Posted by davidludwig
Sep 28 2011

Jordan – Fantasia

The wind had a hint of moisture, welcome in the parched bad-lands. All the same, it meant they were traveling into a storm. The rain itself would be a weal, but the storm that brought it was a portent of woe. Jordan closed his eyes as the wind pulled lightly at his tangled grey fur. Casting his senses out further he sought enlightenment to what their suddenly joined road would bring. Such creatures… he would never have chosen to associate with any of them, and yet his quest to remind the city-dwellers in Kengli of the power of nature landed him in alliance with the already unusual pack.

It troubled Jordan for a beholder to have secretly been behind the tournament. Such creatures were anathema to nature, but most had been vanquished so long ago that the few survivors hid away in the depths of the world—too few and weak to challenge the civilized or natural worlds above. Weak as a collective, individually they were still greater than any threat Jordan had faced in all his years. If they retrieved the Solar Eye for the beholder, what dire purpose would it put the artifact toward? If they did not, the beast would slay them all and then simply hold a new tournament. A low growl rose in Jordan’s throat. This could not be tolerated. But what option did they have? Already tomorrow’s storm told him it would not be good.

Jordan cast his eyes back down to his temporary pack—the gnome who thought himself master of beasts, civilized and natural; the cat with too much pride; the falcon who knew too much; the human, who was little more than a pup. The gnome knew how to keep his own path, and Jordan could trust him so long as their paths were shared. The cat and the falcon were both like and unlike Jordan in ways still unfolding to his time-crusted eyes. Like him they were born human, but unlike him they did not choose their current forms. The gnome had thought to flaunt his ability to communicate with animals by making conversation with Jordan. If Jordan wished to speak he would resume human form.

At last Jordan’s gaze returned to the human pup, and his bristly grey tail curled over his weary old paws. She was so completely unlike the others, and yet in many ways she was their alpha—though she was far too young to handle such responsibility. The cat was bound to her; the gnome pursued her; and the falcon followed the gnome. Even Jordan found himself following the human pup. He was too old to lead, too old to be off chasing artifacts for that matter, but much too old to directly battle ancient evils of devastating power. The strange thing was that by her apparent physical age, Jordan would have expected her to be grown. Yet, like a pup she doubted herself, hid behind others and was too timid to even see the world before her.

Always looking back for her mother, Jordan snorted. And yet she had a potential he had never seen before. If she would only believe in herself, she was the sort who could change the fate of worlds. What was it she chased so desperately that it kept her from recognizing herself? Looking back to the stars, Jordan combed the universe for answers. He already knew, whatever the storm brought, he would follow this pup. Should it cost his life, it would be a price gladly paid to see this one grow.




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