MAIN STORY The Dragon Wardens

Discussion in 'THE ASCENDER CHRONICLES' started by Effervescent, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Aurea was gazing longingly at a long stone in her hand. She had already forgotten the other little pebbles and what they represented. Even the constructed Haven was lost to her. Her limited memory was focused on remembering her dragon companion. She caressed the stone as if it were one of the scales of the earth dragon. Aurea could recall their flights, though not one in particular. She remembered the wind through her hair, the feel of the grass that grew upon his skin, and the chirping of a happy Plainswalker. Yes, if she could keep but one memory, it would be the bond between warden and dragon.

    Then Aurea was pulled away.

    The stone fell from her hand as a stranger led her into a circle of other strangers. The young warden tried to reach out for the stone, but she found both her hands secured. Aurea didn't hear what the others said, nor did she care. She was focused on keeping her memory of her friend. If she lost Plainswalker, she wouldn't have anything at all.

    "Plainswalker...Plainswalker...Plainswalker..."

    Without warning, she was pulled out of her dark prison...
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    Aurea felt like she woke from a bad dream. She could barely remember the darkness that held her for seemingly forever. Now she was surrounded by snow-dusted plains. She looked down upon Id and Waethrin as she sat upon a hill with a familiar tree. The bond she felt...this was no hill.

    None was more surprised by this than the dragon Aurea sat upon.

    The ground erupted as a head emerged from the icy snow to see if what he felt was truly Aurea. He immediately stood, causing Aurea to hold onto the tree on his back to avoid falling. The dragon arched his neck to smell his human. He didn't hold back: he sniffed furiously at her.

    "It's me! It's me!"

    He cried out in joy, a cry that could be heard from miles around. He thought they would never journey together again. After flying off to mourn his loss, he did return to the same spot where Aurea left the world. The dragon had destined himself to spend his days buried to be closer to his fallen warden. He didn't care how Aurea managed to survive. She was here, that was all that mattered.

    They still had many years with each other remaining.
     
    #121 Toogee, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
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  2. [​IMG]

    There wasn’t much luxury for respite in the face of a war like the one they were up against. Raleia would have needed centuries to recover and reflect, but it didn’t seem like they were going to get so much as an hour. She would have liked to sleep… to just sit… to be still for a moment or two, without her thoughts twisting to the violence and devastation they had witnessed, but Winnock needed looking after as much as she did.

    With a bucket and rags, she made for Winnock’s side, and as he flopped down onto his belly with something of a disgruntled sigh, blowing smoke from his nostrils in curling grey tendrils, she set about wiping him down, “Quit fussin’... You’ll be plenty more unhappy if you get an infection, and we’ve got to chop something off. Big baby.”

    Zuzu had patched Thannel well, giving his mangled eye privacy under a navy blue bandanna. It was tied loosely around his head so as not to agitate the stitches, silver hair bunching in a mess where the fabric laid. He had been avoiding most everyone for a time and had been sitting in a windowsill overlooking where the smaller dragons rested within the walls or on top of the roof to occasionally bat away the grey veil.

    Winnock looked less abrasive when interacting only with Raleia. It was supposedly a common thing, or so he’d been told, for fire dragons to be less keen on anyone but their bonded. He couldn’t really fathom a mental link with anyone. His head hurt enough as it was, and the medicinal tea Zuzu had given him didn’t fog up the throbbing enough. It hurt to move his good eye.

    The tin cup that held his hot beverage began to cool as it found itself empty. His dirty fingers cling to it still, laced around the handle and fiddling with its placement in his hold as he warred between sulking and socializing. Things were different now - too different from the life he had on his construct. What good had he done to this point? He chose exile in order to aid, but the guilt of his efforts in vain made him reclusive.

    He needed to give back the cup now that it was no longer in use and reluctantly pulled himself away from the window to descend the staircase leading out to the courtyard. “Is he injured?” Thannel asked Raleia upon approach.

    Winnock started to lift his head at the sound of footfall, but as Raleia looked up, she patted the dragon’s neck, “Easy, Big Guy… Just rest.” Gaze shifting, it lingered just briefly on Thannel’s face, on the bandana covering the devastation, before flickering to his good eye, “His pride, mainly. He’ll be alright.”

    Dropping the rag back into the basin, she dried her hands on the front of her pants, before raking them through a mess of red curls, “How about you? You gonna be alright?” She’d noticed his sullenness, and in truth, she had felt the strain, herself… felt the draw to retreat, to isolate herself from everyone, from everything. But their part wasn’t over, not really, and despite what she felt, she knew she would never forgive herself if she’d given up.

    Dropping her hand, she rubbed her arm, worrying at the edge of her lip, “...I wanted to thank you, Thannel. I… I’m not sure I would have made it through that mess, if I hadn’t run into you.”

    His head fell as he shook his head, hints of shame evident in the features hidden behind the mess of hair that fell over his face. “I’m sure you would have figured something out,” he said, and lifted his head to look at her. But his eye darted away just as soon as it looked at her electing to fixate on everything but the people in the courtyard. “I think I’ve done something. Something bad for us.” He finally looked at Raleia with a mixture of concern and severity as if to silently warn her against protest to his words. “Can Shadow Casters take away memories?”

    “I’m not so certain I would have wanted to figure it out…” she admitted, and her expression shifted, softened as she turned her eyes to him again. A frown fell in place, however, as he continued, a brow lifting, “...I… I’m not sure. I never really understood where their limitations were, but I… suppose they could. What do you mean?”

    A pained grimace formed as he looked around them for eavesdroppers, air sucking through his teeth at the instinctive quick eye movements his injuries protested against. No one seemed to pay any mind to the pair, but he closed the distance between them none the less and lowered his voice.

    “Savere,” he said, and motioned in general to himself. “He was trying to get information from me. I was his captive. I remember him trying, and I remember a woman… Everything is hazy after that until she left. Savere looked pleased.”

    Blinking, Raleia reached out, her hand resting against his forearm as she shook her head, “Thannel. What… what happened to you was not your fault. You cannot blame yourself.” Pausing, she seemed to consider something, frowning gingerly, “But it is important that he not have too much of an advantage. What… what would he want to know? Why would he question you, in the first place?”

    A haunted look fell upon his features as he brought himself back into the past, back when the world faded into darkness by Lisella’s command. “There’s a darkness,” he began hollowly. “Everpresent, Raleia. It… I can’t explain it now that I’m here. That spell Lisella cast in the fields before the orcish army pulled me into the void, and in that darkness I just knew it’s just constant but we can never see it.”

    He shook his head at his own rambling, his hand brushing through the air as if to toss his tangent aside. “It took me to Savere, and somehow he knew I was exiled and helping Dragon Wardens. He questioned me about it all. And when I would deny it he got frustrated. That’s why his pleased look plagues me.”

    “But what information do you have that he might not know, already Thannel? What could you have told him that would inspire such a reaction? Even you didn't know our numbers at the time… and we'd yet to convince the Orc and the Thalls to help us. He could have pulled anyone of us through… It's like he chose you for a reason. Why?”

    Shaking his head, Thannel shrugged, his fingers turning over the tin cup in his hands. “That I don’t know,” he said. “It could be any reason. Or possibly just as simple as that. I didn’t see any other captors in that tower. I looked. So perhaps I was just convenient. At the very least they may know we are coming to Folhath. What would really please a man like Savere like the possibility of believing he has the upper hand?”

    Reaching out, Raleia covered his hand with her own, tipping to meet his gaze, “As long as we don't give up, he'll never have the upperhand. And there's more Wardens than even I knew of. The very fact that he thinks he's one step ahead of us… we can use that to our advantage. And if we alter our own plan… then whatever you might have told him won't even matter. You escaping the fog, Thannel… I seriously doubt that left him with a smile on his face.”

    An uneasy huff of a laugh escaped him, and he nodded thoughtfully. He did find his escape clever in retrospect. Had he believed in luck he would likely assume he was full of such a thing. Holding up the empty cup, he looked back over at Raleia with a sheepish, crooked smile. “I should give this back to Zuzu.”

    Smiling, Raleia nodded, “She did a good job.” Her hand shifted, stretched up and hovered carefully beside his cheek, “It must hurt. He’s going to answer for it, Thannel. For all of it. Everything he’s taken from us.” Her free hand glanced across Valnir’s amulet, “Everything.”

    Collab with @Effervescent, @rissa
     
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