Blackscor, The Quarter Kingdom of Elementis
The pyre was built to an enormous height, towering above any man. The flames flickered and danced in excitement as they readied to claim their next warriors.
Many fellow Partem Draconis gathered round the pyre and chanted fiercely in the heat.
A constant beat from a nearby skin drum provided the people with the rhythm to dance and sing to in the flames. Families of old and new enveloped themselves in the surrounding flames as they cheer in glee and anticipation as they wait for the ceremony to begin. Their skin glowed along with the warm light of the fire, yet no one was ever burnt.
The moon above slowly glided into position in the centre of the pyre as an ancient elder stepped forward and held her hands up high in front of the pyre. “Desino.” She shouted clearly, telling them to stop their celebration. Her hair was long and grey and fell below her hips. Her eyes glowed deep amber and they matched her cloth dress perfectly. She was bare foot and her skin the trade mark smooth olive colour. The clan of Partem Draconis fell silent immediately as she turned to face them with a warm smile on her face. “Today, my fiery friends, we welcome two new children of the fire to the family.”
A tall man named Meeko, who was in his late seventies, strode forward, parting the crowds as he went. In his hands he held a large Egg of two parts. The egg itself was a deep scarlet and covered in scaly stone. It was no normal egg. In one half, lay a baby girl, just waiting to be born. And in the other a Dragon rests, dormant until released into the flames of Blackscor. Behind the old man stood a young couple, they both had snow white skin and dark hair. The man’s eyes were electric blue and the woman’s earthy green.
The ancient elder held open her arms welcomingly. “Luka and Ember Skarlati, come join me in the fire.” She smiled enthusiastically. The young woman slipped her hand into the man’s and they strode forwards toward the pyre. “Thank you, Vaya Ignem.” Ember nodded as they took their place beside Vaya.
”Luka, take my hand.” Vaya said as she swayed along with the movement of the flames behind them. “And Ember, you take my other hand.”
The old man named Meeko that was left standing before them stepped forward. He placed the stone egg into the left palm of Ember’s hand and into the right palm of Luka’s. The couple smiled at each other as they waited for their first child to be born into the fire. Meanwhile Vaya began to hum the chant that would allow the baby to rise from the flames unharmed.
“My people of Fire, Ash and Flame, I ask you to chant with me now, the ancient song of the Partem Draconis.”
The tribe also joined hands in a protective circle around pyre and began to chant.
Pars hominum, ex parte Draco,
Aevum sese defendant,
Pactum, debet prius dracones mulieres.
Vaya closed her eyes as she beamed at the feeling of heated magic in the air. The three nodded at each other as the first chant came to an end. The circle they had formed whilst still holding the egg, danced slowly into the fire. The chanting continued as the Dragon Egg was placed in the centre of the fire. Luka and Ember also joined in with the song of the Partem Draconis, still cast in a smaller protective circle around the Egg. Once the song had been chanted four times, Vaya began to sing a new lyric.
Suddenly the flames of the fire exploded and sent spits of ash in all directions, the blaze rose and the clan begin to chant louder and faster even more excitedly.
Luka and Ember grinned at each other as the side of the egg holding their daughter began to crack open, emitting a scarlet red glow of sparkling ash into the fire.
Slowly the small baby girl emerged from the stone shell and Ember cried with relief and joy as she folded the baby girl into her chest.
The roar of the burning fire blocked out most of the words that the clan were singing but their meaning was still felt from inside the flames. All of a sudden the chanting stopped and was replaced by blood curdling screams. The pyre’s flames reduced to coals almost immediately, leaving the Dragon Egg still containing its Dragon and the new born baby exposed.
The clan of Fire People stood scattered. Aggressively surrounding the village of Blackscor stood the King of Greenkeep’s army. The head guard of the army gestured his steel sword to the remaining People of the Fire. “In the name of King Rahven, Kill them all.” He sneered.
One of the younger men of the Greenkeep army interjected. “What about the children?”
The head guard growled in annoyance. “King Rahven wants three Dragons for himself in preparation for the raid of SapphireBay. Kill anything else.”
The men of the Fire rose into a wall of protection for the women and children, sending shards of electric flames towards the men of Greenkeep.
The army of Greenkeep men surged forward slashing their swords in violent motions, leaving many dead bodies of the Fire People, scattered haphazardly around the remaining pyre. Many children and their infant Dragons lay slain along with the rest of their families.
Vaya boldly stood from the burning coals and charged towards the men with a fierce face of anger. She waved her hand in a vertical sweeping movement and burned a line of Greenkeep men to the ground, only to quickly be beheaded by a Greenkeep knight on his snowy white horse.
Ember cried out in horror but Luka clasped his hands over his wife’s mouth as he motioned for them to try to sneak away along with the other surviving people of the Fire. Ember stifled a sob as she tried to keep her newborn baby safely hidden away. Luka quickly grabbed the Dragon Egg and handed it to Ember. “What are you doing?” she whispered in a panic as she noticed the glossy look to his blue eyes. “I’m saving you.” He whispered back, kissing the baby lightly on the top of her head before charging forwards into the army of Greenkeep. “Luka!” Ember shrieked as a Greenkeep soldier with a jagged, ugly scar, sunk deep over the left side of his face and eye, ran a sword across Luka’s neck, only to me melted down into a liquid from the fiery touch of the Fire People. “Run!” Luka called before sacrificing himself to provide their distraction.