The Crimeons: Part One
Decades ago, the four tribes were organized, and the Crimeons came together in the central temple to ensure the prosperity of their respective tribes. Now, well, the tribes have long since dispersed, and mingled with commonfolk far away from the original mountain range where they started. It all started with one Lupe's ambition and greed.
There were four societies known as the Elemental Tribes. They were the Earth Warriors, the Fire Clan, the Wind Sages and the Water Tribe. The Earth Warriors were known for their malevolent and antagonistic natures, and their tribes consisted of Lupes. Wind Sages were a society of Buzzes famous for being honorable and following strict customs. Water Tribe denizens were Xweetoks, and were known for their intellect and cruelly logical tactics. Those from the Fire Clan were a wise and peaceful race of Techos.
The four Elemental Tribes lived in four territories that surrounded a central temple. Here, the chosen Crimeons would train together, and eventually venture off on missions when they came of age. A Crimeon is a designated Elemental Tribemate with the power to control the element of their tribe. Together, our society's Crimeons helped to keep balance in the world; preventing natural disasters and protecting nature; yadda yadda. They went wherever they were needed. Each Crimeon, when chosen, receives a spirit disk, which places itself atop their back. Each disk is marked with the symbol of its respective elements. Around the disk swirls a mist colored red for fire, blue for water, white for wind, and brown for earth. The spirit disk contains all the Crimeon's powers. When in use, the disk will morph and become a semi-liquid metal sheath around the Crimeon's body. It also becomes a set of wings and gives the Crimeon their remarkable abilities. This is the disk's defense mechanism; to protect its carrier. When a Crimeon dies, their spirit disk leaves them and returns to the temple, and when a new one is chosen, it will go to the selected neopet.
I can still remember the day that I was chosen. The Tribe had just received word that Meyilo, the previous Water Crimeon, had died. He was an old Xweetok, and his passing was something that, while never discussed, was obviously expected. We all knew he was not long for this world. His spirit disk had no doubt left him and now rested atop its pedestal in the temple. The Tribe was bristling with both excitement and despair, awaiting the selection of the next Crimeon, yet mourning the loss of noble Meyilo. I frankly didn't find the idea very alluring, being chosen. Duty and responsibility didn't seem like very attractive prospects. I just hoped it didn't go to someone who would misuse it. Once chosen, there's no separating disk and Crimeon unless the Crimeon is killed. But, as all of us will discover at some point, life has a funny way of going against your wishes in the most bizarre ways.
I sat by the riverbed, dipping my paws in the water, making pathetic attempts at catching fish. I couldn't really get into it, though. The whole Tribe was tense, what with Meyilo's passing. I imagined the spirit disk, floating above its pedestal, waiting for just the right Xweetok to bestow itself upon. Wait, THERE! A river crab. I swept my paw into the water and snatched the crab as quickly as I could. Got it! I examined it more closely and realized it was a female with eggs. I decided to toss it back. Doing so would mean a healthier future population of crabs. I sighed. I gave up eventually, and padding over the my den; a nest of brambles crudely constructed into a large dome.
The sun was beginning to set. I yawned, and crouched down to sleep. Before I could doze off, another Xweetok burst into the bramble-covered entrance.
“Sekleta, Sekleta! Get up, quick! The Spirit Disk, it's getting ready to chose the next Crimeon!” the Xweetok cried. I recognized the voice. Quella, a younger red Xweetok. I leaped out of my nest and following the growing crowd of Xweetoks towards the center temple.
Normally commoners weren't allowed entry, but since the selected Crimeon could be anyone, it was regular for all tribemates to come. Its small size made the crowd seem even larger, and I felt a bit claustrophobic. These feelings were soon dismissed, as I, along with the rest of the Water Tribe gazed up at the floating disk. It looked so strange, bare of blue flames and away from its rightful place atop the back of a Crimeon. The other three Crimeons stood before it. Aria the Buzz, white as winter snow, was the Wind Crimeon, her disk floated elegantly atop her back, wafting a silvery mist behind it. Ryiru, the Fire Crimeon, a dingy green Techo, with a crimson plate with yellow and orange flames spinning about it. Last was Kalitersa, the Earth Crimeon. The Earth Warriors always had this air of intimidation about them, and she was no exception. Her grey disk floated above her lavender back, spitting out brown flames. I had never been beyond our tribe's borders before, as was customary of Xweetoks my age. I was merely a juvenile. It was almost exhilarating to see members of the other tribes for the first time. In front of the three seasoned Crimeons was the Water Spirit Disk. It belonged to out tribe, and one of us, today, would be chosen to receive it.
The disk itself chose, without intervention of any living thing. It was a sort of neon purple, with no mist, and the water symbol engraved on its ancient surface. It was Aria who spoke first.
“Today, we mourn the loss of the Water Crimeon, Meyilo. It is with great sorrow that we lay his body to rest in the Crimeol burial grounds. With this passing, we must move on and look to the future. A new Water Crimeon will be chosen today.“
“Today, the Spirit Disk will find a new carrier, and we will welcome him or her into training here at the temple,” Ryiru said.
As the other two Crimeons went on with their ceremonial speeches, Kalitersa just stood idly by, rolling her eyes. I hadn't even known her for ten minutes and already I hated her. I was appalled that a chosen Crimeon could act with such disrespect.
The temple darkened, and everyone fell silent. The only light came from the four Crimeon disks; the Water Spirit Disk was now glowing bright blue. It moved! It swept over the tense crowd of Xweetoks, getting ready to choose. I suspected someone related to Meyilo would be chosen. Maybe his son, Hyru. He was a full-grown male. I didn't think it likely that a juvenile would be picked anyways. After all, couldn't his spirit still inhabit the disk? I didn't know. I hadn't a clue how any of this worked. Then, it happened. The disk stopped mid-flight, and hovered... over me. My pupils shrank, and I shivered. No- it couldn't pick me! Could it? Why?
Blue mist encircled it, and it shrouded me. All of a sudden, I was in a different place; a deep fog covered what seemed, at first, to be a landscape. I realized then that I was standing on... on nothing! I looked down. Air. Sky. To my right, fog, to my left, fog. A hazy blue mist obscured the place. In my stupor, I almost didn't notice the old green Xweetok standing before me. He didn't seem to mind the floating, or the oddness of the place. I had never seen him when he was alive, but I could tell from the purple disk floating about his back who he was- had been.
“Meyilo?” I asked disbelievingly.
He nodded, and began to speak. His voice was strong, confident, not at all like the dying old man I had imagined. “Sekleta, please know why I have chosen you for this duty. I have seen you from when you were a kit. I see your cunning, your innate sense of logic, and your simplistic ability to tell right from wrong. I trust this Water Spirit Disk to you in the hopes that you will use it as responsibly as I did. Farewell, new Water Crimeon. I hope you will be a worthy successor.”
And just like that, he was gone. I was back in the temple. In my trance-like absence, I found that my fellow tribemates had formed a circle around me. Keeping their distance, but with a look in their eyes that told me they were stupefied, amazed. So that's it then? I'm the new Water Crimeon? Meyilo had chosen me? I still didn't understand the majority of his sappy speech to me, but I shrugged it off. I sighed, and walked up to the other four Crimeons. Was I supposed to? I didn't know. Aria and Ryiru bowed to me. Kalitersa bowed to, but you could tell by the shallow nature of her bow that she had no such respect for me as Aria and Ryiru did. They stared at me expectantly. Oh. I bowed as well.
“What is your name?” Ryiru asked.
“Sekleta,” I whispered, slightly intimidated.
Aria stepped forward and addressed the crowd. “It seems that Sekleta has been chosen. She is your new Water Crimeon. Thank you all for attending the ceremony.”
To be continued...