A light rain falls on the ancient ruins in the middle of the night. A cloaked figure leans against a crumbling wall and attempts to stay under what little roof still stands, grumbling under his breath the whole time. A large sword is embedded in the ground beside him, and he drums his fingers on the hilt impatiently. Eventually, a second figure approaches, shorter an carrying an ornate hammer.
"About time you showed up, you damnable dwarf!" the tall Warrior grunts.
"I'll be at peace when I'm out of this rain!"
"I find the rain to be a blessed reprieve from the harshness of the day."
"You would, you pious little-" The Priest allowed his ally's words to fade into the background as the Warrior let loose a stream of expletives. He could not help but smile to himself. Despite his general gruffness and lack of respect for the Gods, this proud orc had become one of his closest friends. If that did not make one believe that miracles occur, nothing would.
"So where are the others?"
"I was unaccompanied. I'm certain they will be along shortly."
"Trust an elf to be late to her own get together."
"Oh, now you're just being petty."
A third figure falls from the remains of the roof with stunning grace, causing the Warrior to curse and stumble away from the wall. The Rogue smiles and theatrically dusts herself off. A raven lands on the human's shoulder, and she raises a hand to stroke its feathers.
"For your information, she'll be here in about a minute."
"How long have you been up there?"
"Long enough to know that you have terrible personal grooming habits."
"Peace, brethren. There is no need for us to come to blows."
"I swear if we didn't need to work together..."
"The feeling's mutual Ugly."
"Quiet now, all of you."
The forth and final figure approaches the gathering, and at her presence the three become calm. The Wizard commanded authority, in more ways than one, and despite any personal feelings about her, all present held respect for her and what she was capable of.
"Are you all prepared?"
"As we'll ever be."
"So get on with it, elf."
"Come now friend, we must be patient."
The Wizard surveys her allies. They had overcome much, both obstacles from outside and trials within and between them. This group would be the ones, that much she knew. And yet her honor forced her to again restate that which they all knew.
"The time has come. Once it has begun, there will be no turning back. Knowing this, are you willing to proceed."
"An orc knows no fear."
"I will follow my companions to the end."
"If Ugly and Shorty are in, there's no way I'm backing out."
The Wizard nodded.
"Then it is decided. Destiny will be written here. Twice more we shall meet, though perhaps we shall not recognise the others. Twice more will the world call upon us, and twice more we swear to answer. Do you so swear?"
"I so swear."
"On my blade, I swear."
"Yeah, why not?"
"Then let it begin."
The meeting ends. The deed is done, the pact sworn and signed in blood. The Four once again go their seperate ways.
Ages pass. The ruins continue to crumble, and eventually return to dust.
Kingdoms rise and fall, and eventually fall from favour as men decide they are unhappy with a single ruler wielding absolute power over them. Lands are discovered and lost, nations are forged and broken, wars break out and are brought to an end.
In short, history is written.
Fifteen hundred and sixty years later, precisely, four families are blessed with child. These families live near eachother, but are for all intents and purposes seperate, never interacting. Until the appointed time, that is. Destiny has something in mind for these families. Or more precisely, their children.
Seventeen years later, destiny appears to be loosing its touch, as the date passes by with absolutely nothing of note happening. It has been two months since then, give or take a week, and life for these four individuals has gone on much the same way. The summer moves on, and as it comes to an end they prepare for yet another year of challenges presented by the public education system. Today is the first day of school, and each individual greets it differently.
In an uptown area of the city of New Terras, a human girl hums to herself as she applies make up, intent on presenting herself as best she can. Her firey red hair frames her face, washed and brushed to appear imaculate, like the rest of her. The girl finishes applying her lipstick. She looks her reflection over once more with her amber eyes, and content she skips away happily.
In a more modest dwelling, a young dwarf fails to greet the morning with anything approaching happiness. The windows of her room remain shut, blocking the sunlight and the sounds of the city. What few noises make it through are drowned out by the loud cacophony that she calls music, chosen from her collection almost specifically to aggrivate her parents. It also drowns out the sound of the razor, maintaining her smooth, beardless face, yet another assault on her parent's sensibilities. She shakes her short brown hair to maximize her visible grunginess, and once she is certain she is offensive enough to her parents, begins to get ready for school.
In a less urban location, a young elf has yet to awaken. He snores loudly for such a small creature, shattering the refined and dignified image of his race without even being conscious. A loud crash from downstairs causes him to awake with a start. He rubs the sleep from his bright blue eyes, scratches his blonde scalp, and after a moment of consideration flops back down.
In one of the city's poorer districts, an orcish boy is having similar difficulties motivating himself into wakefulness. He runs a hand through his unevenly cut black hair and grimaces. Splashing his face with water once again to try and increase his alertness is slightly effective. He searches with his hands, first for a towel to dry his face, then for his glasses to be placed over his red eyes.
These four seventeen year olds will face destiny together, whether they realize it or not. The steps of destiny must be taken one at a time, however. Who among these four will take that first step?