Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chapter III A Council in the Land of Noal "The Search for the Black Stones"

As the unicorns, centaurs, and elves slept peacefully in the night, a great evil was brewing in the mountains of Insignia. Through the course of three days, Darkly made the journey to a mountain in Insignia with other Antars. The group patently waited in the shadows of the deep wilderness. The night was quite humid from fallen rains and their feet sunk in the mud as they hid in giant trees. They were not sure what was going to happen, so they stood ready for battle. As the moon rose high above the sky, the ground shook violently. The Antars scared for the moment, but they stood steadfast in the dark night. Soon in the darkness of the deep woods, just beyond an open area of tall trees, a bright light opened a wavy image of another world. The image grew larger and larger and more visible as the ground continued to shake. Within a few seconds, the portal once again opened. In the distance of the other world, a group of humans both males and females marched through the portal. The humans seemed to be in a dazed state of mind without any sense of consciousness. It was as though the humans had been sleep-walking. The humans appeared starved by their world, maybe neglected by poverty, so they were eager to eat fruit. Darkly waited in the trees for the humans to crossover into Noal. He watched the human heading towards the poisoned berries. “Go ahead and eat my poisoned berries…. Eat! Eat like hungry little rats,” whispered Darkly as he hugged a tree limb. The humans ate their fill of berries as their legs sunk in the dark mud. The ground pulled the humans into the dirt like plants being planted. The humans screamed and moaned in pained as the ground consumed their lower bodies. The humans were transforming into horse-like creatures with pointy ears and fangs. They were beginning to resemble the centaurs, but with dark hair and black eyes. The new centaurs rose from the ground with newly built bodies, strong muscles, and four sturdy legs. Darkly revealed himself to the new centaurs with a rough dictating voice. “I am Darkly, the lord Antar! You are in the land of Noal. I am your master! I will teach you how to fight with your new bodies. Follow me, and we will take over the land of Noal. NOW, MARCH MY ARMY OF CENTAURS!” ordered Darkly. The centaurs gathered together and march forward like solders. They marched without any question or dispute. The other Antars followed behind them with their spears at hand ready to kill any centaur that did not submit to being slaves. Almost every human that passed through the portal was transformed into evil centaurs, but in every source of evil, there is a small light of goodness. Early in the morning, the rain fell steadily throughout the land. Yuno, Sherrea, and Suro woke up to a peaceful cave thirty years after Suro’s abduction by the Antar. Suro’s horn developed half its size to meet adulthood. The horrors of being abducted by the Antar still remained in Suro’s dreams like bad memories. Sometimes Suro slept throughout the night, but other times his body would twitch and fall as he slept. Yuno and Suro would often take long walks in the forest. This would ease Suro’s mind as they talked about the wisdom of ever day life. Suro, now considered a teen unicorn, would often ask, “Why do Antars hurt weaker animals?” Yuno would answer in a stern deep fatherly voice, “You see son, animals must eat other animals for food so that they can survive. The dead creatures go on living in that animal until it dies, and then it grows into the land and it is reborn in plants or other living things. We are all a part of this world forever. We eat the berries. We grow, and then over time, we will die.” Suro walk through the forest. The nightmares from the night before made him fearful and sad. “I don’t want you to die!” His heart sank at the mere mention of the word death. Suro’s scars from being abducted seemed to follow him as he grew older. Yuno felt Suro’s sadness in his heart. The bond between father and son was strong in their relationship. Yuno tried to coax his son’s fears by bringing play and laughter to their long walks in the forest. “Don’t worry, son, your old dad isn’t going anywhere for a long time! I’m a big, fast unicorn! Let’s see if you can catch me!” Upon their return to the cave, Yuno received a visit from Dane and Jo Anne. They entered the cave with wet bodies and hair. Dane and Jo Anne now carried a bow and arrows across their chest with a single sharp spear in one hand. Centaurs learned how to make bows and arrows by reshaping green tree limbs. They cut the limbs to the appropriate size, and then bent them into the shape of a bow. Centaurs then tied a thin strand of vine from one end to the other. The bow was set to dry while the arrows are made from long sticks with sharpened heads and bird feathers. Weapons made by centaurs to guard against evil, not to murder innocent animals. Dane was especially accurate with both the spear and the bow and arrow. He could knock a small berry sitting on a tall tree from far away. “Dane. What brings you to my humble home?” Yuno takes a bite of several berries lying on the ground that they had stored for a rainy day. Dane scratches his forehead. “We are gathering a group together in a form of a council. We need to have a council so that the land can have guardians to locate the twelve black stones. The stars have given me a dream that they will give us twelve acts of compassion to help guide us against the destruction of Noal. Once these acts are given to us, we must use these acts to guide us during battle times. As long as the black stones remain on earth, there are high risks of invasion from humans. We need the council to keep watch over the land until the stones are found and returned to the stars,” Sherrea and Suro watch from a distance. “What is the plan to find the stones?” Yuno turns towards his wife and son because he knows that Dane wants him to lead the council as the first unicorn. Yuno is unsure whether to accept the pending invitation or just be a father to his troubled son. “We wait for now. Until we figure out a way to cross over to earth, find the missing stones, and bring them back to Noal. We cannot do much. There must be a way to cross over to earth, remain hidden, search for the stones, and bring them back.” Dane walks closer to Yuno. He senses Yuno’s hesitation to a part of the council. “You have a great family. You know that you can protect them better if you are a part of the council!” Yuno looks back at his friend. He knows the urgency of his words, but Yuno’s heart is with his wife and son. “I need to be here with my son!” Yuno returns his eyes towards his son. “I understand. Well, if you change your mind, the council can really use your wisdom and insight about the stars and the land.” Dane turns to face his wife as they both leave the cave. Later in the evening Yuno and Suro are practicing their running skills. Suro is almost as fast as his father, but he is still quite young for a unicorn. Suro sees the confusion in father’s eyes. Yuno wants to protect his family, but being council member would benefit the land. “Father, will you join the council?” Yuno stops running. “I don’t know son.” Suro jogs around a tree for a few seconds, he stops to take a breath. “Father, I think you should join the council. Dane is correct. You can protect us better if you help find the black stones.” “But joining the council could mean going into battle and time away from you and mom.” Yuno’s eyes turns to sadness. “Father, we will be alright! I do not want to be the reason why they fail to find the stones. They need you. The land needs you. Join the council for me and mom. Go and protect the land against evil, and maybe my nightmares will go away.” “Suro, my son, you are becoming wise. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful son as you.” Yuno and son return to running in the direction of home. In the warm night, Yuno and his family sleep soundly. The moon and stars were especially bright that night. Dane and Yuno are awakened by warm gentle balls of fire shooting from outside that seem to fly into their caves and hit a wall. These fire balls continued to hit the cave’s walls, but the sparks did not burn against the dry grass. Line by line the stars wrote their words on the walls of every cave inhabited by unicorns and centaurs. Yuno had the wisdom to read the pictures on his wall, as Dane could do the same with his own language. In the morning, Yuno went to visit Dane’s cave. Dane stood staring at the wall inscription. Jo Anne read the words out loud, and this is what she read: The Twelve Acts of Compassion for the Land of Noal 1. Unicorns and guardians must only kill in self-defense or when protecting innocent life in the land. 2. Guardians must never kill unicorns. 3. Unicorns must only use their magical powers for healing wounds or ailments. 4. All guardians and unicorns must show mercy to wounded or ill life. 5. All living beings must seek to serve one another. 6. Unicorns and guardians should always teach their children about the wisdom of the land. 7. Guardians should respect and learn from their older generations. 8. All should share the resources in the land. 9. War should only be implemented to protect life and the land. 10. No one should not dominate or enslave by other beings or group of animals in Noal. 11. All should have equal opportunities to do as they please in the land. 12. The land of Noal should always be defended against evil rudiments. “I think we need to organize the council as soon as possible. If the stars took the time to burn these twelve acts of compassion on our caves, we need to unite to make sure that all obey these acts. I’m sure that the stars are eager to retrieve the twelve black stones.” Dane turned towards Yuno. No words were spoken, but Dane knew why Yuno had come to his cave. Yuno’s stern look on his face spoke volumes about his intentions. “As long as the stones remain on earth, Noal is at risk of dangers from humans and other strange beings.” “Who should lead the council, and how many of Noal’s guardians should be a part of the group?” Dane stared puzzled at the wall. “Dane, I think we know the answered to your questions. You, because you are the leader of the centaurs. Toro, the leader of the elves, and me. I think we three should select two more nominees to make up nine members of the council. I will ask Adjuno and Lackia to join me. They are the wisest of my breed,” Yuno also stared at the wall. “I would like Jo Anne and Shane to be on the council,” Dane looked at his wife. She walked towards him. “Me, why me?” “You are wise, plus I would feel better if you were a part of the group to make rational decisions,” Dane puts his hands on Jo Anne’s shoulders and stares into her kind eyes. “I will do it,” Jo Anne replied with a hug and a kiss. “There is a large cave in the southern side of Enduro. We can use it until we build a hall for the council.” Dane walks outside of his cave. Yuno follows behind him. “I will send word to Toro to meet us at the cave tonight,” Meanwhile, as Darkly’s army of centaurs and Antars marched south away from the forest of Insignia, a single woman broke free from the group. The woman called herself, Mrs. Rohana. She was a young girl with blond hair and hazel looking eyes. She wore a dark-brown cape around her neck with sturdy pants and a western shirt. She walked with a staff in one hand. As she broke away from the group, she ran in one direction breathing heavy. With eyes wide open, she ran from tree to tree while looking back at the army as they marched away. Where was she going? She did not know, but she knew that there had to be other creatures in this unfamiliar land. Later in the day, the new visitor of Noal stumbled out of the wilderness into a river near the southern forest of Enduro. She fell forward onto the edge of water. With her face deep in the water, she quenched her thirst. She again stood up, looked around the land, and sat down on a large rock. “Where am I?” she thought as her stomach grumbled with hunger. She gathered a few logs and twigs. She mumbled a few words and a blaze of fire lit the dry pile of wood. With the pointed stick in one hand, she speared a fish that was caught searching for food on the edge of the water. The stick was lifted and placed on the fire. Within a few minutes, she consumed the fish. She sat bewildered what to do or where to go. The suns now appeared to be setting for the evening. The visitor took another look around the forest before noticing a strange animal taking a sip of water just on the other side of the water. It was Adjuno on the other side of the river. The woman softly called out to the unicorn, but he wasn’t quick to be approached by the stranger. Adjuno watch closely as the visitor slowly walked towards him with one hand extended outward. “I am lost, young creature. Can you help me? I won’t hurt you. I need your help,” she said calmly in a soothing soft voice. Adjuno did not sense any hostility in her voice, and her sad eyes hypnotized the grey unicorn. “You’re a unicorn! I have never seen a real unicorn before now. You’re a beautiful! I’m not from this world. Can you understand me?” Adjuno nodded his head as to say, “Yes”. She stood a few feet away from Adjuno after crossing the water. “Oh my word! You can! How is this possible?” Her eyes widened in curiosity. “Where am I?” She scanned her inquisitive eyes around the land. “Will you take me to your leader?” Adjuno again nodded as he turned and neighed loudly. The visitor picked up her staff and followed the grey unicorn into the forest. Within a few minutes, Adjuno lead the woman to the cave where the newly formed council was preparing to meet. They waited silently outside the opening of the cave. Mrs. Rohana quietly observed the group’s meeting. She wanted to make sure that group might be friendly to a stranger in their land. Yuno, Dane, Jo Anne, Toro, and the members stood in a circle discussing the twelve acts of compassion and the location of the black stones. Dane and the council discussed the where-bouts of the stones as a fire burned in the center. “We do not know where the black stones are or if we can crossover to earth and grab the stones and cross back over before the portal closes.” “Someone needs to try to crossover to earth, grab the four stones, and the cross back over to Noal before the portal closes,” Shane stood next to Toro while eating some berries. “But, how? If the portal closes while one of us is on the other side, then we run the risk of being discovered by more humans,” Dane looked both ways and used his hands to express his comments. Adjuno comes jogging into the cave, “We do not need more humans invading the land of Noal,” Shane again responded as everyone watched each other for suggestions. Mrs. Rohana took the risk of revealing herself to the group. She believed that if she was going to back home, then she needed offer to help the group. “I can help!” the visitor slowly came walking in with her staff in her right hand. All eyes turned towards her with surprised looks. “Who are you?” Dane turned to approach the visitor with one hand on his spear. “I am Mrs. Rohana. I am human. I am also a practicing witch. I do not mean anyone any harm!” she sat on a rock just against the wall. “How did you get here?” Jo Anne stood next to Dane. She was not afraid, but she was suspicious of the stranger. “I was a part of a group of humans that crossover into a strange portal. The people are poor, homeless, criminals that were drawn-in by strange evil looking creatures. The humans were consumed into the dirt and then emerged to look like you. They ate some strange berries, their eyes turned blood-shot red, and then they turned evil. I escaped before eatting the berries and transformed into you. I walked until I found the river and then I saw that unicorn. I followed it here,” Mrs. Rohana sat her staff down. “Why did you crossover from earth?” Shane approached her. “I was curious of the portal. I wanted to see where it lead.” Mrs. Rohana leaned forward and turning her eyes onto Shane. “Where am I?” “You’re in the land of Noal!” Dane stood in front of her. “I’ll bet the stars or gods created Noal because of earth’s disastrous lands?” Mrs. Rohana adjusted her cape. Jo Anne glances at her husband. “Yes, how did you know that?” “Earth is pretty filthy. It does not take scientist to figure out that Noal is the new world, not meant for humans. I’m guessing you, centaurs, were once humans and the unicorns were once horses.” “Yes!” Dane’s eyes showed a surprised look on his face. “We chose to get new bodies after I lost my fight with Darkly. We were given the bodies of horses to stay in Noal and we kept our earthly names to remember our ancestors. I was a sergeant on earth, but here, I’m a warrior of peace.” “Well then, I think you have a big problem on your hands. The monsters that took the humans, now are centaurs themselves, and they are planning to attack you and the unicorns.” “How many were turned into centaurs?” Dane quietly listened. “A few hundred, but I think the leader has gained the power to create more centaurs.” Mrs. Rohana again grabbed her staff. “If he does, then the ground must have transferred some of its power to the leader, his name is Darkly. I fought with him when we saved some young unicorns. The other beasts are called Black Antars. They were created by the ground out of jealousy of the stars.” Dane turned away from Mrs. Rohana because the story made him miss his old body. “Why?” “Because the unicorns paid greater homage to the stars after they were turned from horses into unicorns. Now the ground seeks to destroy the unicorns, but it has to do so by creating new beings. The stars and ground agreed never to kill living beings on their own, so that’s why the Antars were created.” Dane explanation intrigued Mrs. Rohana. “How does the portal open?” Mrs. Rohana sat and waited for an answer. Dane returned his eyes back on to her. “There are twelve black stones on earth. If four black stones are place in a square, then the portal will open. Odd numbers of stones will not open the portal, but five stones will, but only in its original size. To make the portal larger, you must place even-numbered stones in a square. The largest opening would be the twelve stones placed in a square.” “How large would be with twelve black stone placed in a square?” Dane’s eyes grew wider in size. He leaned forward with his arms spread apart. “Large enough to suck in the entire earth, the stars, and all the plants,” Mrs. Rohana understood Dane’s fear and the council’s urgency to find the stones. “On earth, we call that a black hole,” “Yes, I know. This is why we must find the black stones and return them to the stars.” “How do you think you can help us?” Jo Anne asked with her arms crossed and her eyes looking directly at the stranger. Mrs. Rohana explained her ideas about how get the stones back to Noal. “If we can get me back to the portal, I can cross back over to earth, and I collect the four stones and pass them to you and then I can search for the other eight stones.” “What if you can’t pass the four stones before the portal closes?” Shane turned sideways and crossed his arms. Mrs. Rohana stood up to relieve her sore back, “then, I will collect the four stones and hold them until I can find someone to crossover into Noal. I will give the stones to that person. The stones will be safe with me.” Dane retrieved backward. “Yes. But how would you know that you can trust that person?” “I will search for a person that will learn my craft, probably a girl that I can train the art of being a witch. I can keep watch over Noal by my wall of visions. When the time is right, I will tell her the story of Noal, and maybe she’ll want to join this land.” “What is a wall of visions?” Toro with his long beard stepped forward to ask. Mrs. Rohana took out a small draw-string grey bag from her inner pocket. She opened it and pulled out some dust. She threw the dust onto a wall of the cave. Images of a house on a street suddenly appeared on the wall. The images showed people walking along the street and other scenes. “This is my house and street. With this dust, I can see anything, any time, and anywhere I want.” Dane looked bewildered at the images. “Can you see anywhere in the land of Noal with the dust?” “Sure.” “Show us where the Black Antars and centaurs are gathering!” Dane leaned forward with curiosity. She demanded, “Show the Black Antars and centaurs in the land of Noal!” The wall of images shifted to show the Antars training the centaurs how to throw spears at targets. The army appeared large in number with anger and hatred in their red eyes. Dane grabbed his spear. He turned to face the young witch. “Wow! You have a powerful skill in your craft, but it does not look like we have much time. The Antars look like they are preparing for war. Are you sure that you can collect the stones, if we get you back to earth through the portal?” “Yes, I can do it, but how are we going to open the portal from this dimension?” Mrs. Rohana rose to stand up to lean on her staff. “ Yuno, do you think that you can ask the stars to open the portal when we get to the mountain?” Dane looks towards Yuno’s direction. Yuno nods up and down. “Then, let’s get moving! Yuno, Adjuno, Jo Anne, Toro, and I will be your escort. I’m guessing the portal last opened in the forest of Insignia north of Noal.” “I think so. It was on a large mountain!” “Yes! We must leave now!” Dane added. The five council members and Mrs. Rohana set forth on the journey to the mountain in northern forest of insignia. In the east lands of Noal, in some barron cave, just beyond the grassy edge of the forest, the army of Antars and centaurs were practicing their fighting skills and making weapons to kill all enemies. The east lands were bare without any colorful plants and flowers, no living trees, and no sweet fruits. This land was known as the dead-lands. The eastern waters were pitch-black with very little life. This was an area that not even the unicorns and centaurs cared to go. Darkly and the Antars were carefully at work making more black centaurs. The ground and Darkly had made a pack with one another to help each other to create dark beasts. It was during this time that Darkly formed from the dirt an evil looking monster. This newborn brute had scaly skin, wide eyes with cat-like features, a large snout with hideous fangs, bat-like wings, and a tail with pointy spikes. Darkly fed the newborn animal dirt with fire-lit ashes. The unsightly monster was given black water to drink. It was kept on chains in the cave to conceal it from others. Darkly stroke the ugly beast’s head and whispered in its ear, “You are Dag! My greatest creation… My fire-breathing dragon… In a few years, we will feed you the flesh of unicorns and centaurs with fresh blood. You will live with me forever.” Darkly grumbled and laughed as more centaurs sprung from the ground. In the meantime, Dane and the other group walked in the deep forest. The suns shined through spotty grey clouds that looked like they were ready to drop rain. The wind blew ever so gently towards the group. In the distant, soft clasps of thunder could be heard after a few strikes of lighting that lit-up the forest. Everyone marched toward the forest on Insignia. No one knew what to expect once they reach their destination. It would be the first time any human or being tried to cross back to earth. The stones were created to bring elements and beings to Noal, not the reverse. This was a journey with hopeful results. Everyone knew that Mrs. Rohana might have been chosen to be the keeper of the black stones. It was as if the stars had been watching what the ground had done, and in the silence of the night, they hid a bit of good inside the evil deed. It was true that Mrs. Rohana gave the land new hope for peace. A sudden noise stopped the travelers in the tracks. “What is it?” Mrs. Rohana’s eyes opened wide as fear entered them. Dane stopped and pulled off his bow and armed it with an arrow. Toro position his spear in both hands for battle. Jo Anne also drew her bow and arrow. They all watched the distant forest for danger. Yuno and Bluro shook nervously as they detected strange invaders just ahead of them. Dane kept watching for predators. “There’s something out there, but I don’t know now what.” Danes use all his senses to pick up the tracks of the intruders. Dane, Jo Anne, and Toro slowly moved forward as their eyes scanned the trees and ground. Suddenly, a spear flew between Jo Anne’s and Dane’s head, but it hit nothing. Dane returned fire by shooting his arrow. A soft thump sounded as it hit the ground. Dane and the others ran towards the body. As soon as they reach the area, an Antar lied dead on the ground. Dane looked to his left as an arrow just missed his chest. A black centaur stood a few yards away. Toro also spotted an Antar in a tree. The repulsive beast shot his spear at him, but it only stuck in the dirt. Toro quickly pulled off his slinger, added a stone to it, spun it around a few times, and shot the rock into the tree. A few leaves and branches with drops of black blood fell onto the ground as the Antar tumbled down afterwards. Dane drew closer to the evil looking man with four legs. He eyed the muscles of its body, the largeness of his arms, and the emptiness in the red eyes. Dane was looking for signs of human emotions in the eyes, but all he saw was anger and hatred. The two focus their eyes on each other trying to search for weaknesses in one another bodies. Dane knew that Darkly had sent the wild man-horse to test the strength of his new creation. It was the Centaur versus man-horse fight, for in Dane’s eyes, the creature was not worthy of their name. This was a fight of equal body strength, and the match for dominance. The man-horse moved sideways with Dane mimicking every motion. Dane pulled off his bow, armed it with an arrow, and shot at him. The foe turned sideways to dodge the speedy arrow. He then charge at him. Dane dropped his bow and returned the charge. The two centaurs collided in hand-to-hand combat. Dane threw a right hook that landed on the enemy’s jaw. The man-horse countered with a left hook, but he missed the face. Dane swung with several punches to the gut. The enemy drew backwards. Dane turned backwards and hind-kicked the half-man in the face. The man-horse opponent drew back again, and lunged forward to kick with his front legs. Dane caught a spear that Toro threw toward him. With the evil centaur still in mid-air, he thrust the pointed head into its heart. The evil beast howled loudly in pain, stumbled around the ground for a few seconds, and he fell to his death. Dane and the others stood over the dead man-horse. Dane felt a frustration and sadness in his heart. Although the beast was created for the purpose of war, Dane did not enjoy killing the living being. Noal was supposed to be a peaceful land, but now, evil threaten the calm land. Centaurs were warriors and guardians, not killers. Darkly created these man-horses to enslave the goodness of the land and to destroy its inhabitants. Dane’s heart sank as he pulled the spear from the ugly monster. The group took time to bury the dead man-horse. It was a sad day for Dane and Jo Anne. They both new that war and death was looming for Noal. Dane wiped off the bloody spear. “This is only the beginning of Noal’s dark times. This Centaur was sent to test our weakness. There will be more attack on us.” Jo Anne touched her husband’s arm. She gently caressed it and looked into his eyes. “What are we going to do? “We are going to get Mrs. Rohana to the portal. She has to go back to earth. We must have faith the she can collect the twelve stones. I must kill Darkly.” Dane hugged his wife and moved forward. The others followed behind him with fear and uncertainty in the journey. No one knew of the dangers ahead. It was a quiet walk through the forest as rain slowly began to fall. Later in the evening, Darkly was hard at work training his army. An Antar returned from the forest. Dane and the others neglected to detect him as he hid in a tall tree. The Antar’s job was to stake-out his small band of troops. Darkly yelled and snarled at the centaurs and Antars as they threw their spears at targets. He stood on high platform and watched as everyone threw spears. Some of the spears hit their targets in the dead center, while others missed the marks all together. The rain fell steadily in the dark forest of the dead-lands. Darkly waited for words from the returning Antar. He yelled, “Ready!” The other Antars and Centaurs aimed their spears. “Fire!” Darkly lowered his firing arm. The spears flew about thirty yards before hitting their targets. Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump! The spears struck their marks. “Again!” The returning Antar stepped up the platform. He stood face-to-face with Darkly. “Well! How did the centaur do against their leader?” Darkly looked directly in the eyes of the Antar. The Antar looked back at him. He nodded with “No!” Darkly lifted his right arm and swung at his messenger. The head of the Antar quickly fell off. It rolled a great distance as blood splattered everywhere. The body fell to the cold ground. Darkly turned to face the army again. “Let’s get to work! I want to see spears hitting targets. We will hunt-down our enemies, take them as slave or kill them, and drink the blood of the unicorns.” Darkly called another Antar to him. “Garr, take four Antars and two centaurs to the mountain in the forest of Insignia, and bring me the travelers. They are taking a human to try to send her back to the other world or they’re trying to bring in more beings. We cannot let it happen. They are searching for the stones. Now! Go and bring them to me or kill them all. And bring their bodies to me!” Garr turned and took the centaurs and Antars with him. Deep in the wilderness, the travelers sat around a warm-lit fire. The suns were setting in the eastern skies as a slow drizzle fell on them. Mrs. Rohana sought the comfort of a tall tree with thick leaves. The tree helped her to keep dry. Throughout the evening, fireflies and other insects flew around the camp. The air smelled of fresh fallen rain and the wind blew gently against the trees. The travelers shared in an evening meal of red berries and dry bread made by Jo Anne. It was a calm and peaceful night as though as no evil dwell in the land. Everyone wished that this night was just another journey to visit a new territory, but the travelers knew that Darkly was coming for them. Yuno and Adjuno stood behind some rocks resting peacefully. They watched the others talk to Mrs. Rohana. “How did you escape the fate of the humans that were lured into Noal?” Shane poked in the fire with a stick. “I was the last human to crossover into Noal. I saw what was happening with the other people, so I slowly slipped away as Darkly gathered his centaurs. I don’t know why the ground didn’t suck me into it, but I walked away without being noticed.” Mrs. Rohana sat on a broken log while her staff. “The stars must have protected and guided you.” Dane walked towards Mrs. Rohana. “I tell you Dane, I was pretty scared being in a new land. I did not know what those beasts were, and if they would kill me.” “So why did you crossover into Noal?” Dane popped a berry into his mouth. Jo Anne and Toro sat comfortably on the ground. “Truthfully, I don’t know…. I was sitting on the mountain with the group of campers, thinking about my husband, I saw everyone going through the portal, and I went through it without thinking about the consequences. I must have something to do or learn here.” “Where is your husband?” Dane fed both unicorns berries. “Oh, he’s no longer living. He was killed by a practicing warlock named Black Sun. They got into an argument about who should lead the group of witches and warlocks a year ago. They drank too much beer, and they pulled knives on one another. Bill was too drunk to defend himself, so Black Sun killed him. The son-of- bitch got off because the jury said that it was self-defense. I went camping to get away from the house. It was the one year anniversary of his death. I guess his fate is what brought me here. I don’t know, but maybe his death is what may save Noal.” Mrs. Rohana sat starring into the fire. There came a silent mood among the group. The fell off and on throughout the night as Dane and Toro watched for more attacks by the black centaurs and Antars. It was not a hard rain. The rain was more calm and warm, like a hard mist. This rain attracted all types of insects towards the campers. Mrs. Rohana was especially fond of the fireflies. They drew to her like bees on honey. The fireflies seemed to be able to communicate with her unlike any other insect. This was strange to the others because fireflies never spoke to anyone. Mrs. Rohana placed her hands together. A single lit firefly landed in her palm. The fly spoke in a high-pitch tone. “There is evil heading towards the mountain in Insignia. I came here to warn you. Be careful!” The firefly gently flew off as the group slept in the night. Dane, Yuno, and Adjuno stood quietly around her as they watched the firefly fly away. “I never seen fireflies so attracted to a person.” Dane knew that Mrs. Rohana received some kind of message from her little friend. Mrs. Rohana sat back and closed her eyes. “I can understand the minds of animals if they don’t close down on me.” “What did it say?” Mrs. Rohana leaned forward, opened her eyes, and put her hand on Dane’s shoulder. “There’s evil heading to the mountain. Darkly sent more centaurs and Antars to kill us. They did not say how many, but they want us to be careful. We must be ready for anything.” Yuno pumped Mrs. Rohana on the hand. “What are we going to do?” Dane and Mrs. Rohana spoke at the same time. “We are going forward in the morning.” Dane looked at Mrs. Rohana. He had forgotten that she could also speak to animals. He smiled, turned to looked at Yuno, and returned to his post for the rest of the night. In the morning, Mrs. Rohana and the other were well rested. Toro the elf stood ready to move forward. He shot a rock from his slinger at a tree limb. He believed that warriors could never practice enough with their weapons. Dane and Jo Anne stood watching as Mrs. Rohana ate her morning fill or red and yellow berries. Shane doused out the small fire while Yuno and Adjuno stood prepared to travel. The rain subsided and the suns was warming the cool air and wet dew. In the distance, birds sang songs of mating while the trees swayed gently in the wind. The day seemed peaceful, but everyone knew of the pending day. Dane picked-up his bow, hung it across his chest, swung his bag of arrows his back, and lifted his spears. “We are closed to the mountain, maybe by midafternoon or late evening, we should reach the mountain. Mrs. Rohana why don’t ride on Jo Anne’s back and Toro, you can ride on Shane’s back. We will cover more ground if we carry you two.” Mrs. Rohana rises up, lifts her staff, and walks over to Jo Anne. She giggles. “I never thought in a million years that I would be riding a centaur.” She climbs on, and balances herself. Jo Anne lifts her spears, looks back at her. “I never thought that I would be a centaur, giving a ride to another human.” Everyone broke out in laughter as they started their journey through the forest. Deep in the eastern forest, Garr the Antar with two other black centaurs ran towards the forest of Insignia. Along the way, they encountered a heard of goats feeding in a clear pasture. Garr and the centaurs were very hungry from their night-time travels, so they decided to take a small feast on goat meat. This was an ideal moment to practice their predator skills and fill their empty stomachs with fresh bloody meat. Garr and his centaurs slowly crouch down, drew their spears, and calmly walked towards the unexpected goats. Garr drew closer and closer. The centaurs spread five yards apart, slowly drew close to a single goat. As Garr position himself just a few feet away, he threw his spear at the innocent animal. The goat squirmed in pain, kicked around, and fell to its death. Garr pulled out the spear as the other goats ran away. “Meat is ready to eat. Centaurs! Eat quickly! We have other centaurs and unicorns to hunt.” Garr ate enough to appease his hunger as the band of hunters continued their evil journey to the mountain. Upon riding on Jo Anne’s back, Mrs. Rohana scanned the forest to take-in Noal beautiful flowers and tall trees. This was a land unlike earth. The air was fresh with sweet scents of wild flowers of reds, greens, yellows, and blues mixed with tinted light and dark colors of pinks and purples. Some of the trees were so tall that she could not see the tops of them. Sometimes she would notices bee-like insects pollinating the big flowers that grew next to the trees. The suns rays illuminated the entire land with bright colors. The ride made her wish earth had been such a paradise to her eyes. Mrs. Rohana softly spoke as they continued the travel. “What is it like to be a centaur?” She hoped not to offend anyone by the question. Jo Anne was the first to speak. “I was scared at first. Dane was the first to crossover into Noal. We later found out that we were stuck here for life. I wanted to kill Dane for luring us into the portal, and I blamed him for getting us into the war. But then, he got injured by Darkly, so the stars gave a choice, become a different creature or be killed. We chose the transformation.” “What was it like to be transformed?” Dane pulled back to meet his wife. He smiled in gratitude and in love for her forgiveness. “It’s like being reborn with the bright lights, but no pain. I was also scared at first, but I enjoyed the new body and the freedom of our land. Do I miss my old body? Sure! Centaurs are bigger, so the Antars have a larger target to shoot at. Whereas being human, I could hide in trees and swim under water. But as centaurs, we are stronger and faster, so it even-out in the end.” “Why doesn’t the stars like humans in the land of Noal?” Shane moved forward just on the other side of Jo Anne with Toro still riding on his back. The three, Dane, Jo Anne, and Shane were now trotting side-by-side one another with Yuno and Adjuno behind them. “We believe that the stars are afraid if they let humans into Noal, then they will destroy its beauty. According to human history, humans have always sought to create and destroy. We, as once humans, seek the destruction of our enemies, and we were willing to destroy the very land to do it. Here in Noal, we live of the land free from the political agendas of political people. Do we miss our human life? No, not at all,” Shane explained. Dane stopped for a moment. “I’m sure that there might be humans in Noal someday, but not now. I think Noal must need humans as protectors before the stars would allow them here. I believe that the stars are testing our skills before they seek the help of humans. If we fail to protect Noal, then the stars will give us human input.” “Well, I think the stars will see how some people are needed to keep peace in Noal.” Mrs. Rohana leaned forward and spoke to Dane. The wilderness was treacherous and bumpy for the riders. Mrs. Rohana and Toro held to straps created with tree vines. Dane and Jo Anne, especially her, never realized how heavy the human body weighed. The ride generated a feeling of sympathy for horses and unicorns. They never had to give rides to people. Horseback riding was just something everyone did. There were people the care for horses, but in most cases, they were just as cattle for transportation. With the evening coming soon, the travelers stumbled upon a patch of bloody grass. A heard of white goats stood near a river bank a few yards away. They appeared somewhat startled, but the animals kept still. Dane and the others circled around the pool of blood in the grass with remains of bones, organs, and flesh left behind. Mrs. Rohana and Toro sadly looked at the dead goat. Dane’s scanned the area and then he looked down at the mangled animal. “They’re ahead of us.” Jo Anne turned sideways with Mrs. Rohana still on her back. “Do we know how far they are ahead of us?” Toro scratches his head and repositions himself on Dane’s back. “My senses tell me that they are a few hours ahead, may be less.” Dane turned towards the river. “We will rest near the river for a few minutes and give the enemy a few minutes to move forward. The further the distance between them and us, the more likely we can surprise them. I just hope they don’t surprise us. Yuno, Adjuno stay alert, we need your senses to warn us when they are getting close to us.” Yuno and Adjuno nodded as the galloped towards the rushing river. Mrs. Rohana and Toro jumped off the backs of their carriers. The fresh cool water felt good running down the throats of the travelers. In the distance, hawks flew around the mountain and trees. A deer and her young doe drank water on the other side of the river. In the trees, birds tended to their nest of baby birds. The suns’ rays reflected multiple colors like a rainbow against the mist from the splashing waters. Mrs. Rohana rested on log. She had been there before a few days earlier. “I have never seen such beauty. On earth, I would never drink water from a river. I can see why the stars reject humans. I haven’t seen wildlife since I was a child. You have a beautiful land. It’s worth defending.” Dane turned towards Mrs. Rohana, he looks in her eyes. “You could stay here.” Mrs. Rohana lifts her staff and clears the mud from it, “I cannot… My husband is dead, and I need to be buried along-side of him. I miss Bill. Besides, you need to find the black stones. I think that I can better serve you and Noal by getting back to earth.” Her eyes began to water from sadness towards Bill. Dane and Jo Anne stood silent for few moments. “Well, Jo Anne and I are happy that you came to Noal, and we’re glad that you are on our side.” The others gathered around her. It was time to finish the journey. As Dane and the others traveled up the mountain, they could see a multitude of footsteps heading up the mountain. There were tracks leading up to the area where the portal last opened. Some of the prints were deeper than others. Dane’s mind sense that the deeper tracks were from the Antars and centaurs waiting for them near the portal site. Everyone remained quiet as they traveled ahead pass every tree, bush, and stone. They kept their eyes fixed on the road ahead, looking at every high tree and pass all tall bushes. The Antars and centaurs were out there somewhere, but where, no one knew. The only sounds from the group were the thumping of hooves hitting the ground. Silence was their friend and foe. It was good to be quiet to avoid detection, but silence also made their hearts pound harder when they heard a slight noise such as a falling branch or a bird pecking on a tree stump. Dane looked at Yuno and Adjuno as they began to jitter. “Do you sense danger ahead, my friends?” Dane whispered, he drew his eyes ahead. Yuno and Adjuno nodded with a soft neigh. Everyone drew their weapon of choice. Mrs. Rohana and Toro slowly climb off the backs of Jo Anne and Shane. Toro now walked ahead of Dane with a rock in his slinger, his eyes scanning high in the trees, his nose searching for the smells of Antars, and his eyes listening for unusual forest noises. As they drew closer to the site of the portal, the suns began to set for the evening. Shadows from tall trees loomed in every directions. A flock of birds flew off of the trees heading south as though they themselves sense dangers. Only the insects could be heard in the trees as everyone watched for the enemies. Dane made a quiet gesture by putting his index finger to his lips. He spotted a dark creature in a single tree. Everyone stood motionless as Dane took one step after another towards the tree. With his bow and arrow drawn and ready to be released, he stood under the tree. A single spear fell from the tree and hit the ground. Dane released his arrow upward into the tree towards the dark figure. There was a loud “Thump” as the Antar roared loudly, fell while striking every limb along the way down, and then landing on the ground. This Antar was dead as a dark centaur revealed himself from behind a large bolder. The sound of Toro’s slinger rang out, but the rock missed the centaur’s head. Jo Anne threw her spear at the centaur, but she missed his head. Toro flung another stone at him, but he was quick to dodge the flying rock. Dane rushed towards the centaur with his spear at hand. Toro and Shane attacked another Antar that was hiding behind a round tree. Toro flung another stone at the Antar and struck him on his head. The pain from the hit gave Shane enough time to throw his spear. The spear pierce the heart of the Antar as it fell backward against the tree. Dane engaged in spear-to-spear combat. Spears collided in a triangle, they swung downward blocking each other’s swing, a jab towards Dane’s chest was blocked by his spear, he countered by a bare right fist, and the centaur countered with a left hook. The fight continued for a few minutes as another Antar crept up behind Dane with a spear ready to kill him. A large bolt of lighting darted at the Antar and killed him. Dane looked back to find Mrs. Rohana with her staff pointed towards him. He nodded a quick “thank you” as he continued jabbing at the black Antar. Dane and the evil centaur circle one another with eye-piercing glares towards each other. They were searching for weaknesses in their fighting skills. One circle, and another, and then a third circle. The two again collided with fist blows to the body and face. A right hook was countered by a left hook from the enemy. Dane threw a left jab to the nose of the centaur as blood flew in the air. The centaur countered with a left swing to the stomach. Dane pushed backward and shrugged off the pain. He again threw a right hook towards the jaw of the centaur, it landed squarely in the mouth, and he fell backwards with his hair clinging to the sticky blood. Shane yelled, “Dane!” as another spear came flying towards him. He grabbed the spear in midair and thrust its pointy head into the chest of the black centaur. The centaur froze in motion, looked directly at Dane, and slowly closed his eyes while still standing. Dane remained watching the centaur as it finally fell down. Meanwhile, Yuno and Adjuno stood in an open area of the forest. They waited there for a few minutes. A small image of a wavy circle appeared out of thin air. As the picture grew larger and larger, the ground shook violently. The vision of the other land soon appeared from the portal. Mrs. Rohana walked towards the wavy image. She turned to thank Dane and the others before passing through the portal. Dane remained in front of her as she crossed over back to earth. She stayed on the other side watching into Noal as Dane waited to receive the four back stones on earth. Suddenly, a large cry rang out from the direction of Jo Anne, Shane, and Toro. Garr, the lead Antar, pointed a spear directly into the neck of Jo Anne. She remained frightened and motionless as the sharp edge pressed against her tender skin. Garr held the spear tightly in his hand ready to be thrust into her neck. “Back away centaur. Wrap your arms around the tree, or I will kill her and your friends.” Dane sadly walked towards the tree, throwing down his remaining weapons, and hugging the nearest tree. An Antar took some vines, tied Dane’s hands together, and walked back to contain the hostages. “I’m not going to kill them or you. I want to see if you are good at tracking us. I need to put some time between us. We are taking your friends to Darkly. I’m sure he will do as he please with them. I just can’t wait to drink the unicorns’ blood. I will be as strong as Darkly, and we will live forever. Question, will you follow us on your own or will you go seek more help? Either way we will kill all of you.” Garr face directly looking at Dane as he sadistically laughed out loud. The Antars and another black centaur wrapped a rope around the chest of Shane and Jo Anne, binding their arms around the breasts. Toro was tied-up and horizonally placed on Shane’s back. Yuno and Adjuno ran towards them to try to rescue them, but an Antar threw ropes around their necks and tied them to the hostages. “I’m going to enjoy hunting and killing you. I COMING… I COMING FOR YOU!” Dane yelled as Garr pulled the rope of the two unicorns. Mrs. Rohana watched in horror from the other side. Dane remained wrapped around a tree. “Will you be alright?” She said. “Can you escape the tree?” Dane yelled back from the tree. “Yes, go and guard the stones! I will find my wife and friends!” “I will take the four black stones with me. I will guard them until I find the other eight.” In that moment the portal again close down. Dane was left tied to a tree, tired from battle, and alone in the forest while his wife and friends were being dragged away to a dark land.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Noal "The Beginning" Part II The Battle to Save Young Unicorns

This is where the story begins in the land of Noal. These are the stories about the generations of unicorns and how twelve missing stones brought evil to Noal. The stones, which were at one point a single falling star that came from the darkness in the sky, were lost on earth. These twelve stones, although very small in size, could open a portal with enough power to suck in an entire universe. The stars knew that if Noal and earth collided, then both worlds would be destroyed. The stones had to be found to keep peace throughout the land. If the stars did not retrieve all twelve stones, then they would doom the land of Noal. These are the tales of how unicorns played a vital role in retrieving the stones, giving them back to the stars, and bringing peace to a troubled land. It has been 50 years or more since Yuno and other horses “now called unicorns” crossed over to the land of Noal. Sherrea, Yuno’s brown mate, had enjoyed the solitude of the quiet lands of our new world. There were close to a thousand unicorns spread throughout Noal. The female unicorns enjoy playing in the many fields. The lands here on Noal were a lot different from earth. The horses were no longer enslaved by humans to carry them on their backs. They were free unicorns. Free as butterflies flying in the wind. Yuno, my great grandfather, never knew a more pleasant time. They were no longer herded into the groups and placed in stable stalls. They did not have to feel the whips from humans or the stabs of spurs on their hips. They could run with their mates through the forests, ponds, and mountains. Yuno especial enjoyed playing sword games with his younger friends with their new horns. Yuno’s mate was ready to conceive her first child. Yuno had never been a father before then. He just hoped that he could live up to other unicorns as they continued to populate Noal. Lorine, his white sister stands next to him. She is joyous for Yuno’s new arrival. “How is she?” he asks. “She’s fine. She is resting in the cave. It’s a tan boy!’ she replied while taking a sip of water from the pond. ‘What will his name be?” “His name will be, Suro!” Yuno replied after taking a sip of water from the pond. “Well, be joyous! You have a beautiful, strong boy!” Lorine replied with a kiss to Yuno’s cheek. Yuno returns the soft gentle kiss. “Thank you, sister! Sherrea will be a great mother!” “You, Yuno will be an awesome father!” “I hope so!” Yuno headed back to the cave. Meanwhile, the ground had become jealous and angry that the stars had gotten all the praises for the creation of Noal. Since, ground was the first element to create these lands; they also wanted the unicorns and other animals to praise it. The unicorns only paid homage to the stars, so ground decided to make an enemy for them.” “I feel the unicorns have rejected my role in giving them the new lands, so I am creating a new dark and evil creature that will hunt these ungrateful unicorns,” the ground said. “Out of the shadows of the night there arose new beasts from the dark and black soils of the ground. These creatures were tall men-like beasts with long legs and arms. They had long pointed ears and three deep black eyes over their short noses. Their wide mouths protruded out of their black thick scaly skin. They ran fast like the wind. These beasts were made from the depths of the dark dirt, dead leaves, and underground muddy waters. The females and males were designed for the sole purpose to multiply and kill innocent animals. These creatures carried ugliness and hatred from the heart of the ground. They did not know reason, compassion, or love for the land. They only knew blackness in their minds. The ground created a thousand of these new creatures, and it called the beasts Black Antars. These Antars made spears with broken trees limbs. They ran fast and practice throwing their spears at targets. Within a few months, the Black Antars were ready to destroy unicorns and all other animals that inhabited the peaceful Noal. The stars saw what ground had done. They were equally angry so stars decided to create new mortals to protect unicorns. Ground and stars both agreed never to destroy new beings, so the stars had to create new human-like figures with its own elements. On one early morning, just after the suns rose, the stars took a piece of sunlight to mix with its own elements. The elements shot down to the land of Noal and landed on the edge of a warm pond. Out of the warm waters of the bright morning marched a thousand tiny human-like beings with hair from head-to-toe. These figtures both males and females were equally as fast as the Black Antars, but they carried the warm kindness of the bright suns in their hearts. The stars gave the small humans the wisdom of the lands. They made weapons by using vines from plants and trees. They were highly skilled with their fury little hands. They took big leaves from trees and made bags to wear around their waist. They also collect rocks and other materials to use as tools and weapons. The stars were so pleased with the new creatures; they called them, elves. The elves took their place in the deep forests of the mountains. They were quiet around the unicorns, but in the lands under grounds, they laughed with each other while feasting on wild berries. The elves loved life and enjoyed each other’s company. On the opposite side of Noal, the stars had forgotten about the four black stone that were left on a mountain on earth. The stars and ground knew how important to stones were to insure the safety of Noal, but because they ignored the risks involved in leaving the stones behind, they allowed the possibility of other creatures to invade the land of Noal. The black stones, although not good or evil, only serve as a gateway between the earth and Noal. As long as they remain on earth, Noal would be in high threat for invasion by humans. During this time, a group of young mountain climbers had decided to take rest in the same area where the portal last opened. Among the young climbers, Dane, a soldier, Jo Anne was the youngest of the climbers. She was an athletic climber with very a tight figure and brunette hair. Shane, a student, was the out-spoken person of the entire group. His red hair, blue eyes, and freckled skin made him always question the decisions of others. The other ten group members followed the directions of Dane the leader. Just as the group gathered their backpacks and took their last sips of water from the bottles, a strange wavy pattern appeared facing towards the sunlight. It was the portal beginning to open. As the images of Noal began to appear in the wavy pattern, the group dropped their backpacks and water bottles. Some of the group ran in fright, while others fell to the ground. They were afraid of what they saw, but they were motionless by the portal’s image of Noal. “What is it?” demanded Jo Anne while sitting on the ground. “I don’t know. It looks like some sort of opening into another world.” Dane stood standing on his feet and stretching his left arm to reach out towards the portal. “Don’t go near it, Dane!” cried out Shane. he pulled Dane’s right arm away from the wavy images. “Dane drew closer to the portal. He let his left hand passed through the opening. It was as if the portal was waiting for the group to pass through the opening. The portal was using curiosity to lure the group through the opening. It could have been that the threshold was trying to help the stars to create Noal or that the portal could see the future of the land. Nevertheless, the entrance remained open for the group of climbers.” “It’s alright!” Dane was the first human to step on Noal’s ground. “It’s cool!” Shane followed Dane’s footsteps. Jo Anne and four of the group passed through the entrance. The portal suddenly closed as the seven members wondered around the land. “Great! Now, how do we get back!” Jo Anne nervously looked into Dane’s eyes while placing her hands on her hips. “Where are we?” another female group member named Kindle asked. “I don’t know, but it’s offly pretty here.” Dane glanced over the area for signs of intelligent life. Shane also scanned the deep forest for life and types of food. “Yes, but we don’t know where we are.” “Well maybe, we can find a yellow brick road and the good witch of the north will get us home.” Dane walked through a bushel of plants and trees. “Yes, just say there’s no place like home, and we’ll wake-up from our dreams.” Jo Anne brushed her dirty hands off. Dane looked forward and tilted his head to one side. “Nice! Let’s just stay together guys, and let’s see what’s around here.” Dane and the other group member felt afraid as they walked through the unknown land. “What if we can’t get back to the mountain on earth?” Jo Anne walked along side Dane with her right hand in his left hand. “I know sweetie. You’re afraid. I’m scare too! I think we’re all worried about not being able to get home, but we need to find out where we are and how to get home!” Dane continued to glance through the forest. The group traveled together. They did not know what directions to go, so they headed in one direction. On the other side of the forest, Yuno, Sherrea, and young Suro begin their innocent play in the tall grasses of the fields. Other unicorns joined the games of running together in the tall grass. The river, which was near the field, made its splashing noises as the water hit large rocks and fallen logs. The unicorns enjoyed running through the water. Some unicorns took to drinking the water when thirst indulged their bodies. Suro was young and weak from birth, but the exercises in the field and water made him stronger. During the day, the older unicorns taught their children about the wisdom of life. Yuno sat on the edge of the field with Sherrea while they watch Suro run along the water bank. All seemed peaceful in the forest, but there was evil lurking just outside the field. “Run, my son! The more you run, the stronger you’ll become.” Yuno laid in the tall grass in a near field. Sherrea stood next to Yuno while watching her son run across the warm water. “He’s so beautiful, my love!” Yuno looks back at his wife. “He takes after his mother!” Suro quickly joined his parents in their resting grass, “I’m…. I’m…. tired, father.” Yuno rose to his four legs. “Then rest my son,” The three unicorns rested as other unicorns ran in the distance under the full moon and the bright stars. Suro looks up at the sky. “Dad, what are the bright things up in the air?” Yuno also looks up at the bright stars as the sky turned light blue to orange in the distance. “Those, my son, are your ancestors. We call them stars, but I call them wild horses. The bright one on the right is named Wild Thunderbolt. The one closes to the moon is called Amigo. They are from another world. Stars created us so that we can be free. We must always pay homage to the.” Suro returned to look at his parents. In the distance, more unicorns ran across the water and grass. “Are we horses?” “We are decedents of horses, but the stars gave us a new life in a new world. We must protect our new world;” Yuno replied as he watched the other unicorns run across the land. Now Just as Yuno answered Suro’s questions about the ancestor of unicorns, and he realized that other unicorns were not running in play. They were running away from something. As the heard of unicorns ran across the field, Yuno began jogging towards the heard on his four legs. He then ran along-side another unicorn to gather information. Suro also sprung onto his legs as Sherrea watched beside him. They watched for Yuno’s return. Yuno ran back to his family. “Sherrea and Suro! You two go back to the crave. I will stay with the heard to defend our families!” “What is it?” Sherrea, Yuno, and Surp ran towards the direction of their home, “I don’t know, dear, but these creatures looked to be hunting us.” “What are they?” Suro seeks the comfort of his mother by standing close to his mother. It is her warmth the sooths his fears. Yuno reverses his body to head back to the heard. He looks back at his family. “I don’t know son, but you two get back to the cave, and be very quiet.” The heard of unicorns ran in many directions. They were being hunted by the Black Antars. Spears flew in many directions. Yuno frantically ran in many directions through endless trees and forests. He saw a few young unicorns being dragged by long vines. Yuno also saw a few bloody male and female unicorns on the ground, dead. He decided to run home to protect his family. Within minutes, Yuno reach the cave. Yuno entered the cave to find Sherrea wounded and weeping. Suro was nowhere to be seen. Yuno stood quietly in front of his beloved wife, but his son was nowhere in sight. “Yuno, they took Suro away,” Sherrea lied on the ground. Blood covered he frail body. “Quiet, my love! I will heal your wounds,” Just then, the deep cuts began to heal. “Rest, my love. I will find Suro!” Sherrea calmly stood up to meet her husband. “Go, my husband. I’m feeling better. Find our son! Find our son, and bring him home,” Yuno ran out of the cave in search of more unicorns. Yuno knew that if he could save his son, then he must have help from other unicorns. He ran into the night with a watchful eye for other unicorns and other deadly Antars. Nearing the other unicorns, Yuno heard a voice from the skies. He stopped and looked upwards to see a single star flickering in the night. Yuno listened as the star spoke to him. “Yuno, there are evil creatures invading the land of Noal. The ground has created fierce dark creatures known as Black Antars. They are hunters of unicorns. The Black Antars hunt unicorns because of their magical blood and horns. If they drink the blood of unicorns, they will live longer and be cued of any inflicted wounds or diseases. This is why they have kidnaped your son and a few other unicorns. You must rescue the unicorns before the next night of the high moon.” The stars kept its flickering. “Where are the young unicorns, my master?” Yuno waited patiently. ““They are on the southern side of Noal in the forest known as Endora. There you will find a cave near a great waterfall. The Black Antars are holding the unicorns in that cave. We have created elves from the warm waters of the rivers. They are marching to Endora as we speak. They will become guardians of unicorns. Seek their help, and they will help you rescue Suro and the others,” replied the stars. “Thank you, my lord!” Yuno looks down at the ground. “Why are you seeking to destroy?” The ground made no reply, but in anger, Yuno kicks a solid piece of dirt towards a tree. “We will never surrender to your evil creations.” Yuno once again looks up at the flickering star. “There is more. Humans have invaded the land of Noal. They are resting in the forest of Endora. I will speak to them in a dream. They will be given a choice to be killed or to be turned into new creatures.” “Do not kill them, my master. Some humans are good, and they have treated me well when I was a horse on earth. They could also help us fight the Antars,” Yuno pleaded. “Then, they must prove their worthiness to stay in Noal. No humans will be allowed to stay in the land of Noal. Go, and seek their help. And if they do help in rescuing the young unicorns, then we will give them life as new creatures. They must either be killed or become new beings. They cannot be returned to earth because of their knowledge of the portal and Noal. They must remain here as living or die. In time, we will find the missing twelve black stones, and they will return to the sky.” “Yes, my lord. I will do as you instructed,” Yuno started running to find more unicorns to complete the rescue attempt. Upon the late night moon, Dane and the climbers sat huddled close to a blazing fire. No one could sleep because of fear of strange things in the night. The night was calm in the warm air. Dane kept watch as the others made casual conversations to reduce their fears. “It sure is quiet here!” Jo Anne looks around the camp fire and up at the sky. “Do you think there are any creatures, here?” Kindle reposition herself on the hard dark ground. She misses her warm bed and the comforts of home. “I hope not. But I don’t know which is worse, total silence or scary creature noises in the night.” Ashuni tries to comfort by shoving a thin wooden stick into the fire to make the timber pop and sparks fly upward. Mandara readjust her sweater to calm her fears. She tries to bring laughter to the group, but adds fear to the night by saying, “Hey, let’s tell ghost stories.” “Great, we’re already scared enough. We don’t need spooky stories to make us more scared,” Nick stands up to get closer to Dane. He is fearful about being in an unknown land, but is unsure about who or what to blame. Does he place blame solely on Dane? He does not know. “I miss popcorn and watching late night TV in my pajamas,” Ashuni stated as she threw the stick into the blazing fire. “I miss my electronic gadgets!” Mandara plays with a rock with her fingers and thumbs as a mimic to an earthly device. “I miss hot cheesy pizza with free delivery.” Nick again sits down in front of the fire. “WITH EXTRA CHEESE!” they all shouted with laughter. The group seemed to again unite, if only for that one sentence. Kindle returned to her own reality of being in a strange land. “We don’t even know how long the night will last here.” “I do. Judging by the movement of the moon in its direction, the night should last about nine to twelve hours. This is about the same time frame as earth,”’ Dane explained as he looked towards the sky and into the dark night. The moon shined almost directly eastward in the sky. “How do you know?” Jo Anne stood up and walked closer to Dane. “I was in the military, and I taught myself how to tell time without a watch,” Dane replied. “So what time is it now?” Kindly sat quietly as the other group members looked at one another. “Oh, about ten O’five.” Dane looked at the moon. “You can tell that just by looking at the sky?” Shane popped to his feet and walked to Dane. Shane always sense curiosity about how people knew things. “Yes, and by looking at by my watch.” Dane showed the watch wrapped around his wrist. Laughter broke out in the group. Deep in the night, Dane and Shane took turns watching for dangers in the night. The other five climbers slept near the flames. In the night, the stars made dreams appear in the minds of the sleepers. The stars spoke to the humans in their dreams, and here is what they said, “Humans you are in the land of Noal. Unicorns resemble horses on earth, but they have horns on their heads. They are sacred animals in these forests. You must prove your worthiness to stay in the land by helping the unicorns rescue their children from the dark creatures known as Black Antars. Do not fear the unicorns and small elves. They are friendly to humans. If you fulfill this quest, we will grant you special grace in the land of Noal. You will meet Yuno the white unicorn, Adjuno the grey, and Bluro the brown unicorn. Be kind to these unicorns and you will be rewarded!” In the morning, the group awoke to a quiet morning. No one knew how to react to their dreams. Some group members walked around the forest searching for berries to eat. They all knew that eating berries from the land was a risk, but hunger made them ignore the dangers. Dane and Kindle covered the burning ashes. No one spoke until they gathered themselves to follow their unknown quest. “Where are we going?” Jo Anne walked along side of Dane. “We are going south,” Dane replied while pushing against the deep wilderness. “How do you know which way is south?” Mandara moved forward pass Jo Anne, behind Dane’s body. Dane stopped his steps. “Weill, I’m not sure, but my compass says that we are heading south, so I hope that we’re going in the right direction. We’ll know if we see the unicorns.” He studied the forest for signs of the mythical unicorns and possible dangers. “What did you say?” Mandara moved forward with a surprised look on her face. Dane stopped again to look back at the others. They all gathered around him. “I said, we’ll know if we see the unicorns!” “You had the same dream?” Kindle returned the question. “Yes, I had the same dream,” Dane answered back at the group. He then picked up a large stick and used it as a staff and continued walking in the south direction. Shane fell second in the line, but he was close enough to ask questions.“Do you believe it?” Dane’s voice change into a skeptic tone. “We just walked through some sort of dimension, slept in an unknown land, and ate berries from unknown plants and didn’t get sick. I see two suns in the morning and strange plants everywhere. I don’t know what to believe.” “The unicorn’s name is Yuno. He’s a white unicorn. Bluro is brown and Adjuno is grey,” said Shane. The others looked into each other’s eyes and continued following Dane in the thick forest. Within a few yards into the forest, Dane noticed three large-moving objects running a few yards ahead. The group ran towards them. The unicorns stopped as the group approached them. Dane held out his hand in peace, but the unicorns stepped backwards. The unicorns were testing the motives of the humans by neighing loudly and bobbing their heads up and down. Dane and the group slowly called out Yuno’s name and reached out for his nose. Yuno began to realize that the humans meant no harm to them. Yuno was the first to be touched by Dane. The other unicorns also made peace with the humans by allowing them to stroke their bodies. Dane seemed to take pleasure in petting Yuno’s head and nose. It was as if he knew how to tame wild animals. “I always thought unicorns were mythical creatures, but now, I can see that they are real. Noah’s Ark speaks about unicorns as leaving them behind because these creatures just wanted to play in the land.” Yuno seemed to respond effective towards Dane’s gentle voice and touch. Jo Anne giggled, “You know about unicorns. How is that possible?” She stood beside Yuno with her hand stroking his neck. “I took an ancient mythology course in college a few years ago. They are magnificent creatures like horses, but it is said that their blood and horns carry magical powers. I have always had a fascination for unicorns, but I did not believe they existed.” Shane also took pleasure in petting the grey unicorn. “Can they talk?” “Yes, in their way. We cannot here their words, but they can show us the way. If our dreams are correct, then we must help them rescue their children,” Dane explained. “We don’t have much time, then.” Mandara made a gesture towards her bare wrist as though it had a watch on it. She knew that time was essential towards rescuing the children. “Show us the way, young Yuno!” Dane followed behind Yuno. The others also trailed behind Adjuno and Bluro. On the other side of the forest, Toro and the elves marched in the direction of the humans and unicorns. “The humans are close!” Toro said as he and the fury elves marched forward with their spears at hand. “Yes, I can smell them. Humans are easy to track because they use strange scents to mask their true orders!” replied Maro as he marched beside Toro in the front line. “We must meet them quickly. I sense Black Antars in their area!” Toro scratches his head, looks back at the group, and scans the sky. He knows that the unicorns and their friends are headed towards imminent danger. The humans made small conversations as they followed Yuno, Adjuno and Bluro. They were all unaware of the dangers ahead. The unicorns, on the other hand, sense Antarss in all directions. They became nervous and jittery as they moved forward. “These unicorns are jittery!” Jo Anne is especially quick to sense their unsettling emotions. “It is like they can feel something bad is ahead, but I don’t know what it could be.” Dane looks all around the trees and around the forest. There are creatures in the area, but he is unsure if they are friend or foe. “Yes, they sense danger ahead!” Dane orders the others to be quiet. The group sits down to rest in the forest. Dane is very wiery as to which direction to proceed or whether to prepare for battle against an enemy he does not know. The mood was quiet and very frightening as everyone watch with wide eyes. The group sat in the forest with no words to speak. With seconds a spear flew towards Danes head, but it was deflected by a small stone. Another spear flew past Dane’s head from the opposite direction. It flew into some bushes striking a Black Antar in the head between the three eyes. Two other Black Antars ran further into the forest. The group remained stunned and motionless as Toro revealed himself to the humans. “What was that?” Shane quickly stood up. He turned to face the brushes towards the dead Antar. “That is a Black Antar, my foolish human!” Toro’s deep rough voice explained as he pulled out his spear from the bleeding head of the ugly beast. “What are you?” Mandara drew closer to the tiny elf. She appeared surprised by the little man with the fury body. “I’m an elf! What are you?” Toro returned the question to poke fun at the human. “I’m a human. We all humans!” Mandara bent down to see the elf. The other elves soon surrounded the unicorns and humans with the spears drawn in defense. “Humans are not very smart! Are you? I could hear and smell you all from miles away!” Toro cleaned his spear head on a leave and then looked back at Mandara. She again drew back because Toro’s scent was unfamiliar to her. In her nose, she smelled the scent of spoiled unions. She tried to contain her reaction, but her response startled herself and others. “I’m Dane! And you are?” Dane knelt down to make eye contact with Toro. “Toro is my name. Killing Black Antars is my game. Excuse me!” Toro used a slinger by twirling it round and round to throw a stone at a Black Antar hiding high in a leafy tree. The Antar fell like a thump from the tree and landed on the ground. “I’m the leader of my group. Can you teach us about the Black Antars?” Dane stood next to Yuno. “The Black Antars are hunters of unicorns. They crave their blood and horns because unicorns carry magical powers. Unicorn blood and their horns can heal wounds and other ailments so that those who consume the blood or use a horn to heal an ailment will live longer. Black Antars use spears as weapons. They are fast and accurate with their spears. They also use the forest to camouflage their black bodies,” Toro explained as he recollected his lost stone from the ground. Dane walked around the elves to study their use of weapons. “Can we fight them?” He held a spear in one hand and felt it sharpness. The other group members stood motionless with the unicorns. “Not without our help! But together, we could rescue the young unicorns. You all must follow our directions if you want to really save the unicorns,” Toro raised one finger and pointed it directly at Dane while looking at him with his eyes sharp as a hawk. Dane looked back at his new friend as though he hoped never having to fight him. Dane had strength and size on his side, while Toro’s edge was speed and quickness with weapons to help in fight. Now with the night time drawing closer and the moon becoming visible just beyond the trees, the army of elves and the small band humans marched forward towards the cave in the forest of Enduro. Dane and Toro lead the group to prepare for battle. No one, except Dane, had any experience throwing spears. Toro recommended that the humans gather stones along the way to the battle ground. Toro walked around the humans with a stone in his hand, pitching it up in the air, and then catching it again. “Stones are easier to throw, and you’re more likely to hurt an Antar if you all use stones. We will give you spears, but only use them if an Antar is close to you,” Dane crossed his arms, leaned against a tree, returned the look. “I agree, so what is the plan for attacking the Antars?” “The Antars will be gathered around the cave to watch the ritual. The leader Antar will be in the cave with his guards. At the high moon, they will bring out the young unicorns and sacrifice them one-by-one. We must attack the Antars before they make the first sacrifice. Our strength is that the Antars are unaware of our existence. Our weakness is that this is our first battle. Yuno, you and the other two unicorns must go and be with the children and use your horns to stab at any Antars that try to kill you or the children.” Toro said to the unicorns as they nodded their heads to say yes. “We will kill as many Antars as we can. Humans, get to the children as soon as you can. The sooner we get to the young unicorns, the sooner we can rescue them!” Toro sneaked among the dark bushes as the others hid a hundred yards away from the cave. Dane followed behind Toro. “Sounds like a good plan. I just hope we can get to the children before the leader Antar cuts the first unicorn.” “I’m not sure that I can fight. I’m only a school teacher!” Jo Anne sat frustrated on the ground, her frightened voice made her and the group vulnerable towards getting detected and attacked by the Antar. Toro walked towards Jo Anne, he looked up at her face, and said to her. “This is not a time for weakness. We must be strong or these young unicorns will die and the Antar creatures will gain power. We can’t let that happen!” “I just want to go home!” Jo Anne began sobbing into her hands. Mandara and Shane surrounded her to coax her internal fears. They all felt the same fears, but war was coming, and everyone knew that sharing their fears was not going to diminish the dangers. “There’s no going home!” Toro reported without any considerations of the group’s feelings. Dane understood that the elves probably were unaware of how sharing information might evoke bad feelings. Toro was a warrior, so he never had experience with human emotions. “What? What do you mean?” Mandara’s fear began to show in her deep blue eyes. “No, when you entered from the other land, you crossed over for life!” Toro sharpened his spear head without understanding the consequences of his words. “You mean when we crossed over, we did it for life?” Dane walked towards Toro and he bent down to make eye contact with him, his face turned into horror, and he realized the extent of the consequences of his bad decision. Dane believed that if the portal brought then to Noal, then the same passage would lead them back home. This belief was anything, but true. Toro tightened his slinger and blurt-out a chuckle from his fury mouth “Yes!” “You see.., You see what you did Dane… We can never go back home!” Shane’s sinking feeling in his stomach made him throw a rock at a tree. Everyone turned their heads in anger and disgust. The group was now paralyzed by fear and sadness. Dane felt the blame, but he knew that this was no time to submit to confusion and anger. There were young unicorns to rescue, and now was not the time to worry about getting home. The unicorns had to be rescue from the Antar. Jo Anne continued sobbing. “What are we going to do now, babe?” Her eyes blood-shot red from crying, but focused on Dane’s face for answers. Dane pretended to ignore the question, but still able to give an answer be focusing on the quest. “I’m going to help the elves rescue the unicorns! Toro, we can kill more Antars if we shoot spears with fire. Can we make more spears with tree limbs?” Dane looked at the trees. He planned to make more spears. He also gathered a few stones from the ground and placed them in one pocket. “Let the pieces of the creator of the Antars be our weapons to strike them down!” Toro also looked up at the trees.“Yes, but we have to do it now.” Dane grabbed a broken limb from a nearby tree. He flipped out his pocket knife, began to whittle away a sharp and pointed head. “Then let’s do it!” Jo Anne rose to her feet following Dane. “How can you talk about fighting when we can’t get home?” She argued with him while he gathered more long sticks to be made into spears He stopped for a moment. “Look sweetheart, we can either fight or die here! I’m a soldier! It’s my job to save lives and worry about the consequences later! We have to save these unicorns regardless of our situation! We can either die here or fight for our lives, and if we rescue the unicorns, then maybe we can find a way home!” There was a silence among all group members. Everyone pitched-in in gathering long sticks to be made into spears. Some members used the pocket knives to whittle pointy heads on all sticks. Group members only spoke when they had questions. Dane remained quiet because of his guilt. The other members followed the silence mood because everyone blamed Dane for leading them into an unknown land. Time past by slowly as war was imminent in the night. “How will we see the enemy?” Dane whispered as the group drew closer to the cave and battle ground. Dane also covered his face with mud. Other group members followed soot by covering themselves with leaves and mud. “I will call the fireflies with my whistle. With the fire from the spears and the lights from the flies, we should be able to see our enemies very well. My only concern is your scent.” Toro laughed loudly and scanned Dane’s body. He was now enjoying making sarcastic remarks at him. Dane looked back at him. “Our scent?” “You might smell good in the other world by using oils and lotions, but here you all really stink. Once the Antar recognize your stench, they will fight or flee from you all. We better attack down-wind!” Laughter came from his small belly as he moved forward towards the Antars. Shane looked at the little elf. “You carry a big stick for a little fury man.” He moved forward between Toro and Dane and chuckled at the both of them. Toro moved into fighting position. “Little man? I’m a big fighting man!” Dane and Shane looked at each other, then they pushed forward with the other group behind them. The night grew darker and the moon rose high. Yuno, Adjuno, and Bluro brushed themselves against a strange flower releasing a sweet, but strong scent in the air. Jo Anne, Mandara, and the others built a fire a few yards away from the cave. The wind blew away from the cave. The smoke blew with the wind, but all was safe because the Antars were distracted by the ritual preparations. The elves quietly scattered around the forests. They hunched over in crouching positions walking step-by-step towards the cave. Dane and Toro lead the march while Shane, Kindle, and Mandara stood behind ready to rescue the three young unicorns. Jo Anne, Nick, and Ashuni stayed behind and kept the spears lit in the fire. It was scary for the group because they never knew battle. They only knew the debates of every-day life in school and work. This was a new battle for everyone with only a small army of elves and unicorns with no fighting skills to guide them. The group felt that the odds were against them, but they continued to position themselves for war. While crouching in the trees and bushes with their spears at hand, they waited for the Antars to bring out their first sacrifice. Toro blew a high-pitched whistle that only could be heard by fireflies and insects. In a matter of minutes, swarms of tiny fireflies lit up the night sky above the cave and around the Antars. The fireflies bewildered the Antars as the stood mesmerized by the clouds of light over their heads. Now was the time for attack as the first young unicorn lied tied-down helpless on the ground. Dane watched crouched down as he yelled. “Now!” The first spear was darted in the air as it soon struck an Antar in the head. The Antar fell like a stone as blood splattered on the ground. The rush of elves had begun as spears headed towards the Antars. Spears flew from all directions as Antars dropped like flies. Some spears struck Antars directly on the head or body, while other just hit the ground. Dane and Toro drew closer to the cave as they thrust their spears directly into the Antar’s ugly body. One after another, both man and elf stuck their spears into Antars, bushing them in, and then pulling them out. Other elves did the same as blood marked the territory of dead and wounded Antars. The Antars were helpless in the unexpected battle. They began to scatter throughout the forest like ants. Meanwhile, Shane and Kindle threw fire-spears into the center of the crowed. These well-lit spears frighten the Antars more as they ran away. The lit spear also gave the elves and humans additional advantage because of the added light. Yuno, Adjuno, and Bluro ran towards the cave. They found Suro lying on the ground with his legs bound with vines. Yuno and Mandara eagerly tried to cut the vines. Yuno used his teeth while Mandara used her small pocket knife. Adjuno, Bluro, and Shane rush into the cave to save the other two unicorns. Inside the dimly lit cave, they found a giant Black Antar. He was nearly eight feet tall with three big black eyes above his nose. He howled as his slobbery teeth protruded outward. Shane and the other two unicorns stood in fright as Dane rush passed them. “Let me handle him!” Dane ordered as one giant spear flew pass his head striking Bluro in the neck. Bluro neighed loudly as he suddenly dropped to the ground. “I, Darkly, will kill you puny creatures, and drink the blood of the unicorns. I am the master and lord of the Antars!” he said in his rough deep voice as he grabbed another spear. “Not if I can help it!” Dane swung his spear at Darkly’s head. Darkly ducked down as he countered by swinging his spear at Dane’s shoulders and head. Dane ducked as well, but the head of the spear niched his arm. Dane dew back and covered his now bloody arm with one hand. Dane’s eyes met with Darkly’s eyes as the two collided body to body. Darkly wrapped his long arms around Dane’s Body. “You think that you kill me? You weak and pompous creature!” Darkly replied as drool came down his big ugly fangs. Darkly released Dane’s body as he fell to the ground. Dane quickly arose while pulling off his slinger and adding a rock to it. The two enemies circle one another as Dane twirled his slinger round and round countered-clockwise. Dane under-handedly released the rock towards Darkly’s head, but the cunning Antar ducted sideways causing the rock to bounced off the wall. The two warriors continued to circle one another like fireflies. They were trying to find weaknesses in each other’s body. Dane drew his small pocket knife and held it in his right hand with the blade point opposite of his this thumb. The two once again ran towards each other and they collided body-to-body. Dane shoved his knife into Darkly’s upper eye. Darkly screamed in pain as the two bodies fell backward. Darkly pulled the knife from his eye as blood rushed down his face. Darkly made additional loud roars. He rushed toward Dane’s body again. Darkly picked up Dane’s body again with both arms. He squeezed tightly as suddenly a loud “SNAP” sounded from Dane’s back. Darkly dropped Dane’s broken body on the ground. Darkly lunged forward at Shane and Adjuno, as they began rescuing the other two unicorns. Just before Darkly could grab Shane, a single spear thrust into his back shoulder blade. He turned to see Toro and a few more elves stand in the opening of the cave. Darkly reached behind him to pull out the spear, but he could not believe that a small elf would cause him so much pain. The other elves threw their spears at Darkly. He quickly fell to the ground near Bluro. There he lay on the ground as those dead. Toro and the other elves helped rescue the young unicorns. Shane, Toro, and Adjuno quickly set the children free. As they turned to examine Dane’s condition, the discovered that Darkly had escaped with only a trail a blood behind him. Dane whispered “Look, Darkly is gone!” He helped the wounded bodies. “Yes, he’s gone for now, but he will return soon, and he’ll be ready for battle next time!” Toro looked at Dane as he quietly stood still in sadness. This was the first time an elf felt extreme emotions for another being. Shane, Toro, and the elves pulled Dane’s body out of the cave. He was alive, but unconscious. The other elves pulled out Bluro’s body, he was dead. Everyone surrounded the wounded bodies. Jo Anne was especially hurt by Dane’s injury because she had developed a fondness for him. She sat next to his head cresting his warm face. Dane’s eyes gently opened to see Jo Anne starring back at him with tears of sorrow in her eyes. “I can’t feel my legs!” Dane’s eyes focusing on Jo Anne’s soft and warm face. Jo Anne returned the look of sadness. “Rest easy, my love. I’m here for you!” “I’m sorry for dragging all of you here!” Dane rubbed his hand against Jo Anne’s cheek. “Shoo! Don’t worry about that now!” Jo Anne calmly touched Dane’s week face. Suddenly a bright light radiated from the night-time stars downward on them. “Humans! You have proved your worthiness to stay in Noal. Dane has fought with bravery with the elves. We are saddened by Bluro’s death, so we would like to reward you by giving you Bluro’s body. Dane, your body will be stronger and faster with Bluro’s body, and you will live as long as a unicorn. If you choose to change, then the other six must agree to change as well. The transformations will be painless and quick!” announced the stars. “Hey, I’m in. I always wanted to be a horse’s ass. I mean a unicorn!” Nick stood over Dane’s body. Shane also stood next to Dane. “Well, we can’t go back to earth, so might as well be something cool!” Mandara smiled at Dane with her hand holding his. “I want a beautiful white body!” “I want a pink body!” Ashuni laughed. “Me to!” Kindle returned the laughter. Dane and Joanne both nodded yes. The stars poured tiny specks of lights over all the humans. The specks of lights flew around in different colors. Toro and the elves watched in delight. Clothes fell off of the humans as two additional new legs grew from their bodies. Bluro’s head and horn disappeared as his body moved closer to Dane. Dane’s legs also vanished as his upper muscle grew twice in size. Soon Dane’s and Bluro’s bodies became one. The other group’s upper muscles also grew in size to fit with their lower body as it formed into unicorns. Within minutes, the transformation was complete. All humans were now transformed into new magnificent creatures with the bodies of unicorns and humans. Everyone, especially Dane, stretch their arms out while running wildly around the forest. They picked up tree limbs and swung them on rocks and other trees as they broke to pieces. Dane also threw rocks in the river to see how far they would go. Everyone raced one another in short distances to test their speed. Dane grabbed a hard fruit and squeezed it like a melon as it juices exploded throughout the ground. It was like being born again into a new world. They all enjoyed their new bodies with long hair and strong arms. “Now, go my new creatures and multiply. You are now called centaurs. Go and protect our enchanted unicorns with the elves. Be free and wise in the land of Noal” demanded the stars.” Later in the morning, Yuno and Suro ran home to find Sherrea lying outside their cave. Sherrea rose to her legs as both husband and son met her. They rubbed against one another as a sign of love. Both mother and son ran inside for a long rest. Yuno watched the suns rise as he knew that evil would return soon. But for the moment, all was peaceful in the land of Noal. On the other side of the forest, Darkly slept on the cold ground with his wounds neatly bandage. With his heavy breathing sounding in the night, a sinister dream echoed in his head. The ground whispered, “Darkly, go into the mountains of the forest of Endora. There, the portal will open for new humans. I will transform these weak beings into strong centaurs with pointed ears. I want you, Darkly, to use the poisonous plant known as the Esera flower to poison their minds. You must mix the Esera flower with water to make the strong potion. Spray the potion on the sweet berries. Once the humans crossover in to Noal, they will eat the poison berries and their minds will be forever lost. I will give you an army so large, the unicorns, centaurs, and elves will be out matched and out-numbered. You must train this army to kill anything and everything that has legs. With my evil plan, we will take over the land of Noal. The fool, stars, do not realize the dangers of the black stones. Together, we will crush the centaurs and elves, and use the unicorns as slaves. You will feast on their blood, use their horns to heal wounds and ailments, and you and your army will live forever.” As Darkly slept, he giggled out loud as the other Antars stood guarded around a huge fire.

Noal "The Beginning" Part I

“Master Willow! “Can you tell me the story of Noal? Who are we, and where did we come from”? Unich asked while staring into the warm waters of Noal on a bright and sunny day. Willow brushed against Unich’s body as they played on the shoreline, “I’m glad you ask those questions because our race of unicorns comes from a long history of exciting adventure full of danger and epic battles. These stories are true in our eyes, but there are many versions of truths”. Willow returned to sit on the soft ground and face Unich’s wet body, “Yes, Unich! It is time that you learn the lessons of how your father saved the land of Noal. You are young, but old enough to understand the importance of our home. We owe our lives to your father. He was a brave unicorn. I made him a promise to mentor you after he died. These stories are the reason we unicorns and centaurs go on searching for the twelve black stones that open the portals between earth and Noal. You must carry the wisdom and knowledge of being a humble unicorn to your generations as you wait for the stones to reveal themselve. These are the magical stories of how Noal and its majestic creatures came to exist! These are the tales of our ancestors!” “It was said that “worlds” often come in many dimensions. According to two human theories, the earth was created by a higher power or by cosmic atoms coming together to form all life and objects. But are there other worlds?” said Willow as he scanned the bright blue sky. “The possibility of another world was known only by the stars and land. The stars in space have seen the ugliness of humans. The land had felt human’s destruction on its grounds. The stars had had enough of poisoness gases disrupting the balance of clean white clouds and clear rain water. The ground, and its beautiful plant life, hated the nasty trash covering all plant life. The ground and stars knew that change needed to happen. The stars wanted to see bright, happy birds flying in the skies and beautiful colored butterflies land on fresh flowers. The ground also wanted to see its own healthy dirt without human gunk, and other nasty trash. In the eyes of the stars, humans had polluted their world enough to desert all hope for change on earth. It was time for things to change,” explained Willow. “The ground screamed out to the stars, ‘Help me, stars! For we will surely die!” “Quiet my friend, for we will work together to create our own world. We will create a world without humans. For they do not deserve to have a new world. They have destroyed the natural balance of their world, so we will leave the new world to magical creatures,’ the stars calmly replied”. “When will we do this?’ asked the ground”. “Soon, my friend! Very soon!’ responded the stars”. “Now Unich, the stars had an idea about how create a dimension of nothing. The stars took a piece of an empty space in the black sky that opened a new dimension. This small power was harnessed into a single star as large as a big brown Marrow berry from the tall trees in our forests. The star flew itself into the dark sky where it burned down as it fell like a big fireball to the earth and broke into twelve pieces no larger than a red apple. “What happen to the twelve black stones, my master?” Unich asked. “We have four of the stones in distant cave kept safe by a human guardian. The other eight stones remain lost on earth,” Willow replied as a single star streamed across the clear blue sky. “Master Willow! Why do humans mess up the earth? And did the star taste like a sweet red apple?” Unich asked as he played in the warm water and splashed water towards Willow. Young Unich had a habit of being very inquisitive like a child trying to learn new things. He liked testing Willow’s knowledge about trivial things. You can ask Dane that question during your human history lessons! And no the star did not taste like a red apple, but the humans feared the fireball as it fell to the earth,” replied Willow as he chuckled and walked along the river bank”. Willow continued his story, “Now, the other eight pieces bounced away to the mountains. It was planned that the ground should enter into the small portal of nothing. The ground needed to be the creator of the new world. The stars and ground knew that soil was needed to create all life. The ground shook violently until the four black stones position themselves into the portal opening. A piece of dry rock from the ground rolled through the portal, as it closed. The stars waited a hundred years for the ground to create a new ball of land. It was now time to get the wind, water, and other elements to crossover to the new world”. “Master Willow, can I go back to earth?” Unich interrupted. “Why would you want to go back to earth?” Willow asked. “Cause, I want to teach humans how to clean their world!” added Unich. Willow shook his head and laughed, “You don’t even know how to clean your cave! Be silent my young one, and let me continue the story”. Unich galloped around a tree as Willow continued, “The wind had been polluted for years. It was hard for the stars to find a single area where the wind was clean. In some areas on earth, the wind blew hard in anger. Wind hated the variety of bad odors in its air. The wind tried and tried to blow-off the smelly air, but the more the wind blew, the more it became mixed. Wind was angry and sad towards humans. Nobody ever asked the wind if it could handle the bad smells. Wind was dying because good air was being beaten by the bad. The plants were angry at the wind because pollen was being destroyed by the mixtures of the smelly air. Wind saw itself as filth that was created by humans, so it cried out to the stars”. “Master Willow, you tell great stories!” Unich again spoke up while still galloping around the trees and brushes. Willow adjusted his sitting position and said, “Thank you! Now sit here next to me and be silent and let me continue with our story”. Unich stopped his galloping, shook his head from side to side, and sat quietly next to Willow as they stared at the white capping waves and jumping fish in the river. Willow continued the story of the wind. “Help me stars!” wind said out loud. “Cheer up, wind! Do you have any clean air on earth?’ the stars asked”. “Only in the mountains,’ replied wind”. “Bring the clean air to the portal of nothing, and I will let you cross over,’ said the stars to the wind”. “Will there be humans in the new world?’ wind asked”. “No, the humans will not be welcomed in the new world. They will stay on earth until they kill themselves off or until they learn to appreciate us. You will be warm in the new world. In time, I will invite sun to join us,’ said the stars. Within a few hours, wind passed through the portal like a free animal. Wind blew itself in the dark land”. “How to stars speak?” Unich again interrupted Willow’s story. “They don’t speak out loud. They use their minds like us. Only humans, centaurs, elves, and Antars speak”, replied Willow. “Why?” Willow became aggravated,” Unich, be silent! You’re testing my patience!” “Now where was I? Oh, yes’. The stars had seen the empty dark land with wind blowing the dirt around into lonesome nothingness. The stars knew that light was needed to give energy to all life. Darkness cannot thrive without light. The best source for life was the sun and moon. As on earth, the sun could light the day. The moon lit the night with its friends the stars. It did not take long for the stars to gather the sun and moon together. The earth’s sky appeared as a friendship between the moon and sun, but the dingy clouds obscured its beauty. The humans no longer enjoyed the beautiful sight of the joining of the moon and sun. To them, it was just another day”. “Sun and moon, we are creating a new world. We need you to light up our days and night. Would you two like to give us a piece of you?’ asked the stars”. “The sun hesitated and blew out a flare, ‘I do not want to be a part of a new world, and then, have it polluted by humans! I am already blocked by the earth’s dark clouds. I miss the days when humans would worship me. Who do they worship now? They only worship their games!” “Moon looked back at the sun and the stars, ‘I remember when humans would stare at us. They would play their mating games, but now, their games are played by something they call machines. Humans use to study our beauty with their big eyes, but now, they watch the bad air float around the earth. I would be happy to give a piece of me, but only if humans are not invited to the new world”. “I will promise you! Humans will not be invited to the new world. There will be guardians with human features in the future, but they will be humans with kind hearts that only seek to protect the new land,’ the stars replied”. “Who are these guardians, master Willow?” Unich again spoke. “Dane and the centaurs are guardians, the elves, and there will be others”, answered Willow. Willow continued, “I do not want to compete with the cold winter as I do here,’ said the sun”. “If you give us two pieces, then the cold will not be able to freeze the land’, said the stars”. “The sun waited and blew out two more flares, ‘I will give you two pieces of me’, announced the sun”. “I will also give you a piece of me. I will enjoy the warm nights without having to compete with the human’s electrical creations. I will be the only large source of light for the darkness. The new creatures will love me again,’ the moon gladly responded”. “The sun and moon separated back to their original places. The sun was the first to blow out two flares. The portal remained open as three bright lights fell to the ground. The stars followed the pieces of the sun and moon as they crossed over to the new world. It took a hundred years for the two flares to grow into bright suns. The new moon lite up the darkness at night, and the stars slowly multiplied into new planets. Now the wind blew freely, the two suns burned brightly during the day, and the moon and stars shined throughout the night. Everything seemed good and new again”, explained Willow. “Wow! Noal is really old, master Willow!” Unich again uttered. “Not as old as you think, young Unich. It is still young like you”, replied Willow. Now willow laughed and continued the story. “The stars knew that the most important element in its quest was to create a new world was water. Without water, life would not thrive in the new world. Water is essential to all life because it keeps everything from getting thirsty and dry. Plants and all living creatures need water to grow, young Unich. Even you need water”. “Yeah, to drink and play in!” added Unich. “Right! You see young Unich, on earth, the water had been so polluted that white foam covered ponds, lakes, and rivers. The fishes and other water creatures were dying off or developing into other strange creatures. Plant life were being eaten or poisoned by the dirty rains. Animals were developing diseases and being killed by drinking the water. Nevertheless, humans did little to clean its ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. It was as if, humans were waiting for their stars to purify the waters. The stars had to search the high mountains to find a tiny pool of fresh spring water. The pool was sad and lonely because it could no longer mingle with its larger waters, so the stars invited the pool of water to cross over to the new world”. “Look at my relatives, stars, they are polluted by the neglect and greed of humans,’ said the small pool of water”. “I can see the ugliness that humans have created with the waters. This is why we need you to cross over with us. You are the most important element for us. Without you, we cannot create life in the new world. Will you cross over with us?’ asked the stars”. “Yes, I will cross over with you. Will I be able to create my own ponds?’ the pool asked”. “Yes,’ replied the stars”. “Will I be able to create my own lakes?’ the pool again asked”. “Yes”. “Will I be able to create my one streams, rivers, oceans, and massive waterfall?’ the pool again asked”. “Yes, you will free to build fresh water banks on the new lands,’ the stars added”. “Yes, I am ready to cross over,’ the pool joyfully said”. “The pool crossed over to the new world. With the burning bright suns, the pool quickly evaporated into many clouds. The clouds multiplied in number. They dropped rain onto the grounds for days. The fresh new water filled every hole, large and small. Within a few weeks, waters ran into oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds. The waterfalls fell and splashed its waters throughout the lands. The suns dried certain locations rich for plant life. The new land was ready for life. The stars selected new seeds to be planted for fresh plants and trees. This was the first form of life needed to help bring other creatures into the new world”. “That’s when we got the trees, plants, and yummy berries!” replied Unich while looking up at Willow and letting a light giggle. “You learn quick, young Unich,” Willow added while returning the chuckle. “But plant life was difficult to select. The plants and trees from earth were decaying and spoiling from the dirty rains. The stars had to go deep into the rain forests where only creatures hunted wild life. The stars only selected fresh seeds from all plants and trees. The birds and insects helped to gather mounds of seeds to serve as new growth in the new world. Plant seeds from rich berries were collected to cross over. Seeds from the tallest trees were also gathered to be planted. Finally, seeds from every colored flower were collected to cross over to the new world. The mound of seeds that the birds and insects gathered was as large as a small mountain. The stars opened the portal. The winds in the new world sucked the seeds through the portal. The winds blew the seeds throughout the lands while the fresh rains planted the seed into the ground. Within a few days, the seeds began to give life to the new world. The stars waited a hundred years before beginning to select creatures. The new lands were extremely beautiful with its growing plants, flowers, wild berries, and trees. The suns gave the waters rainbow colors, as the rays reflected against the mist. The nights were quiet with only the warm breeze to sway the leaves against the moonlight. The world was a Garden of Beauty”. “The construction of the new world took hundreds of years. The stars made special planning for the selection of the creatures that entered into the new world. Only new born creatures with one male and one female parent were selected to cross into the new world. The stars selected flying creatures from the insect families, some water creatures, a few reptiles, and mammals of a selected group”. “I like the little slimy bugs. They tickle my nose and ears!” Unich laughs. Willow returns the laughter. “Is this where unicorns comes to Noal, master Willow?” “Yes!” “Cool, I love this story!” Unich stands for a moments and sits back down on the moist ground and perks his ears upward and stares at Willow. “Now, among the mammal breed, the horses were selected to cross over into the new world. Because of their magnificent beauty and their loyalty, the stars gave the male horses special magical powers that were stored in shiny new horns. The horns were a symbol of purity and majesty for the new world. Upon crossing through the portal, the stars placed these horns between the eyes and above the nose and they matched according to the colors of the horses. The horses were also given a new name. They were now called unicorns to separate them from the horse breed of the old world. The unicorns kept their beautiful bodies, strong legs, and wild mane. They were now the lords of the new world. They were given high ranking status over all other creatures. The unicorns carried the magic of the stars in their horns. They were free to wander through the land”. “As the unicorns began to search the new world, the stars in the new world shouted, ‘you are free my creatures. Go and multiply in peace and harmony. Go and give yourselves names.” “All unicorns and other creatures raised their heads to the stars to pay homage to them. They then bowed down like humble servants bowing to great kings in the heavens”. “One unicorn bowed its head and thought, ‘I was the first male horse to cross over into the new world. With my humble gratitude, I ask to be named Yuno?” “And that is your great grandfather, isn’t?” asked and stated Unich. Laughter burst out in Willow’s mind, “Yes, young Unich!” “The stars said…. Your new name will be Yuno! You are a great white unicorn!” “What do we call the new land?’ asked Yuno”. “The new land will be named, Noal! We will let all creatures thrive in the new land. You are now free to live in the land of Noal. Use this land wisely and you will live in these lands in peace and harmony!’ the stars said as it ended its role as the creator of the new world known as Noal”. “Wow! That’s was a great story. Tell me more!” demanded Unich as he pranced around Willow. “Not today. Unich, it’s getting late and your mother will worry about you. She might think you got eaten by the Antar! Remember Unich, the land of Noal is very sacred for unicorns. We must do all that we can to protect it,” Willow began walking home with Unich by his side. “Willow, I hope to be strong and wise as you!” added Unich as they slowly left the quiet waters of Noal and returned to their homes.