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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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To be asked to put his paws to work seemed to calm down Tonitrua quite a bit. However Telia's last question made him almost loose his temper his molten-gold coloured eyes flashed and he wanted to shout: "How could you want to go back in there? There is nothing except flames. Do you want to die? Die like...like whom exactly? Tonitrua couldn't figure it out and he still did not fully understand what he had seen and heard but since the Ochredrake had neither the Thunder hatchling understood that whatever it was it had happened at an other time and place. He calmed himself down and whispered that there was no need to go back into the flames. Telia who seemed quite anxious about the flames as well seem to understand even without him giving a proper explanation and together the two worked on fixing the sticky-web and spreading it between two branches in a way it could be made to fall down swiftly on the hopefully unsuspecting 'ghost' it was supposed to trap.

 

In the meantime in the burning part of the forest

 

Originally it had only been Valerian who had played tag with his keeper Orion in the forest. However due to the steady wind that had nurtured a little spark from the Hellfire Wyvern's flames into a fully-fledged forest fire, most of the critters were now playing too. In a desperate attempt to save their lives they ran with such speed as their legs could muster to stay ahead of the flames that tried to catch them. Orion who had just managed to shake off the pursuing Hellfire his sense still on high-alert suddenly felt the ground shake from their approach. He heard the roaring of the flames, smelled the smoke from the burning trees and instantly wished the Hellfire back...

Edited by Isirion

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Orion would've sworn he felt ice run in his veins as he looked about the flames. He quickly drew an arrow and shot it straight up. Valerian would pick up a fast moving object like that very easily. As he predicted a moment later Valerian appeared, by now aware of what his carelessness had wrought, the guilt evident plainly on his face. "Get Alsia! Hurry! I'll be fine!" Orion shouted. Valerian nodded and flew off like a bolt. While he was getting Alsia Orion could try running to the village. Surely their water dragons would be willing to help. His thoughts were interrupted when he noticed the flames quickly encircling him. He raced over a burning log and took off in a dead sprint towards the village as well as memory served him.

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Valerian soon found his soulmate Alsia who had followed him close enough to be there for him if he needed her but still distant enough to respect his feelings of needing some time alone. Together they returned to Orion and picked him up. High in the sky it was easier for the hunter to jugde how far the flames had spread already. Due to the steady wind that had caused them from the Hellfire's spark in the first place there was a clear burnt path through the forest but it wasn't as wide or rapidly growing as Orion had feared in the beginning. His Ice Dragon seemed to think along the same lines as she proposed with the faintest hint of amusement in her voice: "This is not the first fire my dearest Hellfire Wyvern has caused nor will it be the last. I don't like the thought of owing the local dragons something. If I use my freezing breath and Valerian his flames we could easily block the path of the fire and let it burn itself out. What do you think?"

Edited by Isirion

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Orion nodded. "You two got this kind of thing down. Before you do set me down ahead of the blaze so I can help anyone or anything that might have gotten stuck trying to run."

Alsia nodded back in understanding and did as he asked just before getting to work on extinguishing the worst of the flames. Valerian followed Alsia's directions as well to burn specific areas so the fire would burn itself out wherever she found difficult to handle with ice. On the ground ahead of the fire Orion encountered a healthy buck whose antlers had been caught in some low hanging branches in his hurry. Slinging his bow, Orion climbed up the tree and managed to snap enough small limbs for the deer to break free and continue its escape. Once the deer was free Orion himself slipped away and continued moving away from the fire while keeping a keen eye out for anything else that might be stuck.

Edited by Orion97

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Orion's actions did not go unnoticed. While the hunter freed the buck from the branches a pair of draconic eyes watched from a distance. The eyes belonged to the Royal Blue Dragon Aseto who had once led the Royal Blue regiment along with his master Sodger. At the time the Royal Blues had been disbanded Aseto technically had been set free from service too but decided to continue his duties and patrol the skies from time to time. On his usual routine while circling over the lake and village he had spotted the forest fire and flown over to investigate. By the time he arrived the forest fire has already been taken care of by an Ice Dragon and a Hellfire Wyvern that seemed to accompany the human Aseto was currently watching. The fact that Orion was not only dressed as a hunter but acted like one too had piqued his interest. In the fishermen village there were too many people who would have killed that perfectly healthy buck for a trophy instead of freeing it so it could produce more healthy offsprings that in the long line would serve the creatures living off the forest and the forest itself. From the looks of it everything seemed to be fine in said forest so Aseto took off again to bring the news of the recent events to his master.

 

In the meantime at the agiltiy trainings area at Isirions's hideout

 

Nobody had dared to disturb Belia's peaceful sleep in the middle of the resting area but the dragons that recognized her from the last Hellfire Games couldn't help staring at and wondering about her. They had seen her getting her belly ripped apart had seen her loosing maybe even dying but despite all this she was right here even in perfect health now. After a while of rather ineffective training due to looking away at the dragoness every ten seconds Claw couldn't stand it anymore. Covered in sticky-orange-stuff the 'reward' for getting distracted he left the mini-arena and went back to Lilith who rested near the center of attention. Claw cleaned himself up as much as he could with his wing-claws then he asked: "Mighty dragoness! This new female looks so strong and big and everyone keeps staring at her. Who is she?"

 

"Why don't you ask me that question instead little one?", Belia interrupted after opening her eyes and rising to her full imposing height. "My name is Hellfire Belia and I earned it with my own strength and blood in the Hellfire Games. You and that runt over there on the other hand look awfully small and weak not to mention the wrong gender to be even training here. Who are you?" After Belia had finished speaking all eyes turned on the thick-clawed hatchie. Some of them a bit ashamed because they had failed to notice the obvious. They all knew of course that the males and the females were separated after gendering but still they hadn't wasted a second thought on the two males since both of them had looked like they belonged from the start. Claw's heart and mind raced. If being the wrong gender was the only 'mistake' they had made he could try to talk themselves out of this mess without revealing their connection to Hellfire Lilith, Skull and Alteria. Talking really wasn't his strong point but he had to try or die: "I feel honoured that a great dragoness such as you Hellfire Belia deem me worth to even speak to me but I am afraid I don't deserve it. The truth is my companion and I tried our wings out after gendering and kind of ended up here. You all know how life is in this place. Getting lost is a weakness isn't it? That is why we tried to blend in among you at once until we figure out how to get back. We never intended to deceive you we just didn't want to find our bodies impaled on the wicked blade of that ice-cold murd-r-r--rrr" Claw would have definitely said murderer if it wasn't for the cat-like dragon that shut him up with her wing-claw at the last second. Kitty had experienced with her own body how badly it could turn out to call their keeper a murderer if the only dragon in the hideout that didn't see him as one was listening. Indeed Twitch 's ears were twitching so badly as if she was actually eager to hear someone insulting her saviour so that she could let loose and shock them into oblivion. Now that Kitty had jumped in so suddenly she became the center of attention and regretted it immediately. Arching her back like a cat she hissed: "Don't look at me like that. Just go back to training while I take back those stray-cats that have wandered in by accident."

 

Finally the crowd dispersed and Kitty took to the air showing Claw and Flamey the way to the feeding-area near the ungendered hatchie pit. After those two had left or at least appeared to have left she would have returned to her agility training if it hadn't be for the pair of shredded wings Kitty spotted from above. She knew those wings because she had shredded them herself but how in the world could that dragon be here? Kitty had seen her fall to her death and she had understandably thought she had seen her in the hidden boneyard but why would she see her now? The dragoness didn't find an answer and so she decided to watch and wait like a cat in front of a mouse hole...

 

A bit later at the exchange poles in the fishermen's village

 

In the absence of Alzira who had left quite a time ago to report back to the tavern and to find some beautiful scenery to paint the new ‘Art Request Pole’ attracted a lot of attention. Especially the sketch of a White Dragon that seemed to almost glide out of the canvas into a marvellous sunset received high praise. Unfortunately the news about the new pole eventually reached the 'wrong' ears too: Those kind of ears the Guardian had warned Orion and Alzira about as he had told them that there was more than one villain around and that some of the secrets the fishermen keep were so deep as the mountain shadowing over their village it is high. Ears belonging to the kind of people the pre-reformed beggar had had dealings with - the ears of the master of the local Thieves Guild. Of course they didn't announce their business at the poles but nevertheless had a lot of business with them. Almost everyone of the pole owners paid a weekly sum of 10 coins so that their poles literally stayed in business. "Almost everyone" the guildmaster growled thinking about the sole exception that had cost him the lives and limbs of countless guild members. No-one in the guild would ever try to extort the Egg Hunter again but that new business was a different pole. "Wreck the stuff on that art pole and then place our usual request!", the master demanded from his henchmen then growled again as he had to write that usual request himself since he was the only one able to read and write in the guild...

 

'Insurance request'

 

Dear pole owner!

 

A wrecked pole is such a terrible sight.

Would you consider a weekly fee of only

 

10 coins

 

to the local pole patrol so that they can

afford the additional man power necessary

to look after your business too?

 

Please leave your donation with the

bartender of the 'Leetle Fish'.

 

Signed: A concerned visitor

Edited by Isirion

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Finally Alzira finished her work. This had been a wonderful day with exceptional good conditions for completing some water colour paintings emphasizing the dragon wildlife near the lake. She was really proud of herself. She called for Sappo who was chasing a dragonfly near the reeds. "Sappo, go tell Susurro we will be leaving for the marketplace soon. I'll meet him in front of the tavern. I'd like to check if there are already some orders for me!" Sending the little Myst Pygmy gave her some time to ready her art for the short journey and to stow away her painting materials.

 

After a short trip, Sappo sitting on her shoulder as usual, Alzira reached the market area. It seemed "her" pole had piqued some interest already. She could see some additional paper on her pole, although... something was different and some people were shying away from the pole as she came near. Finally she could inspect it closer. She was shocked - the sketches had been altered, like kids would do sometimes - emphasized eyes here, a moustache there and some were most ordinarily smeared. Alzira had expected that, there was alwas someone who liked to add something, that was one of the reasons she put small sketches of the original art there in the first place. No, the shocking part was the note, composed in untrained hand telling her in short to pay an upkeep for keeping her pole business. She had never been threatened before, but thinking about it the beggar who had mentioned some shady business going on in that village came to her mind. What should she do now? She didn't want to interfere in local business but she was here to earn some money not to pay it. She didn't have that kind of money to spend. Susurro who had followed her, and presumably one of the reasons people were kind of staring at Alzira and backing off her at the same time, looked over her shoulder. After she had shown him the note he raised his head and scanned the area. All he could notice was curiosity and puzzlement about them. He turned to his keeper again and whispered softly: "Don't be afraid, there is no immediate danger here. And Sappo and I are here as well so relax." Reassured Alzira read the note again. Maybe she should visit the "Leetle Fish" and leave a note as well.

 

Dear Concerned Visitor,

 

I don't want to interfere in any established insurance business, I am a mere painter but I'd like to offer a different approach for I haven't earned anything yet. How about a signed painting of your choice as payment option. You may proceed with it as you wish. If my business works out well, you can even sell it for more than the proposed sum.

 

Looking forward to Your reply

 

Alzira

Alzira left the note at the bartender and told him that she would be back in a few hours to check on a reply. Susurro didn't exactly approve her approach, but what other options did they have? His keeper on the other hand was in a better mood than before and was considering playing "Match!" a modified version of "Fetch!" were she threw a small stick and Sappo would try to burn it midflight.

 

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After Alzira had left the bartender of the 'Leetle Fish' put Alzira's note into a plain wooden box and stowed it away for now. The box already contained his own coins he had paid a month ahead for his own 'fire insurance' since you couldn't be too careful with firebreathing dragons around if you owned a tavern with a special wine cellar.

 

That special wine cellar connected through some crudely made tunnels to the headquarters of the thieves guild where it's master had just received an interesting report from two of his henchmen. After they had finished wreaking some havoc on the new post as ordered they had spotted a familiar face in the crowd. The men swore it had been 'Fingers' who had quit the guild some time ago after blabbering nonsense about 'duty' and 'purpose' and 'honest work'. According to them the 'honest' work hadn't done him good at all because he had lost his left hand, wore rags and seemed to live under the beggar's pole now. The guild master stroked his massive moustache thinking about the report. The last time he had heard about Fingers had been a week ago give or take. At that time he had been fine, trying to flog off a gold egg and later a gold egg shell that must have been stolen. The master remembered how happy he had been upon hearing that because he thought his best thief had seen the error of his honest ways and had picked up again his 'old' business. But now that he thought about it there was only one place in the whole village you could steal a gold egg shell from...

 

The master almost ripped his moustache out then he shouted to his henchmen: "Fetch me Wallet I have to ask him a few things about that golden opportunity he had bragged about at our last meeting..." Obediently two of the henchmen scurried away only to be called back at the last moment: "Wait! While you were at the exchange place today did you take a look at the Egg Hunter's pole? Did you see if anything was missing?" Both henchmen stopped in their tracks and turned around sharply: "But master you ordered us to stay clear of that pole since Gutter Fish and his gang got gutted. We don't go near that pole it brings bad luck." The master nodded impatiently and waved them away.

 

Ten minutes later the two henchmen came back with the guild's fence Wallet who whistled awfully innoncent and hid his juwel-beringed hands behind his back. The guildmaster thanked his henchmen then he raged: "Are you out of your bloody mind Wallet! Accepting something that had been stolen from the bloody Egg Hunter?" The fence seemed to shrink a little but then he dared to talk back: "Fingers told me the Egg Hunter is just a blind old man with no sense of business at all. He must know it best because he works for him! Made a fortune on the first day because he sold the gold egg he had to steal to be hired as an apprentice to me. Well..hehe..in reality I made the real fortune because after I gave him a heap of coins I sold the egg to one of those filthy rich foxes that usually buy the dragon scales to adorn their homes here. That guy coughed up even more coins after I sold him the gold egg shell Fingers brought me some time later. Guy was happy as a horse said now he could finally finish the shell mosaic in his entrance hall. I was happy as a horse too. So happy I almost forgot to share my wealth with my guild!" With this he removed two of his rings and offered them to the master. The master pocketed them immediately and said: "If the Egg Hunter is just some old man he must have hired a band of mercenaries to do deal with us before. Fingers worked for him too so he must know where we could find that old mongrel... FETCH HIM!"

Some time later

 

The two henchmen emerged from the cellar of the 'Leetle Fish' and made their way straight to the beggar's pole where the pitiful one-handed beggar they had identified as Fingers was still begging. A quick glance around assured them that the people nearby had focused their attention either on some stupid poles or in the case of a green-haired lady on her stupid dragon. The henchmen nodded to each other then they immediately started to drag the beggar off as fast and silent as they could...

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira had gotten bored again after playing a few rounds of ‘Match’ with Sappo. Every now and then she glanced at the "Leetle Fish" hoping to notice someone who might be an important person who might have answered. Dusk was already approaching and still no sign of anybody like that. She hated waiting... so she started sketching the area around the poles. Nevertheless she became impatient again soon and stopped working. Susurro tried his best to keep her occupied but in the end he reminded her of Sappo. That lively little dragon might need some diversion too so maybe it was the perfect time for another round of "Match!"

 

She reached in her special bag with small wooden sticks, usually used for starting a campfire, engaged the Dark Myst Pygmy by waving the stick in front of his snout, yelling "Sappo, match!" and then threw it. The little dragon jumped high in the air and burned it just before it hit the ground. He managed a sharp curve and glided back to Alzira. Halfway there she hurled the next stick in another direction. Sappo got this target as well, just some ashes remained. Playing with Sappo needed all of Alzira's attention, you never knew how far the fire would reach. Susurro smiled, thinking about who took care of whom.

 

Then suddenly someone shrieked in surprise and pain. One of the bystanders Alzira hadn’t noticed before had caught fire, but instead of looking shameful Sappo circled around his victim, spew hot flames and snarled angrily. Alzira and Susurro hurried to the injured man, ready to heal and apologize but when they reached him they noticed that something was wrong. He and another man were holding the beggar, it almost seemed they were dragging him somewhere... "I apologize, but... what's going on here?" she managed to ask while Susurro planted himself in front of them and looked at them with narrowed eyes.

Edited by Alzira

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Being surprised like this the two men froze after instinctivly putting the fire Sappo had set on their clothes out and so did the beggar. Dragging the nice green-haired lady into his guild-related problems was the last thing he wanted. He looked at her pleadingly and replied with an unfriendly voice: "Nothing is going on. This two gentlemen here are only assisting me in finding a nice place to sleep for the night. Not that it is night yet but it can't hurt to be prepared. Don't you have anything else to do before the night sets in appart from accusing honest workers like me?"

 

The two honest workers stood there with their jaws dropped while Fingers sprouted his lies to protect them and most likely himself. After he had finished they stared at the green-haired lady, curious if she had swallowed any of the dragon-dung she had just been served.

Edited by Isirion

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The beggar's intense look convinced Alzira. There was definitely something going on, but it seemed she should stay out of it for now. She grabbed Sappo and tried to calm him down, easiest done by keeping him close to her chest. She turned to the men apologizing,:"I'm so sorry, Sappo get's sometimes so exited he overreacts. I beg your pardon. Did he hurt you? My White Dragon could look after your wounds if you like" "No need for that" the White Dragon interrupted her, "these are just superficial scratches and a bit of burned cloth. I can't mend that. Let's go, we are expected elsewere."

Suddenly reminded that she wanted to keep close to Orion's meeting point and that she needed to check for a response at the inn as well, she took her leave as well. Glad to have escaped this situation she proudly caressed the pygmy, because he had noticed something strange.

Edited by Alzira

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At the 'Leetle Fish' no reply was waiting for Alzira only the barkeeper who was getting frustrated over people marching into his tavern only to look for something or someone instead of buying food or drink. Thus after having gruntled 'No reply yet' to the green-haired lady he stared at her until she spent some coins to buy an 'I am so proud of you' snack for Sappo.

 

In the mean-time on the other side of the lake

 

At the edge of the forest the sticky-web trap had gotten an improvement over the last hour. Telia and Tonitrua had used the layout of the trees to fix the web on the surrounding branches in a way it would fall down even faster once the vines holding it in place would be cut. This change had been an idea of Tonitrua who after having heard everything Telia knew about their intended target. Working his mind on the matter of improving their chances to trap the elusive thieving ghost had helped him overcome the shock and confusion he had felt after the forest fire and the strange visions he had had.

 

Now as the sun sunk lower and lower in the west he could concentrate fully on their mission. At dusk at the spot right beneath their trap Henna the herbalist should meet up with their target for an exchange. Once the target was occupied with said exchange they would drop the sticky-web and trap it. The plan still sounded good but dusk was almost at hand and there was no sign of Henna or the thieving ghost.

Edited by Isirion

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As Tonitrua sat on the edge of this branch, ready to cut the web, he was thinking hard over ways to improve the trap in order to catch the Ghost. As long as he thought about other things, his mind would not drift back to the horrid visions. Although he was happy that Telia had accepted his idea, he still thought it could definitely use improvements. why aren't the others here yet? he thought to himself. They should have been here a while ago? Did something happen? What could have happened? Did they get lost? Not likely. Or maybe... maybe the GHOST GOT THEM! he thought to himself. Fear trembling in his voice, he called softly to Telia. "Where are the others, Telia? They were supposed to be here by now!"

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Erastor, the exorcist one of the others that should have been here by now as support or at least moral support had resorted to his favourite and most trusted tactic: He was hiding in his room. Of course the hunter and his dragons were already close to Sodger's hut where Orion was supposed to meet the Egg Hunter's apprentice at dusk. Alzira and her dragons had been told to stay close as well so that left the tavern owners that had spent their time in Candy's case cooking and worrying and in Ale's case drinking and babbling. But their children who had shamelessly eavesdropped on some of the meetings were more than eager to help right after getting bored of playing with Emeraldan. Rustling and bustling they now crept through the bushes in search of a good hiding place near the trap. Jaxon didn't do too bad on the stealth part but Whiny stuck out like a sore thumb. Her most frilly and mostly pink dress would have been seen even by someone as blind as Sodger. The only good thing about her appearance was that it answered Tonitrua's question.

 

The next person to appear however was not part of the group even so she wore a frilly dress almost as horrible as Whiny's. Henna, the herbalist approached from the direction of the hen-house holding a protesting cave chicken by the neck. Her face looked like she was angry about something - maybe the fact that the hunter had broken his promise to deliver a chicken to her so that she had to steal another one. A few steps behind the herbalist Lunaspeeria walked carrying Henna's bag that was overflowing with herbs. The dragoness didn't look too happy either since the way her new keeper had taken to get to the edge of the forest had led almost over the grave of her old keeper.

 

Henna positioned herself right under the sticky-web-trapped tree and glanced at the setting sun almost every five seconds. "Where was her Leetle-leaf-supplier? He couldn't have gone to the meeting first...what if he had and he was just telling Orion about her involvement in the thefts...", the herbalist fretted to herself but calmed down as soon as she spotted a hooded figure approaching her fast. "Where the hell did he come from? Ah, nevermind at least he's here...", were her next thoughts before she stretched out her hand and offered him the chicken: "Here is the chicken you wanted. I trust you have brought the leaves?" The stranger nodded but didn't hand them over yet because something horrible pink in the bushes had caught the attention of his ice-cold eyes...

Edited by Isirion

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Telia was watching the "ghost" from a fork in the tree in a position she can't fall from with her talons at the ready to slice the vines. As she sees the stranger looking away from Henna Telia has a bad feeling about what could happen so she gestures to Tonitrua to slice the vines holding the trap with her. With a swift movement the trap falls and Telia hopes that it will land on the intended target. She has rarely failed to capture her targets before but this time she is genuinely worried, because she will be the one to grab the dangerous blade the apparent "ghost" carries, but if the trap fails and cannot hold the ghost then she will most likely not be able to grab the blade without being injured. She thinks of this as she watches the trap fall, its sticky weight falling silently through the air as if in slow motion, the sun glinting off the web and suddenly Telia cannot bear to watch, the tension from worrying about everyone finally settling on her shoulders. Suddenly noticing the flash of pink the hooded figure was looking at she darts down the tree and makes it to Whiny pulling the girl behind her wing to try to camouflage her. She knows the trap must have landed by now but she did not look, a strange feeling of coldness creeping up her spine as she pushes Whiny back behind a thicker bush before turning around, the feeling of dreaded coldness still pushing on her.

Edited by isabella3

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Isirion's eyes darted back to Henna after he identified the pink thing in the bushes as a little girl in a horrible dress that posed no threat apart from being an eye-sore. He just wanted to finish the trade with the herbalist as fast as possible so he could attend the meeting his master had requested with him. Quickly he reached inside his clothes for the Leetle-leaves Henna had requested but in the moment he closed his hand around them something dropped on him from above and stuck to him. Instantly he let go of the leaves and tried to draw his blade instead but the sticky stuff that had fallen on him hindered his movements. He hated when things didn't went the way he planned them because in times like that his only weakness - his temper - showed. He focused on the energy he had stolen from Hellfire Chimera and burned his way out of the invisible net-like thing that trapped him with bright blue flames. Henna jumped back just in time to avoid being burnt to ashes like the chicken she had been holding and bumped into Lunaspeeria who was staring in disbelieve. Being a female Hellfire Wyvern she had no trouble at all identifying those blue flames - the trouble she had was believing her own eyes that a human and not a dragon had caused them to appear. Those flames looked even hotter and stronger than any fire she could spit herself. Lunaspeeria even found herself backing away from them while the stranger caused the second forest fire of this day - starting with the tree the trap must have fallen down from - the same tree Tonitrua was still sitting on cowering on a branch and staring at the flames that reminded him again of something he had forgotten...

Edited by Isirion

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Tonitrua's whole body jerked as he was reminded again of something that he had lost in a sea of thoughts...

 

The three were working together to improve their skill, and during target practice Faercrag had not only incinerated the target, but the whole tree. "Showing off again, eh, Faercrag?" teased Tonitrua. Teasing was something that the threesome did, but this time, Faercrag didn't smile and shrug it off as he usually did. His eyes blazed red, and he bared his teeth. Tonitrua stepped back and smiled weakly. "Hey buddy, it was a joke, alright?" he said. Faercrag growled menacingly, his entire being heating up. Next thing Tonitrua knew, he was on the ground, and Faercrag was rampaging. The fire was bursting from his body, overtaking everything. Tonitrua wrestled himself free of the dragon's massive claws and then darted towards the Ice Dragon. Arctic Queen looked horribly frightened, and her normally smooth ice body was shinier that usual. "Go, Toni", she cried, using her nickname for him and Tonitrua ran, never turning back to the blazing inferno that was Faercrag...

 

Tonitrua gasped and found himself not running but sitting on the burning tree again. Panting hard he looked around for Telia but couldn't see her only the flames that had already reached the branch he was sitting on. "Ahhh!" he screamed, and jumped down, flapping his wings. He still flapped them after hitting the ground for a few more seconds. Finally, he stopped fluttering and lay a few feet from the base of the burning tree, eyes wide and cowering in terror. "Ahh, ahh", he whimpered, staring at the horrid ghost who had nearly caused his death.

Edited by EmmaD333

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The horrid ghost stared back with ice-cold eyes illuminated by the flames that engulfed him. There was little else he could look at since Henna and Lunaspeeria had backed away and even the horrible pink thing seemed to have gone. The small Thunder hatchling before his eyes had come from the same tree as the net and Isirion considered the possibility of it being responsible for the trap. It looked frightened enough to be innocent but nets even near-invisible-sticky ones usually don't fall down on their own. Following this trail of thought Isirion drew his bloodstained blade and pointed it at the hatchling with one smooth, lightning fast movement. Then he demanded with an ice-cold voice contrasting the sizzling hot flames that still surrounded him: "Explain your ill-timed presence on that forest tree just now Thunder dragon!"

Edited by Isirion

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Tonitrua's frightened gold eyes widened as he examined the wicked bloodstained blade pointing at his face. He let out an involuntary whimper. Through his fear, he knew he had to snatch that blade. "Uhm, uhh, I-I was h-hunting. For-for birds. I-I got lodged in the t-tree and it c-caught on f-fire." he lied quickly, realizing that had the ghost immediately known it was him that had dropped the net, the ghost would have stabbed him then and there. Tonitrua cowered in terror, all the while attempting to come up with a plan to get that foul blade, for in his confusion, he thought that Telia had left him to fend for himself. Maybe I could... no, no that won't work. Maybe, if my lie was good enough, he may let me go... I doubt it. And his thoughts continued racing as he backed slowly away from the sharp tip of the bloodstained blade...

Edited by EmmaD333

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Telia snaps her attention towards Tontitrua and she does not like what she sees. A pang of anger and fear for her friend's life washes through her but she is quick to suppress it knowing anger won't help her rescue her friend. Silently and swiftly she moves towards the 'ghost' then in a few great strides she leaps between him and the blade and, her claws scrambling for grip for a moment, she grabs it. "You leave him alone!", Telia snaps shocked by the fierceness in her voice. Still gripping the wicked blade she spreads her wings like a shield for the friend behind her. Telia fears for her friend, she knows she is lucky to have met him and the others. She fears for own life too as she is all that stands between this monstrous being and her friend. Telia then calmed herself and lowered her wings a bit before continuing. "Please, as my friend said we were hunting birds but we did not know about the net until it fell on you.", she lies trying not to show the fear she feels.

Edited by isabella3

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Isirion eyed the dragon that had moved itself between himself and the hatchling he had been interrogating and even grabbed his blade. It was a female Ochredrake that contrary to the Thunder hatchling cleary belonged into these woods. Blending in perfectly with the bushes and trees around she had sneaked up to him like a predator well used to this environment. Now she was grabbing his blade with her claws risking to be stabbed by him who still held the hilt. Her body language made it clear she was adamant on defending the hatchling behind her. Seeing the strength of her determination Isirion smiled and let the Hellfire flames vanish since killing her would be a pointless waste. He still doubted the hunting-for-birds-story but without having any proof it would only hurt the Egg Hunter business if he stained his blade for that reason. Of course the same thought applied to burning down a forest while on official business too so he made sure to also vanquish every last spark of fire energy around him. The forest fire thus extinquished before it burned more than that one tree to ashes all that was left was getting the Ochredrake to release her grip on his blade. Isirion reinforced his own grip on the hilt with both hands so he could thrust it forward right into the dragon's heart at any time then his voice as calm and cold as ice he said: "If you have nothing to do with that trap release my blade unless you want to be impaled on it."

Edited by Isirion

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Before Telia speaks she swallows her fear and tries to move the blade lower, away from her chest. "Only if you put the blade on the ground." Telia rethinks quickly realising a better option "Actually, please dig it deep into the ground so I know you shall not harm me or my friend." Telia speaks her chirping voice coming out as more of a growl. "Do you swear to not harm me or the thunder hatchling?" she glances in Tonitrua's direction but as a feeling of dread sends chills to her core making her snap her attention back to the 'ghost'. Telia straightens even more so she now has to look down on the cloaked figure. Telia is truly scared and angry at the ghost for threatening her and Tonitrua, though she knows to show it could mean an end to her, Tonitrua and possibly her other friends.

Edited by isabella3

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The moment Telia tried to move his blade away instead of letting it go Isirion's doubt intensified. If the Ochredrake had nothing to do with the trap it could have just let go of the blade and backed off like the Thunder hatchling had done. But that dragoness had aimed for his blade the moment she appeared. Another thing was that she had called the sticky near-invisible thing that had fallen on him a net without a second thought earlier despite claiming that she hadn't know about it before it fell. Dragons had claws and teeth to hunt their prey they didn't need a net. Using a sticky invisible net like the one that had trapped him meant the intended prey was most likely a nimble human armed with a melee weapon who was supposed to appear at that time and place. There was no doubt that that trap had been set for him but why would an Ochredrake target him? If he killed her now he would never find out but if he heeded the plea to put down his weapon the dragoness had just made he would get a chance to investigate her motives later. Isirion permitted himself a well-hidden smile under his hood while he went along with the Ochredrakes' motion and thrust his blade as deep into ground as her grip would allow, then he said: "Know that I can harm you even without my blade but I will not do so unless you or that Thunder hatchling give me reason to."

Edited by Isirion

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Telia nods her head heeding the warning given before she releases her grip on the blade, "I shall not give you trouble nor shall my friend" Telia lowers her wings and puts her talons in front of her to show she will not hesitate to defend anyone. She hears a rustle and glances behind her in Tonitruas direction to check he is alright before snapping her attention back to the hooded figure. "I am Telia, may I know your name?" She glances at the blade dug into the ground and notices on the visible part how clear the stains are and how much blood has stained it. Telia almost shudders at her thoughts, By the way this cloaked figure acted towards me and Tonitrua and the blood on the blade, it makes me wonder how many poor dragons has this vile being murdered? I hope that no dragons remain at the lair of this being

Edited by isabella3

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The sun had almost completely set as the Ochredrake finally removed her claws from his blade but judging from the glance she just gave it her mind still clung to it Isirion thought and smiled. This 'Telia' was one interesting dragon with her tongue and her body language and her actions telling at least three different stories but finding the truth within them would have to wait since dusk had come. Isirion pulled his blade quickly out of the ground and sheathed it then he said calmly: "My name is Isirion as you may know already. I am the Egg Hunter's apprentice and as I still have some unfinished business to attend here we may meet again." With this words he turned around and vanished into the forest.

 

At dusk at Sodger's hut

 

The hut where at dusk only the meeting between the Egg Hunter and his apprentice should take place seemed to have turned into everybody's meeting place. Not only was the Guardian still inside talking with his old captain but also Aseto who had squeezed his head inside to tell his master about the forest fire and had stayed for some scraps of the last meal. Outside the Sunrise dragon the Guardian had flown here with took a nap since the approaching sunset really wasn't her time of the day. In the vicinity of the hut Orion had met up with Alzira while seven members of the Thieves guild led here by the rather distressed looking Fingers gathered too. They had a bit of trouble sneaking close undetected because of all the dragons around. Just as they had managed to evade a Hellfire Wyvern and an Ice Dragon they almost ran into a White Dragon with a Vampire hatchling on it's back. Cursing silently they finally managed to secure a spot from where they could oversee the hut and it's owner until their master deemed the time right to strike in retaliation. Their eyes thus fixed on the hut they did not notice the hooded figure that appeared between the trees behind them just as the sun vanished completely behind the mountain.

Edited by Isirion

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Whoa!", Alzira thought, "a lot of people are meeting here..." for she counted dragons as well as people. She took a closer look at the napping sunrise dragon then another dragon caught her attention, but she couldn't see him completely for he had his head stuck through an open window. Something was going on and it seemed that the oncoming meeting was more than an ordinary one. Alzira felt that it would be an revealing one. Still she was anxious, her gut-feeling made her tense and yes, she was afraid. That Egg hunter apprentice suspected thieving ghost was a dangerous, insidious man. Alzira could very well imagine that the disappearance of the Gatherer was really his doing. Maybe he wasn't plainly evil but judging from what she had heard and seen he had his own agenda he was following and he definitely wouldn't like anybody messing with it. Knowing all that made Alzira quite strained and she was glad she was just providing company. Sappo was once again sitting on her shoulder, his eyes darting all around the area. Susurro was tense as well but as most large creatures he wasn't afraid of the smaller ones, although he felt a certain tension too.

 

While the sun was going down the painter's eyes wandered across the edge of the woods just as the sun went down. In the shadows between the trees she noticed a dark shape. She almost froze, then she managed to reign her fear and nudged Orion who was standing next to her. She whispered with a tremble in her voice: "Turn around slowly and look at the sleeping sunrise dragon. Just over her head there's a dark figure in the shadows between the trees coming closer. I think it's him."

Edited by Alzira

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