Growing up in Inkhaltiroz was easy for Myrolaenis. So easy in fact that she was rarely ever summoned to attend council meetings, or even her brother’s fight to the death at the Mount Yiorleth crater. She wanted to attend (even though it was forbidden for her), really, but studying the Psalms of Haralis was too tempting to pass on! Psalms that spun rhymes which revealed a lighter side of Inkhaltiroz life. Jesting was always lost upon Great Dragons, but she decided that this was not the way she would see things. She would be different. At the same time, she was certain of her brother’s victory and never once feared for his life.
Sarmira was aware of the love her betrothed had for Aeremus, their first. She decided that she would focus all her attention to their other two even though Myrolaenis was rarely anywhere near their home roost. Too often she would fly to all the corners of Inkhaltir, as far as the Barrier. An iridescent arcane curtain raised aeons ago to ensure that no Inkhaltiroz could venture into the world of Eren where the ageless war was waged. At least not before they were worthy of doing so. It would first take her fifteen days to fly all the way from home to the north Barrier, by the lakeshores of Jasala. The older she grew, the distance to the Barrier would shorten. Twenty years after her first foray into the horizon, Myrolaenis could fly to the emerald shores of Jasala in a mere four days. She flew high into the atmosphere, her slick body slicing the air as the world around her was an orgasm of darkness and color. She felt like a whelp again beneath her mother’s wing when she flew that high, like a cosmic blanket was wrapped comfortably around her.
She may have been exposed to the entire world up there, but she was alone and quietly elated at seeing the true picture of the place she called home. Beneath her, Inkhaltiroz was nothing more than a spherically curved field of green, grey, white and the occasional veins of rivers cutting through the land. Above her, hung timeless stars of a thousand colors burning deep into the abyss. At least when the storms weren’t raging below her, with the clouds obscuring her view.
From all her travels to the Barrier, there was one that stayed with her long after her First Ascension to Alamaris. The brightest star in their sky, Shario, shot its rays through the arcane veil. Myrolaenis basked in the light which cast tiny sparkles on the waters of Jasala around her. She sat on the right side of a small waterfall with her tail lazily grazing the surface of the lake below, she recalled, looking over the fields across what she perceived was the edge of her world.
Where Eren begun.
In truth, the grass was exactly the same where she sat and right past the Barrier. The same rocks filled the ground, the same trees stood there as they did next to her. Yet she always wondered what could be so different about the rest of this world. On that day, she got a small taste of Eren in a way as unexpected as a sunny Inkhaltiroz morning. At first her keen eyes did not catch the inconsistency in the beautiful picture she was enjoying, as she usually did. That is until a sound, a hard breath, drew her gaze lower. Towards the ground.
Strewn on the grass was a creature she had only heard of before in stories from her elders, and it was not resting. Clad in a mangled breastplate covered in engravings of a fascinating tongue, the Ayameri angel looked gravely wounded. Her flowing golden hair only covered one side of her skull, the rest of it stripped to the bone yet she did not bleed. Her skin was fair, looking like nothing that Myrolaenis had ever seen before, with two majestic feathered wings protruding from a place not unlike the one from which her own wings did.
The Ayameri looked solemn when she looked up with her turquoise eyes. She momentarily lifted herself on her front legs, “hands” as she later found out they were called. Her legs were lying smashed beyond recognition behind her. Without warning she stretched her feathered wings and brought them down hard, lifting her level with the dragon’s eyes. With a piercing cry she lunged forward, holding a snapped rod in her right hand before her. Myrolaenis was startled. The angel met the Barrier with a powerful lunge, no doubt aiming for the dragon’s throat. She crashed on the glistening wall of magic which flashed with anger letting off what the Inkhaltiroz could only later in her life describe as the screams of ten thousand children. The Ayameri did not push off however. She held herself there, staring deep into her sworn enemy’s eyes. Her teeth agonizingly gritted. Then suddenly her expression changed. Her eyes widened and eyebrows jolted upwards. Before she had a chance to turn and face whatever it is that shook her, Myrolaenis watched as a vile Urkronoth demon slammed itself with reckless abandon onto the angel’s already battered frame.
This creature’s skin was a sickly pale brown with a face like death. It was the only way she could describe it. A hole for a nose, two round red eyes and a mouth jammed with chaotic rows of steely long teeth literally poking through the lips of this living abomination. It held the angel there, with a clawed hand on her shoulder and another on the untouched side of her head. Digging its claws deep into the flawless skin, it ripped and tugged until her bones were exposed. Myrolaenis could see the ecstasy in the demon’s eyes while the angel’s body writhed in agony. She was being torn in two. Yet the Ayameri did not make a single sound. Instead, her look of horror quickly transformed into a smile turning her eyes to the sky. As she was ripped apart, a great beam of light shot up into the stars from the remains of this once beautiful creature. Now just a sack of meat, bone, steel and feathers.
The demon dropped the grizzly remains and ran a careful flesh-draped claw down the Barrier. It parted its mangled lips into a ghastly grin and kicked at the iridescent colors, flying far and fast. Myrolaenis realized that she had stood on all fours with her wings spread widely throughout. She felt a strange pressure on the top of her long neck. Her mouth was awash with her broiling fluids which she had tasted before in anger.
But this was different. She would later understand that what she tasted and felt that day was fear.
She never spoke of what she saw that day to no one. Often would other dragons boast of things they had accomplished and prey they successfully hunted down. Yet she would not speak of the day that she saw with her own eyes the horror of the ageless war, and most importantly their enemies. On the day of their First Ascension, the Alamaris Three stood amidst their elders who proudly sang the Hymns of Daragnis. The Hymns of Ascension. It was undoubtedly much more majestic and grandiose when viewed from the eyes of another, for Myrolaenis simply closed and opened her eyes. And there she was. Standing with Aeremus and Dhanalwh on the peak that they would call their home for many years to come.
Of course she could not resist long and wild flights around the mountains that the Three had decided to name Nalaekarthi after their father. It did not take her long to realize though that she could only fly so far. It was imperative that the Three would never descent to where men could walk. Not where the mountains were walk-worthy and most certainly not on the ground. A rule that her younger brother later broke.
She quickly realized what she wanted to represent in Alamaris, understanding that Aeremus was what he was and that Dhanalwh never really knew much. With the freedom of Inkhaltiroz flight flowing through her veins still, she wished to be seen not as a tyrant by the people below. But as a beacon of life regarded with reverence and never fear. As such, she would come to be Myrolaenis the Revered. Whenever a child was born, she would be praised. Whenever love was made official between two ground-dwellers her name would be sung and wine would flow. Named after the emerald scales that she was covered in, she asked from the ones who saw her in their dreams to don the emerald tunic. Women and men who would make sure that in society around them life was something to be celebrated, cherished and respected.
Following Dhanalwh’s transgression, she spoke to him long. Understanding as much as she could about the human anatomy and the ways to maintain it should it come to harm. Within a few days she had understood the ways of the flesh. Whispering visions into the dreams of men and women she deemed worthy of carrying out this task for her, she would allow a select few of her Emeralders to tap into her endless source of magic and mend their fellow Alamarians. The ones that could were branded as the Lifekeepers by the rest of the kingdom. A Lifekeeper however was still just a man or a woman. With their vices, beliefs and shortcomings as Myrolaenis would later come to realize.
Myrolaenis never was much taller than her brother Dhanalwh. Her coat, one of brilliant emerald scales. Instead of spikes her spine laid strewn with smooth golden plates. Her slender frame was always her greatest weapon in the air, she felt. Her head edged like that of a grand spear, culminating in a tangled twirl of golden horns atop her crown. Viewed from the front, they would seem like twisted windswept leafless trees, stretched back and not proudly upwards like her older brother’s. Also unlike her older brother’s, her eyes did not speak of wrath but of serenity. She always looked as if everything around her was exactly where it should be. The top side of her wings carried the dazzling emerald sheen of her backcoat, while their underside was as golden as the Alamarian star. Her only regret regarding her figure, was her claws. Straight, sharp and hard as diamonds but silver in color. She always wished that they too would be golden.
“You silly oaf! Three gaping wounds in your thigh, was that a boar or a speared patrol? It will take me a while to mend these holes and you are DRUNK! For shame, couldn’t you at least wait for me before uncorking that Forvamian white? Now sit still or I’ll widen these wounds instead of closing them. Actually, pass me a mug first…”
Lifekeeper, dancer, singer and a hefty mug!