Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades

Darak Meij: Part 1

A precocial Ehrban infant, the young Darak Meij, approaches the site of a small magical battle in the wilderness of the planet Niarba, where he finds two dead adult bodies, both mostly incinerated. Instinctively mourning over them, too young to fully comprehend the significance of death, he is drawn to a medallion bearing the sign of the Meij lineage, which one of the bodies has upon it. Contemplating it, he finds himself — though he does not understand it — reliving the memories of his parent's life, the parent whose body now lies before him: Skotos Meij. In the memories Skotos is just reaching maturity himself, and is sent on one of his first solo missions to investigate low-risk reports of a rogue witch in a remote village. Tracking her down and subtly questioning her to assess the situation, he finds a young woman by the name of Wreber. She is not even quite his own age and barely surviving on the margins of society, trying to only use her magic in subtle ways that mundane people won't notice. She has deduced that she is a witch by her evident magical abilities and lack of connection to Geiana, and knowing like everyone the fate of witches when they are discovered, she guards her secret closely, though apparently not closely enough. She doesn't know her ancestry, because she was born alone in the woods, from an egg hatched out of her dead parent's body (as is a routine occurrance among the Ehrban species), and has never met any relatives. Skotos deduces from the details of her story that she is the daughter of the very Wieg witch who killed his own father, the Wieg and Meij families having fought each other nearly to extinction in their long-running feud. His father must have mortally wounded the witch, but failed to incinerate her as she did him, resulting in Wreber's birth. Wreber insists that she wants nothing to do with her family if that is true, and expresses pride in her kind's ability to break free of their family's will, unlike Skotos' kind, with their inherited familial spirits that subconsciously preload them with their parents' memories and shape their personalities from birth onward. Realizing that the thing being discussed is the very thing he is doing right now jars young Darak from his reveries, and he flees from the site of the battle further into the wilds, taking the medallion from Skotos' charred body with him. (More details).

Finding a family of the beasts called Dragons, fierce close-relatives of the Ehrban (much like gorillas compared to humans), Darak intuitively uses magical mind control to ingratiate himself with them, and bend their wills to care for him like one of their own children in this dangerous wilderness. Living with them not too far from the site of his parents' death, he returns from time to time to the site, to mourn them and meditate further on the memories he has inherited from Skotos. In those memories he sees that Skotos decides to spare Wreben's life, finding her not to be a threat. But when Skotos reports this to his superiors, they send more experienced rangers after Wreben instead. Skotos then defects from his own cause to save her life, and together they flee into the wilderness. In time, after a long pursuit and many close calls, they escape from the rangers and find peace in the remote woods where Darak now sits recalling these memories. Along the way, they also find romantic feelings for each other, and even have an egg together, carried by Skotos. Here young Darak's inherited memories end, and his own life begins. (More details).

Unbeknownst to Skotos or Wreben, the other surviving Wieg, Wreber's older cousin Mav, had been tracking her down for her entire life. Mav eventually found Wreber and Skotos in the wilds of the Otherlands, on the day their egg, young Darak who had yet to be named, was to hatch. Finding Wreber allied with a Meij, in love with him even, and uninterested in joining with her evil plans, Mav slaughtered both of them — unbeknownst to her, before the eyes of their just-hatched child, who fled deeper into the wilderness, forever traumatized by the sight of Mav slaughtering his parents. After years of mulling over these memories, both those inherited from Skotos and those of his own, the young Darak eventually matures enough to understand, somewhat, what it is that has transpired. Feeling moved by this story finally coming together in his mind, feeling like he finally knows who, and what, and why he is, Darak sets out toward the civilized world seeking something, he knows not what, but some kind of resolution to the searing pain inside of him. (More details).