It was almost dawn when Daniel looked outside his window. The familiar cobblestone path stretched in a single direction for what looked like miles until the forest emerged. The trees had no leaves on them even though it was early summer. Daniel had dreamed of going beyond the hills just so he could see what was on the other side. Not all of Orn was like this, though. The books Daniel had read throughout the years proved that what he saw on a regular basis wasn't everything.
The world of Orn was truly a magical place. Beasts and other creatures had lived there once in total and complete harmony. The forests were bright green and the pools were alive with fish and other animals alike. The Jorn Elves were the most helpful and interesting creatures in the land. The eyes of the Jorn almost sparkled, and their ears were pointed straight back. Their skin had a soft pale glow when they were about in the night. Their movement left trails of light behind them. If it wasn't for their size, one might mistake them for a Jera Faerie.
These faeries have a slightly brighter glow to their skin, and they are abnormally small in size. At night, the trees would seem to light up, as the faeries' glows illuminated as they danced amongst the trees. One may think they wouldn't associate with other larger creatures.
There were Vallei Giants, the giant and humble. Their size was quite intimidating; however, their kindness was unlike no other creature in the land. They were the peacekeepers and harvesters for most of Orn. The Valley of Vines was lush in various unrecognizable fruits and vegetables, and many were thankful for their kind services. However, there was one group of creatures that were not.
In the northern part of Orn lived many different foul creatures. Some include the venomous Vampyre, the snarling Beastans, and the Hooded Figures. The Vampyres are said to have teeth that extend up to 3 inches. When a creature comes across the beautiful appearance of a Vampyre, their fate is set, and they shall die. These creatures do not pity the living. They aren't very clean, either, and are extremely messy with their victims. The only thing that can destroy a Vampyre is a Hooded Figure. However, a Beastan is able to wound a Vampyre with their massive teeth and claws.
A Beastan is a slave to the moon, and transforms into what appears to be a mutated wolf. The Hooded Figures created this particular mutation using two Peach Toned animals, two wolves, one bear, and an unknown glowing red stone. From this one mutation, they were able to create many others.
The Hooded Figures are the oldest creatures in the land of Orn, and lust for power. Their appearance is quite terrifying; with their ghastly shape and the mysterious dark cloak they wear. Not one creature has seen what a true Hooded Figure has looked like. Being in the appearance of one can almost bring immediate death. The atmosphere that they bring is a cold and bitter feeling. Each creature's experience is said to be different.
One day, the Hooded Figures released all of their Beastan mutations, and they ravaged the land. The faeries were made almost extinct. The Vallei's were able to withhold most of the attacks, but their numbers were lowered immensely. The Jorn's went into hiding and most managed to escape the Beastan's attack. Sadly, half of the population had dropped over the year from falling sick.
The Hooded Figures had won. The sky no longer reached day, either. The only light it would see would be when dawn was approaching, and then the clouds would take over. It was almost always cold, so not many crops were able to survive.
This was the place that Daniel lived in now. He isn't a Jorn Elf or a Vallei Giant; He was human, or using Orn terminology, a Peach Toned creature. He never knew how he was brought into the land of Orn, as he was the only one of his kind here. His dark brown eyes and shaggy brown hair couldn't belong to anything else except for him. He was rather lanky, but that was only due to the fact of malnutrition. The Hooded Figures barely gave him enough to eat, and when they did, it wasn't very filling.
The Hooded Figures took him in when they found him floating face forward in the lake towards the southern side of their monstrous castle. Daniel doesn't remember why he was there. He was only three years old at the time. Eleven years had passed and he's been stuck in the castle, not allowed to leave the castle's main lawn area unless given specific permission to. He was allowed to visit the lake during the weekends, but he was never allowed to enter it.
Uha, a Hooded Figure mutation, had found him, and has been responsible for taking care of Daniel and watching after him. Daniel, in a way, looked up to him as a father figure. Uha was very strict with Daniel, as he is to follow the instruction of the leader, Qeo. Most of the Hooded Figure population have a small emotion tolerance, but Uha is different. He was supposed to be a Beasten, but time was running short, and the full process wasn't completed in time. He is part human and part Hooded Figure. Qeo had arranged for this to happen last minute, and nobody else had understood why. He's become outcast since then, and has only Daniel. Uha has grown to care for Daniel over the years.
When Daniel turned his head away from the window he saw a black kettle warming over a burning fire in the hearth. Uha had walked into the room just as Daniel stood up to stretch. He wore a cloak with the hood down, exposing his black hair that grew just past his shoulders. He was tying it up when he pulled out a wooden spoon from the inside of his cloak to stir the items in the kettle. Daniel wasn't quite sure how to tell age exactly with Uha, but he looked around to be forty years old. His eyes were black, and he kept his beard rather short. Daniel never quite knew how to react to Uha's appearance.
Daniel took a couple of steps away from his bed and sat at the circular wooden table that he and Uha had crafted three years back. He continued to watch Uha as he walked back and forth across the room grabbing the materials he needed to serve what he was cooking. It smelled like some type of berry, which was highly unusual to Daniel.
"You slept late," Uha said rather annoyingly.
"I'm sorry, Uha. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. The storm woke me several times…I found it hard to sleep." Daniel replied.
Uha turned to look back at him with a glare. "You know Qeo said we were to hunt today. We are extremely behind. If we don't get the minimum of what he said—"
"Then we won't have any meals for a week. I know. We go through this same discussion every Sunday."
"Then why must I repeat it? I am getting annoyed with you, boy. You may not realize it now, but once you reach of age he won't be as easy with you. You will go to bed earlier, then. This behavior cannot continue."
Uha walked over to a chest that was to the right of the fireplace and retrieved a mug. He removed the kettle from the fire and placed it in front of Daniel and gave him the mug. Daniel poured the contents from the kettle in the mug and examined it.
"Drink up. It's going to be a long day." Uha told him.
Daniel did as he was told and didn't recognize the flavor. It tasted extremely sweet and was silk like.
"Uha, if I may ask…What is this?" Daniel asked curiously.
Uha turned back to look at Daniel and said, "It's blueberry tea with a special ingredient. It keeps you full longer."
Daniel raised an eyebrow and continued to drink until it was empty. He was unusually full, which made him happy and ready for the hunt. Uha motioned for Daniel to grab his bow and arrow and to follow him out the door. It was going to be a long day.
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