For the better part of an hour Talian investigated the ruins of the tribe, Destorianaxe had not budged from her perch upon the ledge. Those yellow orbs watched him intently, studying his movements making sure he gave his all in the investigation. Beneath the ledge a single tent had been put together. Stares at Skies Vast had claimed it, hiding her eggs close at hand wrapped in some of the warm hides she had taken from the devastation. Like Destorianaxe, she watched Talian moving about, wondering who had so crushed her home?
As the darkness of the night deepened, the moon crept higher obscured by the stone ceiling if the cavern and no longer bathing the ruins in silvery light. The elf stopped to tuck in the kobold before slowly walking up the path to the ledge. Destorianaxe watched, her stare endless, such to the point he worried that she had finally collapsed with eyes open but as he drew close the low angry growl that rolled about inside the dragon was still going. Her head shifted to look at him intently, though the killing intent behind her gaze had diminished somewhat.
The single word question came from her muzzle slowly, it was almost whispered yet it cut through the night like a roar. Simply because, he had no answer. There was blood but it was red, any multitude of species bled red. There were no bodies to study wounds. No broken weapons to determine make. What foot prints existed spoke of bipedal beings with large feet so he could at least rule out elves, yet the shape of the footprints was also unlike anything he'd seen before.
Shaking his head Talian met the dragons gaze and answered simply, "I do not know. Ther..."
Before he could explain himself the dragon had leapt from the ledge, her wings spreading wide gliding out over the wreckage to dart out into the clear night. Her dark body left behind the elf who relaxed visibly now that his irate charge was leaving and a not so asleep kobold who watched after the dragon with a soft prayer of luck.
Flapping her wings Destorianaxe rose into the skies darting into the cool winds and radiant moonlight. While still angry, the mind consuming rage had slowly bled off. She was still driven, instinctual, to find the tribe. Yet the blind rage to set the world aflame until she got what she wanted was being repressed. Talian could not find the attackers, she had to admit then that rampaging would not find them. Thus she'd look. It might take some time but she would find Stares at Skies Vast people and return them to the mountain. They were her tribe, none must take what was hers!
Glaring down into the woods below she wondered where to look first. Which direction? Wait, wasn't there a trading post to the east? Perhaps they would know of tribes going to war recently. Nodding to herself she banked on the wind and sailed east through the upper currents, darting through the cool cloud banks letting the mist wash over her scales, with her trips through the waste pit she must smell truly foul. Thus she glided through the clouds letting the dampness wash over her aching body.
A soft groan escaped her muzzle. The anger and adrenaline was slowly fading, the fast movements had aggravated her wounds and each pain was coming through more loud and clear. Dipping below a cloud she watched as the trees gave way to those grasslands that seemed as vast and intimidating as a desert. The trading post was around this region wasn't it? She craned her neck looking over the featureless land and sighed, she really should not gave rushed off, Talian would know how to get there wouldn't he?
Grumbling to herself as she caught another draft, banking high in the moonlit sky glancing down at the sea of grass. Then there was the simple question in her mind: What was a trading post? Was it like the ruined tribe home only not destroyed? Should she just look for overly hairy short man things? This was to be so much easier if Talian would explain things properly and not in long winded ways that put her to sleep. Thus was all the elf's fault, stupid Talian! This whole mess would have been over quickly if he just pointed out where the guilty party was. Stupid Talian!
Grumbling and pushing the blame on the elf, the dragon swept down out of the clouds to get a better look at the ground rushing past. Why did man things live in such tiny things. Better to live in a mountain, THAT she could find easy enough! But this open grassland? What fools decided to live here in flatland surrounded by tall grass? Wait. What was that over there? Turning in the air the dragon swung around to the right watching the grass give way to a veritable sea of tents. Strange man things were running around pointing into the sky, growling in some strange guttural language. Some hopped up on slender looking quadrupeds and swung sticks around wildly.
Destorianaxe cocked her head watching the man things riding out to meet her en masse, at least these knew how to properly greet a dragon! She was smiling smugly as she prepared to land before dozens of tiny needles erupted out if the crowd and plinked off her hide. Still every now and then one would fine a home in one of her still healing wounds making the dragon arch in pain. Snarling and glaring hateful at the things that looked like fuzzy feline headed man things Destorianaxe flapped her wings to pull herself higher, these things weren't greeting her, they were attacking her! How rude!
Swinging up into the higher altitudes Destorianaxe beat her wings slowly, she truly felt something in her blood calling her to retaliate, to spit upon these foolish things that dared prick her with their little needles but at the same time, the pull to find the legendary trading post was urgently tugging at her sensibilities. She really didn't have it in her to fight this throng of savage beast men right now, maybe when she got the information from the trading post she'd swing back and see how they tasted...
Wincing in pain as one of those needles pushed into a wound a little more she decided to give up the blind search. She'd go back and suffer through one of Talian's long winded lectures and find out just what a trading post was. Hopefully it was not anything to do with the beast men otherwise she'd need a new plan. Grimacing as she turned on the wind to head back she flapped her wings slowly, gliding more than flying as she flew from this nasty grassland and its even lesser loved inhabitants.
The flight back did not take long at all, like she had surmised finding a mountain was loads easier than some man thing created hut in the middle of a sea of grass. Stretching her wings she landed outside the village and slowly ambled inwards. In the short time she had been gone, very little had changed at the tribe village. Much like Stares at Skies Vast, Talian had salvaged together a hide tent to rest in but the rest was still a ruin. Destorianaxe felt her anger renewing as her gaze swept over each slashed tent and shattered hut, her urge to find the culprits right away was making her calming blood cone back to a slow boil.
Grumbling to herself, the dragon moved between the two makeshift huts and sat heavily on the ground, rousing the other two. Stares at Skies Vast peeked out of her tent, looking hopefully at the dragon, "Found you the tribe? Bringing them back soon right?"
Destorianaxe shook her head sadly, the kobold's high spirits drooping as she slunk back into her tent. Destorianaxe was about to try and reassure her when she yelped and swung her neck around looking at Talian who had just plucked a needle from her haunches and was looking at it carefully. Talian looked into the perturbed gaze and lifted the arrow, "I take it you found the trading post?"
Destorianaxe glared at Talian, "No I did not. Found some feline headed man things that spit these at me. Came back to get them removed and ask you how to find the trading post, or what it even looked like. Now I'm not so sure finding it is a good thing if the hairy short man things you call dwarves would spit these at me as well."
Talian gave a weak chuckle as he moved around the dragon, carefully plucking each arrow out. While these needles were crude and little more than stones lashed to twigs for them to find access through Destorianaxe's earlier wounds showed just how unlucky she was. Shaking his head he hummed as he worked, "The dwarves might do similar depends how you approach them. The ones at the trading post value exchanges so they'll more likely try to weasel a promise out of you more than anything."
Gritting her teeth Destorianaxe looked back at the elf, "And should they fling these at me as well?"
Talian tugged one out sharply that made the dragon growl, "Do as you did here, fly away post haste. Not much to be done for it Destorianaxe. Dragons are hardly entities that casually walk in anywhere. Consider your sires size, can you see them moving amongst houses and shops... or more relevant for yourself, amongst these closely built huts and tents. Its just not something a dragon does. As a wyrmling you have easier access as you're the size of a large horse but still you will find traversing civilized buildings very difficult."
Destorianaxe had to admit the elf was right, were it her mother or father each step would be to crush one of the tents which in turn would make the habitats generally hostile. Exhaling slowly she grumbled, "So there is nothing I can do to find the tribe is what you are saying?"
Talian shook his head, "No, the trading post is likely your best option, but at the same time I do have to point out that flying in there on a murderous rampage will only see you chased away. You need to use a bit of tact when dealing with other races, or do as many other dragons do and communicate to other races through a representative."
Destorianaxe tilted her head glancing at the elf, "Are you suggesting that you'll go?"
Talian nodded lightly, "I can though you would have to assure that I'm acting at your behest so as not to break my deal which, as I remind you, is to be your teacher not your handservant."
Destorianaxe snorted looking at the ruined tents, "Low long would you need to be gone?"
Talian looked into the dark distance, "A few weeks, maybe a month if anything unforseen occurs on the road."
Destorianaxe growled low, the ache that something had been stolen from her was every bit as keen as the wounds still healing from her griffin encounter. To not have it resolved for a few weeks to a month? While she was still relatively weak about matters of time it still felt in her bones that Talian was indicating a decent wait period before she could resolve this issue. Sighing she nodded, "I do not wish to be attacked again, least not by any that might be uninvolved so I can only trust in teacher. But ware my words, if a month comes and goes I shall fly out to retrieve you, and where ever my teacher is I shall destroy to sate my rage."
Talian nodded lightly, asking the dragon to hold back for weeks was already an amazing concession. He would just have to use his time wisely, or at least not be in the elven nation when the time limit came to pass! Nodding at her words he headed for his tent, "I'll have to get my things from your lair come morning then I'll set out."
Destorianaxe nodded and slumped down between the two tents. The ache of her wounds and the drain of her blood born rage was catching up with her. She would take Talian back up into the lair tomorrow and send him on his way. On one claw she was glad the long winded elf would be absent for a time, on the other she would miss his company, Stares at Skies Vast had yet to forgive her and without an active communicating friend she feared her own regression.
Settling in a dull fire burned in her breast as she laid down for an uneasy slumber...
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