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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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Not the slightliest moved by 'R's dark growl, 'K' now pulled one of the fat chickens towards her and tossed it around, slowly slicing it up with her razorsharp claws. As the meat was in neat little pieces she ate the smallest one and said with a low bitter voice: "I tried this way of coping too, but it didn't work for me.", she lowered her voice even more, then she continued: "The day a really fat chicken was among the skinny ones I behaved like a wild beast, growling with hunger and false fury I attacked my age-mates, biting and slicing them, hoping to be recognised as 'strong' by Isirion, who, I had deduced, was bound to be watching from somewhere. But this was not the real me and Isirion saw through my act in an instant. I had thought to bait him with the display of my fury and strength - but in reality I was the one who had been baited. In trying to bait him I had shown that my real strength was lying in my sharp mind and not in my similary sharp claws as I had tried to make him believe. Appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the feeding area he picked me up and said: "You are a clever one. I give you a chance: If you kill the hatchling that is like the 'fat chicken' I will take you with me; if you don't I will kill it myself and you will stay here." The strange female suddenly stretched her whole body like a cat would do, almost as if she wanted to cover up it was shivering from the mere memory of that day she had told about. 'K' kept stretching for almost a minute, then she spoke again looking 'R' directly in the eye: "Isirion is as good at judging the potential of hatchlings as he is at killing them. He definitly did not put you here by accident so I know for sure you must be a clever one. A really clever one, because you still try to hide this fact. I have waited for someone like you: Tell me what you make of my story and I will tell you how to sneak out of the caves at night without being watched!"

Edited by Isirion

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R processed K's story in her mind.

The fat chicken... What could that mean? K is here, so that must mean that she killed it.

She thought to herself.

Maybe someone that everybody wants to take down? Oh! Maybe the hatchling that is the biggest, and possibly the strongest?

"How can I be sure you aren't lying about this 'fat chicken'?"

R held K's gaze with a cold hard glare.

"How can I be sure that you won't try to befriend me then stab me in the back later? How does anyone know?"

She quivered with partial hysteria.

"Trust can be turned on its head faster than you can say 'escape'."

Edited by rainpeltstar

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That 'R' was doubting her trustworthyness seemed to hurt 'K'. Completely ignoring the fact that it had been her who told 'R' not to ease up too easily, 'K' put on the miserable look of a cat that had been showered with water. She shook her body like she wanted to get rid of the non-existing water in her non-existing fur, then she said: "How could you think I am lying? I just put my life in your hands by telling you that I have found a way to sneak out of the caves at night!"

Edited by Isirion

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"Are you really?"

R's mind spun madly.

"Then tell me, and then I shall see whether or not you're lying."

She sat down and stared at K blankly.

"What about that feeling you get if you try to escape? How do you shake that? Is there really someone watching you?"

The questions flew out of her mouth faster than the answers came to her ears.

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'K' looked dead serious as she answered now: "The disturbing feeling of being watched comes from your own head. To be precise it comes from the spell Isirion has put on all of us in order to keep us from trying to escape. I don't know exactly how the spell works, but the more anxious, nervous or just guilty you feel while trying something forbidden the more effective the spell becomes. It uses your own conscience watching you to give you the disturbing feeling of being watched. The horrible feeling of just having narrowly escaped death when you finally give up and return to your place comes from that spell too. If you want to escape the caves and that feeling you have to trick yourself in order to trick the spell. I chose to take up the personality of a cat, that, as being an animal, has no conscience and goes where ever it pleases to trick the spell. In order to not arouse suspicion while practicing my cat-mind, I told the others that I am working on a new cat-like fighting technique fitting my razorsharp claws. It may not be the best solution there is, but it works for me." The strange female stretched her body once or twice, then she curled herself up on the straw matress and purred: "I hope you finally believe me now, because it would really be a waste if I had to slice a really clever one such as you up like the 'fat chicken' from my story."

Edited by Isirion

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"I guess I can believe you now."

R was still a bit reserved about K, partly because she needed an ally and partly because she seemed... Odd. She trotted over to the plate of food and picked up a chicken, gnawing at it thoughtfully. Were there other animals with no conscience?

Definitely not dragons.

R's conscience always hung over her head like light over a sunflower, reflecting on all of her wrongs and feelings of guilt. She could barely eat the chicken in the cave without thinking over and over again whether or not this really was K's cave and food. She batted at a feather that was stuck to her muzzle and it fluttered to the ground, an insignificant white speck against the cold floor of the cave. Then a notion hit her.

The fat chicken... It had no chance of survival, like the ones on this plate. A hatchling that has no chance... Or does it?

To R even if you were the weakest dull-minded hatchling there was, there was always a chance.

Edited by rainpeltstar

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'K' patiently watched the different emotions wash over 'R's face; then she spoke with a very soft tone pointing at 'R's still bloody paws: "I had to kill the weakest of my age-mates with my own claws and teeth. Because of its weakness that hatchling had stood out among us like the fat chicken among the skinny ones; having not the slightliest chance of survival. The responsibility for the hatchling's death that Isirion had forced on my conscience made me even more vulnerable to his spell and I mimicked a wild beast again to protect the rest of my sanity. But as I have told you, that was not the real me and after I had attacked another female and shredded her wings, I felt even more guilt than before. That was the moment I realized I literally had to change my mind; and I did! You will have to change too; but into what, you have to find out and practice for yourself before the lights change and night falls again!" Having said this, 'K' made herself comfortable on the straw matress and, with the patience of a cat in front of a mousehole, watched if and how 'R' would heed her advice.

Edited by Isirion

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Change? Into another mind?

R's eyes widened at the idea of it. However criticizing her mind was it had always been there in her head, like a voice in her head offering support and guidance. She held her head up high and a fury filled her blue eyes. R wanted to strike K across the face for even suggesting changing her mind, but she decided to keep her qualms to herself. Besides, she was not all wrong.

What could be a good mind-trick for escaping? Lets see... I certainly don't want to act as another animal, let alone a cat.

She poked her nose out of the cave and almost immediately the feeling of nervousness came over her like a wave. Fear froze R's mind, and she shook her head violently.

I am not in danger, its just a trick. I'm not in danger, its just a trick...

She repeated this over and over again, but it didn't work. She stepped back inside the cave and curled up on the ground shuddering.

Curses. Time for a second go.

Reluctantly she got up and started trying to think once more.

I must not breathe a breath of fear this time.

R stepped out again and this time she was prepared for the spell to do its work. She imagined she was much bigger than she normally was, and that she towered over the biggest human there was. She imagined her claws were long and razorsharp, slicing through everything and everyone in its path. Of course this was just in her head and to anyone who was watching, the big lumbering steps she made looked ridiculous for just a hatchling; even a mature one like her. But this trick had worked so far, until she walked back into the cave.

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As 'R' first had put out her nose out of the cave, looking like she was forcefully doing something forbidden, 'K' feared the spell would activate even if it was daytime. Judging from 'R's shivering retreat a few seconds later it had. That fact gave 'K' a lot to think about while 'R' got up and out on the landing platform in front of the cave again, trying another strategy. As she did not come back immediatly this time, 'K' gave in to her self-induced cat's curiousity, got up too and went outside to look what 'R' was doing. The sight of the hatchling walking around like she was a fully grown dragon almost made her roll on the floor with laughter, but she resisted the urge thinking about how this undignified behaviour would offset her self-praised cat's grace. With a voice accompanied with much more chuckling than she had intented, 'K' finally said: "That looks almost as ridiculous as my first catlick, but it most definitly will work. When you have perfected this stance you may even scare off too eager rivals at the training grounds as a bonus. But for now, just practice it out of sight in the cave while I take a nap to gather my strength for our oncoming nighttime adventure!"; saying this 'K' retreated back in the cave again and, walking with big lumbering steps, 'R' followed her to continue her practice inside the cave.

 

A few hours later, miles away in the forest near the Sleeping Dragon tavern

 

Bathing in the light of the afternoon sun, a gentle, male White Dragon named Susurro, sat perfectly still on the grass of a beautiful clearing with a cornflower in his mouth. Near the dragon, Alzira, a woman around thirty with hair as green as the grass, had set up a scaffold in order to paint the peaceful scenery and of course the dragon. Totally absorbed in her work, it seemed as if nothing could distract Alzira from painting.

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira was close to finishing her project. She was so glad Susurro has accepted her request to pose for her pictures.

 

Pictures of flying dragons, sleeping dragons , dragons swimming in formation through the ocean, even dragons posing with flowers...

She had always wanted to paint them since the day she had seen saw her first dragon soaring over the trees behind her grandparent's house. That was years ago, she was such a little girl then...

 

So now she was here, brush in her hand and perfectly happy as she placed the last strokes.

Edited by Alzira

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Susurro seemed to have sensed, that his owner Alzira had finished her work. He ate up the flower, that was as blue as his eyes and slowly walked over to her to gaze at the picture. Like everytime he saw one of Alzira's works he wondered how she had managed to put so much motion and emotion into an unmoving, unliving picture. In said picture his eyes seemed to sparkle with delight, his wings already unfurled and ruffled by a steady wind as if he was eager to take off and visit a female White dragon bearing the delicious cornflower as a gift. Susurro simply loved the picture, but as soon as he wanted to say it, something distracted him.

 

At the same time not far away

 

From a thicket a pair of mischievous eyes belonging to an Ochredrake watched, as a female owner and her dragon went by. Agitated by the thought of the pranks it could play, the dragon made the whole thicket shiver, unintending giving away its position by the sound of rustling leaves.

Edited by Isirion

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"Come along!" FlowerOwl whisphered to her hellfire dragon after she thought it was safe to whispher without being noticed. She had heard ruffling in the leaves and she didn't want to have any fights to stall her. So she decided to try to forget and move on, sort of. Well, it might not be a fight, but it would still take some time.. She thought before she saw a nearby clearing off in the distance that would be perfect for setting up camp. Or at least, She thought, I hope. Her dragon, Lunaspeeria (Pronouced; Loon-a-speer-a), followed quietly behind. Equipped with several bags hung onto her back. The light brown bags located on Lunaspeeria's top of her back, right below her wings, were full of FlowerOwl's herb books. The big green one that was located on Lunaspeeria's breast contained most of the tent. The bags FlowerOwl was holding had some of the tent's parts, a couple of old maps of the area, magnify glasses, quills, blankets, etc. Oh, and also a vampire hatchling that had just hatched. She wanted to keep an eye on it for a while since it just hatched. She left a gold tinsel hatchling with her other dragons to watch, along with four eggs. In FlowerOwl's opinion that was enough for her dragons to watch over.

 

Continuing onward, they reached the edge of te clearing. A small breeze told FlowerOwl it would probaly be a nice day. And that ment they'd better hurry up if they were to get lots of time to study herbs.

 

Lunaspreeia walked after FlowerOwl. FlowerOwl had spotted a good spot for the tent, and she explained that we'd better hurry if they were to get anything done today. They had just begun setting up and so far, Lunaspeeria had no idea what they were supposed to do as the tent collapsed for the fourth time.

Edited by FlowerOwl

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Poor Lunaspeeria could not know that it was the weight of the Ochredrake that, blending perfectly in with the colour of the tent, had made it collapse for the forth time; afterwards swiftly ascending into the trees again. Now it sat, hidden by the leaves, high up on a branch, loudly laughing at the puzzled face of the dragon beneath.

Edited by Isirion

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"Come on," FlowerOwl huffed,"This time it'll hold up for sure..." Lunaspeeria nodded with agreement and started to pull of some of the tent polls. A snapping sound came from FlowerOwl's bag. Putting the polls down, Lunaspeeria decided to take peek. FlowerOwl kept trying to put up the tent while Lunaspeeria saw that the vampire hatchling had gendered. FlowerOwl is going to be happy, Lunaspeeria thought,FlowerOwl's first female vampire!

Edited by FlowerOwl

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The mischievous Ochredrake up in the trees made itself ready to jump down again at the right moment to crash the tent again. The look on the faces of the owner and the dragon were worth the risk of the discovery everytime, it thought. Wiggling it's tail in anticipation, the Ochredrake shifted it's position a bit to the left and threw itself into the tent again with its full weight. The tent collapsed again, but nobody paid any attention to it, because the female owner and the dragon were staring at a very strange looking dragon hatchling. It was pale white and the underside of it's wings were bloodred. The tail was strange too; it's end was shaped like a cross. The Ochredrake snorted disbelieving about that strange thing getting more attention than the tent it so skillfully had collapsed for the fifth time.

Edited by Isirion

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"Aww, isn't it so cute.." FlowerOwl hummed and picked the young hatchling out of the bag. Lunaspeeria nodded slowly with a bit of approval. It's strange, Lunaspeeria thought as the vampire hatchling started bite one of the tent polls. But FlowerOwl just sat there, amused and decided to give up on the tent for a while. "We'll finish the tent later," FlowerOwl said and picked up the hatchling.

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The female ochredrake that goes by the name Telia Kuran-Kiryu quickly growled wondering whether Flower Owl and Lunaspeeria would notice her sitting on the tent.

She chuckled quietly to herself as she imagined the look on their faces when they found her sitting on the tent.

Edited by isabella3

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In the meantime not far away in Alzira's clearing

 

Out of Alzira's bag crawled a dark little dragon with crumbs of food in the corner of it's mouth. The male Dark Mist Pygmy chirped merrily and suddenly clawed at a fat caterpillar to add it to the contents of his stomach. Maybe because he had stuffed himself on Alzira's food before, he burped after he had swallowed it and then curled himself up in Alzira's bag once more. Susurro stared dismayed at the now slightly snoring bag, then he said to Alzira with a disbelieving tone: "I can't believe Sappo managed to sneak into your bag again!"

Edited by Isirion

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"Sappo, you little devil!", Alzira grumbled, "This was my dinner!" But Sappo didn't react in any way, he had already fallen asleep.

 

Sappo had taken Alzira by surprise - again. "From now on I'll have to check every bag before I leave the caves " she said to herself "otherwise he'll get me into trouble again." But to be true she wasn't mad at the little dragon. With a pygmy dragon life was never quiet except it was sleeping. That much she had already learned from Sappo.

 

Susurro was was still taken aback from Sappos sudden and impertinent appearance. Then he remembered - "Alzira, this is a masterpiece! I hope you'll find a nice place for it. I'd like to see it in an gallery some time soon!"

" I don't think so, I still have so much to learn" she replied. "But I can sell it to buy more supplies and save the rest for my own piece of land"

"You want to sell it?" Susurro couldn't understand that. He thought such delicate things should be presented to the world, should be seen by other people. Alzira had explained her desire to own some land and therefore money, but he couldn't neither manage with the notion of owning or purchasing land nor with the concept of owning a specific piece of it. Land was everywhere, all around you. If you don't like it, you'll move on, but to humans it was important, that much was clear to him. He was still puzzled by her need because he knew that all she really wanted to do, was drawing, painting and sketching the dragons all around her. Well, humans were difficult and he had much to learn about them.

 

"Pygmies..." Alzira sighed. " well, then I have to find something else to eat.

She thought of going to the edge of the clearing where she had seen some bushes with berries and she thought that she had seen an apple tree nearby as well.

But first she had to take care of her painting equipment.

 

Finally on the way there she called Susurro " I'll go to these bushes, I've seen some fruit there!"

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As Alzira reached the bushes and stretched out her hand to grab one of the delicious looking berries they seemed to shiver in fear and began to cry in a female voice: "Ouch that huuuurts, I have scraped my knee!" Another sound, like a little girl whining followed and after that a very annoyed male voice cut in saying: "Stop whining Whiny, I told you I can't stand it!" The female voice whined even more: "And I told you to stop calling me Whiny! My name is WINNY!"

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Alzira was startled and took a step back. She hadn't expect anybody around here, especially nobody who sounded that young. The girl seemed hurt, but not too bad considering the boy's harsh comment. "Nothing to be concerned of" she thought, "but it can't hurt to offer some help" So she made some steps into the direction of the voices and asked, " Do you need any help? Don' be afraid." ... well, not the best way to start a conversation when you come out of some bushes, but what's done is done...

Edited by Alzira

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A fourteen year old, wild looking boy came out of the bushes, dragging a younger girl behind him, that could only be his sister. The girl was dressed in a frilly dress that was definitly unsuited for walking around in the forest. Maybe that was the reason she had stumbled and hurt her knee that was slightly bleeding now. The boy stuffed an odd-looking fruit into the pocket of his trousers, then he said with a relaxed voice: "I am not afraid, I, Jaxon the great adventure and inventor of almost edible dragon food, am roaming in this forest since I was seven years old!", he pointed at his sister and continued: "and this little crybaby is my sister Whiny, she follows me around even if I told her not too. So now that I have introduced myself, tell me who you are and what you are doing in my forest?"

Edited by Isirion

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"My name is Alzira. I'm a travelling artist and at the moment I'm looking for some fruits because one of my dragons ate my lunch"...she hesitated, looked at the bleeding knee and continued " if you like, you could come to my camp and I'll clean your wound there."

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The boy Jaxon nodded regally and handed his sister over into Alzira's care. As they reached the camp Jaxon's interest was almost immediateley peaked by the slighty snoring bag. Excited he jumped up and down and asked: "What is that? Is it odd? Is it magic? Is it edible? Can I try it?" Saying this he happily reached into the bag without knowing what waited inside. One second later he yanked his hand back and stared at the tiny dark dragon that dangled from it because it had it's teeth sunk into it. Jaxon exclaimed 'ouch' in a matter of fact voice, then he looked at Alzira's painting materials- He looked back at the tiny dragon and now asked interested: "What do you use it for? Do you use it's tail as a brush? Or maybe you do let it breath fire to dry your paintings faster?"

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira started cleaning Winny's knee. She was already patching up Winnys knee when Jaxon asked her about Sappo's use. "What do you ...?" Just now she noticed the little dragon hanging on Jaxon's hand. The boy seemed to ignore the pain completely.

 

"Sappo! Stop it!" Alzira comanded. She was a little embarrassed by his behavior.

Sappo was surprised by her tone and so he let go of Jaxons hand, but then he realised that he did let go and try to bite again. He really hated being woken up by grapping. He was sleeping so well - maybe an effect of the paintbrushes' smell. So he grumbled and hid behind Susurro, who just appeared behind the tent stretching after a short snack of sunflowers. "Somebody wanted my favourite sleeping place, and ...woke me!", Sappo moaned.

 

"Sappo, what have you done this time?" Susurro asked . Sappo was hurt, he sulked and climbed back in the bag. He hadn't done anything wrong!

 

In the meantime Susurro inspected Jaxons hand and whispered a little healing spell. "Now you should be fine", he told the boy.

 

Alzira was glad nothing more has happened. "Jaxon, you shouldn't search other people's belongings! My brushes are in there, and ... Sappo bit you. He's very protective of his sleeping places and ...my brushes."

Edited by Alzira

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