Guardian of Harmony

by Corvus Eclipse


Prologue

Darkness, loneliness ….

A long sigh went through the tunnels that seemed to be endless, followed by a small quake that made all the small stones jump across the ground. Something was moving in the darkness of this place, a immense shape cut through the dark, without hesitating it moved forward though the labyrinth of corridors.

- How long has it been – he thought – How long has it been since I`ve been sent down here?

All of the sudden a small blaze of light came out of nowhere, creating a round shape that lit up the environment around the mysterious creature, however he was so used to this small light, like every creature to the light of the sun, that he simply didn’t notice it. Something unusual was in the air, he could literally feel it with his body but he could not understand what it was, a feeling like that did not just appear without a proper reason that was sure. Whatever it might be, it seemed not to be natural besides that something was scratching his mind, a thing that happened very often. So many times he tried to figure out what it was; connections with his mind were not possible since….

He didn’t know how long has it been now, but he knew that it had be a very long time. The time was not a merciful ally. With each passing day his memory vanished in the darkness of those tunnels, however, the task that was holding him here below the Earth never vanished out of his mind; it seemed though, that some sort of influence literally forced him to not forget it. Something has changed though because everything seemed to be different today. After a very long time and journey the creature reached his destiny, his prison and curse. The natural tunnels changed its shape here; everybody would recognize that the change had been manipulated by a skilled hand, that could handle the stone in a nearly perfect way. A chamber appeared in the darkness, the light that was his fellow companion lit up the place, showing parts of its glory, fascinating shapes and forms were shyly jutting out of the shadows. The creature knew that he was close to the end of his journey, even though he was here so many countless times, he felt that something was defiantly not right. His instincts that have adapted to the dangerous life of Underground, were prepare for everything, but this time even they seemed to be not seriously focused.

- What can it mean?

Whatever it was it caused confusion, strange feelings that were new but on the other hand felt somehow familiar. He moved on, the confidence that was leading him was gone, right now he moved on patiently, full of grace and agility, a sight that might have open up many mouths, if there would be mouths to open. Soon the light, that was his fellow companion, started to lose its intensity. New light wells started to appear at the end of the chamber, colorful, warm, and even seductive. He slowed down his movement, in no time he arrived at the end of the chamber, in front of him there was a wall that had impressive sculptures and runes that always seemed to change their shapes, but not those things were the majority on the wall. A little bit above them there were crystals that were socket into the wall, at the first look they looked like normal stones, but the creature knew that nobody should judge a book by its cover. After he stepped closer to the wall the crystals started to shine in a marvelous composition of colors, that would make the light of North look like a joke.

The crystal always reacted that way while he was close to them, he was glad that it was happening; this shine gave his pathetic life a reason to stay alive, to be honest, those lights would be the only lights he would ever see again. The creature looked on the crystals, they were the reason why he was here, and they were the reason that he left his life behind only to become the guardian. He tried to think of his past, but as always he didn’t find any answers he was looking for, once more he looked at the crystals. He knew that his amnesia could not be natural, and he feared it already that the crystals might have affected him somehow. This thought was not crossing his mind for the first time, but he always tried to push it away. He could not accept the fact, that the things that he was guarding, were dangerous for him.

The creature grabbed his head, roared fierce fully and he hit the crystals with his anger. The echo of his hit went through the tunnels and went on for a long time, slowly losing its power in the never ending darkness. He moaned desperately and fell down on his knees. He was alone, alone for eternity, doomed to forget everything he once knew only because of those cursed crystals. Slowly he got up and then he looked on the surface of the crystal he just hit. There was no hint of a scratch or even a hint of the smash, the crystal looked the same way as it always did, he mumbled something and looked again on the surface, to see his own reflection in it. The pure blue surface of the crystal became dark; the reflection was showing a thing that could not be a normal or natural living thing, neither a man neither an animal.

His skin was dark as the night. Without the light it would have been nearly impossible to spot him in the darkness; a bit above his temple, solid looking horns went straight and a bit obliquely out of his skin, without taking him the sight at his sides and even give him the opportunity to use them as weapons. His ears, that were at the ordinary place where humans have them, had the shape of a horse ears that were instantly moving and spotting any kind of sounds, regardless how quiet it might be. His forehead was bald but he had long spiked hair on the back side of his head that reached to his shoulders. And as any humanoid creature, he was standing on two legs that ended in dragon like feet, that had razor sharp claws, he was usually using to rip into the walls so he could climb more easily. The mentioned things were not the things that would be noticeable while somebody would look into his face…

He didn’t have one. He didn’t have a nose, mouth anything that might have reflected his personality. The only thing that was a little bit normal were his eyes, which had a normal shape but the thing about them was the fact, that they were made out of flames. Right now his eyes were bursting, the flames were licking the edges of his horns, but at that point they did not spread forward. His eyes were the only things that could show his emotions, he was glad that he had an opportunity like that, but in the end it would be just wasted, because nobody would ever see those emotions. He was an abomination, a monster; He was a guardian. The roar finally ended, the echoes went silent. His chest was moving up and down in an unusual fast way, he turned away from the crystals, that stopped to shine and moved back to the entrance. On the half way he suddenly stopped and concentrated. His breath became normal, his unleashed anger was over and everything around him went dark, because he closed his eyes.

The creature started to listen to the sounds of the Underground. If somebody would live so long under the earth , it was sure that he was way too long under it, would learn to hear the sounds that normally nobody would hear or even imagine that something like that exists. The stones had their own sounds, each of them unique; they had souls and a history. For him those sounds were like a healing salve for his poor soul, which removed every mental pain, disorientations and confusions that might have affected him. Without that discovery he would have probably gone mad long time ago. He let out a short and relaxed sigh. Suddenly something corrupted the symphony of stones, and ripped through the air and started to spread around the Underground. He knew what it was, his muscles tensed automatically, his senses became razor sharp but his mind and soul remained calm and concentrated.

The creature that have roared through the tunnels would not be able to reach that place, and even if it somehow managed to get here, it fate would be the same like of those who came before it. It would die.The creature roared again and short after it a might earthquake followed it; this act surprised him so much that he nearly lost his balance. What was going on? Since he was locked here a thing like that never happened before! At least he didn’t remember such occasion. Dust started to fall down on his body, smaller stones or parts of the mosaic followed, but he was ignoring it. The guardian focused as good as he could, and then he released his spirit to search through the tunnels, but as usual this failed because he could not see anything through the deep fog of the darkness. He let his spirit return into his body, after it he cursed in a long dead language. The crystals were blocking his mind but gladly not his body, the earthquake changed something, it was in the air. A feeling that he thought he had already forgotten came back from the darkness: Curiosity.

Oh how he wished to leave those crystals behind him once and for all, but he knew that he couldn’t do it. Something in him was telling him that the crystals had to be protected by any cause, for every price. Unfortunately for the crystals, the long forgotten curiosity has already snared him with its net. He went out of the Chambers of Stone, for the first time since thousand years he felt like he was free at least for the moment.

The events on the other side were still unclear, the crystals have been visited and probably will be visited only by one living creature; Himself of course. If he would leave the crystals only for a few hours, nothing would happen at all, and even if something would happen, the crystals would reach out for his mind and call for aid; even pull him back with their unknown power. Yes he could afford that. A dark and deep laughter filled the lonely tunnels of the underground, and spread around with an echo that made it sound demonic. He moved forward into the darkness, with a free will. How could he have known that the events that will come now would change his life and the events in it forever?

The crystal started suddenly to shine more tens and with more power, trying to lure back the guardian, but it was already too late. The guardian was gone.