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Fallen Joy

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Fallen Joy last won the day on May 20 2014

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About Fallen Joy

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  • Birthday 05/31/1990

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  1. The princess, allured by the thousand warm droplets kissing her body and ears seduced by the serenade of rain between rivulets of water, didn't notice Tyveres' departure. Nor is she aware of his temporary absence when she exits the bathroom. Upon the bed, she absently-minding continues to hum a gentle tune, caressing her soft cheeks with the microfibers of the damp towel. Her sapphire hues glide under the length of her ebony lashes. As her melodic voice waves through the air, she does not notice how the cadence of Kimi's purr synchronizes with the tune. White tendrils of the fur waver and dance like a savanna swimming to life in the zephyr, beyond her knowledge. Serenity encumbers her body, burdens melting away like ice in the breath of spring. The damp towel slips from the sudden fragile grasp of her fingers, and she is more content caressing the bend of her neck and collarbone with her nude fingers. The towel upon her body loosens, descends like a fallen curtain to rest on the crest of her breasts, clinging barely to the subtle friction of the droplets. It serves to conceal her modesty as her body lays to its side in the bed. A lone finger still manages to stroke the sensitive tuffs of fur between Kimi's whiskers, and as the kit swoons her touch, a smoothing sensation spreads across her own cheeks like the brush of silk. She cannot describe this plush of pleasure embracing her body, but it is a lullaby to her thoughts. Soon she slumbers in the bed, body curled around the wolf coat, and Kimi nestled in the space between her folded thighs and descending breasts. As Tyveres picks her petite body up, her fingers unconsciously cling to the coat for a brief moment for releasing it. She moans quietly as her mind dances between dreams and reality, fingers touching the wet skin of his exposed chest and lips resting upon the tightened skin. She slips into his positioning of her body like a vulnerable and delicate doll underneath the blankets. Her towel, lightly knotted against her axilla, manages to stay on her body. "I will keep you safe," he whispers. Her eyes flutter open for a half moment, cheeks flushing with soft pedals of crimson. Even in sleep, the woman's heart flutters into a brief race at the gentle tone of his voice. . . . . "Take care, lass," The captain whispers into the raven locks of the princess. She hugs him close, fighting the tears in her eyes. Cecilia did not know the captain long, but he saved her life and made her feel as secure as any daughter in a father's arms. "Remember all that I told, ye." "I will. Thank you for everything." The princess insisted on seeing him off on the docks. She stood there in the crisp morning with her coat, watching as he sailed past the drifting ice. Meanwhile, Tyveres gathered supplies for the journey ahead of them. When he went to get the horses, she traveled with him. To her absolute delight, the "horses" the villages utilized weren't horses at all. They resembled reindeer, covered head to toe with thick silvery fur, and adorning branching ivory horns. They were built as beasts of burden, bulked with muscle easily capable of supporting a person and gear. Cecilia's eyes were brightened with wonder at their mystical grace, dense mist flowing from their nostrils as they nibbled at the piles of golden hay. She approached one of the stalls, leaning over the gate for a closer look. The creature lifted its head from the feed and approached the princess, eyes wide with an innocent obsidian gaze. It exhaled long into her face, brushing back her bangs and making her giggle. She placed her hand upon its great muzzle and ran it long to his forehead. "They're native animals to the mountains," said a young stable girl, watching the princess' interaction from a corner in the stable. She was no older than sixteen, freckled across the nose with fiery red hair. She stood as high as Cecilia's shoulders. "We call them ronekee. This one seems to really like you. His name is Kye. I'm Sara. I work these stables with my gramps." Sara handed Cecilia some oats to feed Rye before addressing Tyveres. "You're the bloke with the money, I reckon. Fancy some bucks to take ye through the mountain? All the travelers that land in this cold do. I have a couple that'll take you through the mountains for ten pieces of gold. We have another village on the other side of the mountain near the Wastelands. Ya'll need to return them there. These ain't cheap to tame, and are the best you can ask for in those mountains. They'll keep ya from getting lost and protect ya too. They won't trek into the Wastelands so dun bother tryna steal them." The princess found Sara's spunk adorable and entertaining. She giggled softly under her hand. "We understand. Thank you for lending your steeds to us." When Tyveres paid for the steeds, Cecilia took Kye out of the stable. She climbed onto its back with ease. The ronekee tossed its scruffy mane and tread back and forth on the spot before settling. Cecilia was reminded of her Sujaali; a sense of sadness spread over her. What happened to her companion after she was captured? Was he still alive and wandering across the wastelands? Perhaps her guard found him and took him home to safety. Maybe he was dead... She looked beyond the enormous horns, and to the mountains. They seemed so endless. The road was white from the evening fall of snow, compact into a canvas of foot and hoof prints. Her coat kept her very warm, but she could see it failing in the dark sunless nights. She leaned into the neck of Rye; he was unbelievably warm. His deep breaths comforted her, calm and unafraid of the journey. She smiled—everything would be okay. "Ya'll ready?" Sara asked as she tied a sack of oats to the hindquarters of Cici and Tyveres' steeds. "This'll feed the bucks for about a week. You get them across the mountains by then."
  2. The vampire's confidence in his security and stealth at the end of his escape was deadly misplaced. He assumed the orc clumsy and incapable of pursuing him. In truth, most of the Tyrvtol clan were just that; densely packed muscle salted with instinct and caramelized with asinine impulse. Natasha was in a whole other class of orc, blessed with a rivulet of intelligence that provided a deadly finesse to her brawn. It would all be paved into motion when she landed. Several things had to occur for the vampire to be where was, as fast as he did. Visually the vampire disappeared moments before the orc landed. Still, his abrupt acceleration had no choice but to leave his loafer imprints within the soft soil, glided mildly against the direction of his launching force. Then her locks lifted in the rapid gust of air perfumed with his minty scent. Her mind calculated the power and direction of the wind, his fading scent, and the marks before her. They all flipped through her mind like the pages of a book, whispering secrets of the future through sheer prediction. In other words, the bloodthirsty huntress knew where the vampire would be even before he landed, and didn't need her vision. She detached her blades from the earth, which temporarily sealed her against his wind, and was immediately on his tail. Natasha didn't move at such high speeds, but she wouldn't need to. The vampire managed to sprint over thirty feet in a densely tree populated forest, where the witch and the orc were literally cleaving their way through the understory. This would require him to rapidly stop and alter his direction, simply to avoid a collision. Each stop and turn left a mark, something for her to quickly and easily follow. Thus by the time he finished his escape, hiding in the shrubs and blinded by his own reliance (not to mention the forest density itself) that the orc was still grounded on her spot, those crimson orbits were actually flicking like ravenous flames just beyond the next two trees over. He reminded her of a scurrying mouse fleeing an owl in the night. Oh how she wanted to plant her talons in his flesh. Martis stirred energy to taunt her mind, but Natasha was a leap away from sinking her blades into his. However, she was instead stagnant and unmoving. Her predatory eyes were wild and dilated, tusks grinding upon each other, and quakes of tension rolling in waves down her hard body. The reason for her stillness was Alexandria, who appeared nearby and froze her with a single motion of her hand. "You almost had me there, if it weren't for all the noise made. What a clumsy Orc, you are." The orc stared damn near rebelliously at the witch, but her obedience could not be thwarted by her excitement to slay the vampire. She inhales deep, trapping the violence into her chest, and grinned gradually at the vampire. "Weak, scavenging rodents scurry in dark and attack the blind. I prefer my prey fight, and see look in my eyes before I rip head off shoulders. You run and crouch in bushes like frightened rat." Her head canted slightly to the side, her sadist grin rising. "On your word," she says to Alexandria. "I will tear out his arrogant tongue and feed it to the trees."
  3. Natasha listened intently to the pearl serpent as if its sibilant syntax spilled from the lips of Alexandria herself. When he finished, she placed her claws to her chin in tapping contemplation, ignoring how the blades of the gauntlet nearly sheared her locks. "And here I thought," she says with a sly grin, "It was secret. "So… Magic is like orc anger. Must be fed or becomes explosion." She empathizes this feeling well. Her vicious, barbaric temperament was a voracious beast within her core. It growled and coiled with tautness by the second, only fed by the fiery sensations of battle. If she didn't sate it, many brethren were killed or maimed from her lust alone. "I understand." With the action ended, the eerie silence of the Dark Forest was rekindled. Outside of their own crunch and rustle through the willowwacks, nothing shielded the noises outside their unmistakable cadence. The vampire stalker appeared stealthily unnoticed by the two at first, because they seemed to tread forward as oblivious silhouettes. Yet, unbeknownst to him, there was a whispered conversation between them. "It took a moment to separate the stench from the dragon corpse, but now I'm sure," the orc muttered with a dangerous undertone. "We are followed." Her sinews tighten firmly, an angry snarl oscillating through her lower plethoric lip. Fingers curled into crushing fists over her gauntlets, and adrenaline ignited flames began to cascade the coals of her fury. Cowards, like the fleeing druid, took the crown her vexations, but right underneath were the creepers lurking in the darkness for vulnerable opportunities. While Natasha wasn't an honorable nor virtuous warrior, she had values on the commencement of battle. It should always be looking into your opponent's eyes, intrepid, and enthralled for the bloody brawl. "If I may…" she began, expecting Alexandria to understand her request. Upon Alexandria's word, something instantly changed. The witch and orc passed through a particularly obscuring and dead understory, their silhouettes curtained then revived on the other side. Except now, it was only Alexandria's that remained. The thump of something heavy landing upon a nearby tree would give Martis his only warning. If he tracked the sound quick enough, he'd see the brief moment of the orc crouched upon the wailing bend of a branch just above him. Her metallic boots were planted on the wood, thighs loaded, and crimson eyes dilated into vast abysses of primal bloodlust. This demonic imagery, saturated with malevolent intent, lasted for as long as a blink before those loaded thighs sprung lose. Natasha shot down upon the vampire like a hawk from the skies. His undead nature hopefully granted him the reflexes to dodge, for if he didn't, he'd be met with the she-orc's gauntlets thrust so deeply into his cranial and chest cavities that he'd tear into two gruesome pieces of undead flesh; she'd rip his head clear from his shoulders if her blades met their mark. The most likely result was that Martis found a way out of death's reach and Natasha's blades instead collided with the soft moist earth. She lifted her head to his new position, tension rolling in waves from her body, instantly ready to strike again. If he didn't explain himself immediately, he'd be treated like every other creature they'd encountered in this forest—a threat to be slain. And Natasha didn't ask questions.
  4. Hey! Just wanted to say hello. ? Let's catch up some time.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Fallen Joy

      Fallen Joy

      Activity can be low during the holiday. I owe a couple posts right now myself. Nice to see you throw yourself out into the mix. I recall really enjoying writing with you, so I'm certain you'll get things rolling very soon ? 

    3. Casanova

      Casanova

      Flattered to hear that from you. I've always been jealous by how much you can write in one post. And don't give me that quality>quantity excuse because I know you're talented. ?. Have you finished school yet?

    4. Fallen Joy

      Fallen Joy

      You're very sweet. We had fun with the syndicate of mercenaries. And if you're sticking around this time, we should definitely write together. I actually graduated med school at the beginning of the year. Now I'm applying to residencies. I'll send you a PM, so we can talk more =D 

  5. Cecilia was in the middle of unzipping her leather vest when Tyveres’ voice came through the door, a curious look coming about her face. She looked towards the closed door, feeling her breasts spring from their prison as she shook off the vest from her shoulders. “From a clothing shop in town,” she said, running her hands down her newly freed flesh. The warm, placid air felt fantastic, and she couldn’t wait to feel the warm shower caress her nudity. She sat on the edge of the tub, reaching down to remove her pants as she further explained. “It didn’t cost anything, actually. There was this older woman there. She told me it came from a wolf of sorts that roamed the mountains.” “Did it… resonate with you?” “Interesting that you ask,” she dropped the last legging of her pants to the ground. Causally, she ran the side of her foot down her newly nude calf. “When I first touched it, a gold ripple went through the coat. Like…” She paused to consider it. “...A rock tossed in a pool of water. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” She rubbed her thighs, feeling the filth of the sea life rolling underneath her fingertips. The weak pressured shower with little to no soap failed to thoroughly clean the grime from her skin. There was a time her skin was so lavished and worshiped by exotic perfumes and remedies that it resembled the smoothest of buttermilk, tinted by golden honey hues. Now the sun had tanned her into a light bronze with the faintest amber; the smoothness roughened by the finest hairs left unchecked. Her fingers drifted down the sides of her legs and gripped the edge of the tub. “There was a legend upon the locals. That the wolf sang so beautifully that the auras of the sky danced to her howl. I told her I couldn’t afford a magical coat, but she insisted that I kept it as a gift.” Every ounce of her body tingling to be cleaned, the princess reached over to the faucet and turned on the water. She let a hand rest under the stream and closed her eyes with an exhale of satisfaction. It felt soft yet crisp, freshly thawed from the glaciers. If Tyveres had spoken more, she missed it. She pulled the diverter and was seduced by the sound of the shower. Moments later, she was soaking in it. It felt amazing. The princess selfishly and unashamedly took the entirety of an hour within the shower. She cleaned every part of her body first, massaging the soap into her skin with her own fingers. She realized how sore her muscles were from the training; knots were in her shoulder blades and thighs. She didn’t know the full extent of her tension until it melted away. The water ran a tan color nit combed through her dirty tresses but was soon clear with suds. She even sat down and just emptied her mind to the sound of the rivulets splashing upon her face. She wished she could stay there forever. After she washed, she cleaned her clothing and left it to dry in the bathroom. When she left the restroom, she was wrapped in a thin towel upon her head and around her body. “There’s still warm water,” she assured. “I lost track of time.” She walked over to the bedside and sat down, crossing her ankles. If the kit fox was still curled up in the blanket, she reached over and stroked her index finger along the crown of its furry head and down one of the sensitive whiskered cheeks before scratching under the chin. “Like the way the fur feels too?” She smiled widely. Remembering their prior conversation, she looked back at Tyveres. “Hey, why were you asking about the coat?” She released her hair from the towel as she awaited his response, shaking her shoulder-length locks lightly. She rubbed the cloth against the dew droplets upon her cheeks. Mint aromas drifted around her; the inn used it to scent the soap. Even as she listened to him, she closed her eyes with a soft, humming moan under her breath—the refreshing sensations lovely.
  6. The princess offered the captain a soft and polite smile to his kind words. The old sea-dog had been nothing but encouraging and helpful since their meeting. It felt fatherly to her, and that almost deepened her sorrow. Her thoughts lingered on the threads of her past, spindling her harsh quilt of the present. Her father had never been unkind, despite his distance. He seemed to treasure her deeply due to her likeness to her mother. There were times, the princess recalled that the king seemed on the verge of tears when he stared at her. She always considered her father wounded, but did his despair truly drive him to such unspeakable crimes against the kingdom? Or had the evil only aged in his heart? Her mother gave her very life to protect the kingdom, how could he effortlessly shame her mother's sacrifice so? Did she, too, possess such evil somewhere inside her? So much doubt… Cecilia churned her spoon through the fishy stew, the wisps of steam warming the bitter frost upon her cheeks. Tyveres remained silent; she could only guess he agreed with her thoughts. There was a fragment of disappointment, but in her dismal state, Cecilia wholly accepted it. Placing her hands underneath the bowl, she drank the remaining broth, grateful for the warmth it bought to her shivering heart. … The world became colder, thick with gray as they sailed through the miniature glaciers adorning the Shawnee Sea. The weather bit hard at her cheeks with cold, yet burned the tips of her fingertips. Thankfully the wind was light. Never in her life had she experienced snow or white winters. The Wastelands were blistering with unforgiving heat all year long. The leather on her body felt stiffened from the temperature, and every breath escaped in a cloud of white. Her clan would take caravans to the borderlines of the Wastelands that hugged the Glaciers, gathering water from the manifested lakes in the region. She ventured with them once and got a peek of the imposing palisades of ice, but looking upon the landscape on the diametrical ends—the wonderland seemed endless and majestic. "It's so cold," she whispered in a cascade of white. Suddenly a rough hand was on her shoulder, and the captain was beside her. "C'mon lass, let's get you some skins before you settle in for the night. I've saved some exotic fish from the journey, and a piece of the surpous' shell. Bet I can trade them for some good cloth." The princess smiled gratefully at the captain, giving Tyveres a nod before walking off towards an icicle decorated store in the distance. Within were various arrays of fur thick fur coats, outfits, and boots from the tenacious native fauna. The princess strode through the store, running her fingers along the displays of skins and imagining the warmth they would provide. "Pick whatever suits you, lass. I'll haggle it into yer arms!" Humbled by her recent experiences, she merely reached for the nearest fur of her size. Suddenly a flash of white obscured her hand. It was a pure snow fur that practically shimmered into a silvery sheen under the candle lights of the edifice. Underneath the great spread was a small elderly woman. "This one," she crooned in her withered ancient voice. The princess glanced curiously at the woman and then slid her eyes to the coat. It was indeed beautiful, like fresh powdery snow on a moonlit night. She kissed the silk tendrils with her fingers, and upon contact, a brilliance of gold blossomed and spreading like a ripple of water throughout the coat. She gasped. "This was once the hide of a great winter wolf." The old woman said. "She roamed the glacier peaks of Shawnee, howling to the arcane auras of the skies. The melody was so beautiful that we believe the auras began to dance to her song, so in a symphony of light and sound. The moment you came in, it called to you. You must take it." "I…can't afford a magical coat." "It is yours to have. It cannot belong to anyone else." The woman pushed the fur into the princess' arms, and she instinctively embraced it. It was so warm and soft, smelled of pine. The captain scratched his head uncomfortably. "I know yet tryna push a sell, lady, but the lass is right. We cannot afford any magical—." "It is not to sell." She waves her hand at the captain. "It has never been to sell. It is to give only. Has been for thirty-seven years." The princess placed a hand to her lips. "You mean…" "It is a gift, princess." The word threw like a slap, and the princess stepped away from her as if on high alert. The elderly woman stared at her for a moment, moisture twinkling within her clouded eyes, but then she smiled. "Ah, forgive me. Anyone who wears this skin is a princess." Cecilia did not say anything for a moment, staring intently at the woman. But then she allowed the relief to pass through her. She stroked the silvery sheen. "Thank you." She returned to Tyveres in a beautiful snowy shawl. It was sewn to hug her arms and curtain her waistline to her hips. It had a hood that framed her face, the ears of the lupine beast still present and resting upon her crown. She also wore new fur skinned boots and gloves, courtesy of the captain are trading skills. The wintry bite of the glacier was now a gentle nibble on her skin. Her fingers were no longer numb, hard, or painfully crimson. Warm and comfortable, the princess embraced her body and began to appreciate the miraculous colors of the dusk on the horizon. At the inn, the princess waved goodnight to the captain. She knew tomorrow he would be setting sail back to Fracture. It would be their last night together. "Can I trust you won't run off this time?" She instantly blushed. "W-what? No, no, of course I lear—" She paused, catching the grin on his face. Her blushes deepened for a moment before she genuinely started to giggle. "Oh, very funny! Well, you better sleep with one eye open, because you never know!" She had felt like crap all day, it was great to laugh. She removed her fur attire and stretched her body. "Mmm, I can't wait to take a shower!" And as she said it, she practically jumped from her boots and tossed her fur clothes on the bed before hurrying to the shower and closing the door behind her. After weeks of showering in a dingy, smelly old boat, this was going to be heaven. The training was apparently very far from her mind.
  7. Natasha watched silently as the crimson witch recovered from her taxing spell. Her claws kneaded into the sweltering gold armor upon her back, mind wondering how the witch survived such vicious consequences. Countless times Alexandria had proven herself a different class of woman from the other witches. Her brutal, intrepid animosity and attraction for tactless destruction fell so easily into the barbaric culture of the Tyrtrol tribe. Natasha's acute awareness of every single sway, action, and motion this particular witch made it impossible to ignore. She dropped her hand as Alexandria gathered her own weight and stood. Then, in perhaps the most seductively cruel way possible, Alexandria set her merciless wrath upon the gremlin druid with a punitive strike of her blade. For the first time, Natasha finds herself feverish. As blood leaks from Alexandria's blade and drips down onto the split corpse, the she-orc could see the sweet satisfaction of revenge in the witches' eyes. The dominant demeanor, accentuated by a confident and vindictive stance was further decorated by the powdered ash of her own destruction. It uncaged Natasha's primal instincts. Suddenly she wanted to ravage that soft fleshy skin flushed carmine by the smoldering air; to expose every possible inch, mark it with her tusks and tongue, grasp it within her claws, and claim it for herself. The she-orcs fingers twitch, and her breath husks heavily between her fangs. The violent licentious thoughts battle her enslavement. For in her world, her uninhibited savage culture, such feelings were enacted immediately. There was no sense of intimacy; it was aggressive, passionate, raunchy, and oh so intensely satisfying. The worse part was that she-orc was very aware of what she would do to this witch if she gave in, it flashed vividly in her mind, but despite this, her enslavement failed to pacify her. She clenched her eyes tightly closed and drove her sharpened fangs into her lip to taste blood. It hurt to control herself. Her locks fell over her shoulders as she bowed her head, digging her claws into the earth. Alexandria was not an orc, despite her tendencies. Furthermore, she was a witch, the hands upon her reigns. The she-orc fought to seal this once more into her mind. Though her mouth salivates with ravenous hunger, and every ounce of her savage mind wants to ignore it, she manages to not act. Oh, but the next creature they see would feel the full wrath of her consequent frustration. "She wants to know if you're okay." She wasn't. "I'm not hurt," she says with internal praise of her own ability to find loopholes to obedient answers. Upon hearing the exact consequence of the spell, the she-orc deeply frowns and comes to a full stand. Natasha stares for a moment, searching for an answer to an unasked question. She crosses her arms and pfts . "Your voice is not needed for battle." She says. "Only for cries of victory." She walked over to the corpse of the gremlin, stomped harshly on its split head, and released a great cry from her own lungs. Her voice rings with the intense and violent pleasure of their triumph and echoes far into the distance. For that moment, the Dark Forest is not silent and creepy, but a place of victory and satisfaction. The sudden flutter of wings sounds around them, startled birds taking to the skies. When she finishes, inhaling deep, the newfound coils in her stomach are loosened. She grins at the witch. "And I can cry victory for us both." She places her hand on Alexandria's shoulder and gives her a firm squeeze. The touch unexpectedly starts to swell her previous feelings, and she quickly releases. She turns away from the witch, rolls and pops the tension in her neck, and then carries on forward through the forest. "Why," she suddenly asks with genuine curiosity. "When so strong in body and fight, why do you use…magic? I don't understand. Does it not feel better to experiencing your enemies' skull crushing underneath fist? Or flesh cut away to sword?" -------------------- Luna's reflection has little to say to Cervantes's intrepid words; he perhaps only gets a flicker of a rising and entertained smile before the image vanishes. He is close to Natasha and Alexandria, so close that the loud piercing war cry of Natasha oscillates easily through his mind and potentially rattles his eardrums like a booming speaker. The roar of the orc was massive and imposing. A newfound smell of charred dragon meat drifted in the wind, affected by Alexandria's recent spell. If he crept long enough to the source of sound and smell, he'd see the charred dragon corpse within the clearing of burnt trees. Just beyond it, Natasha and Alexandria were advancing further into the forest, and behind them, the body of a woodland creature sank into the black earth. It was as the vampire closed in on the general vicinity that Alexandria would perhaps sense something strangely familiar. Like the remnants of a nostalgic perfume, an arcane aroma abruptly drifted between her senses to trigger memories. It was Luna's magic, something she would be very familiar with. Cervantes' blood was a lure to the runes of Luna's mnemonic imprints planted throughout the forest, and they consequently reached out for him. This created a fragile river of Luna's magic between the two, undetectable to most, but well perceived by a coven witch whose soul was bonded to the source. If Cervantes placed himself in a position where this rivulet crossed Alexandria's path, it would be almost impossible for her not to notice it.
  8. Ferrah compressed her forehead against the reticent and silent door. She clenched her eyes shut, frustration rising in her throat. If her torso wasn’t bundled in compact muscle, she’d bet her temper would blast her own throbbing heart from its cavity. She snarled, rose her forehead, and slammed it hard against the tower door. “Is someone there?!” “Ferrah,” came a stern voice behind her. The orc whipped around to see the Matriarch standing at the bottom of the staircase. Beside the witch, an orc hound. Her eyes lacked its usual luster, the mystic glow faded into only clouded corneas of blindness. It was all a consequent of her recent journey and fleets of magic. As if a great weight suddenly slammed upon her shoulders, the orc dropped down to her knees and bowed her head low. Crimson droplets leaked onto the floor, manifesting from the newfound gash on her forehead. She heard the metallic boots of the witch click against the stone steps until she saw the fires of courtyard reflect off their silvery sheen. The orc looked up at the Matriarch, the beautiful woman solemn with cold apathy like elegant porcelain. “Why are you disturbing the tower, Ferrah?” The Matriarch asked in her orc tongue. “My...apologies.” Ferrah murmured, the words feeling like venom on her enslaved tongue. “But the dragon has become angry. She threatens to destroy the fortress. She even killed Jadi.” “For what reason other than her imprisonment does she threatened us?” “Her egg is dying.” “What?” “I haven’t confirmed it myself. But according to Jadi, it is fading. The dragon overheard him say it.” The Matriarch furrowed her brows. The orcs were so tactless and ignorant; of course they discussed such sensitive manners in front of the dragon. This wasn't good. She was too fatigued for this sudden dire development. She wasn't recovered from the last crisis. Her vision still hadn’t returned. She required hounds to guide her throughout the fortress to maintain appearances before the orcs. What was she going to do? “Go to the egg chamber and wait there.” “Until…” “Just wait there, Ferrah.” she snapped. “And don’t do anything without further instruction.” Ferrah narrowed her eyes, but nodded her head and rushed past her down the stairs. The Matriarch approached the tower door and entered. The cool arcane winds of the tower embraced her and she inhaled deep with comfort. Her blind eyes suddenly illuminated as the magic seeped within her. It was only here that she could see. Stepping into the heart of the tower, the witch glanced up at the branches of chamber forking the spiraling stairs. She searched for a sign of one of her sisters. Luna, who was here a mere three days ago was now gone. Alexandria also gone. Clementine and Mowenna not sensed. Like the last time, she felt alone. Wait. There was one. But why her? She had already been through so much. The Matriarch sat near the pool of the waterfall, placing her fingers onto her face and kneading the stress back through her raven locks. “Luna, where are you…” She folded her fingers underneath her chin, leaning forward so her reflection rippled in the gentle flow of the basin. She seemed to stare at the pool, as if waiting for something. She had once heard that Mowenna was visited by Luna through the water, offering her advice and comfort. Her soul called out for their sister, waiting expectantly. The coven's soul felt like chaos, she attributed that to her weakness, and she couldn't discern the dance of soul fragments within. The tower remained tranquil without answers. Almost begrudgingly, the white witch stood several minutes later and walked up the staircase of the tower. She found herself at Namiko’s door, pausing with a deep sigh before her knuckles tapped on the surface. "Sister?” She called out. “Please come to door.”
  9. The moment Alexandria freed the furious she-orc, Natasha set her full wrath upon the tree. Blood boiling and eyes leaking with carmine tinted animosity, the she-orc used her newfound freedom to dig her metallic boots into the earth and load her thighs with tension. Clenching a fist, she viciously punched the knobby end of the branch; it swung like a pendulum, creating a window for her to spring and grasp the thick midsection on the trunk. Clamping her powerful thighs upon the wooden shaft, she then buries the base of her gauntlet blades into the root of a branch. With a violent cry, she thrusts her arm out and severs the whole damn limb and all its children from the tree. The tree thrashes like a wild bull, spurring black blood from it blown gasket, but even the raging Natasha had positioned herself intelligently. No matters how the tree curves and lashes, its more massive boughs could not hit the orc. It had no choice but to whip fiercely at Natasha's half armored and half exposed back with thinner more flexible cords. The pain means nothing to the orc, and the whips barely mark her marble skin. Snarling and cursing furiously at the tree, Natasha goes straight wolverine, cleaving the base of each branch one or two at a time. Like a hand with severed fingers, it gushed wildly with obsidian tree blood, much to Natasha devilish and sadistic pleasure. However, in her venomous storm of violence, Alexandria's situation was temporarily missed. A peripheral toss of crimson hair drew Natasha's attention, the she-orc glancing over her shoulder to see the other tree pinning the witch. Urgency suddenly tossed into her salad of fury, she immediately releases the squirming tree and lands in a newfound puddle of black. The orc rushed towards the witch with tunnel-vision blinding her. An opportunistic root jut forth and easily pulls the same move to her ankle as the other did to Alexandria. Ensnared, she face-plants her into the dirt whilst the blood gushing tree bows its head to crush her. "Natasha, get down!" Already there, the she-orc only covers her face. Through the windows of her forearms, orange and flames flash and flicker, soon spreading a wave of heat down her spine and sides. The root around her ankle instantly releases her. "Noooo! What is the fleshy doing to my treesies!?" The living trees erupted in flames, the black liquid beginning to boil and smolder with a horrid smell of dirtied oil. The moist flesh of the trees seems to absorb the fire, preventing widespread destruction of the forest. They thrashed like living bodies burning alive. "Stop, STOP! AUGH! IT BURNS!!!" Natasha peeked through her arms toward the squealing voice. The magical flames providing sight, she sees the culprit leap from the canopy of a burning tree. With fire on its butt, the creature rolled with wails on the ground, abandoning a curved staff to pat its smoking rear. It was a small, wooden gremlin-like thing, no taller than a foot. The beast finally sat in a pool of liquid, sibilant sounds sizzling underneath its ass. It only had a moment to sigh in relief before Natasha came rushing into his peripheral. The she-orc was practically on all fours like a wild tiger; the creature released a mousy scream and attempted to run, but found its head caught in the bear trap grasp of her hand. Lifting the flailing thing in the air, the only reason the she-orc didn't crush him into the splinters was that her attention turned immediately to Alexandria. The she-orc's tribe lived in a world of volcanic heat for generations with consequent evolutionary changes to their hide. Thus, she was quite unscarred to the flames. The smell of burnt hair told her she had lost some length to her new dreadlocks. The bare black ground smoked at her feet, and the trees' pale bodies turned into ashen white colors before flaking away into nothing. The other trees were darkened, small flames caressing their gnarly surfaces. However, as if the very darkness resisted such obnoxious light, the remaining stragglers of ember died off in the night's breath. "Unhand me filthy fleshy!" struggled and screamed the creature in the orc's hand as she approached the witch. "I releasy the wrathy of my—" The beast paused, realizing in horror that its weapon was still on the ground. "STAFFY! Give me my staffy, give me my staffy, give me my—" Natasha released the creature, but not before punching it right on the noggin on the way down. Glowing orbits now swirling in utter disarray, the thing stumbled drunkenly around them. Natasha placed a hand under and between Alexandria's shoulder blades, lifting her to a sit. "Are you alright?" ……................................ The spiritual sylph lowered her long lashes as the vampire spoke, merely nodding her head once at his conclusion. However, when Cervantes began to venture to the west, the image dissipated and reappeared in his pathway, occluding the progression. Her hand drifted in direction of the rune as she repeated herself, this time slower with a drawl as if making sure he understood her words. "Place a droplet of your blood onto the inscription rune, Martis Cervantes, or the ones deeper in the forest will not activate to your presence. It works through blood magic. If you so choose to proceed without doing so, know that you will not have my further guidance." The implanted memory waited with the same stoic expression upon her countenance. If and when Cervantes complied, her image temporarily brightened its crimson hue and then settled, registering his presence. If he did not choose to do so, Luna's memory did not request it a third time, nor would she comment further to the defiance. She stepped out of his way. "Good luck Cervantes, Martis. Do not perish and I shall meet you with a reward. Blessed Be." And she vanished. Due to the benefit of Luna's guidance, Cervantes would find navigating through the dense nature of the forest less obscuring and rebellious than Alexandria and Natasha's path. Foliage and understory had been cleared by Luna's trek, even the archways of the trees seemed bent uncannily from his pathway. Under the lingering influence of her magical imposing stride through the darkness, his way was clear. Eventually, with his likely acute and sharpened unnatural senses, he'd catch the whiff of the decomposing dragon corpse. This rotten to the core smell paraded with the singed bouquet of burning lumber and scorched earth. These olfactions lurked in the corridors of the forest, slithering in the cold zephyr whisking between the trunks. As time passed and the scent became more poignant, a moss-covered rock suddenly glowed—upon its crown, another inscription. If the vampire so placed his blood on the sentinel rune, its sisters would immediately activate in his presence. Luna appeared once more, sitting cross-legged upon the rock as if solid with flesh. She leaned forward with plum eyes focused on his form, and gloved fingers lapped over her knees. "Cervantes," she spoke with her echoing silk voice. "In the clearing north of here, my orcs and I battled with minions of the monster we hunt. They are, by my understanding, a sort of druid in the forest. They are capable of manipulating the trees into soldiers by inspiring a life force. Perhaps through the essence of those previously perished. A dragon was fatally wounded, and you will discover its carcass soon. Continue north from here, but be wary as some of the druids fled, and may still linger in the forest. Blessed Be." With that, the magical beacon once more vanished.
  10. "Let's leave the dragons." At first, Natasha didn't answer, for she continued to glare into the dark void. Her veins bulged on the curves of her tight muscles, and her pale yellow tusks began to salivate and grind with a lust for murder. Like a lion that missed its strike, she breathed heavily in the chest, nostrils flaring for a scent. A long exhale released her primal tension, and she straightened up to turned towards Alexandria. "You're right," she agreed. "Durzol." The dragon immediately flared up, snarling at Natasha in utter protest. She ignored him, walking closer to the beast. The dragon growled louder, seeming moments from mauling her. The orc knew the dragon was simply rebelling his expulsion. Her battle hunger was tattooed upon him through the empathetic link, and he acted as she would if she were dismissed--pissed off. However, Natasha already knew exactly what to say to him. "You need to make sure Syvos gets out of the forest safely. We'll meet you at the end." Immediately the dragon pacified, turning his head towards Syvos for a moment, and then lowering his head in acceptance. Natasha gripped his snout hard and pressed her forehead to his. Her carmine eyes blazed wildly at him, a silent goodbye transitioning before both the dragons turned back. "Let's head that way." Natasha smirked over her shoulder at Alexandria. Straight into danger--she loved it. After a curt nod, the orc followed and resumed her foliage hacking as well. To Alexandria's outward enthusiasm, she resisted the urge to crack a grin. She found it absolutely ado--No, no, she would not allow such a word to cross her mind. She cleared her throat and continue to cleave away. "Smells bad here, too. Why do we always goto stinky places?" Once more, Natasha would have perfectly content with ignoring Karmal. Suddenly, however, there was a response. "Fleshys always stinky when they deadsy." The voice was small and high pitched, leading up into the darker canopies. "But deady fleshys don't chop my treesy. You're better off a stinky deadsy." A pair of cerulean orbs twinkled in the shadows of the canopy. Natasha glanced up. A small tap tap, like wood pecking wood, came. In an instant, the tree came to life. It bent and curved as if broken by the wind before one of its gnarled branches came slamming down towards the duo. Natasha leaped out of the way, tumbling into the roots of another nearby tree. Assuming Alexandria too dodged, the tree impacted the ground, sending leaves dancing the air and a dent in the earth. "Tehehehehee." Tap Tap. The exposed roots against Natasha's back suddenly slithered into animation and grasped her body like great claws. As it attempted to entangle her, the orc immediately struggled like a ferocious beast, roots splintering and snapping like cords at her vigorous fight. One of the origins slithered to a point and shot at her neck. Her newly free hand caught it inches from her skin; she twisted her wrist and cleaved it with the gauntlet blades. "Deadsy fleshy deadsy fleshy!" The living tree rapidly bowed, a bulky, bald, and knotted end seeking to crush the orc's head against its trunk. Natasha's hand shot up, breaking the new roots attempting to ensnare her arms and caught the bough. Her body sank into the earth, and the she-orc released a string of curses as the roots wrapped slowly up her legs. "What the fuck!" She yelled in orc, temporarily releasing the tree with one of her hands to stab it with her gauntlet. Black, bloody sap rained from the wound. ...... Meanwhile, for the illuminating newcomer of the Dark Forest, he'd find signs of the witch elusive. It seemed Luna would not wait for an uncertain alley when someone so precious to her was in danger. However, the old and intricate witch was thorough and full of forethought. She would not dig into a grave without ensuring her sisters would, eventually, learn that she could lie in it. So littered throughout the outskirts of her beacon's direction, inscriptions were craved into wood, rock, and earth alike. They would not trigger to the ubiquitous presence of Alexandria, despite her kinship, for they were not written for her. However, when the touch of the undead came into their midst, the blossomed into a bloody carmine hue. As the vampiric man transpired deeper in the forest, aura reaching with his bouquet for attention, a rune inscription engraved onto the very oak tree he so lightly brushed, awoke. The rune, no larger than a fingerprint, shone with the bright essence of a sunset; from its core, a woman weaves into existence. The transcribed image of Luna played with the uncanny valley of her natural beauty. Conjured by magic, she was ghostly and esoteric, but the witches' youthful and surreal aesthetics melded with it, offering an angelic loveliness. Her jade tresses were dyed into a minty green from the veil of carmine magic encasing her body, and her mauve eyes now a dark plum hue. The witches' rune and spell work flaunted all its artistic glory in the illusion and held Luna's imprinted memories. The woman gazed upon what was before her, strange sentience twinkling within her eyes. Her face was solemn and analytical, as still and stoic as a porcelain doll upon a self. A few seconds drifted, the magical image processing thought in sophisticated manners impossible to explain. When she finally spoke, her British accented voice echoed around them. "Are you the one answered by my call?" It waited patiently for him to answer. When he did, the image paused, the magic processing before speaking once more. "My name is Luna, high witch of a coven of No Man's Land. I've brought you here to assist me in destroying a beast that lurks these woods. This creature has captured four fellow witches and transformed them into something unthinkable. I believe them to be some form of a Banshee. "I've never known such afflictions to be cast on living witches, but this creature holds abilities I've yet to encounter. It offers sweets temptation to the soul, twisting emotions and thoughts to torment, and then promises the release into apathy. I will not risk any more of my witches. I need someone…" The image pause, advancing a few steps towards the man. She came within a few inches with a small smile rising in her glimmering coral lips. "Soulless, to help." The image glissaded away, turning towards the deeper parts of the wood. "If you do decide to help, I will reward you. I can do a great many things, and it's not often I place myself in a position be to in debt. This magical imprint will fade soon. If you wish to journey into the Dark Forest and find me, place a drop of your blood on my inscription. The others will activate in your presence, with more imprints of my memory." She rose her hand with a finger pointing to the west. "This is the way."
  11. As the two witches departed on their journey, something else was brewing in the depths of Mount Ariadne. Underneath the ordinarily hot and feverish twisted tunnels, an unusual spread of snow and ice manifested throughout the serpentine corridors. Mist impregnated the air as the fertile cold consummated with the fiery womb of the volcanic landscape. In the last few weeks, everything was strangely cooler in the witches’ domain. Magma pools regressed and hardened, and brimstone piled into with high mountainous peaks. The source of the brisk winds was an archway in the courtyard. Like an open maw to winter, it breathed random gusts of crisp air. The rim of the arch was lined with crying icicles. The stalactites blushed an amber color from the fiery world, and then shred tears that caught the cave’s icy breath. Each drop froze, descended, and dissipated into mist. In the great belly of the icy underpass, an orc named Ferrah sat before a barred cavern. Her head, shoulders, and thighs were dusted with snow. Leaning on the wall beside her was a great bone crafted zanbato weapon. Her crimson eyes were closed, and if not for the long vaporous breaths exhaling from her nostrils, she might have been thought frozen dead. Thanks to the insulated thick nature of their hides, the orcs of the tribe were quite as resistant to cold as they were to the blistering heat. Still, Ferrah’s body was layered in the skinned hides of orc hounds and other wild beasts, suggesting even she reached certain limits. Beyond the bars, which sparkled with lightning at spontaneous intervals, a magnificent winged beast lurked. An ancient dragon. She paced back and forth in the imprisonment, like a crystalline coated predator stalking the outlines of their cage. Her fine feline talons brushed through vast piles of powdery snow and scrapped the thin layers of ice adorned rock. She was surreally beautiful and radiated with a mystical aura of aged magic. This dragon was Crysanthe, long won by the witches and held for months as their prisoner. Trust with the dragon was sought many times, but the beast refused to yield to promises not delivered. “Ferrah!” Ferrah opened a lazy carmine eye, huffing slightly and turning her head towards the tunnel. Down it came a bulky scrambling orc. His name was Jadi, and he was lined with so much muscle that it seemed to strain on his ability to think. Absent-minded to the friction-less nature of ice, Jadi’s dash soon became a tumbleweed roll of angry curses. He collided with a wall, the impact dislodging icicles from the ceiling. Ferrah slowly raised the brow, too bitter and cold to laugh at his clumsy idiocy. “What is it, Jadi?” She grunted, raising a clawed hand and brushing off the snow from her shoulders. Jadi rolled onto his big bottom with a groan, rubbing the new knots on his melon. “Ouch…” He grumbled. Ferrah gave him a whole ten seconds, with him doing nothing but rubbing his aches like an ape, before she grasped a fallen icicle and knocked him clean on the temple. “What do you want, Jadi?!” She snarled, now on her feet. Ferrah’s short temper was well known, and she loved picking a fight. Despite the icicle snapping clean on his massive head, Jadi merely rubbed the spot and stood. “Oh yeah...Something with egg.” He mumbled. “What with egg?” Ferrah said with a twitching eye. “It’s not working.” “....What does that MEAN, Jadi?” “Well, area not so cold. Egg not so shiny...blinking a lot. Think its dying. Wondering if we can eat it now.” Ferrah stared for a moment, not sure what to make of it. Before she could answer, a quake in the earth nearly threw her off her feet. Crysthane had slammed her talon before the cage, grasping their attention. The beast lowered her slender head, the orcs reflecting in her silvery sea gaze. “Bring me a witch, now.” Her voice rang melodically sweet but deadly throughout the orc’s minds. “If the egg dies, you will know no greater wrath than mine.” Jadi suddenly laughed, stomping before the cage. Ferrah shifted her eyes towards him, and then slowing started drifting back. Crysanthe merely narrowed her eyes a half-inch. “Stupid animal! You’re all locked up! Shut-up before I use your hide as target pra-” He didn’t finish, for the open jaws of the dragon sent a hellish winter upon his soul. Within seconds, he was frozen solid. Ferrah dived out of the way, looking up just in time to see the ice statue tilt over and shatter into fleshy pieces. Crysanthe turned her critical eyes to Ferrah once more. “A witch, now.” Shortly after, Ferrah was banging on the doors of the Witch Tower. Two witches had been working on the dragon, but she had not seen them in some time. Now she was pissed. She was always pissed, but today she was once more infuriated by her piss-poor position of dragon duty. Jadi had it coming, but be damned if she was going to become a frozen sickle because these witches wanted to keep something so dangerous so close. “HELLO?!” She banged so hard that the entire door rumbled at her fury. She had a lot of power for someone so short for an orc. @Eternity
  12. "You'll be fine without it?" Even as Alexandria said it, Natasha pressed the torch into the palm of her hand. Her lips flatlined at first, as Alexandria once more burdened herself with Natasha's safety, but then the corner of her mouth curved into a confident half-smirk. She wasn't even sure why it made her grin. "Yes." Her clawed hand left the torch handle and grasped firmly on Alexandria's wrist. With impressive strength, she yanked her just a hair closer. "You're more important." She finishes in orc before releasing. Even if Natasha were utterly blind, crippled, and deaf, Alexandria would always get the torch. Despite the strange developing tides of their personal relationship, in the grand sea of facts, the she-orc was still her muscled soldier and disposable slave. This fact instilled into her soulless vessel and rattled its imprisoning chains throughout her mind. This crimson-haired warrior had the unique ability to temporarily paint the fantasy of passionate allies in war and battle. Still, the obligation to sacrifice every ounce of her entity to her service would always be there. At times she lost whether her actions were responsibilities or decisions. Her eyes shifted to the side, watching as Durzol responds to Syvos' closeness by curling his long neck over hers. He is careful not to brush his underside on his alpha, smooth with his domineering size, as it is not an act of dominance. Deep oscillations with admonitions escape his chest, amethyst eyes protectively leering into the forest. Natasha exhales a long misty breath into the night through her nostrils, thoughts of her dragon's unexplained obsession with Syvos biting at her mind once more. "Uncertain if dragons followed Luna into heart of forest." She does note that some of the branches seemed in disarray and broken from the movement of large beasts. "It will get thicker." Natasha brought one her five serrated-blade gauntlets in front of her face, crimson eyes analyzing the integrity of her weapon before cleaving a populous borough from their pathway. As the wood splintered and broke, crumbling to the ground in oozing amber sap, the trees around them seem to sway ominously, increased moans riding the cold wind. Natasha ignored it all and progressed forward. "Will use them while can." So they ventured into the darkness of the forest, passing through the treelines like black curtains of a stage. Moonlight adequately pierced through some patches of canopy from the sliver of crescent light above. Durzol's scales shimmered the light gold hues of the torch as he eagerly pushed to be close to Syvos. The Dark Forest was misty and gloomy, but still strangely visible on the outskirts. Natasha listened to Alexandria's warnings and worries as she trudged beside her. "Rumors spread by scared children." She says curtly, "Orcs have no rumors, only tales of victory." She swings and snaps another obscuring limb, amber sap licking her blades. "Never tell what scared of, only what was conquered." Essentially, the prideful orcs never told each other of the scary things that go bump in the night. It suggested they were fearful. Fear was a weakness, and orcs never admitted to it. This, too, was ingrained into Natasha. She arguably didn't experience fear because she didn't apprehend death. Her life was war, chaos, and blood. She welcomed it. The orc snapped another branch and looked at Alexandria, flushing irises traveling along with her features for a long moment. But some things had changed. "Do not worry," she suddenly adds. "We'll kill anything we cross, and tell more tales of victory." Abruptly Durzol stops; it is about a mile into the forest. The moonlight hid behind more opulent canopy, and now shadows lurked heavily around the torch flames. The armor on the dragon's body shivered as his spine arched, and fangs revealed with smoking serpents escaping the gaps. Syvos likely too became agitated; before them was a dead dragon. Only the tattered wings spread among the understory, and scales scattered like broken glass revealed its identity. Entangled around the body were pulsating roots of trees. Covered in mossy fungi and the smell of wood rot, the roots embraced their victim grotesquely and slithered like a ravenous ball of lustful snakes. "What the…" Natasha walked intrepidly closer to the tragic and disgusting sight, pushing the dragons out the way. As she steps, the unfed roots slither from her stride, pulsating around the metal boots like hearts. Her crimson eyes saw the detail in the woodland monster—tiny suckling holes. She imagined they latched onto the body like leeches and drained away liquefied insides. Yet, the trees from which the origins birthed were completely stoic and still. Their leaves trembled in the zephyr but nothing more. The dead were apparently not wasted here, corpses scavenged and digested by the very plant life. The burning question was…what killed the dragon? A sudden loud disturbance in the distance, trees bowing to weight, drew the orc's attention. She snapped her attention to the left density and in the far distance, burning blood red of almond optics shone in the shadows. Before Natasha could even tense her muscles for battle, it was gone and the trees once more still.
  13. Natasha observed silently, listening to the details of Alexandria's plan with little response to give. The witch was correct, the orc's war-driven culture of tusk and claw meant they grasped little of the arcane world—as poor as any savages could comprehend complexity. Natasha merely traced her carmine eyes to the witch's movements. A chain spun over a map, 'scrying' she called it, absurd is what the she-orc thought. "…." She crossed her bulk arms tightly over her metal breastplates, furrowing her brows and twitching in the jaw. Alexandria meditated deep within herself, to pull some hidden strength from her core. Natasha ground the tip of her sharp nail along with the rough curve of her triceps, tapping with discomfort. The witch looked so temporarily vulnerable that the orc instantly widened her awareness of the world around them. "....." The emerald grass became a sea of movement, and the wind too swirled around the witch's invisible seduction. Then something strange happened, something Natasha instantly didn't like. The witch was in distress. The orc uncrossed her arms, narrowing her eyes for a moment before snapping to a stand. Quick steps filled the distance between them, paused an inch before contact. She swiftly recalled the last time she jumped to conclusions when the witch used magic—how she was in some unfathomable danger. Unease pulled at her body; she felt her heart race and tandem thoughts started to twist and tangle. All her muscles tensed to fight some non-existent monster. To murder and maim whatever dared to cause this. Would she be powerless again to help? Oh how she hated magic. Why did she suggest this? "……." When Alexandria broke her spell and hunched forward, her left shoulder fell into Natasha's grasp. The orc was knelt before her, hand firmly gripped on the plates of the witch's arm and eyes focused with wild pupils. She was silent for a moment, grip hard and firm before the black of her eyes slowly contracted back to normal. "Breathe," she said, her naturally deep voice containing an unusual husk in tone. When Alexandria recovered, the she-orc removed her hand and stood, stepping back as the witch too stood. She nodded curtly to the new plan, dusting off the last bits of emotion from her shoulders. She grunted something in orc, and Durzol came racing to her side. Synchronously the two mounted, and in tandem, they took off. They flew across the misty fields of the Forgotten Forest, the whimsical nature of their flight gone and now heavy with intent. As the night aged, Natasha's carmine eyes shone brightly in the murk, her nocturnal vision awakening. Still, the orc squinted; there was something strange about this evening. It felt heavier than usual—not an aphotic world, but one suffocated by a veil of black. Even Durzol, who too thrived in the night, whined with unease under his breath. They landed before an undead forest; trees were full of growth, rich in the bark and thick with boroughs, yet their colors seemed paled and bland like blood deprived flesh. The wind was cold and noisy, capable of rising bumps on even Natasha's thick skin. She dismounted, laced with solemnity, and flicked her eyes back and forth as she prowled the outskirts. "Someone was here," she said, crouching down at a smoldered lump of charcoal. Her nostrils flared wide. "Curt and Bale." She stood and walker further around the area. "Two dragons." Her feet traveled over some ruffled dirt and scattered scales of different colors. "In right place," she concluded and turned towards the wood. It was so dark between the tree lines that her eyes could barely pierce five feet beyond them. Her boot hooked and kicked up a broken branch, catching it with her left hand. From her sash, she produced a bottle of clear gelatinous liquid and cloth in which she wrapped around the edge of the branch. It was a trick the orcs commonly did—fabric material on a limb, soaked with flammable saliva of an orc hound. She walked to Durzol, and on cue, he breathed fiery life into it. "Let's go," she said, extending the torch to Alexandria. (This adventure will be continued in this thread)
  14. Natasha listened to Alexandria, sensing her urgency. As she suddenly took off, Natasha paused for a moment to think. Or at least she tried too. Two moments after Syvos dived from her edge, Natasha saw a blur of hazel rush pass her peripheral. AUUUGH “Son of a—DURZOL!” Natasha ran after the racing dragon, barely grabbing a plate in his armor and pulling herself on the saddle seconds before the dragon bird dived down the cliff side. He folded his amber wings, ignoring Natasha's chastising curses, and caught up to the crimson beauty. Synchronously they spread their wings and curved up towards the skies. In swirls of ruby and gold, the dragons churned in the gusts of winds like autumn leaves in the zephyr. Alexandria yelled in exhilaration and Natasha couldn’t help herself, her ash face breaking into a tusked grin and crying out like a wild animal in the skies with her steed. They rode over the palisades of rock, and eventually their shadows cascaded over canopies of green. Alas their hours of search were fruitless, it took them to the far northeast, over the Haunted Glen and now near the Forgotten Wood. The scarlet skies were darkening into the dusk of night, navy shade expanding from the west horizon and stars blinking beyond the clouds. They landed their tired dragons, Durzol hunched with heated breathes. The dragon tread to a pool of water they decisively choose to re-hydrate them. The liquid steamed in his mouth as he drank. Natasha was sitting cross armed on a rock, thinking hard when Alexandria approached her with the jerky. She took it silently and shoved it between their tusks. Alexandria dedication to this mission was lost on her, but still managed to put stress in her neck and shoulders. Her mind chewed on her thoughts as her teeth effortlessly devoured the meat in a few bites. “Alexandria,” she finally says. “Can’t you use your…” She paused, rolling her discomfort with the concept on her tongue. “Magic to find her?” More than enough times she had seen the witches use all kinds of voodoo to do impossible things. When The Matriarch was their slave, before irony made them its bitch, she was capable of seeing things in the future, locating enemy traps and locations. She even warned them of Luna and her kind on their way to invade the fortress. Locating enemies and threats seemed possible, why not be able to use it to find comrades? These sisters did seem strangely close after-all.
  15. Alexandria reached out, and as a reflex, Natasha tensed with the constant battle ravenous flame in her belly, preparing to scorch the fool that dared to touch her. Then her mind deepened its purr, overriding so many years of violent outbursts and dousing the flame. Like a tamed beast, she settled as Alexandria's hand curled around her wrist. Somehow she still felt incredibly warm as her dense muscles melted, and she followed without resistance into the tower. The orc was used to the obligations of her enslavement, forcing her to castrate her more primal nature. Usually, she'd resent the imposed weakness and vulnerability. Yet this scarlet haired woman seemed to literally bewitch her personality. Instead of begrudgingly letting her obligations possess her, those crimson eyes widened and then lazed into a half moon-gaze as she followed her, mind clean of resentment. Marquise's voice rang in her ears at that moment: You're not yourself. Her instantly ignited her temper shook off the feeling, allowing her to focus back on the moment at hand. The two jutted up the stairs and Natasha explained everything she had heard: Luna's wounded return and how Abree tended to her; the supposed missing witches, which she already deduced to be Stellestria, Una Tal, Emma, and Serra; and finally Luna's departure with two of the more skilled warrior orcs. Curt and Bale were one of the few orcs that could potentially challenge Natasha. By the time she finished, Alexandria was primed like a gold lion for battle. Natasha couldn't help but crack a small grin at the sight. This was the witch she was familiar with, an intrepid warrior springing with haste into battle. Excitement ringed through her muscle, so much that she had to roll and pop the tension from her neck. Alexandria didn't have to wait; the she-orc was on her heels. When Alexandria mentioned her bells and gave her admonitions, Natasha's grin only widened. "Wouldn't miss it," she practically growled in response at the stable. In that moment, Durzol landed behind the orc. The hazel winged-beast trembled with exhilaration fed through Natasha's empathetic link. He was already wearing his saddle, a metallic and hide welded craft. He was also adorned with metallic plates on his neck and a helm to his crown and snout. His long tail brandished weaponry of jutting spikes flared in a trident formation. "We wouldn't miss it." Durzol reared up at sight of Syvos, coos vibrating intensely under his massive husk neck and black smoke leaking from his nostrils. By the twinkle of his amethyst eyes, his interest in Syvos was still very much untamed. In fact, a scar or two on his body told stories of how he perhaps got too invasive. He slowly cranked his head over Natasha's shoulder, eyes hyper-focused on Syvos. Natasha had a twitch of irritation and instantly swung her fist over her shoulder, knocking him right in the snout. The dragon sniffed out harshly and whined, protesting at the injustice. Nonetheless, he backed up and came to a curled sit with the face that could only be interpreted as pouting. "Do you know where they went?" Natasha asked, ignoring him (and Kamal for that matter). "Many dark forests over the mountains."
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