The Darkest Journey to See the Brightest Light

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Mowkie, Feb 25, 2014.

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  1. The journey through a world that shuns magic is hard, particularly when you are a magical being, yourself. It is no lie that what many see in me is a simple woman trying to make a living...but if only they knew who I really was. If only I knew who I really was. I cannot explain why or how I have two forms, nor can I explain really what I am...only that I am derived from magic, and thus considered a bad thing throughout the land. But I am not bad. I have never been bad.

    Only a few nights ago, I was greeted by another creature like me...his scales were as dark as night, and his wings were webs of shadow...but his eyes were a beautiful opal white. It was he who told me it was time to help the dragon race survive. It was he who sent me on my way to help save us all...by hatching one of the last dragon eggs in existence. It is his belief that this single egg will start a chain reaction across the world, so that many dragons can hatch and grow and thrive...so that magic can once again be respected as what it is - the ultimate tool.

    I'm not sure why, but I heeded this creature's word. I felt it my duty to, though I remember not of my own past or how even I came about. I only know that there are some things I must take into my own hands...and this seems to be one of those things. So this morning, I reached into the pouch around my neck and used the platinum coins to buy what was needed, including a strong Percheron to carry me and the few items I require for my travels. Upon buying the old gelding, I decided to name him Po, and Io seemed to enjoy his presence, going as far as attaching himself to the horse's mane, holding tight to the course strands with his tiny hands and even his tail.

    That was hours ago.

    Now, the two suns are beginning to set in the west, the moon rising up in the east. If the information provided by the dragon last night is correct, I'll come upon the egg tonight when the moon is highest. Only a little farther.

    I don't bother making camp, as I am not tired, and Po doesn't seem to be either. Instead, we stop for a brief rest, and I pull the horse over to a stream where he can drink. Io reaches down and grabs a small handful of water, drinking from it happily as I pull out my waterskin. It is when I tilt my head back to take a drink that I see it.

    Only a half mile away, there is a cave, barely visible in the near complete darkness, only showing in the dim silver light of the not-quite-full moon. But it is what I see in the cave that truly catches my eye - a sparkle that seems to be for my eyes only. Instantly, I stand straight and pat the horse gently. "Stay here," I whisper to him and Io, "I'll be back shortly."

    In an instant, I am running towards that cave, and midstride, my body melts into that of my true form, feathered wings spreading and catching the wind instantly. It feels right...and for the first time today, I feel free. I make the half mile distance in microseconds, and as I go to enter, I pull my wings against my serpentine body to see what had caught my eye.

    My instincts were correct.

    The cavern is dimly lit with a strange silver flame, and the floor is covered with different kinds of gemstones. Briefly, I wonder why or how others haven't already found the cave, but as quickly as the thought enters, it leaves, as my eyes fall upon the beautiful, glowing egg that rests before me. Instinct tells me to stay in my dragon form...and it has yet to lead me astray. So I seat myself before the egg, spreading my wings just slightly to allow the glow to shimmer throughout the cavern. My mind rests on only one thing - the dragon that rests inside...for it will become my legacy, the key to the survival of the dragon race...but it will most importantly become my friend.

    Patiently, with dark eyes watching, I await my newest friend to hatch and take shape before me so that I might greet them with compassion and love.

    And it doesn't take long before my wish is granted.​
     
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  2. The egg was getting cramped. Only a few days ago it was still comfortable and she could move about and even stretch a little now and then. Today though it was definitely tight in here.

    The child in the egg tried to squirm and get relief from her lack of room and the cramps in her muscles. There was a growling sound but it didn't come from her muzzle, instead her stomach was complaining loudly. In fact, she noticed all of her was unhappy with the egg.
    Hunger, more space! Was the thoughts in her mind that drove her to do what happened next.

    She shoved with her shoulder and the egg rolled a little then slowed and rolled back. No respite came with the effort so she decided to try pushing with her muzzle. There was a tiny cracking of the egg but still no relief, so with a mighty heave of frustration and a gurgling squawk that surprised her, the shell exploded away from her and she flopped out onto the ground.

    For a moment she just layed there, not moving. Then she sucked in her first real breath and then another and then she made a piteous cry because she was so very, very hungry. Her eyes were not open yet and she wouldn't have seen anything if she could have opened them as she had sand and shell fragments glued to her by the goo that had come from her egg. She screeched her anger and frustration at the world and raised her head on its long wobbly neck, she was not so regale looking as she thought herself to be.

    The attempt to stand was another frustration as she kept getting her talons tangled in her wings or in her tail which seemed to have a mind of its own for some reason. after the third attempt she gave up momentarily to catch her breath and that was when she noticed she wasn't alone. One of her eyes had come unstuck ever so slightly and she could make out a very great shape in front of her. It was then that she toppled forward and rolled head over heels into a large solid object.
     
  3. The pile of colorful gems in which the egg rests begins to shimmer even brighter in the dim light as the egg begins to wobble, the precious jewel inside growing increasingly uncomfortable. Leaning forward, I tap with my soft muzzle where her body slams against the inside of the iridiscent shell. Back and forth, the little watermelon-shaped egg wobbles as the baby growls within - or is that her stomach?

    It stops moving a moment, and again I lean over to look in with a dark, concerning gaze before tapping with my muzzle. Perhaps I should have brought food. Briefly, I call to the element of Life and guide a creature here...one who is old and sickly, near death, so that I may kill the creature swiftly and feed the hngry belly once she is out in the open world. The element swirls around me just as the shell explodes in hundreds of tiny pieces, leaving the adorably magnifecent body of a baby, her body shimmering a strange blue even in the dim light. And as the baby takes her first breaths, an old doe on the verge of death by age wanders in, lead by Life in hopes of ending her misery and using her for the good of the world.

    With a sad smile, I swipe the creature down, thanking her with a whisper of Spirit, sending her soul to the Spirit World to rest peacefully. Within moments, I have her in small enough chunks for the baby, and the smell of fresh meat fills the air, making my own stomach growl in response. Just as I look back at the new baby, I see one of her eyes opening just barely, peeking up at me curiously as she tries to steady herself and use her long neck as it was intended. But all babies are weak in the beginning. That is the natural way of things. And seeing the new hatchling begin her own cycle makes a smile curl on my white lips.

    Beginning her attempt to stand, the baby becomes frustrated, unsure of how to untangle wings from feet from tail, and next thing I know, she's rolling towards me a ball of shimmering blue, stopped only by my leg, which rests beside the mound of meat. The gems on the floor scatter, and I giggle slightly, my wings glowing brighter a moment as my serpentine neck turns and lowers to look directly at her.

    "You are a wonder, young one. But do not fret...soon, things will be more comfortable for you." With that, I grap a small piece of meat in one taloned hand and place it beneath her nose, just barely touching the tip of her muzzle with it to encourage her to open up. My eyes shimmer with joy and wonder, and motherly instinct guides my heart and body as I await the next move of the little joy that is to be my friend.​
     
  4. That wonderful aroma!

    What was it?

    Actually she didn't care what it was, just that it had to taste good and since it was coming at her she took a bite, an exploring one at first and then followed the gulps and growls and demanding squawks typical of an infant dragon in need of a full belly.

    The orgy was over in moments and once sated she looked a proper mess of dried egg goo, sand shell pieces and blood but she didn't care. With a sigh of contentment and a tiny burp she began to purr. It was a high pitched trilling sound that calmed the nerves of anyone that heard it, like magic.

    There was one thing that bothered her and that was the itchy feeling she had on her head, Specifically her eyes, she rubbed them against her wings and then with a fore hand. A talon snagged the skin and hurt and she screamed her anger again at the frustration of things not going her way. Upon pulling away the claw it tore the flesh a bit and began to bleed. The ichor was a translucent redish-gold.
     
  5. Watching the baby eat with such ferocity makes me smile gently. It is such things that makes me wish I had such memories of my own life. What if I had hatchlings of my own? A mate and a life? But, then again, if I had a mate and a family, I wouldn't be alone now, would I? With each bite, the adorable hatchling's neck grows lumpy, as she takes another bite even before she has completely swallowed the one before. Her strong, shimmery flesh stretches around her belly as it fills with each bite.

    The magic around us feels stronger than I had ever felt it before, and with every moment she lives and breaths, I can feel it spreading outward. She is sated with just enough for me to take a few bites, myself. I finish the rest of the meat, once more thanking Life and what it has gifted us with before turning to look at the baby as she begins a strange, thrumming purr that can only make me smile even more. Pulling my wings back against my slender white back, I sit up completely, looking down and giving off my own thrumming purr. The sloppy egg goop has begun to dry across her skin, and motherly instinct tells me to begin to clean her. Perhaps it is best that I do so, as I am to be her mother in the previous dragon's place.

    Leaning down once again, I decide that it is best to lie beside the baby, curling my long body around hers as my cat-like tongue flicks out to pull off the drying goop. In my saliva, there is a natural compound that breaks down the nasty-tasting goo, pulling in the nutrients and filling my body with energy. But before I can get to her face, she begins to scratch, not realizing how sharp her talons are, managing to catch her sensitive ear and pulling off a small piece of skin. She gives a wail, but quickly I shush her, calling again for the help of Life, who comes happily, pushing the skin back into place and mending it as if it was never there. I lick away what little blood is there before cleaning off her face to show the brightest of beauties I've ever seen.

    Once finished, I sit up again and look her over. With a nod, I smile. "Ah, there you are. Let me know next time if there is something itchy or weird...if you scratch, you might hurt yourself again. Now come, let's go out to get something to drink. All that yummy food must have made you thirsty." She seems an intelligent creature, but there's only a chance that she can understand me. In hopes that she does, I stand and turn back towards the entrance in hopes that she'll follow. I have to get back to Io and Po soon, and it's not easy calling them to me.​
     
  6. The hatchling finally opened up her eyes when the licking freed her of the goo and dirt. Blinking at the light and sight of such a large form in front of her she didn't feel afraid as some might. In fact her instincts kicked in and her mind sent out a warm feeling of love to her mother. As soon as momma rose she started to follow to be with her. Clumsy steps, falls and tangled body parts started to become a bit less but not fast enough for the youngling. She soon tired and sat to rest, panting from the effort to keep up with the larger creatures pace.
     
  7. The warm feeling sticks to me and wraps around my heart as I look back at the baby with shimmering eyes. She has seated herself, panting terribly, only wishing to rest. I know that feeling all too well and turn back to help her, shifting once more midstride to my human form to lift her into my arms. It is easier to carry her this way. Lifting and curling the baby in my arms, I step out into the dim light of the moon, which now lowers towards the west. Only a few more hours are left in the night now, and soon enough the suns will rise again. With the power of the dragon, I whistle for Po and Io. Within moments, the Percheron, complete with tiny monkey, canters over with a whinny. I pull a blanket from the pack on his rump and wrap the sensitive skin of the little dragonette in the warmth of it so she can sleep happily. There, just outside the cave, I decide it is best to rest - if only for a few hours.

    Placing the baby in the tall grass of the field, wrapped loosely in the warm blanket, I begin to undress Po, allowing him to wander a bit to graze and rest up. Once I've let everyone else settle, I allow my form to melt back into that of the dragon, curling myself protectively around the baby, pushing my magic out as a cloaking device so that no one else sees us with a naked eye. It is then that I allow my eyes to close and my mind to drift into a warm, thoughtful sleep.​
     
  8. With a small hiccup the baby awakes, blinking and looking around for a source of food. She sees the tiny monkey and waddles after it, not thinking of being quite, more was the thought it should stop leaping about because it was time to eat. She began to coo and warble in her little throat. Her purring affected the small creature, lulling it into a sense of calm. As she ran over to catch and eat it she stumbled and fell. This made her angry again and immediately the spell was broken and the monkey leaped away, this time towards the tops of the trees screeching defiance back at the angry baby dragon. Titling her head back and watching her food leave she growled and cried out, her stomach over night had shrunk down to nothing while her body size had grown significantly.
     
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  9. Io had awoken a few moment prior clutching to the dancing hair on his master's back, deciding it was time for his morning excercise. As was taught to him at a very young age, the tiny monkey (no more the size of a small human hand) begins to dance back and forth, running and jumping along the dancing white scales of the still sleeping dragon, singing his own song. His tail flails back and forth happily as his head bobs, his arms out to his sides; the tiny monkey actually makes a good little dancer.

    But the mean little dragon that Master had brought out last night is awake moments later and hungry. He had seen her grow - had watched her become a monster almost half the size of his new friend, the ginormous horse. His sparkling yellow eyes stare at her in wonder as she begins to lull to him, his body dancing slowly to the movements...but as she pounces for him, stumbling over herself and breaking the spell, his lips pulled back from his teeth as he screams at the indecency of the matter. Leaping up to the horns of his master in an attempt to wake her, he jumps back and forth with tiny little screams as the angry little beast goes for him again. How dare she?! Finally, in a full attempt to get away from the monster, he leaps for the trees a mere ten feet away, his screeches scaring away a flock of morning doves, who screech their own displeasure.

    It is the flock that flies away that wakes me as well as the shriek of the little gem that has decided my precious Io is perfect for breakfast. Quickly, I am on my feet, eyes flashing as a talon comes out to block her, lips pulled back in warning as a hiss manages its way through my throat. As the hiss sounds, my mind stretches to hers in comfort, sending a message. He is not food...I will show you what food is. Come. With that, I turn into the trees, thankful that the area is completely deserted, and sniff the air. Catching the scent of a herd of deer upwind, I begin to slink up towards it, eyes glowering.

    Io, has managed his way back to Po, who watches with wary eyes the two dragons from afar. With slow, steady movements, I watch and hunt for breakfast, knowing that the herd will go to a good cause. With a leap, I jump from the trees and dive into the area, casting a simple spell using the words in my head and stunning them. With a few strikes, I take down five - three for me and two for the ever-growing baby. Thanking each of them by sending their spirits to rest peacefully, I look over towards the baby happily, stretching my conscience towards her. Breakfast is here, lovely one.
     
  10. The greedy slurping sounds can be heard all around the clearing as the babe sucks the flowing hot life from the carcass in an attempt to sate her hunger. As she bends over the second beast to quench her thirst the rays of sunlight through the trees dance across her body giving life to her beautiful hide. The blues and greens and purples mix and spin almost as fast as her excited opalescent eyes do.

    Then she starts ripping and tearing chunks of flesh and swallowing them whole tipping her head back and letting the juices flow down her throat. After finishing off one beast and doing serious damage to the second, the little one sat back and made a belch that bar tenders usually hear after serving up flagons of ail.

    The variety of itches began soon after, making it almost impossible to think of sleep let alone achieve it. Waddling over to her mother she cried piteously once more while rubbing against her legs to find some relief. Once again she was a terrible sight to see from the front, blood and dirt crusted her skin and flies biting her were almost intolerable too. Her eyes shown a sad whirling purple amidst the white, pinks and ambers.

    If one looked at her hide they would see fine splits appearing in it and what looked like flaking ash falling here and there. If it wasn't cared for soon she would suffer from bloody splits that could invite infection and other ailments and might even destroy her ability to fly in the future. She was growing too fast for the hide to keep up. It was extremely itchy but the child mustn't be allowed to scratch or she could do more damage to her delicate skin.
     
  11. The stretches on the baby's skin are a concern, and I wonder briefly how I'm to get the oils to keep her from splitting down the center. I give a sigh to myself, knowing I'm out of options. Somehow, I must get it from the market, as I have no capabilities, myself to make what is needed. Scooping the little bubble into my arms, I launch into the air, calling to Io to stay and watch Po for me. The little monkey seems to give a sigh, displaying his irritation at me through his thoughts. With a brief apology, I'm off in the blink of an eye towards the nearest town.

    Seconds later, I land just outside the walls in the perfect spot for no one to see me, gently placing the baby on the ground. Looking at her sternly, I speak to her, hoping that she understands. "I know you are young, but somewhere inside you, I know you have the ability to take the form of another...if you can find that ability, you can come into town with me. If not, then I must go in and leave you here...you musn't be seen as what you are, love. I must take care of you...and a part of that is protecting you from the wretched law that shuns you and me. Now do me a favor and try, okay? If you try really hard, I know you can do it...and when you do, we can help that pesky itch for you...please, little Iridacea...try, my bubble." The name just seems to slip from my lips as my dark eyes look to her hopefully. And as it does, it feels right. I give her a warm, loving smile, nudging her slightly with my white muzzle, watching her swirling eyes in hopes of seeing her understanding. And within microseconds, my dragon form swirls away to that of a human woman once more, the Isis wings still fused to my arms, taking a shape that is only more suited to the greedy, narrow minds of humans. With that form, I give the baby another look and smile, knowing she has it in her.​
     
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  12. Once put down the little dragon plops back on it's haunches and listens..or rather hears the words sent to her. But a movement out of the corner of her eye attracts her attention even before mother finishes her speech. A bug on a branch draws her attention away and before she knows it she is off chasing tiny creatures, her mother and her instructions totally forgotten in the thrill of the hunt, well, with the occasional stop to scratch itches of course.
     
  13. Well, even though she doesn't really listen, I know she has it in her...just...not yet. With a sigh to myself, I go to plan B, hoping and praying that it'll work at least for the length of time I need. Taking a deep breath, I give a call out to anything in the area. Within a few moments, a small flock of birds - fifteen Starlings, to be exact - answers my call, dancing in the area. I give them my request, and they answer by diving towards Iridacea playfully, singing and chirping to get her attention.

    With no time to hope that it'll work, I cast a small spell to hide the area from wandering eyes and run into the city. I've been here before, though I have no memory of it. The town, itself seems peaceful and merry with a market full to the brim with travellers and those who actually live in the area getting along quite nicely. Running through the booths, I search in hopes of finding what I need, the pouch of coins bouncing around my chest sporadically. There are slimy whistles, and some attempts to stop me...but as there is no time, I shrug them off easily, maintaining my dragon strength as much as possible as I search for what is needed. Finally, I find a booth of many different bath oils and look over them all. "Do you have any oils for sensitive skin? I need it for moisturizing...my fingers split easily." I give a warm smile to the tiny old woman that stands behind the booth. She, in return, sends a happy smile my way before nodding.

    "Yes, child...I believe I know exactly what you are looking for." My brow furrows at the seeming inquisition before relief fills my face as she pulls a large jar of strange purple oil and a soft washrag from beneath the counter. "This oil has special properties. It may not last long, but I am sure it will help you with your problem. Good luck, child."

    I give her a truly genuine smile, finally understanding what she means. The oil is specifically for dragon skin - baby dragon skin, at that. I can smell the lavender and the air of magic over it - something most can't see or smell. Pulling from my pouch five platinum pieces, I hand them to her and bow. "It is an honor meeting you. Thank you so very much." She pats my hand and waves me away. "Anytime, young one. You have a gift, and with that gift you will be able to do great things. Now go take care of her. We'll meet again." With that, she takes the coins and goes back to working her stall, and I take off back out of the city, isis wings flying in the wind. Luckily for me, no more people tried to stop me. At least not this time. But at the same time, I get the feeling I'm being followed. So, the moment I make my way back to the precious baby, I lift her up with an arm - my other arm holding the jar of oil - and haul her away from the city. The birds follow us for some time before finally flying away, and I don't stop until I know we're safe. Near the clearing that we had slept the night before, I finally stop and place the baby on the grass. "Stop scratching!" I say as she goes to scratch an itch again. Opening the jar, I dip the cloth in it and place it solidly on the ground, reinforcing it with a spell so it can't be knocked over. Pulling out a cloth that is dabbed well with the purple oil, I begin to polish the baby's skin. Where I polish, her skin begins to shine like it's supposed to, and no signs of splitting show. It'll take a while to clean her, but at least this way she'll stop scratching and hurting herself.

    Moments later, as if knowing where we are, Po trots up with Io clutching his mane. The horse gives a whinny, and the little monkey screeches. Giving them a smile, I stop a moment to pull a leather string from the back of Po's saddle to tie back my long curls, keeping the sweat at bay. Honestly, human forms suck sometimes...but this is much better than polishing in my dragon form. My talons would just get in the way. "Io, do us a favor...take Po and fill the waterskins." The monkey makes a few clicks at me in understanding before jumping back and grabbing the reins with all his might. Breathing a small strength spell to him, he manages to ride the great Percheron away and fill them. By the time they get back, I'll be done with this one. Thank goodness...​
     
  14. Cooing and purring at the wonderful relief from the itches, the little dragon dozes off to sleep with a final burp. She sleeps a long time stirring only to change positions to a more comfortable one and once again her bulging belly slowly deflates while she is sleeping and a noticeable change in size can be seen as she again grows before waking.

    Upon waking Iri yawns mightily and flops over on her now starving empty stomach blinks and looks about her to see what is going on. The non-food animals are doing their thing on one side of the clearing. Now the size of a very large dog or a small pony, Iridacea Stands up on her wobbly stiff legs and attempts walking and sniffs at things nibbles others, basically explores the clearing as she hasn't done before.The whole world is new to her eyes this day more than the other two because today she has woken up with a child's mind and not an infants. She is full to the brim with questions of 'why? and how? not to mention where?'

    Searching the small clearing takes no time at all and she soon sees her mother under a tree at the far edge of it talking to an animal, possibly a food one, she hadn't been warned to leave it alone.

    Now in more controle of her balance and limbs not to mention her tail, she slowly walks over to her mother and asks,
    'What'cha doing momma?'
     
  15. After cleaning her, I watch as the baby falls asleep almost instantly. Immediately after, I once again take my dragon form and hunt so that when she wakes, food will be ready. Po and Io come back with full waterskins, which I set beside what has become my favorite tree, an old hickory with a thick sturdy trunk. Allowing Po to wander off with the little monkey on his back, I take the moment to sleep as well, snoozing not ten feet from Iridacea.

    Only an hour later am I awakened by the growls of a rather large cat. The beast had smelled the meat and come to feast, but when I raise my head, it spooks and roars at me, fear in its eyes. Blinking at it, I realize the beast is nothing more than a cougar with a hungry belly. Cooing at the creature, I throw the meat towards it. "Don't worry, friend. I can get more." The cat feasts on it happily, and when its done, it comes to me with a purr rumbling in its throat. When close enough, I lower my head to its level, touching the tip of my muzzle to it. It is there that I sense the past of the beast, a poor male who's had no luck in life. Sending a rush of calm to him, I watch as he calms himself, lying next to me with a deeper purr. "There, now...why don't you rest up a bit?" He does so, snoozing beneath the tree next to me. But his sleep doesn't last long, and when he wakes, he looks to me curiously. With his permission, I enter his mind, and I talk to him. He expresses his fears and even the sorrows he's faced over the years.

    "No one really understands the regality of great creatures like you. But don't worry...you'll find love. We all will, some day." He gives a purr in response. It is then that I realize that Iridacea has awakened and is walking - in a much less clumsy manner - towards me. Her voice comes to me through her thoughts, asking what I'm doing. I give her a smile, flicking my tail towards me as if motioning for her to come.

    ~I'm just talking with this lovely gentleman, my bubble. Would you like to say hello? I can go get you something to eat.~ There is a sense of relief to hearing her voice for the first time. At least now, I can understand what she wants, and she'll be a little smarter about things that concern her. She has grown exponentially in just the past few hours, and I somewhat feel worry over how fast it is...but there is a reason, and though I don't know it, I allow the knowledge that there is soothe me. Rising to my feet, I give a bow to the cougar before looking back to Iridacea. ~Don't hurt him. He's had a rough life, and I want him to have a good start to the night. I'll go get you something to eat.~ With that, I leap into the air and go on the hunt. A half hour later, I am back with four large does, knowing that a growing dragon can have a mean appetite. That, and whatever is left over can go to the cougar.​
     
  16. After 'blooding' all four of the deer, as she has done before with the other kills, Iri devours three whole beasts, hooves and all, then picks out the best morsels of the last one; the liver, heart, lungs and a couple of bites from the rump of the beast. Once the last bite of rump goes down her gullet and a huge burp that scares a crow from a near bye branch comes up, Iridacea yawns so large that her jaw makes a cracking sound at full extension.

    Instead of falling asleep or scratching itches, she asks Xiamara as her mother begins what is now a nightly ritual for the two, using wet sand to scrub off the dead skin and rinsing Iri with water, then oiling the clean hide so it won't crack and bleed while she grows in her sleep.
    'Momma, where do we come from? Why do those non-food animals come with us? Why does it get dark? Where do...' The questions come poring out of the youth in a non-stop flow of inquisitive wonder like the water from the bucket that rinses her.

    Io shakes his head and decides he still had better clime to a higher branch for sleeping tonight, just to be safe, now that he would be just snack-sized if the 'little' beast woke hungry in the night.
     
  17. I had been lucky in the fact that sand was just outside the cave, so this time instead of just oiling the sensitive skin, I can actually get all the dead stuff off. To do so, I take the shape of a human once more, pulling my long hair back into a tail and tying it off before going to work on the ever-growing baby. I would have time to eat later, and instead of taking what is left of the deer, I let the cougar munch on it before he gives me a bow and bounds away to find the life I gave him hope for. A smile pulls at the corners of my lips as I watch him run off, my hands still working the skin from my precious Iridacea.

    But then her words trickle into my head as a thousand questions. I give her a full grin before speaking aloud. "Well, to be honest, child...I don't know the answers to all of your questions. I, myself, do not know where we come from, but I know wherever it is, it is a special place. As for the animals, well they are our companions...our friends. Friends are good for us." And with each question, I give as good of an answer as I can, rinsing the baby with a bucket of water before getting to work polishing her. I am lucky to have such an intelligent creature as my new companion. Even if Io doesn't think so.

    Po is grazing in the clearing near the cave, and the little monkey has decided to stay high up in a tree near us, glaring at Iri with glowering little eyes. He gives a huff before disappearing into the leaves, and I can't help but laugh.

    When finished, I settle down for the evening, knowing I can just eat when I go to get breakfast for Iri. I just hope there will be something other than deer tomorrow...I don't want to wipe away the population in just a week. Little numbers grow into bigger ones. Taking back my dragon form, I curl around Iridacea, ready to rest again, knowing that as long as we are watched by the Gods, we will be safe.​
     
  18. Snuggling up next to her mother Iri drifted off to sleep dreaming of deer and birds and stars and many many wondrous things that night in a very peaceful slumber. The next morning she woke with another huge yawn and stretched out the kinks, blinking as she noticed her mother wasn't so big anymore. She felt strange like in a dream because of it but then shrugged off the feeling and ran down to the stream for a long drink. She noticed some fish swimming in the stream and cooed to them, were they friend animals or food ones? Iri was pretty sure they were food ones as they calmed their movements and came to her and she lifted one to smell it. Her mouth watered as she licked her muzzle and opened wide and tossed it into the wide maw and swallowed quickly. It tasted like water and was cold like it too. After eating several more Iridacea looked around for another alternative food source but not seeing any she made her way back to the big tree and her mother.
     
  19. I awaken to notice that already Iridacea has wandered away, perhaps to find food, but my gut tells me not to worry too much. So instead, I begin to look around the area, figure out where we are, exactly. That cave must have more special properties than what I had already found. I'm sure we can make a home here, just Iri and I and Po and Io...what a wonderful family we'd make. Taking the human shape, I look out through the tall grass of the clearing, walking through it, feeling it brush my hands. I smell the air of morning, seeing the suns rise slowly in the East. I listen to the bugs and the early birds searching for food. It is truly a wonder for peace and quiet. Closing my eyes, I see it all, feel it all...And with it, I feel a part of myself open up. A light begins to shine within me, and suddenly I know that whatever the problems, I can handle what is thrown at me. I am Xiamara, Opal Dragon...and it is my time to shine.

    Hearing Iri come back from her morning journey, I allow my human shape to melt away into that of the dragon, black eyes opening to look at her lovingly. Meeting her halfway, I give her a nuzzle before pulling back and really looking at her. A smile grows on my lips, and finally, after a moment, I speak. "Would you like me to find us some more breakfast? I'm sure a few small snacks won't fill your belly. Perhaps you can come with me this time. We can walk and stretch our legs a little. We both need the exercise, yes?"​
     
  20. "Well, that would be nice..." Iri said in a hesitant way,"but momma, I am not that hungry at the moment. I was wondering, these things..." She wiggles her wings a bit while glancing over her shoulder at them, "What are they for? Io and Po don't have them, but we do, and how do you change forms?" Iridacea is showing evidence of her intelligence's growth now, not just a size change. Also her appetite seems to be leveling off too.
     
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