In the beginning of the world, when mankind lacked respect for the Golden One, the land was ravaged with plague and war. The humans, unable to maintain the peace, finally gave in and went to the Golden One, giving the task to a young farmer.
“Please, we are dying,” he said, “Give us a shimmer of hope. A mere speck of your light is all we need.”
But the Golden One said, “What have you done to deserve such a thing? My power should not be used for ones as ungrateful as you.”
Angered, the man retorted, “How am I to worship one such as you? You, too, have done nothing!”
At this, the Golden One replied, “You are unaware. The earth you walk on, the sky you live under, and the life you have been given are gifts from me. You have accomplished nothing on your own.”
“I have,” the man insisted. “Perhaps you’ve given me the foundations, but I’ve been the one plowing the fields, I’ve done the work and pushed through the disease you’ve given to us.”
To his surprise, the Golden One laughed. “Only a fool would say that. You don’t know anything. Nothing you humans have gained is truly yours, I have been the one doing everything. Look! Even now, when you realize how powerless you are, you’ve come to seek my help!”
The farmer clenched his fist. “Well I suppose I don’t need your help anyways!” He turned and left.
So, the man returned to the land, where the sky had darkened and the clouds permanently blocked out the sun. Plants wilted and the air was stained with the stench of blood. The population fell in numbers, yet still the man did not go back to the Golden One. Eventually, his father begged him, “Please, set aside your arguments and go back.”
“I have no reason to bow down to them,” the man replied.
“Perhaps so, but our lives are dwindling. Even your mother is on the brink of death. Would you see humanity fall over a petty disagreement?”
Recalling his sickly mother laying in bed, he was unable to retort and once again returned to bow before the Golden One.
“I have returned,” he said.
“And for what? What will you say to change my mind?” the god asked.
He had come prepared, however, and the man said, “We will pray and worship your name every day, you will be acknowledged and beloved as the savior of the world. Is that not enough for you?”
“Belief is not so easily attainted, child. How am I to know your words are not lies?”
“I will stake my life on it,” the man said.
“Ha! And what is one measly life worth?”
The man gripped his fist and raised his head. “It’s worth more than your acknowledgement ever will,” he retorted. At this, the Golden One laughed.
“I see you have spirit. Very well, I will help you. However, I will not do the work for you, for you humans have yet to prove themselves. Instead, I will present eight Saviors with the gift of the gods. Holding my power, you will rebuild the land of your own accord.”
“What if such tragedy were to occur again?” the man asked.
“The powers of the Saviors will be reborn with the generations,” the Golden One said. “Your heroes will live for eight years, and in those eight years they must dedicate themselves to the world before their inevitable death. For the eight years between the old and new generations, humanity must not allow itself to fall again while they wait for the new Saviors to arise. Heed my words, you must not depend on them, for this is all of humanity’s fault.”
“Very well,” said the man. “Who shall these powers belong to?” he added eagerly.
“I see you are greedy,” said the Golden One. “Be patient, young one, for such behavior is what drove humanity to this to begin with. I must, however, reward you for your endeavors. In the very least, you have presented me with amusement.”
And so, with a flash of light, a small golden speck floated down to the man, where it was absorbed into his left eye. Then, the man’s eye changed hue to gold and a hazy glow enveloped it. The man touched his eye and frowned. “I feel no difference,” he said.
“Your powers will take time to adjust,” the Golden One explained. “Mastering them is up to you. Now go! Seek out your seven companions and save your world.”
The man stood and bowed. “Thank you,” he said.
When he returned to the world, he indeed found seven others who had developed powers such as his own. With time, effort, and further guidance from the Golden One, they were able to hone and master their gifts, soon ridding the world of its disease so that the clouds parted and revealed the sun again.
As promised, the Saviors died in eight years, but those were eventful years spent rebuilding the world until it could be restored to a tranquil state. The Golden One’s name was spoken and praised, offerings given, festivals lit to humanity’s god.
“Rejoyce! Our time of darkness is done! Praise the Saviors, praise the Golden One!”
Unbeknownst to them, however, another threat was steadily building within.