Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Sat May 07, 2016 11:32 pm


The forest had a very different feel this far above the ground, but despite the magic of the moment, the further into the depths of the woods they went, the more worried and agitated Diem became. The sound of CK’s body brushing across the high branches and the stomp of his feet against the ground… It rang in her ears like war drums. Her hands twisted in CK’s fur as her nerves began to soar; her eyes searching for any sign of Bruce.

And then sound. Sound as pure and terrifying as anything she’d ever heard before. The roar vibrated her blood, and Diem shot upright on CK’s shoulder. Fear for herself was replaced by fear for Bruce, and she lifted herself up to her feet on the platform of his shoulder; one hand curled in CK’s fur to keep herself steady and one hand at her pack.

That roar acted as a catalyst not only for Diem, and from beside CK Novak, Rogen and Franco launched into attack. They charged from the sides; Novak with his ridiculous song. Diem’s eyes tried to make sense of the pile of bodies swarming in the center of the clearing; her urge to cry for Bruce nearly breaking her resolve before CK’s enormous hands spread and then came together in a thunderous clap. The vibration nearly sent Diem off of his body, but she gripped at his neck and lowered her body weight into the curve of his clavicle.

The other Pomps celebrated their victory, but Diem’s watering eyes locked onto the single being left standing in the clearing. Diem’s hands started patting frantically at CK’s neck, her head turning to try and catch his giant eye so that he knew. He hardly had to answer the question before Diem’s jumping on his shoulder was answer enough. With one sweeping gesture, Diem’s fragile form was lifted from CK’s shoulder and lowered onto the ground. Her knees buckled from the sudden drop to the ground, but she managed to launch into Bruce all the same.

Her arms nearly wrapped around him with crushing relief before she noticed his hand holding back rivulets of blood. Bambi eyes widened, lips parting in an exhale of breath that she wanted so much to be something else… but even with the Pomps towering overhead she couldn’t make herself let out a sound. She dropped to her knees and ripped her pack off of her shoulder; unclasping the buckles and digging inside with purpose before she pulled out a small jar victoriously. A string held a note attached, but Diem hardly cared to read it. She had explored all contents of Fergus’ gift to her before leaving the Inn, and she knew exactly what she had in her hand.

Unscrewing the cap, she broke the mason jar’s seal and unleashed the foul smell of the salve to the air. Dipping three fingers inside, she scooped a generous amount onto her hand and then lifted her hand up to Bruce’s neck. She held his eyes, red-rimmed and begging him to be okay before she slathered the goop over his wound the moment he moved his own hand out of the way.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Sun May 08, 2016 2:55 pm

At first, Bruce didn’t know what to think of the psychopomps, their appearance fortuitous but weird at such a moment when he’d been literally making his last stand against the gravers. It wasn’t until the familiar figure emerged from the hand of the tallest pomp only to rush at him in the half-darkness, did Bruce realize what had happened. Even so, he was foggy and in pain as Diem collided with him, her scent rushing up to him, mixed with the gross, sickly sweet smell of glass weed coating her clothes and hair. He gagged slightly forcing her to look at him with concern in her big bright eyes. She was on her knees then, searching through her pack and bringing out something that he couldn’t see in the shadow of her body. As soon as she opened it, he knew what it was, the medicinal, herby scent flowing up to him, making him close his eyes and let out a breath in relief.
 
Removing his hand, he allowed her to slather him in the salve, the wet, stickiness clinging to his torn and bloody skin. It burned at first, simply from the oils in her touch but pretty soon he felt nothing but the uncomfortable stickiness of it, the blood stopping its flow as the wound was covered in the herbal stew. Swallowing gingerly, Bruce tore a section of cloth from the bottom of his shirt, long enough to tie it around his neck, keeping the salve and wound covered.
 
“Dude, you gonna be okay?” CK asked, having crouched low enough to see the people, his hands resting on his knees even still above the two figures’ heads.
 
“Yeah, you don’t look so hot,” Novak agreed.
 
Meanwhile, Franco was still pumped from the fight and telling Rogen, “Dude! And then when you held him back and I was all like ‘Hijah! Wapow!’ and he just rolled his eyes like this, ‘Eeueuegh!’”
 
“Dude, I was there,” Rogen said with a small snort, “You don’t hafta tell me what happened.”
 
“And then I straddled the back of that other one and told him to ‘Giddyup!’ and he was just wailing, scratching at the ground--!” Franco grinned, his gums flashing as he snickered.
 
“Dude! We were there!” Rogen and Novak said in unison, the pointy-eared psychopomp turning from the human and Moonborn to reprimand the other pomp. “Will you stop? Some serious stuff is happening now.”
 
“—he couldn’t even get up,” Franco continued past their complaints, “Think I should lose some weight?” Rogen responded by grabbing Franco in a chokehold with the crook of his arm, the psychopomp struggling good-naturedly.
 
“Alright, let’s get him back to the gardens,” CK sighed, reaching forward with his hand on the ground and open for the smaller creatures. Bruce hesitated but moved forward to sit in the other’s palm, clinging to the pomp’s thumb as he was lifted. The other hand came down to retrieve Diem, both of CK’s hands, although large, too small to fit both people in one palm and having to carry them one at a time. Since she was able to, CK let Diem go back to his shoulder as he turned to walk back towards the village, the other pomps following.
 
The walk back took minutes for the psychopomps, the trees proving no obstacle for the creatures, even the shorter ones as they raced along the pathways towards the moonlit gardens. As soon as they came upon the huts and burrows, Rogen was leading CK to his own hovel, offering, “Put him in here. He can stay at my place for tonight while he heals.”
 
“Yeah! And you can stay with me at my place!” Franco said to Rogen.
 
Rogen flipped his antlered head back to CK, even as he was putting Bruce down, “Wait! Just kidding!” but even as he was only half-serious, no one paid him any mind.
 
“Thank you for the rescue…” Bruce whispered, swallowing gingerly again with a grimace as he stood at the entrance to the hut. Since Rogen was almost 8 feet tall, the door was wide to accommodate his antlers and the ceiling was high. The bed too was large enough for 3 people, despite the apparently small size of the living quarters. Fluffed with grass and hay inside the mattress, the hovel smelled like a mower inside, mixed with the overpowering stench of candy and honey from the glass weed. On a table on the opposite side of the room, the only other furnishing a chair that had legs as long as Diem’s own, there was smoking paraphernalia. Bottles made of clay with fat bottoms and long necks stood clustered together with different designs painted on them, and pipes and cigarette papers were strewn amidst them, with a small contraption made for grinding glass weed bobbles. A fresh one or two were sitting on the desk, clear like imperfect bubbles with smokey images seen within them. Among the uses of glass weed, they prompted dreams, anything from as simple as good night’s rest and as technical as premonitions. Not for the psychopomps who grew and maintained the farmlands for the plant, they experienced a much different sensation than other creatures, but frequently sold the weed for the uses it had in helping the dreams of the other species that lived in Vikander.
 
Walking into the hut, Bruce sat on the edge of the messy bed, the sheets in disarray. Rogen followed Diem and Bruce inside, holding his arms wide and saying, “Mi casa es tu casa. Feel free to use whatever you like, if you need anything just holler.”
 
Bruce nodded his thanks, taking off his pack and jacket and tossing them onto the chair. Glancing at Diem once the pomp had taken his leave, he said, “Thank you..for coming back for me… I would have but…I…” How did he explain the primal urge to run that had taken over him after getting thrown by the creatures? Not that he owed her anything sentimental, but as his client, she was owed a bit of precedence, especially in a crisis. As he was running from the gravers, he hadn’t even been sure there was a hope for either of them getting out of there alive, let alone being able to save himself. “Also…” he whispered with a touch to his throat and an ironic twist of his lips, “Thanks.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Sun May 08, 2016 4:30 pm




There such an urge to wrap her arms around him and hold on. To just cling to him like he was the last light in a dark world… but there was hesitation as well. There was a look in his eye, but Diem forced herself not to read into it. As he tied the scrap of cloth around his neck for the best option of a field bandage they had, Diem had to keep her hands busy to not reach out and touch him. Just to make sure he was actually there and actually okay. As CK came to kneel down, Diem found herself moving over to the foot of the creature; struggling to shake that need the longer she stayed by Bruce’s side.


Licking her lips, her hands grasping for her pack’s straps one more time; her eyes lifted up to study the rest of the Pomps. She couldn’t have survived without them, and especially Bruce… Her hand moved to touch the fur on CK’s leg as he looked over Bruce with scrutiny. Were there effects to a graver attack that lasted after the fact? She wanted to ask so badly, but the silence still pressed against her lips like a thick blanket.


Still, the juvenile playfulness of the pomps with each other drew a smile from Diem; her eyes shifting to watch Rogen turn Franco into a chokehold when the fluffy Pomp asked about his weight. Her heart swelled for them, and Diem wished she knew a way to thank them for their help. Her mind reeling as CK lowered his hand down for her to climb inside, she took her spot at his shoulder and turned her head to watch Bruce rest in the giant hand. She leaned up against the curve of CK’s neck, half nuzzling into him as they made their way back to the gardens.


Once safe in the village, Diem lifted herself up high enough that she could speak just loud enough in CK’s ear so that he could hear her. ”Thank you.”


Coming up to Rogen’s hut took no time, Diem sliding down from CK’s shoulder and into his hand so that he could lower her to the ground. Turning her head to look up at the towering beast, she smiled at him affectionately before moving into the hut with Rogen and Bruce. Her eyes danced over the home, thankful that Rogen wasn’t too much larger than her or Bruce - leaving most of the furniture accessible for Diem to climb into without help. Her mind imagined what borrowing CK’s hut would be like… needing a ladder to even climb up into the bed no doubt. Unless he was just so large he slept out in the trees like he had been when she’d stumbled into him.


As Rogen encouraged them to make themselves at home, Diem turned and moved toward him quickly; arms up as she anticipated catching the much taller creature around the waist. His long, noodle-esque arms caught her and lifted her up instead and with a small eep of surprise, Diem nuzzled her face under the length of his antler as she sighed. ”I can’t thank you enough,” Diem whispered into his ear before pulling back and sliding down his scrunched torso until her boots touched the ground.


Doe-ish eyes caught the pinpoint white circles of his eyes before stepping back and turning back toward Bruce. She came right up beside him at the edge of the bed, hesitating once she was close. Her eyes watched his face as he spoke; her gaze lowering to the bandage as he touched his neck. She swallowed, unsure of what to say before she turned and moved over to the chair across the room. Sliding her pack off of her shoulder, she pulled it in front of her and set it on the seat of the chair in front of her.


Taking in a deep breath, fighting off the nerves dancing in her stomach, Diem made sure the lid was back on the jar as tightly as possible and then turned to face Bruce.


”It’s my fault.” Her voice broke with the emotion and she let out an aggravated breath; clearing her throat before reaching up and pulling her hair from it’s ponytail. Raking her fingers through her hair; she tugged at it absently and pursed her lips to keep from saying anything stupid and emotional. Once she gathered her thoughts, she turned her eyes on Bruce and held his gaze; wanting badly to cross the distance to him and touch him just to be sure he was real but not giving in.


”I don’t know what happened. I don’t even remember falling asleep. I was just suddenly… stuck in a nightmare.”


Clearing her throat again as those damn emotions threatened to choke her, Diem pushed off the chair and moved to the front door quickly. She stopped with her hand holding it open, the other on the threshhold as she turned to look at Bruce.


”You need to rest and heal. I’m going to go see if anyone knows anything that can help.”

Before he could stop her, if he was even going to, Diem ducked out of the hut and took several quick steps away to just get the distance away from him. Her nerves were in turmoil, and the emotions that kept threatening to choke her were too real. She grit her teeth and forced several deep, calming breaths through her person before following the sounds of four very familiar voices.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Sun May 08, 2016 8:43 pm

Blinking at Diem, Bruce wasn’t really sure what to say. Something along the lines of “yeah, it is your fucking fault. Thanks for owning up to it.” Or something similar tied to the fact that as someone in as unfamiliar a place as she now found herself, she sure wasn’t wary or respectful of her surroundings at all. It was part of one of the most frustrating things about her, that as time went on, Bruce kept hoping and hoping that her vanilla status would shake loose and he’d find growth starting underneath. He wasn’t sure how the over emotional part of her that she was showing to him now fit into that but he was hoping that this whole situation was enough to produce some actual strides towards awareness.
 
When she left, Bruce huffed a breath and took off his shirt, jerkin and kicked off his boots, rolling into the bed to lay down. It smelled of the monster that usually slept there and his gross, candy sucking habit. But the salve and the grass within the mattress soothed Bruce’s nerves and helped usher him into the cradle of sleep’s waiting arms.
 
Outside, the pomps stood together some distance away, still in their little group and chatting together. A newcomer was with them, a psychopomp by the name of Odenkirk, with the same woolly physical body as the others but pointed ears out to the sides of his head and a long almost beak-like nose protruding from his face.
 
“And the hot chick totally hugged me! No lie!” Rogen was declaring to the others, his graveled, teddy bear voice filled with as much giddiness as he could muster.
 
“Oh, yeah? Well, she was inside me, remember?” CK said with unnecessary inflection.
 
“Why does that matter?” Novak said with a small sneer.
 
“Yeah, you’re half-lady anyway, so, you don’t count,” Franco said, Novak immediately jumping on that with a “Whoa! Whoa, not cool,” leaving Franco confused about what was and wasn’t okay in this discussion anymore.
 
“Guys, listen, find your silver lining wherever you want to, alright,” Odenkirk was saying, his voice a deep, wise-guy rasp. “I gotta tell Izzard somethin’ that won’t have him absolutely flipping out about your little ‘play date’ with the gravers. So, will someone please explain to me exactly what happened out there?” Odenkirk was different than the rest of the psychopomps, gesturing with his hands in a pleasing manner, even as he affected a professional air, his language refined and direct. Even still, with that, he had a bro-style still attached to him, a half-smile remaining on his face the entire time and his tone light, mediating with his brethren for some common ground. There was something authoritative yet ingenuine about his manner, leaving one right in the middle of considering him an expert and yet not trusting his judgement completely. “There’s gotta be something better than hot chicks to force you guys to disturb mid eve High Time with your rambunctious cavorting,” Odenkirk said with the hint of a laugh under his breath. Spotting the approach of Diem, he pointed at her, his eyes swooping up and down for a quick scan of her, asking, “Is that her? …Maybe I spoke too fast.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Sun May 08, 2016 9:08 pm




As Diem approached, the site of the new comer slowed her down a little. It wasn’t as if she were distrusting of the stranger… By the behavior and attitudes of the four pomps that had already come to her aide, Diem found no reason to distrust these creatures despite their abhorrent features. It was his sweep of her; eyes raking in an appreciative manner that made Diem slow her pace. She didn’t feel threatened. Just… tired. Perhaps she should have stayed in Rogen’s hut with Bruce? No, she never would have been able to fall asleep.


So, offering a smile as she came to stand close to the pomps, Diem smiled to them all and reached to touch Novak’s arm before taking a breath and beginning to speak. ”I can’t thank you guys enough. Bruce would have been killed without your help, and I’d be left to find Eirelynn on my own.”


She turned her head to look up at Franco, having stepped between the pair of Pomps and reached out to touch his arm as well. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the new guy’s expression change and she turned her eyes to him quickly. Brown eyes made quick work of the rat-like creature’s expressions and she blinked before stepping forward.


”Do you recognize that name? Do you know her?”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Sun May 08, 2016 10:22 pm

Everyone’s eyes turned to Odenkirk then, wondering whether he would respond in the affirmative to that line of inquiry. Although all matured, none of the 4 friends had heard the name before it passed from Diem’s lips. Odenkirk on the other hand, was much older and although not quite the eldest in the village, he certainly outranked the others for age and experience.
 
Odenkirk glanced at the others, a smarmy smile plastered on his face before huffing a laugh and saying, “Uhhhh…heh, no comment.” And with that, he turned and left the circle of friends, wandering off between the huts.
 
“Whoa,” CK said with a scratch of his head.
 
“That was weird,” Rogen snorted.
 
“I don’t know why people say shit like that,” Novak said with a squinty look of disapproval, “It’s kinda counterintuitive. I mean wouldn’t it make more sense to lie and say ‘no’?”
 
Rogen folded his noodle arms with a shake of his head, “Not if you don’t wanna have to explain the lie later, especially when you get caught.”
 
“Yeah, but doesn’t the way he just phrased that make it sound like he really does know something?” Novak insisted. “So, if you’re trying to hide that you know something, why be a huge fucking tease about it? If you don’t want to talk about it, don’t admit to knowing shit but refusing to tell by doing the conversational equivalent of ‘neener-neener-neener’ to somebody.”
 
“This, honestly, sounds like a personal problem,” Rogen was saying as Diem walked away, following the retreating psychopomp, “And I think, rather than getting upset about not knowing stuff, you should just chill.”
 
The village retained its blue glow as Odenkirk walked through it, having a focus to his walk so that he was pretty far away before Diem caught up to him. Once he noticed her, he shook his head, huffed another laugh and made a dismissive gesture, “Listen, nobody’s got the answers you seek, least of all me, alright kid? So just drop it. Settle in with a nice toke of GW, laze about as the fields go through their chime cycles, and just let this place be a pleasant memory after you leave. We’ll even have the pomps escort you back to civilization so you don’t get bothered by the gravers again, how’s that? Alright? Good. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got a meeting with our elder to attend to. Boring stuff, covering the youngin’s asses, like always. You wouldn’t be interested. Have a nice night.”
 
As he stood at the steps of a particularly wide, yet short-roofed hut, standing upon a small platform with 3 or 4 steps leading up to it, Odenkirk made like a pleasant gentleman up until the point when he wasn’t. Shoving Diem back the way she came, although the push was more of a gliding sweep, his strength was enough to force her away several feet and he clasped his hands together expectantly, like she was supposed to just accept that and go.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Sun May 08, 2016 10:43 pm




She stood there for a moment between the two pomps as the elder one walked away. Large brown eyes watched him turn and move on; long strides carrying him far away through the village as hundreds of possibilities sorted through Diem’s head. Then, as the final thought clicked into position, Diem was off. She followed after the snouted beast; working her short legs quickly to catch up. She came to his side, lips parting to speak before he cut her off.


”That all sounds wonderful, but you know something and that is more than I know. Your generosity has been extraordinary and we truly tha-Oof!” She cried when he swept her back.


Diem stumbled back several feet before catching herself just short of falling; her eyes snapping up to him with the slightest offense of surprise before she realized he had done it on purpose. And that smug look on his face. Her eyes narrowed and she straightened herself in her boots. Dark eyes stared him down through the blue haze - studying and weighing - before they brightened with a smile.

”Actually, I’ve always been interested in the business of elder pomps,” She cooed, stepping back up the stairs to come to the door Odenkirk was standing before. ”And I was never much of a smoker.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Mon May 09, 2016 1:15 pm

Odenkirk’s eyes narrowed at her, his smile slanting beneath his long nose. “Izzat so?” he asked, his raspy voice rumbling over the words with a humored incredulity. “Listen, kid, you got moxie, I’ll give ya that but you and I both know that’s a load of crap. This isn’t a debate you’ll win.” He spread his hands wide, palms upward, giving her a thin-lipped grin with a shrug tacked on. “So, why don’t you stick to what you know? Let the grown-ups handle the big-leagues while you keep up with the damsel in distress act. You’re good at tha—“
 
“Would you get off my porch, please?” a voice hollered from inside. The curtain of the door drew back to reveal a psychopomp about waist-high on Diem, large fox ears always gently tucked to the sides, his small body fat and round. “It’s annoying,” he said, giving them both a level look, blinking deep blue, slitted eyes at them. His voice, although deep was somewhat stuffy and affected the tone and mannerisms of a high-born gentleman. “Either come in or go away,” Izzard finally said, turning to reenter his house, making soft sweeping gestures with his tiny, clawed hands.
 
Chagrined about the appearance of his elder, Odenkirk let out a breathless laugh and nodded obsequiously. “Sure thing,” he said after the other pomp, immediately turning to Diem and pointing back down the steps with an illustrative eyebrow raise. When she stood firm and gave him a look right back, Odenkirk sighed and rolled his eyes, allowing her to follow him into the hut.
 
The hut itself was huge but the roof was short, even Odenkirk had to stoop a little and he was just an inch or two shorter than Diem. Izzard was cracking nuts and eating them when they two stepped in, chewing and finishing his mouthful softly and brushing his small hands off before coming over to greet his visitors. “Sorry about the mess,” he said, again making sweeping gestures at the floor where shells and glass shards were. Upon closer inspection, whereas most of the psychopomps had antlers or horns of some kind, Izzard had just one “Y” shaped sprout on one side, and a tiny finger of antler sticking up from the other side. As he approached, one could see where it’d been sawed off from both, implying that the antlers had been much larger. They were found above the bed, a complex and grandly beautiful web of antler nailed to the wall above Izzard’s bed. Also, it appeared that most of the space in the hut was filled with Izzard’s long, fluffy tail, almost as thick as he was tall all the way to the bushy, glitter infused tip.
 
Motioning at Odenkirk, the long-nosed pomp retrieved two pillows from the wall by the door, setting them beside each other in front of the pillow that Izzard himself came to sit on, avoiding the crumbled glass specs and glass weed residue on the floor. “You’re a human, aren’t you?” Izzard asked, touching his lips with a finger faintly while giving Diem a considering look. “Haven’t seen one of you in ages. Mind if I ask how you got here? In Vikander. I bet there’s a compelling story behind it and as all pomps are lovers of stories, it’s certainly one I’d regret not hearing. Yes?”
 
Even as Izzard made a motion for her to speak, Odenkirk piped up, “All due respect, Izzy, I’m here for the business you and I had to discuss—“
 
Izzard raised his hand to make a mouth snapping open and closed gesture, finally stopping with his clawed fingers pinched together, “Ap ap ap. I want you to close your mouth like this for right now. We’ll get to you, don’t worry, because there’s certainly a story there that I want to hear. But THIS,” he made a presenting gesture with his hands at Diem, “This one’s a good one, I can tell. Please, do,” again motioning for her to start, adding, “First, start with a name. Always helps to know who the protagonist is.”



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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Mon May 09, 2016 2:23 pm


There was a large part of Diem that wanted to give up and turn around when Odenkirk called her on her bluff. The fact that she even bluffed in the first place was so completely uncharacteristic of her that she nearly panicked from the lie. Something in her held solid, though, keeping her in place as he shooed her from the porch. Her lips curved into a stern frown, and she raised her arms to cross over her chest as she held his eyes. Holy shit… she couldn’t believe she was doing this!

Just as Odenkirk’s patience was about to wear thin, the hut’s door popped open and a small fennick-looking creature popped his head out and chastised them. Diem was surprised by the stature of the creature; all the pomps she’d seen so far towering over her. Beyond that, he was absolutely adorable; reminding her of a fox as he motioned for them to come inside.

Raising an eyebrow, she turned her head to look at Odenkirk before stepping inside after the elder; hunching her shoulders and ducking her head to keep from knocking it against the ceiling. The hut was small, but rich in a way that made it feel like home. Warm, and welcoming, despite the shells and shards on the ground. As Odenkirk grabbed two pillows for them to sit on across from Izzard, Diem thanked the pomp and then came to sit criss-cross before the fox. She rested her hands on her knees and smiled at him when he started addressing her; nodding when asked if she were human. Before she could answer his question, though, Odenkirk interrupted. Glancing softly to the side to look at him, she pursed her lips to keep from frowning when the elder shut the other Pomp up.

As pleased as Diem was that this elder not only was willing to listen to her, but wanted to, she didn’t want to make enemies with the other Pomp because of it. Licking her lips nervously, she turned her eyes back to the small fox and smiled.

”Yes, I’m human, but I don’t know how I got here. The only thing I can theorize is that a woman named Eirelynn brought me here.”

There was a twinkle of recognition in Izzard’s eye, the same look Odenkirk had had at first, but when he gestured for her to keep going, Diem launched into her story. She spared no detail, and was actually fairly good at recreating the same suspense and fear she felt when first arriving in Vikander. She told Izzard of her ride home in New York, what she could only believe was a crash, and then her dream of Eirelynn. She recounted what the woman had told her, of being the Key, and of helping release Eirelynn to defeat the Dark King. She described Eirelynn’s angelic appearance, and her air of peace when Diem was sure she had been dead. Diem weaved a description of the dark field outside of the Spider Cross Inn, and her first run in with Fergus and Bruce and how Fergus called her a Traveler. She skipped delicately over Bruce being cursed, but pieced into the story Eirelynn’s insistence of needing the Moonborn to guide her to where she needed to go.

”We were trying to reach these gardens through the Silent Forest, to ask any of the elders if they would know anything that would help guide us on where to go or what to do next, when I… just fell asleep. I must have been talking in my sleep because when I woke up, Bruce was over me and we were surrounded by the gravers. He tried to fight them off while I ran, but I surely would have been killed had I not been rescued by CK.”

Guilt tinged her voice, but Diem pressed on; clearing her throat as she smiled thankfully to Izzard, and then to Odenkirk as well.

”If not for CK and his friends, we would be dead. Our journey never truly begun. We will never be able to thank them enough for saving our lives. But… I do need to ask a favor,” She turned, looking back at Izzard. ”Do you know anything? Bruce believes that only the Elders would know of Eirelynn and be able to help us. Whatever you know, no matter how small, will be helpful. I only know of what she told me in my dream, and she has not visited me since.”


By the time Diem was finished recounting her fairy tale, about an hour of time had passed. She had answered any questions posed by Izzard or Odenkirk, but in the end she was staring at Izzard; hope bright in those bambi eyes.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Mon May 09, 2016 9:18 pm

Both psychopomps listened intently to Diem’s tale, Izzard’s ears twitching over the mentions of Eirelynn and the human being the key to setting her free. When she was done, the tiny pomp gently rubbed his finger along his lips, giving Diem a long, bright blue look. “Very interesting,” he started, clasping his hands with a weary sigh, “And you tell it beautifully. Had me on the edge of my seat during the entire thing. This, Moonborn, ‘Bruce’ chap, sounds like the hero, even though he’s not done a whole lot of saving. Brave and robust, though. I like it.” With a nod, he lightly pointed at Odenkirk and said, “Your story is a little bit of her story, right?”

“Yeah, basically,” Odenkirk said with a small sigh and an acquiescent nod. “Listen, if it makes you feel any better, none of those dunderheads even mentioned Eirelynn. As soon as I heard of it from her, I wasn’t going to—“

“Ap,” Izzard said giving Odenkirk the same gesture as before, his fingers pinched together, marking the mouth of his hand puppet ‘closed.’ “Like this. As for any punishments for disruption of High Time, all is forgiven. We’re going to make the exception because they weren’t rough housing and being rude, they were saving these two peoples’ lives. Good?”

Odenkirk seemed relieved and pleased by that, giving both Diem and Izzard a nod, adjusting his fur as he settled in a less tense posture. “Yes, that is very fair, Izzy. Thank you.”

“Now, to the point, Diem,” Izzard continued, his attention once again focused on her, “Although the name and her story are familiar to us, even during the war, we psychopomps hardly got involved with the rest of Vikander at all. As much as we love stories, outright conflict is a bit of a no-no. The youngins still need to gain that perspective but in a few years most of them will mature. Although that is all very much the case, we did hear stories of Eirelynn and the good she was trying to do. In fact, the Forest of Silence was just a guideline, an encouragement, the place filled with peace and tranquility so sweet that nary a traveler felt compelled to break the vow during their travels through it. The gravers appeared when the Dark King started his war campaign and they’ve been here ever since. They now know who’s boss but they didn’t always know. A lot of our womenfolk and young pomps fell victim to the foul, lifeless creatures before we were able to put our foot down. Not a pomp is bothered now.”

Motioning at Odenkirk, Izzard continued, the long nosed psychopomp getting up to get some drinks and glasses from Izzard’s cabinet. “All we’ve heard are stories about General Eirelynn,” Izzard said, drinking from the clay cup as Odenkirk also handed one to Diem, the drink pungent and sweet, much like the glass weed smoke. “Rather than give you the diluted version, we might as well point you to the source of our own information. There’s a city not too far from here, called Cravens Hollow. A bit of a nasty place, but therein dwells a Weaver by the name of Cascada. She’s an arachnea and she used to travel these woods frequently with news of the war and all the awful things that were going on out there in the world. In exchange, she often got a discount on our crop which helped her with her dreaming problems. Find her and you should get your information right from the spider’s mouth, as it were. She also used to bring a male human Traveler with her, way back when, he riding upon her back, like a steed as she crawled through these woods. He stopped coming with her long before she stopped visiting.”

Izzard seemed morose about that, thinking for a moment before he perked again and said, “What I meant to imply was that if you find her still alive after all of these years, you might learn a thing or two about this Traveling business. It was heavily gossiped around here that she and the man were lovers, although they were very private people about it.”

“Just fun stories,” Odenkirk said with a soft snort and smirking shake of his head. “In truth, Cascada’s kind isn’t the type to take lovers and then let them live but who knows? Maybe she liked to play with her food?”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Tue May 10, 2016 12:08 am




She frowned as Izzard recounted the beginning of the gravers in the forest. Diem couldn’t imagine having something so beautiful and peaceful turn into something so dangerous and awful. And to lose friends and family? Her heart broke for the pomps, and her resolve to help Eirelynn end the Dark King’s reign strengthening. Sitting up a little straighter, Diem stretched her back before Odenkirk returned with the drinks. She accepted her drink with a thank you and lifted it up to her lips. She sniffed it first; the sweet honeysuckle wafted into her lungs before she tilted her head back for the first taste.


It was nectar. Pure and simple. Diem’s brows furrowed as she looked down at the drink in the clay cup; eyes brightening before looking up at the two pomps. ”This is really good,” she complimented, smiling before taking another sip of the ambrosia. She’d never tasted anything quite like it. Liquid cotton candy, but not overpowering. She felt like she could drink it forever without that sugar crash.


As Izzard continued with more information, or rather where she could find it, Diem’s eyebrows rose. This was perfect - just what she and Bruce needed. A source. Taking another drink, Diem listened intently as the two pomps commented about the arachnae and her human lover. Another Traveler? Diem perked up at the idea. Fergus had said himself it had been many decades since he’d seen another pass through his Inn. She had had so many questions, but no time for them to be answered. Not to mention, more important matters to attend to. But as Odenkirk insinuated this spider-woman had eaten him… Diem turned her gaze on Odenkirk with an expression of wariness.


Still, she’d tell Bruce what she found out from her conversation with the elder.


Time passed slowly for Diem in the hut with the two elder pomps. The drink they gave her delightful sense of ease, and after a few more moments of their time the three of them were deep in stories of Diem’s homeland. She told them of the buildings made of concrete and steel; piercing the sky. She spoke of the millions of humans in a single city and yet the extreme loneliness that was easily experienced by them all. Her stories seemed never-ending, and the more ambrosia they offered her the more fantastical her stories became.


Four glasses of the drink in, and Diem started to feel… very light on her own feet, and her thoughts kept circling back to Bruce. She cleared her throat, hands moving to try and seek the floor beside her hips and push herself upright. When she stood, Diem swore she grew eight feet tall. Her hands on the ceiling as if she were pushing it up, her eyes danced between Izzard and Odenkirk before she laughed; eyes watering from the sheer hilarity of the situation.


Finally managing to make her way out of the elder’s home, she kissed both men affectionately on their cheeks and thanked them for their information. She insisted that she’d be absolutely hopeless without them; waving off any insistence that she would be fine and giggling at any acceptance of her word as truth.


In the morning she would have no recollection of how she made it back to Rogen’s hut, but what she would remember would be coming to stand before the bed where Bruce slept; foggy brown eyes pouring over the tattoos across his arms and torso. Her jacket would find a place on the floor no where near her boots, her socks and leggings also to be found in the most bizarre parts of Rogen’s hut in the morning. Her tunic was long enough to fall past the curve of her hips and keep her covered - although not modestly.


Crawling onto the bed, Diem’s body blanketed Bruce’s. She laid on him softly, legs on either side of his and arms folding on his chest as she smiled dreamily.


”They don’t have men like you in New York, y’know?” She’d purr, eyes half-closed as one gentle fingertip traced a line of ink across the curve of his pec. ”In fact… I think I dreamt you…”

She let out the softest sound of sadness, her eyes closing as she laid her cheek down on his chest and curled up against him. He was so warm, and felt so safe… Her bare skin finding every inch of his own until her tunic was practically pushed all the way up to just under her arms. When his own arms reached to wrap around her, turning them so that he lay curled around her in the middle of Rogen’s bed, Diem finally began to fall into sleep; leaving them an image of tangled limbs as her small form lay cradled in his own.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Tue May 10, 2016 1:56 am

In the morning, Bruce awoke with his hands still latched around Diem, his mouth filled with her hair. Pulling away from her, he made note of their positions but said nothing of it. Chalking it up to his injured self needing comfort, he decided to ignore the evening tryst, accepting it as something likely to happen as a consequence of their journey together. Rising from the bed with a sigh and manly groan, he walked over to a mirror on Rogen’s wall. Even at 6 ft, Bruce needed to kneel on the seat of the chair in order to be tall enough to see himself within the bottom half of the mirror. Gingerly, he peeled the cloth from his skin, revealing the markless flesh underneath, the salve having dried and left a smooth feeling behind.
 
“That stuff Fergus made was really good stuff,” he murmured, loud enough for Diem to hear but not really worrying too much about talking to her. Glancing up at the upper corner of the mirror where Diem’s leggings hung, Bruce quirked an eyebrow and tugged them down with a pinch of his fingers. Wandering back over to the bed with an idle scratch of his eyebrow, Bruce held them out to her. “I believe, these are yours?” he smirked a little when she took them from him, her face red and her eyes wandering. “Have a fun night last night?” he asked, turning from her to gather up his own clothes and begin dressing again. “Those pomps can be real party animals. Hope they didn’t wear you out too much.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Tue May 10, 2016 1:10 pm


Breathing in a soft sigh, Diem began to stir when the warmth of Bruce’s body left her on the straw bed. Her hands stretched open as the sensations of her dream seemed to hover over her person, leaving her feeling as if she were made of rubber. Heavy, lethargic, and happy. Turning over onto her back, Diem stretched languidly; her eyelids heavy as they blinked awake. She could hear Bruce on the other side of the hunt, saying something about the salve, when realization hit her like a bag of bricks dropped on her chest.

Sitting up, she tugged at the bottom of her tunic to try and cover her legs as her eyes bounced around the room to try and re-acquaint herself with her surroundings. This wasn’t a hotel room. Bruce wasn’t a clean-cut NY business man. He was dirty, covered in tattoos, and making her face burn hotly when he turned and came toward her with that amused smirk and her leggings in his hand.

”Have a fun night last night?”

Diem balked. Eyes wide, mouth parted in a stunned little O as she stammered to say something to cover her tracks but she could hardly get the words out. Snatching her leggings she cleared her throat, shrugging her shoulder and quickly darting her eyes away from his bare torso. She couldn’t get out so much as a sound before he finished the thought - speaking about her evening with the Pomps.

Relief cooled her face as she closed her eyes and exhaled slowly, shaking her head at her own silliness before sliding off the edge of the bed and quickly redressing. Tucking her tunic partially into her leggings, the back half draped over the curve of her backside while the front of her thighs remained unhindered by the loose shirt. Lifting her hands up, she gathered her hair back in a ponytail as she busily searched for her boots; resolutely not looking at Bruce as she spoke.

”Uhm… No, no it was fine. They’re very nice, and… friendly.”

Her eyebrows furrowed as hazy memories filtered through the fog in her brain. Clearing her throat again, she glanced quickly at Bruce before continuing.

”I talked to an elder. Izzard, I think his name was. He gave me some information about Eirelynn,” She said, her voice drifting off as she stood stumped on where to find her boots. Did she leave them outside? She couldn’t even remember how she got back here. Hooking her hands on her hips, she squinted in thought before dropping down to her knees and peeking under the bed. Oh jesus… There they were. All the way at the other side against the hut wall. Frowning, she climbed underneath and retrieved her two boots; backing out from under the bed with her rump up in the air thoughtlessly.

”He said to go to Craven’s Hollow or something like that? There’s a spider-woman person there who used to update the pomps with information about the war way back in the day. They said she’s our best bet if she’s still alive.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Tue May 10, 2016 4:50 pm

There was a moment of irritation that she’d gone off without him to talk to the elders but Bruce acceded that if he was looking from independence from her, then that was surely it. He was waiting for her to elaborate on what she found out, finally looking at her when he had his clothes on again, his tattoos covered once more. When he saw her half under the bed, he craned his neck with a frown, wondering what she was doing, his eyes immediately drawn to the slope and roundness of her ass as she pulled herself out, boots in hand.

That was different. Knowing what was coming, Bruce couldn’t tell if last night had opened some sort of doorway between them or if it was simply the fast approaching Blood Moon that was affecting him. Either way, huffing a frustrated breath at himself and adjusting his trousers, he supposed it didn’t matter why, only that it couldn’t continue. Getting involved with clients wasn’t against his policy but so close to the Moon changing, he didn’t want to chance that something bad might happen to her as a result of being too close. They just had to get to this Eirelynn chick and give her Diem as the key and they’d be done.

Clearing his throat and casually slipping on his own boots while standing, Bruce said, “Yeah, I know Craven’s Hollow. I regularly go there to trade goods. You’re not going there, though. We’ll take you back to the Spider Cross Inn and let you hang out with Fergus while I’m gone. Maybe he can have you wait on tables for him so you can earn a bit of chip.” There was something supremely condescending about his manner, his arousal shoved neatly back behind a cool and abrasive façade as he decided for them their course of action, while putting his pack back onto his shoulders. “It’ll just be so much quicker if I go alone. Then I won’t have to worry about you doing the one thing that’ll get us possibly killed. Again.” Belatedly, he realized how mean that sounded but couldn’t convince himself to care, instead, smirking meanly at her.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Tue May 10, 2016 6:31 pm


At first, Bruce’s familiarity with Cravens Hollow relieved her. Good! Some place he was familiar with would be less intimidating than somewhere new to him as well. Especially after the description the two elder pomps gave her about this Weaver woman… She wasn’t too keen on finding a lady that ate her lovers. As badass as that sounded. But, her relief was quickly erased by Bruce’s quick decision that Diem wouldn’t be joining him.

Coming out from under the bed, Diem rocked back on her heels and stood quickly; turning to face him with an expression on her face that could only be described as incredulous. Beyond his words, his tone grated against her bones and nerves. She stared at him for a second; watching as he fastened his boots and then came to stand as though there was no room to argue.

That smug fucking smirk on his mouth.

Diem’s eyes narrowed, her chin turning ever so slightly to the side before she shook her head and frowned down at her boots. Perhaps it was something in the way Bruce looked at her that reminded her so much of her boss that she hated… walking all over her all the time. That smirk on his face. Knowing she wouldn’t challenge him. Diem was tired of it. And that last comment? Diem huffed a short breath through her nose before she finished with her boots and stood up.

Stepping right up to Bruce, she ignored those wavering memories of her dream and glared at him.

”I am going with you to Cravens Hollow. I will be there when you speak to this Weaver woman. I will not be set aside on any part of this journey. I have paid you for three days of your time and if I want to “slow you down” during any part of those three days, I will do it.”



Turning away then, she exited the hut and left Bruce inside to deal with her words how he may. Outside, her eyes widened and she exhaled a short breath; handing going up to clutch her forehead as she looked around. Where the fuck did that come from? Diem had never stood up to anyone like that in her life. Maybe going back to the Inn was the best idea? Maybe just hanging out with Fergus the whole time and sending Bruce off to find out how to free Eirelynn himself was even better? Shit… Diem closed her eyes and took a single, deep calming breath before pushing off to go find her four favorite Pomps - not even taking a second to realize she’d left her pack and her jacket in the hut in her hurry to get away from Bruce so he wouldn’t see her panic after such a show down.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Tue May 10, 2016 8:08 pm

Blinking at her sudden declarations, Bruce frowned at her as she asserted how they were going to handle the Cravens Hollow situation. And as she stomped off, exiting the hovel…Bruce said nothing. He could just shove the remaining two days worth of chocolate into her hands and walk away but the same thing that had him agreeing to go with her in the first place made him reject that as an option. She knew now a place to go and it was probably one of the worst cities in Vikander other than the Land of Sweat and Sorrow, where the Dark King resided. She would be going there with or without him to follow the lead on this Eirelynn woman and Bruce didn’t have it in him to abandon her to that place alone. If she fell helpless in the Forest of Silence then he couldn’t imagine how things would turn out in a city where the scum of Vikander actively looked for those weak of heart and constitution. But if he stayed with her… then he couldn’t really argue with her choices. The client got last say on their level of involvement and honestly, Bruce couldn’t make a strong enough case for her to be out of his site anywhere for more than an hour.

Still, he didn’t have to agree with nor like it. Glancing at the chair in the room, he made note of her stuff left behind and he growled in his throat about how annoyingly infantile she was. Grabbing up her jacket and pack, he stomped after her, approaching where she stood with a small gathering of psychopomps. The air was filled with the gaggingly sweet smoke already, being just past the start of noon High Time, and Bruce did nothing to disguise the sneer of disgust on his face as he approached.

“Heeey! There she is!” Rogen said as Diem approached, a wide smile on and the white lights of his eyes glowing in the blackness of his face. “Dude, did I tell you she was fucking hardcore, or did I tell you?”

“Yeah but I thought you were just talking out of your ass,” Franco said, flashing gum in amusement. Putting his clawed fingers up to his lips, he made a silly face with them and in a high toned voice said, “Like always!”

“Well, I had a feeling,” Rogen said confidently, folding his noodle arms.

CK offered a welcoming smile to the human as she came to stand among them, “Word from Odenkirk is that you almost drank Izzy under the table. He said the elder had a hard time keeping up with you, drinking glass weed nectar.”

“Probably exaggerations,” Novak said, finished puffing on a pipe and letting smoke out the side of his bowed cat lips as he passed it on to the next pomp. “He is one of our elders, after all,” he shrugged and nodded.

“They don’t get big antlers like from skipping High Times,” Franco snorted, bending low to puff on the pipe that was passed to him.

“Still, sounds like you made a rockstar impression,” Novak said with a respectful grin at Diem, tapping her lightly on the arm in a bro-like brush of his fist.

“Yeah! Diem, the Rockstar!” Rogen shouted with a fist in the air, his deep, teddy bear voice grumbling loud.

As Bruce approached them, the other two pomps taking up the cheer of ‘Diem the Rockstar’, CK glanced at the Moonborn and back at Diem, “So, you guys staying for another night? Maybe you might party with us?”



Bruce said nothing, stopping to shove Diem’s shit into her hands and giving her a condescending look. Then he was walking past her and through the small crowd of psychopomps towards the entrance to the village, Rogen holding in a cough from the pipe and saying, “Guess not.”

While the others got excited about escorting the two travelers through the Forest of Silence, CK let out a sigh and said, “Oh well, in that case, I have something for you, Diem.” Suddenly, the gigantic psychopomp was offering Diem what looked like a small twist of roots from a plant of some kind, the bark worn off, leaving the fibers white. “This is a part of the roots that grow from within the hollow when I go to sleep.” Since it might not have been obvious, CK paused awkwardly and said, “You know…when I turn into a tree.” The root heart was no longer than Diem’s thumb and a cord looped through it, the circlet of it long enough to fit around Diem’s head to wear as a necklace. “It’s a talisman. A one time use protector. It’ll protect you from getting killed, then break in half immediately after. I thought… since you know…you hid inside me for protection, it’d be nice for you to have a piece of me...from inside me to protect you when you leave.”

That’s when CK realized the other pomps had fallen silent and were all watching the exchange. “Dude…did you just give her a piece of your intestines to remember you by?” Rogen asked with an incredulous snort.

“No--! That’s not--!” CK protested, interrupted by Rogen and the others cracking jokes.

“’Hey, Diem, we had some good times and some bad times as you made a circuit through my colon,’” Rogen playfully imitated CK’s voice, “’Here’s something to commemorate your journey. You might remember seeing this piece of my insides as you passed through.’”

“Happy birthday, food baby!” Franco snickered, practically gone blind from how hard he was laughing.

Novak finished another puff of the pipe and as he exhaled, he shook his head at CK and said, “You’re so nasty.”

At first, CK blushed bright red about their comments but finally his massive shoulders slumped and he let out a sigh of defeat, offering his hand to Diem, “Come on, let’s get heading out while there’s still daylight.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Tue May 10, 2016 9:02 pm


Those boys were definitely what she needed right after her confrontation with Bruce. She grinned brightly at the four of them; her eyes dancing with Rogen’s as he declared her hardcore. Her confusion was clear, but as it was explained why Diem made a soft groan of regret. Shaking her head, she waved her hand as if still brushing away the cobwebs while the pomps talked about her accomplishments. She wasn’t a young college girl any longer, where attention like this may have led her down a “cool” path and into trouble, but she couldn’t help but enjoy the positivity. They were just so kind, and in comparison to Bruce’s asshole-ish attitude toward her, she basked in their cheers.

But, speak of the devil and he shall appear.

Diem turned just in time to get the snarling expression on Bruce’s face and her pack and jacket dumped unceremoniously in her arms. It hurt more than she would ever be willing to admit; her emotions stung by the brutal glare in his eye. She didn’t like that he didn’t like her… it bothered her and she couldn’t help herself. Which just made it all the more frustrating. Watching him walk away, Diem frowned before setting down her pack long enough to pull her jacket back over her arms; glancing up at CK when he held out his hand to offer her a little knot of tree root.

Standing upright, Diem left her pack at her feet as she reached out to take the small talisman from CK; holding it tenderly in her fingers before lifting her gaze back up to the psychopomp. The gesture touched her, and as her eyes misted, she reached out to touch his hand even as his friends teased him. Shaking her head, she smiled and laughed - unable to not find the humor in Rogen’s jabs.

”You are the sweetest, CK. Thank you.”

Gesturing him to lean down more, she lifted herself on her toes and kissed him gently on the cheek; wrapping her arms around his neck as much as she could in a hug before stepping back to release him. Ignoring the taunting, she pulled the necklace over her head and then snatched her bag; grabbing onto CK’s thumb to anchor herself as she climbed into his palm.

Turning her head to look in the direction Bruce went, Diem took her spot at CK’s shoulder and leaned against him; reaching up to touch the talisman hanging over her chest affectionately.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Thu May 12, 2016 12:13 am

Soon, the psychopomps were escorting the two travelers through the forest. When CK offered to carry Bruce, the Moonborn declined, preferring to trudge along on foot. Besides, he was still mad with Diem and didn’t want to be any closer to her than necessary and the other shoulder of the giant psychopomp was definitely too close.

As they walked, the trees which had been so difficult to navigate before, suddenly had a road going through them. “Ever since the gravers came, the elders changed the forest,” CK explained in a low rumble to Diem. “They say people used to travel to the glass weed gardens with ease and we traded amicably with everyone. When the new creatures arrived, people from Vikander still made the journey through the forest, unaware of the changes, sometimes letting loose a hum or a grunt, calling the gravers ever closer without realizing it until it was too late. This became an unsafe place to visit and as much as it pained him, elder Murray had to close off the forest and provide a natural deterrent for visitors. He did it to protect people and stop the needless deaths. The binding doesn’t affect those of us who were born here though and as long as you wear the talisman, it shouldn’t affect you either. In case…you need to visit again…” CK twitched his whiskers over a friendly smile for the human, a pink blush coloring his dark blue fur when he noticed Novak glance back at him with a disapproving shake of his head and a gesture that, in a word, meant ‘pervert.’

As they walked, Bruce did his best to ignore the conversation traded between the psychopomps, only having just started the journey and already done listening to their stoner blather. He was still plenty irritated with Diem for her choices, feeling somewhat self-righteous that he’d been able to rub in her face a little bit how still completely unprepared for this world she was. Holding in the aggravated sigh that he wanted to let out when a couple of the pomps started rough housing on the path, Bruce’s eyes widened and he did a double take.

Through the blue gloom of the woods off the right of the path, Bruce glimpsed the running shapes of a couple of hyekama. Muscular hyenas, their forebodies were thicker than the lower, with a large arch on their backs, half muscle and half a mohawk of spiked mane, bobbing up and down as they loped casually over the uneven terrain. A peal of cackling echoed forth, sending Bruce’s heart racing as he felt the urge to join them. They weren’t hunting, dreamily rushing through the trees, breath harsh and labored as they galloped, filling Bruce’s head until he was nothing but the thunderous paws striking the ground.

Then he blinked…and they were gone, the forest silent as ever. Worriedly, Bruce cast subtle glances at the psychopomps and Diem, realizing…they weren’t reacting to the passing of the hyekama… because they hadn’t been there. Taking in a deep breath and marching forward, Bruce tried to cast the moment out of mind, realizing it was just the Blood Moon calling to him and nothing more.

When they reached the edge of the forest, Bruce waited impatiently while Diem said her final goodbyes, the psychopomps blowing her kisses and making their curtain call jokes. Once they were separated, the pomps walking back into the forest the way they came, Bruce was walking across the golden hay field, now silver in the bright moon light. “Come on, keep up,” he urged her, marching off across the hills, trading one field for another. He stood for a moment, looking around the field like he was looking for something, until he finally found it amidst the grass. A stone disc on the ground with a simplified raven on it. If one didn’t know any better, the glyph had the raven depicted with dorky eyes. Before Diem could inspect it though, Bruce was waving her forward and grabbing her as soon as she was close enough.

“We don’t have a whole lot of time left,” he said, his hand around her waist as he pulled her to stand beside him on the disc, “So, just hurry up and let’s keep moving. We’ve got one more day to get you to Eirelynn.” All of this was said with a small scowl and grumble as he adjusted them both on the disc. Yanking her arms up, he put them to loosely link behind his neck, cautioning her, “Better hang on. It’s not a pleasant experience going through one of this, especially for someone new to it. If you have to throw up, let me know so that I can dodge.”

Even as he said all of this, irritation suffusing his voice, with her hands at his neck and his own cradling her hips, memories from the night before came rushing back. Bruce was caught staring at her, serious, brow crinkling in thought, when the transfer of the warp disc hit them both. Hair and clothes floated upward with gusting wind, light shining up their tunics and through the collars of their shirts as they billowed open from the blowing air. The scenery shifted like it didn’t know what it wanted to be, back and forth between the moonlit fields shining silver, to the dark and dank alley of a much more urban place. Back and forth, back and forth, a sick-inducing bouncing, faster and faster until the fields no longer existed and the alley was more solid than the grasses that had surrounded them a moment before.

Stepping back and clearing his throat, Bruce held an arm out for Diem, looking at her cautiously, waiting and ready to offer her help. “You alright? That was a rough one,” he said. “I think the warp point might be a bit glitchy. It’s a high traffic zone.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Thu May 12, 2016 3:59 pm




Once the pomps left, their sweet goodbyes and joking calls drifting away into the forest, Diem’s mood instantly fell. She was alone with Bruce again, and his attitude toward her wasn’t warm. She frowned, arms crossing under the slight swell of her breasts as she trudged through the fields after Bruce. She stayed behind; following with some generous but not unsafe distance between them. Her eyes on the grass fields, the trees in the distance, or the sky beyond. Anywhere but Bruce.


Absently, her eyes trailed over the moon, knowing well that their time spent together was coming to an end very soon. She had only enough silver to pay him for these first three days, and tonight was the second night. She pursed her lips in concerned thought, trying to figure out a way she could convince him to continue with her. But then again, why? He hated her. He was constantly annoyed and aggravated by her. Insulting her…


Her frown deepened and she sighed, stopping in the field as Bruce’s pace changed to searching instead of stomping. She stood still, eyes lifting back up to the moon before he called her over. Her chin tilted down, her bambi eyes narrowed into a glare before she stepped forward with a shake of her head. His aggravation with her more than abundantly clear.


She had half a mind to tell him to go himself, to just take whatever the last of her pay was and leave her and she’d find someone else, but as she began to step back his hand snatched hers and pulled her to him. Diem hissed a short breath as he brought her up in front of him and guided her hands up to his neck. She frowned at him, eyebrows furrowed in curiosity as his own hands slid down to her hips.





Memories of her dream flickered behind her eyes as she looked up at him; watching his expression change to something… unreadable. She swallowed, her own expression changing to mirror his own. Searching for something in his eyes that she wasn’t so sure she wanted to find.


Suddenly the winds opened, and light shot up from the disc where they stood and illuminated them both. Diem’s gaze held his unwaveringly as her hand slid up the back of his neck; fingertips dipping into the start of his hair as she pressed closer. Her breath leaving her as the world around them flickered in and out as if she were watching the world passing by on a speeding train. Sound, pure and loud, escalating around them before with a sudden silence, they were in the alley.


Then he was gone; stepping back from her and clearing his throat. She dropped her eyes to the hand he extended to her while asking if she was okay. She studied his hand for a heartbeat before bringing her gaze back up to his. Clearing her own throat, she stepped around him from the alley and let her eyes dance around their new surroundings; orienting herself as she shook her head.

”I’m fine. Why?” She asked as she turned her head to look at him over her shoulder; a single eyebrow raised. ”Was the ride too rough for you?”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Thu May 12, 2016 6:12 pm



Something had definitely changed between them and as much as Bruce tried to resist it, he found himself feeling empty and bereft when she didn’t take his offered hand. The anger he’d held onto during the daylight had softened now, her scents lingering around him even as he tried to keep up with her conversation. “Don’t be hurt, ‘nilla,” he said, looking down thoughtfully before bringing his eyes back up to her with a regretful cast. “I know it hasn’t been easy but I’m just trying to make sure you get your money’s worth. Like I told you at the start…I don’t work for free.” He hesitated, licking his lips briefly, glancing around to make sure they remained alone in the small transport alcove where the disc rested on a platform. “I’d hate to see anything happen to you before you’re able to figure everything out. So, I’m sorry if you feel like I’m being unfair.”

Not exactly sorry for his behavior but it was the most he was willing to let himself give her, even as he stared at her and the grimy cast from the oil lamps further down the street made her hair look soft and her features even more fragile than before. Stifling the urge to continue staring or even to reach out and touch her, he looked away, rubbed a finger under his nose and cleared his throat.

From what they could see of Craven’s Hollow, everything was dirty and dark. The buildings tilted unsteadily up towards the sky, the ground covered in uneven cobblestones, shiny and wet as if it were always raining here. Even as they had the appearance of being rundown and decrepit, everything had a cartoonish slant to it as well, artfully rickety and twisted, on the verge of falling in on itself, yet defying gravity with a complex network of bridges, canopies and balconies. The moon that had been visible above the field was completely hidden by clouds and nighttime smog, the only lights coming from windows and lamps placed strategically along the streets.

With a manly sniff, Bruce approached the alley opening to where it met the main thoroughfare, glancing both directions before turning back to Diem. “So, I figure the best place to start looking will be the Puppetman, a bar and…brothel in the city’s center,” he said. “It’s a hot spot of activity and business, usually all nefarious in nature, but there’s Witnesses there, merchants who mostly deal in information. We might be able to get something from them, even if they don’t know where this Weaver is, they might know someone who knows.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Thu May 12, 2016 7:54 pm


Diem turned her head back when he started to talk to her; focusing on anything else but the sudden apologetic look in his eye. He was so much easier to dislike when he was annoyed with her. When he looked at her like that? His eyes softening and his mouth turning down…? Diem felt herself weaken. She felt herself remembering what he had felt like in her dream. His smile, his hand held out for hers and the sound of his laugh when she’d teased it. It wasn’t the rest of the dream she remembered so fondly - although even that had her wanting to just run to him and kiss him before he could hate her again - it was the warmth in his eyes when he looked at her. Like he was so happy she was there, and there was no where else he would rather be.

How could she be this confused, twisted and needy with a man she’d only met two days ago? She’d seen attractive men before. She’s interacted with them. She’s even fantasized about them. But this? This was something that scared her. Diem couldn’t shake a need to be around him even when he was being a dick. Even when she was mad at him. Not taking his hand when he held it out to her, so similarly to her dream, left her feeling nauseous. Like she’d just ruined something she could never take back.

Frowning, she turned around to face him.


”I’m not going to be able to figure everything out in three days, Bruce. I don’t know anything about this place, or about any of the people here, if ‘people’ is even the correct term. I’ve been lucky so far, that’s it. Lucky to meet Fergus, lucky to have you overhear because Fergus sure as shit wasn’t going to help me find you. You heard him talk about you. And I was lucky to find CK in that forest. I am completely and utterly unprepared for all this bullshit that I’m going to have to go through but what choice do I have?”

It came out like word vomit. Once she started, she couldn’t stop.

”I thought I had dreamt this place. I really did. When I woke up in that field I was sure I had been knocked out on that train and this was all in my head but it has been nothing but pain, aggravation and annoyance from you and nightmares. I know now that if I actually was dreaming, you wouldn’t be mad at me all the time. You’d be fu-”

Choking to a stop, Diem’s eyes widened and she snapped her mouth shut before it was too late. What was happening to her? She’d never been so bold in her life. The best she’d ever been was quitting her job as a waitress to avoid being harassed any longer by her disgusting boss, only to walk into a totally different but not much better situation. And she just accepted it. She laid down and took it because where else would someone like her end up?

Vikander, apparently.

Shaking her head, she sighed and then looked back up at Bruce; eyes nearly watering but not quite.


”Let’s just find this woman and get some answers.”

Turning around and coming up to the edge of the alley with him, she resolutely focused on studying her surroundings as he spoke of where the best possible place to find the Weaver, or someone who knew of her, would be. Diem’s eyes closed as she dropped her head.


”A brothel, huh?”

Great.

”Well, lets go then.”

Gesturing for him to lead the way, Diem fell into step behind him. The maze of streets and alleys that made no sense still seemed to lead fluidly toward the bar where Bruce, very clearly, knew how to get to. She couldn’t help but process that information with a little bit of jealousy on her tongue. A bitter flavor. She hated it. As they rounded a corner, Diem’s searching eyes landed on a little boy, couldn’t be older than eight covered in rags and dirty with soot from head to toe. Only the whites of his eyes showing from behind the pitch as he crouched next to what could only be considered a collection tray.

Diem’s heart broke, and she stopped in her tracks; turning to face the child. There were plenty of homeless in New York that even she had become cynical with, but a baby? She frowned and then pulled her bag from her shoulder; digging through it’s contents as she slowly approached the child and came to crouch in front of him.

”Are you hungry, sweetie?” She asked softly; canting her head as the boy looked up at her and nodded. He appeared human, but something was strange with his expression. Like his skin didn’t quite fit. Still, she could recognize that look in his eye, and it pulled at that part of Diem that clung to the idea of motherhood one day. ”I don’t have any coin, but I’ve been saving these for a rainy day… Would you like to share them with me?”

Her smile was soft, encouraging as she held open her palm to him and at least a dozen little chocolate pieces were piled there.

”Do you have some place to stay?” She asked, ignorant to the value of what she held in her hand as the child cautiously reached out for them - uncertain if this was a cruel joke or not.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Thu May 12, 2016 10:28 pm

Bruce was surprised and a little relieved that Diem understood so clearly the situation she was in and how fortunate she’d been, even with the few brushes with disaster she’d had so far. Which was why he was so fucking surprised when he turned around and saw her several paces back, bending over to offer something to the street rat. Bruce had seen the young rook as they passed by, ignoring the lad and discounting him as an active threat. That didn’t mean he wasn’t a threat, though, since the members of their race tended to be universally tricksters and criminals.

Huffing a harsh breath, Bruce quickly jogged back over to where Diem crouched in front of the child, and instantly grabbed her up, pulling her to her feet and back. “What do you think you’re doing?” Bruce growled, searching her face for anything resembling sense at all. “Did you not just get finished telling me how threateningly unfamiliar this place is to you?” Gritting his teeth in a grimace, Bruce shoved his palm into her face, extorting her with the number of fingers he had, “5 minutes. 5 fucking minutes, you pathetic vanilla human! You talk about how hard everything has been for you and how dangerous, then 5 minutes later you put yourself in danger, with nary a thought for your surroundings!”

His mouth forming a grim line, Bruce grabbed her by the arms and shook her, “You were right! Fergus was a fluke! I was a fluke! There are no friendly psychopomps here, in Craven’s Hollow! Get your head out of your ass and realize what you are!” Looking at her hand and what she had cupped in her fist, Bruce’s eyes widened and he gave her an enraged look, quietly saying, threat dripping from his voice, “Are you mad? Why in Crumb’s name would you be waving chocolate around? Here? Out in the open? You are truly looking for us to get killed, aren’t you? Please, tell me that is what this is. Nobody could be this blindingly ignorant!”

The rook was standing up now, worried about the woman and the way this man was treating her. Standing barely level with Bruce’s navel, the rook was not even close to being a threat to the man but he couldn’t let this nice woman be hurt by this lunatic brute. He started to pull at Bruce’s arm, mutely tugging and hitting him with an ineffectual fist. When Bruce felt the lad, he thought the boy rook was trying to rob him, letting go of Diem long enough to turn his fury on the street rat. Not even holding back for the fact that his target was a child, a fist slammed straight into the rook’s nose knocking the boy back against the brick of the building, his head ricocheting off the wall. The blow not only bloodied the lad’s nose but split the tissue on his face, the bridge of his nose letting out some of the darkness of what lay underneath. Tears welled in the child’s eyes and he touched the mark, feeling at his pointy nose gingerly, mortified that his skin had broken. Beatings weren’t new to the little rascal but he’d never dealt with such an obvious and huge break before.

Things were compounded as Bruce turned fully to the boy and let out a bestial roar of rage, scaring the rook off, running down the street, hiding his face with a hand. Watching him disappear, his breathing labored, Bruce finally cooled down, turning to Diem with a sneer of disgust. “What the fuck am I going to do with you?” he hissed.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Fri May 13, 2016 1:15 am




She was yanked to her feet suddenly; pulled from the reach of the child and her hand closing tightly around the pearls of chocolate in her palm and spun to face the enraged Bruce. Diem was startled. No, more than that. What he was doing was ludicrous. His temper completely lost as he yelled in her face; holding his hand up so suddenly she was sure he was doing to strike her. She flinched back, eyes closing with a wince as his shout continued to vibrate into her face. Fingers splayed wide, he screamed at her incredulously. Spelling out for her just how stupid she was being.


But for what?! Offering candy to a child?!


And then he was shaking her. Diem’s slight body jerked to and fro like a ragdoll in his preternatural grip, a cry escaping her before she could stop herself. ”Bruce! Stop!”


Her hands moved to press against his shoulders; trying to shove him away but the action brought his attention instead to her hand. The melting remnants of the chocolate smearing across her palm. It seemed to trigger something more - something deeper in him. A disbelief that she couldn’t understand. Before she could ask him what the hell he was going on about, he turned and struck the child so hard in the face that his flesh cut open to reveal what was underneath. Blood, tears and a crack - an opening that revealed the stone underneath. Diem paid little mind to that in her shock, though, and as Bruce’s hands clenched at his sides and he roared after the child, something in Diem lost the sense to be afraid.


When the moonborn turned back to her it was to meet his face with her own hand. She struck hard as she could, her temper matching his own at the show of abuse toward a child. She struck him once. She struck him again. She slapped and smacked at his face and chest until she drove him back; screaming at him with all the rage and frustration she had felt but couldn’t express since arriving in this godforsaken place.


”He was just a CHILD!”


Breathing heavily, Diem’s chest heaved as she shoved him back; or rather bounced off his chest as he found his feet. With the remnants of chocolate still crushed in her hand, she threw them at him.


”Take the candy if it’s so damn important to you!”


What was left of the little chocolate pellets bounced off his chest and to the ground, but Diem did not stick around to see if how he reacted. She spun on her heel and stormed after the child; racing away from Bruce before he could stop her from leaving. There wasn’t an ounce of interest in Diem to see how Bruce would respond to her reaction to him.


Following what she could see of the boy’s path; she quickly got lost in the twisting maze of Craven’s Hollow.


The oil lamps flickered shadows across the lopsided brick and mortar walls that made no sense to the New Yorker. There was no grid. Nothing that she could make sense of to tell her which way to go. Coming to a dead end, Diem let out a frustrated scream and then spun to double back. But when she turned around he stood before her; eyes black as beads as they danced over her. Diem halted immediately; eyes widening as recognition set in. Her lower lip trembled as dread blossomed in her belly.

”You… What are you doing here?”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Fri May 13, 2016 2:14 am

It wasn’t just the candy but what it represented. Bruce let her slap him, his mind fogged by his overwhelming irritation with her, but feeling barely anything from the blows. It hammered home yet again how helpless she was and by contrast, how out of control he was being right now. How to turn it off? Especially when she tossed the melted chocolate pieces at him, all of them falling to the ground onto the wet cobblestones.

Bruce didn’t chase after the vanilla, stooping to pick up the precious morsels before the dampness destroyed them completely. And even after, he hesitated to follow her, glancing at the sky and knowing that the moon lurked there, even though he couldn’t see it through the city’s cloud cover. Still, this was Cravens Hollow and Diem would not survive the city without him. If he left her to her own devices, who knew what trouble she’d get herself into. With that in mind, Bruce added the chocolate to the chip purse at his belt, counting the pieces as another 4 days worth of employment, walking down the street and trying to find the flimsy trail that Diem had left behind.



Standing at the mouth of the alley, Anarth grinned at the human, smug in his delightful find. He’d been in the Puppetman, enjoying a burlesque show when one of his little birdies came and told him the Moonborn was in town. It had occurred to Anarth that he could try his little strong arm game again with Bruce caught unawares in the streets of Craven’s Hollow. But when the birdie that came to him told him that the Moonborn and the vanilla were treating one another as lovers in a quarrel, the rook criminal came up with a better plan. It was so like B-rucey to get attached to his client, especially when the moons were changing quickly. What would the Moonborn give to get the little sausage back?

“Hello again, sweet little vanilla,” Anarth cooed, cocking his head coyly, “What am I doing here? Well, this is my town. And you’re lost in it, are you not? I’m here to help you,” he said, taking from his inner cloak pocket a small statuette that fit into his slender, twig-like hand, “To reunite you with your beloved bloodcursed.”

The corvix statue throbbed in his hands as he lazily moved it from one to the other with flowing fingers, gazing intently at the human. It was just one of his many special toys, collected over years and years of acquisition and money spent. The statue was a horizontal cylinder shape, etched in green, mottled stone, the figure of a raven, its beak open on one end, and sharp teeth lining the opening. Carnal swirls like wind and curling fronds of feathers decorated the ancient relic, the raven’s eyes shining in the lamp light with the iridescence of precious stones.

“I’ll make you a deal,” Anarth said, getting a playful cast to his stretched features, his black, stringy hair falling in his face. “I’ll make personally sure that you leave Craven’s Hollow alive, if you be good and obey my every command.” His eyes narrowed slightly and he smiled knowingly as the expression passed over her face. “I’ll let you think about it,” he said with a smart nod.

Bringing the statue up to his lips, Anarth stuck his tongue within the hole at the end of it, practically trembling as his mouth slipped over the raven’s beak just the tiniest bit. This was the hard part…and the fun part, waiting seconds for the presence within the statuette to venture forth with its own cold, slimey appendage from the void that existed within its depths. As it touched his tongue, stroking over him, the raven’s stone teeth, razor sharp, cut into him, drawing forth his blood for the statue to sample. Even though he’d done this before, Anarth couldn’t hide the gag of disgust and absolute thrill as he Frenched the ancient stone statue, finally drawing away, brimming with its power.

Like a shadow, Anarth’s body grew dark and empty, like displaced space cut out of the fabric of the universe. In the shape of a crow, the thing that Anarth had become, spread its wings and flew across the divide that separated them, consuming Diem in its abysmal embrace. When the shadow disappeared into the corner of the buildings, sliding between brick, and the crack of the curb, not a trace of her or the rook were left behind.



Morning found Diem tied to a chair, her arms bound in choking cord. Seeing her awaken, Anarth, who sat at the table, put his drink down and explained, “As much as I’d like to believe that you’d make good on our little bargain last night… I have to admit I don’t really trust you all that much. So…choking cord. The thing that holds you to your chair is an enchanted material; the more you struggle, the tighter it binds you, only releasing you when cut. Depending on you, you can decide whether that is from my blade or…from dismemberment as you aggravated the cord until one of your limbs falls off. I think that’s fair.”

A smart nod followed by a delighted smirk and throat giggle. “I’ve put the word out to our cursed friend,” he said, standing up from his chair and coming to stand in front of her. “If he’s smart, he’ll come willing to do what I ask. If not…then you might lose a few things. To motivate him, I mean. After all, what is commitment without sacrifice? But I’ll stay true to my word. If you behave yourself, I’ll make sure you leave alive at least.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Fri May 13, 2016 2:38 am




Diem was trapped. Anarth stood at the only exit from the corner she’d found himself in and with that statue in his hand and his eyes on her… Diem knew she’d made a mistake beyond upsetting Bruce. And then, as Anarth brought that thing to his lips, so crudely kissing the thing before something… something changed… Diem realized she had no time. Screaming as loud and for as long as she could, she called namelessly for him before the shadow consumed her whole; cutting her cry off immediately and sweeping her away without a trace.







When she woke, Diem’s head felt heavy on her neck. Her chin lolling against her chest before she lifted her head with a sigh. There had been no dream that came to her in the darkness. No message that eased her fear or gave her any hope. She woke alone, cold, and uncomfortable. And she woke to the voice of the man who made her skin crawl.


She jerked her hands away - or at least she tried - and immediately the binds tightened. Diem gasped. Her eyebrows furrowing and her lips parting in a painful scowl before that searching gaze lifted to find Anarth smirking at her; his scarecrow figure lifting from where he leaned against his table.


At first his words made no sense, and the sight of him drove her to struggle more. To test the ropes that bound her only to find that they were like quicksand; tightening painfully as she fought. Her chest heaved as her eyes glistened, anger and hopelessness flooding her as her eyes turned back up to Anarth. Shaking her head as his words sank in, Diem let out a sharp exhale.


”Bruce won’t come for me. He despises me.”


Turning her head, she searched the room for something to clue her in on where she was being held, but she was hopeless. She knew nothing of this place, and knew nothing to help herself. Unless… those dark eyes shifted to Anarth once again.

”I’ll do it. Whatever you need him to do, I’ll do it instead.”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Fri May 13, 2016 3:29 am

Bruce stayed up all night, scouring the city for Diem. The first hour had him slightly annoyed, especially when his inquiries led him along a clearly, very confused and haphazard path through the city. She had no idea what she was doing and where she was going. Typical of him having to clean up after her again. At least they had time now for her to get a little lost.

Then as the night wore on and the trail stopped, Bruce grew concerned. It didn’t just grow cold or fuzzy, the trail ENDED. So many scenarios ran through his head of what could have happened to her and even as he felt a righteous protectiveness over her if any of the cretins in Craven’s Hollow touched her, he was struck heavily with the weight of guilt. It’d been his fault. He’d been too hard on her, blinded by his growing sensitivity to the moon. Losing control was shameful enough but now it’d put his client in danger. No…not just his client, but something a bit more integral than that and abruptly, he was sorry, wishing he could take back his anger and his violence. He’d find her Eirelynn for free if he could just find the vanilla safe and unharmed.

All of the stuff he failed to teach her about Vikander, all the things she didn’t know and he could have filled in the blanks for her, was swirling in his head, leaving him a wreck by morning. Funnily enough, that was when he got wind of a new lead. As the groggy sky filtered through the mauve cloud cover over the city, Bruce heard whispers of where Diem was. And his anger grew.



“Aw, that’s so sweet of you,” Anarth sputtered on a laugh, shaking his head at her naiveté. “But this isn’t really something that you can do. Or at the very least, not knowing you or having any backing for your credentials, it’s not something I want you to do.” Another smug smile. Pulling from his cloak the corvix statuette again, Anarth held it between his fingertips, allowing Diem to see it. “You see this, ‘nilla? This is one of my favorites among my collection, the Corvidatae Malifictum. An ancient relic made back from the days when our world was more closely bonded with the Waking World. A little bit of stone from the other realm, some spirit from Vikander, and a combined poetry of spell to open a portal within it. ‘the Kisser’ is what they call it…the thing inside, granting its powers to the one who bleeds. Some might think it’s a bit risqué or taboo, especially since this type of magic is frowned upon. Not necessarily evil, mind you, but it does have addictive properties and less than savory consequences with its use.”

Anarth shrugged at her with an obsequious grin, “But what power doesn’t have its own unique sacrifices? Anyway, I have a ton of these precious things, each with their own specialty, unique little rules, and benefits. And I am always looking to increase my collection. In fact, there’s one,” Anarth grew animated as he touched his boney finger to his lips, a cheeky grin on his face, his beady eyes lighted as he gazed at Diem, “That I am currently looking for, which is a song that is rumored to be so beautiful when heard, that anyone who listens to it never wants to do anything else. Forever transfixed by the beauty woven into the song. Of course, I’d want to acquire this, which I’m assuming is in the form of some enchanted instrument or a scroll with the music notations on it, to sample it for myself. Thankfully, I have another artifact, which enables me to withstand the crushing allure of a Siren’s song, so, I’m pretty confident that I could use both and come away unscathed. But think of the applications when using it upon others! Just a few whistled blows and I’d have everyone around me enthralled, ready to do my bidding.” He seemed rather impressed by himself and recounting of his plan. “I’m not sure what else I could possibly need after that, but it could literally be no obstacle, whatever I choose for my next acquisition.”

Touching Diem’s hair with a pale hand, rubbing the locks between his fingers, Anarth said, “I’ve actually got a Witness who says he knows where this thing is but our mutual friend, with his supreme tracking skills, refuses to chase the lead because he’s a self-righteous little pig.” He spat the word, tiny flecks of spittle falling on Diem’s cheek and neck, and Anarth noticed and gave her an indifferent smirk, “So, no. You can’t do it for him. You’re not qualified. The best thing you can do for me, is convince him to take the job, despite his misgivings about my so called, dirty habit.”

Stepping away from her, Anarth got a thoughtful look on his face, pacing in front of her as he considered the other thing she said. “You really think he hates you?” he asked, giving her a narrowed look. “Because that’s not what I heard. Oh! I see!” he exaggerated his realization, bright eyed and oohs and ahhs. “You don’t know what he’s going through right now, do you? Oh, my Crumbs, you are truly a vanilla little thing. Tch. Well, far be it for me to give you relationship advice but I’d think, despite his devotions to you, you might want to distance yourself from him after this. I mean, if this,” he lazily waved a very pointed finger around the room, at himself, and round back to her, “Didn’t already spoil how you feel about your involvement with him. Just… take some friendly advice from an objective observer.”

Walking towards her again, Anarth came to loom over her, gently brushing her hair back over her shoulders, baring her neck to him. “Although it does make me wonder what he sees in such a fragile thing. Not something I’d usually partake in, personally, because they break so easily and the fun stops so soon but…I am tempted to sample from you.” As he loomed closer, the bags, almost like empty holes in his skin suit mask were more visible around his eyes, the flesh flaky and cracked in the corners of his forehead and under his ear lobe.

“It’s been so long since I’ve kissed something other than the corvix,” he said huskily, bending low to kiss at her neck, lips, cold and gritty, streaking the slime of his saliva over her the flesh of her throat in lustful abandon.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Fri May 13, 2016 12:30 pm


Tied down to this chair only god knows where, Diem felt the burgeoning sensation of panic. He didn’t take her on her offer, and instead started to recount his plan with such pleasure in himself that Diem felt sick. He was a truly twisted being. Nothing like the creatures she’d encountered so far in Vikander, where their outsides matched nothing on the inside. Facing twisted into horrifying expressions had only the sweetest of souls underneath. Anything that Diem would have considered creepy had shown her to be a friend. The gravers of course their own category of terrifying but Diem considered only whom she had interacted with.

This man - thing thing was wicked in the worst of ways. And she was stuck here with him alone.

Diem knew that he was holding her captive in an effort have Bruce do his bidding, using Diem as his bargaining chip, and it made her sick. She flexed her hands on the arms of the chair, and the ropes there tightened even more as a result. She frowned with a slight wince, taking note that even testing them tightened them; her eyes dancing over the charmed things as Anarth continued to run his waxy, stretched mouth.

Mocha-brown eyes rolled up to Anarth as he came forward then; his hand reaching out to twist and rub a strand of her hair between his fingertips. She was trembling by then; her attempt to keep up her bravado beginning to fail as the thing began to touch her. Her mind was telling her that if she pulled away, if she struggled, she’d be hurt by the magic that kept her in the chair but her heart and soul were screaming for her to pull away.

Tears welled in her eyes as she turned her head from him; pulling her hair from his fingertips even as vile spittle freckled her face. She felt sick, sucking in deep, quaking breaths through her nose as she kept her mouth shut resolutely. Her fingers curled to grip the arms of the chair as her chest fought against the set of ropes that bound her. The creaking of the cords tightening serving only to fuel Diem’s panic. She twisted her head in an attempt to get more of an understanding of her surroundings; searching for something, anything, that could help her. She was utterly on her own, and even as Anarth stepped back and laughed at her belief that Bruce would not come, Diem wasn’t about to just try and wait for him to maybe rescue her.

If she was learning anything, it was that Diem couldn’t rely wholly on Bruce. His temper toward her, and others… he never gave her anything of value until she had already made the mistake and then just glared at her incredulously like she should have just known. Like this… If he did come to rescue her, Diem could only imagine the things he would scream in her face.

Her cheeks damp, her eyes turned back to Anarth as he hovered close again; those words creeping like worms across her skin. He loomed close enough that she could see where his skin didn’t fit, and Diem’s body panicked. Her arms and legs tried to kick and push from the creature that came closer; mouth leaving a slimy trail across her throat as she rocked her body back and screamed. The cords tightened harshly, and quickly, leaving Diem choking on what remained of her breath. Her eyes wide and glistening, leaking salty pearls down her cheeks and jawline as she stared at Anarth’s wicked grin.

Breath wheezing through the tightening pockets of her lungs as the cords began to wear into her flesh; leaving raw, angry red behind.

”... please… don’t….”

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Sun May 15, 2016 12:28 am

In the midst of kissing the tasty, vanilla treat, the rook grew excited by her struggles and bit into the elegant slope between Diem’s ear and her shoulder. Not a love nip but full on digging his jagged teeth in, breaking her skin and calling forth a swell of blood to dribble and pour half into his mouth and half over her body. Humming deeply in his throat at her delicious reaction to this, a spike of adrenaline tainting the taste of her iron rich juices, Anarth let go only long enough to move down her neck, biting more solidly into her shoulder. His teeth scraped at her as they searched for purchase within the fat and muscle, widening the tooth holes he’d left.

A knock on the door to the room finally forced Anarth to reluctantly let go, dark blood coating his crooked, human-like teeth, yet surprisingly neat on the rest of him, only a couple strings of blood dangling down his chin. He smirked at the vanilla, licking his lips and teeth, savoring the taste of her, even as he pulled a cloth from his cloak pocket and began to clean up the mess on his chin. “Come in,” he called out to the one beyond the door, turning away from Diem to address who was visiting.

Right around now is when Diem would be forced to mentally check out, whether she wanted to or not. The years of tainted magic that Anarth had exposed himself to, although counteracted with various small charms and physics, would still have an effect on the poor human. Within her head, the song “Dream Weaver” started to play as her vision lost its focus, Anarth a burst of black and haloed colors as he turned from her, slanting and spinning as the room struggled to contain him.

The doorman had only time enough to report, “We have a situation—“ before he was suddenly tensing up and arching backwards, eyes wide in confusion and distress. Behind him appeared Bruce, letting the three-bladed claws slide from the doorman’s back before dropping the man to the floor. Quiet fury filled the Moonborn as he stalked into the room, Anarth instantly backing away, worried and frantic, holding out a placating hand.




“B-bruce! Please! Wait! Let’s talk about this!” the rook stammered as he shuffled away from the other’s predatory advance.

“Been there. Done that,” Bruce drawled in his raspy, deep voice.

“It’s not like you gave me a choice!” Anarth hissed, his teeth still stained by his snack.

“Choice?” Bruce sneered, surging across the distance that separated them to grab Anarth by the cloak, swinging him around to shove him against the table. “You want to talk about choices? How about consequences? That’s the meatier of the two, after all. For instance, you choose to ask me to chase this ridiculous artifact and it stinks of thaumaturgy to me, which would result in either of us getting punished, if we were caught and you choose to offer me gumdrops in payment, which results in me saying ‘no.’”

“Bruce…please…I’m sorry! I’m so sorry--!”

Bruce lifted Anarth just enough to slam the rook back onto the table to shut him up, continuing on his growling tirade, “Then you choose to try to intimidate me in public which results in you getting yourself banned from the closest, most reputable place near Craven’s Hollow. Then when I happen to wander back into your proximity, you choose to kidnap my actual client, someone with actual means and a legal task for me to help her with because you assume that we’re intimately connected and you wish to use her as a means to yet again intimidate me.” Grabbing the trembling rook’s face with his fingers digging into the fake skin, Bruce seethed as he ground out, “What do you think the result of this will be???

He didn’t let Anarth answer, his fingers contorting as he dug into the flesh that the rook wore, his fist slowly tightening until he had the skin like cloth between his fingers. Then he pulled as hard as he could, Anarth screaming, not in pain but the agony of his shame and embarrassment falling upon him like a weight slammed bodily into him. Letting the rook fall to the floor, Anarth sat below the tabletop, his face like that of a large crow. The structures of the magic skin he wore had contained certain aspects of his features, now let loose, his beak sticking out from his head about a foot and a half. His beady eyes were bestial, rolling, crazed and frothing with fear and shame, breaking this terrible taboo. All rooks were born into slavery, sold to the criminal underclass and taught to hide their true faces until they grew to convince themselves that the mask was real. Black feathers disheveled from the unceremonious removal of the mask, Anarth’s hand hovered above his face, half shielding and half-tempted to touch, trembling as he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Threat neutralized, Bruce tossed the slimy remains of the face at Anarth, the rook jerking defensively, his beak cracked open yet silent as he struggled with his existential crisis. Turning to Diem, a wave of concern melted over the Moonborn, rushing to her side, hands cupping her face and looking into her dazed eyes. “Diem! Diem! Can you hear me?” he asked, trying to get her to look at him even as he gently smacked her cheeks in a coaxing manner. That was when he noticed the bite marks in her skin, black crescents with blood drizzled from them on either side of her body. Looking closer, he could see the sickly, phlegm colored moisture within some of the holes, assuming that Anarth got some of his magic-infused bacteria into her.

Cutting her ropes with the blades of his claws, Bruce let her collapse into his arms, picking her up with soft words of comfort. Cradling her against his body, Bruce walked from the room, kicking in Anarth’s direction as the distraught being crawled across the floor, trying to mentally come back to himself in any way that he could.



It was the 3rd day of Diem’s sickness when it finally broke. Sunlight filtered into the tiny attic room, the square of the window on the floor barely touching the bed. At the cluttered desk sat a young man anywhere from late 20’s to early thirties, with big ears and shaved bald, his button nose smeared with a orange-colored dust. Poring over a book, he was grinding herbs in a mortar and pestel when he noticed Diem stir.

“Oi. You awake?” he asked, bright blue eyes glancing over where she laid cocooned in a nest of comfy pillows and blankets. “Bruce’ll be back. He talked to the Weaver but since she’s a little mad, he’s trying to get something to help ‘persuade’ her. Damned spider’s off her bonce since the war ended.” Setting aside the bowl, he brushed his hands off and leaned forward with elbows on his knees. “How’re feelin’?”



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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by lexibeth on Sun May 15, 2016 1:57 am

The pain was sharp, and laced with a predatory taint that molested her soul. Diem was trembling in the chair; eyes pinched closed as hot tears slid down her cheeks. Fingertips dug into the arms of the chair; her entire body fighting against the enchanted ropes. She didn’t care. Anarth’s presence hovering over her engaging every ounce of fight or flight in Diem’s body. Adrenaline spiked her blood, coursing through her veins in an attempt to strengthen her body enough to fight the onslaught but she just wasn’t strong enough. Screaming with what was left of the air in her lungs, Diem felt the effects of Anarth’s poisoned bite before the knock at the door even sounded.

She struggled to keep focus. Her vision blurring as the fog crept from the corners of the room. She watched as it rolled toward her like a thick blanket reaching to engulf her. Her cries weakened, softening as Anarth’s teeth dragged over the exposed flesh where neck met shoulder. Brown eyes rolled over the bowing figure of the doorman and the large shadow as her head lolled; barely making out the red, hazy beast that stalked into the room behind Bruce.

Diem tried to warn him. Tried to tell him that the creature was close… eyes bloodred with fury. Jaws dripping with the blood of his last kill. She cried his name, the words just a breathless whisper on her lips, as the thing loped forward and peeled its lips back in a snarl at the crow-man just as the black fog swirled up and wrapped Diem in it’s embrace.




Thousands of baubles floated in the room above her. Diem laid on her back, frozen on the hard ground as she stared at the possibilities swirling in wind currents above her. The room was enormous, as large as any space she’d ever seen and in her heart she knew that she could walk her entire life in one direction and never reach the other side. With a soft exhale, she lifted her hand as one of the glass balls began to drift down to her place on the obsidian floor.

Before her touch could find the bubble, it shattered; raining down upon her. A gasp in surprise let slip a sliver of the bauble into her lungs and numbness traveled down her form; slowly, as if someone were painting over her with feathers until she felt like lead.  


The light of the room adjusted, revealing the floor-to-ceiling mirror before her. Diem stood directly in front of herself close enough to reach out and trace her outline. Her hair was soft; brushed and curled until it tumbled over her delicate shoulders in chocolate waves. A single pin held her bangs from her face, and as Diem studied her reflection she noticed that the woman looking back at her wasn’t… her. Diem slowly stepped forward, eyes narrowing as the mirror mimicked every move. Every expression.


Licking her lips, she reached her hand up to touch her hair; fingertips gliding down to the front of her neck. Everything was correct, but nothing felt right. Almond-honey eyes searched for a piece of herself in the reflection she recognized, but who Diem saw felt so foreign. The darkness of her eyes… the sharpness of her cheekbones... the black stain at her neck where the creature had bitten her. Diem let her eyes take in the mark a heartbeat longer before traveling down the rest of her figure. Smooth skin looked like porcelain; unblemished and reflective. Not a single scar, scrape or bruise. A soft breath escaped her lips and washed the face of her expression in fog.

She flinched back, seeing not nothing in the fog, but green eyes staring back at her. Her heart lept, and the pull behind her belly button yanked her toward him. Diem started to frantically fog up the mirror; painting her breath across its silver surface until she could step through to the other side; capturing the mist on her flesh as she pushed through the portal.

Silk and lace danced across her legs as the dress shifted in the breeze; Diem coming to a stop just on the other side of the mirror. He was there, but so much further away than he had been before. Diem called for him, reaching out her hand and she saw his head tilt to the side and a smile begin to pull at the corners of her lips. Diem let out a breath of relief, her eyes watering as she ran across the bright white dessert for him. Slowing as she neared, Diem took the final step up to him and let her eyes wash over him. Hands reached out, desperate to feel the warmth of his skin… but as her arms came around his form he fell away in a wash of smoke.


Then, like the rumble of thunder leading a storm, the room vibrated. Diem froze as if a single flinch would send the walls caving in around her, she stood in the center and listened to the creature come closer. She could smell the blood and smoke on him. Paws as long as her thighs stepped within the downcast vision of her eyes and paused. Her heart was beating in her throat as that gaze slowly rolled up the crooked figure. Powerful legs meant for bursts of speed and strength held up the might weight of the large torso; bowed forward with a mane of hair creating the look of a mohawk up the spine of the monster. Long, slashing claws clicked against the floor as it leaned forward and pressed it’s bloody snout against the curve of her throat. It sniffed her, like a dog learning the scent of another, the creature pulled back so that’s red eyes bored into hers.

Diem fell to her knees slowly, hands reaching out for the fur of the monster that loomed over her. He could end her in a single snap of it’s jaws, but as Diem slid down to the floor, the creature followed and circled around her; nudging and sniffing at her pale body and leaving streaks of red behind. Slowly, it’s gaze changed from red to black to something in-between; a calm seemingly coming over the creature as it came back around to look into her own eyes.


A familiarity struck her as she rocked back on her heels; kneeling before the thing as it’s size shrunk and began to morph. As fur fell from flesh, Diem’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion, her hand reaching for a line of ink running up the forearm of the beast in front of her when suddenly it stiffened. Fur rapidly covered the masculine figure again and jaws snapped at a shadow behind Diem. A low growl boiled to the surface of it’s lips before it’s eyes began to burn again. Blood seeped from it’s jaws and blackness started to cover it’s fur until it leapt over her. Diem cried out and lifted her arms to protect herself, spinning as the monster attacked the threat behind her. But when Diem turned, there was no monster there…

”There you are, child,” Cooed the warm, honeyed voice. ”I was afraid I’d lost you.”




The room was so… heavy. Or was that her head? Diem groaned as the weight hit her in the chest. Her eyes slowly opening as she tried to lift her arm to push whatever it was laying across her chest off. Where was she?

The scent of herbs wafted through her nose as she inhaled, hands pushing at the blankets covering her body. She felt weighed down, suffocating, and the longer she laid there with all the surfaces pressing on her, the harder she had to fight. Kicking at the sheets, Diem managed to free herself from their tangled grasp before pushing herself upright on the bed. Immediately she felt the blood rushing to her head and she swayed on her hip; lifting a hand up to her forehead as she closed her eyes and winced.

Slowly, she sank back down onto the pillows as an unfamiliar voice sounded not too far from her.

How long had he been there? And where were her clothes?!

Her hand tugged at the hem of her tunic; noting that just the long, thin fabric and her underwear was what kept her modest. And that wasn’t much. Thick lashes fluttered as her gaze shifted over to the cartoonish face. Handsome, sure, but there was something boyish and soft about his features. Button nose, crystal clear blue eyes and ears sticking out like satellites behind the curve of soft, full cheeks. Diem couldn’t help but note his features; everything seeming to come at her in hyper-detail as she slowly came fully to from her dreams.

Clearing her throat, Diem winced as she lifted her hand up to her throat.

”Thirsty,” she rasped; regarding him cautiously despite his explanation for Bruce’s absence.

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Re: Vikander [Ten & Lexibeth]

Post by Guest on Sun May 15, 2016 12:42 pm

“Oh, right!” Pastel said as he bumped his forehead with the edge of his palm. Getting up, he retrieved a water skin and gently put it into her hands. Despite his appearance, with long vest down to his thighs, a ratty old, fabric ninja turtles watch on his wrist, and a runic tattoo visible on the side of his neck, disappearing down his shirt, he was actually very attentive and gentle with her. In subtle ways, helping her stay sitting up as she tipped the water skin and held the spout to her lips, subtly covering her with the thinnest of the blankets so that her legs and thighs weren’t bare. It was clear this man had been her nurse for the last 3 days, medicating, caring, and cleaning her during that time. Even so, as he took his seat again, he gave her a wily smile, a playful twinkle in his eye.

“Alright, so,” he said, leaning with elbows on his knees again, the cramped space of the attic putting him right across from her, just from leaning forward in his desk chair. “Let’s recap a bit, because I know you’re probably a bit disoriented and what. Anarth, the slimy rook,” Pastel took the moment to spit in derision at his feet, “Bit ya and Bruce found ya and brought you here. Here, is my attic room, above the Clawdawten’s Bakery. If you can smell past the tonic I was making, they’re baking herbs and cheese loaves downstairs, to bring in the lunch crowd. I get a bit of a discount on rent for the room being so small and occasionally I provide the missus with a tonic to help with her rainy day hip aches. Not glamorous but it works,” Pastel shrugged with a casual smirk.

“More specifically, we’re in the town of Tero,” he continued, “Since there really wasn’t anyone Bruce knew in Craven’s Hollow who could help. After what happened, your wounds were causing some sort of reaction, no doubt from a thaumaturgic infection passed on from the crow man. Thankfully, that’s what I suspected, since I was right and was able to fix ya up, unlike Bruce who insisted it was poison.” During this, Pastel’s manner took on a boyish smugness, making clear that it mattered to him who got credit for saving her, especially since it had been especially challenging for the alchemist to do so. At the last though, he shrugged and rolled his eyes like Bruce was just so adorable in his ignorance of truly involved magical ailments.

“As for who I am,” he said, hands touching his fingers to his chest to indicate himself, “My name’s Pastel and I am an exceptional alchemist. I’ve spent the better part of 2 days trying to save ya, although I was fairly confident that you’d come back to us within the next day or two. Thanks for proving me right again. There’s a reason thaumaturgy is frowned upon and it’s not just because the practitioners turn into fiends.”

Just then, before either of them could say much else, the door suddenly slammed open and Bruce came stalking in. Like a whirlwind, the man was clearly exhausted, eyes framed by purple bags and reddened from lack of sleep, lines etched more deeply into his face, short hair in disarray. And he was tenser than a spring pushed to its limits. Tossing what appeared to be a myriad of scissors attached to a rusty chain onto Pastel’s desk, Bruce shouted curses as he stomped over to the window.

“Suck an elf! Fucking mother’s milk in a cup! The Light-blasted, crackbrained spider!” he didn’t even see either Pastel or Diem as he raged in frustration, slamming his fist on the window sill.

Pastel cringed at the vulgarity of the curses, pressing his lips together and holding up a finger to Diem for her to wait a moment. “Oi. What’s wrong?” he asked, getting up to talk to Bruce’s back. Touching the rusty chain of scissors that sat in a clump on the table, he asked, “Was that not what she wanted?”

“No, it’s not!” Bruce said in exaggerated tones, like Pastel was an idiot for asking. “Someone fucking flipped her fixation, so now, it’s no longer scissors but some other random bullshit for us to figure out.”

Bruce kicked a chest by the window, prompting an urgent, “Oi! Easy!” from Pastel. “We’ll sort it, mate. Just calm down. Ya can’t think if’n yer all hyped up and what. Maybe if you just get some sleep finally? It’s been 3 days.”

Turning to Pastel, Bruce was full of exaggerated theatrics, a complete and utter wreck as he exhorted the shorter man, “I don’t have time, Pazz! I’ve wasted so much time already and now I’m right back where I started! She’s counting on me and I have to do this for her, or we’ll never set this Eirelynn free.”

“Yeah, I know but sleep’s good too,” Pastel murmured, Bruce finally turning tired eyes onto Diem. His expression fell then, eyes widening in a cocktail of emotions ranging from fatigue and worry to relief and surprise. Pushing past the alchemist to the bed, Bruce swooped to a crouch at the bedside, pulling Diem into his arms for a hug, breathing in labored relief as he held her to him. He was a shadow of the man he’d been when he rescued her from Anarth just a few days ago, seemingly frail and yet nothing but the stone-like support of his bones left, powering him from within like an automaton that didn’t know how to turn itself off.


“You’re probably hungry, Diem,” Pastel said with a sigh, scratching behind an ear as he walked over to the door. “I’mma head downstairs and get you something from the bakery to eat.” Shutting the door behind himself, he left the two alone.

Sitting back, Bruce cradled Diem’s face in his hands, eyebrows contorted with concern, even as he searched her face to make sure she was okay and real, sitting before him. “I was so worried… I had no idea what to do or what was happening to you… Thank Crumb for that idiot washer and his stupid medicines,” Bruce couldn’t help laughing slightly but it was a ghost of real emotion, nothing but a sound. “Diem…I am so sorry. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten so angry. You don’t know and I’ve been a monster about explaining things… Speaking of…there’s something we need to talk about, especially now that we don’t have much time left… I thought I could maybe beat the clock and get you some solid information before the Moon fully revealed herself but it’s looking like more and more, that’s not going to happen.”

He was rambling, his mouth racing to get everything out, all cool composure and confidence vanished beneath a veneer of guilt and exhausted despair. “You have permission to ask me what a Moonborn is,” he offered as a start.

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