Hey guys!

I know, I just started Once Upon a December a few months ago, but I have been itching to bring this story to life too. There are rules and stuff for the syoc at the bottom of the chapter.

I would like to dedicate this story to my good friends who have helped this story grow. Sev, Octavia, Kay, Abi, and Rowe, thank you so much. I would also like to dedicate it to Ozzy and Fairy, who's characters are finally getting a home.

I hope you all enjoy chapter one.

Now here is a riddle to guess if you can

Sing the bells of Notre Dame

What makes a monster and what makes a man?

~The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Chapter One.

Junia Orsolo thought for a single second that she would be able to return to the palace without being noticed. She really did. It had happened before, and she thought that it would happen again. How wrong she had been.

"Does father know that you were out?" Her younger half-sister, Thea asked. "Or were you hoping to get away with running off once again?"

Junia groaned and let her shoulders slump. Thea had always been a thorn in her side when it came to this matter. "You can't stop me, Thea," she said as she unclasped her cape and folded it neatly. "No one can."

"You're going to get yourself killed!"

She rolled her eyes and listened to her sister's rant while she put away her weapons and took off her boots. She could care less about what perfect Princess Thea thought of her sneaking out. It wasn't her place to tell her what to do. She didn't know what it was like.

"And who's going to help if I don't go out there?" She asked her sister. "I am the only one who can do what I do. You know that's how the Elements work. One host a generation. It is my duty as an Elemental to help in the war!"

Thea ran her hands through her long brown hair, something she did to release stress. "You're going to get yourself killed, and then what will Lusuno do? You're the heir, Junia. Remember that."

Junia huffed and sat on her bed, the mattress creaking as she relaxed into it. "I do remember it, but do you know what else I remember, Thea? I remember that my mother was killed by a Spektralia. I can save Elementals from dying the same way my mother did, and I am going to. You can't stop me."

Thea stood from the wooden chair she had been sitting in. "If I can't convince you to stop, then I'll go find someone who will force you to," she said as she walked away. She stopped as she reached the door. "Oh, by the way, I just wanted to help you. If you die, that's your own problem."

Once Thea left, Junia collapsed onto her mattress and rested her head against her pillow. Her body was sore, but she was much more tired emotionally. The images of people she had been too late to save and the glowing white eyes of the Spektralia were there for her when she closed her eyes.

The war had been going on for longer than Junia had been alive, it went back for generations. It started when The Darkness took over and the first Spektralia was found. It had been going ever since. Each generation losing so many human and Elemental soldiers to the fight, Junia's own mother being one of them.

After a few minutes, she stood and looked out her window. From her window, she could just barely make out the City of Lune that the castle was in the middle of. If she closed her eyes, she could see it better. Its cobblestone paths and large marketplaces were as much as home to her as the inside of the palace was. She could remember playing hide-and-seek in the large city with Thea and Lucian, and getting scolded for running off when her father found out.

She had often wondered if she could see The Darkness from the roof of the castle's highest tower or if venturing into it whenever she got the chance was already flirting enough with danger that she shouldn't add the extra threat of heights.

She wondered if Thea was right. Should she really be going out into The Darkness and facing the Spektralia? She was the heir to Lusuno. Sure, she was an Elemental, but she also would be queen one day. Maybe she would even be the queen who ended the terror of the Spektralia once and for all.

She stood there for a few more moments before making her way back to her bed and falling asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

It was a melody. Dark and twisted, but with indiscernible lyrics that made it feel… safe. Although it was hard to hear, it sounded like the voice of a woman singing and humming. Her voice was a whisper or shadow. It sounded off.

Around Junia was darkness. She was in a room, but it was a room she had only heard of from Elementals that came to talk to her father.

It was a small room, but it took her breath away. The walls were made of marble, and the floor of polished stone. Vines had taken over the wall to her left and crawling to take over the rest of the room.

In the middle was a tree trunk. Twisted and hollowed out, but clean and vine free. There was dust, and there were no signs of wear.

Junia began to walk towards it. There was something about it that pulled at her chest. She needed to see it up close.

She reached out to touch the brown trunk, only hesitating for a second before placing her hand on the soft wood.

The singing stopped and everything went silent.

In front of her, the glowing eyes of a Spektralia opened and its smoky form came into sight. It looked at Junia for a second, a look of longing on its twisted face before it spoke.

"Come back to me, Chiara."

Junia wanted to scream as she backed away from the humanoid creature of darkness in front of her, but instead her mind could only form a question.

Who is Chiara?

When Junia awoke, it was already late morning.

She groaned as she pulled off her covers and quickly changed into a basic sky blue dress that hugged her waist and fell to her ankles. There was nothing interesting about it, but she liked the simplicity of it.

After running a brush through her hair that was still tangled from combat, she made her way to her father's office.

The office was large. Against one wall were bookcases, and against another one was a fireplace. In the middle was her father's desk. It was made out of aspid wood and had intricate symbols carved into it.

"Father," she greeted, and then sat down in the chair opposite of his.

Her father, King Archer, smiled at her. "Junia, we need to talk."

Junia nodded. There were many things she wanted to talk to him about, the first one being the war efforts, and the second being how the training of the newest group of Elementals was going.

King Archer cleared his throat as he set down his quill. "As you know, there have been a rising number of Spektralia attacks recently," he began. "I have some concerns about your safety outside of the castle, and inside of it as well."

Junia nodded again, although she wanted to roll her eyes. The Spektralia attacks had been on the castle, but they had left of their own free will and no one was injured during the attacks. And even if they had been worse than that, Junia knew how to protect herself. She spent many of her nights at the warzone helping the wounded Elementals and soldiers. Sometimes she had even taken down a Spektralia.

"I want you to get a bodyguard," King Archer said, and then held up his hand when Junia tried to protest. "An Elemental bodyguard from the group of Elementals that are finishing their training this week. You can even choose which one you would like."

"Wouldn't they be of more help at the warzone, Father?" She said. "And I don't need a bodyguard. I can protect myself."

"They would be protecting the future queen of Lusuno, which is just as important as fighting against the Spektralia," he responded. "Besides, I'm sure they would jump at this job opportunity."

In the recent years, Elementals had began to hide their powers to get out of the war, some even going as far as killing people so that their impure soul would keep them from having access to their abilities. Junia knew that her father was cracking down on it and trying to get as many Elementals onto the battlefield as possible, but it was only making things worse.

When Junia didn't speak, King Asher added one last thing. An ultimatum. "And Junia, you can either choose a bodyguard or you can spend the rest of your time as heir in a bunker where I know you will be safe," he told her. "It's your choice."

Junia's heart leapt into her throat as she tried to process her father's words. He would lock her away in a bunker if she didn't agree to do this. There was only one choice and she knew that he had done it that way on purpose.

"Fine," she said. "I'll do it. I'll choose a bodyguard."

So! That was chapter one! Please follow, fave, and review! I would love to know what you thought! Also, more things will be added to my profile, so don't worry too much about terminology at the moment.

So, this syoc is a bit different from the others! Instead of a love interest, Junia needs a bodyguard. You get to create an Elemental to fight for this job. It is open to all genders, so feel free to send me whatever you want.

Okay, so time for the part where I put down some rules.

Please Private Message me before you begin work on the form. I need to know what element you choose for your Elemental so I can keep other people from also choosing the same element! There is only one element per generation, so it's pretty first come first serve.

If you are considering adding anything that you would put a trigger warning with, please message me beforehand!

Please, nothing too overpowered. If your oc seems too op, we can talk about weaknesses for the element/Elemental.

Feel free to message me about anything related to this story! It has a pretty big world that can hardly be called a Selection Series fanfic, so I am ready to answer any questions you might have.

The form is due September 15th!

I think that's everything!

Thanks for reading! Love y'all!