A/N: Ok, here we go again. I posted this story once before, but didn't get much of a reception to it. So, finally, I took it down. But, I like the idea, so I decided to do it again. I've never played SoTC, but I've read about it and heard it was really good. So, I wanted to write my own story...again. lol. Anyway, here's the first part.
P.S. Credit goes to S. A. Thorup for letting me use her story, Cursed Fate as my setting. If some of this doesn't make sense, I would read that one first.
Prologue: Legions of Stone
Many in the kingdom had seen them dotting the landscape here and there. In every village, every location, from the southern town of Daerh, north to the spanning plans of Udel with their nomadic inhabitants, east to the great city of Elba Celes shining white like a spire of pearl in the sun, and west to the small ocean towns, people saw these series of stone statues, always standing in perfect columns of five across and six down, thirty in every group. What were they? None knew for certain. For over a century, people marveled at them, carved images of priests by the looks of them. What was truly marvelous was that even after a century in the open countryside, none of the groups ever saw decay. Even the intricate markings on their perfectly carved robes remained readable. Why there was not even a clump of moss that grew to the legions of idols.
Rumors abounded of their origin and purpose. Some villages held them in high esteem, declaring them the statues of priests of old who had obviously done much good in their lives; why else would the gods not permit their markers to see ruin if not to honor their righteousness? For such holy remains of a long-forgotten order, grand temples and shrines were erected, most notably at Elba Celes. When the people tried to move the statues into such magnificent structures, however, the images would not even budge.
Others said less-flattering things, calling the figures works of demons, citing their unknown symbols as heresies. Cursed they were named and many had attempted to put the hammer to them to prevent whatever blight they might bear from reeking destruction only to be either stopped or struck down by some unseen power. Such things only frightened the people all the more, prompting the construction of great barriers or trenches around the images. This was never more apparent than on the plans of Udel and its neighboring lands where even to touch these was punishable with death by a poisoned blade. In those lands, not an animal or even careless child was spared such a fate, a fate normally reserved for those intended for sacrifice.
Whatever the case, the statues found reverence or fear for a time and then they passed into legend or myth eventually returning to discovery. The cycle had not yet reached rediscovery. Except for but a few shamans, none even knew of their existence, and those few who did shared nothing, not even speculations of them.
In a large, overgrown forest near a northern village called Herin, one group stood out from all the rest, though there were none who knew this. Largely, it was just like any of the other groups of statues; thirty altogether, five across, and six down. At their head, however, an image carved differently than all the others stood, raising the number to thirty-one. Down the middle of its stone robes ran a series of even stranger markings; all the others either had no symbols or symbols on each side. A hat of some sorts, perhaps a headdress for great ceremonies rested upon its head. Judging by its round base and flattened top which extended into a cap, it could be nothing else. Were the others truly images of priests, one could say this was the image of a high priest.
Silently and still as was the legion behind it, it stood there undisturbed until one day. Though none saw it, what happened that day surely would've thrown all of Herin into anarchy and mayhem until there was not one man or woman left there. A light formed on the fingertips of the ancient high priest; a light the brilliant color of sapphires when hit by the sun. Like lightning, the light branched out like a fissure along the idol's hand and up its arm forming unknown runes and emblems along the stone limb. Similar markings traced their way along the other side of the statue. The lights continued up and up reaching the shoulders in the blinking of an eye were an eye there to see it. They were about to cross the neck and meet when at once they retreated back the way they came. As quickly as they had appeared, the sapphires were gone, vanishing without any trace. The runes they had woven never even left a mark on the stone. The forest would keep its secret still. Whatever event was soon to take place would not. What mystery surrounded the statues would stay hidden still.
One light however returned. On the third finger of the high priest's right hand, a tiny sapphire sphere ignited once more. It rose like it had done before, but now much slower and pausing many times. Still, it rose and curled nonetheless. Perhaps not now, but someday it would cover the idol as it had intended.
Would it be a day of rejoicing when the light covered the statue? Perhaps it would. Or would it be a day when the bells in every tower would clang a melody of doom? Only time would tell the outcome. For either good or ill fortune, time would bring truth to this mystery.