|Black Orange Xenodragon Warrior Duridoss
Duridoss revealed her maliciously glowing teeth to the moon-less night in a conniving grin, her exoskeleton reflecting the muted light of Nidus Otykaii's complex. And, as the last colour of the sunset faded, her bond, the muse-dragon Emquenje, alerted her seven suitors. Duridoss was preparing to rise.
The accepted seven arrived quickly to the courtyard; they were met by the malicious, appraising glare of the orange xenodragoness, under which they quieted rather than competing before the flight truly began. Two were Arx Atra Mons beasts, an imperial-level and a chaos-level (quite the compliment to Duridoss, according to Emquenje, for him to participate); two were of xenodragon heritage, one a true-blood with an odd stigma towards orange, the other, strangely enough, was furry (a chaotic xeno-hathian); one was huge and heavy with formidable spines and armor, but was of uncertain heritage; one was primarily white, a trait which bothered Duridoss though his personality and bond made him acceptable; the last was Ryslen's first true black. The blue chaotic xeno-hathian, Nacht, was far too servile towards his bond; apparently he took after the drone rank of his xenodragon blood. The poison imperial-level Arx beast, Cyvishith, showed little interest in Duridoss herself. The elemental red-black Kugak, however, seemed formidable and more attractive... he radiated a sense of power in a way that made most of the others appear weak. The second Arx beast was called Cheran'khan and was as confident and regal as his rank would imply. Next to him was the full-blooded blue xenodragon Ashonoss, a quiet, small, but attractive prospect. And then there was the siamese white and red Dumath with the bond who violently reacted to blood and whose colour was his worst attribute. Finally Duridoss looked to the left-most suitor who, like Cheran'khan, was barely visible in the night's lack of light, Tahroath, bonded to the dark angel Christopher, Ryslen's first true black... now he was an interesting prospect indeed.
Satisfied that only those that deserved to be were here, Duridoss shrieked her challenge to them, leaping into the air as they responded in kind. Immediately they felt the previously simply pleasant presence of Emquenje bloom into a fiery passion of inspiration as Emquenje decided to help the mood. Cheran'khan, Tahroath, Ashonoss, and Cyvishith were the first into the air after the xenodragoness, closely followed by Kugak's powerful lunge skyward and then Nacht and Dumath. Emquenje then also, to the vexation of the bonds of the true suitors, followed, though not with their fervor.
And so they danced a violent dance, gradually climbing above the complex as it became difficult for even the dragons to see, or, at least, for those dragons with true eyes. Duridoss flared her wings suddenly and then dropped, only to find Nacht beneath her. Filled with elation at being so close to his 'beautiful' prize, Nacht moved to embrace her. Then her spiked tail lashed, ripping through some of the muscle of his foreleg and almost raking him across the face. What, you think I'm that easy to win? With just open paws and possessive compliments? Away, drone!Nacht quickly got out of her belligerent path and, to preserve what little pride he had left, began to drop out of the flight, acidic blood dripping onto the rooftops below. But as he left, his thoughts were focused on the insult from Duridoss when he flew straight into the slower Kugak's armored chest. He bounced off, hissed, was greeted by an angry growl, and then drifted down to resume his search for his bond. Kugak, though slowed, was still in the flight, at least for now.
After several similar but ineffective aerobatics, Duridoss caught one of the few remaining thermal updrafts radiating from the rooftops below, quickly rising above her suitors. Her ascent suddenly stopped and, when she glared down, she saw that the duowinged Cyvishith had stolen into the same thermal and was quickly rising towards her as Tahroath and Dumath each found different thermals. Then Dumath found himself cut off by Ashonoss, and Cheran'khan slipped into Cyvishith's thermal. But Kugak, unfamiliar with such aerobatics, found himself far below Duridoss and the other remaining suitors. He knew that he could not regain any advantage, not with his powerful bulk, and so, with one last resigned glance towards Duridoss, he began a slow, gliding descent back to the courtyard.
Duridoss, alarmed at the rate of ascension of her chasers, hissed at them and then turned and dove at a gradually steepening angle away from the complex and its muted light. Tahroath, the only suitor with an uncontested thermal, was quick to follow, but Dumath had darted in the wrong direction out of Ashonoss's path. Ashonoss fiercely snapped at the white-red dragon as he rose past, obviously intending to ease higher before following Duridoss.
Cyvishith, hovering in midair in the path of the stolen thermal, watched the tussle between Dumath and Ashonoss. Cyvishith suddenly realized that his thermal was still cut off and tried to dart out of it, but as he looked down, he saw it was too late. One of Cheran'khan's heads was watching Duridoss... but the other three were trained on Cyvishith's one and approaching at a vexing rate as Cheran'khan took full advantage of his powerful wings and the thermal's updraft. One of those three darted up and sideways, snapping at the lower of Cyvishith's two tails, and the imperial beast backwinged furiously to get out of the way and to a better point of resistance. But as the fourth head came to orient on Cyvishith and the larger Arx beast flared his wings and whipped his four tails as though they were locks of Medusa's hair... but, despite the impressive display, Cyvishith refused to back down, for he was angry now. When Cheran'khan growled, he growled back and roared a challenge at the much larger beast. But when all four of Cheran'khan's heads came snapping at his neck, all the courage and bravery ran out of him like a waterfall and Cyvishith desperately folded his wings, yanked his head back, and tried to scratch Cheran'khan with his poisonous tails as he flipped backwards and then into a full flip. Cheran'khan chortled at the lesser beast and roared his victory before diving after Duridoss. Cyvishith then realized he had flipped back quite a long ways and fallen an equally long space before he caught himself and flipped over. He was now too far away to regain any chance of winning the flight, and, concealing some shakes, he hissed quietly at Cheran'khan and returned to the courtyard.
Duridoss had now led Ashonoss, Tahroath, and Dumath quite some distance from the compound and out over a forest; Cheran'khan turned from watching Cyvishith leave and beat his mighty wings, quickly covering the distance to where the rest of the chase had gone. Duridoss 'glanced' behind her, satisfied to see the clearly uninterested Cyvishith gone and only four suitors left. Duridoss flipped in midair and, suspended motionless for a moment with her underbelly facing her suitors, wings spread, neck arched, and facing them, hissed a challenge to them before folding her wings and dropping out of their path. Duridoss soon flipped again and turned her freefall into a speedy controlled dive.
Ashonoss took the sudden change in direction to fly straight into Dumath, ramming the White Denner with considerable force behind his hard exoskeleton. Dumath let out a surprised squawk of sorts but quickly turned this into an enraged roar. The two dragons occupied each other with their little flight as Tahroath, Cheran'khan, and Duridoss plummeted downwards. As they fought, Duridoss leveled off and began to lead Tahroath and Cheran'khan East towards where the sun would eventually be rising. Suddenly the two combatants could no longer feel the inspiring aura radiating from Emquenje, who was gliding at a decent pace behind the actual chasers and his bond. Dumath turned and frantically began looking for Duridoss only to be soundly whacked on the head by Ashonoss's tail. But he no longer cared much--he just wanted to know where the female they had been chasing had gone. Finally he realized that she was gone and that both he and Ashonoss had lost the flight. Enraged at the xenodragon for destroying his chances, he charged Ashonoss, who had just realized the same thing. Filled with more rage at losing their objective because of the other, the two resumed their combat with renewed lust for blood.
Fully aware that only he and Tahroath were left, one of Cheran'khan's heads assessed his final opponent and came to his previous conclusion. He hissed to himself, I will win. Duridoss glared over her shoulder at the two remaining suitors, gratified at what she saw. Down to the best now, hmm? Ready to begin?
Cheran'khan's four heads grinned, baring their teeth, in response to the xenodragoness's taunt; Tahroath roared a challenge in return. Duridoss again flipped in midair and charged at her suitors... or, rather, straight at Tahroath. I have made my decision! Duridoss opened her mouth and the three sets of teeth sprung forwards, snapping at the Ryslenese in her path; she hissed in fury at the Black dragon. AWAY! Be gone, Tahroath, no Old World dragon will befoul me this night! Duridoss barely clipped the black dragon's crest as he dodged from her raging path. Duridoss stopped in midair and, hovering, addressed her bond: Emquenje, lead him back to Otykaii! Duridoss hissed and snapped at the black Ryslenese's tail as he followed the purple-yellow mutt back to the complex.
Duridoss watched them until she could no longer feel Emquenje's muse aura before turning to the Arx Atra Mons beast. Let us begin, Cheran'.