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part three

Silver Cove

Where once the joyous screams of children rang out across the endless white sands, there was now silence. In fact, the only children in sight - for there were a handful with the skills necessary - were amongst the two elementalist groups awaiting the approach of the ancient creature; though their youthfulness was at odds with the battle-ready adults at their sides, they looked just as resolute, just as ready. In the battle to save Shaman, everyone would have to do their part. At the front of the first group, those who would manipulate the waters, stood a boy, a young man, really, for although he was small for his age and looked a bit green at the idea of what was to come, his eyes gleamed with determination. He shot a glance in the direction of the other leader, Mordred, who would lead his group of earth manipulators in unison with Thoth's team, but before he could speak - or think - the sands trembled and the water gurgled. They shared a tight-lipped glance, the boy and the brother of the king: it was time. From Thoth, the water manipulators received the image of the water parted right down to the sandy bottom. Power rose at their call, strengthened both by their numbers and their need, and with the guidance of those with the most control, that magic flooded the sea until it had no choice but to part.

As soon as the bottom became visible, an image flashed through the minds of the earth elementalists. Without pause, they directed their focus to the still-wet sand. A waif-like woman, her coppery-brown hair flying in the wind, grew pink with exertion as she buckled down on her power and fed it to Mordred; Madeline looked delicate, but the snap of power she offered him was strong. Using their mingled magics, the king's brother forced a dent in the sand at the centre of the opening provided by the water users, and taking advantage of that breach the other earth users pushed hard until, like a whirlpool, the sand began to whirl in a circular motion. A gaping hole formed, a cavernous dark pit bordered on either side by raging blue waters. They were ready.

Not far from where the elementalists worked the battle against the ancient creature raged on. Intent on forcing the beast back, into the hole the earth users had formed, the fairies of Shaman gave their all... The creature was a tricky, devious thing, smart enough to sense looming defeat, and with a blood-curdling howl traded forms once more. It had transformed again. In the form of the leviathan-dragon Therait it now loomed above the fighters, its massive tail making new dunes as it thrashed. Screams - wordless sounds that could not be controlled no matter how hard they tried - rose from the crowd; they started out fearful, desperate, and then changed, becoming harder, fiercer. They would not be stopped, they would not be scared! This battle would end here and now, and they would give everything they had to make sure it would. A girl, tanned limbs flashing in the sunlight, narrowly avoided the dangerous tip of the creature's slashing tail. Buckling down on her own abilities, combining them with the green-skinned boy nearby, Bryar sent her plant magic lashing out; vines tangled around the deadly limb, forcing the tail to wrap around itself in an unnatural and undoubtedly painful way. The vines were a temporary fix at best, but it was enough.

Three deities hurried to stand between the water benders and the earth benders, who were now pale and wobbly from sheer exertion. Rhaegar and Lorraine, looking fierce and godly as they faced the creature, stood a half-step ahead of poor Khasekhemwy, who looked as if he were desperately trying to hide amongst the nearest group of earth benders. The ancient creature, thrashing and bellowing, was fearsome in looks but had yet to do much damage; those who had been unlucky enough to be swept into by the beast's endless tail were being attended by healers and were, thus far, the only real casualties.

Sensing this form, too, would be defeated soon, the creature's gaping maw opened and with a sound not unlike that of a thousand fairies screaming in agony, a legion of shadowy beasts spilled forth. They gushed onto the sands, pouring into various shapes born of nightmares: snakes, spiders, moaning zombies, cackling ghouls. Tripping over each other, fighting amongst themselves to show their ineffable capability for violence, they charged not for the fighters surrounding the creature now, but for the men and women who fought against earth and water to hold the gate at the bottom of the sea open. A few, those of weaker constitutions, broke rank and ran while the others, banding together, filled the gaps they left open. Sharp teeth snapped shut inches from Mordred's face and then, spiralling through the entire army, the shadows exploded into dark ash that coated the magic users without causing any harm. Illusions, the lot of them! A picture flashed through the minds of those gathered there, sent from none other than Rhaegar: a rabid bear, weakened from a hunter's wounds, roaring and gnashing its teeth even as death began to claim it. The creature was nearing its end.

Everything - fairies, their surroundings, and yes, even the ancient creature itself - trembled then as the gods focused their powers and lifted the mock it into the sky. It thrashed and screamed and flailed, but their power was too much for it. With a thud that toppled trees miles away from the site of the battle, the gods dropped the beast into the pit at the bottom of the sea. Now people of all elements banded together, trapping the beast there so the gods could continue on to their next task; rapidly changing forms now, seeking on powerful and terrifying enough to convince them to free it, the ancient creature fought against their control with what little power it still had. Static electricity crackled, causing hair to stand on end, as the three deities wove together their most powerful weapon: a net of electromagnetic magic. Once completed, the net tangled around the beast, subduing it now for good. The earth benders released much of their control, sand spilling into the hole while the monster screamed, and those with enough power tightened that ball of sand into stone. Then, slowly letting their own power ease, the water benders covered that ball of stone once more...

Weary men and women stood at the edge of the water, waiting and watching. The silence stretched... And then, suddenly, one voice rose in a triumphant scream, then another, and another, until the earth trembled with the roars of a thousand voices raised in victory. Standing there, in the middle of it all, the gods smiled with relief. Until, tentatively, one voice made itself known.

"Um... W-what about the m-magic?"

All eyes turned to focus on Khasekhemwy, who was trying desperately to hide himself behind Thoth now. He gulped and gave a little shrug, as if to say well, I just thought someone should say it. The gods looked around at one another, each one with the same expression: what now?

Written by Fennic & Aspelta

    • part four -
    • part five -

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