Welcome to the Touched by Light series ! Here you will find a quick look into the world Reymend lives as a Guardian. It’s hidden within Riley’s mortal day-to-day, but of all other mortals, she has glimpsed it the most. So, what is a Guardian?
Guardians are immortal beings who have been fated to join the Guardianship. The Council of the Wise is made up of twelve of the oldest Birthright Guardians, meaning they were not born from mortals, but from previous Wise Council members. A Touched soul means the Light within someone is brighter, stronger, more likely to withstand the temptations of Midnight. The Wise determines a Touched soul’s fate at age nineteen. If you are meant to be a Guardian, you are granted immortal life and given Charges (Touched souls, typically mortals) to protect against Midnight’s bidders. If you’re destined for anything else, you are left as a mortal to live out your life.
We’ll get to “What is Light and Midnight?” in my next post. Hang in there! For now, enjoy this excerpt of Reymend’s inner dialogue over the course of a chapter explaining from his memories what it is to be a Guardian, and why having Riley as his next Charge is the most defining Guardship he has ever had.
Rey hadn’t thought that far back in years to when he and Phelix had been young men, barely over nineteen years old. Two of the twelve members of the Wise Council of the Light had offered them immortal life as Guardians. If they accepted, their lives were to be dedicated to protecting those Touched by Light from the darkness of Midnight. Even though the significance of it all flew over their teenage heads, after living their entire lives as vagrants on the streets of a New York ghetto, it had been an easy decision.
He hadn’t flat out lied to Riley when he said he was an orphan. He and Phelix had been when they were kids, but having been in the system was pushing it. They had lived off what others threw out in the streets or what they could beg for, but back then, that was the system for parentless children. Castaways, left to fend for themselves.
They had met Amber, Phelix’s girlfriend, in their early years of immortality during training, but her life had been completely opposite to theirs. She had known the ways of the Light at an early age before her fate had even been determined. Her entire bloodline could be traced back to Guardians and the Wise Council. As a Birthright Guardian, her conception was a carefully mastered plan to keep purity on the Council. Although, some would argue that plan was failing or had failed already.
The three of them had been through hell and back more than their fair share, facing demons of Midnight when no one else could. They weren’t the strongest singular Guardians by any means, but together, their Light always shone brightest against the darkness. Together, they were undefeated, but in their line of work, defeat wasn’t an option.
The three Guardians had left Baltimore two years ago after their Charges had reached the age to be fated. It had been the first time in their almost two hundred years together that they had been separated. Phelix had gone to Richmond for a Charge until she reached nineteen years old, and the Wise fated her for the Guardianship. Amber had two Charges turn nineteen, one in Atlanta and the other in Columbus, but both of the guys destinies were decided to remain mortal, leaving their Light dormant within their souls. Rey hadn’t had a Charge since Baltimore, so he moved to Bradford for the hub of darkness found at the small town’s edge. There was always something to do in the quiet town for a Guardian.
Phelix and Amber showed up over the summer since the Wise hadn’t designated new Charges for them either. The Wise had always seemed to find them individual Charges within the same vicinity as each other, clearly understanding the strength they shared between them, but after their two year stretch apart, Rey knew things were changing.
They posed as students at the University to keep up appearance and be poised in case their new Charges were students in town. There was also a bit of competition amongst them to keep their minds sharp and see who could have the highest grades, but it all boiled down to being ready when a Charge was granted.
They had been Rey’s world for so long. Now he bent and outright broke so many, using his Light in ways he shouldn’t to beat out the dark invading his Charge’s life.
The number one rule of the Guardianship was to never become involved in the Charge’s life. Protect them at all cost, but never be seen. A Guardian was to use their Light in the fight against the shadows of Midnight, but never shine it in the direction of the Charge. After years of servicing mortals, Guardians had earned the nickname of Guardian Angels, but Rey knew he was far from angelic, especially now.
Number two: never, ever touch a Charge. Those Touched by Light could transfer energies, memories, and even thoughts through their Light just by brushing up against each other. It took a Guardian years of training to harness their Light and learn to channel it through the transference of randomness and into a true Connection. It was the very thing that had kept him, Phelix, and Amber alive for so long through all of their battles over the centuries. Their Connection to each other flowed easily, allowing them to communicate and act as one seamlessly in battle.
And, number three: without exception, do not sway a Charge’s fate by Connecting with their Light before the Council so determines the Charge’s destiny. After a Charge turned nineteen, the Wise would determine whether the Touched soul would be given the choice to become a Guardian or remain a mortal, or if their fate was meant for the darkness. No one in the long history of the Light had ever Connected with a Charge outside of the realm of the Council of the Wise.
It was the simplest of rules to follow. Rules Rey had never had issues with in over two hundred years, but now, with Riley as his designated Charge, he had broken all but one so far.
When had his immortal life become so filled with gray?
The first twelve Touched souls composed what is now known as the Council of the Wise. They gathered as many more Guardians they could, Connecting with mortals who held stronger Light, and pushed what they began to call Midnight and its darkness as far from this universe as possible.
As millennia have passed, the Wise Council’s duty had become to determine a Touched soul’s fate, to Connect with those souls and keep the balance between Light and dark, and to keep the rules of the Light by sending Guardians to enforce them on any darkness that made its way onto the plane. The Guardians had become the first defense in the never ending war to keep the world from slipping into Midnight’s grasp while the Wise continued to reign on high.
It was Rey, Phelix, and Amber’s job to keep their Charges safe until the time the Wise determined their fate. They were to keep Midnight as far from their Charges as possible and defend the dormant Light within them. That was what Rey was doing.