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.
I woke up irritated and angry yet again at how the whole desert had managed to somehow creep it’s way into my bed overnight.
My woven blanket was covered with red sand and I frowned at the relentless nature of the hellish place I found myself in.
The wind was howling outside the tent as it always was and that annoyed me to no end too.I sat up and cleaned the grit from the corners of my eyes with a saliva moistened finger and shook most of the sand out of my long, dark hair.
I then attempted to smooth down the wild curls that stood out in every direction, like I did every morning and then gave up soon after, like I did every morning.
Clicking my tongue in frustration, I wondered why I spent so much effort trying to tame this mane! I was never going to have beautiful, shiny, straight hair like the other girls so why I bothered was beyond me.
Yawning, I contemplated the idea of just rolling over and going back to sleep.
I really hated waking up early.
There wasn’t anything that was worth getting up for anyway.
All I had waiting for me was sand, sand and more sand!“Get up, you useless girl!” yelled a voice from outside.
“The camels won’t milk themselves you know!”My mind had been made up for me.
There wasn’t a chance of going back to sleep now.
My Auntie Zahara would continue to pester me until I got up and did as she commanded.
Sighing deeply, I stood up, shaking the red dust off my ankle-length, long-sleeved kaftan that had once been white.
Taking my time about it, I fastened my wide leather belt around my waist, securing my glass bladed-dagger in it’s sheath while slipping on my camel-hide sandals.
I knew the camels would be dry and have no milk yet again.
They hadn’t had a decent feed for ages and, at this stage of our journey they looked more like walking skeletons than their plump, resilient former selves.
I adjusted the colourful, beaded bracelets I wore on my wrists and applied a fresh coat of kohl around my eyes.
The thick, black paste would help with the glare I would face once I was outside.
Finally I threw a red scarf over my shoulders.
I didn’t cover my head as was the custom among the women of my father’s people.
Why would I? I wasn’t like them and never would be.
They looked at me with scorn as deep contempt burned in their eyes.
The Clan despised me for the fact that I stood out from the crowd.
I’m not pleasing in their eyes, either with the clothes that I wear or with the features that I carry, because I don’t conform to their precious way of life.
In short, my father’s people hate me because I’m not one of them.
For the fact that something else runs alongside the Brissan in my veins.
You see, I’m the result of a tragic love story.
My father, Hakim Asar the Chief of the Wind People, fell in love with a Zjarrian woman.
Theirs was a love which twenty one years later is still frowned upon but many have turned the other cheek because of the power my father holds.
Imagining it in my minds eye, I can see the Desert Chief locked in a passionate embrace with an exotic, ebony beauty.
Behind them the red dunes of Brissa create the perfect background for a man about to declare his love.
The wind is swirling around them as my mother finds herself lost in the many mysteries of this land that she can see in his dark green eyes.
Shortly afterwards, the couple married and began to live a happy life.
My mother became pregnant with me and I like to believe that my father was over joyed with the blessing bestowed upon them.
As the time grew nearer for my birth something went terribly wrong, the complication was too dire for even the most skilled of midwives and my mother died while giving birth to me.
Whispers blew on the winds after her death, saying that the forbidden love that the Chief and his treasure shared was cursed and doomed from the beginning.
They reached my grieving father who cast me aside after he had heard them, blaming me for her death.
I don’t exist in his eyes and to him, I’m the worthless girl that killed his beloved.I have been called many things in my life.
An outcast among men.
I, on the other hand like, to think of myself and others like me who are born to parents of mixed race as Blends.
I don’t lean strongly towards either side of my parents and that’s the problem.
I may have the Brissan green eyes, the colour of a date-palm frond, and their distinguishable long slender nose, but it’s my full lips, my height, my darker skin and the hair that I despise so much that makes me stand out.
These features come from my mother’s people, the tall, dark-skinned Fire People that live in the lands beyond the dunes.
Had I been born a boy, things would have turned out very differently for me.
I would have been accepted into the Brissan Clan just because of my sex.
I would have been the child my father would have wanted, a son he could be proud of, despite the Zjarrian in me.
As fate would have it, I was born a girl to a Zjarrian woman.
I don’t have a place among the Clan and neither did my mother.
This is my curse in life and I try not to let it get to me but there’s no denying that it has made me the bitter person I am today.
Who wouldn’t be, if all your life you were tormented and cast aside because of the way you looked? My father’s people know I’m different and they remind me of it every single day and I hate it! All I want is a life where people will accept me for who I am.Pulling the flap of the tent aside I walked out into the world.
The sun was full and high in the blue sky and I squinted at it’s brightness.
I looked around and noticed Auntie Zahara bent over some irrelevant activity as she usually was.
I helped myself to a few dried dates and a piece of hard, stale, flatbread and sat in the sand to break my fast.
I bit into the bread which always came with an extra ingredient of sand, I might add, and gagged as I tried to swallow it.
Food was scarce in the desert so even though I hated every bite of what I was eating, I was grateful for a bit of something to fill my stomach which was always hungry.Auntie Zahara stood up and shuffled over to me.
She held out a glass cup and I took it, drinking the liquid it held.
I didn’t care what it was, only that it moistened my mouth, if only briefly.
I held the empty cup up to her.“Did it cross your mind to leave some for me, you stupid girl?” my auntie hissed, throwing the empty cup in the sand.I glared at her.
My auntie was a weather-beaten, haggard woman but completely at ease with her surroundings.
She had sharp features which in a different light, would be called beautiful but instead were angular and severe against the tight angles of the traditional head-scarf she wore.
Her loose fitting, white kaftan bellowed in the wind and took on a life of it’s own, while her green eyes stared at me with an intensity that I could never manage to stare down.
She looked and acted the part of a perfect Brissan woman, but in truth she was no closer to that reality than I was.
I held my tongue and didn’t respond to what she had said.
Nothing good would come from talking back, she was just looking for a fight.I stood up instead, stuffing the dried fruit into my pocket while tossing the stale bread aside, it was past eating anyway and reached for a rough glass jug.
I made my way over to the patch of sand where our small camel herd stood.
I looked at their sad, drawn out faces with sympathy even though they had the disgusting habit of spitting at me.
They deserved a better life, or at the very least a patch of grass that they could graze on.
Singing gently, almost in a whisper, I walked up to one of the camel cows and held the glass jug under her udder.
I pulled on a dry teat and then tried another but no milk came.
I sighed and didn’t even bother with the other cows.
Instead I walked slowly back to the temporarily erected tent which I shared with my auntie.
She was rubbing olive oil onto her dry skin when I returned.
It could be seen as an act of vanity but it was necessary in order to treat our cracked and parched skin.“No milk again,” I said to no one in particular while rubbing some of the oil onto my lips.“Don’t lie to me, Lela! I know you drank it!” Auntie Zahara accused, pointing a bony forefinger at me.Tired of holding my tongue, I lashed out at her.
“If you haven’t noticed dear Auntie, we don’t have enough water or food for ourselves, never mind the animals.
How can you expect a camel to give milk when all the moisture has been sucked dry from it’s body?”“How dare you speak to me in that tone? May Briss curse you for all the trouble you give me.”I looked up to the skies and yelled, “Go ahead Briss, curse me! Nothing could be worse than the curse I already bare!” I threw the jug down, clicked my tongue and stormed off in search of quiet.
I hated my father’s sister just as much as she despised me.
She saw me in the same bad light as the rest of the Brissan people did.
I could get away from their cursed words and insults but not with Auntie Zahara.
No, I had to tolerate her unpleasant words and hot tongue every single day of my miserable life.
My auntie was a heartless shell of a woman who had never married and never had any children of her own.
A woman like this was worthless to the Clan.
Maybe that’s why she decided to raise me after my father wanted nothing to do with me.
Perhaps she had made a pact with Briss, our Wind Mother, that if she raised me, a Blend without a mother, maybe then her charity would be seen as worthy.
Maybe then she would be seen as the Chief’s capable sister instead of the barren, worthless spinster she really was.
I tried hard to stay out of her way and ignored her as much as I could but after ‘the first time’, she had kept a watchful eye on me.
‘The first time’ was what I called my first attempt at escaping the life I had been born into.
I made the fateful mistake of trying to run away with nowhere to go.
The dunes of Brissa are endless and always changing and I quickly realized this as I found myself walking around in circles.
It wasn’t one of my brightest, ideas I admit, but I was desperate.
Who would care if I ran away anyway? All it meant for my father’s people was one less mouth to feed.
In the end my auntie finally caught up with me and dragged me back to camp.
I was punished with no food or water for three days - not much of a punishment is it, when there isn’t anything to eat or drink anyway?The next time I escaped I was determined to succeed.
I had given it a lot of thought and had planned my moment of escape more carefully.
Soon we would be moving to Apa - the third oasis.
The oasis the Clan reluctantly shared with the Zjarrians.
There I would be able to fill my empty water skin and collect enough dates to sustain me for my journey and maybe pinch some cheese and flatbread.
A wedding was due to take place the day after we arrived at the oasis and a lavish feast flowing with large quantities of palm wine would follow.
The party goers would be expected to enjoy the festivities late into the night and then while everyone slept off their enjoyment, I planned to make my escape with the rising of the sun.
Wanting to escape my auntie’s acidic words now I quickly made my way up a dune, one of many in this world.
Reaching the top of a dune, I scanned the landscape around me and was met with a cloudless blue sky and red sand for as far as I could see while the heat of the day shimmered in the distance.
The land was barren and almost bare of vegetation in these parts which made the desert even harsher.
Packed among the dunes and pitched on any flat surface available were the tents of my father’s people.
The tents of the Clan were great in number and occupied every last patch of sand around the once lush second oasis - Voda.
Among the groups of tents sat the two different roofless tents of the Iko.
I had no difficulty spotting them as a blinding white light was bouncing out from them.
The tents were called the Iko or the Observatory because long ago in the past, wonders like you have never seen before could be observed there.
Today the tents have lost a bit of that original sparkle and have become a part of our everyday lives.
I was once told a story that is as old as the Clan itself of how the Iko came into being.
One day out in the desert two thick discs of crystal were found lying half covered in sand.
The very heavy oddly, shaped discs were brought back to the Clan and regarded as beautiful gifts from Briss.
The people decided to prop the discs up on sturdy wooden palm supports and left them out in the open for everyone to admire.
The next morning something unexpected started to happen.
The intense beam of light from the sun travelled down and through the crystal discs, and was concentrated on a small area of sand.
The beam of light became as hot as a Zjarrian fire and turned the sand into a liquid.
The Clan quickly learnt that if this liquid sand was manipulated and set into moulds, it hardened and could be used to make all sorts of things.
The Clan was in desperate need of utensils and tools so cups, plates, jugs and simple blades were the first things to be made from this mysterious wonder they call glass.
The Clan in time, refined their skills and glass beads for jewellery and very durable sharp-bladed weapons were produced.It was in these two tents with holes cut into their tops that the ancient sun crystals were kept.
Today, like every other day, there was a constant stream of people working around the Iko and I watched as they went about their glass-making business for a while until I couldn’t look at the bright light any longer and decided it was time to move on.
I started to make my descent down the dune, my legs sinking into the sand right up to my knees as I did so.
I was used to it though and walked with purpose as the wild wind blew the grains of sand up around me.
Finally, the dune levelled out and ahead of me was the camp where the Keepers of Wind lived.
Their dwellings were carelessly erected and drew a stark contrast to the Clan’s properly constructed ones.
The once heavy fabric tents were worn and thin with wear and provided the women with a shelter rather than a home.
I felt compassion towards these women who dedicated themselves to Briss, the creator of the dunes, of the oases, of the winds and of us - the Clan.
The Keepers travelled with us wherever we went but depended on goodwill to survive even though they were our only connection to Briss and thus formed an important part of our community.
The Keepers never walked among the Clan and preferred to wait for my father’s people to seek them out, creating an air of mystery and charm around themselves, I guess.
Young giggling girls often visited them for love potions while mothers came asking for blessings for their children.
Many of the men visited the ancient women when they were looking for answers in the changing wind.I, on the other hand have yet to ask for anything in particular from these ancient women.
I visited them often, just to sit and enjoy their mostly silent natures.
Their calm spirits had become a kind of refuge for me.
On this particular day the Keepers were sitting on the bare sand in the sun with their white head scarves pulled over their heads and faces to protect them from the heat, while chatting to each other.
There were three of them - sisters perhaps, I never asked.
They stopped talking as I drew closer and watched as I approached them.
Peeking out from beneath their scarves were very wrinkled, gaunt faces which were as old as the desert itself.
Their long, shiny hair from a life long since past was gone and I knew bald, knobbly heads were kept hidden under their white head scarves.
Digging into the pocket of my kaftan I brought out the dried dates which I had stashed there earlier and offered them to the Keepers.
They each took one with a gnarled, leathery hand.
Nodding their thanks they gestured for me to join them.
There was a spare date so I sat down near them and nibbled on the dry, sweet fruit just as they did.
The Keepers were the only ones among the Brissans who didn’t treat me differently.
I guess they were treated as outcasts too.
It was either that or they didn’t really care who or what I was - I brought them food and paid them a little attention every now and then and that was all that really mattered.
“What does our Wind Mother have to say?” I asked, dying for a sip of water but the oasis had dried up from over use weeks ago.The women and I sat in silence for a long while as they contemplated my question when, a dry whisper came from the oldest of the Keepers.
“The winds will change with the next full moon and so too should the Clan.” I nodded.
It was believed that these women drew their ability for foresight from the direction and the force of the wind.
It was no great feat though, even I could feel that the wind was changing.
It was an occurrence that happened without fail.
The cool ocean breeze that blew gently over the lands was pushed aside by the hot, dry, menacing wind of the inner desert and so the cycle carried on as it always did.Silence resumed and I got lost in my thoughts when abruptly the sand around us took on a life of its own.
Swirling wind was not uncommon in the dunes but this was a totally different kind of wind - the Wind of Briss.
The Wind swirled around us and I sat back in disbelief as the old crones took on a youthful appearance as the energy of the Wind Mother filled them.
I blinked and the Wind was gone but then came a whisper, crisp and clear, from one of the Keepers, “Take the opportunity.
Float away on the Wind and your fate will become clear to you.”I wondered what she meant, could she be talking about my planned escape? They often spoke in riddles that made no sense at all.“On your journey you must find the Four,” said the youngest-looking Keeper.
“The Four?” I asked, still astonished by their change in appearance.She nodded.
“The one you must find is Brissan, Zjarrian, Waian and Joran.
Protect the first Fourborn!” My eyes widened when I heard this, “But that’s impossible.
How can such a person even exist?”“We have seen it!” was the answer I received.“Why must I find the Four? What’s in it for me?”The silence stretched on between us again.“You must find the Four to find your true self.
Only then will you find the life you seek.”The Keeper who hadn’t spoken as yet, started to fidget and her breath came out in short gasps.
“Find the Four within two new moons or a great darkness will consume us all!”I looked at her with deep concern, her eyes rolling back in her head as she slipped into a deep silence once more.“Where must I go to find the Four?” I asked thinking about the warning.“Joro!” The Keepers said in unison before they slipped back into silence.
I stood up, wondering if that was all the Keepers had seen in the Wind, flashes of a possible future? They definitely knew that I was planning to run away.
But I reminded myself that most of the time the Keepers just told you what you wanted to hear.
I had complained about my situation on more than one occasion to them.
It was rare that they had visions straight from Briss.
I hadn’t asked them anything though and what I had just witnessed could only have been the power of Briss as it had never happened before.Something had changed in me too.
I felt strange and different but in a positive way.
The small flame that secretly burns inside me had grown and it’s heat and energy was filling me with a new sense of purpose.
A person born of all four races? I still had no idea if this was even possible.
The races usually kept to themselves, except when Blends like me were made.Four Gaias.
This is how the world was made.The Keepers had also spoken about the first Fourborn.
Was this the same person? I frowned, realizing that I had more questions than I had answers.Actually being told that the life I wanted was out there had confused me a little but it hadn’t changed my mind.
I was going to stick with my plan.
I would still make my escape, I just had a sense of direction now.
I would go to Joro to find the Four before the Darkness did and I would receive the life I deserved as a reward.But there was, however, a problem that the Keepers had failed to mention.
Joro lay on the other side of Zjarri.
This meant that I’d have to come into contact with my mother’s people.
The same people who were at war with the Clan of Brissa.