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BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #81  
"Watching is only going to get you so far. To perform what I do, there's a bit of learning. The protective circles just incase you sour things up are going to be my responsibility. Calling whatever is willing to listen? I am going to place that on you." Wisp said, chewing on her cheek and rubbing her temple with an idle hand. At least Christoval had been naive and content enough with more martial practices than wanting to dive into magic. Not that he could of course. And considering Wisp's patience with her apprentice already? He would have earned a one-way ticket to the void by now. "Protection. Something a demon can provide. I can probably start prepping for the few patrons I know that will take you up on this offer. I am going to warn you, of course. Protection comes in many forms. In terms of negotiation. Low-ball the entity. Ignore any sort of shows of power. Or threats. Lesson One begins now. The beings of the dark only hold as much power as you give them." Wisp said, shrugging her shoulders and closing her eyes while she was in thought.

Wisp grumbled to herself in deep thought for a moment. There was two patrons she could think of for protection. One was something she had only heard of and never attempted to contact on her own. The few things she could bring up was a name, and how to at least appease the entity when it came. The other of course could have been her own patron. Though the favors she would accumulate for a beneficial outcome for the Halfling? It would be extensive.

It was as if the man's words brought about a small ceramic container, the Barbarian tossing it over towards the Wizard with a shrug of her shoulders. "Ah mean, this one is pretty much done. Ah'll yah gotta do is seal it up proper and let it ferment while yah walking. It's nothing fancy. Barley and some junipers like ah said. It tastes....Not good. But it works, yes?" Waltz smiled and looked in the same direction of Christoval's departure, and huffed for a second, puffing out her cheeks. "Ah think our knight-to-be just wants us not dead. Which is fine. Ah'll behave to a knight if it means he'll be outta mah hair. Ah could just crush his head with mah thighs to shut him up, but ah think the other new girl intends on doing that. Maybe getting the lad laid will relax him." Looking at Percival, Waltz grunted and shot her head towards Wisp. "Yah should tell the knight kid to stop ruining mah chances to drink with Percy, before ah beat him with his own leg." Waltz said, laughing and wriggling in place.

"You sense right, but my motives aren't negative towards yourself in any way. I can assure you of that." Wisp replied, shooting a small death glare at Waltz in response to her question and appeasing the Barbarian for the most part with her silent threat, before returning to Percival's attention. "My, you seem so stressed and disinterested in us. And here I was hoping to know you far more intimately." Wips croned with a defeated sigh, hands gripped onto his shirt; the Dark Mage giving him a small tug before breaking off and brushing black hair from her face.

>>>>>>>

Christoval spat soot and bits of the hellhound from his mouth as the arquebus went off and hit true; a chunk of the beast's side exploding out in a showered of darkened gore; the beast letting go of the knight's ankle as it let out a pained bray; and setting it's eyes on the fiery woman that seemed to be impeding it's progress in fetching the knight. blackened blood oozed from its body as the skinless warhound locked cataracted eyes on Kastivi - the snarling mouth a faint mimicry of a bestial smile as it tapped the ground with padded feet; the Hound poised to strike until a metal shield hit it in the rear; the beast spinning towards it's intended victim;

Christoval could barely move himself; the wounded ankle giving out with any sort of pressure. The knight gritted his teeth however and gripped onto his sword - Christoval down on one knee and ready to tumble with the beast as best as he could. He could at least hold his own and just distract it while Kastivi could deal the killing blows if needed, though his lack of planning to deal with this had begun to worry him. Was he going to be able to improvise if needed? He was used to being able to move as well, and now he was as stoic and manueverable as a common boulder.
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 07-17-2018, 08:33 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #82   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Arabella swallowed some of the spit that had gathered at the back of her throat and nodded. What was she going to say? She knew nothing of any dark deities, or at least most of them, and she was unsure if she even had anything of worth she could actually offer them. The most precious thing to her was Kastivi, and as the very thing she was trying to protect, of course she was off the table. The most she could offer was herself, and she prayed to the Goddess and whoever else might be listening that it would be enough. “I will, but I don't know who to call or...or if I have anything of even remote worth to a demon...” She spoke with her voice low, occasionally glancing back to make sure there were no unwanted ears listening. She wished she was taking notes once more, nodding to show that she was listening. “If I don't have anything to give, what do I do then?”

Percival caught the small container with only a small struggle of keeping it in the air before he finally managed to grasp it and held it up to examine it. “Hm. I'm surprised I haven't thought of that yet. Credit where it's due, Dead Waltz. It's a nice system you've got going on there,” the wizard said, tossing the container back to her. “I think you're right, but I also think he underestimates me and my abilities. I haven't lost a party member in over ten years and the drink has been at my side since,” Percival huffed, then sighed, “I'm hoping Kastivi does help with that. Hells, I'm amazed he still manages that attitude with our dark mage over here. We'll get our chance to drink, Waltz; it will just have to be over a campfire rather than on the road. We'll play by his rules for now. Once he sees how I operate, perhaps he'll change his mind,” he said, then adding underneath his breath, “Hopefully.”

He looked down to the dark mage, a look of obvious confusion lining his features as he tried to figure out her motives. His eyes followed the direction the death glare, moving back to Wisp, “Disinterested? No. Try to understand, my career as a light mage entails accompanying already formed parties of aventurers and sellswords already acquainted with each other who were too interested in pursuing the glories of war to learn healing magics. Parties that are more than content enough to ignore me, just as I am more than content enough to let them. You understand that I am not used to the attention, see. Now, tell me, Wisp, why is it that you want to know me far more intimately? I'm a tired old man who likes his drink. I am not anyone of any real interest, of that I can assure you.”

Then, through the woods, a long, loud howl. Percival raised his eyebrows to Wisp, “It sounds as though your hounds have found their prey. And it also sounds as though things are not going according to plan. Shall we pursue them?”

> > >

Kastivi knew immediately that she messed up. She could remember Wisp saying that the beasts were told to not harm either of them, but something about Christoval's ankle being caught in the beasts jowls set her off and she felt like she had to help. The opposite was true, and now Christoval was hurt because of her. Pangs of guilt hit her chest in waves, but now she had the more immediate issue of a hellhound with its eyes set on her to deal with. It locked eyes with her widened, sheltered ones and took a step back, her palms still flaming. At the moment, its eyes were locked onto her, and she prayed it stayed that way. She decided then to run and prayed it pursued her.
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 08-21-2018, 01:41 AM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #83  
"I know you don't have anything of worth to really summon a demon, much less find someone who would listen to you." Wisp replied, tartness in her voice while she flared her nostrils and put a pained look on her face as she reached to her belt to produce a small pouch; the leather bag outstretched to the Halfling for her to take. "Luckily, I'm a generous, loving dark mage who enjoys watching others go down the spiral into desperation for the sake of others." Perhaps what she said would come off wrong, but it was the best way to describe her motivations. "Once we camp for the night, I'll teach you who to call. And I'll of course, be more than happy to translate to the demon and be the middleman. There's always perks in that for someone like me." Arabella's last question made Wisp snort; the dark mage leaning over to tap Arabella on the lips. "Well, if you ever summon a demon and don't have anything to give? They'll usually find something they want before they leave and take it with them. Pounds of flesh usually work. Or in your case, maybe an ounce or two."

It was Waltz's turn to catch the container, and the large woman herself nearly ended up with spilled juniper alcohol, and a small ping of anger that disaster had almost came to fruition. However, Deadwaltz carried on with her normal, chipper tune as she beamed at the healer and wriggled her brows. "Of course it's a good system. Ah made it, didn't I? Ah'm pretty smart and all. At least when it comes to making booze, yeah?" Deadwaltz snickered before itching her backside and cocking her head to the side. "He doesn't know yahself yet. Once yah show him yah healing, he'll probably be easier on you, right?" Deadwaltz could attest to Percival's healing herself, and would vouch for him anytime of the day, but the boy seemed more stubborn than to listen to some Northerner. Wisp found someone with just enough gusto as her when it came to opinions. "Ah mean, Wisp ain't that bad. She's just sour because she has to train people. She hates doing that." Deadwaltz replied, trying to answer Percival's own musing about the knight-to-be's optimism. "Maybe the lad wants to be something big. Like one of them Paladins or something."

Wisp crossed her arms and "hmph'd" at the Healer, turning her head to the side and shifting her weight from hip to another. The man was decent looking. A silver fox, at least in her own eyes and tastes. That was a small sliver of reason. The part she wasn't going to admit at all. Instead, the dark mage chose to rat out the Halfling, and keeping close to Percival, let him in on the nuances of the Barbarian and the Halfling, keeping her voice low enough as to keep Deadwaltz from hearing. "Arabella is looking to...Mingle with Deadwaltz. A little moreso than friends. She just needs space to do so, and I'm wisking you away with my wiles to do so." She said, bluntness in her voice like a mace cracking against a stone wall. "Besides, you're a tired old man who likes to drink. I appreciate simplicity. It makes my little one-lined story far more colorful. I get to bask in the joy of a simpler life, while I sit here in a game of chess dealing with my own...Associates."

Wisp stopped and narrowed her eyes at the hellish bray from the woods. That was a sound those dogs made when something wasn't going their way. Either the two were cheating and dispatching the beast, or it met something else and was dealing with that. "Bring something to defend yourself with. They don't sound like that without a dire reason." Wisp sighed, agitation flooding her while she clenched a hand into a fist; blackened smoke emnating from the spaces between fingers. "Stupid kids probably hitting my hellhounds. Now they're gonna be rougher than they should be with my apprentice."

------------

The run triggered the predatorial instincts, and while its task was the knight; the hellhound obeyed its more primal instincts; clawed feet padding after her as the flayed hound set out towards Kastivi with gusto. While the hellhound had been ordered to keep the knight alive and intact, there was no direct order in it's mind when it came to Kastivi. A hindsight Wisp had forgotten (Or put there on purpose. Who knew?) And desire to rip and tear the tanned woman surged in it's head. The scent of fear and the promise of more blood strengthened the beast's resolve and foot moved quicker and quicker with each anticipated bite.

Christoval of course, could do nothing to help her, save for struggling to get to his only good foot and hobble after her as best as he could; tripping over some brush and having to start the process of following them once more. He wanted to call out for her, but the dead goblin was still there. And so was the thing that caused it. Wisp could shoo away the hellhounds. He doubted Wisp could really shoe away whatever was also here with them...

"Gods damn it. Kastivi, get back here." He muttered under his breath, the young knight wiping a brow with always sweat-stained sleeves.
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 08-31-2018, 01:05 AM Reply With Quote  
Default   #84   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
“As good of a reason as any,” Arabella said, adding a playful eyeroll and a shrug of the shoulders, “And I'll be thankful for that motivation as I would any other. I am willing to do whatever it takes.” The words, easier said than done, Arabella knew she would have to back up – but exactly what it was she was going to end up sacrificing was another story. All would become clear when they made camp that night. “What kinds of perks are there for translators? And will I ever learn demonic to be able to speak to my own entity--?” The last word was muffled as a soft, well-manicured finger came to tap her lips. “F-flesh?” she stammered, more than likely to the dark mage's delight, “From where? I guess my thighs could stand to lose a couple of ounces...”

“When it comes to the creation of alcohol while on-the-road? Absolutely, I will give that you are quite clever,” Percival said, chuckling. “I'll see if I can get paired with your parties more often. In all honesty, I couldn't ask for a better drinking buddy.” Straightening his cloak, he looked up to see if he could gauge the position of the sun through the tops of the trees. The younglings had been gone for quite a while, and their short break was extending much longer than he was comfortable. He had been hoping to make decent strides by the time they made camp. “That is difficult to say, Waltz. Goody-two-shoes like him, potential paladins, will likely never lose their tenacity at annoying their less...overt...companions. But time will tell; perhaps his mentor will imbue some of her wisdom.” Percival didn't expect the barbarian to know every word he said, but as she said herself, she was smart. Simply uneducated. She could use context clues to get it. She would understand like that. She always did. “I can't say I blame her. It's only a matter of time before I get sidled up with my own apprentice myself, and I can't promise that I will be the ray of sunshine I am now.”

Percival was not one to complain with the close proximity of a beautiful woman and therefore was careful to not interrupt her when she was speaking, nor was he one to tell her to leave him alone when she had questionable motives. He removed his water sack from his belt, wishing it were his flask, and took a quick swig of water. Thankfully, the motives...unexpectedly...were rather pure. With the mention that the halfling was looking at his barbarian friend with eyes not too different from his own towards Wisp, he choked, recovering into laughter, “You're not serious!” And when he saw that she was, he straightened up, composing himself but keeping a smile, “Well, those are good motivations indeed. I'd send her every ounce of luck I possess, but I need it to make it through a relatively dry trip thanks to your apprentice.”

Arabella was on her feet immediately hearing the hounds and with the confirmation from the dark mage, she ran ahead of the group, thoughts on Kastivi only.

>>>

Kastivi ran and ran, but she knew she could not stray far from Christoval. It was best for the two to stay together so they would be found together. She was thinking clearly now, her instincts no longer telling her to do the wrong thing. So, she looped back around and finding a tree, immediately climbed it, praying the hounds were unable to climb.
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 09-05-2018, 01:56 AM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #85  
Whatever it takes...

Those were the words that Wisp flinched and glared at for a moment, before her features softened. Those words are what made dark mages turn towards more and more heinous things. Someone willing to protect another could damn friends, lovers, entire bands of people all considered allies to the pits in a fit of hellish eclipse. Playful eyerolls were met with a sterness that only faded when Arabella asked the perks for Wisp in being the translator. "I'm not the priority when it comes to the demon deciding it doesn't like the deal, and wants to murder you and Kastivi. I also get to simply study whomever is called without as much danger." A small pause and the Wisp shrugged her shoulders, leaning towards the Halfling and bellowing a few choice words, the language rancid and foul-sounding. It was as if Wisp had manifested nails on a board, combined with the cries of animals being wailed on with wooden boards. "....That's a small greeting. Just greet them with that, and speak normally. What it doesn't know it'll ask me," Wisp itched her head and blinked a few times, before continuing, "Most likely your torso. Organs have more value than thigh meat. Thigh meat is favored by unseelie."

Waltz beamed and nodded ferociously, the woman grabbing Percival in her clutches and pulling him to her side while she envisioned the trouble they could get into. "Well of course ah'm the best drinking buddy. Yah get all mopey because yah can't sleep with the barmaids, and then I gotta be all nice and indulge yahself. Ah think last time I didn't do that and you were -really- drunk yah cried." Probably exaggeration, seeing as how everytime booze was involved with the too it was a fleeting moment of quick scenes of lascivity. "Well, yah, I would love seeing you in mah parties more! Yah got those fancy words I sometimes get, and sometimes just nod and smile at, and it's nice instead of just the people who ah know just wanna punch each other to settle everything. It's why ah like yah book-smartsy kinda people more. Yah like talking things out." Deadwaltz chimed, "And when ah need to fwomp yah booksie people, ah win all the time."

Deadwaltz could make up most of the comments on Christoval, the woman squinting and furrowing her brow while the gears clicked and she understood him - Deadwaltz's face of concentration turning into one of understanding as she let Percival free from her grasp so he could instead stuff himself (Hopefully) between Wisp's thighs. Wisp was pretty to look at, and Deadwaltz knew it. "Ah think you'll do as good of a job with someone as Wisp does with the knight. He's alive, despite his happiness. Happy and code-following kinda people don't last long, Am Ah right, or am Ah right?"

Wisp was as serious as the look on her face and crossing her arms, the Dark Mage shook her head and rolled her eyes. "The Halfling doesn't need luck. She just needs to stop tripping over her own feet. You know Deadwaltz just as much as I do. Possibly more. You need to hit the Barbarian with a cobblestone that says 'I like you' for her to realize you want to spend a night with her." Wisp said, fighting back her own small fits of giggling. "You'll be fine, with one day of not-drinking. Besides, tomorrow I'll just send the kid out scouting again so you can keep your flask to your lips and your elbows bent."

Hands lit with energy, and the Halfling already on the bounce towards the Hellhound, Wisp wriggled her fingers, and adjusted her garb before stomping off in the directon of hellhound brays - Deadwaltz looking towards the group and itching her head, before cracking her knuckles. "Ah like punching and killing things from Hell. Point me where I can hit them!" Waltz said merrily, hopping up to her feet and tighting the string around her cloak.

>>>>>>>

For a moment, it looked as if the Hellhound was going to reach Kastivi - Claw after claw digging into bark and pulling the beast up towards the dark woman, before it's bulk brought it back down onto the earth below -the Hound snarling and spraying saliva and foam from its mouth. A few wraggles and calculations and the hellhound tried it again - making the same progress before, before its ears perked and the beast cocked its head to the side. The taste of blood and flesh were on its mind, and the being it tasted wasn't the woman running. It was the wounded man in metal - the hellhound trotting in a circle before setting off towards Christoval's direction once more...
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 09-05-2018, 12:56 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #86   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Arabella clamped her mouth shut, sensing she'd said something wrong – though what it was she couldn't place. Instead, she pressed her lips tightly together, leaning back almost as if she expected the dark mage to hit her. She was relieved when Wisp went back to her usual indescribable self, though her words didn't do anything to provide comfort, “Wait. Me and Kastivi? If Kastivi is at risk in this at all, I am out..” At the sound of demonic in her ear, Arabella's eyes widened but she didn't flinch. If this was something she was going to go through with, demonic was not only a language she'd need to get used to, but one she'd need to learn. She imagined the syntax and grammatical structure would be completely different from any language she'd learned before, but again, it was an undertaking she was willing to follow through with. Ara did her best to repeat the words, looking up at Wisp at the parts she felt she was the weakest (the gutteral growling bits, mostly), and then she repeated it again. “Org...organs? Not any I need to survive I hope...”

Percival, as much as he appreciated the barbarian's company, was not one for physical contact, and almost as soon as he was at her side he stepped a half-step away if only to get a couple of inches from her. His rarely exhibited signs of joy, and now was no exception, his eyebrows furrowing and lip scrunching to a small scowl, “Well, your presence was certainly appreciated in more than one of those occasions but even you are aware that I'm capable of picking up more than my fair share of barmaids. They see me as a distinguished scholar, and I am inclined to agree you know.” He cleared his throat, “And I didn't cry. My dinner had a few too many onions in it, you know. I don't appreciate a cook that relies too heavily on them for flavor. There are other seasonings that exist...” He said shrugging his shoulders – his sideways glance not likely to go unnoticed by the woman. He raised his eyebrows, not really expecting those preferences, “Wait. Really? And here I thought I was your only scholarly friend that you appreciated.”

“Definitely more,” the scholar corrected the dark mage with a bit of a dry chuckle, “Do you really think she's Waltz's type? You see, I'd be a terrible drinking buddy if I stepped aside and she got hurt. I know Arabella, but she has always struck me as...well? The solitary type. Before Kastivi came along, she behaved a lot like me in adventuring parties – staying away from the bulk of you in favor of one's own thoughts. Waltz doesn't really allow for that...at all...even slightly. Also, I have to disagree with that statement. A lot of alcohol accomplishes that feat just fine,” he cleared his throat, “Not that I would know.” His spirits lifted with the idea of getting rid of the sapling for a day so he and Waltz could continue the escapades they'd had last time. Perhaps not of the sexual variety, but certainly of the merry-making kind.

The halfling already far ahead of them, Percival stuck with the dark mage and barbarian. He hounds were told to not harm them, but if an accident happened the likelihood of it being fatal was slim to none. That being said, one of them in a little bit of pain for a while longer would do nothing but help them learn their lesson, “They're that way, Waltz. Just follow Ara. Or the howls. Either one is likely to lead you there – though I'm not entirely sure of the necessity for that.”

>>>

Kastivi's chest heaved as she panted, holding onto the branch that she found herself on for dear life. She was just out of reach of Christoval's hound and knew hers would be on her heels. If she quieted her breathing, she could hear it trotting up and initially it ran past her tree, but losing her scent, it looked up at her, Kastivi gulping. It then attempted the same thing its companion did just moments before and found about the same amount of luck. However, this one was assigned to her and wasn't likely to simply leave. It began looking for another way to get up to her.

Arabella emerged in the clearing that Christoval lay, freezing upon seeing the hound. In person and up close it looked terrifying. She could see its open wound gaping and she watched as it circled the knight. She didn't know if the hound with the wounds it received would attack the knight or not with any legitimacy, but she readied her fists with flame as a precaution, glancing around to see if she could see Kastivi. There was no sign.
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 09-12-2018, 08:51 PM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #87  
Deadwaltz looked towards the healer who inched away from her and pouted, a childish cross of her arms and a shift side-eye the return prize for his actions. She bathed several days ago, and the only thing that kind of smelled was her cloak. What if he didn't like her? Nah, that was impossible. Everyone liked Deadwaltz. Even people who've never met her in her life. "Other seasonings. PFfft. Then yah gonna complain that they used too much of that too. Trying to cook food for you is impossible. I'm glad ah don't run a bar that you go to, Percy." Waltz said with a small, gleeful sneer as she wriggled in place. The barmaid conversation was one she was going to let die, if only because that was going to turn into competition the next time they were in town, and the last thing either of them needed was to see who could get into the pants of some noble faster. Nobility and one-night stands usually led to getting locked in the stocks for a day or two, and getting fruit thrown in your face while someone writes something like 'Diddler' or 'Sodomite' on your backside. "Ah know a lot of booksie types yeah. Not just you. Ah know Wisp over there, for one. And ah know another guy whose big into doing the metal-thing. Al-chuh-mee or whatever."

"Drinking buddies? I would figure you more than that. You seem like friends since childbirth." Wisp replied tartly, hugging herself and staring at the two with eyes that seemed more along the lines of violent inquisition than nosiness and curiosity. To say companionship like that was something she was jealous about was an understatement, but it would take torture most foul for the Dark Mage to -consider- admitting such a heresy. "Well, maybe she shied away from your company because you have a penis." Her note was blunt and to the point, but it was the only thing Wisp could think of when it came to Arabella. "I've travelled a few times with her and while she was always quiet, she was there to discuss things with people without your usual mode of operation of snarky one-liners and eye rolling." A small pause. "But still, to answer you? I think she is. Look at her company. Yourself. And as you've mentioned, Arabella is similar to you. Introverted. Scholarly. My only concern is if a halfling's body can endure being crushed by Northlander thighs without too much injury. Waltz is not a gentle lady."

Waltz of course was proving the dark mage's point true - The woman cleaving through some brush with her sword with a merry look on her face - Scratched from prickers and briar thorns doing nothing to slow her down while she wrought her own path through things. Stopping to nod at Percival, the woman looked in the direction Arabella had scampered to and beamed like a lunatic. "Wisp, do ah get to play with the dogs?" She howled, bouncing in place and then squealing with delight when the Dark Mage shrugged her shoulders and responded.

"There's plenty more hellhounds I can summon. Feel free."

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


Whether it was past experience, or just forced courage - Christoval remained firm and stoic as the beast surrounded and circled him - the Knight's eyes darting back between the hellhound's tromping feet; to his surroundings, and then back to the creature once more to meet sunken, hellish eyes with icy cold blue hues that dared the beast to lunge forward. His sight caugh the familiar looking Halfling and Christoval wheeled himself and spun a knee to keep his shield between him and foe. "Kastivi is stuck in a tree. Worry about her first." Came the knight-to-be's response, before uttering a small prayer to the gods above for himself. "Go find her, I'm already doing my best at stalling this thing." Christoval pouted and bit his lips. He could kneel there, or he could take the initiative, and courage (And a bit of Waltz-esque stupidity) guided him - The Knight pushing on both his injured and normal feet and ankles to tackle himself into the hellhound, who fell onto it's side with a small yip as the two began to scuffle between themselves.
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 10-01-2018, 05:51 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #88   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Percival saw the brief look of hurt on Dead Waltz’s face and, for a moment, he felt a pang of guilt. It wasn’t that he didn’t like touching her specifically, it was that he didn’t like touching…well? Anyone really. He knew she knew this about him, but given Waltz’s affinity for ignoring people’s personal bubbles, he could see how she would assume the worst. But less that a moment later, Waltz was back to her chipper self and relief washed over the scholar. “Cooking food for me is impossible? Well now, I feel like that’s an exaggeration, don’t you? I can’t think of many people at all that enjoys that many onions in their soup and I don’t fault them for it either. Gods, I spend all of my time in the wilderness and I can cook better than the sop they had in the kitchens at that tavern,” Percival said with the smallest of grins. These trips down Memory Lane would likely lead to more embarrassing stories starring him given the pair’s history and he was eager to change the subject.

The scholar adjusted his hat turning his attention back to the dark mage, “Gods, maybe not childbirth but it seems close to it now, doesn’t it, Waltz? I started adventuring as a young man and I had to heal for Waltz on my first assignment. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t partial to her. She does her job well and her company is…interesting…to say the very least.” Percival paused for a moment to consider Wisp’s words. No one could fault him for not being a decent listener – when drink wasn’t in his veins anyway. Drawing his pipe and content with the answer he was about to give, answered her, “It’s not like I was ever trying to sleep with the lass, at least as far as I can remember. I can understand if she finds me intimidating – we would have been rivals had she not been in a different class. We both sat at the top. But back in those days she spoke almost exclusively to another lass. Can’t remember her name, but the two of them were inseparable and kept to themselves for the most part. It is intriguing to think about though. The other lass spoke in Arabella’s stead whenever they needed to interact with the rest of the party. I never would have imagined that the halfling would be the remaining adventurer.” As he spoke, he loaded his pipe with another round of tobacco and when he was finished he looked up to find Waltz busy clearing the brush for them. Had she not been preoccupied, she would have had first access to the bowl, but as it stood, Percy was all too willing to indulge himself. “That I can confirm,” he said chuckling and finally puffing.

Finally, the trio came to the clearing that the knight was laying in, Arabella already there and assessing the situation. Percival let his eyes follow the knight’s when he mentioned to tree to gauge the direction that Kastivi was in and was surprised at just how close she was to the knight. She hadn’t gotten very far from where the knight had fallen before she high-tailed it up a tree and, for the time being at least, she was safe. From his perception, he figured that it was only Christoval’s hound that had been hurt – Kastivi’s, then, was still on a mission of retrieval without hurting her. His eyes turned back to the knight as he stumbled to his feet and Percival let out a sigh at the stupidity of the knight, drawing his book quickly and muttering something under his breath.

Christoval’s ankle began to emit a faint glow and Percival nodded with understanding, flipping to a different page, resuming his muttering in a long dead language. The words still held their power, however, and Christoval would begin to feel refreshed of his injuries for the time being. The spell that Percival utilized was fast-acting but not permanent. The permanent healing spells almost invariably required him to lay hands on the wound – a feat impossible in moments of battle. Once the hound was slain the knight would be in pain again and Percival, being the great healer that he was, would commence the actual healing.

Arabella needed only the dark mage’s word to the barbarian before she took off in Kastivi’s direction, and not having to travel very far, came across the hound trying desperately to get to the apprentice above it. The halfling laughed, “Should have known you’d be resourceful with this exercise. So tell me, was it your fault the knight got hurt?”

Kastivi blinked, moving her eyes from the hound trying to get at her to her mentor who was laughing at her. Her cheeks immediately reddened and she bit her lip, looking back down. “I…I let my emotions get the better of me. I knew my orders and thought of nothing but protecting Christoval…”

“Then you’ll be pleased to know that though he suffered an injury because of you that he’s in good hands? Percival is on the scene now and aiding him. So tell me, this wasn’t the hound that you hurt, correct? This one is still on a mission of retrieval?”

“That is…that is correct….”

“Excellent, then your punishment for hurting Christoval is to climb down and let the thing take you back to Wisp. Then you get to apologize to Christoval.”

Kastivi sighed.
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 10-20-2018, 07:08 PM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #89  
Kitchen. Tavern. The two words brought up a rather devious and impish grin that led Percival instantly know that there were more tall-tales locked away in the Barbarian's mind that she could relay to everyone in the party. Each story of course was a treasure to Deadwaltz. Rare is a friend when one took the path of an adventurer, and even more desired was a friend in the same game, and still alive. For every story of embarassment she could have brought up, Deadwaltz could instantly regale someone with a story of Percy rising from the ashes of defeat like a Phoenix and bringing victory to an otherwise damning situation. Perhaps when they made camp, and if Goblins and their ilk didn't eat them she could save face with her friend by telling everyone some of the more heroic tales about Percival. Scrunching up her face as they carried along, the Barbarian mustered all the wondrous events of the past that would suit Percival's fancy and swell his already gargantuan ego. Maybe the time he simultaneously healed two people in the middle of a line battle while dodging crossbow bolts with a shield? Watching him use his toes and a free hand was a pretty impressive feat.

"Ah know mah dad at some point was gonna try and coerce yahself into marrying mahself about a year ago, Percy. Figured we'd been friends long enough. Then ah told him yah can't deal with how we live and then he called yahself a pussy and said not to marry you." Waltz said with a large snort, broad swings of her sword hewing through bushes and clearing a path for the scholar and the dark mage; Wisp smirking and shaking her head. The matrimony between those two would have been something she would have cancelled all plans for. Not because she wished the best for them. More for the Northerner party that would have followed and left everything in a 10 mile radius with a collective hangover. And perhaps because some of those men in Waltz's village would have murdered each other for Wisp to smile at them. Wisp snapped out of her train of thought and blinked a few times, a small sliver of what Percy said bringing her back into the thick of the conversation. "Things change. The Halfling lost her other half, and if I stayed on the path I was originally, you'd be forced to refer to me as Sister Wisperioux, instead of 'Wisp.' Or whatever nicknames people say behind my back."

Wisp immediately took reigns of her own accord for the moment, the Dark Mage looking at the Fire Daughter in the tree and shaking her head; Wisp's hands on her hips while she surveyed and began damage control of the hounds. None of them ripped the limbs off of their respective prey, thankfully. Less fuss and whining from the duo. Her own little knight in crippled armor was hobbled, but still being as stubborn as a mule and tangling with the beast, and Kastivi? Well, there were no words. Looking towards Arabella, the Dark Mage gave her a malicious smile. "I see you didn't teach your pupil to stick together with her compatriots. Were this real, those hounds would have ripped apart Christoval, and I'd have to deal with the guild. Yet again."

Christoval was swinging, and chop-blocking every chance he could get; a swing of his sword followed by the shield brought up to meet any sort of retaliation. Feeling the surge of warmth across his ankle, the young knight tested it, and when he didn't feel an ounce of pain put more pressure on it. He was back in the game and when the hellhound was dealt with, would give the healer his proper gratitude - thought the Knight blinked and fell onto his rear end when the roar of Deadwaltz's sword screamed between himself and then twisted mid-direction into the hellhound he was facing - the blonde woman laughing like a maniac as she cleaved the beast the long way; A plume of blackened gore spraying in a cone when the blade was finished traveling through the fiend.

"Percy! Fuck did yah see that? It normally takes two swings! Ah'm in mah prime today!"

Wisp flared her nostrils as one of her precious summons was massacred by the barbarian, and snapping her finger and waving a hand - let the still mewling and pained beast go back to slumber in the pits below; Wisp looking towards the other two and sniffling a bit as she moved over towards Arabella and sat down in the grass, plucking up a few strands and then fighting back a malicious smile. "I'll order it to be gentle if you whine and beg hard enough, Kastivi." Her taunt was clear and plain, with none of the usual snark that accompanied her voice as the Dark Mage beckoned the uninjured hound to her side - The beast compelled to obey Wisp's whimsy. Once it was close enough to the dark mage Wisp leaned in the beast's ears and whispered - a small sliver of hellish energy cascading over the hound as the beast brayed in agony - muscle and skinned flesh bulging and splitting open as several more limbs erupted from the flesh. The beast looked less like a hound, and more like a set of hound parts the Mage wished into looking like some form of arachnid, and the creature itself was not okay with such a change - Whimpers and squeals emanating from frothing, bloody dewlaps of skin.
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 10-25-2018, 11:36 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #90   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Percival decided to pay Dead Waltz's impish grin no mind. He'd learned that by this point that that look could mean anything, good or bad, and whatever it was there was no fighting it. Had Dead Waltz been an ordinary person that got embarrassed by things people would normally be embarrassed about he would have plenty of stories to tell about herself as well. As it stood, however, embarrassment wasn't something that Percy was sure that Dead Waltz could feel so he would take her blows with a grain of salt and remind himself that he couldn't possibly care less about what the rest of the party thought about him. He at least had Waltz's approval and he was confident that no matter what he did, he wouldn't lose that.

She was utterly immune to any sour attitude that came her way.

Her next statement caught him by surprise and he found himself freezing, coughing up a puff of smoke, and turning slowly to face her. He'd had the pleasure of meeting her father a handful of times and, as expected, he was just an older, slightly more masculine version of his spawn. “I couldn't deal with how you live, eh?” he finally asked, the tiniest amount of humor in his voice, “I find that interesting as I find myself traveling with you more often than not, though I believe it for the best that I remain single. I'm too old for fatherhood and in no position to settle. Though with someone like yourself, I'm not sure that there is such a thing as...'settling.'” His words were true enough. Any moment, including the most mundane moments, were an adventure if Waltz was present. Add alcohol and her drinking buddy into the mix and anything was possible. Their dynamic, to say the very least, was one of polar opposites. For every misadventure that Dead Waltz got them into, Percival was there to get them out. He wondered what she did when they weren't assigned to the same party.

The scholar puffed on his pipe, listening to the dark mage, the humor in his face disappearing. “So she is dead, then,” he said after a moment, “I'd thought as much but never cared to bring it up – a fact I am sure she appreciated. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little curious as to what happened but I am certainly not going to be the one to ask. As far as referring to you as Sister Wisperioux goes, that is a story I would like to hear one day as well. I don't believe I've ever heard tell of your story, Wisp.”

Arabella sighed, not bothering to look at the dark mage who had come up behind her. “No. She's been taught. She has been taught many, many times. Whether she chooses to listen or not is her own ordeal when she must pay for it,” she said ruefully. The halfling turned her gaze from Kastivi to the hound that was circling Christoval and was pleased to see Percival already doing his job and Waltz hers. There was no need for her to interfere with the knight – she'd only get in the way. With that situation under firm control, she looked back at Kastivi and folded her arms and obvious look of displeasure and disapproval on her face.

Kastivi winced. She knew what that meant.

Percival laughed, “Yes, I see that, Waltz. Keep it up so I can get the lad's ankle completely mended and we can move on.” Little did he know that Wisp had other ideas.

The dark mage's threat hit home and Kastivi squeaked, looking at Arabella with pleading eyes. She didn't want to beg. She thought she'd moved past that. Arabella was no help, however, as she shook her head, “Ye best do what she says, lass. You've earned this.”

Kastivi whimpered and turned her pleading eyes to the black mage, “Wisp...please... I'll be no use to the party if I'm hurt.”

“We have a healer for that,” Arabella said, frankly. She was not pleased. She knew that the dark mage wouldn't let Kastivi get killed, but a little pain might provide a valuable lesson in following orders and not abandoning her comrades in battle.
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 10-26-2018, 03:34 PM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #91  
Deadwaltz rolled her eyes at the healer and hefted her blade up into the air and went to bring it back down on the Hellhound, only for the blade to meet the earth below and continue a few feet underground...Right between the young knight's legs who stared at Waltz with a mix of incredulousness and panic; Waltz shrugging at him and leaving the blade in the ground for the time being as she arched her back and let a few cracks emanate from her spine. Magical hounds like that were stupid and always disappeared right before things turned into a real good fight, though she knew it was probably because Wisp didn't like seeing her weird demon stuff get too hurt for no reason.

Once the sliver of excitement passed it was time for Percy to get his comeuppance in the form of her own special kind of snark. "Well, when yah are traveling with me. It's not yahself chopping wood by my side. Or cooking the food, right? Yah just supply the smokeweeds in yah pipe and the alcohol. And the bits where I say something, and then you say something back, but a lot smarter." Once her back was in place, and Christoval wasn't going to piss himself when he almost lost his breedin' bits, the barbarian hefted him onto his feet without so much as a second guess, and dragged him along as she headed over towards her best friend - Content with being a pretend bodyguard while they bantered. No hellhound was touching him on her watch. "Ah can settle though! Ah just haven't found a place ah find cozy enough to bunker down in for a buncha winters at a time. Plus, if ah decide to settle, yah ain't gonna be around all the time to visit. But here's the knight! Yah should probably fix his ankle. Yah can't sleep with girls on a bad ankle. Ah've tried."

"I've offered countless times my services in bringing her back. Arabella seems to get more and more livid with each time I try to be helpful." Wisp brushed off her tights and sulked for a second, the blackened blood on the ground making her nose wrinkle as she leered at Waltz, who did her best to avoid eye contact. Non-verbal chastisement given, the Dark Mage rolled her eyes at Percival and gave him a dismissive wave as she moved over to Arabella and crossed her arms. "If we survive the stupidity of my apprentice and Kastivi, I'll tell you my grandiose tale of becoming a dark mage, Percival." She hummed, her monstrous demon-hound doing its best to acclimate to new limbs and appease it's master - the hellhound sinking claw after claw into the tree to try and claim Kastivi.

Wisp gestured over towards Arabella - the Dark Mage shaking her head at the dark-skinned girl. "Were this a real situation, your friend here would be dog food, and you'd be stuck there while they took their time with him. Pain and a harsh lesson is something you're going to need if you wanna remember this and learn from it." Raising a hand and snapping her fingers, Wisp looked to the hellhound and barked a single word in the demon tongue; the hound renewing it's pursuit with a bit more rabid, hellish vigor; Wisp smiling the entire time, as she turned to Arabella. "If I were in her shoes, I would turn this around on the summoner. These things have a one-track mind, and would plow through me to get to her." Her voice was audibile enough for the Halfling, and no one else of course. "Think she'll wise up to it? Or is she too scared of disobeying you to consider it?"
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 11-02-2018, 06:54 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #92   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Percival suppressed a smile, seeing the knight's facial expression and the placement of Waltz's blade, shaking his head. He'd stopped with the steady flow of words in a long dead language, keeping his palm open. Once the incantation was spoken, the wound would be temporarily mended for the next several minutes, the wizard already mentally sorting through spells, finally settling on a spell of True Mending. The spell was a classic as far as Percival was concerned and was amazed that not all healers took the time to learn it. It had never let him down, or anyone else in his parties for that matter.

“Ah, but Waltz, you are forgetting the part where I keep you alive. Not only alive, but thriving, morally boosted by the pipe and alcohol I provide – causing you to be healthy in body as well as mind,” Percival said, tapping his temple, grinning back at the barbarian as she pulled the knight to the wizard and Percival knelt down, sliding off Christoval's boot. This motion would have caused the young knight no discomfort thanks to the first spell, and Percival found himself grateful that he'd gotten into the habit of casting the spells as a pair. It prevented equipment from needing to be cut off and helped ease the injured's mind. Dead Waltz's and Percival's cooperation was so fluid, so expected by the other that the two gave the air of being a well-oiled machine, well-adjusted to the other's antics. Percival knew that he didn't so much as need to stand to make way to the injured knight – he knew already that she would bring him to him. “Yes, I'm certain that you can settle just about as well as I – which is why we both are nearing our twilight years and still very active on the road, yes? Let's face it, Waltz, the two of us are about as likely to settle down as Ara is to start wielding a great-axe,” he said, scratching under his beard and getting to his feet. He handed the boot back to Christoval and nodded. “That should keep you up until the next time you muss it up. Any girls you plan on taking to bed now that your ankle is mended?” he said lowering his voice only slightly and winking.

Percival turned his attention to the dark mage and pursed his lips, “Wisp, I believe you are forgetting how well-read our little pyress really is. Of course she will never take you up on that offer. She knows what happens to the dead who are brought back.” He shook his head amazed that she would even offer to that to a person she traveled with so frequently, rolling his eyes as the dark mage turned her attention to the halfling in question.

Kastivi clung to the branch of the tree she was in, wide-eyed and doing her best to not let her whimpers be heard over the sound of snarling. She could hear Wisp's taunting, biting back the urge to ask her what it was she wanted. Initially, she was not supposed to aid – it was her 'aiding' that got Percival injured in the first place. Now, she was being told that because she left, Christoval would have been dog food. Conflicting messages did little more than confuse the trainee, but she wasn't about to admit that. Instead, she looked to the branches of neighboring trees trying to see if she could make the jump. She didn't know if she needed to continue running or if she was expected to fight the creature, so she looked helplessly at her mentor. Her mentor offered no help, instead shaking her head at the dark mage, “She's quite clever, and the thought might pass her mind, but as the lesson here is to aid your party rather than let them get eaten, the likelihood of her pursuing those thoughts are slim to none.”

It was then that Percival appeared behind the two women, tapping the taller on the shoulder, “Wisp, I do not mean to bother you, but perhaps a punishment for the youngling could be carried out while we are on the road? The entire debacle has caused us to waste precious daylight and I'd like to make some distance so we can camp and Waltz and I can drink like we normally do when there aren't annoying children about.”

“I could double the weights around her ankles...”

“Hey, Kastivi!” Percival shouted at the tree. When he saw that her eyes were on him he asked, “Have you learned your lesson?”

She nodded eagerly.
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 11-09-2018, 08:21 PM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #93  
Waltz took the moment to watch Percival's work with a mix of wonder, and a concentrated brow that tried to decipher the language Percival had said. Normally she would have tried to repeat it herself, but lessons learned from traveling with the Dark Mage for a season or two had taught Deadwaltz the great value of keeping her mouth locked when it came to the forces of the arcane, both benevolent and malevolent. And once Christoval's ankle began to show the signs of true healing, the bantering between the best friends was all too there to great the party.

"Pfffft. Everytiime Ah use that pipe weed and yah lemme drink from your flasks, Ah wake up with a cramp in mah bowels, and Ah can barely breathe and run for a few hours. It keeps mahself thriving, but it sometimes doesn't help when it comes to the fighting. Which is what Ah do." Deadwaltz tried to spit back, pulling Christoval into her side and hefting him into the air so Percival could slide the boot away with ease. The poor knight. He was getting manhandled by the two, and eve his little flame he fancied hadn't gotten so much as a good grab of his soft bits. "But that's the thing! Ah wanna settle! Ah ain't gonna be this gorgeous and kill all these beasts forever! Ah'm gonna get old and grey at some point. Might as well think about planning mah retirement while Ah can still build houses, and till farms. And ride mah lovers." A small pause, and Deadwaltz looked over to the halfling, and then sneered. "Ah can show her how to use a great axe. It ain't that hard. Even for the small folk. Ah seen dwarves use them! She's...Small-dwarf sized."

Christoval snickered and looked towards Deadwaltz, a brow raised at the woman while incredulity oozed out of his mouth. "Just how daft are you, Ms. Waltz! There's no way you could have her use one of those. For once, I'm gonna have to side with the Healer." The young knight said, looking back and forth between the pair to see if his words would be taken with a hint of playfulness like he hoped, or if he was going to offend - Though it was Christoval who was to be offended, Percy's words making him turn redder than blood as he smiled and mumbled sheepishly.

"Well, uh...That's a bit fast, right?"

Wisp crossed her legs and arched her back; letting muscles tense and relax while she waved a hand around, an eye gleaming while she frowned deep enough to carve grooves into statues. "I can assure you if Resurrection of the dead was something I wished for to learn, it could be done without the normal repercussions. I would do it for the lovely Daughter and her Apprentice, if only out of the compassion in my heart, and countless times I've been forced to...Thank...her for services rendered."

The Dark Mage was about to continue on with her teasing before Percival was between the two; Wisp hiding behind her mane of black hair as she tugged it in front of her face - Nodding in agreement with the Healer and simply choosing to take off with or without the quintet at her heels. "Well, if she's learned her lesson, then I suppose we can carry on wards. I have to teach Arabella how to bring about the harbingers of Hell, tonight anyway. No sense in moping in such a filthy place like this." A small pause.

Christoval set about putting on his boots, before furrowing his brow, the reason they had been here and caught finally creeping back into his mind. "We found goblins. Already dead." He blurted out - the young knight itching his head and checking his blade. "They were running too. Scared. I think whatever is where we're going for this job is a bit bigger than just some greenskin clearing."
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 01-03-2019, 08:42 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #94   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Percival, satisfied with his work with Christoval, stood up and brushed his hands together. Crisis averted. Christoval would be fine, and Kastivi never appeared to be hurt. As far as he was concerned, his job for the time being was accomplished. He turned to Deadwaltz, “And to that I must ask what kind of a Northerner gets outdrank by a Midlander? You know, I could cast a spell to help you with your cramps.” He gave a bit of a nonchalant shrug there having used magic to take care of many hangovers in the past. “Then, Dead Waltz, you need to spend less time in the wilderness and more time in cities, with larger concentrations of people. You know.”

Arabella stood and watched the conversation happening about her, quite amused that Deadwaltz placed such faith in her. “Dead Waltz, I'm flattered that you think I could handle a great axe, but I'm afraid one of those weighs more than I do,” she said grinning. “I might be strong from a battle tactician's standpoint, but physically there is no way.”

“There is no need to insult our fighter, ser knight,” Percival said, ruing Christoval's agreeance, “She is strong and expects her party members to exhibit that kind of strength. It's no fault of hers if our halfling friend shows her strength in other ways. She is no twit on the battlefield – I would place my money on her over you any day.” To say that Percival was not fond of Christoval would be an understatement, but the sorcerer did live up to his calling in keeping the man healed. “That said, there's no such thing as 'a bit fast' for an adventurer. For all you know, you won't live to see the next goblin before something comes out of the woods. Life can be short, and it tends to be shorter for those in our line of work. Something to think about.” He tapped his temple and took that as his leave from a conversation with the young knight.

Kastivi breathed a sigh of relief when the wizard came to her aid. Double the weights around her ankles didn't sound wonderful, but compared to being chased by a modified hound of hell, Kastivi was eager to take it. “What are you teaching Ara?” she asked, eyes wide, looking first at the darkmage and then at the halfling. Arabella always advocated for interdisciplinary magics and abilities, but she never imagined the halfing would veer towards dark magics. She gulped, “What do...what do harbingers of Hell do?”

Arabella pursed her lips, giving a slight glare to the dark mage for blabbing it out loud in front of her apprentice. She'd planned to tell her, but she wanted to get further before she announced what her official plans were. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see her apprentice climbing down from the tree and taking the weights out of her bag. She'd doubled up before so she required no aid in getting them set up around her ankles, and it was refreshing that her apprentice actually adhered to her punishment rather than attempt to shirk it. “Dead goblins?” Ara asked, turning to Christoval, “Did you see how it died perchance?”
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 01-16-2019, 03:37 PM Reply With Quote  
BlueInTheShell BlueInTheShell is offline
Barrel of Monkeys
Default   #95  
There was a small pause in the air as Deadwaltz took the insult Percival had gave her to heart. Being outdrunk by a Midlander. It was akin to a slap in the face and pale eyes narrowed on the healer as she puffed her cheeks and frowned. Hard. "The day Ah officially get out-drunk by a Midlander without anything else in mah guts is the day Ah will drag you to the Cliffs and wed you mahself, Percy." Deadwaltz said with a sharp grunt and a roll of her shoulders. The barbarian was still offended it seemed, and the childish kick of a rock into the brush only made her seem more petulant. "And Ah ain't gonna find a proper man or lady in the cities. The city people just wanna hide in their houses. Too scared to go outside and plough a field. Plus mah clan. They don't like cities. Ah can't move all of them there."

Turning to Arabella the Barbarian gave her a dismissive wave of her hand and moved over towards the Halfling for a second, reaching out to feel the muscles on the Fire Mage's arms. "Nonsense! Ah'll have you do what Ah did as a little girl. That'll build yahself axe-arms." She said with a small, curt nod. Welcome to Deadwaltz's house of boulder lifting, it seemed. "People like Percy said Ah couldn't piledrive an ogre. Ah proved them wrong. You can do the same. And use an axe like mahself-sized."

Christoval shot a small look towards the healer and furrowed her brow slightly. There was no shame in admitting the healer was right in his ability to heal. Christoval could swallow that bit of pride towards his own conviction getting in the way of Percival. "I didn't intend to insult or offend. Both Waltz or Arabella. Arabella said it herself, she can't wield a great-axe." He mumbled, before trying to address the second comment. The one about Kastivi and himself - the young knight itching the back of his head. "I have everyone here. I trust all of you to carry me home again. I believe I can be a bit more...Slow currently. Even if its greenskins and...Whatever else is out there." Christoval said with a small, glare, watching the healer depart. What a rude, arrogant man.

Wisp wriggled in place and settled with a rather austere look on her face when it came towards Kastivi. The girl was young. Young and rather naive, judging from her line of questioning. The Dark Mage clasped her hands in front of her and ran her tongue across dry lips before looking to the Halfling, and then back towards the apprentice. "Nothing you would wish to know, or wish to learn to cast." She said sternly, before closing her eyes and then opening them slowly; black sclera replaced with her normal gaze. "The Harbingers? What they wish? All you need to do is read one of my tomes. It will enlighten you, wholly." Wisp blinked and the woman's eyes returned to normal, before she looked over towards Christoval as well at the mention of dead goblins. "Speak boy. I didn't train you in hunting and studying monsters, to not know what eats the green ones."

Christoval shrugged and rubbed a temple with his hand. It had all happened rather fast. "It was crushed. Pulverized into pulp. (Possible retcon, I don't remember) There was another one too, but that one was killed by me. Nothing was around to linger to eat it. Maybe more adventurers?" He said, trying to focus on the lines of questioning. "It was a troll. It didn't have troll-musk in the air. If it was an ogre it would have been messier. I don't know what could have done it."
"I just want to come home," said the Astronaut.
"So come home," said Ground Control.
"So come home," said the Voice from the Stars.

“And he goes around killing people?” said Mort.
He shook his head. “There’s no justice.”
Death sighed. NO, he said,... THERE'S JUST ME.
Old Posted 01-31-2019, 02:52 PM Reply With Quote  
Default   #96   sylvanSpider sylvanSpider is offline
Weaver of Webs
Percival could see the hurt on Dead Waltz's face and almost regret saying that to her. Almost. But if he could encourage his favorite drinking buddy to drink with him as opposed to doing the “responsible” thing and staying sober, that was what he was going to do. He didn't need another bratty Christoval ruining his only mode of keeping his sanity. Well, one of two ways, he supposed. The damned knight-in-training luckily hadn't found the other way. Often the wizard could be seen with a pipe dangling from his mouth, and he'd be lying if he said that more than half the time it was something other than tobacco. But that was for him to know and Christoval to never find out. If the brat ever asked him, he would tell him it was a rather expensive brand from the Southlands. Not exactly a lie, but certain details would be left out. “Now, now, Waltz, no need to talk like that or take offense. You can just ask me to cure your hangovers for you and I would. You should know that by now. My spells are good for other things besides just battles; you've seen it yourself. Besides, we both know how you and I work as a romantic pairing...We don't,” Percival said, a certain bluntness in his voice. “That may be so, but can you see me pulling a plow, Waltz? Because I can't. But, that said, how many suitors do you see here in the woods?”

At least one, Arabella thought to herself, looking at her feet. She, of course, said nothing of this manner out loud and instead took the opportunity to look up to Dead Waltz with eyes shining like a little girl who'd been promised candy, “I can't promise that I'll ever be able to lift an axe the size of the sword that you wield, but I'd be happy to train with you to improve my physical might.” Ah, ever the opportunist to learn new feats. The problem there was the simple fact that no matter how hard she tried, she'd never be able to possess the raw strength that Dead Waltz possessed. Arabella, when magic didn't seem to do the trick, relied on her speed and agility.

Percival wasn't listening as the knight tried to explain himself. Christoval already left a sour taste in his mouth by not trusting the healer to know his own limits in terms of drink on the road. Anyone that had previously traveled with him would be well aware of the fact that he would drink throughout the day, but never allow himself to get, at least, completely drunk until the party camped for the night. He could explain all he wanted – Percival still hated the knight.

Kastivi stood and brushed herself off, now properly weighted. Again, she was grateful for the opportunity over being chased by whatever Wisp had originally had in mind for her so her spirits were lifted however slightly at that. Prior parties tended to leave the Daughters to their own devices, but for whatever reason, the dark mage seemed to find an interest in her and her mentor and she couldn't quite place why, or what her intentions could possibly be. Given Wisp's chosen field of magic, she couldn't help but wonder what ulterior motives she might have. But what could she do? Her mentor, the halfling, seemed to take to her quite well. They'd met years before in some capacity it seemed, but this was before Ara had ever taken her under her wing. Kastivi blinked, listening to Wisp as she spoke, wondering what Ara was going to be getting herself into. Studying other forms of magic was strictly prohibited by the Daughters of Ash, and she'd seen Ara studying at least two others before – and she encouraged Kastivi to do the same. Kastivi kept her mouth shut about it; she hadn't seen the Daughters of Ash in over four years, or heard from them for that matter. She'd always just assumed the ravens were to them, that they'd been getting orders through the ravens, that they'd been following them all along....give or take a few misdirections in the note of bettering oneself despite whatever organizations they belonged to. But dark magic? This was strange behavior, even given Ara's past misdirections. Still though, Kastivi would be as loyal as she always was. She wouldn't breathe a word of this to anyone, and she prayed to the goddess that She wouldn't mind.

She gasped, seeing Wisp's eyes change to something other worldly. She was tempted to say underworldly, but that she couldn't confirm, given her lack of experience with the dark magics. Wisp was the first of her kind that she'd ever traveled with, and for that she found herself grateful, but at the moment she found herself nodding quickly and hoping that Wisp would lose interest in her and end the conversation. Soon, she got her wish as the conversation went to the goblins that Christoval found. “The knight speaks true,” she finally said, “I saw their bodies...” Her gaze met Christoval's for a moment before she blushed and looked down at her weighted feet.

“Astute observation, Christoval,” Arabella said, hopping to her feet. “Do you think you could lead us to them, then? Many minds might be able to brainstorm what caused their deaths.”
All that is empty in the drawing should be filled in, the teacher said to us kids. First you sharpen the pencil to fill in the thin whiskers, then you use the thick crayon to fill in the wings with brown, meticulously and without letting the crayon leave the page. Six feet can be traced below the soft belly. Now, breathing is hard to detect on paper, the teacher said to me when I asked, but it is easier to feel it in real life.

Even insects breathe.

-Rawi Hage, Cockroach
Old Posted 02-01-2019, 05:36 PM Reply With Quote  
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