• Final Fantasy Origins- Chapter II: The Chosen One

    The Sun shone brightly in the early afternoon sky as a gang of children ran around the valley, laughing and playing. Among these children was Garland, who even at the precocious age of seven stood out among his peers.

    Unlike the other children, Garland had an aura about him. He was friends with everybody, he excelled in school, and he was on path to be apprentice to the Captain of the Royal Knights, Lord Beaubien. The King himself took a liking to the child, noticing something special in him.

    “Beaubien, what are your thoughts on the young Garland?” the King asked.

    “From what I hear, your majesty,” the stoic knight replied, “he was born under a special star. He has no father, not that anyone knows of.”

    “Do you think,” The King went on, stroking his long blond beard, “that maybe the child is the…”

    Beaubien interrupted, “either he is what you think, or he’s some random bastard child with charisma.”

    “Watch your tongue, Beaubien!” The King scoffed. “It doesn’t matter anyway. As your apprentice, he’ll bring hope to the people. The world has grown darker incrementally for many generations. The wind no longer exists, the water is quieting. It’s only a matter of time that the earth rots and the fire dies out.”

    While the King of Corneria and Lord Beaubien made plans for Garland’s future, he was living in a world where he was the Captain. As he led his troop of young knights to battle the invading Kyzoku. At his side, as always, was his little brother, Schuyler.

    Schulyer, like Garland, was the product of Gwynhylde. However, unlike his older brother, he had a father. A year after Garland was born, Gwynhylde met Joshpur, an Alchemist from Melmond. A year after that, Schulyer was introduced to the world.

    Ever since he was able to walk, he was inseparable from Garland. When Garland would run-off to play with his friends, Schulyer was right behind. Whatever books Garland would read (generally stories of Knights and Magic), Schulyer tried to read. In fact, Schulyer caught on to reading right away.

    After Garland entered the Academy, Schulyer continued his studies. When Garland went into his apprenticeship under Lord Beaubien, the younger brother took an apprenticeship with the Sage Ullyan.

    “Your brother,” the wise Sage said one day while going over vast tomes with the young man, “he worries me.”

    The young scholar was taken aback. “How so?”

    The Sage looked into the eyes of Schulyer, sensing the ire of the young man. “Oh, it’s just… “he continued, “it’s nothing. I worry for his safety that is all.”

    The young scholar confided, “I have to be honest with you, sir, I worry about him myself. But he is Garland, he was destined to be great. The witch herself said so, long before I came to be, and she says so to this day.”

    What he didn’t know, but Ullyan knew, that the white witch had private reservations. “Garland was born under a dark star, Ullyan,” she’d tell him. However, with the King ignorantly favoring him, and the Captain of the Knights taking Garland under his wing, there was no way she could speak her mind without repercussions. The King longed for the Legendary Warrior of Light to appear, as his people grew wearier as the world fell into greater disarray.

    As Ullyan studied the tome, Garland walked by, laughing and joking with his fellow cadets. “Look at him, sir,” Schulyer. “One day I hope to be as great at what I do, as he is at what he does.”
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      Attachment 67636

      As young Garland was practicing his fencing with his friends out in the fields, Schulyer sat by reading about The Histories of the Elfheim Kingdom. Or at least he was trying to. He couldn’t help but be at awe at the skill his brother showed with the Rapier, a skill he himself could never pick up.

      Clumsy and oafish with the blade, he was more adapt with the knife. However, Garland’s skill with the blade had advanced beyond, so he was no longer able to spar with his brother. Instead, he’d watch his brother battle the other boys while the trainers shouted commands.

      “Look alive, Garland!” a tall mustachioed man barked. “Parry! Parry!” He was annoyed that Garland only showed signs of aggression, which left himself open to attack. Garland lunged at his opponent, a smaller boy with a bowl haircut, and missed. The boy cracked Garland on the back of his head with the hilt of his sword. “I win!” the boy shouted as he jumped in place.

      “Stop!” the trainer hollered. “Showboating has no place in the mili-tree!” He grabbed the victor by the arm and led him aside. “Climb that yonder tree, by the port,” he said, pointing to a lone tree that was a few hundred feet away. “I want 100 pullups from the strongest branch!” The boy buried his head in his shoulders and scurried off.

      “As for you, ‘Starchild’,” he said mockingly. “You need to hone-in your aggression! Don’t think for a second that you’re some ‘Chosen One’! You need to work harder if you want to be an apprentice Beaubien!”

      Garland scoffed as he looked away. “Listen, kid, I know what I’m talking about,” the trainer continued. “Lord Beaubien himself told me to work you out. He isn’t buying your deal either.” Garland snarled at the trainer.

      “I know what I can do,” he said. “I’ll show you and everyone what I can do.” Garland walked off in a huff back to the kingdom, as training was over for the day. Schulyer looked on as the trainer approached him.

      “Can you talk some sense into him,” the trainer said. “You’re close to him, maybe you can get him to settle down.” Schulyer looked at him defeatedly. “I’ll try, sir,” he said, closing Attachment 67637his tome. He then hurried behind his brother.

      As Garland and his brother stormed through town, making their way back to the Castle, a voice bellowed from the Armory. “Boys!” the old man shouted. “Garland! Schulyer! Come here!”

      The boys made a bee-line towards the old man, the Blacksmith, their grandfather. “Boys,” he said, “I’m in need of your assistance on another trip to retrieve goods.” The boys wondered where they would head off to this time. They’ve gone on many expositions with the old man over the years. They’ve visited towns and kingdoms all over the world.

      The last place they visited were the Silversmiths in Elfheim, where Schulyer got his book of history. They’ve visited Melmond, Crescent Lake and Gaia. Garland loved these trade expositions not only because of the wares he got to try, but because of the feeling he got.

      Something in the air, an Aura, would travel around and through Garland’s soul. His spirit lit a fire in Crescent Lake, grounded in Melmond, and freed in Gaia. When his grandfather told him they’d be going to Onrac, he felt elated, yet he didn’t know why.

      “It’s a tough trip, lads,” the old smith said. “There aren’t ports in the North, so we’ll have to canoe to land from the lake. “At least it won’t be as difficult as the trip to Gaia, so we can leave the cliff climbing gear at home.”

      When they made it to Onrac a week later, Garland headed straight for the small, makeshift dock. He watched as a mermaid flipped out of the water, crashing back into the sea. A dark force drew him towards the sea. A Captain walked up to him.

      “Aye, laddie,” he said, taking his pipe from his mouth. “Many moons ago thar be a shrine out yonder. People would take small vessels to give gratuity to the Mermaids, for protecting the seas. But now, thar be few mermaids and the sea is dead.” He put the pipe back into his mouth and wandered off.

      Garland paid little mind to the old sea dog, instead focusing his spirit on the energy seeping from the abyss. Somehow he knew his destiny lied fathoms below the surface. His trance was only broke when Schulyer called. “You coming to help, or what?” he yelled, struggling to bring Chain Mail to a Dragon. Garland ran back to help.
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