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The Mages of Braidwood:

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#21 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 02:07 PM

Picking up a handful of light-colored dirt from the Steppes and a darker handful from the forest she mixed them together, improvising on a ritual of protectiveness. Now that the moon was gone, she had to ask Guia, the great Mother Goddess of all, for her assistance in continuing to survive. Kesari did not ask the great Earth Mother lightly, but with respect and honor.

“I can do this,” she said aloud to herself. “Don’t be frightened. I’ve got nothing to return to and no one but myself now. Life can’t get any worse, right? So, if I make it out alive, then surely life must only get better.”

With this encouraging speech that really didn’t make her feel any better about walking into the dimly lit grove of trees, Kesari forced herself to move her feet and enter. Hearing the sound of rushing water, the young la’teen headed in that direction. Water was good, hence going that way would be a good start.

The sighting of a yellowed skeleton laying crumpled in a heap drove a short scream out of the almond-eyed girl. She clamped a hand over her mouth and closed her eyes. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all, she thought. But curiosity got the better of Kesari and she peeked out through one eye at the skeleton, thoughts of dragons flitting through her mind.

“Nonsense!” she admonished herself softly and marched grimly on. “They’re only old stories…probably weren’t even ever true.”

Kesari continued to walk, arriving at and deciding to follow the briskly flowing stream that tumbled over large rocks and carried sparkling silver fish along. The la’teen had some vague fantasy of staying alone in the mountains living her life with animals and nature. She found the mouth of a rather massive cave located several feet off the ground in the side of one of the mountain bases. She climbed to the ledge and sat facing the multitude of trees and other green plants.

In the quiet of the mountain forest Kesari listened carefully for any sounds coming out of the cave. She heard none and it seemed to be empty. Indeed the whole area so far seemed empty except for the animals that wandered by or flew overhead or could be seen in the trees as she sat quietly—some known to her and some strange but beautiful looking. She felt peaceful and safe in the early morning light.

Kesari was just about to reach for the strap of her satchel and remove it from her chest when the penetration of sharp spikes tore through her shirt and the skin on her back. The pain of something whacking her from behind sent waves of intense pain through the girl’s entire, young body, and she felt as if her skin was ripped from her back. One spike seemed to pierce her neck, severing something that made her lose all feeling in her entire body. As she found herself flying through the air down off the cave ledge, Kesari, horrified at what had happened, realized she could no longer move her limbs.

Hitting the ground hard, the dark-haired girl crumpled into a heap and slid further down the slope toward the rushing stream. With bones broken and her spine injured, Kesari lay in shock on the still cold ground. She was slowly dying. To make things even worse, as if they could get any worse, she could only watch in horror as a multicolored blue dragon, its scales sparkling in some spots and plain in others, came into her view from the cave entrance. The legends were true, she thought through all her pain. They were true.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 20 January 2008 - 06:25 PM.

#22 Raeven


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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:41 PM

*gasps* no, please, she can't die! :(

#23 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 06:10 PM

^^^^ Would I do that :o?  Welcome back, o'faithful reader :D.

As tall as the largest elephant she’d seen at a traveling show once but longer with the addition of the spiked tail, Kesari could only watch as the huge dragon stalked toward her on all fours. It moved in an up and down motion like a cat stalking its prey, and its leathery wings moved slightly away and back toward its shimmering and muted blue body.

A loud “Gaaaaa!” sound came from the wide open mouth…a mouth filled with jaggedly sharp teeth.

Kesari was too broken to scream and couldn’t move. She began to silently cry, the tears flowing down the side of her dirty face. She begged for help from Zinsi to control the animal-like beast, and then she fainted.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 20 January 2008 - 06:26 PM.

#24 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 06:19 PM

- 6 –

When the unknown human figure crossed the border from the grassy plain to the forest protecting the mountains, the copper dragon’s giant nostrils began to flare in his long slumber. With wagon wheel sized eyes still closed the gargantuan copper colored dragon sniffed deeply, inhaling the scent of a human. Though many miles away he heard the crackling of leaves and the snapping of twigs on the ground. The massive creature roused himself and slowly rose to his feet inside his giant cave. He stretched first his long neck, then his even longer tail and yawned. A gust of wind from his lungs blew harshly through the cave. The dragon, of a size that was not to be believed, slowly lumbered from his lair as his legs again grew used to moving. He blinked in the early morning light and sniffed the air and listened once more.

The vibrations he felt told the dragon all he needed to know, and he took flight with wings that seemed to span forever.  Huge gusts of wind created by his wings carried him as he flew low over the trees in hopes of beating Ulharvyth to the human. The huge blue dragon slept closer to the border than the gargantuan copper one as there was only one cave large enough to hold the copper dragon.

Landing on the ground hind legs first, then bringing his forelegs down with a thud that shook the earth, the copper dragon saw he might be just in time.

Malsvir ulhar!” (“Evil blue!”) he called out using Ulharvyth’s color instead of name, unwilling to acknowledge the evil dragon’s true Draconic name.

Ulharvyth froze and slowly pivoted his triangular horse-shaped head around on a long neck. He was near the human girl, near enough to steal her away to his cave. He growled the copper dragon’s name.

Much larger and stronger the copper colored dragon shook his massive head as he approached on all fours. He lifted one giant claw up and gestured back toward the blue dragon’s cave. “Gethrisj,” he said, then repeated again for Ulharvyth to go when the much younger blue dragon hesitated..

The smaller dragon complied but with a protesting hiss. He spit out a burst of fire and set a small tree ablaze. As Ulharvyth turned his feline-like body and slunk away, the copper dragon smacked the base of the tree with his powerful tail and knocked the tree into the river where the flames were extinguished with a plume of steam. The tree was carried along in the swiftly moving current.

Picking up the unconscious form of the human in one of his front claws, the dragon gently closed the nails over her. He judged her age to be between youth and young adulthood. She was almost damaged beyond repair and bleeding a great deal, but with her young age and strength there might still be a chance. Not knowing for certain if he could save her in time, the copper dragon held her to his scale plated chest and launched himself into the air with several beats of his leathery wings.

He had smelled something else on her as well…magic. Fresh, weak, and untried, but definitely magic.

#25 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:45 PM

- 7 -

Knowing he scarcely had time to waste, the massive dragon closed his eyes and held one hand-like paw completely over the unconscious girl laying on the rock surface of his lair. He conjured a simple, ancient healing spell, nothing more than closing the wounds to prevent the gushing of any more life-sustaining blood. A simple spell for the dragon also included the healing of broken bones, and the girl writhed in agony as the skeletal material knit itself back together.

The damaged spine was another matter, as was the huge loss of blood. The dragon could not create blood from nothing in a living body, but he could do something almost as effective. Unable to ask the human’s permission, the dragon pricked his own vulnerable spot with one razor sharp talon and drew forth a giant drop of blood. Piercing the girl’s chest where her heart lay the dragon reached down through skin and muscle until the blood on his nail reached the barely beating heart. As he withdrew his talon the deep wound healed on its own, leaving a small scar. The girl arched her back in pain then collapsed back to the hard floor.

Draconic blood coursed through the girl’s body with every pump of her strengthening heart. The copper dragon could trace the path of his powerful blood by the redness that appeared and then disappeared on the girl’s skin. As the magical and ancient blood of the dragons raced through it began to heal the internal wounds and replenish her own blood.

The full healing would take some time yet, so the dragon crouched down on his belly, his folded wings tight against his body.  He thought deeply for what seemed an eternity, giant eyes closed as if in sleep, and finally reached a decision. Knowing his body was completely safe, the dragon sank into a deep trance and made a connection he had not used for hundreds of years. It was with surprise and astonishment that his astral thoughts were received, albeit with as much surprise as he felt. A meeting was arranged, and the ancient dragon left his physical body to travel through another plane of existence.

#26 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:30 PM

- 8 -

Coming slowly out of her unconscious state, Kesari only allowed in the smallest amounts of information at one time. She was alive…or at least she thought she was alive. She didn’t feel dead, instead she felt herself laying on something hard and uncomfortable. There was air to breathe, although it seemed a bit musty and closed in and there was an unfamiliar smell that she couldn’t identify. Kesari’s body felt worn out but intact as she mentally visualized all her body parts and focused on them one by one. They all seemed to be free of any pain beyond a general soreness.

Finally, after what seemed to be an excruciating length of time, the la’teen with the short dark hair and small, flat nose opened her eyes. Above her was the high—very high actually—ceiling of what seemed to be a cave that was dimly lit by a large fire in one far corner. Kesari could see the shadows jumping on the wall nearest her and assumed the fire was on the opposite wall.

She inhaled the strange odor again, wrinkling her nose slightly.

“Don’t be afraid,” a deep, gravelly voice said in Plain-speak from the direction of the fire. “You’re safe here. I won’t hurt you. My name is Rachixen.”

So, someone had rescued her from the…Kesari’s eyes suddenly opened wider as she remembered. From the dragon? Had it really been a blue dragon that was coming toward her after something—the dragon itself perhaps?—had knocked her off the cave ledge and sent such excruciating pain through her body. She’d felt broken and close to dying as the creature—was it real or imaginary?—had stalked toward her.  There must have been other people, or at least this one man, in the forest who had helped her and somehow made her pain go away. She didn’t understand his name, though…probably her mind wasn’t working right just yet. It had sounded garbled—almost like he was clearing his throat and hissing.

“But you may call me Copperfyre…for now.”

“I’m not afraid,” she said weakly, slowing turning her head to get a better look at her rescuer and lapsing into Plain-speak for his sake. “Thank y…,” Kesari began then was stunned into silence. She could only blink in astonishment.

Several feet away, taking up at least half of the space in the cave, crouched a massively huge copper colored…dragon. He sat as a cat would sit halfway between laying down and sitting upright, his giant, sharp nailed paws out in front of his body and his head upright with wings folded neatly to his body. Kesari blinked again in disbelief and closed her eyes tightly.

“Oh, I think I’m dead or seeing things,” she muttered to herself in her own language, assuming she was hallucinating at best. She flung an arm over her eyes.

“No, you’re perfectly fine,” the dragon said.

“You’re not real; this can’t be happening.” Keseri refused to open her eyes at first, then she peered out under her arm toward the dragon.

“I am real, and why can’t it be happening?” Copperfyre asked, titling his giant, scaled head to one side.

“You…you’re a…a…,”

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 22 January 2008 - 07:35 PM.

#27 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:33 PM

“Dragon?” he offered helpfully.

“Yes, a…a dragon. Dragon’s aren’t real.”

“They’re not?” he asked calmly, his mouth quivering slightly as a small smile tried to break through.  “Ouch!” he said suddenly. “Well, I just poked myself with one of my claws. I felt it. Doesn’t that make me real?” Copperfyre let out a small chuffing sound.

Kesari’s eyes flew open. Did that dragon just laugh at her? she asked herself as she tried to sit up as much as she could. Balancing herself on her elbows, the girl stared for a moment.

“You are real!” she said letting her breath out. “And you can talk!”

“All…well, no I should say most…dragons can talk. Here you might want this,” Copperfyre said, sliding over the satchel that he’d found the girl with. “You should eat and drink something, until we can get you proper food. I don’t suppose you’d eat a fresh kill, would you? I hunted while you were healing.”

Still amazed beyond belief, Kesari took her satchel, which seemed tiny compared to the large palm of the dragon’s paw—which more resembled a human hand than an animal’s paw. She screwed up her face in disgust at the mention of eating something freshly dead, her almond-shaped eyes nearly disappearing.

“No, I didn’t think so. What’s your name?” Copperfyre asked. “You have me at a disadvantage as I don’t know what to call you.”

“Um…,” Kesari had to think for a moment. She’d never introduced herself to a dragon before. “Kesari…Sujana. N..nice to meet you, Copperfyre, was it?” she said politely, deciding to just accept things as she saw them…for now. It was still possible she was dead.

The massive dragon nodded his head slowly. “That is my name in Plain-speak. I see you speak it as well…that’s easiest for me, if you don’t mind. My Yanmarese is a bit rusty after all these…years,” Copperfyre confessed.

I can’t believe I’m having this conversation…any conversation…with a dragon, Kesari thought to herself. “Oh no, I don’t mind,” she answered. “We were taught Plain-speak at the yumgui…um, orphanage,” she explained.

Then Kesari realized that she’d done it. She’d run away from the yumgui and from the people who’d wanted to take her “home.” Neither place was where she wanted to be, and now she was free. Although she never dreamed she’d end up in a dragon’s cave talking to a real dragon, Kesari was secretly excited and felt alive for the first time in her whole not really very long life.

#28 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:44 PM

- 9 -

Over the next seven days Kesari’s body healed quickly with the help of the draconic blood that was now a part of her. She’d taken the news better than Copperfyre could have hoped—even Kesari was surprised at how she had adapted to being part dragon.

For indeed, that is what she was now and forever more in her newly extended lifespan.

“So, let me make sure I understand this,” she had said to the copper dragon shortly after she’d arrived in his lair. “You gave me your blood to heal me, and now I’m a dragon?”

Kesari had thought long and hard about this occurrence and decided that for some reason she didn’t particularly mind.

“Well, not exactly a dragon, just dragonblooded,” Copperfyre had answered, with a chuckle. Then he’d said, “You might experience a few…minor changes in your physiology.”

Kesari had narrowed her eyes slightly. “My what?”

“Changes in your body structure and features,” the dragon had answered casually. He’d thought it best not to reveal everything at once…that might be too much for the girl.

And indeed over the seven days and nights Kesari watched, part in fascination and part in shock, as her body began to change. Copperfyre had revealed that his blood was old…old and powerful…and the changes to her would be swift and obvious. Most unpleasant was the faint scale-like patches that appeared on her skin, mostly on the backs of her hands, tops of her feet, and around her neck winding down onto her chest. But from what Kesari could see, the scaly skin was a shiny copper color and nearly matched her own skin color. In the sunlight the sparkling effect was rather pretty, until she remembered it was her own skin that now had scales.

Her fingernails also underwent a change from small, flat, and rounded to long, sharp, and somewhat rough. But they only grew to a moderate length so at least she didn’t have massive claws sticking out from her hands. Copperfyre taught her to scratch them on rocks to keep them maintained. The parts she liked best, though, was that her hair grew long, sleek, and thick, and she found her physical strength increasing.

Now, eight days after she’d arrived, Kesari was standing out on the ledge of the cave staring out over the lush valley below. The evening was giving way to the darkness of night. Copperfyre’s lair was high in the mountains where the animals roamed without fear as the dragon flew further away to hunt and feed. The copper dragon was crouched down on the ledge with his huge head lowered toward Kesari.

“Ooh, look at that hawk!” Kesari exclaimed, pointing into the night sky, not realizing just how dark it was.

“You can see the hawk?” the dragon asked, his voice holding a hint of amazement and pride.

Kesari turned to look at him in exasperation. “Well, yes, I mean I’ve got eyes, don’t I?” she said jokingly, pointing to her dark colored eyes.

Only they weren’t so dark anymore, Copperfyre noticed. The irises had turned a faint copper color while the pupils were no longer round, but more elongated and thin. He watched the girl blink at him.

“What?” she said, curious as to why the massive dragon was staring at her from across the ledge.

“What else do you see?” Copperfyre asked instead of answering.

Kesari blinked again, wondering what copper dragon was up to. She shrugged her slim shoulders and turned back to the night. She’d humor the old dragon for awhile. “Well, besides the hawk, I see an ibex with long horns, oh!, and there goes another hawk. They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” she said, forgetting she was supposed to be telling Copperfyre all that she saw.

“Hrm…,” the dragon said thoughtfully.

“Hrm, what? What’s going on anyway? What are you being so mysterious about?” Kesari said with a exhalation of annoyance.

The dragon smiled. “Look at the sky, Kesari. Look at the color.”

The girl glanced up into the dark sky, finally registering that it was truly black. As in no light except for the waning half moon high above and the bright stars. It was, and had been for some time now, dark out. Yet…yet, she’d been seeing the animals clearly regardless of the lack of light. That meant…Oh! Kesari had to sit down before she fell over the edge in surprise.

“Are you trying to tell me that I can see in the dark?” she asked in amazement, not hardly daring to believe her own words. “You aren’t serious, are you?”

Copperfyre nodded his huge head. “I didn’t know what dragon traits you would get,” he explained. “But it seems you can see in low light and even no light. So, yes, I suppose you can now “see in the dark.”

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 25 January 2008 - 05:46 AM.

#29 Raeven


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Posted 25 January 2008 - 05:42 AM

I want some of Copperfyre’s blood please Nikki ;) I am very glad that Kesari lives :D

#30 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 09:27 AM

OOC: Wouldn't that be fun? :D And I'm glad you cared about her!

- 10 -

After several passages of the moon and sun another lesson in Draconic--the ancient language of the Dragons--had ended successfully. Copperfyre had watched as Kesari skipped outside to take a walk and gather food from the wild vegetation for herself. Except for fish, the girl had taken a dislike to animal flesh of any sort as she had healed. Copperfyre wondered why that would be so.

The massive dragon also wondered what his new little friend would say when he told her it was nearly time for her to leave. Kesari would not be happy, he knew. He had a feeling that the dark-haired girl had assumed she would now live here, with him. But this was no life for a young girl…and the dragon had already arranged with Rai’ana to take the girl under her care for further teaching.

* * * * *

Outside in the spring air of the mountains, Kesari ambled along the path that led from the cave to the valley floor. She was watchful of her surroundings but also enjoyed herself in the fresh air and sun. That blue dragon that attacked her would never venture near here, Copperfyre had told her, but there were other dangers to be aware of. Kesari decided she was finally happy and home. This was where she belonged. The la’teen believed she could live the rest of her life here in this mountain paradise; however, this was belief was accomplished only by denying the small niggling doubt as to what she would do exactly for the rest of her life here.

Suddenly a chuffing sound broke into Kesari’s thoughts and she was startled into glancing up. A chill of fear raced down her spine as she found herself staring into the fierce eyes of a crouching snow leopard. Its thick, smoky gray coat with dark spots was quivering with anticipation of a meal—namely her. As she stared into the bright green eyes of the wild cat, Kesari felt herself become frozen and almost hypnotized.

“No!” she barely heard herself whisper. “NO!” And Kesari raised her arms into the air as if that would ward off the snow leopard.

Horrified she found herself drifting away, falling deeper into some sort of trance of which she couldn’t break free. Unable to run, not that she could outrun a wild cat anyway, Kesari felt as though she were collapsing to the ground as the stocky feline leaped off the rock above her.

#31 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 10:40 PM

* * * * *

The snow leopard did not understand why--as it leaped toward its prey—that it suddenly twisted in the air as if to avoid landing on the strange creature. Something was preventing it from attacking. The thick-furred cat landed heavily on the rocky ground and chuffed angrily, pacing back and forth. Suddenly it tore itself away in frustration and ran off into the trees. It would have to find prey somewhere else.

* * * * *

Copperfyre had sensed something was wrong with Kesari awhile after she’d left the safety of his cave. The copper dragon thundered outside and took flight, searching the ground below until he found her. The dragon began to spiral quickly down through the air, his expansive wings creating a hard wind through the tree tops as he crashed through. But when he reached the girl and had landed behind her, crushing trees and bushes in his way, he found her stiff and staring and caught a glimpse of a snow leopard’s long tail disappearing into the bushes.

The dragon blinked as something shimmered in front of him. More accurately Kesari shimmered in front of him. It seemed as though…but no, was that really what he was seeing? Copperfyre could have sworn he saw a ghost-like shape of a snow leopard surrounding the young girl. The shape appeared to have blended with her for a second. Then it was gone, and Kesari was blinking and shaking her head as if dazed.

Had the girl truly been about to change into…or was she changing back from…? Copperfyre shook his huge head, was it even possible for that magic to still exist? The ancient dragon had been secluded in the mountains for hundreds of years now and much had passed him by. He’d tell Rai’ana his suspicions and let the mage figure it out. One word and she’d know what needed to be done for Kesari…just one word.


#32 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 12:31 PM

- 11 -

Copperfyre crouched down on the ledge of his cave and patiently waited for Kesari to make her way up his long tail. When she came to rest on his back behind his shoulder blades, the young, dark-haired girl reluctantly settled down between the row of hard ridges. They were tall enough compared to her that she couldn’t even see over them without standing up.

She was dry-eyed and solemn. Sad even. But deep down she was slightly excited as well, if Kesari had to be honest. And she was usually honest with herself. Of course she had cried enough last night when the huge, copper dragon had told her it was time for her to leave. His life was not for her, he had explained. There was so much out in the world for her to see and do. There was even someone he wanted her to meet and a special place for her to live.

“I’ll hate it,” she had said with quiet anger. Copperfyre was throwing her out, just like Okasa did in that life she’d had before this—that life she could never, ever be a part of again.

“You won’t hate it,” he had answered, patiently and gently. “You’ll like it when you get there. It’s a school where you can learn a great deal that you…well, that you need to know about your abilities and magic in general.”

“Great! Another school…another place where I won’t belong. I belong here, with you…you made me a dragon…why can’t I stay?” Kesari had folded her arms and stood as near as she dared to the huge fire in the wall. She wouldn’t yet dare let herself think about…that word. Magic. Could it be that she truly had…but no, once she opened herself up to that possibility, then staying in the cave was no longer an option.

“You will belong. And I didn’t make you a dragon…as I’ve explained before you’re simply dragon-blooded. You have some traits of a dragon and now understand Draconic. Besides you are so much more than that, Kesari, and you need to learn what that is,” Copperfyre had replied with infinite patience.

A dragon was, if nothing else, patient, due to a very long lifespan and never doing anything in haste. (Except for fleeing for survival, or the thrill of quick surprise, of course).

“Besides, you will always be able to contact me…from here,” he had said, trying to gently tap her head with one of his long claws and succeeding only in knocking Kesari over quite forcefully.

“Ouch,” Kesari had said from the hard floor of the cave. “And I will? I can, what, “talk” to you in my head, and you’ll hear me?”

“In a manner of speaking,” Copperfyre had said. “But you’ll need to learn how to “talk” to me. That’s something they can teach you at the school.”

So Kesari had agreed to go—as if she really had much choice—but at least she was going willingly.

#33 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 12:34 PM

And now here she was on a real dragon’s back preparing to fly north across the mountains to the Dragon Sea and then to the land of Mercia—a fertile land of mostly elves and humans, from what she’d learned from lessons while growing up.

As she clutched her belongings, which had grown from the satchel to several other bags full of things that the dragon had given her, Kesari figured she’d give Copperfyre just a little bit more argument. Part of her did want to remain here in the safety of these secluded mountains.

“People are going to see us flying over, you know. Maybe we should stay here after all,” Kesari called to the dragon as he began to spread his long wings. “We don’t want to start a panic.”

“We will be invisible to them. No one will see us. It’s a simple spell for me really,” Copperfyre replied modestly.

The dark-haired girl gave a start of surprise. This was something new…and intriguing.

“Then I’m sure to fall off as we fly. You didn’t give me anything to hold onto or tie myself down with,” Kesari insisted. In reality, as Copperfyre began to launch himself into the evening sky, she didn’t feel at all in danger but couldn’t figure out why.

“There’s a protective force shield around you,” the copper dragon called back. “Feel around you.”

Kesari did so. And she felt…something. Something where there was nothing. She drew her hand back and then reached out to touch again. Yes, something was there. She truly wasn’t going to fall off. Still she sat square in the middle of the dragon’s back and didn’t look through the ridges just yet.

“Fine,” she sighed in resignation. But Kesari was smiling to herself.  

“Then we’re ready? You’ve run out of excuses right?” Copperfyre chuckled into the evening sky and began to beat his wings slow and steady as he rose higher and higher, heading north.

The young la’teen made a face at the copper dragon. “Axun, si mi krathin, Rachixen,” she answered, her own voice sounding garbled with hissing and grunting sounds. Yes, I am ready, she had said using his draconic name. Kesari then lay down on her back, staring up into the mass of stars beginning to glow above her as they flew northward.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 26 January 2008 - 12:35 PM.

#34 Raeven


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Posted 26 January 2008 - 01:04 PM

First dragons...then shapeshifters - Wow Nikki you know how to keep a reader on the edge of her seat :) Great writing my friend :)

#35 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 09:04 PM

Awwwwww, thank you {{{{{{Rae}}}}}}}}! :D I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. Here's the last bit, then there'll be a teensy wait while I work on the next :angel:.


Rai’ana waited in the high mountains that encircled Braidwood. Although the school had ownership of the mountains that surrounded the valley where the school lay, the actual walls of the school did not extend this far. There were very few ways into or out of the secluded valley which had allowed the school and its inhabitants to remain protected since the start of the chaos that had destroyed the “old” world many hundreds of years ago.

The spring air was filled with the warm, bright sun which had melted only the snow at the mid-to-lower levels of the mountains, but not this far up. The bright sun had broken through a layer of clouds and sent them on their way, leaving behind only light and a mild warmth. But down below it was much warmer and spring was emerging in full force.

The school’s head—and oldest—mage stood in the shadows of a large oak tree. A great many trees, useful to the school, grew in the surrounding mountains. The mage pulled her cloak loosely around her and her hood covered her pure white hair. The woman was alert, always alert, but relaxed as she waited for Copperfyre to deliver the promised girl. A girl who appeared to have magical talents and skills that were best not allowed to fall into the wrong hands.

Seeing through the magical invisibility spell of the ancient dragon, Rai’ana watched serenely as the huge dragon landed in an open field and walked carefully over to her. She felt the vibrations in the ground of his massive weight. The mage bowed respectfully to her old friend, and Copperfyre bowed his head as well.

“You’ve arrived, Rachixen” Rai’ana said. “It has been a great many years, my old friend,” she said warmly. “It is a pleasure to see you again…in the flesh this time,” she added, as they’d been communicating in the astral plane recently.

“We have,” Copperfyre replied, memories flooding back to him of times long, long past. “I am pleased to see you as well, Rai’ana. Now, come, meet Kesari.”

The dragon twisted his neck up and around and urged the young, almond-eyed girl to come down off his back.

Shyly Kesari approached the tall woman and stared in fascination. Rai’ana’s hood had been pushed away to reveal snow white hair with a dark blue streak down one side. Her long, thick hair framed a triangular, slender face with fine features and…pointed ears! Kesari gasped. She must be an elf! Kesari had heard about elves, they were cousins to the drow who lived in the lands next to Yanmar. She’d never actually seen an elf back home.

“Welcome to Mercia, Kesari…and especially to Braidwood,” Rai’ana extended a slender hand in greeting. “Here you will learn who you truly are and, I hope, you will find a place to which you can belong.”

#36 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 09:15 PM

Coming "soon"!

Arwen Sabry

#37 Raeven


    Having a Mads moment

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 06:34 AM

^ Oooooooooooooooooo :) *waits patiently*

#38 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:48 PM

And I'm actually working on it, too :angel:. So, thanks, Rae :D!!!!

#39 Mikoto


    Rejected on all levels.

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:01 AM

You mean you haven't updated yet?
Rejected and gone.

#40 Nikki Peppermint

Nikki Peppermint

    Zen moment

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:42 PM

^^Not since I finished the first part, but now............... :angel:.

Thanks for the patience, Rae :D!

- 1 -

Arwen blinked against the bright, desert sunlight of the late afternoon. She shielded her pale blue eyes with one black, leather gauntlet covered arm from the sudden light and was momentarily blinded for a few seconds. She had not been paying attention as she walked atop the high, stone wall that connected two of the stone buildings along the outer edge of the city. The shadows had been dim as the girl walked slowly through a covered section of the wall as she balanced easily on the narrow surface. Her jet black skin, dark like polished stone, protected her from the sun’s fierce rays of her home land, but her eyes were more sensitive to the intense light than human eyes.

A quick, graceful leap brought the girl from the high wall to the ground.  Her dark, leather boots stirred up a plume of ever-present dust, even on the paved road. Her thin cloak swirled down behind her. She remained crouched down for a moment, knees bent under her short, black skirt.  The slender girl glanced up and down the road and found she was all alone for the moment—a situation that suited Arwen just fine. The tall, leafy trees with the skinny trunks that lined the road were motionless in the, almost painfully so, blue sky.

Arwen pushed a section of her pure white hair behind her pointed ears. The day’s prowling around had caused several of the shorter front sections of hair to come loose from her ponytail. She let a scowl form on her triangular-shaped face as she thought of why she was heading home when she’d rather be out hiding and getting lost in the crowds of people in Hassuna. Her father—if he could even be called that—was returning home from the port city of Manetho after an absence of trading and running the family shipping business.

Arwen was always expected to be there for his return. Why, she could never understand. They all just ignored or got annoyed with her anyway. She pulled the cloak's hood up over her head to shield her eyes from the sun's light.

“Take, take, take. That’s all they do,” she mumbled crossly under her breath as her feet began to betray her and lead her home. “Money, money, money. That’s all they think about…all of them,” she continued sourly. “There has to be more to life than that.”

But if there was, Arwen didn’t know what it was. She’d grown up part of the privileged drow class in Nineveh, including the best schools--of which she had two more agonizing years.  But so far she hadn’t found anything in her life worth really getting excited over.  Mostly she was just bored and spent her free time searching and exploring and usually getting into trouble. Deep down Arwen could sense it was out there, waiting for her…trouble was, she didn’t know what “it” was.

As she walked down the road that led from the city to the more wealthy homes, Arwen watched the little puffs of dust that her moving feet displaced.. One little puff rose higher than the rest. Arwen pointed down and began to twirl her dark, index finger just slightly. The dust began to form a funnel until it was several inches off the ground. Arwen allowed a small smile escape her lips. She played with the dust funnel as she walked. She’d never told anyone but her mother about her trick with the earth, as well as with water and fire and air…she could make them move and dance. The white haired girl considered them her only real friends.

It was her secret. She knew if she told, she’d be hated even worse than she was now. Or worse, her family might even kill her for having what they wanted. They’d do whatever they could to somehow “get” her magic out of her. It was no secret that the drow people had lost most of their magical abilities from the old times, which is why most were so intent on making money and becoming rich. If they lost power over others one way, they’d have it another. Only the yathrins—the drow priestesses--were supposed to have kept their powers, but Arwen knew better. If she, who was only half drow, was known to have magic in her, it would not be to her benefit.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 13 February 2008 - 06:42 AM.
Small changes!

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