"Guild Master Kailos, sir" said the guard to the man named Kailos. "Yes, Aidehmahn?". "The boy has escaped". Kailos dropped his book, his face growing red. "What?! How dare you show your face here! How could you let it escape!". Kailos was furiated. He hated outsiders. They made him sick to his stomach. "Find it. It cannot have gotten far". "But Guild Master Kailos, sir. It used a Book. It had it in a pouch". Kailos looked at Aidehmahn with a widened stare. "How did it come across a Book? One of our Books?!". "It wasn't ours, it seems that it owned that Book". Kailos' face became white. "It Wrote a Book?! How?! Only D'ni know the Art. Only D'ni can Write!". "I asure you sir, it wasn't one of ours. The ahrotahn had made this Book on it's own".
Kailos fell into his chair. What a circumstance, he thought. How could an ahrotahn learn the Art? Looking back, Kailos tried to put it all together.
Today had started out as a normal day. The cavern was busily going about its buisiness. Shopkeepers selling their wares, people walking and talking down the streets, an occasional call from the 'senomar' in the lake. It was such a peaceful day, until that blasted Aidehmahn came and told me the news. A man from the J'Taeri District had seen an ahrotahn near the docks. The man told Aidehmahn that the ahrotahn looked D'ni, but something was different about him. He had slightly darker skin, and his hair was too fair to be D'ni. The ahrotahn stood there as more people gathered around him. A young girl stepped closer to it, and spoke to it. It responded in almost perfect D'ni! When Aidehmahn heard this, he went directly to me to tell me what he heard.
I wish he hadn't, I thought. But an ahrotahn in our city?! I wouldn't hear of it! So, I sent Aidehmahn to capture it and bring it back to me, dead or alive (preferably dead). After almost an hour or so, the fool Aidehmahn returns empty-handed!
"Well," Guild Master Kailos said. "Did you at least bring back Its Book?". "Yes, your honor. Here," Aidehmahn said as he produced the Book from under his cloak. "Well atleast you've done something right today" Kailos said. He skimmed through the Book, reading the pages. "It looks too good to even be done by an amatueur," he commented, "are you quite certain that it owned this?". "Yes". "Well then, burn it. I do not want to be reminded of this incident again. If the ahrotahn does return - you know what to do". Aidehmahn felt sick to his stomach when he heard those words. "Yes, sir". "Good," Kailos said. "Very good".
Ta'Kaira and I stayed at my house in the village for the next few days. I showed Ta'Kaira the village, and walked with her along the shore of the stream. It didn't feel the same as Choorahl, and I think T'Kaira felt the same. We decided together that day that we should live together on Choorahl. It would be a place where we could be together with each other alone, and could someday start a family. I told my parents of my intentions, and they agreed. At first they were skeptical, but in the end they thought it would be for the best. My parents held a party for our leaving, and invited my other relatives. There was great food, good music, and many teary farewells. Ta'Kaira and I left for Choorahl the following day.
It was the same as we left it. The shelter still cozy and warm; the stream so sweet and fresh; the air so mild but cool all at once. All that which her and I found so unique and beautiful about the Age was still the same. It was our place, our home.
That night, on the night we returned to Choorahl, Ta'Kaira and I made love.
The day was somehow brighter than before that day. The air was fresher, the water even sweeter. Love had played it's magic on us. But we enjoyed every waking minute of it, wanting it to never stop. We walked along the shore just as we had done so many times before. It felt so different, but so good. We were a couple now, I thought. That is what made it so different. That day was our day. We spent every moment together. And when night had finally returned, her and I made it to our bed and held each other close as we had done before.
A month had passed, and I felt that I should go back to D'ni. Shouldn't Ta'Kairas' parents know? Shouldn't they know that her and I are together and that no harm has befallen her. "Ta'Kaira my love". "Yes Devokan my sweet?". "I mean to ask you if you want to go to D'ni. I think it is best if your parents know that you are alright and that you and I are a couple". I thought I would get a definate 'no', but she agreed. The following day, her and I would go to D'ni and tell her parents the news.
We packed up a few belongings as always (because you never know how long you may be out in another Age), and I got a Choorahl Linking Book just a moment before we linked.
In D'ni, Ta'Kaira led me down a multitude of streets until we came to hers. It was large, like most of the D'ni buildings, and had a thick wooden door. A light was flowing out of a nearby window, telling us that someone was home. Ta'Kaira knocked on the door, and a voice came from inside. "Hello?" it said. It was a woman's voice. "Who's there?"."It's me mother. Ta'Kaira". The door opened in a flash, and a plump old woman emerged. "Oh Ta'Kaira! Where have you been? You are so much older" the woman said as she gave her daughter a loving embrace. "I've been with Devokan. Mother, this is Devokan. Devokan, this is my mother".
The woman stared at me for a moment, then turned to her daughter. "My, how young and handsome he is. But Ta'Kaira, there's something a little odd about him. His hair is too light, and his skin is not the same as ours-it's slightly darker. Why is that?" she asked. "He's D'ni, but just from another Age" she lied. "May we come in. Devokan and I have something to tell you", And so Ta'Kaira told her mother how her and I were in love, and that we've been a couple for over a month now. She didn't mind. She thought that I was a fine young man, and that I looked like I loved her daughter and treated her well. We stayed for supper, and then told her that we must go. She gave her daughter a hug, and cried a little as she made her farewells. Then the two of us were off. The streets were much more quieter than our last visit. It gave me many frightful thoughts of guards waiting and watching him and that at any moment they would strike him and Ta'Kaira down. He tried to shake those feeling s away, and continued to walk down the dark street.
As we rounded a corner, ten armed guards blocked the path. We casually turned around, but ten other guards blocked the exit to the rear. We were surrounded. Then one guard walked towards us. He was familiar to me. Then it hit me. He was the guard from last time. He walked closer, then halted. "Who are you? What are you doing out so late at night". "Oh, we were just taking a walk arou-". "Enough of your lies. Do you think of me as a fool? I remember you two. You, the girl that got in our way" he pointed at Ta'Kaira, "and you, the ahnotahn" he pointed at me. "You both must come with me at once". "Why? What have we done wrong? And Devokan is not an outworlder!" T'Kaira screamed. So that's what they thought I was? An 'outworlder'? "I know he's an ahnotahn. You must come with me now, or by the Maker I will kill you both". As he said this, a trickle of pain was in his voice. He doesn't want to do it, I thought. Someone else must be telling him to do this, but who? "Who's making you do this. I want to speak to them!" I said to the man. "You cannot speak to Guild Master Kailos, young one. He does not talk to ahnotahntee". "I will come with you only if you let me go speak with this Kailos. Or else you must do away with me, but spare my love" I said, refering to Ta'Kaira. "No! I would rather die with you!" She threw her arms around me and kissed me, tears running down her face. "Alright," the man said, "I will take you to Master Kailos".
The guard took us to the docks, where we boarded a ship of some kind. It was flat, with no sail and only a machine to power it. The 'ferry' as the man called it was taking us towards that towering island I had been so frightened of before. Now, I had a true reason to be afraid of it. We came to another dock after passing into a bay of some sort off the eastern side of the island. There, a large city loomed upon the rocky pillar, rising hight into the darness above. The guard took us up a great set of stairs, and out into a large courtyard. In the centre was a stone monument which we had to pass under which looked to me to be a large tree. Another set of stairs greeted us on the other end of the courtyard. At the top of this sat, however, was a massive building built into the island itself. "This is the Guild Hall" the guard said. "The Maintainers' Guild is just ahead. You will find Master Kailos there". He took us to the large stone doors of the 'Maintainers'' Guild, and we entered. Inside, we were greeted by a sight of many people busily moving from room to room on either end of the hall in which we had just entered. Straight ahead was another large set of doors, which I could only guess Kailos was behind.
We entered the final room. I saw the old man sitting in a chair by the fire before I noticed the decor and beautiful tapestries on the wall. That must be Kailos. "Oh, Aidehmahn. You've arrived". Then he paused, and stared at Ta'Kaira and I. "Airdehmahn, who are these young people?". "Sir, these are them. The ahnotahn and the girl". Kailos smiled an evil grin. "Oh they are, are they. Well my young friends, sit down and be comfortable". He laughed a little. I didn't really think I could be comfortable here. And Ta'Kaira thought the same. "We should never have come back" she said. After we were seated, Kailos offered us a drink. "No thank you" I said in perfect D'ni, trying eagerly to trick Kailos into thinking he wasn't this 'ahrotahn'-this outworlder-he was trying to find. I tried tricking him, so he could let us go. But he wouldn't be moved from his judgement. "So what is your world like, ahrotahn?" he said. "It isn't another world" I said to him, "It is here. It is just somewhere you cannot find". "Oh, and where would that be?". Finally, I lost it. I had to tell him. "Look, I come from the surface. I am three quarters D'ni. I'm not an 'ahrotahn', and my name is Devokan! Please, will you just let my love and I go?". He looked at me in awe. "So, the rumours were true. Those betrayers did make it to the surface". "My family and freinds are NOT betrayers of anything. The surface is a much better place than this ugly, dingy cavern!" I spit at him to show him how much he had angered me. Kailos got up, reached for his weapon on the mantle of his fireplace, and pointed it at me. "Sit down, young man. Do it, or I will shoot you and your 'love'. Now!"."No! I will not listen to you old man!". "How dare you defy my orders!" Kailos readied his weapon and fired. In a flash, Aidehmahn leaped infront of me and Ta'Kaira, and the shot hit him dead in the stomach. He fell to the ground bleeding. "Aidehmahn?! Why would you help them?! Fool! I-". With his last few breaths, Aidehmahn spoke. "I am no fool, Kailos, you are. Can you not see? There is nothing wrong with this boy. He is just as ordinary as you or I or even that girl. He is one of the best writters I've ever seen! By the Maker, just let them go. Let them go, or I'll... I'll shoot you!". He picked up his weapon, and pointed it directly at Kailos' heart. "Aidehmahn, don't be so rash, I-". "You're the rash one! You always have been! Now I will kil you, just as you have killed me". Aidehmahn shot his weapon. Kailos fell to the ground-dead. Ta'Kaira and I rushed over to where Aidehmahn lay. His breathing was heavier. "Aidehmahn, why? Why did you sacrifice yourself for us?". He looked at us with his glazed eyes, and as his last words he simply said, "Because it was my duty to protect my bretheren-my D'ni-from any harm. You, Devokan, are no ahnotahn. You are a D'ni". With that, he became still and his breathing stopped. Ta'Kaira beagan to cry over his body. "No! No, you cannot die. Please, wake up"."Ta'Kaira, we must leave this place. The other guards will have heard the shots. We must leave quickly!". I lifted her up inrto my arms, and fled the Guild Hall. I ran with Ta'Kairi in my arms until I reached the docks. There, I put Ta'Kaira down and reached for the Chooahl Linking Book. We used it, letting it fall into the lake and there it sunk to the bottom, lost forever.
We held a memorial for Aidehmahn there in my home village. No one in D'ni would ever know that their suface dwelling bretheren still existed-both the men that had known this were dead. Ta'Kaira and I wept for the loss of our friend.
But life moves on. On Chooahl, Ta'Kaira and I have lived the rest of our lives. We know have four children-little daughter Annetta, Aidehn our second boy, Kaidish our first son, and Ti'Ketra our eldest daughter and first child. I have taught Ta'Kaira the Art, and together we have made many ages including Mahrntahv, T'Kaira's first 'creation'; Roshee-the crater Age; Taygentsahno, the age I wrote for her as a gift of my love. It means 'everlasting love' in D'ni; and Ehder Bishtah, a rest age I wrote as another gift to Ta'Kaira. Choorahl has become so full of life as of yet, with our children running around, exploring it and having fun. Ta'Kaira and I still love each other very much. We will never forget our little adventures in D'ni, nor will we ever forget our friend Aidehmahn, who sacrificed his life to keep us safe because he saw us as equal and not different.
I am D'ni, and my story gives hope to all others whom think of themselves as being different.
Edited by Naigahsehn, 13 October 2006 - 07:12 PM.