“The world has grown stagnant in its decay and greed… What would happen if we tip the scales?”
The wind howled as a boy of only sixteen was forced to his knees atop a dried pile of branches that cracked beneath his weight, holding him above the snow that encased the mountain. The boy’s head hung low, refusing to tilt his tear-stained face high enough to look upon the Phoenix God’s altar.
The altar was made of a dark stone taken from the ancient mountain it stood upon. Many years ago the altar was placed and melted gold was poured over it, with gems of crimson scattered upon it to appease the Phoenix god.
“You surely don’t mean to bestow power upon the mortals, dear brother?”
The winter had been harsh and the boy’s clan was on the brink of starvation, forcing the chieftain to perform the sacrifice.
The boy was freezing, stripped-down, left only a cloth to cover his dignity. The only warmth he was granted was his own blood that slowly oozed from the slash that ran diagonally across his front- from his shoulder to his hip. It was believed that this injury opened the door to the human’s soul, and it allowed for one to release it.
“Aye Sister, for what could be more entertaining than to see what one would do with it?”
With the door opened, the soul was readied to be released, so the chieftain shackled the boy, his son, to the altar.
“To whom would you bestow such a gift?”
The boy clenched his teeth as his body shook with the sound of stone crashing into flint, filling the air.
“To one who is cold, but filled with fire. To one who stands on the line of sanity. To one who has need of my power. my flames are chaos, and one ruled by emotions would be most entertaining.”
“Maybe you are onto something dear brother… Maybe it is time for a new era. But what will the others think?”
Horrific screaming filled the air as it became tainted by the scent of burning flesh with the Chieftain standing before his melting son. The father’s gaze was colder than any gale that had ever swept through those mountains as he watched his own flesh and blood become consumed by the fire he had set.
“The only question the other’s will hold is; Will His twin do the same?”
“It is in your hands now, Larsolis… Bless our clan and save us from starvation with the blood of my firstborn.” the Chieftain spoke in a commanding tone, and he bowed his head before turning his back on his wailing son, returning to his village below.
“Perhaps, it is tempting... My hound has grown restless after all...”
The boy's cries fell silent as death took him while the flames continued to caress his corpse until night fell and all that remained were the ashes upon his charred body.
“From ashes, a phoenix is born, forgotten by death and welcomed by life.”
A flicker of light shone above the altar that slowly grew as it burned a hole in the world, allowing for a God to emerge and stand upon it. Feathers that shimmered with fire adorned his head as though they were hair. Pointed ears tipped with gold adorned the sides of his head while more gold trimmed and plated his silken clothing.
“You will do,” the God hummed in a smooth voice with a smirk as he gracefully stepped from the altar.
The snow melted and evaporated away as his foot neared it, leaving a trail of warmth as he moved towards the charred body.
“Now… How to bestow my gift?” he questioned as he slowly lifted his hand and the body rose from the ground to stand before him. He carefully placed a finger against the charred boy’s shoulder, slowly tracing the wound that had been carved into him. A line of golden light was left by the God’s finger as it trailed down the cut. “You will be the first of your kind,” he hummed while dipping his fingers into the golden light, pulling it open to reveal the soul that resided within, “A new type of soul will be born from you.”
The soul was the same gentle green of other humans that resided within this world, but as the God caressed it, colors of amber and crimson bled from his fingertips. The colors burned across the soul until taking over completely and transforming it into a magnificent bird of flames.
“I wonder how you will use your newly found soul and the power it bears.” the God thought aloud as he removed his hands from the charred body, allowing the door to its soul to close. The god moved to stand upon his altar, watching as the charred body of the boy fell to its knees.
Golden fissures, cracked and spread from the golden line left on the body until it was consumed by a brilliant light emitted from the line. Soon, the light faded and the charred skin slowly began to flake away, piece by piece to reveal a new layer.
A gentle breeze blew through the mountain, as though afraid of toppling the boy while aiding in the peeling of the charred skin.
His skin was no longer blackened and charred but new and untouched, restored to its warm ivory tone. However, one mark remained upon his skin, a scar now sealed the door to his soul, while the golden line that had traced it vanished as he drew his first breath. The boy’s eyes slowly opened to reveal his fire-colored irises that his blonde hair fell softly around.
“I-I’m alive.” the boy breathed as he looked to his hands, then to the scar that covered him before he began to tremble from the cold. However, as the want for warmth crossed his mind a gentle warmth slowly embraced him.
“You are,” the god chuckled, earning the boy’s immediate attention.
“You’re Larsolis aren’t you?” the boy questioned slowly as the god nodded. “Why have you brought me back?” he questioned as his thoughts drifted to his father’s cold glare.
“I have blessed you, and transformed your soul,” Larsolis revealed. “You, my dear boy, are now a phoenix.”
“Why me?!” the boy snapped as tears filled his eyes, trying to block his thoughts of his father’s betrayal.
“To answer your father’s prayer but of course,” Larsolis hummed. “Now go and set fire to the world that would sacrifice you to me without so much as a tear,” he cooed as the boy began to tremble with rage. “Take the revenge I know you want while granting them your father’s prayer.” he added with a twisted smile as he watched flames erupt around the boy who had become consumed by the fire’s emotions.
“I’m going to kill them all,” the boy growled as the fire danced around him and a twisted smile grew on his face as Larsolis smirked.
“Then go, little bird,” Larsolis hummed in amusement, and the boy took off.
The God watched as the boy sprinted to the village of straw and wood.
“Chief Stone… Your prayer has been answered, for the dead cannot starve.” Larsolis chuckled darkly as smoke began to rise from the village. “What an appropriate name for such a cold father... Maybe if you had held any warmth yourself... your corpse would not become so cold tonight.” Larsolis hummed before returning through his portal and sealing it behind him.