This is a private roleplay for myself, Mintaka (and her mules) and also any of the other Dragon Kings from the shop, should they wish to join. Otherwise, GTFO my thread.
What a busy time! There were always people to meet, mortals to guide, gods and goddesses to converse with...the children to teach and tend (with Ashoka's help)...and of course, Creation. Many demands on his time, but even so, Yu found himself extremely pleased to have such full days and nights.
He thrived on the hustle and bustle that went into rebuilding All.
Occasionally the black-furred Dragon King found himself with a stray moment to relax; which, for him, meant taking a leisurely "stroll" about the Pantheon proper (it doubled as a quick patrol of the area too). The best part of taking such patrols was that he usually found someone to converse with - Brother, God, Goddess or mortal. Had he not discovered Brother Xun this way? The girl Adi and her delicious looking pet, Phlox? Arden Valkov, the host?
Who would he find today, he wondered; feet padding without sound down stairs and across cool marble floors.
Kheviel had begun his procession to wander further across the grounds, eyes and ears alert to the sounds of others in hopes of crossing paths with those who might get him - and Xuan - up to date. Of course, this could entail many, many possible encounters, from either dragon that Illisia had mentioned, to any of the other gods or goddesses, or even some mortals perhaps. He had pathed towards the marble areas, some hope that he'd cross paths with someone there - it looked quite the gathering grounds - and he was not disappointed at the least. A - something - was making it's way across the marble.
Xuan was less then amused at the assessment of a something, when she knew better. It had the feel and markings of one of her siblings, although who she had not put a finger to quite yet, but she felt she ought to know. Perhaps it was the between of shifting that made it so difficult, or perhaps a memory that had been lost to the ages of Fading - she'd been the first of the Kings to fall.
He paused his steps, watching the other a moment to see if it noticed him. To be fair he hadn't seen anything quite like this, and now that he had a better look, it did have some draconic traits about it to make it more identifiable as one of her kin. He was uncertain, however, how one should greet, particularly without knowing much of anything at all about this one. Illisia had been more straightforward, more... something he was more familiar with in interaction. This one seemed more beastial, definitely powerful. Certainly not someone to get on the wrong side of if one could help it.
Keen senses caught tantilizingly faint, familiar presense of another; it slid across his awareness and tickled at the back of his consciousness. He recognized the low thrum of power as another of the Dragon Kings, but couldn't quite place it - though when he turned his head so that he could fix his multiple eyes upon the other, his blue eyes registered recognition. Yu had seen this person before; when Samyaza had left the Empress bleeding and Harmodius without a Name. They had not spoken, merely been comrades, witnessing the Beginning of the End together, so he did not recall a name to the face any more than he could recall which of the Kings that particular energy belonged to.
Yu turned the whole of his body to Kheviel. "Greetings friend, would you care to walk with me? I believe you and I have much to discuss." With a shake of his heavy head, the Dragon King offered a hand towards his newly found companion, beckoning the poiny-eared man closer. "You...are not wholly unknown to me, by scent, face or soul...though I do not know by which name to call to you."
It almost startled him, but he kept composed, to be spoken to so clearly, and slowly the gears began running. While now vastly different in keep and composure, there was a familiarity, the darkness of body tone, the horns... In days past, he'd been there at the beginning of the End, but he'd not properly spoken to them. And now, had shifted, obviously. He nodded in acknowledgment to the other. "We passed briefly, in what might be some time for you, and what feels very little for me. I am Kheviel Nightfeather, host to Xuan Yi, the Shadowshield."
He had introduced without prompt, with title included, and she purred slightly in contentment, mostly because that should give her presence clear. Hopefully then she could recognize which of her siblings this was, but he'd been there too for the fight, likely. That near-ink blackness, and yes - the horns. They were very distinctive, although she didn't remember them being blue...
"I wouldn't mind a walk, I just had a small rest... I came back here to catch up on things. I went to rearm and was sprung upon by a trap - quite a bit of magic to deceive the senses and entrap... I regret most that I did not put more effort into any sort of business with the arcane sometimes... we were trapped until... well, not long ago. So I've... missed quite a bit it seems."
Were it not for the reassurances of Xuan that this was indeed friendly, and that he was on the territory of the gods - not far hopefully from Harmodius himself, he'd have felt far less at ease with this one. It looked quite feral almost, close enough to pass for something that would lurk the shadows and be ready to kill you in a heartbeat. A deceiving guise, considering it's attitude perhaps, or maybe it was simply Xuan's presence that kept him safe. For that, he was quite thankful - and thankful for his ability to keep himself physically in line to not give away that unease he had lurking. He tried to shoo it away by focusing on the conversation.
"Yes. I saw you, when Samyaza left Gaia to die and the Crown without a Name." He recalled that this one had been quick to chase after Samyaza, but to no avail. Only Gianfar had managed to 'attack', and even that had done naught to slow the Grigori's flight. They had, as the b***h stated with her nasty little smile, been "pissing in the wind" to even go after her.
Ah! Xuan Yi, Shadowshield! This was the Empress' Dragon and one that had, before the Fading, been one that he had been close to (thanks to the Crown and Empress being so close). Unfortunately, the intimate details of that past was long lost to Yu...lost to never be reclaimed - something mourned only in passing; the Fragment's "now" of thought was something that Yu was trying to keep for himself in this incarnation. Closer still, Yu came towards the host and Dragon, though he did keep some distance lest he cause more distress by the length of claw and sharpness of horn.
"Host Kheviel Nightfeather, Xuan Yi. I am Xia Lu Ling, Yu the Five Claw." He left his alternate title, Emblem Pillar was left out. No need to state such things to one of the Brotherhood. They all knew. "I would be most pleased if you would join me then. I can offer you information, have you questions. It's unfortunate you were held away so long, much has happened. I have been at His side more than many, so feel free to make use of my knowledge."
Nightmarish countenance twisted in a garish parody of a smile, teeth showing brightly as lips skinned back. Yu noticed the man's discomfiture with his appearance - it was something he was quite used to by now - and opened his mouth to assauge his fears. "Do not worry, I won't eat you. I'm not in the habit of cannibalism."
He had listened at length, feeling a bit more relaxed in knowing that here was someone whom he could talk to to understand things even better - for them both. Having now been wrapped up in this, he considered himself a part of things, intrigued and in need of knowing, until the day passed that he was no longer the one in control most of the time, although he knew this was partly Xuan's choice because she wanted to allow him his moments of life before she was fully strong enough.
Xia! That's who it was. It was making sense now, the hints of blue, the claws. Xia, dearest one who was always watching over their Lord, as she watched over his favored ones. She saw plenty of him by choice or otherwise, and it finally clicked why she'd felt such a familiar presence. And it was more assuring to her, that he now had been here, at His side once more. That someone was there, watching him and safeguarding him.
He smirked slightly, nodding. "I'm not used to such odd company, and in a world I once was a part of, things like you were often ready to have us as snacks," he said evenly. "I'm not exactly afraid, I just... can't help perhaps some ingrained instinct, despite any comfort from Xuan. She sends her greetings, I think she's just being content right now to listen."
He closed his eyes a moment, now trying to clear his head for things to ask, for it was difficult to deal with when one finally had what they wanted - needed - and then to be overwhelmed.
Lord Harmodius, Xuan prompted, wanting to know first and foremost that. And Lady Kishara.
"How is Lord Harmodius and Lady Kishara?" he asked, taking queue last he be annoyed until he did so. He had a question of his own, pertaining to their last encounter, but that could wait for now. "Are they well? I remember she was wounded..."
Xuan held her temper in check, remembering the wound so given, and kept her bristling to herself. Hopefully the Empress had recovered, gained strength again, particularly in the time passing since things were righted. Of course, that was another thing to ask, but it would wait - the health and well-being of the Lord and Empress mattered far more, if only to calm her fears or confirm perhaps more. It was enough the Sky was gone, but... she hoped there was good news.
Perhaps it would have made Kheviel feel better to know that this particular Dragon King had assauged the fears of other hosts before, not that Xia Lu Ling would have ever proclaimed any such thing aloud. Arden Valkov had also had questions, though he had not been so closely intwined with the God held inside his body as this elf was with the Shadowshield. Yu's thickly furred, scaled tail swished behind him as though it had a mind all it's own as they walked, side by side.
It pleased him greatly to know that Xuan was reborn, they had always been close (well, technically all of the Kings were close - that was the Brotherhood...but yes, their particular Stations had afforded them a greater exposure eto each other than some of the others). "Ah, yes. Well, my host would certainly have contemplated eating you. A nightmare-creature, but one that served me well when others had not." For the moment, he would refrain from touching this man that housed Shadowshield; it would have been unneccissarily cruel to force such a wicked countenance upon someone that was obviously ill-at-ease and trying not to be.
"Our Lord is quite well, He is slowly healing All That Is and spends much of His time with His children. There is sadness in Him too though...the Firstborn eaten - I'm sure you've noticed Universe missing - and Gaia laid low." Yu shook his heavy head, ears going close to his skull in a rather canine-like show of worry. "Lady Gaia's arm remains with Samyaza, but she has mostly healed. Of late she has not been seen though I know well she is attended by those closest to her. I believe the Lady mourns Universe and her own inability to protect Harmodius, but I do not know for certain."
Here he paused to think before speaking further, "I do not believe He has seen her since the Ceremony that brought Him back to us." As far as Xia Lu Ling knew this was correct and he would know better than most, being by Harmodius' side to support Him for the better part of most days.
He tensed at the mention of her, the one who had hurt Kishara, and the feeling was mutually shared with Xuan. Neither was fond of Samyaza, Kheviel for being so bothered by the appearance, and Xuan for what she did. And the news that she still posessed a part of her... did not sit well at all. He kept his pace though, not stopping, even has he felt the slight shift as they both were in control - one of movement and the other of speech.
"So then, my brother, Gaia still is recovering... that is troubling news, I hope her the best." Not one to mince words, and to also not cause an accident should either of them slip in their grasp of control, despite their practice, she continued, asking the question that her host was already thinking. "And what of Samyaza?"
Kheviel felt her slip back, feeling like a coiled snake ready to strike at the worst of news. Neither exactly relished the idea of her being alive, but by the sound of it, it was true. Confirmation, however, would be a good thing about now. However, Kheviel did come to one other thought, on the relative track and mention - "What happened to Universe? Well, we know he's gone, but how?"
There were still more questions - a ceremony, and also who else might have been affected. Perhaps if he'd seen Calico as well, although he still had his doubts as to that, and that was more for his benefit then for Xuan's.
Zhijian was at rest out of doors when a scent most intriguing came to him on the breeze. He raised his head and sniffed, then sniffed again, breathing deep - breathing in the scent of dragon, of brother. Xia Lu Ling. He knew the smell of his canine sibling well. But there was another, something that reminded him faintly of Illisia - mortal, but dragon-host? Could it be? But to whom?
Ying Long might have continued to laze if it had only been Yu - not that any of his siblings were an only, but it was the Five Claws he saw most often of late, with Joss and Dan to be tended to (not that Zhijian did any of the tending!). But for the dragon-host...for the host, he rose and stalked after the scent
Illisia had paused in mid-swing, standing on one leg in a balance that would have been dangerous to most for a few moments before settling down and lowering her 'sword' - a fallen tree branch from the nearby forest. Im not flailing around with a stick for the benefit of the peanut gallery, you know ?
My apologies, my dear. Xun thought this whole thing unnecessary for multiple reasons - the biggest that she was his host and he could easily know all she knew whenever he wished. But it filled her time, and so he let her do as she wanted. It took her mind away from the lessening of her other abilities.
Even he had to admit that Illisia's logic for wanting to teach him this was a sound one, no matter how uneasy he felt at using violence. He would... if he had to.
I felt something familiar...
Something familiar ?
Her question was answered by the sudden appearance of Zhijian stalking though the grass, and she rolled her eyes, leaning against her 'sword'.
Fine, fine. You're off the hook for now. Playtime for dragons.
Illisia discarded her stick and followed off to wherever Ying Long was going to. He seemed to be following something, at any rate.
For all of Kheviel-Xuan's reaction now to hearing of Kishara's extended stint in healing, Yu could sympathize. Had he himself not felt much the same for not only the Empress reborn, but for Harmodius as well? And later, when Universe had been eaten-unmade. That too had rankled and pressed upon the Emblem Pillar like a ten ton brick; hot and hard stones in his gut.
"As far as I know, yes. I have not caught sight nor scent of Lady Gaia since the day I set Lady Neva and her host to care for her that I might pursue Samyaza." He shook his heavy head, expression cloudy with anger and some other, darker emotion. "The Grigori b***h has not been seen either. I have been working with Gianfar and others to gain as much information as possible...but we are ill prepared to go to war with such creatures. They are...unKnowable, even to Him." And that posed quite the problem.
"Universe was unmade, his very essence devoured by Gehenna. Lucius is no more. Creation has made plans to fashion something servicable for the time being, with Illumin of Light, Glyph of Forest and Glaucon of Judgement's aid." Yu mulled over in his head the best way to explain that...well...Lucius had simply ceased to be. "Had we not brought Creation back in time, there would have been other Primordials devoured into nothingness." Quickly, Yu gave forth all he knew of the progression of those weeks, a very capsulated explination of things - just to give the other King and her host an idea of how things had happened.
In this manner, he would continue until the heady scent of Dragons came closer to distract him from his task. It was unpleasant to speak of such things, but...they all needed to share what they knew.
That was definitely bothering news, that she was not dealt with, they were not ready, and that they had little to go on, either. At least they had ceased the End, but still at a heavy cost. And to see something return, at least to perhaps ease the mortal minds... but still, not having one represent...
...that set uneasy in the dragon. The mention that had it continued, other primordials would have gone set her on edge too - this wasn't simple death, but more... a cessation to exist. Death had not stopped the sky, when all had fallen in the Fading. It should have been more clear. And this was all thanks to Samyaza.
I'm with Xia, she's a b***h, Kheviel chipped in. "Rough times indeed," he said solemnly. "An ugly business, although I'm not sure what I myself would have been able to do. But then, who is to say we would not have grown stronger... but against her I doubt much would help still."
He shook his head. "So then, with her out loose, we're looking at what essentially boils down to war? I doubt she's going to give up on ruining everything so easily..."
There was a faint prickle of something unfamiliar, and something recognizable, nearby. A sense of kin...
Kheviel turned his head slightly at the queue, stopping in his tracks, trying to pinpoint what it was that bothered her.
Zhijian was preoccuppied enough that Illisia went unnoticed, because he wasn't just following the smell; he had every intention of sneaking up on his black-furred brother. Just because he could, because it was fun, although of all his brothers, Xia Lu Ling was probably the hardest to sneak up on. They had had similar tastes in host, choosing beast rather than something frail and humanoid.
Once Yu had been found, he gave a slight, nearly involuntary wiggle, and made to leap upon his fellow god.
With a slight tilt to his head, Yu watched Kheviel process the information; he knew well how the news would hit his sister-dragon - it had done the same to him though he had knowledge of it much longer. A long time to adjust to the bitter-sharp taste, the prickling across his consciousness - this kept him quiet until the other spoke first, to indicate that host and dragon were ready to proceed in their conversation.
"No, I am afraid you would have done little good. Not a one among us is strong enough yet to harm her, save Tian Yue. And even our Brother would be hard pressed to cause Samyaza worry." Such an annoying fact! Bah! Even thinking about Samyaza caused his hackles to raise, his tail to lash behind him. "Yes. A war that we must prepare for...and a war to be fought without weapons with which to cause damage to the Grigori. They are Void, they are Nothing inside...their very touch Unmakes."
Kheviel stopped and so did Yu, his senses also picking up something but...from where? It didn't touch across him as dangerous, so he simply dismissed it -- there were many mortals and immortals alike wandering around...
"Come, there is naught here to cause har--" Whatever Yu had been about to say was lost forever as Zhiji pounced him from behind; thick furry body slamming into thick furry body and going a**-over-teakettle into the soft earth with a heavy THWUMPF. Immediately Yu was growling out swears and cursing Zhiji roundly; hard to do, since he was laughing at the same time and trying to twist his lithe body around to better play-fight with the Fangbridle. The semi-solemn, graceful (but ugly!) Dragon King of a moment ago was gone, replaced with what could only be likened to an overly-energetic Puppy.
Okay, now Illisia was amused. She stopped a few paces away, leaned against a tree, arms crossed, and watched what was now bound to happen. Yu didn't see Zhijian coming - which did surprise her a little, but she couldn't help but laugh at the Emblem Pillar's reaction.
Graceful and proper dragons, indeed.
"No one warned me I was supposed to be babysitting dragons today." She was grinning, though, and it not been hard to shift... Well, she might have been tempted to join in. Almost.