Quests & Challenges
Quests, Challenges, and Festival games
TOPIC | The Seeker's child | a pinkerlocke
[img]https://i.imgur.com/z7RxIZq.png[/img] [columns][color=transparent].........................[/color][nextcol][img]https://i.imgur.com/if0JBo8.png[/img][nextcol][color=transparent]..[nextcol][center][size=7][size=4][font=sylfaen][color=#835438]the[/color] [color=#563012]seeker's[/color] [color=#351803]child[/color][/font][/size][/size] [color=#835438][size=4]a hardcore pinkerlocke[/size][/color][nextcol][color=transparent]..[nextcol][img]https://i.imgur.com/xm1sIQ8.png[/img][nextcol][color=transparent].........................[/color][/columns] ----- [center][color=#563012]introduction | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664#post_41060477]status[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664#post_41060478]rules[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41070742]first chapter[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41123122]latest chapter[/url][/color][/center] ----- [center][color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=4]Twigs didn't know where she came from. She didn't even know what she was. Her clan had told her the story so many times now, but could never give her any answers - only questions. She was told a story of a lost egg, which hatched into a strange dragon unlike any the clan had seen before. But where did the egg come from, and who were her parents? She may never know. But when a strange new dragon shows up in their territory who looks remarkably similar to her, she's forced to make a decision: stay with her peaceful but sheltered clan, or embark on a great journey to the land of her ancestors, to learn the truth about her kind and their purpose.[/size][/font][/color] ----- [emoji=bare tree size=1] ----- [color=#835438]So I guess I'm having a go at this pinkerlocke thing again! Been a while since I've had any kind of writing project going on, and I'm feeling a bit rusty! Lets hope I can stick with this for once. Rules are heavily modified, based on various FR nuzlockes I've seen over the years with my own personal flair. Anyone is free to use them, if you like the idea! Hop over to the "rules" post to see how this is gonna work. ----- [columns][color=transparent].....[/color][nextcol][color=#835438]0. [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41070742]Prologue[/url][/color] [color=#835438]1. [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41123122]Naming[/url][/columns] -----[/center]
z7RxIZq.png
......................... if0JBo8.png ..
the seeker's child
a hardcore pinkerlocke
.. xm1sIQ8.png .........................

introduction | status | rules | first chapter | latest chapter

Twigs didn't know where she came from. She didn't even know what she was. Her clan had told her the story so many times now, but could never give her any answers - only questions. She was told a story of a lost egg, which hatched into a strange dragon unlike any the clan had seen before. But where did the egg come from, and who were her parents? She may never know.

But when a strange new dragon shows up in their territory who looks remarkably similar to her, she's forced to make a decision: stay with her peaceful but sheltered clan, or embark on a great journey to the land of her ancestors, to learn the truth about her kind and their purpose.



So I guess I'm having a go at this pinkerlocke thing again! Been a while since I've had any kind of writing project going on, and I'm feeling a bit rusty! Lets hope I can stick with this for once.

Rules are heavily modified, based on various FR nuzlockes I've seen over the years with my own personal flair. Anyone is free to use them, if you like the idea! Hop over to the "rules" post to see how this is gonna work.

..... 0. Prologue
1. Naming

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Rook (they/them) | 21 .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
FR+8 | G1 + coli addict .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
Hatchery ~ pinkerlocke.frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
l4nnXKx.png
----- [center][color=#563012][url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664#post_2769664]introduction[/url] | status | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664#post_41060478]rules[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41070742]first chapter[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41123122]latest chapter[/url][/color] ----- [color=#835438]I will use this post to keep track of the current status of my clan; I'm calculating everything manually (including hunger, age, and personal additions such as battle limits) so that I don't necessarily have to use a Turn every day. [b]Warning: this section may contain spoilers[/b][/color] [font=sylfaen][color=#563012][size=5]Survivors[/size] [size=4]Current Turn: [b]1[/b][/size] [size=4]Current active dragons: [b]3[/b][/size][/font] [columns][color=transparent].....[/color][nextcol][url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?dragon=56121563][img]https://i.imgur.com/FHvSlPZ.png[/img][/url][nextcol][color=transparent]...[/color][nextcol][color=#563012][b]Eira[/b] | [/color] [color=#835438]she/her[/color] [color=#563012]Level:[/color] [color=#835438]4[/color] [color=#563012]Hunger:[/color] [color=#835438]0/10[/color] [color=#563012]Battles used:[/color] [color=#835438]0/30[/color] [color=#563012][b]Turns taken:[/b][/color] [color=#835438]1[/color][/columns] [columns][color=transparent].....[/color][nextcol][url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?dragon=53304961][img]https://i.imgur.com/ASuGYXA.png[/img][/url][nextcol][color=transparent]...[/color][nextcol][color=#563012][b]Askell[/b] | [/color] [color=#835438]he/him[/color] [color=#563012]Level:[/color] [color=#835438]4[/color] [color=#563012]Hunger:[/color] [color=#835438]0/10[/color] [color=#563012]Battles used:[/color] [color=#835438]0/30[/color] [color=#563012][b]Turns taken:[/b][/color] [color=#835438]1[/color][/columns] [columns][color=transparent].....[/color][nextcol][url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?dragon=56030224][img]https://i.imgur.com/CmWw3Dw.png[/img][/url][nextcol][color=transparent]...[/color][nextcol][color=#563012][b]Kateros[/b] | [/color] [color=#835438]he/him[/color] [color=#563012]Level:[/color] [color=#835438]4[/color] [color=#563012]Hunger:[/color] [color=#835438]0/10[/color] [color=#563012]Battles used:[/color] [color=#835438]0/30[/color] [color=#563012][b]Turns taken:[/b][/color] [color=#835438]1[/color][/columns] [center][color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=5]Inventory[/size] [size=4][img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_insect.png[/img] x 10 [color=transparent]...[/color] [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_meat.png[/img] x 49 [color=transparent]...[/color] [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_seafood.png[/img] x 12 [color=transparent]...[/color] [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_plant.png[/img] x 6[/center]

introduction | status | rules | first chapter | latest chapter
I will use this post to keep track of the current status of my clan; I'm calculating everything manually (including hunger, age, and personal additions such as battle limits) so that I don't necessarily have to use a Turn every day.

Warning: this section may contain spoilers


Survivors

Current Turn: 1
Current active dragons: 3


..... FHvSlPZ.png ... Eira | she/her
Level: 4
Hunger: 0/10
Battles used: 0/30
Turns taken: 1
..... ASuGYXA.png ... Askell | he/him
Level: 4
Hunger: 0/10
Battles used: 0/30
Turns taken: 1
..... CmWw3Dw.png ... Kateros | he/him
Level: 4
Hunger: 0/10
Battles used: 0/30
Turns taken: 1

Inventory

icon_insect.png x 10 ... icon_meat.png x 49 ... icon_seafood.png x 12 ... icon_plant.png x 6
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Rook (they/them) | 21 .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
FR+8 | G1 + coli addict .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
Hatchery ~ pinkerlocke.frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
l4nnXKx.png
[center]----- [color=#563012][url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664#post_2769664]introduction[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664#post_41060477]status[/url] | rules | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41070742]first chapter[/url] | [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41123122]latest chapter[/url][/color] ----- [color=#835438]Rather that following FR's canonical days passing, this 'locke operates based on Turns taken. When a Turn is taken, every dragons' hunger is set to 20, and their battle count is reset to 0. Turns also act as the "age" of dragons hatched within the clan; for example, a hatching must be 5 turns old to battle. Storywise, a Turn doesn't equal a certain amount of time, and I'll probably end up writing more than one chapter for each Turn used. This system is in place because all the previous times I attempted a 'locke, I ended up overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything that was happening! Despite maybe sounding a bit complicated, this system actually makes tracking/keeping on top of the clan easier for me. All of this clan's inventory, such as food, battlestones and familiars, will be tracked completely separate from the rest of my clan. They can only use items that are within their inventory, and items can only enter their inventory via using the Coliseum, receiving items from Baldwin, or through gifts. The exception to this is apparel items, which I can give them freely as long as it's explainable in the story. Just want to mention, donations are welcome~ Beware - if you donate a dragon, I'll remove all their genes.[/color] ----- [emoji=bare tree size=1] ----- [color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=5]The Rules[/size] [size=4]Dragon Acquisition[/size][/font][/color] [color=#835438][size=2]1. Dragons can only be bought in specific situations, as follows: - If you get three dragons to level 25, you may buy one dragon. - If you get a familiar from Pinkerton, you may buy one dragon. - If you get apparel from Pinkerton, you may breed OR buy a dragon. - If you find an unhatched egg, you may buy one hatchling. - For every 20 turns taken, you may buy a dragon. 2. Bought dragons must be triple basic, untrained and unbred. 3. Bought dragons cannot cost more than 10kt. 4. If there are no triple-basic dragons under 10kt, buy a gened dragon and use gene removal scrolls.[/size][/color] [color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=4]Dragon Breeding[/size][/font][/color] [color=#835438][size=2]1. Dragons can only be bred if you get an apparel item from Pinkerton. 2. To be eligible to breed, both dragons must be within an appropriate size of each other (or be the same breed), and must have at least two genes each. 3. Normal nuzlocke hatching rules apply: - For every hatchling, flip a coin. - If tails, the hatchling died. Exalt, or give away. - If heads, you have a survivor.[/size][/color] [color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=4]Coliseum[/size][/font][/color] [color=#835438][size=2]1. If a dragon faints in the coliseum, it's dead. Exalt, or give away. 2. Each dragon can do a maximum of 30 battles per turn. 3. Dragons cannot [i]train[/i] in areas lower than their current level; they can grind in areas where they gain no XP, but doing so counts towards their battle limit. 4. No refreshing the coli; you must use the flee button. Fleeing uses no energy and doesn't count towards the dragons' battle limit.[/size][/color] [color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=4]Food[/size][/font][/color] [color=#835438][size=2]1. Food cannot be gathered; it must be obtained through the Coliseum. 2. Each dragon needs to eat 10 food per Turn; a dragon can survive up to three Turns without food (i.e. 30/10 hunger). 3. If a dragon reaches 30/10 hunger, it has starved to death. Exalt or give away. 4. As per canon lore introduced [url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?p=wiki&article=92]here[/url], dragons can eat food outside of their normal food groups. However, that food is less nourishing to them, therefore they have to eat 50% more of it to satisfy their hunger.[/size][/color] [color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=4]Genes, Breeds and Scatters[/size][/font][/color] [color=#835438][size=2]1. Dragons can only be given genes when they reach certain levels. - One gene at level 10. - One gene at level 15. - One gene at level 20. 2. Only G1 dragons can be scattered and/or breed-changed, and only at the moment of hatching.[/size][/color] [color=#563012][font=sylfaen][size=4]Pinkerton[/size][/font][/color] [color=#835438][size=2]For each Turn taken, the item received from Pinkerton on that day cause certain "special events" to occur (as typical for a Pinkerlocke). [i]Familiars[/i]: buy the cheapest triple-basic dragon of a certain breed from the auction house. Use a random number generator, between 1-14, to determine which breed you get. 1. Fae 2. Guardian 3. Mirror 4. Pearlcatcher 5. Ridgeback 6. Tundra 7. Spiral 8. Imperial 9. Snapper 10. Wildclaw 11. Nocturne 12. Coatl 13. Skydancer 14. Bogsneak [i]Apparel[/i]: breed two of your dragons. This only applies if you have a breedable pair with at least two genes; if not, you may buy a dragon instead. Dragons can only be bred when an apparel piece is received. [i]Battle items[/i]: flip a coin. - If tails, crisis averted. Nothing happens. - If heads, death streak. Death streak rules: select three dragons using a random number generator. Go to the venue that corresponds with the highest level dragon of that group, and fight for ten consecutive rounds, quitting midway if a dragon dies. Death streaks can only happen if the clan has five or more adult members.[/size][/color][/center]

introduction | status | rules | first chapter | latest chapter
Rather that following FR's canonical days passing, this 'locke operates based on Turns taken. When a Turn is taken, every dragons' hunger is set to 20, and their battle count is reset to 0. Turns also act as the "age" of dragons hatched within the clan; for example, a hatching must be 5 turns old to battle.

Storywise, a Turn doesn't equal a certain amount of time, and I'll probably end up writing more than one chapter for each Turn used. This system is in place because all the previous times I attempted a 'locke, I ended up overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything that was happening! Despite maybe sounding a bit complicated, this system actually makes tracking/keeping on top of the clan easier for me.

All of this clan's inventory, such as food, battlestones and familiars, will be tracked completely separate from the rest of my clan. They can only use items that are within their inventory, and items can only enter their inventory via using the Coliseum, receiving items from Baldwin, or through gifts.

The exception to this is apparel items, which I can give them freely as long as it's explainable in the story.

Just want to mention, donations are welcome~
Beware - if you donate a dragon, I'll remove all their genes.



The Rules

Dragon Acquisition


1. Dragons can only be bought in specific situations, as follows:
- If you get three dragons to level 25, you may buy one dragon.
- If you get a familiar from Pinkerton, you may buy one dragon.
- If you get apparel from Pinkerton, you may breed OR buy a dragon.
- If you find an unhatched egg, you may buy one hatchling.
- For every 20 turns taken, you may buy a dragon.

2. Bought dragons must be triple basic, untrained and unbred.

3. Bought dragons cannot cost more than 10kt.

4. If there are no triple-basic dragons under 10kt, buy a gened
dragon and use gene removal scrolls.


Dragon Breeding

1. Dragons can only be bred if you get an apparel item from Pinkerton.

2. To be eligible to breed, both dragons must be within an
appropriate size of each other (or be the same breed), and must
have at least two genes each.

3. Normal nuzlocke hatching rules apply:
- For every hatchling, flip a coin.
- If tails, the hatchling died. Exalt, or give away.
- If heads, you have a survivor.


Coliseum

1. If a dragon faints in the coliseum, it's dead. Exalt, or give away.

2. Each dragon can do a maximum of 30 battles per turn.

3. Dragons cannot train in areas lower than their current level; they
can grind in areas where they gain no XP, but doing so counts
towards their battle limit.

4. No refreshing the coli; you must use the flee button. Fleeing uses
no energy and doesn't count towards the dragons' battle limit.


Food

1. Food cannot be gathered; it must be obtained through the Coliseum.

2. Each dragon needs to eat 10 food per Turn; a dragon can survive up
to three Turns without food (i.e. 30/10 hunger).

3. If a dragon reaches 30/10 hunger, it has starved to death. Exalt or
give away.

4. As per canon lore introduced here, dragons can eat food outside of
their normal food groups. However, that food is less nourishing to
them, therefore they have to eat 50% more of it to satisfy their
hunger.


Genes, Breeds and Scatters

1. Dragons can only be given genes when they reach certain levels.
- One gene at level 10.
- One gene at level 15.
- One gene at level 20.

2. Only G1 dragons can be scattered and/or breed-changed, and only
at the moment of hatching.


Pinkerton

For each Turn taken, the item received from Pinkerton on that day
cause certain "special events" to occur (as typical for a Pinkerlocke).

Familiars: buy the cheapest triple-basic dragon of a certain breed from
the auction house. Use a random number generator, between 1-14, to
determine which breed you get.

1. Fae
2. Guardian
3. Mirror
4. Pearlcatcher
5. Ridgeback
6. Tundra
7. Spiral
8. Imperial
9. Snapper
10. Wildclaw
11. Nocturne
12. Coatl
13. Skydancer
14. Bogsneak

Apparel: breed two of your dragons. This only applies if you have a
breedable pair with at least two genes; if not, you may buy a dragon
instead. Dragons can only be bred when an apparel piece is received.

Battle items: flip a coin.

- If tails, crisis averted. Nothing happens.
- If heads, death streak.

Death streak rules: select three dragons using a random number
generator. Go to the venue that corresponds with the highest level
dragon of that group, and fight for ten consecutive rounds, quitting
midway if a dragon dies.

Death streaks can only happen if the clan has five or more adult
members.
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.


.
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Rook (they/them) | 21 .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
FR+8 | G1 + coli addict .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
Hatchery ~ pinkerlocke.frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
l4nnXKx.png
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.
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Rook (they/them) | 21 .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
FR+8 | G1 + coli addict .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
Hatchery ~ pinkerlocke.frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
l4nnXKx.png
[columns][color=transparent].................................[/color][nextcol][img]https://i.imgur.com/if0JBo8.png[/img][nextcol][color=transparent]..[nextcol][center][size=4][color=#835438]prologue[/color][/size] [size=7][size=4][font=sylfaen][color=#351803]the stranger[/color][/font][/size][/size][nextcol][color=transparent]..[nextcol][img]https://i.imgur.com/xm1sIQ8.png[/img][nextcol][color=transparent].................................[/color][/columns] ----- [center][color=#835438]|o| [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41123122]next chapter >[/url][/color][/center] ----- [center][img]https://i.imgur.com/Q8ePUHG.png[/img][/center] [color=#835438][font=sylfaen][size=4]He was out of place in this jungle. His dense fur caught on bushes and brambles as he passed, and made the sweltering midday heat feel nigh unbearable even in his summer coat; he panted softly as he padded across a soft bed of ferns and moss. The trees here were impossibly tall, with great buttress-roots large enough for even a dragon of his great size to hide behind. The sunlight dappled scarcely through lofty branches. He was out of place here, but still… he had to admit, this was a perfect hunting ground. The soft ground muffled his footsteps so much that he was nearly silent; the way the light played across leaves and branches made for a beautiful spectacle, but it also obscured - making it all that much harder to detect his icy-white form as he stalked through the undergrowth. He was downwind. His quarry, another Shade-tainted abomination: oblivious. He had been tracking it for miles as it made its way down long-established game trails, winding between trunks and bushes, through streams and mudpits, spreading corruption wherever it went; and the dragon followed undeterred, unnoticed, unwavering. He travelled like a silent arrow loosed from a bow: direct, unyielding and deadly. This was to be a hunt like any other. He had done this countless times before; he was a Seeker, and the hunt was his life. One by one, taint by wretched taint, he would do his part to rid this world of this greatest of foes; he would track down corruption to the places it festered and scour it away like a cleansing blizzard. That was his duty, and he prided himself in it. But today, something was different. For just a moment the wind changed, and he caught the scent of something new - and entirely unexpected. Askell heaved in great breaths of it, unable to believe what he was smelling. [i]Another gaoler, here?[/i] His mind reeled. He was sure he was the only Seeker in the Everbloom Gardens; and this smell, there was something strange about it. It was certainly a gaoler, but something was wrong about it. Something unsettling. He huffed. Now, a choice: should he continue on as he was, tracking down some lesser Shade-taken creature - or investigate this new mystery, this smell that shouldn’t have been? After a moment, he made his decision. He changed course sharply to follow the scent, awaiting another breeze that might hold another hint as to the identity of this “mystery gaoler”. Soon he picked up the trail of a clan, meandering through the forest with little urgency or direction: a small group of maybe twenty dragons, judging by the footprints left in the mud of the trail they walked; mostly wildclaws, with a few skydancers, pearlcatchers, coatls and other miscellaneous breeds mixed in. And there-- those were certainly gaoler prints, in amongst the rest. Not adult prints, but those of a child. Ever more intrigued, Askell followed the trail until he came across a small lair. There, beside the riverbank, surrounded by the fragrant blooms of jungle flowers and the gentle songs of birds in the canopy, a modest clan had made their home: and an idyllic home it was, with hammocks tied between trees and strings of little lights strung like garland, and the smells of bushmeat roasting over stone-lined firepits, and cosy tents of fur and leather for dragons of various sizes pitched in a rough semi-circle around the central clearing. The dragons were busy with various chores, and for a long moment they didn’t notice the stranger as he approached. Then, one by one, they stopped and turned to stare at this great behemoth that had so casually and confidently invaded their home. ----- [center][emoji=bare tree size=1][/center] ----- [center][img]https://i.imgur.com/hdFmy8V.png[/img] [img]https://i.imgur.com/uMWgJAU.png[/img][/center] [color=#835438][font=sylfaen][size=4]“Hush now children, come on,” Astera whispered, trying to herd a gaggle of hatchlings to the designated safe area. Twigs and Kateros walked ahead, no longer quite children themselves (particularly not Kateros, who came of age last summer) but still urged to accompany the younger ones for safety. “Do you know what’s going on?” Twigs asked quietly. “Some kinda intruder in the camp, I think. But I never saw them,” Kateros replied. They walked along the forest trail in relative silence, helping guide the younger ones to their destination: a secluded cave, well hidden by foliage, that served as the clan’s safe zone and place to retreat in case of emergencies. Not that it was needed very often: this was the first time they’d been moved like this since Twigs was a hatchling. Soon they reached the cave’s entrance - a gaping maw in the earth, carved by the small river that flowed into it and turned into a cloud of vapour as it poured over the sheer ledge. A few trees hung overhung the mouth, basking in the sun that shone freely down through the hole in the canopy above. A slope of fallen rocks led directly into the cavern, though one had to watch their footing; still, the cave was secluded and safe enough for refuge, at least for a short time. As they entered, the sound of the waterfall was slowly replaced by the gentle trickle of water and constant dripping from above. Astera and Kateros had picked up some torches left near the entrance, and lit them as they wandered down the natural tunnel a little way, towards a relatively flat, slightly elevated area that was drier than the rest; and there the group settled down on the old furs Astera had brought along, and the elder wildclaw started a fire in a small pit for light and warmth. The silence was tense for a while as each dragon, both young and old, wondered what might happen next. None but Astera were really sure what was happening, and soon stories began to circulate among the younger crowd: tales of great beasts, or foreign kings in exile, or secret quests for the Gladekeeper. “That can’t be right!” chimed one, a small wildclaw. “If it were one’a Lady Gladekeeper’s lot, then why’d we be stuck down here?” “S’not true, anyway! I saw what it was that got us brought down here. It was a monster just like Twigs! All big an-” “Hey!” hissed Kateros. “Don’t you go calling Twigs a monster!” The mention of her nickname dragged Twigs out of her daydreaming. “Wait, what did you say? It… it looked like me?” Twigs had never met a dragon like herself before. Sometimes she wondered if she really was a dragon at all… after all, what dragon has fur, great big antlers and stubby wings? None her or her clan had ever heard of, that was for sure. A loud-mouthed coatl nicknamed Pond-Lily spoke up. “Yeah, it was just like you, ‘cept bigger and all grizzled-looking, and kinda blue!” “That sounds nothing like her,” another retorted. “Shut up, Mossy, I know what I’m talking about! It was big and furry and it had great big antlers like a deer, ‘cept it wasn’t a deer, no way, ‘cause it was even bigger than Elder Nariya and she’s the biggest dragon I ever seen! So there!” Twigs wasn’t sure what to make of any of this. She stood up, suddenly feeling restless, and paced away from the group towards the cave entrance, her long, heavy tail dragging behind her. [i]If it really is another dragon like me, what does that mean? What could they want?[/i] She heard someone approaching from behind. “I wouldn’t take them too seriously if I were you,” said Kateros. “They’re just kids, after all.” She turned and looked at him. “Yeah, I suppose. It just makes me wonder… I can’t even tell if I want them to be right or wrong. What if there [i]is[/i] someone out there like me? And they look so dangerous that we all got brought over here? That can’t be a good sign, can it?” Anxiety and anticipation boiled in her chest. He hesitated. “Just… try not to worry [i]too[/i] much, okay? I’ve got your back, no matter what.” “Thanks, Tero.” ----- [center][emoji=bare tree size=1][/center] ----- [color=#835438][font=sylfaen][size=4]It was some time before they heard from the rest of the clan. A skydancer, Irilis, glided down through the entrance of the cave, graceful as any bird, and landed lightly in front of Twigs. He had a strange expression on his face, and glanced over his shoulder briefly as if he was worried someone might be following him. “Young one, you are-- uh, you’re needed back at the lair. Something has… come up. It’s important.” His face was hard to read - he seemed shocked, but also wary, nervous. Immediately Twigs’ heart started pounding. Why would they need her, unless…? She followed him in silence back to the lair. The whole time, her heart felt like it was about to beat out of her chest, and she couldn’t tell if it were from excitement or fear. Somewhere, deep in her mind, she knew: everything was about to change. Eventually the two dragons emerged from amidst ferns and wildflowers into the clearing where the clan made their home. Irilis lead Twigs towards the largest of the clan’s tents, the one belonging to Elder Nariya; a structure of impressive size, made from leather, wood and bone, big enough to house the old coatl and all her belongings. Now, however, there was the sound of intense discussion emanating from the entrance; it seemed the clan was using it as a kind of improvised meeting room, and, now that she paid closer attention, she realised one of the voices was unfamiliar. She tried to brace herself before entry, but there was nothing she could do. She saw inside a great hulking figure, lean and fearsome and covered in thick, grizzled fur, with sweeping antlers and small furred wings; and they looked at her with apparently as much surprise as she felt; and that was the last thing she could take in before she passed out on the floor. An uncertain amount of time later, she was gently roused by one of the clan elders. “I know this is hard, young one,” she said softly, “but you must hear what he has to say.” She nodded her head, feeling foggy, confused and scared. What had they been talking about, before she arrived? She saw the elder gesture sharply to someone out of view, before she was handed a steaming bowl of peppermint tea. She took a long sip from the bowl before working up the courage to ask, hazily: “What’s going on?” “Well,” the elder said with a sigh. “We have a rather unexpected visitor, and he has the most enchanting story to tell - one of ancient beasts and sacred tasks and the like. It’s rather strange, and we’d have sent him on his way long ago, except… well, he looks rather familiar, doesn’t he?” She gave a warm smile as she glanced at a shadow looming over Twigs’ shoulder. Twigs took a deep breath and turned around again, to face this mysterious stranger who looked so much like her. This time, she didn’t faint. She didn’t even flinch. She looked him straight in the eyes and asked, “What am I?” The great dragon before her lowered his mighty head and growled, “You are a gaoler, one of the ancient children of the Icewarden.” His voice was cold and emotionless, like the pinpoints of his pale white eyes. “And who are you?” she asked, barely concealing the tremor in her voice. “I am Askell, of the Seeker Order.” “Why are you here, Askell?” “Before seeing you, I truly did not know; but now I do. You are a gaoler, and yet you are blessed by Nature. This should not be. Were someone to suggest this possibility to me, I would’ve called it blasphemy - a gaoler, the truest children of Ice, instead a child of the Gladekeeper? Impossible! But now I see you, I know it is the truth… and I know you must come with me, child. The Orders must know of this. And you… you must learn how to be a gaoler.” Twigs was silent. Her heart was beating faster than ever. She looked at the three elders for reassurance, as if silently asking them, [i]are you really going to let this stranger take me away?[/i] The one who had given her the tea - Anthu was her name - put a comforting arm around her shoulders. “We will not make you do anything you do not want to,” she said gently. “This is your decision to make, young one,” intoned the last of the elders, a wildclaw named Vesra. He smiled encouragingly, but Twigs could barely breathe. She felt like a startled hare, frozen in place; her mind searched frantically for some semblance of normalcy, because suddenly everything around her seemed alien and confusing. She wanted to run away, or cry, or throw something across the room in anger, but instead - somehow - she managed to take a breath. One long breath. Then another, and another. And, feeling slightly less overwhelmed, she managed to whisper, almost as if to herself, “I need time to think about this.” Then she left. She left so quickly and so suddenly that she bumped straight into Kateros, who had apparently been eavesdropping outside. “Lot to take in, huh?” he said. “Yeah.” “Well,” he said as they began to walk away from the tent. “You handled it better than I would’ve! I would’ve started crying or something, probably.” “I feel like I’m about to.” “Do you need a minute, or…?” “Kinda, but I don’t know if I have one. I don’t know if they’re expecting me to decide on the spot or what, but…” “Well, this should be easy, shouldn’t it?” he said as they wandered off into the shadowed woods. “I know you don’t like being away from home.” “Yeah, but…” Kateros thought for a minute before replying, “You’re not sure you’re gonna get another chance like this, are you?” Twigs hesitated. “I-- I’ve spent my [i]whole life[/i] wondering about who… what I am, and where I came from. And now I have the chance to learn about all that. Learn about my kind, my people… maybe even find out who my parents are. Or were. This stranger’s weird, and… kinda scary, but… he might be the only chance I have at getting some answers.” She sighed. “But I don’t want to leave home either. I love it here. And I love the clan. Part of me says, ‘it doesn’t matter where you came from, you were raised here and you belong here.’ And I know that’s true. But…” “But…?” “But I don’t know how I could live with myself knowing I let this chance pass me by.” “So the solution’s simple. We go with Big Scary now, go see whatever it is he has to show us, and then we come back home and everything’s fine.” Twigs turned and looked at him. “We? I don’t think so. You’ve gotta stay here. The clan needs you.” “If you think for one second that I’m gonna just sit by and let you wander off with some stranger, alone, into the wilderness…! You’ll have to tie me to a tree before I let that happen! You’re my best friend. You’re my [i]sister[/i]. You don’t have to do this alone. Besides, there’s no way I’m missing out on an adventure like that! It’ll be just like in the stories!” “If you say so, Tero. Okay. We’ll do this. We’ll go, find out where I came from, and then we’ll come home.” “We’re gonna have so many stories to tell by the end of this. It’s gonna be great!” ----- [center][color=#835438]|o| [url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41123122]next chapter >[/url][/color][/center] -----
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prologue
the stranger
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He was out of place in this jungle. His dense fur caught on bushes and brambles as he passed, and made the sweltering midday heat feel nigh unbearable even in his summer coat; he panted softly as he padded across a soft bed of ferns and moss. The trees here were impossibly tall, with great buttress-roots large enough for even a dragon of his great size to hide behind. The sunlight dappled scarcely through lofty branches.

He was out of place here, but still… he had to admit, this was a perfect hunting ground. The soft ground muffled his footsteps so much that he was nearly silent; the way the light played across leaves and branches made for a beautiful spectacle, but it also obscured - making it all that much harder to detect his icy-white form as he stalked through the undergrowth.

He was downwind. His quarry, another Shade-tainted abomination: oblivious. He had been tracking it for miles as it made its way down long-established game trails, winding between trunks and bushes, through streams and mudpits, spreading corruption wherever it went; and the dragon followed undeterred, unnoticed, unwavering. He travelled like a silent arrow loosed from a bow: direct, unyielding and deadly.

This was to be a hunt like any other. He had done this countless times before; he was a Seeker, and the hunt was his life. One by one, taint by wretched taint, he would do his part to rid this world of this greatest of foes; he would track down corruption to the places it festered and scour it away like a cleansing blizzard. That was his duty, and he prided himself in it.

But today, something was different.

For just a moment the wind changed, and he caught the scent of something new - and entirely unexpected. Askell heaved in great breaths of it, unable to believe what he was smelling. Another gaoler, here? His mind reeled. He was sure he was the only Seeker in the Everbloom Gardens; and this smell, there was something strange about it. It was certainly a gaoler, but something was wrong about it. Something unsettling. He huffed. Now, a choice: should he continue on as he was, tracking down some lesser Shade-taken creature - or investigate this new mystery, this smell that shouldn’t have been?

After a moment, he made his decision. He changed course sharply to follow the scent, awaiting another breeze that might hold another hint as to the identity of this “mystery gaoler”. Soon he picked up the trail of a clan, meandering through the forest with little urgency or direction: a small group of maybe twenty dragons, judging by the footprints left in the mud of the trail they walked; mostly wildclaws, with a few skydancers, pearlcatchers, coatls and other miscellaneous breeds mixed in.

And there-- those were certainly gaoler prints, in amongst the rest. Not adult prints, but those of a child.

Ever more intrigued, Askell followed the trail until he came across a small lair. There, beside the riverbank, surrounded by the fragrant blooms of jungle flowers and the gentle songs of birds in the canopy, a modest clan had made their home: and an idyllic home it was, with hammocks tied between trees and strings of little lights strung like garland, and the smells of bushmeat roasting over stone-lined firepits, and cosy tents of fur and leather for dragons of various sizes pitched in a rough semi-circle around the central clearing. The dragons were busy with various chores, and for a long moment they didn’t notice the stranger as he approached.

Then, one by one, they stopped and turned to stare at this great behemoth that had so casually and confidently invaded their home.



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“Hush now children, come on,” Astera whispered, trying to herd a gaggle of hatchlings to the designated safe area. Twigs and Kateros walked ahead, no longer quite children themselves (particularly not Kateros, who came of age last summer) but still urged to accompany the younger ones for safety.

“Do you know what’s going on?” Twigs asked quietly.

“Some kinda intruder in the camp, I think. But I never saw them,” Kateros replied.

They walked along the forest trail in relative silence, helping guide the younger ones to their destination: a secluded cave, well hidden by foliage, that served as the clan’s safe zone and place to retreat in case of emergencies. Not that it was needed very often: this was the first time they’d been moved like this since Twigs was a hatchling.

Soon they reached the cave’s entrance - a gaping maw in the earth, carved by the small river that flowed into it and turned into a cloud of vapour as it poured over the sheer ledge. A few trees hung overhung the mouth, basking in the sun that shone freely down through the hole in the canopy above. A slope of fallen rocks led directly into the cavern, though one had to watch their footing; still, the cave was secluded and safe enough for refuge, at least for a short time. As they entered, the sound of the waterfall was slowly replaced by the gentle trickle of water and constant dripping from above.

Astera and Kateros had picked up some torches left near the entrance, and lit them as they wandered down the natural tunnel a little way, towards a relatively flat, slightly elevated area that was drier than the rest; and there the group settled down on the old furs Astera had brought along, and the elder wildclaw started a fire in a small pit for light and warmth. The silence was tense for a while as each dragon, both young and old, wondered what might happen next. None but Astera were really sure what was happening, and soon stories began to circulate among the younger crowd: tales of great beasts, or foreign kings in exile, or secret quests for the Gladekeeper.

“That can’t be right!” chimed one, a small wildclaw. “If it were one’a Lady Gladekeeper’s lot, then why’d we be stuck down here?”

“S’not true, anyway! I saw what it was that got us brought down here. It was a monster just like Twigs! All big an-”

“Hey!” hissed Kateros. “Don’t you go calling Twigs a monster!”

The mention of her nickname dragged Twigs out of her daydreaming. “Wait, what did you say? It… it looked like me?” Twigs had never met a dragon like herself before. Sometimes she wondered if she really was a dragon at all… after all, what dragon has fur, great big antlers and stubby wings? None her or her clan had ever heard of, that was for sure.

A loud-mouthed coatl nicknamed Pond-Lily spoke up. “Yeah, it was just like you, ‘cept bigger and all grizzled-looking, and kinda blue!”

“That sounds nothing like her,” another retorted.

“Shut up, Mossy, I know what I’m talking about! It was big and furry and it had great big antlers like a deer, ‘cept it wasn’t a deer, no way, ‘cause it was even bigger than Elder Nariya and she’s the biggest dragon I ever seen! So there!”

Twigs wasn’t sure what to make of any of this. She stood up, suddenly feeling restless, and paced away from the group towards the cave entrance, her long, heavy tail dragging behind her. If it really is another dragon like me, what does that mean? What could they want?

She heard someone approaching from behind. “I wouldn’t take them too seriously if I were you,” said Kateros. “They’re just kids, after all.”

She turned and looked at him. “Yeah, I suppose. It just makes me wonder… I can’t even tell if I want them to be right or wrong. What if there is someone out there like me? And they look so dangerous that we all got brought over here? That can’t be a good sign, can it?” Anxiety and anticipation boiled in her chest.

He hesitated. “Just… try not to worry too much, okay? I’ve got your back, no matter what.”

“Thanks, Tero.”




It was some time before they heard from the rest of the clan. A skydancer, Irilis, glided down through the entrance of the cave, graceful as any bird, and landed lightly in front of Twigs. He had a strange expression on his face, and glanced over his shoulder briefly as if he was worried someone might be following him.

“Young one, you are-- uh, you’re needed back at the lair. Something has… come up. It’s important.” His face was hard to read - he seemed shocked, but also wary, nervous. Immediately Twigs’ heart started pounding. Why would they need her, unless…?

She followed him in silence back to the lair. The whole time, her heart felt like it was about to beat out of her chest, and she couldn’t tell if it were from excitement or fear. Somewhere, deep in her mind, she knew: everything was about to change.

Eventually the two dragons emerged from amidst ferns and wildflowers into the clearing where the clan made their home. Irilis lead Twigs towards the largest of the clan’s tents, the one belonging to Elder Nariya; a structure of impressive size, made from leather, wood and bone, big enough to house the old coatl and all her belongings. Now, however, there was the sound of intense discussion emanating from the entrance; it seemed the clan was using it as a kind of improvised meeting room, and, now that she paid closer attention, she realised one of the voices was unfamiliar.

She tried to brace herself before entry, but there was nothing she could do. She saw inside a great hulking figure, lean and fearsome and covered in thick, grizzled fur, with sweeping antlers and small furred wings; and they looked at her with apparently as much surprise as she felt; and that was the last thing she could take in before she passed out on the floor.

An uncertain amount of time later, she was gently roused by one of the clan elders. “I know this is hard, young one,” she said softly, “but you must hear what he has to say.”

She nodded her head, feeling foggy, confused and scared. What had they been talking about, before she arrived? She saw the elder gesture sharply to someone out of view, before she was handed a steaming bowl of peppermint tea. She took a long sip from the bowl before working up the courage to ask, hazily: “What’s going on?”

“Well,” the elder said with a sigh. “We have a rather unexpected visitor, and he has the most enchanting story to tell - one of ancient beasts and sacred tasks and the like. It’s rather strange, and we’d have sent him on his way long ago, except… well, he looks rather familiar, doesn’t he?” She gave a warm smile as she glanced at a shadow looming over Twigs’ shoulder.

Twigs took a deep breath and turned around again, to face this mysterious stranger who looked so much like her. This time, she didn’t faint. She didn’t even flinch. She looked him straight in the eyes and asked, “What am I?”

The great dragon before her lowered his mighty head and growled, “You are a gaoler, one of the ancient children of the Icewarden.” His voice was cold and emotionless, like the pinpoints of his pale white eyes.

“And who are you?” she asked, barely concealing the tremor in her voice.

“I am Askell, of the Seeker Order.”

“Why are you here, Askell?”

“Before seeing you, I truly did not know; but now I do. You are a gaoler, and yet you are blessed by Nature. This should not be. Were someone to suggest this possibility to me, I would’ve called it blasphemy - a gaoler, the truest children of Ice, instead a child of the Gladekeeper? Impossible! But now I see you, I know it is the truth… and I know you must come with me, child. The Orders must know of this. And you… you must learn how to be a gaoler.”

Twigs was silent. Her heart was beating faster than ever. She looked at the three elders for reassurance, as if silently asking them, are you really going to let this stranger take me away? The one who had given her the tea - Anthu was her name - put a comforting arm around her shoulders.

“We will not make you do anything you do not want to,” she said gently.

“This is your decision to make, young one,” intoned the last of the elders, a wildclaw named Vesra. He smiled encouragingly, but Twigs could barely breathe. She felt like a startled hare, frozen in place; her mind searched frantically for some semblance of normalcy, because suddenly everything around her seemed alien and confusing.

She wanted to run away, or cry, or throw something across the room in anger, but instead - somehow - she managed to take a breath. One long breath. Then another, and another. And, feeling slightly less overwhelmed, she managed to whisper, almost as if to herself, “I need time to think about this.”

Then she left.

She left so quickly and so suddenly that she bumped straight into Kateros, who had apparently been eavesdropping outside.

“Lot to take in, huh?” he said.

“Yeah.”

“Well,” he said as they began to walk away from the tent. “You handled it better than I would’ve! I would’ve started crying or something, probably.”

“I feel like I’m about to.”

“Do you need a minute, or…?”

“Kinda, but I don’t know if I have one. I don’t know if they’re expecting me to decide on the spot or what, but…”

“Well, this should be easy, shouldn’t it?” he said as they wandered off into the shadowed woods. “I know you don’t like being away from home.”

“Yeah, but…”

Kateros thought for a minute before replying, “You’re not sure you’re gonna get another chance like this, are you?”

Twigs hesitated. “I-- I’ve spent my whole life wondering about who… what I am, and where I came from. And now I have the chance to learn about all that. Learn about my kind, my people… maybe even find out who my parents are. Or were. This stranger’s weird, and… kinda scary, but… he might be the only chance I have at getting some answers.” She sighed. “But I don’t want to leave home either. I love it here. And I love the clan. Part of me says, ‘it doesn’t matter where you came from, you were raised here and you belong here.’ And I know that’s true. But…”

“But…?”

“But I don’t know how I could live with myself knowing I let this chance pass me by.”

“So the solution’s simple. We go with Big Scary now, go see whatever it is he has to show us, and then we come back home and everything’s fine.”

Twigs turned and looked at him. “We? I don’t think so. You’ve gotta stay here. The clan needs you.”

“If you think for one second that I’m gonna just sit by and let you wander off with some stranger, alone, into the wilderness…! You’ll have to tie me to a tree before I let that happen! You’re my best friend. You’re my sister. You don’t have to do this alone. Besides, there’s no way I’m missing out on an adventure like that! It’ll be just like in the stories!”

“If you say so, Tero. Okay. We’ll do this. We’ll go, find out where I came from, and then we’ll come home.”

“We’re gonna have so many stories to tell by the end of this. It’s gonna be great!”



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Rook (they/them) | 21 .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
FR+8 | G1 + coli addict .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
Hatchery ~ pinkerlocke.frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
l4nnXKx.png
[columns][color=transparent].........................................[/color][nextcol][img]https://i.imgur.com/if0JBo8.png[/img][nextcol][color=transparent]..[nextcol][center][size=4][color=#835438]chapter one[/color][/size] [size=7][size=4][font=sylfaen][color=#351803]naming[/color][/font][/size][/size][nextcol][color=transparent]..[nextcol][img]https://i.imgur.com/xm1sIQ8.png[/img][nextcol][color=transparent].........................................[/color][/columns] ----- [center][color=#835438][url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41070742]< prev chapter[/url] |o| next chapter >[/color][/center] ----- [center][item=greatowl feather] [color=#351803][b]Turn:[/b] 1[/color][/center] [color=#835438][font=sylfaen][size=4]Now the decision had been made, everything was moving so quickly. The evening was spent preparing - gathering and organising supplies for a long, long journey - as well as saying many a heartfelt and tearful goodbye. It still hadn’t really hit Twigs that she was going to be leaving. She had only left the clan’s territory a handful of times before, and then only so far as the local trading post, accompanying the clan’s provisioner to trade their stock of furs, leather and meat for treasure and other supplies. And those had never been lengthy trips - one day there, one day back. This… this was something entirely different. Of course, the clan couldn’t provide enough rations for the whole trip and the three dragons were limited in what they could carry; they had food for roughly three days, but would have to hunt and forage along the way. Twigs felt hesitant about this - Askell was clearly an experienced hunter, but Twigs hadn’t come of age yet, so had never gone hunting herself. And Kateros, despite having gone hunting before, lacked the patience and discipline to be any good at it. It was going to be a steep learning curve for the two of them if they wanted to survive out in the wilds. Twigs’ mind raced with thoughts like these as she curled up to sleep. Her last night at the lair for at least two years… she could barely believe it. Yesterday had been just another day, and now - now, everything was changing, and she wasn’t sure how to feel about it yet. It almost felt unreal, like a strange and vivid dream. She nestled deep into her bed of furs, but sleep wouldn’t come. The sounds of activity in the lair were slowly quietening down, replaced by the gentle whisper of hushed voices, then eventually even those faded away. The sounds of the clan were replaced by the ambiance of the forest: nightbirds screeching and crying, the gentle wind through the leaves above, the occasional rustle as some nocturnal animal made its way through the undergrowth. Twigs tried to still her whirring thoughts, tried to relax… but she knew, forcing her eyes closed with frustration, that this was going to be a long night. ----- [center][emoji=bare tree size=1][/center] ----- [color=#835438][font=sylfaen][size=4]They set off early the next morning. Askell had explained to them the route they would take: they would be going the long way, travelling by ferry across to the Shadowlands then following the coast of the Sea of a Thousand Currents east, through the Sunbeam Ruins, Shifting Expanse and Ashfall Waste; that way, they could bypass the blighted Wandering Contagion and the horrors that lurked within. It was going to be a hard and lengthy trek across varied and difficult terrain - but, as Kateros had said many times (as if to reassure himself), it was also going to be a big adventure. Askell was reticent during the hour-long walk down muddy and rutted trails that brought the trio to the edge of the clan’s territory. He spoke only when asked questions, and even then he spoke briefly, harsh and to-the-point. He seemed to have little interest in the two dragons tagging along at his heels. Kateros tried to spark up a conversation with Twigs, but now that they had departed she was feeling anxious and uncertain, and it was hard to pretend she was as enthusiastic as Tero seemed to be. Everything around her looked different now that she knew she wouldn’t be seeing it for so long; she felt like she had to commit it all to memory, because she had a feeling it wouldn’t look quite the same when she returned. Then they were crossing the clan’s borders, and venturing into the unknown. ----- [center][emoji=bare tree size=1][/center] ----- [color=#835438][font=sylfaen][size=4]They set up camp with a few hours of light to spare. Twigs was weary from a long and uneventful day of walking, and it didn’t help to know that there were so many more of those ahead. Askell was working on starting a campfire - really just an area of flat earth with all the damp leaves and moss scraped away, with a pile of wood and kindling set in the middle; inelegant, but it did the job. Twigs and Kateros pitched their tents and laid down the fur rugs they would be sleeping on. They had made quick work of it, and felt fortunate to have found an empty area for a campsite amidst the dense foliage of the Everbloom Gardens. “We should hunt,” Askell growled. Every word he said sounded like a growl - apparently that was just the way he talked. Kateros sighed. “But we’ve got plenty of food for now! And neither of us can hunt!” “That food will soon run out, and I’d rather be prepared. Wouldn’t you?” Askell’s voice was flat, unexpressive. He started to make his way off into the jungle. “Wait!” Kateros shouted. “How will we find our way back to camp?” “Smell,” Askell grumbled, then continued walking. Twigs watched the exchange in silence, but followed along when Askell left. He was right. Better to save their supplies for emergencies, especially when they were currently in such safe and bountiful hunting grounds. She wasn’t eager to learn how to kill, but she knew she would have to eventually if she wanted their party to reach their destination. In the end Askell had done most of the work, though the younger dragons watched intently as he stalked, taking in the way he moved: so silently and slowly, keeping downwind to avoid detection. He was truly skilled at this, they saw; but he wasn’t much of a teacher. They learned what they could from watching him, but there was only so much they could do without true guidance. Kateros tried to catch a micro deer, but was far too quick and loud and startled the tiny herd before he ever had a chance to strike. Twigs held back, not wanting to hurt anything, and instead settled for foraging for edible plants. At one point they were ambushed by a flock of cockatrice which were behaving oddly, moving in a way that was strange and erratic, and being far more aggressive than any animal of that size should have been. To their surprise, Askell leapt in front of the two younger dragons, protecting them from harm as he fought off the attacking birds. A moment later, Kateros had wildly leapt into the fray, and managed to get a few good kicks in with his fearsome claws before darting back to safety. Twigs stood back; a strange sense of calmness had taken over her as the fight had begun, and then suddenly - purely on instinct - she loosed a dart of pure magic at the nearest beast, knocking it off its feet and leaving it battered and bruised. When the fight was done, Askell turned and looked at her with a thoughtful expression on his face. Eventually he grunted, “Gaolers are rarely gifted with magic.” And that was all he said before turning, giving Kateros a respectful nod and walking away. “What a strange dragon,” Twigs mumbled as she followed. Still, she had much to think about. When they returned to camp, and Askell had coaxed the fire into life and sat beside it roasting a deer haunch, Twigs decided to approach him to ask him some questions. There was so much she didn’t know; it was hard to know where to start. While she stood awkwardly pondering how to approach this huge and stoic dragon, and wondering what to ask first, he instead surprised her by asking a question of his own. “What is your name?” “M- my name?” Twigs replied, taken off-guard and suddenly feeling hesitant about talking to this stranger she barely knew. A moment later she said, “I don’t have a name. Everyone calls me Twigs, though.” “Why do you not have a name?” Askell queried, seeming perplexed. What a strange question! Of course she didn’t have a name. She hadn’t come of age yet; there had been no naming ceremony yet, no celebration of her surviving to adulthood. How could she have a name? She looked at Kateros for help, but he looked as taken aback as she felt. But then she considered for a moment, and realised… this was a dragon from a whole different region, of a different element. Their customs may be different. Feeling a bit uncomfortable, she explained, “In my clan, we don’t get names until we come of age. I’ve only seen sixteen summers. Kateros has seen twenty, so he earned his name.” “Strange,” Askell growled. “But you are a gaoler. Gaolers are given names at birth. I cannot present a nameless dragon before the Orders. You do not have to use it, but I must give you a name.” For the first time since they’d met him, he seemed to falter a little, showing some trace of emotion on his otherwise cold face. “I name you Eira, for my lost sister. Do you accept this?” Twigs was taken aback. She was… she was named Eira? She tried it a few times in her head, surprised at how right it felt. She stuttered, “Y-yes. Thank you.” Kateros watched the exchange with a dumbfounded expression. It was hard to tell whether or not he approved; he was a fun and quirky dragon, but he was also very attached to the clan and its traditions, and she worried she’d caught a hint of disapproval in his glance as she approved her new name. Or was it just her imagination? Everything was so confusing! As the moon and stars cast pale beams through the canopy, and the fire’s light was gradually consumed by darkness, the three dragons settled down to sleep. And there, curled up small beneath the leather tent, shielded from the rain that began to patter down in the night, she thought to herself in wonder about how quickly she had gone from being ‘Twigs the monster’ to ‘Eira the gaoler’. ----- [center][emoji=bare tree size=1][/center] ----- [center][color=#563012]Welp, this chapter was kinda hard to write! Mainly because... nothing really happened! The trio's first foray into the coliseum was uneventful, and none of them came close to death or anything dramatic like that. Probably gonna split them up and do coli in twos for a while to get more food, since they've had no problems with it so far. They didn't get any interesting drops, sadly. So I decided to throw in a little on my headcanon Nature customs! I like playing around with stuff like that. Since the gang's gonna be travelling across Sornieth, there'll be plenty of chances for made up cultural practices which'll be fun to play around with. I've also kinda came up with a vague plot for this now, which is good. I get the feeling the story would get kinda boring if it was literally just some dragons walking a lot. :'D /talking to myself [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_insect.png[/img] x 10 [color=transparent]...[/color] [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_meat.png[/img] x 79 [color=transparent]...[/color] [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_seafood.png[/img] x 12 [color=transparent]...[/color] [img]http://flightrising.com/images/layout/icon_plant.png[/img] x 6[/center] ----- [center][color=#835438][url=https://www1.flightrising.com/forums/qnc/2769664/1#post_41070742]< prev chapter[/url] |o| next chapter >[/color][/center] -----
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chapter one
naming
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Turn: 1
Now the decision had been made, everything was moving so quickly. The evening was spent preparing - gathering and organising supplies for a long, long journey - as well as saying many a heartfelt and tearful goodbye. It still hadn’t really hit Twigs that she was going to be leaving. She had only left the clan’s territory a handful of times before, and then only so far as the local trading post, accompanying the clan’s provisioner to trade their stock of furs, leather and meat for treasure and other supplies. And those had never been lengthy trips - one day there, one day back. This… this was something entirely different.

Of course, the clan couldn’t provide enough rations for the whole trip and the three dragons were limited in what they could carry; they had food for roughly three days, but would have to hunt and forage along the way. Twigs felt hesitant about this - Askell was clearly an experienced hunter, but Twigs hadn’t come of age yet, so had never gone hunting herself. And Kateros, despite having gone hunting before, lacked the patience and discipline to be any good at it. It was going to be a steep learning curve for the two of them if they wanted to survive out in the wilds.

Twigs’ mind raced with thoughts like these as she curled up to sleep. Her last night at the lair for at least two years… she could barely believe it. Yesterday had been just another day, and now - now, everything was changing, and she wasn’t sure how to feel about it yet. It almost felt unreal, like a strange and vivid dream.

She nestled deep into her bed of furs, but sleep wouldn’t come. The sounds of activity in the lair were slowly quietening down, replaced by the gentle whisper of hushed voices, then eventually even those faded away. The sounds of the clan were replaced by the ambiance of the forest: nightbirds screeching and crying, the gentle wind through the leaves above, the occasional rustle as some nocturnal animal made its way through the undergrowth. Twigs tried to still her whirring thoughts, tried to relax… but she knew, forcing her eyes closed with frustration, that this was going to be a long night.




They set off early the next morning. Askell had explained to them the route they would take: they would be going the long way, travelling by ferry across to the Shadowlands then following the coast of the Sea of a Thousand Currents east, through the Sunbeam Ruins, Shifting Expanse and Ashfall Waste; that way, they could bypass the blighted Wandering Contagion and the horrors that lurked within. It was going to be a hard and lengthy trek across varied and difficult terrain - but, as Kateros had said many times (as if to reassure himself), it was also going to be a big adventure.

Askell was reticent during the hour-long walk down muddy and rutted trails that brought the trio to the edge of the clan’s territory. He spoke only when asked questions, and even then he spoke briefly, harsh and to-the-point. He seemed to have little interest in the two dragons tagging along at his heels.

Kateros tried to spark up a conversation with Twigs, but now that they had departed she was feeling anxious and uncertain, and it was hard to pretend she was as enthusiastic as Tero seemed to be. Everything around her looked different now that she knew she wouldn’t be seeing it for so long; she felt like she had to commit it all to memory, because she had a feeling it wouldn’t look quite the same when she returned.

Then they were crossing the clan’s borders, and venturing into the unknown.




They set up camp with a few hours of light to spare. Twigs was weary from a long and uneventful day of walking, and it didn’t help to know that there were so many more of those ahead. Askell was working on starting a campfire - really just an area of flat earth with all the damp leaves and moss scraped away, with a pile of wood and kindling set in the middle; inelegant, but it did the job. Twigs and Kateros pitched their tents and laid down the fur rugs they would be sleeping on. They had made quick work of it, and felt fortunate to have found an empty area for a campsite amidst the dense foliage of the Everbloom Gardens.

“We should hunt,” Askell growled. Every word he said sounded like a growl - apparently that was just the way he talked.

Kateros sighed. “But we’ve got plenty of food for now! And neither of us can hunt!”

“That food will soon run out, and I’d rather be prepared. Wouldn’t you?”

Askell’s voice was flat, unexpressive. He started to make his way off into the jungle.

“Wait!” Kateros shouted. “How will we find our way back to camp?”

“Smell,” Askell grumbled, then continued walking.

Twigs watched the exchange in silence, but followed along when Askell left. He was right. Better to save their supplies for emergencies, especially when they were currently in such safe and bountiful hunting grounds. She wasn’t eager to learn how to kill, but she knew she would have to eventually if she wanted their party to reach their destination.

In the end Askell had done most of the work, though the younger dragons watched intently as he stalked, taking in the way he moved: so silently and slowly, keeping downwind to avoid detection. He was truly skilled at this, they saw; but he wasn’t much of a teacher. They learned what they could from watching him, but there was only so much they could do without true guidance. Kateros tried to catch a micro deer, but was far too quick and loud and startled the tiny herd before he ever had a chance to strike. Twigs held back, not wanting to hurt anything, and instead settled for foraging for edible plants.

At one point they were ambushed by a flock of cockatrice which were behaving oddly, moving in a way that was strange and erratic, and being far more aggressive than any animal of that size should have been. To their surprise, Askell leapt in front of the two younger dragons, protecting them from harm as he fought off the attacking birds. A moment later, Kateros had wildly leapt into the fray, and managed to get a few good kicks in with his fearsome claws before darting back to safety. Twigs stood back; a strange sense of calmness had taken over her as the fight had begun, and then suddenly - purely on instinct - she loosed a dart of pure magic at the nearest beast, knocking it off its feet and leaving it battered and bruised.

When the fight was done, Askell turned and looked at her with a thoughtful expression on his face. Eventually he grunted, “Gaolers are rarely gifted with magic.” And that was all he said before turning, giving Kateros a respectful nod and walking away.

“What a strange dragon,” Twigs mumbled as she followed. Still, she had much to think about.

When they returned to camp, and Askell had coaxed the fire into life and sat beside it roasting a deer haunch, Twigs decided to approach him to ask him some questions. There was so much she didn’t know; it was hard to know where to start. While she stood awkwardly pondering how to approach this huge and stoic dragon, and wondering what to ask first, he instead surprised her by asking a question of his own.

“What is your name?”

“M- my name?” Twigs replied, taken off-guard and suddenly feeling hesitant about talking to this stranger she barely knew. A moment later she said, “I don’t have a name. Everyone calls me Twigs, though.”

“Why do you not have a name?” Askell queried, seeming perplexed.

What a strange question! Of course she didn’t have a name. She hadn’t come of age yet; there had been no naming ceremony yet, no celebration of her surviving to adulthood. How could she have a name? She looked at Kateros for help, but he looked as taken aback as she felt.

But then she considered for a moment, and realised… this was a dragon from a whole different region, of a different element. Their customs may be different. Feeling a bit uncomfortable, she explained, “In my clan, we don’t get names until we come of age. I’ve only seen sixteen summers. Kateros has seen twenty, so he earned his name.”


“Strange,” Askell growled. “But you are a gaoler. Gaolers are given names at birth. I cannot present a nameless dragon before the Orders. You do not have to use it, but I must give you a name.” For the first time since they’d met him, he seemed to falter a little, showing some trace of emotion on his otherwise cold face. “I name you Eira, for my lost sister. Do you accept this?”

Twigs was taken aback. She was… she was named Eira? She tried it a few times in her head, surprised at how right it felt. She stuttered, “Y-yes. Thank you.”

Kateros watched the exchange with a dumbfounded expression. It was hard to tell whether or not he approved; he was a fun and quirky dragon, but he was also very attached to the clan and its traditions, and she worried she’d caught a hint of disapproval in his glance as she approved her new name. Or was it just her imagination? Everything was so confusing!

As the moon and stars cast pale beams through the canopy, and the fire’s light was gradually consumed by darkness, the three dragons settled down to sleep. And there, curled up small beneath the leather tent, shielded from the rain that began to patter down in the night, she thought to herself in wonder about how quickly she had gone from being ‘Twigs the monster’ to ‘Eira the gaoler’.



Welp, this chapter was kinda hard to write! Mainly because... nothing really happened! The trio's first foray into the coliseum was uneventful, and none of them came close to death or anything dramatic like that. Probably gonna split them up and do coli in twos for a while to get more food, since they've had no problems with it so far. They didn't get any interesting drops, sadly.

So I decided to throw in a little on my headcanon Nature customs! I like playing around with stuff like that. Since the gang's gonna be travelling across Sornieth, there'll be plenty of chances for made up cultural practices which'll be fun to play around with. I've also kinda came up with a vague plot for this now, which is good. I get the feeling the story would get kinda boring if it was literally just some dragons walking a lot. :'D

/talking to myself

icon_insect.png x 10 ... icon_meat.png x 79 ... icon_seafood.png x 12 ... icon_plant.png x 6

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Rook (they/them) | 21 .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
FR+8 | G1 + coli addict .frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
Hatchery ~ pinkerlocke.frlife_gem_by_littlefiredragon-dbjxz1x.png
l4nnXKx.png