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Ayden

Dragon Knights Go! [Eldritch Quest]

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Within 24 hours, the beautiful and snowy city of Vdara had fallen under martial law. The only people roaming the overly large streets would be the Golden Shields and other affiliated military members; Mages, Dragons, Dragon Knights, Yellow Leaf, NightReavers, etc. Of course, this action was not to punish the people - but to keep them safe from the impending monstrosity that had set its course to Vdara!

-A Sky Terror- 

A creature so large that it seemed impossible to comprehend. A massive head of eldritch monsters formed the creature that approached, leaving it's body hidden in a steam of clouds - as if it's very form was produced from those clouds. 

Many citizens and individuals passing by had heard the warning from the city. Those who wished to aid the city were invited to, being directed by the various military forces roaming the city. They had the option of bunkering down, leaving, or assisting until it was safe again. 

As such, a call for warriors had been sent. A need for pilots, both of aircraft and dragon had been requested. It would be Luther waiting for those few individuals he had heard about. Luther himself is of darker complexion, a Dragon Knight dressed in heavy battle armament matching Vdara's colors. Across his face is a single scar, reaching from his upper eyebrow to across his nose and down his neck. 

Dark hair and eyes looked out as he stood in front of Chaga Corps, waiting for the others to approach. The brute of a man paced back and forth in contemplation as he wrestled with various opinions of people making decisions above him. Three new recruits, they should be here any moment. He knew little about them, but they had their instructions to report in order to be assigned their aircraft and dragon.
 

Edited by Ayden
- it is winter time, snow is on the ground

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Bursting through the thick fog of winter, a gigantic blue shape would hurtle towards Luther from the skies. It would soar over the Changa Corps building, redirecting itself around to the wide open space before him. The dragon Athari would land elegantly onto the ground, throwing snow off of its wings. Its scales gleamed under the rays of the sun that had only just begun to rise from the east, powerful muscles holding up its massive body weight for all to behold. The scars and tears in its body, the open wounds and lack of flesh, they all seemed to have disappeared. Its rider, insignificant compared to the size of the powerful dragon, slid off of its back, landing gracefully on her two feet.

Reyna gestured for the dragon to remain still, and so it flattened itself out onto the ground, almost like a dog. Turning back to the lone man standing in front of the building, she made her way over.

“You must be Luther. I am Reyna Frostbinder. I’m also quite sure that we are lacking any formal introduction, but I don’t think that now would be the best time for that,” she smiled warmly, pointing upwards at the eldritch horror looming above as if it was some sort of carnival balloon.

“It’s an honour to be working with you. Few opportunities come by like this,” she would extend her cold bony hand to shake Luther’s. This man didn’t strike her to be very unique, just a soldier doing his job. She hoped that she would find someone in Vdara who would be suitable to teach her about mounted aerial combat. She knew that her current skillset would give her a slight edge over others who were accustomed to the usual “sword and shield” rigid style of combat. Tucked in her belt, was an 8-foot long bullwhip that had served as her primary weapon when she was not in her lich form. Although durable and somewhat sentimental to her, the weapon was old. She was in dire need of an upgrade. Perhaps she would find one here while waiting for the others to arrive.

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Heavy boots crunched as snow compressed beneath them. Liandri pulled the collar of her thick fur lined jacket up higher to ward against the cold wind. A young man was speeding toward her with a child clutched tight to his chest. His voice carried over the wind, trying to reassure the child that everything would be fine when they got to shelter. She did not blame him for wanting to hide. Fear was something that everyone felt. It was an emotion that kept them alive. She felt it just the same as that man, but she chose to face the fear and conquer it. 

Her gaze lifted up, snowflakes clinging to her lashes, causing them to blink rapidly. Past the falling snow was a shape. A shape that defied logic and reason. That alien form was the cause of all this fear, a Sky Terror. She had never even heard of one until that day, but there it was all the same. 

Her mind drifted to her old commander and his vessel, the airship Faith of Ages. She recalled the crafting being massive, in both scale and power, but staring at the creature above made her shiver. It dwarfed the Faith beyond anything she could have imagined.

Another burst of rapid blinking cause by the flakes and her view returned to see the city covered in white. Despite the dark times that lay ahead, the appearance of the terror presented Liandri with an opportunity. The moment she'd arrived in the city, she became obsessed with the dragons that called the city home. Her only goal from that point was to join the dragon riders of the Golden Shield. Now that moment was upon her. With the danger literally filling the sky above them, the city sent out a call to join them in the fight against the Sky Terror. She felt she was particularly suited for this endeavor due to her past aboard the airships of The Great North. It was one thing to fight on the ground, but another entirely to be up where the air was thin, cold, and fought you just as much as your enemy. 

A down burst of wind whipped her hair around wildly. Looking up again a dark form past not too far overhead. Massive wings outstretched a great blue dragon soared past, landing not too far up. Liandri's pulse quickened as she watched the powerful creature swoop down. Doubling her pace she hurried to see the creature and more than likely, its rider. 

The dragon was laying down as Liandri came into view. Its rider was not too far away talking to an armored Dragon Knight standing in front of a rank and file of soldiers. Her breath caught as she got closer to the dragon, but then her military training took over. Locking eyes on the Knight, she drew to within a few feet. 

She gave a sharp salute, her heels snapping together as her back went stiff. "Former Lt. Liandri Sharvant reporting sah!"

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Perhaps Reyna and her dragon Athari would notice the depth of the building they had flown over just moments before. The Chaga Corps was host to Vdara's magi-tech business. This building alone, though not massive on the outside, was large enough to land a dragon or two on top. Some of the cities best kept secrets were hidden within this building under lock and key, and more locks and keys, and more security than most would ever know. 

Why do the large main roads and rooftops remain clear of the snow? Why do they not freeze over with powerful sheets of ice? Imbued stones that radiate a soft heat had been designed in Chaga Corps, now widely used throughout the city of Vdara would answer that question. One of their many useful inventions.  

As Reyna's approach closes in upon Luther, it would be the Dragon Knight himself who steps out with a stern look on his face. His dark eyes would shift from the woman rider and her dragon. For a moment, his own eyes would lock with Athari in confirmation before a rough voice broke free with a soft smile hiding behind it all. "My brother Brax would be pleased to know that Athari has returned to service. You do Athari, and Brax, an honor."

His reply is short as another woman introduces herself as Former Lt. Liandri Sharvant. Luther was expecting someone else as he scanned her up and down and offered her a nod in acknowledgement of her salute. The dark skinned male would place two thick fingers against his lips as he let out a powerful burst of air, cutting the wind and releasing a sharp whistle that filled the snowy air. As the sound lingered for only a moment, it would be cut short as he would come to introduce himself.

"You both may call me Luther. I am the assigned Dragon Knight to the two of you, and you will be following me and Kenthu's lead in order to eliminate the threat of the Sky Terror."

While continuing his introductions, three additional dragons - roughly the same size as Athari, would peer over the edge of Chaga Corps and land. Luther points to the shiny bronze scaled dragon in the center. The dragon's horns curl like a ram's own as its steady gaze was fixed upon it's rider. "Kenthu is my dragon. If you are not with me, you are with him. If you're not with him, you are with me. Understood?" 

He asks them both rather firmly, as if it were life or death, because it truly could be. "Now, you have your choice of the other two. They're both coming of age and mature. Both are ready for the trials of combat and as sharp as ever. Choose or be chosen." He says to the former Lt. Liandri Sharvant. Luther himself wouldn't even have to do anything for Kenthu to join his side. Mounting the dragon, fixing himself in the harness, Luther would look at the other two.

"When you are ready, mount your dragons."
 

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Reyna was noticeably surprised when Luther mentioned that he was the brother of Athari’s previous rider. His reaction surprised her even more. She had never expected that people would be open to necromantic practices. This just showed that in times of need, even the biggest political assholes were willing to play nice.

She would have tried to ask questions about Brax when another woman suddenly appeared behind her. Reyna took a step back, smiling warmly at the newcomer who introduced herself as Liandri. This one was far more militaristic than herself, and it showed in her confidence and how comfortable she was in the environment. Reyna gave her a nod of acknowledgement, extending her arm once again to shake hers – it was the only practice that she knew to have any manner of formality.

“I’m Reyna. It’s a pleasure to be working with you,” she smiled dryly because quite frankly, what they were about to do was going to be far from pleasurable.

No further introductions were possible, however, as Luther seemed to be in a hurry to go. She didn’t blame him. The eldritch horror was already looming dangerously close to the city. Following his instruction, she ran over to Athari, still lying stationary as a corpse on the ground. Upon placing her hand upon its powerful snout, the dragon roused, cold icy breath seeping out from between its jaws.

“Come on big boy, let’s see what you can do,” she pushed herself up onto his back, freezing her clothing to the dragon’s hide so that it stuck her to it. Reyna’s relationship with the dragon was not one that many would’ve expected. She knew not if Luther was aware, or if he would approve. But if one looked deeply into the dragon’s eyes as it rose, they would see blank, dark pupils, under the complete and absolute mind control of the lich girl. Perhaps in due time, Athari and Reyna would be able to work together on better terms. But under circumstances such as these, one couldn’t afford to be soft at heart.

With its rider securely fastened to its back, Athari flexed its legs, pushing itself off its stomach. Its powerful wings furled up close so as not to collide into Kenthu as it went to stand next to Luther.

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In her past, she would have seen the outstretched hand as a bit informal but times had changed. Also the present situation surrounding them was not the most conducive to proper etiquette and protocol. Taking the hand of the woman firmly in hers, Liandri bowed her head in greeting. "Pleased to meet you Reyna. I'm honored to be along side someone already versed in dragon riding."

Luther's voice called them to his attention as three other dragons came into the area. Liandri couldn't help but grin excitedly as she saw them. Each of the scaled behemoths seemed to radiate power. They were magnificent! Luther informed her that the bronze dragon named Kenthu was his, she began shifting her gaze between the other two. 

On the left was a gleaming silver dragon. Its scales looked as though they had been forged and polished from the silver from which it had earned its name. It stood proud and beautiful before her. The air around the dragon seemed colder. Liandri began to recall all she had learned about the different dragon types. Silver types were at home in the cold snowy environments. They could breath massive clouds of freezing air. She watched in awe as its muscles rippled beneath its scaly hide. Its tail curling and uncurling slowly, sweeping snow with each pass. 

Turning her head towards the other one she began her examination. This one wasn't as large as the other three dragons present nor was its scales as lusterous. Instead they seemed to be muted in color, a matte grey almost black. While the silver dragon shone brightly, this one seemed to absorb the light around it. Black dragons weren't uncommon by any means, but this one was atypical of the breed. Sharp horns swept forward from its brow, coming to wicked points ahead of its snout. Its eyes, along with its toothy maw, glowed with a violet light, giving it a sinister appearance. Instead of the massive leathery wings that the others had, this ones seemed to ooze and flow like smoke.

She gasped as her knowledge of dragons finally saw the creature for what it truly was. At one point it may have been a black dragon, or at least was supposed to be, but it had been exposed to something. Something had twisted this creature into a new form, one seeming to be comprised of shadow stuff, of smoke and ash. This was a rare creature indeed. In her studies, she had learned about rare dragons who's eggs were taken into a realm of shadow and darkness. Just being on this abnormal plane was enough to change them at the genetic level. As she stared into those violet hued eyes, she felt the rest of the world quiet and drop away. Her legs carried her forward, closer and closer toward this deadly creature. Some primal part of her brain screamed at her not to go any closer, that this thing could rip her apart before she had any chance to react. Then there was another part of her that yearned to be closer to this shadow creature. 

Trembling hand outstretched she touched the creatures snout, their eyes locking together. She felt something touch her mind then. It was like a voice telling her something, but it was more akin to a feeling. As her hand had touched its scales, all fearful thoughts brought on by the dragon disappeared in a flash. What was left instead was the feeling of satisfaction and excitement. Then a cold, calm voice echoed inside her mind, I am Nethious. She burst into a grin as she learned her dragon's name. 

"I choose Nethious." She had never been more sure about a decision in her life. 

Edited by Spyfox31
RP error

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Luther was pleased as Reyna had mounted Athari with such ease. The Dragon Knight was not accustomed to necrotic magic, but magic was also no foreign concept to him. The Kingdom of Vdara had a rich history of magic, with some ancestry tracing back to the Blood Stone Mountains that lay south of here. The city itself hosted a sport of mages that prospered with the advent of the draconic population. The magic that the dragons brought with them, created possibilities beyond most understanding that the population of Vdara accepted with open arms. 

What Luther did know, was that Kenthu was not truly his. No more his dragon as defined as his rider. Neither were property to the other. Truth be told, it was Kenthu who chose him, who allowed the pact to happen between man and rider. If Luther had known or felt that Athari was being misused by Reyna, the Dragon Knight would surly be confrontational. Loyalty and Honor, were two concepts that the Dragon Knights held tightly onto. The pact between the two were stronger than any bond he had experienced, and when his eyes landed upon Liandri - he knew she would feel the same in due time.

"Nethious."

She said correctly and Luther smiled. Vdara was host to many unique dragons that most of Genesaris or Valucre no longer offered. With the arrival of the Dragon King in Vdara, many dragons migrated from all over to establish one of the largest dragon populations in all of Valucre. While Nethious was unique and a rare sight to behold, Vdara hosted a gem of others just as amazing and one of a kind. 

Kenthu flexed his bronze scales as two powerful wings pushed Luther into the air. Their ascension would stop at the height of the Chaga Corps building as both dragon and rider looked down upon the other two. In a similar manner that Liandri had just experienced, they would both feel the creeping edge of their minds pushed onto by an outside force. The magic itself would not feel malignant, but one that required acceptence. 

"Kenthu allows me to speak with other Dragon Knights and riders that are close. Telepathy will be our method of communication. If you will for us to hear it, simply speak within yourself to us - and we will hear."

He explained how this telepathy worked. It wasn't invasive as most thought. Luther would not be able to hear all their deepest darkest secrets. Yet this would be necessary, especially if they lost sight of each other. Yet Luther would use this to test them both, as new riders. 

"When you are ready, join me in the air so we can join the others."

Luther spoke within their minds as Kenthu slowly raised them higher and higher into the air. In the far distance behind Luther, though miles off, the impending doom and monstrosity of the Sky Terror was visible in mass - a reminder that time was slowly racing against them.
 

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Luther’s instructions were broken by a low humming sound that drowned out his voice within the heads of those that he spoke to. The Sky Terror suddenly came to a stop, its entire mass giving off an unholy creaking sound. For a moment, everything was silent as those already in the air waited for the slightest sign of its movement. Reyna took the chance to join the dragon knight in the air, commanding Athari to take to the air.

An eerie silence filled the battlefield. The only distinct sound was the soft beating of the wings of the dragons, but the Sky Terror had completely stopped moving. The soldiers looked surprised as if they weren’t sure what to think of what was happening. Suddenly, a painful grinding sound began to come from the Sky Terror, as the entire ball of eldritch monsters began to buzz to life once again. The collective group of monsters appeared to be sizing up the force before it. It behaved strangely, almost as if the entire mass of creatures was thinking with a single mind, deducing the best manner in which to assault the city. Some of the soldiers began to ready their weapons. Reyna trusted their instincts better than she did her own. Her bullwhip unfurled in her hand, its entire length dangling under the open sky. For a few painful seconds, everyone waited in anticipation and fear.

Suddenly, two massive dark bolts of mass shot out from both sides of the Sky Terror, aimed not at the main bulk of Vdara’s army, but around them. As they began to snake around in their massive detour, their objective became clear. They were headed straight for the city.

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Watching the other two riders mount their dragons, she looked to Nethious. The slightest bob of his head told her that she was welcome to do the same. Kneeling forward allowed her to climb up and take a seat near the base of his neck. Shadow material oozed from beneath the scales around her, wrapping itself around her thighs, holding her firmly in place. As the shadow formed, a thought came to her, as eager as she was to fly with a dragon, she had no idea what she was doing! Her heart quickened at the thought of Nethious rejecting her due to her abilities. Her flesh and blood hand began to shake as she imagined walking away from him. Then a feeling washed over her. It felt warm and comforting, it invited her in to stay. Do not fear little one. I will worry about flying, you just think what you want and I will help the best I can. She looked up to see Nethious craning his head to look back at her. She saw what she thought was a smile forming on his great dragon features. This made her smile whether it was true or not. "All right, I trust you." Looking up she saw the others taking off towards the sky terror. "Lets go join our comrades and see what we can do." Nethious nodded and unfurled his wings.While the other dragon's wings were leathery and sounded as such, Nethious' wings were almost silent. There was no rustling of scales or hide against one another, he was quiet. Only the sound of his sharp talons and tail swishing the ground seemed to generate any noise. Shadow stuff swirled as he began to beat his wings, lifting his bulk from the grounds. It was mesmerizing to watch it move and spin as the wings lifted up and down. She could feel his great muscles shift and move beneath her. It was strange to be atop this creature of such vast power. 

Nethious let out a great reverberating screech that filled the air and stung her ears. She looked towards his head and saw it pointed in the direction of the sky terror. They were still a ways off from the main group of dragons, but she saw what had caused him to let out that shriek. Two great clouds of something left the central mass of the creature and began heading towards the city. It almost reminded her of the massive Starling flocks she had seen before. The way it moved and twisted didn't seem like it was a singular creature but thousands of much smaller ones. Shall we little one? Nodding her head she thought her reply. "yes lets go hunting." Remembering her place as a subordinate she sent a similar thought directed towards Luther. "Orders sir? Shall I engage?"

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The sight would be terrifying for most commoners to behold. A Sky Terror that was still nearly a mile off from the city could be seen clear as day, with only its rear hidden in an endless cloud. Large winged creatures, dragons, and their riders were gathered in squads and units, at the ready as it drew closer and closer. What most didn't know, was that there was a plan in place. 

As the two massive dark bolts shot forth from the sides of the Sky Terror, the Dragon Knights already standing by would spring into action. About a dozen Dragon Knights would head for each one, each Dragon Knight and Dragon unique in their own right, as they would move in to neutralize the threat. Atop some of the dragons that took action, mages could be seen casting magics, hurling spells at the dark mass that attempted to destroy the city.

Many dragons remained positioned in the sky. If the hive decided to break from Sky Terror in large quantities, the many eldritch monsters would have to face the fiery wrath of the Vdaran dragons. This still left dozens of Dragon Knights ready for action as they prepared each phase of the orders given from their commanders. 

"Orders sir? Shall I engage?"

The voice came through rather clear as Luther and Kenthu climbed higher and higher. As he watched his companions spring into action, he would not falter. "Negative. Follow me." He states clearly within his mind for both to hopefully hear. As they flew further away from Chaga Corps and the city, they would begin to see the valuable lands that Vdara had to offer - even in this cold winter weather. 

"Our objective is to bring the Sky Terror crashing down in our frozen Eastern Lake. We have about 30 minutes before our window closes."

Stating this, Luther climbs even higher into the air where he, Reyna, and Liandri, find six more Dragon Knights. The six of them were rather stunning at first glance, with weapons, and dressed in various blues and golds that armored their bodies. The dragons were of different colors, sizes, and types too. Not a single one of them the same as the last. 

"Whenever you two are ready, they will escort us to the Sky Terror. We are to eliminate the Sky Terror before it passes over the Eastern Lake or unleashes its hive on the city. Any questions?"

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All things considered, Reyna raised her eyebrows. Luther expected them to face that with slightly under ten dragon knights? She admitted that each warrior looked uniquely impressive in their own ways and that there was something about each of them that made them stand out among the mere men. But this… was absurd. And shit was only just starting to hit the roof.

With a painful creaking sound, the Sky Terror lurched forwards, beginning its approach on the city. Reyna stood up on her dragon’s back, both soles planted shoulder-width apart. The Sky Terror accelerated now, hordes of eldritch monsters pouring out from its spherical shape. Its giant mass being flung forwards seemed to reveal its plan on dealing with the nine dragon knights that opposed it. Even if they succeeded in killing hundreds of the eldritch monsters, their dead bodies would still be flung forwards at speeds of 60 km/h, a deadly rain of corrupted flesh that would be almost impossible to dodge with its mass.

If the dragon knights had something up their sleeves that they could pull, the urgency for it to come soon was heightening every second.

Reyna bent lower, abandoning her stance which would do her no good if she was smacked in the face by a wall of flesh. Resting her palm on Athari’s neck, they linked body and mind as blue energy began to smoke from her form. The dragon reared, angling itself to face the wall of monsters. Its eyes began to glow blue, its irises no longer visible as it charged up a powerful breath attack within its mouth. Before they could become aware, Athari released a powerful blast of frost, freezing the creatures in place in midair. The monsters that were meant to be used as battering rams were soon turned into a small shield. Of course, Athari could only keep up the frost breath to protect himself and his rider. The other’s would have to find solutions for themselves.

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30 minutes? That was all they had? The task seemed insurmountable with the forces currently at their disposal. She shook her head, dissapating the negative thoughts. Now was not the time to question, now was the time to act. The mental link with Nethious sparked in her mind. She wasn't armed with any sort of ranged weapons, nor was she a spell caster like some of the others. What she did have was her arm though. It was an interesting piece of magitech that she had acquired when she had lost her real appendage. It was also her chosen weapon these days. With her arm hanging down, she formed the mental commands that would activate the arms "spells" or programs as the creators had called them. These programs did a few different things, first they allowed her to use her arm as any normal person or creature would use their arm. This wasn't difficult for her to do most of the time, but if she activated the combat protocols then things got tiresome rather quickly. Concealed along the forearm section of the arm was a metal blade that slid down from the wrist with a soft ringing noise of metal passing metal. The sword was literally an extension of her arm that made her extremely deadly in melee combat. 

With his rider prepared to attack, Nethious began to power his way forward towards the sky terror, following closely behind Reyna and Athari. Nethious pulled up short as Athari released his powerful breath weapon to avoid being caught in the same blast. His powerful wings beat down causing him to swoop up, gaining altitude. As they lifted above the mass of creatures his wings folded back, for a moment they seemed to hang suspended in the air, Liandri's stomach lurched up into her throat with the sudden momentum change. She let out a gasp that turned into an adrenaline fueled laugh. No airship could hope to match this! Dragon and rider turned in the air as they began to plummet down towards the shifting mass of creatures. Nethious tucked his wings back allowing gravity to pull them towards their targets. Their momentum slammed them into the uppermost level of creatures. Claws raking and tearing at flesh, sword flashing out and stabbing into the misshapen bodies of the swarm. Nethious fang filled maw tore into the creatures sending blood and ichor flaying back into Liandri, causing her to laugh all the louder. They left nothing but death and chaos in their wake. When they were squarely inside the swarm, with no sight of open air Nethious began to breath. Ashy black shadow stuff poured from his throat, purple energy crackling through in great pulses. Each creature touched by the breath began to shiver and quake before starting to claw at themselves trying in vain to remove the shadow stuff stuck to them. The sizzle of flesh could be heard faintly over the cacophony of the swarm. All they accomplished was tearing themselves apart though. As they died and fell, their bodies colliding with others. Those that found themselves in contact with the shadow stuff found it to stick to them, unable to be removed. These too began to claw and tear at themselves. It was a cascading effect that continued as long as something came in contact with Nethious heinous weapon. 

 

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They needed not to worry about the logistics of this battle. The Princess and her Council had developed this plan, keeping it simple and to the point. As the Sky Terror and its frenzy of eldritch beasts were struck from the sky, they would come crashing down into the eastern lake. This was all going as planned so far, and his eyes watched carefully as the battle unfolded.

"Climb!"

He yelled again to the two that were with him. Kenthu, his prideful dragon, would not hesitate at the command or onslaught of foes that threatened them. In a single action, Luther and the other Dragon Knights would swarm in a fashion of their own. Wings tucked, breaths flashed, and magics were unleashed in an impressive strategic might that came with years of training. 

Luther himself pulled the heavy sword from his back as Kenthu unleashed a fiery breath. The rider would leap off of Kenthu in a wild freefall that lasted only a mere second or two. Sword would come crashing down into the fleshy skin of an eldritch monster as it screamed in pain, sword severing the beasts spinal column. The fearless warrior that Luther was would dislodge his sword as the creature would start a death fall. Leaping off the eldirtch beast, Kenthu would catch his rider as they climbed upwards and closer to the Sky Terror.

Reyna and Liandri would be greeted with an approving smile. The Dragon Knights would swarm again and free the path for Reyna, Liandri, and Luther, to approach the Sky Terror. Any eldritch beast, the majority of them, who flew past, would be met with the remaining warriors standing by below the clouds. The Dragon Warriors would show their strength and might, and the Sky Terror with it's beasts would realize that the sky did not belong to them.

There was contingency plans in place for a worse case scenario... one that Luther hoped he and the others could prevent...

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Magitech circuits whined as power flowed into Liandri's arm. With each slash of the blade she felt a strange disconnect from it. She had no feeling from the arm, but the weight of each blow registered in her shoulder and down her back. As the magitech worked its strange wonders, her swings became faster, more precise, a deadly dance further enhanced as she pulled a dagger from behind her back. Both hands began to move in tandem, sinking into the stinking alien flesh before rending it apart. Pausing for a moment to watch as Luther and the other dragon knights drove into the wave of enemies, forcing them back. Not for the first time that day, she broke into a smile. While there was still many too kill, there was now an opening leading to the main course. "Any idea how to kill the big one Nethious?" She asked via mental link. She had never heard of a mental "shrugging of the shoulder" but in this case she guessed thats what it was. The head, the heart, or the eyes are a good place to start. Nodding in agreement she gazed at the beast, formulating the best approach. 

Groups of the swarming monsters began to fall back and form a shield, blocking the way to the largest among them. So they truly were just fodder to occupy the time of the city's defenders. "We don't have time to deal with those little bastards." in her mind an almost hesitant mental image formed. "You are worried Nethious? What troubles you?" As she asked her question a clear picture formed in her mind. Not just an idea like most of the mental links, but a full moving image. It showed her, Nethious and possibly two other dragons and their riders slipping somewhere that Nethious wasn't too fond of, using it as a means to travel past the swarms and get to their main goal. "I trust in you Nethious." It took a moment to concentrate and to grasp at her link with Luther and Reyna, but she was able to convey the same image and plan to them. Nethious would pull them all into the Shadow realm, using it as a means to bypass the smaller swarms before returning to their normal plane much closer to the main target. All in a mater of seconds. 

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It wasn’t the first time that Reyna had found herself separated from the physical realm. She had been in this plane many times when communicating with creatures that were unable to take form, yet were ever present in the material world. There was a rush of familiarity as Reyna felt her body falling back into the dark abyss of shadow and non-existence. It was a timeless fall; everything was quiet. There was no rush of air as she fell, but she knew that she was falling. She had been to this place so many times, but each time left her more wary of it than the last.

Without warning, she and Athari were pulled back into existence by the end of Nethious’ spell. A single sentence formed in her mind.

Are you quite mad?!

Dark magic was a double-edged sword, and when one was thrust into the shadows, they risked being unable to find their way out or being consumed entirely by the shadow itself.

That spell was highly unstable. You could’ve killed us!

As another remark was about to slip off of her tongue, a small winged creature flew by and dug its claws into Reyna’s face. She struggled, grasping her hands around the icky body of the eldritch creature. For a while they tussled as Athari flew from side to side, hurling out cones of cold to avoid further collisions. At last, she wrenched the creature out of her face, skewering it with an icicle. The scuffle had left deep scratch marks across her cheek and eye, although no blood came from the wounds at all. She cursed but realized quickly that her damaged skin was the least of her concerns when a large flock of creatures began to encircle her, forming a sphere around Athari.

Luther, I’m going to give you an opening in five seconds. Get ready.

The dragon exhaled, as all did when they charged up their breath attack. Reyna stood up on the dragon’s back, resting her weight on her forward knee.

5.

“Hey assholes!” she yelled into the cloud of creatures that just blocked off the path to the centre of the Sky Terror. “How would you like a snowstorm?”

4.

3.

The dragon let out a single projectile from its mouth, concentrated cold in its material form. The glowing blue orb flew into the mass of creatures, freezing everything in its path. As the orb began to sink deeper into the cloud, Reyna cupped her hands together, circling her left palm over the right to generate a fireball. At this point, it was all about making the opening.

2.

The fireball flew behind the ice orb, hurtling at four times the speed of the slow moving projectile.

1.

The fireball struck the orb, causing the ice on the inside to heat up and expand rapidly. The orb expanded, consuming everything nearby in its wake. As the radius grew even bigger, its initial energy capacity was broken, and the orb turned sphere burst into thousands of ice shards that scattered about, piercing eldritch creatures left and right. For a moment, it looked as if a large chunk of the sky was falling down as about a hundred creatures were downed by that single deadly attack. What mattered most at this point, however, was not the slaying of the fodder. A large opening had now been made. Straight into the heart of the Sky Terror.

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