I HOLD NO CLAIM TO ANY OF THE ORIGINAL SACRED STONES CHARACTERS! NOTHING! :(

Prologue

The Fall of Renais

In an age long past…evil flooded over the land. Creatures awash in the dark tide ran wild, pushing mankind to the brink of annihilation.

In its despair, mankind appealed to the heavens, and from a blinding light came hope.

The Sacred Stones.

These five glorious treasures held the power to dispel evil.

The hero Grado and his warriors used the Sacred Stones to combat evil's darkness. They defeated the Demon King and sealed his soul away within the stones.

With the darkness imprisoned, peace returned to Magvel.

But this peace would not last…

The Continent of Magvel.

For some 800 years, a quiet peace reigned in the absence of the terrible darkness. The Sacred Stones have been passed from generation to generation. Nations have been built around their power and their legacy.

The Kingdom of Renais, ruled by Fado, the peerless Warrior King.

The Kingdom of Frelia, ruled by Hayden, the Venerable Sage King.

The Kingdom of Jehanna, ruled by Ismaire, Queen of the White Dunes.

The Theocracy of Rausten, ruled by Mansel, the Divine Emperor.

The Grado Empire, ruled by Vigarde, the stalwart Silent Emperor.

These five countries house the power of the Sacred Stones. They are joined by the merging mercantile republic of Carcino. In these times of peace, tales of Past conflict have drifted into legend, and memories of the ancient dark arts have all but evaporated.

It is now the year 803…In an instant, the whole of Magvel is threated by an unexpected atrocity. The Grado Empire, the largest of the Sacred Stone nations, has invaded the kingdom of Renais under orders from Emperor Vigarde. A longtime ally of Grado, Renais is caught off guard, unable to mount any resistance. Grado's forces move quickly, seizing one territory after another.

Compounding King Fado's worries, his son, Prince Ephraim, has gone missing. Grado's momentum carries its armies to the gates of Castle Renais itself.

Renais will fall…

It is inevitable.

"And that is how you string a bow!" A young woman told the cavalier beside her. "Here, now you try it."

Kyra was sitting on the steps of the throne room with eight others around the room. She was talking to Franz, a young cavalier as they all waited for their next orders. Kyra was young, around 22 at the height of 5'7' with long black hair and green eyes. She was a ranger for the Kingdom of Renais, dressed head to foot in in brown and green to make her sink into the trees when the time calls for it.

Franz, beside her struggling with the bow, was encased in light green armor and sandy blond hair at the age of 17 and 5'10'.

"Ahh, I can't get this!" Franz cried in frustration, tossing the bow on the ground.

"Hey!" Kyra dove after it with a squeal. "Don't hurt Vilora like that!" She began to pet her bow. "Apologize!"

"I'm not gonna apologize to a bow!" Franz looked at her like she was crazy.

"Oh yes you are!" Kyra glared at the teen for a moment before they both burst out laughing.

"Franz, Kyra, stop playing." A firm voice told them. Both of them stopped laughing and straightened as they looked the woman and her brother over.

Seth, a paladin and one of the Generals of the army of Renais, was at 6'3' with short red hair and brown eyes. He was dressed in his pale blue armor, arms crossed as he stood beside his older sister.

Bethany, a great knight and another of Renais' generals was 5'9' with long red hair in a ponytail and brown eyes. She was wearing her white armor, her helmet in her left hand as she awaited orders from their king. Kyra had once asked her how she could stand being in that armor constantly but received a knick behind the ear as an answer.

There was a small laugh from the front of the room and Kyra turned to King Fado and Princess Eirika. King Fado had medium teal hair and a beard as he sat in his throne with his green armor. Eirika, his daughter, had long hair and was dressed in a red and white, short dress with thigh high red boots and gloves with a gold, top armor and a white cape.

"Calm down, Bethany," Fado tried to keep the mood light. "They're just playing. Let the children have their fun."

"Hey, I'm not a child!" Kyra pointed at the king. "I'm 22 and don't forget it."

Fado chuckled again as Bethany dropped her helmet on the other woman's head. He was glad to see that they were still themselves as the enemies drew closer. It made him relieved to hear them all still laughing.

Just then, a solider burst into the throne room, breaking the laughter into pieces. "Your Majesty, I bear bad news. The gate has been breached. Emperor Vigarde's forces are within the castle walls."

King Fado took it calmly. "I understand."

"The garrison has fallen." The man continued. "We've lost contact with Prince Ephraim and can expect no aide from his men. Your Majesty, what are we to do?"

Kyra felt a sudden uneasiness for her cousin, Kira. She was a Swordmaster off with Ephraim and Franz's brother. She prayed for all of their safety.

"What else can we do?" Fado asked. "Order your men to lay down their arms." The man ran off to do just that and Erika stepped up to her father.

"Father…"

"Eirika. Are you wearing the bracelet I gave you?"

"Yes, I have it right here." She answered him.

"Good. Seth."

The Paladin instantly lifted his head. "Yes, Your Majesty?"

"Bethany."

"My Lord?" Seth's sister took a step forward.

"Take Eirika and head for Frelia." Fado ordered them. "King Hayden is an honorable man. I trust he will keep you safe."

"Understood." Bethany turned to Kyra and nodded at her. The Ranger turned to the young boy beside her before she and Franz took off to get the horses ready.

"And what of Your Majesty?" Seth asked.

"Me? I shall remain here." Fado answered him. "We have long held Grado among our dearest allies, yet now, they attack? I must know why. Am I somehow responsible for this? Have I erred in my leadership? Renais is mine to guide…How could I have failed her so?"

"Father, you can't stay! You mustn't!" Eirika cried. She went to run forward but Bethany caught her. "If you remain behind, then so shall I!"

"Go now! Ride! Take her to safety!" Fado ordered the two of them. Seth and Bethany shared an uneasy look about their King remaining behind but they followed their King's orders, taking the struggling Princess with them outside the castle walls as the enemy burst inside.

Franz and Kyra were there with their horses. "Where's the king?" Kyra asked as Bethany mounted her horse and pulled her helmet on.

"He stayed behind." She answered the woman as she got onto her own horse. Kyra frowned, knowing what that meant.

"General Seth!" Franz looked at his teacher for orders.

"Franz, ride ahead and bring word of our coming to Frelia," Seth told the young one. "A single rider has better odds of passing unseen by Grado's men. Convey to the throne all that has happened here and petition for reinforcements."

"U-understood!" The teen sounded afraid of being sent off on his own at a time like this but he stood to his orders and took off.

Bethany turned to the blue-haired teen. "Princess Eirika, we must-" She caught the shadow flying above them and immediately placed herself and her horse in front of the Princess as Kyra yanked the blue-haired teen up behind her. Seth noticed his sister's actions and took a stance as well, gripping his lance as a trio of Dragonriders landed before them.

The one in the front was in purple armor with long green hair and a strange feel about him. Though, of course, the sight of a woman tied up and knocked out behind him on his dragon didn't help that fact, either.

The woman had long, lilac hair and pale skin as she was dressed in ripped ropes of red and white. She seemed to be a struggled due to all the bruises and cuts on her. The more Kyra looked at her the more she wanted to save the young woman.

"You there, with the girl. Tell me, would that be the wayward Princess of Renais? Well, this must be my lucky day." The leader of the group smiled. "You're all dead. The wench goes with me."

"Over my dead body, she does!" Kyra growled, reaching for her bow but Seth placed a hand on her shoulder.

"I am Valter, the Moonstone, Grado's finest general!" the man told them. "And you're just corpses who don't know they are dead." He rushed forward towards the women but Seth blocked him, taking a rash wound in his left side.

"Seth!" Bethany cried for her brother before rushing forward herself, her axe slicing at the frightening man on the dragon. Her brother swatted Kyra's horse and it took off running with the siblings close behind them.

Kyra wanted to save that woman from the freak but with him wounding Seth like that, she knew that there was no way that she was going to be able to save her. No way in hell. What the hell was he doing with her in the first place? Was she from Renais and seen as a 'spoil of the war' to that dragon-freak?

"I can't see any more of Grado's men." Bethany's voice called to them from behind after a little longer.

"If we've made it this far, we've surely earned a moment's rest." Seth sighed, as he slowed his horse down.

The three horses slowed down and Kyra and Eirika immediately dropped from the horse, running over to make sure that Seth was okay. The man stabbed his lance into the ground before sliding off himself.

"My apologies for grabbing you like that earlier," Kyra told the teen beside her.

"Nonsense," Eirika waved it aside. "If it weren't for the three of you, I never would have made it out of the castle. You are the reasons I'm still alive. You have my gratitude. And whoever that man was, he was clearly after me…" Eirika turned to Seth again. "It is my fault that you received such a grave wound. Allow me to treat it. I-"

"Your Highness," Seth pulled away from her. "I can't allow an injury like this to be an obstacle. We have more important matters to attend to."

"I'm afraid my brother is right," Bethany joined in, taking her helmet off. "Though I would gladly like to stay here and dress it, we have to get over the Frelia borders before we halt for too long. While we fulfill his Majesty's orders, Kyra can treat him."

Eirika lowered her head. "I wonder how my father fares alone in the castle. Do you think he's safe? And what of my brother on the Grado front? We've heard nothing from him for days."

"King Fado and Prince Ephraim are both valiant and brave men," Seth answered her. "I doubt even the might of the Grado Empire can hold them in check."

"Yeah," Kyra agreed. "And besides, Kira's there remember? When you put my cousin and Franz's brother together the two of them will kill anything in their paths! You're brother's fine." She smiled, hiding her own worry. "Besides, you need to worry about your own safety. Both of them would be devastated if something happened to you."

"Indeed," Seth nodded. "We must reach Frelia to ensure the day of your happy reunion."

Eirika thought for a moment before nodding. "Yes, of course. You're right. Until I'm reunited with my father and brother, I must not despair. Come, let us go."

"Across the Bridge we'll be in Border Mulan." Bethany told them as they steadily made their way towards the river."

"Your Highness, I won't lie to you." Seth began. "This will not be an easy ride. Please, take this rapier. If something should happen, you must continue to Frelia, alone if need be." Eirika took it just moments before a few of the enemy showed up. "Grado's men," Seth growled. "Stand back, Princess Eirika." Seth tried to place himself before the Princess but she pushed him back.

"It's all right, Seth. My brother has taught me something of swordplay. I will stand with the three of you."

"You mean the two of us," Kyra corrected her. "Three women are more than enough for these fools."

"But-"

"Stay back, Seth. I don't need baggage on our way to Frelia." Bethany cut her brother off. Seth looked up at his older sister before giving a nod and carefully pulled himself back onto his horse while his companions took care of the enemy.

"Not bad, Princess," Kyra grinned. "I wasn't expecting you to even hit one of them, let alone kill one." She fell silent, noticing how pale the teen looked now.

"This is war, isn't it?" Eirika asked. "It's not at all like the games I used to play with my brother or Lyon and Lyra. I never thought…I didn't know it would be this…savage. Are words useless? Is strength all that matters? It's so sad…why would the Grado Empire do this? To what end would they start a war?" The trio couldn't think of how to reply and she took notice of their faces. "Don't worry. I won't give in to sorrow," she told them. "Let's get moving. I'm not broken and I won't stop until I see Renais restored. I won't stop until I'm reunited with my father and brother."

"Then let's get our butts moving," Kyra pulled herself up onto her horse again and held her hand out to Eirika. "Kira and the others are all gonna be waiting for us and I'll never hear the end of it if we're late."

The blue-haired teen stared at her for a moment before taking the hand and being yanked up onto the horse. "Yes," She replied. "Let's go."

They weren't attacked again as their trip went on for the next hour or so. Everything had a calm feel to it but they all knew that there was panic and worry raging through themselves and the ones around them. And Seth was still wounded.

"Seth," Kyra pulled her horse up beside the man. Erika was riding with Bethany at the moment. "Are you all right? Will you be able to continue on without the wound being taken care of?"

"It has stopped bleeding for now with what I could do with it so you shouldn't fear." The man replied. "I'll be able to take care of myself until we get to Frelia."

Kyra gave a huff. "You men are all alike. Too proud to admit that you need some help or rest."

Seth gave her a small smile. "It's not just because I'm a man, Kyra. I am also one of the lead Generals of Renais. How pitiful would it look if my sister was the only one that was left to lead us to safety."

"Bethany doesn't have a six-inch wound in her body, Seth." Kyra argued with him, shaking her head. "None of you get it. It is better to admit that you need help and accept it then to ignore it and keep going."

Seth stared at her for a moment before giving a small grin again. "You never change, Kyra. It's wonders how your cousin can put up with you."

Kyra huffed, turning her head to hide her blush. "Well Kira's no sunflower, either. I'm not sure how Ephraim and the others put up with her." She crossed her arms and then sighed. "Look, Seth, I'm just worried about you. That wound is-"

"I know, Kyra," Seth grinned at her as they continued on their path. "And I greatly appreciate how caring you are, but we need to get Princess Eirika to Frelia as soon as possible and I cannot waste any time on myself. I will be fine and the moment we reach Frelia castle, I will take off my armor and let you fix my wound."

Kyra's face turned a darker red at the thought off Seth taking off his armor and she forced her gaze to stay ahead of her. "Fine. I'll wait till then but no longer after. And I don't want a repeat of this anywhere down the road, understand?"

Seth smiled at her. "Understood."

And there is the opening. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Don't worry, it gets better as the story goes along.

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