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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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In the faint star light the Sleeping Dragon Tavern looked quiet and peaceful from above however as Alsia descended she spotted two things that disturbed her. The first was a row of four fresh-looking different-sized earthmounds decorated with flowers and wreaths that could only be graves the other was her own mate patrolling the building in a kind of frenetic fervor. Her state of happiness that she had carried over from the island dissipated almost at once and with a sense of forboding she landed next to Valerian. She wanted to reassure him as quickly as possible that she was safe and also tell him what had happened at the Leetle shrine but her gut-feeling told her that the news that her mate had to share were maybe even more important.

Edited by Isirion

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"Valerian? What's wrong...please...please tell me this isn't what it looks like..." Rather than responding with words the tears in Valerian's eyes became quickly apparent to Alsia and he eagerly embraced her in a hug: "I missed you...I'm so glad you are safe..."

 

The hug lasted for several long moments before Valerian backed up. He gestured to the largest of the graves: "FlowerOwl...she...passed on after an accident. It was quick and no one is at fault aside from fate itself." He tore himself away from the mental image of her standing over her own grave. Next he pointed to the smaller trio of graves: "Three Hellfire hatchlings washed up on the shore...dead. Not of natural causes. They were murdered." He spat the last part out. The mere thought caused him pain and made his blood boil with rage.

 

"Valerian..."

 

"I...I broke. You know I can handle almost anything." His tone had become noticeably weaker and wavered in pitch. "I kept picturing the hatchies as if they were our own...it's enough to see three children murdered but the very thought that if they were our own...you know if we had a family...you know that nothing would ever stop me from protecting you and the hatchlings. I just don't-"

 

Alsia silenced his increasingly nervous chatter when she wrapped a wing around him and cooed softly: "I know you would. You're my big, brave Valerian. I still remember when we were small you know." She said with a sad smile. "We got separated from Orion while exploring and we ran into a bear. My wing was hurt and you were so brave you stood between me and the bear that was at least four times as tall as you were."

 

"And I got smacked clear into a tree." He added in shame.

 

"But you got back up and oh I remember that look in your eyes when it cornered me."

 

"Yeah...I charged at it. I saw the size of its teeth. It barely missed me and I managed to climb on the head and start clawing at the eyes.

 

"But you were so brave and fearless. It was about to hit you when Orion shot it. That really caught its attention and while it was distracted you blinded it. Right after you did that it threw you intro a rock and knocked you out. I was terrified that...you know, but Orion told me you were going to be fine. The bear fled aimlessly into the woods just before Orion drew his bow again and we never saw it again."

 

"Oh I was far from fearless."

 

"Maybe, but what I will always remember, is how you did it anyway."

 

"Alsia...I'm sorry but why are you telling me this?"

 

"Because you big lug, I know you'll take care of me. But don't you ever forget it's my job to take care of you as well. Why are you out here anyway? You should be sleeping."

 

"I...after what happened and with the ghost thing that has been plaguing us I couldn't sleep with the thought of us all being so vulnerable. So I've been keeping watch all night."

 

"Valerian...you need to sleep."

 

"I'm sorry but I'm not going to." He confessed with a shake of his head.

 

Alsia gave a small laugh. "And to think I remember when you actually listened to me. You're as stubborn as a mule."

 

"I learned from the best." A shadow of a grin appeared on his mouth.

 

"Hey! And fine. If you insist on doing this you aren't doing it alone."

 

"I...thank you, dear. How were things with The Guardian?"

 

Alsia filled him in on all of the details from how her night had gone while Valerian shared everything she had missed. After they were done exchanging information they patrolled the area for the rest of the night, together. They reminded each other of times when they were small enough for Orion to carry or times when Valerian's curiosity had gotten them lost or in trouble while Alsia claimed to be innocent. A fact he could easily testify against. At last they glimpsed the sun peaking over the horizon and they both were finally drifting off to sleep themselves. Valerian was out like a light but Alsia remained awake just a little longer. With a gentle smile she turned to Valerian's sleeping form. She gave him a peck on the cheek and whispered to him. "I know you'd make a great father."

Edited by Orion97

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On the next morning at the tavern

 

After a not particulary restful night due to some disturbing nightmares they had Orion and Erastor woke up from a smell that was especially heavy to the nose like it carried a real physical weight. With it came the faintest hint of sweetness that spoke to the primal instinct of the human body making it feel hungry. The exorcist had no idea what that strange combination of smells meant but followed his instincts and left the White Dragon room he had taken over to find something to fill his belly with downstairs. Orion on the other hand had smelled that particular smell dozens of times before and identified it immediately. He jumped from his bed in the Grey Dragon room and followed the scent to its source one door away. Standing in front of Henna's Black Dragon room he sniffed again and the intensified stench of a decomposing body told him that he was indead at the right location. While he pondered a few seconds wether to go in or not an angry scream drifted out from the inside: "WHERE THE HELL IS MY LEETLE LEAF. I KNOW I PUT IT RIGHT HERE AND WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DISGUSTING SMELL!"

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Orion groaned inwardly, he knew he had almost forgotten something. He'd rather deal with it one one with her for now rather than deal with it when she explodes in front of the whole group.

 

"So this is how I die..." He remarked sarcastically as he turned the door knob. He smoothly swung it open and walked inside while drawing the leaf from his pocket in one flowing motion. In the next he brought his index finger to his lips in a "shush" signal.

 

"Henna. I have it. Keep your voice down, answer a few questions and I'll give it back I swear. I just want to talk." He said in a soft voice so as to not provoke her.

 

Orion quickly glanced around for any evidence as to what might be causing the smell as well

 

 

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Too surprised to do otherwise than told Henna said in a low surprisingly flustered sounding voice: "You are my personal hero aren't you? You are the only one sane around here and now you even found my Leetle leaf. Did you come to my room so early in the morning to bring me the chicken you promised?" Upon saying the word chicken Henna's face changed. She bit her lip and simultaneously with the hunter she realized the source of the stench. It was the big brown bulging bag that had occasionally squeaked yesterday. Now the bag was perfectly still and silent because the chicken wrapped in bed sheets within had suffocated during the night. Henna looked very embarassed now and tried to kick the bag under the sheet-and-blanket-missing bed. Her desperate attempt at hiding the bag failed because her pet snake Umi chose this moment to finally get her jaws on something to eat. Yesterday she had only be allowed to paralyze that chicken and later on had been denied the delicious looking dead hatchies by a fierce dragon but now there was no protective Hellfire Wyvern in sight and the chicken in the bag was most definitely dead. After a little wrestling with the bag and the bed sheet Umi was happily swallowing the chicken whole with unhinged jaws not caring a bit about the death stares Henna gave her. As a last resort to cover the situation up the herbalist whispered pleadingly to Orion: "Please don't tell anyone that Umi stole a chicken from the hen house and I'll answer every question you want me to."

Edited by Isirion

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A puzzled look played across Orion's features for just a second before he recovered. "I...I'm working on the chicken thing. I've been a little busy. I won't tell about the chicken...but you need to repay them somehow."

 

Thus far the situation had taken a 180 degree turn with how he had imagined it, including but not limited to a slap across the face, more yelling and if it was a really bad day, her attempting to set him on fire. He approached her a little closer and placed the Leetle leaf in her hand but held onto it at the same time.

 

"I must confess, I was the one that took it but please listen to my reasons." He released his hold on the leaf and backed just a very short distance out of slapping range.

 

He had to speak carefully, he didn't need another enemy, but an ally.

 

"Why do you need the leaves so badly? I would be happy to help you find a substitute if need be but this can't go on. Have you tried asking the Guardian about why he guards it so fiercely at all? If you truly need them maybe you two could strike a deal. Aside from that, you don't seem like a fool and as well I would like to ask you to help us with our situation. I'll explain it with the others over breakfast but we need all the help we can get."

Orion took a deep breath.

 

"So what do you say? You stop using Leetle leaves and I find you a substitute, I keep quiet about the chicken if you find a way to repay them, and if you help us with our troubles the Inn should be nice and quiet, just how you like it, correct?"

Orion put his best cards on the table. Although the idea had just sprung into his head they really could use someone more experienced on their little hunt.

Edited by Orion97

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Henna's hands on the Leetle leaf Orion was holding too began to tremble. She really had taken a liking to the hunter even though the day before she had send her snake after him to tail him. The reason for this had been that he appeared to be after her Leetle leaf supplier and after what he just told her he still was. The fact that he also told her that he was the one that took the leaf she was missing didn't bother her much because it had been dried up and anyway she already had requested replacements. What did bother her was his demand. He asked that she gave up using Leetle leaves even though she was so close to mixing a miraculously potent potion. Henna pondered the options she had been given and found a loop-hole. The hunter had only asked her to strike a deal with the Guardian but he hadn't said when. So she could still follow through the deal she had with the Egg Hunter tonight and get her hands on some new leaves to use. After that she could still strike that deal though it was very unlikely the Guardian would give in after he had scared her off the island the last time she went there for the self-same reason. It was practically his own fault that she had to hire a thief the herbalist thought before she smiled and gave Orion almost the answer he was hoping for: "Without a fresh Leetle leaf I can't continue my work so I might as well help you out a bit seeing as you can't rely on that trampling elephants and whining girls around here. Watching Umi devour that chicken got me hungry too so I'll take you up on your offer and join you for breakfast downstairs. Just don't forget with all that 'situations' you seem to have going on that you owe me a chicken AND a substitute Leetle leaf now."

Edited by Isirion

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"What exactly is your work's goal anyway if I might ask?" Orion tilted his head just slightly in curiosity back towards her as he began to lead the way downstairs. "I'll get you a chicken...the Leetle leaf will be at best...complicated and I can't make any promises. I won't steal it." As soon as Orion was downstairs he smelled the presence of food but it was the lack of seeing Valerian trying to squeeze inside. It was odd considering that between his own little group Valerian was always up before even Emeraldan if there was food nearby. He checked briefly outside and noticed a sleepy looking Alsia laying beside Valerian, whom was sleeping like a baby. She smiled and asked him to save some for them as well. Emeraldan though, eagerly flew in from his hiding spot from beside Alsia and went straight for the kitchen. It struck him as a little funny how only days before Emeraldan had flown so clumsily but when he smelled food he flew like it was second nature. A moment later Orion was back in the kitchen himself and took a seat beside everyone else that was present for breakfast, eager to see what kind of meal Candy would be serving.

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Alzira was woken as usual, by a hungry Sappo who had been trampling across her for a while. Finally he placed himself on her chest , staring at her and eventually tapping her face, especially her cheeks and nose with his claw. It has to be said that the little Misfit Pygmy wasn't trying to wake her on purpose, but he was getting hungry and therefore restless. So he moved around a lot and in case she woke, which was about time as he knew and he kept very close to her so she would see him and his poor hungry self as soon as she opened her eyes. Needless to say that she woke about "her" usual time due to his behaviour. So when she finally cast up her eyes, her look was returned by two black pools and a wide grin. She patted Sappo and smiled "Don't worry, we'll eat soon. A short glance around the room later she remembered the dealings of the last few days. Dreena was nowhere to be found, but that was no surprise - being Susurro's apprentice the vampire hatchling had prefered the White Dragon's company and chosen to stay in the stables. Sappo was getting nervous, his keeper was still sitting in bed and looking sleepy so he decided to accelerat things. He jumped behind her and pushed her back, roaring a bit and muttering in his dragon tongue. Alzira knew this procedure and couldn't help but grin. "Don't worry Sappo, we'll be in the kitchen and eating in no time!" She quickly left bed, dressed and as soon as she opened the door, Sappo was sitting on her shoulder chatting happily, when they both noticed the scent of Candy's marvellous cooking. They dashed to the kitchen in expectation of a wonderful breakfast.

 

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As Candy waltzed over to lay the table with all kinds of pie she couldn't believe her eyes seeing Henna there right next to Orion. She turned to Erastor who sat next to Ale and cooed: "You really did a miracle with that exorcism last night. Not only the bad spirit seems to be gone but Henna's bad temper too. Normally she calls me trampling elephant. Of course I am not offended by that. Elephants have very good memory and so do I. Enjoy your food." The herbalist not entirely sure how the always-so-sweet woman had meant that gave Candy a weird glance and decided not to eat a pie before somebody else had done so. She hadn't had to wait long because the green-haired lady who just came in with a Misfit Pygmy on her shoulder ate a pistachio-creme apple-pie as fast as the exorcist munched a caramel-coated strawberry-pie. As none of them dropped dead from being poisoned she quickly grabbed for a honey-crusted cherry pie leaving the hunter the pick between a blueberry pie with vanilla-topping and a peach pie with sugar-melon-slices.

 

In the meantime at the edge of the forest

 

In the sticky-web-trap that the cheerful female ochredrake Telia Kuran-Kiryu had created yesterday something struggled and sizzled. It was a male Thunder hatchie with eyes like molten gold and a silvery tinge to his darkblue wings and scales. The sizzling sound came from the electricity the hatchie had stored up during the last storm and now used furiously to get rid of the sticky invisible stuff he had just flown into.

Edited by Isirion

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Telia wakes up from her sleep. Her head still spinning from the nightmare, it seemed so real. Before it can invade her thoughts any longer, she hears a sizzling sound and looks over to her trap "uh oh" she chirps softly under her breath and trots over to where a small male thunder hatchling has been trapped in the sticky web. "How'd you get caught in there? Never mind I'll get you out please be careful around here you don't want to get caught again, now hold still." Telia gently breathes fire around the hatchling melting the web he's caught in once he's free she speaks rather quickly "So what's your name? I'm Telia, I live in these woods. Sorry about my trap but we have a problem so it's necessary." Telia then remembers her nightmare and decides to head back to the tavern to tell the others, "Do you want to come or stay here and explore?" She asks the little thunder hatchling tilting her head slightly.

Edited by isabella3

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Tonitrua shook. He had always been afraid of the 'Big Dragons' but there was just something about this one that didn't scare him so much. "Umm," he mumbled. "Uhh, I was trying to find a mouse. I got hungry, and I'm alone. I guess I just stumbled in here." He said, his voice wavering. "M-my name's T-Tonitrua, thanks for getting me out." He cried, attempting to make his voice be heard. "D-did you say we had a problem? Oh no, what's happened?" He was terrified as it was, and the thought of something that needed a 'Big Dragon' to stop spooked him even more.

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Telia looks at Tonitrua smiles and says: "Well Tonitrua, we have food back at the tavern, I'll explain what I know about the problem on the way there, come on". Telia begins explaining what she knows telling him about the ghost-like figure that has been appearing: "I really only know that he's dangerous, appears and disappears at will and has been taking things from the tavern but I've never really seen him in real life though I had a nightmare during my nap. You look terrified did you have a nightmare too?"

 

Edited by isabella3

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The word nightmare cut him to the quick. The night had brought many terrors. The thought of his dream made his blood run cold. He awoke, or he thought he did to the face of a human with ice-cold eyes and a bloodstained blade. The human picked him up by the neck, and by some magic spell, had made it impossible for little Tonitrua to shock him. The man cocked his head as Tonitrua struggled. "Well, you're a bit small, aren't you?" he said with an ice-cold voice. "I don't have room for runts." and with that, he drove the blade straight into Tonitrua's chest.

He had woken with a start, glad to be alive but now feeling terribly hungry. As he had told Telia he went mouse-hunting but soon found himself in a sticky thing that made it nearly impossible to move. He shocked it furiously, mostly because he wanted to get out, but partly because he wanted to test his ability to shock things, as the dream had made him doubt. He still managed to send shocks into the net but before he could test how effective it was Telia's fire had already freed him. Thinking of Telia reminded him of her question and he answered the not-too-big 'Big dragon': "A-as you saw I got caught instead of a mouse so food would be great."

Edited by EmmaD333

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Telia looks at Tonitrua, "yeah, I suppose I sort of disturbed your hunt. The tavern has great food and it'll save you having to hunt aswell," Telia spreads her wings stretching them out slowly then, retracts them again. She smiles at Tonitrua, then gets up and climbs a tree, snatching a small bird before it has time to make a sound, she then glides down gently and dumps the bird at Tonitrua's small feet "well do you think that'll be good for a bit till we get to the tavern? I mean, it is a small bird and we aren't all that far..." Telia sits down waiting for Tonitrua.

Edited by isabella3

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Tonitrua grinned shyly. "Yes, that's enough for now. I guess we should get going, this wont hold for long, and I don't know why, but that shock-attack left me pretty drained." He scampered to the tree, and tried to scale it as neatly and easily as Telia had, and ended up on his stomach, looking quite irked. "Lead the way, please!" He said, shaking off the dirt. Then a look flitted across his face. Pride! He had just spoken to a Big Dragon without stuttering for the first time in his life. I was right! he thought. There IS something about her!

Edited by EmmaD333

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Telia gets up and looks at Tonitrua "well, come on," she chirps, then walks towards the tavern. She walks quickly and soon arrives at the Tavern, she slips through her window and follows the sound of people and the smell of food, she trots to where her friends have gathered,looking back to check if Tonitrua is still behind her. "Hey everyone I'm back, how have you been? I found a young hatchling caught in my trap his name is Tonitrua, he's a Thunder dragon and gave my trap a pretty good shock! Tonitrua these are my friends, I'm sure they'll be glad to meet you. Oh! I should probably tell everyone about my nightmare, it was about our suspected ghost and a few dragons, one was a massive male hellfire, he looked very strong.What I can remember is being in a cave, the ghost was there and so was the hellfire, the ghost was talking to him, but I could only hear something about the ghost killing dragons and the dragon interfering in something, when the ghost walked away the hellfire looked sad as if someone he loved had died, then I was moved to another section of the cave and saw five baby dragons... killed in front of all the other dragons in the cave." At this, Telia starts crying softly, small tears running down her scaly cheeks, she lays down and curls her tail around her, unfolding her wings so that they lay by her side, she stops crying but lays there upset, wondering what it meant.

Edited by isabella3

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Emeraldan was one of the first to notice the newcomers and cocked his head to the side in curiosity. It appeared that something was bothering Telia. Just as concerned as he was, he also desperately wanted to meet the thunder hatchie. He decided to try do his best to do both. The young drake jumped into a gentle glide over to the duo and landed right beside them.

 

"F-friends? Wut wong?" He looked at the two with an unintentional pair of puppy eyes. As he finished speaking a thought struck him. He had gotten much better at flying and speaking recently. He wanted to see just how well.

 

Just as he prepared to speak his mind processed the tale of her nightmare and he was forced to remember his own terrible dreams. His heart instantly felt frozen over.

 

"I...I hab dweems like dat...but evweyone was dead. I live, but blood on mai cwaws." He looked shamefully at his own claws, relieved that they were clean. Orion glared in surprise at Emeraldan, it was as if he had grown up without him noticing in that moment but it was the nightmares that had concerned him. While Orion himself had terrible nightmares similar to theirs, they were a far cry in terms of severity.

 

He stood up and offered a few comforting words to Telia before addressing all others present. "Has...everyone been having nightmares?"

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Orion's question apparently hit the mark. Candy who had been torn between fussing over the crying Ochredrake and hugging the adorable Gray Dragon hatchie started crying herself and sobbed: "I dreamt that I went into the forest to look for my boy Jaxon who had wandered off again. I went deeper and deeper into the forest but I couldn't find him. Instead something or someone found me and watched me with ice-cold eyes. It was dreadful I couldn't move I couldn't think and so I screamed until I woke up." Her husband Ale leaned closer to his wife to comfort her then he said: "There is a nightmare I have from time to time. It haunts me since my time in the Royal Blue regiment and not always only at night. I try to drown the memory with alcohol but I can still see the blood...so much blood...and the poor dragons all cut up... Only this time I felt like somebody was watching. The hair on my neck stood up and I knew somebody was watching me - watching us..."

 

Ale fell silent again giving Erastor time to put on a solemn face and clear his throat before recounting his nightmare: "I relived the night I arrived a the tavern but some things were different and even scarier than what really happened. I got lost again in the forest and fell down a hole but in my dream it was deep and dark like a pit. In reality I got rescued by Orion and his fine dragons but not so in my nightmare. In my nightmare I was scared witless and tried to climb out but failed so miserably I gave up after the third attempt. Suddenly the dark ghostly figure we saw on the balcony appeared and stabbed me through the belly with a wicked bloodstained blade. I died in that pit in a puddle of my own blood but strangely enough I felt like the ghost had been watching my weak attempts at climbing out of the pit for some time before he decided to kill me. Even stranger when I woke up I suddenly felt hungry. Maybe dreaming you are dead makes you feel even more alive? Did anyone else here had had such an experience too?"

Edited by Isirion

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Tonitrua had been pondering the meanings of his dream and the meanings of the others', but the question snapped him back to reality. "Uh... y-yes. Perhaps it m-makes the m-mind more relieved to be a-alive, so it a-activates certain e-emotions? M-maybe I should tell you about my n-nightmare. I was in the depths of the forest, where the sun is rarely seen. I don't know how I got there, or why, but I was picked up by the throat by a man with eyes of ice. He spoke, and it was as if Death itself was speaking. 'You're a bit small, I have no room for runts.' he said, as he drove his bloodstained blade right through my heart." As Tonitrua recounted his nightmare, he thought he felt a gust of wind blow onto his scales. That's odd. he thought. All the doors are closed, and there's nothing behind me. Did anyone else feel it too?

Edited by EmmaD333

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Alzira listened carefully. She felt sorry for them, the memories they shared were obviously somehow connected and full of death. She shuddered because these nightmares suddenly triggered her personal horror of watching dragons die and her unability to do something about it. She sighed: "I have to tell you something as well. I just remembered I had a bad dream as well, although I had almost forgotten it. You telling about them just now brought it back my mind." She took a deep breath and hesitantly told the others about her dream.

 

"I remember being in one of those aforementioned pits and I was forced to fight. I was a young dragon and I don't know why but I knew I had to fight otherwise I would die. My opponent wasn't any dangerous beast, it was a dragon just like me. The situation was dire because talking wouldn't accomplish anything. My adversary and I were being watched and I at least felt an icecold prick in the back of my head. I couldn't see the watcher although I looked around carefully. ... and I was so hungry, I've never been that hungry in my life and the other dragon must have felt the same for it looked as scraggy as I felt. Nevertheless it didn't matter, the situation was clear, one of us would die, either the fight or starvation would kill us. The next part is just a blur, I just remember talons slashing, fangs in close range, snapping at my throat and a tail swishing, aiming at my already injured wing I think... There was so much red everywhere, and then there was this burning sensation in my stomach and more red until I noticed it was me and the other dragon bleeding like mad. The most horrible thing was that I couldn't do a thing, I was just a watcher in the first row and screaming for help, to stop this madness..." Alzira stopped, tears were running down her cheeks, she needed air and a hankerchief... She sobbed,"The worst thing was that I was just so helpless. I couldn't do a thing! All I could do was screaming and crying... and I felt everything! Every cut and bite, even those I inflicted... Then I woke and I could hardly remember a thing, just that I had dreamed something horrible."

Edited by Alzira

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After almost everybody had told his or her nightmares Henna still didn't feel compelled to tell her own. Her dreams were her own business and her nightmares even more so. Why in the world should she tell complete strangers that just happen to live in the same tavern as she did her innermost fears? Would it make it any better if that busy-body elephant-woman Candy started crying again after she told everybody that in her dream she rode Lunaspeeria to the herb-place in the mountains again but instead of arriving savely there they had been ambushed by another Hellfire Wyvern and during the fight the dragoness got her belly ripped apart causing both of them to crash into the mountainside and die horribly. The answer was of course 'No' and so the herbalist kept silent, fearing the face she made would betray her anyway.

 

After the green-haired lady had shared her nightmare too Candy was indeed on the verge of asking Henna but the arrival of her children distracted her. Winny came in carrying a bag with some eggs and an outraged expression on her face. As soon as she had put down the bag on the kitchen table she cried: "When I went to the hen-house to collect the eggs I couldn't find my little Feathershriek anywhere. She was the next best thing I had because you wouldn't allow me a Fluffy Pillow Dragon of my own. Now the thieving ghost has got her and I am so afraid he will kill her and break her neck and rip her apart and eat her like what happened in that scary dream I had!" The last words she spoke with that raised agitated voice that was a tell-tale sign for everybody who had experienced why her nickname was 'Whiny'. So her brother Jaxon who had come in with her hurriedly hushed her up and promised: "That ghost will not hurt your little chicken. I will find him first and gut him like I saw in my dream. Well I think I had been the one gutted and I was a dragon not a chicken the details are a bit hazy but I promise I will find that ghost and get Feathershriek back from him!" After hearing that Winny shut her mouth and Candy sure hadn't had any interest in Henna anymore and almost fainted from the mental picture of her little boy getting cut up into pieces by a dragon or ghost or any other bloodthirsty beast. Maybe it was time to move the topic or the conversation away from children and worried parents.

 

In the meantime at Isirions's hideout

 

While the people at the tavern were discussing the nightmares they had the dragons in the hideout were still caught in the nightmare that was their living. The only exception to that being the female hatchling with the shredded wings who believed she was dead already. The first time she died she had fallen right into the cold hands of death and suddenly awoken to a ghost-like 'life' in a boneyard. The second time must have happened recently because Skull as she called herself now awoke in an unfamiliar environment again. It was dark and confined like the belly of a beast with steady growling and rumbling sounds. Had she been eaten 'alive'? Was that the punishment for defying the dreadful spell that had kept her in her place until she had met Alteria and the other hatchies? They hadn't known about the terrible unshakeable feeling of being watched all the time that had come back to haunt her like it had every time she had tried to leave the cave her famished age-mates and she had shared in the days she had still been alive. Suddenly the feeling was back and Skull remembered that yesterday unlike the two hatchies Tria and Chance, who insisted on hiding in the boneyard she had agreed to come with Alteria, Flamey and Claw. The three had convinced her to search with them for a way to leave the world of death but instead they had been found by a full grown Hellfire dragoness who took them under her wing. Quickly she had flown the four of them to her high-up cave where she still was but definitly shouldn't be. Alas with her shredded wings Skull couldn't fly back to where she should be and had passed out from the tension.

Edited by Isirion

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"So we've all had these nightmares...I know I'm no exception. Perhaps we should try to look for common threads between our nightmares." Orion suggested as he rubbed his chin. "I'm certain these are simply natural dreams and the sooner we find what they all have in common the sooner we might be to finding a clue as to the source."

 

Orion was about to continue when he noticed Emeraldan driving himself half-crazy trying to get his attention, running in circles and nipping at his hands. After he caught his attention, Emeraldan struck a proud pose meant to resemble a mighty dragon. Orion got the hint.

 

"Anyway for now we should talk to Alsia about what she found out while she was with the Guardian yesterday. Follow me everyone. Careful if Valerian is sleeping, he's doesn't take well to being woken up."

 

He guided the others over to the dragon stables where Alsia could be seen softly singing to Valerian, whom seemed to be sleeping...blissfully for once.

 

"Let the waves wash away...all the pain of yesterday. You know it's always darkest before the dawn...but as the colors of the sky are drawn I'll sing to you my own song..." She cooed softly to the sleeping hellfire as the group approached.

 

"That was...beautiful, Alsia" Orion said. He knew she was a good singer but that was nothing short of incredible. It could almost bring an individual to tears.

 

"Thank you." She smiled and looked back down at Valerian.

 

"Alsia, we need to know what happened with the Guardian yesterday. What did you find?"

 

"Not here. I just got him back to sleep. Poor thing insisted on staying up and keeping watch all night. I wouldn't count on him to wake up until the early afternoon. This way please." She said in a soft tone as she guided the group to a spot just a stone's throw away.

 

"So what happened over there?" Orion asked.

 

"We prepared a trap and well into the night a cloaked figure approached. He claimed to be the Egg Hunter's apprentice and he carried the eggs of three guardian hatchlings...I revealed myself and tried to talk him out of damaging the eggs. He demanded three Leetle leaves in exchange or he would destroy them. The Guardian was upset but thankfully he gave in to the trade. He told me a few things, including his name." She paused for a moment. "He said his name was Isirion...then after the trade he left."

 

Orion took a moment to think about it before a few critical puzzle pieces began to fit together. "Isirion..." His eyes widened in realization. "He's the one that I'll be meeting with Sodger this evening...he's been stealing the Leetle leaves. There's something else I can't quite put my finger on...I'll have to wait to meet him myself."

 

 

 

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The moment Orion mentioned that he was going to meet with the Egg Hunter's apprentice Isirion, Henna's face fell. Surely the hunter would ask her Leetle leaf supplier about the previous deal and then he would find out that in addition to the chicken Umi stole she had taken the Dragon Cashmere Blanket from her room and offered it as payment. She couldn't be caught as a thief or accomplice to theft now that she was so close to finishing her potion. Biting her nails Henna desperately thought for a solution to her troubles until an idea came to her. All she had to do was warn the apprentice that the meeting was a trap so he wouldn't show up and thus couldn't tell the hunter anything he shouldn't know. Henna smiled and excused herself quite politely from the group then she mounted Lunaspeeria who was too tired to protest or argue and flew away in the direction of the fishermen's village.

Edited by Isirion

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Ah... the meeting! Alzira remembered that she wanted to ask about the market and their pole business because she wanted to sell some of her pictures. She was looking at their little group when she noticed a dragon taking off out of the corner of her eye. Her attention was captured by Lunaspeeria flying towards the village. Why was the exhausted dragon leaving? Then she noticed the figure on her back. Henna! ... Alzira had already been a bit irritated by her polite behaviour, but who knows ? Although... she had been very quiet this morning as well and as soon as she had heard the name Isirion she had seemed to be... in a hurry? And why was she headed for the village and not the herb places she was usually so interested in? All these little things raised Alira's suspicions. She called to the others "Henna's headed for the village. Something's fishy about this. I'll follow her and find out, hopefully!" Then she run back to her room, took her already packed stuff including her sketches. Outside again she and Dreena, who wasn't willing to leave Susurro, left the tavern together.

Edited by Alzira

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