As could only be expected of the teen, Remus could not pay attention to the lesson Master Ardrak was attempting to teach. While he was admittedly bad at the non-practical classes he was involved in, especially strategy (too much looking ahead and planning for him), the added distractions of the news from home and the word of Eeil managed to completely distract him. For year he had wondered as to what the Unican had been doing, how he'd lost his horn, and how he'd acquired the claw. It had always seemed that Remus would find rumors of him too late, finding people who could only describe a sweet perfume and a half-memory left behind.
So it came to be that Remus dragged Filan just as they were dismissed and pulled him without pause towards the large set of rooms playfully dubbed 'the library'. Everyone in Darnaw knew that it was hardly that, for all of the 'books' were just war records and hardly worth reading. It was more of an archive, and not even a great one at that. It was due to this that Filan was stunned by his friend's desire to get these. Never before had his friend cared about the records. What shocked him more was the daring of his friend to use his shifting inside of the fort to create silver hair and golden eyes. The only explanation Filan could come up with was...
"You're dragging me off to see the new librarian the Master told us about, aren't you?"
Remus paused and turned to regard his friend. Emotions the totemic teen had never noticed before accented the excitement in the strange gold eyes. There was fear, hope, concern, and most of all the sae glint he found when Remus spoke of his bother.
"It's Eeil! I have to see him. You don't understand. This guy is..."
"Unican, so what? You're going to gawk at his horn, aren't you? It's just plain rude?"
"He had no horn," Remus whispered, more to himself than Filan. With this said he released his friend and hurried off to the library alone. Whether Filan was with him or not was unimportant. What mattered was the hornless Eeil.
The archives here had never before reminded him of Sakor's library, yet as he entered now, it suddenly did. Sure, none of the books could be the same, and the purpose was far from similar, but it was different. A sudden calm overtook Remus as he'd not felt since he'd left Sulanet a year ago. Then there was a perfume in the air that Remus had not actually had contact with since he was younger.
"So you came," a voice said, pure as water from melted snow.
"Where are you Eeil? Why do you hide?"
"Why did you fail to deliver my message? It was important. Because you failed your brother will never walk again."
"So, it is your fault that..." he started, moving around shelves to try and find the silver and gold male.
"No!" the voice came from behind him, causing the teen to whirl on the spot. Before him was the Unican male, unchanged from the day they had met, save the fury in his eyes. "The fault is only yours Remus. He could have been a shore man and lived happily. Instead he lost his mobility. It will make it worse for you now. Instead your trials shall be great. And I thought that the words of Sakor would win you to the task."
"You know Sakor?"
"Know? Boy he trained under my own master for three years. Never underestimate what or who a Unican knows child."
For a few moments Remus was silent, before he moved closer to the older male. "You have answers that I want... that I need."
The roes worn by the Unican, a plain brown but fair upon him, pooled upon the floor yet made no sound as he turned and practically glided away. "Come, I have already arranged for you to spend the remainger of your classes with me today. Such a time should suffice."
"Isn't that a bit much? I have classes until the dinner hour..."
Eeil cut him off sharply, "I know this boy. It shall be barely enough time. Come now or you'll hear nothing at all from me."
Together the two slipped out of the way of the dusty and musty tomes. Soon they entered a door Remus had never actually noticed in his year here. The scent was like lavender and lilacs and nutmeg, a combination that the shifter male knew now was not the scent of Eeil, but of what he worked with. Turned out that what he worked with was many varied herbs. There were bowls of smoldering herbs, crystals hung from odd locations and of many colors, and things that Remus could not identify. The things he did know of were all said to have some association with divination and other magic associated with foresight. But Remus knew that Unicans without their horns were incapable of magic.
"What is all of this stuff?" he asked, trying to figure out why they were needed.
"Exactly what your suspicions tell you Remus. I am sure that with all that you have learned from your brother you are still unaware of the fact that all Unicans are capable of foresight in some amount. Mostly it are the older who have it, but the few of us who live without horns share a greater amount."
"I don't understand," Remus admitted, taking the seat offered to him by the gold and silver male. With grace equaled by nothing Remus had ever seen the other male lowered himself to the seat opposite the youth.
"Of course you do not. You are merely human, but the future I see before you is a great one. This is why I must speak with you. There is very much that you need to know that no other in the Zanean Region could tell you. Only the Unican and Elves are old enough races to even begin to have stories about what you shall come to face."
As he once did as a child, the teen rolled his eyes at Eeil, "You've got to be kidding me. You think you've seen my future do you? Man, did cutting off your horn fry your brain or something?"
The insensitivity of the comment really didn't occur to Remus at this point, for the older man did not rise to the bait. "You asked Sakor about the darkest enemy of the dragons. I know what they are, and you need to know to."
When the word ‘dragon' entered the air it seemed to hang there, hovering over the head of Remus. Ever since he had been given his most prized possession by the very being he sat before he'd been fascinated with dragons. It was actually his dream to one day scale Mount Vesire to see if somehow some of the most ancient race actually lingered upon the planet.
"Listen closely boy, for the words I will now tell you have never found a human deemed worthy of hearing them. You are the first and probably the last that shall ever hear these from a Unican, so do not forget them, for it will be your responsibility to carry them on. And in the end you will know just what to do with them...
"There was a time, long, long ago, before Unicans or even Elves walked the face of Carodos. It was a time of darkness for the planet. There were no sentient things upon the planet at all. Then came the dragons. They were great beings from another place, seeking refuge upon a world that was pure. To them Carodos was perfect. The peaks were high, the mountains safe, and the lands beautiful. For several generations all was perfect.
"Then came change from under the very mountains the dragons called their homes. Little had they known that in their lives a race native to Carodos was growing, biding their time before coming into the glory of the sun. When they did come it was with destruction. The dark race killed animals indiscriminately, burned forests and tainted the soil with their presence. Some of the dragons more attuned to the world hear the cries of pain. These creatures did not belong upon the surface, and the world begged them to reseal the dark race in the stone from which they sprang so that her true children could come forth.
"So began a great war between the kind of the dragons and the dark race. Many was the deaths on either side, causing the knowledge of the cannibalism of this race to come to the knowledge of the dragons. The noble beings used all their might, and finally locked away the dark race under the stones of Carodos, and none to soon. It was but a generation after this that the first race, the elves awoke. It was to them that the dragons taught this story, and in turn the elves taught it to us. Very few races beside ours ever came to know of the dark race, for the dragons thought that putting such cares upon the young races was silly.
"Yet the tale does not end there. For many years there was peace, until there came to be humans like yourself in the world. Still, for all of your trouble how was your short lived kind to know that the great enemy of all was once more rising? To the luck of ourselves and many others though a man named Toremas decided he would see the dragons. They, seeing the use in the human race, took him in and created the dragon riders. So it was they, without the knowledge of most races, that beat back the dark race before their existence could bring destruction. Even this came late. What your schools will not tell you is that the great ruins in the north were created by an attack by this dark race. No survivors were ever found, nor the bodies of any of the dark ones, only a single word scratched into a stone indicated who did it..."
"What word?" the youth asked as he leaned closer to Eeil. Every word had drawn him into the story.
"Egsu. That is what they call themselves," Eeil said softly. "After this the dragons, their mortal riders all dying, decided it was time to leave Carodos, believing their foes vanquished for a final time. No dragon has been seen since."
"Well, I guess that's kinda okay," Remus said sadly, touching the claw that hung under his shirt.
"Far from it. You have heard of the incident that took place in the dwarf mountain city of Caizen to the north?"
"Yeah, they say the entire settlement disappeared in a single night. No bodies, nothing, just tankards fallen and all the weapons gone... Like magic."
"Not magic," Eeil stood and moved gracefully to a table. "Not magic at all..."
"You think some ancient race has risen again from the depths?"
"They would have stayed sealed, had the dwarves not been such a greedy folk. They dug too deep, too fast. They opened the way for the Egsu to return from the surface, and how do you think they feel about us being the ones on the surface? How do you think they feel about humanity?"
"I expect they'd be furious if they actually existed," Remus said, rising.
Eeil shook his head and turned to look at the human, holding a large black stone in his hands. "Do you know what this is?"
The Unican shook his head, "It was once part of the chest armor of an Egsu. Only those trained to know how to handle one will survive in the beginning..."
"You really believe they are coming?"
"I believe that you will be soon called to fight them, and that dying would disgrace the memory of Toremas, for it is the claw of his dragon Garoth that you wear with such pride..."
The comment caused the youth to sit. Okay, so maybe he'd give the Unican a bit more time. Who knew, maybe there was truth in this that he'd one day need to know.
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