Spread about on the lands of Koilós, three factions surfaced in the Needless War, each equally as vicious as the other in their attempts to claim sovereignty over Koilós. Within each faction, a leader would rise among the millions who yearned for supremacy. The leader of each faction embodied its motto and would guide the clan towards greatness by whatever means necessary.
Elpída Ploútos, seemingly a goddess of beauty and mistress of the Ploútos family, did just that. She, a world renowned prophet, led her faction, Mageía, guild of cosmic mystics and wielders of law-breaking magic, in the war but disappeared when her clan needed her most. At the cusp of conquering the two rivaling clans, Ágrios, her former husband’s faction of lustful power and daunting military strength, and I-gnósi, faction of ever-growing wisdom and seekers of truth, Elpída Ploútos disappeared for she was in labor. Of course, she was no fool. She had foreseen the future, of her pregnancy, of her decision to fade into the shadows in the midst of war, and the repercussion of aborting her supposed daughter for the sake of glory. She had led her faction to such great heights that there would be no harm done if she allowed her guildsman to fall back onto equal grounds with the rivaling factions.
Elpída Ploútos chose life. What she predicted brought tears of elation and crippling sorrow, tears that only a mother would understand. So, days after giving birth, the newly made mother intended to bestow an exquisite gem to her daughter when she grew older. However, with another cosmic vision, her excitement was abruptly squashed. The purpose for her gift had changed. Rather than being a present, Elpída Ploútos set out to find this gem as a dire necessity for protection for her newborn. For months she ventured into the mystical ruins that scattered across Koilós in search of a rare, pink jewel. At last, she acquired this beautiful gem within Ereípia, a sacred, vibrant pink marble ruin that magic itself had preserved. With it, the prophet took it upon herself to bless this jewel by praying daily to the gods, imbuing fragments of her immense prowess into the gem. She hid the gem inside of a purple, diamond shaped pendant and placed it around her neck. Now, all Elpída Ploútos had to do was wait for the fateful day of when she would forfeit her pride and joy.
Years had passed and the mother and daughter lived blissfully together. They were inseparable. They had spent their fourteen years together with days of laughter in the city and nights of staring soulfully at the stars. Elpída enjoyed every moment with her beloved daughter; that is, she did so while she still could. Her vision, her dreaded nightmare,was about to come true. She prepared herself. She had been trying to, in vain, for those fourteen years, for the day she would surrender her daughter for the sake of the future.
It was midnight and the stars were more illustrious than Elpída had ever witnessed. Perhaps, she thought, it was because of her daughter. Perhaps it was because of her that she made everything in Elpída’s life so much lovelier, with her effervescent demeanor and admirable excitement for adventure. Sitting on the grassy hillside nearby their estate, the two sat in awe of the heavens.
“Mama,” said the pensive daughter, still admiring the twinkling stars, “there are more to them than meets the eye, is that not true?”
Elpída sat in silence, listening intently to hear where her daughter’s thoughts would lead.
“These stars… they are just tiny holes of heaven’s floor. These twinkling lights tell me that there truly is something out there, something grand, and it gives me hope! Someday, we will ascend to the stars and knock on heaven’s gate. We can peek at what lies beyond the vast skies.”
The young adolescent grew ever excited, squealing, “It sounds so magical! I cannot wait for us to go on an adventure, Mama!”
Stunned, with adoring eyes and a faint, proud smile, the mother of an amazing and lovely daughter shed a tear. She did not need a vision to see the beauty and potential of her daughter’s soul. Thus, with a fading smile, she looked down at the pendant and reluctantly looked at her beautiful daughter once more. It was time for her to obey the prophecy.
Walking down from the hills, a cool breeze caressed the mother and daughter. To Elpída, it was bone chilling. She was not ready, even if she wanted to be. In their descent back home, she did not look at her daughter despite the young child sensing a problem.
“Mama, what ails you? I am worried for you.”
“Do not fret, darling.” Still struggling to make eye contact, she sighs, “I am quite alright.”
“You are a terrible liar, Mama” whispered the daughter, with a giggly, snarky tone, attempting to bring levity to her sorrowful facade.
The two walked in silence. Upon approaching a horse-drawn carriage, the two entered and brushed the curtains aside to admire the starry night sky once more. Exhausted, her daughter quickly dozed off, sleeping soundly as her head rested on her lap. Elpída cried in silence, struggling to hold back the tears that blurred her vision and the gasps of her breath. She did so with such grace as to not awaken her beloved daughter.
Of all the feats she had accomplished with her magical abilities, of all the strife she endured throughout the war, and of all the triumphs she commemorated with her guildsman, this moment in time for Elpída struck the hardest.
Now, more than ever, the loving mother resented herself. For the mother that only wanted to love her daughter, even her own kin did not come before the cosmos.