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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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FlowerOwl shooked her hands with disgust. She felt like she was a toad. Warty, slimy, dirty... "And I just bought this skirt!" She groaned before turning to Jaxon. Then she turned everywhere else, and didn't see anyone else but Winny and her vampire hatchling. Glaring at Jaxon she declared,"War!" And she threw some of the mud covering herself at Jaxon. "Take that you fiend!"

 

 

Edited by FlowerOwl

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Jaxon who had stopped dead could not react in time. The mud hit him in the face and made him undistinguishable from his sister; except that he didn't whine. Instead he started to laugh and used the mud covering said sister as a resource for retaliation measures. Being used like that finally made Whiny stop whining and she started to make a noise that sounded uncannily like the bell back in the tavern. Roaring like a dragon with a sore throat she lunged at her brother and started to hit him everywhere she could reach. One minute later Jaxon admitted defeat - or more precisely he tried to admit defeat through a mouth that was stuffed with mud and wriggling orange-coloured maggots.

 

Only now his sister was satisfied and, this time sounding uncannily like her mother, she scolded him: "Serves you right! That is no way to treat our dear guest. Now pick up the tent and carry it. When we are back you will scrub it until it gleams!" Saying this she walked off and pulled FlowerOwl with her. Jaxon followed them obediently carrying the tent and occasionally wondering what the hell had gotten into his sister. After spitting out the last maggot he decided that Whiny must have been possessed by the mischievious ghost haunting the forest.

 

Back at the tavern FlowerOwl and Winny immediately hurried of to wash themselves and change clothes afterwards. Jaxon however decided the lake was good enough for him and jumped head first into it. He swam around until most of the mud was washed away, then he got out of the water and cleaned the tent until his mother's voice called: "Come along sweeties! Dinner is ready!"

Edited by Isirion

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In the meantime Alzira had started painting the lake.

 

She had placed her art equipment on the balcony she had discovered in her room. Fascinated by the glittering lake she started to sketch the shore and the dragonshape of the lake.

 

Sappo was a bit confused when she took the brushes, but then he decided he'd stay on the leathery thing Alzira didn't seem to need anymore. After a few minutes she could hear a quiet snore coming from her feet.

 

When she had finished the outlines she opened the jars, took one of her brushes and mixed the colours of the lake and started with a thin layer of paint which she intensified with another layer. She did this several times until she was satisfied with the gravity of the tint. Then she paid attention to the shoreline until the lake had dried. After that she went on with the structure of the lake's surface - small waves, a little island and even a nice little fisherboat.

 

Soon afterwards she concentrated on the surroundings of the lake which seemed to take a while because the light had changed and was still changing when she heared Candice's dinnercall. Finally she realized her rumbling stomach and decided to go for a meal. Sappo noticed her movement and got up as well - a meal was more than welcome to him!

Edited by Alzira

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The meal was simply delicious. Every bite of it was perfectly seasoned and made the mouth of the owners and the hatchlings water for another bite. Of course the hatchling had their own, odd-looking food, that had been prepared by Jaxon for them, but their little noses told Sappo and the vampire hatchling that the food on the plates of their owners were just a tiny little bit more appetizing than the orange-coloured mash with bits of raw meat in it. Time went by and the light outside began to fade even more rapid then the stomachs of the owners and hatchlings filled up with the delicious food. As the sun had set, Candy wished everybody a good night and sent them off to their beds. Jaxon complained that he hadn't finished his thieving ghost trap yet, but his mother overruled him and he yielded. Soon after everbody in the tavern was sound asleep, dreaming of definitely more pleasant things than their poor dragons, that had their sleep disturbed by nightmares...

 

In the meantime at the lower caves in Isirion's hideout:

 

'K' had been watching 'R' in the last hours as the other female had gotten better and better at her newly invented bigger-than-I-am-walk. Even if 'K' had most of the time feigned disinterest, from the corner of her eyes she had watched the movement of 'K's muscles very carefully. 'K' was skinny and her rips were showing, but nevertheless the muscles that were responsible for speed and agile movement were particulary good developed. 'K' frowned at the thought that she someday had not only to compete against 'R's agility but against her considerable cleverness too. Finally she drove the thought out of her mind and interrupted 'R's strut with a cheerful purr: "You are more than ready. We should use the remaining time to go to the training grounds, so you can see which training possiblities are waiting for you tomorrow. The main quarters are dedicated to strength-training, agility-training, speed-training and stamina-training. There are additional quarters dedicated to different kinds of attack and defense too, but it would be unwise to assign yourself to one already. Surely, clever one, you can guess the reason?"

Edited by Isirion

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R stopped and thought.

"Because it wouldn't do much good to train battle skills before the other ones?"

She narrowed her eyes, and spoke again.

"If I had to pick one, I guess I would pick agility-training first."

R's tail swept the floor idly while she observed K, more than K would have thought. She was not completely sure what her motives were, or if she was intent on escaping like R. But she was beginning to really trust K, since she was now more or less dependent on her knowledge of the caverns.

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'K' gave a smile that showed all of her teeth and said: "Right you are! It would be stupid to show your potential rivals in what areas your strengths and weaknesses lie. It is better to refrain from showing off your best fighting moves, the exception is of course if you want to mislead your rivals on purpose. Your strenght definitely lies in your agility, so you could screw up a bit at the training to give the impression you are no imment danger to the others. Right, that is enough talk I guess, especially as you had already figured out most of what I said yourself. And now, knowing that we definitely will be watched, we should really pay the agility training grounds a visit!" Still smiling 'K' arched her back, dashed out of the cave and threw herself into the air at full speed. Not caring if 'R' was following her, she flew in the opposite direction of the feeding area and landed after a minute or two on a circular stone fence. The fence normally shielded the training-area within and of course the dragons using it from sight, but as 'K' had used it's small upper rim with amazing skill as a landing place, she could easily overview the five over-motivated dragons that still honed their abilities in the agility-training-grounds:

 

In the southern part, clearly enchanted by magic, heavy wooden obstacles in the form of dragon paws swung down from a wooden structure and encouraged the dragon using it to dodge the attacks, that came in random intervalls. In the northern part an everchanging maze of sizzling ropes challenged the two dragons within to twist their bodies at high speed to avoid touching the ropes that discharged a bit of magical energy into the unfortunate dragon that failed to avoid them. The western part consisted of shaking platforms which stood at varying intervals. Jumping between the shaking platforms needed a lot of of body-control as every jump made them shake more violently. Currently none of the two dragons attempting it stood up to the challenge of jumping the whole ten platforms without being shaken off in between. After a while both dragons gave up and retreated in the eastern part where they challenged each other to a friendly fight in the mini-arena that was situated there. This arena was different from the pit because from it's walls as surprise attacks shot from time to time squishy fruits that exploded into disgusting orange stuff that stuck to the dragon that got hit. The middle of the agility-training-grounds was the currently deserted resting and waiting area. 'K' finally glanced around to confirm that 'R' had followed her, then she glided gracefully down in the resting area and made herself comfortable by curling up into an over-sized imitation of a sleeping cat.

Edited by Isirion

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R looked at the array of choices, and decided to go with the shaking platforms. She jumped onto one and spread out her feet to try and keep from falling. She quickly jumped onto the next one that was standing, and her front feet almost slipped off the edge. It was hard to stand upright because her legs were trembling as much as the platforms themselves. The next jump wasn't so much as a jump as it was just throwing herself to the next platform. Eventually after a while she retreated to the resting area and shook herself out from head to tail.

"I feel like I've been shaken into a million pieces!"

She mused, flopping down on the ground.

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'K' who had feigned to catnap to watch 'R' without letting anybody know she was watching, noticed out of the corner of her nearly closed eyes that one of the dragons had managed to free herself from the rope-maze and was now sitting on her hindlegs and, occasionally twitching, watched 'R' as if she was the most miraculous thing she had ever seen. Still twitching, she stood up and walked over to 'R' and said with awe in her voice: "You were marvelous. You were not shaken off, but you actually got off when you chose to get off. Everybody here, even that catlike dragon, had their senses totally thrown off after less then a minute and following that had their bodies thrown off too. You can call that dragon talking to you 'T' by the way - that is what it's saviour calls it, but it also responds to it's nickname Twitch. You wonder about that nickname? You would not wonder if your body got tangled up in that energy-discharging ropes for almost an hour." Twitch's body twitched especially strong as if it wanted to emphasize her story, then the dragon said: "You feel you had listened enough to this dragon and wish to tell your name and story now?" Saying this she sat down on her hindlegs again and, occasionally twitching, looked like she was attentively listening to 'R's breath, waiting for it to turn into the words she was apparently eager to hear.

Edited by Isirion

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R blinked, trying to understand the dragon called Twitch.

"My name is R, or Rallis. I don't have much of a story, at least none that I can remember."

She felt confident that she could talk to Twitch, she seemed odd but she didn't look like any danger to R. Looking warily at the energy-ropes, she asked: "You were stuck in those? How'd you manage to do that?"

R cringed at the thought of having energy course through her body for an hour.

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Twitch twitched uncomfortably and her face went blank, then, after a minute or so she said with a very far away sounding voice: "You see the blood of a hatchling on this dragon's paws? You see it's lifeless body beneath this dragons feet? You must condemn this dragon! You must punish this dragon again and again!" And with this words Twitch turned on the spot, clearly intending to punish herself in the rope-maze again. However her path was suddenly blocked by 'K' who nonchalantly scratched Twitch across the face to bring her mind back to the present. Somehow this looked like something 'K' was used to do and surely enough it worked like a charm. Twitch turned again, twitched again in the usual way and then said as if nothing had happened: "You see, this dragon is not very agile so this dragon just got tangled up and was unable to free itself. You see this happens quite often but you need not worry because if it happens again surely the saviour will come and save this dragon again!"

 

Behind Twitch's back 'K' shook her head in a pitiful kind of way and then jumped away to try her luck on the shaking platforms. She did not look like her heart was into the try however. This was maybe because Twitch's behaviour shook her even more than the platforms. The third platform made her loose her balance already and a second later she lay spreadeagled on the ground. As 'K' got on her feet again sniggering drifted over from the mini-arena where the two dragons who had attempted the platforms earlier where sitting, staring and sniggering now. 'K' growled, clearly wanting to say something, but Twitch was faster even if her voice was twitching as she screamed: "You 'M'-ean and you 'N'-asty one who both did not lift a paw as this dragon was in mortal danger - you will regret sniggering!" 'N' and 'M' really did regret sniggering not a second later. As they had sat around, stared and sniggered too long the surprise-attack-fruits shot out from the walls of the mini-arena and hit them with uncanny precision in the face. With under the slimy orange cover unreadable facial expressions 'N' and 'M' took off and now it was 'K's turn to snigger heartily. After that she rubbed her head on Twitch's occasionally twitching shoulder like a cat and purred: "I really have taken a liking to you, you can call me 'K' or Kitty instead of 'catlike dragon' if you want." Twitch seemed very much want to and she said: "You - Kitty." Then she turned to 'R' and added:"You - Rallis. You want to be Twitch's friend too and sleep in Twitch's cave tonight?"

Edited by Isirion

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"Sure!"

Rallis smiled, the more allies the merrier. She hopped away to test her luck at the southern part of the training grounds, where the obstacles came swinging down. She was doing good so far, however close she came to being swept off her feet. Rallis started to think that this was easy, until she got knocked over with a hard blow to the head. She saw stars for a moment and she shook herself tenderly.

"Uhh, Twitch when was there two of you?"

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Before Twitch could answer 'K' shoved herself between her and 'R'. She faked searching for a possible head injury, brought her head near 'R's ear and whispered: "You have no idea how right you are. From what I have heard there are at least two personalities of Twitch. The first is the one that killed a hatchling like many of us had to. She could only cope by completely severing herself from that part of herself that was able to kill in order to survive. I guess she couldn't bear thinking 'I' did this - and so she stopped using terms like 'I' or 'me' altogether. But the second personality couldn't fully erase the first. A tiny part of her guilty side stayed in her subconsiciousness and made her punish herself as soon as there was an oppertunity. Twitch did not get tangled up in the energy-discharging ropes - she threw herself head-on into them. Be careful when you are alone with her because there is no telling what she will do when her first personality resurfaces again." Withdrawing her head 'K' now raised her voice and changed her tone to a cheerful, reassuring one as she said: "Rallis is going to be fine, there is not even a wound."

 

Twitch smiled genuinely, then she said: "You both made this dragon very happy so why don't you both sleep in this dragon's cave tonight?" 'K' managed to force a smile on her face as she replied: "That is a wonderful idea. It is not as if we had plans for tonight eh 'R'?" She shot 'R' a reproachful look, then continued with her false smile: "Why don't you two fly ahead and I follow with some extra-food from our cave and join you before the light changes?" However at that moment the normal flickering orange light that came from the multitude of torches that where all over the place changed to a deep red. 'K' frowned, scratched her head with her hindleg like a cat and said: "Well then I just have to hurry to join you before the light goes out completely in half an hour." With that she darted away and after a twitch disguised as a shrug Twitch took off in the opposite direction. Even if her body was occasionally twitching her flight was steady and graceful. She had powerful muscles in her arms and gained height very quickly. As soon as she was over the rim of the fence she manoeuvred to the right side of the cave and flew at the height of the highest of the intermediary caves for approximately three minutes. After that she landed on the doorstep of the highest and roomiest cave and stepped inside to give 'R' space to land.

 

The inside of Twitch's cave looked at first glance very much like 'R's cave: There was a clean straw-matress on the ground and a plate with food near it. There was however a big difference: The stone walls that were bare and undecorated in 'R's cave had here carvings in them even so they seemed to have been scratched recently into the stone with a claw. The first carving clearly showed a female dragon that was entangled in ropes that had very precisely put scratches around them that made them look like they were discharging energy. The second carving showed the same ropes lying cut on the ground like dead snakes. Near the cut ropes stood a hooded figure with a raised blade that had some odd scratches on it that made it look like it was bloodstained. The third and final carving showed the dragon from earlier smiling dreamily and being patted on the head by the hooded figure.

Edited by Isirion

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Rallis thought about K's explanation of Twitch's two personalities, to R it was fascinating. From what she had seen it looked like every dragon in the caves had some way of coping; whether it be acting like an animal or speaking differently, it helped them to move on. Rallis hadn't thought of what she would do, but she knew she had to do something. She stretched her legs and sat down on the cave floor, relaxing after a day of training.

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Relaxing was obviously what Twitch had in her mind or rather minds too, she made herself after a few awkward twitches comfortable on the straw matress and then closed her eyes. Time went by and nothing seemed to be able to disturb the relaxing and peaceful atmosphere in Twitch's cave. Nothing, but Kitty's commentary as she saw the carvings on the stone walls as she returned with a mouthful of chickens. She spat out the chickens in disgust, arched her back and hissed at Twitch: "Have you gone out of all your minds? How could you depict that ice-cold murderer as some kind of...saviour?!?"

 

Twitch's eyes flew open and there where sparks flying from them. Her whole body charged with anger she flexed all the muscles in her body before she jumped to her feet and then at Kitty while hissing: "You will regret speaking in that way about Twitch's saviour!" Kitty managed to jump out of harms way and Twitch's paws missed the catlike dragon by an inch. Nevertheless the paws got close enough to let Twitch unleash a bolt of shocking energy from them that shot right into Kitty's body. Kitty went rigid and tumbled over like a stone. Her muscles started to twitch uncontrollable and she began to drool. Twitch fletched her teeth at the utterly defeated dragon beneath her feet and hissed: "You will not speak in that way about Twitch's saviour again or next time Twitch will kill you!"

 

With this threat the matter was settled for now and Twitch, definitely less twitching than before, curled herself up on the straw matress and closed her eyes again. Smiling dreamily she fell asleep almost at the same time as the lights went out on the outside of her cave. Kitty, who slowly recovered from the shock and finally regained control over her twitching muscles again, realized at the same time that she had just learned with her body the reason why the highest and roomiest of the intermediary caves was Twitch's and none other's. Unable to get on her feet yet, she glanced at Rallis and raised her eyebrow in an inquisitive manner: "What do you think?" It was clear that she not only meant Twitch's shocking behaviour but also the obvious fact that at the moment she was definitely unfit for a night-time adventure and she was curious if Rallis still planned to go.

Edited by Isirion

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Rallis's eyes widened at Twitch behaving so oddly, and yet she couldn't help but feel pity for her. She probably thought of Isirion as her saviour because he was the only human within a few miles of here, there was definitely no other creature to turn to.

"We should go tomorrow, when you're feeling well enough to explore."

She would probably get lost trying to explore the caves at night and suffer the consequences when Isirion finally found her, something Rallis did not want to think about. She curled up on an empty space on the floor and after a few minutes drifted off to sleep.

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Kitty glanced towards Twitch and then towards Rallis and then back again as if she tried to decide if one of them was pretending to sleep. Not quite trusting her senses after the shock she had received, she finally spoke to whoever she thought was listening: "I am feeling well, but I get the feeling that I will need at least another twenty minutes before I can move my body as well as before. That was one hell of a surprise attack." She paused and glanced this time at the carvings at the walls before she spoke again: "One hell of a surprise..." Finally Kitty realized that nobody was listening to her except herself and that annoyed her more than she would admit. As Twitch and Rallis slept blissfully oblivious to her anger, Kitty focused her energy on regaining the full control over her still now and then twitching muscles. After less time then the twenty minutes she had calculated her muscles worked as fine and untwitching as before. Kitty got to her feet and remembering her treatment she woke Rallis with a twitch of her tail that hit the dragon in the face. Kitty made a face of deepest sorrow and purred: "Oh, I am sooo sorry, that must have been the last after-effect of the shock, but I am perfectly fine now. We are good to go now if you still feel like exploring. There are a few places I want to investigate for a possible means of escape. First the place where the dead bodies of the hatchlings go. I don't think they are left in the cave to rot, not with the numbers of hatchling that..." Kitty formed the words 'that ice-cold murderer had killed' with her mouth because she did not want to risk to be sleep-shocked by Twitch if she said them aloud, then she continued: "Rallis, I know you too have the blood of a hatchling on your paws but unlike the blood that is on Twitch's and my paws it is fresh. Do you think, clever one, that it is fresh enough for you to trace the body it flowed in with your nose?"

Edited by Isirion

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Rallis hit Kitty's side with her tail for such a rude awakening and shook herself out.

"Yes, we should still be able to follow the scent trail from the feeding-area."

She wasn't very familiar with the cave system, but Rallis vaguely knew where the feeding area was to fly down to it. From the moment they left Twitch's cave she tricked herself again into believing she was bigger, by stretching out her wings as far as they would go. She landed down in the feeding-area and started sniffing around. Through the many blood-scents that were on the ground she could recognize one or two in particular, and she followed them.

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Kitty focused on convincing herself that she was a cat in body and in mind before she followed Rallis out of Twitch's cave. Before she jumped from the landing platform that was in front of every cave, she had a bit of trouble convincing herself that she was in fact not only a cat but a flying cat. Finally she spread her wings and flew after Rallis, gracefully landing on all fours like a cat when she reached the feeding area. Kitty felt very exposed and started to lick over her paws out of nervousness until Rallis had found a particular scent to follow.

 

Together the followed the scent for a while, carefully avoiding to come too close to the entrance of any of the lower caves. Rallis walking like she was at least two times bigger than normal and sniffing the ground like a dog would normally have made Kitty laugh or hiss, but under the current circumstances Kitty did not feel like making any sound at all. Quietly she climbed up the boulder to which the scent had led Rallis and herself. Without warning she found herself looking down on a vast boneyard that was hidden inside the big and hollow boulder and she could not hold back. Horrified at the sight of the skeletal remains of at least a hundred completely skin and fleshless hatchlings she whispered: "So many...But how is that possible? At least one of them must have died today. W-what do you think happened to their flesh and skin?" Kitty was suddenly sounding like she did not want to think about it and while she was waiting for Rallis to find an answer instead she could not stop staring at the severed skulls of a smaller and a bigger hatchling that were staring at her from the top of the pile of bones.

Edited by Isirion

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Rallis's jaw dropped at the sight of the boneyard. She could hardly believe her eyes as she observed the scene. It was hard to think about how they lacked flesh and skin, but her mind raced with many thoughts. If they were just dumped here whole, wouldn't they rot more than if they were just skeletons? That was one thought that came into Rallis's head, but it was no pleasant then the others. She looked to Kitty for advice but saw that she was fixed on a pair of skulls, that gave Rallis an awfully familiar feeling that she couldn't understand.

"Kitty, do those skulls remind you of anything?"

She whispered slowly.

Edited by rainpeltstar

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At first, Kitty's only reaction to Rallis' words was intensifying her gaze as if she was desparately trying to outstare the skulls like a cat, then she whispered with a trembling voice: "I feel the spell activating, because I should not be here and I definitely should not have seen this. Of course I try my hardest to preserve my cat mind, but I can't stop myself from thinking what Isirion will do to me if he finds me here. The picture that forms in my mind is him ripping the flesh from my bones and feasting on it, afterwards throwing my remains down here." Kitty shivered, unable to get that thought out of her mind, she could no longer suppress the feeling of being watched. Frightened out of her mind she broke eye-contact with the skulls and took flight to the safety of her cave.

 

The moment Kitty was gone a female hatchling with shredded wings rose from the pile of bones. She was wearing the bigger one of the skulls like a helmet and grinning even bigger than that skull she hissed after Kitty: "Who is the scaredy-cat now?" The female now turned towards Rallis and asked her with a creepy, hollow sounding voice: "And who are you and what are you doing here? You are not dead yet."

Edited by Isirion

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Rallis stared at the hatchling for a moment, not knowing whether to be scared or curious.

"My name is Rallis. Are you a ghost?"

She tilted her head inquiringly. She sounded ridiculous but as far as she knew, it wasn't out of the question for this dragon to be a ghost. Rallis forgot all about her mind trick, so the only thing that kept her from flying away back to the cave was her curiosity.

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At first the female hatchling did not react in anyway, then she slowly removed the skull from her head and looked at it's empty eye sockets. Still creepy but not hollow sounding anymore she asked it: "Am I a ghost? Or am I not?" It was not clear what she expected from the skull, but maybe the dead silence it emanated seemed to suffice for she addressed Rallis next: "

 

I used to be 'S' and in my mind I am sure I belong to the dead now but my body holds a different opinion. It longes for nourishment even more now than it had back then in the feeding area when I famished like my brothers and sisters had desparately strived to hunt down the fat chicken that had miraculously appeared among the usual, far too less, skinny chickens. I remember that I had managed to catch it but I had been very afraid it would be taken from me by my brothers and sisters and so I used them as stepstones before I jumped with my prey into the air as high as I could. Pure fear let me flap my immature wings strong enough that I actually gained enough height to reach the platform in front of one of the intermediary caves. But instead of safety, 'K' awaited me there with her razor-sharp claws and as I saw her I froze in terror. Screaming like a wild beast and calling me 'Scaredy-cat' she shredded my wings and I fell. Almost 20 feet I fell, I was sure I fell to my death and for the first time my fear vanished and I calmly readied myself for the embrace of Death because there was nothing else I could do. I don't remember the impact on the ground, but I must have hit it because the next thing I felt was the embrace of Death like a cold hand on the scruff of my neck. It felt different than I had imagined, though strangely familiar. My existence vanished until I awoke unscathed upon the pile of bones here. Around me I behold the fresh corpses of my brothers and sisters, blood dripping from their severed heads and necks and suddenly I heard an ice-cold voice like the voice of Death speak: 'Eat or die...' I did not want to die again so I obeyed and the flesh of my dead brothers and sisters gave me the strength to continue my existence. 'Skull' I call myself now and wether you treat me like a ghost or not is yours to decide." In the dead silence that followed her words Skull donned the skull-helmet that perfectly fitted her head and her self-given nickname again, and, staring through its eye sockets at Rallis, she waited calm as death for her reaction.

Edited by Isirion

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Rallis pitied this dragon that was forced to remain somewhat half-dead without much of a life or even a friend. The spell was beginning to work as her curiosity faded. She tried to keep her voice steady as she spoke:

"As much as I would like to stay and chat, I must get back to my cave before anyone else catches me here."

She looked around nervously for a moment then finally flew back to her cave. After calming down a bit, she laid down on the straw bed and fell asleep.

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In the meantime at the upper caves

 

A soft groan escaped Belia as she shifted her weight on the incredible soft, blue coloured Dragon Cashmere blankets that Isirion had turned up with a little while ago. Now he was busy ripping something that looked like half of a bed-sheet into make-shift bandages. The ripping noise disturbed Belia more then she would ever admit and so the pain caused by her belly-wound every time she moved, turned out to be an almost a welcome distraction from it. Finally the ripping noise stopped and Belia sighed with relief before she shifted her attention back to Isirion. He was approaching her quickly with the newly made bandages in one hand. With the other hand he drew his bloodstained blade and, like he had done the other night, carefully placed it on the floor within his reach. The other night Belia had been in too much pain to think much about this gesture, but now she could not help but wonder what it meant.

 

As Isirion removed the old bandages to check on the belly-wound beneath, Belia considered the most obvious explanation: Isirion might have simple put down his blade because he needed both hands free to tend to her wound. But if that was the reason why had Isirion unsheathed his blade at all? Frustrated that she now had another question to ponder, Belia started to growl and suddenly her stomach joined in. Isirion ignored the growling completely and concentrated on applying the new make-shift bandages after he had made sure the wound had not become infected. A minute later the bandages were firmly wrapped around the belly-wound and Isirion stepped back, obviously pleased with his work. He picked up his blade, sheathed it and vanished on the spot leaving Belia alone to her growing sense of hunger and confusion.

 

In the meantime at the Sleeping Dragon tavern

 

The floorboards on the second floor of the tavern creaked softly as Jaxon sneaked up to the beautifully decorated wooden door of the Royal Blue Room. As silent as possible he opened the door, entered the room and closed it again behind him. Engulfed in the darkness of the room and the soft snoring noises from Alzira the boy fumbled around until he found the place where he intended to set a trap for the thieving ghost. As his mother had forced him to go to bed early he had had enough time to crawl out of the window and gather lots of stuff he needed for his trap in the forest. Now the only difficulty he faced was putting it together in the darkness. His trap was simple enough: A strong vine covered in the sticky orange stuff from the maggoty-fruits was tied on one end to a spare blanket and on the other end to the bedpost. Another vine was tied to the first and to Jaxon himself who hid himself in the kitchen. If the ghost appeared it would have to become solid in order to steal the blanket. It would inevitably get tangled up in the sticky vine and through the other vine its struggling would alert Jaxon. In his head the trap worked perfectly and he could not help punching the air in order to celebrate his imaginary success. Unfortunately the air above him turned out to be as solid as he wished the ghost to be. It was in fact a cupboard and the plates and dishes within rattled loudly as its wooden frame was hit by Jaxons over-enthusiastic fist.

Edited by Isirion

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Alzira woke with a start. At first she didn't know where she was because it was dark. As soon as her eyes adapted to the night she recognised the room. She was at her room at the tavern! But what was this racket, where did it come from? Calling for Sappo, she took the candle off the bedside table.

Sappo had woken as well. He was confused - such a loud noise! Where did it come from? And slowly a familiar smell wormed it's way to his fine smelling senses. It was this intriguing smell again but somehow different. But before he could find its source Alzira called for him. He followed her voice and as soon as he recognized the candle in her hand he lit it. Maybe he could follow the intriguing smell now. Sniffing he started his search.

Alzira left the bed, the candle in one hand and an excited sniffing Sappo in the other. In the flickering light she noticed the vine at the bedpost and some orange stuff on it. The closer she got the more eager Sappo's sniffing got. Nevertheless she followed the vine to a blanket. There she took a closer look at it and perceived another vine, this one without the orange stuff. She couldn't resist her curiousity anymore and pulled it gently. There was some resistance.

Edited by Alzira

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