It was a gorgeous summer night in Lucio’s meadow. The horizon was still a light orange from the sunset, but a bright full moon beamed proudly over everyone. Aurora, Lucio, and Lothlorien were settled near the front of the Magician’s cottage, just past the stream that ran through the spongey grass and purple flowers. The Orbs of Feor floated among the tree branches just like any other night, but this one was special. This was the night of new creation, for the Guardians to take refuge in a world of their own.
Everything was set; Lucio was going to bring two Guardians from each of the four elements into the meadow to give a special item needed for creation. According to Lucio, he would transfer everything in this meadow to the new world, but Aurora was still secretly skeptical. She stood next to Lothlorien with Renato fast asleep in a sling tied around her chest. Hidden in the sling was a comb, a vial of water, and some food, just in case. Although Renato was getting too big for a sling, she wanted to have her hands free, also just in case. The thought of this new world excited her, but its creation terrified her. She leaned one hand against Lothlorien’s flank, lost in thought while Lucio sat cross-legged a few yards away, eyes closed with his hands resting on his knees. A few feet in front of him was a small black cauldron that he often kept in a corner of his study, but tonight, a clear, gooey liquid bubbled inside.
“I wonder what’s actually in that cauldron,” Aurora asked herself. “How could that possibly create a new world?” She was awakened from her thoughts when she felt Lothlorien’s soft muzzle brush her cheek.
“Have faith,” she whispered. “We’re in good hands. This night will change our lives, for the better.” Her warm breath smelled sweet, and calmed her a little.
“I don’t doubt that, I just don’t know what to expect.” Lothlorien was about to say something when Lucio took in a very loud breath of air.
“Hércyme,” he whispered as he breathed out. With a flash of light, a small creature appeared next to Aurora and Lothlorien. She must have been the second Earth Guardian, because she came alone and Lothlorien volunteered to be the first Earth Guardian. She was barely Renato’s height with a rich brown coat. Bright exotic flowers were woven into her green mane and tail, and her horn looked like it was made of dark wood.
“A Pygmy Guardian,” whispered Lothlorien. The tiny Guardian nodded and bowed gracefully.
“Thank you for your kindness, Magician,” said the pygmy in a high-trilled voice. Lucio only nodded, and took in another deep breath and repeated the same word.
Another bright flash revealed the two Air Guardians. One was pure white, save for his giant wings that were gilded with gold as well as his horn. He stretched them out to a span of over 30 feet and folded them neatly to his sides. The second Air Guardian stood motionless, like a mirage. She was completely transparent and looked like she was made of moonlight. She shook her mane and slowly solidified into a dark blue color.
“A Winged Flyer and a Fader,” whispered Lothlorien. “They are rare; the flyer only lives on the tallest mountains, while the fader has the power to disappear into moonlight.”
The Fire Guardians appeared next. One’s hide was a light tan with a golden horn, but his mane and tail were tongues of pulsating fire. His neck was decorated with a thick gold collar encrusted with precious gems. Aurora estimated that collar alone could buy her whole estate and then some. The other Guardian was similar, but her hide was a deep blue, with electric currents coursing over her body.
“A Royal and a Striker,” Lothlorien whispered again. “Never touch a Striker if you come across one. They prefer to dance in thunderstorms.”
The Water Guardians appeared last in the stream nearby. One had a short tail like that of a mermaid instead of her hind legs. She climbed halfway out of the stream and her tail split into two Guardian legs. She trotted up to the group, but the other Guardian stayed behind. Her tail was much longer, and the whole of her body was covered with blue scales that shimmered in the moonlight.
Lucio opened his eyes and stood up with a bright smile. All eight of the Guardians stood in a circle around him, looking at him for directions.
“Welcome friends,” said Lucio. “I thank you very kindly for coming to our humble abode. Have you brought the items I requested?” They nodded. “Excellent, I won’t waste any time then. If all of you are ready, I will start the process.” No one objected, so Lucio folded his hands and closed his eyes again. He started a low chanted while the liquid started to bubble within the cauldron.
“Hal ingemynd…hal serin ingemynd sacleas…treowlic gymnd gesundfullic,” Aurora thought that her vision was going blurry, but after rubbing her eyes, it only got worse. She realized that the world around them was fading and blurring together like a watercolor painting. Eventually all colors were washed away until they were surrounded with pure darkness, save for the liquid in Lucio’s cauldron that gave off a light white glow. The light revealed that they were standing on flat, moist earth. Everyone was still present including the sea Guardian, who had to content herself with lying on the bare ground.
“Where are we?” asked Aurora while she gripped a piece of Lothlorien’s mane.
“This is one of the blank worlds I’ve spoken of before,” said Lucio. “I can make it our own from your memories of Earth using the items you brought. My I take them?” He looked around for one of the Guardians to respond. None of them moved. It turned out they were just as skeptical as Aurora. This made the girl feel better, but she held her breath nonetheless.
To break the awkwardness, Lothlorien brought forward a bouquet full of wildflowers and twigs that Aurora tied together with grass; all things from the meadow in front of Lucio’s cottage. The Pygmy Guardian came next, and stepped forward to shake one of the exotic flowers from her mane. The Air Guardians brought a white lily-looking flower and a golden feather that the flyer plucked from one of his wings. The Fire Guardians were next, and brought forward a stone made from obsidian and a tree branch with its leaves nearly singed off. Finally, the Water Guardians brought a shiny pink rock and a piece of rainbow-colored coral. Lucio took the items and placed them equally apart in a circle around the cauldron.
“Thank you, friends,” he said. “They are greatly appreciated. I will now shape this world into our own sanctuary. I’m not sure how the creation will play out, so please remember, I will protect us.” He folded his hands again, and shouted “Amundian!” as he waved his arms in a big arc over his head. Nothing happened. Aurora had been with him long enough, though, to guess that he had put up some kind of invisible shield. He stepped up to the cauldron and bowed his head over it while he started chanting again. His words had a pleading tone, and Aurora could see that his face was contorted in anguish.
A column of yellow light appeared over the cauldron and the eight items. Several more columns from the same source appeared pointing in random directions around the group, and started moving around, like spotlights looking for its performer. All at once they moved like a magnet to meet the stagnant column. They combined with a great crash and a ring of light swept through the land. Everyone flinched and covered their eyes, and when they looked back a little ball of glowing white energy was floating above the cauldron. Lucio was still chanting, but his face was calmer, and he moved back a few feet to let the magic do its work. The eight items floated up to form a ring around the light and started to spin. They spun faster and faster, until they too were nothing but a ring of white light. The ball in the center began to grow until it became a sphere of spinning energy hovering above the cauldron. It slowly lowered itself in the mixture and the liquid began to bubble.
“It’s starting!” shouted Lucio. Then it hit Aurora: “Where had that light come from?”
It was the sun. Nothing more than a small yellow orb floating in the black sky, it grew in size and brightness until Aurora could no longer look at it. Her eyes became adjusted and she realized Lucio was right. This world really was nothing; there was only brown earth as far as the eye could see. As the light from the sun began to grow, so too did the sky. Its beautiful blue hues spread from the sun like water running over a dry creek bed for the first time. Lucio bent over the cauldron and gripped the edges.
“Remember, friends, we are safe.” And he tipped the cauldron over. The liquid slowly spilled out like jelly and began to spread itself out. It was a transparent white color glinting with hints of a rainbow. It continued to grow over Lucio’s feet and work its way out to Aurora and the Guardians. The Magician didn’t flinch in the slightest, while everyone else was more skittish. They tried to avoid the liquid, but there was no going around it. The liquid simply went over their feet and hooves and spread into infinity. Aurora saw all the memories of these Guardians flash by in the liquid like a dream. She saw high mountains flicker into coral reefs and deep forests, all with Guardians living in them completely contented. The ground slowly absorbed the liquid like a plant drinking in fresh water, until they were left with the brown earth again. Everything was silent.
With a loud bang the ground erupted into a violent earthquake. The humans were thrown to the ground while the Guardians staggered. Aurora wrapped her arms around Renato in the sling and prayed that he wouldn’t wake up. The earth swelled so violently that a tall mountain sprouted out of the chaos and grew higher and higher, until it almost blocked the sun. Opposite the mountain, a fountain of lava erupted until a volcano slowly rose up as well. The land around the group rippled and buckled into large rolling hills, and everyone fell to the ground as they were raised up on one of the largest hills, saving them from the rivers of lava flowing from the angry volcano. Some of it began pooling in a large sinkhole that caved in near the south of the volcano. Looking past the volcano and mountain, the ground rippled until it buckled completely to form an island in the middle of a sea of lava.
Aurora held onto Renato while the child cried into her ear. She was laying on her back, and only managed to sit up for a few seconds at a time. They were stuck in a sea of lava that was quickly rising, while volcanic rock shot past them.
“Lucio!” she shouted. “You’re killing us!” The other Guardians whinnied in agreement, except Lothlorien. She extended her head out to steady the girl. She thought she heard the Guardian whisper “Trust him.” Aurora was about to object when she saw a flaming rock com flying right at the group. She let out a shriek and flipped onto her stomach to protect Renato. But the blow never came. Aurora heard it explode above her head. She looked up to see its remnants spilling over an invisible dome, the one Lucio put up! Everyone cheered as they tried to steady themselves on the bucking ground.
At last the earth had had enough. From around the cauldron green grass shot up like a ripple flowing through a pond, and spread with impressive speed. The weary group slowly rose and looked around in wonder. The shaking earth came to an abrupt stop once the grass passed through. It stopped short around the perimeter of the volcano, which settled down into slumber. It also stopped around the divot south of the volcano, where water began to gush into it from around the edges to form a small lake. The grass spread to about halfway up the mountain, to the very ends of the island where it stopped abruptly. A sandy beach took its place until it too stopped, and water gushed from the beach’s edge from nowhere, slowly forming an endless ocean. One could even see a great mountain of coral rising from the foamy newborn ocean.
To the south of the volcano and on the vegetated half of the mountain, little sprouts shot up and grew into massive trees right before their eyes. It was like watching hundreds of year pass by in a few seconds; one could even hear the wood groaning as they stretched up to the sun. The new lake was completely blocked out of sight, and Aurora noticed that there was something sparkling in the tree’s leaves. She looked up at the mountain and noticed a large cloud encasing its peak.
“What is that that cloud doing up there?” asked Aurora.
“I’m not sure,” replied Lucio. “The creation is out of my hands now.” It was a very large and lonely cloud where Aurora thought she could see sparks flying from the top of it.
“What’s that strange black dot in the middle of the sun?” asked Lothlorien. Everyone tried to look up without blinding themselves. There indeed was a black dot in the sun that was getting larger.
“Do you hear that?” the winged flyer said suddenly in a deep voice. His eyes grew wide with excitement as he yelled “Wings!”
A minute later they could hear loud cawing sounds, and they realized the black dot was thousands of birds flying toward the island. Some were simple white doves with golden crests; others were brighter than peacocks with fantastic plumage. They split off and flew to their respected parts of the island. Some even flew into the volcano. Other wildlife began to show itself as well. Wild deer galloped between the forest and the hills, where butterflies flew aimlessly drinking nectar from bright purple flowers. Rabbits popped out of holes with families and fed on the bright green grass.
“It’s perfect,” breathed Lothlorien. Everyone nodded.
“I’m glad you all agree,” said Lucio. “It’s time to welcome the rest of the Guardians to this world. I’m going to open portals from all over Earth to this place. Each part of this island is made of your memories based the items you gave me. I will transport each of you to your respective parts, where you can greet everyone properly.”
“Thank you for your service to us,” said the pygmy Guardian, and bowed deeply to the Magician. The other Guardians followed suit, including Lothlorien.
“I am glad I can be of service to such an amazing race,” said Lucio. “Now go, your friends are waiting.” He waved his hand and all the Guardians but Lothlorien disappeared.
“I guess this is your part of the island,” said Aurora.
“Of course,” said Lothlorien said with a dreamy expression. “It reminds me so much of the meadow.”
“We can live in the forest to the west of us, where I can help oversee the upbringing of this island and secretly watch over my brother on Earth,” said Lucio. “The cottage and meadow should be there now, just the way we left it. Even the Orbs of Feor will reside here.” Aurora let out a sigh of relief and checked on Renato. The child had calmed down, and smiled at the sight of his mother. Lothlorien’s ears perked forward.
“They’re here,” she said. Aurora and Lucio turned to the south and saw thousands of Earth Guardians galloping from a bright light on the beach. They headed for the trio, whinnying loudly and turning up the new grass with their hooves. The last of the Guardians made it through the portal and the light disappeared. The trio was surrounded by a sea of beautiful colors; the only sound was the Guardian’s heavy breathing. Lothlorien stepped forward.
“Now we are safe, my friends. These hills and forests are our home, and they were made from our deepest memories. We can live forever in peace, away from the terrible Atrumnus!” The Guardians whinnied and cheered.
“Long live the Earth Guardians! Long live Lothlorien! Long live Lucio! Long live Aurora!” The trio came down from the hill and melted into the crowd to share in the victory.
“But what shall we call this place?” Aurora asked Lothlorien.
“I don’t know,” she said. “It’ll come to us soon. Let’s get settled here first.”
“Agreed,” said Aurora. And they enjoyed the rest of the day in joyful peace.
*If you want to know what helped inspire one of my favorite events in this book, you can listen to The Memory of Trees by Enya down below. I highly recommend rereading this post while listening to this song when the creation process starts. It gives you a pretty accurate glimpse of what went through my head when I first conceived this part of Treomynd. It helped me create the creation of this world, so to speak. Enjoy! And yes, the picture at the top is a map of the island I drew several years ago.