2020-02-12 - Visitors And A Near Sighted Dragon


A trip inside the barrier to honour an agreement with a Dragon.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Feb 12 06:07:40 2020
Location: Staten Island - Inside The Barrier

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Theme Song



Operations in the 'Distortion Zone' as it is officially called or 'Fantasy Land' as the crews call it, are ongoing. There are efforts to locate critical information and survivors. SHIELD does a lot of them but a number of them are being undertaken by masked vigilante types.

The trek today is dual purpose. Some of it is aimed at locating and protecting additional civilians. This is tricky as the civilians have all assumed new identities. Some of them are common peasant farmers or craftsmen, but others have taken on the identities of knights or bandits or things more outlandish. The other, is to keep a promise to visit a dragon.

The Silver Samurai is well named. For he looks like a samurai and his armor is mirror-bright silver. It makes it virtually impossible to move with any kind of stealth and the armored swordsman isn't trying. He's just riding the horse he brought in here. Actually it was a motorcycle when he brought it in. But now it's a horse.

The horse has silver armor too, go figure.

The lands around them are rolling hills, mostly. They exited a large forest some time ago. It is POSSIBLE that there's actually more land area on the inside of the dome than there is on the outside of it. Which makes mapping tricky but at least the landscape stays consistent from one visit to another.

As do the dangers.

Batgirl has accompanied the Samurai, of course, her motorbike transformed to a horse as well. They'd learned their lesson, the last time they were in here - the area to traverse is vast.

The black clad redhead is now … one of the merry men, she supposes, dressed in forest green leggings and jerkin. Her face is mostly covered by a cloth mask which does little to disguise the brillant green eyes she normally hides behind the hud.

She's not pleased that much of her identity is obvious, but needs must.

"It was nice to be able to get through the forest without incident today." She says to Samurai as her horse wickers.

"There've been incidents before?"

This is Steve, in a balanced set of night-blue leather and steel armor both. At his hip, a hand-and-a-half, and on his back, a large buckler still emblazoned with a silvery star. His blond hair is bright at the moment given his helmet is slung over his sword's pommel. His motorcycle went in and a destrier came out within the dome, his own horse tall and barrel-chested, gunmetal grey with dark points.

Thank god for the charms WAND was lending out. It was a shock to experience the change right off the bat — and the idea of amnesia induced to replace all one knew?


Unlike the others, May opted to NOT bring a vehicle along to have it turn into setting-appropriate transporation. So while the they ride, she appears to be content to walk alongside. And, really, if they have to get somewhere in a hurry, she can just hitch a ride with one of them.

Horses. Dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle. Pass.

Dressed once again in what resembles the costumes out of a movie vaguely akin to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, her swishy ankle-length robes with the sweeping sleeves in shades of navy blue and black seem to nicely complement the lacquered black and silver sheathed sword she carries in her left hand. The surprisingly identical to usual butterfly swords strapped to her back are close to invisible considering the elaborate silver hairpiece adorning the topknot holding her hair pulled back from her face and allowed to hang loose down her back.

Her hair wasn't nearly long enough to sit on before, was it?

"When aren't there incidents?" she quips back at Steve's question.

Horses don't GENERALLY move at faster than a walking pace anyway unless you're in a hurry and Samurai is in no hurry. The gently rolling hills are giving way to a more general upward slope and there is a small ruined tower in the distance. A tower and caves, it looks like.

"The first few times we came into the dome we were attacked in that forest. At least, I think it was that forest. We went in through the sewage tunnels a couple of times but they give way to twisty cave systems and… no thank you. I am no spelunker."

A shadow passes over them. The Samurai looks up. There's a large winged being circling down toward the ruined tower they're approaching.

"He's here." That… is definitely a dragon. And a big one. It's an animal on a scale one has to go to a paleontology museum to view these days. Bigger, even. It could probably ride the Bus piggyback with not a whole lot of room to spare on the airframe.

And it's getting much closer.

It is, May might note, a very WESTERN dragon. None of the sinuous grace that accompanies depictions of dragons from her ancestral homelands.

"As the Samurai says." Batgirl offers to the Steve and May. "I'm sure it was that forest and we were set upon. Either we scared them or they've find easier prey or something." There's a shudder at the thought of the sewage tunnels but her eyes dance a little "I thought you might like being somewhere dark and close with me …"

She's a terrible tease.

With the shadow wheeling over the top of them, Batgirl glances up. "Xathies. His name is Xathies and I think he's a little shortsighted."

Steve nods to himself at the report. He's been quieter than normal, if possible, and has been treating the entire affair with his head on a swivel. Jumping from life in 1940s to the modern times had been shocking enough; going backwards in what appears several hundred years' worth of a jump has him thinking of all the useful things they may NOT have access to, including medical items.

His look upwards at the sudden appearance of a shadow has the man's mouth then visibly dropping open a touch. He doesn't say anything aloud, but his surprise is transparent. It is, in fact, a dragon — and a named one at that.

"Xathies," he echoes even as he watches the gigantic winged creature drifting down towards the tower. "Shortsighted? Figure it's old or it's got injuries…?" Important information to know to avoid accidental insult.

Even Steve knows the adage about being crunchy and tasting good with ketchup.

May pauses as she watches the dragon wheel past and bank toward the tower ahead. She doesn't waste much time staring, though, resuming her steady walking pace as if this had been the plan the whole time. It IS entirely possible that that's exactly the case.

"Whatever the reason, we're talking to the dragon." It might not be a Chinese style dragon, but dragons the world over seem to share some personality traits that she can bank on. A love of and greed for shiny baubles, short temper if not addressed respectfully, and truly epic halitosis.

"About that…" Samurai says as they ride. "The monster warlord that rules over this particular area is an elf called Amara and she has a stronghold that is hidden. She's important enough locally that if she doesn't know how this spell is being sustained she will know who does know it. It's our best lead. But we don't know where her stronghold is."

The Silver armored man glances down to May. "Xathies does. However he wanted us to visit him. Priorities, I suppose. It seemed unwise to break faith with a dragon especially if you want him to help you. Batgirl and I will make some introductions and then let you present the case for why we need to take this land away from them." Beat.

"Oh one other thing. He came here from the world outside to get a quiet nest away from people who wanted to harm him. I have suggested that he move to Asia where dragons, particularly friendly and helpful ones are more revered. Perhaps you might help me sell that?"

The dragon lands as they approach the ruined tower. "Well. Samurai. Batgirl. Hello. And who are these um… elves that you have brought with you?"

Batgirl DID say he was shortsighted. He leans down. "Oh pardon. A knight and a… noblewoman?" He's very confused by the silks but he DOES see the swords May is carrying. "Strange. I have never seen dragon motifs on human blades before. And that is quite an unusual smelling shield you have there young man."

Both Xathies and Samurai glance to Batgirl for the introductions.

"I'm not sure, Captain." Batgirl answers. "It didn't seem prudent to ask given he'd just stolen me and put me in his hoard." She's deadly serious about that. "Zeal had to rescue me, while Samurai distracted him - by pulling a thigh bone from his foot. Xathies foot, I mean. Which is how he and Samurai started talking."

Maybe he's old, or maybe it's something else.

"Amara is a dark elf and most around here seem frightened of her. She tithes the humans who have remained so very heavily. Xathies did agree to help us, if we visited some more."

Hence their being here. And there's the dragon, talking to them in that so very northern british accent.

"Hello Xathies, may I present some friends to you? This is Melinda May, a warrioress of great reknown in our land and this is Captain America another honourable warrior. They have come to meet the dragon we spoke of fondly of."

Sweet talker.

"Asia'd be a good place," the Captain agrees thoughtfully. "Glad to have you back after that then, Batgirl."

He's then silent as the group rides up and into the shadow of both tower and dragon. The mistaken identity as an elf does make Steve quirk a quick one-sided smile that disappears in a heartbeat. Wait until Barnes hears that one.

"Thank you," the shield-bearing Fighter as to the dragon-given compliment. He nods while never taking his eyes off the giant creature, still wary despite Batgirl's sweet words.

With her sheathed sword still in her left hand, she holds her arms forward at shoulder height and one hand over the other while bowing slightly at the waist. "A true honor, Dragon Xathies. Dragons are greatly revered in the land of my ancestors, and to meet one of such favorable character is considered the highest form of good fortune. Depicting dragons on our weapons is believed to impart both the strength and the wisdom of the noble dragons to our blades." She's probably being a bit heavy-handed with the compliments, but if buttering up the dragon works, she's willing to play along for now.

"My companions and I have come to seek your wisdom in dire matters that affect the people of our lands. May we have your counsel to spare the lives of our citizenry from evils that have befallen them recently?"

"Good heavens…" The dragon says, blinking at May. He sounds kind of English. "In the lands I am from the people formed an order of knights just to slay us." To be fair some of the dragons were colossal jerks but yes. It had been conflict and war. The humans had won which if anything one would think might be instructive for the monsters that have made this place possible.

"I have never heard of a land where my kind are held in such high regard. Almost makes me want to visit. But where are my manners. I am very pleased to meet you, Melinda May and … Captain America? Odd name. Or is that a title, oh honorable warrior? I am happy to help however I can. What wisdom may I impart?"

As he is speaking another, very much smaller dragon peeks around his side. This one is only the size of a large dog and it wanders up to Batgirl and sniffs at her.

Batgirl slants a look at the Samurai who hadn't responded to her quip before. It seems the two of them can step back for the moment to let May and Steve speak. "The Samurai and I were telling our friends of the great dragon Xathies and his desire to find somewhere safe to live." She prompts though.

As her horse sidles closer to the Samurai's the smaller dragon appears, drawing that bright green gaze to it. "Who is this, Xathies?" She asks carefully, none to happy with having her leg sniffed at like that. "Hello there…" She tries to engage the smaller creature, looking at Ken again. "Did you want to meet the Samurai, too?"

"A title. Call me Captain Rogers, please," the Fighter in his armor of celestine and argence offers to the elder dragon Xathies. "An honor to meet you. Lady May speaks truly enough. Asia could be a far safer place than here, absolutely. Insofar as wisdom…"

He gestures towards May while still safely ensconced upon his gunmetal-grey destrier. "She's right. This is all new to us 'nd we're wondering how best to approach it all. Our world's very different from this one. We've lost a handful of folks in here to a form of amnesia. They go in and stay in not knowing they've left behind family and friends, another life beyond the edge of the dome." He does watch the far younger dragon approach Batgirl with a patient wariness.

May looks at the oh so European dragon squarely, her expression the exact same seriousness it always is. She's aware of the smaller dragon approaching Batgirl, but she keeps her attention focused on Xathies, as is only polite.

"And in keeping with Captain Rogers' explanation, we have heard that the elf Amara controls nearby lands from a stronghold. We were hoping to approach her for assistance in identifying who has generated the magical spell that has affected our lands and people, perhaps even how the spell is being manipulated into continuing to affect our lands. Do you know how far away and in which direction her stronghold lies?"

"Ah, as you wish, noble Captain Rogers." The Dragon acknowledges the man's preferred name.

"I do in fact know where the elf's stronghold is. She and I have an arrangement where she does not harass me and I do not eat her orcs." The dragon pronounces it 'HAIR-ass.' "I would in fact be happy to take you there. But tell me… this spell…"

This is actually something that Steve and May will learn soon enough distinguishes the supernatural beings from the humans who have been turned into ogres or something similar. The real ones, the originals, all know that this land is born of a spell and know that the dome exists. The amnesiac humans? Won't recognize anything of the sort no matter how hard one tries.

"You intend to end it, don't you. Part of the reason I came was to get away from the noise and danger of humanity. There are not many places where a creature like me can live in safety. And the smog over your cities. Yuck…" He sighs. "Must it end? Is it really so bad? Perhaps the families of those here can come to join them."

You know. It's almost easier when they fight in some ways. "And if you end it, where will those like me go?" Not every monster here came to dominate and rule over humans. Some just wanted a place where they belonged.

The Samurai looks warily at the little dragonling who does not talk to Barbara. Xanthies glances over. "Oh that's Nym. Don't mind him too much, he's just curious. He shouldn't bite. I've taught him better."

He does not bite. But he does stand up on his hind legs, brace on Batgirl and then tug at her mask, trying to pull it down.

Batgirl glances over at the others as they talk to Xathies. She does smirk a bit at the pronunciation of 'harass'. Kens already briefed them on this, Steve and May have it. Besides ….

"Hello Nym. Are you from a research lab?" Not spelt the same, but Batgirl doesn't know that. "Hey, no … stop that… "

The damn dragonling is just like a cat and Batgirl raises one hand to hold her mask in place. This might be a loosing fight - now she's got to rely on her legs to hold on the horse, as she tries to detach the creature with the other hand. It would be so easy to overbalance her.

Steve watches Nym and Batgirl get to wrestling over her face-mask. His features morph to a mild wince. Reaching out, he attempts to grab some of Batgirl's tunic to help stabilize her against the pull of the dragonling's weight against her attempt to stop the de-masking.

"If it's possible to transplant the dome to elsewhere, would that be an option you might entertain, honorable Xathies?" Steve's wondering about the truth of the dragon's existence and then trying to avoid slipping into wonderment about the dragon's LITERAL existence outside of the dome. The world is such a place.

"In the lands of my ancestors there are still regions remote enough from human cities that you could likely live peacefully for a very long time." Yes, May is aware that those undeveloped regions are shrinking, but it's better than being stuck trying to eke out an existence on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne.

"If we find a way to relocate this spell to an area that is not as densely populated with humans, that might be an option. However, it is not one that I can promise. The best I can offer is that we will try."

Batgirl is held in place by Steve holding her almost literally by the scruff as Nym paws and claws at her mask. "Could you… not … please. Hey come on now …" She doesn't want to hurt the little dragon - ok, she probably couldn't - but she's not giving up that mask. "Wait … I know …."

Deftly with the hand she was trying to disengage the dragonling, the redhead reaches into her saddle bag and draws out some dried fish - heavens knows *what* that was in the 'real' world … but it gets the small creatures attention well enough.

"Hmmmm. The Samurai mentioned similarly." Xathies answers. "And you think your people would leave me in peace, Melinda May? I didn't require a spell when I lived across the sea - but it would definitely make things easier."

He's thinking, the two of them can see that. "I might be open to that, yes, Captain Rogers. But I'd want some assurances …"

Steve's ironclad grip on the back of Batgirl's tunic doesn't cease and neither does his arm tremble as he does his best to aid her in dragonling wrangling. He does a masterful job at keeping his expression patient and dignified even while a part of him is bubbling laughter beneath his breastbone. This is…unbelievable, the lot of it.

"While I can't truly speak for everyone, honorable Xathies, I'm open to hearing what assurances you might need to keep things flowing smoothly," the Captain replies to the elder dragon. With force of will, he continues ignoring the antics of Nym.

"That I will be treated fairly. When I came here, I was told I would be left alone. That, sadly, isn't true. It's not just the humans who have been kept here. Some of the others seem to think they can go after me. Some of Amara's drow … " The dragon shakes his head.

Nym is currently being teased by Batgirl with that dried fish. She's tearing pieces off it and tossing it for him. The little dragon trundle off to snap it up and then ambles back to the redhead.

"Are either of you able to give such assurances?" Xathies finishes …

Seeing that Batgirl seems to have Nym under control with the delicious delight of a few dried fish, the Captain releases his death-grip on the back of her tunic-cowl. He then looks back at Xathies once more.

"I will do my absolute best to ensure your fair treatment outside of this magical area," Steve agrees with a firm nod of his head. "I don't know that I can speak for others here, including this Amara or her cohorts. What I do know is that I have contacts outside of the dome who could not only ensure your safe travel, but potentially lodge you elsewhere in another dimension if it came to needing it either for your safety or sanity."

"If you prefer earth I am still willing to make introductions in a land where dragons are looked upon more favorably." Some high japanese mountain would probably love to have a guardian dragon, and would likely treat him with appropriate reverence after all.

The Samurai has been quiet but has been watching the interaction between the young dragon and Batgirl. Innnteresting.

"Perhaps it is for the best. Amara and her drow have earned some… what is the word? Karma, yes. For what they have done. Return to me soon with a strong party of allies and I will convey you to near where her lair is. Past that, I fear you will need a strong arm to make any headway. Should you come out of that unscathed, I will entertain your offers for a new home."

Batgirl would be fascinated to know that the Samurai found the interaction interesting. She'd wonder too what he's thinking about that. Nym sticks it snout on her lap this time when it returns, gazing up at that mask with soulful eyes.

"No, little one, noone takes off the mask." The redhead chides gently, scritching behind its eye ridges for a moment. She read in a novel once that dragons liked that. Then she tosses another piece of fish.

"Many thank, Xathies. Again. For your assistance. We will return as soon as we can." Is Amara the key to defeating this place? It's hard to tell, but it's the only lead they've found worth following.

Xathies gets yet another of those quick, precise nods. Steve didn't necessarily stop sitting astride his mount with such stiffness, but now he's gone subconsciously full military bearing.

"I can think of a few folks who wouldn't mind a good brawl in the name of stopping a bully," the Captain says with a knowing twinkle in his eyes. "We'll return as soon as we can." He echoes Batgirl's sentiments in full support. "It was a pleasure meeting you. Couldn't say I've met a dragon before, but now I can." He gives the creature a good-natured little smile, still surprised enough at the entire affair.

"A pleasure, Captain Rogers." The Dragon says. "Don't be a stranger, as they say."

Dragons and dark elves and sorcery. Oh my.

The Silver Samurai remounts and turns his horse around. He's eying the hills behind them. "Let us stop by the village not far from here and make sure they're not missing any more people." He says. "Then we can get the hell out of this place." He can already feel the scratching at his mind. The amulets will protect them but… why chance it by prolonging the exposure.

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