stray from the fight
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 930
MP:
#1
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

With the ban on the Greatwood lifted, the Reaper took an opportunity to return to his roots, to his comforts, bending over into curiosity, exploration, and conniving. The beast yearned for a day without politics, without insurrection, without meddling gossip, or some range of diplomacy he was unsuited for – just a few stark moments out in the wilderness, biding his time, plotting and reeling for a hunt. It was immensely satisfying to linger on the strands and fringes of the unknown for a second or two, leaning out into the chilling wind, pressing his senses into something other than the latest disaster or demise; a warrior and his sword, his bow, only the movements, the motions, the notions of savagery tucked into his mind.

The autumn cold reached into his skin and plucked at his senses, alive, invigorated; breathing in the sharp recoil and defying it with his bestial inclinations. He threaded his way through the labyrinthine quality of the woods themselves; eyes catching on a few mingling will-o-wisps and turning from their lantern lights, meandering down paths with silent footsteps, quick, solid, and stoic. The dawn light rustled between leaves and boughs, and it was an ethereal, otherworldly connotation, painted in vivid hues, blending the prey he sought into its landscape.

But that was fine. He was feral, but not impatient. This day was composure, for control, for all the things he’d lost along the way.

He chose a lower spot amidst the brush and bramble, tucking himself down behind a rock, a monolith hidden behind another Colossus, one of his own nature, and grabbed hold of the bow tucked along his back. With any luck, a deer would come by, and he’d be able to loosen one or two from his quiver, and arrive back home with enough meat for several days – a furtive stockpile for the coming hours and seasons.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 79
MP:
#2
Mature Content Warning 
For a man of creation and construction, there was a certain freedom to be enjoyed in the structure of the body he had been given. Though its representation of his soul remained uncertain at best, it awarded perks that he'd otherwise taken for granted. Even compared to his...original form.

There was no coin or currency with which to make his way societally in this land. In many ways it was primordial, more reminiscent of his homeland than the advanced lands Cera had traveled through in the past years. Bartering and self-sufficiency were the laws of the land, and these attributes oft led to a nomadic, solitary life that the ember-child did not take well to.

Nonetheless he stalks the Greatwood, whispers and news of the Fae ringing in his furred ears as his silent, coal-dipped paws traverse the new land. It is teeming with wildlife that the lands near the Settlement so not enjoy - surely the cause of desperate overhunting. So he follows his nose, sensitive and sure. Stalking the prey, the quarry, that he knows inhabits these woods.

Instead, as the trails mix and mingle and the scents become muddled, another becomes apparent. Something too mixed and artificial to be animal. Human? Cera is not too keen with his nose when it comes to the human populace, but the trail is fresh and his limbs are swift, an easy solution to the curiosity that festers freshly in his mind and which draws away his attention from the hunt at hand.

The hulking form of the man is difficult to parse from his surroundings, motionless mountain that he is. Cera huffs a low sound in his throat, intentionally letting his paws land heavier upon the Earth as he approaches. For a moment he considers communicating nonverbally with the hunter, verdant eyes upon the slim structure of the bow in his hands. Instead he awaits the man's attention, and when it is received he lets the shift overtake him until his own slim form emerges on two legs.

Careful not to move with his much louder, clumsier two feet, he murmurs softly across the distance. "Care for assistance with your prey?" Cera can't summon offense if his offer is denied, but the quick kill of a bow is preferable in his mind to the slow agony of his skilled but painful bite. Perhaps he can lead the man onward to the freshest trail of deer, or hunt and herd one into his line of sight. If he was open to sharing his kill, at least.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#3
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

His expectations for deer were short-lived – the quiet copse flickered apart at heavy paws on leaves, and his head shifted swiftly in the direction of the noises. It was wolfish, but the long, lengthy legs were an indication of some other distinct characteristic, and he tilted his head a fraction, a silent perusal, a study, predator and predator. He pondered the next set of traversing, the sojourn and route it would take, if it thought him an adequate beast to slink rapacity within, or if he was too massive, too threatening, too intimidating to be bothered with. His eyes, his skin, his figure, dauntless and enduring, surviving battle upon battle, honed instincts along the weapon in his hands, if it was going to become a necessity in a matter of moments – grasp slowly maneuvering towards the string, intending to pull it taut the instant movements became ominous and demanding.

Except then – the beast altered its form, and he should’ve known, really, that there was another Attuned in the midst. Too human in its approach, too steady in its calculations.

He gave no indication of his surprise, save for an upturned, arched brow, a man who had seen many modifications and adjustments: plumes and feathers where fingers clenched, fur where fury bristled, fangs and talons when the stakes became too high. Unfortunately, that was where the recognition ended – he had no notion or recollection of the other man, blonde tassels, a shorter stature, narrow, lean, cut from some working cloth. Deimos rose then, carnivore irreverence as he maneuvered upright, Colossus and mountain, monolith of stone, earth, and ice, contemplating the vocals, the unleashed inquiry.

Help him hunt? The sword rarely had assistance in obtaining his prey – though Lily had sought to help once before, when his arrow had gone straight and flown true, taking back the carcass and meat for the long winter’s evenings. But it appeared scarce today, nothing coming by for several hours, or they’d sniffed him out, found his predilections unsettling, and chose to cross paths another day. “If you wish,” he rumbled, voice deep and puzzled. “What would you like in return?” Mutual exchanges, a bartering system with strangers; done more than once before, when they weren’t all scattered like storms, scars, and stars. Perhaps some of the cut, when he gutted and removed, when he split bones and marrow apart? And why, when he was likely capable himself?

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 79
MP:
#4
Whatever standoff that could have existed perishes beneath the weight of their own respective self-assurance. There is a kinship in their dissecting gazes, canine and man, equal hunter souls that resonate in the not-silence of the woodlands. When he shifts, the settling of cloth around his frame is the inviting percussion of skin and garment.

Cera awaits a reaction from the man, who stands in his monolithic frame from where he had been crouched, seamless and graceful for a man of his size. Cera, solid and sure in his skin no matter the realm or reflection he takes, is undaunted by the differences between their frames. The bigger they were, the harder they fell. Not that he'd like to attempt that in particular right now, all things considered.

His confusion is apparent in his deep, grizzled voice. Cera lilts a small, crooked smile his way, amused by this exchange and their parallel behavior. A single defined shoulder shrugs, trying to express with his body the lack of machinations, intentions, harmful thoughts that the man may suspect from him.

"The hide or antlers, if you're willing to part with them. I've no home yet, it would be great for my den with winter approaching." Determining the safety of the man to be above a certain arbitrary level, he moves forward on quiet feet towards the looming warrior. "Taking down a sizable enough buck for a worthy pelt is a feat a lone wolf can't accomplish." He shakes out his limbs as he speaks, limbering up, stretching his human skin and shivering in the slight breeze without his fur. Kind verdant eyes sweep up Deimos' frame, settling on his eyes.

"Would you prefer I chase it to you or would you rather I lead you on the freshest path with my nose?" Giving the man options seemed the kindest course after imposing on his hunt, and Cera certainly didn't know his level of skill with the bow in his hand, whether he could fell a running deer or not. Not wanting to waste daylight, he doesn't think to offer his name or pleasantries just yet, assuming it could wait after their hunt was successful.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#5
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Deimos still, at times, found it difficult to accept assistance. There was a wild streak of independence within his form, from years of self-imposed isolation and desolation, an abandonment of other figures and inhabitants, conforming to a habit of supporting himself. In other seasons, he’d done the exact opposite, molding a kingdom, or adhering to strategy amidst numbers on the battlefield, working along an assembled mass of friends, comrades, and allies, fighting to ensure they all survived the next few feral moments. Caido had established itself in such compassionate, beneficent measures, he was sometimes momentarily uncertain what to do or how to consider anything other than munitions; then it would fade, the customs sticking to his entity too, and he morphed, altered, his actions and machinations to them instead of on a singular analysis. Yet, here he was, stunned, baffled, and bewildered by a stranger’s intentions again, before establishing a sensation of renewal and mutual exchanges, muffling the strangled laughter in his throat, managing to shake his head at himself and naught more.

What had become of him?

Hide or antlers could be parted with; his main goals had been a storage of meat for the incoming winter and duration of Long Night. If he craved to have either of the former, he could always return to the forest later, preparations extended in earnest and haste. “You may have both,” he proffered. The sinew and flesh of the deer would be a welcome attribute for anyone, though he narrowed his eyes for an instant in speculation. “Ensure you have a safe location before Long Night.” Advice from prior experiences, when the world had become a haunted platitude, a treacherous precipice, demons and monsters striking from the constant, enduring evening, the twilight obscuring their advances, their claws, their inveigling notions until it was too late. No one need repeat the poignant, acrimonious occasion – though it led him to wonder how it would be effected by the opening of the Greatwood; a sentiment to consider before the sun failed to rise and the moon seared.

As for lone wolves – his nonchalance took on a more ambivalent line, kinder on the fringes, calculating along the middle. Machinations surged as he weighed his options: while he’d yearn the thought of the chase, of leaping and churning long limbs into the undergrowth, of gnashing teeth and carnivore abysses, it wasn’t entirely practical – he could be quiet and silent, but the moment he pummeled a twig, a fallen branch, a mistaken bough, their chances would deplete quickly. “You can chase it to me,” his decision loomed – bowstring pulled taut again, ether of a hunter, of a warrior, of a beast willing to slay another, waiting, ready, to crouch back into position.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 79
MP:
#6
Already Cera falls prey to the habits of his soul-shape, head tilting and ears flexing in pale imitation of the periscope freedom of his large canine ears. The man seems consumed for a moment in his own thoughts, though Cera is more than patient enough to outlast such an internal monologue. His curiosity will remain, but not enough to interrupt the decision making playing out before him. Only when the man gives a minute shake of his head, an aborted sound in his throat that may have been laughter, does Cera settle his shoulders and await his response.

A positive one at least, and Cera cannot help the boyish light to his eyes and the quirk of a foxlike grin on his face at the prospect of a shared hunt. In contrast to Deimos, this is what the golden child needs to thrive. Companionship, brotherhood, reliance. Not just the allowance of the sharing of the pre-kill machinations, but also the gift of both requested items. Already he can imagine the glorious blanket he shall make of the pelt of their prey, furless body shivering slightly in the chill of the air in contrast.

The warning - advice, perhaps - brings his smile down to an inquisitive frown. There is a story there, a background he does not know. "Long Night? I've only been here a short time, can I trouble you to ask what I should prepare for?" A recurrent thought tickles at his mind, as persistent as a tick, that maybe he should make something. Build a home, a shared space, for people like him to find safety and comfort. Welcoming. Perhaps it's a more pressing matter than he had anticipated.

Not as pressing as the hunt at hand, however. Cera's grin turns a little bloodthirsty at the allowance of a solitary hounding, harassing, heralding the death of the prey at hand. He had not been much of a killer, herbivore he had been in his previous life. Whether the change has come from too many years of bloodshed, loss, and inequality, or whether it is a byproduct of his new predatory form is yet to be seen. With a dip of his cranium in response, he lets the shift overtake him swiftly, turning his nose to the earth and jogging forth into the oppressive thicket of the woods.

It is easy enough to hunt, to trail. He is one of the fastest canine species, certainly faster than any common deer, but tracking and shepherding it back to the hunter are two entirely different tasks. It's much easier to find suitable prey with his sensitive nose and heightened vision, picking out a larger buck as one may select a particularly fruit in a market stall. His copper fur blends well with the fallen leaves that coat the earth, and when he is ready, his stiltlike limbs thrust him from the underbrush straight at his prey.

It spooks easily enough, mindless and manic as it is. Harder to herd than a common sheep, but easy enough to keep on the run with snaps of his fangs and his odd shriek-like bark. Keeping out of way of its flailing hooves when it tries in vain to defend itself is easy - that had been his body once, or some cousin of it. Cera could read the broadcasted signals of pre-movement as easily as his own muscles contracted to keep him in avoidance of them. The flare of the beast's nostrils, the heaving of its sides and thrashing of its crowned head, would be pitiful if Cera did not know that the end it faces will be swift. Far kinder than the death he would have delivered, small as he is. When they shoot towards Deimos' hiding spot Cera swerves hard to get out of the way, paws skidding in the veritable graveyard of leaves as he presents a clear broad-side shot to the man.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#7
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Not one to readily advance into companionship exploitations or halcyon smiles, the fiend hadn’t meant to diminish the one the stranger conjured. But there it was, a dampening frown, something the fiend usually accustomed himself with, and the subject of Long Night pulled into more soused spirits. “An unusually long-drawn out evening. No sun. And roaming monsters.” He didn’t shrug this off though, didn’t impart it as an idle threat, omen, or ultimatum; he’d seen enough of the hazardous wakes of claws, talons, and death - and frankly, didn’t care to experience it again anytime soon. But the seasons had slipped by, on the junctures of other eerie, enigmatic twists and turns, and before long winter would be upon them again, and the haunting gallows of the aforementioned bestial twilight. It’d be one thing if the demons were easily conquered, but with such a mass, with such a threat, he wasn’t certain how they were to triumph other than tucking themselves away again (hidden, concealed, cloaks and daggers at the ready, guards at doors, some playing judge, jury, and executioner all in locks and keys). “Noise attracts them. Most of us stuffed houses and places with snow moss, and then stayed in the Rathskeller. We also lured Luxere, which are some form of deer with glowing antlers.” Like Auni, brilliant and blinding and taken during the last Long Night, when souls died and turned into something else altogether. “They keep the demons away, apparently.” The fiend didn’t know the ins and outs, all the intricacies, only the experiences nestled and coiled in his mind – not so much fear as trepidation and apprehension, uncertain of how it would all spread apart again with the Greatwood now open. Would the Fae be effected as well, suddenly bombarded with more of Caido’s ongoing dilemmas? If the blight saga wasn’t enough –

Enough, enough, enough. It was time to hunt, time to relish and savor the violence, the vehemence, the acrimony clustered and bristling in his chest, in his lungs, in his soul, vibrant and chilling, dusting off the irreverence, the sedition, the splendor in desecration, devastation, and death. It was a song, a tune, a melody he knew well, composed and comprised on battlefields, on the undulation of his movements and motions, in the flight of swords, in the belligerence of upheavals, in the tradition of tossed banners and forgotten graves. The human turned back to the wolf, searching, exploiting, and the man with the bow lingered, a savage, predator, carnivore haze invited, instigated, and invoked.

He crouched back to his familiar spot, and breathed in the rapacious follies, the ghostly bindings of war and battle and vigilance – eyes narrowed, senses anointed, consecrated, blessed with their nefarious conditions, watching, speculating, listening for the sounds of upcoming prey. For a few moments, there was nothing but his own feral, wild, untamed thoughts, a blistering of machinations coiling at his seams, at his frayed ends, at his grasp on the bow, string pulled taut, ready, fervent, eager for the fray.

Then it arrived. The stag was chased and taunted and implored into his range, a masterful exchange and workmanship of Attuned lengths and lineage. Deimos was a sharp, precise beacon, a hunter, a vice, a pinnacle of oblivion and scythe swipes, letting the arrow fly as crowns, napes, and shoulders made their appearance, intending for it to be felled within an instant, aiming for its cranium, for quick, sudden, swift ends.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 79
MP:
#8
Disappointed, but not surprised. Cera sighs softly and his hand habitually comes to trace at his scar beneath his thin shirt. Every land had its problems, and he should not have expected more than chaos and cruelty, malevolence and destruction, in a world that had magic and mischief running through its veins. He commits the freely given knowledge to memory, something settling in his chest at the realization that his plans would have to be moved up. That another battle for survival would have to be waged already, so soon after his arrival to this strange new land.

"Thank you for the warning, I can't properly express my appreciation," he says instead, eyes half-glassed as plans and plots unravel like pulled threads in his mind. "There's still so much to learn about this land, it can be overwhelming at times." Nevertheless, the seasons have not yet changed, the tides remained unturned and their fears had not come to fruition. For now there is the hunt, the kill, the stripping of life from freedom's vassal. So with no further words he turns and hunts, his saliva thick on ivory fangs, ears pinned and nape bristles.

It is a short, frantic run. Desperation, the creature seeks life even with death at its heels, vying for an ending to its story that Cera has already erased. As he dodges out of the way the snap of the string, the whistle of the arrow, the impact of a body hitting the earth all come to him well before his eyes turn to take in the sight of the animal.

As expected - though perhaps it shouldn't have been, considering he had no knowledge of the man's skill beforehand - it is dead. A smooth, clean shot through the crown. Cera cannot bear the smell of blood and life still emanating from the creature, shifting to avoid such realities. Now that the hunt is over, his own urges unsatisfied, the turmoil in his gut returns. Still sparing a congratulatory smile towards the behemoth standing from the foliage, he treads on light feet towards the fallen prey.

"Magnificent shot," he praises. Lifts emerald eyes to the towering specimen at his side. "Do you have somewhere to take it for butchering after we have stripped the inside?" They had to be quick to slice through the belly and remove the digestive track, cool the meat, and drain the blood. But butchering and skinning was best done in an area where the animal could be strung up.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#9
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Deimos had never known kingdoms or lands full of contentment: there’d always been chaos, in one form or another: wars, famines, pestilences, rebellions, cold, brutal insurrections, thieves in the dead of night, ghosts from the slaughter. No world seemed immune from the wake of disaster and destruction – either human borne, molded, created, or simply a way of the earth revolving and turning. It was why they grabbed with greedy intervals and avaricious claws, striving to have those precious moments of repose, where treachery didn’t loom, where phantoms didn’t linger, where sanctuaries and sanctums didn’t seem so far away. It was difficult to fathom the last time any of them all seemed content had been amidst the spring, the turn of Fiat Lux, festivals after monsters, demons, and debacles.

And while he’d always been born, baptized, consecrated, and anointed in the heat, in the rush, in the irreverence of chaos, sometimes even he was fatigued and exhausted by its endless cycle.

“With more to come,” he nodded, a swift, measured thing, acknowledging the overbearing, overwhelming statures. “Sometimes you can only learn as you go. But let me know if you have any questions.” The Reaper, the Sword, usually had a multitude, streamlined curiosities when rushing into the unknown, an unrelenting persistence in survival clinging to his form. The other man was likely the same – portaled in from the unknown, timing a little more than dire.

The hunt, thereafter, was a short, curt, blunt thing – were it some other individual, something he detested, abhorred, or loathed, then he would have extended the predator instincts simply for unholy, irreverent entertainment. But the deer had its value, was a thing of the forest, meant to be honored in its sacrifice, ensured any and all parts would be put to good use.

He didn’t expect the praise though. His eyes slid back over to the other, no longer long-legged wolf, but man again – the beast accepted the compliment with half a smile, anything else would’ve seemed superior and smug. He knew weapons. He knew munitions. He knew the bow, the arrow, the slash of steel, the pommel and hilt of a sword. There were quite a few things chiseling along his ignorance, but quick deaths weren’t one of them (neither were slow, torturous, agonizing ones). “We can take it to my home.” He’d strung up enough carcasses along the eaves of his house, or the nearby trees, shrugging. It wasn’t terribly far, just along the Outskirts, at the end of roads and streets.

At the notion, he spread his hands apart, a gilded glow conforming between them, and then lowered his grasp so the item sinking into fruition had ample room – a cart, small and sturdy, wheeled, a place for the carcass to rest so it wouldn’t have to be carried over the distance, saving time and strength. He grabbed hold of the prey, and used a hunting knife to properly field dress the animal, cutting upwards along the hide, removing entrails along the way, and allowing heat to dissipate. It was diligent, smooth work, done time and time and time again, habitual, measured, and meticulous, retaining any organs either of them might want; ensuring it was ready to be transported.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 79
MP:
#10
It's an ache of familiarity, to be instructed in the archaic, primordial laws of this land. There were so many differences he could not grasp in his hands, spilling over like water from between his fingers and across his wrists. A peace of society at odds with the invasions and wars and bloodlet he had witnessed as a child. Yet they still kept each other at arm's length, so different from the physicality of his history. They had been so desperate to keep each other close, and these bodies were perfect receptacles for such motions. So why did they still remain at such a distance? And why did they not band together as he was used to, when the earth and her children had proven time and again that strength would always lay in numbers?

Shaking his head with a soft sigh at the notions that tumble and fight within his mind, Cera focuses instead on the resonating timbre of the man's voice, the knowledge it heralds. "Thank you for the kindness of your offer," he says sincerely, lifting his verdant eyes to the azure of the man before him. "There is so much to learn, I often don't know what to ask. But if you will entertain my naivety, I would appreciate answers in the future as I come up with suitable questions." Spoken with a wry grin at his own lack of questions in the immediate moment after the offer is proposed.

Then there is no further time for questions or answers on either side, the hunt swift and brutal and the end fittingly parallel. In contrast, the man's subdued smile only brightens Cera's countenance farther at having elicited it in the first place. Cera is sufficiently distracted by the display of magic following so quickly after the man's words hail his gaze, eagerly watching the show as a cart is formed from the light that surrounds the man's hands. "Amazing!" he chirrups, eyes glistening with curiosity. "What are the limitations of a magic like that?" For nothing ever came without a cost, a balance.

There are no further words offered or exchanged after his question as the man procures a knife and sets about field stripping the deer. It's a familiar motion, but one that is best done with a singular pair of hands. In the meantime, Cera closes his eyes and sends up a quiet thanks to the forest, to the earth, to the God that may govern it for the meal they have been given. For the bounty it holds beyond meat, the security its sacrifice will award them. And as the blood drains into the earth, he steps forward, prepared to help haul the carcass onto the cart for transfer.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#11
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Thank you for the kindness of your offer traced over his ears, caused his head to snap back up; remembering, recollecting, times when there was naught kind about him, savagery over compassion, cold, chilling malevolence contorted over his rigid frame, animosity in his gaze, heathen brushstrokes in his movement, the swing of a sword screaming and seething acrimony. He didn’t reflect on the change, not now, but rather on the tones of the other man, pondering the lengths in which he’d gone to alter, if he’d lost the anarchy, if he’d misplaced the depravity, if he’d forgotten the stained, vile, deplorable regions and reach of his scathing corruptions. “You are welcome,” he hastened instead of the series of inquiries spiraling along his machinations, the Machiavellian pursuits, persisting in the absence of danger and alarm. The timbre signified both responses – welcome for the information, welcome to ask questions, because he’d been there, standing beneath the Spire, hastened out into the brindled, brandished unknown – and the first place he’d gone to hadn’t been the woods (it’d been the bar). His own contorted and curled too, curiosity either contributing to his ruin or heightening it, arching a brow in its singular possession. “Where did you come from?”

The natural, inherent method of magic, so familiar to him now, might’ve stunned the fellow man, while he thought naught of it. It was with a chirrup, a cheerful glee, and as the Reaper glanced down, he muffled a smile. “It depends. I used to only be able to create small objects.” He surveyed the cart, not tiny or miniscule, shrugging. “I have gained magic since I arrived here.” The mountain couldn’t ascertain why either; just a byproduct of this particular earth, granting, christening, anointing, and blessing while still taking from beneath their noses. “One of my friends can create artifacts with magic imbedded.” Friend sounded right; that’s what Remi was – far more gifted and talented than the Sword. The stranger would be far more impressed with those notions and motions.

In the quiet, with pulled apart rib cages and stripped insides, he continued his hushed work, leaning down to grab hold of the carcass, transferring it to the cart. Then he wiped his hands off a rag along his belt, as if the blood would ever leave, lifting his gaze to the shifter again. “Follow me,” and for the first time he recognized beacon lines; him hastening others forward, and he set his jaw, uncertain. If he wished, the Attuned could ensure the deer stayed put as Deimos pulled it along over moss, rocks, and rubble.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 79
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#12
It's almost amusing how the reply seems to steal away the man's life force as it comes from his mouth in terse waves. Cera has to bite down on his lip to keep from giggling, the shadow of discomfort - scarcely seen, barely a flicker beneath the controlled veneer the man holds rigorously in place - still enough to bolster his own amusement. The welcoming tone of his voice was appreciated nonetheless, and was awarded a warm smile in return. Kindness was the currency of Cera's life, and he always repaid in surplus. Though he was curious enough to give a fox its run, he hadn't anticipated it being directed at him. The stalwart soldier didn't seem the type to care nor inquire.

"Helovia," he states simply, unsure whether the man would even recognize the word or merely stare at him in blank-eyed confusion. "I was dropped here from some sort of...portal. This world is very different from my own, and if you're correct about the approaching darkness, then I have even less time to learn than anticipated." It's said with sardonic bitterness, a wry smile twisting his lips even as he calls on his other form. Whatever other questions thean has, it can wait until after the hunt. The skinning alone, needing a precise hand and patient soul, would give plenty of time for conversation.

At least the minimum is done by the time he shifts back into his human form, still spellbound by the display of magic. "You've clearly expanded upon it quite a lot," he laughs, though Cera is undoubtedly appreciative of the aid the cart will supply. He may have been able to lug around a carcass of this size in his Helovian form, but he hadn't been blessed with such weight bearing resilience in this one. A shame, he thinks while gazing enviously at the stranger's broad shoulders and thick chest. Though Cera has to admit, being able to soak in such eyecandy wasn't too bad either. Definitely worth the lack of bulk in his own body.

Shaking away such sordid thoughts with a flush on his cheeks that can't be explained away by the chill, Cera instead moves forward towards the cart. Deimos heaves it up and gods he just got rid of those thoughts, now he had to walk behind him while that little show was put on? Cera scoffs to himself internally, patiently placing his hands upon the cooling fur, and making sure it stays properly in place as they begin to make their way out of the thicket.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 930
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#13
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

The Sword didn’t expect to be haunted here, not now, as a simple statement of once-residence pressed into the scene: his mask fissured, the perfectly controlled veneer splintering in minute waves. First his eyes widened, then his breath caught, a rough inhale and exhale, his sides heaving with an enormous effort of ensuring his lungs filled when they flickered in shock. His head hung for a series of seconds, a rough swallow conforming to his throat, pushing down a segment of ruminations and sentiments that thought to bind and blind him - another, one more from the ghosts and wraiths, from the leagues of phantoms and shadows, from its blackened sepulchers, surviving where Helovia had not. And while the stranger seemed to have moved on from that particular fact, discussing portals and things that went in one of Deimos’ ears and right out the other, the beast’s hands tangled in the rope along the cart. This wasn’t someone he knew directly, not like Rexanna and Kiada, but a being from an alternate kingdom (or maybe once an Outcast – he didn’t know, didn’t know, didn’t know, the ignorance crawling up to meet him, when he’d spent so much time isolating himself in those icy mountains and rime paths). Finally, when the wind notched and curled against him, when he’d uncoiled from his rapacious onslaughts, his skull meandered back towards Cera’s, glancing over his shoulder, hovering and waiting to be harpooned on the bestial plains of an old world and an old life. “I am from Helovia too,” came from his mouth, loosened by the bouts of composure, as if struggling to make it past his teeth, one hand reaching out, an extension of a greeting, an introduction, that should’ve occurred series and cycles ago. “Deimos.” the Reaper went unsaid, like everything else, twisting accords of legends, tragedies, and disasters corresponding, bounding him to the ash, the salt, the cinders, once lord and king of the mountains, tied and tethered by frozen lines and oaths.

Then they continued, and he wondered if there’d be something twisted and malignant, if this man had been born into a venue not aligned with his – one amongst the many he’d sought to destroy, where he plotted condemnation, when he’d allotted invasions and permitted vitriol and violence to unfurl from their machinations. There’d always been a reason, a motive, not brandishing chaos for the simple matter of watching the realm burn around them; but sometimes it didn’t matter. In some measures, they’d always been the villains. They’d always been the wrong. They’d always been the immoral. And he couldn’t question it – their faults, flaws, and defects apparent and vast.

He pulled the cart again, marching on, listening to the light laughter and pondering how anyone could extend it so readily, in the course and curse of darker days. “Yes,” he noted, in a way, incapable of melding or molding anymore thought into the matter; well and wholly distracted by more sprouting from sovereignties he still craved, still savored, still longed for in the pinnacle of slumber: couldn’t have, couldn’t have, couldn’t have. “Can you shift into anything else?” How strong were this man’s abilities? Some Attuned had mastered more than one form (Amalia: with her owl feathers, with her leopard fur, with her otter paws, Remi, with his raccoon predilections, lion heart, and manticore endeavors). And would he bludgeon the Reaper with those claws, with those talons, with those sharpened fangs?

The monster would deserve it.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic
Age: 21 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 79
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#14
There is no reason to suspect that anything will hold them up, that their task is not soon to be completed. Nothing Cera had said would have prompted any further conversation that could not be properly held while they tugged along their bounty on the cart. Perhaps it would be strained, whatever questions the man may have had born of genuine curiosity or social pressure to inquire further. Not that he seemed the type to subscribe to such rudimentary, unnecessary notions.

When the motion halts, progress stunted, Cera turns a curious eye back up at the man pulling their cargo. There is a tension to his mountainous shoulders, trembling like Atlas himself holding up the world. Perhaps he is. A mighty warrior brought low by the wrath of the Gods, toiling beneath the weight of the entire world, unable to procure even the briefest of respites. He seemed the type, the stoic soldier, the sword and shield. These were things Cera could see and categorize upon their meeting, an old habit from Helovian days when the Threshold was teeming with new life, and you had only a brief interaction on which to try and judge them worthy of the home you offered.

The words that are harkened back to his ears freeze his own hands, until a faint tremble starts up in them. Jigano had said...he had known there were others...his mind spins wildly, remembering the list of names the man had given him, but the revelation comes all too soon for him to try and determine it on his own. Match the changed features to names, titles, those he'd never met but had known.

Deimos.

"Reaper," he echoes dumbly, almost without his consent. It's no insult. Merely a title, hollow and useless in this land as his own. Verdant eyes, wide with surprise, lift to the shock-cold of blue he catches only a glimpse of. His own hand rises to grasp at Deimos', unafraid, if perhaps a bit awed. "I...Cera, the Golden Prince. Son of Midas." He had not had to introduce himself by way of his parentage in so, so long. His title had begun to speak for itself, much like the Reaper. He had escaped that shadow many, many years ago. Yet he was not so bold as to presume the Reaper would have heard the echoes of his presence all the way in the secluded northern reaches of the land. Midas, however, would always be a golden light that blinded and reminded all of his life. He had not been a good father, and he knew that now. Gaucho had always been the father of his heart, his soul, but...his progeny far outweighed Cera's importance. It would feel like a lie to use the man's name in such a way, not when there were so many blooded relatives that had made names for themselves beneath his strong branching bloodline.

The man's hands are firm, large, calloused. Comforting, in a way. Cera had feared Deimos for years as a child, especially after d'Artagnan had nearly ended his life before it even had a chance to begin. In some ways, he had nearly been molded in parallel racism, terrified of all horned beings before the intervention of the Earth God placed forgiveness in his heart. For a moment he's at a loss for words, and simply allows silence to overcome them as they continue pushing onward. What could he say? They had never met face to face, not that Cera could recall. Fought alongside each other in the masses, perhaps. Been in the same vicinity when certain inescapable events occurred. But never intimately, not enough for this to be a reunion of any sorts. But Cera had known of his death, in Helovia. He couldn't say he was surprised at the revival of the man before him - legendary, ubiquitous, omnipresent. If anyone deserved a second chance, it was the man before him, if only by strength of valor and achievement alone.

"I'm glad you got a second chance here, Lord" he comments softly instead, just loud enough for his words to catch at the man's ears and draw his attention once more. It's the only thing he can say without outright proclaiming that he's glad he's no longer dead. The habitual title falls from his lips before he has time to think, and the Prince winces at the slip-up. Doubtlessly the reminder of all he had lost would not be a sweet one, but he had been raised to be respectful of positions from Midas' side, and it was habit more than heartlessness.

As they walk he considers their strange union. He had thought he would hate the man upon meeting him, that seeing him would remind him of d'Artagnan and the regime he used to head. But years of forgiveness, faith, open-heartedness...it was not so easily overshadowed. The scar on his chest was nearly as old as he was, and time healed all wounds. Perhaps it would come up later in time, if they continued their conversation or remained in each other's presence in the future, but Cera could not bear to place the burden of blame upon the Reaper.

A wry smile tugs at his lips, appreciation for the distraction apparent on his expressive face. "Ah, no. I've not been here long enough for that, I believe. I don't even know how I would go about achieving it. My soul will decide on another shape when it's ready, I suppose." Part of him is loathe to admit it, wanting to impress the Reaper, to be more than a bumbling child in his sharp, all-knowing eyes. But he'd never fancied himself a liar, either.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you


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