A silhouetted figure emerged from the path in the misty morning. Sunlight penetrated the forest, brightened the cobblestone trail leading to a lost enchanted temple in Aradeya Forest. The temple had been built in honour of a powerful sorceress named Lavaria. She lived long before humans walked the Earth, before darkness destroyed the mortal world but these are stories lost in history, legends became myths but only her magic lives on protecting the forest.
She stood near a broken pillar glanced at the wooded door. The temple was known for its powerful and rare magic, many spells were performed but lost all it’s magic the moment the Priestess vanished without a trace many years ago. The forest also seem to be effected by this strange darkness that was slowly taking over.
As the silhouetted figure stepped closer towards the wooded door but hesitated, pondering if she should proceed. Taking a deep breath, she courageously placed her quivered hand on the faded symbol.
I, Odeya. Call upon the Ancients to grant me access to this lost Temple.
Let you magic flow within me to unseal.
Let me beyond this door.
Bands of fire outlined strong tapered fingers, meeting at the bottom of her palm and the door swung opened. She stepped in but the Temple was in darkness as she summoned three light orbs, it was bright enough which lit up the entire Temple hall way. “that’s much better!” whispered Odeya.
She focused her surroundings, everything was lost and dull. She remembered from her childhood that the pillars had magical blue vines and the beautiful red leaves had all dried. The glistening red marble floor had no longer had its shine, there were no one fire orbs that lit up the skyroof every full moon. She spend her first 7 years in this Temple and mystified by all the enchantment, now it was all dull and gloomy.
She stood near an ancient bowl or some-kind of washbasin that stood in top of a white pedestal but the mystic red liquid had dried, the only thing was left was the dried flower. The Magic that kept the flower alive had faded. She picked up the gem like flower but it crumbled into ash, it had lost it’s essences which permeated the air.
She dusted the ash onto the floor and slowly lowered her hood revealing her silver white hair which gave her a mysterious look of unearthly beauty and her stormy silver eyes could reveal many secrets. Odeya had to know what happened to this beautiful Temple the moment Haniel disappeared she wondered. Haniel was a magic priestess of the Silver Star, a rare magic only a few can harness its power from the stars. Raised by a priestess had some benefits learning magic at a young age but she longed for a life away from the Temple. Odeya had just completed her training when she heard the news about Haniel’s disappearance she was devastated. She also heard rumours about an Ancient Black Rose origin was unknown.
Drained from her long travels home she walked passed a white marble statue of Enualios a Greek God of War that formed an alliance with the Japanese Gods but little was known about the myth which Odeya knew nothing about his legend or the history of this land. She turned to glance at the statue once more as if she knew the legendary God from a distance memory.
She eveally breaks away from though and goes into Haniel’s private quarters, she could use some sleep after a long journey home but its wasn’t the best place. She felt a chill wind through a broken window, when she stepped closer towards the window she could see a storm brewing in the distance. Storms are rare in this part of the forest. She could feel its power as if the storm was summoned by the Gods. Its was one of her gifts to sense magic in mortals or in the atmosphere.
Her memory of this place felt like a distance dream which was now faded. Odeya realized she could not stay here something wasn’t right about this place. She needed answers to her troubled visions and only Haniel could help. Somehow her disappearance is linked to the Black Rose. She thought of the Royal Library were she could find information or something that is linked to the Rose. It was one of the biggest Library in Arydress and it held many secrets hidden within the seal doors not even the Empress knows what’s behind those doors.
“I will find you Haniel I promise” whispered Odeya.
She found an enchanted black bag near a broken table which could find it useful, she walked into one of the store rooms hoping to get something she could use or a gift for Avril but it was raided, this Temple was left abandoned for many years. Broken bottles, red dust scatted across the floor. She recognised it as fire dust which was used to make camp fires. She found an empty bottle and scooped out some fire dust, it glowed in the palm of her hands. She could feel the heat almost burning. As she poured the dust into the bottle it turned black and the glow vanished. Upon sealing the bottle, though she heard a faint voice, stood for a moment frozen. “Haniel?” she called out.
This Temple was build by the Ancients and she knew that strange things often happens. “Hello! Anyone here?” she yelled out. She wanted and listen to a voice that might portray a person.
Something caught her attention under the ramble, as she removed some broken wood she found an old book. Upon picking it up she felt it’s energy flowing thought her. Strange Rune marking appeared on her right palm of her hand it felt like some magic bound her to the book. She takes the book back to the main hall she knew that the threat has passed so it was safe enough to study the book. Alone in an empty room could bring all her sorrows back but she could not let that happened.
Her hands caressed the cover of the book with the feel of newly-cured blue dyed leather. She had seen the symbol before while in training but never asked what it meant. Slowly opened the book but felt no magic or spell that could reveal a curse.
The pages were very old and it felt thick, it had a brownish colour but the letters were dark red as if it was written in blood. She gazed at the first printed words:
Guardians of Villadon
Soldiers of God
Ancient Serpent Sea
Odeya tried to make sense of it but nothing comes to mind but the word Shadow sounded so familiar. Her visions revealed a powerful warrior or God chained onto a stone table and somehow she figured that this is linked to some-kind of Shadow. Most of her visions were dark but slowly tried to put the pieces together.
She turned to the next page:
Ancient Sea Dust & Mist
The most rare ingredient to find and powerful enough to summon a deadly storm on land or at sea. This rare item can only be found in a place of the Gods.
The rest of the words had been faded, Odeya could not make out the letters. Had the book lost it’s magic she wondered. The other pages were blank, her finger ran down the pages hoping that it could reveal more but nothing happened. She decided to take the book with her so that she could restore its lost magic. She found a grey bag with red symbols, as she placed the book and the fire dust into the bag, she heard a something fall in the store room. She strap the bag across her shoulder and went to inspect.
It was her Lion Cub that she adopted. “Astarlin” she yelled.
“Im so glad to see you” she said.
She kneed down to cuddle her beloved Astarlin after so many years away, it was a first gift from her birth mother. An enchantment Cub was rare to Odeya, it never aged. The cub even helped the Empress to deliver messages to other Kingdoms using Royal Scrolls. Astarlin’s magic was rare not even Odeya could explain and no mortal could have created this enchantment.
“maybe it’s time we return to the Palace before the storm gets worse, don’t you think?” A soft roar came from the cub and she took it as a yes. She could feel a slight chill in the air, could it be from the storm she wondered. She then noticed a mysteries red mist forming on the ground. “this can’t be good” she whispered.
As the mist swirled around her she stood frozen. It felt like a dream or a time void, as the mist covered everything there was no escape. “Astarlin!” she yelled. Something was not right, she realized that she was no longer in the Temple. The floor became soft. She needed to find a way out of the mist so she summoned a mist orb to guide her.
After a while she felt a warm breeze and the mist began to thin which was a relief. She felt sunlight on her skin when she finally emerged from the mist. A colossal gold statue of a mysterious God stood before her holding up a huge fire ball but it looked more like the sun. It never occurred to her but that statue could be one of Helios, the Titan God of the Sun. “why am I here?” she whispered. A feeling of warmth passed through her as if the Titan could sense her presence and was drawing her closer. It was only at this point that she became aware that a massive Palace stood behind the statue. There was a long suspension bridge leading to the Palace. “could this be the Palace of Helios?” she wondered. “what magic has brought me to this place and why? Was it you Helios?”
She listened but the only sound she heard was the howling wind. She wondered if the Titan was present in this Palace or was it build by mortals just to honour him. She had no intention of meeting a Titan or any other fearsome God but she had to know for sure. She took the first step, each square block on the gold bridge had a painting of a silver sun which was strange to her, the sun symbol was meant to be gold signifying Helios or Apollo. Why was it silver, she wondered? Thick ropes held the bridge in place, it glowed when she held onto the rope but the glow disappeared the moment she let go. Columns of thin silver chain-like ropes on each side which gave it a unique look and style. She wasn’t sure if it was solid gold which tempted her to investigate. Gold was extremely rare in Eradonis and the discovery of a large amount of gold will make her rich and will put the Empress to shame but this belongs to someone.
She took another step onto the gold block refocused on her task of getting across. Although the bridge was steady, it continued to shake with every step she took and she hated every moment of it. When she looked down at the river and realized how high above she was it sent a terrifying chill down her spine. She dared not fall into the raging water.
She let out a breath of air and processed again but the moment she looked straight ahead, a little girl stood at the end of the bridge. Odeya froze, although she looked more like a Goddess she could feel her rage. Her wings were blood red, Odeya realized that she was a Guardian of the dead but not for mortals. To her knowledge they were created by Helios to protect ancient tombs of Gods and fallen Heroes but who was she protecting she wondered. Her knowledge of magical creatures and Goddess came useful to her. Some strange magic has brought her to this unknown Palace, she thought of Haniel but the Priestess didn’t possess powerful magic. Odeya felt that she was not meant to be here but the only way to return home was to move forward.
The moment Odeya stepped forward she let out a raging scream, an invisible force passed through her but she held her ground. It was some warning telling her to stay back and things were about the get worse when she heard a loud snap. A rope supporting the bridge had snapped. Then another loud snap above, she looked above her to see the sold red and gold rods that attached the ropes had fallen off.
The wooden walkway below her began to buckle. “No! Please don’t do this to me now” Odeya held onto the rope when the bridge broke off, she hit the side of the cliff hard. Her entire body racked with pain and could barely hang on, eventually losing her grip. As she fell, she felt her strength vanish the moment she hit the raging water.
She managed to surface but struggled for breath. The water’s current was too strong and swept her away. At the end there was a massive waterfall, there was no escape. She plunged deep into the pool of water and slowly surfaced. Being in a semi-conscious state she felt the water around her became icy and it felt as if she was drifting downstream. Then something within her began to surface, consuming her mind and body as her strength gave in and fall unconscious.