“And I, Obsidian, am the one who shall open the barrier!” The ruler and founder of the Rocheweltian Empire, Obsidian, clenched his hand into the air. “Neuewelt’s fate is bound to change, and I’ll be the one who rewrites it.”
Obsidian lowered his left arm, and then raised his right arm outwards toward the bow of the row boat he was standing in. At his side was his loyal vassal, Droge, and his bodyguards: three young men who were known as the Trio of Rock. They watched in amazement as Obsidian crushed a mysterious, purple mineral in his outstretched hand.
The crushing of the mineral caused a barrier that was once invisible to the naked eye, take form as a green, transparent wall in front of the rowboat. The wall stretched out as far as the eye could see from North to South. The rowboat faced West, away from the known world called Neuewelt.
Obsidian drew his sword from his scabbard. It was a double edged great sword that Obsidian called Feuerlava. Obsidian pointed Feuerlava at the wall, then proceeded to drive the blade of his sword into the transparent, green barrier. Ripples formed from the point of impact that the sword and the wall had made, like a stone hitting water. Obsidian leaned in forward, grunting in response to the strength of the barrier.
“Let the flames burn!” Flames burst out of the sword as Obsidian drove Feuerlava deeper into the barrier. Droge and the Trio of Rock witnessed the tremendous power that Obsidian held within. As a ruler, he never did much of the dirty work, but this was something that they knew only he could do.
The barrier began to crack at the point where Obsidian wedged his blade in, and the wall began shattering into pieces. All at once, the legendary Barrier of Neuewelt had been broken through by Obsidian.
Obsidian pointed at the floating purple sphere that was broadcasting this event to all of Neuewelt. He gazed at the purple sphere with his red, fiery eyes burning through his mask. Everything about him, including his own hair, seemed to be burning with power.
“To the other founders out there, I know you are watching this,” said Obsidian. “Know that I am a mountain which cannot be moved! Remember that I am the one who freed the world from this barrier, and if you try and stop me from advancing in my goals, you know what comes next.”
The telepathic broadcasters in all of the towns, villages, and city centers within Neuewelt proceeded to deactivate as Obsidian concluded his monologue.
In Snowind Village, capital of the North Eastern continent of Glacewelt, Kryos stroked the chin of his mask, thinking about what his former friend had just done. As the founder of Glacewelt, it was his duty to ensure the safety of his people. Kryos knew that through his own words, he could comfort the people of Glacewelt. All he needed to do was broadcast to the nation of Glacewelt some words of reassurance.
Kryos made his way through the village’s center, dispersing the crowd of people around the large, fountain sized metal disc that everyone called a telepathic broadcaster. Kryos was about to channel a purple broadcasting sphere, but he felt that something was off. For the first time in two hundred years, and since the day Obsidian turned his back on the other founders, Kryos felt fear.
The founders were worshipped by people as gods living amongst men, but little did the people know that even the founders had flaws. Kryos knew that he was no god, for the other founders were not gods either, but the masks that they donned prevented their emotions from seeping through. Kryos knew that he could not afford to lose face in front of his people, and yet…
“Citizens of Glacewelt!” Kryos brought out the broadcasting sphere. “Do not fear! My assistants, the Trio of Ice, and I are working hard to protect all of you. In light of this, I’d like to officially announce that we are indeed working together with both Cielwelt, the continent South of us. Through this alliance, we will be sure to protect you from harm!”
Perhaps these were empty lies. In the past, Kryos and the other founders were never able to defeat Obsidian when sparring. Kryos even recalled the time Obsidian rejected them. When the founders teamed up and tried to knock some sense into Obsidian, some lives of their own followers were lost.
“You are all too weak to stand beside me,” said Obsidian at the time. “Everything you send my way proves to be insufficient. You are only wasting resources.”
The memory brought pain to Kryos, but even so, he continued his speech directed at his people.
“Know that I will continue to work hard so that peace may be brought to Glacewelt,” said Kryos. “Trust in the Trio of Ice, and trust in me.”
Kryos waved the broadcasting sphere back down into the telepathic broadcaster. The crowd of people, who were muttering to each other in a panic earlier, calmed down after hearing the words of their ruler.
Kryos turned his icey, cold blue eyes away from his people. Everything was just a facade, and Kryos wondered if both Tempest: the founder of Cielwelt, and Triton: The founder of Eauwelt, were doing the same thing to calm their own people.
The crowd dispersed from the village center as the people continued their daily lives. The only remaining party consisted of Kryos himself, and his loyal vassals known as the Trio of Ice.
Halvard was washing his hands in the kitchen when the room’s telepathic broadcaster activated. He was about to prepare lunch for himself and his sister as she waited at the dining table.
Halvard’s sister, Tanya Elurra, stormed out of the house immediately when she saw Obsidian appear on the display veil. Curious to see what it was about, Halvard halted his hand washing and turned around. He saw Obsidian on a boat with four other individuals. Perhaps the three of them who donned masks were part of the Trio of Rock that Tanya always talked about. They were known as ruthless assassins, always hiding their identities under masks similar to Obsidian’s while they carried out his dirty work.
Tanya probably rushed out for work, as she always did. She was the captain of the Trio of Ice after all, so reporting to Kryos was the only logical response.
Halvard watched as Obsidian talked about how Neuewelt was barred away from a world more vast. According to Obsidian, the legendary ‘barrier of Neuewelt’ really did exist, and it was preventing people from exploring new frontiers.
Even though Obsidian was commonly antagonized by most of the populace, his words seemed appealing to Halvard. He always wanted to leave the village in order to go out and explore, but all he knew was hunting with his bow and preparing food. He was even told that he was too weak to face the outside world by a group of mercenaries who stayed at Tanya and Halvard’s home. Tanya agreed with the mercenaries that Halvard was better off staying in the village. Perhaps if he was as strong as the Trio of Ice, he could go out on his own.
As Halvard was busy sinking into his own disappointment, the broadcast was already over, and the telepathic broadcaster deactivated.
“Wait, did he just shatter the barrier?!" asked Halvard.
In the village center, Tanya Elurra, Lucas Fryse, and Jay Vorst awaited commands from Kryos. All of their faces, even the face of the fool known as Jay, had grim looks.
“I need you three to report to Cielwelt immediately,” said Kryos. “Head for Cielwelt’s capital, Ciellyn, and meet up with their founder, Tempest. She might have a plan.”
The three young adults nodded at Kryos.
“May the winds of Glacewelt guide you,” said Kryos as the Trio of Ice parted ways to pack up for their trip.
“Tanya, you’re back!” said Halvard as the front door opened.
Tanya stepped in with a worried expression.
“What’s up? Why the long face?” asked Halvard.
Tanya grabbed onto the cloth hairband that she left on the kitchen table. She used it to keep her black, shoulder length hair from covering her ears as she relied on her keen sense of hearing.
“I’m going to be away for a while,” said Tanya. “The Trio of Ice is going South.”
“To Cielwelt?” asked Halvard?
“That’s right,” said Tanya.
“Take me with you.”
“No,” said Tanya. “We’ve gone over this so many times.”
“I’ll never learn to fight if I stay here!” said Halvard.
“I thought you were going to spar with Jay.” said Tanya. “He’s as skilled as both Lucas and I.”
“Jay’s always out chasing skirts,” said Halvard. “I see him with a new girl every time I go to him and ask to spar. He always turns me down by saying, ‘Oh sorry, I’m on a date right now. Maybe another time!’
“Ugh, figures,” said Tanya.
“Right? So anyways, as I was saying,”
“Still, no,” said Tanya. She looked at Halvard with her light azure eyes. “Even if Lucas or I trained you, this mission is way too dangerous to bring you along. The path to Ciellyn crosses through one of Cielwelt’s harshest deserts: Predator’s Pass. I’m sure you’ve heard stories of the beasts that dwell in the pass’ Rugged Canyon.”
“I remember,” said Halvard. “Skywings and dust hounds that are larger than gleopards, right?”
“Correct,” said Tanya.
“I can handle a gleopard pretty easily with my bow,” said Halvard. “Those beasts got nothing on me!”
Tanya sighed. “Maybe another time, Hal,” said Tanya. “I’ll take you on the next one, I promise.”
This brought a smile to Halvard’s face. “I’m gonna hold you to it,” said Halvard. He knew his sister never broke her promises. “You haven’t eaten yet right? I’ll whip something up before you go.”
“Thanks,” said Tanya. “Mother taught you well.”
“Yup,” said Halvard. “Can’t wait to show her how much I’ve learned once we find her.”
“Soon,” said Tanya. “Soon…”
After a rushed meal, Tanya prepared to leave the house.
“If you want anything from Cielwelt, call me with your ping stone,” said Tanya. She pulled out a smooth slab of rock that was designed to connect with others from a distance so long as the correct channel was selected.
On the surface of the ping stone were symbols and numbers, as well as a dial that turned the ping stone on and off. A slot within the slab housed a panel made out of something called true-glass, serving as an audio and power source. The ping stone was a new model from Horizon Tech, a business based in Cielwelt.
“Sure thing,” said Halvard. “Could you remind me what your channel combination is again?”
“Crescent moon, sword, dandelion, zero, one.”
As Tanya recited the combination, Halvard lifted his ping stone off of the kitchen table and punched in the symbols accordingly. The panel within Tanya’s pingstone began to glow.
“Thanks,” said Halvard. He turned the dial on his ping stone in order to deactivate it. Immediately as he did so, Tanya’s ping stone ceased glowing.
“If I don’t pick up, I’ll either be occupied with a beast, or I’ll just be around some important people,” said Tanya. “I’ll try to get you on my channel as much as I possibly can.”
“I won’t be much of a bother,” said Halvard. “I know your job is busy.”
“I’m heading off then,” said Tanya. She opened the front door with her luggage slung over her shoulder. “Do the village rounds in my place, would you?”
“You’re the boss,” said Halvard. Tanya headed out the door and did a backwards wave before shutting it behind her. Halvard was home alone once again.