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Dissimilarity

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Sem, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    This is a Fire Emblem based... fic I guess. I don't know where it's going, but meh. For those of you in the know it's based off the Gamecube/Wii titles. It's set in an alternate timeline, so there won't really be any familiar characters in it. For those of you who don't know anything about FE, don't sweat it. You don't need to know anything.


    -Chapter 1-

    The sea breeze that blew over the islands of Kilvas was rich and warm. Azraya inhaled the scent of the ocean as she stood upon the edge of a cliff, overlooking an endless expanse of sea. There wasn’t very much left of the known world due a cataclysmic flood that had occurred a thousand or so years prior wiped out all life - save for the continent of Tellius, or so they said. Kilvas was just south of the main continent and you could fly there under a few hours easily.

    A wave crashed against the rock and Azraya stretched out her limbs and wings. She was the typical Raven Laguz, appearance-wise at least. She had fair skin with black hair and a pair of black wings. She was fairly tall for a female, and well built as her people had recently discovered. The sun reflected off her wings in shades of blue as she stretched them out. She let the light of the sun bathe her body, which was covered only by a red-brown top of light fabric and short trousers; typical summer-wear.

    Taking a look around she decided it was a good idea to head back. She stepped off of the cliff and allowed herself to relish a moment of freefall before stretching out her wings and catching herself. She never got tired of the feeling of the wind rushing past her, the feeling the falling gave her. She had done it ever since she could fly, despite the warnings her father gave her. Flying was not normally special for any Bird Laguz – it was natural, but Azraya loved it.

    Azraya ascended above the cliff she had just stepped off of and flew towards palace. The island was mostly comprised of tall bare peaks with very little flat ground. The island of Kilvas had very little ground for crops or other such things, which was why when Kilvas had been a nation it was always poor. The Ravens had often resorted to piracy, attacking ships out at sea and stealing their supplies. Shipless Pirates they were called.

    Now, however, the bird tribes had formed into one nation. Kilvas merged with its sister island, Phoenicis, home of the Hawk Laguz, and became one nation along with the surviving Heron Laguz. This had happened two centuries prior and since then the Ravens had been able to live comfortably for a change. Hawks weren’t an uncommon sight in Kilvas, as Ravens weren’t over in Phoenicis. Bad blood ran between both tribes, but they were slowly overcoming these hurdles.

    The palace was soon in sight and Azraya dived for it, spiraling until she was mere meters from the ground before catching herself and landing softly before the step that led up to the palace. The palace had once been home of the Raven king, but now that the bird tribes were united the king resided in the palace in Phoenicis. The palace in Kilvas was now a fortress and a place for the training of troops. The palace was built from stone with part of it digging into the side of the mountain by which it rested. It was beautiful, as far as Laguz structures went. Beorc tended to have flashier architecture for their buildings.

    The bird tribes had always been small, and attacks in the past centuries had caused their numbers to dwindle further. Now that they were united they were able to have one single army, and with the population climbing they were a force to be reckoned with.

    Azraya walked up the steps, nodding to people she knew. Most people knew who she was, due to how different she was from every other Laguz. Unlike other Laguz, Azraya was unable to transform. The Laguz were known for their ability to change into animals. The Bird Tribes changed into hawks, ravens, and herons respectively, though they were much larger than any mere wild animal. There was also the Beast Tribe. The most common in the Beast Tribe were the Cat and Tiger Laguz. Among the Beast Tribe were also the rare Lions, which were the strongest of all the Laguz; unless you included the Dragon Tribe, who were secluded and mystical, but undoubtedly powerful.

    These different tribes made up the Laguz world, which covered half of the continent. These transformations were a boon in combat, but took up a lot of energy and it was rare for a Laguz to stay transformed throughout the whole battle. When these powerful beings weren’t transformed they resembled much their Beorc counterparts, minus the wings and pointed ears, or the tail and cat ears if you were a feline Laguz.

    The inability to transform into a raven immediately set Azraya apart from the others. That, and other Laguz, bird or beast, seemed to be uneasy around her. It had been that way since her birth. That was not the main thing that set her apart, however. As she grew and matured it was discovered that she had strength beyond any untransformed Laguz. She could fly for hours and hours, and she could lift things that she shouldn’t be able to. Her reflexes were sharp and she was quick, and she had plenty of endurance.

    It was because of this that she even had a place within the army. Untransformed Laguz were easy prey on the battlefield, falling easily to enemies. But Azraya seemed as powerful as a transformed Laguz. This was determined through many tests and sparring matches, in which she was pit against not only Bird Tribe laguz but also Beast Tribe. Her strength fell short when they managed to find a Lion to spar with her and she lost, but they saw no reason not to take her into the army.

    This really did make her happy, since otherwise she would feel useless being unable to transform or fight. No one was forced to serve, but it was expected of you if you had the ability, especially when the Bird Tribe was still vulnerable.

    Her training had been slightly different than her brothers and sisters, which was typically what you referred your fellow Laguz as, whether they were actually blood related or not. She went through the normal Bird-tribe untransformed combat training, which gave untransformed Laguz a better chance on the battlefield. On top of this though, she trained in the different fighting styles of the Beast Tribe in order to fully make use of her abilities. The Beorc Ambassador was even able to arrange training in Beorc fighting styles, which only further added to her use in battle.

    It was for something entirely different now that was the issue currently though. The other day during training she had let loose a burst of wind magic. This was not unheard of. Few Ravens in the past had also demonstrated the ability to cast wind magic. However, these Ravens could only do it while transformed. It had seemed only like the other day that she had discovered her strength, but now there was this to deal with as well. It had only occurred the day before, so she was still processing this new development in her life.

    The ability to cast magic, yet alone do it while untransformed, would no doubt catapult her to a higher rank in the army. She was due for a promotion already, having been seen as fit to command her own squad. The last Raven to have the ability, which has been referred to as the vortex ability, was a king.

    She didn’t expect to become queen, not in her wildest dreams would she think that. Despite the unification of the Bird Tribes centuries prior, there had been no Raven in the seat of the throne to date. OF course, the current king was only the second. Laguz, unlike the Beorc, lived much longer. The life-span depended on what type of Laguz you were. Hawks, Ravens, Cats, and Tigers had the shortest and were roughly the same, although they still lived for hundreds of years. Herons lived slightly longer, and the Dragon Tribe have had the same king for the past millennium and he looked as if he could rule for another.

    The fact that she could cast wind magic without needing to be transformed was both exciting and frightening for the army. She was now invaluable in battle, but it would turn around and bite the Bird Tribe if she couldn’t control it. Magic was difficult to master and the Beorc mages spent years mastering the intricacies of casting it. Magic dealt with elemental spirits and the magic seen on the battlefield were the results of the spirits interacting with the real world. The caster spoke the spell, directing the spirit to perform what the caster wanted. If even a single syllable is miss-spoken or something else goes wrong it is possible for the caster or an ally to be seriously injured or even killed.

    Laguz were never proficient with casting magic, in fact the few Ravens with the vortex ability are the only examples of Laguz using magic aside from the breath of a White Dragon, or the Galdr of the Herons. Azraya was lucky that her outburst hadn’t hurt anyone, and it was a grave matter that needed addressing.

    Azraya walked into the palace, trying not to notice her brothers and sisters staring at her. She brushed a lock of her long black hair out of her face and walked up another set of steps. At the top there was a doorway which she stepped through.

    Inside was merely a wooden table and shelves upon shelves of books and scrolls. A Laguz, a Hawk, stood by an open window. The gentle breeze that came through it caused his dark brown hair to sway.

    “Azraya,” he said with a nod, turning around to face her.

    “Hello, Commander Kiril,” she answered with a respectful bow of her head.

    “It has been arranged for you to go to Begnion,” he told her. Laguz tended not to waste time with words.

    Azraya blinked for a moment. She wasn’t quite expecting to be sent to the mainland, let alone to Begnion. The kingdom of Begnion was a Beorc nation and the largest nation in Tellius. Many Laguz detested the mere mention of the country, due to the history between them.

    “Why?” she asked.

    “There is very little in our records to go off of when it comes to this ability of yours. We’re not certain how other Ravens who have had it controlled it. To be safe we’ve asked that you receive training from a Beorc mage,” he explained quickly, as he gazed down at the table. Never did he look up at her - people rarely did unless to show some degree of respect.

    “How was this arranged?” she asked, thinking for a moment on having to train with another Beorc. The most time she had ever spent with a Beorc were when she sparred and trained with some of the Ambassador’s guards. They weren’t particularly mean to her, but they were forbidden to say anything rude or disrespectful. However, how would people in Begnion treat her when she was the one in their nation.

    “The country still owes us favors,” he answered with a grim smile that stretched the leathery skin on his face. “They wouldn’t so easily agree to it because they don’t want the chance of military secrets to become known to us. But, because we are allies, after I told them about you and how you would be a boon to them on a battlefield, they agreed.”

    “I see,” Azraya answered, nose twitching at the thought of fighting for Beorc.

    “Plus having you there gives their scholars an opportunity to study you, which they wouldn’t easily pass up,” Kiril continued. “There really has never been anyone like you, you know.”

    Azraya watched he was looked into her eyes for a moment before he turned them away.

    “From what I hear you will be training under their most powerful wind sage, so hopefully there is a thing or two he can teach you.” Kiril seemed to not want to give the mage that much praise or resptect, but the Bird Tribes had long ago developed a healthy fear of wind mages. Wind magic was particularly useful and effective against birds in battle, and many have fallen to it. A sudden powerful gust could break wings and veer birds off course into danger.

    “When do I leave?” she asked, trying to sort out her thoughts. She wasn’t sure how long she would be gone, but she really didn’t want to spend too long in Begnion. Her father wouldn’t want her to go, but she wouldn’t refuse the wishes of her people like that. She was going to serve them as best she could and make them proud.

    “Tomorrow,” he answered as he laid out some papers on the table. “Pack lightly and be here at sunrise.”

    “Yes, sir,” she said and nodded again, taking her leave.

    -------

    “Bishop Elaina,” grunted the young boy as he lay on his back. His face was contorted with pain and sweat drenched his body. “It hurts, it hurts!” he yelled through clenched teeth.

    “I know, small one,” replied the soft voice of a woman. She was petite and dressed in white robes. A golden staff topped with a spherical red gem lay next to her. She was in the boy’s house and his parents stood anxiously behind Elaina, peering over her shoulder as she worked. Their son lay on a bed, flinching every time she touched his leg, which had been badly broken.

    The parents informed her that it was an accident. He had tripped while playing with friends in the woods, which was strongly discouraged in their small town, and fallen into a ditch. The town of Sugerre was a small fortress town right on Begnion’s border with Gallia, home of the Beast Tribe Laguz, which was why it was a fortress town. Years before it was not uncommon for there to be Laguz attacks upon their town. The forest of trees marked the border between the two nations, and children were forbidden to go into the woods for fear that the Laguz would capture them.

    Elaina put both her hands on the boy’s leg. It was grossly apparent how badly broken the limb was, with the bone sticking out of the skin. “Relax…” she said softly, in order to get his muscles to loosen. Once she felt that he was a loose as he was going to be she pushed the bone in without any warning. It took a few seconds, and he screamed loudly. Two men were holding him down to prevent him from further injuring himself by struggling. He writhed under their weight as tears flowed down his cheeks. What she hadn’t done wasn’t the best of medical procedures, but there was no other way she saw.

    She was a bishop, which was essentially a priest or priestess who were recognized for their exceptional ability to heal and for their spiritual leadership. Any good priest or bishop needed to study the Beorc body extensively. They needed to study medicine as well diseases. The staffs they carried were useful for quick healings, and she could have used the staff right then and there to solve the boy’s problem. Flesh wounds were easy and simple, however, if an injury like the one the boy had attained were simply healed on the spot the bone would be weaker than if the time had been taken to set the bone in place.

    Healers were invaluable on the battlefield and could quickly save a soldier from death, but as a result of hasty healing there have been several veterans and older people with weak and brittle bones.

    “There, there,” Elaina said, wiping the boy’s face with a moist cloth. “The bone’s back in, now I can fix it,” she explained and smiled.

    “It’ll be ok, sweetie,” his mother said, kneeling by him and putting her hand on his cheek. “Mommy’s here, you’ll be fine.”

    Again the healer put her hands on the boy’s leg . He flinched, fearing that she would cause him more pain. And she was going to. She needed to put the bone back in place now that it was back in his body. He knew that just as well.

    “Just do it,” he said, breathing heavily. He was trying to be brave, he was, but it was difficult when he had never been in so much pain in his life.

    “It will be over quick, I promise,” she said and handed him the cloth. “Bite down on this.” With that she went to work setting the bone where it was meant to be, she was careful to damage as little tissue as she could. After a few moments she felt that the bone was in place and withdrew her hands. She picked up her staff, a powerful staff called the Recover staff. Only high-class healers were given Recover staves, and they were very rarely found in common markets.

    Elaina closed her eyes and raised the staff over the boy’s leg. At once a blue-tinted light bathed boy’s body, concentrating on his leg. The puncture wound from the bone sealed in seconds, leaving not even the faintest sign of a scar. Inside his leg the bone mended and fused together, becoming whole. The light washed away the pain he felt and put him at ease. The light faded after a few moments and Elaina opened her eyes.

    “How do you feel?” she asked as she stood, leaning against the staff. She really was quite small and petite. The boy was probably just as tall as she was, and she had more than a decade on him in age. The robes she wore hugged her torso lightly and came down to her ankles. She also had a white cloak, and a black sash was tied around her waist. Her hair was long, dark, and wavy, and her skin was only a few shades darker than the clothes she wore. She was originally from Daein, another Beorc nation in the northeast part of Tellius, which was why she wore the black sash around her waist, to show that she is originally Daeinish.

    “I feel great!” he said as he wriggled his toes. He smiled at his mother, who embraced him as her husband set his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

    “I’m glad,” Elaina said with a smile. “I’m sorry I put you through more pain, but it was for the best.”

    “Yeah, I know, Bishop Elaina,” he replied with a grin. “I don’t want a weak bone.”

    “No you don’t,” she laughed. “It’s fine now, but I still recommend that you stay off it as much as possible tomorrow.”

    “Thank you, Bishop,” the father said. “We’ll see you tomorrow at the church.”

    “My pleasure,” Elaina nodded. With a bow of her head she left the family’s home, stepping out into the night air. She was happy to have been able to help the boy, as she was happy to be able to help anyone. A town’s priest was typically responsible for seeing to the injuries that any of the townsfolk had received. Most people didn’t bother a healer unless the wound was bad or if the person was very ill, so it felt good being able to help a person who was in that much need.

    Most towns only had simple priests, but Sugerre had Elaina, who after moving to Begnion from Daein was quickly noted for her healing and spiritual prowess. She had lived in Sienne, the capital of Begnion for a few years with her friend, but she soon missed the small town life that she had grown up in, and moved to Sugerre after hearing that the town’s priest had passed away.

    The people were silent and suspicious of her at first, since she was from the city, but they quickly warmed to her after a short time. Elaina was thankful for this and cherished how closely she knew many of the families in Sugerre. The city was sad to see her go, but they didn’t at all mind a competent healer and leader out near the Gallian border, despite the fact that there was now peace between Beorc and Laguz. Thankfully there hadn’t been a single attack on the town. There hadn’t even been any Laguz spotted in the town, despite the fact that Laguz were legally allowed to enter Sugerre. Elaina shivered at the thought. She didn’t hate them, she wasn’t sure if she hated anything, but she did fear them. Beings who could transform into monstrosities, with thick and strong fur and feathers that could protect them from the mere swing of a sword. It took more to bring down a single one of them. The healer only knew what she had learned and heard of them. She had never even seen one before moving to Sienne, and even then there were very few of them there.

    The young woman sighed as her thoughts drifted to the sermon she had prepared for the next day. The daily teachings were short, lasting fifteen to twenty minutes early in the mornings before the people started their days. She had always been told that her sermons were very good. They were simple, but to the point in their teachings. The teachings of the Goddess weren’t at all that complicated, despite what people thought. Kindness was the rule, and Elaina repeated it often in her teachings. Love and be kind to others no matter what differences they may have. It was an easy message to communicate of course, but not an easy one to follow.

    The sound of the bishop’s boots were the only sound as she made her way back to the abbey, which was where she also lived. She had a small space in the back of the church that really only had things she needed. Several of the people she had known in Sienne would have scoffed at her simple life, but she was very happy with it.

    As she approached the gate of her church she heard a sound. With her hand on the lock she paused and looked around, ready to say hello to whoever was walking by. However, she saw nothing when she looked. Shrugging, she unlocked the gate and then locked it behind her, placing the keys back in a bag that was slung over her shoulders. The windows of the church were aglow with an orange light, as they had been since that morning. Elaina walked inside and went around blowing out the candles. When they had all been blown at she turned around in order to leave, but at the door she saw a figure silhouetted in the moonlight.

    “Hello,” she said warmly, thinking she might have forgotten to lock the gate as she walking towards the figure. The figure didn’t speak or move, but something twitched behind it. After a moment Elaina saw that it was tail twitching, and now that she was closer she could see the large ears pointing out from underneath the person’s hair. The woman’s heart beat faster as she walked slower. “C-can I help you?” she asking, noticing the strange clothes he wore and wondering why she didn’t catch on sooner.

    The figure was silent still but began walking towards her. He was tall and well built, but not particularly large, which meant he was probably a Cat Laguz. Still, it wasn’t hard to be larger than Elaina, and she knew he could overpower her easily.

    Her heart thudded in her chest, and had no doubt that the man could hear it as he walked towards her. She had suddenly wished that she hadn’t blown out all of the candles. Her hand shot to the bag and tried to pull something out when he caught her hand and stopped her.

    She flinched, but didn’t withdraw. The smell of musk and the wild filled her nose, as he stood there still silent. His hand was warm, warmer than a human’s, and she could feel his breath on her. “W-what do you want?” she managed to say, still as a statue.

    “We want you,” came her answer, but it wasn’t the Laguz that had his grasp on her who had said it. Her blue eyes shot to doorway, and there, leaning against the frame was another Laguz, another Cat it seemed.

    ”What on earth does that mean?” she thought to herself, not wanting to think too hard about it. Her knuckles were white as they gripped her staff, but she didn’t dare attack him with it.

    Seeming to read her thoughts, the second Laguz walked forward with a casual but very feline gait and took the staff from her. “Bring her,” he told the other before walking away.

    Elaina yelped as the first one put both hands on her and lifted her, placing her over his shoulder. Keeping one hand on her back to secure her and the other over her mouth he followed his comrade out of the church. They made their way through the courtyard towards the stone fence that surrounded the grounds. The town itself was surrounded by a tall wall, and the church bordered the wall.

    Elaina fought the urge to struggle, though she knew she should be putting up more of a fight. She realized though that because of her size she would only be delaying what was inevitable. As they reached the wall there was a new person waiting for them. She couldn’t see very well because of the dark, but she was exchanged to another set of hands. The scent in her nose was new and different, and the hands weren’t as warm. She felt the new hand cover her mouth and then an arm wrapped around her waist and pressed her against his body. After a moment a blindfold was place over her eyes and in the seconds that followed she could help by try to scream as she felt herself rising off of the ground.

    She heard what seemed like the flapping of wings, only they sounded massive. Her only guess was that one of the Bird Tribe Laguz was flying her over the wall of the city. The Laguz’s hold on her was strong, so she didn’t fear being dropped. The sensation of flying was what ruled her thoughts at that moment, but they soon returned to what was going to happen to her once they landed.

    It didn’t take long to find out, as soon the scents of a forest filled her nose and they landed on solid ground. The blindfold was removed and the Bird took her by the arm through the forest. There were sounds everywhere, from the constant symphony of crickets chirping to the croaking of frogs and hooting of owls.

    “Where are we going?” she asked, though she didn’t expect an answer. She didn’t get one.

    After a few moments the two Cats joined up with them again. Elaina thought to herself upon seeing them. Assuming they had run while in beast form and considering how long she was airborne, she wasn’t far from Sugerre at all. All she could see beyond the leaves above her was the peak of a mountain, do doubt the same one that was closest to Sugerre

    Soon she heard more sounds that didn’t sound like those of common animals. She saw the orange glow from a fire and soon she could see their destination. It was an old fort, one of the countless nameless ones spread across the land. In front of it was a group of Laguz all sitting around a campfire. There were Laguz of all types and ages there, and they all stopped and stared at her.

    “We brought her,” said the Cat, the only one of the three who had spoken thus far.

    “She’s wearing nicer rags than any mere priestess,” noted one of the Laguz as she stood, also a Cat. “If she’s from the capital then we’re all doomed!”

    “Calm yourself, Panza,” said one of them. He appeared to be different than any of the Laguz present, but Elaina was too distressed to realize how.

    “Please,” she pleaded. “Let me go home! I need to give my sermon tomorrow, and what if they need me? Please let me go-”

    “Quiet, human,” hissed one of the Laguz, but they were quickly rebuked by the same Laguz that had told Panza to calm down.

    The Laguz stood up and motioned for the three who had brought Elaina to follow. He walked ahead of them, allowing Elaina to get a good look at him. His torso was bare, and his skin was darker than any of the others. She couldn’t smell him, but he definitely had a different air about him. She noticed that his tail was long and quite thick, gray in color, the same as his hair. He didn’t look like any type of Cat Laguz, and the tail and his ears looked more canine than anything.

    It was then that Elaina figured that he must belong to one of the rare and elusive Wolf Tribe, a type of Laguz that were unknown of until recently. They came from a land called Hatari, located across a desert to the northeast of Daein. Hatari could not be found on any map, since so little was known of it and its exact location. Travel across the desert was treacherous, and all who tried had died.

    The Wolf led them into the fort, which was in relatively good shape, despite the fact that forest had taken over. Green things pushed through cracks in the walls and grew wherever. If she were under any different circumstances she would have probably thought the structure was beautiful in its own way.

    Inside the fort was lit by torches, illuminating the many hallways and rooms. Their steps were the only sound for a few moments as the conversations outside faded away. The silence was short-lived though as she soon heard coughing, loud coughing and gasping. They stepped inside a room and Elaina was shocked to see many Laguz on mats on the floor. They coughed and their bodies were drenched in sweat as they lay curled on the ground; some appeared to be in pain.

    Any suspicions she had on her capture quickly melted away, and she at once knew why she had been taken and brought there.

    “Do you understand now?” the Wolf asked her as he faced her. He had a kind face, and soft green eyes.

    Elaina studied his face, wondering how such a feral creature could have such a kind face. “Yes,” she nodded. “But I don’t know anything about the bodies of Laguz… not medically,” she said as the Cat gave her back her staff before taking his leave along with the other.

    “Could you try?” he said, pleading not so much asking.

    The look of desperation in his eyes startled her. “Y-yes, I can try,” she found herself saying, surprising herself. It wasn’t as if she could refuse, who knew what would happen to her if she did.

    “Thank you, Beorc,” he said with a bow of his head.

    “But I’m sure a Heron would prove more useful to you than I would…” she blurted as he went to leave. The Herons were unique among all the Laguz. They detested fighting, but had many useful talents that were based on a form of magic that was sung, the Galdr. One of those talents was healing through song.

    “We don’t have the time it would take to summon a Heron,” he said. “They’ve only been sick for a few days and we’ve already lost two. That’s why we took you, and I’m sorry,” he told her, and by the look in his eyes she could tell that he was indeed sorry. “But we are desperate…”

    Elaina was silent for a moment, taking in the man’s words. She really wanted to get home, but the sight of all the Laguz in need of help stirred something within her.

    “… I see,” she said with a nod. “I’ll do my best.”

    “Thank you,” he repeated. “My name is Raji, ask for me if you need anything.”

    He left then, leaving her alone in a room full of sick Laguz. She stood there silently for a moment wondering what to do. Illnesses could not be chased away with the simple wave of a staff. Diseases were more complex, and generally needed to go away on their own. It was a difficult thing to deal with in humans, but to be thrown into a situation with an unknown Laguz sickness? She doubted she would be able to do much of anything.

    Still, she said she would do her best. Helping these people was the quickest way to get her home at any rate. She set her bag down on a table and got to work.
     
    #1 Sem, Aug 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Oh~ Very interesting thus far, Semmy-kins. I can't wait to see where this goes. Even though you well know I've never actually played the GC/Wii games, but I've watched you play them enough to recognize the basis and I'm very excited to see where it's heading. I wonder if Elaina is actually going to get home, somehow I doubt it~

    Kudos sir!
     

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