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Topic: The Morphing Game
Subject: What one does when tossed off a building for calling me old...
Posted on 2010-01-12 at 13:57:13.
Topic: Last one to post wins - Part II
Who're you callin' old, whippersnapper?!?!?
Go to your room, young man!
I am NOT old... I'm well seasoned!
Posted on 2010-01-12 at 13:53:16.
Topic: Fantasy/Scifi art by Arthur Wang
Subject: Very nice stuff...
...Loved the work you've got showcased on your site.
I'm Eol, by the way... Welcome to the Asylum... I'd facelick ya but I might still be contagious.
Ya got one comin'!
Posted on 2010-01-12 at 01:03:31.
Topic: The Would You Rather Game
Who puts ketchup on hot dogs? You're supposed to have mustard, chili, and cheese! So... brussel sprouts... pull my finger.
Sanctuary or Liavek?
Posted on 2010-01-11 at 13:56:31.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: An evening's entertainment (part 2)
A pair of ancient silver eyes lifted from the span of deep, blue-violet fabric, pulled taut across the embroidery hoop that was held in one long-fingered hand, and turned to regard the flame that danced chaotically atop the candle that was lighting her work. A knowing smile spread across her lips as the flame flickered this way and that for a moment, trying to lick out in all directions at once, and then, whirled in around the wick before, finally, settling itself and resuming its gentle and purposeful swaying. Those argent eyes fell back to the hoop as she finished her latest stitch and secured the needle in the fabric where she would start her next. Resigning from the needle, her hand moved to gather up the rest of the cloth, which spilled like a midnight waterfall from the edges of the hoop and into her lap, and set the project aside before her gaze turned toward the far end of the room.
“I had expected you a bit earlier, Steppe Son,” Taellyn smiled into the shadows that draped those depths as she rose gracefully from her chair, “I was beginning to think that you weren’t coming at all…” She glided toward a dresser, retrieved a kerchief from one of its drawers and a pitcher of water that sat on its top, then soaking the square of cotton in the water, turned towards where she knew Nyx was waiting; “…but, I see that you have been working, which explains away your tardiness, I suppose…”
“Tardiness?” The mith’ganni’s eyes flickered into her view, now, catching the light from the candle across the room and reflecting it back at her from the penumbra near the staircase.
“Mhmm,” she nodded, extending the damp kerchief into the shadows where he stood, “As I said, I expected you earlier, therefore, you are late. Now, wipe that coal from your face, hang your cloak on the peg, there, and come in so we can talk. The hour is late and I should like to get some rest ere I open the shop in the morning.”
“Forgive me for upsetting your schedule, crone,” Nyx quipped, taking the cloth from her and using it to wipe the charcoal and weapon-black painted skull from his features before slipping out of his cloak and hanging it where the elder elf had indicated.
“The forgiveness is in the fee, boy,” Taellyn smirked in reply, waving a hand as she returned to her chair and took up the hoop again, “I am charging you for the reading, of course, and adding another three coppers for being late.”
“Bound and determined to bleed me dry, aren’t you, Dreamweaver,” the mith’ganni chuckled as he padded across the floor and settled onto a bench near where the elder wood-elf sat.
“Perhaps I am, Steppe Son,” Taellyn smiled, her eyes twinkling as they flicked in his direction and then returned to her needlework, “It isn’t as if you spend much of what you earn elsewhere, though, is it?”
The assassin, using a clean corner of the charcoal and oil smirched rag, now, to scrub drying blood and dirt from his hands.
Taellyn pulled another half dozen stitches, paused and studied the narrow, blood-red point of the star she was creating, and then looked in Nyx’s direction, again; “So, you slept, then?”
“Uma,” he nodded faintly, feigning interest in rubbing a spot of blood from a fingernail, “amin kaime… vithel kaimele…”
“So you said,” the seamstress smiled, her fingers working the needle once more, “Are you going to tell me about these dreams, then, or am I simply to guess at what you might have seen? I’ll have to add another fee if I am to read your mind as well as try and interpret whatever it has boiled up…”
“Pach, woman,” Nyx scowled, his eyes lifting to squint at her in the face of her chiding, “I am coming to that! As old as you are I would expect you have to learned some patience over the years.”
“Time is money, Steppe Son. Is that not what you have told me in the past?”
He offered a sardonic smirk and a shake of his head. “I suppose it is,” he conceded, finally, setting the rag aside and letting the indignant expression to melt from his features.
“Eithel san’?” she prodded, not lifting her eyes from her needlework, now.
“It began with the stars,” Nyx murmured after moment spent contemplating exactly how to start the retelling, “I was on the docks, watching the sky…”
Taellyn chuckled softly. “It began before the stars, Steppe Son,” she said, “but I understand…”
He fixed her with a look that melded perplexity and annoyance almost seamlessly; “Mani?”
“Kai,” Taellyn grinned, taking her fingers from the needle just long enough to brush a long braid back over her shoulder and to subtly wave her interruption from the air. “Amin hiraetha,” she added as her eyes and fingers returned to her embroidery, “Vora.”
“As I was saying,” Nyx continued, somewhat uneasily, after blinking at the woman for a second and pushing an errant lock of his mane back over his own shoulder, “I was on the docks, stargazing. All of the constellations in the sky were also in the water… like it was not water, at all, but another sky, yes?... so there were twins of them all… But there was one, and that one alone, that appeared three times; once in the sky, another in the water, and the last, beside me, carved into the dock…”
“Not at your feet, Steppe Son? Beside you?”
“Well,” Nyx’s brow furrowed as he tried to imagine why she had challenged that particular bit of syntax, “it was a constellation that I had carved into the decking, and I was standing on the dock, but… yes… beside me… not at my feet… not the way you said it.”
“Very well,” she nodded, still not looking up from her tailoring, “Go on.”
“…As the dream went on, I noticed that some stars grew dimmer and lost their twins. Then dawn broke and all of the stars… except for the ones beside me… gave way to the sun…”
The retelling of the dream had taken longer than Nyx had imagined it would have. Taellyn had regularly interrupted his narration to ask odd questions and those questions had caused him to recall details of the dream that he had not though important enough to voice at first. So it was that when all was said and done, he had recounted every minute detail of the reverie to the old Dreamweaver and, in doing so, felt as if he had just dreamt it again and, when he at last finished the retelling, he felt as if he had just awakened from it again, too.
This second awakening is no less disconcerting than the first, either, the Twilight elf griped inwardly when Taellyn chose to fall into silence, apparently becoming lost in her needlework, for a long while. After all of your interruptions, I thought you would have been more anxious to tell me I have gone mad or worse.
“Re naa saivanima,” she smiled broadly just before he lost patience with waiting for her to say something or even bother to look in his direction.
“What?!” Nyx looked completely befuddled, now, “What are you talking about?”
“Your constellation, Nyx,” Taellyn laughed, tying a knot in the thread after finishing a final stitch, “She is very beautiful, isn’t she?”
“My constellation? I…” the mith’ganni blinked, uncertain as to what the woman was getting at and dumbstruck that she had called him by his name. Taellyn hadn’t called Nyx by his name since before either of them had come to Drasnia… “…I do not understand what…”
The elder elf, still giggling softly and her eyes sparkling with a warm, knowing light, shook her head and snapped the needle from the thread. “Sometimes, Nyx Shyndyn, I honestly believe you might be as dumb as you are dangerous,” she sighed, turning the hoop so that he could see the results of her stitching. The constellation from his dream… the only one that had stayed constant throughout the duration of the vision… just as he had described it to her was beautifully worked in fine threads of colors and varied as were the colors of the actual stars they represented. “Your constellation. Your partner. Your Etellenya.”
Nyx’s eyes went wide, the moon-yellow orbs melting to molten gold as he recognized the sigil for what it was, and he couldn’t keep his mouth from falling open in awe as he marveled at the accuracy and intricacy of the needlework. Almost without him having willed it to happen, he leaned forward and stretched out his hand to touch the embroidered pattern of stars. Then, when his fingertips came to rest on the graceful arc of the star-trail, his brow furrowed again and he tore his gaze away and found Taellyn’s silver eyes… she had already been working on this before he had even arrived… was working an image from his mind into shadowy-purple cloth before he had even described it to her. Had she somehow known his dream before he had shared it?
“Do not look so surprised, Steppe Son,” she smiled at him, “Despite the apparent complexities that your mind refuses to set aside, it’s not at all that complicated, is it? I knew the answer to your dream when you came into the shop this afternoon and, while I dearly loved listening to you do so – I haven’t heard that kind of feeling in your voice since you won Lyssa’s hand and rode all the way to Min’shar to tell me about it – I didn’t even have to hear you speak it to know…”
The rather sheepish smile that had begun to creep across Nyx’s lips faded a bit at the mention of Lyssa, and the almost warm, pinkish flush that had bloomed on his sharp cheeks flared to an angrier hue for just an instant. His yellow eyes narrowed and peeled off from Taellyn’s silver orbs and fell on the embroidered stars even as his fingertips fell away.
“She said that she’s known you for a bit longer than a week, Steppe Son,” Taellyn whispered softly, setting the embroidered work aside and, for the first time in more than thirty years, reached out to take the mith’ganni’s hand in one of hers and used the other to turn his eyes to hers, again, “how long have you known her?”
“Ten years,” he said after a moment, “perhaps… longer…”
“Why has she only known you for just over a week, then?”
“We never worked together before that,” he shrugged.
“You watched her all that time and waited until, by some twist of fate, you ended up working together before you spoke to her?”
“I did not have to watch her long to know that she would want nothing to do with me,” Nyx scowled, slipping his hand from hers and backing away from the touch of her fingers on his cheek, “she despises elves to the point that she hewed away the points of her own ears…”
“And even knowing that, you continued to watch?”
Nyx’s answering nod was faint enough that only a subtle bobbing of his mane betrayed the action.
“Psssh! Yes you do, Nyx! You just won’t let yourself say it outside the confines of your own thick skull!”
Nyx’s eyes flashed a deadly warning as Taellyn’s voice rose, his jaw tightening as he glowered at her… The woman’s firm visage didn’t change in the least, though, and she continued to stare back at him… “What does any of this has to do with my dream,” he rumbled after a moment.
“Everything,” she said, “She is the dream, don’t you see that? She is what you came here to find…”
His mouth opened to protest but she silenced him with the raising of a finger.
“…You can continue to tell yourself, Steppe Son, that you were drawn here to visit your wrath on the round-ears where they breed… you can continue to tell yourself that you do what you do out of retribution for what they did to your clan and out of reverence to that horrid god you follow… and, Nyx Shyndyn, you can continue to tell yourself that the love you sought to find when you first turned your hate-filled gaze west was supposed to be Lyssa, but you and I both know that you don’t actually believe that to be true any longer, don’t we?”
She waited for a moment, giving him an opportunity to answer but the only reply the mith’ganni offered was a single, slow blink of his shimmering eyes.
“Lyssa died before she left the plains, Nyx. She was not the type that would allow a slave brand or any sort of ‘training’ to change who and what she saw to it that she wouldn’t have to… You didn’t come here for Lyssa…The love you came here to find, the love to whom the stars have been guiding you all this time, is your ‘constellation’. The stars in the skies, Nyx, and the stars in your dreams are guideposts of the fates. Your finding this ‘constellation’ was fated and where it will lead, you, too, is also fated to be…”
The mith’ganni’s features had lost any hardness that his flaring anger had carved into them and he nodded in silent confirmation as Taellyn’s words, now, along with the myriad questions she had asked him while he recounted the dream to her, started to congeal into a final acceptance of the Dreamweaver’s interpretation… and of the fact that he had known the answer to it all along as well…
“Without one another, the both of you are alone, Steppe Son,” the ancient wood-elf said softly, “both of you without people or place… both of you with nothing to care for save for that dark anger and hatred that you each profess gives you purpose…”
Nyx rose to his feet, his eyes finally tracking away from Taellyn and falling, once more, on the threadworked constellation that sat atop the small table next to her and lingered there for a while before he offered the woman a nod and padded silently across the room to retrieve his cloak.
“…There is more purpose for the both of you than that,” Taellyn’s voice followed him into the shadows even as her hands took up the midnight cloth and began to free it from the confines of the embroidery hoop, “and, that, dear boy, is what your dream means. You belong to those stars. They guide you, give you purpose beyond the illusion that you have created for yourself, and, the fates have shown them to you because, that same constellation called you here and, as you may have guessed, will also guide you home…”
“How much do I owe you,” the mith’ganni’s voice whispered from the darkness, now beyond her sight.
“For the dream-reading? A silver and two coppers,” the wood-elf smiled, not bothering to watch the shadows where he lingered, her attentions instead fixed back on the blue-violet fabric she held in her hands, “But, if you bring me thirty gold before you leave Drasnia in the next days, I shall include it in the price, of this new coat I am making you… You’ll never get all of the blood out of that one, you know? And I think the needlework on this one has become more appropriate to what you are becoming, now, than the skull you paid me to work into that one.”
“Very well,” Nyx’s voice answered from somewhere down the staircase, “I shall return in two days or less, then. Namaarie, Dreamweaver.”
“Tenna’ ento lye omenta, Steppe Son. Go to your constellation, now, and see what the fates have spun for her, hm?”
The morning sun had yet to begin it’s climb into the sky when Nyx found himself nearing the tumble-down structure on the wharf called Vergal Sea Port and the clinging dark of the night and the storm it had borne made it all too easy for him to slip past the Hellkite shadow that huddled, cold, sleepy, and miserably stiff beneath the rickety stair that stretched up to the building’s third storey. He passed like a wraith through the canvas that hung from the door at the top of that stair, the bells that hemmed it not making the faintest of peals as he entered the apartment. His yellow eyes skimmed the murk of the tiny apartment and fell upon the loom and the new work upon it… See what the fates have spun for her? See what her dreams say?… lingered on the rose and moon that embraced each other in a star-laden night sky long enough for a smile to be worked onto his lips by the translation that his mind and Taellyn’s words gave to the imagery, and then, sought out the tapestry of the tree and the softly snoring bundle of blankets that lay beneath it.
He shrugged out of his still damp cloak, let it fall where he stood, and padded softly towards the pallet. “Quel amrun, elen en cormamin,” he whispered, sinking to sit on the edge of her bed as one hand reached out to feather fingers softly across a cheek of the sleeping face that peeked from the tangle of blankets, “Oio naa elealla alasse’.”
Posted on 2010-01-10 at 15:20:22.
Edited on 2010-01-10 at 15:22:20 by Eol Fefalas
Topic: Last one to post wins - Part II
...he was too busy tap-dancing to notice.
Also, *blink-blink* did I just see a Lysk post?
*wags a finger at Fuby* Where have you been, young lady?!?! Your Eol and I have been worried sick!!! Good to see you back on the boards, Kohai...
Posted on 2010-01-10 at 02:45:25.
Topic: Trilogy War Q/A
Subject: Congrats, Ayrn!
Best wishes, mate!
See you when you get back and settled.
Posted on 2010-01-09 at 23:43:24.
Topic: Trilogy War Q/A
Well, I do have multiple personalities to keep up with, so I suppose it could have been one of us!
~ I've got 5 people inside of me
Tryin to control my body.
I know they're there, without a doubt
Cuz every once in a while they all freak out
Like "Vat eez eet, vat can eet bee
Get wiz eet! Get Bizee!"
Don't laugh, cuz I can't control it
I try my best to hold it and hold it
But ya see, they've got the best of me
"Hoho, poopoo, merci, oui-oui!" ~
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 23:04:10.
Topic: Trilogy War Q/A
Sorry for the shorty post, btw... Meri beat me to the punch where Ulthy's thoughts were going, anyway...
The posts'll get better as I go, I hope.
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 22:41:15.
Topic: Trilogy War Q/A
...maybe you were at 54 yesterday... I'm not 100% sure of anything since I've been addled by medication these past few days.
Nope... wasn't me, though... ...or was it?
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 22:38:04.
Edited on 2010-01-08 at 22:44:47 by Eol Fefalas
Topic: Trilogy War Q/A
...tweren't nuffin, Meri.
Just callin it like I seed it, yeah?
P.S. Tann, I think you've been sitting on 55 smites for three or so days, actually, bruvvah!
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 22:13:23.
Topic: The Trilogy War
Ulthok was still studying the mirrors and turning the magic mouth's words over in his mind when Cor made his suggestion to stand party members before each of them based upon height... I think there's more to it than that, the halfling mused, how many times in our have we encountered one of these riddles and found the words to be less than half of the puzzle? And how many have we lost as result of heeding the words above the other clues?
He was prepared to voice his own concerns when Halia spoke up and gave voice to similar thoughts. He smiled at the woman's wisdom and offered a nod of appreciation as her words helped pull together his own musings into something more than they had been before he had heard them.
"I think the lady's right, here, Cor," he offered his concurrence, "It's gotta be more than height and balance... hadn't gotten as far as matching personalities with the elemental representations, myself, but now that she's said it, it makes sense."
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 21:58:19.
Topic: Trilogy War Q/A
Subject: Christmas may be over...
...but there are only 25 shopping days until Ground Hog's Day.
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 21:40:35.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: An evening's entertainment (part 1)
The pounding in Lord Reginald Lemoyne’s chest, now, far outweighed the painful, throbbing ache that still resonated in his groin and gut as a lingering after effect of the sorcerous assault visited upon him earlier in the afternoon. The panic that had induced that trip-hammer rhythm of his heart had erased the last vestiges of the spell which had numbed and clouded his mind, though, and for that the Trade Minister couldn’t help but be grateful. Had he still been as droolingly addled as he had been when he first came around in his office just a few short hours ago, after all, he might not have had the quickness of mind to run when, instead of being greeted by his wife or servants upon his eventual return home, he had been met by a horrifically skull-painted, yellow-eyed elven visage that grinned at him from the shadowed depths of the hallway in his too-dark home. He hadn’t recognized that face, at first, of course… had been too terrified by its sudden appearance to even connect it to the events that had transpired in his office… too terrified, even, to wonder after the fate of his wife when that looming death-mask moved towards him and filled the emptiness of the house with a sinister and spine chilling laughter.
Run, his mind had advised, leaving room for no other thought in that instant, RUN!!! And that’s exactly what he had done – turned and bolted out the door back into the now rain-soaked street, ignoring the agonizing spikes of pain that shot through his belly with each pounding, splashing step, hoping against hope that he would encounter a patrol of legionnaires in the deluge or, at least, make it back to the safety of the Trade Bureau before whatever that thing was could catch up. He tried to scream as he ran, too – tried to get the word ‘help’ to carry over the storm that had blown in from the harbor and driven the residents of his affluent neighborhood into the safety and shelter of their own homes – but, whether it was because his lungs struggled against the physical exertion of his flight and refused to give volume to his cries or that his neighbors simply chose to ignore his frantic pleas in deference to staying warm and dry, Lemoyne heard nothing in reply save for the singing of the blood in his ears, the rasping of his own breath, and, even over the pattering of rain on the cobbles and the rolling thunderclaps in the sky above, that wicked laughter and the clatter of galloping hooves closing in behind him.
“Oh gods,” he wheezed as he splashed madly along the street, now feeling the pursuing hoof beats under the pounding of his own feet, “oh gods, help me! HELP ME!!!”
“It is far too late for even the gods to help you, Reg,” he heard a voice behind him say just before a sodden loop of black rope fell across his shoulders, “Perhaps you should have invoked them before you tried to force yourself on my love, yes?”
My love? Lemoyne thought, almost in disbelief, as the rope tightened around his neck and he felt himself jerked off his feet. He recognized the voice, now, and his mind tied it to the face of the slave who had accompanied ‘Lady Eva’ into his offices… That realization and all that accompanied it was jarred from his mind just as the breath was jolted from his aching lungs when he was slammed brutally onto his back. Abject terror washed over his mind much like the sheets of rain washed over his body when it registered that the clatter and splash of hoof beats behind him had been replaced by the much lighter and much more ominous footfalls of a creature that moved on only two legs. His eyes struggled to pierce the painfully blinding flash of white that had accompanied his impact with the street and his mind fought to bring his hands up to loosen the noose around his neck as those steps drew nearer and nearer… he whimpered when they stopped and he felt his trembling hands cinched tightly together by the same rope they had reached to remove…
“And running from me, you paching round-eared piece of horse dung, only ensures that you will die tired,” Nyx whispered as he crouched down beside his quarry, quickly securing knots at Lemoyne’s wrists and elbows, “and I want you wide awake when I kill you.”
“You… you can’t do this,” the human sobbed as his vision cleared enough for him to see the evil, grinning face of the mith’ganni that hovered above his own.
“Yes,” Nyx replied matter-of-factly, clamping a hand tightly over Lemoyne’s mouth, “I can. Now, shut up and let me work.”
A sudden twisting of that hand relegated the human’s vision back to the painful, flashing white veil of blindness as several teeth broke as his jaw was dislocated. Reginald felt himself hauled to his feet and shoved into the flanks of a horse, groaned miserably as he was grabbed by craw and crotch and tossed across the animal’s back like some recently felled game trophy, and lapsed into unconsciousness as he felt the elf climb into the saddle ahead of him and spur the steed to a gallop.
He wasn’t sure, when he woke again, exactly where he was but, at a glance, he knew he was no longer inside Drasnia’s walls… all his vision could find beyond the tears that fell from and rivulets of rain that trickled into his eyes was a great expanse of inky blackness punctuated only in one spot, directly ahead, by an ebony and alabaster elf-skull with eerily gleaming moons that danced inside hollow sockets. Upon seeing that terrible face and now knowing it for what it truly was, Reginald’s heartbeat surged frantically and, once again, his mind urged him to run. He tried and found, much to his dismay, that he had been securely trussed up against the rough-barked trunk of a tree. His arms and legs refused to heed his mind’s call to flee and his swollen and aching jaw refused to work properly enough for his cry for help to come out in anything more than a garbled squawk. A razor-sharp smile split the elf’s lips at that horrendous sound and a pale, slender fingered hand reached from the darkness to pat one throbbing cheek, evoking another anguished groan from deep within his chest.
“Hurts, yes?” Nyx snickered as the human’s round eyes grew wider and welled deeper with tears. “Good. I had hoped as much.”
Another blood-dripping spout of gibberish spilled from Reginald’s broken mouth as he tried to scream and plead for mercy at the same time. The elf, though, simply cocked his head, almost curiously, to one side, a smiled all the more as he regarded his victim…
“When does the hurting stop?” Nyx gave words to the music that was the man’s anguish as his other hand produced a dark-bladed dagger and traced its point along Lemoyne’s jaw, down his neck, and along his collar bone. “Not for some time, I am afraid, Reg,” he said, pressing harder with the blade as he cut through the man’s saturated green garments and the flesh that hid beneath.
“You see, I wanted to kill you when you first touched her, but I could not…”
Lemoyne eyes scrunched closed as the blade sliced through the sash at his waist and proceeded downwards, extending the ever-lengthening gash towards his lower abdomen, overpowering the still-keen ache that lingered there from Eva’s hateful touch.
“…wanted to kill you even more when I saw the look in my lady’s eyes as she came to fetch me from your records room, yes? But she stayed my hand, then, as well,” Nyx whispered as he paused in his cutting just above the man’s pubic bone… smiled as if a thought had just occurred to him and fixed those wicked, yellow eyes back on the agonized green ones that threatened to bulge completely out of Reginald’s skull… “Which hand was it that you first laid on her,” he chuckled, “I know that your jaw is in no condition to form an answer, of course, so if you will just look in the direction of the left or right, I promise, I shall free it for you…”
Lemoyne desperately tried not to glance in the direction of either of his hands but found that he was unable to keep his eyes from ticking ever so slightly to the right and nearly managed an actual scream when a curved blade flashed out from beneath the mith’ganni’s cloak and lopped off the offending appendage. As promised, without that hand attached to the wrist any longer, Reginald’s right arm came free of the loop of rope that had formerly held it to the tree… the weight of his body, now partially freed from the bonds, shifted forward a bit and drove the dagger at his crotch a bit deeper into the tender flesh. Vomit accompanied the blood and the gurgling squeal across his lips.
“Do not worry, Reg. I am not going to cut off your root… not just yet…” Nyx’s smile widened and his moon-colored eyes flicked to the left and indicated the hand that was still secured in the coils of the rope; “Touched her with that hand, as well, did you not?”
Reg managed a frantic, almost pleading shake of his head as he realized what was to come… howled and vomited again as that realization came to inevitable fruition… wailed in abject misery as the sudden lack of support drove the black-bladed dagger even further into his lower belly… and began to sob incoherently and uncontrollably as he felt the elf’s kukri being wiped clean of blood on the remnants of his tunic.
“I had originally thought to drag you through the streets until the flesh was scoured from your bones, Lord Lemoyne,” Nyx said, then, sheathing the kukri and, at last withdrawing the dagger from the human’s groin with a savage jerking motion, “but Cayrimsa… the woman you know as Lady Eva, yes?... asked that there be no blood, no screams, and no evidence of you, at all, left in the city come morning and, I must confess, this has been much more fun for me than my initial designs might have been…”
He wiped the gore that coated the dagger’s blade off on the soaking locks of hair that hung from the top of Lemoyne’s head before returning it to its place, as well, then, stood back, listened to the man gibber and watched him heave and convulse for a moment before taking hold of a handful of that sodden mop and lifting the man’s head so that he could look into his eyes; “Just a moment longer, Lord Lemoyne. We have only one more appendage to deal with before I let you go, hm?” He released his grip on the man’s hair, moved that hand to a knot in the rope and tugged, loosing the man from the tree to which he was bound and stepped aside as Lemoyne flopped forward onto the ground at the base of the tree.
It was all the man could do in his misery to roll over and get his face out of the dirt. He did manage it, though, and in doing so caught sight of his murderer walking away from him towards the mist-gray horse that stood not far away. Something in his agonized mind screamed at him to run again, at that moment, and he desperately tried to comply, groaning and weeping as he pushed at the ground with the stumps of his forearms. He had all but managed to sit up when the mith’ganni was suddenly over him again… howled the loudest he had yet managed since his jawbone had been separated from his skull back in the city… and was quickly reduced to a gibbering, shuddering heap as a savage kick to his face ruined his efforts. Before his eyes rolled back in his head, the once and former Lord Reginald Lemoyne, junior Trade Minister of Drasnia’s bureau, wondered what the purpose of the flask the mith’ganni had just uncorked might be… sobbed when he realized that the elf’s other hand held a lit torch… and wondered, once more at the fate of his wife, as he felt the oil in that flask being poured in it’s entirety onto his crotch… when the torch dipped to set that oil alight, though, he wondered after nothing else as he was consumed by the exquisite agony of the flames that erupted between his legs and started a not so slow crawl across the remains of his flesh.
Some time later, a charred skeleton splashed into the storm-angered waters of one of the smaller tributaries of the Reyal and a pair of gleaming yellow eyes watched as it was swept away, south and eastward from Drasnia, certain that it would never be found by anyone other that the dwarves who still inhabited the mountains between Drasnia and Vaharon…
“It is done, melamin,” he whispered into the night, turning his gaze back in the direction of Drasnia’s distantly flickering lights, “A visit with the Dreamweaver will end my night and I shall seek you out beneath your tree thereafter.”
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 20:29:12.
Topic: The Would You Rather Game
Subject: A bit more than JUST a bullwog, my friend ;)
Traditional, I think... in fact, my wedding lasted all of 15 minutes and cost next to nothing so YAY for economy... or something.
Paper or plastic?
Posted on 2010-01-08 at 15:53:09.
Ain't real life just a kick in the cod-piece, sometimes? If we could all just figure out how to get paid for hanging around the Inn it'd be so much easier don't ya think?
Good to know that you're still around, Wolf. Take care of your priorites, my man... we all know how that goes around here, I can guarantee it... we'll be right here waiting on ya whenever ya find the time to pop in.
Good vibes and best wishes,
Posted on 2010-01-07 at 16:28:19.
Topic: New T-shirt design announcements
Subject: No way...
...I've seen pics of you and Mark, remember... No bugbears in that gene pool, deary.
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 19:30:31.
Topic: New T-shirt design announcements
Subject: I'm pretty sure...
...that the Friends of the Red Dragon Inn has some pics of Alacrity and Vanadia's Incrediboy wearing a "Level 1 Human" onesie... I always thought that was too cute for words.
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 19:24:56.
Topic: Paranormal Protection Agency - Q & A
Subject: I know....
... I thought mumps went the way of dodo birds, rotary phones, and car engines you could actually work on in your driveway... Leave it to Eol to come up with the weird stuff, eh?
Anyway, Spider's first post is up... Not exactly as much as I'd planned to get done but it's a definite start and, perhaps, gives a little peek into the fellers background... More later, I'm thinking.
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 18:01:28.
Topic: Paranormal Protection Agency - Night Shift
Subject: New beginnings...
A dubious smirk tugging at his lips, the raven-haired half-elf perched on sill of the window in the room he had been assigned and studied the Waterdhavian view framed beyond, reflecting on the series of events that had brought him to Waterdeep, into the employ of the thieves guild there and, somehow, now, to this place. It seemed so far removed from the earliest memories he had – those of stealing and scrapping out an existence in the slums of Calimport – and, while perhaps not as far removed, still an unlikely progression from his days as a housebreaker and then enforcer for the guilds that staked their territories in that southern city. Maybe it had been the trade rivalry between Calimshan and Waterdeep (a rivalry that seeped far deeper into the fabric of things than the ‘legitimate’ surface of caravans and such) that had drawn him north and, eventually, into the guild, here, which rivaled and partnered, on occasion, with that in Calimport. Perhaps his migration had been precipitated by the tales and legends of the Undermountain and the promises of fortune and adventure that those stories offered. Then again, maybe it was simple wanderlust. Had he just grown tired of the same old thing, day after day, week after week, and year after year? Had his evolution from a homeless, parentless, street-urchin to a notorious and sought-after enforcer and troubleshooter for the Calimport guilds urged him northwards in an attempt to put those earlier days even farther behind… perhaps forget them all together?
“Whatever it is,” the Shadowblade murmured into the emptiness of his room, “here I am, hm? Offered up to this ‘paranormal protection agency’ on behalf of the guild… I wonder at the guild’s interest in such things as this agency is involved with…” His golden eyes turned from the vista of rooftops and cobbled streets beyond the window, panned slowly across the room to where most of his neatly bundled gear rested atop the still unmade bed. He contemplated, for perhaps the third time since he’d arrived here, unpacking his things and preparing for what he had been told to expect but, for the third time, decided against it… It was still early in the day and, thankfully, he had been relegated to the Night Shift… there would be plenty of time to settle in before he was expected ‘on duty’ and, perhaps, with a stroll around the estate with an open ear and watchful eye he would have a better idea of exactly how he would be best equipped before then.
His gaze dipped back to the short sword that lay across his knees and his fingers traced lightly over the recently honed edges of the blade, then along the rune-graven bloodgutter that ran down its center. He had been told, not long after he had acquired the sword, that the runes in that runnel spelled out ‘Anguish’… considering the uses he had put it to since then, Spider figured it was an appropriate enough moniker and, after having resigning himself to calling the blade by its name, thereafter, had developed an even greater appreciation for it, even sought out an instructor and, under that aged warrior’s tutelage, learned to use it with greater effectiveness than his own natural talent with blades… he wondered (occasionally even worried), at times, if the sword’s name was intended as an omen for it’s wielder as well as it’s victims… and rejoiced in the fact that, if it had been intended as such, he had yet to be affected by it… found himself doing so, now… and allowed the faint smile that played on his lips to bloom to fullness as he slid from the window sill and returned the blade to the sheath he had made for it. “I suppose if such an omen comes to fruition it’ll be during my time here, won’t it?”
He padded across the room and laid the sword down beside the rest of his gear. “Paranormal Protection Agency,” he murmured the name again and, as he retrieved a set of daggers from his kit, let the particulars of the contract he had finally signed with the group come to the forefront of his thoughts… There would be a chance to do more good than he had before and, for some reason, that thought appealed to him, but, at the same time, there were so many rules that he would be expected to follow and, so many allegiances he would have to claim in the doing of that good.
“Not much for following the flowery words of written law,” he chuckled, secreting a dagger away in each of his boots before strapping the sheathes of two others to his forearms, “but, I suppose, since the Magistratus has been so kind as to provide a list of all Waterdhavian laws, it shan’t be difficult to figure out how to skirt them when necessary.”
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 17:58:38.
Topic: 1800 By Valentine's Day!
Subject: That's the way to do it...
...recruit friends... recruit neighbors... buy an RDINN Tshirt and wear it to your local gaming shop, comics store, convention, work, whatever...
The more Innmates the merrier, y'know?
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 17:40:26.
Topic: 1800 By Valentine's Day!
Entirely possible, Pit. Entirely possible.
+1 for Innmate enthusiasm.
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 15:41:23.
Topic: Paranormal Protection Agency - Q & A
... I was hoping to have posted yesterday but ended up at urgent care last night and wound up at the Doc, today... Turns out I may have mumps of all things!!! What the hell???
Anyway... off work today, of course, and have nothing to do the rest of the day aside from plot and post, soooooooo.... Spider should be making his intro by this evening.
Apologies for the delay.
Posted on 2010-01-06 at 15:24:02.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: You didn't even have to ask...
Nyx watched (both Cay and the gloomy slant-walled tavern) in silence as she glanced in the direction of the barmaid, placed her order, and then returned her eyes to the manifests and apparently pondered the estimations he had offered in their regard. When the sorceress finally spoke, still not having graced him with so much as the faintest up-tick of her tawny gaze, her voice was low and her words measured as if thoughts beyond those concerning the caravans writhed beneath the surface. The assassin imagined he knew what those underlying thoughts might be… chanced to think or, maybe, even wish that they might mirror those that lurked in his own mind… scowled faintly as he shoved those thoughts back again… Work to be done… preparations to be made…
“Yes,” Cay murmured in reply to his last statement, “that of course will prove to be difficult. I must admit I am a bit surprised we have not heard rumor of an arrest for the murder in our travels yet… Vadim must be stalling for some reason. Perhaps a journey to this Avenon will also be in order before long.”
He nodded. A sojourn to or, at least, toward Avenon in the shadow of one of these wagon trains was a thing he had considered, himself, and the difficulty in executing the other plans, as well. “Vadim is most assuredly stalling, else that boy would not only be imprisoned but likely hanging from the gallows already,” he answered, “As I said, it is becoming clear that there is more to all of this than simple trade or political maneuvering. Much more… and we’ll likely not know how much until we do venture to Avenon, ourselves…”
The serving-wench returned and Nyx fell silent as the woman plunked a hunk of crusty bread and a steaming bowl of stew down in front of Cay and followed that with a notably dusty bottle of wine and a pair of relatively clean, albeit roughly carved wooden goblets, all of which were deposited between them. He nodded, again, and waved the meaty woman away before she could think to ask if the pair needed anything else.
“Avenon is mainly mith’ganni territory is it not,” Cay asked, calling Nyx’s attentions back to her from the retreating barmaid, “As much as your people have a territory now…”
One black brow lifted a little at that and at the fact that she had finally lifted her gaze to meet his. “It used to be, yes,” he answered, reaching for the bottle and brushing the dust from its neck before filling the goblets, “My own clan ranged there in the days before I was born… before the Empire claimed it and...”
“I didn’t mean…”
Nyx lifted a hand and gave a faint shake of his head. “I know what you meant, Cayrimsa,” he said softly, sliding one of the goblets toward her and then lifting the other towards his lips, “My clan has been dead since I left Shanurdir and my race has been dying for longer than that. I would be surprised if enough of the other clans remained to even hold a piece of the steppes, let alone venture into what is now Avenon.” He shrugged faintly, and tipped the cup then but, over the rim of the crude goblet, his eyes stayed trained on hers as he sipped and didn’t stray even when he returned the vessel to the table and folded his hands in his cloak again. The hint of a smile danced on his lips as he allowed himself to relax against the back of the bench and swam in Cay’s lingering gaze.
“We will be busy then,” she said.
He simply nodded his agreement to that; his eyes not leaving hers even then.
“I know what you want to know,” Cay continued after a momentary silence, “I remember what you promised me…”
Another nod and a faint glint flashed in his eyes as the ghost-smile that had been toying with the corners of his mouth warmed a bit.
“I’m counting on you living up to it.” Her gaze dropped away, then, and returned to the scarred tabletop that filled the spaced between them.
Nyx couldn’t bring himself to take his eyes from Cay, though. His gaze was no longer transfixed by her returned stare; however, and he allowed himself to take in more than just her face… traced across her cheek, along the curve of her neck, and, moving lower, found the slender fingers of her hand unfurling from around a tiny square of paper that she had kept clutched there since they had made their exit from the Trade Bureau. His smile grew all the more when that hand stretched across the table to offer him that creased and sweat-stained treasure. His own hand slithered across the table to take the thing…
The witch actually wants you for something, it seems, Prien’s voice rumbled as Cay intercepted Nyx’s hand, pressed the parchment into his palm, and curled his fingers around it with her own, How very interesting… You notice, though, that, as I told you, it is because you bring death, hm? Not because you warm her heart? You should charge her for this commission…
The edge of the mith’ganni’s smile dulled a bit… She has paid enough, already… and better, I think, that she wants me for something rather than nothing… Besides, this was a thread I had already planned to sever…… but Cay hadn’t yet glanced up. It must have been the subtle flexing of his fingers beneath hers, then, or, perhaps, some other unnoticed reaction he had made that made her think that Nyx had been prepared to say something…
“Just let me finish what I have to say here before you go spouting off,” she said as her hand tightened ever so slightly around his, “I’m fine to start with, Nyx. It isn’t like I’m some blushing rose that hasn’t had someone try to force themselves on me before, so don’t even think about handling me with kid gloves here okay?”
Very well. He nodded… forced the fingers that were wrapped in hers to relax a bit… and reached for his wine with his free hand.
“What happened after you left is simply that I tried to delay any amorous thoughts he had, but I was unsuccessful. At least at first. I assure you he didn’t get what he wanted out of me…”
I knew this before you told me, melamin, Nyx smiled around the rim of the goblet as he poured another taste of the passable wine over his tongue.
“…Physical strength can easily be under minded with the correct grip and spell to go with it.”
That smile still played on his lips as Cayrimsa, also smiling now, lifted her gaze to meet his once again; “He should only just be coming out of the mental state I left him in, his physical state will take a bit longer to repair… and as for his ego…” The tip of her tongue appeared as she ran it between her teeth slowly. “I doubt he will be going to the guards with his complaint, my bet is he will return home as soon as he is able to lick his wounds and perhaps begin a less official inquiry to Eva.”
I should imagine so… Another near imperceptible nod, his eyes fixed to hers again, as he returned the wooden chalice to the table.
“Take care of him,” she said seriously, the smile melting from her lips, “And not like the last one. We are in enough trouble as it is right now; another heap of flesh in some alley with a blood trail back to your crypt is not what we need.” She leaned over closer to him and dropped her voice to a hushed whisper. “Make him suffer to whatever you want… but make him disappear afterwards. No trace… tomorrow morning I don’t want him to exist. No body, no blood, no screams… he is just gone. I don’t normally kill, but he does not deserve to live…”
Nor do any of these humans who are simple enough to relegate their women to a status only a little above their slaves and other properties, elen en cormamin, the mith’ganni’s yellow-eyes gleamed as they finally broke from the amber fires that burned in hers and followed her hand to where it came to rest atop a particularly crude image etched in the table’s surface, perhaps you are beginning to see this, yes? An amused expression drifted over his features and a light chuckle escaped his lips when Cay’s hand flared with eldritch fire for an instant and then drew away from where it had been, leaving only a blackened and smoldering imprint of her fingers where the phallic-monster had formerly been. There was no mistaking the meaning in that gesture and neither, he thought, was there any mistaking the unspoken meaning in the words that preceded it.
“Consider it done,” Nyx whispered in reply, his eyes returning to hers as his free hand came to rest atop the one of hers that still clasped over his other, “Come morning, Reg will be no more and nowhere, yes?” His gaze dipped away from hers after a moment longer, fell to where those three hands were entwined on the table and lingered there for another instant.
“Your dinner is cooling,” he said, his fingers feathering across both sides of her hers as he finally withdrew his hands… the one that now held Lemoyne’s address disappeared beneath the cloak and the other took up his cup of wine again… “I do not imagine it will taste very good gone cold.” He waited for her to draw back across the table before he released her from his gaze… watched her as she took her first, tentative bite of the stew she had been served… and, sipping at his wine, let his eyes wander a slow circuit around the hazy tavern.
After that scan verified that there had been no changes in patronage or position that should arouse concern, Nyx set the goblet aside again and let his gaze drop to where his fingers had, at last, unfolded the slip of parchment that Cay had handed him. There was another faint nod as he read what was printed on that paper, memorized the pertinent information, and then refolded the thing. “You will need to report to Dmitrova alone, again, tonight,” he said after he drained that first mug of wine and stretched the refolded piece of stationary towards the lopsided candle that provided meager light to their booth… the paper caught fire as his eyes flicked back in her direction and he dropped it into the now empty goblet where it was quickly consumed by the flames. “After last night, I do not imagine that he would expect me in your company, anyway. Most likely, he believes me to still be licking my wounds, yes?”
“Probably,” Cay smirked, looking up from the stew and fixing him with a look he couldn’t quite read, “You weren’t in the best of condition when he last saw you, after all… he won’t know I’ve seen you, at all, if that’s what you’re getting at.”
He nodded and the last embers of Lemoyne’s stationary that smoldered in his cup died with a hiss as Nyx refilled the goblet with another sampling of wine. “Best for us both that he doesn’t,” he said, swirling the ashes into the wine before taking another sip, “I do not think that Tselika was entirely convinced by either of our stories and if, as I believe, she is doing more for Vadim than playing fetch-the-point-ear, she might not have that difficult a time reminding him that you and I are more than expendable…”
It was near dusk when Nyx and Cay finally emerged from the murk and haze of Salty Mermaid and into the lengthening shadows of Drasnian twilight. A cool wind blew off the harbor, its briny tang carrying with it another scent that foretold rain showers in the making, and whirled up the wharf, tugging at the assassin’s cape and the sorceress’ gown as it blew the clinging smoke and smell of the tavern from around them. Yellow mith’ganni eyes instinctually tipped toward the heavens and sought out the faint, early-evening wink of Shipri’s Torch and, having pondered that first of the night’s stars for a moment, sank to regard the iron-dark streak that slashed across the far horizon and mist-like undulation of the orange and yellows above it where the sunlight still held the sky…
Rain within the hour, he estimated, and full storms before midnight if those clouds hold true.
Nyx‘s attentions let go of the skies and returned to Cay as they wandered away from the tavern. “It promises to be a good night for work,” he said, finally breaking the long but not necessarily uncomfortable silence that had hung between them for the last little while.
There had been things that he had wanted to say in that long stretch of quiet… things, too, that she wanted to say if he had read her eyes correctly the few times they had met and held his… but, given the events of the last days and the distractions he had found himself led into as a result… And the fact that you have work to do… work that you're anxious to do... he kept himself from speaking any of those things… And, all considered (unspoken words and restrained anxiousness to set upon Reg), he had been content to sit and sip away a second goblet of wine (and the ashen remains of Lemoyne’s stolen stationary along with it), watching the room and casting an occasional, lingering glance at the woman across the table as she finished her supper. He had waited, too, while she finished her first mug of wine… had poured her another and waited until she resigned the half-full cup to the table and nodded that she was finished. He was still content to linger with her as they made their way along the wharf, now, as well, but that favor she had asked of him... the promise I made her... called and so did numerous other tasks... "Where will I find you in the morning," he asked, "when I have finished with our friend?"
Posted on 2010-01-04 at 22:44:47.
Edited on 2010-01-04 at 22:47:17 by Eol Fefalas
Topic: Demonic Vending Machine
It spits out the Valentine's Day aisle at Wal-mart!
I feed it two turtle doves and a partridge in a pair of trees.
Posted on 2010-01-03 at 17:33:47.
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