Been a while, hasn't it? Anyway, this is just something I did to try some things out and potentially start my book off from this. It's not perfect, but again, this is more of an idea dump. Lemme know what you think in detail.
A whirling pool of light brown mud flowed through green talons, coating them entirely with it's soupy properties before hardening into a thick crust. Inside of the mud, rocks would float to the surface before sinking once more. The pool itself was one meter in diameter with a small whirlpool in the center.
The talons retracted after a moment, revealing that they belonged to a Terial green dragoness. A Terial was a dracidon, what the dragoness and others used to describe individuals, who stood on two legs and wore clothing. The clothing on the dragoness was a simple dark brown leather robe with small emeralds engraved into it. The gloves and boots she wore were of the same make.
Clutched in her right claw, the one that was not in the mud, was a long cedar staff that held a glowing green sphere in its entangling roots near the top. The light from the pool and the staff were the only source of illumination, this being a chamber of solitude and restoration of a large temple. The dragoness took a look out the window to see that the sun had almost set, the red beams all but hidden behind the mountains in the distance.
Glancing behind her with sapphire blue eyes, she saw the sleeping forms of three dracidons in beds made of soft silk and surrounded by metal barriers so that they would not roll out in their sleep. Looking them over one last time, she walked through the rocky door.
Outside was brighter, allowing her features to be shown even more. Her scales matched her claws in color, and her branchy brown horns were a little darker in hue than the mud. Her horns also grew white flowers to match the feathers that ran down her spine. Stretching her leafy wings, she looked down the stone hall.
There, another figure, this one a male tiger in obsidian armor. Slung on his back was a shield with two triangles at opposite degrees covering each other and glowing a dull white color. This was the symbol of Earth, one of the four elemental planes that everyone was bound to. On his left hip, a diamond hammer glistened in the light.
"Isia," he spoke with a commanding tone, "I have received orders that all pupils are to return to their quarters in preparation for the ceremony tomorrow. As I was on patrol down the hall, I have taken it upon myself to take over your duties."
"Thank you General Hazak." Isia bowed. A small smile formed on the tiger's aging muzzle.
"No need to be so formal anymore." General Hazak chuckled. "You've been training to be a Shaman for about seven years now and I've grown to know you due to how my patrol is."
"Oh...true..." Isia scratched her head. "It's a force of habit."
"A good force of habit, but you may call me by my name should you desire." He then jerked his head behind him. "Go study again before you go to bed."
Isia nodded and smiled. "Right...well, thank you Hazak. I'm going to miss you when I become a shaman." She started to walk by him as he patted her shoulder.
"Well, don't be afraid to stop by or write. I certainly won't mind it." He walked in front of the door, looking up at the smooth and glossy ceiling.
The way back to her dorm was a silent one. There were a few pupils scurrying about as well as some guards on patrol, but none that stopped to chat. Not that she minded, of course, as Hazak was right; she did need to brush up on a few details before heading off to bed.
The ceremony tomorrow was when dracidons in their final years of apprenticeship, like herself, go and take a test based off of their skills to see if they are able to become a shaman. Reaching her dorm, Isia walked in and took a glance at everything.
Should she pass, she would never again sleep inside the cozy little dorm. Like outside, it was made of more rocks, but it had a more personal touch. Plants ranging from bushes to flowers ran along the walls and floor and vines wrapped around her desk and formed a barrier around her bedding. On top of the wooden desk, a levitating rolling sphere of rock surrounded by energy powered an amber crystal that produced light.
Sitting in her wooden chair, which also had plant-life growing on it, she grabbed a few cards and shuffled them. Isia had made flashcards for the written exam that they had to take before they were put to the test physically and mentally.
Grabbing the first one, she raised an eyeridge at it. "What is a Shaman?" she read out loud. "Why did I write this one down? Oh well..." she sighed, closing her eyes so she could answer it regardless. "A Shaman is someone who can speak to elementals and travel around the world to learn and study how they affect our world. Shamans are bound to their one element, but certain enchantments to armor can allow them to use basic spells. Finally, Shaman are able to pass through to the Elemental Plane without restriction."
Flipping the card over, Isia saw that she had gotten it correct. It wasn't like it was difficult or anything, but that question was bound to be on it. Maybe that's why she wrote it down.
Snatching the next card, she saw that it asked the question of what the different classes of elementals there were. Closing her eyes once more, she recited her answer. "There are no clear definitions of what type of elementals are, but the most commonly heard ones are the warrior, scout, and Lord class."
Isia had never seen an Elemental Lord face-to-face. The most she saw were the warrior classes, as they would help patrol with the guards. She did want to see a lord before she died, and perhaps after this, she could finally meet one. One thing at a time, though.
Of course, it was then that a wave of exhaustion hit her like a thick wall of diamonds. It was a wonder how she didn't smash her face into the desk. Yawning widely, dragged herself to her bed and fell asleep before she even hit the soft silk.
Morning in the temple was always interesting for Isia. Even though it was pretty much the same thing every morning, with pupils scampering about to head to their classes with Shaman, guards, and the occasional elemental patrolling the halls, there was generally something happening that would always draw her attention.
Today, it was the fact that a larger amount of elementals in the main courtyard that Isia was meditating in. The courtyard was quite large and filled with plant life and crystals of every shape, size, and color. The plants themselves looked crystalline with their dull bioluminescent glow. Although the colors varied for the plants, the most common ones were red and green.
In the corners of the courtyard, gates twice the size of Isia stood proudly in the sunlight. The one closest to her had a tornado whirling around, electricity occasionally shooting out to strike the air. This was a gate to the Tempest realm, where the air and electricity elementals resided. It also served as a passage to the Tempest temple should the need to go visit. Isia had been there a few times and found it oddly comfortable and welcoming. Perhaps it was the fact that she was a dragon.
Isia should have been completely immersed into the earth by now, but she couldn't help but stare at the elementals about twenty yards in front of her. All four of them were warrior earth elementals, also known as Golems. The general shape of them was Terial and were made of the finest stones and gems. All of them had this metallic shine to them, and despite researching this, she could not find out what caused the shine.
Although Isia could not understand what they were saying, as they were speaking in their own language, the mood she gathered was one of excitement. Contrary to popular belief of the common folk, elementals were not classified by one character trait and had as many emotions as 'organics'. Organics, of course, were what elementals referred to the living as. The term itself had taken Isia years to get used to as it just seemed...odd.
The one closest to her was making some sort of gesture with its wide, shield-like arms. The garnet eyes of the other two elementals seemed to widen at this before they let out a small rumble, one pressing a claw to its spherical head.
Then, all of a sudden, they turned to her. Isia instantly shut her eye, but the clawsteps of the three told her that they had caught onto the fact that she was indeed listening to them.
"Ah, so you are one of the organics who is to take part in the ceremony today." One said to her in a language she could understand. "We know that you are not meditating."
Isia let out a small sigh and opened her eyes, smiling faintly. It was hard not to be intimidated by them. "Yeah, you caught me...just the amount of elementals and talking were peaking my curiosity."
They all rumbled with laughter. "We do not mind. Your body is likely pent up with enough anticipation that I doubt you would be able to become one with the earth regardless if we were here or not."
"That's true." Isia stood up. They were all a tiny bit taller about twice as wide. "I'm guessing you three will be supervising along with the shaman today?"
"Of course." The one on her left said. He then gestured to the other elementals that were pouring in from a gate that looked like the mud swirls if they had stood up on their sides from the opposite part of the courtyard. "It is an exciting day for us, as it always is whenever someone graduates. Even though most of them will not be supervising, they still wish to see who the new Shaman are to be."
Isia nodded, spying an elemental that she had not seen too often. Instead of being made of stone, it looked like a walking tree with leafy yet gnarled talons, a beard made of more leaves, and bushes growing along its spine. This was a Nature elemental, a subclass of the Earth elementals. They specialized in restoration rather than fighting.
"Hmm...one hour before the ceremony starts." The elemental on her right said. Isia felt her jaw drop a bit; had time really gone by that quickly? She barely noticed! All three turned to her once again. "We will leave you be for now. Use this next hour wisely."
With that, the elementals left her alone, allowing her to breath. Her first thought was to go and study, but just like with her attempts to meditate, it just wouldn't happen. She may as well go see what her friends were up to and say early goodbyes to the ones who would be staying.
Walking down the clear crystalline hall that lead to main hall, where most went to on break or if there was an announcement, she once again found something out of the ordinary. This time it was a ruby red dragon walking opposite. He was a Kiral, meaning that he walked on four legs. His golden eyes lacked pupils and for a moment she assumed him blind, but then quickly realized that his eyes were Pure. Pure eyes were eyes that had one complete color.
As such, it was hard to tell exactly where he was looking. For all she knew, he could be looking at her intensely and she would never know. Still, there was some sort of supernatural energy surrounding this dragon; allusive, yet not enough to send her into lust. Rather, it made her very curious about him.
"You," he spoke in a deep, commanding voice. Isia quickly realized that he was talking to her. "Yes you. I need to know where the head Shaman is. I need to tell him something important."
"Err...I have no idea where he is." Isia answered truthfully. "If you'd like, I can point you to someplace he could be."
Isia had a dim feeling of suspicion about him, but even if he was going to pull something, there was no way he was escaping. The walls of this very temple would shape and twist until he gave up.
"Yes, that would be good. Be hasty about it as well." He snapped. Isia shot him a glare; his attitude really needed adjusting. Push came to shove, she'd get him lost just on attitude alone. Still, the urgency in his voice simmered her anger.
"Being polite will help you in the long run..." she mumbled, not caring if he heard. "Go down into he great hall and to the left. There should be a ruby passageway that leads to a portal. Ask the guard there to see the Shaman and state your reasons."
The dragon stalked off without any thanks. With a small sigh, she followed him to the great hall and then moved in the opposite direction, towards an Emerald hall.
The Great Hall was very spherical in shape, with different passages to lead to different wings of the temple. She had come in from the south, and the direction that dragon was heading was on the top left. She could still see his obsidian horns over the masses. In the center was a large statue of a Terial Dire Wolf in robes similar to hers. This was of the first Earthen Shaman, Koga, and it was through him that this entire temple was created. Rumor has it that part of his spirit is inside of that statue. Isia herself had never experienced it, but would love to see if it were true.
On the higher tier, she saw other Shaman speaking with pupils or elementals. Once or twice she even spotted elementals and shaman not of Earth. It wasn't entirely uncommon, but it once again broke the myth that the elementals were at constant war with each other.
Settling down on an opal table, she felt a faint rumble. Judging from the look on those nearby, they had also felt it. At first, she had assumed that it was the elementals, but a look of concern at one of the elderly shaman to her left made her heard beat. Another rumble could be heard followed by something clattering down the hall.
"What do you think that is?" a small panther asked.
"From what I am getting from the reactions, it isn't part of the event." Isia whispered back. "Maybe the elementals are changing a few things and-."
Everything she was going to say was lost when a large explosion broke the roof above, sending it crashing down on them. Isia snatched the panther before he could react, hiding him under the table. A small rock crashed right where he stood, breaking the crystalline floor.
Sneaking a peak, Isia looked up to the statue of Koga to see that it was a dark jade Kiral dragoness. A feeling much like the one she felt from that other dragon erupted from her, casting a spell of fear over Isia's body. Yet, she had to remain strong for the whimpering panther. The last thing she wanted was him to panic and accidently wound her.
Looking for any possible exits, she saw that nightmarish creatures had blocked most of the paths and were slowly advancing forward. There were no words to describe them other than shambling creatures that looked like undead versions of different species. If that was the case, then these Necrolites, as they were called, shouldn't be too hard to dispatch. They were relatively weak, and after the initial shock wore off, everyone would fight back.
"If you would be so kind as to stop screaming and answer one question for me, I will call them off." The dragoness shouted, her green eyes looking at all of them. When she looked in Isia's direction, Isia noticed a red glow emanating from them.
The crowd slowly turned their attention to the dragoness once the Necrolites backed off a bit. "Good, let's try and keep this as civilized as possible." The dragoness continued. "I require the Earthen Pillar. I know that the Head Shaman is here due to the ceremony, and he carries it with him at all times. I want to know where he is. Anything other than the truth...well, I'll let that sink in." The tip of the dragoness's crystalline tail cracked like a whip, sharp blades extending outwards as energy began to crackle in her green shoulder crystals.
No one answered the dragoness. After a minute, she shrugged. "Fine, have it your way."
Snapping her claws, a massive decaying tentacle burst from the ground, snatching a nearby shaman and dragging her in screaming. Nothing emerged from the hole, not even screaming or anything to show that she had lived or died.
"Do any of you wish to find out where the tentacle took her?" the dragoness asked. One of the younger shaman shook his head nearby. "No? Then perhaps you would like to tell me."
Like a feline, she leapt off the statue as the crowd dispersed, leaving that shaman alone to face her. "Answer wisely; it isn't just your life that is at stake here."
The dragoness's tail came crashing through the table, the crystalline blades moving like a three taloned claw, easily plucking the panther away from Isia's grip. "Five seconds and he dies, followed shortly by her." The dragonesses head turned to Isia, allowing her to see her sharp horns in detail. They rose into the air for an inch or two before jutting toward the dragoness's muzzle, and at the same time, towards Isia's chest.
"Five..." she started to count, turning back to the shaman. "Four..." the crowd tensed as if ready to tackle her, Isia included. "Three...." Something moved above Isia's head. Gripping her staff, she got ready to deal with whatever new threat was about to drop in on her. "Two..." the shaman on the higher tier got ready to fire.
"One." A familiar deep voice said as the red dragon from before dropped from the air, landing heavily on the dragonesses head, slamming it into the ground. Blood splattered everywhere, and from the black expression of shock on her face, her skull had been crushed.
"Get out now." the dragon ripped the panther from her tail, tossing him away. "She won't be down for long."
"Down for long?" Isia asked before she could stop herself. The glare from the dragon did not stop her from continuing. "You just crushed her skull!"
"Yes, and she can regenerate." The dragon indicated to the skull, where the blood seemed to be flowing back into her. Isia's heart felt like it had been plunged in ice. "Any more questions or are you all going to move along instead of standing around like idiots?"
The crowd immediately surged for the exits, starting to overpower the Necrolites, who had begun to attack with the 'death' of their leader. Isia didn't waste any time in creating a small barrier around the one fighting off a skeletal feline. The barrier absorbed one hit before it vanished, but it allowed her to smash its skull with a crystalline hammer.
Moving into the hallway, she followed behind the elementals and guards. The Necrolites continued to pour, and at a distance, she saw portals being held by robed figures. Sickly green strains would occasionally wrap around a Necrolite, making it grow twice the size and grant more strength, as one easily tore through an elemental. Isia touched a wall, sending energy down it that caused part of it to stab out, knocking over a figure. The portal flickered and vanished.
Although it cut off part of the reinforcements, Isia's action may have caused the fight to go a tiny bit south. The figure whirled around, revealing its frozen skeletal grin as the blue spheres that made its eyes glowed. Anyone who was looking directly at the figure was frozen solid, their faces frozen in a petrified scream. Isia reached out to cure them, but only found the chilling feel of death.
As the Necrolites were pushed back, Isia swiftly moved to cure any injured that she could find. This was merely the first wave and she was already exhausting all of her energy. The glow on her staff had started dim, and some of the bites would not heal despite her effort. She knew that Necrolites had an infectious bite that could cause others to fall into their ranks, but didn't have the cure yet.
Two of the other robed figures joined the battle, but everyone quickly realized that looking at them was bad. However, their numbers had greatly diminished from the assault and a bit more than half of their original numbers remained left to fight. This allowed Necrolites to sneak in and attack those caretaking the wounded.
One rotting Kiral wolf burst through an elemental, racing for Isia's neck at a speed that gave her almost no time to react. Breaking into a run away from the one she was attempting to save, she dove just as it lunged over her body, moving her staff into a position to strike the head. It was slammed to the ground and Isia crushed its head with a slab of fallen stone.
"I never knew you had that skill in you, Isia." Hazak ran by her, smashing a Necrolite with one of the spikes growing from his shield.
"Learned it from you!" Isia shouted back. "I thought you were with the High Shaman!"
"He's safe; He has about twenty Elemental Lords guarding him as well as using a bit of the pillar's power to create a barrier." Hazak shouted back. "You are stupid for not going back with the others!"
Isia blinked in surprise. "My specialty is for times like this. We have one more healer on the field with me here!"
"I never said that that I wasn't thankful!" Hazak returned, keeping guard over her. The robed figures had been vanquished and the Necrolites pushed back. "To be honest, I would have been disappointed if you had run." Then, he turned stern. "However, this is not the time for friendly banter. I am ordering you to accompany me to the exit and then for you to flee with the others. Aid who you can, but don't use all of your energy; we have other healers running around now that we have a stable ground, and we will need you later."
Isia nodded, having learned long ago that there was no point in arguing with him. "Alright, so what do we do with ones like him?" she indicated to a wolf in a fetal position, clutching the bite on his wrist. "Do we just leave him to die or what?"
Hazak's mouth twitched in thought, looking at the infection visibly spread up the wolf's body. With a sorrowful sigh, he brought his hammer down on the canine's head. "There is nothing we can do for them other than a quick death unless you can get to the Medical ward." He turned to her before looking at the fighting. "Change of orders; we are to head to the ward and get what we can for the cure. I'll signal a small group to meet us there."
Isia let out a small smile as the General pulled out a communication orb and pressed the center. "I need a small group to meet me at the medical ward."
"I probably would have snuck off to the Ward anyway." Isia admitted as she started to take off towards their destination. The fact that Hazak couldn't fly was the only thing stopping her from taking flight.
"I know you would have, hence the change in orders!" He bashed a tentacle that was about to drag some poor soul under. Isia used a sharp crystal to slice off the tip of the appendage; it vanished into its black abyss.
"Don't use your energy fighting unless absolutely needed." Hazak commanded. "I can handle them; just focus on keeping us both alive!"
"Alright!" Isia place a small green sphere around the both of them. It was an advanced spell and drained a bit more of the energy in the staff, but should they take any major damage, it would heal the wound enough to keep them going.
The Medical quarter looked like a large explosion had gone off. The walls were crumbling and parts of the roof looked unstable. Necrolites, guards, and elementals were locked in combat to allow a few bystanders run or fly past.
Hazak wasted no time in bashing one of the hooded Necrolites in the head before summoning a spike to skewer three more Necrolites into a wall. Isia healed the injured and they pressed on, making it to the first door. Hazak motioned one of the other guards to open it, but an elemental smashed the door open. Inside there were two survivors huddled in fear, dead Necrolites around them. Isia charged in, fixing their wounds just enough so they could escape.
Luckily, one of the survivors gave her an E.R., or Elemental Recharge. It looked like a small crystal and when absorbed, it replenished a bit of her power. "You're going to need it a lot more than I will." The survivor said. "I saw a group run into the second door down; I don't know if they made it."
"Already planning to check." Isia ushered them out. "Down the hall and to the left there should be an opening!"
Isia went to catch up to Hazak, whom had already plowed his way halfway up the hall with the aid of two elementals and three guards. One elemental and guard stayed with her, the latter's Kiral canine body lowered and ready to spring. The elemental with her was a different type of Warrior class; this one looked like an upper body of a Tiral and was made of complete steel, floating in the air a yard or two.
Opening the door, she saw a Necrolite feasting on one of the patients. Before she and the guard could react, the elemental shot a spike of silver at it, nailing it to the wall before using the metal bars to crush the one who had been being feasted on.
"Gruesome." The guard commented.
"Necessary." The elemental corrected.
"You both are right, but we don't have time for observations." Isia told them.
The next few doors contained mostly survivors with Necrolites either dead or being fought off. By the time they had finished, Hazak had cleared the entire hallway of Necrolites and was searching the large Medicine room at the end of the hall. A few of the guards left to aid the survivors, but they had about ten in total, two of which were other Nature dracidons.
"We have enough to cure at least half of the civilians here, as the plant is quite common." Hazak gave Isia a bundle of roots from the Virn plant. As Hazak said, they were quite common in the Earthen plane. Their roots could not decay, and with the right enchantment, they could prevent the spread of the Necrolite bite.
After giving a few more to half the guards and elementals, they moved as one down the hall. Isia assumed that the Necrolites were being repelled and that the dragoness ha dbeen captured. However, this all changed once she saw the main courtyard.
It looked like an endless tide of rotten husks swarming the base like an ant army, marching through the front door in complete unison, no doubt seeking the head Shaman. The courtyard itself was a battleground with the red and green dragon locked in combat, paying no heed to their surroundings as they tore apart the ground. As much as Isia desired to aid, she knew it was suicide from the army.
"This way." Hazak whispered, indicating to a Sapphire hall. Sneaking down, they found little opposition as well as seeing that the others were fleeing to a massive stone and gem city in the distance. Perhaps if the Griv'Thanos, a special ops unit that specialized in situations like these, were involved, they could turn the tide. That and calling the other Head Shaman.
"Aright I want you two to protect Isia." Hazak instructed the elemental and guard that was with her before. "Make sure that she gets these supplies to the infected. I don't want to put anymore down than needed."
"What will you do?" Isia spread her wings.
"We will hold this hallway so we can get more supplies." Hazak replied hastily. "Now go!"
Isia was already taking off by the time Hazak had told her to go. She hoped that he would be safe long enough for her to get back, although she may not be able to keep up if the army split to go down separate halls. Still, if that were the case, she would go down protecting others and buying time for the head Shaman.
Landing near a group of injured, Isia found that two of them were showing signs of infection. Snapping the roots, she let the liquid that resided inside drip into the would before using one of her staff to cleanse the wound. However, when she was done, she could feel her body being taxed. The sphere had half the energy and she had to use the E.R. It filled to about seventy five percent.
From afar, the damage didn't look catastrophic. Rather, it looked like a bad storm had hit and knocked a few things loose and could be repaired in a day or two. For undead creatures that supposedly lacked intelligence, they were doing a remarkably clean job of the invasion; no strays from the army, no hunting down the living...just purely focused on their objective.
Isia shook her head, trying not to distract from her own goal. Reaching the main body of the group, she immediately started to administer any healing to keep the crowd going. The feathers on her back stood on end as if something were stalking her, and despite the aid of the elemental and guard, she keep herself wary, trying not to make as much noise and keeping her claws light.
"We're out." Isia said to the pleading crowd. "I'm going back for more; those who have been bitten, separate yourselves and try and wait here. If the way is clear, I will be back in five minutes."
With that, Isia zoomed back just in time to see that the dragon and dragoness had moved their fight out of the main hall and were now laying waste to the surrounding ground. The red dragon looked haggard and tired, and after a hard ram from the horns of the seemingly indestructible jade dragoness, he fell to the ground.
"I thought you had more fight in you, Aurgal." The dragoness spoke. "You were always so proud of your strength...hard to believe that I...no, I am wasting time." She lifted her tail like a guillotine. "It is truly a shame that it ended this way. We had so much going..."
The tail blade swung down on his neck...or it would have had Isia not lifted a heavy rock from the ground and hit the dragoness under her jaw. Aurgal and the guards looked as surprised as she did when this occurred. Aurgal looked at her not with gratitude, but rather anger.
"YOU IDIOT!" he snarled at her as she sent a green sphere at him. "I had her where I wanted her!"
"You looked like your head was about to be cut off!" Isia shouted back, confused. This was a first; someone yelling at her for saving him.
"Key word being looked!" Aurgal looked to where Mothgaria used to be. "Damn, now I lost her, no thanks to you..."
"Excuse me for trying to help..." Isia muttered as a sudden pain erupted from her chest. Looking down, she saw that all three of the blades from Mothgaria's tail had stabbed through her chest. Blood was starting to pour out as the entire world turned cold. Her body shivered and leaned back, allowing her to see the emotionless look on Mothgaria's face.
"If it makes you feel any better, had you stayed out, I wouldn't have followed through with that threat." Mothgaria whispered as Isia's vision slowly turned to black, and the sounds of screaming and fighting fell into nothingness. The taste of copper stung her tongue as drops of blood dripped on her bottom claws.
Her last thought process wasn't regret, but it was satisfaction. Satisfaction in that she had at least attempted to save a life before she died.