A Pickley Pickle

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:04 am

It must have been that he was a royal of the Crown; his manners impeccable. He was polite. Gratingly so. Spoon felt a rising discomfort as he spoke, even in Triton’s house no one spoke like this. Alarms set off along her skin, her smile persisting. Was he lying? She genuinely couldn’t tell. Surely no one could be this nice, right? It must be a ploy, an act to keep up appearances with commoners as he carried out the Queen’s dirty work behind closed doors. All rumors stem from truth, after all.

After all that time keeping her composure, that ungodly screech was what started her. In an instant she was on her feet, fists balled and with fear in her eyes.

“Y— yeah, sure…” she answered meekly. It had happened so fast. She’d lost control of her own body in that moment, and it shook her to her core. Dropping her arms, she watched the world spin to a stop. What she saw beyond the ever-thinning walls of the tavern lit her aflame.

Dust kicked to the drum of his wings, filling the air with a cloud of disbelief. Her heart settled to the beat as she felt her body disappear. This wasn’t real. She was still sleeping in the lakebed, dreaming of tall tales told around a fire.

The Prince of Dragons and the deadly company he kept.

She imagined it to be folklore. Stories to keep peasants at peace; fear-mongering drivel. The dragons were his vanguard, obviously, or so they had been until now. The armor she’d imagined, but not the scales.

If she were honest, she’d been skeptical of the existence of the creatures at all. Perhaps they existed once, but given their rarity, had they not gone extinct as the unicorns? What’s the chance that the Commander of the Valkarian Army had managed to find five? It must’ve been bullshit. It must’ve been rumor. Yet here she was. Standing, slack-jawed and unprepared before them. Before him. Before it. Before a dragon.

Her bewilderment turned to excitement, and it carried her fast to the exit of the bar. Forcing her way through the crowd of other brave inquisitors, she managed to the front. The grin that stretched across her cheeks set her apart from the other onlookers. She felt as a giddy child, unable to contain herself in the presence of a myth.

“He’s beautiful.” she blurted, unthinking, completely awestruck by his copper sheen.
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:55 pm

Most dared not to leave the confines of the walls, as if the frail material could withstand the wrath of the beast should it decide to tear the small town to the ground. They found comfort in their false sense of security. Or perhaps for some, it was simply 'out of sight, out of mind'. For a select few such as Spoon, they were interested and intrigued in the proud, noble creature before them and sought out a better place to observe it; with its refined, curved, elegant neck. It peered at its own onlookers with a bit of hazel-eyed curiosity. Veraxes was used to the crowds around Ohkhsha-- he was familiar with the people that would come and gawk at him for one reason or another, having endured their bewildered, excited, or terrified stares since he was a mere hatchling. But this was a different crowd, in a different town. His intrigue at this new set of people was piqued, particularly by those brave and daring enough to draw close, but so was his guard. As much as many feared him for what he could do, that same fear could drive people to act out of aggression in a preemptive strike. Their theory and train of thought being that if they took out the dragon before he could do harm, then simply put... he wouldn't be able to do harm. However, they seldom realized that if they failed, well... sadly, fire couldn't discriminate between the culprits and the innocent parties.

Thankfully, all seemed well in the small crowd that had gathered to observe the golden-copper dragon, whose shoulders stood tall enough to to rival the rooftops of the tallest buildings across the town. He lowered his head and neck to get a better look at some members of the crowd, slightly cocking his head from side to side as he viewed some of them. The waning sunlight cast glorious hues of oranges, yellows, reds, and even a bit of purple and pink off of his shiny silver armor-- some of the colour and sheen caught Ashe's armor too, though not quite as brilliantly as his counterpart's. Most of the royal's own body and armor were cast in the shadow of the beast beside him. For a second, he didn't even seem to be paying attention to the dragon at his side, instead looking off behind him at something. His interest seemed drawn back to the creature as it quickly turned its head toward Spoon and a very hesitant Emile, clicking noises emanating from its throat. They seemed to be the closest to the dragon out of everyone else, other than Ashe, of course. When the large reptilian creature swung its head around to them, its jaws only a mere couple feet away, Emile made sure to remedy his distance by quickly backing away a few feet to the give the creature some space. His tail was tucked between his legs, his ears were back, and his body low, being completely submissive-- it was the first time he'd ever even seen a dragon, let alone come face to face with one. Strangely, he wasn't really so much scared, he actually had a strange feeling of comfort; so long as they were respectful, he was sure they would be just fine.

"Beautiful indeed, Miss Spoon. We are all unworthy to be in his presence." The Prince responded to the young woman, turning around to address her-- he had been facing the other direction this entire time. It would have been difficult for him to have heard her if it were not for the near silence of the rest of the people-- whom perhaps had the mentality that speaking anything louder than a whisper would cause the beast to strike, for some strange reason. She seemed to be the only one courageous enough to speak; at least, she was the only one to speak loud enough for anyone to hear them.

"Go ahead, touch him. He won't bite, as long as you keep your hands where he can see them." He encouraged. He didn't seem the least bit worried for their safety. They might not have realized it because it might not have looked it, but, the dragon was actually being friendly and inquisitive. He knew his dragons-- at the present moment, no one was in any danger. It would stay that way as long as everyone remained calm. He was actually curious to see what Spoon's reaction would be-- her companion had jumped back, would she follow suit? Would she stand her ground? Would she dare to reach out and touch him? Or would she react in a far more drastic and less desirable way? She did have a bow and some arrows at her disposal, he'd noticed... but arrows would not penetrate the armor. She'd have to have reflexes faster than Veraxes-- faster than a dragon's-- and her aim would have to be impeccable to wedge any sort of fatal shot between the armor plating. Otherwise, she would simply just piss him off with a flesh wound.

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:33 am

In this moment, her age truly showed. Childlike wonder held a firm grip on her being, and she would not fight it. The war no longer existed, the rebellion was a fantasy, Ashe was not a prince, and Emile not beside her. All she saw before her was a man and his dragon; a dragon she’d been invited to reach out and touch.

She was hesitant— frightful that it would reveal itself as an apparition and disperse upon touching it. Uncommon as it may be, illusory magic was something her mother had warned her about in the past. The ability to fool people, so long as they keep their hands to themselves… it was a magic for the lying coward. If it was indeed deception, she did not want this magic to die. However, she was being openly invited to touch him, so perhaps it was not. Either way, she would find out in a moment.

Her fingers curled and twitched as she extended her arm for him to smell. Carefully, she cupped his snout into her palm. He was warmer than she’d expected; and very, very real.

Everything about her softened, from her stance to her smile. With relaxation came gentle strokes across the beast’s giant maw, and she drew herself closer to him. All this talk of unicorns, yet she’d found herself lost in the majesty of a dragon.

“You’re different, Prince Ashe,” she began, daring not to let her eyes venture from the golden beast, “Different than I’d thought you to be. The stories don’t do you justice. I hear all the time of your victory in battle, and the countless criminals and rebels you arrest and slay. I never hear of this. None know you to be kind like this, none know your way with words, or your innate ability to gain the trust of even the biggest skeptics. Not even Triton talks of you this way.”

Her smile ever apparent, she began to explore more of the dragon. Her hands danced across its’ glimmering coat of natural armor, fingers tracing along its contours. She was entranced. Nothing mattered for the moment. She’d nearly forgotten to whom she was addressing. From deep within her awe, a laugh rose to the surface.

“I didn’t think they were real, you know. I figured it was a tale to keep people in fear, or that the ‘dragons’ were just a clever name for your guard. I never imagined a beast of their size could exist today. The resources necessary to keep them well fed…”

Her words were lost once again to her wonder as she gazed into its’ vast scales; her eyes reflected the colors of the setting sun as it bounced from the beast’s steel guard. Her mind refused to move on from but one thought as it kept repeating itself to her.

’How blessed are we, to have you in this world with us.’
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Wed May 02, 2018 9:06 pm

There was a quick inhale as she extended her hand out for him to sniff-- the large animal took in her unique scent before letting out a gentle breath as she cupped his snout in her palm. The touch was gentle, and visibly hesitant-- it was clear, even before she began to speak, that this was her first interaction with such a creature. Veraxes knew it, and Ashe knew it too. Of course, that didn't come as a surprise given the rarity of dragons, but, at least for Ashe, it was always interesting to see these kinds of interactions. Almost every single one was the same; even those most frightened by his gigantic companions seemed to find tranquility and security in them after coming into physical contact with them. He doubted there was anything more to it than people coming to the realization of the sheer nature of the dragons-- at their core, they were incredibly docile, intelligent, loving creatures, and no one expected that of them until the moment where they finally get to touch one. Like a child being frightened of a dog because his parents had told him stories of dog bitings, only to finally find the courage to pet one for himself and realizing that not all dogs are bad and are going to bite. That some dogs are incredibly sweet, and loving, and just want to please.

There was a visible change in the young woman as her hand rested on the dragon's snout. Ashe witnessed it, but Veraxes felt it. Before, there was a tenseness there; a little bit of fear and apprehension. But now, there was relaxation, her muscles were a little more loose. A smile flittered onto her lips, and she seemed more at home around him as she began to run gentle strokes down his face, drawing herself closer to him. Responding to how she felt, he relaxed too. A rumbling somewhere between a hissing sound and a purr resided in his throat, indicating his contentment as she seemed to explore the rest of him. He seemed not to mind, though did keep an eye on her movements, as did Ashe.

"Thank you Miss, your kind words are very much appreciated." The young royal replied, "That would have been clever of me," he admitted with a small laugh, "but, as you can see, my dragons are, well... very real. I was very lucky to have been blessed with them." Shortly after the words left him, the golden beast seemed to have decided that he'd overstayed his welcome. He carefully turned himself among the buildings and people in the street, paying close attention to where his feet and tail made contact as he sauntered off down the road, away from the town. Even as he walked away, he curiously peered at people as he passed. He wasn't leaving-- he would stay close, in the event that Ashe came under danger and needed his help. But perhaps the people of the town would feel a bit better, not having him as close as he was.

"Shall we head back inside, Miss Spoon? If I am remembering correctly, we still have some drinks to finish. And a conversation, I do believe?" Ashe suggested, motioning a hand as he began back to the Inn, grabbing the door for her like a true gentleman.

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