Sanctuary By: Xero Maverick

"Forgotten within the dusty pages of time... forsaken by fearful discoverers... lost in the minds of all... Sanctuary. A white magic casting a barrier over all deemed worthy by the Gods. T'was once an item all creatures were incredibly dependant on, until its users were misled and ceased to believe in it any longer. That was when all Hell broke loose - wars broke out, diseases were born, and natural disasters were an everyday occurance, all because of the black magic that misled the people. Despite all the death, though, one survivor came out of it all..."

- Arkane Genesis


Chapter One - Separation

"We really shouldn't be here," muttered the nervous Sierra Phyres, a 15 year old human who was accompanied by her closest friend, Kainus Zerani, a teenage male just one year older than Sierra, who was also human. Sierra was armed with a steel dagger located in a scabbard attached to her belt, stood around 5'4 with golden - brown hair that was a little past her shoulders in length, and wore loose, white clothing with the golden, threaded crest of a phoenix on the front of her shirt. She also had two broad wings with a mix of gold and white feathers sprouting from her back that had caused her parents to abandon her for fear that it may bring an abomination to their land and make them appear to be sinners and unworthy in the eyes of their Gods. Kainus was armed with spiked, golden knuckles, stood 5'10 with spiky blonde hair, and wore a black shirt with a dark blue jean jacket overtop it. On the back of his jacket was an embroidered red dragon crest that he favoured. His pants were made of a black and red leathery material; his favourite colour combination. Kainus' father, Galian, had found Sierra homeless in Glyde. He took her in and raised her with Kainus, so the two had lived together like brother and sister, even though they weren't.

Sierra was persuaded to accompany Kainus to Xollan's Cliffs; a place feared by many, if not all, because of the ghostly howls that were often heard calling out from it. Also, one child had even disappeared in there for the past month. Kainus and Sierra took it upon themselves to either find this child and return to their hometown, Glyde, for a reward, or prove that nothing was cursed about Xollan Cliffs, and end what they thought was pure nonsense.

"Don't be such a worry wart, Sierra! Remember when we went to Guldor's Swamp? The villagers were all so damn scared; oh no! The giant spiders are so dangerous! They're poisonous! Aah! That was PATHETIC! They called spiders who were seven inches tall giant! Sheesh," reminded Kainus.

Sierra chuckled, trying to keep light - spirited about the whole situation as she followed Kainus in deeper. "Yeah, you're right, Kain. I'm just nervous about this, that's all."

Kainus turned around abruptly, his face seeming to burst with laughter. "You're not... scared, are you!? Haha! You're scared!"

"I'm not scared, for Ultimus' sake! Elliot Anglin disappeared last month and ever since then, there have been ghost sightings all over Glyde. People are scared of Xollan's Cliffs for a reason, Kain! I'm not scared, I'm just a bit nervous, like I said before." One thing was for sure; when Sierra had a point to make, she made it loud and clear.

Kainus sighed, half laughing at how edgy Sierra was. "Okay, okay. I get the point, Sierra. Take your mind off that for a second at least, and think about the rewards we can reap in for ending this crap! Even if that kid did disappear in here, if we find him and bring him back to Glyde, we'll be sitting pretty; set for life! Just imagine; a whole house filled to the brim with cold hard cash and we have to buy seven more houses just to fit in the extra stuff!"

While he laughed insanely at his dream of endless riches, Sierra crossed her arms and began to become annoyed with her friend. "Kain, I don't think Glyde has that much cash stored away. Get real, okay? Brohem can't even afford to buy a trough for his pigs, let alone reward us with neverending gold for our deeds."

Kainus' laughter ceased as he scratched the back of his neck, just now realizing how far-fetched his idea really was. "Alright, sheesh... let's just get on with this before you bite my head off or something."

They trudged on through the foggy atmosphere, each knowing that deep within themselves, they were a bit scared. Both of them were, but didn't dare show it. Their nerves were at their limits; just one abnormal noise could've probably given them a severe heart attack, and Kainus had just stepped on a loose twig and snapped it, making a cracking sound that echoed throughout the whole area endlessly, showing just how vast the cliffs really were. Kainus and Sierra both jumped in reflex, Kainus falling to the ground, flat on his bottom. Sierra recovered and smacked Kainus in the head. "Don't do that! I'm edgy enough already!"

"S-Sorry! Cripes! I just stepped on a twig, that's all!" Kainus knew not to make Sierra mad, but when he did, he tried his best to act cute and innocent to get out of it.

Sierra seemed to fall for the act again. She sighed, and outstretched her arm to help Kainus up. "Come on, let's go. Here, I'll help you."

Kainus nodded, grabbing her hand and getting up, then dusting himself off. "Thanks, Sierra. Now then... hey! Cool! Look over there!"

He pointed over to a pedestal with a blue glow emitting from it, then ran over to it and examined the glow. It was a sword with a glowing orb planted snugly in its hilt that emitted the blue glow which attracted Kainus' attention. He carelessly picked it up and swung it around to test its weight, alarming Sierra quite a bit. "Kain! Put that down right now! It doesn't belong to you!"

Kainus was too pre - occupied in his fantasies to heed Sierra's warning. "Can you just IMAGINE how much cash we could sell this thing for!? Woohoo, jackpot! Boo - yah! You're gonna' thank me for this one day, Sierra! You just wait and see!"

"Damnit, Kain! If you don't put that down, I'm going to smack you for this!"

"Why are you so worried? It's lying here, just LYING here! You expect me to leave a beauty like this here, where it could rust and lose it's precious value!?"

Suddenly, a violent rumbling knocked the sword straight out of Kainus' hands and sent it flying to balance on the edge of the cliff. The tremor also caused both Kainus and Sierra to fall down on the ground, Kainus on his back and Sierra on her bottom. A large hole was created by a massive head emerging through the dry ground; the head of a horned dragon. This was an unusual dragon, due to the fact that its body was made up of not scales nor skin, but bones; it was a skeletal dragon! In the upper part of its ribcage was a large, beating heart. Sierra looked up at the creature in awe before trying to get up again, despite the still - occuring shaking.

"Kain! Put the sword back and maybe he'll go back too," yelled a fearful Sierra to Kainus, who was recovering from a sharply - pointed rock being jabbed lightly through his leg, unseen to her.

He groaned painfully as he got up and the rock came out of his leg, but was knocked down by another rough shaking, as was Sierra. Kainus cursed to himself in frustration as the skeletal dragon roared out in fury at being awakened after what it thought was going to be a peaceful, eternal sleep beneath the ground.


Xollan motioned his skull to a child's head impaled on a lance that stuck straight out of the ground beside him. Sierra gasped, half in surprise, half in fear. "That's Elliot's head! He must've tried to take the sword too!"

The beast then turned back to the two, his eyes glowing an angry red. "YOU HUMANS AREN'T INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO STAY OUT OF MY ABODE. SO BE IT; YOU LOOK FORWARD TO DYING QUICKLY, I SUPPOSE!"

With a swift roll to the side, Kainus avoided a claw swipe from Xollan that would've most likely killed him if it had made contact. He reached for the sword, but was pulled back by the dragon's bony hand and picked up by his leg to be held, dangling helplessly in mid - air. "Let me go!"


Thinking again, Kainus bit his lip. "Err, I take it back! Don't let me go! Please don't let me go!"

Xollan laughed again and went eye level with the terrified teenager to try and strike even more fear into him. "YOU TOLD ME TO LET YOU GO THE FIRST TIME, AND SO I WILL! SAY GOODBYE - ARGH!"

His speech was interrupted by the sword Kainus had stolen being thrusted skillfully through the bone dragon's ribcage and right into his heart, causing him to fall back in defeat. His body fell apart at the impact of hitting the cliffsides and he dropped Kainus into the emptiness below him. Sierra cried out loudly in anguish as she saw Kainus fall off the cliff, "KAINUS!"

Chapter Two - Night Strike

Suddenly, a bright white flash appeared and disappeared as soon as it had came. Sierra looked over the edge of the cliff, expecting to see Kainus dead on the ground below, but it was too far down to see, and the thick fog impaired her vision. She sat back, wiping away a small tear that was forming in her eye. "Kainus, no..."

She didn't know how to fly very well with her wings and flying too low could be dangerous; she just hoped that Kainus had caught onto a safe ledge or something and could climb back up again. She decided she'd wait for him if that were the case at all.

By nightfall, five hours later, she was still waiting patiently for Kainus to return to the top of the cliff. She knew he wasn't coming back, but she didn't want to leave without seeing him again. Finally, she forced herself to get up and walk away, holding back the tears in her eyes with all her strength. "Kain, why did I ever let you persuade me to come here? Why didn't I refuse and say it was too dangerous? Then, you would've stayed at home and right now you'd still be... alive..."

She decided that the right thing to do was to tell Kainus' father, Galian Zerani. Kainus' mother had died years ago from a fatal illness, but otherwise, Sierra would've had to tell her too. She knocked lightly on the door of Kainus' house and Galian answered it.

"Oh, Sierra. What are you doing out at this time of night?" The muscular black - haired man had a worried expression evident on his face.

"I... I have to tell you something," responded a teary - eyed Sierra.

Galian noticed the tears in Sierra's eyes and also that Kainus wasn't there. He knew something terrible had happened. "Come in, we'll talk in there."

He moved aside and Sierra nodded, walking in and having Galian shut the door softly behind her. She seated herself in a red, velvet chair across from Galian, who sat on his favourite black wooden chair. He had afforded all this by doing good deeds to towns he found on his journies and being rewarded for it; in his younger days, Galian was a traveller. He was also a swordsman and an extremely skilled one at that; formerly the best one in the land, though Kainus would always believe he still was. In a fight long ago, Galian had lost his left arm, but had it replaced by the local blacksmith. It was now a sturdy, powerful metal arm which he was very proud of. Numerous swords hung from hooks, lining the walls of the Zerani househould. Each was a different shape and probably had a different use, but Sierra had little or no knowledge of sword design, so she wouldn't possible have known them. Galian began to speak softly and gently. "It's about Kainus, isn't it?"

Sierra nodded slowly, still holding back her salty tears. "Yes... yes, it is."

Galian had a way of calming even the most sorrowed and tense soul with his gentle and trusting voice. He spoke again, just as gently to try and ease Sierra's mental pain. "What happened?"

"I'm sorry about this, but we went off to Xollan's Cliffs without anyone knowing... we wanted to either bring Elliot Anglin back home in one piece or end the fear of the villagers by proving it was all nonsense and no ghosts lived there at all. We... we found this sword and Kain ran for it... he grabbed it and a skeletal dragon arose from the ground. He turned... turned out to be Xollan and he was about to throw Kain twenty feet to the ground when I thrusted the dropped sword... into Xollan's heart and killed him, but... but after that... he dropped Kain off the cliff and... and..." She suddenly stopped, her face in her hands while her tears flowed freely.

Galian's face softened and he put his metal arm around Sierra to comfort her. "It's alright... Kainus is intelligent and powerful; he'll be okay. I just know it, Sierra."

She looked up into his soft, green eyes and hugged him, seeking comfort as if Galian were her own father. In turn, the old swordsman hugged her back and continued to verbally comfort her. "Sierra, it's alright... have faith in him..."


Sierra had finished crying after about one hour of comforting from Galian and had went to bed, but couldn't sleep. Galian had went to sleep, sitting in his black wooden chair, but he slept only lightly. A sudden noise would surely have woken him up. Sierra sat up in bed, still thinking about Kainus and how he may still be alive... or dead. She spoke quietly to herself to try and comfort her mind, remembering past adventures with her friend. "Kain and I went to Guldor's Swamp and he had no trouble with the poisonous spiders... when we went to Kasuvain Village and the zombies arose, he was sure freaked out, but he protected me and slayed them nonetheless... why am I worried? He's resourceful, he's strong, he's... he's alive, I just know it."

Putting this in her mind and trying her best to believe in it, she decided she should go outside and get a whiff of the fresh night air before day arrived; she figured she'd come back in about an hour or so; she needed some time to think alone. Tiptoeing as silent as possible as to avoid awakening Galian and raising suspicion about her sneaking out at this time. Quietly shutting the door behind her, she walked over and stood atop a small bridge in her village that was over a shallow stream. As she looked into it and saw her reflection, she remembered the times when Kainus and her used to play together as children in it, always coming back home drenched from head to toe with mud and angering Kainus' mother. Galian would laugh and always reason that 'kids will be kids', but then again, he wasn't the one that washed the muddy clothes of the two children. Sierra smiled lightly at these thoughts as a slightly strong breeze passed through her hair that made her look around and notice that uncountable amounts of glowing red eyes were watching her in the dark. She gasped, realizing that even if she were to fight these 'creatures' or whatever they were, she would be heavily outnumbered. Instead, she tried her best to look as if she weren't afraid of them all. "What do you all want?"

No answer came back from the creatures as they came in closer to her, revealing what they were. They were dark spirits; black flames burning without any bodies, but just two glowing red eyes at the top. What seemed to be their leader, the largest one, spoke in a raspy, dry, yet powerful voice. "Come with us... we will show you your path in life... come, child..."

Sierra was too afraid to speak. She backed up, off the bridge and onto the ground behind it, and kept backing up until she felt the wall of a house behind her. She could go no farther and the spirits were still closing in on her. "Leave me alone! I don't want to come with you!"

"If you will not come with us in life," responded the leader, "then perhaps you will in death."

Sierra pulled out her dagger with her greatest bravery and slashed at the creatures, but did no damage. A laugh arose from the spirits as they charged at her, intending to bring about her death, but stopped in surprise when a large, dark red dragon swooped in behind them with a man on his back. Sierra immediately recognized the man... it was Kainus! To taunt the creatures and attract their attention to him, Kainus shouted, "Hey, ya' wimps! Wanna' try me on for size!?"

Chapter Three - The Man of Mystery

He drew a long, silver - bladed sword from a sheath on his back and dismounted the dragon. Sierra caught a glance of the sword that Kainus wielded in his right hand; it had an ivory white hilt, detailed with two metal angel wings, each being about four inches in length. One was on each side of the hilt's upper area, and were painted white like the hilt. A creature cried out, "The Angel's Faith! Get it quickly!"

A white flame engulfed the blade and Kainus struck a line of spirits coming at him, taking them all out. More charged toward him, but he took them all down with one clean swipe of his weapon. Looking behind him, Sierra could see a spirit sneaking up to snatch the sword from him, and she called out, "Kain! Behind you!"

Without looking, and bestowing trust in Sierra's warning, he passed the sword to his left hand and stabbed backwards, impaling the creature with his weapon and causing it to fall, defeated. With just one powerful blade, the whole spirit party had been completely obliterated. Kainus returned the sword to his new sheath and glanced over to Sierra, looking as if nothing had even happened. "Close call, eh?"

"Kain... you're alive! Thank Ultimus," managed Sierra, despite a slew of joyous tears that she held back. "How did you survive the fall?"

Kainus grinned and crossed his arms to make himself look mysterious. "By ways of the powerful," he responded, his voice disguised as a dark and mysterious one.

Sierra couldn't help but laugh out loud. "Kain! You're not making any sense! Tell me or I'm just going to die of suspense," she added sarcastically.

Kainus let out a small chuckle and turned his head to look at the night sky, shouting out, "Hey Xav! Someone wants to meet ya'!"

A white flash of light, the same one Sierra had seen back in Xollan's Cliffs, was seen and when it subsided, a tall figure in a loose, black cloak stood by Kainus. He seemed to be at least 6'5 and his face was partially hidden beneath his cloak. Sierra could only see two soft blue eyes, a small bit of pale silver hair, and a large scar crossing over his left eye. The man outstretched his arm to shake Sierra's hand, as did Sierra after a while. After shaking hands, the man spoke. "It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Xavien Raphik. Kainus has already told me about you, Sierra."

Sierra smiled politely at Xavien. "It's a pleasure to meet you too, sir."

She then turned to Kainus. "So, what does this guy have to do with how you survived the fall?"

"Well, see this dragon here?" Kainus motioned to the dragon behind him that he had ridden in on. "This is Xav's dragon, and when I fell, Xav happened to be nearby and decided to have this dragon catch me and save my life. Xav calls this dragon The Blood Guardian... I call him Joe."

Sierra laughed and turned back to Xavien again. "Thank you for saving Kain, Mr. Xavi -"

"Please, no formalities," Xavien interrupted abruptly.

Sierra smiled at Xavien. "Oh, alright. Well, thanks for saving Kain, Xav. Is there anything I can do to repay you?"

"I wouldn't want to put a lady in any danger. Never mind repayment; your smile is enough to tell me I did the right thing," responded the elegant Xavien.

"Hey, Kain knows I'm tough. I can do anything to repay you, Xav! Right, Kain?" Sierra looked hopeful.

Kainus nodded. "'course! She killed Xollan after all; if she didn't, I definitely would've been dead right now. Don't worry about her, Xav. She's a good fighter."

Xavien nodded, chuckling quietly to himself. "Very well then. I am on a quest to find more Seraphic Blades in order to unlock the holy power of Sanctuary."

Kainus and Sierra both looked puzzled. Kainus spoke first. "What's a Seraphic Blade?"

"A Seraphic Blade is a sword blessed with the power of a Seraphim, the leader of angels. Against forces of darkness, it will always bring about victory for it's user without a doubt. It can kill anything except angels. There are four of them in our universe, one on each planet. I have already found one, which Kainus is holding. It was here on Gaia and is called The Angel's Faith."

"That's what those creatures called it," Sierra thought out loud.

Xavien nodded, explaining further. "Those creatures were called Legions of Oblivion. They are minions of the God of Darkness; Oblivius. He has immense power and all who are known to enter His abode, intending to slay Him, are never heard of again."

Kainus gulped. "Sounds bad... nobody should go to His home for a summer vacation, that's for sure."

The cloaked man chuckled under his breath as Sierra questioned him. "You mentioned something about this magic called Sanctuary... I've heard of it somewhere... what exactly is it?"

"Sanctuary is a godly magic that summons a powerful barrier to surround a certain area and prevent any evil from entering it. Any evil creature or mechanism that tries to enter the barrier will immediately be incinerated," explained Xavien.

"Sweet!" Kainus seemed to be impressed with the description. "So, you can protect all the planets with that thing, right?"

Xavien nodded. "Yes. That's what I intend to do with it."

Sierra smiled sincerely at the idea; peace throughout the universe with no evil being able to enter it. It all seemed like a big dream to her, though. "Well, I need to pay you back anyways, Xav. So, I'll help you out."

"Yeah, me too!" Kainus pointed to himself with the thumb on his right hand.

Xavien smirked, turning his back on the two. "It won't be as easy you think, but you have agreed with me. Are you ready to set off yet?"

Kainus bit his lip. "Uh, Xav? I should say bye to Dad before I go..."

Sierra nodded in agreement with Kainus. "Yeah, I should too. Will you wait for us here, Xav?"

"Of course, milady."

Chapter Four - Joining Forces

Sierra and Kainus walked back to Galian's house, talking to each other on the way. "Hey, Sierra... why do you care so much about me?"

"Because you're a friend, Kain," responded Sierra. "And friends care for each other, don't they?"

Blushing slightly, Kainus nodded. "Y-yeah, of course...!

Embarassed mildly, Kainus didn't talk for the rest of the walk. Sierra knocked on the door of Galian and he answered it, looking relieved as he saw Kainus behind Sierra. "Thank Ultimus you're both alright... I saw what happened, but I had problems of my own; they came in my house too, but when Kainus came, they disappeared and began to fight him."

Kainus looked over his father's face and saw a large, jagged scar running diagonally through it. "Dad! What the hell happened!? Where'd you get that scar?"

Sighing slightly at his son's excessive worry for him, the 6'8 man answered, "One of those creatures slashed me, that's all. It's nothing to worry about; I've been in worse shape than this, Kainus."

The worry on Kainus' face was hard to ignore. He knew Galian was hiding something from him, but he pretended to believe the lie and Sierra spoke up. "We came to tell you something... a good man named Xavien Raphik was the one who saved Kainus from dying, so we're finding some way to repay him. He says he's searching the universe for these angelic swords called Seraphic Blades. He's already got one, but he needs three more to unlock a powerful white magic called Sanctuary that'll protect everyone from any kind of evil."

"Any kind of evil, hm?" Galian was skeptical about the situation. "I'm interested... count me in."

Kainus and Sierra looked surprised. "What!? Dad, no!" Kainus managed.

Galian laughed quietly. "While my son's out on an adventure with his girlfriend, you think I'm going to stay back here in Glyde like some hick?"

"Dad, it's too danger - hey, what!? GIRLFRIEND!? Sierra!?" Kainus looked somewhat offended.

Sierra yelled at Galian as well. "HEY!"

The tall male couldn't help but laugh a bit at the two teen's reactions. They were still children at heart. "Well, enough of this, kids. I ought to pack."

"Er, pack? Dad, we're not going on vacation..." the teenage male noted, but then jumped back in surprise as his father pulled a giant, two-handed, dark silver sword with a black hilt, wrapped with gold tape. On the upper hilt was the small, carved, golden head of a dragon with rubies as eyes and ivory fangs.

"Well, I'm ready. Let's move," Galian stated, not putting up with any arguments Kainus or Sierra might have thrown at him for doing this. "Lead the way, kids."

Sierra whispered to Kainus, "I KNEW we should've just gone with Xavien instead of saying bye to Dad..." -