I don't own The Dark Crystal, SkekSis, UrRu, UrSkeks, Gelflings, Nebrie, or Podlings. However, I do own SkekTah, UrSoel, UrAel, SkekSuu, and my Gelfling.
When single shines the triple sun,
What was sundered and undone
Shall be whole, the two made one,
By Gelfling hand, or else by none.
A prophecy, the prophecy, known by those who traveled those barren lands. For a thousand years it was sent farther and farther into ruin, except in areas sheltered from the SkekSis rule.
The SkekSis; the shadowed half of the creatures once known as UrSkeks, had ravaged the land, stripping it bare and taking what they had desired from it. None were safe from their ruthlessness. Not Nebrie. Not Podlings. And especially not Gelflings. At least, that's what it appeared.
As the Rose Sun climbed higher into the sky, a figure slipped from a crevice and went to the edge of the high mountain. Large eyes gazed out onto the landscape, wings shifting from beneath a cloak as a soft breeze ruffled their sheltered hair. It was a Gelfling. A young woman, barely beyond the age of official adulthood. Her hair was a soft auburn, with hints of blonde in streaks at times, reaching just beyond her hips. She had bangs, but very longs ones that reached just beyond her chin and framed her face.
Though she was indeed a Gelfling, she was not a part of the prophecy. No, she knew that. There was another Gelfling that was intended to heal the Dark Crystal and the land it gave life to. She was but a ritual apprentice, a priestess one might say.
She took a breath, closing her eyes and letting the wind blow around her before she heard hissing behind her and the breaking of rock. Turning, a slightly withered claw was grasping at the crevice wall, trying to pull the owner up. A smile slipped onto her features and she shook her head, her hand reaching out and grasping the larger one. Using what strength she had, she heaved the second figure up into the bright light of the second sun, revealing a creature she should have feared. A SkekSis.
The SkekSis stood tall, far taller than she, with robes of dark blue and a collar of white. Across his belly was silver whispering strands that resembled a spider web. He brushed her hand away, patting away the dust before continuing on down the mountain path, as if he hadn't just been helped by a Gelfling, a sworn enemy to the SkekSis. However, the Gelfling merely smiled as he seemed to leave her behind; she was well used to him by now, having seen him numerous times before. His name was SkekTah. She had seen him not only in the same place she was headed, but also speaking to an urRu, or Mystic, by the name of UrSoel, SkekTah's other half. UrSoel was a kind and gentle soul, as are all the Mystics. She had only met him once but enjoyed his company nonetheless, just as she enjoyed the SkekSes company.
Casting a final glance out at the dying land, the Gelfling turned and followed after her peculiar companion, the canyon face melding into a flattened land leading to a small cave. Poised outside the mouth of the cave was a collection of panels filled with a pale paste, drying in the warmth of the three suns. Soon enough these would become parchment, the parchment used to create maps of the land around them. That's what their companion excelled at. Knowing the land by pure memory and transcribing it for others to traverse safely. She herself had several of these maps tucked away in her robes detailing pathways only seen if one knew where they were.
Ahead of her, SkekTah had already reached the mouth of the cave, a low humming sound finished off with a hiss rising up from his chest and echoing around them. Just as before, he ignored her as she stood next to him, his claws resting on his belly plates as he waited.
Soon enough, a soft voice called to them, welcoming them, beckoning them into the cave. SkekTah went first; his steps slightly choppy from the weight of his robes, but his stature remained tall and firm. She followed him, staying by his side as they passed shelves carefully carved into the cave walls from years of work, the shelves lined with parchment, inks, and scrolls of all sorts. The cave smelled of various herbs and flora their companion used to produce the inks used on the scrolls, as well as the scent of the cooking stew near them.
Waiting for them near the stew pot, a large scroll laid out before them was an urRu; hair long as expected, earthy brown with streaks of gray and white throughout it. Cyan robes with hints of gray and light gray throughout adorned them; a carefully crafted sketching quill was held in three delicate hands, brushing along the edges of the parchment as the finishing touches were placed on the map. As the final stroke was made, the urRu looked to them and smiled; her eyes tender, her smile loving. Her name was UrAel, the last of the female urRu. Whether her existence was known to those in the Valley of the Mystics was unknown, for she never mentioned them. But she was happy to share her experiences and travels with the young Gelfling, and even the SkekSis.
Although SkekTah seemed to despise being in her presence, they both knew that wasn't the case. He got along, well enough, with his other half, and the same could be said for UrAel. He had never met her other half, SkekSuu she had called her, but that wasn't surprising. Both SkekTah and SkekSuu had traveled far from the castle and were only returning to the land for good with the Great Conjunction drawing near.
Though he did not speak, UrAel knew why he had come; a way to the castle, where no eyes would see him. He had met with her several times before over the millennia, her services of sorts aiding him in traversing the land safely and swiftly. And though he felt the Crystal calling him, drawing him to it, he was no fool. He hadn't traveled the land around the castle in decades, and needed guidance to reach it without acquiring his death. Something she was happy to help him with. UrSoel, like herself, did not live in the Valley of the Mystics, and instead lived wherever he so pleased at that time. The navy and silver dawning urRu was a painter, and he and UrAel often found solace together when they felt the need to be around others, their talents similar in artistry. It had been some time since she had seen him last, her prayers going out to him and wishing him well. But for now, she was happy to help his other half, as she always had been.
Her companions watched her shift, drawing herself up and head to a shelf nearby, her long tail brushing the ground behind her, aiding in her balance as she rose up just enough to pluck a scroll from a high shelf before returning to them.
This map, she said to them, would guide SkekTah home again along a path drawn with not only safety, but shelter and food as well. It would take a few days' time to reach the castle, but he would reach it well before the Great Conjunction, where all the Mystics would soon traverse to. It was only a matter of time. Something she had said for so many years now. The SkekSis opened the scroll and looked it over, making sure he was able to interpret and understand her guidance before he was satisfied, tucking it into his robes before producing a small tied bag and letting it drop onto the floor before her as he turned and vanished from the cave and from their sight. The urRu only smiled and delicately picked up the bag, removing several precious jewels, setting them aside to be shattered and crushed, added amongst other herbs and materials to make inks for the various calligraphies that dawned her scrolls.
Once the jewels were set aside, her attention returned to the Gelfling, her smile ever gentle as she listened to the young priestess's request. She too wanted to journey to the castle. Too see the land after the Great Conjunction and be a part of it, giving what aid she could to those whom needed it. However, a simple and safe route wasn't what she desired. She wanted to be tested, tried, before reaching the castle. If she couldn't make it to the castle on her own wit and a bit of tender guidance, then she wasn't ready to be of aid to anyone.
UrAel simply nodded in understanding, having known the Gelfling for many years now. Though her parents had been lost to the Garthim, she had been old enough to survive on her own with only an occasional nudge from UrAel or even UrSoel, depending on who had found her when she was low. The urRu was gentle, explaining to her that the route she desired so would fully test her strength, her resolve, and that once she began, it would be very difficult to go back. The land wouldn't be forgiving to those whom gave up. But the priestess was determined and so she too received a scroll, though her guidance was not as intricate as SkekTah whom was given near every spot to lounge and rest, but instead showed areas of dangerous intent. Where Garthim were known to roam, amongst other threats to the small Gelfling, but still she was firm. It was all or nothing in her mind. The urRu bowed her head in respect to her wishes and let her leave, a knowing shimmer in her aged eyes. The priestess was not the first Gelfling to come to her with such a request, but knew she would be the last. In her travels she had seen numerous creatures fall to the SkekSis, many whom had been her friends, her companions. Still she felt their presence around her, and she knew soon enough she would join them. When single shined the triple sun; what had been sundered and undone, was again whole, the two made one.