The crashing noise behind me startled everyone as I ran past them. At first they thought I was the one making all the ruckus, but afterwards they saw the real perpetrator. A huge dog-like creature. Its black fur with purple glowing lines was the least impressive feature on it. Its jaw was lined with sharp teeth, it sported six eyes and a pair of horns that curved slightly downward. This weird stuff keeps happening to me. I can’t believe that I’m in my senior year and now, of all times, this thing appears. A few minutes ago I got a good glimpse of the creature as it stared at me from a window. It somehow climbed to the fourth floor of the university science building. Afterwards it burst through, chasing me around the hallways. Of course, I am dreading that this thing wants to kill and consume me, though I haven’t seen it actually cause others any harm.
After entering another hallway, the creature somehow phased through the upper floor and fell right in front of me. This is it I guess. “You’ve caused me some trouble”, I heard its deep voice echoing through the hall. “I’m sorry!”, I exclaimed, hoping it would spare me from whatever came next. It continued, “I have not come here to harm you, but to take you where you are needed”. By now everyone in the hallway had run away. Meanwhile I stared at this enormous beast. I could not turn my gaze away, as if something called me to it. “It may be meaningless to you now, but my name is Garalith. Guardian of shadows and your eternal companion”, the beast said. Naturally and because I was very nervous, I introduced myself, “I’m…”. Before I could finish Garalith interceded, “Jake, yes. I know. I was your father’s companion many years prior. In all that time until now I watched and waited. The call has been made for you to return”. I was puzzled, “Wait, why me? Can’t dad go?”. Garalith quickly answered, “He passed down his legacy onto you already. This is the reason I am your guardian and not his anymore”. After a few more minutes I noticed a darkness was swallowing us up. Garalith explained that he was moving us somewhere else. When the darkness cleared we were in the middle of a forest. At that moment I noticed his tail held a crystal orb. “What is that for?”, I asked, curious. “It is my burden and a source of power”, Garalith answered without hesitation. “Ok, what do you expect of me then? I did not know of you or your existence. Where did you come from? And now that I think about it, who was my father?”, the questions rose naturally as if conversing with an old friend. The great beast sat down, as did I. A small rock nearby would have to suffice. When I did this a pair of mushrooms near the rock sprouted legs and ran away. “What in the world?!”, I continued to sit down, still startled. “Ha, that never gets old. As you can see, we are no longer in your world. This is Argumand. It is a realm of magic. Your father was born here and had a similar reaction to yours just now. Your Earth lies within the intersection of a multitude of realms and universes. The majority are inaccessible but a few possess a strong enough power to tear through the protective barriers that isolate them. Argumand is one such place. Along with myself, there are other guardians. The combination of our power allows us to travel back and forth between here and Earth. As for your father, he is a well respected wizard. Through our bond we were able to subdue the armies of Alfarand and save this world. Sadly, too much time has passed and Alfarand has readied its armies to fight us again”. I looked around. The sky was a pale pink, as if the sun was setting. It took me a bit of time to process what Garalith said. “I may be asking much of you, but you must fill in for your father. He is no longer capable of the feats we had previously achieved. It falls to you to learn and help defend this world”, Garalith continued. “What happens if the armies of Alfarand gain control of Argumand?”, I asked not only because of my curiosity, but also thinking I might have a chance to avoid doing any of this. The answer, of course, was not what I wanted to hear. “As I mentioned before, Argumand is an access point to Earth. If they raze this world and capture the guardians, they will have access to Earth. Surely you do not wish harm upon your world”. Without hesitation I answered, “No. Not only because dad still lives there, but I’ve made friends throughout the years. I can’t abandon them”. “Then you will learn. You must learn. Right now the power that courses through you is minimal. Little by little, you will understand how to channel it. I have no doubt in my mind that you will become as proficient as your father wielding magic. You may even surpass him, if you have the skill for it”, said Garalith.
Months went by. Training to learn magic and how to cast it took a lot of practice. Garalith is a patient teacher though. So far I could launch explosive bursts of energy, control flames, freeze water into various shapes and command bolts of lightning. It seems like dad I inherited some of dad’s talent in this. After a long training session, I sat down at one of the benches in front of the house. We settled in an abandoned village. As part of my training I had to work to rebuild this home to suit us. It was hard work at first, but as the days passed I became more dedicated to the rebuilding. This also allowed me to practice my magic. Levitation was very important for many of the tasks that needed to be completed. Having a clear goal in my mind would allow me to enchant objects that would, in turn, do my bidding. Not long after some of the houses were complete, a group of wanderers settled down. Two other guardians accompanied them. I think I saw Garalith smile more after that. The village gained new life. Meanwhile I learned as much as I could about Argumand. “So, let me get this straight, Argumand doesn’t have a sun. Is that why the sky is almost always that color?”, I asked Garalith. “Yes, we suspect that there is a star that warms the world, but it is mostly eclipsed by something”, he answered. This world was both incredible and mysterious. “Has no one gone looking where the light comes from?”, my curiosity was mirrored by Garalith. “Oh, some guardians who have the capability of flight have gone to the other side of the world. It’s the reason why we know our light is eclipsed, but by what remains a mystery. Perhaps one day, when our current predicament is no longer a concern we can go out and explore”, I could tell the thought of adventuring beyond this continent was enticing for Garalith. What little history I could glean from some old books found in a dilapidated Library, Argumand has had a constantly shifting human population. The guardians are said to have been here since the beginning of the world. Said beginning is quite fascinating to read about. Most seems shrouded in myth, but a lot revolves around the magic that courses so freely through the world.
It has almost been a year since I left Earth. Garalith tells me that time passes differently here, though he could not assure me how much was the difference. I’m sitting here, on the verge of fighting a war and I’m thinking about my senior year. I might end up failing all my classes at this rate. Well, at least I’ll know I’m fighting to save my world. That is, if Garalith and I are successful in Argumand’s defense. It looks like the war will begin in earnest soon. The portals in the Field of Grief are powering up. I’ve met other wizards with their own guardians. There are so few of us, but Garalith tells me that our magical powers are what give us the edge. Hopefully this can be resolved soon.