Bran finds out he has been accepted to the Bard campus his father once apprenticed at. As he says good-bye to his mother she places her hand on his shirt where a gemstone rests against his chest. She hugs him and tells him he must return the gemstone to its rightful owner. Inside his father’s blacksmith shop he stares at a broken sword on a ledge above the entrance and realizes he is about to journey alone into unfamiliar lands. His father gives him a dagger made from a strange metal and warns him that traveling is more dangerous now. This is an epic tale about music and magic; of meeting a giant, a demon, and traveling through a land ruled by an immortal emperor gone mad. There are castles and battles, and most importantly, the quest to return the gemstone to its rightful owner.
(EXCERPT from the story): The kneeling figure was a girl bleeding from her upper lip. Her long brunette hair hung past her waist covering a torn yellow blouse and emerald green skirt. He remembers kneeling beside the girl, only to blush as her evergreen eyes examined his uncovered body. He tried to turn his gaze from her but he couldn’t stop staring at the oval face with its narrow nose and quivering lips. “Are you alright?” he had asked, his voice cracking with puberty. She had stared at him in silence. He remembers looking at the ground fearful he would otherwise disappear into those eyes. She undid the top two buttons of her blouse, confusing him of her intentions. Against her chest rested a turquoise green gemstone with a vein of white and grey. In the fading light he could just make out a silver dragon’s claw bail that connected the gemstone to a plain silver necklace. She lifted the necklace over her head and placed it around his neck. His eyes had closed with the feel of her fingers against his skin. Never had he felt so close to someone. Even in that short time, in the silence that she kept him in, he felt as though he were divided in two. He opened his eyes staring into hers. It was as if he was looking into a pond with a reflection of one half of himself staring back. Her moist lips pressed against his. Blood from the cut on her upper lip slowly trickled into his mouth as she touched the gemstone were it lay against his chest. “When we are older it will lead you to me,” she said with a mezzo-soprano voice full of determination. She stood up and straightened out her skirt and blouse. “It would have burned you if our destinies were not as one.” “When will we meet again?” he had asked. Once more she stared into his eyes and he remembers feeling frozen in time. “I don’t know when, I just feel it throughout my soul.” She had smiled, “I thought I would be safe here from my father’s minions so I slipped away from my protector to be alone for awhile. He will be searching for me so I must return. Always wear the gemstone by your heart!” He remembers standing still as he watched her lithe body disappear into the distance.
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