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9/13 A Beautiful Thing

JWaldman Sep 13th, 2019 127 Never
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  1. Garrick would pace around the spiral of the volcano with an earnest, focused drive as he dragged steadily from his cigarette, his molten eyes flicking between the bubbling lava and the ash ridden sky as he mulled over the trials he'd undergone on his path to draconic ascendancy. What had once been only a distant itch upon his back, a sense of latent potential that had dwelled deep beneath his thick skin and densely laden scales, had proven to be more than just an inking of potential.
  2.  
  3. He had seen the expanse of his fiery wings threefold now. Driven to his limits, they had sprouted when he'd been shoved beyond his limits, when he had required them most to bolster his willpower and seize his draconic strength for his own. Yet, each time they had dissipated as quickly as they'd arrived, a flame gone by the coming morning after burning bright through the night. The familiar pangs of their flourishing through his shattered scales, the spread of bone and flame in a burning swathe, had become like a familiar taste on the back of one's tongue.
  4.  
  5. Missing, yet just barely there.
  6.  
  7. Sitting within the center of the black spire, the fire drakan would cross his black greaves over each other as he shut his molten eyes, assuming a meditative position as he began to idly hover with the aid of a bit of manifested gravity magic. As a drakan without wings, he'd long ago learned to compensate for his failings by learning to work around them, to grow in spite of Ryujin's blessing. He'd become his own crucible, sharpened his claws and talons without the aid of the gods.
  8.  
  9. But this day, he would need to draw upon his potential without the catalyst of blinding rage and agony. He'd need to learn, once and for all, what he was capable of.
  10.  
  11. The drakan would empty his mind as he conjured the view of an endless sea of flame. Fire would swirl around his body like serpents in steady streams, his molten fissures leaking igneous fluid with steady plops down upon the volcanic rock of the obsidian swirl. Meditation had never been his strong point, he'd failed as an aspirant monk during his youth in the monastery for just such a reason amongst many others. Sitting still and doing nothing made his scales itch, the constant provocation of the flames always motivating him forth to occupy his mind with any series of distractions that wasn't himself.
  12.  
  13. Introspection had never been a strength of the arrogant drake.
  14.  
  15. Yet, the last decade and a half he'd spent upon the island had led him through trials, helped him grow to become far more than he'd ever been as a spoiled, feckless lay brother brat balling up papers to throw at his tutors while dreaming of the skies. He'd found love and loss, made friends and enemies, lost faith and regained it anew in the spiteful fires of boiling hatred. He'd been reforged much like a blade by the trials he'd been forced to undergo. A newt that had shed his skin to grow fresh scales and finally stand upon his own two feet.
  16.  
  17. It had cost him his best friend, the love of his life, and the peace of mind he'd once held as a humble smith with no worries or cares. But he'd found his flame.
  18.  
  19. The fire would steadily coil around his shattered back scales as Garrick pursed his reptilian lips, humming quietly to himself as he dulled out all sounds and sense beyond the molten heat of the volcano that surrounded him, and the sea of fire that filled his inner mind. He had to take upon him the aspect of his element, of the draconic potential that lay within his blood, and finally come to terms with that which had dredged his strength from his shattered scales. That which had allowed him to evolve beyond his afflicted weakness.
  20.  
  21.  Garrick would mull upon the three times his wings had spread, the precarious circumstances where his draconic blood had boiled hot enough to draw upon his inner strength only to fade as fast as it had arrived. Wings of flame were not like those of flesh and blood, the drake had observed. They did not bow to the logic of blessings, of gods. Without focus upon the flame that drove him within, he'd never be able to achieve more than a few brief moments of that wondrous state of true flight, of mantling that which made a dragon the apex predator of the skies.
  22.  
  23. First had been against late Vallahaz, the ashmaker unmade. In teaching the fire demon how to harness their own anger, the drakan had been pushed back on his heals by the sudden, tremendous strength of the fledgling fireborn. The weight of the kaor's blade upon his own had forced him back over and over against the snow fields of the mountain chaos, a chaotic flurry of demonic prowess that had brought the drake to his knees, that had set him upon his back in a pile of sweat and molten blood. Yet, it was being driven into a corner, being pushed past his stagnant shell of contented strength, that had at last allowed him to touch upon the edges of his draconic power. The overwhelming odds had pushed him on after he'd been swatted down, forced him to seize victory through unshaking determination and boiling, furious strength.
  24.  
  25. The second had been learning to fly. The drake had thought himself so clever; why, it must be a simple thing to sprout wings if you harness pretty metaphors and do foolish things. Yet, the hours of torture he'd put himself through tossing himself off the cliffside had pushed the limits of his muscles and pain tolerance alike. The countless bones he'd cracked tumbling off the side towards the distant ground, the dutiful ascent back up the cliff once more to start it all again, it had worn upon his nerfs like salt upon exposed flesh. Each failed attempt had increased his frustration, each cracked scale had inflamed his spiteful will. Yet, it was not until he'd had even his ascent stolen from him by a loose stone that he'd finally snapped and spread his wings. A primal rage, an urge to ascend to the skies and retreat from the frustration. It was as if his birthright had been stolen from him once more.....as Garrick had always thought it to be in truth. He'd always resented himself for being incapable of the halfshift, for being a failed drakan and a terrible Ryujinite.
  26.  
  27. But he had become so much more in abandoning the dogma. He'd found fire so much more...pure.
  28.  
  29. The last had been the greatest toll of all, Garrick thought. He'd suffered physical pain countless times in his journeys through the island. He'd stood before the great wave of the Illyothan mutant that threatened Ardith, broke just about every bone in his body at one point or another. Yet, nothing had ever plagued his mind so much as the whispers of Azrael, the scourge of his waking mind with a god that was not his. As Nyx shattered his scales with countless meteorites, crushed his bones, tore his flesh, the drake had felt no greater pain than the crimson fires of the red star infiltrating his mind. The emerald and ruby whispers had shaken his will, nearly bent his knees when he refused to fall. Yet, it was their harassment that had reforged his unshaking confidence by suffering their onslaught. When the comet had fallen upon the fire drakan, he did not turn his back. His wings flapped proudly behind him, for a dragon does not yield.
  30.  
  31. They'd all been moments of catalystic fury, but that was a simpleton's view, wasn't it? It was not just the rage that had allowed him to tap into his draconic potential, that had drawn his wings wide. It was his unbreaking determination to be BETTER than he was, to constantly forge forth and see his dreams come true no matter the cost to his person.Anytime something stood in his way his own reserves could not stand against, his wings spread to remind him that he was of the dragonblood, the rightful sovereigns of the sky. Anytime his pride was questioned, his breast inflamed with determination to refuse the possibility of failure. His wings were not just a manifestation of his draconic heritage.
  32.  
  33. They were a representation of his will, his iron certainty to see the world as he desired. And Garrick wanted it to BURN.
  34.  
  35. Without the violence of the previous occurrences, blood would steadily drip from the drake's back scales as bones slowly slid from the molten sockets. Boiling puddles of igneous ichor spread about and dripped over the edge of the obsidian spire into the distant lava below, but no pain crossed the calmness of the drake's expression as his eyes remained shut. Slowly, the skeleton of a dragon's wings would stretch from the shattered scales, dripping with the sizzling blood of the drake thathad given into the flames of hatred, and found his will to persevere.
  36.  
  37. Igniting like a sudden inferno, the skeletal wings would ignite in a quiet, sudden explosion of heat, the coiling flames that had surrounded the drake's body now swirling around the bones like serpents of the sea. Where no skin lay, the trailing flames wrapped around the missing flesh and made it whole in fire. The wings of a dragon would gust gales of super heated air behind the meditating drake as he kept his legs crossed and his mind calm, a light smile curling across his lips as he saw the world through his shut eyes exactly as he wanted it to be.
  38.  
  39. Skies filled with ash, a land swallowed by fire. All as it should be. It was....a beautiful thing.
  40. (Garrick)
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