The Fifth Shantel

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Literature Text

Clutch: Machesri Clutch 4: Naturail [mc06f] & Atlan [mc09m]

*Well, will you look at that...* Jarod says.  He is sitting next his mate, Athena, watching the arrival of their latest clutch of grandchildren.  After much coercing, Indyana and Pierre had managed to convince him to take a break from managing this Shantel.  At the moment, he is staring at one of his grandkids, a terran-arboreal hybrid.

*See, I told you, dear,* Athena says nodding.  *Patience.*   Jarod and Athena go over to greet the new arrival.  Already, two of her siblings have arrived, a graceful green marine and a friendly blue arboreal.  Soon, a second marine shrape, this one blue, arrives.

*We're here!  We're here!  Mom!  Dad!*  The shrape races over to where the family has gathered, and Naturail and Atlan greet him with enthusiasm.

"Looks like we're almost ready," Indyana says, coming up behind Jarod with Pierre.

*Almost ready?  One of my grandshrapes is missing!*  Jarod protests.  With a smirk, Indyana points upwards.  Sailing overhead are a winged girl and a large arboreal shrape.  As they come closer and land, it is clear that the shrape has a horn, like that of a unicorn.  The family goes over to greet the last arriving shrape.

"See..." Indyana says.  Jarod just grumbles something about 'last minute shenanigans' and moves off with Athena to join the rest of the group.

*Shenanigans, eh?*  Pierre asks Indyana, grinning.  Indyana smiles back at her bondmate and pretends to elbow him.

"Come on, we don't want to keep the Kailan waiting with our 'last minute shenanigans'..."  She says, and goes off to check in with the clan's leader.  Pierre, meanwhile, moves off and begins rounding up all the shrapes.

*Come on, everyone, line up!  Yes, there, in front of the boulder... Yes, Echo, I know it's your first Shantel, just calm down... Neelam, you splash her one more time, and I swear... you, in line, now!*  Pierre growls at the two marines, who had been playing in the fountain on their way over to the boulder.  They scamper into line hurriedly.  Jarod passes Pierre with a smirk.

*Hmm, sounding a bit harried, are we?*  He asks.  He obviously has the idea that this Shantel will fall apart without him.

*Come on, Jarod, we don't want to be late for our own grandshrapes' Shantel...*  Athena says, coaxing Jarod away and giving Pierre an amused smile.

*Hey, these are your grandshrapes...* Pierre points out to her, and she breaks into a grin.  *Hooligans...*  Pierre mutters.

"Hooligans?"  Indyana asks in a teasing tone, moving through the gathering crowd and coming up beside Pierre.  He doesn't have time to reply, however, as a hush falls and the Kailan exits his cave.

*Welcome, children of Naturail and Atlan.  We have seen the return of treasured kin as well as the arrival of new additions today.  Today is your Shantel, the day you will become full Bishen and take your rightful place in our clan.*  He pauses to examine the shrapes and the crowd.  Then, he speaks again.  *Neelam, come forward.*

A slender green marine shrape makes his forward, glancing around.  He stops in front of the Kailan and stares at him.

*You, Neelam, have risen from great trials to start a new life in the ocean.  To you I give this Water Globe.  It gives you the power to shoot water at your enemies and allows you to float on the waves without effort.  May it bring you much safety and happiness.*

Neelam takes his globe, carrying it back into line happily.  The Kailan calls the next shrape.  *Striking Echo, come forward.*

*You are cautious by nature, but you are not afraid to act when danger threatens.  To you I give this Shrieking Bone.  It allows you to produce a hypersonic scream that will paralyze all foes.  Also, it allows you to sense the past history of places, sense previous events that have taken place there.  May it protect you and allow you to explore as much as you wish.*

Echo carries the bone carefully back into line, looking pleasantly surprised.  *Vega, come forward,* the Kailan says.

*You have grown up far from these lands, among the clouds and sky.  It is only fitting that your powers be centered there.  I give you this Stardust Orb.  It gives to you the power to enchant objects to levitate, including other creatures.  Also, it gives you the breath weapon of Starbright Ray, a powerful light that will banish shadows and evil from any place.  Use this gift wisely, and you never need fear anything.*

Vega carries her bright Stardust Orb back to the line.  The Kailan pauses before calling the next name.  *Nebulosis Quies, come forward.*

*You have been blessed with great power, even as a young dragon.  However, this power must be harnessed and controlled if you are to go on to greater things.  This necklace I give to you has a rich history.  Eons ago, the Forest of the Nenden Elves was invaded by the forces of the Night King of Thydmin.  The powers of the Night King were too strong, and Yeodoi, ruler of the elves, feared defeat.  However, Grinwyn, unicorn lord of the forest, was both wise and caring.  He sacrificed his own horn and his powers to save the elvish people and the forest he loved.  His horn was fashioned into beads for a necklace and a pendant of clear, deep sapphire was added to it.  The necklace, hence forth known as the Tears of Grinwyn, gave Yeodoi the power he needed to defeat the Night King.  The forest was saved.  For a time, the elves cared for the necklace, but eventually, it passed into the hands of the Bishen.  Now, I give it to you.  You will need it, young Nebulosis; remain true to your heart and you will triumph.*  The Kailan pauses and the entire Realm is silent, riveted by the tale.  Slowly, in awe, the horned arboreal shrape moves to take the Tears of Grinwyn.

He moves back into the line, and the entire crowd watches his movement.  The Kailan clears his throat and continues.  *Decertare, come forward.*  The terran-arboreal hybrid steps forward quietly, obviously reluctant to follow the previous shrape.

*This clutch is deeply intertwined with destiny,* the Kailan begins.  *Each one of you is to play a role in the future of this world and others.  Decertare, you have great journeys ahead of you also.  Along with your enthusiastic family, you will accomplish great things.  However, you are unhappy.  You have the wish to fly; the arboreal blood in your veins calls to you.  Therefore, I give you the Stone of Iolana.  I'll admit I know not the true story of the stone.  It has been passed down many generations with the tail that a winged spirit came from a distant land and left the imprint of its feather in this stone.  This stone will give you the ability to fly and to transfer this flight to anyone or anything that touches you, allowing you to carry burdens many times your weight.  It also gives you the breath weapon of fire, manifesting the proud red spirit in you.  May this stone aid your journeys.*
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