Key Quest Raise You Like a Phoenix


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#1
the perch
Trouble in the square sounded like splintering wood and hideous laughter. In the ink black darkness, punctuated only by the heavy, silent fall of snow, something had happened to the Spark Bird's perch. Those foolish enough to part their curtains or shutters and peek out their windows - those with a view of the square, anyway - would see...

Nothing, obviously. Nothing but the dark draped over the world, and the terrible somethings that lurked within. A few particularly unlucky souls might find that those somethings were very interested at sudden, curious faces at the window. Very interested, indeed.

Regardless, it was clear that something had happened to the perch, and any hope of attracting the elusive and blessed creature would be gone unless someone went out there to investigate. Undoubtedly, there would be no shortage of volunteers...



Welcome to the Key Quest! This quest has four open positions:

1. Edrei
2. Rory
3. Amalia
4. Jigano

This quest will move on in 48 hours even if all positions have not been filled. (It is incredibly time sensitive, can you tell?) It is first come, first served - please post your character staggering into danger going out to investigate to participate!

REMEMBER: KQs are rewarding, but dangerous. They may cause death and/or permanent changes to your characters - enter at your own risk!
Edrei Launceleyn
the Rapacious
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds / Rathskeller Owner

Age: 21 | Height: 5'7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 6 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 3
BOBI - Regular - Bobcat
Played by: Odd Offline
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#2

Edy had already gotten bored and had snuck upstairs towards the infirmary with a bottle of something clear that smelled like it could probably remove paint from the walls. Her plan had been to try and convince Isla that all the death was going to occur outside, and that she and the pretty doctor had once fallen asleep together in one of the alcoves, and wouldn't that be fun to repeat? Edy brought booze just in case whatever magical fuckery didn't show up again, but as she tiptoed upwards, her attention was grabbed.

It was her fight or flight instinct telling her to immediately fuck off back downstairs, but of course she didn't listen to it. Instead, she crept towards peering out and seeing things that made her stomach feel like something black and wet had slithered inside of it.

"Ayy, the perch is—" Not only was no one listening, not only was she supposed to be staying quiet, but she really had no words to describe what she was seeing. Or not seeing, really.

It was just a feeling at this point.

"C'mon." Edy said to Bobi who yowled uncertainly, but followed just the same. And so, striding out into the snow with the bottle of whatever in her hand, Edy strode towards the perch.

EDY
Could dress up to get love. But guess what?
I'm never gonna be that girl who's living in a Barbie world
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
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#3
[ *breaks the laws of physics with permission and has them notice* ]

And so it was that when Long Night had barely begun—Rory silently pacing around what open spaces there were in his cottage, worried sick about his fox friend—the sound of splintering wood filtered through the otherwise silent darkness. It was accompanied by laughter, a sound that brought Rory's pacing to a halt, and had the dogs keening as they lay watching him.

He froze. The laughter sent a cold shiver running through his body, but the sound of splintering wood was way, way worse.

He looked at Amalia.

"The perch," he whispered, and the fox he thought. He didn't know whose idea it was, if either of them spoke or they simply moved as one towards the locked door.

Out the door

Into the dark

Pitch black aside from the Luxere, no stars, no moon, just blackness forcing its way down his throat

Rory had never before been outside during the Long Night, but there he was with Amalia, jogging on light feet across to the barn. He lifted the well-oiled crossbar, opened the well-oiled double doors and let both himself and Amalia inside. "Take Talys," he whispered to her, feeling around for their halters, handing one to the girl before taking the other and going to find Esaia, the gray pony. He quickly slid it on her, tying the lead rope to form crude reins, and led the procession out the main doors again, Jigano too.

He gave Amalia a boost onto Talys before swinging up on Esaia, trusting the fox to either run along with them or jump onto one of the ponies. Then they were off, the smooth, silent gait of the ponies disturbing the snow; Esaia in the lead, Talys pressed close behind. They were wary, a little skittish, but Rory kept the gray from spooking and Talys, well, Talys rarely spooked anyway, but she was on high alert.

And that was how they filtered in to where the perch had been erected.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#4

a m a l i a

In the darkness, a light falls.

They go, because what else can they do? It's their perch after all, their year, and though it is foolish to go out at night they are young and brash and full of a prideful sense of duty. They are not wholly unprepared: although Amalia sorely misses her staff, a new, inferior one is strapped to her pony's side. Also tied to the patient beast are the red luxere antlers, their soft glow illuminating even this endless dark.

It is a long ride to the Settlement, longer than they should have reasonably made. The dark is oppressive, suffocating, and periodically the girl looks over at Rory, a shiver of fear running constant beneath her warm full cloaks. As they reach the square the girl gasps, anger and sadness burning hot in her chest. "What could of done this?" she murmurs, dropping down from the pony's back to closer inspect the damage. Carefully she removes one antler from its place: the crown is heavy, a little unwieldly, but holding it makes her feel comforted somehow, and they still provide a steady source of light. She hopes some of the nearby luxere will see it and come, or that Safrin's fish may have followed. She would hate to be stranded in the Long Night

Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 41 - Luck: 42
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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#5
Jigano had flinched from the scratching sounds coming from outside, curling tighter around Isuma and urging her to silence as the animals shifted restlessly. They stayed that way for hours, tense and afraid, though the little gryphlet eventually dozed off in spite of the strain, exhaustion closing yellow eyes and sending her into a doze of uneasy dreams. The fox had stayed up far longer, falling asleep only when Talys laid down in a whuff of boredom and laziness. Jigano pressed against the dark fur of his large companion and drifted up to dark and dreamless sleep for a little while…

The luxere had begun to shift restlessly, that was what had woken him. He had nudged the dreaming Isuma more firmly into the corner where she would be safe from accidental hooves, then risen to his feet to slip out into the center of the barn, dodging bleating goats and ponies’ hooves. He’d almost made it to a hole in the wood to try and peer out into the still night when the sound of splintering wood in the distance caught him by surprise and he tensed. Not the farmhouse, no, but beyond it… something in town?

Then he heard the farmhouse door open, and fear beat brilliant fire in his heart. Rory, no! he cried silently, twisting for a moment as he prepared to throw himself into his human shape—

But the footsteps were coming towards the barn, and in another moment the doors were thrown open and Rory and Amalia were there, hustling in and hurrying to the horses. He didn’t whine, just pressed close to Rory’s leg for a moment before following Amalia to Talys’s stall. Stay, he bid Isuma, his heart breaking at leaving her, but not knowing whether she would be safer with him, or with the luxere. She peeped sleepy protest, but he was already leaping up onto Talys’s hindquarters, pressing close behind Amalia and following his friends out into the night, and whatever emergency needed tending between them.

Through the dark, through the night, through the fear - to the perch he had left offerings at with Seiji, and the shattered remains illuminated by Amalia's antlers.


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#6
the perch
They came, they gathered, plunging through the velvet darkness on horseback or on foot, to the ruins of the Spark Bird's perch. Well... ruins wasn't quite right. The main beam had been toppled, half splintered, but it could be fixed and reattached if they got it down, shortened it a bit to get rid of the broken wood, and fixed it back in place.

A likely group with an unlikely ally, Edrei - the closest to the square - would already be present by the time the rest arrived. All was still. Quiet. Tranquil, even.

...And then the whispers began. Soft, sweet, beautiful, pressed to unprotected ears of Abandoned, Accepted and Attuned alike. Only Amalia would be spared their dreadful and wonderful secrets, given the glow of her red Luxere antlers and the pretty little fishy that swam through the air in her wake.

They were maddening whispers. Traitorous whispers. Infuriating, vile, disgusting whispers, suggesting terrible things about each of their allies and coaxing, fanning a rage to life that would fill the remaining members of the group to the brim. No one could be trusted. Worse still, everyone deserved to be punished.



Something in the darkness has infected the minds of the group! Only Amalia is spared this and will keep her wits about her. The following was determined entirely by dice rolls and existing stats, giving these results:

Edrei FAILS to resist the madness and attacks RORY and HITS.
Rory SUCCEEDS in resisting the madness!
Jigano SUCCEEDS in resisting the madness!

You may resolve the attack & outcome however you wish in your narrative.

POST ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

1. Edrei
2. Rory
3. Jigano
4. Amalia

You have 48 hours to respond. If you do not respond in time the KQ will move on without you.
Edrei Launceleyn
the Rapacious
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds / Rathskeller Owner

Age: 21 | Height: 5'7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 6 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 3
BOBI - Regular - Bobcat
Played by: Odd Offline
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#7

Edy couldn't give two fucks about Rory or Amalia (though she did think the dark eyed girl was beautiful as all fuck, but she had yelled at her in the library so that was a bit of a wash), nor the small fox (that she really couldn't see, because, well, it was dark as tits).

"Someone opened the door at the Rathskeller and.." She began to mumble to the ground, dropping her ear to her shoulder as if trying to scratch an itch. "..she.." Distracted. What had she been just thinking? Her head buzzed.

No not buzzed. It whispered.

Spinning around, the teenager's eyes narrowed sharply, alighting on Amalia and, "..fish..?" to whirl around to glare at Rory.

At her heels, Bobi hissed nervously, while a feral sort of snarl appeared on the teenagers features. "And who the fuck are you even?!" She demanded, venom dripping from her tongue. He was taller, but she was fucking stronger and never before had her anger been so pure. "DID YOU TAKE HER?" The teenager suddenly roared, perfectly certain in her judgement that this blue-eyed fuck most assuredly had been the one to kill that uppety duchess.

"Fuck you and your ponytail—" She hissed, sending a bolt of fire towards he and Esaia hoping the mare would dump his ass in the snow.



Edy firebolts towards Rory and the pon <3
EDY
Could dress up to get love. But guess what?
I'm never gonna be that girl who's living in a Barbie world
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#8
The darkness ate him up.

It was all around him, thick like oilspill, pressing against his skin, against his eyes, against his nose: with every breath he pulled it into his lungs, and he wondered how he did not choke on it. The whites around his blue eyes were stark in the murky light as he stared at the splintered perch. Despair trickled in with the darkness. What could they possibly do about it..? The owners of the tools had likely cleared them away, long ago, and—

A girl was there. He didn't notice her until she opened her mouth, to tell them someone had opened the door to the Rathskeller and

oh gods no

You didn't unbolt your door during the Long Night; that was like inviting the monsters and how people died. Rory licked his lips. His ears were full of the darkness to, the doubt and uncertainty given voice, the monsters crawling in that way too until he was staring daggers at Edy, thinking it would've been better if she had been the one to open the door and get sucked into the dark—

And what was he doing out here anyway? Fucking Amalia and her piety; Bastien was probably right, the Spark Bird was long since dead and they were all just a bunch of idiots sweating together for a fool's cause. His hands tightened on the reins, suspicious eyes going this way and that.

She should give back his fucking pony too. And he'd heard Attuned shifted back when they lost consciousness; savagely he envisioned closing his hands around the fox's white throat, throttling it until it gave up its secrets—

"Someone who's better than you," he snarled at Edrei before she hurled her accusation at him, and then a swift judgment, followed by a bright, bright streak in the night.

Instinct—and a new found ability—had him tempering the tongue of flame, keeping it from licking Esaia's hide, but the bolt still smashed into his chest. It licked up his chin and neck, leaving searing red marks, drying and cracking the leather of his greatcoat where it stuck, and he saw the pony rise above him—frightened, she was frightened, he had to soothe her...

He hit the ground mostly on his back, one hand still clasping the lead rope; she shied away, from the fire, from him, churning up the snow as she dragged him a couple of paces before coming to a shaking halt.

Rory blinked as he laid on his back and breathed in the darkness. What was wrong with him?

Anger bubbled like fire beneath his skin, but he was also acutely aware of the fact that he did not, genuinely, wish to throttle the fox.

But his fingers twitched. He thought it was best to remain lying in the snow, lest he do something stupid. Besides, his face and chest fucking hurt.



Rory gets knocked off his pony but keeps hold of her, and remains lying where he is.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 41 - Luck: 42
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,820
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#9
Jigano hadn’t known what to expect when they’d ridden into town, balanced on the antlers Amalia had secured to the back of Talys with his white fur reflecting red as blood in their light. A house destroyed, a hole in the Temple wall, the door to the Rathskeller broken open and monsters being fended from its stairs…

But it was not a place of men that had been desecrated, though it was the work of their hands. The perch had been broken, an act of malice through and through, and Jigano jumped down to the snow with hackles raised. Of all people who had come to meet them it was Edy who stood in the square, staring up at the perch with bottle in hand and Bobi in tow. He perked his ears forward, too cautious to offer a vocal greeting when they were supposed to be quiet, but surely he could reassure his young friend—

Reckless, feckless, foolish child that she was; a danger to anyone and everyone near her and just as likely to burn friend as foe, wasn’t she? His muzzle started to curl in contempt at her muttering, as senseless as the girl herself, and not in the least surprised when she turned on his real friends—

But were they, really? Little goody-two-shoes Amalia, that quiet smile probably hiding a heart as dark and wicked as anything that crawled and scratched and bit in the night. He crouched and began to slink around the edges of the glow cast by the red luxere antlers, beastly eyes reflecting white in the light. And there was Rory, sweet Rory, with his blue eyes deep enough to drown in, who would probably drown him for his pelt one of these days, because weren’t they just waiting to betray him? No different than the others had been, no less corrupt, just better at hiding it behind kindly smiles that would be the death of him, had already been the death of him—

Jigano’s vicious snarl turned to a whine of confusion. He shook his head violently and sat back, pawing ineffectively at his ears to try and free himself of the itching, buzzing, whining voices that whispered to him in his sweet tenor but weren’t him, even at his worst!

No… that wasn’t true at all. His worst… was far worse than this, but it wasn’t poisonous anger and paranoid gossip. It was cold, and calculating, and bitterly grim, and it hurt him to the core of his very being. But this. Wasn’t. HIM.

He snapped at the air, breaking free of his preoccupation and driving the voices that plagued him back a ways. There was no chance to intervene with anyone else though, not as Edy unleashed her fire and Rory was struck—

Rory was struck.

Horror washed over Jigano, and then anger, and then ice, even as he bounded towards the fallen hunter, frantic with worry. He wasn’t moving, there in the snow where the pony had dragged him, with the smell of burned meat rising into the cruel night. A whimper escaped his throat in spite of himself, a noise of loss and fear until he heard breath sigh from that scorched chest. He dropped his nose to nuzzle one twitching hand with as much reassurance as he could muster before turning to place his small, furry body between Edrei and her victim. A pleading whine, soft in the night, begged her to stop - don’t hurt him, it seemed to say, or perhaps don’t force me to shift in front of him. But what else could he do? Edy might listen to him, if only he could speak to her.

Taking a deep breath he gathered himself, preparing to do what needed to be done, but he threw a last, desperate glance to Amalia, hoping she might yet salvage this before he was forced to do something he could never take back.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 2,112
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#10

a m a l i a

Amalia looks around carefully, her body tense and tightly wound as she adjusts the antler upon her back. She is not alone, it seems, and as the glowing dream fish swims into view she cannot help the swell of relief that blooms within her heart. Thank you, Safrin, a quiet prayer, for it is surely she who sent this spirit, a guardian against the dark. Nodding toward her two companions, she begins to drift closer to the ruined structure, a glowing beacon of red and gold in the otherwise pitch black night. Her greatest fear is for an injured party, or someone lost out in the dark.

It takes her a moment to notice Edrei, the girl from the library and festival of lights. Amalia's eyes narrow slightly as the volatile younger woman draws near, apparently unhurt - is she responsible for the destruction of the perch? She wouldn't be surprised, but Edy does not seem particularly guilty. If anything the wild, dark woman is surprisingly subdued. No, Erdei is not the culprit of this crime, which means whoever - or whatever - caused the disaster is still nearby.

Waiting.

Amalia does not hear the whispers, and so she does not immediately notice the change that overcomes her companions, the seeping insidious darkness from which she is safe. Her hand trembles as she extends it toward the shattered log, inspecting for any sign of what caused it to fall. Maybe, maybe, it was random chance. Maybe they had simply failed to support it correctly, and the thing had toppled under its own weight. It hardly felt improbable. None of them were carpenters, after all. And if the perch falling is a random occurrence, it means that this is not an attack at all. As long as they get back inside soon, maybe they can be safe.

Unless it is a trap.

She spins around just as Edy begins to snap, fire rising at the dark girl's fingers. Rory is not far behind. Edy shouting is not unexpected: it is Rory's cry that clues her into something being very wrong. "Be quiet--!" she hisses, sotto voce, panic and fear rising in her throat at the tableau of chaos which has suddenly unfolded. Her black eyes flash between Rory and Edy, down to the fox and then back up as there's a flicker of light, a bolt of heat, and Dear Vi what is happening? Have they all gone mad?

The world slows as Rory falls, collapsing off Esaia's back. "No--!" The girl springs forward then, running to her friend's side, the glowing fish not far behind. The man is breathing, thank Vi, though his face and chest are exposed and raw, bright red with fresh burns and the smell of seared fresh. Panic and adrenaline lend clarity to her thoughts: she quickly scoops up a handful of snow and presses it into his skin, hoping to ease the scorched flesh. Onyx gaze snaps to Edy, fearful and furious and ready to strike. "Something is doing this to you," she whispers quickly. "You need to get under control." Amalia looks back at Rory before turning a beseeching gaze to the fox, who is certainly an Attuned and as far as she can tell, unaffected. Do something. Help.



Age: 0 | Height: | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#11
the perch
The burns are bad, and the icy snow applied directly to them do not help. Rather, they encourage future frostbite, and the whole ordeal is likely excruciating for Rory.

The commotion causes the creatures that undoubtedly swarm the square to howl and jibber in anticipation. They dare not approach the Accepted (Attuned?) with the dream fish, but the others are fair game... once they stop tearing each other apart.

The perch remains broken, a solemn and sad reminder of the hope they had come out to reinstate.



The following was determined entirely by dice rolls and existing stats, giving these results:

Edrei SUCCEEDS in resisting the madness!
Rory FAILS to resist the madness and attacks AMALIA but MISSES.
Jigano FAILS to resist the madness and attacks RORY and HITS.
Amalia remains unaffected.

After the above attack, things are not looking good for Rory. He will not survive another blow like this.

POST ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

1. Edrei
2. Jigano
3. Rory
4. Amalia

You have 48 hours to respond. If you do not respond in time the KQ will move on without you.
Edrei Launceleyn
the Rapacious
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds / Rathskeller Owner

Age: 21 | Height: 5'7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 6 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 3
BOBI - Regular - Bobcat
Played by: Odd Offline
Change author:
Posts: 837
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#12

"At braiding hair maybe." Edy snarls back, her youthful piss and vinegar now set ablaze by the madness seeping insidiously into the black and welcoming parts of her mind, of which there are many.

Glee elates the teenager as Rory falls. He still holds the reins, but seeing him grimacing on his back is absolutely everything. Edy strides forward, fire burning from her fingertips as she is intercepted by a white fox. He is really just blue eyes under the warm glow of her flames, but the part of Edy that adores animals and would normally trying to coax him to safety has been drowned by whispers and mental paper cuts covered in lemonjuice. "Fuck off before I make you into some mittens." Her foot raises as it to punt the fox into the darkness, but suddenly Bobi's thoughts invade her own. She pays them little attention, too focused on the hate and heat riling her up, but the kitten's urges of leave fox alone are enough to refocus Edy's attention on Amalia.

The bob cat cannot communicate with the fox, but she senses...something. Something familiar that makes her think of paws reaching for hair like silk that glides through her claws. Something that makes her want to keep him safe.

"The fuck do you ... know...aboutit.." Edy stammers, fury draining from her in a way which makes her feel weak. Her breath hitches in her chest, and a hand goes to her head as if to massage away the darkness that feels as though it's lifting. "Wha...what the fuck?" Glancing down at Rory, singed and wounded, Edy's eyes go wide, two spots of black in the darkness, and the fire disappears from her fingers. "Fuck. Shit. I didn't...fuck—" She tried again, whirling around as if expecting to see something that she should actually be fighting.

"We gotta fix this shit and then get the fuck out of here." Edy says, though as she considers what is in her arsenal, she realizes she has nothing useful. Fire will not rebuild this. Splintering it apart will not help.

Fuck.

So, she grabs one of the fallen ropes and just pulls. The beam has to come down anyways, and brute strength is all she has left.

EDY
Could dress up to get love. But guess what?
I'm never gonna be that girl who's living in a Barbie world
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 41 - Luck: 42
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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#13
Jigano shivered as he saw Edy approached him, anger in her eyes. Amalia was right but he didn't know long he could resist the darkness nibbling at the edges of his mind. He tensed to take the hit that he feared was coming towards Rory from the firemage, but the girl faltered, shaking her head as if to knock the buzzing sound out of her ears. The buzzing sound that was growing again in his ears, whining, gnawing, tearing at the edges of his mind. He growled, crouching as he tried to shake off the itching beneath his skin, the laughter underneath his thoughts.

The laughter that he could swear was coming from behind him, from the man lying the snow, the man who had provoked Edy--

hadn't he?

--who had only pretended to get close to him, so he could betray the fox - the bard - the fae - just like the others had--

no, no, Rory would never hurt him, he knew that!

--just like he had been willing to let Jigano die during the deer hunt, and what had the fox even gotten out of it? Nothing like gratitude, no, it had been Vervain who had saved him and healed him, but the only thing Rory had ever given him was scars--

no No NO NO!

--and it was only fair to repay him in kind!

Jigano whirled, white fox on white snow, blue eyes hazy with madness and a rage he fought but could not control. He was small, but he sank his teeth as best he could through Rory's coat into his shoulder, as a wolf had once done to him when he had tried to defend the hunter's kill. Fierce and mad and wild he shook his head, snarling into the night - as much at himself as at his 'prey.'
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
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#14
(Stars—)

His breath was white, puffing in, puffing out, little strained clouds as the pain made it hitch in his throat. One hand remained closed around Esaia's lead rope, like he had forgotten it there. The pony eyed him with worried, anxious eyes; the black one was shying away towards the edges, wanting to get away but too spooked by the things lurking in the dark to break through them for a getaway.

Rory was a fool with silent nerves. They sang in frozen shock, and on his back in the snow he thought it was pleasant—numb, distant, like a whiteout, blackout, the border between wakefulness and sleep.

Until they came alive again.

Until fire seeped in the broken nerve endings.

Until fire ran in his veins.

At first, it was simply his lips and face twitching, sweat breaking out, heart racing; then there was snow, and Rory's scream was a weak and hoarse thing as he struggled beneath Amalia. His mind was blank: his heart was dark.

He felt the agony. He felt the rage, hot and harsh, boiling in his blood, until his teeth bared in a snarl and his free hand waved ineffectually towards Amalia. Hatred such as he had never felt before—limitless, unbound, primal, hungry—surged through him, and he struggled, as if to sit up, as if the need to murder something could power him through the pain and onto his feet and into the night—

Small, sharp teeth sheared through leather and wool and skin. Through veins and nerves and tendons. Blood pooled and Rory's eyes rolled back as he collapsed backwards again, writhing and screaming, though not very loudly.

Gods how he wanted to murder them all

That bitch, for throwing fire at him. That pious idiot who lured them into the dark with her Spark Bird bullshit and poured snow on him. And that fucking fox attached to his shoulder.

That fucking fox who did nothing except fox around.

He didn't achieve much murdering in his current state, though.

Just bled into the snow, his breath shallow and too fast, his moans weak and bubbling from between chapped and blistered lips.

There were stars: not in the pitch black sky arcing somewhere above him, but stars in his mind, stars somewhere else. There was the light he was named for, calling him away into a sky not as dead as his.

But between murder and stars, murder still won out; Rory's soul remained within his weakening body, snarling ineffectually.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face


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