Please keep in mind I wrote this in...maybe 7th or 8th grade. (Holy mandarin turtles I'm getting old...) Yay for school projects.

Keeper of The Crystal

She sat on the sill of her window, basking in the sun’s rays and allowing the breeze to play with her dark blond hair. Her green, cat-like eyes surveyed the narrow street. The houses lined up with small patches of brown and green ground where animals were kept. Here, in Audiviana, tranis 1348, people and horse drawn carts bustled about in the nearby city square. She turned and looked at the ruins of the castle that had once been at the center of the seaside capitol.

“Janai, can you go get some water from the well?” her mother asked. Sighing, the fifteen-year-old girl leapt down from her perch. As she walked passed her nightstand she picked up a small ribbon and put her shoulder length hair in a ponytail. Smiling, her mother thanked her for the help as she walked form the kitchen out into brilliant light. “Oh,” she thought, “the Amber moon is still out. I guess it’s earlier than I had thought.” Janai walked to the small stone well beside her old adobe house.

Carrying the wooden bucket in her left hand she walked through the door to her kitchen just as one of their hens ran out the door! She stumbled trying to avoid the hen and fell. The water bucket also fell, spilling the water in a torrent of clear liquid. Her father stormed through the door followed by her mother. While Janai’s mother was busy making sure she was all right and the water was cleaned up, her father began reprimanding her for being a clumsy moron.

A long argument ensued between Janai and her father. He had always made it a point to remind her that she was adopted. Every time telling her that since that was the case, it meant someone else hadn’t wanted her. After the fight Janai and her mother talked and decided it would be better if she left, without consulting Gannar.

It was two jonettes after Janai had left home with her two best friends Terra and Torren. Terra had been like her sister in the Heart House. Torren had been there as well, and had always known how to make her laugh, even if he had to force it out of her! They were her best friends and had jumped at the chance to go on a journey with her. What they hadn’t been expecting however, was just what that journey would end up being.

The three were camping in the Wolf Forest. It was a clear starry night, all three moons were visible, and the three friends were sitting laughing at jokes and stories. Suddenly Janai’s necklace began to glow a bright silver-white light. Then the trees began to sway and the leaves rustled tough there was no breeze. Janai was the only one not on her feet as she sat watching her crystal floating silently in front of her. Before any of them realized what was happening six Shadow Warriors snuck up and bound them, making it impossible for them to move. They stole Janai’s necklace and as the chain left her neck the crystal stopped glowing. Then, they disappeared more quickly than they appeared.
As the night progressed things became more and more strange for the trio. While pondering what had happened the Capitol Wizard, Triaon, appeared and began to explain the odd circumstances they had fallen under. Janai had always known her crystal was important somehow, but she never could have fathomed how its real importance. Triaon informed her that her crystal was the main source of power for the dragons of Crystania, and that she, as simple servant girl, was the missing Dragon Keeper. She had the unique special ability to heal and speak to dragons. However, her healing abilities were of no use without her crystal. Janai’s knees gave under the shock of the information and Torren just barely caught her before she fell to the ground. He laughed a little, his black hair falling in front of his amber eyes. When Janai was seated safely on a log, Triaon began again. This news however, was very dismal and didn’t help the three to regain their confidence. If Janai’s crystal was not returned to her by the time the dragons tried to re-energize, they would not be able to draw from the crystal, and would go about searching for energy by any means possible. They only had two rises until the dragons tried to recharge.

It was the next morning and the quartet, with the newly joined Triaon, proceeded to pack and prepare for their trip. After the packing was finished, Triaon pulled Janai away from her friends to see if she could still speak with dragons without the crystal. They walked to a clearing and found a small bluish-green dragon with purple spines up its back and neck. Triaon seemed far more cautious and uneasy than Janai. The dragon gave a shrill shriek; however, it registered in Janai’s mind as a warm, but questioning greeting. It appeared that the strongest of her abilities had remained intact.

After the two returned from their chat with the dragon, they told terra about the event. Terra’s blue eyes grew large and she brushed her long brown hair out of her face. Torren was not there though because he had gone to get water at a nearby river.

When Torren returned, Janai revealed that she had talked the dragon into giving them a ride. Terra made it clear that she wasn’t too thrilled with the idea, while Torren could hardly wait. The three got on the dragon, while Triaon said that he had things to arrange, but he would keep an eye on them throughout their journey. Janai asked Triaon where the Shadow Warriors had taken her crystal. He told her they had gone to Darkamni and given the crystal to Inoviana, its empress.

They flew over the Sapphire Sun Mountains and Emerald Lake to the Empire of Darkamni. All of the trees seemed to be insignificant green specks with blue snakes winding through the vast expanses. They discovered other dragons and several monsters scurrying about the untamed countryside. Then they began to notice subtle differences in the landscape. The plants were dead or dying and the air became much cooler. They sat watching in awe as a huge thundercloud rumbled into view.

Suddenly the dragon dived and swiveled to avoid a pure beam of ice energy as it sped past them. Janai scanned the surrounding area and realized the palace she was trying to get to had a guard system of dragons. Much to her utter despair, they all seemed intent on her destruction. She remembered hearing that dragons could establish mental links when they needed help from other dragons. She wasn’t sure of how far that link could reach, but in that moment, it seemed her only chance for her friends or herself to escape alive. As calmly as possible, she asked the dragon to try to connect a mind link with other dragons.
Janai felt she must have saved up some large amounts of karma points, because no sooner had she asked than she heard the battle screeches of four other dragons. “Good,” Janai thought, “now we stand half a chance.” The other dragons created a protective shield and gave Janai and her friends a chance to get to the castle.

Once they had landed, Janai thought it best to have her friends leave, just in case the empress was in a bad mood. After some arguing, Janai sent her friends home by dragon-back. She ran inside noting traps that seemed all but too obvious and wondered if that was some cruel trick. However, when she arrived at the throne room, she was astounded by what she found.

In the center of the room was a tall chair with a small girl sitting in it. The girl was only about six or seven with long black hair to the middle of her back and ice blue eyes. Her bangs just fell into her eyes and she had pale skin with light freckles. She was wearing a long dark blue and purple gown and Janai’s necklace was around her dainty neck.
Upon seeing the girl wearing her crystal Janai froze, watching her as the child smiled. “Are…are you Inoviana?” asked the astonished Dragon Keeper. She nodded, giggling lightly. “And you,” she replied, “must be the new Dragon Keeper. Janai is it? You do look like your mother. It’s a remarkable likeness actually.”

Janai’s mouth was now open. She didn’t know how Inoviana seemed to know more about her than she did. Shaking her head, she regained her wits and demanded her crystal be returned. “Inoviana, do you even know what will happen if that necklace isn’t returned to me by this light fall?” she questioned when the child simply laughed. “No,” she admitted, “but it should be fun to watch, whatever it is.”
By this time, Janai was all but furious. Suddenly her crystal began to glow again, but this time it was an angelic blue. It shone so brightly that the two had to close their eyes. When the light subsided, the two looked to Inoviana’s neck for the crystal but to their amazement, it wasn’t there. Just at the edge of her vision, Janai caught a glimpse of a shimmer. She looked down and to her surprise, the crystal was hovering not three inches from her. She held out her hand as the necklace floated over and landed in her palm of her now closing fist.

Then, Inoviana became visibly upset, even to the point of crying. Janai quietly walked up beside her, unnoticed. Kneeling down she took something from a pouch by her waist. She took Inoviana’s hand and placed a small jeweled bracelet in it. “What is it?” she asked between sniffles. Janai smiled warmly and told her it was a present.

Inoviana couldn’t understand why she was being given a present. After all, she had just stolen the Dragon Crystal, and nearly killed its keeper. She began to cry harder, not because of anger, but because she had never been given a present before in her entire life.