If I missed something that needs to be fixed, let me know by a private message. If there is more than one error in a single piece, please message me the entire edited piece rather than just copy and paste the corrected sentences. We have five very fine pieces this month, and you only get one vote so make your choice carefully. The theme was "Beast and Master" proposed by @Infinity Turtle Spoiler: Story One: Cold Cold The eye, glassy and dead, was Tark’s only answer. He remained kneeling before the dead Cold One, looking into its dead eye. The battle had ended and the victorious Lustrians had driven away the green robed Skaven of Pestilens. How long Tark had knelt before his fallen mount, he seemed not to know nor care. The Lustrians, even his own fellow riders had left with barely a pause. Cold blood from the wound that had killed his Cold One had begun to clot in the wound, as the heat of the jungle thinned away and night began to creep its path across the sky. It had been only Tark’s presence that had prevented most of the forest’s predators and scavengers from descending upon his former mount. With the advent of night, Tark would surely become prey himself. Still he knelt there, claw almost tenderly placed on the lifeless face of the Cold One. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Many suns ago The egg splintered and broke with but the softest of cracking sounds. A tiny head, still dripping with fluid blinked into the light. Filmy eyes opened and shut as they tried to adjust. The tiny Cold One chirped slowly, and was taken aback from the sound it had just made. It looked up and saw a similarly reptilian face looking down upon it, blue scaled with strange glittering devices upon its head. Tark looked down upon the hatchling that was to be his to raise. It chirped again and scrambled from its egg as the Saurus gently offered it some pre-chewed meat. The Cold One chick chirped again, happier sounding this time as its recently formed fangs attacked the meat with gusto. As it ate, Tark raised a claw and tenderly touched the chick’s face. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Through the jungle the pounding of Cold One claws grew to a crescendo as the formation of riders closed in on the massed ranks of chittering green robed Skaven. Elsewhere units of Saurus crashed into swarms of the Ratmen, the whistling of blowpipes signalled the efforts of Skink skirmishers, and a heavy throb of power indicated that the temple city's Mage Priest was making his presence felt. Tark raised his spear as he picked out a target, a vile ratman whose visible flesh was covered in weeping boils and sores carrying a great gong. Below him, his Cold One’s breath was rasping as it tapped into its kill urge as it neared the foe. Then with a great crash the two lines met. Verminous squeals and saurid roars, the crash of bone and metal on metal, scale, and flesh intermingled into one terrible noise. Cold Ones tore and gnashed through tattered green robes, Skaven claws tore at scaled flesh, and Tark slew all those Skaven around him again and again. It was then that from the mass of vermin an even fouler creature emerged, a heavy and noxiously smoking flail in paw. It crushed the skull of one Cold One rider and then swung at Tark. Tark brought his shield up, knowing that he would be too late. And yet the blow never connected. At the final moment, the Cold One had moved into the path of Skaven. Tark was hurled from his saddle by the blow as his Cold One sank to the ground. The Saurus rose to his feet and roared. The Skaven gave a burbling chitter of a laugh and launched himself forwards... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The stars had begun to wink into life through the gaps in the treeline. Tark removed his claw and blinked. A feeling so strange and alien gripped the Saurus as the shadows began to cover his former mount. A feeling he perhaps wished he could understand. Gently he took in a final breath, filling his nostrils with the dying scent of the Cold One, and then rose. Without turning back, the Saurus began the long journey home. Spoiler: Story Two: What Really Counts What Really Counts. Ivalde reined his magmadroth. The battle raged below him fyreslayers supported by seraphon held the mountain pass from the undead. There were hordes of skeletons swarming up from the lowlands. But the scions of order held fast against the thralls of death. The Seraphon commander rode up besides Ivalde. A great Saurus also rode atop a great reptilian beast. The Saurus saluted him before he drew a dagger and threw it over a hundred yards. Ivalde watched it arc across the sky and end up in a zombies head. The Saurus grinned her teeth and held up one finger. She counted! He realized. Well a as a hot blooded fyreslayer, Ivalde had to accept the challenge, no dwarf could lose to a coldblood. He spurred on his mount and charged in to the battle with the Scar-veteran right behind. He swung his axe at a larger fiend in the undead ranks felling it instantly. His magmadroth trampled zombies into the ground. Was she going to count those? He thought. Yes, he was the master and therefore he counted them. Ivalde continued relentlessly bearing down on the foes swinging his axe. No matter what, the undead would just keep on coming, but it didn’t do anything to him,. He was still after the scar-veteran in kills. Something he intended to change. He shouted to the scar-veteran his kill count and received her reply back, just four more than him. Well he was keeping pace. The battle continued for hours without end. Dark clouds gathered in the sky as rain began to pour down. And with the rain did the legions of undead finally begin to waver. Their ranks thinning with every strike from dwarf or seraphon. Ivalde felled the last zombie with a mighty blow. He surveyed the battle field looking for anything more to kill. As no more dead where rising he he grunted and pulled out his pipe begining to stuff it. The scar-veteran came over stating that she had gotten 190 kills. Ivalde cried out in response: "191 kills for me beating you with one lousey skellie!" his magmadroth roared behind him. The scar-veteran asked how many kills the drake had gotten. The dwarf frowned "Well I counted them in." The scar-veteran laughed showing off rows of sharp teeth. After it she patted her Carnosaur gently, explaining that it had gotten 118 kills alone. Spoiler: Story Three: Big Brother, Little Brother Big Brother, Little Brother “Icpol! Icpol!” The skinks chirruped. The stegadon raised its head and regarded the bouncing creatures. They stood on the wall and whistled out to the beast which slowly acknowledged his hatch mates and the food in their hands. The monster slowly made its way to the edge of the pen, sniffing. They had brought good things for him today! He opened his beak and snapped at the fresh fruit but it was pulled away. The stegadon growled and stomped his feet, lunging. “Tahue! Just give it to him!” One skink shouted at the other, “How would you like it if I stole grubs off your plate!” “Cannot have a little fun?” Tahue replied, his mouth half open in a scaled grin. The other five skinks rolled their eyes. The second skink smacked Tahue’s hands, “Don’t be rude!” Icpol trumpeted at them once more, turning to his hatchmates who didn’t rudely pull the offered food away. The largest skink gently patted the stegadon’s nose. “A busy work day ahead of us, big brother,” He said. The skink was a pale, large figure and leapt from the wall to his back. The stegadon bellowed in compliance as the albino skink tapped his shield. The other skinks jumped up alongside him as the monster moved towards the enclosure’s gate. Tahue ran ahead and opened it. “Iztac!” Tahue chirped. The white skink hauled his spawn mate up onto the back of Icpol as they wandered down towards the city. Victorious they had been some days prior in a battle against the savage rat men, and a new wall needed to be constructed. As a hero, he had earned some respite, but his duty towards his city took paramount. Besides? Who else would command dear Icpol down to the work area? Iztac whistled as they neared the construction area, shouting and calling from other workers rose up, preparing hauling equipment for the beast. The skinks swarmed about connecting Icpol’s harness to the great blocks of stone. With another whistle, onwards he moved, dragging the blocks towards the ramps and kroxigors to be hauled upwards. The crew leapt off his back to help push it along, and splash water beneath it, keeping them moving as smoothly as possible. Iztac maintained his position near Icpol’s head, rapping his frill in the direction he wished the creature to go. The day was like any other Lustrian day, hot, humid, and perfect. At the end of it, Icpol lurched home, his crew dozing in the shade of his shield. Iztac alone was awake, almost perched on the stegadon’s brow. The late day sun bounced off the skink’s pale form. The mark of the Old One’s favor, his bright white scales marked him as a hero. Iztac was reluctant to shoulder such a burden…until that day…that day he went to wander away from his spawnmates and heard the great howling rage of beasts battling. He witnessed a mighty female stegadon fighting a carnosaur before her nest. Horns pierced, claws tore, and blood flowed freely into the mud around them. Iztac had watched in fascination, high in a tree above the fray, wincing when the nest was almost trampled. The great mother tripped the carnosaur causing the behemoth to collapse, leaving her free to crush his skull. But her wounds were too great, and she too succumbed. Iztac swiftly clambered down at the stegadon’s dying breath and approached the nest. One egg remained, perfect, not a single crack or blemish harmed it. And he claimed it. And ran. Bringing the egg back to the temple city only seemed to increase the portents surrounding him. Iztac watched over the egg, witnessing its hatching within the week. The beast slowly grew under his watchful eye, feeding Icpol from his own hands. When he had grown considerably, Iztac taught him to carry just him, a lone skink. They would charge about the jungles on the perimeter of the city chasing down the false targets the skink had set for him. The trumpeting call of the beast showed his pride even at a young age. And he continued to grow. He soon carried armor, then another skink, Tahue. Then another…slowly his crew was built. His howdah was slowly raised. All the while, the great creature still happily took its food directly from Iztac’s hands. Suddenly the burden of becoming a hero did not feel so great, especially with the broad back of a stegadon to support you. Icpol trundled into the enclosure, letting out a tired sigh and collapsing into the cool mud. The crew slowly slid off his back and landed into the mud alongside him, almost content to remain themselves until he rolled onto his side, sending the skinks scattering in a moment of fear. Iztac laughed from his new perch on Icpol’s shoulder. He gave the thick skin a friendly slap. “Sleep well, big brother, tomorrow is another day!” he chirped. Icpol opened one eye and regarded him carefully before letting out a tired wheeze and falling back asleep. Spoiler: Story Four:: The Beast Within The Beast Within Tap Tap Tap Brenn balled his hands into fists, his knuckles turning white as he squeezed them tighter. Tap Tap- THUNK He ignored the immediate pain as his skull collided with the solid wood of the hold. THUNK It was better than the incessant tapping in his mind. The tugging; the whispering; the voices. The urges. THUNK He tasted blood as he bit into his lip. Chapped and dry from the salty sea breeze. The metallic taste and the stinging grounded him. Pain was a leash he could tie himself too. Footsteps sounded on the other side of the door and Brenn froze. He pushed himself into the shadows, praying silently that he would remain undiscovered. As the footsteps faded again he cursed under his breath and laughed to himself. A wretched sound and nothing short of mirthless. What god would listen to him now? He had spent most of his small pouch of coins to gain entrance to the ship, no questions asked. He didn’t know where he was going, and he didn’t particularly care. It would take him far away from his old home, far from his memories of his last few days spent there. Unfortunately not far enough. He had killed someone. >>:-:<< Brenn walked down the starlit street of the town. It wasn’t a large town, often finding itself omitted from maps and memories, but the townsfolk didn’t worry. They were content with their quiet, farm led lives. Everyone knew everyone. Life was blissfully ordinary. Putting a hand to his throbbing forehead, Brenn continued on his way. “Headache” would be an understatement. His steps had echoed off the cold cobblestone of the road, the laughter and shouting from the tavern had faded into the background. He swore quietly and colourfully to himself. A fool. He was a fool. The small bag of money felt worryingly light. A night at the tavern offered winnings, but seemed to only deliver loses. Brenn glance slightly over his shoulder to the sound of footsteps. A clanking of coins. Brenn tried to pretend he hadn’t noticed, but the footsteps appeared and an arm was slung over his shoulder. “No hard feelings, right?” A toothy grin. Eyes that held boastful glee. >>:-:<< That had been weeks ago. Months perhaps. Brenn had no interest in keeping track of time anymore. It had been messy, not entirely painless and an accident. Punches turned to a beating which lead to broken ribs and glossy eyes. An accident. Definitely. Stupid. Worth it. THUNK There it was again. The voice. It sounded familiar. It echoed from the very core of him. A voice he’d heard somewhere before… He’d rushed to the docks half a mile from the town, paying a merchant more than what was necessary to board a ship and stay below deck. He had tried not to think too hard as he handed over the leather pouch full of coins. He hoped the merchant wouldn’t notice his bloody knuckles, though when gold was involved, human curiosity often found other things to do. Stupid. Foolish. Horrible. Exhilarating. THUNK Fun. He stopped as more footsteps rushed passed. A few heart beats later another set followed. Shouts began to sound far above through the ceiling. Something was wrong. Carefully sliding off his sorry excuse for a bed, Brenn sidled his way to the door of the store room. The boat rocked gently underneath his feet as he pressed his ear against the door. More footsteps, more shouts. Very wrong. I hope there’s blood. He slammed his forehead into the door and winced at the pain. He could hear that… Thing inside him growling quietly to itself- purring. Razor sharp fangs, forked tongue- and that voice… He gently opened the door and stepped into the hall, turning towards the ladder at the far end of it. He took the rungs three at a time and slipped onto the main deck. Keeping to the shadows, he gazed around in the faint light of the moon and stars. He wouldn’t have to try hard to stay hidden given the frenzy on deck. Searching for the source of the panic, his eyes turned east where the horizon had started turning strained sort of pink. He narrowed his eyes at the once smooth line where sky meets sea. Land. Land that, with the wind behind them, was rapidly approaching. He felt the thing inside him snicker quietly to itself. A sound that was far from pleasant. Crew men had worked to lower most of the sails and were working to bring down the rest. Brenn was shoved back into reality when one of the voyagers, whether crew or merchant or just a traveller, Brenn didn’t know, grabbed his arms and tugged him along to a rope were a few other men were gathered. Whatever the man was shouting over the din, Brenn didn’t understand a word of it, but he joined the others in pulling on the rope. He had no idea what he was doing or how he could possibly be helping the situation. He was just thankful that the uproar had lent him invisibility. Brenn glanced again to the east, directly in form of the bow. Though still a fair way off, in the growing light he could now make out the real danger. The boat began to rock more violently as they drew nearer. Waves crashed and tumbled over one another as if fighting each other to reach the shore, separated only by the great expanse of a reef reaching out to shelter the now closer length of beach. Brenn heard the crack first, then he was thrown from the rope and the men he had been standing with. He swivelled to try and land on something that wasn’t his face and found the hard deck with his palms and chest. Clenching his teeth he tried to scramble into an upright position but found himself helplessly clawing at the smooth worn wood as the world began to turn. There was a mighty creaking as the boat began to tip. Its keel had been wedged against the reef so the swells pushed the vessel until it stood parallel to the shore. Waves buffeted the side and water rushed in below deck. He heard a scream close by. He realised it was himself. That voice- his voice… Brenn closed his eyes as the world went to hell. >>:-:<< There was sand everywhere. Sand and salt and water. The sound of crashing waves. The hiss on the sand. The stinging pain of warm sea water finding cuts and scrapes left by the coral. Everything blurred as Brenn dragged himself up the gritty beach, the push and pull of the waves slowing his ascent. He heard gulls and rolled onto his back to see them circling high above. The sun was nearing the centre of the sky, beating down on him. Looking out to sea, he could only make out a scattering of flotsam and a flock of gulls picking through for their next meal. Hauling himself to his feet, Brenn bit down on the collar of his shirt to try and block the scream that was building in his throat. Pain. Pain everywhere. He glanced down at a wedge of wood that had imbedded itself in his thigh. Blood seeped out from the wound. He took off his torn shirt and wrapped it tightly above the wound. Gritting his teeth he tugged out the piece of wood. Stupid. Use it. He blocked out the pain, turning it into a tingling throb at the back of his mind. A distraction. Focus. He gazed further down the beach and saw another figure. It lifted its hands and waved at him. Brenn only stared back. The figure approached. Limping. Injured. Weak. “You made it out too? I’ve been looking for other survivors…” The figure was a middle aged man. Drenched with sea water and dripping down one arm, with a distinct metallic scent… blood. The newcomer’s voice faded into the ringing in his ears. He felt his hand tighten around the piece of wood, still soaked in his blood. He stared blankly ahead. The other man’s mouth moved. A few moments later in his mind he registered the words: “Are you okay?” Brenn took a step closer. The man took a step back. Fear. You can taste it. That voice- his voice, he realised. It commanded him. He was merely a puppet, a creature of obedience. The other man didn’t get a chance to cry out before his throat was stabbed again and again and again with that splinter of driftwood. Weak. He deserved it. Blood soaked into the white sand and Brenn collapsed beside the twitching corpse. He didn’t hear the quiet footfalls on the beach. He didn’t feel the vibrations through the sand as something approached. He only looked up when he heard the hiss of breath from a few paces further up shore. Springing to his feet, Brenn brandished the small stake and whirled on the scaly creature behind him. Bloodshot, salt stung eyes met golden glowing ones and Brenn smiled grimly as the spear went through his chest. Foolish. Worth it. Spoiler: Story Five: The Huagerdon The Huagerdon Dawn began to recede into full daylight thought the forest canopy and hanging mists diluted the effect. The lone Skink breathed in deep, drawing in the nearby smells both good and bad. The smell of loamy soil mixed with the smell of ripening fruit. The smell of decomposing dung and rotting animal carcasses mixed with the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers. The jungle made sense. It smelled with the promise of new life and it reeked of the inevitability of death. Beauty and ugliness coexisted side-by -side. Perhaps this was what the Old Ones intended. Not a pastoral soft paradise, but an ever active shifting balancing moving about around an equilibrium. In the dawn’s light filtering through the jungle canopy, the beast caste Skink’s dark green scales were almost as good camouflage as a Chameleon Skink, but now that the light was brighter, he would be more visible. Not that he was in any danger. The jungle was quiet. Normal quiet, not dangerous quiet. The air was filled with light sound of chirping insects, singing birds, croaking amphibians, rustling trees from arboreal mammals and a light breeze. All was well, this was why Tal-Lat avoided Temple cities. This was part of the reason why Tal-Lat avoided Temple Cities…Being around other Skinks made him think of all the friends he lost. By himself the pain was diminished. He told others he was searching for signs of a Coatl. By finding a Coatl he hoped he could help advance the Great Plan, but really he hoped a Coatl would heal the hole in his soul. He began a silent devotion to Iztl. Itzl please give me the strength and wisdom to allow me to carry out your divine will. Please give me a sign. Perhaps he didn’t find completion in his soul, but he was reasonably content. He had fresh air and peaceful solitude. His stomach full of the breakfast of fresh meat and fresh fruit. Then his reverie was interrupted. “Mrrrrraaa” The nearby whine broke his reverie. That sounds kind of like a huagerdon…. “Mrrrrrooo” it came more pitifully. Tal-Lat sighed and followed the sound. Probably, a huagerdon. Not the sign from Itzl I wanted. He walked a short distance to a small pit. Maybe eight feet deep at most. It was hard to tell if it was formed by pooling rain water or a trap setting carnivore. He carefully approached the hole. No cover over the top at all. Even an abandoned trap wouldn’t be completely uncovered. “Mrraa” A pair of large golden eyes looked up at him, so similar to a Skinks it reminded Tal-Lat why some First keep huagerdons. The four legged owner of the eyes backed up as much as the hole it was in could allow. It started shaking in fear. Definitely a huagerdon and a young one at that. “I’m not going to eat you. Stop shaking.” “Yurr?” Huagerdons were cute, but Tal-Lat was beyond that sentimentality. Seemed a little small to be out on its own, but what mother huagerdon would let her hatchling fall in a pit. Maybe it was a young adult that was small and underfed. Maybe the mother had to abandon one to save the others. "Why did you step into an uncovered pit like this?” “Yoff!” “Idiot. If there wasn’t a tiny chance you are a sign from Itzl, I’d leave you there.” “Mrrrroo” “Stop looking at me like that, I’ll get you out.” “Yoff!” Tal-Lat sighed audibly. Tal-Lat thought it was just an old rain formed hole that dried up, and the huagerdon’s thrashing would have probably triggered any dangers, but he didn’t take any chances. He found a long stick and poked around the hole to look for trapdoor spiders, quicksand and any other hazards. The young creature pounced on the stick and tried to grasp it with its teeth, at one point tugging on it. “Stop that!” “Yiff!” “Alright, I’m coming down.” Carefully, the Skink dropped clambered into the hole. The huagerdon seemed torn between rushing forward in delight and backing away in fear. Tal-Lat saw it was a young female and a bit scrawny. It might have been in the hole over a day. “Want some food, girl?” “Yurr?” “Food.” The creature stared at him with her large golden eyes. Slowly he removed his backpack and unwrapped a piece of cooked meat leftover from last night’s hunt. He waved it at the huagerdon slowly. Her nose wiggled. “Yiff!” The little reptile surged forward and pulled the meat from his claws. She tore into the meat so fast she seemed to inhale it. Once it was all gone she sniffed around for more and looked up at the Skink, her tail frantically wagging. “Yurr?” “That’s all the meat I got.” “Yurr?” “I’ll need to hunt more, later. By the way, you’re welcome.” “Yiff!” The huagderon nuzzled against the Skink’s leg. Tal-Lat fought the urge to smile. “Okay, let’s get you out of this hole that you obviously couldn’t get yourself out of by yourself” He examined the hole. The mud hadn’t hardened completely, but it wasn’t soft enough to let a creature without opposable digits get enough of a claw hold to climb out. Tal-Lat could have climbed out by hand, but that wouldn’t be necessary. He walked to closest vertical edge and extended his arms. He could almost reach the ledge. It would be fairly easy to make a short jump to the edge and pull himself up. Tal-Lat wished he tied a rope to a tree before descending the hole. The little huagderon looked at him and cocked her ears toward him quizzically, unsure what he was doing. “Yurr?” “I’m figuring how to get your puddle brained tail out of this hole." “Yoff!” Tal-Lat paused and fished out his water bladder from his pack and took a sip. “Mrrraa” “Thirsty, girl?” “Yoff!” Tal-Lat spread out the wrapping his meat was on and poured a little water on it. The huagerdon began messily lapping it up. “You know maybe you should try getting some of the water in your mouth.” “Yurr?” “Nevermind.” Tal-Lat waited till all the water was either drinked up or absorbed into the ground. “Can we go back to escaping this hole now?” “Yiff!” “I’ll take that as a yes.” Tal-Lat bent down and reached for the huagerdon, and she began vigorously licking his hands. The Skink started laughing before he caught himself and stopped. “Hey, stop that! I’m trying to pick you up.” Eventually he got two hands grasping both sides of her midsection. He lifted the huagerdon to the edge of the pit. She didn’t move. “This…is the part…where you clamber out…the mahrlect….hole…” She pawed feebly and started whining and shaking again. Tal-Lat grunted and tried to inch her closer. “GO!” “Mrraaa!” “Puddle brained tadpole…” Tal-Lat lowered her back to the bottom of the pit and flexed his sore muscles. “What’s wrong with you?” “Mrrroooo” The Skink sat down grumpily in the drying mud. He fished around in his backpack and remembered his meat was all gone. He grabbed some dried fruit. “You are more trouble than you are worth.” He scolded. “Yurr?” “What’s wrong with your paw?” The huagerdon clambered forward into the Skink’s lap. His expression softened as annoyance gave way to paternalistic concern. “Oh, your front paws are all scratched up. No wonder you couldn’t get a good grasp on the ledge. It can’t be good thrashing about the mud like that. Hold still.” Tal-Lat grabbed some disinfecting ointment from his medicinal pouch and began cleaning the shallow cuts on her paws. “Mrraaa!” “Yeah it stings but this will make you feel better in the long run.” After he cleaned and coated the scratches, he blew on them gently. “Yiff!” Then he wrapped some small bandages around them. “That’s better but you probably shouldn’t put more weight on your paws than you need. Itzl, if this moron is a sign from above I want you notice how respectful I am being to a cold blooded creature under your auspices” “Yarr?” “Nevermind. Anyway, I’m going to you out of this hole and take you to the nearest Kahoun.” “Yarr?” “Well you can’t stay with me. You’d just slow me down.” “Yoff!” “No I don’t need a blood hound, my senses are fine. Some soft-hearted Skink who doesn’t mind useless pets can take you in.” The huagerdon started licking his hands again. Tal-Lat sighed. “Why am I even talking to you? The Skink picked her up experimentally. The huagerdon was light, but he would need both hands to get out of the pit. He put her down and stood up and put on his backpack. Then he did a jumping pull up to get out of the hole. “Mrrroo!! Yaff! Yaff! Yaff!” “I’m not leaving you. Why I would I through the trouble to feed you just to leave you down there.” The two locked eyes from the top and bottom of the hole. “Yurr?” “Idiot.” He uncoiled his rope and securely tied it to a sturdy tree. Then he emptied the contents of his pack and put on his empty pack and slid down the hole once again. “Yiff!” The huagerdon started frantically jumping at him, pawing and licking. “I told I wasn’t leaving. Okay, enough. I’m getting you out of here.” Tal-Lat removed his pack. This time when he picked her up she stood helpfully still for once. “Into the pack you go!” Tal-Lat fed the beast into his backpack. She resumed squirming. Tal-Lat couldn’t tell if it was from excitement or discomfort. Her head and front two bandaged paws were sticking adorably out. He climbed up the rope, and then removed the pack and sat on the ground. The huagerdon licked the Skink’s face eagerly. Tal-Lat didn’t restrain his smile this time. Once free of the pack she began running in circles and yipping excessively. This diversion wasn’t all bad, Itzl. Thank you for leading me to this haugerdon. “Okay when you calm down, and come back here, we’ll go find some more food then head back to Kahoun where you can rest and recuperate from your paw scratches.” “Yi—" A Terradon swooped down and stifled the huagerdon’s sounds before flying away with its prize. “Not funny, Itztl!” Per usual, critiques, comparisons and friendly banter is encouraged. I'm not going to be too strict on this, but if you are aiming to do a comprehensive critique, I'd prefer you make a few large posts rather than a swarm of little ones. Mainly for the benefit of people who are reading this thread a year from now.