It was a grey and cloudy day, with a cold wind and surprise gusts of ice water. So by common vote, the crew had decided to stay inside and practice their craft. Which for the 8 musical magicians meant different things. Klebsiella and Proteus were arguing about whether or not the next magical concert should feature strobe lights or lasers, Aranicola was listening with half an ear to their arguement while adding paper lace to invitation cards. Sodalis seemd to be dreaming, sometimes glancing toward Aranicola, maybe trying to think of a strategy to win her heart. Arsenophonus was adjusting some of the scores, no doubt adding key changes Erwinia would later fuss about, and grinned at the budding romance he was seeing unfold right before his eyes. Erwinia, his own love interest, was currently across the hall, talking to some bigwig that would produce their show. Morganella, was staring outside, probably lamenting the rain which kept her from being outside, while her lover Citrobacter tried to distract her with promises of a walk he was planning with the 2 Chentuu, lama-like creatures, that he'd picked up somewhere.
Erwinia finished her parole and returned to the center of the room. With just a hint of a smile to Arsenophonus which meant their relationship was on again, she asked the other: "So how about some practice to lighten the mood?"
"We should put the final touches on this concert." Proteus agreed, "And about the extras."
"I don't know why you can't just do lasers during the verses and strobe lighting at the chorus." Aranicola suggested.
"That might solve the light issue." Klebsiella nodded, "But we still need something for the finale."
"Might I suggest a key change?" Arsenophonus said.
"You always want to change the key..." Erwinia sighed, "Why now?"
"Why not?" Morganella shrugged, "They do add drama."
"I can add some extra drum beats to add to the effect." Citrobacter said.
"But we must end this on an E chord." Erwinia insisted, "We'll need the catharsis."
"Leave that to me." Sodalis said, "Some descending intervals would calm the ending down after the climax and can lead us back to the original pitch."
"It's really coming together, but I'd like to add some lines to that piece right before the finale. Maybe something that helps build up expectation. Having the audience resonate with us will only make things better." Aranicola suggested. 
The crew discussed more options and tried out various set-ups before they felt their show was perfect. The music was evocative and well-balanced and the magical effects that were woven into the music were sure to make the crowd go wild and bring them an evening they wouldn't forget. 
In a world where magic was common, it was still rare to have it used for entertainment. In most people magic manifested as a control over the elements. So some people could influence the wind, others could channel water or light fire. But power over music? That was unusual. And that these 8 people had found each other might make people believe in fate. 


The next day the weather improved. Morganella wasted no time and dragged Citrobacter with her to go climb some random cliff in the nearby forest. He'd insisted on bringing the two Chentuu with them and the strange creatures were happily grazing, following their owners as they ascended.
"But we can't actually climb with them." Morganellacomplained.
"Aren't we climbing?" Citrobacter puffed, "I'm feeling the workout already, there's no way I could actually climb the way you want to, honeybear."
"It's so exhillerating to climb though." Morganella insisted.
"It's cold and you get shivers. Which is why I knit you all those sweaters."
"And they're very warm, dear." Morganella was quick to reply meanwhile thinking they were too warm for climbing. Although she had to admit they were nice and cosy while walking. And though she'd felt a bit stupid to have maching colours, she had to admit they did look nice together, the bright green complimenting both his and her complexion. 
"And I'm happy that you went climbing with me today." Morganella added, "I just want you to experience the thrill of the climb. The adrenalin rush when you clear a cliff...."
Citrobacter interrupted her with a kiss and smiled.
"Seeing you all passionate is already pretty stimulating to me." He added, "Let's continue, I want to show you something."
Intrigued, Morganella followed as he led her around a bend in the road where the forest gave way to a small field atop a hill. Behind them was the forest and before them a beautiful view of the town. 
"I sometimes come here to relax. I believe it was actually Sodalis who showed me this place."
"It figures he'd know about this place." Morganella countered.
"Let's rest here for a bit while the Chentuu graze."

Meanwhile Erwinia visited Arsenophonus' house, well more like campsite, on the other side of the forest. The place could be called a home in that it was a permanent structure, but the outside looked just like a camp of gypsy wagons. Odd, angled rooms jutted out from all corners with flags, banners and odd signs completing the messy but charming look. People with a romantic soul would definitely love the place but Erwinia didn't quite know how she felt about the place. Sure it was a home, but it wasn't practical and it certainly wasn't luxurious.  And yet she spend more time here than anywhere else, except maybe the studio.
"Welcome my princess." Arsenophonus joked.
"I'm not a princess and you know it." She replied annoyed.
"It's just a term of endearment, Erwinia. I have a gift for you."
"A gift?" 
She knew she would forgive him. She always did. It's not as if they ever argued about anything important. Arsen just seemd to enjoy teasing her until she snapped. One day he would have to stop though or she might leave for good. But he knewher well and she wondered if maybe he planned this entire roller coaster of emotions as well as he played the audience with their music.
"For you." Arsenophonus said, holding out a small brown creature. It seemed to be a lieard of sorts with leathery wings, claws and a muzzle with tiny teeth that looked sharp. it's eyes were green and seemed to burn. 
"I was told he's a firelizard from a foreign world. They're pretty intelligent."

Stunned, Erwinia extended a hand and watched as the firelizard licked it. It didn't seem as if it would bite her and apprently just her thought that he might, filled him with indignation as he let out a loud chirp and a furious shake. He wrestled free of Arsenophonus and crawled on her arm where he nuzzled her ear.
"You better give him a name because I don't think I can return him. He likes you."
"Why would I return him? He seems very well-raised."
Another chirp, this one high-pitched and happy escaped the little guy.
"I'll call you Dan." Erwinia said.
"I also wanted to show you some music." Arsenophonus continued, "I think I need you to make some things work though."
"Worked yourself in a pinch with too many chord changes?" She joked.
"Well you know me..." he admitted.

Proteus took a deep breath and sang the melody that was playing in his head. Klebsiella listened, nodded and then slowly started to add her own harmony around it. Strengthening it and adding depth. All around them lights seemed to glow, pulsing to the metrum. Suddenly one of the lights flashed out of tune.
"Hey!". Proteus complained.
"Sorry, I got a bit distracted." Klebsiella apologised.
"How can you get distracted during singing?"
"Do I need to remind you of the gazillion things left on my to-do list,?"
"But this is important."
"So is everything else on the list."
"So? Hire someone to take some of these things from your shoulders."
"And there's the problem. I want to do it all. I enjoy doing it."
"Control freak." 
"You're one to talk." Klebsiella mock-threw a cushion at her husband.
"Hey, I know how to delegate."
"I seriously doubt it. You give out orders, but you don't delegate. I know you check up on the work the others do for you. I live with you. I know what you're up to."
"Guilty." Proteus grinned. 
Proteus knew he was just as bad as his wife was when it came to the management of their show. It was their baby. Hopefully someday it would get a real-life brother or sister, but for now the show was taking up all their time. The group worked as a single unit and the 8 of them were all pretty easy to be around. But Proteus felt like he needed to be the vision to thrust them forward. And though he wanted no less than perfection, having people distracted just wouldn't do. 
"But it does save me work. Most of the time they do things right." he picked up their conversation.

Meanwhile, in another room of the studio the 8 of them shared for work and living space, Aranicola was creating some origami cranes. She had already made a good number but she needed to add more if she wanted to get to the 1000 that would supposedly grant her wish. With the fine-tuned precision of her gift, she knew perfectly where all the others were. Maybe it seemed like fate had given her the gift to let her find the others, but she'd worked pretty hard to make it seem like they had met at random.
Lately one of the connections that bound her to the others was giving her trouble. Sodalis payed her a great deal of attention, always staying close to her, but he didn't make a move. Had she not given him ample opportunity to make his intentions known? Even without her particular talent she was certain some of the others knew. She'd felt it in the lines as they hummed around her. Should she take the first step? Propositioning a quiet man like Sodalis just felt a bit jarring. She didn't want to risk shattering their connection. 
Sodalis did not notice Aranicola's inner turmoil. He was quietly reading around the corner, generally just being happy to be in her vicinity. Being around her calmed his heart and made him feel content. For now that felt like a big enough gift, asking for her love as well was too much. But like a man in the desert he knew mere drops wouldn't be enough in the long run.
Looking up he suddenly saw a flash of purple. He'd only caught a glimpse of it but it definitely was something living. Trying to find it again, he colsed his book and got up, stepping around the corner and almost crashing into Aranicola... a thing that had happened enervingly often as of late.
Time seemed to freeze as he gazed into her eyes. He felt like taking a sip, or maybe a long drink from her lips. And suddenly the moment broke as a loud barrage of chirps and hisses errupted around them.
"What's that?" Aranicola yelled.
Sodalis stuck out his arm and felt his fingers connect to something warm and smooth.
"It's alive." he said, grabbing the paw of the creature and getting her, because it certainly was a female, to calm down.

After a couple of strokes the winged lizard seemed content to lay itself along his shoulders, curling her tail around his neck.
"I'd say you've gotten a girlfriend." Aranicola said bemused.
Immediately Sodalis felt his cheeks colour as he wanted to admit he wanted her to fill that position.
"I wonder where she came from." he asked.
"The others might know." Aranicola said, "Let's go ask Klebsiella and Proteus, they're downstairs."


Just as Klebsiella, Proteus, Aranicola and Sodalis were discussing the strange winged lizard that had attached itself to Sodalis, Morganella and Citrobacter returned from their walk. 
"What's that?" Morganella asked, pointing at the purple creature.
"We don't know." Aranicola sighed, "We've been trying to figure it out."
The door opened again and in came Erwinia and Arsenophonus with a little brown copy of the purple creature.
"You have one too!" Klebsiella yelped, "Do you know what it is?"
Arsenophonus came a bit closer and examined the purple firelizard.
"Well what do you know, the guy I got the brown one from assured me he was unique."
"Well they are different." Aranicola stated the obvious.
"Apparently they're called firelizards." Aranicola provided helpfully, "sometimes they seem to end up here, appearing as if by magic."
"Magic or not, they seem to really latch on to the person they like." Klebsiella observed.
"Have you given it a name?" Erwinia asked Sodalis, "they seem to like that."
"Not yet. I didn't know what it was."
Proteus looked at him, "So it appears she is yours."
"I think I'll call her Livvy." Sodalis said.
The purple firelizard chirped melodiously, and after a few chirps the brown one added his own voice to the mix.
"They can sing." Citrobacter exclaimed.
Loving all the praise, Livvy detached herself from Sodalis and flew a short lap around the room, letting everybody admire her flashy colour. After which she dove down and rummaged through some packages that hadn't been opened yet. She wiggled in beneath, scratching and clawing and then got out again with a small gem in her hands.
"What's that?" Proteus asked.
He went for a closer look, extending his hand. Livvy dropped the gem into his hand and as it made contact a powerful ripple of magic seemed to draw them all together. 
"Everybody, grab hold of something!" Aranicola yelled as she sensed an unknown connection calling to her.
Grasping for something to hold was futile, the only thing they could still make contact with was each other or the firelizards who had been caught up in the vortex themselves. Unfazed, thes little creatures allowed the thing they called between, to travel them to where they needed to be...

Which was Lantessama Isle where a clutch of gem dragons was waiting for bonds. Read the continuation on the stats pages. 

[Klebsiella] [Aranicola] [Erwinia] [Morganella]
[Proteus] [Sodalis] [Arsenophonus] [Citrobacter]

Lantessama Isle