Here is Chapter 1!
Crîsta Cót dën jei Dahrexi Allieu
(Crystal Court of the Rider’s Alliance)
Two Teran Empire soldiers escorted a young teenager into the Hall of Riders, where a council sat with their companions beside them. In the center of the room were infant beasts of various types, circling around anxiously. The soldiers stopped the teenager six feet from the beasts. A Red River Elf sat there along with other races within the New Teran Alliance. The Red River Elf spoke to the female teenager “You know you were picked on this day?” She nodded silently. “Pick your companion, but choose wisely,” cautioned the Elf.
The teen walked farther into the chamber to view the beasts. A fox puppy with big ears did its best innocent look as a flaming red fledgling knocked the fox away. A lizard with a small feather crest crowded in as the teenager walked between them. A fledgling bird that was a mixture of an eagle and a dragon caught her attention. The girl walked over to it as it saw her. She bent down to touch its head, and it touched her hand. A glowing orange aura flew up her arm and around her body as an orange aura glowed on the palm of her right-hand. She flipped it up to look at the new mark on her palm that fused to the magical crest. Usually a magical crest is formed when a person first uses magic. This crest is usually on the hand that the person uses magic the most. “You are now a Rider, and this Khathr’rahni is now your Companion.” The Elf said but seemed to disappear from view as darkness took the chamber.
Six years later. . .
I woke up with a small start and remembered that I was sleeping against my Khathr’rahni, a fully grown half eagle-half dragon, who assured me that everything was all right. I named him Ruby, an easy name, but also easy to remember. Outside my house that was between branches of a Yán tree, the wind was kicking up, making the heavy canvas breath like a being.
“There is a storm coming, a long storm until the morning break.” Ruby said in my mind like a sentinel. “Yes, I can feel it coming, like an avalanche.” I replied back relaxing against his feathered side. He turned his head to gaze at me with a large deep red eye that held patience and wisdom, but at the same time held fires that burn deep from within.
A large feathered wing covered me in more darkness, but safety and reassuring of protection. I fell asleep instantly just as the first rumble of thunder clashed in the sky, followed by the bright fire of the gods (and goddesses).
In the morning I woke up still under his wing. I rubbed under his wing to let him know that I’m up. He moved it away as I stood up to greet the morning rays of the sun. The air was rather chilly, but not enough to shiver. I went to my wash closet and took a warm bath that left me refreshed for the day ahead.
I put on a white shirt along with another shirt that was blue and a leather vest, a belt and leather jeans, along with my sword. I unhooked the ceiling panel that was wide enough for Ruby to take off from our room. I put a saddle on his back making sure it was secure and then we were off! I’m at the Yán Forest of Cra’van Island a long distance away from my true home in the Teran Empire. We flew up high above the thick, towering trees of the Yán.
Many other Riders were taking off as well; Dragons, Phoenixes, Blie’narui, other Kathr’rahni, and several enormous Cathra’hulr. On the forest floor, I can hear Drexai’ai and Orai’dhu run through the brushes, scaring up birds. We made our way toward the City of Ioviek, that is about twenty some miles from the Córl dën jei Kyurû. I must say, it is just beautiful. Ioviek disappears into the very trees it is built in. I can see the Rnàr Vivnér (Red River) in the distance as well.
Its nontoxic, deep red waters snake through the Yán Forest. Soon, one by one, our steeds dove toward the ground in a pack, putting their wings back like eagles dive-bombing fish. At the last second they threw up their wings to soften the landing. We are in the heart of Ioviek, a large out of place quarry with crystals growing out of the ground. Indeed this is the place of learning for new Riders; The Crîsta Cót dën jei Dahrexi Allieu, The Crystal Court of the Rider’s Alliance. Running Companions slowed to a trot as they entered the large iron gates. Their Riders got off of them walking slowly on the emerald floor. I got off also as Ruby crouched down folding his feather-on-dragon wings.
My boots thud on the emerald ground. This is the place where we go every day except on weekends and holidays from Early Morning Sun to the Lazy Evening. We walk up to the enormous front door calling it in Teran ‘Jei Enûr dór lahr hean.’, ‘The Enormous Door of Hell.” When the youngest ones asked what that meant, we told them rather amused that they don’t know their Teran, and they nearly fainted (to our amusement).
Rën Valor, another Rider, showed off by opening the door with a phrase “Pnén jei dór dën jei Crîsta!” Open, the door of the Crystal! It opened groaning with age as the enormous multicolored crystal door opened to reveal a massive interior. We entered, so did our Companions as the door closed with a clang! We followed the long deep green, red, and sundown orange hallway with massive pillars holding up the ceiling of the Gods. Far above us the ceiling was like the large window of a temple. The sun was shining through it making a variety of colors on the floor.
We came to another door that was just as enormous as the front door. It opened automatically for us as we walked toward the Crystal Court center. The room was just as enormous as the rest of the building with pure crystal pillars and sloping stadium like sides that had carved seats. Huge carved ‘caves’ were up above us allowing our Companions to sit or lay down during the session. Once we got ourselves seated while the others came at later times and soon the Crystal Court was nearly filled with Riders and their different Companions. Finally the doors opened and closed as a tall robed man entered the room. He had a Ruu on his shoulder, a small immortal creature that has a head and body of a rabbit with long ears. The man flipped back his hood showing a face that had the traits of a Rider Lord.
All of the Riders fell silent at once. Our teacher began “Young Riders all around the New Teran Alliance -welcome to the Crystal Court of the Rider’s Alliance!” He exclaimed this in a booming voice, raising his arms up to emphasize.
Many Riders’ applauded and then soon fell silent. “Thank you for the applause, but it was hardly necessary for I can’t help myself.” He explained in a mocked embarrassed voice, which grew chuckles from the crowd then all fell silent with excitement. “For those, who know me and those who don’t, I’m Yiochâut Thiût, your teacher and guide to Gallant Knighthood a level that is hard to reach. Many won’t be able to reach it.” He continued, “You will at least reach Apprentice Rider level, which isn’t bad if I say so myself. Now we began! Stâut Ghî!” The room got nearly pitch black in the same instant, millions of stars shot into the room reflecting off the crystals themselves. “Now tell me, which star is Rhërvên, the star of Teran Guide on the seas?” Yiochâut asked us walking in the dim light.
A young voice from across the room from us said, “The bright one near Lhûryè, the Guide star of the Yninor Plains!” The teacher turned in the dim light to step a few paces forward then stopping, he said, “Good, Good! Now tell me where is the Rnàr Fraiy dën Anûre?” The teacher continued his pacing; we sat in silence trying to find this star.
Dnâr, a dragon, answered the question. “The one next to Fìr dën Illûm and right beside Hvún Dardàna.”This time Yiochâut clapped three times then said “Very Good! Now for the last star, where it is, this one is a tough one for it won’t last in the heavens much longer; it is called Ehràur.”This time the silence seemed to last for hours before I inhaled a bunch of air and taking a wild guess. “Is it next to Yienior and Mionûr?”I asked feeling quite foolish and very nervous despite my Rider training of self-regulation and control.
“You are close, Rain, very close indeed! You were just two stars away! They are Ghîtau and Frìdórn.”He continued with an amused voice, “That is the closest that any Four Star Knight has guessed. The reason I asked for those stars is because they are important! You need to navigate by them!”
“Let’s start on magic now. “Ghî Khûm!” The room got steadily brighter, paining our eyes, making them water. “Now let’s go into the hallway, where there is plenty of room for you and your companions,” he said; leading us out of the Crystal Court and into the massive hallway.
The Ruu spoke this time in a squeaky voice “Now join up with someone as partners and practice your defensive spells! Make sure you use the right words and pronunciation!”
We all paired up with our Companions behind us to lend some support. My partner was Hrîn Vèlr, whom I respected very much. He was a Binary Star Knight, two full levels below me, but was strong in defensive spells. I started out with a clever spell, choosing my words carefully I said “Fìr Aslr!” Fire Blast! I extended my right hand out as my Fûrai Gheai (Flaming Palm) - glowed red with orange. A fireball collected near Hrîn, but he was quicker as expected “Skûl ea lahr jei Fìr Aslr!” Shield me from the fire blast! Just as he said those words, it exploded sending a shimmering shockwave across the massive hall.
His shield held quite strongly as I predicted earlier. Once the magic dissipated, it was his turn to fire off a spell. He grinned at me; I thought to myself, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” “Teg Lrîn Uach!” I instantly said back “Skûl ea lahr jei pneill!”Shield me from the spell. The shield came up like a flickering half-sphere of transparent energy.
His spell clashed with the defensive spell breaking it with a bang! I was tossed six feet back landing on my butt! I got up quickly with a counter spell in mind “Vrioch joea gliovah nio Òra!” Turn his legs into water! My right palm glowed like a Sèin Gheai (Shining Palm). A sphere of water formed around my Magical Crest and shot forward toward Hrîn. With a rueful grin he countered “Skûl ea lahr jei Òra Pneur!” Shield me from the Water Jinx! My jinx broke through the shield spell swallowing him in light and water as it swirled around his body; then fusing into his torso making it clear, blue water. In an instant, Hrîn collapsed on the crystal floor unable to get up.
“That little Yán Rat caught me by surprise!” I thought to myself. Hrîn said the spell in a liquid voice. “Teg Lrîn Uach!” Get her back! A watery blast shot from his left hand hitting me hard in the stomach, making me spin wildly then collapsing on the floor like him.
“Okay, we both lose for now!” I said reaching out an arm, which he had to scoot some feet to shake it eagerly. “Oh come now! You can play in the dirt sometime later! Vrioch teiwl Uach!” Turn them back! The Ruu squeaked shrilly as our legs turned back solid which was a painful process. We both got up to our feet. The other Riders were firing off spells back and forth. The sun-filled hallway was echoing with bangs and yells. Some ganged up on each other and I spotted the notorious ‘Fire Stars’ a small gang of six ganged up on a Single Star Knight. “Oh, dear I have a bad feeling about this.” Commented the Ruu seeing the action, but watched with readiness to pounce in the action. “With your permission I would like to help the Single Star Knight.” I asked him over the din. He nodded with approval and I took Hrîn with me for defensive purposes.
The Single Star Knight was holding his own, but barely. I aimed for the three of the six Fire Stars that had their backs turned to me. My palm glowing, I yelled, “Vrioch tewl gliovah nio Òra!” Turn their legs into water! In an instant, they yelled in surprise as they collapsed on the floor with a thud! Hrîn’s hand glowed as he yelled out “Etarhuaqû!” Earthquake! He punched the floor and a clear shockwave extended from the center. When it reached the other members they were thrown high into the air landing softly due to an unspoken spell. They forgot about the Single Star Knight and came after us with a glint in their eyes “You picked a fight with the wrong Knight!” The center member said loudly walking like he owned the place.
I didn’t say anything as my magical crests glowed. I surprised them all by saying “Òlr mònàn Emidôr Dâdelvâwr!” I summon Demigod Tidal Wave! There was a bright light that made everyone dive to the ground. A huge tidal wave came from behind me and crashed into the gang, sweeping all of them into the foaming waters. With a flip of my right wrist the water formed into a huge foamy, dripping sphere held up by magic. Thin magical filaments danced around my hands as I kept it in the air. A gang member nearest to the curved wall of the sphere heaved his arm out.
His unspoken spell forced me to drop it causing a huge splash, soaking everyone. The same member threw up his right arm and I was lifted off my feet. I couldn’t think due to heavy clouds in my mind. I noticed my air ways were contracting. Hrîn yelled “Ehrà joea pneill!” Break his spell! There was a bang and I was let loose, falling like a rag doll.
I coughed for air struggling to get up. The members advanced toward me with an angry glint on their faces. Ruby put himself between me and the gang members. Their Companions stepped in to protect them from Ruby. “That is enough already!” Ruby boomed into our minds with great authority. I managed to get up with a helping hand from Hrîn. Yiochâut declared a break.
One of the gang members Companion, an Orai’dhu, came over to me nosing me softly in the back. A gentle, shy, female voice asked, “Are you okay, little one?” I turned around rubbing her soft nose. “Yes, I’m fine but, just a little shaken, but fine.”
“I’m Yarlen. What is your Eagle-dragon’s name?” asked Yarlen, with a soft expression on her face. I smiled thinking of the name that he tolerated. “Ruby,” I said to Yarlen, who had a twinkle in her black eyes.
Yiochâut’s Ruu flew over to us landing on my shoulder. He looked at me with curiosity in his eyes. Then he spoke, “Young Knight, you will find your fate in the Tomb of the Protectors in the Ruins of the Servator Empire Castle in Kiin in the Iion Forest. Once your find your purpose there, then go to the Heart of the Yán Forest. There you will find the Beacon of Light, a piece of the Lost Protectors. Finally go to the Deep South in the Heart of the Moon Elves’ Realm. In a huge glacier, you will find your weapon of choice. This weapon shall help you defeat the Lord Shadows, and the Red Star.” With that he flew off before I could ask what he meant.
Yarlen nuzzled me with her nose “That was interesting, it is rare for a Ruu to give out that kind of information to a young Four Star Knight,” she said. Ruby looked at me with a piercing gaze. “That information is not to be ignored; we must look into it as soon as possible.” Ruby commented. Yarlen joined her Rider some yards away.
Yiochâut called for attention and class was to begin again. Yiochâut instructed us to get partners again. We were to practice our swordsmanship. After that he called for a lunch break. We munched from our packs. Lastly we went outside to practice our riding skills, while Yiochâut flew with us on his own red Dragon, named Rhôǹwhêir. I think the name of Yiochâut’s Companion is not Teran, but is Rhö’larga, the language of the old Servator Empire.
This practice involved the Companion runners as well as our flying steeds. We safely dueled in the air. “I said carefully! You’ll be lucky not to lose a finger!” cried out Yiochâut, who was worried as we dived-bombed, each other; the Dragons, and Phoenixes exhaled fire on each other.
We dueled with magic as well. If we fell off our steed, the Staem tewl fhiwl Slow them down spell would slow our fall. Using my outstretched finger to focus my aim; I followed another Knight, who was about my level. “Ghî Ghea!” Light Ball! A small ball of light formed between my index finger and thumb; using my middle finger and thumb I flicked it at him. The Rider batted it away with a lazy flick of his right hand. The ball of light blinded him temporary.
Ruby knew what I wanted; he shifted his wings so he could go to my left. I swung out my sword, and the Rider blocked it, but he was knocked out of his saddle. Just as expected, he fell slowly toward the ground. His Dragon caught him lazily and the Rider shook his fist at me. I grinned, firing another spell “Fìr Tawther!” Fire Thrower! My Fûrai Gheai glowed in flames. A torrent of flames shot forth from my palm. He moved the flames aside easily. He yelled back, amused, “Nice try, Rain!”
As the flames started to disappear behind him, I know a spell from Rhö’larga, which was “Flŵr Drëhron!” Fire Dragon! Instantly, the flames revived into a huge molten dragon that chased the other Four-Star Knight. Yiochâut killed it with his own magic “Òra pleinsr!” Water Replenishes! A huge fountain of water steamed my conjured dragon! Yiochâut was probably wondering where I got that.
Yiochâut angrily ordered me to land. He landed his Dragon next to Ruby, and slide off with a huff. “Where the Stars did you get that?!” he asked outraged. I didn’t show any real emotion. “A friend in Sarvataii taught me that,” I replied sharply. Yiochâut demanded “Who?!” I gulped down some spit before answering, “Kenya, Jei dàrreich.” Kenya, the dark leech, Yiochâut was flabbergasted.
An hour later the other Riders were all on the ground. Yiochâut wanted me to explain where I got that piece of magic. “I was taking a trip out of the Teran Empire to the Servator Union. I wanted to see my friend, Kenya, who is cursed with the dark leech. He was cursed with it when he hunted down and killed the Dark Prince of the Iion Forest. On his last breath, the Dark Prince cursed Kenya with the Dark Leech, a parasite that infects a magic user.” Another Rider asked Yiochâut directly, “Do you know Rhö’larga?” Yiochâut answered, surprised, “Yes, yes, I do! I know just in case I have to go through the Servator Union. Why?”
The Rider shrugged. Judging from the sun’s position in the sky, it was time for us to leave, as others were starting to do. After getting on Ruby’s saddle we took off toward the Yán Forest. I noticed that Ruby’s wing strokes were slower than usual. He was tired from the intense day. It took us longer to get back. We landed in our tree house that served as our home in Yán Forest. I closed the top of the tree house, securing it safely.
“Rain, we should do as Yiochâut’s Ruu told you to do,” Ruby said, following my movements with his head as I put my sword away and threw myself on my bed.
I looked at Ruby thinking “We should do it sometime soon, but first we need to practice our skill some more if we are to visit the castle ruins of the Servator Empire and the Protectors Tomb, if it does exist.” Ruby didn’t take long to answer “We also should be cautious and wise, Young Knight!” I looked at Ruby smiling ruefully, meaning he is always right. It is impossible to argue with him. He tucked in his wings and curled his neck back so his head was beneath his feathers and scales. I sighed and gazed into the abyss of the mind until I went to sleep a dreamless sleep.