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Hi guys, I've been out of it for a while, but now I'm back and I am raring to go for two new projects, both art collab based, this one being a Zelda collab, dedicated entirely to the Zelda time-line, according to the Hyrule Historia. A Collab dedicated to the moments that stand out to us in each and ever Zelda game, which will be played out in their sequenced order. Scenes such as Link leaving Saria to venture out in Hyrule in Ocarina of Time. Midna when she destroys the Mirror in Twilight.
Without a doubt this flash will be the largest and biggest Zelda collab done on Newgrounds as I am to get as much as humanly possible into this, which means if I have to do the flash in two parts, I will, but I really aim to go all out there with this and I am asking each and everyone of you to help out.
Artists - (Naturally)
Musicians - (I fancy having remixed Zelda tunes playing, can be original works or those that you have already done)
Animators and anyone experienced enough with flash to help me put this all together, as I have no flash and no experience)
Even voice actors are welcome to voice said illustrations.
I really aim to do this and want to get it out, releasing it way after E3 and include some Wii U zelda based illustrations too if possible, you know mock ups of the newly titled Zelda game and more.
I can't do this without you, so please get in touch today.
Good arvo to one and all,
Given the enjoyment of Releasing Death has a Sound, I have made a follow-up film to continue my exploits in the Filming world, I have even made a trailer for a series I will be doing here on Facebook and as always, I will be interested in hearing what you think of my work.
Good arvo to one and all,
today I made the leap from being a writer/animator to writer/director as I have just released my first ever short film, based on a unique screenplay, and with this joy flowing through me, I wanted to share my creation with the people of Newgrounds and get your feedback on it.
It does contain violence and murder, so no one under the age of 15 should watch, other than that, enjoy.
Good afternoon (or morning) to one and all,
due to always getting great feedback whenever I post things on this forum, I am posting something new today, something which started as screenplay for a short film I was going to shoot, but due to some of the feedback I got on the screenplay, I have taken to trying to turn it into a book, so below I have put page one and I will be most interested in seeing what you all think of it:
Death Has a Sound: Written by me
Death has a sound and it sounds like this: "Click."
To any normal person it is a normal sound, a normal act of someone clicking their fingers, snapping them if you will, but believe me when I say that whenever I click my fingers, it is not me engaging in a normal act, it is me marking the passing of another soul for once again the Reaper has come and another human life has ended. There are those who would consider my clicking to be morbid, but to those who know better, they know I do it because I have to, it is part of the condition I suffer from, a condition I was born with.
Ever since I was a young boy I had always felt too much and it wasn't till a few years later did I discover that I was born with the psychic ability to feel the feelings and emotions of others, but my skill was not limited, my ability to read others pain and happiness was just the beginning, I soon learned to develop it and become the all powerful person I am today, all thanks to the Death's Door Brigade I guess, I gave my life to them and in return, they gave me death.
Yeah I probably should have mentioned that bit of information first, the fact that I am at this moment in time laying on a cold stone slab floor, in a darkened room bleeding to death. I can feel my crimson blood gushing out of the knife wound I've sustained to the abdomen and even now as I lay here dying, I can't help but think one morbid thought.
"All my life I have been able to mark the passing of others, but the one death that is most important to me, my own one, it is the one death that I won't get to click."
It's sad really that even now as I lay with closed eyes, seconds away from death that I still think about my own inability to mark my own passing, but then again it is what being a Death Reader is all about, devoting your entire life to reading, feeling and marking the deaths of others. It is being a Death Reader that attracted the attention of the DDB, a secret society that dates back to the dark ages, an organization dedicated to Death, feeling it, upholding it, even inflicting it.
Essentially it is a cult, a cult made up of Witches, Reapers and Readers and I have been with them for the last decade, serving as a guardian to maintain the balance, but darkness is afoot, some members of the DDB have taken to serving a new Master, a Master who wishes to bring about the end of us all, which brings me to the reason why I lay here dying. I tried to oppose them, to stop them but they are too many and too strong, a Reader like myself is no match for a Reaper, so they through me in chains, whipped me for days on end before after two weeks of relentless torture, a Reaper ushered me into this dark cellar, tied my hands together and shoved me to the floor before at last he rammed the blade of a sharpened dagger into my abdomen.
My killer could have left the blade inside of my but alas no, he did not desire that, so he removed it from me, rather eagerly I might add. With blade in hand he soon vacated the room, leaving me to my fate, but I know he'll be back, back when the last drop of blood has vacated my body and I am unable to breathe, for like my heart, my lungs will cease to work.
I can feel it now, the cold hand of death behind me, ready to place itself upon my shoulder, it won't be long now, I will soon be with the ones I've lost and somewhere out there, in the world we live in, there is Reader, ready to read my death, ready to click their fingers before I succumb to the end, which awaits me, but at least I can say that I die with no regrets, there isn't anything that I can think of that I wish I had done differently, for I know that my murder will soon be avenged that someone out there will discover the truth and they will stop the mutinous DDB members and now I must part, for my time here is done, so get ready to here a click, but before I go, my name is...
A couple of months ago I started writing a novel and uploading bits of it on NG, well now the Novel is completed and is uploaded online and can be found on this site: http://www.worthyofpublishing.com/book.asp?book_
So if you've got the time to check it out, I greatly appreciate that, and for those of you who don't know what it is about, I'll tell you:
Set in a world much unlike our own, on a lonesome planet at the end of the universe, an epic between good and evil is about to come to pass. Living in a medieval era, the inhabitants of the world find themselves up against the dreaded Shanzi, vile creatures of pure darkness who seek one thing, the annihilation of that is good and there is only one who can stop them, a young boy by the name of Zach who must Rise up against the forces of darkness and drive them back to the shadow existence from whence they came.
Synopis & MS Story Development:
The Planet under threat of destruction from the wicked Shanzi is the planet Oceania, a planet much like Earth, except it is even more so a water planet, with even less land for the inhabitants to live and due to the large seas and oceans, the planet's inhabitants are divided across the eleven realms, living on islands that are both small and large.
Our story begins when Zach, who at this time is a baby arrives in the Mares realm on the Isle of Iris, an Island that is home to the Watcher Mako, Watchers are proud warriors and the defenders against evil, especially their arch nemesis the Shanzi, aka the Dark Ones, monsters of many forms, made up of pure darkness and shadow beings of terrible evil that want nothing more then to destroy all life and rule the world.
Upon Zach's arrival on the Isle of Iris, the Shanzi find a way to return to Oceania, bringing new darkness to the world, so it is down to Mako to train young Zach, who is a special boy and according to the Watcher's prophecies, is the saviour and only one who can destroy the Shanzi, so in light of that, Mako spends the next 8 years training his Zach, getting him ready for his mission to vanquish darkness.
Zach is now 8 years old and thanks to Mako, is well trained and highly skilled, but Mako doesn't believe in Zach, he doubts him completely, so due to eavesdropping, Zach overhears Mako's doubts and runs off, only to meet another person on the Island, the Spirit of Iris, aka Shimay the Phantom, who knows all about Zach and begins training him, Zach begins to grow greatly, becoming the hero he is meant to be and because of his new powers, another of Zach's educators, Izal the large 4 foot telepathic Raven believes Zach could be one of the Legendary Elohim, the elite Watchers who were true soldiers and unbeatable in battle and as the ROTE Series progresses, it comes into light that Zach is Elohim and is the first of a new breed and sets out to find others like him and helps them achieve their full potential and rally together to defeat the Shanzi once and for all.
As the story progress, Shimay is actually revealed to be a villain and is in actual fact Shanzi, so Zach has to set out on a small journey to ready himself for his true showdown with the Evil tyrant of the novel and in his travel he encounters a goblin camp that has taken children prisoner, so Zach then frees the children, defeats the goblins and their ruler, the Goblin King, who is also another Shanzi and it is upon defeating the shadow being that Zach is well on his way to unlocking his Elohim side just before his final showdown battle with Shimay.
The story ends with Shimay's defeat as Zach is able to overcome the evil Dark One, only to have Shimay have the last laugh as he was successful in opening the temple of the Shanzi, allowing many more Shanzi to escape and plague the world and with the Temple being open, Shimay has made it possible for the Shanzi King Lord Darkari to escape, which novel 2 (The Eye of Mares) will be about, as Zach must prepare for a new quest and sets out to hunt down the Shanzi that escaped and stop the evil King before he can destroy the world.
Once again, thank you for your time.
The Results are In
Inside the cage, Izal had nothing else to do but watch the events, watch Mako and Zach clash before Zach had darted off into the woods. The whole thing with him and Mako attacking Zach, was a training session, an important training session. Ever since that day down on the beach, the Watcher's education had begun and now after all the years that have passed, this important training session had come, for it is the exam that would determine if Zach would advance to the next stage.
"Come out, come out where ever you are!" Mako calls out as his eyes observe the trees.
Just like he did minutes before with Izal, Zach had to the trees, running along along the branches and leaping from tree to tree before he suddenly leaped up into the sky, emerging from the trees and appearing high above the clearing before landing behind Mako, who Zach delivered a hard double kick to Mako's spine, who instead of falling to the floor, managed to remain standing and shake off the attack.
Continuing to act, Zack quickly back-flipped, only to then dive forwards, flinging himself into his Sensei, tackling him to the dirt before throwing a well-aimed kick at the wooden Longsword, knocking it away and then pulled his own sword in and put the wooden edge against Mako's throat.
"Was that what you wanted to see?" Zach questions.
"Yes it was." Mako flashes a quick smile to Zach.
Izal calls out, just in case the two swordsman had forgotten about him.
"Now our session is done for today, so how about you let me up?"
Zach pulls his sword away and then helps his mentor up before he runs over to where the wooden Longsword landed, picks it up and then passes it to Mako.
"I suppose I should let Easel out now?" Zach asks, saying the raven't name wrong.
"Izal," Mako corrects.
"What did I say?"
"Easel." Mako informs.
"Oh, sorry." Zach apologizes.
"Amazing. You can speak six languages fluently and yet, even now you still can't say a simple name." Mako comments as he and Zach walk to the cage. "Do me a favour, say Eyes," Mako instructs.
"Eyes." Zach repeats.
"Now say All."
"Now say both words together."
"Good, now say the two words a little faster."
"Izal," Zach says, finally getting the name right.
"There you go, you did it."
"Thank you Master." Zach bows gracefully.
"Now if you remember that, you will never get our friend's name wrong again."
"Izal." Zach repeats as he walks over to the cage and opens it, letting the animal out before he pets him. "I hope I didn't hurt you!" Zach says to Izal.
"You didn't." Izal replies to the young lad, using the same telepathic link he has with Mako, with Zach.
"What do you think of the cage?" Mako questions as he looks towards the wooden prison that Zach himself had built.
"It's very good, the door locked fine and the cage held. Refusing to break and showed no weaknesses." Izal reports. "It's a fine piece of woodwork."
"There you have it, Izal approves of your cage building skills. Now let us move onto the others." Mako looks at the wooden Longsword and checks it for any damage, but there was none.
Zach and Izal look on intrigued as the Iris Guardian continues to remain silent before he began to voice his opinion.
"Let's see, there's an appropriate blade length of 1 metre. A well crafted point..." Mako places a finger on the pointed edge. "...no signs of damage sustained and it didn't break at any point during our little clash. It held out and took on your fierce, determined strikes with no problems." Mako nods at hi pupil before continuing. "As for the weight, it is spot on and supplies plenty of power and is quite the versatile weapon. Based on my observations, I can honestly say you have hand crafted a superb wooden sword, so well done."
Izal looks to Zach, who is happy with the review of the sword.
"Well done kid." The raven says, only for Zach to hear.
"Now the bow, bring it to me will you?" Mako asks.
Zach nods his head and performs a quick bow before dating off to where Mako had placed the wooden bow on the ground, seconds before their battle and picks it up. With it in hand, he runs over to older Watcher and hands it to him.
"Here you are Master."
"Thank you Zach, now let's see..." Mako says as he begins to examine the bow before voicing his comments. "...the shape of it is nothing less than perfect and the elasticity can not be any better. It's nice and light with plenty of punch. This is a good bow and is worthy of putting in a shop to sell and sell it would. With my observation over, I can say that on your carpentry skills you pass, after three years you have learned a lot, but there is more for you to learn.
"Yes Master." Zach was happy, ever since the age of five, woodwork had became a very important part of his learning.
"On carpentry you have proven yourself to start your learning of how to manufacture longbows, crossbows and much more. As for your stamina and skill, you were clever enough to evade both Izal and myself by taking to the trees, where you used your speed and strength to move around the trees and overcome us. So on stamina and your own personal skill, you pass." Mako explains happily.
"Two for two kid, not bad." Izal adds.
"As for written exams..."
"Here we go." Izal says only to Zach."
"...that you had taken this morning and all throughout this week..." Mako pauses to look at Zach's wide-eyed face. "...I can now reveal that your passed on all six language exams and you passed your exams on carpentry theory, history and navigational studies, as well. So that's another pass for you, well done. Now let's talk sword skills."
"Brace yourself kid." Izal says.
"You swing with no hesitation, you possess a perfect timing to defending yourself and when in your hand, it is like the sword becomes an extension of your own arm and you exercise perfect control. It is because of all the reasons I have just mentioned that I have no other choice but..." Mako grins as he cuts himself off, ending his speech short to create a bit of tension before resuming. "...to pass you. Well done Zach, you have passed all the factors and have earned the rank of a Watcher's Apprentice and are no more just a Student."
"Well done kid." The raven congratulates.
"Thank you Master Mako! Thank you Master Izal!" Zach cries overjoyed as he hugs both man and bird. He was most overjoyed about the fact that Mako approved of his sword skills.
From the moment he turned three, a wooden sword was placed in his hands and since that day, he would spend twenty one hours a week practicing and perfecting his swordsmanship.
"You have worked hard Zach, I know I push you, but as you have proved this week, all your hard training has paid off."
"I know Master," Zach bows respectively to the two beings that had been there for him his entire life, every step of the way.
"Let's go to the house, you can have the rest of the day off."
"I appreciate that, I do, but I think I'll stay here for a bit longer, do a bit of practicing. Work on my archery for a bit." Zach replies, eager to train some more.
"You sure?" Mako asks.
"In that case, you'll be needing these then." Mako passes his protégée the bow and the quiver containing the arrows that he had on his back.
"Thank you Master." Zach replies gracefully.
"Just don't overdo it and don't be too long. Izal and I will be up at the house preparing dinner."
"I'll see you later then," Zach says before he starts to head towards the trees.
"Oh, before I forget." Mako calls out.
"Yeah?" Zach asks as he turns towards the man and the bird.
"I have a surprise for you up at the house."
"What kind of surprise?" Zach asks interested.
"You'll find out soon enough. See you later." Without another word said, Mako grabbed hold of one of Izal's legs before the two of them flew off towards the house, leaving Zach to practise his archery skills.
Fighting in The Forest
A few more years have passed and many a development has taken place on the Isle of Iris. Zach is now eight years and seven months old and has more than doubled in height, he now stands at a full height of 4'8. His full head of blond hair was now even brighter and messier than before, but the joyful smile remained.
He continued to wear a brown tunic much like the one he had when he was younger, but this one was obviously much bigger and fitted the older Zach perfectly. On his feet he wore especially made black leather boots to accommodate the size of his feet.
His once perfect pale skin, was now more pink in colour and featured a slight tan in places. He has a few moles on his body and a number of scratches and scars all over his body that he had gathered over the last few years.
On his left arm, on the upper area of his arm, which his tunic's sleeve usually covers, he now bares a mark that ranges from his left bicep to his left tricep. The mark, which looks more like a tattoo, is a single colour, a shade of black that is darker than the night's sky and is in the form of a perfect circle. To one side of it is a crescent moon and seated in the heart of the circle, touching the top and four other areas of the circle, was a five star pentacle.
The mark upon Zach's arm, is the Mark of the Shanzi, it is a mark that burns itself upon the skin of a Child of Tormenta, whenever there was a strong presence of the Dark Ones, in the world. Zach received his mark just a few hours after he spoke he first word.
During the last five years, a war had started in a far off Realm, only to end after a duration of 21 months as the whole Realm under the control of the Shanzi. The Dark Ones now had their foothold on the world and were readying their attacks on the other Realms.
The sky above Iris was cloudy, but the sun was visible and able to bring some light down unto the world. Standing amongst the Nogmal trees in the forest area of Iris, was none other than Zach himself. In his right hand he gripped firmly on the single-handle, of his 30 inch long, pointed end, wooden sword.
Zach's eyelids were shut and his ears were twitching, responding to every noise that he could hear. The child was somewhat masculine in appearance and stood perfectly still, his nose and mouth drew in no air as he held his breath, not even his chest was moving, but inside his chest, his heart continued to beat, but very, very slowly.
All around him, Zach could hear the snaps of twigs, the rustling of leaves, the calls and tweets of the local birds and on his skin he could feel the soft gentle breeze of the wind.
Just then he heard the noise he was listening out for, the sound of a spring, which was followed by a wooden target emerging from the trees to Zach's left. His eyes shoot open as he runs towards the target before he leaps over it and then unleashes a volley of strikes. One strike was vertical, slicing down the spine of the target, where as the other two were both horizontal, each one hitting either side of the head.
Zach turns to his right and sees Izal flying towards him, judging by the speed the bird was flying, Zach figured he must have done something wrong. Izal was now ten feet away and he showed no signs of stopping, he was coming straight for Zach.
Moving as quickly as he could, Zach wastes no time in diving off to his right, he only just successfully dodged the raven, who went on to fly straight into the target, smashing it to bits.
Now in pain, Izal showed no desire of slowing, but instead had choose to continue to soar, flying straight for Zach, who continued to prove to be light on his feet as he leaped up onto a tree and started to climb it in his own special way. He leaped from one branch onto another and onto another before he started to jump from tree to tree.
With Izal hot on his heels, Zach was moving to the best of his abilities, leaping and running, running along the longer branches and jumping when he could run no more. His breathing was now somewhat hard and his heart was racing, pumping blood like there was no tomorrow, but because Izal kept on coming, Zach knew he must keep on going too, he had no other choice.
He knew he needed to gain some height, but first he would need to lose some, so to trick Izal, he jumped forwards only to grab hold of the thin branch he just left and swung himself back onto it, only to back-flip off and land on a lower branch of a shorter tree.
From his new position, Zach leaped to the closet tree and kicked himself up and away towards another tree, giving him some of the needed height he required before he suddenly side-flipped off the branch he just landed on and began to fall, although it was a well timed fall, which saw him land comfortably on the back of Izal who at that time was flying below Zach before he flipped off the branch.
Now in control of the relentless bird, Zach forced him to fly back down to the ground. Izal wasn't enjoying having a passenger on this flight, especially a passenger that had taken control and was now piloting the animal like an aircraft. Zach manoeuvred the raven to make it fly out of the forest-like area and steered him into a clearing where a decent sized wooden cage sat.
In that moment Izal knew what Zach was up to, but it was too late, Zach had leaped up off the animal, which flew straight into the cage. Once his prey was inside, Zach kicked the door shut and locked it, trapping the animal.
"That fast enough for you?" Zach asks in his youthful, boyish, confident voice as he flashes a warm, kind hearted smile. The chosen language that he speaks is the Mari language that Mako taught him. His first language and the language he does most of his talking in.
Confined in the cage, Izal struggled to break free and escape, but it was no good, the wooden cage was too strong and refused to break.
"Don't struggle, you won't break this cage." Zach announces.
"Now, where's..." Zach stops himself from finishing his own question as he no longer need to ask it, he now knew the answer as he could sense and hear a presence behind. He didn't even need to see the slight movement in the trees to confirm his suspicions, but he still noticed it regardless.
Zach tightened his grip on his wooded weapon and slashed out at an arrow that shot out of the trees, aimed for none other than Zach, who's wooden sword broke the arrow in half.
"Hello Mako." Zach says as he twirls the sword in his hand before swiping at a second arrow that was fired at him.
Zach looked to the cage with the imprisoned Izal, the raven's eyes were green, so he knew the animal was up to something, something that he was talking to Izal about. Just then a third arrow was fired at the cage, heading for the locking mechanism.
"Oh no you don't!" Zach leaps towards the arrow and lets loose with a kick, his time was perfect as he hits the arrow at the right time and sends it off in another direction, giving it no other choice but to hit a Nogmal tree.
Izal flaps his wings and looks on at Zach, who is standing proudly as he wears a happy grin.
"We can do this all day. How about coming out to face me?" Zach calls out to the trees.
Mako steps out into the clearing, in his hands he is holding a Nogmal made bow, while on his back he has a quiver containing twenty two arrows.
Zach looks at the hand crafted weapon that Mako was armed with, he recognised the curves and the overall design. The bow was one that Zach himself had made upon his Master's instruction.
"I see you're using my own bow against me." Zach can't help but look at his own bow, a weapon that projects arrows powered by its elasticity.
"You're right, perhaps I should use one of your own swords instead." As Mako made his reply in Mari, he places the Nogmal bow down on the ground before he pulls out a wooden Long sword that up until that moment, had been sitting in a sheath. With a weapon in hand, Mako runs at his young student.
Zach side-steps one swing, jumps over the second swing and then ducks under the third before he started to let out a few swings of his one, which Mako successfully counted against.
"You'll have to do better than that!" Mako boasts.
Upon his Master's command, Zach unleashes a volley of swipes with his Nogmal sword once more, unleashing slashes that were diagonal, vertical and even horizontal, but being the superior swordsman that Mako is, Mako was able to shield and defend himself masterfully.
"A real target is harder to hit hey Zach." Mako mocks.
"Ah! But you forget Master..." Zach paused to leap over Mako and kick him in the back before swinging low with his sword, striking Mako's legs, causing him to collapse to the floor.
"...I'm faster than you."
Mako leaps up onto his feet and dusts himself off. "That's a good move, an appropriate use of a speed boost."
"I learned from the best." Zach brags.
"I am glad that you remember what I had told you before, sword skills are very important, but against a more skilled or powerful opponent..."
"...sword skills aren't enough, fighting skills and good timing are just as important and are vital abilities to have." Zach says, finishing his mentor's sentence.
"Very good, now remember, I don't want to see what you can do with a sword, I want to see what you can do."
Zach's grip tightens once again before he runs to his trainer, except instead of going for an attack, he jumps to the side and runs into the forest, hiding amongst the trees. He wasn't escaping or being a coward, but was actually trying out a tactic he had just devised that would win him the battle.
Sun, Sea, Sand & Shanzi
Two years have past since the night Mako and Izal discovered the baby Zach on the beach and in that time, the infant boy had grew to become a toddler. He was now a toddler with a full head of blond curly hair that was forever messy and had hardened blue eyes that was full of strength and determination.
As time progressed man and bird had learned that the sleeping baby was quite a lively character. Noisy, talkative in a baby way, speaking a language of gurgling and cooing. He always wore a cheeky, mischievous grin and was forever getting into mischief. Whenever left unattended little Zach would waste no time in escaping from the house or where ever else he was on the Island. His tutors couldn't look away for even a second because a second was all it took for Zach to crawl away, putting as much distance between him and his minders as he possibly could.
Originally he would only make 10 feet before he was caught, but as he got bigger and stronger, he would get even further. On a number of occasions, Mako and Izal would have to search the entire Island just to try and find Zach, all because he would crawl and crawl, sometimes he would be found down on the volcano's slope and other times Zach would be found playing on Dead Man's Beach. Then there were the times that he was found amongst the Nogmal trees, he was a child who brought his two carers a lot of stress and worry.
Most recently Zach had taken to climbing, climbing up anything he saw, it didn't matter if it was Mako's legs, a table, a stool or even climbing onto Izal's back, wanting to go for a ride. On some days he even attempted to climb Mako's house, but his most favourite thing to climb was the Nogmal trees. He would get great joy out of scaling his way up the large living objects and he had no fear of it doing so either, which was only natural.
Where he originally comes from, Mantos Island, the people of Mantos were well known as people of the trees. Even though they were surrounded by water and were notorious fisherman, as well as highly experienced free-divers, the people of Mantos preferred to be people of the forest. It is living in the forests of Mantos that they became tremendous tree-climbers and practised archers, archers capable of making shots no other could, which in itself is a great ability to possess for a Watcher in the making.
As for Mako, he had spent most of the time that had passed, either minding young Zach or working with wood. As well as being able to fight, strategically plan and speak the many languages of Oceania, Watchers in the making would also be taught in the art of carpentry, which allowed them to become accomplished bowyers of making high quality bows and long bows.
They would also become so talented through would work that they could make wooden swords, shields, targets, houses and much more. Trainee Watchers would also learn to become blacksmiths as well, thus enabling them to forge some of the finest weaponry to ever be made, they could also fabricate great shields. The education of a Watcher was and still is the best education a person could receive in all of Oceania and it is young Zach who is lucky enough to receive such an education.
Mako was spending the majority of his time fixing up to his house, mending his little armada of boat, which is kept hidden in a concealed cave down by Dead Man's Beach. He was also busy making a large quantity of wooden targets, which Zach would soon be destroying when his physical training would begin. Also Mako had made a cot for Zach to sleep in and a bed that he would soon be needing as he grows and grows.
Izal however had spent the first eight months of the two years that passed, flying from Island to Island. Some Watchers were easily enough to locate, but some were a little tricky due to them taking to the Seas whether it was to visit a neighbouring Island, or they had to undergo a new adventure of some Importance, but Island to Island, Realm to Realm, Izal had located them all, travelling the entire world before making his return to Iris.
Back on the Isle of Iris, Izal had gone to spend his days being a minder to Zach, watching him whenever Mako was unable to, but as vigilant as he was, Zach was always able to make his escape.
On this Summer's days, the sky was clear of cloud and the sun sat high up, shining bright as it cast down its glorious rays. After weeks of relentless non-stop work, Mako felt like he deserved a day of rest, so on his day-off he carried young Zach down to the Island's beach, where Izal had come to join them.
The Sea was flat calm and Mako was laid out on a smooth flat boulder, he was dressed in his usual fashion of wearing a violet tunic and the sun was high above him. With watchful eyes he looked on at the toddler, dressed in a fitting brown tunic, who was crawling around in the sand at the water's edge, chasing after Izal who was playing with him.
The winged animal would stand still long enough for Zach to get close enough, but the second he would reach out to grab hold of the bird, Izal would flutter his wings and fly over to another part of the beach and the game would start all over again. No matter how many times this happened though, little Zach would never cry or get upset, he would just laugh his boyish, joyful laugh and keep on smiling as he kept on trying.
Upon hearing his friend's call, Mako paid close attention to the bird and noticed that the eyes were green, which Mako knew that this meant that Izal desired to speak.
"The boy is relentless." Izal comments.
"I can see that."
"He shows no sign of tiring and never gets disheartened."
"Two very good qualities for one tasked with the challenged that await a Watcher in the making."
"His speed is increasing," Izal states before moving over to another area as Zach was getting a little too close.
Mako sits up and continues to watch the display, the little game was something that Izal and Zach had done many a time, in fact they would do it every day as a sort of early training tactic. Zach is too young for any other type of training session, whether it was wielding a sword, an axe, learning archery or any other type physical and mental activity that he just isn't ready to do just yet. It is because of that Izal devised this little game as a way to train Zach's stamina, increase his speed, test his determination and hope to extinguish some of his never ending energy, so all could sleep better at night. With every day they played the game, Zach was always improving.
"His speed is increasing, you're quite right," Mako says, voicing out his observations. "There's still room for improvement though."
"True." As he made his one word reply, Izal took his eyes away from Zach and looked to Mako, who met his gaze.
With Izal's concentration elsewhere, Zach would use the following seconds to the best of his ability, he pushed himself up, standing on his own to feet before he ran at a speed that neither Mako or Izal knew he possessed and ran towards Izal. In the time it takes to blink, Zach had closed the distance and leaped up onto Izal's back.
Mako could not believe what he had just witnessed out of the corner of his eyes, he didn't know Zach was now walking, let alone be able to run, although it does explain how he was always able to escape as fast as he can.
Izal however was jumping around, flapping his wings as he gently tried to get Zach off his back, who at that moment, was laughing victoriously.
"A little help here if you wouldn't mind!" Izal calls out.
Mako lets out a short chuckle before he leaps from his rock and lands beside the light footed, leaping raven. The way Izal was hopping about resembled a crazed interpretive dance.
Taking a gentle approach, Mako gingerly reached out and scooped up the young Zach, taking him up into his arms before carrying him over to another part of the beach.
"Come on trouble, lets give Uncle Izal a rest."
A happy chuckle was the reply that the Guardian received.
"Thank you," Izal says appreciatively.
Mako puts Zach down onto the beach so he can crawl around some more before he walks over to Izal, desiring to speak.
"I didn't know Zach could run."
"Neither did I." Izal replies feeling somewhat shocked. "But at least we know now."
"True and it seems that on both feet he is much faster then either of us thought."
"And that he has passed the stage of walking and..." At that moment, Izal's line of thought was interrupted as he watched Zach stand up and start running again, running directly towards Mako and Izal.
"Taking to running and jumping." Mako says, finishing Izal's unfinished thought just before Zach leaped up at Mako, who reacted instinctively and caught him.
"Zach, what's wrong?" Mako asks concerned as he sees the worry and fear on the boy's face.
"Sh, sh, sh..." Zach says, attempting to speak.
Izal looks on interested, as does Mako, this is the moment where Zach would utter his first word.
"Shanzi!" Zach declares, announcing his first ever fully formed word.
"His first word." Izal cries.
"And his first warning." Mako is worried as he looks at the child.
"Warning, how so?"
"It is no coincidence that his first word would be Shanzi, it is a warning and proof that I was right."
"Right about the Shanzi coming."
"And now they are here, they are now among us and young Zach is no way near being ready for them." Mako's eyes harden. "We are now on borrowed time. We'll need to step up his training, start everything even earlier than intended."
"As you wish."
"Let's go, we've got work to do."
The Start of Things to Come
Now past midnight, Mako was still awake and was seated on a three legged stool, besides a four legged wooden table with a square surface, positioned against the wall, making it available for three to sit at.
Inside the first floor of Mako's two storey home, the room was a combination of a kitchen, a dining room and a living room, complete with a fully functioning, stone built fireplace. At that current moment in time a couple of Nogmal logs were placed inside the fireplace as a fierce flame roared, burning the wood as well as it could.
If the wood was just cut and then place inside the fireplace, like you would with a normal log of wood, then it would not burn, but when the log is cut into four pieces, exposing its weaker and burnable inside, then it becomes usable as fire wood, but a very slow burning wood so it helps to have a load of Nogmal leaves on hand to burn in the meantime, to keep the fire going until the wood starts to burn.
The kitchen area of the room was made up on a wooden work surface that runs along the easterly wall. The work surface was home to three units, complete with drawers, doors and handles. The units housed Mako's groceries, his crockery, pots and pans and the drawers contained his cutlery.
On the wall above the kitchen unit are two units mounted to the wall, one to the right and on to the left, leaving the middle area clear. Sitting on the work surface was a pot full of water and a sponge, which Mako would use to wash his utensils. Next to it was a wooden chopping board, used dirty knives and a number of used pots and bowls.
Over on the west side of the room was the dining area, it is where Mako is currently seated, along with two more stools and the table that Mako's bowl of soup was resting on. All along the western wall were a collection of souvenirs gathered during Mako's lifetime. There were wooden and metal shields, Broadswords, Long swords, War Hammers, Arming swords, axes, masks of skulls and animals. There were even a number of hand drawn pictures depicting certain events of Mako's long life.
As for the corner where the west wall meets the south wall, which has two windows built into it, as well as a front door, sits two chests on the floor, and in the chests were a number or weapons and currency, gold and an assortment of jewels.
More pictures were hung on the northern wall, either side of the fireplace and on the floor was a small wooden table, a couple of chairs and at that moment, baby Zach was in his basket. Zach was still sleeping and was placed in his wicker basket, close enough to the fire to benefit from the open flame, but far away enough so that if any embers shot out, they would not land in the basket, setting fire to it and burning Zach.
Sitting closer to the fire was Izal, due to the sheer heat, his feathers were drying in no time and to his right was a wooden rack, which had draped over it, Mako's soaked tunic, which was also drying and in front of the rack was Mako's wet boots.
"How's the fire treating you?" Mako calls out as he reaches for his bowl of soup.
As he sat poised at the table with food in hand, Mako was dressed in a dry violet tunic and like most of the time, his sword was once again in its sheath, resting by his hip. With his right hand he dips his spoon into the soup and raises it to his mouth before taking a mouthful of his vegetable soup. He felt good being both warm and working his way to being well fed.
"It's good, my wings are almost dry." Izal replies contently.
"Good, then maybe we can talk." Mako declares between slurps.
In that moment, Izal had beat his wings and flew over to the table by Mako and landed on one of the unoccupied stools.
"Yes?" Once again Izal's eyes are green.
"The child is very young."
"They always are."
"I doubt we'll have enough time to train him." Mako divulges.
"We'll?" Izal asks.
"I will need your help with this one. I have the feeling that the Shanzi will be coming soon, sooner than they ever have done before."
"What makes you say that?"
"The storm, you've seen what it is like out there. It's been like that every night for the last fortnight."
"Yes, I've noticed that myself." Izal states.
"It doesn't feel like a normal storm, it feels like..."
"Something more?" Izal questions.
"Exactly. It feels like Darkness itself is in it."
"You think the Shanzi will be making their arrival via the storm?"
"I do, they did before. Plus with the arrival of Zach, that's all the proof I need. I believe the Shanzi's presence will be known within a year or two." Master Mako declares as his hard gaze is met evenly by Izal's own steely gaze.
"Then that'`s no time at all."
"I know, by the time Zach will be ready, if he'll be ready, the Shanzi will have a foothold on the world, at least two Realms under their control."
"Hence the reason why you require my aid in his teaching. You intend to teach him harder and faster than any Watcher has ever been trained."
"Exactly right my old friend." Mako grins as he puts his bowl back down on the table, still containing some soup, before he reaches for the stick of bread on the table and breaks off an end.
"No one has ever been trained like that."
"I know, but we don't really have the time for the normal standard of teaching." As Mako makes his reply, he dips his bit of bread into the soup and finishes his statement before taking a couple of bites.
"Then I will help you in every way I can."
"Thank you Izal."
"I hope he's strong enough." Izal can't help but feel very concerned.
"I do too," Mako admits between mouthfuls.
Both man and bird glance over in the direction of young Zach, who is still oblivious to the world as he continues to dream.
"What do you think he's dreaming about?"
Mako gets up from his stool and walks over to the boy in the basket and kneels down beside him. His blanket was pushed away from where Zach had pushed it away as he moved around in his sleep. Extending his hands carefully and slowly, Mako grasps the blanket and pulls it over Zach, covering him better.
"I have no idea, but I hope it's of something good because if I'm right and the Shanzi do come, if this boy is not ready then the world as we know it will become a never ending nightmare."
"Then we will not fail in his training." Izal replies before coming over to join the man and the boy.
"In the morning I will need you to take flight."
"And go where?"
"Everywhere. I need you to deliver a message to the other Watchers for me." Mako says calmly.
"A message, saying what?" Izal quizzes.
Mako walks over to the wooden table by the fire, grabs a piece of parchment and picks up a quill, which he dips into an ink pot full of black ink and scribbles out a message. When he finished, Mako blows his wording dry and reads it over before standing up.
Mako holds the parchment up so that Izal can read the message, which was written:
"The Shanzi are Coming. Be Ready! - Master Mako, Mares Guardian of the Realm, Isle of Iris"
Children of Tormenta
Mako put the letter down and tucked it back into the basket. He knew of Mantos Island, he'd been there before on two different occasions, once when he was very young and the second time was a couple of decades later when Mako found himself participating in a quest of the utmost importance. That was a long time ago now, lost in the past, but it was Mako's last ever journey he had undergone, the last quest he engaged in before reaching his adventure's gripping, climaxing end. At the end of that quest, he returned to Iris and he never left since.
"This child's arrival can mean only one thing." Izal states knowingly.
"Yes, training begins again." Mako turns to the raven and eyes him up.
"I sense a but coming." Mako replies wisely.
"...but it also means that one of the prophecies has now come to pass."
"Prophecy?" Mako questions as he glances back down to little the baby Zach in his basket.
"Think back." Izal subtly communicates.
Upon this instruction, Mako allows his mind to wander backwards, first it reached the code mentioned in the letter.
The code, which is widely known as the "Chosen Law" that came into being two centuries ago and is enforced in seven of the eleven Realms of Oceania, Algean & Mares being two of the seven realms. The Chosen Law was decided upon by earlier on Wacthers, as a means of discovering stronger and more highly skilled warriors, instead of just training every child they took in, only to have many quit on them, giving up because it was too arduous. As for the ones that didn't quit, a number of them had died, through training or participating in a series of deadly trials.
So the Watchers of that time, made a law for a new training and selection process, a process that only first born children are allowed to participate in. First born children would be given up by their families and taken under the wing of the appointed Guardian of the Realm. To a Realm there can be a vast number of Islands and the general of thumb is that each Island is given an appointed Watcher, although there were more Islands that had a trainee Watcher than a full fledged Watcher, but in the modern world today, only a handful of Islands had a Guardian now.
Also to every Realm there is one Island that is designated a Watcher Island, an Island home to Watcher's like Mako, Guardians charged with the duty of training the future Watcher's and were responsible for the entire Realm. Back when the Watchers brought forth their new law, the Guardian of the Realm would sail from Island to Island, taking the first born children from their families and bringing them back to their chosen Island to participate in the training. The problem with this was that once training would start, a few months later the Guardian would have to set off once again, sailing for children to train.
The Watchers then decided that to solve this problem that the Guardian of the Realm, is to remain on their Island for the Sea was a very dangerous place, many would meet their end on the water, it was declared an unnecessary risk so the Guardians would stay on shore, charged with the task of being forever present on their Island, so they could train their students.
As for potential disciples, parents would send their children off however they saw fit, floating them out to sea in baskets, on rafts or in boats, in the hopes that the Seas would carry them to the Lands of the Guardians.
Many children after being sent off were never seen again, but the ones that did, the ones that survived the trials and hardships of the tide, they eventually grew up to become accomplished Watchers. Mako had seen a fair number of children who had made their way to the Isle of Iris and taught them, but it has been quite some time since he had a pupil to educate.
With a quick shake of the head, Mako returned his thoughts back to the present, only to then allow his mind to dart back, scanning his vast memory bank for the memory regarding the prophecy Izal was referring too. Upon reaching its discovery, Mako wasted no time at all in going over it.
The prophecy as mentioned by Izal dates back to a hundred years after the Chosen Law came into being. The teaching Watcher's learned that students hailing from further away, from a different Realm, were different to students who came from neighbouring Islands. For some reason, children who came to the tutors from different Realms, they all seemed to be stronger, smarter, quicker and easier to train.
The Watchers believed that a child who had travelled from Realm to Realm via being carried by the currents of the Seas, would face more perilous danger and be at more risk than an infant who would voyage from Island to Island. Therefore they believed that these "Chosen" children were under the protection of the Goddess Tormenta, the Watchers one and only Goddess and they did not believe in any Gods either. The youngsters kept safe came to be known as the Children of Tormenta and each one of them grew up to become some of the greatest Watchers to ever live, they were also the true vanquishers of the Dark Ones.
Mako himself knows a lot about the Children of Tormenta, he himself is one, he was born in the Abaran Realm and journeyed across the Oceans until at long last, he washed up on the Isle of Iris, where he was then shown the ways of the mighty Guardians and became one of the greatest Watchers to date. Mako was the last Child of Tormenta, out of twenty six special protected infants, he was the last of them that was until the recent arrival of Zach.
It was in times of peace that the Watcher's learned that upon the arrival of a Tormenta's Child, within the years that follow, Darkness would rise up once again, attempting to plunge the world into a new age of shadows and they also learned that the Tormenta's Child, would play a huge role in the Dark One's downfall. It is in that lesson of knowledge that the prophecy was made:
"Come the Arrival of the Chosen, comes the Arrival of the Impending Darkness."
Mako looks to young Zach, who is still sleeping soundly before he moved his concentration and his eyes, to his faithful flapping companion.
"Darkness is coming." Mako's eyes hardened as he spoke.
"Yes, it seems the Shanzi will be making their return."
"Mako winced when he heard his friend say the word Shanzi, it was a word all Watchers knew. Shanzi is a word, a language and a race. Shanzi are the Dark Ones, it's their true name and the name of their language. In every language spoken in all of Oceania, Shanzi has the same translation in all of them, and when translated it means Shadow.
"I just hope this young lad can live up to the prophecy, a lot depends on it." As he spoke, Mako could feel the rain hitting him faster and faster, the downpour or rain was coming quicker.
"Teach him everything you know, that's all you can do. The rest will be up to him." Izal replies knowingly.
"You're right as always my friend."
"The rain is getting worse, as is the storm. We should head inside." Izal tells Mako, imploring him to head for home.
"You're quite right, any chance of a lift?" Mako asks as he scoops up the basket and holds it between the left part of his body and the inside of his left arm, leaving his left hand free to support the bottom of the basket and allowing his right hand to be free to grab hold of one of Izal's legs, if he is willing to give both Mako and Zach a ride.
Instead of answering Mako's question, Izal choose to leave it unanswered as he begun to flap his wings and rise up off the ground before sticking a leg out.
"Thank you my friend." Mako smiles with joy and reaches out with his hand to grab the raven's leg. He made sure his grip was tight before Izal flapped his wings powerfully and powered his way high up into the sky, soaring above the beach before ascending above the volcano. As Mako's south facing home came into sight, baby Zach continued to sleep.