Earth Keepers Legend: Book 1 - Story Guide
a Note for Readers, Parents, Carers & Teachers:
I have created this guide to help readers in further exploring the plot, themes and main characters of EARTH KEEPERS LEGEND: The Secret Trail. It is intended to serve as an additional resource to enhance the reader’s experience of the book and story. I’ve also included some activity ideas that can be done either at home, in the classroom, on a train, in the garden … Or wheresoever the mood is most favourable.
Reading the book first is recommended to avoid spoilers.
Happy reading fellow story lovers!
Quick introduction to the story
Long ago, the Elders of Muria swore an oath: When Earth is on the cusp of great change and the Earth Keepers return to the hidden land, they will help them to retrieve the ancient legend, remember their power and fulfil their destiny. That time, has now come ….
Full Introduction to the Story
Aria Wilder has a secret … One she promised not to tell. But when her mother goes missing and she winds up lost in an ancient world – inhabited by powerful Elementals, and danger lurking around every tree-guardian, everything changes.
Joined by her best friend, Ethan; Aria embarks on an action-packed quest and discovers her true destiny – to fulfil the legacy of the Earth Keepers legend. But with a new enemy waiting in the shadows, and his sinister plans to stop her, it’s only a matter of time before a battle of the elements unfolds …
Will she be ready for what lies ahead?
12-year-old Aria Wilder is in her first year at Blandstrand primary school and it’s been a terrible year. Her mother is missing and strange things keep happening to her. Her life changes overnight, when her head teacher, Mrs Ramsbottom, expels her suddenly following a series of unexplainable events, including an incident with resident school bully, Simon Tufnut. Her father, an archaeologist who works away a lot, takes her to the valley, where she will stay with her grandparents for the summer. Once there, strange things start to happen again and soon after, she discovers a mysterious book in her mother’s old room. It contains an unusual map of a hidden land. Aria heads to the river with her closest friend, Ethan Hardy, and confides in him. As they are examining the map by a waterfall, they discover a dark and mysterious tunnel.
Aria and Ethan find themselves trapped in an ancient land, concealed from the rest of the Earth Plane. They use the map to guide them and head towards the Elder City for help. But their path is full of peril. And they are soon running for their lives, beneath the foreboding shadow of the Oshad, the winged watchers of the White Mountains. And come face to face with the Ubellium – the ancient tree guardians of Muria. As they enter the Forest Realm an older Elemental boy, Arche, greets them. Arche is a skilled Sylph of the skies and becomes their guide. The journey takes an unexpected turn when they discover that their arrival in Muria is no accident and that their true destiny is to fulfil the Earth Keepers Legend. Their human-elemental abilities are revealed, but they must learn to master them secretly and quickly. For an enemy named Seraph is plotting to capture them, and after an unexpected attack in the Elven Forest injuring dozens of innocent Elvens, they narrowly escape alive.
Once in the city, Aria and Ethan are taken to meet the Elders of Muria. Though it is clear, not all are happy to see them. Shockingly, Aria learns that her mother was no stranger to Muria and that there is a chance she is still alive. The dangers of the Earth Keeper's quest are also explained to them. Aria is then faced with a difficult choice; face her destiny as an Earth Keeper, or search for her mother and put an end to Seraph’s sinister tyranny. Help arrives in the form of a very old Elemental, known as the Librarian, whose creation; the Infinitus, helps them to understand their connection to the Elemental Realms and why they are Earth Keepers. And with a new (secret) plan, Aria and Ethan disobey the wishes of the Elders and set off towards the rugged peaks of the Avgari Mountains with Arche, in search of Aria’s mother. After a few quick lessons, to help them master their newly discovered abilities, they enter the mountains. But when they are confronted by the Gatekeeper on the other side, who mistakes them for Seraph’s followers, their journey almost comes to an abrupt end. Afterwards, Aria learns of the true power of the old book and map that she had found in her mother’s room. And everything begins to make sense. But when she realises that she has lost the map and that it is now in the hands of Seraph, and that they cannot find the Earth Keepers Legend without it, they are left with only one option: to snatch it back.
In the final chapters, Aria and Ethan find themselves on a battleground, at the edge of the land, where the mesmerising veil between the elemental world and the Earth Plane rises into the sky. Dozens of Seraph’s corrupted followers are waiting for them. As the air turns red, and Seraph's unexpected ally is revealed, Aria and Ethan's skills are put to the test. Aria must defeat Seraph, retrieve the map, and save her mother. Armed with courage, friendship and some spectacular crystal swords, a fierce battle of the elements unfolds. And with the raw power of the elements at their fingertips, together, they fight against darkness, to protect both those they love and their future as Earth Keepers.
The Ancient Lands of Muria
The Earth Keepers Legend story unfolds in the land of Muria. Muria is all that is left of the ancient Earth. It is how the Earth was long before human beings inhabited it, and the Age of Darkness fell. Therefore, it is much greener and the trees are gigantic. And there is no pollution. The Elemental races live in harmony with nature and everything they do and create respects the land and the natural forces. Muria was named by the great Elder masters, who the Murian’s call “Oraphim”. It was created to protect the elemental worlds and the Elementals themselves, from being destroyed. Their wisdom, gifts and knowledge about the creative power of the elemental forces were preserved within.
Though we often think of ancient lands and lost civilisations as primitive, in many ways, Muria is actually more advanced than the rest of the Earth Plane. For skills such as telepathy and teleporting, have been actively mastered for thousands of years and are now as common to Elementals, as brushing teeth! Like many ancient worlds, Muria has a different pace of life. The days are long and endlessly sunny. The food is highly nutrient and plentiful. And even time itself is experienced very differently from those living on the rest of the Earth Plane. And whilst Muria was created thousands upon thousands of years ago, it still exists today, hidden from view. In many ways, Muria is an alternate reality or version of Earth, combining its past, present and imagined future, simultaneously! In storytelling terms, this is known as Magical Realism.
Interestingly, once a child of the Earth Plane steps foot on Muria, their hidden Elemental gifts and abilities (often lying dormant within them), become activated. The energies of Muria are so powerful that their bodies instantly begin to evolve. And soon, they are able to do things, they never thought possible in the ordinary world. Children who could not speak on the Earth Plane, find they are actually highly telepathic and can talk easily with the trees, or have the ability to see through mountains! And there are many children on the Earth Plane, at this very moment, whose elemental powers have already begun to awaken. These are the future Earth Keepers, getting reading to fulfil the old legend and their destiny as protectors and creators of a new Earth ... I wonder if you are one of them?
Discussion Questions & Activities
1. Aria has always felt different. She doesn’t fit in at school. She isn’t trendy. And she has unusual abilities. What do you think of her character? And what kind of hidden strengths do you think she may have, but may not yet realise?
2. Mrs Ramsbottom is Aria’s primary adversary on the Earth Plane. Why do you think Aria and Mrs Ramsbottom don’t get along? And what do you think about her as a character?
3. Aria suffers heartache when her mother goes missing mysteriously. Loss, though difficult, is part of life. Have you experienced this in your own life? And does Aria's experience relate to your own in any way?
4. After Aria finds her mother’s old book and the map of Muria, she discovers the secret tunnel. Aria realises that this ‘can’t all be co-incidence’ and it seems the events unfolding in her life, were meant to be. What do you think about co-incidences, do you think that things happen randomly, or that everything is connected in some magical way? Can you create a story map of your own life’s events? Think about some of the adventures you have had, how you have grown and the things that made you stronger and taught you new skills. Can you illustrate this?
5. Muria is an ancient land of Elementals – where the forces of nature, literally come to life. Think about how the forces of nature affect you in your everyday life, can you name some examples?
6. In Muria, Ethan remarks, “Everything is alive here, it’s starting to creep me out!” Is this a true statement, are all things in nature alive? Can you think of some examples?
7. In Muria, both food and eating habits are different. Can you discuss why this might be? And can you draw some of the food that grows in Muria and add a description?
8. In Muria, Aria and Ethan find their Elemental abilities are activated, but they are unsure what they will use them for. Can you name some of the powers that they have? Which would you like to have yourself, and what would you do with them or use them for?
9. When Aria and Ethan journey to the grotto, they are surprised to discover an underground paradise which is home to some strange creatures like the Blue Tides that glow in the dark. Is this true, do creatures that live underground on the Earth Plane have special abilities and markings to suit their surroundings? Can you research some? And can you imagine any other creatures that could exist in the caves of Muria and draw some?
10. Ethan is surprised to discover that the grotto has an underground weather system. Does this exist on the Earth Plane? Are there underground rivers?
11. Talia, the water Elemental who they meet on the gorge, tells them that she teaches the young Undines the basic skills of their Element: Blending, Communication and Movement. Can you think of examples for each of the skills? What kinds of things could go wrong?
12. The Librarian is the creator of the Infinitus, an infinite book that is powered by light and imagination. If you had access to the Infinitus, what would you explore and what would you use it for?
13. The crystal swords that Uriel gives Aria and Ethan in the Cave of Swords are made of Selenite. Can you research the properties of Selenite? What other crystals would be good for swords, and why? And can you think of any other magical items?
14. According to Uriel, children with Elemental powers exist on the Earth Plane now. What kind of Elemental powers and gifts could you imagine them having? And how could they use them to benefit the Earth?
15. Aria and Ethan are told that it is their destiny to be Earth Keepers, but that they also have a choice to shape the course of their destiny. Do you believe there is such a thing as destiny? And if so, how do you think our choices, affect this?
16. Earth is changing. That is why the Earth Keepers have arrived in Muria. Can you think of any ways in which the Earth Plane has changed over the last ten years, and how it is changing now? What would a better Earth or a new Earth look like to you? Can you draw this?
17. If you could have any Elemental ability, which would it be and why?
18. Seraph, the boy, was also from the Earth Plane and had a hard life. What do you think of this character? Do you think the hardships in his life has affected his actions in Muria? And if so, why?
19. Aria has a chance to find her mother. Love is her motivation. Do you think love is a kind of superpower or force? And can you think of some examples?
20. The world of Muria is set in a different dimension of time to the Earth Plane. In some ways, it is an advanced version of the Earth Plane. Do you think the Earth Plane is evolving now? How is it similar and different to Muria? Can you create a comparison chart?
21. Elemental children don’t have traditional classroom lessons until after their eleventh birthday. What do you think about this? What kind of nature skills or survival skills would you learn if you had the chance?
22. At the end of the book, Aria reflects on their journey and how they have grown. What are some of the best things that she and Ethan have discovered and experienced during the story, so far? And how do you think their abilities will develop in the future?
More great resources to be revealed …
If you would like to send some of your answers or art to Atalina, you can do so here.