Nahast: Chronicles of the Fifth Age

Legends and tales in a world of ancient magic, by Alejandro Melchor & AngelChyld

  • Tales

  • Dancing Faun Productions

Deeta’s Lament

The storm had passed, washing over Beldatz with sudden fury, washing the streets off the blood that had stained it during the Maehvindra elves’ ill-fated hunt for the half-elf girl, Niriko.

It had failed to wash the leaden weight off a young elf-witch’s heart.

Deeta was shivering. She was standing over the northern cliffs, staring at the waves clashing against the rock and further in, against the juts of wrought stone and natural reefs of the Maze of Entry. She had walked all night, slinking away from her brother and the others in their company, climbing the Stag Steps that carried her past a monastery where she heard a soft bell humming.

And now she stared at the sea, the mythic origin of her people. It was said that all elves look longingly upon the sea, but as the sun hinted of its presence over the horizon, Deeta did not feel it. She felt nothing but a horrible void in her chest, and she felt the anguished pull of the cliff’s edge.

She felt like giving in and surrender to that pull.

“No suicides over my cliffs.” A soft, husky voice startled the elf witch. She had heard no one approach, but she was not alone any more. She turned around and saw nothing, then she felt the spray of water sprinkle over the skin at her back. No wave would reach this high, unless…

“Sea witch…” Deeta said, her voice a monotone. Indeed, between herself and the sea stood another elf woman, but not a Maehvindra, for the newcomer’s skin was tanned, the color of wood and clay, her impossibly long hair thick, wavy and green, her deep eyes the color of the deep sea. “Viryuni.”

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Tales of the Hawk Maidens

Regular readers of the comic might be asking, what are these doing here? New readers of this site will be asking instead “What are these? Aren’t these the Hawk Furies?”

Well, as part of a migration to a new hosting, Nahast underwent some structural changes, one of these being moving out the Hawk Maidens’ stories out of the corner under which they were buried and into the dedicated, Nahast-related fiction site. These stories are no longer available in the update archives, nor in an ill-fitting Gallery (as the art gallery itself moved to DeviantArt), but I trust they are easier to find and read here.

These stories were written as collaborative fiction along with AngelChyld, over IM, and while we haven’t devoted much time to the girls in a while, their stories are not over, as told in the comic itself. Some episodes of their lives will still happen in prose form as the comic focuses on the main storyline, so keep an eye out!


05 – Tales From the Eve

Tales From the Eve

In the rush during the evacuation, Jakitza was separated from her family. She kept looking back, wondering what sort of magic the man had sneaked in that transformed him into such monstrosity. Her last glimpse of the arena before a guard finally got her out of the court was of the woman called Derrexi Tzelan charging bravely against the demonspawn, supported by a strange man, a hawkfolk priest and, strangest of all… one of her own classmates. She recognized the yellow mane of Niriko Zarranz and for a second envied her courage. The next second she was wondering if the girl was crazy.

She shook her head, trying to clear it for a moment. Everything had happened much too fast had been lost to chaos too quickly. What exactly had transpired, no one knew as Jakitza realized while she was walking home, because the people milling about the streets were all talking excitedly among themselves. But Jakitza was thinking about another thing. About the offer the Lady Tzelan had made, the offer to sign up. Her father had told her of this, hadn’t he? It would be a way to continue with her studies in an official way, continue on the path she had walked before the closing of the school. With slight changes of course.
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04 – Gisako’s Tale

Gisako’s Tale

The sun fell upon the royal gardens in a beautiful morning that Gisako would have much preferred to pass with her private tutor. It was one of the advantages of her father being a rich merchant from the Guild: when the city closed the schools for girls, even the noble schools, Gisako had no trouble convincing her parents to hire a private tutor for her.

Nevertheless, she still had to play the part of the dutiful daughter and accompany him to these pointless parties that the governor was so fond of throwing in the middle of the week.

“Father… do I really have to go?” She said quietly as they walked. She didn’t much enjoy the thought of the party; not at all, to be precise.

“Of course, dear.” Her father said, hurrying his step. “I have to talk with some of my fellows from the Guild, and it is a perfect chance for you to meet a suitable young man.”

He let the words trail off. They had already talked about how good it would be for the family if she could marry a noble. For all the money that the Gizaletzi name was worth, it could not buy a noble title. She nodded slightly, biting down the remark about how she loathed most of the young nobles she had met so far, and she had met quite a few.
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03 – Jakitza’s Tale

Jakitza’s Tale

The streets of Beldatz seemed louder for Jakitza, and she was doing her best to control herself and avoid glaring in a very rude way to anyone who dared cross her path. How could they? How could they close the school for girls? What was the governor thinking? It was almost more than she could endure. The school had been about her only refuge in this city and what was she to do now? She couldn’t help it, a small, angry look came to her features as she stalked through the streets.

Her robes, modest but well kept, fluttered in the wind with every resolute step, and it seemed that her entire appearance was serving as a nice wedge to clear a way for her. She spotted a few of the city’s Watch amongst the crowd, and noticed one particular patrol with a Watchman in an officer’s uniform.

She narrowed her eyes for a moment. She was on bad terms with the Watch right now, since they had participated in the school lockdown.

The patrol began to walk briskly following the officer, who was carrying swords instead of the standard issue spear. The crowd opened up for them and they would soon cross her path.
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02 – Niriko’s Tale

Niriko’s Tale

Niriko raced through the packed streets around the docks. One of the good things of living near the port was that she was lulled to sleep by the sound of the sea. One of the bad things was that she lived the furthest from the dock district’s school and, after performing some chores for her father in the very early morning, she had to hurry to get her utensils and run back to get there on time.

She skipped through the crowds of people that slowly began to fill the streets. She was used to dodging and shoving people out of the way and thus made good time.

She went trough the gates and crossed the courtyard as the wind itself. The docks district school was not large by any means, having only three classrooms: one for the boys, another for the girls and one for the common classes.

Seeing that she did make it on time again, she slowed down a bit and allowed herself to walk the last few steps, keeping an eye out for her friends.
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01 – Behari’s Tale

Behari’s Tale

The sun rose earlier than usual, or so Behari was thinking as the first rays touched her face from the small window in her room. She had been lucky last night; no one had required her services despite her spending all the night serving drinks and acting like a proper waitress. She guessed her smiles did seem as empty as they were. Slowly, she rose from her straw mat, ruffling her hair and yawning tiredly. She enjoyed the early morning silence, enjoyed being awake early so that she could savor a few minutes of freedom, where no one would shout for her, no one would beat or violate her.

She sat for several minutes, letting the sunlight bathe her face. She was not very religious, particularly given her lot in life, but she almost felt the hands of Zuze’en caressing her face, like a mother reassuring her that everything would be all right. She sighed and finally got up. She tied her robes tight and slipped her feet on her sandals, ready for morning chores at the brothel where her parents had committed her to since before she could even remember.
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I. Burning Roofs

The only thing the little girl could see was fire. She whimpered, trying to drag the unconscious body of an old man out of the burning teahouse.

Small Justice - Burning Roofs by Nikki “Thayle” Mahla

“Wake up!” She cried. Her eyes were stinging with the heat and her throat burned from breathing smoke. “Benaz! Wake up!”

It hadn’t been her intention to do this. It was their fault, the men who tried to attack them, who had forced Benaz to fight them even though he was tired and injured. It had been days since he slipped down the ravine to save her from falling, and he refused to let her heal him. And then these bounty hunters had recognized them and tried to take her in broad daylight.

“Please… I can’t…” She coughed. She wasn’t strong enough to take him out of the building, each pull only dragging him a couple of inches. She cried out of impotence. It was the end all over again.

– o –

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The Book of Turning: The Demon Paw

Ollin Amo’xiu - The Demon Paw

Mortals worship spirits and gods, devoting their faith and reverence knowingly and thus giving their deities the power they need to fulfil their divine tasks. The beasts of the land do not know how to worship, but they too have gods that protect them; their essence, all that they are, echoes and coalesces into a being of raw power, a Beastlord.

Beastlords embody all the power of the animals they protect, taking their qualities to mythical heights. Eagle can spot Its prey from the other side of the world, while a swipe from Bear’s claws can topple entire forests if It so chooses.

Few have witnessed the anger of a Beastlord and lived to tell about it. Most people have glimpsed that anger when the animals the Beastlord rules over turn unruly and bold. But for all the savagery and might a Beastlord can bring to bear, there is only one moment in history when the Beastlords went to war.

When the armies of the Demon Princes swept throughout the lands, the Beastlords simply did as they always did: roam the land to protect the animals and the wild, with no concern for the suffering of the people at the hands of the demons. Eventually, when the gods finally routed the evil hordes, the surviving demons sought refuge by possessing the bodies of animals and plants, hoping the gods would not find them there. The gods mostly did not, but this action enraged the Beastlords and it became their turn to fight.

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End of Hawk Furies, Book 1

This marks the end of the first “book” in the Hawk Furies story. The next one will start with Niriko’s and Behari’s return to Beldatz and whatever it is that Jakitza is planning will start moving. However, next week will see the first delivery of the Ollin Amo’xiu, featuring one of the legends of Nahast about the origin of a certain magical curse and disease.

After that, there are three options for the next “book”: Moonrise (the story of a young Moonshade and her head-on encounter with fate), Small Justice (the story of an exiled goddess and her quest for justice) or Dashing Hawk, Furtive Fox (the romance of a knight and a bandit princess, the parents of the comic’s protagonist). Any preference? 🙂

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