Prologue

Long ago, before the war between humans and animals existed, the Hidden Kingdom was peaceful. Animals and humans lived harmoniously together and found ways to coexist. In the west, a meteor struck the earth. Documents from that period describe it as a seemingly ordinary stone yet as it flew across the sky; it had a bright green tail. The cracks in the stone glowed green and it had a message carved in the stone. It read: "Let no animal touch this stone, lest the future will be doomed." Both the humans and the animals were afraid of the foreboding message but one audacious animal wasn't. History becomes cloudy here, not detailing what happened. Some say a tiger touched it and became a tiger lily. Others debate whether or not it was a newt that turned in an eye of newt. It's even been argued that a cat turned into a cat's tail. Whatever happened, the outcome was the same: an animal was turned into a plant. When humans touched the stone, the outcome was much different. They soon had the ability to grow plants simply by touching the earth. This was indicated by the vine-like tattoos formed on their forearms caused by touching the stone. The importance of the stone was realized and a faction of dedicated people was formed to protect the stone. They were known from that point on as The Guardians of The Stone. These Guardians worshipped the gods of heaven, believing that the Stone was a gift to the humans. The formation of the Guardians sparked an outrage in animals. A compromise was made with the animals and humans, agreeing to not allow animals into the western area. This became one of the earliest reasons for the Great War. These Guardians were typically women who seeked out the gods. They were exceptionally good healers, using their powers to their advantage with the availability of medical herbs. There were two ways to join the Guardians: 1) you must have experienced a great sorrow or 2) you must take up a ten year apprenticeship. In the apprenticeship, they would learn how to heal and how to properly serve the gods by learning about them extensively. In the final year, they would be allowed to touch the Stone and would then be trained as to how to use it. After the ten years of apprenticeship is up, a ceremony for all ready apprentices were sent to the highest point in the west of Hidden Kingdom and waited for a premonition from the gods. This would show them a glimpse into the future of what was to come.