Two of a Whole

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Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:22 am

The winter night offered a clear sky with an unobstructed view of the pale moon, looking down at the world with all the joy of a mother watching her sleeping child. And indeed, the world was sleeping. A few lanterns were lit around the mid-sized city of Cairus to light the way for night watches that nonchalantly patrolled the wide streets; they were more worried about animals coming to rob the townspeople of their livestock or other valuable and edible wares than they were about dangerous people. Cairus saw it's fair share of crime, but on a winter night such as this, all was quiet. All, except for the tall woman striding like a breath of wind down the main roadways towards the city square. Her purpose was nameless and it showed; despite having long legs, she was not in any hurry to get anywhere in particular. Casually, she'd been stopped by one of the pairs of nightwatches ambling by, though they seemed to give her a little more attention when they caught sight of the black tattoos on her face. This was all that they bothered to do, for a quick conversation with her proved that indeed, she was originally from out of town and indeed, she wasn't a bother to anyone and was minding her own business.

In truth, Hadian Torzinei simply couldn't sleep. Maybe it was the cold, or maybe it was the knowledge that by tomorrow her job with the local baker would be up, and once again she'd be searching for a way to get by. Whatever it was, she couldn't find her peace that night and resorted to wandering around downtown for some crisp air and something to get her mind off of things. If she was honest with herself, she would admit that it was also a little bit of job-scouting, as she was passively looking for any shop or workshop or tavern with a help wanted sign scrawled out on a piece of paper in the window, or simply any place that looked like it might need an extra hand for a few days.

"A little late to be out for a stroll, eh miss?" A man said from her left. His question was genuine and not accusatory, and it wasn't until he really got a good look at her that his tone changed minutely. "Everything alright?" His eyes, cautious, searched her, but he didn't appear worried.
"Can't sleep," she admitted with a wry smile. "I thought maybe a good walk might clear my head...I mean no trouble sir, honest."
This guy seemed to be even more sympathetic than the last; maybe this happened often. "Ah, I see," he said with a little slow nod. "Personally? I'd go check out the sanctuary there. The glass in there is something to behold, and the library on the second floor is exceptional."
"Thank you, I appreciate it," Hadian said in earnest; she'd been itching for a good distraction from the twisty feeling in her stomach. "I think I may just have to see this glass for myself. You have a good night."
"You too miss, watch yourself now."

Hadian smiled politely to him as he turned to meander away and she made her way towards the grand stone building with gray spires reaching high into the night to pierce the moon. The very door to the place--a thick wooden thing braced with well-forged steel bars and rivets--was grandiose. Hadian pushed he heavy door open, as it was unlocked at all hours of the night. The foyer of the place was something to behold indeed; Gray marble made up most of the floor with granite inlays in symmetrical, intricate patterns while stone pillars reached high up to the tall ceiling. A few steps further and the room opened up to the main sanctuary with wooden pews and candle-lit sconces lining the walls. Against the far wall was a magnificent display of stained glass, the colors spraying all over the monochrome surface of the building's insides in a riot of blurry color. It was beautiful, but the empty room echoed too much for Hadian's taste and she felt like her feet sounded like thunderbolts cracking in the distance.

Through a short corridor and up a flight of gently curving stairs, Hadian came to another large room with vaulted ceilings and polished stone floors, but this one was a library, just as the sentry had said. Hadian thumbed passingly through a few books for a while, but ended up still meandering through the long expanse of the library. She'd nearly seen all she really felt like seeing and was about to leave when something caught her eye. In the corner of the room in its own little section was a pedestal housing a luxurious pillow and a very smooth, elongated object nestled atop it. Hadian gasped. A dragon egg! She had always hoped to see one someday, but never did she expect to find it in the back of a library!

"How sad..." she said aloud, wondering how long it had been there. Surely, it had to have been a long time, for she hadn't heard of any dragon clutches in recent times or really, if she were honest, much about dragons in general. "You poor creature. Here you are, waiting for your partner, and you're shuffled off to some dusty corner in a room full of books and scholars, not proud warriors. Doomed to wait." Hadian admired the thing for a while, appreciating the way its creamy black surface swirled with a graying turquoise underneath the light of the quiet moon from a window up above. Such a pity, she thought.

Curious now, Hadian began flipping open books nearby it, wondering if they would be on dragons at all. Nope. One looked hopeful, and she had nothing else to do, so she reached for it. As she did, a mouse leapt out from a little gap in the shelf and skittered away into the darkness timidly, but it startled Hadian. With a gasp, she reflexively reeled backwards a step and, with horror, felt her rear bump into the corner of the white pedestal behind her. Mortified, she whipped around to find the wooden stand tottering back and forth with the dark oval on top of it wobbling dangerously with it. It slid off the pillow and Hadian's hands just shot out reflexively to save it's fall, lest it break or be otherwise damaged. She never expected what happened then.

An explosion of pain surged from her hands into the rest of her body like a lightning bolt and she screamed loudly, feeling her chest tighten like her arms and legs. Hadian couldn't breathe, or else she'd cry out again, for the pain was the worst she'd experienced in her entire life. The woman fell to her knees as she struggled for air, but still she couldn't let go of the egg. Funny enough, she didn't want to. Hadian caught her breath finally, yelled again for her own satisfaction, and stood. Her head was going to explode, she thought. Actually explode. Regardless, Hadian felt like she no longer wanted to be in this sanctuary. In fact, she wanted to be anywhere but the sanctuary. She needed to be outside. Fresh air, open space...

Hadian had never sprinted down a flight of stairs that fast in her life. Out the front doors she went, though the city square and into the narrower residential streets towards the lake at the edge of town. All the while, Hadian couldn't help but wonder what was happening to her and why she felt like she needed to split and be alone. She would have killed for some good company a minute ago, what happened?

It was at the edge of the lake on the north side of town, among the trees and hardy underbrush, that Hadian collapsed. She couldn't run any more and the pain was still so unbearable that her head was spinning violently. Still, she clutched that egg. With shock, awe, and mostly terror, Hadian realized that in some unbelievable twist of fate, she'd bonded with this dragon. It chose her as its partner, and she was now bound to this creature for as long as she lived. They were one, already beginning to share energy and a physical bond.
"How!?" she cried out weakly to the stars, and then again to the cool, smooth egg in her hands. But she couldn't take it much longer; her head was swirling around in a chaotic mess and the world looked like a blurry soup of shifting images to her. Hadian felt so light-headed, she knew she didn't have much time before she passed out. With a great effort, she shifted the egg underneath her cloak so it wouldn't be seen, though she slipped her hand under too, just to keep in contact with it. She remembered crying out feebly again before the world faded before her eyes and she knew nothing more.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:56 pm

1,000 miles away another figure burned in the dark sky. They were a shadow in the moonlight, a forgotten presence, an urban legend. The villagers sometimes referred to them as the unforgiving shadow, though no one was sure where the title had come from. The strong and sleek dragon unfurled his massive wings and shot into the sky, faster than one would ever dream possible. The rider clung to its back as if he’d been born there, as if he was a part of the creature itself. The dragon rose up higher and higher, spinning vertically in the air.

Fallyn leaned back, pulling his hands off of the dragon’s neck and glanced at them, at the scar on his right palm. It illuminated in a golden glow, lighting up the dragon circling on his skin. It was a scene that he hadn’t seen in years…and years. Not since the riders had diminished. The scar was his own mark, the one he’d gotten when Obsidian had chosen him, the one true mark of a rider. Normally it simply looked like a faded scar, people would have to peer at it closely to distinguish it, but when it glowed the whole world might have seen it.

Another dragon. The thought was clear and loud in his head, and he could feel Obsidian’s sides rumble with excitement. The dragon hadn’t seen its own kind in as many years as Fallyn’s scar had been dormant. Too many years. They’d fled high to the Misty Mountains, taking residence on the gentle slopes and sprawling caves. Truthfully, Fallyn hadn’t minded that much, not so long as Obsidian was beside him. Without him Fallyn would die, no rider lived without their dragons, the same way the dragons lived without their rider. They were synonymous one person, one beast, one living creature.

He wasn’t sure if he was the last living rider in existence or not, it had been years since his scar had glowed and years since he’d even heard a rumor of another dragon. But now there was one, it was out there somewhere. If they flew they would find it.

Hours passed before Obsidian and Fallyn landed on the ground again, they were miles from where they’d started, miles from anything really. His scar was still glowing in the dark, but it was beginning to fade away again slowly, their connection to the new dragon and rider fading away. They were out there somewhere though, it would be easy to find them, but he wasn’t sure they should. Obsidian’s deep grumble reminded him that the dragon was restless; he wanted to see his own kind too.

“Okay,” Fallyn answered, watching the great dragon kneel down so that he could take his spot on his back. “We’ll find them.” The dragon grumbled in agreement and spread his wings once more, the great winged shadow rising into the air swiftly.
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I tried to do handstands for you but every time I fell for you. I'm permanently black and blue, permanently blue for you.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:24 am

It was maybe a couple hours before Hadian came to again. Or at least, that's what she thought, because it was still dark out, though for all she knew, it could have been the next day. The pain had subsided, at least; all that remained was a manageable and throbbing headache, and a kind of itchy sensation on her right palm. Gingerly, she moved her other hand to touch it, though she regretted that immediately. Hadian yelped in surprise as her fingers felt a ropy scar in place of her usually smooth skin, a swirling mark that shimmered...gold...?

Okay Hadian. Don't panic, now. This is a good thing. Right? Of course it is. I'm a dragon rider. A dragon rider! Hadian laughed, though she was pretty certain it was more out of relief that she wasn't dying and a nervous, apprehensive kind of fear than excitement. There would be a time for elation later, she knew, but she just needed to adjust to the whole idea first. The young woman shook the leaves and pine needles out of her shoulder-length ebony waves, grimacing in unfamiliarity at the way her hair tingled against her new mark. That would take some getting used to. And did everything suddenly get louder, she wondered? Or was she imagining things? And the hard, smooth lump underneath her cloak was no longer cool like stone but was now emanating a lively warmth that was a welcome defense against the winter night. Curious, Hadian cradled it in her arms again, inspecting its glossy surface. Would it be a black dragon? Gray? Turquoise? She didn't really know enough about dragon eggs to know whether or not they indicated anything about the color of the creature within. Blue was a nice color though...

"Um...hello," she said softly to it, caressing its hard surface. "I don't know if you can hear me, but I'm scared and I'd like to talk to someone so...seeing as how we're gonna be spending a lot of time together..." she chuckled softly at her own joke, feeling suddenly like a young girl who discovered she was pregnant for the first time. Joy and terror, all mixed and swirled together in one intense emotion. That, and a burning desire--no, a need to protect the stone-like object in her hands.
"I wonder how long you've been in there...you're probably glad to be coming out now. When....do you hatch? And what do I do when you do hatch?" Hadian took a long, slow breath. "Ohh boy. What have I done now? I'm gonna have to feed you somehow..."

Hadian also had the overwhelming feeling that she didn't want anyone to know about her newfound partner. Talk of dragon riders had been quiet over the last few years, but Hadian picked up that they were not so loved and revered as perhaps they once were. And for a long time, it didn't matter. It never mattered until that very moment, as Hadian looked between the now fading scar on her palm and the warm, creamy-black and blue swirled lump in her lap. Now, it mattered. Not that she knew what to do about any of it, but suddenly it was relevant, now.

"Why did you chose me?" she cooed to it, brow wrinkled with worry. "I think you made a bad choice, I'm not--" Hadian sucked in a sharp breath as her palm and her head flared in pain for just a moment before calming again. "So you CAN hear me, I take it! And already you have very strong opinions. Alright then. Have it your way." Hadian smiled; she was starting to feel that elation now, especially knowing that she wasn't just talking to the stars. There was a teeny little life inside that stony orb, and it was hers. What a special feeling indeed! Hadian just wanted to sit there all night until the sky broke out into morning, bonding with this little life. But she knew she had to start being productive. After all, her belongings were still at the baker's little shed-turned-guest-room where she'd been staying the last month or so, and she'd have to pick them up soon.

Just as Hadian mustered herself to her feet, she heard the undeniable sound of two feet stalking through the forest at a steady pace. Someone was coming! In a panic, Hadian threw herself down to the ground again, unfastening her cloak so the egg could be wrapped in its middle. The ends, the tall woman tied together to form a loop that she slung across her chest like a rucksack, effectively hiding and securing the egg close to her body. They were coming closer. Hadian drew her knife from her hip but quickly sheathed it again; if it was an ordinary hunter returning to town from his trip, she didn't want to appear suspicious or overly defensive. Besides, as close as she was to the edge of town, the likelihood that it was some dangerous highwayman was slim.
Act natural! Stay calm, stay calm... she thought. Hadian pulled the sleeve of her gray wool sweater lower over her right hand and tried to smooth her hair a little. This person would run into her eventually, and she thought it would look less conspicuous if she didn't bolt, like a normal person not hiding a giant secret. So, gathering her wits, Hadian squatted down quietly and pretended to be gathering medicinal herbs like she'd seen some women do, except she was just selectively plucking weeds while she hoped that whoever was out there would not see her in the darkness. Despite her efforts, she still looked slightly harried and very exhausted. Though she had dark olive skin, she looked a little pale for her skintone, too, making the slim black tattoos across her cheekbones and underneath her eyes a little more stark. Hadian's guise as a medicine woman was not terribly convincing, but she didn't know what else to do in the heat of the moment, so she stuck with it.

Deep breaths, now. Deep breaths.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:41 pm

We’re closer. The great black dragon had flown day and night, stopping only for a couple of hours on a riverbank to gobble up a sheep and rest his wings. A deep rooted desire to see its own kind was driving him. The bond between dragon and rider was the strongest bond in the world, but it didn’t change the desire to be with one’s own kind. Fallyn and Obsidian had been in hiding for years and even before that dragons were hard to come by. Of course, the dragon wasn’t the only one who had a desire to see their own kind; Fallyn already missed the glow of the scar.

He leaned back, resting between the dragon’s shoulder blades, his powerful wings creating a gentle rocking sensation. “We’ll find them,” He said, resting his hand on Obsidian’s scaly neck, stroking him gently. “First we have to alarm every town in existence.” He said, smiling as they flew over another village. They took no great pains to hide their existence in the air, only when they were on the ground. The day had blended into the night, and then before they knew it morning had risen again. The connection grew stronger every day.

Once upon a time, all the riders relied upon one another, they were connected. It was still there, Fallyn could feel a presence in the back of his mind, growing stronger as they grew closer to the new rider. It was Obsidian who could probe another rider’s mind, the way he did to Fallyn’s, but he could sense it anyway. It was the only way they could find one another and so far it had been successful. Soon the dragon rumbled, his speed increasing.

It was morning again when Obsidian began his descent, landing heavily down into a forest clearing that almost didn’t contain the massive creature. Wherever they were now, they would find the new rider here. “Wait for me.” Fallyn said, patting Obsidian’s neck. The dragon blew out a breath, smoke swirling from his nostrils, ’No’, he breathed, digging his claws into the earth.

“You have to, I won’t be far.” Fallyn said back, pulling his pack down from Obsidian’s back. He unfolded his stuff and pulled out a bow and quiver. He pulled it around his back and straightened himself up again. He ran his fingers through his unruly blonde locks and laid his hand against the dragon again, feeling the heat of his body. “I’ll be back.” He said, ignoring Obsidian’s rumbling protest.

Fallyn stepped lightly, but it wasn’t as quiet as he should have been, twigs kept cracking under the weight of his leather boots. He was better in the air, Fallyn had never been particularly sneaky, he was brash and quick, not sly and silent. Still, over the sound of his own footsteps he could hear another. Slowly, Fallyn pulled off his bow and knocked an arrow. He’d been expecting to go into the village and see what people were whispering, what rumors swirled. But apparently he wasn’t going further than the edge of the woods yet.

He took a few more steps, leading the way with his drawn bow before he saw a figure. A figure leaning over the ground, pulling plants out. He watched her for a second, surprised. It was the rider; Fallyn could feel it, tugging at his mind. His hand clutching the string on his bow burned a warm gold and he quickly loosened his grip, dropping the weapon to his side and hiding the mark by turning his hand against his stomach. He wasn’t expecting to just run into them like this.

“You’re gathering weeds.”

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:34 pm

Hadian could practically taste her heart as it beat in her throat, thundering in her ears like the footsteps of a thousand soldiers marching faster and faster. The person out there was coming closer, and right for her with unfailing accuracy. The road was quite a bit further to her left; what would prompt them to veer off this way? Was....was someone looking for her? No, no, that would have been impossible, she thought and quickly removed the thought from her mind. Unless the baker and his wife noticed she never came back and sent someone looking for her--maybe she'd been spotted fleeing town. But if that was the case...they would have needed time to realize something was amiss. Was it not the same night she'd discovered the egg? Hadian looked up through the trees at the moon, noticing that it was not quite as full as it was when she saw it last. She'd been out there for a while, it seemed, but how long exactly? A day? Two? There was no way to know for sure.

The footsteps came closer. And closer. Soon she could see the figure of a man with light hair, though she couldn't decipher much more than that, yet. Funny enough, she almost hoped it was some wicked highwayman, because at least then she could fight him and wouldn't have to reasonably explain why she was there. Besides, she was confident she had a chance of winning, too, because few people in these parts expected a woman to be so adept with a blade as she. If nothing else, she had surprise. If it was a townsperson...what would she say? Her front gathering 'herbs' was only halfway viable from a distance and anyone with half a brain would know what she was doing if they got close. She couldn't tell the truth. There wasn't really a reason why, she just couldn't. Wouldn't. She supposed she'd keep lying until they left her alone, or just until she could head back into town and brush off the whole encounter.

Hadian could see the figure more clearly now; he was holding a drawn bow aimed what seemed to be right at her. Obviously he'd seen her and he came straight for her. Hadian swallowed hard, but her mouth felt like ash. Slowly, she moved her left hand back to quietly pull her knife out of its sheath, its clipped point shimmering in the dim moonlight. Hadian was all ready to jump up and defend herself if need be when she suddenly had a surge of pain in her head and her palm itched fiercely. To her horror, it glowed so brightly that a little light began to filter through her sweater sleeve. Something else changed, too, something she couldn't quite identify. A strange pressure manifested in the back of her head--soft, like a sponge pressed gently against her skull. It was a...sense. She was sensing...something, but she couldn't begin to think of what it was or what that really meant.

The man lowered his bow and pointed out her fake and ridiculous task as he just looked at her, and she at him. A fire lay in her hazel eyes that showed she was strong, fierce, and would defend herself if she had to, but even so, she looked scared. Not of him, but she was reminiscent of an unwed girl with a newborn baby--uncertain and frightened. Though her eyes betrayed her, she still made the effort to be aloof and strong.
"Aye," she said flatly. "Weeds." There wasn't any sense in pretending otherwise, and if she couldn't lie about what she was doing, she would lie about her reasons why. "It's for a fabric dye. My job at the baker's place ended..." she took a guess, "yesterday, so I thought I'd make a nice green dye to offer to one of the local seamstresses in the hopes that she'll take me on as an apprentice or just some hired help--whatever I can get. A girl's gotta eat." Hadian offered a weak and almost obligatory smile like she was only trying to be polite. Her eyes watched him constantly. What did he want?

Hadian's mind raced. She'd made her lie, but if it was going to stand, she needed to not be scrutinized. She needed to turn the conversation back on him, and she needed to get back into town before something ugly happened. Rising smoothly, Hadian sheathed her knife in its place at her hip and looked down at the awkward bundle of weeds she'd now gathered. Yeah. A dye. Not knowing what else to do, Hadian just held her prize in her right hand, effectively hiding the irritating mark on her palm.
"You...look like you're from out of town." She'd always been a traveler and knew how to spot one in a heartbeat. He likely wasn't a drifter like she was, but he certainly wasn't from Cairus. "There's a great tavern near the city center. They get their cheese from a goat farmer on the other side of town. It's great." Despite spurring conversation, her tone made it very obvious she did not want to stay and chat but was instead using this small talk to try and make her escape.

Hadian looked up; the sky was shifting from a deep black to indigo now; daybreak was approaching rapidly. For a moment, she stood there staring back at him, trying to read him. She took a step back. For some reason, she was hesitant to turn around, to let him see the egg sitting against her back, even if it was wrapped up in her cloak in such a way that it didn't look like anything in particular. "Anyway, the seamstress I'm thinking of seeing opens her shop early, and I'd like to speak with her before people start coming in and she gets busy. So..." She gave another halfhearted, nervous smile. "I should be going." Hadian turned her back finally and started to head back towards Cairus. She made it all of two steps before she heard and felt a faint, muffled crack against her mid-back.

Uh-oh.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:30 am

Fallyn listened to the girl’s words with raised eyebrows, a hint of amusement on his face. “Right, dye.” He answered, another amused smile crossing his face. He tucked away the arrow in his hand and slid his bow back over his shoulders, keeping his scar from her sight carefully. “An odd time to come gather it though,” he commented, his green eyes shifting up to look at the daylight beginning to break. “But what should I know about dyes and seamstresses?” He said, watching her start to retreat.

“You’re right, I’m not from around here. I’m quite sure the ale is delightful, but that’s not the reason I’m here.” Fallyn said, his voice peppered with amusement once again. In the back of his mind Obsidian growled, obviously restless. Fallyn could practically see the dragon pacing, claws tearing up the earth that he walked upon, smoke billowing out his nose. He was restless, he didn’t want to be alone. Be patient Fallyn thought, closing off his mind a little bit more.

“No no no, not the reason.” Fallyn said, following after the woman, obviously not about to let her walk away. “I’m looking at the reason why I’m here.” He told her, stopping again. “I was just wondering,” He said, running his hands through his hair again, another almost boyish and amused grin crossing his face. A small subtle flash of his hand showed gold for a mere moment before he tucked it away again, resting against his chest.

He heard the sound clearly, his eyes trailing down towards the folds of her cloak. Any other person might not have heard it, nor noticed any difference at all. But Fallyn wasn’t normal and neither of was this girl. They were one and the same now even if she didn’t want to be. “I was just wondering what exactly you planned on feeding it?” He asked, a small laugh escaping his lips. “Or perhaps, where you are going to keep it?”

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:57 am

He didn't buy it. Not that Hadian could really expect him to, as he had a point: what was a woman doing alone out in the woods at that hour? Even if she WAS gathering weeds to make some bright green dye, it was a very peculiar time to do it. Hadian shrugged his unspoken disbelief off and decided to answer back with the actual reason she got into this mess. "Well...I couldn't sleep." It made her wonder now if her sleeplessness was part of something bigger, like fate or something. She tended to err more on the side of 'coincidence', because it was a stupid fluke that she touched that egg in the first place. The only reason she came in contact with it was because she'd clumsily knocked it over, not because she felt drawn to it or something else of a strange and mystical nature. She just touched it. And now suddenly her entire future seemed like it would veer off in some uncertain direction that was far from where she imagined it ever would be. Now she was a dragon rider. And now this odd fellow was just watching her. If she wasn't mistaken, he was even amused. Surely, he wanted something.

"...but that's not the reason I'm here."
Well that never preceded anything good, Hadian thought. And it was in that moment that she knew he was there for her. She didn't know why, there was no possible way he could know what had happened in the library--no one knew. Nobody. She'd been so careful to make sure no one saw her, and especially not the egg. Hadian's mind raced to other options. If he was sent by the baker and his wife, he would have been more direct about it and would have said something by now. He wasn't lost and he didn't look like a beggar. Hadian thought of only one other option and she didn't like it. Her entire body was tense and still until he came out and said that he was there looking for her. That was all the motivation she needed to draw her blade and drop into a fighting stance, ready to take him on if he dared try to get within arms reach of her.

"You're making a mistake," she growled in warning, brandishing the knife a little. It was comfortable in her hand, an extension. Obviously she'd had it for many years and used it, as it was not foreign to her. "Don't do something you'll regret, stranger." Hadian stood her ground then, giving no sign that she would back down or try to run; if he was looking for trouble, he'd find it. But he just smiled at her again and very subtly but purposefully flashed the golden mark on his palm as he coolly asked her what she was going to feed "it".

The little bundle of weeds fell softly to the forest floor without much of a sound. Hadian took a step back with her mouth hanging wide open. No, no, that wasn't possible. How could he have known? How did he find her? Hadian felt numb for a moment, though she suspected at first that it might just be the cold getting to her despite the warmth emanating from the bundle across her back. She looked at her palm, unafraid of him seeing the gold, swirling mark upon it, then back to him. Back to her palm, back to him. It dawned on her then: she wasn't alone in this. "You're...a--" Another pop sounded from behind her, louder than the first; she felt the force of it against her spine and her eyes widened. "Where would I...? I was gonna...uh..." she tucked her wavy hair behind one ear as a nervous gesture, eyes darting every which way. "Feed it...um...s-something." Hadian's ears were ringing; her head hurt.

The woman took a step back again and dropped to her knees, taking the makeshift rucksack off her shoulder and unwrapping the oval inside. That dragon was hatching now, and it didn't seem to care that Hadian thought it was poor timing. There was no use in lying anymore, so she just stopped pretending altogether. The dark surface of the egg had two large faults forming along one side with smaller fractures branching out from them in every direction. "You stay where you are!" She demanded to the stranger, pointing at him with her knife again. "Just because you're a r-rider doesn't mean I have to trust you right away. How did you know? A-and for how long?" She also was secretly wondering how long she'd been out there, as it seemed she'd been out longer than just a few hours. Come to think of it, she did remember having dreams about stumbling to the lake nearby and drinking form it. Maybe they weren't dreams, but hazy memories of some trance state? Sleepwalking? Hadian didn't know and at the moment it was too much to try and figure out.

Her little dragon was working fiercely to break free of its smooth enclosure, as the cracking became louder and more frequent until finally a tiny little piece popped off, unstuck from the thin membrane inside and fell to the ground. Hadian melted the moment she saw the little clawed arm pick at another chunk to widen the little hole. That was her dragon. Hers. The woman smiled, forgetting the stranger for a moment as she watched the creature break a bigger and bigger hole, and then crawl triumphantly out into the cold open air. Out came the scaled creature, a blue-indigo color so dark it looked black in the dim light, with blue-gray eyes and pointy white nubs where spikes and horns and claws grew. Hadian, in wonder, tenderly used the fabric of her cloak to wash the wet residue off of its dark scales until it was clean. How magnificent! The moment they made contact, Hadian felt her headache subside and suddenly everything felt right in the world.

She lifted her eyes for a moment to look up at the blonde in shock, though she was giddy beyond words. "Incredible....What do I do? What do I do?" she laughed, letting the dragon bump her outstretched hand with her smooth nose. Her hostility towards him forgotten, Hadian asked, "Is it a boy? A girl? Can I pick it up? I don't want to hurt it..."

((ooc: I think i'm gonna make the dragon female, too, fyi))

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:05 pm

The smile had remained on Fallyn’s face despite Hadian’s threats to him. He abided by her insistence to stay where he was, resting his hands on his hips where his own blade was tucked away out of sight. He was much better with his bow, but he could hold his own in a hand-to-hand fight as well. Not that he was very willing to fight anyone, but he wasn’t entirely sure how reasonable she would be at the moment.

That moment was quickly over when the egg cracked again, drawing both of their attentions away from each other. Fallyn watched the dragon begin to emerge, remembering the way Obsidian had done the same thing. How many years ago was that; Fifty, sixty, maybe more? Dragons lived very long lives and so did riders, one didn’t exist without the other one of course.

This was certainly the first dragon he’d seen hatched in that time frame, he couldn’t help but hold his breath in admiration. It rolled out of its shell and Fallyn watched them, his expression still amused.

“Hurt a dragon?” He said, giving her a smile. He took a few steps toward them and kneeled down, reaching out to touch the blue dragon softly. His fingers rested against the lightly slimy scales and he could feel the warmth that it held. It was still amazing how small they were when they first hatched, even Fallyn was a bit surprised. He certainly wasn’t used to such small creatures anymore.

“You can’t hurt it.” He said, pulling his hand back. The dragon wasn’t his to touch and hold. “I knew a few days ago. We felt it, the awakening.” He said, holding out his hand to show her his matching scar, warmly glowing. “We had to come; it’s been so many years. I thought we would be the last ones to fly the skies.” He told her, sitting back on his heels. Come Fallyn thought, reaching back to connect to the dragon hidden deeper in the forest.

“This one is a girl I think.” Fallyn said, looking back up at Hadian. “I’m Fallyn,” He told her, giving her another smile. “And this would be Obsidian.” He added, brandishing a hand into the air.
It took a moment for the dragon to appear, his body gliding over them like a shadow. Not exactly subtle or hidden anymore, were they? The dragon leaned back its head and flames erupted from his mouth, dissipating into the morning air. He circled several times before soaring toward the ground, his body crashing into a few trees and toppling them before he managed to land a safe distance away.

’You’re the new rider.’

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:54 pm

Hadian would have spat on him had he dared approach her a moment sooner, but she quickly understood his goal now and realized she would need his help. After all, she hadn't thought about what she would actually do when the dragon hatched except for gawk at it in a quiet stupor. He had a point--she didn't know what to feed it, or where to keep it, or really what to do at all. The closest she'd come to anything like this experience was that back home, she used to help deliver baby goats in the springtime. But she never had a child, or a nephew, or anything of the sort. This seemed so different than all of that anyway, as the little dragon sniffing at her cloak did not appear to be so weak or helpless as a baby goat.

"A few...days?" Hadian's hazel eyes widened in shock. The poor baker and his wife were probably very confused as to why her things were still scattered all over the tiny little shed out behind their little home, and why she had not come to say goodbye, as they'd become fond of each other. And surely the town had to know the dragon egg was missing from the corner of the library. It was a dark, dusty old corner, but she knew people went up there regularly and they would have noticed by now. Hadian wasn't sure she was ready for the kind of attention it would bring if she waltzed into town with a hatchling dragon, and now there was the other pair with her, for surely his dragon couldn't be far.

"Are there more of y--us? Surely we can't be the only ones...I mean, I know it's been a while since there has been a new rider and riders are rare of course, but I always imagined they were sprinkled across the land living quiet lives away from the public eye." She inspected his scar, and then hers; so it was permanent, then. She remembered seeing something like it depicted in paintings and tapestries from ages ago and knew it was the mark of the riders--a once revered and honored symbol. She never imagined she would find one burning in her slim brown hand.

Hesitantly, Hadian moved to pick up her little dragon, gasping with delight when the creature scurried into her hands happily. "A girl..." Hadian mused, smiling. "She's so warm! Here I thought I'd have to keep her warm somehow but it seems like she's keeping ME warm. You probably saved me from freezing to death, little dragon. I'll have to think of what to name her! Ah!" Hadian giggled with joy when her winged friend gave a loud and satisfied squeak as Hadian pulled her close to her body and cradled her there. The dragon nuzzled its nose in the crook of Hadian's arm playfully.

"Fallyn? I'm Hadian, Hadian Torzinei. Sorry I was cross with you earlier...I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared and well...seeing someone come at you with a bow in the dark isn't terribly comforting." A whooshing sound drew her attention upward as Obsidian spurt flames above them and eventually landed with a terrible clamor as trees buckled under his great weight. Her little dragon yowled in delight again; she knew her own kind. Hadian thought for sure she would be afraid of him when he landed, but surprisingly, she was not. Not to say she didn't have respect for the majestic creature before her, because she certainly did, but in a bizarre way, she felt almost like she'd known the pair before.

It sure was odd to have a voice echoing in her head that was not her own. "I...am. I'm the new rider," she said, mostly to herself but partly to Obsidian. She bowed her head reverently. "A pleasure to meet you, mighty Obsidian." Smiling, Hadian stood on adrenaline-shaken legs and carefully moved closer to Obsidian's great head, offering up her little partner so the two could meet. The dragon called out again, a high pitched maaaaww as if to say hello. "I understand it's been quite some time since you've seen one of your own kind. I'm glad you're here."

Hadian turned to Fallyn, and all at once she shivered and her stomach growled in a pang of hunger. She'd need to eat something soon, especially if what he said was true about feeling the awakening a few days ago. "What do I...what do we do now? I'm sure they've already seen Obsidian in town, and if I walk in there, everybody will know. Is that....good? A-and I need to get my things from the baker's place eventually--I wasn't lying earlier when I said I used to work for him. They're probably wondering what happened to me! I couldn't sleep the other night and happened to find this egg in the library at the sanctuary. I knocked it off the pedestal and touched it kind of by reflex. And then I bolted out here, which is where I've been since. I don't know if I've been unconscious or asleep or in some kind of trance--I don't really remember."

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:11 pm

Like a giant dog, Obsidian shook his tail in delight, making trees shudder as he hit them. He was pleased with the dragon a fraction of his size, like any would be after not seeing their own kind for decades. Fallyn sat back on his heels, running his fingers over his face thoughtfully. He hadn’t thought about what they should do now, if they were in any particular danger. Dragons held no love from the people anymore, but would they want to kill them? Perhaps he had been gone from the world for so long that no one cared anymore.

Either way, they hadn’t made a great effort to stay hidden during their travel here, and the way that Obsidian had nearly plowed down the forest just now…surely they were no longer unnoticed in this village.

“We should go,” Fallyn said finally, standing up from the ground. “They might not appreciate our presence. They might not appreciate that dragon hatching for you.” He said, walking back toward Obsidian. He gave Hadian a small smile, shaking his head. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.” He told her, shrugging. “I have been living on my own for years, caution is important. I’m sure you know.” He said, giving her another smile. He didn’t know her, but he figured that she was somewhat of a loner too, a drifter like he always had been.

“You trust me now?” He asked, resting his hand on Obsidian’s neck, the dragon blowing smoke from his nose. Fallyn wasn’t sure at all what this little side trip was going to mean for them, not being the last dragon rider out there was different. He couldn’t pretend like he was totally alone now, but what were they going to do? Go up and live in the mountains together forever, happily ever after?

Fallyn didn’t think so.

“We probably need to leave now.” He said, climbing gracefully onto Obsidian’s back as the great dragon leaned down for him. Where they were going to do and what….he didn’t know any of that yet, but they could figure it out, right? Unless she didn’t want to come in which case Fallyn wasn’t sure what to do with that either.

“If you want to come,” Fallyn told Hadian, offering her another smile as he held out his hand to her, his scar glowing warmly.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:32 pm

"They might not appreciate that dragon hatching for you."

Hadian never really did think about that. She looked down to the happy bundle in her arms and wondered how many people, in the days of the riders, touched her egg in the hopes that she would choose them, how many walked away with chagrin when she did not... Would there be bitterness? Contempt that a tattooed drifter from over the southwestern seas came to their land and suddenly bonded with what was one of the last few dragons in existence? And a woman, no less! Hadian didn't know how the people in this part of the world would take to a female rider, as the place of a woman seemed to be much different in this society than that of her homeland. Surely there had to be female riders in the past; she would ask Fallyn about it another time. Hadian wondered, too, if she was now in any kind of danger. Did the riders have enemies?

Hadian smiled to Fallyn as he apologized for frightening her. "Believe me, I understand. I've had some military training in years past and it's taken a while to remember that not everyone out there wants to kill you..." Hadian laughed, but she wanted to know where Fallyn had been all this time. She'd certainly never heard of any dragon riders in existence, still. Had he hidden away from the world? Hadian wondered why and wanted to ask, but she could sense the urgency in the air. Another time.
"Trust is a strong word," she laughed in jest. "But it seems that I don't have much of a choice but to trust you anyway. If I want your help, that is. Which I do. Thinking about it, I'm not sure how I rationalized that I could do this on my own...did you have a mentor when you found Obsidian?"

The prospect of leaving Cairus was an easy pill for Hadian to swallow, as she never really lived in one place for long. Mostly by choice, but really she went wherever she could find work, and over time, she'd been edging slowly back to the coast, hoping to gain favor with someone who owned a ship. Besides, from the looks of things, she would be riding Obsidian out of there--flying! Hadian was not afraid but elated to take to the skies and wondered how long it would take her own little dragon to fly, and then how much longer it would take before she could bear her, too.

"I do want to come, believe me," she said. "But everything I own is still in town. It's not much, but the little I do have is important to me...pieces of home that cannot be replaced. I'm going to go run back and get them, or at least the important things, and I'll meet you back here. I'll take alley streets and stay out of sight...shouldn't be hard this time of day." Hadian knelt down and tried to clean off her cloak as best she could, brushing away all the egg fragments and forest debris before clasping it over her shoulders. She brought her little dragon up to her shoulder and half smiled, half winced as she clambered onto the back of her neck, seeing this as a prime opportunity for a quick nap. Hadian put up her hood and adjusted the dark folds of her cloak to disguise the warm, scaly lump curled happily underneath. "If I'm not back in fifteen minutes, I've probably found some sort of trouble. I'll be swift."

Hadian was swift indeed, her long legs carried her over the forest floor expertly and quickly. From the moment she entered city limits, she stuck to the shadows and waited for anyone walking by to pass before she moved positions. Like an apparition, Hadian silently and stealthily made her way back to the baker's house where she'd been staying and quickly went into the little shed out back to pack the few things that she couldn't leave without, though she would leave behind basic supplies for now. Mostly, she needed her sword. It was a family heirloom and belonged first to her grandmother, then her mother, and now Hadian. Despite its age, it was kept in excellent condition. Hadian would not leave it for the world.

There was a knock at the door to the makeshift guest-house that made Hadian nearly jump out of her skin. "Hadian? Hadian, dear, is that you?"
The woman breathed a sigh of relief and, checking again to make sure the dragon and her glowing palm were hidden, opened the door. "Ja'ti, Mara. You startled me."
The round-faced woman smiled and patted the younger woman's hand. "Oh, I'm sorry, Hadi. I've just been worried about you, dear! You disappeared for three days and I thought surely you'd left, but you left your things here and I thought something happened. Is everything alright? You look a little ruffled, hon."
"Oh, no, I'm fine, I'm just excited is all. I found some work with a troupe of traveling performers. They asked me to uh, groom their horses and wash their costumes and things. They were so kind, I stayed with them for a couple of days but they kept me busy so I never made it back," Hadian lied smoothly. "Anyway, I'm just gathering some of my things. I can't take everything, just a few things. Keep the rest, give it to someone who needs it."
"Oh Hadian, you're so kind. Did you hear about the dragon, dear?"
"Dragon?" Hadian swallowed hard. "Yeah. Yeah I heard about that. The troupe's been talking non-stop about it. You know actors, they're all fond of their gossip. What have you heard?" Hadian asked, wondering what kind of rumors had been spreading already.
"Well there's been this egg in the sanctuary library for decades, but someone noticed it missing two days ago. Now lots of folks are saying it's just been stolen, but apparently this morning several people reported seeing a dragon crash into the woods outside of town just this morning! I reckon folks will start looking for it soon."
"Oh...really?"
"People are thinkin' now that egg's hatched and it'll draw riders out of hiding. I thought they were all gone!"
"Yeah...so did I. Well Mara, thank you for taking me in, I really need to get going now, they're waiting for me."
"Here, I brought this for you." Mara presented a package wrapped in brown waxed-paper. The smell made Hadian's stomach howl fiercely.
"Cinnamon buns! Ah, thank you Mara. I really appreciate all you've done for me. Tell Don I'm very grateful, but I have to run. Best of luck!" Hadian wasted no time. With her pack over one shoulder and the bundle of pastries in one hand, she speed-walked out of sight and sprinted away into the cover of the trees, where she took an indirect route to reunite with Fallyn lest someone follow her.

"We need to go now!" Hadian explained, clambering up behind Fallyn as soon as she was able; the large dragon felt warm and muscular underneath her. "Sounds like people are fixing to come look for Obsidian--you've been seen, though you weren't exactly subtle. I don't want people to know my face as the new dragon rider...in case there are people out there who would rather not have another rider. Also I've never flown before...you might have to walk me through what to do, or how to, you know, not fly off mid-air?"

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:39 pm

’Subtle,’ The dragon laughed, smoke billowing from his nostrils in something that could only be seen as amusement. Subtle wasn’t really what Fallyn and Obsidian had considered, they had flown for days not exactly in hiding. But when they returned to their mountain home they certainly wouldn’t be seen again. No one had found them for years, there was no reason they would know once they took to the sky.

“It’s pretty simple,” Fallyn said, turning to look at Hadian as she scrambled onto Obsidian’s back. “The first rule is hold on.” He told her, settling his hands against the dragon’s great neck as he gathered himself up, his massive wings unfolding. Before there was even a moment for another word between them, Obsidian launched himself upward.

Five feet, ten feet, twenty…higher and higher they rose in a short amount of time. Fallyn looked down at the ground, watching the little village grow smaller and smaller underneath them. If anyone was standing outside their houses, they would see them for sure. Then it was out of sight and they were flowing through the air as gently as a cloud.

“The second rule is to not fall off.” Fallyn told Hadian, his body completely relaxed and carefree even as they soared with the clouds. He could stand up and walk along Obsidian’s back if he wished, they weren’t two, they were one.

“What do you think?” He asked her, turning around slightly to look at the girl. She’d asked him if he’d had a mentor, but Fallyn hadn’t answered her, there hadn’t been time. The answer to the question was yes, but even if he’d told her that, it would have been hard for him to elaborate. Fallyn didn’t like to think about it all that much, they still mourned his death even an unknowable amount of years later. He supposed he was going to be somewhat of a mentor now, but he wasn’t sure that he’d ever wanted that responsibility.

“I was only fourteen when I found him. I wasn’t supposed to be playing in those woods, they were too dangerous my father said. Of course I ignored him often. Nothing ever happened. Then I saw it one day, a giant black rock, the shiniest thing I’d ever seen.” Fallyn said, running his hands along Obsidian’s neck. The dragon rumbled in appreciation, heat spreading from his belly softly.

“Grip with your legs, hold him tightly.” Fallyn instructed her, waving his hand as though the words were a second thought, breaking him out of his little story. “Anyway, my family was just poor farmers; they didn’t know what to do with a dragon, neither did I. But I was found and was taught.”

’He was not such an impressive rider then,” Obsidian said, his belly rumbling again in what was likely dragon laughter.

“True, I wasn’t.” Fallyn answered, a good-natured smile crossing his face. “Bronn helped me.” He added, his voice fading a little bit. The rebellion happened when he had been twenty, and that was the last time he’d seen Bronn or any other rider for that matter. Now Fallyn wasn’t sure how many years had passed since, but it had been far too many.

“We’ll stop when we’ve covered a few more miles. I’m starving.” Fallyn said, gripping Obsidian harder as the dragon put on another burst of speed.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:31 am

Hadian had always been something of a hunter. It was never officially her trade--she came from a long line of craftsmen and weavers--but venturing inland with no one but her horse and a dune-cat she eventually took in and named Ta'pai was one of her favorite things. It was peaceful out there, away from the bustle of the coastal city she grew up in where buildings climbed far into the sky and reached out with gold-tipped spires that set ablaze at sunset. But Hadian learned things out there, skills she found useful later in life. It was because of this self-training that she had an excellent sense of the world around her. Now, it seemed, her senses were at an unusually high level. She guessed this was typical of riders--she would not mistake the sudden spike as coincidence.

"Simple, hah, alright." Her head lifted; someone was coming, though they were a ways off yet. Townsfolk! Hadian's heart raced. Why was she so afraid? This should be such an honor! At home, she knew for certain people would be overjoyed, for even though dragons and riders were a thing of a distant past long before the riders' presence disappeared in this land, they were still revered. Hadian braced herself, finding that there wasn't a whole lot to hold onto, as Obsidian's smooth black scales were not entirely grippy, she thought. Hadian was about to address this issue when the dragon launched himself upward, stealing the breath right from Hadian's lungs.

The woman did not breathe for several seconds. Up, up, up they climbed, above the trees and the town and the terrified birds that all veered the other direction. Hadian gasped, the cold air stinging her throat and face. The woman laughed, elated. Obsidian was so graceful, and so was Fallyn, riding on his back as though they were a singular being. It was beautiful, and Hadian admired the way the dragon's muscles moved fluidly under her hands. But it felt somehow distant, like it was not hers to enjoy. Obsidian was the dragon of another rider and she would never be truly at home on his back. But her own, someday, would become a part of her. Or so she hoped.

"It's...breathtaking. I mean it," she said laughing. "But really I've never felt so free before, or so small...the world is so large from up here, and vast. My legs are shaking though." There was just too much adrenaline not to, really. Hadian reached up and let her slim hand touch the wind as it rushed past them, silky and cool.

Hadian listened with interest to Fallyn's summation of his story, wishing he could go on in detail about all the adventures he and his dragon went on when they were younger. He probably knew other riders of the past and had seen so many different places and cultures. Hadian imagined his stories were phenomenal. She got the feeling Bronn was someone Fallyn loved deeply and that he was gone now; the woman decided she would not pry about him. Instead, she thought she would ask some more general questions.
"Were there many riders back then?" Hadian tapped her fingers against her leg; there was something she wanted to know, and she supposed she could chance one personal question. "Obsidian...if you don't mind me asking...why did you choose Fallyn? A-and how long did you wait? I wonder how long she's waited for me...but I wonder even more what made her pick me as her rider..."

Hadian did not want to stop flying. She would likely be glad for solid ground under her feet when it came, but for now she was content breathing the chilly air of the open sky and watching the world fall away beneath her. The mention of food made her stomach howl with rage again. "Oh! Speaking of food, the couple that took me in the last month or so gave me these as a parting gift. Here, take one." Hadian passed the package of cinnamon buns forward to Fallyn after taking one for herself. It was gone in a flash. A real meal would be required soon, but that would hold her until then.

"How long until my dragon can fly? And how much longer until she can bear my weight? I still need to name her, ai!" she exclaimed, still reeling from all the excitement.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:21 pm

“There were,” Fallyn answered, looking back at Hadian over his shoulder. “At least 30 when I was young, including myself. It just…it was different back then.” He said, shrugging. He remembered being very carefree when he’d first been taken under Bronn’s wing. They were young and rebellious, nothing had been better than taking to the sky. Bronn had taught him the old ways, the magic that came with being a dragon rider, but he’d also taught him about the power.

To be a rider was to have great power, unstoppable power. It was power that drove some to insanity.

“Oh great!” Fallyn said, snatching the cinnamon bun from Hadian’s hand enthusiastically. When was the last time he’d eaten anything other than a charred hunk of meat, much less a sugary homemade baked treat? Perhaps he had been living on his own for far too long. On the occasions he’d ventured into the nearby village it had always been quick and to the point.

“This is good,” He said, half of the roll already shoved into his mouth, crumbs sticking to his slightly shaggy face. It was gone in another couple of bites and while it hadn’t eased any hunger pains, it had been a welcome treat.

’I waited for fifteen years,’ Obsidian answered, his speed starting to slow down and draw neared to the ground once more. ’I cannot explain it, a dragon just knows when it is time. A dragon may never hatch if it rider doesn’t come. There is a pull, you know the one who holds your destiny, but you can’t do anything about it. They have to choose you too.’
The dragon slowed down some more, the ground coming up quickly to meet them as his feet touched down in a small meadow at the base of an ominous set of mountains. He folded up his wings and settled down while Fallyn jumped off his back easily. There was a small running stream nearby which would be useful, perhaps this would be a decent place to camp for a day or two while they thought about the plans.

“She will grow quickly, no longer than a year, likely quicker. Soon she will tell you how long she waited.” Fallyn answered, stretching his legs and walking around their new area, surveying what was around. It seemed perfectly safe. No one could have followed them this far, it had been hours since they first took to the sky and this time they had been more careful about being seen.

It was home for a few days.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:40 am

"Thirty! That seems like so many!" Hadian was silent for a second, envisioning the sky black with a whole flock--gaggle? Brood? Murder? Hadian didn't know what to call a group of dragons--of the winged beasts flying in unison, riders on their backs. What a grand sight that must have been, even just to see a small company of them! How sad that they'd declined over the years...it seemed such a pity that such powerful and magnificent creatures could just...virtually disappear. Hadian did not doubt there were more eggs out there--after all, if she found one forgotten in a dark and unused corner of the library, then it seemed very likely that there could me more hidden throughout the world or forgotten. Maybe someday the dragons and their riders would rise again. Someday.

"I used to hear stories about the dragons and riders when I was a little girl. Where I come from, we haven't seen one in ages, but we do love our stories. At home, we've all sort of accepted that the dragons had long since died completely and were gone, but we still respect them. I imagine that if folks back home found out one of their own was a rider, there would be quite a commotion. We've had only two in our nation's history. Seiala and her dragon Ja'tavuuro were the first pair, and then Caidus and his dragon Tavena. I've seen beautiful paintings of the latter pair...Tavena had some spectacular coloring--she was a deep orange like embers of a fire. Seiala and Ja'tavuuro though, they are legendary. There aren't many paintings of them, but many, many stories. We've even got a city named after Ja'tavuuro, because it's said that he and Seiala used their powerful magic to awaken an old spring in the mountains that brought life to an entire region. It's the largest inland city in all of Akai. Someday I'd like to find out more about their traditions and carry them on myself. I remember a few...like they would have a piece of their hair wrapped up in tight thread that matched the color of their dragon, and they had the most beautiful tattoos! They used to tattoo around the mark on their palm so that when it shone, it looked like part of the inkwork."

Hadian glanced down at her own mark. She would have loved to have the ornate inkwork on her hand and lower forearm like Seiala and Caidus, to carry on the tradition. But Fallyn was right--things were different now. In no way was Hadian ashamed of her heritage or her new partnership with the smooth, scaly creature napping on her shoulder, but it wasn't something she wanted to advertise either, at least not in a way everyone would know. If she could find some good thread a dark enough indigo, she'd wrap a piece of her hair up just like her kin--at least no one outside of Akai would understand its significance.

Regarding the cinnamon buns, Hadian grinned. She had a similar reaction the first time she tasted one, and she was certain she put on a couple pounds since she started working with the old couple. "Dan and Mara are some very kind people. And good at what they do. There's more here for later, you're welcome to them." Licking her own fingers, her mind went back to the sheer number of dragons that used to exist and the fact that now, there were only two--including hers. Hadian never really knew what exactly happened to them. "I...would imagine that the riders had some enemies many years ago...but do they now? I mean....you said you've been living out on your own...has that been by choice, or necessity?"

Hadian could not believe Obsidian waited fifteen years to find his rider. Fifteen! That seemed so long to sit in a shell, cut off from the world. Her heart twisted trying to imagine her little blue dragon cramped in that egg for so long; thank the stars she found her rider and could be free, now! She did find it interesting that Obsidian mentioned the rider needed to kind of choose the dragon, too, as Hadian always guessed it was a 'like-it-or-not' sort of partnership. It made her wonder about herself, as she hadn't even been expecting to bond with the little dragon. But maybe she did want it. Maybe she did get a little lost in the smoothness and the colors, and the romanticized idea of being a rider. Of not being alone in this world. How odd that the ordinary Hadian Torzinei could be fated to be so entangled in the life of such a wondrous creature! And more and more, Hadian guessed that her little spell of insomnia that night was more than just chance. Perhaps she had her little dragon to blame for keeping her up...though Hadian didn't mind. It was worth it.

Obsidian landed, and despite never fearing for her safety the entire ride, Hadian found herself squeezing Obsidian with her legs and clinging tightly to his smooth black scales as he touched ground. She relaxed when he was settled on the ground, finally, and was not as smooth as Fallyn at dismounting; she awkwardly slid off the side and landed hard. She'd get used to that eventually, she figured. Hadian took a few steps before her knees buckled and she accepted her place on the ground for a while; she forgot how much adrenaline had been running through her. "Thank you for bearing me, mighty Obsidian. You have shown me an entire world that few souls in this world will ever see." She bowed slightly to him, feeling that it was only natural to be respectful to such an awesome and powerful creature.

The grandeur and freedom of flight aside, Hadian was glad to be back on solid ground again. The air was wonderful, but she knew her place on the ground, knew the feel of it and how to read it to track an animal, or find water, or perhaps food. Air would just take some getting used to. The woman lay back in the soft grass, placing her blue dragon on her chest. She awoke from her nap, yawning widely to display a row of thin white teeth that already looked alarmingly sharp. "I still need to name her, don't I? Ohh...let's see....Ba'era?" The little dragon snorted; apparently, that would not do. "No? Okay," Hadian laughed. "How about Sujai? It means 'hurricane'." Again, the dragon snorted. "Not that. Ummm...Oh! I got it, you'll like this one. We have a name for the spirit of the ocean where I come from. She is a terrible and yet graceful spirit, capable of both life and death, serenity and terror. We call her Avera. What do you think?" The dragon tilted her little head until it was almost perfectly sideways, blinking for a minute at her rider before she touched her smooth nose to Hadian's chin. The woman shuddered, feeling a surge of power that was altogether new to her. "Alright. Avera it is."

The dragon, now called Avera, left her place on Hadian's chest to bound over to Obsidian and pounce playfully on his tail with a far from terrifying growl. Hadian was simply happy to watch. "I heard that the riders of old used to have magical abilities. Do you...a-and do I? How do you even know how to use it?"

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:36 pm

’Mighty? She’s nicer to me than you.’ Obsidian said, more smoke billowing out of his nose again in amusement. He settled down, his eyes following the small dragon, his great wings tucked neatly by his side. “Aye, there were a lot of us.” Fallyn said, sitting on the ground by the little stream and picking up a stick, drawing little circles into the dirt.

“There was a rider,” Fallyn said, keeping his gaze concentrated on the stick he was playing with idly. Beside him he could hear Obsidian blow hot air out of his nose, obviously displeased with his story. “He probably wasn’t written about in history books, or in paintings,” Fallyn said, a smile crossing his face lightly at his allusion to her story. In his town there hadn’t been any talking of dragons, whether they had existed at the time or not. It had been a simple farm town with honest folk who just worked, they didn’t have time to sit around and create long stories about things that didn’t affect them. It was why Fallyn’s life would have been all but ended had Bronn not walked into it after he’d hatched Obsidian.

“His name was Ilyn, his dragon R’hllor,” He discovered the magic…took it too far. Magic means power and power means taking what’s yours. Or it did to Ilyn.” Fallyn said, breaking up the stick in his fingers. “He wanted more and more. More gold, more land, more respect. Dragon riders used to be revered in most areas. Like your home. They were obviously respected, loved. Ilyn changed a lot of that when he started burning fields and crops because he could, because he thought the people owed him more. He wanted to be a king when there wasn’t one.”

’He was a fool,’ Obsidian breathed, turning his great head to look at Hadian. ’Dragon’s care for their riders, but they shouldn’t destroy for them. R’hllor was no better,’ He said, his claws digging into the earth.

“He didn’t like the rest of us, I was just a young rider, only for a year or so. But others started to disappear, maybe he was hunting them down, I don’t know. Maybe they just went into hiding. Bronn was the one who stopped him, he was a great rider. R’hllor fell from the sky that day but the people still didn’t trust dragon riders. It was just easier to go into the mountains.” Fallyn said, the stick in his hand now in multiple pieces.

They’d gone into the mountains so hide and Bronn, stubborn as he was, refused any healers. Fallyn could only do so much, at the time he hadn’t been very good at healing, he probably still wasn’t. They’d lived for three weeks together in the mountains until the day came when Bronn slipped away and with him Moon, the magnificent silver dragon he’d ridden. After that day, Fallyn hadn’t sought out any other riders until his connection with all of them faded away and eventually disappeared. That was until Hadian awoke the feeling once more.

“I don’t know if the people have forgiven us all. Some might, if your people are as you say, they very well might welcome you and Avera. Others might never welcome us again, I’m not sure.” He fell silent again now that more had been added to his story. That was really it this time though. Sure there were a lot of stories he had that took place before the rise of Ilyn and R’hllor. Fun stories about being a young carefree rider, and perhaps in time he would share those. But for now this was enough of his past.
Fallyn tossed his little pile of sticks down onto the ground, turning away from the water again a little bit. “Brisingr.” He said, his tongue rolling off the word roughly, as though he wasn’t used to speaking it anymore. The little pile of sticks caught fire, sending smoke into the air as the little fire flickered and grew, the answer to Hadian’s last question.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:13 am

Hadian smiled up at Obsidian. "Where I come from, there are elders, and then beyond them there are those who are stronger than everyone else. The simple fact is, you respect them because if you don't, you can't win against them in a fight." She laughed, remembering that this system was just as simple as it sounded when it came to the hierarchy of children. Like a pack of dogs, any one of them could challenge the obvious alpha, and occasionally, they might win. If they did, they'd take up the helm as leader of the group, though usually that meant deciding what games to play and breaking up squabbles. Hadian loved those little fights; tumbling in the dust, grappling for the upper hand... If the fight was a serious matter, she'd rake someone's face into the sand, but that was only for a very serious offense.

Ridahne listened to Fallyn's explanation of how the riders lost their respect among the general public. She could feel the anger bristling between he and Obsidian, could sense that Ilyn was more than just a bad person but a sick, twisted man. Hadian was glad she had not heard of him and glad he had no glory, no tales or songs to allow him to live on. Only heroes and exceptional people deserved to be immortalized in song and story, not power hungry men with a lust for control. Hadian simply had enough with power hungry men. She'd seen enough of them to have a deep seated hatred in her heart, though she knew she never could truly understand Ilyn's wickedness or the pain he brought to so many innocent people.

"I'm sorry..." she said softly, unsure of what else exactly to say. It explained what might have happened to Akai's own dragon riders, who joined the mainland riders and were never seen again, though she thought that Seiala and her dragon passed long before any of this came about; it would have been Caidus and Tavena's era, she guessed. "I would hope that people nowadays would know the difference between you and Ilyn...but I also know wounds run deep and are slow to heal. It makes me very sad." Hadian offered a soft smile, a mere quirk of her lips. "Maybe someday when Avera is older and stronger, I can take you to Akai. You would be treated well there, and especially well fed." Hadian grinned, her people did have kind of a love for food and it was always in abundance at any kind of special occasion. She glanced at the little Avera, who was still attacking Obsidian's tail. "But that's a ways off, it seems. Just something to think about."

Hadian watched as fire sparked and fizzled out of nowhere without the help of flint and steel or any other kind of ignitor, lighting up Fallyn's pile of sticks with ease. All her attention was fixed on him now. So magic was in the words? This was not what Hadian expected; she always pictured it being some kind of otherworldly force that a rider could tap into and direct at will. But words seemed far easier to learn and master. And if she was a rider just like Fallyn, what was stopping her from trying it out, too? Always the eager one, Hadian stood and, without really announcing it, shot her hand into the air and with a grin shouted, "Brisingr!"

Avera jumped up from her place on Obsidian's tail, leaping towards her rider with the loudest roar she could muster which, admittedly, sounded more like a baby bear cub than a fearsome dragon. A puff of flame burst from Hadian's hand with an explosive crack, moving outwards and not upwards like she intended it to. Even as the flame grew hotter, Hadian felt regret bubbling up in the pit of her stomach already. It all seemed to be happening in slow motion but she couldn't really stop it either, which just made her feel worse about the whole thing. Thankful the flame didn't scorch her face or Fallyn's, she was glad to see it burn out in a puff of smoke and disappear.

In a second, Hadian was on the ground, back pressed against crunchy, frosted grass. Mm, she felt tired enough that she almost wanted to just sink into it like a bed and sleep, and likely would have if it wasn't for Avera jumping onto her chest and biting at her chin as if to reprimand her for her stupidity. Hadian's head felt light.
"Stupid...stupid stupid," she muttered, squeezing her eyes shut, as she didn't want to watch the sky spin anymore. "Ai! Ja'ooru.." Hadian tried to sit up, but Avera would not have it; she reared back and tried with all her might to push her back down with a displeased snort. Hadian obliged with a weak smile. "Ti'o, Avera. Okay. I'll stay." Truthfully, Hadian didn't have the energy to argue.

"That's...not what I expected. Not at all. You could have mentioned it was going to make me faint or something. Guess you also didn't assume I was dumb enough to try it for myself without much in the way of instruction." Steeling herself for a reprimand, she asked, "What did I do wrong?"

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby xnightxelfx on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:15 pm

“Some people never forgive,” Fallyn said, leaning over and blowing out the little fire that he had started. He tossed dirt onto the sticks and then got up, about to go pick up his bow. They needed food and Obsidian wasn’t very good at hunting for people. He tended to char things to a crisp before they were even dead.

Before he could get very far though, Hadian was on her feet, an uncontrollable flame bursting from her hand. He spun around, for the first time an expression other than cool collectedness crossing his face. The flame burned startling hot for a few seconds, and then died away in a billowing smoke trail. He watched her sink down, his jaw clenched tightly.

“Are you trying to kill yourself?” He snapped, giving her a glare. “What did you do wrong?” He echoed his voice incredulous. She’d done everything wrong. What, did she think that you just magically knew how to control the elements? It had taken him a year to even learn it and then another just to master it. Then Bronn died and Fallyn hadn’t been able to use it to save him, and so what was its point really? “You don’t know what you’re doing, that’s what you did wrong.” He answered, stalking off to grab his bow and throw it over his shoulder.

“I better not see you do that again.” He snapped at her, starting to walk off in the opposite direction. Truthfully, she reminded him of himself when he’d first learned, and his own reaction was that of Bronn’s. But he was dead and Fallyn wasn’t going to train her. He hadn’t used his magic in a number of years. This was the first time he’d said that word in a longer time than he could remember.

She needed guidance but Fallyn wasn’t convinced that he was up to that task. But if he wasn’t, then why did he seek her out in the first place? She was wrong; the magic wasn’t just in the words. It was in him and her, they controlled it from within, fostered by the connection between beast and man. It wasn’t just a word.

“I’m going hunting. If I come back and something’s burned down, I’m leaving.” He said, a hint of his previous good humor coming back.

’That was a foolish thing to do,’ Obsidian said, reaching out to Hadian, turning his gaze on her. Impulse and magic don’t mix. But don’t let him fool you, he was the same once.’ He bowed his head in something like a goodbye gesture before spreading his great wings out and launching himself into the sky, leaving the ground far beneath him.

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Re: Two of a Whole

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:25 am

A reprimand, Hadian was ready for. A slap of the wrist, a long drawn out speech about how she'd done it improperly, about how she was not ready yet. She knew now she wasn't ready, and thinking back on it, it was foolish for her to assume that she would be after only just becoming a rider. No, she couldn't argue with that. But she wasn't quite prepared for Fallyn's reaction, either, which was far more stern and far louder than she guessed it would be. He practically yelled at her. Hadian also thought that she would feel the sting of humility, knowing she'd done wrong. That didn't happen; the tone of his voice and the intensity of his reaction kicked up something within her like dust swirling in the wind and Ridahne immediately went on the defensive.

"Don't know what I'm doing! Well that's obvious, isn't it? Ai! Here I ask you all these questions about what it is and how it's done, and you just show me without bothering to explain any of it! What did you think I'd do?" Though she was subdued, her tone suggested she was not a fun person to fight with over a serious matter, and that she had the bite to back up her bark. At least, by the standards of these parts and of her home; she could not compare to a dragon rider in any match whatsoever. It didn't help her 'tough' image any that she was still lying in the grass, either. "You just made it look so easy, how am I supposed to glean that it's difficult and dangerous?" Hadian sighed, slipping into her native tongue for a few sentences as she muttered something mostly to herself; Avera watched her curiously.

"Fine," she said at last, waving a hand at Fallyn. "Go, and I'll try not to burn down our camp, then. But you should know I fully intend to learn this magic, with or without you. I'd like your help, because It's very obvious I don't know what I'm doing, but if you won't take the time to teach me, I'll learn. Avera and I will figure it out." Hadian didn't know how, but she wasn't about to admit that.

Obsidian reached out to her and added once more that what she'd done was far from intelligent. No arguments there, she thought. She also took his advice about impulse and the use of magic as something to be remembered for later (maybe magic required more concentration than she'd given it?). But in some way, she was surprised to learn Fallyn had been the same way. As she watched Obsidian take flight, she tried to imagine a less stoic Fallyn trying to make flame much in the same way she had. The image didn't fit, really. Especially not if he had Bronn--didn't the man teach him about being a rider? Fallyn at least would have had guidance, she thought. Or at least a warning. A warning would have sufficed, really. In another strange way, though, the idea of Fallyn once being as reckless and inexperienced as her was a comforting thought. After all, if he could master magic and riding and partnership with a dragon and all that came with it, then perhaps there was still hope for her.

With the sound of Obsidian's wingbeats now too far to hear, Hadian sighed and let her muscles sink into the cold grass like stones; she was so tired. And her headache was back. Hadian attempted to sit up and this time Avera let her, moving to sit in her lap, but the woman did not last long before the world spun again and she regretted that choice. Swiftly and a little less than smoothly, Hadian's back was reunited with the cold-hardened earth once again.

"Oh Avera..." she sighed, the dragon resuming her place on her chest again, happy to be simply with her rider. "What are we gonna do? I'm not...I'm not...prepared for all this. For you. And don't get me wrong, now, I don't think I would go back even if I could, but, ai! There isn't much of a transition period, is there?" Hadian stroked the smooth scales of Avera's back; the dragon leaned into her finger appreciatively. "I still don't understand why you chose me. I hope you tell me someday."

Hadian dozed off quickly, her body spent from her mishap with the fire. She slept for a little while, and then awoke before Fallyn and Obsidian had returned. To say she was at her prime again would be a lie, but she did feel a little better and her head wasn't throbbing and spinning anymore. Avera had left her chest to pursue a little brown mouse that had chanced a shortcut through their camp and was now caught in a terrifying game of catch and release. The dark blue dragon would pounce on the little creature, roar at it, and let it go so she could chase it again. Hadian smiled as she watched her prance and flutter her wings, her tail swishing back and forth.

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