Quartz finds himself standing under a dark sky. Growling, grumbling with suppressed light.
Quartz: Aww, shaddup. (Not expecting the sky to listen. It’s not like anyone else does.)
The sky gives one last rumble and is silent. The darkness begins to break, showing patches on sunlight.
Quartz: Huh. It’s not like I expected you to listen.
Makes him feel a bit guilty that the sky did. Being called out on his grumbling never made Quartz stop. Maybe this storm wasn’t as stubborn as an old dwarf.
The old dwarf in question takes a look around the river bank, noticing the slender youth in a high necked black tunic and trousers, coppery-golden hair gleaming the growing light, curling around his ears and the neck of his collar.
Quartz: Hmph. You again. As if you’re a secondary character. No matter what you say.
Christopher: (not looking at him) You’re the one who keeps showing up in the worlds where I walk.
Quartz: Scribbler’s got her mind on your worlds these days. (He looks out at the stream, seeing the tower.) What’s that?
Fused of darkness and light with rivulets of greenish color running through it like vines or veins, the dwarf couldn’t say this thing was stone. It lacked the low, pleasant, grounded buzz coming from the rock. No, this tower was louder, moaning in a low ghostly tone, as persistent as a kobold’s chatter.
Quartz: (backing up a step) Saddest excuse for a rock I’ve ever heard. If one can call that rock.
Christopher: I doubt you would. Let’s see if I can improve it.
The boy raised his hands. Light appears between them, dancing between his palms before it swirls into the air.
The band of light streaks toward the tower; flashing blue, green, red, golden, silver, purple, violet, rose.
It circles the edifice, swirling around it, embracing it. The colors take on the shape of a rainbow dragon. The dragon raises their fuzzy muzzle, letting out a musical roar.
Quartz: (blinks) Hello to you, too. Christopher, just what are you calling this dragon you’ve created?
Christopher: (gazing at the rainbow being in wonder) Is this the manifestation of my power, my will? I didn’t expect it to become a dragon.
Quartz: Didn’t you?
The dragon fixes their crystalline gaze upon Christopher. They let out another musical roar and continue to climb to the tower’s crown.
When they reach the spires, they start weaving it and out of the skeletal fingers. Delicate filaments of light are left behind, an intricate web connecting the spires.
The dragon let out a final roar before vanishing. The web remains, becoming solid, gleaming. Imprisoning the bony spokes of the crown.
Quartz: Think that’s an improvement, eh?
Christopher frowns. Silver triangles appear in his eyes, flashing.
Briars appear, growing upon the web, wrapping themselves around the strands and spires. Roses open, flowering in pinkish white, red, and bloody purple all over the vines.
The roses only bloom for a few moments before withering and turning black.
Christopher: Or not. (He drops his hands, shoulders slumping.)
Quartz: (heaving a sigh) Aye, well, maybe it wasn’t meant to improve, lad. At least not for very long.
Christopher: (looking from the crown to his own hands) Power shouldn’t be like this. I keep hoping to rejuvenate mine. Give it new life.
Christopher: By sharing it. Giving it form and voice. A chance to reason with me. Even stop me from abusing it.
Quartz: Haven’t you done that already?
Christopher looks down at the stream which still flows. He sees Tayel’s face, eyes alight with the same silver which flashed in his own. He sees Danyel, reaching out with a hand glowing with green light.
Christopher: (raising his head) Yes, I have. I’m not sure if it’s enough. Or if I’m not expecting too much of the twins.
Quartz: Maybe there’s a lot left in you, waiting to be let loose. Like that dragon.
Christopher’s somber expression becomes thoughtful. A half-smile tugs at his lips.
Christopher: You may be right.
Quartz: You’re as blessed and cursed as you want to be. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Christopher: Were you listening to my conversation with Dyvian?
Quartz: Heh, I’m always listening, even when I’m not there. Something the scribbler should keep in mind.
(As I type this conversation up at my laptop, imagine a sweatdrop appearing on my brow. :))
Quartz: Not that it matters if I listen or if what I say is right. Not if you don’t hear what I’m saying. Really saying.
Christopher: I think I do.
Quartz: Right. While you’re doing that, consider this. Just what are you going to name that dragon?
Quartz: That dragon which growls so pretty. The one that did their best to fix your tower, even if you’re not happy with the results.
Christopher: I’m not sure if that dragon will ever appear again. They may have been a one-time manifestation.
Quartz: Right. Just going to give up on the poor creature, eh? Not even giving them a name or a chance to appear again?
Christopher: (frowning) I didn’t say that.
Quartz: Seems like shadows could use a rainbow dragon to brighten their darkness. Especially you.
Christopher: A name for a rainbow dragon. A rainbow dragon which became part of the tower’s crown or created part of it. (He raises a hand to stroke his chin, considering.) Names have power. Maybe Crownweaver? Since they wove a connection between each finger in the tower’s crown?
Quartz: Not much of a name, that. More of a title or function.
Christopher: How about Crowne? In the hopes that this little rainbow dragon may create a better crown than the tower has ever worn before? One that can disappear and reform, becoming stronger and more flexible? Even after the heavens vent their wrath against them?
Quartz: That’s a lot. Getting ambitious, aren’t you? Not to mention pitting your poor dragon against the heavens. Maybe all Crowne wants is to live, come out, and be named.
Christopher: Why can’t they do all of those things while standing up to the heavens? Or at least picking themselves up and reforming after they’ve been struck down?
Quartz: There you go again, getting ambitious. At least you’re more cheerful than when Dyvian left you. Maybe Crowne put you in a better mood, eh?
Christopher: Or you did. Thank you, Quartz. (He smiles, a shy sweet smile very like Danyel’s or Tayel’s.)
Quartz: (waving his hands while his nose turns red) Now, now! Don’t you go smiling at me like that! I’ve got a jealous kobold, remember?
Nimmie Not: (who doesn’t appear, but Quartz can hear him, speaking right into his ear) And don’t you forget it!
Quartz: Gah! (He disappears in a cloud of yellow smoke.)
A disembodied long-fingered hand, clearly not Quartz’s, waves at Christopher before disappearing as well.
Christopher’s smile turns into a grin. For a long moment he chuckles, looking up at the crown of briars.
Roses are beginning to bud upon the vines again. They’re not flowering, but they’re beginning to bud.