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Thread: [M] Of Dragons and Buccaneers [Ashen & cwlee]

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    Default [M] Of Dragons and Buccaneers [Ashen & cwlee]

    [The following roleplay is rated [M] for Mature and may contain adult themes. Reader discretion is advised.]

    A raging storm in the pit of his stomach woke him like a bad omen. Kinta sat up in his cot with his hands around his middle, willing his pain away. The forest beyond his small cave looked normal, and the weather was calm and warm, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen.

    After waiting several minutes for the pain to subside enough for him to walk, Kinta hopped off his cot and motioned towards his companion. When the creature did not follow him, Kinta spared a glance at the sleeping dragon. Anyo was curled on top of a pile of damp leaves. His eggshell-colored scales reflected the few strays of sunlight that made it into their cave, and the scarred gaps between the iridescent patches looked as painful as they had when Kinta had found him. When Kinta walked over to poke the dragon on his wide nose, Anyo huffed and finally got to his feet.

    Blind, pale green eyes blinked back at Kinta. Anyo was a small thing, only reaching the boy’s waist, but he contained the sass of someone twice his side. He turned his snout up at Kinta, but the boy only laughed at his dragon’s irritation. “Yes yes,” Kinta said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “We wake early today. But that does mean early breakfast, does it not?” That got the dragon’s attention. Anyo lifted his head, and though he still scowled, he followed Kinta. His long, scaled tail swished excitedly behind him, leaving a trail in the soft dirt of the cave.

    Kinta knew they had to eat. His stomachache warned against it, but his dragon would not be happy if they skipped another meal. The thing was useless at gathering his own food, blind and feeble as he was, and normally, Kinta didn’t mind caring for him. He had gotten good at hunting, and he liked feeling useful. But today, Kinta wanted nothing more than to stay in his cave and let this awful feeling pass. With a long sigh, he grabbed the spear by the entrance of the cave and headed into the forest.

    It didn’t take long for Kinta to find a rabbit to kill and carry it to the beach. The pale sand was hot even through his sandals, but the sparkling sea made for a better view than his cave. He hummed to himself while he skinned their meal, and Anyo chirped along happily beside him. Their catch was a small thing, but it was big enough for a boy and his dragon, and there was a calming sense of normalcy that came with the monotony of preparing breakfast. Kinta almost entirely forgot about the bad feeling he’d woken up with.

    Until he looked up. Through the smoke of the cooking rabbit, on the distant horizon, Kinta could see a huge moving house approaching his island. It was a large wooden structure with colored flags billowing in the wind and spires touching the heavens. This thing was so unlike anything Kinta had ever seen that he dropped the rabbit onto the sand to get up and walk towards the water’s edge for a better look. The house was extraordinary, and Kinta could spot windows on its side housing… Were those weapons? Amazement quickly fizzled to dread, and Kinta realized he had seen something like this before. This ship looked a lot like the one that had docked on his island five years ago, bringing men with swords and handheld cannons and the intentions to massacre his people.

    Kinta’s breath hitched. He rushed back to the breakfast fire to snuff out the flame and curse the conspicuous smoke. Anyo had been eating the abandoned, half-cooked meat, but Kinta scooped the dragon into his arms. Anyo was vocal about his distaste for the interruption, but after Kinta shushed him, he seemed to realize how dire the situation was, and he quieted. His blind eyes scanned the island and his nostrils flared, in search of what had his master so spooked.

    The boy ran with his dragon away from the shore and to some nearby tall grass, where he set Anyo down and crawled onto his elbows. His skin would blend in with the warm hues of the dirt, and his matted hair would be indistinguishable from the dead leaves and grasses around him. His dragon, however, stood out brightly against the browns and greens of the earth. “Anyo, to me,” Kinta called, and as the dragon obeyed, Kinta wrapped his arms around his dragon and held him to his chest. His heart thundered as possibilities whirred in his mind. Had the pirates come back for him? How could he escape genocide a second time? Terrified, curious, Kinta’s eyes watched the rise and fall of waves that brought another ship to his shore.
    Thanks to Craze for the beautiful Bravely set!

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    A raging storm had the whole crew up and about. With five neon red lightbulbs out of the twelve glowing dimly, the nixie tubes indicated a time almost five in the morning. One crew member cautiously peered out of a porthole, only to be met with a fierce onslaught of the rain and ocean. His dark hair whipped wildly in the wind as he struggled to retreat back inside the safety of the ship. With a dazed expression, he called out to the captain, his hair now completely disheveled by the typhoon's force. "Captain! Turn starboard, starboard, starboard!" the man hollered into a network of brass colored pipes that snaked all along the walls of the ship, their metallic forms intertwining with one another.

    "Jensen, why are you giving orders?!" screamed a feminine voice from another pipeline. "Stop confusing everyone with your callouts, Jensen! Just fuckin' stick to making sure our damn ship don't explode!" she screeched into the pipe amidst the sounds of metal clanking and wrenching, as if someone was desperately trying to secure something. "Fuck, man! We've got a leak over here!"

    Another voice interrupted the communication pipes. "Ey-a, keep it-a down-a over there, ya? My whole-a kitchen's-a flooded! My-a vegetables!" The entire vessel rocked violently, severing all conversation the crewmates were having and rolling any unbolted objects around. Finally, once the vessel seemed to have stabilized, Jensen roll called.

    "Jensen, I swear by the Heavens above that once this fuckin' storm end, I will come down there and tie you to the motherfuckin' engine. Stop using the damn pipe without the captain or the vice-captain!" The female screeched like a banshee, frighteningly vibrating all of the pipelines. The shriek was followed by a loud, dull thud that was felt by the entire ship. "Ya! The turret got loose!"

    As chaos ensued below deck, the captain and the navigator were braving the storm above deck, soaked head to toe by the relentless deluge of seawater. The captain held steadfast at the stern, steering the vessel and its precious cargo toward calmer seas. Beside him, the navigator stood, him serving as a second pair of eyes in the brutal tempest. Despite the communication pipeline being right beside the pair, their attention was consumed by the everything happening above deck, making them completely oblivious to the events happening below. "Captain," the navigator called, pointing towards their right side. "The eye, sir!"

    Following the navigator's call, the captain swiftly adjusted the helm starboard, the ship's momentum carrying everything unbolted in its original trajectory. "Good eye, Sinha," the captain exclaimed, a hearty laugh escaping him as he wiped the seawater from his face, spitting out a mouthful in the process. Clinging to the captain, the navigator braced as the immense vessel abruptly turned towards the gaping hole in the demonic sky. And within minutes, everything was calm. "Let's keep 'er at the same pace as the storm, aye?" the captain ordered Sinha to which the younger navigator nodded his head and gave the captain a half-assed navy salute. Thankfully to their favor, the storm dissipated an hour after, lulling the ocean.

    Throughout the remainder of the morning, the crew toiled to drain the cabins of the leaking seawater, attempting to find and bolt back loose screws that displaced metal plating, compromising the ship's integrity. Despite their best efforts, there still remained a stubborn two-foot pool. While the vessel remained operational, it bore scars of the tempest, unable to withstand another onslaught without repairs. The captain, occupied with salvaging the map, labored in vain to dry it, only to find that much of the ink had been wash away.

    The captain's focus was shattered by Sinha's shout, "Land ho!" The captain stood, gaze fixed beyond the horizon, where a distant mound gradually expanded in size. It seemed, by some divine intervention, the crew had stumbled upon land. Though the captain was uncertain if it was the sought-after island, this island offered respite nonetheless. After enduring the relentless storm, the captain realized the urgent need for his crew to set foot on solid ground. As the vessel drew nearer to the supposed island, the crew beheld a sight more majestic than they imagined. Towering cliffs loomed, encircling the island's perimeter like impassable guardians, leaving only a handful of beaches as potential points of access for ships. And consequently and guided by the captain, the crew navigated towards one of the beaches, hopefully aiming for a safe and steady docking.

    The first one to hop off the vessel was none other than the loud-mouthed engineer, Jensen, a four foot dwarf-man. "Yahoo!" he cried out, his creaky voice echoing throughout the seemingly uninhabited island. "Land!" The rest of the crew of five trailed quickly afterwards, plummeting and kneeling onto the sands, exhausted but nonetheless alive. The captain looked around the wilderness as he wondered, "Was this the mythical draconic island that they were searching for? Or was this just some random island?"

  3. #3
    The Ashen One
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    The boy was petrified among the reeds, unable to do anything but watch as the strange ocean house drew closer and closer to his shore. He didn’t know what to do. These were strangers, were real people on his island, and that could only mean one thing. His family’s murderers had realized he was still here, and they had come back to finish what they’d started.

    Kinta hadn’t spent much time thinking about last time. It was too difficult to stomach the memories, the grief, the oceans of blood that even now still stained what had used to be the most animated part of the island. It had been so long ago, but now, Kinta closed his eyes and forced himself to remember. When those pirates had come, brandishing their steel and their cannons, he had been told to hide. His mother had shoved him and his cousin into a hole in the wall behind a tapestry. It was that quick thinking that had kept him alive. It was his mother who had ensured the pirates never noticed him. It was her harrowing screams that had kept him hiding long after the pirates had gone.

    But things were different, now. Kinta was a man now. Maybe things would have been different if he hadn’t hidden, if he had taken up arms and fought alongside his brothers, his family would have been here today. They would have never let him, of course, and his spear would have been meaningless against the pirates’ cannons, but… He couldn’t know. But he did know that now, he would not hide. He would not watch as more people came to his home and took everything from him. No, this time, he was going to fight.

    Anyo wriggled from beneath him and peeked above the reeds, as if his unseeing eyes could catch a glimpse of what Kinta feared. Kinta grabbed for the dragon and called his name sharply. Anyo hadn’t been with Kinta for the last attack, and Kinta had never told him about it. The only time he’d tried, his tears had choked his throat, stolen his voice, and the dragon could only curl into his lap and let him cry. Anyo didn’t know the danger these people brought to their island, and Kinta didn’t have time to explain. Kinta grabbed the dragon’s tiny hand in his own and he yanked him along, away from the shore.

    The dragon’s legs were much shorter than Kinta’s still growing ones, and Anyo struggled to keep pace with his human. His wings, mangled and twisted on his back, were useless, but they fluttered behind him as he ran. After several paces, Kinta scooped Anyo into his arms, and he ran across the island and back to the cave they slept in. There, Kinta approached a collection of tools in the back, tools he had never used and had hoped he’d never have to.

    He didn’t know how to use a sword. His family had left him so many, though not consciously, but he didn’t know the difference between the varying angles of the steel, the grips of the hilts, the runes carved into the blades. Kinta looked over them before randomly deciding on one. It wasn’t too heavy or light, and as he balanced it in either hand, he squeezed its hilt. He had only chosen it for the purple cloth wrapped around its handle, but he nodded to himself, satisfied with his choice. “I will not let them end my people.” Beside him, Anyo chirped nervously. Kinta called him, and Anyo followed after him, limping on all floors. Kinta left his cave wondering if he would ever return, or if he, like his family, would spend eternity spilt across the earth.

    Back on the shore, the moving building had stopped, and people were stepping from it onto the sands. Kinta paused and stared at the people, awestruck. He had never seen beings like that before. Were these pirates? But they looked nothing like the men who had come last time. Fascination whirled around his wrists, and so interested in the strangers, his grip on his sword loosened, and the weapon fell from his hands. Kinta jumped back, nearly cutting himself on the worn steel, before picking it up again. He looked up again, and luckily, it didn’t look like the newcomers had heard him.

    They spoke loudly, and Kinta cringed at their harsh voices. Anyo, however, chirped excitedly. The dragon hadn’t known other humans, and it ran from the reeds to rush through the sands towards them, eager to learn more about the beings so like Kinta.

    The boy panicked. He called after the dragon, but it was too late; the strangers had noticed them. Kinta ran towards the shore, his sword drawn. His heart thundered and his legs wobbled with nerves, but he had to protect his best friend. He had to protect his people’s legacy. He was the man of this island; any visitors would answer to him.

    He stopped once he was within earshot of the pirates, and Kinta tried to make himself as tall as he could. He crossed his arms, careful around his sword, and made eye contact with each member of the crew. “Halt!” he commanded, summoning a confidence only a child could still possess. Anyo stopped too, just a few small steps from collapsing into one of the humans’ legs. Kinta glared at him before turning back to the pirates. “What are you?” His voice, despite his best efforts, was light, gentle, a child not yet acquainted with puberty. “For what reason do you come to me?”

    Admittedly, Kinta was a small thing, short and underweight, with worn clothes that were too small and sandals that dug into his feet. His sun-kissed skin hid beneath a layer of dirt and sand he’d kept telling himself to scrub soon, and his hair, dark and tangled, was worn in a short and horribly uneven, choppy cut. His eyes were the same crystalline blue of the ocean surrounding his island, and in them shone determination, fear, but most prominently curiosity. He looked every bit like a boy who had been on his own for too long, and though he knew he should have been more fearful of these people, he was also excited. Maybe they were pirates, and maybe he and Anyo would die here too—or maybe they were friendly, and they could tell him about his family. They could teach him to be a man.
    Thanks to Craze for the beautiful Bravely set!

    ~Recruitment Thread~
    Spoiler: Ashen's Personal Hall of Fame 

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