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Thread: Sapphire: bright eyed baby dragon

  1. #41
    When Irinka returned Sapphire was waiting for her, and keen to find out more. She knew the dwarves had a reason for inviting her - and was interested in knowing how she could assist them - she couldn't work in stone.

    Irinka explained that she would like to show Sapphire the 'Elemental Room' and that Kris would explain further once she had seen that. Sapphire agreed, and they left together.

    The Elemental Room was spectacular. Sapphire's breath caught as she took in the sight before her. The room - well, gallery might be a better word, extended as far as she comfortably see, and was sectioned off into areas, each dedicated to a particular element. Some sort of stasis spell must be in effect, she decided, for the fire section was contained, and she was able to admire and appreciate the colours and movements of the fire inside without feeling the prickle of heat.

    Rippling colours of orange, yellow, red and blue flared and subsided like a forestfire captured in a bubble, for Sapphire noted the flames didn't break free. She found herself watching a tongue of flame, tipped with orange, and with a heart of purple flickering as it curled forward, flared and then died back. She realised there was some sort of barrier - stepping back she looked again. Ah yes! The fire roiled within a shape, a shape she recognised - the shape of a dragon rearing on hind legs, wings half outstretched, ready to take flight and roaring fire. The flame endlessly burned and undulated within the frame.

    'How . .?' she breathed, fascinated at the play of colour, finding it hard to believe there was no heat and no fuel needed.

    Irinka smiled, and explained 'It's a technology from the 'Real World' apparently. It is 'projected' I think is the word. Look' and she pointed out a phenomenon Sapphire had missed - a trail of light motes leading to a small black box on a ledge. 'The image comes from here, and provided this box is switched on then the image remains.'

    'Amazing!'

    'Indeed. And there's more . . .'
    And indeed there was . . .

    The next alcove seemed to hold nothing but darkness. Sapphire stilled and looked carefully. Yes, it was dark, but some areas were blacker than dark . . .as her eyes adjusted she realised that there were different shades of darkness . . .like staring at the night sky, starless and moonless - it's a deep velvety darkest blue . . like staring into the space between - that's darkest shadow . . this alcove contains all the different hues of darkness. And in the middle the dark was staring back at her . . .she shuddered; closed her eyes and determinedly turned her head.

    'You saw?' enquired Irinka

    'Sapphire nodded. She would not be able to unsee that - fathomless dark eyes staring right back at her . . .

    'It's not actually there . . the eyes . . they are created by the spectator . . ' explained Irinka. 'It's your subconscious that does that. What sort of eyes did you see?'

    'Black . . .'

    Irinka smiled. 'I saw red ones the first time I looked into the darkness. Come, this one is less disturbing'
    Last edited by Imoen; 5th May 2018 at 10:11 PM.
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  2. #42
    Sapphire heard water before she saw it - the music of raindrops dancing drew her - and she saw a lake, still, save for in the middle where ripples ran out to the edge from a statue that was erected there. A blue dragon, wings outspread and with water cascading over back and wings to fall in a constant movement into the pond. She watched, mesmerised, as the ripples chased each other to reach the edge.

    'Fire, darkness, water - so what's left? Earth? Air?'

    'Yes, and an empty alcove.'

    'Empty?'

    'Yes. That's what we are hoping you will remedy'

    Sapphire looked at her without speaking for a moment.

    'Ice?' she said at last

    Irinka nodded. 'Yes. We would like you to create the ice display'

    'How will you keep it always frozen?'

    'A stasis spell.'

    Sapphire nodded; her mind already coming up with different possibilities.

    'Does it have to have a dragon in it?'

    'We would prefer it'

    Sapphire nodded again. 'Will you show me the space?'

    'Yes - it's along here.'

    The empty alcove was a simple curved space with nothing in it. The walls were an off white, like the inside of a shell.
    Last edited by Imoen; 5th May 2018 at 10:18 PM.
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  3. #43
    For two days Sapphire stayed in her guest lair. She spent the time thinking, creating, and planning. When Irinka came calling she kept her away from the area that she had thought of as the darkroom, for that was where her prototypes were being kept.

    Then came the moment,

    'Irinka, would you please ask Kris and Ivan to come along at sunset time please? I have something to show them.'

    Irinka looked puzzled, but acquiesced. 'Of course.' She smiled, and asked as always if there was anything Sapphire needed. This time she was given a short list of items. Looking slightly puzzled she said the items would be there within the hour. Sapphire thanked her and Irinka left.

    Sunset arrived, and bathed the guest lair with pinks and orange warmth, and Sapphire smiled. Yes, the rainbows worked. A slight adjustment and she was ready for her audience.

    Just in time the three dwarves arrived, and stopped short.

    'Sapphire! That is . . awesome!' breathed Ivan.

    Kris said nothing, just stepped forward and investigated. 'I think that needs moving . .yes, just there . . ' he nodded in satisfaction, 'yes, yes, that is good, it captures ice . . just so'. He turned to Sapphire and bowed' Thank you. Does it have to be sunset light?'

    Sapphire considered. 'No', she said slowly, 'dawn light should work too - but my lair faces to the sunset.' Kris, nodded, consideringly. 'Yes, I think we can do that . . .that window . . here' he pointed at her installation 'that can be placed so natural light comes in, yes?'

    Sapphire nodded. 'Yes, that should work.'

    Kris nodded again, all business like now.

    'Come', he said to the other two, 'we need to make plans' and totally focussed now on the mission at hand he swept out of the guest lair followed apologetically by Irinka and Ivan who mumbled apologies before Kris bellowed for them to 'hurry up!'
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  4. #44
    It took several days for the installation to be exactly right. First, the ice was too blue, and the effect was too claustrophobic; then the spell didn't catch the delicate traceries until they had started to melt, but eventually Sapphire and Kris declared themselves satisfied. Invitations went out, works of art themselves; each had a snowflake imprinted on them, each one unique, and somehow embedded in the actual parchment like a watermark.

    Sapphire returned to the village once the season was over, and found it reassuring to be able to fly around without finding sand between her scales, or in her lair. She breathed a sigh of relief - the guest lair was lovely; the view fantastic, the courtesy incomparable but . . it wasn't home.

    The replies to the invites went to Kris, so Sapphire had no idea how many people would be there for the grand unveiling. She knew a few would be there - they had come to visit her, and told her they would be coming - Nut and Minnie were so excited!

    'What should I bring?' Nut asked Sapphire; 'What do I need?'
    'Just yourselves, ' Sapphire replied, every time, even when asked for the twentieth time.
    'What about some jellybeans?'
    'No,' said Sapphire, 'that's not necessary - dwarves don't really enjoy sugary treats'
    'Oh . . should I do sausage rolls then . ..?'
    'Nuthatch, I would love some of your sausage rolls, but I don't think they are quite what is needed for this. It's not really a food occasion.'
    'Oh . . .' muttering to herself Nut left the lair. And an hour later, a plate of freshly cooked sausage rolls appeared at Sapphire's entrance. With a note:
    'Do let me know if these are suitable for the Unveiling'
    Sapphire shook her head, sighed, and ate the sausage rolls. Delicious! But how to convince Nut that this wasn't really what was needed? She decided she needed help, and went to visit Karl and Ina.

    They did laugh when she explained the predicament! Sapphire, sighed, to begin with, and then caught the laugh herself. Now when dragons laugh it involves a lot of teeth . . a lot! And the sound rumbles deep within, very similar to the sound a dragon makes before they flame, or flare . . .

    It was Ina that came up with the solution:
    'Why not ask Nuthatch to bring some sparkling raspberry juice?'

    And so that is what Sapphire did. Nuthatch beamed from ear to ear and immediately set off to brew bottles of the blue coloured sparkling juice. 'Tart and refreshing to the palate; excellent idea!' she exclaimed as she bustled away. Mentally Sapphire apologised to Minnie who just laughed and said it was fine.

    And indeed it was.

    Then it was time. Sapphire had gone back to the dwarf home the night before so she could be ready and make a final check of the installation. She watched the sunset from the Hall and felt a warm sense of satisfaction as the effect was just as she had hoped it would be.

    It was difficult to get some sleep that night, but she dozed, waking occasionally. During those occasions she uncurled enough to stare out at the night sky, admiring the slow dance of the stars and the crescent moon hanging in the velvet dark sky.

    Now guests were arriving. Sapphire greeted the guests alongside Kris in the great audience forum, delighted to see Nuthatch and Minnie, Cyan and Aquamarina, (Moon) and Sir Sneezealot . . Abellio and Alfredo, karinblood and eriko . . along with many other dignitaries she did not know. Occasionally a familiar face smiled at her and she smiled back, acknowledging and thanking them for coming. names came more slowly - oh yes, that was Mirella! There were Emma and the Sorceror! And over there - dragonholt!

    Kris declared the time was right, and the group moved towards the Elemental Hall. Slowly, distracted by the elemental displays already installed, the group congregated near the curtained off section. Ina came in, whispered something to Kris, and he nodded. Dwarves filed out carrying trays, with glasses of a blue fizzy liquid.

    Kris cleared his throat
    'Thank you for coming, and welcome! This is an auspicious occasion: not only are we here to see Sapphire's installation we are also privileged to raise a glass of Nuthatch's fizzy raspberry juice. Ladies, gentlemen, dragons, gentle beings, I give you: Ice!'

    The curtains drew back and a gasp of astonishment greeted the sight that was before them.
    Last edited by (Moon); 20th May 2018 at 09:21 PM.
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  5. #45
    In front of them was a tableau that sparkled and glittered, shapes and shadows hinting at movement even though it was a still display.

    And then the sunlight touched the right point and light flooded into the display. Light blazed, and reflected, rays fractured and bounced from one surface to another, creating a coruscation of colour, dancing rainbows leading the eye to the centrepiece . . a dragon in flight, made entirely of snowflakes, a delicate lace that looked both exquisite and intricate. The landscape below the flying ice dragon was built up of stalagmites as columns, while sheets of the palest blue ice were suspended between them, through which the sunset light broke and separated into the rainbows . . . magical.
    Last edited by (Moon); 20th May 2018 at 09:21 PM.
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  6. #46
    'Yoohoo! Sapphy!'

    Sapphire was in her dark room, watching her photos develop when that familiar voice made her very aware that she had been there for hours and she had a tickle at the base of her left wing; as well as her hind leg feeling all cramped. Time for a break she decided, and went outside to greet her friend Aquamarina. Today she was in her Shape of Grace version, and she looked excited,

    'Aqua! How lovely you look today!'
    She preened, 'Thank you! This is one of my favourites.'

    Together they found a sunny spot in the village - behind the Tent - and settled down for a chat and to soak up the sun.

    Aqua talked about Cyan's latest exploits with the prank spells - apparently, two had got mixed up and a poor miramagician ended up with a fluffy tail and a halo! Sapphire told her friend about the view from the guest lair, and they agreed that they both had to have a sleepover in the mountains one night. They both talked about the Unveiling; Sapphire describing how tricky it was to get the ice sheets just so; and Aqua saying how much she thought it was beautiful.

    Time passed, and they had moved on to gossip about the latest news when a sudden crash and a cry startled them. they looked around - what had happened?

    'No!' came a shout, 'It will not do! No!'

    and from out of the tent came Colin the Bailiff and the tent lady, the seer.
    'No, I tell you - I want another crystal ball - this - this pathetic excuse for a scrying pool will simply . . not . . do!' Each pause was punctuated by a thumping sound. 'Get it out of here!'
    'What am I supposed to do with it?' rumbled Colin
    'I don't . . care! Just get it - out - of - here!'

    Colin emerged from the tent , red faced, and struggling with a very bulky something in his arms. They watched as he looked around quickly,and then laid his burden down on the grass to the side of the tent.
    'And not there!' came the screech from inside the tent
    'Dear lady, I will move it! It just needs to stay there for a moment while I arrange the return. It will be gone!'
    'By nightfall!' insisted the tent hag.
    'By nightfall', agreed Colin.

    He mopped his face with a large white handkerchief and strode away, following the path to the City, his staff making a dull noise against the path.

    When he was out of sight, and the tent witch had returned behind her curtained door, the two young dragons crept cautiously to investigate the item Colin had discarded.

    'What is it?' whispered Aqua. Sapphire looked more closely.
    'It's - it's a pond - with coloured crystals round the edge.'
    'What did she call it - a crying pool?'
    'Scrying. What is 'scrying?'
    Last edited by (Moon); 24th May 2018 at 10:47 PM.
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  7. #47
    'It's a way of seeing possible futures' rasped a familiar voice behind them.

    It was the seer from the tent. The two friends blinked in surprise and stepped back, feeling vaguely guilty.

    'Um, hi . .' began Aqua, before her voice petered out.

    'Want to know how it works?' she asked, looking steadily at Sapphire. 'You, you're the ice elemental, aren't you? Hm. . .' her face grew thoughtful. 'And you're the friend - Aquamarine?'

    'Aquamarina,' nodded Aqua, 'a pleasure to meet you'

    'My name's Zola', the seer continued, still looking at Sapphire, 'Madame Zola, if you want to be formal'

    Aqua, staring at her friend, was surprised to see her unresponsive, and nudged her. Sapphire blinked, shook her head, and slightly bemused, greeted Madame Zola'

    'Interesting. . .' muttered Madame Zola looking at Aqua with sudden interest. 'You wanted to know what scrying is?'

    'Yes, we do,' said Aqua,while Sapphire simply nodded.

    'I will show you.' pronounced Madame Zola, ' stand here, and here . . ' she directed them to be side by side opposite her. ' Now look at the surface of the pool, try to clear your mind save for your question . . '

    'Question?'

    'Yes, such as where is Cyan? or what is happening in the Real World? Or what is happening in the City right now?'

    'Okay . . '

    'Then, when you have your questions clear stare at the surface. You may - or may not - see anything . . .'

    Aqua and Sapphire exchanged looks, and then turned their attention back to the still waters of the scrying pool.

    Aqua, she cleared her mind, thinking, with a smile, of Cyan, her miramagician, and asked, 'Where is Cyan?'

    Sapphire, her questions was: 'what is happening in the human's world?'

    Zola, her question 'Fareeja, are you around?'
    And what happened?

    Well, for Zola the water shivered, and the blue sky of Mira rippled out to reveal a cloudy storm filled sky, and there was Fareeja, her cloak flying in a lively wind.

    'Zola! All well?' The words were both lipread and heard in her head. Zola replied the same way: 'Yes; I have Sapphire here. She is strong. I am testing her with scrying. When do you visit?'

    'Not long now. Look for me when the seasons turn. Will she be ready?'

    'Quite probably. She is growing quickly, and learning fast'

    'Take care of her, my friend. be well. May the roads be straight and clear for you, and the worlds smile on you'

    'Blessings Fareeja; be safe'

    With one hand, Zola broke the vision and turned to the other two. Both were staring raptly at the water surface. As if her regard were enough to break the spell, Aqua looked at her.

    'Madame, I saw stars!'

    'What were you looking for?'

    'Cyan. What does it mean?'

    'That at some point in the future Cyan will be out at night. Did you see the moon?'

    'Yes - it was full'

    'Then next full moon expect Cyan will go night flying. Was it a familiar perspective?'

    'Yes . . '

    'Then you will be flying with him.'

    'Wow! thank you!'

    'Welcome'.
    Last edited by dragonholt; 28th May 2018 at 11:17 PM.
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  8. #48
    As for what Sapphire saw . . .

    At first she saw the mira sky reflected in the still water, as she expected, and she smiled to herself. Lovely reflection she thought, oh, wait a moment . . .

    For the placid surface was shaking . . and breaking up into sections like a fractured mirror . . and each piece showed something different.

    Here there was a sight of a crying face with something shiny silver around her shoulders while behind her the sound of sirens and flashing blue lights; a feeling of fear and despair . .

    this piece a vision of an open topped carriage and two smiling people, one in white with black hair; the other in a severe cut jacket and red hair, accompanied by the clipping sound of hooves

    . .and yet another showing human beings all wearing similar colours - some sort of uniform she surmised, all cheering . .

    a fourth fragment showed a mountain spewing lava, the sky reflecting the heat as an angry colour. . .Sapphire shivered, and watched it disappear amongst so many many fragments

    . . here the sky was orange and something was screaming so loudly her eardrums hurt . . and something was hurtling through the atmosphere

    . . . here someone was swimming in water the colour of turquoise while music played . .

    . . .here someone was flying in a metal bird

    The fragments went by faster and faster, some showing glimpses of faces; here of a scene; a detail; colour, movement . . .and in every one an emotion . . fear, loneliness, excitement, celebration, love, mercy, despair, hope. . .

    She felt weighed down by the bombardment of image and emotion - a tear stained face here; a smiling face there, a face brimming with delight; a face blowing out a candle; another lighting one solemnly, a balloon sailing in the sky, a kiss . . .a kaleidoscope of images that span by and retreated, replaced by one, two, three, ten others . .until one face snagged her attention; a face she knew. Smiling, with many dreadlocks framing a bright eyed face. She focused on that face, and slowly, slowly, the dance of the different images slowed down.

    Fareeja spoke: 'Hello Sapphire.'

    'Fareeja! what are . . .?'

    'What am I doing here? Looking in the Worlds mirror like you are. Your first time?'

    'Yes . . World's mirror?'

    'Yes. Ask Zola. . she'll tell you. For now . .enough. Just think of where you are in mira, and that you want to be back there. I will see you soon. Farewell! And may the worlds smile on you.' With a smile her image disappeared, leaving a cloudy sky. As she watched all the other fragments popped like bubbles in a bath, and the surface returned to reflecting the blue blue sky of mira.

    With a sigh Sapphire looked around her. The sun was shining; there was the familiar sound of shortrange teleport, and the buzz of plant fairy wings, and two faces looking at her.

    Aqua: 'Are you okay Sapphy?'

    Zola:' here' and a drink was offered; smelling of peppermint and liquorice. 'This will help. Overload?'

    Sapphire nodded, inhaling the steam and feeling her head clearing, and then sipped. She drained the cup, before handing it back 'Thank you.'

    'Welcome. I think you and I need to talk' her blue eyes suddenly seemed brighter than ever.

    'Madame Zola!' a harried voice interrupted, 'I have arranged for the scrying pool to be removed by end of miraday'

    'Don't bother', Zola turned to Colin, 'It can stay'

    He stuttered, and then stopped. 'Really? You don't want it returning?'

    'No. Now,have a cup of tea before you do yourself a mischief; chasing around like that - it's not good for you - come along, I have some cookies in my tent', and she hustled the perspiring, bewildered Bailiff towards her tent, turning once to look at the two young dragons and deliberately closing one eye in a wink.
    Last edited by dragonholt; 30th May 2018 at 11:05 PM.
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  9. #49
    Once upon a season . . .or at least that's how this tale should start . . .a fairytale season, of bags of magic coins; of black be-crowned bewitched swans; of magic giant twisting vines . . .and knights seeking to rescue maidens from durance vile. No one thought to warn Sapphire that fearsome warlike knights would descend upon the mira she knew and loved as home, and that she might be in danger.

    And so, one sunny day, once upon a season Sapphire woke up to find herself in a changed world.

    The first thing she noticed was the houses in the village, including her darkroom house was now on chicken leg stilts. This was weird enough, and she researched this phenomenon quickly; discovering the fairytale of Baba Yaga and her forest home; a dark tale, of disappearing children, and an amoral witch . .

    That should really have clued her in, and did perhaps start her suspicions.

    Next were the beanstalks. They grew so fast from beans carelessly thrown and caused havoc for low flying dragons as they spiralled into the cloudless sky. If you listened carefully you could hear footsteps, and a faint cry of 'Fee Fi Fo Fum!'

    But it was the clank of metal, and the clop of hooves that were the only warning she had of a different sort of visitor to her lair.

    'Face me and fight, you fire-breathing flying fiend!'

    Sapphire looked out, wondering who it was creating such a noise, and with such alliteration.

    A black horse, caparisoned in grey and black stood pawing nervously at the short cropped Mira turf, while seated on it was a figure with a black plume and carrying a large black . .'a shield' Sapphire realised, having only seen them in drawings and sculptures. This wasn't a sculpture or a painting; this was a . . person
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  10. #50
    'Morning!'Sapphie looked critically at the knight on horseback prancing in front of her lair. 'Step to the right, please, two paces . . .Thank you horse. Please hold that pose . . .'

    She lifted her camera and snapped the shot, the village tree in it's Fairy Castle form, looming over the knight.

    'Thank you', she said, lowering the camera, 'What can I do for you?'

    The knight sat even taller than before resuming his speech:

    'Foul monster, I, Sir Johannes, am here to save this village, this world . . .' he looked around him, blinked, and returned to his speech 'from your fire breathing, fearsome vill . . .' his voice petered off, becoming aware that the dragon he was addressing did not appear to be breathing fire, and that he now had an audience.

    Minnie, hearing the commotion, was looking over from her lair; the villagers had gathered, some smiling, others openly laughing.

    'Do please go on, ' urged Sapphire, ' although, would you like a drink, first? An iced nettle tea perhaps; it is a warm day.'

    Sir Johannes opened his mouth, paused, closed it, then said, 'Thank you, that would be very . . .welcome.'

    A surprisingly short time later Sir Johannes found himself sat at a table, a glass of nettle tea in front of him, and several villagers sitting companionable with him. His horse had found a patch of grass and was grazing contentedly.
    Last edited by dragonholt; 19th August 2018 at 08:00 PM.
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