A crystalline creature stood at the entrance to the forbidden land.
All around him were letters and drawings from an ancient age. Something Skarner did not know of.
The place he guarded for the last century was a home to something yet to come.
The vanguard knew only little about himself. He knew how to use magic. He knew his name, and he knew he was to guard this secret underground cave from anyone who wants it.
Ancient and powerful, he stood his ground and crashed each enemy that came by.
For decades nothing happened. For decades he just killed adventurers he were either brave or unlucky enough to encounter him.
For the last few days, he heard footsteps above him. Somewhat close to him, yet he saw no adventurer around.
And eerie feeling surrounded his body. He felt that something was wrong, he felt that something is about to happen.
Something that will change his life and his position as the guard.
Being in this unknown land, he always wondered what was not only this origin, but also what surrounded him.
Around him were haunting memories of the past. Facts and truths of a time he always wanted to see and learn about, yet he knew that that would never happen if he needs to defend such a thing.
That would change soon.
Three days after the steps above started, he suddenly heard a loud shout of agony. The sound of a human female crouching in pain was heard.
The ancient Brackern was familiar with the sound, as a woman already came here and he killed her.
The scream he heard from above felt different. It had more feelings to it. She was not plainly killed, she was stabbed in the back by an ally.
He became more and more worried as the minutes went by. The screams of agony slowly stopped and became more quiet.
After five seconds of silence, Skarner suddenly felt the ground shaking around him. 'An earthquake?!' He thought
The rumbling ground kept going, making the entrance close down behind by heavy boulders.
In front of him, the small staircase that let adventurers through had crashed down completely. Instead, a large pile of rocks created a large staircase upwards, to a place Skarner never knew.
He looked back and saw the place he guarded and saw it was defended. Skarner himself could barely break these giant boulder, And even if he did, it would take his immense power years to fully break them. To the naked eye, it would look like a bunch of rubble. Skarner is the only one who knew of this place.
And because of that, he looked at their newly made rubble staircase. He made his desicion.
He climbed it.
A minute of climbing, Skarner saw an eerie bright ray attacking his eyes. He blocked it with his arm, but then noticed that it dealt no damage to him.
As he blocked the bright ray with his right claw, he felt the light getting stronger. Yet unlike his anticipation, it did not cause him any more damage, but instead, it gave him a new feeling. A nice one that gave him something humans called "Warmth".
He slowly went to higher levels of ground, to places he has never seen. As he slowly went up, he noticed small caves around him shining with a yellow light.
He got up and finally exited the ground. The hot feeling now bathed his whole crystal body.
He felt the warmth coming from his left, and as he looked to the source, he saw the sun.
He saw a giant disc the blocked the blue background. Under him, he felt a soft ground, something he felt only during his childhood.
The disc he saw, though, was nothing he remembered. It was something that belonged only to this ancient land. Something he saw in the drawings in his cave. He saw there people on their dozens praying for the disc.
He saw it rising from the ground. He was not afraid of it, but he felt it's might surging through him.
Curious and enlightened with the need to know, he shielded himself with a shiny carapace and rushed towards it.
As he quickly ran, the disc's shadow bestowed it's might over the crystal creature.
Closer and closer he got, and as he did, under the disc he was gifted with the sight of a newly-made castle of sand.
He finally came to a stop as he stood in front of two giant gates. Each door was 8 meters tall and 3 meters wide.
On it, Shurima's story drawn with sand upon the templates. 10 templates were on it, with only the sixth to the ninth written drawn in, and the rest are slowly moving and making a small picture.
The scorpion got closer to the gate, and as he did, they opened.
He peeked his head inside and saw a magnificent golden hall. In the other end of it, he saw a golden figure looking around, turning to different directions and shouting commends to what seemed to be an empty room.
"CHANGE THIS! GO AWAY! THIS IS NOT HOW I OBEYED YOU TO DO THAT!" He kept spekaing.
He suddenly looked at the approaching scorpion and saw the look on it's eyes.
Skarner felt that he was looking at a legend, something he saw only in his cave.
"A Brackern..." The mighty golden figure tilted it's head towards the scorpion "I was sure you were going extinct back in the crystal scar, I barely saw any of you left."
The eagle-like man bowed to Skarner silently, then stood back up and struck his staff to the ground.
"I, am Azir. I welcome you to the kingdom of Shurima, my new rising city of the sun. Oh Mighty Brackern, bless us with your wisdom!"
Bless us with your wisdom
Most of these words he hadn't heard for a long time. Decades in human years.
The last one though felt like a stab. The plain thought of it made him cringe in pain and torture.
The mere idea of his people forever dead pained for what felt like forever now.
"Brackern?" Azir asked, seeing tears flowing through the golden giant eyes. "A Brackern's tears... Something that to most is legendary. For me, it is priceless as well. But seeing a Brackern cry is more rare then any other site. A sight more rare then a Nashor's birth. Something unheard of. Brackern..." Azir stepped down to Skarner's level "What is wrong?" He asked, now more calmly. "Brackern, are you..."
"Enough" the scorpion spoke. "I wish to not speak of this anymore..."
"Understood" Azir spoke to him with equal respect "So, what is your need, Brackern?"
"Skarner." The giant insect said his name "I... am Skarner"
"Skarner, interesting." Azir seemed to smile "And old name, a truly ancient one... Ancient to these times, I mean."
"These times?" Skarner asked, confused.
Azir was not aware of the Brackerns lack of knowledge. "You do not know of these times?"
"No... After the rune war, All I could remember was my kind being..."
Demolished was what he tried saying, yet the last word did not come out of his mouth.
After a small pause, he continued "and then bringing what's left to the desert... to an unknown cave under some small ruins. There I stayed for..."
"Over a thousand years, creature." He heard a female human voice coming from behind him.
Skarner quickly spun around and looked at the female. He clashed his claws together, showed his teeth and pointed the tail at her. "FLEE THIS PLACE, OR FACE MY WRATH." He shouted with fury.
The woman, on the other hand, did not stagger. She just stared at him and answered with a simple "No"
Skarner was stunned. Never has someone spoke to him with such disrespect.
"Leave her be, Skarner. She is my ancestor, and she has been through a lot."
Golden-crowned and equipped with a giant golden boomerang, the barely-clothed woman got closer to the two of them.
"Azir... I need to rest" she spoke to him.
"Upstairs, get into a room and rest there. A sand bed is awaiting for you, my daughter."
"Gods-damn more sand..." She quietly spoke and left through the sand stairs.
"Wait!" Skarner stopped her "What do you mean a thousand years?!"
"It means what it means, Brackern. That's at least what I think you are..." She spoke, explaining herself and sat on the stairs she was on.
"A Brackern I am, Human." He said, impatient.
"There is a story, a legend about the Brackern. You are now nothing but a fairy tail." The words were heartless, yet she had a big smile on her face. "The legends say that you were an ancient kind that lived in the crystal scar. You were smart, bright, and amazing..." Childhood memories of the one-handed story-teller misted her mind "... Powerful and almighty the Brackern stood. They were at the top of the world. Inventors of the crystal magic. And most known as the first victims of the first rune war..."
'Rune war?' The thought invaded Skarner's mind
"... The Brackern died a horrible death by an unknown origin. That's all there is to it." She stood up and stretched her arms "I'm goin to bed." She left to the upper level of the yellow castle.
"... Azir..." Skarner spoke to him. "Are you the king of this... area?"
"I am." Azir's voice become more stern again, fearing of Skarner trying to take over it.
"Can I ask you for a small... Favor?" He asked
Azir's body was prepared for battle, yet to his surprise, Skarner did not seek it.
"Of course, Brackern. You are just as ancient as I am. You are considered as much of an ally to me as any of my own soldiers, If not more."
"100 yards away from her, there is a tunnel that leads to something I must not speak of... It is of no danger from your kingdom, Worry not. I just need you to guard this place."
Azir quickly moved his arms and crossed them with each other.
"The order is given! It is done." Azir spoke.
"... Thank you, king." Skarner appreciated his help.
"You are more then welcome, Brackern." Azir said, sounding like he smiled. "I hope to be a kind Emperor for this land." He suddenly said
"I am sure you will be." the scorpion answered.
"May I ask, what will you do now?" The emperor asked
Skarner started moving again, this time, he started walking towards the exit. "I am going to seek answers. I am going to find out how to bring them back."
"Stay safe, Skarner." The golden emperor spoke. "May Shurima's spirit be with you...."
Skarner exited through the great doors and walked forward, when he tried looking back for the tunnel, he found out that it was covered. It was now nothing but a part of the desert.
"You will be a fine Emperor Indeed." Skarner said to himself and kept walking away from the desert
Into the brand new world of the future.