Prologue: The Great War of Darkness
From the time of its creation, the world of Enas only ever knew peace. A paradise created by the Gods of the Elements: Terra, Ignis, Aer, and Aqua, where humanity could live without a want in the world. But Light cannot exist without Shadow. And so, in the shadow of Enas, a parallel world formed, a realm governed by Darkness. The Gods knew of this dark parallel world – the Shadow Realm – but they believed the two worlds could co-exist in peace. And for many years, they did.
As generations passed, the memory of the Gods waned, until they were nothing but a myth; a story to tell children before the sky darkened with stars.
But of course, this peace between shadow and light could not last forever.
One day, inhabitants from the Shadow Realm found a way to travel to Enas, in search of taking the blissful world and everything it offered for themselves. Desperate to save their world, the people of Enas called on the Gods of the Elements to help, even though they only existed in legend.
But Raphael was desperate as he watched the black fire envelop the houses of his small town. If there was even a chance that the Gods were real, he was going to believe.
Anything to save his world from this.
He took one last look at his town as he led whomever he could find away from the disaster. Structures crumbled loudly in the distance, sending shockwaves of sorrow through his blood. The memories of his life, ones of family, friends, everything in between.
All of it was gone.
But Raphael’s horror turned to fear as The Great Darkness surrounded him and the survivors he had gathered outside the now-ruined town.
Except, it wasn’t just a Darkness.
It was people – or, Raphael thought they looked human enough – but they could control Shadow. Holding it in their hands as though it was the easiest thing in the world, forming flickering weapons and black fire as they closed in. No one had light in their eyes.
He knew they were only out for one thing: to take control of Enas. To enslave humanity and take this world and everything they had for their gain.
They didn’t care who got in their way.
The sound of screams deafened Raphael’s ears.
There’s no hope now.
It doesn’t matter if the Gods are a myth or not. They can’t save us.
No one can save us.
The Darkness closed in, and Raphael shut his eyes, waiting for the final throws of chaos.
Waiting for his fate.
Except . . . it never came.
Bewildered, he opened his eyes, and he didn’t seem to be in his town anymore. In fact, no one was. Everyone he had rounded up was there with him, but nothing was recognizable to him. Or anyone, for that matter. All they could see was Light. As though they were floating next to the sun without the heat.
He glanced around, everyone just as confused as him.
“What’s going on?” Jayde, a friend of his, said as she looked around with her large brown eyes.
He was about to answer her when Raphael noticed four figures forming in front of him and the small crowd of just over one hundred.
As he took them in, he instantly fell to his knees with wide eyes.
The Gods of the Elements: Ignis, Terra, Aqua, Aer . . . they really are real.
Those around Raphael were also kneeling, but Ignis, God of Fire, beckoned them to rise as flames exuded from his skin.
It was Terra, Goddess of Earth, who spoke first. She was the most beautiful woman Raphael had ever seen, with tree branches rooting from her very skin, and her long dark hair dotted with multicoloured flowers.
“All of you, we see the darkness surrounding you,” she said in a dreamlike tone. “Though we created Enas, we are not a part of your world; therefore, we cannot intervene with your dire situation directly. But we have determined an . . . alternative solution.”
Raphael stayed attentive, despite the whispers surrounding him.
Aer, the God of Air, spoke next, his gray eyes fixed on the crowd. “We will bestow each of you with one of our elemental powers, so that you may drive out the darkness in our stead.” His booming voice sent a jolt down Raphael’s spine as he took in Aer’s white hair and shifting, translucent skin.
The crowd erupted around Raphael, but he stayed quiet, processing the words that just met his ears.
They’ll give us their powers?
“Do you accept?” Aqua, Goddess of Water, said next. Her hair fell behind her in a shimmering waterfall as her bright, mischievous blue eyes scanned the crowd. Her voice was so childlike, Raphael thought.
There were murmurs from the crowd.
“How can we possibly do this?” He heard a girl behind him say.
“There’s no way we can accept!” Another man said.
And then, there was silence.
But Raphael couldn’t just sit back and watch Enas become consumed by Darkness. He couldn’t let that happen to his world; his home.
“I accept.” He said, breaking the cloak of stillness.
Everyone turned to look at him, some eyes filled with shock, others with curiosity. But he paid them no mind. He knew what he was doing was right.
If we don’t do this, what will happen to Enas?
“I also accept.” Jayde stood next to him, determination in her brown eyes.
Slowly, but surely, everyone took the offer, before the crowd erupted again, but this time into cheers.
Ignis motioned for silence, which followed swiftly. “Very well.” His voice was softer than Raphael thought it’d be.
In the next moment, the Gods disintegrated as Earth, Air, Fire, and Water surrounded them, circling them as though they were in the center of a vortex, spinning around, around, around . . .
Raphael shut his eyes, unable to take in the sights.
When he opened his eyes again, they were back in the burning town, the Wielders of Darkness all around them again.
Raphael looked down at his hands. He felt . . . lighter than before. Lighter than air, almost.
He glanced at Jayde, and he almost didn’t recognize her and her newfound bright, sparkling blue eyes. Just like Aqua’s.
Raphael waved his hands in front of him, and the air responded to his movements, waving around his fingers.
One of the Wielders of Darkness made an initial attack on Raphael as a flurry of black knives rushed toward him. Raphael’s eyes widened with fear as he instinctively put his arms out in front of him.
But there was no need.
When he opened his eyes again, there was a waterfall in front of him, protecting him from the attack. He glanced over as Jayde nodded.
It was time. Time to end this.
Time to save the world of Enas.
As Terra, Aer, Ignis, and Aqua watched Raphael lead the charge against the Darkness, the Gods made one last decision. To the west– far out to sea – they brought their powers together one final time into a storm, creating the island of Kera from a great lightning strike; a place in Enas where these new elemental wielders could live in peace, without fear of harming the rest of humanity.
The Gods prayed they would never have a need to intervene again. That the world of Enas could see peace once again.
And that the Shadows would stay in the Darkness where they belonged.