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.
No matter how I looked at it, Lela was right.
We had both fallen victim to the Gaias and no amount of arguing or accusing was going to change what had happened to us.
It was over and I wouldn’t speak another word about again.
I had to stop thinking about myself.
The world was bigger than me and it had its own plan.
I couldn’t influence or control the outcome.
Protect the Fourborn.
Fight for what is right.Those were my tasks, simple and as clear as the light of day.
Nothing else should matter.“I think it will be wise for us to carry on alone.
I suggest we try to stay away from Jora and her people while we’re at it.
The distractions they cause will only hinder us further and the moon won’t wait for us.” Lela nodded while Shida chattered and screeched for her, pointing an accusing finger my way.
Should Lela still be angry with me she didn’t let it show.
She had packed up and was ready to leave and I decided not to push the issue further.
All three of us had had our fill of the Earth Mother and it was time move on.Leaving the blue-flowered meadow behind us, we joined a narrow dirt path.
I had no idea where it would lead us but it looked like it would take us away from Old Prent and that’s all I cared about.
The further we got away from that place the better.Walking along, I saw that a wall of trees and dense foliage had surrounded us on all sides.
I looked up and was surprised to find that the area above me was covered over too.
The thick leaves and branches had blocked out the sky completely, only allowing thin streaks of sunlight through.
It felt as if we were walking though a green burrow and I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
The meadow had been alive with activity.
The tweeting of birds, the scampering of rabbits, the rustling of leaves.
They were sounds that I could explain and I could take comfort from them no matter how strange the land of Joro.
The comfort disappeared the further we ventured down the path though.
It was strangely quiet and I began to hear sounds and noises that I hadn’t noticed before.
The rubbing of fabric against skin, the squeaking of leather as I moved and the pounding of my heart.
They all became loud and intrusive and I felt my guard go up against the eerily closed space around us.
There were too many shadows and beings could be lurking right in front of us and they would remain invisible right until they attacked.
A single delayed reaction on our part and we wouldn’t live to tell the tale.
“What do you suppose is out there beyond this wall of green?” Lela whispered nervously, her hand resting on the hilt of her dagger.I winced.
Those were the exact words I was trying to keep my thoughts away from.
“More villages filled with people and some farms perhaps,” I said as casually as I could.A small sense of relief crossed Lela’s face and I winced once more hoping my words turned out to be true.
We slipped into silence after that, our ears and reactions focussed instead on the sounds we swore we heard and the slightest movement we thought we detected.The path meandered on in twists and turns for ages and it wasn’t long before my eyes were an indistinct blur of brown and green.
There was no indication of what was coming around the next corner and I found myself disappointed every time we were met with another bend.
An open space or a village seemed like the last thing we would find.“Where is this path taking us?” Lela screamed out.“Let’s catch our breath,” I suggested, feeling just as frustrated.Reaching for my drinking horn, I looked around for some indication as to the time of day.
The sunlight that found it’s way through the heavy growth was weak but still there.
I would say, if I had to guess, that the sun had past it’s highest point, meaning that we had been walking the whole day.
I had no idea how long this path was or where it would lead but I wasn’t about to give up, no matter how sinister or tiresome it became.
We had to find the Fourborn!“When you’re ready, I think we should carry on until either the light fails or we find something to eat.”Lela clicked her tongue in reply, clearly annoyed with everything.“Don’t worry, a village is bound to pop up sooner or later,” I said, moving on ahead.A village didn’t pop up but thankfully a stream and some food did and that was enough of a reward for us and we didn’t hesitate to call it a day.
The challenges we faced however, didn’t stop there.
I had a difficult time finding some dry wood.
The sunlight that the dense woodland allowed through, didn’t get hot enough to dry out any of the accumulated moisture around and everything was damp.
I persisted though and soon enough I had a fire going and a pot of kava boiling beside it.
The stream was too shallow to hold anything but fresh, flowing water so catching a fish or two would be out of the question.
Luckily, we found a bush laden with sweet, plump berries which we ate with flatbread made from the last of our ground sorghum.
Later that night after we had eaten and warmed up, Lela and I sat and talked without any lingering anger.
Everything felt the same as it always had, save for the location but that didn’t matter, we were together and soon I found myself dozing off in front of the fire.Waking up in the weak sunlight the next morning, we made do with a small handful of berries and a weak cup of kava each before setting out for the day.
We rejoined the path and wound around it.
There was still no indication of where the path was leading us but we decided to stay on it.
Staying within the narrow boundaries of the tree-burrow seemed logical and was better than getting lost in the vast green expanse that surrounded us.
Should we double back, the path would lead us back to the stream and eventually back to Old Prent so in my mind, it had to be leading us towards something, I was sure of it.
It couldn’t go on forever.
What was the purpose of the path otherwise?We walked in hope and rested and continued on until we were either too tired to carry on or the sun finally set.
This aimless wandering carried on for three days.
The stream and the food we found on our first night became a distant memory and every night after that we failed to find a patch in the foliage that was large enough for us to set up camp.
We eventually set our tent up on the path and ate whatever we could find - mostly berries and nuts if we were lucky.
We were losing ourselves out here and, to make matters worse, the foliage around us was too dense to see what stage the moon was at and we had no idea how far away the next new moon would be.Day four arrived and I realized that we hadn’t come into contact with anyone on our travels.
Soon I felt the hope of a village popping up in front of us was dwindling just as our conversation was.
I was stuck with my own thoughts and I was losing sight of who we were looking for.
Our purpose for being here had faded and with it any thought of the Fourborn.
My mind became a haze of confusion.
Had the Darkness come and gone without our knowledge? What was happening out there in the real world if it had? What if Lela and I were the only two people left alive? What would this mean for the world? I had no answers to these questions but I did know that I would soon go insane if I didn’t find a way to get us out of here.“Is that what I think it is?” Lela called out suddenly, drawing me away from my doubts.We had set out earlier than usual that morning and the mist was still thick and low around us.
I stopped beside her and tried to focus on what she was pointing out.
I shook my head, all I could see was another bend, “It’s nothing, your eyes are playing tricks on you.
Let’s take a rest.”“It’s a village, Kofi, I’m sure of it,” Lela insisted, running ahead of me.
I ran after her.
Clearly she had gone insane and I had to save her from herself.
The next thing I knew, the path had straightened out and what lay before me was, indeed, evidence of civilization.
“See, I told you it was a village.”“So it is,” I nodded, standing still, unable to believe what I saw.
The village turned out to be a town that looked just like Old Prent.
Jora must have had a fondness for symmetry when she was creating her towns but I didn’t care.
I was out in the open again and I could feel the tension melting away.
“Where are all the Jorans?”Lela was right.
The town was empty when compared to Old Prent and there were only a few dozen people milling about.“It’s early, they’re probably still in bed,” I shrugged, “Let’s find something to eat.”“Let’s be quick about it then.
Something doesn’t feel right here.”“What do you mean? Are you suggesting we carry on?”“I am.
We’re not safe here,” Lela said, stuffing her bag with fruit and vegetables, “Besides we’re not going to find who we are looking for here.”“You’re just tired.”“Think about it Kofi.
We’re here to protect the Fourborn.
Why would somebody need protecting if they lived out in the open, safe with these people? We need to rejoin the path on the other side of this town but, instead of sticking to it, this time, I think we should break away from it and venture out into the forest.
Where better to find someone where no one is likely to look?” “We’ve just arrived back in reality and now you want to leave it? I don’t think it’s a good idea.”“Fine, stay here then but I’m going to find the Fourborn before the Darkness does,” Lela stormed off.
Going back into the green burrow was the last thing I wanted to do but I followed Lela anyway.
“Do you have a plan then?” I yelled after her.
“Shh, do you want everyone to know what we’re doing here?”“Sorry.” I mumbled in a low voice.
Lela had a renewed sense of energy and I decided to go along with it, there was no use arguing with her anyway.
We carried on in silence getting further and further away from the town with every step.
“I think this is deep enough,” Lela said, stopping suddenly.
“What do you want me to do?”“I need you to break through the foliage and forge a new path for us.
One that goes into the forest.”I reached for my runga and started to hack away at the leaves, branches and whatever else had made this wall.
The sunlight was stronger and shone brightly off the path and soon my body was dripping with sweat.
I didn’t stop though, I could see I was making quick progress through the heavy growth.“Uh, Kofi.”“What now Lela?” I heaved.“It is me or does the path behind us look like it’s closing up?”“What do you mean?” my eyes widened.
It was true.
The foliage looked like it was springing up behind us.
The gap back to the main path was becoming smaller and smaller the further we strayed from it.
“Do you want to go back?” I asked.“No, let’s keep going.
We know there’s nothing on that path.” I nodded and carried on hacking.“Do you think the Keepers got it wrong?” Lela asked, sometime later, “The prophesy I mean?”I cringed, “I hope not but if that is the case then I don’t know who to start blaming.
The Keepers perhaps for planting these assumed outcomes in our minds or do we blame ourselves for going along on this journey in the first place?”“Don’t say that.
We wouldn’t be together if we had both chosen to ignore the Keepers.”“Well, that’s what I think and it’s the truth Lela.
It’s been staring at us for a long time now.
We’ve been walking around aimlessly for days.
Don’t get me wrong, your plan to move off the path was a good one but I still don’t see any sign of the Fourborn.”“We’ve just started,” Lela huffed, “What do we do then? Give up?”I stopped and sank down on the cleared path.
“I just want to go home.”“Go home, but why? I doubt your father will welcome you home with open arms.
You’re a deserter Kofi and you have no idea what he’ll do to you.
Tell me honestly, do you really want to go back to Zjarri with so much uncertainty?”“I’m quite used to uncertainty by now and so should you be,” I shook my head in dismay.
“Look around you, we’re living with it every day.
All I want is for something to go according to plan.”“Wake up Kofi!” Lela screamed, “We’ve never had a plan.
To make one we’d need details from the Keepers and I don’t see any hanging around.
Believe me, I’d much rather be out here with no plan than in Brissa with one.
I’m not going back! This is my life now.”“Come home with me then,” I suggested.“A deserter of a son bringing home his enemy sweetheart? Wouldn’t that make a pleasant family reunion?”“You know I don’t care about my father.”“Are you insane? He’ll kill us both!”“So what do we do then?” I asked turning the question over to her.Suddenly everything around us went black.
Had I just gone blind? But my stomach sank when the only reason for my being unable to see in the middle of a sunny day, wedged itself into my mind.
I shut it out and refused to think about it.
It was too soon and it wasn’t happening.
It wasn’t possible.My heart started to pump wildly in my chest as I quickly reached for my bow.
Even though my mind was refusing to admit what was happening my heart was screaming out to me.
I had two options: run or stay and fight.
The forest was still very quiet around us but deadly now that I couldn’t see a thing and the idea of running into the unknown even if Lela could guide us had too many unforeseen consequences.
Staying and fighting was the only option I had left but who was I kidding, how was I going to fight something that I couldn’t see or touch? My stable and dependable sun was gone and in it’s place sat an evil, dark void.Deciding that our chances of survival were higher if I sat tight, I let out a silent pray begging Zjarr to keep us safe, hoping that whatever was happening would soon pass over us.Moments later the sun came out and everything became light once again.
Letting out a slow breath of thanks to my Fire Mother I got to my feet.Lela’s eyes were wide with fright and I wandered what she had seen that I hadn’t.
We didn’t say a word to each other though and I turned away from her and continued to hack away at the forest.
Neither of us wanted to put a name to what we had just witnessed.
Nor did we want to admit that we had failed.
I finished chopping out a patch of the forest that was large enough for us to camp on just as night fell.
We stuck to our routine and did everything as we usually did with a little more purpose.
We sipped the last of our kava and ate a raw dinner from the fresh produce we had taken from the woven basket in the town.
Even so the forest wasn’t having it.
The eerie silence we had become so used to had gone.
The quiet foliage had woken up and was now alive! Scratching, rustling sounds and distant moans filled the chilly night air, sending shivers up my spine.
What was happening all around us? What had the dreaded Darkness produced?Suddenly, a sharp pang hit my stomach, making me double over with pain.“What’s wrong?” Lela asked, reaching out to me.Even in the dim light of the camp fire, I could see that I should have been asking her the same question.
Her face was deadly white and she was sweating and trembling all over at the same time.“I’m fine.
Probably still hungry,” I said, shaking off sudden dizziness, “Are you all right?”“I think so,” she smiled weakly, getting to her feet.She wasn’t though.
I could hear something was wrong by the sound of her voice.
My concerns were confirmed when Lela vomited up all she had just eaten.
Her body started to sway and I jumped up, ignoring the pain in my stomach, catching her just as she passed out.
Picking her up in my weak arms, I then slipped her limp body into our tent.
I placed my fingers on her neck and let out a slow breath - she was still breathing.
I went to fetch my drinking horn when another wave of pain shot through my stomach.
It was agony this time and it ended with me vomiting too.
Forgetting about the water, I crawled into the tent beside Lela and fell into a dazed sleep.What felt like moments later, I was being woken from my slumber and surfaced to hear the sounds of struggling and then I heard the screams.
It was Lela.“Stop! Stop! You’re choking me! Stop!”Could she be trapped in a nightmare? I reached over to comfort her when I realized that she was being dragged out of the tent with great force.
“Help me! Don’t let it take me!” she screamed again.
She wasn’t having a dream, she was awake and her eyes were wide with terror.
I grabbed her arms and tried to hold onto her but I was too weak.
I yelled out to the creature that was dragging her instead, “What are you doing? Leave her alone!”But my efforts were pathetic and came too late and before I knew it, Lela was no longer with me.
I scrambled to my hands and knees and then hurried out after her, my heart thumping in my chest.
I searched around for my bow not sure what I was about to encounter.
I couldn’t see a thing in the dark but I was ready to fend off the creature that had Lela, regardless.
“Lela?” I called out as my eyes slowly adjusted to the dark.
I heard no reply and immediately started to panic.
I turned around and was shock to find that our tent was covered over in thick vines and leaves.
Had the forest been trying to kill us?“Lela!” I called again.I was about to call out for the third time when I heard the soft sounds of sobbing.
It was then that I saw Lela and the red-headed woman who was cradling her.
“Everything is fine,” the mysterious woman said, “You’re all right.
You’re safe now.”I shook my head, confused, “Who are you? What do you want?” It was then that I noticed the rich purple and silver robe that she was wearing.The woman looked at me with dark searching eyes.
“Please don’t be alarmed.
I’m Norah Mae Huxley and I’m here to help you.”