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 Fragments of the Past

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GoldenDrakon
Weaver of Tales
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Male Number of posts : 1500
Age : 46
Location : Usually right where I'm needed most...

PostSubject: Fragments of the Past   Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:07 am

OOC: Time frame: After GD's Duel with Ceres, before First Mission began

IC:

GoldenDrakon winged over the hot, rocky landscape searching the barren terrain of the wasteland beyond the boundaries of Illusion Vale. He had been searching for three days now, circling and hunting for clues to his next prize. After his duel with Ceres in the Coliseum, he had managed to finally speak with one of those who had wagered against him, a bull faced minotaur. The minotaur had wagered and lost three lumps of turquoise which had intrigued GD. It had cost him two of his flaringale feathers, but he had coaxed a reasonable idea of where the bull-man had found them. The unfortunate part was that outside of the lush green of the vale, the landscape was a featureless and barren desert. Drakon had methodically flown back and forth, sometimes landing to search or dig but had not found anything worthwhile. It was already noon on the third day and this search had hinted at being equally fruitless when he finally noted something odd in the rocks below.

Contrary to many thoughts, the typical desert did not resemble a beachfront without the water. Actual sand was scarce, the desert landscape instead being covered with rocks, sun scorched dirt and lots and lots of dust. GoldenDrakon had actually surprised himself with how much he knew about the desert. He had been in them before...in another place. Half remembered memories tugged at the back of his mind while he searched and GD was forced to focus himself to the task at hand several times. Now he had spotted a possibility, below him were several outcroppings of rock, likely some long-forgotten bluff that time and wind had steadily eroded into the swirling dust and rocks which littered the ground all around. However, one of these outcroppings had a odd, greenish tinge along one side. A ripple of exhilaration charged through him as his instincts told him that he was close. He dove and suddenly seemed to collapse in on himself, his massive form vanishing into a sudden, swirling grey fog. Yet, as the dragon vanished into the fog, a golden-hued, winged man emerged from it.

The man flew down lower, his path never wavering as he neared his goal. The faded memories and recent experience had told him that had he landed in his massive dragon shape, a great cloud of dust would have risen up to meet him, obscuring everything until wind or nature cleared the swirling mess. Even so, dust devils rose up and swirled around him as he back winged to land. GD covered his face with one arm and his wings remained half unfolded and raised up like shields to either side of his torso. The bluff had three crumbling outcroppings reaching out like long, craggy fingers, the stones and soil forming into a wash of tumbled dirt and rock. Each finger stood nearly eight feet high until they finally tapered off into rubble. The centermost outcroping seemed to have endured best of all and it was this one which bore the greenish tint that had aroused GDís interest. He waited patiently for the dust to ebb before shaking himself like a dog might, dislodging bits of dirt ad dust that had settled on him. He blinked a few times and spat, clearing away yet more grit, then started towards the discoloration. If he was right, the greenish tinge was from traces of copper, a natural component present in the formation of turquoise...

A portion of the desert terrain beside GD burst open like a hinged door, sending rocks and dirt cascading in all directions. That fact was ignored however, as an alien nightmare began bubbling out of the ground. Two long appendages shot skyward then bent, shooting towards Drakon with frightening speed. Instinct again saved GoldenDrakon as he suddenly shot away from the monster, his leathery wings pounding furiously, propelling him backwards and out of reach. The spikes stabbed into the ground missing him by inches only to rip themselves free and shoot towards him again. GDís rapid and unguided retreat abruptly ended as he slammed into the rock finger that had only a moment before been his goal. Pain lanced up his back, but it too was ignored as adrenalin raced through his body. Wings still pounding furiously, GD scrabbled up the rock in retreat as one of the massive limbs crashed into the rock, attempting to spear his retreating form. Stone splintered from the impact as more spiky appendages came towards him, bearing a monstrous thing towards him with many bizarre clicks and clacking sounds. A row of blackened, orb-like eyes glared at him above a pair of freakish mandibles clicking ominously. Several more strikes followed him up the rocks, each only milliseconds behind GDís withdraw. Finally, he cleared the ridge, literally tumbling over and onto the top of the outcropping. The probing, stabbing legs reached over the top as well as the monster climbed onto the top from the opposite side. GD continued to fall back until he finally threw himself off the other side of the rocky finger and back into the wash.

With a loud bang and puff of smoke, the huge golden dragon returned suddenly rising up from the wash and towering over the outcropping. Golden eyes orientated down to the top of the rock where he had been in peril only moments before and on the alien attacker. It was a spider, but not like any spider he had ever seen before. The thing was light brown in color, much like the desert in lived in, with black bands on its legs. The whole creature seemed to be encased in some sort of shell or carapace. What was most interesting however, was that this spider did not have eight legs, but ten. The two forward legs were much longer than the others and as he himself had observed, seemed to be used to skewer the spiderís prey. It was indeed a huge spider, rising some ten feet into the air. Yet now, even standing on the rocky bluff, the spider crouched well within GDís massive shadow. The spider too, seemed to realize that it was in a most exposed position. Sensing that the prey had suddenly become the predator, it sat motionless with its ten legs tucked close to its tan body. The golden eyes narrowed as a low growl escaped from between the dragonís lips sending a deep, rumbling vibration through the air. The vibrations caused a stirring of dust from the rocks around the spider, who hunched even closer together as the ripples flowed over it. The luckless arachnid turned and quickly scuttled away, back towards the hole it had emerged from, pulling the cover back over as it vanished from sight.

GoldenDrakon watched it go; ĎCamel Spiderí popped into his brain as another fragmented bit of memory surfaced. He followed, rounding the outcropping of crumbling rock and to where the spider lurked, hidden from view with only a few steps. He made one swipe with his claw, the talons raking long furrows through the rocky soil and tearing aside the spiderís camouflaged canopy to expose a deep hole. Just within, the ten-legged spider crouched down, trying to remove itself from the dragonís attention. GD gazed at the alien visage for a moment, impassive, then his maw opened as he spat out a quick huff of red-orange flames, incinerating the hapless deca-spider in its hole. Without comment, GoldenDrakon pushed a mound of earth into the hole, burying the still smoldering remains and turned away, back towards his original goal.

He took a long moment to study the greenish discoloration along the outcropping, observing the contours and edges of the various formations, noting the color changes, shapes and natural breaks for a long moment, then reached out with one, great hand. Talons scratched away loose rock and dirt, exposing the hardened bedrock formation he was seeking. Those talons then dug deep as he gripped the stone, the bulk of the greenish section fitting into his palm. He applied pressure tentatively, feeling the effect upon the stone. A bit more pressure, then reversed and back again as the dragon slowly stressed the natural weak points within his earthy target. Finally there was a loud crack and a puff of shale rock and dust as the piece broke away from the remaining outcropping. Smiling, he turned the stone over in his hand to reveal a great chunk of vibrant blue-green stone with deep black lines webbing through the colored mass. The dragonís smile deepened with pleasure. He had no doubt he now possessed the largest, single piece of turquoise in the whole of the Illusion Vale. Holding his prize, his great wings unfurled and opened wide as his muscular limbs bulged with tension as he prepared to launch himself into the sky and towards home with his newfound treasure, when he suddenly froze. His wings slackened as his muscles relaxed. His head lowered as the long, curved neck bowed allowing him to investigate the now broken stone. Blue turquoise bits still peaked from around the exposed rock, still imbedded in the remains of their age old vein, but it was not the remnants that had seized GDís attention. Instead, a long but narrow hole had been exposed from the stone outcropping, revealing a black space within. Dust still swirled up and out from the fissure, looking oddly like smoke from a still smouldering fire. Cocking his head to one side with curiosity, GD sniffed. Dust assailed his nostrils, causing his nose to twitch, but he also smelled death, an age old decay had been stirred along with the dust within. He reached out, tearing away another small bit of the hole, enlarging the opening. Light showed the image of a room beneath. The mass of turquoise was gently set back down, and a moment later, the dragon was replaced by visage of the winged man. Still sensitive to the sudden appearance of the spider not long ago, Drakon cautiously scaled the broken rock, finally peering into the cavern within before dropping through the hole.

It was a single room, carved into the rocky outcropping. Age old dust flew up as his feet struck the floor but lay thickly across everything. Crumbling or furnishings were here and there, a set of tumbled shelves with dry rotted wooden planks lay in the farthest end. Rotted bags held the desiccated remnants of age old foodstuffs. Two large pottery jars had endured but contained only dust. A flat stone lay next to the shelving, wooden plates still set beside a single knife, fork, spoon set that seemed to be carved from animal horn. A rotted, dusty mass of skins was pushed against the wall opposite the table. The nearest end revealed a short burrow, which probably would lead to the surface but was choked and clogged with debris. What was most interesting however, was the stone bed which lay next to the burrow, and the skeletal remains lying there. The bones were clearly very old, only the dryness of the desert and the confines of the room itself having preserved them this long. The figure was not very tall, only about five feet and although humanoid, the fingers were too long, the head was elongated and sharp teeth still jutted out from the skullís mandible. It still wore the rotted remains of a leather vest and belt, but any other clothing had long since crumbled away.

Kneeling down beside the bed, Drakon carefully inspected the occupant. The skeleton lay on itís left side, the right arm draped across the torso, protecting three obviously broken ribs. The fingers were curled closed around a ring, seemingly to clutch the band tightly to itís chest in the last moments. Interestingly, silver caps dangled on the bony finger tips of both hands. The vest was tooled to reveal scrolling designs and fringe, decorated with white beads. The belt too, also showed signs of similar tool work and cinched shut with a tarnished, silver buckle. A skinning knife with a long, triangular blade hooked to the belt at the skeletonsís hip and an unsheathed sword lay in the dust on the floor beside the bed. The sword was horribly tarnished with age and rather plain looking, sacrificing adornment for simple effectiveness. The hilt of the weapon had a simple C-shaped cross guard and thin copper wire wound around the handle for added grip. The only ornament being a thumb sized marble of tigerís eye set into the pommel. There was no scabbard to be found. At the foot of the bed was a leather tube which had split with age and dryness, dumping itís contents on the floor. Twenty short arrows lay in a jumble, fragmented remains for feather fletching still visible. GD reached for one, but the frail shaft snapped in his fingers, dropping the tarnished head to the floor. A satchel lay next to the ruined quiver. This too showed definite signs of rot and age, but also looked as if the owner had shown more care in preserving it. A flap covered the open end, held shut by an ivory disk, tooled to look like a catís eye. Silver beads adorned the ends of the tie cord.


**(To Be Continued)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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GoldenDrakon
Weaver of Tales
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Male Number of posts : 1500
Age : 46
Location : Usually right where I'm needed most...

PostSubject: Re: Fragments of the Past   Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:08 am

**(Continued)**

GoldenDrakon picked up the sword, turning it in his hand to survey the weapon. Unless his senses were incorrect, the sword blade, arrow heads, belt buckle, ring and even the finger caps, were all pure silver. His curiosity still peaked, he tried to open the satchel, but the time damaged disk pulled off at his touch, letting the beads to clatter to the stone floor. The leather flap split as he pulled it back. but ever so carefully, Drakon withdrew the satchelís precious contents, a book. With delicate fingers, GD moved the book to the table. The inside of the satchel had been lined with wax and obviously valuable to the former owner, who had attempted to keep the book both safe and protected. The book seemed to be a collection of various different pages, some were thin skins, others velum and yet others were papyrus. The pages were badly corroded and many were illegible having been damaged by time and decay but it was still a wonder that as much had survived as it had. GD could identify many different handwritings, scripts and writing styles. Engrossed in the discovery, GD had to sort through several pages before he could translate more than just a few words of fragmented sentences.

ď... the blood-drinkers. Lycanville is gone, six of us dead and our fledgling community burned to the ground. For creatures afraid of fire, the bastards sure donít have any problem using it on us! Menos says that it is no longer safe for us to stay in one place, the blood-drinkers would only come in force again and kill everyone...Ē

He raised an eyebrow. He had never heard of any ĎLycanvilleí. Wraith had said that Vale City was the only settlement. Or maybe the only remaining settlement... Intrigued, he read on where he could;

ď.. six of us to hold the blood drinker down and nail his hands to the beam. He was found guilty of course and Menos gave me the privilege of pouring the molten silver down Danielís throat. He screamed for days after we hoisted him up before we finally let him die. As horrible is it is, I admit my satisfaction hearing him in agony. I still hear my beautiful Ilista screaming when I sleep, she was only twelve when they poured the pitch down our burrow. Our screams did not move them to mercy then, so I will not show it now. He deserved it, all of them deserve it for what they have done to us.Ē

ď...Menos buried Nathanís head in the forest after the fight. That was for Lycanville Nathan! I hope you rot in Hell!Ē

ďAnton, Garth and Clare are all dead for this little stunt. Garlic doesnít do dick to the fucking vamps and neither do crosses. Fucking worthless! Only silver seem to piss in their Wheaties at all. Freddo seems to think since thereís no real priest in the Vale, the symbols arenít really holy. Personally, I think itís because there is no God in this shithole, period. Nothing but these fucking vamps and their boot-licking worshipers. Fuck, I hate the vamps...Ē

ď...blood-drinkers...scorched earth... nature. They seem to have figured out a weakness in us, we cannot copy cat the dead and we cannot copy from each other. They had purged all the animals from their city years ago, but they are hunting of several of our preferred animals to extinction. One can hardly find a sable hawk, manticore or ember fox anymore. It makes me sad to think that our children will never know what itís like to be these majestic creatures, but then again, I fear that our children will not live long enough to know anything of animals or their gifts.Ē

ďThe war has gone poorly for us ever since Acros died. I think Wraith and Corin finally smell victory after all these years of fighting. Most of the Vamps are gone but we have been driven to near extinction along with our beautiful animal herds for it. Sable, and the few others have gone ahead with their desperate plan; to try to find a refuge far away from the blood-drinkers and their hate for us. We gave them everything we had to aid their trek into the Wasteland, but honestly, I fear they will perish out there. Me, Jake, Jean Luc, and Sarah, we donít have anything left except the fight so we will keep fighting. Maybe weíll get lucky and drag a few of them into Hell with us. Sarah thinks she knows where Corin has taken to staying during the day, we are planning to hit him tomorrow and hopefully, take another out. If not, maybe Iíll finally see my family again in whatever world comes after this one.

For Menos! For Freedom! For Ever!Ē


Drakon looked up, blinking. The sun was low in the sky, hours had passed as he had digested this new knowledge. Ironically, Illusion Vale had almost no sense of history. So many Valians having been snatched from wherever they had originally come from had no understanding of what might have come before. Between the nature of work to survive and lack of anything to write on or with, literature was extremely scarce. The past was primarily narrated by those rare few who had encountered it or been told from those who came before. Ironically, the only real Ďhistorical figureí that existed in the Vale, was Wraith, the eternal Caretaker. This book, was a chronicle of Valian history outside of Wraithís narration. Not only had there been a conflict within the Vale, but a revolution. A revolt against Wraith and her one time rule. The mere implications suggested in this book were staggering. Another memory fragment tugged at his brain; ďHistory is written by the Victors.Ē

Indeed.

GoldenDrakon spent his last hour removing everything that he could still salvage from the tiny hovel, setting it next to his turquoise stone. Packaging as best he could for transport, he then reverted back to his dragon shape, but did not leave just yet. Using his great size and strength, GoldenDrakon salvaged many loose stones, placing then against the break in the rock, sealing it again from the outside world. The sun was fading quickly now, sending molten gold across the sky and casting long shadows by the time he had finished his task. In the end, the room was sealed shut in an impressive pile of stones, a proper crypt for the mystery warrior within. It was the least he could do in return for this personís knowledge and gifts to him. Duty aside, the dragon delicately gathered up his new found treasures and leapt skyward, flying carefully back towards his mountain lair to contemplate his new knowledge and what it might truly mean.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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