Long before I knew its name, I understood its words—the soft sighing of the sacred crystal’s song. It seemed to speak to me from the heavens, so small…so quiet.

And yet, somehow I never struggled to decipher its whispers—those sweet, gentle words and tender assurances—so comforting...like the calm condolences of my own dear mater and pater.

When I raged, the crystal’s voice would calm; when I wailed, it would soothe—an elixir for my unsettled heart. When my stomach knotted from hunger, the crystal always untangled my worries, offering food for my starved lips and assurance for my weary mind.

In this blighted world, its presence was all I needed.

 

In truth, it wasn’t as if this world actually needed me. I was nothing to Ailur…just a lone orphan living lost in her mysterious lands—another hungry mouth to feed and an unfortunate creature destined to slowly die from the moment I took my first breath.

Some recoil at talk of death, but to die slowly here was a gift, for so many had already perished far too quickly in the great city of Lyumina. Were I to die too, what was one more sad soul to join the sleeping dead?

In my humble opinion, the Lyuminan Anagativa—my own people—were filled with arrogance…consumed by a haughty hubris born from a clan of creatures who fancied themselves gods.

In their lust for the light, they had brought the sky down upon their own holy heads. In their search for enlightenment, they’d brought a raging chaos instead.

 

I myself rejected the light-lust…and so, as the electric storm raged above our village and lightening lashed at our doorsteps, I was left to my own isolated existence.

But even in such solitude, I was not alone, for the familiar calm of Prakala—the sacred shard of crystal around which our Lyuminan ancestors had formed this clan—had always proven to be a steadfast companion. As the others clung to survival, I clung to her, my great, glittering guardian…my constant, crystalline comrade.

As a young Anagativa even, the first word I ever uttered was her name—a name that I, in time, realized only I knew, for no other seemed able to hear Prakala speak, let alone understand her song. I never asked why, but for so long she too had been ignored by the haughty Lyuminans, so perhaps that was the reason…

In any case, I didn’t blame her for ignoring them too…both in their glory and then also in their despair.

In truth, I came to revel in my sole understanding of Prakala. She spoke to me not with actual words, but in a complicated language of thought and emotion—much more poignant and precise a pattern than any clumsy word could be.

I was content in such an existence. I was happy…but sadly, happiness is transitory.

Just as my people had once been kings of creation, they ultimately were laid low by their own selfish urges. Eventually, so too came my own time for tears…but it did not come from the fractured souls of the Lyuminans, nor from the rodent-like Kotakayan foes who beamed from the shadows at our oblivion.

Instead, it came from Prakala herself…my teacher, my parent, and now…my betrayer.

 

Though I had finally grown content in my solitude by her side, Prakala explained that in order to preserve the very future of my people, I must leave this Lyumina capital to master the knowledge of the six clans and protect the magic of the shattered sacred crystal.

Otherwise, we’d all eventually perish in our lust for absolute power.

I grew fearful. Prakala had raised me all these years and now she was seemingly casting me aside. Though she prettied up her words and spoke to me of self-sacrifice in the pursuit of a greater salvation, she was unable to mask the gut-wrenching truth—that I must leave her side…the only companionship I had ever truly known.

Though she confirmed what I had long suspected—that not all could speak to and understand her will—I didn’t want to believe what Prakala was asking of me.

...I didn’t want to leave her.

 

But Prakala urged me to protect her, for I was special; I was the only Lyuminan born a true Kristalan—a conduit between the sacred crystal and the rest of the world, for very few possessed the innate gift of Kristala at birth.

Until now, many had twisted Prakala and her shard sisters’ words, speaking in the great, sacred crystal’s place instead of in its service. Those who could not truly understand the crystal’s language had made pronouncements and proclamations in its stead, filling the heads and hearts of common Anagativans with lofty nonsense and foolish pride.

Prakala explained that the sheer ignorance of my fellow Anagativans is what had now plummeted us into the deepest despair we’d yet known. To preserve a future for ourselves in Ailur, those like me—the true Kristalans—must do as Ellaria of the Nisarga had done before us and emerge as the rightful masters of the crystal’s sacred magic and serve as the keepers of all Anagativan clan knowledge.

Though I truly could not bear to leave her side, I eventually mustered the courage to leave Prakala and the only home I’d ever truly known.

To green Nisarga I traveled, on the path Ellaria had tread so long ago...and then beyond to Tandara, Myrtuna, Keoza, Sykomana. I mastered each magic and finessed each blade, conferring with each of Prakala’s crystalline sisters along the way.

Slowly, I grew rich in wisdom, excelling in learning and ultimately leaving behind the young Anagativa I once was for someone much wiser…someone who had proven her worth.

I certainly did not understand the why behind my journey when I first began, and in truth…I still sometimes find myself questioning, even now as I serve as one of the elite Raksaka warriors. 

 

What I do know is that the only way we can truly guarantee a future for the Anagativan race and all the precious creatures of Ailur is in learning to harness the gift of Kristala—in truly listening to the ancient song of the sacred crystals so that we might one day better understand the true essence and meaning of this delicate dance we call life.

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