Rise and Fall Chapter 1

The Peasant and the Shaman

Rise and Fall Chapter 1

Anthony DeLapi, Staff Writer

Humans have created society. They made the laws, the customs, and the beliefs. Humans have also destroyed, burned, and killed all those creations For society to recover, man must learn from their mistakes. Man must not repeat the same errors again, and to do this, man should follow the three templets of humanity.

Templet 1. The needs of all must come before the needs of the individual. This is a time when everyone needs equal recovery to survive. This will be the only way to reconstruct the world.

Templet 2. For the time now, Humans should put all their efforts into their minds, bodies, and souls, to be ready to fix the future. A functional machine must have fine-tuned mechanics. In fixing one’s self, you can help fix the future. Such efforts would be in Education, Physical Exercise, and Meditation.

Templet 3. Humans have brought their own near-extinction through War. From this day on, until the World is Green once more, and the Skies aren’t Blood-Red or Slimy-Yellow, and Humanity has picked itself back up from the devastation, there will be no more War. There will be no more killing or fighting. Fighting for the masses is permitted but fighting for your own goals will meet imprisonment. And the killers will be killed, so their black virus will not be spread. If we were to continue these habits, we would all be destroyed.

In following these Templets, your rulers, and the shamans, the world has a chance of rebuilding itself. Every person who puts their soul into this effort, will save everyone.

-The Tablets of Ram


The Kaiser is dead. A few days ago, Kaiser Drake V committed suicide as the Zakaz soldiers came running into his room. The Zakaz, though surprised and confused, were happy that the tyrant was finally put to rest. Unfortunately, the Tablets of Ram and The Forbidden Texts were not found. Their whereabouts were unknown until a group of survivors remained by hiding under the first attacks’ dead. The Zakaz, even though they killed everyone else, made a deal with these people. The Archers of the Last Khan said if they knew any information about Kaiser Drake’s recent activity, they would be set free. One man, tired of all this suffering, finally said what he had only seen. “About of month ago, two Riders came riding on two horses in different directions. One coming from where the Sun rises in an Orange Cloak, and the other coming from where the Sun sets in a Purple Cloak,” the man said. The man then continued, “The riders carried nothing on them, and rode all the way to the Castle. There we saw the Kaiser waiting for them. The Kaiser seemed uneasy. He always seemed uneasy, but this looked more like he was in a hurry. They went into the Castle, and the riders came back out later both carrying giant sacks. They rode off into the distance and were never seen again.” The Zakaz, understanding what possibly happened, allowed the people to go. The Archers of the Last Khan ordered half of each of the Battalion to hunt down these Riders. The Riders must be found, their property confiscated, and be killed. The Zakaz rode off in the hour. Now the word is spreading, that the last remnants of the Drake Monarchy is dead, and the Zakaz are hunting down the Riders who carry the Ancient Scrolls of Faith. One thing was clear though. The person, or beast, who finds these Artifacts of Old will command the future.

In the Plains of Ares, by the Red Sea, lived a small village of Humans. After Mortem destroyed nearly the entire human race, some survivors decided to regroup and start over.  While some wanted to form new leading powers, others just wanted to make small communities. Here there are the first signs of recovery. The once burnt land now is being grown with small patches of grass. Small farms are being made, though the Sun still shines its rays deadlier now than ever. Water is found in deep caverns in the World, and irrigation systems were made to transport water from the sea. In this small community the people live small but happy lives. There was only one ruler, the Shaman. The Shaman was the spiritual and political leader of the community. Everyone knew to respect and obey the orders of the Shaman, for it is the messenger of Mortem himself. But today, news spread about the Riders to the community, and this information unsettled the Shaman. The Shaman knew that a day like this would come, and that the Drake Family couldn’t hold onto the power for much longer. He knew this because he received a message while dreaming from Mortem, that the Texts will be in danger. “The end is near, and the Texts must survive. The only hope is the opposite of recovery,” he remembered Mortem saying in his dream. This vision confused the Shaman, how can the victory be achieved through the opposite of recovery? Then the Shaman realized what it meant and knew the only creatures that could bring such opposition. The Shaman decided to leave this community, putting his trusted advisor in charge. The Shaman now must start his own plan, given to him by Mortem himself to save the world.  The Shaman rode off to find the one who Mortem commanded him to find. The Shaman rode off into the Waste Lands, into the Caverns of Fire, the Realm of the Zakaz.

In the Cavern’s openings to the Waste Land, Mozak watched the sun set. After a long a stressful day, it was nice to take a step back, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Mozak was a Zakaz also, but a different type. He was a Gecko, who mostly focused on building and manufacturing rather than destroying and killing, in the Zakaz Empire. His large yellow eyes starred at the horizon, as his scales rustled a little in the evening wind.  Mozak watched as the sun shinned brightly as it sunk down into the horizon, and the skies turned from bright yellow to dark pink. Then in the last moment, the sun disappeared in a flash, and the skies turned dark blue and dark. The last moments were always the saddest part to Mozak, for the beauty was over.

Mozak walked back into the dark abyss of his home in the Caverns, which was only lit by the torches and flames below. Mozak was exhausted from a day in the mines, but he has gotten used to feeling like this now. He remembered a month ago, when he was put into the mining corporation, to harvest the strange new metals deep in the planet. Their riches were the key to the Zakaz’s ultimate weapon, the Fire-Swords. Mozak knew that the work was dangerous, but it was the only way to support his family. His family was in ruins from poverty, and they were all now peasants. Mozak’s father died a month ago from an expedition, but Mozak and his family never found out why. Mozak had to take work to support his family. Mozak didn’t care about the dangers of this labor, only the life of his family.

Mozak walked over a bridge, and underneath molten lava flowed like a stream. Mozak’s scaly feet left a slight thumping sound as he walked.  As Mozak was walking a cart was driving by. It was pulled by a two-headed Ox, and a Zakaz in a red velvet suit was in the seat. The Zakaz was holding up papers and shouting, “Come join the military effort! Come to vanquish our enemies! Are you tired of living in the dark? FEAR NOT! The day of salvation is here. Joining the Battalion especially now would be beneficial to all!” Mozak thought about joining the army, for the  soldiers can keep what they looted from raids, but he realized that doing so would leave his family defenseless.

As Mozak walked along, he heard someone yell, “Get out here you! You call yourself a profit, I’ve seen more dignity in a mule”. A Zakaz worker threw a rock at the red velvet Zakaz. The Prophet Zakaz looked disgusted by such actions. “Hear me you exile. Once I find out your name and position, I’ll make sure you are punished for your insults,” he said. The worker then threw another rock at the red velvet Zakaz, and this time the Prophet Zakaz fell off his cart. A fight broke out, which had to be separated by local guards. Mozak thought while watching this, “Why do we always do stupid things, when we know it won’t work out in the end?” Mozak flicked his tongue to himself in response.

Mozak continued down the trail of metamorphic rock, when he heard someone screaming at the Manor. The Manor was the town hall of the Caverns of Fire. The leader, Sovereign Raza, was giving a speech. “Warning to all! The Archers of the Last Khan see our colony as suspicious, and we must not disappoint them when they arrive,” said Raza. The Archers? Here? Mozak was surprised by this announcement, the Archers only come in a time of emergency, or to conquer. And Mozak knew for sure they won’t kill their own kind, especially when they need them in the army.

The Caverns of Fire was an independent colony from the Waste Lands, the foundation of the Zakaz Empire. Sovereign Raza and his predecessors believed fighting in wars, as said in the Three Templets, will destroy everyone. Even though the Archers said they have “special rights to commit what they seem unjust”, the Caverns were made. The Caverns serve as a peaceful colony, that focuses more on resources than war. But now that the Archers are recruiting all Zakaz, the Caverns now fall victim to an inspection. If the inspection isn’t seen well by the Archers, the military will get involved. In some way, the Zakaz were threatening their own sanctuary.

Mozak finally arrived back home, a large molten rock. Giant holes served as windows, and stretched out animal hides served as curtains, rugs, and blankets. Even though this wasn’t the most extravagant of shelters, it was his family’s home, and nothing could change that. Mozak entered the home to see his brother reading a book. While Mozak was few of words, his brother was the complete opposite, and he could go on a rant for hours about the failing government in the Caverns, and every single flaw in the politicians. While this was impressive, it was in some ways upsetting to have a brother who only focused on politics, rather than being a brother. Mozak learned to understand and accept this overtime, but now felt the connection with his brother just gets thinner every day. Just like pulling a ball of string so far out that it snaps under the pressure. Mozak didn’t even bother saying hello to his brother, and just wanted to see his mother. His mother was working twice as much now ever since his father died, and she was exhausting herself. Now she laid in her bed whenever she can, for its the only place where she can find rest.

Mozak’s connection with his family was challenging. While he was upset about his father’s death, he felt there was really no connection with him and his father. Just like his brother, his father only focused on work, and doing what he could do to make himself feel better. Mozak felt, even though he had a family, he never had one. He could’ve been just with his mom for his whole life, and it wouldn’t be different. Of course, though, he did gain a lot more experience in the world with experience with his family. But sometimes a regular family would have been just good.

When Mozak tried to go find his mother, he discovered she was sleeping. Mozak didn’t want to interrupt her rest, especially how she was currently working, and decided to leave her be. Whatever he wanted to ask, he could always ask later. Mozak decided to read a book he got from the library a couple of weeks ago, “The Sword or the Axe.” His brother said it was, “a completely biased story to support military motives”, but Mozak didn’t care, why should his brother, who doesn’t even say hi to him, make decisions on what he reads. Plus, he wasn’t working all day in the mines, so this was his way to relax.  As Mozak sat on the stone porch reading his book, he quickly saw some commotion going on by the gates.

“Halt! Who goes there”, the Zakaz Gate-Keeper demanded?

“Oh, hello”, said the hooded stranger, “I’m from the East, I’ve come to speak to one of your kind.”

“Which one”, the guard questioned?

“I search for the son of Mulog Iron, Mozak,” said the stranger by the gates.

 “I’m not sure where the son is, but I’m sad to say that his father is dead. Crushed under a rock of jagged crystals. We didn’t tell the family yet, because it might be too much for them now,” the guard said gloomily.

 “Oh. Well that’s ok, I’m just here to find his son,” said the stranger with no guilt.

The guard looked confused, “Why do you want the son?”

 “I believe his skill could be beneficial to me,” said the stranger.

 “In what way,” the guard asked?

 “A skill in which is bad and good. That could bring life and death. A power of destruction, and a power of peace. A hope, that could help turn even the unhealthiest environments like this, back to future glory,” the stranger said hopefully.

 The guard looked puzzled, “What does that even mean?”

 The stranger let a quiet sigh, “I’m a Shaman from the Plains of Ares, and wish to meet the son of the now squashed father, for I feel he could help me save the world.”

 The guard now understanding, “Oh, ok. That’s alright. You can come in right now… wait a minute. SHAMAN!?  Oh, I don’t think you’re welcomed here. Well for right now.”

 The stranger now confused, “What do you mean?”

 “Well the Archers are coming tonight for an inspection, and I’m pretty sure they don’t like you. Seeing how every village they go to, they behead and gut Shamans, saying , “These are not the messengers of Mortem. But rather the anus of a pig”. I mean I know it goes against like the first or second order of royals, or something fancy like that, in which we defy the god, who I’m also afraid to offend at this moment. And I think I’m talking too much. Ok look, the main reason why I feel uneasy about letting you in, is that this place right now is on some pretty thin ice, and I think your presence here might just break the lake, if you get what I’m saying,” the guard finally finished.

 “Could I please go in?” the Shaman asked politely.

 “Oh sure, just make sure to be quick mister… uh what is your name,” the guard asked?

 The Shaman flipped off his hood, “Xenon.”

It seems someone was being let inside by the looks of it from Mozak’s house. It wasn’t the Archers, but rather a cloaked figure. Mozak thought it might be another priest or merchant, trying to spread something to someone. But in the weirdest way, it looked like the figure was walking toward him. Mozak realized it must be his nerves, so he let it go, and went back inside to make something to eat. As he was about to eat some flies with raw meat, he saw the figure from before now walking across the same bridge to his family’s house. As Mozak was about to clean the dishes with recycled water, he noticed the figure was crossing the trail from The Manor to his house. Now Mozak was getting paranoid. Mozak felt his scaly arms twitch in anxiousness, and his small claws tighten. Who was it? Why is it coming this way? He knew this figure could be trouble because of the commotion at the gate, so he wanted to stand on the porch, to make sure he walked away. But when he opened the door, the figure was already on his lawn.

“Hello,” the figure said.

 “Hi. Who are you?” Mozak asked.

 “Why , I am the Shaman from Ares, and I’m deeply sorry about your father’s death,” said the figure.

 “Oh. Well, thank you. Did you know him or anything… wait? SHAMAN!? Here, on the day the Archers are supposed to come, oh why you’re a crazy old fool if you want to bring genocide on us all,” Mozak said defeatedly. He felt his tongue flicker in response.

 The Shaman looked offended, “Ok well first. I did not know your father died. The guard at the gate said he was squashed into jelly. Second, yes, I am a Shaman, and I do know the Archers are coming, so if we could work together we could get out of here as quick as possible. And third, I’m not crazy, well… I may be, but not in that type of way.”

 Mozak looked like he was about to have a heart attack, “That was a lot to take in Shaman sir. Did you at least know my father though?”

 “Not in the slightest. Now then, we should probably get inside,” said the Shaman.

 Mozak was now standing defiant, “Now hold on a second. Why should I possibly trust you, when you don’t even know my father, are a Shaman, which are illegal in the Archer’s Rules, and won’t even tell me what you want?”

 The Shaman now realized he may have gone too far, “I’m sorry. That must’ve been a lot to say. It’s just were running out of time, and I do need your help. I can’t explain it all right now, but your help will not only be beneficial to me, but for your kind as well.”

Mozak still looked uncertain, “Who are you, Shaman?”

The Shaman rolled off his hood to show his face. It was a man’s face, with a long black beard, bushy eyebrows, and a symbol on his forehead. The symbol looked like a star and moon, fused together. “My name is Xenon, and I need your help Mozak,” said Xenon giving Mozak his hand.

 “Oh my god you’re pure,” said Mozak! “I’m a what,” said Xenon confused.

 “Pure! Out of all the humans left in the world, either horribly cursed or killed, you don’t have a scratch on you. By the way how did you know my name?” Mozak said.

 The Shaman now felt he needed to correct Mozak, “Actually I do have scars, while they aren’t on me on the outside, they’re on me in the inside, deep cuts. And, no one is pure, so don’t let that worry you. And to answer that last question, I feel we should probably go to the tavern in town to discuss more about it.”

 Mozak looked surprised now, “But what about my family? And how can I trust you?”

Xenon put a hand on Mozak’s scaly shoulder, “My new friend, I believe trust comes both ways. And I already trust you. And as for your family, I think they’ll be fine for right now.”

Mozak now finally decided to agree with Xenon and  go to the tavern with him. “I can’t believe you weren’t cursed”, Mozak said to Xenon. “They told us in school that all humans were cursed.”

 Xenon replied, “They were. But some were cursed in more tragic ways than others.”

 Mozak then said, “But you look so weird being normal.”

Xenon looked frustrated, “And you’re an overgrown Gecko. Come on! We make to the tavern and talk about the dilemma.” Mozak eyes widened a little by the excitement of this new experience.

And as Mozak and Xenon walked to the tavern, the Gates opened once more. This time, five riders came galloping in. They were heading to The Manor, a street away from the tavern. The Archers of the Last Khan have arrived.