May 22, 2019 11:47 AM
in this world where time is your enemy, it is my greatest ally. this grand game of life which you think you play in fact plays you. to that i say... (margaret in azeroth)
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This is Coldarra, one of the nesting places of the blue dragonflight, an island off the southwestern coast of Northrend. Cold and forbidding, outsiders are almost never welcomed by the watchful flights of drakes that patrol the skies. In the center stands the Nexus, one of the largest confluence of leylines in the worlds. The blues use its power for their mightiest enchantments and deepest spell research, and to guard their most dangerous relics.


At the foot of the Nexus, one of the eggkeepers notices his charges are close to hatching. He calls to the sentries and has them double the patrols for manawyrms in the area. It would certainly not do for the whelps to be drained before they can hatch. Once those are in place, he sends a message to the broodmother and begins inscribing the sigils that will swirl the ambient mana in the patterns most conducive to a healthy hatchling. The broodmother arrives as he finishes, touching down and shifting into her elven form, pale-skinned with long blue hair, in order to get closer to the eggs.

"Almost certainly a dragon-whelp among these, Broodmother," he reports.

    "Oh, wonderful!" she cries. "I love you all, you know, but I have been so looking forward to another drake. How much longer?"

"Very soon, I think. Look, that one's cracking."

    "Come to mama, darling," she coos, holding out her arms. "Come here, come here."

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The baby is small and scaly and healthy. She looks around at the world like it's a fascinating mystery, and attempts to come to mama on brand-new limbs.

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"That's it, sweetheart, that's it. You can do it!" Aahhh, the little flaps! Too cute!

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She makes a little noise and flops the rest of the way over to her mother, alternating between using her wings and tail for balance and tripping over them. It washes out.

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She scoops the little whelp up in her arms and twirls her around. "What should we call you, little one?" She tickles her snout. "How about Maragosa? Are you a little Maragosa?"

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So many new sensations wow! Time to blink a lot and stare at everything and say "Arra!"

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Cutie!! The broodmother begins tracing a glyph into the whelp's side with two fingers.

It's a cool tingle at first, and then there's a sense of something flowing around and then into her. The world snaps into sharper focus as the glyph starts glowing brightly. This is mana, she knows now, the stuff of magic. This is what she was born for.

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"Oooooh." Maragosa wants to learn everything there is to know about magic, and incidentally also about everything else.

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"Look, here come your brothers and sisters." The other eggs are cracking open and more whelps begin clambering out of their shells, chirruping and peeping. "You'll be a good example to them, won't you?"

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"Yes, mother. Hello, brothers and sisters!"

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The broodmother tosses Maragosa into the air and moves to start drawing the same glyph on the other hatchlings.

Flying is very natural. She's able to catch herself well before she hits the ground.

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Flying is fun is what it is! Whee!

Now that she can see a bit farther, what's around here other than family members and eggshell fragments? And can she pick up anything with her new awareness of magic, in addition to sight and hearing?

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She's in sort of a trench, at the base of a tall, tall tower. It has some kind of rings circling around it, up near the top, and it's glowing. She can sense streams of energy converging on it from all directions. Below the ground, on top of it, above it, all the streams are flowing into the tower, and it's gathering them all up to do... something. She can't quite tell what exactly, but she can tell that it was made on purpose.

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That's neat! She flaps harder, trying to get to the top of the tower for a closer look.

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The top is very far away, and she is a very small whelp. Also, her mother is calling her back.

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Back to Mother it is, then. How are all her siblings doing? Are they all flying around too now?

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All a-flutter in a cloud around their mother, flap flap flap. She leads the group out, away from the pile of eggshells. There she shifts out of her elven form and back into a dragon, large and blue with magic inscriptions running down both her sides. If Maragosa pays close attention, she can see how the magic turns the body inside out and shuffles it away as the replacement folds in.

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Oooh, neat. Maybe she can learn to do that. She's not in any especial hurry, though, she likes the shape she's got already. It's just one of many things magic can do that she wants to learn every single one of. She joins the crowd of flapping brothers and sisters, figuring out as she goes how to maneuver in crowded airspace.

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There's a few bumps, but nothing to knock anyone out of the air. They're all moving too slowly for that.

"Okay, little ones. Everyone find a perch, we're going to see what home looks like."

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Perching: she does it. 

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And off they go! Dragon-mama flies a lot quicker and higher than any of the whelps are able to. The size of her wings probably has something to do with it; translucent sheets as wide across as she is long, and trailing little ribbons of mana.

They start with a spiral up and around the tower. Its exterior is of roughly-worked stone, carved with various runes at irregular intervals denoting the points where a stream of magic runs inside. A flight of three smaller dragons banks past. They have the same sort of glyphs running up their sides, though fewer than the broodmother does.

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Maragosa stares at the runes and waves a wingtip at the other dragons.

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The runes on the tower feel like... guidance and taking and molding. The mana follows their bends and swirls obediently, shifting its character to match. Before, it's raw, a potentiality of possibilities-that-might-be, but strong. Afterwards, it's weaker, but more focused. The runes' power comes taking part of the mana flow and turning it against itself, altering the rest. The design is elegant and efficient, with no leftover friction or wastage.

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It's beautiful. What about the runes on her mother, what are they like? (Maybe there will be runes on her at some point?)

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They speak of speed and strength and health. This one in particular is for intelligence, and the mark her mother drew on her feels distinctly similar.

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That explains why she understands so much more stuff than she did the moment after hatching when she hasn't seen or talked about most of it! Her mother is so good. Runes are so good. "Everything is so good," she says to the nearest sibling, because this feels like important information.

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