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Old 03-01-2015, 09:26 PM   #1
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When Dragon's Call: Closed Thread

When Dragon’s call
By Gladiator and Apollo Wild

Historian’s note: this story takes place in a world of fantasy, which draws on aspects of other fantasy worlds including Pern, forgotten realms and others, but is not based in one established universe. )

He could smell the crisp aroma of pine trees filling his nostrils as the soft blanket of needles softened his steps to a mere whisper of sound. The lithe half-elf strowed through the trees, carrying an armful of pine boughs to make a bed, as well as a long piece of hardwood that he planned to use to splint galath’s foreleg. He had also stopped to fill his water skin in a nearby stream.

As he walked through the trees he felt Galath touch his mind. The bronze dragon’s touch after the 2 years they’d been bonded, no longer felt like an intrusion, but rather felt utterly right. He could remember a time when the bronze wasn’t in his head, but now the thought of him no longer being there was almost unthinkable. He did not know if he were to lose his dragon that he would become sad and bitter like some of those in the dragonhold where he lived, but he suspected he would. “I’m coming back now; you worry like a mother hen with her chicks.” He chastised the dragon in his mind, the mental message tinged with the distinctive flavor of humor.

“Your safety is important to me.” The male dragon rumbled in Tahlir’s mind. The half elf snorted.

“Funny, if I recall, I wasn’t the one who was injured in the battle you were,”

“And I wouldn’t have it any other way.” The dragon said and sent Tahlir a mental image of the half-elf surrounded by the dragon’s huge claws, like bars of a cage, symbolizing him keeping his rider from all harm. This only brought a mental chuckle in response from Tahlir.

As he returned to the clearing he took in the majestic sight of Galath. A sight that never failed to amaze him. The dragon was nothing less than beautiful, in a fiercely lethal way. From the huge wedge shaped head down the long ridged neck to the base of the neck, where the rider sat, where the saddle was currently resting. His eyes swept back from there to the powerful shoulders which sported both the forepaws as well as the wings. And then back down the body with its powerful hindquarters and long tale that could both serve as a weapon and a Rutter in flight.

Galath blinked one eye open, the two sets of eyelids flickering open. First, the horizontal lids and then the vertical eyelids beneath them. Those eyelids were clear and aided the dragon under water, as well as in flight. Green facets stared at Tahlir and the things he carried. Rider could only chuckle at the huge eye rolling in its socket as the dragon prepared to put up a fuss over the obvious splinting wood. “I will not leave it unattended,” Tahlir snapped, this time aloud in the human tongue, which was the common language of the dragonholds. His slight elvish accent gave his words a melodic lilt, which was not completely erased by the edge of his tone. Tahlir could still hear the many hours of his instructors drumming into him the importance of seeing to a dragon’s needs first. A dragon was tended to when injured, made comfortable before a rider even ate. Dragon’s healed fairly quickly, but take Galath’s broken leg for example, if not set properly it could heal crooked—that was an outcome Tahlir would not tolerate.

Hours later Tahlir had the dragon’s leg splinted and himself fed. Fortunately the bronze had eaten well 2 days ago, and probably would not need to eat for another day or so. Fortunately the days of major growth spurts for the male dragon were done and so he needed to eat far less often. Tahlir now stood, leaning against the dragon’s wedge shaped head, rubbing the dragon’s pronounced eye-ridges, the utterly spoiled dragon was eating up the attention those eyes closed and Tahlir’s mind filled with the dragon’s sighs of approval. As he stood there he reflected back to the first time he had met Galath.

It had been a sunny day outside the hold. However inside the huge rock cavern of the hatching ground it was even hotter. The queen had almost continuously been bathing her precious eggs in fire, this close to hatching, and the sand in which all the candidates stood was quite warm, like in the middle of a desert. The once prospective monk, half-elf was one of dozens of young men and women clustered around the small clutch of dragon’s eggs, awaiting them to hatch. He remembered looking at the eggs and wondering which one if any would choose him, and if chosen what color dragon would he choose. He knew he would not get a golden dragon, or a silver, for the female dragons tended towards female mounts. No he hoped that one of the brass, copper, or bronze dragons would select him. Each and every young man there save Tahlir was hoping for a bronze, for it meant a chance for leadership and a chance to mate with a queen. Bronze riders were the ones songs were made about. Songs were written about leaders and generals, not about mere foot, or in this case wing soldiers. Tahlir didn’t hope for a bronze because he didn’t really care. He wasn’t even sold on the fact that he should become a dragonrider; however it sounded much more exciting than being a monk, and at that moment, that was enough for Tahlir.

Tahlir had remembered all the small dragonettes coming out of their shells, like little awkward baby calves. The biggest hatchling, a bronze had managed to step on his own wing and was wining so pitifully. Tahlir, naturally a healer by nature had stepped forward, the only one brave enough to approach the dragonet. Baby dragons were known to injure candidates in their awkwardness. He had spoken soothing words to the baby dragon in elvish and helped it out, gently lifting its claws off its wing. The dragon had fallen against him. The size of a good sized dog the dragonet had looked up and its eyes had met those of Tahlir and the shock of bonding had washed through him. The dragon had chosen him, and in one second his entire life had been changed irrevocably.

Tahlir’s mind flashed forward in time as he mentally went over how they had come to be in this position. The youngest wing leader in southhold, Tahlir had laid a hit and run attack on a supply train headed to one of the evil dragon’s strongholds. It had been a good plan, and had seemed foolproof. Nothing is as easy as it ever seemed though. They had been ambushed by a far superior force. He sighed. Galath and he had flown cover for his wing, allowing all of them to get away, all of the other dragons able to go safely between or teleport home. All of them save Galath and Tahlir. The bronze had been injured, burned down his left side by a red’s breath, and his foreleg broken from grappling with the same red as the two leaders had strove to cripple their opposite number. Going between took large amounts of energy, and wounded the bronze could not make the teleportation. Tahlir had ordered his people away and sought refuge in the forest only loosing pursuit after hours of flying close to the tree tops.

Tahlir fought to school his thoughts; drawing on the training he had gotten with the monks to clear his mind of the self-defeating thoughts. He finally lay down on the bed of pine boughs, allowing Galath to spread his right wing over him protecting him from the elements and sharing his warmth. He was woken hours later to the roaring blaze as the pine trees around them simultaneously all caught fire. They had been found by their enemies and they were in trouble.

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Old 03-02-2015, 04:41 PM   #2
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You know what I could go for?

What?

Some frybread!


She laughed as the two of them had the thought in unison. Things like that was why she loved Filia.

You know what else I could go for?

Hmmm…

The golden creature’s sapphire eyes twinkled. A dip in a hot spring?

Filia, I swear, I don’t know how I lived life without you.

The dragon, though dwarfing the young woman several times over, gave her the lightest of head nudges against her chest. Wrapping her arms around the dragon’s neck, the young woman rubbed the smooth crest of scales running from the dragon’s forehead along the side of her neck. “Scales” would imply that the dragon looked hard, firm – when, really, closer up, the dragon’s hide had the same smooth appearance of that of a lizard. It was the deep, illuminated gold that gave the metallic dragon a decidedly fierce appearance. To call them “gold” wasn’t quite the right word – though “gold” might describe an overall appearance. Closer up, each scale seemed to burn with a fire all its own, a collection of luminous fire opals.

The young woman, compared to such splendor, was downright drab in appearance – a pen hen next to a peacock.

While the dragon was awash in celestial fire, she was brown – brown-skinned, calf-colored leather breeches, deep cognac leather boots, a tan tunic belted at the waist with a mahogany belt. Her hair, haphazardly pulled back from her face with a (surprise!) tan headband, was a frothing of deep black curls, so black it was slightly opalescent in the sun – glinting blue one way, emerald another, recalling the plumage of a black bird. Set in that brown face were bright violet eyes, startling light amid all of the brown.

So, what are we doing next?

You mean scaring that flock of goats wasn’t enough for you?

Filia mentally chuckled, the sound rumbling within their heads as the peal of a great bell.

If we’re going to have fun, let’s have FUN, Chu-chu!, the great beast thought back to the girl.

Chu’si rolled her eyes at the nickname, unable to keep the grin from her face. Only Filia could get away with such a juvenile nickname.

Chu’si, her hands resting lightly along the length of the dragon’s neck, shook her head a little before resting her cheek against the warm scales. Filia emitted a soft sigh, akin to a purr. Ever since their first bonding, the two had always been physically close, seeming more like sisters than a dragon and her rider. From the onset, both were playful troublemakers – Chu’si had been but a toddler when the last dragon brood hatched.

The mother dragon, Antas, had secluded her brood away in a cave near the edge of the village. The rumor was Antas had selected the cave solely for the purpose of avoiding the baby Chu’si – but, that rumor didn’t make much sense when really looked at. After all, Chu’si had just been a suckling baby a few months ago. Hardly old enough to gain such a bad reputation. But, as they say, once she started walking, she had to make up for lost time.

And that day was no different.

Shoving through the throng of people, hoping, waiting to be picked by one of the dragonets, Chu’si had stood on the edge of the nest, as close as she could get, the burning sand prickling the tips of her bare toes. It wasn’t uncommon for tribal children to go about without shoes, but Chu’si had taken a step further and only wore fancy bracelets, on her otherwise naked as a jaybird frame.

Antas had looked up at her approach, with a wary eye – not so much that Antas was particularly overprotective of her young, but out of caution for the human little one. That caution, however, would give way to maternal resignation as one of her own bounded forward, with a mewling little growl of challenge.

Undaunted by this creature (easily the size of a small pony, even this young), Chu’si had stepped closer, her fat little hands on her hips, and stared down the dragonet. And the dragonet stared back – before bowling her over like the human child was yet another sibling. The two had been inseparable since – taking part in jokes, slacking off, being, well, general nuisances. If Filia wasn’t a gold dragon, if Chu’si wasn’t so good-natured, the two of them might have been in a lot more trouble. But, as it was, the tribe took it all as a part of life. The sun rose, the crops grew, and Filia and Chu’si got into trouble.

They were lucky enough, though, to be isolated enough so that the great war around them didn’t touch their lives. It was a distant echo, voiced from tribes further than Chu’si could have imagined. And here, on their favorite cliff overhanging a massive waterfall, the two would wile away the hours, soaking up the sun, looking up into the great expanse of the sky until it didn’t feel like either one of them had bodies anymore.

There was that idea that the two of them should be destined/striving for greater things, but, ah, those were just rumors. Things to try and scare them straight. They’d grown up together, and neither one of them had any indication that they were destined for anything else, other than living a village life, stuck between mind-numbingly dull and exciting. After all, all the excitement they could expect, they’d have to make themselves.

Burning pine had a surprisingly sweet and smoky smell. As the wind gently pulled invisible fingers through Chu’si’s hair, Filia caught the smell, and snorted, lifting her head in alertness. Peering over the horizon, Chu’si could make out the faintest curving twist of smoke from above the dense tree line.

“That’s…odd,” she said aloud – the fact that she actually spoke the comment instead of thinking it was an indication of how surprised she was. Since the two learned that they could telepathically communicate, they spent nearly all of their time “thoughting” at each other, gossiping, swapping stories.

Odd isn’t the half of it, Filia grumped back, getting to her feet. Her wings outstretched in a fluid movement, iridescent gold, almost as thin as a dragonfly’s wing.

Maybe, somewhere deep in her brain, Filia still had a sense of duty – one she had eagerly shirked to bond better with her human sister. Maybe it wasn’t deep at all; the dragon could just be that crafty. Not that she didn’t enjoy her time with her Chu-chu immensely. But from her mother, she knew a great many things, and of worlds Chu’si could have never imagined. Maybe it was that desire to share that wisdom that lead Filia to chose Chu’si. Who could tell?

Without another word, Chu’si mounted Filia, and the pair were off. They traveled swiftly without speaking. The knots in Chu’si’s stomach stilled her normally ebullient tongue, and she could sense that Filia was concentrating, her mind going places that Chu’si had not quite learned how to follow…or was too scared to. Was this war? Chu’si had trained (idly), as any other in her village, but the idea of fighting was a foreign concept to her – how could anyone fight? To willingly hurt another, or worse, be laid low under a strange sword? So her fear had kept her carefree….and with every wing beat, she could feel it being stripped from her. Chu’si fought the urge to cry, and instead, gripped to Filia closer. The dragon gave a quiet rumble to soothe the human.

As the pair approached, Filia gave a high, screeching war cry, sounding as if a great many eagles had called all at once.

Filia, while that was very impressive, I’m not sure if that gives us the element of surprise anymore!

Filia sent back the dragon equivalent of a shrug. Was fun to do. You should try it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:21 AM   #3
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Tahlir came awake with a start, to the blazing roar of dozens of trees on fire. Galath and he had been caught by surprise. The bronze trumpeted his rage as well as in challenge to their attackers who seemed to be hiding behind their walls of flame.

Standing Tahlir shoved his feet deep into his black leather boots and swore under his breath as he took stock of their situation. He had lost his sword at the end of the last battle, leaving him only with the knife all dragonriders carried. Useful to eat with, as well as to duel someone at close quarters combat, in a dragon fight in the sky it would be next to useless, for that he would have needed his long sword. He once again swore revenge upon the red wyrm he would reclaim his sword as well as repay the damage done to Galath.

Even as he climbed astride Galath, he mentally chastised himself for such thoughts of revenge, but it was difficult with his foes attacking in such a cowardly sneak attack. His rider securely in place Galath leapt into the air, Tahlir ducking low along the dragon’s neck, grasping the arm straps that forced him to almost lie across the dragon’s neck. This minimized drag, as well as providing him some protection from enemy dragon fire.

Once up in the air, the pair were immediately surrounded by their foes. There were 6 of the small green females, fast and nimble, as well as several blues. There were no blacks in evidence, but there was one red, and Galath and Tahlir surely recognized that rider from earlier. The bronze flew hard and fast, immediately bathing a green in his flames. There was a horrid scream as the dragon blackened in the withering line of fire. However the attack cost them as 3 more dragons bathed fire over Galath’s hindquarters, singing the dragon’s tough hide. Galath whipped his tale, catching one in the face.

The red hung back, watching his wing of dragons pummel the bronze. He watched as the rider unstrapped himself moving down the dragon’s shoulder until he was no longer riding it but perched on the edge of its shoulder, buffeted by the wind of flight. He wondered what the fool rider thought he was doing.

Tahlir felt helpless, a mere passenger rather than a partner to Galath in this fight. Without sword or lance, he was almost useless. He suddenly got an idea. He remembered a story that one of his trainers had told one night as he was drinking somewhat heavily. Tahlir freed himself from the straps of his saddle and moved to perch on the dragon’s shoulder, a dangerous position to be in. As they dove in close to one of the blue dragon’s Tahlir flung himself into thin air. He landed hard on the spine of the dragon. He crawled quickly towards the enemy rider who did not seem to notice Tahlir at first. The blue dragon noticed however and rolled in midair trying to dislodge the half-elf. He clung to the spikes going down the dragons back as the dragon maneuvered in the air. He fought his way towards the human rider who now noticed him and turned to face him, trying to swing his sword around to bring to bear on Tahlir. The half-elf was faster, his knife strike coming first, striking like a viper’s bite. The human rider fell back clutching his throat, gagging, choking on his own blood, dying even now.

Tahlir flung himself back into thin air dropping quickly away from the blue. He abandoned the dragon none too soon, for the blue gave out the cry all dragons no matter their color gave when their rider died, and flashed out of existence. Tahlir knew the dragon, sensing the immediate cessation of his rider’s life had gone between—permanently. Dragons had the ability to live for many many years; no one knew exactly how long dragons lived. Wild dragons often died young, as competition for mates and resources was often fatal. Non-wild dragons, one could never call them domesticated, lived longer, but generally the life of a bonded dragon only lasted as long as their rider’s life. The oldest known dragon was several hundred years old, bonded to a full blood elf as he was. Riders who lost dragons lived on with their never ending sadness, but dragons who lost their riders committed suicide, typically on the spot. There were even incidents where a severely injured rider’s holdmates would struggle to reassure the dragon that his rider was not dead and to please stay and wait for him to recover. Tahlir’s risk had paid off, and now there was one fewer opponent facing Galath.

The half-elf’s plummet was stopped abruptly as the bronze caught him with a hard clamp as his claws closed around his waist. Tahlir hated flying like this, like he was the dragon’s next meal, legs wind milling in the air. On the other hand it beat the hell out of dying in an undignified heap on the ground, which was his other option.

Tahlir had just regained his perch on the saddle when there was a loud dragon war cry that split the air. “Who is that?” He asked his dragon, and got a response that was not helpful, Galath did not know. There were not supposed to be any other dragons near here. Galath was familiar with all of the major dragonholds, and the closest was Southhold and he had ordered his people away. Perhaps it was a holdless dragon.

A large gold came into view and both dragon and rider swore. Not because golds could not be fierce fighters, but more that honor dictated that their mission was now not just to survive, but to protect the precious female at all cost. What was the gold’s rider thinking flying into the middle of a battle like that? Tahlir could feel Galath redoubling his efforts to fight through the attackers to be sure that none of them could hurt the female. However, the red would reach the gold, long before they would, the rider brandishing a sword in either hand, one of which was most likely Tahlir’s own blade.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:10 PM   #4
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Okay, now what?!

Chu’si’s thought was panicked, mirroring the expression on her face. Her lustrous hair billowing behind her, an iridescent black flag, she grasped wildly to Filia’s neck. Unlike the “established” dragon riders, the people of Chu’si’s tribe rode with ornate saddles only. The process of weaving the many blankets and beading under the saddle began as soon as the rider could sew - and over time, they would add more decorations to the blankets. A saddle, stirrups…..and that was it. So, when Filia pitched forward into the heat of battle, Chu’si had no other option but to hold on for dear life.

Her eyes watering in the force of the wind, Chu’si fought the urge to close them.

Filia, what are you doing?! Please, answer me!

The fear was apparent, even in her thoughts. Filia ignored Chu’si’s pleads; kept barreling forward. Through the link between them, Chu’si was nearly overwhelmed by the…rage that Filia was displaying. There was almost no more rational thought there - just the desire to go forth and triumph. An unwavering certainty in her ability to defeat those that stood before her. And, yet, buried under all of that, the burning desire, no, promise, that Filia held within her heart - that the golden dragon was going to protect her charge at all costs. Finally bowing to her desire to close her eyes, Chu’si touched her forehead to the back of Filia’s neck.

I trust you.

Good, came the light reply.

But we are going to have a lllooonnggggg talk when all of this is done.

As the red dragon approached, Filia jerked sharply upward, in an ascent so incredibly steep that it spoke volumes for the trust, and Chu’si’s skill that she was able to hang on and not be injured. From the suddenly high vantage point, Filia let loose with a torrent of flame so hot it burned blue, as neatly focused as a laser. The red dragon halted, slowed, but not enough to dodge all of the flame. With a shrill shriek, he fluttered one still good wing - the other had shielded his rider and sustained a grievous injury. Behind the charred wing, the rider showed through, burned, his hair and face smoking, half his face a reddened horror. Malice twisted his marred features.

Filia’s wings kept her steady, almost idle, as she kept her sapphire gaze on the mangled dragon below her. He was faltering drastically now, struggling to keep upright, but losing altitude with every moment. So focused was the red dragon on trying to keep aloft that he didn’t think to breathe fire, not until his rider snarled something at him. Facing Filia, the red opened his mouth, the inferno starting. A meager blast of flame shot forth, and Filia dove, her sleek bulk moving in a smooth barrel roll, the flames flickering around her, but buffeted away by her wings. In-between flashes of gold wing, Chu’si’s hair flowed around her, her head band ripped away from the mere speed of it all. She, like before, was more focused on hanging on for dear life.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:52 PM   #5
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Galath was pulling hard for the red which was closing in with the gold. Tahlir was ducked low once again as they streaked through the sky, flaming greens and blues as they went. However their efforts proved wholly unnecessary as the gold made swift work of the red as the red spiraled down out of the sky flapping one wing furiously to catch a thermal, anything to slow his devastating plunge.

The wind rushed in Tahlir’s ears and his stomach flipped as his weight left him as Galath dove hard to intercept the descending red. Clearly, the bronze clearly intended to get at least a piece of his revenge on the red. Galath came out of his stomach wrenching dive and opened his jaws a blast of fire washing over the red’s remaining wing. The dragon screamed in pain as its speed of descent decreased. Although Tahlir couldn’t hear the other rider, he could clearly see the rider screaming with his rage. The Red hit the ground, one of the giant pines impaling the crimson beast through the breast.

“I don’t think he’ll bother us anymore,” Galath commented dryly. The Bronze circled their fallen foe before lifting back into the sky. Allowing Tahlir to examine the battle field. It was clear that the gold had made short work of the few remaining blues and greens, injuring a few and convincing the others to flee. “It has a rider, but one who doesn’t look like one from the dragonholds, she lacks the uniform and the knots denoting hold and rank on her shoulders.”

Tahlir accepted the report from his dragon, which had far superior vision than he. “Inquire who they are,” the wingleader ordered his dragon, requesting that Galath communicate with the gold. “And then land near the red, I intend to at least recover my sword for the trouble we’ve been put through.” Galath slowly descended in a lazy spiral, setting down in a clearing near the downed red. Tahlir wondered who the gold and her rider were. It was rare for gold to be alone, especially in a combat situation. Yes golds were not forbidden to fight, but they often did it within a queen’s wing, and were more often used for hold defense. So who were these two? They had to be holdless riders, he had heard of them, however they were most commonly the neutral gem dragons, it was rare to find a fellow metallic dragon, especially a queen so far from an established hold.

As his dragon set down, Tahlir looked skyward, waiting to see if the gold and her rider joined them. “”Have they responded?” he asked. “Telepathy was instantaneous, however the gold might be speaking with her rider and that might explain the silence.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:21 PM   #6
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The rest of the battle went by so quickly that Chu’si wondered if she had dreamed it all. By the time that Filia had settled back into a much more sedate flight pattern, Chu’si was beyond light-headed and bewildered. As the adrenaline left her body, she felt her entire body start to quake. Slumping down across Filia’s long neck, she squeezed her eyes shut, trying to will the world to stop spinning, for her stomach to finally settle. Wishful thinking could only do so much, and in a few moments, Chu’si leaned over the side of Filia’s neck, and promptly vomited.

You okay? Filia’s voice was genuinely concerned. She could feel Chu’si’s unease,but didn’t quite share it.

….Something like that, came Chu’si’s much slower reply. If she could just lay there for a few moments longer…get her bearings back. Try to process what just happened. She’d never seen Filia do anything even remotely close to what had just happened. She knew that Filia could breathe fire - after all, she was a dragon-, but Filia did it so rarely that sometimes it was easy to forget that the creature was a dragon, and not actually a blood relative. Gently, Filia began a slow descent down to the tree line, careful to treat the semi-conscious Chu’si as if she were carrying a bundle of feathers on her back and she wasn’t to let a single one drift away.

In the midst of her descent, Filia could feel a tickling at the back of her skull. With a light snort, she waited until she’d touched down on the ground before focusing more attention on what was happening. Chu’si was out cold on her back, finally succumbing. Well, that would make communicating a little easier. At least for a little while. Sending a gentle mental caress to Chu’si, Filia was able to check on her human companion’s vitals. So far, so good. Chu’si was right, though - she would have quite a bit of explaining to do once the woman came to. She only hoped that she had the words, the ability, to tell her what had gone through her mind the moment she caught the scent of the wood smoke. It was as if a switch had gone off in her head - she had to move, she had to act. It felt…like the right thing to do. And now, the golden dragon thought, slightly bemused, she felt more alive than ever.

And the tickling came again.

Settling down on the grass like a great cat, Filia finally responded.

My name is Filia; my sister is Chu’si. You’re welcome, by the way, she added, with a bit of a snort. She was still a distance away from Galath; she had purposefully landed a ways away. There was no telling how the bronze would have reacted, and she had a duty to protect herself, and above all, Chu’si. With Chu’si knocked out, Filia was in a precarious position. But, still, she knew she could defend herself, should it come to that.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:07 PM   #7
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Tahlir watched the gold slowly descend in a slow almost languid spiral, as if she were carrying something delicate or injured. He was a little concerned that Galath had received no response to his mental inquiries. They couldn’t be hostile, could they? This was quickly becoming a situation that reminded Tahlir, that despite his show of proficiency in the recent attack, he was still rather inexperienced as both a dragonrider and a leader. He wished in that moment he knew more about the wider dragon cultures and life outside the holds.

“She says her name is Filia, and her rider is Chu’si,” Galath reported, “She also says you’re welcome,” The bronze’s tone conveyed a hint of humor at the gold’s comment.

“You didn’t thank her?” he asked sounding somewhat irritated with his dragon. Tahlir was nothing if not unflaggingly polite.

“I sorta figured it was implied.”

“Thank her,” he said, thumping his dragon on the neck.

“To thank her would suggest that I needed her assistance,”

“We Did!” Tahlir sounded somewhat irritated with his stubborn companion now.

“Alright alright, I’ll thank her.” His dragon huffed.

Communicating with Filia now He responded, “I am Galath, and my rider is Tahlir. He bids me thank you for your timely assistance.” And with some effort the dragon managed not to make a disparaging remark about not needing them. Perhaps his rider was right.

Tahlir finally could see Filia’s rider clearly as she was now on the ground, she appeared slumped over in her saddle, a much more decretive saddle than his war saddle. This was obviously someone who had not planned on battle this day. Tahlir dismounted and rushed quickly towards the gold. “Your rider appears injured,” he said aloud to the dragon rather than going through Galath, “May I be of assistance?” he asked, the healer in him wanting to check over the young woman.

Suddenly he skidded to a halt, remembering his training and manners. One did not just rush up to an unfamiliar dragon, especially when the rider was injured. He paused and bowed to the majestic gold. “I am Tahlir, Wingleader of Southhold, rider and companion to Bronze Galath,” he said formally to the gold. “May I approach and see to your rider?” He waited for Galath to convey her response. He wished the gold could speak to him, and although he had heard of some who could hear all dragons that gift was rare, and some dragons could speak to their mate’s rider, however this gold was not his dragon’s mate, so he instead expected the response to come via his dragon.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:56 PM   #8
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I’d say it was nice to meet you, Galath, but your manners are somewhat lacking, and the tone in her voice was one of light humor. Filia was teasing - she’d been around enough male dragons to know that they had major egos. And flying in and saving him must’ve been a real blow - she could sense it in his response. What a hatchling! Still, though, she was lucky that she sensed the trouble. It had been…exhilarating. Like something she was always meant to do. The fact that she was able to save someone was just the honey on her fry cake.

Filia would prove to be an impressively beautiful sight the closer Tahlir got to her. With those magnificent opalescence gold scales, even in the mottled light of the forest she looked to be aflame, tiny rainbow sparks popping from the edge of every luminescent scale. Her wings, neatly folded to protect Chu-si, were of gossamer molten gold.

As he approached, she studied him, her deep blue eyes sizing him up, looking through him. She backed up and raised herself up a bit, enough to show that his approach was too swift, and that she was still wary of him. Saved or not, she couldn’t trust anyone, especially with Chu’si still passed out on her back. Chu’si stirred, but didn’t awaken, and Filia did nothing to further stir her. The girl needed rest; and inwardly, Filia groaned. She was going to have a hell of a time explaining this. It wasn’t until he began rattling off his name and title that she grunted a bit in annoyance, flecks of sheer blue flame curling from the sides of her mouth.

Oh my gods, she mentally tagged Galath, In your part of the world do you all have such long names to rattle off? Half of that stuff wasn’t even important, jeez. Look, and her snort was annoyed as she settled down again, All he needs to do is get some water. Chu’si’s fine - just passed out. Despite the urge she had to tell him more about the thrill of the fight, she cut her thought off there, and then fixed her gaze back on Tahir, waiting for him to comply.

She settled back down, curling her tail about her feet like a giant cat. She didn’t rest her head on the loamy forest ground, keeping it up so she could continue to observe the world around her. After a few moments, she tucked back, gently nuzzled Chu’si to check on her, and then turned her attention back on the dragon and his strange looking companion. What manner of human is he? I’ve never seen ears like that. Did someone hold him up by them too long? Can he fix them? And if he can’t fix his own ears, how could he be of any help to my charge? Did you do that to his ears? Oh, wait, I think I read about people like that a long time ago….She paused, tapping a deep yellow claw against the ground - doodling a massive caricature of a sunflower as she thought for the word. Elf! Yes, that’s it. Is he an elf? What kind of elf is he? Are there are bunch more out there? What can they do? Are they different from normal humans?

She could continue to barrage them with questions; her curiosity was as boundless as Chu’si’s. Though it was not the first time Filia had seen a bronze dragon, it was his rider that intrigued her more. She knew, like Chu’si, that there was a large world beyond the village, but the details eluded them from time to time. The passage of time was rough on smaller villages; so cut off from the rest of the world that they became things of fable and the rest of the world became a dream. It would be easy to mistake her ignorance as stupidity, but it would be that - a grievous mistake. Intelligence shone clearly in her dark blue eyes, and she waited, somewhat eagerly, for Galath’s response.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:05 PM   #9
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Tahlir stood rigidly still holding his formal posture and salute to the gold. The wind blew the long black hair away from his body; it was secured behind his head with a leather thong. His green eyes had difficulty remaining at attention though; they were constantly flicking over the beautiful gold, and her curious rider.

“She believes we lack manners, and you are long-winded.” Galath reported in a dry tone. If there had been a wall handy, Tahlir would have beaten his head against it.

“I told you to be polite. You see what happens when you don’t listen to me?”

“Nag, nag, nag, nag… you sound like an old woman or one of our trainers.”

“Both people whose advice you should listen to. You’re not a tiny hatchling anymore you should have picked up at least a few of my good habits by now.” The bronze snorted a bit of fire himself, but whether it was in response to filia, or Tahlir was uncertain.

“He was greeting you formally,” Galath said to Filia. “Where we come from golden queens are respected and shown such properly.”

“She reports all her rider needs is water, and she thinks you look funny.” Tahlir looked somewhat surprised at that, even as he reached down to his belt, lifting his water skin up, to show Filia before he approached on light feet. “Yes,” Galath continued, “She believes someone has strung you up by your ears and now they cannot go back.” Tahlir shot his bronze a quizzical look.

“Yes, my rider is a half elf. And so many question my lady, I do not even know where to start.” Galath said.

“Apparently they live under a rock.” This earned the bronze a mental image of Tahlir thumping him on the nose.

“I would believe that Tahlir could best explain elves to you, I admit I do not know as much as I should. My rider does not often speak of his people, or his past.” The dragon said a note of shame in his voice for not knowing more about his rider. “I try to get him to open up, but he does not at times.” Was that sharing too much? The mighty bronze sounded uncertain. He left unspoken that he had the ability to see into his rider’s mind, that if he pushed the issue he could learn what he wanted from his rider, all things Filia would know, but he clearly would not force Tahlir to discuss things he did not wish to.

The half-elf approached the gold. He stood close reaching up to Chu’si, but all he could reach was her leg, from where he stood. He cleared his throat. “Can you give me a leg up?” he asked Filia, “So I can reach your sister and help her down?” Due to the height especially of the larger dragons, it was helpful for a rider to climb up a dragon’s large foreleg to reach the majestic neck.
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:40 PM   #10
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Oh, well, that was new. At no point had Filia ever been referred to as a “queen”, and she wasn’t sure precisely what to make of it. All I asked for was his name and yours, she snorted, somewhat cheekily. I have no need for titles or anything like that. Truly, her village and her fellow dragons didn’t have anything like that. There was some idea of ranking, but it came down merely to size, not to color. Just call me Fiiia, she said, her “voice” somewhat distracted as she continued to watch Tahlir’s approach. If Chu’si was awake, she wouldn’t be as concerned. The girl had grown up boxing men twice her size, and this slip of a man with the pointed ears posed no particular threat. Still, better safe than sorry.

As Tahlir spoke to her, she lifted a foreleg, enough for him to climb closer. To Galath, she shot back mentally, You don’t know everything about your rider? That’s certainly….unique. Her tone was utterly incredulous. There was nothing about Chu’si that she didn’t know, and she used to be able to say the same about Chu’si’s knowledge of herself. But, again, she found herself realizing that she would have much to explain about the events that just occurred. She adjusted herself, allowing Tahlir to climb closer to Chu’si without too much more trouble. She’d felt her rider stir, and knew that she’d be waking soon.

Chu’si groaned softly, her arm flung carelessly across her eyes. Her hair plumed under her, iridescent black bleeding into deep olive and blue hues. Her eyelashes cast long shadows across her cheeks, and, up this close, even though she was dark-skinned, there was a smattering of darker freckles across her cheeks and nose. Under her bottom lip, there was a thin black line tattooed there - two more followed straight down from the corners of her mouth, totaling three lines near her mouth. Between her thick black eyebrows, a curved line was tattooed, with smaller circles floating above it.

She stirred, rolling to her side. Her clothing was unmarred by the battle, and the looseness of her tunic only served to draw attention to the lithe figure beneath. Slowly, she opened her eyes as Tahlir stood over her, her violet eyes blurred as she tried to focus on him.

“Who….?”

Alertness snapped back to her face, and she staggered back. Her arms pinwheeled, and Filia curved round her long neck to keep Chu’si from tumbling off of her back. It would have been a nasty fall otherwise. “Thanks, Filia,” Chu’si said, a sigh of relief slipping from her. “What in the world happened…?” She trailed off, before her gaze darted back to Tahlir. “Who are you? Filia, how did he get on you? Oh, is that a water skin? Thanks!” And she leaned forward, grabbing it from him, and took long swigs. Tilting her head all the way back, she eagerly drank, water spilling from the corner of her lips, trailing down her throat. When she finally finished, she sloppily wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and handed it back to him. “Thank you! That really hit the spot; what’s your name?”

His name is Tahlir, chimed Filia, patiently, to Chu’si.

“Sorry, Tahlir, Filia just told me. She has a LOT she needs to tell me, like why in all of the Five Nations she just CHARGED into battle like she even knew what was going on! LILI, you could have gotten us KILLED.” Her voice, a normally pleasant contralto, had raised, fear creeping around the edges. It had been a close call. “I passed out, Filia! I could. Have. Died. And for what? What were you guys even fighting to begin with?” Chu’si turned to face Tahlir, anger coloring her cheeks. Filia, cowed by the torrent of words, lowered her mighty head and looked away.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:35 PM   #11
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“We have not been bonded long,” Galath shot back to Filia too quickly, sounding more than a bit defensive. “Not even 3 full years yet!” That being said, the dragon wondered if he should not have pressed his rider for more information. Filia acted like he was an abomination for not knowing all about his rider.

Tahlir thanked the gold softly as she moved her leg, accommodating his steps up onto her shoulder, just behind the neck, where Chu’si Lay. He could see her up close, and was struck at once, by her difference from him, skin dark where his pale, however they shared black hair in common. The second thing he was struck by was her beauty. Exotic and different than the beauty he was used to, yet appealing all the same. As he reached out to gently brush a lock of her hair from her cheek, she came awake scrambling away, almost falling. Only due to her dragon’s quick movements and a steadying hand from Tahlir himself did she not fall. She then began to ask questions. “Yes, I am Tahlir.” He watched her grab the water skin and drink thirstily, almost rudely. However he managed to not comment on her lack of manners, his eyes following the water droplets as they slid down the slender curve of her neck and into the top of her top. He drew his eyes back up to meet hers, the green almonds assessing her, trying to decide what to answer first.” He finally settled on facing her anger directly, something her dragon seemed unwilling to do. “Galath and I were attacked unexpectedly by the blues and greens, led by the red. A mighty red, which your Filia made short work of.” A hint of admiration filling his tone.

He moved down the dragon’s leg toward the ground, “Come, we will talk,” he said offering her a hand down. He was aware she could climb down probably just as well as he could, but he made the gesture habitually out of respect for the young woman.
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:02 PM   #12
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Filia’s response was a soft snort of surprise. I’ve been bonded to Chu’si since we were both young. I merely thought that was how all bonding was done. And for her, that’s how it worked - for the most part- in the tribe. All of the children were brought to the hatching. Not that it was uncommon for a dragonet to bond with an adult, but it was generally preferred for dragon and rider to grow up together. The bond seemed to be stronger then. As for tone, it was hard for Filia not to sound dismissive of the bronze; she, like her rider, was the dragon equivalent to a tomboy. She had no interest in humoring the egos of male dragons, regardless of color, and now this new concept of status based on color. The whole thing was curious to her - and now that she knew he was much younger, well. It would be hard not to sort of look down at him. But that’s okay, she sent, her tone teasing and her look smug, You’re barely out of the shell as it is.

Filia paid little mind to Tahlir’s efforts to climb her; aiding whenever she can, she was clearly more focused on speaking with Galath. Trying to place his accent, to learn more about him. And he was yet such a baby! Well, maybe compared to her. Not that she felt old. And not like she’d tell how old she was.

Chu’si, settled atop on Filia and knowing that her dragon was deliberately avoiding her questions by speaking with the other dragon, shot her a dirty look.

“Filia’s not saying much to me right now,” and she handed him the water skin back. “Why were you attacked to begin with?” When he offered her his hand, she turned to really get a good look at him, and for a moment, she paused. It was barely noticeable - but it was a pause nonetheless. She’d never seen anyone like him - pale, delicately pointed ears, eyes the color of spring. He was handsome, but not in the same way as the men from her tribe. He was far more delicate, almost too delicate to be riding a dragon, let alone to be called a warrior. She would ignore his outstretched hand, though, and slide deftly from Filia’s back in a long practiced movement.

“Where are you from?” She pointed in the opposite direction, back towards the falls. “My people are that way.” She hesitated, then began again, “Let’s get you back to where you call home.”
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:22 AM   #13
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“Yes, that’s how it’s done most often in the holds too.” Galath replied. “Tahlir is a bit of an anomaly. One of many in these trying times. As you know dragons mature much faster than the riders, and as the war drags on, older riders are needed,” he explained. “Our bond will grow in time.” He added that last bit somewhat defensive.

Tahlir watched her watch him. It was an interesting experience. It was something he honestly thought couldn’t faze him anymore. He’d seen countless people look at him, and then do that so similar pause, when they saw he was not fully human. The faint stubble on his cheeks showed clearly he was no true blooded elf—as his full blooded kin always reminded him, that was just one thing that made him different and impure to them. However her examination of him felt different than just that—and he didn’t know why.

He lifted one delicately arched brow when she clearly rejected his show of courtesy, the only outward sign of his surprise and disapproval. Clearly she had interpreted his gesture as suggesting she was incapable of getting down on her own, and slid down to prove she could. Tahlir lifted his shoulders in a small shrug and leapt down gracefully, using his knees to absorb the shock of impact.

“We are not from around here. We were leading a patrol that was conducting a mission against the group of chromatic dragons, the remnants of which you met recently.” He gestured at the distant fallen red. “In the fight, Galath was injured and could not go between back to the dragon hold, so we were limited to flying straight,” he explained. “We did not realize we were close to a village, or that there were villages around here even. We were just trying to lead the chromatic dragons into following us, so our people could escape.”
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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Huh, clicked Filia. She was losing interest in the conversation, but knew she had to keep herself “distracted” to avoid talking to Chu’si for the moment. It’d at least be enough to buy herself some time to figure out the best way to explain things to her erstwhile companion. Wait, what do you mean, war? She sent, her expression darkening (as much as a dragon’s face could change). She shifted her great gold bulk to face him more directly now, lowering her neck slightly so she could find Galath’s eyes. You have a lot of explaining to do as well, it would seem. By the tone of her voice, she expected to get answers. Quickly.

“Psst, yeah, I gathered that you weren’t from around here,” Chu’si responded with an exaggerated roll of her eyes. “Why are dragons fighting to begin with? Also, about those dead dragons, don’t you think it might be a good idea that we do something about those bodies? If you’re trying to lay low, leaving behind massive dragon corpses might not be the best idea. And were you successful in getting them away from your people?” She, like Filia, fired off questions one after another, hardly pausing to take a breath. Beside him, she took another long look at him, before actually reaching out to trace the curve of his ear. Her fingers slipped through the silk of his hair, then caressed the curve of his ear with a feather light touch.

“Oh, wow,” she breathed, not in the slightest bothered if she had intruded on his personal space. “How are you even a real person? You’re beautiful.”
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:06 PM   #15
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Emerald facets of Galath’s eyes met the sapphires of Filia. It was the bronze’s turn to have a note of smug superiority in his tone when addressing the gold about a subject he was obviously more knowledgeable on. “Because they are evil.” He stated, the same way someone might say that water was wet. “They plunder rape and pillage innocent towns, all to increase their wealth. They are greedy and subject to the whims of the dark desires of their riders.” He finally elaborated. “But how can you not know this? They are our instinctual enemies; we know they serve their dark goddess even as we serve her brother, all who is good and right, he who created the world and the metallic dragons.” Alright, so that last part sounded just a tad preachy, even to the bronze, but he did not know how Filia did not know these things.

Chu’si’s flagrantly sarcastic reply earned her another simple lift of an eyebrow, again the only outward sign of the half-elf’s disapproval of her manners. Even so his lips fought themselves almost as if they wanted to smile despite themselves. He ignored that but did answer her questions about the dragon bodies. “Yes, they will need to be taken between, and left there.” It was difficult to define the nothingness, outside space and time, the utter cold blackness that was between—the way that dragons teleported between places. “However as I mentioned Galath currently does not have the strength to go between, trust me; if we could we would not have been in the position to be so ambushed as it was.” He said almost as if she had questioned his abilities, even though she hadn’t. The situation was apparently wearing on the steadfast rider.

He took a deep breath as her questions continued, he barely able to keep up. He nodded, “We think all of our people got away, yes. Apparently though, our own escape was not so successful.” He said dryly, stating the obvious.

He became aware of her gaze studying him once again. When her hand reached out to touch him. He reacted instantly expecting some sort of violent blow. Slender fingers clamping around her wrist demonstrating strength far more than his seemingly fragile form should possess.

His hair was soft under her fingertips, thick, and she could tell where it freed from the thong would spill over the upper portion of his back and easily cover the ears she next touched. He did not stop her from touching his hair when he realized she was not going to hurt him. He kept his hand shackled around her wrist though. The grip suddenly slackening as her questing fingertips slid over the tip of one ear. This was the first time she’d seen a more severe reaction from him. His breath caught suddenly in a slight gasp and color rose to his cheeks. His eyes lost focus for a second and it apparently had caused him pleasure. He had never experienced such a feeling, but had heard of it certainly.

Green eyes came up to meet hers and for a second they reflected his slight confusion to his body’s reaction. Then the emotion was gone replaced by his neutrality once again. He gently used his hand around her wrist to pull her hand from his ear. He let her go and took a half a step back. Then realizing what he did, resolutely took back that step his eyes locked with hers. He cleared his throat, given a complement he could not fail to return the favor. “You have the most interesting shade of eyes I have ever seen.” He said. So, perhaps his life with the monks had not prepared him for being the best at giving compliments—but he still sought to honor the tradition of his people. Tahlir was such a strange mix of all of the influences of his heritage and upbringing, that sometimes even he did not know how he should react in a given situation. That was why he most often fell back on the steadfast discipline of the monks, that was easy—nothingness was easy—it was when one felt, that things got complicated.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:21 PM   #16
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Evil’s a fairly subjective term, isn’t it? Filia snorted back, unphased by the hatching’s impertinence. And not everyone in this world believes the same as you. And, to our benefit, our beliefs have kept us out of war and kept our people peaceful and safe. It appears you cannot say the same, she sniffed, with an air of finality. Imagine, this upstart hatchling lecturing her. She turned her attention away from him now, looking towards Chu’si and Tahlir. Well, it looked like the two of them were at least talking, so it wouldn’t really give her the opportunity to break in.

With a long, resigned sigh, she looked again at Galath, then back to the riders. Then back to Galath. And then, past the riders. It’d be easier (and far more peaceful) to keep quiet between herself and Galath. Male dragons were hard enough to deal with, and this one had a bit of a self-righteous streak to boot. What is your deal, anyway? she sent back to him. You speak like you’ve been trapped in a monastery your entire life. I bet you’ve never even bedded another dragon, either. This was tossed over one of her immense shoulders as she began to plod after the two riders. Obviously they were going somewhere, and she didn’t want to be left behind.

________

Okay, she deserved that. Chu’si’s initial reaction when Tahlir grasped her wrist was one of panic; he was clearly stronger than he looked, and was liable to really hurt her, should he so wish to. But then, his grip eased, and she finished the motion of her hand, trailing it slowly through his hair. “Sorry,” she murmured, somewhat abashed. What had she expected? She had just touched some random guy’s ears. She would’ve been pissed if he’d done the same to her.

…Or maybe not, as he was handsome. Eh. There was no way of telling.

“In-between? Is that something you can show me and Filia how to do? That way, it gives you time for you and Galath to heal up. I think the sooner we get you guys home, the better. How much further are you from your home? Days?” If she was going to be gone for long, she’d have to send Filia back to the village to let them know what was happening. While Chu’si was largely left to her own devices, people would actually worry if she wasn’t back by nightfall.

She snorted at his poor attempt of a compliment, and waved it away. "Thanks, I think."
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:59 PM   #17
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Galath was somewhat surprised as Filia stripped away his self-ritious beliefs dismissing them like seeds from a maple tree, spinning away in the wind. It had never occurred to the still relatively young bronze that there could be dragons who did not believe what he did, and who did not also hate the evil chromatic dragons. “So raping and pillaging is ok in your world?” he sent back. Arguing was so much easier than trying to examine the possibilities that her replies implied. “I have grown up in the dragon holds, yes. Although it is Tahlir who has spent time in a monastery.” Galath said, “What does that have to do with anything though?”

The bronze followed after the riders and filia. He disliked being the follower in this situation. He was born to be a leader. “Bedded? Are you a human to use their language? No, I have never flown a female.” He said sounding first disdainful of her words, and then somewhat embarrassed half way through as he admitted. “I have chosen not to attempt to fly a female yet…” he finally added, still sounding defensive. He kept quiet on his reasons. His own lack of confidence, and because of Tahlir. The half-elf had not experienced love making and Galath feared to have his rider’s first time be fueled by the lust of a dragon mating.

She seemed somewhat abashed at what she’d done. Murmuring a soft apology. There was a melodic quality to her contralto voice that appealed to the half-elf, who did appreciate beauty, even if his formality did not let him express it fully. “I understand,” he said softly. “I am different from you and seem strange. However I’m fairly certain you did not intend that as the invitation to bed you that it is in elven culture.” He added lifting one eyebrow again, a gesture that was obviously somewhat habitual for him. And again the lips twitched as if he wanted to smile.

He frowned again as she seemed to wave away his compliment. He lifted his shoulders in a slight shrug dismissing it though. Obviously they were having some cultural disconnects. It was clear that just as he had trouble in the holds, Tahlir would have some trouble with this woman as well.

It was Tahlir’s turn to look surprised, “You and Filia cannot go between? Cannot teleport from place to place?” he asked. “I am certainly not a trainer, but I have conducted exercises going between with my wing of dragons, so I could probably teach you, yes.” He seemed to consider. “I am honestly not sure how far southhold is as the dragon flies straight from here. I could be there in a few instants if Galath could go between.” He scratched his chin trying to think how to explain, “He has a gash down his side, between is bitterly cold, and it is not good to take that sort of wound between too many times and as I said it requires strength.”

“I am plenty strong enough,” Galath sent to Tahlir. The half-elf’s eyes defocused clearly conversing with his dragon.

“I know you are, but we decided it was safest to not try until you gained more control over the ability. You do not wish to materialize in the center of a mountain, do you?”

“Excuse me m’lady, but I was remind my dragon that he does not wish to reappear inside a mountaintop, we are both fairly certain such an experience would be unpleasant.” As he spoke, Tahlir walked towards the fallen red. Near the fallen beast, he found the rider. It was clear the fall had killed him. He bent and rolled the body over so he could pull a sword from underneath the body. He inspected the weapon, which seemed no worse for wear. He traced delicate fingertips over the pommel stone, which was a single gem, an emerald, almost the color of Galath’s eyes, cut into the shape of an arrowhead. The cross guard was shaped like the sweeping curves of a long-bow, the grip forming the shaft of the arrow. It was clearly a weapon he had some emotional attachment to. He said nothing about the sword, yet it was obvious based on the care he took with it that it meant something to him.

Tahlir slid the sword into the empty sheath on his right hip. The blade fit perfectly, suggesting that this is where the weapon belonged. Tahlir then picked up a second weapon. It was not crafted anywhere as nicely. The half-elf considered the blade for a moment and then placed one booted foot on a rock lifting his knee and snapped the long-sword over it. His actions were both practical, denying their enemies a weapon to use against him, but also ritualistic, a clear challenge and defiance of his enemies.

The elf returned his attention to Chu’si expecting her next barrage of questions.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:49 AM   #18
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With an almost audible eye roll, Filia stopped in her steps and turned to downright glare at Galath. Did I once even imply that rape and pillage was okay? Gods, you are such a hatchling! Don’t you know anything about how humans are? Or rather, how the world works? Not a single being is either all good or all bad.

She continued on, shaking her head a bit at his response about flying a female. It doesn’t matter if I use human words or dragon ones; you understood me all the same. So you ARE an inexperienced hatchling, and her voice held a bit of a chuckle to it. Now she was blatantly teasing him, for, honestly, lack of anything better to do. It was in her nature, and now that she had a new victim to toy with, she’d do so relentlessly. At least, until Chu’si sent her a message to stop.

“When did I say that you were ‘strange’?!” said Chu’si, defensively. She hadn’t. “All I said was that you were beautiful. Last time I give you a compliment,” and she crossed her arm, following him. After all, he knew the direction that they needed to go. “And what if I DID know what it meant and I WAS asking you to bed,” she sniffed. “It’d be a fair repayment for saving your life and the life of your dragon and now escorting you back home, far away from the safety of my own.”

Well. It wasn’t that she was entirely unopposed to the idea of a brief frolic in the grass with him, but she was more embarrassed by what her seemingly innocent caress had actually meant to the man. And, of course, rather than apologize, she would just bluster through. “And no, we can’t ‘go between’,” she added, using his phrasing. “The most that Filia and I do is just fly and enjoy the wind. It sounds like going between may not be all that great; you can’t tell how far you’ve gone.” That was her (seldom seen) practical side. “So, you’re not sure how far away we are from your Southhold? And if he’s wounded, it’s better not to even take the chance of making it worse. Filia and I will just need to send word home where we are, and it shouldn’t be a problem.”

As Galath mentally tagged Tahlir, so Filia reached out to nudge Chu’si.

His dragon is an egotistical little hatchling - the two of them weren’t raised together. Don’t listen to whatever his dragon THINKS he can do.

Chu’si glared over her shoulder at Filia. As massive and as stately as she was, the larger dragon stumbled over her own feet backing up away from that glare.

Chu’si was going to turn her attention back to Tahlir, ask more questions, but by this time, he was occupied with retrieving his sword. So she let him be, and turned around to face Filia full on. The dragon backed up a few paces, and suddenly became very interested in her curving talons.

I know you’ve been avoiding talking to me, and Chu’si face showed her anger at her dragon. I am so pissed at you. You could have gotten us killed!

I never would have put you in a position to be hurt, sent back Filia, looking ashamed.

Yeah, like flying into the midst of battle was the best idea ever? We’ve never gotten into anything like that, Filia. And there’s good reason for it. We have no idea who this man is, or this dragon. We can’t just assume that going into anything is helping! This guy could turn around and murder us or whatever. Look at him!

He’s a half-elf from a monastery. You’re being racist
, sniffed Filia.

I am NOT. And we don’t know if he’s a killer monk or whatever!

I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing
,” responded Filia, raising a horned crest over her eye. Though dragons did not have eyebrows, many, like Filia, had raised crests over their eyes that worked in much the same way, helping to convey expression and to protect their eyes.

How would you know?

I’m just saying. Look, I’m sorry. But there was just something in my gut that said that I had to go help them. That it was the right thing to do.


Chu’si sighed, her hands on her hips, looking up at the elegant neck and head of her strange sister. As much as she may have wanted to, there was no arguing that Filia’s heart had been in the right place. If Chu’si had seen a man being attacked, she would have done her best to help him. That was the way of her people.

Okay…I get it, sent back Chu’si. I do. But we need to be more careful in the future. I didn’t even have a weapon on me. If we’re going to be traveling with this guy, we need to arm ourselves. Well, maybe not so much as you, but I need to.

Feeling that all was okay between the two of them again, Filia lowered her mighty head to delicately rest on Chu’si’s right shoulder. Leaning her head against the dragon’s, Chu’si gently rubbed the flat scales between her eyes, running her hand along the length of her neck as far as could reach.

Next time, warn me.

I will.

I suppose this means I need to make some adjustments to the saddle. I was nearly blown off!

You can take your example from how Tahlir has his set up. By the way, I think he likes you.

Oh my gods, shut up
, and Chu’si lightly elbowed Filia in the neck. The dragon’s eyes closed in glee, looking all the world for a cat that’s gotten the canary.

I’m serious. He just doesn’t know how to say it. But he was totally giving you the eye. I don’t think he knows what to do with him.

I think you’re wrong.

No, seriously. Go over there and touch him again.

He almost snapped my wrist the first time.

He didn’t know how to react. That’s why he did it. Seriously. I don’t think he’s going to be a crazy murderer or whatever. He’s just weird and awkward, just like his hatchling mount.

You’re being mean, Filia.


I’m just saying, and Filia lifted her head from Chu’si shoulder, moving to stand at her normal height. Chu’si looked up at her, shaking her head a little. Silly thing.

“Sorry; Filia and I needed to catch up,” she said, turning her attention to Tahlir, who waited patiently. Well, even if he was impatient, Chu’si doubted that he’d even show it. “Anyway, look, it seems pretty late in the day, and I need to send word home. We should probably set up camp not too much further from here. If I send Filia home to bring word to my parents and people, can your dragon manage to find us fresh water? I’m not familiar with this part of the forest,” which was, of course, a lie. She was familiar with the forest for miles around, but didn’t want to run the risk of bringing any sort of skirmish back to her village. “The idea is to keep moving south, then? What we can do is have him find fresh water heading that way,” and she pointed away from her village, “and then set up camp there. Does that work for you?"
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:06 PM   #19
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“If you ever intend on being a mother or a teacher, you might want to work on that sarcasm problem,” Galath told Filia. However, he was starting to seriously wonder how lacking his education had been thus far. He had learned his lessons well, but this gold seemed to think he was completely ignorant. He truly wasn’t sure how to react to that.

Tahlir sighed as he worked hearing her response. “You didn’t say I was strange I suppose,” he fell silent leaving unspoken the fact that everyone else did, so he had assumed that was her way of saying he was different.

“What you get for assuming,” Galath inserted into his thoughts. The bronze distracting himself from Filia’s teasing by poking at his rider.

“Can you blame me for being defensive?” and there was honestly anger in Tahlir’s mental tone, and had Chu’si been watching him she would have seen his jaw clench with his emotion. Galath did not have a good response to that. Tahlir did not often air his feelings of not being accepted.

However Chu’si did not see Tahlir’s slip in control as she was conversing with Filia. He found himself drawn to watch them. The way they both interacted. It was almost like he could hear their conversation; both were so expressive in their body language. It was clear that despite her anger, Chu’si loved her dragon with a fierce loyalty that reminded him of the bond he’d seen between the older members of the dragonhold. He knew he should tend to Galath, make sure he was not injured, but he was absorbed for the moment in watching Filia and Chu’si.

When she turned back to him, he continued their conversation as if there had been no interruption, waving away her apology. “Going between is less limited by distance. If you can see a place clearly in your mind, you can go there. If I had to guess I would say we are a few hundred miles to the north east of Southhold. I just did not know the exact distance, or how long it would take Galath to fly there without going between,” he explained. He listened to her words, “Yes, there’s fresh water less than a quarter mile that way,” he said pointing, “I filled my water skin there, and found the hardwood to splint Galath’s leg. “However, I’m pretty sure we should relocate before we get some sleep.” Tahlir looked fully awake, but they had been awake long into the night and could use more rest. So could Galath, although the bronze would never admit it. “I do not wish to go too far before I inspect Galath, and tend to the new wounds he’s gotten. Was Filia at all injured?” he asked, reverting to his training, always tend your dragon first.

Suiting action to words he headed for Galath assuming Chu’si would follow. He paused before the bronze, “This is Chu’si,” he seemed to fumble for a second, not knowing her titles, “Rider of Gold Filia,” he finally finished, formally introducing the woman to the great dragon. Galath lowered his wedge shaped head to study the woman and he seemed to approve.

“She looks strong, and her feminine attributes are very well proportioned.” The dragon said to Tahlir.

Tahlir cleared his throat, “He says you look strong and uh.” Here he paused, “And that you would make a good mother.” He tried to sensor his friend’s words, “That is to say that,” here he sketched the shape of her torso with his hands, “”You’re body is configured well to bare children, and attract a man.” There, he hoped that conveyed the message without being so…crude. However his inexperience made the words sound just as bad, in a clinically awkward way.

“She’s beautiful you dolt, just tell her that.” Galath said reaching out with one massive foreleg to nudge his rider almost knocking him over. The half elf actually blushed.

“Apparently that was the part I was supposed to keep to myself,” he explained, “I was just informed that what I should have told you he said was you are beautiful. He acts like I can read his mind…” he trailed off realizing how silly that sounded because—he could in fact—read his dragon’s mind.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:43 PM   #20
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Yes, because clearly those are the only roles I can play in my life - teacher or mother. Jeez. Who let you off the farm? Filia clicked in disgust, before turning her attention to Chu’si.

The conversation with Filia had taken some of the sting out of her earlier interaction with Tahlir - not to mention, soothed her a little. She had holy people in her village, true, but they intermingled with everyone else. Tahlir certainly was an anomaly…

“Well, that’s helpful, but not always practical,” Chu’si responded to Tahlir, her arms still protectively around the neck of Filia. “Sometimes it’s best to go the old ways. Not saying that going in-between isn’t useful, of course. But you always have to be prepared, because sometimes all of our tools aren’t available for us. Like now.” The last part was added as a bit of a tease, but she was sure it’d go over the half-elf’s head. Or that he’d take it the wrong way. “We can stop here, for now, and you can take a look at Galath’s wounds. That works out well - Filia can go home for me.”

Following Tahlir, she smiled a little at the bronze dragon. She wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with his breed, but this was the first dragon she’d met that she hadn’t known her entire life. “I’m just Chu’si,” she added, after Tahlir was done. “Where I come from, we don’t have any of those titles or anything like that.” It was said both for Tahlir’s and Galath’s understanding.

And then came the fumbling compliments. She’d raise an eyebrow at Galath, then look to Tahlir for clarification. And as he dug himself deeper, her face screwed up in a desperate attempt not to laugh in his face. At the last admission of her being “beautiful”, she finally lost her composure, and fell into a fix of laughter, stopping so often to wipe her eyes and try to collect herself before losing it again.

“Oh, my gods,” she finally stuttered out, running a hand through her wild hair. “Wow. Well, um, thank you, the both of you.” A barely suppressed snort - and then she started laughing all over again. “By the Five Nations,” she said, much later, as she struggled to catch her breath. “Okay…You asked if Filia was okay….She’s fine. She’s like a giant flying ox; nothing can hurt her.” Filia snorted, flames flickering around the edge of her snout playfully at being called an “ox.” She leaned down, and pushed Chu’si lightly.

That push, however, would knock Chu’si directly into Tahlir. The two of them fell in a tangle of limbs. It was a light enough push so that neither party would be injured - Filia had seen to that much. As she struggled to recover from the slight tumble, Chu’si lifted a little, rubbing the side of her head. Her iridescent hair now had pine needles and other leaves tangled in it, and she glowered over at Filia.

LIA.

What?
Filia looked up at the sky, innocently drumming her talons against the loam of the forest floor.

You did that on purpose.

You can’t prove that I did.
A little smirk curved round the dragon’s snout.


I hate you.

No you don’t. By the way, while you’re up there, throw in some hip action.

What do you mean, ‘up there’?


And then it dawned on Chu’si that she was currently atop Tahlir - and in the process of getting up, she’d straddled his hips rather suggestively. Crotch to crotch, even. Chu’si cheeks flushed red, and she scrambled from on top of Tahlir, offering him a hand up. “Oh my gods, I am so sorry, Filia doesn’t know her own strength just like an OX,” she shouted the last part. The gold could hardly be bothered to be annoyed; she looked so smug.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:08 PM   #21
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Galath ignored Filia’s response to his final comments, having focused his attention on Tahlir and Chu’si. He watched his companion stumble his way through complimenting Tahlir. Why did he have to be so literal, he could have just told him he said hello.

Tahlir missed Chu’si’s joke it indeed going over his head. He then watched her lose control laughing at him. He just watched her stoically. “That went well,” he said to galath in his mind.

“Hey think on the bright side, you’re a comedian and didn’t even know it,” Galath said.

“Traitor,” He responded. Caught up in arguing with Galath so as to not focus on the embarrassing fact he was being laughed at. He barely heard her words about Filia being alright.

Suddenly she was nudged into him and he felt her soft curves mold into him as he reflexively tried to catch her but they both went down for he hadn’t the time to brace. She struggled to get up pressing their hips closer together. He reached up to begin to aid her in picking twigs out of her hair. As if she had just realized where she was she jumped off him. Probably in response to something Filia said. Tahlir eyed her hand for a moment a bit surprised. He finally reached up to take it and stood with a fluid grace. He could feel her hand in his. Small but strong, the strength disguised by the delicacy.

“Yes, Galath is also unaware of his own strength,” he said in agreement. “You should see him when he wrestles with other dragons.” He seemed to have missed completely the fact that Filia had done it purposefully as well. Suddenly he realized he still held her hand, his long fingers absently stroking the skin of the back of it. He let it go, lifting his hand to pick another twig from her raven locks. “You should let me comb that out for you after I tend to Galath,” he said practically and not unkindly. It would make sense, that a man with hair as long as his would have a comb even if the offer was probably unexpected. Things were not going the way Tahlir had expected and he wondered what to do or say next. He finally spoke. “I am fortunate to still have some salve which will help the burns Galath sustained.” There, he could focus on something he felt comfortable discussing.
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:34 PM   #22
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“Um, no, I think I’ll be okay,” and she waved away his offer to comb her hair. Stepping a few paces away from him, she bent over and shook her hair out wildly, sending the leaves flying. With a dramatic hair flip, she flipped her dark hair. It was just as wild and tousled as it was before she’d taken her fall, so it truly seemed no worse for wear.

“Go ahead and tend to Galath,” she called as she walked over to Filia. The gold dragon had watched the events with amused sapphire eyes, and now watched Chu’si approach impassively.

See, look, he held onto your hand for a while.

That was a dirty trick. And probably because he forgot. Why are you trying to get me to sleep with a random stranger?

Because he’s half-elf and you two would have a pretty baby.

Seriously. That’s it?

Yup. What else should matter?

LIA. Having babies is not about having pretty ones. It’s about being bound to someone you love and then showing them that love by having kids. Or something like that.
Chu’si crossed her arms, looking up at the dragon.

Okay, okay, and Filia made a massive shoulder shrug. I tried. Do you want me to go back home and let people know what’s going on?

If you’d be so kind. And try to hurry, please. I don’t want to be left alone for too long
, and Chu’si rubbed her arms, as if experiencing a chill only she could feel.

Nor would I want to leave you alone. Unless you wanted to get started on making those babies.

LIA.

Okay, okay
and the golden dragon laughed, flames dancing around the corner of her mouth before she took two long strides, her wings pumping. On the second step, she launched into the air, a long streak of beautiful pure gold. Shading her eyes from the sun, Chu’si watched Filia fly into the distance, and felt very, very alone.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:08 PM   #23
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Tahlir probably shouldn’t have been surprised by her rejection of his offer. She seemed incredibly independent, and her rejection of his offer was just an extension of that. “As you wish my lady.” He replied to her, a response that also covered her permission to tend to his dragon. He took out the salve from the pack on the rear of Galath’s saddle. He began to move around the dragon, climbing up on his back to tend to the burned and cut dragon hide.

From his perch atop the bronze, he watched Chu’si communicating with her mount and then watched the gold fly off. He couldn’t imagine what that had to be like for her to just let her gold fly off without her. He hadn’t been far from Galath since their bonding. “You are more than welcome to join me,” Tahlir offered calling down from atop the dragon where he was tending to yet another burn. “Would you mind checking to see that Galath didn’t dislodge the splint I made him for his leg yesterday?” Tahlir asked. Tahlir really was unsure what to say to her. Everything had happened so fast, and he was not the most comfortable with her. Tahlir had not always been that way. He closed his eyes for a moment and let his mind trace over his past and reflect on the things that had lead him to where he was now. He saw the hatching ceremony, the time with the monks. Still he went back farther, and found the young child that loved music and dance. That loved to learn. He then remembered the rejection, the pain, being different. And he slammed the door on the memories. Refocusing his thoughts on working to treat the dragon’s injuries, no matter how trivial.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:31 AM   #24
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For long moments, Chu’si stood, watching the now blank patch of sky where Filia had flown off. She knew, deep down, that her mount would be back quickly. It wasn’t uncommon for them to spend some time apart, but that usually amounted to minutes, maybe nights, but Filia was always nearby. A sense of dread crept through the young woman’s limbs, and she rubbed her arms again. Filia would be back soon. She would be safe. She’d probably have the foresight to bring supplies and goodies from the village.

Only when Tahlir spoke to her did she snap out of her thoughts. “Hm? Oh, yeah, sure…” Walking back to the bronze, she gingerly touched his scales. She was a bit daunted by him, considering that she didn’t know Galath or Tahlir. The dragons of her village were outgoing - similar to a pack of friendly dogs, really-, and would usually openly give clues that they were open to being touched and petted. Although each dragon would remain “true” to their own rider, they were friendly with the villagers, and were a common sight. This one, though….he was large, though not quite as large as Filia. Unlike Filia, though, whose largeness ran to an uncommon grace, this dragon was built powerfully, almost like a wrestler. Thick muscles bulged under the bronze skin, and very, very delicately, she ran her hand along his flank, testing to see if he liked the touch.

Her touch was gentle; Tahlir had told her that the great dragon was wounded. This close to him, she could see the myriad burns, and she gasped softly. This was far beyond the occasional burn gained by the dragons in her village by too rough play, or the (very rare) broken limb born of clumsiness. These were battle wounds, and this close, she could see additional scars across his body. What in the world was happening outside of her village? Her hand trailed lightly across him, in a soothing gesture, as she knelt to examine the splint. Tahlir had done his job well, and the splint held.

“It looks like the splint is fine,” she called from Galath’s side. “I don’t know how long it will take to heal, though.”
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:07 PM   #25
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Galath turned his great head as Chu’si approached. Green eyes examining the woman, as if to see through her. The bronze had clearly not reached his full size, so his muscles made him look stocky, with rougher lines than Filia. As the bronze continued to mature these harsh angles would smooth as he reached his full potential, which was still far off.

“She is touching me,” The bronze said to Tahlir in his mind. It is nice. “You should try it sometime.”

Tahlir almost fell off his spot on the dragon’s back, “What?”

“Her touch, it’s very nice. I thought you might enjoy it. Your skin after all is more sensitive than mine.”

“That would be improper, and I doubt she has any interest in such things.” He said swatting him softly on the shoulder.

Galath moved her leg to aid in her inspection. Lowering his head to examine her closely. Finally laying his head on the grass beside her, being about as tall as she was from the ground to the top of his head. “He turns into a giant softy if you scratch and rub the eye ridges above his eyes,” Tahlir said helpfully from above. Amused by the Dragon’s pleasure at the woman’s touch. “I think he likes you.” He said as galath’s breath ruffled Chu’si’s hair. “Hey now buddy, she doesn’t need to smell your last meal, be respectful of the lady,” Tahlir said aloud for Chu’si’s benefit. The large dragon merely rolled his multifaceted eyes at his rider’s words.
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