HTTYD/SoD Clan Roleplay: The Rise of Earthguard
"So... here you go!” Eslig said, shoving the letter in her hand. Afterwards he just walked off, which Herze perceived as a little strange, but hey, she can’t expect to be the center of everyone’s universe. People have places to be and people to see, she gets it. She rolls the letter open and sees a message from Mariella.
"Oh! I think that's the letter I sent you.” She hears Mariella say from beside her, which spooked her a little bit. She tries to act casual and not like her heart just nearly bursted out of her chest. She tries her hardest to shake the feeling off while Mariella tells her the content of the letter. She honestly doesn’t know what’s gotten into her, but a stranger with her name on his lips just freaked her out for no reason and then Mariella popping up while she was distracted- It’s all unfamiliar since she’s so used to perfectly being able to spot everything on her horizon usually. "You know, I think it was Fraidy who was delivering the letter. The poor little Terror must have been spooked and lost the letter he was carrying…” Mariella said, looking up to the sky. Herze added the Terror to her list. Fraidy, easily spooked, unreliable.
‘’Yeah, thanks for responding to my letter, sorry I didn’t get it in time.” She smiled back at the other viking, deciding to follow her back to the table and other guests. Herze took a seat when Mariella announced the start of the meeting. She was careful to pick one where she could see most of the farm and everyone in it. She scooted up and immediately put something on her plate. All the running around and socializing that she usually doesn’t do made her a little low on energie. She figured delicious smelling food would help a great deal.
"So which of the gods apart from Loki do you think is the worst example for children?” Tallyra asked two other viking, which seemed like a good casual conversation starter to Herze. She knew it was rude to jump into a conversation she wasn't invited to- Astrid told her that- but she’d only learned about gods some time ago, and she thought the mythology was interesting so she’d finished nearly every book Berk and Trader Johann had on the subject. It helped her learn how to read as well, so that was a nice bonus. She fet a strong urge to put her two cents in.
She chewed on her food for a second, thinking the question over, before deciding to go with Odin. “Okay, so, possibly unpopular opinion: Odin is probably the worst role model. I get that he’s the allfather, but-“ she thought over how to phrase the next part while wielding a piece of food in her hand. ‘’He’s so crazy for wisdom, he’d do anything. Imagine a little kid taking example out of that? Oh, you want to know when Sköll is going to catch up with Sól again? Just cut your eye out, if that doesn’t work, how about you hang yourself from a tree. And if you get bored, how about starting an endless war for no good reason? That's going to keep you entertained, for sure. These are generally not good ideas, no matter the pay off.” She grinned. Odin truly was wild. She’d been so surprised to find out that Loki wasn’t his son, since Loki took more after Odin than Thor did, in her opinion. She faced Tallyra again. “But Loki is definitely the actual worst example for children, I don’t see another other god or goddess competing with him in that position.” She laughs. "I really hope we won't get smitten by them for this conversation." She adds as an afterthought. She's read what they can do and she really, genuinly hopes those are just myths.
Brasa chuckled at the slew of questions and held up a hand to stop the onslaught. "Why don't you stick around and find out?" As if on cue, a pretty girl with long blonde hair and hazel eyes walked up to them. The girl welcomed Brasa and complimented the cheese (Eslig agreed: it did smell good) before turning her attention to Eslig. "You know, I thought it was very kind and thoughtful of you to hand-deliver that letter. As a reward, why don't you stay for a while and have a bite to eat? We have much more than needed" Eslig glanced over at Ambolt, who was still salivating over the strange box with a friendly-looking Gronkle. Well, we're here already, Ambolt won't go anywhere until he eats whatever is in that box, and I have no clue how to get home. May as well stay and eat. The girl's next words caught him by surprise. "Heh, who knows, maybe you'll decide to join our clan if you like what you hear. After all, our Clan Meeting is about to officially begin!"
Eslig was stunned, but he tried not to show it. That sounded a lot like a clan invitation! He fought to surpress the feelings of joy and excitement welling up inside of him. None of the other clans had so much as looked his way, but within 5 minutes this small group was already welcoming him. And, they had food!
The girl spoke again, and Eslig made it a point to try and figure out everyone's name. Brasa he already knew from her frequent visits after the accident and he had just met Herze, but there were still a few unfamiliar faces to get to know. Still, he decided to take things slowly and chose a seat next to Herze. They were soon joined by the rider of the Stormcutter. "So which of the gods apart from Loki do you think is the worst example for children?" she asked. Herze answered first, giving Eslig time to think. When Herze had finished, he ventured his opinion.
"I think that maybe Thor is a poor example for children" he said, speaking carefully. "Sure he fights for the greater good, but all he does is fight. It's true that there are times to take up arms but I think it is important to recognize that winning a fight doesn't mean you've beaten an opponent. If you find a way to look past your differences you can potentially make a friend instead of an enemy."
He hoped that he hadn't made a fool of himself, there was still so much he didn't know about Berk's culture. These thougts were interrupted by the arrival of a girl with dark brown hair and a dark purple Deadly Nadder. "Hello!" he greeted her, hoping that he sounded welcoming.
((I was planning on sleeping, but then I checked the RP board one last time and decided to get another post in before I'm going AFK for hours, maybe even until saturday if I don't make it to my keyboard before visiting my nan. Hopefully the meeting won't be over when I get back, lol. Fast moving RPs are both a blessing and a curse in that sense. :'] ))
“Aye!” Herze cheered. “I’ll drink to that.” She smiled at the boy beside her, pouring herself a cup of the lemonade Rubinesse had brought with her. Mariella was right when she said the icicles would make good ice cubes. She was about to ask if anyone else wanted any when Eslig spoke up.
“Hello!” She heard the boy say. She followed his gaze back to a new person now entering their meeting. A Deadly Nadder, in an enchanting dark purple colour, a neat contrast to the bright yellow, casting a shadow over what Herze assumed is it’s rider. She’s wearing an outfit that matches her dragon and Herze feels inspired. She should add some white spikes to her outfit, to match Valkor. “Hi!” She greets, maybe a tad bit late since she was going over new fashion choices in her head. She bites her lip in a smile and gestures the newcomer over.
‘’I love the colour coordination you have going on, did you plan that? Where did you even find the dye for it? I’ve been picking flowers left and right but I don’t think I’ve come across one in that shade of purple yet.” She compliments the other viking. Always a crafter, she’s already thinking up what she could do with that purple. It’d make excellent face paint or home decoration. Maybe she could paint an enchanted woods mural in her bedroom with it. She remembers the lemonade she’s holding and expectantly looks around the table, gesturing with it in a silent ‘want some?’.
((Ohhh mmyyyy, fast responses. I won't be able to keep up with that, so for the time being, Brasa can be silent because she's stuffing her face. She will be eating like a Viking after all!))
((Again, I apologize if I get something mixed up))
Brasa sighed. Glaring sun. Of course the red-headed boy was Ambolt's rider, Elsig. He handed over a note to the girl with dark honeyed hair, who just named herself "Herze". The meeting seemed a little stiff. Elsig made his way awkwardly over to Brasa.
"Is this a meeting of some sort? Where exactly are we? Can you tell me how to get to my house from here?" Elsig blurted out. She understood he felt out of place a little more sharply than others, but even she felt at ease here so far. She grabbed up a plate and started piling on all the goodies.
"Don't worry, your house isn't too far from here. Ambolt seems to be doing well, and you, too. Oh look!" Brasa was pleasantly surprised to see Rue here, too! "That woman there is the herbalist who had many of the herbs Gothi used for you and Ambolt," she said, pointing to the brunette. She would have to go over and say Hi. After getting the food, that is.
"As far as what's going on," Brasa gestured to Mariella as the blonde wended her way over to them, "Why don't you stick around and find out?"
Mariella walked up and waved cheerfully. "Hey Brasa! Welcome! I'm so you could make it." She inhaled the aroma of her freshly smoked Rygeost. "...and that cheese sure smells delicious...thank you!"
"Oh, um, thanks!" Brasa fumbled. Compliments. She wasn't good at them.
Mariella continued on and addressed Elsig. It seems he had come here to deliver some lost dragon-mail to the girl named Herze.
Tallyra the red-head she has met the other day was being stalked by several dragons sniffing after a large box she carried. Even Clintonia was joining the others trailing along. She set it away from the human table, amongst a nice assortment of fish laid out for the dragons. Tallyra then came over, followed by the pretty blue Stormcutter.
"Oi, Brasa, good to see you again," Tallyra halloed.
"And you as well!" Brasa smiled back.
Tallyra forked some Rygeost onto her plate as her Stormcutter sniffed at it with interest. Tally placed a piece on the dragon's tongue to taste. Brasa was pleased to see that even dragons seemed to like it. The dragon nuzzled her arm, barely disturbing her plate of food. She smiled an patted the Stormcutter over her eye ridge. The dragon then stepped back and surveyed the humans contentedly.
"I hope you didn't mind her trying a bit of your cheese?" Tallyra asked.
"Oh, no! Oh. its fine!" Brasa stammered out. "I give mine a little sometimes, too." she admitted. "But - you probably already know - don't give too much dairy, because it makes their poops extra smelly," Brasa waved her hand in front of her nose for effect, then turned a little red when it occurred to her that perhaps she shouldn't talk about poop at the food table.
Tallyra, nor anyone else seemed fased at all by her comment. Tallyra seemed to have a knack for engaging people and started up a rather deep conversation with: "So which of the gods apart from Loki do you think is the worst example for children?”
((*Goes to read up a little more on Norse mythology*))
Rubinesse was so busy watching Eslig giving Herze her letter that she had not noticed the blue haired viking coming from behind, accompanied by her blue Shovelhelm. Only when he turned towards Brasa and started to talk to her and Mariella, Rue realized: Oh, there's Brasa! She smiled. So far she felt surprinsingly comfortable getting to know all the other friendly people and watching someone new popping up every few minutes, but it felt good to see someone she already knew though. When Mariella welcomed them to sit on the table and get some lunch, Rubinesse closed up to Brasa and waved happily. "Hello Brasa! So it seems we've been talking about the same clan meeting yesterday after all" she laughed. "It's good to see a familiar face!" But with all the vikings rushing to the fully filled table now and the dragons crossing their way to get to their food on the other side of the farm, they had to break their conversation and Rue hurried to get the last free seat at the table. If they ended up being in the same clan, there would be plenty of other chances to talk to Brasa.
She was sitting now next to Herze, Eslig and the red-haired girl, of whom she still didn't know the name. She was concentrating on how to stuff all the delicious food on her plate and started with some very tasty bean soup when she heard someone ask "So which of the gods apart from Loki do you think is the worst example for children?” She looked up, a bit astonished about the question. The red-haired girl looked at her and Eslig. Uhm... Rue was glad when Herze jumped into the conversaton giving her opinion on Odin and Eslig added his estimation concerning Thor. So she had time to chew down and do what she prefered to do when it comes to religious topics: Interestedly listen to the others. She had grown up with viking mythology, had learned a little about it at school and from her parents but during the last few years she had found some indiviual spiritual belief that she usually didn't share with others. So she didn't know that much about the viking's gods and felt uncapable to give a rather intelligent answer to the red-haired girl's question. She nodded to both, Herze's and Eslig's answers, they both had a point. "That's a good point" she added after Eslig had finished. She really meant it but was glad when she didn't have to explain further. She heard Mariella calling something from behind.
"Hello!" "Hi!" The others were greeting a girl that stood next to Mariella. She seemed a bit shy and Rubinesse found it nice that Herze started complimenting her on her nicely coloured clothing - matching her Deadly Nadder's colors. Rue gave the new one a welcoming smile. "Come over. There is plenty of food left." They all moved a bit closer together so the new girl could sit down next to Herze and the conversations started again.
((Your post is fine. I'm excited to see where this leads us!))
After finishing a second plate, Eslig leaned back in his chair and sighed contentedly. He was becoming more
omfortable around this group, and he was now on a first-name basis with all present. He looked around at the smiling faces and took a quick note of who all was at the meeting:
((This is more for myself than anyone else. I'm pretty bad with names IRL so lisiting them out again here will help me. Let me know if I missed someone!))
-Mariella and her friendly Gronkle, Jasper
-Herze with Valkor, a large Snow Wraith
-Rubinesse, who rode a Whooly Howl named Winnie
-Tallyra, a fellow redhead who rode the beautiful Stormcutter Samantha (or Sammie)
-Brasa, the healer, joined by the social Shovelhelm Clintonia
-Namikah and her color-coordinating Nadder, Shadow
Speaking of Shadow, Eslig noticed that Ambolt was paying close attention to the other Nadder. When he wasn't shoving the odd-smelling "cakes" in her direction he was preening himself, and Eslig realized that Ambolt was smitten with the dark purple dragon. These thoughts were interrupted first by Mariella, who stood as if to give a speech, and then by the unmistakable sound of the Training Grounds' trumpet. 13 pairs of eyes now focused on Mariella, and Eslig lauded her composure.
The leader of Earthguard spoke. "The food can wait... The Clan Meeting can wait...The School needs us--No, the School needs Earthguard--and they need it now, more than ever. We need to join together and protect the school as a team! Whatever threat we face, we face it together. Who's with me!?"
Eslig thought that sounded like a grand idea. He couldn't wait to soar above the school, raining fire and burnt dragon cakes down on whatever was threatening his home. Just then Ambolt roared in frustration, and Eslig was reminded of the sling his dragon wore. No flying for them. Nonetheless, Eslig hoped he could still contribute. He sprinted over to where Ambolt was pacing back and forth, struggling a bit to mount his dragon with just one arm. With an assist from Jasper ("Thanks!") he succeeded, and Ambolt began running towards the Training Grounds.
"Guys!" A voice cut through the air. Tally was stifling a smile. "The Training Grounds are this way". She pointed, and Eslig sheepishly turned Ambolt 180 degrees before allowing the Nadder to break into a sprint again.
Rubinesse felt content. She was so full she couldn't barely look at the small rest of food that was now left on the table. She had had some nice conversations with her fellow future clan mates, she knew all their names by now, even Tallyra's, and some anecdotes about each of their lives and/or dragons. She looked over to Winnie. The Whooly Howl had still not eaten much but besides she seemed fine. Jasper, Clintonia and Sammie were still eating, Ambold seemed to be flirting a bit with the other Nadder, Shadow, and Winnie and Valkor were resting, exchanging provocative looks every now and then but seemed too relaxed right now to start romping around and "decorating" the farm for a second time. Rue sighed silently, It's good to see her so happy and get along that well among these other dragons...
Rue's attention shifted to Mariella who had stood up now and started to speak about Earthguard. She had hardly said some words when a sudden loud noise let them all wince. Alarmed they all looked at each other and then at Mariella who seemed to regain her composure quickly. It was the alarm horn from the Training Grounds! Rue felt terrified. She usually hid somewhere or cared about injured or shocked people when there were attacks around Berk. But now, she was part of a clan that would try it's best to protect the Training Grounds and she would give her best to help.
"... We need to join together and protect the school as a team! Whatever threat we face, we face it together. Who's with me!?" With Mariella's last words Rue jumped up and wanted to run over to Winnie but her dragon was already standing behind her, a worried look in her eyes. "I'll be fine, Winnie. We gotta help the others...somehow..." Frowning she climbed Winnies back. With a teenage dragon that could not fly yet they wouldn't be able to keep pace with all the other flying dragons. But she would make her way to the Training Grounds as fast as she could though.
But then Rue saw Eslig and Ambolt run towards the farm entrance, the rider holding on tightely to his Nadder with only one arm. Right, they were going by foot as well! "Eslig, wait-up. We're coming with you!" They didn't seem to hear her and were already out of the farm. "Guys! The Training Grounds are this way." Rue could hear Tallyra calling Eslig back and Rue and Winnie were able to close in on them. Rue nodded shortly to Eslig. "Let's go!" Side by side Ambolt and Winnie were now running down the path between the farm plots while the other vikings were getting on their dragons and started into the air...
Rose was enjoying the clan meeting party. She had notices that Shadow was chatting with this other nadder. Ambild she thought his name was, and Rose herself was engaging in small conversations with her other clan mates. All was well until the grounds were filled with the sound of a loud rumble of the battle horn and Mariella spoke to the clan. "The food can wait... The clan meeting can wait... The school needs us--No, the school needs Earthguard--and they need it now, more than ever. We need to join together and protect the school as a team! Whatever threat we face, we face it together. Who's with me!?"
Seeing all the riders mount their dragons and sore into the sky Rose was encouraged to do the same, and without second thought she swirled onto Shadow and joined her other riders in the sky on the way to the training grounds. Arriving at their destination it was weird to see a place, whome she visited so often, look completly different. Dragon riders were flying everywhere and those with younger dragons were helping put out the newly created fires. This is going to be fun* she sarcastically thought.
(sorry it's short XL)
Sammie's head went up instantly at the sound of the trumpet. Tally looked up and around, and then to Mariella, not that she would have any more idea of what was going on. No pressure then, Mariella, she thought as the rest of the table turned to their new leader.
The woman jumped to her feet, blushed, drew a deep breath in and spoke:
"The food can wait... The Clan Meeting can wait...The School needs us--No, the School needs Earthguard--and they need it now, more than ever. We need to join together and protect the school as a team! Whatever threat we face, we face it together. Who's with me!?"
Tally was rather impressed - she'd have found it tough to come up with that on the spot, and there would have been a lot more umming and ahh-ing and general stuttering. She dashed to Samantha - not difficult, the dragon was never more than a few paces away - hopped up onto her shoulders and they took off. They hadn't gotten more than ten feet above ground when they stopped dead and hovered on the spot. Two of the Vikings had sprinted off in entirely the wrong direction, Ambolt and Eslig in the lead, Winnie the Woolly Howl and Rue following just behind.
"Guys" she called, instantly regretting the use of the pronoun since two of the people* she was addressing were female, "the training grounds are that way!"
The small group performed a neat about-face without stopping and sprinted back in the correct direction. Tally turned to follow Mariella, now hovering just beyond the entrance to the farm on Jasper. As they came towards her, Jasper took off at a surprising speed; she felt Sammie tense up beneath her, ready to increase her speed, seeing the Gronckle's sudden acceleration as a challenge, but Tally put a hand on her shoulder.
"We should stay with these two, Sammie, they might need eyes on them from above". Sammie grumbled but restrained herself. Diving towards them, flying just over their heads, she asked, "Will you two be alright, Eslig? You'll need to be careful of his injury!"
"I know, I'll watch him, I promise. I don't want anything else to happen..." He trailed off. Rue looked at him sympathetically and Tally felt bad: she could see he felt terrible about what had happened to Ambolt. "I'm sorry, I understand" she said, as gently as she could while rushing along in midair, and she and Sammie pulled up again: but they stayed right above the two earth-bound young dragons.
They all arrived a little behind the others, and as they caught up Sammie landed next to Ambolt and Winnie. Mariella was up ahead a little, speaking to Hiccup (and petting Toothless, who seemed to like her), the rest of Earthguard ranged behind her: as they caught up Hiccup scanned over the dragons, as if checking to see how this odd little group could best be deployed. The Training Grounds were full of dragons, some heading towards Snotlout, others towards Fishlegs, who was directing the fire-fighting effort: she could see that Astrid, the twins, the recently-formed A-Team and some of the other big clans were already out defending the School, the silhouettes of their dragons soaring and diving in the sky.
The purple Nadder, Shadow, and her rider... what was it again... Namikah sat to Tally's other side, the girl sitting bolt upright in the saddle, looking nervous.
"You OK?" Tally asked her quietly.
"Yes, I just... I'd like to know what's happening" she said, which Tally thought probably meant 'I don't like this, I'm a bit scared and I don't want to admit it'. Tally gave her what she hoped was a nice, reassuring smile - Sammie joined in, turning her head around and cooing at the girl and the dragon - and said "I'm sure we'll find out in a minute".
Sure enough, at that moment Hiccup jumped on Toothless and took off. Mariella turned back to her brand-new clan and, with a serious face, said "OK everyone, we have our orders."
((*Tally definitely thinks of dragons as "people". Eslig - I've been finding that list useful as well, thanks. My character isn't organised enough to think of doing that XD))
As Eslig wheeled Ambolt around, feeling ridiculous. He was so embarassed about having to run overland with Ambolt instead of flying to their destination he barely noticed the Whooly Howl sprinting next to them. He briefly wondered why Rubinesse had chosen to join him on the ground (she looked like a capable rider) when it occured to him that Winnie was too young to fly. He was grateful for the company and favored Rubinesse with a warm smile. Recieving a slightly nervous nod in return (Eslig didn't blame her), he put on a brave face. "Let's go!" he called, and together the earthbound dragons sped towards the Training Grounds.
Eslig heard the unmistakable thrum of a Stormcutter's wings above him. "Will you two be all right, Eslig? You'll need to be careful of his injury!" he heard Tallyra ask. Eslig slumped in his saddle. "I know, I'll watch him, I promise. I don't want anything else to happen..." Eslig's sentence died as he inwardly vowed to make sure that Ambolt made a 100% recovery. He could live with limited use of one arm, but an adult dragon without flight? "I'm sorry, I understand" said Tally as she escorted the pair of sprinting dragons towards the Training Grounds.
Soon enough they reached Hiccup, who was organizing the defenses. Mariella was already deep in conversation with the chieftan's son, and Eslig was glad to see that everyone from the meeting had made it to the Training Grounds.
What can I do to help? The ever-present question burned in his mind and he flapped his left arm helplessly in its sling, wincing slightly. With only a small range of motion there wouldn't be much. As he slid off Ambolt, one of his saddlebags gave a dischordant squeak. "That's it!" he cried to no one in particular.
Eslig rummaged in the saddlebag and withdrew his newest instrument, a unique wind instrument that consisted of an air bladder with five pipes extending from it. One of the pipes looked like a recorder, three of them were loosly tied together, and another tapered off to form a mouthpiece. He manuvered the air bladder underneath his left arm, nestling it between the sling and his chest. The three tassled pipes he placed over his left shoulder, and with his hands he grasped the recorder-like pipe. With the mouthpiece between his lips he gave an experimental blow and was rewarded with a brazen wail from the instrument. What had Trader Johann called it again? The answer came to him. Bagpipes!
((The first evidence of bagpipes didn't appear until the early 1200s (and the Viking age ended around 1130) but I wanted an instrument that one could play with one-and-a-half arms. I hope you don't mind that I'm going a little outside the time period here.))
Herze was contently listening to the other vikings, joining in in the conversation whenever she had something worthwhile to say. She kept one eye on the dragons who also seemed to happily be playing away. Everything seemed to be going great. Mariella raised her arm and opened her mouth, taking a breath first. Just when she was about she speak she got cut off by a horribly loud noise. It nerved the hairs on Herze’s neck and she was immediately on guard. She looked back at Valkor, who was looking around the farm, probably trying to see where the noise had come from.
"Did everybody hear that?” Mariella asked the group. Just as she’d said it, the noise came back. Herze was on her feet, making her way to Valkor, ready to head out and see what that was all about, if need be. According to Mariella, it was warning trumpet and the school was under attack. Herze was about to fly off and into battle when Mariella spoke up again.
"The food can wait... The Clan Meeting can wait…” Mariella announced, looking face to face. "The School needs us--No, the School needs Earthguard, and they need it now more than ever. We need to join together and protect the school as a team!" Mariella cried out. "Whatever threat we face, we face it together. Who's with me!?”
Herze was a little taken back by the sudden determination in the other viking, who’d seemed pretty calm before. She caught Mariella’s eye and nodded at her. “Valkor and I are with you.” She assured the clan leader. Synchronized attack sounded more effective than rushing head first into battle anyway.
She started running in the direction of the training grounds, hearing and feeling Valkor beside her. As per usual, he gained some ground, Herze took a leap and landed on his back. One hand on the saddle steadied her as Valkor took off into the sky. She looked at Eslig and Rubinesse making way on the ground, the wrong way, and Tallyra slowing down a bit to direct them in the right direction. She grinned down at them and patted Valkor on the side of his neck. ‘’Fast as you can, big guy.” She told him. Valkor seemed to understand how serious this was, putting more power behind his wing strokes than usual.
Herze spotted Mariella a little behind her and patted Valkor again. “I take that back, we’re under command now, bud, can’t go off on our own. Try and stick next to Mariella, okay?” She reasoned with him. Valkor didn’t seem in the mood to slow down, but obeyed either way, spreading his wings out until Mariella was the one ahead. He dashed a way to the right and they held a pace beside her.
“What’s the plan, oh leader, my leader.” She joked at the other viking, trying to take some of the edge in. “Birds formation and circle around them? Straight line, continuous fire? Every viking for themselves?” She continued on. She’d seen the ships battle formation and wondered if there were airborne battle formation as well. If not, they’d just have to make something up. They were closing in on the training grounds. She could spot Hiccup on high ground and followed Mariella down towards him.
She’d never experienced an attack on the school, but there was no way she backing out. She’d rather get struck by lightning. It was nothing short of a miracle that she wasn’t already out over the ocean, going after the incoming ship. She constantly needed to remind herself that they were doing this as a clan and she should follow orders instead of winging it and hoping for the best. That didn't seem like an approved battle strategy, nor a very smart one, when she thought about it. She was restless, though. She could see the ship on the horizon, hear the trumpet blaring, spot vikings ready to battle in every corner.
Hiccup flew off on Toothless and Mariella turned back to face the clan, who’d all arrived at the spot. "OK everyone, we have our orders."
Now at the training grounds she began to feel rather overwhelmed of what was going on. Fire spreading in all directions, arrows soaring dangerously through the sky and un-coordinated maddness with peoples lives at stake. She was at the point of panic when one of her clan mates snapped her out of it and began talking to her as they hovered through the sky. "You Ok?" she asked calmly causing Rose to turn and face her. "Yes, I just... I'd like to know what's happening." Rose replied quietly, she disliked situations like this, where there's so much going on. Tally gave her a reassuring smile which rubbed off of Rose as she returned the much needed smile. Soon Sammie joined them and they hovered together eager for someone to tell them what to do.
And sure enough someone did. After a quick, but informative, meeting with Hiccup, Marilla returned to face the memebers of the Earthguard and give them their orders. "Ok everyone, we have our orders," She began, capturing everyones attention, "...Hiccup is leaving the last ship to us. Herze and Rue, we need you and Winnie to put out the fires and once donr, assist Eslig and Namikah who will be evacuating the Training grounds. Lead the young and Injured to safety." Determined to do her job Rose looked at Eslig and they nodded at each other. Swifty heading to the path of the training ground she hopped off of Shadow and landed firmly on her feet. Turning to face Eslig she suggested "You take the bottom, i'll take the top, We'll re-group with the others in the middle. Sound like a good plan?" She questioned quickly making sure that their system is as quickly as possible. "Yup, Shout if you need help." Was the reply and she jumped onto her dragon to fly up to the highest popular place of the training grounds. "Same goes to you." And with that she set off to land on one of the camp fires and swept the area.
Rose wasted no time in helping her fellow vikings. Telling them to head to the exit and trying to calm down the situation as much as she could. "Ok everyone the exits this way!" She shouted grabbing everyones attention. She was leading people to the exit heading to the school and was soon going to check if Eslig needed any help until a middle aged woman caught her attention as she was shouting, at no one in particular, in a panic filled voice. " Bao? Bao!! Has anyone seen my son? BAO!" Rose ran towards the woman and grapped her attention, "Oh thank goodness," she said instantly, "Do you know where my son is? I can't find him!" Rose held out her hand in an attempt to calm her down.
"Miss where was the last time you saw your son?" She asked as calmly as possible. "Near fireball frenzy," she explained pointing towards the metal dome, "please you must help me find him!"
"Don't worry, We'll find your son," She explained mounting Shadow, "However please head toward the School grounds, it'll be safer there. Don't worry." Seeing that the mother was hesitant she gave a reasuring smile, the mother returned the smile and swifty headed through the tunnel towards the school. Seeing her get to safety Shadow soared towards the metal dome and the both swifty scanned the area for any signs at all. They were about to check another area when Shadow heard the faintest of cries comming from one of the caves embedded into the wall. A blanket of fire blocked the enterance Rose tried to get as close as she could and called. "Hello?! Bao is that you?!" She shouted st the fire. "Hello?" Came a young voice, "Yes it's me!! Please help! I'm sat in some water so i don't get burnt but the fire's comming! Please help!" Calling to her other clan mate Rose returned to the cave enterance, the heat getting almost unbarable she bellowed. "Don't worry! My friends and I are going to help you get out!"
I don't know whats going on with the colours. Some of them aren't showing up the way I types them. Sorry if this confuses anybody >.<
((I’m pretty sure frost fusillade is like an ice cannon or something? Correct me if I’m wrong, though, and I’ll edit the post. Also, Rose, do we adress your character as Namikah or Rose?))
"Hiccup is leaving the last ship to us. Herze and Rue, we need you and Winnie to put out the fires and once done, assist Eslig and Namikah who will be evacuating the Training Grounds. Lead the young and injured to safety.” Herze kicked the ground in a minor temper tantrum. She was really hoping to see some action, like maybe freeze the ships in so they couldn’t move further, but reason told her that stopping everything from burning down maybe was a better call. She climbed on Valkor again, gave the ongoing battle a last glance and set out for the nearest burning building.
“I’ll handle this one, Rue, you take the next one over?” She called out to the other viking. She got an reply from Rubinesse which basically gave her the green light. “Okay, buddy, we’re on burning building duty.” She told Valkor. “You remember that icy blast you use for nests? Lets make it snow.”
Valkor shot a frost fusillade into the sky and when it exploded it snowed down upon the fires. Herze hoped this would at least slow the burning down enough for Rue and her to be able to put it all out. She quickly ordered Valkor around buildings, shooting icy blasts at all of them. They were at a third wooden structure when she noticed Rose leaving her post. Valkor was nearly out of firepower- or ice power, really-, but kept shooting regardless, exhausting himself.
She tracked Rose with her eyes while Valkor was going at it, noticing she stopped at a cave. It was burning inside the cave and- Oh no please don’t tell me she’s trying to go in there, Herze thought.
“Rue, I’m heading over to Rose, I’ll be right back!” She shouted at the other viking on fire outputting-duty. She tapped Valkor on the head gently. “Rest those icicles, big guy. We’re heading over there for a bit.” She told the dragon, pointing towards Rose. Valkor gave a curt nod and flew over.
“What’s going on?” She asked Rose, jumping off of Valkor as soon as he touched ground. “Why are you at this ca-“ That’s when she noticed the crying coming from inside the cave. “Wait, someone’s in there!?” She gasped. She tried to see inside, but the flames wouldn’t let her. “What do we do? If Valkor blasts ice into the cave, he might hit that person as well.” She thought out loud.
“I could.. Valkor could make an ice path? Blasts an ice path on the ground, it’ll be slippery and quick to melt, but it might work. You want to go in and retrieve them?” She asked Rose. Valkor couldn’t fit inside and the path wouldn’t be very long, so she hoped it’d at least make it to the person inside.
“If you want to do this, I’ll leave Valkor with you and jump down to where you were evacuating earlier. You can come get me when you’re done?” She asked. It was a quick plan with a lot of risks, and Rose might not even go for it since it was so dangerous, but Herze couldn’t go in there either. She’s wearing so much metal on her skin, if it heated up, she’d be stuck with healers for months trying to cure the burn marks. She looked expectantly at Rose, seeing if she maybe had a better plan or agreed with this one.
Eslig was just getting the hang of his bagpipes when Mariella held up a hand. He ceased playing and listened as the Earthguard leader outlined the plan. Ambolt seemed more than pleased to be assigned to the same task as Shadow. As he remounted his dragon, Eslig's mind raced as he tried to figure out a good way to get the attention of the terrified dragons and their riders.
Just then, Rose piped up. "You take the bottom, I'll take the top. We'll re-group with the others in the middle. Sound like a good plan?" she asked. Eslig stared at the chaos surrounding them. The sooner they got started, the better. "Yup! Shout if you need help", he replied. He turned Ambolt towards the beach and began directing anyone who would listen towards the path that led to the school. After a few minutes of yelling his voice was sore, and his efforts seemed to have little impact on the dragons who flew/ran about in a panic. If these dragons won't listen to their own riders, what chance do I have? he thought. He didn't nearly have enough Dragon Nip to try and herd the frightened dragons, nor did he have the time to spend doing that. As he rummaged through his saddlebags, searching for anyhting that might help him, the babgpipes gave a low moan. The sound of the instrument overlapped with Ambolt's roar, and for about two seconds every dragon in the immediate area calmed down and looked towards the sound. An idea popped into Eslig's head.
"Let's try that again. On the count of three..." Eslig suggested. He pulled out the bagpipes and played a low, haunting note. Ambolt roared again, and the two voices joined together to become a passable imitation of a Death Song's cry. Some nearby dragons soon flocked to the sound, and together Ambolt and Eslig managed to steer them back to the school. When they had reached the enterance, Eslig looked back towards the beach. There were still scores of dragons to round up, not to mention several students to rescue, and Eslig realized that their task was far from over. If only we had a real Death Song, he thought as Ambolt scooped up a petrified baby Nadder and plopped it on the saddle in front of Eslig. We could get this done so much faster.
He looked up to see how Rose was doing, and saw that she had been joined by Herze. The pair were standing near a cave that was completely blocked by fire, and Eslig hoped that there was no one inside. A rescue under those condidtions would be tricky to say the least.
(Whichever one you want really. Namikah is more of my formal name and Rose is my common name if that helps)
After hearing Herze's plan she prepared herself to cross the ice path and enter the cave. Hearing the worried chirp of Shadow she turn to look at her. "Don't worry girl. I'll be fine. I don't have much metal on so I won't heat up as quickly... Hopefully."She muttered the last word under her breathe, her mind informing her of all the possible ways that this could go wrong she turned to Valkor and nodded her head. With a harsh blow Valkor created an Ice path that flattened some of the fiery flames that threaten to burn them. Not wasting any time she sprinted into the cave, trying not to slip, and once inside began to search for Bao. "Bao? Bao! Where are you?" Time was short, she could see the ice path was beginning to melt. Venturing deeper into the cave she saw Bao, a boy of no more than 10, crunched up into a ball sat in a small puddle of water. With the heat making her dizzy she kneeled down and motioned the boy. "Hey Bao, i'm here to help you. We need to be quick, we haven't got much time." Rose helped Bao stand up and he jumped out of the puddle. To give them a better chance of not burning themselves she cupped her hands, dipped them in the puddle and dropped the water of Bao. "This will help stop the fire from hurting you." She explained after dropping the water on his head for a third time. With a quick dounce of herself she stood, held onto Bao's hand, and began to head towards the exit. Her breathing shallow she lowered herself closer to Bao's level as the neared the icey path. Seeing Valkor re-freeze the path she attempted to get out as quickly as possible, for she did not know the shot limit for a snow wraith and hadn't a clue as to how many time Valkor had re freezed the path.
Both their breathing became shallow and their vision begining to blur. Rose, with one hand on Baos back, pushed forward determind to get out of the cave. Without much though other than *put one foot infront of the other* they had managed to escape the cave and breathe fresh air. Hyperventalating alongside Bao Rose belived that she had too much smoke in her lungs and gingerly made her way over to the cluft face where she slouched down against it.
((I’ll go with Rose, then. It’s easier since I continuously forget to put the H in Namikah, lol.))
When Rose turned to her dragon to reassure her, with that determined look on her face, Herze knew it was a done deal. She turned towards Valkor, “Make sure she gets in and out okay.” She ordered him. Normally she’s not so bossy with Valkor, but these were trying times and orders got them places quicker. She could see Valkor trying to regain as much firepower in the short amount of time he had and knew he’d be okay. She nodded once at him, rubbing her hand over his nose, before jumping down the rock formation and running towards the exit point.
She started hauling in everyone she could reach, who didn’t look like they wanted to stay for the fight, with her. “This way, people! Anyone not battling needs to get to the school grounds!” She shouted through the chaos. Some who were injured in battle were returning, some who were lost among the crowd finally made their way through the passage. She noticed there were a lot less dragons wildly flying through the sky. She was guiding a young woman with a baby Monstrous Nightmare to the passage when she spotted Eslig on high ground, playing an instrument she’d not seen before, with Ambolt accompanying him, and calming the loose dragons down.
“Woohoo! Eslig, good job! Whatever that is, it’s working wonders!” She shouted up at him, jumping a little from excitement. He probably couldn’t hear her, she realized, and dimmed herself down a bit looking around for anyone else who needed assistance. Rubinesse was still making way with the fires, she could see Valkor still shooting ice into the cave and there were still people lost or returning. Everyone else seemed to have it handled, although she was worried for Rose. She shook it off quickly and ran towards another viking who was limping towards the passage.
“Geddy-up” Herze groaned as she tried to support the man’s bodyweight. “Just a little bit more and we’ll be at the bridge- You there, over here!” She’d never seen an attack this bad before. Years of isolation on a snow island will protect you from that. It was frightening, but at the same time it was thrilling. Her whole body felt like it was on fire, like she had all the energy in the world and like she could carry the weight of that same world on her shoulders. Adrenaline, she could hear Fishlegs say. This was adrenaline.
She passed the man over to the other viking once they reached the bridge and ran back to escort anyone else who needed it. She could see Mariella coming in, which seemed odd to her since the boats hadn’t been shot down yet. She looked over to the cave again, where Valkor stood with Rose and a young boy. Probably the person Rose had rescued. Herze figured they needed to catch their breaths for a bit and stayed on low ground. They’d catch up with her when they were done there.
Once again, the speed of Jasper's departure took Tally by surprise. This time, though, Tally gave Sammie her head and let her catch up.
Sammie practically hummed with tense excitement. They shot like a crossbow bolt between the other dragons, darting and twisting in the air, but once they were clear and had caught up to Jasper, Tally slowed Sammie once again: the dragon's 'lemme at 'em!!!' attitude had gotten the pair into trouble before. She and Sammie came up on Mariella's left; Clintonia and Brasa appeared on her right.
Tally leant forward, flattening herself to the Stormcutter's back. Sammie pulled her four wings into an arrowhead shape and dived diagonally towards the ship, weaving to avoid presenting an easy target. As they neared the ship, Sammie blasted away several arrows from the crossbow at the crow's nest. Clintonia sent an impressively huge fireball flying towards the sails, setting the topsail and several tarred ropes alight, then veered off sharply to starboard. The guy in the crow's nest was now too busy trying to put out fires to shoot.
Sammie dived low across the port bow, ducking and dodging to avoid arrows, and unleashed a gout of flame along the deck, sending Outcasts scurrying away. A barrel of something on the deck caught fire spectacularly. Tally whooped: Sammie let out a roar of joy, then spun to avoid a heavy bolt from a ballista. On the other side of the deck, Clintonia's powerful fireballs were doing serious damage, and Jasper wobbled madly and unpredictably to-and-fro up the middle, swinging round the mast and knocking over war machines and Outcasts alike. A group of Outcasts raised their bows towards Jasper: Sammie beat her wings in time to pull ahead, and blasted the arrows away with one neat fireball.
WHOOSH! An explosion sounded somewhere on Tally's right, behind and just out of her field of vision: flecks of singeing heat stung her arm, shoulder and ear. Sammie dived for the prow and bathed it in a long burst of flame: the dragon's head carved there blackened, the paint bubbling and peeling. Seconds later, a fireball from Clintonia reduced it to charcoal in a moment. Jasper darted by and knocked the figurehead with his tail, smashing it to smithereens. Tally allowed herself a single, brief moment of grief for the workmanship before she and Sammie followed Jasper into the sky.
"We did it! Phase one complete. Thanks so much! --But now we need to stop the boats before they escape. Please help Hiccup and the A-Team delay them as long as you can... I'm going to get Herze and Rue", Mariella said once they caught her up.
Tally nodded and looked over at Brasa. "We're quick, but you two have more firepower and better armour. Shall we stick to the formula - I'll cover you while you do as much damage as possible?"
Brasa frowned at Tally. Tally thought for a second that the other woman disapproved of her plan: then Brasa said "There are burns on your neck and on your face. Do you need to go back?"
Of course: Brasa was a healer. Tally raised a hand to her neck: it was still stinging, but the adrenaline rush of battle was keeping her from noticing it too much. "I'm sure it'll be fine" she said, just as Spitelout came swooping towards them on his Nadder, Kingstail.
"Oi!" he shouted. "Hiccup says all dragons on deck... as it were... whatever, you lasses are needed over her right now!"
Tally and Brasa glanced at one another, and steered Sammie and Clintonia to follow Kingstail. They swooped towards the retreating ships. Just then, Tally had a thought.
"Why are we trying to keep them in, rather than driving them off?"
Spitelout yelled back "We want to find out why the Outcasts have teamed up with the Beserkers again after the truce. To do that, we need to catch one of the little - "
Whatever he was going to call the Outcasts was cut off as they broke their loose formation to dodge a huge flying boulder from the main Outcast ship. Clintonia dived suddenly, and Tally could see Brasa's intention: take out that vast catapault and a lot of the danger would be dealt with in one blow.
Sammie drew her wings into the arrowhead and they dropped almost straight down, overtaking Clintonia: Kingstail followed closely behind her and they split off, ahead and to each side of Clintonia. The big Boulder Class dragon roared, loudly, and the others roared in response and dropped back beside her - they seemed to have a plan of their own. Tally could see Spitelout trying to urge his dragon forward: Tally yelled across "Trust them, they know what they are doing!" Brasa just grinned at her.
The three dragons drew together, close as they could, and as they got within range of the catapault Clintonia roared again, and all three dragons fired together - Kingstail's magnesium fireball combining with Clintonia's and Sammie's jet of flame engulfing both. The great boulder-hurling catapault exploded with an almighty blast and the three dragons barely pulled up and away in time.
(( I got the name of Spitelout's Nadder off the wiki, blame that if it's wrong. Also - really long post. I got carried away. Hope it's not too much!))
((Geeze guys, don't respond for a day ... :P ))
Brasa was actually enjoying herself and the company, human and dragon. And the food was delicious. "Another Tankard of that fine lemonade, please," as she passed her drinking horn down toward the bowl.
But it was not meant to be for her to have more, because the whole island trembled with a deep low intonation. It was an alarm call of some sort, and the way the native Berkians responded, it must be a call to arms. It was coming from the training grounds.
A million and one things sped through Brasa's mind at that moment, though none stuck, so her mind was essentially blank. Still, she dashed toward her dragon from instinct.
Who would dare attack the School? Are they daft? Do they not know there are countless vikings and dragons here to swarm upon them? Especially at the training grounds, where all the most brazen show off their physical feats. Was it a few ships? An armada? Why didn't she put on her armor this morning? Was that little dagger still in the saddlebag? This antlered festival wreath would only get in the way. She tossed it toward the tables. Clintonia was not one of her better battle dragons. Would she be okay? As a Shovelhelm, she had to get fairly close to a target for her blasts to do significant damage. Were they Dragon Hunters? Were there infantry? This clan was just born, and we had not even discussed wing formation and such. And was that Ambolt and Elsig running off?? Her dragon vetting supplies were not anywhere nearby, so how could she help?
"Whatever threat we face, we face it together. Who's with me!?" Mariella bellowed. Brasa briefly wondered how her voice carried so loudly from such a young woman.
Brasa quieted her racing thoughts - at least a little bit - here was her new leader, and it was her who she must follow. Brasa fell in line with Mariella and Jasper, flying toward the Training Grounds on Clintonia. A glance back quelled her worry a little - in the excitement Elsig and Rue had headed in the wrong direction, but Tally seemed to be shepherding them protectively toward battle.
((At the grounds))
Brasa's jaw nearly dropped at the chaos. Headstrong young vikings on their hot-tempered dragons seemed to be doing more damage in friendly fire than the enemy. Did she hear the enemy appeared to be both Outcast and Berserker? These were seasoned warriors, who knew a thing or two about battling dragons. Perhaps it was a reasonable strategy attacking a bunch of green students.
Hiccup was here from Dragon's Edge, however, and though young, had enough experience for battle. It was him Mariella sought, to recieve orders.
"Hiccup and the Gang is taking care of the biggest and nearest ship, the A-Team is on the second Berserker ship. The other clans are refusing to cooperate and want to do it their way. Hiccup is leaving the last ship to us. Herze and Rue, we need you and Winnie to put out the fires and once done, assist Eslig and Namikah who will be evacuating the Training Grounds. Lead the young and injured to safety." Mariella instructed all of them. However she felt inside, she looked confident and commanding on the outside. She turned to Tallyra and Brasa.
"I will be leading the attack on the Outcast ship with Tallyra and Brasa.need you to cover me when I go in to take out the catapults and crossbows with Jasper's tail bludgeon. Once those are gone, anybody within shooting distance of the ship can safely help take it down!"
Brasa's insides tightened up. Clintonia glanced back at her rider and whined uneasily. She was not a hot-tempered dragon who liked to fight, and niether was Brasa. However, what they were, were desireous of protecting their own. "It'll be okay, I hope," Brasa offered to her dragon and to herself. Then she pointed at Jasper and Mariella, who were already jumping into the air. "We need to protect Jasper. Our friends."
Something in Clintonia's demeanor changed, whether its was just to follow her leader, or resignation, or she understood the enormity of the situation, Brasa wasn't sure just then. But she sprung into the air and rapidly caught up with Jasper and Mariella, Sammie and Tallyra. Clintonia settled on Mariella's right. But then she hung just a little lower, appearing to protect Jasper's belly as the three pairs descended toward the third ship. The ruckus in the air was difficult to get through. Unfortunately Clintonia had to near literally bump a wildly firing Nightmare and rider, who seemed oblivious to those around him. They were unhurt, but perhaps may be a little wet as they tumbled into the water. At least they were out of range of the arrows. The Nightmare let off an angry fireball at Clintonia which caught her side. It would probably just need some ointment, or Fern's healing saliva, since dragon hide was fairly resistant to fire, Brasa thought absently in the back of her mind.
((Sorry, I need to take a break for a bit. I know the battle's is mostly wrapped up already, but I'll get there!))
((Back at it:))
The mass of uncoordinated dragons and riders in the air, despite the excess of friendly fire, served as a bit of a screen for the three Earthgaurdians. They got pretty close to the third ship before the Viking sailors onboard realized that these three flew toward them with an agenda. There was a wild-looking Viking manning the catapults - perhaps he had fallen into a berserk frame of mind - and he turned his rapid lobbing of iron balls on them. "Watch out for the catapult balls, Clintonia!" The dragon bellowed, and moved forward to intercept one heading straight for Jasper. Clintonia might not be the best battler, but one thing she could do? She was big and heavy and loved to play. She swooped along side the flying iron ball and grabbed it with her short limbs. The force carried her back a little away from Jasper and Sammie. She had caught the catapult ball. She then fling it hurtling back toward the ship with her strong back legs, and added a hot ball of fire to it for good measure. It sent Vikings diving out of the way and punched a hole in the foredeck.
Unfortunately, the berserk catapult Viking had already loaded another iron ball and sent it soaring through the air toward Jasper again. Clintonia had ended up a bit farther away from them when catching the previous ball, but fortunately, Jaspers molten blast was able to stop its progression and send it sizzling toward the sea. Brasa thought she saw some arrows fly dangerously close to Jasper and Mariella ... but they both stayed airborne, so any injury would have to wait. The agile Sammie and Tallyra were doing a much better job disposing of most of the smaller projectiles.
Clintonia swung in front of Jasper to protect him, and took a few arrows superficially in her hide. Brasa could hear a few rocks hit and roll off her dragon's head frill. It was a great shield for her, but she wondered how many bruises her poor dragons would have, and hoped to Freya nothing hit her tender eyes. Clintonia, and Sammie, too, effectively blotted out Jasper from the enemy Vikings sight. Brasa saw Jasper suddenly drop down below deck level. Was she planning a sort of sneak attack? She urged Clintonia to lob fireballs at the ship as fast as she could, focusing on the starboard quarter. Sammie was damaging the port bow. Jasper reappeared suddenly from sneaking around the ship and bludgeoned the catapult, arrow launchers, and vikings alike, destroying the main bulk of the enemy firepower.
Mariella and Jasper withdrew high into the air, Sammie and Tallyra, Clintonia and Brasa pulled up beside. Sammie was charred along her head frills, and the char marks travelled up to her rider. "There are burns on your neck and on your face. Do you need to go back?" Brasa was no human healer, but she knew human hide was so much more friable than dragon's. Tally hardly seemed to notice. "I'm sure it'll be fine" she shouted absentmindedly, and watched as the A-Team's Spitelout on Kingsail flew up to the trio.
((Tallyra - the name "Kingsail" was given to Spitelout's nadder by ROB. I suspect we will never hear an official name from the HTTYD shows or movies, so "Kingsail" is pretty much canon. ))
"Oi!" Spitelout. "Hiccup says all dragons on deck... as it were... whatever, you lasses are needed over her right now!"
"We want to find out why the Outcasts have teamed up with the Beserkers again after the truce. To do that, we need to catch one of the little - "
A massive boulder catapulted in their direction. Oh for Thor's sake! Brasa thought irritably. Clintonia, picking up on her rider's mood, and riding high on draconic adrenaline, started a steep dive toward the large lead ship, and its catapult, with a reverberating roar. Amazingly, Sammie and Kingsail likewise tuned in to Clintonia's intent. And the three expertly weaved to the offending object and in a huge display of dragon fireworks, blasted it to smithereens. Brasa was pretty sure they were all going to be picking out splinters from themselves and their dragons for at least a week.
Slouched up against the rocky clift face Rose looked towards her feet as she continued to try and breathe steadily. With her focus mainly on breathing she paid little to no attention when the mother of Bao encased him in a hug and thanked Rose for getting him out. Waving weakly to inform her that she heard her Rose lowered her hand and extended her back. With Bao now with his mother Rose began to relax.
"All dragon riders on deck!" Rose vaugly heard Spitelout say. Rising to her feet she began to walk on her own until exhaution took over and she slouched to the floor. However before she hit the wooden deck Shadow swooped in and caught her with her head. "Thanks girl." She said softely regaining her balance, "I'm ok just exhausted." Shadow lowered her back and invited Rose to sit on the leather saddle that was strapped onto Shadows back. Taking the invitation Rose jumped onto the saddle and Shadow flew down to the deck alongside the other Earthclan members.
"Why are we trying to keep them in, rather than driving them off?" She heard Tally ask.
Spitelout replied loudly, "We want to find out why the Outcasts have teemed up with the Beser..." Whatever Spitelout was saying Rose pretty much zoned out. Her breathing becomming more steadly she felt relieved, but still worried. Rose had inhaled a lot of smoke in that cave and she didn't know how long it'll take to clear out. Her thoughts were interrupted however when a huge flying boulder, from the main outcast ship, came plumiting towards them dangerously.
Not knowing what to do, as her mind went blank, she flew there as back up ready to fly in if anyone needed help. However the other Earthguard members had it covered as the catapault exploaded with a mightly blast and sent debris flying into the sea.
After they had received their orders from Mariella, Winnie was about to hurry to the next open fire. Rue held her back just long enough to hear Herze yell in her direction “I’ll handle this one, Rue, you take the next one over?”, while Valkor had already started to run towards the Bulls Eye Lagoon building. With an enormous ice burst he made it snow over the flames which held them down. Herze and Valkor started to take out the remaining fires on the east side of the building, Rue and Winnie stayed at the north-west side and did the same. Luckily, Bull's eye Lagoon had not been hit that bad by the ships and the fires were extinguished pretty fast. "Well done, Winnie" Rue felt relieved and proud for a moment. But there was plenty of work left for them to do. She could barely hear Herze because of all the chaotic running and shouting people and dragons. “Rue, I’m heading over to Rose, I’ll be right back!” and she saw her and Valkor disappear towards Fireball Frenzy.
Rue turned to look for their next task and her face darkened when she looked up to the Flight Club. She gave Winnie a decisive nudge. "Let's go! Up there. FAST!!" Due to it's exposed position Flight Club had been hit quite badly. There were Fire Arrows sticking in the outside walls on almost every side and the fires were further spreading. In addition it looked like a canon had hit the front side and through the burst hole the flames were even expanding on the inside of the building. Winnie hurried up the narrow pathway that lead up there but getting closer it became nearly impossible to get ahead. There were so many panicking dragons and vikings coming down, trying to get to the exit to the school that Winnie struggled not being pushed off the stone bridge. "Everybody, calm down. Head to the exit please. This way!" , Rue tried to coordinate them while they were trying to make their way up. Half way up, there was no use in trying further so they placed themselves on a free spot where they could get a clear shot at the building. "That's quite some distance. Try to concentrate" she put her hand on Winnies head as if to assure her and the dragon aimed at one of the big fires on the ocean-side of the building. A thick layer of ice covered the flames and put them out immediately. "Yeah, way to go! Try another one." They were able to extiguish two more fires like that but the forth shot went lost into the sky because a terrified Zippleback bumped into Winnie. "Ouch... We just gotta get up there somehow..."
Suddenly she heard a strange sound and speechless by surprise she watched Eslig and Ambolt walk past them, imitating a Death Song's call with his strange instrument and the dragons's roar. All dragons around them calmed down immediately and started to follow Eslig towards the exit. "What a genious idea... Thank you so much, Eslig." Rue murmured while she looked up the path to the Flight Club and realized it would be possible to get up there now. But... ALL dragons were attracted by the sound. Rubinesse put her arms around Winnies head and the two wrestled a bit until Rue could find some half withered Dragon nip in her pocket that brought back the Whooly's attention to reality. The dragon nip in her hand, Rue ran up the pathway, her dragon following her, the nose always close to the desired grass.
The Flight Club Building seemed to be empty by now and Rue was glad not seeing any injured dragons or vikings inside. Now that Eslig was about a hundred meters away, Winnie had her mind back and she started to shoot ice burts at the big fires in the walls right away. Rue picked up a helmet that some viking had dropped and started to get snow from behind the building and threw it onto the flames. The fire fizzed loudly and dense smoke made Rue caugh. She put out her linen scalf, moistened it with snow and put it over her nose and mouth. The smoke was hurting her eyes and the fires spreading around the buidling still looked pretty bad. It seemed they were alone in this, all the others were busy wth the ships and the evacuation. Winnie had more or less covered all fires on the outside walls of Flight Club by now and she was nowhere to be seen when Rue finished putting out the flames that had been near the ground. The young woman was worried, Winnie and her had never practiced shooting and she didn't even know Winnie's shot limit. I hope she doesn't overextend herself... "Winnie? WINNIE?"
Hot air hit Rubinesse when she was entering the building. The inside looked surprisingly fine, there was only one corner underneath the hole in the wall where flames were still spreading, the rest had not been touched by the fire. Suddenly Winnie appeared through the tight smoke. "Winnie, oh thank Thor..." The dragon made a troubled roar and it seemed like she wanted Rue to come with her. Under some collapsed wood trusses Rue could figure out a dragon, a maybe 8 year-old girl kneeling beside him. With her tear stained face she looked up at Rubinesse, who was running towards them and -caughing- yelled "Help, my dragon in trapped under this beam!" Now Rue could see the blue short-wing Gronckle that seemed to have jammed his right hind leg under some heavy wood. He looked scared as Winnie was trying to move the beam with her teeth and by pushing against it but without success, it was too heavy. It would need a flying dragon to raise it from the air... "Winnie, go and put out the remaining fires! I'll care about them." and looking sympathetically at the heavy coughing little girl she added "We gotta get you out of here. This smoke can do serious harm to you. Your Gronckle will be fine, dragons don't have problems breathing smoke and the fire won't reach him. We gotta find someone who can help us free him." Uneasy having to leave her friend behind, the little girl held on to Rue's hand and they headed outside the building.
When Mariella returned from battling the ship, she could see Herze next to Fireball Frenzy but Rubinesse and Winnie were nowhere to be seen. She waved Herze over to her when an adult and a younger viking appeared at the entrance of the Flight Club.
Rue could see Mariella and Herze down there and she started to wave. "WE NEED HELP!"
(( I leave it to you to decide what's best doing next. If it's better if Herze, Valkor, Winnie and Rue go down to prevent the ships from escaping (but Winnie is nearly out of fire power and has some troubles recharging after all the put-out fires in Flight Club) and everyone else is still busy I can make up some of the A-team or Gobber maybe popping up and helping to free the blue Gronckle.))
((Hey Ruby, I'm waiting to see what Mariella posts about freezing the ships in, maybe Herze and Valkor could go over to the ships while Mariella helps you and then you join us? I imagine Valkor can regain one or two shots in the time it takes to fly over there. ))
((Yes, I was thinking about that, too. Maybe Mariella and Jasper can free the Gronckle on their own, so Winnie and Rue can join you two. Winnie can't fly but she can jump down from Flight Club and flap over to the pack-ice from where she can shoot out at sea. Let's see what our clan leader decides to do :-) ))
((Thanks for the quick reply, Mariella! Have a good time with your boyfriend today![I'm pretty sure the original post said you were with him?]. Also, Rubinesse, I purposely didn't include you too much in this post because I wasn't sure if you were gonna take on the ships with Herze and Valkor, but I tried to leave as much room as possible for you to join in on freezing them if you are going to!))
Here’s attention was drawn away from Mariella when Valkor bumped into her. The poor thing was completely exhausted and dropped down next to her. “That’s okay, bud, get some rest. You did so much already, no one’s going to think you’re weak if you take a breather.” She assured him.
She heard Rubinesse call out for help and saw Mariella going over. She was eager to sprint over as well, but she didn’t want to leave Valkor right now, either. She figured Mariella and Rubinesse were both capable vikings and they could handle themselves while she handled her dragon. She turned to Valkor to inspect him. He wasn’t used to hot weather and it had taken it’s toll on him, he was slightly charred at his tail and the edges of his wings. Herze winced when Valkor let out a low growl when she tried to touch it. She went through the endless pockets in her outfit, looking for something, anything, to help him. Berries, she had some berries.
“Valkor, eat these.” She instructed. The Snow Wraith lifted it’s head and searched out for her hand. He crawled a bit towards her and- That was good. Movement, he could still move. “Let’s get you to the water, cool down a bit.” She whispered, aiding her dragon to the drop, guiding him as he glided down, and jumping off onto the docks. Valkor let himself drop into the ocean and released another growl, this one sounding more pleasurable at least. “That better?” She smiled at him. Valkor splattered some water at her and she broke into a laugh. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
Just then, Rubinesse shouted down at them from the drop point they were just at. “We need to freeze the entrance to the ocean!” She yelled down. Herze turned a concerned eye to Valkor, as much as she wanted to move out immediately, the decision was up to him. He was already swimming towards the boats. She grinned and turned back to Rue. “We’re on it!” She yelled back. She jumped into the water after Valkor, trying her best to catch up. Swimming with this much gear on was no easy feat, but she managed it thanks to the endless swimming lessons she’d forced herself to take.
“How about it, you good for one more shot?” She joked at Valkor, spluttering a bit because of the water. She received a snap in return, accompanied by a snarl. “Two shots, then? As much as I’d like to believe you’re an endless force of nature, don’t overexert yourself.”
They were nearing the ships, so Herze swam close to Valkor, grabbing onto his saddle to she wouldn’t get taken away by the waves he was creating. “Under the ships or over?” Valkor answered her question by twisting in the water, forcing Herze onto his back and taking off into the sky. He groaned at first, causing Herze to worry he couldn’t fly in his condition, but he kept going regardless.
They flew over the ships and Herze could tell how much damage the clan had done already. “Whew, wouldn’t want to be those guys. They’re in for a tough loss.” She joked. “You ready to fire?” She asked Valkor. He swooped down a couple meters in front of the ships and Herze could feel him generating a shot.
“Alrighty, then. Freeze them in!” She cheered. Valkor released a powerful shot right in front of the Outcast ship. The way the water froze over admits all the fire was almost unreal. At least one ship was frozen in, but Herze wasn’t so sure Valkor could freeze them all in. She wasn’t even sure he could stay up in the air for much longer.
((Agh i'm confused. Sorry my readings not great >.< what do you want Namikah to do? Again sorry)))
((Rose, the main plan is to stop the 3 ships from escaping, so while Herze and Rue will try to freeze the ships in, the others are, I think, attacking them from the air. But Namikah seems really groggy after all the smoke she's been breathing in so I don't think anybody would mind if you decided to give her a rest and meet the others on land when everything is over :-) ))
Rubinesse was glad Mariella had seen her waving and came over to her. "What's going on? Are you okay Rue.. how about the little girl?" "It's good to see you both are alright! ... Yes, we are fine but there's a little Gronckle inside the building that needs help..." before she could explain further Jasper whined worriedly and ran over to the trapped dragon and Winnie who had been comforting him. Only now that she came towards her, Rue realized that Winnie looked exhausted. Almost all flames were extinguished now and it seemed she had used her last available ice shots to build an ice frontier so the remaining fire couldn't spread further into the building. Rue was amazed by her intelligent dragon and worried about her at the same time. She had never seen her so worn out. She barely heard Mariella say "Rue, Jasper and I can save this Gronkle ourselves... but we need somebody to freeze the entrance to the ocean. I realize that both you, and especially Winnie, might not be up to that... but I'll leave that decision to you. But whichever you choose, please let Herze and Valkor know they are needed." Rue nodded "Alright, thank you for taking over here." She kneeled down and hugged her tired dragon. "I don't want to put you in danger. If that is all we could do for today then it is gonna be like that..." She stood up and waved at Herze and Valkor which she could see cooling off in the sea. "We need to freeze the entrance to the ocean!" she shouted down to them, hoping that Valkor was up for the task. If he was in a similar condition as Winnie, they probably would not make it 'til the ships got out of the harbor...
A little nudge hit her left knee. Winnie rumbled and jumped towards the edge of the cliff. "Are you sure about this? I wanna go as well, but..." Another impatient roar and without further thoughts, Rue jumped on Winnies back and they glided down towards the pack-ice. The Whooly Howl flapped her wings but they didn't make it to the frozen solid ice. Never mind...If the cold water helped Valkor, maybe it's helping Winnie as well... As fast as they could they climbed up the ice floes and ran along the escaping boat. Rue could feel her dragon preparing for a shot but only a husky wheeze came out of her muzzle. Rue jumped off her back to relieve her, it was all up to Winnie now... *Whoosh* A well placed hail burst landed in front of the ship and with an ear-piercing sound of groaning wood it slowed down. Winnie caughed, took some sips of icy water and after two deep breaths, shot again which caused to stop the big ship for good.
Rue saw that that was it. Winnie was in no condition to shoot another time. She just hoped Herze and Valkor had been able to stop one or maybe even both of the other ships. And even if those would escape they had made it to keep that one in the harbor. Exhausted Winnie lay down on the ice and Rue sat down next to her, caressing her scales and placing her head on her shoulders. The silence that comes after every battle started spreading slowly around them...
((The next days my real life will need me more than last week I guess, so Rue will be quite busy mixing up more ointments and salves at home and delivering them to Gothi and Brasa- There will be a lot to do for the healers now. But when there is time she will join in on whatever is gonna happen in the clan :-) ))
Eslig's heart leapt into his throat when he saw Rose plunge into the fiery cave, only a rapidly-shrinking ice bridge keeping the flames at bay. The seconds ticked by, each one feeling like hours, until at last she emerged, leading a young boy with her. Eslig breathed a sigh of relief as both seemed to be ok. Rose looked a bit wobbly on her feet but had made it out in one piece.
With the immediate threat to Rose's life over, Eslig began looking around for large groups of dragons to woo. He noticed that Rue and Winnie were having trouble making any headway on the stone bridge that led to the school, with Winnie being pushed back by the disorganized tide fleeing to safety. Eslig could see their destination, the Flight club had been hit badly and was burning in several areas. He spurred Ambolt closer to the bridge and began playing once again, helping to calm the dragons and lead them towards the exit. He noticed that he had also managed to affect Winnie, but didn't dare stop playing in case the dragons began panicking again. Still, he moved as far away as he could to lessen the effect his music had on the Whooly Howl, and watched in admiration as Rue wrestled Winnie from the enchanting music.
Eslig finished leading this particular group of dragons to the school and realized that the battle was almost over. He cheered as Winnie and Valkor worked together to freeze two of the ships in the bay, although by the sluggish way that both dragons were moving it didn't look like they would be able to trap the flagship as well.
With most of the fires out or under control, and with the students and their dragons safely in the school, Eslig manuvered Ambolt down to the beach. Ambolt roared encouragement as Mariella flew by on Jasper, and Eslig struck up a lively victory tune to serenade the defenders of Berk as they flew out for one last attack on the retreating ships. He wished that he and Ambolt had been able to join them in flying and fighting, but deep down he also knew that both he and his dragon were inexperienced in the ways of war and would probably have been more of a hindrance than a help.
Next time, he thought, and looked around at the carnage. He found himself hoping that there never would be a next time, but he knew that with the unprecedented cooperation between the Outcasts and the Berserkers it was only a matter of time before they struck again.
((Don't worry, Rose, I'll come get you!))
Tally and Brasa were following Spitelout back towards the rest of the A-Team when Jasper drew level with them. Tally tried to turn her head, but her neck was smarting and Mariella had come up on her right.
"Tallyra, would you go back and escort Namikah to see Gothi? She looks awful and I'm not sure she even heard me when I passed her. Get yourself looked at while you're there."
"Sure", Tally said through gritted teeth, nodding with some effort. She nudged Sammie and although the dragon grumbled a bit they turned back.
Coming up to Namikah, Tally could see what Mariella meant. Shadow was hovering, neck craned in a bid to examine her rider, and to Tally's eyes looking distinctly worried. Namikah herself had gone pale and almost grey, and looked like she might wobble off her dragon at any moment.
"Namikah? Namikah?" The girl looked back at Tally, bleary-eyed, and said "What's happening?"
"Follow me. We need to get you to the healers", Tally said gently.
"But the battle..." Namikah tried to turn and nearly fell sideways: Shadow dived, came up again with the girl awkwardly balanced, and sort of shrugged her back into place.
Tally looked back, painful as it was to bend her neck. "They've frozen the ships in. They don't need us now - in your state you'd be more of a hindrance than a help anyway." She shut down a second weak protest with a raise of a hand. "You. Are. Coming. With. Me." She addressed Shadow directly, giving her the hand signals as a backup: "Shadow, stay level with me and Sammie. We are going back to the School."
Shadow gargled in agreement and turned - Namikah muttered "Traitor" - and the four of them headed back to the School, Tally and Sammie carefully staying level with the purple Nadder at all times.
Wanting only to sleep Rose wearily road on Shadows back as the purple nadder followed Tally and Sammie towards the school. *Why am I so weak?* she thought to herself. *I only inhaled a little bit of smoke* Not paying much attention to what was going on she did however catch a glimps on Bao alongside his mother and a small girl who she saw earlier. With her back slouched and Rose using Shadows horn for support she raised her weak neck as spoke. "Hey Tally." She spoke softly and was surprised, yet relieved, when Tally looked to face her. "Yeah?" She asked.
"Nice fighting back there... Sorry I couldn't be any help." Rose replied feeling pretty much useless. "And thanks for taking me to Gothi's... Are you and Sammie ok?" Rose thought that it aas best to ask.
"Just a little banged up but we'll manage won't we?" Tally looked down and patted Sammie on the head. The dragon replied with a heart warming purr sound. "What about you? How are you holding up?"
"I'll live." She replied unsure of the real answer. The breezed brushed against her face as they apporached the small wooden hut that belonged to Gothi.
Herze spied for the other ships, noticing Rubinesse closing in on another one. She watched as the other Rider and her dragon managed to freeze in a second ship and soon she was hollering and cheering at Rue for a job well done. She needed to get to the third ship, but she felt light headed, maybe it was the smoke in her lungs getting to her, or the physical strain. Whatever it was, it felt like she was falling, like that sensation you get when you're lying down but it feels like you're floating, except with the world was tilting and wind was blowing from below you and- She was falling. Valkor was falling. "Wah!" She let out a high pitched squeek, right before hitting the water.
She just let it happen for a few seconds, the crash had taken her by surprise and she wasn't sure what was happening, but it was nice and cold like back home, almost peaceful. No more loud noises and fire everywhere. Everything seemed blurry as she sank down. Then, she spotted Valkor, who was sinking down with her and everything came back. Valkor had passed out from exertion and they'd fallen and they can't breathe under water. She can't breathe. Suddenly, the nice calm was replaced with panic. She dove down for Valkor, hitting him in the jaw and trying to wake him up. He blinked his eyes open, relaxed at first like a lazy sunday morning before the realization seemed to hit him, too. Everything was a blur again as Valkor grabbed her by the back of her armoured shirt, enclosing it between his teeth, and swom a straight line to sun. They emerged in what seemed like a second and Herze started coughing, with air once again entering her lungs.
"Thanks, buddy. I owe you one." She gasped weakly. They slowly made their way to the docks, abandoning the fight for now. They needed to catch their breath before they could go back in. That was, if they could go back in. Herze felt like she wouldn't be able to move for a week after this. "We deserve a week vacation after this." She shared her thoughts with her trusty pal. Valkor rumbled his agreement. She laughed a bit, but soon started coughing again. Right, no laughing with water damaged lungs. Valkor draped out one wing under her while swimming, supporting some of her weight, always the protective one.
They finally made it back to the docks and managed to crawl their way up to the Thunderdrum Racing building. The building was in a relatively bad state, but it wasn't burning anymore and seemed sturdy enough, so Herze leaned her back against it as she sat down. Valkor crawled next to her and he let out a massive sigh, finally able to relax his muscles. "My body feels like it got struck with the force of Mjölnir." She sighed along. For now, all they could do was watch the end of the battle and pray it'll be over soon.
She could see Earthguard members up in the skies, still attacking the ships. Tallyra and Namikah were coming back, they looked in equally bad shape as her, but Rose especially. Mariella and Brasa were still fighting the good fight, joinging the A-team in their strategic attack of the last ship and holding down the two frozen in. She could spot Rue on the horizon as well, with Winnie close to her. Herze really hoped Winora could regain enough fire power to ice the last ship in. From a distance, she could faintly hear Eslig on his instrument, the battle wasn't over yet and he was still going strong, rounding up the last remaining dragons. "Pair of lungs on that one." She chuckled. They'd all delivered a good fight and it looks like they've won.
Battle was calming down and more injured vikings were returning. The bodies moving around her, the music and dragon's roar floating in the air, and the crackling and sizzling of dying fires, it was nothing short of a hypnotizing combination. She still felt sore and could feel scartches and minor battle injuries all over, but she was okay, a little drowsy but still good. They were all okay, and that's what mattered.
After blowing the catapult to smithereens, Brasa's and probably Clintonia's , heads whirled with all that was going on. They looked every which way. It seemed Valkor was in the water, but managed to freeze one of the fleeing ships into place. Though Gothi was part of the A-team, she had already retreated to tend to the injured vikings. Someone - was that Elsig? - was doing a darn good job imitating a deathsong's call, to lead the naive dragons on land away from danger. Rue and the other's seemed to be putting out fires and helping the humans from assorted predicaments. Tally was taking Rose - maybe to see Gothi. Maybe someone's deathsong would come and amber another ship? The human and dragon healer students started swarming about, helping where they could. Prickleboggles from all over the island started swarming the Training Grounds, riders or no riders. Their instincts to help their fellow dragons were astronomically ratcheted up. Fern was probably down there, too. As if on cue, her half-grown Prickleboggle flew up along side Clintonia and chirruped in worried excitement. Somehow, the little bipedal dragon had haphazardly donned Brasa's medical pack, all by herself. "Yeah, little one, we should really be down there, huh," she admitted. The ships looked, for the most part, subdued.
Clintonia, Fern, and Brasa wheeled around and flew to shore.
((You guys will probably get well ahead again! (Im not worried). Use Brasa as you will, though she can just stay put on the Training Ground grounds helping to suture up injured dragons for the time being!))
((I don't have the time to write this myself but Rue and Winnie will have to swim back to land somehow after resting a bit. You are welcome to make them pass the sinking ship and try to help get Mariella out of there.))
Tally and Rose were nearly at the entrance to the School when Sammie suddenly stopped dead. For a second, Tally though she was getting drawn to the fake Deathsong call, but Sammie knew the real thing and it didn't seem to affect her like it used to. She turned her head from side to side, as if trying to identify a sound that was a long way off, then tried to swing back round towards the battle.
"No, Sammie, we have to go to Gothi" Tally scolded gently. Sammie turned her head fully around to look Tally in the eye and screeched, and Tally knew she was not going back to the healer yet.
"I have to turn back. I literally have to, she won't budge."
"I feel a lot better", Namikah lied. "I'm coming with you!"
"Thor-cursed stubborn Vikings! Shadow, stay high and keep Namikah on your back" she ordered (Sammie had turned her head the right way round again, so Tally did not see her dragon roll her eyes). The cool, clear air at this altitude did seem to be doing Namikah some good: she seemed less dizzy, although Tally wasn't sure how high they could get before the thinner air made her worse again.
Suddenly, Sammie dived towards the landing in front of Thunder Run Racing. Tally spotted the shape of Valkor down there. Sammie screeched again, and Valkor gave a hoarse bellow in response. He shoved Herze roughly onto his back and took off, wingbeats heavy and laboured, but determined.
"He's exhausted, Sammie, I don't know what's in your head but I don't think..."
"Valkor, what in Odin's breeches are you doing? We can't do any more, it'll be the end of you! What are you two doing?!" Herze barked as they drew level with Shadow, who had remained hovering steadily.
"I've no idea... I'm sorry, she just won't..." Tally shrugged in resignation.
Sammie took the lead, Valkor following, Shadow dropping behind as she flew steady and level, trying to take care of her Viking. As they approached the ship, Tally realised it was sinking - and that round shape flitting in and out of the masts, emitting a roar she could hear from over here... She checked the silhouettes around the main ship and no, that was Meatlug and Fishlegs.
"Oh, no, I think Mariella's in trouble..." she muttered, not quietly enough. Next to her, Herze exclaimed "Why didn't you just say so?!". Namikah gasped, which led to a round of violent coughing and a glare in Tally's direction from Shadow.
"We have to do something!" she declared, followed by more coughing.
"We don't. I might..." she began, but she was suddenly surrounded by a pinkish-purple cloud. Her neck instantly felt cool and soothed: Namikah's cough subsided, although it did not vanish entirely. Tally heard the distinctive flutter of baby dragon wings and said, through the cloud, "Fern? Brasa? Is that you?"
"Yes", came the reply from somewhere outside the cloud. "If we're going on some sort of ill-conceived rescue mission, you all need to be in reasonable shape for it!"
Emerging from the cloud, the four of them had full sight on the ship. Jasper was diving at a spot on the deck, trying to smash the planks. Tally spotted a little Woolly Howl in the water, and was that... Ambolt and Eslig on the ice? How had they known they were needed? How had the injured Nadder even gotten there? A slide-shaped gouge in the snow off the hill above the ice was rather suggestive.
"We're all coming for you, Mariella" she whispered as the four airbourne dragons dived towards the ship.
((We are all totally going to feel this later on, by the way. The Prickleboggle breath is just a short-term fix. Also, Rose, you can get back at me for being bossy later on if you like XD))
Eslig slumped in his saddle, breathing heavily. His lungs scolded him with every breath he took, but looking around he was pleased that the herd of panicking dragons had thinned considerably, with the last few stragglers making their way up the path to the safety of the school. Ambolt looked tired too, but was trying his best not to show it. The battle was winding down, with only one of attacking ships still firing. Eslig thought he saw Jasper the Gronkle begin an attack run. Mariella was still fighting!
Eslig saw Jasper belch a fireball and score a direct hit, but the friendly Boulder-class dragon recieved a wicked hit in return from an enemy Outcast. Jasper accidently pitched Mariella off his back as he struggled to regain altitude. Earthguard's leader slammed into the deck, and Eslig covered his ears to the anguished roars from the Gronkle. Ambolt's head jerked up and he took off towards the end of the peninsula. Eslig held on for dear life, not really sure what to expect when they reached the edge of the hill. Ambolt did all the thinking for him, gracefully sliding down the snow-covered hill and over the side. Eslig found breath for a terrified yell as they plummeted down towards the water, and he braced himself for an unwanted immersion in ice water. But then he heard a crunch beneath Ambolt's feet, and opened his eyes. They had landed on part of the makeshift ice bridge put in place earlier by Winnie and Valkor to trap the attacking ships in. Stunned at his dragon's behavior, Eslig could only hold on as the Nadder took off along the ice towards the final Outcast ship. The flap of wings above him told him that they weren't alone in this rescue attempt. The rest of Earthguard was joining them.
Brasa, Clintonia, and Fern landed near the other dragon healer students working furiously on the plethora of lacerations, burns and worse. She rummaged in her medical pack that Fern had so smartly brought. These few supplies would be used up quickly. Hopefully someone had gone to raid the stores and transport more supplies back. She pulled out a small case of carefully crafted gronkle iron needles, and a sealed pot containing clear alcohol and various coils of sinew inside. Hmmm, the catgut was not needed just yet, the coil of metal thread would do externally for hot, active dragons.
There were innumerable holes and tears to wing membranes, so Brasa set to work on these. Fortunately the wing membranes held very little nerve endings, so most dragons sat (relatively) still for the procedure. Where there were some leaking blood vessels, Brasa cauterized with a nail turning red hot in a fire someone had made. Fern drooled all over the incisions, for good measure. There were prickleboggles all over the place, with their trainers or not. Oddly, they tended to be rather "territorial" over the wounds that they were treating. There were plenty to go around. The students who could, set some of the Prickleboggles on the dragons who had burns. Few of those needed immediate attention, other than a "prescription" for regular treatment from a Prickleboggle.
"Those need to come out no later than a fortnight."
"We'll see you in about a fortnight."
"Stop picking at that!!"
Brasa and the other students chorused to various riders, about the suture that needed to be removed in 10-14 days from their external wounds.
Some young scribes were scurrying about, hanging around the dragon healers, jotting down who was treated and what injury they had. This was invaluable to keep track of just who was treated so they could follow up.
At one point Brasa was presented with a bawling Zippleback, paniced and painful. Its rear left leg was askew in an unnatural direction, and, Brasa thought happily, not having a bone breaking through the skin. The hide arond the break was an ugly bruised brown (the dragon was predominantly a green color). It looked like a catapult ball had hit it squarely on the leg. His young rider was murmuring soothingly to the gas-producing head, while the other head flailed about, snapping at its leg and striking sparks. It was not good to stand near a panicked dragon, especially its flame producing head(s)!
Though she was doing a good job subduing one head, the rider was in harm's way, even accidentally. "Oi, rider! Stand back!" Brasa yelled. As if to drive the point home, the sparking head lit a little of the gas leaking from the gassy head, to make a small explosion. The dragon's wings were batting about, making it hard to even get near the beast. Clintonia intervened - she essentially employed her bulk by sitting on the dragon. The rider looked horrified.
"Does anyone have a Stinger??" Brasa yelled. No use asking for Gothi's special sedative tincture, since she was pretty sure there was no more. Her own Speed Stinger was not within earshot, and she couldn't send off Clintonia or Fern to fetch her. One of the students shook her head "Mine's all out of sting," she replied. However, a young healer student did come over, and pointed out were his Speed Stinger should sting. The small land-locked dragon deftly zipped in and out, striking the injured Zippleback in two places to render him immobile. The venom should also help with pain. If the dragon healers ran out of Speed Stingers, they might have to resort to Flightmare fog - good at paralysis, but not so good an analgesic.
Clintonia carefully slid off the Zippleback. Brasa palpated as best she could the direction of the break. Now the painful part.
"Does anyone have a ..." her words died. The same young man came back with his juvenile Deathsong. Well isn't he just prepared. Brasa thought somewhat sarcastically. He repected her doctoring space and stood back with his deathsong, while she intructed Clintonia to very gently pull on the broken leg. Her Shovelhelm grasped the Zippleback's foot in her mouth and eased back ever so carefully, while Brasa pressed on the area of the break to get the bone back to something of a proper alignment. She shuddered a little as she could feel and hear the bone grind into place. She then stepped back to Clintonia's head, and the other student instructed his deathsong to apply an amber burst to coat the leg. "Good job!" she congratulated. the student and dragons. There was no way wooden splints would survive on a dragon. However, amber was hard, shaped to the body, and - unless a dragon comrade hatched a plan to melt it off by fire - fairly durable against dragon hijinks. And no bandages and padding to mess with! The deathsong got the satisfaction of ambering a dragon, even if it was just a leg.
The rider draped herself on her dragon, as a pair of Hotburples bore the Zippleback away to its stable. It would take half a day for thay venom to wear off, but the dragon needed to rest, at any rate.
Clintonia suddenly roared angrily, which was not like her. She stomped and looked out over the bay, then scooped Brasa up onto her frill. Brasa automatically climbed over it as if going over a fence, and onto the saddle. "What's wrong?"
Out on the bay, Mariella and Jasper were fighting the resisting Vikings on the last ship, right in the thick of it. Jasper was getting pommelled by fists and maces. Clintonia sprang into the air as Brasa strapped herself in.
((Heya, guys 'n gals! I'll probably be posting a little less on daily basis, since my finals are this and next week, as well as the deadline for some projects I'm working on and other appointments. Sadly, I'll be a busy bee for the next two weeks. (I'm already feeling the impending exhaustion, lmao) I'll be keeping up with reading your posts, but it might take me a little longer to type out one of my own right now.))
She’d spoken- or thought- too soon. She can’t believe she just jinxed them.
One moment, everything was going great and the last ship was being handled and the next, Valkor’s hauling her into the sky to follow Tallyra and Sammie back to the ships. She demanded to know what’s going on, usually Valkor doesn’t act so roughly, especially not when they’re both tired and injured. Tallyra babbled out an apology, it seemed she also didn’t have a clue.
They were nearing the last ship, which was steadily sinking and seemingly under control by the remaining vikings, when Tallyra spoke up again. "Oh, no, I think Mariella's in trouble…"
"Why didn't you just say so?!” Herze asked her, if she’d known that from the beginning they’d already have a make-shift plan. She had to remind herself that Tallyra didn’t know either and she’s being unfair in treating the her so roughly. She puts it down to being awoken from the slumber she was slowly slipping into back at Thunderdrum and shakes it off.
Rose blurts out that they need to help her and, well, yeah. Of course they do. Mariella and Jasper are an important part of their clan and they should get them to safety right away.
"We don't. I might…” Herze raises a single eyebrow at Tallyra. If she thinks this is all on her shoulders, she’s dead wrong. They are going in as a clan. Injured or not, when need be it’s important to stick together. She’s about to say so when they get engulfed in- In what? A pink cloud? It smells funny and Herze suddenly feels like she could lift a boulder. Valkor’s sluggish movements also become more stable and powerful. Whatever this pink stuff is, it’s great and Herze wants more of it. Seems like an ultimate plan B solution, should they ever be in this state again.
Tallyra calls out for Brasa and Herze can hear Brasa shouting back. "If we're going on some sort of ill-conceived rescue mission, you all need to be in reasonable shape for it!” The other viking responds as they emerge from the cloud. “Ugh, Brasa, you’re a saint. What was that pink magic cloud thing? I can feel my shoulder again.” She smiles at the viking, rolling her right shoulder back comfortably for emphasis.
Herze spots Jasper down at the ship and wonders where Mariella is. Must be close by, she thinks. She looks up at the rest to see their eyes focused at the same spot hers just were, except Tallyra. She follows Tallyra’s gaze and sees Eslig and Ambolt by the frozen in ships, which, honestly? Bad idea. Who knows which of the Berserkers or Outcasts are still waiting around, jumping for the opportunity to engage in close combat. “Watch your tail, Eslig! Hostiles on board!” She shouts down at him.
She notices the other dragons diving in for Jasper. “Going in hot.” She mumbles to Valkor, patting him on the spot of his back she can easily reach and signaling for him to dive down. “We need some sort of a plan.” She tells the others while they’re diving. “Someone needs to pull Jasper up and haul him back to land, the rest need to look for Mariella. Who and their dragon can swim? We might need to dive in deep if the state of that ship is anything to go by.” She rambles off. “Valkor and I volunteer for fishing duty, we're excellent swimmers.” She adds as an after thought. She looks the other vikings and their dragon eye to eye, seeing if they agree with her last-minute rescue plan, or maybe have a more well thought out one.
Eslig watched in silent horror as an unconscious Mariella was pulled from the icy water by Valkor and Herze. They brought her sodden body to the beach, where Brasa immediately began working on the Earthguard leader. The dragons hummed their encouragement and Eslig added his voice to the rest of Earthguard's as Mariella fought for her life.
"Come on girl, wake up!
"Don't leave us!"
"We're all with you, Mariella"
As if spurred by the community gathered around her, Mariella began coughing. "She's waking up! Give her room!" ordered Brasa. Eslig realized that they had all pressed in close around their leader, and took a few steps backward. Shivering from the cold, Mariella nonetheless began asking questions. "The Outcasts... Did we stop them? Is everybody ok? Did you all gather here to rescue me?"
One by one the members of Earthguard pieced together the story for her, and at the end Mariella looked around. "Thank you... thank you all for saving me", she thanked them. "I'm-I'm sorry..." she added, and Eslig looked for the first time at the rest of his clanmates. Several of them were showing signs of a difficult fight, but everyone had all their limbs and at least he wouldn't be the only one with an injury now.
When Mariella had recovered enough, the members of Earthguard supported each other as they slowly walked up the path to the school. Eslig felt a fierce rush of pride in his newfound friends. What had started out as a chance meeting because of burnt dragon cakes had become a new family for him, and he knew that after the events of today that Earthguard had forged a strong bond.
((Once we wrap this battle up/aftermath, may I request a slight passage of time for various characters to heal? It doesn't have to be two months (Ambolt's timeline for flight) but something more than a day or two to allow some of the injured Vikings to heal? Just a thought))
"Sorry?" Tally stared at her clan leader. "Don't be ridiculous. What kind of clan would we be if we left our leader to drown?"
Then she thought about what she'd actually said. Brasa had not yet agreed to join, and Eslig had just been at the meet to deliver a letter and had stayed for the food. Did all of them consider themselves part of the clan now?
"Well," she moderated her comments, "I'm sure we'd all have been out to defend the School anyway, so don't blame yourself. It's nice to do it as part of a group, though, isn't it?"
She carried on talking as they started to make their way back, wittering on about the intelligence of Prickleboggles and the intricacies of dragon communication skills and speculating on possible reasons for the Outcasts and Beserkers once again joining forces. Most of the others said little: they were exhausted to the point of speechlessness, a condition Tally had never experienced - although after a certain point she stopped making sense. In fact, she had just begun to speculate that perhaps Alvin secretly wanted to marry Heather and take over the Beserker tribe for himself - a suggestion which made a few of the others turn green - when she felt something smack her in the back of the head.
"Ow!" she exclaimed, then "OW!" again as she tried to turn her head to see what was happening. Something cold was shoved into her palm, and a short, stooped shape shuffled past her.
As Tally pressed the icy poultice to her neck, Gothi beckoned the clan members towards the healers with her stick. She took Namikah and Mariella herself and left the others to have their wounds examined by Brasa, who Tally felt had surely done enough for today, but who did not seem to mind.
As the bue-haired healer examined Eslig and Ambolt, declaring them lucky not to have seriously worsened their current injuries, Tally turned to her own dragon, bending awkwardly to inspect her, still clutching the iced poultice against her burns. Sammie turned her head and sniffed in alarm at the poultice, then at Tally's neck and shoulder, but Tally was more concerned with her dragon. Sammie did not seem to have sustained any injuries, but her right flank and upper wing were speckled with what seemed to be grit. It did not brush off under her fingers - Tally thought it was going to take a good stiff brush to remove.
"What do you think this is, Sammie?" she asked, and the dragon nuzzled her in response. "It doesn't seem to have hurt you, it's just sort of stuck..." At this, the proud Stormcutter looked more concerned. She sat down and began to groom herself, licking away the gritty stuff with her rough tongue.
"It's spray from a lava blast. Happens when an air bubble bursts in the lava. Gets on the forge from time to time when Grump gets gassy. You get too close to Gronckle-fire in the battle, missy?" Gobber had approached the little group, followed slowly by his Hotburple, who fell asleep the minute Gobber stopped to talk.
Tally nodded, briefly silenced: she hadn't realised quite how close she'd been to that boulder. Mariella had saved her - and more importantly, Sammie - from a serious injury, or worse.
"Better pebble-dashed than knocked out of the sky, eh girl?" Gobber said to Sammie, patting her. The dragon looked up with an unimpressed expression, somewhat spoilt by the tongue stuck out between her front teeth.
Gobber laughed. "Very dignified, young dragon!" Sammie put her chin in the air haughtily, tongue still stuck out.
Gobber chuckled again and went over to Mariella, clapping her on the back in a manner that earned a glare from Gothi. "I had my eye on you lot out there, you know. Berk's newest clan, and you already work together better than half the big boys, so to speak. I'm looking forward to seeing what you kids can do!" He winked at the other Earthguard members and strolled off, leaving Mariella looking startled, but pleased.
((It's just going to be a short post sorry about that XL it's just an update on Rose from her point of view ))
Gothi stood the examining Rose as she began to fix together some form of medicine. Rose softly coughed as Gothi started scratching the dirt floor with her stick. "This should help with that cough of yours," Gobber translated," You inhaled quite a bit of smoke but it should pass up soon. As for your burns." He paused for Gothi had stopped talking to send her dragon to fetch a damp cloth to bring back to them. When he returned Gothi placed it on Rose's wrist when a burn was formed. "Thats the worst one, it'll be a pain in the noggin for a few day but you'll live." He explained as Gothi began to write again. "Take this medicine for you cough but take it easy for a while, relax. You and your friends helped a lot of people today, you deserve the rest."
She said nothing but nod as she was too exhausted. Climbing onto Shadow she lifted herself into the air and headed for the near highest point in the school. The patch of land near the waterfall where she was going to relax and, without intending to, take a nap.
((Thank you for your well wishing, Mariella! Social Science studies are breaking my back right now and I feel like I deserve a little break, so I did. And wrote a bit. :) Also, sorry to hear about your drowning experience, that must've been rough, especially as a little kid. I can relate to the whole unlucky thing, though. I had my eyes damaged on accident so many times, it's practically a miracle I still have my sight lmao. Anyway, Herze is officially super into joining the clan, as you can read in this post! Also, after battle events in game we usually get a treasure box, does it work the same here? Because if we split what was on the boats among the Riders who defeated them, I'll have a nice set up for how to get that Screaming Death egg.))
Herze felt relief wash over her when Mariella woke up. Everyone was gathered around her and probably over-crowding her a little bit, but they soon backed up to give her a little space. Displaying a true clan leader shadow, Mariella immediately asked if their mission was a success and Herze grinned down at her, nodding. All gathered in a group, after a hard fought battle, checking up on each other, it really did feel like what she thought having a clan was supposed to feel like. Mariella suggested they get checked out and Herze silently agreed, strolling along with the group to see the nearby healers, and of course Gothi for the more damaged ones among them.
Herze felt a little cold and beaten up, so she leaned into Valkor while they walked. “You doing alright?” She asked him. Valkor looked up at her with those big, blue, practically blind eyes and grumbled a reply, licking her hand afterwards. Herze laughed and playfully pushed his head away. “Yeah, I’m fine, too.” She assured him. Partly, because it was true, she’s got all her limbs and nothing is broken. For the other part, it was a blatant lie, she could feel the pink cloud dust wearing off and started to limp a bit to ease the pain of moving. She didn't feel too bad about lying to her closest friend, though, since she could tell by the way he was cradling his wing that he also wasn't in as good a shape as he was pretending to be. Valkor and she were tough, though, they can manage.
Everyone was in the process of getting healed, and Herze finally relaxed again. They were all slowly moving about and checking up on each other like a bunch of old folks at a picnic, and it made her happy. “So..." She started, delaying the O a bit. "What we just got through was horrible, I agree, but… Did you guys see that!?” She laughed. “We totally defeated them- a clan worthy performance, not to mention -Mariella, you were all-“ She turned to Mariella and tried her best to imitate a tough-leader stance. “ ‘Here’s the plan, get out there and do your best’, and then you and Jasper gave those boats a run for their treasure! And you-“ She excitedly turned towards Tallyra and Brasa next. “Covering and attacking and healing, all over the place, I could barely keep track of you and your dragons, you guys were so amazing,” She noticed she was figuring wildly with her arms, in a poor attempt to play out the scene.
“And don’t think I didn’t notice you, Eslig! I still don’t know what that instrument is you were playing but, Odin’s Beard, did you play it well! With Ambolt backing you up, it was so hypnotic, you just tamed practically every dragon back there!” She cheered. “And then, Rose, you just saved a little kid, you went into a burning cave! Burning! And you got that pipsqueak out of there in time! Catch me, I’m swooning, it was so heroic!” She pretended to faint, falling back onto Valkor and laughing.
“Speaking of kids in danger and their heroes, Rue-“ She grinned up at the viking. “You and Winnie did amazing! We took out pretty much all the fires on land and then you and Mariella saved that little girl! And you froze in an entire boat! Here’s to the Ice brigade!” She cheered, holding up her hand in a mock toast. “For all your fire managing needs.” She laughed. She leaned back into Valkor and could feel him curling around her.
“And all our dragons, they were so amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Valkor this focused. All of them, they were zipping through the air so fast, so determined, like they were under a spell.” She recalled seeing all the blurs across the battle field, barely able to make them out for who they were. “We did great, that was great. I mean, it’s not great that we were attacked, but us all working together like that…” She mumbled, a little more drowsy after the whole energetic show she just performed. Maybe she should stop moving so much for now. “If this is what having a clan is like, sign me up.” She concluded, looking at all of them, lazily taking in the funny looks and wounded stances. Yeah, they looked like a clan and fought like a clan out there, but more importantly, right now, they all looked like warriors. Excellent warriors.
Tally took the box that was given to her gratefully: it almost didn't matter what was in there. She always needed coins and things to trade: her horde of orphans almost literally ate most of her income.
Sammie eyed the box curiously as Tally pulled a length of rope from her pack. "Sorry, girl, but it's one too many things for me to carry." Sammie shuffled reluctantly into place and Tally tied the box onto her back.
Before they left, Tally went to speak to Mariella, and then to her soon-to-be clanmates.
"We're off now, got dragons to feed. I just wanted... well... to say thanks. You and Jasper saved Sammie and me from getting knocked out of the sky, and I appreciate it. I. Well. I don't know what I'd do if anything bad happened to her..."
Tally looked back at the dragon, who had twisted herself around to sniff suspiciously at the box on her back.
"I... oh, you're welcome" Mariella said, looking a bit surprised.
"If you like", Tally continued, "I could take Namikah's treasure to her. I don't have an address but" - At that, Ambolt darted over to the box that had been put aside for her, scraped it towards him with his claws and curled his tail around it.
" - Oh, it looks like you might have a volunteer already!" Tally laughed. "OK, Ambolt, I'll leave it to you. I'll see all of you soon, I'm sure. Thanks for your compliments, Herze, and you're right, everybody was wonderful today, but especially you, Valkor, Winnie and Rue, you really saved the day. I look forward to the next clan meeting - although I hope Mariella is right and it's not quite as dangerous as this one!"
Herze grinned. "You're welcome!" The other Vikings nodded and grinned back at her: she jumped onto Sammie's back and waved goodbye.
The School buildings shrank beneath them as they gained altitude. As they passed the highest waterfall, she noticed a purple shape, which as they drew closer turned out to be a sleeping Nadder. Sammie landed quietly a good distance away, and Tally walked over: the only sign of Namikah was a foot stuck out from under the Nadder's wing and the creature was too exhausted to notice Tally's presence, so she wrote a note on a scrap of paper from her pocket. It said:
'You have a share of treasure from the battle today. I think Ambolt and Eslig are going to bring it to you, so if you wake up before they find you, go look for them. Two Nadders should have no problem finding one another!'
She impaled the note quickly and carefully on one of the Nadder's tail-spines and left.
The sun was starting to sink as she and Sammie arrived over Berk, leaving a trail of orange and yellow sparks glinting off the sea. Sammie and Tally descended gently to their farm: the little Stormcutter yawned as Tally unloaded her and removed the rope. She nuzzled her head into Tally's chest and the woman wrapped her arms around the dragon's neck and buried her face in her scales.
"We're safe for now, Sammie. It's over."
Sammie made that rumbling purring sound and huffed softly, and they stood like that for a moment, before a rattling, hissing noise pulled them back to reality.
"All right, Ellen, all right. We're back and we're OK" - the big Whispering Death sniffed her shoulder and neck and then rattled angrily - "well, mostly OK, anyway. I've got something from Gothi for it, look!" She pulled a pot of ointment from her pocket. Ellen sniffed and hummed, apparently satisfied.
Sammie followed Ellen and Tally back through the farm: Tally checked the day's harvest in the barn - the beans were in the pile of harvested crops today, ripe and ready - and rather stiffly unhooked the fish-trap. Ellen took it, and they walked through to the stable-yard for the evening feed.
Kaylee and Agnes greeted Tally enthusiastically: Tally narrowly avoided a friendly but paralysing lick from the Flightmare. Martha, a Zippleback and her first-ever dragon, sauntered over. Her right head - whom Tally called "Right" for convenience -sniffed and cooed over Tally's shoulder: Tally had to show the pot of ointment again before she stopped fussing. Her left head - "Left" - grunted and hissed crossly: she did not like being left out when exciting things happened. Sammie did not help matters by rumbling and rrrowl-ing smugly, drawing an audience of dragons who yamered and chattered excitedly back at her, although she sprawled out and fell asleep very quickly after she'd eaten.
Tally found herself yawning too, although it wasn't a comfortable thing to do given her burns. She caught sight of herself in the water-trough, and finally worked out what everyone was fussing over: it looked like some sort of rash, dozens of small red flecks running up her neck and over her lower jaw, behind her ear. Her shirt was full of tiny burnt holes, all over her shoulder, although her clothes had stopped the lava flecks burning the skin underneath so badly.
She made her way back to her hut feeling utterly exhausted, and fell into her bed without doing much more than removing her boots. She'd deal with the chores tomorrow... and find out what was in that chest... right now, she needed sleep, and she was out for the count as soon as her head hit the pillow.
Eslig smiled at Herze's antics, and he wondered where she got all that energy from. He hadn't even been in the fight and he was exhausted from the events of the day. Through heavy eyelids he watched as Gobber pulled several chests from the medicine cart. Apparently there was a share of the treasure found on the raiding ships for each of them as a reward for helping defend Berk. Eslig had just picked up a treasure box when he overheard Tally. "I could take Namikah's treasure to her. I don't have an address but-" Eslig grinned as Ambolt pounced on Rose's treasure chest. "OK, Ambolt, I'll leave it to you" Tally chuckled. After saying her goodbyes, she mounted her Stormcutter and flew off.
Ambolt, content that nobody was going to deliver Rose's treasure except him, began nudging Eslig. "I'm coming, I'm coming!" the boy replied. He struggled into his saddle and waved to the remaining Earthguard members. It looked as though Mariella was opening her treasure chest, but Ambolt didn't seem keen to stick around; he had a mission! They hadn't been walking for long when Eslig realized that he had no clue where to find Rose or Shadow. Ambolt seemed perfectly happy to keep wandering until they found them, but soon his stomach rumbled louder than Eslig's. "Let's stop by the Great Hall", Eslig suggested. "There is always food to be had there, and I'm sure there is someone we can ask who knows where Rose lives. It's getting late, and we've had a long day". One hot meal later, both boy and dragon were fast asleep in a relatively quiet corner of the Great Hall.