Family Squabbles

By EM Malachi

“Do we have a compact?” asked the wind.

The mountain rumbled in disinterest. He had already started playing with the dead things buried on this new world. The remaining two, the fire and the sea, glowered at each other. It was clear that they had some disagreement.

Stratos considered for a moment before asking, “What is the problem?”

“Only the same problem we always have: incompetence. Why don’t you ask the Lord of Flame how he failed to capture one human?” Hydros scoffed.

The flames on Pyros’s daemonic face grew hotter. “He is lucky to be alive. I meant to kill him.”

“So you intended to interfere with my plans? You know I like the subtle taste of mage blood. Did the little human scare you?”

The great fire elemental exploded in a burst of flame before pulling himself back together. “I will not work with her.”

Stratos looked to Lithos for help, but the stone face had fallen asleep. She tried to calm both parties, “Brother. Sister. The human leader is maimed. We need to make full use of this opportunity and disperse any opposition. We must work together.”

Hydros gave a cruel laugh. “I can be the ocean and the sea. Why would I need any of you?”

Stratos pleaded with her siblings, “This world is ours for the taking. I have always admired our power when we work together.”

Pyros sneered. “You think you can sweet talk me like your little servants? I claw my mark across the faces of worlds, little sister.”

Lithos opened an eye. “None of us walks unnoticed, brother. Do not forget how I make the ground tremble.” The Titan of Earth returned to his nap.

Stratos continued, “How about a compromise? Each of us will attack alone, but the strikes will be coordinated against the cities of Britannia.” She shaped the air into the globe of Sosaria, marking the location of each major city.

Hydros examined the globe. “I will consider helping, but I want something.”

“What do you need?”

“I want this island here. What is it called? New Magincia? It is less littered with human vermin than some of the others. I will build my temple there.”

Stratos nodded. “We can agree to that.”

Pyros huffed. “If Hydros gets an island, I must as well.”

“You wish to build a temple?” Stratos asked.

“No, I simply want my due. It will be something I destroy so she can’t have it.”

Hydros gave a dismissive wave. “Whatever.”

“Do you have a preference?” asked the air elemental.

Pyros turned the illusionary globe, running a claw along the fault lines and tectonic plates. “I feel the fire under this one. I will break the Valorian islands with one stroke when I come into my full power.”

Stratos looked to Hydros who nodded. “Then we are agreed.”

Lithos seemed to wake from his nap. “When do we discuss which mountain ranges are mine?”