Knights of Anathaeum To The Pain

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Syr Galvanhad

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The Northern Vale

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They had been traveling for hours, headed North on a quest of their own. It had been some time since Galvanhad had left the Monastery for this long, he had seldom left since he took on his role as teacher. The same could be said for his counterpart: Master Brambleshell. She had come to him with a request to accompany him to gather some hard-to-find herbs that she needed and who was he to deny her of such a request.

So, they headed North, but not without grabbing the young Squire Hector, to aid Master Brambleshell along. Though Galvanhad held pride for every squire, young Hector was at the top if his class, and any day now he would be ready to take the oaths of Knighthood.

They had finished their journey through the lands of Tzarkata the White, and bypassed the lands of the beastly Jyverrin. They were sandwiched between the city of Eredale to the west and the Goblin village of Tarlik-za to the east, and firmly within the lands of Tzarvilkahn.

The woods were still blighted here, a pain that Galvanhad had wished to long cure. Something the Knights of old had intended to do, yet never figured out. It was something he had devoted his life to, that he would give his life to do.

Nevertheless, the somber sights didn't dampen the mood of the party and he would smile over to Master Brambleshell. "I remember the last time we came this way together. Dorn and I were younger than Hector.. He had taken the buns from Master Fillack.." his gaze shifted to Hector. "..he was the Dorn of our time. He was harsh man, strict yet fair.. he died many years ago.." he would say solemnly before continuing on. ".. anyways, Dorn had snagged the buns from most of the Masters and only Fillack pursued us. Did he need to? No. Could he have ended with a use of magick? Absolutely. But, he didn't. He chased us until we got lost. And then, the Order had to set up a scouting party to find." He would say with a hearty laugh.

"Master Brambleshell, who wasn't in the party, found us, expecting us to be starved and scared. I had beaten Tzarvilkahn in a game of riddles and Dorn had taken enough buns to keep us alive. This feisty Master finds us, then takes us back to the Monastery without informing the others. They return and she played it off like we had never been missing. Greatest Master on Master prank ever played."

Hector
 
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Hector

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Master Brambleshell's eye twinkled with a hint of mischief. "Sometimes even a Master must be humbled, young Hector," she nodded back at the squire, her staff ever searching forward as she marched through the muck and the mire. "Never forget that," she nodded, and came to a sudden stop.

Hector nodded, and a small smile crested across his lips. The owlshaped visor of his helm was raised up, his pleasant surprise plain to the world. "I shan't," he replied, and felt a pull of sweet sorrow from his heartstrings. How oft had he shown an excess in pride? Used care and worry to excuse his over reactions. Humility. What else would he learn of it, he could not help but wonder, as they trekked the blighted lands of the Northern Vale.

He had ranged this far only once or twice before. Accompanying Syr Edelbert in quests to restore parts of the forest, and Syr Guernot in hopes of finding a rare creature, whose innards they needed to...harvest, for some important spell or potion or the other.

The corruption. Had it not been a product of hubris? The pride of mortal men, who waged war against the land, and the spirits who resided in it.

"Mayhaps," Brambleshell broke the silence that had fallen over the young squire. "You and your fellows will have such a tale to tell, eh, young Squire?"

Hector laughed, taking a careful step over a root. Though his toe still caught a rogue bend in the vegetation and he stutter stepped forward. A hop and a half helping him stay true. "Aye, well, we aren't so innocent as to say we have no tales to tell, Master Brambleshell," he smiled nervously.

"Oh?" The old testudo asked as she carefully moved through the gnarled and dead trees. "Yet you hold onto them, like a dragon guarding its hoard?" She gave the boy a look, and the angle of her beaked mouth suggested a smile. "Come, share something, I'm sure even young Galvanhad would be happy to hear of your mischief," she pressed on again at her steady clip.

"I... I have no tale prepared," he answered nervously, hurrying after the two old veterans. Though the river of his mind turned the water wheel of his memories. "I suppose there was that time we snuck off to find the wolves..." he thought aloud.

Syr Galvanhad
 
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Syr Galvanhad

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"Pride.. is the enemy of every true warrior. Pride is what drives us to make mistakes, normally, harrowing ones. It is what destroys the most noble of men and what crumbles Orders." He would say in agreement with Master Brambleshell. "There is a difference between and pride, a thin line that you must learn the differences of." When his gaze shifted to young Hector, there was only warmth in his eyes.

Galvanhad would come to a stop in his gait as Hector slipped and crouched low, his gauntlet tracing part of a massive ridge. "Geldwyrm came through here.. not to long ago.. juvenile." He was about to move on before he noticed a small violet bloom trying to survive the blight. He would remove his gauntlet, and place a hand on the blighted earth.

The voices of Hector and Brambleshell would slip away as the opened levy of magick began to blurt them out. Slowly, the soil would begin to look healthier, and with it the grass would shift from decaying to green. The once struggling violet bloom was now part of a small living section and though sweat dotted his brow, a worn smile would grace his lips. His gaze shifted to his surroundings as he mentally mapped out their location.

Pulling his gauntlet back on, their would be a faint quiver to his body, healing the blight in a small area took a heavy toll on him. To his knowledge, only a handful of Knights possessed that gift.

The voices returned and he could hear Brambleshell. Come, share something, I'm sure even young Galvanhad would be happy to hear of your mischief.

As Hector mentioned wolves, Galvanhad would turn to Brambleshell with a sly smirk. As Master-At-Arms, such tales were his business to know and often, the squires thought they didn't know. It was cute and he could only recall all the times his class had thought they were sly and rambunctious, and yet the Knights still knew. "Wolves, you say?" Allowing himself to sound surprised.

Hector
 

Hector

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The story dried up in his mouth, his eyes wide as he bore witness to the restoration of the earth. "Wow," he let out in a breath, gaze full of wonder.

"Not bad, young Galvanhad," the Master of the Wyld added with a nod. Her staff come rest against the earth. "When you showed to have the gift of Life's consecration, well," she nodded. "I thought, how lucky we are, to find another so in tune with the spirits of our world," she closed her eyes, and let out a long breath through the nostrils in her beak. She raised her head up, and gently stirred her staff about in a slow and steady circle.

A flow, as cool as mountain springs come trickling across forest stones, poured out of the ancient Testudo. What Galvanhad had grown grew stronger. What blight he had burned away retreated further back from the pool of magick that spread from the knight's own dousing.

New life furled out from the earth, and the putrid cling of corruption seemed to hiss away from the show of green chutes and blades and bright little pink clovers that bloomed out. And like that spot of earth, so too would the old knight feel the Master's mana swell into him, as if he but a bucket fallen into a deeper well.

Hector too would feel it. The crisp clean cool of mana not his own. It charged him. Made the very breath he drew in feel cleaner. Able to lend more strength to his arms and legs, do away with what fatigue had threatened to set in.

Like water, poured upon the earth, the mana seeped in. There, for he could feel it, stir inside of him, but not there, for it was part of him. He gulped, as realization dawned upon him.

"Whose heart is so large, he gives his own strength to the lonely flower in the woods," Brambleshell seemed to smile, all the softer for her scales and leathery hide. She went on with her steady march. "Hector," she called back. "Pray tell, what do you think could set a Geldwyrm to flee?"

"Oh,"
the young squire snapped back to the present. "So you don't want to hear about the wolves?" he asked, with some confusion as he followed after the old master.

"I would rather test your knowledge, young Squire, than hear of old news," her eyes twinkled with a kindly malice.

Hector turned red in the face. "Ah," he laughed nervously as he strode through the overgrowth, careful not to let his spear catch in any canopy. "Well, when dealing with the apex predators of the wylds," he thought to himself. "I suppose only another apex predator would cause them to flee..."

"Then danger lurks near,"
Brambleshell said, matter of fact. "A truth never too far from any that draw breath," she pressed on with their patrol.

Syr Galvanhad
 
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Syr Galvanhad

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Wow.

Galvanhad would turn to young Hector and smile. "It has taken a handful of Knights centuries to heal only a few miles of the blighted woods. One day, some of your class will learn how to do it and it will be your most holy mission."

Not bad, young Galvanhad.

The old knight made no effort to hide his smirk as he looked to Master Brambleshell. "Decades to only match but a fraction of your skill, Master." He would say with reverence. It was the ease at which she could heal that had drawn him to the study so long ago and she was one of the Knights he respected most.

Where to many of the young healers, Galvanhad felt like a mountain of mana, to Brambleshell, what was a mountain when compared to the ocean? Nothing. It was a constant reminder for humility, and had tempered him early on in his youth.

He would exhale slowly as he felt her mana fill him, the weakness and exhaustion from healing fleeing before the tidal wave of strength brought on by Master Brambleshell. "If I didn't give it to the Wylds, I would have failed my greatest teacher." He would say, rising to his feet, renewed. "My greatest regret is I will never learn all that you have to teach." Beauty amidst the blight, the violet bloom was alone no longer as sprinkles of pink surrounded it.

Now Brambleshell was testing young Hector and his gaze shifted to the young man as the trio resumed walking. He would even bit back the laugh as she teased the young boy, at which point he gave Hector a reassuring clap on the back. "Good, Hector. Now what such apex predator do you think it could be?"

Somewhere far in the distance, high in the peaks, a powerful roar answered his very question. For Brambleshell and Galvanhad, they could identify the dragon by the roar, and this particular roar belonged to Raskovan. Strange then, that the Geldwyrm was headed towards the mountains.

Hector
 
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Hector

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There were no words Hector could find within the depths of his mind to describe what it was he felt as he watched the Master-At-Arms speak to the Master of the Wyld. It was like seeing a young man speak to an ancient tree. And perhaps to those beyond the Order, such a sentiment would seem strange. But how else could he describe it?

The ancient Testudo who walked so carefully between the roots and the vines out in these woods was ever present at the Monastery. She sheltered all, young and old, for no one save the Commander had seen more years amidst the Vale. Brambleshell, Who teased him, and Galvanhad, and begged them all to be better, simply by being.

So, the squire marched behind the two masters. One of Wyld and the other of Arms. And though the land around him was brown and grey and pitch with blight, he felt little fear. Instead, the bright wings of a tender hope seemed to beat in his chest.

Brambleshell hmmed, a small and gentle sound.
"Mayhap you have found this truth, young Galvanhad, that as you grow older, there is not always more to learn, yet, truths to follow," she paused, stilling her stride. "Ah, there is one of the herbs we seek," she steady stepped toward the luminous growth. "Moon-whisker,"

A defiant herb sprouted from a patch of blight. Silver fur-like hairs coated long thin leaves that sprout in bunches.

Syr Galvanhad wasted no time in further testing the squire.

Hector was lost in the question posed when a roar cracked across the chatter of birds and bugs that hung about places where life still crawled. "A...a dragon," the young half elf answered, breathless as his eyes rose to find the origin of the sound. His mind thought to maps and charts he had reviewed when first he heard he would be accompanying the elder knights. "Tzarvilkahn?" he had heard stories of the fearsome green dragon. An opponent best avoided, should the ranger's reports be heeded.

Brambleshell rose from the small bunch of Moon-whisker, her eyes narrowed as the glanced out to the distance. "Syr Galvanhad," her voice was as cold and serious as stone. "Secure the perimeter, Hector, on your guard," The Master of the Wyld would shut her eyes and plant her staff before her. A swirl of green and blue appeared about her and when she opened her eyes once more they shined with a wyld green light. "Life of the forest, ye spirits most wyld," she chanted. "Grant me this boon, I ask. Lend me the sight of the winged and the clawed, so I may better protect this land,"

A pulse of loch and wyld rippled out across the earth and trees and growth. Wings fluttered, and teeth chattered, and one thousand tiny eyes saw at once, all their light, and all they saw coursed through the Master, and she sifted through them like so much soil drank the rain.

Syr Galvanhad
 
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Syr Galvanhad

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Mayhap you have found this truth, young Galvanhad, that as you grow older, there is not always more to learn, yet, a truths to follow,

"Perhaps, though at my age, there still always more to learn. More to do, more to heal. A single lifetime devoted to change is not enough, but it equates to a life lived fulfillingly." He mused as they walked along, his gauntlets folded behind his back.

Master Brambleshell then knelt down as they had happened upon one of their important herbs.

A...a dragon, Tzarvilkahn?

It would be a close guess, one as good as any other. "Close, son, he would be to our rear, he seldom approaches the mount." His eyes scanned the mountain. "Raskovan.." he mused to Hector. ".. the Fearless.." another roar sounded off, this one lighter. "Xisyassa.."

The roars sounded off, in pain. Was there a battle? No, the pair were the only mates in the Vale and nothing had ever brought them to blows before.

Syr Galvanhad, secure the perimeter.

Brambleshell would give orders before she began to chant, calling upon her bond to the Wylds. A series of sounds would halt the Master-At-Arms. A third roar, mightier than the first two, and the distant sound of popping. To Hector it would sound as if whisps of air were snapping past his ears. Galvanhad would look to the Master. It had been over a century since dragons had fought within the Vale.

For Brambleshell:
As the Wylds answered her call for aid, she would be able to see commotion high above the peaks until suddenly the eyes she looked through, were Raskovans. As if he had felt her magick and pulled her gaze to his.

His head snapped to the right as Xisyassa collided with the mountainside, debris raining all around her. She could see the faint glow as Raskovan opened his maw and fired out a pulse of his breath weapon though the smoke made it hard to see the target.

His vision shook.. as if something grappled him from behind. "Submit, you cannot win this fight, Purple." the vision blurred.. spray of red.


The trio could hear a pained roar from the heavens.

Hector
 

Hector

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A voice, red as a mountain's heart, rumbling and rolling and crashing and rushing down the side of the peak's side. A crunch of claws and jaws and teeth that pierced scales. A struggle of blasts and breaths and bites that saw bodies twist and turn and struggle against the threat of foe.

Submit. Brambleshell felt the utterance within her bones. As she felt the pain of tooth and claw. Yet she felt the urge of the Purple dragon struggle on against the red, felt its teeth and claw rake against scales, its strength test against the muscle and sinew and bone of another dragon, come to take his territory.

Mawa spread wide and eyes found target. A blast of sonic energy snapped forward from the dragon's blast. A show of energy that buffetted the scales and muscles of the red that dared challenege the Purple's peak.

It would never submit.

Brambleshell felt it in her bones. When here eyes came open once more, she looked to Galvanhad and the young squire.

"Dread dragons wage war against the balance of our lands," The old Master warned. "They seek to subjugate, or destroy those dragons that hold territory in our Vale," she pressed on.

"There is nothing to do but to stand an fight this menace," The young squire took his sword and whipped its length abot his wrist in a figure eight.

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Syr Galvanhad

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Raskovan would dip into a quick dive before shifting his body to swing his tail at the flash of red scales, a sweep that would miss widely. A glittering flash of purple would careen into Raskovan's view, only to halt, as if stopped by some mighty force. A flash of blood rained in his vision. "Xisyassa!"

A blast of sonic force wouldn't phase Raskovan, but would buffet Xisyassa once more into the mountainside. Raskovan's vision flashed towards his wife as a red form darted to take advantage of her positioning. The image itself was far from clear, and pain radiated from the Fearless, from the greatest dragon of the region.

Xisyassa fired off a blast of her own sonic force, hoping to knock the assailant back, while Raskovan attempted to grapple the wings from behind. There would be a faint glow of red focused on Xisyassa, yet Brambleshell could feel the heat of the dragonsbreath as Raskovan bellowed, taking the blaze for his mate. The scent of burnt scales teased along the nostrils of the Master.

"Raskovan!" A slender tail snaked out from around Raskovan to knock their assailant backwards. Then the pitched tone of double sonic blasts rocking their opponent at the same time. A murderous joy in Raskovan, perhaps they had turned the tide?


*****​

Master Brambleshell would return to them, her warning upon her lips. Dread dragons wage war against the balance of our lands.

"A dragon challenges Raskovan?" Galvanhad would ask in disbelief. It had been many lifetimes since a Dragon had ever challenged the established order. Let alone, a single dragon challenging a pair.

There is nothing to do but to stand an fight this menace.

Hector proclaimed boldly, prepared for battle. He wasn't wrong, but he also wasn't prepared. Not for this. His gaze shifted to Brambleshell. "I will take the lead, Hector you take the rear. Perhaps we can help them turn the tide."

*****
A flash of pain would rock Master Brambleshell, as if her link to Raskovan had been forcibly re-opened.

His gaze was blurry, strained. Xisyassa was falling from view behind the mountain tops, possibly crashing near the lands of House Bannorn, or at worst, the Grimmark. "Xis..yassa.."

"I told you, you couldn't win, Purple.. You have grown soft, weak. I will give you an end worthy of a dragon.."
It would now become clear that the voice was from behind, as if Raskovan were being held aloft by his assailant. "I can feel you watching.. Watch and know that you are next, worm.." Brambleshell could feel the heat of a gaze upon her. Pain would rock along his back as thick rivulets of blood streamed into vision. "Now join your weak mate."

Raskovan seemed to enter a free fall, his vision shifted to the left, where one of his wings fell freely towards the mountainside before he looked back beyond his still beating wing, focused on where his mate disappeared. "Avenge u-"


*****​

From where they were, they could see Raskovan fall free from the heavens, the dragon he battled obscured by the clouds. A massive purple form, even at this distance, crashing into one of the many ravines of the Spine.


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Hector

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"A sound course of action, Young Galvanhad," Brambleshell would say with a huff of breath from her nostrils and a nod of her beak. As she stepped toward their small formation, the ancient Master would rock in the wake of the re-kindled vision. Her grip on her staff wavered for but a moment as the scene played before her wyld lit eyes, enwreathed in a rippling green.

Pain stabbed deep into the nerves of her flesh, but she stood tall all the same, as all the world turned upside down and a voice of fire and ash smouldered in the depths of her mind as eyes, glowing white and red bored into her like iron aglow from the belly of a forge fire.

The fall would come. But Brambleshell would not waver.

Another huff of breath from her hard nose. "Galvanhad," she would say to the Master-At-Arms. "Know that a great trial awaits us, and our very souls will be cast into the crucible of fate,"

Hector stred, wide eyed at the two elder knights, then his head whipped toward the mountains, and his eyes could see the fall of Raskovan, the Fearless. A pang of sorrow thrummed in his heart. "No!" The young squire shout, his sword gripped tight in his hand.

"Press on, Syr Galvanhad! We may rescue them yet!" Master Brambleshell called out. "Squire Hector," the sage Testudo added as she wandered forth. "Return to the Monastery,"

"What?!" Hector cried out in disbelief, "But Master, I, I can help!"

The Master stilled. A breath drawn in to her lungs, deep and cool and full of all the scents of the woods around her. Her pain subsided with a cold ripple of loch's light, spread across the tough and aged fibers of her being. "Squire Hector," she said, her voice like a drop of cool rain. "We are the eldest of the Order."

Hector froze up, his grip around his sword tightened. His eyes cast down.

"Trust in us, as we put our trust in you," she stepped forward, toward the mountain, and the doom that awaited. "Tell of where we are, Young Hector, we will need reinforcements, all that can be spared, hurry now!"

Hector's eyes looked to Syr Galvanhad, some glimmer of a fool's hope there in his own eyes expecting the Master-At-Arms to tell him otherwise. But he knew there would be no such deliverance. "Light protect you, Syrs," the young squire said with a reverant bow of his head. He sheathed his sword, and turned back toward the Monastery.

Syr Galvanhad
 
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Syr Galvanhad

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Galvanhad's march up the mountain would halt with the sudden stiffening of Master Brambleshell. She would shake from the vision, yet the revered Master would never waver. She was a cornerstone for the Order, for their very souls.

Galvanhad, know that a great trial awaits us, and our very souls will be cast into the crucible of fate,

The Master-At-Arms looked to the peaks as Hector cried out, his eyes narrowing. "There is no trial that our souls cannot endure, Master." It had been many years since Galvanhad had battled a dragon and he could sense the pain, and most likely fear. The boy had never faced such a calamity. He wasn't sure if even he had.

Galvanhad exhaled slowly, his magick seeping forth to wash over his companions. Hector could feel his fear, his doubt, his concern wash away, replaced only with absolute resolve.

Press on, Syr Galvanhad! We may rescue them yet! Squire Hector, return to the Monastery.

It was a sound order, and yet Hectors defiance only led to a sense of pride within Galvanhad. Pride for the knight that Hector would one day become. Galvanhad would start to say something before a rippling crack roared down the mountainside.

Trees buckled and splintered as a powerful gust of wind forced its towards the trio of Knights. Branches tore free and buffeted them, even smaller trees fully uprooted would sail through the winds towards them.

"Hector, down!" Galvanhad roared as the powerful blast of wind pummeled through them. One gauntlet rose to cover his eye, allowing a sharpened branch to slice along his cheek. Had he not been bolstered by his magick, he would have surely been thrown from his feet. A log would sail into view and in the split second, Galvanhad would shove Master Brambleshell to the ground, cursing as the length of wood collided with his torso and throwing him backwards.

A sickening crunch could be heard on impact, even through the heavy metal plate.
 
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Hector

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Not two steps taken, and the sounds of crunching bark and snapping branch rushed through the blighted woods. Hector's eyes narrowed and he turned to put eyes on the approaching wave of sound, and he could see the forest bend and shake and break.

A shout came from Syr Galvanhad. He could hardly hear it, but he could feel it. Through that veil of magick which he had imbued.The squire dropped low and onto his stomach with a thump and a crash. Fingers clasped over his ears as he squeezed his eyes shut and curled in his head.

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Brambleshell stood before the gust, her eyes aglow as she felt the storm blow forth. Her breath expunged. She held her staff ready. A crash against her flank brought her down to the earth, her blue eyes wide as they watched Syr Galvanhad smashed away by a broken bough.

The Master rose as the winds settled, she clutched at her staff and drew in breath. "Foolish man!" She chided as she waddled over to him. "Ever the galant hero, ever the protector," her eyes were hard, but she came to stand above him, her eyes shimmered with blue and silver light as the Magic Eye let her see the fibers of his flesh. Those countless tributaries that did carry the flow of blood throughout the body. "Did you think, that perchance your Master Would better take the blow, Young Galvanhad?" there was that warm bite to her voice. "Hector, hurry away lad! There is no time to waste!" She drew in breath and gathered her magick.

A pulse of life. Carried by the flow of Loch. A surge so potent, bones would mend, and wounds would seal. If only long enough to hold together for a fight.

Hector rose, wide eyed. A tremble.

A roar tore through the air.

Hector's eyes searched for its master, as Brambleshell too turned to face the dread, staff in hand, her magick a swirling tempest at her core.
 
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Syr Galvanhad

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Galvanhad would force the bough free of his body as Brambleshell stirred, the pain ripping through his torso. As the Master rose, he could feel her passing anger with him.

Did you think, that perchance your Master Would better take the blow, Young Galvanhad?

"
I thought that it was a risk I was unwilling to take. The Order can stand without me, surely not without you." He would start to roll to his side and spit out a glob of blood, wincing as the bones began to reset and mend. "Hector, steel yourself, son!"

The wind about them that had surged outward, was now dragged inward, the force alone enough to aid Galvanhad in rising to his feet. It was brief, sudden. "Master! A shield!" He channeled his magick, pulling the desiccated vines and remnants of bark about them.

Intense heat would fill the gaps of the shield as a stream of dragon fire spewed upon the earth around them in a large half circle. Curious was it, that the dragon had not made them the target.

As the stream ended and the blaze roared, the ground would shake violently, jarring the shield.

"Welcome, little mortals, to your doom!" Red scales glittered with the light of the fire, filling now the only space with no flame. Even through the gaps, one could not see the entirety of the creature before them, but the power was undeniable. "There will be.. no escape."

The trio were now trapped, they would need to find some way to either defeat the dragon, or get Hector to safety. Galvanhad, grim for the first time that Hector had known him, looked to Master Brambleshell. "To the pain." He muttered, his presence bolstering the resolve of young Hector.

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His arms shot forward, and the bits of the shield launched towards the drake as a distraction. As the debris gave way, fierce golden eyes filled with hate would bore into the souls of each of them. Dragon fear, a natural trait of all giant dragons, and very effective against the common man. Even for Galvanhad, the thought to freeze would enter his mind, but he would push past it, he had to. Flanged tail, likely to be used as a mace, rows of razor-sharp teeth, fire, wings. Beige underscales were painted with the blood of Raskovan and Xisyassa.

Still, Galvanhad charged. He would be the front line, the only line. If a dragon could smile, this one was surely amused. The front paw darted forward to sweep Galvanhad to the side, only for the Master-At-Arms to dive forward into a roll, avoiding the strike. Recovering quickly, he targeted the other front paw, his blade causing sparks to fly on impact.

Hector
 

Hector

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Set in her stance behind the scorched shield of vine and root, Master Brambleshell let out a long cool breath through her nose and kept her eyes fixed on the monster before them. Greed clear as the glitter of gold that shone in those draconic eyes.

"To the pain," the ancient master replied to her pupil.

Hector stood frozen, filled with terror, his legs shook, and his hands trembled. Had he actually sought to fight this thing not moments ago? Had he been so foolish as to think that he could do anything against something of this might.

"Steady now, Hector," Master Brambleshell's voice would ring clear as spring water. "You will live to see tomorrow, trust in that," she assured.

Galvanhad broke forward, and the creature raked at the tiny man before it with its jagged claws. The crash of its limb was thunderous. Stone break shot out and plinked and pinged across the wildlands. A shard knocked against Brambleshell's old and natural armor, her angled stance letting it but glance across her boney plates.

With a surge of Wyld, the master raised up her staff, as if calling forth a wave. Beneath the scroched earth, roots, safe from the hateful heat of the dragon's breath, rumbled and groaned and waked. A surge of tangle roots crashed out of the ground and sought to wrap up the arm the dragon had swung so savagely toward Galvanhad.

She drew in a second breath, and whirled her arms about before her in circular motion. Blighted as this land was. Ruined by corruption most ancient. The Loch still welled deep beneath the earth and mountain stone. From those subterranean tributaries, the Master of Wyld did pull. A blue sphere of loch sprayed and globbed and gathered up before her, and grew steadily, already as large as she as it cooled the air around them and put out small fires that licked too close to her and the Squire that was their charge.

Syr Galvanhad
 

Syr Galvanhad

The Master-At-Arms
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Character Biography
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Overhead, vines and bark clawed towards the mighty dragons limb, grasping frantically to slow down his strike. Galvanhad would get caught between a stream of vines, hampering his own movement. The backswing of the dragon would bend and break its temporary prison and when the strike landed on the Master-At-Arms, it was at least cushioned.

Solid earth would catch Galvanhad in its warm embrace, a momentary respite, before he was forced to roll. It was pure instinct as the shadow stalked overhead, instinct that kept him from being crushed but the strongest armor he had seen in many years. The instensity from the fire would cast a crimson glow upon his plate as he was presently safely between two scaled talons of the massive beast. Far closer than comfort would allow.

The dragon lifted his massive limb back heavenward and instead of remaining on the ground, Galvanhad had hitched a ride. With a mighty heave he pulled himself upwards so that he was now atop one scaled finger. "Interesting choice, insect."

As the Dragon began to speak, Galvanhad surged forward, throwing himself across the expanse, blade in a reverse grip and a slash aimed for the Dragons eye. "For Anathaeum!" The elder knight roared, the blade poised for the strike.

It would never land. A faint purplish glow formed in the dragons maw before a blast of pure force launched Galvanhad backwards. As knight flicked backwards, blade flicked forwards, skittering off of the crimson scales of his cheek. The saving grace, was that the fire he was aimed for was extinguished by the water Brambleshell had pulled to the surface. "Bold.. stupid.. mortal.."

Galvanhad would dig deep with his magick, pulling root and branch to him in an effort to cushion his fall. The fire had burned away much, but the Loch had provided, bringing life up through the soil with it as it provided water to Brambleshells call. Steel and bone would impact with the earth, some cushion managed to keep bones from breaking, but the old knight could feel the wear and tear on his body. It would take him a few moments to stir.

With the purple glow dissipated, the red dragon would sweep his tail along the earth, aimed for young Hector, who stood frozen in fear. His tail was mighty, barbs that skewer a wild boar, and was easily the deadliest flail any within the Order had ever faced.

Hector