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To Ta[M]e a Dragon

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Offline PendragonXeno94

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The town seemed adequate enough. Even if it was a bit dull compared to what he was used to. Nevertheless, the man strolled through the town gate and paid no mind to the guards. He was looking for work, after all. His cloak concealed his visage and he seemingly had his nose in the air as he passed the barracks. Those who were thrown were simpletons for not covering their tracks or weren't too careful in their getaway. Of course, it wasn't as though he had been in a jail cell recently, though the guards were more than happy to look the other way when he flashed some gold in their faces... or rather, whatever gold he had left.

Now that there were talks of a rebel uprising due to the king's less than agreeable reign, he took the time to just go town hopping in hopes of finding the next payoff that would have him set for another few months. Sadly, he had barely making enough to have a room for the night and whatever coin remained he had to hold onto as much as it pained him, especially seeing all the beautiful barmaids running around tending to the rest of the patrons. Still, he hoped that he would make more here than he did in the city. Pig farming was no job for someone of his stature despite it being not very well regarded. Thankfully, there were no pigs in sight and the stacks of lumber looked promising.

Huffing to himself, he walked to the first house after the gate, ignoring all that stared at him. He hoped that someone would know where he could find the owner of the wood mill so he could put some coin in his pocket. There was a glimmer in his eye when he spotted a forge off to the side of the house. "Hello?" he called. "I was hoping to know where I could find the lumber mill's owner so I can speak to him for work. I just came into town and wondered if you would know." At least if whoever owned the forge didn't know of the man's whereabouts that he could be pointed to who would know... assuming the lumber mill was owned by a man.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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There was the cacophonous sound of a metal pile collapsing followed by a multitude of swear words. Funnily enough, the voice heard was feminine in nature. Ordinarily, this was a man's job, requiring quite a bit of strength and stamina to withstand the heat of the forge and to continuously swing a hammer with enough strength to shape the metal. But, alas, a woman emerged from the darkness further within the blacksmith's workshop.

There was no mistaking her for a woman, however she rivaled some of the tallest men in height. Her fair skin was splattered with freckles and smeared with soot and sweat, her blonde hair swept back into a tight bun, her blue grey eyes as sharp and focused as the blades she shaped.

"Yes, what is it?" Her voice was still musical, if a little harsh currently, as if he had interrupted something.

Seeing the stranger, Wren the Blacksmith smirked slightly at his stature.

"You want to work for the lumber yard? You? I don't think you'd be able to lift even a cord of wood. Anyway, I know the owner has no money to hire help. If, however, you wish to earn a place to stay, you may work with me." Wiping her hand on her leather apron, Wren offered her hand before a small wooden cane struck it down.

"No! Not him," came the weak and feeble voice of an old woman. She was much smaller than Wren, and bent over. Her hair was grey, though hidden mostly under a hood, but her kinship to Wren was unmistakable. Those blue-grey eyes shone with the light of a much younger woman. Her frown, however, made her a hag.

"Mother, enough. I need the help for..." For what, Wren seemed unwilling to say. "Go inside, old woman, and let me work."

Grumbling, the woman seemed to give the stranger the evil eye as she shuffled away into the darkened doorway of the connected workshop.

Huffing, Wren once again offered her hand. "I am Wren, if you are want to know. And you would be?"


Offline PendragonXeno94

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Hearing a slew of swear words coming from the forge, the man approached the blacksmith who, ironically enough, was a woman. A beautiful one at that, given his not so subtle once over. Despite her being taller than him, he simply smiled. He continued in almost a teasing tone. "Yes me. You wouldn't know if I could. Besides-" Pausing, he gave her a curt nod when she said the lumber yard's owner wasn't hiring, but he could work with her instead.

He was about to take her offered hand when a feeble, hobbling hag struck the woman with her cane. And he certainly didn't appreciate the evil eye he was given. But he paid her no mind as he finally took the offered hand. "Beleg Auriel. Pleased to meet you, m'lady." Without fretting over how dirty her hand was, he gently brushed his lips over the top of her hand. "I must say, it takes a strong woman like yourself to work a forge like this. I can't wait to see what beautiful craftsmanship comes out of this workshop." He knew he couldn't help himself, he'd throw himself onto the queen if he could.

With that, he unclasped his cloak and placed it where it would catch fire or collect any soot. His sort, dark blue hair was pinned behind his light gray Elvish ears. The patches of his light blue scales on his cheeks nearly glinted in every which way he turned his head. His body wasn't the most athletic, but he wasn't exactly the most lithe, either. "Well, then. Point the way and let's get started." Hopefully, he could collect his pay and head off by the next morning's light. "How long have you been doing this? What made you want to?" There was no point in going about the day without a flow of words going between them. Besides, it gave him a chance to possibly make her melt and want to share her bed with him. One could only hope, even if she looked like she could snap him in two.

Magenta eyes regarded Wren as he walked behind her, quietly getting an eyeful of her.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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Wren noticed the not so subtle look that Beleg had given her, but paid it no mind. She was surprised, however, when he called her a lady and kissed the back of her hand instead of shaking it. The men in this area didn't so much as even glance at Wren as if she were a woman. Many had told her, growing up, that she was a giant, that no man would ever want her for fear of them being broken. Here, she was viewed as a she-beast. Given a wide berth and regarded as dangerous. Wren had come to accept this reality, recognizing her unusually large height and muscular stature.


Though, despite those muscles, from behind,when her apron no longer hid her figure, she, indeed, did have a woman's shape. Her shoulders were wide, but not so wide as her hips, and the curvature of her spine would lead one to believe that despite her muscles, she still had a narrow waist. It seemed that she, unlike many blacksmiths, did not eat with reckless abandon when the day was through.


"Nails, Beleg. Nails are what leave this forge. And horseshoes. Not as many of those anymore, since many had to sell their horses for the King's tax, but we make nails, and hinges and locks. And..."


Wren's sentence stopped when she looked at her newly hired hand. A dragonkin? Or...? It was odd to see someone of a mythical persuasion in these parts, and even rarer to see one of his kind. It was then that Wren lunged forward, grabbed his arm and pulled him into the dark recesses of the workshop before releasing him.


"Are you stupid? Uncovering yourself in this town in the middle of the day? What if soldiers saw you?" Wren had no problem with those of the mythical persuasion, however the King had declared them heretics, and if soldiers found them, they would be jailed or executed. This town tended to be a little more loyal to the king than most, if out of fear than anything else.


Sighing, Wren turned and ran a calloused hand down her face as she turned away for a moment. He was quite handsome to her, but it meant he was a distraction. But he was also dangerous to have around in an already dangerous situation. Bending down and picking up a large bundle of what appeared to be swords, she leaned them against the wall before turning back to Beleg. "I won't turn away help. In fact, I have a job you can help me with, but it isn't until after the sun has set. Can you handle yourself in a fight? I hope so. It may be nothing, but I'm not sure... So rest while you can."


Turning and setting to work, Wren sat at the grinding wheel and began moving the pedals, causing the stone to spin. She pulled a long, ornate blade out and began sharpening it.


"Ive been doing this for 12 years. After my pa died. This was his forge and he had me on as an apprentice before he was killed." There had been a scuffle in front of the forge with an unruly stranger and some guards. Wren's father had tried to calm tempers and intervene, only to have a knife lodged into his back for his efforts. The guards assured her and her mother that it had been the stranger. No one really knew.


"And you? What do you do, aside from wander? And flirt with the cute little maidens? Yes, I saw you from down the street."


Offline PendragonXeno94

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Beleg gave her a perplexed look. "Just nails? Well..." He still had a hand on his cloak when Wren lunged forward and pulled into the workshop, but he managed to grip the end of his cloak when she did. "Be gentle with me, we just met!" he exclaimed. Once he had been scolded, he set himself down and grinned at her as she worked to pick up swords. "Ohh, those are some pretty big and sharp nails," he quietly teased. But he stopped when she asked if he could fight.

"Of course I can. I've had some jobs here and there as a mercenary, but I have an arsenal of spells I prefer to use." What an odd question! Perhaps she didn't think he could due to his appearance. Her next words had him wince a little. Well, that put a damper on his plans. Letting her work, he listened as she told him that she learned from her father and that she took over the forge when he was killed. "I see..."

Her next query took him aback. "How did...?" There was a tavern just outside, after all. Clearing his throat, he continued, sounding more confident. "I tame dragons. I try to save any I find. But sadly, I haven't come across any in a few years. But I do enjoy finding odd jobs while I'm looking for one. But the maidens are a nice distraction too. They can't get enough of me. Why, the potion vendor in the next town over was practically leaping at the chance to-"
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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"They are indeed just very big and sharp nails..." Her tone implied that she was perhaps not doing something entirely illegal with her time at the forge. Her father had taught her a range of forging techniques and different crafts to finish off a variety of projects, so swords, nails, jewelry and even other types of weapons lined the shelf of the workshop though they were covered in dust. Save for one ring. A candle was lit beside it and the flame glimmered warmly off of the gold band and made the gem imbedded to dazzle brightly. It seemed she knew her craft well.

Hearing his silence, she hadn't meant to dampen the mood. He asked, and she told. But upon him hearing about his work, her eyebrows rose. "Dragons? There haven't been any in this part for decades. Beleg, I believe you are in the wrong area." But still, she needed help and her mother would not do.

"Ah! No need!" She stopped him before he could continue about the potion vendor. Rolling her eyes, she wondered if he thought she would fall so easily for him. Sure, she found his appearance appealing, if he was a little small, but she hardly knew the man and so far, his ideas of women annoyed her.


There was idle chatter between the two as the hours toiled on, Wren never stopping with the grinding of swords, adding them to a second pile nearby. It looked as if she were finishing a who garrison's worth of swords! Finally, as night covered the street in darkness, and a storm she knew was coming started to roll in, she nodded to Beleg. "Time to work."


Offline PendragonXeno94

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Chuckling to himself, Beleg took the time to look around the workshop before a ring caught his eye. The glimmer that bounced off the gem had him inch toward it before stopping himself. Perhaps later he could slip it in his pocket... and consider it his payment. For now, he noted at how Wren rolled her eyes after she stopped him from continuing about the potion vendor. "Well, that's my fatal flaw. I can't help myself around a pretty lady." But the idle chatter was nice, though he wished she wouldn't be grinding so many swords.

When night finally arrived, he sighed to himself and slipped his cloak over his shoulders. "Lead the way." Though, while she wasn't looking, he placed the ring on one finger and conjured a string to tie around his neck for the ring. Hiding it under his tunic, he put the hood over his head, making sure he stood in front of the candle so she wouldn't be the wiser. "You know, earlier you told me I was in the wrong area. I don't believe that. I saw a dragon flying overhead on my way here. All the guards ran off while trying not to wet themselves." He scoffed at the thought. "They're excellent conversationalists if you get the chance to speak to them."

He frowned to himself. "So... what exactly are we doing?"
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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She had given him a small hmph when he mentioned that he couldn't help himself around a pretty lady. She assumed that meant he did not find her pretty. Like all the other men. Not letting it get to her, however, she resumed her chatter with him and carried on as if his statement had not hurt.

"It must have been quiet. I've been inside for the last couple of days and never saw it." As she spoke, she gathered the first bundle of swords and wrapped them in cloth before securing them with two leather ties, and then did the same for the second. She was quick with her prep work and then sized Beleg up, hoping he was a lot stronger than she was giving him credit for.

"It's a delivery. To a strange place, but I cannot carry both of these by myself. You're to carry one and follow me. I will pay you upon our return. It shouldn't take too long, but with the storm, it will be difficult. And be prepared for... ambush." It was then that Wren slipped off her leather apron and tied on a belt, slipping quite a wide, but short sword into the belt. It looked unpolished, but still appeared to be very sharp. She then whipped a cloak around her shoulders and covered her head with the hood. The shadows that the fires of the forge cast made her seem eerie, yet beautiful, as if she had donned the cloak of a barbaric warrior queen.

Lashing one more long leather tie to each of the two bundles, she slipped her arm under one and proceeded towards the muddy street.


Offline PendragonXeno94

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Beleg watched carefully. He was sure he could carry a bundle of swords. As he watched Wren put her cloak on, the forge's fire made her look eerily beautiful. He, himself, already had his cloak on and brought forth a short sword out of thin air. "I'm glad to know a beautiful, strong woman will protect me should I fall behind," he said, picking up the other bundle of blades once he tied his own around his waist. He stumbled a little from the weight, but he painted a smile on his face and followed her out.

"So how far are we heading out?" he asked her. The storm looming over them wasn't the most welcoming sight, but he knew it shouldn't be here for long. Deciding it would be foolish to ask about a possible ambush, he hummed to himself as he struggled with the weight of the goods he carried. "Who's getting these, if I may ask?" He thought of how gracefully she moved her hands as she was sitting at the grinding stone.

"You know... I'd love to see what else you can do with those hands of yours. If you're that skilled with sharpening blades..."
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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"Then I suggest you don't fall behind." Her curt behavior was less about her irritation at his obvious flirting and more about her nervousness. If there was an ambush and they were captured, it would be treason. If they didn't fight and die, then they would die at the hands of a headsman. Besides, if he was looking for a beautiful woman, Wren did not know where one could be found in the immediate vicinity.

"Not too much further. The storm should be easing up once we get back" Waiting to answer his question as they passed into the nearby tree line, hearing the first fat drops of rain hit the leaves above them, she barely spoke above a whisper, telling him, "Men and women tired of being yoked and beaten under a tyrant king." In short, the rebels. They came from all walks of life, though nobles were much more careful and elusive than the common folk. Wren knew, however, that there were the mystical few thrown into the mix, tired of the persecution they faced.


Raising an eyebrow at him as she looked back, she wondered if those beautiful magenta eyes could see her expression when he asked her about what her hands could do. There were many responses she could have given, among those being something about cleaning animals for a stew. She figured it would be too literal and gruesome for him.


"I can pick a man up and strangle him for being too flirtatious." While it might have put Beleg off a bit, it caused a small smile to be brought to her lips. It was nice to be flirted with, but he was someone who appeared to flirt with anything that had breasts. Indeed, she had them to match the stature of her body, but she reserved the delight of seeing and touching them for a man who would be her husband. Mer mind wandered to the ring that Beleg currently had against his chest.


"Why do you flirt so much anyway? I have gotten earfuls of the joy carnal pleasure brings someone, but does it not break the girls' hearts? Do you enjoy hurting others?" It was a loaded question perhaps, but she had not been ignorant of his advances, and she would not be hurt by someone who would simply leave in a day or two.


Offline PendragonXeno94

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"Oh, Wren," said Beleg as he walked behind her. "I can't remember the last time someone told me that." As he stayed close to her, he heard the first few raindrops falling overhead and he heard her whisper to him about who was to receive the blades. "Ohh... I'm not overly fond of the king, either." He heard distant thunder rumbling and he turned his head in its direction.

Once he found her gaze once more, he paused and looked at her when she said she could strangle a man for flirting too much. "I see... But we both know you wouldn't do that to me." She must liked being flirted with as she acted like she hardly ever had that happen to her. When asked about why he flirted, he shrugged. "It doesn't break the girls' hearts. The ones that don't want that simply ignore me. The ones that do know that there's no commitment involved. "Why? Did you want to see if what you've been told is true?"

He glanced ahead to see how much further it was to where they were going. "I would be very gentle, too."
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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Thankfully, Beleg hadn't taken her statement too seriously. She had little doubt that she could lift him by his shoulders, but probably not single handed. Not that she would try. Wren wasn't a particularly violent woman. Sure, she knew how to use the weapons she forged, but she had only rare occasions when she needed to use the skills.

"No. I suppose I wouldn't. It'd be too much work to bury a body." Making morbid jokes and appearing tough and scary was a good defense for her. It wasn't unheard of for unmarried women to go missing because the king needed 'entertainers'. By being tough and scary and forgoing traditional beauty appearances, it meant that Wren was undesirable. If anything, it would be her work as a blacksmith that would get her stolen away.

"Beleg, I barely know you from any other stranger entering town. Why would I want to invite a stranger into my bed? I've no interest in trysts. If there is a man out there willing to marry me, then perhaps, but you aren't interested in commitment..." It was perhaps the most seriously she had spoken about herself, but it was the truth and she did not want to give Beleg the wrong impression.


"My father wanted more for me. I intend to honor him..." If she could. If not in marriage, then in doing the right thing for the people. As it was, they were coming up to the drop off point for the swords. "Here," she said as she dropped her bundle, shoving it under a small thicket of thorns. "Put yours just over there," gesturing to another small thicket. "They'll be by to pick them up later. Better this way."


Offline PendragonXeno94

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Snorting in amusement, Beleg followed before she told him she would only lie in bed with a man who would marry her. He gave her a small smile and a nod. "That's very noble of you, and there's nothing wrong with that." He wasn't looking to settle down any time soon, but it still something to keep in mind when the years start to catch up to him. "I knew of some people who wanted me to have a quiet life, but I don't know how I would feel about that."

As they approached the drop off point, he walked to the small thicket and dropped the his bundle, relieved to finally put them down. "Right. I was hoping to see if anyone would show out." He began to grin from ear to ear. "Not the guards, of course. I can't afford to be thrown back in jail." Looking in the direction they had to go in order to return to the forge, the thunder boomed again in the distance. The raindrops began to fall and he gripped the hood around his face. "Let's hurry back before I'm soaked."

He didn't bother to wait for her as he began to walk of toward the way they came in.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline D.R.Chevalier

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Standing after he had started to walk off, Wren was quiet, trying to listen to the woods around them, in case there were people hiding in the shadows. It was hard to listen because of the falling rain, but everything seemed okay. Following a small distance behind him, Wren attempted to calm her nerves by humming a quiet song. Sighing towards the end of it, she let her eyes wander to Beleg. His cloak hid much of his figure, to her disappointment, so she was unable to appreciate him as much as he had appreciated her figure earlier in the day.

About half-way back to the forge workshop, the heavens opened up on them and soaked Wren to the bone despite her heavy cloak. This was why she was willing to pay quite a bit of gold to have someone help her. The rain would be uncomfortable, the packages were heavy and the trip was somewhat dangerous. And now she could barely hear a sound aside from the rain and thunder. In addition to everything, she had lost sight of Beleg, what with his dark cloak against the darkness of the woods.

"Blast it," she muttered under her breath, and as she was about to call out quietly for him, she felt the sharp sting of metal against her throat. Stilling, she saw men in leather guard's armor approach, one coming to face her with a smirk.

"Now what would the she-beast blacksmith be doing in the woods, in the middle of a storm, at night I wonder." Reaching down, the man grabbed the sword in her belt and relieved her of it. "You'll be needed for questioning. Please, mistress, if you can be called so, come with us. No worries. Your room will be warm for the night."

Before she had a moment to respond, she felt the sharp blow of metal against the back of her head, and the world went black.

--

When she woke, her arms were shackled above her and she could feel a cold stone wall against her shoulders. There was a sharp pain against her cheek as someone in front of her slapped her.

"I said, where are the rebels!"

"What?" Her voice was much weaker, and cracked for want of water.

Another hit, and this time she tasted blood.

This treatment carried on for hours, until just around sunrise. Wren was hanging limply from the shackles against the wall, her blonde bun having come undone a long time ago, and now obscuring her face.


Offline PendragonXeno94

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Beleg was a bit ahead of Wren when he thought he heard someone behind him as the rain soaked him to the bone. "Wren? You caught up alre-" He felt the tip of a blade touch his back and a large man stepped in front of him.

"Well, ain't every day we get a dragonkin walkin' around here," the guard sneered. "You know what we do to your kind?"

Beleg stroked his chin. "You don't suppose you'll give me a place to stay, do you?"

"Oh, we'll give you a place to stay."

Just as he was opening his mouth, a blow to the head turned his world black.

-

Rubbing his eyes, Beleg brought himself to his feet before looking in the cell next to him. "Wren?" he called, concern lacing his voice "Gods above! What did they do to you?"

"Don't concern yourself, heretic," the guard said, leaning back in his seat. "She'll be given a traitor's death."

"No, you made a mistake! She was just going out for a stroll and-"

The guard rolled his eyes. "Don't waste your breath. You'll be sharing the same fate soon enough." He glanced up when the captain warned him about a dragon being spotted nearby as Beleg quickly turned his back to them.

"Gentlemen," called Beleg, quickly casting an illusion spell on himself to make his scales disappear. "I believe you made a terrible mistake."

"What?" the guard asked.

Gesturing to his face, Beleg continued. "Captain, do I look like a dragonkin to you?"

The captain made his way over and studied his face. "No... why...?"

"Well, my lady friend and I were just strolling around after we had a tumble." He rested his chin on the bars. "And your fellows thought she was aiding the rebels when she would do no such thing. And look how she's been treated for something she never did!"

"But he-" The guard was cut off before the keys were taken from him.

"Are you sure?" the captain asked. "I only knew what I was told by my guards."

Beleg nodded.

Sighing, the captain unlocked the door, turning to unlock Wren's door and help her out of her shackles. "I am so sorry about that. My men and I have been on edge with all this talk of an uprising. I was told that you were suspected of treason."
The dragon becomes me...