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Praying for Good Fortune; Open
Topic Started: Aug 29 2017, 08:04 PM (352 Views)
Atara
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Mari had gathered her supplies, chosen her mount and studied old maps of Grovereach, from before. When the entire continent spilled over with life and joy. Before the beginning of the war. When their world had peace and prosperity. Had her grandfather survived the excursion to close the portals, she would have studied his records too. But he hadn't and so now she had only herself and her Syndal to rely on. All that was left to do was pray, to beseech the gods for their aid and mercy, so that Mari could bring the world a step closer to healing.

She'd brought offerings, of course. Sweet incense and a small crystal infused with magic. A psalm written in praise of Blackmoon. A Gray's horn taken as a trophy from her first war. The gods never spoke to her, as she imagined they must once have spoken to her grandfather, but she knew they saw her all the same. Their kindness had brought her Syndal and she called on Blackmoon's gifts every time she reached for the ancient, elemental powers. She closed her eyes as she laid the last of her offerings on Gossbara's alter, having already sacrificed to every other deity she thought likely to aid her.

"Please, give me the strength and wisdom to complete my task. Don't let me fail our people and our world."

Syndal lay a gift out too. It was a bug. A pretty bug, but still a bug. Hopefully the gods understood that the dragons were different than people...

The gods are the gods. Come on. Time to go. I'm going to hunt and train. You should go read a book or something. You look tense.

Of course Mari was a bit frightened. How could she not be? She'd fought more battles than she could count, saved towns and villages aplenty, but this would be her first time venturing into what had once been the heart of the enemy's territory. Only a qwibus would expect it to be simple.

"Just give me one more minute..." Mari asked, even as Syndal flew at her, trying to herd her out as if she was nothing but a frightened rabbit.
Edited by Atara, Aug 29 2017, 08:07 PM.
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Something diabolical
Maelstrom had been spending what free time he could gather, in the Temple. The single great structure that held many smaller shrines to every god and goddess known. There had even been a recent addition made, allowing a place for Ebon to be here as well. One of the more popular areas that held more offerings than most of the others. Slightly unsettling for the cleric of Kelendra. He paused at the shrine he tended and bowed his head to his goddess' statue and murmured a soft prayer before he began to dust around the corners of her shrine, cleaning the delicate folds of her statued garments.

He caught the sound of voices, and his fluffy snow leopard's tail twisted into a S shape as he listened a little longer. He recognized the familiar sounds of a woman though did not hear a second voice, meaning it was likely another Keeper. She did not sound like she was in a good place and the scuffling of wings told him two things. First, her dragon was a Lizardling, and two, it was agitated. Maelstrom rose to his feet and would move around the corner to take a look where he would spot the white winged Thayer knelt before Blackmoon's shrine.

The Mesai smiled a little as he spotted her bonded attempting desperately to get her to move while she pleaded to stay a little longer. "It appears...that he might be a little hungry." he spoke, stepping fully around the corner, dressed in his usual choice of clothing when not armoured for combat.

"Is there anything that I can assist you with?" he asked curiously now, lacing his hands behind his back as he approached her.
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Mari gave the Mesai cleric a warm smile. Her worries were her own and she would not burden him with her fears. They were her burden to bear and she was sure he had troubles enough of his own. But he was kind and if he was a cleric, he must have a god's ear, so she said, "If you could whisper a few words for me to your patron, I would be grateful. We leave tomorrow for Grovereach. I do not know what we will find there and we hope only for good fortune. And that we might bring welcome tidings back, so the displaced can return to the lands of their ancestors'."

She gave Syndal an affectionate pat as he settled onto her shoulder, cocking his head to examine the newcomer, before flying around him and stopping for a moment to look at his tail. Syndal always liked Mesai tails and Thayer wings, regardless of how often Mari told him it was rude to stare, "My apologies for my partner. He's merely bored. It's been a long day and Syndal has never been one for patience. I'm Mari Elestrelyn, originally of Lusken."

Syndal returned to her arm when she gave him a look. Not every busy person enjoyed being fluttered about by a lizardling. He chirped a cheerful welcome to the cleric anyway, You can look too. And pet. Are clerics' pets good luck? The lizardling had clearly decided this was just the distraction he was looking for. He got to do something besides stare, the cleric got to make a new lizardling friend and Mari could stay and pray. Everyone got to be happy.
Edited by Atara, Aug 31 2017, 03:02 PM.
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He blinked, realizing she was one of the mission team specialists who would be going on mission to the north. She seemed rather nervous about it and quickly nodded his head. "Of course I will leave extra offerings in you and your team's favor for a safe return home." he said, moving in a little closer to her. He had seen her around the Fort a few times now, though had never really gotten to know her and in this moment he regretted it, since she clearly needed the guidance of someone to help her through this stressful time. Maelstrom had almost volunteered himself but his own nerves kept him from doing so.

The man took a breath to keep his cool and blinked, chuckling softly as Syndal buzzed around him and gave his tail that familiar look. That look he had gotten many times before by others like him...it usually meant his fluff was going to be attacked and he stiffened, making his tail stand still in an attempt to save it from nibbles. "It's no problem. I feel that I am not the only one who suffers constant tail nibbles from the littler breeds of dragons." he replied, not too concerned about it as he turned his eyes up to the woman before him. Though out of the corner of his eye he did pay attention to Syndal's location. "It's a pleasure to meet you formally Mari. I am Maelstrom of the Darksteel clan." he said, giving her a respectful tip of his head, "and if it helps, you could allow him to go spend some time with Vorlianth. He's outside some place right now and I am sure he would come if I called him. He's quiet good company."

He glanced down surprised at Syndal when the Lizardling talked to him. "Oh well, Vorlianth tells me I am good at scrubbing him but he doesn't mention my pets so I am not sure if they are any good. How about it, would you like to meet him?" he asked.
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Syndal tilted his head. A big dragon? Yes he did like big dragons. They were always fun to play with. And usually needed his help. All that bulk, without his cleverness to back it up, Good idea! I'll ask him. Maybe a cleric's dragon is lucky too.

He flew out the door and wondered how he was going to find Vorlianth...But it didn't end up being very hard. He was big and white and shiny and...there. Syndal approached without hesitation, given him a happy chirp, Hello Vorianth! I'm Syndal. I'm about to go on a dangerous quest, so we should do something fun. Big dragons didn't have enough fun. It'd be good for him too.

Mari smiled indulgently as he flitted outside. At least one of them was having a good time. She wondered if her grandfather had been afraid, before he left on the mission that had cost him his life. Perhaps it made her less than a hero. An unworthy heir to his title. But regardless of her doubts or worries, she would persevere. Because she was the only one who could.

"Thank you," she said with a nod and a gentle smile, "It's good to meet you too, Maelstorm. Fort Zephyr is fortunate to number one of the gods' favorites amongst their warriors. Have you considered putting a bit of scented oil on your tail? I find that some flavors are useful in discouraging Syndal from going through my jewelry box. It smells very nice as well."

She'd put scented oil in her feathers, from time to time, when they needed a bit of extra gleam for a special occasion, and was always happy to share a tip with fellow Keepers. She sometimes still used it for her own wings, when around lizardlings she knew to be a bit too fond of pretty feathers.
Edited by Atara, Aug 31 2017, 06:31 PM.
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Vorlianth was one of the easier dragons to spot. All of them had a metallic shine to them, but his shine was brilliant in the sun. He was a glossy mother of pearl so that all of his white reflected a myriad of colors as it beams of light bent around him and caused him to shimmer. Delicate point of darkness stood out like shadowed pits, accenting his pale green eyes. Hearing the voice of a Lizardling, Vorlianth looked to him with a curious rumble. He had been sunbathing in a snow pile outside the temple. A place where it had all been shoveled up (by him) into a temporary cold bed. He cracked open an eye and watched the brilliant gold lizardling. Hello Syndal...and what is it you have in mind for dangerous things to do? he asked. The dragon always considered himself a clever boy, but he was not near as intuitive as the lizardlings he had met. What ever Syndal had in mind, it was going to be great!

Her words caught him off guard, being referred to as a 'gods favorite'. He actually chuckled. "Oh stars...I do not think anyone has ever called me that or referred to me as that before. I mean we are all favored of the gods to be here and bonded to any dragon as they were gifted to us by them...but I am a humble cleric, technically still in training as I never finished." he admitted with a small snicker still echoing in his words.

He tipped his head at the suggestion of scented oils in his tail "I...have not and I never herd of that before. Honestly, my fur is so thick I don't know if it would be strong enough to stick, and if it was...it would probably never wash out." which was true. I had thick, plush fur covering his fifth appendage and it was quiet repellant of fluids.

Maelstrom laced his hands behind his back now. "I'm probably lucky that Vorlianth is far to big to fit into my apartment at his age, else I'd be concerned about him going through everything as well. That boy is a lizardling trapped in a dragon's body." he joked.
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So the dragon wanted to do something dangerous, huh? Syndal had an idea. He thought. He couldn't risk getting hurt tonight, when his Keeper needed him tomorrow but...We could go to the beach. They have pretty shells there. Make good gifts for Keepers. Could be scary but...I'm pretty fast. And I'm a great explorer. Chosen by the Fort Master himself. So you can trust me. Well...more like they'd volunteered. But a few white lies had never hurt a body. And Syndal had gone shell-hunting lots of times. Nothing too bad ever happened to him, when he was so quick to blink away. And a dragon that big? Nothing was hurting him either.

Back inside, Mari shrugged. He served the gods and the gods rewarded those who loved them best. How could one of their clerics be anything but a favorite? "You put your studies on hold to protect the gods' world. I do not believe they would hold such a thing against you and as you said, they granted you a dragon. Which do you serve?"

Mari prayed to all the gods and believed they all watched over her, but none had ever hinted of particular fondness or given a favor so great, she would dedicate her life to them and them alone. She served her world and her people and the pantheon. And that would have to be good enough.

She tilted her head as he explained why her suggestion would work less well for a Mesai, "I'd suggest a bell of some sort...but that would be a cure worse than the disease. I hope your fur is at least thick enough to protect you from serious damage. Your Vorlianth sounds like an interesting sort. I'm quite pleased with my Lizardling partner but I know most of the bigger dragons are less...rambunctious. If he's as clever as a lizardling too, he must cause the Ternarium much pain."
Edited by Atara, Sep 1 2017, 10:50 AM.
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Something diabolical
Vorlianth crooned, pleased with the idea. That sounds like a good idea. There are many shells on the beaches. I have seen them before, good ones that are big enough for you to fit into maybe. he replied, eyes gleaming with mischief. There was much they could get into on those beaches even in winter. Together, he figured that they could possibly find more than shells there! I do trust you, you are cousin and I always trust my cousins. he added.

Maelstrom blushed a little at her words. The Thayer were always so poetic and flowery to him and he honestly liked it. "As honored as I am that you would call me as such, I do my best to be humble, my position as Cleric was taken so that I could help people the best that I could." he replied. The Mesai had a feeling he would not be successful in convincing her otherwise. He gave her a friendly chuckle though. "I am under Kelendra's shadow. She has lead me well in my life and I felt that I should repay the favor by guiding her flock." Maelstrom added.

Her suggestions sounded all well and good, and they would probably work well for anyone with a Lizardling, or even a rambunctious Hydrakir pair to tend to. He was lucky that Vorlianth was large and had a fair better bit of impulse control and knew that he could harm his bonded if he swatted that fluffy and pretty tail of his. "Aye, my fur is quiet thick though I know many of my brethren are not blessed with as plush of a coat." he started, moving his tail to his left so that she could get a good look at the extra appendage. "I do not have too much worry over it since Vorlianth is a big boy and leaves it alone."

He would tip his head as he gets a sense from his dragon. "Oh my, speaking of clever, it seems your bonded has convinced mine to go to the beach. Shall we go and join them?"
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Climbing inside shells sounded like great fun indeed. Perhaps they would even find the sort with pearls inside. Yes, this was an excellent plan. And nobody could be nervous when showered with shells, Let's go then! He wouldn't even blink there, because Vorlianth couldn't and it was rude to leave new friends to find their own way, Follow me cousin.

Mari nodded, somewhat amused by the Mesai's continued self-effacement. Humility had never been one of her great virtue, "Helping and guiding others is your duty as cleric and keeper both. There's no shame in taking pride in it. I am sure Kelendra is pleased to have a warrior priest." She was a Mesai deity, Mari knew, of battle and honor. A fitting patron for a Keeper. And the sort whose good will Mari would do well to have, should the enemy stumble upon her and should she hope to not disgrace her good name.

She smiled and let the topic of his tail drop, glad for his sake he had a partner who didn't require such measures. Should he ever find himself living in close quarters with one of the smaller dragons, hopefully he would recall her advice.

Mari was unsurprised to hear Syndal had lured the other dragon away from the Temple. He'd already been growing restless and it was his way to be forever in search of new places to poke his head into, "We probably should. Otherwise I fear Syndal may try to talk your Vorliath into something unwise." Her lizardling meant well, always, but he sometimes forgot not everyone was as quick as he, "Unless your duties compel you to stay here. I can try and dissuade my partner in that case. I wouldn't wish to pull you from your work."
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The large, pearly dragon rose to all fours as little Syndal called for him to follow. I will be right behind you little one. he replied before leaping into the air. Vorlianth's impressive wingspan snapped wide as he launched himself into the skies. He had to wait a little after Syndal had already gone airborne to give himself proper room and not buffer the smaller lizardling right out of the air! The dragon would fly along behind, trailing the little golden yellow dart.

He took in a breath and sighed, giving up on it. "I suppose you are right, but I do try to be humble about it." he chuckled in admittance. "If I walked around with more pride in what I do, it might go to my head and I would be impossible to deal with. Something like that, I am sure no one would want to deal with." he added with a small laugh.

He would turn, leading the way out of the temple and into the open air outside, walking along side Mari now. "I think it would be hard to talk Vorlianth into something he would not do anyways. Mostly because there is not much he would not do...a bit of a danger seeker... Hmm, as much as I hate to admit it to anyone. I am the same way." he said, glancing to her now as they exited the Temple and looked up to see their dagons were winging off towards the ocean. He sighed. "I think we are a little late. Shall we catch up?"
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Syndal might have added a few extra whirls and flourishes to his flight...because he was a bit of a show-off at heart. Why shouldn't his big cousins appreciate how skilled and agile he was? Plus, tricks were fun. Not that flying was ever not fun...But it was more fun with tricks, You should try tricks too! I can teach you some if you don't know any. Because why should even the journey be boring?

Mari smiled. She supposed that was true. While she had few insecurities about her own value, others who were less self-confident might find it grating if the cleric-keeper were to assert his full importance. And it was unkind to make others feel small, "As long as you understand you don't need to hang your head, there's no danger in modesty, when it will allow all to stand tall besides you."

Advice he didn't seem to need...But Mari couldn't resist giving. Had she remained at home, she would surely have eventually become a teacher of some kind, the need to herd and nourish innate within her. Now she protected the entire world...but she still cared for its individual pieces.

Mari giggled. Danger-seeking...she could sympathize. While she might not embrace danger for danger's sake, she would freely admit that it was the riskier missions that made her feel most like a hero, "It sounds like a good match. But I suppose all of us must have been born with more taste for excitement than our parents' would have wished. Or we would not be Keepers."

At the sight of the dragons darting ahead, and Maelstorm's question, she nodded and started a light jog. Had she been alone, she would have flown. But that wouldn't be fair to her wingless companion, "Yes. We should. Before they talk each other into something unwise."
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Vorlianth would chuckle as he winged after the smaller one. I know many tricks and fancy moves. I just did not want to knock you out of the air. You are so small and my wings are very large. he replied, tipping his body just right to catch an under current that would make him corkscrew, just so he could show off that he could indeed, pull off a stunt or two of his own.

Maelstrom chuckled, brushing his fingers through his locks of golden blonde hair; a strange trait for a Mesai to posses though not entirely unheard of. "I do not hang my head for anyone aside from Kelendra herself." he responded, glancing to her with an icy blue gaze. "I just do well to keep my pride in check is all. Though, it is not often that someone can catch me in it and call me out on it as you have." he said, sounding rather impressed by her skill and mental prowess.

There was something that he had to agree on. "Aye...there we see eye to eye on. There is something about us Keepers who have... a type. Something to make us stand out from the norm of our people. Some times it is a born difference and sometimes it is circumstances of our life that changes the way we think. No matter what it is, that difference...that...spark in us makes us the people dragons seek." he replied, glancing up at the path they walked that would lead them to the beach.

Already, Vorlianth had landed on the shore and had let his talons sink into the sand. Despite the distance they had, Maelstrom could see the large white and pearly body of his dragon awaiting for his Keeper with the unseen lizardling. When Mari started to jog, he quickened his pace to keep up with her, surprised at her speed for a Thayer! Heavy wings were deceiving to him and the race had a way of moving pretty speedily despite carrying around the equivalent of a full marching gear on there back at all times. "What do you think they will do?" he asked, glancing to her as he jogged neck and neck with her.
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Not bad! Syndal laughed, darting easily around the tip of his larger companions tail, But you don't have to worry about me. I'm small and fast!

He demonstrated this by diving towards the sand, only to blink to safety a moment before impact, and come in for a very flowery and needlessly loopy landing. Because he was awesome, Good flying! You're not too slow either. For a big guy. What do you want to try to find? Pearls? Shells? Pretty fish?I've never found a pearl but Mari says they're in shells...And you look like a pearl so it'd look good on your gear.

Mari's lips quirked in a smile as the cleric confessed he did very well know what he was doing. Which was unsurprising. He was a cleric and a keeper. Not to mention an unusual looking Mesai who surely drew stares from his own people, with a coloring that would be more at home amongst Mari's kind. It wasn't arrogance to recognize his own worth. Merely acknowledging the facts. Like Mari, with her heroic bloodline and great magic, he knew who he was, "Don't worry. I'll keep your secret. If anyone asks, I'll deem you a paragon of modesty."

She nodded to his observation, warming to the discussion. There did seem to be something about Keepers, "It's true. I've always assumed the gods steer the worthy to our path. But perhaps it's more that it takes a certain confidence, or arrogance if you prefer, to consider one's self a worthy partner for a dragon of any breed. We save the world. It's hardly a job for the fainthearted or weak spirited. Special talents, a certain grit, unusual intellect, remarkable survival skills...Those are the sort of things that breed such self-assurance. And the same things I imagine the Fort Master looks for when selecting cadets. It's never struck me as strange at all, that us Keepers are similar in many ways."

Mari kept pace with Maelstorm, running at a brisk, but not punishing pace. She did have a mission tomorrow. And this was for fun, not training. He ran well, as most Mesai did, his tail somehow never tangling with his legs, "Poke their heads in places they shouldn't. Search for treasure. Go swimming. Or whatever bad ideas your Vorlianth may have."
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Vorlianth made an amused chuckle as he watched the small lizardling dart around him like it was nothing. More so when he dove at the earth like an arrow and blinked like a pro before he slammed into the ground. Very clever little one, that skill is one that I wish that I could do. he said honestly. He was fast in the air for a large dragon but not near as quick as Syndal and his kind could be. There skills in teleportation were something to be envied.

Once he landed on the shore, the pale dragon purred in delight at the first mention. I do like pearls, they are like me and we should find some of them. Where do we start... I'm not sure where to find them. he spoke, tail swishing ever so slightly behind him with the excitement. This was going to be fun!

Maelstrom chuckled at her promise to keep his secret and tossed a wink her way. "Well thank you miss. I appreciate the confidence, especially since I'm pretty sure my wing mates know me better than to believe that." he teased. "I'm a bit of a show off in battle and...me and Vorlianth tend to get ourselves into a bit of trouble now and then. But what is a good fight with out some danger and daring?" he said seeming to relax more and let a bit more of himself start to show through.

He ha to agree with this Thayer, she was clever and did not think like some of the other of her kind he had come across, even in the case of Thayer Keepers. "Ah yes, good deduction my friend. I entirely agree with you. While we all had our own reasons for being drawn here in the first place, in the end, we are all very similar in our outlooks and inner being. Maybe it is an aura or energy about us." he suggested.

The Keeper smirked a little as they jogged neck and neck together. Finally, they would reach the beach edge not far behind there own dragons. Maelstrom looked up at his beloved dragon who had 'that look' on his face. "He is capable of many deeds of good... and many deeds of trickery. Being able to tell what that is, well there in lies the chore."
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Syndal all but preened under the force of the compliments. He did like it when his attempts to entertain and enliven were appreciated. And this dragon was proving an excellent adventuring companion! He might not be able to do as many tricks but...You're big. That's important too. He didn't want Vorlianth to think he DIDN'T matter to this quest. Because that was no fun at all, There might be big things to move to get to the treasure. I'll go in little cracks. You'll move heavy rocks. Then treasure for all!

He started looking through the sand. He knew the pearls were in shells of some kind but...Oh there was Mari! She would know. He flew over to her, hovering by her head as he communicated their plan, promising his dragon friend that MARI would know where pearls were to be found.

"Apparently they're looking for treasure," she informed Maelstorm with an amused smile, "Pearls. Because Syndal has decided that's Vorliath's stone...or something like that." She shrugged in resignation and raised her wings a bit higher to keep them from trailing in the sand. She was rather dubious they'd actually find any, as the things weren't exactly common as dirt and she didn't know if Fin Island even had oysters. But she was certainly distracted from the prospect of a journey into an uncertain wasteland. Syndal was always good at finding fun like this. A bit off-beat, but innocent. Like the games other children had played while she was off already imagining herself a hero, "Fortunately, I think this one won't end with us in hot water with any civilians." The beach was quiet this late at night, restful.

"It's good that your wingmates know you. Although it sounds like you make yourself hard to miss. I'll remember that if we ever battle together," she smiled warmly. Mari didn't need to be the flashiest or showiest. She just needed to be the best. And the daredevils...If they did it right, they could provide a good distraction for sneakier wingmates. Or draw the dumber Greys right where the Keepers wanted them.
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