At this, All around faces react differently, some eyes go round and wide with open mouths. Others blink and look to their left and right, searching for confirmation. Most faces, either right away, or over the span of a few moments, break into wide knowing smiles. For this was how every dream started, although usually, the Elders would say the first line, and the children would say the next. The last line was then said together, it was not required, it just sort of happened like that some years ago.
At first it had worried the mothers, for the first time the children had spoken the second line, the children had all done so at once as if planned, and the mothers had not been told. They had felt overstepped, had the elders made this a new rule and gone over the heads completely? The confusion only lasted a moment though, one look at the faces of the elders after all of the children spoke was enough to know; this was of the children's invention. The devilish smirking grins on faces such as Kiki and Sapphire. The looks of pride on Sabastian and Tikreece.
So now it was simply the way of things, and unspoken tradition as it were. These similarities began to become more and more obvious as the seconds ticked by. The three children standing in the center of the circle could have been the blood children of the elders, but the truth was much simpler, at least for the people of this village.
Magic, in its purest most simple form, often can be manifested into one of the know elements. Some, like Kiki find it easiest to uses a temper to bring out fire. Whilst others use the calming state needed to control the flow of water. Each element has a single emotion linked directly to it, thus controlling and creating these elements require a firm control over the emotion in question. Not many children in the village have yet managed to create more then a single element. The more advanced, like Kiki, could control one or two others with a lesser effect. However, there is much more to the use of magic then emotions and elemental magic.
The proof of such magic's stood before them this night, but this was magic on a much higher level, much more difficult to understand. The most any of the magic gifted children understood, was that the elements could be combined and mixed in all sorts of ways, all of which would nettle a different result. It seems that one such result, is to change the appearance of someone, and make them appear younger.
Kiki is eyeing the elf boy closely
"Were you this talented at the age we seen now I wonder… Elder Filendor." she mutters to herself, but loud enough that Sabastian turns to glance at her and grin.
"I do not think so, he would have taught you more of his tricks if that were the case surly?" he says flashing a smile and clearly excited by the strange start to the night. Kiki narrows her eyes at him, was he really this easy to amuse? All the elders had done so far was to make themselves appear as children. Everyone knew they were powerful, This sort of magic was most likely simple for an elf like Elder Filendor.
Boys! Kiki thinks, tightening her legs and arms in frustration. and from what mother says they get even more wool headed when they become men!
The slight amount of murmuring that took place on the reveling of the true identities of the elders did not linger very long. Faces of the children even began to falter slightly as the looked into the eyes and faces of their beloved Elders.
Sapphire frowned at the younger version of her Human Elder. What was wrong? she wondered. The game was up, they had revealed themselves, now would normally be the time the Elders would smile and join in the revelry they had created, yet here they were. Sapphire looked into the pale blue eyes of Elder Adney very closely. Cold she thought, not anger but perhaps, disappointment? Sapphire did not like where this night seemed to be going.
Only those children who faced there last Elder still smiled or whispered to one another. Tall and foreboding as he was, Elder Bashkur joked very little and smiled even less. Always just as kind and protective of everyone in this village as his counterparts, he simply always held all of his emotion at bay. When asked about his domineer (mostly by the young Orc children.) He would mysteriously answer that he was following the "Old way" and leave it at that. Tikreece tried to follow this "Old way" for little more then a day before he let the taunts of others (to include Kiki) that he could never be quite that long break his stone faced concentration, and join the race his friends had been badgering him to take part in.
As one, the elders held up hands to quiet the remainder of the talking. Once they seemed sure that they had the groups un-divided attention, Their Human Elder, Elder Adney cleared his throat before speaking.
"Most of the time, this would be the time that I would say 'good afternoon.' and I will do so on this day as well. However there will be a slight difference in the meaning that I wish to express. Today, I wish to say good afternoon, but to mean it as; it is a good afternoon for the tale that will be told tonight." He pauses to see if he still has the attention. "For today is the coming of age for the children of Aves, and some of them shall finally be a whopping ten years old!" he smiles for the first time, a fond warm smile. "We, the Elders of Nikki Town decided many years ago, when the first of the children came to the age of ten, it would finally be time to tell them a story we have waited a long time to tell you." He again lets his fetchers fall back to the seriousness of before. "A story unlike any that we have told before"
Elder Adney takes a step back to stand with his fellows, as if of one mind, Elder Filendor Steps forward, speaking as he does so. "This story shall be a longer, and stranger perhaps then any we have told you thus far." His voice calm and calculated, as though he has long thought out whatever he might have to say. "The strangest thing about tonight's dream, " he goes on "is that no doubt you will find yourself sharing this dream with others of this very circle."
Kiki immediately turns to look at Sabastian, accusation in her eyes. All she finds however is Sabastian looking pointedly forward, his face slowly turning red. Kiki looks forward again, sparing a few glares at the people who dare to glance her way, thinking of her outburst.
All across the circle, children start looking for friends and giving hopeful smiles, or else eyeing those they might not want to come across once the dreaming begins. it seems from the expressions the great majority of children show interest and for some, looks that show they had spoken of this before and are very pleased at the opportunity. Elder Filendor continues.
"This will be a dream of history, one of the past, and pain." He says slowly. The smiles all around wink out at once. "The Dream you will have this night will be the most realistic one since we have started telling them, those many years ago. With good reason, me and the other elders have spent many a night speaking of it, and preparing for this night." His voice, though light, has the whole lot of the children breathing lighter in effort to not miss a word.
Sapphire shakes her head and turns to look at Kelethiros, she jumps a bit to find he is looking at her, a sly knowing kind of grin on his face. She shoots a demanding curios look to mean 'what?!' but he just lets the grin slide off his face and look back toward the elders again. Sapphire looks down and furrows her brow, lost at what he thinks is so funny. She huffs, becoming farther annoyed, her mother will have already noticed she forgot to change her shoes. Elder Filendor continues.
"Having said all of this, before we begin the coming
of age ceremony, We shall do something we have not done before
any dream proceeding this one." He pauses to look around again
before continuing. "We would ask if there are any questions at
this very moment you may wish to ask us about the dream." He says
There is a strange moment of awkward silence. All the heads start to look left and right, whilst most of the children would not be considered shy, they seem to be caught off guard yet again. as to be expected, a small amount of murmur begins as friends and seat neighbors start bouncing questions off one another, trying to find one worthy of being asked in front of the whole group.
"Well Sabastian?" Kiki says in an almost quite voice. "You seem to have one, ask it." she say impatiently, eyeing Sebastian's bouncing nee. Sabastian turns slightly alarmed as if pulled out of deep thought, he had been very focused on the elders.
"What? Me? oh well I.. Its not that important
really." He says, obviously wrong footed. Kiki narrows her eyes
and waits, and he continues after a moment. "Alright fine, I was
just going to ask how likely it is that we will be fighting is
all, you know, wondering if it is one of those dreams or simply a
Kiki thinks on that for a moment with unchanged narrow eyes, it was a good question. Not that she would ever admit that, least of all to someone like Sabastian. instead she turns back toward the elders, eyes searching the group to see who was going to ask the first question. She feels Sebastian's eyes still on her face, most likely wondering what she thought of his question, 'humph, let him.' she thinks.
Down the line of circled children, perhaps ten or so children away from Kiki and Sabastian, Sapphire is muttering at high speed in Kelethiros' pointed ear.
"This is so interesting though!" she hisses in Kel's
ear, put out by his lack of interest. She looks once more at the
elders, then around at the whispering faces. "I know you may not
be showing it, but even a prince would be existed about the idea
of sharing this Dream with multiple people." she says,
trying and failing to hide her giddiness. She suddenly looks
slightly worried. she does not say anything but shifts he face to
look sideways at Kelethiros.
Kel is not oblivious to her eyes. "Stop worrying." He says plainly. "If you have the willpower to force the chore roster to read our names together every time (He still did not know how she was doing that.) I have no doubts you will find your way to me in the Dream as well." he finishes calmly.
Sapphire smiles to herself, 'Another hidden compliment.' she
thinks. 'he must be excited after all." and she lets her eyes
move back to the young form of her Elders.
The Elders still look around at the chattering children, the human and elf even have smiles on there faces, perhaps betting on which child would work of the courage to ask the first question. The night is still rather cooler then it has been of late, the feel of rain is in the air, though the day did not hint of it. The Elders knew that rain would not keep the children from being in there favored spots when they scampered off to Dream, but perhaps better if it did not. Elder Filendor would see to it. Elder Bashkur gives a gruff sigh, perhaps they needed a slight prod to move them along.
"Perhaps there are no questions?" He starts off with a frown, then to a smile as the circle goes quite. "None worth asking at the very least." he puts a strong emphasis on the worth of the questions, knowing it will spark a few in the group. Sure enough, a determined girls voice calls out to the quite.
"What are the chances of fighting?"
Sabastian glares to his left, slight shock mixed with the glare. She had stolen his question! What's more she had made him think it a foolish question. Yet there she was. staring strait ahead, face set and eyes demanding an answer. Sabastian looks forward. 'Girls They make little to no sense, and even then, only when they want to.' he thinks with a scowl.
Kiki keeps her eyes locked on Elder Bashkur. She hoped the hot feeling in her face was not showing, and if it was that people would mistake it for anger.
Elder Bashkur gives a bark of a laugh, the other two Elders smile.
"A fine question!" Bashkur says with enthusiasm
(Sabastian glairs sideways at Kiki again.) and the answer is only
as simple as you make it. I will say to you, young Kiki, the
opportunity to fight will be plentiful, whether or not you
partake, will be up to you and the others you find out for
yourself inside the Dream." he says, making most of the
boys in the circle smile to one another, to them, there is no
doubt that Elder Bashkur would be a stay and fight kind of
Kiki nods to Elder Bashkur to show she understands, she leans back into her seat and thinks. well that is an answer within an answer. she nods to herself. but at least it makes sense to me. She unfolds her arms, feeling better about the idea of letting some of the frustration she had to suppress earlier. Her necklace glows with heat again. She smiles. Glancing right she eyes Sabastian again, still sitting with a frown and staring strait ahead. Maybe she could at least set his trousers alight when she saw him in the Dream. She smiles at first but then suddenly frowns and shakes her head. She must be going mad! She did not want to see his cocky over opinionated face in the Dream at all! He was just as annoying as Tikreece and as dull to be around as that Kelethiros boy! She would set her own pants on fire before she wished to see him!
Elder Adney searches the faces of the surrounding children.
"Another?" he says simply, not a demand. once the first question came, many children expected others to flow. Yet again however, there are only searching faces at first, then a voice sounds from the month of the Primate.
"Are you coming with us?"
The group turns to look, (or grin evilly in Kiki's
case) at the Orc boy Tikreece. His hair in a long neat braid
tonight, and trailing to his broad chest over a clean white shirt
and stout pair of brown wool pants. His brighter then most yellow
eyes looking to Elder Bashkur. The ceremonial red paint on
Tikreece's face running slightly, the only evidence of Kiki's
early assault. Despite his stairs, it is still Elder Adney who
"No." He answers with an air of finality. " We shall remain here and awake, to keep all of you safe, as we always have." he says with a warm smile. That warm smile looking very strange on such a young face. The children grin warmly right back at the Elders. There was not a single child sitting in the circle this night who feared to sleep. They all trusted the Elders for everything, most of all keeping them safe.
Tikreece's face does not change, he simply nods, his
question answered. The next question is fired almost directly
after Tikreece nods.
"Will anything increase the chances of someone sharing a dream? Like falling asleep near the person? Or maybe thinking of them a lot?" The circle shifts its eyes to the new speaker, Sapphire. Her face is set in a way to make it seem like the question was to be very general, not to men she had someone in mind. Not as many people seem to be thinking of that however. In fact, compared to the last two questions, this one appears to be right on the mark. Every face has gone from smiles or sadness of the last answer, to rapt attention and focus. This gets a smile from all three of the elders. It is The Elvin Elder Filendor that answers, controlled amusement on his angular face.
"As you know, Dreams do not hold that similarity of a true dream, of your days actions and thoughts being drawn into your time of sleep." There is disappointment and downcast eyes at these words. "However…" he continues, and eyes dart back to his face, hopeful. "Tonight's Dream is not like the others in many ways… I will leave you with that to think about." He finishes. The children can barely stand the build op of this night, such is the power of hope.