The Soul of Maraqua: Part One
Author's Note: A few people have asked me about proper pronunciation on a few
of my previous stories. In order to keep my readers happy, I have included a guide
Atomasphere: (Uh-toe-muh-sphere). Her nickname
is Atom, which sounds like Adam
Cyniquelle: (Syn-ih-quelle). 'Syn' like in
'synonym'. Nickname is Cyn, which is pronounced Syn.
Fardeep: (Fahr-deep). Pronounced exactly as
Mirilin: (Mihr-ih-lyn). 'Mihr' is like the
beginning of mirror. 'Lyn' rhymes with 'tin'
Naracissus: (Nahr-uh-sea-suss). 'Suss' is
like the 'sus' in 'suspicious'.
Aegean: (Ay-gee-ehn.) 'Ay' as in the beginning
All right, let's begin the story now -wink-
They were gathered, at the depths of the ocean, five
representatives of the watery home of Maraqua. There was Fardeep, the fierce
copper-brown Peophin, representative of the Depths of Maraqua, pacing, a frown
on his face, his tail swishing back and forth restlessly. His large bulk rippled
with muscle and sinew, and his eyes were always deep chocolate and serious,
as if he had never laughed in his life.
And he never had.
Strength was his power-never had he lost a battle
before that had been played fairly.
Beside him, as graceful as a miniscule seashell
compared to a conch shell was Mirilin, the silver Peophin. Her mane rippled
like a silver coin in the warm water, and her eyes were piercing and narrow,
but they sparkled, as if she were always laughing at a hidden joke. Her mouth
was pulled down in a grim frown, and her hooves stomped against the sandy bed
of the ocean floor. Mirilin, representative of the Heart of Maraqua.
Besides Mirilin was Aresto the rainbow Peophin,
glimmering underwater, her multicolored body flashing decoratively as it hit
certain rays of the sun. Her eyes were deep gold and merry, her mane a multicolored
glitter, and forever shining in the murky water. Her tail was swishing forwards
and back, and she too, was restless, the representative of the Body of Maraqua.
There was only one Peophin left-and she was
the one that the fate of Maraqua relied on so desperately. It was Naracissus,
the small and slim White Peophin. Her body was a coat of luxurious white, never
marred, never unclean. She held herself with regal disdain, but her body was
trembling with anxiety. Her pale white eyes were dull with despair, and every
once in a while, she would let a small moan of longing escape from her lips.
Naracissus, the one Maraqua depended on so deeply, representative of the Soul
of Maraqua. But she was young-so young. Nothing more than a mere infant, really.
Fardeep, the Depths, Mirilin, the Heart, Aresto,
the Body, and Naracissus, the Soul. Four Peophins; the fate of Maraqua depended
In entered a beautiful red Peophin, her eyes
old and wise, glittering with not mischief, but sorrow. Her body shone like
a scarlet sunset above the waters, and her mane was a fiery orange beam. Her
smile brought happiness like nothing else and banished sorrow-but she was not
smiling. Not now.
She spoke, and her voice was not full and deep
as it always was, it was cracked, and every word dripped sorrow. This magnificent
leader, reduced to a shadow of her former, lively self.
"Fardeep, Copper, son of the Depths of Maraqua.
Welcome," she murmured softly, touching her tail to his forehead. The fiery
red leader turned to Mirilin and repeated: "Mirilin, Silver, daughter of the
Heart of Maraqua. I welcome you." She then turned wearily to face Aresto, and
whispered: "Aresto, Rainbow, daughter of the Body of Maraqua. I greet you in
turn." Then, the great leader, so sorrowful and pained, turned to the last member
of the party, Naracissus. "Much hope lies with you, Naracissus, White, daughter
of the Soul," she said softly. "May the wisdom of a thousand queens and kings
go with you. May the power of a thousand warriors go with you."
Fardeep, Mirilin, Aresto, and Naracissus bowed
their heads as the brilliant leader took out a plain and unadorned wooden box.
There was nothing special about that plain box-except for the fact that it glowed
like a beacon. But it wasn't the box itself that made it glow-it was the contents
of the box.
Everyone knew what it was. The leader gave the
box to Fardeep, and the contents shone brightly, illuminating his darkened face.
Similar effects happened with Mirilin and Aresto. Everyone held their breath
as the box was in turn handed to the little White Peophin, Naracissus. Everyone
was hoping it was a mistake. Hoping that it would not glow, hoping that Naracissus
would be able to stay at home. But no-the box shone brighter than before, recognizing
her as the true representative of the Soul of Maraqua. The leader, her eyes
downcast and sparkling with tears, placed the box in Narcissus's hooves. She
bowed her head, crying freely, and Fardeep, Aresto, and Mirilin bowed there
heads as well, a pained expression on their faces.
"Fardeep of the Depths, Mirilin of the Heart,
Aresto of the Body, and Naracissus of the Soul. The fate of Maraqua lies with
"Wow. Where is this place?" asked Atomasphere
the Maraquan Uni in awe.
Cyniquelle the Maraquan Eyrie smiled proudly.
"I found it a few days ago while I was exploring through that sunken ship ruin
I told you about. A whirlpool swept me to this area. Isn't it awesome?"
Atom stared around, eyes wide. They were in
a small, underwater cove, filled with water. Her aqua eyes fell upon a small
cranny between two walls and swished towards the little hole. Upon getting closer,
she realized that the hole was not really that small, and she squeezed through
"Atom, what are you doing?" called the voice
"I think I've discovered something," answered
Atom, her voice muffled. A great cloud of dust billowed throughout the hidden
room as Atom managed to wriggle inside, causing her to cough.
"Great Fyora," murmured Atom, her eyes as wide
In the room were four stone statues, and they
were all Peophins. The one nearest Atom was unmistakably a male, his eyes serious
and sorrowful, but his mouth was opened in a small 'o' of surprise and pain.
His hooves reached towards the ceiling in a rear, and Atom could see that a
feather-etched arrow was embedded in his chest.
Directly behind the statue of the serious male
Peophin was a smaller, slighter Peophin, her mane frozen flying into the air,
her eyes wide with panic and fear, her mouth stretched wide open, screaming
a silent name.
'Perhaps that serious Peophin tried to save
her,' thought Atom in awe. Far to the left of the statues was a slim Peophin,
her eyes seeming to sparkle with laugher. Or was it tears? She was dodging an
imaginary arrow, her eyes narrowed with fear.
There was one more figure in the room-it was
a small Peophin, the smallest of the statues. The Peophin was cowering in the
corner; her eyes as big as the entrance hole, her body cramped into a small
circle. She was cradling a plain wooden box.
Atom turned as she heard a voice swearing and
grumbling and coughing, and turned to see a very cross Cyn glaring at her. "What
gives?" he demanded, dusting himself off. He stopped in mid-dust, his eyes wide,
and his mouth hanging slightly open.
"What...?" he mumbled, staring.
"Some crazy statue builder must have built these
from stone marble and left them here," said Atom in awe. "What I would do to
have his talent! The statues look almost real!"
Cyn smiled. "Maybe they are real," he said in
his best scary voice.
Atom rolled her eyes and walloped him with her
tail. But she frowned and swam over to the statue of the little cowering Peophin
that was clutching the small box as if her life depended on it.
Atom reverently stroked the small box. As she
did, a shudder ran down her body. A certain power seemed to emanate from the
Suddenly, a loud cracking sound echoed through
the room. Cyn cried out in alarm and shouted: "Atom! Look at the statues!"
Almost afraid to look, Atom glanced at the statue
of the serious male Peophin and gasped. He was cracking!
Suddenly, a roar of longing and pain and sorrow
and a bunch of other emotions burst into the room, spinning around like a whirlpool
and causing Atom to clamp her wings to her ears.
The male Peophin with the arrow protruding from
his chest was the first to awaken. The stone cracked off his charismatic copper-brown
body like oil sliding off metal. His eyes lost their feared, haunted shape,
but were replaced with pain as he lurched forwards.
The small statue behind him was next. But not
a statue, Atom realized, a real live Peophin! The stone cracked off her slight
body and an enchanting rainbow sheen replaced the dullness of the grey stone.
Her eyes were bright and alert, but she gave a cry of shock as she saw her companion
down on the floor beside her.
Atom and Cyn watched with their eyes wide and
there mouths hanging open.
Next to emerge was an enchanting, silver coated
female Peophin, and her tail lashed furiously as she emerged from her long slumber.
The little cowering Peophin was slow and last to emerge.
Her magnificent coat of pure, glowing white
finally emerged from the grey shell that she had been imprisoned in for so long,
and her eyes fluttered open to reveal startlingly chocolate-white eyes. Her
golden hooves unclasped around the small box, but she collapsed with fatigue.
The silver Peophin, dazzling in the sunlight
although they were underwater, wearily swam over to them, her eyes tired, and
her motions dripping exhaustion. In a voice so quiet, it was almost swept away
by the mere current, she said: "I am Aresto, of the Body of Maraqua." She gestured
towards the rainbow Peophin, standing so quietly, head bowed, over the still
figure of her companion, and murmured, "That is Mirilin, the Heart of Maraqua.
There is our fallen companion Fardeep, of the Depths of Maraqua. And there,"
she said despairingly, her head gesturing towards the unconscious white Peophin,
"is Naracissus." With that, her legs slowly gave beneath her, and her head slumped
to the ground.
"Is she... you know," whispered Cyn to a wide-eyed
Atom. Atom knelt, and after a few seconds, responded: "No. That's a pulse. And
that white Peophin, Naracissus, or whatever her name is, is fine but afraid."
She turned and swam to the weeping rainbow Peophin.
"Mirilin?" she asked quietly.
The beautiful, rainbow Peophin looked up, her
eyes not lively and golden anymore, but dull and a dark yellow, dull with despair.
"Yes," she answered quietly.
"Fardeep can be saved," interrupted Cyn gently,
swimming over on soundless wings.
A spurt of radiance entered her eyes as she
asked, "Please. Take him with you. He must survive. And this one," she said,
gesturing towards the unmoving White Peophin. "Mirilin and I, we are fine, we
do not need to live. But Naracissus-everything depends on Naracissus. And take
Fardeep, I beg of you."
"But-" Cyn started to say. He had learned from
a very young age not to leave a lady in distress.
"Leave!" Aresto commanded, in a startlingly
strong voice. She swam quietly towards her still Silver Peophin friend and murmured:
"Leave. The fate of Maraqua depends on them. We are of no importance. Please.
Leave. Leave us and save them."
To be continued...