Dissonance

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chapter 2: An unwanted species lingers at the edge of Nethania Forest, who appear to be conspiring against her elven clan. Seryna makes an attempt to discover the intentions of this mysterious species. Chapter Two is another introductory plot line which continues to outline the upcoming conflicts between races.

Submitted: June 20, 2016

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Submitted: June 20, 2016

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A A A


 

 

Dissonance

Chapter two

 

 

 

Cover Art found on Pinterest

Short story inspired by the DA franchise

Written by Booksie Member Haku

 

 

 

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Chapter 2
Species of the Distant Lands


A horned figure emerged into their view, standing behind the tall grass ahead of them that kept Seryna and Remera hidden as they lay crouch on the crowed. It was heavily muscled, it’s skin the colour of slate. It was striding past them, the light highlighting it’s muscular physique. It looked menacing, and Seryna didn’t dare to draw breath. Another hoarse voice spoke in harsh dialect. She heard a murmur in response, which sounded like it was produced from a whole crowd of these beings. The language was incomprehensible to her. As the leading voice continued it’s speech, she felt Remera grip tightened around her hair, and clenched her teeth in pain. But she was relieved from the Huntress’s weight as she rose and jumped into the trees soundlessly. Seryna rose too, peering just over the level of the tall grass. 
She found herself looking upon a crowd of a least fifty individuals encircled around the bonfire which was centred in the campsite. A creature that appeared to belong to a different species from the horned race was sitting closer to the flames. It had a female form of a human, except this one had no legs at all. She had the body of a lion, which had all four legs on the ground. It was a sphinx. Her lioness tail was waving in the air as if fixated on prey, and her head was held high. All eyes were upon her. Her long black hair grew like a stripe from her head down to her back. Her skin was almond coloured, and she had thick brows and a broad nose. Black paint had been swiped across her eyes. It was war paint, she realized. When she spoke in her deep, hoarse voice the crowd grew silent, listening eagerly, then gave another murmur of mutual agreement. 


The Sphinx woman gestured towards the darkness, where another horned man emerged from the darkness, made visible through the light of the fire. The woman spoke with highly pronounced pride in her voice as the horned man approached. He was holding a small person who was struggling to break free, but Seryna but see that all there hopes were lost. They were devastatingly outnumbered and powerless in their domineering presence. The squirming boy was an elf, and to Seryna’s horror, he belonged to her own clan. She recognized one of the hunters who had gone missing. Judging by the boy’s straw coloured hair and lean figure, it must have been Daharis. Seryna searched the area frantically for any sign of the other two missing elves. She looked up hopefully for Remera’s movement in the leaves, waiting for another direction. The horned creature held up the squirming elf to the crowd as if he were a prized possession. In the Nethaleen Clan, Daharis had been a highly skilled hunter, who was entrusted to return from his first mission with sure success. With these foreign creatures, he looked like helpless prey amongst a pack of wolves, who all yelled and shouted with pleasure. 
Seryna gripped her staff and concentrated all her energy towards it, letting her power surge through the ground. She adjusted her focus, and aimed a fire mine underneath the feet of the enemies. The Elven hunter began to yell with panic, squirming in the creatures grasp.
“Speak! Tell me what you want, you filth!” 
They Sphinx spoke again, this time she spat at the helpless elf, and Seryna understood the word “El-ven” in her sentence. 
The fire mine was ready for her release, as she saw it glowing in a circle underneath them. She was going to allow it to explode with all her magic, when someone pulled her back with a violent shove. 
“Move!,” Remera said viciously, her eyes glowering with urgency beneath her hood. 
“I will never abandon my friend!” Seryna said in utter disbelief. Remera’s face flickered with annoyance and her eyes darted at the crowd. Then she manoeuvred behind Seryna and locked her elbow around her neck. Realising what she was about to do with even more shock, she attempted to escape. 
“Don’t-“


Before she could act, Remera had already twisted her staff hand into a painful position. Her arm around her neck had tightened, and Seryna couldn’t scream in pain and anguish even if she wanted to. The world began to grow dark and shadowed as she stood there immobilised. Something muted her hearing and she felt an impelling sense of dizziness. She felt sick, then felt her consciousness slipping away from her, draining all her senses.


***
She woke with a start as pain surged through her back as if her body had been thrown onto the solid ground. Gasping for breath, she checked the area cautiously through her awakening vision. Sunlight was beaming through the tall looming trees, and raindrops dripped slowly from the leaves. Seryna felt a strange air of tranquillity, but something in her conscience was causing discomfort. Then the realization hit her as a montage of the previous night’s events were recalled. The feeling of panic returned to her, and her pulse was elevating. Hunger made her feel fatigued, sensing the crisp dryness of her lip as she bit her bottom lip softly.  She was slumped against the roots of a massive tree trunk, of a width that was wider than the span of her arms outstretched. She inhaled the familiar scent of the woods, feeling the pleasant dampness of the air touching her skin. 
Remera was sitting on the ground a short distance away from her, with a sullen expression and eyes averted. The hair tied back from her face was falling heavily on her face. Her skin had been scathed. 
“Are you alright? Seryna asked her, surveying her injuries attentively. 
Remera didn’t look at her, and Seryna wasn’t surprised at her usual lack of responsiveness. She then noticed her hands, which were sharpening pikes of wood with a dagger, sending splinters of wood everywhere. Items were sprawled on the ground – books, flasks, botanical plants – this was potion making equipment. Seryna lit a flame underneath a flask apparatus with a small flicker of her hand. 
She heard the sound of shattered glass. Alerted, Seryna looked up, to find Remera’s bloodied hands. They were shaking. Seryna moved towards her instinctively. 
“Give me your hands, Remera” 


She finally looked up at her, staring into her eyes for a moment with a face contorted into an expression with a mix of strain and frustration. She took the shards of glass that had dug into the flesh of her hands out briskly. Blood was running from the painful wounds and dripping onto the potions equipment. Then finally, she held both her hands out towards her. 
Seryna closed her eyes slowly, to obtain and centre her magical energy. Relax your focus, she reminded herself of her lessons. With effort she harnessed magic to the palm of her hands with the power to heal, and lay them over Remera’s injured hands. She could feel it beneath her skin, the recovery of her wounds. She let the energy travel for a moment, to the small cuts on her skin. 
Remera released herself from her grasp. “That took strength from you, didn’t it? To a capable mage it should be effortless” She smirked. 
“Well, you need me to brew more potions,” Seryna glanced to the emptied bottles that lay on the grass, “It’s looks like we will need a plentiful supply of it in case we stumble upon an unexpected situation again.”
“Hmph! Potion making is a mage’s duty. I must abide only to what is expected of a rogue. That is spying upon potential enemies, finding tracks and locating them, and getting your useless companions out of trouble” Remera added the last part smugly, though Seryna could see this was only an act of superiority. She must have taken deep pride in being the clan's only assassin.
“I’ll never forgive you for leaving our friends behind to die!” Seryna told her sourly.
“And just what was your plan, mage? It was incredibly foolish of you to attempt to save the elves, when they were in the hands of such creatures.” Remera fired back.
She was right, Seryna realised sadly. If she tried to rescue Daharis, who knew what they would have done to her? They were outnumbered, and any attack would have been harmless against them. 
“...What do you think they were saying? Do you know what they are Remera?” Seryna asked curiously.
“The Leader was a Female Sphinx. The others species are called Oni. According to ancient legends, their normal habitat is in mountain areas. I suspect they travelled from the North, where the closest mountain range to our forest is located, called the-“


“Mountains of Kahleen” Seryna finished, “I know because that is where Maryden comes from, the roots of my ancestors”.
“Then how come you and your parents don’t have horns coming out of your head?”
“I – What?
Remera let out an exasperated sigh and rolled her eyes impatiently “According to the history of our lands, different species lived separately, amongst their own clans and town settlements. The Elven never discovered another species until about a hundred years ago”.
“...And you know this because?” Seryna raised an eyebrow, humoured.
Remera almost looked offended.
“This was common knowledge amongst my own clan! Before I joined your clan, who evidently, do not know anything about the history of elven culture.  Elves never lived within a close proximity of another race. Otherwise we would have been discovered centuries ago. Can’t you see? We would have practiced techniques of fighting and incorporated the knowledge of other clans into our own.”
Seryna laughed, and she looked at her, perplexed. This only made her giggle ever more.
“You are strangely cheerful for someone who just witnessed the scheming to raid our own forest.” Remera frowned.
“Just how do you know, you don’t even understand their language!” Seryna said, a grin sweeping over her pale brown features. Remera remained unsmiling, and her eyes seemed to wander into the distance as she seemed to be in reverie. 
“Because...the Elven won’t let them.”
 

-end of chapter two

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Note of the Chapter: This cover art is also a DAI fan art piece.  Of course, this is supposed to represent Remera. Although this character does not have white hair or black clothing, I imagined she was wearing a similar outfit and has the same crimson red tattoos marked on her face. The image also works well with Remera's thoughts or feelings throughout this chapter and next scenes. On the topic of the animal totems written in the first chapter, Remera's totem was decided as the Cat. Totems follow the same concept as Rowling's Patronus idea, except I won't incororate that idea in this story.
 

 

 


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