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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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Diablo grinned at the reaction he got from the man before nodding, "I'll send word by Pygmy, if I am needed before I finish dealing with this. The easiest place for the Pygmys to find me will either be at the Hive or later near the mansion of the Blue Lady". His words were casual as he walked out, almost dismissive in fact, but not enough to validate any kind of disciplinary measure. Once he left Chet to most likely seethe at his response, Diablo jogged back to Nyx, swinging onto her back with an easy fluid motion that spoke of years of training and pratice and urged her skyward.

 

As they glided through the sky on their way towards the big city, Diablo let his mind wander, mainly towards the events that happened  a few years ago, that not only gave him a special gift, but also caused Chet's rather amusing outbursts at the slightest mention of the word 'Death' in the present.

 
An eerie shadow clad in the black-air-bandit cloak and hood had slipped among them and swiftly cut his way through towards Chet and his dragon Blackjade. The man severed life and limb of anyone that tried to block his way until his blade finally pierced Chet's breast. The following fight between the man and Blackjade left Diablo speechless in the corner he was hiding. It was even fiercer than anything he had seen in the different underground arenas, albeit it had to be the same man he had seen fighting there. While Chet was bleeding out near his hiding place, the man mutilated Blackjade with every strike and even started to skin her, after she finally stopped fighting back. Diablo following his instinct used the chance and dragged Chet away and began to sew up his wound like he had learned working at his mother's business. When the last stitch was done, the man was gone but the glowing green light in Blackjade's eyes wasn't. He could have even sworn it was directed at him, beckoning him closer...

 

The memory faded once more into the background of his mind and Diablo thought about how those events had played a major part in how he had manged to attain his position as the black-air-bandits prime hunter, able to taunt even their leader Chet with little to no repercussions for his teasings.

Entering the city itself was easy enough, when the Nebula patrol approached he simply pulled his cloaks hood back far enough for them to see his face and moved his signature Black-Dragon-paw-gauntlet into a more viewable position as he had already become known city-wide for his unusual costumes at parties, that most of the time incorporated black dragon parts of varying degrees, still being able to function as they were when still attached to their previous owners.

Approaching the Hive was more time consuming. Once they were at the property, they landed, Nyx following behind Diablo as he approached the guards and he pushed the cloak back to reveal his face and the family crest on the clasp of both his belt and cape. The smaller of the pair on gate duty addressed him "Young Master Dämon, welcome back, shall we have your dragon attended too in your place?", Diablo, reminding himself to respond to Dämon now, simply shook his head and replied "Ill tend to her myself, inform my mother that I shall be with her shortly". Diablo took Nyx to the underground living areas and let her go off to find her cave she had insisted on digging out herself and headed into the mansion, mentally preparing to greet his imposing mother and free spirited older sister while at the same time fending off the drones that swarmed him asking him different things such as "Young Master can we get you anything to drink" or "Young master should we draw the bath".

Edited by FallenDiablo

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And just as he imagined it, a drone, face hidden by the traditional black and gold halfmask approached him, towels and bathing implements at the ready. Diablo employed his most effective defensive technique - a noble, dismissive handwave and hastened pace enabling him to soon enter his mother's audience chamber. The room was styled in black and gold like the family crest, crossed golden needles crowning the head of a black dragon. The tail of dragon branched into other tails of different colours symbolizing the branch families. It showed everyone that while priding themselves on owning the most successful tailoring business, they were also able and willing to defend and even expand it further with the fierceness and power of a dragon. The dress his mother wore today underlined that message to a point - a row of black dragon spikes enhancing the shoulder and neckline like the rays of a black sun. They were sewn on so naturally as if they were part of the body, not taking a way an inch of the natural flow of the dress that emphasized is mother's beauty despite her age nearing the fifties for a while now. Diablo had studied sewing and tailoring, but the skill needed to make this kind of dress still surpassed his own. His mothers briefly bathed in his admiring glance before adressing him: "Son, I have not expected you to return this early and without the company of the magnificent gift for the blue lady. Explain yourself or prepare to face another week without setting foot into the basement."

Edited by Isirion

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Diablo, finally having escaped the clutches of the servants saw his mother in the magnificent dress and went on one knee, his eyes roaming the dress that his mother wore, the skill required to create such a beautiful masterpiece was greater than anything he had seen before, that is except for the other pieces that his mother had made. Her works always radiated beauty, power, and a hit at the terribly destructive power she held in the palm of her hand and could unleash at the slightest displeasure, to her son this was an inspiering motivator in order to eventually surpass his mothers skills and prove himself worthy to support the family and his older sister who would most likely inherit the official title of Family Head. Despite Königin's age, her appearance looked at least twenty years younger, something the main family had always been proud of going back several generations and it was often the envy of other less fortunate nobles who's appearances deteriorated far faster and required them to rely on whatever methods they could use to hide their aging.

 

As his mind thought over this he remembered that there had already many older letcherous men who had been trying to propose to his elder sister since early on because of the exceptional beauty of both the female and male offspring their family produce, offering gifts and other such items in attempts to buy her or their mothers favour, only to find themselves staring down the throat of Diablo's mothers Alt Black Dragon. Not many of those attempted sutors managed to stop their bladders in time, shaming themselves with their fear, and not even the other nobles were allowed to carelessly approach or court either of the heirs. Trying not to grin at the thought, Diablo bowed his head and began explaining the situation to his mother, "Greetings dearest Mother, I apologise for the inadequecy, I captured the blue Zyumorph that had been spotted in the desert previously, however while I was out performing another task, Leader Chet, had one of his..." Diablo looked for the most appropriate description for what he had heard happen before continuing, "One of his episodes, after which the Zyumorph broke free and escaped, when I tracked it down all I was able to find was the remanants of a recent fire and no sign of the creature even after flying over the desert for many hours."

As he waited for his mothers reply, he wondered if the backup plan he had prepared, a pair of high quality Aeria Gloris eggs he had procured a little while back when he had met a trader that had travelled to the city from the Alpines and placed into the incubation chamber in the underground tunnels. He hoped that it would be enough to appease his mothers displeasure at the dissapearance of the Zyumorph and enough to bring with them to the party that evening.

Edited by FallenDiablo

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Königin von Gefallen, let her index finger draw elaborate patterns into the air before adressing her son: "Ah yes, Chet. I remember him, from when he was still called by another, quite similar sounding name for always being on dragon dung duty for his insubordinance, but I digress. Son, you have done well in procuring equally rare and valuable replacement items, so that our gift to the blue lady will still be the most special one. It would suit your sister well to learn from your prudence, so do remind her of her duties to the family from time to time. I still have to choose and outfit the warrior-drones that will escort me to the masquerade event. You are dismissed, unless there is something else I need to know." With a grand hand-gesture and a curt nod of approvement, Königin awaited for her son to either continue his narrative or leave her to her business.

 

In the mean-time at the abandoned Sunstone-base

 

To preserve the element of surprise, Sodger had the remaining half of the Hellfire Army use the dunes as cover, just as the bandits they were hunting had done, in case they tried to double back. The endless desert was aptly named and so they had a much better chance of finding a sandcorn in the desert if the sandcorn came to them. If Azmodan and his part of the army scared them back towards him, their prey would be caught in a classic pincer move, unable to escape. The ex-captain of the Royal Blue smiled at the prospect. It was just a matter of time...

Edited by Isirion

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Diablo smiled softly, his mother seemed to be in a fine mood and that boded well for him. Standing up slowly he looked around the room, looking for where his sister might be lurking or a maid might be wandering before turning back to his mother. "Of course mother, there is but one more piece of information I have that I learned while I was searching for the Zyumorph." His expression grew darkened as he thought of how to introduce the rather disturbing news before deciding it would be best not to beat around the bush and be straightforward, "There is a large host of Hellfire Wyverns crossing the desert towards the city, I was tasked with bringing this news to the Nebs when I came into the city.

Meanwhile in the kitchen the cooks had just come in to prepare a meal for the Young Master, their gossip could be heard throughout the surrounding rooms. From one such room, which happened to be the pantry, muffled sounds of pleasure and a womans voice had been cut short as the gossip began to fly, a few moments later a maid with a beat red face hurridly slipped from the pantry and rushed off to her chores, causing a couple of the cooks to chuckle as they already had a good idea of who else was in the pantry. Moments later their suspicions were confirmed, Iris stepped from the room, looking completely unruffled, unlike the maid who had already run down the hall moments before. "Princess" The cooks all said repectfully, beginning to get working on the food, and Iris quickly departed the kitchen to hunt for her o' so adorable little brother.

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"Hellfire Wyverns?", as unbelievable as it seemed, Königin sounded almost agitated. There also was a clear hint of concern in her voice as she spoke: "That is no laughing matter. The Nebulas with their captains chosen by political bootlicking instead of skill don't have the experience to deal with an army. They have not witnessed the Dragon War as I did. Hurry to the nearest patrol tower and tell them to relay the message as quickly as possible. They need to be prepared to evacuate. There could not be a worse time for an impending attack, which means whoever controls that army is no fool. I am inclined to send out a few of scouts of my own to find out who they are. If we know their identity, we will be able to find some leverage to halt their attack until our city's defenses are up to the task. Now, go quickly, the whole von Gefallen family will have their hands full with this. Tell your sister too, if you see her."

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Diablo looked supprised, and slightly concerned at his mothers reaction to the news, however he did not let it show on his face. Bowing his head in acknowledgement and adjusted his cape as he stood back up straight. With another bow of his head he left without another word, striding down the hall as fast as his legs would allow, without seeming to be frantic or rushed. As he rounded one of the corners in the hall a flying mass of snow white hair and golden looking eyes hit him in the chest, knocking him to the floor with her velocity as he caught his highly conspicuous sister so she wouldn't hurt herself in her unusual attempt at a greeting. Although he was capable of catching her without falling it was far easier to indulge her playful attitude than to act like a stubborn boulder and he smiled softly, "Sister, your as energetic as ever."

Iris, her hair still a giant mess from running to find her little brother, and then jumping at him in her usual greeting, grinned and hugged him again, "Little Brother!! Your back, you didn't even stay last time long enough to say hello, you'd better not be leaving again already." At first her tone was excited but as she spoke she became more pouty and less dignified, something she only did when she was with her brother and they had no one looking to see her unheir like behaviour. Seeing the way she pouted he tapped her forhead and said, "No frowning, it'll cause you to get wrinkles." He laughed as she scrunched her face up more before relaxing it and continued on, "I would love to stay and spend time with you, however we need to get moving, when I was out I spotted a host of Hellfire Wyverns headed towards the city and I need to warn the Nebs to start evacuations, you should go assist mother while I am out." Although she wanted to spend time with her little brother Iris understood and got up, straightening her cloths and hair, her large amber eyes seemed to shift from playful to serious in but a moment and the air of the heir of house von Gefallen had returned to her features. "Dämon, if you get hurt I wont forgive you." Before he could respond to her statement she strode off to see their mother and assist in preparations for what is about to come, leaving Diablo to go alert the guards.

Leaving the mansion did not take long and Diablo
whistled, and but moments later a golden flash could be seen flying towards him, a spectacular sight to behold. A few moments later the Golden Wyvern landed next to him and he rubbed her neck affectionately as she hit him, albeit gently, in the head with her head as if to say 'I missed you', before saying verbally as well. After exchanging a few words to calm her down since he had been away for quite a while he deftly swung up onto her back and patted her neck again, telling her "Sollaria, we need to pay a visit to the Nebs, and theres a high chance the party won't be happening tonight". Sollaria, making a dissapointed expression as best she could at the mention of not being able to show off, as was normal for her breed, lept into the air and flew as fast as they could towards the Neb's tower.

Edited by FallenDiablo

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The nearest Neb tower was on high-alert already, featuring mostly blue-coloured Nebulas flying around it on patrol and bathing it in their wing-patterns' light. Despite this, the guards on the ground seemed suspiciously calm and confident. Passerby in the street also looked fully at ease. The reason for this was clearly visible in the banners decorating the tower, depicting an executed Royal Blue and like-wise executed assassin. To further the message that the main threat had already been dealt with, city-heralds proclaimed a story that concurred with the one that could be read from the many, recently applied posters decorating most of the larger buildings and structures:

 

Citizens,

 

this is the account of the disturbances that occurred over the past days in our fair city, which the Nebulas were able to quickly and competently respond and restore peace again. Those disturbances were actually all connected to a plot to assassinate the city noble Lord Hassleborough. The plot began with creating a diversion through a rampaging Royal Blue. The Nebulas are happy to inform you, that this individual dragon has already been apprehended and executed. The next part of the plot was using the diversion to free prisoners scheduled to be executed for their crimes thus drawing away even more of the Nebulas forces than the previous distraction since the Nebulas simple can't fail to respond if a rampaging dragon and escaped prisoners put the citizens of their beloved city in danger. That fact allowed the assassin to infiltrate the Hassleborough mansion and fulfill his ghastly mission. Opposed to baseless rumours flying around that this assassin was the mythical character nicknamed Death, the murderer was only a paid assassin who, like his accomplice dragon, has already been killed by the dutiful Nebulas who put their lives on the line to do so. Those Nebulas who fell in the line of duty will be buried with honour and their families and loved ones will be looked after. The ringleader of this plot, the ex-arena-master known as Pride is in the process of being hunted down along with his associates, the Golden Wyvern called Golden Myth, a bear-like man and a greenhaired lady. An especially large amount of coins will be provided to the citizen that delivers information that speeds up their capture.

 

Signed

Sir Kenneth Overton, high captain of the Nebula patrol

 

When the two guards posted to the left and right of the patrol tower's entrance spotted the approaching dragon and rider, they readied their crossbows, just in case the visitor turned out to be someone they needed to shoot instead of salute.

Edited by Isirion

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As they flew, Dämon took the mask off so he would be easily recognisable and he stood on Sollaria's back so he was clearly visable to the patrol tower so they could tell he was someone of important status. Sollaria flew around the tower twice, and on the second pass Dämon lept off, nimbly rolling to break his fall and coming to a stand in front of the guards as Sollaria flew around the tower waiting instead of landing, the sense of urgency that the action intoned did not leave a good taste in the mouths of the guards as the young noble stood before them. "I am Dämon von Gefallen, I bear ill news for your captain, is he in currently?" Dämon's voice also bore a sense of urgency, coupled with his cloak clasp that bore the von Gefallen main family crest and his piercing green eyes, would easily intimidate any who knew of the von Gefallen house.

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The two patrol-guards immediately lowered their crossbows upon spotting the von Gefallen crest. Not showing the proper respect to a city noble was like asking to get whipped by the blue lady's dragon-whip that had about as many tails as the von Gefallen family had branches. Both guards bowed as low as their armour allowed and then the right one said: "Captain Hightower is in his office, I'll show you the way." The left one seemed to have frozen in place, still bowing after the young noble had already entered the tower.

 

The first guard led Dämon all the way to the office on the top floor, loudly announcing the visitor, so anyone inside unfortunately enough not to be properly dressed due to trying out costumes for the party, could adjust just in time. Slightly out of breath, with hair sligthly out of place, captain Hightower opened the heavy door and welcomed Dämon in: "Mister von Gefallen, Sir, have you come to make sure that the situation in the city has been handled? I can assure you that the Nebulas have dealt with...the threat - it is all on the posters and in the papers." The captain was very proud of himself, that he had paused only for the briefest moment, when his mind remembered how they had made a show of executing a scape-dragon Royal Blue and an already dead guy, a patrol had found inside Pride's arena before burning it all down.

 

At the same time at the Shadow guild

 

*whoosh* "How dare they do that to Trueshot!" *whoosh* "Those Nebs deserve to be executed!" *whoosh* "If he was still alive he would kill them for desecrating his body like that!" *wh---* The sound of a throwing knife not hitting a training-target could be heard, because Nightblade had stepped in and caught it firmly on the handle. He returned the weapon to Nightfeather and said: "The Nebulas pinning Hassleborough's murder on our dear friend and desecrating his body is unforgivable, but taking your anger out on training-targets will do nothing to undo the damage. Also, your hand hasn't fully healed yet, so you should not overexert it especially since we have a new mission. Amara Hassleborough has ordered us to infiltrate the blue lady's masquerade party and find out who of the nobles there hired the real murderer. I fully understand Jack and the rest of his pathetic thieves getting killed after what he told me when he hired me - but taking out a city lord and all his guards along with him? This smells like a plot from another noble family in order to seriously weaken the Vine Empire. We have to find out which family, find proof and inform Amara who will also be at the party. Dress up as whatever you like that allows you to keep an eye on everything without them knowing. I will assign one of us to each noble family. You get the von Gefallens. I have heard you already got close to their heiress." Despite still seething inside about what the Nebs had done to Trueshot's body, Nightblade couldn't help a little smirk, when he thought about the rumours he had heard about how close exactly Nightfeather had gotten to Iris von Gefallen...

Edited by Isirion

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Dämon couldn't help but smile ever so slightly at the sight of the disheveled man as he ushered Dämon into the room. Unfortunately he was unable to enjoy the moment for long and as soon as they were both inside, Dämon began addressing the Nebula Captain, "Captain, there have been sightings of a host of Hellfire Wyverns approaching the city over the desert, the Hive Queen sent me personally to deliver the message and make sure it was passed on so that preparations for evacuations could be made." As he spoke of the Hive Queen, it was unmistakable he was referring to his mother, Königin, user the formal house title, which suited her and her reputation perfectly.

Reaching into his cloak Dämon pulled out a small metal coin with the von Gefallen crest on it and put it on the table in front of the man, "This is to... help convince the nobles that there is a looming threat, and I expect to have it returned to me after this incident is over." The unspoken threat that he would retrieve it himself if the coin was not returned on time hung over the conversation, the coin sitting on the table bore a death sentence to nearly anyone that tried to use the crest of the von Gefallen without permission.

Edited by FallenDiablo

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Captain Darian Hightower eyed the coin with a frown before picking it up and putting it carefully into his pocket. Being the second son of the Hightower family he had seen his fair share of noble crests, but the black dragon of the von Gefallens was the one he disliked the most. There was something weird about that family, they were too diligent, more like bees than humans - so much that everyone, including themselves called their lair the Hive and their leader the Hive Queen. All of them were way too perfect and handsome, as if they bred themselves like the blue lady bred Nebulas - weeding out weakness and imperfection, leaving only the strong and beautiful. Darian winced at the thought of what they supposedly did with children not meeting their standards, probably the same the blue lady did with disobedient dragons and wondered not for the first time why those two families didn't get along at all. Sure, whenever they met on offical occasions the Hive Queen and the Blue Lady exchanged nothing but courtesies, only Darian could tell that inside they were both seething. Not wanting to get on the bad side of any of them, he quickly called more guards and said: "I have a message you are to deliver personally since it is too important to risk it getting lost if we send messenger pygmies. All towers and nobles should prepare for evacuation since there is a large host of Hellfire Wyverns approaching the city. As long as that threat is active red and orange Nebulas shall lit up the towers. Once we receive an all-clear we will replace them with green ones. The purple and blue ones will be out on patrol. Understood?" The summoned guards nodded, saluted to Darian and Dämon and rushed off to fulfill their mission.

 

Darian breathed a sigh of relief that they had made a good impression by acting so quickly before he addressed the noble in front of him again: "The blue lady will be furious if the masquerade party she has been planning for weeks has to be cancelled. I will go and inform her in person about the situation and of course show her your coin. If you are satisfied with the way the Nebulas are handling the situation, I ask you to excuse me so I can fulfill this highly important mission as quickly as possible too."

 

Meanwhile at a certain tavern in the big city

 

Exhaustion finally took over Isirion. His head and shoulders slumped against the wall and he nodded off, looking just like a napping grandpa complete with a little drool. His carefully measured breathing, still a bit rough from the smoke, eased up and he slid right into a dream. In this dream he was a young boy again, living with his parents in the fishermen's village. Like them he was out fishing on a raft, but unlike them he hadn't made a single catch. His mind wasn't on the task, and his feet dangling lazily in the water didn't help either. It didn't matter, soon he wouldn't have to see, smell or gut a single fish anymore, because his parents would take him to the big city to become an apprentice of whatever trade he wanted. He imagined himself learning to forge a sword and wielding it like a soldier or maybe learn to cook so that he could make himself non-fishy dishes that would be as delicious as those served by the young couple owning the Sleeping Dragon tavern. Or he could focus on improving his reading skills and become a scholar, learning more about dragons which were a lot more interesting than fish. The possibilities were as endless as the endless desert...

Edited by Isirion

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Keeping deathly still the entire time that Captain Hightower spoke, Dämon waited until he had the mans attention again before nodding at what the man had said. "I would expect so, I do believe there have been a plan set in motion to delay or halt the Hellfire host as we speak but it would be best not to leave everything to fate. If things go well, there won't be a need to halt the party, but if not then I would rather be somewhere not bathed in Hellfire, even if that would mean enduring the Ladies wrath for a period of time." Standing up Dämon held out his right hand to shake, a gesture to show he had confidence the man would fulfill his role, keeping his left hand inside to cloak as he felt no need to use it to imply anything to spur the man on. 

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Darian didn't hesitate to take the outstretched hand - if a von Gefallen offered a handshake - especially in place of a painful dragon paw shake - you took it. When that was done, Darian bowed and stormed off to call his Blue Nebula to quickly take him to the Blue Mansion. The dragon knew the way by heart since she had been raised and trained there for duty like most other Nebulas. Being the favourite colour of the Blue Lady she had been treated a little bit better than her red, green or purple age-mates, but it had still been a harrowing experience that had left all of them afraid to disobey even the smallest order...

 

Meanwhile at a certain tavern in the big city

 

Having slumped into an a little more comfortable position, Isirion was still dreaming. More childhood days passed, spent chasing age-mates around, climbing trees, waving around stick-swords or gutting fish with a disgusted wrinkle on his face. Then the big day came. His parents had packed their meager belongings for the journey to the big city. They could only afford two rental dragons, so he shared a dragon with his mother. At first flying high in the sky was exhilarating, but soon his behind began to hurt from the unfamiliar mode of transportation. Since one dragon had to carry two people they also had to rest more often and when they finally reached the desert night was already closing in. His father looked more worried than he had ever seen him, but there was no turning back now. He made their dragons fly closely together, a tactic he had seen small fish banding together do in order to throw off predators. If they had been fish and living in the lake it might have worked, but the glowing green eyes appearing some time later all around them belonged to a whole other class of predators - one who wouldn't be fooled by such a petty trick. Four Black Dragons closed in and forced the two rentals to land. Their leader, riding a majestic and haughty looking female Black, cracked a thin bullwhip a few times to make the captured dragons cower even more, then he commanded: "Blackjade, kill the riders, they look too rag-tag to be worth anything, but make sure their saddle-bags stay intact, those could be worth a few coins at least." The Black Dragon roared, her eyes lit up even more as she swiped the older male human from his dragon with one paw-strike, killing him instantly. Scared out of her mind, the female grabbed the younger male and jumped off their dragon with him. Both trying to run away as fast as they could. Drawing a deep breath, Blackjade carefully aimed her acid and melted the woman before she could run away too far. The boy screamed like a wounded animal when he registered what had happened, but he didn't stop. He even increased his speed and randomly jumped left and right to avoid his mother's fate, trying to get out of the dragon's reach. Blackjade tried three times to hit him, but the only thing left sizzling were pools of acrid sand. Her rider Chet cracked his bullwhip once more, a signal to take off and pursuit, but he didn't order her again to kill the boy. Instead, when the Black was right behind his target, he let his bullwhip stretch out and coil along the boy's leg, causing him to plant his tear-stained face in the sand. Chet casually jumped off and firmly planted his foot on the boy's back. He pushed him a few inches more into the sand before he pulled him out and teased him with unveiled cruelty: "Get used to the dirt, Dirt. That's what you are now. A breathing pile of dirt. If you try to run away again Blackjade will melt you into a stinking pile of dirt just like your mother." The boy was too shocked to say or do anything, even when the sounds of the Black Dragon claiming the juicest parts of her first kill reached his ear. Just like his parents, a part of him had died today and another part had changed forever...the boy wanting to study dragons was gone, in his stead a boy wanting nothing more than to kill a certain dragon opened his ice-cold eyes...

Edited by Isirion

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With a flourish of his cape Dämon left the tower, striding past the guards that had let him in only a short time before and lept off the balcony, most likely horrifying them in the process. Moments later a golden streak fell from the sky and shot  back up moments later in front of the guard house, a Golden Wyvern with the von Gefallen son on its back. "Sollaria, lets make our way back home and see how mother and sister are faring with the issue of the Wyvern Host." As Dämon spoke, Sollaria, flew proudly into the sky and circled the guard tower once before directing her flight towards the Hive once more.

Meanwhile In the Hive

 

Königin had been expertly organising the drones to secure anything valuable in the underground caverns as well as making any nessessary preparations to evacuate if the attempt at diplomacy with the instigator of the horde didn't work out. When her daughter Iris walked into the room she nodded curtly to her, "Daughter, you need to organise a scout to determine the identity of the instigator of this situation, make sure they are fast and efficient."

Iris sighed inwardly as her mother addressed her coldly, wishing her brother were there with her to lighten their mothers mood and reasure Iris that everything would go well. Moments later after thinking of who to send, and not bothering to give her mother a response as she had already stopped paying attention to her daughter, Iris whistled and a young looking maid came running into the room, this one was too young to have been one of Iris' 'playthings' and instead seemed to look up to the heir with awe and amazement, "Princess, you called for me?" Iris nodded and patted the little girls head smiling at the young protégé. "I need you to do an important task, there is a Host of Hellfires headed towards the city, you need to spot the human who has organised this, note any important features and use your excellent drawing skills to make a picture and report back to me... and the Queen." Iris added the last part as an afterthought to keep her mother appeased before adding, "You may also take the spyglass with you, if you break it you know the punishment".

The little girl nodded and rushed to the stables, on her way picking up the spyglass to help her see from a longer distance and her drawing kit to take note of any particular faces she saw on her mission. When she reached the underground stable where her Liver of Sulfur Copper was kept, she mounted and urged the creature to find the nearest exit and get them into the air as fast as possible. It did not take her long to leave the city, using the least monitored routes she knew of and simply showing the crest that she had to display she was a maid of the Hive to bypass any hinderances by the Nebula or any other group that stopped her, and made her way out into the desert flying as low as she could to avoid detection. Upon reaching a high sand dune where she could use the spyglass to monitor the situation she began surveying the area, only one human seemed to be in the vicinity and she began drawing the old man: grey hair, an oxlike build, well toned muscles and a weather-worn face. Due the way he moved his body and acted, she added a note to the side: 'Blind?'. As soon as she had enough details she got onto her copper and they took off in the direction of the city.

 

Iris, now once again no longer having her mother scrutiny on her, went to her room and began preparing the leather cloths that fitted tightly to her skin in order to allow her to use them for stealth, combat and even prying information out of those of weaker minds. She then took out the box her brother had gifted her for her last birthday and took out the claws that fitted to her hands snugly and the assortments of daggers she could hide inside specially fitted pockets in her leather cloths. After she was done she sat in the the softest chair in her room waiting for either the spy or her brother to return.

Dämon had in fact arrived, and spoken to his mother briefly but had almost immediately gone to the underground area to organise things in his 'workshop' and 'laboratory', knowing if he spoke with his sister she would try to make him stay with her instead of taking care of his facilities and experiments.

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Meanwhile at a certain tavern in the big city

 

Pride had finally finished cleaning himself and the bathtub up, but his thoughts were still a mess. How could one person make him feel so many contradicting emotions without showing any emotion themselves. Sure, Isirion had gotten mad every time he had invaded his personal space, but other than that it had made no difference whatsoever whether he threatened to kill him, kill everyone at the blue lady's party, stabbing a pygmy's wings, training a pygmy, trading bawdy jokes with Felicia, fighting off and killing all those Nebs, talking about his time spent as their prisoner or encouraging him to just take over another arena to replace his own. What was the real face of the mythical Death he had idolized for the longest time? Pride watched his own reflection in the now squeaky clean bath-tub but his mirror-self just gazed back looking as confused as he was. Thanks a lot me, Pride thought and stepped back into the bigger room to check if his better half, his wife had already returned. Looking around the room, Pride gasped to see yet another face of Death - his sleeping face complete with a little drool and a lot of maybe, maybe not fake wrinkles. Opposite him - on the other side of the room sat Fingers, clasping his stump and probably thinking that Isirion seeming to be asleep was just a trick to lure him into trying to run away again. Alzira was there too, trying to paint as silently as possible. Sappo had made himself comfortable on the table from where he could see all three of them. While Pride was still wondering on how to react, Isirion groaned and his face contorted as if he was having a nightmare...

Edited by Isirion

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