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Ship Wreck (Interactive Story)
#1
Following is an interactive story thread. You may post paragraphs to continue the story thread but I am setting a rule that you cannot post twice in a row. This story will become canon for the tribe RP only after the ending. So it has to have a beginning, middle and end for it to become official. You must be a tribe member of Grunt rank or higher to post here.

SO...put on your creativity hats and off we go...


Prologue

Captain Sparksprocket called for more altitude as the Goblin airship called "The Pennywhistle" climbed high above the clouds. The ship had a compliment of soldiers on board most of who wore a tabbard of black with a large red hammer emblazoned on the front.

The wars of Northrend were hard and difficult for the Horde tribes who now fought so far from the places they knew as home. This flight would take them back to Durotar where many would spend a too short time with family and loved before once more returning to the front.

The ships passengers were unusually quiet and rarely talked amoungst themselves. They were scatted above and below decks wrapped in bundles of animal furs and armor. Some coughed from minor illnesses related to the cold weather. Some wrote quietly in journals while others polished weapons that were dirtied in long battles. Some merely stared out over the horizon with blank stares while the untold horrors of the past months battles danced about in their minds.

The silence was suddenly broken as a horn sounded. The ship's lookout called for battle stations and a group of flying creatures suddenly appeared from a nearby cloudbank. Crew and passengers alike scurried for weapons and prepared to defend the craft. Shots rang out from the decks and portholes as a swarm of Scourge Gargoyles surrounded the ship and attacked.

The Gargoyle attack was precise and well coordinated. A few of the creatures drew the crews fire while a small strike team headed for the air balloon that supported the ship. Before anyone could stop them the balloon fabric was torn and leaking air and several support ropes were sliced apart. The ship would no longer be able to remain airbourne and so the Captain ordered a turnabout and made way back towards the port, but he knew the ship would never make it.

As the last gargoyle fell out of the sky the ship made a sudden "lurch" as one of the support ropes finally gave way. Sparksprocket screamed an order for the crew and passengers to tie themselves to anything they could find, to prepare for the crash he knew was now imminent.

The small craft plummeted and crashed somewhere in the high mountains of Northrend.

Crew and passengers were scattered all over the snowy landscape. Many did not survive including the Captain.

It is here that our story begins...
Sing True Ironsong!
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#2
Darkness...

"Dergash wake up"

The voice, very familiar yet far far away.

"You need to wake up now, your friends need you."

"Mother?" the orc replied to the phantom voice in the darkness.

"Yes, now GET UP !"


The orc's eyes snapped open, above him he could see the now familiar grey clouded skies of Northrend. His breath hung in the cold air, for a moment he didn't recall what had happened. Then a shooting pain from his left leg reminded him in a flash what had occurred. Their airship had been ambushed by the Scourge and they had crashed somewhere in the mountains.

Looking down he noticed a very large, jagged piece of wood sticking through his left thigh. Blood was slowly seeping from the wound, making an ever widening circle in the white snow he was laying on. He surveyed the wreckage, the airship was destroyed, cargo, crew, and passengers alike were strewn about the small clearing where they had crashed. Dark greasy smoke climbed from the remains of the airship; something within the wreckage was burning.

Tearing away strips from what lookled like very expensive robes the orc quickly bound his wound to stop the bleeding. He then cast a spell on himself, the fel energies further helping to stem the loss of blood. Using a broken piece of the airship's hull he pulled himself to his feet. Instantly a small imp appeared at his side.

"Nice of you to finally show yourself".

"Master, I was worried you had died." The sarcasm in the imp's voice was easily recognized.

"Your concern for my well being is touching, Yazfip, and will be addressed later." The orc's eyes flashed red as he stared down the imp. "Now go find the corpse, then the rest of the Officers."

The imp scurried away under its master's scornful gaze.
.
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)
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#3
The spirit wolf carefully gets to his feet and begins searching for his master. Owakeri is very resilent, and appears to be uninjured save for a slight limp. After a few moments he picks up a familiar scent and leaps from the wreckage, bounding through the snow to a body that lay motionless nearby. Upon reaching the Orc, Owakeri nuzzles him numerous times and licks his face but these actions do not produce the reaction Owakeri was expecting. The Orc appears badly injured, or possibly worse, and Owakeri howls mournfully to the stars. There is little he can do but lay down beside his master and wait. Wait.

Those last moments had been harrowing as Krell stood like a rock against the gargoyle onslaught, firing arrow after arrow in defense of the Tribe. Now, his body lay as broken as his bow, and there is little hope for anything save a heroes grave. That is, if one is waiting for him.

Owakeri looks up into the stars again, and howls pitifully to noone in particular.
Shantow the Bear
The Ironsong Tribe


"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." King
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#4
Coranda was dead.

It wasn't that unusual; she'd been dead before, and would probably die again later. Existence was peaceful, in death. Soothed by the fullness of a connection she'd felt all her life, Coranda floated in perfect bliss, warm and soft, safe in the arms of the Earthmother. It was a timeless, endless place, full of light and joy ... a perfect place.

Coming back was always painful. To move from perfection to mortality and pain and death is hard, even when it's dearly wanted. This time was no exception.

Taken unaware, she'd slipped off the zepplin before it fell, unable to heal even a single person. The fall was brutal, but she would have survived if she hadn't landed face up on a rock, breaking her neck, her shield, and her armor all at once. An inglorious death, even for someone as fragile and accident prone as she.

Knowing she would be needed, was needed, and would likely be needed again and again, brought her back. Leaving that eternal space, she made the familiar, agonizing, seemingly unending trek back to the land of the living and surveyed the scene.

In the time she'd been dead, most of the Tribe had fallen. Swaying uneasily on her hooves, she reached deep inside and sent healing energy out to the first person she saw. As she stumbled her way through the wreckage, she sent out ever weaker waves of blessed glowing light, until finally she stumbled to her knees, a scant ten yards from Krell. Her sight dimmed as she assessed the situation, and with the last of her energy, she beseeched her Mother to bring him back as well.

Every resource exhausted, darkness began to claim her; as she fell face down in the snow, wavering on the brink of unconsciousness, she sighed, not knowing if she'd made a difference at all.
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#5
The first thing to come to his ears was the sound of howling winds.

Against the stark contrast of white snow, the black and red of the Ironsong tabard stood out. It mixed with light blond hair of the one wearing it, his body slumped against some kind of rock formation in amongst the mountain. He shifted his weight, sinking into the ever growing pile of white powder. He slowly found his dull, green eyes opening and surveying the area around him.

Kardwel could see nothing but a bleak, white scene. He couldn't tell if he was upside down, right-side up or any combination of position. He slowly turned his head, looking down his body. At first, he didn't know it was his own. Blood marred his tabard and the one part of his left shoulder he could see, was nothing but a mass of twisted plate. The very energy that had been coursing through his shoulder-plates were no more. They were badly broken as were many other pieces on his body. It took a moment for it to click within his mind that this WAS his own body he was staring down at.

He tried to push himself up, but felt a wave of pain flow over his right arm. Gripping his left hand over his right shoulder, he slid his hand down until it rested on what felt to be a jagged object. He slid over onto his back and looked down at what it was protruding from his arm. A piece of the plate connecting to his shoulder had broken off and had jabbed itself dangerously into his upper arm. Cringing at the very sight of it, Kardwel knew not even a good healing spell could get through that.

Grabbing the piece with his left hand, he wiggled it slightly to test just how far deep the plate had gone in. He was rewarded with a burning pain that seeped into his very muscle. Letting out a short wincing moan, he paused briefly. There was no other way he was going to be able to do this. He breathed in, the freezing air choking his lungs as he gripped the plate once more. Gritting his teeth, he got a good feel on the object before slowly counting to himself:

One...two...THREE

He ripped the plate piece from his arm, this time a much louder cry escaping his throat as he tried to remain in control of the sudden agonizing pain now reverberating through him. He lay where he was for a few moments trying to catch his breath. He gingerly felt at the wound, trying to conjure up the words of a healer. He felt the familiar sensation of his holy energy working as a small flash of light settled over the bloody mess now being created. Flecks of his blood now crossed over the snow, making it obvious to any hungry creatures in this part of the mountains that an easy meal would be available.

Although the healing spell felt strong, Kardwel was surprised to look over himself and see that the injury itself had hardly been healed at all and was still continuing to gush forth more black fluid. He heaved himself up into a sitting position, and that small move made his head spin. He had to get somewhere and find civilization fast, or at least some of the others. As he thought that, the very memory of what had happened on the crossing zeppelin had come rushing back to him. The last thing he'd remembered was trying to heal those around him before the very floor of the ship had gone out from under him. He remembered falling and seeing the zeppelin itself quickly twisting out of control. And that had been the last of it.

He winced as his arm suddenly reminded him of his current situation. Breathing in, he knew sitting here was not going to help him. He had to find the energy to stand up and start moving. Looking around, he saw a large blacked object sitting only a rough twenty yards away from him. Intrigued more by his curiosity, he slowly and very shakily got to his feet. It took him a moment to gain his balance as his legs almost gave out on him. Using the rock he was near as support, he took a few, small experimental steps. At least his legs seemed to be in working order.

Slowly, he stepped away from the blood-specked snow towards the black object. As he neared it, he realized it was letting off steam or some kind of smoke. Looking it over, he realized it was a piece of the zeppelin's engine. Most likely one of the rockets used to propel it. If this piece of the zeppelin was here, there were bound to be other pieces...and others of the tribe.

Suddenly renewed by this though, Kardwel hefted himself forward. How long he walked, he could not say. It could've been only a few minutes or hours. Time wasn't very important to him at this point. He would most likely die out here, so what difference did it make? Perhaps he could heal a few more before then...

He didn't notice how blurry his vision was getting, and how easily the few snow flakes falling at this time were obscuring everything. One thing he did take note of was the looming hill in front of him. He noticed the ground had decided to start sloping upwards, and the farther up he went, the more pieces of destroyed zeppelin he saw. He looked them over, seeing that most of it was either splintered wood or various metal chunks. He stopped, seeing red spots mixed in with white snow and blackened metal. He stopped, looking forward.

The first person...or body...lay before him here. It was a tauren woman, her fur matted with stains and snow beginning to decorate her clothing. She wasn't moving, nor was the orc in front of her. He recognized the tauren as Coranda. She was always helping the guild by taking care of the tribe as if she were the mother of everyone. And the orc...Kardwel had rarely seen that one. He tried listing the names in his head of who it might be, but all were failing to come to him. As the blood elf stepped closer, a sudden movement caught his attention.

A wolf, as clear and white as the snow suddenly stepped out from around the orc's body letting out a low growl. It bared it's fangs as its tail seemed to increase in size, the growls slowly increasing in volume. Kardwel slowly knelt down next to Coranda, placing a hand on her. Perhaps if this ghost wolf saw what Kardwel was trying to do, it would relax.

One thing Kardwel could tell right away, was that Coranda's spirit was very far away. She'd done everything in her power to come back. These were signs of a healer, of someone who followed the gift of revival. Not only was her spirit distant, it was very weak. Kardwel closed his eyes and tried to focus on finding her spirit. The wolf let out occasional growls, but it didn't seem as agitated now that the blood elf was closer to the tauren.

For long minutes Kardwel waited...and for long minutes Coranda's spirit was not getting any stronger or closer. The paladin opened his eyes then and looked her over. She was still completely unresponsive. He scooted over slightly, as to get closer to the orc. As soon as he did, the wolf once more reared up its snarling head.

"I have to do this." Kardwel calmly, and very tiredly explained. "Let me see if his soul is still there."

The wolf only continued to growl. Instead of waiting to see if the animal would calm down, Kardwel slowly moved a hand toward the orc. Almost at once, the wolf moved forward, its jaw snapping. Kardwel pulled his hand back, just barely missing the teeth. There was a moment of silence as the wolf glared, almost as if daring the paladin to do it again.

"You don't want to know, do you?"

The wolf didn't bare its teeth now, just let out another low growl.

"He means everything to you." Kardwel paused, "When you two work together, it's like working as one. At least, the hunters and rangers of Silvermoon always spoke that way of their companions. They trusted in their pets as much as any person. Some of them grew very connected." He looked the wolf in its eyes. "I know it will be hard if he's not part of this world anymore, but you need to at least let me try."

The wolf was no longer growling. Instead, it just watched. Slowly moving his hand forward once more, Kardwel was able to touch the orc's shoulder without the wolf even repsonding. There was...something there. A sign of life, but very weak. Much weaker than even Coranda.

"Stay here and gaurd these two." Kardwel spoke to the wolf once again, "My healing powers will not be enough. I fear by simply trying to heal these two now, that will wear me out. I need to see if anyone else is nearby and if they survived."

Kardwel took one more glance around, a sudden horrid thought occurring to him.

"I'll be back soon." And as he stood he spoke once more, almost as an afterthought.

"I hope...I hope she's alive."
[Image: AWOeJWn.png]
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#6
Kureei lie half buried in the snow. The sounds of the battle on the airship still echoed in her mind as she struggled to stay awake. Her mind started to cloud as her breathing slowed. She was barley aware of the painful gash on the side of her head and the trickle of fresh blood flowing down across her face.

Have. To. Stay. Awake.

The words flashed into her head. Driven by some unknown force she pushed herself up off her stomach. She cried out in pain as her head hit something hard. She was trapped under the wreckage of the airship. Feeling her way around her hand passed over something warm and scaly.

"Vorostrasz is that you?" she whispered. The dragon whelp cooed in reply, nuzzling her hand gently. "Vorostrasz I need you to listen to me. You have to get out of here. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Just go."

The young dragon looked up at her with his fiery yellow eyes. Nodding briefly her turned to look around. A few feet away was a small opening just large enough for him to fly out. Vorostrasz looked back at Kureei. Do not worry, I'll be back with help.

Kureei heard her tiny companion fly away, leaving her alone in the darkness...
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#7
Vennath had been happy on the airship. There were people all around him, warm people, talking and doing people things. Someone, at some point, had given him a chicken. He sat with his back to the outer hull of the hold, cradling the rather perturbed fowl in his lap and stroking it lovingly as it pecked absently at the sallow flesh of his arm. Chickens were important. He couldn't remember why, but he knew they were. You had to care for them and they, in turn, would... care for... you. That wasn't right, no. You had to...

His train of thought was jarred by the shouting. He didn't like shouting. He curled protectively around the chicken, eyes darting about. The people were agitated. Some of them lept up and rushed to the upper deck of the ship. Others tried to prevent the small barrels of carefully packed cargo from overturning and unleashing mayhem on the crowded hold. He tried to be as small as possible. The chicken, taking offense to this, clawed him mercilessly until it could slip out of his grasp. He only had time for a quiet whimper of loss before the whole world bent sideways.



Smoking wreckage dotted the snowy peak. Some distance away a twisted figure yowled. A long, continuous smear of blood and other less mentionable fluids left an obvious trail leading to where the broken shape huddled against the rocks of the mountain face. No snow had cushioned this fall, no greater fate intervened to spare it. Yet still it moved, clawed hands reaching out and digging into cracks in the unforgiving stone, dragging it ever forwards in a game of inches. It sobbed as it went, a wet mewling sound that served only as a verbal pressure valve. The attention of the figure was fixed on a single point. Some thirty yards away from where it had begun the crawl lay a metal helm, misshapen from the impact of it's fall. The figure pulled itself ever closer with each motion, overwhelming terror lending it strength. Sunrise, sunset; it held no understanding the passage of time. It only knew fear. Fear and sanctuary.

Ragged hands scrabbled at it's prize, drawing the oblong shape to it. It shook as it clutched at the metal, cold enough to freeze drops of blood to it's surface. As it unevenly settled the heavy plate helm over what remained of it's skull, Vennath began to cry tears of bile and blood.
Righteous are those who look up and sway with the wind,
Who look down and dance with the shifting of the soil,
Who swim with the movement of the tides!
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#8
The sand in the snow began to move amongst the wreckage. The last thing he could remember, he was looking down off the deck of the airship.... something happened...and he went overboard.. Gargoyles...he really only rembered falling, impact, and shattering over the mountianside.

The sand began to form together into the shape of a troll. He rembered shouting and shots fired as he fell..and then...somthing..
The sand gave way to flesh, and a deep gasping breath was heard as Karnma filled his newly formed lungs desprately.
Holding his head and shaking off the daze of reconstuction he gazed across the snowy rocks...bodys and peices of the ship lay everywhere. "Nwo.." he said into the cold air. Rushing over he saw Coranda on the floor, a trail of blood...

Karnma started to run over to see if everyone was alright when he rembred about somthing much more important. Glancing over to what remains of the bulk of the hull he remebered about the cargo. "If dat be taken...or even open..." he stopped there shuddering at the thought.

Running over he noticed an imp scampering across the snowy rocks. "Eh! Whatcu tink yu doin getin in deh!?" Karnma shouted at the imp as he got close."The imp stopped and turned around "What do "yuuuuu" think im doing?" he said back, openly mocking the trolls heavy accent.
"Owh..great..Yazfip...mi dwidnt recogonise ya mon. Mi assumein' Dergash be awright den...Swo..yu go in ta check on dat....'ting'...yet?"
Yazfip stared back at Karnma and raised an eyebrow: "...What? "Yuuu" know if i didnt know better i would think you broke your jaw in the crash. *chuckles* Me no understand orc talk, big blue ears no good to hear normal talk, uga uga!"

Karnma narrowed his eyes and glared at Yazfip. He lifts his hand and forms a ball of water, throwing it over the imps mouth and freezing it. The imp began mumbling somthing unable to speak through his frozen lips. "What dat? Mi caan nwot undastand ya, mon.Uga Uga!" Karnma said smiling back. Yazfip responed with a rude hand gesture. Befrore he could even get what was left of the door all the way open, a metal claw shot forth, thrashing wildly knocking Karnma out cold into the rocks..
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#9
The gargoyles body was riddled with arrows and gunshots and still it fought on. Karnma fell to the suprise attack and the creature raised it's claw to deliver the killing blow. Before the blow could be delivered the thing's head exploded as a single gunshot rang out. The now dead gargoyle collapsed into the snow.

Trance Trippletrick reloaded his rifle with a smooth motion and scanned the area for any more threats. Satisfied that all was quiet for the moment the goblin jumped down and helped Karnma sit up.

He then turned his attention to a few others and pulled them in closer to wreckage, helped them sit up and administered a few bandages and first aid. By now the survivors were all beginning to gather together.

"You...Goblin...just keep your hands where we can see them!" The Orc Warlock Dergash commanded.

Trance turned to face him casually flipping his gun in a circle. "Or...what?" He asked matter-of-factly. "Will you kill me? By da looks o' tings here...I think we need all the help we can get."

"Hrmph" came the Orcs reply. He turned to attend to one of the wounded but never took his eye off the small goblin.

"Are any of youse a mage? We could sure use a portal out of here."

"Dispaya is the only mage on board." The reply from Kardwell was solem.

The goblin looked up to see the Elf holding the body of a small undead female. She was obviously uncontious...perhaps dead. Hell, with the undead you could never really tell Trance thought. Even when asleep they look dead.

Just then a number of howls were heard in the distance. They were the howls of dogs yet sounded unnatural.

"Hellhounds..." Trance exclaimed. "...or worse. They will be here shortly...they are looking for us no doubt. I suggest we pull everyone as close to the wreckage as we can and try to create a defendable bunker. Night will be here soon...it is gonna get a whole lot colder by then also."
Sing True Ironsong!
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#10
Owakeri was becoming increasing agitated just sitting around and waiting for someone to do something. He continued to nuzzle the lifeless body of his Master and was startled at the yowling noises he was now hearing in the distance. Something was approaching, and it was something that meant to finish the job. Owakeri circled around Krell and did the only thing he knew to do...protect his Master. Carefully, he closed his powerful jaw on the shoulder armor of the Hunter, and began to pull him away from the crash site, and away from the unknown sounds. His thought pattern was singular and focused, move his master to a more easily defensible position. After several minutes, Owakeri had succeeded to drag the body of Krell a considerable distance away, but he could still faintly here the commotion of the survivors, as well as the approaching enemy. Luckily, he found a small outcropping of rock and was able to place Krell underneath it, mostly out of harms way. Owakeri then sat defiantly in front of his Master, prepared to protect him to the last.


*Edited*
Shantow the Bear
The Ironsong Tribe


"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." King
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#11
Her energy completely depleted, Coranda lay motionless on the ground as snow drifted down to cover her body. Only her commection to the Earthmother kept her alive through the cold; as long as she could touch the ground, she would live.

... unless, that is, something attacked her. Then she'd have to begin the long trek back to life all over again, taking more time and effort each time. Again. Some more.

Slowly, oh so slowly, she began to recover, mending body and mind as she slept.
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#12
Vorostrasz spotted Coranda almost as soon as he took to the skies. As he lowered himself to the ground beside her he began to change to his mortal form, a small blood elf child with flaming red hair.

"Wake up smiley lady, we needs help!" shouted the dragon boy.

When she didn't move he noticed what he couldn't from the sky. She was very weak, almost dead. Her body was still healing itself from the crash. Disturbing her now might kill her again. A low growl from behind him forced him to turn, only to come face to face with a hellhound. Vorostrasz didn't move, the beat's foul breath assaulting his senses. Somehow he had to get this enemy away from Coranda, but he didn't want to leave her alone lest another one showed up.

Not far away, a gunshot sounded, momentarily distracting the hellhound. That was all the time he needed. Leaping at the evil creature, Vorostrasz sank his teeth into its throat. A foul taste filled his mouth, making his eyes water. Still he held on. The beat tried to make one last menacing growl before falling over, dead. Spitting the hellhound's dark blood from his mouth as he stood up he smiled happily to himself. He had taken on his first scourge monster and escaped with barley a scratch. The sound of approaching footsteps sounded behind him. Vorostrasz spun around again, expecting some other horror. Instead a familiar scent flooded his nose.

"Ironsong!"
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#13
Captain Anca of the pirate ship BoomStomp stood with one boot on the prow of the proud vessel. She raised her cutlass high, bringing a great cheer from her pirate crew. First Mate Rinu rolled in the newly-captured treasure strewn about the deck, throwing coins to those gathered around, everyone getting a fair share.

"Mister Skrap!" the Captain called out.

"Aye, Cap'n!" was the answer.

"Boom-bombs ready! Bad ship off the poor-bow!"

"Big boomers ready, Cap'n! Biggest boomers yet!" Skrap announced proudly.

"Avat ye lubbers! Swab the deck and roll up the guns! Wait the anchor and shiver me timbers! We gonna get more treasures!" The crew let up another cheer and ran about the deck doing what they were supposed to do. "Mister Umu! Fool steam ahead!" The giant Umu took a deep breath and blew into the sails, pushing the ship forward, cutting through the sea like a great sword. The captain again raised her blade, pointing it toward the silhouette of a ship in the distance. "Fool steam that way!" she called out. Pilot Dispaya turned the wheel, driving the ship directly at the enemy.

The crew cheered as the BoomStomp crashed into the StupidHead amidships, sending it straight to the bottom of the ocean, throwing all its treasures onto the deck of the victorious ship, and sending the cowardly Captain Wrynn swimming away like a little yellow chicken that could swim. Rinu threw more gold to the crew, who all cheered at how great a captain they had.

Without warning, the ship rocked violently and tilted, throwing the captain over the rail and into the ocean.

Soon, the snow was falling on the lifeless little Kor'kron, slowly burying her in the cold.
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#14
Ice. Everything was coated in ice. The creature knew ice and commanded it to it's will. Heat was purged, blood frozen, limbs that had been nearly pulped by impact given jagged, icy shape.

It rose from a snow a monster, a horned helmet crowning a body of frozen blood and innards, stalking across the snow on limbs that threatened to snap with each movement. At least it could move now. It scrabbled unevenly along the mountainside, weaving and stumbling, searching each snow-crater it came to. It shied away from smoldering ruins of airship parts, darting away before the protective coating of ice supporting it could weaken. Finally it found what it sought. Without pause it fell upon the injured goblin, striking with frigid claws that left bloody, festering wounds. It tore the man apart in a matter of seconds, just before it's weakening body finally collapsed into a pile atop the fresh corpse.

The monster began to feed.
Righteous are those who look up and sway with the wind,
Who look down and dance with the shifting of the soil,
Who swim with the movement of the tides!
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#15
Miles and miles away, Toranda was urging her borrowed windrider ever so slowly up the side of a mountain, trying to reach the cool blue ladies who thought like her and made her feel small, finally, instead of awkwardly tall and out of place.

Suddenly a twinge in her side, like nothing else she'd ever felt, almost knocked her off the creaky old wyvern. She was hit by an overwhelming urge to land, to be on the ground, to be anywhere but in the sky ... anywhere at all with her hooves touching the ground. Pointing the windrider at a narrow outcropping of rock, she dismounted and brushed the snow off the ledge and knelt.

Why? She couldn't say. This was completely new, which ordinarily would have scared her out of her wits ... but it felt right, somehow. Calming. Kneeling on the cliff, palms touching the ground, she just listened. And for once in her life, she heard something answer.

It was faint. So faint. Like someone yelling through a storm. Like smoke signals you can't decipher, but know are somehow important. Like looking at the stars through a hazy night and trying to make out a constellation. But still, it was there.

A presence - no, a Presence - was calling out to her. A warm, soft feeling full of light and music and love, flickering through her awareness just at the edge of perception. It wanted something. Something important. Something far away and urgent and personal. And it needed her to get it.

As quickly as it had come, it was gone. The whole thing might have taken seconds, or years, or an endless time that disappeared when you looked at it straight on. When it vanished, she was bereft ... nothing had ever felt like that before. All that was left was a vague pull and a desire to move in that direction.

Dropping as quickly as the wyvern could manage, she readied her pack and prepared for travel. As soon as her hooves touched the ground, she began to walk.
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