Calmly walking south, the scenery was as peaceful as could be. A great plain stretches as far as the eye can see, wild animals following their instincts, hunting, and living. Me, well, I'm Arilith, a self-exiled Dragon-Blood. I just left the northern lands, and am on my way to the eastern city of Nexus.
While calmly walking on south, I notice a group of lions that seems to be paying too much attention to me. I really don't want trouble with 3 lions, so I just calmly go on my way, ignoring them. But suddenly, they break into a run for me. All of them are in front, and there's nowhere to hide, or nothing to climb. Clear land all around... great.
Taking count of my options... First, I instruct my pet hawk to fly off. This is not something he can do anything at. Second, I have my trusty chakram, and my body, itself a weapon. I have my bracelets, which allow me to further control the air around me, and that's about it. Great. Things aren't looking too good.
First thing I do is activate my full anima. Maybe the sheer fury of my power will scare them off.
Obviously no such luck. They press on, like nothing happened. There's something odd here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
They're in range, time to rumble. The first lion lunges at me, which a quick sidestep deals with. The second angles to my new position, but does not expect me to move so fast, and I sidestep again. The third one now lunges, and I sidestep a third time, this time sinking my elbow sharply on his head, bringing him down against the earth.
A quick backflip puts some distance between us, and gives me a chance to regain my bearings. I keep feeling something strange going on. Their eyes and movements are strangely coordinated, like someone was guiding them. But where?
No time to look, here they come again. This time one of them engages me up close, lunging with his claws. I deflect his slashes with my hands, pushing his claw sideways before it hits it's mark. Then I hear the quick shuffle.
Bastards! They circled me from behind! I barely leap up, using my innate affinity with the wind to bear me high, but still get a nasty rake across my back for it.
A quick backspin straightens me in the air, and I pull out my chakram. Focusing on it, I lash out with it, 4 phantom discs coming down in quick succession. They all land, solid impacts on the ground I stood on seconds before, and, while 2 lions pull back just in time, the third loses his head. I land with the impact of a leaf, a soft landing that belies my weight or speed.
The other two seem wary now, and that gives me the time I need. I shift my perceptions to that which is normally unseen, to the world of spirits. There has to be someone or something guiding these animals...
There! Floating above their respective charges, 3 nature-spirits, seemingly controlling the lions. The one that corresponds to the dead lion is leaving, it's fun finished.
I'm not finished with him.
Normally material beings strike through inmaterial spirits, flesh incompatible with ephemera. But by further attuning myself to the spirit world, my flesh is now of both realms. They can attack me now, but so can I them.
I quickly leap foward, before either of the other two can realize, or mobilize their pets. I strike through the spirit that was retreating. My fist through it, it takes him a second to realize that he should be gone, and he desintegrates.
The other two are scared now. They know I can deal with them now, and move to hide behind the lions. No time to waste. Focusing on the air around me, I wrap myself in it, and to their vision, I fade from view.
Their puzzled faces only last a second, for he suddenly feels the biting slice of my chackram on his body, and complies with my request. The lion he controls goes limp, and falls unconcious. He dies.
The last one, now terrified, tries to flee. He sends his lion in a mad charge against me, and runs. I fail to control my mounting fury, and when the lion leaps to tackle me, I dodge to the side, and in a flurry of movement, slice at the lion as I pass from side to side of him. What lands on the ground are more like chunks of meat than the original lion, but hey, what can I say. I was probably fire-aspected in a previous life.
Ah, yes. The fleeing nature-spirit. I concentrate, and solidify the air itself, into shards of ice and concentrated wind. These I send forth, while I declare my judgement. "You have surpassed your station, as much in taking control of beasts not your own as in attacking a Dragon-Blood. All I can offer you for this, is dissolution."
The shards of ice dig into his form, and the wind blades slice his body like a rag doll. He would drop right there, if not for the fact that spirits are weightless. He dissolves into thin air over the next few seconds.
The fight over, this gives me time to think. Are things this bad in the Threshold?
Have the other Dragon-Bloods been ignoring their duties so? Even if they are, this is too much against the natural order of things.
My resolve bolstered, and my path certain, I continue to Nexus, where I hope some measure of answers can be gleaned from the chaos that Creation now stands in.