- Nov 10, 2008
Some wore scales, some wore fur. Some wore feathers, and some were as smooth of skin as the strange, seemingly helpless creatures that Este had inexplicably been driven to protect. The jungle in which Este had grown up had held creatures of every color, shape and size that could be imagined, and more were dangerous than not.... But few could threaten her now. The predators she had once feared she could now crush or rip asunder, the poisons and venoms that had once ailed her she now knew to avoid, and many of the larger creatures possessing too much mass or strength for her to hunt were now among her prey when the wild half-dragon hungered. There were still things more dangerous than she, still things that were so large or powerful that Este had little choice but to avoid them, but now she knew how to with minimal effort on her part.
Safe as one could be from the dangers of their environment, the half-dragon had gained herself a hobby, under a random compulsion. There were other creatures that wandered the jungle, shaped much like her albeit without the tail, armored scales, or claws that had allowed her to thrive in such an environment. Their skin differed from hers as well; where her exposed flesh was darkened by exposure to the sun, theirs varied so oddly; some were the color of peaches, and others a reddish brown, and still others a variety of pink to purple. They were fragile, but some were crafty enough to make it on their own... But those that weren't, she had come to start protecting.
So she had changed her range, drifting into areas less populated by predator and prey alike to satiate her curiosity towards the strange creatures. She had followed some deep into their territory now, until she came upon one of their settlements the day before, though as yet she had not entered; the weak creatures seemed to congregate in strange piles of stone and fallen wood, though she could not immediately discern how they kept from falling apart.
The half-dragon had retreated for now to a nearby cavern, but she was not within it. A beast stalked nearby, a great hulking predatory thing. It walked on two legs and two massive hands, the ground thumping with every step. The black skinned creature wore a bit of cloth, like the settled peoples, but only around its waist; the thing bore both massive curling horns and short tusks. It was far too large for her to attack directly, at least with any hope of succeeding, but it was heading towards the human village. If Este wished to protect the strange softskins from this thing, she would have to divert it or kill it.
A large beehive was in a tree up ahead, along the path on which it traveled; a well thrown rock might knock such a thing down. If she could alter its course, there was a deep river with a strong current a ways away, down a steep cliff; if she could knock it off the side it might drown, though she would have to evade it for some time to manage it. A den of wolves lay nearby, in the opposite direction and a ways back the way that it had come, and given the time of day they would be at home, tending to their young. Leading it back there might injure it enough to make a direct battle more possible, and eliminate a rival for food all at once. She might just attempt to lead it back into the rocky area from which it had traveled and lose it there, however... Or simply let it continue on its path, and see if the softskins could deal with it.