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Thread: Dragon Hunt (Rayleigh)

  1. #1
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    VarWenn's Avatar

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    Varin
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    Drakari.
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    Dragon Hunt (Rayleigh)

    At the edge of a murky fountain, in a coal-coated town’s central square, in the midst of a dirt road dusted with broken pieces of machinery and metal sculpture, sat a haggard Drakari in white robes. An open sketchbook rested on his lap.

    It was rare that places this peaceful came to Varin. He knew he should have been traveling; he had hung around this sleepy settlement for far too long, spending a week or so at the cheap inn at the edge of town. But it was simply so nice here. Every day had a lazy feel to it, and the perfect amount of sunlight filtered from the foggy sky to sketch by. The dark elves here were pleasant as well. None of them had harassed him during his stay, which was a surprising first when one had orange eyes, spindly talons for hands, and membranous dragon wings. Most went off to work the mines in the morning, so the square was empty for the moment.

    That was the way he liked it.

    Another plus to this town was that there were many curious contraptions in the shop windows that would make interesting drawings. Instead, Varin’s pencil outlined the shape of an intricate mansion of dark wood, stone, and dragon bones. It was so large that one looking at the drawing might not have realized it was a treetop dwelling if it weren’t for the thick branches it rested on. As strained as his life in the general’s mansion had been, it didn’t keep him from feeling a little homesick every now and then. “But nostalgia for Suthainn is no good reason to return. To risk servitude again would be foolish. Correct, Arie?” The little gold-speckled sparrow resting on his shoulder twittered in apparent agreement.

    A shadow fell over Varin, accompanied by a voice thick with Drakari accent. “That's a mighty fine estate you’ve drawn there. Reminds me of the city I come from.”

    The pencil tripped in its dance across the page. It lay prone in Varin’s grasp a moment, as he gave a curt reply to the stranger, glancing over his shoulders with a slitted gaze. “I do not like people whom snoop upon my sketching without introducing themselves.”

    As it turned out, the stranger peering over at Varin’s work was as stocky Drakari of exceptional height and rust-red scales, one of his boots resting on the stone edge of the fountain. His face was narrow and extraordinarily reptilian and set with cunning brown eyes. The first weapon on his person was a steel flail hitched to his hip by the belt. Taloned hands tipped with sharp, black nails were the second. Claw Caste. Varin couldn’t help but mentally categorize him. Standing amid Alerar’s smog and mechanically-inspired architecture, he looked very out-of-place. “Kendrold; mercenary,” the stranger named himself with a crack of his knuckles, raising his head proudly. “Your name, I don’t need to hear.”

    Upon sight of the stranger, Arie ducked into one of the deep pockets of Varin’s robe with a strangled chirp. Varin figured that she had the right idea. Apprehension was welling up in his chest. How likely was it to encounter another of his kind all the way out here? “You frightened my friend,” the young man told Kendrold, his words prickly with discomfort, and his wings twitching a pinch. “Please leave me alone.”

    A guttural chuckle burst from the Drakari. “Testy, testy. Am I bothering you, Fuilenir?Casteless.

    The word cut through the tender quiet of the morning. It had been a long time since anyone had slung around that slang term, and it had never been in a good-natured manner. New life was breathed into his concerns about this encounter. Varin shot the stocky mercenary a frightened look as he slipped his sketchbook and pencil back into the folds of his robes. He stood up and turned to face the man with his fanged bared, and Arie glaring out of his pocket. “This is no chance meeting, is it? What do you want from me?”

    Kendrold extended a thick claw, his scaled lips splitting into an amicable grin. A few gold teeth shone in the paltry light. “Aren’t you to the point? General Aurawan hired me to fetch a lost possession of his, and I believe I have found it. It was mighty difficult to track you down. You stick out like a sore thumb, but you don’t stick around long enough to catch, let me tell you that. Would you mind coming quietly? I'd prefer to bring his property back undamaged, even if it is of low value.”

    “Or, you could simply let me go,” Varin replied, enunciating the words slowly, as if to make absolute certain that the bounty hunter understood. “It would be much less hassle for both of us that way, for I have no intention of returning to that household again.”

    “But then I don't get paid, do I?” The bounty hunter flexed his claws, disappointment in the slight slumping of his shoulders. “How about this? I’ll give you to the count of ten to comply. One, two…”

    “Ten,” Varin spat as he took off in the opposite direction, his robes trailing behind him.

    Startled by the instant rejection, Kendrold took a quick swipe at his fleeing bounty, and the tip of his claws scraping against Varin’s wings and slicing off a few scales. Still, the young man ran without a glance back, much lighter on his feet than his heavy pursuer. Kendrold charged fearlessly after him, only to find that Varin had seemingly vanished after the first corner he had turned. A few white flowers from his braid lay crushed on the ground, fallen off in flight.

    Kendrold inspected the blood on the tips of his claws and took a deep whiff of it, rather calm despite the disappearance of his quarry. “Mmm. I suppose we’ll have to do this the hard way; there’s a reason Patience is a virtue. Let the hunt begin.”
    Last edited by VarWenn; 04-25-17 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Snipping and refining, as usual.
    "I’m funny, so they let me live." - Skippy’s List

    The Wiki Matriarch. Always free to roleplay! I also play all these guys, so take a look at them too!

    Varin's Themesong!

  2. #2
    Aaron Burr, Sir
    EXP: 23,107, Level: 6
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    Rayleigh's Avatar

    Name
    Rayleigh Aston
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Brunette
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    Green
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    5'3 / 115
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    Mechanic

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    "A heat shield, ya'say?" The man's voice was low and gravely, a rumbling not unlike the machine he tinkered with. "I should think a mechanic with talent like you've got wouldn't need my help with sucha thing." When he finally emerged from behind the metal husk, wiping his blackened hands on an old, red rag, Rayleigh was unsure whether to be flattered or insulted by the comment. His big, blue eyes stared back at her from beneath bushy white eyebrows, waiting for her to make up her mind.

    "Yes, well," she began, her hands moving to her hips in a subtle sign of defense, "I am dealing with massive temperatures." Temperatures aided by magic, though she did not feel it necessary to share the fact. "Much, much hotter than anything that I have worked with before." She set her jaw defiantly, her own eyes narrowing a bit as she added, "And it isn't that I necessarily need your help. I just thought you might have some thoughts on the matter. If you don't, I'll just be on my way." It was not an especially long way back to Ettermire, though her desire to walk (and refusal to ride a horse) had lengthened the trip considerably. If she had traveled all this way only to hit a dead end, she would have only wasted a couple of days. Sure, she would be furious, and probably simmer the entire journey back, but she would still storm out if the situation called for it.

    The old man observed in silence, as if he could see the gears turning, and read the thoughts that raced through the mousey woman's mind. Finally, he barked a short laugh. "I suppose ya would be too, wouldn't ya?" He grinned at her, chapped lips pulled taut over tobacco-stained teeth. "Well alright, I suppose I could give ya some pointers. I've been at this since 'fore ya parents were born, so I've got a couple lifetimes of knowledge." His grin turned devilish as he added, "and I'm the only mechanic you'll find for miles, so best I make your trip worthwhile."

    The brunette sent up a silent prayer to whatever god looked out for the machine folk, and settled atop a stack of tires to hear whatever wisdom he could share.

    An hour later, the pair of engineers stood together in the doorway of the shop. The dust kicked up by the warm breeze tickled Rayleigh's senses, and she teetered dangerously close to the edge of a sneeze. A sideways glance revealed that her companion was seemingly unaffected by the dry climate, and so she fought back the urge with a dry, choked swallow. Upon further inspection, Ray noted that the man was staring straight ahead, his gaze fixed on something other than herself. When she followed his line of sight, she loosed a small grunt of confusion. "What kind of elves are those?"

    The individuals in question, a pair of men, were engrossed in deep conversation. They were far enough that their voices did not carry, but close enough that their unusual features were evident; their faces were oddly shaped, their skin a rich earthen color, and there was something unusual about their hands.

    With a snort that Ray recognized as disgust, the man answered her. "They're no elves."

    Blinking, against the dust as much as in confusion, Ray looked back at him. He was reaching up to touch the pointed ends of his own ears, nearly hidden beneath his mop of shaggy white hair. "Are they causing trouble?" she asked, put on edge by his tone.

    "No," came his answer, "but they aren't from around here. The one in the white has been here for a span of days, never given us any trouble. He's the quiet type, which is fine." As if only to dispute the statement, the volume of the conversation rose, now filling the otherwise still central square. The fellow mechanic grumbled. "Well, at least he had been."

    They watched in silence for a moment longer, each lost in their own thoughts as the scene played out. Only when the smaller individual lashed out at his companion, and sprinted off the other direction, did Rayleigh snap to life. "I'm going to go help," she announced, tightening the strap of her worn leather bag across her shoulder.

    With a scowl, the man asked, "why not leave them alone? Figure it's none of our business."

    "He might need help," she called back, already jogging after the fleeing figure. Besides, staying out of other peoples' business had never been one of her strengths.
    Althy's Judging Admin
    To try or not to try. To take a risk or play it safe.
    Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is.
    And because I've never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.




  3. #3
    Member

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    VarWenn's Avatar

    Name
    Varin
    Age
    20.
    Race
    Drakari.
    Gender
    Male.
    Hair Color
    Black.
    Eye Color
    Orange.
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    5'1" / 110 lb.
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    May Noazoth grant me the breath to outpace this man. If not that, then Piospius allow me the ability to outwit him.

    Varin skidded disheveled through the streets, Arie complaining in bouncing squawks about the the wild flapping of his cloak, whipping her about from her place in his pocket. This wasn’t his first encounter with these sorts of mercenaries, but it was by far the closest. Fleeing Suthainn was by far the best thing he could have done for himself. It was also the most unabashedly stupid; he should have known he would have been pursued so adamantly. No Drakari in their right mind would let their property up and walk off on them, especially not a general of the Wing. General Aurawan would pay well for the return of his wayward ward in both gold and status. Chalazae may rip him from his graces, if only so I would not be chased so.

    He had picked up a few understandings in his previous encounters. For one, the broadly-built mercenaries had difficulty keeping pace with him -- but that mattered little when they had more stamina. For another, they had a very keen sense of smell, which was what allowed them to trace him in the first place.

    Varin glanced over his shoulder as he hurtled on, half-expecting to find his pursuer but a few yards behind. None but a curious elf peeking out of her house found his gaze. Disrupting the peace of the quaint town might have disappointed him more if he wasn’t already sweating out adrenaline.

    Dancing with the mercenaries was a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They were always the cheaper Claw Castes, searching for something that would make a good tale, that they could use to rack up prestige. Kendrold could afford to meander his way on over, enjoying the thrill of sussing out prey so vulnerable, and so valuable. In all likelihood, it would only a matter of time before Varin found himself too tired to keep running. Then, Kendrold would sniff him out and drag his limp body back to where it belonged; serfdom.

    No thank you.

    When the opportunity presented itself, Varin grabbed onto a ladder leaning against a shabby house and shot up it. As soon as his feet hit the rusted roof, he grabbed the ladder and hauled it up, hoping to deny access to his hunter. The sounds of pursuit were close behind, all heavy breathing and quick footsteps. Arie cheeped anxiously at the sounds, only to be hushed by a light tap on the head.

    Really? Was the mercenary that light on his feet, and that eager to get this over with? Varin shuddered and pressed himself against the house’s blackened chimney. His breath rasped against his throat as he peeked over the edge of the house. If worst came to worst, perhaps he could take out Kendrold by dropping the ladder on his head. The ladder scraped against the tin roofing, poised over the edge and ready for gravity to do it’s work...

    ...except that the person rounding the corner wasn’t the mercenary.
    "I’m funny, so they let me live." - Skippy’s List

    The Wiki Matriarch. Always free to roleplay! I also play all these guys, so take a look at them too!

    Varin's Themesong!

  4. #4
    Aaron Burr, Sir
    EXP: 23,107, Level: 6
    Level completed: 45%, EXP required for next level: 3,893
    Level completed: 45%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,893

    AP
    66
    GP
    2,980
    Rayleigh's Avatar

    Name
    Rayleigh Aston
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Brunette
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'3 / 115
    Job
    Mechanic

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    Three sounds filled Rayleigh's head, drowning out all other noise. The first was her own heartbeat, thundering against her ribs and between her ears. The second, nearly as sporadic and jarring as her heart, was the pounding of her boots against the hard-packed earth. The third, and the loudest, was the sound of her own ragged breathing as she fought to drag in lungfuls of air. "Need... more... cardio..." she wheezed aloud, before finally slowing to a halt. Her small body trembled, and her chest heaved as she doubled over at the waist, her hands on her knees.

    The two men who she had been pursuing had been far faster than they had appeared. It had taken only a moment for them to lose her in the twists and turns of the quiet town, though she wondered if they had even noticed her tailing them. Odds were far more likely that they had simply been so hell-bent on catching their own prize that they had unintentionally left the smaller, less athletically inclined woman in the dust. So when she had turned one more corner, only to find it empty, she had finally given up fighting the good fight. At least, until she got her breath back.

    Ray straightened, one hand shoving her mane of brunette hair back from her face. Rogue tendrils were still plastered with sweat to her flushed cheeks when she glanced skyward, savoring the feel of the breeze. It was warm, sure, but it still provided some relief from the heat radiating off her. Her emerald eyes closed, and she heaved a sigh that still shook with effort. When they opened once more, it was just in time for her to state, "At least I got my workout for the day in." As if exercise were truly a part of her routine. John prompted the woman to get more physically fit, and she begrudgingly amused him with short runs (mostly to the kitchen), and strength training (mostly in her shop).

    Her hands moved to rub at her eyes, prickling and stinging from the salty beads of sweat. How long had she been running? How many times had she ventured down the narrow alleys? Down this particular alley, even, never again catching sight of the small, dark-skinned being? Her lips pursed. "Fine then," Ray muttered. "Just see if I ever try to save you again." It was somewhat calming to hear herself speak the words, as if assuring her that the chase had not been a complete waste. Mostly, she looked a bit like a fool, chattering to herself in a seemingly abandoned part of town.
    Althy's Judging Admin
    To try or not to try. To take a risk or play it safe.
    Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is.
    And because I've never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.




  5. #5
    Member

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    VarWenn's Avatar

    Name
    Varin
    Age
    20.
    Race
    Drakari.
    Gender
    Male.
    Hair Color
    Black.
    Eye Color
    Orange.
    Build
    5'1" / 110 lb.
    Job
    Misanthropist Druidic Artist.

    View Profile
    (Let me know if you’re good with the bunnies or need edits!)

    Varin was loath so speak up in such a situation, but his confusion was killing him.

    Thank his pounding heart, the person that had rounded the corner was no mercenary. Doubled over almost directly under the ladder he had been preparing to drop was a human woman with flushed cheeks and curly coppery hair. It was currently limp with perspiration. What had she been running so strenuously for? She caught her breath and muttered to herself, something quiet, yet audible enough for him to hear. "Just see if I ever try to save you again."

    To be honest, she was as queer a sight out here as he was. And yet, a human was unlikely to be working with Drakari mercenaries. Varin cleared his throat and risked revealing himself. “Excuse me,” he piped up from above, “but who are you speaking of saving?”

    "Whoa!" Quite naturally, the woman startled at this interjection. Her verdant gaze snapped up to meet his as she straightened herself. What a sight he must have been! Hunched over gripping a ladder, blood dripping from one wing, his hair disheveled, out of breath much like the woman was, and with a tiny bird glaring out of his hood. It wasn’t his best look. Yet, her face brightened once the initial shock wore off. He couldn't pinpoint the exact emotion. “You, actually!”

    Varin shifted his ladder into a less threatening position and considered the woman with a cock of his head. “Me?”

    She nodded, leaning against the rusted house. “I came here to get some advice and saw you in the square. You took off so suddenly earlier, after your argument with that other…” she seemed at loss for what he was. “Man. It looked like you could use some help, so I thought I'd see what I could do.” She held a dusty hand out to him. “I'm Rayleigh, but you can call me Ray.”

    “Oh. Varin. The bird, Arie." He gingerly leaned down to shake her hand before retreating back to his ledge, still clutching the ladder, and Arie chirped an inquisitive greeting herself. Bleeding hearts. This was Aynur all over again. Still, he thought as he peered down at the girl, it might not be a bad idea to have an ally. She didn't appear to be the fighting type, but one never knew with humans. A handful of them had ridiculous powers for one reason or another, and it was rarely evident by appearance alone. He grunted in agreement. “Thank you for your concern then. I am in need of aid, I suppose. That “other man”? A bounty hunter. Yet, I doubt you could do much unless you had a means to make me smell like -- ahh, not me, to be frank. He has the scent of my blood, and the nose knows, far too well…”
    Last edited by VarWenn; 04-20-17 at 12:40 PM.
    "I’m funny, so they let me live." - Skippy’s List

    The Wiki Matriarch. Always free to roleplay! I also play all these guys, so take a look at them too!

    Varin's Themesong!

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