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Eshe Summersong

"In the north, there is no 'trying.' You survive, or you die. I will not try. I will succeed, and so shall you."

0 · 603 views · located in Etheria

a character in “Skyguard: Rising”, originally authored by Pyroteknik, as played by Selene Durlan

Description

Eshe Summersong

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Gender: Female
Age: 16
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 140
Hair: White as driven snow.
Complexion: Pale enough to be mistaken for albino
Country of Origin: Kalium




ImageRelationships: TBA

Characteristics and Traits: Eshe bears the typical elongated height of her people, but seems to possess little of the sturdiness they’ve always been known for. Her physique is not a series of wisps, and she is moderately-well curved, but she is no mountain of musculature by any means. Her appearance is quite distinctive, and it’s never hard to tell where she is: her hair glimmers like starlight in just about any conditions of illumination and her striking blue eyes are bright and large on her very pale face, like all the color that ever would have been in the rest of her is contained within them.

In terms of casual clothing, she favors modest items in light colors. The fabrics are generally loose and flow away from her body, as she finds the temperatures in Eirea to be so warm as to be uncomfortable at times. She is used to wandering about on plains of tundra, after all, so perhaps this is to be expected. She does own heavier items for the cold, and these make heavy use of fur for extra warmth. Any jewelry she wears is always of pure metals, as she is very conscious that anything else might hurt her partner, even accidentally. Her Skyguard Seal is worn around her neck like an amulet.

It is evident upon watching Eshe that she moves with an uncanny, smooth natural grace that most would be hard-pressed to replicate. It’s the soft-padding gait of a wildcat, or perhaps a snow-fox, and the impression is only helped along by the intelligence evident in her eyes and her generally quiet demeanor. Her unusual coloring has put people off in the past, but she has found that among the Skyguard, most aren’t bothered by it. She doesn’t seem to smile often, or change expressions much, and for this reason is often considered hard-to-read, though it is not a problem she has with other people. Some have testified that the girl always seemed to know what people need, and will often give it without hesitation.




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Abilities and Talents: As one might guess from her build and the way she moves, Eshe favors lighter weapons reliant on speed. In combat, she is as fleet as they come, and extremely flexible—these are the talents she has honed in herself. She is capable of analysis even in heated situations, and often chooses to frustrate opponents by dodging blows by mere inches, then retaliating almost too fast to be seen. In the area of dual-wielding combat, she has long been considered a prodigy, and this indeed was the reason she was given over to the Skyguard in the first place. She’s a fair shot with a bow, enough to hunt with one and fire from the back of a dragon, and of course all Vanguards are trained heavily in hand-to-hand. If she had a traditional classification, she would sit somewhere between duelist and assassin.

Magically, she’s able to cast three spells at present (note that her aura is more potent than one usually expects of a Vanguard):

Chain Lightning- Eshe releases a bolt of lightning that strikes one foe with devastating force then arcs out in all directions, hitting nearby enemies as well, with less force as they get further away from the initial point of contact.

Mirage- Eshe can create substantial copies of herself and use these to fight. They have less strength and endurance as she creates more, and will burst into clouds of snow upon their defeat.

Amplify- Eshe uses her aura to power up her own body, pushing herself past the limits of ordinary human strength, speed, and endurance. The process is draining on her mana, and at this point, she can only leave it active for about two minutes at one time, though with training, that span continues to increase.

On an unrelated note, she’s quite quick (mentally), and good with games like chess and suchlike. Also known to be able to play the flute, though naturally she rarely bothers, considering all the more important things there are to do.

Equipment:
Her preferred weapons are a pair of Gal Nimian hook swords, which for added versatility can be combined into a single weapon. Aside from these, she also carries a bow for use from dragonback, and is well versed in the arts of hand-to-hand combat. In contrast to her own coloration, Eshe's armor is made entirely of black leather and cording. She has a white cloak for use as well, though will only don it in excessively cold or ceremonial conditions. Her sheaths are leather, and her arrowheads are obsidian, so there's almost no metal on her person at all.

So begins...

Eshe Summersong's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Sephera Halsey Character Portrait: Azriel Kollure Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The morning light cast over Kirill's form, warming his bare chest as he stared across the misty skies towards the bursting orb of heat. The Sentinel sat atop the main structure of the Citadel, right at the peak wear a long turret struck into the sky. He gripped the harsh roofing below him, his long fingers and toes helping him stay aloft. Kirill loved to witness the moment between day and night, when they sky was still in transition. He loved the smell of the morning air, the purity behind an untarnished day. Although it would be much better in the snow, Kirill still found he could enjoy these mornings.

Kirill missed his homeland, even if he had been an outcast to his people. They hate shunned him when he was revealed to be a Sentinel, a beast in their eyes. But apart from their hateful words and horrible actions, Kirill had payed them no mind. He did not care about what others thought, especially the individuals who held no power. They were like squabbling rats to him, morsels of meat that he could easily rid of. No, what he truly missed was the rolling hills of pure white, the peaks that rose up in the distance, and the way a sunny day still chilled you right to the bone. He missed the way his breath wafted from his lips, how his fingers turned to ice if he kept his gloves off for too long. As beautiful as the Citadel was, there was far less snow in this place....far less purity.

In the midst of the rolling mist, Kirill could spot one of his fellow Sentinel flying with her Vanguard, the green of her scales shining bright as the lifting sun grew brighter. Kirill loved to practice in the morning light with his partner, but they had not reserved the track for today. At the thought of Eshe, Kirill blinked and glanced back at the sun. It was now fully above the cliffs, a perfect circle sitting atop the horizon. He was to meet his Vanguard at the practice field at sunrise and he hated to make her wait. Slowly and carefully Kirill stood, making sure to keep his bare feet curled around the dangerous perch. A light breeze flew by, ruffling his messy white hair and white linen pants. He huffed, breathing in the air deeply before turning and walking along the tip of the roof.

The sparring field they had chosen was a quick fly from the rooftop. Kirill stood at the edge, looking down at the few people that were moving around below. His cloudy blue eyes followed their various movements before he released a gust of air and let his body plummet.

In mid fall, Kirill released his human skin the done the body of a dragon. It appeared that it could have hurt, but Kirill thought of it as the best feeling on Earth. At first his body glowed dimply, building upon itself before he was like a rezoning beckon of glowing blue ice. Then it burst from his skin, tearing apart the human body he wore. The light continued to grow, quadrupling in size before it slowly solidified and diminished. In the place oft he light was the massive body of a blue scaled dragon, long bat-like wings folding against his body to continue his dive.

He spread them right before he hit the ground, sending out a hawk like screech of exhilaration. The few people below screamed and fell to the ground to avoid his massive form as he glided above them. He chuckled at the sight of the cowering humans, then lifted his massive wings once more to propel him him high above the buildings. He beat his wings twice before angling his long scaly body towards the sparring fields, before tucking his wings in once more to dive. Kirill's dragon form was built for speed, so while he was massive in size, he was by no means hefty. His serpent like body cut through the air currents, his long tail propelling him down in a perfect dive.

The sparing ground came faster then he would have liked, forcing him to spread his wings as far as they could to catch the wind and stop him mid dive. The massive membranes filled with air, slowly him down instantly. He hovered mid flight, searching the ground for his partner but not spotting her. With a snort, he folded his wings and let his body fall to the ground, catching himself on his long lizard like legs. Kirill twisted his head around, looking around the arena for Eshe and finally deeming her not present.

'Your late...' He growled out, using his Mind Snare ability to send a telepathic communication to his Vanguard. They had set up the connection long ago so that Kirill did not have to request permission to speak to her. The massive dragon turned his head to face the direction he could sense his partner in, awaiting her response and appearance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Say'Lyna


Drip...
Drip...
Drip...

The drip of dew-drops falling into grass was the only sound Say'Lyna could hear in the Skygarden. She had been sitting there for hours, legs crossed with her arms in her lap as she meditated; surrounded by the hundred's of yards of plants that was the Skygarden. Since she couldn't fall asleep the night before, she decided to come to the garden to meditate with it. Yes. Meditate with the garden.

The Skygarden was a massive, sprawling maze of plants and herbs from all across the known world. Almost every species mankind has ever encountered has at least one seed here. So much life to exist in such a small place. The idea fascinated Say to no end. The very idea of having a sample of life from across the entire world made her shiver. So much knowledge could be learned from this place. So many memories. So many lifetimes of information could be gathered from here. It was something that Say loved to do.

Being Sylvan, the name itself meaning Earth Child, she could meditate with the earth around her, and communicate with it. It was an art her people had practiced for 1000's of years. Just like humans, plants could carry memories, emotions, and some can even carry full thoughts. And, if you knew how, these things could all be shared. All this information could be shared to another plant, or even to another human. Even life energy could be shared between the plants, and again to other forms of life. Even though it wasn't as energizing as a good night's sleep, Say could still absorb the energy shared from the plants to help rest herself.

Sleep, over the past two weeks or so, had been getting harder and harder for Say. And last night, it was impossible. For hours she lied in bed, unable to fall into the bless of sleep. She didn't know why: Maybe something was gnawing at her subconscious, or maybe it was because she was getting tired of the same day-to-day routine of waking up, training with her sister- and Sentinel partner -Lowa, and then going back to sleep. It had been weeks since she had been pulled out on a mission.

It went against Ventari's Teachings to wage war, but something in Say's body wanted to go out and fight a demon, or a ghoul, or a horde of drouger. Something in her wanted to fight, and kill.

Finally, after hours of meditating, the sun was climbing into the sky higher and higher. She was starting to feel a little more awake and alert, and decided it was time to get up. Slowly opening her eyes, Say was greeted with the beautiful image of the sun reaching over the mountains to the east. The whole sky was a bright orange, with clouds that looked like they were made of golden wool. Still in her meditation, Say could feel the joy of the plants around her as they, too, were met with the glory of the son's rays.

Finally disconnecting from the life around her, Say placed her hands on the ground to her sides and lifted herself up. The golden-brown leaves that covered her body, like cloth to any normal human, opened up lightly as she took in a deep breath. Slowly, still a little low on energy from the lack of sleep, Say walked forward through the rows and lines of plants that lead to the exit of the garden. Walking to the dorms, Say went to go find her sister, Lowa, to start their daily training.





Lowa'Lyna


Lowa, unlike Say, had slept like a kitten all night long. She had fallen asleep somewhere around eight, or nine, and had slept all through the night till now. Nothing had woken her up this morning, the Something waking her up was typically Say telling her they need to train, but this time Say was no where to be seen. In hind-sight, it was a good thing. A well rested Sentinel and a tired Vanguard was better than the other way around. A massive two ton flying lizard that couldn't see straight from fatigue was seen as a "bad thing".

Slowly, she removed herself from the warmth of the sheets that covered her, and rose to her feet in her and Say's small dormitory. Stretching her arms up into the air to wake up her body a little. For a moment, she looked around the room and found her gear: her hat, hair-pin, coat and pants, and her crystal sword. Unlike her sister, Lowa wasn't as "leafy". Say had enough leaves that covered her body that she looked like she was fully clothed, but if Lowa had walked out in just her leaves it would look like she was naked if you were a ways away.

With a yawn, she threw on the jacked and pulled up her pants, belting them tight at her waist. Now for the part she hated... Even from grasping the hilt of a sword, Lowa's hands would burn from the magic of the Sentinel blood in her. Slowly grasping the blade of the sword, Lowa took the loop at the hilt of the sword and fed her belt through it to lock it to her waist. Luckily, this morning she hadn't burnt herself too badly by doing so. Even though the blade of the crystal sword was covered, even getting close to it burnt her from the Sentinel magic. Wiping her hands on her pants, Lowa turned and walked for the door.

As she opened the door, she jumped a little bit as she looked to see her sister Say on the other side, about to do the same thing. With a little laugh, Lowa let out a big smile at the sight of her sister. "Say!" She said with a little smile, hugging her sister this morning. With the same smile, Say hugged her little sister back "Lowa, come on. Get all your stuff. We start training in ten." She said letting go of her sister, looking her in the eye with a nod.

Lowa could see in her eyes that Say was still tired... even after meditating for seven hours. Slowly, Lowa put her hand up to her sisters face and stroked her cheek, saying softly: "Are you up for training today...? You look like you should still be resting."

In response, Say sighed a little and shook her head. "I'm alright. I just need to get moving, and I'll wake up..." Nodding, Lowa moved out into the hallway and closed and locked the door behind her. Walking down the hall with her sister, who had her own crystal sword Woma on her back, the two walked out to the training field.

Out on the fields, the two spotted a few people they knew well. Kiril and Eshe out a ways, about to get started with their own training. Shaking her head a little to wake up, Say walked over to a row of archery targets while Lowa jogged over to the track nearby. Say had been training herself in archery for a few weeks now, something she was never excessively good at. That was exactly why she 'aimed' to make herself better at it.

Taking her Woma and putting it on the table at the archery station, she grabbed an oak long bow and a few arrows, sticking the arrows in the ground next to her. Raising the bow in her left hand, she grabbed one arrow with her right and notched it up in the bow. Slowly, she pulled back the string and lined up the shot. Peering through one eye, she aimed her arrow to hit the target right in the center. Letting the arrow fly, she watched as it soared through the air, striking the target one or two inches outside of the bullseye.

Damn... She thought to herself as she lined up another arrow, aiming it in the same spot and letting it go again. This time, her shot had been a tad better; landing inside the bullseye, but not in the perfect center of it. It was good enough for her.

Moving to the next target, she did the same as before: Lined up, pulled, and released. At a distance of about 20 yards, the shot got a little harder. But her arrow found its way towards the center of the target, though blown a little by the winds. Again, this time accounting for wind, she aimed and released. Nailing the bullseye again.

Now, to the hard target. This next shot being 40 yards away, Say would be surprised if she could hit the target at all. Like before, prepared and released the shot; but this time took her sweet time in aiming. After a very long moment of flight, the arrow struck the target on the very outside-edge of the target. At least 3 feet away from the bullseye.

Again, she raised the bow and prepared her next shot. Making the proper calculations, Say let the arrow loose. All though it wasn't the bullseye she hit, she was able to get a lot closer than before. Only 3-4 inches away from it.

Again and again, she fired a few more arrows at the target until she nailed the bullseye. Smiling to herself, she went back to her first target and started the whole routine over again. Her goal this time; hit the bullseye in one shot.

Off on the track, Lowa lined herself up in a lane of the stone circular track. Removing her coat to leave her in her undershirt, lowa began to jog down the track a few times just to warm up. Today, she was aiming to work her endurance. Which meant slowly run faster and faster until she wears herself out, then run some more.

After the first one or two jogs around the track, she started to pick up speed. Now, after about eight runs she started to run faster still, getting into a dead sprint. Panting deeply she clocked lap after lap after lap. Sweat started to run down her body in small streams as she kept climbing in speed.

Run... Faster... Run! Go... Go... GO! She encouraged to herself in her mind as she ran faster and faster around the track, imagining she was being chased, or someone needed her help. As she got pushed her body to its limits, she closed her eyes for a moment. Filling her imagination with images of a beast chasing close behind her, forcing her to run faster and faster. And as she reopened them she felt her body start to change...

In mid step, Lowa pushed off the ground and jumped into mid air. As if the whole world had slowed down, Lowa felt her body morph into its dragon form. Her arms and legs began to enlarge, her back and neck elongated, and on her back her wings began to sprout. Still mid jump, Lowa had turned completely into her dragon form. Smiling to herself she pushed her wings down, pushing the air under them down at the ground to allow her to gain air.

Letting out a loud roar of pride in herself, Lowa flew higher into the sky before turning herself to fly through he air to aim at Kirill and Eshe next to the sparing ground. Having not gained too much speed it was easy for Lowa to slow herself down, and skillful land next to icy-white dragon with a loud thud of her paws smacking into the ground. Turning to Eshe she smiled a little, and shook herself to say "Hello" to her. Looking to Kirill, she let out a low and playful growl, seeming to invite him to a chalange. A race.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait:
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When Eshe Summersong dreamed, it was in white.

The driven snow of her homeland, howling over the plains and between the hills, whistling through the threadbare trees and the needles of coniferous pines, tearing at them with vicious hands or tugging with the gentle caress of a lover, if the season was right. The long nights and short days called to her, the subtle crunch of ice and snow underfoot and the foggy tendrils of her breath gusting into the frozen air. Sometimes, the wind was still, and there was nothing to be heard on the tundra but the sound her own body made, little to be seen but the starlight glimmering off the frozen landscape, setting her hair and skin and eyes aglow with some unnamable ice-fire-light that could only be understood by those who had seen it.

Kalium was in her blood, her bones, and her heart, but it was not what called her forth now. Something greater than even the love she bore the land of her birth tethered her to grander purpose, and as it had for every morning since she took her refuge here, it summoned her forth from her dreams. Returning to the world of the waking, Eshe cracked an eyelid, blinking both several times when she realized she still had more than an hour until sunrise. It would do. Doubtless Kirill was already awake somewhere, probably intending to watch the ascent of the fire in the sky. She never knew how to feel when its warmth washed over the world. For her people, warmth was life, it staved off the chill of ice and winter, fed them and braced them against the forces of nature, but in her eyes, that warmth also chased away the most magical of the world’s beauty—still nights and starlight.

She did not devote more time than necessary to contemplating this, however, instead rising, cleansing herself as she did twice daily, and donning a light, loose shirt cast off her shoulder in a shallow boatneck, and fitted, dark trousers. This morning was training, and she did not desire to be overly armored this time, but recognized practicality all the same. Her nearly-luminous hair was pulled into a no-nonsense ponytail, and she strapped her sheathed hook swords along with her bow and quiver on her back.

Aware that she still had time, Eshe made it out to the training ground just as the first rays of sunlight were emerging over the horizon. Her partner had a flair for the dramatic, and he was very good at it. She, on the other hand, was considerably more… subtle, and she’d hidden herself behind a straw dummy, soundless and motionless, when he made his slightly-harder-than-necessary landing. His ‘voice’ sounded in her mind with palpable irritation, and she allowed him to sense a sliver of amusement over the link.

No, she replied simply in the same fashion, I am only unseen. He was looking in the proper direction, it was true, and doubtless he could sense her to some degree, but it was not yet perfect. Melting out from the cover of the shadow, Eshe seemed to appear almost, but not quite, from thin air. She strode at an easy jog towards him, tipping her head back to look into his brilliant draconian eye. ’Twould be a rather unfair match if we were to spar as you are now, she said over the mind link. Though there were still traces of indulgence in her mental ‘tones,’ she did not smile. Eshe rarely ever smiled, though not for lack of trying on Kirill’s part. There was just a little too much of Kalium’s hardness and ice in her, perhaps, though she was far from cruel.


She was able to say nothing else, however, before Lowa landed next to Kirill. Eshe was uncertain as to the purpose of the interruption; perhaps they were being summoned at last? But it did not seem so. Eshe returned the greeting with a dip of her head, but it was not for her to answer anything on Kirill’s behalf. Though they were partners, he was his own person as much as she, and though she desired to spar, if he wished to race, then race he would, and she would find another method of training herself today. One of the reasons their partnership worked as well as it did was the mutual respect they shared for one another, after all.



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One would expect a man like Salazar Eskandi to be lazy beyond reckoning, and never leave the comfort of his sleep until he absolutely had to.

Honestly, they’d be right, but the circumstances under which he considered himself ‘forced’ were different now than they used to be. Faelwen was insistent on morning training. Salazar was insistent that he did nothing without breakfast. Somehow, they managed to meet in the middle, which usually resulted in breakfast at an ungodly hour of the morning, followed by training on a full stomach. It wasn’t an ideal solution for either of them, but it was a compromise, and if the instructors that he usually pretended not to listen to were right, then that was the more important thing anyway.

Nobody was really sure where he put it, but Salazar could eat more than men half again his considerable size, and never seemed to gain weight because of it. He put his appetite down to a childhood starved more than anything, but of course nobody here knew anything about that. He talked about himself, if prompted, but he never really said anything with the words. A distinction sadly underappreciated by most people, he felt.

Either way, he was halfway through an enormous plate of meat, eggs, sprouts, and some delightful Eiran substance called a ‘pancake’ when he sensed Faelwen’s presence. He wouldn’t put it past her to have snuck in a jog or some light exercise already. She, unlike him, had a serious work ethic. Salazar was near the top of his class by sheer dent of talent, not effort—he rarely saw anything as important enough to apply his full attention to, and his mind was always spinning off in a thousand direction, chasing down mental tangents or being distracted by shiny objects, as he’d have someone believe, and that was frankly just fine by him. He was stubborn, in a subtle way, and wasn’t going to change who he was for anybody. Compromise, he was willing to try, but not a serious attitude adjustment.

“Morning, Sunshine,” he greeted Faelwen, flashing a quick, pristine grin before turning back to his food. It was a nickname she’d earned mostly due to the color of her hair, which he found mildly fascinating. Nobody had golden hair in Lorthus—his people were all dark as he was, or close. Frankly, she was lucky he hadn’t stuck with ‘buttercup,’ which had been his alternative thought on possible diminutives for her. As it was, he used that one with someone else that it fit much better. “What’s on the agenda for today?” He didn’t care, and she did, so it was very easy for them both to let her make the decisions regarding such matters.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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No, Eshe's calming voice echoed through out his mind, causing him to twist his head in confusion at the negative statement, I am only unseen.. Kirill was confused. He glanced around the field, confusion evident in his glowing blue eyes. Had he missed her? She was much smaller to him in this form, a tiny drop of white against this green. Surly he would have noticed his partner though, especially with their strong bond. Suddenly, before his very eyes, Eshe melded from the shadows of a near by bush. As she walked gracefully towards him, Kirill let out a chuckle and lowered his head so that they were level. He did his best to smile at her in greeting, though all it did in his dragon form was serve to show off his terrifying set of knife like teeth. Eshe was the only being he had ever felt the need to smile for, she is the only being he had ever really shared a connection for. He would die for this girl, though he knew she would do the same.’Twould be a rather unfair match if we were to spar as you are now, she spoke through their minds again, a gentle caressing echo within his head that soothed him and reminded him of home. Ah right, the sparring, Kirill had forgotten that they had business to account for today.

I apologize, I could not refrain myself back from terrorizing the early birds of the Citadel, He chuckled through the mind link, thinking back to the faces of the servants that had been just below his dive. While they were all used to the Sentinels forms, most of the dragons did not take such a delight in terrifying the workers as he did. The white beast shook himself, stretching his wings out a bit before he released them to a more simple form so the partner could begin their spar.

But before he could, the rushing sound of wings driving through the air caught his attention. He swiveled his antlered head to face the oncoming Sentinel, shifting his large body to stand in front of Eshe. He knew she could protect herself, he trusted her as a partner as much as he did a warrior, but in the presence of other dragons he never took any chances. Kirill placed a his right arm in front of Eshe just as the Sentinel, Lowa, landed before them. She was a smaller dragon then him, her shoulders only raising jus to his chest. He reached his long neck high over hers, staring down at her playful stance with a metaphorical raised brow. Ah, she wanted to race, and while he was tempted...

Kirill cast a glance downwards at his Vanguard, a snort escaping his nostrils. No, Kirill only had time and interest for Eshe, he did not want to play with this dragon. He flicked his eyes to the green beast, huffing his chest at her in an exasperated manner.

"I am not interest, Lowa'Lyna" He grumbled through his maw. His draconic voice was a mixture of his icy human tone and a smooth hiss from deep within his throat. He breathed ice and because of this his voice was not a growl like most dragons that produced heat, but more of a harsh breeze.

In an instant a brilliant white-blue light emerged from his form in a soft glow, burning away the scales and wings and claws before retreating to reveal a tall, lean, and very white teen. He stretched out his arms, shifting his muscles to adjust to the new form before meeting the green drake before him. His harsh light blue eyes glared into his fellow Sentinel, making his feelings clear. He was not in the mood to play with her and would rather be with his partner.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar
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Truly, Salazar didn’t have to ask. He knew—he usually did. It helped that their training schedule was so clockwork that you could measure the accuracy of an hourglass by it. Honestly, he really thought that Faelwen needed to learn to be more spontaneous, but he supposed it wasn’t really any of his business. He was her Sentinel, not her mother, thank the gods for that. Trying to imagine himself with children was kind of like trying to imagine Eshe Summersong laughing—it simply didn’t compute. He would know; he’d tried to make her laugh, but even her partner could only occasionally coax a smile out of her, and nobody had ever managed any more than that. Hence her Salazar-bestowed nickname: the Ice Princess.

He wasn’t sure what Sunshine’s issue with the pancakes was; he happened to think they were pretty delicious. Then again, he tended to eat pretty much anything and a lot of it. Unfortunately, her discontent with the meal just meant that they had to get to training sooner, and that wasn’t anywhere near as fun as eating. Oh well—honestly, the sacrifices he made for the woman were astounding. She wore a full suit of metal armor—a full suit!—and he said not a word about it, trusting her to wrap the metal in enough leather to not make him ill. And he didn’t even like his lash, but he wore it because it made the whole thing safer and more comfortable for her. Really. You’d think that would earn him some consideration, but you would be wrong, apparently.

Sighing, he took his time taking care of his dishes, and followed his partner out at something of a delayed pace. It wasn't that he was genuinely upset about any of that-- he was far too relaxed and easygoing a fellow to get upset over the trivialities of life. Fretting was just a waste of time. The guards certainly recognized him, and let him pass without comment, whereupon he spotted Faelwen on a bench, apparently trying to catch some z’s, as he thought the expression went. Next to her was Arabella, which meant that the formidable Feolan was… ah yes, there he was, near the archery targets.

“Bluebell!” he called pleasantly, sauntering up to the two women with a grin. His name for Arabella was derivative on both her actual name and the odd indigo hue of her eyes. It helped that a bluebell was a flower native to this region as well, of course—Salazar liked things that were interesting or appropriate on more than one level. “How does the morning find you?” He was a social creature, Salazar, and furthermore, Faelwen looked like she could really use whatever rest she was getting. Maybe that meant they wouldn’t have to train too much this morning. It was shaping up to be a beautiful morning, and there were so many better ways to spend it…



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It seemed her partner was not in the mood to race this morning, and Eshe cocked her head to the side. “Perhaps another time, Lowa,” she offered gently, trying to reassure the girl that no offense was meant. Kirill had rough edges, ones that she was perfectly fine and content with, but Eshe knew that other people were often more sensitive than she was. So while she never spoke for her partner without his express permission, she did occasionally smooth things over, when she deemed it needful.

Kirill retook his human form, and Eshe nodded shortly, indicating that she was ready to begin. “Magic first, perhaps?” She tilted her head to one side. She was more talented with it than the average Vanguard, a unique property of her heritage, but that did not mean she was anywhere near the level of a Sentinel. Usually, this kind of practice was a simple matter, but a vital one: Kirill would level his considerable magic at her, and she would provide a durable, moving target, launching her own spells in return often enough that he could not become comfortable or fall into patterns in his attacks. It was a fair bit more brutal than ordinary sparring, but they could and did handle it. Where others might have grown to resent being pummeled at by their closest ally in such a way, it only made them stronger, forged their bond of alliance and friendship into something true and enduring.

Rolling her shoulders, Eshe backed up a couple of steps, light on her feet as always. They picked a part of the field currently unoccupied by anyone else’s practice, as they did not desire that anyone be caught in their crossfire. Brutal this might be, but they were careful about the safety of others, even if they didn’t seem to show much regard for their own. The first spell came, and Eshe threw herself into a roll, back up on the balls of her feet in the blink of an eye. And just like that, they were off, the clash of spells and creative maneuvers only half the battle, as he was also trying to gain entrance to her mind, as a hostile telepath might. The effort of blocking both the mental and the physical assault was not an easy one, but Eshe was not a weak woman, and he would not find her a simple target at all.

Besides, after this, they fought hand-to-hand, and they were both quite good at that as well. She would never dream of pulling steel on Kirill, so she’d grown adept in these arts for his sake as well as her own. Her weapons training was something she conducted alone, or with a partner when possible. Feolan moved in a similar liquid way to the one she’d been taught, and so sometimes she asked him, as she felt that she gained quite a lot from those sessions in particular, the ones where she could not only fight an opponent, but truly learn from them. Fighting a fully-armored knight was useful, but it didn’t give her much to incorporate into her own style, after all.

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Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Silveria Delphine Character Portrait: Scipio Novius Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Scipio wake up!", A small grunt escaped him at the loud noise, flowed by a frown at the nudge "We're going to miss breakfast!"

Good, that's fine...He mumbled in his head, wishing the pestering little imp away so he could sleep more into the morning. Blearily he felt the bed dip but he didn't pay much mind into as he began to drift off once again....until he awoke to a terrifying scream. Scipio lurched forward only to be punched in the stomach, forcing him to fall back against the bed with a groan of pain.

"Ill be outside, get dressed, we are already missing breakfast." Scipio opened his eyes, staring at his partner blearily before he pieced everything together. Silveria nodded at him and slipped out of the room just as a small blush spread across his face. He hated when she woke him up, because it usually ended in some sort of awkward situation between the fighting pair.

Scipio leapt out of bed and went to his small dresser, pulling on some dark leather pants which he tucked into his black knee high boots. Digging through his dirty laundry, Scipio produced a loose white linen short that hung down low on his collar. He pulled it on, tucking it in haphazardly before strapping his belt and sword around his waist. Not bothering to check his appearance, he ran a hand through his bed head and stepped out into the hallway.

He smiled at Silveria, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

"Sorry about that Silv, you think we can still make it for breakfast?" He asked the Sentinel, stepping towards her to offer a hand up from her seated position.





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Kirill nodded in agreement to a magic battle, wishing to practice a bit more with his skills before the trials that were coming up. He stepped away from her, already bouncing lightly on his feet.

While he was already exceptionally skilled in magic control, he knew he needed to practice on aiming a moving target, especially if he was to hit one while flying in dragon form. Somehow, Eshe and Kirill understood what the other needed in terms of practice and could confiscate for the others needs. While they fought as if they were against a real opponent, they were still aware of how to give and pull with the partner. Kirill would have hated a soft partner...instead he had been assigned a girl that was equally as cunning and powerful as him.

A cheshire like grin spread across his face as he recognized her equally excited posture, if not a little more reserved. He chuckled, eyeing her movements as they got into place like a cat stalking his opponent.

The first spell was an onslaught on dagger like ice that flew from his hand on command. He shot them at his partner without a thought, aiming for her head. She dodged, terrifically so, but Kirill conditioned his attack.

While avoiding her various physical and magical attacks, Kirill is also focusing his Mind Snare attack on digging into her very being, worming himself into her self control and personal thoughts. She's used to it by now, but still it causes her to think about protecting her own mind from him as well as avoiding his physical attacks.

Kirill won their battle of magic, as expected of a Sentinel. Eshe is a powerful magician, even landed a powerful blow on her partner from her Mirage spell when he was not able to focus on all copies of herself. But in the end, he was able to lock her feet in a block of ice and tackle her to the ground, effectively ending their spare.

They continued on to hand-to-hand combat and like most Sentinel and Vanguard pairs, Eshe excelled in. While Kirill was good, he was not smooth and perfectly water-like as his partner, mostly because he was far more used to fighting as a dragon then a human. Kirill enjoyed being able to see Eshe in her natural state, her moments of pure tranquility as she moved with a blade (covered with leather of course to avoid burning him with the metal). He dodged, ducked, and slid past her weapon, but everyonce and a while it thunked painfully against his body, reminding him just how good of a partner he had.

Soon they came to a stop, he was breathing heavily and he could tell Eshe was growing weary as well. Of course, with a covered blade they could continue for hours, but it was obvious whom the better swordsman was. Kirill grinned at his partner, alighted and filled with adrenaline after their sparring matches. He was glad to have a Vanguard as powerful and beautiful as Eshe was, more then glad....he felt blessed to be able to ride the skies with her. Kirill slipped back into her mind, instantly being welcomed in her thoughts as if he was meant to be there.

Shall we head to breakfast then? He questioned along with sending a warming, loving aura between their telepathic connection.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait:
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Morning sparring was one of Eshe’s favorite things. She knew, in a way, that she took her training a little too seriously. It wasn’t just the physical stuff, either; she absorbed battle tactics and history and lore and even mathematics with the same zeal and verve, though of course she’d never been very expressive, and so her enthusiasm was manifested not in her words, but in her results. She made no proclamations of loyalty to the Skyguard or her few close friends or Kirill, but her actions left little doubt as to its evidence.

But there was something uniquely meditative about battle that she did not gain from her other lessons. It was a chance to be in constant motion, thought flowing together with instinct in a single stream of action and reaction. She felt no pressure to speak or express or be anything in particular, and that was a gift she understood as only those who had felt such pressure could. On the battlefield, everyone was the same: everyone fought for their lives with the resources available to them, and though some held back ‘dirty’ tactics for fear of dishonor, everyone gave all they had to give. If they didn’t, they died, and it was just that simple.

Simple was underrated, she thought, and it was a virtue she tried to incorporate into her life as much as possible. Her manner of dress was simple, as was her manner of speaking, when she felt the need. Her emotions were generally relatively uncomplicated and straightforward. She endeavored to keep herself free of angst and agonizing or worry, and though there was one very large secret that she kept studiously from everyone she could, even Kirill, she was otherwise free of them. She didn’t lie, because lies made things complicated as well.

Here, though, putting her steps in tandem to the vital heartbeat in her chest, striking with rhythm and precision and grace, things were the simplest of all. When she at last put Kirill down with a flurry of quick strikes and acrobatic kicks, she offered him both her hand and their accustomed telepathic bond, shaking her head lightly at what filtered through it. He was much more emotive than she was, and half the time, she didn’t really understand it. But it was just the way he was, and she accepted that easily. One would not think of a person like him as warm, but there it was. Warm and surprisingly friendly when the mood struck him right.

Breakfast sounds like a good idea, she replied, and sheathed the blade she’d been practicing with. I wonder when they’ll call us up for the trial? The two of them had flown on several missions with full Skyguard officers before, and it was hardly a surprise when they were selected for the Veto. An honor, but one that they had both worked hard enough to deserve. She knew the others that had earned it was well: her close friend Azriel and his kind partner Seph among them. It was a formidable group, all told, and she allowed herself to have confidence that they would all succeed without the arrogance that they wouldn’t have to work for it.

The mess hall was a bit empty at this point—most of those that ate first were already gone and those that ate after training would only just be arriving, so the lines were short. Eshe managed to finagle herself a waffle, a delightful concoction that she’d enjoyed since childhood, and slathered it in berries and rich syrup. She wasn’t the kind of person who worried about her figure—with this much training, you needed to get enough energy into your system anyway. She sat down across from her partner and dug in—no need to worry when you could conduct conversations entirely in thought.



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Salazar looked mildly nonplussed at Arabella’s response—though his left eyebrow did arch elegantly up his brow at the bodily contact. “Is that so?” he replied, a teasing lilt to his voice. He wound one strand of her dark hair around his finger and gave a gentle tug. A strange game she was playing at this moment, but then he was rather partial to it himself. He knew the steps, and when her hands slid along his chest, he almost shook his head. Laying it on a little thick there, Bluebell, he thought wryly.

Sure enough, she wanted something from him (didn’t everyone?) and he found himself being unceremoniously hauled onto the practice field, an action he allowed more from amusement than any superior exercise of strength on her part. “Why is it that all the women in my life want me to fight them?” he asked rhetorically, mirth dancing in his light blue eyes. “Hasn’t anyone figured out that I’m much more a lover than a fighter?” Not exactly true, actually, but he wasn’t going to go into the technical details of his disposition when he could jest instead.

Faelwen reappeared then, having gone to pad her armor as necessary, and now it seemed he was wanted for more things than he could properly even do, but a solution came to mind readily enough. “Yes, yes, all right, fine. But since she—” he indicated his partner— “is clearly dressed for flying, we’re doing this in the air.” Jogging a large number of paces back from the women, Salazar reached inwards, pulling at the ropes and roots of his magic. For most people, they were threads. Not so for Sentinels, and even less for him. Using magic was as simple as breathing, and his control over it was so fine that he actually had mastery of his own process of transformation, down to the details.

His skin, already darker than average, slowly took on the hue of shadow itself, a deep, fathomless black. The light of the morning sun reflected in shades of blue off the scales that overtook his still-human body thereafter, and the leatherlike wings erupted from his shoulderblades even as he grew taller, claws sprouting from his hands and feet and massive, curled horns from his head when his limbs elongated, bent, and twisted. He shot from a slightly-taller-than-average man to a massive dragon in about ten seconds all told, and there was something almost artistic about the transformation. His eyes flashed last, losing their sky-blue tinge and being replaced by liquid gold.

Double-checking that his lash was in place, he lowered his head enough to properly see Faelwen, then gingerly took hold of her around the middle, choosing to believe that she had adequately accounted for this possibility in protecting her garments. With surprising care, he deposited her at the juncture of his neck and shoulders, where his lash was. “Well?” he inquired of Arabella, his voice in this form still slightly accented, but smooth like dark silk and with some odd reverberation in it. “Shall we fly?” He knew without needed to ask that this was what Faelwen had intended them to do, and aerial combat practice would only add a random and dangerous element to their usual regimen, something he doubted she would object to.

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Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Silveria Delphine Character Portrait: Scipio Novius Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Scipio caught up to Silveria quickly, keeping up in step beside her as they made their way to the mess hall. He kept quiet, walking next to her in a leisurely fashion. He was content to just be with the blue haired girl at his side and if he had to be completely honest....he was still in a slightly sleepy state that made him a little less talkative and jovial then normal. He slept, a lot, something that Silveria constantly badgered him about, but he could't help it. After a good meal he would snap out of his drowsy state and turn back into the happy and carefree guy he usually was to everyone.

"Pio, are we training today? After breakfast and all. I wanna get my feet wet." Scipio blinked and looked down at her, the small smile that was always in place becoming a tinny bit wider at the idea. They usually spent any free time they had in the water and today would be no exception.

He nodded, following after her into the line for food, "Of course! Maybe we can go for a swim...or you can shift and we can try out some more water techniques in the depths"

Scipio slid is tray along the counter, filling up his plate with a good meal of eggs, waffles, a healthy serving of vegetables, and a few pieces of bacon and toast. He always ate a good amount, thought breakfast was his favorite meal of the day. He snagged a glass of orange juice as the passed the drinks, then followed Silveria.

He was about to question why they did not try and locate a table, when Silveria spoke up, "We should eat by the water." She offered and he grinned at the idea.

"Perfect Silv! Then we can finish up and dive straight into a morning swim" He laughed at her, then walked past her towards the door for the courtyard. He opened it up for his partner, allowing her to pass by first before following her down the short path to the waters edge below. Once at the bank that dropped into the small lake, Scipio settled himself on the grass and set his tray on his lap. He smiled up at Silveria, patting the spot next to him before shoving a buttered piece of toast in his mouth and chewing happily.

"Anymqthin' speas'fic ya wanw'ta try taghday?" He mumbled around the toast, then swallowed and removed the bread from his mouth, "Sorry, anything specific you want to try out today?"





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At Eshe's affirmation of breakfast, Kirill offered her one of his kind, rare smiles. He kept those looks reserved for his partner, truly the only living being he respected or loved in anyway. As he thought of when the trial would be, he also let his mid drift towards the coming future. They both knew from their missions with the true Skyguard that their trials were coming soon. if not today or tomorrow. Kirill could care less that they had been chosen for the Veto, although he knew he was supposed to treat it as a honor. He did not see himself as a leader and hated the thought of having to choose whether the group would be safe or not. A mental shiver passed through him at the thought, as he immensely detested the idea of responsibility, especially for others lives. Eshe on the other hand....he knew she would make the right decision if the time came. He trusted her opinion, trusted her whole heartedly, so he was not too to worried of having to deal with a Veto if the time we're to come. Now, if the situation at hand presented a choice between Eshe's safety or not....he might have a few choice words to say.

Not sure He answered back with a mental shrug as they both turned in a synchronized motion for the cafeteria. He walked at her side, hands in the pockets of his loose pants. While both Eshe and Kirill had the same pale complexions and white hair, Kirill still stood taller then her. Kirill enjoyed picking fun at her smaller stature, if only to get a rise out of his fairly stoic partner. Despite her reserved personality, Kirill was quiet good at picking out her emotions. She hide herself well, but even without the mental connection he had grown to know her facial expressions...as minute as the change between angry and content was, he was able to pick up on the changes. He did not care much for anything other then her, flying, and the purity of white....which in many occasions all three of those things adjoined as one.

Kirill was content with the mostly empty cafeteria. He glanced around at the various occupants, happy that he did not have to deal with the screaming and yelling that usually seemed to echo from this overly large room. He followed behind Eshe silently, spooning a hefty pile of sausages, ham, and bacon. He gave the vegetables a grimace as he passed over them, disgusted at the mere sight of the green rabbit food. He preferred a hearty meal of meat, any meat will do. Happy with his meal, he followed the his pale partner to their seats and folded himself into the seat across from her, instantly digging into his meal with zealous.

Any thoughts on the rest of the day? He asked mentally with a mouthful of ham, glancing up at her with a raised brow while he swallowed his massive bight.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait:
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He wasn’t really sure what his partner’s deal was; normally, she was sickeningly enthusiastic at the prospect of training, especially against another team, but this morning, she didn’t seem to be feeling it. Normally, he didn’t ask her of she was okay or anything—it just wasn’t part of their conversational repertoire. This was partly because he preferred to talk of light things and frivolous things and things that didn’t matter, because it made people believe that he was light and frivolous and didn’t matter, and this was the way in which he preferred to be perceived.

It usually worked very well, and sometimes, he was certain even Faelwen was fooled by it. But there was another reason he behaved thus, and that was because he had faith in her strength. He would never have chosen to partner with a weak or useless person, despite what others might think, and he respected her enough for who and what she was to avoid prying into her business if she didn’t want to share. Theirs was not a partnership where each knew everything about the other, and there were things about himself that he didn’t want her to know, so he acted as he hoped she would, and let her have her secrets.

But if it was gnawing her enough to diminish her insatiable enthusiasm for self-improvement, a natural extension of her all-important duty, then maybe it was something he did need to ask about. But not now—now was for training, and she’d never forgive him if they lost, even though he preferred not to put effort into such affairs. Sighing inwardly to himself, he established a telepathic link with her for ease of communication, something they often did, but as usual, he linked only to the surface of her mind, so as to catch only those thoughts directed at him. It was just one more way in which he tried to leave her with as much privacy as possible.

Corkscrew, he informed her, playfully as always, and then engaged in precisely that maneuver, rolling out of the way of Bluebell’s initial attack, which had been more a play swipe than anything. He wasn’t stupid—he knew quite well that she was physically stronger than him and to engage at close-quarters was a bad idea. He, on the other hand, had a slight edge in speed, and a big edge in terms of magic. Which was why he spiraled higher into the air, seeing to put that speed of his to good use with powerful beats of his massive wings, and then hurled a darkly-burning ebon fireball right for her face. It was harmless, of course—if it hit, it wouldn’t actually burn, just leave a massive black mark where it would have burned if it hit. The goal wasn’t actually to kill each other, after all, and just like practice arrows were blunt and practice swords wrapped in leather, practice magic could be made nonlethal.



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Eshe sent her partner a flash of gentle amusement. His table manners left much to be desired to say the least, and it was so different from what she’d grown up with that it didn’t really seem to get old. Kirill had been so strange to her, when they first met. It was kind of funny, because everyone else had thought they were similar in just about every way—coloring, country of origin, a certain reticence in conversation with others, and an efficient, acrobatic verve about them that made them formidable in combat.

But these were surface things, and deeper down, they were actually quite different. Complimentary, but different, and she was glad of it. Being partnered with someone exactly like she was would have been easier, but she would have learned less as a result, grown less. She chewed over another bite and gave it some thought. Something tells me we’ll be called up soon, she admitted. Maybe today, even. It would be unwise to stray far, I think.

Not that the complex in which they’d lived and trained for years was exactly devoid of things to do, but she wasn’t quite sure what struck her fancy today. Usually, their day would be filled with a number of small tasks; sometimes they’d have to assist with the instruction of younger recruits, sometimes the flew practice rounds or actual missions with the fully-knighted Skyguard, sometimes a pair of the masters would ask for their help with some miscellaneous task or another, but all of that was suspended in the face of their upcoming trial. They were supposed to be ready whenever called, so it stood to reason that they couldn’t be busy doing something else.

Eshe polished off her breakfast and waited for Kirill to do the same, then shrugged. We could always take a run around the complex, I guess.

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Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Silveria Delphine Character Portrait: Scipio Novius Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Pio, it doesn't matter. Finish eating though." Scipio nodded around a mouth full of food and continued to eat, watching Silveria undress in front of him. He averted his eyes for a moment, but couldn't help but allow them to slid back to her thinly clothed body. She was beautiful, her flowing blue hair the most entrancing thing he had ever laid eyes on. Not only was it such a unique color, but it was soft, like tendrils of actual running water.

He loved to watch her transform. No mater how many times he saw it he was always entranced, amazed by the shifting between dragon and girl. As her form began to grow and shift, Scipio finished up the last of his toast and set his tray down, allowing her room to stretch out her wings. Then, she drung into the sky with one mighty push of her wings, soaring high before folding them in for a dive. He watched her plummet through the sky straight for the water, cutting into the liquid like a knife through paper. The resounding splash sent a wave over the bank, soaking him up to his knees. But he paid that no mind, already pulling his loose shirt over his head and removing his boots.

Silveria leapt from the water and landed along the bank, her beautiful scales shimmering millions of shades under the sun now that they were wet. Scipio smiled warmly at her, stepping forward just as she lowered her neck to him. He ran a hand over her smooth scales, watching as the colors shifted under his touch.

"I know I say this every time Silv, but wow. You're absolutely amazing" He mumbled, then ran his hand down to the light scles underneath her to rub at a spot that he knew she loved, "Alright then, into the water we go"

Scipio released her and grabbed the tendrils of loose scales that fell from her head, pulling himself up onto her slippery form. He tucked his legs safely against her shoulders, using the muscles asa foot hold. Once he felt secure, he leaned his body down against hers and grabbed the scales once more, "Alright, shall we see how fast you can go?"




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The white haired teen paid his partner no mind as he ate his meal with vigor. If there was one thing Kirill truly enjoyed, it was a plate full of meat. Eshe never really took part in his continues eating, but she did seem to understand that he needed it. Often, just for the fun of it, Kirill would go hunting in his dragon form. While is disgusted others, he actually enjoyed the taste of raw meet. Only as a dragon, of course, raw meat would make his current form sick.

He finished up the bacon and chanced a glance up at his partner as she answered his question. So soon? He pondered, taking a break from the food to stare at her, We will stay at the castle then. I am...nervous, to be honest. He glanced down at his food, poking at the pile of ham before ripping off a piece to eat.

Never would he ever admit that to anyone else, but with the link he shared with Eshe he did not doubt that she could not feel the tension leaking off him. He had spent his whole childhood ridiculed and only when he was brought here was he able to actually make something of himself. The trials, whenever they may be, would finally grant him that final moment of power, the moment where he could shove his accomplishments in every single Kalium residents face.

Before Eshe could comment of his moment of openness, Kirill deemed he had eaten enough. The ham, bacon, and half the sausages were gone, and he had no doubt he would eat more for lunch.

"Shall we fly?" He asked out loud, standing up from his seat, "Just near the citadel, nothing to far. I need to stretch my wings, and I would like you with me"

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Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Kirill cut through the clouds with his serpentine like body, then pumped his wings to gain more speed. Eshe was safely nestled in the junction of his wings and neck, leaning with his movements as they soared above the Citadel. He had convinced her the day before that an early morning fly was in order, and thankfully she had accepted. Kirill could easily do this himself, but flying with his partner seemed to allow him to gain more speed and agility then without. The Sentinel did like to show off.

THe giant white dragon banked harshly and twisted his body to the right, pointing his noes down into a tight dive. The air rushed by him, ruffling the fur on his neck and catching in his leathery wings. He tucked them close, giving his body a streamline affect as they rushed towards the Earth.

Kirill, Eshe called to him, cutting through the moment of exhilaration brought on by the sky dive, We have been called, my seal is glowing

Kirill grinned, showing off a rather massive set of shark like teeth. He let loose a massive jet off ice white frost, white cascaded around the fling duo like snow as the passed through it. He glanced back at Eshe and gave her a nod to show her he heard.

I'll head back to the Citadel then. They took long enough to call us! He whispered back to her through their mind link. Kirill wound his body in a circle, spinning Eshe upside down in the process, and headed back to there home quickly. He focused his mind on the light breeze around him and called to it, calling forth a strong wind to fill his wings with air and allow them to reach the Citadel faster. Kirill spread his wings wide, catching the harsh wind before pumping his wings to reach a higher speed.

The partners reached the Citadel just as the final call came out at 8:45am. Kirill could feel the burning of the seal even through his dragon skin just as he touched down on the landing pad in front of the main building. He transformed with little flourish, simply allowed the glow to encompass his body and then revel the tall white haired teen underneath. He looked as Eshe and let a wide smirk spread across his face, pointing towards the badge, "Shall we then?" He asked allowed, then headed towards the courtyard.

Kirill and Eshe reached the area just as the other teams were arriving. They paid them little mind, silently making their way into the courtyard. Kirill keeping close to Eshe with the appearance of other Sentinels and Vanguards. It wasn't as if he didn't know she could handle herself...but he did not fully trust the others. Even after the years sharing the Citadel with them, Kirill only truly trusted Eshe. So maybe he was remaining close to her because he didn't want to be near the others, either way he choose a spot farther away from the res of the group for him and Eshe to wait until everyone had arrived.

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Character Portrait: Talyera Asimov Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Altan Ganeshi Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Sephera Halsey Character Portrait: Azriel Kollure
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Azriel <^> Kollure




Waking up that morning Arziel stretched as per his routine. He did some slight exercises, pushups and the like, and finally headed over to his window to pull open the curtains. The outside air was cool and refreshing and the sun glistened on the horizon. Looking down at the town he spied Sid placing a sign outside hi shop and was transported back to the day Jerome and Rupert had left. Say and Lowa had arrived at the bakery that morning as well and shortly after they had entered the nonchalant and rather cheerful atmosphere turned.

As the Sylvan sisters had entered the bakery a small cough escaped behind Sid. His daughter Alicia had snuck from bed and come down the stairs. She was pale and wheezing with gasping breaths as she entered the bakery. “Daddy?” she barely squeaked out as she leaned against the wall for support. Sid went to her but before he could get any answers form her she collapsed. Her body was feverish, her face pale, and as they all gathered around her the tiny child let out a rasping and broken cough. The sound of it still echoed in Azriel’s ears.

Alicia’s cough brought Azriel back to his own childhood, in the western farmlands of Zepher. In that place there was a rare illness that afflicted the young called Rattling Cough. It was a truly dreadful plague that almost always resulted in death for those stricken by it. Unfortunately the only known cure for the illness was a rare herb found only in the north, far away from the west of Zepher where the illness existed.

It was his younger sister, Elizabeth, who was afflicted by this illness in his youth. He still remembered her fragile body shaking against the chills and how she was so hot to the touch he almost recoiled, but worst was that cough, the rasping and wheezing cough that would forever haunt his memory. The doctors said that even with their best medicines she would only last a few days at the most. He remembered the despair in his mother’s eyes when she heard this. But there was something else in his memory as well; a fire, a fire that was lit in his Father’s eyes. He’d rushed form their home immediately, taking a horse to the nearest city. It was another three days before his father returned, this time astride a flying beast. He’d rushed to the neatest city and found an old friend, a Sentinel he’d known inthe Skyguard, then they had flown nonstop to the north to find the herb. They’d arrived just in time to save his younger sister and to this day Azriel remembered both the sound of that terrible cough, and the name of that magical plant that saved his sister.

“Kath-thorn…” Azriel had whispered to the others as Rupert rushed to get a doctor. Knowing that the sisters were well learned in herb lore Azriel asked the Sylvan sisters if they knew of where they could find this herb. He only knew of the far north of Zepher, near the border with Kalium, and it would take far too long to mobalize a team to gather such and herb at this point. He almost despaired as his mother had, but as Say looked to him he found a familiar fire in another’s eyes. The Garden within the Keep was home to a rich stock of nearly every herb in the world, from the most common of weeds to the rarest of flowers.

When he heard this Azriel moved swiftly asking Lowa for a lift to the Keep’s garden while requesting Say to what she could for the young child with the herbs that Sid had in the shop. No doubt Say wasn’t exactly happy with the arrangement of duties he had suggested but it was the best way, as they needed Lowa’s speed to reach the garden swiftly. Alicia had far less time than Elizabeth had had. The Sylvan dragon burst from the shop and shot into the air with Azriel astride, rushing to the garden. It was Lowa who had found the Herb and when they returned the doctor and Rupert had arrived. It did not take long once the cure was admitted for the child’s fever to lower and her breathing to ease. Sid’s gratitude could not be understated, and he was not along in that. It was their first major triumph as a team and the fact that the Sylvan sisters were still not yet deployed gave Azriel slight hope they might work with him and Seph on the Trial.

As he had said that morning, “I’d gladly fight with either of you any day, if you need anything just ask.”

Nine days passed since that morning with no word from the Knight Masters, which had Azriel and She on edge. There were now only two Prefect Teams Left, Eshe and Kirill and of course Sephera and himself. It was strange to think that the remaining teams would be split in two, a fact only he and the other Prefects were aware of, and sent off sooner than many probably thought. There were Nine teams left of the senior class, and soon another four or five would no doubt be gone. It was a sobering fact, and perhaps that was what had driven Azriel to take more to socializing than he already did. He wondered the Keep at all hours, speaking with everyone he met, aiding the younger teams of which there were around sixty or so in training and giving pointers to a group of rather rambunctious young third year Vanguards a few sword lessons to pass the time.

Damn it all, I’m getting restless waiting.

Of course maybe this new found flightiness was actually due more to Sephera’s demeanor as of late than his own personal concerns. Sephera was almost always found in the grand hall now, where they ate their meals every morning noon and night instead of circling around the city for fun, and she always sat with her face to one wall, the Living Wall. The wall is called Living because it changed daily as it had a shield placed upon it for every team deployed at that time, including those on Trials, and should communication be lost with a team a red cloth would be draped over their shield with the red being change to black if they were confirmed lost. Of the twelve shields embroidered with silver indicating they were of young teams on their trials four had her constant attention now. She had her books and was often surrounded by younger students and to most seemed as normal as could be, still lively and friendly, always ready to aid another, but to those who had known her for years they knew that something was off, and Azriel knew better than anyone.

As they sat there that morning eating breakfast her eyes were often glide up to the shield wall, staying focused on the display for several seconds longer than she normally would before returning to her meal. He knew exactly why and as she once again glanced up at the wall Azriel gave in and turned around himself, knowing full well what she was looking at. Four shields at the bottom right were covered in red cloth. He could not see the inscribed names upon them but he knew whose they were, he had watched them when they were hung first. Jerome and Rupert’s team had yet to check in.

He let out a held breath and turned to Seph again, determined to pull his partner form this funk, “Seph…Seph?” he paused before trying again, “Sephera….hello, yoohoo!...” he snapped his fingers once trying to draw her gaze to no avail, “Seph!...SEPHERA!” he asserted far more harshly, causing her to jump and shake her head suddenly aware how she had spaced, “You okay?”



Sephera <^> Halsey




Seph’s mind was a blank slate right now. All she could do was remember days past, when Jerome had held her, when they’d gone flying, even their fights and arguments were fondly recalled now. She was rubbing her own hands together she stroking the back of one with another’s thumb, like he had always done. She’d taken to sleeping with one of his tunics too, ever since he’d left for his trial. Looking up from the table where she’d hardly touched her food she gazed intently at the second Shield from the bottom right, the red cloth seeming more like a cloaking of blood than a simple woven tapestry. In the back of her mind she heard a whisper against the increasing din of the buzzing in her heard, “-eph…Se-”

She didn’t reply though, all her thought was focused on that sea of cold red that was so little and yet meant so much. Questioned fluttered in her brain; What could have stopped them reporting? What was the true purpose of their Trial? What could be so dangerous about retrieving a few heirlooms? “Se-era…-yooho-” that voice echoed in her mind again. No doubt it was the memory of Jerome’s voice, calling to her in her distant state. But as she desired less to think of the red and more to remember his voice she found the drone in her head receding and finally heard the voice in Earnest, “Seph?...” yes, that strong willed voice must be-“ SEPHERA!”

Okay… that last one didn’t sound anything like Jerome…

Startled Seph jumped a bit in her seat as she left her space subconscious state she had unknowingly entered and looked about her surroundings. Right! The Grand Hall… of course… how could I forget I was in the Grand Hall? she asked herself internally as she gathered herself, sweeping her fallen bangs behind her ears. She vaguely heard a question come from across the table. But as with her name being called she didn’t really hear it. who called my name again?

“Seph!” Azriel asserted one final time, finally drawing her eyes.

“Huh?” she questioned almost startled to see him there, “oh, right, sorry…uh… what were you saying?”

Azriel steadied his breathing as he looked at his partner, “I was asking if you were alright…. But since I know you’re not I’ll forgo your dismissive response.” He commented as he eaned further in towards her, “It’s alright Seph. Our contact network in Kalium is just really sparse, it only makes since that it would take them longer than expected to check in; look, which team scored higher in all events than anyone else our year?”

Seph let out a held breath, of course he knew, hell everyone probably does and is just too polite to mention it, and gave him a smile as she seemingly considered his words, “Yeah… you’re right… they probably just got held up.”

Azriel ground his teeth quietly for a moment as his jaw set, [iShe’s being bloody dismissive again![/i] but rather than push her yet he reached his hand across the tabel to take on of hers. His hands were rough, calloused and marked form all his training, while hers were supple and soft. It was the way of the Skyguard, if not by their dress you could tell a person’s job by their hands. She’d always liked how soft Jerome’s hands were, how their comforted her when he cupped her face. And yet Azriel’s hands provided just as much comfort to her now. Perhaps it was just their training and her ingrained trust in her Vanguard. No, it’s not ingrained trust in the system, it’s trust in him she thought.

Yet at that moment, just when she was about to break and come clean about her despairing worry both of their eyes were drawn to Azriel’s wrist. And to the shimmering seal that was located there. Looking up at each other all their prior conversation halted as both went into pure Guard mode, they stood as one with Azriel grabbing his bastard sword and claymore he’d had by his side for sword practice later and Sephera shoving her books into her pack. Standing up several of the younger teams watched them with admiration but they weren’t what the duo was looking for. Both Azriel and Sephera were scanning the Grand hall, trying to see which other teams had received the summons; there was the team of Seriss and Kael, then Talyera and Altan as well.

Azriel though, just how many will be joining us? as he glanced about to see who else had been summoned. Luke and Rommel, Lillian and Tiberius, and then there were others too. All told it looked as if every senior in the room had gotten a summons right them. Instinctually both Sephera and Azriel headed from the Grand Hall with purpose, though as they pass the Living Wall Azriel noted a stuttering step that Seph took near the right edge of the shields. He’d leave it for now though. Looking to those nearby who were moving to the courtyard he thought back to the Hall. He had seen Eshe and Kirill at some point that morning but now that he thought about it they had left the Hall earlier, probably for a flight or something. Too bad, I’d have liked to talk to Eshe before leaving. Maybe I’ll see her around before we take off though…

Leaving the Grand Hall with those that were also there in mass the duo headed to the courtyard at the central gate, the boundary between the Academy and the Skyguard Keep. It was very rare for anyone not in their senior year to enter these gates and the Keep beyond. Seph still recalled her first time through the gates when she was in her fifth year. Once at the courtyard they saw that this was already an odd calling before ever they entered the Court. Standing with them before the massive gates was a most unexpected sight, Eshe and Kirill, the only remaining Prefects; meaning that the remaining members of their year must also have been called. Azriel’s first thought was, why would they send all of us at once on one mission? but as Seph had already reasoned in her own mind and now was whispering to her partner, “They must be dividing us into two squads at once.” Azriel nodded.

“I guess they want all of us… should we wait for the others?” he asked those currently assembled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talyera Asimov Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Altan Ganeshi Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Sephera Halsey Character Portrait: Azriel Kollure
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#, as written by Ivisbo
Image

Scipio never woke up on time.

He was a late riser, he loved sleeping, and therefor his body never rose when the sun did. Usually, he had to rely on Silveria to wake him, but today with little imp of a girl did not appear like normal. He awoke instead to a bright, glowing light right near his face. Thinking it was the sun streaming in through his open window, Scipio rolled over with a grunt and burried his face into his goose feather pillow.

But wait...hadn't he closed the window last night for this exact reason? He hated waking up to the sun in his face, so he had drawn the black out curtains and....

Scipio shot out of bed, his eyes immediately landing on his glowing seal. With a string of curses he rushed around his room, throwing on his usual loose white shirt and dark leather breeches tucked into leather boots. He fell, twice, in the process, his mind in a frenzy as he realized they were finally being called.

Where the hell was Silveria?

Scipio took a moment in front of the mirror to fix his bed head, hoping to calm it down somewhat so he didn't look like such a mess when he showed up a tad late. But, the locks seemed to not want to agree with him today, so he just ruffled them more (hoping it looked like he was going for that look) and rushed out the door. Halfway down the hall he realized he had forgotten his damned Seal and ran back, snatching the heated badge quickly before exiting once again.

He reached the open courtyard just behind Sephera and Azriel, glad that he wasn't actually late but on time. If he arrived behind a prefect, surely he was fine....meaning now he had to worry about Silveria. The little Sentinel usually did what she was told, but sometimes she had to be corralled in if she was off doing her thing. Just as he was about to turn and head back into the Citadel to look for her, Silveria popped up by his elbow.

Scipio gave a startled jump and glared down at the Sentinel, but at her cheesy grin his face relaxed into a grateful smile. Damned girl was going to be the death of him someday.

Silveria and Scipio stood next to each other as they awaited information on the gathering, Scipios eyes wandering towards the direction of the lake and Silveria twirling her light blue hair excitedly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Kaeleb 'Kael' Balor Character Portrait: Seriss Krahen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Agent
Well, you lot have been Patient. Are you all ready to see the Masters?

“Yes!” breathed Seriss through gritted teeth.

Kael chuckled, and he was not the only one, “Patient is not quite the word I would use.”



Some sat, some stood, some paced. Kael leant against the wall with his fingers laced over his flat stomach; flirting with the present company only served as a worthwhile pastime for so long before they eventually told him to bug off, or he got bored. Seriss was sitting against the wall beside him picking dirt from under her nails with a small carved wooden blade she’d had in her boot. Why the girl deigned to carry a weapon was beyond him when she could unleash talons and fangs on a whim. At least she was wearing boots today. Something about the crispness of the morning and heating the air being a waste of mana and heating the skin making the cold worse like a having a fever.

“Do you think we will have to make formal introduction when we report?” Kael asked no one in particular as they all milled about in the courtyard.

“Like what?” Seriss inquired.

“Like, Kaeleb of the house of Balor, son of Enrick son of Dermir, heir to Westmount Hall…”

“Didn’t you renounce your claim to the inheritance when you joined the Guard?”

“Not really. I may not be my father’s only child but I am his only son. He was disgruntled by my leaving the household but deemed a position in the guard honourable enough a vocation not to disinherit me. If I do not return to make my claim the hall would fall either to my little sister, or to my father’s brother’s son, my cousin. Or I can appoint a reagent and still claim ownership while remaining in the service of the Guard.” Kaeleb slid down the took a seat next to his partner."

“Huh. Sounds complicated to me.” The volume of her voice dropped, “My introduction would be, Seriss of the house of that-tiny-little-apothecary-in-that-city-in-Lorthus, natural daughter of Meganna. Heir to nothing.”

“Wouldn’t it be Serissa…?” he teased, avoiding the more painful topics in her statement.

“Shut it. On every page of paper I have ever signed since I could write my name has been Seriss.”

“What of your father’s fortune?”

“Who?”

“Sorry, yes, I forgot. Step-father’s?”

“Alas for elder step-brothers. First to inherit by blood and age and gender.”

“Not everyone holds to the old rules of inheritance.”

“I will not rely on inheritance. I have survived without riches thus far, and can continue to do so. I will live ‘til I die upon the generosity of the Guard, and upon the rewards of my own labour. Or until I get bored, abandon my human skin for good and fly as far as my wings will carry me.”

They remained silent for a while.

“I don’t think formal introduction will be necessary, we’ve been here seven years after all.” Kaleb murmured. Seriss got to her feet, tucking her knife back in her boot.

“How long are they going to keep us waiting?” she was back on the defensive. Nothing made her more grouching than feeling like she’d revealed some vulnerability, even to him after all these years. To one of few she had revealed her history to before.

“I mean, we could be training, or resting. Do I have time to fetch a book or something, or do you think we will actually be let in some time soon? If they weren’t ready to receive us they shouldn’t have called us. Or if they’re waiting for all of us to all be present, they should have just let us in when we first arrived and let the late-comers reap the consequences of their tardiness.”

“Firstly, take care how speak, little bird. Secondly, you can’t talk of tardiness, remember that first year when you overslept and then got lost despite your ‘keen dragon sense of direction’ and ended up arriving to that lesson as we were being dismissed to lunch.”

She waved a hand dismissively but her complaining ceased and she continued to pace in silence. Kaeleb sighed.

“Hey Eshe dear,” he called turning his attention to one of the other occupants of the courtyard. “Have I said how ravishing you’re looking today?”




“Patient is not the word I would use.”

Seriss scowled briefly at her partner and at the amused older knights but then turned her attention forward. Having them at her back made her edgy, and she tried to keep a sense of where they stood and moved, but the doors were before her now and the Masters were just beyond them.