Prologue: Tales of Excel
The first thing Teal Auras remembered dreaming about was fire; bright, blossoming flames igniting the childhood home he loved. As a child he and his brother Cyan had lived with their mother and father in a lighthouse on the edge of a town called Aest, in the southern most island of an archipelago called the Arms Islands. They lived a peaceful existence until one night, a cold one as Teal remembered, a terrible inferno burnt the lighthouse to the ground. That night hadn't just been the night he lost his home, however; two summoners had been found deceased and holding on to one another near the front door. Teal stood clutching his brother's hand with tears in his eyes as he watched his home burn. Watched his parents burn.
Nightmares about this night haunted Teal for years to come, long after he and Cyan watched as men from the village retrieved his parents' bodies; long after the brothers had been forced to move to the north most island- to Krionel. On that island the brothers found themselves living in a village called Lower Tome. It was a small farm village in the shadow of a towering castle city named Upper Tome, the capital of their group of islands and a city where the rich ignored the poor.
Both the rich and poor, however, were protected by a group of warriors known as the 'Guard'. Once an elite crew of trained knights and heroes from realms apart, the old Guard was revered for ensuring the safety of the world from threats ranging from maniacs who would abuse magic for personal gain to monsters and plunderers alike. Now, decades later, the Guard was a shell of its former self full of volunteers lacking the spark of heroism.
Still, tales of the old Guard filled Teal's youth with wonder, and stories of heroes were almost as vivid in his head as that horrible night. In one tale, a small group of heroes had been tasked with defeating a horrible monster known as the 'Beast' and had gone on a crusade to the very top of the world, only to be betrayed by one of their own and vanish. The Beast was left to ravage the world, leaving it in shambles. A third of the world's population dead or missing. Teal hated this story because the man who betrayed his allies was a summoner, and upon learning this the Guard considered such magic forbidden. This led people all over the world of Excel to discriminate against summoners in such a way that when the lighthouse in Aest burnt to the ground, not a single villager stepped in to save the two summoners that were trapped inside.
Teal let out a sigh and rose from his desk. He left his room, heading outside to his friends. Tomorrow was the anniversary of that night. Tomorrow was the day his life would change. He could have no idea of just how much change the new day would bring.