Monday, September 26, 2011

Birth of the Phantoms

By Animal Jam

Mira, the Sky Mother, was heartbroken after she lost her companion spirit, Zios, the Sky Father. Her feelings of sadness and anger fell to the ground as whisps of black fog, a dark substance that comes from the fabric of time.  These 'tears' of Mira's spirit mixed with the elements of Jamaa and formed the dark mysterious phantoms that haunt this land today. Due to the sadness and anger that they were created from, the phantoms' only goal is to bring chaos and destruction to Jamaa. 
~adapted AJ legend from an ancient Jamaasian text~

Friday, September 23, 2011

Peck's Beginning

By Snowyclaw

Many have heard of the artistic and spunky rabbit shaman, Peck. But where did she come from? How did she get to Jamaa?

Chapter 1
"This is boring," Rose muttered, puckering up her face in a pout.
"Aw come on sis, this is fun!" Peck replied, looking at the colorful sand hopefully. Whiskers quivering in excitement.
"Not for me," Rose grumbled, "I don't like painting, it's pointless! It'll only get washed away by the rain."
"But that IS the point!" Peck exclaimed, sprinkling sand artfully. "Everything is temporary, that's what make life so special. Carrots don't last long, and you still eat them."
"That's cause they taste good!" Rose stuck her tongue out at her sister.
"Well art tastes good to me."
"Everyone says you're just confused," Rose says sulkily, "I'm beginning to agree."
"Just because I wear ear socks and paint with sand doesn't mean I'm crazy!" Peck said, ears twitching with agitation. "There, it's done, what do you think?"
"It looks like a blob."
"Well, I was aiming for a dark shadow of endless space with whisps of dark mist reaching out to tear apart the fabric of time," Peck paused, "but that's close enough."
"Thanks for the explanation." Rose said sarcastically. "Now lets go, we're going to be late for supper."
"Wait up, I think I should sign this one, it really seems...alive." Peck reached her paw into the dust, placing a print at the edge of the sand art. Suddenly she felt a wind rush past, putting her fur on end. It stopped just as suddenly. "Did you feel that, Rose?"
"Feel what? Boredom?"
"No, that wind..." Peck said, looking around confused.
"You really are crazy," Rose giggled, "there's no wind today at all." She bounded off toward the hollow.
Peck looked back at the sand art she had finished, one word appeared in her mind: phantom...

Chapter 2
Peck and her family were scavenging for supper when the wind started, sand billowed up in waves since there hadn't been rain for weeks. Peck stiffened.
"Ma, I think we need to get inside the den," she said nervously.
"Nonsense dear, it's only a little evening breeze," her mother replied, busy digging up some roots.
"What's that?" Rose said abruptly, eyes wide as she pointed at a dark mass on the horizon.
"Get inside everyone," their father said, rigid with shock. Everyone else  hurried into the burrow, but Peck paused. Guided by an unseen force she hopped quickly to her storage of colored sand. She then began her greatest masterpiece; she didn't even know what she had painted until she finished. 
Peck gasped at the beauty of the great heron that stood there in the sand, I didn't paint this myself, she thought. Peck's paws rested on the sand of the painting, which suddenly came alive. A great grey heron rose from the sand, shrouded in magic, but built from sand. The dark mass grew closer, and Peck realized that it was her painting, the phantom, who had risen from the sand as well. Wind buffeted Peck's fur as she crouched in the sand, watching the scene unfold.

Chapter 3
The heron took her talons and raked through the shadowy phantom, dissipating what ever darkness she touched. A scream of rage echoed through the air, Peck's coat stood on end as she shivered, feeling the pure wrath of the phantom. The wind picked up as the heron beat her wings and something started growing between her and the shadow. A dark purple hole opened and spread like liquid shadow. The heron bore down on the phantom, silver talons gleaming. There was a last soul piercing scream before the phantom was engulfed by the shadowy portal, sand closing it off from the world. Slowly the heron gathered herself, and turned towards Peck.
"That, was a phantom young one. One you brought to this world."
"I had no idea," Peck whispered, "all I did was put my paw print on it."
"You are gifted with magic, and so don't fully belong in this mortal realm," the heron said carefully, "I am Mira, a goddess of a magic filled world called Jamaa."
Peck dusted herself off and tidied her ear socks. "So you're taking me there?"
The heron looked slightly put out, as if she wanted to be the one saying that, but nodded slowly. "You would be a welcome member of the group of animal shamans, if you choose to come."
Peck looked around at her home sadly, "I don't belong here, and I guess I always knew that," she looked up at Mira, "I'm ready, Mother Sky."
The heron looked confused for a moment, Did I tell her my other name?, but simply nodded. Peck watched as Mira brushed her wing through the air. Peck gasped, the air rippled. It was as if the heron had brushed away all time and space. The light dark mist spread around them as the stepped through the tear. The hole closed, and another opened with just a wave of the heron's wing. The landscape opened onto the beautiful moonlit canyons, Peck felt the warm night breeze ruffle her fur. She felt warmth flood her soul and heart, "I'm home."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sir Gilbert's Beginning

By Snowyclaw

A great warrior and a caring shaman, Sir Gilbert is a worthy leader of Jamaa. Where did he come from, and how did he become who he is today?

Chapter 1
The night air was heavy and dark, perfect for a hunt. Like a night shadow Gilbert slunk through the undergrowth, stalking a jungle herd. Nocturnal creatures went about their business, their calls echoing into the night. There was no breeze to carry his scent to the unwary jungle deer. Gilbert's claws kneaded the damp soil, getting ready for the pounce. Bringing his powerful haunches under him he crouched like a coiled spring, when suddenly yells brought the night forest to life. Torches lit from all around, encircling the great tiger. Gilbert roared his fury into the night, joining the chaos of noise that had blossomed in the peace. A trap, those filthy humans set a trap. He remembered the night, not long ago when he took humans' animals. I should have learned, Gilbert growled to himself, humans will come back with death. The circle was closing in, the guns and eyes of the hunters shining in the firelight. Gilbert backed to the sloping trunk of a tree and knew what needed to be done. Twisting around he grabbed the trunk with huge paws, claws sinking deep. I thank the spirits for my fortune, he thought, climbing higher and higher up the great tree. Gilbert felt himself running with great speed, though he knew it to be impossible. Wind gave him wings, he felt as if he was running on air. Gilbert saw his life flash by, a life in the jungle, with adventures and mistakes. He felt himself leap into the sky, above the trees, then start to fall. He let out a roar, one of sorrow, rage, and regret. Falling down into a pool of shadow. One last look at the jungle, then embraced into the darkness.

Chapter 2
It was dark, but also light. Warm, but cold. Solid, but shapeless. The spirit-that-was-a-tiger felt openings in the shadow, to worlds unable to imagine. Some of them light, others dark. One called to the spirit, a world of both dark and light, but a new one, one of opportunity. He felt himself pulled to it, like he belonged there. Suddenly he was rising, breaking to the surface of a lagoon. The night greeted him home once again, and on the sand strewn shore there stood other animals. Shamans ready to welcome him to the new land, Jamaa.

The End of the Beginning

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Greely's Beginning

By Snowyclaw

All Jammers know of Greely, the dark wolf shaman, but what was he like in his early years; before magic, before Jamaa.

Chapter 1
The wind ruffled his fur as Greely stood on the grassy hill. Far below was a caribou herd, one that, luckily enough, stumbled right into pack territory. Darting in the shadows were the hunters, the swiftest and strongest of the pack, who brought down the large kill. These were the subordinate, directed by the beta they circled around the sick caribou separated from the herd, then the alpha gave the signal. Greely stepped forward.
"Get back here pup!" Growled the omega.
"I don't take orders from the omega," Greely snapped, glaring at the pale grey wolf. "I'm almost eight moons old, old enough to join in the pack hunts, I'm not a pup anymore."
The wolf winced at the cold fury in the young one's eyes. Legends of the sight, the power to see beyond, flashed through his mind, legends of dark wolves knowing dark magic...
"I'll be beta before you know it, then you'll regret treating me like a pup," Greely stalked off to the cave, joining his sister. Something moved in the corner of his eye, whipping around he found nothing. The omega looked nervous and wouldn't look at him directly.
The rest of the pack returned soon after, giving up meat for those not in the hunt. 
One wolf stood on moon watch as the pack drifted to sleep, Greely slept at the mouth of the den, under the stars.

Chapter 2
It was dark when Greely awoke, but he felt restless. He stepped lightly out of the den, making no sound. Greely murmured a greeting to the moon watcher, but he didn't turn around. Asleep are we? Greely chuckled to himself, ready to pounce on his pack-mate. Then he jumped through him. Yelping in surprise he looked at his paws; they were were made of a dark mist, not solid. His body looked asleep in the den. Is this a dream? Greely wondered. He spent the entire moonrise exploring the territory, never getting tired and never need to pause to catch his breath. Sometimes his mist shape would be wolf, other times a bird, but most of the time a shadow, melting into the landscape. As moonset came he wandered back to the den, gleeful from the freedom he experienced. Suddenly it was there again, something in the peripherals of his vision. He tried to catch sight of it, but it disappeared when he faced it. What if... Greely focused his outer eye on the den, while his inner eye roamed. This was the true sight, seeing things beyond, seeing the fabric of time and space. There was a tear in that fabric, and through it Greely could see dark and light, shadows and mist. He felt pulled toward it, like he was part of it. Looking back to the den he saw his pack and knew he must make a choice. 

Chapter 3
Greely knew where he belonged now. Stepping through the fabric he felt his shape give way, and felt the life he once knew end. Now a shadow in the mist. A grey heron formed from the mist, somehow he  was not surprised.
"What is your business shadow?" The heron murmured.
"I belong here, I am a dark wolf." Greely replied, the heron looked taken aback.
"Then you are the one foretold, welcome to the new land. I am Mira, the Sky Mother."
Greely felt the mist clear and found himself a wolf once more, yet still part shadow. He felt the magic of the Canyons fill his veins, filling him with a powerful energy. He could feel the aura of the world strengthen against his shadow magic, and he knew that his time had come.

The End of the Beginning

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Liza's Beginning

By Snowyclaw

Many of you know of Liza as the kind and caring shaman that first welcomed you to Jamaa, but no one knows of her beginning. It all started when a panda was born in a small bamboo forest, near rural China...

Chapter 1
"Where are you going ma?"
"Liza, it's time you had your own feeding grounds, I can't take care of you anymore."
"But ma..."
"You knew this day was coming, I'm going to leave you here, instead of making you finding your own stead. You should be grateful."
Only because of those humans getting too close, Liza thought. She watched her mother amble away, disappearing through the bamboo. I'm not sure if I'm going to miss her...
Liza spent over a year in her little bamboo forest, inspecting every inch of it, and obseving the curious people that lived nearby. One day Liza heard lound yells and destruction at the edge of the forest. Curious as ever she went to find out what was going on. She found the humans destroying what little land she had.No! They're stealing bamboo! I can't let this happen!Liza was outraged, just because they had strength doesn't mean they should take all the land for themselves! Gathering her strength she went to confront the humans.
"Stop!" Liza yelled. The humans looked up in amazement.
"Stop, you're destroying my home!" She cried out, they didn't seem to understand. A man came with a long pointed stick, holding it like a weapon.
"What are you doing?" Liza growled. Suddenly she felt a fire in her chest, and the world went black.

Chapter 2
Liza felt herself rising, she watched her lifeless body grow smaller and smaller, her spirit rising into the vast expanse of space. She watched Earth, then the Sun, then the galaxy, disappear as she traveled with the speed of light. The stars winked out, one by one, and she found herself suspended in complete dark, or light; somewhere in between.
"This is the world between the worlds," a voice echoed, "I am Father Sky, Zios. Your bravery in your past has brought you here, to a new land, in need of guidance."
"How? I'm only one. What do I do?" said the spirit-that-was-Liza.
"You will know in your heart. Other's will come, but you are the first panda, and will guide the animals,"  the spirit Liza felt his voice reach her very center, warming her, filling her with purpose, "Now open your eyes."
Liza felt the between world slide past her as she opened her new eyes. A grey heron, made out of light and mist, carried her down to the wonderful new world.
"I am Mother Sky, Mira. Here is your new home. Welcome to Jamaa."
Liza found herself standing alone in a forest of bamboo. Walking along the path she found a town filled with beauty and magic. Looking up she saw the glittering forms of Zios and Mira. She smiled.
"I am ready."

The End of the Beginning

The Story

By Animal Jam
And so it was that the Sky Father was named Zios. He created many stars and planets, and set them in motion. But after eons of creation, he became lonely. So he created the Sky Mother, a grey heron, and named her Mira. 

Mira was beautiful and kind and they were very happy together. She loved Zios deeply and often told him how talented he was, encouraging him to create. Together, Zios and Mira created their masterpiece: a lush land filled with oceans, mountains, meadows, and all kinds of plants and animals. They named this special world Jamaa, and for hundreds of years, the world and its animals were at peace. 

But today, all is not well in Jamaa. A mysterious dark force has crept into the land, stealing away animals and ruining the beauty of Jamaa. Only you can help save the animals and restore the world to its glory. Please help, for you are Jamaa's only hope.