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Luminous Heart [Pending Title]

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  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class402963}}
    Level: {{esusrinfo_level402963}}
    Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild402963}}

    Luminous Heart [Pending Title]

    Hey all! So I finally finished building my own PC and what is the first thing I do with it?

    Play games? Naw.

    I start writing a story. I was inspired to write this story when I was plotting out my Elrios series of stories and when I randomly remembered the Drabaki gear flavor text from way back when. I will begin this story as if it were folklore, and then eventually expand on it with narrative chapters. Let me know what you all think!

    Take a listen to the music I linked below as you read.

    Disclaimer: This is not canon. This story is meant to provide background lore for my Elrios series of stories.

    In ancient times, a people lived in what is called “The Heart” of Elrios by them. Within this land there were man and beast. Man feared beast, and beast craved man. Man killed beast, and beast killed man. From the bloodsoaked soil sprang vibrant life that swallowed the rampant death.

    Among the terrible beasts was a great serpent. The beast’s body stretched across mountains, its mind sharp as a spear, its scales luminous like the moon, and its fangs as large as a man. But the serpent held not the bloodlust of its kin. Rather, in it resided a kind, compassionate spirit that could not bear to strike man or beast first. Thus, the beast slowly starved.

    One night the great serpent, on the verge of death, found a child wandering the forest it called home. It could feel its hunger compel it to kill. But its spirit stood ever strong, so its sharp mind said, “I need not strike to kill. I need only to starve to kill.” Though the thought of killing the child brought it pain, if it was to survive it had to starve the child.

    So it chased the child into a ravine and coiled its great body overhead, trapping the child inside. Then a great storm swept the land. Lightning cut the the sky, cold rain pelted the earth, and the howling wind was only interrupted by the head-splitting thunder. Man and beast alike died to nature’s fury, but the child was spared because of the beast’s ploy. As the child cried in terror from the storm, the serpent took some pity on the little one. It lowered its head into the ravine to comfort the child, not desiring the child to die in fear.

    And then, the child looked to its body above. Not in fear, but in awe. After the storm passed, the child offered two El fruits to the serpent in gratitude. The beast was touched so by this gesture that it permitted the child to leave the ravine and return home. Back home, the child spoke of how a great serpent protected him from the terrible storm. He told his elders that was if the moon itself had descended from the sky to shield him. Awestruck, the people gathered what food they could spare and ventured into the forest.

    They found the serpent coiled around the nearby mountain and called out to it. Fearing they had come to slay it the serpent hissed and bared its great fangs. The people nearly ran, but the child the serpent protected stepped forward and laid another El fruit before it. Wary, the serpent kept its distance. Soon, the other villagers stepped forward to present their offerings. The beast was again touched by this gracious gesture, and gladly accepted their tribute.

    And thus, a beast became a god...
    I'll be posting this piece by piece each day over the next couple weeks. Let me know what you think!
  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class403122}}
    Level: {{esusrinfo_level403122}}
    Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild403122}}

    Alright, here's the next bit! Enjoy!
    Word of the Moon Serpent spread quickly through “The Heart.” People from all corners of the land ventured to the mountain forest it resided in to see the great beast with their own eyes. Never had they beheld a monster that held not violence in its heart, but benevolence. And for each new meeting earned the great serpent a new devotee who would leave tribute before it and spread word of its existence. This brought the serpent much relief as the many tributes filled its once empty stomach.

    However, it could not understand the words of praise and adulation the people showered upon it. But it could see the fear in their eyes. Fear of the hungry beasts and their fellow man. It knew they needed protection; its protection, just like it did for that child during the storm. But it could not protect their scattered homes from its perch in the mountains. It needed them near; all of them near, or as many as possible. So one day it beckoned to a group of visitors and bade them to follow it down the mountain into the valley below. Their descent was harsh and fraught with danger, as feral beasts and violent men hid amongst the rocks. But the serpent protected each and every one of its followers.

    And it was during this descent the finally serpent struck first. A deprived man, greedy and hungry for blood, attacked one of the women in the serpent’s thrall. He never raised a hand against the serpent, but when the beast heard the woman’s cries for help it struck without pause. The man swiftly died, crushed by the serpent’s maw and impaled on its fangs. The serpent was stricken by horror at its deadly attack, and fell into a depressed lethargy. The serpent wept for the evil man, and its followers tried to reassure the beast. But it could not understand their words of comfort, unsure of whether they cursed or praised it. The serpent wept for one day and one night.

    On the second day, they began their descent once again. And again, one of its devotees was attacked, this time by a crazed beast. The monster sprang from the rocks and the people screamed for aid. But the serpent, still shaken, hesitated. And the man died. The monster fled with his corpse to feast on his flesh. Again, the serpent despaired, this time over the consequences of its inaction. For another day and night the serpent wept, lamenting over the consequences of action and inaction. Its followers, their water skins dry, drank its tears to quench their thirst.

    On the third day, they continued their descent. The serpent, shaken still, was only spurred on by knowing it could better protect these people in the valley below. Finally, after four days and nights they arrived in the valley. The soil was rich, the water clean and plentiful, and hungry beasts and greedy men were scarce. Here the serpent made its new home, and the people it brought with it began building a new home. Some left to bring word of the new sanctuary, now calling themselves the Xuanze, having drank the tears of the Moon Serpent. These people were gifted with the power to sense imminent danger from the El that resided in those tears, making them excellent guides to the sanctuary.

    Years passed and the community in the valley grew and grew. With the aid of the serpent and the Xuanze, safe paths were paved to the valley from the far flung villages scattered through the mountains. The people would call this place…

    Please feel free to leave any comments on this. I always welcome feedback!


    • Class: {{esusrinfo_class403276}}
      Level: {{esusrinfo_level403276}}
      Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild403276}}


      Next part, go! I gotta say, I am having fun writing this!
      Xin quickly grew under the watchful eye of the serpent. The people smiled and Xuanze continued to bring more and more to the safety of the valley. Here, the serpent would protect them from ferocious storms with its body and hungry beasts and greedy men with its fangs. Since the descent from the mountain, the serpent had begun acclimating itself to the idea of killing. If it was to protect the people that it cared for, it had to be prepared to kill. Still, it lamented for each wicked man it put down.

      The beasts were a simple matter; most fled before it, and those that did not would always strike it first. It had no qualms killing creatures that attacked it first. But men were clever. They knew it resented being the first to strike, and would thus avoid direct confrontation, only revealing themselves when it was almost too late. But the serpent struck them down, if only to prevent more wicked men from coming to the valley.

      In thanks, the people of Xin would bring the serpent tribute. Food, water and small shards of El would be left at small shrines that dotted the valley. And they would pray to their great protector daily, showering it with words of praise and adulation.

      But the serpent could not understand their words. It never could. It was still a beast, and they men. Man and beast were never meant to understand one another, and the serpent began to lament. “If only I could understand their words…” It would whisper to itself at night, staring longingly at the moon. Even its sharp mind could not comprehend the words of man.

      But then a beast, a dire fox with nine tails, infiltrated the valley beneath its watchful gaze. The people saw their tributes for their protector stolen or misplaced. Some found their prized possessions in the hands of their neighbors, and others would hear a whisper in their dreams, beckoning them to come and play. A trickster was in their midst, and it laughed as it watched the people scurry helplessly into its pranks.

      But it never killed, nor did its deceptions cause great harm to its victims. But the people still cried in fear and surprise. The beast found joy in causing chaos, and soon turned its attention the serpent. Revealing itself to the great beast it said, “Would you like to play a game?”

      The serpent bared its fangs. “Begone, beast. Lest my fangs end you like so many others.”

      The fox laughed. “Then let us play a game. If you can catch me, I shall leave this valley. Until then, I will steal your tributes for myself. Perhaps you may starve!” And the chase began in earnest. The fox moved swiftly, confidently knowing the serpent would not dare to strike first. The serpent would try to trap the fox, but it would always fail. For four days and three nights the fox eluded the serpent, laughing all the while and stealing its tributes.

      The people cursed the fox, throwing rocks at the monster and chasing it away with their weapons when they laid eyes on it. On the fourth night, the fox taunted the serpent. “See how they curse me? See how they cheer you on? But you shall never have me.”

      The serpent halted its pursuit. “Wait!” It cried. “You can understand the words of man?”

      Again the fox laughed. “You don’t? Men despise us beasts. They curse our existence. I learned their words from years surviving in this world as they cursed me.”

      The serpent thought deeply. “Let us change the game, fox. Should I catch you, you will teach me their words. I wish to understand them, to speak to them as they do to me.”

      The fox stopped laughing. “Why? They are men. We are beasts. We do not need to understand one another.”

      The serpent did not hesitate with its answer. “No. But I do.”

      The fox paused, baffled. Never before had it seen a fellow beast desire to understand man. Man feared beast, and beast craved man. Man killed beast, and beast killed man. That was the way of the world. To understand was impossible. But still, the serpent desired to play a game, and it loved games.

      So the fox smiled and said, “Very well, serpent. If you catch me, I shall teach you the words of man.”

      The serpent rushed forward at blistering speed and bared its great fangs to the fox. Stunned at the sudden attack, the fox hesitated and was scooped up in the serpent’s mouth. But the fangs did not pierce its hide, nor did the jaw crush it. But it was caught. The serpent had won.

      When the serpent released the fox it said. “I have won, fox. Teach me the words of man.”

      The fox laughed. “Ha! Very well, serpent! I shall teach you the words of man, but only so you can understand their curses!”

      The serpent shook its head. “Then I shall give them words of thanks for their gifts. What shall I call you, fox?”

      “Asking a lady her name before giving your own? How rude.” The fox balked.

      The serpent lowered its head in shame. “I… do not have a name…”

      The fox was surprised. “No name? Well, that won’t do! We must give you a name!”

      The serpent shook its head. “I shall take a name when I learn the words of man as you have.”

      The fox laughed again.”Very well! I am Eun, and I shall teach you the words of man!”

      Thus, the trickster fox came to remain in Xin, teaching the great serpent the language of man...
      Well, look who it is! It's Eun! And pardon me for writing "the words of man" over and over again. This is supposed to be similar to folklore. I hope you're all enjoying it!


      • Class: {{esusrinfo_class403414}}
        Level: {{esusrinfo_level403414}}
        Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild403414}}

        Here we go again! Hope you like fluff cause I sheered a flock for this one!
        Eun kept her word and began teaching the serpent the words of man. The great beast struggled at first, but Eun’s cleverness was only matched by her patience. She started the serpent on basic letters, then simple words. The serpent quickly learned from the fox and more than once surprised her with its voracity for knowledge. The two beasts would often sit at the temple near the center of Xin, surrounded by blossoming trees and trickling springs as they carried out their lessons, only interrupted by the occasional visitor or invader that slipped into the valley.

        The serpent took much joy from its time with the fox, as all of its prior encounters with its beastly kin were lethal affairs. Eun was unlike any beast the serpent had met. She was intelligent, patient and even curious. She was more like the people it cared for. And how it enjoyed the sound of her laugh, so much like a happy child. She would ask the serpent questions about how it came to be so large, or how it came to love the people that slew its kin. It would answer both with “I merely am.” It looked forward to each day with the promise of new words awaiting it, where it would at times dread the future that was filled with blood. Eun had given the serpent something to hope for.

        And it began to love her for it.

        Yes. The serpent fell in love with the fox, Eun.

        Eun was intrigued by the serpent. Never had she met a fellow beast that desired to understand man so greatly. Her kin were content with hunting and killing them for sustenance and sport. But she discovered that it was more fun to play with man. Deceive them, scare them, surprise them. She found amusement in their faces when they fell into her schemes, seeing the bemusement and rage as motivations to continue her trickster ways. But this serpent wished to not just protect man, but to understand man. At first, she thought the serpent was like her, a deceiver, one that would show its true colors when the people felt safest and slaughter them all. But everytime it answered “I merely am” that thought was pushed further and further away. The serpent held in it a kind and compassionate spirit she thought impossible in beasts.

        Her curiosity was piqued. And her curiosity led to attraction.

        Yes. Eun fell in love with the great serpent.

        The people watched the two beasts in awe. Though they were wary of Eun at first, they quickly opened their hearts to the fox when they saw their great guardian smile for the first time. They would leave food for the two beasts at the temple that they’d consume at their leisure as they continued their lessons, and trained their own warriors in the art of combat. Some trained to fight beast, others their fellow man. These warriors remained ever vigilant during the serpent’s lessons, and ventured to the far villages to offer their protection. Some returned, others did not. Some died, others flourished.

        Many suns and moons passed as the serpent became more and more familiar with the tongue of man. It would greet its visitors with a friendly “Hello” instead of a happy hiss. It even took to telling jokes, though they were terrible by all standards. It also led the people of Xin in prayer every day to their delight. And every night it would gaze at the moon above, nuzzling its newfound love.

        One night, a night like any other night, it said, “Thank you, Eun. You have taught me much. How to speak. How to understand. How to love.”

        Eun smiled. “And thank you. For granting me a dear student. For granting me a place. For granting me your love.”

        The serpent knew the time had come. “Eun, I am ready. I am ready to take my name.”

        Eun had so many names for her lover. “Very well,” she said. “What shall your name be, my love?”

        The serpent thought deeply and said, “I know what I shall be named. A name that will shine for the people of Xin, a name that will strike fear in those that bring harm upon us. I shall be…”

        It looked to the moon, the object that the people so often likened it to and said…

        We got probably one more folklore chapter to go before we dive into the narrative. I have also requested a couple of my artist friends to draw the major characters that will be present once that kicks off. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I am writing it!


        • Class: {{esusrinfo_class403695}}
          Level: {{esusrinfo_level403695}}
          Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild403695}}

          Oh dear! I'm late! I'm late! Foraveryimportant... UPDATE! Come on, humor me, please...

          Xin flourished under Drabaki's protection. It would work alongside the warriors to repel invaders and Eun would accompany them on patrols to the far villages at times. And every night Drabaki would look over the valley, illuminated by the moon above. With Eun by its side, the people worshipping it from below, the beasts outside kept at bay, it was happy.

          But there was a longing. A longing that would find the serpent somberly gazing at the moon every night. One such night, Eun asked, “What troubles you, my love?”

          “I feel… as though I could do more…” It said, still staring at the moon.

          “You’ve already done so much. Look around you; the people smile every day. Your bellies are always full, your thirst always quenched. And you have me…”

          “I know…” The serpent nuzzled the fox lovingly. “But I want to do more for these people. I want to protect them, always. I want to protect you, always. But my body cannot do that.”

          “What do you mean?”

          “If I could protect everyone, that would be enough. But I cannot do this. No matter how fast I strike, how large I am, I am but flesh.”

          “Flesh that has given so much, my love.”

          “But what I desire is something beyond the limits of flesh. I wish…” It looked to the moon. “To ascend.”

          Eun was confused. “Ascend? You desire godhood? Are you not already a god?”

          Drabaki shook its head. “No. A true god. One that is not bound by the limits of flesh. One that can protect you all as the light of the moon shines down upon us all now.”

          Eun ran up the serpent’s great body to lay on its head. “No! What of us!? How can I love you when you are not here?”

          Drabaki used its great body to stroke her gently. “We need not touch to love, Eun. I have given this great thought. Please, allow me this last selfish wish…”

          Eun despaired. Her greatest love intended to leave her for a calling it did not need to answer. But she knew Drabaki’s spirit was kind and compassionate. It had to ascend to be truly happy. And this understanding pained her. So, Eun said, “How long do we have?”

          Drabaki thought deeply. “... Perhaps… two years… I will need to leave the valley and meditate on the highest mountain. I shall continue to accept tributes as they come and they shall be the means of my ascension. The wishes of the people shall empower the El they give me, and allow me to attain a new form; a form that shall soar into the heavens and breach the boundary between mortal and gods. That will be my ascension.”

          “Then… we have two years left for us… What of the people?”

          “I shall consult them on my desire. They are strong now. United, they can protect themselves. If the need of my aid arises, I shall descend from the mountain and assist. But it is time the people stand tall upon the ground with their own two feet.”

          Eun still despaired. Two years was far too brief. She wanted to stop Drabaki. But she was not strong enough to drag it down. She was not clever enough to outwit its plans. And, above all, she loved Drabaki too much to stop it.

          So she said, “Very well, my love. In two years I shall watch you ascend, and love not a beast, but a god…”

          Sorry for missing yesterday's post. Got sucked into FFXV on PC. It was gorgeous but before I knew it, I had lost all the time I had to write! But not tonight! We actually got just ONE more chapter to go before we get into the true narrative. Enjoy!


          • Class: {{esusrinfo_class403837}}
            Level: {{esusrinfo_level403837}}
            Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild403837}}

            Last of the folklore chapters! Here we go!
            Drabaki gathered the people at the central temple the following morning and explained its intent to ascend. The people wept, wishing for the great serpent to remain among them, but Drabaki’s wish would not be denied. Drabaki granted the people time to make the necessary preparations for its departure.

            The people immediately began preparing for the two years they would be without Drabaki’s protection. They trained more warriors in the art of spear and sword. They sent more messengers to the outlying villages. But they knew not how to lead without Drabaki’s protection.

            From amongst this confusion, a single man rose. A man with little to his name save a burning desire to lead. Who he was, he discarded to become the next symbol of power in Xin. This man led his people on and off the battlefield, bringing great honor to him and those that followed him. Soon, he took the name and title of Emperor Di Yi Ke Xin, The First Heart, and the people rejoiced. The Xin Empire was born upon his crowning.

            Under The Emperor’s guidance, the new empire steeled itself for Drabaki’s departure faster than before. It sent its warriors to the far flung villages and beyond, assimilating territory, people and resources. The people would remember these days fondly. But The Emperor held a longing deep inside him. He saw how dearly his people loved the great serpent, how they despaired in light of its impending absence. He wondered “Will they weep for me when my time to depart has come? Will I be loved by the people as much as our great protector?”

            On the night prior to Drabaki’s departure from the valley, The Emperor asked the serpent, “Drabaki, how can I be loved as you are?”

            The great serpent answered, “Stand tall, Emperor Di Yi Ke Xin. The people will love you, for you are their symbol of hope and strength.”

            The Emperor was not satisfied, however. “Great Serpent, The people love you so dearly. Will I be loved so?”

            Again, the serpent answered, “Stand tall, Emperor Di Yi Ke Xin. The people will love you, for you are their symbol of hope and strength.” These were the final words left to The Emperor by Drabaki.

            But he still was not satisfied. In him, a new desire took root where he once wished to lead. A desire to be remembered and worshiped. And the greater powers that were saw the desire in his heart.

            A priestess, hailing from a land far beyond the borders of the Xin Empire, entered the land with a message. Brought before the emperor she said, “Emperor Di Yi Ke Xin, I have come to share with a vision I have seen. A vision where you stand tall, and are eternally loved.”

            The Emperor bade her to say more. “Tell me more priestess. How do I become eternally loved as you say?”

            “Great Emperor, in my vision, you will lead the effort to save Xin from an impending disaster, and the spoils of this effort shall grant you life, and love, eternal.” The Emperor’s desire burned hot as he listened intently. He would do anything to see that vision become reality.

            “Tell me. I must know, priestess.”

            “Emperor Di Yi Ke Xin, you must see to it that the Great Serpent, Drabaki, not ascend. The serpent holds in it a terrible ambition. An ambition that shall see the world burn to ashes. Your people will die in this valley should the monster ascend. You must see to it that Drabaki fails…”
            And that is it for our folklore! What do all think so far? I really hope you are enjoying it! I will be starting to work on the narratives entries for this story while I also work on my Boundaries update, so it will be a while until I get the next one up. Thank you all for your time!


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