The man knew the day that the ancient evil would rise again. So he set out on a journey to find the heroes that he knew would be able to defeat it. The first hero he discovered was a girl, the second her brother who had not even been born yet. The man settled down in the small hamlet where the girl and her parents lived, waiting until the boy arrived, meanwhile teaching the girl in the ways she needed to be taught. She was going to be the archer and with the man’s training she was soon able to take down a rabbit from a long distance away and hit any moving mark with pinpoint accuracy. The man taught her tracking and showed her the plants to heal wounds and the best branches to make arrows from. Then one day, he could teach her no more and the only thing left for her to do was to train for her final test. Her brother was old enough to be mentored now.
The man knew the boy was a born warrior. So he taught him how to hold his sword and shield, to protect himself and those around him. The boy grew strong under the tutelage of the man and could move everything he wanted and not be moved himself if he stood his ground. But the man made sure that the boy used his power for good and not intimidation or brawling. The man made him everything a knight should be, chivalrous, kind and a hero of the common folk. When the man could teach the boy nothing he didn’t know already, the man left in search for the third hero and the boy would be continue to train with his sister.
The man knew that the team could use a mage. So he set out to a city where he had felt a source of great power. When he found the mage he wanted, he stood in front of a young woman, an acolyte in one of the temples. He told her about her nascent powers and offered to be her mentor so she could use her magic in a safe but powerful way. She became particularly good with her fire spells, but the man made sure she could cast healing and ward spells just as well. He taught her the history of the realm, let her read scrolls of long lost knowledge and in the end she could read every language that had ever existed. With her training ended, the man set out for the fourth and final hero. The mage was sent to the village of the archer and warrior, to continue her training on her own. In addition, he made the group of three depend on each other for some tasks he had created for them to strengthen their bond.
The fourth hero was a rogue. The group would need someone with a silver tongue and if that failed, have other means to secure a peculiar object or gain entry to a certain place. Though the rogue was an orphaned kid, and would be the youngest of the group, he needed less training of the man as his need to survive had already taught him to be a masterful pickpocket, but the boy took only what was necessary, either for him or the other orphans. The boy was also near uncatchable, he could run like the wind among crowds and was up the roofs as fast as a squirrel. The man made sure the boy would not need to steal food anymore so he could concentrate on honing the skills he didn’t have much use of yet, which was the talking. The boy was brash, but a fast learner and soon enough the rogue didn’t always had to rely on his deft fingers to get what he needed. With the boy’s training finished, the man took him to the village where the archer, warrior and mage were waiting on his return. The day of their final test was drawing very near.
The rogue was the last member of the group added, but the boy got to see the three others as family soon enough. He was not used to relying on others, but he knew the importance of working together, and so he did. Then the mentor told them about their destiny. The ancient evil would soon awaken, and they had to prepare to take it head on. They needed several magical items, spells and equipment, but with the skills they had gained under the man’s lessons, this proved to be of very little effort. Then the day of their final test arrived.
It was a long and disastrous battle. The archer could not pierce the hide of the beast, the sword and dagger could leave no cuts, the fire did not take hold. Even with all their training, the shield of the warrior broke and the ward of the mage got destroyed. The evil charged forwards, trampling the rogue and warrior, leaving them dead. The archer cried for her brother and lost her life by the beast’s jagged teeth. The mage, now all alone, tried one last and desperate move, pouring her remaining magical power in one final destructive inferno. The ancient evil was not killed. The mage sank to her knees, the darkness closing in, consuming her.
The man sighed deeply. This is not how it was supposed to go, he said to himself. I was too sure, too hasty. I have failed. I need to do better next time. I need to start from the beginning. So he clapped into his hands and everything went dark.
The man knew the day that the ancient evil would rise again. So he set out on a journey to find the heroes that he hoped would be able to defeat it.