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KittyvonCupcake last won the day on April 20 2015

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About KittyvonCupcake

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  • Birthday April 18

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    The Moon of Titan
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    Hungry ghosts, the roar of the sea crystallized and shattered thrice for good luck, poorly recorded punk music.

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  1. @Dreamer Unfortunately, we had to move forward without your character. I'm sorry about that, but this thread does technically need a post once a week from me to meet the requirements for canonization. @Thotification I really would like to learn more about Holly in order to both integrate her better into the story and improve the quality of interactions between our characters. If you could get in touch with me over that, I would appreciate it. It makes my job for storytelling much easier if I know what to work with.
  2. The first morning of their mission began with an odd tension. Not only had Ioreth received neither the restful night nor the bath she desired and Viscerex threw an unanticipated amount of men through the window of a second story room, Holly appeared to be another more comfortable in a taciturn silence and Dreamer did not arrive when expected. Rion merely shrugged when Ioreth suggested that it was perhaps time to move forward. The red haired soldier took the lead with a dogged focus. The streets of Andelusia held little charm to her—every new building, every new facade, served as a reminder for a half-forgotten pain she kept hidden after the fall of King Damien. “As agreed, I arranged for care for your horses at a decent stable,” she said, riding before them on horseback. “Their boy is waiting by the portal for us with the packhorse. It’s of a sturdy stock, even traveled to Lunaris in there.” In there had been Rion’s preferred phrase to describe Taen. “It’s the last and only point of civilization they have. If you ever need to turn back, head there. You got it on your map, Elf?” Ioreth reached up to casually flick her braid away from her neck and nodded once. She refrained from sharing any barbed retorts with her guide. Instead, she silently thanked whomever would listen that they would soon enough be out of this city and away from Rion’s unpleasant glowering. As they passed through the city gates and walked through the countryside, the nonexistent state of the group’s conversation rarely rose above a simple question and even simpler answer. Neither the chill of the morning nor the fading stench of city life roused anything more from Ioreth. She rode on in relative silence, mentally retreating deep within herself as she allowed her mare to follow along behind Rion and her horse. It was reminiscent of that first week of travel with Viscerex—the creaking of leather saddles, the clop of hooves against dirt pathways, the slow rhythm of a horse’s pace. The countryside stretched on until farmland fell to empty fields and empty fields gave way to the portal itself. Situated atop a hill, the portal nearly looked like a trick of light reflecting against the blue sky, for the world behind shared a similar viewpoint. The chief difference lie in the clouds; Taen’s clouds maintained an unfamiliar heaviness that their neighboring world’s counterpart had. Rion had been true to her promise: the stable’s packhorse was ready for their gear and the stable’s hired help was ready to lead Ioreth and Viscerex’ s horses away. “Is there anything you need before we go, Holly?” Ioreth asked, busying herself with moving her supplies to the shorter and more muscular horse. She stroked the hose’s nose as it sniffed her. “And Rion?” A coin purse sailed from Ioreth’s belt to Rion’s hands. “Your pay for your services.” After Holly and Viscerex were ready to continue on foot, all that remained in Ursa Madeum was to climb up the hill and leave this world behind. The portal was a clear window into the rich landscape unveiled before them. Forests of near perpetual rain boasted foliage of a lustrous green. Holding the bridle of the packhorse, Ioreth took a step forward through the portal. Raw magic ran wild like electricity over her skin. She shivered despite the humid climate that clung to the air in Taen. How odd, she thought as she glanced behind herself at the portal, to see one aspect of their birth world while standing within another. Taen’s jungle quadrant was alive with the calls of tropical birds and the chatter of little monkey-like creatures tails they used like an extra limb offering curious looks from the canopies of their broadleafed trees at the trio of people that fell out of the portal. Ioreth, Holly, and Viscerex stood atop a hill more modest than one they had climbed to reach the portal back on the other side, surrounded entirely by nature that went largely untouched. Slowly, Ioreth slipped a talisman made of carved bone from around her neck. She held it up to sunlight and broke it half, breathing in the cloud of colorless smoke. It faded, yet the connection that would guide Ioreth to the artifact she desired fell smoothly into place. “Are you ready?” she asked Holly.
  3. [Coth: Dale Thimmick’s property] God would have to forgive Dale Thimmick for not kneeling in supplication, as his right hip would have put up a mighty protest and his knees would have cried out in pain. Yet he prayed, as any Cothite would have prayed in the face of the verdant flame. He paused long enough to try to catch Mythandriel’s arm before she rushed to the fence. "Miss, wait!" he exclaimed. "It’s God’s work, you can't just run in th--" She did not listen, and so he prayed for her. He prayed for the orcish man, as well. Though the green fire was a familiar sight to him, he had witnessed both the conflagration that consumed the old Gaian church and the raid on Coth. Fire could burn should it choose, and, in his eyes, it had chosen Ioreth, not her cousin or her amnesiac friend. Despite Mythandriel’s belief that the warhorse was inherently evil, he did nothing to harm Ioreth while they were trapped together in a circle of verdant flame. A supernatural dispassion supplanted his natural instincts—he did not rear up in a panic or bolt at the sight of the fire. His velvet soft muzzle gave Ioreth’s boot a nudge. She did not move. Careful to avoid crushing her limbs beneath the weight of his hooves, he walked closer to take in the scent of her hair. The orc entering their walled off sphere of isolation was inspected with an aloof detachment; his ears flicked and he shook his head, wholly unimpressed with the general excitement these two legged creatures demonstrated. As Ioreth was carried away, the fire faded to dull green embers. Her skin, normally cool to the touch, burned with a fever like wildfire, though she did not behave as though she were ill. Her breath was slow and shallow, barely perceptible by subtle rise and fall of her chest. “She’s as limp as a ragdoll,” muttered Thimmick after he came to the half-orc’s side. Worry clouded his eyes and etched lines in his brow. It was not the horsemaster’s duty to interpret signs, but apprehension twisted in his gut and he feared the meaning of the elven lady’s fragility. “She’ll be fine,” he said, loud enough for both Mythandriel and Zanzarog to hear. “She’s soon to wake, best get her inside and comfortable. Come on, love.” With a gentle hand reached out for Myth, he helped her over the fence and gave another pat on her shoulder. “There’s no need for tears. Do you want a hot drink? Your cousin told me you call tea ‘dirty leaf water’ and I’m inclined to agree.” Though he did not feel like smiling, he gave her a warm grin accompanied by a quiet laugh. “Have you ever had hot chocolate?” Thimmick and his two unmarried daughters lived a modest home of stone, one of the few that remained untouched during the raid, spare for Ioreth’s acquisition of the two finest horses he ever foaled. Upon entrance, it became clear that he had little interest in decoration. One of his daughters hung several examples of her clumsy needlework upon the walls, but the rest of his home was an unassuming place that still managed to be effused with a warm comfort. Only one small painting was on display, that of a woman with a stern face and soft spirals of black hair. Her name was engraved in frame: Gloria. A girl of fourteen with a similar head of dark curls popped her head out from around the doorway of the room she shared with her sister. Unlike her mother’s timeless expression of austerity, shock seized control of her features. “What happened? I thought I saw…” She let out a gasp at the sight of Lady Ioreth in the arms of a giant with tusks. “Who is he?” “Sabine, step aside. Let him in.” He cut off her protests with a single glare. “You can lay her down in there, Greyboy. How is her breathing?” While Sabine reluctantly emerged from her room, revealing a small area stuffed with a plush bed and covered with strewn fabrics and half-finished crochet work, Thimmick busied himself with lighting the wood burning stove in the kitchen area of his main room. The cellar had been attached to the house. After a quick trek downstairs, he returned with a glass bottle of fresh milk and a large bar of chocolate which he passed off to Sabine. “She gave this to us,” he said to Mythandriel with a nod towards his daughters’ room. “Bit of an apology, I think. I need someone to fetch the priest, and fast. I would it do myself, but I can’t get in a saddle like I used to. Do you know where his church is, Miss?” Ioreth wove through shadows and stumbled through ash. She felt as though she was near the center, as it was here, in this heart of activity where formless bodies scrambled at the accelerated speed of an incoherent dream that demanded her presence. She saw him, on horseback, his orcish blood impossible to miss despite the blur of his features and she reached out to grasp the reins, to alert him of his presence and of the dead she passed, but the earth opened with widened jaws and she was swallowed whole. Submerged in a sea of fire, Ioreth sank like a stone. It was Coth that spread beneath her, it was Coth that caught her fall. She landed on the top of the hill besides the ruined church. Lambent stars cast flickering shadows as the eyes that dwelled within their celestial bodies open and shut. A nameless sense of dread swept over her; the village below rested in a halcyon slumber, yet the air was too sluggish to breathe with its grave stillness. It was as if the world ceased to spin on its axis. She begged her legs to carry her weight as she struggled to her feet. The moment she stood, it began to rain. Birds with broken wings plummeted from the sky. They tumbled, helpless, songs snatched from their beaks. Gone was their lullaby. All dead, they crooned. Flashes of imagery seared her heart, that of sightless green eyes staring up at the sky. Their hands pulled at the hem of her dress, their fingers were tangled in her hair, and smoke filled her lungs. Where were you? a little voice asked. The stars were alight under their cover of storm clouds and Ioreth ran through grass like blades for the sanctuary of the church. It was not fire she found there. Ioreth awoke facedown in a spring of silver that was faintly illuminated like molten moonlight. She coughed and strained to rise against the weight on her back. It fell with a splash in the shallow water. An arm—it had to be an arm. The fingers of her left hand grazed against skin. Swaying and unsteady, she stood and began to tremble. Constans was at her right, the slightest wrinkle of his brow disrupting his expression of beatific serenity. One hand lay upon his heart, pale against his black clothing. Crimson stained his palm. Mythandriel was at her feet, curled up on her side like a sleeping fawn. Ashes did not suffocate her, water did not drown her, yet still Ioreth choked. And at her left… It had been Viscerex’s arm flung over her back. He, too, had fallen facedown. His loose black hair floated in the water, as dark as the pure night that surrounded the spring. Gone. All dead. Where had she been? “You always did subject yourself to heartbreak, unaeon oidhche.” It was the voice of adumbration, low and soft and hoarse, spoken from a thin blackened lips that peeled back into a cold grin as she whirled with her dagger in her hand. “And you let them tame you.” Long fingers, slender like her own, pushed the blade away from his chest. Marl Rhavon tilted his head down and examined his daughter with his remaining eye. His white hair, pulled back in a topknot, reflected the light of the pool and cast the sharp angles of his face in shadow. “Those are not your eyes, Ioreth. Why do you hide yourself?” With a whisper of raven’s feathers, he appeared above Mythandriel. Tall and gaunt, he knelt and pushed back strands of wet hair from her unmarked face. “And there she is,” he whispered. “No,” Ioreth snarled. She found her voice in the growl of a wolf, in thunder and heartbeats and blood. “Let her be.” “Let her live. You forget your strength.” He stood behind her once more, looming over her shoulder. “You stray from your Path. Now you see the price. Everything has its cost, does it not?” Ioreth did not realize that bitter tears singed a trail down her cheek until her father looked down at Viscerex. Dagger still in hand, she turned to watch him. Whatever he was searching for, an arched eyebrow and the suggestion of a frown indicated that he could not find it. “This one has no face.” Something in the distance caught his attention. When he glanced back at Ioreth, it was with restrained understanding. “Soon,” he said, “I will wake. Will you?” “How? I see no way out.” He smiled. Though the water only covered Ioreth and Marl’s ankles, the bodies that surrounded them began to sink. His cloak floated behind him as he stepped closer. Gently, he placed a hand beneath her chin to angle her head up so that her eyes met his own, and snapped her neck. Nearly two hours after falling unconscious in Dale Thimmick’s field, Ioreth awoke under his roof with a gasp. She clutched at her throat and shut her eyes tightly against the blinding brightness of the room. Although the curtains were drawn against the lazy glow of the afternoon sun, the sunshine was unbearable. A pained groan escaped from her lips. The hair gathered around her forehead was damp with sweat and it was too hot, too bright, too loud with the sounds of people stirring in the house. Dizzy, she sat up and burrowed her face in her hands, fighting against the urge to vomit on the floorboards. @Better Than Gore @Witches Brew @Vansin
  4. Pain. Sunken deep in the bruises that mottled her pale skin and present in the hoarse cracks of her voice, pain radiated from this woman like heat from the sun. A slight frown wrinkled Ioreth’s brow as her gaze swept across the woman’s injuries. An animal or a more monstrous beast would have left puncture wounds; teeth, talons, something to tear into the flesh. She appeared as though she had been beaten. Rather than asking by what?, Ioreth felt it to be wiser to ask by whom? With her supply bag free from the saddle, the elf knelt by the woman’s side and pressed an old scarf of softly woven blue into her hands. “Hold this to your nose,” she instructed. “It still bleeds, but only a little. Let me see your head.” There was an ease of authority that flowed through the manner in which Ioreth spoke and the way she carried herself, even while crouched in the grass wearing her traveler’s garb. Without hesitation, she reached out to place her slender fingertips on both sides of the woman’s head. Ioreth’s thumbs lightly rested at the temples of her head. A delicate incandescent glow of pale violet emanated from her palms. Like fresh water from a cold spring, it swirled through her fingers to the woman’s red hair and settled upon her skin. Gentle patience and quiet serenity worked together to ease the burden of the suffering she felt in her head. Any lacerations were encouraged to heal quicker, though Ioreth did not pour forth enough energy to completely erase any wounds. Unwilling to tap deeply into the reserves of her strength, she dedicated her focus to alleviating the pain. The worst of it was disassembled and carried away, leaving behind a dull ache of pressure. “How does that feel?” She rose to her feet to fetch a spare canteen and offered it to the woman. “It’s only water,” she said. Though a soft smile played on her lips, there was a scouring intensity in her eyes. ”What happened to you? Did someone leave you here?”
  5. Incoming post on Wednesday! @Thotification can you tell me more about your character's skills and capabilities? @Dreamer it's okay! Like I said, just let me know if you can't continue on at any time. If you're still interested, I'll need a post before Wednesday night. If either of you have any questions, feel free to contact me through Discord. It's KittyvonCupcake#0467
  6. [Coth: Dale Thimmick’s Fields] “Take me to the horse with the biggest sweet tooth, kind sir!” “‘Kind sir?’” A short bark of laughter brought a flush of ruddy crimson to Thimmick’s golden brown face. “Just where did she find you at, Greyboy?” Mythandriel’s answer was regarded with a nod. His smile became a more serious variation of the indulgent grin he gave the orcish man. “Ay, I understand, Miss. No doubt that she will smell other animals on you. And Dorian—“ he glanced over his shoulder at Ioreth, voice booming with the intention that she would listen “—is a proper name for an animal. She’s not calling her Deer!” His certainty with this assessment wavered enough to allow forth a slight frown. “It’s not your type of elvish for deer is it, Miss?” Whatever her answer, he chuckled and reached out to leave a light pat upon her shoulder as if she were like one of his four daughters or their gaggle of friends, and not the relative of the Father’s scribe. While a lifetime of caring for animals left Thimmick with little patience for social pretense, it encouraged both the warmth of his heart and a natural ease with all of the green god’s creatures. “Now the one with the biggest sweet tooth is…” He gestured towards a rather rotund pony munching on fresh shoots of clover beneath the shade of one of the spare elms in his field. Not only did the pony sport a rounded belly, bits of hay stuck out of its flaxen mane and a fine layer of dust and grass stains discolored its back. “...Humphrey. Belongs to my youngest daughter. God knows what she feeds him when I’m not looking.” As Thimmick pointed out the coursers he bred and boasted of the speeds they could obtain at a full gallop, Ioreth remained before the warhorse. One arm draped along the rough wood of that made up the barrier for his enclosure. She tucked loose waves of her hair behind her ear and thought of the orc. Digging through his dreams with the assistance of an oneiromancer may only bring visions too confusing to be considered adequate results, particularly if there was something deeper in his psyche that was fundamentally damaged. There were telepaths abound in Blairville, although there was the possibility that they would only be able to sense his present thoughts. A bath, horses, flirtations—scarcely enough for a deeper study. The black destrier scraped the earth with a front hoof. Ioreth’s painted lips parted and then pursed. She reached out her hand for him to inspect, the open palm empty and inviting. What had it been that Constans once said: that God leads people to places for a reason? Go on, she thought, a silent taunt to an unseen force. There is a connection with the horses, but what is it? If you know all—if you hear all—then show me. While it had become a recent habit to send mental barbs out to whomever was listening, she had never expected nor received an answer. A flash of green flared in the warhorse’s eyes. It must have been a trick of the light, the reflection of grass in the noonday sun, the product of an overactive mind paired with vision best suited for darkness, but something caused her to push herself over the low fence and step into horse’s claimed territory. She walked as if she were in a dream, each footstep light before she paused ten feet away from the horse. The wind toyed with her white dress and tugged strands of molten silver from her braid. It brushed against her face, it whispered in her ears, and it encircled her in flame. Heart thundering in her chest, she could not move, she could not run from the walls of green fire that surrounded her. She looked up to see the black horse still standing imperious and soundless. She struggled to turn her head and saw nothing but ash. It drifted from the sky, cinder mixed with snow. It stained her dress and stung her eyes. She did not feel her body crumple to the ground. She did not feel her head against the grass, or how one hand tried to pull her dagger from its sheath on her belt before she fell. It rested limp and useless on the handle. Though her body lay in the field at the center of the spiraling green fire, Ioreth was no longer there. She was in the shadow of a mountain, she was in a ruined hut, she was in a thick plume of a fog, caught in the talons of a monster, lying beneath a shining blade, hauled along by the arms of another, clinging to the back of a screaming horse, buried beneath bodies torn asunder. The depths of the earth covered her head, she choked on splinters and smoke. Slowly You Please There were eyes watching her as she rose from the ashes and pushed open a wooden door marred with claw marks. It was a dwelling quite like her own, rustic and simplistic in design. Something shattered the furniture, leaving it in piles of tinder and ruined fabrics. A man and a woman lay on the floor in a similar heap, destroyed and forgotten. Entrails had been pulled forth from the woman’s abdomen. Barefoot, light as a ghost, she walked through their blood and shut their sightless eyes. In the flurry of panic, no one seemed to notice the elvish woman in white. There was something she had to find, for why else would she in this place? Ravaged bodies, howling shrieks, the cloying scent of blood. Everywhere lie annihilation. The living were shadows, blurred amorphous points of frantic movement punctuated by their shouts and screams. She tried to pull a formless young man free from the wreckage of his home, but her hands fell through him and she was left with nothing but the sound of his wailing. It was only the dead that accepted her touch. It was only the dead that revealed their faces. She shut their eyes and continued to search for the thin thread of familiarity that guided her through the tumult of the village. @Better Than Gore @Witches Brew
  7. [Coth: Dale Thimmick’s fields] To the half-orc’s credit, he handled Mythandriel’s interjection of a throaty growl with more grace than her own kindred. While he offered her lessons, Ioreth shot her a look that served as both an inquiry and a scowl. (The inner machinations of the girl’s decision making process remained a profound mystery. If she dwelled too deeply upon the topic, she subjected herself to a headache.) He even managed to draw a light peal of laughter from Ioreth over his expressed desire to pet a horse. “A connection with the past, then? Tánaith. You get to meet the finest horses in Coth,” she said. There was little exaggeration in her statement; each word was pronounced plainly and expressed with the quiet confidence of a fact learned through experience. After all, she had borrowed a few animals from Thimmick’s stables, typically out from under his nose. “Consider yourself fortunate—most should let you pet them. A few may even eat from your hand. Myth, are you still carrying sugar cubes in your pockets? Horses are fond of sweets.” Dale Thimmick’s stables claimed a swath of land in Coth’s grazing fields. During the warmer months of spring, sweetgrass and clover would have intermingled with patches of thistles and wildflowers. At that time, it was a place of brilliant streaks of color racing across strips of the fields. For now, the grass that survived the frigid winter maintained an air of fragility and the promise of new growth on the horizon. Upon seeing their ascent up the slope of the low hill that led to his stables, a man with a chest like a keg of ale and a good natured grin brought up his hand and waved. The sheepskin he used to scrub down his tack was tossed aside before he walked to meet them at the wooden gate of his property. “Afternoon, Lady. You came to check on that devil of yours, eh?” They shared a mutual expression of bemusement before his laughing green eyes fell upon Mythandriel and the half-orc. “Who are your friends, then?” “Mythandriel is my cousin. And this,” she gestured towards the half-orc, “is someone I found wandering about in the fields. While he cannot recall his name, he does remember he likes horses.” Dale let out a hearty laugh and reached a calloused hand out to shake with the orc’s. “My kind of foundling. Shame about the memory, though. Name’s Dale Thimmick. And you—“ he turned to inspect Myth with an unexpectedly shrewd gaze “—you’re the one with the elk. Fine looking creature, and docile, too. The Lady says those elf-breeds tend to be difficult to tame. You’ve got a touch with animals. Come on, then. I’ll show you two around.” The relationship between Thimmick and Ioreth began at an odd point. He caught her returning two of his horses after she “borrowed” them for Constans and herself the night before the siege. After she came to settle in Coth, Dale Thimmick managed to be one of the few villagers she regularly associated with. The one time horse thief and the professional horse breeder would often spend idle afternoons in the fields with a cup of tea before she retired to her cabin. He would fill her head with technical jargon about oiling tack and the psychology of his charges, and she would listen in contented quiet. There was a central figure to their bond, as well. Ioreth had grown attached to a pale grey mare she often took out on journeys when she left Coth. Although the horse was formally under Thimmick’s care, Ioreth would provide funds for her feed and care. Only one point of contention existed between this otherwise harmonious agreement: Dale Thimmick called the mare Petunia. Ioreth found the name dreadful. She called the mare Làr, a name Thimmick found highly unoriginal after he learned that it was merely Duendaic for horse. “Surely you have better elf names than that” became a common complaint. It was often followed by “Yer just calling her Horse!” Although Thimmick was not considerably tall, he was broad shouldered and gave the impression that he spent his youth as a pugilist. In his fifties now, there was a slight limp to his gait that ached when it rained. Though he favored his left leg, he moved at the same speed in which he talked: rapid-paced and full of a satisfied enthusiasm. He led them through his stables, he reached up to stroke the soft nose of a roan pony, and gestured towards the fenced off grazing patches. The main field was sprinkled with chestnut and sable horses bred for farm work. Several draft horses stood over the horses bred for faster travel, but one stood apart. Tall and pure black with feathered hooves and a long mane, the stallion maintained dominion over his own fenced off portion of the field. Thimmick shook his head and ran a hand through his dark hair. “Don’t walk up behind that devil,” he warned. “One kick will put a nasty dent in your skull.” The horse seemed to have heard. It raised its head up front the grass and stared with a snort at Thimmick’s ominous review. “What do you think, then, Lady? Fit your description? Hardly took any convincing to take him off my mate’s hands. Apparently his old master is with God now and that horse made a vow of independence.” Smiles did not often meet Ioreth’s eyes. This one did. “He’s perfect.” She approached him with care, allowing her scent to catch downwind so that the destrier became familiar with her presence. “You want to share what you need a warhorse for? Petunia suits you, but this beast? He won’t even tolerate a stable.” Ioreth leaned against the fencing that bordered the black horse’s field. Elf and beast watched each other steadily, each calmly assessing one another. “I intend for him to be a gift,” she replied. “What—for the Father?” “For Viscerex.” Her expression was of stone, still focused on the destrier before her. His long tail flicked and his muscled back twitched, but he remained haughty and silent. “Good luck with that devil, Lady.” Thimmick chuckled and gestured towards the half-orc. “Oi, Greyboy, you seem to have the touch with animals, too. You ever ridden before? There’s a courser in the stables you may like—pure stamina on him. How about you, Miss?” @Better Than Gore @Witches Brew
  8. @Dreamer & @Thotification Hi, there! Now that we've hit the second page, it's time to get the ball rolling for Taen exploration. I'll be posting once a week to progress the thread and need you guys to do the same so your characters are involved with the story I have planned. Once this week is up, they're going to be hopping through the portal. If you're unable to continue or simply want to focus on other things, I totally understand. Just let me know and I can include that in my post for next week.
  9. She should have felt horror, she realized. Ioreth stood apart from the carnage left from Viscerex’s deadly poetry. The blood of the man she killed soaked the floorboards and lapped at her feet like the edges of the ocean’s tide. She should have felt horror, but instead a submerged truth floated to the top during the heat of battle and refused to walk quietly back into its cage. In the half seconds that Viscerex’s gaze met her own while she fought, it awoke from its slumber. Now that the fight was over, now that they faced each other from across the splintered remains of the room, it stared out from her eyes and ran across Viscerex’s metal mask and blood splattered on his chest. It studied his hands. There was no pity for the man still in his grasp, only a sense of the inevitable. Ioreth should have felt horror, but instead she felt alive. Thin rain drummed on the rooftop, and Ioreth remembered where she was and who she was supposed to be. Only then did that light retreat and she felt herself return. “No,” she answered. It was not entirely a lie. “I do not.” There was nothing left to know of them. They were no one. So long as they remained no one, it was easier to look upon the ruined remains of their faces. Still, the responsibility for their deaths fell upon her, as did the room’s damages. A fixed wall, new beds, bodies and stains—she let out a sigh at the thought of the letters she would need to write and the amount of coin that would have to be slipped into pockets to erase this mess. “This city is a cesspit.” It was another not quite a lie, one that permitted her to wrap herself in bitterness like a protective chrysalis. “This land was once ruled by a king that would slaughter those who were not human for sport. He is dead now, but not all that remain would welcome us.” Us. As soon as the word rolled from her lips, it hovered in the empty space before her. Had it been a slip of the tongue, a momentary lapse of attention? Another idea crawled behind, a ridiculous one, one that spoke of how animals would imprint upon each other. She brushed it away. There were more pressing matters at hand. After last night’s downpours of rain, the morning came laden with a heavy mist. It was as if Andelusia had been swallowed by a cloud. Her people walked along her streets through its belly, shivering in the fog’s sudden chill. Ioreth rode atop her pale mare concealed by her hooded cloak. Though there was a comfort in its temporary anonymity, any attempt to truly hide when out on the streets would have been difficult task with Viscerex at her side. Even with the clean shirt she obtained for him, several of the vendors setting up for their market stalls near their rendezvous point recognized both his helmet and stature immediately. Some fell into hushed whispers as their eyes dragged along him, searching for any indications of yesterday’s injury. A typical day’s worth of excitement for them generally consisted of a would-be thief making an attempt to run off with one of Mrs. Selman’s pies to chase after or a mealy shipment of apples from the Terran mainland to complain over. Not often did a barbarian appear, and with a bolt in his guts at that. Ioreth’s ears twitched beneath her hood as overheard Mrs. Selman and her husband tittering together. Their shadows stirred as she rode past. One reached forward to overturn Mrs. Selman’s basket of oranges, causing them both to yelp in surprise. Whatever mirth a little mischief granted dissipated the moment Ioreth spied Rion. Their guide, dressed in light armor designed for movement in a hot clime and armed with her bow and sword, appeared to have a similar paradigm shift in her mood. The sneer she aimed towards Ioreth was swallowed when she glanced over the elf’s head. Her hand rubbed at the ache in her bruised neck. “Did you run into some trouble?” Ioreth asked mildly, unaware of the altercation between the old soldier and her companion. Rion grunted and shook her head. “S’nothing. Your people coming soon?” “By sunrise.” An uneasy quiet settled between the two women. The darting glances Rion shot at Viscerex had not gone unnoticed. Ioreth followed one and sent the barbarian a silent question, with an arched brow and her lips pursed. Had he—? Perhaps he had. He would not have missed the dark laughter in her smile, or how she took care to contain it. For now, they would wait and see if Holly and Dreamer would come. @Thotification @Dreamer
  10. Welcome to Valucre, @Larian and @ElvenSeeker! I would have shamelessly advertised for Coth, but it looks like Ghorroj beat me to it. The kitty was too slow in comparison to the wolf.
  11. Thank you for the like! 🐍💕

    1. Ink Fox

      Ink Fox

      Lol great post! I'm lurking to try and keep up on recent events in the Coth hub thread

  12. Ioreth — The Dark Forest near the Cedars, because spooky Draug — The Hills of Noddendoddy, because noddendoddy
  13. “I do.” An economical agreement, but the time that could have been wasted on indecisive prattling was instead invested in surveying the city that stretched before the man, elf, and imp. It was a place that met his approval; there was a cleanliness and sense of order that Blairville often lacked, and it was fresh. A new story, still in the process of being written. He made it a point to match Michael’s pace as he stated, “Aspyn is a place of growth. Book|Ends would do well to develop along with the other businesses here and I believe the people here would do well with the services we offer. Like they say, knowledge is power.” Draug paused to glance at Michael as if the other man were a drawer and he would like to rummage through him, if only to see who Michael was beyond the uniform. “A literacy initiative would be an ideal start.” He rubbed his jawline and continued, “What of Biazo’s places of higher learning? We work closely with the mage towers and guilds in Blairville. That connection may be worth pursuing if you wish to build up Aspyn’s field of magic. Did you have any set ventures in mind?”
  14. Though born of noble blood, there was an inelegance to Eldwine’s mannerisms that Draug noted with a mild amusement as he carefully avoided maintaining visual contact with the half-chewed food in Eldwine’s mouth or the remnants of butter on his fingertips. Draug had been born of the Wilds, and he remained on fringes of society for a significant portion of his life. It was an existence used to darkness; that of the black depths of ancient forests at night, of blood magicks and the simple brutality of survival. There were hints of this in his appearance. His facial markings, the way his colorless eyes reflected an inhuman gleam in the half-dim lighting of the restaurant. Despite this, there was a fastidious dedication to personal cleanliness that dictated how he ate, and an aloof politeness that looked around Eldwine’s table manners without the faintest glimmer of distaste. He dabbed at the corner of his mouth with the edge of his napkin and let out a snort after Eldwine’s response. “The family you’re investigating being an example of a clusterfuck of dysfunction. A business follows a similar vein: each finger must work in tandem with the other, whether it’s a closed fist or—“ his inner intensity allowed itself to be revealed in his upturned eyes, granting a once unseen glimpse of the ferocity that lived within “—an outstretched hand. They hold the quill to write, the needle to sew, or the blade to sever. And they do so together.” His own fingers drummed against the table. “Are all Wyrmwalkers involved in information gathering?”
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