear which meant that the festival of Samhain would be a glorious one. The villagers were busy preparing for the festivities with their usual preparations, getting their masks ready, the logs for fire gathered and all necessary items for their craft arranged in anticipation of the night to come. While the parents did this, the children tended to the homes out of respect for the spirits to come. When all was set, the High Priest of the village called the villagers to the site where they would offer their prayers, that which is now known as Stonehenge.
For years they had done this and for that very reason they strived and lived many lives of harmony, praising their gods and goddesses for such prosperity. It was indeed a marvelous village lined with little huts where the villagers rested and tended to their families. There was much water and fertile soil which grew their food, there were trees enough of which could be spared to use for firewood. At the very corner of the village was the temple which held the very reason for this. The four Apparitions.
The leader, and mightiest of these apparitions was Aodhan, the fire apparition whose wife, Aina was pregnant with a son. Sitting at his side were the water apparition, Cordelia, the wind apparition, Selma and Derryth, the Earth apparition. The villagers often came to the temple to make offerings to these four guardians who made their land prosper, offering some of the food the harvest had offered as well as fine jewelery and monuments of their great protectors. It is for this reason that the apparitions continued to guard the people, however, their days of prosperity were about to come to a close.
An evil entity named Aidrian lurked within the stars themselves, casting a terrible shadow upon the village. As the festival of Samhain commenced he approached the villagers who mistook him for nothing more than a spirit of a dearly departed one. He’d waited for this moment and began to feed on the villagers one by one, devouring their very souls. The High Priest rushed as quickly as he could to the temple of the apparitions hoping that their great protectors would save them from this threat. They were already preparing having heard the cries of the villagers, Cordelia drawing her trident, Selma, her bow, Derryl his staff and Aodhan his blade, ordering his wife to stay within the temple.
By the time they reached the High Priest he’d already fallen, and they witnessed a sight most terrible. The huts had been demolished, the people lay dead in the once fair, now sanguine plains of Wiltshire, and there right before them a grotesque titan of a beast feeding on the soul of the once lively High Priest. Staring at them with menacing clack eyes fully aware of the great power that stood before it the creature rose, towering over the great apparitions ready to destroy them. As Aodhan and Derryl charged the monster Selma shot arrows infused with the power of water itself and Cordelia launched her massive trident at the beast piercing into its neck. This however did not affect it, and it tore the trident out and used it to counter Aodhan and Derryl’s assault.
The battle was long and tiresome, and as one by one the apparitions grew weaker Aodhan realized the gravity of their situation. Looking at his beloved friends he spoke, “I see only one way to win this fight.” He paused for a minute with a solemn look and continued,
“I need you all to gather as much power as you can, and don’t you dare stop for any reason, are we clear?” They nodded knowing he was about to do something foolish. Aodhan remained silent, he then approached the creature who grabbed him with a massive hand. The monster swallowed the apparition whole then after a few seconds realized what the others were up to. Just as it went to stop them a fiery explosion tore it’s stomach open from the inside and out spilled the body of Aodhan, barely alive. Using the last of his strength he offered his power to the others and ordered them to seal the great creature. While Aidrian shrieked in pain Cordelia, Selma and Derryl used their gathered energy to seal it within the stones of worship, Stonehenge.
Seven years passed and the village still remained empty, oh sure the land prospered yet again, however the people were lost forever. Aina, not having the strength to go on after losing her beloved Aodhan died giving birth to their son. He remained in the care of the three remaining apparitions, Derryl, now the leader of the apparitions, offered wisdom to the child, acting as his mentor, Selma acted as a mother to him, giving him love and nourishment, and Cordelia taught him of combat. It was astounding how powerful he’d become for one so young, it’d taken Aodhan half a century to master his element yet at the age of seven his son had already learned how to manipulate and control fire.
However, the young apparition felt he had no true identity. It’d been taught to him that he, like his father before him, must find a human female, mate with her and impregnate her with a son of his own during her fertility period. He did not desire such things, living life like an animal having no choice, so he gathered metal from various locations in Wiltshire and using his powers of fire to bind the metals together he forged a vessel which he would use to cross the southern seas in hopes of finding a land where he could establish his own identity. They did not stop him, they knew he, like his father before him would only do as he desired. There was one thing he’d forgotten though, something that would prove to be nearly fatal to him
As he made his way across the sea, clutching his father’s sword he found himself in a vicious storm which shook the sea like it was nothing. The vessel had become unstable as the waves continues to crash against it. He cursed himself, realizing that he hadn’t made it strong enough to stand up to the might of the sea. As the water hit his body he screamed in agony, being an apparition of fire, his body was very weak against liquid substances, fortunately for him he was also half-human so the water was not nearly as fatal to him as it had been to Aodhan. However this changed nothing, within a matter of minutes, the waves knocked him out of his vessel and into the depths of the sea he sank.
Hearing his cry and feeling him through the water, Cordelia stood at the water’s edge and stared out for a moment, pondering how she may help him. After several minutes she touched the water’s surface and was able to sense him within the sea, his heartbeat was very faint, but she knew she could save him. She beckoned the water to carry him to the nearest shore, unready to lose Aodhan all over again. This plan worked, and she felt his body leave the water and arrive on the continent far to the west, her part was over and it was only a matter of time before he became conscious. He’d survived, and would now start a new life, he would no longer call himself the fire apparition, he’d chosen a new identity, one that would allow him to blend into the society he’d discovered, Ethan.