As the sun descended, sinking into the horizon, its rays melted in hues of burnt orange and blood red as its colors spread throughout the field, morphing into spirals of fire and clearing a circle in the center of the land. The fire moved to the outer rim and briefly left a small opening as a stout man with opulent, violet clothing entered the ring.
The man knelt down, knees to the ground, gaze lowered, hands grasping a letter. His body trembled for a fleeting moment that could easily be missed with the blink of an eye. A new column of fire burst inches from his face, and from the flames emerged a figure of fire in the shape of a man’s face, yet no one would ever dare to mistake him as simply a man.
“You have summoned me, my god” stated the plump man gesturing to the piece of paper that he gripped too tightly, hoping that this encounter would end without regret.
“Ah, yes. In the coming times, the Kingdom of Magnoria will face troubles like never before. The kingdom will be tested in ways only seen in the wickedest nightmares. War will tear this world apart and Magnoria will be no exception, it will fall and perish, crushed under the thumb of another. Magnoria will be no more,” explained Ray the sun god with an odd disinterest.
The man grimaced. Pain clearly etched in his skin from his deepening frown to the worn, weary lines of worry to the dark glint in his eye. At that moment, he was unable to form words. The shock of the future, of losing everything he loved, of losing his kingdom, placed a heavy weight on his tongue, forcing him into silence.
Ray chuckled at his struggle and continued, “However there is another option, a way to avoid the death of this kingdom, a way to modify this prophecy to secure your throne.”
King Darian raised his eyebrows, a new spark replaced his fear. Intrigue captured his mind. Greed stole his soul. He would do anything to preserve Magnoria and his crown.
“From the ashes, a girl of dreams will be born, one who will someday be the key to saving the kingdom from eternal ruin. But all good things come with a price,” he said, his lips curling up in a cruel attempt at a smile.
“Anything, anything you want I will give you,” answered Darian quickly, not skilled in hiding his desire and want for endless power.
“That’s what I was hoping you’d say,” his eyes glimmered with flecks of embers as he continued, “On this day, every year, you will hold a grand celebration in my honor with a sacrifice worthy of the safety of your kingdom. If you fail to do so, you might just see your weapon slip away”.
“Done,” Darian instantly agreed, for he reasoned that a little blood spilled would be much better than the whole kingdom’s.
The face of flames disappeared and with it the column of fire. In its place lay a newborn baby girl covered in ashes and wrapped in a parchment scroll engrained with an enchanted rhyme. King Darian scooped up the baby in his arms as he walked the rest of the way to his castle. He would raise the girl as his own in the protection of the castle walls.