PROLOGUE

"Some say before mortals could speak, Iphor the god of darkness, waged a war against Eltarr, the god of light. One day, while inhabiting mortal bodies, they met each other in what would be Aldren. The two fought for days, destroying everything around them, which created the Godscar. Eltarr at long last won—,"

“And banished Iphor for all eternity, I’ve heard this story hundreds of times, Grandfather.” Rendar interrupted, as he rolled his eyes.

“Rendar!” his Grandmother blurted out as she frowned.

“I’m sorry Grandfather.” said Rendar, cowering at the sound of his Grandmothers’ voice.

As soon as his Grandmother would continue to scold him, a loud sound echoed throughout the hut. CLANG CLANG CLANG!! CLANG CLANG CLANG!! CLANG CLANG CLANG!!

“Wake your sister and get to the clearing.” his Grandfather told him.

“Yes, sir.” replied Rendar, as he shook his sister Nala awake.

“Wake up, we need to go!” Rendar ordered shaking his sister.

“What’s going on?” his sister mumbled as she rolled back over in bed.

“Don’t worry about what’s going on, we need to leave now!” Rendar snapped at her as he shook her again.

“Okay, I’m up.” groaned Nala. Nala got out of her bed, got dressed, and grabbed her bag and walking stick.

Rendar gathered his things, led his sister to an open clearing in the forest where they waited in some brush under a tree.

After a few hours, Nala asked. “Where is everyone, we can’t be the only ones that made it?”

“You’re right; someone should have shown by now.” Rendar agreed as he stood up. “Wait here; I’ll go check things out. You remember our signal, right?” Rendar asked.

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“Yes, I remember, one short whistle, one long whistle, and another short whistle.” she answered.

“Okay, I will return, if I don’t by morning, go to Everton, promise me, you will go.” demanded Rendar.

"But—"

“I said promise me!” Rendar repeated grabbing her by her arms.

“All right, I promise!” Nala yelped.

Rendar quickly ran back towards his village. Using the starry night sky to light his way, climbing over logs and rocks as he ran as fast as his Kyph legs would allow. When he got closer to his village, he could smell the huts that still smoldered from the fires.

He made his way in silence to his home, and spotted his grandparent’s lying on the ground, with arrows in their chests. He had heard tales of these arrows with black and white fletching, and red arrow nocks. These arrows belonged to the Keban Vaan.

Rendar didn’t know much about these raiders, other than they destroyed anything they didn’t take for themselves. He grabbed and pulled the arrows out of his grandparents’s bodies and placed one in his pack.

Rendar stood there, with tears running down his face for a moment, looking at the all the destruction that had been waged on his people, all for what. Then he thought about his sister Nala, I have to be strong for her. She is my responsibility now. He then took the bodies of his grandparents, placed their bodies on top of a ruined hut, and set it on fire, and went back to the clearing.

Nala thought about her family as her brother left her in the clearing. She was alone, scared, and hungry; so she opened her pack and pulled one of her rations out and ate the mix of nuts and dried fruit. Just before dawn broke, Nala heard her brother’s signal. She moved around so she could spot him and returned the signal.

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Nala stood up and bolted towards him and asked, “What happened?”

Rendar replied with sadness in his eyes, “There is nothing for us here now, so we are going to Everton.”

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