Now let’s rewind a bit, to a few hours ago, to when Bastian had just fainted. To others it would seem as if Bastian had lost consciousness, but to Bastian something else entirely occurred. What seemed like fainting was, in fact a far different and strange phenomenon.
Just when he was about to go outside his vision blurred and he found himself in a strange place, his entire surroundings were white, it was as if he was in a giant white room, with no end in sight.
After observing his surroundings Bastian noticed something in front of him, it was a large brown table. The table itself was nothing extraordinary…except for the picture of a large coiling dragon on its surface. The dragon was gold and its paws had two claws.
Even though it was a two dimensional drawing, Bastian felt something from the picture, a sense of déjà vu to be more exact. He could not remember where exactly he had seen this dragon.
That’s when it hit him, this dragon looked eerily similar to the one that had destroyed the mountain, where the original owner of this body had been attacked!
Since Bastian now had the memories that belonged to the original owner of this body, he remembered that day. Or rather that moment stood out from all the rest, leaving a big impression on both Bastian and the boy.
The mountain dragon was something Bastian would never forget. An overwhelming sense of clarity made him realize; dragon was alive and this dragon was a picture! These were two very different things, yet both exuded exactly the same presence! It was a feeling that was very difficult to explain.
All Bastian could feel was that this picture and the mountain dragon were related in some way. That’s when it happened, a flood of information entered Bastian’s mind once again. This time it was information on what was occurring, at this moment Bastian remembered the voice that had echoed in his mind just before his vision had blurred.
By bringing together what the voice said and the information in his mind Bastian understood what was going on. It’s just that the sheer amount of information that was now in his head made him speechless.
This is what was revealed to him:
Ambevilius wanted to choose a successor, the method he chose to do it was this; from the millions of descendants he had all over the Sovereign Continent he chose one million. These candidates, or Mark Bearers, must be in the same generation and must have some sort of talent.
After the one million have been selected, the competition will begin. The winners will be the first people to slay or subdue a thousand Mark Bearers. These people then move on to the next round.
Every time you slay or subdue a Mark Bearer, you will gain a chance gift. This gift can be either a technique, spell, rare item or even an increase in your talent. Most times it will even be nothing!
The more difficult the task, the higher grade the reward will be.
If a Mark Bearer chooses to become the servant of another Mark Bearer, then it is called a successful Subduction, one cannot force a Subduction, and this has to come from the Mark Bearer’s heart.
Any attempt to subdue a fellow mark bearer through means such as black mail or torture is unlikely to succeed, because if even a hint of unwillingness remains in the victim, the Subduction is not complete. The success of a Subduction is graded on the willingness of the servant to become yours, the higher the success, the greater the reward.
Titan’s Marks also have grades, depending on the host’s talent, with One Claw being the lowest and Five Claws being the highest. Most Mark Bearers are One to Three Claw Mark Bearers, with four being rare and five being one in a thousand. The success rating of your Subduction also depends on the amount of Claws your opponent has. The more Claws they have the higher the level of your success.
Rewards from killing a Mark Bearer also depends on two factors; one being the talent or number of Claws your opponent has, the other being how many Mark Bearers your opponent has subdued or killed.
Also, once you have killed a Mark Bearer, their talent becomes a part of you, the higher their Claw rating the more talent you receive.
The more people your opponent has under him or her, the higher your success and the greater your rewards.
Once a Mark Bearer becomes a servant to another Mark Bearer they are no longer a Mark Bearer, they become a Custodian.
All of the Custodians under a Mark Bearer must become part of a House, with the head of the house being the most trusted Custodian under the Mark Bearer in that particular House. This position is not something the Mark Bearer can change. The Mark will delve into the Mark Bearer’s heart and will decide who the Mark Bearer trusts the most.
The head of the house is a Custodian called the Minister Prime, under the Minister Prime are other Ministers, under Ministers are Reverents, under Reverents are Clerks, and under Clerks are ordinary Custodians.
A group of Custodians and their Clerk are known as a House Scale, a group of Clerks and their Reverent are a House Claw, and a group of Reverents and their Minister are a House Fang. Any Reverents, Clerks or Custodians directly under a Minister Prime are part of the Prime House Fang and enjoy special privileges.
Each rank comes with its own advantages, which will be explained when the one receiving this information becomes such a person. The higher the rank the more advantages one gains.
Ministers are chosen by both the Mark Bearer and Minister Prime but all the ranks below Minister are chosen completely by their corresponding Ministers. A Minister has complete control of their House Fang.
The Minister Prime will need permission from the Mark Bearer every time they want to change the rank of anyone in another person’s House Fang, and the Mark Bearer cannot change any ranks within his House directly, they require their Minister Prime for this.
The Prime House Fang is under the direct control of the Minister Prime. The Mark Bearer can do nothing to a member of a House Fang, except remove him (or her) permanently from his or her house, this decision is irreversible. Whereas the Minister Prime can add anyone to their Prime House Fang with or without the Mark Bearers permission.
If you’re a Mark Bearer you can control your House as thus: you can add or remove any people to your House, except for those in the Prime House Fang. Allocation will need the consent of yourself and one Minister, otherwise they will merely be an ordinary Custodian, without a Fang, Claw or Scale.
You can also kill anyone in your House, if a Custodian breaks a House rule and you have indisputable evidence, you have grounds to kill them without reprisal.
Since the Mark can read your mind you cannot fool it, if you kill a house member who has not broken any House rule you will lose some talent or you can choose who this punishment will affect in your House. There are five rules which all members know and follow, three invisible ones only you and your Minister Prime know, and only one that you know.
The higher the quality or quantity of Custodians within your House, the more talent you have. The area in which this talent is, depends on the members in that House.
A Mark Bearer can have a maximum of five Fouses, the amount of Houses you can have depends on your talent and the number of Claws.
Each Claw represents the number of Houses you can potentially have. All of the Custodians under you have a Soul Link to you, if they even think of rebelling against you they will experience unimaginable pain, once this happens you as the Mark Bearer will be notified and have the option of killing them on the spot, but once this happens their talent is lost to you forever.
The Claws are shown on the drawing on the table, any rewards will show up on the table.
Once you have killed or subdued a thousand Mark Bearers you become a Successor, a Successor has many more privileges than other ordinary Mark bearers. The information on Successors only becomes available to a Mark Bearer once they become one.
To create a House, touch a Claw on the dragon that is on the table and operate it by will. Before a House is made you must create a name and purpose for this House.
The name you have chosen will affect every member of this House in regard to the purpose, the quality and purpose of the House depend on the talent of the first House member.
Every Mark Bearer is required to create at least one House, they cannot leave this Mark Zone until they have made at least one House. Your first Custodian will automatically go to this House, the rest in the future can be allocated by the Mark Bearer.
After ingesting this information Bastian stood up and realized the severity of the events that had transpired. Shrugging helplessly, Bastian moved toward the table. He pressed his hand and followed the instructions in his mind. He just wanted to leave this creepy place, so he randomly picked a House name and a cool sounding purpose. He chose a name he had heard during his time on Earth whilst travelling the world.
“I name my first House Umtunzi Welanga, its purpose shall be to achieve the impossible with a spirit as indomitable as the Sun.”
Once he had said this, Bastian experienced an odd sensation, he suddenly gained the ability to perceive both what was in this room and what his real body was experiencing, and it was an indescribable experience.
It was at this time he suddenly heard voices talking, he decided to remain in the Mark Zone and listen to what was happening outside. It was at this moment that the Captain asked Ben for his opinion
This lead to the current predicament. Bastian had already left the Mark Zone, but his eyes were still closed, in this odd situation, and after hearing the discussions the mercenaries had, Bastian put two and two together and realized a very important fact, he was going to be sold to a slave merchant!
In the spacious white room which Bastian had just left, the dragon picture materialized and came to life. As soon as it did, it bowed its head to a misty black silhouette of a man, which appeared from nowhere. The dragon spoke first.
“Greetings master, I have urgent news to report.”
“Speak,” beckoned the silhouette.
“This Mark Bearer has created a House named in the language of the Earthen Sages!” said the dragon, somewhat high pitched, clearly showing it’s excitement.
“Oh, how interesting. It would seem I have chosen rather an interesting lad. What name did the boy choose for his House?”
“Umtunzi Welanga, Master. Its purpose is to achieve the impossible with a spirit as indomitable as the Sun.”
“Hahahahaha.” The silhouette laughed as soon as he heard the dragon’s response. “What an interesting name, it truly fits its purpose. I dare say this is the most impressive House name yet.”
“Master I know not what these words mean, all I can tell is that it is the language of the earthen sages.”
The silhouette knew what the dragon was saying, the dragon was curious as to what the name meant.
“Little dragon, words have power, especially names and especially in the language of the Earthen Sages. Its meaning should not me mentioned lightly. I can definitely tell you that this boy knew what these words meant.
If you’re curious you can ask him yourself! I’m more curious about how a mere mortal knows such an ancient tongue. Excellent work, as your reward, I permit you to come before the boy once before he becomes a Successor. Is there anything else?”
“No Master that is all this servant has to say.” Immediately after the silhouette disappeared, the dragon raised its head and snorted in disdain.
It did not see how allowing itself to show before its Mark Bearer is a reward, when he only has a rating of Two Claws. But it was curious. Just how did a mere human know a tongue so ancient that even it did not know?