Jul 05, 2020 6:12 AM
elrics meet an orc
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Then it's back to the inn.

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Meanwhile, a pair of dragons awaits an orc.

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Agon heads back to them at a fairly good pace once the girls she'd been escorting are properly inside.

"Hello!" she calls.

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"Have you disposed of your companions to your satisfaction?"

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"Safely in the mountain halls, yes."

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"Good." She lowers her neck to the ground. "Climb on. We have far to travel."

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She does so, seeming a bit excited. "I've never flown before..."

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"You may wish to hold on."

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"Of course." She grabs on rather tightly.

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Ellisaria leaps into the sky, wings stretching out their full length for a powerful downstroke.

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She laughs, holding on, but still looking around, exhilarating in the thrill of flying.

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She circles to gain height, then they start heading east.

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The Misty Mountains are tall, of course - but they quickly fall away under dragon wing, and so far nothing dares challenge them in the skies. The distance falls away rapidly behind them, and Agon stays clinging on throughout.

The new dragon home is a good ways away as an orc would walk - east of the Iron Hills, north of the Sea of Rhun, a mighty new set of mountains raised by Ellisaria's will and given life by Brisingr's Song. Dragons in a myriad of colors flock nearby, respectful of Ellisaria's actual central territory but desiring to linger near the swell of magic - almost all of them much smaller than Ellisaria, many no taller than a horse at the shoulder, almost none capable of even breathing steam, but all capable of Song and increasingly capable of manipulating mana, especially as they spend time around Ellisaria and her domain. The ones who've stayed this long understand and acknowledge her and Brisingr's authority - at least locally.

A few human settlements have sprung up on the edges of the dragons' territory, with a handful of dwarves mixed in - the quasi-nomadic plains people quickly discovered those dragons who can't live entirely off of magic can be coaxed into paying well for tame herds of food, and of course every dragon seems to want to accumulate their own hoard of valuable and exotic items. Brisingr enforces anti-theft rules rather stringently, even on visiting dragons. So far, the system's been working out well.

(Brisingr's strong disdain for gold and strong conviction that hoards are meant to be displayed helped in encouraging the initial idea of trade - dragons who wanted to impress her with their own hoards found it valuable to trade their gold and time for things she'd be enchanted by, and both Brisingr and Ellisaria keep receiving tribute gifts, even from passing dragons. Brisingr claims anything Ellisaria doesn't want, and she's gradually building her own rather large museum of art and shiny rocks and historical artifacts. Which she's discovered humans, dwarves, and dragons will all pay to get a chance to look at, and which she can pay smaller dragons to guard when she's away, allowing her to accumulate even more ridiculous things.)

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Ellisaria glides over the outlying regions to her central lair, the tallest mountain, drips of lava oozing around the base and the lower slopes to frame the opening of a cave leading into the base. There's a wide flat area in front, upon which she alights.

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Brisingr lands beside her, stretching her wings a bit.

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And Agon slides off her neck, legs only somewhat stiff.

"This place is amazing. Flying is amazing."

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"Yes," she agrees.

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She laughs.

"You two wanted to talk to me, then?"

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"Inside." She leads the way in. A pair of elemental servitors meet them, bearing a stone tablet on which is embossed a remarkably accurate map of the world.

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She follows, glancing at the map with some interest.

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Ellisaria shifts into a form that can point at the map more easily and indicates Mordor. The border mountains are sketched in, and the lake, but the rest is lacking in detail.

"This is the region, yes?"

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"Yes. Mordor." She points to a few spots, identifying major landmarks - Mount Doom, Barad-Dur, Minas Morgul and its pass, the hidden pass leading to Cirith Ungol - guarded by the spider Shelob, the fortress Durthang, the Black Gate and the major roads behind it...

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"Inconvenient that there are so few routes in for the land-bound."

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"Intentionally so. It allows better control over Mordor's slaves, and fewer entrances for its enemies. There's no great gates to the east - but the desert is nearly impassable even for hardened orcs with baggage trains."

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"Due to the heat or lack of water?"

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