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Empire of Halgia

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 dragon's hidden sun, Blazeh, YOU
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DM me on Discord before hopping in! I have a general idea of where I want this thread to go <3

PLAYERS INVOLVED:
@Verridith

SETTING: Lost Light Forest on the southern edge of Halgia.

WEATHER: A large and ferocious magestorm brews across the sky, sending sheets of energy-rain down upon the water. Though it hasn't reached land yet, it soon will. Multicolored fog crawls across the water, crackling with untamed magic.

TIME:
60 days behind! Evening.

CHARACTERS INVOLVED:
Atticus, Arctus (Blazeh)

This post has been edited by Verridith: Apr 13 2018, 04:40 PM

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
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It'd been some time before they had been able to stand beneath the trees together again. Turmoil had gripped Umbra after a Beast had killed several dragons and their riders - the Black Knights were still nursing their wounds, even as Valkyries swung closer than was comfortable, through the center of Lost Light Forest. It had been difficult to arrange a meeting under such circumstances, where none could find them from light or dark.

Arctus was a Black Knight of Umbra; a dragonrider who donned the black armor and rode a dark dragon, fighting for the Fallen Halgians whom he had been with since birth. Atticus was a Halgian, a disenchanter from Illus-Adamar - no warrior, not in the slightest. The two were incredibly different, and yet for years they had been the best of friends, even if their respective peoples might not agree with such a friendship.

"I don't see how they'll be able to miss us for too much longer," Arctus was saying. He was taller than his friend by a few inches, with silvery blue eyes and black hair shaved on either side, though long in the back. He wore thick black armor, with a deep blue gem in the breastplate, matching two smaller ones on each bracer and greave - protective charms against the magestorms, so that moving through their ferocity would not affect and change him. He wore no jewelry, and had only a large broadsword at his back, as well as several small pouches around his belt. Standing with his arms crossed, he looked down at his companion, expression grim.

Atticus shook his head. He sat crosslegged on the ground, hands clasped in front of him. "I've been trying to divert their attention, but the Valkyries have stopped paying attention to me. And Zenobia has been too busy to talk to in private." He sighed. "Alaric is a strong leader, I know. But are Umbra's protections enough? The Valkyries have been growing stronger and more numerous, of late. I fear soon, they may act even without the instruction of our Empress."

He was thinner and leaner than his older Fallen friend. Atticus wore divine metal armor, blessed white, with gemstones to protect him much like Arctus', shimmering with reflections of the chaotic, colorful storms that crashed down upon the sea and raged in the skies. A winged helm sat beside him, and no weapon he carried, save for a small dagger on his belt. His hair was a light gold and thickly braided, and his eyes a shade lighter than Arctus'. The young man wore golden earrings and a slender necklace, and when he looked up, he played with a ring on one finger nervously.

Two horses stood tethered underneath the dark, twisted trees, looking around nervously; one was a celestial warhorse with a pelt of midnight blue and a mane and tail of white, eyes and hooves of the same color, back and chest speckled in silver. The other was a middling cross, a grey horse who was old enough to be purely white, though dark eyes swirled a deep, intelligent brown. Both war tack that had the same protective gems on them, and each gelding flicked their ears back as thunder rumbled overhead.

The storms had yet to touch down here today; clouds had intermixed with the violent churning of twisted magic overhead, its array of endlessly-changing colors swirling inside the dark gray like spirits in a scrying orb. Over the ocean, visible from the forest's edge, curtains of color rained down upon the distant water, like rainbows warped into unnatural, falling fire. A lightning bolt, bright crimson, shot through the evening sky to the far, far south; it caught Arctus' brief attention, before he looked back away.

With a sigh, he rested a hand on the mottled wood of the nearest tree, eyes wandering into the depths of the forest. It was hard to traverse the Lost Light; even for those used to it. So closely the trees grew that paths through needed to be carefully maintained, lest the overabundant undergrowth and ever-growing branches sealed the way forever. The canopy was thick and dense, leaves so dark a green they were black, and one could only see so far for lack of light.

"We'll find a way," Arctus said quietly. "We have to. Thank you for telling me, Atti; you risked everything for this news. I'm sure Highlord Alaric will be pleased to know..." He shrugged then. "Or at least if not pleased, content that we have more information than we did."

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
  Quote
Running. Fleeing. Escaping. It was a constant of her life. But this fateful eve, the things Noe were running from were imminent, tangible, and on her heels.

Gasping for breath, the cloaked and masked, girl with the lavender dragon scales ran as fast as she could, like a blur as she ran through the Lostlight forest like a streak. But given her diminuitive 5’1 form and the nature of her predator, she simply was not fast enough. A sabretoothed deathcat was closing in on the young dragonness girl.

Reiatsu gathered into her fingertips, as she unleashed a stray stream of lightning - streaking past and barely grazing the lion’s face - causing it to back a few steps - the streak blazed between the trees and struck a tree trunk near the two halgians, setting it ablaze. The rain, even infused with reiatsu, still managed to put out the blaze quickly enough.

The girl collapsed to all fours - the gashes on her arms and side had bled far too much, and she was out of breath - that stream of lightning, while impressive, was all she had. Her breathing was labored, as she rested on her hands and knees, futilely attempting to catch her breath before her foe closed in on her. The deathcat - not free of wounds itself, was insistent on getting what it came for. It prepared to pounce.

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That was loud.

Atticus startled so badly he fell over, scrambling to get out of the way; both horses spooked and bolted, racing past the two Halgians and off along the coast. Arctus, grim-faced as ever, pulled a sword and took a step forward to defend his friend -

- and that's when the Fallen saw the little girl. And the ungodly, magestorm-tainted deathcat behind her.

He didn't think; he reacted. Hefting the sword, he shifted stance and threw it as hard as he could, just as the creature pounced...

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
  Quote
The sword embedded itself into the creature's ribs in mid-air. It landed short of the wounded girl, causing it to stumble and falter. It turned to Arctus, and let out a mighty roar, the Deathcat quite clearly ticked and provoked by the audacity of the Fallen!

...And also quite wounded. It stumbled soon after the mighty roar - something vital had been hit. Which organ, it was unclear what. It stalked after the Fallen...

The little girl looked up, eyes bleary from her own wounds. She lifted her arm, fingers crackling with reiatsu. Her arm trembled. A whimper escaped her lips - and the spell fizzled out.

Meanwhile, the Deathcat continued its approach. The magestorm's taint had empowered it just enough for a final attack. It leapt at Arctus, sword still embedded in its side.

The little girl shrieked in horror. It was then another tremendous blast of lightning flashed out from her fingertips - the sword drawing the lightning bolt and sending the reiatsu coursing throughout the deathcat.

However, although the deathcat was fried, its limp mass - probably-corpse given that it was already dying - was still flying right at Arctus.

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There was no time to evade - all he had time for was a single step back - and then suddenly a loud roar filled the clearing, echoing out to the sands of the sea. Wingbeats blew back the branches and claws closed around the dead creature, slamming it to the ground not a few feet from both Halgians, as Arctus lifted an arm to shield his eyes.

"Dammit, Phant, you could have warned me," the Fallen sputtered, stumbling a bit as he regained his balance. The Heartwoodian Black smirked, scarlet eyes amused, but all amusement was lost when the dragon noticed what Arctus started for. "Stay with Atti, I'll check the girl."

"Where did she come from?" the Black rumbled. "Who was she with? She is just a child, it seems."

"Yeah, and being chased by a goddamn meltcat," the rider muttered. He knelt beside the girl, looking her over. "On second thought, Atti! Get over here!"

The Halgian gave his Fallen friend a mortified look. However, he rose and walked stiffy over, eyes darting around for more tainted deathcats. "Can you heal her?" Arctus asked. He shook his head, and the rider cursed. "Dammit... I can't, and-"

"You have to take her to Umbra," the Halgian said, swallowing hard. Both exchanged glances; both knew what that meant. "You have to, Arc. There's no choice."

"Hey, can you hear me, little girl?" the Fallen asked, inwardly wondering who - and more importantly, what - she was. She seemed to have... dragon features. Some sort of magestorm-twisted hybrid? "Wake up!"

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
  Quote
While her arms and legs were decidedly draconian, her delicate, elven flesh was pale, and her form was fragile and humanoid. Most odd of all was her midnight blue mask - that of the Nzanis, and seemingly fit for the gold circadian crown, meeting in a symbol - a white, serpentine dragon peeking its head out from behind a black eclipsing circle. The right eyehole was encircled by an upright silver five-pointed star - the left eyehole engulfed by a blazing orange flame.

The unprotected bits of her arms and her midsection had been carved up by the deathcat - who had seemingly become a meltcat in more than just slang from her mighty lightning bolt. In spite of the wound she dealt, she was fading - her pale skin turning even paler.

The words the Halgian, Heartwoodian Black, and Fallen spoke were going by too fast for her to process, her mind hazy with fatigue and terror, gaze woozy from adrenaline and blood loss.

“P-please help me,” she whispered - the voice seeming to reverb through the mask. Looking closely, Arctus could see her pupils were dilated with fear - whether of Arctus, of the deathcat, or of being upon death’s door, it was hard to tell. In spite of fear, she clutched at his dark breastplate.

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There was nothing more that tore at the Fallen like a child in need; any child. He looked up at Atticus helplessly, as the disenchanter shook his head. "Just take her to Umbra, Arc,I don't care. She needs to."

"Bear," the dragon suddenly rumbled in warning. "More meltcats. We need to move before they get here."

He cursed, and stood, picking the little girl up as gently as he could. "Atticus, ride Phant and take the girl," he said, as the Black dipped his shoulder for ease of access. The Halgian grimly took the nzani-circadian, and climbed onto Phantasm's back (with the dragon's help; he had never been on a dragon before). "I'll take the horses, and lead the melts off."

"But..."

"Phant, protect them," he said, taking a step back. Atticus gave him a fearful look. "Go!"

And the dragon pushed off. Just as his black-scaled form disappeared over the treetops and Arctus swung up onto the back of his warhorse, three deathcats came into view, their features mutated almost beyond recognition - as if they had been melted into other species... hence the name 'meltcat'. He spurred his horse on, tugging on the other's reins, as the creatures snarled and gave chase...

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
  Quote
The young nzani-circadian girl clutched at whatever her lavender-scaled claw-hands could grasp on Atticus, the blood dripping from her form staining his garb. She shut her eyes tightly, flinching at the sudden motions of the Heartwoodian black, curling up in a nigh fetal position as she wrapped her cloak around herself tighter, her dragon-like tail binding the cloak to her. Through the ‘eyes’ of the mask, Atticus could see terror and trauma in her eyes in spite of her secure grip on him.

She dared not speak and anger her savior, and simply held tight.

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It was halfway through the flight that Phantasm gave a jerk in the air; he snarled and fell several feet in the air, before surging back up in the sky. Atticus held the girl close, terrified beyond words, fearfully wondering if the Black would drop them somewhere in the sky. "Damn him!" the dragon snarled, looking back where he had flown.

"Wh-Why, what happened?" the Halgian asked, glancing down at Noe in his arms. The child was still alive... for now.

"Arctus cut me off," Phantasm snarled. But the Black's voice was strained; he was rife with worry. "He cut contact!"

Oh no. Atticus knew what that meant; and how bad it could be. He had to stifle his own worry for his friend and shook his head, swallowing hard. "It'll be okay," he called to the dragon, as Umbra finally came into view. "Bear'll be fine, you'll see! He can fight... really well, can't he? You know that, Phant!"

But would he be? Against mutated deathcats?

"It'll be okay," he said, tone quieter. He looked down at the circadian-nzani, hoping she would survive. "It'll be okay..."

~

Moments later, the Heartwoodian Black flew through the barrier and out over the courtyard. Multiple other Blacks greeted him, but rumbled hellos and murmured greetings quickly turned into snarls of surprise as they realized the ones on his back were not Fallen, and Arctus was nowhere to be found.

"I need a healer!" Phantasm bugled, landing as gently as he could. Atticus, nervous as a grounded bird, slid off of the Black's shoulders and to the ground, holding the little hybrid close. The Black's roaring voice echoed around the courtyard. "Do not harm the Halgian, and get me a healer at once! These are friends! Harm them, and you harm me - I will end anyone who lays a finger upon them! Now give me a healer!"

ooc;
@Fyfergrund you can drop Alaric in any time!

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
  Quote
For three days following the battle with the great beast, Alaric had remained unconscious, severely weakened. Kasarial, never the most even-tempered, had been so tightly wound that few dared to approach her any closer than was absolutely necessary, be they Fallen or dragon. Even after the Highlord awoke, she had been in an ill temper, insisting he be left alone to recover, scarcely even tolerating the presence of healers, barely eating or sleeping as she kept a close watch over Alaric.

He had finally managed to coax her to get some rest, and she had slipped into a fitful slumber when Phantasm arrived, calling for a healer, and threatening harm to any who would harm the Halgian he had brought with him. At once, the great Black was wide awake, and furious. She bellowed her rage as she dove off of her high perch near the top of Umbra, and dove to the ground. Fallen and dragons alike scrambled to clear a place for her to land, in no mood to get in her way.

She paid them scarcely any heed as she landed and stalked towards Phantasm as a deep, rumbling snarl sounded deep within her chest. She fixed the smaller, younger dragon with an accusing glare. "You dare bring one of their kind here, into our very home? And threaten any who would act to protect us?" she snarled. |Kasarial.| She abruptly tore her gaze away from Phantasm as the gentle mind-voice reached her, and gazed anxiously until she spotted Alaric, slowly making his way through the parting crowd, flanked by a cordon of black-armored guards. She stepped back to allow him to approach, then whipped her head around to shoot a savage glare at Phantasm. "If your Halgian is deemed to be a threat, I will kill him even if I have to tear my way through you first," she hissed.

Alaric, for his part, looked much calmer than his draconic bond partner, if much more weary. "Somebody summon a healer," he ordered softly before he came to a stop before Phantasm while behind him calls for a healer were echoed, calmly but sternly meeting the dragon's eyes. "Now, do you care to explain why you have seen fit to come here without your rider, bearing an enemy of our kind right into our very stronghold?" he asked, his soft voice betraying nothing more than mild disapproval.
^
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The circadian dragon winced at the other black's harsh snarling, and lifted up a shaky arm, her hand crackling with sparks of reiatsu, ready to attempt to defend Atticus if necessary. ...whatever it was worth, given her injuries. Her blood had stained bits of Atticus clothing, and her scales were losing their purple hue. Her other hand continued to grip whatever she could on Atticus, her grip loosening as she teetered.

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user posted image

The young disenchanter was absolutely, utterly, unspeakably terrified. As Phantasm hissed at Kasariel, standing his ground, the Halgian looked to Alaric helplessly as the dying child clung to him, his white clothes and armor stained red with her blood. He trembled violently, but didn't avert his gaze, or take any steps backwards. At least he had some small shred of bravery; at the very least.

"This one is a friend," Phantasm said, "and this child is in dire need of healing! She has lost too much blood, and-"

"Just save h-her," Atticus interrupted, terrified voice half a whisper. "Do a-anything y-you w-w-want with me, but... please... Please save h-her... please!"

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
  Quote
As Atticus spoke, four healers clad in black robes and bright red sashes made their way swiftly through the crowd. As soon as they reached Phantasm's side, they reached up to help the injured girl down. "Gently now, hand her down to us. We will do all in our power to save her. I promise," their leader, a middle aged Fallen man, stated, his eyes fixed on the wounded girl, not caring it was a Halgian asking for them to help her.

"The healers will tend to the child," Alaric wearily assured both Phantasm and the Halgian. Then, again, he met the dragon's gaze. "I do hope you understand what you've done. The Halgian cannot be allowed to leave until we can be certain he truly is a friend. I hope you are right."

He paused, and raised a hand to his head, briefly swaying slightly. His guards took a quick step closer to him, but he raised a hand and waved them off as the moment of weakness passed, though he looked paler than before. Then his gaze settled on the Halgian in question, and he gestured for the man to dismount and approach.

"For now, Phantasm's word ensures your safety. But he has other duties to attend to. Such as finding Arctus, and bringing him back here," he stated firmly. He gaze back at the dragon before continuing. "Take a wing with you if necessary, but fly swiftly."
^
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The young child allowed herself to be taken by the men in black robes. However, she looked to Phantasm and Alaric. Although her gaze seemed far away, she seemed to sense what they were talking about, even as she passed out in the care of the healers, finally allowing the darkness to overtake her consciousness.

The pure circadian normally was not one for sleeping - but the blood loss finally won out against her restless mind.

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