• Closed • Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

Nir'wei gets his first taste of the Skye Verath Lodge.. and a Volareon gets its first taste of him!

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Nir'wei
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Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

2nd of Ashan, 716 Arc.

There were many strange and frankly bizarre things that happened, and lived, in this little island that so many people called their home. The strangest of all - the existence of not only dragons, but dragon riders. Not just one, not just a small group, but a whole military force created from those who rode dragons, and other winged beasts of fancy. In this land, they were not called dragons, but Jacadons, even though despite subtle differences they were no less dragon than any of the tales he'd heard. Lizards with wings that flew through the air, spitting fire and ice and all other manner of horrible things that could kill a man in an instant - they were dragon enough. Other beasts, the Volareons, could occasionally be seen sweeping through the sky, most often with a man or woman strapped on its back, covered in leather armour and poised with weapons drawn, ready to head out into whatever trouble required them. Needless to say, Rynmere and its rulers had seized all that could be taken from this island. He should have felt annoyed, outraged at their subjugation of the natural world for personal gain and glory; yet every time the shadow of these great beasts passed overhead, a wave of sheer awe threatened to sweep his mind away altogether. Only Arch's anchoring words could hold him down. "You're daydreaming again."

Nir'wei glanced over his shoulder to the milky-eyed spirit with a soft huff. "Is that so bad?" he retorted, earning an inquisitive glance from Poppy as she unbuckled the heavy leather saddle from the back of a shuffling Volareon. "Sorry, heh." Sometimes he'd forget that he was the only one that could see Arch.. although some hidden part of his brain still had a sneaking suspicion that the rest of the world just had this weird practical joke played out; that they were just pretending that they couldn't see the squirrel-shaped apparition perched on his shoulder, perfectly content, blinking with wide milky eyes at the winged beast while Poppy and Gaspard together hoisted the saddle off its back and set it down on the grass, next to a long line of saddles, each marked with different symbols and numbers along the anchoring straps, marking what animal it was made for and what size it would fit.

"I don't understand!" Poppy was growing frustrated. "We've tried nearly every saddle and none of them are fitting correctly." All four of them - Poppy, Gaspard, Nir'wei and the Volareon's owner - had all sat outside on the Volareon exercise grounds for what felt like the entire day, shuffling through one saddle after another, testing and re-testing to find a suitable one before they started basic training. So far, nothing. All of the pre-existing saddles made for all body types they knew of were either lopsided, loose, overly-bulky or ill-proportioned. "Maybe the measurements didn't add up. Are you sure you got the width of the cantle correct?" she asked over one shoulder. Gaspard nodded with a concerned frown and turned back to the saddles again, turning them upside down and reapplying a handy measuring tape to remeasure the dimensions of the saddle for the fifth time.

Off to the side, watching the catastrophe unfold, the rider turned to Nir'wei. "Wait, you work here, right?" For the moment, caught up in all the tension of the moment, he could only nod mutely. "So you know something about this, right? You got any suggestions? Please, I.. just'd really like to get this over with, y'know." In truth, Nir'wei had very little clue how to deal with giant winged monsters like these. In the few and far days he'd spent in the Lodge, he'd spent more time side-tracked with either Gaspard or Poppy, chattering idly over menial little things, than animal work. But he didn't have the heart to admit such a thing. Despite being a Skyrider, a soldier for the Iron Hand, the rider was a boy at best, clean-shaven and smartly-dressed, polite and chirpy. A fresh faced youngster riding an adolescent Volareon. It was almost a story in its own right.

"Well..." he probed, stepping forwards while the rider eagerly peeked over one shoulder, eyes wide with curiosity. ".. maybe we could just take one of the smaller saddles, like this one down here," he said while pointing down to one of the saddles at the lower end of the line in the moist grass, "and do some readjusting of the different straps until it fits as well as we can make it? I mean.. does it really have to be absolutely perfect for now?" Really, he was just testing the water, throwing out what little ideas he had to offer.. but it really didn't look like it would work. Of course it couldn't, it suddenly struck like a brick to his face - if the saddle was loose or ill-fitting, then it'd become incredibly uncomfortable for both animal and rider, drastically increasing the risk of accident. It wasn't a risk worth taking. There was nothing more he could do, nor any of the others as they stood around in a half-circle, staring down at the ground, trying desperately to think of something to salvage the day. Useless!
Last edited by Nir'wei on Sat May 07, 2016 7:42 pm, edited 5 times in total. word count: 906
Mess with me, I'll fight back. Mess with my pack, and they'll never find your body.
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Ayda
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Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

It was Ayda’s first official day at her new job in Skye Verath Lodge, and while her face stayed expressionless she was actually quite excited to work with the exotic creatures that dwelled their. Having spent a few days receiving brief tours and explanations on what was expected of her, it was nice to truly get started.

Before arriving she did her best to make herself presentable and practical for the work a head. Ayda fussed with her tangled blue hair in an effort to attain the perfect braids but settled for a single plain one with only a few strands out of place. She grabbed a stale loaf of bread and gave her year old cat crow a bit of left over chicken from last nights meal. The Yludih waited for the tiny feline to finish gobbling his breakfast up, then she gave him a quick push and a pet before leaving Crow to his devices. Ayda was sure she wouldn’t be gone long but she still worried for her tiny cat while he was all on his own.

Ayda confidently walked through the streets in a pair of hemp pants and a loose blouse with a greyish purple tinge to it. Though she could tell people were more interested in gawking at her Idisis features than whatever she happened to be wearing. The Yludih wished she had the foresight to pic a human as one of her forms, She hated how easily she stood out everywhere. It was unlikely anyone suspected she was a shapeshifter but it still made her feel uneasy ever time she caught some one glaring at her. She gave her most menacing glare with her blank eyes at a few idiot humans that had gotten a bit too overzealous with their staring. It amused her to see them wince and even fall back wards in fright.

When Ayda finally arrived at the site she saw a long haired boy helping another on to one of the dragon like creatures. She groaned as she took notice of the loose saddle, knowing she would have to politely tell these too off.
“Excuse me boys, you look like you need help?” Ayda stated sternly while she quickened her pace towards them.
“That saddle doesn’t fit this voraleon, I’m afraid you’ll need to find another.” She tried her best not to sound condescending but her tense brow and narrowing eyes did the job for her.
word count: 412
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Nir'wei
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Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

At this point, any help was more than welcome to try and sort out this conundrum. However, if they were going to be both oblivious and condescending at the same time - a combination that shouldn't be possible by normal, logical thinking, yet here they stood - then they were most certainly not welcome. There was enough on their plates already. "Yes, thank you for pointing that out!" he answered in a tone completely lacking gratefulness. Given the stress of their situation he felt like he could list off an entire rant at the blue-skinned woman for barely two sentences on her behalf, although thankfully he caught himself before he could launch into a full-blown meltdown. Deep breath. Nir'wei closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and trying to push everything to the side for a moment. Relax. It's not important. Just a saddle. No need to ruin anyone's day over it. Nobody's fault. There was no point in ruining someone elses day over anything.

Poppy broke a little moment of silence, standing up from her place crouched down at the Voraleon's side. "That's what we're doing right now," she explained, gesturing down to all of the saddles lined up on the ground. "None of the saddles we have seem to fit the Voraleon very well. They're all too tight or loose in at least three different areas.. too many to make any quick adjustments with the straps to resolve." It wasn't even small issues that could, at best, provide mild discomfort. The fendels were far too tight, or the cantle too high for the rider. Using the wrong saddle on a horse was bad enough, but on a flying animal like the Voraleon? Anything wrong with the saddle could put the rider at extreme danger should they slip off for whatever reason. "Any suggestions?"

Again, the young rider spoke up. "He already gave you a suggestion! Just.. tighten the saddle parts!" It was quite obvious he had little understanding of what was happening here. Frustration did things to a person, though.

"No, you see, that just wouldn't work, it'd just make it even more unco--" Poppy started to explain in more detail, but the rider pushed past her, grabbed hold of the straps at the side of the Voraleon's saddle and pulled them hard, tightening the saddle even further around its midsection and constricting its chest. At the front and back of the saddle, the leatherwork dug firmly into its spine; at the sides, metal straps jammed hard into its ribs, limiting its breath. Immediately the animal screeched out-loud and reared, both front legs kicking out. One of them caught the side of the young rider's head, knocking him backwards. Gaspard made a grab for the reins to pull the animal back down to the ground and soothe it, but when its wings unfurled, they tossed him back against the wall of the Voraleon hut.

For a moment, it looked very bad indeed. Then, slowly, Gaspard raised a hand and used it to pull himself back up the wall, shouting "CATCH IT!" shortly afterwards. The animal needed to be either calmed or restrained immediately, because it caused any more damage to itself or anyone else around it. Even with hollow bones for quick flying, it was still a big animal.. and it was still a predator with large claws struggling to catch the leather straps and snap them free. Nir'wei tried to take a step towards it, but the animal stood up on its hind legs, wobbling around and staring down at the straps around its stomach, trying to use its claws or beak to uncouple the straps, while slowly walking backwards, directly towards Ayda. It looked even bigger now, swaying back and forth like a giant beast, perhaps three times Nir'weis height.

He couldn't possibly help it off without potentially being crushed.. but a strange idea came to his head instead. "JUMP ON ITS BACK!" he called to Ayda. There was no telling if it was even a good plan to try, but it was worth a shot - maybe with a person on its back, it might start calming down? That was, if the blue-skinned woman had any experience riding a beast like these.
word count: 725
Mess with me, I'll fight back. Mess with my pack, and they'll never find your body.
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Ayda
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Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

Ayda responded to the boys rebuttal with a sharp glare of judgement, which quickly dissolved as she regained her composure. The urge to verbally tear into this long haired simpleton for daring to show her attitude was great. Lucky for this fool, Ayda had the wisdom to know when to bite her tongue and not unleash her wrath. She started out polite at least in her mind, so she didn’t know why he was being so rude. Ayda couldn’t think of what else to say since it she was certain the next thing that escaped her lips would be horrid.

The tension was thankfully broken by the lovely lady Poppy, who made it clear to Ayda that there was actually more to the story. It seemed they were having trouble finding the correct sable all mourning, which made the long haired boys outburst make a little more sense, but only a little. It was even more apparent when the other boy perched atop the poor creature decided to offer his unwelcome input. Ayda tired her best but her eyes quickly rolled in their sockets at the young boys naiveté. Thankfully her blank idisi eyes wouldn’t give her away, Poppy wouldn’t have liked her showing attitude to a client even if he was being a little brat.

Ayda would have suggested why to simply wait for a custom saddle to be made but before she could make her voice heard the idiot child did something foolish. Critical thinking was clearly not this riders forte, and with one unfortunate action he sent the creature into rampage. Ayda was shocked at what had escalated so quickly on her first day, but was brought out of her bewilderment by the instructions of Gaspard. She was about to charge forward but like the others around her, the understandable fear of being trampled by the beast gave her pause. Though in the creatures confusion it walked backwards towards her anyway which put Ayda in an uncomfortable position for a newbie. She was nearly petrified stiff with uncertainty but the long haired boy shouted for her to jump on to the Voraleon’s back. While just about every voice in her head screamed for her not to do it she ignored her better judgement and leaped onto it’s back.

By sheer luck Ayda was able to get a firm grasp of the saddle and was able to pull herself on to it before the creature had time to push her off. This couldn’t really be called luck since it soon dawned on her that she hadn’t the slightest idea how to ride one of these creatures. The Creature reared and screeched even louder than before, spreading its wings out and flapping them vigorously as it readied its self to head skyward.
“I don’t know how to ride one of these!” Ayda cried but it was unfortunately to late, the Voraleon had already became airborne and was heading towards the city. She held on for dear life to the horn of the saddle, with the rest of her body clinging as tightly to the mount as she could muster. The stirrup was attached but was blowing freely in the wind just above the terrified Yludih. Ayda could only think of how to keep herself from plummeting to her death and she couldn’t hear Poppy and Gaspard’s instructions with all the noise the creature was making.
word count: 577
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Nir'wei
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"Stay calm, it can sense your fear!" Gaspard's words disappeared under the wing-beats and furious screeching of the animal as it struggled on the spot, bucking like a wild stallion in an attempt to pull the constrictive device free of itself. Every time Nir'wei made for another grab at the reins, the creature twisted its head again, flapping and squirming and dancing around. "You need to grab its reins, push its head down towards the grou--" he started, but it was far too late; it was already climbing through the air, knocking Poppy backwards under the air currents as it took off, following its instincts in times of great peril; flee.

For a moment, mute astonishment settled like a thick, suffocating blanket over the training grounds. Then everyone was talking at once. Gaspard was on his feet, running towards the Volareon huts while he shouted something incoherent at the neighbouring stablehands and animal handlers. The fallen rider, clutching a blue bruise marking a third of his forehead, was busy repeatedly apologizing to anyone who would listen. Poppy, the person everyone should have been listening to, was still sat on the grass, mumbling to herself. "This is bad," she said to the air, then to Nir'wei as he rushed over and grabbed her by both shoulders, pulling the stunned woman back to her feet where she wobbled unsteadily for a moment. "It's going to cause serious damage to itself and Ayda if we don't get to them soon. She's not its rider, she hasn't built a bond with it.. it's going to try and throw her off." Oh crap. If it got high enough... well, that outcome didn't need any elaboration.

Gaspard emerged a moment later with a fully-saddled Jacadon and another Volareon, which he and Poppy immediately mounted. Pinching two fingers inside their mouths and whistling signalled the beasts to take off and they set off in pursuit. Nir'wei, without a mount of his own.. ran. He ran like there was no tomorrow, straight out of the front door of the Lodge and as fast as he could after Ayda, watching the Volareon sail over the buildings of the city.

"This wouldn't be so bad if you hadn't told her to jump on the back of it." The words weren't spoken, they echoed through his head in an internal voice that wasn't his own.

"Arch, I swear, if you don't have anything constructive to say at this moment of crisis, don't say anything at all!" In reply, a few flashing images passed through his head, too fast to really see yet understanding lingered afterwards, courtesy of their telepathic bond. Whistling. Was that how riders were supposed to communicate with their mounts at higher altitudes? He couldn't exactly yell that up to Ayda, but he could test it for himself and see if it did anything. With a heaving, burning chest and an incredibly dry mouth, he stopped sprinting after Ayda and imitated Gaspard and Poppy's finger-movements, spluttering spittle over his fingertips.

"Pinch harder, move your tongue." He didn't know what Arch was supposed to know about this, but the second time he tried it, a warbling high-pitched squeak of a whistle came out, which grew more pronounced the third time.
word count: 570
Mess with me, I'll fight back. Mess with my pack, and they'll never find your body.
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Ayda
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Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

Gaspards advice was completely lost on Ayda, the rushing wind of the wings and general terror that filled her head made this next to impossible. She tired to use her breathing exercises but it only increased her panic as she choked on the air. What she did notice was the stirrups dangling in front of her and knew they were her only hope. She tired to inch one of her arms from the saddle to grab the dangling strap but had to rush back the moment she felt her self loose balance.

This was only her first day of work and already Ayda feared for her life, not a great start. She made a few more feeble attempts to grasp the stirrups and after one more thrust of the hand she managed to grab a hold of it. She didn’t have time to really breath a sigh of relief because she actually had to do something with it. Ayda had to think carefully is she was going to tame the beast but her mind of scrambled. The only thing she could think to do was tug on the reins but she worried that might startle the creature more.

The sound of Nir’wei’s whistle wasn’t loud enough for Ayda to hear, the Voraleon however heard it and stopped in it’s tracks. The yuldih thought she had done something that she wasn’t aware of but was thankful for what ever had made the creature hault. In this brief moment of stillness Ayda tried to get better situated on mount so that she could give it further instructions. She managed to get herself comfortable just for the creature to dive towards the ground. A spark of adrenaline and dread filled Ayda as she clung to the valerian with all her might. The nauseous flutter in her chest came to a halt when the creature stopped just before the trees and began to flutter gently downward.

They were finally on the ground and Ayda could already feel her eyes replicating tears to convey her overwhelming relief. She looked around and spotted Nir’wei right away.
“It was you!” she said in disbelief but there was a touch of gratitude she couldn’t help but let out. If Ayda was to be helped she would have rather it been by one of the veterans and not a new employee who didn’t know what how to put on a proper saddle. Though it was clear he had just saved her life and Ayda would have to acknowledge that.
“Thank you”
word count: 431
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Nir'wei
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Time was running out - every moment, every trill they spent on the ground rushing about like headless chickens, they were all slowly inching their way towards Ayda's death. Nobody underneath her to catch her if she fell, nobody to guide her or control the beast, no second chances, no slip-ups, and she had absolutely no experience on the back of that creature. It simply wasn't possible for things to turn any worse than they looked right then, even with two of the best experts on flying animals rushing to her aid like speeding arrows launched from the Lodge. No matter how fast they flew, they wouldn't be able to catch her in time if she fell. Even if the Volareon stopped dead in its tracks, even though it was pretty much a complete impossibility, death was a looming possibility that clung tight around Nir'weis throat as he chased after it and its rider. Worst of all, amid all the danger, all the fear, all the confusion and the sheer weight of Ayda's life on the line, he felt utterly useless. A spectator, shouting from in the audience as the play continues unhindered.

Then everything changed. The universe had heard his pleas and answered them, halting the Volareon in mid-flight and dragging it back towards the ground. He couldn't even find the effort to feel insulted when Ayda seemed surprised that he could find a way to save her life.. only relief that she could talk at all. Formalities and back-patting would have to wait. The moment they touched down he grabbed hold of the side of the saddle, slipped his hunting knife from out of the pocket and snapped the leather straps of the saddle before they could cause the animal any more distress. Screw the price, he'd happily pay for a new one if he needed. One hand pressed against its snout, pushing it down towards the ground firmly, calming it while it panted and shuffled uncomfortably on the spot.

Somewhere in the periphary he could hear his bosses landing and rushing straight for Ayda, muting all chance of catching up for now. Questions and hugs came aplenty. "Oh my goodness are you alright? Nothing broken, bruised? Here, let me look at that hand.. what happened, how did you bring it down? Oh, is the Volareon alright?" A hand pressed gently against his back and when Nir'wei turned around, Poppy was standing there, looking very concerned and slightly confused. "Why are you crying?"

Nir'wei rubbed the back of his hand over his face and found tears. "I don't know," he replied truthfully, unable to remember when or even why it had started. "Sorry. The moment got to me." A deep sniff to get rid of the moisture, a quick wipe of his eyes and he was fine. Poppy was still lingering but he gave her a gentle shove on the shoulder. "Go on, I'm fine. I'm not the one who just got their first unescorted and unscheduled ride on the battle of a Volareon... speaking of which, heh, how was it?" he asked, calling over Gaspard at Ayda with the beginnings of a smile creeping onto his face. "You should count yourself lucky, you know, not many people get to ride on the back of them." Ayda could consider this a little added payback for her wise-cracking earlier on as he and Poppy walked back over, pulling with them the now-calmed Volareon.

It was so contagious even Gaspard joined in as they all converged back around Ayda. "Right, time to get back to work. Poppy and I will fly back.. Ayda, fancy another ride on Ralgo here?" he asked with a grin, patting the Volareon on the side of the head gently. "Perhaps this time Nir'wei can take a ride as well.. and when we get back you two can explain how you managed to bring Ralgo back down to the ground." That was going to be an awkward conversation. Nir'wei wasn't even entirely sure himself what he'd done - it was a spur of the moment action, one he'd not even fully expected to work, a hare-brained scheme. However, he could still think of one conversation much more awkward. "Not to mention, I can explain to this Skyrider why he's no longer welcome here."
word count: 746
Mess with me, I'll fight back. Mess with my pack, and they'll never find your body.
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Vluharqih
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Bitey little buggers, aren't they?

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Nir'wei

Skills
Animal Husbandry (Mount) +3
Endurance +1
Etiquette +1
Persuasion +1

Basic Knowledge
Ariel Saddles must fit Properly
Don't jump on a Spooked Animals Back
Specific Knowledge
Volareon: Can throw off riders that are Unbonded
Volareon: Obey Whistle Commands
Volareon: Saddles are Finicky
Ayda: Arrogant, but Courageous
Arch: Not Always helpful in Crisis

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None




Remarks
:

Enjoyable thread to read. My first time reading a thread from either one of you, and you both wrote very well. I liked the back and forth at the beginning, which is why I awarded the point in Etiquette- for knowing when to control your temper.

Ayda- I didn't bother giving you a grading since you said that you were retiring the PC. If you would still like the points, I'm more than happy to add it onto this. Just send me a PM.

And, as always, shoot me off a PM if you have any questions, comments or concerns!
word count: 170
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