The lime green snow fall was light today. The City of Sanchros, seemingly untroubled. The elaborate looking igloos hunched over, the light of the sun Primao accentuating the lime green tint of the snow, the aurora were only beginning to become visible. The night sky hardly near its peak darkness, however it was slowly approaching. Ilu walking through the city with Aeris, laughter being lofted toward the barely visible moon, sounding almost as if it were intertwined with the aurora in an intricate step, perfectly synchronized. The lights dancing in her eyes, her smile wide, revealing teeth, white and sparkling. The events of the day seemingly forgotten by her. However, she knew the same could not be said for her best friend. She knew Ilu, with his Scarlet eyes, slight yet muscular build and dark sanguine hair and equally bold personality, not to mention his dark skin. She knew him well his deception had no equal. He would smile and laugh, and make merry however terribly the day went. Trying to be the strength for those around him. It was a complex truth that Ilu held onto: We exist in a world which is far different from the former, yet it is still the same planet. The ages have drifted and the people have changed, but only in response to the land. After centuries of human decadance, new races have sprung up to rival us, jostling for control of our planet, the Earth. Elves, the Dwarves, Rages and even ,to some degree, the Græė. King Panos, the defender seeks to eradicate them all. Ruler of the remnants, King of the last of the humans. In our sparsely populated cities, short on food and praying for water, our malevolent father offers us a way out: servitude.

In our little town of Sanchros, there pledges who are willing to risk life and limb for the chance to be Täkęn, however the risk is more for the chance to change the lives of their families. These pledges are given rigorous training, and are taken to recieve the Blessing of the elder priest. However, Ilu walks alone. His father resents his refusal. He will not be part of the Test ,as the elders call it. His mother, is relieved, and prays only for his brother. Asking that he be allowed to survive this second attempt. I remain the only one to refuse because I know something they don’t.

A week prior to the first teen declaring his interest in being Täkęn, a travelling fortune teller had passed through our frozen city. She was known as Ohmarah; and her predictions had yet to prove false. As she walked the slick, green, icy roads, which were coated in a months worth of snowfall, the people cleared a path, those who could make it home made a mad dash for the safety of their homes. Those too far away bowed their heads in prayer to Lugar, father of snow. The prayed she was blind to them and that she would pass without incident. And many she did pass. My mother however was not so lucky. Ohmarah lifted an aged finger from her tattered riding cloak, scortched by the sun and fire, and pointed at her. The cracked finger nail began to turn purple. The hand heavily wrinkled, and the bangles on the wrist chimmed. Those nearest my mother wept for her as the Hag spoke to her “The cold its grip has taken, the sun its curse awakened, the blood soon shall boil, and even as you have toiled, the one marked for death shall come, but that will be omen number one. If you son’s life you wish to keep, then he and I should speak.” she said in a voice hollowed and cracked by age.
“When do you wish to-” was all mother could manage to squeak out as she collapsed. The hood of her fur sliding back as she tumbled. Her dark, grey-gold hair meeting the floor, but not before she was caught by Aeris; who coincidently was how i came to know the story. I sat in a small room in our house of snow, the interior walls made from compacting the little earth we could find, an attempt to retain all the heat possible, and fortify it. The roof not at all high but barable, the yellow-orange fire on the hearth, dancing happily, casting tall shadows wildly from behind my position next to mothers bed facing the door, the dancing shadows had me thinking and rethinking a simple thing; to go see Ohmarah or not to see her.

Aeris’ light orange eyes, slim nose, rosy cheeks, tan skin and iridescent blue hair broke me out of my reverie. Cautiously they bobbed into view. She slid her lips apart into a semblance of a smile, her eyes did not smile with and her pity apparent. No one would wish a visit from Ohmarah on anyone, not even their worst enemy. Mother began to wake, the wet towel on her forhead slightly warmer than expected, her mind ranging and her body clearly disorientated. “How did…how did I-” she whispered disordered

“it’s ok mom, you’re home and safe” i whispered trying to soothe her, less successfully than i’d hoped.

“Mrs S i brought you home, you collapsed on Orrions walk.” Aeris said her voice truly soothing, Aeris truly had a way with people. She never failed to convey a feeling convincingly, never fumbled for words and always made sure she was understood.

“Do you remember what happened?” i asked stroking her shoulder hoping that could maybe make her feel better than my words. Her clarity had returned though, she was replaying the events in her head, which could be seen quite clearly from the fact that she silently began to weep. She nodded, slowly deliberately. She was chewing on her lip, which was trembling violently.

The next words she uttered, oh the next words she uttered…
“Go to Ohmarah.”

And that was the first crack before it all shattered…


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