It was an odd place. Deep within the recesses of the temple, it waited. A light that should not have been gave depth and definition to pillars and paths. A soft blue glow, seeming to stem from the very air itself, filled the place, shimmering and sliding across the walls. Liquid light. Ephemeral. A calm filled the place, though darkness loomed in every corner. Threatening. Wanting. But the light remained. For without light, there can never be shadow.
Something stirred in the darkness. A flash of gold, of blue, or raven black. Out of the darkness a being came. Nameless, it came forth, the light seeming to bend towards it, settling on the blue gems adorning a copper crown. A hiss of water over flesh, the soft ring as droplets fell echoed in the blue-lit chamber. The one from the darkness stood from the waters depths, walking through it with the grace of rivers. Sheas such a stunning being could only bepaused in her flowing walk, dark eyes scanning.
The chamber had changed since she last awoke.
Water had worn away the detailed runes in the pillars, had taken their magic within itself. She could feel it in her veins, the subtle pulsing of light. As the water stirred around her, so too did light, for it was not from the air the glow came, but from the living water. Ages ago, when her kind were remembered, this place had been a gathering hall, a cavalcade for those like her. Fingertips trailing across the waters surface, she could feel the ages pass, feel the lost memories of the water.
She wandered on.
The light followed her, trailing in her wake wherever the water stirred, scattering its glow along the worn columns and aged rock. So much had changed
The water was silent to her, as if it had gone mute. They were gone then. With a weary sigh, she closed her eyes, lamenting the loss. They were gone. She had hoped it would not be so soon. She had hoped it would have been long after her own death. Opening her eyes once more, she could feel the water stir around her, sharing in her sadness. They were gone at last.
Ever onward still, she came to the greatest chamber, where they had resided. Their eternal home. And now abandoned to the water. The water would keep this place sacred, would protect it as long as there was still water to be had, long after the last of her kind was gone. But they were gone. The Guardians. Had the water been able to tell her of death, she would have called on its memory, just to know how they had fallen. But water remembered only change, not life or the end. It remembered taking in the runes, and changing the columns and byways. It remember the changing of the air, the breezes that would somehow make their way down through the earth to this sacred place. It remembered change. But not death. It would not even remember her death.
Slowly, she took a step forward, the light in the water almost hesitant to follow in her wake, to shine as the water shifted. She ignored it for now. She was near them now, where the great Guardians had slept and watched, living water in flesh made real. Just as herself, but with a different purpose. She could still see where they had stood, could imagine their figures, shimmering softly in the ephemeral glow, seeming nothing but shadow and light. Living water. Fingertips trailing beside her, she yearned for the presence of the Guardians, to see them once more before her time came to join the water once more. But they were gone.
The water stirred around her, but not of her own doing. The light shifted and her closed eyes opened sharply. Many things could lurk in the water, despite the warding runes. Dark creatures lived within the depths. Turning, she tried to find the source, following the swirls of water and light, fingertips reading the water for the change in currents that signaled passage and movement. But the water was indifferent to whatever creature circled her, uncaring of what happened. Change. Only change. Her breath caught as the water in front of her stirred, the glow revealing a dark shape surfacing.
A finned head emerged.
Falling to her knees, she could have cried out in joy had her throat been willing to work. The creature before her, a dragon of old, swam fluidly towards her, almost a part of the water. Living water. A Guardian at last. Gently, she reached out and it wrapped itself around her arm, allowing her to lift it from the water. As it cascaded of its shimmering scales, the water glowed wherever it touched, gilding the edges of the dragons scales, of its myriad of fins, of its eyes, jaw, and claws. She could only gaze upon it, hands cradling it gently. She could not help the gentle smile.