by tooth & claw dragons

where darkness and chaos reign...
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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Country of Alubria

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 TRAPPED inside our minds, Bkazeh, Slankr
  Quote
PLAYERS INVOLVED:
@Verridith (Blazeh)
@slankr

SETTING:
South of Roc Point in Alubria, in the thick forests of the Naveiir foothills.

WEATHER:
On the warmer side, but drizzling steadily, brief wind through the trees.

TIME:
70 days behind! Mid-afternoon.

CHARACTERS INVOLVED:
Zoik (Blazeh), Lucus (Slankr)

This post has been edited by Verridith: Apr 13 2018, 04:44 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"
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I wonder how they're all doing...? Nobody's sent a feylizard for a long while. Maybe the Faction...

Rain fell from the laden skies, and thunder rumbled overhead. Tiny droplets slid off of pine needles to the ground far below, dripping steadily under the oppressive storm. A young mage looked out from the shelter of an old, gnarled tree and sighed at the weather; he couldn't stay very long. He'd already been hassled by Ironridge gryphons, and knew his little display of fireworks wouldn't keep them away. They wouldn't fall for the same trick twice.

Pulling his cloak around himself and his hood as far as it would go over his head, the young mage slowly pushed himself up and limped from his shelter out into the drizzling water sloughing from the coniferous trees. He was but a boy in appearance, with startling red hair and a single green eye, the other covered in old, black-fabric bandages. He held himself oddly, and walked with a very pronounced limp, as if unable to move correctly. The robes he wore were black, but tattered, and the band around his arm marked him as an apprentice-rank mage, though he didn't seem to be accompanied by anyone who could be his master.

A crackle sounded from somewhere nearby; he turned to look and saw a ripple of odd-looking energy, and a swirl of multicolored clouds before it vanished away. Energy storms had become common here - that and the earthquakes, each one worse than the last. Partly, that was why young Zoik was here; even without Archmage Darius' permission.

He would prove himself out here. He'd find out how to tap into those energy storms - find knowledge that could help the Order defeat the Faction. And then he'd prove to everyone that he wouldn't remain an apprentice forever.

He had a friend in the Order that had been keeping him updated on happenings in Vystriana - but oddly enough, no messenger feylizards had come for several days. He felt very alone out here, in the Alubrian forests. But he had a job to do, and he was determined to see it through to the end.

"I'll make you proud, master Dari," the young magelet whispered as he limped along. "I swear it. You won't have to protect me anymore..."

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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
Lucas was thoroughly miserable. His food supplies had been running short for weeks and the weather, cold, wet, windy and in all ways thoroughly miserable, though gentle enough that it would ordinarily have been a minor annoyance, was making flying with his starving muscles nearly impossible. As he flew he desperately searched for somewhere, anywhere, he could shelter for the night. He had just spotted a likely cave when a bright flash of light obscured his vision.

The next thing he knew he was on the ground. Absolutely every inch of his somehow ill-fitting skin felt bruised, abraded, or both and he, rather surprisingly to his fall-addled mind, managed to feel even more soaked than he had while flying. In fact, the only improvement to his condition seemed to be a strange increase in warmth, though, given his soggy condition, he couldn't understand how that could be.

Prompted by some new instinct, he pushed against the ground with his malformed wing and, after several attempts, managed to stand on disturbingly wobbly legs. As he looked around he saw little other than trees and rain. Focusing on his immediate surroundings he noticed some sliding marks in the dirt and moss. Thinking hard he use his memory of the weather, something he understood instinctively, and his flight path before the strange flash of light to estimate where he had crashed and, from there, to approximate the direction of the cave he had spotted from the air. Slowly, with many stops and starts as he grew used to his new form, he made his way towards the general direction of the cave.

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What was that?

The crippled young mage gasped and ducked down behind an old fallen log; a thousand possibilities swirled in his head, and none of them were good. Was it a monster? Something spawned from the energy storms? One of the dark elves? No, that couldn't be - there were none here. One of the gryphons from the Ironridge? Too small...

Then, lightning flashed overhead and illuminated beneath the trees briefly, as thunder rumbled along behind it. He saw the shape of not a gryphon, not a monster... but a man? Indecision racked the young mage, and he looked around for others. Surely one man wouldn't be here... alone?

No, he thought with a brief flicker of irony. The fear was slowly beginning to fade, and a new determination rose in its place. Only a stupid cripple disobeying his master...

The boy sighed, then rose, and began to follow. "Hey!" he called; he knew he'd never be able to keep up as he was. "Wait, 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"
^
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"Hey! Wait, please!"

A voice called out of the forest disrupting his concentration and causing him to fall to the ground. Just lovely he thought as he slowly, painstakingly returned to his proper footing. Once he was fairly certain he wouldn't fall he carefully turned to face the direction the voice had come from.

He was greated with the sight of a young humanoid who had one eye concealed and was wearing several layers of the coverings, clothes his new knowledge supplied, that most humanoids seemed to favor for some reason. He seemed to be walking almost as cautiously a Lucas himself, a fact Lucas found oddly comforting. Slowly, carefully, as if tasting each word as it came out of his mouth for the first time, he responded

“Who… are… you…? What… am… I…? Did you... do this… to me?” He could feel fear and panic, previously suppressed by the effort needed to learn how to work a body so unlike the one he had been born with, beginning to force their way to the surface.

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The young mage stopped abruptly with a gasp; it was a human - and the poor man... or was he a man? The fearful question came after the shocking realization that the poor creature was entirely unprotected from the elements, and that the rain was beginning to worsen. "N-No," the crippled apprentice answered, bewildered. Then, he shrugged off his cloak and took a slow, limping step forward to lay it gingerly on the ground, nervous about approaching too quickly and scaring the man away.

"My n-name is Zoik," the young mage said, raising his hands in a gesture of fealty. "I don't wanna hurt you... w-were you caught in the storm? You..." He swallowed, somewhat sheepish. "Y-You startled me, sorry... please, let me help, you'll catch c-cold out here all alone."

He inwardly cursed his inability to control much magic - he couldn't even make a fire. The crippled mage could feel the cold and wet soaking through his robes and dampening his red hair, and tried to ignore it - though he wasn't entirely successful.

"That cloak will keep y-you warm," he said. He was feeling less scared of the odd man, at least; he didn't seem to be threatening, though he feared what might happen should the hapless creature go on alone. "Where did y-you come from...?"

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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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He stood and stared at the cloak for a minute before he slowly bent over and grabbed it. As he was wrapping it around himself he said “I…. don't feel cold, but the wet isn't…. exactly enjoyable.”

Once he had the cloak fairly comfortable he looked back at the young man, Zoik he reminded himself, and continued “I am… Lucas, I was,” he glanced down at his wings, arms, hands his increasingly less intrusive, but still strange, knowledge prompted him, “something else. The storm made me this.”

Suddenly his stomach rumbled. “I was, and am still, hungry. I was searching for new sources of food…” he glanced back down at himself, “I'm smaller now, so I suppose that will be less of a problem.” He stood for a moment deep in thought.

“Thank you Zoik, for the cloak. I have decided to trust you. There is a cave somewhere in this direction,” he pointed, “we could help each other to the cave and wait out the storm there. The rain is only going to get worse for a while. ”

As he finished speaking he began to approach the young man in order to offer his assistance.

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The young mage hesitated; but he didn't have much of a choice. He was curious about the shapechanged man, but also somewhat afraid of him - what... was he before? Was he dangerous? I can't fight him if he turns into... anything, the boy thought miserably. Even if he attacks me now...

Curse his broken body.

Zoik followed nervously, limping after the shifter that had his cloak. He was shaking and cold, now; the bandage around his eye and his scarlet hair were slick to his face because of the rain, and his robes were sodden without the protection of the thick coat. But the cavern soon came into view and he hobbled inside as quickly as he could, though he nearly stumbled and fell over a loose rock near the entrance.

Slowly, he gave a sigh and lowered himself down into an awkward sitting position, shoulders hunched as he rubbed his arms because of the cold. Looking at the shifter with his remaining eye, the boy asked, "what... were you... b-before?"

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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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Lucas noticed the trouble Zoik was having with the cold and winced. While his new form seemed unaffected by the cold, as a phoenix of fire it had been one of the few things he had truly feared. He considered returning the cloak now that they were out of the rain, but his new instincts, now barely discernable from his native thoughts, indicated that the nudity that would result would not be welcome. Instead he opted to answer the boy’s question.

“I was a phoenix, a fire bird,” he said, no longer uncomfortable communicating with speech. “I could fly, was near immortal, and had power over heat and fire,” as he spoke a bit of bitterness leaked into his voice, “now… now I don't know what I am.” He raised his hand and a small tongue of flame appeared in his palms “and this is all I seem capable of…..”

After a moment he relaxed, “Still, I suppose, it's better than nothing. I will gather some wood for a fire, you are freezing.”

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^
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The young mage looked surprised; as the shifted phoenix went to gather wood, he reflected how similar he and the shapechanged creature were. Playing with a lock of his wet hair, he pondered on if he should tell his new companion or not, and finally decided he would. After all, what did he have to lose?

Rain pattered down outside of the cave; the drizzle continued in an endless drawl. In the sudden silence, he felt very small, and very alone.

He was a dragon, once. Slowly, Zoik rummaged around in the pockets of his tattered robes and produced a small, round, but cracked gemstone that swirled slowly with colors of red, black, orange, and silver. It didn't glow at all anymore; he could see his own, one-eyed face reflected in its glossy surface and sighed, closing his hand around it.

Maybe this phoenix could change back. He could, right? Pity and understanding filled him, and it was with great regret that Zoik realized he couldn't even remember what it was like being a dragon. He'd been human for so long. Looking up and out into the rain, the magelet wondered after the strange shifter. When he returned, maybe he could figure out how to help.

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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
Lucas had gotten very lucky in his search for fire wood. Only a few yards from the cave entrance were the remains of a medium sized tree that had been knocked over. It had been dead long enough to no longer be green wood but not so long as to be rotted through. Grimly aware of his friends need for heat, Lucas began breaking down a branch of the tree as well as he could, snapping smaller tips of the branch off to use as kindling and breaking the larger, thicker section of the branch into five approximately one-foot sections. The section closest to the base of the branch he then split, with the aid of a sharp, roughly wedge-shaped stone, into five pieces of larger kindling. As he did this he acquired a few more small abrasions and cuts on his hands, though he managed to avoid any splinters, to go with the ones on his back and shoulders from his post-transformation fall from the sky and the ones on his front from when he was trying to figure out walking in his new body.

Having resigned himself to constant, low level discomfort at this point, he stacked his firewood and kindling with the largest pieces on the bottom and began to carry it back to the cave. As he approached the cave he noticed a large group of birds to his left take off and fly above the trees for about thirty seconds and then settle down again. He made a mental note of the phenomenon and entered the cave.

Once inside he stacked four of his larger pieces of wood in two layers of parallel logs with the top layer perpendicular to the bottom, placed his small kindling in the center, broke one of his larger pieces of kindling in half and placed that in an x over the smaller kindling. Focusing on the minuscule portion of his flame powers he could use, he thrust his pointer finger into the center of the kindling and lit the kindling. Quickly he placed the other pieces of medium kindling across the bottom logs and over the kindling. Slowly as he poked, prodded and breathed on the fire the larger kindling began to burn.

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"Thank you," the mage apprentice murmured. He sidled closer to the small fire, reaching one hand out towards it. The small warmth felt good; he sighed and closed his eye.

"You said... you were a phoenix," he began, voice low. "Right?" Then , he opened his eye and smiled. "I guess you're more a-alike to me than most... I-I used to be a dragon. A really long time ago... b-but my sister changed back."

He took out the small, cracked gem again and his smile faded. "But my body... c-can't handle shifting. So this... is the only thing I have left of wh-who i used to be. My sister and i were cursed. If the mages h-hadn't taken away my dragon form when she broke the curse, i would have... I almost did die..."

Then, he looked up and smiled again. "But it's ok. I like this form. And my m-master is really great! He's patient with me, and teaches me a lot. I don't even remember being a dragon. So... I'm happy."

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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
“A dragon?” he said, eyeing Zoik with a certain level of wariness. Still, he hasn't threatened me yet… he thought. “You're not the first of your kind I have encountered,” he continued, “a fire wyvern once coveted a cave I was nesting in.” He smiled at the recollection. “He didn't count on me throwing his fire back into his face…”

Abruptly he recalled what Zoik said about not being able to change back. “I suppose I shall have to learn to be content as well. I shall miss flying.” Lucas said, resignation lacing every word. Noticing that the larger tinder was beginning to break down into glowing coals, he stood up and said “we're going to need more wood to keep the fire going. If the rest of the skinny wood falls down into the middle carefully role the logs that are on the outside of the second level into the center.” As he walked out of the cave he said “The coals should be hot enough to handle real wood at that point. I'll go bring in some more.”

Lucas swiftly returned to the fallen tree and broke down another branch into foot long sections. His confidence in his command of his new body was growing with each task he completed. As he walked back he noticed more birds being disturbed, this time much closer to the cave where they were sheltering.

Cautiously Lucas placed the gathered wood down and approached the area of the disturbance. Peeking out from behind a tree he saw a group of twenty or so armed and armored men moving through the forest towards their cave. All of the men were grim-faced and the one Lucas judged to be their leader (based largely on his more flamboyant coloration) was holding a paper that had an image of Ziok drawn on it. As swiftly as his feet could carry him he bolted back to the cave. “There are armed men in the forest. They seem to be looking for you and I doubt their intentions are pleasant. Shall we flee or fight?”

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Fear filled the boy's eye as he heard the shifted phoenix's news; now more than ever, he wished his Warden - the wolf Karkaras - were here. "I can't run," he said, shaking his head. He gave a quick glance outside, trying to decide whether he should even try. "My leg's twisted... healed wrong. I-I... how did they know where to look for me? I thought I-I'd be safe here!"

Mentally, Zoik ran over what few offensive spells he knew; then he pulled himself painstakingly to his feet. "Run, go, they won't hurt y-you if they're after me," he said suddenly, waving his arms at the phoenix. But the effort cost him his balance, and he stumbled and fell to his knees, wincing as he jarred his bad arm. "I'm a-a dragon and they know... they want me, not you! Go!"

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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
Lucas watched Zoik struggle to his feet and then stumble, stunned by the suggestion his new friend had made. While he understood the concept of leaving a person behind in favor of one’s own escape on an intellectual level, it went against his nature to do so. In fact, it went against his nature to run at all and he wasn't quit sure why he had suggested it in the first place.

I've never run from a fight before he thought I'm not going to start now. “No,” he said out loud, “We will fight.” Putting action to his words he hauled Zoik to his feet and turned to face the cave entrance. Belatedly he realized he had broken some branches on the way to cave resulting in the soulders finding them much more quickly. As the first soldier approached Lucas reflexively formed a fist (one which had small flames coming off it) and punched him squarely in the chest, breaking his hand and (due to his enhanced strength) denting the soldier’s breastplate, launching him into a nearby tree, and knocking him unconscious.

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