And yet so close
she traveled by
And in her tail
A world awoke
The winds chased
Killing Waves arose
And the mountains broke
In the jungle of the Magra, three children stared at the heavens above the FireMountains. Their glowing tips drew an apocalyptic skyline of burning red in the distance. Satanic flames reached towards the stars. The three had been on their way home to their pole village, when the upcoming tide had forced them to take the getaway of the trees. Here they were safe from the Killing Waves which devoured their land far below. The PayaTree they climbed, towered with head and shoulders over the impenetrable canopy at the meander that flooded their feet. It was the perfect outlook for curious eyes.
The youngest, a girl, seized the opportunity to climb all the way to the top. A strange light danced over the burning mountaintops far away. For a moment she kept staring mindlessly, but then she called out to her companions.
“Kiyo, Arno!”, she yelled with a high-pitched voice. With her eyes steadfastly on the horizon, she crawled to the far end of a branch, while the wind shook her violently up and down. Unwavering she held onto the many side branches around.
“Lina, come here! I want to get home on time!“, the oldest boy shouted impatiently. But the girl remained where she was, pointing to the dark night sky. She must have been around eight years old, with white hair that reflected blue under the light of the colored moon. Cantarta was turning full and powerful in the heavens, obscuring the silver light of her neighboring sister. She claimed the skies. As always, her vicinity unleashed the force of the tides which infested the children’s habitat for the moment. Far under them the waves of the Rough Seas poured into the forest, heavy winds made the crowns moan under their violence, while the mouths of the volcanoes blew elongated flames aloft. Hidden behind Cantarta lurked the Silver Lira, practically obscured by her sister.
On top of the PayaTree, the girl held on. Entangled white strands of her hair blew around her face, her yellow eyes fixed on the object that had drawn her attention. One of the boys, Kiyo, climbed in her direction.
“Lina, come now,″ he insisted. But she kept pointing towards the skies above. A little restive, he followed the direction of her finger.
“Lina, this is not the first time you’ve seen the FireMountains blow. You...“ But then his voice faded. He only heard the blowing of the wind and the breaking of the waves. But even they seemed to silence when his eyes noticed the strange light. Now he understood what she wanted him to see.
First it crossed straight across the heavens, but then fell prey to the winds in the atmosphere. In awe they watched how it danced in the clouds, caught by the capricious winds that threw her from left to right, up and down, as a helpless toy in their hands. As unexpectedly as it had started, the show ended. The winds loosened their grip. Now the light headed straight towards the Killing Waves underneath.
Just before it got caught in the jaws of the Rough Seas, another, smaller light cut itself loose. This one attempted to escape the attack of the breaking water. The winds grabbed it as a toy, tossed it high in the sky to catch it again, only to cast it far away over the horizon.
And suddenly, this light as well vanished completely, leaving the skies to the silver outline of Lira and the big magnetic sphere of her capricious sister. Cantarta dominated the heavens.
The waves rose, the winds blew, and only when the colored moon started her long orbit into space, her influence abated and peace returned to the forest.
THE FIRST YEARS
Annals from history
Since the beginning of time, the Dinar has walked this land. They were masters of the Primal Domains, gifted hypnotizers, cave builders and healers, divided over different groups. There were home-loving Dinar, that preferably stayed in their Nest together with others and under the Guidance of their NestElder. But there were also Wandering Dinar, those who constantly roamed these lands and paid occasional visits to the neighboring Nests during their rambles.
The home-loving Dinar lived in a community based on peace and contemplation, where each had a specific task at hand for the benefit of all. There were hunters, cultivators, technicians and contemplators, those that explored the seas of the Primal Domains and the history of their species. There were stone-writers, wood-carvers, fire-masters and a lot more. Many of them specialized over different crafts. Thus the NestElder had a basic knowledge of most, but usually was a Master-contemplator, stone-writer and fire-master.
The Wandering Dinar passed their findings onto the NestElders. They visited many regions, and sometimes wandered for months in solitude, without meeting another of their kind. They left written accounts of their explorations in the abandoned Nests up north, scratched in smoothly polished stones, known as the DinarBooks.
Chapter 1: A strange woman
Jaqual looked at the Raw Plains. In the heavens, Cantarta had begun her retreat. During her last visit, even the Dinar had sought after refuge for the boundless violence of the winds. But now her influence waned. She was still visible, but gradually shrinking.
Since her last visit, however, Jaqual had the feeling something was amiss. And this morning, he had decided to listen to his intuition and explore the surroundings.
The Raw Plains were part of the Dinar’s habitat. For as far as the eye could reach, a rocky desert burned under a red sun, with stone mushroom shapes rising from the earth, some of them five to six meters high, others even stretching as much as fifteen meters and more. They turned on their axis, their bodies wrung as a wet towel, crowned with a flat surface on top.
Standing on one of those mushrooms, Jaqual searched the horizon. The red sunlight revealed the yellow and orange decorations in his blue scales. He rested on his hind-legs, supported by his short but heavy tail. Straight-up like this he measured approximately two meters and a half. His length betrayed his age, because the Dinar kept growing their entire life, and their Elders could reach a height of seven meters. Jaqual was young, but legends reported of Dinar even taller than eight meters. However, he had never encountered one that big.
His finely built profile stood out against the green-blue sky. The combs on his head and over much of his spine protruded like sharp knives, but were in reality soft and pliable. As colored mirrors, they reflected the light.
There was no shelter in this desert of dust, rock and sand. But Jaqual adored the sun. Her beams warmed his cold-blooded body until all of his joints effortlessly assembled, allowing him to move with astonishing speed. Savoring the warmth, he turned his eyes towards the horizon, scrutinizing the distance.
There it was! A flickering caught his attention. Parting with his hind-legs and landing on his short but muscled forearms, he took off with giant leaps. The fine dust slipped over his scales, bleaching the beautiful colors into pastel shades. The source of the flickering was further than he had expected, but within half an hour he arrived at the spot without even having to catch his breath. The place looked as if it had suffered a meteor impact, the earth showing a trail of destruction ending in a small crater. There he found something which was torn in pieces under the collision.
Curious, he poked around. The device was unknown to him. He wondered which Humon tribe could have assembled such a thing. Never had he seen a metal of such a light color. Carefully, he weighed one of the debris in his hands. It was lighter than those he knew. With the round, sensitive cushions on his fingers, he explored the surface. No trace of aggregations, no nails, no welding marks! A true example of unprecedented craftsmanship.
The wreckage spread out over tens of meters. He wondered what could have caused such havoc. Nowhere there was an obstacle that could explain the impact nor the damage it had caused. There were no visual traces of how the device stranded here either, or from which direction it had arrived. There was nothing but the battlefield he was on. If it didn’t seem so impossible, he would almost believe it had fallen from the sky!
Curious as ever, he sniffed around, fascinated for the umpteenth time by the skills of the Humons. It intrigued him how their kind excelled in manufacturing such complicated tools and utensils, despite their limited capacities in the Primal Domains. According to Jaqual, it was because of their remarkable hands. Melancholy he stared at his own three fingers, which were thick and stiff, but satisfied he flashed his claws. At least they had this!
His rigid eyes studied the colossus in front of him. Suddenly he frowned. This was no technology from the Dinar! The concept was unknown to him. Would the Humons have invented this? But even the Gall tribes were not sufficiently evolved to produce anything similar. Especially without the guidance of a Dinar!
Carefully he examined all the remaining parts before moving to the largest, more or less intact one. He circulated cautiously, searching for an opening. There didn’t seem to be one. But then he noticed a crack in the flank. Carefully, he stuck one of his claws into the narrow gap and pulled gently. As soon as the metal gave a little, he did not hesitate another moment. Pushing his shoulder against it, he detected a vibration. For a moment he considered getting help from the Nest. But he was too curious.
With his forearms firmly on the ground, he calculated his thrust and lashed out with his impressive hind legs. A dull tone filled the air, vibrating in the distance. This first thrust had caused a dent. It was clear there was an entrance here! Another ten well-aimed punches and the thing flew out of its carcass.
The young Dinar got caught in a frenzy. Excited, he placed his shoulders against the metal plate again and now managed to push it aside. Curiously, he peered into the opening while his sensitive nostrils explored the unfamiliar scent. The rigid eyes, encircled with colored stripes, turned in all directions.
Never had he seen anything similar! He had accompanied the BigDi more than once on his visits to the Humon settlements though. No doubt this was a product of their hands. No other species could manufacture such complex constructions. Excited, he forced his long body inward. The opening, spacious enough for the dimensions of a Humon, was hardly adequate for an adult Dinar. Fortunately, he was so small compared to his brothers! But once inside, he could stretch without difficulty and began a careful investigation of his surroundings.
The space was long and narrow. It didn’t look like a freight vehicle. There was not enough cargo space, but otherwise the construction showed a finesse he had never encountered before. The materials on the inside were all unfamiliar. Surprised, he noticed a large surface at the end that allowed the sunlight to enter. When he approached, it turned out to be a window. Why had he not seen this on the outside? But then he remarked that there were more areas that offered a view to the outdoors. This had not been the case the other way around. Stunned, he stared at the Raw Plains, which were glowing in the red morning light. But then his eyes fell upon what was underneath. A complex steering system covered the entire front of the vehicle. And amid all these strange devices, he spotted the female Humon.