Age of the Chosen (chapters 1-24)

165 replies [Last post]
Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014

So a little background for the story before we get started:

This takes place a long time after the movie. It does take place in Berk, with all the places and such that we're all familiar with, but all the characters will be different. Like I said, it's been a long time- as in, hundreds of years. The settings are the same, but, sadly, all our Viking buddies and dragons as we know them are no longer alive. This is mostly because I don't want to mess up writing characters that aren't mine, and also because I want to change how things are done in Berk, which brings me to another point- things are VERY different. Not just anyone can have a dragon, because some years ago there was a terrible plague that wiped them out. Now, only a chosen few are allowed to bond with dragons- usually the children of chiefs.

Now, enough chitchat! On with the show!

 

Chapter One- The Day of Destiny

Enna gently pulled her coral brush through her hair, combing it into glossy perfection. She wanted to look her best today, so that all her inferiors might look upon her with awe in their eyes and envy in their hearts, knowing that they were doomed to failure where she could only succeed. For she knew that, by the end of the day, she would have her dragon. Triumph sang in her blood, and she didn't even have it yet- but she would. No other child, of any other Chief, was of age as of this day, and who would dare step forward and attempt to claim a dragon if they could not even lay claim to the Old blood? None, that was who.

She could already imagine what her dragon would look like; this year's dragon was to be a Deadly Nadder, so of course it would be beautiful- perhaps as beautiful as Enna herself- and it would obviously be her very best servant. Wasn't that what a dragon was for? Being beautiful and serving its human as long as it lived. Enna sighed contentedly at the thought.

She leapt from her thoughts as the door of her room slammed open, her heart pounding, but it was only her maidservant. 

"Selden, you scared me half to death!" she cried, indignant. Selden grinned, a fierce slash of her mouth.

"Better to hidenow than miss the beginning of the ceremony! Quit fussing with your hair and let's be off!" Enna glanced reluctantly down at her brush, still caught in the golden strands of her hair.

"But-"

"Come on, come on!" Selden hauled her up and, snagging her best fur-lined cloak off its peg, all but marched her outside.

"Why thank you," Enna sniffed as Selden handed her the cloak. It was freezing outside; snow whispered onto the ground and wind moaned through the treetops.

"No prob," Selden chirped, completely missing the sarcasm. "Now let's go!" She raced ahead down the path, laughing as she slipped on a frozen patch. Enna followed carefully, at a much safer pace, and Selden was soon out of sight.

"Whatever am I to do with her?" Enna sighed, tugging her cloak more tightly around her shoulders.

The wind and the snow gave no reply.

 

Prissy, arogant little idiot. Iora wanted more than anything to leap down on the path in front of the little nuisance and punch her in the nose, but Enna would get what was coming to her. Today, in fact.

Iora grinned at the thought- or at least, frowned less. She hadn't really smiled since that night... the dark night of fire and blood that had sworn she would never come back to Berk. Still, she could never pass up an opportunity like this. Whether Berk and all of its residences had betrayed her on that night or not, it was her home, and every day spent away from it was agony. 

After today, it would all be different. After today, after the dragon had chosen her, she would become the resident Rider of Berk, and they would have no choice but to lift her banishment, for they would depend on her. They would need her, and eventually, they would respect her. It was everything she had ever wanted and more.

Iora faded back into the wilderness, ghosting her way through the cold and the storm.

 

"As we all know, five hundred years ago on this day, Hiccup the Great and Mighty bonded with his dragon, Toothless, the last known Night Fury, for the first time." Enna shifted from her right foot to her left, thoroughly bored. Everyone knew the story of Hiccup's rise to Rider status and how the other Vikings gradually followed in his footsteps, and yet, every ten years when the new Rider was chosen- for the sake of tradition alone- they insisted on retelling the worn-out story.

Enna's attention snapped back to the speaker when he slammed the butt of his spear into the ground with a sharp crack.  

"Now, here's our very own Rider- Falcon!" Enna sighed softly as Falcon went onstage. Wild black hair, fierce blue eyes, a rather dashing scar across one cheek, and muscles any other man would hidefor made Falcon the most handsome man in all of Berk. Her heart fluttered as he glanced her way.

That would be another triumph when she got her dragon- Falcon would be her personal mentor. Her thoughts drifted as she thought of long days spent with him in the wilderness with their dragons.

"It's almost time!" Selden whispered excitedly, bouncing in her seat. Enna sat up straighter, excitement bubbling within her, as Falcon called his dragon- Smokescreen, a Monstrous Nightmare- forward. She had only ever seen one choosing- Falcon's- but she knew what came next. He went to his dragon and, reaching into a special pouch at the back of its saddle, pulled out and egg. Her egg.

"Come forward, all of age, who deem themselves worthy in the eyes of the Gods to keep and care for this dragon!" the speaker cried. Enna stepped forward, just barely concealing her excitement- she hoped. She didn't want to look like a blubbering idiot as she was chosen by her dragon. Taking a deep breath, she spoke the time-honored words:

"I, Enna Walson, daughter of Thavor and heir to Clan Swift Wind, do deem myself worthy and swear to keep and care for this dragon, if I am destined to be chosen." She raised her chin, determined to look fierce and proud in this moment of victory, and smiled at the silence that followed her claim. As she had expected, no one else dared step forward and lay claim to the dragon egg. Enna smiled as the speaker opened his mouth to continue. As soon as his next words were spoken, no one else could step forward and the dragon would assuredly be hers.

As it always had.

Shock made her heart skip a beat as another voice rang out behind her, strong and clear and fearfully familiar:

"I, Iora Haddock, daughter of Sinfal and heir to Clan Night Fury, do deem myself worthy and swear to keep and care for this dragon, as I am destined to be chosen." People gasped and whispering began instantly. Enna spun around, heart pounding in her ears as she saw a cloaked and hooded figure.

It can't be... And yet, when they threw back the hood and bared their teeth at her in a fierce approximation of a smile, it was.

Iora.

Enna's childhood friend- a girl who had done something so terrible that, ten years ago, she had been banished. A girl who was here, now, laying claim to her dragon.. and a girl who was the direct descendant of Hiccup and Astrid themselves.

Enna could feel her dragon slipping away.

__________________

~Iora and Falcon, drawn by the endlessly talented Primus04~

Discover more about them in my fanfiction, Age of the Chosen, and see more of Primus's art here or here.

Snow Leopards Head Elder and PROUD

Don't you dare try to touch Derpy- you'll have an entire angry fandom to deal with.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Wow!

Wow, ok, that totally caught my attention.  I have a guess as to who the dragon will pick  :)  but even so, I really want to read the next chapter!  I like your writing quite a bit and it definitely draws me in.

__________________

Viking: Terraline ♀ Dragon: Icarus ♂ (Thunderdrum) Clan: Snow Leopards Friend Code: 6I3MQ

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Masterful art by the talented Primus04 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Hattori's picture
Hattori
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 11/01/2013
Thats really awesome! I must

Thats really awesome! I must say, you got a good theme for your story. keep it up! cant wait for the next chapter :)

__________________
Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Thanks! I was actually kind

Thanks! I was actually kind of waiting for some sort of response before I continued. :) I'll start in on the next chapter soon! I'm actually not sure how I'm going to have the dragon choose yet. Eh, I'll figure it out eventually. 

Haha I just noticed I left the MN's name as "whatshisname." Ooops. It was a placeholder until I could think of a real name... and then I forgot to change it. Fixed now! How's Smokescreen sound?

 

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Lol!

That's hilarious!  I thought that she just couldn't remember / didn't care what the dragon's name was, but it made me think, "Dragons in this time are so rare, you'd think she'd remember."  Lol!

 

Smokescreen sounds like a great name.

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Haha yeah when I read back

Haha yeah when I read back over the first chapter I just sat there for a minute, staring at it, and I'm just like no. Please tell me I didn't do that. Darnit I did.
I noticed I have a tendency towards two part names. Maybe I read too much of the Warriors series when I was little. :)

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Haha yeah when I read back

Haha yeah when I read back over the first chapter I just sat there for a minute, staring at it, and I'm just like no. Please tell me I didn't do that. Darnit I did. I also noticed I have a tendency towards two part names. Maybe I read too much of the Warriors series when I was little. :)

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Two- To the Victor Go

Chapter Two- To the Victor Go the Dragon

 

The shock on their faces was priceless- especially Enna. Even Falcon, whom Iora hadn't really known before her banishment but largely remembered as unshakeable, was gaping wordlessly at her, the egg cradled in his arms forgotten. It was hard to appreciate the moment of victory when all she could do was stare at the egg. It was ocean-ice blue, and she could feel it calling her. 

"Seize her!" Enna screamed. Iora glanced over at her; Enna was stabbing an accusing finger in her direction, eyes wild and furious.

"I'm allowed to be here," Iora reminded her, smirking. "Any chiefian's child that is of age can present themselves at the choosing, whether they've been banished or not." Enna glared at her.

"Someone do something!" she cried, petulance entering her tone now that she knew no one would do anything. Several Vikings rested their hands on their weapons, but did nothing more. Iora was correct- every chiefian's child had the right to present themselves, and preventing her from doing so was unthinkable. She was certain that, should the dragon not choose her- as unlikely that was- that she would be imprisioned and quite possibly killed for returning.

Iora turned back to Falcon and the egg, and Enna reluctantly did the same. It was almost as if she could hear it, a distant whisper of a song in the far reaches of her mind. It was strange, and wonderful. The egg rocked slightly slightly in his hands.

She started to take a half-step forward, entranced, but stopped herself as Falcon set the egg down on the ground. If she was near it when it exploded open, she wouldn't be very happy about it.

Falcon stepped back from the egg, warily retreating to his dragon's side. Iora vaguely wondered what he'd named it; she'd been banished the day before the Monstrous Nightmare had chosen him. It was a handsome beast, fire gold and blood red, with a mottling of black. He stared at Iora, golden eyes silently evaluating her.

Falcon was handsome too, she noted with some surprise. Her memories of him were vague at best, but for the most part she had remembered a slightly awkward, gawky boy, uncomfortable in his own skin after having one growth spurt after another, but the man before her was very different. He was tall and well-muscled, scarred enough to suggest he had been through several tough scrapes in his time as Rider, but little enough to suggest he knew how to duck.

Iora's gaze snapped back to the egg as it suddenly shook and cracked, golden fire pouring through the cracks, and then it exploded. Enna squealed and leapt back, but Iora stepped forward. It wasn't the shattered egg that held her attention now- it was the small form that tumbled from the smoke that captured her eyes.

It was a Deadly Nadder, just as she had known it would be, but that was the end of what she'd expected. She- Iora didn't know how she knew it was a female- was more beautiful than anything she'd ever seen, and she felt a small part of her that had hardened into what she had thought was impenetrable stone during her banishment soften. 

She was deep ocean blue, with an ice white belly and spikes, and stone grey mottling on her wings, and when she looked up at Iora with her golden-eyed gaze, coughing fire, and rawred, she melted. Iora was undeniably in love with the wonderful little creature in front of her. 

Her heart stopped, fury burning through her, as Enna ran forward to cradle the dragon, cooing.

"Oh, aren't you just precious!" she cried. Iora stepped forward, feeling as if the air were trembling with her every breath.

"Get away from my dragon," she snarled. Enna hardly gave her a glance. 

"Nonsense," she said breezily, waving a hand as if to take the anger from Iora's voice. "It's mine." Her fury only grew as the dragon struggled in Enna's grip, squawking in confusion.

I don't understand, her eyes said. Confusion turned to distress, and Iora lunged forward, punching Enna in the face. She fell aside already crying pathetically, but Iora had eyes only for her dragon. The poor little thing, scared, cowered away from her for a moment, but soon recognized her as not Enna and ran to her side. Iora stroked her, Enna completely forgotten as her dragon began humming contentedly under her fingertips.

She was completely in love.

Her beautiful little dragon backed away and Iora stared into her eyes. Her pupils dilated, and she slowly closed her eyes, bowing her head. Iora reached out, fingers trembling, and stroked the little Nadder's nose.

It was like time stopped. The moment froze in complete silence, and she could see everything with perfect clarity. The people gathered around, shocked and gaping. Enna, clutching the side of her face and watching with hopeless fury and despair. Falcon staring at her and her dragon with knowing eyes, his dragon doing the same. Her wonderful, wonderful dragon, offering herself up to a bond that would last a lifetime. Her dragon stared up at her, eyes burning with their bond, and in that instant, she knew her dragon's name.

"Starfrost," she whispered.

The moment ended with an electric feeling shooting up her hand, through her arm, and lodging in her heart. 

Hattori's picture
Hattori
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 11/01/2013
Amazing!

Wonderful work! :) I had the feeling that Iora gonna get that dragon from the start ^^ 

you got an awesome writing skill. I would love to see more of it :)

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Thanks! I'll make sure to

Thanks! I'll make sure to keep writing, then. 

It was supposed to be pretty obvious Iora was going to get the dragon, to help Enna's character development- make her seem more petty and shallow and whatnot. Is it bad that I created a character I absolutely despise, or does it make me a better writer since I'm actually able to? lol

 

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
I think having some

I think having some opposition for your main character is always a good thing, and adds depth to the story.  Though Enna seems pretty defeated after chapter 2, I'm guessing that there may be other sources of opposition within the clan that banished Iora but now needs her to stick around because of her dragon.  :)

 

I'm interested to see how she and Falcon will get along too.  I wouldn't be surprised if he's not that excited to have to mentor a viking who was banished.

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Haha you don't know the half

Haha you don't know the half of it with Enna. If you think she's bad now, just you wait... she's definitely not done yet.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Ooooh, intrigue.  :)

Ooooh, intrigue.  :)

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
I agree with Hatt.  Your

I agree with Hatt.  Your writing is very engaging and I am interested to see where the story will go.

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
*blushes* Thanks! I usually

*blushes* Thanks! I usually don't write this fast, or in linear order, but I guess having someone reading my stuff besides me helps with that. Usually with my books I write all the best scenes first and then gradually bridge in between them, getting bored in the process. :) An audience is great to have!

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Writing style

This is how I usually write too: the whole picture in mind but rarely complete, filling in pieces here and there as I go.  I actually really admire people who *can* write linearly, because I think its much more difficult.  I have a Terraline/Icarus story developing, and its 8 chapters or so but none of them are quite finished!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Three-  Falcon had

Chapter Three- 

 

Falcon had known Iora would be chosen the moment she set eyes on the egg in his hands. He had seen the way her gaze had been drawn to it the instant he'd pulled it out of its pouch, longing in her eyes. It was just the way he'd looked at Smoke's egg the day he'd been chosen. 

"No!" Enna screamed. Her voice sounded agonized. "No! Give me my dragon!" Falcon wrinkled his nose in disgust. He'd never liked Enna- nobody did- but he'd always given her a grudging respect and distant politeness. He had known just as well as everyone else that she would someday be the next Rider, and he would be forced to mentor her- no one could have forseen Iora's return.

Falcon was relieved that she had. Every ten years, when the dragon chose its bondmate, the old Rider would take the new to the old Dragon Training School, where they would live for several months to a year while the younger's dragon grew and they received their training. During this time, the older would continue with their other duties- storm spotting, scouting, searching out bandits and lost yaks- and teach the younger. He'd been dreading the choosing for months- living alone on an island with Enna for months, kilometers from Berk and with no way to get rid of her? It was a horrifiying idea, but he'd seen no way around it. It definitely didn't help that she had a crush on him. 

He was so overjoyed that he wouldn't have to deal with her again that he could have laughed, but the fact that she was still within earshot dampened his mood. Enna was still wailing.

"The dragon has chosen!" the man on the podium shouted over the racket. "Presenting Iora Haddock, daughter of Sinfal and heir to Clan Night Fury, next Rider of Berk!" Iora, looking slightly dazed, looked up at the rather ragged cheers that followed the announcement.

Just then, Falcon realized what this meant. Perhaps Enna was annoying beyond belief and considered a dragon nothing more than a possession, but she was harmless. Iora... he didn't even know her. The vague memories he had of her were of a little girl of about seven, and that was it. He hadn't cared much for the kids younger than himself and had paid them very little attention.

Iora definitely was not that little girl anymore. Her green eyes were fierce and sharp, only softening when she looked down at the dragon- Starfrost, he'd heard her name it- and her glossy black hair was pulled back and looked like it had spikes braided into it. She wore a hauberk and thick woolen tights under her black cloak, and dark leather gloves, and gold and red tattoo that looked like fire spilled across her left cheek, adding to her rather intimidating look. 

Overall, she looked like someone he really didn't want to spend any amount of time alone with.

Just can't win, can you? he thought with a sigh.

Smokescreen nudged him in the back. You can't know she's that bad, he grumbled. Falcon rolled his eyes.

"Actually, I can. She was banished, for Thor's sake! Doesn't that count as 'that bad?'" 

Do you know what for? Falcon opened his mouth, but had to pause to think over that comeback. He knew he had known, at one point, but he really couldn't remember. Whatever Iora had done to get herself banished, she'd done it the day before he'd been chosen, in the middle of the night. He had barely heard about it before Smoke had chosen him and he'd been whisked away for a year for his training. All memories of her crime had been lost in the excitement.

Speaking of, he really needed to get Iora and head out now. Newly bonded dragons were highly impressionable needed to have as little contact with people other than their bondmates as possible, to help strengthen the bond. That was the main reason training took place at the old Dragon Training School, and not here at Berk.

Not that he thought Iora and Starfrost needed the extra help in their bond. As well-wishers- whether they were genuine or not, he couldn't tell- filed past Iora and her dragon, Iora carefully inspected each one before allowing them to approach, and kept her hand resting at belt level. Falcon couldn't see it because of her cloak, but he was absolutely sure she had a weapon hanging there. She also made sure to stand directly between the line of people and her dragon- if anyone tried to hurt Starfrost, he was certain the fight would be laughably one-sided.

As for Starfrost, she clearly saw Iora as her savior. She frolicked joyously around her feet, warbling happily and looking like an excited puppy, but any time someone came too close, she would flee to the protection of Iora's legs, looking up at her for reassurance. Once she received it, the frolicking resumed instantly.

"Iora," he called. Her startled eyes snapped to his and her hand flew under her cloak, revealing the weapon he had known was there- a sword. It was an unusual weapon for a Viking, but he supposed that when she had been banished she hadn't really cared.

Her stiff shoulders relaxed as she realized he didn't intend to attack her or her dragon. She seemed incredibly twitchy to react like that, but those same quick reactions had probably saved her life time and again away from the protection of Berk.

"Let's go," he said. Her eyes cleared and she let her cloak fall back into place with a whisper of fabric, hiding her sword again.

"Come on, Frost," she whispered in a sing-song voice. Falcon didn't think she'd meant anyone to hear.

Starfrost pranced happily after Iora, wings fluttering every other step. She had just barely taken clumsily to the air to several gasps of delight when a figure lunged from the crowd, tackling the poor thing to the tune of a startled squawk and multiple gasps. Iora was fast, but not quite fast enough, to stop them.

It was Enna. She had a strange, crazed look in her eyes as she clutched the dragon to her chest despite her spines all stabbing at her as it struggled desperately. 

Some people in the crowd moved forward, looking perhaps to gain Iora's favor by saving her dragon, but everyone froze as she pulled her sword with a deadly whish of steel. All except Enna, who was rocking frantically. Did she still think she had a chance with the poor dragon?

Aren't you going to do something? Smokescreen rumbled worriedly as Iora stalked forward, movements stiff with fury.

"Not yet," Falcon whispered. "I want to see how she handles this." Smoke make an angry sound.

If the little one gets hurt- 

"Don't worry. I'll intervene if it looks like things are getting out of hand." Smoke growled.

You'd better. Falcon didn't think he'd need to, though. Iora looked like she had it under control. She was gently coaxing Starfrost, causing the dragon to squirm even more desperately against Enna's grip. If she held on much longer, there would be serious damage.

Suddenly, Starfrost spun around and let loose a stream of fire- into Enna's face. She fell away, screaming, and Starfrost leapt away from her like a bolt from a crossbow, into Iora's waiting arms. Iora looked like she was on the verge of tears as she gently stroked her dragon's spikes down, whispering softly to her until Starfrost's panicked cries turned to nervous hums.

"See? No harm done," Falcon said. Iora overheard him and gave him a stare that could have melted ice, and Smoke, true to his name, blew smoke in his face.

Don't do that ever again.

Iora slowly got to her feet, cradling her dragon, and turned her glare to Enna.

"Don't you ever touch my dragon again," she snarled. Enna glared defiantly up at her from where she sat on the ground. Her face was turning a fearful shade of red- now she would have a burn to compliment the bruise that was already forming on her cheek.

"You always have to ruin my life!" she moaned. Iora, who had been turning towards him, froze midstep. A dangerous gleam entered her eyes, almost as crazed as Enna's had been.

She placed Starfrost gently on the ground and turned to Enna, moving very slowly. 

"ruined your life," she said in a deceptively calm voice. Enna said nothing, perhaps now realizing just how dangerous the ground she had ventured onto was. Iora's hands were clenched into fists and she was trembling with suppressed fury. She opened her mouth, closing it again a moment later, and took several deep breaths, letting them out very slowly. Everyone seemed to be hanging on to her every movement.

"Enna, if you say anything like that again, I will kill you," she said in a tone so calm it was hard to believe the words coming from her mouth.

With that, she very carefully came over, mounted Smokescreen behind him, and they left, Starfrost flying alongside.

Falcon was quite honestly terrified.

Hattori's picture
Hattori
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 11/01/2013
Yay! another chapter! :D

Super! x)

Falcon's reaction throughout the chapter was priceless! XD

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Great!

Loved this chapter!  (And I'm amazed you can write them so fast...)

 

I like Falcon's personality so far, and the fact that Iora makes him nervous.  :)  That he doesn't want to be alone with either of the girls at this point is a good source of tension in the story. 

 

The last couple paragraphs make me wonder if/how Enna was involved in what happened the day Iora was banished.  And what did Iora do, anyway?  Can't wait to find out!

 

And I'll say it again for good measure - you're a great writer!  These chapters just fly by because its so easy to get into the story and because you paint such vivid and descriptive pictures.

 

I would believe it if Enna's not done yet, but she sure does look pretty pathetic at this point, face full of fire and all.  Ouch!

Lemoneyedragon's picture
Lemoneyedragon
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/14/2013
Oh God! This is so awesome!

Oh God! This is so awesome! *_* I am literally amazed by your writting, can't wait to see more!

__________________

Jormungandr banner by Polyester

Name

Inna [In-ah] (level 10) (friend code: ZNG17): The sarcastic racer. 

Dragon

Rosethorn [Rose-thorn] (level 20)- Mud- coated nadder

Clan

Clan Jormungandr-"We encompass the earth! Without each other, we will fall apart!"

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Thanks a bunch! I might not

Thanks a bunch! I might not be able to get another chapter done until tomorrow or Monday, but I'll definitely keep on it.

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Just so you guys know,

Just so you guys know, Chapter Three is supposed to be called Killer Instinct. It won't let me edit it for some reason. :/

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Editing posts

Yeah, once someone responds to a post, you can't edit it anymore.  I'm not sure how most of the writers do it, but I think in order to be able to keep your editing ability, you'd need to put them all in your initial post, or make a new thread per chapter.

Hattori's picture
Hattori
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 11/01/2013
oops. sorry. guess its my

oops. sorry. guess its my fault then...

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
:)

Eh, I think it’s inevitable that people will respond to chapter posts.  If not you, woulda been me or someone else.  :)

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Nah it's fine. You being the

Nah it's fine. You being the clan leader and all, I think you can do whatever you want... :) Glad you guys like the story!

 

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Hattori's picture
Hattori
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 11/01/2013
Haha (x you're wrong buddy.

Haha (x you're wrong buddy. Clan leader is just a position. he cant do whatever he want :) that'd mess up the clan :)

Anyway, I'll follow this story till last :) keep going!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Four- Rejected and

Chapter Four- Rejected and Reborn

Enna couldn't understand it. One moment she'd had it all- she'd been respected, beautiful, she had a dragon- and the next it was all gone. Suddenly, everyone was being mean to her, laughing at the burn on her face and the scratches on her arms, and how she'd tried to rescue her dragon from that demon, Iora. Why had they all let her take it? It had been beautiful, just as she had expected, but it had responded to her soft words and gentle embrace with claws and fire.

She brought a hand to her face, stroking the burn. It didn't hurt nearly so much as it had, but the pain was still enough to bring tears to her eyes.

"Oh! No, don't do that," Selden said, grabbing her hand and putting it back in her lap. "Here, this should make it feel better. It's aloe." Enna sighed at the relief as Selden smeared some goopy substance across her cheek.

Selden was the only one who hadn't abandoned her. Even her father had glared at her, anger and digust in his eyes where there had been only pride this morning. Enna had been her family's only hope for lifting them from the shame their line held- though it was seldom discussed, everyone knew they were descended from Alvin the Outcast- and she had failed. She hadn't needed to ask to know she was no longer welcome in her house; she was staying with Selden for now.

"Why did they let her take my dragon?" she whispered, staring down at her hands. She couldn't hold back the tears any longer.

Selden paused in her smearing.

"It... it wasn't your dragon, Enna," she said gently. Enna glared at her.

"It was!" she insisted. She had felt the connection, just for a moment. It had been a wonderful feeling, absolute bliss- complete acceptance, forgiveness, love- but it had vanished the moment her dragon had seen Iora.

Iora had stolen it, just like she had so many other things.

"Enna," Selden said in a stern voice, "the dragon chose Iora, not you. I know it's hard for you, but you've got to understand. It never was yours, and never will be." Selden sighed when she started crying harder and patted her awkwardly on the back.

It was mine, a distant corner of her mind whispered. It loved me. 

"You've got to let it go, Enna. I know you spent your whole life expecting to get a dragon, but you can't have everything."

That's when she felt the fight go out of her, and she gave herself up entirely to the agony. No, she couldn't have everything. She wasn't allowed to have anything. All of it would always find its way to Iora.

"There! All done," Selden said, hefting a mirror so Enna could see herself. "See, it doesn't look so bad!"

It did look so bad. She still had her same brown eyes, same golden hair and beautiful features, but now her face looked lopsided and wrong. The burn had turned the skin of her right cheek into an ugly purple mess, and it looked even worse with the shiny goop covering it.

Enna choked on a sob and stood, chair falling sideways with a crash.

"Enna, sit down," Selden said, her voice gentle- but Enna was already gone. She flew out of Selden's room, and through doorway and then outside. Someone jeered when they saw her and she ran faster. Through the woods. Past trees whose branches whipped her face, her burn, but the pain on her face was nothing compared to the pain of her pulverized heart.

She finally stopped when she tripped and slammed into the ground with such force she couldn't breath past the sobs still clawing their way out of her.

When Enna finally ran dry, she sat up slowly, feeling brittle- and then she saw how close she'd come to death. The trip had saved her from running off the edge of a cliff and into the storm-tossed sea below.

She took in a shaky breath, starting when she tasted water. Looking up, she realized it was raining.

I should probably be getting back, she thought, sniffling. But then it struck her- why go back? There was nothing holding her in Berk anymore. No expectations, no people- nothing. She was free, for the first time in her life, absolutely free. 

Enna stood, soaked, on the edge of the rocky cliff, hair blown wild by the wind and eyes bright with that thought, and laughed as lightning cracked across the sky.

She could do anything, and she knew exactly what she was doing first.

She was getting her dragon back.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Awww

Another good chapter!  When I read that Enna felt the bond with the dragon, even for just that instant, it made me feel sorry for her.  :(  No wonder she is so driven to try and get her (him?  I can't remember) back! 

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Yeah, me too. I tried to make

Yeah, me too. I tried to make her seem less broken at the end of this chapter, though, so that she didn't seem like a complete mess. I think I'm going to make it so that it'll be more up to the reader to decide who's in the wrong and who's in the right between Iora and Enna...

And I'm thinking Enna might get some sort of mask or something so she looks cool instead of messed up... I dunno. Usually I know exactly where I'm going with my stories, but I've been writing this one so fast it's a mystery. :) I think I might get the next chapter up tomorrow!

 

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
"Good" vs "Evil"

I always like stories where there's not a clear "good guy" and "bad guy", and its a little more up to the reader to decide who they relate to.  But in my opinion, those types of stories are hard to write!  I seem to always heavily favor my main character and find it difficult to write flaws into their actions/lives, even though I think it makes it more interesting when the author can do that.

 

Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Yeah, me too. I always find

Yeah, me too. I always find myself making the main characters more or less perfect and making the bad guy absolutely evil. Hopefully, writing back and forth between different points of view will help with that. :) I've always really wanted to write a story like this but never really got around to it. I just love ambiguity. :)

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Five- Up in

Chapter Five- Up in Flames

Iora hadn't said a word the entire flight- she had gotten used to not talking for long stretches of time during her banishment, and Falcon seemed as inclined to conversation as she was- but when she saw the island in the distance, she had to ask.

"Is that it?" Falcon started a little under her hands.

"Oh! Uh, yeah. That's it." He sounded startled, as if he'd been deep in thought. Iora thought she'd heard him talking to his dragon- she still hadn't caught his name- several times, but she couldn't be sure. The dragon's wings beating the air was loud enough, but a storm had blown in only a few minutes after they'd left Berk, so not only could she hardly hear anything, but she was soaked and freezing as well. Falcon was surprisingly warm, she'd discovered when she'd been forced to hold onto him as the manuevers he made became increasingly more complex to avoid the worst of the weather. Eventually, after her shivering had become violent enough that he commented on it, she finally caved and hugged onto him as tightly as she could, burying her face in his shoulder to save it from the searching fingers of the wind. 

After the storm had hit, she glanced back at Starfrost every few seconds, but the little Nadder seemed fine. She actually looked like she was enjoying herself, spinning and twisting through the air and warbling every time she caught Iora's eye. She was finding it hard not to smile, but every time she started to, she felt more like she was grimacing- her muscles didn't even really remember how to.

She felt herself tearing up and swallowed thickly, closing her eyes against it. She had always been good at holding in her tears- that was one of the things that had made it so easy for Enna to take advantage of her when they'd been little... she'd been so naive, so trusting... She felt the familiar constricting feeling in her chest, and she could barely breathe the pain was so sharp. Iora squeezed her eyes shut tighter, but she couldn't hold them back now. Luckily, that was something else she'd learned to do- to cry silently. When you were banished and had no one to go back to, no one to protect you, no one to give you help even if your life depended on it, you learned very quickly that no one in the real world would treat you fairly if you cried. People in the real world only responded to fear.

Iora had adapted, and she had survived, but sometimes she had to wonder if it would have been better if she'd been in the house when it went up in flames...

 

"Iora?" Falcon assumed she must have fallen asleep some time ago, because he was having trouble waking her up. He'd already gotten off Smokescreen and felt slightly useless as he tried to wake her up, shaking her leg. "Iora!"

Her eyes opened gradually, and she peered dazedly down at him.

"Oh," she said, looking around. "We're here?"

"Yeah," he replied. "You need help getting down?" That sure got her full attention on him. His offer earned him a glare.

"I'll be just fine, thanks," she said, tone brooking no argument, and he took a step back, hands raised in a placating gesture.

Iora pivoted so both her legs were on one side and slid, surprisingly gracefully, down Smoke's side. Her landing, however, was not quite so graceful. Her legs gave out as she hit the ground and she stumbled forward against his chest. They stood there for a frozen moment before she steadied herself and pushed him away with another glare.

Falcon had to wonder how many different ways she could have killed him in that one moment.

He tuned away, heart in his mouth, and leaned over, hefting her bag. It was light, but that was to be expected. Who carried a house with them when they were welcome nowhere?

"This way," he said, striding off between the deserted buildings of the Dragon School, Smokescreen lumbering behind and Starfrost, still ecstatic at having discovered flight, following above their heads.

Falcon felt he should be saying something- now that the rain had gone, the silence was deafening.

"Your parents must be proud," he said. Glancing over at Iora, he saw her face become slightly stonier than before.

"They're dead," she said flatly. He gaped at her for a moment before managing to stutter out a reply.

"I... oh! I'm so sorry!" he cried. He was sure he couldn't have picked a more awkward topic.

"It's fine," she said, voice completely emotionless. "It was a long time ago." Starfrost, perhaps noticing some distress he didn't, landed at Iora's feet and rubbed against her legs like a cat, humming sympathetically.

Nice going, Smoke said sarcastically. Falcon glared at him before turning back to Iora. Starfrost was now perched on one of her shoulders, flapping her wings energetically to keep her balance. Iora's gaze had softened somewhat.

"What happened to them?" he asked quietly. Her eyes turned to ice.

"The house burned down. They didn't make it out. Is this it?" she asked, abruptly changing the subject to the house they were standing in front of.

"Huh? Oh, yeah!" Falcon patted his pockets for a few moments before he finally found the key. He fumbled with it for a moment, cursing softly when it stuck, but finally managed to get the door open.

"There!" he cried, triumphant, and incredibly thankful that this meant an immediate change in subject. He picked up her bag again and brought it inside, dropping it on the floor of the front room. The house was fairly simple, but unlike most in the deserted school, it didn't have a layer of dust a foot deep. He'd cleaned it up quite a bit, stocking the kitchen with dishes and utensils, putting a neat stack of wood by the fire ring that was set in the middle of the floor in the front room, and he'd filled the closet in the bedroom upstairs with sheets and blankets.

"So... ah, here's the key," he said, handing it to Iora. She took it wordlessly, looking around, and he shifted uneasliy. He wanted to get out of here.

"Ummm... Smokescreen and I have some... stuff we need to do, so I'll just... leave you two to settle in. We'll start training tomorrow." With those words, he beat a hasty retreat, leaping on Smoke and flying away.

We don't have anything to do, Smoke complained. Falcon stroked his head.

"I know, I know. It's just..." he shook his head, something between panic and fear rattling around inside him. "I remembered what she did, when she was talking about her parents..."

Really? What? 

Falcon shook his head again. "I didn't see it happen, and I never got any details about it, so I don't know if it's true, but... the night before you chose me, when her house burned down and killed her parents... everyone thinks she's the one that did it. She murdered her parents."

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Cool

Aha!  And now we find out what Iora was said to have done that got her banished.

 

Hey Falcon, nice going, not remembering about Iora's dead and potentially murdered parents.  Awkward!

 

The part where Iora grabbed onto and hugged Falcon in order to break the wind made me smile.  (Rowrr)

 

And its interesting to think about the School of Dragons, several hundred years in the future and deserted except for these guys.  I wonder how much is the same and how much is different?

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
I'm thinking besides being

I'm thinking besides being deserted, it's going to be pretty much exactly the same- I mean, it was built to endure dragons, so it's gonna last pretty long without that added stress. It might be pretty dusty, and maybe plants running a little wild, but otherwise as we know it.

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Six- Fishy Failures

Chapter Six- Fishy Failures

"No, not like that. You have to draw your arm back like this," Falcon said, showing her yet again how to cast the fishing rod. Iora scowled.

"This is ridiculous," she muttered as she failed yet again. Falcon shook his head, laughing, and she glared at him as he walked over. Taking her rod, he reeled it back in and handed it her, taking her hands and putting them in the right places.

"Like this," he said, standing behind her, hands on still hers. She tried to ignore the warmth of his skin on hers.

Falcon helped her cast the rod, and then stepped away. She tried not to sigh in relief.

"Now you try," he said encouragingly. Her attempt, thanks to his help, was slightly less terrible than it had been every other time.

Iora threw her rod down into the sand in disgust as Falcon laughed again. "Frost. Up." Her little dragon darted up into her arms with little effort, chirping happily.

"What are you-" Falcon began.

"Shush," she told him. Peering into the murky water, she watched for the telltale shadow of a fish's passing.

She saw one and pointed it out to Starfrost.

"Shoot," she said. The dragon complied with a burst of flame, and Iora quickly scooped the stunned fish out of the water, handing it to Starfrost, who quickly gulped it down.

Yum, she hummed cheerfully.

Iora turned triumphantly to Falcon.

"Ha," she said. Falcon made a face.

"That's not very sporting," he complained. She rolled her eyes.

"I don't think the fish cares," she pointed out. He made a face again, but turned to Smokescreen anyway.

"Shoot," he said, pointing at the water. The dragon stared blankly at him as if to say, You're kidding, right? "Shoot," he repeated. Smokescreen blew smoke in his face and cuffed him over the head with a swipe of his tail. Iora was sure he was saying Do your own work, lazy. Iora laughed.

She was so startled she stopped as quickly as she started, but quickly started up again. She'd forgotten how good it felt to laugh.

Iora had become increasingly at ease being around Falcon. Besides his rather prying comments their first day here- she had spent almost an hour crying after- he had given her plenty of privacy. This was the third week of her stay, and she was finding it harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.

Maybe you don't have to push everyone away anymore. Iora started and looked down at Starfrost, who was gazing solemnly up at her. She made a face and dropped her, Starfrost squawking indignantly.

"You're getting heavy," she said as an excuse when she felt Falcon's eyes on her. She shifted uncomfortably, staring down the beach, when they didn't leave her.

"Shouldn't you go storm spotting soon?" Iora said pointedly, crossing her arms and finally meeting his eyes. He looked away quickly, embarrassed at having been caught staring.

"Um, yeah, probably. Come on, Smoke!" He leapt up on his dragon and they were gone in a flash of red. While she had become more at ease around Falcon, he still seemed to have spurts of nervousness around her.

Sighing, Iora sank to the sand beside her dragon.

"I don't know how to not push people away anymore," she admitted. She had been alone so long... and when you didn't know who to trust, it was best to trust no one. It was a habit she didn't think she could break; even the thought of trusting someone after what trust had done to her gave her a panicked feeling.

Starfrost rubbed against her side and crawled into her lap, humming comfortingly, and she couldn't help but smile. The motion came easier, now that she'd spent so much time around Starfrost and was more used to being happy in general.

It was strange... just a month ago, she had been living the hard life, barely scraping out a living, unsure where she would sleep at night or where her next meal would come from or if she would even survive to see it, and now she had her choice of fine houses to stay in, a warm bed every night, and she never went to sleep hungry. She was sitting here, relaxing on a beach and watching the sunrise, for Thor's sake! It felt so surreal she wondered sometimes if it was a dream.

I'm real, Starfrost snorted, indignant. She was humming again a moment later as Iora scratched her under the chin.

"I know you are," she sighed. "It's just... everything's moving so fast. I'm just not used to all... this." She waved at the world in general. "Everything is just so nice now. No fear. No hunger. I don't have to wonder if I'll see the next sunrise. It's all so set in stone I find it hard to believe." She smiled at the oxymoron.

Starfrost hummed.

I'm sure you'll get used to it, she said reassuringly.

"I don't know. I'm beginning to think I'm a lost cause." She sighed again, picking up her discarded rod, and Falcon's as well.

"Come on, Frost. Let's go."

 

Falcon was becoming more and more uncertain whether Iora was actually capable of killing anyone, let alone her own parents. She might have an intimidating exterior, but she seemed otherwise rather nice. She'd been less hostile to him every day they'd been here, and today, she'd even laughed. Laughed.

She had a nice laugh. And a pretty smile...

Falcon! Smoke snapped. Pay attention! Falcon started and looked around. They were long gone from the beach, and judging from how cold it was, they'd been up in the clouds over Raven Point for a long time.

"Sorry," he said, patting Smoke's head. The dragon growled, puffing smoke from his nostrils. "I know, I know, I'm an idiot. I'll give you extra dragon nip when we get back home, okay?" Smokescreen, now much more motivated, sped off for Berk.

Falcon's mind was speeding in a completely different direction- back home and to the strange girl there, the girl that was definitely not what she seemed.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Thoughts

I thought it was cute and a nice touch that Iora had such trouble with something SoD players all likely take for granted: casting a fishing rod.  :)  Also thought it was cute when Falcon tried to get Smokescreen to blast a fish and he was like, "You're kidding, right?" and smacked him.  XD

 

Sounds like Falcon and Iora are getting more used to each other.  I like the little moments of tension between them.  I also like the way the dragons seem to be able to talk to their riders: it seems to be a mental thing that can't be heard out loud, but their communication is still clear.  Good way to do it.

 

I know we have a tournament to win, but... more please!  :D

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Yeah. I made it so Iora can't

Yeah. I made it so Iora can't fish because the perfection thing we talked about before, and honestly, fishing wouldn't have been all that useful to her when she was banished. Also, considering that she doesn't seem all that patient, she seems more like a hunter.
Don't worry, I'll keep working on both. Master multitasker here.
And I love all your feedback! Don't stop, and tell me if there's anything you don't like. :)

-Thor speed and Sol fire!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Seven- Silver-Masked

Chapter Seven- Silver-Masked Stranger...

Helden hadn't been looking for trouble. He was an honest man, with an honest job where he sweat all day and earned what he put into it; he was a blacksmith and leatherworker. He was happy, but no matter how hard he worked, there was never quite enough money, not with his daughter as sick as she was.

So when a gold-haired silver-masked stranger appeared with an enormous bag of gold they couldn't have come by honestly, he had no choice but to accept. He was an honest man, but he loved his daughter.

"What... what is it you'd like?" he asked, licking his lips nervously. Sweat beaded on his brow.

"I need some... specialized dragon equipment," the woman said, her voice low and rough. A fervent excitement shone in her eyes.

Helden really didn't like what that probably meant, considering there was no dragon trainer with gold hair.

She placed a folder of sketches and diagrams in front of him. Glancing through it, he saw what looked like restraining harnesses, and some sort of bindings for a dragon's wings and a sheath for its tail.

They looked like they were for a Deadly Nadder.

Wasn't that this year's dragon? His heart sank. He couldn't do this, not if it meant something involving the dragons. Any crime against the dragons was punished severely.

"Can you build this?" she asked. Helden stared regretfully at the money that would have made his life so much easier.

"I'm sorry, but I can't-"

"I know about your daughter," the woman said, suddenly. "She gets worse and worse every day. You can't pay for her medicine anymore. You and your wife are starving to pay for it. You need this money, and if you don't get it, you will die. I want to help you, but I can't just give you the money. Please, build these for me, and the money is yours. Save yourself. Please." She sounded genuine, and she was right. Helden was frightened wondering how she knew these things, but she was right.

Helden caved.

"I... I can do it," he said, defeated. "I'll build them." The woman nodded, satisfaction in her eyes.

"Good." She hesitated a moment, and then smiled. "Good luck to you and yours in your travels." She turned and disappeared into the night, the only evidence of her passing a bag of gold, a couple drawings, and a bad feeling in Helden's stomach.

 

I really meant what I said, Enna thought, watching the house again from the safety of the forest. She'd been watching the small family for days, and she'd known the man would make whatever she asked, no matter how much he wanted not to- he did need the money. It saddened her that the man would have to suffer to ease his suffering, but she hoped he forgot the things he made for her now and moved on to a better life. She'd stolen enough money from her father to pay for the things she'd asked him to build and then some.

He'd been frightened of her. That much she could tell. She stroked the cold metal against her cheek; she'd gotten the mask several weeks ago. It only covered the right side of her face, but she thought it did look rather villainous. She smiled at the thought.

The was a sudden thundering sound and she turned. Unsurprisingly, the sound came from Berk, just down the hill. It was Smokescreen, with Falcon perched atop him, flapping hard as he came in for a landing.

Enna growled, anger surging through her, and the branch she'd been leaning on snapped under her fingers. She'd been shocked by her fury the first time she saw him after her failure at the choosing, but she was long used to it by now. Surely Falcon had seen how she connected to the dragon, and how Iora stole it. He had helped Iora steal it. For that, he must pay just as surely as Iora had to.

But first, she had to get her dragon.

Her gaze returned to the house on the hill, far above Berk, and she waited.

 

Something was wrong. Falcon couldn't tell what, but something was... off. Smoke rumbled uneasy agreement as they flew back home.

Maybe it was Enna's disappearance. He hadn't been surprised when he returned to Berk two months after the choosing to hear Enna had vanished, but the way she acted at the choosing... he didn't believe she would just run off into the wilderness to die. She was surely out there somewhere, plotting revenge.

Perhaps it was just that Helden, a very nice but eternally poor man, had suddenly shown up in Berk with an enormous amount of money.

He just hit a lucky break, Falcon told himself. And he deserves it, too. Helden had always worked hard in his smithy, but it never seemed to pay off. He shouldn't be suspicious just because it finally had.

Or maybe he was nervous because of the robbery. Thavor Walson, Enna's father and an extremely wealthy man, had had a large portion of his money stolen. He'd asked- no, demanded- that Falcon find the thief. He liked the man just as much as he'd liked his daughter, but Thavor was an influential man despite his lineage, and it was best to just do as he said.

Falcon had been unable to find any trace of the money after several weeks.

He'd also heard reports of a strange woman in a silver mask seen lurking at the fringes of the forest, but he had seen no trace of her every time he searched the area.

Yes... strange things were happening in Berk, but Berk had always seemed strange. Hopefully the "off" feeling would just go away. He didn't think he'd be able to shake it, however. There was a storm coming, crackling just beyond the horizon, and he wasn't sure he wanted to be here when it hit.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Chapter 7

(So I'm just reading chapters 7-10 now, but I'm going to comment on each in turn before reading the next...)

 

Oooh, I like this "re-introduction" of Enna.  No longer broken and defeated, but active and plotting.  For the first time in the story she seems formidable.  I also like how she wished the blacksmith all the best and meant it.  She may seem villainous, but it’s not as simple as that, and it’s clear she really does believe it’s “her” dragon and that it was stolen from her.

 

Ominous and exciting.  :)  Also, she drew up some workable plans, eh?  So she's got a brain in that pretty little masked head of hers.

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Eight- A Song of

Chapter Eight- A Song of Sorrow

Falcon paused as he walked down the School's empty, silent streets. Something was different... he just couldn't quite put his finger on what.

That, Smoke rumbled, nosing a spot in the cracked road where weeds had once run rampant. Now, all that was left was a charred spot of dirt.

Looking up, he saw all the weeds had been removed- probably by fire, considering all the not-quite scrubbed off blackened spots on the cobblestones. It actually looked nice; Falcon had never seen the roads in such good condition. Iora must have worked on it with Starfrost for hours.

Smiling- but still unable to shake the slightly uneasy feeling of something off- he continued on his way to her house to let her know he was back.

Her house was one of the nicer ones, built mostly of stone- to withstand its dragon occupants- that was chiseled into intricate designs. Falcon didn't think Iora could care less what the house looked like as long as she had a place to sleep, but he'd picked it out and cleaned it up when he'd been expecting Enna to be chosen. She would have cared, definitely.

Now that he'd decided Iora wasn't going to kill him as he slept, he was once again relieved Enna hadn't been chosen- but he also had to wonder about Iora and the circumstances of her banishment. He didn't think she'd killed her parents, but from what he remembered, she'd never denied it. If she hadn't done it, why not just-

What's that? Smoke suddenly asked.

"Huh?" Falcon said, confused, but then he heard it a moment later- a distant strain of song winding through the streets. Frowning, he continued on, and it only got louder the closer he got to Iora's house.

That can't be her... he thought, but by the time he reached her house a few minutes later, there was no doubt that the haunting melody belonged to Iora's voice. He hesitated, hand poised to knock, before moving to the window instead. Iora was curled up on a rug by the fire, Starfrost's head in her lap- the dragon gazing up at her with adoring eyes.

Falcon could hardly believe what he was seeing.

Iora was gently stroking her dragon, singing, so softly he could barely hear:

 

You'll be safe here, wrapped in my arms,

Forever tucked away from all the world's harms.

Warm yourself here by the fire's glow-

Warm your heart knowing I love you so.

 

If you need help I will always be here,

If you're scared or hurt, call and I'll be near.

I will always hold you, love, keep you near my heart,

Unless you ever wish it, I'll never with you part.

 

Her voice broke suddenly on those words and Falcon darted from the window in case she looked. He only chanced knocking once there had been several minutes of silence.

It took a long moment or two before the door swung open; rather than meeting his gaze with guarded eyes as she usually did, Iora stared at the floor. She blinked rapidly- was she crying?

"I... I'm back," Falcon said uncertainly. Iora glared at him with red-rimmed eyes. She'd definitely been crying.

A strange protectiveness rose within him.

"I can see that," she snapped. "Is that the only reason you came?" She was closing the door before she'd even finished her question.

Falcon pushed it back open.

"Are you okay?" he demanded. Iora stared at him, seemingly shocked that he was asking.

"I'm fine," she said. Her voice was subdued now, like she was giving up fighting. Falcon stepped inside and, hoping she wouldn't murder him, hugged her. She stiffened instantly.

"You don't have to be fine," he whispered. Iora slowly relaxed into his arms, and judging from her shaking and soft gasps, she was crying again. He held her until her sobs softened into gentle sniffles. Falcon's mind was a snarl of confused thoughts and feelings; he could barely focus with the feeling of her under his fingertips.

He squeezed her gently and, unsure what to say and not wanting to ruin the moment, he turned and left.

 

Iora stood staring sightlessly out the open door after Falcon was long gone, feeling drained.

She hadn’t sung in a long time- not since before her banishment- but Starfrost had been being such a sweetheart the words had just poured out of her before she’d even realized what she was doing. It was a Clan song, passed down from mother to daughter, father to son, and held ancient meaning and depth. It was a special song, almost to the point of being sacred, especially to Iora.

Her mother had sung her to sleep the night of fire blood with that very song.

Another sob rasped in her throat and burned in her eyes, but she was completely dry; she didn’t have a single tear left.

What did it mean, she wondered, that Falcon had heard her song, and held her as she cried? She wasn’t sure what to make of it. He’d left without a word after several minutes.

His silence frightened her. The last person she trusted had gotten her parents killed and herself banished, but at least when she’d been banished she’d had nothing to lose. Now, she had something to lose again, and here she was trusting a complete stranger to not manipulate her now he knew she was weak. Did he realize how she had craved his touch in that moment? She hadn't known until just then how badly she wanted- needed- to be held until he had done so.

Iora sagged against the doorway, eyes burning with the tears that wouldn’t come. She felt sick.

There was a sudden warmth at her side and she leaned gratefully into Starfrost.

“Thanks,” Iora croaked, swallowing to sooth her dry throat.

Everything is going to be okay, Starfrost assured her- the worry in her voice strangely offset by the conviction of her words- leading her to sit beside the fire. She was big enough now that her shoulder was level with Iora’s- they would be able to fly soon, she realized suddenly.

Starfrost nudged her until she sat down in the fire’s glow, and then dragged over the half-filled bucket she used to haul water. She stared at Iora with a silent command in her eyes until she cupped the water with her hands and drank some, and then splashed it on her face. The cool water was relief against the burning of her eyes.

Once Starfrost was satisfied, she unceremoniously shoved the bucket aside and curled protectively around Iora- the dragon clearly wasn't going to allow her to sleep, alone, in her bed tonight- spines carefully flattened. Her deep, reassuring hums slowly, gradually calmed Iora's thought, and sent her drifting into sleep.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Chapter 8

Awww, how sweet.  I wonder why singing the song (maybe the last line in particular) made Iora start to cry?

 

Unless you ever wish it, I'll never with you part.

 

I guess she does have something to lose now that she has Starfrost, and knowing that you have something to lose is an uncomfortable feeling, especially for someone who has been alone and self-reliant for so long.  Now she has Starfrost (and, in a way, Falcon and Smoke), and it makes sense that would be new and confusing.  Its an interesting paradox, having companions so supportive and kind as Starfrost and Falcon, but because of that, being all the more worried about possibly losing them.

 

Even more foreboding for us, knowing that Enna is on the prowl!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Yeah, I wasn't sure if I made

Yeah, I wasn't sure if I made the song thing clear enough. I'll explain that here. :) It made her cry because her mother sang it to her the night she died, and that would have been an enormous impact on Iora, who would've been seven at the time. It's not so much the whole line as the second half that made her cry: I'll never with you part. She means it in all sincerity as she sings it to Starfrost, but that line pretty much turned into a lie the night her parents died. :( I hope it explains it.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Aha

Aha, that makes perfect sense.  Also, I just realized that I didn't really notice this line...

 

"The last person she trusted had gotten her parents killed and herself banished"

 

Oh really!?  Dun dun dun!

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Ah!!!  I so want to read and

Ah!!!  I so want to read and comment on chapters 7 and 8!  I will, right after week 3 of the tournament ends.  :D

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
I figured it was the

I figured it was the tournament keeping you busy. Before this week and Flame Wings (you guys earn trophies really fast- two wings up for you!) you'd been commenting really fast on my chapters. Ah well. We Snow Leopards definitely need to keep working on the tournament or we won't stand a chance against Flame Wings, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of these two chapters! I am also, albeit very slowly and in between games of Fireball Frenzy, working on chapter nine. -Thor speed and Sol fire!

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Nine- Accusation and

Chapter Nine- Accusation and Realization

"Theif! I'll kill you!" Falcon and Smokescreen shared a concerned glance at the outburst. Whoever had said it had to be absolutely furious; they were still nearly a hundred feet above Berk and Falcon had heard it loud and clear.

"That can't be good. Hurry, Smoke!" The dragon rumbled agreement, folding his wings and plummeting in a steep dive. The air blew past so fiercely Falcon's eyes watered, and his face began to go numb from the cold.

The ground rushed up to meet them; Smoke unfurled his wings at the last moment, sending them speeding over Berk so quickly Falcon could barely see. Smoke groaned as he stretched his wings further to slow them down.

Once Falcon could see, what he saw was nothing good. A large crowd had formed near the Great Hall, but the shouts and sheer number of people kept him from being able to tell anything useful.

"Down!" he bellowed over the wind. Smoke dove again- at a much more shallow angle- and Falcon leapt off as soon as he was close enough to the ground. As soon as people noticed him and realized who he was, they parted like water around a rock to show Helden crouched on the ground, Thavor, face fiery red, beating him with fists and feet. "Stop!" Falcon cried, appalled. Thavor continued with his beating, and Falcon lunged forward, knocking him to the ground. Helden began crawling away, and Thavor was up again an instant later.

"Mind your own business," he snarled when he saw Falcon. He wilted when Smokescreen snarled back at him., fire glowing in his nostrils.

"Helden, stay here," Falcon said. The poor man had been stumbling away as quickly as he could manage. "And someone help him stand," he added as he almost fell over.

He turned to Thavor.

"What was all that about?" he demanded. Thavor glared at Helden, who cowered behind the man holding him up.

"That crook is the one who stole my money!" he cried, stabbing a finger at him for emphasis. Helden flinched as if it had been an actual blow. Falcon signaled for Smoke to stand between the two.

"What proof do you have?" he asked. Thavor was well known for his temper; the slightest thing could have set him off and convinced him that Helden had stolen his money.

Thavor scowled.

"Well," he said, drawing out the word, "first, he shows up with an enormous amount of money just days after I have an enormous amount of money stolen from me. Then, I find him with this." Thavor picked up a sack from the ground, shoving it into Falcon's face.

"See?" he cried. "Coincidence? I think not!" Falcon glared at him, snatching the bag away to examine it. It looked like nothing more than a plain potato sack at first, but upon closer inspection, he realized it was made of much too fine a fabric to be for potatoes, and, as he felt it, he realized it was also waterproof and possibly fireproof as well. It must have been the bag Thavor kept the stolen money in- a suspicion that was confirmed when he noticed a clinking and peered inside to find a few gold coins nestled forlornly in the corners of the sack.

Falcon glanced up at Helden; the man had gone white as ice, and he didn't think it was from fear of Thavor.

"Helden," he said, trying to keep his voice gentle- the man looked as if he were about to faint- "What is this?"

He collapsed to his knees, crying.

"Please! I had to take the money! It was for my daughter, not for me! I didn't know it was stolen. Please don't kill me- I'll give it back! Every coin I still have, I'll give it back. She didn't tell me it was stolen. Please don't kill me!" Helden sobbed. Falcon stared blankly at him, still trying to process the gibberish he'd spouted. Eventually, his mind settled on one word.

"She?" he asked. "You didn't steal it- someone gave it to you?"

"Yes!" Helden cried. Hope shone in his eyes as he realized there might be a way out of this. "I didn't steal it! It was the silver-masked woman everyone's been talking about. She used it to pay me. She stole it." Thavor snorted derisively.

"Sure," he said. "Now he says that. He took the money, I know it!" Falcon ignored him.

"Helden," he said, voice urgent, "what did this woman look like?" If Helden could give him a decent description, he could discover the identity of the strange woman and get Thavor to stop annoying him in one fell swoop.

"She had the mask-"

"I know about the mask," Falcon snapped impatiently, and Helden flinched.

"I- it only covered h-half her f-face," he stuttered, staring fearfully up at him. "The... the r-right side. And she had b-blonde hair. G-gold blonde. G-green eyes." Falcon felt disappointment rising within him.

"That's all? You don't remember anything else?" Helden mutely shook his head, eyes ringed with the white of terror. He knew his fate rested with Falcon; Thavor might be influential, but no one would cross a Dragon Rider, if only for the fear of their dragon's wrath.

"You said she was paying you. What for?" Helden scrabbled for something at his waistline, and pulled a handful of crumpled papers from his belt.

"These. She wanted me to build these," he said. Falcon took the papers and looked at them. They seemed more like concept drawings than anything, but the idea was clear; each drawing was meant to be some sort of manacle for a dragon. A Deadly Nadder, to be exact.

That's when it all clicked into place:

A woman with golden hair and a mask that covered the right side of her face.

Money stolen from Thavor- not just because he was rich, but because he'd been specifically targeted.

Restraints built for a Deadly Nadder. Starfrost. Iora's dragon. Both of whom he'd left completely alone at the dragon school.

The silver-masked woman was Enna, and she wasn't biding her time; she was striking now.

The papers had barely touched the ground before Falcon had leapt on Smokescreen and was barreling back home.

 
Enna ran through her plan in her mind. It was simple, really; with Falcon gone and her attack unexpected, Iora would be virtually helpless. She was down at the beach now, bathing, and by the time she got back, Enna's plan would be in place.
She had sealed every gap she could find in the house- the fine house that should have been hers- and once Iora got back inside with Enna's dragon and closed the door, she would be unconsious and her Nadder too weak to fight back from the fumes exuding from the rags Enna had hidden inside in minutes. It didn't matter if there were some gaps in the house, allowing fumes to escape. After all, Enna didn't want Iora dead.
She smiled wickedly as she saw Iora walking up the path. No, she had much bigger plans for Iora.
Enna drew back into the shadows of the house. Now, all she had to do was wait.
Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Chapter 9

Enna really does think the house, the dragon, and probably Falcon too, are hers and rightfully belong to her.  Often times the most formidible and powerful opponent is one who believes with all their heart and mind that they are in the right.  What a plan, and what a cliffhanger!

 

But look, you're so nice, the next chapter is already posted for me to read!!!  :D

 

(Unrelated side note - I think you may have said somewhere that every 10 years there is a new dragon and a new rider?  I wonder how many others in addition to Falcon are still around...)

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
I totally agreed with the

I totally agreed with the most dangerous enemy thing you put- that's why I have Enna so completely sure of herself. She is EXTREMELY dangerous. Also, I'll try and cover the riders/dragons thing in the next chapter for ya.

Sylph264's picture
Sylph264
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/01/2014
Chapter Ten- An Ambush

Chapter Ten- An Ambush

Something was... wrong. Iora couldn't tell what, but Starfrost definitely agreed with her- the dragon had refused to come inside for several minutes. It had taken a long while of coaxing and promising of extra dragon nip to finally get her in.

Iora shivered. The fire had burned out when she'd been gone. It was freezing.

I'll get Frost to light a fire when I get back down. Rubbing her arms, she took the stairs up to her room two at a time. It was cold enough that, as she changed into clean clothes, her fingers trembled and began to go numb.

She shook her head, confused. It wasn't that cold. Why was she shaking like this?

She was beginning to reach for her coat, draped across her bed, when she noticed something amiss. Her desk, normally arranged quite neatly, was now in complete disarray.

Frowning, she went over to it. She stumbled on her first step, and tripped after her second, only barely catching herself on a chair.

Something was definitely wrong. Iora was never this clumsy.

A sudden crash made her look up- Starfrost was drunkenly making her way up the stairs, chirping panic.

We... out... wrong! Badsmell! Out... go! she cried. Iora stared at her. Nothing was making sense.

A dull pounding took up residence in the back of her skull.

Shaking her head, she turned back to her desk. There was something stuffed in the corner... some sort of cloth? Her vision grew spotted as she picked it up, but the cloth completely centered her attention. It was wet- for some reason, this struck her as rather funny. She laughed, the sound distant and fractured, a desperate, panicked squawking a discordant harmony.

Her balance left her and she toppled, chair tumbling wildly after her as her head slammed into the stone windowsill. Sharp, sudden pain in her temple, and then, blessed dark.

 

Falcon could feel his time running out as plainly as he could he could feel the wind biting into every inch of exposed skin on his face. He'd been planning on staying in Berk for several days, so Enna might not have attacked yet, but there was a good chance she had. After all, the sooner she did, the less likely it would have been Falcon could track her down- but she wouldn't have been expecting him to know she was at the school. He knew Iora could handle herself in a fight, but Enna knew it too. Falcon wouldn't expect her to fight fair.

We'll get there in time, Smoke rumbled. It wasn't an empty reassurance; Smoke would rather hidethan see harm come to Starfrost. When the Plague had befallen dragons all those years ago, all dragons had protected one another fiercely, regardless of species, and even now that their populations were beginning to recover, the protective feeling remained strong.

Falcon was almost drowned in worry by the time the school finally came into view; he leapt off Smokescreen the moment he judged he wouldn't be killed by the fall, and stumbled inside Iora's house. The door slammed against the wall so hard that when it swung back shut, it broke the hinges and fell outside with a crash. Falcon barely heard it.

The ashes were cold; the fire hadn't been burning for hours, probably longer. Falcon bolted up the stairs in a few quick bounds, into Iora's room. Hopefully she would be there- give him a strange look and ask what was wrong with him...

Starfrost was crouched in the corner, tail flicking limply. She growled halfheartedly when she saw him and lashed her tail, but the spines she shot at him barely made it two feet. Falcon's blood ran cold when he saw what she was crouched over- it was Iora, blood covering the side of her head and looking very pale, and very still. Too still.

Too late? The menacing thought froze him in place for several seconds. Fear weighing down his every movement, he dashed to her side and kneeled beside her. Starfrost, perhaps now recognizing him, did nothing to impede him.

When he realized she was breathing, the relief was so strong he could barely breath.

Is the hatchling okay? Falcon glanced up to see Smokescreen staring worriedly at him through the window; he must have climbed up the side of the house to see.

"Umm... yeah," Falcon said, shaking his head to clear it. He suddenly felt tired. "She's fine." Smoke narrowed his eyes, nostrils flaring. His eyes flashed.

You have to get out of there now. There's some sort of gas. Get out! Falcon blinked heavily at him; he couldn't seem to process what Smoke was saying.

A sudden smashing sound was accompanied by a deluge of cold air, and it snapped him back to his senses.

Out. NOW! Falcon complied, tossing a limp Iora over his shoulder and running down back down the stairs as quickly as he'd come up. Starfrost raced after him, claws scraping against the stone.

 

Iora woke to a painful throbbing deep in her head, a voice pulling her from the bliss of unconsciousness.

"Iora? Iora, wake up. Wake up." She moaned and the distant voice stopped- but it continued on, louder, a moment later.

"Wake up!" it said. Hands grabbed her shoulders and shook her, and her mind screamed at the pain. Reluctantly, she gave up the search for elusive sleep and opened her eyes.

The world swam nauseatingly before her and she quickly closed her eyes again.

"Yes, she's awake. She's fine. Stop worrying." Her eyes flew open at the anxious warbling that followed the words.

"Starfrost?" A large blue head filled her vision and she sighed relief.

"I told you she was fine," the voice said.

Falcon. She propped herself up, wincing as the throbbing intensified.

Iora was just outside her house. The door had been knocked off its hinges, and a few windows looked like they'd been shattered. And her head... when she brought her hand up and touched it, she was surprised to see it come away covered in blood.

"What happened?" she asked Falcon, when suddenly, she remembered. "You're supposed to be in Berk. For... three more days? Why did you come back?" Falcon was watching her with concern in his eyes.

"Are you sure you should be sitting up yet?" Iora glared at him.

"I'm fine," she snapped, standing to prove it.

At least, she tried to. When she made it to her feet, her head spun, aching so fiercely she doubled over from the pain, gasping, and collapsed to her knees.

"Iora!" She could just barely see Falcon moving to help her in the corner of her eye, but she couldn't have cared less. She could barely breathe from the pain.

The world turned black.

The pain had receded back to a dull, distant throb when she came to, but it sharpened when she opened her eyes. She decided to keep them closed.

"What... happened?" Her voice was a dry rasp. When had she last had something to drink? She licked her lips; they were painfully cracked.

"Ummm... wait a minute. Here," Falcon said, pressing something to her mouth. Cool liquid trickled past her lips.

"Oh, that feels good," she sighed. Her voice was barely a rough whisper. The ground shifted underneath her.

What? She squinted despite the pain and found herself looking into Falcon's eyes- her head was resting in his lap. Not on the ground.

Iora squeezed her eyes shut again, hoping he couldn't see the flush in her cheeks.

"What happened?" she repeated. There was silence for a few seconds.

"Falcon?" She felt his sigh more than she heard it, a faint whisper of his breath on her face. She shivered.

"Enna." The one word was enough to send her into a panic. Instinctually, she began to shoot up- but Falcon held her down. Starfrost squawked her disapproval.

"Iora, calm down. She'll be long gone by now. She drugged you- she wasn't expecting me to show up. She was counting on not having to fight, on a clean getaway." Gritting her teeth, she shoved his hands away and sat up. She found herself almost growling at the worry in his eyes.

"I'm fine," she insisted. She could tell he didn't believe her, but he let it be... in favor of an even more tenuous topic.

"You're not staying here anymore," he said. Iora stared blankly at him.

"What?"

"You heard me. It's too dangerous for you to be here alone, and the only reason the training is done here is to keep the young dragons from beginning to form a bond with anyone besides their initial bondmate. You and Starfrost are obviously doing fine, and there's no other reason to stay." She knew he was right, but the thought of going back to Berk- despite it having been all she'd dreamed of when she'd been banished- made her feel panicked.

Starfrost chirruped excitedly. She clearly didn't mind going to Berk- she would love all the extra attention.

"But-" Falcon cut her off with a sharp gesture and stood, Smokescreen coming to his side.

"No. You're coming back to Berk. You can stay at the house I have there until we can come up with something better." His eyes were hardened with fierce determination as he waited for her to argue- but Iora knew it was a lost cause. She'd seen that same look in the eyes of men who were starving. It was the barely-cloaked gleam of desperation- and it wasn't himself he was desperate for. It was for her.

She bowed her head. "Okay," she whispered. "Okay." Falcon looked taken aback and stood silent for several moments. Eventually, he held out his hand, and she had little choice but to take it- after all, last time she'd tried standing on her own had proved painful enough that she wasn't eager for a repeat. Even with Falcon steadying her, pain lanced through her skull and her knees buckled.

And then, Falcon was suddenly much closer, and she was somehow leaning against his chest. He looked as surprised as she felt. Iora had never noticed just how intense his gaze could be- she could barely breath, and it wasn't because of the pain this time.

A loud squawk broke them apart- Iora stumbled against Smokescreen's side at the sudden loss of Falcon's steadying hands. Starfrost was hopping around and flapping her wings, eager to be off.

Let's go let's go let's go! she cried excitedly. Iora took a deep breath and stared up at Smokescreen's saddle. The first and only time she'd ridden him, she'd gotten up with ease, but it now looked impossibly far away. Biting her lip, she was about to try and clamber up anyway when Falcon's hands again found her waist. He easily lifted her up, and then pulled himself up behind her- because he was worried she wouldn't be able to hold on well enough sitting behind him, he said.

She knew she wouldn't be able to relax the whole way back to Berk.

Terraline's picture
Terraline
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 01/14/2014
Chapter 10 thoughts

Ah yes, I’d forgotten that it was a plague that wiped out most of the dragons.  How horrible those times must have been!

 

Whew, I didn’t think Falcon and Smoke were going to make it back in time.  I thought Iora might still be there but Starfrost gone and captured.  I wonder if Enna was able to do anything before Falcon arrived, or if she never had the chance to make it into the house after Iora and Starfrost entered…

 

Hehe.  I continue to enjoy and appreciate the little moments between Iora and Falcon.  They’re subtle yet noticeable, if that makes sense, and well-written. 

 

Back to Berk we go!