Hey fellow HTTYD fans, my name is Steampunk Wilson and I present to you my latest work. It's mainly based off Race to the Edge and not the movies or the books, as awesome as they are, but it's mainly an AU of the whole franchaise. I hope you enjoy it :)
The Northern Markets. Every night was the same, Vikings from all over flocked to purchase expensive weapons and to be scammed by the regulars. The traders traded goods and stories, the Vikings admired foods from foreign lands and beneath it all, the more sinister folk lurked. A group of men wearing dragon skin and buying weapons from a shady blacksmith. And a hooded stranger lurking in the shadows, scanning the crowd, alert and looking for danger.
They were all looking for an excuse to make trouble and tonight they finally got it.
At around three in the morning, not that anyone was counting, there was a commotion as a large Gronckle made a landing in the middle of the market. Many heads turned, hands reached for weapons as the Vikings feared a dragon attack. But to their surprise, a large and roundish Viking was seated ontop of the dragon, and hastily climbed down, holding up a hand to show that he was not a threat.
"Nothing to see here!" He said through a thick helmet, covering his face except for the eyes. "Just a guy and his dragon!" He leaned towards the Gronckle and whispered something to her to reassure her.
Most of the regular patrons of the market went back to their business, after all, strange occurences were the norm around here, but several men in particular kept their stares on this mysterious dragon rider. A group of men wearing spiked helmets an zippleback skin jackets approached this new arrival.
"Greetings stranger!" The leader of the men announced. The dragon rider looked up from the Gronckle. "We haven't seen a dragon rider like you for a long time! What brings you to the Northern Markets?"
"And what might your name be?" One of the other men added.
The dragon rider straightened up and removed his helmet to reveal a roundish head and a crop of blonde hair. He looked around eighteen or nineteen years old.
"My name is Bonecrusher. Thor Bonecrusher. And as for my business here... I am on a mission for my tribe."
"And what tribe would that be?" One of the men asked.
"The Hooligan tribe, of Berk. I'm here for information. Perhaps you can help me?"
The men glanced at each other, their leader, Thor Bonecrusher, then back to each other.
Lurking in the shadows, the hooded stranger was watching all of this unfold with a curious smirk. He wore a long brown cloak which obscured most of his features aside from his lower jaw. He knew these men were trouble. His hand tightened on his axe.
"Of course, Thor Bonecrusher from Berk." The leader of the men stepped forwards. "What, might I ask, is your mission?"
"I am looking," Bonecrusher paused. "For the lost son of my chief, Hiccup Haddock the third."
The men shared glances, one or two even reached for their weapons. Their leader frowned.
"Can't help you there, I'm afraid." He said in a low voice. "Never been to Berk, know nothing of any missing heir. Perhaps someone else here can help you."
Thor Bonecrusher sighed, but beckoned towards his Gronckle and the pair of them headed off into the crowd with a slight nod of thanks.
"What do we do boss?" One of the men asked. The boss scowled.
"Wait until he's alone. Then we stab him and take the beast back to Viggo."
"Good plan." The men disappeared into the crowd.
The hooded stranger who had been listening the whole time knew instantly that this 'Bonecrusher' fellow was in danger, and melted into the shadows behind the stalls.
Bonecrusher and the Gronckle headed through the crowd, attracting stares which made them both uncomfortable. The Viking put a tender hand on his dragon's neck.
"It's OK Meatlug." He whispered. "We just need to find a lead here, then we'll be out and back to Berk in no time!" Meatlug didn't look reassured though, and stuck close to his side.
The hooded figure emerged on the other side of the stall Bonecrusher had stopped at, the business of a particularly annoying trader whose stories were longer than his beard and more colourful than his clothing.
"Ah yes, I remember hearing the news clear as day, what was it, fourteen years ago? I used to trade with Berk before that, tragic day indeed. Let me think..."
Behind Bonecrusher, the group of men who were following him made a signal to the trader, who received it instantly, and his smile changed.
"You know what, wait for me round there beside my stall." He gestured to the small alleyway. "I may have someone who can help you."
Bonecrusher nodded uncertainly and he and the Gronckle headed round the back of the stall, away from the crowd. The trader's expression instantly switched to murderous and he motioned at the group of men to follow Bonecrusher. They nodded and slipped into the alley.
"Hello?" Bonecrusher looked about. "Trader Johann, was it?"
The men who had been following him appeared in the mouth of the alley, blocking the entrance. Bonecrusher's eyes narrowed. Meatlug growled.
"You!" He exclaimed. "What do you want from me?"
"Well, it'll start with you here, dead, then your body thrown in the ocean, and then we'll be taking that dragon!" One of the men said, gripping his mace.
Bonecrusher knew he wasn't equipped to handle this, but grabbed his sword anyway. "Look, I don't know-"
"Attack!" The leader cried and the men rushed at Bonecrusher all at once. He gave a surprised yell and brought his sword up just in time to meat an advancing axe, and suddenly, Bonecrusher was fighting three men at once.
"Meatlug, hug!" He cried amidst all the chaos, and Meatlug leapt eagerly forwards, landing herself ontop of all three men and squashing the breath out of them. Bonecrusher barely had time to sigh with relief as two more men rushed at him, both armed with swords. He was stuck in combat once more.
The leader of the men watched with a smug smile on his face. Thor Bonecrusher clearly did not live up to his name, when it came to swordfighting, his skills were mediocre at best. It was only a matter of time before they could take the Gronckle and get something out of this night.
Bonecrusher was beginning to get panicked. He knew he wasn't a good enough fighter to get through this on his own and Meatlug was busy keeping the first three men down. Bonecrusher was so caught up on keeping his opponent's sword away from his chest that he didn't see the second man edge past him until he had an arm around his neck and a blade pressed to his throat. He gave a small whimper and dropped his sword.
"We'll be taking that dragon." The man hissed in his ear.
Suddenly a cloaked figure emerged from the shadows, holding a double headed axe, his face obscured by his hood. He swiftly brought the handle of his axe round and smashed it into the other man's head. He fell over, unconscious. The cloaked figure wasted no time, he disarmed the other swordsman with a sweep of his axe, shoved him out of the way and stood directly in front of Bonecrusher, his axe pointed at the group of attackers.
"Back off!" A confident voice came from underneath the hood. Some of the men took a few steps back.
"What are you doing?" Bonecrusher whispered.
"Saving your life, duh!" The figure replied.
The leader of the men scowled.
"Kill him!" He yelled, and the remaining men leapt into battle. The cloaked figure brought up his axe and it met the man's sword with a ferocious clang, both blades glinting in the moonlight. He was instantly surrounded by three different attackers, each one armed to the teeth, but expertly fought them off with his axe.
Bonecrusher grabbed his sword and immediately engaged in combat with the leader of the men to keep him occupied. The battle had grown so loud and ferocious that the men had moved from the alley and into the market, disrupting the trade. People ran everywhere to try and avoid the clanging blades and furious shouts. Bonecrusher caught a glimpse of trader Johann at his stall, the reason he'd been in that alley in the first place. He looked furious.
"Gotcha!" One of the men suddenly roared as he kicked the cloaked man to the ground, knocking his axe out of his hand and pressing his blade to the cloaked figure's neck. "I'm going to get such a reward when I bring back your bloodstained helmet!"
The cloaked figure flinched and suddenly, the entire market surrounding them burst into flames. Traders and patrons cried out, and immediately began running towards the nearest escape. Bonecrusher coughed as the air around them was instantly filled with smoke. Meatlug bounded over towards him, but the fire was burning fiercely and everywhere at once with what was obviously the fury of a dragon.
The men were began to disperse, running away from the heated flames, but were suddenly knocked to the ground by a huge shape appearing amidst all the smoke and flames, some kind of dragon. Bonecrusher watched in amazement as the cloaked figure grabbed his axe and hauled himself onto the dragon's back. He turned in his direction.
"Come on, let's go!" He said urgently. Bonecrusher scrambled onto Meatlug and the two dragons quickly rose above the smoke and flames, leaving the chaos of the Northern Markets behind.
Once he began to calm down from the terror and fury of battle, Bonecrusher managed to take a few deep breaths and look up and over at his rescuer. Now that they were in the air, his hood had blown back, revealing him to be a stout, muscular man with a roundish face, dark hair and wearing a helmet with curled sheep's horns. He also wore a simple tunic and looked rather used to emerging from near death experiences unscathed.
Bonecrusher also got a good look at the dragon he was riding and recognised the species with a start.
"Is that a Monstrous Nightmare?" He exclaimed. The other man looked towards him with a smug smile.
"Yeah, he is. Much faster than that gronckle you have there, we're having to fly slow for you!" He glanced at Meatlug, then back at Bonecrusher. "Well, aren't you going to thank me for saving your life?"
"Erm thank you for saving my life?" Bonecrusher glanced back at him. "What's your name?"
The other man paused before replying. "Snotlout. What's yours?"
"As if! There's no way such a lame guy like you has a name that cool!"
"Fine." Bonecrusher sighed. "Fishlegs, my name's Fishlegs. Fishlegs Ingerman."
"Fishlegs!" Snotlout laughed. "Oh I should have known you'd be called something that lame!"
"Hey!" Fishlegs frowned. He glanced towards Snotlout, who was staring ahead into the night. Away from the chaos of battle, he looked barely older than Fishlegs himself.
Fishlegs glanced down to see the trees of the island passing below them. "Do you even know where we're going?" He asked.
"Of course I do, Fishface!"
"Actually, it's Fishlegs-"
"Whatever, we're going to my camp, which is nice and far away from those guys who attacked us!"
"You know them?" Fishlegs asked, steering Meatlug a little closer to Snotlout's dragon.
Snotlout spat on the ground, despite being tens of feet above it. "Yeah. Hunters. Me and Hookfang have dealt with them before." He patted his dragon's head softly.
"Hunters? You don't mean?"
"Dragon hunters." Snotlout confirmed. "They would have killed you and skinned your Gronckle to make helmets."
Fishlegs gasped and covered Meatlug's ears. Snotlout gave a small, harsh laugh.
"You guys really aren't from around here, are you?" He leaned forwards on Hookfang's horns. "Alright, Fishlegs from Berk. We've got a long flight ahead. Tell me about your mission."
Far away from the Northern Markets, another dragon rider lurked, but he had something very different on his mind.
Toothless the NightFury landed silently ontop of a sea stack, and the Viking riding him separated his metal leg from the saddle's contraption, and dropped to the ground on his stomach. Toothless crouched low. Even if it was night, stealth was still their number one priority for this mission.
"See that there bud?" The boy said, gesturing to the island in front of them. "The island of Beserk." Toothless inched a little closer as the boy took out a spyglass and put it to his eye.
"Strange, they're all out and about." He observed. "People and dragons everywhere, it's all lit up. Some kind of late night festival, do you think?" He trained his spyglass closer on the centre of the village.
"That one looks like the chief." He said, keeping focused on a redheaded Viking who was standing on a throne and shouting orders. "What do you say we take a closer look, bud?"
Toothless inched forwards, sniffed the air, shuddered and took a few steps back. The boy frowned.
"Yeah, it's too brightly lit up for us to sneak in anyway." He trained his spyglass on the crowd.
"OK, I see Gronckles, Deadly Nadders, Monstrous Nightmares, oh, is that a Triple Strike?" He looked towards Toothless, who was yawning and scratching his ears.
"You look tired, Toothless." He stood up and stretched. "Perhaps we should go back, we've got what we came for anyway." He pocketed the spyglass and sat down on Toothless's saddle. "We'll go back to the ship and get you a nice comfy stable and a load of fish, how does that sound?" He scratched Toothless fondly behind the ear. "We'll report back to Viggo in the morning."
Both boy and dragon flew off into the night.
Hope you enjoyed that first chapter, updates should be fairly regular because, well, coronavirus means I have a lot of spare time on my hands. If you especially liked this chapter or have any questions then don't be afraid to leave reviews or PM me :)
Next time: The twins get a mission of their own...