Jump to content
Praetorian

[Artifact Quest Artificial Rosebud] The Hills of Noddendoddy (Justice)

Recommended Posts

What are we going to do with her?

What do you mean?

Beyond the fact she eats everything, she is a squire. What’s her skillset?

Her skillset? She doesn’t have one, that’s what is beautiful about it.

How do you figure?

She is a canvas, blank and pure, ready to become something absolutely wonderful and amazing or something unimaginably horrifying. There is infinite potential. It is up to us to help her find her way. That’s what leadership is, helping someone blossom into the best version of themselves. Empowering them to greatness.

That sounds nice, but theory and practice are never the same.

 

Captureash.PNGThe trip from Last Chance to the Hills of Noddendoddy couldn’t possibly be any longer unless they had decided to make a pitstop at Patia along the way (Patia is completely out of the way) but it afforded Lyr and Ashton an abundance of time to not only become better acquainted but to also begin discussing her future within Justice.  In fact, by the time they had traveled from Last Chance to Palgard, Ashton had become so intimately familiar with her dietary needs that he develops both a small debt and a training regime built around a constantly reoccurring snack time.

Jericho,

She eats a lot. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot. I physically can’t outfit the carriage with enough food. I can’t afford to feed her. I don’t even know where she puts it all. The last time we ran out of food, she kept eyeing like she was going to take a bite out of my arm. In Palgard we stopped to restock and I decided to get ice cream, not only did she steal the ice cream from me, but she nearly took my fingers off. She also ate the wax coating on a cheese wheel, along with the entire cheese wheel. It was a five pound cheese wheel. I’m starting to have doubts.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Ashton

It was for this sole reason that rather than going from Palgard to Tia and then Casper, they instead hit Tia, Ignatz, Dougton, and then Casper. The stop at Ignatz was completely necessary so that they could pick up a handful of books on the fundamentals of magic at Odette’s library. Needless to say, the brief layover didn’t go without incident.

Jericho,

We owe Odette a few thousand gold. While looking for books at the library I lost track of Lyr. It was only for a few minutes. When I found her security was freaking out because she’d eaten a few pages from a priceless cursed tome on the origins of necromancy. As far as I can tell, Lyr is okay. When I asked her why, she said it smelled like truffles. I think I need help.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Ashton

Having intended for the layover in Dougton to be a few days so that he could go over some finer points of swordsman ship with her, Ashton was once more foiled. The locals ended up running them out after only a day and half.

 

Jericho,

I think she ate an entire flock of sheep in one night, raw. I can’t prove it. She doesn’t remember doing it. However, the locals insist that a flock of sheep are missing and that someone saw her out in the fields with them that night. I’m marginally concerned for my own safety. On a slightly related note. A few of the books I rented went missing. I haven’t ruled out someone stole them or that I misplaced them, but I’m also not ruling out that she ate them. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have my library cards revoked. Please help.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Ashton

 

Fortunately, relatively to previous events, the transit from Dougton to Casper was predominately uneventful. Having developed a battle rhythm, Ashton understands the limits of bother her attention span and her appetite. Or well, rather, understands that her appetite is limitless and that her attention span fades at a predictable and constant rate proportionate to the last time she ate, regardless of how much she actually eats. Of course, the one night in Casper has some minor complications.

 

Jericho,

I can’t do this. Please don’t make me do this. I know we need the rosebud and I know that you think this will be good personal development for Lyr and me. I understand that it is trust building and whatever else. I have been traveling with her over a week, she is a sweet and kind person. She has great moral convictions, but we can’t afford to feed her. I can’t afford to feed her. The burn rate on food is insane, we aren’t going to have enough supplies to make it through the Hills and back. I need help. Supplies airdropped in, more people with wagons of food, and a small party of people to make sure she doesn’t eat me in my sleep. If we airdropped her in Predator’s Keep, they would surrender to us within 24 hours because their edible and nonedible supplies would be gone. I’m not joking. She is a weapon of mass consumption.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Ashton

P.S. We owe a fishing company a lot of money. She ate their entire catch. Like their hull was filled with fish and now it isn’t.

 

Upon reaching the outskirts of the Hills of Noddendoddy, Ashton made the unwise decision to camp there for the night. The next morning, while unexpected, didn’t surprise him.

 

Dear Jericho,

               I hope this letter finds you in good health. I suspect that this is the last time I’ll be writing to you for some time. I also suspect it will be several months before we see one another again. We made it safely to the outskirts of the Hills and made camp because it was late. When I awoke this morning, the horses that were pulling our carriage, as well as the driver, were missing. I don’t know if she ate all three of them or not. I don’t really care at this point. I’m going to get the stupid rosebud, keep her from eating it, and then shove it down your throat when I get back. You have terrible ideas. This was a terrible idea. I don’t like you very much right now. I hope you sit on a tack.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Ashton

                                                                           P.S. If she tries to eat me, I’m stabbing her.

                                                                                          P.S.S. Please send supplies.

 

Ashton sighs as he rolls up the piece of paper and attaches it to a raven’s leg. “Hurry, fly out of here before she tries to eat you.” The command as given as he tosses the bird up into the air. He follows it for a few minutes, watching it fly off into the horizon.

Digging through the luggage attached to the cart, he begins to sort supplies. A backpack is loaded up with basic necessities: food, poncho, compass, map, shovel, sleeping bag, lantern, and paracord. In addition, several water bottles are attached to the outside of it. External pockets are fitted with a random assortment of other gadgets and tools that might otherwise benefit a stranded survivor.

Shouldering the pack, Ashton raises his left hand up to shield his face from the morning sun as he measures its position in the sky. “It’s about a quarter of the way to zenith. We need to get going.” Pivoting toward Lyr, while dropping his hand, he motions with a wave for her to follow him. “Come on. Grab yer stuff and let’s get to getting.”

The trek starts out silent, but it doesn’t last. “When we were in Casper, I heard a rumor that a few years ago small group of people not only found the artifact, but supposedly destroyed it too. I guess its healing powers are beyond supernatural though, because about a month ago someone spotted it embedded in an Ent.” Reaching into the side pocket of his pack, Ashton pulls out a bar made from dried fruit and crushed nuts. Snapping it into twos, he offers one half to Lyr. He’d made sure that her pack didn’t have any food in it. Although there was not telling what her grubby little fingers had shoved into her pockets when he wasn’t looking. “Month old information isn’t very useful, so we might be out here awhile. Trying not to eat everything within the first five minutes… please?” There is a near whining plead to his voice. What others might have assumed is a joke, was in fact a sincere and honest concern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a time before their journey began, when Lyr felt nothing but utter excitement. Wind in her hair, sunshine on her face, and lots and lots of wiiiide open space. Everything about it screams ‘adventure’ from her head, through her heart, and straight down to the tips of her toes. They will be unstoppable!

Turns out she was totally off base.

It started with a simple cart ride to Palgard. Whether she realizes it or not, riding on top of the cart to get as much fresh air as possible only proves to further Ashton’s ideas of her animalistic tendencies. Something she eventually learns along the way, later on, with every passing day. For now she quiets. A new city that she has never been to excites her beyond words. And she spends most of her time waving her arms and running down the street to check every vendor’s wares. Appreciating each and every one with a taste of their goods. It was all delicious. And Ashton had even shared his ice cream with her, things were looking wonderful.

Until she took a look in Ashton’s face. Realization caused her to take a few steps back and away from the man. Something is definitely off about him, but she just can’t place her finger on it yet. Such a squirrely fellow that one. Eventually he began to put her to work. Carrying all the supplies in order to refill the cart. And by the end of the day she was so tired she didn’t want to eat anything. Yet.

Their next stop proved to be less productive and more cut an run. She wanted to stay and finish looking at all the mildewy books that reminded her of the cheese wheel Ashton let her have back in Palgard. But, for some reason he would not entirely voice to her, he backpedaled her out of the building towards their ride in order to jet from the lady’s library. Not only that, he did so by forcefully directing her out the door with fingers pressed so tightly on the back of her neck she thought passing out or an explosion of brains might occur. At her personal expense no less. But later on, her stomach grumbled something furious and when Ashton was sleeping Lyr had to run nearly a mile away to let a belch out that nearly winded her. The smells was worse than a rotting casket of corpses. What on Valucre could have caused that?! It was disgusting.

The next morning is when she began to notice things had gone awry. Every time Ashton took a look at her it was fearful and menacing all at the same time. And he was furiously scratching pen to paper as though he wanted to tear it to pieces. Lyr quickly takes her leave.

So many nights had gone by, but nothing really began to change save for Ashton’s terrifying demeanor. In order to prove herself worthy of his training, Lyr had taken to waiting for him to fall asleep before getting up and doing her exercises in the dark until she passed out. Thankfully, to her great benefit, she did not sleep for too long. And when she awoke she has a dreadful amount of cotton tufts stuck in her hair and all over her clothes. For lack of better understanding, she merely accounts for the hole in her tangled blanket and begins to stuff it all back in. Only to see Ashton’s waking eyes staring her down like those of a demon hellbent on burning her alive. Their stay ended abruptly after that. Something about sheep having disappeared in the middle of the night; and Ashton angrily scratches his papers again while watching her every move. Lyr stared back at him for quite a while this go around, waiting for the rabid sickness and foam to start boiling from his teapot flaring nostrils. Lyr can even swear to having seen steam rising from his forehead at this point. It couldn’t get any worse though, could it?

When they finally reach the Hills of Noddendoddy, Lyr puts two and two together. Ashton couldn’t keeps his eyes off of her this night. Even slept with his eyes open, he did. Not that it did either of them any good.

There is no way she did anything to cause this kind of craziness or fury. Nothing at all. It wasn’t her fault the driver had taken their horses in the middle of the night. Little known to either of the two, it was the noises Lyr was making while sleeping that terrified the man into running. Even still Lyr begins to wonder if there is something to be frightened of out in the darkness. Maybe it was Ashton...but it couldn’t be, could it? But… he’s not watching her now.

Dear Angel,

Please don’t leave me alone with him. Come and save me, I beg of you. I think he wants to kill me. Every time he looks at me his right eye narrows and twitches. And he has this awful sour expression on his face. I can’t handle it. It’s scary. It gets worse with each passing day! Every few minutes he looks over his shoulder to stare at me with those crazy angry eyes. Always watching me as if I’ve done something wrong. What did I do, Angel!?! What did I do wrong?!? Help me…

Your pal,

Lyr

The pages eat like salt and sadness. The unobtrusive grinding of her teeth automatic in movement. Little does anyone know that every time she wrote on one of the pages of the old smelly book, she at it before being able to send it. When she notices she is out of paper there is little to do but borrow another of Ashton’s journals to add her own script to the blank sides of the old calligraphy already scrawled there.

“Yes, Sir!” Albeit with a begrudging sigh, she attempts to follow his mannerisms to the best of her ability. Having spent maybe a little too much time watching him when he wasn’t paying attention.

After grabbing her gear and shouldering her bag she jogs to catch up to him. Staying a little farther back than arm's length. “Did you say..an Ent? Like a walking living tree...that can talk?” The gap closes when food is presented. Nimble fingers immediately snatching the offering; her palm doing the work of pushing it into her mouth all in one bite. Her lips part in absolute shock as she stops to stare at the back of his bobbing head… “But you...justgaf me...fewd!” Through the entire mouthful the confused accusation stabs toward his turned back. She had already failed at his request, at his behest of giving her nutrients to supplant her hunger. By Odin's nose, was Ashton making it difficult. He tricked her the first chance he got. With a kick of dirt she begins to follow after him again, shrugged over more now than before.

Edited by -Lilium-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I did just give you food." He holds up the other half of the bar and waves it from side to side. "I will give you the other half later, because clearly you can't stop yourself from eating food." Although he doesn't turn to look back at her, he keeps watch of the bar from the corner of eye. He half expects and is fully prepared for her to try to take from him. "Anyway, yes. It is a living, walking, talking, bone crushing, tree. Supposedly this one is close to 20 feet tall." He maintains his pace while passing the bar from between one set of fingers to the next and then back. It pivots and rotates on the inside and then outside, around his middle finger. His digits stay in motion, moving the remaining bits of food in a predictable pattern. “What’s unique about this one though,” His head turns a little, just enough so that she can see the edges of his irises. “Is that this one heals very quickly. If you took a bite out of it, it would fully recover before you could finish chewing.”

Promptly, his hand drops and deposits the rest of the bar back into his pack. It probably isn’t fair to tease her with food, especially if he wants her to pay attention. “So, we’ll probably avoid trying to fight it if we can. Ideally, we should be able to steal the artifact from it and then run.” The idea of a prolonged fight doesn’t sit well with him, the notion that he might have to also worry about Lyr while fighting something that wouldn’t go down quick is even less attractive. “Anyway, I guess now is a good as time as any to continue your training.”

Ashton’s left hand rises up, palm facing the air, the air around the limb sparkles and twinkles as a rune structure begins to flourish from nothingness. A second later he holds hardened yellow ethereal light between his thumb and index. Pivoting to face her, while back peddling to keep pace, he tosses the chunk of crystallized energy at her face.  “Here, have a sugar cookie.” lord_knight_cash_skill_cut_in_modify_2_by_tangel_tanjel-d7vaz8b.jpg

It doesn’t necessarily matter if Lyr catches it with her mouth, her hands, or her face. On contact the rune structure breaks down and then expands out as a series of amethyst glyphs that chain together forming snug bindings that wrap around and constrict her limbs, pinning and restricting them. He stops and waits, giving her a few seconds to process what just happened.

“I hope you were reading those books on the fundamentals of magic, and not just eating them, during our carriage rides.” He shoves his hand into the pack and pulls out the other half of the bar. Peeling away the foil he raises it closer to his mouth.  He holds it a few inches from his lips. “Every spell is a complex system made up of simpler systems. Emergence, less complex things build complex things. The more complex something is, the easier it is to break it by altering or messing with a single component.” He takes a small bite out of corner, chews, and then swallows. “Oh man, this tastes really good.”  Would she plead for the food? Maybe. Is he being cruel? Well yes probably, but the more accurate question is, is he being too cruel? Ashton is undecided on the answer to this one.

“I’ll give you… oh I dunno,” He looks at his bare wrist were a watch would be. “maybe five minutes? That seems fair.” He nods, punctuating his statement. “So yeah, if you can’t unravel that spell chain in five minutes, I’m going to eat this bar.” Plopping to the ground, he pulls his knees to his chest and rests his hand holding the treat on his knee caps. “I’m pretty sure this is the last one too.” It’s a lie, but for the time being it is the best option he has. When pushed to emotional extremes, people can do great things. Of course, in leadership theory, manipulating people into action is less effective than inspiring. But in the time that he’s spent with Lyr, he has been completely incapable of figure out what inspires her.

“I bet this would taste really good with some honey drizzled on it, maybe a little salt too. That combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy would be absolutely divine. Don’tcha think?” I wonder if she considers this to be torture? He ponders it a bit more, weighing it against the fact that Lyr might prefer to have her hand cut off than be denied food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lyr tracks his movements closely. Watching the bar in his hand move here and there in the taunt that it is. This proves to be an issue of unknowing stealth. Somehow Lyr made her way, closer, and closer, and closer to Ashton’s back. Every shift of the bar as it flops from one finger to the next, clocked with preternatural fascination. That is until he pockets it and her eyes quickly adjust themselves to watch his head rather than stare at areas of his body with a hunger not befitting a lady squire such as herself. Not that she couldn’t eat him up if she truly wanted to. However, these thoughts never actually cross her mind, but Ashton’s presentation on the Ent does.

How would it taste? Would it be bitter like dirt, or could it possibly have a sage like taste that one usually finds on baked chicken?

“What? More training, why-” Her chin drops a fair way as her face takes on the contortion of utter disappointment. Only to transform into one flecked with guilt and shock when Ashton turns around. Lyr being right there nearly ready to walk into and bop him on the chin with her forehead. Had he not backpedaled to toss the supposed sugar cookie right in the center of her face, Lyr may have smacked into him.

Encouragement! Childlike exuberance has her fumbling the object in an attempt to provide her mouth with its sweetness, only to discover the cookie is not really a cookie. It's a trap. Before she knows it she is once again disappointed and attempting her best to maintain balance with an otherwise jostled reaction. Nothing helps by much, what little hold of the ground her feet had, dissolves and there is no stopping the tilt and fall of her mummified body as she lands on her side. So this is what a fly feels when caught in a spider’s web. “…”

She had forgotten about the ‘borrowed’ journals she’d taken from Ashton up until this point. Had she read any of the pages? Had she seen anything interesting in some of the diagrams? Recall is interrupted by the quick jumps of her eyes as they once again begin to follow the bar of food in Ashton’s hand. Teeth not of her body, bite against it and all the world falls away.

The struggle is on at this point. Pack and confined limbs worm around against the dirt. Wriggling and flopping, and sweating against the glyph restraints. “Why do you hate me, Big Brother?!?”

It isn’t until Lyr begins to bang her head against the dirt in defeat that she finally sees it. The fine trailing glyphs enveloping her form. It takes a special angle of vision for her to really look at them, their faint shimmers now caught in her cross-eyed gaze. Complexity...the complexity of the spell is need and opponent strength against the possibility of the opponent to counteract. Struggling against the runes only increase the amount of energy expounded upon them to cause her to be bound, now if she could just… Time. Energy and time. The compounded elements of the rune would suggest the interwoven capacity of the energy used to create it and the amount of time to withhold movement from the opponent, being herself. But would there be enough time for her to find time, before Ashton had his way with the rest of the bar?

There’s a loaded question, not to mention the inner voice deep inside wondering where the information came from. Though she does not waste effort to find the source in the current moment. There's work to be done. Fickle focus turns into concentration, Lyr’s sight bouncing from one glyph to the next before she notices the gentle twitch-twitch of the clock-timer glyph. Wait for it….wait for it…. “Sthoooooo-puh!” Like sucking up a willy spaghetti noodle, Lyr fish-lips and inhales the glyph pinching what she hopes only to be the two ends off with her teeth before cutting it free and swallowing it whole. Removing it disintegrates the element of time, but she still must find the element of generative energy holding the rest of the binding in place. Repeated patterns emerge, though finite in number, there are multiple glyphs representing the energy placed in the runes spell conditions overall. Rather than aim to ingest all of them she takes those closest in order to weaken the spell methodically repeating her original actions. Lyr has no idea how much effort she expounds on her escape, not really caring. For there is only one thing on her mind once she stretches out her arms and legs with enough pressure to snap the rest of the glyphs. Ultimately freeing herself.

In a expansion of triumph, dirt and debris take to the air while she hurriedly lifts from the ground. Uncoordinated actions follow her in a dash that takes her from point-trap to point-food. Ashton merely becoming collateral damage as she bounds into him in an attempt to snatch the compressed dried fruit/nut bar from his greedy hand. "MINE!"

 

 

Edited by -Lilium-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Hate you?" Ashton mules over the question before finally shrugging. "That's awfully presumptuous of you." Rather than sounding defensive or even outright denying it, there is almost a laugh to his voice. "Don't you think, that if I hated you, rather than just being bound... you'd also be in pain?" It would have been easy enough to create a rune structure that cut and ground into her skin as it bound and restricted her movements. If he hated her, wouldn't he want to cause her measurable pain? Pain was a pretty good motivator after all. "I don't think I'm cruel enough to hate most people." Lifting his free hand to the side of his face, he scratches his cheek. "Although, if my wallet had feelings, it would certainly hate you right now. Guess it's a good thing it isn't sentient."

Ashton gives pause, his eyes widening as he watches her eat a rune. "What......?" His voice cracks a little, a product of confusion and disbelief. "Did you just ea..." The rune chain snaps before he can finish articulating the idea. In the very next moment Lyr is scrambling toward him like a wild animal caught in the throes of madness. For a fraction of a second, Ashton considers catching her with his foot, rolling onto his back, and vaulting her over him. For another fraction of a second, he considers earthbending a barrier between them. However, he ultimately resolves himself to the least complicated solution. 

Right as Lyr is about to dive bomb him, Ashton's body loses its opacity and begins to shimmer. In the very next moment he stands up while passing through her. Taking a half step away, clearing her body, he solidifies while pivoting to face her. Expecting her to charge him again, he tosses the fruit and nut bar to her. "Good job, sorta. I'm not really sure what the fuck you just did. But I guess it works." He takes a few steps toward and offers her a hand. "Well done, I think." He was already starting to mentally pen out another letter Jericho.

Jericho,

She eats magic. Or she can eat magic. I saw her eat runes like it was spaghetti. I'm not really sure what to do with this information. Can you eat magic?

Sincerely,

Ashton

It would of course have to wait until they'd accomplished their mission and began their trip back to Last Chance. Who knows though, by then Ashton might discover enough fascinating things about Lyre that he could write a small novella on his observations of Lyr. Hell maybe there is an entirely new field of magic to be discovered that he could publish research papers on? Eat-o-mancy? That's a terrible name, I'll have to work on that.

Turning back in the direction that they had originally been heading out in, Ashton begins the process of cresting a hill. At the top, he stops and looks out over the lush grassland valley and rolling knolls. "Do you know why no one has settled the land out here, Lyr?" He makes the inquiry as he begins down the opposite side of the hill and into the valley. "Much like the rosebud that can heal anything, or the Ent that can heal almost instantly, the land here is beyond our ability to change." He punctuates his statement by extending his left hand. A pulse of thought commands the land into motion and digs out a two inch ravine that snakes down the hill side for nearly a dozen feet. Before Ashton can finish lowering his hand the dirt is back in place and by the time his hand is resting at his side again, grass has regrown to match its previous height.

"The land here is so amazingly fertile, you could grow anything. But whatever magic compels the ground to return to its original state, makes it completely impossible to settle the land. As soon as you drive a stake, no the food, into the ground it's back out again. Till the land and all of your work is instantly undone." As he rambles they crest yet another hill, this one is significantly higher than the last. From the top the expanse of green seems nearly endless. "There is of course one exception. There is a bad land area, where nothing can grow. Everything dies. I guess no matter how you look at it, this place is frozen in time. Things either live eternally or die indefinitely, there is no in between." Off in the horizon, some miles away, he can make out a spec of brown. By standing in place and watching, he becomes increasingly confident that the spec is moving. "So Lyr, if you had your choice, what kinda magic would you want to learn?"

Although Ashton’s subset of magic is extremely niche, specifically regarding his specialty skills, and he doesn’t harbor the notion of having the necessary knowledge to train someone in any given form of magic, there certainly is a measurable value to knowing a person’s preferences. “Maybe you’d like to be a master fire manipulator so that you can easily cook food on the go?” The quip is delivered with a smile as he begins down yet another hill. My calves and thighs are going to look glorious after this trip, I’ll definitely get to be Mr. January on the Justice Calendar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One moment it is right in front of her, the next...it is gone? Ashton seems to hard bargain everything, had she an open opinion on the matter. But his actions would prove to be substantial in allowing him to keep all of his fingers. This time. Although Lyr is on the cusp of-a very much taunted-hunger fit, she is able to reconcile the fact that there is no longer food in front of her. What she cannot understand enough to clarify… is the fact that Ashton walked right through her like a ghostly apparition and allowed her to fall against his previous perch.

So it isn't surprising when she turns around, while he offers her the other half of the food bar and a handshake, that she grabs his hand and squeezes it with decent enough pressure to make sure it's real. The other hand takes this moment to quickly snatch away the food bar and immediately palm press it straight into her gullet. Wrapper and all.

The handshake ends quickly. Lyr narrow eyed and much more wary of Ashton now than she had been previously. Even still, she trails behind him as they continue onward. The quick snap of a branch more like the pressure of a boot crushing decaying foliage against the ground,  than deft fingers plucking one from a low hanging tree. In summary, this is how Lyr manages to convince herself that Ashton is not a figment of her imagination, and is truly a real boy.

As they venture, she uses the stick to randomly poke him in several places. Back, shoulder, triceps, hip. Like a pesky mosquito. That is until they come to a stop and she quickly tosses it off into the brush while Ashton takes a gander at the land below the base of the hill on which they stand.

Upon Ashton’s instruction, she finds a new distraction. Toeing the ground below every once in awhile to see it ‘fix’ itself. Quite unsettling really. “You know, this is...strange.” Lyr’s definition of strange possibly very different from his own. “But I like it…” Toe dig; dirt fix.

Lyr takes her first true moment of pause, since becoming a gluttonous eating machine, to contemplate Ashton's question. The weight of it rests heavily on her mind. Her heart however holds to its earlier convictions, bearing the clarity of thought she so longs to reach. Her youth having been filled with dreams of knighting around and swishing a sword to cure the evil in the land. But having since met Angel, Ashton, and joining Justice those ideas had turned into childhood fantasy. The real world being in need of something a little more dastardly than the knight she had originally wanted to be. Not that it would stop her from doing her own brand of good-natured justice while attempting to meet the capacity of her void of a gut. “I want to help people, but even more than that I've always wanted to help those who are actually able to do that better than I will ever be able to myself.

“Sometimes, taking care of people coming off of the battlefield is just as noble as running onto it while swinging a sword. I guess. But I think I would have to know more than basic first-aid for that. Maybe magic that can help heal people?”

Therein lies an inkling, however, to the capacity by which she might be able to do such a thing. Grigori. But it fades away just as easily as it flitted in with Ashton's next comment. “Why would I need to cook it?” A quizzical brow lifts when she unloads a legitimately questionable question of her very own.

Edited by -Lilium-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"A nurse, or perhaps a cleric? Or something else. Maybe a holy paladin of the highest order, sword brandished to slay your foes while saving your companions from certain death?" The comment is made at Lyr's mention of wanting to be able to help people. It's certainly a valuable skill, one that every organization needs. If there is no one to fix what is broken, eventually there will be nothing to left working to fight with. "With the right kind of healing magic, you could have endless pork chops and steak, you know. You just keep restoring what you cut off." Ashton's voice drops and hovers somewhere between sardonic and whimsical. "Of course, I can't even imagine the kind of agony you'd put something through doing that. It'd possibly be the worst torture imaginable." That'd make you an even bigger monster than you are now. The thought lingers, fueled by his curiosity. What gave Lyr her appetite, where did it all go, what is she, how did she eat magic?

Her own question finally snaps him back to the conversation. "That seems like a silly question. You don't need to cook it. But you should want to cook it. Cooking it breaks down the fats and proteins and brings out the flavor. A warm, fluffy, buttery roll tastes much better than a lump of dough. You miss the minor nuances and wonderful flavor combinations when you just eat things raw." Ashton stops midway down yet another hill and turns to look at her. "You've eaten cooked food before. Shouldn't you know this? Don't you taste the difference? Is your tongue broken?" Although the question is asked purely in jest, Ashton's face remains stoic and offers up nothing to suggest he's teasing. "Maybe we should take you to see a doctor. I hear when you stop tasting things, it means that you're getting close to death."

He levels his index and lightly jabs it toward her chest. "To be honest, you are looking a little pale. Your eyes are a little sunken in. Your skin looks really dehydrated. Lyr... I think you might be sick." His tone grows darker, more seriousness. His visage gives way to reveal worry as his eyes fill with concern. His hand drops back and then rises up to cup his chin. There's a long pause that accompanies his face going through the motions of thoughtfulness. "To be honest, you look ghostlier than me and I've been dead for 100 or so years." As he turns from her, to continue the trek, he claps his hands behind his head and interlaces his fingers. About a minute passes before he finally decides that he's done. "I'm kidding, by the way. You look like a perfectly healthy young woman. Not nearly as dead looking as me." Partial truths are more humorous than the full truth and there is no reason to end the fun just yet. They still have some way to hike. "But also, stop poking me with stuff. It's hard keeping a solid form. If you poke me too many times, I'll vanish all together." More lies, but maybe there was a benefit to having Lyr think he was otherworldly.... like maybe she wouldn't try to eat him.

More hills are climbed and descended, and upon cresting each one Ashton gets a better look at the spec on the horizon. Each time it looks a little bigger and is a little closer. Each time he can make out more and more details of it. Now, rather than being a spec of brown, it is a few different specs of brown with a couple specs of green. Either they are getting closer to the Ent, or there is something out there that looks an awful lot like the Ent.

The hours dwindle away, gradually the sun starts to set, before long they are on the threshold of twilight. Dipping into a valley between two hills, Ashton plops his pack onto the dirt. “I think we should make camp for the night. I wouldn’t want to get lost in the dark, or one of us to get hurt.” He doesn’t bother looking at her while speaking, but rather kneels down and digs through the pack. A smile line of worry traces across the edges of his eyes as he begins to do the math on how much food they have versus how far they’ve traveled and how much further they need to go. We’re not going to have enough food to make it there and back. The Ent is moving away from us, not sure if it will keep moving at night. We’re going to have to skip some meals. He glances back to Lyr. That’s a problem for tomorrow’s me though. “Guess we should finally have something to eat, huh?” And with that he tosses her a hunk of dried and salted meat, wrapped in foil, along with a chunk of bread. A second later he pulls out sealed jar of partially melted ‘room’ temperature butter. “How is your swordsmanship, by the way?” He asks while tearing free a chunk of meat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It had started with a map, and a spell. Neither of which were of particular use to one who didn’t understand how they functioned. The map was easier, of course. It was a simple method that even she – with her limited knowledge of this world – could decipher. The instructions given for the homing spell were much different. The Dryad didn’t consider herself magical, by any means, though there were those that might argue the point, so most magical theory went over her head and meant her gaze glossed over in disinterest – much like it had when they had explained how to use the spell.

Gaia damnit, surely she couldn’t be so dense as to not remember. 2 months in this new land had given her a firmer resolve, more interested in assisting the 7TRefTF.jpgpeople than returning home. There had to be some grand plan in place that meant she was supposed to be here. At least, that’s what she kept telling herself to soothe the pockets of guilt that came late at night when the others were resting.

It was probably three attempted muggings later that Dhizzandra had finally convinced those that had viewed her as an easy target, to give her proper directions to where she needed to go. The “neverchanging” land, and the “deadlands”, such were aptly named, she assumed. The woman travelled lightly, a bag full of cinnamon rolls(properly preserved, of course), and various food items as requested, all homemade. As bare feet caressed the earth with each step, Dhizzandra frowned when she saw the dual figures, before perking a bit. The Dryad hadn’t seen Ashton since their misadventure involving the undead, and the others only let her mother them so much.

As she caught sight of the armored carrot-top, Dhizzandra’s green hand rose and waved excitedly.

“ASHTON!” IT bubbles from her throat as she moves forward, across the strange, unchanging Earth as she throws up the pack in victory above her head.

“I brought cinnamon rolls!” She chirps, beaming through the leaf-bangs that have overtaken her visage.

Edited by Lacernella Rubra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Don’t do it Lyr.” The words are meant to be a shout, but the dread weighing them down keeps them at a whisper. A hand, rising defensively, accompanies them. Its placement is reached just in time, and creates the briefest moment of separation. “Lyr, please stop.” The plea entwines with crunching grass and shuffling feet, as Ashton does his best to maintain distance.

He can’t place his finger on the moment when everything went south, when Lyr went from docile to … something. The first bite had nearly taken a chunk from his shoulder, only the momentary pause caused by the armor ever so briefly withstanding her teeth had saved him. It afforded him enough time to react, to shove her away and scramble to his feet. Yet she is unrelenting, remorseless, and empty; trying to fill some vast void in the hollows of her body with chunks of his flesh.

How do you stop a monster? An unfamiliar voice, carried on the wind, echoes through his body. You kill it. He sidesteps and backpeddles from her, trying to keep the distance. Will you kill her? Before he can find the answer, or fortify his convictions, a bite finds purchase. Unlike the previous, there is no delay. Her teeth sink into the metal as they would bread, they effortlessly pierce both flesh and meat, before meeting at the bone and crushing. He doesn’t immediately register the pain, perhaps he’s even unable too. And although every ounce of his primal brain screams for him to run, to fight, to do something, the rational and logical sections have locked up.

The injury to his forearm, or rather where his forearm had been, is so impressive that under different circumstances he might consider it amazing. Almost as amazing as Lyr’s depthless maw, with its lips stretching beyond her ears.

Frozen in some combination of shock, bewilderment, and awe, Ashton helplessly watches her take another bite and with it the rest of his arm. “Why?” The question is posed as Lyr’s mouth stretches wider and wider yet, opening until the abyss of her gullet completely consumes his field of view. Darkness closes in around his head…

Ashton’s eyes flutter open and then dart from side to side. His field of vision clears, and with it the vividness of his dream dissipates. Raising his head from his arms, which unfold from his knees, he twists toward the sound that saved him from his nightmare. “Green.” The words are muttered as he lays eyes on a viridian foliage that appears to be advancing on him. “Shit, the ent?” The question is answered when his eyes finish focusing and the Dryad becomes clear.

“I, what... Why do I need rolls of cinnamon? Isn’t cinnamon rolled in on itself just a cinnamon stick? Does cinnamon kill ents?” The questions are shot out in rapid succession as little more than inaudible mumbles. It isn't until he forces himself to a stand, and lifts a hand to wave back, that he's finally awake enough to converse. “By chance, did you bring food?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Maybe. I can give it a shot, but I make no promises!” Since she literally cannot. At no point in her short life had she ever healed anyone of anything, not so much as a scrape or scratch. At least not that she can remember. “Did you say endless….chops and steak?” AGain there is nothing the man can do to stop her from salivating. The word torture only adding to her stomach grumbling agony. Because that is what he has done to her on the trip so far. Discusses food and flaunts it in her face, only to make her fight to have it. It only costs her energy and causes her hunger to expand exponentially.

Lyr’s eyes widen as Ashton continues to talk, every sentence more painful and terrifying to hear than the one preceding it. “Dying? I’M DYING?!?!” Trying to fathom the lack of taste her tongue endures has her fingers sliding and scratching at the organ. Scraping her nails against in it an attempt to grasp it and pull it far enough from her open mouth to see if it is truly broken. But from what she can see of the tip it is still pink and normal. Or so she thinks. “I don’t want to see a doctor.”

She had momentarily been made to forget that she had been poking him as at all having lost all manner of focus. But she cannot help but believe that if she pokes him enough and disappears, then maybe she won’t have to wake up to his angry eyes boring into the center of her forehead….she could eat whatever she wanted whenever she wanted….and he couldn’t tell her otherwise. Ever so quickly the thought of his empty and lie-dripping threat becomes more appealing to her.

“My sword? Oh yeah, I know how to swing it around like the best of ‘em!” Something to be seen at a later date.
 


Lyr awakens to the sound of her name, but not in the way she would ever expect. The daunting redhead had been yelling it...in his sleep. And despite her best efforts to seek out some sort of amusement in it she only finds terror. Why on earth would he be yelling her name and saying such things in his sleep? What kind of perverted madness could this have turned into? Her big brother, dreaming of her and asking her not to do things….what things does he refer to? Even as he awakens at the sound of the Green lady who’d arrived sometime before, she scoots away. Watching Ashton with an expression of disturbance.

The basket laden with cinnamon rolls had been claimed some time ago and she said eating one beneath the shade of a tree as quietly as possible. Rather than initiate any sort of exchange with the freshly awoken man she squeezes herself into a small bundle in order to hide there behind Dhizzandra. Attempting to be the Dryad herself and blend into the surroundings as best she can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...