The Day of Foresight
The sea undulated slowly, lightly tossing the eight ships that sat anchored in a wide circle. None of the vessels took any action, all simply holding position and waiting, occasionally glancing at one or the other—usually at the ship flying the flag that bore a large yellow sun emblem against a black background.
It happened in an instant. Where there was once empty sky and water, suddenly there was a great stone structure, a grey monolith that towered high above them all. A massive pendulum swung out of one side, before disappearing back into the massive form to emerge from the other side shortly thereafter.
Slowly, the eight ships all moved in. The docks around the island looked weathered, but they uttered not a single creak as dozens of footsteps pounded down their length towards the eight doorways along the structure’s perimeter. Inside, there was only a single chamber, but a river that glowed a vibrant shade of blue sectioned off a sizable area around each entrance, keeping everyone just out of reach of the tiny pedestal at the room’s center.
One villager stepped up to the river’s bank. His metal skin was a simple shade of silver, and like most of those he came with, smooth plates of white armor were adhered to his torso and limbs. A bridge of stone rose before him. Once he was across and took his place on the pedestal, the bridge sank back into the river from whence it came; he looked up, up towards the circular skylight at the temple’s apex, and waited. It was not long before he could see something descending: a mask, just the right size to fit over his face, made of gold with an orange tint to it. As it came closer, more details could be made out—the rounded gap in the forehead, the holes in the rigid fins that came off of the cheeks, the long, vaguely beard-like protrusion that extended from the mouth—and eventually, it came right into his hands and stopped.
The villager breathed deeply. Surveying those assembled, he declared, “I, Jaa of the Ice Tribe, have been chosen by destiny as the Priest of Time. We beseech thee, O Great Krakua: through the power of the Mask of Vakama, share you wisdom with us mortals, so that we might guide Olkir to a brighter future!”
Jaa placed the mask over his face and closed his eyes. Mentally, he magnetically fixed the relic in place, and then held his arms wide, turned skyward once more, and opened his eyes. Brilliant gold light shot from the mask up through the skylight. The pillar stood for nearly a minute before fading away, and when it did, something else hovered above Jaa in its place.
The new being was twice as tall as any villager, covered from head to toe in obsidian-colored armor decorated with iron gray ornaments. His eyes glowed with the same azure luminescence as the river beneath him, and as he floated there, he crossed his arms and took one sweeping look over all those assembled.
“Eight tribes still,” Krakua mused. “Then perhaps time still branches for you.”
He seemed to think for a moment, and then shook his head.
“But evil’s grip on your destiny will not be easy to shake, ye mortals. My eyes still burn from the light of the eternal eclipse. The Element of Sun is turned against the world, and the sea runs red with the blood of thousands, as the sky hurls its enemies into the primal abyss to drown in its abominable waters. The sky, frozen forever, and mortals washing away all hope with the tears they shed in despair over the immortal twilight. Those few who live know only anguish. Those who die know it all the more, for the Riders have all been struck down, never again to carry those poor souls to the City of Legends. The Slizers themselves wash their hands, and leave Olkir to suffer its endless gloom. Yes…the day draws very near now.”
Someone stepped forward. “Great Krakua, if I may,” they said. “We of the Sun Tribe have no wish to inflict such terrible harm upon the world! Please, if there is anything that can be done to prevent this awful tragedy, tell us, and we shall see it done at once!”
Krakua watched him for a moment, but then turned away. “The light burns many futures, Coronet. I can tell you only of the fate you most likely head towards. If you wish to avoid it, then that responsibility belongs to mortals alone.”
“Please,” the Sun Coronet begged, falling to their knees. “Please, just tell us something! Anything that might help us find a different future!”
Krakua looked up to the skylight. He remained silent for quite some time, before he eventually locked his eyes on the Sun Coronet. “I see one tiny spark. Insignificant, perhaps, and certainly unlikely, but…were it to strike the earth at precisely the right moment, it could ignite an entirely new path for all of Olkir. That is all I will tell you.”
He turned next to Jaa, and reached one hand in his direction. A mirror appeared in his open palm and floated down into Jaa’s grasp—the Priest gazed into its surface, and when he nodded, it crumbled to dust around his fingers.
“The Day of Foresight thus ends,” Krakua said, rising higher towards the temple ceiling as he spoke. “If Olkir lasts the decade, I will see you again.”
And with that, he was gone.