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Old 02-07-2013, 04:47 AM   #1
dazzling_darling
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The Amazing Dragon Ballads that Never Happened.

- The Intro -

(So, I have been very interested in giving long form detailed role playing a try. This particular section of literotica has always fascinated me, but I have often been confounded on the best way to become involved in interesting threads. Through the suggestion of a delightful helper, I have decided to create a few threads based upon my own concepts in order to show my writing style as well as to show that I at least have some skill. I personally enjoy a wide range of scenarios and general sexual likes. I have a post in the Seeking thread for more detail. To show my diversity, I have decided to create three threads: one dealing with my enjoyment of everyday sexual experiences without a pile of fetishes dumped on top, one showing my love of creativity and fantastical words / scenarios, and one that focuses on my more submissive side. If you would like to work with me and join a thread, please PM me. Since I consider these kind of auditions, if you feel you have different ideas or things to try, PM me as well. I have some hard limits, but beyond them, I like a whole slew of different things. I hope you enjoy! Oh, and for all of these, I am seeking a male.)

(This is my fantastical and creative role play. I like to avoid licensed material, so this all "original" stuff, but it is pretty rote. I didn't want to create something too crazy for one of my first role plays. My partner here can play a whole slew of different characters. My first guess would be a dragon hunter, but there are many fun and varied options as well.)

The world seemed to be at the mercy of the winged beasts that roamed the sky, seemingly without rival. Their large wings and fearsome forms haunted the minds of all the people. The beasts seemed to be only legend until hundreds of years before. A swarm of them descended from the sky and said to have eaten an entire island of people. They came in all colors and sizes, all of them more fearsome than the most dangerous beasts of the forest. They were called dragons based upon the old legends, but the comparison was not completely apt. They had feathers like birds as well as no tail and large claws. Their faces were not like lizards, more flat and pointy than long and curved. Also, none spit out fire. Instead, they had a wide range of wild abilities ranging from being able to turn a man to stone, turn water immediately into ice, or to shoot lighting from its talons.

Through the centuries, brave men and women stood against the beasts, trying to dwindle their numbers. During the winter, they stayed silent, only to appear yet again each summer. The threat they posed varied as well. Decades would pass with very few attacks from the foul beasts. Then, a plethora would emerge and decimate much of the population. The dragons were just as unpredictable as they were deadly.

It was the year 756 SE, thirty years into a dragon drought. The last major dragon onslaught occurred in 723 SE when a group of forty dragons destroyed the metropolis of Banire, which ended the long standing Sun Empire. Despite the lack of major dragon attacks, some still terrorized the countryside. An average of fifty were slain each year by skilled dragon hunters and huntresses, demanding much gold for their services.

Those wages were compelling, especially to those without the skill to tangle with a dragon and win. Thus enters the great dragon huntress Alkara Von Verkins. Though many women through history slayed dragons, few were as fearsome an opponent to the scourge. With her mighty blades, the ballads describe her slaying countless dragons. The villagers buried her in riches due to her tireless heroics and valor.

Though, to the chagrin of history, few knew that Alkara Von Verkins was a humongous fraud. In actuality, she was a bard that was a second rate singer and fourth rate assassin, often too scare to harm another living thing. Before she became the "great" dragon huntress, it was said her lute was always out of tune, her voice was always off key, and that her blade was never sharp. She had gumption though, often fiercely stalking actual heroes, begging them to allow her to orchestrate ballads based upon them.

It was during one of these expeditions that the falsehoods all began. She was hounding Erich La Voot, a man responsible for killing more than twenty dragons, supposedly with her bare hands. Alkara hounded the man for weeks, following him relentlessly. Despite her general cowardliness, Alkara followed him when he journeyed up Mount Sunless to fight the legendary Grey Beast, a dragon that could supposedly melt stone. The bard watched as Erich did throttle the beast to death. In the end, Erich succumbed to the injuries sustained in battle, leaving behind the corpse of the dead dragon. Then Alkara realized, who knows? Who is to say SHE didn't slay the dragon? Though people mocked her musical ability and blade skills, they were also taken with her grand tales... as long as she did not narrate them herself.

So the trickster descended down the mountain with the head of the dragon will a tale too grand not to be believed. Each village hung on her every word and marveled at her dragon skull. She then trained herself in new arts and ways to make herself look like she was indeed a dragon huntress. She staged elaborate shows to make it appears that she killed a dragon. She learned tricky techniques from scholars and conmen that allowed her to trick others into taking credit for their deeds. If that didn't work, bribery or seduction were no strangers to Alkara. And if THAT didn't work, the bard learned strange magical spells that allowed her to manipulate the minds and actions of others. So indeed, the most esteemed huntress in the land was a fraud, through and through.

Thus brings us to the current story.

+++++++

Alkara wandered into the foggy village as the sun set, not that the sun could be seen through the dark grey mists that covered the area. Lakestead was well known for being a dank, dark, and dingy place, but there was talk of a trio of dragons that terrorized the nearby forest. She drug her horse with great purpose, wanting to quickly make it to the inn in order to buy a room, take the job, and perhaps... exploit a .... "coworker."

She was well known for her scarlet and red outfit: a tight red corset straining her breasts with a vest of makeshift chain mail over it, thick leather red gloves, a well worn leather skirt, and monstrous boots strapped up her legs. Her long, full auburn hair was tied back into a ponytail, her narrow eyes and round face framed perfectly by it. She nearly fainted from exhaustion, but sighed with relief at the well worn tavern sign.

Upon entering the loud space, she was drown out by the loud talking of the many patrons. She wormed her way through the crowd, desperate for some relief after three day's journey, wondering if there was anything of interest to be found in the place.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:28 AM   #2
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Hadron Vilson sat in the corner of the bar, watching all the commotion. Muscular, but only standing 6ft, he was hardly an imposing figure. He had short dark hair and an expression that some called sullen and others called withdrawn. A man who led a solitary existence. Or as solitary as the village of Lakestead would allow. He'd once been married. But Alana, the love of his life, had died in childbirth, along with her stillborn child. He pretty much ignored women after that, as none could hold a candle to his late wife. That hardly set well with some of the single women and widows of the village, given that he was the resident dragonslayer. They sought the prestige that marriage to a dragonslayer would give them.

Not that Hadron was pleased with the title. Quite the opposite. In an unguarded moment he once stated to some of the villagers that he'd killed his first dragon by accident. They all laughed, asking "How do you kill a dragon by accident, Hadron?" He never bothered to explain.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________


It had been about five years ago the day that he and his neighbor Bjorn had gone searching for some missing sheep. They'd gone as far as the foothills of the mountains, when Hadron suddenly fell through a hole in the ground, into a cave, and onto the neck of a dragon. Thinking quickly as the creature awoke, he pulled his dagger and stabbed both it's eyes, blinding it. And as it reared up it's head in rage, he started hacking away at it's neck with his ax. Just as it seemed like the dragon was going to smash him into the ceiling of the cave, it collapsed back to the ground, near death. Climbing off it's neck, Hadron continued to hack away until he'd separated the head from the neck. Assuring to himself that the creature was indeed dead. Then he staggered towards a light at the far end of the cave, which led to the surface, where he met Bjorn.

"Hadron, are you alright? What is all that black liquid all over you?"

Hadron looked down and realized he was covered in the blood of the creature. "It's dragon's blood," he replied.

Bjorn's eyes grew wide with fear. "There's a dragon in the cave? Is it still alive?"

"No, I killed it," Hadron replied, looking down at his clothes and wondering how the hell to get dragon's blood off of them. "What say we call it a day and continue looking for the sheep tomorrow?"

"Forget the sheep," Bjorn exclaimed. "You've killed a dragon." Then he ran into the cave to see for himself.

Sighing with irritation, Hadron sat down on a boulder. When Bjorn finally returned, he was struggling under the weight of the head of the dragon.

"Why did you bring the head," Hadron asked.

"The people need to see what you've done," Bjorn replied.

Hadron shook his head in disgust. "You can take credit for it, Bjorn. I don't need the attention."

But Bjorn was an irritatingly honest man. When he walked into the village and drew a crowd around him and the dragon's head, he made sure that everyone knew that it was Hadron that had killed the beast. There were times since that day that Hadron had cursed Bjorn for doing that.

For once he'd been labeled a dragonslayer, every time a dragon was seen in the region, the people would come running to him, pleading with him to go and kill the dragon. And while he would try to harden his heart and ignore their pleas, he always ended up giving in. There were now four dragons' heads in the basement of the town hall. The people had yet to decide upon an appropriate place to display the heads.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _


Today, Hadron was in a comparatively good mood. For the crowd in the bar were gathered around several strangers to the village. Dragonslayers who had come to rid the land of the three new dragons. Which meant no one was bothering him about the dragons. At least no one but Lothar, the barkeep. Lothar came over to ask him, "Do you want another ale, Hadron?"

"That would be good," Hadron replied.

Lothar paused to watch the dragonslayers regale the crowd about their exploits. "How much of that do you think is truth and how much is their imagination, Hadron?"

"I don't know and I don't care. As long as they've got the crowd's attention, no one is asking me to do the job," Hadron replied, his face breaking into a rare smile.

"I wonder what's her story," Lothar commented, eyeing the redhead that had just entered the tavern. Then he gasped, "Oh my!"

Hadron looked up at Lothar's exclamation and saw what Lothar saw. A woman who bore a striking resemblance to his late wife. Though Alana would never be caught wearing such gaudy clothing. Hadron poked Lothar in the ribs and reminded him "How about my ale?"

Lothar woke from his daze and said, "Um, oh, yes. I'll go get it."

Taking one last look at the girl, Hadron turned his attention to the remnants of his drink.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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Alkara leaned against a bare spot on the wall, arm folded below her contemptuous expression. The wretched smell of the place went beyond odor and was more like a taste in her mouth. The worst part was the humidity. For such a dank village, there seemed to be a sweltering feeling to the air. The border communities always irked Alkara. They were far too uncivilized for her get, almost bordering on being barbaric.

She studied the crowd, sizing up the situation. She noted three dragon hunters that she recognized, all of them lower class wannabes that often cowered in her presence. The backwoods jobs were more likely that kind of hunter than the accomplished kind. Most of the dragons in the border areas were very large and slow with dull colored feathers and less exotic powers. These dragons fetched a lower price and were also preceived to bring less glory. Yet, Alkara discovered that in the case of dragons, quantity was better than quality. It turned out that people were more impressed if a person killed fifty border dragons than ten of the more cunning dragons. Besides, it was easier to fake the slaying of a border dragon than it was any other type.

Scanning the crowd further, Alkara noticed two more obviously hunters, judging by their jewelry. It was a standard practice for a hunter to fashion the teeth of his or her kills into some kind of trophy, but Alkara found the whole notion tacky. It was better and more entertaining to craft ballads instead of trinkets. She ignored any man who approached her with clumsy advances, instead just focusing on reading the crowd. Then, she saw something strange out of the corner of her eye: a man staring at her like he had seen a ghost. She stealth fully assessed the look of the man, taking note of his muscles and rustic appearance. He seemed like more than a standard villager, perhaps a member of the local garrison.

She noticed an ancient man sitting at a table not to far from her, his grey wirery beard slump on the table with a crimson cloak covering his wrinkly skin. The cloak bore the signal of a scholar, perhaps making him the town librarian or historian. She approached him with her best smiling, giving a curtesy. "Good sir, may I have a moment of your time?"

The man looked up with a smirk. "Aw, now, this is a new tactic. I swear, these city folk don't relent! you don't care to visit until your precious dragons come to visit , your masters just can't stay away! We have our own protection here, so we need your enlightened brawn. We have our own means of protection. So, wench, tell your owner that it will take more than a second rate, gussied up harlot to get anything out of me."

Alkara simply smiled. One good thing about being in the middle of nowhere was the lack of ettiquite. One could be far more direct instead of worrying about politeness and politics like in the cities of the former empire. She sat down quickly. "I didn't know seduction was on the table. See, I figured that part of you went limp or fell of you decades ago."

The old man take a sip of his drink. "Who said you could sit?"

"Well, no one specifically, though after the wench comment, I figured why not fuck with politeness."

He stared at her for a few seconds. "I swear I met you before."

Alkara smirked. "Well, perhaps your memory isn't what it used to be. So, yes, we will say that you know my very well. In fact, I am your daughter. You need to try harder to remember that.... father."

He laughed to himself. "you are a strange one. Luckily, I like strange things. If you stop wasting my time, I guess I can give you a tiny bit of information."

"Good, I approve of haste. I would like to know who that man is."

The old man finished his drink and replied, "why, even with my 'memory' problems, that is an easy one. That is Hadron, master dragon slayer. A real man doin real man's valor. Unlike you, he knows how to dress the part."

Alkara was elated. Another great thing about out of the way villages were the local dragon champions. Just was a little bit of trickery, mischief, money, and perhaps nudity, these men were always so easy to manipulate. Alkara jumped up, kissng the old man on the cheek. "well, thank you, father."

He sneered, "whatever. You just better buy me another drink."

Alkara worked her way through the crowd and sat right next to Hadron, pulling out her cornpurse. "Bakeep, I need some drinks. One for the shriveled specimen over there, one for me, and while I am at, one for this down fellow right here.". The the bartender went to do his duties, Alkara turned o Hadron, "well now, you seem like a sullen storm cloud. Cheer up! We are alive and there is drinking to do!". The bartender delivered the drinks, sending one to the old man. "To life!" Alkara toasted before downing half the ale.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:54 PM   #4
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Hadron glanced up, mildly irritated at the interruption of his thoughts. His retort caught in his throat though, as now he had a closer look at the girl. There was no mistaking her for Alana. Alana was smaller. And oh so frail. But there was more than a passing resemblance. And the same free spirit about her.

In truth, neither Hadron, nor anyone else in the village, understood why Alana had married him. They were as different as night and day. He was the dark soft-spoken, sometimes sullen figure in the background. And she, with her red rebellious hair and her ever-present smile, was the bright joyous sprite in the foreground. The woman who was the center of everyone's attention. When she died, the light went out, not just in Hadron's life, but in the life of the whole village. Ironically, the village had no encounters with dragons until right after her death. Almost as if her light had protected the village from the beasts.

Hadron bridled at the girl's suggestion that he was sullen. In his mind, he'd been relatively cheerful today. At least by his standards. But he held his tongue for a few moments longer, studying her. Trying to figure out why this girl had chosen to bother him with so many other people in the tavern. The three big, strong dragonslayers standing in the middle of the room and bragging loudly about their kills should have been the focus of her attention.

"I thank you for the ale, but what is it that you want, wench? If someone hired you to seduce me into going after the beasties, they wasted their money. It appears we have more than enough dragonslayers here to do the job without me." Hadron leaned back in his chair with an uncharacteristic air of smugness, secure in the knowledge that he didn't have to do a thing but drink his ale.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:22 AM   #5
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I laugh louder than I should, the sound almost verging onto that of a cackle. Picking up my mug, I drink another long swig before slamming it back on the counter. I turn to face you, a bit of my red hair blocking my right air as I lean over the bar, a big grin on my face. "Wow. I have been called a wench twice in ten minutes by two different people. Your village has quite the way in treating women." I signal the barkeep to pour me another... and to top yours off as well.

"Well, unlucky for you and your dour spirits, I am not so easy to cast away." The man was striking up close with well toned muscles and a very masculine look. He almost appeared to be the very definition of stereotypical manliness to Alkara, even with the gruff personality she associated with most men. "Perhaps a bit more drunkenness will at least give a smile. Hell, I would even do without the frown. Don't make me make you dance."

Dragon hunters, even the stoic ones, all were the same to Alkara. Every single one she had ever met was haughty and egotistical. Even the ones who displayed signs of humility contained these traits, keeping them in secret. This is what Alkara told herself to rationalize her con game. This entire sect of "warrior" were just secretly bastards. Alkara's schemes were just like Karma.

"I know that you are the local champion, so why sulk here in the corner. Why not show those brigands who is boss around here? I hear that you slayed four dragons. That is not a small feat. If I were you, I would be showing my might instead of showing my forlorn side."
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:37 AM   #6
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Another difference between this girl and Alana, Hadron noted. Alana's laugh always remained light and airy. There was a forced quality to this girl's laugh, as if part of an act. He gave her a smile of amusement, since she seemed to need a smile from him.

"Does being called a wench offend you? It's not an insulting term in these parts. Should I call you lass instead? Or your name? The reason I don't stand up there with the others pounding on my chest and bragging about the dragons I've killed is because it's not what I am. I'm a farmer and shepherd by trade. And only a dragonslayer by necessity. I don't seeking out dragons for fun or profit, but because people ask me to protect them from the beasts. If those three men will go out to slay the dragons and survive to come back for their money, then I need not do anything else but tend my fields and my sheep. And drink my ale." He nodded his appreciation to her as Lothar refilled his tankard once more.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:32 AM   #7
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Alkara is rather suspect of the man's earnestness. He is rather convincing, his claims of just wanting a standard life actual appearing to be legitimate. Still, he was at least more skilled than the other clowns in the room and she would never be convinced that there was a thing such as an honest man.

She leaned in, her big emerald eyes right in front of him as she just smirked, flipping her hair back. "Well, I had no idea the term 'wench' was so very affectionate. At least I haven't been called a whore yet. Well, king of humility, you deserve your drinks and sourness if you truly yearn for nothing more than the simple life. Still, both of us know those three will be eaten alive... quite literally probably. They are blowhards and braggers... nothing more than laughable rejects. You are a real man with real strength beyond your muscles. THAT is why can kill dragons and also why you are so loved around here." I smirk as I take another sip, leaning my body back.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:13 AM   #8
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Hadron found her gaze somewhat unnerving. The same bright green eyes as Alana. And with the same level of intensity in them. Alana could just look right into his soul and know exactly what he was thinking. Obviously, this girl couldn't, or she wouldn't be asking so many silly questions. Still, there was that flip of the hair, so typical of Alana.

Hadron noticed that, although the girl seemed to want to talk about titles, she'd yet to give him a name to replace the title with. And he wasn't about to encourage her by asking for her name. So "wench" it would remain until she told him otherwise.

But he was still puzzled by what she had to gain by cozying up to him. If she was here for the profit, she'd be better served to flirt with one of the dragonslayers who sought a reward for their services. Hadron didn't kill dragons for profit. The villagers were poor enough without him adding to their misery by demanding money in exchange for slaying dragons. However, while he may have had a soft spot for the people of the village, he also had a streak of self-preservation. A certainty that if he kept hunting dragons every time the village asked him to, eventually one of those dragons would kill him. Which was why the people of the village jokingly referred to him as "the reluctant dragonslayer".

Hadron smiled with amusement once more, noticing the girl's attempts at flattery.

"You seem to think very little of those three dragonslayers, wench. As if you know them well. But until the dragons fly overhead and start dropping body parts of the dragonslayers on the village, I'll assume that they know what they are doing."

Hadron spoke from experience, because that was what the fourth dragon had done to a dragonslayer the village had hired. But there was no reason to think that these three weren't capable of doing the job.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:14 AM   #9
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Alkara kept piling on her best charms and smiles, but something about the man seemed unnerving. usually such an alarm would be signaled if the man was overly violent or advanced too quickly sexually. This was the exact opposite. Something told her that indeed, this man had no pretenses. he wasn't acting like a reluctant and humble hero, he WAS a reluctant and humble hero.

Also, something else.... something in Hadron's eyes told Alkara that there was another layer of this conversation to him, something intangible. Perhaps he could see through her! Alkara swallowed hard, deciding to ignore her strange feelings and focus on her continued sales pitch.

"Well, you want to directly add through more bodies to that collection? These men may be brutes, but they are just young and naive. If we let them go into that forest, we are letting them die before they can conquer their youthful arrogance. You are the champion of the people, whether you want to be or not. Sulking will not help." She smirk and cling the glasses together. "Besides, you will have your trusty wench by your side!"

She perks her posture, trying to ignore the nagging voice in the back of her head.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:31 AM   #10
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For the first time, Hadron let out a hearty laugh. Which startled everyone around him. It had been years since they'd heard Hadron laugh.

"My "trusty wench" by my side? DAMN! You are an insistent one, I'll give you that. In one breath you're trying to persuade me to go kill the dragons to spare the lives of those other "young and naive" dragonslayers And in the next breath you want me to take a young and naive girl in their place. I work alone, wench. Why are you so insistent that I take this job, anyhow? I don't kill dragons for profit, so what is in it for you?" Hadron leaned forward as he asked the question, his eyes locked on hers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:53 PM   #11
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Alkara kept her eyes looked onto Hadron's, taking the intense stare almost as a dare. She simply smiled, her white teeth almost seeming genuine as she cocked her head to the side. It had been forever since a man was so obstinate and vexing in her present. Strangely, the conversation started to exhilarate her, drowning out the foreboding dread that occupied her mind previously.

She took another long chug of her drink, wryly smiling. "Well now, I do appreciate being called young, but I am a bit beyond naive at this point. And I very disappointed in your parents right now, since they obviously did not teach you in the ways of teamwork and sharing. Two are stronger than one, especially in the case when there are three opponents."

Reaching for the hilt of her dagger, she thought about the best way to proceed from this point. Though she did not actually ever kill a dragon, she had enough skill to make it seem like she could kill a dragon. Her family line were full of studious types, ranging from scholars to politicians to even mages. Her five brothers were all varying levels of intelligent, each finding adequate careers in academics and sorcery. Alkara was far removed from the age of her siblings, her birth an accident and a surprise. The pregnancy seemed like a miracle, but it sadly cost the life of Alkara's mother.

He father was an old man upon her birth and already showed signs of slipping into senility. Thus, her five all brothers, all adult men y the time of her birth, worked together to raise her. The upbringing, though loving, proved ingratiating since each brother wanted the young girl as their apprentice. So, in her most rebellious age, Alkara ran off, deciding to become the opposite of a scholar, an assassin. Though she tried her best, she was never a very good hired killer, and was better at doing tricks with her daggers than stabbing a man with one.

She pulled out the dagger in front of Hadron, twirling it skillfully in her right hand as she tossed it up and grabbed it by the hilt. "And to answer your other question, I may not be as naive as you think. This steel has tasted dragon blood on more than one occasion. Alas, I have learned that it is best not to hunt alone. I also do not like to trust my life to idiots, which rules out those 'dashing' young men over there. Thus, this is why a wench is bothering you."
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #12
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Hadron raised his eyebrows with surprise.

"Oh, so you're a dragonslayer. Then that would make you Alkara Von Verkins, since she is the only female dragonslayer I've heard of." Hadron stood up to get a better view of the girl. "I thought you would be bigger," he said with a smirk., before sitting back down.

Hadron could see that the village elders were finished haggling over price with the three other dragonslayers. And the three of them were getting ready to head out. Personally, Hadron would probably have chosen to go hunting at night, but it was their choice.

Turning his gaze back to the girl he said, "If you're not going out hunting with them, you might want to check with Lothar about a room for the night. We'll probably know by tomorrow if those three bucks were successful or became dragon food. As for me, I have sheep to tend to. But I thank you for the drink, Miss Verkins." Hadron gave her a bow as he got up and headed for the door.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:38 PM   #13
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Alkara blushed at being recognized, though was unsure about being called small. "Well, yes, even us with women;y parts can stab a dragon. Stabbing is a universal action, so you know."

Of course, she was very alarmed as the man stood up to leave. It could take weeks for other legitimate dragon hunters to arrive. Alkara didn't want to wait any further. She rushed to Hadron and grabbed his shoulder. "Well, it is far too early to retire to a room and it is far too loud in here for me anyways. I know a thing or two about goats. Perhaps a famous dragon huntress can help, " she chirped sarcastically, giving a makeshift curtsy.

"Besides, we don't need to wait until tomorrow to know the fate of those fools. Maybe it would behoove us to start training us today before we head out."
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:18 AM   #14
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Hadron puzzled over the girl's actions. Did the dragonslaying business pay so poorly that she needed to tag along with a shepherd to his humble abode? But he could see in her that same persistence that Alana had. Once his wife set her mind on something, there was no way she was going to accept no for an answer. And after awhile, Hadron accepted that he would never be able to say no to her.

If the three dragonslayers did not succeed in their task, then the people would come to him to do the task once more. While he preferred to do the job alone, perhaps there was no harm in having another experienced dragonslayer by his side. Though the longer he looked at the girl, the harder it was to believe the tales he had heard of her exploits. Which led him to wonder if this was indeed the famous Alkara Von Verkins. The girl hadn't actually spoken her name, but merely acknowledged it when he spoke the name.

Hadron sighed and then said, "I suppose if I say no, you'll pester me all the way home." He could see in her eyes that was exactly what she was going to do. Besides, he found her to be a puzzle worth trying to figure out. "Alright dragonslayer. Come along then."
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:26 AM   #15
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Alkara smiled victoriously. "Excellent indeed! I knew you would not let our time prattling go to waste." She playfully slapped Hadron's arm, placing her dagger back in its sheath. "No need to go brandishing that about in the middle of a tavern. I would like my throat not to be slit due to a misunderstanding, thank you very much," she mumbled, basically to herself.

She opened the heavily rotted doors of the bar and was surprised to see that the fog somehow became even heavier than before. She could barely see inches in front of her, the shroud of white blacking the visage of nearby buildings. She attempted a simple Water Spell to disperse the mist, but like it did when she entered the village, it had no discernible effect. She sighed in resignation that the fog was an unavoidable hazard,which didn't stop her from complaining.

"How can you even gather sheep in fog like this? Do you have some magic staff that beckons the creatures to you immediately?" She pouted her lip, sighing loudly again. "I have no idea how anything gets done in this village." She unshackled her horse and mentally prepared herself to be dragging the beast about again. All of her traveling equipment were slumped on the horse's back allowing no room for a saddle. "Though I hate dragons, I will this thing had wings," she mumbled, yet again, mostly to herself.

The horse's name was Rayford and he seemed to be more fond of stumbling in the mud of the road than walking on it. Alkara cursed, thinking about cooking the animal then and there. The fog persisted, making her almost lose sight of her new companion. Luckily, he signaled to her using a lantern. After some effort, Alkara coaxed Rayford into a trot, meeting up with Hadron.

"Where are we heading?," she asked him.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:07 AM   #16
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Hadron stopped by the bar to get a lantern from Lothar, who muttered in a low voice to him, "So, who is the girl"?"

"The great dragonslayer, Alkara Von Verkins," Hadron replied with a chuckle.

"Come to get some pointers from Hadron the shepherd, no doubt." Lothar said, with a smirk.

Hadron shrugged and headed out the door. And the girl began to once again prattle on. And on. And on.

Hadron looked at her with amusement. If nothing else, the girl was good for that. "Do you always talk this much? My dog is out with the sheep. I give him a whistle and he herds them in." He looked around at the fog. "The fog could be the doings of the dragons, the breath of all three of them settling down in this valley." He shrugged his shoulders, since he really wasn't sure of that. It was then that he realized he'd lost his shadow, so he raised his lantern to help her find her way.

" Where we are going is to my cottage a short distance from the village."
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:15 AM   #17
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Alkara managed to pull alongside Hadron after Rayford finally started moving at a decent enough speed to keep up with the man. "Well, how quaint. A man who lives by himself with nothing but a dog and sheep for company. I am sure he is up to nothing peculiar," she teased wryly, looking back at her horse. "This is Rayford by the way. I personally feel that it is rude to be in the presence of a living thing without knowing its name.... though ironically, I am pretty sure that Rayford doesn't know his name is Rayford."

The two staid together, moving through the fog down a narrowing path, leaving the cluttered buildings of the village behind. "Actually, your theory about the fog could be correct, though I am sure the water from the lake does contribute to it. Fog is thicker when dragons are around. It is rare for dragons to gather and live near each other outside of when they are aligning to attack cities in mass. Maybe they are mating or something! My brother was a dragon scholar, but since so little is known about the beasts, he seemed to have made up most of his information." She then paused, staying silent for a bit, thinking of her brothers she had not seen for years. Then, Alkara remembered something from earlier and smiled at Hadron smugly. "Oh, and I heard your quip about the talking. I am a woman of many words. In fact, before I killed dragons, I composed songs for a living, singing them in front of thousands!," she remarked in a grand tone. Well, it wasn't a complete lie. There was a chance that over a thousand or two people heard her sing... but never at one time. And none of them probably had any enjoyment.

Alkara noticed that the fog was a bit thinner than in town, seeing the cottage in the distance. "Well, that is actually a nice little house. Due to your grumpiness, I expected it to be a caved in shack. See, I can't understand why a man with such prowess and seemingly good land cannot find a bride. Perhaps, the sheep and dog would be jealous?" Alkara nudged Hadron in the arm after her bad joke, chuckling a bit to herself.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:35 AM   #18
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Hadron simply walked along, letting the girl do all the talking. He wondered idly if he had enough hay for the horse. He suspected that what the horse really wanted was to be rid of the load it was carrying. For a dragonslayer, the girl certainly didn't know how to travel light. And given her need to talk constantly, he suspected she would be more of a threat than a help if he went hunting for the dragons. After the fortunate accident with the first dragon, he'd learned that stealth and speed was more important than brute force. But stealth would be difficult if he had a chatterbox in tow.

Hadron paused a moment and let out a series of whistles. Barking in the distance told him that his dog was on the job, chasing the sheep back towards the cottage. He kept them close at night in case of wolves.

And then the girl hit the sore nerve, talking about a bride for him. His body stiffened and he turned to glare at her. "You would do well to mind your own business about my marital status, wench!" he growled, his fists balled up as if to hit her. Then he turned and continued on to the cottage. Flinging open the door, he stomped over to the fireplace, stirred up the embers, and threw another log on, scowling at the flames as they grew in intensity.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:29 PM   #19
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The sudden explosion from the man shocked Alkara. Her awful joke seemed like it almost motivated him to hit her. She watched tepidly as he stormed off to the small cottage, noticing a ragged dog driving a flock of sheep to the place as well. She paused to think and assess the situation. With each passing moment, Alkara realized that she struck a potent nerve. Obviously, he had some quarrel with marriage, but it was hard to gauge what the problem was. There was three options to Alkara. The first was that the man could not find a willing bride, which was unlikely since a local dragon hunter and successful farmer would be highly wanted by women without husbands. Option number two was that his wife died. This was also unlikely because in that case, the man would have children. Thus, the most likely option to Alkara was that his wife left, taking on children with her. Yet, the man did seem honest. Why would a woman leave him?

In the creative parts of her mind, she started to concoct another option. Perhaps.... his wife and children were killed by a dragon. That would explain the man's dragon hunting as well as his grumpy attitude. What a ballad that would make! Audiences loved a sense of irony and perceptiveness to their tales. Alkara then realized that her story was causing her to smile. She quickly hid the expression, not wanting to offend the man any further. Thus, she put on her best sullen face and journeyed to the house, knocking on the door. Whatever the truth was, the man certainly was due an apology.

"Look, I am sorry if I said something crass and hurtful. Sometimes, I lack a grasp on sensitivity. I am often taken to jest instead of sensibility. I don't want our partnership to start on a bad foot." She was quite earnest, actually starting to feel worse and worse for her misdemeanor.

She looked through the door frame, seeing the dog rally the sheep. Putting her hands on her hips, she smiled. "It has been years since I have seen sheep. Another one of my brothers was a studious shepherd. I would help him tend to his flock was he performed scientific expire-" Alkara sighed, realizing she was talking... again. The man was already unsure of her. There was no need to further drive him away through bad habits. "Maybe we should just gag me," she sighed.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:11 PM   #20
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Hadron sighed in resignation. The girl may have paused for a moment, but she was more likely to form her own assumptions and then resume her chatter unless he explained. Though it was indeed tempting to find a cloth and gag her.

"Her name was Alana. She died giving birth to a stillborn child. Our daughter." Why he had to explain this to a total stranger who had latched onto him like a leach, he wasn't sure. Yes, the girl bore some passing resemblance to his wife, but that was no reason to let her tag along this far, invading his sanctuary like this. But Alana would have said that "anyone entering the front door of this house should be treated like family". Hadron wasn't sure he was willing to go quite that far.

The cottage had a dinning table with two chairs sitting at one end of the room, a cupboard in the corner nearby, a small table with a basin in the corner across from it, a bed against the back wall, and two high-back chairs in front of the fireplace at the other end of the room. There had been more furniture once, but he had given them away.

Satisfied that the fire was going strong, Hadron sat down in one of the high-back chairs in front of it and motioned the girl to the other chair.

"You might as well sit a spell, wench. What DO you prefer to be called anyhow, girl?"

He gave her a wary look, bracing himself for the flood of babble that she was holding in.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:15 PM   #21
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The explanation was not among the list of predetermined scenarios. It was an obvious one that shook Alkara, reminding her of the mother that she never knew. Family seemed to be on her mind a lot recently and this just continued to complicate those thoughts. She maintained a blank expression, a little lost in her own thoughts as she sat down, head in the clouds.

The fire felt warm against her flesh and clothing. She crossed her legs, forcing a bit of a smile now. For once in this day, she did not feel like talking. "As you said before, it is Alkara. Though people just call me Kara for short." She then gazed into the fire, basking in its warmth. Ashes danced around the pit with some being orange and others black. Here eyes lazily followed these embers, realizing that she had not spoken for more than a minute. The man must have been thrilled.

She suddenly said "my mother died while giving birth to me." Then, she returned to her trance, staring at the fire. Her thoughts went in a thousand different directions, none of them very clear. Yet, just seeing the fire made her feel peaceful.

Another five minutes passed with her not saying a word, her eyes transfixed on the flame. She was reawakened with the loud grumbling of her stomach, signaling her that she had not eaten since midday. She reached into her satchel that she kept around her waist. Inside were two buns filled with grape jam from her favorite pastry shop in a nearby city. She threw one to Hadron, delicately nibbling on her own. "So, what do you use to kill dragons anyway?"
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:38 PM   #22
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As the girl sat down by the fire, Hadron resolved in his mind to be mindful that she wasn't Alana. He had almost gotten over the grief of losing his wife and daughter. But it would be so easy to fall into the delusion of mistaking this girl for Alana, thus leading to madness. Besides, Hadron had a feeling that this girl was not all she claimed to be. Or something other than what she claimed to be.

When Kara, as she introduced herself, indicated losing her own mother at birth, it explained why she had become more subdued.

"Thank you," he said in response to the bun. He debated offering Kara a meal while he answered her question. "I suppose I should introduce myself as well. I'm Hadron Vilson. Though I suspect you know my name, not because of my fame," He paused for a chuckle at that point. It was highly unlikely anyone outside of Lakestead had heard of him. "But because someone in the tavern identified me. That's the only explanation for you going over to a stranger sitting in the corner, minding his own business, rather than to the three dragonslayers standing in the middle of the floor commanding everyone else's attention."

"Since it was an ax and dagger that I had when I stumbled upon that first dragon, they've been my weapons of choice since then. The village chipped in for a nice sword after the fourth dragon," he nodded toward the sword hanging over the fireplace mantel. "But I doubt I'll use it next time. I'm comfortable with the ax and dagger. So Kara, how well does dragonslaying pay that you would choose not to stay at the inn above the tavern?"

Hadron had asked the question because he realized the fog would make it hard for her to find her way back to the village. And she probably knew that when she followed him to his cottage. In agreeing to let her tag along to talk technique and strategy, had he ended up with a house-mate for the night?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:47 PM   #23
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Alkara fiddled with her fingers, knowing that she really had to sell her 'abilities.' The man was actually an honest one, thus, her tact of bribery would not work. Due to the ordeal with his wife, he would probably find seduction more offensive than alluring. This left Alkara with two options: to use her trickery spells while in the field, or to actually try to kill a dragon. The second choice sent waves of worry through her spine.

"I like to only pair up with those who will not die. As I have stressed a few times, I did not see those men leaving past tonight. They were far too boastful and green, as well as under equipped. You are the local hero, making sense to pair up with you. Gods, men.... your gender needs to learn to take same help from time to time."

She walked to the mantle, examining a glorious sword that the towns people helped purchase. It was obviously made of a high grade silver that would fetch quite the price on the market. She ran her fingers against the edge, almost cutting herself. "I will say that if you learned the mechanics of swordsmanship, this would be a deadly tool indeed."

She turned back as Hadron essentially revealed her plan. Instead of cowering or fibbing more, she decided to stick with honesty.... or something that resembled honesty. "All right, I guess you caught me. I planned on sleeping in my tent in the pasture, if that is all right. Rayford becomes scared if I don't sleep near him. I was hoping that it would not be too bad of an intrusion..." she chirped, with her most honest smile.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #24
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Hadron reluctantly shook his head. He didn't want company, but he knew what he had to do.

"There's a small stable behind the cottage where the dog herds the sheep for the night. I'll put your horse in there and feed him some hay. As for your sleeping arrangements, my Alana, if she were alive, would not hear of you sleeping out in the cold while there's room in this cottage. You can have the bed for the night."

Of course, Hadron was working under the assumption that, as soon as the dragons were killed, the girl would move on. He got up to head out to take care of the horse.
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