Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Lost City

Long ago, during the age of Azra, a majestic city thrived deep in the heart of Copious Forest. It was carved into a hidden canyon of gold. The city served as home to Gavinkin, beings with the powerful wings of a hawk and bodies of a man. Empyrean wizards also frequented the golden canyon.
 Copia was abundant with anything one’s heart could crave, which attracted all types to its gates. Only the persistent were able to find it. The gold canyons were hidden in the thickest part of the forest behind a steep rock wall and a flowing waterfall.
 A young man who went by the name Imperius the Great was lost and wandering the forest when he found the gates. He did not look at all like a great anything. Filthy old rags barely hung on his scrawny frame of a body. He dabbled with magic and performed in towns he visited to get by. It was not real magic; but slight of hand tricks used for entertaining and the occasional pick-pocket when he was really hungry. Of course, when he saw the golden city of Copia, he was determined to stay. “I will be full and rich for the rest of my days. I have found home,” he declared.
The citizens of Copia welcomed him with open arms as they did anyone who entered the golden canyon.  Imperius the Great had anything he desired… food, riches, but there was something even more special about Copia. Imperius was able was able to perform real magic with ease. He felt a strong energy force flowing through him. The power was intoxicating and he wanted more.
 He discovered the source in a trusting friend; an Empyrean wizard who lived in the outskirts. Empyrean wizards and Gavinkin harness the energy of the élan and use their powers to keep a peaceful balance in the realm. As the days went on, Empyreans and Gavinkin were disappearing while Imperius became more powerful.
Imperius the Great was quickly becoming a sorcerer and losing any remaining human qualities. Dark creatures rose from his magic. The once great city grew overrun with shadow jumpers. Giant black bird beasts known as murks flew in and terrorized Copians. The citizen’s peaceful energy shifted to greed, envy, and hatred. Fighting broke out in the city walls.
Xavier, an elder Gavinkin and the keeper of Copia turned to Azra, the most sacred of all the Empyreans. It was too late; the great city was ruined. Shadow jumpers and murks consumed everything in their path.
Azra discovered Imperius dwelling in a hole in the rock wall outside Copia. The sorcerer was surrounded by the empty shells of Gavinkin and Empyreans. Imperius drained their energy and left them for dead. A clash of power brought the city to ruins.
 Ultimately, Imperius was no match for Azra. “Your existence here ends now. You will live in darkness for eternity. Your only way out is to be consumed by the light of the élan.  With that, the butterfly curse was set and Imperius was banished deep into the mountain caves of Acadia. The dark sorcerer was not seen or heard for thousands of years.
 The creatures that he created from dark magic remained in Copia. Azra pushed the canyons together sealing off the crumbled city. Shadow jumpers scurried out of the city. “Copia, our city, it’s gone forever.” Xavier fell to his knees.
“This will unlock Copia.” Azra handed the keeper a medallion. “You must wait until the shadow jumpers are no longer present. What ever you do; keep it hidden.”
With a broken wing from the fall of Copia, Xavier was forced to stay in the forest around the canyon. He waited the remainder of his life to unlock the city. Shadow jumpers stalked him relentlessly trying to snatch the medallion. In his final days Xavier took a long journey. His destination was the High Valley. The land was flat and nothing obstructed the sun.
In the middle of a moonless night the elderly keeper of Copia went to sleep and never woke up. He did not make it to the High Valley. The medallion lay in the dirt of Copious Forest, buried by the elements of time.
Thousands of years after the time of Azra, a red robin perched on a boulder to rest after a powerful windstorm blew her off her path.  Her bright red feathers transformed to reveal a curious young Empyrean girl with wild hair the same shade of red as her feathers.
 The wind removed layers of dirt and debris from the forest floor. As she sat on the boulder something caught her eye. A slight glimmer shined through a clump of dirt. She picked up the clump and scraped the forest coating off of it until all that remained was a medallion with strange markings. It chimed and sparkled in her hands. She stuffed it in her cloak and cautiously looked around. An excited giggle slipped out just before she morphed back in to a robin and flew out of Copious Forest.