Chapter 1:

Hownheart the town of Gems.

The Gems of Hownheart

In a distant land, untouched by modern attires; knights, lords and horses still roamed about. Our story takes place in the kingdom’s most prosperous town. In Hownheart even the poorest of men could afford three meals a day. The town was blessed with an ample supply of precious gems from an underground carven. There were people who hunted for gems. People who cleaned them. People who shaped them and of course, people who sold them. Amber our story’s heroin had a different job. She designed jewelry, and embellished weaponry.

Amber is seventeen years old, with frizzy red hair, freckles, and dark green eyes.
She is different from the other girls of Hownheart. She was explosive, creative, and out spoken. Her childhood friend Garnet would tease her that she would never be married if she continued to act like one of the carven savages. Garnet was like Amber’s twin. He had the same features as Amber, expect his hair was dark red. He was also a foot taller than Amber. The extra foot came in handy in Garnet’s job. He was one of the people who hunted for gems. Unlike an ordinary mine the cravens of Hownheart were occupied by creatures called the carnivis.

This strange race if only in appearance lived up to its name. The town doctor had examined a dead carnivis. It had a human figure. Pale white skin, that had holes placed strategically through its body. Its head had no eyes or ears, and slits for a nose. Two round orbs which appear to be eyes were on each of its shoulders. The mouth had layers of sharp teeth like a shark. Its claws looked just as menacing. In Hownheart gems were discovered. Business were established then the carnivis became less assertive and more aggressive. It soon became too dangerous for miners to mine gems. Thus, people like Garnet were born or rather employed.

Garnet and strapping young men like him would venture into the cravens with miners. They would slay any carnivis who tried to interfere. The miners would bring gems back and the city would prosper. This system was not perfect sometimes miners lose limbs. Other times gem hunters did not come back at all. Amber had lost her mother to childbirth. Her father had died in a hunt when she was only nine. Garnet’s family had taken Amber in. Since then Amber and Garnet were the best of friends. When Garnet was ten he snuck into a hunting party by pretending to be a miner. He had found a rare diamond that glowed in the dark. When it was broken into two pieces the gem would light up, if it was in close proximity to its other half. Amber in the beginning of her embroidering career used the gem to fashion a necklace for herself, and a bracelet for Garnet. Two parts of the same whole.

Amber’s necklace glow whenever Garnet was around. Likewise, the bracelet dimmed when Garnet left Amber’s side. They spend hours playing hide and seek at night. By using the gems light to track one another. Now that their older they now know that this gem is the rarest gem in Hownheart. It is often referred to as the lover’s gem. Couples would wait for years to get a lover’s gem that proved their comment to one another. Needless to say, this made for an awkward conversation. Hence Amber hide her necklace under her shirt, and Garnet hide his bracelet under his amour.

They were both too old for hide and seek but they never took their trinkets off. One day Amber was embroidering a shield, when a demoralized group of miners had crawled up from the carven. One miner deep scratches on his face, anther was missing fingers. Looking through the window she noticed the third miner who was now on a stretcher, had Garnet’s helmet tightly clutched in his good hand. She rushes out shop to question the miner. They told her things she already knew.

The miners were pinned down. Garnet distracted the carnivis and ran off. If he did not make out before dark, he would surely be died. Now as Amber venture close toward the cavern she could feel warmth from the gem light increasing. He was still in there and she had to find him. Before she could think about it Amber grabbed the miners cloak and ran into the cavern. Miners were not as dense as the townspeople made them out to be. No-one would walk into a lion’s den without a way out. Every miner carried some sort of distractionary tool, to keep wondering carnivis away from them, and their haul. Amber remembered the carnivis are extremely sensitive to the light. Like children in the night they cower at the sight of it. Amber reached into the miner’s cloak. He had two flashing bombs and a makeshift firework, tugged into the hood of the cloak.

The previous miners had lit torches which lit the path ahead. The deeper Amber ventured into the cave, the further she went from the safety of torch’s light. Soon Amber found herself engulfed by darkness, unable to see her hand in front of her. After the trial of torch’s light faded Amber could see the glow of her lover’s gem more clearly. Garnet must be close by the glow’s intensity grew as she closed the distance between them. Amber’s focus was broken by the sound of shuffling in the distance.

She muffled the necklace in her hand. Amber thought to herself that there are only two people in this cave, and neither of them could walk on ceilings. Amber huddled in a small craves. She heard that one carnivis could ripped through an entire gem hunting party in under a minute. From the sound of claws impelling the cave’s surface, there were three carnivis heading her way. Now in fetal position Amber thought of how the town’s people would react to finding two lover’s gems on their corpses. The thought of defeat was short lived. Amber was immediately enraged. These carnivis had taken enough from her, they could not Garnet.

She remember the miner’s tools. She buried her necklace to hide her presence. Ahead the cave had diverted into two paths. The carnivis hunting party had hissed to one another as they closed in on Amber. Amber tied the flash bombs to the miner’s raggedy firework. She understood how it worked. You pull the cord and the firework ignites. She wait until they were closer. The carnivis hissed franticly, now sure that their prey was close by. One impatiently dropped from the ceiling. It was an arm’s length away from Amber. It stood up on it hind legs, even in the dark Amber could tell it was at least 7 feet tall.

The carnivis peered down in Amber’s direction, and hissed sporadically. Amber stood still, with one hand she positioned the firework; with the other she held on to the necklace still buried in the dirt. The rustling alerted the carnivis. It positioned its claws around Amber, like child caching a firefly. It took a swipe and grazed Amber’s knee. Amber hunched down and before the carnivis could use the other claw.

She pulled her necklace from the ground. The glow enshrouds her in a warm aura. The carnivis shrieked. It skin began to burn because the close proximity to the light. It tried to back away but amber grabbed its arm; with her free hand, she pulled the cord for the firework. The smell of burned skin filled the air. The firework had gone through one the holes on the carnivis’s body. The creature howled in pain. Amber pushed it back, and it fell to ground. The firework ignited the flash bombs inside of the carnivis.

The inside of the creature’s body momently was completely illuminated. She could see the burns caused by the necklace’s light. The other two carnivis dared not venture any closer. Amber ran to the diverging paths and held the necklace up. It shined brightest on the leftward path she took that one. Now unconfined her necklace illumined her path. Instinctively Amber keep running. She ran until she lost her footing. She had fallen down an underground shift.

Amber felt herself sliding downward. Dirt filled her fizzy hair and blinded her. She held on tightly to her necklace and thought of the irony of fighting off carnivis just to be buried alive. When Amber came too, she notices she had landed on something.

It moaned in and groaned in discomfort. Quickly without hesitation Amber shoved her gem in its face. The gem glow with a new-found radiance. The glow from her necklace was countered by the glow of an object clutched in the creature’s hand. It was Garnet’s bracelet. He had survived, his leg was clearly broken though. He looked dehydrated and was cover in dirt. Amber huddled next to him enclosed in his arms, and whispered. “Tag your it”.

The Gems of Hownheart

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