80 Y.S.C (Years Since Creation)
Four Stones were said to have begun their race and gifted the fae with their birthmarks that they now held so dearly.
Clear crystals held the four elements of their people, for Ignis it was the clear, marquise stone holding the steady flame that was said to burn as embers at the oncoming of night.
They kept the Ardens Ember held up high on the tip of the City of Embers capital buildings spire, keeping it in a closer range to the scorching sun to utilize its full strength that graced them with the fiery portals of Rebrum Porta.
The Aqua Clan’s treasured stone was depicted to hold the ocean’s waves, as they swirled and crashed against the seamless, translucent crystal, shaped like a teardrop.
Mesmerising blues and greens circled a golden-orange centre, as if you were staring towards the sun below the ocean waves the Lamia Rose mocked with its own swirling liquid.
This sacred gem was kept in the fountain, within the Salatia’s main hall, close to the High Council and closest to home not too far from where it was first discovered only years prior.
The Lamia rose granted them access to dimensions, much like Ardens Embers granted the Ignis Clan access to lands beyond their own.
The stone would activate their portals, dotted amongst the swirling Eastern waters, the Maria Portas are what they were named.
However, for the Aer Clan, it was their prized skies held captive in a crystal orb, thunderous nights and uninterrupted clear days.
Portals they named halos waited, suspended and hidden within the clouds, only noticeable when the rising sun’s rays caught them perfectly, these ethereal mysteries provided access for the fae of the Aer Clan and the Aer Clan fae alone.
Powered by their beloved Aurem orb, which was kept securely attached to the Head of the High Councils seat, at the far end of the grand hall, they remained elusive doorways to the winged few.
And lastly, Verdite Cortice, possessed by the Terra Clan and lay within the gardens of Crestfold, amongst the varying trees and blossomed flower beds, held up high to the elements by the twisted stone boughs of the tree water fountain.
Oval in shape, the glass-like exterior attracted the sun and drew its adorning smile towards the marvels within.
Atop a small grass mound, roots burying deep within sat a tree, no bigger than a fist yet blossoming and thriving during the summer days, in glorious emerald greens, during the autumn and winter its twisting boughs would darken, leaves would drain to an array of oranges, yellows and reds casting out a golden reflection over the snowy gardens.
It powered the portals named Foramina that sat idly at the end of a Gorge to the South.
With these four crystals, the clans built unity, the lands expanding through the portals provided trips away for many, forms of trade for others and simply a home away from home for many more.
Those native to the dimensions coexisted well with both fae and humans, welcoming the trade and company it brought with it.
The capitals and Towns surrounding evolved with a new age of technology and building structures, bridges between the clans were crafted granting easier access and new produce began flooding the markets, ending in high demands for the new fabrics.
But nothing can hold steady, for slowly as the years progressed, demands turned to greed and with greed comes the lusting for power.
Formidable minds conjured up dark plans, after all, not everyone can rejoice peace as many of the four lands did.
As the days turned grey and the leaves of Verdite Cortice began to fall, something awoke, a heinous beast that lurked within the shadows, passing by unseen to most and ignored by others.
But those days had long passed in his eyes, with his wicked mind, he designed a ploy. One that would make him a force to be reckoned with.
He waited for the optimal chance to strike, and strike he did.
And yet, not directly himself, but with a puppet, one he plucked from a long possible line, but he was the one to be graced with his malice.
Every Clan was targeted and each lost something in one fell swipe, however, something happened that fateful day that the puppet master thief did not intend.
Lamia Rose was lost to the ocean depths, a simply clumsy mistake lead to the stone being dropped and left to sink into the dark abyss.
After this loss, his puppet was discarded, spell-broken and oblivious to all that had occurred and so he was caught, trialled and executed for the crimes he unknowingly committed.
The stones were placed back in their rightful seats and the portals swirled and opened up once again.
However, Salatia never received their precious Rose as the other clans had newly reacquired theirs and no word came from the King.
A demented sailor, one of which had gone looking for it, hoping he’d be the one to find it and return it, for a hefty price of course.
Shortly after his expedition, he was discovered by fishermen simply floating amongst the waves.
Dehydrated, starved and driven mad, he would mumble of the oddest things and so the Rose was cast out of existence, those who searched ended up much like the sailor, producing babblings of nothing and ludicrous thoughts, if they reappeared from the depths that is.
Tensions rose, speculations and rumours began to spread like the wildfires of Alden, trade amongst certain clans began to fade, the Ignis trading section specifically, since the one that had broken the unity had possessed the birthmark of the Ignis Clan.
It was the last straw and with that straw, plucked from their grasps their unity died.
Brawls and petty squabbles would break out in the market, families became unsteady with the rising tensions and stress of caring for their loved ones, friendships broke and with it, any alliance that ever stood.
King Helian with his wife Amara, along with their firstborn and heir to the throne Adonis, feared for their lives as well as their sons, for their voices of reason went unheard by the ears of many.
Those who listened chose not to understand and with it, the last remaining hope they held out for their people was snatched away and burned in the hellfire of war.
And so the First Great War began, each side fighting for the truth and for what they believed was the right cause and when the second year of bloodshed was approaching and the battling died down, hope shone dimly on the horizon.
But it was not for long, as if by some gruelling magic the war picked up and raged on.
However, amidst the blood and bodies came an unexpected crisis.
Ripped from their spire, chair and garden were the stones of their people.
In a blink of an eye, they were gone, the thieves vanished along with them, cloaked figures with no name and no face.
Panic tore through the Lands and over time unity resurged, every clan was desperate for answers, scared of what it meant to not possess the stones and what it should bring in years to come.
Uncertainty and desperation shook the Lands and for the next two harsh winters they searched, for what precisely they did not know, perhaps a glimpse of their beloved birthstones or of the lands they knew and missed for with the stones removed from their pedestals so ended the travel between worlds.
The portals closed and with it, any chance of having just a second of peace and tranquillity or one of those short family holidays.
It would be a very long time before families came out of hiding, but it would be even longer still before anyone discovered the truth behind the disappearances of the birthstones.