Sunday, 7 December 2014
Festival of Dragonstar
Snows piled up outside as Nya watched out the window, curled up in a chair by the hearth of the one story stone cabin. Aeglosson yawned from the windowsill, his white wings and long neck still folded around him, the baby ice dragon absorbing the cold coming through the glass.
Nya wondered where Sevren was, the lighting of the tree would be soon, if the snows let up, at least. She hoped that he was alright and stood to look out the window once more gently pat Aeglosson's tiny head. Aeglosson chirped happily as she rubbed his snout, seemingly unaware of Sevren's arduous journey. He should have been back by now, but now silhouette moved through the blowing snows. Deep winter could be brutal, but the appearance of the red dragonstar tonight would prove the end of the dark and frozen nights of deep winter. Their feast this year was to be inside the keep that lay just outside the grouping of stone cottages, but Nya had decorated the inside of the cottage and prepared a pot of soup over the fire knowing that the weather was not likely to let up.
A cold gust of wind shook the roof of the cottage and the howling grew louder making Nya wonder about the beams supporting the roof. Aeglosson would have no problem if they were to lose their roof, the ice dragon could take to the sky and fly through the thickest blizzard without losing his sense of direction, but Nya would probably die of the cold, and Aeglosson was not quite old enough to fend for himself.
The thought brought concern back to the forefront of her mind for Sevren. He had set out in the hour of daylight they had, and had been out no for hours in the bitter cold with no food or hope of producing heat, a fire would not stay lit in the blizzard. She gathered her cloak about her shoulders and waved her hand over the ornate head of her white staff casting a blue silver wisp of light within the hollow head. She fastened her thick blue cloak around her shoulders and wrapped a woolen scarf around her neck.
"I'll return soon," she spoke to the dragon scratching behind his ears.
Nya set out into the snows feeling the ice and snowflakes blast against her freezing her exposed hands and what unfortunate flesh lay exposed on her face. She found that even with the magic faerie light that it was hard to see past the deep darkness and swirling snows. The cold bit at her skin as the wind cut through her bone, nearly knocking her back several times. She didn't know how long she was out before she was forced to turn back, the cold was too brutal, and she might have been lost had she pressed on and died in the cold.
She huffed and heaved fighting her way in the wind and darkness, her silver blue wisp shining as a beacon in the blinding dark. If she could find her way back to their cottage she could save her numb extremeties that barely tingled with feeling. She fancied that beneath her mittens her fingers had turned blue and purple. She had nearly had given up on her journey to rediscover their cottage when she found a corner of the stone foundation in the light of her staff. Nya felt along the walls rounding the corner and knocked along the surfaces listening for the sound of wood over the howling wind. She found the door by the pale light and pushed through the entrance.
Bursting through the door Nya fell onto the wooden floor the wind pushing her inwards. She scrambled upwards and shut the door, blocking the cruel cold from entering further into the one room cottage. There was a happy chirp from directly beside her and Aeglosson climbed up onto her shoulders rubbing his muzzle happily against her cheek. Nya shivered the icy scales chilling her further. Sensing this, Aeglosson flew away back to the window. Nya wiped the stubborn flakes from her eyelashes and moved toward the fire when she found him sitting by the fire in the arm chair reading the same book Nya had been so engrossed in earlier in the night.
"Sevren?" she choked throwing her arms around his neck. "Thank the gods, I thought you were dead!"
Sevren rose from the chair and returned the hug and pointed past her. Nya turned to see an old man clad in a green robe with a crown of holly holding a golden staff stroking his long white beard. "I bid you holiday tidings." said the old man.
"This is Mieanthriel and he saw me into his home when the dusk set in," Sevren said with a smile. "Once I was warmed and fed he brought me here."
Nya sat herself by the fire allowing feeling to return to her limbs listening to the crackling as she cast a quick spell to dry off the melted snow. Aeglosson flew back to Nya coiling around her shoulders happy to be near her once again. Sevren and Nya gathered around Mieanthriel placed a hand on either of their shoulders and there was a quick pop.
Nya looked around and found herself in a great hall filled with people, men women and children feasting amidst beautiful musical. The hall had been decked with wreaths of holly and various pines, a man sat at the head table bearing a golden circlet holding up a chalice of silver. Everyone stopped speaking and gave the lord their undivided attention. Mieanthriel walked slowly up to him and the two men embraced.
"Welcome to the Dragonstar Festival!" the lord called. "The wizard Mieanthril has come to light our tree, but unfortunately the--"
"Look!" a child cried pointing as the clock chimed midnight. "The snow's stopped!"
Many crowded to the windows looking amazed at the sudden ceasing of snow, and above the tree shone a bright red star gleaming in the black sky. The crowd was filed out of the great hall and into a courtyard, each person grabbing a single candle on a golden saucer. Nya watched in amazement as everyone, man, woman and child, lord, lady and peasant formed three united rings around the towering wayward pine and began to sang the familiar old carol. The bright red star shone brighter and brighter as the bright red waned in intensity and colour until it shone the same bright silver of Aeglosson's wings. The baby dragon watched from around Nya's neck watched with intense wonder, chirping at the falling star as if it were a dear friend.
Mieanthril spoke loudly in an Ancient Tongue that Nya could not understand over the carolers and sprites flew around the tree, spiraling around it casting orbs of faerie light in blues, greens, silvers, golds and reds emitting warmth in the cold, cold night. The singing from men, elves and other unseen fairies heralded in the falling of the Dragonstar and the first morning dawning in over four moons.
Walking back to the small cottage they had rented for the festival during the high noon had been the greatest gift Nya had ever received for she had forgotten what the sun on her skin felt like.