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|This is a basic legend of Lusture, the world of the unicorns. It tells the story of the First Warriors, the atumanan, and Ciradanorin.||
The Forest of Ciradan
On the edge of the Barren Lands, separating the Warrior’s territory from the Pacifist’s domain, is the forest of Ciradan, the Dreamspeaker. It’s true name is Ciradanorin, and it is where Ciradan herself once came to the earth, giving the Warrior’s her blessing and protection. The forest, or orin, is where all ceremonies by the Warriors take place, beneath Ciradan’s watchful eye.
At the end of the Third Age, the Pacifists began to hunt the Warriors down like dogs, driving them from their age-old lands. There were many faithless Warriors, who were hired by the Pacifists to hunt down their own kind, and if the Warriors put up a fight, they would do battle for food, land, and privileges among the newly formed herds of Pacifists.
Most of the Battleherds of Warriors fled after many bloody battles, heading east, and were driven towards the most inhospitable lands of all: the Barren Lands and the Ice Lands. The country grew rougher, with less to eat and drink, and fewer rests for all, hunter and hunted. The caftrin, the traitors, grew demoralized, and only with the urging of a Pacifist leader, would they pursue the Warriors further.
The exhausted Warriors fled into the haven of a forest for the evening. They spent the night in peace and satisfaction, having eaten and drunk their fill of herbs, meat, and sweet stream water. When they rose in the morning, Warriors moved out, to try to lose their pursuers. The silent forest spread out before them, never seeming to end. By nightfall, they had only reached a deep pool that caught the light of the full moon, not the edge of the forest. With strange lethargy, they laid down to sleep. Only the eight leaders of the Battleherds stood awake.
The moon reached its zenith. A peculiar mist rose from the pool, forming a gentle path to the moon. The path seemed to be of pearly velvet, and down it flowed a bright spot, like a star to the earth. Gradually, the star shaped itself into a graceful Unicorn mare, pearl horned, golden hoofed, and golden eyed. Her coat was like a pearl, seemingly lit from within, and the same color of a fine white pearl. Her voice, when she spoke, was pure, musical, and bell-like.
"I greet you, Warriors. I am the Dreamspeaker, Ciradan."
As one, the leaders bowed their heads to her respectfully. "Milady, we, the remains of the Second People, greet you with joy in our hearts."
Ciradan stepped off of the Path from the Moon and onto Lusture. The water around her golden hooves stilled and allowed her to walk upon it. Two Unicorns drew in a sharp breath; they called upon Water for power and protection, and yet had never known that it would allow someone to walk upon it. Ciradan tapped a forefoot on a rock and called in a soft, low voice, "Wake, children of the Innocents. I call you."
As one, the sleeping Warriors awoke, and came to the pool. The Dreamspeaker surveyed the eight score Warriors remaining. "There are too few of you to be all that is left of a great people. Where are your reserve troops? Where are your scouts?"
"Milady, what you see is what remains. Only we eight commanders and our troops remain."
"I give you this gift: the forest will be blessed by me, your foes will not be able to follow you through it. Use this to your advantage.
"To the brave leaders, what do you wish for yourselves?"
As one they answered, "We wish for peace with the Pacifists, and safety for our people."
"Alas, I cannot grant peace, and I can only give relative safety. What you ask is a noble thing, and so I will reward you. Would the commanders of the Earth band come forward? To you I grant power over Earth, for good, though it can be directed to ill. Air, I give you the same thing, as do I of Water, and of Fire. This is a powerful gift, and I beg you to use it wisely. All eight of you now have control over an element. To symbolize this, I give your bands a token of this gift. You will find it in your waking hours beside you. Pass them down to your eldest child, and you will have the relative protection I promise you. You may make copies of them to symbolize your allegiance, but only the true ones will have any magic in them. Remember this against the trying times."
The moon was on the wane, and the path began to turn back to mist. Ciradan began to turn back into a star-creature, and walk up the Path to the Moon. The eight heard her call their names, and looking up, they saw their lord, Equus, welcome them and Ciradan bow to them, blessing them as long as they lived.
In the morning, the Unicorns found a silver band with a gemstone upon it to symbolize their element. For Air, there were fiery, clear, and flawless diamonds for each Unicorn of the Battleherds. Earths had perfect green beryl upon theirs, Water Unicorns found star sapphires, and Fires found beautiful fire opals next to them. All thanked Equus and Ciradan for the gifts that they had bestowed upon them.
Moving peacefully through Ciradanorin, the leaders would split into two groups to throw off any pursuit by the caftrins. One group of eighty would head north for the Ice Lands, and the other eighty would make for the Barren Lands. The breaking of the companions was hard for all, but they were connected to each other by the autummanan, the bands of Ciradan.
The caftrins were indeed lost in the great forest. They eventually found the great pool that was the headwater for the stream, and the tracks of the Warriors. The forest was just too great for them to find the lost Warriors, so they gave up. On the return, a roc like a giant eagle attacked the caftrin, but left the Pacifists be, to carry back news of the attack, the loss of troops, and of the Warriors’ disappearance. The tale was fantastically embroidered with more horrors than truths. All those who are not Warriors stays away from the forest, lest they too become part of the legendary terror within. The Warriors lived in their homes in peace, passing down the autummanan to their children with the tale of the forest of Ciradan.
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