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About Chouette

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    Always Hungry

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  1. Beyond all Mortal Ken [Interest Check]

    Not humans nor anything else with two legs, two legs, and a head. Creatures come in all shapes and sizes, after all, and it's not their fault to be born the way they are. What they don't like is civilization. Sounds perfect! I'll have 'em!
  2. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    Ah! This was better. This was how things were meant to be. It felt good to stand up on two feet again. Good to have blood on his claws, warm rivers dripping down his scales, a sour sting in his mouth and a harsh drumbeat pounding in his chest. Beast had hunted, Beast had killed. Beast would feast upon the spoils, grow fat upon their thick meat and cracked bones, use their broken bodies as fuel for his own. But that last thought was a lie. The world was civilized now, conquered by mammals and their herds, and the old laws were rendered unto dust. Forget this truth, and he would soon follow them. The thrill faded. His head drooped low, eyes closing, and he grudgingly reached down to pick up the bodies. He stomped back around the building the way he had come, carrying two bleeding mammals under one arm and one under the other, like they would carry rolls of baked wheat. One of them might have gurgled- perhaps he was still alive, but it did not matter. They were too weak to kill him either way. The other guardians of this place had fared little better. One with his neck torn open, one thrown through a window and studded with broken glass, and two turned to ice where they stood, staring blankly out at the world. Even the big one had been caught. Beast shivered, eyes flicking briefly towards the Wiz boy and his magic stick. He had underestimated that one. Taking care to stay well clear of the frozen bodies, the great lizard made his way onto the porch, dumping his own victims in a neat pile before grabbing the one that had been tossed inside and shaking him roughly- he didn't respond -then adding him to the heap. Beast carried on, stopping where Teddy lay and poking at the man with one dirt-crusted toe. No response there, either. He glanced at the others, shrugging, and sat down on the porch. A few red drops splattered down from his snout as he did, though it was hard to tell where they might have come from. "I will keep watch." From the sound of his tone, he didn't particularly care what they did in the meantime.
  3. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    As Beast's pack of mercenaries walked up to the farm and straight into the jaws of the other pack of mercenaries, he changed into something else. Became less like a man, and more like the thing he was named after. He was no shaman, had no spells or spirits to trick the eye, but then what need had he for witchcraft, when the small creatures already wanted to see him as an animal? Rather than raise himself to his full height and walk like they did, he kept down on all fours, twisting his shoulders up and back, hiding his thumbs beneath his palms, letting his mouth hang open slightly and his tongue loll out as he padded slowly along at Roxanne's side, sniffing at the ground. The patience and cunning in his eyes was gone, his movements stiff and plodding. A predator still, but a tamed one now, nothing more than a great exotic attack dog. It was an act he'd relied on many times in the past. The others stopped, and so did Beast, glancing blearily up as Teddy went forwards and then back to Roxanne, before turning his snout down again and pawing disinterestedly at the earth. The guards with their weapons took a long look, sizing him up, but in the end it was the woman who seemed to command the creature whom they watched, the redhead who might sic it on them with a single command. Perhaps some of them would still have eyes on Beast, but he did not think they would expect him to strike first. So he waited. Waited for things to turn bad, as he knew they would. Some mammals were good at hiding their anger, their pent-up fear and aggression, but Beast could smell it. This whole place reeked of it. Breathing in, breathing out. Claws scraping against the ground, digging in. Hold. Hold. Hold... A scream. Go! He struck first, taking advantage of the fact that they'd expect him to act on a command from another, of the fact that they likely hadn't paid attention to his pawing at the earth because animals just did that sometimes, and who thought to care? It wasn't as if some dumb Beast would be slowly, deliberately digging his claws into the ground and churning it up, breaking it into smaller chunks so that the moment he head something he could seize a massive fistful of mashed-up dirt and hurl it in their faces, small chunks and stones bouncing and stinging against them as a thousand dry brown pinpricks blew into their eyes, forcing them to flinch or turn away. To their credit, they recovered fast. These were trained men, possibly the kind who'd have set up ambushes themselves, and they grasped the situation quickly, drawing and firing at where Beast would have been if he'd charged straight at them. Unfortunately, he had not charged straight at them. He had charged past them, as they'd soon find out when a long, whip-like tail lashed out and wrapped around the ankles of one of the smaller ones and yanked him away to be dragged screaming behind the massive lizard now galloping off around the side of the farm. The red-haired one and the magic one were on their own, for now. Beast had distracted their enemies, even taken one of them for himself, leaving those two facing four armed and trained enemies. Not really a fair fight. Ah, well. Perhaps they'd leave the big one alive for him. He flicked his tail, slamming the captured mammal against the ground and knocking him senseless, just as he rounded a corner and came face-to-face with the two mammals from around the back, who were running out to see what had made so much noise on the far side of their farm. They knew something was wrong, had guns drawn already. Their eyes were sharp, aim steady, trigger fingers ready. One even had some form of barrier magic deployed, a circular shield protecting his front. It wasn't enough to save them.
  4. Hush, now. It is nighttime, and the town is lost in sleep, wandering the roads of a thousand dreams. If you listen closely, you can hear them- deep snores, soft breaths, dying wheezes, no two quite the same. Signatures, carved in the silence. Here and there you may also catch scribbles, such as the pop and crackle of a fire in the hearth or the scritching and scurrying of hungry rats or the faint murmur of conversation between those few nocturnal dwellers who don't know the meaning of bedtime. And footsteps! Let's not forget the footsteps. There's an artistry to them, a rhythm, such that each soft pad against the earth (heel-toe, heel-toe) fits neatly into the tapestry of the night's sounds, a cleanly drawn line amidst the scrawls emanating elsewhere. The wind picks up, and hums in tune. It's curious, excited. After all, these are no ordinary footsteps! This is the sound of a force of nature, beginning to move. A blue cloak floats down the road, carried by a pair of small feet that stride without the slightest deviation to the threshold of civilization. First it's the shadows of houses and taller buildings that fall behind her, then the long rows of crops rustling faintly in the wind, and finally the last fence marking the border. After that, nothing but barren road, thin grasses and scattered weeds. Then the shadows of the first trees. They fall over the lady in blue, enveloping her swallowing her whole. She does not hesitate, only striding onward, onward, onward into the dark of the wilderness, until she passes out of sight and is lost to the world. Forever.
  5. @supernal In a forest long forsaken, a false princess seeks to unite nature and civilization, quietly sowing the seeds of peace as war looms on the horizon.
  6. @supernal @HumanBean03 Interest check is up!
  7. The Forgotten Wood- Tread its forsaken paths, and ye shall find only grief. Those roads are not meant for the likes of man. So it has been said for years beyond counting. The Wood is not a place to be trifled with: people walk into the shadows of the gentle trees and come out... less. The place eats away at vulnerable minds, slowly devouring thought and memory until nothing remains. Of what resides in these woods, only rumors and legends exist. Some speak of a fairy race, who hid away there long ago and cursed the place so that no outsiders would ever disturb their mystic gardens. Perhaps there is truth to this, but none can say. None have ever needed to say. For centuries or more, the Wood has been left alone, a dark and silent corner of the world. Until now. With chaos taking hold throughout Terrenus, key supply lines have been disrupted, leaving many communities cut off and vulnerable. Nowhere is this more true than in the already isolated villages at the edge of the Forgotten Wood, where the flow of supplies from Ashville has slowed down to a trickle and the disruptive expansion of the Shawnee Loci has harmed vital crops used to feed the population. With poverty and starvation looming on the horizon, many are considering abandoning their homes and fleeing south to larger population centers. There is a growing voice, however, that advocates a different path. The leader of this faction, a mysterious and charismatic young woman, claims to have found a way into the Wood, and called a council with its denizens. If a small party of delegates can brave its forgotten depths and forge a pact with the mysterious creatures that reside there, perhaps there may yet be hope for two peoples divided since the dawn of living memory. Let the foolish and the brave come forward. Grief be damned- we shall make this right.
  8. I'd be happy to have you along! Will be putting up an open interest check within the next day or so to recruit players for a thread, so if you'd like I can tag you in that. I'm sure there are plenty of others looking for help as well, so if you see a faction/character/region that particularly interests you, you could always ask the player directly. It's still early stages yet, so I'd say there'll be plenty of room for allies on all sides.
  9. This sounds like a good opportunity to unleash my fairy princess again. If anyone feels like carving out a kingdom with sparkles and butterflies and cute furry critters, let me know.
  10. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    It did not take long to find the mammal they were looking for. They did not even have to chase him, only push gently forward, making it known that they would not be giving up easily. Beast watched, sniffed at the air of any sign of danger, but nothing interesting caught his attention. If someone had been tracking them, he or she or it had not dared follow them inside. So the finding was easy. The long part, as it turned out, was the chattering. Streams of words, rivers of words, great roaring waterfalls of words flying back and forth between Teddy and the other mammals. Beast wondered why they didn't just let him pin the man against the ground and squeeze out the names they needed. Could they not be done sooner that way? Still, he knew his role. He stood, and looked menacing, casting a long shadow over the conversation so that it went Teddy's way. In the end, they clawed a name out of the man: Elijah Dawson. Perhaps this one would need his skull cracked. Just a little bit. His moment would come. No matter how much the small beings nattered and chattered and negotiated, they always came to Beast in the end, asking him to stain his claws and teeth with blood, to bring matters to a close. So he followed, and waited, knowing that they would need him soon enough. Followed them to the horses, and kept himself from drawing too close to the creatures, or asking to eat them. That, he had learned, was not polite. Perhaps it was just kinship among mammals, but when a primate said that they were hungry enough to eat a horse, they did not actually mean they wanted to eat a horse. Just a trick of words, though it had taken Beast a few dead horses to learn this. Even if he was still hungry, the journey ahead would be good exercise. Ignoring the mounts, he waited for Teddy to give the word, letting a low rumble build up in his stomach before letting it loose with a roar like thunder and bounding off on all fours, fast enough that even the horses would have to run if they wanted to catch him. The sun beat down, egging him on, the wind a cooling touch against his snout, bearing faint odors from far off up ahead. Other mammals: cows, chickens, something else Beast had not smelled before. Growling with pleasure, he turned slightly, following the scents. Claws against hard earth, prey on the horizon, just like it had been for centuries long ago. Life had been so simple back then, when the gods ruled the wild, when all Beast's worries in the world were to hunt and be hunted, to eat and survive, to win glory against any creature who dared challenge him. Now, however, the world belonged to the mammals. He had to change, adapt, or be extinguished. So he stopped, grinding to a halt just out of sight of the farm and pressing himself against the ground, waiting for the others to catch up. He sniffed again, trying to distinguish the mammals he smelled up ahead. Which were livestock, and which were guards? He glanced back towards the others as they drew close enough to hear. "There are guns. Not sure how many." His claws dug into the earth, carving out thick lines beneath him. "Are you going to talk again? Or are we hunting this one?"
  11. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    Beast had a hat on his tail. He was not stupid, though many assumed so because of his shape and size. He could see that these meant to be worn atop the skull, for providing shade from the sun and for lookin' good, as the female had said. Only Beast liked the sun, liked the steady warmth that spread across his scales and gradually dripped down into thick flesh beneath, filling him with fire, with life, making him one with this dry domain. On the other hand, how he looked could be very important. He needed to seem fearsome, so that enemies would defecate at the sight of him and squeak about where to find their friends- but also civilized, so that the mammals would not come for him with guns and spears. Had to find a balance. He lifted the tip of his tail off the ground, and dropped the hat on it. Lookin' good. He followed the team out into the open, as the two males discussed how to find their first target. They spoke the same words, but one of them squeaked where the other purred, a contrast Beast decided was very amusing. Finding mammals was their job, however. His eyes roved elsewhere, watching the crowds, noting which creatures moved where, and how fast. In the mountains and the forests you could tell a predator by its size and teeth, but in teeming hives such as this, the grazers and the hunters all looked the same. That one there, clothed in blacks and grays full of sharp angles, with confident posture, had the stride of an alpha brushing past its pack. No, that one was in too much of a hurry, but that one, with the loose cloak covering the shape of a long-barreled gun, had eyes screaming of cold hunger. He met her gaze for a second, then moved on, because whatever she's hunting was not them and thus Beast didn't care, but that one over there, trailing them a little too steadily, shoulders hunched and hands in pockets, was certainly suspicious. Maybe walking a little further would make it easier to tell. Only a full minute after they'd left the machine's place did Beast finally shoot Teddy a look. "I do not understand your joke." He paused, letting the words hang in the air for a long moment. "Why would breakfast have need of shoes?" He turned, suddenly looming over Roxanne, light flashing off long teeth- but it was only a playful nip, passing over her hat and biting nothing but the soft wind. Several bystanders still winced, and Beast rumbled with laughter. Then sniffed at the air. Catching smells, sorting familiar from foreign, anxious from calm. His hat fell off his tail, and he took the opportunity to glance backwards as he retrieved it. Yes. This was good. They were being followed. He would not tell the others yet. The short and squeaky male would react, and that would give away that they knew. Instead, he simply grunted in assent, slowly plodding after the three small hunters into another hideous mammal dwelling, trying not to let the scents of oil and metal overpower him as he carefully positioned himself behind them. His broad back, armored with bony plates like a crocodile, would act as cover if they needed it. The hat would be exposed, but Beast decided that this was an acceptable risk.
  12. The next line

    "I AM A FIRE MONSTER!" roared the fire monster as it kicked down the door. "BRING IT!"
  13. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    This land belonged to fire. Hot smog choked the air, squeezing the life from the winds on high. The earth lay cracked and crumbled, deep sediments used as squatting grounds for the greedy apes who dug beneath the rocks for those bright metals they so prized. Water? Pah! Water held no dominion here. Only fire, blazing down in sharp golden rays from above, growling at the heart of twisted machines, shining in the eyes of men whose hearts yearned for rebellion. Beast could smell it, feel it, taste it in the air. Best to tread carefully here, where one stray spark might set the whole town aflame. The lizard looked contented, or at least as contented as a small mountain of rock-hard scales and predatory power could appear to be. His small eyes were narrow, sleepy, like a lion basking in the sun. His tail curled slowly from side to side, hypnotic, tracing a wavy pattern behind him as he trudged forwards at an idle pace, slow enough for the small mammals to keep up with his long strides. Almost peaceful, until he yawned wide enough to swallow a man's head, revealing rows of carnivorous teeth that came together with an audible snap. This place might be godless, but it was warm. He could live with that. The first stop was one of those small mammal boxes, though this one was owned by a machine. Beast watched it curiously, wondering how something so obviously dead could behave the same as a living creature. What was wrong with these apes? They already bred faster than he could blink, why did they have to make more of themselves out of metal as well? He turned his head to the four who had come in with him, wondering just what went on in those little skulls. The machine had a lot to say, but Beast only really caught two names. Francis Norton, Niles Cook. Find those two, and crack their heads until they talked. Easy enough. He was about to turn to leave, when the metal man made them an offer. He squinted. What were those? Ah, animal skins! They'd been twisted into odd shapes, but would probably still be tasty enough. With a great clawed hand, he reached out for the largest, a wide brown thing that looked to have a nice crispy texture to it. One sniff, however, and he was growling, shaking his head. "It has been spoiled. Inedible."
  14. I, Henrietta

    Opposite the primitive robot, a far more elaborate creature gave a very genuine smile. Sabiya had cleaned herself up since the incident. She had a new suit, with a pretty red bow at the collar, pressed and cleaned so thoroughly that not a speck of dust could be seen on either. Bandages had been wrapped around her forehead and one arm, indistinguishable from her pale skin but for the small ridges where the two met. Her hair, rather horribly damaged in the wake of all the trauma she'd put it through, had been shorn off almost entirely, leaving only a short white fuzz across the doctor's scalp. She'd grow it back in time, but this would do for now. Neatness above ostentation. On a surface level, the changes were temporary. Look a little beyond that, however, at posture and movement and the subtlety of expression that had never quite been there before, and one might see hints of a more permanent shift. She seemed calmer, quieter. More comfortable in her own skin, perhaps. She hesitated a little out of politeness, but there was no doubt as to her answer. All of her, from Sabiya to Whirligig to the various discrete components thereof, spoke in unanimous agreement. "I would be delighted, Ms. Monroe."