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Through the Fire and Flames [Training/Altair]

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Fire. Altair ran through the fleeing crowd in the opposite direction, heading towards the flames instead of away. The scream could still be heard clearly in the night air, even among the roaring of the scattered fires. "Where are you?!" Altair yelled, hoping that his voice would carry to the child trapped among the embers. He didn't have much more time before the building collapsed. The fires had made all the buildings in the area unstable, and a few had already fallen making the roads hazardous to traverse. Another scream from the girl helped Altair finally locate her. She was trapped on all sides by flames, in an empty room on the top floor of the house. Altair grit his teeth and kicked down the door. Immediately, heat like he had never felt assaulted him, and he was forced to back off or be roasted alive. He searched the area frantically, looking for... There! A well! Grabbing bucket after bucket of water, he doused himself in the cool liquid. He knew it would be feeble to try to put out the fire by himself, but by covering himself in water, he created a barrier from the heat and flames. At least, for a little bit.

Arriving at the door again, Altair covered his face in wet cloth and proceeded into the inferno. Inside, the heat was still incredible, but his watery protection made it bearable. He had to hurry however, as his protection wouldn't last long. Luckily, the stairs were made of stone, and he was able to get to the second floor safely. Here, the flames weren't as intense, but as Altair approached the room where the girl was hiding, something in the house shifted. "Shit!" Altair cursed. He was out of time. Sprinting now, he burst into the room through a wall of fire that licked at his clothes in an effort to ignite him. He picked up the crying girl and held her close. The house shook, threatening to collapse at any second. Altair drew his sword from his belt, and all but yelled his incantation. "Oh great spirit of insight and resolve, I command thee and thy household. Dwell in my body, and transform me into a great liberator! Reave, Caim!" Power surged into Altair's body, strengthening him. He made two quick slashes at the wall of the house. With Caim's razor magic, it was as easy as cutting through soft cloth. The wall exploded outward as Altair kicked it. Now came the easy part, getting down. Having been practicing with his Djinn Equip Daily since he attained it, he found that it came with more than a few very useful powers. The first of which, Altair made use of right there. Flight. He jumped from his makeshift window, to the surprise of the small crowd that had gathered. But the wind caught him in his decent, and he landed with no more than a gentle tap. An ecstatic mother rushed over, and thanked him profusely. Altair released his Djinn Equip and handed the girl to her mother, just as the building behind him finally collapsed.

~523/1500~


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About a week later, after the fires had all been put out, a council was put together to deal with the reconstruction effort, and also to discuss how they were to deal with the original problem. Altair was stunned. "I'm sorry, did you say a DRAGON did this?" Altair was not the only one in disbelief, of those who signed up for the council, only 2 of the 30 men gathered there had actually seen the beast in person. "Look, i know it's hard to believe, but that's the truth of the matter. Damn thing nearly took me with the rest of the town. But the problem isn't WHAT the creature was, but WHY it attacked in the first place!" The room exploded into arguing then, leaving Altair to ponder what the man said. Why would a dragon attack unprovoked? Altair thought about all the lore he knew about dragons. First they love treasure. Some books even propose that they eat it in an attempt to become immortal. Second, they were very intelligent, often more so than humans. And third, and quite possibly most importantly, they kept to themselves. It made no sense why one would attack without cause. In any case, as the room calmed he discovered that they had tracked the beast back to a cave in the wasteland, and that they were putting together a team to go kill it. Altair and two other men volunteered. The first man, a blading man of medium stature, was going out of a sense of revenge. his wife had died in the fire, and he owed the dragon for it. The second man looked much more formidable. He stood on par with Altair, but had more visible muscle. There was also something about him that Altair could only think of as power. He gave no reason as to why he volunteered.

Together, the three men set off the next day into the wasteland where the dragon lay. The short man kept to himself, but Altiar hit it off with Ursus, the second man. Altair learned that he was a gladiator in the arena, and that he was from a tribe of special people who used a technique called Magoi Manipulation. He offered to teach Altair and the short man, but the short man refused, preferring not to dabble in the so called "arcane". Altair was a fast learner, and after a week of travel and brutal training, he had developed a sword technique that could split stone. It involved shaping his Magoi into a coat for his sword, and then holding it there while he swung. This Magoi Manipulation was similar to the ways one would use magic, but Altair felt he had an easier time with it than he did learning his life magic spells. Finally, on the last day of their week long trek, they arrived.

~1004/1500~


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The cave was surrounded by broken and burnt skeletons. The beast had been challenged before. They entered as quietly as possible, with Altair's staff providing a small purple light for them to see by. They went deep inside, through a series of twisting and turning caverns, until they finally arrived at the hoard room. It was certainly a spectacle. The dragon had amassed enough wealth to pay the taxes of one thousand citizens for one hundred years. There were treasures like ancient weapons and gold crowns. it reminded Altair of the necropolis in Caim's dungeon. While the dragon had nothing on the money they found inside Caim, it certainly was nothing to laugh at. Unfortunately for them, they spent too much time admiring and not enough time looking for the dragon. As a result, the dragon found them. "WHO DARES TO ENTER MY HOME! I SHALL END THE LIVES OF YOU SIMPLE VERMIN!" From another cavern, the dragon emerged. It was large, but not massive. Maybe twelve feet tall. It was a stark red color, and had leathery wings that unfolded to cover most of the room's width. The dragon roared, and Altair was sure that if his jaw had been clenched, his teeth would have shattered from the force. It lunged forwards, and the three men scattered. Altair drew his sword, and made a passing slice against it's flank. The blade merely glanced across it's scales without cutting through. That was not good. If they couldn't damage the beast, how could they hope to beat it? The short man made a valiant cry and ran towards the dragon. Altair screamed, "You fool! You'll be eaten alive!" But the short man didn't heed his call. And, just as predicted, the dragon merely swiped at the man with his claw, sending him up into the air, and into his might jaws. Altair could only watch as this happened, but Ursus used it to their advantage. he ran forward and jumped onto the neck of the dragon. His palmed seemed to glow, and with a mighty swing, Ursus THREW IT. The dragon slammed into the wall and was dazed for a moment, allowing Ursus enough time to yell to Altair, "Only Magoi Manipulation will break through its armor! Do what we practiced!" This shocked Altair out of his trance. With a jump, Altair came down upon the dragons head with his sword at full force. But this time, he wrapped his sword in his Magoi. The effect was clear. His sword not only cut the dragon, it nearly crushed the head entirely. The ground beneath the head of the dragon cracked, and an audible crunch echoed throughout the cavern. Altair gasped for breath. That had taken a lot more out of him than he expected. But the results were obvious. He had slain the dragon in a single concise blow. Using a combination of Caim's razor magic and Magoi Manipulation, Altair cut into the belly of the beast, and released a rather terrified man. Remarkably, the short man had only suffered minor bruises from the dragon's assault. Together, the three men packed up what gold they could, and headed back to town. They used the money from the lair to rebuild, and Altair kept a single scale as a trophy.

~1555/1500~


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