- Crystal Dragon
Crystal Dragon クリスタル☆ドラゴン Genre Fantasy, Historical, Adventure Manga Written by Yuho Ashibe Published by Akita Shoten Demographic Shōjo Magazine Mystery Bonita Original run 1981 – ongoing Volumes 25 tankōbon, 15 bunkoban
Crystal Dragon (クリスタル☆ドラゴン) is an ongoing historical fantasy manga series by Yuho Ashibe. It has been serialized by Akita Shoten in the monthly shōjo manga magazine Mystery Bonita since 1981, and collected in 25 bound volumes as of 2009. Set in Ireland and Roman Britain, it is the story of a black-haired girl named Alian (known as the Silver Wheel) and her fight against Bara Evil-Eyes, the Gothic warlord who destroyed her home tribe. Joining her in the fight are Henruda, the daughter of a Celtic chieftain, and Legion, the Silver Knight.
Arianrhod, a dark-haired, green-eyed “changeling” (Celts were light haired people, so if a child was born with a really dark hair, they believed that elves/fairies came and exchanged the baby with their own), with basic druidic training, starts on a quest to find the fabled crystal dragon to get help to revenge her clan that was destroyed by Balor/Bara/Baragh of the Evil Eyes. A fantasy adventure that incorporates many of the Celtic beliefs and magic, while at the same time, retains the flavour of a “real” thing.
The story began when a girl called Arianrhod was one day "named" by a mysterious traveller - Legion. To be given one's own "name" is a very important matter in life because the "name" reveals one's own "self." To be taken control of that "name" is to submit the very soul of his/her beings. The one who knows the "name" can have the absolute power over that person. The traveller with shining silver hair is called Legion. After naming Arianrhod, he gives Arianrhod a dwarf-made circlet for her keeping.. Arianrod belonged to the Grian Conor tribe, lived in Erin island (Ireland - consisted of Celtic societies). She became an apprentice to the druid Driscoll.
Wijnruit/Henruda, is the youngest daughter of the Grian Connor tribe's chieftain, and is of the same age as Arianrhod, as both are of different characteristics, they rarely get along together. Their quests started when their tribe was attacked by the Domnyu Gwan tribe, led by their one-eyed and ruthless chieftain, Baragh. Arianrhod was saved by Djin, king of the fire spirits, at Driscoll's behest before he died. Wijnruit and other survivors were taken as slaves to the Ghost Valley, where Baragh lived.
With the help of Paralda, king of the wind spirits, who imparted his name to be in her control, Arian, in the guise of a missing aristocratic Roman girl, ventured into the Ghost Valley to kill Baragh. Unexpectedly, Baragh became attracted to her, for he usually preferred men. Elata, Baragh's druidess sister, and also Glivis, Baragh's personal servant/lover, were suspicious of Arian. They put the one-eyed Baragh to sleep, to awaken his two-eyed darker being. Arian, by then blinded by the two eyes of the darker Baragh, with the help of a little Viking slave boy, Bori, managed to stab Baragh with a dagger and escaped the Ghost Valley with the help of Jin. The two-eyed darker Baragh is immortal with black blood. Wijnruit was forced to disclose Arian's real identity, as well as to yield her name to be controlled by Baragh. Also to ensure of her revealing Arian's whereabouts and further manipulating her, Baragh placed a drop of his black blood on her forehead.
Wijnruit and Bori were released as planned and soon met up with Arian. Arian who was still blind was accompanied by a unicorn, sensed there was a sinister stigma on Wijnruit's forehead though it couldn't be seen. They were then attacked by a chimera, sent by Baragh. The unicorn destroyed the chimera but vanished also as it's purity was contaminated by the chimera's blood.
There Arianrod and Wijnruit vowed to journey together to seek help in their revenge on Baragh. From then on in every place they went to, conflict would followed them. Legion, the silver warrior from the Crystal Palace was also seeking a girl predicted by the Crystal Dragon that lived inside the Crystal Hill to conquer the lurking evil, would always watching Arian's progress from a distance. With Paralda and similar beings, would avail themselves to assist her. Meanwhile Glivis was ordered by the one-eyed Baragh to bring her back alive. In secret, Elata bid Glivis to kill Aryan instead and gave him the dagger that Baragh was stabbed with to point out the location of the drop of black blood on Wijnruit's forehead.
First, Arian and Wijnruit came to the Hening tribe whose chieftain was Adley Mirhar, he was the acclaimed seer and minstrel. The tribe was soon eradicated by Baragh's forces and Mirhar killed. Arian & Wijnruit managed to escape into a mystical land through Legion's and Mirhar's contrive. After Mirhar's burial, Bori accompanied Legion. Until Arian could see again can they leave the mystical land. They ended up at some shore farther away from their homeland, and where they ran into Glivis. To escape capture, Arian made an illusion trick that led Glivis away from their intended getaway boat.
In order to seek revenge, 'The Wolf', Razmor & other surviving Hening tribal members smuggled themselves into the Ghost Valley. There Razmor was chosen by Elata (who feared the two-eyed Baragh she created), as Baragh's new lover. Razmor intended to use this chance kill Baragh but failed and allowed to return among his companions.
Arian and Wijnruit came to the Ikeni tribe. They met Kia and Ilan. Kia, another girl trained by a druid, had the same black coloured hair as Arian. It was said that a girl with hair like that must be a changeling switched at birth by the fairies (The Celts mostly are of fair hair like Wijnruit, the Romans are mostly black, Legion with silver hair and Glivis with red hair). Ilan was an Ikeni's warrior who also a protector to Kia. The Ikenis took up arms against the Romans to be independent from the Roman's Imperial dominance. They successfully captured a Roman town. Aryan found a surviving Roman child and became his protector. Ilan who loved Arian offered her to adopt the boy as their child after the war ended. Wijnruit who loved Ilan became jealous, as each time she shown negative emotions, such as jealousy, the blood stain on her forehead reacted revealing her presence to Glivis.
Arian managed to save Pablius Antonius, a Roman aristocrat whose daughter was missing at sea, it was in her guise that Arian assumed when entering the Ghost Valley. Also managed to find a protector for the Roman child. With speedy reinforcements, the Romans ended the Ikeni's uprising. Wijnruit was grief-stricken when Ilan was killed when he went to save Arian. Glivis managed to save Arian from the fire, as he gave his word to Ilan not to harm her while they are at war with the Romans. The girls were saved by Pablius Antonius. In order to seal off the 'wound' on Wijnruit's forehead that has been manifesting her and draw in evil beings. Arian used the circlet given to her by Legion at the time he named her, it also by then had already changed into many shapes during her journey.
Baragh by then decided to marry a daughter of one of his cousins, Una, a 13-year-old girl, willingly sacrificed as her father feared Baragh. Razmor was very angry because he pitied Una.
Arian and Wijnruit thought that if they could go to Rome, they might gain greater force of the Roman Emperor to defeat Baragh. So they set sail for Rome. On that Roman ship, was a galley slave, Soril, famously known as a Viking warrior of the thousand wounds. Their route for Rome ended with the Vikings attack on that ship. Arian saved Soril from his chains. Soril in turn saved Arian from drowning. The two girls were taken to the Vikings' land. Soril had Wijnruit to serve his mother who adored her. Arian was placed to serve the tribe's druidess and Soril undertook to train her to be a female-warrior. Chaos began to spread when a slave girl who accompanied Wijnruit was savagedly killed when they went to the river to bathe. Wijnruit could only be the culprit. Arian then noticed that the circlet on Wijnruit was missing. Wijnruit later told her that she had it removed to wash her hair and remembered nothing after that. Arian then seek for the circlet, even went into fairy land, and accompanied by Girs, Soril's cousin, who was frail in health. Girs liked Arian. In the fairy land Arian was overjoyed to meet Legion again. She was told by the old fairy that the circlet is now in the Crystal Dragon's keeping. Arian was very vexed to hear that, for she now had no choice but to go to the Crystal Dragon for it.
Una was traumatised when Baragh shown her her father's head, and shown not to be as strong compared to Wijnruit. Razmor and Una are often in each others company and came love to each other. And Baragh often went off on his conquests. Una was then found to be with child, believed the baby was Razmor's, they tried to escape. But Baragh had already knew all along. Razmor had Baragh's drink poisoned but it didn't have any effect on Baragh. Razmor died and Elata conjured the spirit of Adley Mirhar to reborn in his body and he revived as minstrel and seer who does not recognize Una.
Wijnruit became Soril's wife, but she had to follow Arian to the North to find the circlet. In the journey Arian saved Glivis from being frozen to death. Glivis swore that he would not kill Arian until she found the circlet. They sailed to the Island of Fire & Ice. They met the image of Legion there. Legion led them to the Dragon. Arian found a dragon-shaped stick which was a druid staff and also her circlet.
Meanwhile, Soril left his chiefdom to follow the two girls, accompanied by Bori to the South to meet Legion on the same island. Soril was overseen by Legion to defeat 'his developing son' as the only way to save Wijnruit. But Soril who first thought he was tricked to kill Wijnruit instead, was furious with Legion and refused the sword he attained from that battle. After revived Wijnruit, and before he departed with them, Legion told Soril that the sword was his by fate (it would appears whenever he needed it).
Arian and Glivis were thrown to Alecia after that event and worked for Efidel, a half Roman-Celt merchant. Arian learned Latin, was attentively lavished by Efidel's mother and servants. Glivis also helped in the trade. They were approached by a young priestess. Arian did not suspect that she was of an evil spirit in the dead girl's body. She entrapped them to view whatever they wished in her seeing-bowl. Arian saw that Wijnruit was happy with Soril. Glivis saw that Baragh had Mirhar as his lover and a dark sinister horse named Fire Sword as his steed, that Glivis realised he was forgotten, yet he stay loyal to Baragh. Arian again was trapped by the priestess and almost collapsed in offering too much blood in the seeing-bowl. As she wanted to see how Wijnruit fared once again, for by now Soril had sailed away on business and left her with Bori. A druid from the Seven Sleeping Islands came to her help, and advised her to use her piece of Dragon stick to fight the evil spirit manifesting the air. Arian's image tried to remove the source of evil in the priestess's necklace that linked from their present location to the Ghost Valley. The priestess resisted until Glivis finally killed her.
At Baragh's place, after the black steed was born to a normal mare, any human baby born from thereon all developed into strange half creatures. Even Elata felt that evil had invaded the valley, although she cannot overcome it, she did not regret summoning it in order to empower her frail brother, Baragh, so that he would succeed as chieftain after their father. While Una feared for her child, she still believed it was Razmor's child. But Elata changed such hope by pouring Baragh's red blood and her own over Una's womb after putting her to sleep.
Wijnruit was very angry when she heard from Bori about Soril's carrying on with women, after he left. She decided to take the next ship to follow him. But was deceived and the circlet was taken from her. Without the circlet to seal the evil presence from her forehead again took over Wijnruit. From then on she existed a seer to the prominent patrons, even to Emperor Nero of Rome.
On the journey to home, Efidel and his train were attacked by bandits and killed. Soril and Glivis got to know each other at the attacked place looking for Arian. But Arian was taken, along with the remaining survivors of Efidel's train to the bandit's hideout, after fighting like a frenzy and almost died because of her wounds. With Paralda's help her wounds healed quickly. Arian was then forced to follow an old matriarch inside a hill. She found the image of sleeping Legion there - the place was known as A Sleeping Young Man's Dream Crystal Palace - and lost her piece of Dragon Stick. She was helped and her injuries healed by the dwarves after killing the spirit of the mother of the old woman who was a vampire to the dwarves. The dwarves promised to find her Dragon Stick and give it back to her wherever she was.
The valley of Baragh became alive with unspeakable sinister beings. The four strange children creatures that are always present to protect Baragh now could help him on his hunting and destroying sprees. Also time had come for Una to give birth.
After Arian returned to the bandits' hideout, she was sold in Rome as a slave. She was bought to be trained as a gladiator. All of this was planned by Soril. They attended a festival at the Emperor's palace. It was there that they were all united: Arian, accompanied by a mysterious lad named Alanus who wanted to attack Wijnruit, Glivis who recognized the evil-spirit of the priestess in Wijnruit, Soril who wanted to find his wife, Wijnruit, Bori, and Legion.
This is the end of volume 14.
The story continues to volume 24 so far (ongoing).
- Alian(Aryan, Aryanrod; depends on country translation): The heroine of the story. Her name means The Silver Wheel. Aryanrod was a little girl of Grian Conor tribe, lived in Erin island (it must be Ireland - with the Celtic people). She became a pupil of the druid Driscoll. Later became a powerful magic wielder.
- Heinruda(Wijnruit; Depends on country translation): Friend of Alian and also Alian's tribal chieftain's daughter. Later become a wife to Soril. She accompanies Alian through her journey
- Legion: The Silver Knight who act alongside the elves and other magical beings, was the one who named Alian. "He" mostly appears in the later volumes, as throughout the story he appears as Legion's Spirit, not the real him.
- Bara the Evil-Eyes(Balor; Baragh; Depends on Country translation): the chief of Goth tribe. He wants to conquer all the tribes of Europe and almost attacks the Roman Empire.
- Soril the Barbarian: A mighty warrior, and assumptive chieftain of a viking tribe, was also a roman galley slave until Alian sets him free.
- Bori: the chief of Goths The boy Alian met in the ghost valley, he help her flee from Bara.
- Glivis: Bara's loyal servant, his quest was to bring Alian back to Bara.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.