Oh, the BOSS has always told me this, ever since I could walk, talk, and set fire to things. I should probably start with who I am, where I'm from, and why you should be interested in these things.
My name is Uther, the imperfection of the demonic world. My scree and my varr, or mother and father to you mortals, are not my real scree and varr; like every other demon child I was once a special piece of kalarka, a small, black object with a bluish tint, and I suppose a human, like you, would think I came from a normal piece of coal. The kalarka are placed in a special furnace, sort of baked, for many, many days, in a blue-black flame, until the chits, or demon children, are ready to break free. The flames soften the rock-hard kalarka and allow a chit to break free. At first a chit is very, very small, and could fit in a scree's palm, but demons grow quickly. Once the chit becomes a chim, or a sort of demon toddler, and almost as long as a scree's arm, a special list is consulted by the kalarka-bakers, which lists several pairs of satisfactory scree and varr, and the ones at the top of the list receive a chim.
Anyway, a chim is impressionable, meaning that once they receive their scree and varr, they come to be loyal to that pair only. Love is not a thing demons feel. Otherwise we would be angels. The chim stays fiercely loyal throughout its chimehood, or childhood, and then it would become a chik, and like a mortal teenager, the bonds weaken and the loyalty does as well. Once a chik is full-grown, it leaves the scree and varr. This is at about twenty-five, mortal years. I have recently departed chimehood, and I am now a chik. An imperfect chik, as I have told you before.
As for the BOSS, he is the ultimately supreme demon, and although we hardly have any rules, he can bend us to his will. We are his messengers..luckily, because I am weak, intellectual, and wear glasses, he doesn't want me. And I am too young, besides. You must outgrow chikhood before you become an honored messenger.
Before launching into my story, which I'm sure is now of no interest to you, I will give you a brief history of myself.
The world of a kalarka is one of darkness..a kalarka is merely a piece of demon coal or rock, and it is only the chit inside that makes it special. The world of a chit is darkness and sleep, until the comfortable, cozy warmth of the flame and the struggle that is breaking through the kalarka. It took me longer than most chits to break through the kalarka; it took me .8138 seconds to break free, while a healthier, stronger chit would have taken only .2635 seconds to hatch, if you will. This demonstrates my weakness from the beginning. Make no mistake, mortal, I am strong. I have seen it proven true, for in the mortal world I could snap your neck or leg or arm like a twig. As a chim, I was given to Ather, my scree, and Vakl, my varr. They gave me the name Uther, and as far as I can tell this means 'Powerful intellect,' which I gather is not a good thing. Demons should of course be cunning, but it is the brawn that counts more than the brain. Ather and Vakl never said they were ashamed of me, and they and I were loyal to each other, and even in my present chik form, those bonds will never loosen, and never, ever break. And that is fiercer than love. Love can lead you astray.
The teaching of a chim and a chik is not like the mortal world. We are born knowing all that we will know, and with all the strength we will gain, and all the powers we will wield. It is through asking questions and experimenting on our fellows that we discover and open the secrets hidden from us, by us. It is like unfolding the petals from a flower. You know it has a center, but you cannot see it quite yet. It takes all the way until demonhood to reach the center and the apex of all knowledge and power that you are born with. I am pleased; I have quite a lot of knowledge, enough strength, and much power. And I will gain more.
Are all demons blue? No, not that I know of. But I am, as you can see. Blue, long tail, bat wings. Long, straight red hair...and glasses. I have bad eyesight, for all my virtues, and that is what makes me imperfect.
I really don't mind my glasses that much. I am good in almost every other way.
Age: 19, a chik
Physical description: A tall and lanky blue demon chik, with straight red hair, bat-like wings, a long tail, and glasses. Under the seeming weakness is muscle..
Psychological description: Sometimes sarcastic, intellectual, sometimes naiive; can be loyal, 'nice,' can be destructive.
Other: Uther has quite a lot of power, can fly, can hurl destructive things at people or objects. Can be invisible (takes a lot of concentration). Other powers unknown as of yet.
Standing at Ysgothi Isle.
"Uther," Ather, the scree, chided in a commanding voice, "get out of that book and go outside. Blow something up." Uther's scree was a tall, dark blue demoness, and she looked much like Uther, except that instead of glasses, her fiery orange-white eyes were only hidded by a smothering of her long and shining hair. Vakl, the varr, stood behind Ather, his strong, warm ebony hands on her shoulders. He smiled at Uther over his wiv's--wife's--hair, running a claw from one of his immense wings through his shock-white hair. Uther looked up at them, out of her book, The Destruction of Demon-Couthe, and scowled, but marked her spot and set it down on top of the lavabed, a mattress filled with glowing, burning magma and covered with an iceberg sheet. Demons like to defy the limits set on a human's body, and an iceberg or a river of lava wouldn't be able to stop them, and were quite comfortable to sleep in. Uther, in fact, had two rather comfortable pillows full of pure oxygen and mercury.
Uther's nails clicked on the cold stone floor as she left their home, a large den carved into the rock of the demon dimension. Her tail slapped the ground in an air of disgust and then lashed from side to side, like a cat's. She folded her wings behind her and crawled out of her narrow tunnel that led to the surface, a 1,000 foot cliff that she and her chaa, or friends, liked to dive off of and fly. Uther was not the best, but since it was her cliff, she was working on it all the time and had become better than most of her chaa. It was only Vether, a crimson-colored chik with a mane of orange hair, and her chi-chaa, or best friend, that could fly better than she. And only just.
Uther spread her wings, closed her eyes, and dropped of the edge of the cliff, Ather and Vakl watching approvingly from a higher window in the home. She could fly like a kite, and better, because she controlled herself. Uther opened her eyes before she hit the ground and spread her wings wider, catching an updraft and soaring ten feet above her cliff before testing her aerial acrobatics. A twist here, a back-flip there; she was a dancer in a place where no dancer could defy gravity, except for one with wings. And demons did not normally participate in such trivial sports.
"Uther!!" The loud and cocky voice of Vether caught her ear and she twisted to see him, on her cliff, and spiraled down gently to land beside him.
"What do you want, Veth?" she asked in a spiteful voice, her eyes twinkling behind the white-lensed glasses. Vether laughed raucously and eyed Uther daringly.
"I wanted to give you a flying lesson," he replied casually, as if it were nothing at all. Uther laughed and gave him a tiny electrocution when she touched his bare shoulder--zaapp--and he jumped and swore, grinning widely at her.
"So that's a no?" he said, backing up on the cliff. Uther stalked him until he was at the very edge, then jumped and tackled him, their wings automatically out and spread to catch the wind as they scratched at each other and laughed.
"I thought I'd teach you a lesson," replied Uther, and darted away from his grasp, faster and faster. Vether followed, and soon caught up with her. He lashed out at her and she scream-giggled, out of reach, and returned fire with her own long, silver claws to meet his claws of bronze and copper. They realized they were too preoccupied with play-fighting to continue flying without crashing, so they landed, laughing. Vether sat down, splay-legged, and leaned against a slab of rock. Uther crouched and glared at him, a smile tugging at her thin lips.
"You're the best, Veth," she said, quietly. He nodded, "I know," and Uther crawled up next to him to bite him on the leg. He yelled and swatted her, laughing again and crawling after her as she attempted to scuttle away, grabbing her legs and pulling her back. He sat her down next to him and stretched out, staring up at the red-tinged sky with a drowsy smile on his handsome face. Uther glanced at him and back up at the sky, the same smile on her face with an added daring or wickedness attached. She scooted closer to him and put his arm around her shoulders, turned toward him, watching him. He smiled and hugged her close.
Uther and Vether broke off their strange embrace when Uther sat up quickly and looked around, her eyes squinting.
"What is it?" Vether asked quietly. He had heard the humming, too.
"That..humming, Vether. What could it be?" Uther queried, standing up, Vether getting to his feet as well. He pointed down the narrow canyon, where the humming seemed to be loudest.
"There, I'll bet," he said, excitement rising in his voice. Uther flashed him a smile.
"I'm sure that's it..but what is generating the noise?" Uther stepped forward, bare feet never flinching against the hot, flat stone ground. Vether followed her, and together they sought the humming noise. It got louder and Uther winced, moving her palms over the sides of the canyon wall, Vether close behind her. At the end of the canyon was a dead end, but the humming was steadier, thrusting its beat through the two chiks' bodies. Through a chink in the stone came a pale blue light, and Vether almost immediately stepped back, distrustfully.
"You know that's not our place, Uther," he said firmly, and she knew what he meant. But the light had no smell, and it didn't feel gentle and loving, like it would be in a place where cherubs were. Suddenly Uther remembered that there was a portal for adult demons to go through if they wanted to explore the mortal world. There were many worlds, as far as she could tell, and they never ended. You only had to think of the world that you wanted, and you would be there.
"Vether, it's the portal!" Uther said excitedly, and Vether grinned, a light in his eyes.
"Really?" he asked, peering through the crack in the wall.
"Of course. Elders speak of a portal having a humming sound, with pale blue light, and the ability to transport a demon anywhere they wanted to go!" Uther turned to Vether. "We could have such great adventures, together, in there," she contended, seeing him shrink away slightly. "You aren't afraid, are you?" she asked, teasing him, hitting away at his Achilles heel. Vether growled and scowled at her, tensing.
"You know I'm not, chi-chaa," he replied. Uther beamed.
"That's great, because I don't want to go alone."
Uther and Vether smiled at each other, and reaching back in their minds, triggered a power that allowed them to walk through things. Together, they walked through the crack in the wall, into the humming light.
"Wow," said Uther, her voice quavery and distorted musically in the humming and the silver-blue light. It seemed they were walking on something, but she couldn't tell what it was. In front of them the portals were, and since they didn't know where they wanted to end up, Vether and Uther closed their eyes, linked their fingers, and stepped into the nearest portal.
In the portal it was peaceful, a chilling sensation with wisps of imagination and adventure, beautiful slithery aqua blue and silver wisps floating around the two chiks. Suddenly the portal opened and sunlight flooded the eyes of the two, making them wince as the portal vanished away. They could still see it; shimmering strands of chill, irridescent and impossible for a mortal to see or go through. Uther stroked the strands and they made a noise like a harp, and the portal was visible again, but it closed after two minutes of waiting, and became the strands, like spider webs, again. Uther and Vether looked around.
They were standing on the edge of a warm and aqua water, in white sand, near a grove of twisting silver and red trees with smooth trunks. Strange little creatures, like lizards with wings, buzzed noisily through the trees and around the sand, eating fallen fruit or swimming in the gentle water. Uther smiled. There was no such loveliness in the demon dimension. Vether grinned at her and dived into the water, firm strokes carrying him out further and further. Uther followed him, wading in and enjoying the water stroking her feet, toes, legs and waist, until it was too deep and she was swimming, treading water and watching Vether, as agile in the water as in the air. A strange silver beast swam past her, making clicking noises under water in a high-pitched language, the shimmering fin slicing through the water. The creature suddenly spouted water in a rainbow fountain, high in the air, and the water came down on top of Uther's head. She smiled and submerged herself in the clear water. It was warm down there, comfortable, and she could see for a long distance. Shells littered the bottom, and little fish darted to and fro, merrily. Away in the distance a large and foreboding fish, a dangerous hunter, chased a smaller fish and caught it. Uther surfaced and looked at Vether. He was back on the beach and gesturing anxiously.
"Get out of the water," he yelled, waving and pointing. Uther scrambled out of the water and looked behind her. A terrifying creature of immense proportions swam after her and Uther spread her damp wings and flew clumsily onto the beach and up to a safe distance. The lizard creature, a tabriz, growled and swam away. It had missed an exotic meal. Uther was visibly shaken, and Vether looked at her with mixed confusion, concern, and scorn.
"C'mon, it was only a little ol' lizard," he teased, shaking off the fear. Uther glared at him.
"I think I've had enough," she said, and grabbed Vether by the arm, towing him back to the portal.
"Home," Uther said, stroking the strands and entering the portal with Vether. In no time, they were in their canyon once again.
At night, without her scree and varr knowing, Uther crawled through her exit and flew off of her cliff. She had told Vether that she wasn't interested in visiting the portal again, that they would get caught, but she knew better. The humming drew her to the canyon like a moth to a flame, and she had to see it and touch it again.
Uther landed silently and touching the crack in the canyon wall. The portal was still there, writhing humming mists beyond the stone. She triggered and went through.
It was the same chillness, and Uther was used to it, this time. She looked all around, very carefully, before choosing the same one she had before, when with Vether. Surprisingly, she kind of missed him right now, but that wasn't important. She stepped through the portal, and was transported to a place she didn't know the name of: Danach...
Once again, there was the beach, the water, the trees..it was a warm night and the buzzing things were gone, as well as the terrifying hunterfish and tabriz...a new creature was there, one with skin of crimson and the handsome fluffy orange hair.
"Vether," Uther called, "why are you here?" Vether smiled at her and stretched his muscles before answering.
"I had the feeling you weren't being truthful..I knew you'd come back." Vether grinned and patted the sand next to him, Uther sat down, hugging her knees. She spoke quietly, "I don't want to go back." Vether nodded and Uther looked at him. "Ever." Vether looked surprised.
"Your scree, and varr, and your other chaa--" Uther stopped him.
"I don't want to think of it. I've explored every corner of the demonic dimension, and it's starting to bore me. Red, heated rock everywhere, loyalty in exchange for losing the ability to love. I know I can be evil at my worst, but up here, I...I could find myself." Vether stared at Uther in the moonlight, her glasses catching all the stars and reflecting them in whiteness. He leaned over, and kissed her very gently on the cheek.
"Alright, then, chi-chaa, if that's what you want," he sighed. "I'm coming with you." Uther beamed at him.
"Loyalty...such strong loyalty. I wonder, then, if we're up here, where there is love, what that's supposed to mean?" Vether laughed and sprayed sand at her, then got up.
"Let's go explore somewhere other than this sand pit."
Uther and Vether crouched cautiously behind stacks of boxes. They had flown over most of Danach, and now they had reached the ocean, a cold one. Men and women alike were hauling boxes of goods to their ship. One ship, in particular, caught Vether's eye. It was called 'The Flying Folly,' and it had very little goods on it. Instead, there were young people crowding the sides and waving to loved ones. Uther and Vether decided it might be fun to take a ship and explore; besides, some of the people on that ship were very strange, maybe not human, and it was possible that two demon chiks wouldn't be too out of place.
They crept out of their hiding place and walked slowly down the dock to the ship. Surprisingly, not very many people even raised their eyes when the two chiks walked past. Uther smiled. Maybe this wouldn't be so dangerous..
The walked up the gangplank, where a hearty, jolly man with a round belly and numerous whiskers on his face greeted them.
"'Allo, lass, and g'day to ye, laddie. M'name is Rogers. I'm the captain of this 'ere ship. And you're welcome to join us.." Uther and Vether agreed.
After a few seasick days on board, the chiks found their sea-legs and were able to help the sailors in thte rigging by using their wings to fly about and mend things, or help the lookouts spot land.
In a few weeks, the ship stopped at a double dock in a forbidding cove. The salt spray was harsh and stung the chiks skin, and the wind blew horribly. On the beach there was very little sand, most of the land being covered with smooth, round rocks, and high, sharp cliffs rose behind the beach, echoing the thunder of the waves back to the sea-going people's ears. Uther and Vether were used to bad weather, having lived in such a place as they had, and they smiled broadly as they watched men haul goods off the ship and onto the docks.
Uther leaned over the side of the ship, watching the dark water lash at the hull. She pointed at something coming nearer, and Vether watched with her. It was a violet seadragon, her smooth hide dotted in dark purple. She watched with opalescent eyes for a moment, and then spoke.
"You are new here," she remarked softly, as Uther and Vether walked onto the dock. She lashed her tail, her long legs treading water. "Ysgothi Cove welcomes you. I am to extend the greetings of Lord Kethtaz." Quietly, she added, "I am Amyss, bond of Apraiz. There are but three humans here, not including the Bondsearched, but I shall see if I can find one for you."
Amyss stroked away, eeling serpentine through the water. The chiks exchanged glances of disbelief, realizing they hadn't gotten a word in edgewise.
The violet's promised help arrived in a timely fashion, and Uther and Vether watched with amusement as a long-legged woman sprinted across the beach, somehow keeping her footing among the sea-rounded stones. When she reached the dock, she was breathing hard, her blue eyes blinking rapidly, set in a porcelain-white face, shadowed by a white fur hood. She was obviously rather intrigued by the appearance of the two demons, but extended her hand, cordially. Vether stared at it until the hand was withdrawn.
"I am the Lady Nalanneive, Acting Covelord," she said, introducing herself and wiping her brow with a gloved hand. The demons don't mind the salt spray, but the woman winces as the wind throws a handful of freezing spindrift up from the pier. Gesturing toward the nearest cliff wall, against which a long, low building is crouched, the Lady added, "That's the closest entrance," in a pant," Please, come in out of the cold." The demons shrug and nod, and follow the Lady to the building. She stared at them, obviously curious as to who they were and where they came from. However, she doesn't ask. When the demons reached the door, the Lady spoke again.
"The people in there should be able to get you settled, and give you clothes, something to eat."
Clothes are something to eat? thought Vether.
Why do we need clothes? thought Uther. Both demons were about to open the door, when Vether voiced a question.
"Lady, why are we here?" Uther frowned, wondering why she hadn't thought of that. The Lady frowned, too, but answered.
"I suppose it's because you're here to bond a seadragon," she said with a laugh, and pushed them into the building.
Excerpts from a splendid hatching!
Seless paced restlessly along the sheltered sands, letting the water foam up beneath her feet. She was bored here at the Toothed Beaches, where even Nalanneive couldn't stay to keep her company. The Acting Covelord was having a cat with the unexpected work of keeping only four more people at the Cove. Granted, two of them were demons
But yes, the blue mate of the Covelord was bored. She might have gone and left the clutch-watching to a delegated female, but Seless felt guilty every time she put so much as a fin away from those eggs. They were hers, and she was obliged to take care of them.
It was in this boredom, staring at the froth that foamed like spittle between the guardian Teeth, that the seadragoness noticed another flicker from the corner of her eye. Something was moving on the beach. Whipping her head around, the blue inspected her clutch, hoping. Sure enough, the streaky evergreen-teal egg was rocking gently, yawing on its ellipsoid base.
Seless sang out in clear, ringing tones, sounding across the water like a choir of angels. Kethtaz, the sire, added his harsher baritone to her pure voice, and the trilling melody was passed from seadragon to seadragon. The eggs were hatching, and it was time to bring all creatures of a mind to bond to the beaches.
Only the parents, their bonds, and the would-be bonders were allowed on the beach. There simply was not room for many spectators, unlike the Anchorage beaches where the first clutch had hatched. The clutchmother eyed the humans and not-so-humans uneasily.
First down the cliff were two very strange bonders, who beat the other two mostly because they had been flying. This demon pair were quiescent, grinning at each other and the seadragons indiscriminately. The blue-skinned woman, Uther and scarlet male Vether made a striking couple, even if Lady Nalanneive hadn't the faintest idea of what to do with them. Lady Nalanneive, Seless reflected, was lucky to be as adaptable as she was.
There were only two more eggs left on the beach, as well as Ewyllyss' larger twin. But were the demons too different to bond?
The red dragoness seemed to be waiting for something-or someone, for her attention was fixed firmly on the fade-in blue of one of the remaining eggs. Another traditional dragon-to-dragon bonding? That would leave only one possible bond for Uther and Vether
The twilit shell fractured against a rock in a violent spasm, and it dumped a darkly-patterned indigo male at the red dragoness' feet. But they did not latch onto each other, not immediately.
"It is time, then," the female asserted, stretching her wings and neck luxuriously.
The indigo shook himself free of the pebbles briskly. "Yes," he agreed, "it is time."
They advanced inexorably upon the pair of bonders, and Nalanneive breathed a sigh of relief. No bonder would leave these beaches empty-handed.
But the dragons had their own surprise planned. Perhaps it was just that they couldn't stand anyone to make assumptions
The indigo dragon, previously heading for Vether, switched at the last possible moment, crashing into Uther's knees instead. "You," he said. "You are the one, my one, my only."
The red, not to be outdone, sprang at her bond like a cat-or an avenging Valkyrie. "Vether!" she shrilled operatically as both demons fell, startled, to the sharp-edged sand. "I am Kaarranouss."
And to Uther's unvoiced question, her bond rumbled in his deep and growling voice, "You may call me Baaoz. Get up!"
"I'm up, I'm up," Uther assured him, visibly swallowing as she staggered upright. Vether simply stared, wide-eyed, until his friend pulled him to his feet. A grinning Nalanneive directed them to their new quarters, and the nearest source of food for their new darlings. Kethtaz looked thunderous.
Baaoz will be chasing Indigo Velishaess at Mara Cove! Vether and his bond are not entirely happy, but Uther is incredibly curious and Baaoz is very ready!
"You know what, you are really pissing me off," Vether growled at Uther. She laughed and scratched at him. Baaoz rumbled.
"You're just jealous. Don't worry, darlin'," Uther said, "I've no attachment to Velishaess's bond, none at all. And when your Kaarranouss is ready to be chased, we shall be first in line and Baaoz will catch her. That is a promise." Kaarranouss hissed, disgruntled, but Vether folded his arms sulkily and had to be content with the promise (he was secretly pleased).