Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the symbols for each stone from the next part of our story as imagined by local artist Lauren Jenkins (Twitter: @AlwaysOctopid).
Each stone has a corresponding symbol that shows up on Elara's arm because as an Evren she can press the stones into her skin for use as she needs them.
The word Elu is the Estonian word for life. Estonian, as defined by Wikipedia, "Is spoken as a first language by the Amharas and as a lingua franca by other populations residing in major cities and towns of Ethiopia."
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Elara appeared in the center of the Qalea Chamber’s platform and launched into executing her plan.
“Did you get everything I need?” She looked at Vera sitting in her designated chair on the dais next to the platform.
Vera hopped up bright-eyed, holding her clasped hands to her chest, ready for Elara’s arrival. “Yes, and I arranged everything around the room as you instructed.”
In The Book of Azriel, Elara learned a few things that would help her with the impending fight. The first was that she could use her Elu stone, along with each element stone to create sentinels to protect her Evren. She could not stay in mondai form, so her ability to eliminate Rigel was limited.
She scanned the room from right to left. A fire was burning in the right corner. Alongside that, a pile of earth was heaped on the floor. Next to the grand staircase was a bowl of water. Elara needed the element itself to help summon each sentinel. From the brown leather pouch she had in her pocket, she pulled out a stone for each element. First, she dropped the red Isati fire stone into the middle of the flame. Afterward she walked over to the mound of earth and placed the green Ziemia earth stone on the neat pile. Crossing the room to the plain clay bowl by the grand staircase, she dropped the aqua-blue Mizu water stone in. Wind was not something you could capture, so she stood in the middle of the chamber and summoned the wind then tossed the light blue Anemo wind stone up into the stream of air and it was whisked away. It remained floating above the chamber’s center platform.
Elara then lifted a silver locket that rested on a thick chain around her neck. Inside the oval-shaped locket was her Elu stone. When she opened the locket, the large stone dropped into the palm of her left hand and glowed as she evoked its power. Her eye fixed on the bowl of water that Vera placed on the floor. With an effortless flourish of her right hand, she emitted a wave of tiny iridescent light, which flowed from her fingertips and encircled the bowl. The water from the bowl poured out onto the floor and a waterfall sprang from the top of the wall. The water pooled into rippling waves that gently rose up and splashed against the steps that led to the arrival platform. As Elara and Vera gazed at the formation of the waterfall, an energetic young woman hopped out from behind the waterfall. Her hair was long, blond, and wavy, flowing down her back. Eyes wide, Vera took a step back. She was not sure what she expected to happen and could not believe her eyes.
“Hello!” the woman said. “I’m Nysa, sentinel of water.” She bobbed up and down in a quick curtsy and gave an enthusiastic wave.
Elara nodded and responded, “Welcome, Sentinel. If you please, give me a moment to summon the others.”
Elara looked at the space to the right of the pool focusing on the pile of earth Vera had laid in preparation. With another flick of her wrist, Elara caused a massive red-orange rock formation to emerge from the stone wall. On the ground in front of the formation, a large tree unfurled and beautiful flowers appeared, surrounding the tree. The branches of the tree cascaded down from the top, creating a lush green curtain. The curtain parted and a short stalky dark-skinned man stepped out from behind. Looking around, he clapped his hands and spotted Vera and Elara. A big smile spread across his face and he said, “Hi! How ya doin’? My name is Saros. You might have guessed by my surroundings—I am sentinel of earth.”
“Hello Sentinel,” Elara said, nodding politely.
“We have welcomed Nysa, sentinel of water.”
Elara turned her head in Nysa’s direction. She curtsied again and he nodded in return. Both said, “Hi” at the same time.
A loud, crackling sound from the far corner drew everyone’s attention. Elara again elegantly motioned with her right hand, the light from the fire tattoo emanating up through her wrist out of her fingertips. The fire rose up, and with a loud roar, a giant black fireplace stretched out from the floor all the way to the ceiling, encircling the fire. The engravings around the hearth featured dragons and flames exquisitely carved into the black stone.
From behind the roaring fire emerged a tall, curvy woman with short red hair. She walked with an attitude, one hand on her hip.
“Well, hello everyone,” she said in a low, sultry voice as she looked around at all the faces aimed in her direction. “Thanks for inviting me to the party. What’s going on?”
Elara stepped forward to speak. “Hello Sentinel. I have summoned you along with the others. Before we discuss things, I need to summon one more. Oh, what is your name?”
The fire sentinel tilted her head and replied, “Seren.” She blew a fireball from her fingertips and gave everyone a wink.
Elara moved to the center of the entry platform where the wind stone hovered in midair. The others followed, and each sentinel stood on a corner of the rectangle platform to watch. Watching intently, Vera remained in her spot on the dais in front of the throne and stood as still as she could so she would not miss a thing.
Elara whipped her wrist toward the stone, shooting the iridescent light in that direction. The wind surrounding the stone picked up, and everyone had trouble holding on to their spot. Above the platform, a clear blue sky with billowing clouds appeared. The sentinel of wind gracefully floated down from the glorious sky. He was a tall, lean man with a long face, tidy facial hair, and a regal but friendly smile. He looked at them and said, “Greetings, I am Callisto, sentinel of wind.”
“I have called you here to help with a grave predicament we are in across the multiverse. I am forming this council to protect my Evren and all life within it. There is an Almajara named Rigel who poses a threat to this and all Evren, and we need your help to stop him. The council will reside in these chambers on Earth.”
She continued with the plan.
“Sentinels will train newly identified Almajara to harness the elements. Everyone together can protect life on this planet and, when the time comes, life in this Evren. This assembly will be named the Evren Council.”
Elara turned to Vera. “Vera, I am asking you to be the first to train with them. They will teach you to become a master of each element. Sadly, I will not be around to help you any longer. As long as Rigel is out there looking for us, I cannot risk being in mondai for very long.” Elara looked at Vera and placed her hand on her shoulder.
“Of course, I will.”
“However, before I can go, we need to complete the second part of my plan.” Elara moved to her seat on the dais for this part.