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QuakeEarth -- The Beginning of QuakeEarth
Many years ago, about a hundred, far up in the Northern Reaches of the Frigid Ocean, there was an Island named Ice-cape for its cold climate. When the Earth began to cool, the people that lived there thought it much to cold for their sorts for no amount of woolens could keep the ice at bay. So they set off from their icy home, and called themselves “Wayfarers” for they fared the way from one island to another in hopes of finding a more suitable home.
Before long, they came to an island unpopulated by humans. It was the perfect size, and the winters were warm enough that their wife’s woolens might help against the cold. They soon found that there was something strange about their new island. Every now and then, it would shake with the slightest tremor. The Wayfarers liked this, and thus named their island Quake-Earth”.
They also found a new species: Dragons.
At first, they were studied from afar while they nested in the caves on the rocky mountain sides as any explorer would a new creature, and all went well. One thing they discovered was that the dragons could speak a tongue similar enough to their own that they could understand each other. But if two creatures can speak, especially if humans are involved, an argument is sure to arise.
And several did. They came from both races, and waxed in their heat till the Wayfarer chief Jennerade feared that violence would claim one of their kinds and a blood feud would ensue. He consulted with the elders of his tribe, and they came to the conclusion of the banishment of the dragons. The proposal was brought to the dragons’ elders, and they agreed, for the dragons also begun to fear the skirmishes and did not wish to start another argument over who was to leave the island. And so the dragons left Quake-Earth, besides a few begrudging grumbles without event.
The wayfarers rejoiced then and the dragons - upon arriving to their new island- breathed a fiery sigh of relief that they had worked peaceably and found a solution.
But their joy was short-lived. The dragons found that the fire from their bellies was not enough to warm them against he colder climate of the dragon island. So while every thing went peacefully on Quake-Earth, the dragons plotted and schemed, and gathered their forces in a raid, stealing from the face of Quake-Earth every woman and all their daughters in hopes that they might find warmth in their woolen craft.
Violet Jesspersdaughter would by today’s standards be considered a tomboy: she preferred trousers and tunics to skirts and blouses, and though she knew the basic skills that girls her age were supposed to know in those days, she preferred to tend sheep in the fields and study dragons. But back then, they did not know what to consider her. She confused them with her habits and personality. No one had ever seen the likes of such a girl. That was why the dragons left her behind.
At first, the men of Quake-Earth were simply heart-broken at the loss of their wives and daughters, but when winter showed its first signs of coming, and their thin summer tunics were no longer substantial against the oncoming cold, they began to feel the full emptiness of the space their women used to hold. Young boys who had grown throughout the summer had to make do with worn-out woolens from the older boys, and men worried over holes they found in their coats and socks, for they did not know how to mend them. Violet was able to teach a few of the men the basics of working a needle though their works were uneven and gapped. Soon, they too would become insubstantial.
Meanwhile, things were taking a much different turn on the dragon island. The Dragons were pleased with the success of the raid. By means of a combination of telepathy, writing, and patient gestures, dragons and humans were able to communicate with each other and the dragons were able to convey their reasons for kidnapping.
“The cooling of the Earth has made the Northern Islands to cold for our kind,” said the magnificent blue-green dragon Dracé. “If humans use woolens to keep warm, then why not us? Our fire barely heats us anyhow and we are tired of fighting. Let us live in peace.” Thus a pact was made between dragons and women allowing the two races to bond with one another, joining them in peace. The women manufactured warm garments from whatever fiber was available, and the dragons hunted food, and lit fires with their breath. But back on QuakeEarth, peace was far from achieved.
Violet went to her father one evening worried about her mother and sister.
“What do you think is happening to them?” She asked. Her father Lobb sighed.
“I don’t know Violet; I just hope they’re warmer than us.”
“I think we should try to bring them back,” Violet whispered. “The dragons had no right to steal our women like that. I’m going to talk to Jennerade and Keflawick tomorrow at the hall. I want my sister back.”
“Are you sure they will listen to you?” Lobb asked?
“No, but I can try.”
The next morning, Violet consulted the land and sea chiefs Jennerade and Keflawick. To her joy (and surprise) they agreed with her idea to rescue the women of QuakeEarth. They readied the ships and set sail within the next couple of weeks.
It was nearing the coldest and calmest days of winter when Jessper and Aunt Kellz were flying with their dragons Mergus and Dracé that the tips of white sails appeared on the horizon. That evening, the entire body of the ships was visible, and all the dragons and women were gathered at the shore, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the men of QuakeEarth. Within the next hour, the ships pulled up to the beach. The dragons stirred; the women fidgeted; the men held their breath; as Jennerade and Keflawick disembarked their ships and stepped forward. Jessper and Kellz, too stepped forward, followed by Mergus and Dracé.
“Do you come in peace?” Kellz asked.
“Or do you intend to fight us?” Jessper continued.
“For we have bonded in peace,” said Dracé.
“And we do not wish to break that bond,” Mergus finished.
“We would like to avoid violence,” Jennerade answered.
“Nor would we enjoy any fight that should arise,” Keflawick continued.
Violet called from the ships, “But we want our mothers, wives, and daughters back!”
“And if we must fight, then so be it,” Jennerade concluded.
“Then so be it!” Jessper agreed. “But first, have not seen each other in many cycles of the moon. Let us meet and exchange experiences before we come to any violence.”
So they all sat beneath the flag of peace and spoke. Of reasons; of happenings; of losses; of joys, and of the pact between the dragons and women of QuakeEarth. The men were amazed that the women had been able to make peace where the men had not. The women agreed that they wanted to be back with their husbands and sons again, and the dragons were very understanding and helpful on the matter. One dragon, by the name of Alcedo, who had not yet bonded suggested that the women and dragons come back to QuakeEarth and bring their new custom with them.
And so, with happy hearts, light wings, and full sails every man, woman and dragon returned to QuakeEarth where the pact between dragons and women would be studied, spread and perfected so that it would carry from generation to generation to male and female dragons and humans. And it was on one fine day the next spring that Violet’s sister Ironflor came with her dragon Lacerta to Violet’s favorite hillside with a smile on her face, and a gift in her hand.
“Come, Violet,” Ironflor said to her sister. “Every thing around us is changing. Dragons and humans are at peace, and, thanks to you, the women are back on Quake-Earth. Will you accept my gift?” Violet nodded and allowed her sister to tie her hair in two braids and secure them with a violet ribbon. She smiled, and glanced up as the dragon Alcédo circled above. The dragon landed, and by the look in her eye, Violet knew, that she too would be bonded to a dragon of Quake-Earth.