The Rogues (RP Thread)- HTTYD/Criminal RP (closed)

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Skari

The Vikings responded relatively well to Copperblaze's ideas around the lake, and once they reached it, they managed to split up. Skari decided it was worth to have some prompting, as the sun had almost reached the highest point in the sky. "Come on lads-"

 

He caught himself. "-Er, ladies..."

 

"The sooner we get this done, the faster we can have a safe place to stay." It seemed to work, and soon, all of them had split up and were investigating all sides of the lake.

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Lupus

Copper blaze woke up the rest of camp and Lupus sat up with a yawn. They were now going out to check for a place to make a permanent  camp. At least that was a good idea. But she couldn't help notice the gronckle that was staying around the group. What did it want? Food, water, to eat them? Whatever it was, it wouldn't be good. Ignoring the dragon she walked towards the front of the geoup.

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Copperblaze

"Wait, hey, I said stay together--!" It was too late, everyone had already left. "Oh well, at least I've got Bumbles- nope, no I don't. Whatever, I'll just, uh, search on my own, then." Pretending like the matter was irrelevant, Copperblaze started walking in the direction of a small alcove. Maybe that would work?

 

"Oh, definitely not," she shuddered. It was way too small, and seemed to be already inhabited, if the half-eaten carcass was anything to go by. She shook herself, attempting to get rid of the memory, and ended up jostling her injured head.

 

Wincing, she kept going. There was a spot that looked promising, but also very exposed. Maybe that flat, plains area wasn't so good after all...

 

Leaping over a rock in her path, Copperblaze wiped sweat off her face. This lake was a lot bigger than she thought! After looking into yet another possible camp spot, she was again left disappointed.

 

She started to trek back to the spot near the lake where the others had all split up at. Maybe they'd had more luck...

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((So... Once they reached the campsite, Paz just found a relatively comfy stop and dozed off. She didn't even bother to help make a shelter or anything, completely tuckered out. That's my excuse for not posting in a while))

 

Once the sun was high enough to hit her face the next morning, Paz was up. She didn't consider herself a morning person, but once there was even the slightest hint of light outside she knew that there was no chance of going back to sleep. (I blame all the time she spent in that dark prison cell)

 

She slowly opened her eyes, then whipped herself into a upright postion once she didn't see herself surrounded on every side by rocks. It was only after a few minutes of inner panic that she rememberd what happened the other day, how her life was gonna be drastically different from now on.

 

Seeing no one around, she stood up with another surge of panic, afraid they just left her. She certainly wouldn't be suprised if that was the case, they were criminals after all.

 

'Well, you know, except Copperblaze. But she's a Berkian, it would make just as much sense for her to do it as the rest of them. Besides, I'm the smallest one here, probably the weakest too. I was just in there way.'

 

Suddenly, her instinctual optimism kicked in.

 

'Would you stop talking like that! You don't even know that's what happened. Maybe they went to find a new location to set up camp. Just wait here a few more hours and see if they come back.'

 

'And if they don't?'

 

'We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.'

 

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Copperblaze

No one had found anything yet, or anything that would work as a permanent hideout. Temporary, sure. For one person, sure. But nothing that was perfect for all of them. And this would be their permanent base. Copperblaze was determined to hold out for perfect.

 

The five Vikings and a Gronckle trudged back to camp, disappointed. Oh well, maybe they'd find something later. Copperblaze's stomach growled, and she looked up at the sky in surprise. It was midday already? Wow, time flew.

 

The berry bush was too far away from where they were, and Copperblaze sighed. They really needed to find a better source of food, but again, later. The group continued on to the temporary camp, tired and hungry.

 

"Oh, Paz!" Copperblaze said, mildly surprised. "You disappeared, no one knew where you were! Where were you, anyway?" She hadn't been with the group when they woke up that morning, and come to think of it, hadn't went to sleep with them either.

 

Next to her, Bumbles started to notice the newcomer. Approaching Paz, he circled her, sniffing. Copperblaze held her breath slightly. Who knew how the young Viking would react to a strange dragon? She tensed, preparing to break up a fight if necessary. She hoped it wasn't necessary.

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Paz deadpanned at the question, "I've been here the whole time. You guys were the ones who disappeared."

 

It was then that a huge Gronckle came bounding towards her. Instinctively, she grabbed for her ax for defense. She then forced herself to lower the weapon as the dragon began to circle her, sniffing.

 

'Don't panic. You were around dragons for two years before the incident. You know better. Don't panic. DON'T PANIC!'

 

That was all she could think for a few seconds as the dragon kept circling and sniffing. This went on for a couple more seconds before Paz got tired of it and stated sarcastically, "Yes, aren't I interesting." She then turned to the other girl, "So Copper, what have y'all been up to?"

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Copperblaze

Copperblaze bristled. "What, hey! You were the one that disappeared! As soon as we got here it seemed like you just vanished off the face of the island!"

 

She knew she probably shouldn't have argued back, especially over something so trivial, but it was too late to take things back. Copperblaze hated being accused of things she didn't do. She wasn't one to back down from a challenge either, and one aimed so clearly at her? Her pride wouldn't let her stand for it.

 

Copperblaze took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. It wouldn't be good to get angry here, and the younger girl hadn't even said anything wrong, she reasoned.

 

Hearing the question, Copperblaze let out a small sigh and responded. "We were out looking for places for a permanent campsite," she explained. "You're certainly welcome to join us next time," she couldn't help snarking.

 

Oh no, not again. It seemed like she was feeling annoyed this morning, probably because of their recent lack of success at finding a good spot. She only hoped Paz wouldn't argue back...

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Rolling her eyes at the snark, Paz responded, "Yeah, sure thing Cops."

 

By this time, the Gronkle had finished its inspection and allowed her to put some distance between them. Motioning towards the dragon, she added, "I'm assuming this was your doing?"

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Copperblaze

Copperblaze groaned, annoyed, but decided to just ignore it and move on. No sense in fighting here...

 

"Oh, you mean Bumbles? That's his name, by the way," explained Copperblaze. "Yeah, well, we just gave him a few belly scratches and he started following us around. Gronckles love those," she added, "they can't always reach those spots themselves."

 

It looked like Paz was still a bit scared, due to the distance she was maintaining from the curious Gronckle. "Do you want to take a try at giving him one?" In her experience, that always worked wonders.

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Sylvan

Sylvan watched with mild intrigue as Bumbles, the wild Gronkle Copperblaze had just magically tamed and dare I say TRAINED, started milling around with her, doing Gronkle-y things.

Topaz seemed wary of it still, and Sylvan didnt blame her; dragons were wild beasts. Unless you had had your scaled, winged pet since birth chances are, at some point, it would go feral and turn on its human rider. It was ridiculous, really; the Berkians ALL had dragons, most of which were loyal and obedient to their masters to DE.ATH. But everyone else in the Archipelago could hardly train a Terrible Terror. Probably because their methods of training were harsh and 'unfriendly'.

'I dont know.... Maybe Copperblaze just has that magic Berkian touch or something.' She thought.

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Copperblaze

"Really, guys, no one?" she asked exasperatedly, after Paz showed no interest in getting closer to the friendly Gronckle. "You know, if we're going to be living on an island with dragons, you're going to have to know how to behave around them," she said, conversationally.

 

Noticing Sylvan watching the exchange with interest, she decided to try again. "Sylvan, do you want to give it a shot?" The other girl still seemed hesitant, so Copperblaze scoffed and decided to take matters into her own hands.

 

She grabbed Sylvan's hand and forcibly dragged her to a cheerful Bumbles. "He's really very friendly, you know," she stated, trying to discourage the squirming that was currently going on. "Look, see?" Placing Sylvan's hand near Bumbles' nose, the Gronckle took a few curious sniffs, before rubbing his head on her hand, eager for a scratch.

 

"Great job!" she praised. "Now look, see, right now he wants you to scratch him," she explained, gesturing to Bumbles, who was currently on his stomach, tongue out. "Go ahead!" she encouraged, smiling.

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Lupus Lupus smiled as she saw

Lupus

Lupus smiled as she saw Copper pull Sylvin closer to the gronckle. The girl seemed so not wanting to do it that it made it funny. But she herself wouldn't like getting closer to the dragon either. She hadn't had human contact for 10 years in the prision. But much less dragon! She didn't understand why Copper was so okay with being that close to the dragon. The thought freaked Lupus out.

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Skari

Watching Copperblaze's antics with Bumbles with amusement, he leaned against a fallen log, quietly observing them interact. Somehow, he found himself actually enjoying being here. Clearly he wasn't the only one, because Copperblaze just looked like someone had given her a chest full of treasure, all for her. She clearly loved working with the overexcitable dragon.

 

Still rather irked at their failure with scouting for a permenant base, Skari tried to think back, trying to remember if he had covered everywhere. There seemed to be somewhere he hadn't quite looked, but he couldn't remember where it was. Anyways, it didn't matter- for now, they were quite safe.

 

As if to contrast that statement, Skari heard a strange sound deep in the woods.

 

Click click.

 

It sounded like gears clicking together.

 

Tilting his head, Skari listened for the sound again. It didn't come.

 

Shrugging to himself, he watched Copperblaze tug Sylvan across the clearing. He smiled to himself, something in him glad to be around people again. 

 

And maybe, just maybe, their good luck would last and they would find a good camp.

 

Before he arranged himself more comfortably to snooze in the sun, Skari heard one last thing.

 

Click click.

 

 

 

 

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Copperblaze

Sylvan had torn herself away from Copperblaze's grip and stood across from her, facing her with the rest. She groaned, exasperated with all of them. "I don't think you guys understand," she started, "but we're currently living on an island mostly inhabited by dragons. If you want to have any chance at surviving an encounter with a wild dragon, you'd better listen up. And that means everyone! I'm very serious here. This could be a matter of life and death."

 

She wasn't sure how the encounter had turned into an impromptu school lesson, but it had. And for everyone's safety, she decided to keep it that way. "Dragons are just like humans - they're smart, they have thoughts and emotions, and they can understand the things Vikings do. If you want them to, they can be your best friend, or your worst enemy."

 

She started pacing in front of the group, gesturing wildly. "But it won't start out that way. To get a dragon to trust you, you have to first show that you can trust them. Normally, this can be done by placing your hand out in front of you and turning your head away. The lack of eye contact will show the dragon that they have nothing to fear from you, and putting your hand out gives the dragon the freedom to do whatever it wants. Not in a bad way, obviously, but they can now sniff you and get to know you."

 

"After you've done that, the dragon will at least have your attention. If they're especially friendly, then they might trust you already, but there's not a big chance of that happening. The best thing to do is give a dragon something it wants. Most of them love fish, but hate eels, so unless you see the dragon eating an eel beforehand, don't give one to them. It takes a bit more trust to be able to touch a dragon, but once you can do that, they love being scratched. The best place is something they can't reach on their own, like behind spikes or scales, or something their legs or head can't reach."

 

"Once you've earned a dragon's trust, they will be your friends for life, unless of course you break that trust. There's not much you can do then, as they've been known to hold grudges. So then what you have to do is work to keep that trust, like with any friendship. This is important, guys. We aren't somewhere we can just hide and pretend they don't exist. We're living with them. This is their home, and we're the intruders. Don't you get it? We either learn to trust them, or we don't. They're not vicious ki.llers. They're just like us!"

 

Impassioned speech over, Copperblaze stood facing the rest of the group. She could only hope they'd taken what she'd said to heart, or they would all be in big trouble.

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What Cops (that's what Paz is calling her) didn't notice is that Paz had gotten tired of the lecture and decided to get it over with.

 

Being on the edge of the group, Paz slipped around behind the others towards Bumbles, who was just laying around, and sat down across from him, crossing her legs. She then whistled softly to the dragon so she wouldn't be heard over the seminar behind her. Fortunetly, only Bumbles seemed to hear her, and came waddling up, hoping for a belly scratch. By the time Cops was finally done, Paz stated with an unimmpressed voice. "So, like this?"

 

((Just so we're clear, Paz knows the basics of how to train dragons since Berk had made peace with them 2 years before she was outcasted, but she doesn't want to bother because she thinks there's no point getting attatched to something that can just fly away. She just did this to get the lecture over with))

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When Copperblaze grabbed her hand and yanked her over to the Gronkle, Sylvan resisted somewhat feircely.

"He`s really friendly, you know," she stated. "Look, see?"

'Nopenopenopenope...'  she thought, images swarming her mind of a mawful of bone-crushing teeth taking off her hand if for whatever reason this dragon didnt like her. Then the Gronkle started nuzzling its bumpy head into her hand, begging for a scratch. Then it rolled onto its back, stomach up, tongue out, exactly like a dog would. She found the hilarity of this moment temporarily drown out her uncertainty...... But her distrust remained. 

'Ahhhh, no...' she still shied away, not caring if it made her look paranoid.

"Once you've earned a dragon's trust, they will be your friends for life, unless of course you break that trust. There's not much you can do then, as they've been known to hold grudges. So then what you have to do is work to keep that trust, like with any friendship. This is important, guys. We aren't somewhere we can just hide and pretend they don't exist. We're living with them. This is their home, and we're the intruders. Don't you get it? We either learn to trust them, or we don't. They're not vicious ki.llers. They're just like us!"

'Ha. Berkian if there ever was one. Only they could have so much confidence in a dragon.' she thought.

"I think my scars speak for themselves as to why I dont exactly trust any dragon that plays the pacifist so easily." She said with a sniff.

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Copperblaze

"That was one dragon," Copperblaze attempted to explain, trying to keep her calm. "You can't expect every dragon to be vicious, just as you can't expect every dragon to be friendly. They're all different!"

 

"Look, would you expect every Viking to react the same way to a situation? Obviously not, because everyone's different. So don't expect every dragon to fit the same mold, because they've all got different personalities," she said, trying to make the other girl see what she considered to be reason.

 

She was slightly surprised when Sylvan stated that she had scars from a dragon attack, but tried to pass it off. "Maybe the dragon was hurt itself, or scared, or maybe it was just a bad dragon. Those do exist, I know, but there are even more good dragons. And Bumbles isn't 'playing the pacifist'. He's just naturally a very friendly dragon. Those do exist, you know. You just have to try to look past the exterior."

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Sylvan

"That was one dragon! You cant expect every dragon to be vicious, just as you cant expect every dragon to be friendly!" 

"I know." she shrugged nonchalantly. She knew she was probably being unfair to the dragons, but she lacked sufficient reason to consider doing otherwise.

Copperblaze did seem surprised at the mention of her scars. 

'What did she think they were from? Or why is she so surprised I have scars? Millions of Vikings do.' she thought.

"Maybe the dragon was hurt itself, or scared, or maybe it was just a bad dragon. Those do exist, I know, but there are even more good dragons. And Bumbles isn't 'playing the pacifist'. He's just naturally a very friendly dragon. Those do exist, you know. You just have to try to look past the exterior."

"Given the fact that the brutes who nearly ki.lled me WERE Alvin the Treacherous`s dragons, I suppose you could say all three of those things." She huffed. "Well, if you`re THAT certain that armored puppy isnt going to hurt us, then I`ll try not to be too uptight..."

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Skari

Though his mind had been elsewhere while the other Vikings interacted, almost to the point of sleeping, though he hadn't quite succumbed to the urge, his brain suddenly subconsciously zeroed in on Copperblaze's passionate speech. Tilting his head, he listened to her words, his eyes half-closed as the sun warmed his skin. Something about her was very admirable. The way she stood up for her beliefs was quite impressive.

 

Then his mind wandered to the others. He let himself mentally explore the facts he had already gleaned about them. Paz was clearly a very skilled person, in ways Skari couldn't yet figure out. She seemed almost rather introverted at times, but then, he figured that all those long years in prison had done that to her. There was certainly more to her that met the eye, and Skari debated trying to find out what it was. 

 

Lupus could probably kill him if she wanted to, Skari knew that right off from the moment he met her. But there was an air of good humor about her, and she seemed rather quiet, but quite confident in something Skari couldn't identify. Perhaps they would grow to be good friends. The mask was pretty cool, too. He had to give it to her- she did have style.

 

Sylvan...ah. So far, Sylvan was a great puzzle to Skari. She seemed very intelligent, and though reclusive, she obviously had a liking for drumming to her own beat. He admired and respected that. And she had a knack with fighting and weaponry, so clearly she was a valuable asset.

 

Before he could start thinking about anything else, he picked up Paz, Sylvan, and Copperblaze conversing. He tipped his head their direction, listening briefly, before the sun and his comfortably position in the leaves got the better of him.

 

Skari dropped off into sleep.

 

In his mind, perhaps hours later, he seemed to open his eyes, but the scene was very different from the peaceful forest clearing and it's inhabitants. Instead, he found himself in a body much younger than his own, staring out into a stormy sea, his heart beating wildly for reasons he didn't understand.

 

A single boat approached the shore, it's sails caught high in the gale, speeding towards the shore- but, evidently, not fast enough for whatever pursued it. Before Skari could even make out the details of the boat, something huge snatched it out of the water and dragged it to the depths with a sickening crunch.

 

Younger Skari stared at it in horror, watching it, but unable to do anything.

 

And then the scene shattered, and Skari found himself completely asleep again.

 

 

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Copperblaze

Grinning, Copperblaze watched Sylvan finally willingly touch the happy Gronckle. She still looked wary, but eventually seemed to warm up to him, if only slightly. She'd even cautiously rubbed his belly, leaving Copperblaze ecstatic. Maybe it was an overreaction, but she just felt so proud.

 

It had always been one of her dreams, to be an instructor at the Berk Dragon Academy. To fly dragons all day, to teach kids to love dragons, to follow in the footsteps of Astrid and become the best dragon partner alive... well, words couldn't describe how that made her feel. She obviously couldn't now, but at least she could come close, and it all started with her successes with Bumbles.

 

She felt as light as air as she skipped away from the pair, smile wider than her face. Going over to the tree line, she stared into space, trembling with excitement. It wasn't long, though, before she heard a quiet rustling sound near her.

 

Getting up, she searched for the sound, and discovered that it was- "Skari?" she asked hesitantly, most of her cheer gone. He was lying down, presumably sleeping, but it definitely wasn't a calm rest. He was moving slightly, as though fighting an invisible enemy, and his face was screwed up.

 

As she watched, he seemed to calm down slightly, before letting out an explosive thrash. She jumped back, startled, but just as quickly came closer.

 

"Skari?" she asked again concernedly, putting a hand on his shoulder. He seemed to be calming down now, but she had no idea what was going on. Was it a dream? Illness? Injury? Nightmare? Copperblaze had no idea.

 

Settling down next to him, Copperblaze was prepared to try to calm him down if needed. The only thing to do now, really, was wait until he woke up, and hope that he was alright.

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Lupus

Lupus was grinning at Sylvan but it subsided when she saw Copperblaze walked through the tree lines. Curious, Lupus picked up the heavy mase she was carrying around with her and went onto Copper's trail. It didn't take very long. Copper was sitting next to the sleeping Shakvi. (Can't spell. So annoying!) And her body relaxed a bit knowing that the two of them were alright. Queitly, she went over to Copper and sat besides her and set down her mase. "Hi?" She siad.

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Lupus

Lupus was grinning at Sylvan but it subsided when she saw Copperblaze walked through the tree lines. Curious, Lupus picked up the heavy mase she was carrying around with her and went onto Copper's trail. It didn't take very long. Copper was sitting next to the sleeping Shakvi. (Can't spell. So annoying!) And her body relaxed a bit knowing that the two of them were alright. Queitly, she went over to Copper and sat besides her and set down her mase. "Hi?" She siad.

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Copperblaze

Copperblaze was startled to notice that Lupus had sat down next to her. Preoccupied, at first with watching Skari and then with her own thoughts, she hadn't heard the other girl until she made her presence known.

 

"Hi," said Lupus nonchalantly, and Copperblaze, if she were standing would have jumped a foot in the air.

 

"Gah! Don't do that!" she gasped, heart pounding. Laughing breathlessly at her own ignorance, it soon turned into a full-blown chuckle. "Sorry," she said, still grinning. "I didn't see you there. You startled me!"

 

Brushing the incident off, Copperblaze continued, still laughing slightly. "So, uh, how've you been? I don't think we've gotten much of a chance to talk." She winced, just a bit. That... had to be one of the worst conversation starters in existence.

 

Oh well, she shrugged. Better to say something than to sit in awkward silence forever.

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Sylvan

Sylvan was distracted from her gentle rubbing by the sight of Copper and Skari sitting together.

'Wow... Just kiss already.' she thought, unable to refrain from smirking. 

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"Well, so much for that." Paz mumbled under her breath as the her previous comment went unoticed and the lesson continued. Not sure what else to do, Paz left Bumbles with Sylvan and went to get a look of the new island, now that it wasn't dark out.

 

Passing a slumbering Skari, Paz began to pick her way through the undergrowth, intentionally breaking branches off to remind her of where she came from. After a while of doing this, Paz had gotten bored, she didn't even see a drgon anywhere.

 

"Well, this was uneven- AHHH!"

 

... Once she could finally breathe again (she had gotten the wind knocked out of her) Paz sat up to figure out what in the world just happened. Looking up, she saw the hole that she'd fallen through, which had been covered with plants and what not. Surveying the area around her, it appeared to be an abondoned tunnel system of sorts. Not wanting to stick around in there any longer than she need to, she stood up and searched for a way back up to the hole. There was none. Suddenly, she turned around, hearing a sound coming from one of the dark corridors. Fear started to creep up her spine.

 

"Great, just great, this is exactly how I wanted to spend my first day of freedom. Running blind through series of dark tunnels, with no idea what's in here."

 

She heard a roar coming towards her from one of the halls.

 

"Welp, let's get going!"

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Copperblaze

"Wait, Lupus?" Copperblaze asked, looking around. The other Viking was nowhere to be found, and Copperblaze kept looking, before slumping back down, dismissing it as a lost cause. Maybe she was just passing through...

 

She settled back down, deciding to stare off into space some more. After a while, a short scream punctuated the silence. She looked over at Skari automatically, but he was still sleeping. So where did that come from? She stood up, suddenly alert.

 

Tne scream had come from somewhere to her right, and it definitely didn't sound like a dragon scream. She didn't think there were any humans on the island, so that just left a member of her group. She increased her pace, worried. Were they alright?

 

There were a lot of broken branches up ahead, and Copperblaze's heart sunk. Had there been a fight? No, there's no other evidence of one, she decided. No scuffled ground, no clothes or hair, no blood...

 

Copperblaze kept walking, calling out as she did. "Lupus? Paz? Sylvan? Katla?" The only one she excluded was Skari, and she knew where he was, likely still sleeping. Wow, he must have been exhausted, to have slept so much, and in the daytime, too! She envied him, just a bit, wishing she could sleep as soundly.

 

She continued her search, eventually reaching a clearing. Hmm, could they have been lost here? It was just as likely as any other spot, she reasoned. Walking over to a tree that didn't look like its branches were broken off, Copperblaze wondered if the trail stopped there. But how? And why?

 

She walked over to the other side, but yelled, surprised, as her feet were taken out from under her. She fell for a distance of maybe ten feet or so, before landing censored cold, solid ground. Looking up, she discovered that she'd fallen through a hole in the ground. Trying to climb back up, she discovered no convenient ledges or holes from which to put her hands or feet in.

 

Well, she thought decisively, there must be another way out. I just have to find it...

 

Copperblaze strolled into the darkness. Wait, maybe whoever had screamed had fallen in here, too! "Lupus!" she yelled. "Paz! Sylvan! Katla!" Even if they weren't, they might be able to- to pull her up or something, or at least call for help from the rest. Oh, she hoped they were around somewhere!

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Skari

Skari woke up in a bit of a daze, hearing the sounds of someone calling for...other someones. Groggily sitting up, Skari glanced around the area he had apparently slept in, noting the flattened grass that indicated someone else sitting next to him. He craned his neck towards the sky.

 

Good Thor, how long did I sleep?

 

Standing to his feet and brushing the twigs off of his coat, he stretched and yawned. Shipwrecks apparently really take the energy out of you, because he had slept for at least several hours. Walking the short distance back to the campsite, Skari walked out into the open, finding the camp completely abandoned...

 

Scratching his head, Skari decided to go search for them. 

 

He wandered through the woods for a while, with really no direction in mind. He listened for more of the calls that had woken him, but he heard nothing else, except the noises of the forest. 

 

Still rather dazed by his long sleep, Skari paused, glancing around the darker area of the forest he had recently entered, and took a step back, trying to recollect himself.

 

The ground vanished underneath his feet and he landed on a cavern floor with a thud.

 

 

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Copperblaze

There was a loud thump behind Copperblaze. Nervously drawing her spear, she was glad for the foresight of bringing it. She vowed to always keep it on her, regardless of what she was doing. As seen now, as she wandered through a dark tunnel, no one could know what the day might bring.

 

The thump sounded like it had come from somewhere behind her, so she cautiously proceeded that way, holding her spear out in front of her to protect from a surprise attack. A shield probably would have been much better, she mused. As soon as she could, she decided to get one- somehow.

 

Her eyes had mostly adjusted by now to the light, or rather lack of it. The tunnel she'd originally fallen into had some streaming in from above, and Copperblaze squinted, unused to it. Quietly creeping down the passageway, she tried to get a better view, but it was no use. She had no idea what lay ahead, but she hoped it wasn't dangerous. For all her earlier confidence about dragons, there was just something about being alone in a dark underground cave that drained it from you. And she'd never really liked Whispering Deaths.

 

Wait, but that didn't look like an angry Whispering Death. "Skari?" she asked, seeing him on the ground in front of her. "Well, that's a relief," she laughed, grabbing his hand to help him up. "I thought you were still sleeping," she commented, blushing slightly as she recalled watching over him. She didn't want to seem like a creep, but- well, she'd been worried about him. She blushed more, and was infinitely grateful for the darkness.

 

"Well," started Copperblaze, "we should probably start finding a way out. I know there's at least one other person in here, too, so finding them is very important. That wall doesn't have any handholds that I can see, so we'd better start looking through these tunnels. Let's just hope there's nothing living inside here..." she trailed off, shuddering as she conjured a mental image of a giant snakelike dragon with unblinking eyes and equally large teeth.

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Skari

Copperblaze- or, at least, the voice was Copperblaze's- appeared out of the darkness, helping him stand to his feet. Skari shook his head, trying to recall how he had fallen into a dark hole. Ah, yes.

 

"Thanks," he said, dusting the dirt off of him. Part of him wondered if she had run into him while he slept, but he decided not to ask. No use making being trapped in a dark tunnel together any more awkward than it had to be.

 

Skari could tell that Copperblaze wanted to get out, but part of Skari wanted to investigate these tunnels. "We should mark the spot," he said, half to himself. "This place is worth checking out."

 

But Copperblaze seemed to imply the incursion of large creature with teeth living underground, so Skari decided it would be best to leave the tunnels alone. With the assistance of his added height, as that was likely what had stopped her from climbing out before, he managed to get both of them to the surface. Now that Skari could see the hole from above, he realized it was really quite a decent size.

 

"Hmmm." He glanced over to Copperblaze. "When I woke up, the camp was empty. Do you know where anyone is?"

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Copperblaze

Surprised, Copperblaze didn't resist getting pulled out of the tunnel. While part of her really wanted to stay out, there was another large part that wanted to go back in. Sure, darkness wasn't really her thing, but exploring? Definitely.

 

"I don't," she answered Skari. "They might be in the tunnels- I heard a scream earlier and went to search for it and it led me here. Then I fell down into the hole, and, well, you know the rest."

 

She peered down into the hole, debating whether to jump down. Decisively, she started, "We need to get back down there. It's alright if you don't want to," she said, although she really wanted him to want to, "but the rest could still be trapped. And it's cool, isn't it? To be the first to explore something? Sure, it's dark, and who knows what's in there, but that's part of the fun of it, don't you think?"

 

She grinned at him, winking, before jumping down the hole. More prepared for it this time, she let herself feel the excitement of the drop, letting out a short whoop. She loved heights.

 

"Well?" Copperblaze called up, smirking playfully. "You coming?"

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Skari

"Well, I can't refuse." Following in suit, Skari jumped down beside her, enjoying the rush of cold air as he landed on the ground. He glanced around. "This thing must go a long way."

 

He stepped forward into the darkness, extending his elbow to Copperblaze in a gentlemanly fashion. "Shall we?"

 

Perhaps his old self was coming back after all those long years in prison.

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Copperblaze

Copperblaze grinned as she took his arm. They strolled through the darkness, laughing at the silliness of it, or they did until Skari broke it off to look at something. Trying not to feel too disappointed- he was joking after all, and though she was too, she still loved that he thought enough of her to laugh and joke with her. The arm-holding was pretty nice too, and she definitely wouldn't say no to more.

 

She probably had a ridiculous grin on her face as she walked over to look at what Skari saw. It was some kind of drawing, in a language that Copperblaze couldn't understand. Confused, she looked to Skari. "What does that mean?" she wondered aloud.

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Skari

Skari's archeologist brain started working into overtime as he examined the markings. They looked very familiar, with an almost distinctive touch of primitive Norse. A few of the words he could make out, but the rest of it was either worn away by time or undistinguishable.

 

"It looks like a form of Old Norse," he murmured, completely spacing out on everything else around him as he examined the writing. "Maybe an old dialect. I definitely recognize several of those runes." He traced his finger along the black surface, rubbing it, and then sticking his finger temporarily in his mouth before spitting. "Written with charcoal. At least a few hundred years old."

 

He studied them for a few brief moments more, until he finally drew a conclusion. "This is a completely different language," he said. "Developed by what I'm assuming is ancient Vikings. And if they have a whole language written here..."

 

"...Then there must be a whole civilization, too."

 

He gave Copperblaze a "isn't history amazing?" look, before starting off down the tunnels, still continuing his spoken commentary on the possibilities of this new civilization. "Maybe they lived down here. Perhaps we'll find whole ruins...with some time, I could probably start deciphering those markings!"

 

 

 

 

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So, while the love birds were playing archeologists, Paz was running for her life!

 

Apparently whatever she had heard earlier was chasing her now, and she wasn't gonna stop to find out what it was. After about half an hour of running in the dark and bumping into walls (which wasn't helping the freak out factor) whatever was chasing had become silent, indicating that it got bored of the chase. Still running, Paz looked over her shoulder to make sure (which was pointless, considering she couldn't see) Of course, doing that meant that she didn't see there was a drop off ahead, so she took her second tumble that day.

 

As she layed there, not caring about any possible injuries she just abstained, she didn't do anything except breathe. That's all she really could do at the moment. It was that or let her emotions take over and be an even bigger mess than she already was. She learned that trick a long time ago. If she were to start talking, she would lose it. So that's what she did. Breathe in, breathe out. Inhale, exhale.

 

Once she calmed down enough, Paz started to stand up and dust herself off. As she started to check herself for scratches, she had a realization.

 

She could see.

 

There was light in here.

 

Once Paz surveyed the area, she could see that there was a small opening in the far corner leading out above ground (appearantly she was in a hill of some sort) there was also a decently sized spring in another corner. When she had limped over to it (she had bruised her left hip) she reached down to test it. Finding out it was fresh water she turns takes one last look at the fairly spaceous cavern and makes her way out, hoping to find the rest of ther group. 

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Copperblaze

"Whoa," she breathed, imagining the possibilities. And wait, did Skari just say he might be able to translate those runes? They could learn so much from that, she barely could contain her excitement.

 

Normally, she hated learning. No, what Copperblaze loved was finding things out. They were two completely different things, she would assure anyone. One was mind-numbingly boring, and only involved being told things. The other consisted of grit, and dirt, and excitement, everything she loved.

 

She practically ran after Skari, who by now was only a few feet ahead of her, but she didn't mind. "Why were they living down here, I wonder?" she started rambling, not wanting an answer. If there was anyone she was asking, it was herself. "It could have been the dragons, but then again, there are dragons that live underground-" she paused to let out a small shudder and gasped as something hit her. "What if these were converted Whispering Death caves?"

 

She was full-out rambling now, but she didn't care, too caught up in excitement and her idea. "Either something happened to the Whispering Deaths and they moved in, or- or maybe they lived in harmony together and the dragons made the caves for them! But then why were they underground in the first place- oh, could they have been hiding? But from what?" She broke off her rambling to think for a moment. "Predators, enemies, dragons, humans, hmm..."

 

She walked in silence for a few minutes. Skari had stopped at another set of markings with a frown on his face. He seemed hard at work, thinking, so she decided to not bother him. Instead, she decided to explore more, but she kept a careful eye on the twists in the tunnels. She didn't want to get lost...

 

After a few minutes, she happened on another drawing. There were some strange markings on it, but also a large arrow pointing straight ahead. That could be a good sign, she mused. There was bound to be something important up ahead if such a large arrow was pointing her there.

 

She pressed on, determined now. She rounded a bend, and gasped. What she saw was nothing she could have ever imagined. There were what seemed like hundreds of buildings, all crammed in a giant cavern, and they all seemed to be mostly intact.

 

That was interesting, had the people of this village known something others hadn't? Normally, a Viking house definitely wouldn't survive as long as these seemed to have. She cautiously strode in, careful not to touch anything. She stood there for a few minutes, just marveling at the sight, before breaking out of her stupor and running back to Skari. He had to see this!

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Sylvan

((Wait, I'm kinda confused now.....

did we all just suddenly end up in a Whispering Death tunnel or something...?))

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~

No, just me, Copper and Skari. You and Lupus are doing you own thing. Unless you want to come and get trapped with us. I'm already out though.

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Lupus

She was back at camp sharpening a lonesome  ax that was sitting around. She thoughts drifted back to the hi talk that she had with Copper. Why did she run away? It wasn't like her to do that. It was like something just clipped into place and told her that she had to be back at camp. Or maybe it was a, don't talk to people, you get angry when you talk to people. But it wasn't her fault that people made her angry. It was there fualts! They were the ones that disagreed with her. If they never would've started talking about that subject and then discussing it, she would've get mad at them. So, yes it was their fualt.

 

She could feel that she was summoning anger from within herself again. Why did she do that! Why couldn't she ever do anything right? EVER! 

 

She was done she blew her own top. She quickly stood up and grabbed her mase and smashed it into a tree, leaving a huge gash in it, and multiple other items in camp along with it.

 

After expressing her angry, she surveyed the damage. What would the others think? It was really bad..... She quickly flung her mase away (far, far away) and quickly began to pick up stick and wood peices. As long as she git it all cleaned up before the rest of the camp got back. It never happened. Right?

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Topaz Gypsy

After another two hours of wandering around the island, Paz had miracuously managed to stumble into camp. Tired, hungry and in a lot more pain after walking on her injured leg for so long. Not to mention filthy, there's also that.

 

However, the sight that welcomed her made her stumble back a little. The campsite looked like a madman had come in and tried to obliterate its ghosts.

 

She then looked up to see the madman- or, madwoman in question.

 

"I suppose that'll make good firewood." Paz commented, not wanting to say anything that make her mad again.

 

Getting a sideways look from the older girl, Paz got straight to the point.

 

"Let's just say you don't wanna know, and that I think I've found a more permenant campsite. Speaking of which, where have the others gone off to?"

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Lupus

Apparently she didn't pick up fast enough. Paz was back. She dropped the wood in defeat and fell to the ground. She decided to answer Paz's question. "I guess I don't know. They haven't came back here since Bumbles." She replied.

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Topaz Gypsy

When Lupus just dropped the pile of splintered wood onto the ground in defeat, it made remember the exhausted state she was in. She almost collapsed at the lack of adrenalline. Trying to distract herself, she started picking up the mess too.

 

"Welp, let's get a big fire going before they get back so we can cover up this mess."

 

After another 15 minutes, it almost looked like nothing had happened, and they were sitting around, waiting for the others to come back. Paz would have gone to sleep too if it weren't for how hungry she was.

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Lupus

She was gracious that Paz wasn't mad and helped her pick up the mess. "Thanks," she said silently.

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Copperblaze

After a while more of searching, Copperblaze and Skari had decided to take a more active role in another matter: searching for their lost groupmates. Copperblaze had taken out her sketchbook and copied the drawings they found, and had also made a rough map of the tunnel system. Despite all that, the pair hadn't found any clues that could lead them to the missing Vikings.

 

Tired and hungry, the two decided to make their way back to camp. They could figure things out from there, and maybe even make a more organized search party. Copperblaze was pleasantly surpised, though, to find the rest of their group sitting in a partially destroyed camp.

 

"Whoa, what happened here?" she asked, startled at the state of the camp. "Did a wild dragon come through here or something?" That was really the only explanation she could think of, she mused, as she surveyed the camp. Semthing small, probably, considering nothing was trampled and there were only what seemed to be claw marks. They were just lucky that the dragon hadn't fired and destoyed it entirely.

 

"So, uh, what were you guys doing while we were gone?" she inquired. "Skari said you weren't in camp earlier, and we were looking for you."

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Skari

Skari enormously enjoyed the rest of the trek through the tunnels, especially seeing the ruins, and he was eternally grateful to Copperblaze for copying them down. Sometime he'd have to set to work translating the runes.

 

When they returned to camp, he realized it seemed to be partially destroyed. A few of the Vikings were sitting among the wreckage, but Skari wasn't too concerned with it. He just kept replaying the events of the cavern in his head. An age-old civilization, down there in the tunnels...how had they got there, anyways?

 

Copperblaze had suggested dragons. In all honesty, it made sense.

 

But now, he'd just have to focus on deciphering the runes.

 

((Wow, I missed a lot XD Whoopsie))

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Copperblaze

Opening her journal, Copperblaze started studying the drawings inside. They were mostly drawings, but a few faded runes were also present. She squinted, trying to make them out. Unfortunately, copying hadn't improved their legibility, and the few shapes she could make out were mainly arrows.

 

Carefully, she tore her current page out, so she could try to decipher the pictures without ruining her original copy. Recopying the lines told her nothing, but it was likely that some got rubbed off over the years. She started connecting the lines where it seemed logical to connect them. "Okay, that one looks a bit like a fish," she thought aloud, "and that one looks a bit like a corn husk. Could those have been signs? It makes sense, seeing the arrows. So maybe that fish led to a place where they could fish, and the corn led to where they could farm?"

 

"You know," Copperblaze muttered, still to herself, "if the pictures show where things could be, then what are the odds that the words above them mean the same thing?" Eagerly, she tried to match up the letters in the word 'fish' with the corresponding runes. Unfortunately, it only led her to disappointment. "Yeah, I guess that wouldn't work," Copperblaze mumbled quietly. "It's not a code, after all. I just really wanted to be able to solve this..."

 

Maybe to impress Skari? her brain traitorously offered.

 

Oh, you shut up, she thought furiously back, turning away from the group to hide her growing blush. Gah, I really need to fix that problem, she mused, momentarily distracted.

 

Her brain, however, didn't, and continued to mock her mentally. She groaned. What did I do to deserve this...

 

Very cautiously, Copperblaze tore the rest of the original copies out, making sure not to rip anything. Still marginally embarrassed, she handed the small pile to Skari. Maybe he could figure something out...

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Skari

His eyes lighting up, Skari gratefully accepted Copperblaze's offer of her drawing of the runes. Shuffling through the pages and then beginning the one they had first discovered, he began tracing over them with his finger, mentally tallying all the letters he recognized and writing them down on the back with a charcoal stick he had made from the remains of the fire.

 

Muttering to himself, Skari continued the deciphering process for several more minutes, feeling Copperblaze's curious gaze on him all the while he worked. Finally, at least twenty minutes later, he had a rough idea on what every rune meant. Then, he began translating, murmuring the words slowly as he managed to decipher them.

 

"Isle...of..." He squinted. "Fyrsta. Hmm." He stroked his chin. "Pretty name."

 

He continued reading them aloud, and though it was slow going, he had finally decided he had roughly translated the sentence- but only partially. "The Isle of Fyrsta welcomes it's people." He squinted. "This part is talking about wings or something. The wings of the dragon. Dragon wings? Chicken wings, maybe. Ah! 'The wings of the dragon shelter those who enter'." He paused. "I think you're right, Copperblaze; these people were working in harmony with the dragons."

 

He kept reading, trying to make out the rest of it, but his head started to ache. Setting the papers back down, he dusted the charcoal residue off his hands. "I'll try again in a bit," he said. "For now, I think it's safe to say our island is called Fyrsta." Then, Skari paused again, smiling. "I believe that's Old Nordic for 'beginning'. Ironic."

 

The Island of Beginning. How fitting.

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...

"Wow," Copperblaze breathed, astonished. He'd gotten all that in barely twenty minutes? Deciphering a new language, that took a lot of skill.

 

She thought back to what he'd translated. So these people did have peace with dragons- but hundreds of years before Berkians had even had the idea. How had no one ever heard of them? Where had they gone? Thousands of questions raced through her head, but not one had an answer.

 

"We need to go back to those tunnels," started Copperblaze. "The people of this island probably knew so much, and compared to them, we know so little. Who knows what secrets they have? We've got to find out more. Besides, some of those drawings we found had pictures of a fish and corn on them. A berry bush isn't the best permanent source of food, and I know I'm hungry."

 

"These people must have known this island inside and out," she said. "If we're going to be living here, we've got to learn too."

 

Copperblaze paused, then let out a big grin. "Plus, those tunnels are really cool."

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Skari

Skari gave Copperblaze a long look, his mouth twitching, but just barely. Then, he smiled. "Go back into that maze of darkness and possible death? A labyrinth of ruins and the unsuspecting and impending danger at every corner?" He stood to his feet. "Sounds like a plan. We've got more than enough daylight to make our way back there and scour around down there for something interesting."

 

While Copperblaze, along with the others, watched him with mildly confused faces, Skari began rummaging through the now-cleaned wreckage of the camp, which had been piled off in the nearby shrubs. "I know I saw it somewhere. Would work just fine. Why can I never find- aha! There it is." From the debris, he pulled a small dagger. "Swords are great, but you never know when you might need a dagger." It was purely random, but Skari decided it would be worth it.

 

When a long silence ensued, Skari cleared his throat. "Anyways. Anyone coming?"

 

 

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Lupus "I'll come." Lupus said

Lupus

"I'll come." Lupus said to Sharki. "I've never been inside these tunnels but they sound like loads of exciting danger. I'm in!" She said loudly. Then she walked over at grabbed her mase and then walked over by the expiadition crue.

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Copperblaze

Grinning again, Copperblaze started the short trek back to the tunnel entrance. Pushing their way through trees and brambles, the group finally arrived at the dark hole. She took one look into the deep, pitch-black maw of the pit, and took a flying leap in.

 

She grinned, letting out a fairly loud whoop on the way down. She'd never get tired of the exhilaration of falling. It was almost like flying. Almost.

 

The others jumped down after her with thumps of their own, with mixed levels of excitement. They almost immediately found the first drawing, which according to Skari was a welcome sign. Something about dragon wings protecting...? She didn't remember.

 

Oh, and there was the ruinous village. Exactly how she remembered, and barely in ruins at all. This, to her, was the most interesting thing there. Half-crumbled torches lined the large expanse of a cavern, and would have lit the walls had they been new. There was a large clearing in the center, and a large building faced it. Their Great Hall, maybe?

 

Scouring the room, she found a previously unnoticed tunnel off to the side. Its sign was a picture of an egg, and since Copperblaze still couldn't read the writing, she had no idea what it was. A chicken house, maybe?

 

Cautiously walking in, Copperblaze gasped at the immediate heat she felt. Okay, not a chicken house. No chicken could survive this- well, whatever this was. There was thick smoke engulfing the whole room, and she tried to wave it away from her face to no avail.

 

There started to become a dip in the ground, and Copperblaze tried increasingly to look past the fog. At the center of the room, there was a large pedestal. She attempted to get closer, but involuntarily shrieked in surprise and pain, when her feet encountered a sharp pain.

 

She bent down, and looked for what had caused it, but found only- water? There had to be something else here... didn't there? Upon closer inspection, though, the water appeared to be boiling. Oh, it was a hot spring! She'd heard about those, but never had encountered one in person. She almost wished she hadn't, her feet would be in pain for days.

 

She looked more closely at the pedestal, making sure, though, to stay clear of the hot spring. Copperblaze gasped. Well, if that wasn't evidence that these Vikings had cooperated with dragons, nothing was. The object was actually a large statue, of a mother dragon watching her eggs. This wasn't just a hot spring, this was a dragon hatchery!