Fallen Dreams Chapter 3
New Life Takes Root
By Nassaire Blue
The massive rock began ascending at an alarming pace. Many women screamed as their children clung tightly to their legs. With every passing minute, the island increased its speed. Many were becoming quite worried but their concentration remained steady. Their lives depended on that. It seemed like forever, the ascent, fighting the blistering wind and deplorable cold. The only thing that kept the bunch from giving up all together was the dream of feeling pure sunshine fall gently on their skin. It was a long and arduous day, but soon, the group was rewarded. After four hours of dedicated meditation, they felt themselves being swallowed up by the clouds and emerging on the canopy. It was late afternoon. The sun packed warmth into every nook and cranny of the miraculous island. It was so hot compared to the cold that they had become accustomed to. Almost instantly, a loud cracking could be heard as the icy layers that had formed over the bodies of water weakened. The huge mounds of white snow, which had lost much of their mass in the rise, quickly disappeared into soft mud. Feeling the light bathe them in its glory gave the Zeallics self-confidence and hope for a bright new future.
The people stopped concentrating and the island simply hovered in place. The Sun Stone, steadily humming, shined almost as bright as the sun. After a collective sigh, peace was suddenly interrupted by a violent jolt, shaking the people to their knees. When they stood back up, they saw seven people in a line, each glowing a different color. Their eyes were closed and they looked peaceful, almost comatose. Reo then introduced them. They were the Mammon Council and they were the most important citizens of the Zeal Kingdom. They had shown the greatest aptitude for using magic and had met with Spekkio, who then boosted their powers tenfold. These fine men and women would dedicate their lives to monitoring and regulating the Sun Stone, ensuring that its power did not falter and sink the island. They would spend their lives in the bottom of a small lake, guarding the Sun Stone as well the rest of the kingdom. Truly honorable, the Mammon Council; they would have to wait until Spekkio found an alternative power source that could operate itself independently until they could resume living out their lives. There was a scattered applause as the seven disappeared from sight, along with the glowing stone.
There was work to be done now. This barren land was definitely going to need a lot of care and manipulation to bring it to a state of eternal glory. The first thing that would need to be done was to melt the ice and snow that still lingered. This was the fire-users' task. After scouring the entire surface, melting away any lingering snow bank, they all gathered around the large body of water on the south side of the island. They concentrated their fire spells onto the icy shell and within a matter of minutes, it was reduced to a few floating cubes. The group moved north, and finally melted the lake that rested at the foot of the mountains.
The next thing that needed to be done was to cultivate the dead land so that it could produce beautiful flora life and sustain fauna life. This was going to be a simple task to accomplish. Although their powers were still fairly new to them, there were those who could grow plants in the most barren soil. Reo sought them out and asked them to fill his kingdom with plants of all colors and shapes to inspire his subjects to be optimistic. This was beneficial in more than one way. Most green magic users were extremely talented and artistic. After the group first met, it took many hours of discussion and deliberation to decide the "design scheme" for their kingdom's plant life. Nearing dusk, the agriculturists set to work by first showering the entire area with magical grass seeds. The grass would grow to smother the island in a giant emerald field.
The group then disbanded into smaller clusters. One cluster was devoted to planting tree seeds all around the kingdom. This task had a strategic design too: trees would mostly exist in small bunches at various points in the land, but they would also line the waterways, and the base of the mountains. Two more clusters were coordinated for growing specialized plants; one group planted aesthetically pleasing bushes and flowers and the other produced edible fruits and vegetables. Finally, the last cluster was intent on creating a giant forest at the eastern edge of the island. It was to be spectacular. This cluster was particularly large because there was to be hundreds of species of plants within this forest. The leader of the cluster, Aro, worked so hard and committed so much energy that he collapsed while formulating and performing spells to make the forest perfect in every way. Upon its completion, it came to be called Aro's Forest.
With the seeds planted, the clusters regrouped at the center of the island and joined hands. Under the starry night sky with their fellow inhabitants watching in awe, they concentrated their energy out into the blank countryside and gave life to their seeds. The whole topside of the island glowed a soft, pale green. There was a wave of warm air from the ground and a collective hiss from the seeds. It was now only a matter of time until the Zeal was filled with oxygen-rich vegetation.
The first night in the sky was restless for most. Although the temperature stayed enjoyably warm all night, the new Zeallics worried about how long they would have to sleep in the open fields. By morning, Reo was overwhelmed with the worries of his people. He promised them that even though it would be a strenuous task that would require significant effort from everyone, Zeal would become a kingdom incomparable to any other in all of time.
It only took a few weeks for the seeds to grow noticeably. People had already started construction of the city to be called Enhasa. The Zeallics poured their hearts out into beautifying this land that was their own. Zeal was like a child that had to be reared, dressed, and nudged to change and grow. The animals that some people had brought were released into the wild to breed and roam freely. Some animals, that had lived in the caves of the northern mountain, emerged and began frolicking in the short grass and exploring the new terrain. Surprisingly, there was a large variety of creatures residing in the caves. There were large friendly beasts that sparkled when the sunlight hit them and birds with bouquets of extravagant feathers. In the lakes, the Zeallics found jellyfish and other primitive underwater organisms. A few species fish had survived the freeze and began multiplying, which was wonderful news to the Zeallics, as this would provide them with another source of food. Living in Zeal was becoming like a harmonious dream.
Reo could barely contain his happiness. All of the anger and frustration that he had built up was finally depleted. He now had a reason to function: his people. He had brought them this far and he was not about to stop. The basic portions of Enhasa had been completed and it was time for a break. Now everyone had a place to live, even though space was close, and the people could stand back and watch nature do its own job for a while. Meanwhile, the king and his scientists studied everything very carefully to ensure that all was going according to plan. Subsequent to his survey of the kingdom, Reo gave notice that he was going into seclusion for a short time.
The great king went into the smaller of two mountains, rumored to be the home of a separate culture of Nus, some postulated, lead by Spekkio. However, the network of caves that coiled and winded within the mountain were eerie and most avoided entering. The king had sort of an affinity to them though. It was bizarre how he could emerge from the mountain clean-shaven and free of hunger and thirst. Nonetheless, it gave the once-troubled man a sense of serenity and peace.
When Reo returned, he brought a newfound sense of life and many ideas to improve life in Zeal. In the caves, he had found a tremendous collection of Dreamstone shards. Reo suggested that an imperial mint be set up to smooth out these shards and be evenly distributed for currency. This was the initial action the ignited the great economy of Zeal kingdom.
The great island had been hovering above the clouds for nearly two months when tremendous gusts of winds starting blowing from the western edge of the continent late in the night. These winds proved to be extremely strong as the houses that lined the edge of Enhasa lost roofs and in some cases, even outer walls. The whole town was aflutter by the early morning. As the pastel morning light smothered the fresh grass, Reo emerged from the skeletal structure of his new castle to have his hair violently tossed around and his night robes whipped across his side. He looked to the west to find nothing but grass and a few saplings littering the horizon.
'What could be causing this?' He pondered to himself.
Shouts reached the king's ears and he began to run to Enhasa. On his way, as his heart began to beat faster, he noticed himself being levitated. Reo stopped moving his legs and realized that he was flying. This newfound talent carried him faster than his legs ever had, and he was sure that the gusts were helping him too. Once he reached the town square he lowered himself down gracefully on a platform. Some took notice of his new skill but most were concerned with the weather. Reo offered a few words of comfort to the Zeallics and then summoned scientists and wind-magic users to a large building on the outskirts of town.
The group met only briefly as King Zeal laid out orders to find the cause of the winds and posed some suggestions. Before they dismantled, Reo told them how he had learned to fly and urged them to try it as it could enhance their research. Sure enough, by the early evening the assemblage returned with some relieving information. The scientists had analyzed the currents and amplitude and the wind-users had assessed the natural force and come to the conclusion that they were upper-atmosphere trade winds. The group had also come to the conclusion that the trade winds were causing swelling within the snowstorm clouds that lie below them and that the island would soon be encased in a giant cloud, no doubt a full-blown storm would ensue. With this knowledge, precautionary measures were taken and defenses were established. This group was honored by statues and declared the first official Zeal Meteorologists. A group that would help shape the kingdom by guarding it from natural disaster.
Many years passed and with the help of skilled rock-magic-using people and designs drawn up by architects, two glorious cities were built that served as homes to the ever-growing Zeallic culture. The cities were huge and colorful. They were decorated with silk curtains, marble pillars, statues of great people and the finest potted plants. They were filled with colossal apartment complexes and buildings that housed shops and inns. It was a marvelous yet solitary sanctuary. Magnificent green trees grew taller every day, providing beauty to the countryside and shade on the winding dirt roads. The waterways of Zeal, aided by a system of aqueducts, fed the cities of Enhasa, and Titanus with cool, refreshing water with which to drink and to clean. The whole situation was a miraculous achievement of human ambition and determination.
Providing protection and all-encompassing security from his throne, Reo took an active role in his kingdom's rapid growth. The population had increased appreciably and as more and more learning centers opened, his people were accumulating infinite amounts of knowledge. New data was being collected each day as countless teams of scientists conducted experiments and applied research. Magic was now thriving and Reo encouraged his people to practice both offensive and defensive measures. The economy was in tip-top condition. The Imperial Full Mint provided each adult with equal appropriations of food, first-rate living quarters based on occupation and family size, and a percentage of money in order to buy accessories like lavish clothes and elemental weapons for practicing.
The landscape was maturing as well. The Zeal Meteorologists had done extensive investigations on the climate and its effects on Zeal. Since the weather stayed warm and moderately humid year-round, dew was a nightly occurrence. With all of the excess water, the island would eventually be completely submerged. The agriculturists had toiled too hard to let that happen. So, in a water-efficiency effort, the small lake at the foot of the mountains was diverted around the central castle and directed to empty into the north of the Diamond Sea, named after its appearance in the noonday sun. The Sea was then diverted at the southeastern and southwestern edges to pour directly off of the rim of the island and into the clouds. The Meteorologists then discovered that the larger mountain, now called Halation, was full of large crevices and caves that gathered large amounts of condensation and rainwater from the storms. The mountain would eventually erode from the inside and crumble if the water was not allowed to escape. When a large gash was purposely blown into the center of Halation Mountain, the water gushed out. A waterfall formed that then flowed into the lake and kept the excess inner-mountain water drained. The cascade, which slowed from time to time but never ceased, frequently threw a rainbow across the mountainside.
As his kingdom kept growing, so did his family. Reo had taken a wife a year after the rising and had been blessed with a handsome baby boy. The child who was to become the first natural-born king was considered the most intelligent and talented boy in Zeal. Growing up under extremely blessed circumstances formed the prince into a brilliant leader, just like his father. He would surely make a good ruler. Some twenty years after the rising, the great King Reo Zeal suddenly fell ill. Those who possessed the mysterious healing magic tried everything they could to help the king, but nothing they tried worked. Reo died a happy man in the arms of his queen and his son. But always the thoughtful progressive, he left two important books behind to pave the way for the future generations of Zeal.
The first book was the mysterious red text found by King Yakra after the Great Awakening, the only real source of history on Terra. The other was a black book that Reo had handwritten himself. In it, he revealed answers to some of the Zeallics' burning questions. He also included a brief biography of the elusive magic-master, Spekkio, and his society. He asked the Zeallics to look brightly toward the future and forget about their wretched pasts on the ruthless and unforgiving Terra. He wanted his people to master the forces of magic and wizardry. His goal was for Zeal to evolve into the perfect human culture. In the final pages of the book were his last will and testament, in which he declared his evolving kingdom to be left in the care of his son and his people.
Reo's son, Esquino, was the first in a long line of great rulers who would advance the kingdom beyond the highest expectations. Esquino's first acts as king established a strong, central monarchy supported by a well-organized political system. The Kingdom of Zeal was thereafter governed completely by the Zeallic Cabinet. First and foremost, the king named himself supreme political overseer. But, so as to protect the future from overeager or bloodthirsty dictators, he established three lower levels. The Senate consisted of fifty of Zeal's brightest and smartest men. Their jobs were to represent the people who elected them. They would review the king and queen's rulings and offer advice or make suggestions when necessary. Members of the higher levels of the Cabinet would take the consensus of the Senate into consideration surrounding serious matters. Above the Senators were the Governors. The Governors acted as lords of each city, passing laws that would deal with the common welfare. They would oversee the monthly Senatorial gatherings and pass legislation to be submitted to the crown. On the next level of power sat three Chancellors. They would be the supreme court justices and tend to all minor legal issues. They would also interact directly with the monarchs. As a precautionary measure, the Chancellors would have the collective power to dethrone and execute any monarch who came in violation of the Cabinet's laws and the peoples' set of ideals.
The Cabinet constituted several documents regarding the law, completing all the steps in creating an efficient monarchy. Nearly thirty years after the island had risen, Zeal Kingdom was wholly established. To celebrate, the king fashioned a tower on a little island in the Diamond Sea that would serve as a monument of triumph to all Zeallics. A beach party for the entire kingdom was held the night "Zeal Beacon Tower" was finished.
As the people danced around bonfires and played in the moonlit water, Esquino and his wife watched from the top floor in the tower. He admired himself for continuing in his father's footsteps. Zeal was truly a kingdom of dreams. With continued care, it could last until the end of time.
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