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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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"It isn't fair for them, but were they fair to us?" Alteria said. She then proceeded to talk to the hatchling. Alteria introduced herself and said" Would you like to join us? She asked"We are going to try to defeat the hatchlings over by the bones. If we gather enough, we can succeed. There is strength in numbers. If you join us we will stand a fair chance against those dragons near the bones. We are a group that is clever and determined. That always counts for something. We won't rush you, take your time in deciding." Alteria gave them a smile,then waited for their reply. She knew the trio had heard her, and they might try to steal the hatchling for their side, or they might try to plot a surprise attack, so she kept alert. But it wasn't that hard, since she had to be on alert all the time now. If she let her guard down, she'd be dead in seconds. She could only hope the hatchling joined.

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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The hatchling was glad that Alteria had chosen to come over and he was even more glad she offered him to join her group giving him protection with numbers. Now, if it came to a fight it would be four against four. He smiled back at Alteria and squeaked: "Of course I will join you, we are friends, even if you attacked me at that food-fight earlier. I am sure you didn't mean to, I also had troubles telling friends and foes apart, but now it is different. I know exactly whom we have to fight - THEM!"

 

As the hatchie screamed the last word, the Trio and the big hatchie were already aproaching. Fortunately their advance in the middle of the pit was dead obvious and so Claw and the nearly suffocated hatchie darted to Alterias side just in time.

 

The ferocious leader of the trio bared her fangs and snarled: "Do you really think you stand a chance? Two of you are already injured and the third did nearly suffocate back then. Back off to the edge of the pit and we might spare your life and a little bit of food when the next chicken is thrown in!"

Edited by Isirion

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"I don't think we plan on that!" Alteria said while charging at the leader. But, just as she was about to reach him, she jumped up and landed on his back. She raked her claws down his back, she then jumped off his back and shot flames at his face, trying to blind him. She quickly told the other hatchlings to attack too.

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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The ferocious hatchie screamed with pain as Alteria's claws cut into her flesh, and tried to shake her off. It may have worked, if Alteria hadn't chosen that moment to jump off herself and shoot flames at her face. Of course the feeble fire didn't hurt the Hellfire hatchie, but it effectivly obscured her vision. Claw used that chance to jump into the fight and bite into the throat of the ferocious hatchie with all his might. He shook his head from side to side to increase the bleeding from the wound his teeth had ripped into the throat of his victim hoping the blood loss would kill it quickly and shifting the odds to their favour. His strategy worked and the enemy leader breathed her last while the other two members of the group fended of the remaining two Trio with tooth and claw. The big hatchie though never thought about group combat - he was all about revenge and attacked Alteria from behind, the moment he had a chance.

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Alteria suddenly fell over. The cause was a big hatchling attacking her. She tried to use her tail to whip him, but it didn't work. So she struggled in a way that would probably be hard to hold on to and tried to backwards kick him. He was slowly causing Alteria to suffocate with his weight and Alteria tried her hardest to throw him off before that happened.

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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The big hatchie couldn't hold on as Alteria wriggled like a snake beneath him. She had managed to turn around while wriggling and her claws scraped over his belly every time she kicked out. Her last kick threw him off, but the big hatchie recovered quickly and slammed his tail into Alteria's face in retaliation. Now he jumped back and lowered his head then charged with full speed at her ribcase in order to knock the air out of her making her an easy prey.

Edited by Isirion

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Alteria felt her face sting and automatically closed her eyes, this prevented her from seeing the big hatchling charging towards her. The blow left her breathless, but she curled into a ball as she recovered to make herself not so exposed. She opened her eyes so she could see and gulped down air.

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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The big hatchie was quite stunned from the impact himself, but as he had expected it, he recovered faster than Alteria and twisted his body in order to get a bite at her throat. It was clear he was aiming to kill but in opposite to Claw his technique was lacking and he only managed to scratch her throat with his canines as she suddenly lifted her head to gulp down air.

 

In the meantime Claw had taken the live of another Trio by provoking her to jump furiously at him trying to revenge her fallen leader. At the moment the Trio was airborne Claw rolled on his back, steadied himself with his tail and stretched his thick claws out and tore the underside of the hatchie apart. Now he was covered in blood and intestines but that didn't bother him. One trio was still alive and like her opponents the nearly suffocated hatchie and the hatchie Alteria had befriended, she seemed to have lost all will to fight after witnessing the death of her leader. The three hatchies were just clawing at each other without doing any real harm. Claw growled and glanced towards Alteria to see how she was doing.

Edited by Isirion

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Alteria saw that she had just barely managed to escape death, quickly got up and while his head was in her face, shot fire at his eyes, hoping to scorch his eyeballs. She flowed up with a kick to his stomach and dragged her claws down his stomach afterwards. She hoped the sudden pain would get him startled, thus allowing her to escape.

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The big hatchie that lacked Alterias speed couldn't evade the attack. Her fire blinded him temporarly and so he couldn't evade her claws either as they cut deeply into his stomach. He screamed in pain and lashed out with his tail but did not hit Alteria who had used the chance to bring some distance between her and her opponent. Now the big hatchie curled up into a ball and tried to lick his belly in order to ease the pain. He clearly had lost his will to fight but that didn't stop Claw from approaching him from behind with his blood dripping fangs bared and cold-blooded murder in his eyes.

Edited by Isirion

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"Claw, stop!"Alteria shouted."Don't be a murderer! If they give up, they won't do harm to us!"Alteria quickly dashed in front of the hatchling in case he tried anything. Killing hatchlings that didn't want to fight was bad in Alteria's eyes. She didn't want her friend to turn into a murderer. "Don't you see all of the hatchlings that died? Don't make that one more!"Alteria was sad, yet also horrified that a friend would kill someone. She didn't want to think that a friend could be capable of such a thing. Her eyes hardened "If you try to kill this hatchling, I will defend it, even though he fought as a enemy. Even enemies deserve respect and honor."

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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Claws eyes focused on Alteria and the killing intent vanished from them after a moment. He lowered his head and said with an emotionless voice: "We are decimated enough. We should rest now." The other surviving hatchies were too horrified to tell Alteria who had been too focused on her own fight to notice that it had been Claw who had done the decimating. Silently they vouched to never ever turn their backs on that hatchie, then they sat down on their hindlegs and started to lick their wounds. The surviving Trio backed off to the edge of the pit together with the big hatchie and curled up there thinking starvation was a far better way to die than being slaughtered by Claw.

 

The fight was over and Isirion who had reappeared unnoticed at the beginning of it, smiled genuinly under his black hood. There were two really promising hatchies in this bunch. First the thick-clawed hatchie that had adapted quickly to the situation and shown excellent skills at exterminating potential food-rivals; second the lighter coloured hatchie that had very good fighting skills and spirit too. His ice-cold eyes now glanced at the hatchies who had given up and assessed their wounds. The remaining Trio had only a few scratches and was fit for the next food-fight tomorrow; the big hatchie was badly injured on its belly and likely to die. Seeing that wound reminded him to check on Belia and he vanished to do so.

 

A moment later at Belia's cave:

 

Isirion reappeared on the landing platform in front of Belia's cave and stepped through the entrance to take a look at the dragon inside. The wound on Belia's belly had reopened and she was lying on her side in a puddle of her own blood and vomit. The dragoness was barely conscious and nearer to death than to life nevertheless she was clinging to it. Belia's eyes were unfocused but somehow she became aware of his presence and whimpered something. Isirion's ice-cold eyes narrowed and without a second glance or showing any kind of emotion he turned around and vanished.

 

At the 'Sleeping Dragon' tavern:

 

The discussion about what to do had stopped after Ale's outbreak and wasn't likely to start again until Candy had finished caring for her husband. It just didn't seem to be appropriate to talk about how to catch a bloodthirsty thief while the sweet woman was kneeling beside Ale holding his hand and occasionally caressing his hair while whispering: "It is alright now sweetie. The war is long over. There is nothing to fear; nothing to be ashamed of; you all did what you were ordered to do. Everything is alright now my honey..."

 

Jaxon who quickly got bored and embarrassed watching his Mum doting over his Dad, used the opportunity to climb out of the window. While sitting on the window sill he turned to Telia who had slipped in earlier the same way and gestured her to imitate him, then he jumped down. As the Ochredrake came close enough to him and the window, he whispered: "Lets go to the forest and prepare some traps while my parents are distracted. They have nothing to complain about anyway - Where could I be safer from 'our' thieving ghost as in the company of the mischievious ghost from the haunted forest!" With these words the boy ran towards the entry of the forest where he turned around and looked back. As he had hoped, Telia had followed him and now seemed as eager as he was to show him some of the places where she had gotten that awesome stuff for her pranks. Rubbing his hands together he could hardly await getting them on the sticky almost invisible spider threads Telia had spoken about. If everybody stuck to this plan including the thief who should get stuck then everything was going to be alright.

 

"Nothing is alright", Erastor finally whispered close to Orions ear after Jaxon and Telia were gone and Candy had finished taking care of Ale. The exorcist shook his head to emphasis his point then he said: "You think so too or you would have said something already . Even if you are a hunter with a magnificent bow like you have told me you don't have any ideas on how to hunt this bloodthirsty thieving ghost down - have you? Well I am an excorcist and I don't have neither. I think though that Alzira had a point. Even if there is nothing we can do to prevent it - we should at least warn that Guardian of the oncoming thievery. I think I will accompany her just in case." The exorcist now turned to Alzira and asked her: "Lady Alzira, would you mind this humble exorcist accompanying you to that Guardian? I am quite sure your dragon could carry us both and frankly I think it would be a good idea to get that pygmy of yours away from the papers." Erastor pointed to Sappo, who had finally gotten bored and had climbed on the table to set something on fire to get Alziras attention back.

Edited by Isirion

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"Sappo, come here!", Alzira called out, "we're going to visit Galandir and the Guardian!" Then she turned to Erastor "You're welcome to accompany me, but first I want to look after Susurro and the dragon he treated. As far as I know him, he won't leave a patient in critical condition. I hope he's well enough to come along otherwise we'll have to ask Orion and Alsia for a ride" She patted on her shoulder and Sappo took his place there, eager to depart. Suddenly she hesitated. Something was bothering her but she couldn't put her finger on it. It felt like she had forgotten something, but she couldn't remember it, at least for now. Sappo almost fell over when she stopped and now he stared at her through slitted eyes. Nevertheless she went off for the stables.

Edited by Alzira

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As she went outside and towards the stables Susurro was already aiming for the same direction. Susurro had only reluctantly joined the meeting because he really didn't want to leave his patient alone but it had been necessary and the Hellfire female had already fully recovered while Alzira had been investigating with Orion. Now that the meeting had ended the White Dragon stretched his wings eager to fly but first he had to do one final check on his patient. He met up with his owner Alzira outside the stable. His cornflower blue eyes met her's and before entering the stable with her he told her with a soft rumbling voice: "Lunaspeeria the Hellfire Wyvern I treated has fully recovered while you were visiting the island and the village. I asked her about her attacker but she couldn't tell me anything as she was asleep when she got stabbed. I think it would be best if we don't question her again today because the memory of the incident is still painful and frightening to her."

 

Certain that his owner would understand because she was one of the kindest and nicest humans he knew, Susurro smiled and checked on Lunaspeeria. The Hellfire female was perfectly fine and came out of her box to greet Susurro by rubbing her head on his shoulder in a rather affectionate way. The White dragon returned her greeting and told her that she looked really well now and certainly could leave the stable and spend some time outside. There she could get to know the other dragons better and celebrate her recovery while he had a small errand to run with Alzira. Lunaspeeria looked a bit disappointed that Susurro was going to leave her again even if it was only for a short time like before, nevertheless she agreed and went outside to join the other dragons. As soon as she was gone Susurro sighed with relief and whispered to his owner: "She will be safe in the company of the others. I hope we will be too."

 

In the meantime at the hayloft one floor above

 

Isirion stood silently in the shadow cast by a stack of hay his black hood and cloak perfectly blending in with the darkness. His ice-cold eyes were focused on the White Dragon since it had entered the stable only minutes after he had decided to go looking for it. He would adapt his premade plan and if a chance to aquire Susurros healing energy presented itself before Belia's life flickered out like a torch he would use it. If not then the hatchie he allowed to live in the boneyard was in for a feast. Thinking about the hatchie who had fallen like a stone after 'K' had shredded it's wings gave him an idea. Isirion permitted himself an evil grin and pushed against the nearest stack of hay until it fell like a stone right onto the White Dragon and its owner.

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira looked out for Sappo who was chasing some crickets in the corner. Firebreathing dragons and stables aren't the best of combinations. She was more than relieved of the Hellfire dragon's improvement, but she didn't like Susurro's last comment, it made her feel uneasy. Nevertheless they didn't need a worrier right now but before she could say anything she heard a slight scratch and then the lights went out. Susurro was hit as well but he was a dragon and therefore a bit sturdier than a human. Nevertheless his sight was blurred due to the impact and so he shook his head to see more clearly. First thing he recognised as he was looking for Alzira, were her legs and one arm, the rest of her was covered in the debris of the haystack that had hit her hard."Alzira! Alzira, are you alright?", he called out for her. Sappo was helping as well. He tore the small pieces away and started licking her fingers. Susurro shook his head and back to free himself of the last pieces of straw, then he took a step forward and pushed away the hay from the unconcious woman so he could check for any wounds, starting with head injuries, still calling her name anxiously. He was deeply concerned that she could have hit her head with something harder than he haystack. He extended his senses and touched her her face very carefully when Alzira moaned quietly. Relieved that she showed some lifesigns he relaxed. Reluctantly Alzira opened her eyes. Her head hurt and she could hardly see anything. The only thing that granted her orientation was Susurro's voice and his soft touch and something rough touching her...fingers? repeatedly. She tried to ask what had happened but she had troubles forming the words although she tried hard. The more she tried the harder her world spinned. So the only things she could say was: "Wha..? Sa..ppo?" The little dragon was overjoyed to hear his name and jumped on her chest. Alzira coughed, then smiled that the little black dragon was unharmed and she passed out.

Edited by Alzira

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Now that the attention of Susurro was focused completely on his owner, Isirion pushed down another haystack so it landed right behind the dragon startling and spraying it with even more hay. Using the hay as a cover Isirion appeared behind his target crouching as low as possible and quickly hid himself in the remains of the fallen hay stack. He concentrated and touched Susurros side as lightly as possible to form a bridge between his own and the dragon's body. Almost at once he could feel the gentle, healing energy the dragon possessed and started to absorb it. Judging from Belia's wound and the amount of energy he had seen Susurro use while healing a similar wound he would have to steal quite an amount of energy. There was no way the White Dragon would not notice becoming weaker while he was wide awake but under the circumstances he had created for that case it would blame it all to the 'accident' and instead of giving it more consideration it would be more concerned with his owners safety. So far everything worked as he had planned it and while Susurro nursed his owner back to consciousness Isirion carefully collected the energy he needed and then vanished the moment Alzira opened her eyes and the pygmy on her chest gave an excited little welcome-back-squeak.

Edited by Isirion

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As Alzira gained conciousness Sappo was staring right in her eyes and jumped up and down out of excitement. Only trouble was that he did all the jumping on Alziras chest. She gasped for air and finally managed to talk:"Sappo, I'm alright... Please quit prancing..." To emphasize her words she struggled to sit up. Sappo looked a bit disappointed that his joy wasn't appreciated more but nevermind, Alzira was up again. Sappo looked at Susurro thankfully because the little one knew what the big white one was capable of, just to see him trying hard to keep the balance. Susurro got down to his knees, attempting to soothe his friends: "This must be happening because I was hit on my head and then I started the healing process immediately. Seems I was hit harder than I thought. Just let me sleep a little." As soon as Susurro started to stagger Alzira was up on her feet, still shaky but thanks to the treatment far better managing now. She examined Susurro and as far as she could tell, he had no serious wound anywhere. Now after these demanding events she noticed the strain and a bit of panic kicking in and tears of relieve and stress started to roll down her cheeks. After a few sobs she gulped them back, took out a hankerchief and cleaned herself. Then she reached out for the confused Sappo: "Come on, we have to tell the others about the accident and that we can't make it to the island today. Maybe Candy has some special treat for poor exhausted Susurro and we two could need something as well."

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Quite dizzy and having the slight nervous feeling that the hay everywhere was clinging to him like fingers, Susurro followed his owner and Sappo outside the stables. There they perceived the merry laughter of Lunaspeeria who had discovered that even more than her live-saver the White Dragon she loved the company of Valerian the valiant male of her own species even if he seemed to prefer the company of the female Ice Dragon Alsia. The three of them stood around Erastor who was busy checking his various talismans and charms for the planned trip to the Guardian. In contrast the hunter Orion was still inside the tavern pondering the question wether it would be a wise and justified move to question the herbalist regarding the thievery she had ordered or not. Absent-minded he picked up his little Grey Dragon Emeraldan who tried to make himself comfortable on the request papers the beggar had laid out on the table and was still busy sorting. Suddenly one caught Orion's eye and he also picked up an at first glance normal but at the second glance rather disturbing request:

 

Request day: the day after the beggar stole the golden egg shell

Request for: an example

Requester: S.

Fulfillment date: the following day

Fulfillment time: empty

Fulfillment place: empty

Status: seen, accepted

Offered payment: reward

Accepted payment: none accepted

Notes: I need a hand. Meet me at my place at the usual time for details.

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira was already feeling better. Susurro's careful treatment had nursed her well and Candy's snacks offered consolation as well. The white dragon did feel better as well, Candy had fed him well although she was a bit annoyed and anxious, not because of the dragon but because of Jaxon. The boy had gone off without a note again. It was obvious that she disliked this behaviour. Susurro was still a bit disturbed by his immense exhaustion which could be caused by the shock of seeing Alzira unconcious and the immediate healing but still... Haystacks usually don't fall down all of a sudden. As he went from the feeding trough next to the inn to Alzira, he could see her talking to Lunaspeeria. Sappo, who was already chasing another insect, a cricket it seemed, tore around the legs of man and dragon and was hardly seen standing still. Somehow Susurro envied the lively little dragon. "Alzira, I'm sorry," he said, "I can't make the tour today but I've thought maybe, if Lunaspeeria feels up to the task she can take over the tour. It's not too far and she can rest between the flights." "Susurro, that's a great idea!" she responded, "I just told her that we have to quit, but this is indeed a wonderful option. We can still finish our task today! Lunaspeeria, what do you say?"

 

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Lunaspeeria who loved the opportunity to impress either Susurro or Valerian flexed her flight muscles and moved around her perfectly healed body a bit then she said: "I never felt better and my well honed body and flight muscles are easily capable of transporting you and the talking bed cloth over there." Erastor, the 'talking bed cloth' turned a bit annoyed at being addressed that way, but decided to let it slip and climbed on Lunaspeeria's back. The exorcist shifted to a comfortable position then he held out his hand to help Alzira who needed one hand to hold on to Sappo to climb on the back of the female Hellfire Wyvern too. As soon as both of them were on her back Lunaspeeria jumped as high as she could and flapped her wings. Of course taking off from a running start would have been easier, especially while carrying two people, but Valerian and Susurro were both watching her and so she decided to show off. The manoeuvre succeeded and she quickly gained height before she dipped her body forwards to increase her flight speed. With the Hellfire's body temperature much higher than the Ice Dragon's had been, Alzira enjoyed this trip to island even more than the last. Quickly she spotted the Guardian and Galandir beside the Leetle Shrine and directed Lunaspeeria to land next to them.

 

The Guardian greeted Alzira and then Erastor who seemed to be quite shocked by his bear-like appearance: "I welcome you back green-haired lady who values the truth and I also welcome the exorcist who dedicated his life to integrate the spirits of the dead into the cycle of life! What can I do for you?"

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"Greetings Guardian of the Leetle shrine," Alzira greeted him rather formally. She felt she owed him a little respect, especially when she thought about their last encounter. Sappo didn't care about that. He started off to Galandir right after Alzira loosened her grip when she finished her salutation. Well, the serious moment passed as Sappo squeezed between the Guardian's legs. After that incident Alzira blushed, let out a faltering rebuke and finally she relaxed. The little dragon knew that there was no time for unnessessary formalities and wooshed off to the young guardian dragon. Alzira went on talking:"We've gathered some information concerning the thieving ghost. We've found out that he fullfills certain quests for the Egg Hunter and that he accepts other quests like acquiring leaves of the leetle tree as well. As far as we know he will finish his task on the first day of the week. This means he will come for your tree soon but not later than the first day of the week. It's not much but I thought you should be informed because you, or rather the leetle tree in your care seem to be his next target. I hope this information will aid you to guard it. I'd like to offer my help but I'm no fighter" Expectantly what the impressive guardian might do she looked at him.

Edited by Alzira

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As Sappo shot forward and slithered to a halt in front of the little guardian dragon Galandir greeted him with a wag of his shield tail. Showing no more sign of appreciating Sappo's presence than this he seemed truly undistractable from his guarding duty despite the pygmy's efforts . Pleased by this dutiful behaviour the Guardian patted Galandir's head, then he focused his attention on Alzira again. He closed his eyes for a second to think about what she had told him. As soon as he opened them again he asked her with a growling, but composed voice: "So you are telling me, that this ghost works as a thief for hire? For the Egg Hunter? The person I trust the most in the village because of our shared past even if he had decided to cope with it differently! I refuse to accuse him on only your word. I will not make the same mistake as the hasty young man that was with you last time you visited my island. I will inquire the source of your information first. Who told you of this? Do you have any proof?"

 

It seemed as if the Guardian was more concerned with the reputation of the Egg Hunter as with the oncoming theft, but then he explained: "The Leetle leaves are always under the threat of theft that is why the tree is guarded day and night. Since I started my duty I have chosen the peaceful, protective way of guarding by assigning a Guardian Dragon that will only shield the tree from harm but does not hurt the ones that try to steal its leaves. Now I have no other option to protect the tree at night than using the dragon that hides in the dark and lunges at anything that gets too close unless I order it not too. It is the patient predator that I warned your previous untrustworthy companion about. Without thinking or smelling the air first he had entered the lair of a Cavern Lurker. Lazarus was hiding in the far corner of the cave and ready to grab hold of him. The hunter that so arrogantly had threatened my life would have fallen prey to the Lurker the second I had given it the order to attack. I chose not to because now I know that it is against nature that the young and strong ones should die before the old ones. Lazarus however will not show such restraint. He will lie in wait in the shadows of the night and lunge out and attack the thief on sight. It certainly will not be a pleasant sight so you should not watch."

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira was shocked and backed off a bit. A lurker had been in that cave! Indeed, they had been very lucky that day. She didn't know a lot about these dragons but the stuff that was told about them, true or not, made her shiver. "I appreciate your patience and I'm terribly sorry for our hasty reaction that day. I understand that you want proof before accusing a respected man. We can show you the papers that were shown to us." Uncertain on how to proceed Alzira hesitated. These orders were copies and easy to fake, but she did believe that the beggar had told them the truth. Nevertheless it would be best if he could tell this the Guardian himself. "I don't know if the bearer of those information will come and tell you himself, for he fears the thieving ghost but I'll try my best. I think we should set off so we'll be back as soon as possible."

 

She then bid her farewell, called Sappo and went to Lunaspeeria. During the flight back a thought occured to her: She should talk with the others at the tavern about the Egg Hunter again because this man was respected by the Guardian and they seemed to have some history. In her opinion that was worth some further investigation.

Edited by Alzira

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Erastor hadn't bother to mount Lunaspeeria for the trip back because Alzira would come back soon and he definitely felt safer anyway in the presence of the enourmously built Guardian that commanded a fearsome Lurker. However there was one thing bothering him and after searching for the right words for a while he uttered his worries: "There is a thing Alzira has not mentioned about the ghost. I have seen it unsheath a wicked bloodstained blade in the blink of an eye. This blade has tasted the blood of dragons and most certainly humans too. I know that ghost must be exorcised but I fear what it will do if you or your dragon corners it." Hearing this the Guardian furrowed his brow and began stroking his beard. Finally he said: "I will inform Lazarus of this. Wait for me here and tell Alzira to do so too if she happens to return ahead of me." With this words the Guardian sprinted away with long powerful gaits towards the cave that was not only his home but the Lurker's Lair too.

 

In the darkness of the cave shunning the sunlight Lazarus awaited him lurking in his favourite corner. The Guardian showed the dragon his respect then he shared the information he had gotten from Alzira, Orion and Erastor. The Lurker growled continously throughout the story; afterwards he explained: "This thing sounds like it has come out of a nightmare. I am quite attuned to the horrors of the night but this is something different. Certain parts of what you told me match with a recurring nightmare the dragons of the island seem to share. In the part of it that I can remember a hooded figure stabs a male Stone Dragon and a female of a daylight dragon species unknown to me with a bloodstained blade. I also remember some kind of sinister chant but I can't quite place it even if I am sure I have heard it before..."

 

As the Lurker explained and got lost more and more in thought the Guardian grew more and more anxious. A blade capable of stabbing a stone dragon could surely finish off a Cavern Lurker in one stroke even more so if the one wielding it could unsheath it and strike as fast as he had been told. Lazarus would have his own lunging speed and the element of surprise but would it be enough or would it lead to another funeral? The Guardian knew in his heart that he had no right to order the Lurker to risk his life to protect the Leetle Tree and so he only asked: "Lazarus will you face the foe and stand proudly true?" The Lurker remained silent for a moment then he growled: "This is the honour of the Royal Blue but I am a still a Cavern Lurker. From the shadows dark and black Lurkers aim for the foe's back." Taking this as a 'Yes' which it probably was, the Guardian showed the Lurker his respect once more and left for the Leetle Shrine again.

 

When he arrived there, Alzira was not yet back. Guessing that the green-haired lady simply needed more time to convince the beggar and fetch the papers, the Guardian sat down besides Galandir and Erastor who had already made himself comfortable and waited...

 

In the meantime at the ungendered hatchling's pit in Isirions's hideout

 

The sawdust on the floor of the pit was stained with blood and intestines where Claw had rolled over and over in order to clean himself. Even if that cleaning exercise looked incredibly funny as more and more sawdust stuck to the still wet blood on his body, nobody laughed. Terror and exhaustion held back their voices. The nearly suffocated hatchie finally broke the silence as she suddenly addressed the hatchie that had joined their temporary alliance last: "We all know Alteria and her 'friendship-will-bring-us-through-this-hardship' mentality and I am sure after the fight today Claw's name is also scratched deeply in our minds. Regarding my name I have decided to call myself 'Chance' because I did bet my life on the chance that Alteria still believes we have. As we have fought together for this chance I am at least entitled to know a little something about you. Do you have a name?"

 

Instead of a quick answer to a simple question the hatchie lowered his head and glanced shyly towards Alteria. Then he mumbled: "I don't have a name of my own yet because I grew fond of Alteria...I...I mean fond of the nickname Alteria had given me the day she asked me to be friends with her. She nicknamed me 'Flamey' because I had just breathed my first tiny flame from my nostrils. I would be happy if you would call me 'Flamey' too instead of the name the deceased Trio-leader came up with. She called me 'Snorty' because according to her there had been more snort than flame coming out of my nostrils. Now that she is dead and I have calmed down a bit I think that she must have been as afraid as we were. She was only acting mean wasn't she? I believe that she was only bluffing and that she would not have killed us or let us starve to death. She even offered to give us some food if we surrendered! She didn't deserve to die but Claw killed her and that other trio-hatchie. Why did he have to kill them?"

 

Chance had her own theory about that but instead of sharing it and most likely disturbing 'Flamey' further she shook her head and lied instead: "I have no idea but I guess Alteria has. She is the one who befriended him so ask her." As Chance couldn't fully suppress her surfacing sarcasm she added: "And don't forget to ask her on the occasion if she has an idea on how to get out of the pit. I am sure after watching our keeper breaking the neck of a chicken and ripping its leg off; not to mention seeing him stab a dead hatchie and hearing him telling us afterwards that we will all die by starvation unless we kill half of us she can't wait to try to befriend him too!" Not sure what to make of Chance's words Flamey stared puzzled at her and quite at loss for words he stared at Alteria hoping she had understood the question.

Edited by Isirion

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Alteria nodded at each of them in turn, and greeted them by their names. "Hello Chance. Hello Flamey." She then turned to Chance. "I think he was caught up in the battle, and didn't think too much. I would think he killed them as a reaction. They were also attacking to kill. But, after their leader died, they clearly lost their will. We would be no better than cold blooded killers if we killed an enemy that already surrendered." She said. She then announced her plan. "If we stand up on each other, we should be able to reach the top of the pit. I will stand on top, and see if I can find some big rocks that I could roll into the pit for you guys to climb up on. I promise." She hoped the others would trust her, she had never broken a promise before.

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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