An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

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Mĭrya Namárië
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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#141 Unread post by Mĭrya Namárië » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:04 pm

Pale coatls are sick coatls according to fr lore. .So maybe she is dying but wants to spend her remaining time with the clan.
Or she is evil and only joins them to suck their life force so she can extend her own life. ..

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HUGE thanks to Makoes, Syleye, FeralClaw, Pingupuff, Karin,Bowno, Varethyn, Ashaine, Kishay, Aki (Täräin13), my friend Marie and some lovely ppl on Fligth Rising for my lovely sig

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Varethyn
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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#142 Unread post by Varethyn » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:43 pm

Actually it's only faded plumage that indicates ill health in coatls. So if they started life bright and flashy but began to lose their colour. A naturally born grey or white coatl is considered an ill omen and bad luck.
Flight Rising Encyclopedia wrote:An unhealthy Coatl can be identified by fading plumage. Dull colors are regarded by other Coatl with sorrow and trepidation. Coatl who are naturally born grey or white are regarded as bad omens, and often exiled from nests to protect the rest of the clutch from catching illness or ill luck.
So she isn't necessarily terminally ill, but other coatl won't be at all comfortable around her. However I do like the concept of a powerful dragon mage siphoning life energy from others to sustain themselves!

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#143 Unread post by Kirrandria » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:16 am

What a pretty coatl! I decided to make a scry attempt for fun... white is a hard color to work with since it has so few accent colors. Thylacine clay has a slight pinkish tint, and Opal has much more pink but is probably a hard gene to get.

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Excited about the lore potential, too :o

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#144 Unread post by Varethyn » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:03 pm

Day 38
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Chapter 14

It was time. It was finally time. Ice crunched beneath her broad paws as she marched diligently towards the meeting chamber. At long last she was worthy. After all her training, after all the time spent on duty patrolling the cavernous prison cells she was about to get her chance. The green and red Gaoler shook out her thick fur until it practically floated around her – a trait of her birth element left confined to the deep underground.

She'd felt claustrophobic down here. Trapped. Above them all, above everything else even down this far she could make out the whipping winds of the endless blizzard that shielded the entrance to the Dripcave Dregs. How she longed to relish in their ceaseless dance, to feel the movement of air rushing through her fur, between her curved antlers, in her face, under her wings.

The true origin of her Wind element had been lost to the frozen halls around her. Whatever it had been, whatever misdeeds had been carried out by her parents, their parents, her ancestors that led her to be this way had caused her to be shunned, ignored, pushed aside by the more cold-hearted Ice Gaolers that dominated the subterranean fortress.

Every opportunity to arise, every chance she could get to show she was as worthy as any other Gaoler she jumped at, small as it may have been. Watching empty cells. Walking the cave systems up and down and back through the labyrinthine tunnels and chambers for signs of trouble. Even the simple task of tending to apparel worn both by themselves and their deputy familiars. Everything.

Throughout all her struggles to earn the respect of her kin she at last had been summoned. Not for the first time she descended the frigid staircase into the amphitheatre that would grant her a name and freedom. Several times she had stood before members of the various Orders, demanding the right to speak with their leader. Well, 'demand' was probably an overstatement. More likely she would plead and grovel, arguing at her most confident. Never could she muster the true strength to look them in the eye and state without fear the requirement to meet with the higher ranking dragons.

Perhaps that was why they laughed at her, mocked her way of half-skipping along when walking was adequate. She couldn't help it. She got bored and needed to entertain herself. She'd jump around and sing and dance in her personal chamber when no one else was around. Her gait was bouncy when she trotted far more daintily than the others around her. No one else understood. There were others also not of Ice descent but they, too, had their own agendas which they also got mocked or punished for.

And now she could leave it all behind. She wound her way up to the pedestal where Seeker-Warden Solveig herself glared down at the green-furred Gaoler with mixed emotion. Mostly negative. Mostly contempt for her element. “Servant of the Icewarden.” The Keeper sneered in greeting from her place on the dais opposite. She did her best not to react, but the implication that she were to forever remain a servant among the Blessed Children cut deep. Solveig must have noticed this, though kept up her stoic appearance. Feigning indifference to her distaste the Keeper continued, “This is not the first time we stand face to face like this. Time and again you express a wish to join the Seeker Order. Time and again we turned you away for being too soft. It is through perseverance alone that I grant you audience now.”

She had to school herself into her own expression of indifference as she fought not to show the hurt she'd felt in being turned away, forced to perform menial tasks until she could finally keep her free spirited nature in check.

“You are aware that there are oaths you are expected to take if you wish to join?”

“Yes, Seeker-Warden.” She managed, keeping her voice level lest her inner thoughts take hold.

“And you agree to take these oaths?”

“Yes, Seeker-Warden.” This is what it had all come down to. This was the moment. She just had to keep herself together a little longer.

“Then do you swear loyalty to this Order?”

“Yes, Seeker-Warden.”

“And do you swear to the Order's mission to seek out the Shade's corruption upon the world, to capture it and imprison it here or else destroying it where possible?”

“Yes, Seeker-Warden.” Her voice rose with an excitement she could no longer hold back as it wrenched itself from its shackles. Crude shackles to say the least. Physical or metaphorical she had never managed to fashion a suitable set of chains. Quickly she scolded herself, forcing herself to appear neutral much as the smile of anticipation tugged at her mouth.

Despite her failure to keep composure Solveig allowed herself to nod in appeasement, motioning for a Gaoler flanking her to approach. He did so obediently, holding up an object in an icy case. The Seeker-Warden's gaze bore into her as she took up a ceremonial stone dagger hardened by permafrost. She held still, though her claws dug into the light covering of snow that smothered the otherwise smooth floor. With practiced movement she lowered her head and waited as Solveig crossed the dais to stand over the daughter of Wind.

There was hesitation, causing her to swallow and close her green eyes in uncertainty. Was this another rejection after all? A show of embarrassment to have her speak the words and be given promise of joining only to once more be shunned? It was hard to keep her tail from lashing as her body trembled slightly. Please don't do this...

At length she was allowed to release a breath she hadn't known she'd been holding, billowing about her in a curtain of frosted steam, as the sensation of the dagger's blade drawn across her horns indicated the final acceptance. With this mark carved into her antler she was at long last able to display her place. It would need to be replaced each year as she shed but for now until then it was there. And she would show it with pride.

Now for the best bit. The part where she earned her identity and was released into the world.

“Let it be known,” Solveig's voice carried across the crystalline amphitheatre with strength and pride her own, “that today you belong to the Seeker Order.” She pulled away to meet the Seeker-Warden's gaze once more, this time with a newfound courage as if the mark were enchanted. There was a thoughtful look in those pale blue eyes as Solveig considered the Gaoler before her. “You shall bare the name Alstroemeria.” She declared. A stronger name than she had expected, a giddiness entering her mind that made it all the more difficult to remain stationary. “There has been talk of Shade activity in... Wind territory.” A grin played on her features at the convenience, or irony, of the situation. “You are to investigate the goings on, put a stop to it and report back. Do you agree to these terms?”

“Yes, Seeker-Warden!” That was it, Alstroemeria could not hold it in any longer as she accepted her task with abandon. “Just tell me which way to go and I will do it!”

“Lucky for you, it is not far if our scouts are to be believed. Cross the Great Sea directly north from here. That is your destination. Your senses will guide you from there. If the water becomes as magma, you have gone too far east.” She could not be certain but for a brief moment Solveig's eyes seemed to have softened as she gave her new Seeker one last look over. “Be safe. Prove to me you are capable. Do not die.”

With that and a final flourish Alstroemeria was a free Gaoler. Free to go wherever she saw fit. Her feet barely touched the floor as she half ran, half bounced her way up towards the surface. She had a name. She had a task. She was free and she was going to the land of her element.

Things couldn't get better than this.

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He knew the little Fae was there, perched on his great shoulder. He could hear her chattering away, launching question after question at him. He could tell by the quick succession at which she asked them more than her atonal voice that she was excited. He might have responded. He might have been willing to engage after this group of travellers stumbled onto his cave. He might have allowed himself one final conversation with good people.

But that word. That word.

It was asked with pure innocence and interest. He could not fault her for it, being so young and curious. That word... No, it only brought pain. So much pain. It was because of that word and his kind's curse that he was here now. Hiding from the world. Waiting for death to claim him and end this suffering. No, once she'd uttered the word he'd strategically shut down, blocking out the questions. If there was any consolation it was that she'd asked so many questions so quickly that he'd not have the chance to reply even if he wanted to. He embraced that, pretending he simply didn't have an opening with which to respond.

He didn't notice, then, when the clamouring stopped, interrupted by a squeak of protest. Nor did he at first register the new voice, another female begging apology for the Fae's insistence. Then more voice started up. The Skydancer had joined them, asking what was going on. Then the Bogsneak, irate as ever, and the Ridgeback.

Why did they all have to bother him so? Wasn't it enough to let them stay that night?

The Skydancer spoke again, the words lost and he cared not to ask. It didn't matter. What did matter was when he felt claws as someone climbed over him and suddenly the bird-like dragon was now wedged in an uncomfortable position on his arm.

“Forgive this incredible breach of personal space,” Hyacinth intoned, one wing stuck out at a very odd angle, “however I cannot help but notice an abundance of issues here. First of all I notice that your personal hygiene appears to be somewhat lacking.”

This was followed by a ripple of comments from the other members of his group with the Bogsneak muttering, “And I was told I have no tact...”

“I realise this is a rather forward observation on my part,” Hyacinth continued, reaching a finger to prod at his snout in an odd fashion before cursing to himself, “however this along with the rest of your behaviour since we arrived here has been concerning to say the least.” He shifted as best he could with the minimal space he was given. “You see I am training to become a medic. Not just a healer or doctor - a full on medic. And from my studies I can safely say that you have thrown out an alarming amount of red flags which I feel I must follow up on.” A spindly arm gestured in the general direction of the cave mouth. “Along with the confirmation of a dryad who has been seeking out our Lupin that something is amiss. To start with, your hygiene issue. Then the fact you have barely moved since our arrival, your refusal to join us for meals, your reluctance to join in social activity...”

Aster's great shoulders heaved as he let out a heavy sigh, cutting off the grey-furred dragon as he was blasted with a gust of strong breath. “I appreciate what you are trying to do, Dancer, and I have enjoyed your company much as it may seem otherwise. However I have to ask you to please leave me in peace now.” The purple Guardian rolled over just enough to allow Hyacinth a more comfortable exit. “You have no reason to help me. I'm better off here. Alone.”

“That's not true!” Both the female Mirror behind him and the Ridgeback outside shouted at the same time. The slight pause thereafter suggested they'd stopped to glance at one another for their unanimous outburst before the Mirror continued.

“I tried to say the same thing when these dragons first found me. I have... I was caught in a fight that left my back legs and tail paralysed. They found me struggling on a beach and I insisted they leave me alone.” He could hear a shudder in her voice as she retold the story of their first encounter. “Magnolia and Hyacinth insisted that they help me. I didn't want to believe them at the time; I was too embarrassed and shocked by what happened to me. But they did help! And I'm travelling with them now until I can properly show my thanks. We can help you, too, if you let us!”

With a roar of frustration Aster rolled over fully without warning, sending the other dragons surrounding him scattering to avoid being squashed. As the Guardian stood for the first time since they'd met him the scope of his emaciation became clear. Despite his musculature there was barely any meat on his protruding bones. Nightshade-purple scales were flattened from his time laying in the corner of his cave, red sores showing beneath them from his time spent unmoving. His face was creased from constant scowling and crying, dark bags hanging below faded pink eyes. Aster rounded on Iris, who attempted to back away only to get her cart jammed against the back wall.

“You were given a second chance. You had the ability to be given a second chance.” His eyes narrowed, a fresh sheen of tears held back within. “I do not get that ability. No Guardian does!” A large paw stamped forcefully against the ground, causing loose pebbles to dislodge from the rough ceiling as he rose to full height, stretching out wings far wider than any of them anticipated from their furled position. “We get one chance and one chance alone.” His voice was low, dangerous. “Once that chance is gone, there is no point any more. I had my chance and lost it. Now I can only wait for the Gods to do with me as they will.”

Hyacinth leapt clear from where he'd pinned himself as a long, whip-like tail lashed violently in his direction. He took a spot next to Zinnia, the Bogsneak having placed herself between the enraged Guardian and Gardenia's nest. The Tundra was shivering and trembling, from fear or fever was unclear. Allium hid herself between Zinnia's flared frills as she, too, trembled from the exertion to not launch herself at Aster to stop him. Magnolia was also fighting the urge to charge in, knowing her greater size would cause more problems than solve. Even Lupin had dropped whatever he'd started with Willow to peer inside at the commotion.

“I'm sorry! I didn't mean to offend you!” Iris pleaded, throwing her weight to one side in attempt to drag the wheels of her cart away from the wall. “I just wanted to-”

“There is no hope left for me!” Aster bellowed again, slamming his paws against the floor again. “She died because of me! She died and didn't even get to meet her own Charge! What's the point? Why can't you leave me to die?!” All limbs flailed as the Guardian wailed, smacking his great, horned head against the roof, whipping his tail and whacking his wings against the walls as he stomped with each foot, cracking the stone around him.

The Skydancer, dropping low to the ground to avoid the storm of limbs, slunk forwards to shout, “Please stop! There's no reason to harm yourself in such a manner!”

Get out!” Violet scales fell as he scraped his body against the rock, tinkling melodiously at their feet. A drop of crimson spattered, the origin unseen.

Hyacinth tried again, slipping forwards towards the stuck Mirror. “Your self-destructive behaviour is only going to cause you more pain! You must stop!” Gritting his teeth as his wounded wing protested Hyacinth managed to hook his hands over the wagon's wheel and tugged at it. “Zinnia!” He called over his shoulder at the defending Bogsneak. “Take the youngsters and get them out of here! Quick!”

Zinnia snorted, a mixture of anger and uncertainty as her mind ran different scenarios of their actions. She so badly wanted to fling herself at Aster, clamp down on his neck until he collapsed and then slap him silly for such childish behaviour. At the same time Hyacinth was right; the children were at greater risk than they were. As she turned her long neck to regard Gardenia's she caught sight of the struggling Ridgeback. Zinnia's face set in an unreadable expression as she considered letting Magnolia loose on Aster. Even if she went all soppy and gently chastised him into submission her bulk would pin him easily.

“Magnolia, do your thing!” The black and green dragon yelled, gathering the ailing Tundra in her arms and awkwardly waddling outside with Allium still clinging to her crests.

Maggie didn't need more invitation. Reaching in first to gently nudge Iris and Hyacinth toward the exit so the two of them could get out the great white dragon shoved her way inside the cave. From nose horn to tail tip the Ridgeback was almost twice as big as the Guardian. It was the flurry of his stone-coloured wings that gave her issue, their span being almost as wide as she was long. “Aster, please, you have to listen...” she spoke gently, doing her best not to make any rash decision.

“Get back!” Aster spat, pushing himself away from the much bigger dragon as she squeezed her way in. “Get back! Get away from me!” He lashed out with a claw, catching her on the horn and eliciting a squeak from her.

“No, we want to help you!” Maggie pushed herself closer, the Guardian shuffling further back.

“You can't help me! No one can!”

Iris, still holding onto Hyacinth as he draped a comforting wing – the one that wasn't injured – over her dull body was about to call it all off, that it was pointless to keep arguing like this. As the words danced on her tongue the Mirror snapped her jaws shut as she realised what Magnolia was doing; Aster was being forced so far back into his cave that his wings had no space to move. If she could get him up against the back wall she'd be able to grab him.

“I've been left behind too many times to let someone else suffer the same thing.” Maggie pleaded, inching ever closer and sending him ever further back. The plan, if it was a plan, was working. Unable to flap his wings any more Aster was forced to fold them against his gaunt sides. “I can show you-”

“How many times must I tell you? There's nothing left for me!” Aster reared onto his back legs with the intention to drag his claws over the Iceborne's face. Big mistake. Exposing his body like that Maggie was able to reach forward and grip him around the midsection, stopping him from lashing at her head and pulling him out into the light.

Let. Me. Go!” claws dug and scratched at the thick scales of Magnolia's wrists in a vain attempt to get free. After being wriggled out of his sanctuary the Guardian found himself at a loss for breath as his chest was pressed tightly against hers, her arms slipping around to his back, pinning his wings and embracing him tightly. Only a series of gasps and grunts left him as he writhed in his prison of affection.

Willow stood from the cluster of flowers she and Lupin had been practicing his magic on, one hand going to her mouth in surprise. “Oh my, what are you doing?”

The Bogsneak snorted again as she coiled protectively around the drowsy Gardenia, eyes narrowing as the young Gaoler took his place next to the strange plant-creature again. It bothered her how comfortable he was around the dryad even with her sudden appearance to offer to teach him. “You said this guy was also sick.” Zinnia groused, settling into the grass to watch the show of Aster writhing in Maggie's grasp. “So we're trying to find out why.”

Cradling the Guardian in her arms and swaying gently from side to side Maggie snaked her long neck around Aster's and wrapped her blue wings around the pair of them, shushing softly. “You don't need to be alone any more.” She cooed at him. “We can help you.”

“No... you... can't...” Aster croaked, managing to twist his body around enough to get a proper breath in although he still could not escape the bear hug. “My Charge is dead. A Guardian is not a true dragon without a Charge. I cannot get another one. My life is not worth living!” He roared again in defiance and sorrow, continuing to scrabble at the Ridgeback's arms, wings, neck, anything to make her let go. If she felt it she did not react to it.

“Guardie Charge dead?” Allium repeated, sliding over Zinnia's head to look at her upside down. Her head crests had collapsed in sadness while one cheek frill lifted in confusion. “Guardie sad because Charge dead?”

Despite herself Zinnia found herself flinching. She had not expected any of the children to use words like 'death' or 'dead' just yet, discovering a sense of guilt for making them subject to the topic. “Yes Alli.” She spoke after a moment of consideration. Her voice was still tight from frustration at Aster's behaviour. “A Guardian needs something to protect or they do not feel complete.”

“Complete...?” The Fae echoed thoughtfully, lifting her head to watch the struggling Guardian with large, red eyes.

“Remember when you lost the toy Maggie made for the three of you before?” Zinna tried to explain, bouncing the tiny dragon on her snout. “You didn't realise you'd lost it and it felt like something was wrong?”

“Uh-huh?”

“It's sort of like that. Except we got the toy back. Aster can't get his Charge back once it's gone.”

“I... think I see.” Allium replied slowly, gaze flicking to the bag the aforementioned toy sat. She'd had so much fun jiggling the hoops at first. Then it got less fun as Gardenia and Lupin began to chew too hard. Lupin had broken one of them. She'd been ever so upset and the other rings felt wrong covered in teeth marks. Maggie had promised to make them a new one if she could find the bits to make it. But it wasn't until Zin had asked where they'd put it that time that she'd realised it had gotten lost. That sense of emptiness when something you love goes missing pricked at her chest, which she covered with her delicate hands.

“I'm afraid I do not understand.” Willow admitted, standing with her lithe body askew, hands on prominent hips. “Does your kind fall ill if something of importance is lost? I can only sense something amiss with... him?” She spread her arms in bewilderment as the golden leaves in her mane rustled. “Forgive me I am unfamiliar with dragonkind or really anything outside of my forest. I am still figuring out the concept of gender. We dryads rarely call any one thing 'male' or 'female'.”

Iris' head frills flared in interest at this, the motion causing Allium to also display in curiosity and flit over to listen in. “You don't? Oh, well, is there anything you'd prefer to be called? Come to think of it,” she glanced up at Hyacinth for backup, “I'd heard dryads always referred to as female. Why do you think that is?”

A grin of amusement spread over the Skydancer's beak-like maw. Bookworm to the rescue again. “You assume because I read a lot I would know this?” He teased.

“Well...”

“From what I have seen,” Hyacinth continued, causing Iris to clam up and give him the look, “the dryads have been compared to bipedal creatures that used to live on Sornieth during the Second Age until a cataclysmic magical explosion wiped them out. Apparently their females had bodies not unlike the dryads we see today which is why we are quick to call them female.”

Willow pursed her lips in thought. “Creatures similar to dryads that aren't dryads or dragons... How peculiar.” 'She' gave a hearty laugh at the absurdity of such a being. “To answer yourself, 'they' is fine. Much like the plants we care for we are neither male nor female and yet both at the same time.” They winked at the trio. “Take that as you will.”

Iris and Hyacinth both found their faces flushing at the implication. Allium, however, had leaned out so far she was in danger of topping off of the Mirror's head, frills and crests extended to their utmost. “Uh, bluh, well...” the Skydancer babbled, shaking his head to rid himself of unsettling thoughts. Beside him Iris lowered her front half to the ground, eyes covered by her paws. “A-anyway! About Guardians.” He cleared his throat as he attempted to redirect the topic.

“We're not certain why but Guardian dragons have a need, a desire to find and protect a specific object or individual, which they call their Charge and which they will defend for the rest of their lives. Should something happen to separate them or the Charge is broken, lost or killed, the Guardian claims their lives forfeit, preferring to pine away than find new purpose.” He hung his head sorrowfully after throwing Aster a pitying glance. “We speculate this is what has befallen our host.”

“I see.” Willow hung their head respectfully for a moment. “To lose love for life is a terrible fate. I cannot imagine a world where non cared for what is around them.” To demonstrate this the dryad began to prance and dance in an intricate pattern, spinning around with arms outstretched as their leafy mane whirled about their head.

“But I refuse to abandon him even if he's abandoned himself!” Iris blurted suddenly, shocking the entranced Allium into tumbling from her perch and flitting indignantly around the Mirror and Skydancer before alighting on Lupin's stump again. “Just like Hyacinth refused to abandon me! Every dragon- creature deserves another chance! Even if we have to drag him with us.”

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Next Chapter
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Inventory/Notes: Breed/Gene x2
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Verbena and Plumeria will return later! I simply didn't have room for them today. And honestly I still don't know what I'm doing with them.
Last edited by Varethyn on Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#145 Unread post by LupisDarkmoon » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:39 pm

Oh man, I'm sorry I've been away for so long, but I loved this chapter! Really excited about this gender talk, for personal reasons, of course. :lol: I love the questioning of why Dryads are always female and Allium's increasing curiosity very much has my attention!

Also gosh, poor Aster... I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be to lose someone that you not only care deeply for, but who you will literally never feel complete without. Maggie is such a sweetheart for risking her health to calm him down.

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#146 Unread post by Varethyn » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:44 am

Don't worry Lupis :hug: comments are great and supportive but no one needs to feel like they have to say something. I'd appreciate it a lot, but just knowing people are reading this at all gives me reason to keep posting :) And yep I've been looking for good spots to give some exposure to gender and sexuality throughout the story; this isn't what I had planned as I never expected Willow but it worked out amazingly!

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Day 39
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...you know Pink, I really am flattered that you like my story writing so much but spamming me with materials is only going to burn me out and expend my ideas that much faster. I know I gave myself the option to do coliseum runs instead (which you should be giving me anyway) but some days it's just too much.

So! I'm going to hand this one over to you guys!

Image Reader Event Image

This is the part where readers get to flex their own writing skills!

Write a bio for a dragon or multiple.
Maybe a letter from your clan or a specific dragon to send to one of my own (remember these events span both stories - don't feel limited to just the cast of IWB!).
Perhaps you have ideas for short story involving the events of mine (if you feel confident enough you can include my characters too!) - depending on how these come out I might even mention them somewhere!
Or maybe you like making songs or poems.
If there's request I could host a Q&A of sorts. Toss me or one of my characters a question and I'll do my best to answer!

You're welcome to do this in any way you like - these are just some suggestions to get your minds working.

And if you're not of creative mind or don't think your skills are good enough - to which I say rubbish, give it a go anyway! - but would still like to participate in some way feel free to send a gift instead! This can be anything; food, apparel, coliseum items (I looooooove potions), familiars, even eggs and dragons. If you choose to send me a dragon please make sure it's a hatchling or they're lv1, but don't feel the need to go out and buy one. If you have breedjects, exalt fodder or even a clan member you've fallen out with or you think can grow better elsewhere, send them here! You can even tell me, if you have the idea, which side to introduce them in and if they have any kind of lore/backstory/personality to them.

As always and if anyone missed it, my lair is UmbralHart!

Lastly. Please, please, please don't feel that you have to participate in these events. These are purely for fun and I do not expect everyone to join in if it's going to cause stress in any way. If you're unsure or are too busy, consider leaving a message saying you're interested but can't right now and come back later. And if you don't, I understand :hug:

Feedback on these Reader Events is greatly appreciated!

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#147 Unread post by Krysteena » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:59 am

Ooh I loved the latest chapter, I really feel sorry for poor Aster, and I also can't wait to see how his and Maggie's interactions go after this point, as she was the one to hold him :) I'll also definitely see if I can't whip something up for the reader event soon(ish)! Idk what it'll be yet, but still, at the very least, I can throw a whole ton of potions your way :D If we do come up with something, how do you want it sent? On here or through PM on FR, maybe?

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#148 Unread post by Varethyn » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:26 am

Pop it all here for now :) I'd like to see how it works out. If it feels too cluttered I could see about making a separate thread for future events. It's all an experiment right now so I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on how it works!

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#149 Unread post by Krysteena » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:50 am

On here sounds good to me - I'll have to see what I can come up with for you! :)

Edit:
Is it rushed? Probably. Is it one of my better pieces of writing? Nope. Did I do the thing, though? Absolutely. My bias is probably showing enough that it's getting annoying but still-- I find Hyacinth fascinating and the occasional bits referencing his cowl and hinting at why he has stuck out to me, so I decided to make a little bio thing? A short story, maybe? Idk what it is, but it's here. If I had l longer I'd add a bit more detail but I'm out all of tomorrow and want at least something to be up for you to read bc inspiration is a fickle thing :) Expect some potions coming through in a few!

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“We need a medic, stat!”

“They’re losing too much blood, hurry!”

All around him, chaos reigned. The halls of his home, usually silent and a place of pure bliss on one’s ears, echoed with the terrified yells and cries of scholars and guards alike. A large group could be seen gathering at the entrance, their words of worry and alarm mingling together into an unintelligible noise that slowly rose in volume.

“Dragon seems to be a male guardian, heavily injured, with multiple grievous wounds,” one voice called out, rising above the rest. A voice of authority. “Possible limb loss imminent - get him to the med bay now!”

Hyacinth, a small greyscale skydancer, had been studying with his mother over a long line of tomes when the commotion had begun, and now the books laid forgotten at his talons as he looked over to the large crowd. Never had he heard such panic in a crowd and the speed it had spread scared him. Even more dragons were emerging from their own private study rooms, and one that he had come to recognise has their head doctor limped through at a pace Hyacinth had never quite seen him move with. The crowds parted immediately as waves would crash upon the shore, moving as one tangible mess to allow the doctor through.

“Mother?” Voice uncertain, Hyacinth glanced up to a nocturne whose scales matched his own and wings so bright they belied her pale shadow eyes, silently begging for an answer. Words like ‘too late’, ‘gone’, ‘emergency’, and ‘lost’ filtered through a veil of innocence; Hyacinth not quite knowledgeable enough to understand their true implications but knowing they were grave ones indeed. The nocturne was oddly silent, watching the group slowly drag the bloodied guardian across the floor as best they could - blood marbling the smooth alabaster and painting it red.

“Mother?” Hyacinth repeated, brow furrowing now as what felt like a small wave of his own pain washed over him. Where did that come from?

“Hush, sweetheart,” the nocturne softly cooed, nuzzling her son and motioning towards the tomes he was practically stepping on in his worry. “Don’t worry about the guardian. Our healers are some of the best, after all. Just-- Well, it doesn’t matter. We should get back to studying - worrying won’t do anyone any good.”

Hyacinth flinched as if physically struck as another wave, this one more pressing than the last, swept over him. “I- He’ll be alright, won’t he? They said about limb loss, didn’t they? I haven’t read of limb loss in any of my books.” The skydancer looked exceedingly worried, although he wasn’t sure where such concern was coming from. He’d been worried before, yes, but nothing like this. What was happening to him? Was he that upset about the guardian?

“That’s because we don’t know how to fix it,” came another voice, this one much deeper than the last. Hyacinth jumped as he turned to see his father, an ornately patterned skydancer with wings like glass and delicate veins of colour lacing across his hide. He moved to stand beside his son, eyes cold but heart soft. “Only the lightning flight has access to the technology necessary to forge new limbs for our kind, and, well, either they’re selfish and don’t want to give the knowledge up, or even they don’t really know the full scope of what they’re dealing with.”

They didn’t know how to fix it? Hyacinth took a moment to understand what his father was telling him, and the whole thing was beginning to give him a splitting headache. He rubbed at his temple with a claw, muttering under his breath.

“Gritz, you’re scaring the child,” his mother scolded, shooting a no-nonsense look towards her mate. “The guardian will be fine, even if he’s not quite the same as before.”

“Alternatively, you coddle him too much, Rill,” Gritz returned, shaking his head, but his focus was not at the argument at hand. Instead it went to his son, from whom he could feel waves of pain and fear emanating, and he sent out a small wave of empathy to try and soothe the smaller skydancer. Their hypersensitivity was a blessed thing for those who had a use for it, but, for many, even getting used to it was difficult to say the least. Hyacinth was of age now where it would begin to bother him, and, if he stuck to his intended path of becoming a healer, it surely would begin to pose even more of a problem.

Gritz then reached to clasp his teeth onto the black mantle he wore, a sign of his status within their noble clan, and tugged at the end. He tore off the end completely, although this didn’t seem to bother him, and he instead moved to drab the thick cloth over Hyacinth’s antennae. Draping the fabric down, Gritz was able to form something of a cowl for his son, and, as he finished it up, he found he couldn’t feel pain or worry from him anymore – at least, not in terrible amounts. Good.

“There,” the older male said as Hyacinth looked up with confusion at first, before understanding blossomed on his face. “It’ll dampen your senses, but not so much you’re completely oblivious to it. If you wish to become a healer, my son, you’ll need to help yourself with that as much as possible.”

Hyacinth toyed with the little bow his father had fashioned at the end. He found the material not quite as cumbersome as he’d have first thought, and instead it brought a sense of relief that he wished he could revel in forever. Although it was purely to help alleviate getting caught in the pain of others, he did find that he quite liked the look of it. It made him look scholarly, like his father.

“I still want to be a healer,” he confirmed, which seemed to be much to the shock of his mother. She’d been wagering the antennae would cause a problem, but Gritz, despite his cold exterior, held such a warmth for his family that he didn’t dare entertain the idea of Hyacinth not pursuing his dream for something so trivial.

“I think I know what I want to specialise in, too.” Hyacinth looked back to where the guardian had been a few minutes prior. The only sign of the sheer horror that had been before them were the memories that would no doubt never go, as well as the large pool of blood that would come to stain the alabaster perpetually pink. A beautiful colour, but forever ruined by the reality of how it had come to be.

“I have no doubt you’ll do it,” Gritz said in a surprisingly solemn tone, ignoring Rill’s expression that was going from mildly concerned to horrified at the realisation her son would, penultimately, leave. “Sornieth will have great need for your skills, should you manage it.”

Hyacinth arched his neck with pride; none of his siblings had ever mentioned wanting to be healers, let alone one studying in such a rare, specialized craft, and he could only imagine what sort of life would lay ahead of him. “I will do it,” he said, nodding with determination. “I will. I’ll do my very best by you, dad.”

Gritz didn’t smile, although there was a merry twinkle in his eye, and he could feel the hope and warmth coming from Hyacinth at this revelation. “I have no doubt, my son.”

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#150 Unread post by Varethyn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:04 am

Aww! I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier; for some reason I was expecting new posts and didn't think to check for edits! That's completely my own fault though, so don't worry :hug: But wow, that's a lovely glimpse at a young Hyacinth and the events that kickstart his desire to research prostheses and the like! Thank you, it fits him perfectly and gives me better ideas for his past. And thanks again for the potions!

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Day 40
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Hooooly crap he actually let me go back to the coliseum.

Decided to roll the combined number of dragons between both stories and determined the team by the first dragon rolled. Which ended up being Lupin again. Next rolled was Alstroemeria cos apparently Pinkie knew she was growing up today and tossed in Plumeria as well as a fellow lv1. And of course since I've dropped the level limit for the safety net to 3 as soon as they reached it I got crits galore. Plumeria took a severe beating but managed to stay up. Skipped the round limit again to get the pair up to lv5 and Lupin is also lv7.

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Inventory/Notes: Breed/Gene x2
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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#151 Unread post by Krysteena » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:55 pm

No worries, I did wonder if I should have made a new post or not, but it's chill! You're most welcome, too, I always have plenty of potions, and I'm really happy you enjoyed the little piece with Hyacinth! :hug:

It looks like Pinkerton is finally letting you do the other thing you've been meaning to, fingers are crossed for good future rounds in the coli and merciful crits! :lol:

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#152 Unread post by Varethyn » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:07 pm

Day 41
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Yeeeeet more art. What the hell Pink.

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Mirya asked me to draw Allium again as she has a hard time understanding Fae. As do I it seems; I have no idea what her far back leg is doing, I hate how I shaded the wing and holy heck her frills/crests did not want to play :lol: But well, this took around 5 hours all told since I decided to have her and Lupin together to make things a little different.

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#153 Unread post by Kirrandria » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:54 am

Ahhhh, I love that picture! The way Allium's tail is curled around Lupin's horn for support is too cute! ^-^

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#154 Unread post by Krysteena » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:04 am

That picture is so cute, aww! Sometimes you can forget how tiny fae are - she's antler-sized on Lupin :lol:

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#155 Unread post by LupisDarkmoon » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:27 am

ohh my god that art is SO CUTE ;;_;; I love Lupin's sweet chompy jaw and Allium is so tiny!! I love them!

Tumblr ~ Flight Rising
Signature by Crookfish, thank you so much!

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#156 Unread post by Mĭrya Namárië » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:39 am

Thats soo adorable and such an amazing piece of art!

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HUGE thanks to Makoes, Syleye, FeralClaw, Pingupuff, Karin,Bowno, Varethyn, Ashaine, Kishay, Aki (Täräin13), my friend Marie and some lovely ppl on Fligth Rising for my lovely sig

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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#157 Unread post by Varethyn » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:59 am

Eeee~ I'm so glad you guys like it! :hug: :hug: :hug:

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Day 42
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Chapter 15

Things could actually have been better than this.

Alstroemeria trudged, a sodden mess of mossy-green fur shambling along foreign beaches. This was Wind domain, that much she knew. But it was wrong.

It had been noticeable the moment she'd passed the barrier, the eternal blizzard that hid the Fortress of Ends in the Southern Icefield. Oh how she'd revelled in it, feeling it snagging and tearing at her fur, as it blew through her antlers with their new mark. How it had taken her breath away whenever she'd opened her mouth. And, best of all, the song! None other could pick out the melodies carried on the gusts and gales. They'd called her mad, that she was hearing things. But she was Wind and she could hear.

And then it was gone.

After the magical, swirling barrier the Gaoler had pressed on towards her destination. And it hurt. The ripping, whipping winds had been a massive comfort from the labyrinthine tunnels that lacked air movement of any kind. So silent they'd been. So joyous the blizzard had been. Now, just like the tunnels, there was nothing. Not even the tiniest breeze. Not even the faintest sigh.

This gave Alstroemeria's legs a strength she didn't know she was capable of as she raced, galloping across the snowy plains that lay on the other side of the mountain range she'd barely registered crossing. A treacherous path for many. An end to most. A simple path for her kind. Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. She'd expected laughing gales and singing squalls as she joined her element at long last after being segregated away from it for so long.

So why was it so quiet?

Her great heart pounded and leapt in her chest as she ran and ran until she reached the ocean, the great expanse of chilling blue. Solveig had given no instruction. No one had said anything when she gave her goodbyes. The most response she'd gotten was a snort. They were glad she was gone, her and the element that did not belong in the frozen halls.

Footprints belied the direction the green Gaoler had walked in search for a way to cross the water. Some point or other where this land reached toward another. If such a point existed it was hidden by the ever glistening mists that hung over the Icefields. There was no other option.

And so after several days spent intermittently swimming and resting on what sparse icebergs she could pull herself onto Alstroemeria finally found herself, soaked through and shivering, on the beach of what should have been a comforting, welcome homeland. Without the winds to play around her it may as well still be Icewarden's claim.

With a heavy sigh the mossy dragon collapsed in a matted heap in the sand, getting a fair helping of it stuck to her furry hide. She'd hoped this would be fun. She'd hoped this would be exciting and she'd get to find her true purpose. She'd hoped for even a tiny wisp of wind to blow by to tell her yes, this was it.

And yet nothing happened. No playful breezes, no singing gales. Only the lazy lapping of waves over the sand and the distant sound of sea birds squawking somewhere overhead. Nothing was happening and the more she lay there the more nothing happened.

She shivered despite her fluffy coat. Lamenting would have to wait; she needed to dry off. If there was any good about this situation it was that this was not Ice territory or else any travelling dragons would have found a moss-coloured ice cube. Hefting herself to her feet and shaking out her long fur Alstroemeria sought out an area to roll in that wouldn't cling to her wet hide. Right now she had her own private sandpit stuck to her.

Padding over the crushed stones and shells that made up the sandy shore the Gaoler spied a handy incline in the cliffs she'd been following. It looked to be dragonmade, or else made by something. It was to smooth, too regular to have been naturally carved out. Except for two large gouges where it seemed a large creature had struggled to climb up the side. Wondering why one would want to do such a thing it wasn't until the harpy nests on the ridges opposite came into view that it began to make sense.

The Gaoler paused upon seeing the woven circles of reeds, dead grasses and other assorted materials. Waited a few heartbeats. They didn't appear to be in use. With a curious snort she continued her trek up the cliffs to the grassy plains at the top. Grass in which she threw herself to roll vigorously until the sand was removed and she had more-or-less dried out. The rest would come with time and she shook out her fur again to dislodge loosened droplets.

But what now? Her objective was here and yet... where? Nose in the air and scenting deeply Alstroemeria was surprised to find one foot touch something dry and crisp. Glancing down revealed the grass to be dead. To either side it was still very much green and flourishing. So why was there a strip of dead grass leading downhill toward a very strange-looking structure?

Unable to help her curiosity Ria followed the trail, sniffing around the base of the tower with fins. Someone had been here not too long ago. Too long for the scents to linger however so she could not tell what kind of creatures had settled. There was blood, too; dried and flanked by dry, heavy feathers. A fight? It explained the empty nests. Something crunched underfoot. Eggshell. Of what she could not tell. One side or the other had stolen eggs from the previous and they'd either hatched or broken here.

The faint scent trail led away from the structure. She followed it, unsure where else to turn. She followed it restlessly for days until it stopped suddenly at what appeared to be an abandoned camp. Laying a broad paw on the firepit indicated that it had been out for yet more days. But what bothered her the most was a sense of dread.

Dread and excitement.

Alstroemeria's nose went back to the air, taking long, deep breaths. Then to the ground. Blood. Blue feathers. Rotten, half-eaten food. That feeling. Everywhere. Emerald eyes snapped towards the horizon. The scent may have ended – whoever it was had flown from here – but that feeling pulled her. She didn't recognise it but she knew that was what she was meant to be doing.

She took off at a gallop.

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It was a good long time undocumented by those present before Aster finally stilled. More from exhaustion than comfort the purple Guardian stopped his flailing to hang limp in Magnolia's arms, sobbing heavily as he rested his forehead against her chest. Seeing his change in attitude the Ridgeback loosened her grip, though she did not yet release her captive, as she gently squeezed him in a legitimate, sympathetic hug.

Iris and Hyacinth, Allium and Lupin, Gardenia and Zinnia all looked to each other as if hoping someone might be able to explain what had happened. The black Bogsneak was first to shrug as she slunk off to attend to now rather burnt morsels left on the fire, which she removed and replaced with something fresher.

“Please don't discard your waste so willy-nilly.” Willow chided as they perched next to the ruined breakfast, waiting for it to cool enough to touch safely. “The Wilds don't take kindly to it nor appreciate burnt food either.”

“Oh blah blah blah.” Without looking up Zinnia rolled her electric blue eyes, continuing to fuss with skewering meat and fish on pointed twigs which she then thumped into the soil to cook. “I don't exactly see a bin or disposal unit around here.”

“Even still,” plucking a few leaves from their mane the autumnal dryad stooped to wrap the burnt food, “whatever this 'bin' and 'disposal unit' may be it is no excuse to toss unwanted items without proper care and treatment. What if an animal that didn't know better came along and tried to eat it? Do you think it would like it? No! So it'd end up sitting there and...”

Reeeeeaaally not in the mood to be lectured on nature conservation by a walking tree. Keeping her back to the dryad the Lightningborne continued to prepare breakfast for the more carnivorous of their group while Willow continued to explain the dangers of littering. What even are 'cigarette butts'?!

Next to split off were Hyacinth and Iris as they assisted Gardenia back inside the cave to rest off her fever, taking time to help make her cloth nest as comfortable as possible when the Tundra flopped lamely into it. The dark Mirror caressed the contours of the young dragon's face as the grey-furred Skydancer rummaged around for the canteens she and Lupin had filled for them a few days prior. They were starting to run low, he noted with concern, as he placed the neck of one into Gardenia's mouth and tipping it so the liquid ran out for her to drink.

Allium flitted from her place on Lupin's antler-stump, her flight improving greatly in leaps and bounds – sometimes literally – to alight on Willow's shoulder. She'd been intrigued by the strange plant-creature and wanted to learn more about it. Them. Only to be disappointed that it- they kept chastising Zin for carelessly throwing away stuff. As she waited to get more information the Fae's large red eyes flicked up at Aster, her longing to learn about how Guardian Charges worked and what his was burning in the back of her mind.

That left Lupin, unsure exactly what he should do in this situation. He wanted to go back to his magic lessons with Willow, but that would have to wait while they 'talked' to Zinnia. He wanted to look after Gardenia, swinging his long neck to peer inside the cave. But Cin and Ris were still in there with her and his ever-growing body would just take up needed space. So he cast his emerald gaze out at the horizon, setting himself down in the grass as he focused on that feeling again. That feeling he'd felt before the monster attacked. That feeling that enveloped him suffocatingly when it did. That feeling that lingered, getting stronger, back the way they'd come.

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Several days passed since the incident with Aster. After his outburst, after his breakdown he'd calmed enough that the Ridgeback, Magnolia, had finally let him go. He still refused to eat, still claimed he didn't deserve to live for letting his Charge die. At least until a freshly cooked hare was shoved in his face by the Bogsneak who outright demanded – not asked, demanded and would probably have shoved it straight in his mouth if she could reach – that he eat it right this moment. At first the larger dragon had turned his nose up at it. In doing so the tantalising scent wafted up his nostrils, causing him to salivate until he could no longer say no.

That's when he realised how hungry he actually was.

He'd joined in for breakfast after all from that, scoffing his food down so fast in his sudden desperation for sustenance that the Skydancer that had spoken to him before had to use magic to dissuade the Guardian from depleting their supplies entirely. In his shame Aster had offered to go hunting for them to make up for it, only to be told no and that he had to rebuild his lost strength lest he end up hurting himself more.

At that thought Aster reached an arm back to rub at his wing-wrists, now freshly bandaged, from where had scraped them against the walls of his cave. His tiny, pathetic little cave. He'd only carved it out as a temporary shelter. It had not been his intent to wallow away in self-pity here. And now it was small and cramped and rough and uncomfortable and- Well. If he wasn't allowed to go hunting or gathering then he'd do something else to make up for it all.

And so he started digging Sinking his strong claws into the rough stone to pull away, making the hole bigger, more comfortable. And better suited for multiple dragons of different sizes.

It was Zinnia and Iris who had gone hunting instead. The Bogsneak had announced the intent and began to waddle away when Iris charged after her to offer a claw. This was followed by a huge kerfuffle that did not subside until the wheels on the Mirror's wagon got adjusted. Because there was no way she could hunt properly with that thing even without a wheel squealing every time it completed a revolution so at the very least get that fixed.

Magnolia had once again offered to fish, briefly checking in with Gardenia for help locating nearby water sources and giving her a loving kiss and stroke of the head in thanks before setting out with the canteens and flasks. At the same time Lupin, along with Willow and Allium, offered to scrounge up some plants and insects for them.

That left Hyacinth, who was stretching and testing his damaged wing. It was steadily improving but it would still be at leat a week before he could fly again. So he spent his time tending to Gardenia's health, checking in on Aster to make sure the Guardian hadn't hurt himself in his efforts and otherwise mulling over the books the Gaoler had suggested he buy from the merchant previously. In the rush he'd forgotten about them. How could he, the designated bookworm, forget about books?

Some of them were literature with a few being fantasy and science fiction about the strange bipedal creatures Willow and dryad-kind resembled. He wasn't adverse to a little imagination now and again but something was off-putting about those creatures fighting each other in a school. The supernatural powers he could believe – after all, did not dragonkind possess amazing magical properties? But it was just... they're in school. And some of them had robots they could climb into. At school.

Those creatures had some very, very strange ideas.

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And so it was for the next few days. The girls would hunt and fish until they were satisfied with their supplies, Iris having to accompany Magnolia when the white dragon had taken a particularly long time getting an embarrassing haul and not filling the containers. As expected the Ridgeback had spent more time eating than fishing and had 'forgotten' to fill the flasks as to not get her hands wet. She blamed the linen bindings on her wrists when pressed.

Once the food stores were comfortably full their excursions turned to scavenging and digging for useful and valuable items to build with or trade. Nothing out of the ordinary had been found but what had was worth it. Zinnia kept tight-lipped about the rubbish she'd left laying about though she knew the dray was watching her closely now, though thankfully they were kept busy by the chatting of Allium and their willingness to answer.

No one knew what they were talking about, though there were a few instances when Lupin caught the Fae's frills closed or drooping. Something was bothering his tiny surrogate sister and it hurt him.

The Gaoler himself had been busy practicing his Nature abilities. The daisies from before had been easy; simple flowers that did not need much. He'd been sad the cluster he'd raised on that hill had withered, using that to fuel his determination. Now, with Willow's help, he could detect and encourage other types of plant. They would point them out and he would use his magic to make them grow. Though he hadn't quite gotten the hang of keeping them alive. And now, even as the dryad was away talking with Allium Lupin sat among a field of beautiful wildflowers. He'd even take the care to organise them, spreading them out to create a sort of garden.

And it was in this garden that he now lay, dark green eyes trained on the horizon. That feeling was getting stronger. So strong that even botany couldn't distract him any more. No one asked the Gaoler why he lay in that one position. They assumed he was revelling in his newfound ability. For now he was fine with this. After all, he couldn't describe that feeling right now.

One question left unanswered all this time revolved around Aster's Charge. A few probing questions had been asked but no answer had been given, nor expected. The group wanted to give him space to recover, to think, to rebuild. For this he was grateful.

In the mornings he'd join Hyacinth and Iris in their stretching, now saddled with various aches and pains from his exertion in digging his cave out. Which, to his satisfaction, had grown considerably and was much, much more comfortable and easier on the eyes. And feet. And wings. Even Magnolia could slip inside comfortably now.

Once again Hyacinth had asked if the Guardian was ready. Previously he'd said no. And that had been that. Today though... something stirred. Something told him that even though it still hurt, that he still wasn't ready to tell them, now was the time to say it. All three of them paused at his hesitation to reply, gold and crimson eyes boring into the side of his head expectantly. With a shuddering sigh he said, “Yes. Not ready as such, but I think I can tell you now.”

With a patient nod the Skydancer helped the Mirror back into her cart, content that she hadn't lost too much muscle mass from her hind legs and tail yet, and called a group meeting.

Which Aster had not expected.

With many more eyes now looking up at him the Guardian felt his nerves slip. Then his own pink gaze locked with Magnolia's icy one. Then fell to the bandages around her arms. Then at his claws, the instrument with which she had suffered his despair. If she'd been willing to go through that then she'd be the one who would listen the most. The Skydancer would want the information for medical reasons, the Mirror simply concerned for his wellbeing. The Bogsneak he was sure didn't care nearly as much but she was still eager to hear what he had to say. And then the children. Especially the Fae who still pestered to know about Charges and what Guardians went through to get one, what they could be, why he was so upset.

“My Charge,” he rumbled after much deliberation, “was the most beautiful, amazing dragon I'd ever met. She was kind and caring but had a strong will and tough hide. Her name is- was Amaranth and she was a Guardian of the Arcane as I am.”

While he'd been talking Zinnia had shifted position and leaned over to whisper something in Hyacinth's ear, his eyes widening and plumed crests splaying in realisation. The Bogsneak did the same with Iris, the Mirror's frills lowering in fear. For a moment Aster wanted to ask what that was about, but he knew he had to finish the story or else he never would.

“We'd met at the outskirts of the Starfall Strand as she was preparing to leave on her own Search. You may imagine she was not too thrilled about having me trailing behind her.” He gave a light chuckle at the memory of their first meeting.

“It didn't take long for her to accept me, however. And together we explored, flying everywhere we could reach as her instincts drove her on as mine had to find her. It took us all the way to the Sea of One Thousand Currents. It was there that we found it.

“And it was there that she perished.” The Guardian's great body convulsed as he took another shaky breath.

“There was a... trade between... Beastclans.” He forced out, eyes tightly shut as the events unfurled in his mind, bringing back painful memories. “Serthis had been poaching eggs from the residents nearby and selling them to maren. Who knows why or where they were being taken. What we did know was that one of those Water-blessed eggs was my mat- was Amaranth's Charge.

“So we'd attacked, hoping our size and sudden appearance would scatter them enough for us to get the eggs and get out. We were wrong.” Another shudder as he did all he could to compose himself. “They didn't scatter. Some did, the weaker ones who were doing the trading. Those that didn't flee knew how to fight. They threw spears at our wings and vials at our faces. I managed to get clear but one of the maren's spears caught Amaranth's wing and she... she fell.”

Tears were rolling over his snout at this point, head bowed low as the crushing guilt returned. “I tried to help her but these... these blasted wings of mine,” one light brown wing extended to full length in demonstration then closed again, pressing tightly to his heaving side, “they're just so big. I would only have ended up the same. So I... I'd backed off, hoping to hit them with a blast of magic. B-but they ignored me. They piled on top of her, pinned her down with more spears through her wings. I tried I swear I tried but there were so many. They must have had backup hiding nearby because there were so many.”

He thrust his face into his paws and moaned loudly. “I couldn't get close enough.” His voice was barely above a whisper, tears trickling between his fingers as he lowered himself to the ground. “She'd fought back as well of course but... she was inexperienced. I was inexperienced. She... she let her guard down to swipe and one of those things stuck her in the chest. In... in her heart.”

For a long moment the only sound was the chirping of birds in the distance and Aster's heavy breaths as he fought to not break down in front of his new friends. He could see them, every single one of those snakes and fish. He saw himself tearing them all apart, limb from limb. He saw himself holding his mate, saw her hold him back, alive, unharmed. He saw them flying together with the egg they'd travelled so far to find.

“She... Amaranth...” Aster struggled after some time, “she was... so much bigger than me. They... those things pulled her into the water and fled. I couldn't... I couldn't pull her out. Couldn't even give her a proper burial.” Gouges were stripped into the grass as he dragged his claws across it. “I had to leave her. To rot. Underwater. My Charge...”

He shook his head, unable to continue any further. There was one more important thing he needed to say but he lacked the strength and energy to do so. It would have to wait.

“I failed her. We could have...” Whatever else he'd tried to say was washed away as he dissolved into a sobbing mess. In his grief he could sense movement. Paws of varying size and weight rested on different parts of his body; shoulder, arm, snout. If he didn't have these damnable oversized wings, if he'd only been braver, more clever with his movements.

“Lupin?” It was the voice of the dryad that had joined them out of nowhere. Aster hadn't even considered how he'd felt about it. He'd just wanted to be alone. He still did. Though now he had a new pull, a new drive to keep going. If small. He lifted his head enough to see the dryad looking away from everyone else.

The Gaoler was sitting away from the group, back turned, watching the horizon. As he had the last few days. This time he wasn't even listening to them. Like he was waiting, listening.

Aster was as familiar with the stories of the Gaolers as the rest of his little group, to which to say he was not. None of them were. None of them knew what Lupin was doing. But seeing him that way brought about a dreaded thought.

The important thing he still needed to say but couldn't.

She was coming.

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<Coming Soon!>
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Inventory/Notes: Breed/Gene x2
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I really, really, really am stuck with what to do with Bean and Plume :lol:

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LupisDarkmoon
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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#158 Unread post by LupisDarkmoon » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:46 am

Oh SHIT this is some intense intrigue!!! I'm so excited to figure out what it is that Lupin is drawn to- I'm guessing that Gardenia was Amaranth's charge, and I wonder what it means that something's wrong with her Water prophecies? Lupin himself is absolutely keeping up being my fave, I love this quiet and mysterious boy. And I'm extra worried about what it means that he can sense someone coming. Is it our new Gaoler friend, or is it the guardian zombie that was once Amaranth? Either way- I'm so excited for more!

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Varethyn
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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#159 Unread post by Varethyn » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:58 pm

What can Lupin sense? Can the two Gaolers detect one another? Who and what is this zombie Guardian? Will Gardenia recover and regain control over her prophecies? Find out next time on Ill Wind Blows Z! :lol:

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Mĭrya Namárië
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Re: An Ill Wind Blows (Side Pinkerlocke)

#160 Unread post by Mĭrya Namárië » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:09 am

uhh love that trailer bit!!

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HUGE thanks to Makoes, Syleye, FeralClaw, Pingupuff, Karin,Bowno, Varethyn, Ashaine, Kishay, Aki (Täräin13), my friend Marie and some lovely ppl on Fligth Rising for my lovely sig

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