This is an OC character created to adopt a fan-species dragon called the Hopeless Deathtrail. This species was created by Snowflake12298 on the SOD forum thread "*Snowflakes's Limited Hopeless Deathtrails!*"
The Education of a belligerent young man
The Shivertooth, loaded with three burly boys, spiralled down to the permafrosted ground, thickly blanketed in gritty snow. A common little dragon, a Terrible Terror in an ordinary green shade, clung to his spikes. He dumped his fur-swathed passengers and quickly burrowed into the snow and breathing his snowy breath, created a nice sheltered pocket in which to sleep. The Terror stuck with him, and nestled in close to fall asleep.
"HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU LAZY DRAGON?" Bulljorn Burlyboots yelled. He kicked at the snow in frustration. The Shivertooth muttered and grumbled, then fell asleep. Clearly, yelling at dragons was an ineffective tactic in training. Bulljorn didn't care, this dragon was not his dragon, merely transportation for the group to this wretched place.
"So, uh, now what?" Scampr asked.
"We make a shelter, doofus," Goongory replied.
It was survival training for the budding Vikings and Dragon Riders. Bulljorn and his cronies only had one dragon between them for transport, and a mail Terror in case they needed to send out a distress call. None of them had their own dragons yet. They were supposed to learn how to get along with at least just this one, but that didn't seem promising so far.
"Stupid dragon," Bulljorn muttered under his breath. He was a warrior, so any training was important to him. And, very much so to his hard warrior family. There weren't many Burlyboots left on Berk. And many years past before Bulljorn was even born, some family members had dishonored them by abandoning their tribe to follow Alvin the Treacherous when he was ousted from Berk. So it was up to him to restore a sense of family honor and family pride. He needed - he wanted - to be the best Viking warrior on Berk. But first he had to make it through this stupid survival exercise.
"Well, pitch the tent already!" he yelled at his friends.
"You put it up yourself!" Goongory shot back.
"Scampr started unpacking the tarp and poles. "Let's just find some Wanderers to raid and steal their stuff," he offered.
"Do you see any Wanderers around?" Bulljorn snapped. He looked at the hole the Shivertooth had made. He thought for a moment, then started digging a hole in the snow and piling it in a mound.
"Uh, what are you doing?" Goongory asked. He was rewarded with snow to the face.
"What does it look like?" Bulljorn said. "Don't just stand there, help me!"
Soon the boys had a very nice hollowed out mound of snow, with a hole in the roof. The tent, which would have certainly blown down with the slightest wind, served as a covering to the entrance. Bulljorn looked around their little makeshift snow shelter, satisfied. For all their waspish attitudes and bickering, the three friends could get things accomplished together. Warriors had to train and fight together, and act in unison, or it could cost them the battle or their lives.
Scampr crawled into the dragon's burrow to retrieve wood from the saddlebags that were still on him. The dragon cracked open an eye, muttered, and breathed some snow on his bum.
With the wood retrieved, Bulljorn struck his flint striker and got a fire started. At the very least the trainers could have sent them with a dragon that breathed fire. Monstrous Nightmares - now those where some fine dragons!
The boys sat around the fire for awhile, mostly just looking at each other and lost in their own thoughts. The Scampr's stomach audibly rumbled. The boy grimaced, slightly embarrassed, but said nothing.
Bulljorn turned and rummaged in his satchel. Yeah, that satchel ... they seemed to be all the rage on Berk these days, but he'd be happy and feel a little more manly with a good ole' durable rucksack. He only had a few pieces of dried cod, and so did Goongory and Scampr in their satchels. Eating conservatively, that might be three meals max. But they also had to share with the mail Terror. he Shivertooth was capable of catching his own food.
"I only have a few bits of tinder here. We should go find some fuel for the fire," Bulljorn said. Scampr's eyes perked up. He knew that also meant hunting and foraging.
"Well, I'm hungry," Goongory bluntly stated, pulling out a bit of dried cod and gnawing at it. The other two boys glared at him, both for chewing at the hard fish without boiling it first, and for being oblivious to not mentioning their unspoken needs. Real Viking men thoroughly enjoyed feasting and drinking, but wouldn't admit to a few hunger pangs. Goongory looked directly back at them and shrugged.
"Well, I think I saw some seals near the sea, when we were coming in. They looked a little skinny but some seal blubber sounds nice," he rubbed his belly.
Bulljorn snapped back. "Those weren't seal you glutton! Didn't you see those horned snouts? They were Polar Serpents! If we go that way we'd probably be dinner!"
Goongory looked a tad confused for a moment, trying to remember what a Polar Serpent was.
"Well, we should go inland, then. To, you know, find wood," Scamper said.
Bulljorn emptied his satchel of some items to make way for wood and forage, and hefted his axe on his shoulder. The boys left their cozy snow hut and traipsed inland toward a ridge. There were short gnarled trees and shrubs here and there. Ahead there appeared to be areas of sparsely populated taller trees. Perhaps there would also be some denser shrubbery harboring small game. If they were lucky, they might come across some reindeer. Scampr was a pretty good shot with his long bow.
They found a small plot of half-buried crowberry bushes, and eagerly harvested any berry remaining on the branches, no matter how wizened they were. Bulljorn pulled off some reindeer moss, too, from some dark exposed rocks. The stuff was pretty bland, but full of nutrients. The boys set some snares in hopes of catching some game.
They crested the ridge and say the start of a thinly forested area of some spruce and birch, as well as a wide snowy field.
"Ho, look at that!" Goongory exclaimed. Bulljorn reached the top and looked down on the plains. A pack of six or seven dragons loitered about, grumbling and butting each other. But more spectacularly was the fight going on, apparently between two rivals. The dragons were all some dark color with brightly colored bellies and wings. They had short but vicious-looking tusks jutting from their jaws. Most likely the majority were female. There was quite a large, well-muscled adult male, very scarred and very dominant, facing down what appeared to be a young adult male, himself quite hefty, but no matched for the seasoned warrior bull facing him down. The young male was valiantly trying to stack a claim, it seemed, to this pack, but the older male was not impressed.
"Look at that fight! What dragons are these? Now they know how to battle!" Bulljorn said appreciatively.
Scampr pulled out his Book of Dragons. It was hardly legible, since his handwriting was poor, and the pictures rudimentary, but perhaps he would see the species before them.
The older bull charged and the dragons slashed each other with their tusks and bit and scratched with their sharp wing claw. Ironically, both seemed to avoid damaging their opponents' wings, though they were perhaps the most vulnerable and easily damaged area. Any other part was fair game. They both ran their heads along each others' sides, leaving long gouges from the tusks on their hides. The young male whipped his tail at the older bull, but the bull had grabbed his sensitive inner thigh and the young male's tail thwacked upon the armored belly. The young male tried to bite back, but mostly got a mouthful of spiky fin, and only did minimal damage with his tusks. The older male yanked the leg out from under his opponent, deeply goring the leg with his tusk in the process.
Bulljorn wasn't sure from this distance, but he thought the young male's wing might have been injured as his body fell atop it. The young male kicked with all his might and managed to push back the older male, but, in a frenzy, the bull jumped atop him and screamed in his face. He grabbed the younger dragon's throat and shook. The heavy plates saved the young male from severe damage to his windpipe, but nearly passed out from the pressure and wrenching anyway. His wing broken ans his leg spilling dark blood over the snow, he could barely move. Having no actively attacking opponent any longer, the bull let up and roared. Still agitated though, but triumphant, the older male lunged and snapped at his pack mates, who snapped back irritably. Soon the band of dragons moved away, looking for reindeer perhaps. The young male lay exhausted and forgotten.
"Well. Goes to show you not to mess with a seasoned warrior," Bulljorn stated.
Goongory nodded. "Training is important," he said sagely.
The boys continued down the slope to the trees. They found a few more edible plants and berries, some branches they chopped into smaller pieces for the fire, and Scampr shot a rabbit and set up more snares.
Nighttime was early and long, so the boys returned over the ridge to their snow fort. To their delight, they had caught another rabbit in a snare. One they buried in the snow after cleaning it to save for later. The Terrible Terror had moved into their hut and curled near the fire sleeping like a cat.
That evening they had a very decent stew, with a little left for breakfast.
Well into the night, Bulljorn got up and donned his furred coat and grabbed his satchel. He went outside as the others snored away. The Terror lifted his head and mumbled something, then went back to sleep. Sometimes, Bulljorn thought, it almost sounded like dragons spoke in some unintelligible language. Nah, they were just beasts. Very lethal, very interesting beasts. And creatures that could be very loyal if treated right. He had been very slowly changing his perception of them, especially since starting at the Academy, and a few experiences he had had. Like with the fool Ichor and his stinky Fury dragon. Though he'd never admit it, he very much wanted a loyal companion like his very own dragon.
Bulljorn was pleased to see there were two rabbits caught in the snares on the ridge. He unlaced one and reset the snare, no one the wiser. He looked up at the sky, too; the dark clear sky danced with rolling sheets of green and yellow light. He had heard of the Northern Lights. The Gods must be up to something strange, or perhaps the goddess Freya was sewing herself a fine glowing gown out of the sky and stars themselves.
He looked back down to the snow field and tramped onward. The young male dragon was still there, though he had shifted himself a bit. It appeared as though he had tried to right himself and move somehow, but was largely unsuccessful. The muscle of his leg was rent too badly for him to support his weight, and it appeared a wing finger bone was snapped in two, making him unable to support himself in flight. The other gouges and bites along his body were bad, but wouldn't kill him. Slow starvation would be what did this magnificent creature in.
Bulljorn, surprisingly for a rather belligerent Viking boy, could write, and wrote with a legible hand. So he had been able to find what species this dragon was in his copy of the Book of Dragons. This dragon was a Hopeless Deathtrail, making him possibly even more magnificent than a Nightmare or Skrill. They were Tracker Class, aggressive, and hard-headed. Their hoarfrost breath was perhaps not as spectacular as lightning, but still useful. It was all about how you wield the weapons you have. Also unfortunately - or fortunately for him right now - the Deathtrail's eye sight was poor at night. As he approached, the dragon growled and kept shifting his head to visualize the object approaching him without success. His sight was as bad as a chicken's in the the dark.
Bulljorn drew himself up to look as tall as possible and waved his axe. Normally weapons with dragons were a no-no, but he needed to show he had a "big tooth" or something along those lines. The dragon lifted his head and breathed hoarfrost in his general direction. The edge of it caught him and for a brief moment he was so cold he was almost frozen in place. He shook it off and stood tall, pointing the axe at the dragon. "YOU will listen to ME!" he declared loudly and confidently.
Then with nimble speed for such a hefty boy, he weaved up to the dragon and threw himself on his head, grabbing a tusk and an ear. The dragon screeched in fury and tried to shake him off, raking at the boy with his one good wing claw. Bulljorn deflected the wing claw with the axe handle and still managed to hang on. He had heard of wrestling down a Nightmare. It was all about showing dominance to ornery dragons like these. Nevermind he was taking advantage of the dragon's debilitated state. This was for his own good.
"RRRAAAAAAAHHHHH!!" Bulljorn yelled as deep and as loud as he could. The dragon thrashed for a long time, expending his already low energy. At least the beast let his head sink to the snow, exhausted. Bulljorn clung on and didn't move, nit until he felt the dragon relax completely beneath him, rather than winding back up for another fight.
Ever so slowly, he loosened one hand and scratched behind the dragon's ear appendages. Dragons often got itchy behind their various head ornamentation. The hide was more tender there and not easily scratched. The dragon growled, but after a moment, grudgingly leaned every so slightly into his hand.
Well, now or never. Bulljorn slid off the dragon's head quickly and stood in front of him authoritatively. The dragon lifted his head a little and parted his mouth, letting his teeth show and some hoarfrost curled out warningly. Now, in theory, the dragon would not attack as long as Bulljorn stayed confident, but non-threatening. The dragon could still not quite make him out, but had his scent and knew well enough where he was to do harm. Bulljorn walked nonchalantly over to the satchel and pulled out the dead rabbit. He walked back to the dragon and dropped it in front if his nose and stepped back.
The gesture was very alien to the dragon, There was a bit of food before him that the smelly two-leg mammal just brought him. It smelled good. Yet not even as a hatchling had any creature brought him food. It was vastly puzzling, and for a moment the dragon kept sniffing at it and trying to look at it. But finally hunger won over and he ate the rabbit in two bites.
Satisfied that the dragon ate his offering, Bulljorn stepped up to the dragon again and put his hand on his snout. The dragon snapped warningly at him and Bulljorn smacked him on the snout in return. The dragon growled, but laid hos head back down. The smack would hardly phase a dragon at all, but it was more symbolic of dominance and that snapping was not acceptable behavior. And weren't dragons constantly jostling each other about and nipping amongst themselves?
Bulljorn walked with his satchel over to the dragon's injured leg and straddled the uninjured part. That way, if the dragon kicked, the claws would not catch him. The deep slash had stopped bleeding. It was cold and icy to the touch. Probably the dragon had used his hoarfrost breath on himself to numb the pain. Unlike some of his Academy brethren, he had paid attention to his lessons (though he tried to not look very interested). Having a basic knowledge of first aid on the battle field was important. So he sewed up the self-numbed wound with some clean thread from the dragon first aid kit the boys had packed. Hopefully the Shivertooth wouldn't need it.
Setting the outer wing finger bone proved more difficult. Like the leg wound, it seemed the dragon had numbed the break, which was fortunate. He could easily get a mostly straight branch or piece of wood to form a splint. But how to secure it? He saw nothing to do except sew into the wing membrane and hope it held.
The dragon watched Bulljorn's shadowy form walk away, then inspected his leg. The muscle of course was deeply damaged, but it was knitted together and felt secure. He breathed on it some more and on his wing, also.
Bulljorn was happy to find both another rabbit in their snares which he took, and a perfectly sized pine sapling which he chopped down. He traipsed back to the Deathtrail and tossed the rabbit to the dragon. It took him far less time to decide to eat it. Bulljorn sutured the sapling to the snapped wing bone with crude knots, wrapping the thread around it and in through the skin. Again, the dragon felt very little, if anything. He hoped it held.
He came around and patted the dragon on the snout whether he liked it or not, and left, taking purposeful confident strides. He was not retreating, he communicated with his motions.
Back at the snow hovel, Bulljorn crawled under his furs. Scampr rolled over and mumbled "Where were you?"
"Can't a guy go take a leak without getting questioned?" Bulljorn replied. Scampr rolled back over and started snoring again. That dragon was his. But really, he had a hard time admitting even to himself, that he was sad to see such a glorious dragon suffering and eventually dying. That was the harsh world of wild Nature, and he more than anyone, respected the natural order of things. The strong survive. But this dragon was strong! He said to himself. Well, maybe a little too head-strong, to challenge a tougher opponent.
The next morning, the Shivertooth was awake. Scampr went to check the snares and came back with the one rabbit.
"We are going to have to go to the sea shore," Goongory stated.
"You know, that dragon is still there, the one that got trounced yesterday," Scampr interjected.
Bulljorn shrugged. "Survival of the fittest, right?"
Somehow, Scampr was able to convince the Shivertooth to fly them to the sea. The polar serpents were gone, so the boys fished for the rest of the day and gathered anything edible at low tide.
For the next fortnight, Bulljorn snuck some meager rations to the Deathtrail and checked his wounds. He found himself chatting a bit too much to the dragon. It was too easy to do. Its not like the dragon would understand him if he said something less than macho, right? For his part the dragon still growled and grumbled at Bulljorn, but much like the boy, it was all for show. He was not some sissy dragon, he was just in a bit of a rough patch right now.
After awhile the dragon was able to stretch his wing fully, thanks to the stability the wood provided to the break as it healed itself together. He was also able to get up and stand, though most of his weight was on the good leg. The muscle was still far too tender to support weight. But Bulljorn pulled on the dragon's foot to work the leg, until the dragon had had enough and booted him into the snow. Bulljorn jumped back up and cuffed him. But it was an affectionate sort of gesture amongst brutish males, and the dragon knew this.
One morning at dawn, Goongory was the first out of their snow home. He immediately came running back in to grab his short sword. "We're under attack!" he yelled and ran back outside.
Bulljorn and Scampr looked at each other questioningly, but grabbed their weapons and dashed out.
"You knuckle-head!" Bulljorn shouted. They were being "attacked" by his Deathtrail. Goongory was a bit lazy but quick to jump into action. Or to conclusions.
"AAHHHHH!!" Goongory cried and ran at the dragon, sword raised. The dragon lobbed him with hoarfrost and froze him in place.
Bulljorn sighed. Warriors needed to assess the threat before charging into battle, or worse not panic. He strode over to the Deathtrail and patted him. "This is BrendleBlood. He is my dragon!" he announced, daring anyone to challenge him. Of course neither of his friends would do that.
"Hey, he's the one that got beat up, isn't he?" Scampr asked. Then, "Oh." as he put two and two together. "I wondered how he didn't starve."
Scampr stood near the Shivertooth's burrow as the dragon emerged. It seemed Scampr and the Shivertooth had formed an understanding of sorts. BrendleBlood saw this new dragon and growled. He switched his tail and lowered his head, brandishing his tusks in challenge. He even stepped forward awkwardly as if to charge. The Shivertooth grunted in annoyance. He was bigger and older, used to a variety of dragons, and wanted little to do with this silly display. He blasted the upstart dragon with snow, and BrendleBlood toppled over. And that was that.
Goongory started moving again. "STUPID DRAGONS!" He slurred, and stomped back into their domicile to sit near the fire.
The Deathtrail righted himself quickly in embarrassment and snorted at the Shivertooth as if to say - I meant to do that. The Shivertooth ignored him and dug a few fish from the snow that the boys had stored. Scampr picked up one and tossed it to Bulljorn, who in turn offered it to BrendleBlood.
The young hot-headed dragon with the cold breath ate it up quickly. This would take some getting used to. This strange little pack of dragon and two-legged mammals, where members did not jostle for position or quarrel amongst themselves - not much anyway - and shared food. Just who would BrendleBlood fight, then?
About the Hopeless Deathtrail
- Class: Tracker
- Fire Type: Billowing Icy Smoke (Hoarfrost)
- Features: Bright colorful but dark body, two tusks in the front, whiskers, frills on side of head, head appendages, and large fins on back
- Abilities: Tracking, signaling, and keeping warm
- Size: 30 feet tall
- Habitat: Unknown
- Ability to Train Level: Expert Trainers Only
- Time of day: Daytime only
- Behavior Traits: Ruthless and cunning doesn't camoflague due to the fact that it tries to be intimidating and scare everything off. This is a dragon that isn't scared to fight and usually starts a fight with anything. It was once reported that the Hopeless Deathtrail had fought its own reflection in the water! They hunt in packs like wolves and use their colorful frills to signal the pack to close in. Different colors mean different things like: red means attack, blue means stand down, green means take off, and purple means use Hoarfrost.
- Fighting style: When on land they will run and charge at opponents with their tusks and razor sharp wing claws. Their tails also can swing around in a whip-like manner stunning their opponents. Also their fire type they use to cause confusion and to paralyze them with the iciness of the smoke.
- Hatchlings: Usually are born without their mother and stay partially in their eggs until they reach the Shortwing age when they grow out the rest of their fins and are able to protect themselves more effectively. They use the eggs as a source of nutrients and protection against the elements. Their eggs can be many colors even mimicking other dragon eggs as another defense mechanism. They are less aggressive than the adults and waddle around like ducks hauling their shells wherever they go.
- Flaws: They can't see in the dark like other dragons but they can use their scales like flashlights or their whiskers to help see but this makes them an easier target at night. They are also easily distracted and forgetful.