The Fall of Light - Prologue - YA Action Fantasy Novel
by, 8-6-12 at 8:27 AM (390 Views)
The Crystal Companions Saga - Book 1
The Fall of Light
Life from lifelessness
(The Legend of Karna and Kax, Part 1)
When Clanesta was born at the beginning of time, she was nothing more than a ball of rock, spinning chaotically around, on an erratic orbit of a deep red star. She was a small, desolate, crater-marked world with no air or water. Dull lifeless Clanesta was good for nothing more than target practice by the passing asteroids, which is how life was brought to the world.
A giant comet smashed into Clanesta, it caused great upheaval and started a most unexpected metamorphosis. The comet was named Penta; he was half as big as his target, with a core of solid iron and layer, upon layer of frozen ice and rock. The planet and the comet became as one and the force of the collision pushed Clanesta further in toward the red star. The glowing ball of crimson fire caught the newly re-formed planet in its arms, grasped her close and held her tightly in a steady orbit.
Clanesta’s egg shaped body was now able to glide smoothly through space. She pulled in the debris from the almighty collision and seized it around her to create a band of rings. Her rings were mainly made of rock and ice, but there were also several bands of colourful frozen crystal shards.
This was Penta’s secret; for within his many layers were segments of organic crystal that shone in bright contrasting colours, from deepest blue to brightest red. When Penta hit Clanesta, the patches of crystal were pushed deep into the surface of the planet. The strange living minerals splintered and some of the shards of crystal flew back into space and eventually joined the great glistening rainbow rings.
Now that he was closer to the red star, the ice from Penta began to melt, which formed a rich atmosphere, around Clanesta’s molten iron core. At this instant Clanesta gained air and moisture, she felt the first trickles of water roll over her as seas, rivers and lakes cut across the rocky surface.
Clanesta now had the necessary building blocks for the development of life and soon basic creatures began to thrive. Insects, fish and plant life all began to develop on the planet, but these life forms were not being born from natural evolution; they were being created from the chunks of living crystal that were scattered all over the northern continent.
There were five different types of organic crystal, the burning red fire crystals, the pale blue ice crystals, the swirling purple air crystals, the grey iron crystals and the bright green plant crystals. These gemstones were concentrated in different parts of the mainland and their wildly different properties formed the basis of the weather patterns that passed over the northern continent, which was named Pentatha.
Pentatha was a harsh and unforgiving land; in the north were the bleak and frosty snowfields of Anectar, while to the south the humid Fentissa jungle overgrew the land, before eventually dropping into the sea. The Fire Mountains of Negadenta reached towards the heavens in the west and to the east, the deep iron chasm of Tenash fell right down to the planets centre. In the middle of the continent were the thunder plains of Ithor where storms and high winds tore across the rolling fields with savage force.
As time marched on, the living crystal beings evolved at an alarming rate, forming bigger and more complex creatures. The life forms soon discovered that their natural elements made them strong, but it also made them natural enemies and a civil war broke out amongst the crystal creatures. War raged on Clanesta, with red fire beasts attacking icy cold creatures and fast flying aerial animals swooping down to strike at the slow moving steel beings below.
It was about this time that humanity appeared on Clanesta and they were stuck right in the middle of a vicious civil war of elemental beasts. There were many human casualties and at one point, it looked like the humans were going to die out as quickly as they arrived. Until one day when a great man named Karna Scorch discovered how to bond with Clanesta’s strange inhabitants.
Karna was a towering man with thick black hair and piercing blue eyes and many of the humans looked to him for leadership. One day Karna came across a most unfair confrontation between a young colt and a pair of steel giants. The small purple horse was hurt; one of its four thin bandy legs was limp and being painfully dragged along behind it. The two pursuing creatures bounded along in hot pursuit, they used their arms and legs to move, much like a pair of gorillas. The huge steel-skinned apes came near to the colt and the first steel giant raised its great iron fist to strike down on its prey. The colt sensed the danger, dropped to the ground, and summoned a ball of lightning that was brilliant white in the middle, fading to a dark purple colour at its edge. The ball of energy flew into the chest of the giant looming above it and forced it back a step, causing the fist of the primate to pass harmlessly over the colts head.
On the crest of a nearby hill, Karna watched the battle; he was impressed by the colt’s tenacity, the way that it never gave up, even in this futile battle. When the steel gorilla’s next blow hit the lightning colt and launched the injured creature backwards toward Karna, something snapped in his mind and he charged toward the battle, determined to stop the hardly fair contest. Karna flew down the hill; he drew his sword and put himself between the small horse and the two large gorillas.
“Halt, you shall do no more harm to this defenceless creature, unless you feel strong enough to get past me!” Karna roared at the beasts. The gorillas did not seem to notice Karna or his words and continued to pound forward towards the colt.
“So be it.” Karna whispered to the wind and he too began a charge towards the gorillas. He held his sword low, and then his blade began to glow, getting brighter with every step until he reached the first gorilla, by which time the sword was white hot. The gorilla did not stop, it intended to just run down the man and continue its reckless rush towards the colt that was struggling to rise. Karna planted his feet and jumped toward the gorilla, raising his brilliant white sword in an upward diagonal slash from right to left, which cut across the rough steel skin of the gorilla’s chest. The burning hot sword cut through the beasts iron skin and molten steel poured out of the gaping wound like blood. The gorilla’s mad charge faltered as its slow dull brain realised that not only was it under attack by a new foe, but it was also severely wounded.
A vast roar came from the mouth of the gorilla, as Karna landed lightly on the primate’s shoulder, turned his upraised sword round so it was pointed downwards and thrust it like a spike through the top of the gorillas head. The creature was now spewing molten steel from its head and its chest, and then it collapsed to the ground. As the gorilla died, its body returned to the original crystal form from which it was created and the rough quartz began to crack. Karna pushed off from the giants shoulder and jumped away toward the second creature, the vibration of his movement caused what was left of the crystal body to shatter and shards of sharp grey crystal exploded outwards.
The second gorilla noticed the fall of its companion and became aware of this new foe; it slowed its charge and began to circle Karna, trying desperately to discover how this small man could so easily defeat its brother.
The second steel gorilla lunged at Karna, its great steel fist descending towards the man like a hammer. Karna raised his sword to parry the blow, but the creature was so slow, that Karna found time to sidestep the blow and slice off the gorilla’s forearm with his great glowing sword. The gorilla yelped in pain as its dismembered limb hit the ground and shattered into great slivery chunks of crystal.
The gorilla hopped away from Karna and just seemed to withdraw; it huddled down and pulled its remaining arm in close towards its body. Karna could not believe the gorillas actions, was it just going to give up and wait for death, then the image of the battered and outnumbered colt flashed in his mind, enraged he grimly started walking toward the gorilla to finish the fight.
The gorilla was not giving up at all, it was charging its power and as Karna came near, the gorilla attacked. The steel creature seemed to shimmer and then out from the body of the beast four razor sharp blades emerged. They hovered for a second above the gorilla, and then shot towards Karna, who was no more than a few paces away. With instincts that had been honed over many years, Karna brought his sword up and managed to deflect the first two steel blades, but was not quick enough to knock the third one down. It cut straight through the left side of Karna’s midriff above his hip, bright red blood sprayed out over Karna’s left leg and on to the grey stone below. Karna’s vision blurred for an instant due to the loss of blood, and then it sharpened in time to see the final blade heading straight for his head. Karna’s life flashed before his eyes and he vowed to never underestimate these creatures again.
Then from out of nowhere, a blinding light flashed in front of Karna, taking away the images of his life. It was so bright it burned Karna’s eyes; he was forced to look away and wait for death. Time seemed to slow and Karna’s inevitable death did not come to pass. The blinding light was gone now and Karna opened his eyes, at first he saw nothing and panicked as he thought he had gone blind, and then slowly the world came back into focus. Spots still danced before his eyes as he looked at the bewildered gorilla, for it too seemed to have been blinded by the light. Next Karna noticed the forth blade on the ground off to his right, the blade was glowing and occasionally a small static discharge would occur, sending small sparks of lightning off in all directions.
Karna then looked behind him to see the colt sway again on its feet and collapse. Then an image appeared in his mind of the colt firing a bolt of lightning at the last blade in an attempt to save the man who was in turn trying to protect the colt. Another image of the gorilla flashed urgently in Karna’s mind, he turned back to the beast and noticed that it was just recovering from the blinding light. Knowing this was his chance, Karna dismissed the pain and the blood loss that threatened to send him into unconsciousness. He charged the creature, leaping at the last second toward the confused beast and cleanly sliced off the gorillas head.
Karna landed beyond the beast and as he hit the ground, his feet gave out from under him and he fell face first to the ground. The gorilla became a solid block of crystal and shattered into more than a million fragments. Karna felt several of those shards slice across his unprotected back and for a few moments, he passed out.
When he came to, he tried to stop the flow of blood from his side and even though he was exhausted, he rose to his feet and staggered to where the colt had fallen. Karna saw that the colt was still alive as he approached her. The horse’s sleek head turned toward him uneasily, she rose to her feet and Karna could feel the static in the air begin to charge.
“Whoa, there friend.” Karna said to the small horse. “I mean you no harm; I am in your debt for saving my life.” Slowly Karna dropped to one knee, released his sword, and held his hand out to the colt, to show he meant his words. Static buzzed past his ear as a small bolt of lightning leapt from the horse’s mouth and struck the earth in front of Karna.
Another image flashed in Karna’s mind of him slicing off the colts head and in that instant, Karna realised that this was how the colt communicated, via a sort of picture-based telepathy. Shaking his head, Karna put together a picture in his mind of himself helping the colt to mend its mangled rear leg and pushed the image toward the colt. The colt then tilted her head in amazement that the man kneeling before her had understood her thoughts and even replied. Karna felt the levels of static drop to normal and the colt limped forward and nuzzled his hand, Karna then raised his other hand and patted the colt’s head.
They quickly became best friends, Karna named the colt Kax and the pair returned to the human settlement at the head of the thunder plains. Together they showed the rest of the humans that beast and man could co-exist together. Soon many of the settlers had crystal companions of their own and defending the human settlement from the wild beasts became easier.
Karna and Kax then proceeded to travel around Pentatha as adventurers and explorers. They discovered many great sights and many interesting beasts. Their most important discovery however was that in each region of Pentatha, there was a great sentient crystal guardian that governed its own kind. Thanks to Karna and Kax, they taught the crystals about the value of life and compassion, which eventually ended the civil war. In payment to Karna, the five great crystal guardians together created a single bright crystal of light.
This crystal was called the Etherium and it was the key to peace, for as long as it was intact and in the possession of Karna and his descendants then the world of Clanesta would never suffer from war again.
So guard well the crystal, may no harm come to it, for if the crystal is destroyed then only dark days shall follow.