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.
The rising of a full moon goes by unnoticed for most people.
It’s viewed as a natural phenomenon that happens without fail every four weeks.
In my case however seeing the moon at it’s fullest last night meant that time was running out at an alarmingly quick rate.
One more moon to go.
I have no idea how Kofi could have said those words with such apparent ease.
It was as though we were making this journey that was charged with uncertainty and danger, just for the sake of it.
Perhaps a more detailed plan would present itself once we reached Joro but it was a land which both Kofi and I were unfamiliar.
Who knew what Jora would unleash when she spotted us, two seemingly innocent foreigners roaming her lands? What worried me most though was the fact that we had the short time it took for the moon to complete its nine phases in which to find the Four.
What was waiting for us if we failed to find the First Fourborn before then? A stern scolding? A scolding would be child's play when compared with a pending Darkness so great that it had the power to consume us all.
Realizing that the fate of the whole world rested on my skinny shoulders, struck me without mercy but the Fire inside me pushed me forward.
I was ready for Joro.Our time on the Kalima Mountains had been anything but pleasant and the idea of leaving the mountains behind me forever sparked a new energy inside me.
There was no doubt the colossal mountain range that separated the Fire from the Earth had had a profound effect on all of us in one way or another.
It was, for Bryn, the fact that he was going home.
Maybe there was something to his determination of fasting.
Somehow it had brought him closer to Jora and his once restless spirit was now calm and at peace.
I had not forgotten Babu’s warning to be vigilant in the presence of Jora and her people and yet Bryn had changed before my eyes.
Questions that had come in an endless stream from him had dried up and what was left was a friend who simply wanted to get to know us.
Perhaps this was his plan for getting us to trust him but I doubted it.
Even his once disturbingly intense blue-eyed stare had changed and all I saw behind it now was a deep, passionate soul who was completely devoted to the Earth.
What was the harm in that? Bryn was just mirroring the same feelings the Zjarrians had for their Fire or the Brissans had for their Wind.
Shida had changed too.
She was more human than before and her bright eyes were now filled with so much understanding that I swore she was on the verge of telling me to shut up with my incessant babbling.
I had no doubt she was my mother reborn.
She had to be.
Whatever Shida was in the end, I was grateful.
She had saved the man I love and that was all that mattered.Kofi, out of all of us, had seen the brunt of the Kalima’s full power.
Briss, the Mother of Wind, had had a ruthless effect on him and the extent of her true wrath had scared me to death.
I had looked on as a proud, confident and brave warrior was reduced to a lifeless husk - stripped bare for all to see.
Kofi had been a man who had just about given up on life.
He told me that he had seen Ayo and Xola in his dreamlike state and that they were waiting for him, beckoning him to join them.
He told of someone pulling him away from the eternal bliss and that that someone was me.
He also told me that my words in Zjarrian - strange I know - had pulled him out of the darkness and back into the world of the living.
He had almost been taken from me and I was glad that the sound of my voice had saved him and yet I couldn’t stop thinking about the effect that the mountain had had on me.
Never in my life had I felt the Fire and the Wind inside me so at war with each other.
The Wind that blows inside my father’s people lives inside me but it has always been a weak and gentle breeze in comparison to the powerful control of Zjarr and her Fire.
The Fire has been the more dominant of the two all my life, pinning the fighting Wind down to the ground with very little effort.
But up here on the mountains, Briss and her fierce Wind took over and finally ruled.
Briss spun around the Fire with a mighty force, strangling and punishing it with every whirl until at last all that was left of my precious Fire was a weak hint of the flame it had once been.
My Zjarrian side suffered and for an instant so had I.
I sat empty and lost, devastated by the severed connection I had had with my mother’s people.
Who was I without the Fire? A useless girl astray among the ever-changing desert sands.But then something unfamiliar, something I had never felt before began to stir inside me.
Slowly a different kind of strength and power started to fill me as the wind howled around me.
It was the Mother of Wind filling me with her Wind of Life! I smiled at the incredibly complex feeling of love, contentedly consumed with her power growing within me.
Images of Brissan women filled my mind.
The raw wounds that these women had inflicted on me brought back the pain and suffering I had experienced when all I ever wanted was love and acceptance.
Tears, hot and angry fell from my eyes as all the hatred I had stored up fell away.
The maidens, wives and crones of my past transformed before my cleared eyes into women who were strong, capable and formidable in the world.
They were warriors and one day I knew I would stand among them.
Zjarr and Briss.
Fire and Wind.
Sisters at war and living together inside me.
One would always rise up and defeat the other as time went on but it was my task to decide which one I set free.
The time had come for me to take the reins and dominate the chaos that was Lela Iboro Asar of Zjarri and Brissa.
The Joran side of the Kalima Mountains was cold, wet and covered with snow that morning and it was only then that the warming qualities of my woollen cloak and my red boots came into being.
I was glad to have them and as we started our descent down the mountainside I had a slight spring in my step.
I’m not sure why though.
It should have been a time of concern and apprehension.
I was so far away from everything I knew and was about to venture into the totally unknown.
A new land, a new race, a new way of life.
A new Gaia.
All I knew were stories but people have always interested me and I wasn’t afraid.
Even in my Brissan past, I had watched people at least from the safety of my tent.
The thought of seeing Joro with my own eyes and from my own perspective excited me and I couldn’t wait to leave this pile of rock behind!The Kalima had other ideas though and it wasn’t about to let us leave.
Not without one last challenge.
The gruelling task of descending.
“Is it just me or does climbing down this mountain feel even more difficult than it did when we climbed up?” Kofi asked as he slid down the steep mountainside.I had to agree, it felt like something was holding us back, as though there was an invisible force which did not want us to enter Joro.
Halfway down the mountain we came to an exposed ledge.
Bryn was already down there waiting for us.
He had crouched down and was looking into the mist as if waiting for something.“Let’s rest here a moment, while we wait for the fog to clear completely,” Bryn suggested.
I smiled as Shida let out a slow breath at his words.“Would anyone like an elephant fruit?” I asked, pulling a handful of the ripe fruit from my bag.
Shida grabbed one with a look in her black eyes that said - ‘I didn’t see you almost fall to your death earlier.
What kind of a question is that? Of course I want one, you silly girl!’I laughed offering the remaining fruit to Kofi and then to Bryn who politely declined, still as dedicated as ever to his fast.
Happy that everyone’s thirst and hunger was satisfied, I sat back to catch my breath and enjoy the break while I could.
The heavy mist started to clear and beyond the haze, I caught a brief glimpse of something green in the distance.
Unfortunately, it blurred behind the mist again before I could make out any more detail.
“Almost there,” Bryn said, almost to himself.
I waited patiently for my surroundings to become clearer and was finally rewarded.
The sun was shining brightly between the soft, white, fluffy clouds and below me stretched a land so lush and beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
Everything for as far as I could see, was green, rich and fertile.
Before me lay a land of mystery and a land of red-heads - the land of Joro.“Should we finish the climb down?” I asked, getting to my feet, “I can’t wait to see all that greenery up close.”Kofi frowned at my suggestion but I ignored him.
He was a proud Zjarrian, I understood that but I wasn’t betraying home like I’m sure he thought I was.
I was a woman of the world who was about to see three of the four lands and each of them held their own special beauty in my eyes.
Brissa for it’s stark, barren dunes, Zjarri for it’s grassy plains and vast open spaces and now Joro for it’s green abundance.After a little more sliding rather than walking, we reached the bottom of the Kalima.
I was so glad to have it behind me that I didn’t look back.
What sat before me was far more exciting than a pile of old grey rock.
Kofi did take a moment to look back though.
His gaze was filled with respect, he even tipped his head at it.
Kofi’s actions confused me, that mountain had brought him nothing but pain.“Come on, we don’t have far to go! This road will lead us directly into Old Prent,” Bryn yelled ahead of us, a wide smile on his face.
He was glad to be home and I could see why.
All around me lay open green fields and rolling hills and in the distance I could just make out a couple of structures - Old Prent, I presumed - sitting amongst a cluster of trees as green and as fertile as the land around it.
I had no idea why so many people had warned us against coming here, it was beautiful.Jora, on first impression, seemed to be a kind Gaia who cared greatly for her people, her generosity and love evident in everything I could see.
It sure formed a stark contrast when I thought about my time in Zjarri and there was no use comparing it’s splendour to the dry, barren deserts of Brissa.
They just couldn’t be from the same world.
I left Kofi to grumble at my amazement and joined Bryn on the ‘road’ which turned out to be a wide path paved with small round stones.
The stones varied in size and colour.
Some were black and shiny, while others shone with various hues of brown and grey.
I looked ahead of me and saw that the road stretched faraway into the distance.
“It must have taken a long time for your people to collect all these stones?” I enquired as I took off my cloak.
It had suddenly become quite warm.“What do you mean?” Bryn asked, clearly confused by my query.“How long did it take your people to build this road?” I asked, rephrasing my question.A shrill laugh came from our guide at my obviously stupid question.
“My friend, you don’t understand.
Jorans don’t build.
This road has always been here.”“What do you mean you don’t build? Where did this road come from?” Now I felt like the one who was asking too many questions.“Jora provides,” Bryn declared with a shrug.I pondered over what exactly that was supposed to mean when without warning, I started to get wet.
I looked up and saw a very fine rain falling gently from the now cloudy sky.
“It was sunny and hot just a moment ago.”A shrill laugh came from Bryn again.
“It’s not uncommon in Joro to experience all four seasons in one day.
I expect it will become a little colder next.”I smiled but had no idea what he found so amusing.
What were seasons anyway? I decided to lag behind a bit waiting for Kofi to catch up with me when, sure enough, the rain stopped and an icy cold breeze blew in.
“Something strange is going on in this place,” Kofi said, pulling his hood up against the cold, “ I can feel it.”We continued to walk along the unnaturally straight road for quite sometime when we eventually came to a crossroads.
Bryn stopped and turned to face us, his stare suddenly intense again, “I have delivered you safely over the Kalima Mountains and into Joro as promised and now, my dear friends, I believe the time has come for us to part ways.”I smiled as Kofi reached out to shake his hand, “Thank you for all your help.
Without your guidance I’m sure we’d still be stuck up on that mountain.”“It was no trouble at all.
My home is in that direction,” Bryn said, looking down at Kofi’s hovering hand as he made his way down the path to the left, “The town of Old Prent is not far from here.
Stay on the road and you will come to it soon.
You can’t miss it!”I was stunned.
I know he was eager to get home but he was in an awful rush! What or who was waiting for him? I bet it was a nice, little red-head.“Thank you,” I echoed, knowing the value of good manners.
Bryn waved and then suddenly stopped, his eyes on me, “One last thing.
There are too many people that call Joro home for me to know all of them.
Keep an eye out for the Huxley woman though, she might be able to help you find your mother’s friend.”I nodded warily as he walked away, the brief trust I had developed for him disappearing in an instant.
I had not forgotten about all the strange questions he had pestered us with while we were on the mountain.“What’s next?” I asked, as Bryn’s figure became a dot in the distance.
Everything was supposed to have fallen into place once we had reached Joro.
The Keepers had been very vague about what we were to do next.“Let’s continue on and see if we can find this town that can’t be missed,” Kofi said, already ahead of me.Before I get started with the next part, in my defence, I have only ever been to a village with more than two huts once in my whole life and that was to Chuma back in Zjarri.
I was rather expecting Old Prent to be just like it but I was soon to find out that my expectations were actually wrong.
We carried on towards the town that couldn’t be missed with Shida in tow.
I was innocently taking in the glorious scenery around me when all of a sudden a forest sprung up out of nowhere right in front of us! The wood boasted a line of ancient trees that were so alive that I could hear them breathing and creaking in the sudden stillness.
Their branches had grown broad and sturdy and stretched high into the now cloudless blue sky.
They were topped with dense clusters of lush leaves that instantly turned into a smudge of green before my eyes.
I noticed as we ventured further into the forest that the earth around the stone road was clean and free from any rot or decay.
Not a single dead leaf littered the forest floor.
Every bush, flower and tree was in it’s place.
Nothing was here by chance and everything was thriving and in peak condition.
A calm, serene feeling suddenly washed over me and I’m sure what I was feeling was the presence of Gaia.
The Earth Mother was strong and very present in this place.
She had worked her magic and mystery and the result was something far too perfect to have ever occurred naturally.
I had, in my past, often felt Briss as she swept over the Clan in a sandstorm or a whirlwind.
I had also felt Zjarr near me during my first thunderstorm.
I knew what I was feeling and had felt the presence of Gaia before.
These feelings, however, had always been light and airy and left me questioning the possibility of them actually being real.
It was like the Wind and Fire were teasing me and simply testing my faith.
Jora, on the other hand, wanted her presence to be known to all who walked through this forest.
The love and care she lavished on her land and her people was unconditional and it flowed through everything.Scattered in amongst the faultless greenery, were smooth stones cut into random oblong shapes, some towered over me while others only came up to my hips in height.
“What do you suppose these are?” I asked Kofi, pointing to one that looked as though it has been purposefully overgrown with moss and vines.“Scared markers perhaps?”“Marking what though?”Kofi shivered, his hand resting firmly on his bow, “This place is giving me all kinds of bad feelings as it is so I’d rather not think about it.”Suddenly, the close denseness of the flora thinned out and I was shocked to see what lay in the clearing.
Instead of being a town of reasonable size with couple hundred or so people Old Prent looked about five times the size of Chuma.
The stone road that we had followed branched off into many side roads and narrow dirt paths.
Just off these roads and paths were wooden structures of irregular shape and size.
Some sat firmly on the ground while others were extensions of the tall, wide trees above me.
Looking at them in closer detail, I wouldn’t have called them houses as such, they were more like four-walled, roofed arrangements that had somehow evolved out of the natural flora.
They displayed the same purposely overgrown look as the oblong stones had and looked as though the people that inhabited them were merely borrowing the space until the landscape came to life, stood up and moved on.
Old Prent was over-populated and people and small animals roamed everywhere.
I didn’t feel crushed in the crowd like I had in Chuma however.
Here the people and animals moved about in an orderly fashion and no one was out of place.
The town’s inhabitants went about their daily tasks in a stress-free manner, their faces suggesting that they didn’t know the meaning of hard work or sacrifice.
They were happy and loved by a very present Jora.
It must have been nice to live with that kind of freedom, the freedom of knowing that anything you could ever want was provided for.Strolling through the crowd, following the pace that the Jorans around me had set and dodging rabbits and small deer at the same time, I noticed that Kofi and I stood out as the only people with foreign faces.
I looked about, failing to spot a face that even suggested the smallest hint of being a Blend.
Even though the shades and tones differed, everyone around me had the same fair skin and red-hair that I had come to associate with the Earth People.
They observed Kofi and I with a calm, open curiosity but it felt different to the Zjarrian stares of awe and fascination.
The Jorans were guarded and tried hard not to get too close to us.
They knew we were not really supposed to be there as did the mysterious eyes that peered out from the shadows.Pressing on through the crowd, I quickly realized that finding the Four wasn’t going to be as straightforward as I had thought.
We were going to need help but who could we trust and turn to? The Huxley woman as Bryn had suggested? Even if we could find this woman, I had no idea of where to start looking.“Should we try to see if we can get something to eat?” Kofi said.“Good idea, we can discuss our next move at the same time,” I agreed, looking around for a shopu type of establishment or signs of a nearby market, “Any idea where we might find something to eat?” “None,” Kofi moaned in quick defeat.“What about these?” I asked, pointing to one of the many baskets of fresh produce I had seen on the side of the road.
“I’ve got some odds and ends we can barter with.”The wood and vine weaved basket held exotic looking fruit and vegetables and I was suddenly ravenous.
I looked around to find the owner of the produce and caught the elbow of a woman passing by, “What would you like for the contents of this basket?”The middle-aged woman frowned the same way Bryn had when I’d asked the same type of question, the answer so obvious to me, “Jora provides for all, take your fill, my child.” “So what does she want for the whole basket?” Kofi asked, bending down to select a few choice items.“Nothing,” I answered puzzled, “She said that we should take what we want.”Kofi shrugged, reaching for two orange-coloured vegetables that were as long as my hand, “Not bad,” he said between crunches.I picked up a fruit that would have been perfect to describe Jojo’s curves and took a bite.
The soft flesh was juicy and sweet and soon both Shida and I had clear, sticky juice running down our arms.
Just as I was reaching for my water-skin, I spotted an extremely beautiful woman coming towards me through the parting crowd.
Her wavy red-hair shone brightly in the sunlight and flowed freely, brushing her waist and hips as she glided gently along.
She wore an ankle-length robe that was tight fitting but flowed and moved freely with her.
It was a rich purple in colour, edged in silver and showed off her small firm breasts and her slender, almost shapeless figure.
Her feet were bare and as white and pure as the rest of her skin.
The woman was stunning and as flawless as the magic and mystery of this strange place and she looked out of place among the now ordinary, dull-looking Jorans.
Looking at her grace and obvious confidence there was no doubt that she was a Keeper of Earth.She greeted and smiled at everyone she passed.
She stopped abruptly though when she saw me, her confident, calming smile failing for only a second as her eyes connected with mine.
I blinked and tried to drop my gaze but something was stopping me.
All I could do was continue to stare as the Keeper glided towards me, reaching out for my arm.
“May the grace and joy of Jora flow within you,” she said, her pale blue-eyed stare hypnotizing me.She dropped my arm gently and continued on gliding through the crowd again.
A cold tingle from her touch had been left on my arm and I pulled back my sleeve to inspect my skin.
My skin was unharmed though, the cold tingle was deep inside my arm.
“Everything all right?” Kofi asked, concerned, “Did she touch you?”“Yes, but I’m fine,” I replied, “Let’s keep moving.”I looked behind me, trying to spot the woman in the crowd but she had vanished.