This morning, just before sunrise, I woke to find Arythelle and a tall young man supporting an emaciated dryad between them.
"Mistress Sharda! I'm sorry to wake you, but this is very urgent. Varis has been away from her tree for weeks now, and I'm not sure we can get her back to it. Please, is there any way to help her?" Her words spilled out in a rush, and she and the young man were obviously quite worried, but somehow the dryad looked almost...pleased.
I let them in and had them settle Varis on the one cushioned armchair in my house. The poor thing looked so weak, I was glad they'd brought her to me rather than trying to take her back, I knew very well the poor girl wouldn't have made it. She was wilting into my chair as it was.
The young man spoke in a soft, deep voice, "We've been trying to feed her Earth-based and Water-based energy, but it only helps a little bit. I'm not sure what else to do, she says she won't return to her tree yet." His eyes, deep brown, were full of concern, looking only at Varis.
I patted him on the shoulder, saying, "It was a decent start, son. Here, reach down that little copper willow tree from that top shelf, and hand it to her. It'll help throughout today, while I make her a little something. You came to the right place."
As she touched the tree statuette, the weariness in her face eased, and she smiled. In proper health, she would be stunning, I was sure, but as it was she seemed to tired to be pretty. She thanked me with a voice that was warm and mellow, like a carved flute. She spoke the language of the forest-dwellers, and Arythelle and the boy didn't seem to understand. They looked startled when I responded in kind.
I took down my materials, some simple beads and some old, worn steel wire, and began twisting and humming, shaping the magic that would sustain Varis while away from her tree. When humming was no longer necessary, I said, "I wonder what would draw you so far from your Place?"
She laughed quietly and told me, "I looked down my roots, and I looked to the wind. I saw that I stayed with Toram like a burr on his sleeve. Who am I to deny what is? I couldn't very well say that I wouldn't." Her brilliant green eyes sparkled when she smiled at the boy, and he couldn't hide the blush that arose.
I nodded, for I knew how hard it could be when your fate is put before you.
Varis didn't speak very much, and Toram seemed the very embodiment of silence, but Arythelle chattered as if all was normal, gossiping and asking questions as she had before. The other two relaxed, letting her words wash over them. I was grateful for the distraction, because Varis's element was hard to grasp if I concentrated too hard.
With the final twist of wire, I tied the magic off. Three small beads on a small circle of worn wires, it didn't look as impressive as the amulets I had made for Arythelle and Arytanna, but in its way, it was a great deal more powerful. Thella asked, "If most magical artifacts are based on a specific element or spell, what is that?"
I fastened the cord for Varis, and she seemed to fill out, becoming healthy before our eyes. As the children gasped in astonishment, I explained, "It is an element, though one not often acknowledged by humans. Dryads do need Earth and Water, but what sustains them is the element of Growth. Without Growth, Water and Earth are just mud, and eventually bog them down, but since most dryads don't stray far from their tree, not many have to worry about it. Not many folks these days realize that there are more elements than the 'cardinal elements', but she couldn't bring herself to tell you that, I think, because her path follows yours, and you would have turned from your path to return her to her tree. Dryads take Fate very seriously, you know."
Thella and Toram sat quietly, absorbing new knowledge, but Varis set aside the copper willow, then stood suddenly and grasped my hands. Speaking in her own tongue once more, she told me earnestly, "This may not be the fate you would have chosen, but I am glad you aren't fighting it. Dragon or human, you were the one I needed today."
Shocked, I whispered, "You knew?"
She nodded. With words like falling leaves, she explained, "Your shadow is too deep, and the Earth echoes with your footsteps. You are known by my kind, Shinardalya."
Perhaps I was a bit aloof as they left me, but I hope they weren't too offended by my preoccupation. Varis had given me a lot to think about.
This was ~jaittsukokureiko's christmas present, that I just gave her yesterday! I made it specifically for her, because of her fondness for green and for my spiral pendants, but I couldn't help but include it in my Elements. It just fit perfectly, I had to.
Not sure whether I worded this well, but I tried. May revise later, not sure yet.
Being that it's already in Kureiko's hands, it's not for sale, but [link](Amulet of Conflagration) Is still for sale for $25!
Much, much further to go in this story, but to build a house, a good foundation is important.
Elements Series so far: [link] (Golden Dragon) [link] (Amulet of the Winds) [link] (Amulet of Conflagration) Amulet of Growth
Wow, just lovely. And I agree with the elements. There are so many more than what we normally think of.
More often than not I categorize them like so... The Major Four Elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water, and then subs of those elements (such as Ice would be an element in its own right, but I usually categorize it under Water) or a mix of the two elements (like I tend to think of Magma/Lava a mix of Fire and Earth, because it is made of Earth, just superheated). However I have found some Chaos and Order, as well as Light, Dark, and Shadow. And I know that there is many more.
Anyways lovely piece. Sorry for the wall of text up there, once you get me going I tend not to stop for a good bit.
In this world, there are really several elements outside of earth, water, wind, fire, growth, but humans only really use the 4, sometimes growth if they're master mages or friendly with certain nonhumans. Sharda, being of a 'far superior race' (at least according to dragons) can sense and manipulate these elements. But, having lived so long as a human, it startles her when she's 'found out'. I need to fill in a bit more of her backstory...
Thank you so much, I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far! I have the feeling that this will be novel-sized by the time I'm done with it. These amulets and the stories that go with them are sort of meant to be journal entries, I'm not sure if I could write in first-person for this whole thing.
I had an idea once about dragons living as humans being interesting, but the story never really "caught on" in my brain--so I'm glad -you're- doing it, because now it's like getting to see what might-have-been.
these are simply my
opinions and are not
meant to imply that
you should agree or
disagree nor should
these prove to be
offensive in any
way; if I do come
then you have my
This article came
about after a
requested that we
write ten clear,
simple tips for
information can be
very useful, but
it down into
chunks is so much
easier. So without
further ado plea...
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
This feature is for
all the happy
couples in the
world, the love
shared in families,
and for the good
friends.What I see
in these pictures..
The love, the
tenderness.. This is
what I search for. I
really hope I will
find someone like
you already did.Look
upon the sunand
think of that...
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More