Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath

Page 2 / 4

Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
 
Spoiler
💠 MODERATOR'S NOTE: All characters interactions were discussed OOC pre-post (READ MORE)

💠 MODERATOR'S NOTE 

All interactions between the characters in this post were discussed and agreed upon by their players OOC.  Miiya's player gave their permission to Tom Cat's player to write both sides of the interaction for this post only! *  

*All Players should refer to Freeform Rule #1

═ ✽ ═

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

Spoiler
Tom-Cat (Catboy Assassin for Hire)
Tom Cat [new]1

 

═ ✽ ═

 

Impulse won.

Tom-Cat pounced, almost quicker than the eye could follow.  One second he was still, the next he was already mid-motion, leaping through the air in a precise, fluid movement.  He had the Aeros knocked off balance and beneath him before her mind would've even had time to catch up and register what had happened; in one blink, he'd been standing a few feet away, and in the next, he'd pounced.

Tom-Cat's tail lashed excitedly to and fro as he pinned the Aeros under him, his weight and hold upon her absolute, completely preventing her struggle or escape. He immobilized her legs with his own and his knees were like a vice around her waist, effectively disabling her from kicking or surging up.  He leaned over her, one hand pressed against the delicate intersection of radius and ulna in the middle of her right wing; he applied just enough pressure to send a clear warning: struggle and risk a broken wing. He held the palm of his other hand firmly over her mouth, effectively muffling any cries or screams she may have issued.

They stayed locked like that for a moment, and Tom-Cat delighted in the feel of her feathers so cool and soft under his palm, marveling at the repressed strength of her wing subtly flexing against the press of his fingers; he was captivated by the roll and shift of the tendons and joint, by how easily he could snap and dislocate them.  He felt her shiver slightly beneath his weight, the rabbit-quick thump of her heart like a siren's song to his feline nature, exciting and satisfying like the crack of a rat's spine after a perfect pounce. It made his blood race, tearing too hot in his veins and he felt his claws threaten to come out, could feel his teeth begin to sharpen; he wished to bite, to mark, to claim.  

He might be bound to yen of his nature at times, but he wasn't completely ruled by it.  Still, it didn't mean he couldn't (or wouldn't) have some fun.  

Tom-Cat brought his face close to Miiya's when he felt the wild beat of her heart begin to slow, and saw the panic begin to recede from her face.  He yielded one last time (for now) to impulse: quick as a flash, he leaned down and rubbed the soft fur of his ear and bit of his cheek against the side of Miiya's face and neck; first one side then the other, marking her with his scent.  

Something purred in satisfied contentment deep within his feline brain, and he now felt ready to release her - in some capacity.  His tail moved in lazy, serpentine patterns behind him, an ear swiveling back towards the divers in the middle of the harbor, absently tracking the faint sound of their progress.  His yellow eyes were lambent in the darkness as he caught and held her gaze with his own.

"Hush now, Little Birrrd," he purred, his words vibrating in his chest.  "You'rrre perrrfectly safe. If I'd trrruly wanted to hurrrt you, I would have alrrready done so."  Tom-Cat grinned at her, his ears moving forward and his teeth briefly glinting in the dark.  He eased up slightly and gave her a meaningful look.  "I'm going to rrremove my hand and  you'rrre not going to do anything to brrring the Guarrrd down on us, rrright Little Birrrd?" Though it was posed as a question, the assassin wasn't really asking. 

Satisfied that she understood, the catboy removed his hand and sat back, tense for a minute despite his warning.  When she didn't immediately do something to hastily send the Guard running to their location, he relaxed minutely.  

"Good," Tom-Cat purred.  "Smarrrt girrrl." He leaned over again and looked directly into Miiya's eyes.  "You do underrrstand that the Halfling was going to betrrray you, as soon as yourrr back was turrrned, don't you?"  His tail lashed in agitation. "It's a good thing that Myrrrae hirrred me as extrrra," he paused. His ears flicked towards the line of low, cramped buildings that marked the start of the Kiana warehouse and harbor district.  He cocked his head for a second, listening, then resumed speaking.  "Insurrrance," he finished belatedly.

Unfortunately, it seemed that Tom Cat wasn't going to be able to play with his fun new toy for as long as he might have liked. He lifted the hand that was holding down her wing, but not before he skimmed his fingers lightly over the feathers with a curious touch.

"Such prrretty wings," he hummed.  "Lovely featherrrs." He thumbed one of the tawny pinion feathers that had an interesting coppery sheen. "May I have one, Little Birrrd?" he asked.  He grinned toothily and and teased the underside of Miiya's chin with the tip of his grey-furred tail.  "Perrrhaps it could be considerrred payment forrr saving yourrr life."  He winked a yellow eye.  "Howeverrr, I don't rrrequirrre payment rrright away," he said lightly.  He whipped his tail away, his ears flattening against his skull for a few seconds.  "We should move frrrom herrre, soonerrr rrratherrr than laterrr."  

In one fast, sinuous motion, Tom Cat rolled to his feet and stood.  He looked down at Miiya for a moment and then held out a hand.  "You may call me Tom-Cat," he offered by way of formal introduction. His purring, smoothed out growl of a voice was friendly enough.  "I am an associate of Myrrrae's.  She wanted to ensurrre that you werrre kept safe.

It wasn't exactly a lie, but neither was it entirely the truth.  Which worked just fine for Tom Cat.  

 

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


Irihi liked
ReplyQuote
Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya Aether

Miiya nodded in the darkness at Balthar's proposal. "O-okay..." That was fair, right? She tried not to think about how he had given no guarantee in the exchange, how his proposal meant that the whole operation hinged on the goodwill of a hafling stranger. But Miiya did not want to fight the fisherman, and his kindly demeanor tipped her into acquiescing...

And... then he was dead.

The Aeros girl could barely make out what was happening. Her lack of night vision did not matter all that much, since she could not really process what had transpired as the fisherman cursed her with his last gurgling breath and collapsed upon the sand, leaving her streaked and spattered with his blood.  

Miiya had unfolded, reflexively pushing back from the dying fisherman as he grabbed at her. She didn't get far, for the sand of the dune behind her kept slipping, sliding her forward and down even as she tried to backpedal away. Only once the hafling lay still did her efforts yield any sort of success, though mostly through pushing the gruesome corpse away rather than propelling the shocked girl anywhere. 

Her rational mind was acting a little like The TonDen's, refusing to process first Bathar's rapid demise and then the words from the dark figure outlined by starlight. Miiya would have cried out "Who's there?!" or something simiar, had instinct not overridden the rather-useless hunk of grey matter. FLY! LAUNCH NOW! Miiya's legs spasmed, thrusting against sand that betrayed her by giving way, her wings opened with a snap, cupped the air and kicked up a great whorl of dust with one tremendous beat.Takeoff from repose was difficult but not impossible. Even without help of a leap, a second beat would have had Miiya airborne, the first having oriented her properly for liftoff. 

The second wingbeat never came. Balthar's killer moved like nothing Miiya had ever experienced. The Aeros girl might best a surprised aging hafling, or provide a bit of challenge when sparring with her brother, but against the master assassin she was helpless as a chick not even fully fledged. She got her guard up, but only because her attacker wasn't worried about her hands, for she could hardly throw him with her legs pinned--and especially as he had immobilized her with threatening, not quite painful, pressure on her wing joint.

Then Miiya's instincts failed her, for something primal in her response to Tom Cat drove her to act like prey rather than raptor. Seconds ticked by as the assassin sat astride her, asserting his dominance, his ownership. Instead of clawing his eyes out with her free talons, she froze rabbit-like, mesmerized by the only bit of him she could make out in the darkness; those cat-like irises gathering and glowing with what little light there was on the starry night beach. She was a sparrow beneath the tiger's paw. She was useless, bait, food. She was a ragdoll plaything, a

Storm Dancer.

Miiya's heartbeat slowed, each pulse driving a great volume of roaring blood through her veins. The air felt thick and soupy again, rich with oxygen here at sea-level, feeding and speeding her sluggish shocked synapses. Miiya's fist tightened as she purposefully let go her reflexive grip on Tom Cat's elbow. His heart was there. Push it out. Strike through bone and muscle and sinew and turn it to pulp. Beneath Tom Cat's cupped hand, Miiya's teeth ground together. She did not bite. Biting was not lethal.

Dance with me.

Then her assailant... uh? Nuzzled her? And purred? Whaaat. the. ???? is. this? Miiya's eyes, just above the hand that still covered her mouth, tracked left, then right, then back up to Tom Cat's. She hesitated from the blows meant to hammer apart the bone cage protecting his vitals. 

No, not purring. He was speaking. Warning her not to alert The Guard. Telling her he was an ally, that he had to murder the hafling as he had. Riiight.

Miiya shuddered as Tomcat's fingers grazed her feathers. While the feathers themselves had no feeling, each was rooted to muscle and nerve allowing her to read the air like fingers upon braille, to direct it, and thusly herself, where each needed to go while in flight. Grounders always wanted to touch them, but for Aeros that was akin to a puff of breath into another's ear. Miiya felt an unwelcome flush that had nothing to do with rage or exertion climb her neck. Her hands remained free. She had to still the impulse to slap the person atop her, transform it into words. "Don't do that!" The first thing she hissed to this killer came as she folded her newly-freed wings in tightly, regardless of the sand they were collecting. 

Then this... person... had the audacity to demand one of her flight secondaries. "No. I need those to fly," dumbass. She added silently, as she batted away something brushing her chin. What the--tail? 

Then the weight holding her down was gone. Her assailant was on his feet and making introductions as if he had not just been about to eat her. What even was that? Miiya couldn't begin to unwind being pounced. She was still ready to dance. If she saw the proffered hand, she ignored it, taking her time about regaining her feet, fighting back the succession of delayed urges to shake, scream, cry, flee, and fight.

Tail, claws, cat eyes, was that the outline of feline ears?, movements like lightning, self confidence like--this creature was ten gallons of what the heck in a pint glass of Umanity, if even that. Miiya, herself was a waterfall torrent of shock onto a thimbleful of self-control, and did not have much wit to spare figuring out this stranger at the moment. 

Breathe. You're okay. 

Miiya shook a little of the sand out of her folded wings, too leery of Tom Cat to extend them fully. "How do I know yer who yew say yew are?" She blurted, awkwardly. He, of course, would be unlikely to know Myrae's name if he was not telling the truth. Also, he probably would have killed her when he could've. Miiya had not been in many--or any--real fights before tonight, and she had certainly never experienced being so completely dominated by an adversary who chose whether she lived or died as casually as one chooses which roadside flower to pluck. So, whatever Tom Cat's response, she found herself cowed now that the adrenaline was fading, and docilly pointed (a little off, because she really could not see well) toward where She and Vjert had sheltered. "We're over there, by the rocks." If Tom Cat was expecting a reciprocal introduction along the walk to the outcrop, or anytime soon, he was going to be disappointed. 


ReplyQuote
Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya

The Aeros girl walked in silence behind Tom Cat, not even sure why she was walking. 

Why am I walking?

Abruptly she stopped, dug her feet into the sand, and took off. Miiya did not launch, jump or use her legs in any way. It took a lot of flapping and generated a veritable blizzard of sand and dust. It was a stupid and awkward way to get airborne. It was also the most insulting maneuver of the winged people. Cahron had taught it to her after his numerous visits to the Mountains Ethereal, where he had picked up the technique, and the siblings often tormented each other with such dusty and debris-filled launches in fond jest.

There was nothing joking in Miiya's gesture now. She wanted Tom Cat to choke on her downwash. She couldn't see, but she hoped he had turned around when she had stopped, so he'd get a faceful of sand.

Climbing to a reasonable altitude, Miiya performed several styvers, spreading her pinfeathers as much as possible and shaking hard. Spreading her feathers spoiled the airflow and she dropped a bit, but it helped shake out the accumulated sand--from being pressed into the dune earlier. She then climbed again and repeated until she felt a bit less gritty back there.

Miiya was pleased to see that Vjerdt had managed to illuminate the space between the rocks enough that landing should present her with no problems. She thought briefly about winging out to drop the green signal over the bouy. Miiya was mad enough that she'd like to brain Myrae with it; were that possible. "Why do we even have an 'all-clear' anyway?" She grumbled into the slipstream. "Isn't that the same as no signal at all?" In the end, she did drop the green bauble and then orbited where she thought the dive bouy was, watching it's faint glow dim as it sank into the depths. 

When Miiya saw that there were two figures between the rocks, instead of one, she winged back to the outcrop. She probably should have warned Vjerdt, but she vindictively hoped that giving no notice or vouchsafe would cause trouble for Tom Cat with the gnomish magicker. Focusing on her anger at what the assassin had done allowed her to avoid thinking about Balthar's gruesome end, and his accusatory last words.

Miiya glided in between the rocks, then pulled up into a hammerhead directly in front of Tom Cat, backing wind and hovering for as long as she could, despite the warning twinges from her fractured wingtip. She wanted that bastard good and sandblasted.

Finally, she alighted and folded her wings in tightly. "Oh, excuse me." She said snidely, in a voice that held not a hint of apology. "Landings can get a little duhh..." Oh Gods!

He!

Is!

Gorgeous!

"dusty..." she trailed off, and managed to at least close her mouth as Tom Cat lowered his shielding arms and raised his head. 

All the weird stuff--and there was a lot, from the sinuous furry tail to the pointed ears and verticle pupils--couldn't really detract from the face and figure of Tom Cat. It's like he was bred to be beautiful. The thought rose unbidden to the forefront of Miiya's rather stunned mind. There had been a lot of boys--or at least a lot more than when she'd been cloistered in their domicile in the slums of Daelows--in the audiences of the crowds before which she and Cahron busked. Farm boys, city boys, shopkeeper's assistants, blacksmith apprentices, but none of them had looked like this. N-not that she had noticed or anything, but those young men were solid, dusty, gritty, salt-of-the earth folk. Grounders. Worms, if she and Cahron were having an unkind chuckle at the expense of the Umans, Orcs, Dwarves, Elves, and Haflings that--often as not--would be perfectly at home throwing stones at an Aeros performer as coin.

He didn't have wings, but Tom Cat looked, walked, and stalked like the earth had never sullied his paws. Only on the rare occasion that they scored a performance in a noble's house had Miiya ever seen anything like him, flitting around the edges of opulant drawing rooms or dazzlingly-decorated great halls; kept boys, playthings of the nobility to be rarely seen and never heard or spoken of. Even then, Tom Cat's lanky figure was decidely not that of...

Focus on the cute weird stuff. It was almost with physical effort that Miiya dragged her eyes upward to furred ears. She tried really hard, but couldn't form her lips to voice the; "Eww... what are yew?" That she knew she should have.

I'm mad. He was wrong to do that; to touch them without permission. Miiya insisted to herself. She could say those hurtful things with justification. She ought to. She needed to be prickly. He was dangerous! After all, he had... woa, not gonna think about that now. 

Maybe later.

She forced her brow into a scowl that was unlikely to convince anyone. "So y-yew'd better stay back." Hey, that was pretty good. She had managed to put together a coherent thought, and voice it, like she wasn't completely captivated by that jawli--stop it!


ReplyQuote
Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Myrae 

The Drowess had prised the seal she sought from the rusty throne. She had found a stamp of the inverse in the scattered debris of the small room beneath the quarterdeck. In truth, this was all she had come for, and she had not realized how long it would take to acquire all. Emerging from the deck hatch a second time, she was about to swim for the TonDen when a dark shape appeared from the murk, speeding toward her. Myrae ducked as the great shark smashed into the hatch, it's rows of razor-sharp teeth gnashing just inches from her head. 

What had gotten the beast so bothered? Well, Myrae could imagine. 

Blood in the water. 

The question was: who's? The drowess did not think the TonDen bled, but that did not mean the great crystalline beast had the sense not to injure the fish and sharks surrounding it. Zhaetar was a dwarf, and Myrae had seen plenty of her people bleed. 

Above her, the shark rammed the hatch a second time, the wood splintering and cracking ominiously. Best not hang about here, then. Well, this was going to be loads of fun. If the great beast above her was driven to feed, that likely meant ALL the sharks were. And there were a lot of them, many small enough to fit through the holes and passages in the wreck, but still large enough to kill. Great.

Slipping into the central hall, Myrae spotted a streamlined shape cruising toward the main hatch. Not that way, then. Knife in hand--little good it would do her--she swam back toward the hatch to the lower deck and bilges where the hull was stoved in.

Myrae saw no sign of Zhaetar as she swam out of the wreck, unimpeded. She kept close to the hull as she rose, trying not to disturb the water too greatly. Gaining the deck, she wended her way through the rigging toward The TonDen, trying to keep some form of cover about. Her knife was smaller than a single tooth of the sharks lurking about, and would not avail her as well as putting a tangle of rigging or broken mast between herself and anything that wanted to chomp her.


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

Giant Eel

Sensing the intruder in its domain, the huge Morey Eel emerged from the depths of the sunken ship's bilges. There was a strange fish swimming out into open water. It looked fleshy and the long presssure-sensitive stripe down the eel's side told it the fish was slow and possibly injured by how much it disturbed the water. All this was enough to coax the creature from it's redoubt and it wound its way along, trailing the drowess. Every moment brought it closer, and soon it would be within striking distance. The drowess's windings through the debris on deck bothered it not at all, for it loved narrow places from which to strike. 

The slow fish was moving out into open water. Now was the time to strike! The great Eel darted forward with sudden speed, it's jaws wide open, displaying rows of teeth sharp enough to sever a limb. It struck at Myrae, just below the knee.


ReplyQuote
Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
 

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

On land at the rocky outcropping...

 

═ ✽ ═

 

When he’d finally let Miiya up and she ignored his offered hand, Tom-Cat just shrugged and went about taking care of the Halfling’s corpse, leaving the Aeros girl to gather herself as he melted back into the darkness.  He’d heard her blurt out a question, ignored it, though he watched her from in the darkness as he bent and easily picked up Balthar’s body, careful to avoid getting blood on him.  He watched the emotions cycle across the girl’s face for a moment longer, before he turned away and went to stash the Halfling’s corpse in a nook between two nearby rocks.  

 

She’s like an open book,he thought.  There was no guile in her expressions, no artifice, as if she didn’t feel the need to - or haven’t had to - put up any walls between herself and others - not even to protect herself.  Tom-Cat shook his head and frowned to himself, feeling irrationally agitated for some reason. It was…  It was goddamned stupid, that’s what it was.  He’d never met anyone who honestly believed that deep down all people were good, or who believed in the kindness of strangers.  But he’d been there, he’d witnessed the whole conversation the girl had had with the Halfling, and she really, truly, would have let the halfer go.  She’d really believed that he would’ve kept up his end of the bargain, that he wouldn’t have betrayed her as soon as her back was turned.

 

People like her didn’t exist in Tom-Cat’s worlde; if they did, they didn’t stay that way long, because in his worlde naivety was something to be corrupted, traumatized, taken advantage of, and then discarded when all traces of whatever goodness inside was used up.  It was either that or they changed; he’d seen people used, and used, and used, until they eventually became exactly like the things that hurt them, broke them.  

 

Compared to that, the Aeros girl might as well be a fairytale princess.  It made as much sense to him as her aggressive naivete did, so why not? She certainly had the whole, “big, shiny eyes” of a princess going for her, at least.  Tom-Cat snickered softly to himself.  He’d have to keep an eye out and see if he ever caught her singing to adorable woodland creatures, or to see if fluffy, cutesy critters gravitated towards her or something. So far, the only thing that seemed to “follow” her was that big blue, weird golem thing, and he’d only seen it from a distance.  The thought amused him for some reason, and his momentary agitation was abated. He was still chuckling quietly to himself when he melted back out of the darkness and started towards the rocky outcropping.

 

Princess indeed.

 

═ ✽ ═

It turned out that the Aeros girl also had the quick and fiery temper of a spoiled fairytale princess.  

 

She’d been lagging a bit behind him as they walked in silence (he was silent; she, well, made an awful lot of noise, at least to his keen ears) and had worked herself into some kind of righteous conniption fit.  At least that’s what he was inclined to believe.  Either way, she took it upon herself to punish him with an impressive athletic takeoff, in a maneuver that’d obviously been designed for the sole purpose of kicking up as much sand into his face as possible.  And Tom-Cat? He somehow managed to remain remarkably composed, with the only outward reaction in a faint trace of indifference marking his unusual features. Still, there was a small yet persistent twinge within some distant, dissociative section of his feline core, that was at the moment about 55% pissed off cat. (For context, 55% is about the level of affront any respectable cat would feel after a glass of water had been splashed in its face.) 

 

He ignored the twinge for now - affront or not, he might have actually deserved  it… maybe.  And sure, he’d definitely (sort of) earned the anger and indignation the Aeros girl directed towards him, even if he sensed another dimension to her ire that didn’t have anything to do with him - at least not directly.   His tail gave a perfunctory and laconic twitch as sounds from both within and above the waters become clearer the closer he drew to the outcropping, his ears perked forward and swivelling now and then to hone in on the various noises.  He paused and nonchalantly spit out a bit of sand as he raised his lambent yellow eyes and easily tracked Miiya’s progress through the night sky, his vision just as good at night as it is during the full light of day.  

 

A sly grin tugged the corner of his mouth upwards as he continued on towards the rocky outcropping at a quicker pace, the muted noise of it…the Aeros’ wings cleaving through the air sending a thread of latent vindictiveness sparking through him.  By all accounts he's far from anything that even approached real anger, and if he’s honest with himself, he’s not even all that irritated. Just because she’s free (for now) from his anger, however, doesn’t mean that she’s free from the threat of reprisal.  If she’d been able to see him more clearly in the darkness - or at all - Miiya might have been concerned by the depth and intensity and singular focus that momentarily sharpened his yellow-eyed gaze.  Despite any appeals to his better nature, Tom-Cat still found himself mulling over ways he could just annoy the ever living h*ll out of the Aeros and press all the buttons, just to see her wound up and flustered to the point of spitting anger.  She was honestly kind of cute when she was flustered; it reminded him of a little bird floundering with a broken wing, and that was somehow massively appealing to him. 

 

═ ✽ ═

 

It turned out that Tom-Cat didn’t need to figure out a way to fluster Miiya - she did a fine job of doing it herself.  

 

He’d reached the outcropping of rocks a few minutes after she’d literally kicked sand into his face and padded catlike into the soft glow of the magicked circle of light, moving as silently as a shadow that had detached itself from the dark and taken form.  He must have startled the odd Gnome who’d been hunkered down and out of sight behind a large rock, because the short fellow jumped to their feet as soon as they noticed him. Tom-Cat eyed the Gnome coolly, his grey-furred tail lazily curling behind him; a look of bemusement flashed through his yellow eyes, along with a glint of recognition.

 

That must be the “Blue Eyes” that Myrae mentioned,’ he thought, remembering his encounter with the Drowess that morning. He smirked slightly; he wondered if the Drowess had even been aware of the thirst in her tone when she’d mentioned the Ice Gnome to him. Maybe, maybe not.  Either way, the assassin had been about to say something to Vjerdt to allay any suspicion or hostility, when the proverbial klaxon alarm in his brain suddenly erupted across all of his senses, screaming loudly of incoming danger. 

 

Instantly, Tom-Cat was on alert, body tensing and going almost eerily still.  He only had a second, maybe two, in order to process, isolate, and focus on what, out of the constant deluge of sensory information, had set off the illusory tripwire in the back of his mind.  He honed in on the sound of airflow over feathers and the swift approach of powerful wings, but only got a quick glimpse of Miiya as she bombed towards him.  She came in hot, waiting until the last possible second to pull up, her oversized wings cupping the air with a crack and the sudden WHOOSH! of the displaced atmosphere.

 

His ears went flat as he quickly turned his head and raised his arms protectively, his tail erupting into a bottle brush of puffed up fur held stiffly behind him.  Apparently, she was still out of sorts and still mad at him; so much so, that she obviously felt a repeat of her earlier stunt was warranted.  For the second time in a handful of minutes, Tom-Cat found himself standing in the midst of the what had to be the worlde’s smallest, angriest, and most individually focused sandstorm a la carte, served up by what had to be the worlde’s smallest, angriest, and individually focused Aeros.  It was over in seconds.  Again, that distant, dissociative part of his feline core twinged, except now it was 100% all pissed off cat.  It took a lot of willpower to not hiss in displeasure at the girl as Tom-Cat came out of his defensive position.  

 

He dropped his arms, but didn’t immediately look at her or address her.  He ignored her when she thumped down in front of him, and instead he took a moment to blandly gauge how much sand was probably in every fold and crease of his clothing.  His assessment? A stupid amount; there was a stupid amount of sand in his clothing. She’d (somehow) managed to kick up even more sand and small rocks the second time, which, combined with the first mini-dust devil, equaled an irked Tom-Cat and a stupidly improbable amount of sand where it probably shouldn’t be.

 

He sighed, running his fingers through his hair and giving his ears a few violent twitches, shaking out fine granules of sand from both.  She'd been talking at him, saying something in a snide tone, when she abruptly shut up.  The sudden cessation of sound (the sudden absence of her voice) tweaked his curiosity enough, and Tom-Cat finally looked in her direction.  Just the barest sliver of yellow showed beneath his hooded gaze, his tail curling loosely around his thigh, the tip twitching in lazy agitation.  As he studied her face, he met her eyes directly and noticed the stunned, slightly dazed look in them as he did.  Cat-quick, he put two and two together and understanding dawned, but...for once, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with the information.

 

His natural impulse was to look smug and perhaps gloat, but, there it was again, there was a kind of honesty in Miiya’s gaze that threw him off.  Way off. The open, straightforward honesty and burgeoning awareness he saw in her expression actually hurt, because Tom-Cat abruptly realized that he’d never experienced that before. 

 

He was used to being looked at, gawked at, leered at - people looked at him in admiration of his beauty or grace or because they really, really liked cats.  There were all sorts of reasons, but what tied them all together was the undercurrent of greed and lust that was always present.  He’d always felt something vaguely predatory and hostile in the way they looked at him, which let him know that, ultimately, people saw him as nothing but an object to be possessed.  At best, people looked at him with a detached sort of appreciation, like someone admiring a piece of art.  At worst, people looked at him with covetous, hungry expressions, like he was something to be used to sate their own desires and then discarded.

 

Tom-Cat didn’t let any of his internal conflict show outwardly.  He didn’t like feeling like this, and the complicated rush of emotions that had surged up at a simple look from the Aeros girl bothered him, threatening to knock him off-balance.  Off-balance wasn’t good; in his line of work, off-balance and complicated emotions got one killed.  The assassin pushed all of the thoughts, feelings, everything, way, way down, until he had some time alone to sort through everything.  

 

Right now, he’d do them both a favor and pretend he didn’t see anything in her face or hear the stutter in her voice as she unconvincingly said to him: "So y-yew'd better stay back." He almost laughed, as suddenly amused as he was rankled by the thought that she could order him to do anything he didn’t want to do.  He also remembered that he owed a bit of payback for the two stunts she’d just pulled, threads of a plan quickly forming a tapestry in his mind. 

 

Feeling back in control, Tom-Cat turned to Miiya and offered his reply in an expansive shrug.

 

It’s a simple gesture, really, and yet it’s far more prolific of a shrug than most.  The whip and twist of Tom-Cat’s body as he shifted slightly was smooth, expressive; it spoke volumes, effortlessly screaming indifference and defiance in the rise and fall of his right shoulder.  It said, “Fine,” and, “No,” and, “Have it your way.”  It said, "Why," and, "Don't care," and, “Never”.  His nonchalance is silently verbose, stitched tightly into the corners of his mouth as his lips twitched upwards into a brief, albeit wholly impudent grin.

 

Then he turned a bit and grabbed the collar of his shirt, yanking up over his head in one smooth motion.  He was comfortable in his own skin and paid no heed to the fact that he was shirtless.  His eyes half-closed in pleasure as he cracked his neck and as he rolled his shoulders, letting out an honest and contented sigh as he felt his muscles shift and loose, just a bit.  He slowly shook his shirt to shake out all the sand, and as he did so he turned back to Miiya.  They were standing close enough that she could probably feel the unnatural amount of heat curling off his skin - he and all of his siblings all ran very hot, like little furnaces with cat ears and tails.  Even so, he stepped even closer to her as he continued to shake out his shirt.

 

Verrry fancy maneuverrrs, nyaka teles kelakela,” he said, slipping into a form of pidgin spoken in Haven for the last three words. His voice changed when he said them, familiarity smoothing the roughness from his voice a bit.  His tail absently curled loosely around her waist and leaned down a bit, dropping his voice.  “Since you won’t give me yourrr name, perrrhaps I shall make one up forrr you.”  He pretended to think, an ear absently swivelling towards the harbor.  “Maybe, teles mawich - little one? Orrr, teles kwiskwis - little squirrrel?”  His voice had the quality of honey dripped over razor wire as he switched back and forth between common and pidgin.  No, I think I like my firrrst one the best: nyaka teles kelakela - my little birrrd.”  He grinned and met her eyes.  “Teleskela, Little Birrrd, forrr shorrrt.”  

 

Tom-Cat abruptly straightened and turned away, sure to flick Miiya in the face with his tail as he went.  “Howeverrr, I shall honorrr yourrr rrrequest to 'stay back',” he paused, then shot a grin over his shoulder.  “Teleskela.” 

 

 

Spoiler
[OOC: Don't know why I suddenly psychoanalyzed a catboy...]
LOL, omg, I'm sorry for the length.  I got into Tom-Cat's head and was like, wow, wouldn't it be said if he's never been looked at without someone having some ulterior want or motive? And then I thought, holy sh*t, that's tragic as hell.  And then....yeah...sorry

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


Irihi liked
ReplyQuote
Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
 

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

On land at the rocky outcropping...

 

All at once, Tom-Cat paused mid-step with the sleek, liquid grace of all cats, the cessation of motion sudden, seamless, and absolute.  He was almost eerily still, every muscle tense, head turned towards to the Harbour and the line of buildings that could just be glimpsed in the distance. His ears were perked forward in the same direction as he listened very closely, tilting his head a bit as he strained to locate the noise he'd briefly heard.  For a long, tense moment he only picked up on the sounds of wind, and waves, and the creak of wooden hulls, and - ah!  There is was, the sound suddenly sharper in his hearing as the wind changed and carried the noise to him.  

Ker-thump, ker-thump, ker-thump...

 

Footsteps.  Marching.  Faintly, the clink and shift of metal armor.  The Watch.

 

"Guarrrds," Tom Cat hissed.  "They need to be out of the waterrr and all of us need to be away frrrom herrre, now."  Tom-Cat's voice was a rumbling hiss, directed at no one in particular.  Miiya's instinct might have been to take to the air.  His was to blend into the shadows and wait to strike.  

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

The Home Guard

Any attuned to the vibrations of the earth would sense it first, then those who's hearing was able to pick up sounds attenuated by distance, eventually everyone not afflicted by deafness would hear the tremendous earth-shaking footsteps of something massive approaching from Kiana.

The Watcher, the monstrous metal golem, defender of Kiana, was on the march. Escorted by a squad of fighters, archers, and druids, the huge automaton was striding directly toward the shore where the treasure-hunters had begun their salvaging. The golem had been repaired after the Battle of Kiana. The dents from troll feet had been hammered out. Its massive starmetal blade had been sharpened and polished. The internal clockworks had been repaired, oiled, and tested by gnomish contractors, while druids from Ishitar rewound the coils of tightly-woven spellcraft that powered the tremendous war machine.

As they approached the shore, the Home Guard spread into a skirmish line curving back along both flanks of their champion golem. Archers and mages were behind, protected by the golem's bulk and ready to engage any threat the automaton could not reach with its great sword.  

Night turned to day as the druids completed a spell which sent a great glowing sphere into the air above the sand. 

Even with the illumination, the platoon did not immediately spot the foreigners, and marched toward where the wharves met the sand at the edge of the harbor's structures. If they reached this spot unimpeded, a handful of fighters would spread into the warehouses while the remainder formed a defensive line. Calls of "all clear" soon rang out from the Guardsmen investigating the warehouses. 


ReplyQuote
Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya

Haha, his tail went all poofy! Miiya had a solid fifteen months of watching her brother as he had swindled, suaved, and sweet-talked their way across Arcane. In that time she had learned the subtle tells of her older sibling and knew when he was being a goober. Seeing such a clear and obvious one on this so pretty dangerous assassin delighted Miiya.

Ohmigod she was never landing properly again! Like ever. First Tom Cat's tail poofed, then he TOOK OFF HIS SHIRT. 

There had been some sort of shrug before that. It had piqued Miiya for reasons she couldn't say, just as it had been meant to. But he took off his shirt and then made all those interesting lines, cords, and bulges move around. 

The Aeros girl stared completely unabashedly. She had, one time--one whole time--managed to sneak off with an A’ardky understudy, “backstage” when she and Cahron had joined a travelling troupe for a couple of months. Before her brother put a stop to that little tryst, that elf lad had put his hands… well, he’d reached about the same state of undress as Tom Cat. Miiya had held on to the memory of those thrilling few stolen fumbling moments as a little treasure kept close to her heart, to be taken out and polished like some sort of talisman. Well, the cake was getting taken, and Miiya was breathlessly recording every second of her new adventure.

But this man was no pasty underage theater snipe, and this was getting really real, really fast. At least, considering Miiya’s dearth of previous experience. I mean, it was okay, right? They were just standing here out in the open, in full view of Vjerdt. It was fun. The brush of tail around her waist. The heat of his so-squared-off bare chest so close. 

It wasn’t fun. This was seduction, or-or something, Miiya wasn’t sure. She was sure, however, that he was an assassin. This man had just killed right in front of her, moments ago, as if the act was meaningless. Miiya had thought she had power; Q’oo Tal, Storm Dancer, but Tom Cat had taken that away as easily as a finger snap, just to show her he could. Sure, Vjerdt was standing right there. What the heck was he going to do? The Gnome couldn’t even keep Miiya from accidentally unhorsing him.  

He was close. He was calling her pet names; toying with her. She was supposed to banter back--show that she wasn’t shaken or afraid. That’s what Myrae would have done. Zhaetar would have a ribald riposte ready to put him in his place. Miiya’s throat went dry. She froze and Tom Cat, staring into her eyes, would see her panic written in them as plainly as the sudden rigidity of her body was telegraphing the same message. Miiya was scared, and her fear might feed directly into what the worst of this man’s nature desired. She knew it. She’d been warned enough times by her mother. She’d told herself she wouldn’t let this happen to her, but saying such things is easy in safety and comfort. Facing the beast was a different story. Miiya’s wings twitched with the urge to snap open. Her calves tightened with the readiness to spring skyward.

Then he was gone. Not gone, but distracted from his prey. Miiya blinked and tried to swallow. If she had been a bit more canny, she might have realized Tom Cat was meeting her own escalation. Maybe she could have even discerned a hint of playfulness in his response, but the impetuousness of her youth made everything feel like an all-important life-or-death struggle.

Until a real one manifested. "We're people, not birds." Miiya said lamely, her words lost in the sudden alarm and sounds of the approaching soldiers.

"D-down the beach! Now!" She pointed to the alternate rendezvous, which was further from the soldiers than the rocks. "We'll meet there! Run!" Miiya launched without further ado, not bothering with her downwash this time. She winged in a flat trajectory as fast as she could, skimming across the waves in ground-effect. She knew the soldiers would almost certainly spot her, but there was no choice at this point. She judged she was well out of range of bowshot for now, at least. Reaching the bouy, clear in the light from the magery, she dropped yellow and red baubles, then heeled over and beat for the shore. A quick second-thought saw her pull up into a hard immelman as she changed course and winged toward the shore closer to the Home Guard. No sense in giving away their alternate landing site. 

Miiya felt panic rising as she landed fast and hard, sprinting out her momentum. There were a LOT of soldiers, and they had The Watcher with them! She had only ever seen the great metal golem as a statue, before the Battle of Kiana. She would have never guessed that it could move! 

Even though she was scared Miiya knew what she had to do, Myrae's instructions had been quite clear. Miiya was to slow down any pursuers while the drow opened a gate to the Underneath. Just how the heck she was supposed to stop a whole army, Miiya had no idea. She was not even armed! Miiya whispered a quiet prayer to Aka-Aar that the drowess had found the portal key she sought, because the Aeros girl knew she was not likely to be able to distract the Haflings for long. 

At least the cobblestones amidst the sand of the beach were perfectly shaped and sized for throwing. Miiya gathered up about a dozen of them, placing them in her satchel before launching again. She was airborne before the hafling archers could close range, even had they started sprinting for her the second she alighted. The Aeros girl had no intention of getting close enough to allow them to engage her. 

It might have been quite obvious that she was the decoy, but Miiya couldn't think of any way around it. She was no great strategist, and she was barely keeping her fear enough at bay to not simply fly south and leave the rest of their party to fend for themselves. Instead, Miiya beat for altitude, circling behind the platoon of Hafling soldiers. 


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

The TonDen

The great construct of Blue Ash had enjoyed watching the circling fish flashing and flocking this way and that. The great sharks that patrolled the outside of the school of bait fish troubled it not at all, for now it knew that it had been built for the domain under the sea as well as upon the land. Perhaps it was even more comfortable beneath the waters. When a shark made a pass through the bait ball, the TonDen watched the ensuing chaos with interest. It saw how bladed weapons were nearly useless in the underwater realm, their energy disipated by the resistance of the water. Crushing implents that could squeeze, grip, and tear were what was called for in the deep. 

The golem flexed its great pincers and glowed brighter. When Zhaetar returned, lashing more treasure to its carapace, the TonDen bumped away an inquisitive white shark with one claw, and watched the creature swim away.

Zhaetar disappeared back into the wreck, and Myrae swam up from the depths. The Golem watched dispassionately as a long sinuous fish followed close behind her. When the monstrous Eel struck at Myrae, the Golem had already reached out with a pincer hovering over her attacker. It had noticed that by moving slowly it seemed to escape the notice of the circling fish. The TonDen caught the eel in its pinchers before it could strike, and watched the snake-like creature wind its muscular body around the claw that entrapped it. This did not avail the eel, as all its thrashing barely shifted the massive pincer. 

The TonDen squeezed lightly, and the giant eel fell away in two pieces, each whipping at the water in purposeless death throes. Immediately the mood of the surrounding predators changed, as sharks vectored in on the cloud of blood and vibrations of the dying fish from all directions.


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

Myrae

The drowess nodded her thanks to the TonDen as she swam over and affixed the seal to the golem's cargo nets. She motioned a "thumbs up" at the green glowing sphere that the TonDen held up for her to see, showing no sign of her internal annoyance. Where were those lazy little fur-foots? 

Abruptly, the entire underwater scene was cast into bright relief by a light from above. Shortly thereafter yellow and red spheres splashed into the water near the bouy's tether line. There we go. Myrae pointed at the glowing baubles, wrapped her arms around one of the TonDen's giant pincers, and pointed in the direction of shore. Go.

When the blue golem pointed toward the wreck, it was clear what the construct was asking. What about Zhaetar? 

Myrae drew a finger across her throat and pointed again toward shore, rapping the enormous blue claw with her knuckles. Go. Now.


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

The TonDen

The Golem released the bouy line and lept from the deck of the Sulust Or'lath. Its great bladed fins propelled it quickly through the water in the direction Myrae had pointed. In a matter of moments, the seabed and glowing surface converged as it neared the shore. The TonDen, its cargo, and Myrae emerged in a spray of saltwater as it stumped through the shallows and gained the beach. 

No sooner had it reached dry land than the blue glow faded to black. "Miiya battles the enemy." It thundered. "I will aid her." One Uman-sized hand pulled a portal key from the webbing still festooned with treasure and salvaged weaponry. Dropping it in the sand near where Myrae had likely alighted, the coal-shaded TonDen turned and thundered off, heading directly toward The Watcher.


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

The Home Guard

"There!" A shout rang out as the soldiers spotted the Aeros winging aginst the dark sky. "Archers, take aim!" Shouted the lieutenant.

"She's out of range, sir." warned one of the squad sergeants. 

"Down the beach!" Shouted a frontline swordsman. "Down the beach!" Pointing at the black spider-like monster rapidly approaching.

"Form up! Form up! Ready, Lads!" Bawled a second sergeant. "

A terrifying roar rang out across the beach. It was The Watcher's battle cry. "YOU ARE ENEMIES! I WILL KILL YOU!" The Watcher's voice boomed across the dark waters as it leveled the massive sword at the approaching TonDen and started forward, its great stomping footsteps shaking the sand. A single green eye glittered malevolently within the slitted metal helm of the golem, the light from it blinding and terrible to behold.

The hafling platoon emptied out from the warehouses and formed a battle line well behind The Watcher. They were support for the massive invincible golem, letting their champion handle the main fighting.


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

Myrae

"Wait!" Myrae had no sooner slid down from the TonDen's shoulders than it had turned toward battle. The drowess made a lunge for the Draegloth's Claw. Her fingers brushed the pommel as the golem sped away. "Karth!" She swore as she stumbled when the mythic blade was spirited out of her reach. "Come back here!" She shouted in futility at the departing monster. "Now it thinks fast." She growled, kneeling to retrieve the portal key. 

While Vjerdt, and any others of their party converged on her, she placed her fingers just so upon the portal crystal. Myrae whispered the evocation which would activate the gateway. It was not a short or simple spell, and she could allow no distractions or pauses until she had finished. 

As the crystal began to glow with a pulsating lavender light, she stuck it upright in the wet sand by the water's edge. "Yew!" She called her companions to attention. "Stay here. Guard the portal!" No sooner had she spoken than she was off and running after The TonDen, sparing a little of her breath to sing an evocation that lent fleetness to her feet. 


ReplyQuote
NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
Journey starter  

The TonDen

The TonDen approached The Watcher at speed, neither slowing nor dodging the sweep of the starmetal sword. It raised both pincers and caught the blade as it was brought down upon its head. There was a tremendous crash of metal on crystal, sparks and chunks of black ash showered both combatants. The TonDen swept it's weapon-wings inward, but rather than cleaving the metal body of The Watcher, the sharpened fins bounced off with a great gonging of hollow metal. 

With the sword still clamped tightly, four-legged monster and two-legged golem plowed forward in a titanic shoving match upon the yielding sand. The TonDen was significantly smaller and less massive than The Watcher, yet its four spiked hooves gave it better purchase than the two great metal legs of its adversary. Even so, neither golem could initially topple the other.

Then The Watcher rotated its torso and dumped the TonDen aside. It continued to rotate, wrenching its great sword free and bringing it around full circle to catch the TonDen a massive blow. Cargo netting parted and black ash fractured under the blade. Gold, black Ash, and salvaged weapons--the Draegloth's Claw among them--showered the churned-up sands. 

The TonDen locked its forelegs around The Watcher's sword and battered at its helm with massive pincers. Though the head of the metal golem rang and dented with each blow, the unstoppable defender of Kiana was unfazed. It stepped into the hail of blows, levering its sword into the sand and forcing The TonDen ever back, until it could wrench the massive weapon free and resume its assault on the Golem of The Blue Ash.


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 4
Share: