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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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"It will tell anyway", Isirion sighed and released the pygmy. "Better make that two full face masks and give the lady the invitation you got", he commanded Pride and then addressed Alzira again: "Your knife skills did improve a bit as did your situational judgement, but seeing as your face betrays almost everything, I suggest we rely on your painting skills instead. If you can paint us more of those invitations enough of Drake's people can strategically place themselves inside the lady's mansion and provide backup. I imagine Pride will have no trouble fabricating some kind of backstory and disguise for them in time. Since you will be busy painting and I have some experience handling dragons, I will train the pygmies until you have finished the forgeries. I believe setting things on fire with a little challenge involved would be perfect for yours. The Nilia has very dexterous paws since he didn't even need a harness to carry messages. They are perfect for lock-picking and grabbing and throwing things. He can fly around freely to get a layout of the mansion, grab things from the tables and toss them to the Dark Myst to set on fire. Two fluttering pygmies and a few flying and burning objects should prove a very effective distraction as well. In that case I can slip away and free the dragons before the lady decides she wants to keep one or both of the pgymies as decorations." Isirion pulled out one of the bandages he had swiped from Pride's place and called the Nilia to him: "Rest time is over. You are already prepared for option A, but option B may also work if you two can combine your strengths." The Nilia pygmy tried out his newly healed wings and flapped over eagerly. Isirion tied one end of the bandage around it's belly and then gestured Sappo to come to him as well: "You enjoy letting loose your flame, strong enough to turn it blue which is hopefully exactly what the blue lady wants to see but if you cannot aim that fire accurately enough you will burn the Nilia's wings. Both of you are in motion and there is also the object you should ignite, if you are not exactly aware of your own position in relation to his he will get hurt a lot more than with option A. To avoid this I will tie both of you together and you must practice to fly at a fixed distance from each other. That distance is the maximum reach of your flame so show me now - preferably without trying to burn off my face."

 

While Isirion talked to the pygmies, Pride rummaged in the belongings he managed to take with him and produced the invitation. It was written in blue ink and bore the blue lady's crest at the end. Two pygmies intertwined with elaborate needles protuding from their wings, backs and feet. Felicia pointed at them and said: "Just like Hassleborough and his vines. They tell the whole world what they are doing, but nobody cares." Her husband gave her a kiss and said: "I care and so do these people." Pride indicated everyone else present, but Golden Myth only snorted and spat pointing at the dragon killer: "If he cares about anyone here, you can turn me into a giant flower for your next performance." Pride looked puzzled and went to deliver the invitation to Alzira, but Felicia started to giggle: "Oh, I'd love to see a golden rose or maybe a mythical pansy. Too bad I can't decide." "What's there to decide?", Mythy asked looking as puzzled as his keeper. Felicia stopped giggling and explained: "Well, you lost that bet already. You said it yourself and I saw it with my own eyes, Death spared your life even though you attacked him. He even complimented you on the fastness of your attack, saying that he hadn't time to draw his blade to stab your heart. But he also didn't gouge out your eye or slash your throat or cut your sinews with the knife he was holding. There is more, however cruel it might seem, he is helping the Nilia despite getting attacked for it. And lastly the painter lady - " "I understand", Mythy growled, "if he didn't care at all he wouldn't have tried preparing her for all eventualities." "If he didn't care at all he would have done what even I know to be the best defense against that knife move - hitting her wrist really hard." Mythy remained silent for a few seconds, then he said: "Alright, you can turn me into a Rose Dragon and I guess I owe the dragon killer another apology." Felicia giggled again and then mockingly imitated Isirion's ice-cold voice: "Don't apologize to me, I only spared her wrist a possible injury because her painting skills are still needed." Golden Myth let out a laugh and smiled brightly finally understanding why his keeper loved this woman so much.

Edited by Isirion

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Sappo listened carefully and liked this new game immediately! Trying to hit something with his flame is one of his all time favourites! It should work like match, shouldn't it? The only drawback, as he soon realized, was that bandage that was being wrapped around him. Was this really necessary? He was good at this! With a little sigh of dissapointment he looked at it, he had agreed to help but maybe smoulder it a bit? Suddenly he felt a jolt through it. That reminded him that he wasn't alone in this game and the limited range they were supposed to work with. Under no circumstances would he hurt the Nilia! The little black concentrated a bit and turned his flame blue, aimed and just as the little blue dragon stood still for a second to aim a piece of wood he'd found at him he spat a little blue cloud. Since he had aimed a little shorter because he new "blue" reached farther than"red" the other pygmy shouldn't suffer any consequences but the missile would be consumed.

 

Alzira saw the dragons fluttering around each other, squeaking and screeching. The blue threw straw, pieces of wood and small stuff it found lying around and the black countered by spitting blue flames, burning them to a crisp. She supposed they were giving each other signs on how to work together. Watching them exchangin missiles, blue fireballs, long ranging flames and escaping them in the last moment looked quite dramatic and almost like a beautiful and deadly dance. The colours and burning vapours mixed and evaporated, it was a stunning sight, at least to her. She thought about capturing such a scene in her next piece of art, but back to work.

 

Alzira still had to finish a few more invitations. She was really lucky she had had the right inks at hand and had just needed three attempts to get the right shade of blue. The paper was a bit trickier, it was a high quality looking but nevertheless of a lower one than she had expected. She still had some similar one left that worked and looked perfectly fine. The crest itself took a while to figure out, but wasn't that much of a challange in the end. While she was forging the invitations she overheard the conversation with Felicia and instantly knew that she had been quite lucky in the little fight and that she once again had misjudged Isirion.

 

Edited by Alzira

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Pride was torn between working on two full face masks, admiring his smart and beautiful wife, keeping an eye on Death and of course watching the little ones play as if nothing was wrong in the world. Both pygmies seemed to have forgotten everything around them and just concentrated on their game. While the Dark Myst was clearly proud of his fire power and aiming skills, the Nilia looked truly happy being able to play with another pygmy totally forgetting the ordeal it had been put through not long ago. Isirion was also watching the pygmies but he looked neither happy nor proud of the apparently successful training instead his face was an inapproachable mask, but Pride being Pride didn't let that stop him. He put down the half-finished dragonfly mask he was working on and approached with a spring in his step: "I knew it. You are not just a dragon killer." "You are right, I kill humans too", Isirion snapped, barely restricting himself from drawing his blade and proving that exact point. He was used to dealing with people and dragons trying to kill him, but the obsession that particular human showed towards him was more than unsettling. It kind of reminded him of Hellfire T who was always seeking his attention whenever he checked on the higher up caves. "Bloody Hellfire", Isirion suddenly cursed as it dawned on him that he hadn't been able to check on the hellfires for days because one bloody mission kept creeping up right after the other. First it had been a searching mission for the missing Gatherer, but that had turned into a rescue mission for Sodger and that had turned into an assassination mission for a city lord and now an infiltration mission for the blue lady's mansion on top of the full scale assault mission on the air-bandits his master had given him. "But", Pride tried to explain himself only to find a bloodstained blade suddenly pressed against his throat. Isirion's killing intent was almost tangible as his temper fueled by anger and frustration finally got the better of him and he hissed while drawing the first drop of blood: "Not one more word."

 

Meanwhile somewhere over the Endless Desert

 

"Please slow down and let us rest for a bit", Ale pleaded as Barrel started to wheeze with every wingbeat. Aseto who was flying without a rider slowed down almost immediately and after a few seconds the Guardian's Grey matched his pace. The Guardian didn't look too happy about it, but he steered towards an overhanging rock formation and landed there. When everyone was hidden as much as possible from prying air-bandit eyes, Ale asked him: "I understand why you left our captain behind and why you want to stop his apprentice from starting a war, but do you really think that that is what he is trying to do?" The Guardian rubbed his temples and said: "You heard Sodger's declaration yourself and it was you who first feared it could lead to another war. You know how badly he wants to cleanse that corrupted city. What better way than to use somebody who managed to turn a simple disagreement with an extortion gang into a war with the whole of the thieves guild. Even backed up by a gigantic Hooktalon they got annihilated almost single-handedly by Sodger's apprentice. I don't want it to be true, but our old captain has found the perfect weapon for his goal and he isn't afraid to use it. I believe that in accordance to Sodger's orders, Isirion plans to make the Nebulas and the air-bandits fight each other by attacking each side and blaming it on the other. We need to find him and stop him before he makes that first kill that would start a retaliation war that could really engulf the whole city." "I know where to find him", Aseto told them. "He will be at Pride's arena because he promised to fight me and even if he breaks that promise I can still find him by his cold and bloodstained scent." The Guardian nodded and said: "It will be difficult for us to enter the city again after we needed a Royal Crimson sized distraction to leave it, but I have an idea. The armor we took from the slain guards at that city lord's mansion in order to make it look like they were still patrolling looks just like the Nebs'. If we -" "You want to use deceit?", Ale interrupted and wondered if their ex-captain was the only one who had changed for the worse after meeting that bloody murderer. The Guardian slammed his fist on the ground and spat: "You know how much I hate liars and dishonesty, but letting the enemy fool themselves is a valid battle tactic." Ale couldn't argue with that, but Aseto immediately growled: "They have to be really big fools if they mistake us for Nebulas." "We will fool them with the honest truth and tell them that you are the one that burned down their underground arena and if doing so gives us the chance to free those other, unjustly imprisoned Royal Blues, even better!", the Guardian proclaimed and Ale added: "I remember that Isirion once planned to set the raging mad dragons loose at the underground arena our captain was held at in order to create enough chaos to free him. That ruthless plan got changed thanks to the greenhaired lady and the female warrior, but-" "But there might be a chance he tries again to unleash dragons in order to fool the Nebs into thinking their air-bandit lackeys betrayed them!", the Guardian concluded looking like a bear who had just found a giant beehive. If only it doesn't turn into a giant hornet's nest...

Edited by Isirion

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Finally Alzira had finished the last invitation, complete with crest and all the other adornments. She took them and went to Pride and Isirion to let them be checked one last time. She took a peek at the pygmies who where still engaged in their training, moving up and down, left and right through the room. It looked like a fierce fight and a game at the same time, dangerous none the less. Alzira turned to the men, noticing that the constant controlled angry mood lingering around Isirion had changed to something sharper, more vicious. As she looked closer she noticed the blade at Pride's throat, already tasting his blood. Why had they to act like this just now? As she came nearer she shouted at them, annoyed by their behavior:"Oh stop it, we don't have time for this! Isirion, you are a great asset, but you can't eliminate your problems that way. This limits your options in your future endeavours! And you Pride, you have a great and creative mind but please accept that some people need more private space than others! We have no time to fight amongst ourselves and then lick our wounds! I think it best if we all get back to finalize our work." At least she stopped them for another minute she thought, not realizing that Susurro, drawn to her loud voice, had closed up to her, eying both men intently, ready to act if need be. Even Sappo had found his way to near his keeper. He and the Nilia were still engaged in their exchange of blows, blue flame ready to "misfire".

 

Edited by Alzira

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For a moment it seemed like Isirion was now all the more ready to follow through with the 'eliminate your problems' part, but then he lowered his blade. He looked like he wanted to say something, maybe an insult or even an apology, but a bucket full of water to his face cut his words short. Felicia had decided to take no risks in cooling that murderous temper down with a generous load of water from the stable trough. Pride wasted no time and retreated to the safest spot available - right next to his wife. Together they watched as Isirion's fury dissipated with the same speed as a the water droplets running down his bloodstained cloak. Finally, when he was standing an an almost pink puddle, Isirion sheathed his blade and said calmly: " A pity you didn't use that water on your husband earlier, a lot of unpleasantness could have been avoided." Felicia shook her head and replied just as calm: "Nah, my husband is just like weed, watering him only makes it worse." "I tried cutting him back but you stopped me", Isirion interjected still looking perfectly calm.  Pride looked from his wife to Isirion and back again. Something was going on here and whatever it was, it obviously wasn't finished yet. Felicia gave her husband a cheeky smile and elaborated: "He doesn't need to be cut down completely, just a little trimming here and there, like a hedge." And for some reason she burst into laughter and a moment later Isirion joined in with his deathrasp variant. Pride looked very flustered as he finally sat down again to finish the masks. Everyone around him was laughing now - except Drake and even she would probably be at least grinning, if she hadn't already left the stable earlier for some reason.

 

In the mean-time at a certain dragon stable within the big city

 

"What happened?", Loot repeated his question, since he still hadn't gotten anything useful out of Fingers. "Telling me you left our masters alone in that creepy mansion because you heard a frightening sound is not an explanation at all. What did you see?" Fingers tried to wriggle out of the Harvest's inquisitive embrace, but failed. His shoulders slumped and he whispered: "If you had seen what I have seen after hearing that sound at Sodger's hut, you would have run too!" The Harvest and the Red Dragon looked doubtful, but the Sunrise nodded and said with a matter-of-fact-voice: "I was there too, I heard what you heard and I saw what you saw, that's why I let myself be taken away by your shady guild master." Now Fingers nodded too and spoke directly to the Harvest Dragon showing him his stump: "This happened when I first heard that eerie sound, the second time I heard it everyone in our guild except us got slaughtered. Tell me honestly - if you hear that sound for a third time - wouldn't you run too?"

Edited by Isirion

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