Spirit: Apocalypse Prologue: Planet of Arcadia, Solar System of the Golden Star, Year 6923, Age of Apocalypse (the end of the world) As the old sage watched the fiery mountain he couldn't help but smile. It was, after all human kind's fault this was happening. "I am an old man now. What does it matter to me if I live no longer?" He wondered aloud. Of all the ones in the world he, who was much less than vigorous about the belief of heaven and hell, was the one to foresee the end of the world? This supposed tragedy? He heaved a sigh. "How senile I've become!" he scolded himself. "I am old, true enough, but the same isn't true for all of Arcadia!" It was, in fact the exact opposite. After the peaceful lull in human population, the numbers were starting to grow again. At a rapid rate, too. He shook his head and stepped away from the grimy (and only) window. He paced the dusty floor of his cedar cabin, which was gently nestled in the heart of a mountain. The mountain's side had long ago been worn away by rain, wind, and even the occasional dragon. It was because of this that he could see the angry glow of Mt. Atlanta that others could not. "Bah! Why do they deserve to live? After all the ones they've slain out of greed! All the plagues they brought with them! This is their fault, after all!" In his heart Magus knew why. They may have done terrible things, but they would, in the long run...the very long run, make the world a better place. He sat on the rock hard mattress of his cot, the only piece of furniture besides a small oak table and a single maple stool pushed against the wall. His house was dark, lonely. But to him it was home. The only source of light came, not from the window, but from a faintly glowing blue tennis ball sized rock that lay abandoned in the corner. The sage waved his hand and the light went out. He stood up, got on one knee on the floor and pulled out a small metal case. He opened it and took out his most prized possessions: three baseball sized orbs, all transparent, each a different color; one red, one green, one blue. Somewhere out there, he knew, were also a yellow one, a white one, and a black one. He placed each on the bed as he took them out, but kept the green one in his hand. He rose to his feet, and held his arms up and out, so hat the orb was at least twenty-three inches directly in front of his face. He muttered thirty-two syllables, at such a rapid pace he himself could not hear them. He simply knew that they were the right words. The surface of the Wind Crystal gleamed and the light exploded into a rectangular screen depicting a young woman, a young man and a castle in the distance. He saw also....no....it couldn't possibly be true! Could it? Magus's mind raced fiercely. How was it that the image of this woman, the one he had not seen for at least sixty years was right before his eyes? She was still young as ever. That was the elf in her. But how did she know them? These two young one who appeared to be brother and sister? And how did she get that? Surely this was a farce! He shook his head and looked again. No, it was definitely real. The woman, the Elvin one, she was holding the Water Crystal. He looked behind him. Sure enough, it was still lying on his bed, almost...waiting. Magus shuddered. That was the problem with magical artifacts. They seemed alive. They had their own souls, their own will. If the Wind Crystal showed this image, then its aquatic companion would surely seek out this woman! There was a loud BANG!!! And the entire cabin shook. At first Magus thought it was an earthquake, but no, his cabin was protected by Shama himself; Mage of the Heavens. Then what was happening? He whirled around and his jaw dropped in terror. Half of his cabin was gone! Just like that! Worse yet, no more than two meters, probably less, in front of him was a yellow dragon, its javelin-sized teeth dripping with fetid black venom. It smelled of vinegar and skunks, among other things he could only assume was the rotting flesh of its latest victim. He backed up to the bed, the cold grey eyes watching him, waiting. Or maybe it was playing with him, luring him into false hope. Either way, he was not afraid to move, and did, very swiftly. He placed the green crystal with its companions. "I have made it my life's work to guard you," he said to them, as if they were his children "but it seems as though fate has guided you out of my hands. Farewell then, I will not hold on to you like a greedy beast. Find the ones you seek and aid them in any way. I do not know what it is you desire but I do know this; I sense something in you. You are powerful indeed, but not evil. Do not make an old man's last words a lie." He smiled as if he had been waiting his whole life to speak those exact words. Particles of silver light descended from the dark corner above the bed, and as they touched the crystals, the part they contacted was rubbed away instantly, as if they were a sugar cube in a barrel of water. He then turned again. This was not a fully grown dragon. Seventy years old, at the most. It still had many years. Why would it risk a dual with a magic-user? The head was flat on top, rounded on the snout and flat on the bottom. Its neck was at least two meters long. The ears looked more like flaps of skin ending in five hooked points. This dragon, like all yellow ones, was hornless. Its mouth was two meters high, and black venom was beginning to foam and leak out. The body was long and slender, five meters long and ending in a three meter tail that swished back and forth like a cat ready to pounce. Beneath it were two arms a meter long with massive paws ending in three hooked, white talons. The feet were also huge, but had four claws. The hind legs were thick and muscular, much more so than the "arms". They were about two and a half meters high, and a meter thick. The skin itself was a deep-yellow color in fact, it looked almost orange. It had the trademark sail of its species running from it's forehead to its tail tip, with a spike connecting the feathery shin every thirty centimeters. Finally, its wings were very bat like, thin pieces of skin (very tough skin though) connected to the body by three curving, flexible, internal bones and lined with a ridge of scales. A wingspan of one this dragon's size would be between eight and ten meters. It let out a cat-like hiss and clenched it's "hands" crushing the rock and wood (so that's where the side of the cabin went) beneath its tremendous weight. Magus looked the leviathan in those cold, hollow eyes. "I may not be young but I assure you.....if I am to die today, I will not travel to the afterlife alone......"