The Gemstone Guardians

Chapter One

James Strange and his wife, Samantha, were two regular people in the land of Mandalorian. James was a baker and Samantha was a nurse at the North Side Hospital. The young couple was happy together, but they both wanted to start a family. The couple couldn't be more thrilled when Samantha finally became pregnant. The young couple have wanted to have a child for a very long time but never had any luck. When they got the news, they started preparing right away. Nine months later on March 25, 1998, Samantha went into labor. James and Samantha rushed to the hospital both so excited to finally have their child. Then after seven long hours their son was born. A small baby boy changed their lives from that day forward. Their baby was born with a pure gem embedded in his chest. The gemstone glowed blue as the doctors gave their newborn to Samantha. The young couple was no longer so excited about their baby boy. They knew that he was selected, and to be chosen by this is a privilege and a curse. Their son was a Gemstone Guardian. Gemstone Guardians are given the gems at birth that hold a high power. A pure gem is used by the Guardians to fight against and ward off the Wraiths that harmed the land. The gemstone radiates a bright light said to be part of Nemesis, the goddess of fates own power. Nemesis created the four gems the first being water, the second earth, third fire and last but not least air. Nemesis chose many people over the years to take on the task of fighting off the Wraith and killing their king and keeping the world safe. None were successful. For thousands of years, Guardians have tried and failed. People from around the world lost hope. Everyone stopped believing that the Gemstone Guardians could win and so they became outsiders. Many of the Guardians got murdered in the battle against Wraiths, others killed by assassins that would take the gems and sell them on the black market. Nemesis would give the stones to the people who have the purest heart and the highest intentions. Cyrus was one of these people.

As Cyrus got older, his power grew stronger. Cyrus and his father, James, would always go into the forest behind their house so Cyrus could use his power and train himself to control it. James would chop down old trees for firewood while Cyrus played by the pond. Cyrus would learn more and more about the power he has. Cyrus learned how to move the water in ways we could only imagine. By the time he turned 15, he could make ordinary water into snow by controlling the temperature of the water. Cyrus could boil it, and make it so cold that it would freeze instantly. Cyrus could use his power for many things, but he was still a teenager. He had problems with school and other students not wanting to be his friend because he was a Gemstone Guardian. Everyone in the world knew that Guardians were the only people that could fight off the Wraiths and kill the Wraith King, Raiths. No one wanted to be near a Gemstones because everyone believed they were cursed to bring nothing but death. No Guardian has even seen Raiths.

On Cyrus’s 18th birthday, the first encounter with Wraiths occurred. Cyrus was on his way home from school with tears in his eyes because everyone, even his teachers, were rude, but today they overdid it. While Cyrus was reading his report in front of the whole class, students and the teacher questioned him repeatedly, “Why are you even in school, shouldn’t you be out training to fight Raiths? Cyrus, go, no one wants you here, you're just going to attract the Wraiths here.” The students yelled and laughed as Cyrus’ face went pale.

Cyrus' teacher stood up in front of the class blocking Cyrus from seeing the rest of the students. “Now, students, Cyrus is here to learn just like the rest of you, and besides he will never be able to kill a Wraith, let alone their King.” 

All the students laughed as Cyrus ran out of the classroom and out the school doors. Cyrus lived so far away from the school that it always gave him time to stop crying and his face to turn back to its standard color. When Cyrus finally made it home, his face was no longer red and his eyes no longer filled with tears. He trained himself to stop crying before he got home because his mother and father would be heartbroken to know he wasn’t happy. He stood outside the front of his house; it wasn’t much to look at it was two stories high with bright green walls all around the house with broken fences surrounding it. Cyrus ran up to his room closing the door behind him and changed out of his school uniform into a green sweater that matched his father's and gray pants that his mother made for him last year for Christmas. Cyrus loved being home. It’s the only place he felt welcome and the only place where he shammed like a freak. Cyrus opened his bedroom door and smiles as he walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. His mother and father both waiting for him with big smiles on their faces and a birthday cake. Cyrus smiled and lunged forward wrapping his arms around his Father.

“Thanks, Mom, Dad, you're the best.” He smiled and leaned and kissed his mother's cheek. The family sat down in the dining room to eat the freshly baked cake Cyrus’ mother prepared for his birthday like every year since he was five. Samantha stood up from her seat with a big knife in her left hand. She smiled at Cyrus.

“What piece do you want?” she asked as she started cutting the cake into long triangular shapes.

“I want the piece with my name on it,” Cyrus responded laying a napkin on his lap so he couldn’t get his pants dirty. Samantha jumped as a guest of wind blew the window open. James quickly rose out of his seat to shut the window, but the wind was too strong. The sound of thunder and screaming filled the air. Samantha took Cyrus’ hand.

“Sweetie, we must hide. They're coming.”

“What do you mean? Who’s coming?” he questioned as his mother pulled him to his feet.

James quickly runs to the basement door.

“The Wraiths,” he yelled as he unlocks the door. Samantha pushes Cyrus towards the basement door as James swings it open.

James looks Cyrus in the eye, “We love you, son.” James hugs Cyrus tightly as a Wraiths climbed through the kitchen window. The Wraiths looked as if they were in black cloaks that were shredded all over. Wraiths are evil dark spirits that killed whatever their leader commanded. The Wraiths' hands looked as if they were bones covered black dust. Samantha stood frozen in place with her mouth wide open as a Wraith shoved his bone like claws into her chest. Cyrus looked over to his mother as the basement door was closing behind him, her body falling to the ground and her soul being torn from her body. The door shut.

Cyrus cried as his father locked the basement door behind him. Cyrus banged on the door screaming, “Mom!” Cyrus quickly ran down the basement stairs over to the small window. Outside the window was an old oak tree that has been there since his father was a boy. Cyrus watched as James ran outside trying to put up a magical barrier. As James was reading the barrier spell. A shot of pain through his chest stopped him from continuing. A long spear made of bone piercing his heart ripping through his chest. Blood ran out of his chest like water running out of a faucet turning his green sweater red as if someone spilled red wine all over him. He dropped to his hands and knees. James looked up from the ground. A Wraith with a long spear in its hand stood above him. Cyrus smashed his hand into the glass cracking it slowly. James turned his head to look back at the house. As he turned his head, the Wraith began slowly pushed its other spear through James' back coming out next to the other spear already inside him. Blood pooled under him. 

With his last breath he screamed, “Run, run for your life!” Cyrus broke open the basement window glass flying and smashing against the ground. Cyrus climbed up through the small window. Struggling, he makes it. Cyrus jumps to his feet stumbling. He starts running around the side of the house away from the Wraiths. Cyrus’ heart beating like a drum as Cyrus ran. He looked around for a way out, and he spotted it. A Griffin that roamed the forest since Cyrus was a baby. Cyrus and James ran into the Griffin many times when he was growing up. They even named her Lulu the Griffin. Cyrus looked back. Hundreds of Wraiths came flying towards him. Cyrus put all the energy he had left in him to run faster. Wraiths were gaining on him. He jumped forward grabbing onto Lulu’s feathers. Lulu let out a big yell. He was climbing up into her back just behind her wings. Lulu spread out her wings and flapped them at the Wraiths coming closer to them. Dirt flew off the ground, and the rocks under Lulu's paws broke as Lulu’s feathers changed colors like leaves in the fall. She charged through the Wraiths, knocking one over onto another and leaping up into the air and spreading her wings to take flight. Cyrus was so heartbroken about his parents' deaths, he couldn't use the power of his gem to fight back, so he ran. His emotions stopped him from fighting. It always worked before, but the pain of his mother and father dying to save him was too strong to ignore, which made him lose focus. He looked back at his home and saw flames burst out of the windows, burning his house to a crisp. Cyrus looked at his father’s dead body, seeing his soul getting ripped out of his body by the Wraiths and being dragged to a portal that led to the underworld. Cyrus’ heartbeat softened. It was as if someone punched him in the chest. His eyes watered up with tears; he couldn’t fight them back. “Mom, Dad, no way!” he screamed as Lulu flew away from his home in Mandalorian.

Maybe everyone was right. He couldn’t even save his parents, how could he save the world? For hours of flying through the misty night sky, Cyrus fought with himself telling himself he wasn't good enough, that it’s all his fault that his parents are dead. Until he finally accepted himself after hours of fighting, he got angry with himself. He knew he had to find the other Keeps and destroy All the Wraiths and avenge his parents. The gemstone started shining bright blue again lighting the way for Lulu as they flew the foggy skies. Cyrus had a very fit body and had stable bone structure and a little scar under his eye that he got from playing with Lulu when they first met.He was just like the other teenagers except he was a Crystal Keeper. Gods and goddesses used the power he had for thousands and thousands of years. Cyrus was more powerful and had a purer heart than any other human alive. Cyrus closed his eyes, tears still running down his face. He tucked his head into Lulu’s back feathers. Rain fell from the sky as they flew across the sea. Every few hours a strange creature could be heard growling deep below in the dark waters. Lulu, frightened, flew faster every time she heard the growl. Lulu’s wings grew weaker by the minute. the sun started to rise as Cyrus finally spotted a small island.

“Lulu, let’s go. We need to get there fast before your wings give out.” Cyrus smiled as he seen a big forest and a mountain that was covered in trees and a strange little tower just at the bottom of the hill. There was only one little city on the island that Cyrus could see. He pointed in the direction of the small town. Lulu flapped her wings faster so they could get there quicker. Lulu let out another yell just before they crash landed by the docs of the city. As Lulu crash landed, Cyrus got bucked off her, backflipping forward and landed on his back.

Cyrus gasped for air rolling around in the sand his eyes watered as he finally caught his breath. Cyrus got back on his feet, dusting his knees off. He looked back at Lulu she was severely hurt. Cyrus ran over to her side placing his head against her chest. Her heartbeat was faint but still there. “Hang in there, girl; I’ll go get help.” He pats her on the wing before running up into the city. The city stone paths were endless and right before you enter the town from the docs, there is a giant wooden sign that says Welcome to Bos. There were street lights all up and down the main road. Cyrus walked into the city following the stone path. There were cabins with big giant gardens all along the left side of the main street of the town. To the right were concessions and shops all the way down to the entrance of the forest. On the right side, you could see that the Stone path leads to the right and down into another section of the city that was covered in more shops and building. Carriages were passing by as Cyrus walked deeper into the town. Zebragers were pulling the Carriages. Zebragers are beast shaped like a regular horse, but they had long teeth that hung from their mouths like a sabertooth tiger. They are more like a zebra than a horse. Cyrus looked with amazement as another one passes right by him.

Cyrus covered in sad and in need of a shower made it to the heart of the city. There was a fountain of the goddess Nemesis. Everyone looked at Cyrus with disgust because of he smelled of sweat and fish. His clothes were covered in dirt and sand his green sweater had a rip on the shoulder exposing the top of his arm. Cyrus reached out to grab the wrist of a man that had a black jacket on that had royal green buttons all over. The man was old and looked to be very wealthy The old man walked towards Cyrus, as the man was passing by Cyrus touched the man's arm.

The man screamed as Cyrus reached out towards him, “Thief, thief someone help, thief.” Cyrus panicked. Everyone stopped and looked at him. Another man threw a rock at Cyrus hitting his arm. Cyrus grabbed his arm, and his temper started to rise.

“I’m not a thief, I just need help, please?” Cyrus tried to get people to hear call for help, but they kept calling him names.

“Thief, trash, scum.” They wouldn’t listen to a word Cyrus had to say they just continued to call him names that are unimaginable. Cyrus begged and pleaded for help, but everyone turned away from him. Cyrus’ temper raised so much that he couldn't take it anymore.

“Shut up and listen to me!” Cyrus yelled, but no one listened. They continued to throw things and call him names. Cyrus’ face turned red, his heartbeat was speeding. A water jug next to a fruit stand started to bubble. Cyrus yelled once more “Shut up!” The jug bruised breaking the fruit stand. Fruit flew into the streets. People froze in fear. Women screamed as the fruit flew into the air. The people around him stared as if they seen a ghost. They did not say another world. The whole city went utterly silent. Till an angry old lady with a long blue dress and white-golden hair walked up behind Cyrus. Reaching out and yanking on the back of Cyrus’ sweater, pulling him to the ground and hitting his head on the stone walkway. Buttons on his shirt ripped off revealing his Gemstone. The crowded around him went silent their faces turned red with shame. Cyrus blacked out slowly the last thing he saw was the surprised face of the old woman who ripped his sweater leaning over him.

Cyrus was lying unconscious on the ground as the people of the city scramble to find water. The old man that Cyrus touched found a small cup of water and threw it on to Cyrus’ face waking him up quickly, making him jump and lean back on his arms.

Cyrus looked around at the crowded people around them they all looked frightened but hopeful. 

“You are one of the Guardians,” the old lady said with a smile on her face. “Sorry about your sweater. We all thought you were one of those gang members we see walking around breaking things at night. But I’m sure a Guardian like you can take a little head injury. Sorry, I didn’t catch your name young man?” the old lady asked as she stared intensely at his crystal almost as she was in a trance.

“I’m Cyrus. I come from the land far east from here. I mean no harm, I just need help,” Cyrus called trying to make people uncomfortable so they would go about their business.

“Well, Cyrus, we praise you and all your power for you are our saver. We apologize for ignoring your request,” the old lady shouted looking at all the townspeople with disapproval. “We shall help you and your Griffen as long as you agree to save my daughter Rose from the tower on top of the mountain of terrors. She's a Guardian too.

“But she lost her eyesight, and well, now she takes her anger out on everyone else. She is my daughter, and I love her, but she couldn’t control her powers when she first lost her vision. In a fit of rage, she killed two men that were trying to bring her to see Dr. Jordan. After we calmed her down to avoid her from harming herself and others, we locked her up there, and now she never comes down or even tried to break out...”

Cyrus looked up at the mountain seeing the tower on the top. “How could she still have the power if she killed two men and is scaring everyone around her?”

The old lady looks down at her hands as she walked Cyrus over to her Cabin with Lulu on a cart being pulled by five big men behind them. “Rose was once one of the sweetest girls in the world. She always helped others in times of need. She never mistreated anyone. Rose got her Gemstone at birth, but when she was eight years old, she lost her eyes in a horrible accident.” The old lady paused as if she was going to start crying. “Well, you know the rest.”

“But why would Nemesis still let her have the power of the Gemstone?” Cyrus questioned as he made it to the front of the old woman's cabin.

“Well, Cyrus, the only way for you or Rose to lose your power is if you die. Nemesis can only give the power, she cannot take it away. She is the goddess of fate, and she gives the power to the people with pure hearts, but it's up to them to use it for good.” The old lady opens her yard for Lulu to rest in and she then invites Cyrus into her home. Cyrus and the woman talked for hours and hours till the sun started to set. “You can stay here for the night, and in the morning you can start your way up the mountain,” the old lady said as she stood up showing Cyrus to the guest room. Cyrus took his shirt off and washed his face in the little sink in the room. Cyrus walked over to the bed pulling the covers down and got into the bed.

The moonlight shined off the sweat on Cyrus' body as he tossed and turned as he dreamed of his father being killed over and over again. Time stands still in his dream, and he finds himself in a white room, a woman walking around between hanging white sheets weaving in and out. As Cyrus got closer she got further away. Cyrus then felt something wet against his face he woke up sitting up quickly and found that Lulu put her head in the window. And started licking his face “Come on, Lulu, I needed a few more seconds stupid bird.” Lulu looked as if she was smiling. Cyrus looked at Lulu with a bit of a smirk Lulu then bonked her head into Cyrus'. “OK, I'm up, I'm up,” Cyrus laughed as he pushes Lulu's head out the window. “Now it’s time I go find Rose.”

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