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Unread Oct 15th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Guardians Of Valemier

New and Improved V2.0

Valemier, a grand and central hub of the western lands. This place was the centerpiece of the Zakadia mountain range; a dormant volcano that towered over the surrounding lands, lush with life. Its snow-capped peak provided the encompassing territories with water throughout the year, glacial water feeding waterfalls that in turn fed rivers and creeks that stretched out through the land, reaching for the turquoise Alka Sea to the southwest where the white sand shores stretched for miles.

A town, often referred to as Dragon’s Ward but originally known as Wyverna , sprawled out in the shadow of the volcano to the southern side, nestled against a glacial lake. It was originally a human town but many dragons were often found within its borders. A small castle and half height stone walls surrounded the town, sheltering it from the often tumultuous weather that got trapped within the valley. Horses were bred here for riding and cattle for trade with the dragons. Further south lay the plains where grain and fields of crops grew, fueling the growing lands.

Imposing communal halls, intricate corridors, a stately amphitheatre had all been carved out of the inside of the large mountain over centuries. An ancient home of the dragons, it had been opened up to the word, and all those who sought what it offered, human and dragon alike.
It served as a haven, a teaching ground and focal point for trade, especially in the summer months when humans would come with their wares and set up temporary markets in the massive lava dome at the center of the Volcano.

The halls were decorated with ancient, colourful murals and more recently, human silks and tapestries, woven to tell stories of the past. Lit with oil lamps or lanterns powered with magic, Valemier was not a dark and dingy set of catacombs, instead it rivaled the beauty of modern castles that had begun to spring up in the neighbouring lands.The floors were polished, perfectly smooth in his creation, now scores with the passing of many dragon talons and worn away by human steps.

Valemier was ‘governed’ by a high council head by an ancient white dragoness named Asifa. It was her and her sire Okelios that had forged the unity between humans and dragons. Things hadn’t always been so amicable between the species but after centuries of work things had improved tenfold. Dragons and humans worked together. While things weren’t perfect it had been a great weight lifted off the world and brought it out of the constant warring that had been commonplace ages ago.

Lately tensions had been rising in the neighbouring lands, but many hoped that it was just growing pains as newcomers settled and old disputes were trying to find balance and closure. Valemier may be a place of magic and unity but it didn’t make it an impenetrable utopia. Troubles existed here just as much as any other place.

With a cough, a large dragon with scales of amethyst rolled up a dusty paper scroll, gently wrapping a thin, red cord around it to bind it closed. He rose from his reading desk and carried it to one of the grand oak shelves in his library, finding the empty slot from which it came.
He returned the document to its home and turned, his great silver crest catching in the lamplight. The dragon was old, his many years represented by the many tines on his head, rising up like a sterling crown. Silvery grey flecked his muzzle and across his brows, caught in the light of the fireplace that burned with a pink flame today. It gave off a delicate and playful light, but no heat.

Akeel was the name his sire had given him, Valemier’s magic crafter, scholar and teacher of the arts of magic. Two centuries ago he had made this place his home, where he gladly passed down the knowledge of his craft to anyone who sought out his instruction.
A well-known face of Valemier, even those in the surrounding lands knew him well. He didn’t fly much these days but in his younger years his appearances in nearby clans or human villages was always welcome.

Now he spent most of his days within the halls of the great volcano or down in the meadows that lay on the sunny side of the range, right at the impressive entryway to the mountain haven.
This past week had been marked by the magic crafter’s ambitious project to expand his abilities. Many called him a master, but the heliotrope dragon was humble and always insisted that one could never be the master of magic. It was endless and infinite; there were always things to be learned, always something else to be discovered.

That fact inspired him and brought such glittering light to his eyes, almost giving him a youthful glow. He reveled in the thought of the unknown; each discovery was a cause for celebration. For this reason alone is why he never relented in his own study. He taught many dragons throughout his years at Valemier but he never ceased his own learning. He was most often found with either his nose to the books or scrolls he collected in his library or practicing magic in the adjacent room he dedicated for honing his skills.
With a shimmering, thistle coloured light, he cast his magic and rearranged the ink well and peacock quill on his desk with a small, pleased smile to himself.

This had been a new ability he recently acquired and one that had been proven to be entertaining as well as useful. Moving small, lightweight objects was no issue but the heavier and larger the item was the more he seemed to struggle. Putting his desk items away neatly was an easy task however and he released his magic with a wave of his paw. The orchid shimmer dissipated into the air.
It was time for a break, he thought to himself. He had been up in his holds for ages now. While from a carved balcony attached to his chambers he got fresh air, he felt he needed to get his blood moving and see how the rest of Valemier was getting on.

He flicked his tail at the fireplace and the pink flame disappeared at once, only the bewitched lamps gave a soft, icy blue glow that lit the room.
He made his was down through the halls, nodding as he passed by other dragons and a few humans at that. They smiled at him and dipped their heads respectfully as was tradition for coming across a dragon of Akeel’s age and standing.The magic crafter never seemed to take on the pompous air that often was associated with their tier. He was unpretentious and down to earth, even though he often seemed to have his head in the clouds.

As he walked through the corridors the murmuring sound of collective talking began to get louder and louder. It was a busy time of year and the influx of visitors displayed that clearly.
Soon enough he passed by to a number of wide arches that opened up into the lava dome, a massive, wide space at the center of the volcano and the hub of activity. It was nearly midsummer so humans and dragons from across the western half of the land and beyond had come to hawk and trade their goods and services.

The Market, as it was known, was almost festival like in the weeks that it operated. The massive space was filled with colourful stalls and tents. The supple smell of leather and the tang of iron mixed with the more delicious smells of edible goods. Everything under the sun could be found here and one could have it all, for a price of course.
It was a communal event, and often after all the merchandise was packed away in the evening, the space turned into a gathering place for visitors and inhabitants to converse and indulge in food. Indulgent behavior didn’t stop at meals, however. Humans had crafted beverages that the dragons had new interest in and in some hidden corners the more unsavoury folk that came up from Dragon’s Ward partook in gambling, betting their last coins and trade goods.
Valemier had no true members that enforced law, self-governing as it was at this level but very rarely did things get out of hand.

For now, however, the room was bustling with life, chatter and laughter. The clinking of glass beads melded with the sound of metal work in the far side of the grand room. Someone was playing a wind instrument, music coming somewhere in the center of it all. The magic crafter could smell exotic spices that had come from far off places, and the scent of freshly cut wood, crafted into ornate chests and other décor.

Akeel smiled, and made his way through one isle of the market, immersing himself in the uniqueness of it all.
“Let’s see what the world has brought us today…” he said to himself, stepping into the crowd.
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Unread Oct 15th, 2017, 03:58 PM   #2
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The summer markets of Valemier were always the most impressive and for the permanent human residents of Valemier an opportunity to garner extra coin to help them sustain themselves as well as to buy tools and little luxuries here and there.
The dragons loved hosting these markets as there were always new crafts from afar in the kingdoms as well as trade merchants with spices and other exotic herbs for food and herbal remedies, as well as produce and meat from the local farmers.
“Oh Ardon!, you let the fire go out in the furnace, I got a list as long as my arm matey, some extra coins, I can treat you to that bed and the fabrics that you were eyeing up” a large, well-built man said, his voice echoed in the metal craft shop.
The man had wavy black hair and had a fair bit of stubble on his face as the man got his tools ready as he grabbed the scroll with the orders on.
Ardon, a young dragon with scales of liquid gold snapped out of his daydream in alarm.
"Stars! Sorry Jacob," he said drawing in a deep breath and letting out a burst of flame to get the furnace going again.
Jacob laughed lightly shaking his head.
“Fair play, you have worked hard all morning, can’t blame you having a snooze but still got orders to do, check out our order list” Jacob showed the dragon, Ardon had been taught to read by Jacob and also by Akeel.
"I wasn't snoozing," insisted the gold, taking the parchment list off the wooden table and scanned it, "I'll get done these three by the end of the day."
Jacob nodded and smiled, “I need to redo your room as well, your growing so need a bigger bed, with these orders I can pop to that merchant and buy those soft fabrics you had your eye on” Jacob replied as he put on his gloves and apron as he looked at the roaring furnace.
"Well," said Ardon, pausing to fan the flames with his wings, "if we move your bed out into the hall I think I'll have plenty of room," he teased, but smiled at the idea of upgrading his lodgings.
“Cheeky git, come on, help us out with these orders, let’s make a start” Jacob said as he began his word with Ardon helping.
Akeel stopped at the forgery and smiled as he saw their resident blacksmiths.
"Good afternoon, Jacob, Ardon. Hope all is well."
"Things are great, master Akeel," said Ardon, fishing a white-hot piece of metal out of the fire, "been busy."
"Certainly looks like it," noted the purple dragon, seeing their list of orders to complete.
Jacob had finished doing the one job before nodding respectfully at the elder, Akeel always came to check up on them as they were the resident blacksmiths and he always manufactured dragon armour but also created sculptures for the council of elders to decorate Valemier.
“Yes busy orders from traders of the Ashari Kingdom, the ones on the coast, put in some big orders, this will see us through to the next summer market and I can upgrade Ardon’s space” Jacob said to the elder dragon.
“I did see your helper rushing about, after another food wagon I think” Jacob chuckled lightly.
"Ah that they would," smiled Akeem, shaking he head and smiling in amusement. "Well I wish you well on your orders. I'll talk to you soon." He said, dipping his head before moving on.
Jacob said his goodbyes as the man and the dragon cracked on working through their order list, the market indeed was bustling with dragons who were interested in what was on the stalls.
One of those was the senior dragon who worked for the council of elders but had a senior role within the confides of Valemier, Braigg a big dragon, a Hoplite Ram one of the biggest and heaviest flight dragons on the scene, the dragon was observing some of the delicate glass ornaments a trader had brought when he heard a voice behind him,
"Councillor Braigg," greeted Akeel with a dip of his head, "I hope you are well."
Braigg turned his head and bowed before the amethyst dragon.
“Elder Akeel, seems I am not the only one who enjoys the summer markets to our home, there is lots of variety this year, seems our resident blacksmiths and healers are busy in their stalls and workshops” he said to the elder.
"They certainly are," replied Akeel.
"My wings don't take me far these days, which is why I'm so glad I get to sample the world in this fashion every year."
Braigg nodded lightly to the dragons comments, understanding why the elder enjoyed these things so much and was keen to see them, despite his work.
“How are your apprentices doing, I hear you got quite a few this season, the other elders seemed to think you be rushed off your talons” Braigg said, a hint of concern in his voice for the elder, the council of elders had been cautious in how many apprentices Akeel was taking on this season.
"Dear Braigg, I assure you I only take on as much as I can handle. But yes, interest is growing in the ethereal arts. I have one apprentice who I have high hopes for. He's been excelling well with every lesson," he said with a hint of pride in his voice.
"How is that young helper of yours, seen him go rushing by earlier, I thought he was running errands for you until I saw him at the confectionery stall" Braigg lightly chuckled.
"He's doing well. Not a surprise that you spotted him there. He has a bit of a sweet tooth," Akeel chuckled.
Braigg laughed as a human approached and smiled bowing before both of them.
Councillor Braigg, your order will be done by tomorrow, I hang them up for you and thanks for the payment” the small, petite woman said.
Braigg gave a nod “Thank you miss” he said as she went off.
“I had some sculptures and little trinkets made of glass, the trader has a gift and they look beautiful however, my talons are made for battling and ripping into meat and scale, not gentle enough to carry delicate glass sculptures, I admire humans attention to detail in little trinkets like that” Braigg said to the elder, showing Akeel his massive paws.
Akeem chuckled lightly to himself, "power can coexist alongside beauty. You just have to be mindful, Braigg."
The two continued to chat until a messenger called for Braigg to speak with Asifa, he made his polite apology to the elder magic crafter and left to leave Akeel to browse but the dragon wouldn’t be alone for long.
Coming round the corner was a young Glacier blue dragon who was Akeel’s helper, he had been with the old dragon for one season and was assigned with jobs to ease the burdens of the young dragon and to keep his records and other things in order, however he was young and excitable and perhaps went a little too far at times but his intentions were noble.
He came walking through the crowds chewing on a sweet confectionary tube, a blue one with tasty sugared soft centre, the dragon loved human confectionary and was pleased that the one trade cart had come, he also had a bag round his neck which contained hard boiled sweets.
The blue dragon was lost in his own thoughts as he nearly walked into the elder dragon, he was not as tall as the elder yet but was still growing in size, a dragon without wings he was an earth dragon, the work horses of the dragon family.
“Oh, forgive me my elder, I was uuhhh you know lost in my thoughts and chewing on this” he said, smiling sheepishly.
"Found yourself a treat then, have you?" He asked.
Tonris nodded his head lightly, finishing off the whip he been eating.
“Yes elder, got some more to savour, I sorted out your schedules and scroll parchments for your notes, I had some coins going spare so I thought I get these” Tonris said.
"Thank you, Tonris. Glad you've found something to enjoy. You must be enjoying The Market," said Akeel.
Tonris smiled, glad he was found to be useful in being his helper.
“I noticed you scheduled yourself to go into the Valemier training caves 3 times this week my elder, was there a specific reason?” the young dragon asked.
"Just practice for myself, Tonris. I teach but I also need to practice and hone my own skills." Said Akeel
Tonris looked a little confused as he thought what practice could the elder want to do, to the young dragon he was already skilled enough but something clicked.
“Oh!, you going to try your new ability, but forgive me elder isn’t the stuff down there sort of….big?” he queried.
The last time Akeel tried it was pretty hard on the old dragon however his enthusiasm seemed to spur the elder on and he did spin around and hop on his paws when he got excited, seeing progress.
“I umm try to reign in my excitement this time my elder” he sheepishly grinned.
Akeel laughed lightly, "it's alright. Yes. You can't advance if you don't challenge yourself."
Tonris nodded his head lightly.
“I agree my elder but aren’t the stuff down there big and heavy?, books, quills and scrolls are easy, it reminds me of that book I read about the wizard with merlin, the sword in the stone” Tonris said.
The young dragon enjoyed his fantasy scrolls and books, his hold had a collection of fantasy books written by authors from afar and always bought these books along with his sweets.
Akeel smiled and shook his head, Tonris was a dragon with a mind all over the place, "leave the worrying to me."
“Would it be ok if I watched again, elder Akeel?” Tonris asked with a hopeful look on his face.
"Certainly, Tonris. You are always welcome to join me. Just same rules as before, mind yourself and stay out of the way in case things go awry," said the magic crafter.
Tonris nodded his head assertively, pleased the elder gave him permission to witness his attempts.
“Of course elder Akeel, you can rely on me” he said as the two of them walked round the other market stalls the rest of the afternoon.
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Unread Oct 16th, 2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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Akeel enjoyed the atmosphere of the market and savored the fact that it would run until the first weeks of September. Afterwards the space would be converted into a communal area where warm food would be doled out to help inhabitants against the increasingly cold winters. The great fireplaces that bordered the lava dome would be lit, creating a pleasant glow that would warm the large room. Last year humans had even brought in mulled cider that had lent the space a beautifully spiced smell, trading the sweet drink for food and shelter.

Akeel’s drifted to winter before he passed by a merchant that was trading dried flowers and his mind was brought back to the bounty of summer,“Epiphyllum?” he inquired, looking at an ornate white flower, encased in a glass sphere.

“Sharp eye, sir,” said the human merchant, a woman with dark blonde hair and a small boy that stood shyly behind her.

“I’ll take it,” he said, gently handing her a few coins. The woman thanked him and wrapped the delicate sphere in a scrap of old cloth, her small child watching with interest.

"Enjoy sir," said the woman.

"The flower is said to bring good luck," her boy finally pipped up just as he turned to leave.

Akeel turned his amethyst eyes to him and smiled, "What good news. I could use all the luck I can get." he said with a smile before carrying on his way.

Akeel ended up splurging on a few other things, new parchment and a special ink in a deep cobalt blue that was contained in a blown glass inkwell. The merchant had said it was made in the neighbouring Fellwren territories, which suited Akeel just fine. He also topped up his supply of black ink, choosing the higher quality variety for its longevity on parchment.
The purple dragon was constantly taking notes, writing his experiences with magic training, cancelling out what did and didn’t work. His study was filled with pieces of parchment with his small, curved text.
His last purchase was a baked pastry filled with some sort of summer berry that he couldn’t pass up. The smell had been too enticing. The baker had come from the southern territories and had a portable oven made that could be hitched up to his familiar, a spine-back dragon that dozed beside the warmth of it.
They came every year and were a favourite of the locals so Akeel decided it wouldn’t be bad to indulge.

He ventured back up, through wide spiraling staircases carved into the stone. The gaps, cracks and holes created in the igneous rock had been filled with a special past, coloured with crushed minerals. When it cured it left an opal-like shine that filled the imperfections, turning the carved surfaces into works of art.

Akeel made it up to his chambers, a wide set of rooms that were separated into his study and library, sleeping chamber and a room made for magic practice. Being an elder and a master of magic certainly had it’s benefits. He did not hoard this space and keep it for himself, however. The dragon loved to teach, opening up his library for anyone who wanted to look for a particular scroll to read and his practice room was set-aside for his students as well.

Akeel set his purchases on his desk and gently unfolded the cloth that protected them. He smiled as he took out the glass sphere with the dried flower inside. He closed his eyes for a moment, sitting back on his haunches with the trinket sitting in his upward facing palm.

A trickling stream of shimmering light surrounded the orb, twinkling with a silvery glow. He opened his eyes and moved his other paw around the item and the magic circled it before shifting through the glass itself. Inside the flower seemed to bloom, renewed.
Akeel smiled and put the sparkling trinket on the shelf beside a few old books. It shimmered lightly, the glow dancing playfully inside the glass.

“Lovely,” he said to himself before turning back to his desk and putting away his new ink into the sliding drawers.
He saw that Tonris had been true to his word and had indeed organized his things, all his unused parchment had been sorted and stacked at the end of his desk and the large piece of paper that held his months schedule for teaching was marked with the blue dragon’s wispy scrawling.
The young dragon was a good drake, albeit his attention was all over the place at times. Excitable yet passionate, Akeel had taken him on as an assistant to help him with the daily tasks that he struggled to find the time for every now and then.
He had been a great help and in return the magic crafter began teaching him as well.

Akeel made himself a large cup of green tea, another human offering. Using magic he boiled the water over the fireplace and let the leaves steep in the pot before he took it out to his stone balcony. He looked out over the town below, still alive with activity. It was late in the evening but in the midst of summer, the sky was still bright.
Dragons flew to and from the grand volcano home, some with humans on their backs.
He marveled at the world in which they lived, happy for the unity he was able to witness daily, and sipped his tea.
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Unread Oct 16th, 2017, 01:23 PM   #4
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Braigg made his way to a large male room in which there was a giant sculptured map elevated upon sparkling stone of granite, it was a lavish room with the walls containing some sparkling gems, although not worth allot it was ascetically pleasing for the dragons of Valemier.
In here is where the dragons kept their eye on the seven kingdoms and with the network of messenger dragons they could keep an eye on the politics and demographics of the human kingdoms without taking sides.
A messenger dragon approached Braigg, bowing low before the dragon he spoke about the news from the kingdoms and Braigg looked at the map before them, it was indeed detailed and contained the boundaries of the kingdom’s territories as well as the hills and mountains, rivers and other features.
A large dragon with a long muzzle and dual spined sails that started at the top of his head and ran down to his tail walked into the room.
"Councillor Braigg," nodded the dragon, Dantos, a Valemierian skilled strategist and defence coordinator, "any news from the seven kingdoms? I am hoping to be notified should any issues arise."
Braigg bowed his head in respect to the elder dragon council member.
“I have just had word in from our messengers myself, there was no major news to report until one of our other messengers reported news from the Kingdom of Azure, I was about to fetch you Dantos” Braigg said.
"Oh? What's going on?" Inquired the green dragon
“King Leonitis has died, there seems to be a power struggle within the family, with each of the siblings looking for allies to help win the throne from the other, from what I understand the next in line, Malcolm is a timid and nervous leader, but his other 3 siblings are not” Braigg said.
Dantos considered this was a pensive frown. The mottled black markings on his hide gave him a fierce look.
"Hasn't it always gone through birth right? From eldest down? Why the issue now? Simply the other siblings not thinking Malcolm is suitable?"
“I am not sure, usually that is the case but obviously the siblings want power and have their loyal followers, concerning is the Kingdom of Merchook seems to have an interest in the kingdom, as far as threat to us, very little as we are nowhere near them, they are the other side of the landmass” Braigg pointed out on the map.
"Ah yes. Great swaths of land between Valemier and Merchook but we still should keep a close eye on any shift of power," said Dantos.
Braigg nodded lightly at Dantos suggestion.
“I agree, I have dispatched messengers to keep us up to date, they will let you know first my elder, apart from the market stall there is no major issues to concern us and the market has been a big success once more” Braigg told the dragon.
"Yes, I'm glad we integrated it. Seems to being more unity to the surrounding villages," nodded the green dragon.
Braigg agreed, it had been benefical to the dragons, allowing the dragons to earn coins that could be spent when the traders arrived but that was then paid back to them to buy the goods.
“Our resident blacksmith still keeps paying us coin for rent while he is here, I do tell him he does allot for us and we do not require coin, but he is a man of morals” Braigg said to Dantos.
The dragons continued to discuss a number of things as Dantos liked being kept updated on all activity in the world of Valemier.

As the night drew in and the sun set the camps were alive with talk and music as traders set up camp fires, talking about their profits for the day and music was played as everyone settled down for the night, for tomorrow was a new day.
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Unread Oct 17th, 2017, 09:06 AM   #5
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Ove the next few days Akeel conducted his lessons, practicing in his own time between his classes.
Today he stood at the front of the wide room he reserved for these lessons. It was wide, bright and lit with lanterns of his own creation. Scrolls on his own writing sat neatly in shelves, his lesson plans and instruction for his students.
“You have to feel it come from your center,” explained Akeel, pacing in front of his small class of six, “Magic is created from the core of your being. You have to feel it and want it and you can call it forth.”
He paused and lifted his head, drawing in a deep breath, “Breathe in, focus on what you want the magic to do.”
His class consisted of all dragons. Two mountain dragons, a light teal female and a red male, two Greylings from the northern forests, a Brindleback and a Spine-Back from the plains. They all seemed like attentive learners, though the Spine-Back was prone to wanting to try things before he was ready.
Ucluelet, the young teal dragoness was probably his most focused learner of the group. She was bright and took notes in tiny, neat script.
“Now,” said Akeel, “I want you all to give this a try. A simpler task, take an object, maybe your quill, perhaps, and think of your favourite colour. Picture it in your mind’s eye with all your focus. It’s easier if it’s your favourite as you have a greater connection to the colour. Once you have it in mind, will your quill-“ he paused, chuckling at the rhyme and his students smiled, “-will it to be that colour. Paw out and over the object, direct your magic. It needs to know where you want it to go.”
He held up his favourite peacock quill and at once the feather turned shocking shades of canary yellow. The students gasped at the brilliant colour. Akeel recalled the gold colour, returning the quill to its original hues.
“Give it a try,” he encouraged his class.
With a small smile he supervised his students while he watched their attempts. This was one of the first things he had learned to do himself, back when he was only a yearling. It was a little hokey, but the young dragons had to begin somewhere, with something easy. Picking one’s favourite colour was fairly an easy thing to focus on, so in turn it became their first lesson.
To his pride, the magic crafter saw various shades of colour beginning to pop up throughout the class.
Ucluelet, by far, had the greatest success, half her feathered quill was a brilliant fuchsia. Akeel noted a sapphire blue and fire orange from the Mountain dragons and a few shades of green. The colour wasn’t complete up the whole quill but they were seeing success in small doses and that suited the magic crafter just fine.
“Well done everyone. The colour fades with time but soon enough, and with enough practice, you’ll be able to change the colour more permanently.”
“When will we learn to levitate things, like you Elder Akeel?” asked the Brindleback.
“That one is a long ways off, Garavan. Give yourself time. You have to start small. No great warrior fells an army with his first battle and no grand healer cures disease before learning to mend a scratch.”
“Can we see you do it again?” asked the Spine-back with an excited grin.
“Please?” added one of the mountain dragons.
For a moment it looked like Akeel was going to deny the request and the dragon’s face fell. Suddenly the room was alight with a soft purple sparkling glow as their paper and quills rose above their heads, dancing around.
The group cheered and laughed before the items were returned to their owners.
“One day, my class,” he said with a smile, “You are dismissed, enjoy the rest of your day and don’t forget to-“
“Practice, practice, practice!” his students finished off.
With that the students gathered their things and filed out of the room, leaving Akeel to the empty space. He was about to leave himself when he paused, seeing one of the tables had been moved out of line from the others.
“Hmm,” said the elder, looking at it. He drew a breath and held up a paw. Light surrounded the table faintly. He pulled his paw closer to his chest and the table shifted across the stone floor with a groan, falling into line with the others.
The purple dragons smiled to himself. The faint, sparkling light then danced around all four tables. He drew another breath, trying to focus. Lifting his paw again he held it out, palm facing outward towards them.
He let the breath out his nose as he willed the tables to be pushed against the far wall. They all shifted out of unison, wobbling helter-skelter towards the wall. Akeel frowned and straightened them out again, slowly and one at a time.
“Alright,” he said to himself. He focused again, letting the light surround them. His talons splayed out on his paw as he willed all the tables to move in order this time.
For a moment, nothing happened, the light just shimmered with a little more intensity before, to his delight all the tables began to move at once, orderly and in unison. He reined in his focus, not letting that joy make him lose track. The legs screeched against the floor but the solid thunk of them tapping the far wall was music to his ears.
“Aha!” he said to himself, pleased as he released his magic. He didn’t realize he had been tensing his shoulders the whole time and now shook out his wings to release that tension. With a flick of his tail to mark his pride, the elder walked out of the classroom, set to go down to the markets to reward himself.
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Unread Oct 17th, 2017, 03:27 PM   #6
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Outside in the market stalls, most of the traders were gearing up for 2 days of trading before they packed up and ended for the summer, it had been busier than usual with many more traders and people as well as dragons coming to buy goods and other little trinkets.
On one stand was the resident scientist, healer and potion creator in her stall, that was full of potions and tonics, Melinda was Valemier’s healer, she worked with the main dragon healer to enhance dragon medicine to treat ailments and to prevent infections, the woman was a bit of an eccentric chemist as well, experimenting with different compounds and seeing what could be produced.
Melinda was studying some chemicals she had made up and was looking to see their reaction under candle flame as her young apprentice and helper, Zyra, a young woman with bright, short white hair and yellow eyes put a new batch of potions on display in her stall.
She hummed to herself as she mixed a cream for warding off infections before carefully putting it into glass jars.
"Batch 3 is done," she declared.
Melinda looked up from her work and smiled, seeing the young woman before her had created another batch for sale.
"Why thank you Zyra, that can be the last batch to sell then we can close up the stall for the summer" Melinda replied.
"You sure?" Asked Zyra, pulling back a strand of white hair behind her ear, "I was thinking of whipping up a quick anti-inflammatory, they always are popular."
Melinda wrote something on some parchment neatly before replying to the young lady.
"Yes, yes you go do that Zyra, you sure you shouldn’t be with the young ones by the drinks stall" she chuckled lightly, remembering her youthful time, but the woman now at 30 was wanting to discover more and pursue her scientific interests.
"Young ones? I'm not far behind you!" Chuckled the girl.
Melinda laughed loudly.
“I’m 30 you cheeky mare, you’re only a baby at 21!” she said with a big smile on her face.
Zyra laughed, "fine, fine. I'll get this done quickly and you and I can both go enjoy the rest of the market," bargained the girl.
Melinda smiled lightly at the girls comments, she was indeed a bright spark and had a wonderful beauty to her, Melinda was pleased this young woman had found her those years ago to pursue her hobbies.
“What about you know, pulling that fine young man who looks after the stables, you had an eye on him Zy” she giggled teasing.
Zyra raised her eyebrow and gave a knowing smirk, saying nothing as she went back to her work, smiling to herself.
Melinda shook her head as she carried on with her until another familiar voice disturbed her, but she smiled to herself.
Jacob and Ardon had finished their work orders and were now wandering round the stalls, looking to spend some of their coins for treats for themselves.
"Anything catch your eye at the market today, gentlemen?" Asked Zyra, putting out he last of their remedies
"The food mostly," joked Ardon with a smile.
Jacob chuckled as he lit his pipe, the man savouring the flavour of the rich tobacco, he had not been able to smoke his pipe as he been busy with Ardon getting the orders done before the buyers left for their kingdoms.
“Might get something for my back, it is a little sore after working on the orders, plus something to bring the shine back in his scales for the trouble maker here” Jacob said with a chuckle.
Melinda approached and came by Zyra’s side as the residents had a talk at the stall, Melinda liked Jacob, he was a down to hearth honest man, though she did wish he kick the smoking habit in.
"Beeswax with rosemary and mint for the scales for sure," said Zyra, putting down a small tin on the counter. "As for back pain I would suggest this, wouldn't you say Melinda?" She said, holding up a glass jar.
Melinda nodded, “Yes I would made by our young chemist and potion master here, apply onto the sore muscles after a hot bath and it will work wonders” Melinda said.
"Anything to cure the mess he calls a beard or perhaps something to quell his smoking habit," snickered Ardon. "A dragon should be the only one who smokes." He laughed, letting tendrils of smoke curl up from his jaws.
Melinda laughed as Jacob shook his head with the pipe in his mouth.
“Perhaps some tape for his muzzle if you got it as well, cheeky dragon, why I allow him to stay with me I do not know” Jacob said as the girls laughed.
"Cause having a dragon hang around has you done a world of good." Snickered Ardon.
"No tape here but Sylvia four stalls down might have some good rope," laughed Zyra, petting the gold's nose. "By the sounds of all that hammering n such you have been busy lately." She said to the both of them.
Jacob nodded to the young girl’s comments.
“Aye, had some big orders from customers from the Ashari Kingdom to the west, the had big orders so me and Ardon been busy the last couple of days, it was intense work but it paid well, will mean golden boy gets some new fabrics and I can expand his room as he is expanding” Jacob patted the dragons side and laughed.
"Sounds fancy. Working your way up to royalty hm?" Asked Zyra.
"Soon enough," laughed Ardon.
“Anyways, how much do you want for these potions and scale polish” Jacob asked Zyra as Melinda wrote in her inventory book.
"For you? Four bronze." Zyra said, giving them a discount.
“I think that is fair” Melinda said as Jacob coughed up the coins, as he took the items and smiled at the two ladies.
“Thank you, keep the change and see you later, we got to have Ardon choose the fabrics for his bed, now that wont cost 4 bronze” he laughed lightly.
"Good luck," smiled Zyra. "Ardon be sure to turn up that charm and maybe you won't bankrupt your friend"
Jack laughed as the two of them wandered out to the fabric stalls down the far end as Melinda shook her head lightly.
“Those two, ah well, we best sell these batches and then we can call it a day, now you watch the front of the stall, I get back to my chemistry set” Melinda said as she left Zyra to man the front of the stall.

Meanwhile the young dragon had decided to study the books Akeel had given him, he had wanted to see the elder use his magic to move objects but he was coming down from a sugar after eating so many sweets and was now snoozing as the sun had left the sky.
Akeel walked into his study and set his magic to brighten the lanterns. As he did so he spotted Tonris snoozing over a book. The purple dragon shook his head and smiled.
"This is called a study, Tonris, your quarters are down the hall if you need a nap," he joked lightly, using his magic to slid the book out from under Tonris' chin.
Tonris stirred awake, yawning, displaying his pearly white teeth before looking up at the elder before him.
“Wha…Oh I am sorry my elder, I just nodded off, oh no I missed your magic lesson with the moving of objects, drats” he said shaking his head.
"Colour changing today, Tonris. Don't worry. We will be continuing it next week," replied the magic crafter.
Tonris nodded lightly, the young dragon had magic potential but it was basic compared to others.
“Thank you Elder Akeel, I tidied up here before you know, the snoozing, but do call upon me for your big test, be exciting to see” the dragon said as his voice raised a little in excitement and eager anticipation.
"Yes, yes. I won't forget to call for you. I still have a ways to go yet," said the elder. "So tell me, which of my books caught your interest today?"
Tonris smiled sheepishly and handfed the book over.
“The tales of the dragon council, the first one where the dragons of the world met when man first appeared” Tonris explained.
"Ah a good one. Written by Halakir Dovin. You should be taking lessons with Kava if history interests you," said the elder.
Tonris smiled, “I just like that book, sort of the start of the world we know and the birth of the seven kingdoms, it is a good book elder, will you need me any further this evening?” Tonris asked.
"I don't think so, Tonris. You have been a great help today." Replied Akeel.
Tonris smiled bowing slightly.
“Thank, I bid you a good night elder Akeel” Tonris said before heading off to his quarters, he looked in his bag and saw he had one hard boiled sweet left.
“Yes!” he said putting it in his mouth savouring the flavour before heading to his quarters to sleep.
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Unread Oct 18th, 2017, 02:55 PM   #7
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Zyra helped Melinda packed away their stall’s item’s, packing everything away into a big wooden chest lined with straw and cloth to protect the glass jars from being jostled together. She was very careful, each item was another few coins for their stash and the market was key for their savings.
Zyra added a few last things to their inventory log, jotting down the last few purchases made after Jacob and Ardon left. She also added notes indicated they traded a cold remedy and a soothing lotion in exchange for a few more bottles for future distribution.

“There,” said Zyra, closing the leather bound book, “That’s done.”
The went to dust the shelves and ensure that they were clean when she heard Melinda approach.
"Hey you, what did I tell you earlier, shoo, go socialize Zyra, go on, mingle I tidy up" Melinda said taking the brush and shooing her away with the brush.
“Hey!” said the girl, skipping out of reach of the broom. “I didn’t know you wanted to get rid of me so badly.” She laughed.
Melinda smiled, "I want you to enjoy yourself, once I am done here I come join you, as a deal," she said.
“Deal it is,” agreed Zyra, putting down her rag. She grabbed her coat and cowl, putting it on to cover her dress and tied it up about her waist. “I’ll meet you at Tava’s.” she said before walking around their counter and out into the market.

Not every stall had closed yet. She stopped by the one two rows down, the smell of it had been driving her mad all day.
“One of the rolls please,” she said, eyeing the last one on the shelf. Spiced pork that was ground and cooked crispy before being wrapped and baked in a sweet dough. The smell of it was enticing enough and she eagerly handed over a small, copper coin in exchange.
“Thank you!”

Dinner is done, she thought to herself as she bit into it. She wandered through the rest of the market, saying hello to the other vendors as they packed up for the night. Finally she came to the far end of the lava dome where a gathering place had been founded years ago. A giant red cedar tree had been felled in the valley below, cut down and turned into a long bar table. Behind it worked an older blonde woman and her dragon familiar, a cinder nymph, a bright red dragon with attitude.

Zyra sat at the makeshift bar on one of the stools. This wasn’t really her crowd but she liked coming here, even just to people watch. Humans and dragons came from all over and to hear news of distant lands was always a topic of gossip. This was no classroom but the girl felt she learnt a lot over the years, sneaking in bits of conversation here and there.
Zyra turned her eyes to the other people, hearing snippets of their conversation. Something caught her attention and she leaned a bit to hear their conversation over the murmur of everyone else speaking.
A dragon, thin and built like a greyhound but about the size of a horse was talking. He wore a white sash, synched to his chest by a bronze broach bearing the insignia of the messenger service that worked between the kingdoms. He wore a dusty grey harness that contained a number of pouches that would carry mail, scrolls and a number of other things that he carted to and from different lands for a small fee.

“Now that the blue king has passed…” she heard him say.
“Did you say the Leonitis passed?” she asked, surprised to hear.
The messenger turned to her and nodded and then Zyra remembered his breed, a Sirocco, named for the type of wind they depended on for long distance travel.
“Yes. He passed a few weeks ago, Word on the wind is that there’s now a power struggle within the line of succession. Should be interesting.”
“Interesting indeed,” scoffed a man, “More like a recipe for disaster.”
“Why so?” inquired Zyra.
“Because, the Merchook kingdom and her king has had its eye on Azure lands for generations now,” a brindle back said.
“Kingdom Azure had some of the most productive lands on the west side of the river. It had always done well and now there’s news that its springs are hiding away riches of gold and silver in the rocks,” added the blond haired woman who served everyone.

“So what do you think will happen?” asked Zyra, getting into the bar side gossip.
The brindle back snorted and exchanged a look with the man.
“Stars know, young lady. All I can say is that if I was a betting dragon I would put my money on some trouble going down before a successor is picked.” Said the brindle back.
“Oh,” hummed Zyra but she heard the clicking of shoes and turned to see Melinda coming towards her. She waved the woman over and motioned for her to sit beside her, “News out of Azure,” she said, before explaining what she’d heard.
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Unread Oct 19th, 2017, 02:38 PM   #8
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Melinda came across after closing up the stall and smiled sitting with the young woman who had called her over, Zyra explained about what was happening and the power struggle going ot happen within the kingdom of Merchook.
“Ah politics, not my favourite past time, they always been somewhat militant in their approach, it was only the king who introduced more liberal ideologies” Melinda said as the server got her some wine.
"Have you ever been?" Asked Zyra, "to either of the kingdoms?"
Melinda shook her head lightly.
“No, can’t say I have, not been a place I would go either, just a shame a reformist has died and now his children are plotting and planning behind closed doors for the crown” she replied.
"Maybe it will turn out okay," said Zyra optimistically, looking down the table at the array of individuals that gathered. "You never know what could happen."
Melinda agreed with the white haired woman and she took another sip of her wine.
“So, you haven’t found a handsome young man that takes your fancy?” she teased nudging her lightly
"No, I have not," replied Zyra in a mock firm tone, sipping her drink.
Melinda laughed lightly, shaking her head.
“I do worry you hanging round with me is making you not get yourself a guy with lots of coin, rather than hang with a mad potion brewer” Melinda said.
"I'm not about the riches, Mel" said Zyra, "we've been friends long enough that you should know that by now. When the right one comes along, I'll know.... I think”.
Melinda smiled, knowing the young girl had a good heart and noble intentions.
“Well, I best buy you another drink, we had a good summer market, it’s the last day tomorrow so we can see what we can sell” Melinda said ordering Zyra another drink.
"Thanks, Melinda. We did have a good summer. I'm glad it's gone well. It's good feeling productive and knowing that we've helped a lot of individuals." Replied Zyra.
“Well then, a toast to another fruitful year and hope for another good summer” Melinda held up her glass to Zyra’s as they both clinked to toast the success.
Over the other side of the bar there seemed to be some ruckus between the bar stall tender and a trader, the man appeared to be offering payment for his drink but the bar man refused to accept the coin, telling him it was fake.
The man went off in a huff as Melinda heard the commotion.
“What was that all about?” she asked the barman.
“guy tried to pay for his drink in forged coin, I can spot a fake, granted they were good but still fake” the man said.
“Oh dear, I wonder how on earth he came upon a few fake coins” Melinda hummed.
“More than a sack full of coins, he looked a wealthy merchant but seems he’s been hustled to me” the barman shrugged as he went to serve another set of customers.
The two girls would soon have their answer, just then a small wraith came sauntering down the table towards the women.
"Ladies," he grinned slyly, "how are we this evening?"
"And you are?" Asked Zyra with a confused look.
"Pardon me, where are my manners. My name is Veyron and my assistant over there is Marcus," he said, gesturing to the man down the table.
Melinda looked and saw the man sitting down with a pouch of coins, she seemed a little unsure about this person.
“He is your assistant? I think you two might be trouble” Melinda said to the small dragon before her.
"Trouble? Nah?" Said Veyron, "what makes you say that?" He asked Melinda.
Melinda smiled lightly.
“I always got a good feeling about knowing someone and I think you two are trouble, not the best place considering we are in Valemier” Melinda said with a knowing smirk on her face to the wraith.
"Not the best please for little ok' me?" He asked, walking up closer to Melinda.
“Depends what you are after, what stall have you got here in the market?” Melinda asked.
"We haven't got a stall per se. We just like to come to the market for all the ... interesting wares." Replied the wraith. "What do you two gals do here? You seem familiar..."
Melinda smiled finishing her glass of wine.
“We are the potion brewers and healers of Valemier, we are permanent residents here along with our metal worker and blacksmith Jacob and his dragon, the honoured few who stay within the volcano grounds” Melinda said with a hint of pride in her voice.
"Ah, that's why I thought you looked familiar. We've likely seen you round before," the wrath replied.
"Do you live in Dragon's Ward?" Asked Zyra, mentioned in the closest town.
"Kinda," was veyrons evasive reply.
Melinda was sure this dragon was up to something but couldn’t think what, as Marcus walked over with a smile, short cut hair and blue eyes, Melinda felt a bit off by the man.
“Ah, Veyron, you did not tell me you were in the company of beautiful ladies” Marcus said flashing a grin.
“Counting your coins were you?, odd how you have allot of coin but no stall, you don’t look like traders” Melinda said.
Veyron jumped onto the man’s shoulders. "We don’t exactly trad goods more like...." he trailed off, knowing Marcus would have the answer that would lessen her suspicion.
“We offer business services to other traders, selling on behalf of others and ensuring both parties are happy..for a small fee” Marcus said with a smile.
Melinda smiled back, just to keep up the façade of being polite.
“I’m sure your good at your jobs, I imagine you had an investment go well or your services were fruitful” she asked.
"You could say that," Veyron said, grinning at Marcus. He gave him a look to see if he thought he should try his newest trick with these woman and get them a few coins.
Marcus could see the language from the wraith but knew better, the girls seemed switched on, the could not risk being exposed, plus they already had a bountiful day of hustling traders, unawares of their scheming.
“We best be off, the sun is setting and we head to our inn rooms for the night but lovely to meet you ladies” he bowed lightly as he left with the dragon on his shoulders.
"Oh come on, I could've gotten a coin or two out of them," whispered Veyron as they walked away.
Marcus shook his head.
“A good hustler knows when the playing field is not in his favour, she was at the bar when the last guy we spoke to tried to pay for drinks with the coin you switched in his pouches” he said quietly as they walked into the crowds of people.
Veyron snickered to himself, remembering. "So? I could have got her too. I've mastered that slight of hand trick with the cups. She wouldn't have thought it was clever." He insisted.
“Maybe so, but I had a feeling she was switched on, best to keep what we got than get caught by the dragon guards, besides we got more than enough for you to..indulge this evening on mead, wine and lavish foods” Marcus said.
The wraith grinned, "don't make it sound like it's only me who likes to indulge."
The man laughed lightly.
“I do enjoy the odd tipple and occasional lavish in luxury, you got to make a living in this small world and I think we did well, most profitable dragon, I should of met up with you a long time ago” Marcus said with a smile.
"Glad the fates decided to let us stumble across each others paths. We've made a good team, you and I," agreed the wraith. It had proven to be a good partnership, if dishonest at times. They benefited each other which seemed to suit them fine.
“Ok then, lets head back and splash out” Marcus said as they made their way on foot to the village, to the inn they were staying,
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Unread Oct 20th, 2017, 10:34 AM   #9
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As Akeel entered the dark room he sent out a stream of magic, pale pink, and it burst into 7 points, each finding an unlit lantern. Suddenly the room was cast in a soft, rose light.
The magic crafter had been down here frequently over the past few weeks. He had increased his practicing, trying to hone his newly developed skills. His understanding of the new concept was growing quickly and his ability followed.
The practice room was large and domelike. Eons ago someone had etched runes and ancient scripts into the smoothed stone.

Apart from a small shelf that contained a number of small objects and a large stone plinth there was little in the room, giving the user maximum space and very little to accidently destroy should something go amiss.
Akeel had gotten Braigg to bring down the large marble plinth for his use a few seasons ago. He had not made use of it yet but today… perhaps.

Akeel walked a circle around the room, drawing in his focus with every breath. After a moment he paused, closing his eyes and calling upon the magic within him. A shimmering light appeared before him and he sent it towards the shelf. The glittering glow surrounded a number of the objects: empty ink wells, writing instruments, baubles and such took on a purple aura.
He willed them to rise off the shelf and that they did. They fell into an orderly line, rising and falling with the rhythm of his magic as they neared the dragon. He called upon a few more things, a glass paperweight, a piece of pyrite and a small box. This rose to meet up with the others. He made them move in sequence, letting them hover high above his head.

Akeel continued his practice, letting the smaller object fly about the room. He had gotten quite accurate and precise with smaller object. The lighter they were the easier it was to move in intricate ways. He instructed his magic, pulling them to and fro, sending them moving in repeating patterns. He smiled to himself. This much had gotten easy and he was quite pleased by his progress.

"Sorry I'm late elder Akeel I hope I haven't missed anything," Tonris said bounding over to where Akeel was practicing and panted lightly.
The plum coloured dragon didn’t turn to the blue dragon, keeping his focus locked on the objects that floated above them.
"You haven't young Tonris," replied the magic crafter, “I've only just begun."
There was a pause in his words as four large books rose, shuffling levels on the oak shelf on the left side of the room.
Akeel used his magic to open one of the books and took a quill from the rotating pattering that circled above.
Using his magic he scrawled his name, although a little sloppily using magic alone.
“Hah!” he cried in delight, now that was something, he thought. Think of the potential uses.

"Oh...umm you trying that massive rock there again?" He asked, pointing to the plinth.
"It’s a plinth, Tonris, not a rock. Carved to be a base of a column, like you see in many human structures. Large ones anyway. In time I will," Akeel replied, replacing the book back to the shelf, “You must start small. Jumping right into the bigger things will only be met in failure.”
"That is a big challenge to take on my elder, you sure you up to try? Not meaning to offend " Tonris said.
The magic crafter paused, turning his purple eyes to the blue dragon.
"Did you come to watch or doubt?" was the magic crafter's reply, making a few small items circle around Tonris' head.
Tonris shook his head, "No my elder I do not doubt, I am here to watch and encourage.... I always cheer you on," Tonris said with a grin as the objects were recalled back to the master.
“Good, good. Now stand back, as usual. I don’t want anything to go amiss.”
Akeel heard the blue dragon sit down at the entrance to the practice chamber.
With a wave of his hand the items that hovered in the air returned back in orderly fashion to the shelves from which they came. The glittering light vanished from around them as the magic dissipated.
Next Akeel drew his attention to a wooden chair, one used by a human scribe named Dalarus who he often asked to write notes for him while he worked with his magic. The chair made an unpleasant screech as it dragged across the floor before lifting up into the air. Tonris watched carefully, watching the elder attempt this task.
“Success,” said Akeel, making it slowly rotate counter clockwise before setting it down again.

The magic crafter moved on to a few larger items, the desk and the shelf that contained all the smaller objects. Manipulating these took a little more time. Akeel would pause between each item and regain his focus. Calling upon magic was mentally exhausting. One couldn’t let their mind wander or else they be distracted from their task.
He allowed Tonris to supervise as the dragon was quiet and never said much to distract the teacher.
Finally the elder turned his bright eyes to the marble plinth. He had tried a few weeks back but the task had seemed impossible then. During that time he had even struggled with the chair but he felt like after so much time practicing, he could take a swing at this again.
Akeel paced back and forth in front of the marble, regarding it and studying the shape. After a moment the elder stopped and sat in front of it.
The dragon closed his eyes and rose to his haunches, seated with his forepaws up in the air, palms turned up.
This posture seemed best for drawing upon magic with the most focus. When one got more comfortable they could call upon the shimmering light while walking, talking or doing pretty much anything else. This task was monumental, however and so the elder chose this way to begin.
The shimmering light encircled his talons before reaching out to the plinth, surrounding it in a pale aura.
For what seemed like a long time the stone did nothing and it seemed like the magic crafter was frozen in time, if not for the subtle changes in his expression as he focused in on what he wanted the magic to go.

He repeated it over and over in his mind, willing the stone to become as light as a feather.
The elder was frowning, drawing up as much magic as he could manage before trying to lift the massive stone. It was half his size but weighed over twice as much.
Slowly the lanterns got brighter the more the magic crafter worked, feeding off his effort.
The runes slowly began to glow in the faint purple light; the magic etching it’s way through the script like amethyst crystal.
Now it seemed like the plinth seemed to shake, almost vibrate at the magic surrounded it, trying to lift it off the ground. The faint veins of ivory in the pale marble seemed to shimmer with a lilac light.
The sharp rattle of stone on the ground seemed to speed up as Akeel called upon more of his magic, trying to will it into existence it seemed, frowning in his determined focus.
Tonris kept his talons crossed as the elder tried.
The plinth then skittered slightly to the left, just barely leaving the floor before settling back down with a solid thunk.
Akeel looked determined, the focus never leaving his expression. The light surrounding the plinth glowed brighter and it began to wobble and rise ever so slowly off the ground.
“That’s it,” the elder whispered, his words almost sounding forced.
The stone lifted painfully slow but it was indeed rising into the air. After if lifted a few feet the elder seemed to loose grip on his magic and it dipped low.
Springing to his feet with agility that normally eluded the old dragon, light suddenly surrounded him as well. The room was suddenly bright, almost too bright as he forced all the magic he could muster into lifting the plinth. It rose higher than his head and there he held it for a moment, trying to get it to rotate like he did the chair.
It slowly began to turn but then stopped and began to wobble in the air.
Akeel flared his wings and held out with paws, forcing the stone to settle slowly, lowering it back onto the ground.
It finally met the floor with a soft thud and the elder let out a breath he had been holding.
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Unread Oct 20th, 2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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Tonris had sat quietly and did not disturb the elder with his trial, he simply watched and kept his talons crossed that the elder could muster his power to do this, indeed his unfaltering faith in the elder proved right as after some tense moments the elder dragon had lifted the slab up and only failed in turning it around.
Tonris remembered Akeels first attempt and it showed how much the magic he welded had grown stronger along with Akeel himself in sustaining the effort.
Once the slab was down and the practice complete did Tonris get up off his haunches and bow respectfully before the purple dragon.
“That was amazing my elder, you have grown stronger and this is a big step forward” he said, voice excited and enthusiastic.
"Yes," said the dragon in a tired voice. "See where a lot of dedicated practice can get you."
Tonris nodded his head quickly.
“Of course, I knew you could do it and know now this has been done you look to go up again for the next challenge, I am honoured you invite me to watch such amazing magic and power” Tonris said tail swishing from side to side in excitement.
Akeel chuckled. "Well thank you for joining me on my small achievements. It's nice knowing someone appreciates the magic of... well magic."
Tonris grinned.
“The honour is mine, please tell me when your ready to do another test, I eagerly await to see, also I don’t have that sort of magic within me” the young dragon said.
"Everyone does," said Akeel. "Some just have to work harder to find it."
Tonris seemed to take his words to heart and smiled at the purple dragon before him, pleased that Akeel had belief in him despite his own limited magic powers.
“Is there any tasks or chores you require of me today my elder?” the young dragon asked Akeel.
"If you have a free moment, please find one of the messengers headed out today and give them this," said Akeel, using his magic to pass over a scroll. "It's going to Halapae, in the Tōva kingdom. It's a new book order"
Tonris took the scroll gently in his paws, in a little awe at the way it was delivered to him as the dragon, he bowed low and then lumbered off to the messenger’s area which he would pass the scroll onto for the elder.
Akeel chuckled and shook his head, glad someone was excited over such a mundane task.

There was a shuffling of scales as Asifa made her way down to the quarters of Jacob and Ardon. She had been meaning to pay them a visit for some time now.
She knocked on the wood door and waited.
Soon the door unlocked and Jacob answered, looking up to see the grand elder before him, the man bowed respectfully to the dragoness.
“Grand elder Asifa, this is indeed a pleasant surprise, I hope my banging and sawing hasn’t kept you up” he said, inviting her into their home.
"No, no, not at all," said the white scaled dragoness. Her eyes were beginning to gloss over with age but she was still sharp, even as her body was beginning to fail her, "I just wanted to extend my thanks to you and Ardon. Since you both have become permanent members of Valemier I have heard nothing but good things from others that call this place home. You have brought us a great deal of trade interest and we're really making a name for ourselves in the smithing world solely on your names alone. As a show of gratitude, I would like to cancel the rent the council charges you, in exchange for perhaps odd repairs here and there."
Jacob smiled and bowed again, “I am an honest man Grand elder, we made a very good profit in coin, we utilise the resources of the lands under your rule and live under your rules, the rent of coin to you is ensure we are paying our way, as any noble man does” Jacob replied.
"You can still be noble with a little more coin in your pocket," Asifa assured him, "Just a few repairs here and there should Valemier need it sounds like a fair compromise."
Jacob smiled and nodded.
“As you wish Gran elder, I shall be at your service to repair any armour, plating or anything a handyman can do, means I can perhaps upgrade the workshop and expand some knowledge beyond metal and craft work as well” Jacob said to the elder.
Ardon shouted from the adjoining room as he trotted out, joking, "Hey! Takin a break already? Lazy s- oh" he froze, realizing that Asifa was standing in their doorway.
He bowed low, "sorry grand elder Asifa."
The old dragoness smiled kindly, "that's quite alright. I've shown up unannounced."
Jacob turned and chuckled lightly, at Ardon landing himself in it.
“Asifa was saying we are to be rent free, in exchange for fixing the armour in the workshop, I said the remaining funds will upgrade the workshop” Jacob told the golden dragon.
"That is very kind of you, elder Asifa," said the gold dragon with another bow, "We will gladly accept the offer... right?" he said, looking at Jacob.
“Of course we will, we be more than happy to help, plus means more steak for this growing lad here” Jacob said gesturing to the gold who smiled sheepishly as Jacob chuckled lightly as they talked more with the grand elder.
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Unread Oct 21st, 2017, 11:44 AM   #11
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A few days later Zyra was cleaning the infirmary. It was quiet today and the girl had set out to making sure everything was in top order, washing down the tables and floors to ensure a clean surface to patients.

"Hello?" Came a call into the medicine ward. The space was large enough to accommodate the largest of breeds. It was brightly lit with lanterns and fresh air filtered in through narrow carved windows that faced the east half of Valemier. Here Zyra and Melinda worked alongside two healer dragons, a brindleback named Brya and a tempest called Atani.

"Can I help you?" Asked Zyra, coming around from one of the tables, walking up to the dragon that had called. It was a western mountain dragon, a common breed in the area. She was a smaller dragoness, patterned in canary yellow and white. She looked a little irritated but there was worry in her eyes and Zyra approached.

"Yes, is Healer Brya in?" The dragoness asked.

"No, just me today, what is the issue?"

The dragoness huffed. "My mate has gotten himself in a bit of trouble. He didn't go to a healer when it happened and now I think it's gotten worse," replied the dragoness. “He’s injured himself.”

That was rather vague but with the other healers out of the volcano and Melina already on a call it was time for Zyra to put her knowledge to work.
"Let me grab my kit and we'll see if we can figure out what's going on with your mate," she said, hurrying to the back of the room to get her things. When she came back the dragoness was waiting at the entrance. "Could I have your and your mate’s names?" Asked Zyra and she took out her ledger to write down patient information.

"I am Syrena and my mate is Tovar," replied the dragoness, walking quickly through the halls, making Zyra jog to keep up. Writing while running was difficult but the girl was managing.

"Tovar, yes I know of him. Can't say that I've ever had him come up to the infirmary," said Zyra.

"He’s stubborn. Stars love the idiot but he thinks that everything will mend on its own. Won't ask for help. He will give you grief because I brought you but pay him no mind. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He's all bark and no bite."

"Good to know," said Zyra between breaths. "Here we are," said the dragoness at last turning down a hall that opened up into a wide chamber. Tovar was a guardian of Valemier’s only port. He traded off duties with another dragon and was often gone for a month at a time and had acquired a lovely space for him and his family. The rooms were large and spacious, the main living quarters opened up onto a stone lip from which the dragons could see outside and come and go from the air.
Zyra could smell fresh pine needles as she came into the room A fire crackled in a small alcove, warming the room.

"Sy where did you-" said a deep male voice. He paused when he saw Zyra enter the room. "-Sy I said no." He grumbled.
Tovar was a large male, deep chestnut brown with rich teal markings bordered by rings of black. A 12 tined black crest rose up from his head and his talons, sharp and curved were the same obsidian tint. Very regal looking indeed but now he appeared rather displeased that the human had come into his home.

"You need your wound looked at, it's been too long and no it's festering," chided Syrena, "just let her tend to you and you'll get to feeling better."
Zyra stood there awkwardly as the two of them squabbled a moment before Tovar huffed and finally agreed.
"You aren't Melina or the dragons," he said, looking at her with green eyes.
"No, I'm Zyra," said the girl, walking up to him and putting down her bag.
Tovar snorted, "You didn't even get a proper healer, this is her apprentice." He said to Syrena.

The girl was quick to defend herself, "I have been studying for a long while now. I know what I'm doing," she said with more confidence than she really felt.
"See?" retorted Syrena.
"Fine." He grumbled.
"So what are we dealing with today, Tovar?" inquired Zyra, putting on her brave face.
The dragon shifted his body and the soft hide of the inside of his forearm the tawny skin was dark red and angry. There was something imbedded under the skin but it looked like the skin had tried to heal over but was now looking grotesque.
"What happened, sir?" Asked Zyra as she got closer, she could feel the heat radiated off it, a sure sign of infection.
"There was a storm, a bad one a few weeks back at the Ember Port. Two ships were floundering on the rocks along the point. As I was getting one free the other was caught by a wave, swinging their decorative bow point, a damn unicorn of all things, into me. Gored by a bloody ship, in MY shipyard. I thought I got all the wood out, the point had broken off, obviously, but it won't heal."
"I see. Well it looks like there's still something stuck in there and now it's infected." The dragon grumbled as his mate looked on with a worried about expression before leaving the room to go to another.

“Could you lower your head for me please?” asked Zyra.
The dragon did as she asked, and she raised her hands, putting them on points of his face where the scales were thinnest.
“You are a little warm. Getting a little too close to a fever for my comfort,” said the girl, fetching some items out of her bag. “Eat this, it will help with the inflammation and put a stop to the infection.”
Tovar did so as Zyra went to wash her hands, returning to the dragon’s forearm and set to work.
It was a bit of the process and Tovar was no easy patient but Zyra got the remaining dragon sized splinter out and remedied the wound with a salve before wrapping it in cloth.
“There, it should start to heal properly now,” said Zyra, standing up and packing away her things, “Keep it clean and dry. If the bandage needs to be redone come to the infirmary and one of us will rewrap it.
“Thank you very much, Zyra,” said Syrena, looking relieved, having come back from another part of their quarters. “I would have followed him to the afterlife to shout if he let a splinter get him sick enough to join the stars.”
“It was a SPLINTER, Syrena, I wasn’t going to die,” said Tovar, rolling his eyes.
“Your ghost could have come back and told that to your hatchlings on the way,” snorted the yellow dragoness. It was all bickering but Zyra could tell that she was just worried. Tovar looked at his mate with kindness, knowing she only wanted the best for him.
“You have hatchlings?” the girl inquired.
“Nearly. About a month to go before they hatch yet,” said the mother to be. Zyra then recalled Melinda going to a checkup for an expectant mother a while back. This must have been her patient. “Would you like to see?”
“Yes please,” smiled Zyra. She had only ever seen one dragon next before. It was a rare privilege to be allowed so close, even with her own proximity to dragons.
Syrena led the way through the main room to an adjoining one. It was warm, a metal wood stove kept the room at an even temperature. The nest had been made out of a number of soft, discarded fabrics. Tucked away inside were four eggs, pure white with deep blue flecks of colour across them, a typical western mountain dragon clutch. The colours did not indicate the hue of the hatchlings inside but the richness of the colour indicated healthy young.
“Oh they look grand,” cooed Zyra.
“Our first clutch,” said Tovar proudly, limping into the room behind them, “Go on, say hello.”
Zyra smiled and put her hand gently on one of the eggs, feeling Syrena’s protective gaze on her. The shell was smooth and had bright teal speckles all over it, mirroring its sire’s markings.
“Hello little ones,” she smiled, “I can’t wait for you to see Valemier, you’re going to love it.”
The girl stood up and expressed her thanks.
The two dragons saw her out, Syrena grateful for Zyra being able to convince her mate that he needed treatment. As the girl made her way through the halls back up to the infirmary she smiled to herself. Her first truly solo call had gone so well and she couldn’t wait to tell Melinda.
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Unread Oct 21st, 2017, 03:26 PM   #12
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The grand council of Valemier was meeting today in the grand elders chamber, it was eloquently decorated in dragon sculptures and smooth marble floors, lanterns lit up the chamber as the light bounced off the marble floors and ceilings.
In the marble was ancient words from wise dragons long past and honoured the name of all the dragons who stood on the council, along with tapestries of history of the Kingdom of Valemier, today the council was meeting to discuss the number of issues within the kingdom.
Joining them was an elected representative of Valemier cities, a doctor of science and astrology, but the man had a keen eye for figures and dealt with Valemier’s accounts and coin gathering, the man’s name was Dr Julian Baxter.
Attending the council was the grand Elder Asifa, along with the other councillors, Braigg, Akeel, Draco, Dantos and Callisto, along with the representative of the cities of Valemier and head of thje Kingdom of Valemier’s finances Dr Julian Baxter, an elected human by all the Valemier cities which operated mostly semi automatously.
After a slight cough Asifa cleared her throat and flared her tattered wings briefly to address the group.
"Welcome, welcome everyone. Thank you all for coming. Before we begin with proceedings I would like to express my thanks to Doctor Baxter for joining us to represent the collective towns and cities of Valemier," she said.
The man bowed before the grand elder and spoke.
“Thank you for the welcome, I have come with a gift from the cities as a thank you for your continued rule and wise counsel” the man said as some men brought in a grand selection of sparkling rare orbs and crafts from the cities, all in honour of the grand elder.
"Beautiful," smiled Asifa, "We will place your gift where they may benefit all of Valemier and so that all can witness the beauty our territories contain."
Dr Baxter bowed again as the items were moved to one side as the man spoke.
“I Am here to report good fortune from the cities within this grand kingdom, crime in all cities is low, prosperity continues to flourish and the new council in the city of Balacarr has been the first city to build houses for low income families in the city, the collection of coin continues to prosper grand elder, our coffers continue to fill up despite rising expenses” the Doctor said in his report to Asifa.
"This is good news. Valemier seems to be entering a prosperous age. Tell me, has the trade agreement with the ports of Ashari been extended again?" asked Asifa.
Dr Baxter nodded his head.
“Yes Grand elder, we have extended our trading terms, he are also trading freely with the Kingdoms of Tovar and Katamar as well, we are allowing free trade to flourish between our Kingdoms” Dr Baxter said.
“This will improve the movement of goods within the kingdoms, allowing us to explore more markets, allowing more coin to gather” Draco said.
“Are we going to spend coins on improving the infrastructure between cities, we allow them to run on their own but we must look to have a more active role” Braigg said.
"Humans have been talking about the dire state of some of their trade roads," began Asfia.
"But with so much trade happening on Dragon back should we really waste coin on roads?" asked Dantos.
Asifa knew he would much rather allot the money to greater defences but it had to be distributed fairly.
"Roads are integral for the humans to trade larger items or quantities between towns. Their needs must be met as well," said Asifa.
Dr Baxter spoke.
“I have looked at making a national budget for the Kingdom, subject to your approval, the scrolls are here but in a nutshell we can increase spending on infrastructure projects and commit more to please Councillor Dantos for defences” Baxter offered as a compromise.
"That would be beneficial Dr. Baxter. If you would draft up your proposed budget for the council to approve we would be most appreciative." Replied Asifa.
“Of course grand elder, the only news is that the city of Valcorr is to honour you with a massive marble statue in the newly refurbished city centre and they be honoured if you could attend the ceremony of opening the new city centre” Dr Baxter said.
Asifa seemed a bit taken aback. "Stars, a statue of me? I haven't been past the grounds surrounded the volcano in years. My wings will not take me that far I'm afraid."
“Perhaps we could arrange something, Valcorr isn’t too far from us, perhaps we could get a transport on wheels for you my Elder” Braigg suggested.
“I would want Asifas to have full security protection” Draco said looking at Dantos.
"That can be arranged," nodded the green dragon.
"This sounds like it will be an ordeal..." said Asifa, unsure.
“I think it would show the dragons here take an interest in the cities and I think it would boost cities loyalty and we can spin this into making the councils position respected” Dr Baxter added.
Asifa considered this. Dantos seemed to approve as well as the others.
"Well should I turn into a pile of dust along the way so be it. My wings still yearn for exploration like any true dragon, though my bones are weary." She said at last. "I will make the journey."
Dr Baxter smiled.
“You will be honoured and spoilt rotten in the city, plus it will really inspire our scientists and scholars, plus news will travel fast and will spur the humans here” the man said.
“I think it will be a good morale boost” Braigg added.
"Alright, alright, this old dragoness will leave the roost at long last," said Asifa good-naturedly.
“The city councillors will be pleased” Dr Baxter said.
"Now that's settled, is there any other news from the other councillors?" Asifa asked the group.
"None from my division," replied Akeel.
"Callisto, any word out of Merchook?" asked Dantos.
Callisto, a slim young dragoness with bright Yellow colours and curled horns on her head, she had an almost regal look but she was a fast dragoness and perfect role to oversee the messenger dragons in the realm.
“Grand elder, councillors, my messengers from the kingdom of Merchook and our observers have seen a deterioration of order from the family King Leonitis has left behind, the children seem to be cohorting with their own allies to raise allies in vital regions, I fear civil war could be upon the people of Merchook” she replied.
“We might get refugees flooding over our borders, the nearest town near is Balcoor, the city has good defences if I recall but we must be wary of raiding trade caravans” Braigg said.
"We should send a few dragons out to patrol the trades routes," suggested Dantos, "A precaution against such things."
Asifa nodded slowly, Everything going on with Kingdom Azure and Merchook was all rather uncertain. "Let it be done then. I want to ensure that any potential turmoil doesn't spill into our borders."
Callisto nodded, “I keep in contact with scouts there and report to Dantos directly, we do have dragon units in that area as well” Callisto replied.
“I agree with Dantos and Callisto’s recommendations, the city of Balcoor will appreciate seeing our dragons offering security” Dr Baxter added.
"Good. If we can help than we should. If any other arrangements need to be made to ensure the peace is kept within our borders then we will ensure that it happens," nodded Asifa.
"Thank you, grand Elder," said Dantos.
“I’d recommend that Balcoor tracks its trade caravans and looks to heighten its own security, especially with food” Draco said to the man who nodded, writing on a scroll at a desk in the grand chamber.
“I will do, I shall inform the governor there to keep a watchful eye on the border” Dr Baxter replied.
“Then I think all matters have been discussed then”, Braigg said looking at the other dragons.
Asifa nodded. "Then everyone is dismissed. Thank you everyone, until next time," said the white dragoness, allowing everyone to carry on.
The Councillors departed as Dr Baxter wrote down the notes to take back with him and to meet with all the governors and city leaders about the meetings of Valemier as the dragons moved off.
“Callisto” Braigg called as the dragoness stopped as she was called.
“I have a request of you” he said as Callisto nodded.
“What is it?” she asked.
“I’d like you to monitor the border with Merchook more carefully and any show of aggression from people taking advantage of the situation to be dealt with” he said.
Callisto frowned.
“My messengers are not fighters, they breath flame but we do not fight in battle” she said assertively.
“IO know but if you see anything or your scouts see anything, tell them to send a message to anyone wanting to cause trouble, the grand elder is wise but I think we need to make our position clear” he said.
Finally the dragoness nodded lightly.
“Ok, any act that does not hold to our values or any harm to our own citizens I will order our scouts to flame and get out of there” she said.
“Thank you Callisto, keep this with us for now” he said as the dragons parted ways.
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Unread Oct 24th, 2017, 08:29 AM   #13
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Zyra left Tovar and Syrena’s cavern with a smile on her face. She thought it had gone well. The girl believed that she had treated the male’s injury to the best of her ability. Making her way back through the many corridors, she whistled as she wandered back to the infirmary. As she turned the corner she saw a familiar face standing outside the medical wing.
“Nova!” smiled Zyra, hurrying up the hall.
Nova was a little grey pygmy eastern dragon and apart from Melinda, she was one of Zyra’s closest friends in Valemier. She was a fiery little dragoness, despite her stature. She had bright blue eyes that reminded Zyra of the glacial lake down by Dragon’s Ward.
“There you are. I thought you were supposed to be minding the infirmary today,” said the dragoness as Zyra approached.
The girl held out her hand and petted the dragon’s nose in familiar fashion, “I just did my first solo call.”
“Did you now? Won’t Healer Melinda be cross with you for not fetching her?”
“No, she’s been so busy lately. Besides, she said I have learned so quickly so it was about time I start taking my share of the requests for aide. It wasn’t anything major anyway, plus I got to see eggs,” the girl beamed.
“What’s so exciting about eggs?” asked Nova as she followed the girl into the infirmary where she put away her things. She could hear Brya rummaging around in the back somewhere, having returned from her duties around the volcano.
“Eggs mean hatchlings and hatchlings are cute!” replied Zyra with a laugh.
“Yech,” said Nova, making a face, watching Zyra replace the items from her medical kit.
“Oh you’re still young. Maybe one day in the future you’ll have a clutch of your own,” teased Zyra, taking off her healer’s apron and hanging it up.
“Far, far,faaaaar in the future…. Maybe,” replied Nova with a playful snort.
Zyra laughed, “So what brings you to the infirmary. You’re not sick, are you?” she asked, scratching under the dragon’s chin.
“No, of course not. I was wondering if you’d come down with me to that place where we got the lapis lazuli. I’m out of blue.”
Nova was an artist of sorts, many commissioned her for portraits and murals in the more affluent families of Valemier. Her own work was scattered around the grand halls of the volcano as well. Zyra thought her to be quite talented, her style was bold and bright and she always smiled to herself when she stumbled across one of her works. The ultramarine colour was a coveted hue and rare to obtain. Luckily there were limestone deposits only a short flight away where they could search for the precious stone.
“Need me to help you find some?”
The dragoness nodded, “Please, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course, I’m free of my obligations now. Let’s head out,” Nodded the white haired girl. She grabbed her jacket and put it on, buttoning it up before grabbing her soft leather bag in which they could put the material. The two of them chatted along the way as they walked down the hall to the nearest alighting porch, a wide, protected opening that would allow dragons to come and go as they pleased.
“So blue, huh? What are you working on?”
“I got commissioned from Avagar the Azure!” said Nova, with excited pride trilling in her voice. “But do you know how BLUE that dragon is? So blue! I’m making a small fortune off the painting but it is going to be a pain spreading that colour as thin as possible.”
“Well, if anyone can do it it’s you,” smiled Zyra, “I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.
“Thanks, Zy,” said the dragoness with a small smile.
Nova stood on the stone ledge and looked down into the valley below. It was another lovely day, small puffs of white cloud dotted a brilliant blue sky.
Zyra climbed aboard her back and settling on her grey shoulders.
“Ready?” asked the little dragoness.
“Ready!” replied the girl, leaning low over her neck and hanging onto her plated scales along her spine.
With the sound of soft leather unfurling the dragoness sprang from the stone ledge and took off into the wild blue sky.

Veyron slunk through the shadows of Dragon’s Ward. Night had fallen in quickly in the shadow of the high mountain range and now that the peak of summer had passed, the days were slowly getting shorter.
The little wraith had left Marcus to sleep in their rented accommodations, a small room above a tavern in the heart of the town. They had been lingering around Dragon’s Ward since the end of the Market days. Their summer had been profitable and they would likely not have to travel through winter to ensure their pockets stayed full. They could rest comfortably in the town and have plenty of spare coin for warm meals and cold ale.
The wraith always felt most active in the twilight hours and that was often where he got into the most trouble. His and Marcus’ introduction had been an accident that had benefitted both of them and since then the two had teamed up; a mischievous duo.
Veyron was a magnet for trouble, it seemed. He was always one to push his luck and left unchecked by Marcus, he often got in over his head. He was a risk taker, living for the thrill of the game. He prided himself in being able to swindle a coin even from the most diligent citizen.
It was Marcus’s voice that acted like his conscience, ensuring that the wraith’s antics didn’t get him in serious hot water, or worse, both of them as he had done a few times.
The little wraith had his mind transfixed on an item he had seen earlier in the day and had not been able to shake it. His breed were rabid hoarders. Anything that sparkled or shone appealed to wraiths. The need to have such things cached away was nearly overwhelming for the greedy dragon.
“There you are,” said the wraith, spotting the item he was after in a shop window. It didn’t take much for Veyron to infiltrate the shop and return to the cooling night air with his prize in hand. He paused in the dark shadows of a small alcove. A gold band encrusted with three emeralds that matched the wraith’s eyes sat in his paw. It was thin, not a true ring but something that would have been used to gild the step of an ornate chalice. He lifted it up and slid it down onto his right horn where it sat neatly.
He grinned and slunk off back to the tavern.
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Unread Oct 24th, 2017, 02:36 PM   #14
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Marcus had settled down for the night having had his fill of ale and food from the tavern as he settled into the bed, with the excess coins obtained under dubious circumstances, him and Veyron were enjoying lavish comfort including a fire place with a small fire which pleasantly warmed the room.
Marcus had fallen asleep and before he did, he checked up on Veyron who had been reading, also counting the coins they had gathered, the man sensed the Wraith was plotting, the look in his eyes and focus seemed to give the intentions away and Marcus had got better at reading the Wraith.
Once the man was asleep and the fire died down the man had slept a few hours as the Wraith got up to no good.
As quietly as he could manage the wraith had scaled the outside of the tavern, climbing up to the window of their rented room. He nosed it open and crept inside.
Marcus was no fool, he had noticed the Wraith leave and had waited, hearing the slight creak of the window as the snake like dragon slinked in with his prize.
“And where have you been?” came Marcus voice from the other side of the room as he lit a candle on the table next to him.
“You best not of brought the wolves to our door” he warned.
"Me? Why would I ever do a thing like that?" Asked Veyron, annoyed that Marcus was still up to catch him.
Marcus frowned lightly.
“Because, dear Veyron, you are a cheat, a swindler and a thief, with s blackbird like obsession for all things shiny, judging by your new horn accessory there, I just hope you have not brought the local fuzz here” Marcus said assertively.
"Not even the shadows knew I was there," Veyron assured him. "Suites me, don't you think?" He asked, jumping onto the table into the candlelight.
Marcus shook his head and fought the urge to roll his eyes at the Wraith.
“Makes you look like royalty, I did not think that was your style, thought you liked hustling them, rather than join them” the man said.
"What use is taking their coin if you can't enjoy the spoils and maybe even dip into the lifestyle now and then?" Grinned the wraith. "I think we'd do well as royalty,"
Marcus laughed.
“This, all this luxury, a hearty meal, good ale and a warm room, bedding and your still not satisfied” Marcus commented as he got up to get some ale from a ceramic jug left for them.
"Sounds a little drab and boring to me," replied the wraith, drinking out of the glass that Marcus had poured for himself.
Marcus looked at Veyron with distain at the wraith’s action but did not say anything other than a sigh as he poured himself of another glass of ale.
“We be making a move tomorrow, it is not wise to stay in one town for too long, we move upward towards Valcoor” Marcus said to the wraith.
"I thought we agreed that we did well enough not to have to be on the move," replied Veyron testily. He had his eye on a few other things in this town that he hadn't gotten around to collecting yet.
The man shook his head lightly.
"Your magpie habits will arouse suspicion, plus after your last obsessive, compulsive habits we almost ended up in jail, with me having no head" Marcus said, remembering being on the run in the one city after the wraith had stolen some precious jewellery from a rich landlord who sent his own muscle after them.
"Oh it wasn't that bad. We avoided the worst..." laughed Veyron, knowing he was brushing off a close encounter with their final day.
Marcus sighed lightly, “Ok, one more night, do what you need to do, but then we move on, just don’t get caught, I won’t be bailing you out” Marcus said getting back into bed.
"Yes, you will," said Veyron confidently. He knew the man couldn't leave him stranded. As troublesome as the wraith could be he knew he was useful.

The Next morning, the blue dragon set about his chores for the morning, firstly sorting out the elders writing scrolls and putting them in his library, bounding them up in soft fabrics to hold 3 scrolls at a time in his library to keep them condensed and utilise the space.
Akeel walked into his study and saw that Tonris was meddling about with his scrolls.
"I have then in particular order, Tonris," he reminded the dragon.
The young dragon nodded.
“I am my elder, it is going in the order you told mem, I will ensure they are all in properly sir” Tonris said to Akeel.
"Good, good," replied the magic crafter, "an old dragon like me forgets we're things are put if they're not in order." He chuckled. "Spending an eternity searching instead of learning."
The dragon had a few more scrolls to sort and order, he had already given Akeel some new scrolls and had also topped up the dragon’s ink and got a new Quill.
“I put new blank scrolls and topped up your ink and new Quill elder Akeel, all ready for you” he added as well.
"Thank you, Tonris. You are star sent." Smiled the dragon.
Tonris smiled, finishing off the scroll ordering before going to speak to the elder as Akeel settled down.
“I need to do some errands for Elder Braigg this afternoon, but just wondering my elder, you thinking of practicing again?, I wouldn’t want to miss it, be there as support and be in awe of your magic proficiency” Tonris said to the elder.
The purple dragon smiled, "don't worry, I will be sure to tell you when I head down there again."
Tonris grinned and nodded.
“I must depart I see you later my elder” Tonris said as Akeel smiled and let the dragon go as he went off to find Braigg as the councillor had some task for him to do.
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Unread Oct 26th, 2017, 10:46 AM   #15
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“Hmm,” Akeel murmured, his talon tapping on the tattered parchment, dusty and water stained. Practice had consumed his days lately and his nose was often inches away from various scrolls to look up references, scrawled on old scrolls.
He scanned the last few lines the tenth time it seemed before looking back at a red brick that sat at the edge of his desk.

Frustration was something that Akeel rarely felt. He knew all things took practice and when at first he didn’t succeed, his patience won out. His will to conquer any task he set his mind to was a powerful thing. The dragon knew when to step away from a new trick and come back to it the next day when his attempts continued to fair, but he was never one to give into anger for the magic not working as he wished it to.

This conversation trick was something that had eluded him for quite some time. He practiced in between his bouts with telekinesis. When one task drained him too much he would jump to another to keep his mind fresh and not overworked with one thing. He reveled in the variety, anyway. It was a spice of life; he had recalled the saying.
As much as he practice he had not managed the task quite yet, as much as he tried, but he felt like he was getting closer.

Something was missing, however. He re-read the scroll again, old notes from some magic crafter from eons ago. It was written in an old language that he had deciphered from a language master in Le’Irka. The scroll had been badly damaged, sometime since it’s creation but together they had managed to translate most of the scrawling, faded text.
He paused over a few of the words and realized something. The translation had been a little off, or perhaps the wording didn’t cross over as elegantly.

Excited about the idea, the elder dragon turned back to the object sitting readily on his desk.
Paws rising up and silver talons splaying out, he coaxed the magic from within him guiding it with his mind.
The twinkling, purple light surrounded the brick, dancing around softly as the dragon pushed away all other thoughts except for what he wanted the spell to do.
The brick rattled noisily, slowly at first, before picking up a trilling tempo. It seemed, for a moment that nothing else would happen but then, slowly, the brick shrunk down.

“Ha!” he cheered, delighted that it had worked.
The brick was nearly a quarter of the size but when Akeel picked it up he hadn’t realized that it weighed the very same as it was before he transformed it.

“Curious,” he said to himself, holding it up in the blue lamplight to survey his work. The brick was the very same, unchanged except for its size.
He thought about this, a moment, figuring that the mass of the object did indeed have to go somewhere when the item was shrunk down. It couldn’t just dissolve into thin air.
Gingerly placing it back down on the desk, as if too much handling might break the spell, the dragon raised his right paw and focused on the brick.
The red clay bar rattled on the table as the dragon willed it to return to his former self.
The brick glowed slightly as it continued its tremors before, with a sudden pop, it returned to its normal size. Reversing a spell was much easier than the other way around. An object always wanted to return to its original state.

Shaking his crest side to side in his delight the elder was pleased that after so much work he had managed this trick.
He continued his practice, shrinking other non-essential items in the room, laughing at the conversion of a lamp into a tiny light.
Spells within spells, he marvelled.
This would be a fun one to show his students, once he practiced more of course. He never shared anything with his class that hadn’t been mastered completely.
Success with these kinds of tasks always put the magic crafter into a great mood. He hummed to himself as he took out his quill and a fresh sheet of parchment that had been stowed neatly away by Tonris.

This achievement called for a special ink and so the dragon set the cobalt coloured inkwell on the desk, the one he had purchased at the market.
He wrote the date along the top and titled it, referencing the notes from the previous scroll before adding his own so that the complete spell would now be available to any who sought it out.
He let the ink dry and he practiced some more, humming an old tune to himself all the while.
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Unread Oct 28th, 2017, 12:35 PM   #16
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Braigg was in his chamber sealing up orders to give to messengers, marking them with the Valemier councils seal as he was also keeping reports that the scouts had brought to him, each scout was being interviewed by Callisto, for as much information from the Kingdom of Merchook.
"Councillor Braigg," came Dantos' voice as he entered the other dragon's chambers.
The green dragon had a swath of charcoal grey fabric wrapped around his neck, draped over his left wing and secured with a broach of his standing. "Are you here? I need a word.
The dragon looked up from his desk and saw Dantos enter his chambers, “I am Councillor Dantos, how can I help you?” he asked the dragon before him.
"Have your scouts from Merchook returned with any word?" Began Dantos but his tone implied there were other questions waiting to be asked.
Braigg nodded lightly as he opened up a scroll which had the latest report from the Merchook border, he looked at it to remind himself.
“Patrols report quiet activity along the border, traffic continues to be minimalistic, Callisto assures me the border is being patrolled” Braigg replied back to the elder.
"I've noticed a number of the messengers are wearing armour, something had hasn't been done in centuries," said Dantos, suspecting that this was Braigg's doing, "Has Callisto approved of this?"
Braigg seemed to allow small puffs of smoke to leave his nostrils as the elder questioned him about the scouts wearing armour.
Braigg had instructed Callisto to send scouts into the Kingdom of Merchook as advanced recon scouts, to report on any sort of military build ups, which could threaten Valemier and to access their risks before engaging in cutting off supplies to the siblings.
“It is necessary for the protection of the advanced scouts, entering Merchook to ensure our security and way of life is upheld, Callisto has had orders from me to monitor any build-up of any forces or supply wagons fuelling war” Braigg said assertively.
Dantos considered this carefully. If messengers were seen in armour it could lead to others being suspicious, suspecting something, "So," he began, "Had anything come from such orders?"
Braigg looked at another scroll and read the writing.
"Transport wagons containing armour, weapons and supplies were spotted heading for a city loyal to Alex, the supposed heir to be" Braigg commented.
The green dragon seemed to pause for a thoughtful moment, his yellow eyes focused elsewhere.
"What of the other siblings?" he finally queried.
" Callisto scouts report similar movements of armour to loyal cities, so far we have not targeted any, unless they represent a threat to our borders" Braigg replied.
"What of talks between the family? Have all attempts at negotiations crumbled?" asked Dantos, shifting his weight from one paw to the other.
"That is do not know, nor does Callisto, by the movement of these forces for bodes ill will by the siblings, I hope their civil war does not spill into Valemier, which I am actively looking to avoid"
Braigg seemed to notice the dragons body language and spoke again.
"As am I," nodded the green dragon firmly, "Valemier has been a haven long before my hatching but it is not immune."
"Callisto has ordered her scouts on my authority to attack and destroy any bandits, or soldiers that venture to our borders, so the siblings know well enough to leave us out of their petty squabbles" Braigg said assertively.
"That could very likely turn their ire to us," warned Dantos, "Besides, most of our messengers are not fighting class. I worry putting them to that task might be biting off more than they can manage."
Braigg knew that the dragon was too cautious and he was the head of the security.
"I been assured she has picked dragons with fighting spirit, as well as quick hit and run tactics, if they want to face us, then we can deploy our dragons to counter" Braigg said, the dragon councillor seemed confident in his choice.
This seemed to make Dantos stir a bit. Blinking one, the dragon spoke,
"This is true enough. I have been bolstering our defences as reasonably as I can. I will be assigning 12 dragons on our western borders as sentries of sorts. I'll have them work in tune with Callisto's messengers."
This made Braigg smile as the two dragons seemed to be on the same page here, sometimes Braigg and Dantos disagreed quite openly with one another, especially on the council, but in this occasion the dragon seemed to agree with him.
“Excellent, I was concerned you oppose such a move, I am glad I have your support in keeping Valemier safe, as is our duty as council dragons, Callisto will help with us to ensure our borders remain secure” Braigg said raising his head up and giving a respectful nod to the elder dragon.
"I am not the councillor of defence for sitting idly on my haunches, Braigg. Valemier will stand strong, with all of us, together, united against an uncertain storm," replied Dantos, returning the nod.
“Well, I think Lunch is called for, how about some Elk?” he said sealing the last scroll as he put it to one side.
"I could do with a bite," was Dantos' reply. "The 7 kingdoms can wait while a dragon eats."
Braigg got up and went with Dantos to get some lunch.

Meanwhile Jack had finally finished the dragons new room, it had taken some time and some helpers but the room was now finally ready, the roof had been raised and walls taken back to give the young dragon space, plus there were now double wooden barn doors with decorative glass, so the dragon could leave for a fly when he wanted.
Inside it was pretty basic but had some pictures, plants and his new larger bed with the delicate and softest fabrics Jacob had bought from the silk merchant.
“Ok Ardon, your room is officially ready!” he called down the hall to the golden dragon, hoping he would like the finished work.
With the ticking of talons on stone, the gold dragon trotted into the room. He had been quarantined from it, Jacob wanting it to be a surprise, much to his chagrin.
There was a pause as Ardon surveyed the room with an air of royal pompousness. The illusion broke as he leapt forward and onto his new bed. No more sleeping on hay, cedar saw dust and cheap cloth. With great exuberance he rolled around on the plush bedding, his scales not catching as they used to as he thrummed happily.
Jacob laughed lightly as Ardon seemed happy with his room, especially the bed, which was large enough for him for a good few years.
“So, that a seal of approval for one spoilt golden dragon?, or apprentice of a rugged blacksmith and metal worker?” Jacob said getting out his pipe.
"A complete seal of approval," came the dragon's voice, flopped over happily in his new room, "A dragons thanks to you, sir!" he joked.
Jack shook his head chuckling as he lit his pipe.
“Glad you like it Ardon, took some time but yes glad you like, the bed fabrics big improvement” Jacob said seeing the dragon happily rolling round the bed.
"Agreed," hummed the dragon, sitting up and stretching, "now for your accommodations. I told you I would help."
Jack grinned, “Nah, I am fine, I am getting a new bed soon so all good with me, do not worry about me” Jacob said.
"When is soon?" Asked Ardon with a critical eye. "I thought we had enough funds to deck out your digs too."
“We do, no rush is there because it is hard work and your allergic to that” Jacob teased.
Ardon snorted playfully, "hardly." He said with a flick of his tail.
“Alright Ardon, we get started end of the week, you can do the demolition, since you seem to be bulking out into a fine young dragon” Jacob said.
"Did you ever doubt that I would?" Asked Ardon with a grin.
Jacob laughed lightly as he blew smoke out of his mouth from his pipe, the dragon as he got older was cheeky and had good humour.
“Nay lad, I knew you would grow into a big dragon, plus this line of work suits you, now lets get something to eat, you can get the stove going” Jacob said gesturing for the dragon to get off his rear to get the stove going.
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Unread Nov 2nd, 2017, 01:26 PM   #17
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With the turn of leaves, fall had come quickly as the months of summer fled, not to be seen again until the following year. The rains came, steady and unrelenting for a solid week before easing up. Dreary as the weather was, it was necessary for the lands to be lush and fruitful the following year. Valemier depended on the wet autumn and spring to ensure bounty in their lands.
For the past month the magic crafter has practice more than he had all year. His continuous presence in the practice hall drew curious attention, many peeking in to spy on the deep purple dragon and see what magic he drew into the world.
Akeel had always been a studious and determined fellow. If his muzzle wasn’t pressed close to notes or old tomes, he was practicing with the physical magic. Alchemy dazzled him as a young hatchling, his first experience of it still bright in his memory as if had been only yesterday. He had been only a pawful of months, new to the world when his sire had taken him down to a human festival.
A dragon by the name of Ellios, had made his way to the festival and displayed his skill for a few copper pennies or iron coins, anything that people might spare.
El the Mage, people called him. He was a delight, and wonder yet frightening to those unwise to how his magic worked.
A young Akeel had been dazzled by his tricks, showmanship and skill of the magic power in which he manipulated. From that sparkling, festival night, he was determined to be a magic crafter.
Humans were capable of magic, sure, but could never seem to master the power of it as well as a dragon could. Masters theorized that dragons were catalysts of magic, harbouring the power like a scaled vessel.
He learnt this as a fledgling when he tried to seek out a patron, a master from which he could learn. No human could really teach a dragon such a skill so began his great search. He left his home in eastern Valemier and journeyed across the lands. His years of searching landed him in Le’irka, where he found Xonnovan.
Xonnovan was a Dianthus, a red dragon with scales edged in white. He had a small crest but large, ornate sail ridging down his back, along his cheeks and along the back side of his limbs.
Xonnovan was exuberant, especially about his craft and many called him a little mad with the wizardry he practiced. Akeel was his apprentice for 16 years before the red dragon passed unto the stars expectantly.
Akeel had taken his study into his own paws since then, taking lessons from his own trial and error, learning from texts, scrolls, tomes and whatever else he could find.
Today the amethyst dragon was recalling old advice from the Dianthus.
“A magic crafter will always learn, even after others think they have mastered their trade,” he said to himself as he stepped into the dark practice room.
He paused in the entry, looking at the darkened space and at once called the name of light in his mind and stamped his paw upon the ground.
At once purple light surged from where his talons met the ground, racing along the rock and up the walls, illuminating the runes in the room. The braziers and lamps burst into a purple glow before dimming slightly, casting the room in an ethereal light.
Akeel flicked his tail and continued into the now-lit room. Parchment, ink and a quill rose from the shelves, flying around his head before setting gently on the desk he approached.
Thursday- 312th day of the year- Autumn of the Year of Grain and Sun
He wrote this under the previous day’s notes. He had been making records of his practice, progress and failures every day for the past few weeks. His neat writing lay across the parchment and he scanned it briefly before looking up, hearing the sound of familiar pawsteps.

"Here elder Akeel," Tonris said, coming into the room and sitting on his haunches out of the way.
“Welcome Tonris, right on time,” replied the magic crafter as his notes and stationary flew back towards the shelf easily.
The older dragon stepped into the center of the room, his movements certain and purposeful.
“As always, please remember to keep a sharp eye. The plinth was square but the Runestone will roll if I don’t set it down correctly,” warned the dragon. The Runestone was a massive orb, carved and polished from a huge piece of marble. Etched onto its surface was endless runes in an old and now forgotten language. It was over double Akeel’s size and sat in the back of the room. He had chuckled to himself when Tonris had called it a boulder. It was so much more than that. No one had been able to decipher what the stone said but it was ancient and had always been in the volcano of Valemier. The runes on the far side of the stone had never been able to be studied because no one dared to move it without worry that the weight of it would crush what already was visible.
As the weeks had passed, Akeel had managed to make easier work of the plinth, figuring out how to call upon it so that the struggle of lifting it had lessened considerably. He was now determined to turn the stone so that they could finish writing down the glyphs on the hidden side of the stone. Perhaps then they could uncover its secrets.
Approaching the stone he considered its shape and size, committing it to memory. To be able to picture the object perfectly in one’s mind helped considerably and for some time the amethyst coloured dragon was stock still, staring at the Runestone.
Tonris observed silently as Akeel attempted this massive task.
Finally the magic crafter took a step back and drew in a deep breath, willing all his focus onto what he wanted to do. His wings rose slightly off his back, drawn back from his shoulders with the soft sound of supple, dry leather.
A paw rose off the ground, upturned, talons half raised as if he was cupping magic in his palm. He slowly let out a breath and from his mouth came a light, not fire but shimmering light and his upturned paw guided it towards the Runestone.
The light twinkled and glittered brightly before it slightly faded as it dispersed into the air, surrounding the rock in a curtain of lavender.
Akeel leaned forward and the light danced, shining as suddenly it took to the stone, giving it a delicate aura.
“From what I learned with the plinth was that,” Akeel started, his voice sounding almost far away. All his focus was into the runestone but explaining it seemed to be for Tonris’ benefit, perhaps, “A user’s will must be divided evenly. From the source, myself for instance. I am the source calling upon the magic so half my focus or will belongs here. The other half is to be distributed through to what you’re trying to do. Light a lamp, change an objects colour, move something… ect.”
His words seemed to come in a tone that warranted no need for response. He often muttered or spoke to himself while he practiced or read and studied so this wasn’t new.
He took another deep breath again welling up the power he had within him. He could feel himself getting stronger with every day that passed. His practice had allowed him many things over the years but he could always tell when the magic was growing within him.
Light… Thought Akeel, brow furrowing
He urged his magic forward, the sparkling light still spilling out towards the stone. It trickled from him like a little brook, the shimmering glow dancing in delicate patterns.
The stone runes were beginning to glow with a faint, purple light that matched the elder’s magic. But other than that there was no movement. The dragon seemed to be muttering things under his breath. Eyes closed as he focused. His wings would twitch every now and then, half fanned out behind him as he stayed in his half-sitting position, determined to make it work.
Tonris could see it was a big task but silently urged Akeel on in his thoughts.
The stone had yet to even stir on the floor. The elder seemed to be making no move to lift it just yet. His magic was still creating an aura around the rock, readying itself.
Things were always slow in the beginning. Nothing came at a great speed until one had become confident with the magic.
Finally he had woven the intricate pattern of his twisting, glittering aura around the runestone and the markings upon it had gotten brighter.
The magic crafter then sat back on his haunches completely, raising both his paws up into the air.
He drew in another breath and repeated the words in his head.
"Come on elder," Tonris said to himself under his breath as Akeel continued.
The stone didn’t move at first but the elder kept repeating the words in his mind, envisioning what he wanted the giant piece of marble to do. He knew he had managed it with the plinth and now he urged his magic to continue reaching greater goals.
The stone jittered on the ground, skidding with a painful noise before it began to shake. The dragon’s focused expression deepened and his eyes opened, brilliant and glowing almost.
The brightness of the runes was almost blinding now as the stone shook and trembled, Akeel willing all of his might into the trick.
His breath caught in his throat as the stone slowly…. Ever so slowly….. began to lift.
It wobbled in the air and Akeel had to draw his focus back to what he wanted.
He called to it.
His command.
He lifted his paws up, urging his magic to mimic his movements. The stone seemed to steady, the light pulsing in time with…. Perhaps the dragon’s heartbeats?
Now still, he said the word aloud, “Ascend.”
The stone began to lift, painfully slow but lift it did, rising at the back of the room. The runes on the walls had begun to glow as well, reflecting the amethyst dragon’s might.
Akeel held one paw out to the stone, realizing he was shaking. He drew the other across the span of his reach, as if he were turning a globe upon a stand.
The runestone turned slowly.
The dragon realized he was holding his breath and he knew the time for this task was over. The stone had risen and turned and he had to let it go slowly back to the ground. Gently he lowered his trembling paws, and the stone followed. A glittering light seemed to cushion it’s descent as it lowered back onto the ground.
Akeel gave a gasping breath as it finally steadied in its new position on the floor and the light faded away.
"THAT WAS AMAZING!!!" Exclaimed Tonris bouncing from paw to paw happy.
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Unread Nov 3rd, 2017, 11:49 AM   #18
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Tonris was happy and pleased for the elder, it was no easy feat but Akeel had done it, Tonris was escatic about his master’s accomplishment today as the youngster seemed to bounce on his paws and speaking to the tired elder.
“That was so amazing and cool!, you did so well my elder” he said, words beaming with excitement and enthusiasm.
Akeel chuckled lightly at the dragon’s enthusiasm before putting a paw to his temple. A headache from the test was beginning to grow.
Tonris soon stopped bouncing and looked at the elder, looking a little concerned.
“Are you ok my elder?, is everything ok?” he asked cautiously.
"Yes, yes. All is fine. I have gotten headaches or nosebleeds before," explained the dragon, "it happens when I attempt something a little out of reach."
Tonris nodded lightly, understanding the elder’s words.
“If this was out of your reach or a make or break test why did you do it?” he asked, the excited drake now filled with some concern.
"Because, testing one’s self is the only way to move forward," replied the elder.
“Not if it scrambles your brain and turns it to goo my elder, I am just glad there are no dragons who are more powerful or posses your mental strength my elder” Tonris said.
The magic crafter laughed at this, "do not fear my mind turning to goo and what makes you think there aren't others out there who can best me?" He said with a wry smile.
Tonris puffed up and proudly looked at the elder before him.
“Because you’re the master of magic, the most powerful magic dragon in the kingdoms, no other dragon or person can best you, otherwise you would of asked them to come here and tested them, I will fetch a damp cloth my elder” Tonris bounded off after his confident speech.
Akeel felt a little dizzy and sat back on his haunches.
Smelling the tang of blood he touched a paw to his nose and realized, as he had mentioned before, his nose had begun to bleed slightly.

The week after Akeel’s massive trial of magic things seemed to carry on around Valemier, the council seemed to be conducting their sessions as normal and dragons living in or around the volcano began the work of preparing for the winter.
Braigg was off to inspect the harvest stores when Callisto appeared, panting lightly as it seemed she must of flown and rushed to see Braigg.
“Counsellor!” Callisto called out loudly to Braigg as the dragon stopped in his tracks as Callisto approached him.
“Callisto, what is the matter, are you ok?” he asked the panting dragoness.
“Scouts have reported of a battle west of our border, the reports concern me immensely, we need to see this ourselves…now” Callisto said assertively which got the large dragon concerned with dragonesses tone of voice.
“Alright, we best go now then and inspect this” Braigg said as Callisto nodded.
Dantos rounded the corner to see the others talking quickly with concern clear on their faces.
"Braigg, Callisto," he called to them, hurrying to catch up.
Braigg and Callisto turned and saw Dantos hurrying down the marble floor ways as he could tell there was concern on the counsellor’s face.
“Counsellor Dantos, I was about to call you, Callisto’s scouts have discovered something close to our western border, a battle has taken place that deeply concerns the scouts and Callisto” Braigg said.
"In progress or finished?" Said Dantos suddenly concerned.
“Finished Counsellor, my scouts report the battle must not of been long, they are keeping the area secure for our arrival, we need to see what my scouts have reported with our own eyes” the female dragoness replied.
"Give me one moment to call upon my lieutenant. I'll join you to head off out in a moment." Said Dantos firmly.
“Sir, if I may, we don’t want to cause undue panic here, Callisto has said her scouts will act as our guards” Braigg said.
The green dragon paused but thought better of protesting and instead nodded.
“Lead the way Calisto” Braigg said as the dragon unfurled their wings and took the skies, the scouts in armour flanking them, providing an escort for the 3 members of the Valemier council.
It was a 30minute flight to the area but there were scouts already there on the ground and two flying around, ensuring the area from above was clear, what the 3 counsellors saw would shock them.
There was complete devastation of the land, large smouldering and holes surrounded by a black ring littered the ground, there was smouldering wreckage which look like they use to be carts and wagons, broken arrows and swords scattered the ground, what Braigg was concerned was the bodies, lots of them scattered throughout the battle field, some were whole, others were scattered, horses lay motionless on the ground.
The dragons landed as an eerie fog was lingering in the lands with a little breeze blowing the charred remains of flags and banners, the area was silent, no birds chirping or even vultures to peck on the dead.
"What under the eternal sky happened here?" Asked Dantos, aghast as he surveyed the scene.
Braigg shook his head, looking shocked and wide-eyed disbelief what his eyes were seeing, scanning the area, Calisto kept silent as she shuffled her wings uneasily.
"Banners or what's left of them are the city of valvadoor, loyal to prince Warwick, the one of 4 siblings after control of the crown" Callisto said.
"Stars above there is nothing left, this mass of soldiers, horses and armaments are obliterated" Braigg said.
A grin expression crossed the green dragons face as he shook his head, "this will very likely mean war once word gets out”.
Braigg nodded as he noticed in the soft ground, deep markings he had never seen before, he got closer and inspected the tracks, it looked nothing he ever seen, not animal or cart made these impressions.
Calisto called to Braigg and Dantos to come see more evidence she had discovered.
"There is more....look here, tracks, unlike any I've seen before counsellors, something big and heavy made these and look massive holes in the grounds, black burn marks around it " Callisto said pointing it out.
"These are no cart tracks... nor trebuchets or things of that nature..." murmured Dantos, "nothing like I've ever seen before."
A scout approached and whispered into Braigg’s ear as Calisto looked puzzled why he did not report to her first.
"Scouts reported metal debris as well nearby, unlike anything we seen" Callisto said.
"Grab samples of metal and the burned ground around the holes" Braigg ordered the scouts as they went off to collect samples, picking up unknown and odd metal fragments nearby and ground samples as well as residue from the holes in the ground.
Dantos watched as the scouts scoured the dirt for bits of metal. He had a dark expression as the gears in his head turned. Centuries of working in his field he had never come across a scene such as thing. Things must be done to protect Valemier.
Braigg walked towards the dragon and spoke.
"I think we need to expertise of Jacob and Melinda, they may know what....this is" Braigg said, offering his advice.
"Yes," agreed Dantos, thinking that Jacob might be able to help best, with his knowledge of metals, "Beyond that perhaps I can call upon a weapons master I've worked with but he resides about a three days flight without much rest.
Calisto did not like all of this as she approached the two males and added her two cents as she saw the scouts collecting samples and covering their tracks, not wanting their presence to be known.
"I recommend we call up the Valemier elite guards" Calisto suggested to Dantos.
"It seems like the time has come for just that, I'm afraid," said Dantos grimly, "I'll make the call to rally them."
"Dantos the elders council need to vote on it first?" Braigg queried.
"Not to rally, but to be sent out, yes," Dantos informed him. "It will not hurt to be prepared”.
“I must concur counsellor Braigg, we must muster our guards, scouts in armour can only do so much” Calisto said as Braigg seemed to reluctantly nod.
"Ok we get samples of the metal and residual stuff from the holes and send it back" Calisto said as Braigg nodded and gestured to Dantos for them to take flight.
“Cover your tracks as well” Calisto added to the two males who did as they were told before disembarking.
Dantos unfurled his wings and launched into the air, mind already turning orders in his head.
The two counsellors took to the skies with their escort as Calisto finished up here before they headed back.
As they flew Braigg flew close to Dantos to continue their conversation in the sky, both dragons concerned about what they saw and to find out what happened.
"What dragons are in your elite Guard Dantos, any big guys, we could use to be a visible deterrent" Braigg asked in flight.
"A number of larger Western Mountain dragons, and there’s the cross breed that is rather immense. He could do well if you want a physical presence sweeping over towns and such." suggested the green dragon.
Braigg thought for a moment before replying.
"He would bring unity and show our intent that we take security seriously, send him another imposing dragon round" Braigg suggested.
"Will do," nodded Dantos.
The two dragons arrived back in the volcano of the Valemier grand council, the scouts shot off to their new missions as the counsellors went to get things prepared.
“Be sure to round the guard and get defence guards guarding the entrance and improve defence patrols round here” Braigg ordered Dantos, unaware he was overstepping his remit as defence was Dantos area.
Dantos flared his left wing to half Braigg, looking over his shoulder at him with a stern look, "I've got this handled, Councillor Braigg."
Braigg frowned and gave him a look, unimpressed by Dantos comment towards him, " Oh we stopping our good run now is it Dantos?, I thought it was too good to last" the dragon said.
"Don't start, Braigg," said Dantos sternly, "Valemier will not stay safe if it's defenders are reduced to hatchling bickering."
Braigg snorted as puffs of smoke left his nostrils and the scales raised on his neck in irritation at Dantos comments, despite defence being Dantos area of expertise and despite his achievements, Braigg did not rate the youngest member of the council very highly and the two always disagreed…in a big way.
"I Been on the council longer than you, I have merely offered advice and sage guidance to have it thrown in my face by same dragon still wet from the policies have helped ensure stability in Valemier and kept the cities prosperous" Braigg responded.
"Your sagely guidance usually is spoken as an order, Braigg. I am open to suggestion and advice but your tendency to overstep is unappreciated." Responded Dantos.
Braigg resisted the urge to growl as he merely frowned at the dragon before him, looking at him with distain.
"We will see what this crisis brings Dantos and whether you got fire in your belly to protect our lands, because if not...." Braigg leaned in closer to whisper.
" I get you kicked out of the council before you even know what's happening" Braigg said looking down at the dragon with distinctive air of superiority.
Dantos bristled at the comment but didn't give Braigg the satisfaction.
"Keep that foolish drake aggression and you will be kicking yourself out soon enough, Braigg." Said Dantos, snorting before jumping aloft to see to arranging the defence of Valemier.
“We shall see you hatchling” Braigg said, heading to his chambers as things were churning in his mind.
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Unread Nov 8th, 2017, 07:07 AM   #19
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It took very little time for Dantos to organize his defense team. He may have been young by elder standards but the green dragon was sharp and focused and wasn’t about to leg Braigg trample on his attempts to keep Valemier safe.
The Warden’s call went out the very same day that they discovered the ruins of the battleground. Soon the defenders of Valemier lit on the balconies of the great volcano, answering the signal. They gathered in the great halls, awaiting orders for the time being. Talk was alive in the corridors and down in dragon’s ward. A gathering such as this hadn’t taken place in as far as any human could remember.

To Dantos’ satisfaction, his two most sought out defenders had risen to the call.
They were mixed breeds and massive dragons, hailing from the volcanic range that sat on the boarder of Valamier and Merchook.
Vonriir was the largest of the two, a hulking dun coloured beast with curling horns and thick armour-like scale. Daunting dorsal spikes rose up high above his square shoulders, dense shield plates guarded his neck while his tail was a giant battering mace. The dragon had tree trunk like limbs and a deep barrel chest, lightly marked with scars from past battles. He was the older of the two and had a century of experience under his wings.
Klinray, younger by 41 years was a deep mahogany brown with tan horns and spikes along his back, the spitting image of his brother save for the colour and nearly a ton lighter. They fought often together and not much stood in their way when they worked as a team.
They were fierce fighters and their presence was hallmark for the defense of Valemier.

Dantos’ request to set these dragons out on the boarders was quickly passed through council and without any opposition. They needed to be on alert, especially with what they had discovered at the battle site. It would be a display of power but Dantos ensured that the dragons under his command wore the Defender’s banners, signaling that they were on site to protect Valemier’s inhabitants, hopefully avoiding the aggressive suggestion of war.

War was something that they were actively trying to avoid but things had the potential to grow tense across the land. Word had spread quickly through the neighbouring areas of the battle that had taken place and rumours were now beginning to take wing at a lightning pace.
The council hoped to smother any instigative chatter and put their inhabitants at ease, ensuring their safety with this new, bolstered presence.

Vonriir and Klinray donned the shining steel armour, emblazoned with Valemier’s crest. Their banners, a deep indigo that faded into white, a sign of intent, with the silvery seal of the nation’s crest, fluttered from their shoulders. Dantos approached them, having special orders set aside just for the two of them.

“I trust that you’re clear on your patrol route?” asked Dantos, geared up in his own battle regalia. Silver and indigo stood out brightly against his deep green scales. A crest of his standing in his council shimmered brightly on his chest, making the majority of his breastplate. He was a large dragon himself but he was dwarfed by these massive dragons.

“Yes sir,” rumbled Vonriir, dark eyes flashing behind his helmet. The leather bindings of his armour creaked as he shifted his weight from one paw to another slowly.

The council dragon continued,
“There will be six messengers stationed at the towns along you path. They will ensure you stay up to date on any movement and such and report back to the council here. There is to be no first strike offensive measures as yet. The council has restricted us to defense only. Halting of munitions is permitted as cross border supplying is prohibited,” instructed Dantos.

“Understood,” said Klinray, his dark scales rough but healthy. Their breed did not glitter and shine like a pure-blooded mountain dragon. Their scales were tough, thick and rough as stone.

“Send word is anything should go awry. Callisto’s messengers are swift. News will reach me within the day. “

“Yes sir. We will let you know if anything seems amiss,” thundered Vonriir.
With a final nod, Dantos watched them take off from the stone balcony carved into the side of the volcano. With slow, methodic wing beats, the massive dragons were soon lost in the mist. The rains had come and the clouds were slung low in the valley, obscuring Dragon’s Ward and the lands below.

It had been a prosperous year and with a little prompting, the council had agreed to store surplus over the winter, just in case it was needed for the troubled times ahead.

Down in the great dome that usually held the market, Zyra had wandered down to see the bustling that was going on. The years late harvest had been brought in and now the frenzied process of preparing it to keep for the winter was going on. Some vegetables were being cut and canned while others were wrapped in linen and to be stored in the cool, dry chambers below the volcano.

Other items were ground into flour. Great stone mills at the boarders of Dragon’s ward were powered by the dragons and had been running steadily since the last days of summer. Bags of oats, flour and barley were inventoried and stored away within the chambers of Valimier. Zyra hadn’t seen it so busy in here, for the preparation for winter but though it only came in as a whisper, everyone knew why things were going at a faster pace with a greater number of goods. The potential for war was looming on the horizon.
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Unread Nov 9th, 2017, 11:49 AM   #20
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Jacob and Ardon had been called to their workshop to examine metal remains found 2 weeks ago, the scouts had brought the man large fragments and chunks of damaged metal for him to examine, the man was an expert metal worker and he had been in the craft for years and had passed his teachings onto his golden companion Ardon who was a loyal dragon to the man as the dragon took to Jack after his parents fell ill and died.
Jacob had cleared his work space to put the metal chunks on the table and had spent a good amount of time, studying it as well looking at the markings on the metal as he started to put bits together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Jacob scratched is head and called to Ardon who was bringing in the rest of the metal chucks to be laid out on the large, flat table, usually reserved for his metal working.
“Ardon, can you bring the rest of those metal chunks the scouts brought in, I think we building a good picture here of this thing” Jacob said as he put out his pipe as he waited for the gold.
"Can do," said the dragon cheerfully, sauntering off to fetch the rest.
“Good lad, this stuff is mind blowing, I been metal working since 13 and never seen anything like this before, it is really exciting” Jacob said, his tone suggested despite his concern the man had respect and curiosity for what was before him.
"Same, I can't imagine what it's from," replied the dragon. Returning with some more of the metal.
“Thanks, ok let’s see here” Jacob said putting the parts on the table, trying to link them up and placing them to one side, he studied the markings carefully looking through his magnifying glass at the metal markings for any clue what was going on and what this was.
"Hmm," Ardon pondered, looking over the shards.
Jacob looked up as the dragon seemed to be looking intently at the metal shards, the dragon seemingly trying to aid Jacob in this investigation.
Jacob seemed to smile inwardly at himself at Ardon’s antics.
“I can clearly hear the cogs turning from here Ardon, what you think or got, I have taught you metal work” Jacob said standing up and looking at the bits on the table.
"Well the metal bits have obviously been in contact with heat. I can smell it on them, plus a tang that I don't recognize..." he said.
Jacob nodded lightly picking up a piece and looking at it with his eyes closely.
“The work in this is quite something, look at the thickness here, I noticed a curved groove here, found this on a number of pieces, really bizarre” Jacob said showing the part to Ardon.
"Yes, very strange," agreed the dragon, puzzled, cocking his head to the side curiously.
Jacob agreed.
“This is not a sword of any kind, too thick, its too sophisticated to be a mace either, whoever made this has very advanced knowledge of metal work and engineering” Jacob said to the gold.
"Does it look Ashari made? They are best known to be the finest metal crafters." Asked Ardon.
“Not that I know of…but still” Jacob said his words trailing off.
He put the piece back and something seemed to click in his mind as he rearranged the parts on the table and soon something was lining up, it was not fully complete but a shape or a consistent shape was forming.
The man continued as he then got a thin, long metal rod and put it carefully in the grooves that had been lined up and looked at it with much interest.
“Remarkable, Look Ardon, this groove, it’s a long tube, made into the metal, like a long barrel of some sorts, it has been designed into the metal, there is grooves inside, this is some serious stuff my scaled friend, very serious stuff” Jacob said.
"Serious stuff," repeated Ardon, "out of your range of skill?" He teased.
“Cheeky blighter” Jacob replied.
Soon the thundering footsteps of a dragon could be heard rumbling towards them as Jacob continued his examination on the metal parts.
Ardon heard the familiar pace of Braigg walking towards the shop.
"Councillor incoming. Look sharp," he said to Jacob.
“Thought he might” Jacob said looking up to see Braigg approaching with purpose in his walking gait.
Jacob looked up as Braigg approached and stood looking down on the man.
“Counsellor Braigg, how can I help you today?” Jacob queried.
The dragon looked down at the man and he observed the pieces on the table as Ardon made way as the dragon stuck his head in a bit further observing the shards carefully.
“Have you got anything for us?, it has been 2 weeks and you still putting it together?” Braigg said abruptly.
Jacob ignored the dragons mood and spoke.
“I am still putting the puzzle together counsellor, it is far more advanced and the design is very unique, it is something I’ve never seen before so it will take time to get my head round it” Jacob said.
“Your supposed to be the best Metal crafter and worker in Valemier and across the continent and you can solve this” the dragon said clearly not in the happiest of moods considering it had been 2 weeks and the counsellor wanted answers, perhaps to show up Dantos.
Ardon was silent as he waited by the side of the workshop. He grimaced inwardly as he could tell that Braigg was in a mood.
“Well it is very advanced design Counsellor, I cant tell you what I do not know” Jacob said in a neutral tone of voice as the dragon snorted sending smoke up into the air.
“What DO you know about it?” he said in a frustrated huff.
“It’s no sword or mace, it is a weapon of some sort but I got no idea what it is or how it works, but we noticed markings in the metal, a rounded tunnel as it were down the whole length, just putting it together with Ardon, we should have answers once I clear the gunk off the stuff” Jacob replied.
Braigg seemed to accept that answer and withdrew his head, looking down at the man once more, it wasn’t what he wanted to hear but least there was progress.
“I assure you counsellor, you be the first to know of anything I find, I keep working on it” Jacob assured the dragon.
“Be sure that you do” Braigg said turning and heading back to the chambers, as Jacob released a breath he been holding, it was the most tense encounter he had with Braigg, the dragon clearly not pleased.
"What was that all about?" asked Ardon, walking up to the man now that the councillor had gone.
"Seems he wants answers now, well he ain't getting any until we figure this out, tell you what I'm hungry, want to go to the Market and get us a bite to eat?" Jacob asked the dragon, knowing they had not eaten anything since breakfast.
"Certainly can!" Nodded the gold enthusiastically. "Any requests?
The man smiled lightly.
"You know what I like, here take these coins" Jacob handed him a pouch with coins inside.
Ardon took them gently before trotting off with a spring in his step. The dragon always liked these tasks. Anything involving food was good in his eyes.
Jacob watched the golden dragon go trotting off, the man shook his head lightly, that dragon amused him.
He picked up the larger piece of metal and noticed allot of black residue on the end, he shrugged, deciding to clean it off but before that, he got out his pipe and went to get a light…….
Ardon was by the market stall that was there permanently, the humans and the dragon helpers sold fresh produce and fresh meat from the farms around, it was popular with the dragons and the resident humans alike, unsurprisingly the golden wonder was well known.
BOOOM, a small explosion was heard that echoed round the volcano walls and then smoke began to appear.

Ardon dropped the load of bread and side of smoked meat as he not only heard but felt the explosion.
"Jacob!" He shouted, running for the workshop.
When Ardon arrived white and black smoke was belching out of the workshop, there was damage to the wooden beams and the roof had collapsed as Jacob came out of the smoke coughing and spluttering, cuts on his face from the explosion.
Ardon barrelled towards him, skidding to a stop before looming over the man, a protective growl escaping his jaws. "What happened?
"Muck on the metal, ahh I lost me pipe" he coughed as blood ran down his face as other dragons came to help carrying water in buckets as they went to put out the fire.
Ardon quickly ensured that nothing in the shop was on fire before turning back to the man. "We have to get your to the infirmary. You are a bloodied mess."
The man shook his head as he coughed again, trying to clear his throat of the smoke.
"Just fetch me some damp cloths and bandages lad, I be ok, plus some bramble whiskey" he coughed as Tonris arrived rushing in, "What has happened!, the healer is on her way" he said looking at the smouldering workshop, luckily fire had not spread to the rest of the work shop and seemed to be in an isolated area.
"Something about... muck on metal?" Said Ardon, still not understanding himself.
Tonris helped Ardon take Jacob to the infirmary where the healer dragon would take the man as a messenger went off to get Melinda and Zyra.
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Unread Nov 14th, 2017, 10:02 AM   #21
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The messenger, a young dragon with canary yellow scales and decorative, webbed sails raced into action when she was ordered to go fetch the healers. Her talons clicked along the stone as she galloped through the halls. With great luck both of them were still in the infirmary, conducting inventory.
“Help, there was an explosion at the forgery,” she panted as she skidded to a stop.
“An explosion?” asked Zyra, surprised.
The dragoness nodded rapidly, her sails waggling with the quick motion, “The smith had been injured, no one else by the look of it.”
It didn’t take them long to gather their packs of supplies and follow the little dragon back down the winding corridors down to the lava dome. As they approached they could smell smoke and the awful smell of burnt hair. They could hear murmuring and as they turned the corner to peer into the grand room they could see a large crowd had gathered. Some dragons had their wings fanned, beating them vigorously to move the smoke out of the dome’s carved air vents along the top side.

The healers tried to make their way through the crowd. People and dragons were talking quickly about what had happened, the noise of it having drawn many of the volcano’s inhabitants out of their chambers.
"What on earth happened here, that is some damage, what was Jacob up to?" She said.
Zyra then spotted Jacob, and her hand flew to her mouth, aghast. Tonris was trying to lead the man away to the infirmary but he seemed set on staying despite his face being streaked with blood.
"Stars above he's covered in blood!" said Zyra as she spotted him through the crowd. She put her hand on a Coastal dragon’s leg and asked him to excuse her as she made her way through.
"Blimey, what on earth, how close was he?" Melinda said going through the crowds to see to him.
The gold dragon looked up as the crowds parted for the two healers. His eyes lit up with relief.
"Oh, fair skies, the healers are here," said Ardon, nudging Jacob's arm gently to steer him towards them. He wouldn’t be able to duck out now that they had arrived. A wet rag and a swig of whiskey would not be their remedy of choice.
"Ardon, what happened here, gosh you look awful?" Melinda said, turning to Jacob.
Jacob coughed, " Thanks...nice to see you too".
"He keep saying he's fine by he certainly doesn't look it," said the gold, unable to keep the worry from his voice. He was concerned even though the man appeared to be rather nonchalant about nearly being blown to smithereens.
"Well let's get him sorted and cleaned up to my ward, can treat him there," Melinda said.
“If you’ll follow us, Jacob,” said Zyra, offering her support though it seemed like he could walk fine on his own.
Ardon nodded, watching them go apprehensively. He knew that Jacob would want him to tend to the workshop. It was their livelihood and there was little the gold dragon could do to help the man with his injuries at this point.
There was a creek and a crash as the rest of the roof collapsed in on the smithy.
“Rotted Scales!” cursed Ardon as he turned to look at the condition of the forgery. With the help of the others they had managed to put out the smoldering embers so there was hopefully no further risk of fire.
He looked at the shop in dismay. This would take quite a bit of work to fix.
“Bad luck,” came the deep voice of Jalier, a squarely built eastern mountain dragon.
“Jal, can you fetch Hurion for me? I’m in need of his services…” asked Ardon.
The poor gold dragon looked to be in such a state that Jalier couldn’t say no, “Of course, Ardon, I’ll be back with him shortly.”

Ardon began clearing out the broken beams and was thankful to have help from a few dragons that had gathered to see what the noise had been about.
The was a good thing about Valemier, Ardon and Jacob had made name enough for themselves to be fairly well known within the area but even without that dragons here often worked together in times of need without question or complaint.
Soon enough a dragon with scales of the deepest green walked up. His spine was covered in needle like spikes of ruddy red and he sported a flared crest of the same colour. He was a Oakthresher, a breed of forest dwelling dragons and the volcano’s timber feller. The dragon had wickedly long black talons on his front paws that made him well suited to his profession.
“You have a need of lumber, do you, young Ardon?” he asked.
“So it would seem,” said the gold, gesturing to the ruins of the shop roof.
Hurion looked surprised but then quickly composed himself, “I’ll get you what you need for repairs,” he said before adding, “Red Cedar?”
“Yes, I think that’s what we had last time,” nodded Ardon.
“I’ll have Sayla come with treatment for the wood so it’s less likely to burn, probably a good precaution for your line of work.”
Ardon nodded silently, turning back to the shop. They’d get this fixed soon enough, he just wondered what had happened.
While he waited for Jacob to return and for Hurion to come back with the timber needed for their new roof he rooted through the remains of their shop.
With a snort he found the splinters of what was left of Jacob’s pipe. He picked it up in his paw and looked at it.
“Now if anything will get you to quit its this…” he said to himself.
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Unread Nov 14th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #22
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Ardon would not have the luxury of inspecting the damage to himself as the ruckus had alerted two counsellors who had come to see what went on and to see if there was any other threat to the dragons in the volcano.
Braigg was on his way out having heard the ruckus and commotion that had been caused, asking the grand council guards to disperse the crowds so they had room, as Braigg approached the damaged blacksmiths from the grand chambers.
Dantos came late to the commotion, having been tied up with matters regarding the safety of Valemier.
"What's this then?" He asked with a snort. "Clear out!"
Ardon looked up to see Dantos and Braigg approaching and he winced inwardly.
Braigg came out as Dantos guards were clearing the area as he approached Ardon, who was inspecting the damage.
“Is everyone ok here?, is Jacob ok?” Braigg asked the golden dragon, observing the damage done to the blacksmiths building.
"Melinda said he'd be okay. He's gone up to the infirmary," said Ardon.
"What happened?" Asked Dantos, concerned.
"He was looking at the metal fragments and somehow the shop exploded. Maybe a combustible material on the shards?" Said Ardon but it sounded more like a question.
Braigg seemed to look at the shards on the floor, they looked intact, much to his relief, but the blacksmiths was out of action, as well as the metal worker he wanted to analyse the parts.
“Is any of the shards damaged or unusable, it is the only evidence we have to find out what happened on that battle field” Braigg said.
"well..," said Ardon, looking at the remains. "Most of it was in the shop. I collected the remaining pieces but quite a few got damaged in the blast.
“Drat, this is exactly the find of drawback we did not need, losing Jacob and this place is the last thing I want to happen when we have allot riding on the man’s expertise” Braigg said, obviously his mood had changed from caring to frustrated quickly, all in front of Dantos.
"We did not lose Jacob. Ardon says he was just injured. We will figure out what this all is about," said Dantos firmly before turning to Ardon, "did either of you make any progress on the metal?"
Ardon wasn't sure what to say, "not exactly. We ruled out it being Ashari steel. He found some interesting configuration but we didn't get much further than that."
Braigg gave Dantos a look before speaking.
“He was telling me about some sort of shape, casted into the metal, when he put the parts together like a funnel?” Braigg queried.
"Almost, like a tube of sorts. I’ve never seen anything like it personally," replied the gold.
Braigg scratched his head and looked at Dantos, “Could..could you spare a dragon or two to help get this workshop back up and running, I can also ask Tonris to help with this” Braigg suggested, resorting to diplomacy with Dantos.
"I already have a few in mind. I'll send over Kalliel and Wryn to help get the shop back in order," said Dantos, knowing that they depended on the metal smiths for their defence.
Braigg gave a respectful nod and turned to Ardon.
“Ok, we get you help to bring this place up to code quickly, I will go check up on Jacob now, I hope he be ok, he is vital to all of our investigations” Braigg said as he left towards Melinda’s healing chamber.
"Hurion is bringing timber for me to fix ... this," said Ardon as he dragged a few pieces of wood out of the way.
"I'll see to it that the expenses for repair are dealt with," said Dantos firmly. His own wealth could go further and faster than the black smiths.
Ardon looked up, surprised and relieved all at once. Now that fretting over Jacob had come first he had despaired at the cost it would ask to fix the ruins of their shop, especially after all their spending on their personal quarters.
He bowed his head.
"We are truly grateful Dant-"
"Think nothing of it. I need you both up and running as soon as possible if Jacob is in good health." Replied the green dragon, "send all costs to me. Good luck."

Meanwhile Melinda was cleaning up the man’s injuries with the help of Zyra with Tonris there as well trying to help as much as he could as Jacob had protested he was fine all the way to the infirmary and had been asking for his pipe and favourite bottle of rum, Melinda wasn’t having any of it and soon the man reluctantly sat there was Melinda worked.
Cleaning his face and applying pressure to the cuts on his face and used damp cloths to wipe the blood away so she could see the cuts clearly, luckily for the man they were not as deep as Melinda had feared.
She worked methodically as Zyra darted around helping with Tonris get warm bubbling water into large Iron bowls which he heated with his flame.
Melinda used a herbal salve which was a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent to prevent infection or any nasties getting in, even the clothes were covered in herbs and tea tree extract to keep the area clean and infection free.
“Here is another bowl of hot water Melinda, shall I add these bits into the water?” Tonris asked as Melinda turned and nodded.
“Please, thank you Tonris, least the cuts on Jackob don’t require sewing up, otherwise we have to get the medical rum and that new they call it in the back water town of Agreis” she said as Jacob sighed lightly, he could go for one of them right now.
Soon Braigg appeared and approached as he nodded to the healer in respect, the dragon had good respect for the woman, she had cured him of a nasty ailment a few seasons back and the dragon had rated her highly and knew he had to strike the right tone of voice.
“How is Jacob doing?” Braigg asked the woman.
“He;s doing ok, the cuts aren’t too deep so they heal up on their own, I put a bandage round his head and ensure he’s well enough to continue, no concussion but I’d recommend rest” Melinda said.
Braigg nodded his head lightly.
“I am glad you are safe Jacob, what exactly happened?” Braigg asked Jacob.
The man tried to remember but it all happened so fast that it seemed like a blur to him, still he did recall it, the bang, the heat from the flames.
“Went to get my pipe, went to get a light from the furnace and then boom, ended up with a smoking blacksmiths and injuries” he said to the counsellor.
Melinda paused and took a smell of the man;s jacket, there was a smoke smell but it was familiar somehow, it reminded her of something she discovered playing around with her chemistry set.
“Can I have your outer garments Jack, there is soot on there, plus something got me thinking, I like to find out the cause of the explosion” Melinda said as Jacob complied, taking it off at the healer’s request.
“Well, rest up Jacob, Ardon and Dantos are helping to bring your workshop back in order, in the mean time rest up, that is an order” Braigg said as Melinda smiled lightly.
“Fine, I shall do, but no more than 3 days” Jacob tried to bargain making Braigg chuckle.
“Ok, 3 days rest, leave the rebuilt to your apprentice dragon and the others, Dantos is sorting that, I need you to be back on form to help me” the counsellor said.
“will do counsellor” Jacobn said coughing as he left the healer to it, once she was happy with Jacob’s treatment she wanted to study the soot and smoke smell on his out garments.
“Tonris can you take Jacob home? Slowly please” Melinda said as the young dragon nodded enthusiastically as he helped Jaocb leave.
“Thanks healer” Jacob said.
Melinda smiled, “No worries oh and one more thing”
“What is that?” he asked.
“Pack in the smoking will you, I don’t want you spontaneously combusting again”.
“Urgh……great” Jacob responded.
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Unread Nov 17th, 2017, 05:47 AM   #23
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Ardon had cleared the workshop but didn’t have to wait long for Hurion to return with cut and prepared lumber. It smelled fresh like red cedar and was fine grained and was straight as could be. The large dragon deposited it just as Kellil and Wryn approached.

Kelliel was a Stormjay, a sturdy breed with numerous spined sails extruding from his deep, navy coloured scales. Wryn was a wingless breed, but one of a smaller variety of silvery grey scales that were often referred to as Striders.
With Hurion’s help the four dragons set to work. Wryn was a wood worker by trade and was often commissioned to create stables and the like for the more wealthy patrons of Valemier. His knowledge came in handy and he was quick with making accurate measurements. Wryn was one who liked to work in near silence, letting his skill take rein over any idle talk.
This left Kelliel to keep chatter up with Ardon after Hurion had left after the main support beams had been put in place.
One good thing about the shop blowing up was that they could now make the roof taller, giving more room for the gold dragon to move around without having to be careful of knocking his crest against things. This would mean that Jacob would have to use a ladder to get at the lofted ceiling storage but that was of little issue.
Wryn hammered away with iron nails, securing the beams together He kept a pawful of them tucked under his lip, giving him a metal snarl as he worked.

Ardon and Kelliel moved beams, held them in place and prepared the other timber for Wryn’s instruction. It was a long task but between the three of them they were making good progress considering that only hours prior the place had been in shambles.

Just after one Zyra came down to pay them a visit. Ardon put down some cross beams and walked over to her where she waited out of the way.
“IS everything okay?” he asked with urgency in his voice.
“Yes, you big softie. Everything is fine. He’s in his rooms resting. I want you to promise me to make him go back if he tried to come down to help or go back to work for that matter,” said the young woman. “He’s to be resting for three days after something like that. Doctor’s orders”
“I understand.”
She held up three fingers, “Three. Not two and a half. Three.”
Ardon grinned, “Got it.”
Zyra returned his smile with a coy one of her own, “Good. Looks like you’re making progress.”
“We’re getting there. A lot of cutting things down to size and such before we get much underway.”
“Well I’m sure it will look grand once it’s all done,” she assured him.
The dragon nodded. The shop was a second home to him and it distressed him to see it in such a state.
Soon after Zyra left and Ardon joined the others and got back to work. Measuring, sawing, sanding and hammering took up much of the rest of the day. Finally, as it was getting late they were finished.
The three dragons stood back to look at their work. It was grand considered it was completed in less than a whole day.
“Well that’s something. Thank you both,” said Ardon, letting go a relieved breath.
“Welcome, young Ardon,” said Wryn.
“It’s missing something though…” said Kelliel, putting a paw to his chin in thought. He exchanged a look with Wryn and the grey dragon nodded.
“What?” asked Ardon, “What is it missing?”
“Something for luck,” said Kelliel.
“Like a horseshoe? I can get one tomo—OUCH!” Ardon suddenly yelped. Kelliel had yanked a partially loose scale from his rump. It hadn’t been quite ready to fall yet but it had had sat askew against the others for a few weeks now.
“What under the blood sky-“ he began to protest but Kelliel smiled.
“Gold dragons are supposed to be lucky and getting a gold scale from one is considered a good omen.” He said, Waving the scale in front of Ardon.
The young male grumbled and rubbed the sore patch where it had been pulled from.
“Kelliel is right,” said Wryn, taking the scale and four iron nails. He set the scale on the entry beam and placed the nails around it so that they held in it place like a stone setting.
“Try not to let Jacob blow this one up, hm?” smiled Kelliel.
Ardon nodded, “I’ll do my best.”

It was nearly midnight when Ardon finally returned to his and Jacobs shared quarters. Flecks of sawdust still lingered between his scales
"Hey Ardon, you look beat, late for you" the man said as he was resting on his bed.

"Just finished fixing the shop. Made decent work of it with all the help," said the dragon, laying down on the floor with a thump. He sighed, grateful to be off his feet at last. The day had been a busy one and he was now exhausted.
"Ahh, good lad, thank you wish I'd help but Melinda got her minder on me the blue scaled one" he chuckled lightly.
"Someone may have come down to tell me to send you back up here should you come wandering down to help as well," laughed Ardon, not lifting his tired head from the floor.
"Oh it's started already, urgh....I feel ok only a bump on the head need me pipe," Jacob said.
"Your pipe was blown to bits. I think we should take that as a sign from the stars," replied the gold dragon, with a stern look.
"Do not blame the pipe, it was something on that metal lol, residue or some gubbins ignited, but healer Melinda and u want me to quit so..." Jacob replied.
“I think it might be a wise idea…” said Ardon. He let out two small curls of smoke from his nostrils, “Dragons should be the only one’s smoking after all.”
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Unread Nov 19th, 2017, 12:10 PM   #24
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Melinda had taken Jacob’s Jacket and had gotten out her chemistry set, she had set it all up in one of the chambers used for dragons healing, she seemed to have a determined focus upon her face, the unknown residue and smell on the man’s clothing had got her intrigued as she used her knife to cut the fabric.
She also lit candles and put them under glass flasks with tubes coming out of them as she used a wooden frame to hold things in place as she continued her work, the dragon healers gave the woman funny looks but paid no heed as the woman was known to be a little eccentric.
Zyra walked into the infirmary, drying her hands on a clean cloth as she spotted Melinda. "What are you up to?" she inquired, looking the contraption up and down with interest.
Melinda looked up and saw Zyra approach.
“Jacobs clothing, the smell and residue….something just clicked in my head, so I’m ruining his clothing here to see what this is” she gestured to the resin she managed to scrape off the fabric in the short amount of time.
The resin sat on a piece of a glass plate she had acquired from one of the cities, she was pleased that the city had scientific minds like her plus had supplies.
"Oh, you think this is what made everything explode?" she asked, looking closer.
“I bet you a month’s coin that this is it, but the question is what is it used for, these tests will know, whatever it is, it involves chemistry young Zyra” Melinda replied.
"Chemistry," echoed the girl quietly, still looking at the setup of things that were sprawled across the table. "Well, I hope it works. Seems a bit dangerous knowing that this stuff is out there and could explode at any time it comes into contact with heat."
Melinda nodded her head lightly.
"Yes it is.....but what if it's designed to be part of something...a mechanism or a vital ingredient" Melinda suggested
Zyra's eyes brightened at this thought, "That would be very clever," she said, her hand on her chin as she thought.
“Want to help?, more hands make light work, plus you said you always wanted to learn chemistry” Melinda asked the silver haired woman.
"I'd love to!" beamed the girl, already tying her hair back so that it would not get in the way, "Tell me where to begin."
Melinda grinned and begun to tell the woman where to begin and what they be working on during these next couple of hours.

The next day Calisto came down the grand chamber of the elders in at a brisk pace, her talons echoing on the marble floors of the corridor, she was heading towards Dantos chamber, she had a report from ground scouts and her fast fliers that something awful had happened in Merchook which was in the grips of civil war.
What she was told unnerved the dragoness and so she went quickly to the defence elders chamber to inform him of the news urgently.
Dantos was rolling up a piece of parchment when he heard Callisto trotting towards him. He turned to see her approaching quickly, "Callisto, what is it?"
Calisto nodded in respect to the dragon elder and spoke.
“I have had word from our scouts, and also the red racers on the ground, I have disturbing news to come out of Merchook” Calisto said.
Callisto had the green dragon's attention, "What has happened?"
Calisto took a breath and spoke, allowing the time to gather her thoughts/.
“One of the cities, delwark, allied to the one brother, Prince Mathew in this civil war has been totally destroyed, his allies, forces, the lot, civilians the city is all but rubble, debris shows the same patterns we discovered a few weeks ago, from other reports there is only 2 left to fight this civil war, Prince Melburn and princess Alyssa for control of Merchook” Calisto explained to the dragon.
Dantos tried not to openly gape. This was disastrous news. "Survivors?" He inquired as his mind turned and tried to formulate a proper action in response to this news.
Calisto shook her head.
“None elder Dantos, we also noticed allot of activity gathering at the biggest Merchook port which is south, the port in question is Nvida, there is a little too much activity for our scouts to go unnoticed” Calisto said.
Dantos shook his head and closed his eyes. "This has crossed the line. It's been pushed too far for just scouts and sentries taking watch. A meeting between provinces must be called for or else things will continue to spiral downwards and more innocent lives lost," he said firmly.
Calisto seemed to agree but she knew there would be one obstacle in the way, Braigg the dragon was a little more brash but seemed to want to wait untilJacob had finished his work on the metal shards, this had been put back due to the accident.
“Braigg might be trouble elder Dantos, he is waiting for Jacob to report back, I also overheard one or two dragons that Melinda is working on something to do with the accident as well, he will likely resist any action of any kind until the two humans have finished their work, to back up his side of opinion.” Calisto advised.
"I am not suggesting a call to arms," Dantos said through his teeth. "I'm talking about a gathering, without swords teeth or fire. See if we can talk some sense into these warring nations. "
Calisto nodded lightly.
“Perhaps discuss this with the grand council and once the formalities are done I can send my fastest scouts to the other nations” Calisto offered.
"That's my plan. Let's see if we can stop the flame before it turns into an inferno," said Dantos.
Calisto smiled lightly.
“I hope so too elder, but Braigg will not be easy to sway, he’s a stubborn dragon once he’s set on a task his own way” Calisto warned.
"Well if he didn't want to at least attempt to stop a useless slaughter then he is a fool," said the green dragon bitterly.
Calisto seemed to go silent, the two dragons had not been on good terms the last few weeks and tension between the two counsellor’s was increasing, Braigg did not seem set to change his mind on the strategy he was pursuing, nor Dantos, these two would create a big rift in the council of Valemier unseen in its history.

Last edited by IapetusCas : Nov 19th, 2017 at 01:54 PM.
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Unread Nov 23rd, 2017, 10:12 AM   #25
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It didn’t take long for the council members to gather at Dantos’ request and upon hearing that there was dire news from Calisto’s team. Word spread quickly and soon enough there was a murmur of conversation and an air of unease in the council chambers when Dantos arrived. He was wearing his white mantle and silver defence sigil. There was a fire in his eye as he sat and waited patiently, Calisto to his left. He had requested her presence as well, being the head of Valemier’s messengers, her word would be true and not muddled or stretched by hyperbole.
Asifa finally arrived, her movements slow and a little pained. Her old bones ached with the colder encroaching weather and it took her some time to get from place to place. The room quieted as she entered the hallowed chambers.
Taking her place at the forefront of the ring of elders, she shuffled her wings slightly and blinked her cloudy eyes.
“Dantos, you have requested a meeting regarding the news coming out of Delwark?” asked the head elder.
The green dragon stood and bowed his head briefly, “Yes, my elder. News has come from the region that a terrible slaughter has obliterated the city.”
He paused as murmurs of surprise rose up but quickly hushed again as they realized there was more.
“Calisto’s messengers returned today with word of what happened but little else,” he said grimly.
Asifa turned to Calisto, “What have your messengers seen?” she asked.
"My scouts report the city in ruins, little remains of the city, there were no refugees either...just bodies" Calisto painted a grim picture.
“Civilians and soldiers, villagers and infantry all gone,” added Dantos, “The ruins of the walled city are all that remain.”
"Any sign of who has done this atrocious thing?" asked Asifa, trying to hold back the horror in her voice. A whole city had been laid to waste. Something like this hadn’t happened in a terribly long time, since back when Dragons warred with humans.
"Only evidence is from holes in the soil, they seem similar to the ones found when we investigated the destroyed convoy, several scouts reported a familiar smell or odour lingering," Calisto replied as Braigg was unusually quiet.
“Dragon fire?” inquired Asifa; worried that hearing dragons might be involved with this level of devastation would be a dire thing indeed.
Calisto shook her head lightly, "No my elder, something more smoky, chemical in nature," She said as Braigg seemed in deep thought.
Dantos spoke up again after some speculation of what could be the cause of the burning craters in the city could be, “Elder Asifa we must send out word to the other nations. I think a Peace Summit is necessary to ensure that nothing like thing continues to happen. If we can ally ourselves with other nations that want to ensure a peaceful unity we can help stop these horrible actions and perhaps find out who and what is the cause behind all this.”
The white dragoness seemed to ponder at this. Peace was one of their top priorities but the safety of Valemier and its inhabitants also needed to be ensured.
“Perhaps,” she said slowly, “Perhaps you are right, but if so we must go about it in a delicate way.”
"Jacob and Melinda are looking into what caused the devastation, I think we need to tread carefully or we could find ourselves a target," Braigg said, finally speaking.
"The cities will be allocated additional funds for defence but I urge Dantos’ dragons maintain a visible presence to reassure the governments," Baxter added.
"I must concur with counsellor Braigg and urge caution reaching out," Calisto said, throwing her support for Braigg.
Dantos cast Calisto a look, disbelief turned to distain in his expression before he turned back to the others in the room, “You want to sit back on your haunches and possibly allow other cities to fall in the same manner?” he said, “A talk regarding peace isn’t going to be a risk if we send out the call in concern for civilians.”
"I think despite caution, the cities will support your actions counsellors and especially yours grand elder," Baxter said.
The old dragoness seemed to pause for a few moments of consideration.
“Let us speak with Halheri, the leader of Ashari. They are our biggest trading partner and like us, share borders with Merchook. We will see if we can see if they have noticed anything on their borders and perhaps work together without seeming like a building force that threatens to crash over like a wave.”
Dantos had to accept it. Her word was final. It wasn’t what he wanted but it was better than nothing at all. Ashari was a strong and steadfast country with populous cities and thriving ports. They traded well with Valemier but were often seen as standing at arm’s length from any close association to another country. With their shared borders it could be good to have more eyes on Merchook, however.
Dantos nodded, “Thank you Elder. I will send word to Halheri.”
“She will likely request a face to face meeting. She is distrustful of post and messengers when it comes to things of this nature,” said Asifa, “If this is so you must go but don’t delay, Valemier has great need of us all right now,” she gave them all a look of importance.
Dantos bowed, “Of course, my elder.”
“Then we are dismissed for now. As always we will keep in close communication over the ongoing events,” said the elder dragoness, rising to her feet.
Dantos turned, his white mantle flowed out over his shoulder as he said not a word to Calisto, still stung that she had seemed on his side before the meeting but turned to Braigg’s support when it had come down to his suggestion.
The defence councillor had work to occupy him now, however. With the added budget he could get more dragons along the borders and hopefully stop any further devastation like what befell Delwark and send word to the Steel Empress of Ashari.
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