Part 1: Chapter 6
Shapers are the fighters, the warriors of the Ancients. They are named Shapers because of their namesake. Natural shape-shifters, they are able to travel the land quickly and efficiently.
All Shapers have keynote features that distinguish themselves from the Guardians. Their eyes are brown or amber in color; they are quiet and quick.
Shapers are extremely fast. They can move at inhuman speeds, and dodge obstacles quickly. Shapers are sleek and thin; they can squeeze between small spaces. Shapers are not muscular in the way the Guardians are, instead they are equipped with skills and evasion techniques which enables them to move quickly. They’re able to run long distances without becoming worn out or tired.
All Shapers that undergo their transformation, on or before the graduation ceremony, are Marked with tattoos that hint at what type of animal they prefer to Shape into. This distinguishes them amongst their peers. Marks don’t always appear during the formal ceremony given each year. Some Shapers receive their Marks on their own by making life-altering decisions.
All Shapers have a built-in mechanism that allows them to become cloaked if necessary. They can blend into the background, or disappear completely. This contrasts with Guardians who have to use magic to cloak themselves.
All Shapers have telepathic bonds to their family. Brother and sister may communicate with each other at long distances. Father and son, mother and daughter, lovers or friends, have connections that enable them all to communicate without using speech. Those bonds are terminated only by a new connection when the communicator terminates the connection(s) previously present. This occurs during Bonding or upon death. The connections broken can be reestablished once the new connection is made, but only if the Shaper is still alive.
Bonding occurs when two Shapers tie their lives to one another. A special connection or bond is formed between them, linking their telepathic thoughts to one another. This link is an emotional and spiritual connection. Breaking a bond between two Shapers is excruciatingly painful, but doable.
When Shapers become Marked, they have to create a channel of communication between their leader and their comrades. This does not override the family channel. This particular channel can be closed off or accessed at any time. Changing tribes or groups effects the channel as a new one may be created to replace the old. As Shapers enter combat, they can quickly and effectively communicate battle plans without ever having to talk.
Because of this ability, Shapers are calm and simple on the outside. They only show emotions and speak when necessary.
Combine the telepathic channels with the built-in ability to camouflage and the Shapers are a deadly foe. They can sneak up on unsuspecting beings and wipe them out without anyone noticing. Because of their unique traits, they don’t have the need to use magic. Here at the school, they learn about magical artifacts as well as Ancient languages.
After reading about the differences between Shapers and Guardians, I closed the book. In those few chapters alone, I gleaned a lot of insight to the differences between the two classes. I knew I still had a long way to go to discover who I was, but at least I knew the basics.
Daylight was peeking out above the horizon. I left the book alone on the couch, and headed to my bedroom. Averting my eyes from the bed, I went into the door that led to the bathroom and froze once more in shock. I should’ve been prepared for it, after seeing what my bed looked like, but I wasn’t.
Right in front of me, in the middle of the floor was a large round bathtub made of polished white marble. It was embedded into the floor, with steps carved into the sides, opposite from where I stood. Four iron poles were set into the floor surrounding the tub. They resembled the canopy on my bed, except it was a canopy for the tub. The top was open, and sheer ivory cloth hung from the iron bars.
I approached it and glanced up at the ceiling. As soon as I neared the tub, water rained down gently into the marble basin from a faucet, hidden in the ceiling. I shrunk back quickly and stared down into the marbled wonder. I didn’t spot a drain, as there wasn’t any water in the basin. Where did the water go?
I cautiously crept forward, hoping to spot the mechanism that triggered the water falling. When I was a foot from the tub, the faucet sprang to life and slowly filled the basin with water. I watched it fall, not spotting a trigger anywhere. I concluded it must be magically enhanced to make water pour out when I was near it.
I reached my hand out to feel the temperature of the water, expecting it to be cold. I gasped in surprise, as the water was exactly the right temperature; not too hot, but enough to be steamy and comfortable. The tub was half full. Steam already flooded the room.
I breathed in deeply, and smelled an intoxicating scent. The scent made me feel like I wanted to plunge into the bath, even with my clothes on. I halted and took a step back, causing the water to shut off again, taking the overwhelming scent with it.
I glanced down at the water in the basin; it trickled slowly out of sight from unseen holes within the marble. I steadied myself by taking in several deep breaths of air. While standing still, I gazed around the room and spotted two doors on opposite ends of the wall behind the bathtub. One of them was open. I only assumed that led to my dressing room. I bolted into the room to get away from the left-over scent that still lingered in the air. I didn’t want to get my clothes wet just yet, so I explored the space for some new clothes to wear.
Inside the room was a huge closet with several different sections. In the middle of the room a large floor to ceiling mirror was positioned. On the opposite wall, a table with several drawers and a smaller vanity mirror was placed, along with a maroon stool. I only assumed the table’s contents were filled with make-up and hair accessories. I gawked at the many assortments of outfits in my closet before spotting a section where night clothes were stored.
My cheeks went red when I saw some of the night dresses that hung. They were extra revealing. I made a note to not put those on. Why would I wear something like that? I found some pants and a shirt on some shelves below where they hung, as well as some expensive underwear from a drawer underneath the shelves.
I gathered my items and went back into the bathtub room. I lay my new clothes on the glass table near the door; I had missed that coming into the room. There were an array of lotions and bath salts on the surface. I stripped off my old clothes and piled them on the floor. I gathered the curtains around the basin, and stepped into it. The water was already pouring down, with the luscious scent filling the room.
I planned to only take a short bath, but when that water hit my face and neck, I lost all train of thought, and ended up soaking myself for an hour. I remembered that I didn’t see any soap on the table, but the water smelled so delicious that I didn’t care.
I finally got out and dressed myself. I found the water closet hidden behind a glass door in the corner of the room opposite the closet doors. On the way out of the bathroom, I inspected the lotions and perfume bottles on the table. They all smelled divine, but I neglected to put them on.
Once in my bedroom again, I faced the epic sleeping area. Off in one of the corners, an alarm clock sat on a small night stand. I set the clock and turned to the windows that now streamed in light from the sunrise. The view was gorgeous from my windows. But I was tired, and sleep was quickly taking over me. I had a busy day. I grabbed the black curtains and pulled them across the windows. They shut out the light from the outside perfectly. I was wondering how to cover the dome, that when I pulled the curtains over the last window, it magically transformed to look like the night sky I saw hours earlier.
The candles on the walls were already dimly lit, and as I wished they would go out, they did. I crawled into bed, and fell asleep almost instantly. One last thought I had was if I would ever wake up out of this dream; if it was a dream.