Rayne will be baaaack, I promise!
Below we investigate the various Guardians. I'll be posting Chapter 8 in sections, so every race stands apart and eases understanding.
“Son, daughter, to understand yourself, you need understand others. But, hark, my children, it isn’t enough to watch your neighbour - think far, listen to nations of other worlds …”
~ The Journals of Humanity, Beacon Library of Exploration
Glorium and the Sagorin
The Sagorin of Glorium attained a lofty height of eight feet, had green skin tones and a lifespan of eight centuries.
Their way of life was simple; daily chores were achieved with faces wreathed in smiles. They studied and philosophised, wrote works of great insight and value, and practiced the magic of the mind, inventing innovative tricks to amuse each other. They experimented with the sorcery of great feats, doing so within strict guidelines and, after learning a feat, shared it and went on to build upon that new knowledge.
It was in the sharing and building of sorcery that they discovered the method to attain Immortality. This was a dangerous feat employed to the detriment of the sorcerer. Shrugging, they agreed they lived long anyway.
A day came when nine strangers arrived on Glorium. After a time various signs brought disquiet. A harvest failed. A precious water source vanished. Philosophers said they were signs from the gods, a punishment for isolationist ideas. This came close to heresy … and bells tinkled softly in a stirring breath of evil.
Another day came when Gee, the Sagorin leader, grappled with one of the nine over the apportioning of duties. His people were in effect servants. It was time for the visitors to leave. He said as much and soon there was fighting. Gee raked at the being’s face with clawed fingers and pulled off what amounted to a mask. Underneath was a hideous creature, holes for eyes and nose and, unmasked, the creature lost all semblance of humanoid form to become a blotch with multiple arms and suckered tentacles for legs. A slavering mouth pit spat vicious fluid.
Droves of the creatures invaded Glorium thereafter and the Sagorin understood they faced extinction.
A world would be won for the darklings.
In a cave, deep within the mountains where it was cold and lonely, the survivors met, having fled from carnage. Somehow they had to find a way to survive.
Gee proposed the Immortality Ritual. It meant four would die to draw the circle for fourteen to transcend mortality. Gee would draw the circle and remain. He asked who was prepared to die with him… and they all were. The will to go on was minimal, but Gee ranted, telling them someone had to live, someone had to tell the universe of this evil and someone had to finish it. Thus it was that life and death was decided by three short straws.
Fourteen Sagorin stood within the immortality circle and swore to bring justice to the murderers of their people. They further swore to seek the knowledge to return them their mortality, to reforge the Sagorin race. The three females sat out of the straw lottery for that purpose; they were the future mothers.
Four more Sagorin died that day. Fourteen were set to live forever.
A million years have passed, and in that time the fourteen Sagorin found other Immortal beings. They joined forces with those that were good and defeated, where possible, those that were not. They freed their world and keep it in readiness.
Three thousand years ago they fought alongside Taranis and the rest of the Guardians to free another world from evil, and were deified into human conscious.
They still seek the potion of reversal.
The Sagorin leader, Glint, rose from the stone bench. Chaos was what happened on Glorium; Chaos was what Drasso nearly achieved on Valaris; Chaos was the aftermath of a darkling visit. Chaos should not be a fog of darkness containing all manner of depravity able to roll in and blot out all goodness.
It had to be stopped.
He would fight this new threat in whatever way it came to pass, but how?
“Taranis, I know not of a weapon that slices fog. I cannot see sorcery piercing that veil, never mind dissipating anything of that magnitude.”
Taranis stepped away from the dais, causing it to spin. He walked closer to the gathering to declare he was now friend as well as leader.
“We are not to fight this, Glint, not in pitched battle. This is about Infinity’s ultimatum. After telling me how clever she is, after seeing what lay beyond the Rift, she presented a game-plan, which, I might add, is an appropriate a choice of words, for the dara-witch aims to play a dangerous game, the prize being our universe. At this point the Arcana are the guarantee we participate according to her rules.”
Glint’s tall frame was draped in shimmering amber and he twitched it side to side. It was an indication of the agitation in the Dome, for Glint was usually steadfast; last to grow anxious, last to fear. Amid the general sighing that greeted Taranis’ words, he looked beyond his Sagorin to see the others waited for him to speak … even Declan.
He faced forward again, looking into Taranis’ patient gaze. In that moment he understood why they loved him; he never rushed feelings, he gave them opportunity to think, speak, and feel, never dodged questions, no matter how hard an answer could be.
Glint’s fear ebbed, and he said, “Putting aside the nitty-gritty of the dara-witch’s machinations, what happens if we win this … game? This is Infinity we’re dealing with; she doesn’t play fair, ever. She could turn around and do as she threatens at any time.”
“And thus we watch her. Knowing her is an advantage. Trust this - the Arcana are real; the Rift is there and beyond it all and more of what I passed to you. Whatever we know of Infinity’s untrustworthiness, we dare not call her bluff. While we have a fighting chance of preventing the influx of that evil, we do as she demands, are we clear?” Taranis lifted his right hand in a gesture meant to calm frayed edges.
It was a small measure of magic, not intended to influence, but to ask for calm. There was a visible relaxing; again, not magic, only understanding of what he asked.
He added, “We may learn how to shut the Rift before she turns on us, and if that happens I will personally send her to the netherworld. We buy ourselves time, my friends, by falling in with her plans.”
Gren hurtled to his feet next. He was Gee’s son, and to this day believed his father deliberately gave him a long straw.
“We have heard and learned and seen and shared, and it appears we have little choice but to do as the dara-witch bids. Therefore the next logical question must be; what exactly is this game?”