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 next day long before I was due to join the battle, I watched the sun rise over the horizon.
It was a tradition that had once brought me peace but now filled me with apprehension.Would I live or die in this war today? This was a question I had no answer to.The only one who knew if I would survive was Zjarr, my life was in her hands.
Some men would have worried themselves sick over this but I would accept my fate.
I would honour the Fire Gaia and her decision as I basked in the wondrous light and warmth of the sun once more.
I made a promise to myself that if, by some miracle, my life was spared a second time I would view the sunrise every morning as though it were my last.
Breathing the fresh morning air in deeply I looked on as the colours in the sky changed.
Pilli was right when she’d said that it wasn’t my time to die the day we were ambushed and that I should take it as a blessing and live.
I would live and breathe until Zjarr took me from this world when, once again, I would become a part of her.
Until that day came however, I would fight death until the very end.
I was determined to think only of the present and wait for tomorrow to take care of itself.Hearing my fellow archers stirring after a night under the stars, I continued to watch the sun climbing slowly as she brought with her a new day.
A day of death and a day of out-living death.
I sighed and stood up to prepare a pot of kava.
I added honey to the pot thinking of my family and the village that I had grown up in.
So much had changed in such a short time since then.
I had seen so much and had experienced more in this short time than I had in all my life.I drained the last of my cup of kava slowly wanting to make it last as long as possible.
I then joined the rest of the archers and together we donned our gear ready for war.
Prior to putting on my leather vest, I pulled on a simple cloth tunic that would prevent the rough leather from chaffing my skin.
My bow and quiver of arrows came after my vest as did my runga which I fastened to my side as a back-up weapon.
Lastly, I dipped my hand into a metal pot, coating my fingers with a thick, blood-red paste.
Raising my fingers up to my face, I streaked my cheeks and chin with the paste just as the generations before me had done.
I was ready for anything now!Long before the sun was at it’s highest, we set out, walking to the location of the battle.
My father had decided that his victory would take place in the space where the dunes thinned out - a road of sorts that lead straight to the oasis.
I met up with Ayo on the way to this location.
We embraced each other then stood in silence for a long while.Finally, my brother spoke, “I’ll see you on the other side of this mess, my Brother!”“Let’s promise here and now that when this is over, we will go home and you, Jomo and I will take down that buffalo together,” I said, swallowing deeply.
My brother nodded and turned away before he could hide the tears in his eyes.We soon joined the rest of the Zjarrian warriors, lining up in the order that we would face the enemy.
The mighty bulls and their kabwas would lead us, next would come Ayo, along with the foot-warriors, their shields, pangas and long-pointed assegais at their sides.
The archers would make up the rear.
The final march we did together was short but slow as each warrior readied himself for what he was about to face.
The bulls snorted and pulled on their reins while we sang deep, throaty songs of bravery and victory.
We were a collective with one goal in mind - destroying the Brissans and living to tell the tale.
The fires we brought along with us were large and burned more fiercely than any I had ever seen.
We would need them to fuel our strength if the winds of the desert decided to pick up.
Carts with extra wood on them were pulled along behind us, ready to rekindle the fires.My heart was pounding and my stomach was in knots as the palm trees of the oasis came into view.
I tried to focus my mind on revenge, but fear was at the front of it.
It’s stench filled my nose and caused me to gag.
I realized that war makes men react in strange ways, some men are elevated by the very thought of it while others become weak and cower under it’s terror and might.
I knew that I fell into the latter of men, but I was determined not to let fear beat me.
Drawing nearer, I could just make out the white robes of the Brissans as they dotted the red landscape.
They seemed to lack the structure which the Zjarrian warriors displayed so proudly.
Some of the Brissans sat on top of their camels while the rest stood around on foot.
I shivered, remembering the encounter I had previously had with these savages.
This time the Zjarrians had the advantage though, we had archers when they didn’t.
Pilli was standing next to me and I looked over to her as she scan the rest of her troop.
She might have been our leader but today she was also a warrior, unlike my father who had instigated this whole war but who was safe and sound sitting in his hut, away from the danger and death.
“Stand proud and ready my archers!” Pilli shouted over the noise, her face dotted with red war paint.
“We are the People of Fire, let’s show them who we are!”We lit our first arrows, at Pilli’s command.
One hundred archers then lined up silently, arrows tilted towards the sky, waiting for the order to release them.
The foot-warriors stopped beating their shields as every single Zjarrian warrior stood still, waiting for their orders when suddenly blood-curdling screams filled the air.
The Brissans were charging towards us! These men, it seemed, had no sense of worth, they chose to run straight towards death, unafraid of what was to come.
Pilli, along with the nine other lead archers shouted their commands.
“Loose!” I released my arrow and watched as it shot high into the cloudless blue sky and then as it came down with great speed hitting it’s target, causing it to burst into flames.
I drew another arrow from my quiver and prepared for the next shot.
Unexpectedly, the ground beneath me started to shake and vibrate and I looked ahead as the raging bulls charged towards the enemy.
The bulls’ sharp horns turned a bloodied red as they met with human flesh and I swear I could even hear bones being crushed as they moved forward, their huge weight trampling over the dead.
Soon the foot-warriors were in the thick of it, engaging head-on with the enemy.
Clouds of sand and dust stared to swirl around them, making it difficult to see what was going on.
I wished the dust had made it difficult for me to hear too, for all I could hear was the shouting of commands, screams of pain and the agonizing moans of death.
I lowered my bow, not wanting to kill one of my own men in this skirmish.
I needed to move forward to where everything was happening, I needed to help the others.
Quickly I realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way when Pilli shouted once again over the noise.“We’ve done all we can with our arrows, the time has come to see how much you were paying attention in our hand-to-hand fighting sessions!”I dropped the arrow I had waiting back into my quiver and holding my bow in both hands, blades facing away from me, I ran into the dust.
My sweaty skin was covered with the fine red sand in next to no time yet this time, I could feel the power of the fires nearby.
I had the strength of two men.
The blood was pounding in my head and I suddenly saw red! Among the clashing of weapons, I found a target.
The savage who’s back was to me was fighting with a Zjarrian foot-warrior.
I ran up to him and, with two swift strikes of my bladed-bow into his back, the man fell - dead on the spot.
The Zjarrian warrior smiled when he saw me.“It’s good to see you lazy archers have decided to joined the fight!” he said with good humour, grateful for my help.“We’re here for the same reason Brother, and this war is far from over!” I said, looking at the blood dripping from my blades.
I took a deep breath hoping to steady my trembling hands.
This proved to be a bad idea as I was hit with the smell of sweat, tanned leather, metal, blood and death.
The stench of war.
The fear that had temporarily vanished when I had killed the Brissan savage had returned and I had to fight back the flatbread I had nibbled on earlier that morning.
War was happening all around me, even though my stomach was churning.
I had to focus my mind on the fight however, if I was going to come out of this war alive.
“It’s not my time!” I screamed up to the skies as a flying blade whooshed past my ear and a desert savage came at me.
I had to stay on my feet, balance was another thing I had to fight for in the sand as I held my bow up ready to absorb my enemy’s blow.
The enemy’s dagger had a short blade made from the same transparent material that I had seen before.
This however, proved to be an advantage for him.
He was fast and agile on his feet and I had to dodge the weapon many times as we fought.
Suddenly, my regular duelling partner, Masego, was at my side.
He managed to distract the savage for a moment and that was all I needed to whip his legs up from beneath him.
The Brissan fell backwards into the sand and I had a blade at this throat in a flash.
I looked into his green eyes searching for something that would indicate emotion not finding anything there, I quickly slit his throat.
Masego and I moved on silently deciding to work as a team.
We managed between us to eliminate another four of our opponents, it was then that I heard my name being called.
The dust around us had slowly started to settle down and I looked around to see who was calling me.
I thought I had imagined it yet just as I turned to move on I heard the call again and this time it was louder but strained.
The Zjarrian was obviously in pain, I had to find him or her.
I retraced my footsteps to where I first heard the call and then I saw him.
It was Ayo.
I fell over countless bodies as I ran towards my brother.
I reached him and had to push a limp Brissan body off him.
I realized too late that this was the wrong thing to do and that the corpse was keeping Ayo alive.
Blood, red and rich was pouring out of a deep gash on Ayo’s right thigh.
I knelt down next to him and with my left hand pushed down hard on the wound in an effort to control the bleeding.
I grasped Ayo’s outstretched hand with my other hand.“Ayo, look at me!” I pleaded, trying to ignore the sand that was turning to a different shade of red around him.
“Everything is going to be all right, you’re going to be fine, you’ll see! We just need to get you back to the camp.”Ayo’s eyes were losing their brightness, but his grip on my hand was strong.
“Leave this place Brother and fight for what is right,” he said, reaching out for my left hand, which was pressed to his thigh.
“We will meet again in the Baobab Forest one day and then you can tell me of your adventure.”“No, no, you need to live, Ayo!” I said, choking back tears.
He looked at me and managed a smile before his whole body shuddered and suddenly became still.
I shook him and screamed his name but I knew the Fire had left his body.I fell into the sand and sobbed and moaned.
The grief and pain of losing my brother was overwhelming.
This battle we had just fought was no longer about avenging Neoh and the others, nor was it about the oasis.
It was far more personal.
This war had become about our people.
Ayo was dead as were so many others from both sides of the oasis.
We had lost so much and had nothing to show for it.
The oasis was still a shared resource between two worlds with very different ideas and the desert would still continue to encroach into Zjarri no matter what we did.
The oasis would never be ours.
It was a war without end, no matter who had won that day.The battle must have ended for the noise around me had stopped.
It was quiet except for the sound of wailing and sobbing that came from others around me, lost in their emotions.Above me, vultures squawked as they began to circle over the fallen bodies attracted by the smell of death.
In the distance other scavengers - hyenas and wild dogs howled with hunger.
Standing up I lifted Ayo’s limp body onto my shoulders.
I then began the long walk back to Askari together with the rest of the survivors and the fallen they carried.
Somehow I had managed to come out of this battle unscathed.
Others however had not been so fortunate.
I looked around and saw that many were limping or had to be supported or carried.
But it was the number of dead that was so unbelievable.
Later that day as the sun set, a mass cremation took place.
It is Zjarrian custom that we burn our dead.
We believe that the ash which is left behind is absorbed back into the earth as we join our ancestors and Zjarr once again.
I stood stone-faced beside Pilli and the rest of my surviving troop.
My brother was dead and I didn’t feel any better now that I had avenged Neoh.
Human life had to have more meaning than this.
All this loss of life was just a waste and for what? My father’s ego? Simply to prove that he was worthy of keeping his people safe? Was this the victory he had always dreamed of? I blamed my father and hated him yet again but realized that my feelings towards him would never change.
I had to survive.
I had to live on for those who mattered, especially for Ayo and Neoh.
The sun set over the grass plains, bringing an end to a terrible day and an end to my former self.