Tagged for mentions of gore
Fuzzytimed to the Expedition led by Ar'vis of bronze Cyniath
Cusp of Winter/Spring 2039
It was Heroic.
It was Foolish.
It cost him everything.
The pyrite pair were no strangers to danger, and they'd faced a harrowing escape once before.
However, no one is lucky forever.
Shortly after they'd found out that the mountains sported a whole system of caves, the cries of humans and dragons split the silence. One look was all it took, a glance at the bluerider Mansa, before the pair of them were off at a run, following the sounds as best they could. There were a few tight places, where Preluth had to squeeze himself through the narrow passage, but Volrocth's slightly smaller size moved a little easier through the tunnels until they found what they were looking for. As they closed in, it was not only the pleas from their companions they heard, but the hiss and growls of something unearthly rumbling off the walls that made their feet hesitate briefly only for their pace to quicken with determination.
When they rounded the corner to see the scene, T'kav had to take a moment to register what he was seeing before he could act. It looked as though the cave floor had given way under the other riders and dropped them right in the middle of a swarm of long serpents full of claws and teeth. The bronze dragon had a fighting chance, but the green almost seemed dwarfed by some of these monsters, and the riders seemed like twigs in comparison. The rubble had settled in a sloping pile, to give their comrades a chance to climb out and it looked they'd been trying to, but they were rather occupied for the time being in just trying to stay alive. They would need a few more fighting hands in order to create any kind of shield against these creatures, so they could fall back and take the chance to climb the rubble.
Perhaps it was the turns he'd spent in the Wings, working as part of a team that you trusted, or it was the turns he'd spent with Livila, her spirit and love turning him into a better man for her. Whatever it was that had changed the rogue, when he saw that his comrades were in serious trouble, instead of thinking of himself the pyriterider didn't waste a second thought on helping his comrades in any way he could. Roc, you have to help Zarth, she's too small by herself. The man bespoke, while moving quickly to remove the spears strapped against the fiery shadow of a dragon. The pyrite replied, red facets whirling fast as he watched the scene below them and the struggle of his fellow dragons in holding off the monstrous serpents.
Teks cast his gaze to Mansa, wondering if the bluerider was ready to face this and help, or not. It seemed that Mansa was moving to her blue as well, readying to act, and Teks knew that they were in this together now, all of them. Just as Volrocth said, they had to move quickly though, so not much was said between the dragonriders and action spoke louder now. The pyrite pair moved quickly then, scaling down the pile of rubble to reach their comrades and Volrocth came to the green dragons' aid, slashing at a massive head that was poised to strike at Zarth. The serpents were relentless, and some seemed unphased by the teeth and claws that struck back, but still the dragons fought against them for the sake of their riders and each other. With the bulk of four dragons shielding them now, the other group was able to collect themselves and work their way toward T'kav and Mansa up the rubble pile. The rogue could tell at least one of them was pretty injured, yet they seemed capable enough to climb the rocks and boulders, so they could hopefully make it to the outside.
The dragons as a whole began to fall back as their counterparts moved higher up the rubble though they each sported their fair share of scratches and bites and bruises from tail slaps, they stood their ground and dealt back just as much as they received. Volrocth was no stranger to a good fight and he'd felt the lust of blood before, so the fiery shadow was just as fierce and relentless as his enemy. When they would try to bite at him, sharp claws would greet their faces and he struck for the eyes whenever he could. When they scratched at him or swung their tail, teeth latched on tight with the intent to break bones if he could. The shadow was small and quick, but in closed quarters, not nimble enough and he felt their fury more than once against his hide, the green of his ichor standing out against the dark hide.
T'kav felt every sting of a fresh wound on dragonhide, and the burn of aching muscles, but they knew they had to carry on fighting, climbing toward freedom until they could taste the fresh air and the void of between would silence that infernal hissing in their ears. They'd reached the lip of the sink hole finally, and though the mass of writhing serpents had risen with them, it felt safer somehow to be that much closer to freedom. Teks deftly cimbed up and over the lip and then crouched against the edge to give his comrades a extra hand up to flat ground once more. From here, he could see the bulk of the fray of dragons and serpents and watched as the large bronze took a bite out of one of the wyrms and toss the carcass into the rest of them. Most everyone was gathered now against the edge and Teks reached to give Abigail a hand up while Mansa seemed to make her own way up and then helped him with the greenrider.
It's time to fall back Roc, lets' get out of here. The man said, picking out the fiery hide of his own dragon and saw the stains of ichor but knew that the pyrite wasn't grievously injured. Volrocth bespoke, his tone a little strained but determined. They'll be right behind you. Let Pionath take the rear, he's the strongest. T'kav replied as he reached down and took Selhem's hand and helped pull him up and over the lip of the hole and his gaze went back to the dragons again, watching for the pyrite to fall back.
The fiery shadow made sure that Zarth was the first to get up safely to the edge of the hole, scooting her out of the fight until she backed away and scrambled up the edge, and the other three squeezed in a bit closer. It was Preluth who tried to scoot him out next though, moving to pin him against Pionath if Roc didn't step back, and so he did, but the pyrite didn't climb out just yet. Determined to see his kin safe, he slid up against the wall at the top of the pile and caught his breath and tried to recover his strength while he watched Pionath try to shove the blue dragon back and up to the edge. It was just the large bronze now, holding back the hoarde at the narrow choke point even though it was evident that even the bronze was beginning to feel the wear and tear of the fight of their lives.
Two serpents came at Pionath at once, one lunging for his face, the other for his throat and while the bronze bucked and battled those two, a third slithered even closer and moved around to the bronze dragons' flank, teeth glittering in the discarded glow light and Volrocth show the flash. The fiery shadow bolted from his place against the wall and sprang toward the head of the serpent, and a surprised squelch echoed in their ears as teeth sank into the back of it's neck. Roc tried to use his bulk to pin down the beast, but the best he could do was keep the head on the ground, while the back half flailed dangerously and the tail whipped hard against the dragons's side, knocking him off balance. The blow caused him to lose his grip too and the monster seemed to notice as well and used it to it's advantage. Shaking loose, the serpents massive head swung around tight and jaws lined with rows of sharp teeth latched onto whatever part of the dragon it could find.
A keen of pain echoed in the cavern as Volrocth cried out when sawlike teeth ripped through his hide and tore through the soft of an unprotected belly. The monstrous beast could taste the ichor now, hear the dragons squeals and those jaws snapped open once more, driving further before they clamped down once more, teeth grinding against ribs until they snapped like twigs. The pyrite bleated in anguish, the sound tearing through the heart of one man and dropping him to his knees. T'kav felt as if it were his own ribs breaking, his heart being torn out of his chest as the dragon thrashed in the grip of his captor, kicking and scratching with everything ounce of strength he had left. It wasn't enough though and Volrocth could feel his strength waning, and the serpent began to tug on him, pulling him back toward the throng of hungry mouths.
The pyrite yelled, determined to save his rider, even though it was going to cost him everything.
Teks couldn't feel it when arms grabbed him and pulled him back to his feet. He couldn't feel the rock beneath his feet as they moved without thinking, or the warmth of another as they supported him during their flight. All he could feel was pain as his body and soul were torn asunder by the souless and hungry monsters below, feasting on their victory. While the dragons keened at the loss of one of their own, they had no time to mourn and instead used the pyrites' sacrifice as a much needed distraction to get themselves to saftey, carrying the destitute rider with them. T'kav was virtually numb and mindless, but they were able to manuever the man where he needed to be and strapped onto a dragons back the moment they were outside once more. Even the cold of between seemed more inviting than usual to the rogue and the man was tempted to let himself slip away into that dark.
Before he could let go though, the bright of life returned around them and blue wings lowered them into camp once more. It wasn't until he was back on solid ground again, that he felt the numbness shatter all around him and the rogue sank to his knees once more, the wails of a dragonless man torn from his throat. After a time, he quieted, and despites the pleas of his comrades, he would not be moved from his place on the ground, kneeling until he could barely feel his legs beneath him. It wasn't until the next morning that he finally roused, and without a word moved into his tent for the reminder of their trip. He'd done his duty for Ar'vis, for Ma'lek, for the Weyr, he'd given up his life to them and now he'd lost the only reason he'd remained loyal, there was no reason to remain so.
He would live on...but he would live free.
When the Expedition returned to Atricis, they were one dragon fewer and word spread quite quickly through the Weyr of the loss, of the news of these giant serpents that had killed one and permanently maimed another. It was frigthening to the common folk who began peeking around dark corners, and several dragonriders were riled up to start hunting trips of these creatures, to make a market for their teeth and claws. As the revolutionary news continued to spread and the Weyr stirred in it's wake, there was one that used this chaos to his advantage. Many of his comrades had tried to check up on him, feigning concern and even Livila had tried to reach out to him, but Trevail wasn't listening or trusting anyone but himself, ever again.
Packing only what he would need to surive and Eva faithfully by his side, the rogue returned to his roots in the wilds of the land.
The life of a rogue never ends, their story simply picks up somewhere else.
Post count - 6,666th!