12/21/2012 12:12 p.m PST.
As he made his way across the rocky ground toward Aegis his steps were quick, short, almost angry in his stride. It was happening, already it was happening. He had prayed, hoped that it wouldn't happen within his lifetime but here he was, only 495 years old, not even middle aged yet and it was happening. The ground creaked and rumbled ominously beneath his claws as he leaped from rock to rock, climbing rapidly up the barren terrain.
"My Lord Aegis," he roared as he leaped the last gap and landed on the large rocky platform before Aegis. "Has it begun already?"
"Already?" Aegis asked. His voice, the massive timber of it and the force of his expelled breath would have knocked most flying off the cliffs but Joc dug his claws into the rocky beneath him and hung on tenaciously. The tone of Aegis' word was bewildered and almost amused. "You say already as if it has been just a short span of time, young one. For one such as I the passage of time between creating the barrier to now is rather short. But to you... it has been hundreds of your lifespan from then till now."
There was a pause and Joc sighed silently, waiting expectantly for Aegis to continue. "But... to answer your question. Yes. It has begun." There was a stir of air, a gentle breeze and two small Gems floated through the air to land in Joc's outstretched hand. One was silver, streaked through with black lines, and the other was the same blue as his scales. The ground beneath him began to rumble and shake violently. Lightning split the sky and thunder rumbled so loudly that it seemed to press on his ears like a heavy cloth, blotting out all other sounds save for the roaring of the sky above.
Knowing only what he needed to do Joc met Aegis eye and crushed the blue gem between thumb and finger. In a glimmer of light he vanished just as a bolt of lightning as thick as he was struck the ground right where he had been standing.
He reappered in a forest, where he couldn't say but based on the warmth of the night air he was somewhere in the southern hemisphere. Even his Draconian eyes had trouble piercing the veil of darkness but his ears had no such difficulty. In the distance the screeching caws of birds taking flight in terror, animals leaped and bounded through the woods, the roaring cries of predators mixed with the harried hoofbeats and foots steps of their usual prey. Chaos reigned throughout the woods and for a moment he wondered why Aegis would have sent him there. That was when a weight suddenly landed on his back, arms snaking around his neck and he froze as a glint of light reflected off the razor sharp edge of the dagger that was suddenly pressed against his neck.
"What are you doing here?" a voice suddenly hissed in his ear. "Any what have you done to cause such chaos?"
She liked her forest. She was away from those simpering fools that knew nothing of her or her past. It was probably best that they didn't know actually. She hummed quietly, a distant melody that always haunted her in the night. Her camp was small, a tiny fire burning before her. Her clothing was dark. Greys and blacks with a shock of silver hair rolling in cascading waves down her back until it stopped at her waist. The streaks of black in it fit her mood.
She had a small pack with her basic supplies and extra clothing rolled tightly around each other. Oddest of all though was a small basinet, too small for an actual child to reside in and roughly made of twigs and leaves woven together that sat near to the fire, but not too near. She stretched out one leg and tapped her foot gently against it, setting it to rocking back and forth as she continued to hum.
The tune was a lullaby. One that she had once sung to...
She stopped that train of thought, squashing it violently beneath a mental tidal wave of violence and hatred.
There was a glimmer of light in the distance and she flung out one hand. The fire suddenly extinguished itself completely and utterly, even the embers beneath went dark in an instant and she stalked silently through the forest as the ground began to rumble beneath her feet. A roaring sound began somewhere in the distance as the animals throughout the forest began to screech and scream, running panicked through the woods.
She crept quietly through the woods in search of the source of the light. When she finally found it she was not expecting what she discovered. A Dragon Kin, a Noréht be damned Dragon Kin was standing in the middle of her forest. The Shendryl Wilds were composed of several different islands and she had claimed this, the smallest of them as her own.
She snuck silently up behind him as he looked around, seeming almost bewildered by his surroundings. Before he could notice her she leaped, landing on his back with such force that he staggered forward to avoid falling and then froze when he finally noticed the dagger she had pulled from her belt and held pressed against his scaly through.
"What are you doing here," she hissed. "And what have you done to cause such chaos."
The Kin growled, low in his throat. "I have done nothing," he snarled. "The Expansion has begun. We will soon be finding ourselves up to our necks in humans." He reached up and grasped at her wrist with one hand, at the same time reaching over his shoulder to grab hold of her cloak. Leaning forward with a grunt he threw her over his head and away.
Mithnal spun in midair, landing lightly on her feet, dagger held out before her in one hand as she drew her short sword with the other. Angry red runes ran up the length of the curved blade, pulsing in time with the rapid beating of her heart as she fixed him with a baleful glare.
His eyes had widened, jaw dropping open as he got his first look at her. "A Fallen," he gasped. "Why would Aegis send me to one of the Fallen?" He opened his hand and looked down at the black and silver stone he still held in his palm. "Black and Silver," he muttered and looked up again at her hair.
His pind spun rapidly, going over all the possibilities and everytime he came to one possible conclusion. "Here." He thrust his open hand out, showing her the gem. "This is meant to go to you. Crush it in your hand and it will transport you and anyone holding onto you to where you are needed. Aegis wishes to speak to you, but there are others we each must gather. Each time you crush this gem it will bring you to a new location and the person before you must either come with you to Aegis or perish where they are with the expansion."
When she didn't reach for the gem, simply staring at him with distrust and rage gleaming in her eyes he sighed and let it fall to the ground. Take it if you wish. If not stay here to die when the tidal wave arrives and swallows these islands.
With that he held up his own gem, crushed it in his hand and vanished in a flash of light.