The world of Lira - or rather, what was left of it - stood in silence.
Screams. Voices. Sounds of desperation.
What made noise was silenced, and what was silent . . . would they speak up again?
* * *
It has been a long day since the sun peeked over the horizon. People gathered inside what may had been a fortress. Just barely shoulder high, the jagged wall of stoneline told many stories of their glory, of ancient honours and records, of enduring many assaults. In the center, the Tower of Councils still stand. A gathering was called today in Old Raxia, the City of Last Standing Hope.
"Beloved Citizens of Old Raxia, Our People," A man spoke, standing on a small stage, in front of the crowd. "In the past years we have been fighting. Wars that lasted a century. Battles that took many of us away, longer than us to survive to see from beginning to end." He looked solemn, dark. "We had enough."
Small cheers came from the crowd.
"I, as the Mayor of Old Raxia, speak to you personally, today." The man continued after a short pause. "I love the City. The farmlands. The People." With a sour face, he managed a smile. "We are the Last Standing Hope. We are here. As long as we are, we will never be defeated."
The crowd cheered again, this time louder.
"A century ago, the War began. We are not sure how it began, but there was a War. A War that has been there all my life." His placed his left palm on his chest. "I have known death since my birth. I have been born into the War, and you too, are with me. We are all in this together."
Silence swept over the gathered people. Waiting. Waiting for something.
"Today, we end the War. We remark with the purest gold and ink in History, in the name of Lira and of the Great City, I am standing here to tell you the news. The War has ended!" He looked up and into the distance, over his people. Waving, he broke into a wide grin. "We are safe from the War!"
This time, the crowd really cheered. Loud laughter and clapping sound boomed over the city. One hugged another. Children looked up to their parents in wonder.
A moment's pause, the Mayor raised a hand and closed his palm, calling for silence. He leaned forward, and spoke again.
"We are free."
The world of Lira watched her inhabitants grow and die, slumber and arise. For her, time decayed. The universe no longer held justice. The sun was cold. For her, the world ended, finished, completed, died. But her people continued to expand, battle after battle, nation over nation, like endless tides. She felt no life, yet creatures still dwelt the earth. Yet there was life.
A century ago, Lira lived. She wished her children good fortune, providing them soothing wind, rejuvenating rain, life. She made infinite efforts to make sure her children were doing all right. She loved them as a mother would love her own.
Her children made leaders, villages, cities, guilds. They formed circles and bonds that were strong, never broken. Laughter filled the air, and tears came only from happiness. But some of her children strove against each other.
They wanted more.
For more, they would kill. For more, they would steal. For more, they would die.
One of her children possessed this trait, perceiving the world as his own. He wanted to make himself king, sovereign over everyone else. His ambition brought him power, power that no one else could match. He elevated himself to be ruler of all, eventually maker of all. He wanted to be like his mother, making her his maid.
Lira's other children saw his ambition, and retaliated against him, summoning and convincing individuals - Heroes - to fight against his plan. They gathered into Councils, guilds united, like-minded people that would not allow the world to be overtaken. These Heroes were put to the Test and embarked on a journey that hopefully would save the world from being possessed by the wrong hands.
The balance of power rested on a particular item, a gift from the gods according to ancient tales, a gift that was given to the people of Lira. Translucent yet radiant at the same time, it was forged from Crystals into the shape of a Sword. As long as the Sword was kept safe, Lira would have peace. The gods blessed her and her children with the Crystal Sword, making the world whole.
Some of her children beheld the gift, and rejoiced. Some saw the gift as a tool to gain control. Thus the tale was carried away and changed. It said whoever owned the Sword could control the world. With that, more ambitions rose, marking their target clear. Once the Sword was used to rectify the wrong, in the hands of a Warrior, but the second time the Warrior failed. The Sword was stolen away by the hands of one of Lira's ambitious children, just as the Heroes arrived.
The tale stops, but it did not really end - the remainder is lost. What really happened is perhaps too much to remember. Records were lost, and as time went on, slowly declining, no one cared. Lira saw her children turning away, and she cried. Her ambitious children used her faith in humanity against her, eventually killing her for themselves.
The world died, just as she died. But she saw her immoral children continue to grow. She saw the world born anew, a world that was not hers.
Oh, what did she do. What could she do. Lira saw the children grow and die, slumber and arise. Her children still lived.
All was well.
~excerpt from Lira's Smile