Alcavana, Year 17 002: Soon it Will be Autumn
His name is Skart, he lives on a farm with his father, his mother died when he was little but he tries not to think about it. Sometimes he will meditate on his dead mother but he usually prefers to stay in the moment. His farm is the prettiest piece of land in Larscanile.
The year is 17002, the people have electricity to power lights, radio and telegraph.
He loves the zen of farm work.
It's a lonely life but he doesn't care. He has his father and that's good enough for him. He's still a young man so it's not too late for him, but he does wonder if he'll ever find love.
He's a wood elemental and he's really quite powerful for his age. When he isn't farming he's training.
He's done for the day and feeling adventurous so he decides to check out some caves that are near his farm. He's known about them for ages but his father always told him not to. He decides he's strong enough to take on anything now. He brings his staff.
A lot of monsters do live in the cave, it's no wonder his father told him to stay away.
Deep in the cave he finds a very large crystal. He makes sure to bring it home before nightfall, wouldn't want to be caught in the dangerous night with such a thing. It's very heavy but he manages.
That night as they slept there was a threatening knock at the door. He's afraid of the night, everything bad happens at night.
It's the Blackened Alcavana Party, everyone knows about them by this age. One of them says "Give me the crystal." Skart says "Fight me for it." Skart summons the power of wood and impales the man who threatened him. The next one pulls out his sword and goes for Skart's neck. His father jumps in front of the blade and is mortally wounded. Skart falls to the ground and cries as the remaining Blackened Alcavana Party goes in the back and gets the crystal.
Skart wakes up on the floor the next morning next to his dead father. He packs himself a small bag and heads into town. The town of Nalla, where the Blackened Alcavana Party has it's headquarters.
He asks around town but people are either unaware of their location or unwilling to tell. Some try to warn him off, some are scared of the topic altogether. One man tells him "I respect you for your bravery but you're dealing with power beyond your nightmares." To which he says "I have no fear in me." "Good for you, you can find them on the next street over. There's a well with a ladder. They reside at the bottom. Prepare to be noticed immediately."
He goes down the well and is instantly spotted. "It's that fucking kid! He killed Drane. We got him back though, boy did we." Skart says "I'd do it again." "You don't want to mess with us." "No, I don't. I want to join you." "Join us?" "I hate society too. I want to see it fixed." A man named Evan says "Well we already know you're strong. Okay, if you're serious, we will welcome you." The first guy says "We're going to trust him just like that?" Evan says "He's a simple man from a simple farm. Doesn't seem like the conniving type." Skart says "I don't have a lying bone in my body."
They do evil things for the crystals and Skart knows what he's getting into. Months later after a lot of travelling they capture another crystal. Skart himself murdered for it and thereby got himself a rite of passage. Everybody trusts him now. The whole town of Cark put up a fight for the crystal and the whole town was burned to the ground.
But they got another crystal.
A woman, Arna, who's with the party, falls in love with Skart. She sees a wisdom in his simpleness and believes there's something behind those eyes. She can't put her finger on what it is but she knows she loves it. Skart is committed to the new relationship.
Skart spends every free moment training. Training in the blade, training in magic, he becomes extremely powerful. He won't stop.
In his dreams he is contacted by the Wood God. It tells him "I'm not supposed to contact you, but I need you to know I believe in you. We're not permitted to communicate with the Blackened Alcavana Party but I sense you're different. Your version of things is something I could get behind. I see success in your future, I don't say that to just anybody. You know what you need to do."
He goes out drinking with the party and becomes very close with them, they all have a mutual respect and trust. He's never known a group of people so close. He knows it's because they've all sold their souls to the party.
A common topic of conversation is always what they hate the most about the world. One man says "The greed. The whole society is based in richer is better but it forgets the fundamentals. You'll appreciate this Skart, people need to live a simpler life." Skart says "I do agree, but the thing I hate most about society is the business. It's a symptom of the greed though. Everybody is working hard to get what they can but nobody is stopping to smell the flowers, to enjoy the sunset. People are forgetting the beauty in life because all they care about is getting ahead of their neighbour." "Well put my friend."
"It's funny, though, when people get all of the crystals and rise to power they get to change the mindset of all of the people and they just accept it. They don't question that one day they just wake up and suddenly feel completely different. Pathetic sheep." "Maybe so."
Skart meets Arna's father, who is also of the Blackened Alcavana Party. He says "I've heard about you and I already approve of you. I hear you're a very powerful wood elemental. I'm wood myself." "I'm glad to hear it." "But I'm not as powerful as you." "I work hard for it, it isn't easy." "I'll bet, I'll bet..."
He says "I don't usually approve of my daughter's dates, but this is the first time she's dated within the party, so I know this is the first one to work. She has to be somebody else around those others, with you she can be herself." "She certainly can." "But part of me is afraid of a man with so much power." "I understand. I assure you it will only be used to protect her." "I like to hear that."
Skart hates how he's losing his zen. He no longer lives in the moment, he lives in the past and in the future. For an ordinary man this is no problem, but Skart is a man of zen.
He's a different man now.
He meditates on his dead father every day. He also meditates on Arna. He cries about both every day.
Skart and his new friends are once again at the bar, talking quietly but getting louder as they got drunker, eventually they are overheard by other patrons. These patrons happened to be quiet powerful and happened to hate the Party like nobody else does. A fight ensued.
The first man starts with his fire spells and takes out one of the party members, the other party member does a darkness spell but it is basically absorbed. The other guy casts another fire spell killing the second friend and starting a fire in the bar. The bar manager and all the staff had already run out and the fire spreads. Skart, with the last move, takes out both fire elementals with one swift spell.
The tavern burns to the ground.
He returns to Arna's house after the events and tells her all about them. She says "I know you must have done everything you could." "I could have done more." "It's okay, we don't need them anymore anyway. We're so close to the end." "We are?" "There's just one left." "It's almost over..." "Almost!"
The two of them finally succumb to their urges and procreate. During Arna says she wants to be abused. She wants to be beaten and strangled. She says "I can see it in your eyes, you want to do it." Skart says "Is that what you see in my eyes?" "I know you." "You don't know me..." Then he strangles her.
She is pregnant, they think.
They get to an ice cave at the northern most part of Larscanile, towards the border of Varnetherm. It's frigid inside so only the tough and the prepared make it to the end. Many die on the way. Eventually they get to the end of the line and the crystal presents itself. "This is it" says Evan. "It's the end" says Skart.
Evan approaches the final crystal. His men lay the others in a circle around it. Evan puts his hand on it. Skart says "NEVER!!" and kills Evan with wood through the chest. He turns to the people behind him and kills them. He looks at Arna and with a tear in his eye he kills her too. He kills Arna's father. He kills them all.
He pauses for a moment and takes a deep breath, he says "You have been avenged, father." Then he places his hand on the crystal.
He ascends to the sun. I tell him "Congratulations, I knew what you were up to, I think everybody did." "Thank you." "So what does the world look like under Skart?" "It's autumn all the time. The leaves are orange, red and brown but they never fall. The temperature is brisk but manageable. Every light will now be orange and every path made of mud. Most importantly, people will know the value of life in the moment, zen in your work and duty to your fellow man." "Well we'll see how that works out. I'm a fan of the orange. It's time for you to go visit God and take your place by his side. May you reign for 10 000 years." "Thank you."