The Dwellers: Before the Dawn
Before the Dawn
Before the dawn, there were the Dwellers.
Watchers of the night, these mighty hunters and huntresses would seek out those who had turned and kill. Brother against brother, sister against sister.
One particular story of the Dwellers begins with a Youngling named Crucis and his Bonded Margaretta. Of course, neither Youngling, being both of different families of Dwellers, would realize just how much they were tempting the destinies of those to come. They were each less than a half-century when they met, their hungers sufficed by their friendship.
They loved one another dearly, until Margaretta’s elder sister Diana, a very powerful Witch, wove a spell on Crucis. It was not a spell of hate, but one of love. Diana loved Crucis secretly, but wanted his love in return. Diana was never selfish, she wanted what was best for her siblings and parents.
Crucis on the other hand, didn’t like being the pawn of two Witches. Despite his friendship with Margaretta, he saw at once what Diana and her siblings truly were. He decided to play a game of his own. He Bonded at the Choosing with Margaretta, but constantly teased and taunted Diana.
Diana was pure and fair, so she didn’t know what hit her.
Crucis would count on that very fact to return the feelings the sisters’ had shared with him. He cheated on his Chosen before they were officially Bonded. Diana was oblivious and in love with him in no time.
Before either of them knew it, Diana was pregnant and Margaretta was bereaved, hating her with a passion.
The child born was much different than either of their kind. It was a boy, the only child Diana would have before she met the dawn to become a Goddess. The boy they named the Dark Son was what they called a Sun-Chaser. The one of them that could walk in the daylight and need no sleep to heal. He was powerful, knowing no father or mother.
A great war between them all caused lovers and friends to become enemies and Exiles. The great families of the Dwellers split. The Elders rescuing the young Ramon Martiya from peril.
The Elders and the few who still sided with them fled to Romania from their homeland. They knew more would die before the end of the tenth century if the fighting and killing wouldn’t stop. They needed help.
Help from a very different source.
The help came in the form of the Ancient Mystics. A powerful race of magicians, able to use whatever powers their minds came up with, the Mystics could do anything their hearts desired. The Ancients, Gods and Goddesses of the Mystics, found help for the Dwellers in a heartbeat.
The Dwellers sent Emerald and her elder brother Calcite. The Ancients sent their own Chosen Ones, Enchantra and Challandra. Once Earthbound during the late sixth century, these two were Chosen to become Mistresses of a special realm called the Dream Realm. When Emerald and Calcite met them and their two sisters, Jezebel and Mystica, they also met three Wizard brothers, O’Dell, Maxwell and Lord Byron.
Jezebel left the circle to pursue slightly darker things with O’Dell’s twin brother Orthos. Maxwell followed like a puppy dog. Mystica felt she wasn’t supposed to be there with the Dwellers, her sensors were going wild and she was becoming ill being around them. She left to find her new beau Braken Hawk, a male Balinese Companion. Challandra tended to Enchantra’s daughters, Dorianne, Dixilynne, and Saralee, afraid of what hell would happen next.
This left Lord Byron, O’Dell and Enchantra to speak with and listen to Emerald and Calcite. Their main concern was not of the present wars between all of their kind, but of a small boy, barely two years old. Ramon Martiya, the Dark Son, the Sun-Chaser, the very one of their kind who needed no rest or sleep, was coming into his powers and was lonely.
“We are in desperate need of help, for Ramon is unlike his parents.” Emerald tried to explain.
“He is both Watcher and Dweller.” Calcite told them. “He needs no rest to sleep, and doesn’t bruise or bleed when attacked, so he needs no rest to heal.”
“The Young One is an orphan?” Enchantra asked.
“We call him a Youngling, and yes, Mistress.”
“What do you wish from us, Emerald?” O’Dell asked.
“Guidance.” Emerald replied. “While we are resting at dawn, he is alone.”
“Our world is a lonely one, granted, but is more so when there is no one about.” Calcite said.
“How have you been taking care of the boy until now?” Lord Byron asked.
“One of us, either Diamond or myself, stays inside with him.” Emerald replied. “When the sun is at its peak in the sky, it is hardest for us.”
“Only when the sun diminishes do we become strong again.” Calcite supplied. “Surely, even you know of creatures called Vampires?”
“As with any different race of being, they have all been banished by Outer-Realm society.” Lord Byron announced. “To actually have vampires in this day and age is rubbish. I don’t believe a word of it.”
“Believe it.” Emerald said. “We may call ourselves Dwellers, living in the shadows of Romania and Europe, but we are in truth like those vampires.”
“And the boy?” Enchantra replied softly.
“As we said, he is different.” Emerald continued. “He needs to feed like us, on blood, but his body is different. For him to feed is to heal himself. He can eat regular mortal foods, like cakes, apples and such with no ill effects.”
“That is what makes him also a Watcher.” Calcite said.
“What is a Watcher if Dwellers are vampire?” Enchantra asked Emerald.
“Children of the Ancients, these times called Witches.” Emerald replied. “Now do you see why we need your help?”
“We need someone like us, but also like you to watch him during the day while we rest for the hunt.” Calcite supplied. He turned to Lord Byron. “Do you know any creature able to handle such a child?”
“I do know of one.” Enchantra looked to O’Dell.
“Moondancer?” O’Dell inquired.
Enchantra nodded. “The only one able to handle such a difficult case.”
“Yes, Moondancer. Chase always has been interested in my stories of the Outer-Realm. He has made a life of learning all about it, hoping to find a way back someday.” Lord Byron supplied. He stood. “I will send for him.”
“Tell us more about the Dwellers, Emerald.” Enchantra asked. “What powers do you have if you know you are Children of the Ancients? What kind of life do you lead if only at night?”
“Chantie, do not encourage them.” O’Dell teased her, winking at them. “We may need to know this information, but it is not imperative.”
“That is where you are mistaken, Lord Guardian.” Calcite was serious. “As with your brother and yourself, there are differences of opinions among Dwellers.”
“Those who kill for fun and care nothing for others we call Stalkers.” Emerald continued for her brother. “It is unfortunate Ramon’s father had turned so soon after Diana gave birth to Ramon.”
“How did it happen?”
“Crucis made her Dweller when her destiny was to be a Watcher.” Calcite supplied. “Suffice to say, he bit her. That is why Ramon is the way he is. A Half-ling.”
“You wanted to see me, Lord Guardian?” Came a growl from the door. The four of them turned to see a burgundy wolf cub, bowing at O’Dell’s feet.
“Aye, Chase.” O’Dell replied. “Rise, for I have a quest for you.”
Chase Moondancer’s eyes grew wide. “Aye, my Lord? A quest?”
Now Enchantra rose to Chase’s side. “Lord Byron tells us you fancy yourself an expert of the Outer-Realm knowledge.”
“It is only a hobby, Mistress.”
“Well, it has come time to test your knowledge.” O’Dell replied. He turned, ushering to the guests. “May I introduce to you Elders Emerald and Calcite, of the Romanian clan of Dwellers.”
Chase looked confused for a moment. “I thought Dwellers didn’t exist. Any evidence of them to date has been either lost or hidden from those unworthy.”
“He has been doing his research.” Calcite smiled. “How would you like to become one of us?”
Chase shook his head. “I am already a hunter, a wolf, if that is what you mean.”
“Nay, you would be yourself, but you would have a very important task in living with us.” Emerald wrapped an arm around Chase’s shoulders.
“Call me Emerald.” She supplied with a grin. “There is a boy, not quite like us, yet not like other mortals. Now, we rest during the day to heal and prepare for the hunt when we rise. Do you understand what your duties would be?”
Chase shook his head. “Nay.”
“The boy is barely a toddler.” Calcite supplied. “He is going through many changes in his body, mind, and heart. Soon, he will lose all feeling and color like the rest of our males.”
“Think you are up to the challenge of raising such a boy to puberty with us?”
“You would of course be able to return for your duties to us when they rise.” Enchantra supplied. “Would you like that, Chase?”
Chase searched the room, looking at each of the elders’ faces. O’Dell and Lord Byron were waiting for his answer. Enchantra grinned at him an the two strangers stared at him.
“By your leave, my Lord, I will do it.” Chase said with a determined voice.
Emerald clapped her hands.