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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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Taellonn's face lit up at the hope given to him. He sighed in relief, and looked to Drake to answer the grooms. She looked like she was still trying to fully understand what had just happened. All those adrenaline creating, rage filled thoughts, and her preparedness to fight had suddenly been diffused. She'd never really had reason to change emotions that quickly, and was left with a blank look. Taellonn shuffled forward in his still somewhat tense and crouching state to prod Drake with his snout in an effort to get her focused. It seemed to work to at least get her responsive. She still seemed somewhat distant in her answer to the boy. "So a... Uh... Disguise?" She thought about the boy's confidence in his statements. A grin formed on her face as she let out a slight laugh and said, "That's a great idea! I couldn't be more thankful for the suggestion and help." Drake turned to look over Taellonn, her demeanor clearly changed. "You may have a few too many horns and some thicker and clumsier feet, but I think you could pass for an Anagallis to the unknowing eye. So that's..." she stood so that both the grooms and Taellonn could hear her well, "...Green, red, pink, and gold. And any prop foliage or flowers we have might really help it be convincing." Taellonn nodded. He really wasn't concerned with what Drake or the grooms disguised him as. They could stuff fur under his scales to make him a Pillow dragon and he wouldn't care. He was going to be safe (or at least safer), and that was all that mattered. He spoke up, saying, "What about you, Drake? You ran out of the arena with a Royal Blue. Surely they'd at least question you." Drake glanced at her armor before answering. "I doubt there's really a way to have me blend in or look all that different. I could just have my under-armor clothes and I still don't think I'd look very typical of here; not to mention my face being plastered everywhere. And I can just say I don't know where the Royal Blue went." Taellonn huffed a bit. He thought for a few moments. "Perhaps you could at least look like the companion of an Anagallis. Maybe use any of the plants available on yourself instead?" Drake shrugged. It definitely would give the disguise some credibility, and she really didn't mind as long as the flowers weren't in the way. She faced the grooms now, and started to instruct them on how to disguise Taellonn. Drake considered her own plans at the same time. If the grooms managed to do a convincing enough Anagallis disguise, Drake could probably use Taellonn to get to the blacksmith and repair her claws. If not, she could go without fixing them and just slip away quickly with Taellonn before any Nebs could catch on to the disguise. She hoped for the prior, and made sure to very carefully describe each detail that could trick nearly anybody if mimicked correctly. If everything went as planned, she'd have her claws fixed, her escort safe, and possibly the other assisting grooms repaid in some way. She knew it would all take time and precision to pull it off seamlessly, especially on the grooms' parts. But she was staying hopeful, and Taellonn basked in that positivity. He didn't move or flinch when an unfamiliar hand or tool touched him, and stayed the perfect canvas.

Edited by Drakessis

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At the same time at Isirion's hideout

 

With Head and Butt dead and Glimmer knocked out, the two remaining hatchlings had circled each other warily for some time. There was no telling what Treasure was thinking, her face was a mask and her golden eyes never left her opponent. Bossy on the other hand seemed distracted by thought. Finally she positioned herself next to the hatchling she had knocked out and let her teeth hover over Glimmer's throat. Raising her head again she demanded: "Stop the fighting for now. I want to talk to you. Have you thought about what could happen if that thick-clawed hatchie has lied to us? You did see the scratches on the wall too. Until we gender there is no way out. I think we were supposed to work together all along. Share the food and everything. If you agree we call a truce and wait for food in peace. If not, this hatchling dies too and you are next!"

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Treasure watched her opponent's movements, her tail flicking in anticipation. Glimmer was unsurprisingly out cold on the ground with Bossy now hovering a few inches away from her throat. The other two hatchlings were no longer a concern for her, because they were no longer among the living. Treasure smirked expecting Bossy to take care of the unconscious hatchling, but her good mood quickly vanished when Bossy lifted her head away. Why did she want to speak to her now? The golden-eyed hatchling flashed an annoyed look before deciding to listen to what they had to say.

 

Treasure's eyes narrowed in thought the golden orbs glancing upwards. Yes, while it was true the thick-clawed hatchie could be lying to them it, but he also could have been telling the truth. Did he just want to see how they would react? Well if that was the case he got what he wanted and Treasure wasn't going to complain about it. She was going to fight them eventually. Now Bossy was speaking of forming a truce. Huh, what a coincidence that her rival decided to do what Treasure was planning to do in the first place. Though, there were supposed to be only the two of them, but three was better than two. She slightly scoffed at the hatchling's threat before agreeing to her offer, "I could care less with what you do to them." she hissed nodding at Glimmer, "We aren't friends or anything and you better think twice before you threaten me, but I'll accept your offer and we'll... team up with you for now." She wasn't too keen on the whole sharing thing, but she'd find a way to get around that.

 

Treasure made her way closer to the two and looked down at Glimmer with a frown. She was tempted to kill her right then and there. Instead she'd attempt to wake them with a sharp nip to the tail.

Edited by AK-Meow

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Glimmer immediately opened her eyes, giving the impression she had faked at least a part of being out cold. It had been a dangerous gamble but she didn't want the blood of a fellow hatchie on her paws. Not wanting anyone to think her weak for this, she just nodded and agreed to team up.

 

Some time later at the big city

 

By now the city was on full alert and the rumours on what had gotten the Nebs off their high towers and down to reality had spread. A single Royal Blue dragon had smashed his way into one of the underground arenas and wreaked havoc on the way. Apparently he had scared 'honest' citizens from their dens and then set fire to them. To the dens, not the citizens, but still it was horrible that those people, that had lived off other people's and dragons' suffering had finally gotten some payback. Reallly horrible. Under the cover of the smoke from the burning dens the Royal Blue had entered the underground arena and begun to free the prisoners there. Now the Nebs not only had to find the right Royal Blue but they had to deal with other mad dragons as well. The equally mad human prisoners apparently had had more sense left and went into hiding. The Royal Blue that started it all did too, but they said he has gotten a taste for this kind of thing now and is already planning to attack the next arena...

 

Mythy's number one fan finished his report with a flourishing gesture that 'accidently' knocked off a flower prop from the Anagallis Taellonn had become. He picked it up and moved closely to Drake and her disguised dragon and whispered: "Do you remember what Mythy and I told you about the Nebs twisted justice? We are sure now that they took our friends Hal and Cal to the pits and I think that Royal Blue on a rampage will eventually get there too. Just letting you know..." The small boy finished with the most conspicuous inconspicuous wink ever and stepped back again. He hoped against all odds that Lady Hooktalon was a hero in real life too and somehow would bring the missing members of Mythy's personal staff back...

Edited by Isirion

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Drake thanked the boy and other grooms for their help, and Taellonn suggested they go to the blacksmith. He was glad when Drake assured him that was her plan to begin with. Taellonn bent down to allow Drake to get on his back, and she mounted carefully, as not to mess up his disguise. The disguise seemed to be holding up incredibly.

Thankfully, the pygmy with knowledge of the blacksmith was still nearby. It led the way to the blacksmith, now with a bright 'Anagallis' trailing it. Upon landing, Drake jumped off and told Taellonn to wait outside unless he felt truly threatened. He reluctantly obliged, and watched as Drake went inside. Drake noticed something on a far wall. She recognized the picture- a dragon-scale shape, with a few lines on it in a unique pattern. It was just on a piece of paper, clearly so it could be switched out or taken down in a hurry. The symbol was a surefire way of knowing if someone was affiliated with or was sympathetic to the Draikenflaemes. This assured Drake the blacksmith was an ally; the symbol was almost as difficult to discover as it was to track the Draikenflaemes themselves.

Drake wasn't sure if her features or armor would get her recognized as part of the cause, and made sure to comment on the sign and hint towards its meaning in her greeting. The blacksmith instantly radiated helpfulness upon Drake's recognition of the sign, and assured her the repairs to her weapons would be done with "the greatest of care." The blacksmith took it upon himself to refine the entire set of claws to have them reach their maximum potential, and promised to only charge slightly less than the average amount. Drake didn't complain, being how great the circumstances were so far.

Eventually the claws were fully repaired and paid for, and Drake saw no reason to hesitate to investigate the pits and arenas. Taellonn tried to convince Drake that it wasn't worth it, but she refused to listen. Drake vaguely remembered seeing something like a fire while initially traveling to the blacksmith, and thought that would be the best place to look. She had Taellonn guide them, but made sure he didn't try to steer her away from the target.

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After Drake and her 'Anagallis' had left, the blacksmith whistled for the little Pygmy that had brought them and rewarded it for it's messenger services with fine food and a sooty pat on the head. Then he made sure the flaeme-paper hung again innocently amongst the other samples for armour or sword decorations and went back to work.

 

In the mean-time at Isirion's hideout

 

It didn't take the thick-clawed hatchie long to notice the hatchlings down in the pit had followed his advice. Smirking to himself he went back and invited the strongest male hatchling from the feeding area to spy on the potential rivals in the pit. After a bit of thinking the hatchling agreed and followed Claw eagerly to the edge of the pit. He intended to study the new hatchlings' fighting skills so he could deal more easily with them should they meet again later. Claw on the other side intended to get rid of his strongest rival. He slashed his rival's wing without warning so he couldn't fly back up and then tackled him down into the pit - right before the noses of the two hatchies that had already proved they didn't hesitate to kill...

Edited by Isirion

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Treasure examined the her body for any injuries trying to figure out what she and the other two hatchlings should do for the time being, but nothing came to mind. She quietly growled in annoyance. She couldn't just rely on her strength alone, she needed to prove she was smart as well. Come on Treasure think-! her thoughts were cut off by the sight of something or rather someone landing in front of her and Bossy. It was a male hatchling and one of their wings were torn. She looked at Bossy and Glimmer who probably felt just as dumbstruck as herself before looking up. Well, look who came back. The thick clawed hatchling. Treasure assumed he was the one behind the fallen hatchling's fall. Was this a warning? A threat? "Hey! What is the meaning if this?" She called out. What are his intentions?

Edited by AK-Meow

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The male hatchling needed a few seconds to understand what had happened, then he growled madly at Claw who was watching from above with a smirk. That devious little devil had tricked him, but he had gotten out of the pit once and he could do it again! The hatchling thought quickly about the options he had and found only one viable. With his injured wing he couldn't get out of the pit before their keeper would find him. So it had to look like he had jumped in on purpose to kill the future competion and got hurt in the process instead of having been tricked and shoved in by a smarter hatchling. Well, he was smart too and strong! Killing those three hatchlings that hadn't even gendered yet wouldn't be difficult and soon after he would get his revenge on Claw. The male hatchling growled again and, singling out the weakest hatchling to kill first, he charged right at Glimmer!

Edited by Isirion

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Nope, Treasure wasn't having it. The moment the male hatchling charged straight for Glimmer she knew he had to go. She didn't bother to see if Bossy would rush after them since she was already in pursuit. Glimmer barely managed to avoid the charging male and watched as the golden-eyed hatchling bite down as hard as she could onto his tail. While he was distracted, Bossy took the opportunity to charge straight into his side hoping to knock him off balance. The male hatchling stumbled a bit, but didn't fall and growled at them once he regained his balance. Treasure smirked. Did he really think he could beat the three of them? He could probably take out Glimmer easily, but this was a three on one. The odds were not in his favor. She signaled for Bossy and Glimmer to get on either side of him while she herself slowly advanced in on him. The male roared before charging straight for her and she too ran up to meet him and collided head strong with him. Treasure began to feel dizzy, instantly regretting her decision, but luckily Bossy and Glimmer were keeping him occupied while she recovered. After a moment the two managed to pin him down, but because of his constant thrashing about it wasn't easy to keep him still. "Hurry up and finish him already!" growled Bossy doing her best to keep the male from getting free. "Yeah, yeah whatever..." Treasure mumbled before dealing the finishing blow with a bite to the throat and the thrashing soon came to a stop. Once she was sure the hatchling was dead she looked back up to the thick clawed hatchling with an unamused look. "As much as I enjoy killing things I don't like it when others make me do their dirty work for them." she stated with a slight growl in her tone.

Edited by AK-Meow

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Claw's smirk had vanished during the fight. He had had high hopes for the hatchlings after watching them for a while, but their team-work co-ordinated by the golden-eyed one had still surprised him. That one most definitely would gender female and might turn out an even better leader than Alteria. Claw hoped the other two would gender female as well because if they didn't they might prove even more dangerous than the hatchling he had just gotten rid of through them. Putting on an apologetic face, Claw finally answered Treasure: "I am sorry, but you saw how that hatchling tried to go straight for the kill. Now you know I have spoken the truth. There is no room for pity in the pit. Down here the strong live and the weak die. In taking out that gendered hatchling you have proven that you belong in the first group and he belongs in the second. The moment our keeper checks on you, he will see what you have accomplished and acknowledge your strength. You will be out of the pit and gendered in no time. Once you are, come and see me, I have a lot more to tell you...for a price!" With these words Claw left the three hatchlings to ponder his words and went back to the male feeding area where he was the strongest hatchling now.

 

In the mean-time outside the big city

 

Right before the city walls the Guardian had landed and finally rallied his group. He explained to them that taking the chance and sneak into the city in the absence of the Nebs wasn't a risk worth taking yet. Until the Nebs did show up and check on them like they should they would interrogate their prisoner as they had intended. Isirion took that as his cue to fetch the young bandit from his Grey Dragon's claws and hand him over to the Guardian. The bear-like man made sure the bandit's shoulder wounds weren't life-threatening and then growled: "I don't have a lot of patience left, so, before I hand you back to the one who killed your dragon, you better tell me quickly about the travellers you have seen or raided yesterday!" The bandit grew as pale as a corpse and wet his pants. He tried to speak but managed only frightened squeaks. At this point, Ale, in a perfect imitation of his lovely wife, shooed both men away and gave the poor lad a sip from his personal flask. Instantly colour returned to the bandits cheeks, Ale nodded as if he had expected nothing else and led him over to Alzira. He let the prisoner sit down and said: "Candy would scold me if I let those brutes mishandle the poor lad any longer. He maybe a bandit but he is not much older than my boy Jaxon. I want you to take over the interrogation and I don't take no for an answer!"

 

 

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Alzira looked surprised, her eyes wandering between the men and the bandit, who at a second glance really seemed quite young. The squeaking was quite reasonable, considering Isirion's latest actions. She wouldn't behave any different if he had threatened her. Suddenly but also very carefuly Sappo landed on her shoulder, scanning the men as well and letting off a little blue flame, just to let them know he was watching too. The familiar weight on her shoulder reassuered Alzira and she straightened herself. Although she didn't know anything about about a proper interrogation and she was furthermore quite nervous, she repeated the same question as the guardian in a quiet but friendly voice: "Please tell us who you and your group have seen or raided yesterday and if by any chance this man was amongst them?" With her last words she unrolled one of her sketches and held it in front of the young men.

 

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The young bandit visibly calmed down after hearing Alzira's voice. Maybe her soft voice reminded him of his mother or it was just the after effects of Ale's special brew that finally made his tongue loose, but he started to talk: "I-I was only scouting yesterday, we hadn't done a raid for some time and our supplies were getting low. I spotted a group of 4 or 5 people flying towards the big city. The looked well armed so I left them alone, but tailing them was this old guy on a dragon like that one." He pointed at Barrel and continued: "I brought back the news and our leader decided to capture him along with his dragon and sell them in the city. The man was very brave, he fought our attack group like a desert lion and they had to beat him very badly. The dragon was even worse, he fought like mad with his master being in trouble and our leader had to trick him to calm him down and let himself be bound too. Our leader personally took them to city to sell them and told the rest of us to lay low. That's all I know, I ---" The last words happened to be his last words as they were cut off permanently by Isirion and his bloodstained blade. The Guardian looked furious, Ale terrified, but they both remained silent. They had gotten the information they wanted and it was more than they had hoped for: Their former captain was still alive and somewhere in the city - and that was everything that counted now...

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira was still looking at the bright red spot that became larger and larger. She knew what had happened but it took her some time to realize that it really had happened. Dumbstruck as she was, she looked at Ale, the Guardian and finally Isirion. Sappo let out another blue flame, he noticed Alzira's anger before she did. "Was this really necessary? This was a bandit, true, but still a boy! We could have given him to the authorities or held him captive for a a few days. There was absolutely no need for this!" She spat the last words furiously at Isirion, "and don't you dare twisting my words again!" she added in a hiss. She hardly realized that she was standing right in front of him. Just now she registered that Sappo's flame was casting strange shadows in her opposite's face. Susurro had anticipated her rapture almost as fast as Sappo and he moved quickly, almost elegantly one step forward, twisted his tail and pulled her back.

Edited by Alzira

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Isirion didn't seem to be bothered by Alzira's outburst, maybe he had anticipated it like the White Dragon. He calmly sheathed his blade and said: "Don't waste the time you saved us by asking him nicely instead of letting us torture the information out of him. Now that we know that the bandits beat Sodger very badly and sold him to an arena, we should make the most of it." Isirion didn't waste another word or second on the green-haired lady and mounted his dragon. The Guardian and Ale were already on dragon-back. They both would have handed over the young bandit to the Nebs if they actually had shown up like they should, but as they still hadn't, the group now had the golden opportunity to enter the city without long entry examinations. The three men on their dragons rose as one and flew right over the city walls. None of them looked back to see if Alzira was coming as well, they all looked forward to rescue Sodger.

 

In the mean-time at the burning underground arena

 

Smoke and screams were everywhere, but as 'far' as Drake and Taellonn could see there was no Royal Blue, only the trail of the destruction he had wrought. Angry paws had smashed open the entrance to an underground tunnel that led deep into the bowels of the city. Like real bowels the stench was overwhelming. On the left side of the tunnel dragon-sized cells had been opened by and with the same force that had opened the human-sized cells on the right side. Further in was only the former fighting pit that was now steaming and smoking like hell...

Edited by Isirion

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Drake clearly had no intentions of dismounting Taellonn unless she absolutely felt the need to. For now, Taellonn was going to serve as Drake's legs, eyes, and anything else she needed to get around; a position he only now realized he had unknowingly accepted when he served as Drake's escort here. Drake readily trusted Taellonn to locate and guide her to Hal and Cal and/or any dragons trapped in here to get them out. However, Taellonn's steps were reluctant and slow descending into the tunnel, like he had all of the world and then some dragging his feet down and backwards. He held his breath too, trying to avoid the smell, only to find that it resulted in him inhaling a gag-worthy burst of pungent air into his lungs whenever he couldn't stand to keep his breath held. Drake encouraged him to push on, and seemed to succeed until she would inevitably have to do it again in a motivational cycle. But she knew Taellonn would be more comfortable in the position he were in, rather than having to walk alone. The two were approaching the pit, making sure to call out for Hal and Cal in hopes of a response. Drake wasn't completely sure of her personal priorities of saving dragons versus the hope she had given the boy at the arena of finding his friends, and didn't have the patience to compare them. Instead, she'd wait for circumstances to decide for her what she would put first.

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As Drake and Taellonn reached the pit something rose from the smoke and steam within. The Royal Blue, the female warrior had freed had recognized her voice and came to greet her with a sad voice mixed with underlying fury: "I feel like murdering every human now, but you are an exception. You freed me so I am in your debt. I didn't have the chance to introduce myself earlier. My name is Aseto and I have to ask you another favour. Thanks to that lying bandit scum and those corrupted Nebs, my master has been taken to an underground arena to be executed by wild dragons, but it isn't this one and I can't find the others. Sodger is a brave strong fighter but he is also a blind old man that has already been beaten by the air-bandits that captured us. Even though I am free now I am as helpless as before. If you have any idea where the other arenas are or if you know anyone, who might have information about them - Please tell me! My master's life depends on it!"

 

In the mean-time somewhere else in the big city

 

The Guardian, Ale and Isirion had split up the moment they noticed that for unknown reasons the city was partly in chaos and the Nebs were on the prowl. Also by splitting up they would cover more ground - or underground so to speak. Ale decided to visit the biggest pub and ask for information and directions there, the Guardian would try his luck with the authorities and Isirion flew straight towards the underground arena he remembered from his last visit to the big city.

Edited by Isirion

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Taellonn tried not to cower, turn tail and run. Was Drake really going to consider helping this dragon again? Even just with information? What would she be getting from helping this murderous Royal Blue? Did she hope to gain an "ally?" He seemed way too devoted to this master of his to sidetrack and help Drake out in return. True, Taellonn was glad neither him nor Drake were being ripped to shreds, but being spared certainly didn't seem like a good enough reason to trust someone. He anxiously awaited for Drake to speak up, and for her snap out of the eager-to-help any-dragon delirium that had plagued her all these years so she could actually come to her senses!

A stab through the heart would hurt much less than the disappointment that pierced Taellonn. Drake didn't seem distressed in the slightest, and calmly answered Aseto. "I'm afraid I couldn't give you exact locations of anything. But I could definitely help get information for you, especially considering that I could probably get about anywhere now..." She thought back to after the arena battle. Surely there was some subconscious trust she'd formed from being victorious. More thoughts about the arena swirled and connected as she thought back to the boy's hope of his friends returning. More casualties certainly wouldn't help with that. "But, I would just like to say, I understand your rage. However, all this death and destruction is going to put you and your master at more risk. There's a hunt for Royal Blues out there, and I'll bet that any commotion will send those Nebs swarming to attack you or find your motive. I promise I'll help you find your master, and I don't doubt your abilities, but you have a whole city turning against you now. Staying hidden may be best until I can get us the information to find your master."

Taellonn himself tried not to scoff at Drake's statements. So she had a sense of preservation, but not for herself? What a safe person for him to stay with.

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Aseto didn't like to be told to stay put and hide but a whole city on a Royal Blue hunt wasn't a foe he could face. He forced himself to relax a bit and said: "You are right. All I can do is hope that you are true to your word. My master's name is Sodger and he is the former captain of the Royal Blue regiment. Despite having lost his eye-sight he still acts and sounds like an old soldier." Aseto seemed lost in thought for a second, then he sighed and added: "Just look for a blind old man that has gotten himself into more trouble than he can handle and still doesn't run away from it."

 

In the mean-time near an entrance to an underground arena

 

After realizing that some kind of dragon hunt was going on in the city, Isirion had decided to land and dismount his dragon. He told the Grey to stay out of sight and continued on foot. With each step he felt the fatigue he had accumulated over the last days. Fighting with the gigantic Hooktalon had certainly taken it's toll as he was suddenly seeing Hooktalon spikes and talons everywhere. Killing off the thugs and thieves had been tiring too, not because they had been well-versed fighters but because there had been dozens of them. Tracking their escaped guild master in vain had led to an extended search for his own master - including many uncomfortable hours on dragon back. Isirion rubbed his back when he thought nobody was looking and then sneaked inside the underground arena to take a look at the fight line-up. He didn't expect to find the name 'Sodger' on it but there was a chance he could tell from the arena name. A few seconds later he almost doubled up laughing - someone called 'His Royal Blindness' was due to an one-on-one dragon fight in two hours from now. Isirion got himself together again before he attracked too much unwanted attention. First he had to sneak in further and confirm Sodger's whereabouts, then he had to get out again unnoticed. Until the actual fight his master would be save if you ignored the insults or the rotten fruits so there was still time to inform the others and formulate a rescue plan.

Edited by Isirion

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Drake thanked Aseto for understanding, and told Taellonn to go. Taellonn waited until he thought the Royal Blue was out of earshot to talk to Drake. "So? What's your convoluted plan?" Drake could very clearly hear his confrontational tone, but ignored it so that he wouldn't think he could argue. She tapped the sides of her claw weapons against the tense Taellonn as she thought. "I say you fly up and look for the busiest spot within a quick glance. Even if it's full of suspicious looking people." Taellonn kept going, despite wanting to stop, throw Drake off, and somehow force some logic into her. Did she want to get killed!? By the time he truly wanted to stop, he was already autonomously up in the air, looking around. He accepted the position reluctantly and spotted a busier area than the rest. He wasn't really sure what the building was, maybe a tavern or something, but Drake gave him the sign to fly right over. Taellonn, in a desperate attempt to get Drake to realize on her own that she didn't have to do this, flew slower and blamed it on some irritation from the paint. Drake didn't buy it for a second, but she didn't have any other means to become airborne and just tried to convince Taellonn to go faster. But any words fell on a deaf listener.

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By the time Taellonn arrived there was quite a commotion going on. A crowd had gathered around an older, a little bit drunk looking man. The man was telling old Dragon War stories in trade for beer. After Ale had his listeners hooked on his tales of proud dragons and noble warriors he pulled out the sketch Alzira had painted and showed it around: "This is my old captain Sodger. He was the bravest of us all but now he is missing. Has any of you had the great fortune of meeting him?"

 

While Ale worked the crowd, his Royal Blue Barrel cursed the stupid Royal Blue that had put the city guards on high alert. Because one dragon had thrown a fit, every other member of his species was apparently under suspicion. The only good thing was, that whatever else that dragon had done, he couldn't have doubled his weight in the last hour and so Barrel was free to walk or rather roll around and acquaint himself with the brightly coloured Anagallis who couldn't be the culprit either for obvious reasons.

Edited by Isirion

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So, another tavern. Drake really didn't mind having to be at one this time; she already had a set goal. She jumped off of Taellonn's back. Her attention was instantly drawn to the crowd, and she went to look for the focus. The mention of the name "Sodger" helped guide her attention, and she tapped Taellonn. "Taellonn, what's he saying?" Taellonn knew Drake had only asked him because he was on such high alert, but she was lucky he actually had been listening. "He's looking for the same person, I think. Says that was his old captain? Either that or Sodger is a common name."

He could almost feel Drake glaring at him. He continued, "It's a possibility, and I wouldn't put anything above this whole situation. But... Oh, I think he has a sketch." Drake knew that either this man had a very elaborate scheme to find his old "captain," or he was telling the truth and they shared a goal. She couldn't just ignore him.

Taellonn was looking around, afraid some part of his disguise had slipped despite no mention from anyone. Another Royal Blue caught his eye, and he was a bit shocked to see that he may have been his focus as well! Taellonn went to duck down next to Drake for some form of comfort or protection, but found her gone. He nearly squealed as he realized he was alone, unsteadily tried to stand straight again, and waited to see if he'd be addressed.

Drake, not noticing Taellonn's fright or the other Royal Blue, had already started to make her way through the crowd, her weapons displayed proudly as they clanged against her armor with the movement of her arms. The sound along with her confident steps were warning people that they had to be prepared to either make way or be forced to. She couldn't tell if anyone recognized her, but she wasn't paying attention to check either. Once she had forced her way to just behind the front of the crowd, she made sure to get the best look at the sketch that she could and stayed put to see if anyone had information that she could eavesdrop on. But she was definitely willing to speak up if no one stepped forward. The opportunity for help here was too great to abandon. Meanwhile Taellonn, still anxiously waiting in the back as an unsuspecting 'Anagallis,' hoped someone would speak up quickly; because he absolutely dreaded any interaction he'd be faced with if Drake didn't come back for him right away!

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The Anagallis' fidgeting made Barrel rethink his approach as the other dragon clearly didn't want to interact with anyone. Barrel shrugged and retreated to find some kids to scratch his belly with those fake Hooktalon claws everyone seemed to have. Ale's focus was on some claws too - amongst the crowd of listeners suddenly a fierce looking claw-wielding warrior appeared and moved towards the front with a purpose. The warrior seemed to be trying to get a look at his sketch and Ale was only too happy to comply. He already had his doubts that Sodger would have asociated with any of those over-exited and partly under-age hare-brains that frequented this tavern. That warrior was an entirely different matter. He...she radiated purpose and confidence and would have gotten along with his old captain very well. Ale didn't hesitate and showing her the sketch, he addressed the female warrior directly: "You look like you have gotten around - have you per chance seen this man on your ventures?"

 

In the mean-time at Lord Hassleborough's mansion

 

Jack was in the middle of describing his visit to the local Shadow guild to Steve and Walt when Finn arrived and told them that Jill had ditched him. Walt didn't look troubled - his bodyguard had done her job and had already been paid so why shouldn't she roam the city to find the best place to spent those coins? Jack on the other hand frowned but he didn't pursue the matter and continued with his story: "Of course the Shadows didn't take me serious as I described our 'problem' to them. Those arrogant mutts thought I was either exaggerating or trying to wind them up. Only handing them my jewel and gem bag finally convinced them to listen and take the assignment. Within the week they will find and kill that bloody murderer and if luck is with us - his master too!"

Edited by Isirion

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Relieved that the Royal Blue had seemed to lose interest, Taellonn went to look and see if Drake was returning. And, as if the whole world wanted to conspire against his mental state, someone was talking to Drake. But what did Taellonn really expect at this point? This insane city had already pulled Drake (and himself) into too many stressful situations for him to recount them all. Thank heavens they'd be out of here when everything was done with. Taellonn was exhausted from all the worrying. But he still stood on high alert, just as worried for Drake as he had been each time before.

Drake wasn't too surprised she had been addressed; she'd made herself rather obvious. She made her way past the few people still between her and the man. Drake was looking at the sketch as she responded. "I can't say I've met him personally." She shifted her gaze to the man. "But I do know someone who has. Unfortunately, they don't know his location either... which is why I'm here in the first place, trying to find information to help them." Drake paused and glanced at the crowd before continuing. "I don't see the use in staying put here with these... Less than useful people, but I do see the use there could be in searching for a more promising place. Provided you have a dragon to help with your travel, I say we could form a temporary alliance to find Sodger. I'm sure my Anagallis had seen better places to search than here."

Edited by Drakessis

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Ale looked as happy as Barrel who still got his belly scratched. He thanked the warrior and introduced himself before he told his dragon to roll over and get ready. Once the Anagallis had taken the lead to a more promising search place he climbed on Barrel's back and followed. His old captain might have chewed his ear off for blindly following this stranger but Ale's gut instinct told him the female warrior was a more trustworthy companion than the one the Guardian had brought along. Ale shuddered as he remembered how Isirion had murdered the boy-bandit in cold blood and wished he had drunk a lot more beer at the tavern...

 

In the mean-time inside a certain underground arena

 

Isirion had joined the crowd of spectators that swarmed into the underground arena and carefully checked each cell he passed for a sign of his master. The cells for the human prisoners were on the right side, the dragons that should devour them were held on the left side. Between them was a wide path so that predator and prey could get a good look at each other and the spectators a good look at both of them. Most of the prisoners were cowering in despair at the sight of the rows of teeth that awaited them but one prisoner stood proud and unafraid - either because he couldn't see what was waiting for him or because that was just Sodger's nature. Isirion smiled and weaved his way back to the entrance. It seemed like the Nebula's raid for dragons had come to a close and so he decided it was save to fly around again. He collected his Grey Dragon from it's hiding place and took to the air to inform whomever he could find first from his group...

Edited by Isirion

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So, there she was, left alone with her dragons and a dead bandit. Still shocked Alzira needed some time to process that's why Susurro took care of the corpse. He moved the dead body to the nearest dune and started digging. Fortunately the sand was easy to move and in almost no time he had finished burying the body. Seeing the White Dragon working brought Alzira to her senses. She and Sappo kept watch and as soon as the dragon finished his work they decided to enter the city before the officials arrived and noted anything suspicious about them. Furthermore they had lost sight of the others so hopefully flying around the city would help them find a clue about their whereabouts. Knowing Ale and his affection for a good drink Alzira thought that a tavern might be a good start to start looking. On the way there Susurro discovered the distinctive form of Barrel, Ale's dragon, and decided to follow him.

Edited by Alzira

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