Panik the Lost was concieved to accompany the 'adoption' of a fan-species dragon called the Coalskin. Coalskins are the creation of Chameishida, and can be found on the School of Dragons Forum thread, "the Coalskin - Customizable bases
For the best experience, read Snorre the Still's story first.
A Cold Harsh Meeting
The sky was as cold and grey here, on this pebbled beach, as it was in her homeland far, far from here. The cold bit through her thin undergarment, the only thing she had left, but she felt nothing, she was numb. She wished she could go with her mother and travel to the ethereal lands beyond this one. Perhaps if she lay here long enough, she would.
Her mother's shell lay partially atop her, still trying to shield her from danger. The rest of her family lay around her too, pinned to the earth with arrows. She could hear the cracking of flames nearby, and the thumping of an injured flying serpent, the one that had made then stop in the first place. It was a great scaled beast dissimilar to the ones from her home. This one could wear fire on its skin and not just spit it from its mouth. The angry beast was as caged as she and her people were by the light-haired and light skinned strangers, boxed up aboard a massive canoe bigger than even a hut. They all were united as slaves. Then the beast had had enough, and somehow broke free, smashing through the ship and putting a smoking hole in its side. The blonde devils steered to shore, shot the escaping beast with poisoned arrows, and gathered her family on a small boat to sail ashore to get wood to fix the ship. But her father and brother thought they saw an opportunity just as the flaming serpent had. They tried to wrest control from the captors in the small boat to shore. Her Uncle was nearly cleaved in two and fell overboard into the cold water. Panik and the others were herded ashore, and prodded together on the beach, where the devils decided they were more trouble than they were worth. Arrows rained down upon them all. All except Panik. As she fell under the weight of her mother, a smoldering blackened beast charged from the woods and ran into every single two-legged devil. He shot no flames like the other serpent, but his mere touch had the men screaming in agony and charred to nothing more than smoking husks of flesh. The acrid smell tickled her brain, even though her nose was loosing feeling. The beast disappeared back into the woods as suddenly as it had appeared.
Panik watched a puff of smoke curl by above her, only visible because it was a darker shade of grey than the overcast, cloud-covered sky above it. The flame-skinned dragon must be getting closer, because she heard the pebbles of the beach shift and crunch closer by. Perhaps the monster would burn her to cinders, though she distantly preferred the numbness from the cold right now.
An apparition loomed into her line of sight. One of those. Pale skin, pale eyes, and bristling hair erupting from the skin. Reaching for her. Not again. Not again! Her cold throat twisted in her neck and she screamed into the face of the Viking devil. The devil stumbled back in surprise, and Panik jumped up, warmth flooding her limps, and ran screaming and wailing into the barren woods. The only thing she could think of was getting away, and nothing else. She did not notice the purple dragon that jumped up to pursue her, but she was dimly aware of that black beast from before moving in behind her from seemingly out of nowhere and challenging the Viking. Maybe he would burn that one to a crisp, too. She didn't care. She was just never going to be caught again.
The leafless trees stretched on endlessly. Panik still ran, though it was more of a stumbling trot. The crisp air seared her heaving lungs and she couldn't feel her toes. The short daytime was dwindling fast. She finally stumbled once too many times and decided to stay down, eyes wide like a frightened rabbit, swishing her head all about looking for danger. She had the distinct feeling she was being watched. Then she caught herself - so what? As long as it wasn't a Viking devil, she did not care if she were being watched. Let the flaming serpents, or wolves, or the winter cold watch, so long as they took her. There was nothing for her now. No family, no home, no shelter or food. Perhaps the cold would take her gently through the night. Panik slowed her breathing. Her body was exhausted. Her mind was muddled and worn with sadness and fear.
For a long while, she just sat huddled at the base of a tree, awake, her body shuddering in a vain attempt to stay warm. Finally though, she grew tired and let herself slip into dreamless sleep.
Panik woke up, pretty sure she was still alive. In fact, she had awoken because cold was creeping back into her body. Something had kept the cold at bay through the night. A half-charred cloth with a half-melted brownish substance and a toasted version of what the devils had tossed to her and her family on the ship. 'Bread' she thought it was called. A short distance from her, there was a black stain on the snow, as if it burned but didn't melt.
She was going to ignore this food, but her stomach grumbled loud enough to call to the wolves. She thought about starving herself, but ... She wasn't sure exactly why, but she chewed on the bread. It was chilly, but not as stale as the stuff she had on the ship. Then the chunk of brownish stuff - she wasn't sure what it was, but it tasted okay. Strangely a little sweet. Slightly rubbery in texture. Panik tucked the bit of cloth that was left around one of her feet inside the slipper.
She stood up and stretched. She wasn't sleepy anymore, at least not right now. The cold seemed to be bothering her more today than it did yesterday when ... she stopped her thought. She stepped over to the charred spot, like a shadow permanently etched into the snow. It reminded her of the color of that black beast and of the burnt bodies ... Panik tried to stop the thoughts again. What else was there to think of? Surviving? She didn't want to think about that. Then she thought of her mother, who shielded her body from arrows, wanting her daughter to survive. She thought of her family laying cold and lifeless on the pebbled beach. They needed to be buried at least, if something hadn't eaten their husks. Panik knelt down in the charred snow - somehow it was still warm - and cried. Somewhere in the woods there was an answering mournful cry, not the howl of a wolf, but something else. When her well of tears ran dry, she felt just the littlest bit lighter. She got up and started traipsing through the snow, in a direction she thought she had come from.
Every now and then through the day, she glimpsed a dark form through the trees. The black beast kept up with her, but stayed away from her. Wouldn't he have eaten her by now, if he had wanted to?
The day passed over and Panik stopped again. Her feet were cold, too cold. She dug out a hollow in the snow at the base of a tree trunk to sleep. If she passed on from cold this night, she was fine with that. If she awoke in the morning ... that was okay, too. The sky grew black. It was overcast again, so nothing twinkled in the sky, except the bright moon which tried her best to shine through the clouds and peeked out from them every now and then. She felt the cold creep into her bones. Somehow, she thought - she knew - the dark serpent that orbited around her had left.
But just before she fell asleep, the air grew even colder, then a rush of warmth rolled in. The black beast seemed to materialize from amongst the tree trunks cautiously. The heat was radiating from his charcoal skin, so hot it could burn a man to a cinder, as she had witnessed. Tendrils of the night seemed to swirl around him, sucking in any light. He carried something in his mouth, dragging it through the snow as he walked. He dropped a bundle a few feet from her. It was leathers and fur by the looks of it, charred in one spot and covered in snow over the rest. Panik looked at the dragon, who settled down in the snow nearby, not too close, but close enough to keep the biting cold at bay. She reached out for the bundle and picked at it. It was a package, something she didn't think the dragon capable of. Unrolled, it was a coat of hide and fur, though one arm of it seemed to be burnt nearly off. It was wrapped around a pair of boots, and in the boots was a cloth containing some dried meat, a bit of bread, a bit of that other stuff from the night before, and a wrinkled fruit. At the sight of the food, Panik's stomach growled so loudly that the black dragon lifted his head and looked at her. She stuffed the food in her mouth, followed with some mouthfuls of snow in between. She knew the coat and boots for what they were, though they were vastly different from what her people wore. She put the garments on. They were too big for her, but she could cocoon herself inside. She felt just a little bit safe in the fur-lined coat, with a warm dragon near by that seemed to want to help, rather than eat her. Panik closed her eyes and slept relatively well.
Panik toddled toward the pebbled beach. The coat and boots hindered her movement due to their size, but they were warm. She could smell the salt in the cool air, so she was getting close to the sea again. Her heart seemed to clench with anxiety as she got closer. She was suddenly besieged with doubt. What would she do when she got there? She wasn't a shaman. Did she want to see what had happened with her family's bodily shells?
The shadowy beast walked along nearby, hanging his head. The weak winter sun peeked through the skeletal tree branches. The trees thinned out a little, then suddenly just stopped abruptly at the stony beach of pebbles and some boulders dropped here and there. Panik stopped too, and slowly looked around, curious yet fearful. Near the woods perched on a flat-topped boulder was a small package wrapped in cloth, seemingly purposefully placed. But Panik's eyes did not linger there. The dragon with the flaming skin was gone. Out in the grey sea, a spear of wood which was formerly the mast of the lave ship jutted out of the surface and nothing else. One small row boat was tossed hap-hazardly onto the beach. Those burnt bodies ... they were still there. A few ravens walked about or stood on the unidentifiable corpses, but none seemed too keen to feast on them. And then ... there was nothing else. Her people were gone. Some arrows laid about, but their bodies had completely vanished.
Panik stepped out onto the pebbles and stepped jerkily over to the spot she knew her family had been. Where her mother had been. She picked up an arrow - maybe one that had struck her mother - was that dark stain on the end blood? She held it close and fell to her knees in the spot where she herself had lain a few days before. Clutching the arrow her eyes welled up again and tears spilled down her cheeks. The little girl desperately wanted some comfort, to be held, to have her mother give her a hug. But all she had was this cold arrow.
The shadow serpent whined from the tree line and paced back and forth, seeing the girl's distress. He glanced up at the pale sun. In a sudden burst, he bounded over to the cold sea and slipped into the frigid water. In a thin ring of ice formed yards away from the dragon at the center. However all around the dragon himself the water sputtered and belched vapor violently. As the beast moved under the surface, the sublimating area moved with him. He resurfaced for some air then slipped underneath again for a long while. Finally he re-emerged and shook off excess water, creating a strange shower of water, steam, and wisps of black smoke. The creature how left shadows in the snow trotted over to the girl and tentatively nudged the edge of the thick coat. Nothing happened. Panik looked up with wet tracks down her cheeks. The dragon laid his head in her lap, and a fresh sob broke from her throat. she gripped his head in a tight hug. He still radiated heat, but with the coat on it felt merely like laying very close to a cooking fire.
The pair sat like that for a little while, until the girl's tears dried. The dragon was already slowly heating up again, soaking in the weak sun's rays. He lifted away from the girl, grabbed the cloth-wrapped pack from the stone and brought it to her. Then he retired to the shadows of the woods.
That evening Panik had moved back to the woods and finally ate the bit of food in the package. Smoked fish, bread, and dried fruit. The dragon was warn again, but she was able to sleep closer to him than before. The next morning she wasn't sure what to do, where to go, or carry on. She had no tools or weapons or shelter, and was rather small to hunt or build anything. And lonely, except for the snow shadow serpent. She got the distinct impression that he was lonely, too. And somehow the parcels of food appeared.
Panik didn't get to dwell on the appearances of the provisions for long. From within the woods she saw a tall man walk onto the beach from further down, using a long spear as a walking stick. He was covered in leathers and furs, and had some sort of bow-and-arrow strapped to his back. A string of several mottled hare hung from his shoulders as well. This man - he was the one who had stood over her, with a bristling brown beard. One of them. And it was he who placed a small bundle of food on the flat-topped boulder.
A purple dragon with one half-wing bounded forward in front of him. It reminded Panik of the fishing eagles back home. The dragon sniffed deeply around the exact spot she had sat the day before. She looked up at the woods, sniffing the air, and advanced forward. She opened her mouth as if to keen, but Panik didn't hear any sounds come from her mouth. Hear lowered and eyes fixated at the woods, the purple dragon slunk forward. She moved past the man at the boulder. She was hunting, hunting Panik. Slinking like a cougar up to the wood line, she suddenly rushed forward in a big burst, right at the tree Panik was hiding behind, mouth glowing green. ShadowSnow - the black beast - charged forward from the side and rammed into the hunting dragon's side. She grunted in pain, and a dark splotch appeared on her flank. ShadowSnow burned things with his touch, but another dragon was a little more resistant. The purple dragon righted herself quickly, and faced the black dragon, roaring silently again in challenge. Her mouth glowed again and she spat out a green spear of lightened plasma, directly at ShadowSnow. He did not duck away to avoid the blast, but took it head on. It struck his skull and for a moment danced about his face like static, before getting sucked away into his hide. The purple dragon shot another, hitting him on the back. Even some distance away, Panik felt the heat in the area suddenly ratchet up tremendously. ShadowSnow was absorbing the powerful blasts, and Panik wasn't sure if there was a limit for him.
The purple dragon powered up her plasma breath yet again, focused on defeating this opponent who yet again interrupted her hunt. But this time her head was pushed down by the man. "DOWN!" he bellowed firmly. Her shot fired into the snow, spraying a huge gout into the air of cold water, and tunneling into the ground below. He slapped a thick strip of leather around her head, covering her eyes. She crouched down and stayed, as if immobilized, except for her spear-tipped tail, which whipped violently back and forth in agitation. The man laid a firm hand on her head and appeared to be speaking to her so softly, Panik couldn't hear a thing. The purple dragon shifted her head, but did not get up. The man sighed and looked up at the black beast. He backed up toward Panik. The man looked over to Panik. As their eyes locked, she quickly looked away and turned on her heel and ran deeper into the woods. ShadowSnow followed a moment later.
The man and the hunting dragon did not follow them. At some point, ShadowSnow retrieved the bundle of food, but it was burnt beyond edibility by the time he dropped it quickly at Panik's feet. He had to stay farther away that night, simmering with unspent energy coursing through his body. The girl's stomach growled and grumbled, and pained her like it was trying to collapse in on itself.
Tentatively she meandered back to the beach. This time the man had not left another package of food, but instead stayed himself, camped out beside another boulder on the beach. The purple dragon sat nearby, licking hare fur from her muzzle. She stopped for a moment and sniffed the air, then grumbled irritably. The man had a fire going amongst the stones, with two more hare skewered on sticks roasting above it. Even from where she watched, Panik could smell the cooking meat, and it smelt divine. Her mouth watered of its own accord and her stomach clenched even harder.
The man removed the hares from the fire. Somehow he knew she was in the wood, watching. He leaned one on a stone on the opposite side of the fire, then sat back down and started biting into the other. He said nothing, just sat and eat slowly, savoring the food.
Panik observed with increasing agitation. She was hungry, yet this man was one of _them_. Or was he? Though he was pale complected and large like her former captors, he didn't quite have the same look about him or the same clothing. He behaved like a hunter for his people, not interested in taking slaves. And clearly the purple dragon was not shackled and cages like those that had been on the slaver ship. And ShadowSnow could have burnt him to a crisp like the others, yet he didn't. Was it because of the purple dragon? Somehow she didn't think so. And she was so hungry ...
Panik moved to the edge of the woods, in view of the man. He looked up briefly, gestured at the other hare, then continued eating his own. Panik shuffled forward bit by bit. She looked back at the wood at ShadowSnow, but he remained where he was and did not try to stop her. Panik got close enough to just snatch up the roasted hare, and after a moment started tearing at it, standing up and keeping her eyes on the man. He stayed seated and relaxed, not moving toward her. After bit, he poured some water from a flask into a cup, and leaned forward just a bit to slide it toward her. Panik snatched it up and drank it down. The man paused for a moment and patted his chest. "Snoorrr-aayy. Snorre." Then he went back to chewing. Panik supposed that was his name. It kind of sounded like the noises her had made at night while he was asleep. Snoring. Funny name. She ate as much meat as she could stuff into her belly, then retreated into the wood.
This pattern went on for days. Snorre never said much. At one point Panik gestured at herself and said, "Pannn-ik. Panik." Strange name, it sounded like 'panic', which the girl was -justifiably - prone to do. ShadowSnow one day jumped into the sea again and stayed in quite a long time. Finally he surfaced, drastically cooled down. He spat out a few fish at Snorre and the purple dragon - Spearrow. Spearrow sniffed at them and huffed, turning her back to them. ShadowSnow stayed with them for a time, before heading back into the forest.
The man continued to bring back game to his camp each day, dress the creatures, and pack them into his small boat moored on the beach. But one day, he dragged back a large caribou, something Panik knew about. Snorre dressed it and fed Spearrow the entrails. He saved the liver though, and left it at the wood's edge for ShadowSnow. He put a few chunks on the fire to cook, then heaved the rest into the boat. After a silent meal with Panik, the man doused the fire and packed up his belongings. Spearrow trotted over to the boat and jumped in, taking up her place at the prow. Snorre looked at Panik and made some gestures she supposed meant he was leaving. After all he was doing this hunting for others, not just himself, and his home obviously was not here. He took a small dagger from his belt and laid it on the ground for her. Then he waved goodbye and walked to the boat and started shoving it off the pebbled beach.
Panik started panicking - was she going to be alone again? What about Food? ShadowSnow would take care of her as best he could, but it wasn't the same. And Snorre was not the same type of man as those other devils had been. Panik stood up and took a few steps forward, undecided. ShadowSnow whined from the treeline, his head in his paws. He would be along again. But Panik did not belong huddled in the snow in the wilderness. She did not belong in this land at all, but that part was moot right now. Panik walked up and stood behind Snorre, silent. He turned and saw her, then stepped out of the way and steadied the boat. She tripped up into the boat with her too-big coat and boots. Spearrow glared back at her and grumbled. Snorre got in after, picked up the oars and started rowing out to sea, back to his home island.
ShadowSnow lifted his head and howled a lonely sound. Panik looked back and waved good-bye.
Dragon Name and Gender:
ShadowSnow the Male Coalskin
About the Coalskin:
- Class: Stoker
- Attack: 18
- Speed: 18
- Armor: 31
- Firepower: 0
- Shot Limit: 0
- Venom: 0
- Jaw Strength: 26
- Stealth: 18
Also called the Black beast by many. Myths are said that these dragons are the off-spring of sun-eating Skoll as they have the ability to suck away heats and stored inside them and bring darkness and dread to wherever they go
Unlike fireworm however, those heats are well stored and do not displayed as a bright glowing flair. however don't let that fool you, one touch to the beast skin would still enough to burn your hand to ashes. sometime the dragon would leave the scorch mark on the ground they touch or give out heat haze that would give the illusion of the black flame shrouding beast. They can be found in the isolated gloomy place, like dark woods or the snow plane, any place that lack heat and sunlight to avoid absorbing it. They spend their time mostly on ground as flight would exposed them to the sun and wandering alone as though they know what will happened to those who get too close to them.
Personality: Selfless, Considerate, Lonely, Hidden being the harden facade of either really stoic or menencingly scary.
Fire Type: none
Hidden Abilities: Unable to let the stored heat out in the form of fire attack, The beasts themselves are the fire attack, as being ram into by one would be as damaging as a very huge fire blast would do not to mention they can used their own body to canceled out the fire power of other dragons by sucking away them instantly . If the stored heat is too much for them to be contained, they will exploded. While it's possible for Coalskins to survive such self-destructed incident, it's not always guranteed and usually would weaken them greatly if they do survived, result in their demise by fatigue or enermies either way.
- I imagine that ShadowSnow will fly over to Snorre's island and haunt the woods there, so he can still be with Panik.
- Panik is a Wanderer, a group of Arctic people from the original Book series. It is unclear who the Wanderers were meant to represent (if any) in the Book series, but they have the feel of Native peoples. This would mean either the Saami in Scandinavia or proto-Inuit tribes in North America and Greenland (which historic Vikings did encounter). I am not specific, but am leaning toward proto-Inuit peoples.
- Panik is a Greenlandic (presumably native Inuit) name meaning daughter.
- Though not mentioned directly in this story, Panik's captors were Uglithugs, and Snorre is from the Island of the Quiet Life, both from the original Book series.
- In the beginning, the dragon that could 'wear fire on its skin' is a Monstrous Nightmare.
- The chunk of brownish rubbery stuff Snorre leaves for Panik to eat is cheese. Specifically I was imagining Brunost, a brownish cheese made from whey (rather than whole milk or cream) and had a caramel taste to it.
- Please read Snorre the Still first, before reading Panik's story.