Alaia Skyhawk: I'd Just like to say ... Hi! This is my first story so pleeeese don't flame me. I've never written a story for others to read before, so sorry in advance for any mistakes.
Lloyd: Hey Collette! Look it's a new author!
Collette: Yay! (Hugs the author) I'm Soooooooo Happy! (A.N: Insert Collette's Really Whiny ANNOYING voice)
A.S: 'Gasp' Uh... Collette...'Cough'...Can't ...Breathe!
Collette: Whoops! Oh! I'm so Sorry! (A.N: Do I have to repeat myself?)
Lloyd: O----Kay. Anyway, Alaia Skyhawk doesn't own Tales of Symphonia, (A.N: Though I wish I did) So please don't sue her from here to kindom come. She does however own Krishka, Aluran, the Alurannai and any OCs, so please don't steal them.
Prequel to a Restoration.
Summary: The Alurannai are the Forest Folk. Created by the Giant Tree to be its protectors, and the guardians of the Symphonia's Mana. But a time of trouble is comming. War is brewing... and a Prophesy is to be made.
Chapter1: Embers on the Wind.
The sun shone through the branches high overhead, fingers of light reaching towards the leaf strewn forest floor. Birdsong echoed between the trees. It's peaceful sound at odds with what was going on below...
An auburn haired figure, pale bule and white garment steaming out behind him, dashed between two startled women. The wind of his passage ruffling the feathers that clung to the membranes of their crystaline wings.
"Looks likes he's late for his lessons again," the first woman said. "That's the third time this week. Krishka's not going to be happy."
"But still..." the second replied. "He's only a child."
"That 'child' is four dannes old and is only eighty-six years from being an adult. He needs to start behaving like it."
The Alurannai, Guardians of the Giant Tree, are a peaceful people, and like the Elves, strictly neutral. The human kindoms of the world may feud amoung themselves, but for the Alurannai such was a small matter. Their main concern was maintaining a 'safe zone' around the Giant Tree, which grew in the heart of their kingdom... Aluran.
The kingdom of Aluran is a vast expance of forest, the only clearing within this area was the immense meadow where the Giant Tree itself stood. As for the Alurannai themselves, they on the most part appeared to be human. Not supprising since the Giant Tree created them at the same time that Origin created the Human race, and based much of their outward appearance on Origin's work. Thus the only visible difference between the two races was that the Alurannai had wings and that which they simply called sarren. Short, vine-like tendrils as thick as a person's finger. A small number of which extended from an Alurannai's shoulders and elbows, with an additional two or three shorter, thinner sarren framing each side of the face.
A white, blue and auburn blur skidded around a corner, barely avoiding a collision with the wall. He recovered his balance and resumed his running, pale blue wings flapping to increase his speed even further as he made his way though the vast network of covered walkways, bridges and stairwells that wove their way around, between and up the many huge trees that cradled the settlement. His destination was the palace high in the upper branches, and this was the Forest Citadel of Alahnsyr. Home of the Alurannai.
As for the young man recklessly dashing through the Citadel. He was the son of the Inartu, and second in line for the throne. He was also very, very late for a lesson with Krishka, the Summon Spirit of Life.
"Pardon me! ...Coming through!...I'm sooo late!...Excuse me!...AHHHHH!"
As you may have guessed, the youth ran into something, or rather, someone.
"Nartu Kratos, using your wings to make yourself run faster, on these walkways, is not a very good idea," the man said as he picked himself up, then hauled the mildly concussed youth to his feet. "But it seems you'll never learn."
"I'm sorry Sharta Tarryn, it's just that..."
"I know, you're late. You'd best get going, though try not to run into anyone else."
The man chuckled as the young Nartu ran off. This time without using his wings. He then straightened his tunic, folded his pale green wings neatly, and resettled his over-tunic, called a reta, squarely on his shoulders.
Retas were a garment worn only by adults and consisted of a long, narrow rectangle of fabric with a slit running from the centre to one of the short edges. The two resulting flaps went one over each shoulder to hang down the person's front where they were held together part-way down by a small clasp. Depending on what proffession an Alurannai chose when they became an adult, the reta could be brown for Farmers, dark green for Healers, burnt orange for Craftsman, dark purple for Academics, dark grey for Soldiers, or pale yellow for Politician. Each person's reta also had symbols embroidered round the collar. These symbols told those who knew how to read them exactly what a paticular person's job was. Be they a Crop-Farmer or a Rancher, a Blacksmith or a Carpenter, A Teacher or a Scholar, etc.
The Royal Family were the exception to this rule. They wore retas from the start of adolessence, the time when they got their wings and all of their magical abilities surfaced. Also their retas were always palest azure, the colour of pure mana, and were trimmed in either gold, silver or white. Gold for the Narim, the ruler of the Alurannai, silver for the Inartu or Crown Prince/Princess, and white for any Nartu, Princes/Princesses, there happened to be. Tarryn's reta was pale yellow and the symbols marked him as being the Sharta, Cheif Adviser, to Narim Breuntas; Nartu Kratos' grandfather.
Sharta Tarryn chuckled again... then sighed as a worried expression settled on his face.
Why do the Narim and the Inartu insist on not telling Kratos what's going on? War broke out six months ago and he knows nothing about it. He's not exactly a child any more, to be coddled and shielded from the world. What's more, today may be his last lesson with Krishka. There's only one more thing to teach him. And no more reasons to keep him from attending meetings of the Conclave.
He walked across the plaza towards the palace. Every step betraying the burden of knowledge on his shoulders.
He's not stupid. Once he learns of the war he'll want to know why he wasn't told.
The Sharta made his way through the palace to his office. Passing on the way, the large hall where Kratos was staring intently at the spark of light in his hand, while Krishka explained the lesson.
But how are we supposed to tell him?
He crossed the threshold of his office, paused, then turned to look out the window. At the endless expance of tree trunks that filled the horison.
Tethe'alla borders our kindom of Aluran on all sides. How will he react...when we tell him that if we don't side with them...? How do we tell him... that the King of Tethe'alla has threatened to burn Alahnsyr to the ground...?
A while earlier...
"It seems, Kratos, that your concept of time and mine differ considerably. I told you to be here for noon ...and THAT was TWO hours ago."
Kratos stared down at his feet. He hated dissapointing Krishka.
"I'm sorry Lord Krishka. I was practicing in the sparring yards and..."
"And you completely lost track of the time. You have always had a talent for swordwork, it runs in the family. When they were young both your father and grandfather were often late for lessons for the same reason. Though neither have kept me waiting as long or as often as you."
The Summon Spirit of Life looked down at Kratos, whose gaze was still fixed on his shoes while his azure, white trimmed reta shifted slightly in the breeze that came through the windows.
"Come now, Kratos, let's get started. You may be late, but let's not delay your lessons longer than they already have.
Kratos lifted his head and looked at the Summon Spirit. Krishka resembled a Winged Dragon, except that he was light brown, had four legs, not two and none of the sharp spines. He also had a triple flared crest that ran down his neck to his shoulders, starting in the middle of his head and from above each eye. His entire body was also entwined with with fine, leaf studded vines that were dotted with the occational pale blue flower which resembled those which bloomed on the Giant Tree from time-to-time. Then there was his eyes, which were the same pale azure of Kratos' reta. There was one final difference between Krishka and the Winged Dragons, and that was his size. Most Winged Dragons never grew longer than twelve feet in length from nose to tail-tip. Krishka, however, was nearly seventy feet in length. Hence the reason why the lesson was being held in a large hall.
Kratos moved forward and sat himself at Krishka's feet as the Spirit began the lesson.
"Today we will finish your lessons on Cruxis Crystals...Tell me, how do Cruxis Crystals differ from exspheres and what are their main properties?"
Kratos looked up at the Spirit and replied.
"A Cruxis Crystal is formed of crystalised mana and is made using magic, unlike exspheres which are formed from a type of very dense quartz and are mined from deep within the earth. Also a Cruxis Crystal enhances the users speed, strength, eyesight and hearing far above the level that an exsphere can achieve, though not to the level that the Alurannai have. A Cruxis Crystal will also give the user wings, and the ability to use Ethereal magic, though not conjuration."
"Correct. A Cruxis Crystal will indeed grant the user some of an Alurannai's abilities, though not all...Now tell me, how do you tell the difference between an Alurannai and a Cruxis Crystal user?"
Kratos began ticking points off on his fingers.
"Firstly, an Alurannai has sarren. A Cruxis Crystal user does not...Secondly, if the Alurannai has their sarren retracted, you can tell them apart by their wings. Most Cruxis Crystal users will have solid, bird-like wings. However those with segmented, transparent wings like an Alurannai can be identifed by the fact that their wings are made purely of mana, while an Alurannai's wings have a transparent physical membrane that can be discerned on close inspection...Lastly, if both wings and sarren are retracted, they can be identified by their mana signatures. Alurannai have a double mana signature, consisting of their Primary signature and a Secondary signature which acts as a mask which makes them appear human to all magic users and mana sensitives, except fellow Alurannai, unless the individual allows otherwise."
"Once again, correct." Krishka looked out the window at the Krilli birds singing in the nearby branches. "Can you tell me the secondary affects of a Cruxis Crystal on its user?"
"The secondary affects of the Cruxis Crystal give the user the Alurannai ability to matabolise mana, if they want to, instead of food, water, and air, and they also gain our ability to function without sleep, and the ability maniplulate our bodies to make ourselves more resistant to extreme temperatures, and to pain."
Krishka looked Kratos in the eye.
"You've deliberately missed one out...Well?"
Kratos concidered this for a moment, looking very uncomfortable with his next answer.
"The Cruxis Crystal will also stop the user's internal body clock. Trapping them at the age they were when they equipped it. They will then continue to live until they either commit suicide, or die due to illness, injury or malicious intent."
Krishka looked back out of the window.
"Correct... However, the Alurannai also have this ability, why isn't it used?"
Kratos frowned, then gave a slight shudder.
"It is used. But only if absolutely neccessary and as a last resort. Since suicide is against the Precepts of the Alurannai, anyone invoking the ability is sworn to keep living till they die of other causes... We live between fifty and one hundred danne anyway. Death always follows life eventually. So why would any of us want to live longer?"
The last part Kratos blurted out in a rush. Krishka gave him a toothy smile.
"Why indeed...?" Krishka paused then nodded. "Very good. You may have been late to your lessons, but you've certainly been paying attention. Now that I know that you know about Cruxis Crystals, and their affects. It's time for you to learn you how to make them."
Krishka lowered himself from from his sitting position to bring his head closer to Kratos' level.
"Cup your hand in front of you, it doesn't matter which, an start calling pure mana into it. You need a ball about the size of you palm."
Kratos fixed his eyes on his hand. As the first of the mana started to gather there, Krishka noted the passage of the Sharta.
He worries about telling Kratos the truth about the war, as do I. Hiding the threat won't make it go away...The Alurannai are the Guardians and yet they've become as reclusive as the Elves...Yes the kingdom of Aluran is neutral, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the world's kindoms can be ignored...This war...and Tethe'alla's threats... are proof of that.
Krishka suddenly had a ball of light practically shoved up his nose.
"I'm done," Kratos said as he held up a palm-sized ball of mana for Krishka to inspect.
Caught off guard and barely managing to hide it, the Spirit proceeded to examine the ball.
"Good. Now focus your mind around it and compress it, adding a tiny amount of your personal mana as you do so. Your mana is what will turn it from an ordinary mana crystal, into a Cruxis Crystal. That's why ordinary magic users wouldn't be able to make these." Just as well. They're causing enough trouble as it is.
Kratos, who seemed to be having problems compressing his ball of mana, started to close his hand around it.
"No no...your not squeezing it with your hand, your supposed to compress it with your mind. Don't think about making it smaller, will it to become smaller."
Sure enough this did the trick and kratos was soon holding a newly made Cruxis Crystal.
"Excellent, well done!...Well, that's it. I have nothing left to teach you...A must say that even with you tardyness, you've progressed at a remarkable pace."
Kratos, who was now on his feet, flushed at the praise.
"Thank you. Lord Krishka. I've really enjoyed all my lessons with you and I'd like to say again that I'm sorry I kept being late all the..."
A loud ringing echoed through the open doorway and windows. Its strident sound putting the nerves on edge as it swept through the Citadel.
"Lord Krishka! That's the Emergency Bell!"
Krishka leapt to his feet.
Please don't let this be what I think it is...
As the two of them reached the door, Sharta Tarryn dashed past. Looking out they saw him aproach a courrier, whose face and clothing were streaked with soot. Eyes, haunted. Wings, frayed at the edges.
"Sharta Tarryn, I bring a message from Captain Jasan of the Border Guard...The Citadel is to be evacuated immediately...Tethe'alla...Tethe'alla..has declared war on Aluran...
Alaia Skyhawk: Well I hope you like it.
For those who are wondering, a danne is a century. The Alurannai have Really long life spans so they measure them in danne.
In the monster list, the dragon I said Krishka looks like is called a 'Baby Dragon'. However in the game Presea calls it a 'Winged Dragon' so I used that.
Ethereal magic is Angelic magic. It won't be referred to as 'Angelic' until right near the end of the story. Conjuration magic will be explained in a later chapter.
Also picture Kratos to look a little bit younger than he does in the game. Not much, just enough to be noticable.
Pleeease review this. Constructive critisism is welcome, but pleeeease ...no flames (Puppy Dog Eyes) Hopefully I'll have the next chapter up in a few days time.