And indeed it was. Night had fallen and all was dark. Suddenly a chill wind blew through, carrying with it an eerie silence. The world was hushed, nothing moved. Something was coming. You couldn't hear it, you couldn't see it, but it was there. Something dark.
You could see that the others felt it too. They had huddled together, they knew what it was. You couldn't help it, you knelt down right beside them as if you could hide yourself in their midst. It must have looked silly but everyone around was too scared to notice.
A movement out of the corner of your eye.
A twig snaps.
A bird takes to the air, in a rush to leave this darkened place.
Florin sees it first and lets out a gasp. You look where he is looking. It was there, but you didn't know what *it* was.
You watched it glide silently across the clearing till it vanished from view into the forest. Where it's hooves had touched the ground, the grass and moss had withered and died.
The air began to get warmer, and the night less oppresive. You asked the others what that was.
"That was a Full Death Elemental Minorii," Florin replied with great respect. "He is the first of his kind to leave the Tarn Pits of the Forbidden Zone. They control all aspects of death. Very fragile creatures and very strong in dark power, these Minorii are dangerous. So best avoid them. They can also breed with other Minorii but the offspring are abominations, Memory Minorii, who live half-way between life and death."
He stops and looks up at you, his butterflies forgotten. "We don't know his name. We call him Deathwalker."
You look towards where the creature had vanished. An appropriate name indeed.
"Why is everyone so glum?" a new Minorii asked. She too had a cybernetic leg, and she had a distinct resemblance to Florin. The reaction of Florin and Mica to the arrival of the newcomer convinced you of it......she was their daughter.
"Vayshi, meet our visitor, a human! As for being glum, Deathwalker passed this way just a moment ago. We were so worried about you. We didn't know where you were!"
Limping forward slowly she reasured her parents. "Deathwalker would never hurt me. He knows I am friends with Shadowspecter."
Both parents winced at that. "We wish you wouldn't spend so much time with him." Turning to you they explain. "Shadowspecter is one of the Memory Minorii, the offspring of Deathwalker and Calay."
Calay looked a bit embarassed. "Well, I was young then!"
"But mother, Shadowspecter is gentle and kind. He doesn't give off the same dark atmosphere that Deathwalker does, otherwise you would have known long ago that he was standing just over there...."
You turn to see the Memory Minorii. He glowed a spectral green, most likely what gave him his name. You could understand now why they were called Memory, for he seemed to have as much substance as a memory. With a growl, Florin runs after him, driving him away. Without a sound, the stallion turned and seemingly floated away to disappear where his father had gone. T'sha howled. Vayshi glared at her parents, her father in particular.
"Was that really necessary? He would have left if you had asked him nicely. It's not like any other stallion would look twice at me, with my birth defects after all."
She limps off, her mother following to console her daughter. Florin just growled lightly.
Suddenly everyone stopped what they were doing with the sound of something jingling. Sounded like jingle bells actually. Then the sound of a small creature humming a Christmas carol could be heard. Turning to your right, you see a red male come wandering into the clearing. He blinked as he saw the confusion going on. Florin growling, Vayshi crying, Mica trying to console her, Calay looking embarrased, T'sha howling now and then. And of course, his eyes finally settle on you.
"Umm....." was all he said.
Florin grinned. "Jasper! Just the Minorii we needed to liven the atmosphere. Come meet our visitor."
After the introductions you found out why Jasper was wearing jingle bells. He was a Christmas gift to the Realm Keeper. You also found out why Florin was so happy to see him. Jasper was a happy personality that was quite contagious. Soon everyone was singing or laughing, especially when Jasper's resemblance to a peppermint was mentioned.. Out of the corner of your eye you saw that Shadowspecter had returned to watch from a distance. Vayshi saw that you had seen him too. You winked at her and said nothing to the others. She gave you a grateful smile.