The Gathering

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In a faraway land, across space and time, the tyrannical sorcerer Kairos rules with an iron fist. His pantheon of warlords enforce his will over the Chroni, who lost all hope long ago. Then one fateful night, the last mage of the Chroni uses a mystical moonstone to summon champions from a distant world. Soon, four warriors teleport from Earth, each torn from a crucial battle in human history. The stone steals Amyntas, a Spartan, as he fights Persian invaders near Platea in Ancient Greece. Decimus, a Roman soldier, is taken while his army falls to Hannibal on the fields of Cannae. The moonstone's power snatches Cynbel the Celt from a rebellion in early Roman Britannia, and the Viking siege of Paris loses Tyra, a Norse shieldmaiden bent on conquest. Now summoned to an alien world, these four champions meet others like them, encountering treachery and unlikely allies as they uncover the origins of Kairos. But their unity undergoes the ultimate test when they face the mad tyrant at Castle Olympus. Will these heroes fight together or be lost to the sands of time.

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The night was cold with bitter winds. The icy breeze awoke; the creatures of the night began to emerge from their afternoon slumber. A low howling from a wendigo was heard throughout the forest, creating an eerie sense of fear. Dark shadows, wild beasts, lack of moonlight, all these would make anyone fearful except for one. Clothed in a heavy robe, this individual knew that those sounds were the least of his worries.

In the moon’s twilight, a figure sprinted through the forest; an ancient, leathered book rested neatly tucked in his arms. What this book contained was a solution, numerous enchanted spells. His legs grew weary, but he then reached the forest’s heart. Sweat dripped off his brow. His heavy robe began to take a toll on him as he neared his destination. Ducking under bent branches and hopping over small streams, the individual sighed as he arrived at his destination—the sacred stones of Olympus. The barking of the dogs behind him increased his stress levels, their masters sprinting with them close in on him.

Time was closing its window on him. Getting on his knees, he removed the leather book and sped through the pages. He scanned the pages until he found the right spell titled ο χρόνος ξόρκι (time spell). He pulled out a red gemstone from inside his cloak and placed it in the center. With palms together, he recited the incantation in his people’s ancient tongue.

As he spoke, the stones began to turn blue and glow with such brightness and clarity. In the center of the rocks, the ringed outline began to swirl until a portal between time and space erupts. Through this portal, images of battles were visible. He could see everything and needed to choose quickly. Making his decision, he begins to recite the final phrase.

However, his phrase was interrupted by his pursuers, who had arrived at the worst possible moment. The dogs were panting hard and had drool dripping from their muzzles. Their razor-sharp teeth gleamed in the moonlight, and their eyes glinted red. The pursuers were his people and accompanied by one of the pantheons, Ares the War God and Lord of the Pantheon. Ares wore all black armor adorned with a shredded cape in the back. He stood around eight feet tall with a muscular build. His arms were the size of tree trunks, legs firm as a stone, and eyes as bright as the sun. He had a massive beard with dried blood on it. Unsheathing his Xiphos sword, a mirror reflection of the double edge straight sword from the Hellenistic age, he pointed it at the individual. His voice was full of malice and rage.

“You gave us quite the chase mage, but now it ends here. Surrender, and I will give you a quick death,” spoke the War God. The individual remained motionless and continued with the chant. Ares did not like being ignored. He gestured to two of his fellow soldiers to apprehend the mage. As the two got close, they immediately incinerated on the spot. A protection spell was put around the stones. It may have worked on regular soldiers, but it would do little to Ares.

“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Ares began to walk to the barrier. Knowing what would happen, the individual tried to finish the last phrases of the chant. His heart pounded in his chest as he heard the sound of the barrier-breaking underneath Ares’s strength.

Fear filled his mind, but he could not afford to make a mistake. Not now. Hearing the barrier shattering, the mage finished the last part of the spell, and the portal blasted up into the starlight sky and then disappeared.

It left a bluish hue in the night sky, and the mage let out a sigh of relief. He hoped the portal reached its destination: Planet Earth. Before Ares got him, he grabbed the stone and teleported it away. Enraged, Ares grabbed the sorcerer by the neck and slammed him to the ground. The force shattered the stone floor, breaking the sacred sight. The sheer power of the slam crushed several of the sorcerers’ ribs, and red liquid peels from the corner of his mouth.

Ares placed his blade to the sorcerer’s neck and drew some blood. “You think you’ve figured it out, but how long are you going to keep calling your champions for help.” Ares then began to mock the sorcerer. “I would have thought you and your people would have learned your lesson by now. I mean, all those deaths were your fault. Have you nothing to say?”

The man spat at Ares’s face as his response. Smirking, Ares picked up the sorcerer and threw him over his shoulder. Licking the blood off from his sword, Ares looked up at the night sky. He saw a figure towering above him. The figure was the one and only Zeus, his underling and lord of the skies.

“I take it you know what just happened,” said the thunder god.

“I’m sick of picking off warbands across this forsaken region. Let me kill some earthlings for a change! It’ll be like the old days, back in the great purge.” In his twisted way, Ares was delighted. He had not killed humans for some time now.

“And the stone?” Zeus could see that neither the mage nor his lord Ares possessed the stone; thus, it was still lost.

“The sorcerer knows where it is and probably hid it back in his village. Take him back to the castle and imprison him until further notice. While you’re there, get a scouting party and have them search the outlands until they find the stone,” orders Ares.

Handing the body to Zeus, the thunder god zipped away into the night. Turning his back to the sacred stones, Ares wondered what new warriors he and the others would meet. He chuckled at the idea of these new champions putting up a fight and winning.

“They will die like all the rest. Nothing will change.

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