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Prologue

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Prologue

Once, when she had been young, Wynn had heard someone say that 'Truth was the first casualty of war'.

Back then, she hadn't understood what such a statement had meant and had simply pushed it to the back of her mind; focusing instead upon her student life or what she was going to do with her friends once the day's teachings had ended.

But now she knew what had been meant. Now she had seen the reality of such words played out before her in all of their terrible glory…

Forcing herself to open her eyes, Wynn looked down towards the ground as she flew across the remains of what had once been the borderline of the Gusto territories. Bodies of a thousand shapes and sizes, both born of the natural and unnatural, lay sprawled across the burnt almost wasteland of what had once been a beautiful stretch of pure forest. People of both the Gusto and Gishki tribe lay among each other in deaths embrace, any difference of view or desires completely forgotten as they fell in battle. The corpses of humans, animals, monsters and creatures that Wynn couldn't put a name to almost seemed to embrace where they lay, lying atop and around others with all discrimination lost.

And above all, was the silence that hung around her, one which seemed to hang over the dead as if the world and forest around them was grieving for what had occurred mere hours before.

With a whisper of a single word, the large body of her new familiar tilted beneath her to carry her downward towards the destruction below.

She couldn't help but reach below and place a reassuring hand upon Gulldo's wing as the bird seemed to tense beneath her the further towards the former battleground they got. The wind that Wynn loved to fee upon her face whenever she rode her familiar began to feel thick and claustrophobic around her as it filled with the stench of death. She had to fight back the urge to gag as she felt the horse taste of pitch black smoke wrap around her and the cold taint of magic and other ritual created powers rise up from the ground. Her vision went blurry briefly as her eyes watered against the tainted air, struggling to hold back the instinctive urge to turn and leave the horrid sight of war behind her.

Finally though, Gulldo gave out a loud squawk as he landed, his talon like feet making hollow thumping noises as they dug into the dirt and his wings curled back against his side. The great bird's head twitched and tilted in a variety of different directions as he searched his surroundings for any lingering threats before he crouched and bent his wing into a ramp like pose, allowing Wynn to slip down from his back.

Once she was standing on her own two feet, Wynn gave a mournful sigh as she clutched her staff tightly and began walking through the debris, finding herself somehow unwilling to make eye contact with any of the people or animals that were beginning the grisly and long task of identified and burying the dead. After a couple of steps, she heard the sound of Gulldo falling into his ever present place by her side. The loud, rhythmic thuds of his footsteps provided some comfort for her as she made her way through the destruction.

This was the third time in a week that Gishki forces had attacked the Gusto homeland, another in a now terribly long line of bloody skirmishes between the two tribes which had revenged the outer boundaries of the Gusto's home, and had been the deepest penetrating one yet. The Gusto defences had marshalled against them but it had been a long battle and Wynn had been forced to break from the fight in order to intercept a pair of Merrowgeist which had slipped towards the centre of the village during the battle.

She couldn't help but feel guilty that it had taken so long to find and destroy them, even with the help of the ever smiling Kamui, and that the battle had been over by the time she had managed to return.

Wynn found herself pausing as she looked up towards the massive carcass of a monster that resembled an ogre with a body that degraded into a serpentine fish shape from the waist down, a beast which she had once been told was called a 'Kharydis Ogre'. She found herself trying to imagine what the monstrosity must have been like to fight against, her green eyes running along the sea of spears and arrows that emitted from its body where Gusto warriors had battle it, her mind imagining its roar as it died…it sent a cold shiver down her spine.

With a prod on her back from his beak, Gulldo pulled Wynn from her thoughts and she resumed her movement towards where a group of hooded figures stood on the edge of the clearing which had held the recent battle. Each was a member of Gusto's priesthood, authoritive people who had a strong connection with the heart of the forest around them. Wynn had herself been made one of their number shortly after coming to the tribe after demonstrating her own great power…the power of a charmer.

"You need not have come Winda" a hooded man spoke out as she drew nearer, addressing her by the name she had come to bear since becoming a priestess for the Gusto tribe "You should be back at the village to re…"

"I wanted to come Musto" Wynn held up a hand to cut of his well-meaning protest and gave him a forced smile that she hoped would prove to him that she was ok to be there. When he gave a slight nod in reply, she gestured for Gulldo to leave her be and the bird gave a blink of its eyes before turning and returning to the battlefield, seeking for ways it could aid in the clearing.

The priests all gave her a set of nods or murmured greeting as the girl approached the table and she gave them a slight bow before pulling her own hood up over her green ponytail as was customary of a priest in such meetings.

"…we have sent out several of our bird allies to spy across all nearby areas of the forest" one of the hooded men said, continuing from where he had left off before Wynn had joined and not bothering to recap for her "If any of the Gishki have managed to escape they will be found shortly enough. Then we shall leave it to the forest's wildlife to deal with them as they see fit"

"Which would contain a lot of eating?"

"If that is how they see fit"

"Now then" Musto gave a cough to clear his throat as began to speak; ending the talk that could have gotten harsher with talk of how the forest rewarded those who harmed it "The next matter to attend to is what to do with the Giski dead. The monsters that they have created with their rituals will of course be destroyed but arrangements will have to be made to return the dead to their tribe soon"

"Why should we?" the priest on the far side of the table snapped back in a sudden burst of anger that made even Musto flash a look of surprise "The Gishki have invaded our homes for no better reason than to satiate their own greed! Have you seen these…unnatural monsters that they are using in battle? They are monsters one and all. Why should we offer them any form of generosity or kindness when they clearly have no intention or understanding of such a thing themselves"

Wynn couldn't help but sigh as several of the gathered priests nodded and murmured their approval for his choice of words. Unnatural had become one of the key words for anti Gishki talks thanks to their use of rituals to summon powerful monsters to use on the battlefield, monsters that were proving more than able to cause a shocking amount of destruction. For people like those of Gusto, who held the truth of nature dearest above all, such a thing felt like a personal insult and something to be destroyed at all cost.

For many of Gusto, Gishki had become the epitome of what was wrong with the world outside of the forest.

"Because, despite what you may want to believe, not all of the Gishki are monsters who have forgotten the honour they once had" Musto kept his voice straight and diplomatic as he spoke, looking the priest who had objected dead in the eye under their hooded helms "It is their leader, Noellia, who is the monster and she is dragging the entire tribe down into a hell of her own creation. She is the one who is corrupting their tribe into the force that had invaded us"

"And how would you claim to know such a thing?"

"Because I have a friend in their tribe" Wynn spoke up, cutting whatever reply Musto had been about to say off even as he opened his mouth. "One whom I know would not want any of this bloodshed" She couldn't help but cringe at the incredibly disapproving looks which were shot her way the various priests but forced more authority into her own voice as she spoke "I'm sure that if we can find a way to get into contact with her we can maybe come to understand what it is that has happened to their tribe and work to fix it. If we simply decree that all Gishki must die then what separates us from them?"

"We haven't been murdering the forest!"

"I know…" Wynn paused again, struggling to find the correct words to use. She had to tread carefully with what she said now, had to find a way to make her views clear without making it seem like she supported the Gishki and breaking the trust she had managed to gain from the Gusto in her time since joining them "But we can't just condemn the whole of the Gishki tribe because of the actions of the few who have made themselves their leaders. There are people who still wish to end the fighting if we can just…"

"Silence!"

Wynn sensed Gulldo give a growl of warning as the priest slammed a palm against the table and shouted out his interruption, the bird appearing by her side ever ready to defend her should the disagreement go any further. For a time, a deep silence fell upon the gathered priests as they seemed to size each other up, a tension which felt like it would degrade into violence should it be shattered.

"Ahem" Musto cleared his throat slowly and moved to stand in front of Wynn, using the action of blocking her from view as a way of defusing the looks of anger that some of the priests were showing towards her.

Taking the hint that she shouldn't push them any further, the Wind Charmer slowly began to walk backwards towards where Gulldo was awaiting her. She felt a reassuring grip of warmth as the green feathered familiar wrapped one of its wings around her as if to form a physical shield between her and the priests who were clearly not his master's friends.

With that, Wynn had been effectively removed from the rest of the priest's talks as they discussed how they were going to react against the attack and what form their own counterattack would take. She caught a series of angered glances from them through a gap in Gulldo's feathers but failed to manage to catch Musto's eyes, as if the older priest was avoiding her as he tried to calm the others down and played along with their warmongering talks.

By the time the talk had ended, half an hour later, Wynn found herself wondering just how much the war was changing the people of Gusto before her.

Gulldo gave her a reassuring peck as he stepped back from her, leaving her to see the priests of Gusto turn and leave the table and walk back towards the former battlefield to oversee the clearing procedure and carry out whatever plan they had formulated to do with the dead. She saw Musto cast her a sadly sympathetic look before disappearing from view and leaving her alone with the familiar.

The shock and desperation that had taken the people of Gusto as they rushed to defend themselves against the sudden invasion of the Gishki had left them untrusting and harsh towards outsiders, had made them seemingly unable to understand that not all of them supported Noellia. She knewone of her best friends, Eria, the Water Charmer, was suffering under the rule of the Gishki leader and had heard troubling rumours that Gishki rituals had begun using unwilling 'volunteers' to create newer and better monsters for the war in the unholy riturals. It was clear that if Noellia wasn't taken from power soon, both the Gishki and the Gusto would have past the point of no return, lost to their own war fuelled hatred to even attempt to listen to reason and truth about others feelings.

Neither would even bother try and end the war in any way other than total extermination of the other.

Turning her head from where the priests had stood to speak in disgust, Wynn tore the hood she had still worn off and pulled her green hair free. She had to close her eyes to fight against a trace of tears she could feel growing within them and instead found herself looking down towards where a path of fire that had been ignited during the battle was slowly making its way towards where a Gishki war banner had fallen atop of a Gusto banner, both disgraced during the melee that had raged. To her tired mind, it looked as if the flames were trying to destroy the closeness of the two banners, like the war was destroying that of the two tribes…

With a burst of power, Wynn's eyes burst into a brilliant green light as she raised her staff to point towards the flames. She vaguely heard Gulldo give a click of his beak as a mini tornado of wind began to form around her body, rising into the air and bending down into a harsh arch that came back down to the ground atop the flames. The fire rose and naked flames expanded and warped as Wynn focused all of her pent up frustration upon them, blasting them with a whirlwind which overwhelmed and suffocated them.

When the wind finally dissipated and Wynn lowered her staff, her breath seeming slightly heavier than previously, there was nothing left but a black smear on the ground to signal where the flames had been.

"I'm sorry Eria"

Yes, the priestess thought to herself, truth was indeed the first casualty of war.
Chapter 1: [link]

I'm a big lover of backstory and hunt for it in all games I play, thus when I started playing Yu-Gi-Oh properly a couple of months ago I immediately delved into the Duel Terminal lore, focusing upon the story of my personal deck Gusto. However, I found quickly that (unless I am missing something) the info given is vague and fragmented at best with nowhere near enough character development given to satisfy my desire for backstory to my cards.

So what do I do when I can't find fluff? I write some for myself of course!

This story is what I came up with as I focused upon the war that raged between the tribes of Gusto and Gishki and began to build out into the full lore of the Mist Valley from there. Told mostly from the point of view of Wynn (The Charmer of Wind) and Eric (The Charmer of Water), along with some other OCs, I wanted to give an idea of how I viewed the war itself, from the battles to the political side themselves and as I wrote, a quick fluff that was meant to only be about 500 words became a fully-fledged story of which I am already up to chapter 7.

Due to the fact that I couldn't find any personalities behind many of the characters show on the Gusto cards, I made them to be as I viewed them based on their picture so you may find them to be slightly different should you have your own visions of them.

Either way, enjoy my first writing in the universe of Yu-Gi-Oh and let me know what you think :)

Full cover art (made by a freind): [link]
Published:
© 2012 - 2020 commingdarkness
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