The plain was empty. Not even the slightest breeze stirred the unending rolling green hills that lay before them. This land had been the home of many a creature, lush and beautiful, tarnished now by the army that had swept through hundreds of years before. Journeying through the empty valley would be no easy task, insanity taking the souls of the many who had tried to pass through.
The four knew this as they stared into the vast green ahead of them. There was no way that they could predict what would happen to them, despite having a seer among them. Hope was a charming idea, lost back in the horrifying brutality they had left behind. Walking into sure death was not an experience that any of the company had had before, pampered kings and queens who knew nothing about battle. They had never been taught how to use a sword or any sort of weapon other than a butter knife, a hundred years of peace lulling them into a sense comfort that should never have settled as fiercely as it did.
When the Creluli had attacked, the royalty had panicked, no knowledge of battle instilled in their minds. Looking back, they could see how foolish they had been, insisting that no army could break through their thick walls. Stone and brick was no match for a powerful magician, especially one who was being fed power through portals leading into other worlds.
Afraid of magic and all things related to it, the rulers had banished all the magicians that had been living in their kingdoms and the neighboring vicinities. Not shockingly, the magicians that had survived the brutal hunting and removal had not come to the aid of the kingdom as it was attacked. The kings and queens did not have sure knowledge that the magicians were still alive like many rumored them to be, but if they did exist, they had shown no sign of themselves.
Shortly before the invasion, both queens in the company had given birth to two tiny daughters, their arrival a blessing to the peaceful nations. Their daughters had been the best of friends, as best of friends that babies could be, and together they had been the heirs to the two most powerful kingdoms in the land.
In their haste to get out of the castle and insure the eventual return of their daughters, the company had placed their two children in the hands of the Guardians. Leaving them had not been easy but the kingdom depended on the girls’ survival. Without them, all hope would be lost, the possibility for revenge destroyed.
Born magicians, whether it was by curse or blessing their parents did not know, Olivia and Alisa were bound to be powerful warriors and strong leaders. The complete opposite of what their parents had been, the princesses were bound to be the saviors of the kingdoms. Unfortunately, the Creluli had decided that the mortals were no longer worthy of living, their stupid lifestyles and magicless being grated on the sensitivity of a proud and might people.
Most of the population of the invaded kingdoms did not understand that before they and their parents had been born, the Creluli had been forced to live in the deepest and darkest parts of the forest along with the vilest of creatures in the land. The forest was home to unimaginable evil, held at bay by the magical barriers that had been erected by the first Guardians. Designed to make sure that the evil could not seep into the mortal world, the barrier had also put the Creluli in the heart of evil. When surrounded by evil, anger cannot help but be inflamed and become dangerous.
Cloaked in Marisol’s magic, who also happened to be Olivia’s mother, the company strode out into the green pastures, leaving behind everything they knew. Their magic would not last long, seeing as it had been rarely used and quite sparse to begin with. Between the four, only two had magic and they had given birth less than three days before.
Invisibility would protect them for only a few days, while Genia’s healing magic would last less than a week, drained from keeping the two queens upright. Their husbands were doing everything they could to make sure that their wives would survive the journey across the valley, aptly named Frolic Fields, to the tree sprites’ kingdom.
The tree sprites had been friends of Genia’s since she was a young girl playing in the sprites’ land, and the company hoped that they would be able to protect them until the return of their daughters. Weak and pathetic as the plan was-after all, they were royalty and they should have died protecting their kingdoms like most kings would do- the kings Raythor and Anders hoped to one day lead their daughters into battle.
May the spirits be with you, my daughters, Anders thought as he once more picked up Genia to carry her across the plains.
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