|The Palace Celestia|
Designed by Miatrylle
Lifespan: 45 minutes
Medium Groups: 25-31
Large Groups: 21-26
Thousands of years ago, before the great lands of Medievia were birthed, there lived a powerful enchantress who served the highest Master. Daughter of the King of the Heavens and the Queen of Stars, she was named Kaelymonii. To the subjects of her parents' kingdom, she was known as the Star Child, or the Princess of the Heavens. Early in her life, her parents had taken her to the Temple of the Master, and dedicated their little daughter's life to his service.
When she came of age, the Master gave her a large area of land to tend, telling her to do with it as she would, asking only that she bring the beings she protected towards goodness and light. All was beautiful and serene in Kaelymonii's kingdom, and the subjects of her lands were more like dear friends to her than simply members of the populace. Still, though, she was unhappy. She had looked into the future and seen that her kingdom would fall prey to the Dark Dragon, the bringer of death and sorrow. Above all other things, she hated to think that all she had worked to accomplish would be lost.
Kaelymonii prayed to the Master for guidance and was rewarded. He told her that if she truly cared for her kingdom, she could find a way to save it, even though it must pass through a period of darkness first. She was to use all her skills and talents now to create the essence and souls of five humans who would carry deep within them her magic and power. When they were born, the Palace Celestia, as Kaelymonii's castle was called, would awaken for them, and they could continue the work she had begun.
No sooner had she finished the weaving of the spell that a dark dragon breathing an icy flame appeared at the edge of her misty lands, slowly creeping forward in the dark of the night, breathing its cold darkness of death upon her realm. She spent her last few days walking the palace grounds, breathing in the pure air of the night and watching the dancing of the stars. They comforted her, reminding her that her life had been well-spent, her creations beautiful, and her soul ever-pure. Through their dances, they showed her a time many thousands of years hence, the time of her future heirs. She was able to see them, the ones who would carry her love and power within. She watched them slowly journey together, finding themselves as they went, and forming a band to fight for her own beliefs. And she loved them with a pure and unwavering love.
Then, when the stars had ceased to dance their joy and light, she turned around and faced the Dark Dragon, who she knew stood behind her, without fear. She raised her arms in one final burst of her magical rays and sent a beam of pure white light into the sky, thereby sending her soul into the heavens with the stars, in hopes of returning to greet her heirs later. She stepped forward to meet the Dragon, her arms outstretched as if to welcome back a friend, allowing only a soft sigh when his claws met her chest and sunk into her heart like a ring of daggers. She fell to the ground in a soft and silent heap, and, as her blood poured forth from her body, a sparkling stream burst forth from the ground and washed her blood from the earth.
The last drop to fall from her heart sparkled and turned to a glittering ruby of lifeblood. The dragon roared one loud and echoing shriek of triumph and rose into the now-starless night to plummet straight into the depths of the earth with the ruby of her lifeblood clasped between two long claws. Her last lonely tears that had been dropped now rose like a silver mist and enshrouded her realms. Her once-cold forest transfigured into a warm and misty tropical jungle, flowers bloomed in thick bunches wherever her wandering feet had touched, and her castle shimmered once and disappeared to be reborn for her future heirs.
And the Realms slept in waiting for the awakening of the heavens...
Thousands of years into the future...
-+= TOREN =+-
Toren stood, shaking his dark black hair as it fell into his eyes. From beneath the raven locks, his eyes shone emerald green, flecked with violet sparkles. He looked around the dark forest warily, picked up his small knife, and walked on. Weary from his long journey, he sensed that he was nearing his destination. Frustration riddled his mind, and the closer he got to the mysterious palace that troubled his subconscious and sat firmly planted in his dreams, the more mindless rage filled him. Toren hated the unknown. He had been trained as a warrior in a booming city in the lands known as the Battle Realms, a place where anything unfamiliar was discouraged.
Having been born to a young mother who gave him no name of a father, Toren had fought the taunts of his peers all his life, and having what his mother had called the Promise did not help. He had denied having magical skills so violently that even his body had begun to bow to his powerful will and hidden the traces of magic from him. Still though, at times like this, when he allowed his anger to get the better of him, little streams of the Promise flowed through his veins, and he was unable to get rid of them. Sighing, upset at being forced to use the magic, he allowed his fingers to lift as he concentrated on them. Slowly, a ball of light appeared upon his hands. He raised the light up as he stepped into a clearing, and gasped as his white beams of magical brightness lit up part of what he saw before him...
-+= AMACIA =+-
On the other side of the clearing, Amacia stepped onto the lush grass and sighed with contentment. Lady Amacia, as she had been born, was the daughter of a dashing nobleman and a famed beauty. Her father had been one of the Dukes of A'atang, and her mother the Baroness Roquefellier. The Baroness had been the toast of A'atangian nobility, and the Duke had been considered the most darkly handsome man since the late Prince Roale. Lady Amacia was the third of three children. Her elder brother was the Marquesse of Stentian, and her elder sister had been born the Lady Isylla and was now the Princess Isylla of Western A'atang.
Neither of Amacia's parents had any magical inclinations whatsoever, and refused to acknowledge the existence of such things in any of their own offspring. Their daughter however, had the Promise, although she did not know to call it that. As long as Amacia could remember, she had had the power to see the future. She had learned how to use her powers from an old wench who used to spin in their estate courtyard. No matter how frequently she used her powers, she had seen one scene without fail; the image of a beautiful castle formed of precious gemstones lived in her mind. Now that she had reached her twentieth year, she had felt that she was ready to seek the palace of her visions. She had fought countless marriage offers and alliance negotiations to maintain her freedom, and was not about to step into the blase life of A'atang. After weeks and weeks of wandering through the wilderness, protected only by the visions her foresight gave her, Amacia had finally stepped out of a deep forest, shrouded with dark magic, and now, her feet were planted firmly on the emerald grass before the enchanted castle.
-+= RONEN =+-
Ronen, the semi-pampered golden one, stepped into the moonlit clearing from beneath a canopy of dusky trees. His shock of sunny hair trembled in the slight breeze of the dark night, drifting down to shadow his deep eyes. Like Amacia, he had been born into a noble family of the A'atang Region, and he had been spoiled all his life. At the age of fifteen, he had been chased routinely by the young ladies of the wealthiest and most prominent families of the city and its surrounding lands. By the age of seventeen, he had acquired the nickname of Ronen the Golden. Any other young man would have been content with fawning beauties falling at his feet and the wealth of several cities in his bank account, but from a young age, the Duke Ronen had dreamed of more.
He had the Promise in his blood, but he had not been trained to use it. Instead, sometimes he could feel the power flowing through his body in times of great emotional excitement, but could not control it. When it had awoken him late one night, several fortnights past, he had been drawn out into the great wilderness as if his blood had become molten magnet and was drawing him towards a mountain of lodestone. Now, as he neared the palace, he felt his blood become strangely warm, sending his nerves racing. He stepped through the great palace entrance doors and gasped.
-+= KATRYNI =+-
Katryni sighed as she rubbed her sore feet. Although she was used to walking for long distances, since the homeless of the capital city of Western A'atang were rarely able to rest during the hours of the sun's light, this journey had been far more rigorous than anything she'd met so far. Katryni, known simply as Ryni, was only seven and ten years, yet she had seen too much of the poverty and desperation of the slums of the great lands of Medievia. After her affluent mother had died when she was merely thirteen summers old, her elder brother by ten years had taken their mother's fortune and left, leaving his little sister without a penny. She had lived in the streets since then, and while she did not lead the life of a gutter princess, she still accepted their charity, for despite their humiliating positions in life, they were the only ones who had shown her any compassion at all.
Ryni was skilled in the arts of healing, much more than the average woman trained as a cleric. Though she did not know what to call it, the Promise filled her soul, and she was powerful. It was because of this that she was able to retain an innocent core, despite her nearly broken spirit. As soon as the Promise had spoken to her in a dream, telling her of this Palace of Dreams, she had left. Tears filled her eyes, spilling down cheeks streaked with dirt and leaving little paths of hope on filthy skin as her eyes fell upon the castle that she had journeyed so far to find.
-+= LUNARI =+-
In the skies above the palace, Lunari was perched upon his enormous falcon. His eyesight was nearly as good as his mount's was, and he could see clearly the four human figures approaching the castle. He paused for a moment in the dark sky, then signaled to his falcon to land. He moved through the midnight light stealthily, using his magical talents to hide himself from all but the most skilled eye. Lunari had been raised by a coven of women called the Society of Midnight Promise, and they had trained him to use his magic. The Society had taught him well, he thought, as he smiled to himself and circled into the palace courtyard.
The five Heirs of Promise wandered the castle bequeathed to them by the Princess Kaelymonii, until finally they found themselves in a large hall, covered with diamonds. Their steps echoed in the hallway, alerting each to the presence of others in this deserted palace. As though drawn by strings, they stumbled to the center of the room, and as they came in contact with each other, a ray of blinding white light filled the area, knocking them all into unconsciousness.
Hours later, the sun had risen, and was pouring in through the diamond dome above them when they began to stir. Toren was the first to awaken, and he felt for his dagger and was surprised to find it missing. He rolled and looked straight into the wondering eyes of Katryni. She gasped as she saw her own shock mirrored in his identically colored eyes. They stood, and he looked down at her for a long moment before the movement of the others forced them to look away. The five stood and gaped, for the beautiful floor which had been so smooth upon their entrance now housed a large amount of writing, engraved into the marble with golden letters. Ronen read it aloud, the others listening quietly, and they learned the story of Kaelymonii.
After much talk between them, they each came to the realization that the palace felt like home, as no other place had. They decided to remain in the hidden castle with each other, learning to use their magical gifts from the hundreds of books in the library. Two happy years passed, in which the five progressed to the highest levels of magic attainable. They had furnished the palace beautifully, and the land was flourishing. Peasants and nobles alike had heard of the Palace Celestia and had come to make it their home as well. The heirs were glad to teach all who approached them about the Promise and how to use it.
It was then, though, just as everything seemed to be perfect, that Katryni spied a black mist slowly filling the air of the surrounding forests. They met at the altar to their patron Goddess, Kaelymonii, praying for help. Once again, writing appeared upon the tiles of the floor, explaining to them that the Dark Dragon was returning, hoping to crush the light that the five had brought to the lands. As they read, a bright light filled the room, and before them floated the spirit of the Princess Goddess herself, come down from the heavens to give them strength and hope.
They prepared for battle valiantly, but the Dragon moved faster. The castle was invaded by dozens of his dark minions, each a creature of nightmares. Every night, hordes of the midnight demons invaded the palace, terrorizing the servants and nobles. The heirs themselves retreated to their chambers to find a solution. Once there, they found that it was nearly impossible for them to leave. Only Lunari was able to escape the clutches of the dark ones, for having been trained by a coven of powerful women of the light, he was stronger than his fellow heirs, and he fled to the edge of the palace grounds. There, he sent up a desperate plea to all the Gods and Goddesses of the realms, begging them to help the occupants of the palace in the name of Kaelymonii.
His pleas caught the attention of the Goddess Miatrylle, and she sent a message to the mortals of the lands of Medievia. She promised the greatest of adventures and blessings to any mortals who could save the precious castle ... and the heroes and champions of the land began pouring into the palace.
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