Prologue: The Plague Children
A furious scream echoed through the woods outside the temple as the Plague was sealed away before silence engulfed the area like a cold glove. Three young girls, ranging from as young as eight to about sixteen, the middle one being ten. They groaned in pain, rubbing their bruise infested arms and brushing off blood. Each silently looked around in confusement, desperately sifting through memories, looking for clues why they had awoken here, in front of a massive temple. But they found nothing, just a blank abyss where their previous lives should have been/
“Where am I?” one asked, holding her head. Another began to cry and the desperately pinched herself in an attempt to wake herself up, but the physical world buzzed around there frightened bodies. A figure adorned with a flowing black cape emerged from the underbrush. His face was hidden, but his pale hands were old and scarred. The oldest looked at the newcomer suspiciously, and the middle quickly hid behind her sister (they presumed they were siblings of some sort) but the youngest, though still extremely frightened, continued her increasing desperate yet pitiful attempts to awaken herself.
“That is irrelevant,” his voice boomed around the area. “You are part of the ritual to seal away the Plague.”
“What are you talking about?” One of the girls asked as she tried to stand up before toppling and falling back over. “‘Plague’, what on Earth is that?”
“As part of the ritual,” the old man continued, ignoring the girl’s comments entirely. “Your souls have become the keys to this temple. Each one, another layer of protection, another seal of binding to prevent the god from escaping. You need to leave this place, go far away, because if you die here, the seal will break and the Plague will be freed, for you are the Plague Children.” The figure vanished into the shifting undergrowth without a trace, his black clock merging seamlessly with the endless forest. The sensible ones looked at each other weirdly.
“Can someone please explain what the hell is going on?” The eldest shouted. “What is going on.” The middle shrugged as the youngest broke into tears behind them.
“What should we do?” Just as the words escaped her mouth, a beast emerged from the undergrowth. It was a deathly brown, spines bristling up the back and legs of its wolflike form, and it let out a shrill cry, stalking closer towards them.
“Run!” the oldest shouted, and they didn’t need to be told twice. The creature slashed at the middle girl as she tried to run, but she quickly evaded the strike. The teenager than lunged from the crying child, snatching the girl in her arms and trying to run. The beast growled and leaped in front of her and the eight-year-old looked up in fear as her “sister” placed her on the ground.
“Run,” she hissed through clenched teeth. The young girl looked wide-eyed at her but quickly dashed off into the forest. The wolf creature turned to chase her, but the oldest Plague Child punched it. “Over here, you nasty creature.” The beast turned its full attention to her, it’s eyes aglow as it licked its chops. With a single movement, so swift no one would ever hear the screams, it lunged at her. The creature held it’s kill in the air triumphantly as the clatter of falling chains echoed around the grand temple.