An Unwelcome Marauder

Outside the city of Drache lies a number of cities, towns and provinces of varying size and populace. Most of the people living outside Drache are natives who speak Arangothian and observe the native customs and rituals. Click here for a list Arangoth's locales, and here to view a map.
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An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Karras » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:41 am

Captain Palandra ul-Perlim Flinod looked over the furled map that spread to the corners of her cramped desk. A grim look was impressed over her features, as grim as the dim light provided by lanterns and caverns that were placed about the small rock enclosed hall, that stood as the barracks of the Ruthmarnan Provincial Guard.

“You’re certain of this?” she asked, looking up to a guardsman. “The bridge has collapsed?”

The guard stiffened, nodding. “Aye, Tespin. The whole thing, it’s just... gone.”

Palandra placed her hands flat upon the desk. Her teeth grinded together as she shook her head slowly, golden lengths of her hair shifting over the back of her steel gorget. Bright blue eyes stared at the map, a crudely drawn sketch of tunnels and shafts, with instructions written concerning the placement of various items. It had taken her a week to plan this entire operation, and now it seemed all for naught.

“That bridge was the only thing connecting the two mines that led to that drake’s lair,” she said. “Now we have no way of entry.” The steeled fingers of her right gauntlet curled into a fist, which she promptly pounded upon the table. “Damn it to the nine hells!”

“There is the large opening on Bralk’s Peak, Tespin Appetire,” the guard replied. “It leads straight into the ice wyrm’s lair.”

“Straight into the dragon’s mouth, you mean,” Palandra snapped back. “Don’t be a fool, Oryan. A frontal attack is just what this thing wants.” She looked away from him, slipping back into a chair with a heavy sigh. “I’ll not lose any more men to such acts of stupidity. Spell-Sergeant Huixon thought he could do the same. His bones now lie with the others who’ve fallen to the monster’s wrath.”

Oryan cowed, nodding again. He was a young man, clad in boiled leather armour. A small mace was strapped to his belt, the rest of his attire plain and frugal. “Aye aye, Tespin Appetire,” he replied in a soft voice.

Palandra rolled her eyes. “Swallow your damned resentment, Corporal. This is hardly the time or the place for grovelling. We have over sixteen barrels of alchemist’s fire sitting about, with one angry ice drake yet to kill.” She turned to her right. “Belar, you said you had reports of witnesses to this event?”

Belar Garest was a dwarven member of the guard, serving as the Captain’s serjeant. He was dressed head to foot in chainmail, donning a dwarven barbute helmet. A heavy iron maul rested between his feet, held upright in his gloved hands, and a thick orange beard hung down to touch his rounded belly, glowing amber in the candlelight.

“Aye,” the dwarf replied. “Three witnesses came forth, Tesp’n App’tire. An’ they all gave different stories as t’what ‘appened.”

“What did they have to report?” the captain asked.

Belar frowned, his stony expression unwavering. “First who came foward was a man by th’ name of Forban. Friendly sort, aye. Runs the smithy in Quarpodar.”

Palandra nodded. “Go on.”

“Aye, well he says he saw a dragonrider, comin’ in from the south upon some behemoth of a drake,” Belar replied, stroking his beard. “Flew in behind a mountain ‘fore he could take a proper look at ‘em. After tha’, he says he saw the drake again, hours later, an’ it was fleein’ north, as like. Only this time, he says he never saw the drake carryin’ any rider. Figures the rider must’ve died and the dragon fled.”

“I see,” Palandra said. “What did the second witness have to say?”

“The second witness?” Belar scratched his beard some more. “Aye, he was some miner. A human miner, go figure, ha! Toranth, said his name was. Brute of a fellow, if’n I do say so. Anyway, man claims he was travellin’ on the south side of Bralk’s Peak, over an old mountain trail that lies between the two moun’ains. Says he saw a great fire monster battlin’ our enemy ice drake, some fire giant, if y’will. Said there was a thun’drous sound from above, and a lot o’ smoke an’ fire billowin’ about. Then he says the whole bridge came down from above, so he ran.”

“A thunderous sound?” Palandra inquired. “You mean an explosion?”

“I guess so, Cap’n, but I ain’t sure, as like. The poor man was shakin’ in his boots when he came to recollect th’ tale. Got a right fright, he did, hah! Poor fellow.”

Palandra leand back in her chair, folding her steel-plated arms upon the tabletop. “And the third witness?”

“Third witness was an’ old crone we know as Garona the Broken. Old dwarf lady. She spends a lot of time in the old mines, lookin’ for relics, fossickin’ about. Other times she jus’ gets lost, crazy ol’ stoat.”

Palandra frowned. “Old and senile, eh? Well then, what did she claim to see? Old ghosts and ghouls coming out of the walls?”

Belar wavered a hand. “Nay, nothin’ quite so fanciful. She says she was in Gomeft’s Find, old dwarven mine, that one. Older than my Stronghold. She swears upon Menxvan’s stone she saw two humanfolk wandering through them old stone tunnels.”

“Humans, you say?” Oryan asked, speaking up. “Brigands or thieves, maybe?”

“Tomb raiders or adventurers more like,” Belar replied. “A man and a woman, Garona says. Claims they were carryin’ swords. One had a crossbow. The other she says was some fire mage, as like.”

“What happened?” asked the captain.

“Says they went wanderin’ over that bridge, then down to the Steps of Serrangul, old mine that ain’t been seen in years. Right down to where that bloody ice drake was known to be about.”

“Did she see them come back out?” asked Palandra.

“Aint’ so sure, Tesp’n,” Belar said. “Crazy ol’ bat speaks in riddles all the bloody time. It’s a hard task t’make out what she wants to say half th’ time, an’ impossible to understand her the other times.”

Pelandra sighed again, resting a fisted gauntlet against her head. “A smithy from Quarpodar, a human miner from the southron mines, and some old crone who speaks riddles. Between them we have tales of a dragonrider, a fire giant and two foolhardy tomb raiders.” Her fist pounded the table again. “Nine bloody hells, what am I to make of this?”

Belar shrugged. “Aye, it’s a right pickle, Tesp’n Appetire. But there might be a wee bit o’truth in all them tales, if one took ‘em for a grain of salt.”

Palandra looked up. “What do you mean, Belar?”

Belar continued to frown, his fingers wrapped tight about the grip of his maul. “That bridge was dwarven built, Tesp’n. An’ it’s stood there for a near a thousand years, before them Arangothian kings, aye, perhaps e’en before them Goxals. It was warded with runes, protected from all forms of magic. Ain’t much that could destroy that bridge... ‘cept maybe the breath of an ancient dragon.”

The captain laced her fingers together. “So you believe the smith’s tale, then? The dragonrider story?”

Belar shrugged. “I ain’t so sure, Cap’n. But I had a friend once who was into all o’ this dragon lore shite. He said tha’ when the breath of a fire drake comes into contact with th’breath of an ice drake, sometimes there’s great collision o’ magical force.”

“Like an explosion?” Oryan suggested.

Belar glanced to the Corporal. “Maybe. But whatever magics would be released at that time, one might say tha’ it might be enough to destroy dwarven runes ‘n’ wards. Enough to break our bridge an’ ‘ave it come tumblin’ down.”

Pelandra nodded. “It is said that old dragons harness powerful magic through their breath.”

“Aye, Tesp’n Appetire,” Belar replied. “All’ I’m sayin’ is that these tales might be connected some’ow. Not sure how or why, but some’ow they are.”

“I’ll have to make note of this in my report,” Pelandra said. “In the meantime, we still have the ice drake to deal with.” She stood up, leaning over the map again. “Without the bridge, we have no escape route or a way to seal in the tunnels behind us. This thing’s been burrowing deeper now. Soon it will reach the eastern mines. When that happens, gods know how much carnage that beast will cause.” She glanced to Oryan and Belar. “How much of the eastern miners know of the dragon?”

Belar rubbed his beard again. “Aye, well, one can’t keep a drake this big secret for long. The guards have been keepin’ tight lipped, but many folks are talkin’. Some have seen it prowlin’ the northern mountains. There was a good strike of gold the other week in Farodal, below Tisponthoss. Dwarves went cutting down there, and never came back. Whole damn shaft collapsed, and I’d stake my life upon on the runes of my fathers it was that ice drake’s work.”

Oryan nodded. “There’s rumours going about on the western sides too, though there aren’t many signs of panic or unrest as yet. Some of the townsfolk are nervous though, hearing rumours of miners going missing. Plus they haven’t seen a wagon full of supplies for at least a week now.”

Pelandra scowled. “Supplies. That’s our greatest concern. Our provisions won’t hold out forever. And that blasted reptile keeps attacking wagons from Drache on the main roads. Not to mention the weather – what in the nine hells is with this snow? It’s the middle of Broxkakat, for Menxvan’s sake.”

“Aye, some might say that’d be the drake’s work too,” Belar commented. “If what I’ve heard about this drake is true, then it’s possibly the biggest drake that’s been in these moun’ains since King Blkdragon paid a visit. Might be that ancient drake’s causing this damned snow t’form in them moun’ain peaks.”

Pelandra looked up, startled. “Is that even possible?”

Belar shrugged. “I ain’t sure, Tesp’n Appetire. But I seen a lot o’ summers in these parts, as I’m sure ‘ave you. An’ I don’t ever remember seein’ snow in the mountains this late in th’ summer. And this snow only started appearin’ the moment this blasted dragon crawled out of th’ caverns and went on the attack.”

Pelandra sighed once again, drumming the metal gauntlet upon the table. “Whatever the case may be, we’re going to need help. We have neither the manpower nor the resources to fight this thing. And since our bridge has collapsed, we don’t have a way to trap the thing within its own lair without facing unacceptable casualties.” She pressed her palms down upon the map, her previous scowl returning upon her features.

Oryan fidgeted. “What if...” He paused, looking down.

Pelandara glanced up. “What is it, Oryan?”

“We have the alchemists fire at our disposal. We know of the main entrance to its lair. What if... we could use the alchemists fire to lure it out from its cavern. We could then have another party ride south for Drache.”

“A diversion?” Pelandra frowned. “And who I am I to send into the jaws of this monster to face a likely demise, Corporal Mitrod? Yourself, perhaps? I have already lost enough guardsmen as it is.”

Oryan swallowed hard. “Well, I was only suggesting the possibility –“

“The possibility of sending more men to their death,” Pelandra interjected. “A prospect I’m sure most of those remaining under my service would be not particularly keen on.”

“I’ll go,” Belar said at once. Oryan and Pelandra looked to him. Oryan seemed shocked, Pelandra displeased.

“You’re too valuable an asset to lose, Belar,” Pelandra argued. I need you in this fight.”

“Aye, an’ in this fight I’ll be, until the death,” Belar declared. “But we don’t have much time or supplies left, Cap’n, you said it yourself. I ain’t afraid o’no iceling beastie. I’d sooner face his wrath than the prospect of us starvin’, or more o’ my kin being slaughtered.” He looked over to Oryan. “Oryan’s our fastest rider. He could lead a small troupe south, while me an’ the boys bring this drake out of ‘is hidey hole. That beast might be huge an’ fast, but he cannae attack two of us at the same time, spread so far apart.”

Oryan nodded. “We have fresh horses, ready to ride. We could make it south to the hinterlands, then follow the Darian from there.”

Pelandra scowled and ground her teeth, and her hands dug into the soft map before her. Then she began to nod slowly. “Perhaps. Perhaps this is not such a foolhardy idea after all.” She glanced to the dwarf. “Belar. Do you have men you can trust with the fire? And those who won’t balk at that monster’s roar and iced breath?”

“Aye, Tespin Appetire, brave men an’ trusted men, all. I’ll pick my best. I can have ‘em ready on the morrow.”

“Do it,” Pelandra replied. “Oryan, pick four of your fastest riders, no more, no less. Give yourself enough provisions for the ride south. I’m placing you under Belar’s command. Do as he says, when he says, and you might just make it out of this one alive.”

Oryan saltued. “Aye, Tespin Appetire.”

“I want full reports from both of you on your modus operandi on this desk by sundown. You’ll undertake this venture when, and only when I give it my approval. Understood?”

Oryan and both Belar nodded.

“Dismissed,” Pelandra said, returning to stare at the great map before her as both dwarf and guard departed with haste.

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Karras » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:10 am

It had begun with the joining of three groups. The larger of the three, savages from beyond the southlands in the steppes of Thontaran, another party with a penchant for causing trouble, and the other a party recently joined, seeking glory, seeking fame, or simply going along to help friends.

In the middle of it all was Behoxa, Slydda’Vindur, among his many other names, he was the ancient ice wyrm that for reasons unknown had caused much strife and misery to the miners within. Dragons hadn’t been a problem for the Ruthmarna dwarves for centuries, why this sudden attack now was unknown, whether it was sorcery or the workings of a greater evil, who knew? The threat was there and it was apparent.

The third party, a hodgepodge group, had travelled with the savage Thons in an attempt to slay the beast. This dragon slaying romp had inadvertently ended in disaster, with many dead and others missing, never to return. The story went along that the dark Thon witch, Uldarah, had betrayed the party and attempted to take the dragon’s power for her own, using them as bait to lure the great dragon from his recently carved out den in the Ruthmarna mountains.

Uldarah's plan had failed in many accounts, for she had not absorbed the dragon’s power, and her own body lay slain, a bloodied mess on the ice cavern floor. Hawke Thane, a mage and mystic of elvish descent, was one of the few survivors of the party’s attack on the dragon’s lair. He recounted his story to the others, and in the chos of death and mayhem the group had found themselves in, his last discovery before fleeing was that the Thon witch was not truly dead, rather, her body was destroyed but her soul had not passed onto the higher planes and was lurking somewhere else.

Licking both pride and wounds, a new group formed to track down the ancient ice wyrm and finally slay the wounded beast now that it was wounded and hopefully weakened from the last battle. Among this knew ragtag group was a Seccan mercenary, known to most as Xeran, with him a young woman of both Aslari and Aerie griffon descent, Andrea. Joining them was a skilled ranger known as Zantos, another mysterious woman known to most as Selestia, and finally, Hawke Thane himself.

There was talk among this group that they were searching for an ancient artifact, one the which had acquired and used against the ice dragon. Whether this device had worked or not really didn't matter, the group soon discovered the orb in pieces in the cavern upon searching for the beast’s lair. Therein they aslo found their enemy the great ancient ice wyrm -- only now, the dragon had been possessed with the Thon witch’s soul -- a terrible turn of events indeed.

With fire and sword, mage's lightning, arrow and claw, the group fought the great dragon upon the mountainside. Wounded again, the wyrm fled towards Quarpodar, taking out its wrath upon the small town and killing dozens. The small provincial guards did their best to defend their old mining province, but with a great red dragon fighting among the chaos, it was hard to distinguish friend from foe.

Volley after volley of missiles, weaved magi spells and fire and claw were poured out upon the ancient ice dragon. Among this battle flew another red dragon, also defending the town, two great titans spiralling the dragon's dance in the skies. With a roar, the ice dragon finally fell limp upon the snow. Victory was sought from the exhausted, but not gained, for although the Thon witch’s soul was destroyed, the dragon still remained. Behoxa, enraged at being humiliated and used as so for human gain, unleashed a fury upon the town's defenders that would not be sated.

And so, here upon the great mountain ranges of Ruthmarna, Quarpodar's town guardians and a small group of adventurers face their final battle against Behoxa of Ice and Wind.
Last edited by Karras on Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Defined » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:05 pm

Andrea Talatibi was tired and Angry along with another storm of emotions she just could not deal with right now. Her own form, a normally awe inspiring stature rather less intimidating next to the dragons she hovered over. Six foot tall at the shoulder, topped with a raptoran head with brown and white feathers, the feathers continued down over her chest before gradually fading into leonin fur for her hind quarters. Add two forelimbs equipped with dexterous talons that could hold a pen as easily as rip a man in twain, and two powerful hindlegs that could easily propell her across a room in a single bound, not forgetting a pair of powerful feathered wings for her to wind and twist through the air and you had a honed machine...that was out of her depth.

Xeran was likely dead and she should just have picked him up and carried him away like she'd wanted to, but she wasn't going to blame herself when the true target of her Ire was -right- -there- and ripe for the Marauding, and dive in she did, she was smaller true, but that just meant she land on his back and rip through, focusing on wounds already open. Her claws may not be strong enough to pierce through Behoxa's armoured skin and pride wasn't going to put that to the test, so she focused on damaging what she could. She wanted his spine, and would most greatly prefer to collect it herself, familial ties were important to her, and Behoxa had killed half the relatives she'd cared about.

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by metalslime » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:22 pm

Hawke Thane, half elven mystic, was a sorry sight at this point. Having survived the destruction of his previous party and immediately thrust back into the thick of things, his cloak and clothes were tattered and torn. Patches of frostburned skin showed through some of the worst sections, though his own magics had done much to alleviate his wounds. Having already expended much in the way of both his personal reserves and items selected just for the destruction of the ice wyrm, there was only so much he could do.

Still aloft from the flight spell that had borne him so readily after the dueling dragons earlier, the dark haired half elf left his Staff of Lightning where it fell upon the ground as he flew up and back, only to descend behind the safety of the Wall of Force he'd erected from the scroll earlier. The one that had so abruptly halted the dragon's most recent dive. Taking cover in the shadow of the shimmering, transparent field of force, he gripped the strange, circled X symbol about his neck. He began a Chant, the words incomprehensible at first, but with each repeating syllable, the blessings of that alien entity he worshiped would build. It was a subtle effect, and one that would take some time to manifest, just a nudge, a guidance of the arms and spells of those who were allied with him, to strengthen blows and render assaults more accurate, while simultaneously interfering with those of his enemies. Namely the dragon itself.

Not an immediate effect, it would take several minutes for the chant to build up, each repetition slowly increases the radius of its effect, inch by inch, foot by foot, until it reaches its limit at around thirty yards in all directions.
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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Selestia » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:21 pm

The fate of friends was not something to be dwelt upon when the full fury of Behoxa was to be felt. The moment his eyes had turned from possessed to pissed, the red dragon had steeled herself for the vicious clash to come; Uldarah had been a witch, true, but human, with two legs, two arms. Tiny, small and unfamiliar with the size that came from a being like Behoxa, much less the power of wings, fang and claw. It had made her easier to deal with.

Not so much the hoarfrost. And with the town before them, full of guards, dwarven and human alike willing to slay to defend, she found great disadvantage in guilt by association; a dragon was a dragon and a dragon had been wreaking havoc.

The ultimate goal to take the hoarfrost into the ravine, to use the tight, high walls as a hindrance, had failed. Instead, the red had nearly gone in herself, and the time it takes to her to right herself was precious time that Behoxa uses to launch a new assault, only to be deterred by a barrier, crashing into the snow and ice once again. Talons dig into the iced earth and stone before the red dragon launches at the ice wyrm once again--and he is no longer the Blood witch incarnate, but flesh and crimson blood. Teeth, long and sharp, gleam as she takes the advantage the sorties would give in distraction, aiming to tackle the hoarfrost, to broadside him before he could react to her presence. Foul the wings, rend, rip, tear and bite. They are both magic, two sides of a multifaceted gem, but the hoarfrost was the more powerful magic-user, in his territory high in the ice-capped mountains. Far from the fire and heat and earth that was her element.

Putting Behoxa in the ravine would still be an optimal choice to deal with him, but he was larger than she now, what with the enchantment wearing off. And with another sortie--more small mortals--to contend with, options were running out before casualties would start to run high.
"Hell hath no fury like a dragon sworn."

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Karras » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:56 am

Captain Palandra's Uncle had lived in these mountains, harsh and bitter as they were. She doubted he'd faced such a terrible foe before, but he had told many stories of dare she'd admired in her youth. But a dragon as terrible as this one? She doubted he had faced such danger, and wondered her prospects were of coming out of this alive. Three of her ribs were already cracked, and she'd donned her armour despite the small fracture to her hip and another to her shoulder blade. To hell with the healer, she wasn't going to lounge around in straw while her men died around her.

Hooves thundered against snow as she and her small sortie of cavalry charged forward in a tight wedge. Bridles frothed with saliva as horses snorted and cried in fear, only the whip and spur of their masters driving them towards a beast that screamed every bone in their body to run away from, not toward. Closer they gathered, while the beast was still prone and barely just getting to its feet. She let out a cry, and her men did so also, shouting a cheer in unison as their lances came down, gleaming tips of steel in the afternoon sun. Such a huge thing would be hard to miss, yet this thing moved and spat ice and lightning.

"Hold the line-" the captain heard her sergeant yell, before the dozen or so cavalrymen drove their lances straight into the beast's belly and side. In the back of her mind, the commander had noted something seemed to be clawing the dragon's back, but the jarring impact of the collision knocked her clear from all sense and faculty.

** ** **

Behoxa could not think, nor could he wonder about the seasons as he often did. Rage filled him from head to tail, and he only knew death and hatred at this point -- raw, primal emotions that would not ebb, a constant, rumbling roar that issued from his maw with every exhale.

The lances drove into Behoxa's side about the same time as the griffon drove claws into the beast's back. The creature rolled its head back and screamed, writhing to try and shake both griffon and horsemen's sharp tools that broke through it's scales into wounded skin. The smaller animal on it's back was not easily removed, but the horses and men were a different matter altogether. A mighty roar sent the ice wyrm's gigantic talons down to meet the lot of them, and a good half of the cavalry were flung into the air as easily as one casting stones. Men and horses screamed alike before they fell and died, a bloody smattering of bodies upon white snow.

The red dragon had found her wings again and swooped down to meet the other where he stood. He wasn't as easily fooled or dived upon as he was when possessed, and summoned a deep rumbling breath to shoot a mouthful of strong, sharp shards towards the smaller red fire breather, much like flechettes, before he sprang. Effective or not, it was likely the two were going to collide. There were men, soldiers, horses and guards gathered everywhere. It wouldn't matter how she dived or attacked, people were going to get in the way -- and the likely outcome would be that some could be crushed with the resulting tangle, not to mention the griffon on her back. Time would tell the victors and the vanquished as the two dragons begin their dance of death once again.
Last edited by Karras on Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Defined » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:51 pm

There was a time, for action and for fighting...but this was not it was not now. Letting any a screech of frustration she broke away. She turned around and let out a second screech to scatter those around, getting them away from the melee before tearing herself away. This wasn't her fight, this had never been her fight. "Everyone, get away and let them fight it out" She snapped out, while getting some distance herself. She just hoped Selestia could manage it by herself....

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by metalslime » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:09 am

Hawke's Chant rose as the cavalry clashed, as dragon engaged dragon, and just as it reached its crescendo... someone was scattering the massed fighters. That wasn't going to work. One individual receiving the full blessings of that alien being he worshiped was hardly tactically viable, but he couldn't very well call out to steady people without breaking the Chant. With a muttered curse, the Chant broke, and that divine guidance fell away like a bust bubble.

With a scowl, the half elf walked out from around the shield of force. One could tell when he came out from behind the transparent shield mostly by the way the wind began whipping his cloak and tunic again. "Fine, want to do this the brute force way?" Reaching into his belt pouch, Hawke retrieved a small pellet of bat guano from its contents. His hands came together before him with a clap, and he rolled his palms together for a moment then drew one hand back as i clasping something. With a step forward, he pitched that hand forward, unclasping his hand as he reached the foreward point of his peak. Just one finger extended toward the dragons, and he spoke only one word.

"Fireball."

A small mote of read light darted from his outstretched finger, soaring toward the sky just above where the two dragons entangled. It grew brighter and brighter as it zipped through the air, until it detonated in an airburst above them. There was very little pressure as it suddenly expanded into an instant flash of intense heat and flame, then slowly rolled upward as it cooled.

He was hoping to just catch both, counting on the allied red to be somewhat resistant or immune to it by virtue of the coloration of her scales alone. There would be that split second where, if either realized what was going on, they could very well roll out of the way of the worst of the flames.

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Selestia » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:38 pm

The flicker of wings as the griffon vacated was briefly acknowledged before the dragon belches forth flame to counter the hoarfrost's assault, backwinging to cause a torrential buffet before the two behemoths collide once again. For being so large, they are pretty damn quick, and the flurry and fury kept the smaller combatants at bay, and she would not hesitate this time to grapple with the larger Behoxa, intent to give him a face full of flame before lashing around with the cutting edge of the tip of her tail.

"Sulta nomeno," the red hisses through her teeth. End this. Talons on a claw lash out quickly, like a cat, aiming for his throat before she lunges again; the goal was to keep him on the ground where wings were a hindrance rather than a help--

Heat blasts overhead, causing her to startle briefly--it was unexpected, an explosion of any sort, the heat welcome--but unexpected. Pain lashes through her where the intense sear tears through open wounds, but the thick red scales merely gleam at the feel, near-impervious to the flame. Was the brief, small window of distraction enough for the hoarfrost to gain a larger upperhand? Hopefully not, with the fire turning the snow and ice of the altitude into a semi-melted sludge that would make it difficult to for anything--boots, hooves or talons--to keep a right good grip.
"Hell hath no fury like a dragon sworn."

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Re: An Unwelcome Marauder

Post by Karras » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:29 am

Hawke's spell of protection had not been called in vain, the size of the ice dragon's claw should have easily smote the entire group of horsemen in one stroke, yet less than half of them had fallen, and those still on their feet gathered what horses they could and rallied to prepare for a second assault.

Pelandra found her feet in the chaos, dragging herself out from the body of her slain horse, snarling in anger at the volatility of the whole situation. The griffon she had encountered earlier swooped overhead, screeching, at all the guards to scurry and flee, or some such notion, it was hard to hear with all the screams of dying men and horses and the roar of the ice dragon before them.

"Rally!" she yelled to the men still standing. "Rally, you bastards!"

It was then she saw the object of the griffon's cry, coming towards them all with thundering wings and smouldering breath. Truly, she didn't know what to make of this madness, but the griffon had been true in that the great red dragon had not turned on the men gathered, either by choice or it simply hadn't noticed them fighting this other great beast. But now it was coming closer, near blocking out the sky and rushing for the ice dragon of its ire.

"Disperse!" she shouted. "Out! Get out!"

The concussive force of the two hitting each other was equivalent to a thunderclap, and a guard to her left barely missed having his brains dashed against a rock from a swiping claw. Whether they wanted to move or not, they had barely enough time as the two rolled together, wild and furious.

She had time to gather her longsword and stand up, when there was a sudden 'fwoomp' and the air lit up like the boiler of whaling ship, a massive flame of orange heat rising to the sky. Looking over her shoulder, she saw the other reinforcements were here now, too, dwarves numbering at least a hundred or more, armoured and armed to the teeth, charging towards the battling dragons and caring little for the consequences.

Meanwhile, up above one of the rocky passes, a contingent of dwarves and men had brought up some monster of a siege weapon, some ballista that was a dwarven contraption of some sort, though this one seemed the sort used to smash open stone walls -- the bolt they were loading onto it with hewn rope was a long as three men, and took ten men to haul it up onto the siege engine. It might cause enough damage against the two dragons, but it looked overburdened in the snow, and terribly slow in operation -- if they were going to shoot it at the dragon, the shot would have to count.

** ** **

The ancient wyrm roared in defiance as his weapon met her flame. Older, larger, he was losing this battle and he knew it. Self preservation began to take hold, for the first time since he were a mere dragonling, he felt fear, fear for his very survival. The rage was the greater of the two primal urges, however. The fireball had struck him with searing heat and flame, that burned his opened wounds and caused him to roar in agony, steam and vapours trailing off his near-frozen body. Despite the mage being a problem, the men and the griffon gathered about another threat to contend with, the dragon was the greatest of his concerns, and her temerity and relentlessness was a priority he had to contend with -- he could not destroy the other smaller beings with her great fangs and fire in the way.

He'd fought against her just as wildly -- larger and stronger, he'd used brute force to his advantage. Her flames had only been met with his much stronger breath of ice, the two cancelling themselves out and filling the air with steaming vapour and black, smouldering smoke. Her breath was strong, but he was the greater of the two -- it was only his wounds and ailing strength holding him back. A cut had opened on his muzzle where her tail had swiped it, though he'd tried to ensure his teeth had done their part in tearing scales asunder with every snap of his large teeth.

Though now with her reeling back from those flames, he took the opportunity to summon his magic again -- ice was simply meeting fire, but his use of storms...

Wings beat in a harsh flurry, trying to knock back those close to the ground and gather some space between them -- he was near flightless but the wings could still move and cause damage. With a deep voice, the dragon began to chant harsh slow words, an incantation. Black, ominous clouds gathered above, swirling together in unison, the workings of an approaching storm. What use of the elements Behoxa was calling might be a mystery to some, though Hawke might ascertain that some rather high powered storm surge or lightning burst was being called forth -- it would take a moment to end the incantation, though it was likely going to be a difficult spell to counter. Mud and snow was already kicking up harshly, as before, trying to blind those who hadn't sought shelter behind the powerful screen.

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