Author: Highpriest
Chapter 1

The Prelude There was once a people on Earth known as the Vallian. It was a long time ago.They were people of the sword and were warriors. They lived with integrity and honor because of their belief in the creator of all life.

All around them, the world was shifting away from the ways it had been since the beginning of time.

They were despised by their adversaries for their unwavering determination not to alter and succumb to the evil tide of man's fall from grace with their Creator.

In secret, the Vallians got ready to do the only thing left for them to do:leave the first world, Earth.They planned a way out of the disaster they felt was inevitable given the circumstances of the fallen Earthlings, anticipating a judgment.They left the place of their creation two hundred years before the global flood that the Creator had sent. Their preparations were finished.a flood that would wipe out the entire planet, save for one man's family, which was found to be pure and righteous.

The Vallians went through the Creator's creation's galaxies for a long time before finding a system of planets where they decided to settle down.They weren't the only ones, though.In the past, other people from Earth had discovered and settled the series of worlds in this faraway galaxy first.

Over the course of more than three thousand years, the Vallians established themselves as a dominant power in this brand-new sphere of space and enjoyed generations of peace.

However, they committed a mistake and reverted to the evils and fallen natures that they had previously escaped on Earth. As a result, an adversary with a grudge that had been developing for three thousand years had no compassion for them.Millions upon millions of Vallians were killed in the war.A portion of their once-proud people fled the galaxy because they were unable to win a war for which they were not prepared.

They knew that the galaxy where man was first created was their only option.The Earth and the people who had survived the great flood were vastly different from where they had left it.In 2150 BC, they had left.Now that they were back, it was 1350 AD.They thought they couldn't stay because so much had changed, but they took the words of the Creator, which had been spoken and recorded while they were gone, with them on their quest to find a new home where they could hide from their past and make new plans for the future.

They settled on a lonely, uninhabited world that they discovered not far from Earth.Fearing that they would repeat the mistakes of the past, they abandoned their technology. Eventually, civil war broke out, and the Vallian people split up.Where once there had been brotherhood and unity, the new world became a place of factions fighting each other out of bitter envy and hatred of belief.

The descendants of the Vallian fought fiercely for over seven hundred years as life went on.They were unaware of the splendor of their ancient past because their people had now broken up into many pieces.Their perceptions of what life had to offer had become sour, and as a result, they had no real hope for the future.As brother fought brother, they only fought to survive.However, everyone has the chance to make a change for righteousness and follow the Creator's path of justice at some point in their lives.

One group of people who split off from the Vallians' tribe still held to the old beliefs and continued to fight among their friends to bring about this change.They desired the day when all of their species would have a unified belief in the Creator of all life, but they needed a leader to help them get there.They eventually located him.

Jasper The heat of the sun made me feel like I was sweating through the grime;days of accumulated dust that I hadn't even had a chance to clean up.Despite the fact that I was doing well to be alive, I resented the stench of old sweat.

However, it was preferable to be alive than to be a decaying body left for the vultures to consume in a desolate gully.Now that I had some time to consider how bad my smell was, I realized that I didn't have any extra water to wash with.

The most pressing issue I was facing at the moment was water.The Hagathic Wastelands were nothing more than a desert devoid of water that could be drank.It was a good place to either perish from thirst or lose a group of hostile riders.You can choose, but I didn't want anything from either option.

The edge of the Attorgron forests lay about fifty miles to the east.I could get good water there, and it was closer to me than the other water source I was going to, but it had its own set of issues.One reason would be that my pursuers would expect me to head there for water, in addition to the cover the forest could provide us as we headed north; however, I would unavoidably run into the Attorgron people at some point along the way.

I was a wanted man with a bounty on my head to them.Because of that, I was well worth the effort it took for them to locate me and inject me with one of those poison darts they were so fond of.Thank you;Instead of dying from poison burning my insides, I would take my chances out in the open.

All of my options were decidedly bleak.When was the last time it was any different?For a very long time.

Through the glistening heat waves, I glanced back over our route.I decided to remain where we were for a while longer because I didn't see anything suspicious.The boy and I both required rest.

Though the thought of a Zoarinian lance point being rammed through my middle while I slept kept my eyes open, it would have been nice to get some sleep.Despite the fact that I hadn't seen any visible signs of pursuit in two days, I could still feel them out there.It was similar to a persistent itch.

Rats!I smelled, and now I could add itching to the list of ailments caused by neglect.I was definitely beginning to feel the effects of the chase on me.That would happen to you if you had to care for a child for days without getting any sleep.

Why had I been duped into carrying out this petty task anyway?Being a man alone and being chased was one thing; having a child with you added a whole new set of challenges.I had no idea anything about children!The plan had not included bringing this child along, but now that he was here, that was it.A chase was hard on horses and humans alike, but it had to be especially hard on a kid, and I was glad this kid was tough.

The kid's toughness brought back memories of my own tough childhood in the Hills of Ernor, near the Zoarinian city of Cassis, in the lowlands.

Neither my family nor the Ernorians were of Zoarinian descent.To escape some of the difficulties of the past, my father had taken us to the hills.My parents seemed to like the place most because no one knew us there.Only I was able to determine that my father wasn't happy to be there.His heart seemed to have remained in the land of his birth in the north, which he would frequently look off to wistfully.He could only get as close as the Ernor Hills to the Valley Lands mountains, which could be seen in the distance on a clear day.

Because our parents had, for the most part, prevented us from mingling with the locals, my brother and I had spent most of our childhoods by ourselves and had few friends.When harvest time arrived, we saw the most of the outside world.We would transport our harvest by rafts down the Tegre River to the Zoarinian markets further down the river that were in need of it.

Even though my brother and I weren't allowed to talk to many people, we still had our parents' love and the safety of their home.

I had no idea at the time that those had been glorious times.Neither I nor the young man, who was fast asleep in a ball by the small fire, were likely to experience such days again.

It had been difficult to get there from Kharta.We had been pursued from the beginning, and it had been close for some time before I was able to give us some time and distance by temporarily losing our pursuers in a swampy area that I was familiar with.My admiration for the boy had increased on a daily basis as he had performed admirably under pressure.Although I hadn't explicitly informed the boy yet that his father had passed away, I believe he had already guessed.He had occasionally let out a quiet cry, mostly at night when he thought I wasn't looking.While I had concealed my observation of his crying, I had honored his wishes.

I decided to give the boy a little more time to sleep.Even so, it would be preferable to travel at night.I continued to rest, settling into a slightly more comfortable position against the bank of a long dead stream.I let my thoughts wander once more to the past, when I had lost my family and my youth.

My name, Jasper Dale, the son of Andrew and Tisha Dale, was all that was left of my past.Charles was the name of my brother before.The world around us was not as settled as the Hills of Ernor, where we had lived comfortably.With each passing day, the outside world became more merciless and cruel.

I had no idea how the world worked until one day, when it brutally invaded in a way that forever altered my life.

My brother and I were raised differently by my parents than the hill people around us, most of whom had adopted the Zoarinian way of life.We were taught the old ways, not the kids of our neighbors.We discovered that everything we saw around us was made by the Great Creator.We learned a great deal about the fall of man, his redemption, and more.

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