Dripp, dripp, dripp. Tamra awakens to the sound of water falling from a height, lazily stirring in the fathomless darkness, she shivered, her body was cold in the absence of light. The rough surface of the impervious earth beneath her was rippled, this she felt since the stone had imprinted itself in her skin. The air was damp and her skin was moist, any longer and she would be experiencing the onset of hyperthermia. Stage one triggers when the body temperature drops below the average, the body begins to shiver uncontrollably in an attempt to generate heat, if this fails it begins to constrict the vains in the limbs and outer reaches to preserve heat of the blood flowing near the core.
Then it attempts to conserve what energy is left by shutting down lesser bodily functions such as fluid production; stomach acid, sweat, urine even saliva production are halted. At this point stage Two sets in, a state where the body is in full conservative mode. All things become far more difficult, energy and heat has been sapped from the arms there fore lifting them becomes strainous, the feet become heavy due to the cold blood pooling, walking would normally circulate this but the veins have been tightened, narrower vessels raise more heat by forcing the blood causing pressure and friction to build, this friction is sometimes dangerous, people in poor health often suffer from blood clots followed by hemmoraging.
Luckily Tamra was in good shape, she normally ate well and exercised, beating on her pillow and mattress with the thought of revenge on her master was the only thing that saved her here. The sensations of the skin and nerves become heightened causing the slightest scratch or breeze to send chilling pains echoing through the bones.
After this is stage three. The pooled blood dies and hardens along with the flesh surrounding it, the skin turns blackish blue; a sign of frostbite, and first marker of stage three, by this time it might already be widespread, an area up to the ankles, the thumb and 3 fingers, or even an ear numbed and blue, in Tamra's case it was her thigh; the very same that had been against the stone, the heat from her body had been drained and transferred into the Rock on which she lay.
Soon would come the slowing of the heart, unable to pump all the clotting blood or unable to deal with the pressure, it slows to retain its strength, a hard fight against the cold deserves a good rest. The heart then eventually stops Tamra could feel her heart growing still. She thought of deaths embrace once again, that warmth soothed her, almost lulling her to give in but a new thought crept into her mind, one that slithered in from the darkness of her heart, she had been saved and freedom was now hers, she inhaled, the scent of sulphur was strong, there was also the rusty scent of magnesium.
Like a light switched on thoughts started flooding into her mind, she shivered, held a breath, then summoned the strength that her body stored, her will was strong, the taste of freedom refreshed her soul, her mind rejoiced that she was alive, on the brink but still kicking, It was here at this moment that the force of life flourished. She staggered to her feet much like a new born lamb after its first glimps of the world, the pain shot through her body like a thousand arrows piercing through her core, in the darkness here, she found strength.
The sensations and feeling in her legs were gone her untire body was numb, its sole driving force was her will power and hunger for survival. Being in this frigid darkness did nothing for her senses. But that sound, echoing off the walls and throughout the cavern, this light mist that she could no longer feel, water!, the life blood of the earth, seemed to be what stirred her. It could be heard swishing as it flowed, stumbling through the darkness, her foot splashed, Aah!, it is here, the water swirled around her ankles, and for this moment she paused, the pain, the pressure, the varied temperature of the water caused the temperature
Of her legs to rise, the normally cool water's temperature was slightly higher than her now frigid body, it brought warmth and with it, pain.
The warmer water now seemed to scorn her, but she knew better, the pain was a reminder, it was confirmation that she was alive, with this thought the image of the last look of her sister surfaced in her mind; the glazed eyes, the pale face and the overall lifeless expression on her previously cheerful sisters face, again her rage swelled, like water boiling in a kettle, it restored her strength, returning her slowly fading life.
The thought of avenging her sister rekindled her resolve and for this she endured. Standing in the water, in this abysmal darkness, unknowing of what else was present in this nightosphere, she bent down and scooped water to splash her face.
Bending at the knees a shot of static raced through her spine, she froze, then collapsed. Whole body in the water she lay on her back thinking for a moment how cruel the world was. Laying in the pool after all this time, the onset of hyperthermia was almost complete.
All she could do now was await the death that she had so longed for. The gentle cresting of the water rippleing around her could not be felt to alert her that there was now a new presence in the cave.
Rebirth. Sizzling heat.
A strange sensation stirred her, it was a moist warmth at first seeming to have substance, it felt thick, viscous. As her soul surfaced she was then able to feel the tickle of a soft but ruff surface seeming coated in the viscous warmth, this sensation stirred her more considering its origin, her mind traced its exact location on her body to her thigh, the left, mere inches below her crotch, then the heat, she finally noticed it there was warmth and viscosity yes but this heat seemed to be radiating from everywhere.
With a Gasp she awakened to a radiant scarlet sheen gleaming in her face, she blinked, focused, then the image fully materialized, a 12 ft glowing red lizard stood over her, the source of the warm sensation on her thigh, it stood licking her frost bitten thigh and had returned it to full usability.
Startled and panicking she crawled backwards away from it, still not noticing her surroundings her hand fell backward, instantly it retracted as if on its own it leaped into the air shooting her attention to it, she finally realized, the sound finally set-in.
The deep rumble of the liquid earth oozing from the scorched black strata created this radiant technicolor of bright reds and orange. Where it wasn't flowing it spewed, gushing from small conical structures, paracytic cones riddled the side of the mountain, pouring forth freshly reborn earth, meant to come forth purify and recreate that which stood before.
In a trance like amazement Tamra looked on in frozen terror, her blank mind dared not fathom what hellscape she was now in, or even how she could have arrived here. Glancing around she could see a vast outstretching lava plain, at her back rose an impressive bluff oozing fresh bloody magma, but to the Far East was the true source, an immaculate peak, broad and monumentous, jetting out ebony clouds of ash and pumeice.
The magma valley which she was now situated in flowed towards the ocean. Realizing that the only way she could run was if she swam who knows how many miles.
Her other options were for her to somehow scale the immense cliff face. She breathed a sigh of submission letting her mind return to her current fate, then she realized "wait how long have I been here?
This is still hardened lava how am I just lying here? She turned her attention to the astute creature glaring at her, it had stood still all this time as if waiting for her to assess herself, she waved at it seeking response, it remained still unflinching. Tamra brought her self to her feet stretched out and then moved toward it, reaching out her hand, it suddenly turned and move towards the east, the direction of the Omenous volcano. Tamra looked on as the reptile suddenly stopped, looking back at her it cocked its head as if saying "really?" With the gesture, it nudged its head again as if gesturing toward the volcano.,
.....? Tamra stood still, puzzled at the creatures purpose. Growing impatient, it waited, Swaying it's tail for about 10 seconds before it charged her, in mere seconds, (less than three, for that was the amount of swings Tamra counted that it made with its tail), before It was right in front her, it gave one last gesture pointing its head in the direction of the volcano, shocked by its swiftness, this time she understood.
Following in its footsteps she carefully tread through the magma stripped strata, they tread swiftly yet lightly over the magma flows making their approach to the ever looming breath of fire, as they grew closer a river of molten rock, scorching red like the blood from a freshly felled beast running in torrents, Tamra slowed to a halt, but the beast kept on, unfazed by the flowing magma, it ran straight in and submerged, for a moment Tamra held her breath worrying that her new found companion migh have been boiled and dissolved in the magma, just then a spout of flames burst forth from the river it paused as the molten rock dripped to the obsidian strata, seeing this have her relief that not only was it alive but fire proof.
In a swift rotation the reptile spun around in a full 360, the magma shot of its now glistening scales In as many directions as a ray of light would deflect through a raindrop. It took several moments before the sensation of flame to her skin broke her wanderlust gaze of appreciation to the lizard's beauty.
A drop of lava fell to Her upper arm, in this moment after her awakening she felt no real pain but the substance of the hot rock sliding down her forearm, yet as if like an insect she swat at it with her right hand still oblivious to the actual occurrence.
A sizzling noise returned her attention to the ruby reptile, standing as an ornament on a base of obsidian, it raised its scales, exhaled a plume of flames and some how coated itself in the very fire that it breathed, only now noticing that a segment of its tail was missing, Tamra was awestruck by the spectacle transpiring before her, the flames engulfed the lizard like it was a second skin, the flames started at its head the source of the fires and moved to cover the rest of Sizzle's body, unintentionally she had given the creature a name based on an arbitrary action, but it some how seemed to stick, at this point the flame had already passed the mid section and had just engulfed the hind legs, slowly engulfing the tail until it reached the point of the missing segment, this was when something truly amazing happened.
The flames stretched beyond the missing section and in someway resembled its form, it stretched, curved and even swung with the motion of the entire tail, the flames spiraled down from the tail, down to the very end where it meet ground.
For a minute the flames receded, Sizzle's mouth had closed and the fire covering his body slowly extinguished, but more like a skin being shed. Tamra stood steering at the lizard focusing on the flames concealing the missing section, as they receded she confirmed that not only was this creature lava proof but it was also able to regenerate by burning itself, for a moment more she stood marveling the creature, that by the force of fate she, in her time of need, she would be rescued by this amazing ancient creature standing before her eyes, thought long to be eradicated, these creatures were once fabled to be summoned by black wizards and mages of the high counsel along with other creatures, they referred to them as familiars and called upon them after either enslaving them or entering some form of pact, being from a noble house Tamra had known of this but Tamra had never actually seen or been to a mages academy to learn of the schools of magics.
Returning to the current, Sizzle again stood awaiting Tamra but now with a more conserned look, hard to tell but she tried hard to read the expressions of the lizard. The flowing lava before her made a river large enough that about three people chained at the head would still not span its width. It took her some time but she figured that there wasn't really any way to cross this, she looked about scanning for some resource that might offer a solution but as far as she could see there was none.
Looking toward the horizon she saw the waves cresting against the molten shoreline raising steam in the ocean breeze, then as fate would have it!, she made out the figure of driftwood bobbing between an obsidian structure cooled and hardened by the waves rolling in the breeze.
She made straight towards the shoreline, treading lightly to avoid the frail obsidian from shattering beneath her and slicing open her renewed limbs. She found that for such a rocky steep, she made it to the edge quite easily, but now on to the tast at hand, the wood was trapt between where it seemed lava dripped from the mainland into the ocean, and that the dripping magma had cooled and solidified by the beating waves causing it to form the stalactites which now pinned the wood much like a claw.
Daringly Tamra pulled the wood from the unnaturally cold water, almost falling in herself, she freed the drift when one of the several mites broke from the cluster.
Now with this driftwood in hand Tamra questioned how it could be of use. The drift was apperantly a length of 2 by 4 about the height to her torso, stopping just below her breasts, it was also just wide enough that she should stand on, it must have been part of some shipwreck somewhere in the vast ocean, seeing this brought her hope, but alas upon returning to the molten river it was obvious that this was too short, in dispare she through the plank into the lava, and instantly it hissed a puff of smoke.
A dangerous decision. Forward.
This smoke rose not merely from the wood burning but from the water it had soaked from its time in the ocean. Luckily for her, this prevented the plank from being instantly charred. At the sight of the steam she reacted in a way that would be utterly absurd and even insane, she had thrown the plank, however due to its length and size it remained within arms reach, that being the case Tamra quickly stretched out and pried the plank from the magma. It took her several attempts since this "was molten lava", and despite the plank being soggy it was still not fire resistant and had already shrank in width.
By the time Tamra retrieved the smoldering remains of the plank, it was bearly larger than her arms and her palms could almost wrap around it. She stood holding it as she smudged out the last embers, the plank was now about the size of a pole and a thought hit her so hard that her hand followed it to her face.
The sound of Tamra smacking her self in the face drew Sizzle's attention to the absurd idea she was embarking on. Tamra held the pole in her hand assessing its weight and found that much like when training with her father, she could wield it like a spear. With this newly acquired staff she could maybe vault across the river. However to her dismay the river was immaculate, there was not a single stone or spot where she could vault to. She looked about the cliff face and figured that with the staff she might be able to break off some loose sections of rock, that she would hopefully leap to. After repeatedly thrusting the pole into the Rock, she succeeded in liberating several large rocks into the magma, but unlike her intention these rocks seemed to fall and sink at various points in the river.
This frustrated her so she continued to jab at the loose cliff face. With Several more rock strata liberated her plan was beginning to seem plausible. She had created four small isles in the river where the magma rounded, a good sigh that they might be stable, but this was the true test.
Here it was, live or die, she would attempt to vault to each isle to cross the river but at their distances she would not be able to tell if they could support her weight. She looked to the first, not too far from the banks of this lava river. And with a deep sigh she steeled her resolve, she paced backwards and ran forward stopping with hesitation at the thought of what she was doing. She sighed, walked to the edge of the bank and poked the isle with the staff, it seemed solid. Again she distanced, ran, then vaulted over the magma currents and on to the first of her created isles, she controlled her weight as to not shift or break the rock with her landing and good enough the rock held out though it was slowly sinking, a sign that she must keep moving.
She attempted to poke the next isle again to see if it would hold her but as time was not with her, she hastily jabbed at it before vaulting, again she broke her landing but like the first this too would sink under her weight.
She repeated this with the third where it seemed that it moved after her jab but she would have to hope that it would still hold, she vaulted, landed and much to her surprise this one held better then the others, because it showed no signs of sinking afterward. On this rock she paused, gauged the distance to the last and found that this gap was wider than between the other two looking about frantically the first two isles had already crumbled and submerged in the current and the last was too far for her to vault.
Tamra stood breathless, stranded on a rock in the middle of a lava torrent running from the cliff to the ocean.
She had no foreseeable way of escaping this ordeal. Again she looked about haplessly in search of some way to escape, she looked down at the very stop where she stood and a new thought flashed in her head, she jabbed the pole at the rock she stood on to test its stability,
Then she thrust her pole into the lava in an attempt to move it from its resting place, after three attempts she finally freed it and the strata she stood on now bobbed and floated on in the magma current.
Her plan was to surf the river and steer her self toward the other side of the bank however the very same rocks that she had liberated now posed a problem, her rock might run into these an either tip or get broken. Drifting with the currents Tamra steered her flow carefully trying to avoid running ground, much to her relief this was fairly easy and had her thinking why she had'nt thought if this first.
Finally at the other side, Tamra leaped off and ran to find Sizzle, the ruby salamander that had rescued her from her trackers, and transported her to this grizzly hellscape.
After the trial of crossing the lava river Tamra began to question, exactly why the hell am I following this lizard? This thought predominantly occupied her thoughts as they continued towards the volcanoe.
The craggy landscape made it difficult to tread but she had little options left considering she had no idea where she was and that she'd have to cross that river again.
The volcanoe stood before them ominous as ever ceaselessly spewing clouds of black smoke and ash.
Sizzle stopped flicked its freshly reformed tail and turned to Tamra.
It stood starring at her, checking to see if she was injured and more importantly her size. Tamra stood still curious and uneasy as the salamander's piercing gaze analyzed her body.
She stared back into its eyes trying to figure what it was looking for, or even at. It's broad head resembled the shape of an arrow and seemed even sharp now that she looked from up close.
Sizzle paced backwards then raced beneath Tamra flipping her on to his back before swerving around and darting off towards the volcano.
His back was remarkably smooth with a polished texture, his scales were seamlessly flattened, feeling almost as if it was glossy smooth skin.
Sizzle's unexpected smoothness was startling to Tamra, considering that she had seen him raise his scales after bathing in lava. This also ment that as a passanger Tamra was left with nothing to hold on to as Sizzle accelerated in his sprint towards the fiery mountain.
She'd begun slipping, sliding lower and lower down Sizzle's back, suddenly she felt a wave like sensation brushing against her body, it seemed to move counter to her sliding, the waves were Sizzle's scales rippleing towards his head, Sizzle felt Tamra slipping and used his scales to bring her Higher up his back, Sizzle was apparently able to control his scales and skin to make them adjust to his environmental textures, this was totally unexpected, as the scales shifted Tamra closer towards his neck, a pair of dorsal spines had formed just above his shoulder joints. Instinctively Tamra grabbed them and this was how she rode.
The Court of Dragons. Den Mother.
Several thousand meters above sea level Tamra and Sizzle strode swiftly towards the rim of the lava mound. This monumentous peak gushed forth its hot black breath, sending it straight into the stratosphere, but this no longer made an impression on Tamar's mind, she'd already been through too much and had decided that if she'd come this far she might as well see it through.
In the ashy clouds of dense black smoke Tamra could bearly see where they were going. Sizzle moved in a dizzying zigzag as he darted through the clouds, unfazed by it all it was clear that this was his homeland. The volcanoes rim was had come into visibility, it's glowing red brightness could be felt even through the already scorching clouds of ash, a reminder of the difference of land and air and the power of nature. The the glowing ring shifted from sight as Sizzle took a sharp turn Tamra looked back to the rim as they ran parallel to the summit, she looked ahead in confusion as they entered a new darkness.
The heat was strong but the air was clear, no black clouds of ash were felt and there was certainly the smell of sulphur. A green glow was visible as they proceeded through an apperantly tunnel in side the volcanoe. As Sizzle drew nearer the glows brightness intensified, it revealed a chamber in which 4 reptilian creatures stood guarding an entrance to possibly another chamber.
These reptiles were different, they had upright torsos as a man would yet they walked on 4 limbs much like Sizzle did, they were like centaurs had they been reptiles and were somewhat muscular, of the four each had a different build but all carried the same traits a long, a crock like head with a narrow shout, a pair of arms with which they held spears, all four lizard men had circled round Sizzle pointing their spears at Tamra and were hissing loudly.
In shock and amazement at this discovery Tamra sat up on Sizzle's back frozen as Sizzle hissed and snared in a snake like language beyond her comprehension. After a few moments of hissing the four lizard men lowered their weapons as sizzle slithered out from under Tamra.
She stood inside the chamber looking about the room as two of the lizard men escorted Sizzle into the beyond chamber, the remaining two stood glearing down at Tamra as she held her charred pole in hand.
The chamber was encrusted with a multitude of green gems which were the source of the luminous glow that lit the room.
More hissing could be heard from the other chamber and this had drawn the attention of the two guarding lizard men, Sizzle and his escorts reentered the green chamber as Sizzle nudged his head signaling Tamra to follow, briskly she walked towards him as his escorts returned to their posts, looking back at the lizard men Tamra could see them conversing as one even looked at her shaking its head.
Tamra followed sizzle into a tunnel which she had first thought to be a chamber due to its apperant size from the glowing room. This tunnel however was dimly lit by two parallel rows of blue gemstones on either side of the large tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel there seemed to be three other tunnels each branching off in a different direction, each of which had its entrance lined with a different color gemstone, the one to the right side was in green emeralds, the center was in rubies and the path to the far left was in a yellowish orange gem was probably jasper.
Tamra's mind was now bombarded with questions ranging from where are we, what's happening, am I going to die, am I already dead?, did Sizzle really come through here and back in such a short Amount of time.
All these questions distracted Tamra as she followed Sizzle into the ruby lined passageway. Inside, a bright red washed over Tamra as she entered, she felt a strange calm over come her mind as all her questions faded to nothing, all she heard was, silence. The ruby passage opened to a large chamber thrice the size of the sapphire passageway, this chamber was rounded and rose several feet upwards where she could only see blackness, inside this chamber was also a curved pool of lava, it spanned about two quarters of the room occupying half of the rooms floor space, this pool seemed built since it had boarders made of black crystal holding back the lava.
At this point Tamra felt minuscule compared to the massive cylindrical chambers and it's built in lava pool.
A few moments had passed and Tamra saw Sizzle looking about in Impatient frustration, still confused, Tamra was now seeded with fear for she knew nothing of this occurance.
The pool begun bubbling increasingly violently as if it were getting hotter, then vooth!
The pool erupted into a massive column for lava, yet none of it fell to the floor where Tamra and Sizzle awaited. From the lava a gigantic clawed serpent Immerged, it's ruby scales coated with the dripping lava, it streched up then curved down to meet Sizzle's level, it seemed as though most of its body was still submerged within the lava pool.
It's serpent like head was similar to that of a constrictor, but it had a pair of twisting horns that matched the color of its black scales running down its belly and sides, it flicked a forked toung, not unlike serpents and hissed as it seemed to converse with Sizzle. After a moment The black and ruby serpent looked in Tamra's direction again flicking its toung then spoke, startled that she was able to understand the words that she was hearing Tamra turned about in search of a possible human existence, she became even more frightful when she heard the sound of laughter echoing inside the room, she returned her attention to the serpent as it looked her square in the eyes.
"Hello child, it has been many years since a human has graced us with their presence, do pardon my laughter, your reaction was jus, priceless. Still shocked Tamra nodded in acknowledgement of the serpents request. "Normally its is courtesy to bow in the presence of ancients, I believe a bow is in order?"
Tamra blinked dumbfounded as she found both Sizzle and the Serpent starring at her, she bowed, bending at the waist and crossing a hand across her chest as her father would when meeting with other nobles and members of authority.
"Good, now, fear not child, you are free to speak." "Why have you come here".
Tamra stared blankly as the question echoed through her being.
In more of a whimper than actual words she spoke, " am... Am not sure." In her clear non threatening voice the serpent asked, " what was that, speak up child".
Tamra swallowed as she calmed herself to speak, am not sure, I was brought here by this lizard, she replied as she asserted herself after the remark. Ohhhh, but you chose to follow, you chose to be here. Why? Tamra's confusion grew ever more as she asked the questions to herself.
Hmmmm, well that is fine, I can imagine why you're here, and this must all be so confusing and strange to you. Let me explain I am Solvera, the den mother to all the dragonkin
here, I was once an exalted cloud serpent, powerful and majestic, able the roam freely through the land and sky's.
I was a queen so to speak, and my rule was far reaching at that. I thought it marvelous that I could live with my family, cultivating our land at the peak of harvest. But this happeiness was not meant to last, some hundred years ago, a human, from a distant land, came into my kingdom, this human fought and slew many of my children, enraged, they were all eager to have his head, however, he was a formidable adversary, he brought with him an ancient art thought long forgotten, and a weapon thought long destroyed, this man, his name was Jarven, and he held the spear of Viatan, an enchanted weapon said to give its wielder the power of its prey, this man had possessed an artifact, created eons past by witches who attempted to revolt against their master, the only way to defeat him was to seal his soul inside a vessel and they were prepared, they knew their master was too powerful to seal in but a single weapon.
So they created 3, after the weapons were done they set off to their treachery, stabing his heart with the spear it stripped him of his powers, they then divide among the weapons. The spear cursed with the soul of a demon now capable of absorbing the power of all it has slain, was now in the hands of a mortal, I could see it in his eyes, his soul had been destroyed, his body possessed, he had come to my kingdom in search of power.
My brothers fought valiantly to defeat this demon, but alas they were felled by his armies, he rallied humans from surrounding kingdoms, all blinded by ignorance, all slaves to his will.
This battle went on for years until the day I had decided to end it all, I proposed that we would leave the humans, they would deal with their king, and we would retreat to the inner reaches of our kingdom, somewhere they would never find us, opposing my suggestion, my brother Alterion was against my judgement to retreat.
He thought to stand and fight, that as dragons we should wage a war with the humans to kill all the invaders. Many of my kin chose to follow him, blinded by rage, and eager for bloodshed they saw not the true cause of this battle, the weapon in Jarvens possession was cursed and gathered their rage and souls for power.
Alterions foolhardy decision left my kingdom broken and divided, we the survivors have lived underground, beyond the reach of mortal man, those who fought were slain and tortured, their skin and bones used to fashion weapons and armor, not long after this battle we saw the fall of shurima, the golden city that crumbled below the sands. But all this child is history, and you did not come for this lecture.
The "lizard" that you see before you, this one, that brought you here, is my son and he sees something in you, your spark if you will, it's generally the flame of your soul, the most precious gift given to all life forms, it characterizes you as a being, and it shows your will. And my dear child, I can see yours, it burns brightly even now, most men, when in my presence, their flames fade, dimming to a flicker, but yours child hasn't even wavered, I commend you. But you're resolve tells a different story, the color of your flame burns with both passion and hatred, it burns for revenge and for freedom, a peculiar mix and one I have not seen in many many years.
Hmm I see this flame, burns not for you but another, a loved one, someone so dear to you that you would go to perilous ends to avenge their freedom. Hmm I see, and my son, what business is this of yours. Sizzle held gaze with Solvera, hissing in their snake language.
Ah I see, interesting indeed, so it was you who intervened in the fate of humans, sigh but I suppose that it was inevitable, in your case I might have done the same, hmm, so what do you intend to do about it. Tamra stood watching as the dragon mother and son conversed before her one speaking in a foreign toung, and the other so clearly understandable that it was almost alien. I see, and is this your final decision, my son? Sigh (hair), very well, you have my blessing. Solvera turned to Tamra and said, child, my son wishes to accompany you on your quest of "vengeance", but before any of you decide to run of to your dooms, I shall perform a rite, one that shall bond your fates and protect you on your journey.
Puzzled Tamra asked, a rite? What's that? Hmmhmmhmm, a rite child is a ritual, this one I will teach you will join your souls so they may burn brightly together, after this you will come to understand one another and be able to summon the other. In Tamra's mind the mere mention of summoning surfaced the thought of magic and the mages academy, and she blurted out, you're gonna teach me magic?
Solvera squinted as she leveled to Tamra's gaze, no child, we are not fond of magic. However, you will learn how to channel your flame, use it as you choose, but know this, one who's flame is stolen or extinguished shall be ever bound to its keeper. Child do all that you must to avoid this, for our existence will be discovered and our weakness will be known. Also be wear the man known as Jarven, his empire still lives.
Kindled, Soul flames.
Solvera's warning rang inside Tamra's mind, she was walking through the sapphire passage after just leaving Solvera's chamber, the passage was emence, it was about the same as where she had just left only horizontal and not vertical, what she had seen as the passage when first coming through was only a fraction, the great barrel like tunnel was inside a larger tunnel, much like a wire cut across the sheath, the main tube housed several other tubes and the sapphire tunnel was only one of several, each individual tunnel was illuminated in a separate color, each from a different gemstone shining in illustrious colors of the chromatic spectrum, they were to meet again in the onyx chamber, and for Tamra this posed a task, the multitude of colors completely confused her on which color was which, she found it trying to discern, the jade from emerald, topaz from Jasper, and even turquoise from sapphire. Starring at this dizzying technicolor made Tamra's head spin, as she tried to focus simply on what tunnel she had first come through before entering the ruby chamber.
She sighed, caught hold of herself, then she focused, out of all the radiating colors only one stood out, she concentrated, and found that among the variety of gemstones that there was one that glowed, however in the depths of this chasm, where these dragons had built their home, it's glow was equal to darkness, a blackish-purple seemed to illuminate a tunnel, almost masking its existence. This tunnel was to the very top of the tunnel tube and seemed rather small compared to the others, now it was identified Tamra had to make her way too it. Sizzle had been patiently waiting for Tamra to identify the passage, before he decided to show her the way, moving to the furthest wall of the room Sizzle walked parallel towards the tunnel tube and in a way begun moving up wards. Squinting hard Tamra saw the outline of a pathway materialize as she blurred the lights from her sight.
The path ran from the floor up and apparently around every one of the inner tubes in the tunnel, hurrying behind, she followed Sizzle along the path up toward the darkest tunnel.
Inside, the purple glow shone with a mesmerizing radiance, this was the darkest light she had ever seen, her skin seemed to glow under this darkness and her mind felt at peace. Tamra felt that they walked a rather long distance, she had been counting her steps while running her hand along the wall as she walked, they had walked about 2373 steps and her fingertips were beginning to chafe.
127 more steps and a light beaming down from the ceiling almost blinded Tamra, her eyes had adjusted to the darkness in the Onyx tunnel and she stumbled as she crossed the threshold into this new chamber. She covered her eyes allowing them time to readjust before she realized, they stood inside the rim of the volcano yet there was no smoke, there was no lava, only hardened obsidian creating the floor and platform on which they stood.
At the bottom of the pit was a tunnel, but unlike the others this one was not lined with gemstones, yet it was large in size. Tamra though to move to it but in the same second Solvera head emerged from it, she slithered out on her belly coiling in the bottom of the pit before rising up towards their platform, her full body was now in view and spanned a great length seeing as most was still coiled in the pit.
Ah, this fresh sun and air it feels good, I haven't seen it in years, too bad I! can't come with you, I'd love to spread these old wings, now then let us begin, I take it you enjoyed the trip here yes? Strech out your hand, and come closer. Solvera extended a claw gleaming in the sunlight her entire body seemed to be glowing, she dragged it across Tamra's Palm, slicing open her flesh.
Tamra retracted her had immediately, as her blood sprang forth, she cupped her hand to apply pressure and avoid her blood from spilling. Solvera ran the same claw down the spine of Sizzle's back splitting open a similar wound. Now child place your hand against his and let your bloods bond together.
Tamra thought this all insane as she hesitated to follow the commands. It is alright, there's no need to fear, this is the rite, the bond of blood. Tamra looked at the blood flowing from Sizzle's back, as red as his skin and bearly noticeable had it not been running, she starred at her palm the bleeding was fast desh eat attempt to apply pressure, it was never easy, blood was running down her arm and had already spilled to the floor, she sighed and placed her bleeding Palm flat against Sizzle's wound, oddly enough his scales moved away seeming to create a space so her hand could rest unobstructed as the blood ran together. Tamra felt a great heat wash over her as she saw their blood reacting, Sizzle's blood was now surrounding her palm and the heat at her palm intensified. His scales moved in waves rippleing around their contact, and Tamra felt as though the heat was flowing up into her body.
The rippleing stopped and Tamra could no longer feel her palm bleeding, she looked towards Solvera who seemed to be paying no attention to her or Sizzle but simply basking in the warmth of the sun. Tamra saw ripple move up her arm as the wave of heat faded, a second ripple up her arm and she felt her body tense, she felt her self lighter but was no other change, she wandered in her mind as if looking for answers when the words, Don't move echoed in her mind, Tamra snapped back to the present to see a spout of black flames engulfing Sizzle's head, much like that time when he reformed his tail the flames covered his body and were moving to her hand she instinctively thought to move it but the words came again, shouting in her mind, Don't, move.
She froze, keeping her hand in place she winced as the flames streched over her hand, up her arm, over her body and down to her feet, Tamra was fully engulfed by the flames, yet she felt no pain, only the warmth, the substance of flames was very similar to that of wind, only it clung to you, hugging your being, Tamra was overwhelmed by this tingling sensation, that she felt warmth enshroud her as she stood bonding with dragons, her overflowing emotions seemed to be leaking because she found herself crying, the tears rolled down her cheeks before becoming liquid flame dripping from her chin. She heard a voice familiar, but new, consoling her with the words, it's ok now, you can let go.
This voice was the same as the one that spoke in her mind, at first it had shouted but now it was calm, she looked to Solvera but she shook her head, Solvera had returned her attention in just the right moment as Tamra had turned to ask an obvious question. All without words and answered with expression. She turned to see Sizzle looking back into her eyes, yes, it is me, as he too answered her unspoken question.
Still engulfed in flames Tamra removed her hand from Sizzle as she starred in his eyes, she understood him as he now spoke through her soul. I have so many questions Tamra declared, they shall all be answered, but all in time, as he shook free and streched.
Partisan, a gifted weapon.
Tamra stood, shrouded in flames, liquid fire dripped from her face as Sizzle streched from shoulder to tail, rolling out his toung, and finally his wings.
The way in which they extended amazed her since this entire time she had thought him to be a mere lizard.
His retractable wings extended from the very spines Tamra had held while riding, the grew from his back into a slick ebony membrane, interspersed with boney fingers, they seemed to span about 2 more of him if placed side by side and made him look all the more intimidating. Tamra wiped her tears away as she asked, so now what do we do?
Bluntly Solvera looked to her and said, though you are strong, you're not too bright are you? Pouting with embarrassment Tamra shrugged and kicked at a gemstone jutting from the flooring. Solvera chuckled, it's fine child I admire moxie.
My son has informed me of the injustice done to you and has agreed aid you through this crisis, now I too have use of you, reaching over the ledge Solvera plucks the gem at Tamra's feet from the crusted magma.
Here child hold this, and raise it to the light, as Tamra held the purple black gemstone to the sunlight Solvera placed her hand around Tamra's and breathed a bluish white flame on to the gem, the flames spiraled around Tamra's hand glowing a brilliant bluish black. After a few moments of the flames spiraling violently around her hand it settled, the gem now had a bluish purple color which was dark yet clearly transparent.
Solvera released Tamra's hand, as it remained engulfed by flames in the sunligh, as she stood still marveling at the flaming gem in her hand it flared erupting a gout of flame in a pillar from her palms, the flames receded as if to reside within the stone clenched inside her palm, Solvera smiled a wide toothy grin then spoke "ahh well done my child, with that you are on your way to mastering your fire, do us proud for you are one of us now, I even took the liberty to fashion you a weapon, am not sure what use you had for that burnt pole but I figured if you carried such a thing it must have meaning to you..
In a hurried burst Tamra replied what this?, it's just a stick I found while crossing the lava. Solvera stared down at the stick saying oh, and here I was thinking that it had some meaning, as she raised the staff with her claw tips and finished burning it to cinders.
The weapon I have prepared for you is a graceful one my dear, use it well. After Solvera spoke those words two lizard men appeared from a tunnel adjecent to where Tamra and sizzle emerged.
The men brought out a crystalline ebony spear that spanned about 5 feet from base to tip, the blade of the spear was shaped ironically similar to Sizzle's head, broad and chiseled yet slimming down as it split into several more blades. These however were like reflections of the first, each extruding like a small hook. They all curved downwards to the arm and remainder of the spear.
At what seems to be its center, the spear had a small indentation that Tamra curiosity prodded with her finger.
Solvera's words seemed to startle Tamra as she spoke place you soul gem in it.
Tamra glanced back at Solvera she brought to gem over the groove and placed it in the socket, the gem shine and the fire again spiraled around her hand, this time however the gout of flames flowed off the tip of the spear and could be harnessed and channeled.
Gripping the flaming spear in hand, almost instinctively Tamra remembered her training and spun the weapon about her body so gracefully, Solvera marveled as though it was a dance. Ah, ssplendid my child, now let me see you hit a mark. Umm over there, I want you to hit that gem in the wall over there.
Tamra looked about searching for the gem when she heard Ahem, remember my child you are one of us now, merely focus your sight and you shall see what you're looking for. No more of your barbaric thoughts, you need focus and composure, our strength is with you, all you need do is summon it.