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The Low-Tide Festival! (Open Event!)

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The Year is 18,598

Arcturon, Taen, Terrenus


M'yr furrowed his brow, his concentration hidden behind the mask. His breath steamed across his face, dampening the skin that was already so beaded with sweat. His hands were trembling; noticeably so. He clung to the delicate strands before him, gripping them tightly even as the sea rocked the vessel he rested upon, the heavy boards beneath his feet groaning in protest against the sea. Yet, the smell of salt and brine, and the sound of the sea was distant, nowhere close, for now. Steeling himself, he committed to the task; M'yr's hands deftly fixed the knot in the string at long last, and he let go, gasping with relief.

The paper lanterns floated upward, but stopped before scraping the roof of the gazebo. He looked up at them, candlelight flickering against the driftwood mask that hid him away from the world.

He breathed. The sea receded.

"Is that the last of them?" Somebody else asked. M'yr glanced over, and saw her there. Her. Another in a mask. Not his mask, but hers. Pretty and painted and taken care of. But it was from the sea, of that there as no doubt. They all were, tonight. From its ancient slumber, the Serpent continued to provide. The mask affirmed that, the hooks and bangles around his wrists, his neck, and his waist affirmed that. Always there. Always calling. Driving him towards the serpent, and away from the sea.

"Yeah." He managed to say. The lanterns bounced about merrily, and he handed them off to her. She accepted them, and she took them away. M'yr stood still, for a moment. The world was still, the sea gone. 

He breathed, again. Hosting this event was exhausting, and he continued to doubt its efficacy. This festival had blown up, rapidly, their influence over Taen had developed surprisingly quickly, and now M'yr was left to pick up the pieces, and put them together, here, of all places. The Acolytes of the Coiled Beast were not quite as influential as they would have liked, but their hard work, and their dedication to the safety of Taen, had given them a certain amount of intrigue. The people trusted them, and this was a chance to make themselves known. 

It was, above all else, a chance to unite the people, in the face of the coming tides.


Spoiler

Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure that Riot Games and Tencent don't actually mind if people use their music outside of League of Legends. If, for whatever reason, that changes, this song will be removed, and a link to it on Youtube will be provided instead.

Arcturon, in all her beauty, stood in frigid silence that night. As the sun began to fade, and artificial light replaced the natural, the streets came to life with the sound of music and lights.

The main streets of Arcturon formed a long, well-lit pathway of carnival games and attractions, as multiple members of the Acolytes roamed about helping set up decor and arrange lanterns and stands for the folk to enjoy. Coaxed out by the smell of cooking shellfish, the sound of tankards being filled, and the harsh percussion of street performers, the citizens and travelers made for the roads, and quickly became swept up in the sensation of Low-Tide.

This was a first. For Taen, and for Arcturon, festivals like this weren't common yet. Festivals celebrating the local haul of fresh fish, and returning voyages, however? Those were even more rare, given that Arcturon was landlocked. Most of Taen was landlocked, in fact. There were little to no sources of salt-water fish to be had anywhere.

Yet, this didn't stop the celebrating masses. 

Heading from the Northernmost road down to the Southernmost road, one could experience every attraction and appeal the festival had to offer.

Diners, bars and some shops directly along the path stayed open later to accomodate for prospect customers, and some even offered 'happy-hour' discounts. Their wares, though sold on the eve of the festival, lacked any kind of 'seaside' influence, and yet once swept into one such establishment, the sound of the murring crowds might be replaced from time to time with the creaking of timbers, and the roaring of the sea. It made for a fine opportunity to step in for a pint, or a hot meal, or stock up on anything a passerby might covet.

Further down the road, things quickly grew peppered with partygoers. Food and drink stands littered the edges of the streets, selling nearly everything one could think of. One particular stand offered saltwater taffy; locally flavored, pulled right before your eyes for a meager 25 credits apiece. Another sold fried pickles, and further along, another offered fried haddock on a stick. Things only grew more flavorful as the road continued onward.

Games lined these streets, too. Masked men and women supervised while games of chance and skill were played on quickly-made stands and tables. Men played dead man's hand as if they'd been playing the card game every day of their lives, while others attempted to draw blood in short, visceral bowie-knife fights, while a paramedic looked on. A few simpler, childlike games of chance took place as well along the road. Ring toss and bottle-toppling seemed to be popular. More than a few folk lined up to try their luck at a firing range, where rusted flintlocks took aim at battered ships in bottles. 

Further along, a massive fish of indiscernable size rested atop a massive hook, a short distance above the passerby's head. Next to it, a hunched, yet tall man that reeked of the sea tried to goad folks into guessing its weight.

And, of course, the deeper you went, the better the music became. Street bands and performers dominated the scene, and no sooner could you enter Arcturon before being swept away in a sea of shanties, and a jury of jigs. People danced and drank everywhere you went, and even attempting to pass some of them was grounds for them to try and invite you to join.

Perhaps the most exciting event at that point in the evening was a grog-drinking contest, set to being just a short time later that evening. From the sound of things, a few places in the roster were still open.

Spoiler

This thread is open to everyone, and available for you to use as you see fit! Dance! Interact! Play games! If you want to play a carnival game, or interact with some cultists, I'll try and get to you right away!

Have fun!

 

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Acturion

The eighteenth-thousandth year before the Tidebreak.

The Widow sleeps, aching from her long voyage beyond the skein.


Her rent and misused silhouette could have been likened to the shattered, decaying fingers of a great, submerged giant - lost beneath the breaking waves. 

The Captain of the onerous, foreboding vessel had seen fit to dock her along the myriad of planks rendered ragged by the constant assault of the crashing tides. A pier, the optimistic sailing-souls of Acturion called it. The Widow's chainlink anchor, made from the interlocking vertabrae of a Sea Dragon, moored her in place. Her colossal form ebbed and bobbed against the rise and fall of the ocean, as though the ship itself was malcontent with its lethargy. Azure-hued sails, her signature were furled and clamped to their posts by a criss-crossing pattern of thick, knotted ropes. How many men had fallen to their knees, and prayed when those sails had loomed over the morning tides? 

'A prayer is a prayer, I think. All men pray to the Serpent when they see my ship.' Slake had so callously explained the phenomina to one of the aspiring cultists who had passed her the night before, when she had arrived and begun to dock her vessel.

She'd hardly explained it with a tentative tone as well - and as such, even the hardened locals of the pier - they had decided to keep their distance from then on. An old ship from Ursa Madeum, binding itself within the technologically advanced realm of Acturion? It reeked of showmanship; of a ploy to lure more naive souls into the festivities. Yet still the locals could have sworn they heard the aching cries of whalesongs eminating from the ship; with the shadowed outline of some figure rising and lowering their hands to orchestrate the eerie cacophony's tone and volume like an orchestral choir. Others swore off going near it for the unbearable stench of rotten sargassum.

Save for the curious soul of a boy, who leaned over the opened contents of one of the shifted cargo boxes the strange-looking crew had dropped off earlier in the morning. The first box had contained oranges, and though the boy was sure he was breaking some kind of rule, looking through someone's belongings, he didn't take one. This new box, the one he was l0oking into now, was a bit... different. Seashells and fishbones, and he'd seen plenty of those before. But these ones were scrimshawed and bedecked with strange patterns, words and shapes that made his head ache and his stomach feel ill. He moved from that one, growing to fear the contents and moved to a third box, ready to pilfer it and-

A rusted, blue-hued sabaton coated with oxide slammed down with a resonant thump that made him yelp and jump backwards. An armourclad figure, drenched in seawater with a helm shaped like an octopus under her arm stared at him, with a grin toothy grin that showed one too many silver teeth and exuded all the assurance of a rusty blade at the base of the neck.

'Allo, poppet.' Slake grumbled, her words almost lost amidst her thick accent. 'Scuttlebutt tells me you're one peepin'-tomcat.'

Some breathless, broken noise escaped the boys mouth as he tried to come up with some excuse.

'Ha! Quit the nerves, luv.' The Captain assured the boy, hefting him up onto his legs by a firm pull of his wrist. 'I don't bite much.' She bit the air, which made the boy smile somewhat. Suddenly, the box pinned down beneath her armoured foot violently shook. 'Things in here do. Stranger bits than fruit and seashells in here? Best not to look, les' something look back.' She winked, and the boys smile quickly vanished. He wasn't quite sure if she'd made the box do that with her foot or not. 

'Lax, pet.' Slake finally let her fleeting conscience get the better of her, and gave the boy a coin gelded in copper. 'Quit this' lookin' where you shouldn't be and go buy somethin' to eat now.' Another wink from those black-flecked eyes. 'Savvy?'

Scuttling off, Slake rose, giving the box she had stood upon an affirmative kick before looking upwards towards the concentrated aura of the festival. Throbbing amber light bled through the sky, a warm incalescence that drowned out the dreary gray the fat-with-rain clouds produced. A noiseless exhalation of hot air escaped her flaring nostrils.

'Bit jovial... for a doomsday cult, aren't we now?' She spoke aloud, seemingly waiting for a question. With a off-balance, seemingly-drunken gait, the Aboleth Eater made her way towards the festival at Acturion.

 

Edited by Samø

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A young, sharp eared hume, who looked very uncool in his black tights, ordinary work shoes, white shirt, royal purple belts and black bomber jacket, wearing a gold chain with a weighted anchor accessory on it which he bought on the marketplace for a cheap price walked out of the sea with sopping wet hand wraps and a massive onyx stone bolster sword strapped to his back by a wooden sling.

Noticing people engaging each other with bowie knives along the coast, he approached them, procuring with his right hand a tarnished tooth taken from a giant sea beast, flashing not only his teeth, but also his newfound dagger at the group of knife fighters.

He tossed his head back and, lastly, he laughed.

 "May I join you?"

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The streets were awash in lights and sounds, a torrential sea of noise and sweat and salt that threatened to drown all of M'yr's other senses. He hurried along through the streets but tried to bury his discomfort and appear interested in his surroundings, hoping that enthusiasm might find him through practice.

Later on, M'yr might have some time on his hands to actually indulge in the party, and he hoped he could stave off the ever-looming ocean threat long enough to do so. For now, though, he had projects to attend to, and actions to put into motion. The first of which: the Horn.

He passed by the knife fighters, playing just off the side of the main street. Over, past them all, a gaunt-looking man watched two fighters play. Wads of bloodied bandages sat next to him already, and he already reached for more. The fighters before him weren't done yet, however; their hands were bloodied and sliced to ribbons, but they didn't flinch from any blow yet, still gritting the bloodier kerchief in their teeth. One of them on the left, was big and bald; the other, shorter with only a bit more hair. Yet they both appeared to be having a good time, their clothes drenched in ale and sweat and the effluvial grime from the sea floor...

M'yr shook his head to dispel the falsehood, and looked up in time to see both of the fighters glancing in the direction of another newcomer. Particularly, the way he laughed like a madman.

M'yr stared.

Water dripped off the man as if he'd just climbed out of the water.

But the sea wasn't here yet.

Wasn't it? Was it? Arcturon was landlocked, and yet it wasn't apparently, and yet they'd seen it a million times, and yet M'yr had seen the water a million times now.

He continued to stare, even as others largely ignored the fact that he appeared saline. Even Utger, the Acolyte attending the knife fight. He put down the bandages and stepped forward, his face hidden behind a veil of tattered fishing nets, adorned with a crown of jetsam and barnacles.

3 hours ago, The Bone King said:

"May I join you?"

Utger nodded quietly, before looking towards his knife.

"Anybody is allowed to play, but we don't use home-brought." He explained. Then, he took a step further, and offered a little insight. "We wear our gifts, and we use them to protect us, if need be, but when it comes to playing nice, we prefer to stick to known knowns." He didn't offer to take the man's dagger, but did offer him a larger one. Despite his claims, this bowie knife wasn't store bought; it reeked of the sea, but the cloth it was swaddled in was antiseptic and clean. The blade gleamed evilly in the dark.

The other two fighters broke at last, and went to wipe their hands clean first, then dunk them in a nearby barrel of water before wrapping their wounds in bandages. Utger took the rag from them, and showed it to the newcomer.

"You hold your end in your mouth, and another holds the other in theirs." He taught. "You aim for the hands--like a game of bloody knuckles, except more so. You flinch, or pass out, or cheat; you lose."

He glanced up and around, looking for someone else to play.

"Any takers?" The acolyte asked.

"Here," M'yr volunteered. He brushed his way past the two previous fighters, and strode up to the newcomer. Closer, yet closer. M'yr, in his rough, unpainted driftwood mask and his damp, heavy cloak, hid his average build and shorter height beneath all that and a pair of bright yellow galoshes. The hooks and trinkets around his arms and waist jangled as he sized up the...whoever this was.

Silence reigned, and then he offered a tentacle. No, not a tentacle--M'yr looked again, and it was just his hand, pale and cold. Trembling, even in the heat of the night.

"My name is M'yr." He managed to introduce himself. "M'yr Boldbarrow."

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6 hours ago, The Bone King said:

The mischievous sprite of average height and build noticed the hooks and trinkets M'yr wore. "Nice to meet you," he said. "I go by Puck."

"Puck." M'yr reached for his mask, and lifted it up, ever so slowly. The smell of salt and brine became overpowering as he did so. But he stuffed the cloth in his mouth, and let the mask fall back into place. He produced his own knife, sharp and clean and salty.

"You both know the rules, then?" Utger asked one last time. "Each of you has one chance to make a swing on your 'turn'. Move your hands away when they swing, and you're okay. Do it before hand, and they get to cut you for free. Whoever drops their knife, or the handkerchief first, loses."

M'yre nodded, and Utger looked to Puck.

"Your turn first, then, Puck."


Was it really a tavern, or had Slake merely imagined it? Regardless, the acolyte found herself in a tavern of some kind, eventually. As soon as the door slammed shut behind her, the little rusted bell above the door rattling, the entire building creaked as if it were at sea. Outside, the streets of Arcturon were gone, replaced by rising water that snuck in through the cracks and gaps in the walls. About a foot of water filled the room, and if you were really losing it, you might even see a koi or two in it. 

The other, normal-looking patrons didn't appear to mind, of course. They chatted amicably about their time in the festival, and the things they'd seen and done so far. One of them even reached for their plate to grab a large shellfish from it, and ate it, whole, only for it to turn into a waffle fry afterward.

Behind the counter, the bartender was anything but. A tall, serious-looking Acolyte waited behind there, certainly not an illusion. He was built wide as a barn, but he had no mask, or veils or helmet to speak of. The man's face was completely gone, replaced only by the ever sucking appendage of some deep-sea bottom feeder. The pale, slug-like probiscious floundered as he moved, like a living, writing beard, as he moved around preparing food and drink.

When she approached the counter, it spoke, the mouth straining to flex properly, to pronounce the words. Yet, his voice was clear as day.

"You can't keep bringing the ship around," He chastised her, resting his arms on the counter. His mouth nearly touched the countertop. "It's too hard for them to figure out; you're going to make them worry."

And then, the obvious; "M'yr won't like it, either."

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Slake's entrance was sounded with the rattling of the fishbone pendants that bedecked her curiass, and that sing-song chime of her seashell spurs of her sabatons. She moved with a long, drunken gait. It could have been dismissed as a simple overindulgance of Lady-Liquor, too much of the sun's kiss or a sea dog's legs. Her startling appearance, for once, hardly gave her any attention; most of the patrons were either far too inebriated or used to strange-looking folk to be truely startled by her. Which was, in its own way, disappointing to her. 

Less so the appearance of the establishment. Trench-rot, she called it. The likeness of the tavern was weathered, rotten by the tides that had consumed it. Barnacles, limpits and oysters clung to support-posts and tables. Eels and fish swam between the shifting patrons like they were nothing more than spires of stone at the ocean's floor. More frightening still was the visage of most of the bar's residents. A man with the glowing proboscus of an angler fish, and the face to match here. A man bloated and fetid like a corpse cast into the black depths. And still they drank and sang merrily, unaware of the horror that had consumed them. Or so the Acolyte saw. Hardly a comparison of the fate that awaited them all; as the Coiled Beast had warned her. Even still, the End-Tides were impossible for her mind to truely fathom, and so her limited mortal mind did its best to approximate, to fantasize.

'Great costume!' A drunken woman said, her form's shape comprised of hundreds of knotting tentacles. 

'Hardly as good as yours, luv.' Slake slyly responded, giving the bewildered woman a wink and stumbling past her. 

Such sights assailed her mind. Of course, she endured it as she had done for so long, with a hungry smile and- as a waitress passed, Slake nabbed the bottle of blackstrap rum she carried on a platter and replaced it with a mound of copper coins in a movement so smooth it couldn't have been anything other than second-nature. Slake popped the cork of the bottle with her mouth and spat it out, replacing it with a hefy swig of bitter drink. - an enthusiatic partaking of alcohol.

Quote

When she approached the counter, it spoke, the mouth straining to flex properly, to pronounce the words. Yet, his voice was clear as day.

"You can't keep bringing the ship around," He chastised her, resting his arms on the counter. His mouth nearly touched the countertop. "It's too hard for them to figure out; you're going to make them worry."

And then, the obvious; "M'yr won't like it, either."

The Acolyte seemed hardly phased by the bartender as she approached that counter, glistening with the viscous goo that ebbed from the gaping, slithering mass of flesh that approximated the man's face.

'Scungili!' Slake called to the man as she approached, laughing at her own, dark joke, knowing full well she was the only one that got it. 'What a brute you are! Not even an 'allo for me?' An armoured hand slapped itself down on the counter as she hefted her bulk onto a barstool. 'You kiss your mother with that mouth?'

The mention of M'yr brought a loud, resonating sigh of dissatisfaction from Slake's maw, the Acolyte throwing herself back as she did so. 'M'yr bloody M'yr. What doesn't make that one miserable, hm?' Half-distracted, the Aboleth Eater touched the throbbing, pulsating mass of coiling flesh on the countertop with her finger. A shudder of disgust wracked her form as she did so, Slake quickly pulling her hand backwards, splaying her fingertips to examine the sheen of glue-like fluid that clung to her hand. She wiped the mess on the back of a passing bar-patron's back, and returned her gaze back to her fellow Acolyte.

'Sorry, just...' A cock of the head and she bit her lower lip, scanning the horrific visage of the bartender's face. 'What do I look at when I'm speaking to you?' 

Another laugh. 'Widow's a possessive aul girl. Can't go much of anywhere without her. Like a big baby, she is. Just with rigging and sails.' A cough, and she soothed her parched throat with another deluge of rum. 'If M'yrs got his knickers bunched over me, he should come and say it himself, no? A girl gets so lonely.'

Edited by Samø

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21 hours ago, Samø said:

The Acolyte seemed hardly phased by the bartender as she approached that counter, glistening with the viscous goo that ebbed from the gaping, slithering mass of flesh that approximated the man's face.

'Scungili!' Slake called to the man as she approached, laughing at her own, dark joke, knowing full well she was the only one that got it. 'What a brute you are! Not even an 'allo for me?' An armoured hand slapped itself down on the counter as she hefted her bulk onto a barstool. 'You kiss your mother with that mouth?'

The pale, glistening sea slug maw sighed. The tall, heavy bartender's shoulders sagged.

"Hello, Slake." He muttered. The bartender reached for a glass, and wiped it dry, before filling it with a bit of ice. As he worked, his arm briefly tensed--his whole body did--but he relaxed soon afterward. Despite his face's abominable shape, he could still be heard exhaling harshly as he got over whatever it was he'd seen. He moved the tumbler in front of his patron, and poured her a bottle of something dark and thin. He left the bottle on the counter.

21 hours ago, Samø said:

The mention of M'yr brought a loud, resonating sigh of dissatisfaction from Slake's maw, the Acolyte throwing herself back as she did so. 'M'yr bloody M'yr. What doesn't make that one miserable, hm?' Half-distracted, the Aboleth Eater touched the throbbing, pulsating mass of coiling flesh on the countertop with her finger. A shudder of disgust wracked her form as she did so, Slake quickly pulling her hand backwards, splaying her fingertips to examine the sheen of glue-like fluid that clung to her hand. She wiped the mess on the back of a passing bar-patron's back, and returned her gaze back to her fellow Acolyte.

'Sorry, just...' A cock of the head and she bit her lower lip, scanning the horrific visage of the bartender's face. 'What do I look at when I'm speaking to you?' 

Both of them flinched and cringed at the touch, with the man gripping the counter, and the slug squirming under her touch.

"Please...don't do that anymore," He said politely. "This thing is really sensitive to touch. It's like jamming your thumb into my eyes or something." He tapped the counter, before deciding to talk a bit more about it. 

"It's, uh, strange, actually. My vision is just...it's still there. I still see, and smell and hear, but I don't know how. It's not the same, but it is, you know? Like, I have no eyes that I know of, but...this," He gestured to it. "It's there, and I guess that's all I need." A soft snort escaped him, his shoulders jumping a bit. "It's kind of funny, actually. I reach up sometimes to stroke my beard and its almost like it's still there. Shaggy hairs and everything." He reached up to stroke his 'beard', but didn't touch the slug. Instead, his hands just grazed the air beneath his jaw. The slug bounced around a bit, trying to climb up on his shoulder.

21 hours ago, Samø said:

Another laugh. 'Widow's a possessive aul girl. Can't go much of anywhere without her. Like a big baby, she is. Just with rigging and sails.' A cough, and she soothed her parched throat with another deluge of rum. 'If M'yrs got his knickers bunched over me, he should come and say it himself, no? A girl gets so lonely.'

You're too hard on him. Sang the sea. Behind the windows, the roaring sea and the far off singing of sailors and sirens almost masked the sound, which appeared to come from the crashing of the waves themselves. However, this itself was an illusion, too. 

The bartender repeated himself. "You're too hard on M'yr, Slake. He's just like us; we have no business dealing with any of this stuff." He poured himself a glass, but never drank it. From one of the other tables, somebody told a joke, and laughed loudly. A sweet cacophony of seagulls joined them in their laughter.

"He's supposed to be in, soon, I think." The barkeep said, wiping down the counter top. "He's supposed to grab something for tonight. Big plans, as always."

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Pale light flickered over the sun-kissed features of Slake, shadowing her features; shading the contours of her cheekbones. Like the breaking waves of the sea, cast from shadow and dark, they coiled and writhed against her face. Yet the gloom did nothing to hide that smile. A killer's smile. The wide, peeling grin of a madwoman, reaching ear to pierced ear. A stream of brackish saltwater poured from what little space her teeth provided; droplets of blue-grey spatter dripped onto the counter beneath her, soaking the counter. With every pitter-patter that fell, the sound of it grew and grew. Until the sound became the vibrato of a coiling capstam. Things churned within the bar, awoken by the noise produced. Gilled, scaled things with teeth and glowing, glassy eyes. The sound drew them in, the cascading fall of the water  became the cacophonic roar of a storm. Clawed hands reached out with a want to grab her, to drag her away.

Her armoured fist slammed down onto the countertop, and the creeping shadows abated. Gone. As quickly as they had been summoned. And never once, had Slake's rictus grin left her face.

41 minutes ago, Jotnotes said:

"Please...don't do that anymore," He said politely. "This thing is really sensitive to touch. It's like jamming your thumb into my eyes or something." He tapped the counter, before deciding to talk a bit more about it. 

'Ah-ah, pet.' The Acolyte bit back, wagging a finger. 'If that's your manner of flirting, you're far too sober and I'm nowhere near soused up enough for it.'

Her next words were heralded by a cocked eyebrow. 'See me after I've had my due reckoning with this bottle, and we'll see.' And ended her sentence by taking a greedy swig of the aforementioned liquor.

41 minutes ago, Jotnotes said:

"It's, uh, strange, actually. My vision is just...it's still there. I still see, and smell and hear, but I don't know how. It's not the same, but it is, you know? Like, I have no eyes that I know of, but...this," He gestured to it. "It's there, and I guess that's all I need." A soft snort escaped him, his shoulders jumping a bit. "It's kind of funny, actually. I reach up sometimes to stroke my beard and its almost like it's still there. Shaggy hairs and everything." He reached up to stroke his 'beard', but didn't touch the slug. Instead, his hands just grazed the air beneath his jaw. The slug bounced around a bit, trying to climb up on his shoulder.

His introspection was devoured by piercing, black-dotted eyes that bore into his changed likeness as he spoke. It was startling, how casual she was about his visage. As though she had a habitude towards it; dealing with men warped by something beyond her baser comprehensions. Slake slightly nodded her head as he spoke, listening. With a cough and a shift to rest her bulk on her elbow against the bar, she spoke.

'Mate of mine was a shipwright.' the Aboleth-Eater began, her eyes drifting as she became lost in thought. 'Took a bad injury a few years ago. Piece of hull fell on his left arm and it got cut off by the sawbones. Told me how he'd lie asleep at night, in his sheets an' how he felt left hand's fingertips brushing against the canvas.' Another draught of rum and she continued. 'Called it phantom pain, or sommet like 'at? Never quite got over it. Maybe what's left of you that ain't scungili is trying to feel for what was but ain't there, poppet.' 

Most of the warmth of her voice was lost in that thick, sea-dog accent of hers. But some of it remained, faint embers of kindness that she seemed unfamiliar with conveying. An armoured hand gave the bartender's own a light pat. 'Quit bein' such a girl's blouse, will you? Doing nothing for my humours, you glaikit.'

41 minutes ago, Jotnotes said:

"He's supposed to be in, soon, I think." The barkeep said, wiping down the counter top. "He's supposed to grab something for tonight. Big plans, as always."

Slake seemed dumbfounded at that. She turned around, scanning the tavern. Feigning confusion, she cocked her head. 'No band to herald his entrance? Hardly like him. We talking about the same M'yr?'

Edited by Samø

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1 hour ago, Samø said:

Slake seemed dumbfounded at that. She turned around, scanning the tavern. Feigning confusion, she cocked her head. 'No band to herald his entrance? Hardly like him. We talking about the same M'yr?'

He shrugged.

"You tell me, you know him better." If that damned slug could grin, it probably was. He leaned against the counter, 'looking' at her, his arms crossed in front of him.

"He's got a lot on his plate today, I guess. More demons than usual, if you get my meaning." He mentioned, his voice lowering, as was the tradition when one gossiped. Not that it mattered; the rolling waves, the dripping water and the clanking of the kitchen would have suppressed him anyway. "From what I hear? Took this whole effort up on his own, accidentally, or so they're saying. Utger, Rhyss and them are helping, of course, but that's nothing new. They'd follow him into the water if he decided to take the plunge." He leaned in a bit. "But this whole thing? He put himself up to it. Claimed there was enough interest for it, and it needed to be done. Put it together for the people he says."

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18 minutes ago, Jotnotes said:

"You tell me, you know him better." If that damned slug could grin, it probably was. He leaned against the counter, 'looking' at her, his arms crossed in front of him.

'Well-' The Acolyte mused, smacking her black-painted lips. '-when lacking ears to clip, one has tae improvise, no?'

Slake responded to the barman's jab with one of her own. Two sharp, armourclad fingers jabbed themselves into the flesh of his withing, pulsating mollusc that constituted his face. As quickly as that hand had surged as nothing more than a blur towards the mound of viscous, slimey meat it retracted - Slake whiping away the evidence of the assault on the underside of her chair. It wasn't particularly hard, but it got enough of her message through to him.

27 minutes ago, Jotnotes said:

"But this whole thing? He put himself up to it. Claimed there was enough interest for it, and it needed to be done. Put it together for the people he says."

His words seemed to summon some ominous, echoing sound from beyond the confines of the tavern. The cracking chirps and tunes of distant whales; and she saw shadowed things shifting beyond the windows of the building, stalking. Their choir sounded like a choir, a song singing the augury of the world to her. An endless torrent. The deep, all-consuming apocryphal deluge of the End. A song that grew louder and louder with each passing moment, filling her ears with its ceaseless baritone. Slake found herself, with lack of any means to abate or end it, whistled along to the tune - she could do nothing, so her defiance kept her mind from slipping into the throes of madness that beckoned to her with every passing moment.

Reprieve came. The song drew quiet; but its presence was still there. Those things beyond the skein were patient. They could wait.

With a cough and a smile, Slake brought her attentions back to her compatriot. 'What is it with cults and parties, luv?' She lurched those pauldron-wreathed shoulders of hers into some approximation of a shrug. 'Hand out painted seashells and mackerel bites and tell the good yolk of Taen about how they're all going to drown?' Slake bit the air between the two of them and smiled. 'Honestly, that man has no sense of tone.'

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On 9/5/2019 at 12:16 AM, Samø said:

Slake responded to the barman's jab with one of her own. Two sharp, armourclad fingers jabbed themselves into the flesh of his withing, pulsating mollusc that constituted his face. As quickly as that hand had surged as nothing more than a blur towards the mound of viscous, slimey meat it retracted - Slake whiping away the evidence of the assault on the underside of her chair. It wasn't particularly hard, but it got enough of her message through to him.

 

On 9/5/2019 at 12:16 AM, Samø said:

'What is it with cults and parties, luv?' She lurched those pauldron-wreathed shoulders of hers into some approximation of a shrug. 'Hand out painted seashells and mackerel bites and tell the good yolk of Taen about how they're all going to drown?' Slake bit the air between the two of them and smiled. 'Honestly, that man has no sense of tone.'

"You're telling me," He replied, a bit sourly. The slug was alright, as far as anyone could tell. Did the pale thing bleed? Who knew? It still writhed a bit, and appeared clearly distressed. The bartender was a fair bit agitated as well, but nobody else seemed to take notice. Beyond them, it was business as usual. The floors creaked, the restaurant rocked with the sea. A man with the needle-like teeth of some deep-sea abomination tore into a hamburger with voracity. Far, far away, a siren sang a slow, lonely song.

"I think it's more of a 'take your mind of things' kind of festival." Beneath Slake, a traipsing Horseshoe crab offered its opinion politely, before scuttling off. As it gained distance from her, it vanished entirely.

"I mean, all of this is spooky, kind of, but it's all in good fun, right?" His shot glass was, mysteriously, empty. He wiped his 'mouth', and continued. 

"Maybe M'yr just needed a break. Maybe we all do, you know? All this crashing waves...the stacks of rotting fish...did I tell you that a shark broke into my bedroom?" He shook his head, still in disbelief himself. "I was in bed, minding my business, and it busted through the freakin' wall. Started gnashing and biting at me. The room was filling with frothy sea water. You could smell the blood on its breath. And then it was just....gone. No debris, no water, no wounds."

The bartender sighed, and stared out the window. The slug actually strained for the window as he gazed out into whatever it is he saw. 

"Sometimes, I swear I see The Beast out in the clouds." He said, softly. "Like, a split of lightning, and there's this thing behind the clouds. Always watching me...waiting...some nights, I can't even leave the bar, cuz I'm afraid it'll be out there still."

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By the time M'yr made his way to the tavern, the world was starting to grey out. 

He tied the bandages ever tighter around his wrists; both of them, and though they were new, they were already beginning to soak through. Crimson stains marred the thick bandages, which traveled up the length of his arms, stopping just before the elbow. Another wad of bandages sat in the front pockets of his cloak, ready to be swapped out when he found his way to a pure water supply, and hopefully some disinfectant. However, his wounds were deep and numerous. Whoever Puck had turned out to be, whatever he'd turned out to be, the knife fight had pushed M'yr to extreme limits. His body was unused to such scarring. Not even the ebbing waters of the sea could close the wounds up quickly enough to help stem the blood loss.

Bright lights in the rain blurred, faces melted into wax puddles and people swirled into dark shapes as he staggered past them. They stopped looking even like that after a while, and now the wayward Acolyte wandered a dark expanse, colliding often with other figures in the darkness before him. He stumbled, tripped and fell more than once. His arms were freezing; his head hurt. He got back up, and tried to get back on his feet. No luck. His arms refused to hold him any longer, and M'yr laid, soaking on the pavement. People, if there were people, moved around him instead of stopping to help him. Nobody slowed or checked on him, so he tried to speak. But his tongue was heavy and alien; no words could be formed. Not that he had the oxygen for it, anyway, as he was, currently, beginning to black out. He struggled a bit more, trying to get back up, at least a little. The world was freezing; it was nigh-impossible to see anything now; the world was unstable, shimmering out of existence. By that point, M'yr had to give in to what he knew was inevitable.

His wounds were too severe; he'd pushed himself too hard, and now, M'yr was about to die.

He half-expected to cry about it, or get angry. Move through the motions of grief, as one might anticipate. However, in the death throes of his own short, mortal life, M'yr saw the potential to leave everything behind. The maddening visions of The Coiled Beast; the looming threat of the oceans. The terror of knowing how he might die and when; all of it was in the past now. M'yr could stop worrying; stop trying. He could lay here and die.

The thought of being free, or at the very least relieved of this burden, sounded sweet to him. Beautiful, even. He closed his eyes, and, as all animals do, felt compelled to give one last noise before succumbing. He uttered a low, choking sob, and fell silent. 

Darkness engulfed him, but not the dark of the crypt. Instead, he felt as though he'd been plunged into the sea. Salt water bit into his wounds and rashes and scraped, eating away at his exposed flesh. The crushing pressure pushed down on him from all sides, the frigid temperatures chilling him to his soul. He could feel fire in his lungs as he swallowed mouthful after mouthful of the stuff. His eyes burned, his ears ached, and his ribs finally gave way to the pressure, which pushed in, forcing the water from his lungs, forcing him to exhale all at once.

M'yr gasped for breath, standing in the warm, well-lit bar just off the side of the street, not terribly far from where he'd collapsed. He was soaking wet, but his clothes dried rapidly, to the point where a few moments afterward the sea was gone, and he was warm and dry again. The smell of salty food and greasy meat met his nostrils, not the scent of the sea or the streets, and although he'd thought he'd made a scene, he didn't have too much attention on him. Just the two folks at the bar then and there.

That is, Slake was there.

M'yr felt his fingertips ache, and looked down to see his bandages were still red and bloodied. He paused, and slowly unwound them a bit. His wounds were deep, but were scabbed over now. Tiny barnacles and bits of the sea lined the wounds, in start contrast to the pale horizontal scars across his forearms and wrists. He wiggled his fingers a bit. He still felt tired, ragged, but it didn't matter now. 

Before he approached the bar, he wanted to change into fresh bandages. The last thing he wanted was for Her to ask about the scars. He especially didn't want her thinking he needed her help.

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Drip, drip, drip.

The baritone echo that sounded as each pearlescent droplet of vitae dripped from the gaping wounds of M'yr. An essence of change, of transformation. Mellifluous song; the beginnings of the Tide, poured from the rent flesh of the Serpent's augur. As terrible as the sound was to hear, Slake could do nothing but listen intently. A haze overcame her, as each mutable droplet of blood fell onto the waterlogged planks below. The timber began to change, shift and take on the likeness of the seabed; jutting slabs of volcanic stone and formative mounds of barnacles, mussels and clams. She could hear Fall sing in tandem with pale-blood, the lingering pitch of his blade's chime mixing with the otherworldly tune to form a choir that sang of the inevitability of the world. Of Taen, Ursa Madeum and Terrenus, consumed by the ceaseless waves of the apocryphal tides.

Yet, some compulsion brought her to her feet. A defiance, an ever-present sense of rebellion. Against the alabaster surface of her eyes, flecks of black danced and shifted like oil against water. Closing them brought an ending to the ghastly song and some sense of clarity awoke inside of her again, just in time for ragged M'yr to make his approach towards her and the bartender.

'Knives are bad for you, you know.' Slake chided, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. Some semblance of concern showed itself in her voice, though it was scant and well hidden. 'How does the saying go? Two men get into a knife-fight, the loser dies on the cobbles the winner in the infirmary.'

A quick glance brought those eyes, spotted with deep black onto the pulsating 'face' of the barkeep. 'A glass of 'cure' for my mate, please.' With a gesture towards the glass of strong, dark liquor behind him showed him exactly what that 'cure' was.

Slake brought her attentions back to M'yr. Her gauntlet-clad hand slid out the stool beside her and gave the crown of it a derisive pat, just for good measure. 'I trust you can manage the climb?' A cocked eyebrow and a glance to the chair ended her jab. 'Honestly, poppet; you bleeding and me drunk is usually how we end things, not start them.'

Edited by Samø

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M'yr ensured his bandages were tightly wound around his wrists, then proceeded up to the bar. He wasn't paid much attention; Slake wasn't looking back at him, and the bar goers were wrapped up in their own conversations and discussions. He plodded up to the counter, his footfalls lost in the gentle murr of conversation. The bartender saw him coming a long way off, but it wasn't him, the slug-faced man, that spoke first.

On 9/14/2019 at 10:08 AM, Samø said:

'Knives are bad for you, you know.' Slake chided, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. Some semblance of concern showed itself in her voice, though it was scant and well hidden. 'How does the saying go? Two men get into a knife-fight, the loser dies on the cobbles the winner in the infirmary.'

She sounded like she cared. M'yr knew her well enough to know that she probably did, just a little at least. He sighed, and checked his wraps again. He wasn't bleeding through them; his wounds had closed up, supposedly. He gripped the edge of the counter, as the severe rocking of the bar being tossed on the waves threatened to topple him over. Nobody else seemed to mind the turbulence.

Slake ordered a drink--for him, apparently--and she pulled out the stool beside her. Her gauntlets glinted in the pale barroom light. Of course she was wearing the armor; she usually was.

He caught himself staring, but wasn't able to stop. He was either tired, or the blood loss was starting to mess with him, but he almost felt as if he missed her.

On 9/14/2019 at 10:08 AM, Samø said:

'I trust you can manage the climb?' A cocked eyebrow and a glance to the chair ended her jab.

M'yr pulled himself onto the stool with some effort; exhaling with the exertion. The world stopped spinning, and he sat still, waiting. Just outside of the windows, somewhere in the deep, dark sea beyond the window, a lone whale keened for her kind, in a loud, slow whales song. M'yr listened to her confused, lonely wailing soberly; real or not, the pain of her isolation stung him. His drink arrived, and he swallowed it fast, cringing the burn of the alcohol away. He set the glass down, and waved it away. With such low blood levels, he would probably get drunk off just the one glass, he figured. He didn't have it in him to drink more right now. Especially with work to be done.

On 9/14/2019 at 10:08 AM, Samø said:

'Honestly, poppet; you bleeding and me drunk is usually how we end things, not start them.'

The bartender snorted, somehow. M'yr didn't question it. He didn't look her way, focusing straight ahead as he caught his breath and got his bearings. 

"I...don't know if I did this to myself or not." He admitted. "The, uh...the guy? That I was fighting with. Came out of the sea." Except they all knew that the sea wasn't there, and there was no water to climb out of. A chilling air clung to the bar for a moment, as he glanced at his bandages. "He didn't look like us, either. Like, he was human, and that's fine, but...he wasn't one of us."

The bartender wasn't terribly bothered by that, or was he? He wiped the counter down, but the water he cleaned up kept coming back. A small split in the wood was spouting saltwater, that threatened to spill over the entirety of the counter. M'yr ignored it, even when water splashed into his lap and onto the floor. He tried to recall if the knife fight had even happened. Should he go back and ask about it? Did he actually want to know?

There was a pause. The world waited for something, for someone to act. 

M'yr sighed, and asked the question: "I didn't think you liked festivals, Slake. What made you decide to show?" He lifted his gaze to match hers.

 

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