Shieldwing had spent much of the trip concentrating on his gliding. It wasn't difficult to figure out that this older dragon that had been assigned to lead his clutch didn't like being in charge of them. Even though this "Garrock" wasn't a member of House Brynback, he knew that this could be an excellent opportunity to get on good terms with an older dragon from another House. Most of the ones he knew grew frustrated with his educational endeavors outside of his very combat-centric mindset. But this one didn't really know him very well. Which meant that if he performed well on this mission, then he could finally start making some progress and start proving himself. He'd have something he could really show off to his superiors in Brynback.
However, he unfortunately got a little excited at the prospect of showing off his abilities when they were taking off. He had put too much into his original jump and glide and had tired himself out faster than the others in the process. On top of that, he had spent much of the flight looking over at Stargaze to make sure she was handling herself alright. After all, she was the smallest of the group and their newest member. He couldn't help but be concerned about what might happen if she would get caught up in a stray wind or something and get blown away. So he had spent extra time and effort to try to get closer to her, so that he could grab her if she needed it. And all of this while also, whenever their guardian was glancing back at them, making sure to maintain the outward appearance of a dragon who was confident and collected, ready to succeed in the mission at hand. After all, he wasn't going to be impressed if he saw the Brynback struggling or squirming awkwardly in the air to shift around.
Because of these needless actions on his part, he felt himself growing tired somewhat quickly even though they were relying largely on the winds between the islands to keep themselves up without too much of a problem. However, when he turned his head to look at the others, nobody else had been showing any signs of the same. That wasn't good. Maybe he was dividing his efforts too much? Or maybe it was all the constant corrections his wings had to make to get him where he wanted to be. But it didn't matter. At this point, it was too late to do anything about it. His wings were growing tired and started to ache...but he maintained a brave face, making sure there was no outward sign that he was struggling.
By the time they were closing in on the other shore, though, Shieldwing was starting to hang back ever so slightly. Finally, the older dragon turns to look back at them, and he focused his attention on him again. Oh, good. They were finally landing. He did his best to hide the relief from showing on his face.
"Of course we can land, don't worry about us, flying is just second nature!" Shieldwing would call back. "We can handle ourselves!"
He had spoken pretty quickly and without consulting the others first, but he was sure it was fine. He didn't recall any real accidents when learning to glide before, so why would it be a problem now? He intentionally shifted his wings to slow himself down; this put a bit more strain on them, but he wanted to make sure that Stargaze was going to be fine. He knew deep down that he should just trust her, but part of him was still concerned anyway, due in no small part to his role as her tutor for how to fight.
However, once Stargaze had landed successfully and even began to cheerfully call out to the group, he smiled to himself. As it turned out, he'd been worried over nothing. Of course she was fine. And so, Shieldwing adjusted his wings once more, redirecting himself so that he could come down at last...only to suddenly realize that he was...falling faster than what he was used to.
"Agh!" he cried out as he quickly raised his limbs, trying to make up for his faster rate of descent by using his stronger legs to brace himself from the impact with the powder shore beneath him. His claws collided roughly with the ground, kicking up a bunch of the powdered crystal "sand" as he practically slammed his body down on top of the shore...only for one of his claws to slip on a shell and caused his body to turn a bit. His momentum, however, did not care about his predicament, and he soon came tumbled a bit across the powdered crystal and finally came to a crashing stop as his chest struck the ground, and his belly fell to the sand a second later with a thud.
"Ugh..." Shieldwing murmured, raising his head. He shook himself, causing shell fragments and crystal sand to fall from his head and get flung aside. Luckily, he'd tucked his wings to keep them from getting injured in the crash; a trick he'd learned from Brynback to avoid wing damage if he got thrown or smacked to the ground in a fight. But he was still somewhat disoriented as he looked up from his spot and soon realized that, directly in front of his face where he'd just come to a stop...was a small creature poking out of a shell, clicking claws raised in the air. He blinked and stared at it for the moment; it was actually kinda cute the way it was snapping at the air like that....