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    dots Submission Name: Riaden Warriordots

    Author: CourtneyLynne
    ASL Info:    23/female/Washington
    Elite Ratio:    5.37 - 74/70/56
    Words: 3978
    Class/Type: Story/Misc
    Total Views: 1126
    Average Vote:    4.5000
    Bytes: 23307

       The beginning of a story i have been working on, it seems alright so far... and those damn symbols where the apostrophes are supposed to be are going to be the death of me.

    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsRiaden Warriordots

    Rough fabric grazed harshly over the young Riaden girl's skin as she woke, the bright summertime sunlight filtering through the distant foliage above and hitting her retinas with merciless insistence. She shut her eyes, groaning loudly. With a sigh and a loud thump she swung off her hammock in one fluid movement. From her sitting position on the dry mossy ground she could see the woodlands she called her home stirring to life. Various small creatures scuffled unseen under bushes and among the foliage high above, in the old oaks that surrounded her home.

    She glanced up at her Hold; an intricate and carefully designed tree house that seemed almost like the tree had grown that way. She beamed lightly at her handiwork and rose smoothly to her feet. She took a deep breath, inhaling the comforting scents of the forest. Her clan mates would rise as well, very soon. Dania was always the first one awake.

    Dania dusted her simple pastel blue tunic off and tossed her knee length hair, checking her appearance in a nearby spring. Her intense blue eyes stared back at her, glimmering cheerfully. Her soft oaken brown hair, which she had never allowed to be Sheared, shimmered around her in the sunlight. Even her smooth peach skin had a lovely youthful glow, one that reflected in the small diamond embedded in her forehead. The only mark on her face was a tiny star shaped black birthmark on her upper lip. Beautiful as always, yet she was not the loveliest in her clan. Rather she was more like the ugly duckling of the group. All of the Riadens were exceptionally beautiful; only a choice few knew that Dania was only half Riaden, the other half human. While she was twice as beautiful as any human, she was only half as beautiful as any Riaden.

    Yet she had one thing few Riaden had the chance to enjoy; as the chieftain's daughter, she had escaped participating in the Shearing, a ceremony every few years where every Riaden's hair was cut very short so as to channel the WhiteGlow better. The WhiteGlow was a form of magic- one of three- that the Riaden people specialized in, giving them the ability to speak any language and create works of art from any gem, as well as a special Talent that was unique to each member. The Riaden valued their gemstones more than any other race; for they said that each gemstone had its own language, its own song. Dania preferred the lucid crisp melody of the crystals and the bright cheerful trill of the diamonds that littered the floors around her house; each Riaden had a supply of whichever gemstone they preferred, for the clan had more than enough gemstones of every kind to last hundreds of thousands of years.

    Dania's finger trailed in the water before her as she crouched, unaware of the being stealing up behind her. Yet the plants along the water's edge warned her at the last moment, and she ducked out of the way as a bright yellow blur tumbled past her right into the water. Dania laughed heartily, turning a bright and unabashed grin upon the sopping fair-haired youth who stood glaring at her knee deep in the spring water.

    "Hello Ayden. You should know better than to try to sneak up on me." Dania's voice rang out clearly and articulately, each word enunciated distinctly. Ayden glowered and dissolved into smoke, the water that had clung to his semi-short blonde hair and tan skin falling like rain to the spring below. He materialized beside her, straightening his bright sunshine yellow tunic, now completely dry. Dania smiled sweetly, a twinkle glimmering in her cerulean eyes.

    "Good Morn, Dania. You envy my Talent, I can see it." He teased good naturedly, his bright silver eyes narrowing playfully. He brushed a strand of hair from his eyes, the ruby set into his eyebrow glittering brightly. He flicked a single red flame from hand to hand, smirking. Dania snorted and dipped a hand in the water, lifting a luminescent watery orb. She shaped it into the form of a bird with her hands, a perfect replica. With a soft kiss from Dania, it fluttered to life and took off through the air, flying for a good few moments before shattering into a thousand droplets. She continued to lift and swirl water through her fingers like a silken ribbon, grinning at the look on his face.
    "You envy my Talent, I can see it." Dania mocked him, chuckling. Ayden scoffed and rolled his eyes but couldn't help but let a small laugh escape his perfectly shaped mouth. Both of them turned to listen to the south as the sound of a bell rang out, a single note.

    "The Crystal Bell. Race?" Ayden queried simply, and dissolved into smoke. Dania sighed and with a splash, became a cloud of mist hovering in the air. They flew side by side, the landscape becoming a blur around them. Both dipped down into Emerald Valley, heading for the bright glowing bell made of pure flawless crystal sitting in the center. Around the bell the ground was carpeted with emeralds of all shapes and sizes in a large circle.

    A large crowd had gathered; the Riaden chieftain Madagorn had called a meeting. Ayden touched down first, materializing as his feet hit the ground. They were slightly late, and Madagorn had already begun to speak. Dania looked up at her father with emotionless eyes, standing beside Ayden instead of by Madagorn's side like she was supposed to. He halted in mid-sentence and glowered at the two of them.

    "You two are late- yet again." He rumbled, his voice like rocks grating together. Dania couldn't help but shrink away from her father's imposing ebony eyes. He sighed and continued to speak, starting where he left off.

    "The Red Ones are advancing heavily on the East side, but our reinforcements are holding. We will be sending a small battalion over to the front lines to refresh the warriors there, so able bodied men over 50 season cycles please head to the city center tomorrow afternoon for preparation for departure." There were several audible moans from some of the younger men, and a chuckle arose from all. No Riaden was overly concerned about battle; most all Riaden people healed extremely quickly and lived longer than any human. Dania herself did not heal as fast as some and would only live to be around 300 years; there were some Riadens that were still living after 500 years and were still spry enough to participate in each of the Change of Season festivals.

    "Also, the next Change of Season festival is coming up soon-"Madagorn continued, but was cut off by a loud cheer from the Riaden people. "-we shall need to start on the preparations for that soon, for we have until the next full moon." He finished, and instantly muttering among almost all of the women started up. The full moon was only about twenty sunrises away. Practically everyone who wasn't headed for battle with the Red Ones would participate in the preparations for the Fall Change Festival. Except the younger ones, like Dania and Ayden, whom would be sent back to school for training in certain fields, depending on their talent and range of magical skills.

    That was one part of her Riaden side that Dania had inherited fully; she was the most powerful sorceress in the youth division, and had already won an honored place among the clan for her beautiful work with gemstones, beyond her status as the chieftain's daughter. In fact, no Riaden had ever had as much power at her age as she did.
    Madagorn nodded twice, distinctly, and the Riaden flew off in all directions. Some literally flew, changing into birds or wind itself or becoming dust which rode the winds. Some walked or ran along the ground, changing into various beasts or moving at unusually fast speeds. Each Riaden had a different Talent, and therefore a different mode of getting from place to place. Dania paused for a moment to watch them all depart before dissolving herself into a mist.

    "Hold on, Dania, I would like to speak with you." Madagorn's voice grated over Dania's skin as she rose through the air. She halted and rematerialized, her expression respectful and demure. With a single fluid glance she caught the dangerous glitter in her father's eyes.

    "Yes, father?" She queried meekly. Madagorn's shadow loomed closer to her own, and a sigh passed over her ears with the roughness of sandpaper. A terrible sense of dread settled like a sticky, putrid film over her mood. She avoided her father's gaze, knowing the inevitable glare that would be dancing in those dark eyes.

    "I have spoken with Egrel, whom you know of, to the South." He growled, an odd tone to his voice. Dania whipped her head up and stared directly into his rough but handsome visage, her eyes wide and her mouth dropped open.

    "Why have you spoken with King Egrel, father? I thought we were not on speaking terms with the human kingdom?" Fear and dread deepened inside her like a grisly weed, taking root in her heart. She knew where this was leading.

    "We are to form an alliance with Egrel and his people against our common enemy, the Red Ones." He said, and laid a hand on his daughter's shoulder.

    "But they are humans!" Dania blurted, slapping his hand away and taking a step back. Madagorn growled and turned his head to the side for a moment, an exasperated look on his face.
    "You might have forgotten, my child, you are half human yourself. You shall go to Edia and marry Egrel's son, Aimon." He snapped, folding his arms over his chest. Dania's eyes shut and she flinched as though she had been slapped, taking another step back. For a moment she remained silent, letting her father's words sink in.

    "Do I have any choice in the matter?" Dania said finally, staring up at Madagorn with a pleading look in her bright blue eyes. Madagorn sighed and lowered his head, nudging a sharp-edged emerald that had rolled away from the circle with his foot.

    "There is not. If we are to defeat the Red Ones then we need all the support we can get, and Egrel's civilians are a strong people. We need their strength, therefore you must be sacrificed." Madagorn lifted his head and nodded twice, his dismissal short and sudden.

    "Pack, child." He barked as Dania dissolved into the air. Dania's twisted sneer was lost as she dissolved into the air. She sped for Ayden's Hold, about half a mile west of her own. As she swooped into view, as always she was half stunned by the beauty of Ayden's home. He had worked hard for a year, twice as long as any Riaden in the Youth Division, to fashion his first Hold. Carved from a large stone, it was like a woven nest made of pure silvery granite. Streaks of ruby fashioned to look like flames rose up the sides, and large chunks of Obsidian littered the ground around the door worked into the side of the Hold. She lit onto the ground, straightening her tunic and combing through her hair with her fingers. She ducked her head inside, trilling a quick birdcall- their signal. Dania chuckled softly as a flame burst to life in the small grated fireplace to her left. She sat in the doorway and watched as Ayden formed a flaming ball and made it dance out of the fireplace. She lifted a hand and tossed a small blast of water at him, giggling. There was a fizzle and he formed back into his Riaden form, heating his wet tousled hair to dry it.

    "That wasn't nice." He grumbled, trying not to smile. Dania snorted and rose from her sitting position in the doorway, uttering the phrase always said before entering another Riaden's hold.
    "The Darkest Eye is not with I." Dania cocked her head to the side.

    "Beloved be and enter thee." Ayden said, rolling his eyes. He despised the clan's superstitious traditions, just as much as Dania did, but Dania loved to annoy him with them. She pranced in and flopped into an oak chair stacked with pillows, tracing the diamonds inlaid into the arms of the chair like she always did.
    "What did Madagorn want?" Ayden asked, flopping cross-legged in front of her, disregarding the chair right behind him. Dania sighed and rubbed her eyes, attempting to soothe the pain that was rising up behind them.

    "He has arranged a marriage between King Egrel's son and me." She said after a moment, looking down at Ayden with a miserable look on her face. The shock and horror on his face was too much to handle; tears jumped into her eyes, and her vision blurred. Ayden stood and leaned to wrap his arms around her, his form radiating sympathy. Dania buried her head into his shoulder with tears flowing freely from her eyes now. For a while that was how they stayed, Ayden sitting on the arm of the chair with his arms around her, his head resting on hers. After several long moments he moved and Dania looked up at him, a despondent frown on her face.

    "I don't know what to do, Ayden..." she muttered, slumping in the chair with a world weary sigh. Ayden smiled and put a finger under her chin, tilting her head up so she would look into his eyes.
    "You need to run. Run far enough that not even the Riaden will find you." He whispered, grinning brightly. Dania laughed wryly, punching Ayden softly in the arm.

    "You know there is no such place." She retorted, punching him lightly on the arm. Dania smiled and laid her head on his knee
    "We will find a place, then." He replied, suddenly becoming serious. He brushed a stray hair from her eye, a surprisingly tender look in his eyes. Dania lifted her head and stared up at Ayden curiously.

    "...We?" she queried softly. Ayden grinned, his eyes glittering.

    "You don't think I would let you go gallivanting off on some adventure without me, did you?" He replied, jumping off the chair and whirling around the room, tossing random things into a knapsack. Dania smiled, pushing away the fluttery feeling in the gut of her stomach at the weird way Ayden had gazed at her such a short moment ago. She stood and headed for the door.

    "Meet me at my Hold in half an hour and we will flee." Dania said, and, after a short nod from Ayden, took to the sky in a cloud of mist. She sped for her Hold, quietly assessing the situation as she flew. Questions and plans formulated in a dizzying flood in her mind; how would they escape the valley? Where would they go? How would they pay for rooms and food, if they ventured into human lands? She continued to plan as she walked into her Hold, preoccupied by her thoughts.

    She glanced up and let out a startled shriek; before her stood her stepmother, the lady Acqueline. Lady Acqueline was the most beautiful and powerful Riaden that lived in their clan; the only Riaden who had ever come close to equaling her in beauty was her sister, who most Riaden said was murdered by Acqueline herself. Her power was even more dangerous; Acqueline could emulate any Riaden's Talent that she got close to. Her own Talent, though, was the harnessing of light and energy. She hadn't acquired the ability to emulate other Talents until she had turned forty five years.

    "I have come to collect you, young Dania. Hurry with your packing and we shall go." Her sweet melodious voice had a certain twang to it that Dania had grown to despise. For twenty-five season cycles, ever since she was five cycles old, Dania had been living under this woman's thumb; she was eager to escape her. Dania folded her hands over her chest, a mockingly disapproving look on her face.

    "I did not bless your presence in my Hold; you may have brought the Darkest Eye in with you." Dania said contemptuously. Acqueline snorted and sat on a dark Maplewood stood inlaid with rubies, a treasured gift from Ayden.

    "Despite my best attempts to school you about our noble traditions, you are still quite naive. The Darkest Eye cannot see one of High Rank, such as your father or myself, and the heads of Council. We are protected by the light of the WhiteGlow." She lectured breezily, her graceful hands fluttering down to fold upon her lap. Dania drooped her eyes and sighed dramatically.

    Without a word she traipsed up the stairs she had so carefully wrought with her own magic and headed for her small room where she kept her travel supplies. There was a small but comfortable bed and a little granite sink in that room, for when the cold seasons came she packed up her hammock and slept inside. In the summertime, she spent as much time as possible outside with nature. She paused in the doorway, taking in the sight of her room. One way or the other, she would not see this room for a long time, if at all. A single tear dropped from her eye and made a glistening trail down her cheek as she packed.

    Dania shook her head and gathered the few small things she would need and tossed it all on the bed, tossing in a hefty handful of gemstones to the pile. She then grabbed a bag from her closet, and with one sweep she shoved it all into the bag and tied the top shut. With that she left the room, never once glancing back. She went down into the kitchen nook where Acqueline stood, looking mildly impatient. She glanced at Dania's bag, which was looking rather heavy. She removed it from Dania's grasp, and without a word placed both hands on the parcel and concentrated. There was a brief flash of white light, almost blinding, and she handed it back.

    "It shall be much lighter now." Acqueline said, and Dania grinned wolfishly, suppressing a chuckle. Acqueline couldn't be making this much easier for Dania. Now she only had to figure out how to escape. She took the bag, hung it over her shoulder, and took a step for the door. Acqueline rose and smiled at Dania.

    “Are you ready, Dania? Let’s get going.” Acqueline trilled, dusting off her elegant white gown with pearls sewn along the hem. Dania nodded and opened the door, taking a step out. Acqueline was close behind, too close. She would have Dania’s Talent and prevent her from leaving. She glanced up and saw a wisp of smoke hovering in the air about a mile up, and smiled. Ayden would be very helpful.

    “Acqueline?” Dania turned and fixed the most heart melting gaze upon the lovely Riaden woman’s visage. Acqueline gave her a short nod, huffing delicately with impatience.

    “Yes, child?” She prompted after a moment of silence. In her focus on Dania she did not seem to notice the wisp of smoke flitting just above their heads.

    “I’m not sure I am very comfortable with this situation.” Dania’s tone practically dripped with remorse. She put on an innocent frown and fiddled with the skirt of her tunic. Acqueline sighed and put a hand on Dania’s shoulder.

    “It is unfortunate, but the situation cannot be helped. You must do as your father says.” She said, her tone that of only kindness.

    At that moment, Ayden struck. He dove down and became a circle of flames around Acqueline’s feet, catching her off her guard. Her dress caught fire before she could retaliate, and she let out a short shriek of surprise and rage.

    Dania took advantage of the distraction and leapt into the air, out of Acqueline’s range. She would have to use her own power or Ayden’s to escape. She watched from the air, chuckling softly. Her chuckle was caught short as a flash of light enveloped them both, and Ayden materialized before Acqueline before slumping at her feet. Dania gasped and rematerialized just outside Acqueline’s range, her eyes wide.

    “Foolish girl. I am stronger than any single Riaden, especially a delinquent like Ayden,” Acqueline’s voice had rose quite a few decibels, and seemed to echo all around the clearing. “Do you truly think you can escape from me?”

    “I can try.” Dania’s face darkened, her bright eyes glittering with determination and, more potently, desperation. With a roar Dania leapt into the sky, her roar becoming the crashing of a wave plummeting down onto Acqueline. Her watery hands swept Ayden up and she was a dark storm cloud, carrying Ayden upon her back. She darted away, trying to get out of range before her stepmother could retaliate. A wild shriek of rage resonated from behind her, and the trees shook in reply, their piteous whispers echoing in Dania’s ears. They urged her, egged her on; the plants had always favored Dania, who took the time to share words with them frequently.

    A flash of light blinded Dania, and an iron vise clamped around her resolve. Her strength failed her, and she felt her form fading. Acqueline was draining her energy; she hadn’t gotten out of range fast enough. She felt Ayden stir, and a glimmer of hope flickered in her fluttering mind.

    “Ayden, run, get away while you can. I will find you.” She looked in his eyes, half formed, finding herself wrapped around him, holding him up. Another moment or two and she would form completely and they would both drop. Ayden nodded, blinking a couple times. She could tell he was as hazy as she. Fear and despair glimmered in his eyes, echoed like a mirror in hers. While he regained strength, she lost hers. Dania felt the ghost of one diamond bright tear falling down her face, and moved to let go. Ayden grabbed her chin and lifted her now formed face, giving her an earnest look and smiling.

    “I will rescue you, Dania.” He whispered into her half conscious ear. A millisecond later, she was wrenched from his arms and falling to Acqueline’s, Dania’s eyes wide with shock. He darted out range while Acqueline was distracted catching her stepdaughter’s form, and changed to smoke and sped toward a small hillock several miles away, a moment’s flight for an elemental Talent. He lit down and grabbed his pack, only remaining a second to regain his composure. Tears formed in his smoky eyes, and he couldn’t help but gasp, touching his wet cheek curiously. He, the one with fire for a Talent, forming tears! He had never actually cried. Sure, he’d been sad, and even sobbed, but his insides were literally too hot to create moisture…or so he’d thought.

    An even more unusual thought struck him, and he lit into the air, heading south, his handsome visage fixed in a troubled frown. Ahead of him loomed a dark and formidable mountain range, the Rhás-Beötn Mountains, as dark and formidable as his path to rescuing Dania.

    Submitted on 2008-11-13 16:26:15     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      Will you please consider commenting on my poem `Thus Time was Born`. Will be much appreciated. Joachim
    | Posted on 2008-11-25 00:00:00 | by Joachim | [ Reply to This ]
      Hi Storyteller!
    Pleased to meet you!
    Well written if I may say so for I like and dote on the not actually real life as I experience everyday mentally and is also not in reality not true `sci-fi` but epic related aeon - encounters type of dimensional escapist realities founded on `what could be out there` truths. I do not believe in fantasies for that cannot be for why can you relate to something that is impossible to exist by merely `thinking it` into existence. Only The Creator can achieve that state of elaborate creational activities thus what you write and bring to life should - could - why not - exist somewhere.
    What by the way, what do you call these mentally expansions into realms unknown by word of thought? I am not English speaking thus the query. Love your style. Reminds me of Sara Douglasss `The Wayfarer Redemption Series` of writings I encountered in the Uk. Regards. Joachim.
    | Posted on 2008-11-25 00:00:00 | by Joachim | [ Reply to This ]
      The story is very interesting, along with the creatures and their abilities. I was excited with the parts where they put their Talent into works, they sounded like wizards but you made it clear that they're not. That their Talents are not mere magics to be learned, but a part of them, being Riaden.

    I have to admit, I felt quite distracted with the formatting. I'd go for normal double quotation marks, and single quotation mark.

    You've describe things well- not overtly describing scenes or the other way- and I like your choice of words. It made me want to stay with the story as it flows, not made me wander off to Mars.

    The plot is quite good too. Not too fast, not too slow to the point I'm going to fall asleep waiting for any action to happen.

    Overall, I think the story is great.
    | Posted on 2008-11-14 00:00:00 | by PassingBy | [ Reply to This ]

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