Pulsing against the rocky cliff face, the wind howled like a ferocious beast. The various birds and small critters cowered in their homes, sensing something was amiss. As the wind died down, a fair maiden crowned with the most brilliant of stars landed on the cliff astride a gleaming silver pegasus. Casting a weary look at the war-ridden landscape, she sighed. She dismounted the pegasus and walked toward a moss covered stone, a shimmering aura left in her wake. Sitting on the stone, she cast her mind back to the days before the war between her siblings started. As her thoughts drifted, her hundredth birthday came to mind.
“Happiness becomes you, Galaxy,” her mother Miria had commented. “I've never seen you look so beautiful.” Galaxy had simply nodded as her mother arranged the amethysts onto her dress. After a quick look over from her sister Amazonia, Galaxy and her younger twin Kewu had stepped outside onto the balcony of the palace to a roaring cheer from a crowd of mortals below.
“Humans, elves, dwarves, and faeries of Ridessia!” her father Caladriel had boomed. “I present to you- Galaxy and Kewu!” They had curtsied to thunderous applause. “Now, daughter, choose your symbol,” he had gestured to a pillar with jewels in the shape of many different objects. She had studied them for a while, singling out a star in which was engraved the sun and the moon, a music note, and a paintbrush. After some thought, she had chosen the star. A beam of light had shone upon her, and a strange energy had filled her. Suddenly the light had faded, leaving her dazed.
Her train of thought was interrupted by a series of explosions that nearly knocked her off her seat. Kewu and her sister Shiya were hurling powerful beams of energy each other and a few stray rays sent Galaxy tumbling to the ground. Shiya's icy blue eyes flashed as a beam of cyan light shot towards Kewu, a wall of shadow promptly materializing to absorb it before dissipating. Bolts of black energy shot down his arms and his inky black hair began to flow like water when a great shadow dragon burst from the clouds with a mighty roar. Galaxy mounted her pegasus, soaring into the fray. Myriad stars shot down around her siblings, pausing the fight momentarily.
“Could you two take your fighting somewhere where humans won't be caught in the crossfire?” she asked her siblings. “Or better yet, not fight at all?”
Shiya rolled her eyes. “You really like ‘peace,’ don't you, little sister?” Galaxy glared at her. “Fine. I'm not giving you the win, Kewu, but I've got something to do over in Glacies, anyway.” In a burst of snow, she disappeared.
“Thanks, Galaxy,” Kewu smiled. “I was definitely fighting a losing battle.”
“Why were you fighting in the first place?” Galaxy asked.
He shrugged. “I got a little close to her borders. She got mad.”
Galaxy raised an eyebrow but didn't question further, partially because she adored her younger twin. They flew off in separate directions after a hug and Galaxy contemplated the situation she occupied. She was neutral in a war that was tearing her family apart and both sides were pressuring her to join. She agreed more with the goals of the “Elementals,” as four of her siblings called themselves, but she was closer to the siblings opposing them. She felt that she had to stay neutral in order to end the war more quickly. But would it end more quickly if she joined one side? She would choose one of two absolutes: her family bonds or her moral values. She stressed for nearly a week before going to her mother for advice. When she arrived at Glassmere, she was stunned by what she saw. Bodies, both human and elven, littered the stairs. She couldn't bear to look at them so she flew up the stairs with her eyes closed. When she got to the top she gasped. The castle she grew up in was gone. There wasn't any indication that it had ever existed other than the stairs. She walked forward, hoping it was just a glamor spell, but was able to walk around the entire mountaintop with ease. “What happened here?” she asked in a hushed voice. “Where are my parents?”
“Your siblings happened,” a gruff voice said behind her. She turned around to see an elf with scarlet hair dressed in blue robes. “Miria and Caladriel left as fast as they could but the castle was obliterated by the battle.”
“Thanks for letting me know…, um, what's your name?” she asked.
“Oh, my apologies. My name is Yhendorin,” the elf replied.
“Thank you, Cessian,” she sighed before mounting Sentry, her pegasus, and flying off. Suddenly a burst of inspiration struck her and she guided Sentry up, swiftly gaining altitude. Stars formed a circle around her and in a flash of light, she arrived at a platform of violet light surrounded with the inky blackness of space, landing Sentry with some caution. Galaxy smiled. This was her realm to control and in which to create. She imagined a gleaming palace with a beautiful courtyard filled with fountains, gardens, and benches. It materialized almost instantly. As she walked forward more detail appeared directed by the whim of her imagination. Beautifully furnished bedrooms, a beautiful throne room, a stable for Sentry, and anything else needed to make it feel like home was added in. She walked to a terrace and closed her eyes. She needed to find someone who could protect Ridessia in the future. Her palace faded away as she drifted forward to view the future. To find a champion. But she didn't find one. She found nine.
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