I felt strange in my cloak and doublet, my naked feet bathing in the pearl white sand. I had been sent to the south-eastern nation of Egora by the guild in order to escort another mage back to the royal city. Being from the war-torn western coast, the culture of Egora was a truly fascinating thing to me. The people were dressed lightly, revealing their dark skin to the harsh sun, challenging it. The outfits themselves weren’t ragtag, battle hardened armors like those I used to wear as a young man, nor did they resemble the humble, practical outfits worn by the inhabitants of the central provinces. They were colorful, carefully crafted masterpieces.
Jewels were imbedded in the cloth. Precious metals made up the structure of the more complicated outfits. Cloth-of-gold stitching were made on the edge of the clothing. Rare dies colored the cloth in exotic colors and patterns. The people painted their bodies extravagantly, sometimes leaving no skin untouched. Women wore the feathers of birds of prey to ornate their hair. Men wore the skin of feline hunters to show their worth.
Tonight, the outfits and body paintings were particularly spectacular. Tonight was the eve of the Summer Solstice, a sacred day here. The sun was a red semi-circle sinking into the horizon before me. The sound of drumbeat started as soon as the last sunbeam fell beyond the horizon. I let the vibrations guide me to the town plaza. The space that had been empty shortly before was now dominated by a row of eight huge, elevated drums. A crowd was forming around a tall, ebony skinned woman. She wore a pearl white outfit lined with cloth of gold and ornamented with blue stones. Her abdomen and collar bone were decorated with azure body paint that also swiveled around her arms. That same blue paint ornamented her eyelids and cheekbones.
When she opened her eyes, I was struck by the cold blue light that lived within, like a piece of arctic sky imbedded within her dark frame. A quick look at the drums revealed the true nature of the musicians. They were magical beings summoned, animated and controlled by the blue-eyed sorceress. The same blue light lived within their eyes and the runes that ran throughout their bodies. The mage’s singing began than, her crystal voice amplified by magic, and accompanied by the drums as well as another sound, as if fingers of metal were plucking strings of lightning, summoned by magic, causing a deep vibration throughout my body. The crowd around me was dancing wildly, the only light coming from the village’s torches, and from magical holograms that appeared in the sky, animated by a familiar blue light. The air was fresh and alive with music and happiness.
Hours later, the music died down and the mage stopped her nimble and fluid dance. The flying lights died out, the black silhouettes disappeared from the drums in a cloud of blue particles. The eyes of the mage regained their natural color. The crowd was in awe. She then spoke the local language, her crystal voice reaching the edge of the village. I didn’t need to speak the exotic, fascinating tongue to understand that she was inviting others to join the spectacle with skills of their own.
I dropped my cloak from my shoulders and pulled up my sleeves. The people around me started to move away as my hands started to glow with a crimson light. I let magic flow from my palms, allowing a cloud of red-and-gold particles to form around my knees. I sent a flow of magic through my legs to levitate me and used part of the cloud to materialize ornate wings on my back. The circle the crowd had formed around me now rivalled that of the mage. I cracked my neck and breathed deeply as I pushed more magic out into the night, extending my consciousness, creating bright red figures of my own. I closed my eyes to better focus. Creatures of western myth materialized in the air, re-enacting the stories of my childhood on an epic scale…
… And I was only getting warmed up!
Part four of my Souleater series, introducing a second character. Previous part here and all parts here.Trying a more descriptive approach this time around, perhaps less exiting, but something I need to get better at, meaning feedback is very welcome this week, and I’ll gladly take in opinions, and random thoughts as well! Thanks you for stopping by!