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A Young Dragon's Tale

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A Young Dragon's Tale

Post by Baldirak Sapiens Draco on Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:12 am

Prologue: Coatl

The air was already cold and the wind made it feel colder. The sky quaked and moments later the clouds released the water they'd been holding in for weeks. Raindrops the size of a Dragon's eye--or so they seemed to be--assaulted his hide. Cold water clung to his scales, dripped down into his eyes, clouding his vision. With every breath, it was drawn into his nostrils, the altitude at which he flew was enough to form tiny ice crystals on his wings which weighed him down a little, the thin membrane of his wings were torn at the bottom. Though the cold numbed it somewhat, he could still feel the sting of the wound at his left side; three sizable gashes produced by three sizable claws. His right forepaw was crushed and he'd lost feeling in it some time ago. A near-fatal bite to his neck announced its presence whenever his head turned. Still he remained airborne. However menacing it proclaimed to be, whatever omen of death it thought it was, the sky was a purveyor of life to him.

The 80ft tall Dragon was being pursued by a 130ft Rogue. As far as he could tell, Baldirak had done nothing wrong. But the Rogue seemed to think the younger, smaller Dragon was trying to take his territory and any potential mates that might pass through. Baldirak had merely been trying to get back to his den. He lived in a slightly smaller territory that he had inherited from his father; going through this Rogue's territory was how they'd always returned home. And he'd never bothered them before. Suddenly, as a loud crack filled the sky following a bot of lightning to signal the arrival of thunder, it dawned on the Dragon why he'd suddenly be attacked this time. His father was gone, dead, and could no longer protect him. Baldirak's father had had quite the reputation among the Rogues for his callous personality and ferocity in battle. Most had avoided his father at all cost, but now that he was gone they fought all the time, looking to take his place as 'king of the Rogues'.

Suddenly, the Dragon felt a great heat brush against his left side, briefly ridding his scales of the water that adorned them. A fireball came into his field of view, however blurred that vision was. With a pained hiss, he turned his head to glance behind him. The beast dwarfed Baldirak. He was orange-red of varying shades with touches of grey splattered all over. And he was determined to kill the son of the Dragon that had tormented him for years and denied him the privilege of having four legs. Indeed, Baldirak's pursuer had only three limbs; his left hind leg was but a stump, useless. But despite being bigger and more experienced, Coatl had suffered some damage at the paws of Baldirak. His right eye had been scratched and would surely become infected. There were a number of minor burns on his hide from Baldirak's acid breath and there was a good piece missing from his tail. Coatl was waiting for the young Dragon to land, that he might finish him off. He'd been so close to it earlier, but Baldirak had managed to slip away before he'd gotten a good hold on his neck.

Opening his maw, Coatl released another fireball from his maw. Baldirak couldn't avoid this one; it hit the base of his tail. Another bout of thunder drowned out his pained roar. He had to lose Coatl in the clouds... the only other way to go was down, and he couldn't afford to do that. Of course, flying through a thunderstorm while drenched in rain was no safer. With a grunt, the young Dragon angled his body upwards as he ascended into the menacing, dark grey clouds. Not the best hiding place, but it would have to do. Looking around, he tried to come up with a plan. If only his father had been able to teach him more before his death. There was one thing his father had tried to teach him, a maneuver that, if done properly, could give him the upper-paw in an aerial battle. Although it wasn't exactly without its risks, and Baldirak had never been successful in attempting it before. He could hear Coatl close by and started moving again. He suddenly wished his mother were with him.

Lightning arced across the sky, the sky quaked again as thunder rolled like the ocean's waves. More rain fell, pelting him, as if he weren't soaked enough. Every bolt increased his chances of being electrocuted. But if that were all the danger he faced, so be it. Coatl would see the life leave the young Dragon if it was the last thing he did on Pyrria. A sadistic smile adorned his face as he heard the desperate flaps of tired wings near him. The young Dragon was close, probably whimpering in fear. With his injured eye and the cloak of rain, Coatl couldn't see much, even with the aid of occasional lightning. So he would simply have to smoke the fox out of its hole. Opening his maw and taking a deep breath, the grey-splotched orange-red Rogue let loose a great stream of fire that turned the rain near it to steam. He pointed the flames in all directions, hoping to hear a pained roar. Finally closing his maw again, Coatl looked around for any sign that he'd hit Baldirak. Just then, a ball of acid hit his stomach. A screeching hiss left his maw before he turned in that direction to send a fireball.

Baldirak had just avoided being burned alive by Coatl's fire. Of course, he hadn't escaped the ordeal completely unscathed; half of his tail had been burned. The tips of his wings had been hit, too. Now it was his turn to inflict pain on the Rogue. If he was going to die today, he would do so fighting. He couldn't see exactly where Coatl was, but he got an idea from the fire, so he sent an acid ball in the general direction of its origin. A loud hiss told him he'd hit the Rogue. With a little more confidence, Baldirak began flying in a wide circle, shooting streams and balls of acid from time to time. He even began flying above and below Coatl, to make it harder for the Dragon to find him. And it was working; the Rogue couldn't pinpoint Baldirak's location. Though he managed to dodge most of the acid balls, the streams proved more difficult. By the time the young Dragon finished his attack, the giant had gotten acid on his paws, chest, back, and tail. Having had a piece of his tail bitten off, this only made it hurt worse, as the acid ate away at the exposed flesh.

Baldirak had stopped to hover above him, peering down through a break in the clouds. He decided to try the maneuver that had resulted in his right leg being broken about a year ago. With a deep breath and a sigh, the young Dragon closed his wings and dived past Coatl, using the slender, whip-like tip of his tail to strike him. The Rogue took the bait--after taking a moment to recover from the stinging on his stomach--and dove after him. Naturally, Baldirak was faster, but he made a point of staying just outside the reach of Coatl's maw. His father had told him this was essential, to keep one's pursuer as close behind them as possible. Of course, this would make it impossible to avoid a breath attack but his father had said that didn't matter. At least, not for one of EarthWing blood. Luckily, before his father stopped taking him to visit his mother, she had shown him how EarthWings could heal their wounds with mud. And this valuable knowledge had come in handy a few times already. Although, Baldirak couldn't help wondering how helpful it would be if Coatl decided to live up to his nickname of Volcano.

Rain that had clung so desperately to the young Dragon's hide now hit Coatl in the face, irritating him more than anything. And how the Dragon taunted him by staying just outside his reach so he couldn't bite his tail. Nevertheless, the son of Zeno would soon be dead, a pathetic corpse so greatly charred not even a starving scavenger would eat it. Coatl sneered at the thought and almost chuckled at his current pursuit of Baldirak. The little thing believed he could out-fly him? Well, if that's how he wished to spend his final moments on Pyrria... Still, it was all too tempting to deny him this, just as his father had denied him his leg. The Rogue's maw opened, releasing a fireball as the cold rain continued to lash at his face like hundreds of tiny whips. The young Dragon suddenly felt as if his tail were on fire. The fireball had been quite explosive, breaking up when it hit the base of his tail and sending tiny embers to replace the larger water droplets. As much as Baldirak wanted to speed up, to dart to the side, or at least turn around to attack, he couldn't. He had to stay the course. By now, they were halfway to the ground.

The swell of wind enveloping him was a loud as a waterfall's roar. Every part of him yearned for sleep, from some sort of release from the torment it was enduring. But no such solace came nor would it come for awhile yet. Baldirak opened his left wing slightly to send himself into a spiral. Coatl opened his maw again and brought forth a stream of fire as he mimicked the action. Trapped like a fly in a spider's web, Baldirak--for the most part--stayed within the center of the flaming pillar, coming close enough to have the water coating him turn to steam. It was as if Coatl knew his plan and was trying to foil it. Perhaps he did... either way, Baldirak had no other option and it was too late to back out of this one. As they grew ever closer to the earth below, his mind wandered, resulting in his wingtips suffering a burn. A pain on his stomach brought him back to reality; Coatl had shot a fireball again but hopefully it would be the last. Baldirak broke out of his spiral at the last possible second and opened his wings to halt his descent. Having been as close behind him as a leaf is close to its branch, Coatl was caught off guard by the sudden change, and his snout rammed into Baldirak, who was thrown off to the left.

In his intense desire to kill the young Dragon, Coatl hadn't noticed just how close to the ground they were. And apparently he didn't quite understand the mechanics of diving, either. As his snout collided with Baldirak, the giant tried to open his wings, thinking his large wingspan would be enough to slow him down. At this moment, Baldirak, who'd been knocked to the side of the brute, opened his maw to send one last acid ball. It hit the center of Coatl's wing, tearing through the thin membrane. In the same instance the Rogue slammed snout-first into the ground. Because of his speed and slight spiral, the impact and the weight of his body snapped Coatl's neck. His body fell with a great thud which shook the ground. Baldirak had allowed himself to crash-land in the nearby woods; there he would lay for a day and a half.
_____________________________________________________________________
Chapter 1: Leaving Home

The young Dragon woke to the soft patter of more rain. A light mist at least, like the spray of ocean water, but it clung to his body in a way he couldn't stand. No matter how he shook to rid himself of the liquid, it never seemed to go anywhere. It lingered, as the last rays of the sun cling to the sky, unwilling to relinquish its rule to the moon, and left him utterly miserable. His pale eyes blinked slowly open to gaze at a smoke-grey sky hiding behind a pine green canopy. His entire body ached and was stiff as a tree, it was as if he'd slept on a rock. With a soft groan he sat up slowly and was glad to find a puddle nearby. His tongue greedily lapped at it, though he was none too fond of the gritty dirt that floated about. When he tried to stand, his right forepaw gave under his weight and Baldirak fell forward. He may not have been a Hatchling, but he whimpered like one. Cold and alone, the young Dragon was a pathetic sight, covered from snout to tail in injuries. The worst of it all was his neck and paw. For several long minutes he simply cried and after he stopped long enough to get up again, he started covering himself in mud to heal those wounds. However, his paw would require extensive cleaning and layer upon layer of mud. He could probably get away with only putting mud on his neck, as it didn't seem too horrendous. But he found himself wishing for his mother and even his father once more.

Baldirak never realized just how tedious tending to one's wounds could be. But after an hour of care, his paw felt a little better, though he still couldn't bear to put any weight on it. He'd cleaned it as much as he could for the moment, applied three layers of mud, and wrapped some leaves around it. A faint smile tugged at his lips; at least he could dress a wound decently. A low growl caught his attention, then another. Closer inspection revealed the source to be his stomach; he hadn't eaten in a few days. He limped around for awhile, trying to get used to having only three paws that didn't mind touching the sodden ground. While he didn't care for anything smaller than a fawn, he didn't yet feel well enough to fly and giving chase on paw was not an option. So Baldirak grudgingly settled for small animals and fish. He didn't like fish at all but they were far less of a hassle to catch. As yet another hour passed, he caught three squirrels, a fox, ten fish, and a rabbit. Nothing that compared to the succulence of deer, but it would do. By nightfall, Baldirak had made it halfway to his den. He found by some miracle, a completely dry patch of ground under a tree to sleep under. With an exhausted sigh he laid down and curled up, draping his tail over his muzzle as he closed his eyes.

The next morning announced the end of the rain, though the air still reeked of it. For the first time that week, the sun graced the land of Pyrria with its presence. Its rays cast their warmth and light on the slumbering creature, gently melting away the cold on his scales and the chill in his bones. Despite having slept fairly, Baldirak woke to find himself quite stiff. As he stood, stretching his legs and wings, his pale blue eyes looked around. The earth was still considerably drenched in rainwater. The grass drowned for the earth had drank to its limit and could hold no more; when the sun peeked out from the clouds, the blades seemed to lift themselves as high as possible, begging the great star for mercy. The dirt paths were littered with puddles, some so shallow they were nearly non-existent, others so deep a fish would survive in it.

The young Dragon's gaze fell to his right forepaw. Tentatively, he slowly moved one digit after the other and winced at the pain that ensued. Then he lowered it to hover just above the ground, letting the blades of grass caress it as he debated applying pressure. With a sharp inhale Baldirak placed the appendage on the cool, damp earth and leaned forward slightly. A sharp debilitating pain traveled through his paw and up his leg. A few minutes later, the pain had ebbed enough to coax the Dragon into getting up again. 'Well, at least I can fly now...' Attempting to use his tail in place of his paw, Baldirak sat up again. He then began the hour-long process of cleaning and re-wrapping it. The task done, his wings opened to lift him off the water-logged ground. He hovered for a moment to get the blood in his wings flowing that the muscles may relax more and make for an easier flight.

Baldirak quickly found some deer taking advantage of the quiet morning. Usually the herbivores were down by the river at this time of day, but all the rain made getting water such much easier. The young Dragon intentionally roared to spook the deer and gave chase to the one that ran opposite the rest of the small herd. Closing his wings for more speed and outstretching his claws like eagle talons, Baldirak grasped his prey as he flew over it. A quick swipe to its neck ended its life and he landed nearby to eat. Never had deer tasted as good as it had that morning. When there was nothing left save a few scraps the scavengers might appreciate, the Dragon took to the air again and continued home. The sun had risen higher and the birds sang their praises, the Hatchlings were no doubt trying to rouse their parents from a much-needed sleep. Prey moved silently to avoid waking predators and the latter stalked them in equal silence, ready to strike. Ponds were warmed, giving the fish that dwell within new-found energy to move around.

Finally, Baldirak reached his territory and he noticed something straight away. A group of Rogues were gathered just at its edge. When he was close enough, Baldirak could hear what was being said amongst them: they were fighting over his territory. Two of the Dragons were small while the other three were significantly larger. All of them were shouting over the others that their protests may be heard. And so engrossed was the group in their battle of shouts, none noticed the young Dragon land next to them. Because the bigger ones had their heads lowered--for no reason than to make their shouts all the louder to their smaller counterparts--Baldirak remained unnoticed as he moved behind the latter. He hid behind a tree, crouching down and tucking his tail under himself so the nowhere-near-wide-enough tree accommodated him better.

As he listened, Baldirak learned the names of the Rogues so keen on claiming his home as their own. The first of the two small ones, named Lyra, appeared to be a half-breed. Her appearance was that of a LightWing but she had the colorings of a NightWing. Next was the SkyWing, Orion: he was an interesting mix of greys and whites. He would easily blend in to the mountains and it wouldn't have surprised Baldirak if he did. The smallest of the three big Dragons was Hilda. She appeared to have a fire-y personality and had scales to match. Apparently she was a FireWing that left her tribe... or was banished. Something told the young Dragon it was maybe the latter. Hilda's mate, Xander, was another half-breed, IceWing and SeaWing from the looks of him. Mostly blue with flecks of white on his chest, Xander seemed like he should be more laid-back than he was at the time. Perhaps his mate's personality was starting to rub off on him... one would think this to be the other way around. Finally, there was Mole ((It's almost 3AM so shush)) who appeared to be an EarthWing Rogue, mostly brown in color. He was the loudest of them all and made the least amount of sense; perhaps he was just shouting for the sake of being obnoxiously loud.

The young Dragon sighed; he'd only been away from his home for two day and a half days. What was the rush for, were there not other, larger territories void of an occupant? He could have shown himself, announced that he was still alive, but something told him the five Dragons would have challenged him to fight. And Baldirak was in no condition, physically or mentally, to do so. But he had come all this way, perhaps he could persuade them to let him keep his territory. Another sigh slipped through his slightly opened maw. His eyes lifted to look at the sky, it was only midday; there was plenty of time to find a new place today. Besides, the more he thought about it, Baldirak realized he didn't want to be associated with his father's reputation anymore. Leaving the area would mean a fresh start for him and these considerate Dragons still arguing just a few feet away already thought him dead. Why not let them go on thinking it? Opening his wings, Baldirak left the territory and the group fighting over it behind. He would learn years later that Lyra had first taken the territory, only to have it taken from her by some unknown Rogue.

Not long after his departure from the place he'd known all his life thus far, he decided not to look for another. It wasn't a decision wrought from fear of loosing his home a second time, but rather from the excitement of traveling. The young Dragon could see so much this way, learn so many things. And it would certainly produce a good story or two he could tell to his children one day. So for days Baldirak traveled to the east, well past FireWing and NightWing territories. He oft wondered if anyone before him had ever done what he was going to do. Usually he talked himself out of ideas as crazy as this one seemed, but by the sixth day, he was completely committed to it.

Aloud, he would never admit to it, but this entire venture was decided upon because of his paw. In some odd way the young Baldirak interpreted the misfortune to mean he needed to strengthen himself in some way. Perhaps it was fate or perhaps the whole ordeal had left some lasting, emotional effects. Whatever the reason the Dragon was going to travel to every corner of Pyrria, In time he would return home, mentally and physically stronger than when he left. If fate truly was involved, perhaps this was its plan, to send Baldirak away from the world he'd known all his life thus far in favor of a potentially dangerous one. And along the way he would gather all knowledge that could be gathered, from first light to last, until the day he returned to the Territories.


Last edited by Baldirak Sapiens Draco on Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Baldirak Sapiens Draco
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