Preview of The Dawnstone Tale
Translate: v. 1) To render into another language. 2) To interpret. 3) To move from one place to another without rotation.
Jorthus: n. A large indigo rock spiraling slowly through space.
The Majiks. The books whispered of it in their stiff, yellowed pages. Each book bound and covered in runes of the ancient arts. Volume upon volume crowding the old stone walls of the towers and libraries. The concepts of power held in the pages collected over a dozen millennia told of all that was possible with the use of the majiks. The majik was called up from the planet itself and shaped by the power of the air. Matter and the elements could join in a powerful dance to obey the request and will of the majik user. The Soulspeak it was once called. The language of all spiritual matter that was rumored to change the shape of mountains and move objects past time and space. The Soulspeak was a language of music. It instructed the dancers in their movements shaping, building, and creating something from nothing. It was the way all things were done once long ago. Those that knew the Soulspeak could ask anything of the planet and the forces of nature would obey.
Now, few knew the deeper Soulspeak. Few had the strength to hold such forces in check without being torn apart by them. The majik that was supposed to be a gift to all the children of the worlds in order to aid the lands was now only used by a shrinking number of special individuals, called Magda. Mages of high skill and authority. Each was allotted an area that they were supposed to care for with their power, but as always happens in such cases some chose to rule their lands with terror.
The more common people of the world did not use or remember the majiks. They viewed the powers of their sovereigns as something to be questioned and feared. The highest-level majik users that could harness such power were a jealous group that fancied themselves as kings. They formed the Council of Magda to decide what was best for the world. The populace that lived on their lands raised up Judges and Kings to intervene with the Magda and mete out the laws. They were called the Common Council. Reluctant to share their power, the Magda argued the unworthiness of others to rule; but after many decades of friction, an agreement was reached and The Councilmen were formed. Those that had negotiated the peace had done so with a less than fortuitous eye in order to cement their own power. The corrupt of the Magdas and of the Judges leaked through the fabric of noble intentions to join forces. They did not exist on any document. Nevertheless, all felt their influence and lived in fear of their touch. They were called The Journeymen. A council of sages, judges, and spellsingers that ruled in secret over the peoples of Jorthus.
All that the Journeymen knew was power and luxury. And they knew that they wished to keep it that way. Any time a new tremor of power was sensed through the flow of the Majiks, they found a way to harness it or destroy it.
IN THE ARBIN FOREST, Midlands, Myretrae.
Deep inside one kingdom, far to the north, was a small town named Rocksfar. On the outskirts of this small insignificant town was a tower. The home of a young human magda named Lylith. She was a generous, kind, beautiful woman just out of her twenties. Her face was still fair; her cheeks blushing with youth and no signs of age had touched her yet. She did not count herself as special, even though she was well aware of the growing powers at her disposal. She simply thought of herself as lucky and left it at that.
Her father had been her majik teacher when she was a child. He had been proud of her skill and strength. He had not taught her all he knew but had left her with a few spells and knowledge of the language of the soul.
She had been satisfied with that at first. Being a sheltered girl and a quiet child, she had enjoyed being able to feed and clothe herself with the majik; she never had to step foot outside her tower. Yet, as she had gotten older, living alone had become too comfortable, too easy. She would spend months without ever opening a window or leaving the same room. When she would become aware of the time that was passing, she would realize that deep down she was getting lonely.
As the years had passed, her loneliness was broken when she realized that she could speak with animals using the spellsongs that she was reading in her father’s books. Then her life became filled with companions. Animals that she called to her with majik, she would keep as friends. However, at times, they were less than what she really wanted as far as companions went.
“Must find mate.”
Lylith looked up from her book. It had been the black crow perched on the top of her bookshelf that had spoken.
“Must find a mate.” It squawked again. “Mate. Mate. Mate.”
“I heard you the first time, Crow.” She was slightly annoyed with the bird. He had the bothersome habit of always wanting to talk when she was doing something else.
“Nothing is keeping you here. Go find yourself a ladylove, if you wish.” She went back to her book of fae love tales, most of which were translated from faerlish by the dramatic minds of human poets. Part of her wished that her father had been allowed access to more pertinent tomes such as the Histories of the Fae. But, she did feel a guilty satisfaction in the wild stories of adventure.
It was spring again, she sighed to herself. The animals always wanted to go find partners in the spring and they would annoy her until they did so.
“Spring?” She suddenly said aloud to no one in particular. “Another year has gone by so quickly?”
She scarcely noticed the passing of the years lately. She spent all of her time indoors reading. Months flew past her as she occupied herself with other things, now it had been four years since she had even stepped out her front door. Had anything changed, she wondered? Did the world look and smell the same as it had then? She decided to see for herself.
“No windows.” The crow complained. “Can’t leave, no windows.”
“Don’t be silly, Crow.” She said lightly as she rose from her deep chair and glided to the window in her sitting room. Lylith opened the wooden blinds and the sunlight that streamed in nearly blinded her.
“How long has it been,” she gasped, putting one hand up to shield her eyes. “Since I opened this house to the outside world?”
The crow flew across the room and landed on her shoulder.
“Many days, many nights.” It clucked quietly. “You hide. Hide in darkness, Human.”
“Crow, why don’t you call me Lylith?” she was a little hurt by the way he would insist on calling her Human in the spring.
“You are Human to me. After I find a mate, you be Lylith again.” He winked at her from one black eye and seemed to smile. “Goodbye.”
Then he was gone, out the opened window to find his mate for this year.
“Fickle bird.” She chuckled with her fists on her hips. She turned to the back of the room. “Do you feel the same, Sythin?” she asked to the dark corners.
“Of cours-se not.” Came a soft, hissing voice from a coiled shape in one dark shadow. “As long as you give me mice to eat, you will always-s be Lylith to me.”
“I agree with the snake.” Came a warm yawn from another chair where stretched a tabby cat.
“Well, I appreciate your loyalty, Nikkiki. Even if it is based on being a source of food for you.” Lylith sighed again and stared out at the green meadows and the thick forest in the distance. A longing that she had not felt for years began to ache inside her heart. It was a need that was silent, deep and which seemed to go down to her very bones.
Something out there nagged at her as she watched the clouds drift slowly across the sky. As the animals left each spring to couple, she had felt the longing to go out with them and experience life before it had slipped by her, but as she stood in front of the window with the cool morning breeze whispering in her long, red hair and playing around the filmy matter that wrapped about her like a dress, she felt a pang of need stronger than any she had felt before. A need to do something before it was too late. Something important, perhaps something that could not wait. But what? She wondered.
As she stared into the distance in a trance-like state, she felt the urge to go west. She had rarely gone very far from the tower in her life. She had never gone west. She did not know what lay in that direction. The fear and thrill of discovery began to grow in her. Her natural curiosity stirred and expanded in her heart until it felt light and ached. She felt as if this urge would lift her off her feet and pull her through the air like a feather on the wind. She almost let it; and then her eyes fell to the forests again. To see the lands of Jorthus and see all the wonders that she had only read about had long been on her mind. This was her chance. It was time to leave again.
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