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 Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert

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Alan_Dietrich

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 10:11 am

Sigurd sighed, Dragons were arrogant creatures. His ears folded back as he pointed out the location of Ashwyn and the others though he wasn't too surprised dragons were an apex predator after all. He was about to make a crack about never having eaten dragon before but Zane had whipped out a scathing mother remark and he decided to bite his tongue.

"The gnome is right. Shouldn't you be attacking a well established kingdom? Or hiding in a cave hoarding mountains of gold at your age? Attacking such a small settlement seems... Unbecoming" in for a copper in for a pound... He thought to himself with a sigh.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 10:35 am

Listening to the dragon talk as well as she can...his booming voice seems to echo everywhere at once from behind the ridge, and some of what is said gets lost in the echo...Lo watches Zane crest the ridge to approach the dragon with wide eyes. Well he had some experience with dragons, though his words 'close is bad' keeps circling in her mind. But when Cirro looks to her for ideas she just blinks at him. Like I'm supposed to know...? The last time anyone had trusted her to lead anything had ended in utter disaster, and that wasn't even a life or death situation! Looking away from him to not think about the past...that was a long time ago, and she'd matured since then...Lo considers what to do.

"Well...he knows we're here, no sense in hiding any more. But...I don't think grouping together is a good idea, it'll just make it easier for him to kill us all. If we're spread out a little it'll spread his focus. I know a few spells that work from a short distance, but I need to be a little closer...which mean I'll be seen..." Lo pauses and looks back at Cirro. "I don't know what you can do, but your close range weapon might not do anything to dragon scales. I know mine won't. And..." Pausing again, Lo searches her disjointed memory. "Didn't you have a bow when we first met? Or maybe that was someone else...never mind. Anyway, I'm going to stand to the right...over there. You can do what you feel is best. And..." Looking at Cirro with a softer expression, Lo tries to smile. "Try to stay alive, ok?"

Standing, Lo quietly walks back up the ridge slightly to the right of the group. Slowing at the sight of the dragon...it's actually smaller than her overactive imagination had made it, but it's still frighteningly impressive...Lo swallows hard and carefully makes her way towards the group while Sigurd speaks his piece. Stopping about 60 feet from the dragon but still within easy reach of a large tree to jump behind, she bows courteously. No harm in trying to reason with him, though she doesn't trust her voice at the moment.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 11:30 am

Cirro swallowed uncertianly but he nodded to Lopiena. "I have a fairy bow. Much too small to use in this form. It doesn't grow with me like this." he indicated his fork weapon. "But I have a number of spells. Hopefully they help." When she told him not to die he couldn't help but smile. "You either." He added as they stood.

When she headed out over the ridge he followed, but then separated and stood on the opposite side of her but otherwise the same position. His spells would work over distance and be much more effective than any weapon he held so distance was good.

The dragon was brustling at the obvious insults. It's large claws clenched and unclenched, digging into the dirt and ash below with each movement.

"You forget your place." He said, his voice dark and threatening.


Ashwyn, deciding to join in, straightened up. "Perhaps you forget yours."

He glared at her, then at each in turn. As Lo and Cirro joined the group he glared at them as well. He widened his stance, all four legs on the ground, and reared his head up to look down his nose at them.

Zane and Sigurd would recognize it as an attempt at intimidation. [Everyone must roll a WIS check to see if you are intimidated or not]

"You would question my motives?" He roared at them.

[Dragon Intimidation Roll: 9 +4 = 13
Zane WIS check: 14
Ashwyn WIS check: 15 +2 =17
Cirro WIS check: 19 +2 = 21]


"And what motives would that be?" Zane asked, taking a step closer putting him even with Sigurd. "They're obviously not yours or you'd be out right now bragging about your great accomplishment. Which tells me you KNOW it's not a great accomplishment. Are you being paid? You must have been promised a great deal for you to lower yourself to accept a job like some common lap dog."

Ashwyn smirked. "I can't imagine it would go over well if other dragons learn that you got your fortune by being a slave to a lesser being."
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Alan_Dietrich

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 12:03 pm

[rolled a 15]
Well they were certainly ruffling this dragon's feathers ERM scales.. Sigurd smirked "Zane be nice, a child needs guidance. Perhaps he's the runt of the brood, unable to bring down the armies of men so he has to become no better than a common thug."

Sigurd stiffened "so then, enough banter. Why are you here? What are your motives and more importantly who holds your leash!" His fur fuzzed up and his lips curled as a low growl rumbled from his throat his stance became more aggressive in an attmept to give the dragon a taste of his own medicine.

[Sigurd attempts intimidation 19+3=22]
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 12:18 pm

Ashwyn didn't bother to hide her chuckle at Sigurd's words towards the dragon. The dragon was obviously upset at them but why not rub it in even more?

Zane nodded sagely in response to Sigurd's words. "Of course. Forgive me my rudeness.Perhaps I should be speaking to you're mother. I'd imagine she's close by..." He trailed off and feigned innocence as he began looking around.

When Sigurd puffed up and his voice dropped, Ashwyn felt a chill run the length of her spine. Sigurd was extremely attractive when he was being intimidating. Despite the danger she felt a stiring in her loins that she had to force herself to ignore.

[Dragon WIS check: 7]

The dragon stepped back a couple times as though struck with a blow. His tail curled into his body and his head lowered, like a dog that had been scolded. "You... You dont' know who you're threatening..." He said, but his voice was much weaker and one look at Sigurd made a sound escape his throat that sounded like a whimper. "Okay okay... I didn't want to be here, okay? Elf tastes horrible anyway." He shuttered. "I'm a prisoner by some gold looking person. He didn't bother sharing a name, before you ask. Or I was a prisoner I guess. My mother guards his horde in some dark cave. I was born there. He has my siblings too. No idea where. We were separated. He offered me a chance to be free but I had to destroy this settlement and wait here for 3 weeks before I can leave."


Ashwyn frowned. "Why not just leave before then?"

The dragon shook his head. "Don't you think I tried that? Some kind of spell keeps me here. I can't fly more than 50 ft in any direction."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 1:23 pm

(Rolled 10+3 WIS=13)

Barely maintaining her equilibrium as it is, Lopiena trembles inside at the dragon's intimidation. Holding onto her staff for support is the only thing that keeps her from diving behind a tree, and the smell of fear radiates out from her. Listening to the others talk only makes it worse...are they trying to make the dragon angry?! But...amazingly, it seems to be working! And Sigurd's own intimidation cowed the little dragon into admitting the real reason it was here. Slowly regaining confidence, Lo stands up a little straighter and gets her fear under control. Listening to the dragon's story, Lo feels sorry for him...being trapped by a spell is awful, and not being able to fly must be miserable. But to destroy an entire settlement, even for a chance at freedom is horrifying to her. 'Some gold looking person' must be the Azer man they're seeking; the thought that he not only controls an entire family of dragons but has the ability to hold them with a spell is...well. Trying to get her mind off her fear, Lo starts looking around. Spells can be effective from long distances, but a spell strong enough to hold a dragon for three weeks must have some sort of focus, a transmitter if you will. There's a chance that whatever it is might be nearby.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 1:28 pm

"why three weeks? That's oddly specific" Sigurd said with a puzzled look on his face. He started eking towards the dragon and as he walked he shifted back to his human form. They already knew who he was talking about so him not knowing didn't matter "so this golden guy.. what? He took you and your siblings from your mother? She allowed that?" His face softened "I couldn't imagine that being the case." He looked at the dragon in its eyes and sighed. "If we're going to be civil," he said in a tone indicating the dragon "then may we ask your name?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 1:55 pm

The dragon shrugged at the three weeks question. "How should I know? That's just what he said. Maybe the spell wears off by then? No idea."

When Sigurd spoke of his mother, he bristled again. "Pfft." He scoffed, blowing a bit of smoke from his mouth. "Like she had a choice? She'd been locked up for gods know how many centuries. I think she was taken as a child. Been guarding his horde forever. I never even met her. I was taken as an egg. Then separated from my siblings shortly after we were hatched."

He was obviously still irritated but he finally seeemed to calm enough to sit down. When Sigurd asked his name he shrugged. "Don't have one." Then he puffed up a bit. "Don't need one." He said in a vein attempt to seem nobel and unbothered.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 2:43 pm

Sigurd stood for a moment. He looked to the dragon, then to Zane. "Gnome. You're old and know more about magic than I do, is there any way you can tell or figure out what spell it is that keeps our friend here stuck? And better yet a way to break it? I'm sure he'd appreciate his freedom. If not, ask the bug"

Giving the Dragon a somber look he shook his head "despite your posturing I sense a longing to see your mother. I get it, I truely do. My mother is sick and surely dying back home and I would give nothing to see her again and better yet make her better. I don't know how dragons raise their children but I'm almost willing to bet my life that she misses you and your siblings dearly." His tone was gentle almost paternal. A complete change from moments ago. "If we can help you, and we will try. I hope you can help us as well."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 3:00 pm

When addressed, Zane nodded. "I'll have to do some checking....I'm sure I have something in one of my books." He said, dropping to his knees and digging through his pack.

Cirro immediately moved to Zane's side to help him search. "I've never heard of anything that can hold a dragon for more than a few minutes. Hours maybe. Nothing to last three weeks."

Zane nodded. "Same. But maybe there's something I missed." He pulled out a book or two and began riffling through them,.

Ashwyn was watching the dragon carefully but when Sigurd said his mother was sick, her head twitched towards him for a moment. He hadn't mentioned his mother being sick before. She immediately wondered if she was sick or if she was.... turning. She felt a lump develop in her throat but she didn't change her outward appearance. She made a mental note to ask him about it later.

The dragon scoffed again, trying and mostly failing to seem indifferent. "Why do you even care??" He asked, exasperated. He leaned in close to look Sigurd in the eyes. "Oh so your mommy is sick. Am I supposed to feel sorry for you now?"


Ashwyn stepped up to Sigurd's side more closely. Ignoring the dragon's snide comment she addressed Sigurd's cwords about how dragons raise their young. "I'd imagine he doesn't know either. About how dragons raise their young." She looked at him as his large eye turned towards her. "You were taken away from your mother as an egg. Which means she wasn't around to teach you what it means to be a dragon."

He huffed out a large breath of air from his nose at her, enough to put her off balance. "I don't need anyone to tell me what it is to be a dragon." He said defensively.


Ashwyn stood her ground. "Of course you do. We all learn who we are from someone. Ideally it's a parent, but not always. You've obviously been taught something about dragons. At least enough to be offended when Zane called your bluff."

The dragon glared but didn't argue with her.


"That's what I thought." Ashwyn nodded. "So you taught you? How were you raised?"

"My siblings and I were not RAISED." He said, adding a bit of disgust to that word. But he sighed and lowered his head a bit. "Our keepers were a horde of dwarves. They fed us and made sure we didn't escape. They spoke among themselves often about dragons. We put the stories together." He explained.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 3:34 pm

Sigurd ignored the childish attempt to upset him. He at least knew his mother. "So how do you know your mother is this grand hoarder of the gold man's treasure? Something the Dwarves told you? How do you know she's not just being bred repeatedly to bolster a board of culturally inferior dragons that are easy to control and goad into doing menial dirty work for someone who's too much of a coward to do it themselves?"

There was a bit of fire in his own voice now "if you have any pride your goal should be to reunite you and your siblings with your mother, rescue her as the case may be. You seem intelligent enough to know how you grew up isn't right. Are you content in being someone's tool? Who's to say that after three weeks this spell doesn't rip you back to your master's side?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 3:57 pm

The dragon was getting irritated that Sigurd WASN'T getting irritated. He finally seemed to slump, giving up. He sat back down. "The dwarves. Well, one dwarf. Her name was Bylleri. Bylleri... Goldfist or something. She was.... tollerable." He said the word but it was clear he meant something else. His eyes softened when he said her name.

"She would tell us stories after the others went to bed. Told us about our mother. Said she'd been there for a long time."


"It's strange really." Zane said, coming out of his books for a moment. "Normally green dragons are the ones sought after to gaurd ones horde. They tend to be more... subserviant."

The dragon scoffed. "Yeah well... don't ask me how they got my mother in the first place. I never knew. And it was before Bylleri's time too." He shrugged. "When we were separated we were told we would be going to guard our own hordes or other things. I don't know what happened to the others. I was sent out here a few days ago. Tried for two days solid to leave after the city was empty. When I couldn't I just decided to tuck in." He shook his head.

When Sigurd mentioned that the spell might rip him back to where he came from he straightened and roared his next words. "Don't you think I haven't thought of that?!?" He said angrily. He calmed himself and sat back down. "Not like I can do anything about it. I can't break the spell. Believe me, I tried." He moved his head till it was a foot away from Sigurd's. "Do you have a better suggestion, wolf?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 4:12 pm

Sigurd smiled inwardly, conflict avoidance, keep them talking. "As a matter of fact we're working on it, Dragon" he said with a smirk, clearly they were resorting to saying obvious things now. "While we wait for the Gnome to ponder his books I'd like to know more about why you were sent here of all places? What purpose does attacking a settlement of Elves serve. Given the circumstances we know you didn't just come here on a whim..."

He looked around the area, now that the dragon didn't seem to be a threat as much any more. "Zane while you're looking for spells, if you have an index of magical items too, perhaps it's something more physical with magical properties... Oh wait..." He turned back to the dragon "the dwarves, not so much the one your fond of, but the others. Did they make you eat anything strange? Or attach anything to you that you're aware of?" The farmers of ThunderKnoll tagged their sheep and made cows swallow magnetic rocks.. perhaps dwarves kept dragons the same way...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 5:07 pm

The dragon breathed out his nose at Sigurd the way he had Ashwyn, but his larger frame didn't seem moved. "When the door was wide open and I could finally the air, do you really think I stopped to ask questions?"

"You should have." Ashwyn stepped up. "But I understand why you didn't. Freedom is a very tempting offer."

"Hmm, magical items...." Zane mumbled, flipping rapidly through large tomes.

The dragon actually paused to consider for a moment. "Nothing except the slop they normally fed us. Well, Bylleri would slip us sweet breads now and then. But other than that no." Finally he leaned in and looked Sigurd in the eye again. When he spoke this time his voice was calm. All haughtiness gone. "Why are you bothering? Why even walk down here in the first place? I can't even chase you. You could just leave. What do you get out of all of this? And for that matter, how do I know you won't do worse to me than what he did??" He reared back and took a step back as though just realizing he could be exchanging one master for another.

Ashwyn held her hand out, her eyes softening. "No no, we're not here to hurt you." Her body began to radiate calm and her fingers seem to glow ever so slightly as she worked a spell.

The dragon visibly calmed and allowed her to approach, even lowering his nose to her until her palm rested on it.


She stepped up to him and rubbed the end of his nose for a moment before smiling kindly at him. "No creature should be forced to serve another the way you have. We only want to make it right."

The dragon locked eyes with her, then turned to the small fox pup on her shoulder who yipped happily. His eye turned to Sigurd, then Zane, Cirro and finally Lopiena before moving back to Ashwyn.


"Ah ha!" Zane exclaimed jumping up to a standing position. His sudden exclimation made everyone jump.

"What??"Cirro gasped. "Did you find something?"

Zane nodded. "Indeed!" He moved rapidly over to the dragon, seemingly having forgotten any danger involved in his excitement. He ran his hands along the side of the mighty creature.

"Hey!" The dragon growled, but Zane didn't stop. Ashwyn rubbed the creatures nose to calm him but she watched Zane carefully.

"What is it?" She asked.

"Somewhere here...." Zane mumbled as he ran his hands along the body of the creature. Once he reached the large hind leg he stopped. "Yes! Yes yes here it is!" He leaned in a bit and ran his fingers around the scales. "Look here"!" He said pointing to one particular scale that seemed to be off color compared to the rest.

Ashwyn frowned. "What is that?"

"The answer!" Zane said happily. He reached behind him and pulled his dagger out.

The dragon reared around and pinned Zane to the ground with one large foot causing a loud grunt from the gnome. "No no! I mean no harm!" He said, cowering slightly.

Ashwyn knelt next to Zane and touched the dragon again. "Zane, explain the process first please."

Zane nodded. "Oh, of course. That... thing. It isn't a scale. Well, it is, but it's not like your other scales. Likly what happened was one of your scales was removed when you were an infant, soaked in a magical potion, and then resecured to your body."

He turned to the others. "A baby dragon's scales are softer, you see. They absorb liquids quite easily. And as the dragon matures the scales harden until they're stronger than most armor." He looked back at the dragon. "But you're young still. The scale can still be removed." He said, showing him his dagger.

The dragon huffed. "How do I know you're not lying? Just trying to kill me?"


"Uhm.... I suppose.... you don't." Zane shrugged.

The dragon reared back again but Ashwyn grabbed his head. "I'll do it then." She said, looking at him carefully. He stared at her for a long moment before he nodded. She nodded back and looked to Zane. "What do I do?" She said, pulling her own dagger from her boot.

Zane shifted under the dragon's foot. "The scale will be attached at the upper most point. It's probably molded to his flesh by now but it should still be flexible enough to pull up slightly. It shouldn't cause too much pain."

The dragon glared. "Shouldn't?"

Ashwyn pat the dragon's nose. "Don't worry. I'll be careful." She said as she moved slowly around the side of him.

[Ashwyn's Animal Handling skill and magic used]
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 6:42 pm

Listening to the discussion from her hiding spot near the tree, Lopiena is highly impressed that this potentially deadly situation had turned around so nicely. Freeing the dragon almost sounds like a noble deed, forget the fact that this one had destroyed an entire settlement and eaten or killed nearly everyone in it. Freeing his mother and siblings...well, that's yet to be seen, but if they're being held in the mountain it's a good bet that they'll have to either free or kill them. The mother, now...if she's been imprisoned for centuries, it's likely that she had been taken shortly after the Azer man had returned to turn the forest into the Wasteland. Perhaps dragon fire had caused most of the burning. There’s a lot more to learn...hopefully they can talk to the mother dragon before they have to fight the Azer, having that kind of fire power on their side...or at least not on his...would be incredibly beneficial.

Watching Cirro and Zane research the potential cause of the spell makes Lopiena itch for her own books. They’ve been traveling for days with valuable information just waiting to be discovered, but there just hadn't been a chance to read since Eventide...turning away from whatever the others are doing, Lo retreats beyond the ridge to find her pack. This might be the only chance to learn something new for a while, and Lo isn't going to miss the opportunity. Digging her mother's journal out of her pack, Lo starts flipping through the pages seeking information and completely misses Zane's discovery about the scales.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 6:52 pm

When the dragon lowered himself to Sigurd's level and asked his question free of pretense he smiled, at last the real dragon "I've been told I'm a good judge of character and excellent at making terrible decisions. As for what I get out of it? The satisfaction of helping someone in need and now if we can reunite you with your mother I'll have that too."

At his next question Sigurd shrugged "if we could have done anything, we could have attacked you while you were asleep, but you'll notice I haven't made a move for my weapon our entire meeting." He patted the dragon on the snout.

When Ashwyn started to work his magic he took a step back to give her room. "She's right. Freedom is the right for every creature" he was about add something when Zane jumped in. "Good, let's hear it" Sigurd watched the scene play out and laughed when he was pinned to the ground. Talk first gnome... He's a dragon. Not a horse. He thought to himself.

When Ashwyn volunteered to do the task his face softened she'd be much more delicate than Zane with her dagger. "It'll be fine, trust us"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 7:12 pm

The dragon still seemed to be wary, but he didn't fight it when Ashwyn moved over to the offcolor scale. She felt along the edge carefully, it was sharp. She'd have to be careful. She found that it did flex a bit, like Zane said. She pulled up on it and looked underneath. It was grown into his flesh in an odd way. I didn't look natural. Almost like it was burned on. She shuttered at the thought and readied her dagger. She looked at the dragon's face.

"I'll try and be quick." She said and he nodded. Focusing back on her task she held the dagger tip to the flesh under the scale. It looked like it was only connected on one section, and though she knew none of dragon biology, it didn't look like any major veins ran around the flesh so he shouldn't be in danger of bleeding out.

With one swift move, she sliced her dagger across the flesh severing the scale from its body.

The dragon roared in pain and glared at her. "That hurt!" He shouted at her.

She looked at him. "Don't be a baby. You're fine." She said simply.

The dragon huffed but didn't respond. She pulled a handercheif from her pack and pressed it to the wound she'd made. It wasn't bleeding much and it didn't take long to get it to stop.

Zane was nodding happily. "Good good! Over time a new scale will grow in. Just remember to protect that side from the odd arrow." He chuckled.

The dragon flexed his leg experimentally a few times. Then, without warning, he kicked off the ground, patting his giant blue-purple wings against the ground and shooting straight up into the air. The gust of wind it created knocked everyone to the ground, though Sigurd it was really just being knocked to his knees. The dragon rose so high that within seconds he was out of sight in the sky.

"Well, how do you like that? Not even a thank you." Zane grumbled.

"Be greatful he didn't just eat us anyway." Ashwyn said, tucking her dagger back in her boot. She looked down at the scale. "We should hang on to this.... just in case."

Zane nodded as she handed it over to him. "Oh I very much agree. I'd love to study the potion used on this. I've never heard of it before. Quite rare and powerful to control a dragon like that."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 7:30 pm

From behind the ridge, Lo can't hear everything that's going on...and with her nose in a book she's more oblivious than usual...but the roar of the dragon makes her jump up and run to the crest of the ridge fearing the worst. Of all the times to get lost in a book! The gust of wind from the dragon's sudden flight makes the trees sway even as far back as she is, and Lo looks up in time to catch a glimpse of the underbelly of a dragon in flight. "Amazing..." ...in the words of Zane. Thinking of Zane makes her run over the ridge into the clearing where the others are.

"Is everyone ok? I am so sorry for disappearing again! What happened?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Wed May 02, 2018 10:44 pm

Sigurd was proud of everyone, they all stayed calm infront of a dragon and we're still alive. Not many adventurers could say that. Watching Ashwyn remove the scale was interesting, she was quick and precise and it wasn't long before the dragons bleeding had stopped.

He was caught slightly off guard by the sudden blast of air that sent him sliding back and falling to his knees. Once the dragon was out of sight Sigurd exhaled, he could feel his muscles buckle from keeping his composure it was a gamble not just attacking buy it paid off. Smiling to Lo he stood back on his feet "no harm done" he beamed.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Thu May 03, 2018 1:00 am

Taking a deep breath, Lopiena nods at Sigurd. No harm done...fair enough. Turning back down the ridge, she retrieves her pack but keeps the journal out. She'd already found something that might be useful later, though nothing for the specific problem with the dragon. Well that seemed to be solved now anyway.

Returning to the clearing, Lopiena slowly paces the perimeter and looks around for any evidence of materials left after the destruction of the settlement. Perhaps now that the dragon is gone, some survivors will appear; for now, some symbol of respect for the dead feels moere appropriate.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Thu May 03, 2018 7:35 am

Ashwyn was just handing over the scale to Zane when Lo ran back over the ridge. She looked up at her as Zane was accepting the scale and then a sharp pain in her palm made her hiss. She looked down and saw that the scale had sliced through her hand at some point during the procedure. She frowned before wrapping her hand to stop the bleeding.

Zane tucked the scale into the bag of holding and began loading his books back into his pack.

Cirro looked over at Lo as she re-joined them and he smiled. "It could have gone so much worse. But... it wasn't." He nodded. When Lo started pacing around, Cirro stood and looked at the wreckage. He began searching the area for... well, anything really. It was mostly ash but maybe he'd get lucky.

Ashwyn was staring drops of dragon blood on the ground and frowned. "If Barrak has more dragons at his disposal this is going to get even more complicated. And there's no guarantee that the other dragons will bother listening to us. And his mother....adult dragons are extremely powerful."

Zane nodded. "Yes they are. And if she is being controlled like her children are there's a good chance we won't be able to remove the scale from her. Her scales are likely fully hardened depending on how old she is."

Ashwyn sighed and turned to look at the area. "We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it."

Without the dragon here, it was clear to see that this settlement had once been on the very edge of the forest. Now that it was burned they were out in the open. Back the way they came the forest was dark and thick. But stretching out to the east was a vast wasteland of sand and jagged rocks. Currently they were standing on a raised point of land and the smoke rising into the air was obscuring them from sight.

At the edge of the ridge the sand began to take over the grass. A few meters off from the ridge were several patrols of imps. They were looking up and pointing towards the ridge.


Ashwyn backed away quickly. "We should move. We seem to have made quite a ruckus." She moved back to Sigurd's side. "There's patrols just on the other side of the ridge. I'd imagine they saw the dragon leave and there's no way they missed the roar. They'll be headed this way any minute. We should head back into the forest and try to stay out of sight."
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Lopiena

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Thu May 03, 2018 6:28 pm

Standing off to one side of the clearing, Lopiena barely notices the activities of the rest of the group. Kneeling down in the ash, she uncovers a broken sword with a dark patina on the remnants of the blade, as though the sword had been coated in blood before being brought to high temperatures. Visibly moved almost to tears, Lo picks it up tenderly and quietly carries it over to where Ashwyn was standing over the drops of dragon blood. Placing the broken blade over the drops of blood...somehow seems more appropriate than thrusting it into the ground...Lo rises again, still saying nothing.

When Ashwyn mentions the patrols on the other side of the ridge, Lo nods and heads back into the treeline. Leaning against a tall tree and pressing her face against the bark, she slowly breathes in the scent of life and starts to relax again. This mission might be more than she bargained for, and they've only just gotten to the Wastes...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Thu May 03, 2018 10:13 pm

"agreed.." he said softly to Ashwyn regarding the patrols. Grabbing Zane by his shirt collar he moved quickly back to the tree line. He stood staring at the forests edge for some time, waiting for an imp or something to crest the hill. In the corner of his eye he saw Lopiena pressing her head against a tree. He approached her and put his hand on her shoulder "everything alright?" He asked quietly, trying not to draw much attention to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri May 04, 2018 12:31 am

Not quite jumping when Sigurd touches her shoulder...he moves so quietly! ...Lo turns halfway to look at him but keeps herself pressed against the tree. "I...I'm not sure. So many died here, and so horribly..." Closing her eyes, she shudders. "I feel like if I stand there too long I can hear their screams. Of course I can't, that's crazy...but something just feels...wrong. I can't place it, I thought it was the dragon at first but he's gone now and I..." Realizing she's rambling again, Lo stops mid-sentence and opens her eyes to look at him. He's so strong, a warrior by breeding and training. No matter what happens, she will not hold him back...Standing up a little straighter, Lo takes a deep breath and calms herself before speaking again. "I'm ok. Just a little shaken, that's all." The barest attempt of a smile makes her lips stretch a little, but trying to put on a brave face will only go so far. Still though, there's work to be done. Finally stepping away from the tree, Lo nods. "I'm ok. Thank you for your concern."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri May 04, 2018 7:58 am

Sigurd smiled softly and leaned on the tree with her. "You're a druid, you're in touch with nature and the life within it, you haven't seen death and destruction on this level before. It makes sense." He paused for a moment "But you're strong for someone so small and inexperienced, I know you'll be able to power through this. I'll make sure of it, even if I have to carry you myself."

He lifted from the tree and put his hands on her shoulders giving her a gentle squeeze "take the time you need" he stepped away and made his way back to Ashwyn. "So the dragon is gone, we may have company so what do you think? Attack the Imps and make a break into the wastes?"
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Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert
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