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

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The Hidden Estate of Duskhill

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Irihi
(@irihi)
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Joined: 8 months ago
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CasaDeMyrae(potential) (3)

Duskhill

Calling Duskhill an estate might be a bit of a stretch. There is a house, a garden, and bathing pools. No gates or fences protect the homestead, which is usually empty. Instead, the remote location, in the depths of a city-sized mushroom forest--within an even larger cavern--keeps the obscure estate hidden.  

The house is a stone structure that appears to once have been part of a larger building. The floors are well-worn granite and the outer walls are mortared slate bricks. Half of the building seems to have collapsed or been torn away sometime in antiquity, possibly by the steam geyser that now hisses and bubbles through stone channels and rusting metal pipeworks in the home's kitchen. Limestone from the geyser is slowly absorbing the rooms through which it spurts, where it has not been carved into cooking, seating, washing or bathing surfaces. The rest of this section of the home has been rebuilt with the ochres and reds of petrified wood.  

A slight downslope from the back kitchen door holds a series of travertine terrace pools of deposited limestone. The temperature and depth of the pools make them perfect for bathing and swimming. Near the bottom of the slope is a deadly prismatic spring that is both superheated and highly acidic. There is no indication that the beautiful rainbow-hued lower pool is unsafe. 

The homestead also sports a fungus garden that is productive, but rather overgrown for lack of tending. There are empty pens for livestock, but no animals have dwelled there for a very long time. 


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NoOne
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Myrae

From: Kiana - The Harbor - The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath

And that's why yew don't fight a panther with a sword. Myrae thought to herself as she rolled the unconscious Cat-Tom off of her person, twisted her right hand and disengaged the cruel hooks of his forepaws from the Draegloth's Claw. So furry. At least he didn't stink like an animal not bathed in... well, ever. 

Myrae sheathed the dagger, in her left hand, with which she'd almost reamed the enormous felinoid. Not that it would have done much good, since Cat-Tom had ten of his own natural blades hooked into her bodice. Good thing he'd passed out from lack of blood. While the armor would have held her guts in, it was likely his hindpaws would have eventually shredded her less-protected quadraceps and opened an artery or two.

"Welp. It was very nearly just yew two left." Myrae's voice was a ghost of a whisper as she spoke to Vjerdt and The TonDen. She coughed and spat out a half-congealed bloody black globule. "Wouldn't that have been a thing?" 

"Yew three." She amended after crouching near Miiya to inspect the dead catatonic Aeros. "Mister TonDen, if yew'd be so kind, d'ya think ye can lift and carry the feathered one and the furry one?" She pointed into the surrounding tangle of the trackless fungal forest. "There is a place we can rest a few hours walk from here."

If she could get them moving, Myrae would dismiss further inquiries. She was in quite a bit of pain, which was certainly not helped by rasping out needless speech. 

The way she led them was mostly over rocky ground where they'd leave no trace. Where possible, she took them across small streams and had them wade up wider ones, minimizing their spoor. The naval portal key she had used was supposed to be untraceable, but Myrae had her doubts. She took a roundabout path to the house at Duskhill, utilizing her knowledge of this particular cavern and forest to lessen any chance of detection. 

So, the Cat part of Tom-Cat was unhappy with her. Unhappy enough to kill. What did that mean for the Umanoid part? As she pushed through a curtain of hanging purplish moss, Myrae considered. There was a blind cliff through the next curtain. It was a long, long fall, almost certain to shatter the TonDen and his two burdens. That would save her a whole steaming pile of trouble. 

Except that she owed a debt to Tom-Cat and possibly Miiya. Maybe even a life debt.

Botherel certainly owed them a king's ransom for the Draegloth's Claw--provided she managed to live long enough to see it returned to the Mother Church.

So no to the cliff idea.

That meant she had probably switched sides, because this was her best chance to do as the wizard had bade her. Myrae snorted quietly to herself. Vith him. She owed him nothing save maybe a blade between the ribs. If he and his minions were weaker than The Watcher--which had been in process of quite handily defeating TonDen and Miiya--then there was no chance he could keep The Weapon of the Mad King contained. She was done fighting Greymaster's battles for him.

Of course, the fact that Myrae had sicced the Home Guard and The Watcher on the TonDen probably was not something she wanted coming to light in present company. Goddamn, if she'd just gotten the Draegloth's Claw loose, she wouldn't be in such a quandry. 

Myrae turned a different direction and pressed on, leading them between giant toadstools and finally emerging before the house at Duskhill. She sighed as she regarded the bloody piles of fur and feathers atop the TonDen's alien carapace. She didn't like hosting guests and she really didn't like playing the healer--especially to marks she was supposed to have dispatched. 

Should have done the cliff thing.


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NoOne
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The TonDen

From: Kiana - The Harbor - The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath

The TonDen stood by impassively as Cat-Tom dropped Miiya and attacked Myrae. It did nothing to intervene besides moving to stand over the injured Aeros. When the differences between Drow and Felinoid were settled by blood loss, the crystalline golem complied with Myrae's request, gently scooping up first Miiya, then Cat-Tom, with it's remaining functional pincer. 

The TonDen cradled the Aeros girl with it's Uman-sized arms, while the felinoid was draped over it's carapace behind its torso, and held there by folded fins. It said not a word as it followed Myrae, docile as any obedient pack animal. 

As it walked, the TonDen took stock of it's own injuries. It's crystalline armor was shattered in several places. Great cracks jagged through its fins. One of its large claw was frozen in place, welded there by magick. The TonDen did not know if it could be healed or repaired. Previously, when it had been damaged or destroyed, Rei would simply unmake it and then draw it forth in new shape from the Blue Ash. Yet, when she dueled with Irihi upon the Lorimar, Rei had--in her desperation--created a TonDen as had never been. The sentient golem was not sure if it could be distilled back to Blue Ash, nor if it would still be itself when rebuilt. 

It had absorbed the magick of the hafling druids and been enlivened. Perhaps it would find more magick here that would restore it. The Underneath was a familiar domain of Rei's, and so too to the TonDen. It knew there would be magick aplenty upon which to feed in this twilit world beneath the surface.


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NoOne
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Myrae

"Give her to me." Myrae whispered to The TonDen. "I'll take her inside and treat her injuries." Whoo. It still hurt a lot, even to whisper. 

If the TonDen passed the prostrate Aeros to Myrae, she'd carry her into the house without preamble. "Make yerselves at home." She said to the rest. "I'll get to kitty next, yew can put him down wherever."

Most of the ground floor of Duskhill was of sufficient size to host The TonDen, if it didn't mind crouching to make it through doorways. It was certainly plenty big for Myrae and her burden. 

The drowess sighed as she carried the featherlight form of the catatonic Aeros girl upstairs. "That boy certainly made a mess of yew." She observed, laying Miiya upon a moss-stuffed mattress with uncharacteristic gentleness. Opening a calcium-caked valve above a carven washbasin, she allowed steaming hot water to vent from the geyser fumeraole. "Let's see what we can do." She whispered around her useless voice box.

The drowess was efficient as she went about cleaning and dressing Miiya's injuries. She did not shy from drawing out more blood or causing pain, nor was she unnecessarily rough. Myrae had a good idea just how meaningful wings were to the Aeros, and how devastated Miiya was about her maiming. "I know what yer thinking." She whispered as she bound antiseptic lichen tightly to the stub where Miiya's trim tab had once been. "But don't. I'd hate to think I'm wasting my time with this." She'd heard tell that the flighted folk would take their own lives rather than live the life of the pinioned.

Myrae winced as she peeled Miiya's bloodstained blouse away from the bite marks on her shoulder and neck. "I know this hurts. I'm sorry." She whispered as she brutally delved into Miiya's flesh, cleansing the deep puncture wounds. It took some doing to dress and wrap the girl's entire shoulder, but Myrae got it done. "Well, that's done." Myrae stood up next to Miiya's bedside, arms akimbo. "Now, how do we keep yew from taking a header off the nearest cliff, and wasting all my hard work?"

Myrae knew she owed the Aeros girl a debt. She'd had little chance against The Watcher on her own, disabled as she had been. It was in trying to save her that Miiya had lost her wing. All of Botherel owed the girl gratitude, in fact, for the Draegloth's Claw was a sacred relic of the Mother Church, worth more than either of their lives. Myrae had been prepared to give hers in the attempt to recover it. Now she had both retrieved the sword and kept her own skin mostly intact, thanks to Miiya. It behooved her to not just call off the hit she had placed on the girl and her friends, but to do what she could to undo the injury Miiya had suffered in rendering aid.

Myrae spoke again before she departed. "I don't know how much it matters to yew, but there is someone who can unfold yer sky. I've seen him restore flight to Aeros injured as yew are." Myrae felt a sudden, rare, urge to be absolutely honest with the girl. She bent down, gaze trying to pierce Miiya's glassy stare. "Understand: No one can replace what yew've lost--that wing will never be what it was--but yew may yet fly again." Myrae straightened and made her way toward the hall. She paused in the doorway of the room. "When yer ready, if yer ready, I'll lead yew to him." She said in a gutteral whisper, and stepped out, closing the door behind her.


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Irihi
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Miiya 

The Aeros girl made no move but for the slight drawing of breath. She felt as if a great weight lay upon her, stilling the motions of her limbs, dulling her thoughts, smothering her emotions. Nothing was worth the effort of doing. Even breathing was such a chore. She wished she could stop. She barely noticed when the beast dropped her and attacked Myrae. She lay upon the rocky ground where the  giant cat had deposited her, mouth slightly open, the occasional breath stirring the dust into which her face pressed.

There was no change in Miiya when the TonDen lifted her and bore her through the forest, nor when Myrae carried her to an upstairs bedroom. She did not move or cry out when the lances of pain jagged through her back and shoulder as the Drowess tended her wounds. Even Myrae's assertion that she might fly again barely made it through the weighted blanket which buried Miiya far below the others. She stared glassily at the wall of the room as if looking up from a well--deep, dark, and cold.

Somewhere far underground, beneath the unpierceable veil, Miiya's mind still worked, her thoughts pacing an unending circle, wading through the exhausting cold waters of the well.

Pinioned. 

No sky. 

No love. 

No family. 

Pinioned.

Occasionally her mind surged upward, clawing at the slick sides of the hole with rage, despair, sorrow. 

I don't want to live.

They had passed bottomless chasms on the way to the refuge. Miiya had legs, they could carry her to the edge of one of those cliffs. She could fold or bind what was left of her wings. She had loved to dive. How easy it would be to drop into darkness, feel the wind rushing faster and faster as she fell, she wouldn't feel a thing on impact. If the pit were dark enough, she would not even see the bottom coming. A never-ending dive. Yes, that was what she would do. Just put one leg on the floor, then the other.

She might as well have planned to fly to the moon. The crushing blanket prevented so much as a toe twitch.

I don't want to be this way.

How could she have been so stupid? She was worthless trash. Prey. If only she had known how pitiful she was, she would not have been punished like this. She wanted to scream at herself. She felt as though she were swept along in a river with the pinioning a cascade over a cliff she could never surmount. She was helpless against the current. There was no going back. She was ugly, disfigured, a piteous wretch. There was no going back up that waterfall. I hate this deformed body. I hate it so much. You are ugly, ugly, ugly! 

There were blades aplenty in the redoubt with which she could cut away the hated skin. Just a little, just as much as a wretch like me deserves. The steam vents could blister and blind. Watch them, feel them peel back your flesh yew stupid, worthless, garbage girl.

If only it was worth it to move a finger.

A distant part of her was horrified and fascinated by these thoughts that she never knew had dwelled within her. Yet near or distant, surfaced or buried, every part of her--every feather, every hair--lay under the crushing sodden blanket that pressed her into the mattress until she thought she would sink through the floor.

So passed Miiya's first day and night at Duskhill.


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Lassroyale
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TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

[OOC: From: Kiana - The Harbor - The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath]

 

 

At some point, Tom-Cat shifted back into his normal (well, more normal) two-legged form.  Later, he would be grateful that he was knocked out so thoroughly, because shifting back from a forced shift usually hurts just as much.  It would be the first time he’d effectively “slept” through a transformation.

 

Again, his bones shattered and reformed, loud cracks! echoing through the cool, hushed air in rapid succession.  His gums ached and bled as his sharp feline teeth were pushed out by the flat ridge of his Uman ones, his massive paws twitched and shrunk, the bones snapping and separating into individual fingers and sharp claws were shed for fingernails.  Maybe the strangest sight was that of his soft, blue-grey fur shooting back into the pores of his skin like millions of tiny Christmas tree worms retreating back into the safety of their tubes.  

 

Tom-Cat was thankfully unconscious through all of this, but it didn’t mean that his unconscious mind was at all peaceful.  Things flashed and flit through the shadowed recesses of his mind, monstrous things that are so beyond the imagination that he would never have believed in them...except for a single beam of malevolent green light that sweeps into the dark corners of his unconscious mind, like a lighthouse beacon that pierced the veil of pain fogging his brain and replaced it with blinding panic.  The landscape of his mind is jagged and broken; its uneven edges grabbed and tore at his flesh as he tried to run from that hateful light.  Blood ribboned across his body as he ran, his skin parting easily as he scraped against the sharp corners of his unthinking and blind panic.  It doesn’t matter.  None of it mattered.  

 

He ran.

 

He glimpsed things that streaked by at the edges of his vision, things with jaws that snapped and teeth that curved, things with eyes that glinted wickedly as they caught and reflected the glow of the green light.  They snapped at his heels, manifestations of the animal panic and fear that’s slow to release their grip on him and continue, however faintly, to push into his empty spaces, filling him.   From the darkest shadows he caught sight of his animal as it stalked him, all lean sinew and hard muscle that shifted and rolled beneath a predatory stink. He felt its rage, its fear; he felt the physical force of its hatred.  It wanted to eviscerate him with its hate.

 

He wanted to let it and knew he never would.

 

Worst of all are the things that wailed in the distance, long and mournful cries of pain and grief that echo through the gaps in his mind where the dust is thickest and memories are baked deep into the folds of his brain, like scars of blasphemy that carved patterns into desecrated earth.

 

Tom-Cat’s face is tight with pain, his muscles tense, and he fights to pull himself from the grip of his nightmare.

 

He did not wake; not yet. 

TOM-CAT (Must Read): Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ★★Try Again - ★★Powder Keg - Soft, soft - Imprint - ★★Stupid Little Tom-Cat
DAETH (top 3): Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - ★★Sensing Death
RISQUÉ (most recent): ★★Fun with Fisticuffs!
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★★= extra fave]


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NoOne
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Myrae

The drowess descended the stairs to the lower level of the dwelling, finding that the others were now inside. She had another, momentary twinge of unhappiness. This was her retreat, her private sanctuary. Leading others here, whom she did not intend to dispatch, cut against her grain. 

When did his shift back happen? Myrae wondered as she received the injured and unconscious catboy, once more in his Umanoid form. Good thing, since the drowess had not been looking forward to trying to shave all that fur around the catboy's wounds.

Tom-Cat was much heavier than Miiya, and annoyingly long, but even so, Myrae managed him fairly easily, once he was slung over her shoulder in a fireman carry. 

The drowess brought Tom-Cat upstairs and, kneeling, rolled him onto another moss-stuffed tick. This was Myrae's room, and thusly better-appointed than the only other furnished room, in which Miiya was convalescent.

Myrae removed what was left of Tom-Cat's vest. There wasn't much after the watcher's sword had nicked him. The shift must have some healing properties, because the damage the drowess surveyed already looked old, days old. That did not preclude infection, she surmised, and so she dressed Tom-Cat's wounds as she had Miiya's; efficiently. It was easier to do the work from astride the boy, so she did, straddling his waist and sitting on the small of his back while she cleaned and bandaged where the starmetal sword had mangled the flesh over his shoulder blades. 

Sitting atop the handsome half-naked assassin did little for Myrae, and not just because he was unconscious and his back was a nasty hash of half-scarred wounds. He was pretty. From the long, leanly-muscled torso to the delicate yet chiseled lines of his jaw, to his--well, the rest--he was the epitome of the model Drow male, plus furry ears and tail. Myrae could appreciate Tom-Cat's aesthetics and what her sisters (and many, many others) would like about the catboy but he was just not… freakish… enough for her.

Finished with the annoying work of applying field dressings--Tom-Cat and Miiya had better have good powers of convalescence, because Myrae had exhausted the the limits of her healing abilities with the rude bandagework--the drowess climbed off Tom-Cat. 

She considered leaving it at that, but the opportunity to unsettle the assassin was just too much of a draw for her to resist. It took some rummaging through her things, a bit of Tom rolling, and a lot of tugging (ha) but when Myrae closed the door, she left behind a bandaged catboy laying unconscious in a fresh set of the drowess's clothes.


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NoOne
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The TonDen

Relieved of its burdens, the Construct of Blue Ash settled into its compact thinking pose in the middle of the hall into which it strode when invited by Myrae. There it remained for hours that stretched into days, pulsing slowly with blue luminance. 

It was very much in the way.

The TonDen took up most of the width of the hall, and those wishing to come and go through the front door had to flatten themselves against a wall and sidle past the golem. 


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Irihi
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Miiya

The Aeros girl's mind traced self-destructive circles endlessly, sometimes faster and tighter, sometimes slower and fainter. Eventually, long after the room had darkened and then brightened again, with the diurnal cycle of the luminescent flora outside, after a plate of sustenance had been left, removed, and replaced again by the drowess, Miiya's mind waded into utter exhaustion and she slept.

She awoke at some unknown hour unsure of where she was. For a moment her hurts were sharp and stinging. Her shoulder ached, her wing root twinged. She moved on her own, for the first time since being pinioned. Rolling away from the pain, she saw her truncated and bandaged wing. The veil returned, crushing out the ravenous hunger of starvation, muffling the clarion bells of her injuries to the dull roar of distant surf, and weighting her limbs so she stilled.

Again Miiya could not move anything but her mind, and even then her thoughts were mired in hopelessness. She trod the familiar path of despair, anger, and self-loathing. Vaguely, she was aware of the world outside herself. The light grew dim. Someone again removed and replaced untouched trays of food. Miiya heard voices and sounds of the others, in the hall, outside the window. 

...

The window was lightening. She had passed another sleepless night, but something had changed. She still did not want to be as she was, the sodden blanket still weighted her limbs, her slight breathing, her heart. Barely anything stirred in the room, but Miiya had changed. 

She was bored. 

Maybe I won't do those awful things to myself. She thought. That was a hard thought, a thought that made her sink a little deeper in the well, lean against the walls of despair for a moment and cease the endless circling. A tear from a dulled eye rolled down her cheek. A finger twitched. That was enough for today, and the Aeros girl again slipped into exhausted unconsciousness.


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NoOne
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Myrae

The drowess approached the TonDen from the front. "Hey there, big fella." She said cautiously, holding up her hands and showing the small serrated knife she held in one. "I'm going to cut that netting off yew now, and take the loot for safekeeping. That okay with yew?"

Receiving no answer from the TonDen, Myrae went to work cutting and unwinding the precious cargo strapped to the golem. Even though much had been lost during the battle with The Watcher, it was not a bad haul. Split as agreed, it would provide Myrae with a small fortune to add to her retirement fund, even minus Tom-Cat's payment. Of course, she still needed to carry it to Sharnn where she knew fences who could move the weapons and precious metals. 

If that went as planned, the parts of the half that would be doled out to Miiya, the TonDen, and Vjerdt would amount to a few hundred krownes apiece. Myrae guessed that would be more coin than Miiya had ever seen, considering that she said she'd been a street busker before joining their adventure. Myrae wondered if the news that she was now rich would cheer the Aeros any.

...

The Drowess tried to enjoy this somewhat unplanned return to her private retreat. Before scavenging some bedding to make up a couple of abandoned rooms, she had herself a nice long float in the hottest of the travertine pools (save for the prismatic spring, of course), chewing the restorative hal-kef root without any real hope of it doing much.  

Her voice was gone, likely never to return. It was not a small loss. It had taken her years to reach proficiency in evocation, and the magick had served her well during her time as spy, and sometimes field agent, for the Mother Church. She was not yet ready to mourn the loss, though. Perhaps the gnomes and shadow-drow of Sharnn would be able to rig up some means of restoring at least her voice. Failing that, she could travel south to try the mystics of Greyhaven or the wizards of The City of Ice. 

Meantime, she would need to find a way to weave enough magick to access the hidden roads of The Rift. 

...

Later, feeling somewhat refreshed, the drowess dried herself, gave some attention to her rather-neglected platinum locks, and then made a meal. Almost as much as her ruined voice, the presence of the others at her home troubled Myrae, and she was reminded of the trouble as she put together rations for four, instead of one. The drowess was a self-admitted terrible cook. She paid a local goblin tribe to keep the estate secret and provisioned, but that did not mean she knew what to do with half of the esoteric vittles with which the caretakers stocked the larder. 

Soup.

Myrae could make soup. Water plus the roots, mushrooms, dried meats, and plants that she would normally consume raw. Oh, plus heat. Yes. Mustn't forget that. That was how one made soup, right? 

Steaming meats and vegetables sorely tested Myrae's culinary skills. Either they came out raw enough that she might as well not have bothered, or she left them too long and ended up with mush or leather. 

Well, heck with it. Nobody was eating much, anyway, with half their party unconscious or catatonic. 


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Irihi
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Miiya

Miiya awoke in darkness. It was not pitch black, for the diffuse glow from outside never really dimmed to nothing. This time she remembered where she was. She remembered... 

I won't think about that now.

The blanket was lighter, the veil thinner. Her hurts were closer but duller. She was healing physically, at least. It took a very long time, starting with just her fingers and toes, but eventually she sat upright. The journey there explored the myriad pops and cracks of joints quiescent for days on end. She rode out the dizzying pain of folding abused wings tight against her back. She re-learned how to blink. An hour had seen her manage to raise an arm to prop herself, then another to lift to full sitting. She was upright. She was alive. 

She was bored.

She was thirsty.

She was hungry. 

Everything hurt. 

Life sucks.

Yfret it. Miiya sat on the edge of the bed and had herself a good long cry. She tried not to let  herself think about why, she just wept long and quiet until her face was crusted with dehydrated too-salty tears and her sinuses were fully clogged. Ma was not here to scold her for such indulgences, and Cah was not here to either worry over her or fondly abuse her weakness, as the mood struck him.

Miiya felt better. Like maybe she could make it to the door where long-stale food and drink had been left. 

Indeed she reached the tray, just as surely as it proved not worth the effort. Whomever had prepared the burned mushroom soup, and whatever the hash of purple stuff was supposed to be, was a true master at ruining edible fungi. Miiya thought that the soup was probably better cold and half-spoiled for being further from the abuse inflicted upon it by its maker. She forced it down anyway, stopping midway to rush to the washbasin and vomit the balance of it up again. The rest she finished, somehow, having no idea if it was the food or her own traumatized body that made it hard to keep the sustenance down. At least these physical discomforts gave her something new to think about.


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Lassroyale
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TOM CAT

 

A Felonious Feline

 

╺ ✽ ╸  

 

The air is cool, clear, and damp.  Tom-Cat tastes the barest hint of earthiness in the corners of his mouth as he wakes with a low groan of pain and sucks in a quick breath.  The atmosphere is crisp, clean; he's still on autopilot and isn't fully cognizant as he inhales deeply.  Fresh air floods his lungs and starts to sharpen the blurred edges of lethargy.

 

He stirs sluggishly, the gears of his mind slow to start turning, his senses still too muddled to fully take stock of his surroundings.  Some instinct trills urgently in a distant part of his brain, though it’s so faint and muffled under a heavy layer of torpor, that he barely registers it.  Instead, he keeps his eyes screwed shut for a moment longer, even as the tug at the edge of his awareness grows more insistent.

 

His cheek is pressed against something soft with a vaguely familiar scent lingering in the fibers - old and faded, barely there and yet deeply ingrained.  It takes him a moment to recognize that he’s lying on his side, his body cradled by and sunk into what is probably a crude mattress.  The taste of copper coats the back of his throat; he probes the inside of his mouth gingerly with his tongue and can’t feel any injury, which only means..Tom-Cat turns away from thinking about that particular “what if” for now.  The memories of his escape from The Watcher are all smeared together into a series of heart-pounding snapshots, their edges blurred and bleeding together.  And linking everything together is a thick layer of animal fear and deep-reaching rage, which connects one second to another.

 

Grounding himself in the here and now is far less confusing, or so he tells himself.  Instead, he turns his attention, as wan as it is, to the current state of his body.

 

It feels like his body is at odds with his mind; he wants to move, but comfort and a deep-seated ache wants otherwise.  There’s an ache in every part of his body that could ache, like he’d been caught in an undertow and buffeted by the open palms of crashing waves that tossed him to and fro.  Or the one and only time he’d ever failed to land on his feet -- but it’s not a memory he wishes to revisit. It feels like one continuous ache under his skin, soreness stitched into bruises that are ground into the muscles themselves.  It’s impossible to catalogue every twinge, every pain, their individual edges bleeding together into a constant and dull ache that simply is.  Still, it’s manageable.

 

Sighing softly, Tom-Cat turns his attention to his back.  Surprisingly, the knife-like pain that had flared across his shoulders, has been blunted significantly.  He can already feel the too-small sensation of new skin stretched taut over the jagged wound, and he sends up a small note of thanks for his accelerated healing.  Despite the forced shift adding to the hurt and damage of his body at the time, in the long run it probably saved his life.  It’s still not an experience he’s eager to repeat if he can help it.  

 

Tom-Cat shifts and blearily starts to become aware of himself again, fragments of thought sliding haphazardly in and out of place like a fifteen puzzle.  Bandages wrap around his torso tightly, soaked through in some places, dried blood making his skin itchy beneath the cloth.  The fog of unconsciousness begins to curl away more rapidly as alarm tore through him, nipping his senses into full wakefulness.

 

He’s not in a familiar place.  And the assassin does not sleep in front of other people or any place he doesn’t feel secure.

 

Tom-Cat lurches awake with a somewhat violent jerk, confusion interwoven with the sudden awareness of a sharp, painful throb between his temples causing the breath to explode out of him as if he’s been sucker-punched.  The last vestiges of his murky dreams (just one of many) recede slowly, pulling away from the edges of his mind and leaving a faint residue, like the imprint of a child’s sticky fingers across a freshly washed window.  

 

It’s a distinctly unpleasant sensation.

 

Tom-Cat groans and pushes himself up onto one elbow, tugging the fingers of his free hand violently through his hair as he sucks in a quiet breath, trying to get his bearings.  Slowly, the dregs of his unconsciousness become just another obscure and lost memory as lucidity takes hold.  He blinks and sits up fully, still not fully present as he roughly scrubs calloused palms over his face, pressing the heels of his hands hard over his eyes as he wills the pounding between his temples to go away before it becomes a full-fledged headache.  He drops his hands and takes his first look around at his surroundings, when for the first time, two things become crystal clear to his previously sluggish mind: 1.) He has no idea where he is, and, 2.) He isn’t in his own clothes.

 

The catboy is on his feet in an instant, his heart thundering in his chest as his senses are suddenly on painfully high alert.  He feels like a caged animal as he literally launches himself into a corner of the room, back to the wall, crouched into a defensive position as he takes stock of his surroundings.  He forces himself to breathe slowly as he looks around the modestly decorated room with narrowed eyes, noting the somewhat homey feel it exuded.  He glances down at what he’s wearing and then, as if just to confirm his suspicions, he raises his nose and inhales deeply.  Tom-Cat’s ears twitch in irritation. 

 

As suspected: Myrae.  It’s definitely her room, and that means he’s definitely wearing her clothes.  The assassin might be more irritated if it didn’t appear as if the Drowess had also treated and bandaged his wounds.  But why? It certainly doesn’t fiscally do her any good to make sure he was alive.  Certainly he’d saved her life back there, but that was less about her and more about…

 

There’s a twinge in the back of Tom-Cat’s mind, his thoughts immediately sidetracked: What happened to the Aeros? Somehow, through some unknown means (or at least means that he’s unwilling to explore) he knows with some certainty that she’s not dead - at least not yet.  He refuses to think about why he’s so certain of this fact, how he’s as certain of it as he is his own heartbeat in his chest.  It’s easier not to and is definitely not as disconcerting...and yet...some part of him wouldn’t rest until he saw for himself.

He scowls, the corners of his mouth pulling down as he wars with impulse and reason, though as he does so he searches the room until he finds what he’s looking for in a small loose stone just under the left side of the mattress, closest to the wall.  He pries it up and grins triumphantly at the small dagger that’s revealed, along with some coin.  He leaves the coins, takes the dagger, and moves to the surprisingly ornate, full-length mirror that stands in one corner of the room.  

 

He studies himself in the mirror and has to wonder to himself how much trouble the Drowess went to, in order to get him into these tight leather pants.  And they are tight, much tighter than he’d ever choose, but at least he’s lean enough that they actually...well, they actually sort of fit.  At least they seem to accentuate his posterior and legs, and screw it; he’s not going to let this unsettle him too much.  It looks like nice leather, too, which is just too bad for Myrae because these were now Tom-Cat’s.  He can’t help the vicious grin that curves his lips as he unbuttons the trousers and shimmies them down a bit, before setting to work with the dagger.  He’s well used to making this type of modification, so it takes no more than a couple of minutes for him to cut a perfectly round hole in the seat of the pants, through which he thread his tail.  ‘Much better’, he sighs to himself.  He pulls up the trousers and gives his tail a few swishes, satisfied with his work.  

 

The shirt she’d placed him in was sleeveless and, on his frame, somewhat form-fitting, which he supposes is part of the jest.  He keeps it too, not seeing the point in rummaging through her wardrobe for something better, and claims the dagger as his own, as well.  His own weapons were either lost on the beach during the forced shift, or they’d been taken and stored away as his wounds were being tended. Either way, the small dagger would suit his needs just fine for now - in his hands any such weapon was plenty deadly.  Before he exits the room, Tom-Cat, on impulse, grabs the blanket from the end of the mattress and tucks it under his arm.

TOM-CAT (Must Read): Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ★★Try Again - ★★Powder Keg - Soft, soft - Imprint - ★★Stupid Little Tom-Cat
DAETH (top 3): Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - ★★Sensing Death
RISQUÉ (most recent): ★★Fun with Fisticuffs!
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 438
 

┠ TOM CAT ┨

 

A Felonious Feline

 

╺ ✽ ╸  

 

 

Tom-Cat pads silently down the hallway, not knowing exactly his destination and yet drawn in one particular direction, nonetheless.  He doesn’t care to go downstairs - he feels the strange electric magick of the TonDen and the scent of the Drowess below his feet - and lets his feet follow some innate sense that he’s purposely choosing not to think about, too closely.  He’s surprised (and yet not at all) when he finds himself outside the door to the Aeros’ room.  How does he know it’s hers? Well, for one, her scent is stronger here than anywhere else, and he can see her through the crack left by the partially open doorway.

 

He hangs back, cursing at himself, confused and yet driven with an inexplicable need to...to what? To check on her? To make sure she’s okay? It doesn’t make any sense, and the strength of his desire to confirm that she’s okay truly unsettles him.  Why her? Why now? What ungodly joke was this? There’s an itch under Tom-Cat’s skin, one that he knows won’t go away until he settles this for himself, until he has some sort of visceral confirmation that she’s in fact not dead and not going to die, anytime soon. He’s simply going to ignore why it’s important to him and just get it out of the way so he can go on with his night and never think about it again.  Yeah right.  He ignores the mocking voice in his head and nudges the door open with his foot.

 

As it swings open further, he slouches in the doorway and leans against the door jamb, watching her as she perches at the end of her bed.  He rubs his shoulder subtly against the frame, giving into the impulse to scent-mark the doorway against...against others who would notice such things? It really is all impulse and serves no practical purpose, but he does it, nonetheless.  It’s weirdly possessive; he ignores this.  Without being invited in, the catboy takes a few steps into the room, shutting the door slightly with his foot as he does so.

 

He suddenly feels restless and out of place, like he’s been trapped even though he’s the one that walked into the room.  His tail twitches in confused agitation as he paces closer, then retreats, the light roll of his steps as smooth as the ebb and flow of a tide.  He keeps an ear trained for any movement coming from downstairs, as he finally addresses Miiya, turning his lambent yellow eyes unto her, studying her intently as he speaks.

 

I just wanted to come check on you, Teleskela,” he says in a rumbly-purr.  He lets his gaze rove over her small figure, noting how fragile she looks, how pale.  It stirs something inside of him that he works to tamp down, tensing slightly as a bolt of heat races down his spine.  He grimaces to himself, suddenly feeling too hot in the small space of the room.  He wants to pounce again, to rub his scent on her skin as he abruptly realizes that he can no longer smell where he’d marked her.  It’s upsetting in a way that he won’t think about.  More confusion, this is all just too confusing.  Why is he there? He needs to clear his head.

 

Tom-Cat stalks forward, perhaps more aggressively than he intended, his confusion translating into irritation at nobody in particular.  He leans down and catches her gaze, holding it with his own.  For several long moments, he searches for something in the depths of her chestnut eyes, though it’s clear that he doesn’t quite know what he’s seeking, either.  Without his consent, his tail curls loosely, gently, around her waist and he breathes out slowly.  He realizes that he wants to comfort her, as if he knew how to even give something he barely knew himself.  He raises a hand, unsure for a moment, before caving to his desire to touch her. 

 

He curves his hand around the back of her neck for a moment, the warmth of his palm probably like a brand against the coldness of her skin.  It’s almost a shocking contrast, he almost pulls away, but doesn’t.  Instead, he forces a faint grin and says in a too-low voice, “Don’t frrreeze on me, little one.”  He looks serious for a moment, then continues.  “The Underrrneath would be a poorrr place forrr my Teleskela to perrrish, I should think.”  He straightens, pulls himself back from...from this, whatever this is, and shoves the blanket he’d brought with him, at her.  

 

Wordlessly, he stalks over to the open window and looks out.  It’s a two story drop, which he doesn’t even think about.  “You should get some sleep,” he murmurs.  Then, without another word, he leaps out of the window and lands effortlessly on his feet, two stories down.  He looks up at the window for a moment, then disappears into the shadows.

TOM-CAT (Must Read): Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ★★Try Again - ★★Powder Keg - Soft, soft - Imprint - ★★Stupid Little Tom-Cat
DAETH (top 3): Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - ★★Sensing Death
RISQUÉ (most recent): ★★Fun with Fisticuffs!
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★★= extra fave]


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Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 493
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Miiya

There was someone at her door. Raising her head as she sat at the edge of the bed, Miiya whipped up a nice cake. She added, in order:

  • one teaspoon of curiosity,
  • a dash of unintended attraction,
  • and then she buried the mixing bowl by dumping in the entire ten kilogram box of terror/fear mix.

Tossing the concoction in her brain to cook, she set the dial to flight

The firey lances of pain from her injuries, as she scrambled to her feet and her wings involuntarily twitched to one-quarter open, ignited a tiny candle of anger and prompted her to reset the dial to fight. Flight was not an option, a tiny bitterblack voice in her head reminded her.

Well, flight had taken her from the bed to back flattened against the wall in the corner of the room. Nice and trapped.

Tom-Cat seemed almost… hesitant. He said something, called her by that pet name again, said he was checking up on her.

Oh sure.

He's probably deciding whether or not to eat yew after he murders yew, stupid girl. Why had she not locked the door? She was in a strange place with stranger company, and here she'd been laying around… sulking… and crying. 

There was Sen's severe voice in her head. Ma didn't have the lexicon for the crushing depression and self-loathing that had overtaken her daughter. She'd seen even greater violence and cruelty, and she'd been a survivor.

Miiya was not yet sure if she was one too.

But she was willing to find out. As the assassin seemed to make up his mind and strode aggressively, angrily, toward her, Miiya realized she did want to live. Or at minimum outlive this haughty bastard. 

Miiya wasn't stupid. With his tail encircling her waist and his fever-hot hand in the short-cropped hair at the base of her neck, she knew Tom-Cat was not just checking up on her. Miiya's foot rose to brace against the wall at her back, her stance shifted ever so slightly. She would not invite him to dance. She had one shot at this, and probably not even that, don't give it away. Make him pay. Miiya dared not even ball her fists. Palms then. Find unprotected vitals. His kidneys. Pulp them.

That pet name again, "little bird" he'd said it meant. Well, this little bird could peck. 

It wasn't going to work. She wasn't even sure if the tremors running through her tensed body were adrenaline, excitement fear, or starvation. He'd catch her too-thin arm, break it and have--

No. 

I'll win.

Miiya, a hairsbreadth from triggering her desperate attack, found herself devoid of Felinoid assassin, but in possession of a folded blanket.

Tom-Cat was in the window. Then he turned, crouched, and--wow that is a tight those are some tight pants--was gone. 

Miiya let out a breath she hadn't known she had been holding and slid down the wall. She looked uncomprehendingly at the blanket tin her hands, shaking now as the killing strength left them. 

...sleep?

Now?

Yeah right.


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Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 493
Journey starter  

Miiya

The rest of the household would awake to the smell of something steaming, frying, and baking, as well as the hiss of steam vents and clatter of cookware. Miiya had raided the kitchen larder and found a whole lot of... food... she thought. If Sen had taught her daughter anything, it was how to turn meagre, weird, and cheap offal into palatable dishes. Miiya might not know what all this stuff was, but she did know how to cook and season pretty much anything so any who partook would enjoy it, even if some of it wasn't technically supposed to be edible.

Miiya sported a pretty good shiny pink steam burn on one arm. It hadn't been as gratifying as she'd imagined it would be during the previous days and nights of anguish, so she didn't repeat that little experiment.

She hurt. 

She was hungry. 

Life sucked. 

But maybe if she didn't think too much about it, she could keep doing it for a while longer. 

And blanket. What was that about? Also, she was not about to give that fur-tailed creep the satisfaction of her dying down here, so far from the sky.

The Aeros girl did not know how many or which of their companions had survived the battle with The Watcher. She did know that, despite the little food she'd managed to choke down in the wee hours, she was quite literally starving. She could smell it on her own breath, feel it in the weakness of her limbs, and see it in the glowy worms and grey tunnel that clouded her vision when she stood or straightened up too quickly. So she cooked a lot.

She also did not wait for her companions to arrive to partake of her creations. Sitting at a table filled with her steaming platters, Miiya bit deeply into a bun she had invented with a flour-like powder, wrong-colored eggs of some creatures she guessed did not cluck or sport feathers, water and another powder that fizzed when exposed to water. Miiya sighed, delighted with the taste of her cooking.

Living, it seemed, was getting slightly better.


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