Conflict

    Sea-stained's eyes still laughed though they were fading fast. He spluttered sending a jet of blue fluids streaming onto the boiling metal. The fire-lord grunted in disapproval as the acidic substance bubbled into the metal of his claymore - this wasn't fair... Using both of his over-developed arms he twisted the blade. Sea-stained howled in pain and hunched over, he slid down the metal and met the crudely crafted hilt.

    It was disappointed with this outcome - Sea-stained had talked a good game but it seemed he wasn't what it had hoped he was. It sighed heavily and pushed itself upright. The grass crumbled under it's hands and was swept away with the frail spring breeze.

    It began to flutter away as there was nothing more to see other than the piling of scaled corpses and the magic of the aquatic race's  fast decomposition - being almost completely liquid tended to bear this quick rotting effect and it could see some of the older corpses begin to evaporate. No, there was nothing more to see here.

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    "There is something... worrying my elders." said the monotoned queen looking longingly past Celeste into the space of the dark burrow behind her,

"An ancient presence has stirred, one that brings with it a new, unrivaled and dark element, one never before seen on our earth. We fear it shall destroy us all..." she told the young air clansmen, though it felt as though she was trying to explain it to herself more than Celeste. The oaken hand of the Queen grasped the pale hand of the air fairy. It was quite surprising to the young air fairy to find the gnarled hand to be smoother than a carpenter's wares. Her skin itself had the appearance of mossed bark and Celeste stared at the branch-like limb perplexed by it's surreal features,

"Sorry?" asked Celeste shaking her head and breaking the spell the bizarre hand had over her,

"I said: Can you be trusted to unite our race, equipped only with this information." Celeste cocked an eyebrow and slipped her hand from the grasp of the wooden,

"By myself?!" she cried backing into a Moss covered guardsmen behind her,

"'I'm sorry my child but..." the gnarled fairy looked away from Celeste as if pained,

"You don't have a choice." Celeste found herself literally rooted to the ground as large thorns burst through the ground wrapping themselves lightly around her legs,

"Please, please don't struggle." pleaded the Queen whom Celeste could tell wasn't enjoying what was happening. Celeste did as she was told and stayed deathly still, the thorns rested centimetres from her legs and she wished to keep it that way. The Queen held out her hand. A long vine descended from the ceiling, a black half-mask wrapped in it's green tendrils,

"I can give you this." said the Queen pointing in Celeste's direction. The vine crept toward Celeste and she held out her hands dubiously,

"That, my child, is an appearance changing mask, an artifact of our fairies. Simply press it to your face and it will mold to it showing everyone whatever you want them to see, but be warned - the longer it spends upon your face, the more it learns about you, and if it learns you completely, it can steal your identity..."  Celeste had been keen to try the mask up until "Be warned",

"Steal my identity?" she asked holding the mask far from her face in a fearful awe,

"The mask is alive my child," she informed the silver-haired girl whom seemed intimidated by the mystical mask,

"It wants to be able to move, breathe, talk and you'll find the more you wear it the more of these features it will express. Ultimately it will become another you, not in personality but appearance and it'll most certainly want you out of the way." The queen motioned for Celeste to leave,

"Escort her to the sky-village please." she asked the guard behind Celeste, he huffed and pushed on the wall, the wall sank into the ground and revealed a long hallway with an endless row of holes in the walls.

"This way." Mumbled the guard as the coils of thorns left Celeste's ankles,

"I'll be able to watch you child, don't forget that..."

The End

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