dragon swarm

Underrated 4E-Original D&D Monsters!

While Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition had many flaws when it came to integrating narrative and gameplay; on some pretty fundamental levels; one advantage of the system was that the simplified monster-creation allowed for a dickton of really interesting brand-new monsters to appear in a small space.

Sadly, due to both a lack of art for many of them and a fundamentally fluff-lite narrative approach for most of its run, almost nobody remembers them.

And that’s what we’re here to talk about today, with the name, a brief description, and the book they come from! So, in no particular order:

Banderhobbs- A horrible vore-frog that lives in the plane of Shadows. They take people away to work in their horrible shadow-mines until they turn into more Banderhobbs! [Monster Manual 3, tho they did come back in 5e’s Volo’s Guide]

Dreambreath Dracoliches- Dragon liches who root their immortality in the plane of Dreams and generally look like something that should be painted on the side of a van [Draconomicon: Chromatics]

Star Spawn- Horrible eldritch monster-avatars of the Stars, summoned by a giant planet that got fucked up by spending too long in the Cthulhu-dimension passing in front of them. They have stats so you can fight the giant planet. [Monster Manuals 2 & 3]

Filth Hags- A type of hag who always comes accompanied by a son she made out of poop. Yes I know they just give it as nonspecific “filth,” but we all know it’s poop [The Book of Vile Darkness. Yes there was a 4e version.]

Accipitridae- A centipede-thing made of grave-dirt and bone, part of a series of undead monsters created from grave-detritus known as Dethritus. There is also the Offalian who is a snake-thing made out of guts. [Open Grave]

Voracia- A giant starfish that eats fairies. Made as one of the edition’s Abominations; giant living weapons designed to fight in the war between the Gods and the jotun-like elemental Primordials. [The Plane Above]

Astral Renders- Another abomination, this giant silver/gold blob monster that doesn’t just eat flesh, but also the barriers between dimensions. To teleport.  [The Plane Above]

Bonewretch Skeletons- Literal dead-baby skeletons [Open Grave]

Orium Dragons- Metallic dragons obsessed with ancient civilizations, their history and lore, and with an obsession with bringing said ancient civilizations back. They breathe acid which turns into snake-vapor monsters. Which then stay around to keep attacking you. [Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons]

Apocalypse Spells- The remnants of apocalyptically deadly/powerful spells that have gained sentience, like shards of the chains of a trapped god or colorless fire from a massive war-ending spell [Monster Manual 3]

Larval Snipers/Larval Assassins/Larval Warmasters- Variants on the basic worm-that-walks monster including snipers made of wasps, assassins made of centipedes, and warlords made of beetles [Open Grave]

Chillfire Destroyers- 4e had this thing where they condensed the Elemental Planes into one big Elemental Chaos, and one of the byproducts of that was that all the elementals (at least at first) were combinations of elements. The Chillfire Destroyer; which is literally an elemental made of ice with fire inside; was one of the cooler; more iconic (In my eyes at least) manifestations of the idea. [Monster Manual 2]

Dragonscale Sloughs- Piles of dead skin and shed scales from dragons that’ve come to undead life. The dragon doesn’t even have to be dead for it to happen, as it mentions they tend to form naturally in the lairs of elder dragons [Open Grave]

Consumptive Swarm- A “demon” that’s actually a swarm of Slaad/chaos-frog larvae mutated into demons by the energy from shard of evil that formed The Abyss (Basically Chaotic Evil Hell). There’s also versions for Efreet and Djinn and a weird thing called a Writhing Crag supposedly made from Ropers and Xorn with a great design and the ability to embed you in stone. [The Plane Below]

Unrisen- People who came back very, very wrong after a Raise Dead spell. You know Pet Sematery? It’s basically Pet Sematery. [Open Grave]

Swarmtongue Worms- While the old gold-coin-mimicking Hoard Scarab came back, they also added another parasite for draconic hordes, grotesque stomachlike wormy-tongued parasites the size of a dwarf. They come in multi-headed versions called Swarmtongue Hydras and are implied to be either relatives of Carrion Crawlers or the result of what happens when the parasites feeding on a dead dragon’s body get bathed in energy from the Cthulhu dimension [Draconomicon: Chromatic]

Dragonclaw Swarms- An “advanced” version of the Crawling Claw enemy that is literally hundreds of severed dragon feet coming to attack you. D&D is silly sometimes [Open Grave]

Quom- Bald-headed two-faced people who were pretty chill until their goddess got exploded by the God/Primordial war. Now they’re searching for all the shards of their Goddess, which is a problem given how many of those have wormed their way into magic weapons or sometimes even people. [The PlaneAbove]

Flesh Cults- One of the coolest new ideas that got only one entry, they’re basically a cult not dedicated to immortality like most undead cults but rather to ˆephemerality, being in the here and the now and that everything ends eventually, with their rituals giving themselves regeneration that makes too much flesh, with it being described as a “perpetual cascade of flesh and organs,” which they then use as weapons and reanimate as temporary quickly-decaying undead servants. Because waste not want not I suppose [Open Grave]

Oubliviae- A new demon lord who looks bland at first, basically a pretty lady with an HR Geiger-armor-body, but her backstory is fascinating. Basically she is the lord of the end of all civilizations; with her layer made from a platonic “perfect” city that she ruined to turn into a reflection of the ruins of every civilization there ever was or will be; and she’s implied to come directly from the Shard of Evil at the heart of the Abyss rather than just being mutated Primordials/other creatures like the rest of the Demon Lords [Demonomicon]

Solkara- One of the few Primordials statted up that isn’t an Elder Elemental Evil with a new coat of paint, she’s suitably honked-up looking; given she’s a humanoid eel-monster with amongst other things three arms attached to two torsos connected at the shoulder and hips, which have two necks that connect to a singular four-eyestalked head. She’s stuck in an iceberg and really, really wants out. [The Plane Below]

This probably isn’t near all of them, so if I missed some, please tell me!

Man I ‘d love to see @bogleech do an article on some of these…

anonymous asked:

Hi, there has been something bothering me about the series lately, the thing is in twintuition the twins say that hiccup is a logical thinker and over thinks things. Hiccup himself is all about responsibility when in the movies hiccup is spontaneous and careless always coming up with crazy ideas on the spot he has a witty personality. I feel the over thinking is more of fishlegs or astrids thing. Sorry that came out longer than expected.

No worries, friend! This commentary isn’t too long, but rather a good and succinct description of an interesting facet (or, perhaps, facets) of Hiccup’s personality. 

Hiccup is an individual who does indeed demonstrate many instances of coming up with profound ideas in the moment. He’s always jumping and doing things right in the moment, sometimes carelessly, sometimes brilliantly. So there certainly is a unique sense of Hiccup thinking and acting on the fly. At the same time, I do think that the idea Hiccup is all about logic and careful thought is correct, too. Hiccup is a complicated character, and this multi-facetedness of his character can be seen in how he acts responsibly sometimes, acts impulsively sometimes, acts carelessly sometimes, acts spontaneously sometimes, or acts with a lot of prior thought sometimes. As with many humans, just because he’s one doesn’t mean he can’t be another.

Hiccup and Spontaneity

Hiccup is undeniably an individual who acts with spontaneity. One of my favorite descriptors for his character is “impulsive.” Hiccup is impulsive in his choices, decisions, and “plans.”

In the first movie, Gobber walks Hiccup back to the house after the dragon raid. The reason Stoick has Gobber walk Hiccup back is to “make sure he gets there.” However, the second after Gobber leaves, Hiccup suddenly charges out the back door and into the woods. It always came off as an impulsive behavior to me - probably because Hiccup stumbles out the door so quickly that he falls on his hands. Even if we don’t consider that choice impulsive, Hiccup’s decision to throw away his cheat sheet was impulsive and gutsy when he was riding Toothless. Hiccup’s choice to have Astrid ride Toothless certainly wasn’t planned - he made this action quickly in the moment. Hiccup’s choice to save Toothless and the tribe by getting his peers to ride on dragons was an idea that came right in the moment. Then, in the second movie, Hiccup flees from Stoick and goes to Itchy Armpit at the heat of the moment rather than attending the planned Dragon Racing event. Hiccup later decides to leave Berk last-minute when Stoick is grounding the dragons, deciding instead to pursue Eret. Much of Hiccup battling Drago on Berk was through heat-of-the-moment decisions, too.

We see this pattern of spontaneous decision-making all the clearer in the DreamWorks Dragons series. Hiccup will make a lot of spontaneous choices in the heat of the moment. Sometimes these impulsive choices lead to reckless and dangerous behavior; for instance, Hiccup deciding to fly to the Isle of Night alone with Toothless, not telling anyone or going with them as planned, results in him being kidnapped by the Outcasts in the episode We Are Family Part 1. Other times, these spontaneous choices are the ways in which Hiccup defeats the enemies last minute, such as by using spoons and other metal to attract the Smothering Smokebreaths and then, through these dragon swarms, scaring away the Berserkers.

It’s to note that, while Hiccup’s impulsive choices aren’t always reckless, they can be. They are often dangerous and might have a low chance of success. Hiccup jumping off a baby Scuttleclaw to save Toothless from falling in HTTYD 2 was certainly reckless. So this is an impulsive and reckless choice. At the same time, some of his choices aren’t impulsive but are still reckless: for instance, Hiccup jumping off a cliff side to test his Dragon Fly invention in The Next Big Sting was a carefully planned event, but still, in my opinion, reckless.

Anyways. Hiccup’s spontaneous choices can be placed into several categories. First, as I alluded above, there are the brilliant last-minute decisions he makes to save the day, and then there are the reckless decisions he makes. To be fair, we often don’t know whether it will brilliantly work out or if it will fail horribly. But the point is that some of these choices are brilliant maneuvers and others feel dangerously reckless. The other category of division we can make about his actions is that some of Hiccup’s choices are made in dangerous moments and others are not.

Hiccup will make choices emotionally and impulsively in some instances, such as by choosing to suddenly fly off Berk in HTTYD 2 before Stoick grounds all the dragons. This is not a dangerous circumstance right here and now. Another example of Hiccup making an impulsive choice in a non-dangerous circumstance is in the episode When Lightning Strikes. Hiccup chooses to mount the top of a ship to show that lightning is attracted to metal. His life wasn’t in danger at this point (at least until he made that bold decision to hold up metal on the top of a ship). So some choices are made impulsively out of emotion and not necessarily danger.

In contrast, sometimes Hiccup has to make a spur-of-the-moment decision because he has no choice otherwise. If he is in the middle of the battle, Hiccup doesn’t have the luxury of contemplating whether or not his latest battle strategy will work. He has to just go and try it on the fly because he’s in danger. For instance, Hiccup fighting the Skrill in the first half of A View to a Skrill shows him acting on the fly. Hiccup’s decisions in dangerous circumstances are very commonly spontaneous because, by nature of the sudden incident, they can’t be pre-planned. He never would have predicted the exact circumstances of being chased by these dragons!

So, since this was a large chunk of text let me recapitulate: yes, Hiccup is spontaneous. Sometimes his choices are impulsive because of emotional reasons. Sometimes his choices are impulsive and can turn out to be reckless. Sometimes his choices are on-the-fly because he’s in the middle of danger and he doesn’t have the luxury of thinking situations through thoroughly before enacting a plan. But in all these cases, we see that Hiccup is an individual that works with spontaneity.

Hiccup and Careful, Critical Thought

Near the start of Race to the Edge Season 4 Twintuition, Tuffnut says, “As usual, Hiccup and Fishlegs are overthinking everything.”

At the same time that Hiccup can be an individual who is very impulsive, I still don’t disagree with Tuffnut: Hiccup can be someone who is a careful thinker and close planner. There are times in which he thinks carefully - something that Tuffnut himself (not a planner) would classify as “overthinking.” Here are some instances in which we see Hiccup not acting spontaneously, but as someone with critical thought:

Whenever Hiccup develops an invention, the creation by nature has to be full of careful thought. His inventions do require testing and modification, yes, but they also necessitate careful planning. Hiccup’s crossbow shield contains clever mechanisms that would have needed drafting beforehand. And even in the first How to Train Your Dragon movie, we see that Hiccup draws blueprints of his inventions before he creates them. He draws up a plan for Toothless’ tail, works methodically on the saddle, and creates his own cheat sheet for how the saddle-tail mechanism works. An organized chart like that is logical, careful organization. Beyond that, Hiccup even has a whole room full of invention ideas and sketches - while we do see his corner of the workshop in the final film when Stoick visits him, we learn more about his various inventions and drafts in the deleted scene “Axe to Grind” when Astrid stumbles across his blueprints. Hiccup here, while inventing, is being a very logical and methodical thinker. This is not spontaneity.

Furthermore, there are many times that Hiccup encourages a thought-out course of action before entering danger. While Hiccup doesn’t always have the luxury of planning battle plans beforehand, when he does have the opportunity, he does outline plans for the gang. This has been done many times throughout the franchise, starting with the plan Hiccup implements to fight the Red Death in the first movie. Hiccup carefully plots how to attack Viggo’s base in Family on the Edge over a period of several days before he puts the plan into action (even making a model of the location in the planning process - careful work!). Hiccup meets with Viggo on the island at the start of Maces and Talons Part 1 with an obvious plan. The raid on Auction Island was not without prior thought. The truth is, there are many times in which Hiccup and his companions go into an enemy engagement with a plan already made: something that Hiccup carefully concocted beforehand. Tuffnut’s used to seeing Hiccup create logical game plans.

Hiccup even yells at Snotlout for going out of line and acting spontaneously at the start of Cast Out Part 1. Snotlout’s spontaneous actions place Astrid in danger, causing her to fall out of the sky and nearly die. Hiccup grounds Snotlout and forbids him from flying because Snotlout’s impulsivity is unpredictable and unreliable. Hiccup is disciplining someone for being too spontaneous! Hiccup wants order here. And then again, when Stoick leaves in Dawn of the Dragon Racers and puts Hiccup in charge, Hiccup doesn’t want the youths to invent a spontaneous new sport. He wants to keep order, follow his dear father’s instructions, and hold to tradition with the annual Regatta. All of this is Hiccup discouraging impulsivity in a leadership position.

It’s to note that even in day-to-day matters, Hiccup likes to have methodical orderliness. He is the one who is upset if the twins are not on guard duty on Dragon’s Edge. He is the one who suggests that they need to create order when they first arrive at their new island home. He is the one who is often the leadership organizing and putting into place all the daily rituals and duties that the youths do on Dragon’s Edge. He is the one who came up with specific flight formations for the youths to follow when they were in the Dragon Academy. He is the one who came up with all the training exercises and strict regiments and trivia games for Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk. He is the one who leads the youths and expects them to obey his orders on the fly. Hiccup is not always spontaneous and careless. While there definitely are instances where he is spontaneous and careless, there are also just as many instances in which Hiccup is the opposite: careful and methodical.

One of your comments is that Hiccup is all about responsibility seemingly in the television series, but not in the movie trilogy. Because of this, I will leave this section with some demonstration of Hiccup caring about orderliness and responsibility in the movies and material directly created by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. Hiccup is consistent throughout the franchise (give or take the aging process - but all people metamorphose naturally as they mature) in terms of his beliefs of responsibility. 

In The Serpent’s Heir, written by Dean DeBlois, Hiccup is chief and is trying to keep his chiefdom in order. He’s focusing on the responsibility of his leadership role. Earlier, in How to Train Your Dragon 2, even though Hiccup is running off spontaneously from Stoick sometimes, he also has with him a carefully formulated plan he systematically upholds. Hiccup’s plan is always to speak to Drago and try to arrange for diplomatic peace talks. The reason Hiccup wants this is not out of an impulsive reason (though it sometimes leads to impulsiveness). The reason Hiccup wants to talk to Drago is exactly because he believes it is responsible. When Stoick complains about Hiccup’s actions, his son balks, “I’m trying to protect our dragons and stop a war! How is that irresponsible?” The truth of the matter is that Hiccup, from the very start of How to Train Your Dragon 2, believes that trying to talk to Drago - his goal throughout the movie - is the responsible thing to do.

So Hiccup can be someone who cares about responsibility. Hiccup can be someone who loves to plan and organize. Hiccup can be someone who approaches a variety of situations with critical and careful thought.

Hiccup is, interestingly enough, both someone who can be spontaneous and impulsive, and someone who can be methodical and careful. These personality traits do not clash, but are complicated facets of his three-dimensional character. As we see in how Hiccup tries to talk to Drago in peace, he can use both spontaneous actions and careful thoughts about responsibility to try to achieve his goals.

Tuffnut and the Context of This Quote

Now the question is: does Hiccup’s consistent belief in responsibility and methodical approach to situations count as “overthinking”? After all, what Tuffnut says in that quote in Twintuition is that Hiccup is “as usual” overthinking. Overthinking is a little different from just thinking.

There can be times in which Hiccup overthinks throughout the franchise, but what is especially relevant is that Hiccup overthinks in Race to the Edge. Overthinking is part of Hiccup’s specific circumstance in the here and now. He’s doing it more than usual because he is interacting with Viggo - someone who is a crafty manipulator. Hiccup, trying to best Viggo, has had to carefully think through situations himself. This results in Hiccup worrying and overthinking through scenarios with Viggo. At this current time in Hiccup’s life, therefore, he is overthinking and overanalyzing scenarios far more than usual. It’s because he’s trying to do everything within his brainpower to stop his current antagonist.

So when Tuffnut remarks that Hiccup is “as usual” overthinking, I think that makes sense in the context of the situation. Since Hiccup and his friends have settled on Dragon’s Edge, Hiccup has been obsessively thinking about Viggo and trying to outmanipulate the man at his own game. As far as Tuffnut has seen, Hiccup recently has been consistently thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking. It doesn’t matter if twelve year old Hiccup overthought scenarios or not. It doesn’t matter if twenty-four year old Hiccup will overthink scenarios or not. But in the here and now, yes, Hiccup is pondering through scenarios exceedingly carefully. He’s still not successfully outmanipulating Viggo, true, but he is certainly pondering strategy closely.

On top of that, there’s an important thing to consider about Tuffnut’s quote: he’s criticizing both Hiccup and Fishlegs simultaneously. Hiccup and Fishlegs are, as usual, overthinking, according to him. This is a little different than Hiccup by himself overthinking. It’s the joint team that Tuffnut’s not thrilled with currently. And it is true that when Hiccup and Fishlegs are together, they tend to engage in deep, intricate scholarly pursuits. The two bring out the nerd in one another, and as is such, like to think critically together. So when Tuffnut talks about Hiccup overthinking, he’s talking specifically about Hiccup-when-he’s-with-Fishlegs overthinking.

The last thing I believe is relevant to consider contextually is that Tuffnut is not a thinker himself. Tuffnut is someone who is intelligent and capable of good thought, but his preferred lifestyle is one of going with the flow. He doesn’t like to plan ahead. He doesn’t like to adhere to schedules or regimental order. Tuffnut likes to casually mosey through life with no plans beforehand. This does contrast with Hiccup’s personality from the first HTTYD movie through the end of The Serpent’s Heir; Hiccup has always been more methodical and planning-oriented than the carefree Thorstons. So from Tuffnut’s angle as someone who doesn’t prefer to think things through at all, he’s going to categorize Hiccup’s careful analysis of situations (in this case in Twintuition, how to break a chain) as “overthinking.”

There is something to be said about how Fishlegs and Astrid think or overthink through scenarios in comparison to Hiccup, but I also don’t think that what Tuffnut says is erraneous with what we know about Hiccup and the present scenario! Hiccup is a complex character, and given the context of our current scenario, I think it makes sense that Tuffnut would make this criticism of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third.

5

I cannot tolerate people who think animated movies are for kids. If you cannot appreciate the years of work that goes into writing and animating and editing and everything else because of a PG rating I am sorry for you, friend, because you are missing out. No, actually, I’m not sorry for you, I am absolutely downright disappointed in you. No “more for me,” no “suit yourself,” no. It takes me a good hour to draw a good, shaded, detailed, graphite, full-body, single-framed, still picture of Jack Frost can you even imagine how long it takes to animate Merida’s hair!? A full ninety minutes of that luscious red mane bouncing in all directions how do you even???????????? If you cannot even marvel at how absolutely beautiful animation is I have zero time for you. Have you seen Toothless’s eyes though? Have you seen those pupils contract? Have you seen Rapunzel’s hair glow? Have you seen Elsa transform? Have you seen Hiccup’s stubble? Jack’s clothes flapping in the wind as he fights Pitch? Have you seen Merida’s hair wet? Have you seen how much older everyone in How to Train Your Dragon 2 is? Like they had to start from scratch the characters are so different that must take FOREVER! Have you seen the fabric of Anna’s dress?Have you seen the details in Hiccup’s new gear? Have you seen the veins in Hiccup’s mom’s neck? Have you seen the paintings in Anna and Elsa’s ballroom? What about the paintings in Rapunzel’s tower? And the whole stretch from when she and Eugene get to the city up until they leave? When they’re dancing? The lanterns? Have you seen the dragon swarm in the nest? Have you seen Pitch’s shadow monsters, or all of Tooth’s little fairies? Have you seen the crowds? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW BEAUTIFUL AND DETAILED THAT IS?!The have separate people animating different parts of the same character do you know how crazy animating entire crowds is!? And doing it well, with detail? I’m sorry but if you think animated movies are just for kids I cannot be friends with you.

downhillcarver  asked:

I'm pretty sure you saw my reblog, but I don't wanna miss your answer when you get to it. Can you do a dragon prompt for Tiger's Eye? I adore tigers eye!

Tiger’s eye is for travellers and protection. Tiger’s eye is a small, shining dragon pressed into a wanderer’s hands. For luck, their loved ones whisper, and safe return. Tiger’s eye is chatoyant eyes glinting in the light of a campfire, and flickering light gleaming off a hide of shimmering golden threads. Watching, warding. Protecting against thieves and the things which lurk in the night.

Tiger’s eye is the dust of the road and new horizons. Small, gleaming dragons swarming over the banded scales of much larger dragons of tiger iron, befriending the roadhouse guardians even as their humans make new friends within.

A Court of Sea and Stars (1)

Chapter One: Starlight and Moondust

Feyre’s POV

I was thrown to the ground as the world gave a shudder—as it trembled as if it were fighting…fighting like we were against the power of the Cauldron. Like it was slowly being bent to the will of another—and it was losing.

Above the din of battle, I could hear him, Rhys’s shouting—a talon of blackness and panic ripping through the hallways between our minds. FEYRE. I trembled again as the power surged once more, and frantically called back.

I’m fine. I’m with Mor and Amren—

Mor. Amren. I struggled to turn to them, shoving an Illyrian soldier out of my way, his wings and eyes spread wide with alarm, my heavy breathing turning to gasps. I searched the crowds, a writhing mass of armor and blood and flesh, desperately seeking a glimpse of Mor’s golden locks, Amren’s silver eyes—my sisters. My sisters…if this power was Hybern’s final play, then I…I needed them. Needed them here, with me, if this was to be the end, if it was all to end because we hadn’t had the time we needed to find that damn Cauldron—

Rhys, I called down the bond, not bothering to hide my fear as it poured from me to him. Rhys…

A final plea, as the world rocked breath my feet once more. There was a grunt and a cough, and I jerked my head upward as Azriel grasped my arm, his hazel eyes wide and gaunt—I knew it wasn’t just from blood loss. Because if this was to be it…if this was to be the end…I rallied my power, feeling the magic surge and then splutter in my veins. I was going to be with my family, if this was the end to my impossibly short immortal life. I was going to stand with the dreamers when it came, and when it was over, I would go to that place of darkness where I had hung on to Rhys all those months ago.

And we would find our places in the stars, side by side with all of the dreamers who had lived and died before us. Lived and died and hoped, and were now responding to the wishes—who were now the stars…the stars who listened.

Cassian was there suddenly, a pale-faced Nesta beside him, though she was wearing her mask of steel and fire, her chin raised as she faced the Death that we had all known she would conquer one day—pillage, even. And Elain…sweet Elain, now trembling like a fawn, the flowers in her eyes closing their buds and dropping their petals as she took in the battlefield, the blood, carnage. As she became aware of what she didn’t need Fae senses to know—this was it.

I felt him before I saw him—the lovely darkness that I needed to be seen, the night to my star, now murmuring down the bond, I love you, Feyre Archeron.

It brought tears to my eyes, that voice, those thoughts. The ones that I had not had nearly enough time with, the male who deserved to wake up every day to a smile and friends and love, who had spent fifty years waking up to hate and lies and…

And before I could even turn around, before I could even look at his face one last time, the world gave a final shudder and split itself open.

Rhysand’s POV

I was a single step away from my mate when the world was cleaved in two. Her back was facing me, hair that I had run my hands through too few times tumbled down her shoulders, the Illyrian blade in her hand shining with blood. Unhurt, tired but unhurt, and beautiful. A star amongst candles, my mate.

And I had nearly reached her when it happened.

When the sky snapped in two, and became an open hole of blackness that had no end and no beginning, no stars to speak of, no pinpricks of light. Just a great, sucking mouth, ready to inhale our land, the people I loved.

Not the Cauldron—this was a force far beyond that. Something greater than just Prythian, than Hybern and all of them.

It roared and raged and trembled, and soldiers everywhere fell to their knees, voices hoarse as they shouted and screamed the injustice. Hybern and Prythian alike, nothing mattered, no court lines, no boundaries were strong enough to withstand this—

And then it stopped.

And I felt my body freeze entirely as I watched the mouth—it wasn’t here to eat us, but rather…

To spit something out.

Three somethings.

Three impossibly massive scaled bodies, streaks of armor and death, dipped from the clouds, triangular heads large enough to snap one of the resting boats in half. The claws that equipped each of the creatures’ four feet were not so much talons as they were spears, curved and glittering, as if they yearned to be red-coated once more. Long, barbed tails whipped, air whistling as they shredded clouds and parted the storm itself. But the wings—the wings could have been the curtains of giants.

And I knew then…that Hybern had not created these behemoths. The Cauldron was not responsible for these death-bringers, as it had not been responsible for Amren’s great and terrible power, as it had not been responsible for the Bone Carver, for the Weaver and Bryaxis. They were things that had come before, long, long before. And if they were here to kill us all, they could. They would.

The world would rise and fall to the dragons that emerged from the hole in the sky.

It could have—were it not for their concern for something…for someone else. For a figure that seemed very small as it appeared in his line of sight was clinging to the back of the dragon in the lead—slightly smaller, I realized, than the other two, it was a beast of green, emerald tendrils of flame escaping from its massive jaws. But the dragon twisted through the air, light and elegant, despite the size.

It dodged arrows sent by foolish archers, shredded through a line of shining light sent up by Helion, Illyrians and Peregrynes alike dodging out of its way.

As it cleared a path for the rider atop its back.

Who raised a hand—still too far away for him to see whether it was male or female or…other—and made a gesture. A gesture that sent the other two dragons, one with scales the color of blood and ruby and fire, the other with a hide of the deep blue found in only the purest water, spinning around. Not—not toward the troops of gathered Prythian soldiers, but in the direction of the Hybern ones. The Hybern soldiers raised their spears, their swords, their shields, began to scream to one another, to the dragons and their rider, to the Mother…

None of it made a damn difference as the figure on top of the green dragon said in a projected voice that rattled around the valley, a voice that was made of starlight and moondust and death, “Ignis.”

And the world erupted again as blue and red flame met and crashed into the Hybern army.

I was still having trouble believing it—and I wasn’t the only one. A wordless exclamation flew from Feyre’s lips, and I immediately lunged forward, grabbing her, holding her as the dragons snaked through the air and poured the fire from their jaws.

The stillness did not last for much longer—Hybern’s armies reacted, their own Made beasts screaming and howling in anger and pain as they shot into the sky, claws spread wide, aiming for the necks, the bellies of the dragons—

Red and blue swarmed the sky as the dragons flapped in unison, rising over the battle, their massive wings carrying them high above Hybern’s creatures…and then the wind parted as they tucked in and speared into a straight dive, jaws open—

Blood rained from the sky as the dragons twisted and snapped the Hybern creatures clean in half, muscle and bone snapping with fury and agony as the creatures wailed and shrieked. Their screams were silenced soon enough as the dragons pulled back up, bringing that vengeful fire down upon the army.

And I felt Feyre, my mate in my arms, begin to shake as she cried, the tears streaming down her face. My body shuddered with the need—that desire to take her far, far away from all of this death, to take her to a place of shadows and night where her stars would not only shine, but live…a future made real by those creatures, and their rider.

Cassian and Azriel knew what I was thinking before I could give the order—they lunged back into the crowd, their Illyrian blades gleaming as their Siphons raged…blue and red, I thought just like the dragons.

“Go,” whispered Feyre, her own attention returning to the Cauldron, to the task before her. I looked down at my mate, free and strong in my arms, her eyes a collection of stars that she had gathered and made into a constellation for herself…for us.

I kissed her once, not for long enough, but with enough love to tell her that it would soon be over. The outcome…that remained to be determined, but we both knew that, one way or another, this war would not last forever.  

And for my mate, for my friends and the family that had broadened to include Nesta and Elain and perhaps, one day, Lucien…I thrust myself back into the battle, reaching into the now-depleted reserve of magic that sighed in the bottom of my essence as it fizzled away, and went to look for the rider of a jade-colored dragon—both of whom had somehow, impossibly, disappeared.

And, of course, to kill as many Hybern bastards as I could rip my talons into.

*******

“What,” snarled Helion sometime later as he slammed a beam of vicious light into the face of a Hybern soldier, “the hell was that?” Golden armor gleamed with every thrust and parry the lord made, blood coating his weapon, hands, skin—

I supposed I wasn’t faring much better, my guttural darkness snarling in exhaustion every time I threw out a net of shadows and death. But we still had yet to find the dragon that had disappeared. Or its rider, whose voice…there was still something about it that I could not quite place. Something familiar and yet completely foreign—the last time I had felt like that, I had been grasping onto faded thoughts and images that had been pushed to me from across the stars…a warren of rabbits, an elegant hand, a wardrobe painted with stars and night…

I shook my head at Helion as I drove my own sword through the neck of a Hybern commander, internally cursing the energy that it took to make the blow. “If I knew,” I growled in reply, misting a cluster of soldiers armed with crossbows, “I would have summoned them myself long ago.”

A shout rose above the clamor of the battle, and I cast my power out, desperate to see, to make certain it wasn’t…

Tarquin stood at the top of a small rise, his sword drenched with blood, armor flecked with gore and flesh, a halo of rippling blue light shining around him. And to his side, cloaked in black armor, face hidden by a helm of nightmares and death, was the rider, its green dragon already winging away to join the blue and red, who were now locked in a vicious battle on the ground, their massive limbs twisting with more grace than I would have thought possible for beasts of their size—

The rider didn’t even acknowledge the High Lord of Summer, seemed too busy addressing the battle, armed with two blades shimmering like stars and sunlight. And I wondered about that same familiar tug when the rider spun the swords, gave Tarquin a slight nod, and dove into the carnage.  

But when the Night came, enveloped the rider, turned the field to stars and darkness, it took all I had to keep from kneeling to the ground, dropping there…

Because there was all of one person that kind of power could have come from, one person who would seem so familiar and yet foreign, who would seem trustworthy even from this distance, with this little information…someone I hadn’t imagined I would ever see again.

She was alive.

Astraia was alive.

My sister was alive.

anonymous asked:

High Fantasy Scenario. What if, in the HTTYD Franchise, some humans were dragons. Not literally, but sorta in a Merling Dragonlord, Skyrim Dragonborn, etc sort of a way. Physically they are 100% human, but they have a spiritual/magical connection to dragons, are able to communicate with them, tame them, and control them. That's the set up. Now the question. How do you think Hiccup, Valka, Mala, Drago, and Viggo would 1) respond to being a Dragon Person and 2) Use their gift?

Valka

I’m starting with Valka because her story will feed into what happens for Hiccup. We can suggest that maybe this Dragon Person gift is genetic (I know it’s not in Skyrim, but given as Hiccup is given a lot of Valka’s personality, it might make sense here in this world). 

Valka is born into a culture in which dragons are despised, disliked, hunted, killed. The Hairy Hooligan Vikings would likely be uninformed about what a “Dragon Person” would live like because, in this culture, such a person would be unlikely to be found… or if found… likely to be rejected. They are too busy killing dragons to learn about what this mystical bond is, if indeed they even know it exists. If anyone knows it exists, it is talked about in legend or myth, in whispers, and not commonly mentioned. Likely, Valka doesn’t even know that people like this exist. She certainly doesn’t know the details.

So Valka would stumble into this sort of experience with ignorance.

But one day… Valka realizes that she can understand the dragons her people are fighting. She feels a bond with them, feels their emotions, their motivations. At first she doesn’t understand this strange intuition welling inside of her, and wonders if it is just her over-engaged empathy or imagination. But more and more, this sense inside her cannot be denied, and she must act. Valka starts to defend the dragons, arguing that they must be gentle creatures that are not the enemies the Hooligans make them out to be. Because the Hairy Hooligans have so little understanding of what it is to be a Dragon Person, she has no good way to express what she’s feeling, and no one has enough intuition to realize what is happening with her.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the day it fully clicks in Valka’s head that she has a magical connection with dragons… is the day that she and Cloudjumper stare eye-to-eye. She is now in close contact with a dragon in a way she has never experienced before. At this point, their connection is tangible, undeniable, potent, extraordinary. Valka fully realizes that dragons are indeed gentle creatures who do not wish for war.

I believe Valka would use her gift exactly as we see her act in the canon films. Valka is able to interact closely with dragons in the movies, albeit she does not have a magical connection. But with the magical connection, she will still wish to intermingle with dragons, live with them, and take up their cause. The fact that she can connect with them so closely will be all the more reason why she wants to defend them against cruel warlords like Drago. Valka will not need to use a staff to direct dragons, but using her control as a Dragon Person, will still be able to do the same impressive feats. She will be able to communicate with the alpha, dance on the backs of dragon swarms, and fly with Cloudjumper as though they are one. She truly will become a “dragon lady.”

Hiccup

Hiccup ends up taking after his mother, receiving the same genes that make him a Dragon Person, as well. He doesn’t realize this is in him until he meets Toothless in the woods. He holds up a knife to kill Toothless, but then looks into the dragon’s eyes. Hiccup sees himself in Toothless… and starts to feel strange things… feeling what he later realizes is that magical connection that bonds him with this species.

Hiccup is so disconcerted by the weird feeling when he meets Toothless that he sets the dragon free from bondage. But he has questions he needs to answer. He returns to watch Toothless in the cove, spending increasing amounts of time with the dragon as he starts to realize what his abilities are. Hiccup figures out what is going on, and at the same time, he and Toothless start to become friends. This bond is what helps Hiccup and Toothless connect, what helps Hiccup fly Toothless, and what helps Hiccup become so successful at Dragon Training. It is, of course, also the reason why Hiccup turns from wanting to kill dragons… to wanting to save them.

Hiccup announcing he can feel dragons is not going to go over well with Stoick. Stoick will be frightened; this boy sounds exactly like his mother, and look what happened to Valka! She disappeared!

But we know that, in the end, Hiccup manages to convince Berk that dragons are good creatures.

Hiccup would use his powers again exactly as he does in canon film: to create a peaceful utopia between humans and dragons, and to train the people around him to respect and understand the creatures.

Mala

Unlike Valka and Hiccup, I imagine that Mala’ culture would be intimately knowledgeable in what it means to be a “Dragon Person.” These people are revered and held in high esteem because they have a close connection to dragons. Mala’s people revere dragons, so it would only make sense that someone with a magical connection to dragons would be help in extraordinarily high regard. Since the dragons are revered through a religious lens on her island, it is likely the case that a Dragon Person would be considered somewhat mystically, a person blessed by higher powers, or a spiritual leader like a priestess.

Mala would feel overwhelmed and blessed to be bestowed this gift. She would take her ability to commune with dragons in utmost seriousness. Mala’s ability is one reason why the people of her island pay her so much respect and listen so closely to her authoritative word.

I believe Mala would use her gifts to protect and sustain her island. She would interact the most closely with the Eruptodon, making sure that this great god of the island will keep the ecosystem steady. Since the Defenders of the Wing refuse to ride dragons, it might also be the case that Dragon Persons refuse to control dragons. They will interact and communicate with dragons, but they will coerce the dragons into nothing; that would go against their sacred respect for the species.

Drago

I imagine that Drago keeps his gift a secret. He makes himself out to be a legend who can seemingly control dragons for no explicable reason. Drago uses this to create a mystical sense about himself, leading to greater intimidation, greater rumors, and greater chance of conquest. It is terrifying to hear about a man who can control dragons and conquer the world with them.

Drago finds other Dragon Persons threats. He alone must control the dragons, and indeed he will use his power to coerce the dragons to his will. He believes that other people who have magical connections to dragons are a threat to his growing empire. They could divert the dragons away from him; he could lose his absolute control; he could not control the armies which keep him in power. Therefore, other Dragon Persons must be eliminated.

Hence, why he is so adamant to find and kill Valka.

And hence, when he hears about Hiccup… Hiccup must go.

Drago doesn’t care about the emotional connection with dragons and tries to tune it out. To him, what matters is that he can force them to do his bidding so that he can gain greater power.

Xanxus:
His enormous paws were kneading almost, stretched over your lap while the massive cat seemed loving, rolling over like a kitten at play while you only stared and laughed at its precious behaviour that Xanxus seldom saw when he sat near Bester.

But you swore he was the most cuddly lap cat- his yawning muzzle too cute to not stroke with a gentle touch that smoothed over the liger’s fur in a swat of his long tail just adding to Bester’s cuteness and his paw reached to bat at your petting fingers.

“Come look at this!” You called out to your lover, the large cat licking his teeth in a a noise you could call a purr as your rubbed at his belly playfully and cooed over him the way his owner never did. “Xanxus!”

“What?” He thundered into the den then, eyeing suspiciously at the cat swinging its body over toward him in a stretch as though he’d never been cuddling up to you or nibbling at your hair in soft licks. But Xanxus still caught the moments before where his powerful box weapon was merely snuggling against your legs and allowing you to coddle him like a kitten. “What the hell are you doing to my box weapon?”

“Me? He’s adorable- he started it!” You piped up as Bester strode next to Xanxus and sat proudly like he did when guarding his master obediently and calmly- and without licking him to death you added in your head when you recalled the nights when the large lion would appear at your side and give you an ear-full of his rough tongue when you never saw it coming. “Your ball of rage is a cuddly fur-ball, dear.”

He twitched. “Don’t ruin my weapon-”

“Aw, but he’s too cute.”


Superbi Squalo:
You swam at night, bathed in dark water, hair slicked back to soaked skin rising just shoulders and neck out of cool water shining all around you when watching the silver above filter out the scenes below.

What lurked underneath didn’t frighten you, your body navigating through currents so calm and with ease as a fin jutted out nearby with the jets of water foaming out around the sleek body of grey that swam swiftly by and left you bouncing in the waves you enjoyed to swim among.

“Alo.” You spoke when letting the water carry you on your back, the lick of cold waves touching your ears and cheeks while the rising level made you feel the brilliant shark’s presence below your form just lying above his watchful eyes since your boyfriend’s box weapon did everything it could to keep you from leaving its sight. 

“Come here, boy.” You said again, staring around for the faint blue glow under deep water catching around your body just as what you saw was the shadow under your kicking legs of a sea creature as brutal as powerful teeth and thrashing fins- its eyes bulging yet meaning no harm when his head rose above the surface and met your touch streaking along rough skin that comforted you to know that you weren’t swimming out here alone again. You weren’t about to be forgotten as long as Alo was there watching over you in Squalo’s place who still occasionally glanced through his window to see you enjoying the water and letting the shark guide you through with a hold on his fin. 

“You should get inside- it’s getting cold!” Squalo called out from the stone building, eyes chasing the box weapon that led you nearer to the pier while you smiled against its body and felt the shark nudge you off its hefty body in the haze of blue light that would even lead you back home through the dark.


Belphegor:
“He’s burrowing in my shirt!” You cried out, watching Bel laugh when the small mink dug his way under the hem of your outer shirt and nestled in your warmth attractively with a swishing tail still peeking out from under the bunched fabric hiding his tiny face hidden by the smallest bangs you could coo over. “He tickles-”

“Mink likes you, huh.” Bel poked at the form of his box weapon through your shirt, watching the little creature scurry to cling to you more when he got closer and Mink hurried to your neck then, popping his body out of your clothes in a rush when speeding to wind itself around your neck warmly and away from his master playfully in a tiny laugh. 

“He doesn’t bite, right?” You giggled, feeling the fluffy tail slink around your chin sweetly as its head rested near your cheek lightly under your boyfriend’s watch. 

“Not as hard as I do.” Belphegor responded flirtatiously when his hand reached to stroke by your chin, pretending as though he were skirting across your skin to get to his pet curling around your shoulders when he was merely catching a glimpse of what it was like to see you shudder and tense up at his pleasing touch that made Mink perch further back where you lie, letting his master lean in for a kiss before nuzzling at your hair and being just as playful as his owner.

“What? Did you teach your mink to be your little wingman?” You teased as your boyfriend shrugged, looking to his furry friend who seemed to grin back at him deviously with agreement. “Clever- using a cute animal to hit on me.”

“It’s working then?” He retorted slyly as you couldn’t object that having this tiny mink’s paws pressing to your cheek was just too cute and worth every second of having Bel climb over you. “Because I can try something else.”

“Down, Bel.”


Dino Cavallone:
The prance of heavy hooves made you nervous, watching the horse shake its head of fiery mane with a soft snort of impatience when seeing what lie in your palm but too far for its snout to stick out and taste the vegetable you held away yet with slight fear.

You weren’t too close to horses yourself, having never touched one, been even near one until now when it gave a light stomp and shook its larger head again while Dino took his own hand and laid it upon his pet’s neck gently in a laugh.

“Scuderia is just hungry- you’re all right.” He assured, patting your back gently when seeing you sigh with worry over holding out your hand for the larger animal to feed right out of your shaky palm that Dino supported carefully just to let the sky horse take a bite out of the carrot you held since he could feed, but didn’t require it. He merely enjoyed having his owner coo over him- letting Dino rub his snout preciously with a lowering of his head that longed to nuzzle close o yours as well when you dared get close enough for Scuderia to nudge at your hair lightly to make you gasp.

“See? Look at that- he’s telling you to pet him.” Your boyfriend laughed, petting the horse’s face lovingly when suddenly helping you up along the fence as well, holding you up fearlessly close to the fence-line where Scuderia dared get so close, nuzzling your cheek with a wet nose to hear you laugh and struggle against Dino refusing to let you down yet before reaching out to stroke down the horse’s nose carefully to avoid fire that you were uncertain of yet. “He wouldn’t hurt you. I promise.”

“No, but no horse I’ve ever seen is practically on fire either- that’s something to worry about at first.” You taunted when your boyfriend eased you back down onto solid earth and let you take to his hand again as you always did, kissing your lips when the horse leaned his head further over the gate and pushed at Dino’s head to gain more attention. 

“And this horse is an attention hog too.”


Byakuran:
You never saw them at the same time, but you knew they both felt the same way. A white dragon coiling around you with Byakuran nearby as though it were a guardian angel, its roars soft yet immensely warning your ears that its power was a song- bellowing out to enemies that the one they protected was never to be provoked nor attacked lest they wish for death.

And the black dragon became a swarm. Swimming about your form under brush and trees while escaping he things that threatened you without your own wings to run away even when Byakuran had to be close to allow these beautiful beasts to save you.

Their whiskers tickled you shoulders and face wrapping over you like a scarf hanging loose from your body that Byakuran adored so carefully that his box weapons served your kind voice, your unbruised skin loving the way their seemingly feathered bodies felt like that of an angel’s when slowly warming your skin. 

“You should name them.” You explained to your lover, sitting with black dragons fluttering around your body nestled in sheets that they wound over like twisting snakes so ready to haunt your peaceful dreams like lap cats nuzzling your skin through the night and keeping one eye open. “They deserve at least that much.”

“You can call them anything.” Byakuran laughed, his head tilting when watching your hand reach out to one dragon, touching its underbelly before watching it streak by in a blur of black that amused you with wondrous eyes. “They’ll love you for anything you say or do.”

“Why?” You dared ask, leaning back to rest while your boyfriend’s fingers took yours under the blanket, stroking over your knuckle perfectly with a cool touch that sparked your desires. 

“Because they just love being obedient when I tell them to be.”

hardest fight in DA2: that freaking fight where you have to beat Ser Varnell and a mob of people. x___X That’s the one where I consistently party wipe at least once (on CASUAL) before I do it the ‘LET’S DEFINITELY USE THIS PAUSE BUTTON A LOT AND DEPLETE JAY’S MANA IN FIFTEEN SECONDS’ way. xD Forget Corypheus or the Arishok or Meredith and the bloody statues or that Orlesian dude, or the Bone Pit dragon, it’s this freaking swarm of people wearing no armor and some dingy knives and bows that gets me every. freaking. time. xD

Incidentally I love the pause button. I miss it in DA:I where it never feels like it’s necessary or intuitive or very useful in general. But maybe that’s the casual difficulty speaking again, idk.

Impossible Meeting

@thejessicamoore

It had been nearly a month since Charlie visited the bunker, and she figured she was due for a break anyway. Ever since returning from Oz, Dean and Sam had a lot more confidence in her taking solo cases. Especially after she told them about the things she’d done in Oz. After riding a dragon and battling a swarm of flying monkeys, taking on a crossroads demon is nothing.

“What’s up, bitches? Your favourite hacker is back.” She announced, casually strolling down the staircase and dropping her bag on the map table. When she didn’t get a response, she began the search of the bunker. It was a pretty big place, and sound didn’t carry very well. Charlie hadn’t seen Dean’s car outside, but that didn’t mean they weren’t here. Sometimes he parked in the garage. “Guys? Anyone home? I’m going to raid your fridge if you don’t come out and stop me.”