Earth & Fire
rating: +9+x

Thus I have heard.

The Kingdom rests on the highest summit of the tallest mountain in the world. The King of the Sky had brought the world into existence, shaping it from the void that separated the stars. He built a grand city at its highest point from gold and platinum, a city worthy of housing his love—the Ocean. They lived enamored with each other, waited on by their servants and loved by their citizens. The Queen birthed four heirs for her husband—four sons, all mighty young men.

Water & Wind, twins, the oldest. The pair were inseparable, and their merrymaking on the fledgling world formed great storms and floods. Next was Fire, the strongest of the four. Though he could not match the cleverness and speed of his older brothers, he made up for it in a persistence and tenacity that shocked his parents. His temper was short, and his rages were legendary for their violence and intensity. Water became adept at calming him during his outbursts, but sometimes even he was unable to contain Fire's anger. The youngest of the four was Earth. Earth was not cleverer than Water, nor quicker than Wind, nor stronger than Fire. He was a patient, solid child, if a bit weak. Though his tantrums would occasionally cause quakes, they came few and far in between. His parents sought to shelter him from harm whenever possible, and he grew up only hearing tales of his brothers exploits, never able to join in the adventure himself.

The family lived in peace for a hundred thousand years, until one day Wind noticed something during his rounds around the world. Fire, in a rage, was forming a twisting and writhing firestorm in the Eastern corner of the world. The air surrounding Fire had become so heated and dry Wind could not approach, for fear of being dissipated. He ran back home to report to the King and Queen what he had seen.

The pair did not know what had inspired such anger in Fire, but knew that if left unchecked, Fire would consume the land endlessly. They sent the twins, Water and Wind, to calm Fire however they could.

Wind arrived first, and began strengthening himself. He huffed and puffed, filling himself with air. With a great sigh, he released the air built up in his lungs and sought to blow Fire apart. In his speed, he had forgotten that Fire only grew more powerful when he had air to consume. With this new source, Fire shouted and tossed Wind to the Western corner of the Earth. Wind landed in a heap, shamefully returning to the palace of his parents.

Water advanced after his brother, drawing into himself the power of his mother, Ocean. He raised the seas and lakes, bringing them into a sweeping hurricane, slapping the land with wave after wave, accompanied by blinding sheets of rain. Despite Water's efforts, Fire persisted. The heat of his flames evaporated the rain and waves before they reached him, sending them back into the Sky. Eventually, Water tired, and he was thrown to the Northern corner of the world. He splashed, evaporating before condensing in the palace.

The King and Queen feared for their land, anticipating the destruction that Fire would wreak without his brothers to stop him. With a start, they realized that Earth was not in the palace. They gazed again at the battlefield, noticing Earth's presence at the edge of the field, unseen during the heat of battle. With fear, they watched the fate of their youngest son.

Earth advanced and took a seat in a patch of dirt, drawing Fire's attention toward him. A column of flame struck him, and his parents reeled, before realizing their son was still standing. The flames had baked the clay body of Earth, forming ceramic and hardening it against further attack. Fire's rage was palpable, and he advanced toward his brother. Suddenly, a forest appeared beneath his feet and knocked him to the ground. He was trapped inside the thickening forest of wood and greenery. The King and Queen were surprised by their son's cleverness.

But Fire merely laughed. A forest was nothing if not wood, and Fire would simply just burn it. And so he did, shrinking the forest to only a few miles of tree until he could force through. But now Earth laughed at him, and motioned around. Fire had burned the forest and eliminated his cage, but in the process had burned through his fuel source. He had burned himself out. The forest dwindled, leaving Fire exhausted and weak. Earth threw his brother over his shoulder and took him home, awaiting a hero's welcome in the Kingdom.

Weeks later, the pair would reminisce about their plan to humble their brothers and surprise their parents. Earth had come to the battlefield the night before, planting a pile of seeds in the dirt. His brother Wind had unknowingly spread the seeds across the field in his haste and fury, giving them much room to grow. Water had quenched the seeds thirst, allowing them to spread under the field. Fire had simply to attract attention,allowing Wind and Water to make fools of themselves. From then on, Fire and Earth remained allies to each other, evenly matched against each other and able to defeat any enemy.

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