This is a Candidacy Page for Tiyaza Citadel


Elvyr watched the ice drift by. Men were complaining all around him, he didn't know what they were fussing about. Sure it was cold, but he didn't feel it. But then that could also be because he was born with a special defect. He didn't feel anything. Not the cold wind in his face, nor the battered surface of the boat he was holding. The other crewmen envied him for his defect, but he knew better. Every night he had to examine his body for wounds, bruises and other physical injuries that might kill him if he didn't take care of them. At least he could feel broken bones, they didn't hurt, but they had a strange way of moving. Like this boat had a strange way of moving today. Something was off, but none of the men would believe him. 
Elvyr turned and went back inside. No-one would miss him until someone spotted the whales. Then they'd all be needed above deck to help catch one of the great sea-mammals and haul it in. Once they had one they would be free to turn around and go back home. Sadly they weren't going to go home anytime soon. the waters were far too cold for whales to live in. he had seen it, he had smelled it, but the whales had always been here, so the humans had come back to catch one or two to get through the winter. Elvyr grimaced. No-one ever listened to Elvyr, so Elvyr had learned to keep his mouth shut and do as he was told. 
In his small cabin he looked in the big mirror that had gained him his nickname "Beauty". His reflection followed him to his bed. Elvyr sat down and looked at his reflection. He saw his soft blue eyes watching back. The skin around his eyes was all he could see and it was purplish, he had stayed out to long. The rest of his face was covered with thick brown hair. His hair and beard reached down to his waist. Elvyr looked back to his face and saw his expression was gloomy. He tried smiling to his reflection, but the fake smile made him look like he was a wild animal. People liked him better when he was silent and gloomy, maybe if he was gloomy they didn't have to be. 
Suddenly a loud booming echoed through the ship. Someone had spotted a whale. Elvyr stood up and looked angry at his reflection.
"You get spooked too fast." he said, "Not every boat sinks, some just fall apart in the dock."
He left his cabin and went back outside. There were big blue humps in the distance true enough. Elvyr started to feel a bit better. Maybe they would be on their way home same time tomorrow. Not that Elvyr had a home, but it would be good to have fast ground under his feet again. Maybe he would stop fishing for a while and travel the country from tavern to tavern, earning his stay by doing some chores. That was how he had started out, it got boring after a while, but so did fishing. 

"Were coming closer, get ready!" someone yelled and Elvyr looked out. Normally whales didn't like people to get this close. What was wrong with these? 
"Dead!" someone else yelled and went back inside.
Elvyr sighed. They were too far north. It was too cold, even for whales and that was scary. If whales died, what were they still doing here? They wouldn't catch anything. The ship slowly drifted past the bodies of the whales. If they had died of the cold they could take them, but he knew the Captain wasn't going to take the risk. Elvyr had to agree with him, these whales didn't smell at all right, some of the other men would smell it too, he wasn't the only one who could forecast the weather by sniffing the air. He was the only one that could do it in this cold though. Elvyr took a deep breath. Great, like they needed it, the air smelled of storm.
"What ya doing out there?" Belgrin asked.
"Sniffing." Elvyr answered.
"Aye, Storm... Very bad." the old fisher told him.
"So you can smell it too?" Elvyr asked somewhat surprised.
"I don't need to smell, I see it... the sea is too calm and the air is too blue... never good."
Elvyr looked up and had to agree the air was a deep satin kind of blue that was never welcomed by shipperfolk. And he had felt the sea earlier today.
"What does the captain say?" Elvyr asked.
"We'll take shelter in an icecave. I told hiw we should turn back, but you know how he is, he doesn't want to risk anyone in the Storm." Belgrin looked down at the drifting whales.
"Cold isn't what killed these..." he said and went back in.
Elvyr looked up but was too late. the door closed and he was alone on the deck again. Why would Belgrin say the cold hadn't killed these. What else could kill a whale? Old age? But he could see young whales, born that summer. They were a bit of colour, more black than blue, but that could just mean they had been drifting here for some days. Elvyr shook his head, Belgrin had to be wrong, he was old and easily scared. But... he had felt the sea and seen the sky, Belgrin had lived longer than many fisher. 
Suddenly Elvyr could feel the cold. Not the cold outside, but a chilling cold within, fear grasped his heart as he thought of what might be living in the waters. He quickly left the deck and went inside.
Later that night they found a suitable cave and took shelter. Elvyr awoke in the middle of the night and knew he wouldn't sleep again until he had checked the stars. Ever since he had been young he had had this problem. Weird dreams often tore him out of a deep sleep and the only thing that could calm him were the stars. Like their was something out there that called him. He couldn't see them in the cave, but the iceberg was long and flat, walking on it wouldn't be that hard. Elvyr climbed down a rope to the ground and walked out the cave.
The night had that kind of atmosphere you only get when you are completely alone. Somehow it seems like you are the only one left alive. Elvyr looked up at the stars and felt better. Whatever was calling him felt closer somehow. He turned back to the ship and stopped immediately when he saw a long shadow coming from the ship. Had someone followed him? He didn't recognise the shadow that had climbed down from the ship, neither was that shadow coming toward him. It went back deeper into the cave and disappeared.
Elvyr suddenly noticed he had been holding his breath. His stomach was clenched together, the dinner inside weighing heavy. He ran back to the ship and climbed in. On the deck he saw the body of Belgrin, black and with his mouth open wide. Elvyr looked over his shoulder and saw the door to the inside of the ship was open. He couldn't expect survivors. Elvyr sat down near Belgrin. He had seen dead bodies before, the cold had killed many of his colleagues, but not even the cold had killed so quick and so savagely. Elvyr could see Belgrins tongue was ripped out. He could only guess Belgrin had come after him and had seen whatever had attacked the ship first. he had tried to scream, wake up the men, get Elvyr back to the ship... 
Why hadn't the attackers come after him? he had been out in the open on the iceberg. he had been completely vulnerable. But he had been cold. He knew it hadn't been smart to go outside in the night. The cold could kill you in a few hours. But Elvyr knew he wouldn't be out longer than half an hour, not enough to be hurt. The ship however had been warm. Maybe the attackers felt differently. That would explain why they had seen dead whales, but not dead fish... Elvyr got up and ran back to the rope. He had to get of this iceberg. Unfortunately that was easier said than done. The water would kill him, the cold would kill him and the attackers would surely kill him. 
Elvyr decided he would take his chances in the cold. The night was dark, the ice reflecting white, he would see what was coming if he was outside. The stars would offer their comfort now that he was truly alone. He found some small caverns in the side of the mountain that sheltered him from the wind. Elvyr looked up to the stars. He could still feel the calling. Maybe if he called back. He tried with all his mind and soul to get whatever was out there on the iceblock. A huge shadow appeared out of nowhere just metres in front of him. He was dead. Elvyr closed his eyes and waited for the attackers to get him... but nothing happened.
"Hello?" someone yelled.
A human! he had to be quick before the others found him. Elvyr dashed out of his hiding place and ran towards the shadow. Big icy blue and green lights shone down on him... eyes from whatever had brought the human here.
Elvyr heard an icy scream from the cave and ran even faster. Meanwhile, the human also knew he wasn't safe and started looking around to find the source of the sound. Suddenly the two eyes of the big creature flared yellow-orange and it twisted its neck back. The others were behind them. By that time Elvyr had reached the human.
"We have to get away!" he yelled and grabbed the human, pulling him behind him toward his creature. The man briefly objected but then started running alongside him.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Elvyr." Elvyr shouted back.
"What are those."
"Bad news."
"Firith! Get ready to go back to Tiyaza!" the human yelled to his creature and jumped on the outstretched paws to crawl on the creatures back. Elvyr followed his lead hoping the shadows wouldn't get close enough to stop them. Suddenly a bright spark lit the air and flames flowed down from the creature to the others. Then the creature jumped up and flew up into the sky.
"Now, since you called Firith because you were in danger, I'm assuming you are good enough to stand for the clutch."
"Clutch? I didn't call you." Elvyr said.
"Yes you did, Firith told me he heard you, I nearly choked when I saw where I was. And then those creatures... How long where you there?"
"We stopped here this evening. I went out for some air and when I came back everyone else was death. I couldn't stay, they would find me so i went out and called out to the stars for whatever was out there top help me."
"Well you called us...and we are on a mission to find potential riders for new dragons if you're interested. My name is M'kir by the way."
"As long as you get me out of here I'll be happy..." Elvyr said and shut up as the world around him turned blacker than black. The world reappeared a few moments later. A citadel between mountains dominated the landscape. They landed in the big inner space of the citadel. M'kir helped Elvyr down and showed him to the candidate rooms.
"Stay here, I'll notify the other searchriders that I have found another candidate. I'll get back to you and explain what you are supposed to do when you decide you want to impress. If you don't, I can drop you off anywhere you want." M'kir said.
"No, I'm very interested in these dragons... one saved my life, I think I'd like to get one too." Elvyr said and watched as M'kir left his room.

Elvyr struggled up from the seat as he heard the calls. The clutch was hatching. He quickly put on his eye goggles and mantle and went outside. The clothes were essential to protect his eyes and skin from the raging sand. Since he didn't feel the sand hitting his eyes, nor chafing his skin he had to be covered all over to make sure he wouldn't get hurt.
As he climbed in the hatching sands he saw the clutch had already started hatching. A brown-bronze was waiting outside, soon followed by two greens and a blue. Quickly Elvyr ran inside, hoping his dragon wasn't searching for him already, or worse, had given up the search.
Inside however Elvyr saw no-one had missed him. Four dragonets were walking across the sands, waiting, pondering about who'd they take as a life partner. Two were brownish, though one had bronze wings like his brother outside. The other two were blue-green.
The brown-bronze went for his chosen first, hastily dragging out his bond to the food tables outside.
Elvyr smiled. Those little dragons sure were eager to get food in their bellies. He was still looking outside to the brown-bronze when he suddenly felt a strange sensation in his head. It was so unlike what he had ever felt before it made his whole body tingle... not real, but like it should have tingled. He turned back to the hatching grounds and stared right in the eyes of a brown head. The dragon had placed his front paws on Elvyr's shoulders to get a good eye contact.
"That is what I feel!!" the brown yelled a little bit as if Elvyr was deaf, "My name is Galirewyr and I will feel for you from now on."
The irony of the pun was haunting. He had needed someone to feel for him and not in the sense the dragon stated it.
"But that is what I will do as an extra because I like you."
Elvyr laughed. "Then I'll be glad you like me." he whispered and followed him out.

Galirewyr and Elvyr coursed the Elsewhere and opened a portal. They had been drifitng in space since the Citadel had closed and only recently had they found a new home in the pleasant temperatures of Lantessama Isle. It was strange to feel differences in temperature again, but Elvyr could through his dragon, the cold of the morning water and the heat of the sun at noon. It was all so alien to him that the first times it had happened to him he'd nearly jumped up in surprise at the touch of an icecube.
"We have arrived!" Galirewyr interrupted Elvyr's trail of thought.
"Good! Let's get this over and done with quickly. I can't wait to get back for a swim."
Another thing that came with feeling temperatures was the need to have your body permanently at the same. On Lantessama that meant swimming a lot. Elvyr still felt a bit uncomfortable in the water he had learned to avoid for most of his life, but Galirewyr was quickly helping him to get over his fears since the dragon loved swimming.
"Speaking off..." Gali started, "Maybe they have a lake around here."
"Wouldn't you rather swim at home? I'd rather return as soon as possible."
"They asked us to be diplomatic, didn't they?" Gali asked, "Well then that means staying a bit to enjoy the hospitality."
"And being friendly... very friendly." Gali added.
"Friendly? We're always friendly."
"Not as friendly as I intend to be this week."
"Do you see that beautiful dragoness over there?"
"Yeah, she's hard to miss with all that sunlight sparkling of her."
"That's not sunlight, She's ready to rise."
"And I guess you want to stay around for that."
"Of course, rider mine." 
"And I suppose I might get to know her rider so you'll be more of a catch?"
"Depends. You'd be of little help if her bond was, say a winged wolf or something."
"Point taken."

Lantessama Isle