The Prologue details some of the events approximately 600 years prior to the beginning of the roleplay.

Two canine-like men sat around a fire. The first was holding a blade over the flame, while the other chanted strange words and moved his hands with the sway of the licks of glowing heat. Another man joined these two. This one was human. He watched intently as the two worked, seemingly on standby for something.

Across the clearing a small rabbit-like woman fiddled with a golden locket on a thin chain. Inside the locket was a small ivory face with numbers etched into the surface. Black pointers danced around in a never-ending circle at varying speeds. None of the group of twelve travelers asked where she had gotten it from, or how it worked, for they already knew she was not allowed to answer. Only the cat girl who was talking to two of the humans knew how the rabbit woman messed with the timestream, and only she would ever know.

Several others were strewn about the clearing either sleeping, talking, or readying themselves for battle.

The group had gotten into the habit of calling everyone by their element, and not their name. Names were only used in towns where they had to hide that they could shift the fabric of reality. The fact that six anthros and six humans travelled together was strange enough, and except for Fire, burning at the stake for being a witch was not going to be a comfortable afternoon’s leisure plan.

“Hey Fire!” A shorter, stout woman called in a teasing tone. She paused for half a second to ensure that she had gotten the anthro fox’s attention.

The fox broke the chanting he was doing, but continued to sway with the small inferno in front of him. “What, Death?” he asked, an annoyed twinge to his voice.

“Keep it quiet! Some of us,” the portly woman began, then pointed to the eight-foot dragon snoring in the middle of the clearing before continuing, “are trying to sleep. And if you hadn’t noticed yet, Lightning really doesn’t like to be woken up.”

“Tch. Coming from the loudest mouth out of all of us,” a gangly man said under his breath.

“What was that, Wind?” Death asked.

“He said you’re loud,” the smallest of the group answered. He was only twelve, far younger than any of the others, but he was more than capable with the telekinesis granted to him by his element of force. “And we all agree.”

Death realized that trying to argue would only lead to her being backed into a wall, and dropped it. She herself laid down next to Mind, and fell asleep. Mind promptly wrapped his arm around her protectively.

The until-now silent wolf-man holding the blade over the flame filled the ensuing silence with a slight grunt to clear his throat, before saying, “Water, cool it.” He brought the sword out of the fire glowing, and held it out at arms’ length in front of him.

“Certainly,” the watching man answered, as he raised some water out of the stream and brought it to the blade to cool it. After several seconds of hot sizzling and steam, the water was eventually put back in the stream and a perfectly tempered, perfectly sharpened blade could be seen.

“Whose was this again?” the large wolf-man asked.

“Mine,” said a tall woman exiting the tree line. She was covered in mud from head to toe, and seemed out of breath. Her obvious struggle was not for nothing though, as she held a boar up.

“Good God!” the cat-girl gasped, “Did you catch that with your bare hands!?”

“Yup,” the woman said shortly.

Metal walked up to her and put the sword in her hands. What had seemed like a large blade in his grip was a much smaller one in hers. “Here you go, Earth.”

Not much more was said as the stars shined overhead. A few more conversations popped up, but for the most part people were going to sleep to rest for the coming days.

Time clicked her locket shut just as a large rock landed beside her with a crash. Her hiding spot wasn’t very good, but of all the possible futures she had already seen of this fight, it was the most preferable. She herself couldn’t fight, she knew that already. Not only was she bad at it and would get under everyone’s feet, but she needed to stay alive. She was a crucial part of the plan, and wouldn’t be needed until the very end. Quickly she moved to hug the recently fallen boulder, knowing that this was the only way to avoi- CRASH! The second one hit right on schedule, sandwiching the small rabbit between two large rocks. She yelped a little in pain and pulled her tail out from under the one that just fell.

Now all she had to do was wait, and duck her head down until the third rock would fall and seal her little pile of protective rocks closed.

On the other side of the barrier, the fight was in full swing. Eleven people were hacking wildly at whips, snares, spikes, and swords of darkness all controlled by a single woman in her fifties. She had grown immensely powerful over her many years of training, and her lust for power fueled her strength even more.

One particularly large tendril of darkness latched onto Death’s ankle and turned her upside-down. Before she had a chance to react, several more swarmed and disarmed her. She shrieked in pain as the darkness tightened around her limbs and broke the bones. Now completely unable to struggle, she screamed as another one wrapped around her chest and began to crush her ribcage.

Mind whirled around from where he was fighting the darkness and tried to run to Death to protect her. His mistake was what sealed both of their lives ending instead of only his fiancée’s. He was caught by a snare of darkness and tripped, allowing the shadows to completely cover and incapacitate him. Both were crushed, and Death was dropped. The shadows retracted to focus on the more pressing matter of the remaining attackers.

Both struggling to move, and on their last few breaths, the lovers crawled towards each other and managed to reach out just enough to touch fingertips before losing the ability to move anymore. Tears rolled down their cheeks as they uttered their last farewells to each other. Death closed her eyes first, and as she let her element consume her, she let out one last burst of power. Her ability allowed her to kill the pain of those she wished to, so she thought of all of her friends now fighting the darkness.

For Mind’s final minute, locked in his stare at his love, he felt no pain. He came to accept his fate and he too closed his eyes. His final wish was to link the others’ thoughts so that they could predict each others’ movements and fight the dark witch more effectively together.

As his last breath was drawn, the link was established. It would last several hours, after which time every last trace of him being Mind would be gone.

Aria Harss and Ivan Tweedsley left the world that day, their last act to help protect the very plane of existence they were being removed from.

Time briefly mourned her two companions. Nobody else yet had the time to spare, where she always had some. They were still fighting, strengthened by the lack of pain and mental link.

Earth hurled a boulder from a nearby stack at the wall of churning shadows, but it was knocked back. At great speed it fell on top of the rocks sealing the rabbit-girl in for another two hour wait. With a sigh, she looked into her watch to once again review what she was meant to do, to once again see three more of her friends die, and to once again see that it was not an everlasting solution, and that in three thousand years time, their enemy would rise again, and her fellow elements, under new guises, would have to reform.

Darkness stumbled back, bringing another shield of darkness in front of herself in vain. The shield was quickly broken once again by Fire. “Face it old woman, your time is up,” he said.

“No! I will not be defeated!” the elderly woman cried out as Force threw her to the ground.

“Oh, please, you were always destined to lose,” Mystery taunted, her tail flicking back and forth in excitement at having finally bested the enemy. “Time’s told me all about it.”

“We should get her out now,” Earth stated.

“Yes. You do that. Fire and I will hold the old bag down,” Force said. The small boy held the woman down with his power while Fire made a net of bright flames over her to nullify her darkness.

“It’d be better if we could actually get Light to help... For once,” Wind hissed.

Fire’s eye twitched. “What? You saying I’m not good enough to hold her down? You challenging me, Mister Head-of-air?”

Wind sighed. “My God, Fire, can you not bring up your hatred of me at least once in your life? We’re trying to save the world and all you can focus on is the fact that I-”

“Enough!” Earth shouted as she started lifting the rocks covering Time away.

“Yeah, seriously,” Mystery chimed in, “We may have lost our leader during the battle, but that doesn’t mean we can just fall apart like this.”

Earth finished moving the boulders and Time emerged from the dust. She coughed, then sneezed, then stumbled forwards. “Wow... Two hours between large boulders is less comfortable than you’d think,” she joked, trying to ignore the five bodies of her fallen companions. “So... It’s time to seal her up?”

“Yes...” Water said in a weak voice. He was crouched over Life with his head hanging in defeat. “She was so... Kind... She didn’t deserve to die... None of them did,” he cried.

The entire group fell silent.

“Hey... It happens to everyone,” Mystery tried to comfort, her face turning from a snarky expression to one of empathy and sadness. “Some’s time is just... shorter. I’m sure they’re in a better place now. And... We’ll give them a proper send-off.”

“Yeah...” Force added, “And I’m sure they’re better off where they are. I mean... Dea- Aria’s certainly right at home.”

A moment more of silent mourning for the losses of their fellow elementals passed before it was cut by the raspy voice of the old woman. “Oh, cut the theatrics. You young twats have no right to be that caught up in emotions about someone you met just a-” The woman found her mouth full of dirt.

“Quiet,” Earth commanded.

Time brought her eyes up off of the floor, and cleared her throat. “I should get to finishing our task...” she announced, taking a step towards the element of darkness.

The dirt in the woman’s mouth was spat aside, and she snarled. “Don’t you touch me with your gnarly little paws, you sorry excuse for an element.”

“I won’t touch you,” Time said simply, taking out her locket. “Uhm... Met-” she cut herself off, realizing that Metal was dead. “Earth, can you pile enough rocks around her that Force can let her go? I need to be the only one in here for this to work.”

“Yes,” Earth said, moving rocks of all sizes over, and burying all of the woman but her head.

“Thank you. Now... Force, Fire, let her go,” Time instructed, “And all of you, get out of here. The entrance is sealed, so Mystery, do your thing.”

“Yes ma’am,” the cat replied with a purr. “Though, I’ve only done this a few times...”

“It’s better than trying to spend hours digging our way out,” Wind said distantly.

“I could,” Earth stated.

“Well, alright. An hour,” Wind corrected himself, biting into the words.

“Yes, well, time is of the essence,” the rabbit-girl said with a wink.

“Yes. It is,” Mystery said, managing a light giggle despite the depressing atmosphere of the room. “Wait... Without Mind here to establish communication with John, how are we going to tell him that he needs to remove the ring?”

“Don’t worry, I’ve already told my brother an exact time that he needs to remove it at if there’s no link,” Time said.

“Oh, well, that’s a relief. When is that time?” the cat-girl asked.

“In two minutes, so you’d better get ready,” Time instructed. “Here, can you hold this?” she added, hanging her locket around Mystery’s neck.

“Yes, let’s do that,” The cat said ushering everyone to the center of the room and joining hands with all of them. “Wait! How are you getting out?” she asked, snapping her head around to look at the bunny.

“I...” Time looked down at the ground, tears pricked at the corners of her eyes. “I’m not...” She had already come to accept the idea that she was not going to be able to celebrate the victory with the others. In order to make this pocket of time last for as long as possible, she had to die.

“What!? Time, no!” Mystery cried out, trying to break away from the circle, but just as she started to turn and let go, there was a flash of light, and the six in the circle disappeared.

“I’m sorry, Mystery, but this is the only way it’s allowed to be,” Time whispered to the empty air.

“Oh, spare me,” Darkness said, rolling her eyes. “Why don’t you just kill me anyways? I wouldn’t hesitate to.”

“Because,” Time said as she turned to face the old woman, “Then darkness would still plague the earth in ten years when your heir comes to maturation.”

The woman spat in response. “I have no heir.”

“Of course you do. Every element does. I’ve seen it enough times,” Time replied, taking some enchanted chalk out of her satchel, and starting to draw a large circle around the two of them. As she etched the white dust into the ground, it started throwing a blue light.

“I have no sons or daughters,” Darkness argued.

“Neither have I. And neither did my cousin who I inherited this from,” Time said. “I assume that my heir is going to be my brother.”

“But I took care to kill everyone in my family before they killed me to steal my power!” the old woman shrieked, unwilling to admit that her logic was less than the small rabbit-girl who stood around her drawing complex lines on the ground.

“Your gift will find its next most rightful heir eventually. And it will corrupt him just as it corrupted you,” Time said knowingly. “Remember, I can see the future of anyone I please, including you.”

“No! I refuse to believe this!” the woman screamed.

“Then don’t. It doesn’t matter anyways.” Time finished the last line and shrugged. She walked to the spot in the circle designated for her, and stood facing Darkness. “I won’t see you ever again. My several-greats grandnephew will, but my bones will be a thousand years old by the time you wake up from this sleep.”

“A thousand years!? How is that even possible? No! I refuse to let you do this! You will not do this!” Darkness screamed, thrashing her head around in a feeble attempt to free herself.

Time didn’t respond, and instead started chanting in some odd language, causing the chalk etched into the ground to glow even stronger.

John looked at the ring he was wearing a moment ago with curiosity in his eyes. “Well, she said to take it off and put it back on... But... Eh, what would that even do?” He examined it for several moments more before finally deciding to put it back on.

The six who had escaped the cavern appeared in a circle around him, and he jumped in surprise, and turned in circles. “Oh! What the-? Where did you all come from?”

Mystery instantly fell to her knees in tears. “No! No...”

“Uh... Fer- er, Mystery?” John asked. “What’s wrong?”

Water let go of the hands of Force and Earth, walked up to John, and rested his hand on the rabbit-man’s shoulder. His eyes were red from tears. “Your sister... Won’t be returning,” he said carefully.

“What? Why not? She didn’t... Die... Did she!?” John asked, desperation lining his voice. “Where is she? Where are the others?”

Wind sighed, and spoke next, “She’s not dead, but she’s staying behind to keep Darkness sealed away.”

“But Sean, Hrr’Ta, Katie, Aria, and Ivan... Didn’t make it,” Fire added.

John’s heart sank. Despair was thoroughly visible on his face. “So...” he began, but couldn’t finish.

Force kneeled down beside Mystery, and carefully took Time’s locket off her neck. He stood up and walked a few steps over to John, and gave it to him. “I think Tina wants you to have this, Time,” he said, choking on the implication of the words.

A long moment of silence followed, as John shakily took the golden locket and draped it around his neck. Tears streamed down his face as he tried to keep composed.

It seemed like hours had passed before the silence was broken. Earth spoke clearly, though quietly. “We need to finish our job.”

Wind cleared his throat. “Yes.”

Fire rose from where he was seated on the ground. “For once, I’m in the same boat as Air-head.”

“I agree,” Water said, “we need to start the cleanup.”

Force rested a hand lightly on Mystery’s back. “Come on, we need to go find the new Mind so you can do your part,” he said softly.

The cat-girl silently stood, hugged Force, and started walking away.

Earth was the next to leave. Water waited a few moments, but he then also left. Wind followed Water, and soon it was only Force, Fire, and John standing in the field in front of the rabbit-man’s house.

“What am I supposed to do?” John asked.

“Live your life,” Fire said simply. “We don’t need Time for cleanup, and there’re no evils to fight anymore.”

“But...” John tried to protest.

“No buts. Oh, and we’ve all agreed that the world is not to know about... This,” Fire said, making a small flame in his palm. “Not even our families. We don’t need this power, and it would be better if the world could forget.”

Force nodded. “I’m going to go do my part now, he said, turning to leave. He ran in the direction Mystery had walked off in, leaving Fire and John alone.

“So... I suppose you have to leave as well,” John said distantly.

“No, actually,” Fire replied.

“No?” John was slightly taken aback.

“Well, what can a guy who controls fire do to help clean stuff up? Nothing.” The fox-man shrugged.

“Well... I guess not...” John said. After a moment of thought, he asked, “Would you like to join me for some tea?”

“I guess, sure,” Fire replied.

Quietly, the two anthros turned, and started walking towards the house. They disappeared inside, and the world went silent.

Asset Lore
Ancient Elementals
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