Part One: The Beginning
Belecostar, the North Realm. It is made up of a mountain range, and a great forest at the feet of the mountains. Four villages lie at the foot of the biggest mountain. Our story begins when a sinister Darkness descended upon the Realm. The villagers fled, and the skies grew dark. There seemed to be no warmth left in the sunlight.
But then a great Hero returned to Belecostar. He fought the Darkness and won, using crystal spheres of magical qualities; the three Lestines. There was a Lestine of Flame, a Lestine of Storm and a Lestine of Leaf.
No-one knows who the Hero was; he left after driving the evil out of the land, and was never seen by the people of Belecostar again.
But what the Hero did not foresee was that the Darkness might not be destroyed; merely defeated. It was not a being with a body or form, and so it could not be killed. It retreated to the tallest mountain and sat inside, and brooded, surveying the land and weighing its chances.
The villagers did not know this. They hesitantly returned to Belecostar, back to their villages, and resumed living as they had before. But eventually they began to hear the howling of wolves, an unearthly sound unlike any they had ever heard before. Cattle were stolen in the night. Children who wandered too far from home disappeared. The people grew wary, suspecting the wolves; but the truth was in fact much darker.
An alchemist and an explorer ventured out together to try and discover the cause of these disappearances. They travelled to the mountain, and were astonished to find a staircase winding up to a doorway in the side of the mountain. Deciding that it was the entrance to a secret bandit lair, they ventured up the stairs together. Only the alchemist came back down.
When the villagers found him he was shivering uncontrollably and gibbering things like: ‘It was searching me…Staring into my very soul…I’ll have the chocolate one, mister Jelly.’ When they finally managed to calm him down he related most of his story, but refused to say what happened to the explorer. The people of Belecostar took this as a hint and fled once more.
The original Hero had hidden the Lestines, guarded by the most treacherous dangers he could think of; this was to ensure that any beings of Evil could not get ahold of such powerful items. He had also left maps indicating where the Lestines were hidden. The villages were turned into training camps for young soldiers, and every year the finest warrior from each village was sent forth to team up and try to find the Lestines to banish the Darkness for good. But none of them had ever succeeded.
The fact that the people who came up with this technique didn’t think of sending the entire host of warriors from all the camps all at once, as an unstoppable force, gives you an idea of the general IQ of the people of Belecostar. But enough of that. Let the journey begin…