Illiad Easle

Private A Cultural Exchange 1x1 with Drago Ryder

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@Drago Ryder

Midnight would slowly ease himself onto Gale's back once she had lowered herself, carefully scooting himself forward to get his forelegs ahead of her wing joints to hold somewhat securely.  """As long as you stay low, I'll be fine if you have to drop me. There's no need to hurt yourself for my sake, I've survived much worse."

In all, while he was still somewhat heavier than he had appeared, it seemed like an ideal distribution of weight, almost like a backpack if she had ever worn one. Despite the limited area he seemed to be gripping her quite well, almost as if his hooves were stuck to her.

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(edited)

Gale nodded in understanding, hoping that the dorsal ridges on her back weren’t digging into his chest. It honestly felt like a large, thick blanket had been placed over her, though she tried to not think about that too much. “Yeah, that’s pretty much what I had in mind. The air gets a bit thinner the higher up you go, and it can have some nasty side effects if you aren’t used to it.” Granted, flying low would also make her more vulnerable to any being that might want to chance catching a dragon, especially since they were about to start investigating a potential slaver operation.

Trying to push that thought to the side, the dragoness took to the sky with a beat of her wings and leveled off just a few meters above the tree line. She wasn’t exactly at her top speed, though that was mainly a result of Midnight’s weight upon her back. Aside from that everything she associated with flying was still there: the wind rushing over her scales and a feeling of freedom that allowed her to not care about whatever might be occurring on the ground below.

Edited by Drago Ryder

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@Drago Ryder

"Whoooah"

Midnight somehow managed to grip her tighter as she took to the sky. "I, uh, didn't realize you could get up to speed so quickly. You really are stronger than you look, or better suited to speed than those  I studied with."

He was silent for a moment, taking in the experience of it all, until his head jerked to one side as he noticed something. "You haven't been to Trottingham before have you? Because we seem to be going the opposite way."

(You can feel free to throw in an encounter before they get to Trottingham, and I'll think up something for when they get there.)

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(Right. I’ll try to do that in my next post.)

Gale paused in thought at Midnight’s observation, simply gliding in a straight line for a few moments before pulling into a gentle U-turn. “Yeah, I probably should’ve asked which way we were heading before taking off like that. Thankfully, you’re a bit more familiar with Equestrian cities than I am.” Honestly, she couldn’t even remember the last time she had looked at a map, so it would certainly be best if she left navigation to someone with a bit more world experience.

Either way, she did notice the stronger grip he had on her upper chest and shoulders and figured it would be best to at least help him relax to some extent. If this was his first time doing this, she wanted him to at least enjoy it. “I suppose it might be a bit of both, though I do apologize if it was a bit rough. Thankfully, the hard part should be over, so it should be a smooth glide from here on out.” Assuming that the weather didn’t go south, she would certainly try to land in some inconspicuous location within walking distance of their destination, if only to avoid drawing too much attention to them.

  • Brohoof 1

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@Drago Ryder

Midnight seemed hesitant to relax his grip, but over time she would notice the pressure of his grip lessening so long as the glide was indeed smooth.

"I'll keep an eye out for Trottingham. I haven't been there recently mind you, but if it's still where it was it should be on the other side of a lake with some mountains to the west. Knowing slavers their main camp would either be on this side of the river, ferrying them over, or in the mountains."

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“The mountain caves would be a good location for storage or hiding if their practice is looked down upon by a majority of Equestrian society, though that wasn’t exactly the impression I got from our earlier conversation. If we’re lucky, they’ll be out in the open.” It would be good if the slaves weren’t already being transported, though she could certainly provide air support while he took whatever boat they were on.

Before the dragoness could continue with the conversation, an object that could best be summarized as two weighted spheres connected by a thick cord shot past her, one of the balls missing her face by a few inches. More of the same type of object came from the forest below, though she tried to avoid them without throwing Midnight off her back. The projectiles seemed to be meant for immobilization, though the cord itself wasn’t long enough to wrap around her midsection with her wings extended. That didn’t mean they couldn’t do some damage or force her tail fins closed. “Whoever’s throwing those things either has a good bit of strength or their using magic.”

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@Drago Ryder

Midnight had been about to respond when the ball whipped past the pair, his grip tensing back up again, when he spoke it wasn't in fear, but cold fury. "Well then, sounds like someone has the balls to try and take down a dragon, literally in this case. I'd almost hate the disappoint them. Circle back around, but carefully. Don't want them to hit when they try again." He'd maintain his grip with three legs, using the fourth to put his helmet on.

The enchantment in his helmet allowed him to see magic as it flowed through creatures, similar typically to thermal vision, but it allowed him to also see when things were enchanted or otherwise affected by magic. He would look down at the forest below to see if he could see who or what had tried to take them down. "Fly low, the more trees in the way the less likely they hit, and the closer the ground if we do fall."

He gave her a light squeeze, almost like a hug, "Again, don't be afraid to drop me if you have to, I can survive a fall from here just fine."

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While Gale was a bit surprised by the pseudo-hug, she had to admit that it did feel rather nice, though it was probably best if she remained focused on the task at hand. “Right. I’ll fly low, but you might have to jump off. Be careful, please.” The dragoness then angled her body downward and tried to get as much speed as possible before leveling off a meter or two above the ground. She had a few close calls with whatever those projectiles were , the chain of one grazing the edge of her wing. It stung a bit, but she would work through it. 

  • Brohoof 1

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@Drago Ryder

(Congrats on 5000 posts!)

While Midnight was fine with vertical stopping, he was less sure about his ability to slow himself horizontally. Nonetheless, he prepared himself to jump as soon as the moment presented itself.

Given they were still being fired upon it was clear they were getting closer. Midnight's helmet would let him see exactly where the creatures controlling the trap were, or the magic running it if it were automated. He would jump off about a dozen meters before the closest point to the trap, twisting his body to point his hooves in the direction he was moving, somehow slowing his forward momentum to land somewhat gracefully, but still slide a few lengths across the ground before rolling into a crouched position, he'd evaluate his surroundings before moving forward, seeing where the potential threats were before engaging. Just because they had attacked didn't mean they needed to die, it could be a simple misunderstanding after all.

He would seek out someone standing by themselves, drag them away from the group by force or diversion, then either question them as to the nature of the operation, or hold them hostage a la bladed horseshoe until some other member explained themselves.

(You don't have to advance the scene that far if you don't feel it natural, just describing the scene once he rolls into a crouch is enough.)

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