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 tried hard not to think about the Keeper and what she had said and done to me as I walked on but it was no use.
The Keeper had sent a euphoric energy through me and her touch had left me feeling calm and at one with the green world around me.
My eyes had been opened to the true Joro.
All the doubt and suspicion that others had imparted to me were gone, Joro was no longer a strange mysterious land of which I should be afraid.
It was, instead a land steeped in the joys and wonders of an ancient Earth Mother.
Out on the red dunes of Brissa and even out on the open plains of Zjarri, everyday was a harsh struggle for survival.
I always thought it a miracle if by the time the sun had set, I was still alive to tell of the danger and struggles that I had faced that day.
I’m sure the word survival doesn’t even exist in the language these dignified people speak.
Why would there be a need for it when everything you could ever want came from a loving, understanding presence? I envied the Joran people.
Briss and Zjarr were cruel and their actions were bad tempered and filled with spite.
Jora is perfection.
A hateful hand would never be capable of creating a land of such beauty.
Jora is the way to true happiness.
She would lead us to the Four of that I have no doubt.“What should we do now?” I asked Kofi.
We were wandering around without a plan and I was eager to see more of Old Prent and what it had to offer.
I wanted us to engage with the people but, so far, the only thing Kofi had done was avoid eye contact, far happier to stare at his boots instead.“I don’t know about you but I’ve seen enough of Joro for one day.
Perhaps we’ll have more luck finding the Four tomorrow,” he answered in a low voice, “I suggest we find a place to set up camp and continue our search in the morning.”This wasn’t what I had in mind, “Come on.
Where’s your sense of adventure? There’s still so much to see and the sun hasn’t even set yet.”“I’d rather not wander around this place after dark and finding a suitable place to pitch our tent could take some time,” Kofi frowned.Camping anywhere at anytime hadn’t been a problem for us before.
Why should that have changed? What was wrong with him?“I suggest we look out for this Huxley woman, she may know where the Four is hiding.”“How are we supposed to do that? We don’t even know what this woman looks like.”“Why don’t we just ask around?” I proposed, looking around for someone who might know her, “Even better, let’s just ask the Jorans if they’ve heard of the Four.”“I don’t think we should draw any unnecessary attention to ourselves, not until I have a plan,” he said, grabbing my arm.Waiting for Kofi to formulate a plan could take forever and it was time we just didn’t have.
“Unnecessary attention?” I mocked, “We are the only foreigners they have seen all day.
Believe me, every single person in Old Prent knows about us.
I trust these people, Kofi, and I think we should ask them for help.”“What’s got into you Lela? Asking these people for anything could put the Four in danger, never mind us.
These people may look harmless on the surface but remember what Babu said.”“He hasn’t ever been to Joro.
What would he know?”Shock and hurt flooded Kofi’s eyes.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know why I said that, I’m just tired,” I said but really didn’t mean a word of it.Kofi nodded, letting go of my arm, “I know.”“All I’m saying is that these people are going to start asking why we are here, just like Bryn did.
How do we answer them?”“Just like we did with Bryn.
We’re looking for a friend of your mother’s.
All we have to do is keep our answers short and stay as close to the truth as possible.”What we had told Bryn hadn’t even been near the truth.
I was tired of lying and I knew Jora and her wonderful people deserved better.“You’re right, what we said before didn’t trigger any further questions from Bryn so let’s stick to it,” I said telling him what he wanted to hear, “Shall we go and look for a place to camp?” Kofi smiled, reaching for my hand this time, my earlier words forgotten.
“That sounds like a good plan but who says we can’t explore Old Prent on the way?”“Lead the way,” I nodded, happy with myself.
Shortly afterwards we found ourselves caught up amongst a large group of people who were making their way intently towards something.
Looking ahead, I saw what seemed to be like the whole town gathering in an open clearing at the top end of the paved road.
“Come, let’s see what’s happening,” I pulled Kofi along with me before he could protest.We were surrounded by people by the time we reached the clearing and the air was filled with Joran.
I would have given anything to have understood what those around me were saying.
Perhaps I would have time to learn a little of the language while I was here? “What’s going on here?” I asked, hoping the tiny old woman next to me spoke Gaian.She looked up at me with the usual confusion, shaking her shiny silver and auburn head.
“I’m sorry but my grandmother speaks no Gaian,” said a deep voice beside her.
I glanced down for a brief moment and was caught by the blue-eyed stare of a man who looked about my age.
“We’ve all gathered here for the Spring Rites.
Join us, there’s much to see and I promise you will not be disappointed.”“Shall we?” I asked Kofi, while admiring the man’s handsome features.
Jora sure had a talent for making beautiful and attractive people! There wasn’t a plain face around! “I don’t think…”“Come on, it’s just a gathering.
We might even spot the Four,” I urged in a low voice.I waited for a reply but Kofi only nodded, a deep frown crossing his face.I ignored him and concentrated on the excitement that was bubbling up inside of me as more and more people joined the circle while the sun gently set in front of us.
The Jorans may have been an attractive people but they were short and I was at a great advantage with my Zjarrian height and I watched on as a procession of women came our way.
I counted the group of women as they entered the circle.
There were thirteen of them in total and their faces were all hidden behind masks, each of them depicting the features of a wild animal.
All the women were barefoot and wore their long red-hair loose and flowing around their waists.
Watching closely, I noticed that each women was dressed differently too.
Some had chosen the more modest path and wore the same purple and silver robe that the Keeper from earlier had been wearing.
The tight fitting robe was obviously too much for others and, instead, they had chose the freedom of near nakedness, only concealing their most important parts in thin strips of sheer silver fabric.
Twelve of the thirteen women had wreaths of fresh flowers resting on their red-heads.
The thirteenth woman wore a complicated headdress adorned with feathers, twigs, flowers and brightly coloured strips of fabric instead.
I looked over at Kofi briefly and smiled at the shock on his face.
Turning back, I continued to watch as the women stopped to stand in the shape of an inverted triangle.
Everyone became silent around me as the women started to dance as the thrumming sound of a drum filled the air.
Where was the sound coming from? I looked around but couldn’t see anyone who was playing an instrument.
It must have been coming from the trees or from the people themselves.
The women moved gracefully in a free but choreographed flow and I found myself transfixed, giddy and unable to look away.
Suddenly, the drumming became low and distant as the women quickly left the circle blending into the crowd.
I found myself hoping that that wasn’t the end of the dance and let out a sigh of relief when a group of masked men made their way into the circle.
Their bare chests were covered with swirls of rich black paint, their muscles young and strong, rippling just beneath the surface of their pale skin.
A few had long hair and full beards, while others were clean-shaved and had closely-cropped curls.
A pair of wooden antlers sat proudly on each of their head.
There were thirteen men too and they danced barefoot just like the women.
The thrumming started again, but this time, it was louder and played at a more aggressive pace.
While the women had been elegant and feminine, the men’s dance was strong, dominate and very masculine.
Their movements thrilled me and I soon felt flushed and heady.
The men’s display went on for some time when, all of a sudden the drumming stopped.
Silence hung in the air as the women joined the men in the circle again.
The sexes stood in two lines facing each other, staring each other down.
Choosing a dance partner.
Choosing a mate.The drumming started again but this time the sound was followed by deep chanting and the music of more invisible instruments.
The dancers came together in their chosen pairs and I stared as they wooed each other with a sensual, rhythmic dance.
Soon the music and the dancing ended and the sound of applause filled the cool night air.
The Spring Rite was over.
“That was amazing! Have you ever seen anything like it before?” a wide smile spread over my face as I clapped with the crowd.
“No,” was all Kofi could manage.
Kofi and I were just about to leave, the need to find a camping site very pressing for him now, when the young Joran I had spoken to earlier insisted that we come along for the feast.“There’s much to eat and drink and plenty for everyone.
It will be a shame not to see you there,” he said only to me.I looked at Kofi expectantly, placing my belongings in the open hole of a tree-trunk for safe keeping.
“Luckily for you I’m starving and I can’t remember the last time that I had a decent meal of meat,” he grumbled, adjusting his weapons about his body.
He was over-dressed and he knew it.
There was no war here only peace and tranquillity.
The feast was held in another open space that was just off the paved road.
Ten or so long wooden tables had been placed under the trees and the narrow benches were groaning under the weight of too many people.
Before long the two of us managed to find a space large enough into which we could squeeze.
I looked around wondering what there was to eat when I saw that the food had been arranged directly onto the wooden surface of the table, instead of on plates.
The people all around us were already nibbling on choice morsels and I helped myself.“Why isn’t there any meat?” Kofi moaned.
I looked more carefully at the food in front of us and only saw fruit, vegetables, nuts and berries.
There wasn’t a trace of meat nor was there a whiff of it roasting in the air.
I sighed, deeply irritated with Kofi’s incessant complaining.
Food was food especially when it was being given to you for nothing.
I wasn’t complaining and neither was Shida.
She was already stuffing her cheeks full of nuts and berries.
I reached out for the jug in front of me.
Filling two cups right up to the brim, I handed one to my grumpy companion.
“Drink up,” I urged, emptying the contents of the whole cup into my mouth.
I had no idea what the liquid was and I didn’t care.
All I knew was that I liked it.
It tasted tangy and sweet and just like the fruit I had eaten earlier.
I filled my cup again and wasn’t surprised when Kofi didn’t present his cup to me to be refilled too.
He really had a knack for ruining a good time.
After my fourth or fifth cup, I started to feel light-headed and dizzy.
This feeling was new to me and I was both excited and frightened by it.
I was reaching for another cup when my ears pricked up at the sound of the rhythmic beating of a drum.
My body started to move on it’s own accord in time with the beat.
I felt free and alive and ignored my blurring vision.
Jora had filled me with her magic and I wasn’t about to waste it.
“I think it’s time we left and found a spot to set up the tent for the night,” Kofi said, trying not to stare at the couples romping around in the bushes nearby.“I can’t leave now! Look the celebration is just getting started,” I pointed to a number of couples who were dancing naked and carefree around a roaring bonfire.
“I think I’ll have just one more cup of whatever this stuff is and then I’m going to join in with the dancing.
I’m going to investigate that fire on the way.
Is it me or does it look like it’s floating!”“No.
We are leaving now Lela!” Kofi shouted, grabbing my arms and pulling me up onto my very unsteady feet.
I shoved him off, losing my balance, “You can’t tell me what to do, Kofi!”“You’re not safe here.”“I have Shida don’t I? She will protect me if need be but I don’t think it will be necessary.
These people are just having a good time that’s all and I have the Earth Mother to keep me safe.”“You are coming with me,” Kofi insisted, scooping me up into his arms.
“I think we should join those couples in the bushes over there instead.
What they’re doing looks like fun.” I kicked at the air, trying to make Kofi put me down.
I needed to get back to the celebration but he ignored my efforts and carried on walking towards the clearing’s exit.“Where are you taking me?” I demanded in a final attempt before my eyes blurred over completely.Kofi continued on in silence and the last thing I remember was the frown on his face and the moon overhead taunting me.
I woke up the next morning feeling confused and ashamed of myself as the events of the previous day presented themselves to me in unclear, half-images.
Turning my back on them, I crawled out of the tiny tent and shivered as my palms and bare feet were met with wet grass.
Wincing at the pain in my head, I stood up on wobbly legs and looked around.
A light mist hung in the fresh morning air but the sun was making easy work of it by shining brightly through the surrounding trees.
The mist would eventually disappear altogether leaving a glorious day in it’s wake.
Everything around me was quiet save for a few birds tweeting sweetly in the branches above.
Kofi, had his back to me.
He was sitting on a log in front of a small fire, delicate blue flowers in full bloom all around him.
I sneezed but he didn’t move.
I needed to apologize, but how I did that without knowing what had actually happened or what I had done made my headache even worse.I sighed, breathing in deeply as I walked over to Kofi.
“Before anything is said, I want to apologize for my behaviour yesterday.
If I hurt you in any way, I didn’t mean it.
I know it’s a rather pathetic excuse but I wasn’t myself and I had no idea what I was doing.”Kofi looked up at me, his face absent of any emotion.
My heart sank when he went back to sipping his cup of kava without saying a word.
I sank down onto the damp flowers next to him, tears streaming down my face, “I’m so sorry, Kofi.
Please say something, anything.
Forgive me, I beg you.”A long time passed before he finally spoke, “If you ever act like that again, I swear all of this will be over.
I will return to Zjarri on my own without a backwards glance or a single thought for your wellbeing.” Kofi’s words came out in a rasped whisper and I knew he was deadly serious.
“You were sucked in by the very danger my grandfather warned us about.
What we are doing here is no joke, Lela.
You are the one who keeps on saying how crucial it is to the survival of all humanity.
One wrong move and it will all be over.
Your weakness and naivety with regards to Jora showed and it scared me and I never want to see you like that again.” “Now you know how I felt when you almost died on the Kalima Mountains.
What you are saying isn’t fair by the way.
I was there for you the whole time without a shred of judgement.”“What I experienced up there is not even close to the things you did and said yesterday.” he sneered, throwing his kava into the fire.
“Oh, but they are one and the same.
You allowed the Mother of Wind to control you.
I didn’t see that you had a choice in the matter.
You just sat back while she put out your beloved Fire,” I stood up, clicking my tongue in anger, “We have no control over the Gaias, Kofi, we just have to accept that and move on.
You are more than welcome to sit here and brood over the things I said and did while under Jora’s spell but I’d rather take the experience and learn from it.
We are here to find the Four and I’m going to do that with or without you.
It’s your choice,” I shrugged, turning my back on him.I had turned the conversation around and felt good for it.
What I had said and done was in the past.
Wind, Fire and now a touch of Earth.
They have all come together to make me who I am.
I was who I wanted to be and I was finally happy in my own skin and I wasn’t about to let anyone shame me for it.