"DRAGONS IS TEH UBERZ!!!"
-Alixander Fey. He spammed with that line a LOT back in the old L&L.
...So I think you can take a hint about what this ramble is about. A story about...DRAGONS! And I do agree; they are uber.
The story is Dragon Mark. I must say that it will be heavily inspired (and, hence, influenced) by Alixander Fey: Heritage. Names, for example. I asked and received permission for one dragon to be named Venat, for example.
But what am I going to talk about?
Well, two things:
1: Characters of the story. *Is triple dead*...no...wait...that's *Is Four Times Dead*. What? Oh, right. Sorry. Shoutbox Joke. You may understand later.
2: Magic. That's right, the way magic works in my world. This, to my knowledge, will be so crazy, it HAS to be unique!
Well, the characters are...
Ryan D. Siwel. The D stands for Dragon. A lame middle name, but suiting for the primary protagonist. Age of nineteen. His Dragon Mark is on his right arm. Similarly, his natural magical force to call upon is magical force #1. He is bonded to Vocor. Has no initial memory of Venat, since he was only fifteen at the time.
Venat. Leader of the good dragons. Was killed in the prologue, which takes place four years before the main story. Exists only as a spirit. (See Magic)
King Leonidus Arshan. Initially appears to be an antagonist, since Marthulus is under his control. Former leader of the Dragonslayers (Now called the Dragoslan Warriors). Because 'dragons threaten the existence of mankind', he lead survivors to 'peace' as their king.
I can't say any more without it being highly spoilerish.
(I used this as an alias while on a trip. It fooled Hinzel and Upyers. Double dead!)
General Marthulus Premius. A primary antagonist. Early on, he has a brief role as a hero, which is removed later on with a line that I cannot say without it being a spoiler. Former leader of the 'strike team' (See below), promoted to general. Is a good leader with high charisma; can use propaganda well.
Daniel The Slayer. Age twenty-one. Slayer is his middle name. His last name is revealed later on, and, hence, is a spoiler. He leads the Dragon Extermination Squad, often called DES, or 'strike team'. He kills dragons under the misconception that they are all evil. Initially opposes Ryan in nearly every way possible, doubting his story, and, later, calling him a traitor. Once went by 'Danny' years ago. Has a Dragon Mark on his forehead. This means he accesses Magical Force #12, the most used one. Has no memory of Venat.
(I used this as an Alias. I was going to use Daniel The Slayer, but since I've read Heart of the Dark, I thought it might be interpreted as Daniel Lewlen, Death's Challenger, the Vampire Slayer. I changed it to Danny. And...wow. Firefly, Shade, and Upyers all thought I was a random Alix fan. Triple Dead! In addition to the above, that makes Four Times Dead! If you count Upyers double-killing me, that's Five Times Dead!
Hinzel--Knocking my brains out, then stabbing me in the back with a sword.
Shade--I die from darkness, I guess.
Upyers--super ultimate ninja powers kill me. [Twice]
And worst of all...Firefly--burned to death.)
Lisa Siwel. Ryan's older sister. Age twenty-three. Only child of Siwel family to remember Venat, since she was nineteen at the time. Is believed to be dead by her siblings. Dragon Mark is on her lower right leg, making her access Magical Force #5.
Vocor: Dragon Bonded to Ryan. (See Magic for bonding rules) Son of Venat.
Nogard: 1: A common swear word. People don't know where it originates from, though.
2: Leader of the evil dragons. Primary antagonist. Master (via an evil dragon bond) of *SPOILERS!!!*
Tanev: Younger sister of Vocor.
Rocov: Twin brother of Tanev.
Limaf: Only surviving good dragon. Teaches the Dragon Marks what they do not already know about Dragons.
...There are more, but those are all I have named.
You: Umm...what about Ryan's sister?
Me: I thought I'd get away with that...
Well, when I need to, I'll give her a name.
...Anyway, now for the MAGIC of the world. Oh, this is what makes this a true ramble.
Magic, in this world, is VERY complicated. Kinda. Sorta. If you're almost as crazy/insane as I am, it'll make perfect sense. Otherwise, your feeble 'sane' mind will asplode upon reading this. :P
Okay, not even I know how to start explaining it. Magic originally was just another, much smaller, universe. That untapped energy became tapped by...magic users.
Magic naturally can be found in dragons. A dragon is naturally born with a set limit of magical energy that (s)he can contain. That magical energy can be called upon at any time with no energy whatsoever. But Dragons can call magic from the magical force (universe). They have a limit of how much magical energy they can draw from that force. If they exceed this limit, bad things happen. Their body shuts down, they could explode, they could turn to dust...stuff like that. If you've read that far in Heritage, think Zerek. That's pretty much how drawing too much magic into a body happens.
...But there's more to it than that. If there is an extremely powerful magic user, upon that magi user's death, where does his/her magical energy go? The answer: If that user is strong enough, it collapses into another dimension and begins forming another mini-universe. After a few years of settling down, that universe can be used. When that happens, potentially, every magic user's supply of magic is theoretically doubled (if there was only one to begin with).
...But the thing is, you can't instantly access a new magical energy source. It takes training. So some people never access these other sources.
...As of the modern era, there are thirteen of these. More on that later.
...Now, what happens to a mini-universe if energy is not tapped in it for too long? Well, if no magic user draws energy from there in three-thousand years, the universe has a rapid growth. It suddenly supports life. The life can NOT be the same type of life that originally created the universe. If a human created it, there would be no mammals, for example. If it was a dragon, then there would be no lizards.
The beings from that realm are naturally gifted in magic. The thing is, they are also naturally 'gifted' in the fact that they will fight each other. Magical energy is used...but unlike life from our universe, they don't draw magical energy from another realm, but rather, their own.
After about two-thousand years of fighting, their universe shrinks to the point where it can no longer support life. At that point, the life is transported to our dimension and the universe can again be used by magic users. Specifically, those originating from that realm are instinctively tuned into it.
...Now, what happens when those lifeforms come to our planet? Can anyone say apocalypse? Sound familiar? It should. Yes. The older dragons in the story originate from another universe. This particular universe is the thirteenth one.
Let's go back to magical energies. When a dragon kills another dragon, the dead dragon's magic has to go somewhere. About half of it returns to the universe it originates from. Which means a universe stays roughly the same size. As long as a single magical user taps into its power, it remains the same size. A magical source cannot be exhausted, because to draw all the energy from that universe would require millions of uber-strong people.
...But what about that other half? Half of the dragon's magical energy, AND half of the dragon's magic capacity is transferred to the dragon which killed that dragon. Meaning the more dragons a dragon has killed, the more powerful it is.
Where do humans fit in this equation? Naturally, they have no magical energy within them. Nor can they tap into any of the universes for magical energy. With training, they can do the former and use basic magic. But their capacities are always lower than a dragon's.
...But here's the thing: A human can be gifted with magical talent with a Dragon Mark. Here's where things get interesting. A Dragon Marked Human has access to only one universe at first. Which that one is is represented by where the mark is. (I'll tell you in just a bit.)
...But that's not all. They have magical energy within them, via the mark, as well. Even so, their capacities and their magical energy are lower than a dragon's. But they are, ironically, much stronger than dragons.
How? When a dragon kills another dragon, the dead dragon loses half of its magic back to its original universe. It also loses half of its magical capacity. The other half goes into the dragon, essentially making that dragon have its natural strength plus the 50% of the dragon it killed.
...But humans are different. A Dragon Mark absorbs ALL of the dragon's energy. This means that a human can become equally as strong as the dragon (s)he killed. Not only do they gain ALL of the magical energy within, but they also gain the magical capacity. Meaning after killing just one dragon (assuming they have an activated Dragon Mark), a human has the same magical capacity as that dragon.
...Not only that, but if the Dragon's natural universe is different than the Human's, then the human instantly gains access to the magical source. So humans can become REALLY powerful by killing just a few dragons.
Guess what? Humans can create universes as well. Those universes will naturally be occupied by dragons. Humans become powerful through dragons. So humans create most dimensions. Dragons from those dimensions eventually come to earth. Said dragons bless humans with Dragon Mark. Dragon Marked Human becomes powerful. Dragon Marked human dies. Another universe is created. So magical energy is basically in a never-ending cycle. It reproduces over time. Over thousands of years, one sources has become two...which became three...which became four...and so on.
One last thing, though. An entity with access to all thirteen magical sources might potentially have thirteen times the energy as another entity with access to only one. But that doesn't make entity A more powerful than Entity B.
Their capacities make the difference. If entity A can only keep half as much energy within him/herself as Entity B, Entity B has double the battle strength. Entity B will probably win.
So, essentially, there are three key components to magic:
-Magical Energy within the entity. As explained, dragons are naturally gifted with this energy. Over time, it can increase slightly, but overall, remains at a set amount. It returns to the original dimension, assuming the entity is neither uber-strong or was killed.
-Energy capacity. How much magic that entity can draw from the different sources. A body can only hold so much in it. This is the most vital thing in a battle. Whoever can use the most magical energy in a battle will nearly always win. Since this is nothing but capacity, it goes to waste upon the user's death. Unless, of course, they user was killed by a single dragon/human, in which case, half/all of it is drained into the killer.
-Number of Magic Sources available. Assume the above two variables are the same. Assume the two combatants are equal in skill. Assume they are identical in every way possible, except for number of magical sources. If one of them can access three, yet the other five, the one with five will win.
The Magical Sources/Universes/Whatever you call them are below:
Source one: a human's right arm.
Source two: human's left arm.
Source three: a human's upper right arm/shoulder.
Source four: upper left arm/shoulder.
Source five: lower right leg.
Source six: lower left leg.
Source seven: right thigh to waist.
Source eight: left thigh to waist.
Source nine: back.
Source ten: stomach.
Source eleven: chest.
Source twelve: forehead.
Source thirteen has no Dragon Mark. It is where most dragons are from. The only way a human can have access to the thirteenth source is to be bonded to a dragon with access to that source.
Okay, I lied...there are three parts to this. I feel elaboration is needed on the Dragon Marks/bonding/spirits. Just for clarification.
Computer restarted; lost work...*grumbles*
Well, anyway, Dragon Marks come in three colors.
Black for good, White for evil, and gray for indirect. Ironic, isn't it? But that's the way things work.
How does gray work? It's for any direct relative of the Dragon Mark.
Let's say there are a few people.
Person A, B, C, D, and E are all siblings. Person F is their mother. Person G is their uncle, and the brother of F.
Persons A and B get a good dragon mark, and at the same time, Person E gets an Evil dragon mark.
Persons C, D, and F all get a gray dragon mark. G gets nothing because he isn't a direct relative. Let's say person C gets a good dragon mark, though. C's gray gets upgraded to black.
Or let's say person F gets a dragon mark. Her gray gets upgraded to black/white. Because person G is her sibling, G gets a gray dragon mark at that time. Make sense?
Well, anyway, that's how Dragon Mark alignments work.
...But what exactly does a Dragon Mark DO?
When invisible, when dormant, when inactive, it does next to nothing. Those with an inactive mark can be naturally gifted, but not much else. Unusually high strength, speed, reflexes, 'sixth sense', and endurance are common...but nothing special. Another thing that is common is that they have a sense of magic. They can sense magical presences.
...But this is nothing special. Any human can do this, if exposed to magical sources often enough. (Such as slaying a few dragons.)
When activated, though, things are different. Their 'sixth sense' is literal. With magical energy, they can feel others. They gain HUGE increases in strength, speed, reflexes, pain resistance, and endurance. Quicker thinking is also fairly common.
And, of course, activated marks have the bonuses mentioned earlier. They can drain magic from dragons the human slays. They grant the human the ability to use natural magic, via the mark. They grant the human access to a magical source. Which source this is is determined by location. See above for what source corresponds to what part.
In about 30% of individuals, every source they access gives them another mark. So 30% of people with access to twelve sources have twelve different marks. The original mark will always be brighter, though. If the human is bonded with a dragon, then their original mark is the only one to glow.
...Oh! I forgot! Since I lost what I had, you don't know about the bonding process yet, do you? Silly Mastin! :P
Well, it works like this: Dragons under a hundred years old can enter hibernation if their life is in danger. In hibernation, they are enveloped in a shell (egg) that is invincible to all harm. They are conscious and aware of magical presences, but that is about all.
To wake a dragon in hibernation, someone with magical power needs to be of the same alignment as that dragon. An evil dragon cannot wake a good dragon, for obvious reasons.
If that someone is a dragon, then nothing special happens.
If that someone is a human, however, things are different. Their Dragon Mark glows gold (for good), silver (for evil), or bronze (for gray) upon touching the dragon. The dragon is awoken upon that point. That's how bonds work.
But what does a bond do?
Dragony things, of course!
-The Bond allows both to use ALL of each other's power. Meaning both have access to the other's magical powers, magical capacity, and magical sources. Theoretically, this means one could kill the other by drawing too much energy. But since the two are of the same alignment, this would never happen intentionally.
-The dragon grows at least double its normal speed. Most dragons in hibernation are already about 10-20 years old. They stay small naturally until they reach a hundred years old, at which point, they have a large growth spurt and grow to full size within twenty years.
...But dragons bonded can instantly change sizes from small to fairly large, assuming they are over forty years old. If they are bonded, of course. But a bonded dragon can grow to full size using magic (GROWTH PILLS! :P) for as long as needed as long as the dragon is at least the age of the one it is bonded to.
-The ability to go without food/drink for weeks. A Dragon Mark that is bonded does not need them for quite some time. A dragon also does not require them. Unfortunately, this is only a last resort--under normal circumstances, a human eats ten times as much and a dragon two to five times that of a normal dragon the same age when bonded.
-Interest in magical growth rate. Bonded humans and dragons have each others' power. The greater an individual's power, the quicker they grow. So double the power, theoretically, is double the growth rate.
-Telepathy. Bonded dragons and humans can use telepathy between each other with no effort. Dragons can read their human's mind as well, if they wish. Both dragons and humans, with a boost of magic, can use telepathy with others as well.
-Endurance. A human bonded to a dragon gains a HUGE increase in endurance. If bonded long enough, a human can gain scales temporarily over his/her body for even more protection. For a dragon, their underbelly is double as hard to pierce.
-Instinct. Humans gain even better reaction times with a bond.
-Intelligence. Two young minds learn double as fast as one. An older mind will help a younger mind grow faster. They partner up to become smarter.
-Strength. As with magic, both can borrow each other's physical strength as well. In most cases, it is the human borrowing from the dragon.
-Eye color. The two often will share an eye color. This is something that starts even before the bond. When a Dragon Mark begins pulsing, fate has pretty much determined the bond will happen. As soon as this starts, the eye color of the human will usually change.
-Family bonds. A human bonded to a dragon shares the dragon's heritage. Similarly, a human can see the spirit of his/her dragon's dead relatives. See spirits.
-Various other things which I am forgetting. =P
Now, onto spirits.
Spirits are dead dragons. No, duh...they can't exactly be alive, now, can they? Only relatives of that dragon can see the spirit. For example, Vocor can see Venat's spirit (and, by extension, Ryan), but...say...Limaf cannot. Spirits can communicate some information about their lives, reinforce facts stated, and give moral support. For the most part, though, they are just guardians for their remaining relatives.
Well, that's about it!