,-~* Souls Entwined *~-,

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,-~* Souls Entwined *~-,

Post by SilverDawn on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:50 am






Prologue




I walked over to the large alabaster stone known as the Minstrel’s Rest. Its stark white surface was veined with Aquarel, the blue ore that kept the island afloat amongst the clouds. It was flat on the top, but sloped gently creating a natural amphitheater. The stage was lost in a mesh of roots that flowed from the ancient Rusane tree that wrapped around the stone as though the tree sprouted from the stone itself.

In the center of the tree’s base, the roots rose up into a small platform, shaped into a chair by druids. As I drew nearer I saw the many names carved into the roots, the names of previous storytellers whose time was past but whose stories lived on. I had come here hoping that my story might join the countless legends in this place of honor.

A light wind began to pick up as I neared the stone, the warm air tousling my aged white hair as though it were a mother’s caress. When I was close I stopped, my old drooping wings suddenly straightening, and I closed my eyes, issuing a prayer to the wind. I gave my wings a strong flap as my summoned gust of wind powered my way into the air. Landing somewhat ungracefully I straighten and make my way to the natural ladder in the roots, once more noticing the names.

I could now read them, my fingers brushing the letters as I reached for the closest root. My story suddenly seemed somewhat insignificant compared to these great names. I drew in a breath and steadied my mind against these fears and began my ascent. I told myself that while these bards and minstrels told great works of fiction, my story was truth.

As more of my Avhien kindred began to circle in the sky above the rock, I made it to the top of the roots and took my seat, the bark smoothed by much use. The theater began to fill with my kind, the winged peoples of Jolensh’s floating isles. Today was the 100th anniversary of The Great Dragon War, and all were wondering what this old mute could offer for such an occasion. Children were running about, playing games until the elders finally had them calmed and seated, and the crowd was silenced, awaiting my story.

I cleared my voice several times, hoping to put life back into the long disused voice box and took a sip from my flask to help my shaking body calm. It had been many years since I had spoken, and many of the people wondered if I still could, but I was ready to prove them wrong.

“I have come to tell you a tale both old and true, on this great day celebrating the end of the war,” My voice rang out over the people, first a bit gruff but quickly adjusting as everyone turned their attention to the sound, “A story forgotten by most, it’s truth tarnished over the past century. I know the truth of the Dragon War, as well as the truth of the group of heroes who brought it to an end.”

I let my proclamation sink into the crowd, my disused voice now filled with a resonance that sent my last words echoing to the very back of the audience. For a moment I pondered on how to begin this great tale, and began again.
“My story begins with a young aspiring blacksmith by the name of Vince…”
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SilverDawn

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Re: ,-~* Souls Entwined *~-,

Post by SilverDawn on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:57 am

Chapter 1



Vince set the hammer down and wiped the sweat from his brow. His craft was hard work but he was known to be the best crafter in their small town of Jeht. Humble though the town may have seemed it was on one of the main roads to the Seven Cities and many mercenaries looked for a smithy to stock up for a caravan or merchant wagon they were being paid to guard.

Vince dropped his latest work into the large vat of water and watched the steam rise with iridescent grey eyes, listening to the loud sizzle as the hot metal hit the cool water. As the steel cooled he pulled it out, eyeing his craftsmanship with pride. He swung it once, and then twice, checking to make sure he’d made no error in the balance and weight of the sword. It was known as a Dir’Kadze, a dragon blade.

He would later pay the local Lektra, a powerful elven race of mages, to imbue it with one of the thirteen magiks of the world. It would fetch quite a large amount of silver and gold if the magic bound correctly, for the Dir’Kadze were legendary, once wielded by the fabled dragon riding knights of the olden tales.

Of course Vince, being a skeptical man, did not believe in such superstitions and wives tales. He was a Tensi, the most abundant race of humans on Jolensh, with iridescent eyes and hair, and skin pale as alabaster. They were an industrious bunch, and generally made up at least forty percent of any cities population. They were usually a fairly cynical race, preferring hard work over adventure and Vince was no exception. He had inherited the smithy from his father, who’d received it from his father, and so on back in the family’s history. He fully intended to stay a blacksmith the rest of his life, and one day pass on the trade to a son of his own.

He hung the sword up to finish cooling and walked out of the smithy to the small cabin behind it that he called home. Taking off the leather apron and gloves, he took a cloth to wipe the soot and grime off his skin, revealing the white flesh beneath. He changed into a clean tunic and breeches, taking care to clean any soot and sweat off his arms and chest that had accumulated throughout the hard day’s work.

Once he was cleaned up he let fall his waist length hair, the colors sifting through the almost clear strands like a prism, one of the few things that marked Tensi as different from other humans. Depending on where he was, and what light the strand of hair where catching, his hair could be anywhere from a transparent off-white, to summer leaf green, ranging all the way to a blue or purple.

He heard a knock on his door, but before he could so much as utter a response a Midius elf walked through his doorway. The Midius were almost companions to the Tensi, also preferring to live in the cities but gear more towards politics, and their gold tinged skin and hair reflected this aristocratic air. She was dressed in a deep blue dress which complemented her gilded hair and eyes. However the elf wore a scowl upon her face as she stood there, hands on her hips, glaring at him menacingly with those molten amber eyes.

“Oh, heh, hi Jelle…” He said nervously at the scowling female, wondering what her dark mood was attributed to, guessing it had something to do with him.

“Don’t you ‘Oh hi Jelle’ me, boy!” She retorted. She stepped forward and pointed an accusing finger at him her head tilted back so that despite her lesser height, she managed to look down at him imperiously. “Why didn’t you tell me you were going to forge a Dir’Kadze, eh?”

Relieved at the source of her current disdain, he smiled and feigned apology, “I’m sorry Jelle, I completely forgot to tell Your Highness of my actions. I pray you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me?”

Her scowl deepened at hearing his obvious sarcasm, and the two stared at each other for a few moments, her grimace battling his stupid grin. Her frown turned to a smirk, and they both broke down into a fit of laughter. He walked up and wrapped an arm about her waist, grabbing a money purse as they walked out the door towards the small town’s bazaar.

It was spring, and time for the merchants to come through on their way to the seven cities and the summer festivals they housed. It was a time of celebration for those in Jeht as the wagon trains rumbled through. The city prospered as the caravans would need to restock on supplies before leaving, and many wares were sold and traded to make up for the costs of food and repairs.

The merchants had already set up their stalls and there were swarms of people of all races browsing through their wares. There were different colored Kin all over the place, the half mortal cousins of the dragons. Many were just golds or silvers, but here or there were greens and bronzes, and Vince thought he saw a black tail and wingtips disappearing deeper into the crowd. The pair walked past a stall selling leather and furs, as well as those selling fruits, bread, and salted meats. Trading a copper piece for an exotic fruit he bit into it, savoring the bittersweet juice.

After a few moments of browsing the stands they came upon what they were looking for, a stall filled with furs and meats, and a large black leopard furre, with a strong muscular build barely hidden beneath his leather tunic. The cat was startled as he turned towards the pair, then he grinned widely as recognition dawned on his face. He swept Vince up into his great arms, giving him a bear hug before dropping him, slightly bruised, back to the floor.

“Ah, Vince my boy! I didn’t know you were stopping by my shop today,” He said in a booming voice, as Jelle tried to control her laughter at the expression on Vince’s face as he tried to recover from the air squeezed out of his lungs.

“Is Brai around?” He managed to gasp.

“I believe my son is somewhere near the jewelry stall at the end of the row. He’s trying to find something to give to his sister,” said Brai’s father, clapping Vince on the shoulder in earnest, though the force nearly bowled him over.

“Thank you, Sir,” Jelle said with a stifled laugh as she slung an arm around Vince’s shoulders, steadying him.

“Happy hunting!” replied the great cat before turning back to his customers. As Vince started to breathe normally again they started down the row. Before they even got close, Brai’s keen eyes and nose noticed them, and he stepped out from behind the crowd so that they could see him as well.

“Why is it you always notice us before we do you?” Vince wondered aloud as they approached him.

“Well for one thing you reek of brimstone and for another,” He leaned in close to Vince and dropped his voice to a low whisper, “Jelle smells strongly of elf.”

They both started laughing raucously, and Jelle whose long elven ears had heard it all, grimaced and snorted at them. “That’s because I am one you stupid cat. What you think these ears are just for decoration?” She finished haughtily.

“Now Jelle, you know he was just fooling, I think your ears make you look adorable,” Vince complimented with a smile. Blushing, Jelle turned away from the pair and began looking through the various pieces of jewelry the stall boasted. Grinning at each other they went to join her. Brai picked up a beautiful silver necklace of ivy and blue tinged morning glories intertwined around a sapphire. He gazed at it longingly knowing it would perfectly suit his sister’s dark fur and azure eyes, but knowing that the price of three hundred silver was far more then he could afford.

A gasp was heard as Jelle picked up a necklace that glinted colorfully in the sunlight. It was a beautiful crystal dragon coiled around a scale that looked draconic, though it wasn’t a color, but shifted through all of them, unlike any dragon she had heard of. She handed it to Vince for his appraisal, but the moment he touched it, it began to glow softly, the colors shifting through the spectrum faster than before. At his surprise, flecks of silver floated gently into the pattern, coming to rest in an odd speckled pattern.

“So I see the rightful owner has come to claim the necklace,” came a voice from within the shadows of the stall. “Magic such as this never lies; you have a powerful destiny before you, my son.” The stall owner turned out to be a Skandi, a nomadic race of humans that lived in the sandy deserts of Jolensh. He had apparently been watching them for some time.

“Pardon me sir, but I don’t understand what you mean,” He asked, the typical Tensi skepticism already creeping in, though his eyes were lock on the scale, entranced by the shifting colors so similar to that of his eyes and hair.

“I mean that the dragon who once owned this scale is linked with you, boy. You share a soul bond, a very rare and special thing,” The Skandi said as he looked at him curiously. Seeing their dumbfounded he motioned them into the stall, to the back where prying ears were less likely to overhear.

“Surely you, as everyone, know that there are thirteen races of mortals on, excluding Kin whom are born from their immortal dragon cousins.” He waited for their nod before continuing, “What most do not know is there are also thirteen species of dragon, one to govern each mortal race.”

“But Sir, there are only twelve species of dragon,” Jelle piped in matter of factly, and the other two, knowing Jelle to be a bit of a scholar nodded in agreement.

“Ah but there are thirteen places in the dragon high council, aren’t there young Midius? Who do you suppose fills that last spot if there are but twelve members?” He smirked at them as they looked at each other, realizing this logic for the first time.

“Now where was I…? Ah yes, thirteen species of dragon. Now legend has it that every time a dragon is born, a rare event indeed, its subconscious chooses a suitable champion from its corresponding race. Whether it is present or future, male or female, what matters is that the mortal will live at some point in the dragon’s lifetime. They do this because each dragon has a divided soul, for the soul of a mighty dragon is too great for even their formidable bodies to contain.

“Now some of the dragon-mortal correlations are obvious, such as Leviathans for the Mer, Kha’Rhen for us Skandi, and cave dwelling Wyrem for the Dwarves. Some are a bit trickier, especially since the last species of dragon is unknown to its people, and most others on the planet. They are known as the forgotten, rumored to be the most powerful species of dragon, though they are known only in legend. Those that know of them believe they died out centuries ago, but there are some of us who suspect that they went into hiding, keeping their great power hidden for an age that they may come and be out saviors as the ancient stories foretell.”

Vince looked at him with obvious skepticism growing more and more by the moment at these stories of forgotten tales and legends. He would have stopped the man long before now if not for Jelle’s love of stories, and his need of the possible dragon scale for the Dir’Kadze enchantment. He decided to wait patiently for the old man to finish his superstitious tale.

“In any case, all dragons give up a scale the moment they harden from hatching to be made into an amulet or charm such as this one, in hopes that it will one day find its way into the hands of their mortal counterpart. When that person is found, they go on a quest to find their dragon, though many never make it.”

“Well that sounds promising,” snorted Vince. Jelle slammed her heel into his foot to shut him up and gave him a seething look.

“Sir, how is it you know so much about all of this? About dragons and their counterpart race and of this race of dragons no one else knows of?” She asked him politely, if nothing else then to stifle Vince’s skepticism for the time being.

“Well, it seems that you two are as much bound to this as he is, so I suppose I shall tell you. I am from a rather secretive group of scholars. We try to learn as much as possible about dragon kind and in return for such information they task us with finding their Soul-Twin.”

“If you know so much, what is the dragon species that are paired with the Tensi then, what is this great dragon I am supposedly destined to find?” Vince asked his voice contemptuous.

“Alas that is not for me to tell. You must find such answers on your own, on a quest. Though I will tell you this, your paired dragon will look similar to that on this amulet…” The scholar responded.

“This is all very mystical mister, but how much will it cost me? Crystal isn’t cheap and neither are scales, let alone one as odd, and likely rare, as this,” Vince said bluntly, hoping to get down to the root of this likely scam.

“Free,” The man said simply. “It’s your soul, your quest. I’ll even throw in the necklace your friend was eyeing earlier,” He said to Brai’s surprise and excitement. Cautiously Vince slid the leather thong that held the around his neck, eyeing the old Skandi as he did so. The glow erupted anew, swirling through a prism of colors before settling to a rhythm, changing colors with his surroundings as did his eyes and hair. He lifted it slightly, watching the silver flecks drift slowly about the scale, as though floating. He looked up to find his friends and the strange scholar watching him.

“I suppose that settles it then?” the man stated as he handed the silver and sapphire necklace to Brai, the silver contrasting against his dark fur. “Go now and enjoy the fair before it is over.”

They turned to leave and he called out a parting phrase, “Good luck in finding your dragon!” Vince snorted in derision as they made their way back to Brai’s father’s stall. Brai looked at him as they walked, a whiskered brow arching, “So are you going to take us with you?” He asked.

“Ha! You actually believe that old geezer? You really think my soul is shared with a great bloody dragon then? Forgotten, Twin-Souls, it’s all just a bunch of old wives’ tales,” Vince retorted. “Even the Mer sound like myth to me.”

“I have a cousin that is half Mer, thank you very much,” scolded Jelle, “and I’ve heard of these Scholars before.”

“I believe there might be some evidence to the Twin-Souls as well,” agreed Brai. “You always hear of these heroes with a very strange connection to a dragon, going off on adventures.”

“Bah! Bard’s exaggerations to make their pockets fatter.” Vince scorned at their continued pushing of the issue.

“All I’m saying is-“

Jelle was cut off midsentence, “Saying what? You want me to leave my forge to go on some crazy adventure to become some kind of hero, all on the basis of an old man’s fairy tale?!” He exclaimed, beginning to get angry at their remarks that seemed to make more sense than he was willing to admit.

“I just think-“ Brai began, arm draping over the shoulder of a startled and somewhat angry Jelle.

“How many times do I have to say it?! I’m not going on some fool’s quest to find a bloody dragon that I supposedly have some connection with!” He shouted at them and stalked off, leaving them to stand there staring after him in surprise and consternation. It was mid-day when they got to the fair, but by the time Vince returned to the smithy it was already twilight. Tired from the walk he clambered up the stairs to the loft where his bed was and barely removed his boots before flopping down onto the bed. The anger and startling events of the day had drained him, and he fell asleep quickly.


Last edited by SilverDawn on Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:04 am; edited 3 times in total
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SilverDawn

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Re: ,-~* Souls Entwined *~-,

Post by SilverDawn on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 am

Chapter 2


Coming Soon...
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SilverDawn

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Re: ,-~* Souls Entwined *~-,

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