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Welcome to the land of dragons and elves; demons and death. Here, you may weave tales of all creatures, great and small - magic is found in everything, and many worlds one can explore are open for discovery. By Tooth And Claw Dragons, often shortened to BTACD, is an original high fantasy role-play site with over eighty species and ten solid worlds, fifteen years strong. Freedom of creativity is boundless within the established lore, and member suggestions are not only accepted, but encouraged. We release new content monthly, and are always expanding our wondrous Realms. Come and play with magic, honor the great gods, and beware the balance that governs all...
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Land of Kidochi

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 Words of War, Blazeh, YOU
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This thread is stemming off from Clarion Call, in which Cipher, my demon, was asked to choose a partner to travel to Kurai with him and go meet the Lord of War! Thus, PM or otherwise contact me if you're interested in hoppin' in this one, so we can plan them together accordingly!

Thank y'all 8D


PLAYERS INVOLVED:
@Verridith (Blazeh)
@JPG

SETTING:
In Kidochi, nearing Kenkyo. Pestilence territory.

WEATHER:
Clear and very cold.

TIME:
9 days behind! Morning.

CHARACTERS INVOLVED:
Cipher (Blazeh), Izzuit, Pepper (JPG)

This post has been edited by Verridith: Apr 13 2018, 04:38 PM

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"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
A dark elf and his dragon hadn't been his first choice of partner; he had been on his way to find someone Legacy had mentioned, when the pair had arrived at the sound-barrier, and their paths crossed. Deciding that swiftness would be better than traveling leagues out of his way, Cipher easily agreed and they set off; however, the portal that had supposed to have led to the land of Tatakai in Kurai had somehow gone off course.

It was expected, of course. Cipher knew how strange Kurai's Markers could act, frozen and embedded within the earth as they were. And now that they were here, portals would not operate to get them out unless they went in search for a Hellgate, one of the few connections to the outside Realms that this particular one had. It was an unusual Realm at best - getting in was easy. Getting out was another problem entirely...

"Remember, be as quiet as you can," the demon warned, shutting the portal behind him with a wave of one hand; he looked at his partner and the dragon and nodded towards an old and gnarled white tree, leafless, where three sets of small eyes could be seen, reflecting the scarlet light of the moon. "We're in dangerous territory here, friends. Keep your voice down, or those little heathens will alert much bigger creatures we're ill-fitted to deal with."

Cipher was a tall demon, lanky but muscular; he had pale skin and long white hair, his eyes teal as the sea. He wore a black tunic and breeches overlaid by a thick black trenchcoat, studded with triangular pieces of metal along the shoulders and chest, and tall riding boots that had seen too long on the road. Though he wore little in the way of accessories, he wore a simple black-stone pendant carved into the shape of a claw and embedded with two blue gems.

Sometimes, he could summon two large blue and white eagle wings, but right now he was focused on stealth more than the ability to fly. His demi-form was nice... but much too obvious here. Regarding the eyes that blinked at them warily, Cipher shook his head and sighed.

"We should be going to the War Fortress, but we arrived severely off-course. It's in Tatakai, and we're currently in... I believe Kidochi. Those look like the black mountains there, and the Dragon-Crash tower there." He pointed a ways east and south of them. "We're in Pestilence land. An entire ocean stands between us and our destination. Which means... we need to find a ship that'll bear us."

Cipher sighed, and ran his fingers through his wavy, unkempt hair. "There's no ports anywhere near us. Not official ones. Which means we'll probably have to deal with pirates... or worse. Our best bet might be to simply make it to the coast. What do you say, Izzuit?"

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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 drow knight of the Vystrian council, Izzuit, looked languishly to his steed, only bothering to open one eye. "You hear that, Pepper? Quiet. As in no flying off the handle."

The Heartwoodian red glared daggers, and snorted in response, deciding to keep her mouth shut so she didn't literally spit fire at her master.

Izzuit simply shrugged at Cipher's frustration at how wildly off course they were. "No worries, no worries. We can simply tour the sights. I mean...the sky's a nice shade of crimson, and it's quite the lovely evening as marked by the moo- wait...the moon means it's daytime here, right? ...well, it's quite the lovely afternoon." He gave a lazy grin. Was THIS the assistance the Vystrians decided to offer? There had to be a reason this lackadaisical lumphead was sent.

He then listened to the problem, and closed his eyes, thinking for a moment. "...we could outpirate the pirates." His eyes opened, and a cocky smirk danced upon his lips. "We find a smaller ship - we shouldn't need anything fancy, after all, right? The smaller ships will probably have a smaller crew - much more manageable. We have to think of an excuse to allow them on their ship. Then...we bide our time. The moment they try and capture us, we take them out in a flurry of blade, steel, and CAREFULLY AIMED..." He shoots a concerned glance at 'Pepper' "...fire. I think between the three of us, we could handle a crew of 10 max, assuming there are no N'Vaens among the crew. Sound like an idea?"

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  Quote
The War demon shook his head. "I doubt if you could find a pirate ship not manned by n'vaen these days. Too dangerous to have crewmembers who can't defend against Kuraian atlanteans or akkorokamui kraken... I've seen those kraken firsthand."

His eyes flicked to Izzuit, expression grim. "We need to gain passage on a ship that can defend itself. You and I get caught out there alone by a kraken, I don't care how much fire she can spit, we're done for. Those things can snatch us from the sky as easily as if we hovered and let 'em.

"Pirates..." Cipher hesitated a moment, and rummaged around in his coat. "They'll want gold, of course. I've got a few gold jaden, and maybe a zen around somewhere. You have any to help bribe with?"

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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 red Heartwoodian snorted, clearly insulted by the insinuation that her fire simply wasn't enough to cook the squids in the bloody seas of Kurai. "So you say. For the moment, I'll take your word for it." A plume of smoke escaped her nostrils, indicating her displeasure.

Izzuit rolled his eyes at his companion's offense, and patted her on the head. "Don't worry about it, Pepper. We'll get a chance, I'm sure." He then looked to Cipher - the drow clad in darkened leathers for this trip - the golden armor of a Champion was way too gaudy for a trip into Kurai. Besides, he hated the pomp.

"Ah, and here I was hoping I wouldn't have to break open my coinpurse." Izzuit shrugged, letting out a playfully exasperated sigh at the thought of spending money - ending it with a smirk to solidify it was all in good fun. "Ah well...I brought a few gold jadens myself. I can chip in." He pulled out five gold jaden coins from his pouch and offered it to Cipher.

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Well, it was better than nothing.

Rummaging in a small travel pack, he pulled out a bit of parchment and some charcoal. "We shouldn't be too far from the northeastern coast," he said, scribbling a rough map of what he knew about the area. Admittedly, it wasn't much. "We're smack in the middle of Pestilence territory. Got that. Vortigern's an ally, I think, but... we'd best avoid Kenkyo just in case. If we swing north, we'll hit a lot more snow, but we should be able to avoid detection."

Cipher looked up and over at the dragon. "At least you're red; you blend in with the moonlight. You and Izzuit can fly ahead if need be." He sighed, and handed the map to Izzuit. "My wings are bright-ass blue and visible for miles. No flying for me."

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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
Izzuit's usual lethargic tranquility resulted in a shrug from his shoulders. "Given it's just the three of us, we should probably avoid getting into scuffles. Pepper might be miserable, but she'll manage."

"Excuse you, I didn't ask you to speak for me," the Heartwoodian red snapped, snorting a small bit of flame. However, beyond that, she did not protest any further - just grumbled.

The drow merely grinned at her bristliness, before looking back to Cipher. "Also, would rather not leave you behind. Would be best if we stuck together for the moment." He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Though, perhaps if we need a bird's eye view to scout ahead, I'll take that option. Anyway, I suppose we should sally forth to the north, eh?" Izzuit glanced around in that general direction, trying to gauge what would be up ahead, before...'sallying forth.'

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  Quote
What an odd creature Izzuit was. Cipher rolled up the parchment, watching him with an amused expression, before putting it and the charcoal back in his pouch. "Right," he said, checking over his gear before tapping a finger on Regalo's sapphire pommel. "I did mean, you know, if you had to go on without me. It's dangerous out here, Izzuit; remember that."

He followed, falling into silence. The last time he had been in Kidochi was... too many years to count. The last Lord he'd slipped beneath the gaze of was Seymour, back when he was traveling with Sil'na.

Ansil'na. A partner for centuries; the one he'd fallen in love with. Thinking of her death soured his expression, and he focused on the shadows, hidden from the red moon's light. The diamond-edged sword at his side was comforting, as several sets of multicolored eyes watched in silence from those shadows, tracking their progress.

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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
Izzuit shook his head. "Even if it were, I'm not one to just abandon folks. But if it makes you feel any better, I'll keep it in mind."

He then continued leading Cipher in the direction of the snowy north. Silence fell upon the both of them, and apparently Cipher lost himself in his thoughts.

It would be then that Cipher found a gauntlet gently laying itself upon his shoulder, Izzuit's gaze attempting to peer into his eyes. "Are you alright?" he inquired, leaning in as to not have to speak too loudly. "You seemed distant for a moment."

Pepper eyed the two, but decided to focus, instead, on those multitude of eyes staring at them. She narrowed her eyes back, not daring light up a flame for wariness of alarming them all.

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The demon looked up sharply; he had indeed lost himself in thought. "N-No, it's nothing," he said, shaking his head. But then, he sighed and pushed some of his white hair out of his face. "Just memories. I haven't been here in... years. Many years."

Then, he looked away. "Not since my last partner and I were called in here to deal with an uprising that was killing too many in one Kingdom. She was stronger than I - a dragon xeriin. The last I remember when we were here was that she saved my life."

Again.

Cipher began to walk again. "She's gone now; I guess memories like that hit me pretty hard. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."

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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
Pepper snorted. She wasn't one to waste time. All business - the business being setting jerkfaces on fire. "They're just me-"

"What my flametongued comapnion MEANS to say is..." Izzuit was of a different mindset entirely. He didn't rise to the rank of Champion by being callous and cold.

Izzuit paused for a moment, face scrunching in consideration. "...perhaps you would like a moment to make peace with those memories?" The drow reached an arm for Cipher's shoulder. "Can't be meeting the Lord of War with your head still here. Or would you rather Pepper take over the meeting?" He gestured wryly to his dragon with an arched eyebrow.

Pepper proceeded to turn about and head to the north, "accidentally" braining Izzuit with a light thwap, sending him stumbling forward a step. "Oops. I slipped."

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Cipher hesitated. He looked shocked at the prospect; the former mercenary was truly taken aback. Sil'na had been everything to him - after her death...

But no. He couldn't. The demon hunched his shoulders and looked away, face a mask of pain. "I can't," he said. "The feeling will pass. It's... history. If I... if I stop here..."

I'll never move again.

He started walking again, unconscious that some of his Anima features had whispered into being; sharp talons had replaced his blunt claws, and his round pupils had narrowed into slits. "We need to keep moving," he hissed. "Now."

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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
Izzuit arched an eyebrow, noting these minor shifts in his physiology. That was mildly concerning. Still, he gazed back to Cipher's feral eyes, and nodded calmly. "Understood. For what it's worth, I have faith you'll make peace with it some day. Come on, get on Pepper's back."

In spite of her earlier bristliness, Pepper gazed back at Cipher - it was hard to discern what she was thinking. In any case, she lowered herself for Cipher to climb on, as Izzuit ushered him towards the red dragon, almost pulling him along.

A strange sense of professionalism had settled upon Izzuit's used low-energy carefree attitude, sitting behind Cipher, while looking around over his shoulder. "We'll keep low to the ground. You'll be alright."

"For what it's worth, she sounds like quite a woman. I'm sorry for your loss."

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"She was," the War demon said quietly. "She was..."

And I never got to tell her...

As he climbed up between Pepper's wings, Cipher stayed silent; some small part of him wanted to shift, and shift now. A form of release for the storm of emotions that raged behind his cat-slitted eyes. After a moment, the Anima features finally faded; he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to calm his mind.

Instead, he focused on what they needed to do. They had to contact Zirkath as soon as possible, and convince him of an alliance. Other Lords had been contacted already, but this one was known to be somewhat unstable - they had to make this work personally.

"Keep an eye on the sky," he said, taking another calming breath. "It won't just be us up here. If there are any other fliers around, they'll want to check us out... or eat us."

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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 heartwoodian red, Pepper, soared off at a decent speed - only a couple dozen feet from the ground, her massive membranous wings occasionally flapping to maintain their low altitude

“We’ll stay low as to not attract any unwanted attention. But sure thing.”

Izzuit’s words had become sharp, intentful, yet gentle, as he attempted to reassure Cipher. A brotherly gloved hand lay on Cipher’s shoulders as they rode toward the north. He seemed to intentionally avoid staring at any of the changes to his form - might make it worse if he pointed those out. The questions could wait.

“Hopefully we’re doing well on time? Wouldn’t want to keep Lord Zirkath waiting.” His eyes roamed the skies, as per Cipher’s instruction “What am I to look out for when we meet his lordship, by the by?”

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