|Pages: (2) 1 2 ( Go to first unread post )|
SETTING: The Skyfeather River, swollen still by Scylla's rage and the rainstorms that came with it.
WEATHER: Very windy, overcast, and cold.
TIME: Current! Afternoon.
Luna (Blazeh), Nirn (Mav)
"Help me! Somebody - pl-please!"
Since the melting of the snows during Scylla's rage, and the massive rainstorms the goddess had created, the Skyfeather river had long been swollen with floodwaters. Many bridges had been washed away, and for many it was a dangerous river to even be near. For an inexperienced flyer as she had been... it'd been stupid of her to attempt to cross the river at this level. Especially riding a thermal.
When she lost the somewhat-warmer air carrying her and was caught in the river's downdraft, the young avian hybrid was immediately caught by the violent, churning water... and then had been swept downstream.
She couldn't swim.
The young girl, hair and wings white as snow, drenched to the bone, was pushed under the water again and again. She couldn't get to the shore, and gasped for air whenever she could surface, but it was so very cold...
"Somebody, please!" Water entered her lungs and she coughed, before being driven under again. The avian girl tried to get to the surface again, and gasped for breath when she did, before the churning waters shoved her under again. This time, it sucked her under even further, and stars danced before her eyes...
Nirn loved the cold. It was refreshing, and kept her awake. And even the cold was preferable to heat. The grass was tall, overgrown throughout most of the field she had found herself in that day. The grass reached up to her waist, the wind causing the field to ripple like an ocean of green. Somewhere to her right, there was the telltale gurgling of the Skyfeather.
Somewhere underneath the wind, the river, and the fauna, there was another noise. The first time she heard it, her ears twitched, and she turned to face the river. The second time she heard it, she cast an illusion to hide her ears and tails, making her appear human, and sprinted towards the river. Underneath all the noises, someone was shouting for help.
She moved as fast as she could, her enchantments helping a great deal. The mud, however, pulled at her feet as she ran. Still, she made decent time. She broke past the grass and onto the muddy bank of the river, looking for the source of the shouting. The girl cried out again, and Nirn's head snapped towards the sound. Just above the water's surface, several yards away, a girl was being carried down the river. In an instant, the girl was sucked back under.
Nirn took off her boots before sprinting down the bank, her feet slapping on the mud as she sprinted down the bank. Soon, she was side by side with the girl in the water. She didn't hesitate for an instant. She jumped.
The first thing that went through her mind was how cod the water was. It was nearly painful, and she could feel her extremities going numb. The second thing that went through her mind was the fact that she couldn't breathe. She shot upwards, breaking through the surface of the water as she frantically looked around for the girl. There. Only a few feet away from her, she could see the girl bobbing up and down. She reached for her, but the girl was just out of reach.
She swore to herself, her teeth chattering as she dove towards the girl, wrapping her into her arms. She kicked like a maniac towards the opposite shore, pushing the girl onto the shore as best as she could. She managed one word before the river carried her away.
The river carried her along for a few more seconds before she was able to actually grab the shore and scramble up. She crawled away from the river, shivering, water pouring off of her. she collapsed, turning over to face where she pushed the girl onto the bank. "You alright?" she shouted. Even though Nirn couldn't see her tails, she could feel how soaked they were.
The little girl coughed as she dragged herself up the bank, trembling violently as she tried to expel the water from her lungs. As soon as she could breathe again, she curled her legs up to her chest and sodden wings around her, though her bright, pupilless eyes looked around for the one that had saved her life.
"I-I think s-s-so," she called back hoarsely. She was cold, freezing - and the little girl tried to curl in on herself even more. "C-Cold..."
She shifted to hold both hands outside of the wet covering of her wings, and whimpered as light flickered suddenly between them. She let the spark grow to an ample little flame of lightfire; fire not unlike reiatsu, created by pure light. Then, she released it to wind around her, and hoped that it would help warm her up.
Young as she was, she knew that it was death to stay this cold.
Of course, the one who saved her would be the same, or similar - another little lightfire blossomed in her hands, and she sent this one to wind around Nirn. Then, her eyes open again, and she managed a weak smile. "Th-Th-Thank y-you, y-you saved me..."
Oh no! An earthquake has stricken the area in which your characters are located in! It can be as big or as little as you want, just remember to make it happen!
Nirn tried her hardest to catch her breath, rolling over onto her stomach in the wet mud and slowly, painfully, climbing to her feet. She glanced up, shaking violently from the cold as the girl summoned a small fire. It was a welcome site, but probably not a lifesaving one. She took a step towards the girl, but her foot caught the mud wrong, and she slipped, falling on her side with a quiet grunt.
Nirn stood again, swaying a bit, more careful now. "D-don't mention it." she said. She looked to the treeline, before holding out a hand to help the girl up. "I-i-if we c-can make it to the treeline, w-we should be able to g-get a proper fire going. If we stay here, we'll freeze." she said. As she spoke, the ground began to shake, starting small, but quickly growing in intensity.
Nirn grabbed the girl's arm, and started moving quickly away from the river. "We have to get to solid ground! Let's go!"
She couldn't tell if something really big was moving or if it was just an earthquake, but regardless, she wasn't in the mood for another swim. As she ran towards the trees, she quickly realized hiw terrible of an idea that was once she saw the forest. Trees were being felled by the power of this earthquake.
She swallowed nervously. This day was nowhere near over.
Luna tried to get up twice, and fell both times; the earth had really begun to shake now, violently-rolling waves ripping up trees and sending the river into a churning ribbon of water, splashing so much that the avian hybrid was once more doused in water. Her lightfire had gone out, and she struggled to get away, sobbing -
- and suddenly there was the sound of rushing wings and weight soaring through the air, and large claws lifted her off the ground - all she could see was white scales, with a roar of the wind in her ears. "I've got you, little lass!" the big dragon called, turning on the air to swing back around. "Time to get your friend!"
And the great White opened his other forepaw, diving for Nirn as the forest heaved in a shockwave of tumultuous fury...
As soon as she heard it, Nirn knew what was happening. A dragon was coming, likely to attack them. It may have even be the cause of this disaster. She whirled around to face it, the roar of the earth drowning out most sounds, but her ears could still pick out the beats of it's wings. She watched in horror as it grabbed the young girl she had just worked so hard to save. She opened her mouth to shout, but then it was on her, scooping her up as well. She reach for her blade, but the angle was too awkward to draw the blade without dropping it. And so, she did what she did best- began the lie.
She went willingly with the dragon, watching the ground in only partially faked awe as the went higher and higher to escape the earthquake. She glanced over to the girl, and shouted.
"Are you okay? Just hold on. We'll figure this out."
She doubted the girl heard her past the wind and the beating of the dragon's wings, but it was worth a try. Sudden rage rose up through her body, and she had to quickly force it back down. These creatures killed the only people she knew as a family. Stole everything with their greed and power, knowing that their would be no retribution. But there was. She would be the retribution.
She began working on a plan to kill the dragon. For some reason, something in her body resisted. A quiet voice asking if the dragon had saved her. She snuffed it out- dragons were destroyers, not saviors. and she would remove them from this realm. An idea popped into her mind, and she cast an illusion below, of several people running from the earthquake. If he was indeed a savior, he would go down to save them, and she would strike.
The dragon was large, and old; his wide wings were marred in scars and old tears, browning along the very edges of the webbing between fingers that seemed brittle in their thinness. Thick fur, beige as sand, gave him a long beard and hair that grew from the base of his neck down his chest, and from the beginning of his tail halfway down. His elbows and hocks were likewise tufted, along with a smaller tuft between his wings.
Long, ridged black horns curved from his head, and three down each side of his neck, along with a single one swept back from the top of his skull. Three smaller horns rose from each side of the top of his tail, matching ridged claws and a spined spade at the end of his long tail.
"Five damn it all," the old White snarled, catching sight of the kitsune's illusion; his eyes were a bright yellow, glowing with inner flame, as he beheld what he thought were people running from the earthquake's fury. The illusion was well done, and blended with the churning earth seamlessly - one seemed to be crushed by a falling tree, as others scattered away from the treeline, only to be confronted by a very-real rift opening in the earth before them.
The old dragon glanced between the two in his paws, and made a swift decision; he shoved both girls up between his wings with a shout of, "Hold on!" and dove, seeking to rescue those far below before they could be swallowed by the earth.
Luna screamed as she clung to the old White's back, wings pulled out by the wind, threatening to drag her into the sky - where she could not fly well, not weighed down with water as she was. She began to slip and gave Nirn a terrified look, just as the dragon leveled out parallel to the earth.
He reached for one of the running figures, fangs gritted in a grimace, and -
- his paw passed right through the man, and shock crossed his draconic face. "What-?" he cried, as another tremor raced through the land. It didn't cross the old dragon's mind that the one atop his back had created such a farce, was one of the Faction herself...
Fortunately, Nirn's ruse worked, and the dragon noticed the illusory people running from the earthquake. What surprised her was that the dragon did indeed try to save them. She frowned. Why would a beast hell bent on killing everything in it's path try to save people? She had assumed that the dragon had simple grabbed her and the girl to eat them as a tasty snack.
As she was shoved onto the dragon's back, she held on for dear life, but still, being this high in the air, flying... it was exhilarating. Regardless, she knew what had to be done. She began to reach for her blade, muttering a quick enchantment that would let her strike through a dragon's scales for a brief period of time. She hesitated. She had never fought a dragon alone. She had killed them with groups, sure, even chased a few off with her illusions. But never truly fought one alone. She took a deep breath. She had to do this. However, before she could draw the blade, a high pitched shout rang out.
Nirn looked behind her, to see the young girl she had just saved from the river now clinging onto the dragon's back for dear life. She glanced at the dragon- She could do it now, kill the dragon and be done with it. That was her job, her life's goal, after all. But the girl could die for it. She glanced back at the girl, cursing silently as she made her decision.
Nirn didn't have much of a choice in her next action- there was no way she'd be able to keep up all her illusions and still be able to concentrate enough to save the girl. So she revealed her identity. She released the illusions masking her Kitsune features. She turned on the Dragon's back, climbing towards the young girl. She was getting closer, and she held out her hand. "Grab my hand and don't let go!" she shouted, bracing herself against the dragon.
Nirn couldn't hold on for long, not at these speeds. She began to slip, and she realized that she had one more option. She drew her blade with her free hand, looking at the girl again. She wished the girl didn't have to see this, but it was necessary for her survival. She lifted the shortsword, before driving it into the dragon's back, and holding on for dear life.
The old White roared in sudden pain, and drew up short into a swift hover; he was too low to the ground, however, and his wings scraped across the ground in two haphazard sweeps before he crashed into the shaking earth beneath. "What are you doing," he roared, picking himself up to brace his legs against the rolling of the earth; he twisted his triangular head around and bared his fangs, pain clouding his vision. "Have you lost your mind?"
His instinct for self preservation, a knight's greatest tool, fractured rational thought; as old as he was, he didn't realize Nirn had sank the sword into his back to save Luna, who let go of her friend, sliding to the ground before groveling there in terrible fear. Shaking, he sought to dislodge the kitsune, bucking and whirling like an angry horse.
"You are one of the Faction," the old dragon snarled, snapping at Nirn. Pride made him stop, however; he would not release his fires upon a girl so young, though he bared his fangs and stared at the kitsune as smoke rolled from between his teeth. The tremors of the earth finally ceased. "Have you any idea what your idealistic group is doing? I saved your life and that of your friend, youngling fox, and this is how you repay me?"
Things had gone very bad, very fast. She looked at Luna, her eyes sorrowful. This had to be done. To save them both. She drew her second blade, stabbing it higher up the dragon's back. She would climb the beast, and then she would kill it. She flopped wildly against the dragon as he bucked, trying the shake her off unsuccessfully.
She was terrified. If she fell, she would be weaponless against a dragon that now wanted her dead. She pulled her first blade from the dragon's hide, lifting herself and stabbing him again, further up his back. She glanced back at Luna again. She shouted one, harsh word.
She looked back to the dragon. "Your race took everything from me! I'm doing the world a favor by killing you!" she shouted. She pulled out her blade, and stabbed it further up. As she climbed, her body slid across the scales that were now slick with his blood.
Pull. Lift. Stab.
Pull. Lift. Stab.
Pull. Lift. Stab.
And up she climbed, with, inexplicably, tears running down her face at the sound of the beast's pained roars.
Luna picked herself up off the ground, sobbing; she heard the roars of the dragon, and looked up, wings wrapped around herself in terror; but the old White, his scales stained with blood, was not fighting... not as any dragon should. He writhed and bucked, wheeled and snarled, trying to dislodge the one upon his back. For all he fought, however... he could have simply stood stock still.
"Do not do this," he had roared. With every stab, every thrust of the blade, over and over, he was failing. He knew what he could do, and what he couldn't. And every time his instincts begged to roast the kitsune on his back, he pushed them away, sought another option.
They were too young.
But he didn't snap at her, or tear her away when she was in a place he could reach; he did not arc his neck and bathe her in fire, nor fling himself upon the ground to crush her against the broken earth. "Wait, no," the avian hybrid whispered, hugging herself. Tears streamed down her face and her glowing eyes were wide, as his movements began to grow weaker. "Please... don't..."
The White was old. Quite old. He did not have the stamina a younger knight might; and he did not have the energy like he once did. He was weakening quickly, and when her blade pierced the base of his neck, he stumbled to a halt, blood painting the ground. The bloodloss had already begun to affect him. Fire flickered around him, but every time he looked at the kitsune, or the girl on the ground, he... could not bring himself to flame.
"You y-young things," he snarled, breathing hard. "I c-cannot... I w-will not fight y-you. W-W-We are not y-your enemy, do y-you not... u-understand?" Slowly, the old dragon sank to the ground, unable to run and jump and leap as he might have for longer in younger years. "The Faction i-is... killing this Realm. Y-You... D-Do not taint y-your y-y-young... liv- lives with such h-hatred. You still... h-have a chance..."
Little Luna got to her feet, scared, but horrified not at the fight - but at the fact that such a warm soul, such a gentle spirit... was beginning to burn out. "Don't die," she whispered. However, she couldn't take another step. She was frozen in fear. "Y-You can't..."
The dragon's chin touched the ground, and he struggled to rise in vain, as blood soaked the ground beneath. His eyes - so alight with fire not moments ago - were dull in pain, weak in life. "Future," the old drake hissed, lifting his head as blood dribbled from his bearded muzzle. He bared bloodied fangs at Nirn, but there was no hatred nor anger in his eyes. Only sorrow. "Y-You w-were to... be the f-future..."
Deep down, Nirn knew what she was doing wasn't the right thing. But that little voice, telling her of her morals and her beliefs, were smothered by the Faction long ago. As the dragon fell to the earth, she slid off, dropping her blades. As she did, the one illusion blades fade from existence, her enchantments being willfully remove. She took one last look at the dragon as he uttered his final words.
"My future was decided when your kind cooked my family alive. Your kind has brought this retribution on themselves." she said. In truth, looking at the dying dragon, something inside of her was dying with him. So she looked away, and began to walk. As she did, she knew what she had to do.
Innocent people had been slaughtered by these beasts, and yet, and she walked, she couldn't help but feel as though she had done something terrible wrong. she reached to her neck, holding the necklace that held her starball. She would finish this crusade, for the Faction, and for all the innocents that had died.
She would find the Queen, and kill her too.
"No," the old dragon breathed. Finally, he closed his eyes and lay his head upon the ground, as blood welled and spurted from his many wounds. All up and down his back were the spelled punctures of Nirn's swords, and all around him was the scarlet of his life. "The Faction... courts destruction. They k-kill u-us for... n-no more reason... th-than the egg-breakers that... that..."
The White sighed, and it ended in a ragged cough, before he lifted his head and opened his eyes once more. "The dragons... th-that killed your parents a-are... traitors. Egg-smashers, a-and... should h-have faced justice. Do not..." Then, he couldn't hold himself up any longer; the old dragon's head and neck crashed to the ground and he drew a long, shuddering breath. "Don't... l-let them fool y-you..."
Luna walked up to him unsteadily, and shakily - fearfully - reached out to touch the old drake's muzzle. His eyes rolled open and his pained and fading gaze locked on her, blurred as it was. "Y-You a-are not... Faction," he wheezed. "Are y-you?" She shook her head, and he gave a small smile. His eyes slid shut once more, and another small tremor ran through the earth. "I-I am... Baron. Lord o-of the... Raven Knights... please, the... spade o-of my t-tail..."
He was running out of time. Soon, he would lose consciousness, and not long after, he would die. He was losing blood far too quickly, as the kitsune's bespelled swords had punctured the aorta not once, but twice, spilling his life like a crimson fountain upon the earth. "The c-cracked... plate..."
She was crying, crying hard, heedless of Nirn or anything else but the dragon who was dying before her. Luna wanted to break down and hug him, pet his scales as his life bled away; she knew nothing she could do would save him, even if she called upon the spirits for their help. He was warm, so warm, and even as she let go of his nose to walk through the pool of blood around him to his long and limp tail, the heat of his kind soul still could be felt by the young spirit-mage.
His tail, a spade, had three small horns upon one side; one was cracked, she could see. She drew near and touched the cracked horn with her small hands, and found that it broke easily; and, to her surprise, was hollow as it came apart in her hands. Inside, she found an old pendant, made of metal and crystal, blue with silver inlaid and on a silver chain. It shimmered in the light, an intricate raven, the symbol of his knightly Order.
With a gasp, the girl nearly dropped it. It was a precious thing - a pendant that had been made for the First Raven, the story had been told to her by her father many years ago. It was a famous thing, a precious artifact... and it had to go back to the Order of the Raven, where it belonged.
"B-But I," she whispered, sniffling as she stared at it. Her glowing eyes moved up to the dragon. "I can't..."
And as she watched, his shallow breathing became halting, and she jogged back to his face in sudden fear. His eyes were closed, and his mouth parted, hot breath like a faint breeze with every weak gasp. He was not aware any longer; she nudged him, then shook as his scales and pulled on his beard. First whispering, then saying, then shouting at him to wake up - but it could not be. Moments passed, and each breath took longer than the last to come.
Until they came no more.
It took some time for the little girl to stop crying, to leave the dead dragon - to leave Baron. When she did, she was shivering with cold, and was hugging the Raven pendant to her as her still-damp wings crossed over her chest in an effort to keep as much body heat as possible. Following the kitsune was the only thing she could do; and when she finally found Nirn again, she stopped several paces away, tears shimmering in her eyes.
"Wh-Why... didn't y-you let h-him live?" she whispered brokenly. "He w-wasn't... wasn't evil. His soul w-was so kind a-and warm... The Faction c-can't... Not e-every dragon i-is evil. Y-You h-have to believe that! Y-You have to!"
|Pages: (2) 1 2|
|By Tooth And Claw Dragons · Terms of Service||Help Search Members Calendar Shop Open Threads|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|