The Tenth Shantel

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Literature Text

Clutch: Machesri Clutch 10: Faiamitsukai [mc39f] & Striking Echo [mc23m]

Athena ducks her head as one of the shrapes does a sailing loop past.  She doesn't normally run the Shantel ceremonies, but today is Mjollnir's day off, Pierre has been busy all day helping Indyana train a new sentry, and Athena doesn't want Jarod to undergo the stress of having to deal with the ceremony.  So, it is she who was trying to keep an eye on all the arrivals.

Unlike most Shantels, this one is being held at sunset.  The Centre Square isn't too busy, but there is still a crowd gathered, as always.  There are seven shrapes in this clutch, and all of them seem full of energy.  Athena is enjoying meeting them all, but now it is time to bring some order.  She lets out a high-pitched whistle.

*Excuse me!* she projects.  *It is almost time for the ceremony, so would all the shrapes please form a line in from of the ceremonial rock?*

The shrapes slowly begin to break off from what they are doing and head to the front of the crowd.

I don't know what Jarod's always getting so worked up about, Athena thinks to herself.  This job isn't so hard...

Then, realising that she may have just jinxed herself, she slithers past the fountain on her way up to the front and splashes some water over her back for good luck.  She finds a spot next to the clutch's proud parents, Faiamitsukai and Striking Echo.  Mjollnir is watching from a few feet away, having arrived a few minutes ago to watch the Shantel.  It may be her day off, but she isn't going to miss the big ceremony.  Jarod is nearby, and he moves closer to Athena.

*Look, that one takes after me!* he tells her in excitement, motioning to the Ice Shard shrape with wings and two front legs.  *And those twins there have surely got a few of their features from you!*

*Yes, dear,* she says with a smile.  She thinks the genes probably have more to do with Faia and Echo, but she doesn't want to spoil Jarod's fun.  They are their great grandshrapes, after all.

Finally, the Kailan appears from his cave, and a hush falls over the crowd... except for an odd peeping noise.  Athena turns and looks at the odd, tentacled creature who is bondmate to the twins, from whom the noise seems to be eminating.  The peeping dies off.  Athena turns back to give the Kailan her attention.

*Welcome, all,* he calls to the crowd, looking very regal on his rock.  *Today, we are celebrating the Shantel of the shrapes of Faiamitsukai and Striking Echo.  They are an interesting and varied clutch, as you can see, and they have all worked hard during the first part of their lives to become the shrapes they are now.  Today, they will take their final step to becoming Bishen.*

He pauses dramatically before looking down the line of shrapes.  *Eimin, step forward,* he announces.  The Dark Red, vampiric shrape stalks a few steps frontward to stand before him.

*You tred the path of darkness and choose to remain with your bondmate.  To you, I give this Muted Charm.  It will allow you to travel in a cloak of darkness wherever you go, as well as bring immediate silence if you so wish it.  You can also direct these powers as a breath weapon as you become stronger, effectively blinding and deafening your foes.  May you always have the moon and stars to guide you.*

The dark shrape takes her bracelet and moves back into the line, glancing back at her pale, cloaked bondmate.  The Kailan waits, then calls the next shrape forth by name, the Ice Shard.  *Jiyuu Touhi, come forward.*

The shrape flutters forth and waits for the Kailan to speak.

*You who are so devoted to justice and aiding others deserve an object that will help you in your quest.  I give you this Glacial Gorget.  It will allow you to breath a freezing mist.  It also will give you powerful visions, visions that can foretell the future of those in danger, to allow you the opportunity to help them.  I am sure you will put it to good use.

The Kailan places the gorget over the shrape's head, and he puffs up proudly... but not as proudly as his father, who is nearly having fits of pride.  Cordelia, the father's bondmate, is looking mortified, and the new Bishen's bond, an odd, pale young man, is giving Striking Echo a mildly annoyed look.  The Kailan's eyes twinkle a bit with mirth at this, but he manages to keep his composure as the Ice Shard shrape moves back to the line.  *Chayala and Verdara, come forward.*

Athena's brow furrows, wondering why the Kailan has called the twins up together.  Usually, all shrapes are called seperately.  What does the old Arboreal have under his wings?

The twins come forward, the Blue padding on webbed feet, and the Red slithering, both swishing their tail fins.

*You both hatched from the same egg, and while you are each unique, you share a link that can never be severed.  Your link has given you mental strengths that will be of great use to you in the future.  I give you both a Treasurer's Collar.  Although these items are often used by those caring for vast hordes, they are also very useful.  They will give you the power of telekinesis, the ability to move objects with your minds.  Chayala, you will gain the ability to hide items from anyone you choose.  Even if an enemy is looking directly at the item, they will not be able to find it.  It is a powerful gift, good for keeping those things we treasure safe.  You will also be able to breathe hot red fire.  Verdara, you will have an incredible memory and be able to recall images, sounds, scents, and words in an instant.  I am sure your artistic mind will find this most useful.  You will also gain the breath weapon of hot blue fire.  May these collars aid you in your journeys.*

The twins watch each other in awe as the Kailan fastens a matching collar on each of them.  Then, they bounce back to line... well, the Blue is bouncing, at least.  The Red is still trying to maintain some dignity.  There is a string of excited peeps, and the twins' bondmate waves her tentacles to them happily.

*Martia, come forward,* the Kailan proclaims, and a double-winged Red female slips in front of the boulder.

*You have led an interesting existance thus far, and I am sure you will continue to long after you leave this Realm.  You have faced more enemies than most, and you have always tried to help those close to you achieve their goals.  To you, I give these Fury Stones.  They will allow you, when angered, to grow larger in size.  With practice, you will be able to control this growth and may be able to grow ten times larger or more!  Also, you will be able to surround yourself with bolts of red energy and breathe these bolts at your foes.  Remember to use your powers wisely and sparingly, and always question the 'why' of your actions.*

The Fury Stones are slipped onto the Arboreal's horns, and she bobs her head to the Kailan before slithering back to line, her new jewelry jingling lightly.  Her party, which contains a half werewolf, an ex-preistess, and a few suspiciously familiar-looking angecur, claps and looks excited for her.

The Kailan waits for the applause to die down, then calls the next shrape.  *Halifax, step forward.*

The Blue Terran female trots up to stand before him, and the Kailan begins his speech.

*Halifax, you have lived a peaceful existance, something that you should treasure.  To help you avoid danger and protect your family, I give you this Mire Shard.  It will give you a breath weapon of blue smoke that can irritate the eyes of your foes and allow you to escape unseen.  It will also give you the power to draw water up from the earth, creating small pools or quicksand, if you so choose.  May you live your days in peace but never suffer from lack of activity.*

The Kailan slips the Mire Shard over Halifax's neck, and she walks proudly back to the line, with her two friends cheering her on... well, at least, the Kailan thinks that's a smile on the boy's face... on second thought, it could be a grimace.

Not allowing himself to be distracted, the Kailan calls the final shrape.  *Raistlin, come forward.*

The Red Arboreal-Terran with talons comes forward, a brilliant sapphire gleaming at her neck.

*You, like your brother, have become a champion for justice in the world.  Your spirit is commendable, and you have never given up, even when faced with challenges larger than you could imagine.  I give you this Chaosblood Jewel.  It will allow you the breath weapon of balls of red energy and purple fog, that can injure your foes as well as provide you with cover to escape under.  You also, with practice, can project illusions, thus tricking your enemies into seeing things... or not seeing things, as you choose.  Use this skill with restraint, and use it to help those in need.*

Raistlin stands still as the headdress is put over her horns, then gleefully flutters back to the line of shrapes.  The new Bishen has an entire cheering section here, along with a few Kingdom Dragons too.  When the crowd quiets again, the Kailan speaks one last time.

*You are now Bishen of the Machesri Clan.  I know you will all make our Clan proud, so continue your explorations and quests.  Congratulations!*

The Kailan watches as the shrapes rush to show their bondmates their new objects, then slowly returns to his cave.

Athena smiles as Faia and Echo start to mingle with their offspring.

*Come, I want to speak with that Terran-Arboreal,* Jarod says, nudging her.

*Only if we go speak with the twins afterward,* Athena says, wanting to take the opportunity to meet some of the Marine Bishen.

They head into the crowd, and the Tenth Shantel comes to a close.
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