The Sixth Shantel

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Literature Text

Clutch: Machesri Clutch 6: Clarinet [mc42f] & Pierre [mc02m]
Additional Shrapes: Sofi [mc43f], Sharma [mc44f], Solar [mc45m]

*Clarinet!*  Pierre calls and runs over to greet his mate.  She is back from her latest voyage, bringing their lost son with her.  The two touch snouts briefly before Pierre continues.  *You've missed so much... but not now.  Now we must make sure our children's Shantel goes smoothly.*

Pierre runs off and begins greeting all his children in a harried and excited manner.  Clarinet laughs to herself before following.

Bishen Realm is fuller than Jarod and Athena have ever seen it.  Usually, a crowd gathers for the ceremonies, but so many people have gathered here today due to the rumors of the new colorations and the arriving member of the Hirgyae Clan.  On top of that, many of this Shantel's dragons brought an entire cheering section instead of just one bondmate.  Jarod, who is trying to keep order in the chaos, is becoming dizzy trying to keep track of everyone.

*How do you put up with all of them?*  A cold voice hisses.  Tr'ynka Valae, the mythical member of the Hirgyae clan, glowers at the huge crowd of humans and dragons.  Athena simply shrugs.

*They may be loud and disruptive, but at least they are peaceful,* she says, watching the crowd mingle.

Meanwhile, the young shrapes are circulating as best they can.  Sharma and Solar, social butterflies that they are, are fluttering about, trying to talk to all the other shrapes at once.  Jasmine, Seryn, and Amarith have clustered near the fountain together.  Serenerissa, Perspicace, and Faiamitsukai are trying to push their way to the front of the crowd, followed by a train of Fai's travel companions.  The only two dragons not joining in the crowd are Sofi and Kipfel.  Sofi has hidden under a wheelbarrow off to one side and refuses to come out, despite the best efforts of her bondmate, B'Elanna.  Kipfel, on the other hand, is standing next to Annabel and glaring at any person foolish enough to step too close.  At one point, he even takes a swipe at Solar as he flies by.  Seeing that, Tr'ynka Valae chuckles.

*Now there's a worthy shrape,* he observes.  Athena sighs.  Jarod finally rushes over.

*Athena, help!  It's nearly time, and I can't get the crowd to settle at all!*

*Allow me...* Tr'ynka Valae growls, an evil glint in his eyes.  He rears back his head and releases what can only be described as a cold, wavering howl.  Everyone in the area immediately freezes and stares.  Most of the people look shocked or afraid.  Sofi, Jasmine, and Seryn all let out a frightened "Treeee!"  Kipfel simply looks impressed.  With quiet gained, Tr'ynka Valae returns to his former position, lying on a nearby rock.  Jarod speaks above the crowd.

*The Shantel is ready to begin.  All shrapes up to the front, and all bondmates, relatives, friends, and foes in the crowd.*  There is a shuffle as everyone takes their places.  Even Sofi is coaxed out into the lineup, and a quiet falls.  It is then that the Kailan emerges from his cave.

*Greetings to everyone,* he projects, looking surprised at the huge crowd packed into the Realm.  *Today, young shrapes, you will receive your magical objects and become full Bishen of the Machesri Clan.  As always, this group is varied and talented, and each of you possesses your own strengths and virtues.  Long have you waited and toiled, and today you shall be rewarded.

*Solar, come forward.*

The Sunshine Arboreal male swoops up to sit in front of the Kailan's boulder and stares up at the ancient warrior.  *You, Solar, have shown resilience and joy in the face of all you have faced.  To you I present the Necklace of Clarity.  This necklace gives you the power to perform the Blazing Glory attack, which will immediately vanish all impurities, darkness, sickness, and evil from its radius.  Use this gift to aid others and create happiness wherever you may go.*

*Sharma, come forward.*

A second Sunshine Arboreal, this one a female, moves to hover in front of the Kailan.  *Sharma, you are innocent and pure, like the bright sunshine and the freshly bloomed flower.  To you I give this Citrine Brooch.  It will allow you to control the blooming of your flowers, and it also gives you the ability to produce a sweet scent that will halt any attack by an enemy.  Use this to keep your peaceful home just as it is.*

*Jasmine, come forward.*

A green Terran female comes forward, moving with the poise and refinement.  *Jasmine, you have learned to love your home and your bondmate with all your heart.  In order to add to your happiness, I present you with this Xyloic Bracelet.  It will allow you to turn into a plant or a rock at will.  It also gives you the power to commune with all forest creatures.  Use this in pursuit of nature and beauty.*

*Seryn, come forward.*

A gentle-looking blue Terran male moves to stand before the Kailan.  *Seryn, you have lived a life a solitude and quiet, honing your skills as an artist and learning to hear the tales of the world through the winds.  To you I give this Iolite Starburst.  It allows you to use the breath weapon of Starlight Beam, and also gives you the power to produce other light and electrical attacks.  Use it in defense only, and may your way always be lit by stardust.*

*Amarith, come forward.*

A blue Marine male shrape slithers from the line and looks up at the Kailan.  *You, Amarith, have been your bondmate's closest companion since your hatching.  You also have bonded deeply with the ocean, and love it dearly.  To you I present this Water Orb.  It will allow you control of the currents and also let you produce various types of water attacks.  Use it well.*

*Perspicace, come forward.*

A green Marine male takes the place where Amarith had just been.  *Perspicace, you have suffered the pains of separation from your bondmate, but at last, you were reunited both with your bondmate and the ocean you love.  To you I give the Mariner's Call.  It allows you to call to other creatures of the sea and enlist their aid.  Also, it will drive away pirates and raiders.  Use this and enjoy peace with your bondmate for all your days.*

*Raina Lynn, come forward.*

A lithe red Terran female trots up to sit before the Kailan.  *You, Raina Lynn, have stayed close to your Clan for the first part of your life, but now you seek adventure and fortune.  To you I give this Ember Orb.  It allows you to breath fire and create flames and heat at will.  May it protect you and your bondmate on your journeys.*

*Serenerissa, come forward.*

A Moonstone Marine female comes forward, her skin glowing in the sunlight.  *Serenerissa, you have made your home under the sea since the moment you hatched, and your bond with it is stronger than any could have.  You also have your mother's drive to explore and roam the worlds.  To you, I give this Moondrop.  It gives you the power of teleportation, a rare gift indeed, and the power of farsight, so you may always watch those you care for, even when you are far from them.  Use this gift wisely, and explore all you wish.*

*Faiamitsukai, come forward.*

A red Arboreal female with clawed wings soars up to sit before the boulder.  *To you, Faiamitsukai, I give this Fury Flame.  Besides giving you various fire attacks, it also gives you the ability to carry out the Dragon's Fury attack, a powerful attack that even the most powerful cannot turn aside, for the worlds truly know no fury like that of a dragon.*

*Sofi, come forward.*

The timid white Terran steps forward, glancing to her bondmate for a bit of reassurance before moving to stand in front of the Kailan, her head raised proudly.  *You, Sofi, has desired a life of peace and solitude in order to better understand yourself and the ways of nature.  I give to you this White Lightning Shard.  It will allow you the breath weapon of White Lightning, should you ever need it.  It also gives you the ability to create silence and stillness around you at will.  Use you gifts with temperance and wisdom.*

*Kipfel, come forward.*

The black Terran male takes a moment to glare at the Bishen in line next to him before stalking before the Kailan.  He seems to regard the Kailan with some respect--a rare occurrence for him.  He does, however, sneak a glance at Tr'ynka Valae, who is watching him with interest.  *Kipfel, you were once thought lost to us forever, but through the will of the Fates, you have returned home to your Clan.  You have faced more challenges than dragons twice your age, and you may face more in the future.  To you I give this Negatius Fragment.  With it, you can create the Black Vortex attack, which will banish any who are evil of heart into the depths of the underworld, and confuse all other enemies to an unconscious state.  It also gives you the gift of energy absorption, allowing you to pull energy from the sun, fire, electricity, or another living being.  Use this gift with caution and restraint.*

*You are now all full Bishen,* the Kailan announces with pride.  *Our Clan is another generation stronger.  Go now, Bishen, into the world and make your destiny.*

With that, the Shantel is over.  The new Bishen rush to their bondmates, and Pierre and Clarinet rush to congratulate their children and the other new additions to the Clan.  The Kailan, instead of returning to his cave, moves to sit by Tr'ynka Valae.

*So, that is how your Clan bestows powers,* he says, interested.  *It delays the development of their attacks, but allows them to learn stronger skills.*

*That was the way it was done years ago,* the Kailan says.

*Yes, Leukosri, it was... but much has changed since then.  Consider yourself lucky to have been sent away.  If only we had all been wise enough...*

*Even the wise cannot see all ends,* Leukosri observes, bringing a smile to Indyana, who has been standing nearby during the proceedings.  Leukosri and Tr'ynka Valae retreat from the crowds and Indyana watches them leave, a thoughtful look on her face.
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