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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch [open]

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Drake wasn't a fan of the scene Taellonn had set. There wasn't much to watch from the inside of the arena now, and getting caught between two sparring competitors with now impaired vision wasn't something she wanted. Having moved around and away from her initial entrance left Drake to simply move towards the wall, as to leave the two some space.
Taellonn found himself diving into nothing but steam, and took a moment to look around when he'd reached the peak of his dive. The distance made it tougher to see, and common sense told him Isirion probably wasn't wandering aimlessly about the arena center. He shifted his focus to the walls, catching sight of Drake's armor as she repositioned herself. That was all well and good, knowing how to now avoid her in attacking, but that didn't clear up where his target was. Being mindful of his steam, he lowered his hover and peered through the fog. He didn't have to look very far to see Isirion as he was- approaching Drake? Surely he had no intention of doing anything, since Drake's revelations earlier cleared up some bad blood there and this didn't really seem like a great place to attack (after all, Drake herself hadn't taken advantage of the situation, and she was absolutely itching to get her claws in the dragon killer.) Still, Isirion's movement seemed more exact than a simple wander in the direction, so some level of something (whether it be worry, attentiveness, or suspicions, Taellonn himself couldn't identify) rose in the dragon. His main concerns for an attack were that he didn't want to bash himself into the wall or into the ground or into Isirion's grip. In that moment Taellonn sincerely wished he were a human, or at least had some form of agile dragon-weaponry. Or, perhaps, as a larger dragon he could have accomplished what he wished with less threat to himself. But no, instead of being a creature with subtle, agile attacks or a huge creature with devastating capabilities, he was caught in some terrible middle he had never had the time or motivation to examine or become acquainted with. He was stuck a perfectly healthy young Royal Blue, and he could do nothing to change that woeful state.

The dragon landed, heeding Drake's warnings and becoming hypervigilant of his neck and above.  Prowling about in the steam as unnoticeably as he could manage, he made his way to Isirion, ready to try to tackle the man down in some way. Crouched down his chest was too low for the average human to slide under, and the underside of his neck was only a bit higher in contrast. Not being fully able see Isirion gave an odd mix of terror and confidence to Taellonn, but the only thing that really did was make his wings tuck in a little tighter. 

Edited by Drakessis

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His senses alert for any wing beats or other dragon-made sounds, Isirion did catch a rustling of scales, but the steam made it really difficult to pinpoint a location from that. On the other hand he did not need to know exactly where the dragon was because he already knew where he would be going. That had been the point of making himself a target. Now all that remained was to stay vigilant and evade the incoming attack. Following that he would have to find a new way to inconvenience the dragon, because as inexperienced as Taellonn apparently was in fighting on the front-line, he wasn't stupid. By now he would have figured out that his throat and eyes were his weak point and protect them accordingly. And once a Royal Blue decides to protect something...Isirion sighed inwardly and dropped his plan of using Drake's presence to his advantage. Without using his blade to actually hurt her there was no way Taellonn would get enraged enough to blindly charge in and risk slamming into her instead. That meant he had to find another way to level the playing field again. Counting his assets he remembered he still held a handful of sand he had intended to blind the dragon with, but an even better use occurred to him. Another rustling of scales told him the dragon had landed and was coming closer by the sound of it. Being sure that that dragon would never turn his back on him, Isirion hid back in an area of thicker steam and crouched down while waiting for the dragon. Once he spotted Taellon's compact shape he calculated where his nose must be and sprinted right up, threw the sand into the nostrils and retreated to another patch of lingering steam. Hopefully a sneezing fit would make the Royal Blue expose his weak points again or at least clear some steam away, so his next handful of sand could go right into the eyes...

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Isirion's unexpected presence was enough to trigger some involuntary instinct in Taellonn, a threatening (though not very powerful) roar that would have showed off the dragon's fangs in all their glory were it not for the steam. Of course this did nothing to improve his circumstance, and instead worsened Isirion's sand-attack as granules flew into the Royal Blue's jaws as well as his nostrils. Forgetting about his advantageous steam, Taellonn sprung up on his hind legs, wings spreading as he broke into a sneezing and coughing fit, trying not to fall back to his usual (and much more comfortable) quadrapedal stance. Any time he lost balance and his front feet met the ground he'd spring back up, flailing to stay up for as long as he could manage as to not give Isirion any chances to benefit from his attack. His senses were overwhelmed in the self-inflicted flurry of motion, but as he moved away from the wall and the steam cleared from his movement, he could just barely make out Isirion. Taellonn's thoughts blurred as he struggled to think through a plan. In the Royal Blue's mind, either Isirion would be trying to take advantage of the dragon's chaos or he'd be waiting to deal with the aftermath instead- something that would stick Taellonn back at his beginning! Taellonn recalled the safety of his earlier shaking, of how, despite the mild strangulation, Isirion hadn't hit him. Was that the trick? Flail wildly and hope to hit? The dragon sincerely hoped so as he turned his springing and stomping to Isirion's direction, even beginning to add in forward jumps as his sneezing lessened and he regained autonomy, only then really realizing what he had gotten himself into and how he couldn't keep doing it forever... 

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Scrambling out of the way of the flailing and stampeding dragon, Isirion dropped the idea of trying to go for the dragon's eyes again. There was no way he could throw another handful of sand accurately enough without getting close enough to be stomped or smashed or kicked. Taellonn's sneezing was already subsiding but still the dragon kept thrashing around, most likely to keep him from exploiting the situation. Isirion decided to stay out of range and wait and see how long the Royal Blue could keep up his flailing defense before getting exhausted. By the looks of it his surprise sand attack had had the bonus effect of shaking the dragon's confidence quite a bit. If Taellonn actually believed he could seriously hurt him while being unarmed he could use that to exhaust him faster by appearing just at the edge of his vision before withdrawing again. It was tricky to find a good spot without getting any of the sand the dragon had stirred up into his own eyes or nostrils, but finally he managed to place himself so that Taellonn would notice him from the corner of his eye and hopefully freak out  a bit more.

 

In the meantime at the Neb's tower

 

The guard commander stroked the paper that had been given to him by the strange visitor like it was a precious pet. What was written on it could change everything if he used it correctly. It offered him an arena full of scapegoats with the added bonus that said arena had become a serious rival to their own underground arenas lately. Didn't some of his men mention that Pride's arena had a new spectacle featuring a Royal Blue? What if he told them that the Royal Blue performing was the one who had laid waste to one of their arenas? Together with the information on this paper that someone in the arena had something to do with the assassination of Lord Hassleborough it would justify almost everything. Instead of loosing his position he might actually get promoted again if he lead a successful strike against Pride and his consorts and arrested them all. Clapping his hands together to emphasize his resolution he called his man-sergeant and relayed his new orders. Very soon the arena owner would find himself right in the middle of the last spectacle he would ever see before getting caught and executed as the ringleader behind the gruesome assassination of a city lord...

Edited by Isirion

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Taellonn was getting drained quick from the thrashing. Even with the energy loss he could tell that his condition was nothing he couldn't recuperate from with some steadiness, meaning that, even if it meant sacrificing his only current defense, he couldn't get back to a better state thrashing around and would need to stop soon. Then again, his attempt wasn't even that fruitful in the first place; it hadn't done anything but stir up more sand in place of the steam he'd dissipated. And yet all his efforts were going into this unnatural bucking and falling he wasn't used to (if he'd been doing almost anything else with these efforts he'd have been better off by far.)  Feeling at low risk since nothing seemed to be around his feet, Taellonn slowed his thrashing, giving him a clear glimpse of Isirion out of the corner of his eye. The dragon turned accordingly and his front feet met the ground with a solid 'thud.'  Dizzily blinking, Taellonn tried to think as he failed to focus in one concrete spot, a rush of anxiety filling him as his inaction and indecisiveness made the few stationary moments drag on in his mind. He couldn't just stay still like this, after all- that wasn't an attack, or a performance, or even a strategy! His head rushed with blood and thoughts as he made a quick estimate on distance, clenched his eyes shut, and leaped forward in a steam-free rehash of his previous tackle-plan... 

Edited by Drakessis

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Taellonn rushing straight at him with his eyes closed to protect them, would have given Isirion all the opportunity he needed, but a fiery glow suddenly appearing on the Royal Blue's back made him pause and look for the source. The sky above the arena was full of Nebulas circling and waiting, the light from their wing patterns turning the remainder of the steam, the swirling sand and the dragon's scales into a display of dancing colours. Isirion wasn't easily impressed, but a full dozen dragons and their heavily armoured riders sneaking up on him while he had been fully focused on the fake fight, did impress and distract him at the worst possible time. Taellonn slammed into him and knocked him a few feet away. The impact got damped by the black dragon skin cloak he was wearing so he only cracked a few ribs, but it was still painful. Isirion got up again and drew his blade on instinct to slay the dragon who hurt him before he remembered that the real enemy was circling above. Only they weren't circling any more but swooping down in perfect formation with weighted nets spread out between them to catch their prey all at once. Isirion cried out a warning to the Royal Blue before he clenched his teeth and jumped up the dragon again to cut the net sailing down on him...

 

In the mean-time at Torch's cave

 

After arriving back at his cave with Chimera and his new charge, Torch tried to explain to Flamey why he had to be separated from Claw. The young hatchling listened obediently, but in the end he refused to believe even one word and bawled 'Claw is my friend', as if that was a solid argument. The older male tried again to convince the younger that his 'friend' would have killed him without hesitiation if necessary to prove his strength, he had even admitted it himself, but once again a pouty 'Claw is my friend', was all he got. Torch began to suspect that his keeper's way might be the only way to get through to him, because clearly there was no reasoning with Flamey, at least at the moment. Rearing as high as he could, Torch suddenly swiped the hatchling from the ground with his wing-claw and pinned him against the wall. Then he growled: "Listen to me! You cannot depend on others like the lighter-coloured female or your murderous friend any longer. It is not their strength that counts in here, but your own. If you do not build up your mind and body our keeper will kill you. Do you understand?" Flamey curled up into a little ball of misery in Torch's wing-claw and whined: "I don't want to die!" Torch put him down again and said more softly: "None of us want to, but the weak do not get a say in the matter when the strong decide to kill them. The only thing you can do is train to get strong enough yourself." The hatchling just sat there looking like he finally understood, but also very frightened of Torch...

Edited by Isirion

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Being physically unpreoccupied and mentally on edge, Drake noticed the Nebs and their lightshow before the combatants. She didn't have time to reason with herself and, seeing as she was already at the wall, darted out of the arena without any thought. Adrenaline rushing, she peered at the scene and got even more frustrated. There was no way in hell she was doing anything against a dozen dragons and their riders, and even with her escort at stake attacking on his behalf couldn't fare any better for either of them. She grit her teeth and cursed through them as she ducked down to hide, watching to see if she could at least get some advantage. She didn't exactly count on it, so the half of her mind not focused on watching thought of how and where she'd run if this got worse... 
Taellonn was shocked that he'd actually managed to strike. But his moment of elation was cut short once his eyes opened. Everything was off, from Isirion's stance to the... Colors? Taellonn had mistaken the lights for some byproduct of his shaking at first but the abundance and glow and movement of them established their familiarity. It had to be Nebulas above! He whipped around to face them with terrified and wide eyes that were so glued to the vision before them that he hadn't even noticed his rider's absence. He didn't break out of his shock until Isirion reentered his vision, blade drawn to slice the netting coming down. A different kind of shock seemed to jolt through Taellonn's body as he scrambled down and away from the net, body pressing ever closer to the ground. The tension building in his legs released all at once as he leaped front-up to scratch at the net with his claws wildly, until finally using his claws for a sharp grip, hoping to let some quick pulling and tearing do the rest... 

Edited by Drakessis

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The Nebs cursed undignified as their nets were cut and the Royal Blue wriggled out of the remains, but they still outnumbered their prey twelve to one. Their leader didn't hesitate long before he roared: "THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM JUSTICE PRIDE! Witness the might of the Nebulas who are controlling the skies descend on your arena and surrender! If you don't turn yourself in for your crimes against the city in the next five minutes we start executing your lackeys." Following the high and mighty speech the leader signalled his group to split in half and land near the entrances to guard them too. Six fully armored and armed Nebs on their dragons should be more than enough to deal with one dragon and one human. Especially since everyone knew that those new performances were nothing but faking and acting and the black-clad, blade wielding figure of course couldn't really be the mythical Death. A minute later he had to reconsider his intial assumption because of the blood splurting all around him. Swooping down for a great entrance and a better chance at hitting their targets with the nets had backfired horribly. Isirion had completely ignored the speech and instead climbed the arena wall. From there he had leapt toward the nearest dragon and driven his blade into it's back as a grip, pulled himself up and cut the throat of the rider with the assassin's knife. Like he had suspected the Nebs armour indeed showed the same exposed throat like the guard's similar armour at the mansion. He pulled out his own blade from the dragon and jumped onto the next just in time before the stricken Nebula crashed into the arena sand crying out in pain. Holding two weapons, Isirion had no means of holding on to the Nebula that tried to shake him off immediately, so he cut the rider's saddlestraps, so that he would fall with him. Driving his blade through the rider's armour and heart during the fall, Isirion left it there and curled up into a ball before hitting the ground. The impact fully broke his already cracked ribs, bruised his shoulder and made his head ring like the city alarm. Still he was conscious and used the confusion his sudden attack had caused the Nebs to heal his injuries with the energy he had stolen from the White Dragon. Standing up again he pulled his blade from the rider's body and taunted the Nebula's leader: "Looks like I am executing your lackeys instead." The leader cursed and spat: "You got lucky and got us by surprise but that won't happen again. We still outnumber you and there is nothing you can do about it." Flicking some blood from his blade that despite that remained stained, Isirion immediately retorted with an ice-cold voice and smile: "Except continue to even the odds." With these words he stepped towards the fallen Nebula dragon and let the point of his blade hover above it's heart. The leader gritted his teeth and shouted: "Wait!" Isirion obliged and the leader continued: "Men are easily replaced, but training those dragons costs a fortune." His smile turning from ice-cold to unfathomable, Isirion asked: "So those dragons are worth more than your men?" The leader started to nod, but then he caught on and corrected himself: "Of course not." Isirion nodded, as if the answer had still satisfied him, continued his enigmatic smile and calmly inquired: "So which of your precious men or dragons are you sending next to die then?" The leader cursed and spat again, angry that he had allowed himself to be dragged into this mindgame and even more angry that he was loosing. He couldn't attack without loosing more men or dragons and of course he couldn't retreat without loosing face. While the leader was pondering if he should recall the other group, Isirion wondered how much more time he needed to buy Drake to organize another distraction on the scale of a Royal Crimson or if she had finally seen his point and abandoned her dead-weight dragon in order to escape and save her own hide...

Edited by Isirion

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Even with the slight 'relief' from being (to some degree) free, Taellonn was only getting worse. He winced at each kill and slash; not so much because of the violence (except perhaps against the dragons, though even through his sympathy he recognized a threat,) but because of the man executing the attacks. Then again, Taellonn was alive and unharmed. He shrunk down and glanced around, feeling, though minimal, some security until noticing that Drake was absolutely nowhere to be seen. He choked on a whimper. 
Drake herself winced at each potentially fatal strike at a dragon but had to remind herself that each dragon seemed alive (perhaps not their riders, though their leader's near disregard for their lives probably could have stirred some sympathy with Drake in any other occasion,) and that the Nebs were enemies here no matter what. But the current lack of dragon casualties still didn't erase Isirion's potential for further death, and Drake needed to get a better solution. Clearly sticking around wouldn't help with that, so she turned and ran back through the entrance to the previous room. She slowed as soon as she was inside, but her eyes rushed to the exits. If there were Nebs about she'd either need to find the sparsest group or a clear cut through, otherwise her plans of either getting one of those Pygeons to get a quick message out or plain sprinting to her cause's base were all but worthless.

 

Meanwhile at the small Draikenflaeme base


Ezra felt like he could be at the verge of finally being calm when two men rushed past him and proved otherwise, one barely grazing his shoulder and the other familiarly clad in knives. The first spoke to the Draikenflaeme leader, urgency clear in his voice. "Pardon, but we've spotted Nebs, there wasn't time for an exact count but Leon- Leon says-" Leon interrupted. "They look like they're heading towards where Drake is: an arena, I was there before. I'm not exactly sure if I'm correct but I could go back..." Ezra put away his sword, hoping to seem more rational. "I think I know where you mean. There's no point of going back alone. If you're right, who knows what the hell could be going on." He turned to the leader. "Relantia can't be too far yet. We can at least get her to stop outside the city and come back if we need her, right?"
The few warriors around the leader looked to him as he took a few moments to think before nodding and beginning his orders. "Someone get a pygmy and some rope-" A whistle and some shuffling around began behind him. "-I want at least two- no, three if we can, dragons getting out there to stop Relantia and keep her safely outside the city, riders or none." A pygmy gnawing on something fluttered up beside him, trying to pull away its front foot as the leader tied a rope to it (and only found success as the dragon was offered more treats.) The leader didn't hesitate to direct the pygmy to latch onto Leon's back and hand him some of the food the pygmy seemed so enthralled by. "Go. Pull the rope off and send the pygmy back if we need the Crimson. Him back with a rope tells us that you're fine, and him not coming back at all tells us to send a small fleet- that last one is more of a failsafe. He should listen to you, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble coercing him otherwise." Leon shoved the morsels he'd received into a concealed pocket, nodded, and began to head towards his Fever Wyvern, only to be stopped by Ezra's grip on his shoulder a few steps forward. The taller man near growled in his ear, "Anything happens to Roxanne, and you're dead." Leon didn't have time to respond as Ezra pushed him forward. The now twicely stricken Leon took it as a not-so-subtle cue to get going faster and tell his wyvern to hurry too...

Edited by Drakessis

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Every street entrance was covered with at least two Nebs and their dragons. They had split up their already split up group into four guarding the main and side entrances and two guarding the entrance for human challengers. Golden Myth, who had left his cage to patrol, watched them with contempt in his eyes and growled: "It was bad enough to be told to watch out for assassins by a dragon killer, but those Nebs are even worse." Pride, who had been sittting nearby and was busy stitching and applying flower petals to a dress, hid the guilty look on his face and told the floor: "I heard the city alarm, I heard them call my name, but how could I go out there knowing what they would do. They would throw me into one of their arenas with a wild, nearly starved and potentially mad dragon and let him rip me apart and feast on me for entertainment all the while calling it 'justice'. I am nothing like Death, I can't fight against a dragon for real and-" "You are bloody right you are nothing like that abominable dragon killer and that is a bloody good thing. Don't you dare think otherwise", Mythy reprimanded him. Pride finally looked up, locked eyes with his dragon and asked curiously: "Are you talking about Isirion or the mythical Death?" "Both of them", Golden Myth spat with conviction. Pride sighed and spoke softly: "It doesn't really matter, does it, although I do believe our Death really is the mythical Death. Did I ever tell you, why I am so obsessed with him?" The Golden Wyvern thought about all the mindblowing, exhausting conversations they had about future performances, but he couldn't recall his keeper ever talking about his past and so he shook his head. The arena owner waved his hand around in the air to indicate the whole of his arena and explained:

 

"Without Death, my arena with it's wonderful performances wouldn't exist. I had this idea for a long time already, but buying and maintaining an arena costs a fortune. You'd have to be a city lord or part of those corrupted Nebs to afford the price. Or you'd have to be very desperate and go to the underground arenas and bet on the outcome of the fights there. Predicting which limb gets torn off first gets you enough coins for a five-course meal, guessing the order of death in a mass execution might yield you the coin equivalent of a small house, but the real fortune to be made lies in the bets against the dragons. Only, they never loose. Their prey might be able to dodge for a while, even get a hit or a desperate kick in, but in the end it's always the human lying dead on the floor of the arena. I watched countless of those fights, pitied the humans and those betting on them, which was mostly gambling addicts or in some cases desperate family members who had snuck in hoping for a miracle, but it never happened. With every drop of human blood my dream of earning enough coins to try and provide a different kind of entertainment faded until it was but a shadow. Hopeless, like I was one of those sentenced to death, I dragged my feet to yet another 'serving of justice'. Like all the other spectators I walked between the two cages, looked at the raging dragons and then at the humans staring at them wide-eyed with fear and the knowledge that they would be the last thing they would ever see. Only, this time, there was one among them who didn't stare at the dragons. One, who didn't even glance at them and was instead watching those passing by the cage. He was wearing some kind of ragged, hood and cloak, black in colour and torn in many places. It wasn't made out of dragon skin of course, only simply cloth then, but still he looked perfectly at ease. It wasn't the inner calm that came from accepting certain death, but something else. To me it looked like he was just passing the time studying the humans as if the dragons or his oncoming execution through them didn't even matter. It was incomprehensible to me, like something out of a dream. My dream to be precise - I had dreamt of a performance were the human or humans wouldn't be afraid and they wouldn't be in danger from the dragons because they would be acting together. It wouldn't really matter who won or who lost because at the end of the spectacle all of them would still be alive to perform again tomorrow. My dream overlaying my vision, becoming clearer and clearer again, I couldn't take my eyes off him. My heart started to race as if it wanted to escape my chest and I followed it before my brain could catch up. I ran towards the nearest bookmaker and put all the coins I had saved into his grubby hands in exchange for a slip of paper saying '315 coins, 10000:1, #4 human win'. I didn't even had enough left to buy myself a snack, I couldn't breath properly and I fidgeted all the way to my seat. The first three fights went by in a blink, as always the dragons won and the humans lost. After the bodies were cleaned out, the Neb in charge announced the fourth fight: "Ladies and gentlemen in the audience, we proudly present you the fourth serving of justice in our arena. You'll be witness to the execution of a particular vile piece of scum. He defied the authority of the Nebulas and even dared to attack one of us. LET JUSTICE BE SERVED!"

 

The man I just bet all my coins and my future on was driven into the arena at sword point, then the bars were lowered again behind him. On both sides of the entrance were stands with an assortment of melee weapons because the Nebs believed that made the fights more interesting. They also offered bets on which weapons the criminals would choose or if they would just run around like headless chickens or try to climb out before the dragons got them. In the end, standing before a raging mad, starving dragon it made no difference if you were holding a slightly bent sword, a rusty axe or a jagged knife. Number four picked a blade that was at least straight but had dull edges and started to sharpen it with the edge of another weapon. The two blades scraping at each other produced an eerie screeching sound that made my hair stand up all over my body. Having a little bit of trouble being heard over the noise, the announcer screamed: "Let the executioner loose!" On the other side of the arena, the bars went up and a Red Dragon edged on by long spears came out. it looked perfectly vicious and hungry and the crowd cheered for it at once. It's intended victim had finished sharpening his blade and turned around to face it and the dragon's instincts instantly kicked in. There was a living creature and he was so very hungry and so he charged. He opened his jaws wide to bite out a big chunk of the human, but they closed on thin air. His prey had evaded his attack and was now standing right behind him. The human struck out with his blade and stabbed the dragons foot before scrambling out of the way of the whipping tail. The arena fell silent, for the first time dragon blood had flown before human blood and by the looks of it, it wouldn't be the last. Once again dodging a straight forward charge, the human aimed for the dragon's foot and cut it once more, then retreated again. The dragon, mad by hunger and now mad by pain too, roared and spew fire. The crowd cheered, but the flames didn't hit anything because the human had already sprinted out of the range. Before the dragon could try again he sprinted back and this time slashed at a front leg. The Red screamed and lashed out but missed, because the human had thrown himself in the sand. When the paw passed over him he quickly pierced it with his blade and rolled out of the way. Having trouble standing the dragon flew up as far as the metal netting above the arena allowed and spew fire again. Once again he hit nothing and that made him even more furious. Watching the Red Dragon swoop down to strike and catch his prey with all his might made the audience roar with encouragement, but that roar soon turned to consternation as the swoop ended with the dragon crashing down, the softer underside of his body cut open by the human's now thoroughly bloodstained blade. Standing unharmed and unafraid right next to the still warm body of the dragon, there was no doubt that this time, against all odds the human had won - and I with him. I won so much coins that the Nebs couldn't pay me out so I took their arena as payment instead."

 

Pride fell silent, his eyes still locked with Mythy's until the wyvern asked: "What happened to the human?" "They transferred him to another arena and tried to kill him again using other dragon species, but they all ended up like the Red. One day he just vanished from the arena and was never seen again. Those who had witnessed his fights started to call him Death and spread the myth. A myth full of death and blood just like the history of this arena. That is why I worked so hard to create a new, different myth. A Golden Myth. But that is all over now. The Nebs have come at last to reclaim their arena by accusing and executing me for some convenient crime..."

Edited by Isirion

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Drake had already disheartenedly faced guarded exits as she reluctantly prepared to check the human entrance; given the circumstances she wasn't keen on seeing any familiar faces. Despite not seeing signs of Nebs entering the area before, she still ducked and hid to check the next area. Before getting a chance to look she heard voices- familiar ones, at that- and stayed hidden.

Even with some early bits of his tale somewhat fuzzy as Drake hadn't fully focused yet, eventually she found herself fully attentive to Pride's story, not wanting to pass up hearing it. Eavesdropping on him certainly proved a fair deal about both the Nebs' corruption and who exactly could be Death himself, but above all it proved to Drake that she couldn't only be out to save herself and Taellonn. She knew that even fighting tooth and nail with such a disadvantage in numbers probably wouldn't be enough to stop the Nebs from taking Pride, and knowing his full, righteous intentions she wasn't about to let that happen. She refocused on her original goal and looked for more Nebs. 
As to be expected, peering around showed her a group of Nebs outside of the human entrance. That seemed to be the sparsest area of Nebs given the entrance's location. Still, she let out a frustrated sigh. No doubt rushing out would draw attention to her, and no matter how well she could hide once she was outside, that certainly couldn't last forever, especially if she was trying to do more than escape. But what other options did she have? Stay put and hope for the best as Isirion drew more blood and the Nebs grew more impatient? Her fingers fidgetted and clenched in and out of half-fists, the reassuring pressure from her claw weapons at each finger bend encouraging her to rush out into the night. But even with the encouragement, hoping for the best started to seem appealing if Drake wanted to save herself on top of everyone else. Even if it meant spending time she didn't have she'd just have suck up her frustration to keep patrolling around and wait for a good opportunity to escape; surely, she told herself, she wasn't too desperate yet. 

Edited by Drakessis

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While Drake patrolled the arena, waiting for a good opportunity to escape, Alzira had been coerced by her dragon to hide amongst the numerous piles of stuff Pride had been hoarding for equally numerous performances. No matter how apt his keeper proved while knife training, he'd rather pick her up by the scruff of her neck like a little kitten and carry her off to safety before letting her try them out on even one Neb. Luckily Alzira saw the situation the same way. The city wide alarm was clear enough and the shouting outside even clearer and so she hid and hoped for the best.

 

In the mean-time somewhere in the Endless Desert

 

"They are late," grumbled the Black air-bandit leader Chet and stared daggers at the entrance to their hide-out that still didn't spit out the Nebs he was waiting for. What was the point of letting them direct some parts of their operation because they knew the city's highest bidders, if they couldn't even be punctual. "Those sandbrains better come soon and with a very good explanation," he grumbled on and walked over to the holding cells to find something to pass the time. The latest raid had only turned out two meager old humans probably no-one would like to see in an arena fight and certainly no-one would pay ransom for. Chet unlocked the cell doors and put them out of their misery and with that his bandits out of the pain of having to feed them for nothing. Then he called his dragon by yelling 'BAT' as loud as he could. Soon a young, but already scarred Black Dragon sauntered towards him and gorged himself on the fresh meat. As a Black he could kill almost everything, but like his keeper he preferred to go for the easiest kill or corpse in this case. Chet patted him a few times and thought with a bit of longing about his old dragon Blackjade, that had had the posture of a queen, the manners of a lord and had sadly been killed a few years ago. Not wanting to feel miserably about a mere dragon, the leader pressed on towards the dragon holding cells with the clear goal to make one of the inhabitants miserable instead. He found the perfect target in a newcomer blue Zyumorph, that had had anger issues from the moment he got captured. Chet grabbed the nearest spear and poked through the sturdy bars, promising the dragon a world of pain if he didn't roll around on command.

Edited by Isirion

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With half-lidded golden eyes, the Zyumorph tried to lash against the walls in anger, but merely managed a flick of the tail. The humans had caught him in the great Desert, then forced some sort of food into his throat so that he was forced to swallow, or choke. Soon afterwards, they had tied his muzzle, and hobbled his legs and wings together with minimal trouble, for a great heaviness had settled over his limbs. Their despicable leader, Chet or something, had walked in front of the prone dragon and coiled a thin bullwhip through his hands. Needless to say, he had clearly had experience subjugating wild dragons to his will, and with the sedative, the young dragon had been forced to comply. Ever since then, they had kept him bound by the limbs and fed a sedative in his food every time he started to shake the drug off. If he did not eat, he would be forced to, with some "encouragement" by their leader. If he ate, he would be helpless. It was a lose-lose situation. For now, kept wary of the whip and various knives of the other humans, he ate, making sure they saw his gnashing teeth. The cell was awful, cold, enclosed, and it stank, the exact opposite of his desert home. Why did he fall into that devil's trap?

 

Currently, he had eaten the morning of, and the sedative was heavy, like a fogbank over his brain. He could see Chet walking towards his tiny cell, with that dirty rotten puffed up Black dragon following him around with a swagger. Ezaryth, for that was his name, lifted a lip and sneered at the other dragon, rumbling with slow, mocking laughter. It might get him another lash or pried scale, but he didn't care. No dragon should ever sink to that level. If he ever got out of the cell, Ezar would start his vengeance with ending that Chet, and his dragon. His eyes shifted to the human, who had picked up a pointy stick, unnaturally straight and hewed (like much of the human's possessions), and jabbed it through the bars. The Zyu sighed to himself. He knew what the leader wanted, and he hated to comply, but he had to keep his strength up for that day that will come soon. Lacklusterly, the dragon hefted a growl, quiet enough that the human would not be provoked further. His long body twisted, and the dragon performed a clumsy roll, scales scraping against the floor. Finishing with his legs back below his body, the golden eyes turned to stare into Chet's, promising death with the intensity of the stare, even though he was sedated. His jaws opened, and he growled in a low voice with his limited knowledge of the human tongue, "Death."

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Bat didn't even bat an eyelash at the caged dragon's provocation; not that he had any anyway. Chet on the other hand started to jab furiously through the bars even though the Zyu had done what he asked and screamed: "NEVER utter that name in my presence again. NEVER!" His sudden screaming startled Bat and the Black Dragon dropped the leg he was still chewing on and legged it away, knocking down an approaching air-bandit. The sandy-haired man shouted an insult after the dragon and picked himself up, but upon seeing how enraged his leader currently was he considered lying down again. Mustering some courage, he addressed Chet as unprovoking as he could: "Chet, the boys are getting restless. We haven't been out all night because of that big thing the Nebs promised. Their messengers still didn't show up, so shouldn't we use what is left of the night? If we wait any longer it will be day and we will intrude into the Sunstones' time. The leader pulled back his spear, broke it in half and threw the pieces at his henchman's feet, than he spat: "Look at that. Our deal with the Sunstones is like that broken spear. One half is harmless, and only a stick, but the other half is still a dangerous weapon. We are the menace of the night, we are the spear and they are only the stick. We will raid when we please and those loosers can do nothing about it, just like that dragon." Chet pulled out his bullwhip and cruelly lashed at the dragon just to make a point and the other man winced and argued at once: "Stop it Chet or you'll damage the merchandise even more. Those collector's in the city are picky about quality and that Zyu is a very rare breed, very difficult to replace." The Black air-bandit leader finally calmed down and said: "You are right, let's leave this merchandise and get us some more. Rally the boys!" Chet smiled and left the drowsy dragon alone with his pain, the half-chewed leg right in front of his cage and the broken spear lying only a few feet away...

Edited by Isirion

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Ezaryth flinched back at this sudden display of insanity. He'd never seen this type of unhindgedness in a human before, but then again, he hadn't been exposed much to humans. He turned his neck to protect his eyes, rearing away from the sharp jabby. He could see the Black dragon run away, knocking down something else before running off. The Zyu peeked out of the bars and saw another human, golden furred, coming towards the enraged leader, looking like something rolled on - ahhh. He must've been the obstacle the black dragon had crashed into. The messenger looked very uncomfortable, and Ezar glared at him, too. Humans.

 

His eyes smoldered, but were fogged. He jabbered to the Chet, and apparently what he said infuriated the more dominant male. The leader broke the jabby, and cast it on the cold ground. Well, at least the stick wasn't pointed at him anymore. Uncoiling from his defensive position hesitantly, the blue dragon stared at the talking humans, catching some snatches of words he knew. "...night... stick... dragon." Upon that last word, the leader turned and lashed at Ezar with that omnipresent whip. The dragon growled, shrinking back with greater anger, uncomfortably contained inside the shell of tranquilizers. With another few words from the golden boy, the leader stopped with a sneer and turned away, barking orders.

 

As soon as the hated bandit was out of his sight, the dragon settled back, scales cold and scraping. A scent floated to his brain, and he lifted his head. There, just outside the cage, the halves of the stick and the meat the black dragon had left. Belly growling, the Zyu tried to reach for it through the bars, but couldn't quite get it. His eyes lit up, and he turned, thinner tail scraping out to sweep the meat towards the bars so that he could snatch it. With a talon, Ezaryth dragged the meat into his cage, too hungry to care about that disgraceful dragon's bites all over it. He devoured the entire leg, cracking the bone to suck out the marrow, then crunch down the bones to try to fill more empty space.

 

Licking his lips, the dragon sighed, the food helping slowly clear the fog a slight bit. Now more sated, the dragon looked outside again, noticing the broken sharp stick. This might come in useful. At the very least, it could be used to reach out further past the bars. Maybe, if he had a good time to use it, it would prove a good weapon. For now, though, Ezar merely slid both halves in the back, hidden from view. He settled down, the berries and small amount of food dragging his eyes down. The time will come.

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While he slept his body processed the disgusting, but undrugged food source and regained enough strength to have a proper dream instead of the usual drug-induced near-coma; only it wasn't a dream but a nightmare. He thought he lost both his fore-legs and part of his tail until he discovered that he had changed into a wyvern-like species of dragon. Inside him he felt a fierce fire burning, threatening to consume him, but eerily alike to his anger towards his captors. It was as if he had become another dragon body and soul and that dragon's situation was even worse than his own. Images of a beautiful Sunstone female getting her flame of  life extinguished by a bloodstained blade flooded his mind. Flowing away like blood from a wound the images changed to a slain Moonstone hatchling with innocent eyes forever-open in surprise. The flame within him burned brighter and brighter until it turned almost blue, but there was no wakening from the nightmare yet. Dozens and dozens of dead hatchlings piled up until there was a mountain of corpses. Suddenly a hooded figure clad in Black Dragon skin appeared at the very top and looked straight at him with ice-cold eyes and spoke with an even colder voice: "Fight or die!"

 

At approximately the same time at Leetle island

 

Sodger, Ale, the Guardian and Eyes were sitting around the Leetle shrine with Aseto and Barrel keeping watch. Lazarus was there too, but the Lurker didn't guard anything, only enjoyed the beauty of the night. The other dragon there, a female Ice, also didn't guard the shrine, but took care of three healthy and strong looking Guardian hatchlings. Another, already more grown hatchling approached the Guardian and reported happily that his new brothers and sister had hatched. The bear-like man smiled honestly and said: "I can see that, little Galandir, your father would be as proud of you as I am." Galandir smiled back with only a hint of sadness and carried his new siblings over one by one. He put his first to-be-brother in the Guardian's big hands and said: "This is Galad, he will be as good a protector of the shrine as I am when he is older." The next hatchling was placed into Ale's hands and Galandir said: "His name is Andor, he will play with me and Galad and keep up our spirits so that we won't ever fail our duty." The last hatchling got placed into Eye's trembling hands and the little Guardian spoke: "Diadora is our baby-sister and we will make her proud to call us her big brothers." Upon hearing that the tiny Guardian hatchling gave an undignified squeak and complained: "I'm not a baby." The human Guardian took in the scene with his eyes and heart to treasure it forever, because his mind insisted that it had to be the calm before an especially vicious storm...

Edited by Isirion

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Ezaryth looked on at the images his mind conjured with horror, unable to help the dying dragons and unable to close his eyes. Shocked by the volume of the corpses that previously held so much life and potential, he struggled to tear away from sleep, but was held by some otherworldy force. He was terrified. Never before had one of his dreams ever caught him like that, forced him to live some other life. The Zyu had never believed in dream-death, but now, he wondered if he would truly die here, and his body in another existence would decompose. A heat in his chest grew, burning, boiling until he couldn't feel the heat and it became a burning cold. 

 

He was beginning to think that there was no end, but suddenly, a dark figure appeared, wearing the skinned remains of a black dragon. The humanoid's eyes burned like the fire in him, but the opposite way; an ice so cold it was burning. The voice that called to him was even colder. "Fight, or die!" He knew those words, although they were in humanese. Fight. Die. 

 

His eyes snapped open, and he inhaled, his body going into a spasm of surprise and fear. To his relief, he was him again, regular old Ezaryth.  He settled his head on his claws with a sigh, head clearer, washed by the strange nightmare. Strange. Very strange. If - no, when he got out, he would find that human, and get answers. 

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His sight and senses getting clearer and clearer by the second with the adrenaline washing out the last remnants of the drugs from his system, Ezaryth could picture the departure of the raid group as if he was standing right next to them. His ears caught the sound of dozens of powerful wings flapping to gain altitude while his nose caught all the different smells of riders and dragons whirling together. Like the leader had commanded the Black air-bandits were leaving for another raid and by the sound and smell of it not even the two-legs who drugged his food were staying behind. And why should they? Two elderly, slain prisoners and a supposedly drugged dragon held captive in a sturdy cage that had withstood dozens of even stronger dragon species was nothing to worry about - or was it?

 

In the mean-time at Leetle island

 

The last four of the Royal Blue regiment still sat together like old times, but despite Galandir's strategic distribution of his new siblings, the mood was getting darker by the minute. Albeit each of them was curious to hear what kind of story their comrade who had been missing for so long, had to tell, neither Ale, nor the Guardian brought up the topic in fear of arousing their old captain's anger again. Eyes who didn't understand the situation very well, but at least could read the mood, thus kept quiet and baby-talked with Diadora who loved the attention she was getting so much she could almost forgive the baby-treatment. Sodger on the other hand didn't talk to anyone, he just sat there, brooding and plotting the downfall of the corrupted Nebulas and their air-bandit lackeys. Two of his so-called comrades had already turned his back on him, asking him to show mercy to those criminals for the sake of the citizens that were only slightly less corrupted than the Nebs themselves. But Eyes had said nothing. Was he just too exhausted to speak or was there another reason he held his tongue? Sodger had always believed Eyes to be the most loyal of his comrades, but the continued silence was a betrayal in itself. A true Royal Blue wouldn't be opposed to facing some criminal scum and standing proud over their dead bodies afterwards. A true Royal Blue would lead the charge, not hide cowardly on an island to lick his wounds and pet some hatchlings. Sodger turned his head in the direction the most petting came from and snarled: "You should be ashamed of yourself. You should be sharpening a weapon instead of petting a hatchling. My apprentice would strike at them and probably does at the moment. He understands that you can't let scum like that do as they please. I am very fortunate to have met him." "You met him because he killed the mountain bandits that were attacking you; Fingers told me", the Guardian interrupted and continued: "and ever since he has never stopped killing thugs and thieves and the likes. Only days ago he provoked them to attack us at your hut if you remember. I thought it had been accidental but after observing him for some time I am not so sure anymore. While we were chasing after you, he pointed out hidden Sunstone-bandits in the Endless desert and even killed one of their dragons and it's rider and we were lucky to escape in the confusion instead of facing the whole group. Later in the big city he would have assassinated three of the Nebs right at their own tower if I hadn't stopped him from making them all his enemy too. I also recall that he would have let the dragons of an underground arena loose against the guards there if Drake hadn't come up with a less deadly idea. What I am trying to say is that death follows, wherever he goes and that you are too blind to see any fault in that because he mostly kills 'scum' as you put it. It is most unfortunate that you ever met him because you have changed for the worse since you did. The captain I knew would have never even thought about using someone like him as a tool to start another war. And that is why you will stay with Eyes at my island while Ale and I will fly back to the city alone."

Edited by Isirion

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Ezaryth's head cleared, clearer than it had been since he was captured. The frightful dream seemed to swipe away the fog. The beating of wings drew his attention. The bandits were mostly, or all gone. Perfect. With the meal of the leftover meat, the Zyu felt strong. Stretching slowly, he inspected the bars with fresh eyes. It was designed to hold a mid-strength dragon, or a heavily drugged stronger one - like him. Currently near his prime, the dragon arched his neck, trying out a stiff shoulder against the bars. They held, but they shed some dust.He could feel a slight wiggling near the edges. Ezar allowed himself an ugly smirk. Just wait. He could wait, but the anger coursing through his veins made him hurry to move. Anything was better than being cramped up in here.

 

The dragon turned to face the back, trying to perform a vicious tail swipe. Ezar took a deep breath, and twisted his body violently, bashing his arms against the stone. With a loud groan, his great tail crashed against the bars, ripping the iron from the stone they were set in and clattering against the floor. A pain stabbed up through his tail, but that was quickly overshadowed by the view of the unbarred lair. Tentatively, he stretched an arm out, meeting no resistance. The Zyu slid the rest of his body through with some squeezing, then stood in the open, breathing deeply. The scent of blood came to him, and he followed it. Maybe it was more food?

 

As his eyes lit upon the slain humans, a shiver went up his spine. Not food. Maybe these humans were good, before their death. Why else would the bandits take them hostage? Ezar turned his back, exploring the lair.

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The lair was very oddly shaped, definitely not a natural cave, but also nothing like the clear shapes the humans preferred. It just spread out like a giant underground paw-print. His dragon cell had been one of the claws, as had the cell with the dead humans. Stolen goods and baubles were stored in the other claws. The main room was slightly circular and reeked of all the air-bandits that usually lived and slept there. Going from there, elongating like an arm stretched the tunnel to the surface. Clean desert air, untainted by the foul smell awaited him along with the promise of freedom at last. But while his body was now free, his mind couldn't that easily forget the torture Chet and his air-bandits had put him through. Black wings beating against the night sky wouldn't be easy to spot, but with his senses sharpened by the thirst for revenge he could probably find them again - or he could just look at the night sky alone to navigate back to the place he called home in this great desert. The consequences of this choice could ultimately affect many more dragons and humans, but still the choice was his alone to make with only his conscience and his burning heart for guidance...

Edited by Isirion

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Ezaryth explored the arm-like cave, pausing once to bash and cut off all of his restraints. Sticking to one side to make sure he wasn't lost in this sprawling lair was a trick he had learned while exploring another set of far more treacherous caves in his youth, and the same curiosity that had driven him to explore those now led him by a string here. Of course, the Zyu padded along quietly, not sure when more reinforcements might spring out of the walls and start stabbing him. 

 

He finished his examination of the farther, finger-like offshoots, then entered into the main cave. Immediately, he sneezed, his body trying to cleanse filth from his nose. So this is what human residences smell like. Ezar wrinkled his nose ad hurried past the cave, stopping only to examine some interesting rocks or possessions of the bandits.

 

The long, roughly circular passageway to open air was quickly hurried up by the dragon, cool air curling around him. He stood in the opening, heaving great breaths of unburdened, free air, and looked to where his home should be. An itch, though, made him stop and focus after the trail of scents leading from the opening; scents of the bandits. Ezaryth's eyes narrowed, and he made up his mind. He would follow them, kill them and their dirty mounts, then go back home.

 

His keen nose lifted, he inhaled, the scent of bandit in his lungs. The zyu lifted his wings, beat then once, then launched himself upward to begin the pursuit.

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With the fires of revenge burning bright inside him and lifting him up high into the sky, the Zyu followed the trail of the Black air-bandits as stealthily as he could. On the other hand, like a mirror to his wrath, the old captain of the Royal Blue regiment was forced to stay on the ground, unable to follow his heart and unleash hell onto the much-deserving Nebs and their lackeys. No ropes bound him, but since even his own dragon Aseto refused to carry him back into battle, Sodger felt even more imprisoned than at the time when the Sunstone air-bandits had bound and sold him to the Nebs who had actually held him in a cage...

 

In the meantime at Pride's arena

 

The Nebula leader was getting more and more impatient at the disgraceful stalemate he found himself in because neither he nor his fellow Nebs were too eager to engage the death-like figure and the bloodstained-blade it was wielding in close combat. Suddenly an idea came to him, that wasn't very Neb-like or honourable, but he had stopped caring about such things a long time ago. Smirking as if victory was already his, the leader sent one of his men to fetch crossbows and then taunted: "For defying the authority of the Nebulas and even daring to attack us, you'll die a dog's death! Justice will be served once we fill you with bolts!"

 

Isirion sighed, as the situation was getting more and more familiar. It must have been the side-effect of using the peaceful White Dragon's energy that he hadn't already killed the enemies right in front of him, but now his temper flared up again and he taunted back: "So basically I just have to kill you all before you can shoot me. Fine by me!" His provocation bought him a few precious seconds he used to climb on the Nebula beside him. He whispered the words 'fly or die' in it's ear and forced it into the air again. Aiming for the leader, Isirion edged the wounded dragon on until it was close enough to jump over but the leader's perfectly trained dragon, sensing the danger, swerved out of the way immediately. The other Nebulas followed his example and dispersed only to re-unite in perfect battle formation. Now that the fight took place in the air, the Nebulas focused solely on the human who had dared challenge them in their own element and, confident of victory, attacked with tooth and sword and claw...

Edited by Isirion

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Taellonn had kept on flinching at every little movement, but the seemingly sudden rise of all the Nebs seemed to lift a weight off of his shoulders with it. His senses jolted out of confusion and into clarity as the opportunity became apparent to him, and, with eyes locked on the battle above him, he walked against the wall until he found an escape to burst through like a cat from a bush.

 

With stilted breaths, he stood straight-legged at his destination, his moment of clarity gone as he failed to absorb the scene. His entrance, however, had been enough to grab Drake's attention, and his rider's voice was more than enough to cut through the confusion. "Finally, something sorta going right. What's going on out there?" He looked to Drake, blinked, and rushed over, head pressed against her. "I'm out!" he cried, "And they haven't taken you or anything!" Drake pushed the Royal Blue's head away. "They're not in here, but I'm looking at an effort to get past the ones outside. Even with you here there's not much to help with the situation at hand- speaking of which, answer my question. What's going on out there?" Taellonn explained as quickly as he could (which, in his shock, was a fair amount longer than need be.) Even though it had helped Taellonn escape, Isirion facing the Nebs alone was still as threatening as before. But now, with Taellonn, Drake had a better chance against the Nebs outside. She'd definitely have preferred anyone else to help her, but she didn't necessarily need a killer, just some quick help. Thinking over her new plan she desperately hoped her escort would be on board- hell, she was hoping he could even manage it, but two had to be better than one. She made her way to the prop pile in the room, explaining as she tried to dig through for what she needed. "Taellonn, I know that all we need to get help is for me to just get outside. But, there's Nebs everywhere, and the sparsest bunch is still risky for me to attack alone." She pulled out some cloak-resembling fabrics from the pile and examined their lengths. "So," she grabbed two she saw fit and tied them, "I'm going to need you to help with one. You're probably going to have to kill a guard." Taellonn's throat froze. He scraped through a fake fight with Isirion, and now Drake expected him to be able to take down a Neb? His worries sputtered out as uncomfortable mutterings, which Drake aptly interrupted. "But after that, your job will be to keep his dragon pinned or at least on the ground while I take care of the other and try to reason with them." Drake folded her creation over her shoulder and started bunching the displaced fabrics haphazardly against the pile as Taellonn finally managed to object. "You're going to kill two men and then try to reason with their dragons?" Drake turned. "Do you have a better plan? You're my only asset here, and I'd say even that's exaggerating!" She paused. That certainly wasn't the way to convince Taellonn. "...And if you don't help me, I'm just trying this on my own." Taellonn's feet shuffled. That settled it; his only worries would have to be regarding his capability. He tried to think of how he'd pull off his apparent stunt as Drake led him to the least guarded exit. His audible worries and complaints managed to change the plan. Now, he didn't have to kill anyone; just jump at a dragon's back and knock a guard into Drake's reach so that she could. The feat was still a terrifying thought, but at least it gave Taellonn more energy to focus on his target, which Drake had nicknamed "Left" in their further planning.

 

Drake readjusted the cloaks over her shoulder. She looked to Left and Right as she snuck towards the door with Taellonn in tow, and, checking to make sure he was still prepared, rushed out towards Right to rip off the rider from the pair. The throat wasn't great leverage, but the wyvern's wing served well as the platform Drake needed. The rider's body audibly fell as Drake, now on the wyvern's back, threw her double-cloak across its face and slid off the other side. One hand gripped the closest side of the fabric and the other helped her slide beneath the dragon's neck and land to grab the other side, the partially-impairing 'blindfold' twisting together beneath the dragon's jaw. In all honesty she'd planned to stand at this point, but a fighting guard sliding up alongside her stopped her. It wasn't optimal, but it at least proved Taellonn did his job so far. As the guard half of Left started to get up Drake sacrificed a more solid grip (which didn't seem long for the world anyhow) to grab the guard's throat for actual leverage to rise and get her claws up against Right's throat. Through heavy breaths she threatened, "Don't try calling out for help or trying to flee, the rest of you are dead or preoccupied with the end of a blade. Help me out and I could probably give you more to look forward to than just your next breath." She looked to Taellonn and Left. The Royal Blue was clearly struggling to wrestle his target in place (his feet would shoot up at slight provocations and he'd failed to stay at the wyvern's back, left mostly dodging now,) but, feeling teal-grey eyes on him, he tried his best to show off glinting fangs to his target, trying to promise some more bite than fight if the dragon didn't listen... 

Edited by Drakessis

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The guard swallowed hard, as his decision to stay out of trouble by guarding the furthest entrance backfired horribly. Now, even if he dared to shout for help, he would be dead before he could even finish the word. He glanced over to his fellow Neb, whose torn throat still bled witness that his assailant meant business. His reason for joining the Nebs was for the little bit of extra coin and reputation, you'd had to work for too hard elsewhere. Guarding the city from above a noble dragon from air-bandit threats that stuck to a pre-arranged schedule was one thing, but laying down his life? The Neb had no inkling to do so, especially when there was so much he still wanted to do with his life. Thus he whispered in his best manner: "Our dragons are trained to fly without making noise. If you take one, and I take the other, we can get away from here unnoticed. Your Royal Blue can fly just below us so his body is shielded from view, I doubt he is the havoc-wreaking one we had been looking for anyway. Once we are well out of here, we go our separate ways. Deal?"

 

Meanwhile at the main exit the four guards suddenly had to dodge loads of impractical things that got thrown at them from behind the canvas. When the guards looked annoyed enough to storm in, Golden Myth and a very smug looking Pride on his back, shot out into the night sky dropping the whole painted scenery down on the four Nebs like a huge net and buried them under 'The 'Death and the Dragon'...Half a minute later, owed to the time needed to dig Alzira out of her hiding-heap, Susurro followed, smiling happily as each wing beat brought him and his beloved keeper further away from danger...

Edited by Isirion

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Perhaps it was her success so far, or perhaps it was the reassurance that she could get Taellonn away from the arena too, or perhaps it was the simple stakes of the situation, but in the end something convinced Drake that the guard's plan was reliable. She didn't trust him of course, but she didn't really need to when she already felt as if she'd gained the upper hand. If he stayed intimidated, that was enough. She simply answered, "Alright, deal," and silently beckoned for Taellonn to come near. Taellonn 'victoriously' walked away from his target to be beside Drake again, who whispered for him to do some navigating; find a good mock-area to land as they flew so that Drake was still close enough to quickly get help without actually revealing anything to the guard. Taellonn was ready to back away when Drake added, "I'm only flattering your abilities in asking that you maybe even try to mislead him with our destination. We can't risk anything here." The Royal Blue nodded with his new mission in mind as Drake tugged off the blindfolded Nebula's hindrance and pulled herself onto its back, more ready to get going and this ordeal done with than a nearby scout who sported a wyvern of his own...

 

Leon had sent a rope-free pygmy on its way before he'd even gotten to the arena. Well, to around the arena. He wasn't just going to barge in and risk alarming the Nebs if he failed, and with the dragons' eyesight to boot he was making Spienz hide at a distance. He'd been occasionally moving to where he could safely stay hidden to try to get a better view, but between him and Spienz both on ground and in air neither had managed to spot Drake or Taellonn. At this point he didn't seem to have options; it'd be best to go back to the Draikenflaeme base and explain himself if someone (namely, Leon thought, Ezra) demanded so. Maybe he could even excuse himself by saying that he'd wanted to make sure that uncooperative pygmy had actually done its job on top of his real reasoning. With that he felt alright in his actions, and told Spienz they were to return. She silently obliged. 

Edited by Drakessis

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