Book 0, I, II (xkianax)
[Muse Story Contest Honorable Mention Winner: Book 0, I, II by xKianax.]
Yuri 8 'Day one'
Thirty moons and twenty-nine suns have ducked under the covers of the sky. A twinkle of the earth's dew glide across the field of Dae. To the east, the water roars and crashes into the rocks. Four of the muses will begin a ritual. Not of magic, not of power, but of belonging. The result will be beneficial for everyone if, and only if, it is performed correctly. The four chosen are masters of the many wondrous arts in the realm present. Laidran, a man of fire, follows the arts of survival and dance. Palena, a lady of water, sings the tune of the ocean in glorious songs. Girl, an illusionist of air, masters the arts of communication and its intellectual ways. And lastly, Triane, a young boy masters the arts of the earth's wisdom. The four will gather and praise the arts in a few days time.
Noon. The four are ready to gather. The sun is at its zenith and yet, the moon is still present. The four each hold in hand an object of their presence. Laidran holds a staff known as Ol' Stabby. He wields it and turns with alertness when he feels a wrong in his surroundings. Palena taps a ceremonial drum engraved with shades of orange and yellow. She beats it with her heart beat... it quickens or shortens depending on her emotion. Young Triane holds books in his hand untouched and not traced with a single drop of ink... it is his wisdom that writes. Girl wears on her index finger a ring of illusion... a name given by their elder... The four begin to chant. Shutting their eyes, warmth rushes through each of them and pierces their souls. Young Triane felt weak after the ritual... is he is too young to perform such a heavy task? Their elder doesn't think so... it will continue.
The ritual is complete. The state of belonging is present. In three Yuris, another ritual will be performed. Now, the four will rest. Their belongings will rest as well...
Yuri 11 'Day one'
The land has changed... The waters have become furious as they reach the shore. Palena has been trying to soothe the waters. She sings over their roaring voices. In a couple of days, the second ritual will begin. A ritual of will. Young Triane has been ill for quite some time now... Girl has been taking good care of him in the wilderness. The ritual will continue, no matter what the outcome... The sun must become whole again.
The four unite at the same location. After continuous chanting, the moon becomes pale. Was it always this pale? It seems to be frowning? Why does it frown on a joyous day?
The ritual has finished. The fire has died low... Ol' Stabby was used to fend off unusual prowlers the other night. It is still quite odd how they appeared in such an awkward manner. Perhaps they were wolves. The four will be returning home in two days time. Girl has volunteered to watch over the field of Dae. She will be communicating with those who dare take toll on their sacred area.
Yuri 14 'Day one'
Laidran has passed away recently. A scar of fire and metal has been placed onto the muses palms. He will be missed greatly. Ol' Stabby is now in Girl's grasp. She has placed a bind on it so that others will not wield the memorable staff. Her ring of illusion shimmers as she does so... the moon is still pale. The sun is hiding behind the mountains... Oh, how it makes the mountains shine. They seem to leap out from their distance. The third ritual of faith will continue... Although there are only three, it will continue. More effort is necessary... it must continue.
A gathering of nomads have taken over our territory... We will be performing the ritual to the east. A beast of ice is said to dwell nearby, yet, we will be fine... the fire will guard us from his iced heart. Two rituals down... two to go.
Palena has pounded on her drum with anger... For what reason? She is singing a tune that stings the ears. Why? Triane is afraid... so afraid that he has not slept in days. Girl does not seem too worried... her mind is clear of words. Words are only an illusion to her. She is a manipulator. A manipulator of speech. Tomorrow they will gather.
The ritual was unusual... Hopefully faith is present. Girl has disappeared into the wilderness. It has grown dark in the wilderness. Perhaps she will make it more lively... an illusionist is good at that, yes, very good at that. Palena is pounding the drum with continuous beats... her heart must be racing? Racing from what? Ol' Stabby is now in Triane's grasp. Girl has let him hold it so that he may sleep with ease. Dear Laidran, why have you left? Another three Yuris and the fourth, and final, ritual will begin.
Yuri 17 'Day one'
It has been three Yuris... the shores of Dae have shortened. The wind pushes the waters in another direction... Palena has become ill. She is singing a tune... it may be her last tune. She beats the drum softly as Triane's tears pound the ground. A duet. Others seem to have gathered knowledge of the happenings every three Yuris. There may be a crowd in the final ritual. The ritual of Idealism.
Palena has passed away on the shore the other night. Triane now holds the ceremonial drum. He will be pounding on it during the final ritual in three days time. Where has Girl gone? She has left the young boy alone in the cold with good Ol' Stabby. The ritual must be completed. Will you return, Girl? Please.
Girl has returned. She seems happy, a lot happier than before. Triane is glad to see of her return but does not want her to know... He must act like a grown man now. He is not a young boy anymore. He has a duty. Laidran and Palena... His friends, his family... all for them, all for them. The ritual must continue... tomorrow.
Thunder and light echo the night sky. The ritual has begun. Girl has set a fire in the middle of their gathering. Others watch attentively and observe with satisfaction. Hopefully they will know of the good cause of these rituals. Their elder has told them to perform them. The ritual is almost complete... Girl? Why does she turn her back to the fire? Why does she face the water with Ol' Stabby in hand? Her ring flickers in the night's darkness. It dims when bolts of light strike in our direction. She is smiling mischievously. Triane pounds the drum... slowly at first, but it crescendos and becomes louder. It sounds different... it sounds hollow. A hole in the drum... Ol' Stabby in her hand. Girl?
Yuri 18 '...'
Ol' Stabby is broken in two. Curse Girl! The drum is battered as well! She has gone mad! Triane is nearly dead! There are people watching... they do nothing. Are they people? Why do they watch him fall? Oh... do not let them reside from your wisdom, Illusionist. Laidran, Palena? Those are the creatures! Girl? What do you have to say? What have you done?
The fire has burnt out. Girl has fled into the wilderness according to nearby watchers. Triane has awakened and finds himself in a home of a family. They spoke to him of his near fatalness as Girl held Ol' Stabby to his throat. The fire has saved him though... it flickered and brushed Girl's face, so they said. She spoke in curses and yelled, "Cursed are the muses of the aging days!" Triane does not understand.
The wilderness is blocked off. Triane leads a group of talented artists. They too master the arts of wonder. Laidran and Palena must be proud of their young friend. A pounding of a drum echoes as the waves begin to roar. The fire begins to dance and shift direction in alertness. And... In the wilderness a hill of green meadows dies every Yuri.
The ritual of sprit will begin. Four muses stand around Triane as he clenches three books in his hands engraved with ink and thought.