A long time ago, when legends were still alive and untouched by doubt and fear, people were surrounded by truthful magic, fantastic creatures and mystic chants. Born into such a world was Xiphea.
A young woman, who lived to see dangerous but also gracious adventures.
She had a heart of gold beating in her chest. A heart so strong… a heart so gentle.
With each heartbeat Xiphea became brighter and more radiant… a beauty that only can be described by a feeling.
The spirits of the woods whispered that Xiphea was the cause of everything that was pure and good.
One day she would turn all the stars into the most beautiful melodies.
But before that, Xiphea had to complete a secret mission….
A painful coldness forced Xiphea to wake up from sleep. She noticed that her head was still leaning on the same door that she once chose to enter. She took a look around. What a weird dark room! The frightening place was like a dungeon made of stone.
Impenetrable walls surrounded the void. Xiphea seized the door handle. The door wouldn’t open.
She rattled the knob intensely, but all efforts were in vain…
But suddenly a gentle ray of light kissed Xiphea out of despair. She turned around and noticed another door.
It was completely hidden in the darkness of the dungeon. Only that one small ray of light, shining through the keyhole, made it visible.
As Xiphea walked doubtfully towards the unknown door, she noticed a secret golden key for the first time.
It was lying calmly on her chest fixed on a chain around her neck. It was so beautiful!
A secret golden key…
How could the key have got there? Xiphea didn´t know. Anyway, her heart was suddenly filled with great hope. Without any hesitation, she took off the necklace, grabbed the key with her trembling hand and tried it…
Lo and behold: it opened the door!
Behind it, there was a garden full of white roses, an enchanted forrest and the sky so blue. But Xiphea hesitated… everything was new and the future uncertain. It took a moment to find the courage for the first step, but than she dared to start over new.
And this was how Xiphea came to embrace her desired freedom. She took a deep breath.
“Welcome new world! Welcome phantasy!”
One day Xiphea heard of a special sword. It was supposed to make everyone invincible, whoever was able to lead it. Her research revealed that only a few had previously come into the possession of the sword…
Xiphea was told that those who had managed it could not dominate its power.
She couldn´t imagine what that was supposed to mean.
But for some reasons Xiphea fell in love with this legend. And she loved to imagine such a treasure. But she did not think, she was ever
worthy of it. One night during sleep, someone was whispering in her ear: “this sword was meant for you! My name is destiny.”
Xiphea couldn´t see the creature´s face but the words caused her to seek.
When she woke up the next morning, there was a map lying next to her. It showed the route of a quest.
And so Xiphea set out to find the magic sword. Experiencing the first adventure in this new and unknown world, her heart was pounding with excitement. The secret garden stretched so immensely far that it seemed to be an entire enchanted land.
Xiphea noticed that the plants grew ever larger along the way, as did thorns, twines, and branches. At first the new world was all amazing.
But feelings were changing. During the day Xiphea felt as if she were being followed. At night she heard whispers behind the bushes… danger was surely closing in on her. The feeling almost robbed her of breath. And the faint hunch of a threat transformed into the dark certainty that evil was looming ahead. She considered turning back. She could have gone back to that cell, could have locked that door again. Yes, those massive walls would offer the protection she so badly desired. Protection from everything sinister, and from what might happen to her. In this moment of doubt, as Xiphea remembered her cell and considered heading back to it, she caught the sound of a melody that found its way directly into Xiphea´s soul, filling it. She listened to these sung words that were carried by the wind.
“Hear, what the old legend says about you, Xiphea.
Oh once you will turn all the stars into beautiful sounds.
But before you will shine, you must learn to discover your destiny.
Let yourself fall into life. Just let go!”
The wonderful message rekindled courage and hope. Xiphea stuck to the way the map pointed out and braved her destiny. She loved this journey, the feeling of being exactly where she was supposed to be. Feeling the wind on her skin and the strength that was burning inside her like a flame.
Xiphea had to pass through a maze. Standing in front of its entrance she marveled at the height of the impenetrable hedges and gazed at its spiky thorns. “How scary!” Xiphea whispered. And all of a sudden… the wind was answering:
„Twelve – the brave ones – found the way out. They were so lucky, they were so proud.
But all the others – sadness and pain – are lost forever, their search was in vain.“
Xiphea braced herself and entered. The labyrinth was dark. Only a thin strip of sky reminded her of the freedom she´d d had to leave behind. The paths were narrow and rocky. And no matter which way Xiphea turned… nowhere would she arrive. No glade, no sound, no change. Xiphea had lost her bearings. „How far have I come? Where am I? Will I be wandering around forever? “
On the first day… no one spoke. On the second day… Xiphea heard a voice. And on the third day… Xiphea met Ama.
„Who are you?” Xiphea asked, looking into a gentle light that brightened the dark. From within that light two beautiful loving eyes were looking at her. “My name is Ama and I will show you the way out of the maze!” Ama sounded very kind but also sad. „Why do you want to help me?”, Xiphea asked.
„I help everyone who has a soul as wonderful and pure as yours! “ I`ve always been doing so… ever since I got trapped here!”
“Trapped? But if you know the way out, why don´t you leave?” Xiphea didn`t understand. “The land I come from is full of magic, with wonderful creatures. An enchanted world, like a fantasy. Peaceful, bright and incredibly beautiful… but also vulnerable. The time is near, something evil is coming our way. I guard here the only weapon that can save my land.” “Why don`t you take the weapon with you to your land of… of…?” “Canthasia!” Ama smiled. “It`s because I am not able to use it! A human being will be deemed worthy of wielding this sword!“ „A sword? Do you mean THE magic sword, the holy sword the legend tells us about? The one this map points to?” “Ama looked at the map. “How did you get this?” she asked, her voice trembling. “One day it just lay there, right next to me.” And Xiphea told her story.
She talked about the golden key, the sung words and her journey to the maze. More and more Ama`s eyes began to sparkle, as if stars were dancing within them.
“Well then you might be our salvation, Xiphea. Fate has brought you to me! Now, follow me! I will show you the holy sword.” Ama cast light upon a long path meandering through the maze. They set out and after what seemed like an eternity they reached a lake. It lay right in the center of the labyrinth and was surrounded by trees and shrubbery. The scent of damp moss and grass filled the air. “Look! What do you see at the bottom of the lake?” Xiphea knelt down at the edge and tried to make out something in the dark water. “It`s almost black!” „Look more closely!“ Xiphea did concentrate and indeed… something was sparkling in the very depth of the water. The shape became clearer and clearer… brighter and brighter a blade was glowing. And Xiphea recognized the sword. Not by sight, her heart just knew it. She felt the drag of an unknown power. Desire filled her soul. Courage and strength built up within her, more than ever before. No doubts, no questions… all that remained was longing. A longing that kept growing stronger. Xiphea`s body was trembling and shaking, the excitement became unbearable. And suddenly… Xiphea jumped into the dark water and disappeared. Ama remained there all alone. She smiled and said: “The water has been merciful.” She sighed. „Xiphea must be the Chosen One!“ Then Ama cried a tear for all those who had suffered a horrible death at touching the water´s surface. Their cries of agony and despair still lingered in the moss, echoed in the trees and the undergrowth. And sometimes the wind would carry them far.
Xiphea picked up the sword from the bottom of the lake. It felt like it had been waiting for her all this time. An unknown power filled Xiphea`s lungs with air. Hence, the distance to the surface was easily overcome. At coming back up Xiphea drew in a deep breath. She then swam to the shore. To her amazement the surroundings had all changed. She found herself in an entirely different place. It was a beach, more beautiful than she could ever have imagined. Night had already fallen. The water was twinkling as if kissed by the light of the moon.
Xiphea was now dressed in white. The sword lay in the sand, shining magically. A perfect moment. The right time, the right place. The wind tousled Xiphea`s hair, while gentle waves were sweeping around her feet. Xiphea wanted to neither sleep, nor think. All she wanted was to feel, to spin around and dance.
The next Morning Xiphea was welcomed by a white dove. Following the dove, Xiphea marveled at the sheer beauty of the land. She realized she must be in Canthasia. All the flowers, each and every blade of grass was glowing from within. The sounds were magical and the mystery of fairytales lay in the morning dew. Birds were singing wonderful melodies. “This world must not be destroyed! It`s too precious, too peaceful. It`s full of bliss, it even seems to heal you. It´s simply enchanted.” Xiphea remembered Ama`s words… the looming evil. She was wondering what she could do to fend of this dark fate. Suddenly the dainty little dove was speaking: “I have a message for you. It is from Ama, who sends you her love. She wants you to protect her shrine. As long as the shrine remains unharmed, Canthasia won`t fall.” “Take me to her shrine”, Xiphea urged. “I will do anything to keep it safe!” “Do you see the mountain over there? There you will find it. I´ll be waiting for you, my dear friend.“ Then the faithful messenger flew away. Xiphea gazed after it for a while. Then the dove was out of sight. “Count on me!” Xiphea whispered: „It`s time to climb a mountain!“
When Xiphea arrived at the top of the mountain, a comely cherry tree caught her eye. It was beautifully in bloom and seemed full of life. Its leaves were softly swaying in the wind. The white dove was sitting on one of the branches. It did not utter any words but spoke with its eyes. Under the tree Xiphea saw something gleaming: it was a shrine made of glass. Approaching it, she discovered the bones of a young woman resting inside. The body was covered with flowers and butterflies. It was beautifully adorned with shimmering gems and pearls.
Xiphea was moved by the sight. She noticed an inscription. The language she didn`t know, but mysteriously she understood the words nevertheless:
„In loving memory of Ama, our gracious queen. Born as a fairy, she died as a warrior. Her strength brought us together. It inspired and protected us. Her love made us immortal. Although her soul will remain on earth, she won´t come home until the savior finds the land of Canthasia.“
Tears welled up in Xiphea´s eyes. Ama had died in a war. The fight over Canthasia. Recalling Ama´s words, she knew this war was not over yet. Xiphea realized she would have to fight in the last battle. Gazing at her sword she remembered the map. As she was reading the inscription once more she knew she was about to become part of the legend. Dead or alive. Only moments later she heard an eerie clamor.
Xiphea ran towards the edge of a cliff and looked down. What she saw took her breath away. Her body grew rigid with shock. Thousands of giant men were marching to invade Canthasia. They intended to destroy the shrine and conquer the country.
And Death cried out. But she refused to flee. She prepared to fight against the crowd.
As she raised her sword and her battle cry resounded near and far.
Xiphea charged into battle. The brave woman´s long, shiny blade seemed to make her invincible. She defended the shrine of Ama with blood and sweat, slaying the attackers one by one… ready to sacrifice herself if need be. The sound of clashing blades and steel was deafening, and yet, there was a faint whisper of hope, too. But after hours of fighting, Xiphea`s strength was fading. Death had reared its ugly face and many soldiers had met their end. Yet, too many opponents were still standing. Although Xiphea was ready to die for Ama and Canthasia, she desperately needed to keep the enemy from winning. In the very moment of doubt, she felt something happening.
Everything went silent. All soldiers had stopped fighting. In bewilderment they were staring up at the mountain top. So did Xiphea. And she took in the familiar gleam.
A huge cloud rose up above Ama`s shrine. It obscured both hills and sky. As the mysterious haze was drawing near, noises could be heard from within. Then it changed shape. The silhouettes of countless creatures appeared in the haze. Creatures so beautiful, pure and sublime. They were running towards Xiphea. The courageous warrior was not afraid because she sensed Ama´s love. Xiphea regained her strength. The creatures had come to fight by her side. They were fearless and incredibly strong. Again the battle cry resounded near and far. With her courage, the magic sword and the help of the creatures of light, the young heroine successfully put the attackers to rout. Those who had survived would never return. Canthasia was finally free.
Xiphea let the waves wash over her naked feet. She was tired from the battle and glad about how it had ended. Now she was back at the beach. Night had fallen. Holding her sword in her hand the young woman was wondering what adventures lay ahead. At the crossroads of dreams she silently sent her thoughts to the universe:
Sweet the tale! Somehow close. I have loved. I have failed.
One step was hard to take. I have hoped. I have prayed.
Heart untamed, holy flame. I have dreamed. I have played.
Sometimes scared, upside down. Life was strange. Life was great.
Pretty much chapter one. I have hoped. I have prayed.
Legend grows, moves on. I have loved. I hit the crossroad.
And suddenly her words turned into beautiful sounds and the stars became a melody,
most beautiful… lovely… divine. A fairytale of music.
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