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Empire of Halgia

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 dragon's hidden sun, Blazeh, YOU
  Quote
The terrified Halgian swallowed hard, watching helplessly as Noe was taken away. Phantasm took off without a word, but a roar - a summoning to his Wing. Atticus flinched as the dragon flew away, buffeted by the strong winds of his wings. Then, he looked back at Alaric, trembling with fear.

"Wh-What will y-you do with me?" he whispered, feeling very alone. "A-And Arctus, h-he... he'll be o-okay, right...?"

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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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  Quote
Alaric watched in silence as the healers carried the child to the infirmary. The head healer was already tending to her wounds as she was carried out of sight. He spared Phantasm only a glance as the dragon took off with a roar, joined by several more dragons and their riders. As lacking in judgment as the dragon's most recent decision had been, he could decide how to deal with him and his absent rider after they were safely back in Umbra.

They may have inadvertently caused the death or effective life imprisonment of the Halgian they'd brought into the city.

"We can only trust Phantasm and his wing to see Arctus brought safely back here," Alaric replied. "As for you, I must ask that you hand over any weapons you have with you. After that, you will be granted the rights of a guest, for the time being. Phantasm has vouched for you, and until he and Arctus have returned, and can explain themselves, that will suffice."

As he spoke, four of his guards stepped forward. Two of them stood with hands on sword-hilts while the other two stood ready to take custody of whatever weapons he may have had upon his person.
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The Halgian felt his heart leap into his throat. He was no warrior - he had no weapons, save for a single dagger. But these men... they were Fallen, and they weren't like Arctus. He sank to his knees, hand shaking so badly he could barely unclasp the dagger from his belt.

"I-I'm just a disenchanter," he said weakly, handing the dagger over. Swallowing hard, he looked at the guards, at their determined faces and their hands on the swords at their side. "Y-You won't... kill me, w-will you...?"

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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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  Quote
As soon as the dagger was handed over, the guards took two paces back, dropping their hands from their sword-hilts, though they still watched the Halgian warily, as did Kasarial as she loomed over the proceedings. For his part, Alaric frowned as the Halgian sank to his knees, practically trembling with fear. Whatever his doubts about the wisdom of bringing any Halgian here, this man was either a very good actor, or of no threat to anybody but himself.

"Would you get up and stop sniveling? I don't know how guest-right works in the Empire, but here it means we will allow no harm to come to you. I certainly don't want to see you dead," he stated wearily. He raised his hand and rubbed at the side of his head, swaying slightly. One of his guards stepped forward, but he waved the man back.

"Yes, I know, I shouldn't be straining myself," he sighed, before gazing at Arctus. "Come, step inside so you can get out of that armor and clean yourself up," he invited, though it was almost a command. Then he turned, and made his way towards the citadel as his guards fell in around him. Two more guards stepped forward, and the elder of the two silently gestured for the Halgian to follow along, a barely-suppressed scowl on her face.
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Atticus swallowed hard, but did as he was bid. "S-Sorry," he said nervously, glancing at the guards. He was still trembling, and had to clench his hands to try and stop (even though it didn't help). "I-It's just, every Fallen I've met... a-aside from Arctus... has tried to kill me..."

He followed quietly, then, worrying about Arctus. Would his friend be okay? Why hadn't Phantasm and his rider returned...?

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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
Alaric sighed, a dark expression crossing his face for a moment as he continued on his way. Behind the small procession, Kasarial fell into step, eyeing Atticus the way a cat might eye a mouse it is stalking, right before it pounces. But she begrudgingly accepted Phantasm's claim, for the moment.

"Many of my people have lost friends, family, loved ones to the Halgians. One of your people did this to me," he explained quietly, gesturing to his missing arm. "On the same day, another of them killed my first dragon, Skaythe."

He fell silent for a moment, and Kasarial stepped forward to lower her head so that her snout brushed gently at Alaric's shoulder. He sighed softly, and raised his hand to rub at the side of her massive snout for a moment. "I do hope those two knew what they were doing by bringing you here," he stated softly, slightly shaking his head.

As they reached the great hall, its great doors opened under the magical influence of a pair of guards. The wounded child had already been carried inside by the group of healers, who had immediately set to work repairing the damage done to her body. Her wounds had been sealed, though it would take some time before they vanished altogether, and her body washed before she was dressed in clean Fallen clothing, her own being blood-stained and torn, and destined to be laundered heavily.

Thus attended to, she was laid on a bed in a small chamber, just off of the great hall, with a young novice healer watching over her as she rested.
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The healers found that even with the wounds, the young violet-scaled circadian girl's sleep was fitful and restless, full of tossing, turning, and probably had to be restrained so they could work on healing the claw and teeth marks all over. Every so often, she lightly swatted at whatever was assailing her in her dreams, with the words "get away" uttered every so often in an entranced stupor of a mumble.

With a start, she shot straight up in her...bed? She didn't remember being taken to a bed, her face scrunching quizzically. Her eyes snapped open as she recalled the deathcat, and the two men who had aided her. Her gaze whipped to the novice healer, attempting to pull herself around to face him with eyes nigh crazed with panic, completely beside herself with terror.

"Where are Sir Phant, Sir Bear, Sir Atticus!?"

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  Quote
Atticus could no longer look at Alaric. "I-I'm sorry," he murmured, feeling miserable. "I knew my people w-were... against this, but..." The young Halgian shook his head. "I didn't know... that they h-hunted you so severely."

He was still trembling, still glanced around every now and again in fear, but seemed to be relaxing somewhat. "It wasn't Arc's fault, though," he said, voice holding surprising strength. He looked surprised him self for a moment, before continuing. "The girl, she... she couldn't have made it - not w-without being brought here. Don't punish Arc or Phant, please. It's not their fault, they... it was the right thing to do,you have to believe me!"

As if on cue, he heard the little girl's shouting in another room. He turned to face it, breath catching, almost taking off to go see how the child fared - but the Halgian seemed to sink under Alaric's and Kasariel's gaze, unnerved and unsure what to do.

"They always told us tales of how horrible you all were," he whispered, pale as he looked upon the massive Black. "How you wanted to... to let the demons into Halgia to slaughter everyone. But Be- Arctus showed me it wasn't like that, a-and..." He trailed off, hoping the dragon wouldn't eat him. "He w-was only doing what was right. He said... you won't feed me to her, will you...?"

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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 novice healer gently shushed the young girl, and laid a gentle hand upon hers. "Sirs Phant and, um, Bear are out at present. However, Sir Atticus is in the great chamber next door, meeting with Lord Alaric," he explained, hesitating briefly before rising, and holding out a hand. "If you feel well enough, I can escort you to him," he offered.

Meanwhile, Alaric sighed and leaned back in his chair. "It is true some of your people hunt us tirelessly, and would see us all wiped out if they were able. But I do not hold you responsible for their actions," he stated wearily. He glanced towards the sudden screams, then turned his tired gaze back upon Atticus.

"Rest assured they will be given every opportunity to explain their actions before I pass any judgment. I certainly can't fault them for bring the child here so she could have her injuries tended to," he added. He fell silent for a long moment, resting his head on his hand, index finger tapping at his temple in steady rhythm.

"However, I must wonder if they even considered what they were doing to you, by bringing you here. To my knowledge, you have never done harm to me or mine. You certainly don't strike me as the soldier type. But the fact remains you are a Halgian who now knows the location of Umbra. Well-meaning though their intentions undoubtedly were, Arctus and Phantasm may very well have condemned you to spend the rest of your days here in this city. Before you protest, or make further inquiries as to your fate, no, I do not intend to feed you to Kasarial, or execute you in any other way, either. But I cannot risk the Empire finding out the location of Umbra."
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  Quote
The little masked girl with the odd lavender scales finally calmed as she gazed around, taking in the relative tranquility of the area, her body untensing as she felt the hand lay upon her's. The masked girl looked to the novice healer as she offered to take her to Sir Atticus and Sir Alaric. She nodded, before sliding off of the bed, having to stick out an arm for balance as her unsteady legs nearly gave out on her

"Was he hurt? Is he hurt? I have to go see him..." She hurried out along with the novice healer in her new Umbran garbs, breathing still quickened from panic and worry, her locks of silvery white hair flowing behind her as she hurried with the healer to the Great Chamber.

This post has been edited by JPG: Jun 8 2018, 09:47 PM

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"They didn't... they couldn't... blame me, sir, not them," Atticus said, voice shaking. "I-I... I'm no fighter. I could only visit th-the forest with Bear's - I mean, Arctus' - help. Then the girl came, and... they wouldn't leave me behind. I... w-would have died, sir. So they did... what they thought was right."

He wouldn't, or more likely couldn't, look at Alaric directly. Instead, the young Halgian stared at the floor. "I... tried to save his family, once. So many... years ago. But I was too late, a-and... Arctus saved me instead. Ever since, we've been friends. I'm sorry, Lord, maybe... maybe it would have been better..."

It was then that he heard the girl. Atticus looked up, cutting himself off and swallowing his words. Relief colored his features as he saw the girl was unharmed, and walking towards them soundly enough. "Praise Her Ladyship," he breathed.

Their risk had paid off; the girl had survived.

But Arctus still had yet to return...

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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
Alaric wearily leaned back in his chair again, and shared a brief look with Kasarial. She snorted softly, and rested her head on her outstretched fore-paws, eyes half-closed. A servant silently approached, bringing a steaming herbal tea to Alaric, who took it with a nod, and took a small sip before gazing back at Atticus.

"I don't blame any of you, even if the three of you have unwittingly conspired to make my life more difficult," he stated in dry, weary amusement before his expression turned grim once more. "But now I am forced to deal with the consequences of their actions, and your presence here."

Before he could say more, a healer escorted the young girl who was at the center of the current situation into the room, alive and apparently well. He was relieved to see her up and moving so soon after having bee carried in bloodied and close to death. He raised a hand and beckoned her forward, then glanced at Atticus.

"Better for who? You? Arctus? Her? Don't waste your time wondering about what can't be changed. I assure you Arctus and Phantasm won't face any severe punishment for their actions. Now, tell me something, just what were you doing so close to this city?"
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  Quote
The little girl's scales were now a dark violet to reflect the coming night, as seen on her tail as it wrapped nervously around her leg in spite of Alaric's gentle tone.

From underneath her nzani mask, her eyes darted between the Fallen and the Halgian. Her head bowed shamefully as she picked up that she had forced Atticus into a bad situation, in spite of her own sheltered upbringing. She knew what it meant. What it meant to be judged harshly because of one's appeared allegiance.

After a moment's hesitation, she bowed lowly at the waist, and her tail pulled tighter around her leg. Her hands folded around each other tightly, as she managed to stammer out a response. “I...I was attempting to portal to Lumen Aurim, as to attend the Mage's Tower. I-I'm a student of the Order of Mages – rank of Mage Apprentice. But erm...I...” She stumbled, loathe to admit how badly she messed up her simple portal spell. “I...lose focus easily, and I found myself portaled in the middle of a magestorm in front of a mutated deathcat, sir. I didn't have time to prepare another portal, so I just ran..."

This post has been edited by JPG: Jul 15 2018, 06:25 PM

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