One moment Viktor Teophilus was standing in the Council of Gaea’s new headquarters, before Seline, and the next — poof — he was half-way across Creation, standing next to VIII and his glowing chest. And four dead Dragonsword. And a ton of rampaging civilians, who were, as best as Viktor could tell, a little miffed about the dragons strafing the once peaceful port city of Brudge, spewing lightning, flame, acid, and sleet upon the city.
It looked as though his comrades had once again managed to kick over an ants nest — rather large, scaly, element-barfing ants, at that. “Welcome to Brudge, Citizen Viktor,” Madu spouted. “Time to go!” The new Butterflies sprinted back to the Angel of Vengeance, still docked at the air docks of the city. As the ship pulled away, with clear skies ahead, a vicious brute of a lizard — a hatchling, barely 500 years old, Ferrox piped in — eyed the Nox Family compound hungrily. Its serpentine neck reared back, air filling its lungs as it prepared to unleash its draconic fury, as VIII unleashed a devastating salvo from his wrist-mounted bolters into the beast.
The sapphire dragon turned, focusing its attention on the Angel of Vengeance rather than the Nox home. Great. Mission accomplished, VIII.
As the creature writhed in the air, Viktor unbuckled the Fangs of Ferrox and hefted them in each hand, and moved to the prow, bellowing at the creature to dare approach — channeling Ferrox’s own challenge to the younger dragon.
Aeval, like Viktor moments before, performed her own disappearing act. Vanishing from the deck of the ship, she appeared nearly 300 meters away, clinging to Sapphire with muscular legs as her crystalline sword bit deeply into the creature, shredding scales and flesh alike. Moments later, as the dragon closed with the Angel, Viktor leapt from the airship and onto the dragon, hacking viciously with his axes and inflicting grievous, if not lethal, harm to the beast.
The dragon did not go quietly, however, as his jaws closed on the prow of the Angel and crushed it to splinters, scattering the forward 5 meters of the vessel over the bazaar of Brudge.
Viktor, channeling Ferrox’s anger, savagely tore at Sapphire’s neck again, ripping tendons and sinew and using the axes as climbing tools to move around the creature. Finally ripping the axes free in a shower of gore, he leapt back to the comrade’s airship before the dragon moved too far away. His neck free, Sapphire’s serpentine neck twisted, and his mouth opened wide to belch forth sleet and cold. The _Angel_’s new prow, of the glacier variety, caused the vessel to start to list, bucking forward. The captain pulled at the controls wildly, attempting to maintain control of the damaged craft.
Maru, meanwhile, ducked behind Ichiro, hoping to use the mage’s arcane shields for protection…only to have Maru turn incorporeal before his eyes. The dragon’s hoarfrost coated Maru’s hands and face, covering them in a thin layer of ice.
As the dragon regained his breath and readied for a second assault, Ichiro re-incorporated and, gathering the winds of magic to him, unleashed a vortex of energy, ripping scales and flesh, re-opening closed wounds, and devastating the dragon. Sensing both its death and that of his sword, Sapphire fled to the city streets and into the sewers. Shameful, though Viktor…such a noble beast driven to ground, to filth. He spat. Such was the fate of those young who sided with the Dominion.
“We can barely fly, I’m afraid,” Captain James said. “We’ve got to head for repairs.”
“Try…here,” Maru said, pointing to the nearby cathedral at St. Barnaby. “They may be in Azure Alliance territory, but the Council has dealt with them before. We can make repairs, at least, and potentially gather information and supplies.”
As the airship landed at the St. Barnaby, home of Father Alexias and his exterminator angels, the paladin Illyana approached them. She was missing an eye, and possessed the sword of Father Alexias — his Lawgiver. “Who are you?” she inquired. The words carried a quiet menace — answer wrong, and you might not live to clarfiy your words.
“We’re with the Council,” Maru said. “I am VIII. VIII am I,” said VIII.
She looked at VIII for a moment, evaluating him both as a threat and for intelligence, and then said, “And what do you need?”
“Repairs…our ship has broken down. We’re going to rescue the Alphas. The original Obsidian Butterflies. They’re being held a few days flight from here — at The Pit, the Azure Alliance prison.”
“We can accomodate that — momentarily. Our resources are limited, but we have the resources to shelter you for a few days.”
As the group entered the cathedral, they passed through enormous crystalline walls, drawn from the earth with magic, and enormous dragon skulls mounted and skewered on their spires. Repairs began immediately on the Angel of Vengeance, and Illyana had one last shred of assistance to lend — a young earth mage named Jannic, a youth of 17 who was supremely gifted. He had crafted the crystalline defenses, and could open a tunnel of earth deep within The Pit, bypassing the most serious of the prison’s defenses.
After studying the maps, it was decided to land in the southern Kozal Forest, just south of Bendeck — a mere six hours north of New Americ and The Pit. As Jannic opened the tunnel to the pit, the group began their assault to recover the founders of the Council of Gaea.