The Wind and Fire is the first book released in the series and tells the story of two Fourborn Guardians, Kofi and Lela and how the prophecy of the waning moon gives them both direction in a world without freedom.
Kofi Magoro is an unlikely hero:
Second son to Gamba and Sade Magoro, Kofi has been called many things. The village boy, the over protective brother, the rebellious son, the hesitant warrior but nothing has suited him more than being the unlikely hero of his own making.
Brother to Ayo, Xola and Jomo, Kofi inherited his need for adventure from no one in his family. This doesn't stop him from pursuing his dreams, even though he has to work through his uncertainty and the lack of direction that frustrates him.
The open, jovial face in the crowd, Kofi makes friends easily and family takes on an important role in his life. An intelligent spiritualist he has strong ties to his homeland of Zjarri and to it's people and will stop at nothing to keep these ideals safe.
The sacred Fire of Zjarr is everything to Kofi. When he finds himself away from his element, Kofi armed with only his belief and inner strength is forced to kindle the Fire that lives within him on his own even if it means insurgency.
A practicing archer and amateur fire lighter, Kofi likes to start his days off early, rising in time to bask in the sun and all her wonders. He is a keen hunter, an elephant fruit addict and makes the ideal companion if you want to stick around for just one more cup of kava.
As his story grows, Kofi assumes the role of leader of the Fourborn Guardians. Armed with a fierce determination and the Fire that burns inside of him, he will always find a way to continue to fight for what is right.
Lela Iboro Asar is an outcast princess:
The creation of a frowned upon love between Hakim Asar and Thema Kibibi Iboro, Lela was born a despised, motherless child. An only child she grew up with the elements of two very different worlds raging on inside of her.
Roaming the red dunes, Lela is taken in by the outcasts of Brissan society, but this doesn't stop her from fighting the link she has with the Wind. Outspoken, hot headed yet sensitive Lela stands against her father's people while her desperate need for acceptance drives her closer and closer towards Zjarr and the Fire.
In her mind being accepted by her mother's people means that she needs to abandon the Wind completely. Lela soon learns that this is not the case when Wind briefly dominates the Fire. Instead she learns that both elements have to live together in order for her to grow.
Witty, kind hearted and determined, Lela loathes camels and early mornings. A girl of impeccable night vision, unruly hair and a peculiar fashion sense using Brissan colourless glass and crystal bracelets - she is at her happiest next to a roaring camp fire out in the open plains of Zjarri, a cup of kava in hand while she shares stories and honey cakes.
Megan Futcher's Mini-Bio:
People and cultures have always fascinated me and I enjoy thumbing through heavy books on anthropology and archaeology. My novels and novellas dive into an unknown world before recorded history and I love asking the 'what if' question while I share online and write the 4 born, a fantasy spin on human evolution and freedom exploring strength and beauty of multiculturalism.
Wind and Fire Synopsis:
In a world where the four elements rule as gods, the Gaias of Wind, Fire, Water and Earth determine the existence and fate of every man and women. Threatening this seemingly perfect world is the Fourborn – a yet to be identified baby born of all four races and the only one who has the power to set mankind free from it's elemental shackles.
Divinely chosen in the pending chaos is a guardian from each race. With the words of an ancient prophesy as their only guide, they must find and protect the Four born at all costs or risk losing everything they hold dear.
There was no doubt I was going to be late if I continued to stumble around in the dark.
I was searching my clay and grass thatched home for my drinking horn that I had carelessly tossed aside the night before.
My mouth was bone dry and it felt like a million woodpeckers were pecking away inside my head.
I was no stranger to a restless night but what I was experiencing that morning was completely different.
A combination of very little sleep and something else - something bitter sweet, that was the reason I was feeling this way.
I tried to focus back to the events of the previous night as I pleaded with the dizziness that threatened to swallow me whole.
What had really happened? The images in my mind were blurry and covered in a thick fog, except for one.
A cup of freshly brewed kava being pushed into my hands.
I frowned as the memories flooded back to me.
What I’d been drinking all night long hadn’t been ordinary kava.
One of my friends had come up with the idea of adding honey to the strong, bitter brew that we were so addicted to.
We usually drank it plain or with the occasional drop of milk so I had my doubts, but the combination had been a success.
The sweet honey made the black liquid feel rounder in my mouth, making it smooth and easy to drink.
It also added something more to the flavour, something I couldn’t quite explain.
And it was that something that I couldn’t get enough of.
I drank cup after cup without stopping to think about the side effects of this very agreeable concoction.
After my sixth or seventh cup I started to feel strange.
It was late in the evening and I felt overloaded with energy.
My mind was buzzing and the last thing I wanted to do was sleep.
Soon my heart was pounding fiercely in my chest and my palms were slick with sweat and I had the sudden urge to out run a cheetah.
After a while of pondering where I could find a cheetah, I gave up and returned to my hut, knowing I had to be up early the next morning.
Lying on my grass mat, I closed my eyes and tried to force myself to sleep but the honeyed kava was pulsing through my veins and I tossed and turned until only two or three hours ago, when I fell into a drained dreamless sleep.
Finally locating my drinking horn, I slung it over my bare shoulders while grabbing my long-bladed panga and my wooden staff.
On my way to the door I stumbled over something that was lying on the hard dung floor.
Had a hyena or a wild dog crawled into the hut for warmth overnight? Whatever was in my way moaned and suddenly rolled over.
I let out a slow breath of relief realizing that the wild animal of my imagination was, in fact, my little brother Jomo.
He was fast asleep on the floor, completely unaware of how pressed I was for time.
Leaving him to his dreams I moved the sun-bleached curtain that acted as our door, aside and walked out into the world.
The air was smoky from last night’s fires and empty cooking pots scattered the ground where the village dogs had scavenged for any leftovers that they could find.
All the villagers were still asleep at this early hour, except for a small group of spear-hunters who preferred an early morning hunt to my late afternoon ones.
I raised a hand in greeting as I walked quietly but with purpose, passing the many straw-roofed huts, not wanting to wake anyone up.Looking up as I walked along I saw that the stars were beginning to fade as the sky slowly changed colour, preparing itself for the new day.
This was my cue.
I needed to hurry if I was going to make it on time.
Once outside the village boundary, I joined up with a path that the zebra herd which grazed nearby, had made and picked up my pace.
My bare feet met with churned up gravel and rough tufts of grass as I ran but I had left my hide sandals at home on purpose.
I liked to feel the whole world beneath me when I saw her.
The sensation it gave me took me to another place and somehow it made me feel at one with her.My destination was a modest mountain range.
It lay right in front of me but it would be a while still before I reached it.
My rambling would be at it’s end when I reached the mountain’s ledge that protruded from the rock face.
Reaching the end of the dusty path, I started to make my way up the side of the mountain, getting closer to the ledge with every step.
Surrounded by long grass, loose rock and thorny cycads, I navigated the path that I had made over the years without much effort.
Soon the ground began to level out and I trod swiftly but with care, not wanting to startle the snakes and scorpions that shared this special place with me.A little while later I reached the summit and walked out onto the ledge.
Resting against my staff, I took a moment to steady my breathing and pounding heart.
I turned to the east as I did this and looked out to the place where the sky and the land meet - the horizon as Babu, my grandfather called it.
The sky was still dark blue, edged with a deep purple.
I couldn’t believe it! I’d made it and with time to spare.Relieved, I sat down on the ledge allowing my long legs to swing over the side while I took a large gulp of water from my horn.
Hydrated, I observed the world around me that was caught in that strange hour somewhere between night and day and absorbed the calm and stillness of it all.
It always amazed me how different the land was during this brief time.
There wasn’t a breath of wind and the yellowing grass plains below me were at rest, along with the many animals that roamed my homeland of Zjarri.
In the distance I could make out the Moto Mountain, the sacred place where Zjarr lived and watched over our lands.
I tipped my head at her, grateful for the land she had given us to live and thrive upon.
The people of Zjarri believe Zjarr, the Fire Gaia, rose from the depths of the earth to create the land on which I stood as a reflection of her inner self.
The animals and the landscape have each taken on the Fire that lives within her and they thrive and blossom under her affection.
Yet the affection, the determination, daring and drive that beats deep inside her is at it’s best when it’s proudly displayed in us, her people.
The Fire and heat Zjarr creates lives within each of us.
Each and every tribes member draws their strength from this powerful energy, thriving on it’s fierce nature.Sitting right in front of me, dotted between the millet fields, kava bushes and acacia trees were the villages of the Zjarrian Tribes.
Far in the west lay the Baobab Forest - the sacred, spiritual resting place of our ancestors.
Further west lay the great Kalima Mountain pass of Joro, a place I dreamed of visiting one day.By this time I was feeling a little better.
My head had stopped pounding and I began to feel like myself again.
Taking another gulp of water, I turned my attention back to the east.
I took a deep breath filling my lungs with the fresh, clean air surrounding me and waited.
I always found she was a little selfish in the way she made me wait for her but it would all be worth it when she finally came out to meet me.
The calm and silence of early daybreak came to a sudden end as a breeze started to pick up, whipping through the tall grass and swirling around the tiny leaves of the acacia trees.
This movement woke the insects who called the grass home and soon they were each singing their own song.
The encouragement that drove me to wake up so early every morning and the reason why I hadn’t just rolled over and fallen back to sleep that morning was about to begin.
I was sitting on this rock ledge looking towards the east so that I could witness the wonders of the sunrise.
I had seen the sunrise so many times before but the same feelings of raw anticipation and excitement still tugged at my stomach.
I couldn’t wait! I sat with my eyes fixed on the horizon, knowing that if I blinked or turned my attention away from her even for a moment, I’d miss her spectacular entrance.
Shy at first, she was like a child who was hiding behind her mother’s skirts as the blue and indigo of night gradually moved aside for her white, red and orange light.
Maturing suddenly, her shyness disappeared altogether as she started to climb up into the cloudless sky, her bright and brilliant colours intensifying as she grew bolder, then bursting out into a golden light as she proudly displayed all her wonder and beauty to the world.Quickly jumping up I stretched out my arms, allowing her rays of light to swell and swirl around me.
The power of the sunrise combined with my bare feet and the connection they made with the hard rock sparked something in me and, for a moment, I was somewhere else completely.
The air around me started to become warm and I could feel the heat of the rising sun radiating off my bare chest.
I curled my toes feeling the rough stone beneath them as I slowly drifted back into this world.
This was my favourite time of day.
It was the only time I felt completely happy and at peace with myself.
In what seemed like moments, the sun was high above me and already throwing her light and warmth over the grassy plains, the animals and over us, the People of Fire.
The rising sun was always stunning and she never disappointed me and I smiled at her as I lowered myself onto the ledge once more.
I broke my fast with the bite of a juicy elephant fruit I had brought along with me.
It was perfectly ripe and the yellow flesh was soft and succulent as I bit into it.
Enjoying my breakfast, I watched as the inhabitants of Zjarri emerged from their sleep, fresh and ready to embrace the new day.
I had a bird’s eye view and looked on as sounders of warthog and herds of zebra, elephant and gazelle made their way down to the river for their morning drink.
Scattered over the plains were thousands of marula trees that were filled with chattering Vervet monkeys and tweeting birds, the colours of their feathers so much brighter in the clear light of the early morning sun.
Khaya, my home village, was waking up too and the sounds of morning rituals filled the air.
Mama would be stirring the porridge pot over a newly lit fire as Bibi, my grandmother, swept the bare earth around our huts.
Jomo, I guessed, would be out playing with the other village boys as he always was.I was enjoying my time alone when suddenly I heard the sound of footsteps shuffling along behind me.
I turned not sure who to expect, when I saw the top of a familiar walking stick making it’s way over the ridge followed by my grandfather’s grey head.
“Good morning, Babu!” I said getting up to join my mother’s father.The old man reached out with a dry, calloused hand to take my shoulder.
“It is a good morning my boy and I thought I’d join you so that we could enjoy the beauty of Zjarr together,” he exclaimed, pointing to the grasslands that lay before us.I offered Babu my drinking horn and he drank deeply from it as he leant against his walking stick.
He must have been feeling colder than usual that morning as he pulled his red shawl tighter around his hunched shoulders.
In my eyes, my grandfather seemed to be as old as the world itself and I sometimes thought that he wasn’t born of a woman but of the very earth surrounding us.
“Tell me what you see today, Kofi.” he said looking at me with eyes that were cloudy and watery with age.This sight seeing activity had become a ritual of ours.
I would describe what I saw and he would nod and smile at my words.
Not much of the landscape had changed since the last time he had asked this of me but I would outline the world around us as I knew it pleased him.“The sunrise was as beautiful as ever this morning.” I started.“Ah, but was she as beautiful as your Bibi the day I met her?” he smiled a toothless grin.“Just as beautiful,” I continued, thinking of my grandmother.
“At the moment there’s a large herd of gazelle and a couple of zebra drinking from the river and I see a herd of elephant grazing on the open plains.
In the distance there’s a giraffe reaching for the most tender leaves and shoots at the very top of an acacia tree.
The tall grass is changing colour again, it’s a shade darker and I think it’s almost ready to be reaped for new thatching.
“Babu nodded as I carried on.
“I can see the Moto Mountain in the distance and I believe Zjarr is well today, there isn’t any smoke coming out of her home.
I’m sure the Keepers of Fire will be pleased to see this.”“It’s curious that you mention the Keepers,” Babu interrupted.
“All my life I’ve wanted to join them, devoting my whole reason for being to Zjarr along with them but, sadly things didn’t work out that way.
It’s too late for me and I will always regret it.”“Yes Babu.” I sighed knowing what he was going to say next.“It’s clear that you adore and live for the sun.
Why else would you come here every morning instead of sleeping in a little, eh?”I shrugged.“It’s time for you to choose a path in life and to make something of yourself.
You should take your dedicated nature and join the Keepers.
Devote your life to Zjarr.
It will give me great pride to say that my grandson, Kofi, is a Keeper of Fire!”“We’ve been over this before, Babu, and I’ve told you that I want adventure in my life, not sacrifice and devotion.
I want to see the world and live on the road for a while and along the way I want to witness the sun rise in each of the lands.
Is that not a way of devoting myself to Zjarr, following her creation throughout the world?”“Dreams are dead ends, my boy, and they will suffocate you with their expectations.
Don’t waste your life on things that will never come to be.” Babu said seriously.
“You have a life here and there are many paths you can choose from right here in Zjarri.
Use the Fire within you and take the opportunity while you still can.
We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”I took his last words to heart but not in the way my grandfather would have thought.“I will think about it, Babu.” I said as I always did.He shrugged his shoulders and waved a dismissive hand at me as he started to make his way back down the mountain.
I didn’t move to join him, there was plenty I still needed to think about.The path I wanted, one of adventure and living on the edge for a while was very different from the paths my family wanted me to take.
Our ideas clashed and this bothered me.
There was nothing I wanted more than to make my family proud of me by bringing honour to our tribe but this meant that I had to cast my dreams aside to make them happy.
My mother suggested I find a nice girl to settle down with and in time become an important part of our community and one day even an elder.
Unfortunately the girls I know are too shallow and empty.
If I was going to get married, it would be to a girl who had a determined, fiery energy that pushed her towards a life she wanted.My father, the warrior, wants me to follow in the footsteps of the Magoro men before me, joining him and the Zjarrian warriors at the border as they fight to protect our lands.
“You will be part of Zjarr’s mighty panga driving back those wild desert savages!” Baba had barked the last time I saw him.
The truth was, I was unsure of the tales of battle that the returned warriors told us around the fires at night.
The thought of death waiting for me around every corner while blood, gore and blades hurled past me wasn’t my idea of a life.And Babu? Well, he’d made it clear that he wanted me to live his dreams.
But becoming a Keeper of Fire had no appeal for me.
I wanted to see what was out there and sitting in a dark cave, praying and staring into fires all day wasn’t going to satisfy me.
Another time and in a different life, perhaps I would have been content with one of these suggested paths, but choosing one of them now when there was so much I still wanted to do, would leave me empty and forever wondering what I could have accomplished.
The last thing I wanted was to be like my poor grandfather.
He hadn’t taken his life into his own hands and he hadn’t done what his heart had told him to do.
All I knew at this point was that my soul really wanted an adventure and that I would regret it if I didn’t find it.I frowned and bit into another elephant fruit, having no idea what to do.Turning to the south I looked out over the grass plains of Zjarri and towards the warrior camp of Askari where my father and older brother, Ayo, were stationed and beyond that to where the red dunes and desert of Brissa lay.
I sat for a long time lost in my thoughts, wondering what secrets lay among those ever-changing sands.