Kiss from a Rose
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 30
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 1,939
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#1
A cold moon rose over the ruins. The broken, jagged bones of the dead city were deceptively softened by a thick blanket of wedding-gown-white snow that glittered beneath the sky, catching and reflecting starlight back to the heavens. It might have been a place of wonder if one looked at it only briefly and from a distance.

Closer inspection would reveal the shadows and the ashes mixed with the snow, the tracks of predators and prey marring the snowbanks and the occasional splash of blood or abandoned carcass not yet picked clean by the scavengers.

At night the hunters were more active, prowling on silent wings and paws to make their strikes and dine on kills.

One of the hunters perched on a stone wall, his long white hair a tangled braid behind him, his tunic torn and caked with blood both old and fresh and the black drippings of his own tears and saliva. He was a strange parody of the impeccable bard who had once walked the streets of the Settlement with such elegant grace and confidence. Now he licked fresh blood from his fingers, savoring the steaming liquid as he dipped them once more into the broken body of the cat beside him. His clothes should not have been enough to keep him warm, but he seemed heedless of the cold Deepfrost air as he crooned a gentle, wordless lullaby to the dead beast at his side in between sucking each finger clean in turn before dabbing them into the upthrust, broken ribcage again and beginning the process anew.

Bastien
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Bastien De Rosieres
Guildmaster / Artist ☆ Artist's Sanctuary Guild
Age: 33 | Height: 6' 2" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 6
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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#2


Bastien, fresh off his wedding and the current success of his guild, was in good spirits. Not that he was often in poor ones. It was natural for the artist to be cheerful, his default way of being. Life was a party and he was lucky to attend, after all.

Though all this good fortune had made him rather busy. His paints had laid untouched for more than a day in the first time in a long time and he found his fingers ached to create again. When he stood before the canvas in the artist's guild though, he found there one of his gravest enemies: Artist's Block. Standing from the side did not help and neither did trying to paint upside down. Spontaneously making brush strokes just made a mess and intensive planning left him feeling like he had never had a good idea in his entire life.

Finally, he decided that perhaps what he needed was a change of scenery. But not somewhere he usually went like the fields in the dusk or the temple. No, somewhere different. Risky. Interesting.

The ruins at night was a promising idea. Dangerous enough to be thrilling and he could draw in the dark now with his Ascended eyes. Making sure Rexanna knew where he was (and to come looking if he had not returned by morning) he set out, the stars above accompanying him on his walk. When he finally reached the crumbling stone of the ruins he put up his canvas, laid his paints on a nearby wall, then got ready to begin.

His brush had not touched the paint when he heard a noise. A sort of sickening crunch, followed by sounds of...sucking? Stepping back, he looked around himself trying to find the source of the noise. Catching a glimpse of white hair behind a column he began to walk closer slowly, unsure if he was approaching an animal or...a..person? A few feet away, he quietly called out: "Hello...?"

Bastien
I must say, it’s nice
This pageant of vice
For life’s just the rice
But sin is the flavour


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Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 30
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,939
MP:
#3
Hello, said the voice, and Jigano's song cut off abruptly into a snarl as he turned and flung the cat corpse at the interruption of his... meal? Playtime? Lullaby? All of the above? Either way he was crouched on the wall and facing Bastien even before the carcass reached its target - as it would, if the painter didn't get out of the way of the messy projectile.

The good news was that the ragged ghoul of the man who had once been the Loreseekers' proud Provost didn't seem to have any weapons to hand as black eyes fixed on Bastien with predatory intensity.

The bad news was that his fingers were tipped with black claws, and his mouth was full of blackened fangs that clashed together as he growled a low, rumbling thunder deep in his chest. He slipped from the wall, landing on light feet upon the snow before beginning to prowl a slow, hungry circle around the artist, the spiral growing tighter with each turn around the other man that Bastien allowed him to make.
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Bastien De Rosieres
Guildmaster / Artist ☆ Artist's Sanctuary Guild
Age: 33 | Height: 6' 2" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 6
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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Posts: 543
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#4


Bastien stood back with a surprised huff as suddenly something came flying toward him in the darkness. It stank; looking down he saw it was the carcass of some creature. After realising that, he didn't want to investigate any further and looked away, stepping around it.

Besides, there was something else demanding his attention; a beast he had not seen before with fangs and claws, and...peering close, he realised with shock it was Jigano. The rather stuffy, uptight bard that he had seen around town, who had played for him once at a party. What was he doing here, and why did he look so...Suddenly, Bastien realised this had to be the blight. He had not yet seen it up close, but what else could i be?

With Jigano circling him he had to time it right, trying to run as quickly as he could back to his easel, where his satchel lay on the ground - within were two roses not yet planted that he had taken from Vi's shrine. He grabbed one and held it out towards what had once been Jigano. "If there is still any of you in there, letting me prick you with this might help, I've heard."

Bastien
I must say, it’s nice
This pageant of vice
For life’s just the rice
But sin is the flavour


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Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 30
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,939
MP:
#5
Even with the blight removing his normal limiters - at no small cost to his body in the process - the Attuned could not match Ascended speed at night. Bastien broke away from his stalking hunt of the man in a blur of movement, but the once-bard was right behind him, bounding over the snow on nimble feet with a snarl on his face and black slaver dripping from his chin.

Sounds without meaning fell from the prey's lips. They might have meant something to a more civilized man, but since they weren't the sweetness of screams nor the challenge of a shout the blightbeast ignored them. He leapt at Bastien the moment the Rose was brought into view, black eyes fixed on the man's jugular as he tried to grab and rend the bearer of the hated flower with black-clawed fingers. A banshee or a stone golem may have reacted in such a way, bestial and rabid in their attacks. The bard had fought the blight with every inch of his being in Leafchange, holding it back and managing to continue working in spite of the rages that occasionally overcame him, but now he paid the price for it. His mind, his consciousness, were entirely subsumed in the darkness and he was reduced to little more than an animal.

An animal that could change shape at will, had no concern for its own safety, and had a fox's cunning, but an animal nonetheless. One that, unfortunately for Bastien, was enraged by the simple sight of one of Vi's Roses and sought to destroy both it and its bearer with frightening intensity.
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Bastien De Rosieres
Guildmaster / Artist ☆ Artist's Sanctuary Guild
Age: 33 | Height: 6' 2" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 6
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 543
MP:
#6


Bastien was the faster man with his Ascension, perhaps, but he had never been one for fighting. He had always preferred to put his energy into learning how to draw and create rather than attack. Perhaps that was what made him stumble back with shock as Jigano rushed forward, his mind struggling to connect fear to the sight of the gentle bard, even with the monstrous turn to his face.

Trying to recover quickly (though feeling unsteady on his feet) he acted aggressively back in the hopes that after one hit, Jigano might return to his senses. Bastien had not thrown many punches in his life but he had spent a lot of time developing muscles in his arms. Taking all the strength he had he tried to pull his arm back and hit it into the side of the bard's jaw, hoping to knock him over then rush to straddle him.

Holding the rose and the reluctance to hurt worked against him as he tried, the painting things behind him wobbling as a stray foot or bit of clothing struck them.

Bastien
I must say, it’s nice
This pageant of vice
For life’s just the rice
But sin is the flavour


Reply
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 30
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,939
MP:
#7
Jigano sought to strike hard and fast, but Bastien was too fast for him, stumbling back out of the way and evading the blightbeast's attack more from luck than intention. Though the Ascended telegraphed his retaliatory punch, not even the bard's blight-heightened reflexes could match the speed with which it was thrown, impacting Jigano's jaw with an audible crack of bone-on-bone.

Unfortunately for Bastien, it would be like punching another Ascended. The strength of the blow knocked the beastly bard back half a step, but aside from the kinetic energy the blighted man barely seemed to feel the blow, spinning back around again with a broken hiss. He wasted no time in dealing with any injury that might have resulted, his body as numb and frozen as his blackened heart. Instead Jigano crouched and dove in low to try and tackle Bastien around the hips, hoping to drag him down where his Ascended speed would be hampered - and where the blightbeast could take its time taking him apart to get to the loathesome rose.
Only simple tables without images or background colors when threading, please. It's much appreciated!
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