The arrival of a bleak, ancient prophecy unsettles the peaceful village of Ralta. Everyone knows about the Dark Omen and the dreadful things it heralds. To save the village from its impending doom, four young friends are chosen to retrieve the only thing that can save them: the magic red ruby of the Guardian. The journey ahead of them is full of danger, but soon, they have to learn that the difficulties on the road are not be the biggest problems they have to face.
Author: Justin Dennis
Illustration: shutterstock.com/Ammit Jack
ca. 212 Pages
6 male and 3 female roles
The orphan with a chip on her shoulder
Erusa, a self-reliant, hot-tempered girl who does not like to be part of a team. She is impulsive, quick to anger, and a fast runner. Erusa is distrustful of others ever since the death of her parents. Later on, she learns that her parents died as heroes saving their group from a saber-toothed bear. She then opens up to her friends and begins to trust them.
The sorcerer’s apprentice
Mickal, the earnest and even-tempered apprentice of the village’s sage. He has a hard time succeeding in actually doing magic, so he is afraid he’ll let his family and his teacher down. But, during their journey, Mickal is forced to do magic to help his friends—and he succeeds. At the end, he gains self-confidence and easily learns new magic.
The wall flower
Anette, a nice and loyal girl who is afraid of heights and is very jumpy. But, she also has some strengths, like her exceptional skill at throwing objects at enemies. In the end, she is the one who has to climb the inside of the volcano to retrieve the stone. Having mastered this task, she loses her paralyzing fear of heights. Arriving at home, she gains respect for her fearless actions and is treated like an adult.
The glory hound
Jalam, a confident but selfish boy who has a fiery temperament. He is very ambitious and sometimes acts heedlessly. Jalam feels overshadowed by his older brother, Henry (only mentioned), and wants to prove to himself and his family that he can be just as brilliant. During the quest, he realizes that his friends are more important than his aspiration of glory. When tempted, he chooses to save his friends rather than take the stone home on his own.
The big sister
Kiera, Erusa’s sister who lives with her. They are close, but even Kiera sometimes cannot reach out to her defiant sister. She talks with Erusa about the quest and encourages her to go with her friends. Small role.
The sage teacher
Benra, Mickal’s teacher, wise and patient. Small role.
The friendly dwarf magician
Volg, a dwarf who secretly practices magic and befriends Mickal. Together, they train using their magic, which proves very useful to Mickal in the last task that sets him and his friends free. He helps the leader of the dwarves see how it is better to change their ways.
The friendly dwarf who dreams of the surface
Nevien, a dwarf who dreams of seeing the outside world (the dwarfs live in an underground system of tunnels and caves) and builds a hidden tunnel to reach the surface. He befriends Jalam. Together, they make it to the top, but when they go back, they are apprehended by Regvar, the dwarven leader, and marked as traitors.
The helpful teenage centaur
Albatro, a young centaur who understands that the rivalry between humans and centaurs is only based on prejudice. He offers to free the four friends. In exchange, he gets a small piece of the magical stone to save his village from the volcano eruption.
The Dark Omen unsettles the peaceful village of Ralta. Four friends are chosen to retrieve a magical stone to save their hometown. A dangerous journey lies before them. But, as the story progresses the protagonists also have to face their own demons.
a fantasy world with a small village surrounded by beautiful and wild nature
When she reached the front, she saw a few familiar faces on the other side of the statue: Mickal, Anette, and Jalam. She scurried back into the crowd and maneuvered her way to her friends. She tapped Mickal on the shoulder.
"Hey, Erusa," he said, the sun reflecting off his green eyes. "Just in time. The Elder has said that the statue's going to pick who the Chosen One is."
"Really?" gasped Erusa. Mickal nodded, and they turned their attention to the Elder.
The Elder was standing beside the left side of the statue holding a glass vial filled with pink liquid, waving it in the air as he spoke. He was dressed in a new set of gray robes and looked a thousand times better than he had the night before. He spoke with grace and confidence, his voice booming throughout the crowd in a reassuring manner.
"The Guardian knew this day would come," he continued flamboyantly. "He knew that things would be thrown out of balance. And when I saw what happened to his statue last night, he gave me a vision. I saw, in perfect detail, all the ingredients that I would need to create the Chosen Spell. Inside this vial, I hold the answer to our problems. Stand back, my people, as I awaken the Guardian so that he may choose one of us to put things right again."
He poured the contents of the vial over the fallen half of the statue. At first, nothing happened, and the crowd waited with bated breath. Then suddenly, the fallen half of the statue began to glow, emitting a light pink color. It then started to hum, vibrating slowly and rising up out of the mud. The crowd stared on in amazement. Half of the statue was floating. Even the Elder looked surprised, his eyes wide with shock. He backed up away from the statue and into the crowd.
The right half of the statue maneuvered its way through the air and joined with the left half, clicking into place. The pink light faded from around it, only peeking through the crevice in between the two halves. A high-pitched noise unlike anything Erusa had ever heard emanated from the statue as the two pieces connected, fusing together in an explosion of pink light so bright that Erusa had to shield her eyes.
When she opened her eyes again, the statue was once again whole. It was still mostly black, as if it had been badly burned, but it was in one piece. There was absolute silence in the courtyard as everyone waited for it to do something. Near where the Elder stood, several tall, strong people who looked raring to become the Chosen One jockeyed for position closest to the statue. These men and women were all easily above six feet tall, with bulging muscles and gorgeous features. They seemed like the best of the best from the village, and Erusa wondered which of them would be chosen.
The right hand of the Guardian's statue suddenly began to shine pink. Everything else around Erusa seemed pale in comparison, and she saw the statue as a lighthouse, illuminating everything for them. Her vision felt clearer, and she felt a warm tingling sensation in her chest that she couldn't describe. Her breathing quickened. Why was she reacting this way?
But just as she thought that, four pink beams shot from the statue's hand. Erusa closed her eyes and winced as the light hit her in the chest, but she felt no pain. She cautiously opened her eyes and examined her arms. She was now glowing pink. Her entire body felt warm, and her skin was tingling all over. She looked at her friends: Each of them had a pink beam shooting into their chests, and they were glowing too. They looked at each other in amazement.
Well, Anette didn't seem particularly amazed - she just looked scared - but they all had their mouths open in shock. They had been chosen. There wasn't just a Chosen One; there was a Chosen Four. Erusa looked over at the group of people she had thought would have been chosen. Several of them were cracking their knuckles or rubbing their hands together in fury. They did not look happy in the slightest. Erusa made a mental note to avoid them in the future.
The Elder walked back out into the courtyard to stand beside the statue. He stared incredulously at it, as if he could not believe what he was seeing. His eyes scanned from the statue, down the pink beams, to the four friends. Then, his wave of skepticism passed over, and he was smiling.
"People of Ralta, our Guardian has spoken!" he declared, raising his hands excitedly. The crowd burst into roaring applause, and the people around the four of them drew back. The entire village was watching them. Jalam was waving enthusiastically, encouraging the crowd to cheer more, but Anette was hiding behind Mickal and trying not to be seen, her face flushed red. Erusa didn't know how to react. She felt frozen in shock. The corners of her vision started to get blurry, and she felt light-headed. She put her hand on Mickals arm for support, but something appeared to be wrong with him too. His face was pale, and he was wavering unsteadily. Erusa tried to focus on him, tried to stay conscious, but it wasn't working. Her knees gave way, and she collapsed into the mud. Through her blurred vision, she saw Mickal fall to the ground as well, and then everything went black.
Suddenly, she wasn't in her body. She didn't even seem to be in a physical form. She looked around: Her vision was razor sharp, and far below her, she could see the village with the statue in the center and the crowd of people around their fainted forms. Then, without warning, she went shooting off into the east. She didn't seem to have any kind of control over this vision or whatever it was.
The forest zoomed by below her, and the village was quickly faded into the distance. She was seeing parts of the east that she had never seen before. The forest continued on and on, only broken up by a medium-sized river that coursed across it. Then, much to Erusa's surprise, the forest ended. She thought it continued on forever. Instead, there was a vast valley of short grass with only a few tall trees scattered within. Surrounding the valley were small hills farther east, and Erusa could vaguely make out the entrance to several caves along the base of the hills.
Her vision continued, flying past the valley. She was almost to the volcano, which loomed high above her and leaked smoke in a very menacing way. Trees covered the base of it, but about midway up, they ceased to exist, and the volcano was molten rock the rest of the way. Erusa gulped. She didn't want to get anywhere near that daunting monster.
She then descended toward the base of the volcano and was pulled to a cave entrance. The cave was dark, and Erusa imagined that it was cold, but she couldn't feel temperature in her vision. As she shot through the cave at dizzying speed, she was barely able to make out any of her surroundings because of the lack of light. Eventually, after going uphill for a while, she saw a red glow at the end of the tunnel. When she emerged, there was a pool of bubbling lava, bigger than anything Erusa had ever seen. A glob of lava burst into the air, shooting high above her before crashing back down. Erusa was glad that she could not feel how hot it was.
Her vision then turned to the right and hovered over a skinny ledge, the lava below threatening to swallow her up. Then, she stopped and turned to the right. The wall here was different. It was recessed and had chunks missing from it that looked like they could be used as handholds or footholds. A ruby red necklace was embedded in the wall at least thirty feet up. It glowed slightly, and Erusa knew that it was suspended with magic - nothing else would have stuck the necklace into the wall so steadily.
Blurry blackness began to nip at the edges of Erusa's vision again. The necklace was the center of what she saw as the vision faded, and the shining ruby was the last image in her mind as everything went black. She knew what they had to do. They had to retrieve that necklace.
Air suddenly rushed into her lugs, and she sat bolt upright. The Elder and several others were standing around the Chosen Four, shocked expressions on their faces as if they had seen someone just wake from the dead. Erusa looked at her friends, and from their facial expressions, she knew that they had seen the same thing she had.
"Are you OK?" asked Kiera, offering her hand to Erusa. She accepted it and allowed her sister to pull her to her feet.
"Yeah, fine," grunted Erusa.
Her friends were being helped up, too, by their parents. Erusa tried not to look at them.
"So," said the Elder expectantly. "What did you see?"
The four of them turned to face him. Erusa wondered how he knew that they had seen something.
Jalam spoke up. The Guardian showed us how to get to the volcano. Theres a necklace there we must retrieve. It has the power to save us all if we can return it to the Guardian's statue.
Frequency of appearance
We have summarised all personalisation options for this book here. We also listed the Frequency of appearance for the respective details. You do not need to fill in all options – you can also use the defaults.
|The orphan with a chip on her shoulder|
|The orphan's name is||529 x|
|The hair colour of the orphan is||1 x|
|The eye colour of the orphan is||2 x|
|The sorcerer’s apprentice|
|The apprentice's name is||504 x|
|The hair colour of the apprentice is||1 x|
|The eye colour of the apprentice is||2 x|
|The wall flower|
|The wall flower's name is||304 x|
|The hair colour of the wall flower is||1 x|
|The eye colour of the wall flower is||2 x|
|The glory hound|
|The glory hound's name is||502 x|
|The hair colour of the glory hound is||1 x|
|The eye colour of the glory hound is||1 x|
|The glory hound's brother is called||14 x|
|The big sister|
|The sister's name is||39 x|
|The sage teacher|
|The name of the teacher is||23 x|
|The friendly dwarf magician|
|The name of the dwarf magician is||93 x|
|The friendly dwarf who dreams of the surface|
|The name of the curious dwarf is||117 x|
|The helpful teenage centaur|
|The centaur's name is||45 x|
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