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Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: He didn't betray me...
“And someone fetch Cay,” the Hellkite Lord added, “I should like to be able to see her face, as well, when Nyx is asked to verify her tale.” The door to his office opened and shut as yet another of his minions set out on the task.
Out in the bar Cay was on her second drink, her eyes swirled in the foam that danced on the dark surface of it. She was starting to feel a bit fuzzy from it, drinking was something she did not do often so into her second drink the liquor was already tingling at her nerve endings. She had watched as the mohawk woman walked in with her muscle carrying a bundle into the bar. The rest of the room had begun to whisper about its contents. Cay did not join in, she knew who was in that bundled cloak. It churned her stomach and made her take another long swig from her glass.
Not like the others? Got himself caught pretty quickly didn’t he? Typical elf
A few minutes later a hand slammed down onto her table and her eyes bounced up to one of the muscles who carried Nyx in. “Dmitrova wants you.”
“Again?” she sighed. The last inch of her drink disappeared down her throat and she stood up to follow the man into the back room again, noting that her shadow stayed on her as she went. The door closed behind her and her shadow. Dmitrova sneered something at her to which she simply nodded silently to. Her eyes were fixed on Nyx.
Like the fish that slowly rotted beneath her home his pale limp body hung from a hook hanging off a rafter. Purple badges of his violent life stood out in the dim light of the room. Under them was the firm well-toned body of a male elf in his prime. The smoldering fires in her eyes narrowed on the sight, the anger she felt was real enough although where it was that she wished to direct it was as fuzzy as her head right now. The sight made her sick, so soon after she had determined that Nyx was not like other elves he had allowed himself to be strung up like some slave. Dmitrova also made her sick though, gloating in his triumph over Nyx when it should likely be the other way around.
Quietly she watched as Nyx came around, fluttering into consciousness then thrashing against his bindings before finally laughing.
“New protocol for summoning me, is it, Vadim,” he snickered.
Cay returned her fingernails to the wound in her palm, digging into it silently. Nyx swung before her back and forth slowly.
“I’ve been trying our standard methods most of the day, Nyx,” the Captain informed him, “with little success. You left me with few other options.”
“And hanging me here naked?” Nyx arched a brow as a young, grinning, and almost familiar female human face swung into view for an instant and then was gone again.
“Insurance,” Vadim answered, “just in case you had been entertaining that you’d be able to draw steel in here, again.
You remember, Tselika, I presume?” It was as if Dmitrova had timed the question to coincide with the Mohawk wearing lady swung into Nyx’s view again.
“Ah,” the assassin grinned, nodding as best he could but wincing at the jolt of pain that shot through his skull when he did, “I thought I recognized the face… but the hair… it reminds me of a horse I once pached, yes?”
A smirk and a slight laugh escaped from Cay, but with what happened next it was only Mouse who noted it. In a flurry of activity that Cay struggled to comprehend in her current state, the assassin woman rose up to attack Nyx and was pulled back by the man who had collected Cay from the bar. As she was thrust into a chair Cay let her eyes fall back on Nyx, noting the blood that ran down his leg and the dark bruise rising on his cheek while he swung wildly on his hook now. For a moment his yellow eyes met hers, and she took a breath.
“Oh,” he grinned almost wickedly, “hello, Cay. I might have expected you to be here…”
As soon as his eyes swung away hers turned into little slits again. “Rot in Hell hwandi!”
“And I might have expected,” Dmitrova groused in response to that, “that you would have returned with the partner I sent you out with to deliver a report on a job that you were to be working together.”
Nyx chuckled… coughed… spat a glob of blood-tinged saliva onto the floor between his dangling feet… “I haven’t even seen the slitch since she tried to have her way with me in an alley last night,” he smirked, “How am I, then, supposed to report with her?”
“Hmmm… Cay says it was you who tried to rape her in that alley, Shyndyn.”
“Elven scum!” Cay shouted at that and stepped closer, lobbing her own spit onto his toes. “Ten minutes Dmitrova… give me ten minutes with him please… I’ll bring you the pieces when I’m done!”
A glare moved over the witch from Dmitrova and behind her Mouse smiled. “Cay, back down.”
Glowering she dropped her eyes to the floor and snapped her lips shut. As her eyes fell to his feet she caught sight of a scar pressed into his ashen rump, it was circular, a crude fist smashing into an intricate elven knot. The symbol was familiar to her even when it was so poorly branded into flesh.
My my Nyx… you’ve had an interesting life haven’t you?
“So, since you weren’t out on the task I assigned you, then… Where have you been since you left here last night?”
“Oh,” Nyx sighed, “that would be a tale long in the telling, my Captain.”
Dmitrova laughed, then. “I’ve got plenty of time to listen, mith’ganni,” he said, “and an ear just itching for the tale to be told… I’ll want truth in the tale, though.”
“Hmmm. I shall certainly see if I can manage…”
“You’ll manage, Shydyn, don’t worry,” Vadim was out of his seat and waving to one of his attendants, “I’ve got other people who will see to that for you, hmm?
Take him to the back room,” he ordered, before turning to regard Cay again.
“I want you to stay right here,” he ordered flatly as Nyx was jerked roughly down and dragged off to some darkened corner beyond the desk, “I’ll be getting the painful truth from your partner soon enough. If it turns out that I believe you over him, I’ll send you home and let you prepare for your continued stalking of the Bolstoii girl… If it turns out otherwise…” Vadim shrugged, turned, and followed in the path taken by his henchmen.
“Have something to eat while you wait,” the man’s voice called just before a door could be heard to bump shut, “between the chewing and the grumbling of your stomach, maybe you’ll not have to hear much of the screams…”
Soon enough the room was vacant save for her and Mouse.
“Not going to go join in the fun?” her skirts billowed out around her legs some as she plopped into a chair.
“Not my kind of party” The fondant cooed from his position near the door.
“Yeah…” the fires rolled in her head and she leaned back fully in her chair falling silent.
Through the walls that separated her and Nyx now she began to hear screams echoing. Closing her eyes tightly she kept her fist drawn up. Her heartbeat made time with his screams, bringing back the memory of how his pulse had throbbed through his veins earlier, how it must be coursing through his battered body now. In silence she waited it out, trying to keep her breathing as level as she could knowing that her every twitch was being watched and recorded by Mouse across the room.
Let him guess at what is going on through my thoughts. I think I would even have to guess at this point
Instead of thinking she tried to give into the pain that started in her palm and spread up her arm, tried to imagine that the chorus in the next room was not Nyx, was not being done in order to save her own reputation and skin from the same fate. The minutes passed and the noises grew worse, her heart beat continued to speed along with his, the blood spilled over her palm as it spilled down his body.
When the door finally opened again to allow the muscle to walk in she jumped out of her seat. Her heart catching in her throat as her eyes opened and she looked at the figure in the doorway.
“You’re free to go Cay. Keep with your assignment and make another report tomorrow.”
Free to go? He didn’t betray me then? Despite all the screams? Despite what they’ve done to him? He didn’t betray me...
He didn’t betray me…
The voice went on in her head, but outside she kept her cool, kept up the act same as him. If Nyx could keep his cool under the pressure he was facing, she would keep hers.
“And him?” she cocked her chin toward where the screams were still coming. “I don’t get a chance with him?”
“No… Dmitrova isn’t done with him yet. I think he plans to keep you two working together though, so you’ll get your chance. Unless Tselika gets to him first that is.” He laughed.
“Tell Dmitrova I’ll come back on my own tomorrow.” Her voice cold as she left the room.
The streets were still cloaked in darkness when she left the Hydra’s Breath. A few more hours and daylight would chance across the ripples of the sea once more, but for now the darkness still held sway. At this early hour there were few out and she moved confidently toward her goal.
Where to now Cay?
Don’t make me say it… you know full well where I am off to…
Be careful though…
She paused and out of the corner of her vision noticed the flutter of grey that paused with her.
“Mouse…” she sighed and made a quick examination of her surroundings. The darkness was in her favor, but little else was. The crowds she could easily loose herself in were gone for the day, no mists clung in the alleys. A few other figures moved about around her: a noisy drunken couple stumbling toward a tavern, two men in dark cloaks and a group of three or four women narrowing in on the two men. A smile curled across her lips before she flitted over to the women.
The first one that caught her eye was a middle aged human, her smile was sans a few teeth and Cay could almost see the dirt that collected in her wrinkles under the layer of heavy makeup.
“Lookin’ fer sometin’ nice?” The woman scooted up close to Cay.
“Hardly… not for me no. The man in the grey robes behind me. My boss, he wants something nice. I’m just here to set it up.”
The woman leaned sideways a bit to get a look at who Cay was talking about. “ohhhh… well... in dat case… 30”
Cay laughed, “30? For you? For 30 I could get a nice girl with all her teeth to suck on it…” with a flip of her head she started to walk away.
A hand reached out for her, “20… an I’ll do whate’er he like”
“Drive a hard deal der miss…”
“A’ight… 17…” The hand went palm up and Cay fished a few coins out of her pocket and slapped them in the woman’s palm.
“Be persistent, he likes to be seduced.” Cay winked then started to walk off.
* * *
Half an hour later she stared down at the stone that hid the entrance to his crypt. In her arms she carried a bundle she had put together at a tavern along the way, with enough money you can get just about whatever you would like at a tavern it turned out. The stone standing in its proper place confirmed that Nyx had not been nabbed here and that this was still a safe place to come, and that Nyx would then return to it again.
So she moved the stone and left it slightly out of place purposefully before taking herself and her bundle inside. Once again she went about waiting for him, this time inside his lair. A candle poised on one of the pedestals lit her in the soft glow of its light. The sheet she had procured lay across her knees while she sat on the floor, it unraveled into strips under her fingers. Between strips she paused to take a swig from the bottle of wine to her left. To her right there was another bottle filled with water.
She focused on the task she was working on and tried to tune out the voice that kept asking her what she was doing in her head.
Posted on 2009-12-09 at 03:34:51.
Topic: Really fun mini-series
Subject: Tin Man
I saw Tin Man not long after it came out. It was really neat. The whole Clevage Monkey business was hema-entertaining. The rest of the concept behind it was interesting too. I just love when people mess with the conventional stories from our childhoods to give another prospective on the events. And Oz is such a great one to work with.
I'd heard something about this Alice show but didn't realize it was by the same people. Will have to check that out.
Posted on 2009-12-08 at 20:28:03.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: Ohhh.... a drink!
“Yes sir…” her chin rising in the air a hair as she said it and then spun out of the room. The passive protest hanging over the door fluttering against the purple of her skirts as she stalked out. She had a gray shadow she noticed as she moved up into the main rooms of the Hydra.
A drink… yes… a drink sounds wonderful right now. she mused to herself as she wandered over to the bar. The shadow found his way to a table near the main entrance, positioning himself out in the open letting her know where he was and what he blocked from her. A snarl curled at her lips and she slammed a coin onto the bar top.
“Something hard and dark!” her voice hit Ruun’s back while he was attending another customer down the way.
Immediately the barkeep’s face turned sour and after pausing to give an apology to the guest he had been speaking to turned around. “You know Cay… just because you’ve got a cut on your hand doesn’t give you the right…” he stopped as he took in the specter that had spoken with Cay’s vocals. A tall woman wearing a purple dress that hugged in all the right places and a face that was finely chiseled and not veiled in dark shadows. “to… boss me around.” He finished without the same bite he had begun with.
Keeping his eyes on her he pours her a mug and sets it before her. “You clean up rather well if I might say so myself.”
“Shove it Ruun, I’m not tipping you.” Her fingers curl around the handle of the mug and she turns around giving him the subtle curve of her back as she leans against the bar and begins to nurse her drink. Across the bar her shadow tips her a smile.
Mouse. Prior to this afternoon she knew him only by reputation. When she rounded the corner and saw his grey personage crouched under the ‘Vergal Sea Port’ sign however she knew the day had taken an even further turn for the worse.
”Ah sheit!” she murmured under her breath. “Fires of hell that pale pointy eared bastard will be the death of me!”
And yet you haven’t rid yourself of him, in fact you are planning on lying to the Hellkites to save his pale a**… so very interesting…
“Not in the mood right now…” grimaced through her teeth.
Pulling herself together she stepped out of the shadows and toward the skeleton stairs that led to her apartment.
“Cayrimsa?” The muscle spoke first, stepping forward to keep her from the stairs, his voice held a bit of apprehension to it though.
“Well… a Cayrimsa lives here, I’m trying to go upstairs… yeah I think I’m Cayrimsa at least that is what logic would suggest, then again I’d imagine you don’t have much of a brain under that thick skull of yours. What do you want?” Her eyes tried to keep both of the men in her view, the muscle was a worry, but the man in grey bothered her more.
“It ain’t what I want. It’s what my boss wants… Dmitrova wants to see you.”
Her eyes narrowed into slits. “I’m on my way there now, I just wanted to change before I went.”
“Perhaps my friend here was not clear… Dmitrova wants to see you now.” Mouse came into her field of vision. His accent was strange, clear but languid. Each word stretched over the skeletal knobs of consonants like sugary fondant.
“Well if you would let me pass I’ll go change and be there in a moment.” Without waiting for their agreement she moved to push past the muscle and toward her stairs. His hand fell on her arm.
“Don’t touch me!” she shrieked before spilling out the spell that she had worked on Nyx not long ago. The muscle leaped back and clutched his arm in his good hand.
“Ack! Mouse! The b**** just bit me! She bit me!”
“Idiot! She didn’t bite you. She shocked you. Do your job…”
“You do yours…” the muscle spat back at Mouse still rubbing his arm.
“Fine.” The wand came out from a fold in his robes and Cay found herself staring down the end of it. “Now then witch… are we going to have any further problems out of you?”
In typical Cay fashion a blob of spit launched at his toes became her answer. From her side the muscle grabbed her arm again and held it fast this time. The three of them began rather noisy trip back to the Hydra’s Breath. Every spell she attempted to cast was countered by that wand.
Mouse. She had little respect for the man who had no panache with his magic. He casted with rote memorization and because of his position within the Hellkites his spellbook was loaded with boring spells designed only to castrate those like herself. So Vadim had called in the mohawk woman to handle Nyx, and Mouse to handle her.
She smiled down into her reflection.
Glad to see he is worried enough about me to call in Mouse. Worried about us.
Her amber eyes dissolved in the thick ripples she created when she took a drink of the heavy ale.
Using that word again Cay. Us… We…
Just point it out. It’s always been I.
I think we will work well together. He seems to almost predict what I’m going to do sometimes. He didn’t scoff at this scheme I concocted. He saved my a**.
He’s an elf… a full blooded mith’ganni at that…
The ripples died down and she stared into her eyes again, noting the way they curved slightly toward her temples.
How far are you willing to go? You are lying to Hellkites already. If they find him… how much do you trust him and his twilight blood? Think he will keep to the story you wove with him? Or will he crack like his kind always do? Confess not only his own sins but take you down with him… he could. All he has to do is explain what he did, and why he did it… Dmitrova will know you are full of s***. Mouse will be on you before you can even squirm and everything you’ve worked for will be gone in an instant.
The smile she had toyed with a moment ago fell into her ale. Quietly she whispered, “He’s not like the others… I’ve seen that…”
The admission turned her stomach and under the watchful gaze of Mouse she found her way to a table near the edge of the room, where the shadows clung to the walls and she could hide the torment on her face. Reflected out of her mug the way Nyx was pulling at her emotions played out before her.
Posted on 2009-12-08 at 18:40:56.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: A Report
There is a flurry of purple material that rushes into the room, blazing amber eyes floating above it. “Where is my partner!? You sent these gorilla’s to bring me here to ask me about Nyx!? Get them off me!”
“Are you going to behave yourself this time Cayrimsa?”
She responds with a curt nod of her head.
“Well if you promise to behave yourself…” Dmitrova nods to the two men who have got her by the elbows and they let go. “But boys, stick around in case the witch changes her mind.”
The dark muscle gives Cay a wicked grin as he steps back a few feet and positions himself between Cay and the door, while the tall thinner man in the grey robes simply wanders to the corner of the room and keeps his eyes on the woman in purple. She shakes her arms out as they let go and she smoothes out her dress some before glaring at Dmitrova.
“Good… now as for Nyx… if you find him you let me know. I haven’t seen him since last night. Apparently he felt I owed him something for backing me up when I was here last, or else he got me confused with one of his horses. Tried to take me in some alley after we left here!” She touched the bloom on her cheek, “Got in a few good hits before I managed to get a spell out on him and he ran off with that tail tucked between his legs. Haven’t seen him since. Which is good for him as I have plans to start hewing body parts from him starting with his ears and working my way to his toes… I imagine about midway through he’ll be screaming for me to stop. I don’t know what this is all about! And I don’t think I care. I’ve done my job and I was on my way here to report to you, when your thugs drug me here. I don’t appreciate being handled like this Dmitrova, especially not when I’ve been doing exactly what you told me to!”
“So you don’t know where Nyx is or what he has been doing all day?”
“I said no didn’t I? Are you deaf!?”
Dmitrova rises up and pushes his large frame into Cayrimsa’s personal space.
“Have you forgotten your place already Cayrimsa?!” he glowers over her. Tselika leans forward a bit fingering the short sword on her belt anxiously.
“You start dressing up like an elf and forget that you have sworn an allegiance to me? To the Hellkites?”
Her fist tightens and she takes in a deep breath. “No sir. I haven’t. I simply don’t understand why you keep bringing up Nyx. I have information that I’d imagine is much more interesting than that festering pile of hwandi.”
“Then what is your report Cay?”
“I spent the afternoon cooped up in the Bolstoii barn. I was not certain I would get anything, the murder this morning put everyone into turmoil.”
“You know something about the murder?”
“Know something? By the Gods… I know more than you would imagine. Kharinya is sleeping with the murderer.” She watches as Dmitrova’s face contorts into confusion and then nearly shock.
“You heard me. His name is Aelion. He’s a slave in her father’s household, takes care of the horses. He poisoned Lady Olsta a few days ago, sounded like it was an accident, that he meant to kill Senator Olsta instead. He is using a trip to get a horse for Styopa as his alibi… was on his way back when he ran into a woman on the street who remembered seeing him near the Olsta estate the night of the murder. Seems he panicked and killed her and her child. He admitted this all to Kharinya. She’s going to try and help him out of town tomorrow.”
Posted on 2009-12-08 at 02:55:24.
Topic: For all my fellow history buffs: Pompeii
You can just be quiet and stop bragging before I send Eol to facelick you.
I WANNA GO!!
Posted on 2009-12-04 at 17:48:02.
Topic: For all my fellow history buffs: Pompeii
Subject: For all my fellow history buffs: Pompeii
Okay so a friend sent this to me and it is just too cool not share with you guys. Not completly on topic, but still awesome.
Posted on 2009-12-04 at 17:35:14.
Edited on 2009-12-04 at 17:36:49 by Merideth
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
“Lle sarigrien,” he growled through clenched teeth, “are you completely mad?!?
You know Cay that is a very valid question he poses. Are you mad? Completely and utterly mad? You of course realize that you are the only one who keeps bringing up such things, don’t you?
The fire in her eyes flickered when he growled at her and her grip loosened just slightly on his wrist. For a brief moment the tip of her finger presses against the vein running along the inside of his wrist. The quickened pulse of his elven blood pumping through his body consumes her senses. It speaks of raw emotion, of pain, regret and anger… and passion. Pounding through his body and then through their touch up into hers, paralleling the pulse that her own heart is now throbbing out.
“Get your hands off of me, woman,” he hissed, and the pulse that she had just found was wrenched from her. The sudden breaking stills the blood flow in her veins for a moment and she takes in a sharp breath. The elf vanishes from sight while she retrains her heart to beat on its own again.
“Lle sarigrien, indeed,” he murmured at her right and she turned toward the voice.
On the tomb he perched, another statue in this necropolis. Under his narrowed gaze she watched for a moment as he rubbed at his wrist. His fingers were pale and thin, yet strong. The moons around his fingernails were dark with blood and dirt. Scratches screamed out in pink against the whites of his knuckles. Her eyes followed the trail of his fingers up his arm and across his body, noting the way he favored the one leg in his crouch. Like his hands the rest of his body bore the wounds he had incurred during the day. There was a tenseness to his pose, however, and she knew he was still prepared to fight if he must. That he would fight to death if it was required of him.
Not like any others of his kind you have seen is he Cay?
They are all the same… a weak pitiful race that feeds off the scraps of the Imperial table.
Those eyes stayed fixed on her still, they did not waiver but eventually softened slightly as he sighed.
“You should go, now, make your report to Dmitrova…”
The mith’ganni regarded her for a moment longer, the whisper of a smile played on his lips for less than that, and he finally allowed his eyes to close once more; his head rocking back to rest against the wall, his arms wrapping around his aching ribs, and his legs drawing in closer to his body, the tug in his thigh evoking a faint grimace. “Amin anta est,” he added, “I shall find you in the morning, yes?”
He was still close enough for her to reach over and touch him again. Part of her wanted to, her fingers twitched momentarily as they remembered the feel of his pulse moving beneath them. She wondered if it had slowed as his breathing had slowed down. She wondered if it would spike again if she touched him, if her mere touch would stir the heavy palpations of his heart, if his eyes would open and how he would look upon her then.
If he would look upon you as Sidhion looked upon you?
Why is it so hard Cay?
With a sigh she turned from the main object of her own personal torment and crouched down to crawl out of the hole. On her way out she whispered, “Quel kaima.”
The North wind whipped against her as soon as she was outside. Icy fingers ran through her hair and down her body. With a shudder she glanced back into the dark hole at her feet.
Why are you out here when you could be stirring that heartbeat? The fire that burns in him would keep you so very warm…
Dragging the stone he had moved earlier over the hole, leaving enough room on the one side for his hand to get a grip and thus not trap him inside, she began to respond to the voice in her head Fires burn…
Whatever else she had in mind was cut short by a soft whisper that drifted from the tomb.
"And for what it's worth, nwalmaer... that is a thing I should never take uninvited... from anyone..."
Her eyes closed, she touched her cheek, not the one with rose blossom on it, but the one that his fingers had graced, it was still warm as if the fire that burned within him had left a shadow of itself upon her skin. Without thinking she clenched her fist and let the pain sharpen her senses so she could stand and walk out of the cemetery.
Posted on 2009-12-04 at 16:55:58.
Topic: Loaded Dice #36: What Took You So Long?
Subject: Your Welcome
That was -me- being the hero. And your minion...
Posted on 2009-12-04 at 15:44:03.
Topic: The Trilogy War
As soon as recognition of Aldasair hit her she sheathed her sword. Things moved quickly after that, he fainted dead away at seeing his love again and Althena rushed to his side in tears. Halia herself stood back not wishing to get in the middle of this reunion. Her thoughts drifted to Divot for a moment but she pushed them away and tried to focus on what was happening now.
Cor was busy making introductions between this party and the other and getting straight down to business with them. Which is, she supposed, why they had made him the leader of this little band, he was good at getting down to business.
Quietly she nodded when introductions came to her she gave a slight nod "Halia" she said plainly enough and swept a lock of her cornsilken hair out of her eyes.
If they decided to join them it would be beneficial to their journey, and having Aldasair back would make Althena not only more enjoyable to be around but also more useful in the long run.
If only Halia could determine what would make her more enjoyable to be around. Inwardly she sighed and waited for the cheerful reunion to finalize itself so they could move on and get out of this forsaken dungeon.
Posted on 2009-12-04 at 03:22:28.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: I thought I made it clear last time...
As she schemed his moonlit eyes had become lost in her own, both wrapped up in the sudden excitement that tingled through the air. No matter how much she denied she too felt how close he was, but her mind was working too hard on the plan formulating across her synapses even as she spoke to really pay too much attention to what he did with his tongue and with his fingers.
Finally she stopped talking and waited for his response to her plan. He was close enough that when he drew in a deep breath she could almost feel the air pull from her own lips and into his, which gave her a slight jolt.
“You are a wicked paching slitch, Cayrimsa Ettelenya,” he managed to say after a moment, “I am very impressed…”
A look of pride flitted through the amber fires and she just barely lifted her chin further into the air with it. That slight change in her position closed the breadth between the tips of his fingers and her cheek. A dangerous flash of light crackled through the pride that only a moment ago had taken over her features.
Without a single moment’s hesitation her left hand had risen and clamped over his wrist tearing it from her face and twisting it down between them even as she uttered a soft whisper and a jolt of tingling power ran up and down his arm.
“Not your melamin!” she hissed through her teeth. “No matter how impressed with me I am not your melamin and for your sake I’d hope you’d remember that. The last, and the only time an elf has ever been foolish enough to try and have me… I bit off his ear…” the last bit is snarled at Nyx and she twists his hand further as another jolt shocks through his arm. “I swear I can find more interesting parts to remove from you…”
“Working with you is one thing… lle sarigrien… is something else.”
Posted on 2009-12-04 at 03:02:03.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: Is that your final answer?
“Is that what you want, Cayrimsa?”
As his eyes fixed on hers she turned her head and let the bonfires light up the darkened stain glass.
It’s a good question Cay, what do you want, what are you doing here?
She sighed a moment and curled her hand into a fist again, working to dig her fingers into the maw there so that the pain would spark more intensely. If he was watching the knuckles on her hand turn white and next to the scorch mark he had been looking at a drop of her tainted blood hits the tile.
Work with Nyx again? Is that it? Or is it more?
Over the sound of Nyx breathing she could hear the way the stable barn had been shuddering earlier in the day, it was oddly connected with the pain that rove up her arm. She had made a fist then too, desperately trying not to focus on the lustful activities that went on below her.
Why did you try so hard to block out that foolish human girl and her elven lover?
The fires flashed for a moment.
They say the murderer has eyes like yours… another horse elf. Kiki’s voice repeated in her head.
Before she could stop herself her head snapped back toward Nyx and a slight smile played over her lips.
“Aelion… He is not a full blooded Mith’ganni from what I could tell, but he has your eyes. Technically he did not arrive in town for several hours after the murders… but who would believe him anyway? He’s a slave, and with some digging they would find not only who he is sleeping with, but perhaps more… well behaving slaves don’t need their lovers to get the cargo manifests to Avenon now do they?” She licks her lips a moment. “Who knows what I might have heard the two of them talk about in the barn? Say he admits to his love his crime…” She is actually smiling now as the fires dance behind her eyes, and leans closer to Nyx in her excitement, “admits that he poisoned Lady Olsta, too, and that the wench on the street asked him something on his way back… suggested to him that she had seen him around the Olsta house the night of the poisoning… so he acted out rashly… killed the mother and the child to keep them quiet… finally came back to get Kiki to help him escape… I can tell all of this to Dmitrova. And keep the nugget about Avenon to ourselves until we can learn what the little human-loving-elf wanted with the information…”
She was doing it again using pronouns that she would not have perhaps even a few hours ago. It also was not a direct answer to his question, instead it was a possible solution to what she might have given as an answer.
Posted on 2009-12-03 at 18:50:38.
Topic: Season of the Witch
Subject: Bring me Guidance through these dark times...
Volla 27th, 1021
Fereln Square was a chaos zone. The fact that Thealora was amongst this chaos was a mistake, pure and simple. Widmar had sent her on an errand, the temple needed more cotton and she had been sent to procure some. The crowds around the Square had drawn her curiosity, mainly because she wanted to make sure that none in them needed assistance. When she noticed the scaffold and remembered that today there was to be an execution she had tried to leave, but the crowds were stronger and she had been swept up into them.
Finally the young woman struggled her way toward the back of the crowd and to a building which she could press herself up against and at least stop her own progression in the tidal wave.
“People of Vyrrmas! I call your attention upon this display set before you!” The Inquisitor’s powerful shouts drew her sparkling emerald eyes up. “From within our midst, the watching eyes of Mallien have identified one soul turned to darkness!”
She pulled her arms in narrowing her body as the crowd erupted with cheers around her. Those green eyes that had been looking on the Inquisitor then fell upon the man tied to the post, they were filled with compassion.
“Fear not, for he has been captured and brought forth to show you his face!” Sweeping a hand back, the cleric pointed at the man tied to the post. Rain had matted his mid-length black hair to his face, but his visage was clear enough. Sharp features, unshaven beard stubble growing in, and some wrinkles near the eyes. He was an older man, though in good physical state. Possibly a farmer or a laborer, judging by the broad shoulders. His gaze was directed downwards towards the dais, whether out of defiance or in despair.
“Look at them, heretic!”
No response was given. Thealora fought back the desire to rush forward and at the very least find the man’s hand, hold it in her own and let him look into a pair of eyes that bore him no ill-will for his final moments, instead of the hay strewn dais that would soon drip with his blood.
The Inquisitor glared at him, then looked to the masses. “The darkness has snatched his soul from his body! There is but one way to ensure that no more are led away from the righteous path by the allure of black magic!”
Whirling back in such a way that his dampened robes fluttered out behind him. He thrust a hand in the man’s face. “Speak now! Seek forgiveness in Mallien by confessing to your sins!”
Thea flinched as the Inquisitor pushed the man’s head back so he could look him in the eyes. The moment would come soon enough she knew. Already the thought was making her tremble and she tried to back away but the building held her position.
The Inquisitor released his hold, and turned to the crowd gathered around. “The devil seeks your souls next. I shall not allow that to happen!” He faced the captive again. “Repent!”
Finally, a response was drawn, though it was uttered slowly, but with extreme force and volume.
The Inquisitor lowered his head, allowing his short brown hair to drip water onto his face. “It is a shame there is no other way...”
“By the Gods…” she whispered softly, and found herself thankful that the crowd was too embroiled in the events before them to have heard it. Her delicate fingers pressed against her lips, holding them closed so nothing more could escape. The look on her face was probably enough to betray her though.
She watched as the Inquisitor drew his sword and in a fluid motion pulled it into the air above the man’s head. The emerald eyes closed and she turned her head, pressing her cheek against the rough siding of the building and winced as she heard the thud that could only be a head falling to the wooden platform.
She kept her eyes closed as the crowd roared with glee.
“This is the face of the heretic! The one so tempted by the black arts that he would forsake everything for the ability to harness the dark arts!” The masses went wild. “There is nothing to fear! Lend your support, and Mallien shall ensure that nobody else shall be tempted to walk in darkness!”
“Mallien will guard your souls, so long as you have lend your arms and hearts to discovering those amidst ourselves that would wish to see us fall to ruin!”
Her eyes stayed closed, and she continued to remain pressed against the wall for a long time. The gentle rain became her focus and she hoped that it was hiding the tears that escaped from her closed lids. Silently she began to pray
Lady Mirros… please if you can hear me… grant mercy upon the soul that has just been given to you. May you help guide him into the light of your embrace and not to fall into the darkness of hell. Please let your light also fall upon those here today. Let them feel the warmth of your grace and your mercy… let them find it more pleasing than the vengeance that currently lights them. Help them discover a greater truth than that that Mallien offers. Truth alone is not enough, one must know what to do with that truth, let them see that killing is not how to spread the truth… if it is a truth. Lady Mirros… please… I offer myself as a vessel of your light and your love, help me to help them… her prayer went on while the crowd slowly began to dissipate.
Once the crowd had finally died down and she had finished her prayer she finally pulled herself off the wall and wiped at her damp cheeks before pulling the heavy white cowl of her cloak back up over her head. Silently she made her way through the streets, there was still an errand to run for the temple she reminded herself.
It was not until she reached into the pouch hanging on her hip for a few copper coins to give in exchange for the cotton batting that she noticed the note. Curiously she pulled out the square of real beautiful paper with the red wax seal closing it. Nothing about it was familiar and after hesitating a moment she slipped it back into her pouch and offered a polite smile to the proprietor of the small store before heading out with her purchase.
Back at the temple she first made sure that she properly noted her expenditure, returned the extra money to the treasury and stored the cotton away. That all being taken care of she nestled into a pocket of the store room and carefully pulled open the seal on the letter with a finger that trembled slightly.
Settled against a pile of clean linens awaiting beds she read it. Now it was not just her fingers that trembled, her whole body seemed to be shaking. The words were shocking to her. It was as if someone had read her thoughts while she stood in that crowd earlier. The note was even addressed to her, someone knew who she was. At first she thought it was a mistake, that they had perhaps gotten her confused with someone else. But later it mentioned ‘an open hand, to spread healing in the name of true peace…’ Was that in reference to her? But she was merely a servant of Mirros, not even a full sister of the temple. Who was this ‘E.’ and what could he (she?) possibly want with her?
More than anything she wanted to ask Widmar what to do, he was always so good with advice for her. Yet something about the letter said that perhaps she should not. It did not directly say not to mention it to anyone, but the mere way it had been delivered and mostly unsigned at that left an air of clandestine about it that was hard to ignore. She needed to think.
When Thealora Justinia needed to think there was one place that she went: the kitchen. The kitchens here at the temple were not as good as her mother’s kitchen. Her mother baked the most amazing apple tarts that Thealora had ever tasted, and she baked them at least twice a month, sometimes more if it was apple season. The kitchens here were more suited for making soup. There were biscuits however and often honey. The honey seemed to move places in the kitchen, however, and she had wondered if perhaps they were trying to hide it, perhaps even hide it from her, but if that was the intention thus far they had failed; she always found it. Today was no different. It was ‘hiding’ behind a basket of carrots. Once found it had been liberally lathered onto six biscuits and she sat down at one of the simple wooden tables to eat them, one at a time while she considered what to do about this note.
When the biscuits were gone, save for the crumbs that clung to her dress, she still did not know and decided that perhaps a nap would help. Laying in her cot, however, she found sleep to be elusive and instead kept seeing the poor man who had been slain that morning, which brought her to tears. Finally she got up and decided to go try and help out with the temple’s patients.
“Whe had rabbitses ye know?” The strained voice of the old blind woman Thea had been instructed to keep company whispered. She had sprained her ankle the previous day and was waiting for her grandson to come into town with a cart to bring her back home. Until then the church had wrapped up the swollen joint and did their best to keep her comfortable.
“Rabbits? Out on your farm?”
“Yehp… ton’s o’ em. Black un’s and brawn un’s eden ‘ad a few whait un’s…”
“hmmmm… de were. Dun ‘ave em any mer…”
“No? Why not?”
“Whell… ye sees… sumptin’ ‘appened. Un day dis ‘ere ‘igh class lahdy come by ye sees. She got’s lats and lats o’ coinses too. Flashed dem coinses at me son she did. She gone wanted ‘erself a rabbitses cloak ye sees? Rheal soft… dat cloak be rheal soft… der’s a problem d’ough. Needs ‘er a lats o’ rabbitses to maken a whole cloak.”
Thea listened to the woman and nodded slowly even her lips pressed together and she could see the tiny little bunnies hopping around in her mind, their noses twitching as some noble woman bent down and let them sniff her fingers, those bunnies bringing their dark trusting eyes up at the woman.
“Needs ‘er a lats o’ rabbitses…” the blue hair around the woman’s face moved as she nodded her head in agreement with what Thea was thinking. “but… der twas lats of coinses… so me son took dem rabbitses an ‘e skinied dem. Ghave ‘er all de fhurs, an’ so now she gots a rabbitses cloak… rheal soft… yeh know?”
Sadly Thea nodded her head and took the paper thin hand of the old woman into her own and held it lightly.
“Sad fer de rabbitses… but… did ye know ders mer? Ye sees dhear… dem rabbitses twas on de farm fer a ree’son. Me famlee raise ‘em, we khep ‘em te let de chil’ren play wit ‘em, an’ de whoul’ sleep in wit de ot’er anmals in de winter, khep ‘em warm… we also khilled some, te eat when de ‘unt went bad, we’d use der fhur fer our own clothin’ te khep warm too… de was part o’ de farm… but now de gone. We didan’t even know jus’ how muchin we needs dem ei’der… not till de all gone… maybe if un ‘o us ‘ad think it through an says sumptin’…”
For as soft as the old woman’s features were there was something sharp to the dark blue eyes that despite the fact that Thea knew no longer worked she still felt as if they had suddenly turned to look straight into her. As the conversation fell into silence Thealora let her eyes drift across the hall toward the stained glass window bearing the figure of a woman in a blue dress her hands crossed, palms open to those before her.
I think I hear you Lady Mirros… and I thank you, I thank you as always for your guidance. Stay with me please. Stay with me tonight for I might your strength…
And so it came to pass that when night settled upon the city a figure draped in a long white cloak moved through the darkness. Her hands clasped tightly together before her, her heart pounding in her ears as she approached the seemingly abandoned house.
Posted on 2009-12-03 at 17:11:21.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: She's Back...
Cay was feeling warm as well, despite the coolness of the stone box they were held in. Unlike, Nyx, her warmth was not the effect of herbs but of his words on her. Since she had arrived at the cemetery her eyes had been smoldering. When he chuckled and picked up that two letter word she had dropped the twin embers flared up, by the time he had gotten to the word ‘melamin’ the fires had risen to the roaring crackles of funeral pyres. Her skin was flushed and warm to the touch and as always the rise and fall of her breast with her breathing gave away the emotions that she managed to almost hide on her face.
When it seemed that he had finished she got back to her feet fully.
“Nyx Shyndyn…” she began by pointing a finger at him as she stepped closer and narrowed those burning eyes on his own. If he was wondering where the Cay he knew and loved had gone she was back now, “let’s start off with this: I am not your melamin.
“I am also not so slow as to be unaware of what you did for me today. I screwed up” the admission brought a twist to her features, “and you covered my arse. Which is why I am here and not sitting in Dmitrova’s office explaining how yesterday afternoon you got me confused with a horse and tried to have me by force in an alley, getting in a few good hits…” and she touched the blossom on her cheek, “before I managed to kick you off at which point you ran off with your tail between your legs like the yellow-slant-eyed elf that you are and that I haven’t seen you since. That I’d like to skin you myself if you were responsible for the massacre down town because it certainly didn’t make my job any easier, with Kharinya holed up in her bedroom most of the day.
“Or, perhaps, why I was not stalking out your little crypt here with half the Imperial Guard at my back. I could be a real hero if I went to the street right now and started screaming ‘Murderer’ at the top of my lungs…” her hand, not her voice, rose to the air to elaborate this point as she spoke.
“I’ve” the finger pointed to her own chest now, “got a lot of choices here Nyx, and don’t think that I don’t know it. I also know that I wouldn’t have any of them if it wasn’t for what you did. I know damn well what you did for me…”
I’m just still trying to figure out why you did it for me
“And I’m not ungrateful for it either, which is why I’m here. Dmitrova would sell me to a butcher if the price was right. Yes I want to be a Hellkite, but very few people have stuck out their necks for me Nyx… You said earlier that this is a business partnership we’ve been forced into. When the moment came you acted like a partner to me… you backed me up… and now I’m offering that in return.
“So I’m only going to say this once… and since you seem to be a bit slow tonight, I’m going to say it in your guttural tongue.” She leaned a bit closer to him and with the bite still in her voice and her jaw fixed tightly in its socket she spoke, “Lle mema amin tu?”
Posted on 2009-12-03 at 15:43:39.
Topic: Season of the Witch Q/A
Subject: Ion Baby...
*points to Ion's title*
It says you're a 'Veteran Visitor' which means you've posted a TON... and around here that does mean more than how many day's you've been around. Stop calling yourself a newbie
Posted on 2009-12-03 at 15:06:50.
Topic: Season of the Witch Q/A
Subject: Begining with an execution!
Oh... wait... wrong character. Grr...
Started up my post, and yes let me tell you it is quiet the challenge going from writing up for Cayrimsa to writting up for Thealora.
Cay would easily let Nyx chop Thea into tiny bits and eat her for breakfast I think.
But it's coming along... Just have to keep remembering that Thea doesn't like blood...
Posted on 2009-12-02 at 21:14:57.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: Did she just say what I think she said?
“Very well,” he responded, his gaze breaking from her again, just long enough to complete a quick scan of the graves between where they stood and the mausoleum… he tipped his head in the direction of that slowly crumbling edifice, “follow me, then.”
Palms still in the air she took a moment to really look him over. His, apparent, willingness to trust her so quickly was not expected and it shifted the suspicion into her court. She had watched him approach her, yellow eyes glowing in the growing dark as he aimed an arrow at her heart. As usual her face betrayed little, but her slow controlled breathing revealed much more, not only about her, but also about him. The events of the day clung to him still, the sweat, blood, tainted water, hay and manure. His gait was slightly off and a tear in his pants suggested the cause. While she had spent the day lounging in a barn he had been running around the city in a fight for his very life. Slowly she lowered her hands and followed him.
He returned the arrow and bow to their places as he guided her to the rear of the crypt but said nothing. Nor did he speak as he set about sliding the stones away from the heretofore secret entrance to the thing. Once the last stone was out of the way, though, Nyx gestured to the hole in the wall… “After you, arwenamin,” he winked as she turned her gaze on him fully, “that way you can be sure I’ll not try and take your head as you crawl in behind me, yes?”
Crouching down she let a small wry smile tug at the corner of her lips, “Taking heads seems to be something you are rather skilled at it would seem.” Then she disappeared into the crypt.
Rising she blinked a few times as her pupils adjusted to the low light. It was a small stone box that she had come out into. A tomb.
Had you expected that he had cleaned it out and put in a decent parlor? I’d imagine he doesn’t have guests often. And is it that much worse than your hovel? You live above a pile of rotting fish, this place at least smells better.
She gave a slight nod to that truism as she stepped further into the room and away from the hole where he would be coming from shortly. To her right was the massive sarcophagus that had held the prior occupant. Human no doubt, for elves would not allow their kind to be interred above ground, and the markings that were not so dulled with age that she could determine them were to Naxir. To the left granite pillars rose out of the floor a few feet before ending in ornate platforms, a bit of broken pottery on the floor suggested they had once supported possessions of the dead. A sturdy iron door that had been installed to keep out vagrants and thieves (a noble but futile attempt) had not been opened since the day of the funeral no doubt, the thin stained glass windows that flanked it had darkened with grime and no longer held the beauty they once had, nothing did in death. Nyx had obviously been living here though. A black mark and ashes on the tile floor suggested a controlled fire, the sarcophagus’s lid had been jarred open and the years of dust that should coat everything was disturbed. It was cold and still in this room, and it fit Nyx perfectly.
Behind her she heard a scuffle and watched as Nyx crawled out of the hole and pulled himself up.
“Well… welcome. Not quite as spacious as your place, yes? The previous occupant did leave it in immaculate condition, though..." he flashed another grin at her before shoving the lid off the sarcophagus. A grating noise filled the space.
What am I doing here?
The smile was not returned to him, instead she raised a delicate brow toward him and took a few steps back until she rested against one of the stone pillars. Things were not going as she had expected them to. Not that she truly knew what she expected would happen. Her decision to wait for him in the cemetery had been rather impulsive and was guided by a voice in her head she rarely listened to. Suspicion, anger, annoyance, or even a strict business professionalism was more what she had expected. These casual comments, grins and even a loose wink she had not expected.
Maybe he fell and hit his head… or maybe he’s simply trying to warm you into a sense of trust and will pounce and kill you as soon as you turn your back.
Silently she watched as he began to pull weapons out of the shadows of his garb. Only when he spoke again did she realize that she should have said something in this space.
“So… what of the Bolstoii girl?” there was almost a laugh in his voice.
Business… yes there is business at hand, best get your mind on that
“Kharinya, Kiki to her friends, kitten to her lover. She’s probably around seventeen or eighteen years old, on the fleshy side, she has high taste in clothing and from what I can gather she spoiled rotten and lacking in intelligence. Apparently she has been trying to gather cargo manifests for shipments in and out of Avenon, although she’s been rather unsuccessful. The wife of a senator died recently, the official story is she chocked during dinner, rumors say poison, she was helping the family with that. Today she was obviously restricted due to the security concerns her father had. She is also working to get a list of guests attending her mother’s birthday party sometime next week. All of this information she is relaying to her lover. A full blooded elven slave belonging to her father; the stable boy. I think he knows something about the death of the senator’s wife by his reaction to the news, he had been out of town until today. They have difficulties getting around someone named Corr in the household, probably another elven slave.” She goes over her findings with the business tone she had expected him to have been using.
“You are wanted by… everyone. Guards are in force, and I’d imagine that they are not the only web that the Empire has set out to find you. Staying in Drasnia could be difficult for you. I’ve been at the Bolstoii manse most of the day, came directly here afterwards…” She paused here.
Ask him… ask him why he did it. Why did he risk his life to kill those people and provide you with an escape when you were acting so foolishly? Ask him!
That twitch in her lips again as the voice rang through her head. Instead she took a breath and spoke the next sentence just slow enough for him to catch that the words she said were not said by accident.
“What do you think we should do now?”
That simple one-syllable, two letter word. In normal conversations it is said without pause or hesitation and is often overlooked. Between the two of them, however, it carries a weight that seems to actually press down on Cay as she settles a bit more onto the pillar behind her once it is said.
Posted on 2009-12-02 at 16:33:49.
Topic: Loaded Dice #35: A Dead End...
I'm sure that you can talk one of your minions into doing that for you. But it will cost you...
Posted on 2009-12-02 at 14:59:41.
Topic: RDInnsider - The March Issue Is Here!
As many of you have noticed we have just published our first newsletter.
We appologize if you have gotten it more than once, or not at all yet, but the word from above is that some technical difficulties were seen and it is being worked out. We will be adding a link on this glorious website asap for those of you having difficulties opening said newsletter.
That being said, I do hope you all enjoy it.
I, the editor, am putting up this thread so that you can comment on this issue and pose your suggestions for future issues. (You can always send a PM to me or another staff member too if you'd rather )
Oh... and I know I said it before but I'm going to say it again, thanks a million to everyone who helped this first one come into existance.
Posted on 2009-12-02 at 03:25:03.
Edited on 2009-12-02 at 03:26:19 by Merideth
Topic: Hey - nice newsletter :)
Subject: Newsletter away...
Yes... it seems there has been some technical difficulties getting it out to everyone but I have faith in the supreme powers that be that it will get worked out shortly. So stay tuned!
And I am so glad to see that it has already brought back a shining face from the past back to us, even if it is breifly.
Operation Newsletter: Successful.
I will post up a thread in the Common Room for anyone who has questions/comments/suggestions.
Posted on 2009-12-02 at 03:19:53.
Topic: Loaded Dice #35: A Dead End...
Good point Al.
How many votes do you think we could get if there was nudity?
Although, come to think of it... those skeleton's aren't wearing much more than cloaks...
Posted on 2009-12-01 at 19:03:46.
Topic: Loaded Dice #35: A Dead End...
The evil-undead-no-one-talk-about-him-uncle to the Tooks?
Black sheep of the family... which impressive considering the Tooks... but... every family has at least one you know.
Posted on 2009-12-01 at 15:50:33.
Topic: Loaded Dice #35: A Dead End...
It reminded me of Eol... awww...
Posted on 2009-12-01 at 14:39:00.
Topic: Loaded Dice #35: A Dead End...
A silent strip, with LOTS of undead!
I'm a HUGE fan of the tongue sticking out of the mouth of the zombie guy on that last panel. hehe...
Posted on 2009-12-01 at 14:28:58.
Topic: Confusion regarding spell lists
Look it's someone else's turn with the dunce cap!
I think I was still wearing mine from when I asked if anyone knew of a good place to find an Elven/English translator... and had to remove my foot from my mouth when Eol pointed out the one in our vault.
Posted on 2009-11-30 at 21:19:01.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
A northern wind had picked up as the day faded into evening. The soft purple’s of sunset draped across the world and made even a cemetery nestled within the dank bowels of this god forsaken city appear beautiful. Against the angular skyline created by the houses of the dead an angel perched upon the corner of a stone casket, tonight a guardian of those buried here. The casket itself had been set above the earth but one corner had begun to sink down into the soft ground below it which caused it to jut crookedly upwards. No doubt the contents had slid to toward the earth and now huddled at the bottom in the dark simply awaiting the passage of time that would someday return them to the state at which they had begun.
Against the purple shroud of sunset the angel’s eyes burned with amber fire as they watched the inky shadows around her. So far the only thing that had moved was the bit of paper smelling of greasy meat that dervished around her feet. A single thought was fueling the twin fires of her eyes, why did he do it?
Her argument with the human woman had been foolish to say the very least. Cay had been hungry, tired and distracted and the woman became an easy target for her to lash out at, and she had done just that despite the fact that it was unwise. That is until Nyx stepped in. The gentle touch of his fingers against her shoulder and then his eyes looking into hers had brought her back to reality.
She could not remember the exact words that he had spoken. She did remember that he had fallen into an act she had seen before, pretending to a mere slave and in doing so had provided her with an escape. Part of the reason she could remember so few of his actual words was because she had been so transfixed with his eyes at the time.
Those golden almonds had stared into her and what she found there made her knees feel like they were made of water. On their surface swam annoyance and warning which she had expected to find, honestly it was what she deserved to find. Louder than that, however, was a plea. He was asking her to leave, almost begging her to leave for her own sake.
Truly it made no sense. He should have left her there to be consumed by her own irrational hatred and let the cards play out from there. Or perhaps even pulled her off, bowing apologies to the human woman and publically embarrassing Cay as he promised to chastise her for her stupidity, once again bring her to her knees in some dark alley while berating her. Instead he had supported her and gave her cover to escape from the disaster she had just begun unscathed.
For a moment she had stood there looking into his eyes confused with the knowledge she was being given. When he finally ripped his eyes away her decision had been made. Throwing her nose to the sky she forced her watery knees to begin taking her away from the scene. The last thing she heard with any clarity from it was Nyx.
While she is as beautiful – may she forgive me for saying so – as any of the women of my kind that I have ever seen, she most assuredly is not an elf.
By the time she had reached the little gate that opened to an alleyway between the Bolstoii manse and its nearest neighbor the screams had begun. She never looked back.
It had been nearly two decades since she had last been to the Bolstoii manse, but things were still relatively as she remembered. A loose brick in the wall around the estate provided enough of a foothold to get her over the wall and a few bales of hay on the other side padded her fall. The screams in the street had continued while she found her way from the hay bales to the upper story of the stables.
There were several small windows hidden behind old crates and decaying furniture on this level. From one of the corner windows provided her with a view of the main street and the front yard of the estate. The roof of the neighboring estate blocked out the area of the road where she had encountered the woman and her child. The roof was not large enough to block out the crowd that was forming there, however, and the mass of guards that were desperately trying to regain control of the situation.
No where amongst them did she notice the flutter of Nyx’s onyx cloak and she found herself hoping that meant he had escaped. Out of the corner of her eye she did notice movement in the yard. A tight triangle of people were gathered there. Cay watched as the tall elf who made up the point of the triangle called a guard out of the crowd and conversed with him. The other two points were conversing with each other. One was Styopa, even older Cay recognized the broad expanse of his shoulders and the dark sheen of his hair. The woman he spoke to wore a blue dress and had a familial look to her face, she was too young to be his wife, and logic suggested that the girl was Kharinya. Kharinya seemed upset about whatever her father was saying to her.
From this distance Cayrimsa could not hear the conversation going on below, but it ended after a few minutes with the girl turning red and storming back into the house. Styopa consulted with the tall elven man and the guard before heading out into the street while the elf stiffly followed the girl back into the house.
Several hours passed before Cay caught sight of Kharinya again. The time moved slowly for her. Minutes passed between dancing particles of hay caught in band of light from the window. Constellations sparkled in the sun and then fell to the floor like lost dreams. Inside the barn it was quiet save for the noises coming from the horses below her. Outside the barn was another issue entirely.
The whole city was tense. Guards stalked the streets in numbers that were certainly not typical for this time of day. They stopped nearly any elf who had the misfortune of being out, they were questioned and sometimes searched. Cay watched as one, not Nyx she knew by the gait, who had thrown a black cloak over his shoulders to keep the cold out was overwhelmed by three of Drasnia’s finest and drug into an alley. Long after the guards had returned to their patrols the elf had not crawled back out. Her fingers brushed against the blossom on her cheek, and the pit that formed in her stomach was not due to hunger.
In dust constellations continued to sparkle in the sun. Teu’kelytha drifted into sight, the sheen of the merciful blade glittered in her eyes before burying itself in shadows. The sight of it once again filled her mouth with the earthy sweetness of elven blood. The memory she had been trying to avoid rushed back before she could hold it at bay.
Kill him the voice had commanded over the screams.
She shook her head and looked over at her work. Sidhion writhed upon the grass. Starlight had turned his naked frame a bluish white color that contrasted so beautifully with the blackness of his blood as it seeped through his fingers. She imagined that it looked just as black as it dripped down her own chin and onto the milky curves of her own bare body. The blood was seeping from the side of his head, where a few moments ago one of his graceful ears had been. Her eyes searched the grass looking for the ear but she couldn’t make it out of the shadows, likely because it too was covered in the black ichors.
Kill him… the voice repeated as she pulled her eyes off her victim and into the velvety darkness above.
“I’m not a murderer…” she whispered back to it.
He deserves it for what he has done. Kill him. Stop his weak screaming and cut off the pleas for mercy that come from him. Severe his thread, Cay…
Her eyes had closed and in them she saw herself rising up and walking over to Sidhion. He would scream louder as he saw her approach, eyes wide as saucers and reflecting the Threadcutter’s Axe at her. It would not be quick, she would revel in his pain and his death. Baring down upon him as her teeth tore into his throat. Another rush of elven blood accosting her senses as it coursed over her tongue, down her throat and splashed across her delicate skin. His delicate fingers would pull at her uselessly as his screams turned into gargles. As the blood slowed she would rise only to fall upon fresh flesh ripping open another wound and bringing forth the black warmth that awaited her. She would take from him what he had offered, ecstasy, but not as he intended. The final elixir of life would drain from him and with it she could feel Prien caress her, her body shivering as she screamed. When her own scream faded into quiet echoes she would rise and look down at her first kill, only the whispers of her new found lover and God could be heard against the silence of the night. A silence that surrounded her completely.
Her eyes opened and she looked up into the sky, “And what if I enjoy those screams? What if I wish for him to suffer? To remember forever what I have done to him?”
Cayrimsa! I have ordered you to Kill Him! the voice grew louder and more insistent as she defied it.
“No!” She screamed at the stars before rising and moving over toward the huddled elf. A kick into his ribs brought Sidhion’s eyes up to Cay’s.
“I am not your kind, nor shall I ever be and never again shall I be confused about where I belong, and who I belong with. Thank you for making it so clear.”
The voice in her head stilled, but the screams continued. They followed her as she got dressed under the watchful eyes of Uelereene and walked away from the life she had had, and toward the cities of men.
Lost in memories she had not noticed that below her a carriage had pulled into the stables, led by two fine horses and a young man. While it had escaped her attention it had not escaped her target’s attention.
“Aelion!” The girl’s voice brought her back to the now and Cay slid herself toward the edge of the platform she was on so she could peer down at what was transpiring below.
Kiki had disappeared into the arms of a plainly dressed elven boy and the two were sharing a rather amorous kiss. Cay rolled her eyes.
They are in love, but you wouldn’t know anything about that would you Cay? her elven half teased.
A rather familiar snarl was all the reply it got.
The kiss finally ended and with a giggled sigh conversation continued. “Oh… Aelion, I’ve so missed you.”
“And I you, my kitten.”
Oh please… is this to be my punishment? Listening to these two coo over each other?
“I was worried. Coming in the guards stopped me. I heard about what happened… raced the horses back here as quickly as I could to make sure you were alright…” Aelion had continued, reaching out a hand to touch Kiki’s cheek.
“I’m fine. It was awful though. Just up the street. That poor woman and her child. They don’t even know what provoked it. Some crazed point ear…” a pause to bite her lip and lower her eyes, “I’m sorry Aelion… you know I don’t mean that. It was just so shocking! They say the murderer has eyes like yours… another horse elf. And so soon Lady Olsta’s death too. It’s been terrible Aelion!” Rather dramatically she wailed this and buried her head against her lover elf.
Aelion paused for a moment but then wrapped his arms fully around her. “shhh… it’s alright kitten. I promise, I’m here now. And what is this about Lady Olsta’s death?”
Kiki’s ample form hitched with her breaths, “Did you know her? Oh… it was so tragic! Chocked during dinner two nights ago… she’s to be buried tomorrow. And those poor children… Senator Olsta is simply beside himself. Although I imagine that with what happened this afternoon he’s found something to focus on again… I’ve been over at the manse helping with the preparations. Father said it was best that a Bolstoii be present.”
Slowly Aelion nodded and ran his fingers through her hair. “Hmm… that does sound terrible. Kitten?” his voice changed some as he moved on to another subject, “Kitten did you manage to get those manifests?”
Above them Cay perked up some and leaned forward to make sure she catches whatever is being said now.
“Oh Aelion!” Kiki wailed again. “I tried! I swear to you I did. I was headed to the office when I found out about Lady Olsta! I had to go immediately of course, those poor children! And… oh… Aelion please forgive me but I completely forgot about it yesterday. I was at the florist arranging for the flowers all day, it was a mess, simply a mess! And of course I decided to get in the order for my mother’s birthday gala next week while I was there, at least we will have a week to sort out the mess for that instead of two days. They kept putting daisies in the arrangements. Daisies! At a funeral! Can you believe it!? They had to redo half of them to put in orchids instead. Orchids are so much more appropriate for funerals. But… at any rate. I tried this morning too, but then… then those murders! Oh! Aelion I did try! You have to believe me. But father refused to let me out of the house, for my own safety! I would have tried to sneak out, but he told Corr. You know I’m no good sneaking around Corr. I didn’t dare risk it. So I’ve been here all day. Just waiting for you. I’m so sorry Aelion. I know you were counting me I do… please forgive me!”
By the time Kharinya was done expressing her own incompetence through this dramatic plea Cay was dreadfully bored, and surprisingly it looked like Aelion might be as well. He sighed and patted her back.
“It’s alright kitten. Tomorrow? Do you think you can get them tomorrow? And the guest list for your mother’s birthday as well.”
“I promise. Tomorrow… I’ll get them tomorrow. I am sorry I don’t have them already. I hope it isn’t… it isn’t too much of a problem for you.” She had raised her head and looked at Aelion through her tears.
“I… no… just… I have to have them tomorrow. Anything going in or out of Avenon… I need those manifests.”
“I promise.” She nodded to him.
“Alright…” He kissed her again and when he pulled back she was smiling again. “I should go find your father, let him examine the horse I found.”
“Oh… he’s out. Been out all day. I think this whole murder business has got him tied up.” A sly smile slipped over her, “so… we have some time…”
A laugh escaped from Aelion and he pulled her closer. “hmmm… seems you have missed me.” He leaned in and whispered something in her ear and with a giggle she nodded her agreement to it. The two then disappeared from sight as they walked together under the platform that Cay was secreted on.
With the knowledge she had just gleaned she prepared to slip out of the stable, but was stopped when she realized that the two had not left. Instead Kharinya’s giggles could be heard just below Cay’s feet. Wide eyed she stopped in her tracks and a look of disgust washed over her as the giggles turned into quiet moans.
Oh Dear! Punishment indeed! Wasn’t it bad enough I had to watch them kiss? Must I listen to…this!
Your only jealous love. They say elves make wonderful lovers…
“Aelion…” Kharinya’s voice whispered from below.
Ugghhh… this just isn’t worth it! she curled her hand into a fist again, perhaps the pain would take her away.
Take you away to where Cay? Where do you go for solace? You have nowhere to go. And it really only bothers you because you are jealous. You could have had that…
No! It wasn’t like that. Sidhion was not going to love me, he was going to rape me.
Liar. You went out with him into that field willingly, you let it go so far and then you got scared. He was drinking… he made a move… you never said no… you never gave him a chance to pull back on his own accord… you bit his ear off.
He wasn’t going to stop… she responded less confidently.
To her left she noticed that the outside wall of the stable had begun to shake rhythmically. Her eyes closed to the noises below.
You never gave him the chance. And besides… I wasn’t talking about Sidhion. That is ancient history. If he ever could have loved you that chance was destroyed…
“ehhhh” the noise actually fell from her lips and she could take it no more. From the urgent shaking of the wall and the grunts and moans coming from below she figured the two were well occupied and made for her escape from the stable. On her way out she caught a glimpse of the two. Human and elven flesh pressed warmly against each other in a bed of hay.
That’s how you came to be isn’t it sweet Cay? Some forbidden tryst a few feet from a pile of manure. Likely should have that symbol you brand into others emblazoned on your own skin…
Just let me be! Just… let… me be…
On the street she did her best to avoid the trolling guards.
Where are you going Cay?
Dmitrova. I have a report to give don’t I?
Come now… you can’t be serious. You’re going to betray Nyx?
I owe him nothing.
Her eyes drifted back to where they had last parted. An elven woman crouched on her knees there; a bucket beside her and a heavy brush in her hands, the suds that trailed behind the brush were pink. It would be ages before the cobblestones gave up the blood they had soaked up.
You owe him a great deal Cay… that elven voice whispered.
The truth of that whisper had guided her to the cemetery, and now she waited. The north wind blew through the angel’s dress, but the goose bumps that crawled over her skin were due to the thoughts that wracked her soul.
Posted on 2009-11-30 at 19:38:48.
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