Blood & Scale in Fantastical Role Plays Posted March 23, 2016 · Report post When the time came for them to leave, Agron had spent a great deal of time going over the essentials of dragon flight with Bradan, Turiel had an expression of mild irritation and overall annoyance as Agron used him as a prop for his explanations. "So the saddle is necessary cus the scales'll rip right through yer breeks." He said as he indicated to Turiel's large, copper scales. "Now y'see these?" He lifted a set of leather straps that hung loosely at the feet of his saddle. "Normally we tie these tae our feet if we're gonnae be doin' some crazy flying, otherwise ye'll end up fallin' aff, ken? Oh that's 'nother thing I need to 'splain to Vaedwyn. Or Auriel I suppose. See the air get's dead thin the further up ye go. Then it just...stops, ken? The dragon flies too high ye could suffocate, so mind o' that as well. Oh an if a dragon ever does this..." And so he went on and on, listing a variety of situations and scenarios that could ultimately end up in death or serious injury when riding a dragon. Until finally he said, "...but truth be telt, Vaedwyn an' Auriel will keep ye right anyway. Ye can just enjoy the view, ken?" "R-Right..." Bradan nodded, seeming to take everything in, but shook his head and quietly muttered, "Is not right... Flyin' Dwarf..." "Och, away an' dinnae talk pish!" Agron said, slapping Bradan on the back. "The dragons dae the flyin', no you. Me and Vaedwyn fly jus' as well as a Dwarf does; like a fuckin' rock!" Agron laughed heartily, entirely unaware that he probably wasn't making the Dwarf feel any better. "I noticed it was harder to breath when we came to the tip of the mountain." Vaedwyn placed her supplies on her saddlebags. "But don't worry about it, Bradan." "Don' worry?" Bradan laughed, "All ah do is worry these days, girl. Is all a great modern mess! A Dwarf on a Dragon... me mam would pitch a fit." "Well ye wanted tae come." Agron replied with a grin. Then he climbed on Turiel's back and got himself settled in his saddle. "Come on then, time's wastin', I want tae reach Luftjall in a week, so we've got a lot o' ground tae cover, even on a dragon." Vaedwyn leapt up onto Auriel and sat in the saddle, then shifted forwards so there was enough space for Bradan. "Well come on then, if you're coming!" Vaedwyn laughed. "Gimme a second!" Bradan growled irritability. He tried to come at Auriel from a number of different angles and positions, unsure of how to scale her. Oh for goodness sake, Auriel turned and snatched at Bradan, lifting him from his shirt as a cat would her kitten, then plonked him down behind Vaedwyn. "One last thing, a'fore we go." Agron said. "Normally Riders can talk tae each other through our links. But, for now, if ye need tae speak tae me, jus' tell Auriel and she can speak tae Turiel, an' he can relay it tae me, ken?" "I've tried. But I haven't been able to speak with anyone but Auriel." Vaedwyn held the handles of her saddle and readied to fly. "Well just speak tae Auriel an' she'll handle the rest." Agron said. He gave an excited grin. "Been a thousan' years since a had someone ride at ma side, am fair chuffed, lass!"Then let's go. Turiel said and he let out a soft, crooning call. Then without warning he bounded forwarded, fanning out his wings, and straightening his tail, before suddenly leaping off of the ledge and soaring upwards through the mountain city of Baile, rising almost vertically towards the exit at it's summit. Auriel trumpeted in excitement and leapt into the air, beating her wings swiftly to rise faster and faster as Vaedwyn laughed, gripped tightly around her waist by Bradan who was making the most horrific wailing. In seconds, they beached the mountain top and felt the freezing cold air on their skin. Auriel banked to the side and caught up to Turiel, playfully nipping at his heels as she passed him. Turiel responded by gently flicking Auriel's snout with his tail, which amused him enough to let out a rumbling laugh. This continued for a while, both Turiel and Auriel doing various things to pester one another, and Auriel constantly trying to show off with her speed and grace, which Turiel made a point to ignore wholeheartedly, as a matter of principle. Before long they had been flying for hours. The lush scenery of greens and browns began to shift to a scene of thin plains of snow, and mountainous rocks of blue, gray and slate. Large evergreen trees formed small forest pockets in between the many rocky hills and mountains they passed. Each evening they would make camp and rest. After hunting for food they would sit around a fire and tell stories. Agron continued to train Vaedwyn in swordplay. He began to use Skovaer when fighting her, noting that she would need to understand the power of a Rider's sword, and how to combat it. Each day he began to introduce magic in to their training. Using it to misdirect Vaedwyn, or throw her off guard. Though Vaedwyn slowly progressed with her use of, and knowledge in magic, she found it difficult to adjust to the loss of her left eye. Her depth perception was off, and she had to make a mental adjustment in all her actions, which was at times quite difficult. Most often when Agron pressed his advantage and she found herself cornered. Yet Agron never offered her any respite when they trained. He was as hard on her as he had always been, perhaps harder than before at times. He kept telling her that her enemies would not care about her impaired vision, and would not go easy on her because of it. On the 6th day of their journey, the winds in the mountains of Nordúr had become bitter and biting, especially up in the sky. Snow and hail battered into them, freezing their knuckles and toes, and the dragons could not fly as quickly or as effectively as they usually could. Yet Agron would not allow them to stop for rest and to wait out the storm. He knew they were now so close to their destination. After hours of enduring the dreadful chills of winter, Turiel let out a low, far reaching cry, signalling for them to descend. Though the snow was so thick and heavy they could not see very far, Turiel descended first and Auriel followed. Before long they reached the ground, and in the heavy snow they could see shapes emerging. Old, broken long houses were blanketed in snow. Carts and stalls were left on the sides of the roads, and the destroyed remnants of ancient stone statues lay among the ruined town they now stood in. Agron stepped down from Turiel and trudged through the snow covered ground, stopping short of one of the broken statues. He bent down and swept the snow from one of the pieces, revealing it to be a shattered piece of a dragon's head. "We're here." He called loudly through the heavy snow. He stood once more and looked ahead of the group, deeper in to the ruined town. A hint of something larger lay ahead of them, mostly hidden by the fierce storm. But as they drew closer the shape became clearer. A set of grand, enormous steps led up to what appeared to be a tall, thin mountain. Then as they reached the foot of the steps, the storm began to settle a little. As the snow thinned out in the breeze, a series of lofts began to emerge around the rocks, so high above that they could only be reached from the sky. "Dragon roosts." Agron explained. "The caverns within are dark and deep, perfect for Turiel and Auriel. But the Rider's lived just ahead." He encouraged the group to follow him up the steps, where at the top they stood on a large, round courtyard that looked out on to the town that, at one time, held many people. A large, stone door stood at the base of the pointed rock ahead, it's face carved into a rough but strangely beautiful etching of seven dragons and Riders, all gathered around an 8th dragon, that towered above the rest, a true giant even of it's own race. Vaedwyn hopped off Auriel and covered herself in her cloak. Bradan jumped off and half his body disappeared into the snow. "Oof! Gawds, bloody snow!" He muttered and started to push his way across the snow, while Vaedwyn was able to move across its surface, barely breaching the snow. "Are we here?!" Vaedwyn yelled over the howling wind. "Aye!" Agron replied. "This is ma home, lass. An' I hope ye find it fit enough tae be yours tae." He smiled at her, but before they could continue their conversation the doors to the ancient fortress opened. Through the thin crack between the doors a jet of dark grey cut through the snow, bounding towards them at speed. The creature stopped only a few feet from them. The wolf was larger than any seen in the lower regions of Suros. It's bright, blue eyes were deep and penetrating as it watched each of them, wary but unafraid. Then, it padded towards Vaedwyn, staring at her the longest, as if lost in her form. Vaedwyn knelt before the Wolf and ushered it into her arms where she whispered to it as she stroked it's side. When she stood, the wolf stepped back, examining her a while longer before moving away. "This is Maugrim." Agron said, more for Bradan's benefit. "He's a big fella but he's a nae harm." Agron approached the wolf and scratched him behind the ear, which Maugrim seemed to enjoy. He let out a soft chuff, and then he walked back towards the doors, and the rest of them followed. Agron pulled the doors open properly so that everyone could fit inside. The doors led to a long corridor lit by torches along the walls. The corridor was wide, and the walls were the same stone as the spire the fortress had been built in to. Along the walls were ancient Nordic runes, carved in decorative stripes across the length of the corridor. Various armors and weapons were mounted to the walls, along with pieces of thick, heavy armor that was too large to be worn by any race but a dragon. Maugrim disappeared down the corridor and stopped short of a man who patted him softly on the head, and turned to greet his visitors. "I have been waiting for you Vaedwyn, Gardwyn vas Auriel" The man said with a soft smile. He was tall with a lightly tanned complexion. His black hair was long and tied back in thick braids, and while his height suggested he was Nord, his muscles were lean and slight. His features appeared more delicate than Nords were meant to have, and while his accent was similar to Agron's it was also eloquent, and delicate. Most notable, however, were the man's ears. They were pointed, like an Elves'. "Welcome to Luftjall, friends of Agron, Gardwyn vas Turie. I am Jona."Vaedwyn nodded to the man, greeting him with a bow. Auriel pushed her way through the snow and stood beside Vaedwyn."Ah, you are much more radiant in person, Auriel." Jona said as he gazed upon the dragon, bowing. Then he turned to the rest of his guests in turn. "Bradan, it has been long since I have gazed upon your people." Jona said as he bowed to the Dwarf. "For you to find courage to ride in the sky, where none of your kin have before you, it is truly an honor to meet one such as yourself." He bowed a second time. Before Jona could address Agron, Turiel shoved his head between them and let out a pleasant growl, lowering his head so that Jona could touch him. The Elf smiled and gently placed his hand on Turiel's snout. "Of course, it is a great pleasure to see you again, my old friend." Jona said. Turiel chuffed, closing his eyes in a content, peaceful manner. There was a long pause as Turiel and Jona conversed at length, in the privacy of their minds. Afterwards Jona simply smiled and nodded. Finally he turned to Agron. "Always finding yourself in the heart of excitement, aren't you, my brother?" He said. "It finds me whether ah seek it or not." Agron said with a chuckle. He held out his hand and gripped Jona's firmly, then he pulled the Elf in for an brief embrace. "Sorry ah took longer than expected. A lot has happened." "Indeed." Jona said with a nod as he stepped away from Agron. "I have watched your journey through the water. It has been perilous, to say the least. We have much to do, and much to say." Jona wheeled around gracefully and addressed Vaedwyn once more. "I have long wished to have words with you, Vaedwyn. I have many questions for you, and I hope that you will have some for me, as well. But first, you have had a long journey, you must be weary. I must let you get cleaned up, and I will prepare some food. You must all be starving.""Thank you, I'm--" Vaedwyn started. "--Bloody starvin', where's this grub then?" Bradan marched on ahead to the bemused expressions of the rest of the party. "Small in stature but large in appetite, if I recall." Jona said with a genuine smile. "Please go an explore, Vaedwyn. Our halls once held many, but now there is only myself and Maugrim. You may stay in any room that pleases you. Or, if you prefer, you may live in one of the roosts above, with Auriel. There are less comforts up there, but many Riders enjoyed to rest with their dragons in the past, and you are welcome to do the same if you choose." "Away an' have a look aroun', lass." Agron agreed. "Jona and I need tae catch up. Ye'll like it here. There's a library full o' books about our history, an' there's some songs and poems in there as well. Auriel should be able tae follow ye everywhere, this place was built with dragons in mind." Agron gave her a light pat on the shoulder, and then he, Turiel, Jona and Maugrim all left to follow Bradan and prepare some food.