A Dark Return by Kevin Laslie

The sun will darken, ringed by blinding light, as children revere the beginning of their end in the site of our birth. The veil will thin, defenders of the passage to Eorpe will sleep, and armies will pour forth to exact revenge upon the children that have rejected Her.

Prophecy of the Return

TaeKuz I, First Diviner of the Elven Archetype

August 20, 2017

Man’s reign has come to an end. This day will long be remembered in history. Not the short lived mind of man, but the eternal memory of the Archetypes. The Archetypes will return from seclusion, our self-imposed purgatory sheltering us from the destruction of man. Centuries of disease and destruction have run rampant without the protection of the Archetypes celestial magic.

The father of my father gave his eternal life to find the path for our people to return. Elders referred to him as reckless and full of abandon, set in their own manners of content with Aaru. Eorpe was born of us as we were born of Her. Escape was essential for our survival, but now is the time to return to ensure Her existence.

One millennia has passed since the last of our races fled Eorpe. Without the blessing of the Council, several from each race remained to seed the children of man. The risk of allowing them access to the magic granted the Archetypes was thought to be minimal by the Galonuhesgi in comparison to securing a return by the nonconformist faction.

My father, TaeKuz II, was burdened by the role left to him by his father at the young age of three hundred and seventy-four. Facing down opposition against Elders two millennia in age, he prepared as he waited for the prophecy to occur.

Outside the Council of Elders, communication between the Archetypes has always been rare. I suppose the tension and grudges are easier to set aside after nearly two millennia than they are for the young and brash at heart. Thankfully with the transition to Aaru many of the disagreements had no standing allowing the Elders to start anew.

Dissension grew the first few centuries among others however, splitting not only races, but families as well. The Galonuhesgi used this to their advantage, finding those willing to save their strength for the return. Many of our current generation were born into Aaru with careful consideration of our age at the time of the return, to be in our peak for the talent we each had within.

The differences amongst the Archetypes took centuries of developing trust and planning. Long kept secrets were betrayed so the overall well-being of Eorpe could be secured. Elven warriors peak at three hundred and twenty-five, while Dwarves peak at two hundred and sixty. Dwarves, however, are much slower to peak with magic at six hundred and seventy compared to our five hundred and thirty. The Giants, Cyclops, Dragons, and Trolls develop along the lines of Dwarves, while the Mermaids, Satyrs, and Ents followed those of the Elves.

Then there was me. My father attempted to breed with his mate to bring an ultimate mage as his heir. The decades turned to centuries and no child was born to reach their potential in time. Finding

a warrior mate was found, he hoped to combine the Castes, an accomplishment rarely successful, and failure met him once again. One hundred and thirty four years ago, I was born to him by accident through a night of drunken folly. I would not reach my mysterious potential, but with his position as leader among the Galonuhesgi my inclusion was never doubted.

Neenjta, the most powerful sorcerous the Dwarves had raised in Aaru, gazed at me with a frigid determination on her face. I was unable to pass the most humble of the trials she had placed before me, and this was after months of failure with the Warrior Caste. “Young TaeKuz, you must not fight the power that is within. Despite your youth, your power is undisputed, and once the focus is discovered you will be unstoppable.”

“If there were time to discover the focus I would not show concern. The day has come. We are mere hours from our homecoming, yet I have no knowledge of how I will contribute. My father has seen disaster beyond any previous horror inflicted on us by man without my assistance. I must determine my role.”

I cannot help but feel the pain of guilt as I internally battle the thought of letting down all that I know. Being the youngest untalented of the Galonuhesgi allows me to move from Caste to Caste, mentored and watched over by all. However with that freedom comes overbearing wardens, all of whom believe they know what is best for me. There is dissension in how I will play a role in the return to Eorpe, but there is no doubt that I am the key to survival for the Archetype races and Eorpe.

My father walked toward me, his white robe pristine as the runes along the edge glowed with a violet hue. There was a package under his arm that I noticed momentarily before realizing that he had the talisman of an Elder around his neck.

“Father, what is this? Do you dare taunt the Elders more with our actions?”

“My son, I have come to you with news and gifts. I have seen a vision as powerful as the prophecy of my father. With that knowledge I have aligned the Elders to support us.”

Confusion spread across my face as I blankly gaped. “At what cost father? You wear the talisman binding you to the Council. Your position has always been at the forefront of Galonuhesgi. How will you lead from Aaru?”

Holding out the multicolored green bundle, his eyes shown with pride. “Take this and unwrap it as the blades bend beneath your bare feet. Go forth tomorrow and destroy man, Archetypes, and Eorpe. Through you, we will all survive.”

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