Order of the Compass

North. East. South. West.
To think that Loresia, once mighty realm of the humans, could be resting on the shoulders of four mere warriors? To think that these warriors, not yet even in their adultery years - and perhaps never to reach them - would have to endure the deaths, the blood, the horror?
And then, of course, there's that simple rule that they will all have to understand, if they are to last even a week in the big, bad world outside.
Kill, or be killed.



~~DSJ~~~
Hi Firebreathers, thanks to all of you reading this! :)
Any feedback appreciated. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
(Yeah, I like smiley faces...)

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1. Prologue

"Hello?"

The cry echoes through the forest, heard only by the biting cold and the howling wind, as it's owner fights to free herself from the captivity of the frost that envelops her.

So cold.

"Hello?"

The girl struggles through the snow, desperate to find even one human being who can take her back to the warmth and safety of her own village. In a blizzard, one so young as she won't last the night, alone, afraid, isolated.

So cold.

She stumbles, and sprawls about in the ankle-deep snow, burning tears scalding her cheeks as they drip to the floor. Lost in a blizzard at the age of ten- an unfortunate end for any child.

"Mummy! Daddy!"

So cold.

As she strained her numbed muscles, and climbs to her feet, the girl realises how violently she is trembling.

"Please..."

Her voice becomes weaker each time, like the freezing cold is gnawing slowly at her strength. The child may be stubborn, but even she cannot last out here for much longer.

So cold.

Something makes her turn left, pushing her dying drops of effort into walking deeper into the undergrowth. A dull warmth seems to tickle her fingertips as she reaches out, her frost-slathered hands stretching forwards.

So cold.

And yet, despite the desperately freezing air, there is something over here that's warm, and any warmth is welcome. A tiny speck of light reflects in her eyes, glowing crimson in the darkness of the blizzard.

So cold.

A yearning for the light and the warmth fills her, a powerful craving that pushes her forwards those last few steps, until finally, her numbed fingers close around the warm, glowing object, and warmth ripples through her body.

So warm.

With wide-eyed wonder, she gazes at the object in her palm, and it is as though it has illuminated a path through the snow to save her. The tiny object is nothing more than a stone - though beautiful, and one that seems to emit the warmth and safety of home. It's fiery, dancing complexion is more glorious than even the most breath-taking of sunsets, and as comforting as any embrace.

So warm.

And then the stone seems to sink into her very palm, melting into her bare skin. She is young, and doesn't understand. All she knows is that the warmth is becoming warmer now, and she can start to feel her own body again. It fights away the cold that has deprived her of all hope, replacing the violent shivering with the cosy feeling of being enveloped in furs.

So warm.

Giggling, the young child cherishes the newfound warmth, completely unaware that she has just found one of the Eternal Stones - and discovered a power greater than any other.

Innocent, young, and unknowing, the girl is oblivious to how much this stone will change her life, deaf to the wind as it starts to whisper her name in a bidding of farewell.

"East," it mourns, well aware of the fate she faces. "East..."

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