Creative Corner
Share your own art and stories, or ask for critique.
TOPIC | Midnight Sun: A Nuzlocke Story [hiatus]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 36 37
Lots of these springing up lately! I’ve been getting a little bored with collecting pretty dragons, especially with the economy the way that it is, so I’ve decided to go ahead and start a nuzlocke for some extra writing practice. I really haven't done much creative writing before so feedback is always appreciated!

Original Nuzlocke Thread: Here!

The Rules:
Because who doesn’t love a good set of rules? I have stolen bits and pieces of others’ nuzlocke rules as well as made my own modifications.

1) All dragons in the lair are included in the nuzlocke.
2) Dragons cannot be bought in the AH; they must be hatched from eggs or gifted. Revising as of 1/20. Since I would like to occasionally introduce adult characters rather than hatchlings, I may buy an exalt-fodder priced adult from the AH in lieu of my monthly unhatched egg.
3) Only one egg or dragon can be bought per month.
4) Dragons cannot be scatter scrolled until they have reached level 25.
5) Primary genes cannot be given until level 10, secondary genes cannot be given until level 15, and can't give them a tertiary gene until level 20.
6) For every egg found, whether in the coliseum or by scavenging, one breed change for any dragon may be purchased
7) Food cannot be gathered and must be obtained in the coliseum.
8) If a dragon faints in the coli, it's dead (and no browser closing to escape). However, depending on where the story’s plot is, the dragon’s death in the story itself may come about in a different way. The dragon will either be exalted or raffled off to readers, if there is interest.
9) Gifts from other clans are accepted.
10) For every hatchling born to a nest, I will flip a coin. Heads – the hatchling lives. Tails – the hatchling dies, but not necessarily at birth – it can be anytime before the hatchling reaches adulthood. These dragons will be exalted.
11) Only dragons of similar sizes may breed.
12) Any Guardians must leave on their Search once they reach two months of age, unless their Charge is within the clan.
13) Pics or it didn’t happen!

Characters:
Shrike____
Chime____
Raust_____
Quint_____
Sigrid____


Deceased:
Clementine

Pinglist:
@LagMonster @Khoshekh @Tempestuous @starslang @Scyras @excessnight @pensandink @Solaristigres @Nihilo @WillowWhisper @Averis @SolarPhoenix @RizuChan @ArgenteaMoon @Elzerei @eeeeel @tigressRising @hotdoge @Dragonfang @Whimzica @Soleil @Zexeos @windsway @KIMJA @rax @PandragonsBox @Silurian @Wolcan @AnnaStar353 @Rhyvendra @TwoJay @Aravis @CoatlPrince @Galaxy99 @Tarajara @tsaarn @Druddigon8 @brianna100 @Digimon11 @Espeon5712 @fairyn @Surpirate @HuntingAlpha @Icewing24 @AmongTheStars @Fuurin @WinterLeaf @agateflame @Adriel @Lae @Silverhame

Table of Contents:
Prologue: Numb
Chapter 1: The Ethics of Survival
Chapter 2: Bad Luck Comes In Threes
Chapter 3: Storm Seeking
Chapter 4: Beast of Burden
Chapter 5: Light She Was and Like a Fairy
Chapter 6: Ice-Locked
Chapter 7: Photokeratitis
Chapter 8: The Kindness of Strangers, Part 1
Chapter 9: The Kindness of Strangers, Part 2
Chapter 10: Sleight of Hand
Chapter 11: City Slicker
Chapter 12: Étourdi
Chapter 13: Nothing Worth Stealing
Chapter 14: A Particular Set of Skills
Chapter 15: Fire and Ice
Chapter 16: Mea Culpa
Chapter 17: Out of the Frying Pan
Chapter 18: Out of the Fire
Chapter 19: Proving
Chapter 20: Hearth and Home
Chapter 21: Last Day
Chapter 22: Those Before Us
Chapter 23: Oh My Darling
Chapter 24: Goodnight Sun
Chapter 25: Fool's Errand
Chapter 26: Five Stages
Chapter 27: Eavesdropping
Chapter 28: Professors and Prophecies
Chapter 29: Hunting Lessons, Part 1
Chapter 30: Hunting Lessons, Part 2
Chapter 31: COVERT AFFAIRS PERIODIC REPORT NO. 4
Chapter 32: Falconidae
Chapter 33: Gone
Chapter 34: Rise
Chapter 35: Night of the Nochnyr
Chapter 36: I Am The Storm
Chapter 37: New Magics
Chapter 38: Savior?

Looking for something else to read?
Clan Stormfront by Zexeos
After the Storm by ArgenteaMoon
Beyond The Horizon by Aravis
Sheshu's Clan by tsaarn
Into the Deep by Adriel
Lots of these springing up lately! I’ve been getting a little bored with collecting pretty dragons, especially with the economy the way that it is, so I’ve decided to go ahead and start a nuzlocke for some extra writing practice. I really haven't done much creative writing before so feedback is always appreciated!

Original Nuzlocke Thread: Here!

The Rules:
Because who doesn’t love a good set of rules? I have stolen bits and pieces of others’ nuzlocke rules as well as made my own modifications.

1) All dragons in the lair are included in the nuzlocke.
2) Dragons cannot be bought in the AH; they must be hatched from eggs or gifted. Revising as of 1/20. Since I would like to occasionally introduce adult characters rather than hatchlings, I may buy an exalt-fodder priced adult from the AH in lieu of my monthly unhatched egg.
3) Only one egg or dragon can be bought per month.
4) Dragons cannot be scatter scrolled until they have reached level 25.
5) Primary genes cannot be given until level 10, secondary genes cannot be given until level 15, and can't give them a tertiary gene until level 20.
6) For every egg found, whether in the coliseum or by scavenging, one breed change for any dragon may be purchased
7) Food cannot be gathered and must be obtained in the coliseum.
8) If a dragon faints in the coli, it's dead (and no browser closing to escape). However, depending on where the story’s plot is, the dragon’s death in the story itself may come about in a different way. The dragon will either be exalted or raffled off to readers, if there is interest.
9) Gifts from other clans are accepted.
10) For every hatchling born to a nest, I will flip a coin. Heads – the hatchling lives. Tails – the hatchling dies, but not necessarily at birth – it can be anytime before the hatchling reaches adulthood. These dragons will be exalted.
11) Only dragons of similar sizes may breed.
12) Any Guardians must leave on their Search once they reach two months of age, unless their Charge is within the clan.
13) Pics or it didn’t happen!

Characters:
Shrike____
Chime____
Raust_____
Quint_____
Sigrid____


Deceased:
Clementine

Pinglist:
@LagMonster @Khoshekh @Tempestuous @starslang @Scyras @excessnight @pensandink @Solaristigres @Nihilo @WillowWhisper @Averis @SolarPhoenix @RizuChan @ArgenteaMoon @Elzerei @eeeeel @tigressRising @hotdoge @Dragonfang @Whimzica @Soleil @Zexeos @windsway @KIMJA @rax @PandragonsBox @Silurian @Wolcan @AnnaStar353 @Rhyvendra @TwoJay @Aravis @CoatlPrince @Galaxy99 @Tarajara @tsaarn @Druddigon8 @brianna100 @Digimon11 @Espeon5712 @fairyn @Surpirate @HuntingAlpha @Icewing24 @AmongTheStars @Fuurin @WinterLeaf @agateflame @Adriel @Lae @Silverhame

Table of Contents:
Prologue: Numb
Chapter 1: The Ethics of Survival
Chapter 2: Bad Luck Comes In Threes
Chapter 3: Storm Seeking
Chapter 4: Beast of Burden
Chapter 5: Light She Was and Like a Fairy
Chapter 6: Ice-Locked
Chapter 7: Photokeratitis
Chapter 8: The Kindness of Strangers, Part 1
Chapter 9: The Kindness of Strangers, Part 2
Chapter 10: Sleight of Hand
Chapter 11: City Slicker
Chapter 12: Étourdi
Chapter 13: Nothing Worth Stealing
Chapter 14: A Particular Set of Skills
Chapter 15: Fire and Ice
Chapter 16: Mea Culpa
Chapter 17: Out of the Frying Pan
Chapter 18: Out of the Fire
Chapter 19: Proving
Chapter 20: Hearth and Home
Chapter 21: Last Day
Chapter 22: Those Before Us
Chapter 23: Oh My Darling
Chapter 24: Goodnight Sun
Chapter 25: Fool's Errand
Chapter 26: Five Stages
Chapter 27: Eavesdropping
Chapter 28: Professors and Prophecies
Chapter 29: Hunting Lessons, Part 1
Chapter 30: Hunting Lessons, Part 2
Chapter 31: COVERT AFFAIRS PERIODIC REPORT NO. 4
Chapter 32: Falconidae
Chapter 33: Gone
Chapter 34: Rise
Chapter 35: Night of the Nochnyr
Chapter 36: I Am The Storm
Chapter 37: New Magics
Chapter 38: Savior?

Looking for something else to read?
Clan Stormfront by Zexeos
After the Storm by ArgenteaMoon
Beyond The Horizon by Aravis
Sheshu's Clan by tsaarn
Into the Deep by Adriel
[center][b]Midnight Sun Prologue: Numb[/b] [/center] Exaltation. The word had a holy air about it; it went along with [i]reverence[/i], with [i]sanctification[/i] and [i]devout[/i]. It called to mind images of saints and martyrs, those brave souls who plunged calmly into the wilds of the next life, so unshakable in their faith that they slipped away from this world with nothing but a content smile. Shrike was not feeling very saintly. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know what to expect; in a land as harsh and unpredictable as the Southern Icefield, she’d seen more than her fair share of exalted dragons. Her pack was powerful, but its survival always dangled by a thread, subject as it was to the ever-shifting ice and howling storms from the black sea beyond. The only option out here was to keep moving, following the migratory herdbeasts and seals along their grand seasonal pathways. Every member of the pack had to be ready to hunt or to fight, and to abandon whatever temporary home they had scraped together and journey onwards at a moment’s notice. If you couldn’t keep up, you couldn’t survive: those that were too old, too weak, too ill, were given to the Icewarden. The laws were firm and unforgiving, but they were necessary if the pack wanted to eke out a living. And its members understood that. Many exaltations were simply bittersweet; the saddest of them were when hatchlings were born too weak for a life on the ice, as they could not easily understand why they were being left behind. Rarely, adult exaltees would panic and struggle to keep up despite injuries or sickness, only to fall farther and farther behind until their cries faded into the distance. Those were pitiable, and in a way almost shameful. Most dragons approached their exalt with a calm acceptance. They walked off among the creaking floes alone, knowing it was simply their time to go. That was how Shrike had always pictured it; she’d had an image of herself as an old and venerable mirror, her hide crossed with the scars of many years and many kills, calmly wishing good hunting to her friends and family before walking into the icy expanses, taking one last wander before greeting the Icewarden like she would a brother. But of course no one can predict the future. She felt utterly alone as dusk began to fall around her – it felt like not even the Icewarden had a presence in a landscape as desolate as this. Had she still been with her pack, she would have found it beautiful – the constantly grinding, shifting ice twisted itself into fantastic shapes: spires that reached up toward the sky, strange rippled formations, and bizarre chunks of ancient ice that had been compacted until they glittered an unnerving blue. She would have charged through this sculpture garden with her pack-sisters, Splinter and Snare, trusting their strong wings and sure feet to carry them with speed and grace. [center] [img]http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah298/fr_cerastes/three_zpsa98bad1e.png[/img][/center] Now, thanks to that terrible scroll, it was all she could do to drag herself through this slurry of summer ice without losing her footing. Her wings – her stupid, oversized, fluttery wings – were next to useless. Either she hadn’t figured out how to use them yet or they really were just terribly designed; any attempts at the flight patterns she was used to resulted in her tumbling out of the air. After a very near miss with a patch of open water, she had given up attempting to fly in favor of trudging along the icepack. Her wings were still no help, though, snagging on nearly every jagged piece of ice she passed. As light and delicate as they were, she was amazed she hadn’t ripped them to papery shreds. The chill was also seeping into her bones in a way she hadn’t felt before. She was an iceborn, a favored child of the southern gods; she had never known anything but these cold wastelands. But even an ice dragon wasn’t immune to cold, and her now-tiny body was trembling. More than that, though, she just felt awfully numb – it had started several hours ago in her hands and feet, half-submerged as they were in icy water. The numbness had crept up as the day had progressed, until even her thoughts turned sluggish. She was no longer angry, no longer confused, no longer wanted to cry. She was just…cold, as if the ice had frozen in a thin film all over, inside and out. To make matters worse, night was arriving with a vengeance. The first night of the year, Shrike realized dully. A night for celebration, normally; the pack rested on the first night and then again on the last day of each year, brief festivities before the hardships of the Long Night. Somewhere up ahead, her pack-mates were relaxing around their fires as the day’s kills slowly turned on spits, sending smells of roasting meat far into the night air. There would be storytelling and music, as well as competitions of strength and skill that would last all through the year’s shortest night. The hatchlings of the summer would be staring up at the sky in awe, as they viewed the enormity of the starry night sky for the first time – and if they were lucky, they would see their first aurora. She could almost hear the music and laughter rippling up ahead, see the glow of fire on the horizon… Mesmerized, Shrike tried to take another step forward, only to discover that stopping to daydream had been a grave mistake. She had brushed up against a towering pillar of ice and one of her ridiculous, ungainly wings had frozen to the surface. Hissing in annoyance – these stupid wings would be the death of her – she tried to yank it free, only to give an involuntarily shriek of pain as the wing remained steadfastly glued to the ice. She nearly gave up then. Maybe exaltation wouldn’t be so bad, after all. Maybe the elders were right about the Icewarden’s existence; maybe he would fold her up in his wings if she let herself drift into the cold blank space behind her eyes. She wondered if the first-night festival was celebrated in the land of the gods. Maybe she would get her true form back, so she could run again with the sleek, strong body of a mirror. Maybe, maybe… There was an almighty crack somewhere off to her left, which jolted her out of her reverie. Looking back, that might have been what saved her – the sound was loud enough to startle her into survival mode. Instead of pulling back on the trapped wing, she wiggled it back and forth, steadily easing it out of its prison. As another ominous crack sounded, closer, she frantically scrabbled at the ice with the long claws on her front legs, until – at last – the appendage slid free. She half-fluttered, half-scrabbled up to the top of the icy monolith, where she could watch the shifting floes in relative safety. Summer pack was the most unpredictable; as she watched one of the smaller floes was forced upwards, sliding against its larger companions with a blood-chilling screech. As the ice settled, she turned her attention to the path before her; the tracks of her mighty pack, fifty strong, still stretched far into the darkness ahead. And she would follow for as long as she was able. She would follow, and she would catch up. [i]Why bother trying?[/i] questioned some dissenting voice in the back of her mind. It was something exhausted that would very much like to curl up on this up-thrust chunk of ice and go to sleep. Shrike floundered for a moment before she remembered her answer. [i]Temper. [/i] That was the name that had first urged her to her feet to begin the long trek. She didn’t know the big orange mirror well – he was a quiet sort – but she did know the story. Temper had been exalted once; even the young and strong are not immune to accidents, and he had been no exception. He had been injured quite badly by a snowfall elk during a hunt, as the panicked creature lashed out with its antlers and caught him in a foreleg. His life had been saved by the quick action of his hunting team, but the leg was badly mangled. The pack had given Temper the same ultimatum they had given Shrike: three days. Two to recover, one to see if he could keep up. He could not, and worse, the wound was beginning to fester despite their shaman’s efforts. Temper had accepted his fate with grace, and had disappeared to what everyone presumed was an icy grave with his head held high. To the pack’s shock, the orange male caught up nearly a month later, having survived alone on the icepack all that time. His leg, though warped, was sound enough to run and hunt on, and he was hailed as a hero. Not many returned from their exalt. Temper Fleetfoot, they called him now. If he could do it, then so could she – maybe for now she was trapped in this silly butterfly body, and the strange affectations that went with it, but at heart – surely – she was still a mirror. She could do this; she could return, and maybe someday it would be her that the hatchlings told stories about. Shrike, the fae who conquered the ice. [center][url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?dragon=9340534] [img]http://flightrising.com/rendern/350/93406/9340534_350.png[/img] [/url][/center]
Midnight Sun
Prologue: Numb

Exaltation.

The word had a holy air about it; it went along with reverence, with sanctification and devout. It called to mind images of saints and martyrs, those brave souls who plunged calmly into the wilds of the next life, so unshakable in their faith that they slipped away from this world with nothing but a content smile.

Shrike was not feeling very saintly.

It wasn’t as if she didn’t know what to expect; in a land as harsh and unpredictable as the Southern Icefield, she’d seen more than her fair share of exalted dragons. Her pack was powerful, but its survival always dangled by a thread, subject as it was to the ever-shifting ice and howling storms from the black sea beyond. The only option out here was to keep moving, following the migratory herdbeasts and seals along their grand seasonal pathways. Every member of the pack had to be ready to hunt or to fight, and to abandon whatever temporary home they had scraped together and journey onwards at a moment’s notice. If you couldn’t keep up, you couldn’t survive: those that were too old, too weak, too ill, were given to the Icewarden. The laws were firm and unforgiving, but they were necessary if the pack wanted to eke out a living.

And its members understood that. Many exaltations were simply bittersweet; the saddest of them were when hatchlings were born too weak for a life on the ice, as they could not easily understand why they were being left behind. Rarely, adult exaltees would panic and struggle to keep up despite injuries or sickness, only to fall farther and farther behind until their cries faded into the distance. Those were pitiable, and in a way almost shameful. Most dragons approached their exalt with a calm acceptance. They walked off among the creaking floes alone, knowing it was simply their time to go.

That was how Shrike had always pictured it; she’d had an image of herself as an old and venerable mirror, her hide crossed with the scars of many years and many kills, calmly wishing good hunting to her friends and family before walking into the icy expanses, taking one last wander before greeting the Icewarden like she would a brother.

But of course no one can predict the future.

She felt utterly alone as dusk began to fall around her – it felt like not even the Icewarden had a presence in a landscape as desolate as this. Had she still been with her pack, she would have found it beautiful – the constantly grinding, shifting ice twisted itself into fantastic shapes: spires that reached up toward the sky, strange rippled formations, and bizarre chunks of ancient ice that had been compacted until they glittered an unnerving blue. She would have charged through this sculpture garden with her pack-sisters, Splinter and Snare, trusting their strong wings and sure feet to carry them with speed and grace.
three_zpsa98bad1e.png

Now, thanks to that terrible scroll, it was all she could do to drag herself through this slurry of summer ice without losing her footing. Her wings – her stupid, oversized, fluttery wings – were next to useless. Either she hadn’t figured out how to use them yet or they really were just terribly designed; any attempts at the flight patterns she was used to resulted in her tumbling out of the air. After a very near miss with a patch of open water, she had given up attempting to fly in favor of trudging along the icepack. Her wings were still no help, though, snagging on nearly every jagged piece of ice she passed. As light and delicate as they were, she was amazed she hadn’t ripped them to papery shreds.

The chill was also seeping into her bones in a way she hadn’t felt before. She was an iceborn, a favored child of the southern gods; she had never known anything but these cold wastelands. But even an ice dragon wasn’t immune to cold, and her now-tiny body was trembling. More than that, though, she just felt awfully numb – it had started several hours ago in her hands and feet, half-submerged as they were in icy water. The numbness had crept up as the day had progressed, until even her thoughts turned sluggish. She was no longer angry, no longer confused, no longer wanted to cry. She was just…cold, as if the ice had frozen in a thin film all over, inside and out.

To make matters worse, night was arriving with a vengeance. The first night of the year, Shrike realized dully. A night for celebration, normally; the pack rested on the first night and then again on the last day of each year, brief festivities before the hardships of the Long Night. Somewhere up ahead, her pack-mates were relaxing around their fires as the day’s kills slowly turned on spits, sending smells of roasting meat far into the night air. There would be storytelling and music, as well as competitions of strength and skill that would last all through the year’s shortest night. The hatchlings of the summer would be staring up at the sky in awe, as they viewed the enormity of the starry night sky for the first time – and if they were lucky, they would see their first aurora.

She could almost hear the music and laughter rippling up ahead, see the glow of fire on the horizon…

Mesmerized, Shrike tried to take another step forward, only to discover that stopping to daydream had been a grave mistake. She had brushed up against a towering pillar of ice and one of her ridiculous, ungainly wings had frozen to the surface. Hissing in annoyance – these stupid wings would be the death of her – she tried to yank it free, only to give an involuntarily shriek of pain as the wing remained steadfastly glued to the ice.

She nearly gave up then.

Maybe exaltation wouldn’t be so bad, after all. Maybe the elders were right about the Icewarden’s existence; maybe he would fold her up in his wings if she let herself drift into the cold blank space behind her eyes. She wondered if the first-night festival was celebrated in the land of the gods. Maybe she would get her true form back, so she could run again with the sleek, strong body of a mirror. Maybe, maybe…

There was an almighty crack somewhere off to her left, which jolted her out of her reverie. Looking back, that might have been what saved her – the sound was loud enough to startle her into survival mode. Instead of pulling back on the trapped wing, she wiggled it back and forth, steadily easing it out of its prison. As another ominous crack sounded, closer, she frantically scrabbled at the ice with the long claws on her front legs, until – at last – the appendage slid free. She half-fluttered, half-scrabbled up to the top of the icy monolith, where she could watch the shifting floes in relative safety. Summer pack was the most unpredictable; as she watched one of the smaller floes was forced upwards, sliding against its larger companions with a blood-chilling screech.

As the ice settled, she turned her attention to the path before her; the tracks of her mighty pack, fifty strong, still stretched far into the darkness ahead. And she would follow for as long as she was able. She would follow, and she would catch up.

Why bother trying? questioned some dissenting voice in the back of her mind. It was something exhausted that would very much like to curl up on this up-thrust chunk of ice and go to sleep. Shrike floundered for a moment before she remembered her answer. Temper.

That was the name that had first urged her to her feet to begin the long trek. She didn’t know the big orange mirror well – he was a quiet sort – but she did know the story. Temper had been exalted once; even the young and strong are not immune to accidents, and he had been no exception. He had been injured quite badly by a snowfall elk during a hunt, as the panicked creature lashed out with its antlers and caught him in a foreleg. His life had been saved by the quick action of his hunting team, but the leg was badly mangled. The pack had given Temper the same ultimatum they had given Shrike: three days. Two to recover, one to see if he could keep up.

He could not, and worse, the wound was beginning to fester despite their shaman’s efforts. Temper had accepted his fate with grace, and had disappeared to what everyone presumed was an icy grave with his head held high. To the pack’s shock, the orange male caught up nearly a month later, having survived alone on the icepack all that time. His leg, though warped, was sound enough to run and hunt on, and he was hailed as a hero. Not many returned from their exalt.

Temper Fleetfoot, they called him now. If he could do it, then so could she – maybe for now she was trapped in this silly butterfly body, and the strange affectations that went with it, but at heart – surely – she was still a mirror. She could do this; she could return, and maybe someday it would be her that the hatchlings told stories about.

Shrike, the fae who conquered the ice.
@Cerastes Entry One and this is fantastic. I've not read anyone else yet who uses a concept of Exalting in their Nuzlocke. Also, I love how the actual breedchange scroll is not only mentioned as a scroll itself, but the unexpected consequences of it! Very unique.

Definitely looking forward to more!
@Cerastes Entry One and this is fantastic. I've not read anyone else yet who uses a concept of Exalting in their Nuzlocke. Also, I love how the actual breedchange scroll is not only mentioned as a scroll itself, but the unexpected consequences of it! Very unique.

Definitely looking forward to more!
tumblr_inline_nj4elzHhMA1rud3n2.png
Banner made by dragonicmaster
@Khoshekh HEY. HEY, BUDDY, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ONE YET? HUH? HAVE YOU???
@Khoshekh HEY. HEY, BUDDY, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ONE YET? HUH? HAVE YOU???
tumblr_inline_nj4elzHhMA1rud3n2.png
Banner made by dragonicmaster
@LagMonster I SURE HAVE NOW THANK U FRIEND

@Cerastes, GAH your writing style is so great and I love Shrike already?? Poor Mirror turned into a Fae omg

EDIT: Welp FR ate half my post, but what it was supposed to say was that I love your take on exaltation in the Icefield, it makes so much sense lore-wise in such a bleak, cold place q_q Add me to your pinglist please?
@LagMonster I SURE HAVE NOW THANK U FRIEND

@Cerastes, GAH your writing style is so great and I love Shrike already?? Poor Mirror turned into a Fae omg

EDIT: Welp FR ate half my post, but what it was supposed to say was that I love your take on exaltation in the Icefield, it makes so much sense lore-wise in such a bleak, cold place q_q Add me to your pinglist please?
@Cerastes oooh boy this is amazing and I want to ne added to the pinglist please! What an interesting premise!
@Cerastes oooh boy this is amazing and I want to ne added to the pinglist please! What an interesting premise!
Ahh thank you all so much for the interest and support! I had a lot of fun writing this so it's great to hear that you're enjoying it so far! Will try to get another entry up sometime today.

@LagMonster, your story was what initially sparked my interest so that means a lot coming from you! :) I've wanted to use and explore breed-change scrolls from a writing perspective, since they would give a dragon a whole new set of different and possibly conflicting instincts.

@Khoshekh, thank you!! Glad to hear my ice-exaltation makes sense to someone else, haha. It just seemed fitting, especially for a mirror pack. And yes, poor little confused Shrike!

@Twelvewishes, thanks for the interest! I was definitely going for a bit of a different "origin story", so I'm glad you like it.

(psst also I just realized that it looks like Shrike's buddies are trying to eat her wings in that hasty photoshop job I did. That's not very nice, guys.)
Ahh thank you all so much for the interest and support! I had a lot of fun writing this so it's great to hear that you're enjoying it so far! Will try to get another entry up sometime today.

@LagMonster, your story was what initially sparked my interest so that means a lot coming from you! :) I've wanted to use and explore breed-change scrolls from a writing perspective, since they would give a dragon a whole new set of different and possibly conflicting instincts.

@Khoshekh, thank you!! Glad to hear my ice-exaltation makes sense to someone else, haha. It just seemed fitting, especially for a mirror pack. And yes, poor little confused Shrike!

@Twelvewishes, thanks for the interest! I was definitely going for a bit of a different "origin story", so I'm glad you like it.

(psst also I just realized that it looks like Shrike's buddies are trying to eat her wings in that hasty photoshop job I did. That's not very nice, guys.)
[center][b]Chapter 1: The Ethics of Survival[/b] @LagMonster @Khoshekh @Twelvewishes[/center] A mirror pack was a constantly shifting entity; members joined, members left, hunting parties changed their size and makeup on an almost daily basis. As befitting a breed native to the Scarred Wasteland, mirrors were nothing if not adaptable. Her old pack often gained members from faraway lands (some where it [i]never snowed,[/i] can you imagine that?) and all had things to say about the Icefield’s climate. The most common complaint was that it was [i]cold[/i] – all right, fair enough – and the second was that it was so [i]bright[/i]. Shrike guessed that most of them had pictured the land as dark and bleak, down here at the edge of the world. In reality, on clear days like today the amount of sunlight reflected off the ice was dazzling. The light could be painful and even hazardous, so most had to resort to goggles or helmets to protect themselves from snow blindness. As an iceborn, Shrike didn’t have to worry about being blinded, but the glare was still enough to make her squint as she looked out over the floes from her perch. The glow of hope and determination from last night had gradually faded as the sun came up; in the darkness it had been easy to pretend that her pack was just up ahead, but in the harsh light of day it was clear that she was miles and miles behind. Even from her vantage point atop this great crag of ice, there was no sign of them except for the path trodden in the snow. But she really only had one choice. Wearily, she lifted from her crag in an awkward glide and returned to the icepack, trudging once more along the trail before her. She was exhausted, having not really slept for the past three days – it seemed too dangerous to do so in her current state. The pack might not be thick enough yet for maulers or yetis to venture out, but she still had wolves and nochnyr to worry about. Her food supplies were running dangerously low; Snare had slipped her a little satchel full of insects before she was exalted – sneakily, as befits a good shadow dragon – but it was nearly depleted. There was a handful of coins in the satchel as well, but she was nowhere near a trading outpost, so for now they were little more than useless hunks of metal. She was starting to get thirsty again as well, but she wasn’t looking forward to eating more handfuls of slightly salty snow. What she wouldn’t give for one of the desalinization machines the lightningborn had crafted for her pack. Traveling in a pack across the ice was thrilling, but traveling alone was monotony. Her fae body was as ill-suited for running as it seemed to be for flying; the most she could manage was a sort of hunched-over lope. It was slow going and terribly irritating, because she [i]knew[/i] fae could fly perfectly well – she’d seen them at it, zipping and hovering like hummingbirds or insects – but she couldn’t seem to figure it out herself. She’d tried again earlier this morning, taking off from the crag with the intention of trying something different – maybe she needed to beat her wings faster? – but as soon as she was in the air, muscle memory took over. Flap-flap-glide – as a mirror this maneuver would have taken her some distance, but now it just led to her almost impaling herself on an ice spire. So that was out of the picture, at least for now. Nothing to do but keep walking as the day slowly wore on. Later, she found the cave. She would not have noticed it if it weren’t for the ice; it was an unusually warm day, which made for treacherous going, weakening the pack’s integrity and turning the upper layers into a nasty slush. Sometime around late afternoon, there was an ominous groaning beneath her feet, as if some deep-sea monster was preparing to crash through the ice. [i]Not good. Very bad.[/i] Heart pounding, she scampered forward as fast as her tiny feet would carry her, leaping from patch of solid ice to patch of solid (well, she hoped) ice. The creaking continued, accompanied by a loud screech as the floes began to shift. Despite her best efforts, she could not seem to outrun it. There was a crack to her left, and a fissure opened in the ice next to her, spraying her with freezing salt water as she wheeled away. To her relief, the ice seemed to be quieting down as she ran, and she slowed her pace enough to beat a more careful retreat. She spotted it when she paused on an outcrop to catch her breath: a dark spot against the white and blue, too off-color to just be a hole in the ice. Curiosity got the best of her and she crept toward the smudge, ready to fight or flee if it turned out to be the den of some cranky animal. As she got closer, though, the messages on the wind made her fins flicker in unease. She could smell dragons, but much stronger was the scent of blood. Nothing good had happened here. The dark smudge she had seen was the ash of many cooking fires, scattered across the ice in front of a small cave hewn into the pack. It was an uninviting pit, made even more so by the red-black stains around its entrance, but the hope of finding food made her pace warily inside. “Hello?” she called out, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the sudden dimness. She was not expecting an answer, and none came. It was a small lair, clearly well-maintained at one point. To Shrike’s relief, there was no sign of occupants, living or otherwise. There was plenty of blood in the main room, so much that she fervently hoped it hadn’t all come from one dragon. Blood, snow, and not much else – no left-behind food, to her disappointment, besides a few bundles of grass in the corner that wouldn’t be of much use to her. She poked her head in the adjoining rooms without much hope – one was totally empty, and one just had some dried-up seedpods in the corner. More plantfood. Useless. But something tingled at the very periphery of her senses as she turned to leave the room, and she paused, glancing back at the three abandoned seedpods. There was…[i]something.[/i] Something about them seemed not-quite plant, and she turned to inspect them more closely, lowering her head to sniff at them. No way. Surely they couldn’t be. Even if they [i]had[/i] been, there was no way they could be still alive. She would be able to see their glowing heat signatures inside the shells – these pods were dead and cold. And— [i]Oh, wait. You’re not a mirror now, you idiot. You don’t HAVE heat vision anymore.[/i] [i]Well, that may be the case,[/i] she thought, continuing the conversation in her head as she curiously stretched her nose out to the pod – it was almost as tall as she was. [i]But even still, there’s no way these could have survived—[/i] She suddenly jerked her head back with a yelp. As her nose had made contact with the object’s rough brown shell, she had distinctly felt something shift inside to nudge her back. “Nope. No way,” she heard herself mutter. The object gave another, more noticeable, wobble, and Shrike was gone, hurrying back out of the cave. [i]Nope. Not dealing with that.[/i] For a second she hesitated at the lair’s mouth, plagued by a terribly pang of guilt. If it really [i]was[/i] an egg…and if there really was something inside it…could she just leave it there? Maybe she could carry it, find someone who knew what to do with it and pass it off… No. The egg probably weighed more than she did, so there was no way she could even pick it up even if she wanted to. And if it hatched…she didn’t even know yet if she could support herself out here, so there was so way she’d be able to feed a growing hatchling. If she went back for the egg, they would both die. If she left it behind, one of them had a chance. It made sense, logically, but there was still a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach as she turned back to continue following her pack’s trail. [i]This is for the best.[/i] She repeated that to herself as she walked onward, leaving the bloodstained lair behind, until it started sounding more convincing to her. [i]This is for the best.[/i] Maybe she had imagined the thing moving, anyway. Maybe it wasn’t even an egg. She hadn’t gone very far when the first snowflakes started to fall; the sky had turned almost as pale as the ice, turning her into the only spot of color on this vast blank canvas. A gentle snowfall so soon after the first night would be an auspicious sign to her pack’s shamans, she knew, but to her it was only snow. Soon it would fall harder and heavier as winter claimed the south. Soon temperatures would plunge and winds would howl, kicking up terrifying storms that would scour the ice and smash floes to bits. Soon the world would be blanketed in darkness as the Icefield’s inhabitants settled in for the Long Night. And somewhere behind her, a hatchling would awaken to this dark and cold wild. Alone. [i]Icewarden help me.[/i] Shrike turned and began loping back the way she had come, her paws moving almost of their own volition. This was a terrible mistake, she was sure, but she couldn’t just leave the egg behind to suffer its fate as she had been left to suffer hers. The lair was not as far behind as she had thought; its grim mouth soon loomed before her again, and she peered inside. Something had changed, and she thought she could hear tiny noises from somewhere inside. [i]Meep! Meep meep![/i] She entered with an inward sigh but no small amount of curiosity. Not everything was as she left it in the corner room: one of the seed-like eggs had unfurled, leaving soft-looking brown shards scattered across the nest. And before it, curled up on the floor and peering curiously up at her – [center][url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?dragon=9704104] [img]http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah298/fr_cerastes/9704104_350_zps29048d0f.png[/img] [/url][/center] She caught her breath at the little ball of fuzz – a female tundra. It looked almost magical with its dazzling golden fur and bright green eyes, there against the dirty ice. Too beautiful a creature to exist in such a dim place. “Hello there.” She reached out a trembling hand to the hatchling, who probably outweighed her by five or six times. The young dragon nudged her hand with its broad nose, already gazing at her with a startling amount of trust. “I guess we’re in this together.”[b][/b]
Chapter 1: The Ethics of Survival
@LagMonster @Khoshekh @Twelvewishes

A mirror pack was a constantly shifting entity; members joined, members left, hunting parties changed their size and makeup on an almost daily basis. As befitting a breed native to the Scarred Wasteland, mirrors were nothing if not adaptable.

Her old pack often gained members from faraway lands (some where it never snowed, can you imagine that?) and all had things to say about the Icefield’s climate. The most common complaint was that it was cold – all right, fair enough – and the second was that it was so bright.

Shrike guessed that most of them had pictured the land as dark and bleak, down here at the edge of the world. In reality, on clear days like today the amount of sunlight reflected off the ice was dazzling. The light could be painful and even hazardous, so most had to resort to goggles or helmets to protect themselves from snow blindness. As an iceborn, Shrike didn’t have to worry about being blinded, but the glare was still enough to make her squint as she looked out over the floes from her perch. The glow of hope and determination from last night had gradually faded as the sun came up; in the darkness it had been easy to pretend that her pack was just up ahead, but in the harsh light of day it was clear that she was miles and miles behind. Even from her vantage point atop this great crag of ice, there was no sign of them except for the path trodden in the snow.

But she really only had one choice.

Wearily, she lifted from her crag in an awkward glide and returned to the icepack, trudging once more along the trail before her. She was exhausted, having not really slept for the past three days – it seemed too dangerous to do so in her current state. The pack might not be thick enough yet for maulers or yetis to venture out, but she still had wolves and nochnyr to worry about. Her food supplies were running dangerously low; Snare had slipped her a little satchel full of insects before she was exalted – sneakily, as befits a good shadow dragon – but it was nearly depleted. There was a handful of coins in the satchel as well, but she was nowhere near a trading outpost, so for now they were little more than useless hunks of metal. She was starting to get thirsty again as well, but she wasn’t looking forward to eating more handfuls of slightly salty snow. What she wouldn’t give for one of the desalinization machines the lightningborn had crafted for her pack.

Traveling in a pack across the ice was thrilling, but traveling alone was monotony. Her fae body was as ill-suited for running as it seemed to be for flying; the most she could manage was a sort of hunched-over lope. It was slow going and terribly irritating, because she knew fae could fly perfectly well – she’d seen them at it, zipping and hovering like hummingbirds or insects – but she couldn’t seem to figure it out herself. She’d tried again earlier this morning, taking off from the crag with the intention of trying something different – maybe she needed to beat her wings faster? – but as soon as she was in the air, muscle memory took over. Flap-flap-glide – as a mirror this maneuver would have taken her some distance, but now it just led to her almost impaling herself on an ice spire.

So that was out of the picture, at least for now. Nothing to do but keep walking as the day slowly wore on.

Later, she found the cave. She would not have noticed it if it weren’t for the ice; it was an unusually warm day, which made for treacherous going, weakening the pack’s integrity and turning the upper layers into a nasty slush. Sometime around late afternoon, there was an ominous groaning beneath her feet, as if some deep-sea monster was preparing to crash through the ice. Not good. Very bad. Heart pounding, she scampered forward as fast as her tiny feet would carry her, leaping from patch of solid ice to patch of solid (well, she hoped) ice. The creaking continued, accompanied by a loud screech as the floes began to shift. Despite her best efforts, she could not seem to outrun it. There was a crack to her left, and a fissure opened in the ice next to her, spraying her with freezing salt water as she wheeled away.

To her relief, the ice seemed to be quieting down as she ran, and she slowed her pace enough to beat a more careful retreat. She spotted it when she paused on an outcrop to catch her breath: a dark spot against the white and blue, too off-color to just be a hole in the ice. Curiosity got the best of her and she crept toward the smudge, ready to fight or flee if it turned out to be the den of some cranky animal. As she got closer, though, the messages on the wind made her fins flicker in unease. She could smell dragons, but much stronger was the scent of blood. Nothing good had happened here.

The dark smudge she had seen was the ash of many cooking fires, scattered across the ice in front of a small cave hewn into the pack. It was an uninviting pit, made even more so by the red-black stains around its entrance, but the hope of finding food made her pace warily inside. “Hello?” she called out, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the sudden dimness. She was not expecting an answer, and none came.

It was a small lair, clearly well-maintained at one point. To Shrike’s relief, there was no sign of occupants, living or otherwise. There was plenty of blood in the main room, so much that she fervently hoped it hadn’t all come from one dragon. Blood, snow, and not much else – no left-behind food, to her disappointment, besides a few bundles of grass in the corner that wouldn’t be of much use to her. She poked her head in the adjoining rooms without much hope – one was totally empty, and one just had some dried-up seedpods in the corner. More plantfood. Useless.

But something tingled at the very periphery of her senses as she turned to leave the room, and she paused, glancing back at the three abandoned seedpods. There was…something. Something about them seemed not-quite plant, and she turned to inspect them more closely, lowering her head to sniff at them. No way. Surely they couldn’t be. Even if they had been, there was no way they could be still alive. She would be able to see their glowing heat signatures inside the shells – these pods were dead and cold. And—

Oh, wait. You’re not a mirror now, you idiot. You don’t HAVE heat vision anymore.

Well, that may be the case, she thought, continuing the conversation in her head as she curiously stretched her nose out to the pod – it was almost as tall as she was. But even still, there’s no way these could have survived—

She suddenly jerked her head back with a yelp. As her nose had made contact with the object’s rough brown shell, she had distinctly felt something shift inside to nudge her back. “Nope. No way,” she heard herself mutter. The object gave another, more noticeable, wobble, and Shrike was gone, hurrying back out of the cave. Nope. Not dealing with that. For a second she hesitated at the lair’s mouth, plagued by a terribly pang of guilt. If it really was an egg…and if there really was something inside it…could she just leave it there? Maybe she could carry it, find someone who knew what to do with it and pass it off…

No. The egg probably weighed more than she did, so there was no way she could even pick it up even if she wanted to. And if it hatched…she didn’t even know yet if she could support herself out here, so there was so way she’d be able to feed a growing hatchling. If she went back for the egg, they would both die. If she left it behind, one of them had a chance.

It made sense, logically, but there was still a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach as she turned back to continue following her pack’s trail. This is for the best. She repeated that to herself as she walked onward, leaving the bloodstained lair behind, until it started sounding more convincing to her. This is for the best. Maybe she had imagined the thing moving, anyway. Maybe it wasn’t even an egg.

She hadn’t gone very far when the first snowflakes started to fall; the sky had turned almost as pale as the ice, turning her into the only spot of color on this vast blank canvas. A gentle snowfall so soon after the first night would be an auspicious sign to her pack’s shamans, she knew, but to her it was only snow. Soon it would fall harder and heavier as winter claimed the south. Soon temperatures would plunge and winds would howl, kicking up terrifying storms that would scour the ice and smash floes to bits. Soon the world would be blanketed in darkness as the Icefield’s inhabitants settled in for the Long Night.

And somewhere behind her, a hatchling would awaken to this dark and cold wild. Alone.

Icewarden help me. Shrike turned and began loping back the way she had come, her paws moving almost of their own volition. This was a terrible mistake, she was sure, but she couldn’t just leave the egg behind to suffer its fate as she had been left to suffer hers.

The lair was not as far behind as she had thought; its grim mouth soon loomed before her again, and she peered inside. Something had changed, and she thought she could hear tiny noises from somewhere inside. Meep! Meep meep! She entered with an inward sigh but no small amount of curiosity. Not everything was as she left it in the corner room: one of the seed-like eggs had unfurled, leaving soft-looking brown shards scattered across the nest. And before it, curled up on the floor and peering curiously up at her –

She caught her breath at the little ball of fuzz – a female tundra. It looked almost magical with its dazzling golden fur and bright green eyes, there against the dirty ice. Too beautiful a creature to exist in such a dim place.

“Hello there.” She reached out a trembling hand to the hatchling, who probably outweighed her by five or six times. The young dragon nudged her hand with its broad nose, already gazing at her with a startling amount of trust.

“I guess we’re in this together.”
@Cerastes, aw I want to hug Shrike augh ;u; not being able to fly because of a breed change is not something I had ever considered but dang. ouch.

also ahh what a lucky hatch! that tundra is gorgeous and a double omg ;u;
@Cerastes, aw I want to hug Shrike augh ;u; not being able to fly because of a breed change is not something I had ever considered but dang. ouch.

also ahh what a lucky hatch! that tundra is gorgeous and a double omg ;u;
@Khoshekh I KNOW, I got so lucky, she is just the prettiest little thing. Gold/green is one of my favorite combos (and that gold tert! perfect!)

Now I just have to not kill her off...
@Khoshekh I KNOW, I got so lucky, she is just the prettiest little thing. Gold/green is one of my favorite combos (and that gold tert! perfect!)

Now I just have to not kill her off...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 36 37