The judge arose decisively; his figure emanated an aura of power and importance. The courtroom fell silent almost instantly. The sound of the small ceremonial hardwood mallet pounding the cold grey slab of stone preceded by the word “guilty” resulted in a stunned gasp, followed by an outburst of discussion amongst the spectators of the controversial Aeron case. The young boy uttered a painful cry, raised his eyes, looked round to question his representative, but he had already disappeared into the crowd of people milling towards the exit.
The lawyer was only there as a formality, having no real concern or care of the outcome. Nobody had noticed the hooded figure watching intensely in the corner of the courtroom. Several moments later, the victim, of a miscarriage of justice, was whisked away by a couple of brute looking officials. There was a soft, but audible bang. A number of passer byes turned and looked in the direction it had come from. All they saw was an unoccupied seat at the far end of the court. The incident was soon forgotten, and in a couple of weeks, so would the boy…
Chapter Two: Creation
The three ancient sages gathered in a vast deserted plain of sand and stones, interspersed with mountains of various sizes and heights. Clad in the various attires that they saw fit, they began to weave their spell – calling upon every ounce of power that they could muster to allow of a conversion that would transform the desolate wasteland into a magnificent landscape that would provide a safe haven, protected from the injustices of the world, for anyone who resided within its invisible barrier.
The Sniper wove her magic with her massive hammer, creating the life. The Hunter created the Sky, his barrage of arrows forming the clouds with their flares of lit magic. The Winter Sage created the water, using nothing but his hands. Soon, the place began to take shape before their eyes. It was far more beautiful than even they could have imagined. The clear glass formed a circular floor, beneath which a stunning lake flowed. A number of pillars occupying the edge stretched towards the sky, forever hoping to reach the height of the Hunter’s arrows. Floating slabs of earth slowly sailed back and forth, creating stands that hovered ever constantly – appearing to be suspended above the clouds, light reflecting off them poetically.
Numerous cascading waterfalls fell from the sky, from the floating pieces of ground, to another. Two of them happened to land on the edge, ricocheting off of it shortly after impact. The small bit that stayed pooled and flowed into huge fountains – that occupied the centre; seemed to feed off this never ending supply. The symbolism of water was unavoidable – when looking north, the cascading falls formed the crest of the Winter Sage. On the surface, emblazoned into it with gold leaf, was the crest of the Sniper. And, around the sky and stands – the clouds formed the crest of the Hunter.
Feeding off the magic of the three, plant life grew to embrace the pristine look, wrapping gracefully around the columns in vining tendrils. Elegant tress had been allowed to take root, magically symbiotic with the glass. With the base work complete, the three met in their new world, adding the finishing touches. All three placed torches on the various pillars. The large reservoir of magic was still itching to be used – calling upon it once again, they let a number of slabs of white marble float lazily, often circling the columns like clouds. Behind them, the Hunter’s clouds could be seen, idly spinning in similar gyrations.
It seemed to be a perpetual bliss, the three locking the season in – save for the occasional snow from the Winter Sage. The trees that were permitted to live there often let flower petals float around the sky as well. They were of some mysterious unknown species, a variation of red colours that came from a silver barked tree. They hung, much like willows, a necessary addition by the Sage, mimicking the cascading falls.
Around the glass circle, a ring of bright grass was neatly cut. It behaved as the magic let it – perfectly even height and always in perfect condition. The sky itself obeyed the magic, having no options but otherwise, it maintained its brilliant blue hue at all times, only the clouds obscured the clear canvas – along with the dancing falls and whirling pieces of earth.
Now, it was time for the last addition – combining their powers, they shaped various crystalline structures. The arches were held up by 4 statures, repeated 3 times in triangular placements. One was of the Sniper, her massive hammer looking as if it could hold up, or destroy the world. Along with her, the massive blade of the Tyrant seemed to be unmovable implanted in the earth. The Hunter’s bow seemed to be poised to strike the heavens once again, while the Sage’s hands appeared to suspend magic between him and the arch, keeping everything in perfect balance.
But, this was only one part of the magic… the magic that happened during the day. At night, the place changed to be a completely different place. The white glass no longer playfully reflected the light hiding the marine life beneath it. It became dark and haunting, black, laced with green and silver. The starlit sky was occasionally obscured by a haunting green mist that seemed to create a deathly silence to the place. The waterfalls froze, seeming to be like the crystal arches. The fountains no longer threw water to sky, but seemed to throw diamond like shards up and down in an endless cycle. The wind seemed to no longer embrace the trees, but seemed to fight with them in an attempted to uproot them and take their place with the magic. However, it would not happen – it was not willed.
Finally, it was complete. The exhausted hunter spoke,
“It is time to save our people from the evil of the humans. Too long have we suffered at their hand.”
“My first mission will be to rescue Aeron, gather the rest, I will be back soon.” The Winter Sage said.
Chapter three: Rescue
The Winter Sage paced down the dim corridor that twisted and turned, like a corkscrew, of its own desire. The Sage reached a junction, the arrow pointing right was signposted “detention facility”. This passage was moving much more aggressively. Deafening sounds could be heard, screams of anguish and suffering through the thick walls. In the distance, at the end of the cacophony of motion, there was a single door, buried, but steady, seemingly unaffected by the eruption of sound and movement that marked the path to its jamb. The Winter Sage touched the handle with his hand and whispered a prayer.
The door swung open revealing yet another passageway, unlike the last; it was brilliantly lit, with doors clearly marked along the way. Each door was elaborately ornamented, engraved with complex designs of marine scenes and creatures. The doors were gaily coloured, in diverse pastels that added a dance of merriment in colour and fantasy to the passage. This was all an elaborate deception; each door concealed a lifetime of horror. The Sage stopped at a door, and forced it open. The room beyond was small, barely large enough to accommodate a single person; it was plain, with no decoration and no furnishings.
It was if the door was the main attraction to the space, and only served to draw one into its dreary midst. The door itself was larger than the length of the room. The room effused a putrid smell of urine and ordure, at the centre hung Aeron, his arms and legs chained to opposite ends of the walls. His breathing was laboured, his chest heaving in rapid motion. His bramble of light hair was dark, muted; toned down by the perspiration from the experience of his punishment. Blood dripped from his barely recognisable, disfigured face. He seemed to have lost an impossible amount of weight since the Sage last saw him at the trial. The Sage attempted to awaken him, gently tapping his face. He moaned and started wailing. The Sage quickly covered his mouth with his hand and began unhooking the chains. “It’s over Aeron” he murmured gently.
Chapter four: Peace
The three ancient savants had saved their people from years of prosecution and suffering. It had gone on too long, hunted down like animals, only because they were different to the rest. Of course they kept their ancient culture hidden from the prying eyes of jealous humans; however somehow, someone must have uncovered their secret. Now, and for the rest of eternity, they were free to live in peace at last.