Lyta stepped out of her room to run straight into Kotori. "All clean?" She asked, smiling slightly. Siva was already waiting for them down at the end of the hallway. The pair walked down to join her and shortly after, Gallavan returned to lead them to dinner. The dragon looked down at the trio. "I trust everything was to your liking?" Lyta nodded. It was perfect; a bath and new weapons. The dragon nodded and began to hum. It was low and ryhthmic, but had an air of sleepy mystery to it. The shadows in the corners of the room rose up to cover the hallway where their rooms were. In its place, a magnificant archway appeared. "She is waitng for you." the dragon said with a knowing smile
Kotori walked through the archway first. There were no guards or traps on the otherside. Instead it was a jewled forest. Apples of gold, ivies of diamonds, grass of jades. Kotori was breathless. He had never seen anything so beautiful, besides the empress herself.
Siva drew in a breath of awe as she stepped into the glittering forest. Golden apples hung from the trees, the branches laden and hanging low over their heads. She walked up the small marble staircase, her eyes settling on the white stone table at the top. It stretched across the room, and in the center of the table rested two candles glowing with purple flame and a roll of parchment sealed neatly like a letter.
The enchantress herself towered over the table, her regal stature casting a shadow over the floor between her silver cloak and and dress, her sleeves nearly brushing the ground. Yet she did not bear the fragility of a noblewoman, despite her clear dominion over these lands and origins in a lineage of powerful mages. Her face was strong and hardened, her eyes bearing a world-weary glister the faintest of scars on her face the proved she had seen the effects of war. Only in this light could Siva see a worn woman, scarred yet versed in the wisdom of age, yet no age marred her features. Despite how surreal she had appeared, she was no god.
But that was not to say she was not powerful. Siva dipped her head in respect to the enchantress as she approached, fully aware that the reclusive mage before her had reasons to call them and knowledge that she needed.
((I think my brain is in love with the enchantress))
((I'm sorry for my last really short post. I was really busy, but didn't want y'all to be hold up by me.))
Kotori saw the enchantress and once again he couldn't believe how beautiful she was. He nodded his head toward her in respect. He felt so young and imature compared to her.
"Come and sit. Eat. You must be hungry," she smiled brightly at them.
As she spoke a bowl of fruit was brought to the table by another dragon- this one was so small that it almost looked to be a fairy. Kotori had never seen- or heard- of a dragon that small.
Kotori sat at one of the chairs at the table and took one of the fruits. He selected a pear and took a bite out of it. That rabbit they'd eaten had long since vanished from his stomach.
(bumping so it doesn't get lost)
((Okay. I'll wait for Fire))
((*peers out across the vast World Wide Web* hello?))
((I'm here. I haven't abandoned us yet. If Fire's not back in the next week, howzabouts we keep going with the story, and she'll be able to pick up when she gets back))
((Whatever you want to do. :) ))
((holy cow im so so so sorry i am an awful person i got really busy with school stuff and completely forgot to reply. I am so sorry!!! >.<))
Lyta dug into the fruit set in front of her with a passion she did not know she could possess. Never in her life had she tasted an apple this crisp and fresh. It was only after Lyta had eaten half of the apple that she looked around her and took in her surroundings. The forest glowed, pulsing with an unseen life. Lyta could feel something gazing out from the trees. Peering in the darkness, she caught a flicker of motion as a small train of dragons filed out of the woods bearing platters of steamed vegetables, baskets of fresh bread, and piles of fresh meat. They were all considerably smaller than Gallavan yet carried themselves in the same manner that he did--proud and regal.
"My lady, how many dragons live here?" Lyta asked in awe. An endangered species was serving her dinner. Millions of questions ran through her mind, each fighting to make its way through her lips. The enchantress smiled.
"A great deal more than you see here tonight. This valley is one of several few safe havens for their kind. The dragons have not died out, my dear. They are just as strong as in the tales of old. They are simply in hiding. This world is not as friendly as is once was."
Siva gasped quietly. "How... how many other creatures call this place a safe haven?" she asked, a hopeful spark taking seed in her mind.
The enchantress smiled sadly, her proud features softening. "Your tribe is not here, Siva. I am sorry. But indeed, there are other Gemini who have lost their territories to the Headless Huntsman. Centaurs, Gryphons, the Sphinx of the Anjemaran desert. This is the home of beasts of myth."
"It seems to me as if there is an army here." she whispered in awe.
"And that is why I have brought you here tonight. I beseech your attention for the evening, all of you, for have important tales to tell and I may answer your questions." Here eyes were almost sad in the dim light, stormy grey like the clouds which had gathered perpetually over the mountain.
((Welcome back Fire! :) I understand about schoolwork. It's difficult to work around. I'm glad you're back though))
((very understandable, Fire. I hope you can keep on top of it!))
Kotori swallowed his bite of pear and looked at her. What could she possibly want from them? They were still just kids, especially to her! What could they do that some great dragon couldn't?
He glanced over at Siva. She didn't seem scared, and Lyta seemed to be in awe.
The enchantress had done so much to help them. He'd hate to tell her no. He didn't like owing favors.
Kotori bit into the pear again, in deep thought. If it was a dangerous mission he didn't care for his sisters to go, but he knew once they had made up their minds they were too stuborn to change it back. Siva was probably in heaven now with the idea of helping this enchantress. She would help her if he was there or not.
Kotori sighed softly. It looked like he would probably be helping even if he didn't want to.
"Why the Huntsman?" Lyta asked shly, "Who summoned him in the first place?" The enchantress sighed quietly.
"You three are the last of your tribe. The last to have the gift of both air and earth, man and bird. The tales you will hear tonight are ones that the Elders of your tribe should have told you on the eve of your Coming of Age celebration. That was the way it was done. However, the Elders are long deceased and you all came of age under the roof of a human man, so I shall pass this knowledge on to you.
In the beginning of time, the world was divided. Each element did not cooperate with the others. Air ruled the cloudless, rainless skies; Earth saw to the riverless, wild ground; Fire lived in the distant volcanos, lying dormant; Water ruled the oceans, empty and cold. The creatures that lived then were made of only one element. The owls belonged to Air and the dragons belonged to Fire. In the Darkness the lay inbetween each element, the Headless Huntsman was born. He grew out of the unfeeling abyss and was the first true Nightmare. He plagued all four elements with horrors that I cannot speak of. The four elements unified in the fight to return him to the void. When they came together, the gap between them shrunk, then closed entirely. The Huntsman was locked on the other side, never to be seen on this world again as long as the gap stayed sealed. As a gesture of good faith, the elements bonded the creatures that they had made together: Earth and Water tied the Centaurs and Sea Serpents together, to be of one mind and spirit and Fire and Air bonded the Owls and the Dragons. To this day, the horse Gemini and the remaining Sea Serpents left in this world have a connection unlike any other. The owl Gemini and the Dragons had a similar link, until your tribe was nearly lost. Now that link is fading and the Gap is opening once again. This is why the Huntsman is here. My children, you hold the power to close it again if you reestablish the ages-old bond that your ancestors created." The enchantress looked at each of them gravely. It slowly dawned on Lyta what she was asking them to do.
"We must summon the dragons," Siva finished, her eyes wide and fearful. "We must summon the dragons to war."
She turned to the enchantress, terrified of the conclusion to her story. "What does this have to do with you?"
The enchantress fingered at the high neck of her shirt, tugging away at an inch of it, revealing a burn, shaped like an eye.
"The brand of an ancient Gemini," Siva whispered. "You are a Gemini? But you have lived for thousands of years! No Gemini can flout mortality."
"The Headless Huntsman-- the first nightmare," has awoken an evil so old it does not belong to this world. It crept through the abyss of darkness from the world the dead thousands of years ago: Caedus Cruoris, lord of those unfortunate souls who fell fighting for greed and power. Years ago, when he was first rising to power, we knew not how to destroy him. His soul was made of evil, and his heart was wooden, carved from the great elm trees of Antyra that only ever grow stronger, never perishing. We would have to burn his heart in phoenix fire, then kill him at last, for his heart is not in his body."
"Well where is it?" Siva demanded, her curiosity sucking her into the story.
Her voice grew sad, tinged with guilt. "I fled the castle with my love, and we build this home here in the Archaia. During one of the battles, I was shot with a poison arrow, but soon I came to discover that I was with child, and that we were going to die. He did what he had to to save my life, in spite of my wishes." She clutched a hand over her chest. "The heart of Caedus Cruoris is here, keeping me from ever aging. When the time comes, I will destory it and be mortal again, but only after we destroy his armies and have a proper chance."
Siva's jaw dropped open in shock. The enchantress was no goddess, as they had first come to believe.
"What-- what is your Gemini form?" she choked quietly.
"A great white owl."
Kotori's jaw hung open for a long moment. She was one of their kind? Kotori had always thought they were the last of their kind. He had known they'd been hunted down for years.
Kotori shook his head slowly. This was crazy. Dragon riders? Them? He really didn't think that this 24 hour spand of time could get much more intense. He even had the fleeting thought wondering if he had a fever and was dreaming the entire thing.
((I am sorry for the super short post. I will post better later, but I didn't want y'all stuck because of me!))