Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone

In Evernia, the planet of sinful creation, it is said that no creature is created equal. The reign of dragons has come to spread over the many lands, while the hatred for humanity and those of Drathellian blood grows. Even still, the wealthiest of monarchs have come to be humbled by the might and danger of a noxious and plague spreading cloud known as the Raxionian Bane. According to legend, only the Keeper of the Elements can restore balance to the doomed planet, he or she that is the Chosen of the Stone. Prophecy states that the era of the dragon and the hell hound shall rise together as one to lead the masses of the lost, but will it stand true when two enemies face each other after centuries of war.
The Embryonic Era left the planet in a state of barren waste, rebuilt on the backs of those know as Tyliquin witches as well as the Wyvern dragons that now rest in extinction. It is unknown whether or not the gods have condemned the planet, or if the Bane has been created by the scor


11. Chapter Ten

For many days and nights, the mingled faces of the Claw stomped across the broken terrain. Maerick had become quite fond of his new found allies. His travels of solitude now seemingly forgotten. He had become the grand protector of the group; his body provided warmth and obstacle for the young. He was a blessing from the graces of Reanon himself, and with him came joy. Pups scaled him, elders reminisced with him, and for once, Zacura had found a creature even she admired. They had come to rest at the pass of Grovawen, a desolate fork in the Ashwaey mountains. Water remained plentiful, yet food was scarce, driving Maerick to fly over large groupings of land just to gather enough to survive. That afternoon had brought hope, a large Decathum delivered by the talons of their loyal dragon. The pack had fallen to feast the large and heavily furred animal providing more than enough to fill the bellies of the many.

Zacura having gathered her fill first laid sleeping under a thinly branched tree. Her dreams came and went as they always had. They always began the same; her body brushing against her pack mates as they ran free. But with the joy of her dreams also came nightmares, those of graphic and gruesome nature. She watched as she fought countless, no others at her side. The weight of the world was upon her, and slowly the attacks of her enemies got the better of her. All the while all she could hear was a soft voice speaking.

"Do not let the air of ways suppress you, my child." She fought to wake, but her mind would not let go, not until a sharp nudge came to press upon her cheek. "Alpha, there is an elder who wishes to speak with you." It was Canavis; his blood-stained paws the first thing to grace her sight. "Bring him to me," she spoke her eyes returning to shut. "I already stand before you, Alpha." A soft tone spoke. Her head lifted as she came to face a giant old wolf. His fur was blinding white his eyes of copper staring curiously at her. "Return to your feeding, Canavis. I shall have private words with my visitor." "As you see fit, Alpha," he replied trotting off into the frenzy below.

"Do not rise, young one. There is no need. I simply come to share words of knowledge." "See them spoken with haste. I am quite tired and need my rest before our journey at moonrise." He made his way over and sat down. "Have you noticed anything different about me, Alpha? Compared to those I once followed before your claim over them. Do I seem at all familiar to you?" She gave him a once over and found voice, "The only difference I see is that you do not bear the marks of your god. You are the only one who carries imageless fur. As for any connection between us before now, I do not recall."

"And that dragon, do you have any remembrance of him?" Zacura tilted her head. She did not understand this wolf. He asked questions that he should already know the answer to. "No, I do not. Why would I? All those who draw breath know our breeds do not mingle. Though in his time here he has proven to be a friend to us." "He has, but do you trust him? Do you feel that this joining is proper?" His voice had begun to grow deeper. "I do, yet why would such a thing concern, you elder? I have seen the two of you speaking quite frequently." "I only wish to know your thoughts. I am old, and my time grows short. I only want to spend time with whomever I can," he replied. "Is there anything else you would like to know wise one?" "Yes, who is your mother?"

With a sigh, she came to answer, "I have no mother nor father. I was raised by the kindness of a nursing female of my clan. I was never told who my parents were nor what came of them. Now it is my turn to gather knowledge from you. What is your name?" "I am known as Manuke, The father of wisdom.""Well, I am pleased to meet you. I am sure wisdom will come to be quite handy in coming days." Zacura rose and stretched; her bones cracking from shoulders to toes. She moved past Manuke; her neck brushing against his in affection. Within moments her flesh began to burn a gash coming to split across her skin. She growled and stepped backward.

"What is the matter, Alpha?" "An old wound coming to open again is all. I suppose my flames did not fully heal this one." "Is there anything I can do?" He asked worriedly. "No, no. It will be fine I just need my rest and time to heal. I have not had enough hours to fully just stop and allow my body to cure itself of illness. Since the fight with your previous alpha, I have been on the move. Please leave me to sleep." She seemed highly irritated in pain, and Manuke knew exactly why. "Yes, of course. I do hope you come to a full recovery and soon." He made his way down the slope and to the others finding Maerick wrestling with a pack of pups. His neck burned as well the slight gleam of gold chaining beginning to peak through his fur. He shook his body allowing his thick neck mane to recover what it was grown to hide.

The dragon laid upon his back rolling about as the pups leaped upon him biting and clawing at his soft underbelly. Small yips and snarls surrounded them, and Manuke took a few moments to enjoy such playful behavior. Maerick roared and softly batted at them, humoring the young males of the group. Catching a glimpse of Manuke, they abandoned their play fight and made way to tackle him. Their strength was no more than that of a soft breeze, yet Manuke fell over and allowed them to cover him in licks.

"Elder Manuke, did you see! We conquered the great dragon just as Alpha would have," spoke one of the Claw. His dark fur spotted with strands of ember. "I gathered one of his scales!" spoke another, his prize falling to the ground. "I see. Very well done, young ones. Now run along and play. Soon you will need to rest. We have a very long journey ahead of us." He pushed at them with his paw and watched as they went padding away. He could not help but chuckle watching their joyful behavior.

"You always were so good with those of young years, Maerick," he began. The dragon came to roll himself to his side, his talons digging into the soil as he came to reposition himself. "Well yes, I find their open nature quite calming. They are so young. It is only right to let them enjoy what time they may have without worry. So did you speak with Zacura?" "I did." "And what came of it? Is she the one we searched for?" Manuke only nodded. "How are we going to tell her? Do you think she will even believe us?" "I have reason to believe so, it has already begun." Maerick hissed. "You mean to say—" Yes. The mark of the keeper has been transferred. She bleeds as we speak. I must wait for the proper time. It will take much convincing." Manuke interrupted.

"Why does she not remember me?" "She is the child of many fathers as prophecy states. She may have been too young to remember the kindness you gave her. Perhaps one day she will." The Drake looked about for spying eyes. "She changed my life for the better...And now I see how she has grown. Part of me would like to think I had at least something to do with that."

"You did you spared her life. If you had not done so, she would have never grown into what she is today. And with that, all would have been lost. A single act of kindness toward one weaker or more vulnerable than yourself can make significant changes in the future."

Maerick's mind traveled back to those nearly two centuries ago. Zacura, a young pup of darkened fur sleeping within his grasp. He had kept her safe while she was young and fragile. And now he had seen her kill, and watched her lead, she handled herself as he always believed she would. He felt pride in his actions from the moment he stole her. He had felt a drive of passion for protecting the hound. Even still after so many years had rolled by and she had forgotten him, his feelings still stood firm.

"You are her guardian, Maerick. The one who will lead her to her true destiny. Grow close to her and never let her go. Because once I leave this life to journey to the next, you will be the only one she will be able to fully trust. There will come a time when she will leave the shade of your protection. But as her guardian, you must follow her to wherever she may stray."

"How do you know I am her guardian? When I protected her, she was taken from me. I was seen unfit to raise that of a..." "Do not speak it," Manuke snapped. "No one can ever know who she truly is until the time comes. If anyone were to find out, they would hunt her down and slay her. Is that what you want?" Maerick rose furiously. His nostrils flared, and smoke soon began to slighter from them. "You know I do not wish such a thing! I never did. It is why I gave up my life and my pride to save her in the beginning. I would not have chosen this had you not sided against me, then she would have been mine."

Manuke stepped forth a flickering light beginning to churn upon his chest. "Calm yourself. Do not do this. Not here. You chose the life of her guardian when you interfered with her death. It is a path that once traveled upon cannot be used to return to your past. If you had kept her the way she was even then, they would have killed you both. Time has been sewn as written by the hands of our makers. Do not doubt our choices now." "I will let no ill will come to her. You know I would die for her. I would have then, and I will today if death comes searching. You have the answers to the entire universe, yet you cannot answer me when I ask what will come of us." "The prophecies state that the era of the Drake and hound shall come to rise. Together in a rain of fire and ashes shall they breed the new way of the seven life-forms. You must be patient and allow time to bring you what is promised. For now, do what you have been doing. Once we reach Crystal Springs, I will tell her of what she is and who she shall become. Until then we remain as we have, an old wolf and a dragon of solitary. I must return to the others. Keep your eyes peeled. There are yet some of the Skyline blood who wish her life."

"I will. But before you go, I must know something. It is something that has been on my mind for quite some time and grows ever still. The vision you had of...Zacura and I. Do you believe in your heart that it will come to pass?" Manuke looked over the dragon and sighed, "My visions often times are correct, a means of studying days ahead. But remember some steps must be taken before concepts are made real. If that is what your heart truly desires, you must make it happen. It will not be handed to you." "And if I give my all and still my desires are not met, what will come of my dreams then?" "Then perhaps it was not meant to be. For now, our only goal is to secure her position as a keeper. Nothing more," the wolf replied his body fading off into the trees.

Maerick held a heavy mind, the thought of Zacura one day leaving for good setting fear into his heart. He took flight allowing the wind to calm his frazzled mind. To no one's knowledge, Anjeimas had slipped away from the rest of the group. His ears catching wind of the private conversation between both the old wolf and the flying serpent. He bared his fangs as they came to depart; his eyes hidden behind the small brush surrounding them. "I must report this to Alpha." He thought.


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