Tales of Zalonia: The Hidden Scrolls 1

Scroll 1 – The Prophet speaks

Little will become known about the times before the first age of what I saw. I write on these walls, everything that was before, now, and yet to come. I will be known as the Ancient Prophet without a beginning, but with an end. For not even I know my beginning. I was not born of a woman nor was I made from the dust on the ground. I and my companions write the history of the world, from beginning to end, on these walls. Our passing will come before the first age begins. The first age will think of itself as the beginning of the world, but that is not how it happened.

In the beginning, there was a giant explosion creating infinite parallel universes. These universes held magic within them. Some had strong magic, and some had weak magic. If the magic was too strong, the universe would be destroyed from the misuse of power. If the magic was too weak, then people would die from sadness because they would have no hope. The magic of hope is a strong enough magic to keep a universe alive.

No one knows how exactly the universe came about. Not even I was given the vision of what became before the universe. Another mystery I pondered upon was the city of Ruinoneo, as the city was older than the universe itself and held together by a strange powerful magic. A magic that baffles all wizards who enter the city and survive. No one knows how the city of Ruinoneo came into being, and no one will ever gain this knowledge.

Centuries came and passed before the beginning of life came into being. The four elements of earth, fire, water, and air existed but Spirit had not entered yet. When Spirit descended upon the elements, life came into existence. The beginning of life marked the beginning of humans, animals, and plants. Some believe that humankind came about as an accident, a plague that would consume and destroy the planet. There were other races created who often fought with humans and even among themselves.

These races included the medes who had beaks like an eagle and stood upright like a man. They were intelligent and lived more than ten times as long as humans. Medes became seekers of knowledge and often kept to themselves. Men had fought wars with the medes because it was man who wanted to gain glory for conquering the lands…  a glory that would quickly vanish with their short life spans.

The other race in the beginning was the stiminites. The stiminites were frail creatures who loved peace. They weren’t trained in battle, and they were quickly taken over by men and made to be their slaves. For centuries, the stiminites worked for man without a rebellion. One day a stiminite was born who would stand up to his owners. Little is understood as to why this stiminite had stood up, but he was unlike the other stiminites. He desired the release of his people from the tyranny of man. Upon the wall of this building, I etch this story in the original language of Zalonia.

A woman stiminite, by the name of Lytonah, was with child, and her labor was extremely painful, much more painful than a normal labor. Months before, she had been raped by her owner and became pregnant. From what she knew, a stiminite had never been impregnated by a human, so she had no idea of what to expect. The pain was greater than the other children she had bored since human babies were larger. She screamed louder than any woman had ever screamed upon birthing her son.

She didn’t know if she loved this child. Could she love a child that had human blood in his veins? She felt hatred toward the man who raped her. Never before had she felt this kind of hate, for it wasn’t in a stiminite’s nature to hate. The pain continued to get worse, and she pushed with all her might. She just wanted the baby out of her. She could feel her stomach rip open from the pressure, as death quickly consumed her.

The baby survived and grew up in Ptariah, a human village. He was called Trinan, meaning “half-breed.” From a young age, he began working among the stiminite slaves day and night. The couple that raised him offered him very little compassion compared to his human brothers and sisters. He wondered why he wasn’t allowed to be like the other human children who often played out in the meadows enjoying themselves. He felt trapped and envied these children wondering why the other stiminite children didn’t have his same longings.

As he grew into an adult, anger began to consume his heart. He had no mother and wondered where he had come from. Being isolated from both humans and stiminites, he was alone. Working as a slave wasn’t helping his sadness.

One day, while working with another stiminite, Trinan asked, “Do you ever want to be free from all the work we are forced to do?” The heat from the sun was almost unbearable, and he wanted someone to talk to, to distract his mind.

The other stiminite looked at him confused, “What do you mean?”

“I mean, all we do is work, and the humans… they relax and enjoy life. They force us to do the work for them.”

“The humans work for the gods, and we work for them, so they can please the gods.”

“What gods? I have never seen any of these gods.” Trinan had very little knowledge of what gods were. He knew they were supposed to be powerful and immortal. He thought it sounded like a fantasy of some sort, but he had always kept his thoughts to himself.

“The gods that fly above in the sky. They come and go and interact with the humans. I have seen one once. They are not like anything in this world.”

“What are these gods like?” Trinan was curious. He had seen things fly overhead before but didn’t know what they were. He assumed that it was humans with some kind of strange invention.

“They are tall, maybe nine feet with an orange color to their skin. They hold a device that contains a red light. The red light is some kind of magic that destroys anything in its path. If we don’t obey the humans, they will destroy both us and the humans as punishment.”

“Then the gods are evil! Why should we not fight back?”

“No one dares to face the magical red light. It is powerful and can kill you quickly. They control the world with their magic.”

Trinan thought for a moment. “Why do they allow the humans to be free while we work?”

“They originally appointed the humans to do the work, but then the humans forced us to do the work, so they didn’t have to. The gods only care if their work is getting done, as long as the humans pay them with the purple gems that we collect, they don’t become wrathful.”

“But they are just purple gems; what do the gods need them for?”

The stiminite became irritated, “You ask too many questions! Do your work before we get caught talking.”

Discouraged, Trinan walked away and began working again. The day was long, as he pondered everything he had talked about. If he could gather all the stiminites together to rebel, what would the gods do? Would they kill all the stiminites? That would force the humans to do their work. The gods were smart and always had a back up plan. However, that wasn’t going to stop Trinan from formulating his own plan.

He stayed up late into the night for when the gods would come to talk with the humans. Eventually, a flying machine went over his head and headed toward the human village. Trinan quickly made his way in the direction the machine went. He was raised in this village and knew his way around; however, there was a guarded wall that surrounded the city.

As he was making his way to the village through a small forest, he tripped over something. “Hey, watch where you are going?” A voice called out.

Trinan stood back up to run, but the voice then said, “Hey Stiminite! Get back here or I will call the guards!” Trinan immediately turned around and looked at the person talking.

“You are not supposed to be out here, stiminite! You will likely face severe punishment.”

Trinan wasn’t sure how to respond, “I will face the consequences.”

The man who spoke crawled out of the shadows. He was dressed in brown rags and wore a hood shadowing his face. He appeared shorter than most men and carried a pouch on his side. Trinin instantly recognized him as a magic user. He had never known a wizard but had seen them in paintings, as he grew up. The people in the village told him that he must avoid magic users at all costs, as they were evil and intended harm.

Trinan could feel fear grip his chest, as he gazed in wonder at the magic user. “You’re a wizard!”

“That I am,” the man replied in a deep voice. “I have been exiled from the village because I am considered a ‘threat.’ Fools! I should have minded my own business and never came.”

Trinan was not surprised. The village hated wizards. He decided to be honest, “I have come to rebel against the humans and destroy the gods.”

The wizard’s eyes widen, “Destroy the gods? Is that even possible?”

“That’s what I’m here to find out.”

“But you can’t do this on your own. You will need some help. What about the other stiminites?”

Trinan sighed, “They won’t help. They say we must obey the humans.”

The wizard was silent for a moment before saying, “Alright, I will help. I don’t like the gods either.”

“How can you help?” Trinin asked.

The wizard laughed, “With magic of course. I will create a cloak of invisibility for you. However, it will only last a half an hour before it wears off. It will take most of my strength. I will pass out here, and you will need to come back for me.”

“I will do that in exchange for the spell.” Trinin promised. He hoped that he wouldn’t be delayed or captured while in the village.

The wizard smiled, as he reached into his pouch. He pulled out some herbs with a brownish color to them. Trinan knew nothing about herbs and wondered how the wizard was going to use them. The wizard spoke first, “Are you ready?”

Trinan was impatient, “Yes!”

The wizard held the herbs above his head and flung them at Trinan’s feet. There was a puff of smoke that surrounded him, and soon, the smoke dissipated into the air. Trinan jumped when he looked at his hands to see nothing there. He could still feel the ground beneath him even though his feet were invisible.

“Quick, be gone!” The wizard said; his voice stern.

Trinan quickly turned toward the village and ran. Since it was dark, and he couldn’t see, he stumbled over a rock. The pain was just as real as it was when he was visible. He continued and reached the village gates fully out of breath.

There were two guards guarding the gate, and Trinan realized that if he were to open the gate, the guards would be alerted immediately.

He paused, out of breath to think of a plan. He found a heavy rock and held it in his hand while walking over to the guards. He kept out of their sight, as he snuck up on them, for he didn’t want them to see a floating rock. As soon as he came upon the first guard, he smashed the rock on the back of the guard’s head.

The other guard looked over and saw what had happened. He pulled out his sword which was a large and heavy sword. Trinan was glad that the guard used a heavy sword because it would slow him down a little. He held onto the rock, as the guard glared at it. “What in the name of Zalonia is going on? The wizard must have returned.” He stepped forward and swung his sword toward the rock, but Trinan quickly dodged the sword and smashed the guard on the head. This was easy, almost too easy, he thought

He grabbed the key to the gate off the guard’s belt and made his way in. The human village was quiet, as he made his way toward the center. He passed several huts before seeing the flying machine that had traveled above. It was a large silver round machine, and Trinan could feel himself become unnerved. He didn’t have time to stare in wonder, as he began to go around the machine.

He soon came upon a human talking to one of the gods. The god was like nothing he had ever seen before, as he stood well above the human, and his skin was orange with a greenish tint. His large eyes were completely black.

Suddenly, Trinan tripped over a root in the ground, and the god looked over to see what the noise was. Trinan held his breath hoping not to be discovered. The night was silent besides a strange humming noise coming from the machine. The god continued to scan the area, and after not seeing anything, he turned back to the human.

There was a device of some sort attached to the god’s belt. Trinan assumed that it must be the red-light weapon that the stiminite he talked to earlier had mentioned. It didn’t appear dangerous, as there were no sharp edges like the weapons Trinan was used to.

He looked down to see that his hand was coming into view; however, it remained transparent. The spell was wearing off, so he had to make his move. He quickly made his way over to the god and grabbed the device from his belt and pointed it at the god.

“Fooled by a stiminite! How is this possible?” The god said, as he turned around to face Trinan and reached out to grab for the device.

However, Trinan was quick and pressed a button on the device, and a red beam shot out toward the god. The beam was lightning fast and blasted a hole through the god’s belly, as he leaned over and crumbled to the ground.

The human grabbed his sword to face the stiminite, “You killed a god!” Trinan pointed the device at the human, but the human put his hands up to show that he wasn’t going to fight. “I intend no harm. For years we have been controlled by the gods. We never knew that one could be killed. Perhaps they are not really the gods we thought they were.”

Trinan lowered his weapon before saying, “When I was told of the gods, I knew that something wasn’t right. Why would they force us to labor in order to find the purple gems?”

“I have often wondered the same thing. Of course, I didn’t say anything about it.” Suddenly, there was a pack of guards coming toward them. “You’d better get out of here, and fast!”

Trinan didn’t stick around to see what would happen. He ran in the opposite direction of the guards and felt a sudden sickness come over him. His stomach hurt, and his body suddenly felt weak. He was having trouble escaping the guards. He wished they were understanding like the human he had just met.

He fell to the ground, and the guards quickly surrounded him. He looked up, but his vision began to blur. One guard became three guards and their shouts sounded like one massive noise with no distinction. He could fell rough hands grab a hold of him and carry him. Soon, he was roughly thrown to the ground and was all alone. The sickness continued to overtake him, as he fell into a deep sleep.

Outside the city walls, the wizard lied on the ground unable to move. He heard the commotion going on within the city and knew that the stiminite was in trouble of some sort. His spell must have worn off before Trinan was able to accomplish what he came for. This was the first time he had ever done a spell on a stiminite, so he wasn’t sure if there were any side effects. If there were, Trinan wouldn’t be able to escape and help him leave.

He hid himself well in the small forest outside the village, but there would soon be guards out searching the area looking to see if anyone else was helping the stiminite. He tried to move his fingers which barely moved, and guessed that it would be at least a couple of hours before he was able to stand up and walk away. It would be a good day before he would have enough strength to use magic. This spell would have even daunted the most powerful of wizards.

The only thing the wizard could do was allow himself to drift off to sleep. He knew that nightmares awaited him on the other side which was one of the curses every magic user in Zalonia had to endure. He had chosen to be a wizard of offensive war which was why he could cast the spell of invisibility. The region he was from was an aggressive region which was determined to take over other territories. He had very little fighting abilities, so he was sent off to learn magic along with several others.

Once he saw what his region was doing with the slaves they captured, he decided to leave. They were made to work all their waking hours, without rest. Several of them died which convinced the wizard that something needed to be done. It was a rare moonless night when the wizard quietly escaped his region. He had to perform magical illusions of trolls in order to distract the guard. He had barely enough strength to escape into the outside realms which were just as frightening as what was inside his region.

He had traveled on his own and kept to himself, as he thought of a way to prevent the slavery that he had witnessed. After many long days, he had made his way to the village he now was just outside of. He saw that they enslaved stiminites, so he began to ask questions. It wasn’t too long before the villagers deemed him as a troublemaker and cast him out.

He felt a gleam of hope upon meeting Trinan. Trinan was brave and willing to stand up for what was right. If he could work with Trinan, maybe together they could find a way to free both the stiminites and people in the wizard’s region from slavery.

Suddenly, he heard footsteps approaching. He tried to lift his head to see who was coming, but he didn’t have the strength. His heart went into his throat as a guard stood over him with sword in hand.

It was late morning before Trinan found himself awake once again. His stomach still ached, but it seemed that his senses were clearing. He looked around and realized that he had been thrown into a prison cell. He looked over at the cell door and saw a plate of food that had been shoved through an opening at the bottom of the door. It appeared to be scraps of bread and meat that was probably left over from the people of the village. He looked away. With his sore stomach, he didn’t feel like eating anything.

It seemed like days went by, but he had no way of keeping track. He grew lonely and had no one to talk to. He lost all hope knowing that the stiminites wouldn’t come to rescue him any time soon.

Suddenly, he heard the door to his cell click. The human who he had spoken to before the guards had attacked stood there. “Sorry I took so long, but time is short, and we must hurry. Darkness is covering the land as we speak.”