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When Walls Crumble [RP Thread] [R] [Private Fantasy RP]


Raleigh Ferghus Eachainn
Khushian Royal Palace

The look of fear on Lyn's face had stung more than any blade ever could - and Raleigh had been stabbed by a fair share of blades in his time. Perhaps asking her not to hate him had been too unreasonable a request. And yet, if only he'd let his gaze linger a moment longer, he might've caught the worry on her face. But he'd turned and left in a hurry instead, too ashamed to look his saviour in the eye. A monster had no such right.

Raleigh had barely managed to reach Gwen and Dimmy, when more guards poured into the scene. These ones were Ylorian, but that did not mark them allies. What followed was a heated exchange between a father and a daughter, both desperate to convince the other. When the former ordered Emerick to seize the princess, Raleigh's body shifted as if in preparation to intervene - but it turned out there was no need. In the end, Emerick chose the princess. Like her, he chose Yloria.

The guards chose otherwise.

Before Raleigh could act, shadows leapt at the guards to restrain them as well. Startled, the Lochesterian looked to his hands as if unsure whether he'd been the cause - only for his attention to be stolen by a peculiar man floating near the ceiling. The figure cackled like a twisted hag, pointing a finger at him. He spoke out loud the words Raleigh hadn't dared to for years; dark magic, a power him and this fiend seemed to share. The words alone made his heart beat faster in shame and regret. Had he made a mistake displaying his powers so openly? Being revealed as an abomination had been but a matter of time, but he hadn't thought how it would reflect on the princess and her cause.

"She did not know," Raleigh insisted, anger seeping into his exhausted tone. "None of them did. It was through my lies that I--"

The sorcerer paid him no mind. Raleigh had assumed him an enemy, but he offered the princess a gift instead; all of their gear, returned to them in a flash of magic. Astonished, the Lochesterian held his lance as one would a long-lost friend. It had taken many a life, but it had also saved his more times than he could count. It was his blood-soaked brother in arms. But why did...? Wait, did the king call him Glikore? So that was---

Raleigh had no time to dwell on that thought further. Emerick walked up to him, entrusting the princess to him. Raleigh looked at him, incredulous. "Me? Surely you jest. You know what I a-"

“Hurry!” Gwen called.

Raleigh did as he was told and hoisted Dimmy over his shoulder. As expected, the vampire protested with words and fists alike, but to no avail. His desperate punches were little more than an annoyance against his armour.

"Behave," the soldier hissed to his captive, "Or this will be even more uncomfortable for you."

Gwen's approach was different, and arguably more effective. She managed to coax directions from the vampire, though he still didn't seem to agree with the situation. Raleigh was about to butt in, only for someone else to beat him to it. Someone unexpected.

The Lochesterian looked back at Lyn with startled awe. He had... he had yet to hear cuss, or truly show her irritation in a manner like that, and, well.

Whatever argument he'd meant to present, Raleigh swallowed back and bent his neck into a bow. "Yes, m'am."


Well-Known Member
Princess Gwendolyn
Khushian Royal Palace -> Dragon Keep

Dimmy still had the energy to snap back at her even whilst hanging off the back of Ral like one of the palace chefs bringing a large hare back from the market. Gwen frowned at him, the seriousness of his words and the heaviness of what they'd just been through overriding the humour of that simile. “Zlelmore has made it clear they don't wish to stop me, and the war will be over by the time the other two kingdoms can catch up.” Gwen's expression steeled. “Even so, let them try. I would rather they race me to Lochester than continue to fight each other.” Dimmy pointed the way with his arm, but made sure to clarify he wasn't helping because he had any belief in her cause. Gwen hesitated before taking off, feeling shameful as she met Dimmy's eyes. “I... I know it means nothing now, but I truly did not wish to involve Khusha. I expected Alarik would react this way and did not ever intend on trying negotiations... I, er, also did not anticipate Zlelmore to help so enthusiastically. I'm sorry you got caught up in the political drama, Dimmy. Truly.” She turned away, gesturing for Ral to follow her. “But whether you wish it or not, I can't risk leaving any of you here to deal with the fallout with Yloria on your own.” Lyn was very openly having her patience eroded as well, though she and Sylvia were at least cooperative enough to walk on their own, and Gwen was fairly sure Ral was going to choose death the next time he was offered help by random strangers.

The palace hallways eventually opened into a large outdoor training field adjacent to the royal gardens, and Gwen perked up as she finally recognized where she was. The dragon keep – a large stone enclosure on the far side of the field - was unsurprisingly unguarded, as the entirety of the Khushian guard was obviously engaged elsewhere. Gwen hoisted open the large metal latch that held together a tall steel door, and it slowly creaked open. Dozens of eyes blinked at her from the darkness. Gwen turned to the left, just as she remembered Prince Alarik showing off all those years ago, and grabbed a set of keys hidden among the stone.

Giant enclosures lined either side, secured with heavy iron bars on one side and stone on the other. As Gwen's eyes adjusted to the low light, impressive winged beasts of various sizes, shapes, and colours came into view. These dragons had been hand raised from eggs and were very used to humans, but they still sniffed and growled lowly at the unfamiliar scents. “Hold on,” Gwen warned the others quietly, then walked slowly past the line of dragons as the growling steadily grew in intensity.

At the very end of the line, a smaller pale red dragon sniffed curiously as Gwen approached, her golden eyes brightening as Gwen smiled and reached an arm out to rest on her nose. “Hey, Rosie...” Gwen muttered, relief flooding over her as the dragon purred and nuzzled into her hand like an oversized house cat. It was incredible how much she'd grown in seven years; she was significantly larger than a horse, her currently folded wings threatening to quadruple that estimate once unfurled.

“Roseblood likes you,” an eleven-year-old Prince Alarik chuckled as Gwen stroked the dragon hatchling out in the Ylorian palace fields. The young royals had snuck away from the royal proceedings after Alarik promised Gwen that the Khushian kingdom was hiding something much cooler outside. “Father says I can start to ride her in a few years when she gets bigger. I hatched her myself, you know.”

Alarik was such a braggart when he was a child. Gwen would have laughed at the memory if it didn't seem so distant given recent events. Since that day, the young heirs would slip away from the stuffy royal proceedings to play with the Khushian dragons whenever they found an opportunity. She doubted Alarik ever thought she would use this knowledge against his kingdom. It was for the greater good...

Gwen matched the key with the engraved ruby to the ruby on the lock, and Roseblood trotted out, looking curiously around as if wondering where her master was, but with the placidity of a housecat. The other dragons calmed after seeing Roseblood's reaction, and the growling quieted down.

Gwen tossed the keys to Lyn, but spoke to all four of them. “Pick one, or share one of the larger ones. These dragons only know how to fly to three places – each of the three kingdoms. Khusha hasn't seen war in eons. They are nothing more than showy horses in this day and age.” Gwen hoped she sounded more confident than she felt. She'd technically ridden on Roseblood before, but with Alarik, and more than a year ago.


Raleigh Ferghus Eachainn
Khushian Royal Palace

Emerging from the palace's winding hallways into open air, Raleigh breathed in as if they'd already made it. He received a very quick reminder that they had not: the air was hot and stuffy, with a mercilessly hot sun blaring down on the small stretch of field. They were still far, far away from Lochester, with no conceivable way to get there in time.

Raleigh turned to Gwen, but she was already halfway across the field by the time he managed to word his question. So instead of shouting after her, he followed.

The group entered a giant stone enclosure, and at the sight of a dozen eyes opening to stare at them, Raleigh's free hand practically flew to his lance. His grip on Dimmy tightened, and the words he managed to get out were punctuated by gasps. "What... are--"

Dragons, Raleigh realized almost as fast. He'd seen them before, though only from far away, and only against the backdrop of an open sky. Seeing them trapped in dark enclosures, snarling at the sight of strangers like scared dogs made his stomach turn. This was not how one was supposed to treat such majestic animals. But of course Khusha of all places would not care, the barbarians they were.

Raleigh looked at the vampire dangling on his shoulder with contempt.

"Princess, it's dangerous," he tried, taking a careful step after her, but she seemed to have the situation under control. She made quick friends with one she seemed to know by name, then instructed the rest of them to pick their own. Raleigh was taken aback, gaze sweeping over the dragons that now regarded them with curiosity rather than caution.

"Are we to... ride them?" He was equal parts appalled and fascinated by the suggestion. Was there a person alive who hadn't wondered what it'd feel like to fly? But to call them showy horses... He sighed. They had little choice. Tempest was dear to him, but there was no time to get him, and no way the gelding could take them to Lochester fast enough. He could only hope the Khushians didn't hurt him meanwhile. "... Understood."

"Lady Ly-- that is... Lyn," Raleigh coughed, approaching her with a polite nod, though he didn't dare meet her gaze. The memory of her fearful expression was still all too fresh in his mind. "If you would." He gestured towards a large black dragon nearby, its enclosure still locked. "We have cargo, so we should take one that can support all three of us. I would not have you ride alone."

At the word cargo, he adjusted his grip on the vampire, eager to offload him the second an enclosure was opened.


Internet Overlord
Lord Dimamire Nightshade
Khusha (Palace)

As the group continued towards the gardens with his directions, Dimmy could hear Lyn behind the rest of them complaining about Khusha. As if it was Khusha's fault the lot of them had brought trouble into their very palace.

Dimmy had given up on beating at Ral when Gwen asked him for directions, now little more than a rag doll over the soldier's shoulder. Sure he could assault him with magic, but aside from being unnecessarily cruel, the soldier would probably react with spooky magic of his own and Dimmy wanted no part in that. All he could really do now was wait until they reached their destination and hope to make his escape then.

Besides he was tried, very sore and so very tired. No. It was more than that, he wasn't simply tired. He was hungry. He was not in a good position to bite Ral, but the idea of doing so was becoming increasingly tempting. A big strong Lochesterian like that must have a lot of blood too.

They'd made it to the dragon paddocks now, and Gwen was letting one out, detracting Dimmy's attention from his hunger for a moment. Though a well trained dragon was gentle enough, it still wasn't a good idea for an untrained person to be handling them, and he was pretty sure they were all very much untrained. She instructed them to get out at least one more dragon, comparing them to horses. Well, in concept that was fair, but they were still dragons. He started to protest over Ral's conversation with her and Lyn, catching only some of it. “Princess! None of us are trained ride dragons! They may be well trained, but I assure you they are still - Did you just f-king call me cargo?”

Dimmy lost all interest in warning the princess of the danger she was potentially putting them in, nor was he any longer thinking about finding a means of escape, his attention full back on Ral. And he was certain he was going to enjoy preying on him as soon as he got a chance.


It's so shiny!
Lyn Grier
Khushian Royal Palace

After venting her frustrations to no one in particular, Lyn seemed to cool off a little bit, though she could feel the tinder still inside of her waiting for just a small spark to set her off again. She tailed the group silently, eyes focused on Gwen as she led them outside to a stone enclosure which turned out to be the dragon keep. Lyn had not known what they were walking into here, so seeing the dozens of pairs of eyes staring at them unsettled her greatly and she stepped behind Raleigh slightly. When she realised she was actually looking at dragons Lyn found herself oddly taken by them. She had never seen a dragon before though she knew they existed obviously through books or weary travellers with a few tales to share passing through her home. Caged they might have been, they were a marvel to look at.

"Princess, it's dangerous," Raleigh said, trying to get Gwen to back away. However, by the way in which Gwen approached one and then calmly let it out she clearly knew what she was doing. Or at least more than the three of them.

After leading the pink dragon out, Gwen tossed the keys to Lyn who caught them deftly. She looked down at them momentarily as though unsure what to do with them before Gwen spoke, “Pick one, or share one of the larger ones. These dragons only know how to fly to three places – each of the three kingdoms. Khusha hasn't seen war in eons. They are nothing more than showy horses in this day and age.”

"Lady Ly-- that is... Lyn," Raleigh coughed, grabbing her attention away from the keys. "If you would." He gestured towards a large black dragon nearby, one that had admittedly caught Lyn's attention too. "We have cargo, so we should take one that can support all three of us. I would not have you ride alone."

"Did you just f-king call me cargo?” Dimmy snapped.

With Raleigh's suggestion in mine, Lyn gripped the keys tightly in her hand for a moment. "I suppose now is a bad time to admit I've never ridden a horse before," She said hurriedly, hoping no one had really paid much attention to her words as she moved. Since Gwen's dragon had a similar key, Lyn assumed that the black dragon before her would have a similarly appropriate key. And sure enough she correct - selecting a dark wrought iron key that although it didn't look as neat or polished as some of the other keys had clearly been made by a professional. Unlocking the door to the dragon's enclosure, Lyn stepped into the doorway, earning a warning hiss for her troubles. She kept the door open and stepped further inside but did not stray too close to the beast. She had been around enough animals to know a caged animal could be just as - if not more - dangerous than a wild one.

Standing where she was and trying her best not to be dissuaded by the low grumbling coming from the dragon, Lyn lifted up her hand and kept it there for the dragon to approach. The dragon inched forward tentatively, sniffing the air as it moved as though trying to discern if Lyn was a friend or foe. "Easy now," Lyn said. "Easy. We won't hurt you." Well, I won't at least, Lyn added silently in her mind. I can't say the same for Raleigh and Dimmy who might yet kill each other before the night is over.

Although Lyn's encouragement had caused the dragon to retreat, it seemed to sense that Lyn was no immediate threat. It sniffed Lyn's hand cautiously, blowing hot breath against her palm before it cautiously bumped its snout against her hand. This seemed to establish some tentative bond between the two allowing Lyn to lead the beast out of its enclosure. Standing more in the open, Lyn could see it was a larger beast than Rosebud, with dark black scales that seemed to look blue in certain light. Most notably this dragon seemed more warn and hardened than Gwen's dragon, bearing a deep scar down its nose that had long since healed. The black dragon eyed the group cautiously, letting out a low rumble as though still unsure whether it could fully trust them or not.

"Well, I'm no expert but I think this dragon might be willing to help us," Lyn said a little nervously, wincing slightly when she caught the dragon looking at her as if to say "We'll see."

Lyn then looked over to Gwen. "So...how does one ride a dragon?"


Well-Known Member
Princess Gwendolyn
Khushian Royal Palace (Dragon Keep)

Four faces stared incredulously at Gwen, who kept her expression even. She clicked her tongue gently and Roseblood followed her over to a wall where various saddles, harnesses, and weapons were hung. She answered her comrades' questions and concerns without turning to face them.

"Are we to... ride them?"

“Yes, we are to ride them.”

“Princess! None of us are trained to ride dragons! They may be well trained, but I assure you they are still...”

“If you've survived the journey to this point, you will survive this too.”

"I suppose now is a bad time to admit I've never ridden a horse before...”

“Then I would agree with Ral's suggestion to ride with him.”

Honestly, she'd expected more pushback. As dismissive as she was to them, they were right to be concerned. Lyn even managed to persuade an older dragon out of its pen. Roseblood curiously turned her neck to sniff the other dragon, who blew smoke out its nose in response. “What's its name?” Gwen asked. “It should be written somewhere on the pen and the key, though I know it's hard to see in the low light. It'll help for directing it.” Sylvia seemed a touch more eager than the others, and released a small jet-black dragon with blood-red scales who seemed happy to be free of its pen. According to Sylvia, its name was Arrowhead. Arrowhead bounded over and both Roseblood and the older dragon growled lowly at it.

"So...how does one ride a dragon?" Lyn asked.

“For our purposes... just don't fall off,” Gwen suggested, tossing a saddle over to Sylvia and bringing a second down for herself. It took her a second to locate a three-person saddle, but she eventually did and rolled it over to the other three. “Attach it as you would to a horse, but be mindful of the extra straps. Please ensure they are secured tightly,” Gwen instructed. “We won't need the harnesses; those are for training.” She was starting to wonder if Arrowhead was fully trained, but they didn't have much time. Gwen swung the saddle over Roseblood's back, just above her wings and before her neck, and talked while tightening the straps. “Ral, you take the front seat of that dragon. If needed, you can use your lance to direct it; just tap gently on either side of the beast's neck, and it will know to turn.”

Gwen hoisted herself onto Roseblood's back and tapped gently with her feet like she would a horse. Roseblood strode confidently out of the dragon keep, and Gwen waved for the others to follow. Now or never. “Alright, Rosie; to Lochester!”

Roseblood raised her neck at the command and tensed before leaping into the sky and pumping her powerful wings rhythmically. Gwen lurched forward and clung to Roseblood's neck as they rose steadily from the ground, the Khushian palace getting smaller and smaller with every wingbeat. The others followed shortly, and once they were a considerable distance in the air, Gwen could see several Khushian soldiers rush onto the scene. She was too far up to see their expressions but imagined they were gaping at them. She wondered if anybody had ever stolen the royal dragons before. She doubted it.

Roseblood emitted a pleasant hum as she led the way, clearly pleased to be outside. Gwen gripped both the saddle and the deeper red scales that pointed up on Roseblood's neck tightly. The last time she did this, her arms were clutched around Alarik's midsection the entire ride. Still, Gwen couldn't help but smile at the freedom and adrenaline the ride brought. Finally, they were free and headed in the right direction. Arrowhead shot past them and had to circle back (Gwen was pleased to see that Sylvia was still on it). Gwen glanced back; the older dragon was doing quite well considering it had three charges on its back. “Everyone doing okay back there?” Gwen yelled to the others.


It's so shiny!
Lyn Grier
Khushian Royal Palace (Dragon Keep)

As the group continued to gather its bearings, Gwen asked what the name of the dragon was that Lyn had retrieved. Lyn in turn raised a brow, half expecting to have to make a name up on the spot, until Gwen elaborated that the name should have been on the key Lyn possessed. As Lyn looked the key over, Sylvia fetched her own dragon, leading out a smaller jet black dragon with blood-red scales. If ever there were a more fitting dragon for a rider then they were certainly looking at it. According to Sylvia, its name was Arrowhead. Like the plant, Lyn thought with a hint of amusement. Arrowhead seemed to be quite pleased with being free from its cage but Rosebud and the elder dragon Lyn had led out seemed less enthused if their low growling was anything to go by.

Gwen set about finding saddles for the dragons, explaining how to attach them and that the best advice for riding a dragon (or at least riding a dragon in this situation) was to not fall off. Since Lyn had never ridden nor saddled a horse, she left that duty to either Dimmy or Raleigh. But before they did, she examined the key she held, searching for a name. As Gwen had said, there was indeed a name engraved on the key, small and faded but there nevertheless. "Hemlock," Lyn read aloud.

The dragon perked its head up slightly, and for a brief moment seemed a little less grumpy. "Hemlock," Lyn repeated, watching the dragon's reactions carefully. "That's your name isn't it?" She looked directly at the dragon who flared its nostrils in response. Lyn took that for a yes. "What a fine name," She complimented.

After the saddles had all been put on, Gwen told Raleigh to sit at the front of the saddle. Lyn was almost going to argue against that but decided it was probably wise since she had never ridden anything like that before. "I'll sit in the middle I think," Lyn said, looking between the two men. "Besides I'm not sure if you two would play nice the entire flight."

Once everyone was on their dragons, Gwen led them out. She guided Rosebud out of the dragon keep as one would a horse and with a single command the dragon took to the skies. Arrowhead followed first, and Hemlock took up the rear, launching up into the air with a set of large wings, that were in surprisingly good condition despite the rest of the dragon looking as though it had been through a few fights in its time. Lyn had initially kept an arm on both of the men currently riding Hemlock with her - one arm on Raleigh's waist and the other hooked around Dimmy's leg (or as best she could manage). However, as soon as they had taken flight and lurched in their saddle, Lyn had wrapped both arms around Raleigh, squeezing so tight for a moment it was a miracle he didn't snap in half on the ascent and had her head buried in his back too afraid to look down. Lyn could just about hear Gwen calling out to them from up ahead, but couldn't muster the strength to respond back that loud. So she had to suffice with a muffled "Just fine!" which would only have been heard by Raleigh and Dimmy.


Internet Overlord
Lord Dimamire Nightshade
Khusha (Palace) > Sky (Dragonback)

Dimmy continued to fume over his situation and fantasize about crunching into Ral's neck as Lyn went into the enclosure of a big old black dragon and coaxed it out. It was the kind of dragon that looked like it was either tamed from years of experience or the worst possible choice for the novice now asking them how one rides a dragon.

Gwen said they just need to hang on, which as long as the dragons were in fact acting like carrier pigeons, would be sufficient assuming they'd saddled them properly. Something none of them had done either. But given Gwen wasn't listening to any warnings so far, Dimmy didn't figure there was any point in issuing more. So he just waited for his chance to escape while the dragons were named and saddled. Afterward Lyn suggest a seating order, to which Dimmy objected, “We wouldn't, but I'm not coming.”

Yet somehow, he found himself on the dragon behind Lyn who was holding onto his leg to keep him from jumping off at the last moment. She grabbed onto Ral as soon as they took off, but Dimmy also reflexively braced (albeit awkwardly, because it was a choice of just using the saddle or also grabbing the young woman in front of him) before realizing this was the moment he was waiting for. Looking back at the ground he reconsidered his plan of jumping, even if he could survive the drop, it was going to be an awfully painful impact.

After flying a while Gwen called back at them, and Lyn made some sort of reply, though Dimmy was having trouble focusing on what was being said. He was not however having trouble focusing on Lyn's external jugular. He looked away, bringing a hand up to rub his eyes. He then set the other hand on Lyn's shoulder and leaned in to speak in her ear. He wanted to make sure she heard him clearly and understood, “Miss, there's something I should probably tell you. I'm doing my best, but I don't think I can control my bloodlust much longer.”