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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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With each nudge the bush tumbled around a bit as if trying to roll away from them. As that did not work the bush raised his arms and hand through it's leaves and whimpered: "I have done no-nothing. Just leave me be please." With the bush finally talking instead of screaming Wallet recognized the voice not to mention the lonely hand and asked quite bewildered: "Fingers? What are you doing in my house disguised like that and what happened to the others?"

 

The bush sprouted a tear-stained face and answered: "They should have never gone there...they should have listened to me when I told them to wait until he's gone...sob...why did they not listen...I managed to ran away but it felt like something was following me that's why I came in through the window. You have to hide me. You have to...have to...sob!" Finger's answer made Wallet visibly uncomfortable - it was too close to his own doubts and fears about the master's 'easy' retaliation mission and at the same time too vague to understand what was really going on. There seemed to be only one way left to find out since Finger's words had dissolved into uncontrollable sobbing. Wallet sighed and turned to Drake: "I believe in Finger's ability to shake off pursuers so he and I should be safe here from them for now. Can you go as fast as you can to the place I describe you and investigate what the hell is going on? It is a hut at the spur of the mountain overshadowing the village. You can get to it by following the main road to the exchange poles and then taking the path into the forest there. Please hurry - I have a very bad feeling about this!"

 

At the mean-time near Sodger's hut

 

The fiery approach of the Hellfire burned in the night-sky like a warning beacon and gave the Hooktalon enough time to prepare. It raised his club-like tail like a cobra ready to strike should the attacking dragon be foolish enough to swoop down low enough to enter it's reach. The Hooktalon's hooks and talons were ready to strike fast as a viper but had of course even less reach than the tail against flying targets. Thus the dragon relied most on the incredible serpent-like flexibility of it's necks and bent one out of the way while launching a bite-attack with the head on it's other. Cloak & Dagger had no poisonous fangs but with it's overall advantage in size and strength it could easily bite a big chunk out of the Hellfire if it continued to just charge mindlessly in...

Edited by Isirion

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After a quick nod, Drake sprinted outside and started to follow the path Wallet had described. She knew it would take a while to the hut, but she had told a certain Royal Blue to stay away and couldn't ride him there. She sharply turned in to the forest, only to trip after a few steps. A familiar voice spoke. "Drake, are you okay? I'm so sorry!" She got up and turned to face Taellonn. Trying not to yell at the innocent-looking dragon, she said angrily, "What are you doing here!? I told you stay back- you...you...Ugh! You're not safe here!" Taellonn didn't listen. He nudged up against Drake, instantly backing away. "You smell like blood. Your blood! Who hurt you? Did you hurt you?" he said frantically. Drake held up her hands, revealing the accidentally self-inflicted wounds. She let out an annoyed sigh before changing the subject; "I'll explain later. But if you really want to help, let me ride you." Taellonn wasn't one to disagree with Drake, and quickly allowed her to ride him.

 

They approached the hut quickly. Taellonn tensed up, as he noticed the danger before Drake did. So many times he had feared Drake was getting into something far too dangerous- yet here he was again, flying her into the danger. Drake spoke up as Taellonn began to fly lower and slow down. "What do you see? You're my eyes in the dark and sky right now." The nocturnal dragon described the scene. Drake was ready to jump into the battle. "Fly down low enough for me to jump and land safely. But don't land. Circle wide 'til I call you back." Taellonn reluctantly flew around until seeing a spot he could safely fly down. He still hated doing this. What would he do if Drake got hurt? But Taellonn still flew down, as he'd been told by Drake countless times not to let doubt stop him. He watched Drake jump off his back and roll onto the ground. Drake looked ahead and saw a scene almost exactly like what Taellonn described. Only he had 'forgotten' to mention one thing: how gigantic the Hooktalon ahead was.

Edited by Drakessis

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Valerian was by virtually all standards brave, though he was careful to avoid crossing the line to being fool-hardy. His gaze matched that of the massive Hooktalon. If he went at it the way he wanted to at best he'd win and still only barely cheat death himself with some grave injuries. The twin heads and bulk of the beast would annihilate him in the open. A plan began to form in his mind and he hoped he was still as nimble as he thought he was. Lure it into following him into a dense canopied section of the forest, until it became stuck. Then roast it. It wasn't fool-proof he knew. Alsia always came up with the best plans but it was all he had. He'd signal as well and hope she could make it back to help in time.

 

Valerian roared fiercely at the Hooktalon and made biting gestures, all while preparing to dart into the forest. Just before he did so he leashed a massive cone of fire into the sky, a signal Alsia would understand as an emergency.

 

In the Meantime...

 

Alsia huffed in frustration and slowed her flight down to a hover. It felt humiliating that a man in a bush could have escaped her. She could only hope that the consequences of losing her target wouldn't be terrible. Just as she began to consider turning back to see what had happened after she left she heard the roaring and saw the pillar of flame. Valerian was in danger. She flew towards it as fast as she could in the hope that her mate would be fine until she arrived.

Edited by Orion97

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Getting harassed by Valerian but unable to reach him with either of his heads finally made the Hooktalon furious. Knocking down a few trees it spread it's wings and took to the sky to meet Valerian's challenge.

 

On the ground the guild master still held by the Guardian screamed in horror as the second onslaught of his thugs and thieves ended up like the first: A heap of bodies piling up around Isirion and his bloodstained blade. The only difference was that some of the bodies had arrow wounds instead of stab or slash wounds due to Orion's marksmanship and decision to join the fight. The Guardian almost screamed out too as before his mind's eye the piled up bodies of the present turned in the darkness into the bodies of slain dragons of the past. Suddenly Isirion's ice-cold voice cut into the vision like a blade as he addressed the master of the thieves guild: "The weaklings you sent this time are all dead. Your life is forfeit too unless you answer the questions my master has for you truthfully and he decides to let you live." Guided by the sound of Isirion's voice Sodger approached and demanded: "Tell me which one of you scum was it who bought a gold egg shell recently." Giving away a member of the guild was a crime punishable by death even for the guild master but from the looks of it at least in the fishermen village there was no guild member left as a witness except for him. Swallowing hard he answered: "Wallet."

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The scene was chaotic: dragons fighting, people fighting, dead bodies. Drake looked to the airborne Taellonn, who met her look with a very stunned glance. Instinct told her to rush in, join in the bloodshed. She took a half-step before realizing she might be in over her head. This is insane... she thought. It'd be dumb to run in alone, as Taellonn wouldn't be much help, even if he did come close enough to strike. Very rarely did Drake consider consequences, but, in cases like this, consequences were too obvious to miss. Drake's jumbled thoughts were interrupted when she heard her employer's name spoken. Now there was a reason to focus.

 

Taellonn kept glancing back at Drake as he circled around. Adjusting his path as to avoid the now flying dragons, he couldn't help but wonder why Drake was here. It looked like a primarily human fight, with the dragons brought in for support. Surely Drake isn't choosing to do this without good reason. Then again... no, she'd learn from last time not to get into fights with people or dragons this dangerous, right? he thought, trying not to worry himself too much. Luckily, Drake wasn't rushing into the battle. Well, a somewhat calmed Taellonn thought, at least there's hope that she won't die.

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Alzira sighed with relief, Sappo had saved her! She was very proud of her little dragon, who had already circled back to her shoulder where he seemingly kept watch over his keeper. His head darted left and right, anxious to detect possible threats. Alzia slipped him two more crickets to reward and calm him at the same time. The situation at the hut had seemingly cleard up altough the Guardian seemed tenser than before and Isirion with his blade in hand wasn't a soothing sight either, but at the moment he was on their side. Just the dragons remained fighting. As Alzira watched Valerian luring the Hooktalon away she noticed another shadow in the sky. She turned to Orion who was standing close to the door and pointed this out to him, maybe he knew the dragon. She hoped it wasn't another enemy approaching them.

 

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High in the sky Valerian achieved his first successful hit by slashing the Hooktalon with his wing claw while performing a hawk-like swoop with enough speed to regain enough altitude to evade both of the retaliating heads of the enemy dragon. The Hooktalon acted as if it just shruged off the wound on it's right shoulder but ever so slightly guarded that side in battle. The Hellfire annoyed it to no end but for now there was no getting rid of it. Usually Cloak & Dagger wasn't one easily taunted but that particular dragon had hurt his pride and the smell of the blood of the dead thieves guild members he was supposed to avenge fueled his anger further. Hissing he sought to use his superiour wing-span to gain even higher altitude faster than his foe and slice him to pieces just by flying over him. But Valerian evaded by quickly changing directions with his weight similar to a bat then prepared to spit fire. Nearer to the ground he would have had to worry about accidentally setting the forest on fire again but up here in the night sky the Hellfire could just let loose. His fire burned so bright for a moment it looked as if the sun had came back then it turned into smoke and - a shout?

 

Orion shouting from way below warned Valerian that another dragon was close. Valerian's heart leapt - Alsia had seen his signal and had come for him - but where was she? A sliver of blue caught his eyes and he turned his head to get a better look but it was only a Royal Blue male. His heart stung with disappointment and a moment later his thigh that had already taken an arrow this day. The Hooktalon retreating from the fire had circled back from below to get a slash in while the Hellfire had been distracted. Quickly Cloak & Dagger swooped down for the trees where the Hellfire's companions were to prevent him from another attempt to roast him in mid-air. Surely he would hold his fire as to not roast those companions on the ground as well - and even if not there was a good chance he could evade and the flames hit the group of humans that contained his original target. Now that would be an ending his master would have found hilarious. Allowing himself that little snicker during the fight earned him almost immediately a scratch on his back - the Hellfire may not have been used to these kinds of fight to the death but he definitely learned quickly to exploit every possible opportunity.

 

The Hooktalon's opinion was shared by Isirion who had decided to focus his attention on the fighting dragons again now that his master had taken over the interrogation. His bloodstained blade however was still pointed at the Guardian's captive and thus at the Guardian too delivering the unspoken threat of being capable of impaling the both of them in one stab. Sodger of course being blind to that fact continued as if nothing was wrong with the situation: "Go on, tell me about this Wallet. What is his current location, his occupation and his description?" Still being caught between a crushing grip and a merciless stab the master of the thieves guild complied at once: "Wallet is supposed to be in his manor waiting for our...my...return, he is our...my guild's fence and quite fat and way to fond of his bejeweled rings." The old soldier pondered that information for a while giving the guild master opportunity to look around and actually spot Drake. He didn't know who the fierce looking warrior was, who was approaching from the direction everybody else except him and the Guardian, who was hopefully busy enough holding him steady, had turned his back to, but he was his only chance. His eyes focused pleadingly on Drake and he soundlessly mouthed: 'H-e-l-p m-e'

Edited by Isirion

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An eavesdropping Drake saw the silent plea of the man and knew she had to act quickly. Time wasn't something she had a surplus of here... In fact, there seemed to be a shortage. She needed a diversion, one not only to distract but to weaken the attacker. Taellonn... I need Taellonn! she thought. Noticing the Royal Blue circle back near her, she threw a rock in his general direction, trying to avoid making too much noise. It made contact with a front claw, and he knew Drake needed him. She ran back to the clearing Taellonn had first landed in and saw him nervously landing. "W-what do you need me to do?" Taellonn reluctantly asked, knowing Drake would only ever want peaceful him in battle if there was real trouble. "Be quiet and listen to what I say! No questions, no hesitation!" Drake snapped as began to instruct him. "Look over there. You see that man?" she said as Taellonn looked through the trees. "Create a diversion," she continued. "Surely you don't mean..." Taellonn began before being cut off. "Of course that's what I mean you...you... Just steam the area!" She said, watching him fly back out.

 

Taellonn rarely used his steam-breath for reasons such as this. But Drake's orders took priority over his near-pacifist nature. The thought that the steam could scald them... it hurt Taellonn. Control the temperature... Shouldn't be too difficult! Right?! he thought, flying in closer. Once he was close enough, his mind filled with doubt and his mouth filled with steam. A cloud of steam formed in front of him and a diversion was created. It'd fade away soon enough, but it still gave Drake, who was used to this steam, a chance to rush in.

 

Drake ran in without a second thought. She still had a difficult time seeing in the steam, but she could identify who was who. Metal claws tightly strapped to her hands were spread wide as she prepared to attack and defend as quickly as possible... steam was a battlefield all its own, and an unfair one to any side at that.

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Valerian quickly figured out the Hooktalon's ploy and decided not to take the bait, even if he was careful he couldn't ensure everyone's safety. So instead of breathing fire, the Hellfire had something better in mind and began to fly up and away from the other dragon. He beat his wings furiously against the night air, climbing higher and higher into the skies. Once everyone on the ground began to look tiny he stopped flapping and let himself fall headfirst back towards the Hooktalon in a dive. Valerian tucked his wings close to his body and soared like an arrow falling from the heavens. He aimed straight for the Hooktalon. He knew it would evade in time but he didn't plan on even trying to hit him, simply hoping it would buy the ruse. If he could get below him he could scorch the beast out of the skies, as well he was hoping to buy time for Alsia to arrive, his hopes rising when he spotted another blue dragon approaching quickly from the distance.

 

Orion was about to launch an arrow straight into the Hooktalons's rump with a cheeky grin when the steam began to roll in. He thought little of it until it began to become omnipresent. He released the arrow before his view faded and hoped the arrow would at least distract it long enough for Valerian to gain an advantage. "I have a bad feeling about this..."He mumbled as he attempted to trace the source of the steam and perhaps what was creating it.

Edited by Orion97

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Valerian's speed while flying straight down at the Hooktalon was so great every thing became blurry - almost as if he was flying into a fog bank or a cloud of steam. A moment later he realized that it was indeed steam that made things blurry but he had no time to think about where it had suddenly came from. All that mattered was that it distracted his target that was still partly visible due to it's gigantic size.

 

In reality it was not the sudden steam that got the Hooktalon distracted but the scene on the ground it quickly obfuscated: His master caught by a bear-like human and in danger of being stabbed by none other than his original target...

 

Cloak & Dagger roared wanting to charge in but ultimatively unable to do so without endangering his keeper. Knowing that he was in the same position as the Hellfire made him furious but it didn't change his position - a gigantic target right between Orion's arrow and the Hellfire's arrow-like decent. Just before the steam swallowed everything both of them hit. The arrow pierced the softer scales on his belly and the wing-claws ripped right down his thigh from top to bottom. As his blood gushed out the Hooktalon screamed in agony lashing around wildly with his club-like tail. He did not expect to hit anything but he did nonetheless. Because of the steam that obscured the distance to the ground Valerian had to pull out of his swoop earlier than planned and thus right while preparing to spit fire got hit in the gut. Now the Hooktalon roared again - this time in triumph!

Edited by Isirion

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Before the Hooktalon could even finish its celebration it felt a large force slam into its gut with the force of a flying boulder. Although it dealt no lasting damage it surprised the beast and knocked the wind clear out of it. It surged back and fixed its eyes on what had struck it. The first thing it saw through was a razor sharp blue claw swinging right at its eyes accompanied by a shout of untempered rage behind it.

 

On the ground Orion struggled to find a path through the steam to determine the source, though as he peered through he could just barely make out a large figure that it appeared to be originating from. He cautiously drew his bow and approached.

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Taellonn had blown out a bit more steam than anticipated; but that was fine, it just gave Drake more time to do... whatever she was doing. Taellonn shook off the feeling of ignorance and started looking around for her. His golden-yellow eyes grew wide and he was filled with fear as he noticed a bow-wielding figure approaching. He had to stop himself from letting out what could only be described as a shriek and flew away as quickly as he could. He needed to find Drake, but only after he got away!

 

Drake found herself close to striking distance. The greatest threat there seemed to be was the cloaked man; if Drake didn't aim carefully and failed to disable his sword-wielding arm, his blade could be the end of her mission to free the guild master. Flexing the muscles in her right arm and twisting her torso around to gain as much power as she could, she quickly slashed at the cloaked man's arm, not caring if she was noticed. The steam had done it's job, now it was time for Drake to do hers. 

Edited by Drakessis

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Drake's do-or-die assault coinced with Alsia's furious scream as she avenged the blow the Hookfang had dared to deal to her mate. Cloak & Dagger breathless and bleeding badly from one eye tumbled in the air and crashed down through the canopy just as Drake's claw-slash hit Isirion's arm. Her slash should have been powerful enough to cut through her target's arm not to mention his cloak but the impact felt all wrong. What had looked like simple black cloth before Taellonn had steamed everything proved to be as though as dragon hide. Drake's claw barely managed to get through the material only scraping the underlying arm. Nearly unharmed the shear force behind the attack still forced Isirion's sword-arm down. The guild master not longer under the threat of being stabbed to death seized his chance immediately and kicked the Guardian holding him in place in the nuts then lowered himself on the ground and crawled away under the steam-cover as quickly as his injured leg would allow him.

 

Getting surprise-attacked twice on the same day really taxed Isirion's self-control; if you counted the invisible net it would have been thrice on the same day even. Cursing silently he quickly turned around to see what had hit him so he could counter-attack accordingly. In the steam he spotted a warrior clad in dragon-scale armor armed with two metal-claws who looked a bit flummoxed but nevertheless ready to attack or defend if necessary. Isirion allowed himself a smile; his blade able to pierce a stone dragon's skin could easily pierce the warrior's fake-dragon-scales but that would be such a waste of potential. Instead of just mindlessly charging in the warrior had used the tactical advantage the steam-cover provided and had timed his attack with the dragon's roar thus effectively canceling out the noise of his approach. Well, two could play this game...Isirion crouched down and picked up the evisceration tool the Guardian had dropped earlier with his free hand and used the steam-cover to sneak into the warrior's blind spot. From there he swiftly closed the gap and held the vicious looking tool at the warrior's throat then stated with an ice-cold voice: "Rest assured if I wanted you dead you would be so already. Answer my questions truthfully and I let you go. Lie to me and I'll cut your throat faster than you could ever move your claws. Who are you? Who sent you and who else is with you?"

Edited by Isirion

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Drake was at the very least disappointed at her seemingly pointless efforts. She at least managed to give the guild master a chance to escape, so that was fine. She unknowingly let out a sort of growl as she glanced around for any attackers. But she tensed up as she felt the similar presence of a weapon near her throat.

 

Drake had been in this position more times than she'd like to admit, but some of the scars on her hands and underside of her chin showed how she'd gotten out of it before, or at least struggled to. This time she'd listen to what the man had to say though; he wasn't your average thug, that was for sure. As he spoke, her broad shoulders relaxed and any signs of fear or shock disappeared. While the near inevitable and inescapable fear of death still hung in Drake's mind, she wasn't going to show any weakness. Not before. Not now. "My name is... Er, I go by Drake," she calmly began. "I have been a bodyguard to a trader for a very short time and was sent to investigate the commotion here. I simply have an escort with me who also assisted in the steam." Drake knew she was playing a dangerous game with these vague answers. She glanced around until seeing a silver and blue shine in her peripheral vision and nearly yelled for Taellonn to leave. But he had found her.

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Drake's vague answers gave Isirion something to think about especially as they had been delivered in an unmistakenly female voice. A female warrior who was certainly not from around here, contracted to a local trader as a bodyguard but sent away to investigate a commotion that only the thieves guild members should have known about since they started it...On the other hand had those thugs brought a gigantic Hooktalon with them that had made a commotion all by itself...

 

Keeping his doubts to himself Isirion pulled the evisceration knife away from Drake's throat and stepped back, then he said: "That trader of yours must be panicking by now without his bodyguard. You'd better go back and tell him what happened here..." "And I will follow you to see that trader for myself...", he thought and stepped further back, completely vanishing in the steam...

 

Back at the hut Sodger had a similar idea as he planned to find that man called 'Wallet' right away since now not only Fingers but also the thieves guild master had escaped against all odds and would probably warn him if they had the chance. The old soldier climbed onto his Royal Blue Aseto who had exclusively watched and protected him during the whole commotion. At once the retired captain of the Royal Blue regiment took to the sky; Aseto's eyes effectively replacing his own blind ones searching the night for a sign of at least one of their targets...

Edited by Isirion

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The man was gone. Drake ran to the clearing, where she knew Taellonn would be if he had seen her freed. At first there was nothing, but not a moment later was she lightly pinned down by Taellonn's front right foot. The strength he put into keeping her down wasn't enough to hurt her, but it was enough to keep her down. "Drake! You're alive! I was so scared, seeing you so close to death! I-I..." Taellonn said, clearly out of breath. Drake started to push at the dragon's foot until she felt it lift off of her. She needed to get back to Wallet, and the quickest way would be by dragon. Drake got up and jumped onto Taellonn's back.

 

Taellonn didn't like Drake's silence. It meant she was hiding something. He was about to speak again, before feeling a few light taps, signaling him to fly. Drake instructed him where to go, and once they were well on their way to the destination, Drake began to explain what was going on. She didn't explain in too much detail; then she knew Taellonn would try to stop her. She assessed her plan. Soon as they landed, she'd jump off of Talleonn's back and rush to Wallet's home. "When we land, stay put unless someone comes or you hear commotion. Then either go home or come to me," she said.

Edited by Drakessis

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Hiding in the steam and the shadows of the night that provided cover for friend and foe alike, Isirion followed Drake until she reached a clearing. There a Royal Blue Dragon - apparently the 'escort that assisted in the steam' awaited her and after showing signs of utmost concern for Drake's safety flew away with her in the direction of the village. Isirion took a mental note of that dragon's weakness and retreated further back into the shadows since the steam-cover quickly dispersed now that the Royal Blue responsible for it had taken to the air.

 

Suddenly Isirion spotted somebody else moving in the receding steam and sneaking closer to take a better look, he recognized the hunter from the meeting back at the hut. He held a bow and seemed to be struggling to find a path in the darkness of the forest. Isirion's eyes narrowed as he watched the way the man's shoulders moved and his flexed body-posture as if he was a predator ready to pounce even though the night and the steam must make it very hard to see anything. Very briefly he had seen a posture like this - in the night he got attacked by a Hellfire Wyvern on a balcony of the Sleeping Dragon tavern right after he had discussed trade details with the obnoxious herbalist inside the Black Dragon room. A whistle of the hunter had made that self-same Hellfire Wyvern appear in under a minute not to mention his voice that had called the same Ice Dragon that had disguised herself as an earth-mound near the Leetle tree. Having been busy fighting the Hooktalon and the thugs he hadn't had time to think about that odd coincidence but now that he had time to think about it it he certainly found it suspicious. Just like that tailor-made invisible net that almost caught him at the edge of the forest near the Sleeping Dragon tavern. Right after that a female Ochredrake calling herself Telia had appeared and denied to know about the 'net' and then tried to grab his blade. He had found that undragon-like behaviour suspicious then and he found it even more suspicious now. Somebody who had seen his blade up close must have instruced the dragon to go straight for it. Somebody like the person sitting on the back of the Hellfire that had attacked him for example...He was sure now that it had been the hunter on the Hellfire's back that night and that meant that everything that happened afterwards was connected. The invisible-net-trap, the almost-ambush on the island, maybe even the meeting had been set up by the hunter to hunt him. Why else had he tried to drag that green-haired lady into the meeting if not to use her honest face as a front? If the thieves guild hadn't attacked first, one or even both of his dragons probably would have attacked again when his guard was down...Ironically both dragons were currently fighting the Hooktalon that also had been ordered to hunt him...

 

Isirion permitted himself a wicked smile, he loathed killing such strong magnificent beasts like the Hooktalon and the two valiant dragons, so he preferred they would kill each other now, before he had to kill any number of them in self-defense later. Speaking of self-defense, killing the hunter now couldn't be called by any other name. Now was the perfect opportunity and he sure as hell wouldn't waste it. He sneaked even closer to the unsuspecting hunter and stabbed him from behind right through the shoulder blade in the heart. With the last breath of the hunter the steam also completely vanished and Isirion sheathed his bloodstained blade and threw the body over his shoulder, temporarily holding the evisceration knife with his teeth. Steading the body with his right hand, he took the knife in his left hand and started to make his way back to the hut...

Edited by Isirion

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Taellonn landed behind a building that provided enough coverage and, before even fulling touching the ground, felt Drake leap off and saw her run off. So now he had to stay here. He anxiously looked around before dropping to the ground and waiting.

 

Drake had finally arrived at the mansion after accidentally stopping at incorrect ones several times. Letting herself in, she looked around for Wallet and Fingers. They were pacing around nervously (and rather quickly) when she found them. Before even letting them speak she began, "Wallet, there was a man there, he said you were waiting for him to come. He didn't give out too much information, though. But I think whoever was there, they might be coming, or at least looking for you. I wasn't able to get a good look at any of them because..." She paused. She wasn't going to say anything about Taellonn. "I had to get here as quickly as possible."

Edited by Drakessis

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Wallet's nervousness eased at least a bit after his bodyguard returned unharmed and sky-rocketed again after he noticed Drake had returned alone. He bit his tongue as if afraid to ask, then he asked anyway: "But why did you return alone? There were dozens of us who went to the hut. Didn't I send you to investigate what happened to them?" Fingers on the other hand, who had upon his arrival been an almost incoherently speaking ball of nerves, didn't ask any questions. He looked calm and as pale as if he already knew the answer.

Edited by Isirion

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Drake sighed slightly before answering, "They're dead. Some had cuts and slashes, some had something else, arrow wounds maybe." She tried to recall what Taellonn had initially described,but drew a blank. Why hadn't she payed more attention to what was actually going on? The phantom feeling of a weapon at her neck felt all too real as she recalled the event, but she couldn't say that she was near killed. "There was a man with a dark cloak. I'm fairly confident that he was the source of the slashed corpses. He was one of the people interrogating the man who said he was coming. More threatening than interrogating, really . I managed to free the captive man, but I have no idea where he is now." Drake stood silent before continuing. "It was nothing but chaos there. Besides the human carnage there were dragons fighting there. A Hooktalon, a Hellfire, and some others, I believe." Sudden thoughts filled her mind. Why didn't I go to the dragons? One could be dead by now.... I could of done something.... She tried to shake away the thoughts, not show emotion. Her voice slightly cracked as she finished off, "I didn't get close to the dra-gons, though."

 

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Standing still with a stony face like a Nocturne Dragon by day while Drake reported, Wallet now resumed his nervous pacing. His body language signalling he clearly wants to run away but on the same time is too afraid to go outside. Suddenly the fence stopped and shouted: "Did you say you saw a Hooktalon fighting? Was that the horrifying noise we heard? Did they take Cloak & Dagger with them? But how could they be dead then? Nothing beats that monster our guild master raised and trained himself."

 

"I am no longer a guild master without a guild", a hoarse voice coming from the window interrupted. A second later the ex-guild master climbed in, his massive moustache shivering from the effort of lifting himself and his twice-injured leg over the window sill. Fingers tried to offer a helping hand but got refused with a hissed: "Stay away from me ya cursed sod. This is all your fault. Stealing from the bloody Egg Hunter ya pile of dragondung for brains. And curse on me too for believing ya that he is just a blind old helpless man. That blind old helpless man is searching for me on a Royal Blue right now and I bet that bloody murderer at his command is hunting me too but I'll be damned if I'll let them find me!" He turned to Wallet and demanded: "I need a fresh dragon as replacement for the weary Sunrise I forced to carry me here. I need all the easy-to-carry and easy-to-sell valuables you got. I need food and water to last me until I reach the big city. I need weapons and I need paper. I am going to get reinforcements and I am going to hire an assassin to take care of our problem here - and then I will be back!" The ex-guild master's mustache shivered one last time then he collapsed from exhaustion right on the remains of Finger's bush disguise. Wallet turned as green as the bush then he said: "If our most stubborn and fearless leader is running away - there is no way I'll stay here. I'll go to the big city too - there is a trade partner of mine who owes me a favour for a most favorable trade we made recently..." Fingers stared at Wallet in disbelieve and whispered: "You can't mean the filthy rich fox?" Wallet perked right up and replied: "Of course I do. Thanks to...us...his dragon mosaic is finally finished. He even invited me to visit him sometime to see it. It is right in his entrance hall but I bet if we praise the mosaic and his mansion enough he let's us stay!" Wallet ordered Fingers to go fetch all the necessary stuff, then he turned to Drake and asked: "What will you do now? Do you want to come with us? You are my bodyguard afterall!"

Edited by Isirion

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Drake felt the question hit her like a punch in the gut. Her voice gone, her fists clenching, ready to retaliate. But she shakily unclenched her fists. This was why Drake had accepted this job. To get close to this whole business, learn about it, find out how to end it. The idea of seeing the mosaic still made her want to hit something, but she used what little self control she had left to stop herself. "I'll come with you. It'd probably be safest, too," Drake managed to say. Every single thought about the mosaic was another whack in the gut. She hoped desperately that no one was picking up on her odd body language. Drake tried to think about other things when it came to her: Taellonn was still behind some building. She couldn't just leave him again; the guilt would crush her, not to mention he'd probably pop up at a bad time again. She spoke again, "I just need to take care of something before we depart, if that's alright."

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Clearly relieved that his bodyguard had decided to go with him, Wallet nodded and said: "Of course that is alright, but please hurry." After Drake had left the room the fence hurried over to his ex-guild master and demanded a full account of what had happened at the hut. The master recovered miraculously from his obviously feigned collaps and re-told the events that had led to his capture: "We were all set for the retaliation as out of nowhere that black-cloaked creep appeared and went straight for the hut. Fingers was terrified of him and begged me to post-pone our assault until after he was gone again but I didn't listen...A few minutes later that creep came out of the hut again heading straight for the bush Fingers was hiding in as if he had known all along. He asked him to come with him so the blind old man wouldn't have to come out here. His words confirmed that the Egg Hunter was really only a blind old man who couldn't have killed our brothers himself only could have given the order to and I snapped. I lead the charge and not wanting any witnesses I tried to stab that creep but somehow he managed to dogde at the last second. I didn't give him another thought as my men were right behind me and would deal with him so I pressed on to the hut. There, an arrow in the foot and a mighty dragon's roar greeted me. Suddenly I heard one of my men scream too and turned around and only then did I understand what Fingers' had tried to tell me. Already the corpses of three of my men lay on the ground and in the blink of an eye a fourth one had joined them slain by that creep from before. In that moment I knew it had been him and him alone who had killed Gutterfish and his gang with that wicked blood-stained blade that cuts through flesh like an eerie piercing scream. I took a hostage and set Cloak & Dagger on that bloody murderer and his master but a tiny vicious pitch-black monster thwarted me. It burned my foot and I got caught by that big brute from the Leetle island...Now go help Fingers, I'll tell you the rest when we are safely in the air!"

 

At the same time at Sodger's hut

 

With everyone gone or escaped, and after the pain of having been kicked in the nuts had finally receeded, the Guardian tried to find his evisceration tool that he had dropped while the green haired lady had been held hostage by the master of the thieves guild. He didn't find it in the dark but he finally found Alzira illuminated by an almost steady light from the flame breath of the pitch-black Misfit Pygmy that had saved her from being a hostage. The lady seemed to be busy calming down a female Vampire hatchie that acted clearly agitated by all the blood from the carnage. Sitting on the back of a White Dragon the deathly pale hatchling seemed eerie ghost-like in the fiery light. Baring her fangs she suddenly hissed in the rough direction of the approaching Guardian: "Death is coming!"

Edited by Isirion

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This had been Alzira's hardest day ever. Meeting the supposed thieving ghost, beeing threatened with a knife and all the killing around her and her dragons she felt beyond scared, which left her feeling mostly drained and numb. Luckily she had Sappo and Dreena to look out for, and Susurro who took care of them all. Alzira finally managed to calm Dreena although she was still very excited. When the Guardian approached she was glad to see that he was alive, nevertheless the reaction of the young dragon startled her, it couldn't mean the Guardian, could it? On the other hand, with her keeper's death still fresh in mind Dreena was kind of supposed to overreact, wasn't she?

Edited by Alzira

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The Guardian approached with a genuine smile because he was really glad that the green-haired lady was safe and sound. However his smile vanished at once as the deathly-pale Vampire hatchling suddenly jumped from the dragon's back onto his shoulder and hissed in the direction he just came from: "Death is here."

 

A few moments later a black-cloaked figure carrying the body of a brown-haired young man over his right shoulder stepped into the light-radius of Sappo's fire. The Guardian turned around startled and upon recognizing Isirion he asked: "What are you doing here? Whose body is this?" Isirion lowered the body on the ground and turned it towards the Pygmy's fire. As soon as the face was perfectly visible to all he stated the truth with an ice-cold voice void of any remorse: "I am bringing back the body of the hunter I killed in the steam believing him a foe." The Guardian was too shocked to say anything in response even as Isirion held out the evisceration knife with his left hand to him and added: "And I am bringing back this knife as well. I borrowed it to get some information from the warrior that gave our prey the chance to escape. The warrior turned out to be a female calling herself Drake who has been working as a bodyguard for a trader for a very short time. I believe that trader to be a local one since he had sent her here to investigate the commotion almost as soon as it started. Drake is escorted by a Royal Blue Dragon that had been responsible for the steam. Will you relay this information to my master as soon as you see him again?" Since the Guardian seemed still at loss for words, despite taking back his knife and checking it for blood, Isirion turned to the green-haired lady and asked her politely: "Will you?"

Edited by Isirion

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