The kingdom of Lymeria, positioned north, boasted the raising of livestock, raising the finest mounts, priding themselves in their training, dedication, and care. They were hardworking, situated at the base of the mountains, rolling hills surrounding them. The land was fertile, lush and green, with farmers tending their fields day after day. Their people were friendly and watchful, protective of each other and steadfastly loyal, though not the most trusting of outsiders. The scent of pines, crisp morning fog, and just a touch of wildness - that was what one could expect upon visiting.
The kingdom of Auranos, positioned south, boasted their proximity to the sea, their naval skills, boat building capabilities, skills in fishing. Rivers that flowed down from the mountains passed through the lands, merging with the sea. While fertile when able, the lands were prone to flooding, which made the growing of crops difficult. Seafood and rice made up most of their diet. The weather here was warm and humid, the sun tanning the skin of the people going out in boats, lounging on the sands, or simply enjoying life. Theirs was more leisure than hard work, and as such they were able to focus on the arts. The music and dancing practiced here were the best in the land, and every day ended in a party.
The two kingdoms, legends said, had once been entangled in a great struggle against each other. Neither were wholly prosperous, and both were insanely jealous of the other's successes. The war was much a stalemate: Lymerians would retreat into mountain caves, and Aurans would retreat on boats. Attack, retreat - an endless cycle that cost many lives. Until They showed up. Twin deities, in the forms of massive dragons, blindingly brilliant. No one alive had ever seen them in person, so accounts were sketchy and exaggerated. They had been awakened by the battles, the bloodshed, the lost souls scattered across the land. Enraged at being wakened, they destroyed everything in their paths, sending the citizens of both kingdoms into hiding.
The then-queen of Lymeria, formerly the princess until her mother had been a casualty of Melusine, had the blessing of magic bestowed upon her- it had been a dark Secret she carried since birth, hiding it for fear of being outlasted. Fear of being outcast no more, she put it to work. With this wild magic, the queen worked for three months, gathering the materials she needed, hiding her people, meditating and fasting to strengthen her power, until she was finally ready.
During this time, the Queen Ilysth of Lymeria, became close friends with the queen of Auranos, Queen Nyriad. Together, they formed a plot to capture and restrain these deities, a feat hardly fathomable for a mere mortal. By coming together in love rather than hatred, the Magic blossomed. The spell case upon the dragons shackled them, binding one to each queen, effectively putting them under their control. Such strong magic left a large imprint on both of their psyches, opening a telepathic link between each woman and "her" dragon- Melusine to Ilysth, and Ion to Nyriad. Inspired by the awe-some power displayed, and the effort combined between them, the dragons were eventually convinced to stop the desolation ans return to their slumber deep beneath the mountain. Though they slept soundly, they were able to communicate with their queens and offer guidance and wisdom, blessing the kingdoms into a rapid growth and prosperity.
Trade evolved, for neither was perfectly complete on its own, and the two kingdoms shared what the other could not produce. Both were restored to better than before.
This was the lesson the Queens wished to impose upon the citizens, that they were two halves of the same coin, neither whole without the other. Hard work and play had to walk hand in hand. Peace continued for hundreds of years, as with each new generation descended from the original queens, the daughters bore the power - be it a blessing or a curse- to commune with the dragons. Through the years, the queens ruled. And some were even granted an extra long lifespan, due to an extreme bond with their dragon.
But, as all things tend to do with age, things were forgotten, the impact of the dragon-bond faded into ritual. Peace made people comfortable, made them forget hardship and the lessons learned.
The peace continued when she was born, the first daughter of the most recent King and Queen of Lymeria. Unlike most other royal hierarchies, the title and power were passed down through the female lineage. Blessed, as women were, with the task of creating new life, a feat the deities had come to revere above most other things, a magic all its own. As such, the princess Keldra was born to this family.
Keldra was a happy baby, growing up pampered in a castle. She had everything she wanted - from things, to food, to lessons. She spent her time, mostly, playing with the boys her age and training. She learned how to ride a horse at an early age. She could hold a sword when she was ten. She had most of the boys her age beat in competitions. She grew strong throwing hay bales in the barn, she was quick on her feet jumping over rocks in the streams. She had the mountain and the hills to boost her stamina. Her parents were watchful but lenient, letting her do as she pleased and eager to stoke her competitive, yet good natured, personality. There was only one thing they were strict about - and that was her meditation. Her parents clung to tradition, believing in the stories.
For three days, every quarter of the year, Keldra had to fast during the day while only sipping water, and meditate the entire night on her knees.
From the crib, she had been lectured about the importance of honing a strong mind, as well as a strong physique, and how one day it would be up to her to rule the kingdom. It would be she who conversed with Melusine, the deity advising and protecting her kingdom. Keldra knew a little about these deities. They had taken on the forms of immense dragons; some of the legends say they were so big that they couldn't fit on the continent and had to live in the clouds above (though she took these with a grain of salt). They had stopped the people from fighting one another, and established trade and good will between the two kingdoms; through force, Keldra thought, though it could have been just with impressive magic; the stories never said. The stories seemed to agree that they were flying and serpentine rather than bulky, though if they had wings or not was up to whoever told the story.
The stories had begun to sympathize with the dragons, leaving out their destructive anger.
It was a great thing, Keldra was told, to never have to gaze upon a dragon, for they were terrifying to behold, and their appearance would mean dark times were upon them.
Paintings and drawings, dulled with age, were the only things left from that time. Keldra longed to be able to speak with Melusine, to hear more stories and be given the wisdom and magic. Though all daughters, and even some sons, were born with a magical Aptitude, only a select few were born with magic from the start. Keldra was not one of these. She relied on her wit and her physique to get her out of trouble. Oh, if only she had magic of her own! And she would, one day.
She was to undergo the ritual at age sixteen, which would open her spiritually, though she would not gain her full power as long as her mother remained connected. Some Queens stepped down; others waited until they were old and gray and a granddaughter would inherit. Keldra's mother had not decided.
Another kind of story Keldra enjoyed was that found in prophecies. Foretelling the future, predicting what was to come. Some were in the form of songs, others in poems, others in stories. Most were vague to the point you could easily mistake it for something that had already happened or something that could happen again, but one prophecy foretold the arrival of a boy with so much magic, it would set the end of the world in motion.
Keldra dreamed of meeting this boy, one with so much magic, and convincing him to use it for good.
The prophecy would come to pass on her sixteenth birthday. During preparation for the ritual, her mother was called away for an emergency. Thinking it was just the birth of a baby or something small, Keldra didn't spare a second thought, excited as she was for this to happen. But then the Queen's death was felt throughout the kingdom, literally felt like a jolt of energy. A queen had never died before passing on the gift of the Bond in the history of the Agreement! The breaking of the chains binding Melusine was an earthquake, splitting open the mountain above.
Without her sister restrained, Ion became unruly and violent, also waking. The harmony was destroyed, the metaphorical chains also falling from her. With the link between mortal and deity broken, the dragons became enraged, realizing they'd been captured. Together, they laid waste to the kingdom.
Volcanoes bloomed, rockslides buried, and the sea swelled. Keldra was able to escape. Others had, too, but they fled in all directions, and Keldra never met more than a handful afterward.
For the first year, Keldra struggled with the shock of losing her parents, her family, her kingdom, and all of her hopes… her dreams. The magic inside her had never been activated, the bond with Melusine never formed. She felt like half a person. She stole food when she needed, worked when she could find a job, jumping from village to village. That was fine during the summer months but when winter struck, she had to find a place to settle, at least for the season. She worked in a stable, her royal heritage all but forgotten. Her thin, starved form could pass for a boy if not for her long hair - and after a brief unwanted encounter with a man, she decided to cut it and hide as a boy.
By the end of winter, she thought she might just stay in the village and keep saving up money to buy a home. She hadn't had time to process, to grieve. Nothing was permanent, familiar, or comforting… She craved having a place to belong.
She worked through spring, saving up her money, but as soon as summer hit, raiders invaded the village. They set the houses ablaze, killing and worse to the people inside. Keldra was able to steal a horse and escape with her life - and her money. Which, she didn't keep long. Buying food and renting lodging blew through her savings. She sold the horse and was able to make it to an actual town. Before she could settle, a series of events happened: first, the mayor took ill and died. Then a disease swept through and killed the livestock. It wasn't long before people started talking about the "newcomer," which was made even worse when traders recognized her from her first village. Putting two and two, then three and three… four and four together, they began to turn on her - him, since she was still disguised. It wasn't long before she became known as… Jinx.
Bad luck. It was her fault, she brought the bad luck onto herself and those around her. The dragons had cursed her instead of blessing her with magic! She wore the new name, Jinx, like a brand. And she took to living in the woods, finding caves and shelters when she could, living on berries and fish.
Jinx was running through the forest, eyes scanning her surroundings for something, anything, to hide her. Something that wouldn't make it too obvious, of course, because if she lost her head start by hiding, she would be in trouble for sure. Her boots, soft worn leather that went up to mid calf, weren't the best for running through a densely packed wood. It was by simple luck that she hadn't tripped on a root and sent herself sprawling! She focused on breathing, nearly gasping for each breath now as her lungs started to protest. She'd lost track of how long she'd been running, how much distance she had covered. But she was also trying to be as quiet as she could; avoiding crunching leaf piles, staying more on the balls of her feet, and breathing as quiet as she could through her nose.
A quick glance behind her made her flinch as an arrow shot past her, missing by a foot yet still so unexpected that she felt her heart stop. Onward she pushed, now not sure what tactic to use.
She could run in diagonals, making it totally unpredictable which way she would dart next and when. She didn't have anything left to lose now: what she had carried with her from back home was either in the pack left a mile behind her, and surely looted by now, or on her person. She might as well try! She veered off to the right suddenly, hearing the footsteps behind her stumble as they hurried to change course too.
This path forced her off the main trail and she had to crunch some leaves, burst through brush, break low hanging tree branches. It was nearly pointless to be quiet now, knowing that they were right behind her. She didn't know how they kept up with her; she was in great shape, she could run for miles, she could endure.And yet they were always, always on her tail. It might be easier to give up and let them catch her. They would probably kill her, as evident by the arrows being shot at her, but it wasn't death that scared her the most. It was more like what they would do to her, repeatedly, if they managed to take her alive. She supposed she deserved the chase.
In trying to make a living in this small village, she had scammed people out of their money. She was good at reading people, and she could quickly pinpoint their dreams and desires. She could then use cards, or a crystal orb, and predict for them a future that they would be only too eager to hear more about. Then they'd put some more coins in her hat and she would offer a few more details.
But apparently she had chosen the wrong man tonight at the tavern. In a game of poker, with the pot filled to the brim, she had utilized her skills in a slight of hand and - gotten caught. Drunken men cause fights, and fights (especially those won by girls, thus wounding male pride) tended to lead to arrests. And fleeing the law led to... This. She couldn't let herself be caught again, the last time she had wound up in the town jail, she'd had to blow a hole through the wall to get out. She was low on supplies and didn't really want to have to do that again...
Jinx had a bright idea. She ran right for a small tree in her path, grabbed the trunk and used its flexibility to swing right back around without losing too much momentum. She kept running - and ran straight into the guard that had been chasing her. At that close range, he couldn't fire off another shot, and he definitely wasn't expecting her to crash into him! But she did, and she knocked him to the ground. The force of the collision knocked the wind out of both of their chests and they gasped for air in unison, but Jinx recovered first. She staggered to her feet and took off again, making sure to plant her feet firmly on his chest, knocking the wind from his lungs for a second time.
After running the way they'd come for a short time, as soon as she found some brush for cover, she veered to the left. And straight out over a ravine that had been hidden by leaves. Her legs moved midair, and she fell, hitting dirt and small branches, rolling downhill.
Jinx rolled head over heels until she crashed onto flat, solid ground. She was covered in scrapes and small cuts and her head was throbbed, but through it all she had remained silent in case someone was listening for her voice. She hoped her body crashing through bushes didn't draw too much attention. She thought she ought to keep low just in case, though in reality there was just no way she was getting up any time soon. She had to remember how to breathe and wait for the world to stop spinning. She shut her eyes and laid her head down, but that only made it worse! She took a few deep breaths, thinking maybe the extra oxygen might help clean her mind. Slowly, the world came back into focus and the nausea went away. She sighed with relief and hauled herself to her knees as quietly as she could. She paused, listened, straining her ears. But she didn't hear anyone following after her. Maybe she'd given him the slip?
Zenjesi: Hey Silv - how do you pronounce Kodakai?
Nov 17, 2023 18:23:56 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Not to mention the baby mosca with wolf skin from Elvye and the sparkling owl of Xentus. <3
Nov 14, 2023 10:27:52 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like the Donnor one not just with looks FF, but the description, funny as heck.
Nov 14, 2023 10:26:27 GMT -6
Zenjesi: yours both made me laugh, FF! They're very expressive
Nov 13, 2023 21:57:46 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Woooow Twilight, I love that witch drawing!!! :0 It's so pretty! And Zenjesi I think Spectral is my favorite out of yours lol. Just looks happy to be included. and silver now i wanna know which pets youd pick for the other legendary beasts. XD
Nov 13, 2023 21:37:45 GMT -6
Silver: Ah I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it! I love everyone's drawings they're all so cute. ;o;
Nov 13, 2023 17:31:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like that one as well yeah, loved the old nootnoot image from quest prizes, so that one went perfectly with that particular costume being based around it. X3
Nov 13, 2023 15:23:13 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: The jewelry on tail or at the head definitely tends to be their most recognizable feature for a Mosca, and sadly their pharaoh chin piece as well. XD
Nov 13, 2023 15:21:07 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Your peanut costume is hilarious and adorable too!
Nov 13, 2023 15:14:29 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Yes you're correct! I guess I did a decent enough job with the drawing!
Nov 13, 2023 15:05:27 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: It still looks good on Synkka. She is a shaman Mosca I'm guessing? Its mostly the tail that makes me think of it.
Nov 13, 2023 15:00:42 GMT -6
Zenjesi: I definitely like Spectral's the most too! I sort of cheated by drawing Synkka with a cloak because I do not know how to draw feathered wings, haha ^^'
Nov 13, 2023 13:45:15 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Which one do you like the most out of the three you made?
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:48 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that compliment! Though I know with the water it doesn't look entirely great, I love the latter one I made the most.
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:30 GMT -6