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Sky couldn't help but feel flattered at being the one she'd chosen to show the scale to first. If he thought about it, though, it wasn't really all that surprising. The relationship he had with Irah may seem to be a little odd to others since all they saw of him most of the time was his indifferent and distant attitude, while Irah was an optimist, determined to make the best of things even when the situation wasn't good. It would seem like they wouldn't be a good mix but Sky knew better. They may seem to be polar opposites but they were closer at heart than anyone realised.

 

However, the more he looked at the tear-shaped jewel, the more uneasy he felt at the unknown magic radiating off of it. They didn't know what it was and messing around with it would be a really bad idea. The best thing to do would definitely be to take it to Crusher. Sky wouldn't want any dangerous item to put the group's safety to jeopardy.

 

"We really should show it to Crusher and Artemis..." he started, frowning at the mysterious jewel. Then he looked at Irah, his resolve breaking slightly as he saw her earnest expression.

 

"...But we could keep it a secret if we wanted to," he continued, showing no sign of the reluctance that tugged on the edges of his mind. "After all, it's not like it's shown any signs of harmful effects. Has it?"

 

A sudden rumble in the ground startled him and he whipped his head sharply around, his webbed ears perking up as he heard Crusher call for Artemis shortly after. He didn't like the sound of that.

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((Sorry for the delay...again. I should be more active in the coming week, but for now you'll have to accept this shoddy attempt.))

 

Artemis came outside to see that the curtain she had made was destroyed and Zeditha had her wing caught under a boulder that had fallen. "Care to explain what happened here?" she asked Crusher, carefully walking around the injured Nhiostrife.

 

~~~

 

Irah gazed down at the jewel in her grasp and was about to respond when something shook the ground beneath them. She hid her surprise and said "Okay, we'll show them. But first, let's go see what that was."

She turned back to the mess she made and dropped it amongst Zeditha's hoard, loosely covering it again. Right now might not be the best time to show it to Crusher.

Edited by Booo

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Sky was already slithering back to Crusher. He kept his calm, maintaining an even pace as he went back to the main cave. The sight that greeted him was not a pretty one. Zeditha may have been a speculated traitor but having a wing pierced through with a giant boulder and pinned into the rough cave floor was no suitable punishment. Sky regarded the unconscious Nhiostrife with mild surprise before lifting his gaze to Crusher, a cool demeanour washing over him, freezing his expression into a familiar one of spite and frostiness.

 

"Did...Evil Crusher stop by for a visit?" Sky asked, practically spitting out the vile dragon's name. Even having his tongue say that name felt like he was gurgling dirt in his mouth.

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((He doesn't know who Crusher is yet. He thinks of Evil Crusher as Crusher and Good Crusher as nonexistant.))

 

Echo paced through one of his interconnected bases along the mountainside. He had been hiding out in that one for far too long. He could stretch a stay for two, maybe even three nights, but a whole week was pushing it. He hated how loud his talons clicked on the stone floor of the cave. He considered bringing some mosses up to muffle the sound and make it generally softer to walk on. He shook his head and perched at the cave's entrance. He heard the sound of wings flapping and bristled, craning his neck to gain sight of the threat. Immediately he recoiled. There he saw the demon that currently tormented his sanity...

 

Crusher.

 

A quiet snarl escaped his maw before he could stop it. The vampire dragon flew past Echo's cave, close enough for him to see his features but far enough for Echo to be relatively hidden. He continued silently watching, his eyes following Crusher. The Vampire continued to fly until he landed, on a mountain not far from his own Glowing Labyrinth (The name Echo had dubbed his system of bases both on the surface and deep inside the mountain). The dragon settled next to a Magi and a Nhiostrife, and Echo was almost certain that the pair were Crusher's allies, before the Vampire knocked a boulder on the Nhiostrife and left. Echo barely suppressed another growl, his anger and frustration and impatience threatening to boil over, but he knew that an impromptu attack on Crusher without any strategy, weapon, or anything other than his limited geokinesis abilities could leave him extremely injured and exhausted or dead. Eventually logic won over and he forced himself to calm down. He fought the urge to fly over and help; he could probably move that boulder... But he decided that the group wouldn't really appreciate visitors at that moment. He decided to give them until next dawn before he approached the clan, and if the Nhiostrife was still stuck, he'd help. Until then, he decided to retreat to one of the deeper caverns. He hid the cave entrance a bit better and went through a tunnel.

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Irah had followed Sky outside and was right behind him, looking uneasy at the sight of Zeditha. For a second Irah thought she might be dead before she noticed she was still breathing. The poor dragoness was knocked out cold, but Irah wasn't feeling very empathetic after watching her fight with Crusher. And why the heck was her wing weighed down by a boulder? "Something's not right here..." she whispered.

 

~~~

 

"Sadly, I needn't explain much." stated Crusher, knowing he only had to mouth his enemy's name and any questions she had would most likely be answered. Crusher pushed on the boulder to make sure it took a significant amount of force to move when Sky appeared. "Yes...but I don't think it's just him we have to worry about now." he replied, "We've been here far too long and we're beginning to attract attention. We probably should leave Shatterpoint for the time being." Turning to Artemis he said, "Now's the time to work your magic." She nodded, knowing what he meant was serious, and retreated into the cave to prepare a "medicine" for Zeditha.

Edited by Booo

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Sky nodded in agreement. Indeed, they had overstayed their presence at Shatterpoint and it was long past the point where they should've left. With Evil Crusher still around and bored, they really needed to move.

 

"Where will we go?" he questioned, his eyes flitting once more to Zeditha before returning back to Crusher. There was no point worrying about the Nhiostrife now; what was done was done.

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"We'll fly to the desert, located south from here." said Crusher, turning his snout in that direction. The wind seemed to be in their favor today so hopefully they could arrive at their destination before nightfall. "I know it's a ways away, but I feel that I'm running out of options and I know someone there who can maybe help us. I'll explain the rest once we cross the water, but Artemis and I need to take care of Zeditha before we leave. You and Irah should decide what you want to bring in the meantime since we may not come back for a very long time."

 

Irah thought she saw something move off in the distance on the side of a cliff. It was big enough to grab her attention but it was gone before she could identify what it was. She squinted her eyes and stared in that direction behind Crusher, thinking that maybe it would come out again if she waited.

Edited by Booo

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Mihari awoke in an annoyed mood. He went out the previous day to explore a new route around the mountain, wanting to be back by the sunset. Of course, he made the mistake of letting his curiosity wander, and became lost in a cavern about an hour's walk away. One wrong step sent him plummeting down multiple levels of the cave, taking him five hours to finally return. Luckily, he had only minor scrapes, aside from injuring his hind left leg from the land. Too tired to go back, he decided to rest for a few hours, and return by morning. Of course, he slept well past that.

 

Mihari grunted in pain as he stood up. Not only was his leg sprained, there was a bothersome ache in his back. He had had it for the past two weeks. Did I do something to cause it? I don't remember injuring myself recently aside from yesterday. Ugh! Has it gotten worse?! He was right, as his back only hurt more. Still, he wasn't going to let these injuries hinder him, and he set out toward Shatterpoint.

 

 

Tired, hungry, and annoyed, Mihari climbed back to the cave deeing it in the distance. It had been a year since he found the cave, and he was used to living with others again. Something was different about living with this group than when he lived in his old cave. He didn't pay much attention to the others, except for the hatchlings he would watch. Mihari stared at the cave he was walking toward. He loved his old home, but he felt like he was more in place with this group. They had similar experiences as he did, some even more tragic.

 

Mihari slowed down when he heard a voice from the cave. It wouldn't have been an issue if it didn't sound so worried. Now worried himself, Mihari ran toward the area where the voice was coming from, climbing frantically up the steep side of the mountain. After he reached the cave, he froze seeing the event taking place. There was Crusher standing by and, Zeditha?

 

Normally he would be excited to see her if she was conscious, or not being pinned down by a boulder. He saw Artemis come outside, also looking concerned. Mihari knew this wasn't the best time to inturrupt, but he couldn't hold in his many emotions he was experiencing. "What's going on? How did Zeditha get here and why is she pinned down?! Are we in danger?"

 

((I hope Mihari can still continue, as you didn't say he was killed for being inactive. Hopefully this won't cause problems.))

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Hearing a panicked voice, Crusher turned to see Mihari standing behind him. Crusher felt a familiar frustration bubbling up but he kept calm, as he usually did, and addressed the young Guardian firmly.

"Mihari, you had me worried. You said you'd be back by sunset."

Indeed... Mihari was old enough to explore on his own now, but no one had come home this late before. Needless to say, Crusher didn't exactly sleep very well the night before and he wanted an explanation before answering his questions.

 

Meanwhile, Artemis was cooking something up in her secluded corner of the cave. Here she sat with a large ceramic bowl in one claw (one of the few she could find that wasn't broken) and stirred something in it that was clumpy and green with the other. To her left were more bowls stacked on top of each other and to her right were various herbs spread out over a blanket, organized by their uses and potency. She reached over to grab some skullcap and chamomile and dropped it in before she resumed stirring.

 

((Just realized I made it sound like Crusher is a total worrywart dad.))

Edited by Booo

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"I'm sorry, I... um..." Mihari tried to find some way of explaining that wouldn't make him sound irresponsible, but he instead decided to tell him the full truth. "I had become lost in a cave. I didn't know it was so large, and," Mihari looked as his injured leg, "I fell down a bit. Mostly I'm okay, except for my leg."

 

Mihari worried how Crusher would react. He had been trusted to explore the mountain every once in a while, even though he wasn't a matured hatchling with wings yet. He didn't want to stop exploring, as that was one of his favorite things to do. He also didn't want to look irresponsible, as he would lose their trust. "I won't let this happen again," Mihari said ashamed.

 

MIhari remembered there was another bigger concern too. He wondered why Zeditha returned. While he would be glad of her return, something didn't seem right. Why was Zeditha unconscious and caught under a boulder? Had she tried to attack the group? Mihari looked over at the still Nhiostrife. He started to feel angry, not at Zeditha, but whomever or whatever would convince her to attack the group she was a part of. He knew Zeditha wouldn't do it herself, even though he knew her for only a few days.

 

Even though he didn't know for sure what happened, as for all he knew they could have found her like this, he knew something happened. He looked toward the cave, hoping the others were okay.

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Echo emerged from the lower cave, flying in a way he hated- in open sky, obvious and in plain view, towards Shatterpoint Peak. While in the caves, he realized that due to the recent visit from Crusher, the group would most likely move and then he'd have to chase them down, which would make him seem suspicious. He continued his flight towards the mountain; he was about halfway there already.

((I'm still intrigued as to how Zed is still unconscious, normally an immense amount of pain [as in a limb pinned under a giant rock] is enough to wake someone up from unconsciousness and send them into a state of fight or flight unless their state is drug-or-magic-induced.

 

Sorry it's so short I wanted them to see Echo))

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((I think their wings are mostly membrane anyway so it wouldn't be too painful. @ressamp Oh, I assumed Mihari had wings already. The other hatchlings are learning to fly now.)) Edited by Booo

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Crusher nodded. He knew Mihari didn't want to anger him and he was just glad to see that Mihari was back in one piece. "Alright, you're forgiven." he said, then immediately dismissed the subject. "I was just telling Sky and Irah that we need to leave Shatterpoint. As for Zeditha, the short answer is that she's exhausted herself but she'll be fine. I'll explain everything in more detail later, but we need to get ready to move."

With that out of the way, Crusher knelt down to get a better look at his leg injury. "It dosn't look too bad. I'm sure Artemis will fix it up in a jiffy."

"Um...dad?!" Irah chirped to get his attention, pointing at the sky.

Crusher glanced at her then turned to look up at what she was pointing at; it was a Guardian dragon flying right towards them. This wasn't a common sight, seeing other dragons fly around Shatterpoint peak, and Crusher immediately went on high alert. Have the rest of Evil Crusher's followers already begun their attack?

"You three better get inside, I'll take care of this."

Edited by Booo

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Echo continued his flight to the mountain. Mentally he dove into the recesses of his mind, teasing out threads of power and clutching them in case he needed to act quickly to protect himself. He knew what to do, he rehearsed the same move constantly in case his own cave was attacked. Soon he reached the mouth of the cave, alighting down on the edge. He bowed his head and tucked his tail between his legs in a sign of submissiveness, inwardly holding even tighter onto the strands of magic he had. "I mean you no harm," he calmly stated, still looking at the ground. The pebbles around him started to quiver lighly in response to his presence and the magic clutched him his mental forepaws. Their movement wasn't obvious, and only a dragon with great perspective powers would be able to see their movement. He wasn't sure about this Magi, though. Echo didn't know if this dragoncould see the movement, or if he'd even attempt to.

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Sky nodded in reply to Crusher. He wouldn't have to bring anything with him then; he was not a dragon of sentiment and things of the past were best forgotten...unless they proved to be a danger of the future and the present. Which Evil Crusher clearly was. Sky's ears were involuntarily flat against his head as he attempted to calm the seething rage that burned away at his mind. There was no point in worrying about something that he knew he could do nearly nothing about.

 

No doubt Irah would want to bring along that crystal she had shown him. Sky relaxed, grasping the opportunity to drag his mind away from dark thoughts. The Skywing pondered about the possibilities they could do with the crystal, sparing Mihari only a glance when he came back. However, when an unknown Guardian landed in their cave entrance, all thoughts of the crystal abandoned his mind and he snapped to full alert, just managing to suppress a startled hiss.

 

"How do we know that?" Sky's familiar distrusting glare only darkened as he aimed it at the Guardian.

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"Alright, you're forgiven. I was just telling Sky and Irah that we need to leave Shatterpoint. As for Zeditha, the short answer is that she's exhausted herself but she'll be fine. I'll explain everything in more detail later, but we need to get ready to move."

 

As much as Mihari had gotten used to Shatterpoint, he didn't mind them moving somewhere else. He had been wandering around a lot before he met the group after all. Considering the events, it did seem dangerous to stay. His response to Crusher explaining what happened to Zeditha was a nod, and said, "Ah, I see," though still confused.

 

Mihari noticed Crusher looking at his leg that he had injured earlier, saying, "It doesn't look too bad. I'm sure Artemis will fix it up in a jiffy." Mihari felt a bit relieved, even though he knew it wasn't that bad.

 

"Okay, thanks." Mihari replied. He noticed Irah and Sky were there too.

 

"Um...dad?!" Irah said, pointing at the sky. Mihari wasn't exactly thrilled to see another visitor. He didn't object when Crusher told them to go inside. He turned back once inside, seeing it was a Guardian, though it didn't relieve much of his anxiety. Mihari hid in the shadows of a wall, able to see a little outside.

 

((Mihari will get wings soon. Possibly within the next few days in the RP. That's the reason his back is in pain))

Edited by ressamp

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((Mouse has forgotten Sky's breed so if what I put was wrong ignore it ^^'))

 

Echo grinned. He wanted them to question him. It looked like there was at least one sane person in the group.

"Well, it seems we have a common enemy. Besides, mister Skywing, doesn't look like you were born into this bunch. How'd you win their trust? Maybe I can do something similar." He paused, then noticed an unconscious Nhiostrife, their wing stuck under a gigantic boulder. "Or maybe I can help with that. Rocks tend to kinda listen to me." He shrugged (how a dragon shrugs, I don't know), and stated, "Or I can not. Up to you. Either way, I wish you no ill intent as long as you do me the same. I'm fine with going back to my own base alone, but there's no way you'll be able to take down Crusher with a bunch of youngsters, and there's no way I'll be able to take him down myself. So if we can't be friends, I propose at least a team-up until the beast is brought down."

 

((Ohhhh man, I really really want someone to attack him. I'm trying so hard to be offensive without being offensive xd.png))

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Crusher was at first caught off-guard by the Guardian's submissive stance, but he wasn't so easily fooled and Sky said exactly what he was thinking. "No, leave it." Crusher said bluntly, not wanting anyone to touch that boulder. "And you're right, we should team up regardless. That's been one of our goals for years, to always accept new allies and rescue hatchlings." he explained, "But many perished or have chosen to leave and it would help greatly if you could join us. Just know that the hatchlings are always under my watch in case you decide to lay a claw on any of them."

 

Artemis came outside with the bowl of soup in her jaws while Crusher was talking about their clan. She thought it was probably best not to intervene just yet and walked over to Zeditha while eyeing the stranger. She knelt down and—with both claws—opened the Nhiostrife's mouth before carefully pouring in her creation.

Edited by Booo

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Echo nodded. "If you say so." He tilted his head when Crusher mentioned the hatchlings. "One, why hatchlings? They're kinda useless until they can fly, if they can fly. And two, isn't that kiiiinda kidnapping?" He probed. "A'course I won't. I swear on my port wing, I won't harm 'em unless I'm provoked to." He surveyed the crowd- a Skywing, a Shimmer, Nhiostrife, Copper, and the Magi infront of him. And another Guardian. His eyes narrowed, locking his gaze on the small dragon. Echo didn't know why, but the little Guardian looked familiar. He shook his head to clear it, and ignored the gnawing feeling in the back of his head. "I just realized, I don't know any of your names. Echo Silver, at your service."

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Mihari crept forward from the cave wall a few feet to get a better look. He stood near the outside, able to see everyone now. He had heard the conversation outside earlier, and became more curious about the new dragon. He wasn't frightened by them, despite the new dragon being much bigger than him. From what he had heard the dragon didn't seem to be a threat. And being another Guardian made him feel a little more comfortable. He was the first Guardian Mihari had seen in a while. Mihari was still alert, but now more curious.

 

"A'course I won't. I swear on my port wing, I won't harm 'em unless I'm provoked to," said the Guardian, looking at the others in front of him. However, Mihari noticed the dragon look at him for a moment, before shaking his head and looking back at the group. Strangely, Mihari wasn't worried when the dragon looked at him.

 

"I just realized, I don't know any of your names. Echo Silver, at your service."

 

Mihari felt comfortable enough to walk out of the cave, standing just outside the entrance. He looked toward Echo, feeling more confident before saying, "Hello, I'm Mihari."

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"And my name is Crusher, the non-evil one of course." he said with a slight chuckle, hoping that having the same name as everyone's worst nightmare wasn't going to make things awkward between them. Crusher moved a bit to his right so Echo could see Sky and Irah more clearly and pointed a wing in their direction. "This is Sky and Irah. As useless as they may look to you I wouldn't underestimate them. Sky imparticular is an excellent hunter who will probably be bigger than me once he's fully grown." Crusher then continued with a more down-to-earth tone. "And no, we don't kidnap. Most of the hatchlings actually come to us believe it or not."

Irah was standing behind Sky like she was expecting him to guard her. She wasn't sure what to make of Echo just yet and wondered if forming a pact was his only interest. Artemis meanwhile was now just sitting beside Zeditha, her shyness preventing her from introducing herself.

Edited by Booo

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((Frustration, hoped someone else would post first but on second thought there's not much to add on so sigh))

 

Echo nodded. "Nice to meetcha, Mihari. I like your name. Means 'lookout,' or something to that effect, I think," he responded cheerfully. He bit his tongue to keep from saying more. When he heard the Magi's name, he cocked his head in disbelief. "That's quite an unfortunate name. If the dyke himself hadn't just came and caught your friend there between a rock and a hard place, pun intended, I would think you'd be in leagues with'im." He noted. "Though the dyke's so full of himself he probably would try to kill anyone with the same name." Echo continued to study Mihari out of the corner of his eye. Why did the young one look so familiar? By the looks of him, Echo had been long gone before the kid even hatched, assuming they were from the same mountain, and the chances of someone other than him surviving what happened were close to zero. And Echo had been in the valley for quite some time, hidden in cave systems and the forest. He probably wouldn't have seen Mihari unless Echo saw him with the group that stood before him, which he highly doubted, because Echo was sure he'd never seen them before.

"Nah, none of your group look completely useless. Definitely not 'Sky'... But... They do seem like they've seen much more than a kid of their age should." He frowned. He knew what it was like to know more, have seen more than an average hatchie would. He himself had booked it off of his mountain as soon as he could, after what happened. "Makes sense. I woulda came to you if I knew about you when I ran-well, flew away, though Crusher, or, I might have to call him Evil Crusher now, isn't my only target." He said isn't instead of wasn't because he still needed to take down two more people before his family, his friends, she was avenged. Then he could rest. In his peripheral vision, he noticed the shimmerscale doing something he likened to hiding behind the pinned nhiostrife. "Hey, Miss Shimmer. What's your name?" He inquired, as she was the only one who hadn't said anything yet. "And while we're talking about names, care to fill me in on this little lady?" he prodded, gesturing with a wing towards the nhiostrife.

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"Though the dyke's so full of himself he probably would try to kill anyone with the same name."

Hm...you don't say? Crusher thought sarcastically and looked back at Zeditha in anger.

 

Artemis stammered "Umm...it's Artemis, my name." and immediately felt like kicking herself for sounding so awkward. "As for her, well...it's a long story." she continued, her voice sounding bitter towards Zeditha, and understandably so. "Let's just say that she was our friend, but has since had a change of heart."

Zeditha then swept her free wing towards her and clenched her claws together.

"Oh! Looks like she's waking up."

 

((Got tired of waiting.))

Edited by Booo

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Sky only remained silent as Crusher conversed with the stranger, retaining his even gaze with...Echo, his name was. He mentally sighed as he took in their situation. There was really nothing much he could do now. Crusher had it handled. He trusted Crusher. His reluctance was merely every fiber of his being screaming at him to make sure, make sure, make sure that every dragon they didn't know wasn't out to kill them.

 

"If you want something done right, do it yourself", after all.

 

For now, though, it was morning and he really felt that it was too early for his paranoia to be haranguing him of strange Guardians and possibly traitorous Nhiostrifes. Plus, as he sensed Irah's presence behind him, he didn't really think that he wanted Irah to be around a Guardian that he did not know at all.

 

"Irah, let's go see what we have to bring along for the move," he muttered abruptly in a low voice that wouldn't reach the Guardian. "I'm sure Crusher has everything covered." As he turned to move further into the cave, though, Artemis said something that caught his attention, bringing him to a halt.

 

"On second thought, hold on." Sky twisted around, gazing passively at the stirring Nhiostrife. He was very interested to hear what she had to say.

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