Brief overview - Avatar meets Lord of the Rings. One Seed rules them - One Seed can save them. In the world of Carlopean, three vengeful kings rule. Alex, a bullied, shy teenager suddenly finds himself smack bang in the middle of it. Immediately he is drawn towards Meeka, who is searching for her twin sisters lost in the kings forest. Meeka is a Falada, strong and courageous but slowly losing faith. Her wings are withered from lack of sunlight and nourishment due to the kings keeping the Seed of Carlopean hidden away. The seed fills them with its powers, so that they may rule over all others, but the seed is diminishing and will die, causing the kingdom to forever suffer. As the threat of darkness draws ever closer, Alex finds himself using many the techniques his Grandpa taught him as a child. Silly games, codes and survival skills. He would undertake his greatest quest drawing upon all his hidden courage, deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own destiny.
Meeka was troubled. The air felt thick and even inside her bungalow there was a chill that wriggled up her spine. It was a cold and wet day in Bezamberon and the wind hissed around her cottage. The sky was grey and the day was very bleak indeed. She was worried about Bodhi and Taya, who had not come home. Her twin sisters had left the previous afternoon to gather food and wood for the fire, the fire that was now burning its last embers. Meeka had stayed to make broth for their supper, although she hadn't touched a drop. The night had been very cold and they had left with no extra cloth to cover their tiny bodies. A Falada’s wings were slow to grow and theirs were not yet fully grown, no use to them just yet. Meeka’s were grown but withered with the lack of sun, food and being constantly tired. A Falada needs the sun to warm their wings, to enable them to flourish and fly. The cold kept them damp and limp and of no use, just the way the Kings liked it. There was no chance of escaping this terrible life.
Bulgarious poked his head through the window.
"Are they back? Are they back” he asked as he stepped over the windowsill into Meeka’s tiny bungalow.
"No” she replied, struggling to hold back the tears.
Bulgarious was a Thoral. His body covered in the softest greyish blue fur, he was long and slim and when he stood on his hind legs, he was the tallest of them all. Eyes as large as Frisbee's and with ears like a bat, he could hear and see even in the dark. His heart was big and keeping his village safe was always his first priority. He placed his arms around Meeka and gently lifted her head between his hands. His voice was calming, soothing and his embrace made her feel safe.
"I am sure for the moment they are well, there is no danger. Yet!” he said. "But we must find them soon. The full moon is nearing and the Grimulot’s will not accept their reason for being in the forest”.
Meeka shivered. The Grimulot’s were terrible creatures. They could change shape when they needed to, but in their true form they were like serpents, slithering through the tree tops, looking for their next victim. They, along with the 3 Grimulot Kings, held ‘The Seed of Carlopeon’. King Grapulor was the meanest, the tallest and the strongest, he relished on making them unhappy; King Maaol was just as angry but always did as his brother said, but never without an argument. King Velarus was very quiet and often never seen.
The seed held the fate of each and every one living in Carlopeon. It kept them strong and healthy. Within Carlopeon was Meeka's village of Bezamberon. The seed, once nurturing, was the mother of all nature. It held the warmth and love that once filled Bezamberon's lush valleys. A wicked spell had been cast over the seed when it was stolen from the keeper ‘Lucian’, who was slain when it was stolen. The king’s sorceress ‘Mirrachy’ had betrayed him. Lucian was Bulgarious’ father and Bulgarious had felt responsible for the villagers since that fateful day. The seed was sold to the kings and thereafter all was lost. The seeds shell had hardened and the light from within it grew dim. Mirrachy, who was once a good and great sorcerer, helped Lucian guard the Seed but she betrayed him when the kings offered her wealth and riches. Her skin, now creased and wrinkled with her greed, her wings looked like hardened leather and were no longer usable. But she didn’t care. Her bony fingers relished as she ran them through her gold, silver and jewels. She had as many slaves as she wanted at her beck and call. She rarely practiced her magic anymore and lived a fat lazy life, her spell on the seed being one of her last requirements. She lived at the very back of the king’s palace and was rarely seen.
Now the Grimulot’s reigned and the villagers had to rely on them for their food, water and shelter. They controlled the skies, the sun, the moon, the rivers that flowed and the grass that grew. The Grimulot’s took what they needed from the villagers and punished them with cold and dark skies if they didn’t obey. They had ruled over Carlopeon for many years and a dark veil had fallen over it. Bezamberon was a very small village and seemed lost forever. The 3 Kings had a magnetic untouchable power, when linked together. The Seed of Carlopeon was the center of their force. It gave them strength.
It was an impossibility to leave Carlopeon, for the Grimulot’s had all the exits guarded. The forest was full of the Grimulot’s soldiers. They were fearless, but small. Their hard spiny shell was almost impenetrable. Their faces were drawn and squint with spikes protruding below their eyes, deep dark black eyes. They were each gifted a Grimulot sword. The swords were used to turn anyone who dared to enter the forest into Whallower’s, lost souls with ghostly figures that appeared before you, pointing at you and wallowing to the Grimulot’s that they had found an intruder. Once, they were loving, with family and friends, but now they were slaves, endured forever to serve the Grimulot Kings. Their kind faces were distraught, eyes that had turned black like the Grimulot’s, their mouths gaping as they screeched. They recognized no-one; they were now just a shadow of their former selves.
Beyond the forest on three sides stood stone cliff faces. Without working wings to reach the great heights the villagers would never scale them. And even if they did, high above in the holes scattered throughout the rock faces, the Manipor’s had built their nests. They too worked for the Grimulot’s, large bird like creatures with huge wings and razor sharp claws. They had expert vision and their small pointy ears heard the smallest of sounds. No-one dared to venture into their path.
Cutting through one of the rock faces was a river, a deep swirling river that once thrived with an abundance of food to catch. Faralie’s, once beautiful, kept the river clean and bountiful, their hair flowing with colours, their eyes bright and shiny like glistening drops of gold. They sang the most beautiful words and it carried through the valley like a chorus of angels sent from above. But now, they were deep grey, lifeless souls, their minds lost to the Kings and their Gregorian armies. They were now a very different kind of protector of the river which no-one would dare enter.
Meeka knew, she had to search for her sisters. She gathered some food in a knapsack, and set out on her journey. As she walked through the village, the others looked on, scowling at her, shutting their doors. Others warned her.
"Please don’t anger the Kings, you know what happens if they are angered, they will punish us all” they pleaded with Meeka but she could not hear them. Her thoughts were with the twins.
No-one offered to help. No-one wished her luck and no-one waved her off. The Grimulot’s had taken away every last piece of hope for the villagers and they lived in fear every day. All their wings looked tethered; their faces were drawn and tired. Their eyes were sad and they were thin from lack of nourishment.
She heard footsteps behind her and a gentle hand upon her shoulder. It was Bulgarious.
"I'm here” he said. "We will go together”
She looked up at him, a tear escaping down her cheek. He could see the thank you and the fear in her eyes at the same time and they walked on until they came to the edge of the forest on the dark side of the valley.
"This is where they went to gather wood” Meeka whispered. "They said the dark side”
She almost laughed, the twins always called the shadowed side of the forest the dark side. Bodhi and Taya didn’t like the dark and always insisted on a night Leethan to glow in the room overnight. She watched them every evening, bouncing around the grass for hours trying to catch one, only to let it go in the morning. The twins were kind and gentle with delicate faces and immature wings. They had never known the Carlopeon Realm to be any other way. She prayed no harm had become of them. The mere thought of them turned into Whallower’s tugged at her heart. They were just babies and had endured an entire life of living in this grim place. It just wasn’t fair.
Meeka thought back to the day her parents left, seven years previously. They had taken it upon themselves to go and meet the kings. To plead with them for peace, but instead they met their fates and had never returned. Meeka was left with her two small sisters. She raised and cared for them alone. Each day praying her mother and father would come back to them, but deep down she knew what had happened. She hated the kings. She wished she had the courage and the knowledge to fight them. To retrieve the seed of Carlopeon and show the twins a world that seemed almost to have never existed. Bulgarious was the only other one that had helped. None of the other Falada’s had come near her and her life would have been a lonelier one if it had not been for the twins. The villagers were angry with her parents for upsetting the kings. The months after they had left were filled with sorrow and darkness. The kings had spread their vengeance for their attempt in peace with howling winds, deeply cold temperatures and very little food. Those days had been dark for six months and many villagers had lost loved ones throughout the hardship.
Meeka and Bulgarious entered the dark side of the forest. Instantly they were chilled, not just with the cold but also the fear of the unknown.
Alex was cold. He was playing in the attic, as it had been raining continuously in the bay for a week. He put on an extra pair of socks and another hooded jacket. His mother was downstairs preparing supper, but Alex wasn’t hungry at all, he was far too busy saving the world. Alex was a quiet boy, well-spoken but the shyest of anyone. He had wavy brown hair and deep brown eyes with deep olive skin. He looked a lot like his father when he was young. He was an only child and his shyness didn’t encourage many friends. He was bullied at school and was small for his age. He never fought back and had been victim to the bullying ways of Michael Turner to many times. Every morning with a heavy heart and knowing he would have to face Michael and his bullying friends, Alex dragged his feet to school.
Michael Turner had bright red hair, was twice the size of any other boy his age and just as mean as a cat tied up in a cage.
Alex told himself every morning, "Today I’m going to stand up to him” but he never did.
In the corner of the attic lay Alex’s backpack, filled with toys, old sweetie wrappers, bits and bobs. This was his "attic pack”. He took it with him whenever he went up to the attic to play, for this was his haven. The attic was filled with all sorts of treasures and memories. Mostly his Grandfathers things that his mother had put there when he had died, of little worth to anyone, except them. He had loved his Grandpa and he missed him dearly. In the backpack was a book, which his Grandpa had scribbled in. It was full of unusual writing, scrambled words and strange pictures. His Grandpa would make Alex use the book to unlock coded games he would create for him. He was the kindest man he had ever met and he would tell Alex the most wonderful stories.
They were fantastic stories, stories that Alex would dream about in his sleep, stories of magical places and always about a boy, a boy just like Alex, who had to save the day. He told him the boy’s secrets and Alex kept all the games his Granddad had created. He kept these in his backpack, all written down in the back of his grandfather’s book. He taught him how to tie knots in ropes, carve sticks into arrows and make fire from wood. He was the greatest man that had ever lived. In every story, the ending was always planting a seed. "You have to bury time" Alex didn’t quite understand what his Grandpa meant by that, but it seemed to be relevant to him and he made sure Alex would always repeat it.
"Alex” he would say "you can’t do anything unless you take time with you" and that’s the key, now you say it” and Alex would always sigh back.
He would tell him about a place called Bezamberon, where Falada’s lived. Small angelic creatures that where held captive in a dark world by the Gregorian’s. He told him of the many brave warriors that had tried to defeat them and failed. He told Alex that one day someone special would be chosen to save the kingdom and would forever be blessed.
Alex pretended he was the chosen one, climbing through treacherous caves and over mountains, rescuing the Falada’s from the Gregorian’s. The attic was his setting. His toys lined the edges. GI Joe was the king of the Gregorian’s. His small plastic soldiers were the Kings army. The animals he took from his mini zoo were the Falada’s. He would play up there for hours.
On this particular day Alex was in full swing. "Take that King Grapulor, aaaargh you have defeated me, but my armies will hunt you down, you will not win Alex Lauder, ha ha ha, oh yes I will, take that, and that and that, hahahaha”
"Alexxxxx” his mother called, "are you in the attic, hurry up, your supper is ready, and I don’t want to have to call you again”
Alex moaned, "aaaw” then whispered, "you will have to wait for another day King Grapulor, but you will be mine, you will be mine”
The sun was shining the next day which made Alex feel worse about heading off to school, at least when it was raining everyone went straight to the classrooms and he could avoid Michael Turner. Today he would have to watch carefully as he entered the playground. He would scan every inch of it looking for his arch nemesis. Once found, he would have to plan his route to the door, the people he could hide behind in the playground along with the tree’s and a teacher if one happened by. If he could just make it inside then he would be safe. Playgrounds were not his friend. On this morning, it was easy. He slipped in without anyone noticing. Getting out at the end of the day did not go so well.
Michael Turner had Alex bailed up against a tree in the playground. No one could see him for Alex Turner was very cleaver as to where and when he bullied.
"So, Peewee, where do you think you’re off to, did you think I wouldn’t see you. What sweeties do you have for me today” He took Alex’s bag and emptied it on the ground. His Grandpa’s watch fell out. He knew he shouldn’t have taken it to school but he loved it so much, he wanted it near him.
"Well, well what this” said Michael Turner. Alex looked down at the ground, panic coursed through Alex's body, he couldn’t let him take it, he could see Michael Turner bending down to pick it up as if it was in slow motion. Alex’s heart was racing.
"Do something, do something” he was yelling to himself inside. But he just froze. It was already in Michael Turners hand. Alex knew that it would be lost to him forever and at this moment did something he knew he would regret. He grabbed the watch from his hand and stomped on the bully’s fat foot. Then he ran, leaving his bag and everything else behind. The only place he could see that might be safe was back inside the school. As he ran through the doors listening to Michael Turner yelling from back by the tree that he was "dead meat”, he ran smack bang into Principal Andrews. They both landed on the floor and at that moment, he knew, he was in serious trouble. After they both picked each other up, he was frogmarched to the door and told to get himself home before he got in any more trouble, but right outside at the end of the path by the gate, was Michael Turner. He looked at Principal Andrews and then back at the gate. Either way was not going to end well. He opted for the staying alive way
"Mr Andrews” he yelled as she was walking back down the hall, "I left my bag in the classroom” With a huff and a groan the principal rolled her eyes and beckoned him in.
"Get it, and fast Alex Lauder, I’m ready to lock up” He had bought himself some time as Michael Turner may just not want to wait around. Alex was right for when he edged his way back out of the school doors, he had gone. He was safe for another day, but come Monday, he knew things were going to be ten times worse. His bag was still by the tree, stomped on and filthy, his books ripped.
Saturday was another bright beautiful day, the sun was beaming through the windows, shining through the stained glass and making rainbows across the attic walls. Alex was playing once again, immersed in his fantasy world. He placed his Grandpa's watch on the floor beside him. His Grandpa had always kept that watch in his side pocket and checked it continuously. He almost walked with his hand on his pocket, re-assuring himself it was there. It was gold, with the most beautiful patterns on it. Swirling patterns, that almost seemed to match the mystical stories he told him. On the back was an unusual symbol, almost like two L’s but with a P all swirled into one. On the bottom was a hole with swirls up inside it.
Alex became more and more engrossed in his game; he was in his own little world, laughing, shouting, oohs and aaahs coming from him as the adventure unfolded. As he spun around to pick up King Grapulor his foot kicked his Grandpas watch. It spun across the floor and under an old bookcase.
"Dam it” said Alex. He couldn’t reach it from the front so he stood and pulled on it to move it forward. It was heavy so he pulled harder and instead of it sliding forward it started to topple over. Alex stumbled backwards onto the floor as the bookcase came crashing down. Dust plumed through the air and as Alex coughed and wiped his eyes he saw something unusual. On the back of the bookcase was a little door. He reached over and slid it open. At first he didn’t see anything but then he noticed a tiny gold pouch. He pulled it out and he could see it had markings on it similar to his grandpa’s watch. It was purple in colour with gold stitching and a ribbon tied around the top to hold it closed. "Cool” he shouted and opened the pouch. Out tumbled a small bottle and it too had the same markings as his Grandpas watch. He reached for the watch and held them side by side. They were identical. The bottle was a deep black but Alex could hear that there was liquid inside it. He tried his hardest to open it but it wouldn’t budge. He popped it in his backpack with his Grandpa’s watch. It was time for dinner so he would inspect it more closely later.
Alex was lying under his covers, studying the small bottle he had found using his torch for light. It had a small opening at the top with a screw top lid. He shook it and tried to open it again but it wouldn’t, it was stuck firmly tight. He laid his Grandpa’s watch on the bedside cabinet and placed the bottle on the top and turned over to get some sleep.
He drifted off to sleep and dreamed something terrible would happen to Michael Turner over the weekend so he couldn’t ever come back to his school.
It was still dark when Alex woke but his room was glowing green! He looked around expecting to see a light coming through his window but the curtains were pulled tight. It was coming from his bedside cabinet. He looked over and the light was beaming from the bottle. There was a drip coming out of it and it had seeped onto his grandpa’s watch. Oh no, he thought, I must have loosened the lid. Worried about his grandpa’s watch he snatched for them both. The green liquid immediately covered his hands and glowed. He wiped it on his blanket but it wouldn't come off. He jumped up and reached for his backpack, his mum always had wet wipes in there for him. Just as he was opening his backpack the glow turned brighter. The room lit up and the bottle glowed brighter. He scrambled to the edge of his bed. The glow started to swirl, colours igniting his bed. The bed started to shake. What was happening, the room started spinning and the windows flew open. Water was pouring in through them. "I must be dreaming” he yelled. He froze; his bed was spinning about like a raft on a fierce river. The room was filling up and up, up to the ceiling his bed floated. Help! He tried to shout but he was already under the water. He was going to drown, his room was flooding and he was going to drown right there on his bed. The lights were still bright and snaking around him through the water. He gasped for breath as the water dragged him under again and again. His foot caught in his backpack and pulled him under. He struggled and managed to grab the smallest of breaths before he was forced under again. He pushed himself off his bed and upwards, he looked down and his bed seemed to be sinking beneath him out of sight. Just as he thought he was going to lose consciousness he saw his grandpas watch, still stuck to the bottle. He grabbed for it as his head surfaced. He yelled and gasped for breath, coughed and spluttered and opened his eyes, but Alex Lauder was no longer in his room.
When Alex opened his eyes he caught a glimpse, of the sky and trees with a cliff face on either side, but he was being washed away with a vengeful force down an enormous river. The water was freezing and in the distance he thought he could hear something. He bobbed about like a ping pong ball. A tree branch hit him in the face, scratching and drawing blood. The river seemed to be getting more and more ferocious as he was washed down it. All of a sudden something grabbed his leg. He went under again; gasping again he managed to surface but was pulled back under before he could take a breath. He thought he saw something, a person, a fish, a log, he couldn’t tell. He kicked his legs as hard as he could. His arms outreached, grabbing at the water trying to get a breath, when all of a sudden he felt himself catapulting upwards, out of the water and through the air. He landed with a thud. Dazed, confused and almost unconscious, he coughed, choking, blood running down his face as he lay on the water’s edge and collected his breath, wandering what just happened to him.
Alex lay there, still and breathless, looking up at the dark sky. How did he get here, where is here and where is my room. As he sat up he saw his backpack still tangled around his foot and his grandfather’s watch still firmly in his hand with the little bottle still stuck to it. He immediately threw it to do the ground. He stared at his hands, no green glow, no green goo. The glow had disappeared. He picked it up again and tried to take the bottle off but it was firmly stuck to it. He reached for his backpack, everything was wet. He placed the watch and bottle inside it and looked around.
He tried to stand and fell. Pain seared through his right leg. He lifted his soggy pyjama leg and saw long scratches down it. What had grabbed him? He couldn’t tell and right now his head was still too fuzzy.
Alex found an old piece of wood and used it to get up. He couldn’t see a way out. The cliff face was so high, it made him stumble with dizziness, the river so fast he didn't dare go back into it. Then, in the distance he saw a small crack in between rocks...........