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Author Topic: All in a Day's Work  (Read 67072 times)

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Offline Shades of Gray

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All in a Day's Work
« on: July 31, 2008, 10:19:09 PM »
King Lucas Valigh Jay Blye; ruled his land with a just hand, and an attentative ear to his people. He was a man of his word, which was taken to be far greater then the worth of gold, and once the king made a vow, he always followed through. Harvests were bountyful, the ports were rich with trade, the merchants took the time to cart their unique and often lavish and exotic wares to the city of Ciln where they found booming buisness. The city was the largest Port in the Seas, stretching further then the eyes could take in, and continued on, up a great embankment which the castle rested on. Though higher then the city, the gates were always open to allow those to enter, and take sight of the beautiful gardens within. To the East, the Red Forest stretched for many leauges, before it was broken apart by the rolling Kommu Hills, the Sentry Mountains, and then finally, touching the friendly lands of the Elves. Peace was closest then its ever been here for the world of Man, the people were truely happy, and many simply contented themselves with living the ideal life, even if they weren't amung the Upper District where the blue bloods roosted.
     So who would have guessed that Ciln, one of the greatest cities of the Realm, ruled by a fair and just man, was actually taking advice from a pair of rougish mercenaries?
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 10:24:00 PM »
"Marchelle Drakenthorne."  The matron at the desk adjusted her spectacles to read over the papers in front of her.  "Markie," she corrected the staffer with a smile.  "I go by Markie."  The woman looked up from the papers to the girl standing before her, her expression still managing to be one of looking down her nose at the prospective student.  "Well, Miss Drankenthorne, your papers here say Marchelle.  And our files do not have a 'Markie Drakenthorne' on file as having been accepted for study here.  So are you Marchelle, or Markie?"  Markie frowned.  "Marchelle."  "Well, then, glad to have that little mix up cleared," the woman smiled snarkily at her, and stamped several of the pages without even looking at them.  "Down the hall to your left.  You'll pick up your class roster there."  Markie sighed, and went as directed, her left eye twitching a bit at the nasally "NEXT!" that shrieked out behind her.  

Marchelle had just arrived by ship to Ciln that morning.  Though she was in no way from a small town, her home simply hadn't had the resources available to adequately continue her education.  So, she now walked the halls of Martinefield's Academie for the Gifted.  And boy was she gifted.  She had so much 'gift' that her family, and then the whole town, had saved up money to send her to the city to be trained.  Yes, she was a witch, as those like her were commonly termed.  She'd been the delight of her professors back home, who were excited to finally recieve a student with potential.  But she had quickly mastered their lessons, and so she'd been sent on scholarship to cover her transportation and room and board for the first couple months in Ciln.  

Markie was beyond excited to get such an opportunity.  Her family hadn't left Ravensloft for generations.  She was the first to be something other than a fishmonger or shrimper or something else to do with fish.  She could tell that her study here would be a time of great excitement.  She couldn't wait to write her little brothers back home to tell them all about what she'd already seen in the capital.


     Hal's tavern wasn't actually called, "Hal's Tavern". The old adventurer had named it "The Red Coral", hoping to attract the attention of more of the sailors, occational pirates and Schooners always passing through. He even had ironed a sign himself, the rickety copper piece was tarnished from the sun and salt air, now that lovely shade of green that the metal is known for turning when unleashed to the eliments. However, it wasn't of a coral, rather a clam with a perl in its mouth. He was well aware that clams didn't produce perls, as well as that a clam was far from a piece or coral. But by the time you got that far of the story out of him, the man was too frustrated to continue, and you were left with a half empty flagon of ale, a few muttered curses, and a tender that was red in the face.
     So everyone just called it "Hal's".
     Emma, was Hal's wife. Much like her husband, a once lean figure had softened over the years, though she was still small and mouse-ish, with long brown hair that was often braided back to keep out of her face. She was lovely to look at, caring in the motherly way, not having kids of her own she enjoyed spoiling those she could, and often started a conversation with, "I thought about you the other day...". Unlike Emma, Hal was the opposite. His wide, barreled chest was still thick, once hard muscles had dropped lower over the years to push out his belt, and hang over the hem of his pants. Scars from the old days littered his body, proof enough to his old nickname of the "Bull." He wasn't afraid to spit, snort, cus, scratch or lear at anyone that stepped inside his establishment, but his eyes always softened when they fell upon Emma.
     A cozy, quaint little place, one that saw much buisness, and over the years extended their property by building towards the sky. The brick building was nestled in the Dock District, just a short way from the waters itself, it reached five levels with a basement below the steets, and was able to afford glass windows, instead of the often used waxed papers. This was their home. Their buisness. Their life.
     It was also a favorit meeting ground for those with, ah, their own adgendas. Like Keshayla and Kivan, who now currently sat with a flagon of ale in their hand, along the flat, wooden bartop that stretched the length of the east wall. Hal was on the other end, taking care of a pitcher by wiping it down with a clean cloth. His beefy fingers scrubbed at difficult spots, and occationally his face twisted in annoyance when one didn't wish to budge. So he spat on it, scrubbed some more, and muttered satisfied things that would often make the Lycan and her halfblood partner laugh. Just another night, drinking their troubles away, looking very much the part of two dirty sailors, complete with rope burns from a struggle with some sailors earlier that day. Keshayla had long since healed, but with some of Kivan's gifted tricks with plants, she was able to stain her skin as if the burns were fresh and others healing. Both had swam in the ocean earlier that day so they reaked of salt and with their dishelved hair, sticky skin, and slightly burned skin (also tricks done by Kivan's alchemy) anyone looking for them, would over look them.
     "A sailor gets shipwrecked. When he wakes up up, he's on a beach. The sand is dark red, the sky is dark red. He walks around a bit, couldn't believe it, because the grass is dark red too, as well as the birds, the fruit, the trees, and that his skin itself it turning this shade to. "Oh no!" He says." Kivan slapped his face with his hand, cringing at the coming punch line. "I've been marooned!" Hal was the only one who gave her a laugh. A few cringed, one couple moved away, and finally, they had the privacy they had been seeking. Hal nodded as he smiled, signaling that they were clear to speak and he kept a train eye on their backs while they waited for their hit to finally isolate himself.
     The man was named Basias. Just Basias, apparently his parents had died durring the plauges, and he had been too young to remember his surname. Hardly mattered for a man; he was wanted for murder, Luckas, their dear friend had asked them himself to 'find and trial' this man for his cold blooded task, and although they had much power in this city, King Lucas was a close friend to them, and they would oblidge. He was thin and wirey, not much to look at with a scruffy chin, bad hygene and a laugh that caused Keshayla to wince at it's pitch. It was his laugh the rose above the crowd of everybody else, the man foolishly gloating about his deeds to any who would hear, having slipped far into his flagon of ale nearly an hour ago. The man had to take a piss sometime.
     A few jokes later, and much to their growing impatients, Basias finally stumbled to his feet, tripping over his boots and pushing passing patrons in his way with a drunken slur. With matching devious grins, the pair lifted from their stools after he, keeping an appropriate space between them while he made his way out to the door, and most likely make his mark on the streets or post like some common mutt. They prefered it this way; although it wouldn't take much effort to silence those who were inside, it was best to simply not be seen. So when Basias was out, making his way to the back alley where it was darkest, muttering about some tavern wench's tits, she and Kivan went hand in hand, playing the part of lovers out on a stroll.
     It didn't take long. They pair were skilled, and as deadly as the set to stelletos that dropped into each of their palms. A glint of steel, a muffled gurgle that had tried to come out as a scream, and then silence followed. It took a few minutes until the body bled itself out, Keshayla's bloody fingers kept the man's mouth closed, where a now tongueless body flopped and twitched in her grasp to try and escape from the pain, but she was stronger then he, and bones could easily be crushed if she so wished it. And much like a lover, she spoke in his ear, commiting him to all the wrong doings he had in his life. No prayer to the Lady Most Kind for him, she told him. His blood was running down the cobbles to the sea, and there were black finned beasties awaiting to serve him justice.


Markie was out for an evening stroll all by herself, and rather late at that.  She'd gotten her schedule, her rooming assignment, a tour, dinner, and everything else typical for a new student.  They were coming in all the time, so classes weren't at a set curriculum.  You just worked at your level.  So, she'd be starting out in a few entry level classes, just so they could check what she knew against the letters of recommendation that she came in with.  But, that wouldn't be until tomorrow.  And dinner had finished rather early.  She was used to late suppers, having worked and studied all day.  So, with nothing else to do, she found herself wandering the city to get to know the area a little better.  

Markie had an innate sense of direction.  As long as she knew where she started from, she could wander around all day, and get herself back where she started.  Even unknown locations were found with minimal difficulty.  So, even though she'd walked a few miles from the school and had ended up back at the water's edge, she wasn't worried at all.  In fact, she sang softly, the salty air reminding her of home and the fishermen's songs.  

She was between songs and taking a breath to start another, when she heard a scuffling sound down the alley to her side.  She paused, and listened, and heard it again.  Ever the curious sort, she took a couple steps into the darkness.  "Hello?"  Nothing.  Then what sounded like voices.  Marchelle frowned, and closed her eyes, passing a hand over them briefly.  When they opened again, the darkness was not so dark, and she could see as if the alley was lit with dim lighting.  She wandered further into the alley, listening carefully.  For a moment, she wondered if she shouldn't be going alone.  She'd heard stories that the largest cities could be dangerous after nightfall.  But, gods above she was curious, and what if someone needed help?  

She rounded a corner, and froze, and suddenly wished that she'd heeded those warnings.  There, on the ground a few meters from her, laid a man who was bleeding heavily, and a dark-clad woman holding him down.  Oh gods...oh gods, she's killed him...  Her eyes and mouth widened in horror, but no sound came out of her frozen throat, nor would her body move to turn and run the either direction.  She had to find the guard, she had to tell somebody, she had to...  Oh gods, please move!!


    Keshayla's nose flaired softly, catching the shifting breeze of the sea as Basias continued to bleed. His twitching had slowed, and came now few and far between; a jerk of his foot, a flick of his fingers, a spasm of his gut all the while his heart raced to try and push the minimal amount of blood through his system; beating faster, killing him faster, fear was a tool that Keshayla was no stranger to manipulate. Unless you gutted someone like fish, a wound can only allow so much of a blood flow, and she wasn't looking to spray the walls. Basias had grown heavy, not too heavy for a Lycan, but her need to supporting him, looking ever much like a whore getting her moneys worth was no longer going to work. She allowed them both to sag to their knees, and eventually, until the man was down utterly. It doesn't matter what all the bard's stories and tales say; when you get a Candish Smile, a knife thats traced deep ear to ear, it wasn't an instant death. It took a few minutes until the body stilled, if you simply ditched your query, chances are they're going to move, attempting to find someone to save themselves.

     As much as she didn't mind killing, and truely, this didn't bother her at all, she was doing a favor for the Lady Most Kind, right? The Goddess of death excepted all of those, and her gifts from the Manor were bountyful. She liked murders, cut-throats, traitors, gaze-atticks and the like most; those were the ones forever damned in her service. She herself wasn't worried to end up as so, because although Keshayla didn't mind pulling the blade, and snuffing out the light of their eyes, she wasn't a traitor, she wasn't steeling purses or torturing her hits. Keshayla didn't torture, it was against everything she stood for, which wasn't much, but one drew the line somewhere. Torture was Kivan's job, though only in pressing situations. Now wasn't one of them. So, instead of tossing the man to the Beasties of the Sea, they waited until his life was diminished before they gave him the exceptable way of disposal.

     In all of this, Keshayla hadn't missed out on the singing. The voice was soft, almost eerily appropriate for this sitation; here the both of them were, dressed as sailors, about to toss the body to sea for all maners of coiling fish and unnamed things. The city of Ciln was safe, but the waters were dangerous, named the Widower Sea for a reason. But she didn't panic, Keshayla's eyes only left her query, who was starting to cool slightly and simply waited. It was too late now to dissapear without a trace, not since she had her hands full, and if the guards were called, she and Kivan both carried the King's seal and the Yellow Jackets would only back away nodding and hussle out of sight. But she hoped the woman didn't scream, being cooped up in that smokey, piss scented bar had given her a head ache that would foul her mood; and she did love giving first impressions. Besides, she was here, clearly in the view of the girl's eyes, which were met with her own. Hunter green had melted into bright amber at the scente of her fear; lingering heavily like cinimon, and although she had a uncanny control of her beast, she couldn't help the display. It was thick in the hair, and parting her lips she was able to taste it on her tongue. There was something else underneath it, bitter to her, but her halfblood partner wreaked of it too: Magi.

     "Kivan, do take care of our new guest while I finish up, please. If he's too cold, our friends in the boiling sea would only pick at him, and I'd hate to have to drag him out, just to do it all over again." Kivan had slipped himself out of the shadows like a wraith, standing behind Markie in an almost brotherly way. Certainly the both of them were calm, and when both of his hands rested on her shoulders, he bent down low enough to whisper in her ear, much the way Keshayla had done with their contract, but not at all threatening. He sounded....friendly. "Oh, mind the man, he was a dreadful sort. Killed off a number of men and women simply because he had the power to. Men like him are reserved for the deepest parts of hell, and we're only making sure he's not late for his appointment. Be a luv, and don't scream, and we won't have to make certain that you, ah, forget what you've seen here." Keshayla rolled her eyes faintly, just a flickering of amber clearly visable even in the lack of lighting. Kivan always enjoyed his schoolgirls, she wasn't sure if it was the outfits, or their inexperience, but having been around for nearly two hundred years, you'd have to find something entertaining, or you'd simply get bored. Perhaps that was why he was in this line of buisness?

     Kivan's hands were in a vice like grip at her shoulders, not allowing her room to move, but it wasn't exactly hurting either. They meant what they said, and they meant to follow through, and neither of them wanted to hurt her, even if she was Magi. A few seconds later found Keshayla standing, hoisting the dead man with her, and easily shifted, ducked and rolled him onto her shoulders. "Shall we take a gander down by the Sea? I hear it's lovely this time of evening..."


A small, terrified squeak was all that made it out of her throat when those hands closed on her from behind.  She'd jerked once, an instinct of flight, but then remained still but for her shaking in his tight grip. She'd since stopped gaping like a fish, but her eyes were still wide and frightened.  If anything, Kivan's silken tones had only worsened her fear.  They were going to kill her.  She knew they would.  They'd killed the man, and now they were going to kill her for seeing them.  Markie paniced, and did the only thing she knew how.  

The only warning had been a sudden shrinking of her pupils, and a brief spike in the scent of her magic.  An instant later, the entire alley seemed to be filled with flames with heat that burned and smoke that choked the lungs and eyes.  Markie laid her hands over Kivan's, and soon he felt the burning there, too, as if flesh were on fire.  Any cloth she touched burned away to soot and ash, and the skin blistered and boiled like juicy bugs thrown in a fire.  The instant she felt his hands loosen even a little she was gone, ducking around him and out the alley and running like the hounds of hell themselves were at her heels.  But she didn't scream.  Just ran like her life depended on it.  

When she was a couple blocks away, the fire vanished, the burning heat and smoke but a memory.  Except for the burns on Kivan's hands.  Those were quite real, and would have been crippling to a regular human.  There was not a sign of the girl, but for the faintest sound of pounding footsteps vanishing into the night.  Except, for one thing.  A folded bit of parchment a few feet behind Kivan, laying where it dropped when it fell from her pocket in her hurried flight.  A simple list of classes and times with her name at the top.

Marchelle sprinted the entire way back to the Academie; all five-plus miles of it.  Her muscles and lungs burned, and she nearly bowled over the city guard that stepped into her path to see what was the matter.  It all came out in a breathless, frightened tumble of sounds that occasionally made words, such as 'murder', 'water-front,' and 'gold eyes.'  She was shaking so bad that she might have been having a seizure.  The guard, however, seemed to understand what she had seen.  And it was none of their business what those with gold eyes did.  "Come now, luv, it's quite all right.  Just a couple of lycans having a bit of a brawl, I'd say."  "Oh, aye, luv, naught ta fear here," his partner chimed in, both of them smiling as if they hadn't a care in the world.  "Now off with you, and back inside.  Classes start early, now, yes?  Wouldn't want you sleeping through your lessons!"  Their inane chatter continued, until finally she stepped through the gates, looking like them like they were insane.  They had to be!  She'd just seen a murder, and they were telling her to go to bed and not worry her pretty little head about it!  What the hell was going on here?!  Markie was still trembling as she crossed the walled campus towards her dorm, and hand to try a few times to finally get the lock on the door, her hands shook so badly.  What in all hells had she gotten herself into?


Three men were down in the confined alley, well two were bead and the third had both thighs broken and was wailing piteously over it.  "Quiet you lilly!" Grater growled as he faced down the last bugger.  This one had a good hold on life, bless him, he would take a little work.  So be it, Grater grinned at his last opponent standing, who stared in horror.  Grater's makeshift club, soaked in blood, waved menacing and when he feinted with it his opponent reacted, putting himself in position for Grater's foot, he buried a toe in his opponent's groin, the blade embedded in his boot toe sank deep into the man's cods.  The unfortunate man's eyes glazed over in shock and three hard blows put him down.  Grater tousled his gray hair as he regarded the ball-busted man briefly, then kicked him in the throat, ripping it open with the toe slasher.

He regarded his bloody improvised weapon and smiled at it briefly.  "Good dog," he dropped the mangled thing, it made a good club anyway, and walked to the last one alive.  "Missed me then, didn't you, ya bugger," he growled pleasantly.  "Ye don't have the knack of killin', and ye never will.

He scoffed at the dagger the youth drew and kicked it from his hand.  "Your daddy will get the message I hope, I'm not the man to corner in alleys, and I'm not the man to send footpads and cut-purses after.  Grater reached down and with his fingers in a claw he pinched the young man's windpipe.  "He'll learn, you'll teach him." And his strong fingers crushed his throat, the cartilage cracking wetly.

A few minutes pillaging left him the richer by a few purses, he tossed aside his blood-smeared cloak and drew another from his bag.  Off to Hal's then, he'd heard a bit about the place, it seemed quiet, and he was in the mood for a little of that.

He stepped in as if he'd been up to no more than larking on the streets and took a table for himself.  Nice enough, he reflected as he raised a finger to attract attention and ordered ale and a sandwich.


     Keshayla took two steps before a feral growl escaped her throat, a sure warning to her partner in case he had missed it. Sure enough heat lashed out against her skin like vipers, and Keshayla was forced to drop to her knees, using Basias' body as a makeshift shield. Kivan would have to fend for himself, as much as she disliked the thought of that. Her skin felt tight as all of the little hairs singes and her arms blistered, healing themselves nearly instantly after, which only gave discomfort; burns were the worst. Keshayla would much rather take a silver knife to the gut, and feel her insides spill...again, then to surfer multiple burns. So she let out a frustrated, unhappy sound, which would only encourage Markie's thoughts about the hell hounds at her heels. She was tempted to do just that; race after her, but Basias' body was charcoaling black, and the sickly sound of burnt hair and skin lifted in the air causing her stomach to churn with her heightened sense of smell. "Kivan!" She shouted soon after, dropping the body which was unrecognizable now, and lept over it with a simple push with her legs, movinging through the last of the flames to her partner who was kneeling on the ground, covering his face with his arms to protect his nose and eyes.

     Then he laughed. "Hey! She's got spirit! I didn't see that one coming!" Keshayla scowled as he stood to his feet, wincing and forcing his face into that smiling mask he always wore. Some people glaired, others were blank, stoid like still waters. Kivan grinned, and Keshayla smirked as if life were amusing her. She wasn't smirking now, and allowed herself a grim look and a scowl of distaste. "You damnable halfblood! If you weren't thinking about playing stuff the chicken with that woman, you would have been ready for it!" Her snarling was only because she had been worried, and it worsened because she had been worrying over nothing. Let him ache, let his skin remained blistered and cracked, charred black in most places where they recieved direct contact from the woman. She planned on disposing the body now, before taking him to Emma, where she would surely know what to do. Keshayla wasn't much of a healer, but she knew enough tricks and ways of it to scrape by. This was beyond her, and she hoped he fell in the ocean to put salt in his wounds. Foolish mudblood...

     It was Kivan who turned around, and sported the note, a singed, white brow arched as he leaned down to pic it up, and once more, laughted as if this had all been a big joke. It was supposed to be their night off and away from everything, easy, a few arrends like normal folk; kill this man here, swap this cup with a poisoned one, every day, beginers stuff. And they had just the firey infurno from a woman who had been terrified, and acted on instincts. When she read the offered note, even she smiled. "How sweet is that? She works for us, and doesn't even know it yet?" Kivan smirked, followed by a harsh gasped as he closed his hands and quickly opened it again. "Shall we pay her a visit on the morrow?" His answer was a smirk, and Keshayla scooped up the charcoaled body once more, tossing him over her shoulder like a bag of wheat. "We should thank her, really. It isn't often that the beasties get cooked meat."

 

*     *     *

 

     They made haste for Hal's once the feeding was over. The beasties attacked Basias' body like a delicasy, but they were in need of learning manners, the frenzie was over and the only thing to show for it was a red froth that had lifted to the surface. It'll take a good portion of the night, but scavengers would take care of any remaining bone and tissue, and the sea would delute the blood before the sun would rise. Satisfied, they returned to Hal's, but through the back this time, where Emma was tending to a new patron, giving him drink and break, partaking in her usual small talk before she excused herself and returned to the back. It was behind the closed door and inside the kitchen that she found the pair of them, Keshayla already mostly healed, though she would need to trim off some of the scortched hair, and Kivan giving that lopsided grin that made women's knees buckle. She cursed him softly, and left to go get her salves.



Marchelle hardly slept all night.  She was too frightened to close her eyes for more than a few minutes.  Her heart hardly slowed the entire night, and despite the blankets and the relative warmth of the night, she felt cold all over.  Any time she did get some sleep, it always ended shortly after with horrible dreams of being chased by gold eyes with bloody hands.  And she felt sick low in her stomach, that miserable feeling where you wanted to throw up, but your body wouldn't.  

Morning was both a blessing, and a curse.  Markie had perhaps two hours of sleep all together, and her eyes were dark from it.  She managed to cover the worst of it with an illusion, if for appearances' sake.  She wouldn't be fooling anyone in the school.  So when the bell tower chimed the hour, she dragged her bag onto her shoulder and shuffled out into the crowd of students going towards their classes.  She had memorized her schedule the day before, before she went into the city, so she had no clue that she'd dropped it in the alley, and left those monsters a way to find her.  Not that she had the cognitive capacity to even wonder about it at this point.  As she walked across the wide green between buildings, she was in a sleep-deprived fog.  But she still felt sick.  And something told her that she was going to have a really bad day...


They did the beef rare enoughin his sandwich, but there was little blood to soak into the bread, beef made its own sauce, why waste it? He wondered as he cracked a duck egg into his beer with a few shakes of a flaming hot sauce and fired it right on down as he waved for another, sliding across mor money for it.  Good breakfast, he reflected and leaned back to enjoy the day.



     No longer playing the part of dishevled sailors, both Keshayla and Kivan were dressed for comfort, with a fine eye for cuts and cloth, but nothing exactly stood out to be a 'one of a kind' or decorated with useless babbles that the blue bloods adorned their clothes with. It was tasteful in their simplicity, light enough for the sun of late Spring, which was cresting into summer, their boots were for comfort, well worn but taken care of for appearance sakes, and no one would guess on just how well armed the pair of them were. They weren't strutting themselves, fanning their feathers like peacocks trying to show off their colors, this wasn't a great show where they were needing to remind everyone of the Inner Secret. Teachers hardly cast them a glance, and the occational student would accidently plow into one of them for not looking where they were going. Even then they didn't push of shove, simply stepped out of the way, and continued on.

     The destination they had in mind was a particular class that a dear friend of theirs ran, teaching the arts of manipulation and false-sight. It wasn't a particularly easy class, one that was short on students and hard to get into, but it was luck that this was Martie's first glass, and their 'Girl Friday' was the instructor. They didn't want to threaten the girl, not exactly, so Kivan sat himself in a chair, posted outside the door, gaining plenty attention from the passing women and even a few of the men, all would recieve a teasing grin that one would expect to see right before they were jumped by a man at the heights of passion. His long hair was down, resting easily past his shoulders and loose, matching well with his dark blue tunic and gray trousers, all showing off lean, hard muscles that shifted with movements, nothing overly over the top, but certainly led to women (and a few men) with curious fingers that would like to brush and see if his skin was really as soft and flawless as it looked. Even the slight scars had their allure to them, what woman, (and that occational man) wouldn't want a strong man? So when Martie stepped by, he watched her, that smirk grew lopsided but not enough to flash the slight fangs in his mouth, and his solid grey eyes, slitted like a snake or goat, were hardly frightening.

     Klay Armethai was the instructor, and short, petite woman who's hair and appearance changed daily, always testing the latest salve she had created, or casting spells that would curl her hair, lengthen it, and a whole matter of different sorts such as blue skin, freckles, and sometimes an animalistic appearance. She was chipper and bubbly, someone who spoke easily to others and knew how to teach better then those who went to schooling for it. It was Kivan and Keshayla who got her the possition, seeing just how well she took to people, and them to her. It was vital that those who needed learning, got everything they could out of their classes, the last thing they wanted were rouges on the loose, and those who dispised them to offer aid, if needed. Keshayla wore a hunter green tunic, much like Kivan's but the cut was to flatter her figure without being tight or provocative, and the brown trousers looked soft like unfinished leather. Her hair was also down, not showing any sign of singe from the fire of last night, and hunter green eyes that were vibrant with life. She didn't see Klay as often as she would have liked, and seeing her friend put her in a fine mood. Martie would be able to make out her back, just a woman, speaking to the professor, perhaps someone learning more about the class?


Markie may have been in a daze all the way to class, but that fog, mysteriously, seemed to burn away with the blush that colored her cheeks at the sight of Kivan, and the look he gave her.  By the gods...  He was gorgeous!  It was almost a chore to break eye contact with him and step through the door, struggling to get her blush under control, though a brief glance around the room showed quite a few other cheeks with rosy hues.  She knew he had to have been a playboy, and was likely just looking for a new arm decoration from the students in her class, but goodness, she might not mind too much.  She was from smaller populations; no one ever looked that exotic or, frankly, that erotic, back home.  She fell in behind the woman currently speaking to the professor, utterly unaware that it was the same woman from last night, patiently waiting her turn.  As a new student, she had to present herself to the instructor, and since her mother had raised her with some basic manners, she didn't barrel up and demand to be noticed.  Actually, Marchelle was a demure girl in new settings, and was a bit innocent, but she typically made friends quickly due to a bubbly personality and a laugh that was infectious.  And she'd already shared a softly embarrassed laugh with one of the other girls who shared her blush.



     She knew the moment she walked in, and not by some internal message or signal from the halfblood, obviously that was because her back was too him. She did, however, recognize her scent, no longer as edible in the air as cinimon, but crisp and fresh like apples and a fresh breeze from the sea. It made her smile, and Klay hid back her own by gently biting one of her knuckles, and flicked her eyes to the side, as if simply looking at Markie would give them away. The Lycan had told the witch everything about the night before, even the part about the scortched skin and the sure surprise she must have given her, and it was all rather amusing. Was she from around here? Just because someone lived in Ciln, that didn't mean that they knew who those in the Manor were, even if the name was spoken like a traditional superstition made to scare kids and made them listen to their parents. Only, these kids were cuthroats, pimps and pushers for gaze; a drug that was dropped into the eyes, and caused the user to pass into a comma and loose themselves to visions. Too much caused people to become Gentled, white eyed with no will to move or live, they just sat there until either being forced to eat and drink water, or wasted away.

     "Ah, you must be Markie!" Klay opened up, clasping her hands together and looked truely excited; and she was; not only for the tale that Keshayla shared, but she always loved new students. "My friend Keshayla here, offered to show you around!" And right on cue, Keshayla slipped her arm sisterly over Markie's shoulder, glancing to the women besides her with a true grin. It was wide and friendly, showing a hint of fangs but no longer the amber of last night. "We were worried when you ran off, and dropped this." Kivan spoke up then, and just like before he rested his hands on her shoulders, with her slip tucked safely between two fingers. "We thought you may be late for one of yours classes..."


She smiled brightly for the professor, who knew her nickname already.  Though it wouldn't be much of a surprise; after the initial meeting with the paperwork fiend, she'd introduced herself as Markie to everyone she met.  "A pleasure to meet you, Professor Armethai."  She'd been prepared to turn that smile on Keshayla, but it vanished instantly the moment she saw her face, and the gentle blush was quite suddenly replaced by a whitening of her face, and Keshayla would once more smell her fear that rolled from her in waves, especially when those hands and that silken tone touched her again.  She felt sick again, and this time she was sure she was going to throw up.  Lords in the heavens, it felt like she was going to die.  Oh gods...  She was going to die.  They'd found her, they were going to kill her.  Terrified eyes turned back to the professor, begging for help, and even she would be able to see the frightened tremble that the two hanging off of her could feel.  They were her friends??  Did she know who she was associating with?  Did she reallize the danger she was putting her student in?  Oh gods...what do I do??


     It was Keshayla's turn to hide her laugh, not so much as biting her knuckle like Klay had, rather her lower lip, turning her eyes off to the side in an attempt to get control of herself. She was enjoying every minute of this, and couldn't help but whisper so that only their small group could hear it. "No use to struggle, Pretty, struggling is exciting."

     "You have a unique scent of fear, Lovely. It melts on the tongue like candy." Kivan then chimmed in after her, never missing a beat.  "Come now, more like a chocolate, be more specific then that, it's rich and addictive and seems to linger in the mouth."

     "Yet sharp."

     "Mm, yes. Like Cinnimon." Keshayla's head tilted to the side, and still Klay started laughing softly, sympathetic to the girl, because she had been in her shoes once. "Do you think she's as soft as a pastery? Will she gush when we bite into her?"

     "I can make things gush, and it would be less bitting, and more..." Kivan lifted a lock of her hair, running the tip of his nose up it's length as if memorizing his scent, and he was. "Tasting."

     "You truely are foul, too sweet of a mouth, if you ask me."

     "Why thank you dear."

     "Alright, enough. No more harrassing my student..." Yes Klay obviously seemed to be enjoying herself, even if she ushered the two of them by the shoulders, turning them to face the door and scooted them on their way. "You're making me late for my class now!" The two shared twin looks, each smiling wickedly to each other, satisfyed with returning Markie's note, and in unison, turned to toss a wave over their shoulders. "Be good, Pretty!"

     "Study hard, Lovely! We'll see you around.."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 10:31:31 PM »
Markie was on the verge of tears by the time the two were ushered out of the classroom by the heartless professor, who had just stood by and laughed while they did that to her.  She managed to keep her eyes dry, though, and put as much attention as she could to that class, all things considered.  But she kept thinking back to the exchange.  And to the night before.  She was terrified of them, yet at the same time what he'd done had been incredibly sensual, and his words and gestures had sent shivers up her spine even as they frightened her.  

She was distracted for the rest of the day.  She thought that they'd be gone, but on her way to her next class, she'd seen them across one of the common rooms, smirking to themselves, waiting for her appearance, and watching her as she scurried by.  And again before lunch, a flash of fangs and a wink.  Gods she felt sick...  She didn't dare eat anything at the meal, she was sure she would lose it again.  She saw them between all of her classes that day; they knew her schedule, and knew that she'd take the most direct route between classes, and had been somewhere each time, just waiting.  Toying with her.  Rubbing it in that they knew who she was and where she went, and they could be anywhere.  At the end of the day, when everyone else was flocking to the Commons for dinner, Markie went the other way, running instead for her dorm, and blessedly didn't see them on the way.  They'd probably been waiting for her along the route to the dinner hall.  Up the two flights of stairs to her floor, and down the hall to her room, slamming the door behind her and locking it tight, and shoving her chair under the handle to bar it further, before she collapsed in a corner and finally cried the helpless tears she'd been wanting to let out all day.  She was miserable, and she wanted to go home.



     Perhaps they should feel bad, the first bump had beeen crucial, they were curious as to whom this 'Markie' was, and more then what a list of classes was able to tell them about. She was new, obviously, but where did she come from? Was this more then about classes? With a trick like she had done the other evening, could she fall into the wrong hands? Yes. Their presence was more then a 'we know everything about you'. It was a 'we're watching you, theres no way to hide'. And the others? Well, she had reacted so well to the first, now they were just playing with her. So they should have felt bad, but in reality, the pair was enjoying every minute of it. You had to make fun with what you had, other wise life gets too serious and in their line of work, life was far too short. Perhaps one day they'd thank Markie for the laugh, but odds they wouldn't get the chance.

     Kivan stayed, tailing her back to her door where he chuckled softly at the sound of a baracade being constructed from within. If he truely wanted to get inside, well, the Magi should know that they had other means, but he stayed at his end of the hall, shaking his head and left her alone. Somehow he was certain that if she knew that he had heard her crying, that would only make matters worse. Fate was funny that way, he was certain that they would be seeing a lot more of her.

 

     It was an hour after true dark when Keshayla wiped the sweat off of her brow, actually breathing hard and had to take a second to collect herself. Luckas was panting, placing his hands on his knees with his head down and smiling like a fool, his practise sword held loosely and sagging as if he were too tired to lift his weapon. "You don't take it easy on me, do you?" He asked, his voice smooth and easy to listen to, even as it shook and trembled. Keshayla's grin was wide and toothy as she straightened herself, and started pacing to keep her muscles from tightening up. "Why should I? Your stuwards can teach you the proper ways of fencing, fancy foot work and the like for a Gentleman's Game. But in the real world, if you want to kill someone, there are no rules. You just go and do it." She lifted her practice blade again, not made of wood like the classic ones were made from, Keshayla was simly too strong, and they often broke in less then three strokes. So it was a heavy piece of iron, shaped and handled like a sword but with no edge, and weighed quite a few more then what she prefered, but that made for good practise.

     The King shook his head, smiling and dropped his weapon with a clatter, panting still and held a stitch in his side, also starting to walk and move around. "You'll be the death of me." Which made her smile, and shake her head. "Not proper of you to say things like that, Luckas." She spoke to her friend with a wink, crossing the room to snatch up his weapon and made her way over to the chests that they were kept in. "Long live the King." His responce was a laugh, though she could tell he was nodding simply by the slight ruffle of fabric. "Indeed. Though I think Nasca shall think other wise, if she were to see the mess we made out of the Parlor." Indeed. People didn't like to hear that the King was taking lessons of sword fighting, their first reaction would be that he was practising for war, and it was far from that. Luckas was a good king, and there were many jealous of him. Fencing and the art of a Gentleman's fight wouldn't save his life. It was best to keep something like this, secret so that if an assasination attempt upfront ever was made, he'd have the advantage.

     Keshayla smiled before another voice joined the room. "Luckas. Valigh. Blye." The both of them winced with each name spoken as their own sentence, though Keshayla was smirking because she wasn't getting scolded by the Queen. "Keshayla. Jay. Blye. West." Never mind. "What in the holy land of Tyr are you doing?" Another wince, and the both of them felt as if they should dig their toes into the carpet, hands caught in the pastrey jar. "It was her fault..." Luckas pointed at Keshayla, who dropped her jaw in responce. "Oi! Was not!" It was often like this, behind closed doors, where they were able to share laughs, ignore the demands of reality and simply act like siblings. Luckas and Nesca 'adopted' her as their sister a few years back, honoring her by allowing her to have their last name. Kivan was the only other one who knew, because the honor would be deadly, if it slipped out. Keshayla wasn't afraid for her own life, death was an eventuality for everything, but she had more enemies, then friends, and if word came out on the bond she had with the Royal family, it would only be a matter of time, before wicked intentions were made clear by a agile blade.


    Keshayla hadn't been in such a light mood for weeks, since she was last able to pretend she had a family again. She was at the palace for more reasons then just to spar with her 'brother'. Once she found the appropriate time to tell him about Basias' death, Luckas seemed to relax as if a great weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. "I appologise, Keshayla. I do not mean for you to do all of the dirty work." She shrugged her shoulders, straightening one of the Parlor chairs that had been tipped over durring their spar, and shifted it until all of the little divits in the carpet matched. "I don't mind, you already know that. I much rather have some use, then just become an average cut-throat to the system. I'm saving lives, even if a few more have to be sacrificed." It's something they've gone through often enough, Luckas felt guilty, Keshayla felt pride at having a greater use in the scheme of things. Even if people would never truely know, but she wasn't in this line of work for fame and glory. It was only by sheer luck that she had run into Kivan, who was the Capa of the Manor. His flirtation never affected her, and it blew the wind right out of his sails. He called her fridged, she called him an arrogant, egotistical mudblood who thought with the wrong head. They were soulmates, but not in that romantical sense that people read in books or that bards sang about. They complimented each others faults, occationally finished the other's sentence like they were twins, and didn't need to say anything, to know what the other wanted. They made a deadly pair. The humor was just a mask.

     So when a knock came on the door, Keshayla sighed, rushing in that great speed of hers; nothing more then flickering after images, and made certain the room was straightened before nodding to Luckas. Wouldn't do any good if someone actually thought a fight had accured...or that the three of them were bumping nasties. "Enter." Once more the voice and role of the king was places on Luckas' tone, and Keshayla fell easily into the role of humble guest by dropping into a lounger at a reasonable distance. Nasca stood besides her husband, her hands elegantly folded over the rich fabric of the chair. The door opened, and Keshayla had to fight back the growl that wanted to ease from her throat.

     Jaeric Caulix Alberty, Duke of Ciln, and Queen Nesca's nephew by her eldest sister, who has been blessed by the Lady Most Kind for nearing five years now, stepped into the room. Where Nesca was sweet and kind, secretly hating all of the babbles and latest fashions that she's supposed to keep updated on, Jaeric was spoiled, dressed lavishly and looked down his nose at everyone. Save for the King and Queen, but that was only because he needed to be constantly reminded of his place. Below theirs, and always to be so, as long as they stay healthy. But it was promising, not having any heirs to the thrown meant he was next in line, and he was in the belief that he was nearly king already. Keshayla always had a problem with authority, ediquet says that she was to stand until Jaeric was seated, but she remained lounged in her chair, rather comfortably stretched much like a cat would. There were no other seats, so Jaeric would be forced to stand. He didn't look happy. Neither did his manservent Victus Oramley, who sent her scowling mearly by his presence. She had a strong distaste for vampires, and it was more then just that natural displeasure. They were the ones that slaughtered her pack, and every one of them were guilty for it, in her eyes. But the scowl was soft and brief, gone by the time eyes could shift to her.

     "My lord, and my Lady." Jaeric spoke, both he and Victus bowed with their right arms crossed infront of their chest. "I hope it is a convienent time to disturb you?" Keshayla hated formalities....it would take them twenty minutes of pleases, thankyous, and 'you're so kind's until they spit out what the hell they wanted. Luckas thought so too, and after a few minutes of this, he lifted his hand and interupted Jaeric. "Please, spare us some time. What is it you wish at this hour of the night?" Jaeric seemed slightly taken back, turning his eyes to Keshayla, where he frowned softly (which only made her smile) and then turned his gaze back to his King. "Sire..." He stumbled, only to Keshayla's growing pleasure. He was so confident and forward around anyone else, but Luckas kicked him back into puberty. "What ever you have to say, you can speak freely infront of our guest. Keshayla here can be trusted." And Jaeric couldn't, he knew that she thought this. "Sire, I must appologize. This news it about your guest." Oh? Keshayla didn't even bother lifting a brow, though she was damn curious on what he was about to say. She knew she was in the right, she didn't ever do more then what was needed.

     "Jaeric." The king spoke again, sounding a little annoyed now, and pressed his forefinger to the bridge of his nose. "Speak, or hold an audience elsewhere." This time she did smirk, but she was able to cover it with a forced sneeze. Nasca smiled into her knuckle, she was Queen, she didn't have to hide it. Jaeric nearly bristled, she could feel his muscles flexing as if they were her own, and she was suddenly very alert and ready, willing to lung off of her seat if needed. She only sat up straight, which brought Victus' attention to her. Maybe she was making an excuse, but she didn't trust the two, and it was more then what their first impression had warrented. But Jaeric began to speak, and he was looking at her now, as if commiting her to some foul crime. "There was a murder last night." Surely that alone would catch anyones attention, but Keshayla looked unphased. "A man by the simple name of Basias was last seen exiting a tavern, shortly after, he was followed by a woman of her discription. They have yet to...."

     "Enough." Again the King interupted Jaeric, who once more looked taken back and not the least bit happy. "Basias was a vile creature who needed to be dealt with; what do your resources tell you? Have they mentioned the men and women he has murdered? The victems of rape? Sending my guards out for him would have only lead to a chase, something that would be a waste of time. I sent Keshayla to deal with the matter, because I knew that she would not fail. She was under orders of your King." Jaeric couldn't looked any more surprised. "But, Sire...." "Enough, Jaeric. You are too quick to judge, and haven't the right wits to assume. Drop the matter." Crest fallen, Jaeric looked from Nesca, to Luckas, and then finally Keshayla who still had a blank expression on her face. Jaeric's face was burning with humiliation, begged his pardon, and then left. The vampire still hadn't said a work, simply bowed low at the waist and left.

     It wasn't until after Jaeric left that Luckas sighed, resting his head on a closed fist which was propped up by the arm of his chair. "I'm not certain what to do about him. I had hoped that making him our Duke would ease that darkening of his heart." Nesca shook her head as she rested her hands back onto her husband's shoulders, "Come, your highness, it's getting late. Let's allow Kesha to go home before the sun thinks about rising." Rising to his feet, with sore joints and muscles popping, Luckas nodded his head before he was able to draw to his full height. "I'll see that she's taken to the gate. Go on." With an encouraging smile, Keshayla stood to her feet, waving him off until the King turned to dissapear behind on of the side doors. Nesca sighed heavily when he was gone, and turned her eyes back to the Lycan. "I fear ill things are at hand.... Jaeric has been acting...strangely lately, as I'm sure you've noticed now." Keshayla nodded. He wasn't as upfront as usual. But instead of Nesca continuing her thoughts, she simply nodded her head, and made for another door. "Come on, you've got to sleep sometime, too."

 

*     *     *

 ((This is a warning, this section of the post is graphic and vile, if you have a weak stomach, or don't care to read such things, I recomend skipping it.))

     Dawn was a trembling line on the horizen, farmers were still sleeping, roosters were still inside their huts, and everthing in the world was quiet. King Luckas and Queen Nesca were amung them, secured in their royal chambers with four guards posted at the door. These guards simply nodded to the approaching Duke and his  assosiats as they made their way down the great hall, and when the distance was appropriate, the guards looked at one another, and then pulled open the great doors long enough for the last to pass through, before closing them again. They went back to guarding the door, but this time, to make sure no one would disturb what was going to happen inside.

     Jaeric approached the bed once everything was set up: Victus gave the order for the three Magi they had awoken from the academy to cast the spell, silencing everything inside the room so that no sound would pass through the walls. It was a soft blue glow that absorbed through the walls to act as a filter, and once that was in place, Victus had the pleasure of grabbing the edge of large bed's matrice, and with that vampiric strength, tore it free from beneath the two humans; who each fell to the floor with grunts and shocked sounds. The matrice was discarded, tossed to the side where it knocked over a fine table and vase, crashing and breaking on the ground. Luckas was on his feet, eyes wide in shock and brief confusion, but he recognized his death party. "Jaeric." He spoke with narrowing eyes, pushing Nesca behind his back as if to protect her. "Too easy, Uncle." He spoke, and that mocking tone was back; the man in charge, in control, and got whatever it was he wanted. "You've grown too comfortable here, to gentled like a Gaze attick. You need a reminding on what a king is and should be." "You break into my champers to lecture me, Jaeric?" "No. Uncle. I broke into your chambers so that I may take your crown, and rule what is truely mine." "Selfish child." Nesca spoke up, no longer hovering behind her husband, and moved to stand tall besides him. "You are a wicked thing, that doesn't give his family honor!"

     "You're wrong, Auntie. It is you who denys us honor! Pushovers, gentled nobodies, you're too weak to rule, hiding behind your tall walls and enforced towers. Other lands are raging war, and you sit here when you could be taking, expanding, There is so much more!" There were seven others in the room. Victus and Jaeric with their three Magi, who looked as if they were honored to be in this situation. As well as two other men, strangers, both dark of hair, handsome of features, and quiet, unamused looks on their faces. But it was the casket that made Luckas frown, just one of them. He already knew that these men meant their death, and he was more worried for his wife then himself. Again he pushed her behind his back, as if he would be able to will her through the wall and to safety. "There is more go being a king then land!" He allowed his anger to flair, and once more Luckas was the regal king, and everyone else were his servants. Jaeric faultered for a moment, but it was shortly gone. "Then shall we show you a death, fit for a king?"

     Nesca screamed, but the shrill cry wasn't enough to pierce the magic that layered the room. It was the two strangers, and Victus that crossed the room, easily collecting the struggling king in their grasp, and with a hard slap over Nesca's face by the vampire, she was reduced to a trembling terrified thing that fell to the floor and whimpered. Jaeric had thought this through, long and hard, and when Victus took the struggling human to him, the man tore open the lid of the caskit, showing the contents inside. It was filled to the brim, liquid of pale amber and putric in odor reached Luckas' nose as the vampire forced him to approach it. The King gagged and bile rose in his throat, and it didn't take much imagination to know what they had planned. "Swine. Horse. Bull, even the disease encrusted rats. You deserve to drown in the sick of the world, dear uncle.  And I brought it all here just for you." Luckas screamed, but it came out as a rush of bubbled as the vampire forced his head under, shoving him in until his upper body was soaked, and his handsome face was pushed against the wooden bottom. The vampire took the flaily limb responce with easy, brushing them aside with a cast of his hand, or locking his legs in place simply by stepping into him. And Nesca screamed, louder and louder, until the Magi were forced to consintrate on their spell to make sure that it would hold by her pitch. The two strangers held her back, easily keeping the slight woman at back. And then Jaeric, tired of her sound, and grinning all the while, took a knife to her throat.



    Mermaids were a hell of a lot like crows. Or, that's the way that Kivan saw them. Anything shiny caught their attention, and they flocked to them with their high pitched voices that often made Keshayla wince, who was still somewhere on shore. They giggled and played with his hair, all talking quickly amungst themselves and pointed to things of interest, all of which happened to be inside of Kivan's dingy. He wasn't far from shore, but at Northern corner of the city where the beach was hard to get to, due to the rocky cliff side, and here, there was more privacy. As friendly as mermaids were, they were shy to strangers. "Ladies. I brought presents." He grinned wide as he began to shuffle through a brown pack, pulling out four, golden combs with intricatly woven ivy carved into each. Beautiful things that had cost him a pretty penny....but he always had a soft spot for these girls. Shame they had fins where legs were. The squeels heightened, loud enough to be heard on shore nearby, and it only made him laugh. Each of them recieved a comb, which were quickly places in their hair. He had tried silver once, but the salt in the water quickly tarnished the metal, and gold didn't.

     Wooing them over, he got what they came for: a handful of soul gems. These things were hard to come by, and were only accessable by the deepest crevasses of the sea. They were the size of a marble, and shaped like one. Each varied in color but they ranged from mutted blue to deepest black, and, when places on the left eye of someone ready to pass over the the afterlife, and spoked to, their soul would leave the body and into the gem. Useful against wicked things such as Necromancers and politicians, so that their souls don't turn into wraiths and cause a whole matter of new problems. His high spirits lasted only a short time later, when a rock landed inside of his dingy, and he turned to see Kardrek, the Captain of the guard standing on shore with a small handful of others, grimfaced.

 

 

     People stayed out of her way, even those not looking where they were going had intuition enough to glance up in time to pivot out of her way from her purposeful strides. Classes hadn't started yet, the sun had only been in the sky for a meek amount of hours, but they would all be cancelled for the day, soon enough. Where once her face was set with a smirk with teasing hunter green eyes and a sense of humor, Keshayla was grim faced and dying inside, all burried and hidden behind a boiling hate that was renewed all over again. Blood was going to spill, and the bodies that it was going to come from simply didn't have enough to satisfy her thirsts. So there were quite a few startled looks when the Lycan barged into Klay's classroom, the instructor looked up startled from her desk, two students who were there to get some bonus points or extra help jumped and one made a soft cry which was quickly silenced. Down the walkway she went, until she reached Klay who had stood by that time and nodded her head towards the prep room in the back. Keshayla managed to stay compossed until the door was closed, where soon she sagged to her knees with sobs and Klay, all the more startled, placed a silencing spell around their room before kneeling before her friend.

     "Keshayla! What happened?" She never saw the Lycan cry before, not even after she shifted, got herself gutted, or a number of other things that would surely register the tear ducts. And this wasn't soft crying, this was what happened when someone got their heartbroken. It took a short time to compose herself, locking away that emotion like a painful memory and didn't look up until her eyes had cleared away the blur. "They were killed...last night. The king and queen were killed..." And instead of breaking down into more tears, Keshayla screamed, enraged, looking for the closest object she could break but thought better of it. She didn't think she'd be able to stop if she started. "I was just there! Last night! I was just there; Luckas and I were sparring, Nesca was teasing me for not yet settling down and they were fine! I shouldn't have left! They'd still be alive if I hadn't left, I could have stayed!" Klay had stiffened at the news, lips parting as she tried to learn how to breath all over again. "D-Dead?" Keshayla just nodded, resting her elbows on her knees and flicked her wrist. The stelleto she had fasted at her wrist dropped into her hands, the hilt comforting her as if it were some sort of familiar trinket. It was a bad habit to be in, but violence was Keshayla's comfort.

     "I don't have all the details yet. My Eyes and Ears haven't gotten back to me with anything new since this morning. But wear the stone. Communication is going to open up, and I'm going to be calling you if we ever need someone to do our scrying. I need you to get ahold of the others, inform them to cancel the lectures for the day, and possibly keep your ears out. Magic was involved with this, and we don't want everyone in the city running to the gates of the school, blaming you guys." There came a knock on the door, Klay jumped and Keshayla sheathed her stelleto, nose flairing. She had an idea on who was behind the door. "Keshayla West?" A good idea. "You're wanted for conspiracy, murder and crimes against the government." He didn't get further then that. The door was kicked open so suddenly the guard took a step back, eyes wide and confused at the two slight women standing there. One of them had a knife to her throat, looking all the bit like the scared victem just as Keshayla had hoped. No good having Klay arrested for association, so she'd be her ticked out until she had a bigger room to move it. "Back off, pigs!" She twisted her wrist, the blade pressing deep against her friend's throat, and she didn't think that the small squeek of pain was faked. "Another step further, and we get to see if she'd able to change the color of her blood, too..."

     Ever reluctantly, the guard took a step back, then another so that he was amungst his men which consisted of four others. That was it? Humans no less. This was insulting. With Klay as he prisoner, she ushered her up towards the door, moving backwards to keep the guards in view and didn't stop until her back pressed against the door. Only then did she release her friend by booting her in the butt, sending her crashing forward into the group to by herself some time. She'd have to appologise later, when there would be less running involved. There were five more guards outside of the doors, and they grinned at her as if they just pulled off some grand trick. She should have kept Klay a little longer, but at least this way she was out of harms reach for the time being, and rushed forward into the small group without a faulter. Instead of lunging as she had appeared to get ready to do, Keshayla gave one powerful push off with her legs, dropping into a slide with her arms around her neck to protect herself, and slammed right into their armor and plates. She didn't stop, and they didn't remain standing there, she'd be bruised and battered for a short time but she had knocked three of them down herself, the others being brought to the ground by their allies, simply in an attempt to remaining standing. A roll, and she was back to her feet again, sprinting down the hall towards the rear doors. Best to get as far away from the school as soon as possible while she could, and meet up with Kivan later.



It was strange, the way the school and the city had changed so suddely.  One man and one woman died, and it was as if the world had ended.  Of course, when that man and woman were the king and queen of a very prosperous nation, there were bound to be some unhappy emotions.  

Dear Mum, Da, Peanuts;  I hope this letter finds you well.  I write this on my second day of classes...  Well, sort of.  She'd heard the pealing bells of the death knoll shortly after waking up.  Curiosity brought her from her room, still in her pajamas, and the entire hall was buzzing with the gossip.  The royal couple was dead.  The rumor was murder.  No one had released the gruesome details of it, but without such, murder was an easy assumption, and no doubt an unpleasant one at that.  It went without saying that classes were cancelled.  I suppose this will reach you about the same time as the news comes from other sources.  The King and Queen have died...  Everyone here keeps talking about what a tragedy it is, and how the kingdom is doomed.  I don't really know what to think.  I guess news of our good King's exploits don't make it as far as us on a regular basis...  And they were rather far out of the way.  A simple fishing village on a remote isle that got on well enough on their own, and only sometimes had to go to the larger city on the other side of the island with a larger port and more trade.  I'm a little scared, actually.  Markie snorted at herself as she wrote that; but, there was no need to worry her family yet.  They had enough worries as it was.  But, don't worry about me.  I always manage to take care of myself.  My scraps with the boys keep me in good fighting shape.  She smiled wistfully.  She loved her little bothers, her "Peanuts."  They always wrestled like she was just another boy.  She adored them, and missed them terribly.  It was the letter she'd found from them last night that had convinced her to stick it out here, no matter how scared she was of those two.  

Her parents were illiterate, as was much of the island.  The oldest of her brothers was only twelve now, and he could only just read and write his own name.  But Ollie and Peetie, the youngest, twins, they were bright.  Real bright.  An old retired sailor had seen they were smart and was sending them to school on his own coin.  It had been the twins that had written the card from her family when she found out that the Academie would take her as a student.  "We're reallly (three 'L's) proud of you.  Take care in Ciln."  And further down, in slightly messier handwriting, a short, "Do Good."  She'd cried harder at that, and knew she couldn't go back, not now.  So she would be brave for her boys.  She would 'do good' for them.  

"I miss you all terribly, but I'm doing my best.  My professors here so far like what I can do.  Please thank Master Broderick again for me.  I couldn't be here without him.  I'll make you proud..."  She'd nearly started crying again, but managed to keep the paper dry.  They'd never believe that she was happy here if they saw tear stains.  "Love and kisses to Mum and Da, and salty snotballs to my Peanuts.  ~Markie"  

It had taken her several tries to get the courage to actually leave her room.  With the school shut down, she would have to go into town to reach the post there.  She felt slightly justified when she heard murmurs and gossip that the lycan woman had attacked a professor.  Felt vindicated in her suspicion and fear.  She also knew that those two were still around somewhere, even if they were likely hiding.  So she wasted little time in rushing into the city to get her letter to the post master there.


     "A bit of a push, Luvs?" Kivan's brow furrowed slightly as he took in Kardrek and his crew, patiently waiting for his arrival on the beach. "Then best to duck down, keep your pretty little heads clear, aye?" Their giggling had stopped, and silent looks from one to the other passed through them before each ducked their heads under the waves, and gave a great push to the dingy, setting the halfblood on his way to shore with ease. When he had slipped his soul gems into his pack, and shouldered his goods, Kivan stood as the dingy floated the rest of the way to shore, one of the braver mermaids staying along side the small boat to give one more push before she too went away. "Mornin' Kardrek." The dingy grounded itself, and Kivan used the momentum to leap over the bit of water and land on shore. "What can I do for ya?"

     "We bare ill news." And Kardrek, indeed looked ill himself. The halfblood frowned then, looking from one to the other and then back, his temper growing short with the lack of a better answer. "Get on with it, what's happened?" The captain of the guard squared his shoulders, shifting his footing and that only gave Kivan more unease. "His highness King Luckas Valigh Blye, and his Queen Nesca Blye were murdered as of early this morning. They were found in his bedchambers, ah..." And he couldn't finish the sentence. It was Kardrek who had found the bodies: the four guards posted in front had been burnt alive, blackened with alchemical fire. Queen Nesca was resting above the casket, her arms folded over her lap lip a sentry over a murial, and inside, once he dared to take a peek into the vile smelling crate, their noble king a blurred image in amber that would forever be burned into his brain. Kivan didn't need to hear anymore. Not yet, he knew what his partner would do if she heard the news...."Where's Keshayla?"

     And again the Captain looked more like a small lost boy then a warrior, struggling to meet his eyes. "Wanted for Treason. She was the last seen at the palace... the Duke suspects her of this horrible act...suspects the both of you." And now the mercenary's eyes narrowed, having the ocean to your back wasn't the most comfortable setting, but he could tell by the occational curious flicks of the guards eyes that the mermaids were still there, watching. "Captain. Keshayla and I would never..."

     "I know, Kivan. That's why I am here to warn you. The Duke shall take place of the thrown after the Season is through, when the people had enough time to mourn their regal leaders and to do the appropriate offers to the gods and goddesses. Things are going to be different, it would be best if you and yours left town for the sake of your lives. These here with me are only a few of those who have faith in you, but many of my guards are... blackened. There is something foul afoot, and I fear it wouldn't be wise to lift out heads above the tide just yet, least we ourselves get a bloody smile." Kivan's hands clentched into fists, tight until muscles trembled with the effort. "Wear the stone." He grated out, turning to look away and towards the city. "We shall contact you when we find the murdering shitsucker."

     Keshayla had lost herself in the crowds of the streets. An average shaped woman, of average height with a light cloak was easy to spot, but with so many moving around, she had slipped clear like wind through smoke. She wanted to run, because her muscles ached to be exhausted, and she wanted to hurt simply to dull the pain in her heart, but she forced herself to walk, to move smoothly through the crowd, and once she had slipped into a dark alley, free of eyes, she had removed her cloak, flipped it inside out so that it was now white instead of a modest blue, and pulled her hair free of it's simple braid. It wasn't much, but it was what she had to work with now, so she took the long way to the docks, through the busier streets, until she reached Hal's. It was their meeting point, and she knew her partner would be waiting for her there if not on his way already.



Markie wasn't entirely pleased, but then again, everyone was in a poor mood that day.  Though hers was because she'd had to walk the entire way down to the Harbormaster just to get her letting going anywhere.  Almost everywhere in town was closing to mourn the loss of the royals.  But death or no, ships still sailed, so she knew that if she took it there it would be delivered without having to wait a week like everyone else.  And she was hungry.  No, scratch that, she was starving.  She'd skipped meals all day yesterday, and had eaten only lightly at dinner the night before.  Granted, she'd also felt like she was going to throw up since then, but a body could only take starvation for so long.  But, just as the Harbormaster was still open, so were the taverns down on the docks.  And Markie, pretty though she was, was no stranger to rough sailors.  Drunkards she could handle.  It might even be relaxing to have to get into a familiar situation.  So, she ducked out of the daylight and into the dark tavern called 'Hal's,' a curious place with a clam and a pearl on the sign.  She sat alone at a table near the wall and plinked a couple coins on the table, and waited mere moments before one of the servings girls came around and took her order, and a few more coins.  And though it was sailor chow, the stew was quite good, and the ale quite refreshing.



    Where Nesca and Luckas were like brothers and sisters, Hal and Emma were like her mother and father. So it was only natural that Keshayla ran there, as fast as she could when the busy streets dissapeared, and she was left with back alleys. She ran for the sheer joy of it, as little as it brought her, and didn't stop until everything ached but even that wasn't enough. She wanted pain, she wanted a way to release that growing ache that threatened to split and spill her life upon the cold cobbled steps. Death was an eventuality, but it came too quickly for those she cared for, and never quick enough for those she hated. It was here, outside of Hal's tavern that Emma found her, arms against the cool stone building in an attempt to catch her breath and simply ease her thoughts. The woman stopped with a slight surprise, looking around the empty back before tossing the dirty water and waved her in. "Come on, child, before the Yellow Jackets find you. Hal and I have been worried about you all day!" She didn't answer, and for a short time, didn't move, but the need for that close bond that was so quickly ripped away returned, and she followed after the older woman, and closed the door behind her.

     "Is Kivan here?" Her voice sounded hollow, even to herself, but she couldn't find the want for pretend just yet. The city will have a week to mourn, until the seasons change. She was allowed this day at least, right? Emma shook her head moving past some old ale barrels that were awaiting to be taken to the docks to switch out some new ones. The back wasn't impressive, not right away, enough to discourage anyone who had managed to break in. But the kitchen was modest, clean, and well stocked, lined with goods both dry and fresh. "Not yet, Dear. Capa Kardrek stopped by here, first, looking for you two. Pour dear was crestfallen, thought that the pair of you may have been snatched up before you could be warned." That almost made her smile, almost. Kardrek was a good man, one of the only others who knew about Keshayla's last name. Kivan, Hal and Emma were the others, as well as Klay, and that was it. "That man is going to get himself killed, sticking his neck out like that. If he stops by here again, tell him to stop looking for us. I'm not fooling around."

     Hal's booming laughter was a deep bass in her chest. The 'Bull' left his barside strip to the back after hearing her voice, and she was snatched up in the ultimate bear hug. Even she couldn't breathe, eyes wide and ridged in his arms as she was swung around so until he stopped and dropped her, where she stumbled. "Oi, lass, we were worried 'bout ya!" She only nodded, straightening her shirt and cloak, moving towards the open room while dusting herself off. Kivan came then, pushing the door open where it slammed against the wall before bouncing back closed. His eyes were nearly frantic as they searched the room, but he sighed when he saw Keshayla there, looking rather unharmed. "Not even a message?" He spoke in that smooth, foreign accent, crossing the room in graceful fluid strides that even a dancer would ne jealous of. "Nothing of good news." She spat, and her hunter green eyes began to flicker amber again. She had waited to be angry until now, where Kivan would be able to sooth her temper with his lilting words and soothing tone.

     Two things happened at once, then. Keshayla's nose flaired, catching Markie's scent just as Kivan went wide eyed to seeing her, sitting contently at the table there. The other, was a closed fisted rage to the man who was sitting at the table infront of her, conspiring with two other in a drunken haze. "I dun know wha' all the big fuss is 'bout." He burped, leaning heavier on the table and had to tilt his ale to get a better drink. "All theys were...were... cushion warmers. Peacocks. Pretty li'il tings that screamed like pigs." And he did an impression, trying to sound very much like Nesca when she was forced to watch her husband drown in the animal piss. "Temper, Keshayla!" Kivan warned, grabbing her shoulder as she growled low in her throat, fists clentching tightly.



Markie hadn't seen Keshayla or Kivan, and had been too distracted with her meal to even think about setting a ward for them.  Though it would have done little good.  She'd only met them twice, and didn't have anything personal of theirs with which to set the trigger.  However, she did hear the drunkard who was being far too loud for his own good.  And the spoon in her hand stopped before it reached her mouth, and she felt sick again, deep in her stomach.  But not with the fear that had gripped her before.  This time it was knowing that she was hearing something desperately important.  

She had to do something.  Call the gaurd?  No, they'd never make it in time.  Probably wouldn't believe her, either, not after their display the other night.  And confronting him would do absolutely pig shit.  She rummaged through her pockets quickly, looking for something, anything, but knew that she was utterly without trinkets.  Nothing with which to capture the moment.  Well, there was one thing...  She hated using it, because if this worked it would likely be taken for evidence, but her right hand clasped tightly around the charm at her neck, a faint, almost imperceptible warm, orange glow emanating from her skin.  And though she tried to be sneaky about it, she had to look at the man talking in order to capture his face in the scene.  Her ears were trained on him as well.  Keep talking...just keep on talking like that...



     Tovin Justicar, a man who was born into money with very little magic, was accepted into the university simply because his family and his name had power. He really didn't have any tallent, nothing to brag about. Parlor tricks, little fancies that had his gluttonous mother clapping with those meaty hands of hers, and her father swearing that one day he'd be Duke. So who was he to refuse the Duke, who had personally approached Tovin about a propisition. To be that very thing his father always wanted. All he needed, was his slight ability and a few hours of his time. He gloated about the experience through his ale, much as Jaeric had suspected he would, taking the blame away from him. Let the foolish child take the heat of his action. He paid him well, and most of that coin was being drained into Hal's bar with his 'dear' friends, who had accompanied this wretch.

     Kivan glanced at Keshayla, and he could see the way she was battling with herself, hunter and amber swirling and compeating with each other, and the winner would see how the next few moments would play out. Keshayla rarely lost control, and he bore scars from those few moments that had pained him greatly. So when hunter green eyes flickered back to his own steel gray, Kivan sighed, flashing her a wicked grin that normally had women tossing their panties at him, and only made his partner roll his eyes. "My friend." She spoke low, and nodded back for Emma and Hal to make clear. "I do believe our little Pearl is in harms way. Would be a shame if she actually has physical reason to think we're to kill her." Kivan smirked, nodding back to a near by table who didn't refuse; standing to relocate themselves elsewhere. They knew enough when a fight was going to break loose.

     Kivan, didn't so much as walk across the room as floated, making a wide path to Markie to as not to startle her so suddenly with a frontal approach. Still Tovin continued, speaking now on how his "Master" had promised him more riches for a new task, one that would secure his mark in the world. Kivan didn't like the sound of that, it was too vauge and yet painfully obvious at the same time. There was more then the death of the regal family in the works. Kivan reached Markie's chair, where he squatted enough to tuck one arm beneath the wooden rails that supported the legs, and the other around her waist, securring her there while yet again, he whispered into her ear. "Don't scream, Luv. Just movin you somewhere safe." And it was at this point that Tovin's eyes shifted, meeting Markie's as they widened, slipping down to her pendant and then realisation hit. "Oh shit...." Was all that he got out.

     Indeed, Kivan had made good on his word. She was safe, outside of harm's way. Hal and Emma stood behind the bar, knowing that there was going to be damage but that wasn't at all that bothered them. This man was gloating about being linked to the murders, and so soon after they happened. And right in front of the 'sister' of the deceased. Which, often had a very short temper. She took it out on the stool. Keshayla linked her foot around the wooden bar, lifting her leg high and kicked out. It flew forward faster then most would beable to make out, crashing and shattering once it hit the table that belonged to the three Magi. The splinters flew, some catching into exposed skin, but nothing that would cause to be fatal. "You whores unwanted gets." She snarled out, moving then towards that table as the three young men picked themselves off the floor and detangled themselves from their stools and each other. "By rights bestowed upon me by His late heighness Luchas Brye, I am your Judge, Jury and exicussioner, and you are found wanting and guilty." It was only then that she flicked both wrists, and down dropped a stelleto in each, where they twirled once before held ready for throwing.




The sudden appearance of Kivan jolted her out of the spell, and if anyone got a hold of her charm and triggered the recording, the last part on it would be his murmur in her ear and her shocked gasp, a sudden intake of air as if she were drowning.  She knew she should have been paying more attention.  With both eyes and ears set on the table in front of her, there was nothing left to keep her safe from anyone else.  But it had been so vitally important to capture it all.  Even so, and she suspected it going in, she was not strong enough to cast such a powerful spell.  Typically she did one sense at a time.  So trying to do two, while being as weak as she was, was setting her up for trouble.  Add in Kivan's startlement, and she was very much in trouble.  

It was never good, and rarely safe to jolt a spellcaster from their craft, especially mid-spell.  Energy in some form or another had to be committed to the casting.  In Marchelle's case, it came directly from her rather than a focus point; and if the spell was not concluded properly, that energy was lost to the wind rather than returned to the caster.  So Markie really couldn't help the slump of her body or the low moan that accompanied it when she found herself rather swiftly drained of energy, like she'd just stayed up for three nights straight and then run a marathon.



     The two stelletos were aimed before being thrown, each one took their mark in the flesh of the two men who simply sat there an listned. Each screamed, startled and with pain and the held their wounds. Tovin simply stood to his feet, kicking the chair back with a rush and knocked it over. Keshayla was on him in a matter of seconds, grabbing him tightly by the neck of his shift, and hoist the taller man off of the ground, though she needed to stetched out her arm completly for this. "You were so readily able to speak of their deaths before, wretch! Why change your mind? Sit down, I'll listen." And again she hooked her ankle around a chair, but this time she moved it so she could pull it closer, dropping the man into a sit. The two friends who has been moaning and bleeding before haulted by a simple look from Kivan. They froze and stayed rooted to the spot. Kivan pointed to chairs, and they both sat, wincing and nurcing their wounds, but smart enough not to have removed the blades. Or were they so cowardly they were afraid to face more pain?

     Kivan settled Markie's chair back onto the ground, Emma choose then to rush forward to the girl, better able to look her over since Kivan and Keshayla were a little occupied. "Speak." She said plainly, jabbing a finger into Tovin'd chest. "And right from the begining, I have the time."



Marchelle looked at the woman with dazed eyes, unable to focus properly.  She wasn't entirely sure what had happened, and couldn't quite focus her mind enough to figure that out.  All she knew was that she was horribly tired, but that she couldn't let herself fall asleep.  She did not dare let herself fall alseep.



     Keshayla and Kivan weren't the only ones at work. Hal busied himself by clearing out the tavern, ushering off those regulars who knew it would be best to keep their mouths shut. Most were disturbed at what Tovin had been bragging about, some simply didn't care, either way she was thankful for not having an outstanding crowd. She wasn't fully certain on what she was going to do with these three, were they speaking the truth? Were they simply lying through thier teeth, trying to conjure some pity fame? Her lips curled back in a snear, and Kivan stepped besides her to watch the three trying to compose themselves. No. They weren't lying, she'd be able to smell a lie, these men were too piss drunk to make any of this up. Details hadn't been released, not even to her. "I suggest you start spilling secrets, lest we start spilling guts."

     "You can't touch us!" Tovin spoke again, his drunkin slur was starting to evaporate slightly with the rush of adrenolin and fear. "You'd be killing your own Duke." Keshayla didn't miss a beat, leaning with her hands resting on the table to look at the three. "What makes you really think that you, nothing more then the sick at the bottom of a shitting room, would be made Duke? Did Jaeric promise you that? That all that stood in your way was his royal magisty, and nothing else?" Tovin looked much too satisfyed in her opinion, and his friend finally spoke up, giggling "Names have power..." She hadn't a clue what he meant, but Kivan's brow arched and he glanced away from Tovin to the giggler. "Best not be mudderin' such things, boy..."

      "Say it again, thirds the charm."

     "What is he talking about?" Keshayla frowned now, turning her attention back to Kivan, though didn't dare to turn her eyes away completly from the three at the table. "Say it..." She didn't like where this was going. Keshayla was lost, and quickly loosing control of the situation. They were supposed to be telling her about the murders, not muttering madness. She was throw with small wounds, no more warnings, they weren't heeding her threats. Keshayla drew her blade free without a sound from it's scabboard, lined with wool to keep the blade sharp. The blade itself was black and dull so as not to reflect any light in the dark, only as long as her forearm, but surprisingly light and strong for its weight. She herself hadn't a clue where the metal came from, or what it was, exactly, but it had been a gift from Kivan when they first started their aliance, and it had yet to chip, dull or heed signs of age. Made her wonder if it ever would.

     They weren't listening to her threats, so she stopped threatening them. The only one who hadn't spoken yet found his lips open and chest heaving when that blade crossed his throat with such a casual gesture and flick of her wrist. Blood didn't spray like one might depict it too, it wasn't forcing its exit as quickly as possible, thus covering everything with gore. A fine red line formed before it gushed out, running down his chin and staining his shirt before he managed to lift his hand to his throat and choaked. The cut was deep, and already blood was getting into his lugs while he swallowed what came into his mouth. His friends stopped talking, sitting their in open mouth horror at what had happened. Keshayla ignored the dying boy, let his mother mourn his passing, she felt nothing. The blade pressed again Tovin's neck, "Talk. Now."

     The giggler sobered up pretty fast, stuttering while his frest started clutching franticly at him, seeking help when he wouldn't get any. Giggler shifted his stool away, which made Keshayla plan to kill him next with his disloyalty. The man dropped to the floor gagging, but he was already feeling the effects of blood loss, and stilling. "We..We can't!" The blade left Tovin to press against his friend, though Kivan's heavy hand on the shoulder reminded him that the danger he was in wasn't over yet. "You've been bragging about it just a few seconds ago!" And the blade bit into his shoulder, encouraging a yelp out of the man. "Speak!" To give him enough encouragement, the blade eased back, but she was ready to use it again, if needed. "We...We..." And that was all he was good for now, clutting his chest like an old man. She lifted the tip, ready to strike before he shouted out "Geas!" And she stopped, with the blade diviting his throat. "What?"

     "They placed a Geas on our hearts!" Both Keshayla and Kivan stiffened at that, turning to look at Tovin who had spoken. "That's demon magic." Kivan muttered, eyes darkening at the mear thought of it. Keshayla had to choke back the urge to growl at the two, but allowed her nose to flair. She didn't smell demon on them. "Who?" Tovin shook his head franticly, side to side. "C-Can't.." "Yes. You can. You either tell us, somehow, or you die here and now. Write it." Hal had been listening, now that his place was cleared out, and stepped forward with an ink bottle and quil ready for someone to make their mark. He set it down on the table with a piece of parchment, then stepped out of the way. Keshayla motioned to the paper. "Go on, you know how to write, the academy teaches that if you don't for gods sake! One letter at a time, each of you.

     It was a slow process, but one at a time the quill passed between the two, and it hardly started with the 'J' that Keshayla had assumed it would. V-I-C and she knew who it was, even as they continued on, and trembled with each stroke. T-U... Keshayla's nose flaired wide and she stumbled backwards, catching Kivan with her arm so he'd follow and distance himself too. Rotten eggs, sulfer, the distinct smell of demons rose in the air as they finished that letter, and both boys were slumped forward in their chairs with faces pressed against the wood of the table, looking more like a decomposed body then kids looking at their twentieth summer. The spell had worked fast, but there was still light in the eyes, and she knew that they weren't dead yet. Out of pitty, Keshayla stepped forward and released their slumped shoulders of the weight of their heads. Or maybe that so she'd stop seeing the flicker of a human where death was, an image she wasn't ever going to forget.



Emma carefully fed Markie water and bread, and it slowly brought her around, gave her enough energy to have her wits back about her, and enough wits to know she had to keep recording.  So back to her throat, holding weakly at the pendant.  The glow was fainter now, invisible to human eyes, as she was only recording sound now, picking up from Keshayla's "That all that stood in your way..."  She made it as far as "Geas!"  She stiffened, eyes wide, and dropped the spell.  Their next exclamation had her rising from her seat and stumbling away from Emma, tottering almost desperately towards the door.  Demon magic...  Gods, no, not now...  Not when she was so weak, and couldn't defend herself.  Markie only made it to the door when the smell of sulfer rose, and with it the terrible itch at her neck.  She couldn't resist, it hurt so bad, and she was scratching madly at her neck as she stumbled out into the street, drawing red lines in her fair skin, thankfully hidden below her hair.  And all the while, as she stumbled away from the tavern in the direction of the school, she kept appologizing to her family, that she was sorry she couldn't be brave like she'd tried so hard to be.  But this was beyond her now, she couldn't handle demon magic for very long when she was well.  In her state now, it seemed to burn at her skin.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 10:37:24 PM »
Both Keshayla and Kivan pivoted quickly around when Emma gasped, and Markie was off yet again, sprinting as if her life depended on it. Keshayla growled out again, but nodded for Kivan to follow after. "Make sure she gets to the academy safely, and then get your arse back. I'm going to burn their hearts, and then we've got to come up with a plan. If Vict..." Kivan stopped her with grabbing her wrist, shaking his head. "It's not safe to say his name aloud now, either. I'll bring Klay back to help me purge this Inn." With that, the halfblood turned without so much as a pause, pulling the hood of his cloak up to hide his hair, and stepped out into the streets. Keshayla sighed, nervous that she wouldn't be there to guard his back, but turned then to look at Emma and Hal. "I need you two to keep clear your shop. That stentch is going to spread until we get it cleansed, and gods know people are going to be smelling it. Can you come up with something to keep people out until I....clean up?" Their shared looks said it all, and the Lycan was begining to wonder if she and Kivan took it from the tenders, and for a moment, she thought she saw horns sprouting through their hair.

     So, while Keshayla took to the messy task of cleaning up the place; which included cutting out their hearts, and placing them in a chest, Emma and Hal started a 'fight' outside, where Emma, the gods bless her, was armed with Duck and chicken eggs, throwing them at her husband in an old fashion domestic dispute that not even the guards wanted to get involved with. Under the high sun, no one would even bother to think that those eggs were what was causing the foul stentch. And Kivan did follow, keeping to the shadows and close enough to Markie that she would indeed be sage, though his annoyance with having to take precaution with the guards was enough to cause him to curse softly. Once he saw her safely to her run, he's seek out Klay...and possibly figure out why Markie was tearing at her neck so.



Even after she'd outrun the smell, her neck continued to burn like the fires of hell.  It took about a mile and a half before it even began to subside.  She was well out of the range of the magic that had caused the reaction, but it was now the thing that laid latent in her that burned at her skin.  She'd lucked out shortly after.  A wagon was taking some goods from the harbor up towards the Academie, and after some quick pleading and an offering of coin, she was allowed to sit in the back to ride the last few miles.  She never would have made it otherwise.  She continued to hold her neck as the wagon rolled, her fingertips coated in blood now from the ferocity of her scratches.  At the gates she paid the wagoner with a shaky hand and then darted inside, making a beeline back to her room.  Once more with the locking of the door, though she didn't bother with the chair.  She didn't have time.  The burn was worsening.  Markie barely took time to dump her hand in her water basin to wash the blood from it and wiped her hand dry on the cloth sitting by it, and this only to keep blood from her posessions and the small vial she was looking for.  

None of the priests on her island knew why the taint of the demon stayed behind after she'd recieved the scratch while a child.  Markie barely remembered the incident, other than something had happened while she'd been swimming in the sea with the other children one day.  But since then, whenever demon magic was cast or triggered within a mile or so of her, she could feel it along the wound that had long since healed over.  Even getting away from it, while it would help, would not completely stop the painful itch and burn that emerged from the wound.  The only thing they had found to staunch the pain was water blessed by a priest.  It was now one of her small collection of vials of this that she pulled out of a padded case, pulled the cork out with her teeth, and dumped it over the back of her neck, feeling the water sting at the torn flesh, but almost immediately the burn and itch vanished.  She watched as bloody water dripped down from her neck to the towel now in her lap, but, bless the Gods, the pain was gone.  

Very few people knew about this.  She wanted to keep it that way.  People had a funny way of becoming terrified anytime they found out someone was tainted by demon magic.  There were even some that would think her mind and magic would become manipulated by it as well, though Master Broderick, her former instructor, had proven beyond a doubt that it was not active, though he and the others at her old school could not determine why the taint lingered in her skin.  Though it did have something to do with why she was so good at destructive magic, yet even the simplest healing spells gave her difficulty.  It was one of those minor spells she now applied to herself, closing the torn skin until there were only sore lines of red rather than scabs or open sores.  

So, now that the emergency was over, Markie wanted nothing more than a hot shower.  So she gathered up her things and left her room once more, turning down the hall to the common shower to do just  that.



     Kivan waited until Markie loaded into the back of the wagon, before he himself took to another route. Everyone knew that the shortest route anywhere was a straight line, and he wasn't able to physically step through buildings. But this was his city, and it has been for years. Not only did he have conections, layaways, and crevices that people so easily over looked, but tunnels as well. It wasn't any sort of sewer system, though he had access to that as well, but tunnels perfected by highered dwarves he had inlisted for over the last century, and they were more stable then stone building man could create. It didn't take long for him to slip into them, drawing out a small pick with a spaded end that he had wedged into a door of a near by house. With a small pin with a crook at the end, he unlocked the latch and was inside before the door could finish opening, only to be closed again by the wind. Into the cellar he went, bypassing all signs of life with his agility, and when he reached the cellars, he pryed open a wooden hatch in the flooring that allowed him access. Securring it behind him, Kivan dropped a few feet into the cold dark, and withdrew a pendent from around his neck.

     The halfblood murmered a few dead words of the Fay, closing the clear stone in his hand and felt it warm before light started streaming past his fingers, and he was allowed with enough light to see. Kivan ran then, knowing which halls in the giant labrynth to turn, never a faulter or second guess in his path, only stopping when his eyes reached the ghostly appearance of a ladder ahead, and even then he didn't slow to climb up it, instead he lept to grab onto the highest step in his reach, and climbed unti he was forced to use his shoulders to wedge the door up. He hesitated, listening for sound before sliding the wooden pannel all the way back and slipped into Klay's teaching room. He was in the back, where the suplies were kept and near where Keshayla had broke down crying earlier. Klay herself wasn't here, but Kivan could hear her voice speaking to one of the other teachers not far off, so he replaced the pannel before standing, straightening his clothing.

     It only took a few minutes until she was alone, and to be polite, he knocked softly on the wooden door that seperated him from the classroom. A second later it was open, and Klay nodded to signal that he was clear. "She make it out, alright?" Kivan offered that lopsided grin that he knew the witch always favored, and glanced around once before nodding. "We're going to hit troubled waters, worse then we are now. There's been a warrent placed out on us, and anyone seen associating with us. Best you tell the others what you can, and keep your head low. Though... we need your help at Hal's." Klay's hair was blue today, and long, nearly whisping at her ankles, and pulled back into a thick braid with bands of silver ribbon and bangles woven between each part. "Is everything alright?"

     "Just a purge, no actuall summoning. But the place wreaks of the dark arts, and we need to see that it's cleaned befofre allowing others in. Kesha is cleaning up now. There were ah...Geas' on the hearts of three students who were bragging openly about recent events. Looks to be like a certain fanged brown noser is the caster." Again, he looked over his shoulder, almost expecting the doors to be kicked in at any minute. "Go on. I'll catch up. I've got to make sure our Pearl is safe in her room before anything decides to happen on us. Our good luck is at it's end."



Markie didn't know how long she spend standing under the hot water, but the entire room was full of steam, and her skin was flushed pink from the heat by the time she turned off the water.  Ah, the blessings of magic that kept the water warm.  She'd installed a similar spell on the bath at home as a gift to her parents on their anniversary.  It had totally outshone the gifts from her brothers.  She was careful about drying her hair, running damp fingers across the skin at the nape of her neck.  It was still welted, and some would probably turn into scars, but in time they would simply fade into the others that laced the back of her neck.  It was because of those that she never wore her hair up, not unless she wore a high collar with it.  Many times she wore shirts with flicked up collars anyway.  She was very self-concious about those scars.  But, the shower was done, and she felt exhausted again, so she now padded with bare feet down the hall towards her room, her wet hair hanging down around her shoulders and a large towel wrapped around her body, dropping about half-way down her thighs, and knotted tightly just above her breast.  She carried her soaps and dirty clothes in a small satchel that hung from one hand, her weary eyes on the floor little further than her toes.  Though the choker, and the pendant that hung there, were still securely around her neck.  She'd have to figure out what to do with that, too...




     Kivan sat, waiting patiently in her room. He hadn't triffled through her things or read her letters like some shadey folk would have. Sure, he was shadey, but Kivan drew the line...occationally, and that line often adjusted and moved each and every day. You never knew what he was going to do, even Keshayla struggled at times to predict him. So he waited, ever the elegant cat stretched out in her chair as if it were a throne, or he was waiting for a mass of women to swarm and swoon over him. He had never been able to effect Keshayla as such, so his incubus wiles were often dumbfounded around her, but he appreciated that. It was nice not to have everyone fawning over you. Then again, it never got old.

     He had....questions. And he had to make them quick. It was important to get the Inn purged before the taint of the demons had time to fester in the wood and cause it to rot. He was curious to see what Keshayla planned on doing to the bodies. Not even his favorit Beastie, whom he called Iris, would eat demon rot. Iris ate everything, but that foul matter would surely boil his insides, and he's be greatly saddened by that. When his ears perked at the sound of Markie approaching, he doublt checked himself to make sure no weapons would intimidate, nor would anything cause reason for her to scream. Other then him breaking into her dorm, of course, but she would only see him once the doors were closed again, and he wasn't going to stay long.



The irony of her walk back to her room was that she had been thinking about learning wards to place over her room.  So far she only knew the one that was embedded in her necklace, so that if anyone other than her tried to touch it, they would find themselves on the business end of a rather nasty zap.  Ok, so that was more of a trap than a ward, but the idea still applied.  She was getting nervous again, what with what had happened in town.  She would have to talk to one of her instructors about that, or look in the library.  

She didn't notice anything to be amiss when she opened her door and stepped inside, but then again, she was so tired and out of it that it would have taking a glaringly obvious something being out of place for her to notice.  Something like a fair skinned, blonde haired gorgeous peice of manmeat that just so happened to be a murderer sitting oh-so-casually in her chair, clearly wating for her.  The door had just left her hand with the push she gave it back into its latch when she looked up and saw him there.  There was a brief pause, the span of perhaps a heartbeat or two.  Then many things happened at once.  First, she blushed; she was, after all, wearing nothing but a towel.  Second, she flung her bag at him with a small squeak that accompanied the deep gasp of air.   Third, and barely giving her bag time to leave her hand, she turned and lunged for the door that had just slid into its latch, arm outstretched desperately for the handle.  And fourth, she screamed.



    Kivan caught the bag tossed at him, just to drop it to the ground, and was out of that chair quicker then the time it took to blink. This was the first time he'd heard her scream, but it caused him to wince and grit his teeth at the sound. Why did women have to be blessed with such lungs? But she wouldn't be able to open that door, not with him now standing there infront of her. His pendant was glowing again, and it seemed that the louder she tried to scream, the brighter it started to glow until she would have to pause for air. Only then did he touch her, one hand on either shoulder, nothing that would be intimidating or would seem to be taken advantage from in her, ah...dripping state. Kivan smiled, a lopsides quirk of his lips because if he simply wanted to, he could will that towel right off, and it would be a lie to say he wasn't tempted. "If you're through." He began, calm and collected as his voice always appeared to be so, and by touching her, he was exuding those feelings into her. He wasn't going to hurt her. She was safe. If he wanted to hurt her, hadn't they had many chanced before? "My partner and I wanted to make sure that you arrived safely, and I had a question to ask you." When he was certain she wasn't going to scream again, Kivan allowed his hands to slowly slip free of her shoulders, one catching a lock of hair that had escaped the others, and slowly brushed it back. A bead of water had collected onto the pad of his finger, and he sucked off before smiling again. "How long have you been sitting there? What all have you heard? Mind you, I am pressed for time, we have a hell of a lot to clean up of this mess. And, ah, if I may be so bold? Why did you run?"



She stopped short of running into him when he suddenly appeared between her and the door, her scream cut off with a small squeak in her throat by her sudden stop, and she jerked back quickly.  Her mind began to real, her psyche telling her that this was it, that they were done toying with her, that they'd finally come to kill her for what she'd seen in the alley.  She inhaled to scream again, hoping, praying that someone would hear her and come to investigate, but it was swallowed with almost a choke when he touched her, and the scream, and those frightened thoughts, just vanished.  She knew it was magic that forced those feelings into her mind, and her first reaction was to disbelieve, but then she made the mistake of looking into his eyes, and she stilled.  Markie was pretty damn good at reading eyes, and when she saw the expression there, the gut feeling that she trusted with her life told her to believe him.  So damnit, she'd better be right about him and his damnable eyes, or she would really hate herself in the afterlife.  When he spoke again, her expression softened from the fright that had been there before, and then hardened in irritation, especially at so familiar a gesture he was taking with her hair, though damnit if part of her didn't like the way his fingers brushed against her cheek when he tucked it back with the rest of her wet hair.  She answered none of his questions, though.  Instead, Markie asked a few of her own.  "Who the hell are you?  And why the hell am I so damned important to you?  And since when have either of you been concerned about my safety?"  Oh yes, now that she was no longer terrified of him, she had a bit of a rod to her spine and an edge to her tongue.



    Unlike Keshayla, Kivan didn't scoff or snear or roll his eyes at the demnad coming from this woman. The edges of his mouth tilted upwards in a warm smile, and for a moment, what looked like lightning flashed behind his eyes. She would be able to tell that his pupils weren't normal, no spheres for him, rather slits, like a goat or a lizard. "Ah! Introductions! I do enjoy such novelties!" Without any inappropriate lingerings of his fingers, Kivan folded them behind his back and moved away from the door, strolling now with a casual ease around her dorm. He wasn't prying, but curious eyes scanned one thing, before moving onto the other, and once a comfortable distance was placed between them, Kivan turned again. With a low waisted, elegant bow, (right foot forward, mind you, as the gentleman's court demands it) Kivan bowed to her with a grace that would make a cat trip over its feet. "Kivan Szordrin Valin, Doyen of the Manor. At your service." He rightened, long locks slipping over his shoulders as he did so, it was a wonder how he never got tagled in his hair. "And your second and third question is rather easily answered as one: You're one of my students, this is my academy, though most of the credit must go to Keshayla, it was her idea, after all. Brilliant that one, she just has had crummy luck lately, so you'll have to forgive her hot temper." Still he strolled, arms behind his back until he approached a modest sized window and looked outside to the mourning city, in the general direction of Hal's Inn. "Is it my turn yet? I do believe you own me three answers, now."


She crossed her arms across her chest and scowled at him, despite the revelation that he was, apparently, her Headmaster.  "And do you commonly make it habit to sneak into the rooms of young women to wait until they return from the shower?  Or am I just special?"  She snorted, but answered his first three questions.  "Not long enough to finish my lunch, which you so rudely interrupted.  I heard enough to be damning to those three even if your partner hadn't made them trigger their curse.  And no.  You may not be so bold."



     "Hardly sneaking, little Pearl. I simply walked right in, and minded the door shut behind me. Sneaking would have me climb through your window when it was dark." He patted her head once, softly, when he had shifted his possition, and turned to look back at the door. "But if you call it a habit, hardly one that meassures to those who have habit of sticking their noses into dangerous places. It's not wise to pry your fingers into dark, forboding places. You don't know what will bite." And that was a threat, but not so much of a warning of his blade. "The streets are unsafe now, I advice that you don't go out alone so willingly for a time, until they name the party involved of the kings assasination, correctly. And if history repeats itself...as it always does, then I recommend preparing yourself for the worst. The gods favored Luckas, he was a good man, and he had a good heart. So when his heart stopped beating, the gods wept, and now its us demons who get to play." He strode carefully back to the door, untucking his hands from behind his back to grip the handle. "If you have need of anything, Klay shall set you right." And then he left, closing the door solidly behind him. And if she tried to peak after, she wouldn't even hear the faintest echo of his footsteps in the halls.



Markie jerked her head slightly away from his condescending hand, and her scowl deepened at his next words.  But they only confirmed that she'd gotten herself into waters deeper and darker than originally anticipated.  Her scowl faded a bit though, when he warned her for the worst, and his speak of demons unsettled her.  And she just now became aware of the smallest tingle on the back of her neck.  She did not try to peek after him.  In fact, she just stood staring at the door for several minutes, now very unsure about many things.  He said it wasn't safe...  Should she just go home?  Hop the first ship bound that way?  And then what?  She'd never be able to raise the money to come back again...  So, it looked like she was stuck here.  But, at least he was gone again, and she was reminded of just how utterly exhausted she was when she let out a heavy sigh, and then settled onto the edge of the bed.  What had she gotten herself into?



     Keshayla had managed to get rid of the bodies before the others returned: They didn't ask questions, and she didn't offer answers either. She had gotten rid of the evidence, and that was all that mattered right then. The hearts were the only things left, best to be taken to a priest who could lift the Geas on the hearts, and move the last of the tant. She never did get the information she had desired, but if these men had been part of the murders directly or not, she wasn't about to hold their souls as randsom. Let the priests settle them for rest, and maybe she could relearn how to sleep at night. The gods can sort them out. Hal and Emma were still at it, nearly twenty minutes now into their mock fight. Occationally Keshayla was able to catch flickers of their play through the cracks and graits of the wooden shutters. It made her smile, not that anyone would see it, and that was fine with her.

     Klay arrived through the back door, scanning the room before her nose curled and she waved her hand infront of her nose, scowling at the smell. "By the gods, that smell is foul isn't it?" The Lycan only dipped her hand with rag into the basin of water, and continued scrubbing at the last of the blood that was threatening to stain the floors. "Is it too late for you and Kivan to purge the place?" The witch shook her head, already getting to work by lifting stools onto the tables, and clearing the room. "We'll clear this place out, then we can toss Hal and Emma into the Bay. They're making a rather large mess out there, with those eggs. I would have assumed that the guards would have stepped in by now."

     "No one wants to get in the way of a scornful woman. Those guards are probably taking bets on how long the wind stays in her sails. It'll be a good distraction for the people after what happened to Luckas and Nesca." And that was the full of their conversation. Keshayla scrubbed, and Klay cleared a space in the room wide enough for her to scratch arcaininc symbols into the wood with white chalk, muttering words here, gesturing there, and only after the initial phase was finished did Kivan show up again. Keshayla simply lifted her brow, but didn't speak. Klay nodded to Kivan, and then started working on the final step of their process. One voice fell as the other rose, going through the clensing so easily as if they had done it a thousand times before. Keshayla didn't pay attention, she didn't care for magic, and it was a painful reminder everytime others used it around her. She focussed on removing the blood so that even her senses couldn't pick it up, and by that time the stentch was gone, and all that was left was some wet wood, a tired looking Klay, and a chest with three hearts inside.

     For extra precaution: and by Keshayla's orders, Kivan and Klay moved throughout the different rooms of the Inn, scetching wards of protection in the wood from any uninvited demons who may get curious of this place. The same was etched into the chest, where Keshayla herself, feeling entirely responsible of the situation, took it into the cellars and through the Narrows, the undergrown passage way they had created over the years where she had private access to the Lady Most Kind's temple. The priest, after being paid rather handsomely when a generous donation ontop of that, removed the Geas off the hearts of the three, and then saw them burned to remove any lingering spells. By then the sun was setting, and she didn't return until well after dark.

     "What's the plan?" Hal and Emma had closed the tavern early, most people didn't feel like celibrating, they had filed in, one after another simply for gossip, to speak about the rumors floating around about the royal family's death, and Hal didn't need any encouragement from the halfblood to kick them all out and let them be on their way. Keshayla took a heavy seat in the stool, looking up at her partner before nodding thankfully to Emma who had pushed a good sized portion of stew infront of her, stock full of meat, potatoes and veggies. She took a few minutes to simply eat, before gathering her thoughts, and by then pushed the bowl away. "Where the hell do we start?"

     "We can't use the Inn anymore as a meeting place. More and more unfamiliars are crowding in. People know that they can find us here."

     "Crestwater Estate." She replied simply, taking one of the nearest ales on the bar to drink before she stood to her feet and started to pace. "Jaeric was always a superstitious fool, he wouldn't step foot in that place for the life of him."

     "He wouldn't have to. He'd send in a squardron to smoke us out."

     "With the woods at our backs, and the elves behind that? You sound as if you're prepairing for war, Kivan."

     "Kesha, I know as well as you do who is behind this. Neither of us needed to think a moment who killed Luckas and Nesca, we knew it was Jaeric. But how?"

     "And why."

     "I know why. He wants to be king."

     "There's more to it then that, Boyo." Her eyes flickered across the room, finally settling on his gray orbs. "He'd killed them. And at the end of this week, it's the season's change. He'll be made king. But a city full of people, not knowing that he was, indeed their fair kings murderer, would follow him in blind hope. To what? War? What of the Secret Peace? What of us? What does he have in mind, now that he has that gods forsaken crown?" She shook her head, letting the stelleto drop in her hand simply for the comfort of the blade. "We've got to play this hand...delicately. Hide our faces, dissapear for a short time and just...watch. Maybe Jaeric will summon us for council, and then we'd hear what his goals are of the Manor. Most likely he'll try to abandon us."

     "The guards already have our warrent."

     "True, and the people are begining to whisper our names when mentioning the king. But if he truely wanted us dead, which I'm certain he does... what then? What after the Manor?"



    The academy saw it's doors closed tight at the eleventh hour of the evening. Students had finished classes far before then, but this way they were allowed to move about their own buisness just like anyone else. Some worked, others simply enjoyed the city's sights, but others had a tendency to simply stay within the halls, eyes searching for those troublesome professors that would have become too nosey for their own good. Rude Trevor, a youth who had earned his name for the obvious, was taking a last sweep of the great hall before closing himself in the broom closet with several others. It was a tight fit, but all of them were willing to put up with banged knees and friendly elbows to see what it was that Rude had brought them all here for. "A present." He had started,  sharing a smile with some that gave unease to others. "From the Duke." Curious indeed, others began to lean in, peering closely at the thin man's cupped hands. A pale light had started to glow there, nothing too curious, coming from a Magi, but there was a certain sensation that this light gave. To some it was pleasure, and those closed their eyes and cooed and wrythed at the spot, sighing with content at things that no one else could see or hear. To others, when the light reflected onto their skin, they felt the adoration of others, courage, strength, everything a leader should ever want or need. When the light dissapeared, these sensations stopped, and in its place was a void that the students had never felt before. They wanted that light. They needed that light to live, how could life ever hold such meaning again? Rude laughed softly, and released the full beam after many moments of pleads, coos, and bribes. He allowed them to be like that for some time, basking in it's glow while the stone grew hotter and hotter in his hand, and once more, closed his fist tightly over it.

     "You can have your own in but a moment." He stated simply, pushing away grasping hands and trembling fingers, each trying to get to their beloved stone. "All I need for each of you to do is to stand by the wells and fountains, wait for me there, for just a few moments, and I'll give you each one of your own. You just have to make promises to me, an oath on your most sacrid possession. Don't move away from your area until told to, alright?" How could anyone refuse? He was offering them pure bliss for something so simple as standing. The broom closet's door exploded with students as they all ran to the courtyards, each trying to get to the giant fountain first. They ringed it, while others stood besides the wells closer by, and a few jumped in the fountains, determined to center themselves as much as possible. An hour passed, and still Rude Trevor didn't show. But none of them dared to leave their spots, less they loose their chance of having their own stone.

     Then, nearly the second stroke of morning something strange happened. The air was alive with the sensation of electricity, even if the night's sky was clear and full or stars. Rude Trevor finally did show up, but dressed in robes as dark as pitch, and reflected the light of the stars like black oil. He seemed to tremble as he moved, like a bead of water that was flowing down a blade of grass in a strong wind, hands cupped to his heart, and glowing brightly with that same light as the students had seen in the broom closet. They didn't dare move, not when they saw that the first student did indeed recieve their own stone, and she quickly dropped to her knees besides the fountain like a marionnette who's strings had been snipped. But she moaned, tilting her head back against the stone piece and started wrything on the spot, hands clutching tightly around the orb. One by one they were passed out, each student falling into what pleased them the most. One girl fell into bits of giggling laughter, holding her stomach as she dropped to her knees, another simply sat, staring out into the dark tree line at the edge of the school's walls, and didn't move.

     When all the stones had been passed out, Rude Trevor made his way towards the fountain, walking's it's circumfrence was salt, and created a ceal to lock in those students. The salt line was thick and the moment he put his energy towards the everafter, a surge of power went up to give goosebumps to any who was sensitive enough to feel. It was too late now to disrupt his circle, and the cerimony, with his willing sacrifices, were locked inside the ceal that only those invited may enter. He sat in the center of the fountain, a great beast rearing it's head out of the water and twisting it's scaley form to reach a fish. From here he chanted. "I name you, Algvmnbium." He began, every word precises, certain and clear. "I name your given name, the truthful name, the name of the spirit. I name your name, Algvmnbium. Arise. Arise and take arms."

     There was no great flash as one may have expected. A demon was summoned, but they pretty damn well came and go as they pleased. And, Algvmnbium did only what he pleased. It was curiosity that brought him forther quicker then expected, often he liked to wait long hours, where the caster had to remain consintrating, or loose the chance of closing the circle correctly. But this boy...how did he come to learn his name? So he asked him. "Boy." He said, taking up a prone, lounging possition on the stone statue's back as if he were a great cat, giving Kivan a run for his money in that easy to come by sex appeal. "How is it that you come to learn my name?" His hand dipped into the water, and instantly steam began to rise as his lazy red gaze turned to the human. He hadn't even brought a circle around himself to protect himself  from the demon. This was curious indeed. Rude Trevor possitivly beamed, dropping to his knees in the water and bowed before the demon, who quickly stretched his foot out to push him back. "Speak."

     "My lord! I am Trevor Val Gufru, and have summoned you here on behalf of my lord, who wishes to free you! These students are for your sacrifice, weighted down with stones of wraithstone, and humbling awaiting your mercy. My lords only wish, is that this school burns." The demon's brow quirked as he looked around at the courtyard, and indeed he did like what he was hearing. "And in return? Why is this worth my while?" Trevor lifted slightly from his bow, and a sadistic grin that did the demon proud, stretched across his lips. "I shall break your circle, dear Lord. And write my oath in salt that I shall never banish you." This pleased the demon greatly, and instantly his hand was stretched out towards Rude Trevor to shake. He didn't even hesitate, and in that moment, a snap chorded through the air as the circle broke, and Algvmnbium stood from his stone thrown to stand outside of the fountain. He smiled, looking across the academy and the eyes that had began to peek out of their windows. "I do believe my little beasties need a stretch..." And just like that, wails could be heard throughout the academy, twisted demons and wolvish figures of every shape bled from the dark, and attacked the closest in reach.



With the fear of assassination gone from her shadow, Markie got to work on doing what she did best; crafting magic and making friends.  There were those that called her ability to make friends magic on it's own, but she was just that sort of person.  On the magic side, she outright impressed her professors with her potential, even if her skill thus far was rather rough hewn.  But oh, they would make a shimmering gem out of her!  Markie was one of the lucky few in the world that magic came very naturally to, even if there were some fields that she struggled with.  But oh, that just made her even more of a darling to the professors, for what human was perfect?  And while people had a tendency to be jealous of those who were better than they, there were very few who could claim so of Marchelle.  She was very gifted, but she also had a lot to learn, and she knew this, and welcomed help from those who had studied longer than she, and in turn helped those who were newer in their studies.  By the end of the week, Markie had a crew of friends that helped her fell welcome in the city that was so foreign to her, and told her all about their homes from distant lands.  

It was that fateful night that she and some of the girls she'd met were having a slumber party in a student lounge on her floor.  They were arranged in a circle on the floor, kicking legs in the air and giggling about boys and magic and everything that chatty, happy girls talk about.  Markie laughed so much that night that she utterly forgot that there was trouble in the city.  At least, until one of the girls brought up that devilishly handsome man that had been sitting outside of Professor Klay's class earlier that week, and who in the world could he be, and oh, wouldn't he come around again and flash that roguish smile that made knees weak once more.  Markie smiled along as they chattered about Kivan, but kept quiet.  If they only knew...  But, the topic shifted again, and once more she was smiling and laughing.  By the time they fell asleep, it was shortly after the 12th stroke of night, and they were all sprawled out on the floor and various furniture peices, and some using each other as pillows.  Markie was curled on her side near the fireplace, soaking up the heat of the dying embers.  And at first it was very restful sleep.  Until Trevor appeared outside, and began passing out the stones.  Her sleep became troubled, dark images dancing through her dreams, causing small whimpers now and again and gentle twitches of her muscles.  The darkness that threatened her increased, however, when the salt was poured, and her neck began to itch, a sleeping hand reaching up to rub at the spot.  Worse and worse, until Markie was nearly sobbing in her sleep, unable to wake, unable to flee from the things that chased her in her dreams.  It had roused the girls closest to her, who shared worried looks, and then tried to wake her with gentle voices and soft shakes.  But it wasn't until the demon was called forth that Markie woke with a shriek and a flailing of arms, shaking with a terror she didn't understand and staring into the worried faces of her friends.  It took a minute for her mind to fully wake and understand what was going on, and it felt like something with many prickley legs was crawling around on her neck.  And she paled, and jumped up and ran for the door, across the hall and into the empty room there, and though she couldn't see anything, she knew what it was.  "A summoning!  Someone's calling demons!  Wake the others!"  Gods above...if the demons attacked while everyone was asleep, the death toll would be enormous.  She had to yell at the girls once more to get them into motion as she came out of the room, and then only once they were rushing to wake everyone else, Markie ran full tilt down the hall barefoot.  She made a quick stop in her room, grabbing the last of her blessed water and shoving it into a pocket on her pajama shorts, and then ran for all she was worth towards the professor's hall to warn them.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 10:51:26 PM »
Al was casual with his stroll through the academy, walking with his ease, hands folded behind his back as he moved first down one hall, and then the other, enjoying the sounds of screaming students as his beasties errupted from the dark crevices of the buildings. Students trying to flee up or down stairs found their ankles snatched with wraith-like hands, sneering, laughing demonic faces as they fell into heaps, a few being dragged away with viscious dogs that would bow their heads at Al, and occationally recieved a companionable pat on the head. It was chaos, some being dragged into the dark shadows where their screams would echo before they were lost in the ever after, but Al soon grew bored, so that particular chaos didn't last long.

     He was bored, being stuck in the ever after for a milenia with nothing but demons grew tire some. So when the bells began to ring, and he could hear the guards coming, fighting with bladed weapons against his pets, Al smiled delightedly. "A gentleman's game!" He cried with a clap of his hands, strolling towards the gates as he clapped. "Touche! Sir! On your guard!" And as he lifted his hand a blade seemed to materialize right out of thin air, it's hilt twisted and moved likek running water, and the blade was black like pitch, dripping a vile substance that, when hit their mark, burned the skin black. The guard screamed, clutching his arm and stumbled back to fall on his ass in the dirt.

     "You weren't any fun, at all." And he relieved the guard of his head, watching it hit the ground and roll to his feet. With a charming smile, Al scooped his foot back, and kicked it as hard as he could, sending the skull straight for the stone building, which splattered nicely several storied up, just to rain down upon some of the fleeing students. Again Al laughed, and turned to head towards the inside, where everyone seemed to be heading.

     The walls began to burn, the flames pale blue but the smoke that filled the halls was clay red. Some of the professors, the ones not busy trying to protect the students, were fighting off the flames that didn't seem to want to die, and often were forced to retreat to get to safer ground. Klay was amungst them, her sleeping shift torn and a ragged wound she had recieved on her arm was bleeding heavily, but she was too busy at the moment struggling to keep a rather toothy figure far from the students that were cowering together by the broom closet. She was sweating and cursing, summoning up pure white tendrils of light the burned holes into the demon, a very basic blessing spell that seemed to do wonders on the nasties. Klay managed a glance up, catching site of Markie and her friends. "Girls, here!" She cried, any help they could offer would be appreciated, Klay was begining to feel exhaustion set in. "They'll be here!" She muttered, turning to face another that reached the height of her hip, and cowered at the light. "They'll be here..."



The girls Markie had been with, and a fair sized pack of others, heard Klay's call, and worked their way through the seemingly unending armies of demons.  Markie, however, was no longer among them.  She'd found herself another group of students, who were rushing to get the youngest out of the walls and to safety.  Already she'd had to use two vials of her water to keep herself sane, but still the itching and the pain continued.  The only reason she hadn't ripped holes in herself again was because she just hadn't had the time.  The others around her were using blessing and holy spells, and ripped the lower demons to shreds, but Markie, no matter how she tried, just couldn't get enough power behind hers.  So she settled for what she could do.  Rubble of the failing buildings was sent hard into the masses of advancing demons, keeping them at bay until the others could destroy them, but still it wasn't enough.  Thankfully, most of the children had been loaded into a quickly prepared wagon, the horses on the verge of bolting.  But there wouldn't be enough time...  Markie, and those with her in the front of the defenders, hardly shared more than a look.  They all knew what had to be done.  First Rule, at least as Markie had learned it; protect those who cannot protect themselves.  Even at the cost of one's own life...  

All in a line, the five of them strode steadily forward, hands stretched out to their sides, fingertips just barely touching, and forming a forcefield in front of them.  Markie had power, the others had holy energy, and so in combination, they created a cleansing wall that turned the demons into ash and blackened bodies upon contact.  But it was draining.  Even so, they held out, until the last child was hefted into the wagon, and they heard hooves clattering across stone and out a back gate, away from the carnage of the academy.  They would be safe now...  

All five were sweating heavily and nearly gasping for air, and their line closed slightly, so that now fingers were intertwined, sharing their energy amonst each other.  Still they walked, driving the demons back, further away from the safe exit they had created, and that now others began to flock to.  Markie was in agony, the pain in her neck beyond even what it had been in Hal's.  And she clenched her jaw in grim-faced determination as the ache began to spread, but she dared not remove her hands from the link to apply the water.  Thankfully, a few others understood what they did, and joined at the end, bolstering the power of the field, and it grew longer and higher, forcing the beasts back to the center courtyard.



    The weaker of the demons stumbled backwards, very much afraid of the light that was coming off of these humans, so they ran, stumbling and tripping over themselves to cower behind the larger biesties, and even they seemed to wince and cower. But Al, he stood in the center of the mass, licking his fingers free of blood from the last student who had fallen pray to the wrathstone, looking unamused now that his fun was running out. "No sense of humor?" He asked, and his voice was ever charming and sultry, a thing someone would want in their ear beneath sheets in a dark room. He played games with his voice, it floated and seemed to caress things that voices shouldn't be able to reach. "You humans really are a bore. So dramatic. As if rending someone limb from limb truely was such a horror... You should all just...sit and relaxe." And with those words, Al stepped forward, reaching across his waist as if to draw a weapon and instead pulled lashed out with a dark wave of shadow that ate at their blessed wall of light, and it notably dimmed and shrank. He looked amused, "Oh, now that is fun. Did you see that one stumble?" He asked Markie, pointing at Klay as he grinned. "Do you, my lovely brown-eyed Poppet, think she could stand another? Can you?" Once again he reached to his side, grinning wide and slowly clawed the air before their shield, acting as if to dig his nails into it and push heavy, but slow. He was enjoying himself, laughing, and Klay did stumble down to her knees, but never let go of the hands she was holding, and fought her way back up.

     A flash of steel, of light reflecting off of Iron and Al found himself stumbling back, holding his chest with wide eyed shock at the gash that had burned into his skin. For a confusing second he thought he was starring into the eyes of one of his own demons, they were so dark, but then he saw the speckles of amber, and his nose flaired wide at the scent of wolf, and he laughed hard and excitedly at the woman who was standing between him, and the fading glow of the shield. "Oh! My dear! Trouble me with an introduction! Share your name, and I'll share mine."

     "Sounded more like an order, then a request, doesn't it, Luv? I think this demon here should learn a little thing about manners." Kivan stepped out from behind the Magi, accompanied by several others, three of which had joined the clasped hands to lend their aid. "Leave." The demon laughed again, ignoring Kivan for now and instead began circling Keshayla. She stood where she was, unamused, annoyed, and clearly angry at the distruction of the school. Up ahead the wagon that had escaped would be greeted by others from the Manor, and tended to. Now the difficult part of sending the damnable thing back had to be sorted with. "You're not welcomed here. Leave our school. Leave these grounds, go back where you came from." Another chuckle, and this time he reached out to touch her, which Keshayla stopped with the tip of her blade. "You're not a Magi. You can't banish me. The one who summoned me released me from his bonds. You're stuck with me, dear."

     "Until sunrise." And she parried his hand again, stepping when he stepped, and they began to circle like any fencing match would warrent. "Kivan." Was his cue of 'get the others out of here' And he didn't need to hear the rest to understand. "They're not leaving. Not until I have my fun."

     "You don't make the rules, Brimstone, they're my damnable welps, I'll do what I please with them."

     "No!"

     "Kivan!"

     He had made his circle; walking around everyone holding up their shields, and most had been part of the Manor anyways. He tucked their stoned pendants out from their shirts, dropping a bit of blood from his own finger, though skipped the few students who were without. One boy looked horrified, as if they were going to leave them there. Kivan started chanting softly, his eyes ever watchful on his partners back while his power rose, and he willed the stone pendants to life. With that same, oily black glow his had done days ago, one by one the pendants light up. In a flash, those in the Manor knew what to do, uttering a warning in unison before they dropped their shields, and spun to grab the nearest that was without. Kivan snatched Markie up in his arms as he commanded firmly, one word, and his blood acted as a focuss on all of the pendants, which winked out with their owners and bounty.

     The demon growled low and shouted, throwing his fist through the wall of the fountain and kicked at one of his beasties. And Keshayla grinned, allowing her eyes to melt away hunter green, to bright amber. "Don't worry, you still have me to play with." She was good at being a distraction, after all, and it was short a few hours until sunrise. Best to pace herself.

     Kivan and the others arrived after a rush of cold air in Clearwater Estates. Some dropped to their knees in exhaustion, some simply stepped away to tend to the needs of others, Kivan settled Markie down, making sure her legs were stable before he whisked himself away with barking orders. People began filing out of halls and rooms with food and water, blankets and things of first aid for the wounded. The wagon wasn't hear yet, then again, they would't arrive hear, either. Emma and Hal would open their doors to tend to the sick there, if others in the city hand't already. All would be avoiding the school until sunrise, and guards from black coats to yellowjackets started forming a ring around the grounds, curious as to why those demons weren't boiling over by now.



"Klay was not the only one to stumble to her knees when the demon master struck their shield.  Markie herself wasn't sure how she was still standing.  Their advance had since stopped, now that they were at the courtyard, but they wouldn't be able to move until everyone was standing again, anyway, and currently about half were on their knees, struggling to rise.  Markie poured everything she had into keeping that shield going, her heart pounding against her ribcage as if, too, were a beast that fought for release.  Tears streamed down her face, and she could barely even see anymore, the pain was so blinding, just dark flashes of moving shapes amist the explosions of white.  At some point, the mark on her neck had reacted so strongly to the demonic energies around her, that it began to bleed of it's own accord, without the aid of her clawing fingers.  She could feel the warmth slowly trickle down her back, even under the burning of the ache and itch.  So while she knew someone was approaching, she had no idea it was Kivan, or that he was up to anything.  But her poor body was so drained that as soon as his strong arms closed around her and the fingers of the others left her grasp she collapsed against him, completely limp and eyes lifeless, as if she herself were a doll that had been tossed away, her usefulness as amusement ended.  So when Kivan set her down, she ended up just slumping down to sit limply against a wall, still that lifeless ragdoll.  Her eyes slowly closed, and she plummeted into a deep and dreamless sleep.



     Markie was removed from the floor nearly an hour after she collapsed; as soon as a room for her had been located, and one of the Magi had a chance to see to any wounds she may have aquired, as well as to stop the bleeding at her neck. Since she wasn't able to eat just yet, she was ushered off to a warm, comfortable bed where she would be able to sleep off that stuppor her body had fallen in. Others were in simular situations, even Klay had fallen into that dreamless sleep the moment she had stepped foot inside the Estate. More people were resting, then awake, but the security was tight, and the adrenoline was still high.

     Kivan paced once light hit the sky, thankful for the long halls, but still it felt as if he was going to burrow a trail into the rich carpets. Back and forth, back and forth he went, and the higher the sun rose in the sky, the more foul his mood became, until people clearly avoided him, and took the long route around. Where was Keshayla? Twice he had turned to go check, but each time someone stopped him with a firm reminder: not yet. Not until things were safe. This was his Estate, and Kivan was in charge of seeing that everyone else was safe before he was able to go looking for his damnable partner. He knew the plan was a stupid one, but it had been the only thing they could come up with as they both ran towards the rising columns of red smoke. And now? Vapors, small trickles of the clouds were visable in the sky from here, all being swept away towards the ocean by the constant breeze down by shore.

     Finally he slumped, exhausted himself from a long night of worry and the stress of the last few days. His back hit the wall and he slid down until he was sitting flat, only then allowing his legs to stretch out with a long sigh. Windows linned the wall before him, each like a giant door way that stretched nearly fifty feet in each direction before him. He was stairing at that smoke cloud, glowering, before, calmly, pulling out one of his stelletos, and took to carving a pieve of ivory wood he had tucked away on his person. He was more patient with a distraction.



     The fun began right after Kivan left. Keshayla felt rather smug, even if this was as far as their plan went. And in terms of an escape route....well, she always did well with the 'winging it' theory. Kivan often called her reckless and a gods be damned fool. She called it sheer dumb luck, and she made a silent prayer to the Lady Most Kind to give her such luck, at least until the others were seen to safety. Still... She thought, rushing Al with her sword held ready to perry or thrust. Would be a shame to go out now, and not see the look of surprise on Jaeric's face when he falls... Yes. She'd love to live to see that day, and wished all the more that he would fall by her hands. She would die happy then.

     The first hour was blind rage. Keshayla fought dirty, she didn't play fair, and it amused the demon all the more while one after another his little minnions would fall, and he'd step forward until he felt the bite of her sword, which often caused him to stumble back and frown, surprised that her blade hurt. This was where the mystery of the metal came into play again, but Keshayla didn't question such things anymore, he didn't like getting cut, and neither did she. His blade burned. Like every time he lashed out it was with a red hot iron that ate through her skin with it's heat. Startling still, it left clean lines, not ragged and uneven such as it felt.

     She was panting and breathing hard long before light started to color the sky. Al's frustration grew but instead of screaming, ordering his filth upon her, or a number of other things, he mumbled to himself, listing off every possible name he could think of. It was a game to her now, and she laughed at the more frilly names, silently praying that he'd take his sweet time until the sun broke over the horizen. She was exhausted, the only thing, so it felt, keeping her weapon in her hand was from cramped fingers. Sitting down was quickly becoming a must, and she went as far as resting her hands on her knees, eyes ever watchful and careful. Her vission flickered, and her wounds ached with being unclean, maybe this wasn't such a good plan, after all...



Markie slept for the rest of the night, and would have slept for the entire day, too, if she had been allowed to.  Hell, she probably would have slept for three nights and days if allowed to.  But everyone who was still sleeping by early afternoon was gently woken to eat something.  Bodies could not heal on sleep alone.  She'd been in a stupor while she ate, something warm and mostly liquid, other than that it didn't register.  But, rather than be able to fall back asleep once she was full, that damnable body of hers decided that it wanted to stay awake.  Well what for?  There was nothing for her to do here.  She was still too weak to be any help, magically, even if she could have done healing magic.  Which, really, she couldn't.  But clearly someone else could, as her neck was closed up once more, and the itching gone.  No doubt whoever had taken care of that had seen all the scars normally hidden by her long hair.  So she found herself wandering, and wondering.  At first she just roamed to investigate the place they were in now, since she was always a rather curious sort.  But then she'd found a window that looked back towards the city, and the rising smoke that lingered there, and she couldn't help but sigh dejectedly.  She'd sent another letter to her family only a day before, telling them about the friends she was making, and how her studies were going, and how everything was going great at school.  Not a word of any of the danger she'd potentially gotten herself into.  They'd get that letter, and think everything was great for their daughter.  And then a couple days later, tops, they'd get the word that the school had burned to the ground in an attack, and that students were dead or missing.  And they would panic, and worry, and her mother would probably get sick again...  

Markie sighed, and kept walking, trying to get away from those windows to the city, but wherever she went, she could still see the red haze in the air, and couldn't help but worry.  Her worrying, wondering wanderings eventually took her to the hallway that Kivan had settled in.  At first she'd thought to turn around and leave him alone, but, again, what for?  No one else was saying anything, and she had questions.  As as much as she didn't like him, he was the only person she even sort of knew in this group, her friends having all gotten out elsewise.  So she crossed her arms, still wearing only her loose shorts and spaghetti strap shirt that had been her pajamas, and had certainly seen better days, the warmth of the summer making it bearable to be walking barefoot down the hall towards him.



     What had once been a oblong shaped, piece of wood, roughly the thickness of Kivan's clentched fist, was starting to take shape. He had managed to round it a little more, forming the smooth belly of some sort of bird, leaving behind a small pile of scratch on his lap, and on the richly carpet but those were all disregarded. What had once been harsh motions slowed over time, and now Kivan seemed much more relaxed, if not distant and distracted, enough so that he didn't greet Markie right away. Part of him wished the human girl would simply leave him be, or that she would say something so he had an excuse to lash out at her, but all of those were pushed away with a soft sigh. No sound came from that gesture, but his hair that shrouded around his eyes shifted in the exhail, and the tightness in his shoulders started to ease again.

     He was creating a swan, though the bones and most basic shape right now, most of it's body had a rough shape, but he was being rather careful around the elegant crook of it's neck, which was folded back slightly in a sort of 'S' shape. "I believe you have questions." He was certain she did, but still he didn't look up, offer to move to a more comfortable location, or any of that nonsence. Kivan remained sitting and huffed heavily once to clear his bangs. "Go on."



Markie had similar hopes of him barking rudely at her, so she could have a reason to continue to dislike him.  But ,really, she just wasn't that sort of person.  She'd been afraid of him at first, but now she knew that she really had no reason to maintain that initial fear.  And while his attitude was aggravating, he hadn't done anything specifically to make her wary of him.  Though that stunt in her room was certainly pushing things.  Markie gave her own sigh, the passing of air between lips the only sound, and she turned to lean her back against the wall a few feet from him, looking out those giant windows.  She was a nice girl; she couldn't change that.  And maybe it was naivete, but she wanted to see good in the people around her, even if they were arrogant, or too damned good looking for their own good.  Her arms were still folded, though mostly just to have something to do with them.  "Why were we attacked?  Why demons?"  Her voice was soft and subdued, an effort to be nice, though she was still very tired, and the dark circles under her eyes proclaimed that clearly.  "...Does this have anything to do with the king and queen dying?"  She hoped it didn't...  But she didn't dare to hope very hard.



     That was a good question, one he himself have been pondering for a while. Why the demons? Certainly it was over the top... Kivan sighed heavily now, not bothering to try and hold it back, rolling the stiffness around his shoulders until they popped and snapped, but the tension and worry wasn't going away. "The academy has been there for years. Even before my, ah, encouragement to inlist those from other parts of the land to school there. Magi born are often fragile things, forgive the bluntness, but most people are warry. So, the school was a good symbol, a place where people with elemental tallents, strong or lacking, were able to continue their education and solidify their control. It kept people safe; more then you may realized. The instructors were also there to burn any bad weeds. No good to educate a mad man, then send them off on his way to torture, maim or do as he pleases to folk. So why demons? It's an insult on the Magi name for those ignorant of how Magic works, and it was a friendly little message...."

     He turned the swan over in his hand, the expression on his face hardened a moment, which only flashed that lightning behind his eyes, but he quelled the rising anger once the carving began again. "Why deamons..." He muttered to himself, and then continued. "People will assume that it was simply a bad student, perhaps a gathering of bad students. It is a school for Magi only, so what else could it be? Certainly not a greedy sniviling fool of a man who had killed his own blood, simply to be named king. Nor could it be his toothy associate who speaks little, but would drink his 'masters' shit if it so pleases him. Your school was attacked, little Pearl, because the man wants to make the Manor look responsible. And that is only going to do cause more problems in all of this bumfuckery."



She shouldn't have laughed.  After all, he was answering her questions, perhaps even giving her more than was safe for her to know, and it was all very serious subjects.  But, that last word out of his perfect lips had caused an unstoppable, irretractable snicker, and she couldn't help but look down at him with both brows raised, and a lift to the corner of her mouth.  She couldn't have heard him right.  He was always so poised, so graceful and perfect.  So to hear something like one would hear from a sailor in training jolted her a bit, and took her by surprise.  No, she really shouldn't be laughing.  But a part of her needed it.



    The halfblood felt a corner of his lip lift at that sound. Laughter, as they say, it the best medicine, and he was taking that sound for all it was worth. Something inside him said that laughter wasn't going to be something he would hear very often, these days, so he simply enjoyed the sound, eyes closing and smiling still. It was very much like sitting in rain, each drop caressed and kneeded sore muscles, and his mood lifted, although slightly. He was still worried about his partner, but maybe....if he relaxed a little, news would reach ear. So he smiled through his hair at her, "My favorit has always been 'creeping shits'."


He set aside the dregs of his beer and breathes in deeply.  Fire, a big one.  Wood and paper, and even the smells of scorched masonry.  Sweet hell, it was a serious blaze.  That always drew out the curious, and disaster voyeurs were easy pickings.

He shrugged into his heavy great, water proof and all the pockets were on the inside.  There was profit to be found in disaster he reminded himself and strolled from the tavern and out into the street.  He followed the scent of the smoke and soon the more subtle smells of people began to mix in with the smells of the blaze, sweat and garlic mostly.

He stepped into the crowd, moving slowly, except for his hands who moved with startling speed as he started to harvest the fruits of catastrophe.



Another laugh, this one fuller and a little louder, though she clamped her hands over her mouth in an attempt to stop the sound.  Gods above, she shouldn't be laughing...but it just felt too good, expecially after last night.  Her smile really did fall, then.  She'd been laughing with her friends, so hard that her stomach had hurt.  Now, she didn't know if they were ok.  All she knew was that they had tried to get out with another group.  And gods, her mother!  She sighed again, and lowered to sit crosslegged, staring dejectedly at her hands in her lap.  "This isn't going to be over quickly, will it."  Not so much a question, as looking for agreement with what she suspected.  "Will we be able to send word to anyone?"



  The sun was nearly at the surface, and much to Keshayla's pleasure, that meant she could stop soon. If there was a place past exhaustion, she was certain she was there, and it felt like the only reason she was still standing was because the gods were toying with her. The demon lowered his blade and smiled ruefully, before sheathing it and once more held the air of bored authority. "Just a name... what will it hurt, mine wolf?" She wanted to wipe that look off of his face with her fist. She reisted the urge, who said that she didn't have any self control? "You first." And a coy smirk touched her lips, right before she finally sagged down to her knees. The demon smiled, the sort that made milk curdle and her insides shrink. Would that damned sun crest already?!

     "How is that possibly fair?"

     "Are you done speaking, wretch? By the withered raisins between your pants, and the shivers wracking my spine, it's damn cold, and these moments spent with you have been a bore." Great. Keshayla. Antagonize him. Imply that his equipment is a little undersized... That was certainly going to make him go away, faster. Scowling now, she pressed the tip of her blade into the soil, using it to steady herself and pushed to stand again. All of her muscles screamed and protested, and she wobbled before dropping down flat on her rump. All laughed, but Keshayla's intuition told her she had done the right thing, and like some internal alarm went off, she knew that the sun finally broke the surface, and she knew just before Al's eyes widened that he was probably pissed, and that this wasn't the last she was going to see of him.

     Him and his nasty beasties seemed to slip away as the sun's light branched out, and Keshayla flopped back into the soil with a trembling sigh. That had gone incredibly well. But now she faced another problem. How the hell was she going to get passed the guards? But why should she worry? Grey dots were dancing in front of her eyes, now that the surge of adrenoline was faiding. Here's to waking up... Crooked Warden, I'll see that you generocity will be returned if I keep my head on my shoulders. I sort of like it there...



     "This is the sort of thing that's going to be stretched out over a vast amount of time." He answered simply. "Jaeric has had us at a disadvantage since this all began. Now things are only going to get more desprite. If we lay low, he'll assume that we're beaten, gave up or to low on numbers. But the disadvantage to that plan is that he'll be moving onto his second stage, when we haven't even begun our first." Kivan's careful carving started working at a folded wing, carefully etching in the intricate feathers, smoothing out the surface, before moving towards the belly once more. "The Secret Peace, obviously, has been broken. I'm not certain what he expects to do now, now with how the government has been running this for over a hundred years. He believe the Peace makes him weak, a tool. It's not the people that this man has a car for, he's hungry for war. Branching out to your loved ones is not an option, not at the moment. But, give it a few days, and we'll see to it that letters are given safely, and far quicker then means by ship or horse."


She just nodded to herself as he spoke.  Yes, she was definately learning far too much than was good for her health.  But, she'd probably started her own self down that road when she decided to make a Memory of that drunk's chatter.  He was talking about things that she had no idea about, but she had a feeling that she was going to become intimately familiar with this all before everything was said and done.  Her heart sank when he said they couldn't send word, but then came the provision of time.  She might be able to send news of her safety to her parents in time, then.  She wondered how long Kivan's method would take; could it possibly get there before her other letters?  Probably.  And if magic factored in in any way, which she was sure it did, then it was very likely it would.  

Markie sighed again, and leaned her head back against the wall, eyes drooping again.  She was tired, and wasn't sure that she could even make it back to a stand.  But that was ok...because the carpet was soft and comfortable, and the sun had warmed the stones on this side of the building... Her eyelids fell a little more, before sluggishly lifting open again, and struggling to remain that way even as she spoke.  "One more...  Why do you call me Pearl?"



     Again he smiled, but it was meant to be private, and just for him. "Because a Pearl is truely unique. Each one is different from the other; whether it be shape, shade or size. Each one takes years to form, truely an art of nature, and too genuine to replicate. The longer it develops the more desired it is, purely elegant in its simplicity." She reminded him of a Pearl in all of that: Beautiful, unique, and truely an origional. Kivan was many things, and honest was deffinatly one of them.



"Hm."  It wasn't so much a response, as that she heard his voice and knew that he was taking.   Afterall, she was already half-alseep again.  But a bit of a smile did curl her lips.  "Flirt."  Her eyes closed the rest of the way, and she sighed as she settled into sleep, still leaning back against the wall, her chin dropping down against her chest.  She probably wouldn't remember a word of what he had said, but at least she would know that he meant good things behind that pet name.



     Kivan let her rest a while, working on that swam for his own sanities sake. Wings were crafted, folded back with intricate feathers. It's elegant neck curved and he gave it a bill, where blowing on the wood carefully, for a short time, darkened it black. When it was complete, the birk easily fit in the palm of his hand, weighing just a few ounces, and looked as if it would start moving on it's own accord. Satisfyied, he tucked it into a pouch at his hip, and stood to his feet, brushing off all of the shavings of wood he had collected. The Stelleto was reloaded into the spring he had customized in his gauntlets, and after taking a moment to check their placements, he scooped Markie up in his arms and started down the hall.

     Klay was awake by then, waiting near the kitchens when she saw him, and followed silently behind. The halfblood to Markie back to her room, where he slipped her into bed, and pulled the blankets over her. The swan Kivan had made was pulled out of the pouch, and set on the wooden night stand besides her. He turned then, exiting the room and closed the door behind him where Klay awaited, arms folded over her chest. "Nothing yet?"

     He shook his head, turning to move back down the hall. He was going to start pacing again, and the carpets beneath his feet trembled at the thought. "I'll be on the roof. I'm going to send Pyrflies out." Klay's face scrunched in puzzlement, pushing away from the wall to hurry after him. "Are you sure you want to do that, Kivan? Isn't it...taxing? And you've been under a lot of stress already." She had to sort of hop to fall into step with him, and they broke broke into the kitchens where the stairs leading up would be. "Not at all. It's getting easier and easier, as the days go one." Klay wasn't comforted by that thought.



Markie hardly shifted at all when Kivan lifted her and carried her off.  She had a lot of energy to recover, afterall.  She only woke once, briefly, after he and Klay had left again.  She was confused to be back in her bed, but then her eyes landed on the swan, and she smiled sleepily, and closed her eyes again, once more falling into deep, restful sleep.



   She allowed herself the grace of a few moments of rest. The guards wouldn't be rushing up the hills the moment light touched the sky, no one should be that excited to fight demons. Even though that's exactly what you and Kivan did... True, but they had incentive. Where the guards below were most likely working on Jaeric's orders to keep the area secure until every last Magi of the school was dead, waiting as long as possible to offer aid, Kivan and the others had already seen to the surviver's escape. Let them think they won, that all the Magi's were taken, killed, or otherwise injured. You aren't doing any better yourself... Ah, but she could roll, the school stood on a good hill, it was a possibility that she could get enough speed. Too bad you're not near the ocean...

     Keshayla sighed, allowing her eyes to open and blinked up at the lightening sky. She ached and wanted to fall into sleep, but not until she felt somewhat secure, and not blatantly in the open. So, with much grumblings that no one would hear, she managed to sheath her blade after several tries, and rolled onto her stomach. The school was still burning, the red smoke still spiraled into the sky, where she could feel the soft kicks of wind taking it out to sea. She crawled, because part of her felt too exposed if she stood, part of her wasn't certain  she could stand, and her goal was located on the ground, anyways. "Crooked Warden." She muttered again, smiling when she saw the grate in the floor, unobstructed from debree. "Thanks..." She didn't need to finish the prayer, after all. Looks like the gods were favoring her today.

     With a sense of humor.

     Keshayal slid the top off, and gazed down into the Narrows with a laugh. The ladder had been ripped away here, so she'd be left to the drop, and inher current condition, that was going to jolt her good. "You better be laughing." She was grinning herself, and cast a careful look over her shoulder before slipping through and tugged the top over head as best as she could, before dropping and landing in the dark with a harsh curse. After a few more moments of simply breathing, having to wipe the sweat from her brow from the heat of the Narrows, the fires above her still scourching, and she was past parched for water... Keshayla made her slow way, on her feet this time, to the closes door with the ladder that she could find. The tunnels beneath the city were secret from even the guards and nobels, and she was thankful for that. Nice to know that there weren't crossbows waiting for you at the other end of the bend.

     Finally, Keshayla reached a ladder, thankfully made of wood instead of tethered ropes like a few were known to be, and by the markings on the wall, she saw that she'd be the same district as the school, but outside of the school limits, and hopefully where a crowd of people was. The crowds were promising, maybe a few of those in the Manor would be there, waiting to see if she slipped through or not. Maybe she could bribe someone to take her back to Hal's? No, she didn't think Hal's would be the safest place, not with how things have been running as they were. Anywhere else. With another grunt, she forced herself to climb the ladder, muscles trembling but somehow she made it, and the slot was pushed open. Keshayla crawled out, onto the busy street where she could hear and see people crying, pointing towards the schools. Families and friends worried about thier loved ones, and strangers gapped at the flames that were begining to die down in the sun light. Everyone was looking at the school, which was a blessing for her. So she covered the grate back up, and managed to climb back to a stand. Now, to get the hell out of here.



     Pyreflies were a specialty, though they were things that most humans couldn't see, but those who were magically talented, part of the 'others' or simply more 'aware' to the spiritual world, could. They varied by task and caller, but all of Kivan's were very unique. Their bodies were nearly a foot long, scaley like a fish, but thin and wirey like a butterfly, or dragonfly. They really didn't have a color, a sort of pale, off blue that made them appear more transluscent then anything else, and they made no sound. Pyreflies were things in the everafter, where the demons live and are summond from. But unlike demons, the insects didn't need casting circles, and they were only threatening in the wrong hands.

     He was using them as messengers. And the moment Kivan stepped foot on the roof, these Pyreflies seemed to come out of the thin air around him. Klay kept back, ducking only once when one of the long ends of a Pyrefly came a little too close for comfort, even if she knew that Kivan wouldn't let it hurt her. He whispered, but it wasn't in the common language that his smooth lilting tone came from. Very few knew of Kivan's full background, and Keshayla wasn't one of them. Klay had found out utterly by accident, and it was a secret she had sworn to keep to the grave. The words the left Kivan's mouth seemed garbled and rough, but sickly seductive and sinister at the same time. Only demons and those of relation were able to call Pyreflies, and although Kivan only shared half of his blood with that gene, it was often times a strugle to keep that half silenced.

     So he whispered and cooed at the pyreflies in his hand, letting them crawl over his shoulders, or rest on his chest, anywhere they could reach and touch their master. He wanted them to find Keshayla, and tell him where she was. He wanted them to take a careful look at the school, and report back of the remains. He wanted to know what was going on in the city, while everyone's attention was turned to the fires. And he wanted to know of the other students, and how many were taken. Then all at once they left in a rush. Klay once more dropped to the ground, landing on her butt with a small squeak at the pyreflies rushed high into the sky, moving like a school of fish where they darted through the air until they seperated in small clusteres to their own destinations. Kivan sat then, rubbing at his temples and closed his eyes. It wasn't taxing, in the way that Klay made it sound out to be. He wasn't tired. It was taxing, in that the Fay in him struggled all the harder and he would need a few minutes to control himself. "Bring me some tea." He spoke, and his voice was gruff.

     The rest of the day, Kivan spent on the roof, drinking an herbal mix that Klay had created for him, and didn't leave until the sun began to set. Nothing was expected of anyone except for rest and restoring themselves, and those who were recovering quickly were encouraged to sleep some more. Tomorrow they will be 'inlisted' into some information that others were privy to. After an attack like that, Kivan had decided to inform the Magi of what, exactly, the Secret Peace was, and what, exactly, the Manor does, and why, exactly, all of this concern them. None of his Pyreflies returned that night.



Well now, ain't that a pretty looking little thing, he looked right past the woman to her belt, or more specifically the purse dangling from it.  His hand was quick and deft, but the clod next to him picked them to bump him and he knew she felt it, he turned and grabbed a klutz and pulled him around his own body.  "What are ye doin' ye clumsy sod!" Grater said loudly.  "Take yer mitts off the lady, and there was a cracking sound as Grater crushed the hand, now around the purse, in his own.  The bystander had no chance to protest his innocence before a large fist popped into the side of his skull and dropped him as if he were pole-axed.  "Watch what ye value here, Miss," he said with what seemed to be grandfatherly concern.  "They'll take anything ye value in these parts."



Markie roused herself late the next morning, and only because the smell of food was overpowering, and had turned her stomach into a traitor, which now grumbled loudly, adding it's own voice to the call for her to awken.  When she finally, grumblingly, opened her eyes to small slivers, it was to cast a grumpy scowl at the smiling face and the plate of food he held.  It was an older student, one she may have seen in passing once or twice, but she didn't know him by name.  "Come on, sleepyhead.  Get some food in you."  He stopped fanning the aroma of it at her and set the steaming plate on the nightstand next to the swan, followed by a tall glass of juice, and then left with a smile and a short wave, off to deliver more plates of breakfast to those still sleeping.  Aching arms gradually lifted her upright, and she pulled the plate into her lap and slowly ate.  It was typical breakfast fare, eggs and potatoes with various herbs and spices, and a few 'extras' to help with energy recovery.  It was a heaping plate, but she ate it all, and drank every last drop of the juice, and still wished that there had been more.  The rings under her eyes weren't so extreme any more, now a faint discoloring, like old bruises that were almost healed.  Though she was in no rush to go anywhere.  So, she snuggled back into bed, and traded the dishes for the carving.  She held it carefully and ran her fingers over the intricate carving with delicate touches.  It was hard to believe that such an elegant peice of craftsmanship had come from the blade he was using.  She'd seen the tools used by the woodcarvers at home, and they had entire walls and tables covered with different saws and picks and files and tools that she couldn't even put a name to.  It really was beautiful.  But it puzzled her as well.  Why give it to her?  She didn't think he was making any grand gestures at friendship, not with the way their 'relationship' had started.  She continued to stare at it and turn it over carefully in her hands, taking in every little detail.



   Gods bless the creator of the cloak. Keshayla had managed to flip hers around, so that most of the blood and gore was on the inside, and pulled up the hood, once more white, mocking those of the priestess of the Lady Most Kind. She even tucked her head slightly as she walked, a slow stroll that wasn't entirely faked, she could see that this was going to take forever. But then once more, the gods thought to amuse themselves at her own expence. Keshayla felt that tug that was quickly haulted by an older man with a quick fist and accusation. Most women would probably swoon or nod dumbly at the display of violence, but Keshayla's smirk was lopsided and slightly cocky, even with the clear exhaustion on her face. "Thanks." She muttered, stepping in besides the man to slip her arm around his, as if he was indeed, a grandfatherly figure. "I'll pay you three silver sovreighns." She started, and gestured in her right hand where each full crown was tucked away in between her fingers. "If you be such a kind gentleman as to guide me ever safely out of here, and to an Inn?" And with that smirk fading slightly she flickered her eyes across their path before returning to him. "Preferably one thats safe of Yellow Jackets, if you catch my meaning."



Three was three, and he ought to do it for free, considering what a cock-up the pinch turned into just to teach himself a lesson.  "Three it is," he nodded, "And I'll be taking ye to to a place called Hal's Tavern, it ain't the name on the sign but call it by its proper name and ye'll find yerself marked as an outsider.  Better to fit in ye see."

Just get walking ye gabby bugger, he chided himself silently.

"Put yer hand on me back and follow me close," he told her.  "Folk'll part the way for me."

And he turned and glared at those blocking his way and people recalled appointments a few feet over, clearing the way for him to lead her through.



     Kivan hadn't slept that night, not leaving his perch in the roof until halfway through the night where Klay scolded him like any good school teacher could. He was taking orders from her? The woman was half his size, when not using one of her many spells to change her appearance. Always she looked different, but one always knew it was Klay. When he had left the roof to go inside, the halfblood strolled through the estate, checking every room to make sure everyone's needs were seen to, before he gathered up those in his Guild, and told them what needed to be done.

     By sunrise, all of the instructors that may have been sleeping still were woken, fed plenty, and allowed a chance to take a hot shower. Next were the older students, which were put in charge or rousing all of the others, and to see that they were fed. Once everyone was awake, each of the older students would show the others were to shower, saw that they got fresh clean clothes and once everyone was comfortable and ready, they were all told to hurry to the study.

     This was a large, circular room, the only break in the lining of book shelves was from the door way itseld, and even that, when closed, could be boarded up if one wished, and covered with more volumes of books. Small glass stands littered about, these holding old maps that would turn to ash if air were to touch their parchment, so old they looked waxy and nearly transluscent, their inks faded and the color of bone marrow. But there were pleanty of spots to sit, cushsions thrown into heaping piles on the floor, chairs, couches, stools, even a few chase lounges, one of which Klay sat with a tea cup in her hands. Kivan and another man, taller then even the half blood, stood at what one may assume to be the front of the room. The dark man was dressed in a fine suit with a fine choice of cuts and fabrics. A rich blue, just before the sky turned dark, with wide cuffs and a gray undershirt. His babbles weren't gold or silver like the nobles often prefred, rather the ever growing popular tigers eye, each intricatly carved into the same sigal as what was on all of the instructor's necklaces.

     "I assume everyone is comfortable?" Felix asked, his voice a deep bass that tickled the chest and sounded rather pleased. When he was satisfyed he nodded, looking for Kivan for orders. He gave a slight nod of his head, and Felix nodded to Klay. With a lift of her hand the door closed, sealing everyone in the room, and once the door was securely locked, and a spell from another teacher was cast so that no one would be able to record of hear what was being spoken, Felix smiled. It was wide, with perfect white teeth and a set of fangs. "Welcome."



   Her first reaction was to decline. Hal's was the first place she wanted to go, but it was also a likely location to find her...for those who knew where to find her, and she didn't think that Jaeric was fully in the 'know'. She frowned softly, mulling it all over in her head but indeed slipped her hand to the stranger's back and followed his lead. People certainly did as he said they would; scramble out of the way with an appology at times, and she took another look at this man with new interest. Might be handy to keep around... Or too obvious. Again that smirk, and Keshayla felt the urge to glance over her shoulder lessen, the further away from the guards they went. "Have a name, stranger? Or is that going to cost me another Sovreign?"



"Grater Jakes," he replied, "but grater will suffice,"  he said as they cleared the crowd at last.  "Running from or running to?" he asked.  "Don't matter much either way, if ye don't want bothered by the yellow jackets Hal's is the place, and they want no part of me, I'm bad luch to them you see, six of them rousted me one night and they all broke bones the next day.  Seems they think me a curse.  Silly how folk will get superstitious, they're just klutzy sods."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 11:01:22 PM »
Never, in all her life, had Markie been so happy to have a hot shower.  She augmented the heating with a bit of her own, so hot that the water burned before she let it cool again to merely steaming.  It felt like she needed it that hot to scald away everything gross still on her.  And clean clothes!  She relegated her pajamas to the growing pile of rags with a sigh, though was certain to transfer the last two vials of water from her shorts to a pocket of a light jacket that went over the new blouse, and tugged a belt tight over a pair of trousers that were just slighty to big.  She followed the rag-tag army of students into the study, and situated herself on the floor in a pile of oversized pillows with some students she recognized from her histories class.  Everyone seemed to be banding into groups, even if it was with people they'd met all of once; they all wanted, and needed, something familiar in this very unfamiliar situation.  Once everyone was situated, the younger and newer students looked to their professors for guidance, and followed their gazes to the front of the room to look at Kivan and Felix.

   "From. Actually." There was no point in lying. She felt no shame in the fact, and if he was thinking that he could simply snatch her purse, turn her in, and count his findings. Well... he had told her to place her hand at his back, and a stelleto in the kidney was a painful sort of thing. "Been dancing all night, you see." She spoke as if it were an every day occurance. "Some shitsucker thought it to be amusing if he were to summon demons on those kids, and I do love having a good time, so I thought to entertain myself a while." She scoffed softly then, taking care to tilt her chin down so that her hood could cover her face better when a Yellow Jacket ran past. "Hal and Emma would be thankful, I can assure you, my friend. I'm a bit of a regular there, actually."

"Found it today," he raised a brow at the yellow jacket and watched him turn down another street.  

"No shame in getting from somewhere," he added as they rounded another corner and walked into the inn.  "But, now I'd reckon you're to somewhere," he waved to the barman for another sandwich and beer.  "And its better to be somewhere where the beer is cold and the beef rare and sliced thin."

He sat to his fare and looked at her.  "Gotta watch fer them otherworld nasties," he added.  "Any that raise them are daft t'think they can hold them."

"With much of the standard 'I dos', 'appologies', 'much regrets' and curtisies set aside, the lot of you have found yourself in privy. Any words uttered in this room shall remain in this room, nothing gets out, or you may find yourself practising the arts of a Geas." For a moment Felix let that settle in, any shifting eyes that looked a little too shadey were being noted, and already one of the students was noted not to ever truely leave this room. But that will be taken care of later. Felix nodded briefly, and one of the teachers took note, and that girl's fate had just been decided, unbeknownst to them. But later. "You're all bright, so allow me to speak plain, and do ask questions if they shall arise, because we have the luxery of time on our side..for once." He snorted softly as if that disgusted him, and with arms folded behind his back, Felix paced, though never crossing Kivan's path or view of the room. "Who here, has heard of the Secret Peace?" A few tentative hands. "Who here, had heard of the Manor?" More sets of hands, but all were certainly more confident, if a bit excited as to where this may be leading. "Right. Now. Who can tell me what they are." And the hands began to drop, although people had vauge ideas, speculations and rumors, no one really felt the confidence to explain, truthfully, what they all were. Kivan smiled.

     "The Manor." He started, and Felix took a step back and looked towards the halfblood, who was still learning gracefully against the wall, glancing across the room as he spoke. "Is a mercenaries guild, for a more blunt, and less formal discription. We're select members of the city, from Nobles, to officials, butchers, down to your basic cut throats and pushers." And again, he smiled. "Hardly beautific, isn't it? We're the ones highered by the Right People, those who know where to look, to solve, let us say, matters that the Yellow Jackets and Black Coats can't handle. Don't get me wrong." Because he saw one woman blanche at what she was hearing. "We're not your average hooligan. Have you wondered why the crime rate in Ciln was so low? Why it was, that the guards simply looked away for some?" And here he briefly glanced at markie. "We're the ones that keep those things that go 'bump in the night' from crossing over the palace walls and into your farms and fair streets." For such a large amount of woods at the city's backs, and untamed sea at their fronts, it was a wonder that more of the nasty creatures of the world, haven't made themselves known. Even those who live close by to the gates rarely have a tale of seeing things. But occationally they do hear them.

     "Now for a little history lesson, please mind, this may take a little while." And, as if to prove his point, Kivan strolled over to a cupped chair at the center of the room, and dropped right in, his legs and arms hanging over the side rather comfortably. "You students are too young to know, but perhaps you have heard? About thirty years ago, Ciln was far from the safest city, as it was durring the time of our past king and queen, may the gods rest their souls. Gangs ran the streets, the Yellow Jackets were being killed every day, and bodies were piling up quicker then the prys could burn them. Being the largest port city, murderers had quick get aways, and not to mention the poor farmers who had nothing to do with the internal walls were being dragged out of their beds by things like Crocottas and an assortment of beasties.

     "Well, think what you'd like, but a man certainly can't perform good buisness in such chaos. So, thirty years ago, a man stepped off of a ship and saw all this ruckas and was already tired of it. There were nearly twenty different Doyens, all trying to run Ciln. Twenty Doyens, each with several gangs, with their own cut throats, teasers, muscles and set of fulls. They clashed, you see? So, this man, shall we simply call him Capa? Capa decided that much more conventional methods were more...apt. Being new in town, he made friends and started his own gang, teaching the people rhetoric...if you catch my meaning. So his gang removed one of the doyens by slitting his throat." And the half blood flicked two fingers towards the cieling, showing then a stelleto, that seemed to pop from thin air. "And indeed, adopted his gangs and his teasers, and his muscles and the like. Though, this Capa was smart enough to not lean on his gangs if not need be. In fact, he allowed his gangs to move freely through out the city so long as they followed certain rules, and offered him up a percentage, weekly, of their collection." He paused long enough to smile at the stelleto, a tumble of the blade with his long, elegant fingers, and the blade returned to it's catch.

     "So you see, thirty years ago, there were nearly twenty. Twenty, there were a dozen. Ten, there were half the amount and five, there was only one. The Capa was an inteligent man." If he didn't say so, himself. "And while all of his gangs were paying him a percentage of their collections, there was still a matter of the guards to consider. So, here lies the Secret Peace. The Capa, through means of connections by third parties." Who currently, was still missing, much to his troubled mind. "Knew someone within his ranks that was close to the Royal family, purely accidental, but convienent. A treaty was formed, after a long time negotiating, and ease fell into the city." Again he lost himself to a fond memory, watching it unfold before his eyes and he spoke almost lathargicly. "No more killing off the guards. We'll keep our hands and sticky fingers off of the nobles. The Yellow Jackets and Black Coats, anything with a ligitamit coat of arms wouldn't be tampered with. We were free to roam, having the Docks, the Serf, the Narrows- though you have yet to learn of those- all to ourselves." He sat up slightly, looking out past his hair to the students. "King Luckas and Queen Nesca were good people, a rare treasure in life. They saw how well these things were working, how calming the city was becoming, and hired..us..." which was Keshayla and Kivan. "To keep your streets, your lands, safe at night. We guard the boarders, keeping all the nasties at bay, worked other contracts with the merpeople of the sea, the Elves to the East, and it works."

It didn't take a genius to make sense of things, though Markie may have been privy to information others had not.  But as those others caught an air of excitement, Markie just frowned.  She couldn't fight the feeling that this was all something that she shouldn't be caught up in.  She came here to learn magic, not to become a mercenary.  And she had to wonder if Master Broderick had known what he was sending her into...  

As she listened to the history lesson that had never been taught in school, again she found herself catching the hidden meanings behind it all.  Kivan was that 'Capa' of history, though he looked like he couldn't have been more than thirty himself.  But with the air of magic around him that wasn't quite mere gift, she began to wonder what more was to him.  And again wondered if she really should know.  She snorted under her breath, a mostly silent sound, when he complimented his own intelligence, but continued to listen closely.  It was all very important information, and likely this would be the only time she heard it.  Best not to waste the oppotunity.

     "So don't assume this is a recruitment." Best to keep that clear. "But we do seek your aid and wish use of your services until this whole mess has straightened itself out. The situation, as it stands: The king and queen are dead, you are all aware of this, now allow me to inform you of whom. Nancy boy, Duke Jaeric Caulix Alberty, nephew of Queen Nesca, and therefor heir to the thrown seeing how our fair, late, King and Queen have no child, took it upon himself, with his ever present lapdog Victus Oramley, to see the strings of their life snipped. Currently speaking, the blame is focussed on our guild, muttered whispers about us working a new government and the like." She shrugged his shoulders, tossing it off as nonscence. "Time isn't on our side, though these things will always stretch on. We need researchers, extra ears, people who can go about the streets and simply listen to the surfacing rumors while our other affairs are straightened and tended to. We need a truthful list of the Blye blood line. Who is next in this regal line? Jaeric shall not be resting on the thrown for long." Had he said too much? Not enough at all, his point was very clear. Jaer thought he could over throw a system that clearly worked, to kill one of the most just and fair governers of time and for what? Jealousy, and land? His life will be short, and his 'ideals' would be even shorter lived.

"So like, you want spies?"  This from a girl a few people over from Markie, and a few years younger.  She was the type who, now that the immediate terror was over, would romanticize the whole ordeal.  She'd probably become a bardic mage if she kept with her training.  A few of the others around her seemed to perk up at the idea.  A handful of others fairly beamed at the chance to put their...shadier talents to good use without fear of discipline from the school.  Markie frowned slightly at the list of things Kivan wanted, especially the last few.  She didn't know much about royal secrets or bloodlines, but she did know that powerful families kept their geneologies under wraps.  "We won't be able to find the lineage from outside," she murmured, and even as she wished she weren't so clever, an idea was already forming.  She had to swallow hard, as though she were swallowing bile, and sighed.  "Someone has to get inside the palace."  As little as she knew about politics and ruling a country, she knew something had to be changed.  If the man who had become king truly was the one behind the attack on her school, then he had to be stopped.  That much she knew.  Though she was beginning to think she knew far too much.  No, scratch that.  She was sure she knew far too much.

     It was almost enough to bring a tear to his eye. Almost. But it did bring up a rather wolfish grin on his face, one that allowed a small display of perfectly white, if not..slightly pointy? teeth. "Spies. Yes. I do suppose that's what I was meaning." Kivan sat up, only to lean forward in his chair, and rest his elbows on his knees. And indeed, the smiles and double glances that went around the room made him rather proud and satisfyed. But it was Markie's magic words that caught his attention, and a slender white brow arched as she seemed to be thinking aloud. "Ah, Pearl. Do finish that thought, I very much like to hear where it is going." She looked slightly uncomfortable, so he leaned back, trying to seem at ease, as if this was only a discussion. What harm could a discussion do?

He may have fooled the others, but Markie was not so easily charmed by his easy stance and ready smile.  She sort of felt like she was signing her own death warrant by speaking the plan out loud.  "Well, if the new king wants to look good, he'll have to do some sort of outreach to the surviving students.  So, say some of us, whose only home was the school, and are now wounded or disfigured to the point where we can't do magic or otherwise make a living for ourself, show up at the palace asking for help, he would be obligated to take us in and find us a productive position in society.  But that would take time, because no one wants to hire a cripple, so he'd have to negotiate and haggle and probably buy people to take us on.  In that time, we could find something useful on the inside, and report back."  The sick part of it all was, she already knew what her 'disfigurement' would be.

And there it was, that dazzling smile that would make Keshayla wince if she had been there. The smile meant trouble, big trouble. Klay groaned softly in her hand, though she herself was grinning wide, and Felix chuckled deeply, nodding and speaking, "Oh, I like her." Kivan felt a little pride for his Pearl. "My dear, you truely are an asset. Truel is a remarkable idea." And already he was plotting, his mind working quickly with the information. Every now and then a gentle murmer would sound, and Klay or Felix would offer an answer from across the room. Random things it sounded, such as dates, associates. A few counts of people he hadn't even needed to ask about. It was clear that these people were well connected and informed with each other.

     "Klay, be a dear, will you? Three will do." And the witch was up, off of her chase without a second glance and crossing the room to the door. She slipped out without a glance. There will be a festival, to celibrate Jaeric's 'crowning' in a few days time, marking the first day of summer. What better time then those who have suffered from the fire, to step forth to their new king? His smile faded only because there was more buisness to discuss, while Klay went about to form some finer opinions of that plan. He really wished Keshayla was here, and once more he glanced to the wall as if to peer out of a window that wasn't there. He'll try scrying, perhaps, later. "Now then, if you'll all look up...."

     Time passed like that for a while, maps of the Narrows were made clear for the students, though no copies were ever made. He gave tips on how to travel through those tunnels and informed how to read the sigals on the walls that would direct their path, and inform them on what door ways were there, all basic, trivial things that one may need in a pinch. The finer secrets were still kept quiet, only a few of those who may be trusted would be informed on such things like the Iris, Kivan's particular beasty he was rather fond of, the Merfolk, the elves, and sort of dealings with those. But, 'Class' let up just short after dinner time, and a meal was waiting for them all when the doors finally opened, and they were allowed to stretch themselves, refuel and chatter.

Markie listened carefully to everything, committing it to her mind as if she were committing it to a Memory.  But she couldn't help but feel a bit squeamish about that smile he'd worn.  Perhaps she had a bit in common with Keshayla; she certainly didn't trust it either.  She sighed when they were finally released, her head full to bursting with new information, and she didn't know how she would remember it all.  She lingered a moment when students began filing out, but changed her mind and started to go with the crowd.  She'd wanted to ask Kivan about the swan, but she wasn't so sure she even wanted to look at him right now; it would only remind her of the big heaping pile of trouble she'd stomped down barefoot into.  And she had the same disgusted feeling that one had when that 'trouble' squished between the toes.  But, it had been a long day, and food was needed.  Already stomachs around her were beginning to grumble.

When all of the students cleared out, Kivan felt all the knots and muscles in his neck and through his shoulders bunch and tighten. That hadn't nearly taken long enough. If it had lasted a week, that couldn't have taken nearly long enough. The halfblood remained at 'ease' in his chair and once again took to flipping his stelletos with graceful flicks of his fingers, watching the metal twirl and catch the light in the air before he caught them again, not so much as shifting his possition. A few moments passed like that, and finally Felix was forced to break the silence. "Sir..."

     It may sound polite, but the man constantly needed to be reminded of his place. While Kivan's face was often too beautiful, charming and charasmatic for his own good, it twisted now, and through those eyes and his features alone, his demon surfaced. Felix couldn't see any of this, however, the large man stood at his back and watched that ever repititious stelleto twirl through the air. "Sir, might we..."

     "The funny thing I forgot to mention..." Kivan began, and his voice was deeper, a low ferral sound that still vibrated pleasantly like a purr. The sort of sound you might expect to hear from a tiger who was licking the marrow out of a bone. "These gangs, you see, they thought they could outsmart me. Each founded their own 'Garrista', and they thought they had it all...figured out. No one wants to rule under one man. Because that one man would always be their better, and man-kind always has to compete, don't they? So, do you know what I did?" The large black man shifted his weight, frowning softly. He had an idea. "The...carpet?"

     Kivan's smile was wicked, and his toss of his stelletto became a little harder, lifted just a little higher in the air. "I am a master of the rhetoric." He muttered, catching the blade with a quick snatch and pressed the think hilt to his chin. "I found myself a lovely carpet, stolen off of a great ship that had come into port from Miiska. It took fifty people to make it, and over a years worth of work. When a number of these Garristas would come over, I'd lay out my carpet, beneath the banquette table, settle them all down nicely and we would enjoy our evening. When blood was meant to be spilled, why, I rolled up that carpet and stow it away safely. Care to tell me what happened, Felix?" The man didn't have time to answer? "People began to depend on that carpet. They would send in spies and messengers. Those who didn't have carpets at the time of their meetings would run as fast as they could out of town to change their name. Those who had the carpet, strolled in gracefully, at their ease. These Garristas needed a lesson, Felix. They thought they could take away everything that I. Worked. So hard. On.... So. I invited those Garristas to a feast; to celibrate their honor in rising. Their spies came, saw my beautiful carpet layed out beneath the table, and each Garrista, strolled into my hall, unarmed and all the faithful. They sat there, drinking my wine, eating my foot, and I stood, and smiled. And then, do you know what I did?" Felix again, didn't have a chance to respond. "I gave the order, and fifty of my most trusted men stepped in with crossbows, and killed them. On my carpet. People depend too much on meaningless objects, Felix. Just because there's a damned carpet on the floor, they assumed that they would be safe!" He turned in his chair, eyeing up the larger man who looked uneasy on that gaze. "So this new...'guild' that you're trying to sell to me. This 'Order' or what have you. Another utter, another mentioning." And the stelletto flew in the air, catching the wood to the very left of Felix's ear, touching the skin there. "Then I shall to it that my lovely Iris will see to you, personally."

 

     It was only after everyone finished eating that Kivan left the study. He was thoroughly echausted at this time, and once more saw to his privacy, though out on the roof this time. Klay was too busy herself, but with a friendly nudge on Markie's shoulder, she handed her a bowl and a pitcher of ale. "Be a dear, and take this to Kivan? He's sitting up with his thoughts again, up those stairs. I'm afraid that if I remind that man to eat, he'd only ignore me to be a pest." But she was grinning when she said that, then ran down the hall from a beckoning from one of the other guild members.

She had a hard time eating at first, nerves making her stomach flop around like a dying fish out of water, but after a few forced bites her stomach calmed, and settled into calm digestion.  And she was happily entertaining the notion of more sleep, or at lest pretending to sleep after she finished helping to clear away the dishes, when Klay approached with the items of her doom.  Of course she accepted the task, as it would have been rude of her to not, but gods be damned, why her??  And she was highly suspicious of that grin on her professor's face.  So, with a low groan, Markie steadied the bowl and pitcher and made her way up.  

Magic was certainly a handy thing.  It provided light in dark stairwells, and opened doors when full hands could not.  She was surprised to find him on the roof, and a slight fear of heights kept Markie well away from the edge.  She scuffed her feet along the surface, creating enough noise for even human ears to hear, though it was mostly out of an effort to remain thoroughly connected to that surface, and she cleared her throat gently while still several feet off.  "Kivan...?  Professor Klay thought you might be hungry..."

     As always, Kivan was lounging. On the very edge of the roof now, his left leg was dangling over the edge, carefree, as was his hair, or what wasn't stretched out before him. "She always means well." He spoke, though whether that had anything to do with the food, or why she had sent her up was something to be discovered. No stelletto was in his hand now, nor was there some extravagant carving in the works. Kivan was free of hands, and turned just his head in her direction. "Care to keep an old man company? Exhausting buisness: worrying for someone, isn't it?" He tucked one arm under his head starring up at the night's sky a moment longer. "Have you any family?"

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2008, 11:30:26 PM »
It was a side of him she hadn't seen before, and like when she'd heard his foul language, she was thrown for a bit of a loop.  However, this time, she didn't laugh.  And it wasn't pity that brought her slowly, carefully closer to the edge, to sit still some several feet away from it, but rather a mix of intrigue, and concern.  And understanding.  Especially about the worry.  She was very worried for her mother.  She set the bowl and pitcher in front of her, and then realized that Klay hadn't sent her up with any cups...  "If you're going to eat, you have to come here."  And again, she cast a very untrusting look to the edge, before her gaze returned to him.  She hesitated in answering, though only for a moment.  He was on her side, she knew that now, so what was the harm in sharing?  "Mm.  My parents, and five little brothers.  Though the oldest is ten years my younger."  She smiled a bit at the memory of her Peanuts.  It seemed so strange to be away from them.  "The island had some lean years for a while; there aren't very many people my age there.  I guess my year was the last trickle of kids before it really got bad.  But, once commerce and crops picked up again, folk started having babies like there was no tomorrow."  She remembered being hungry a lot during those years, and her parents working themselves down to nothing to be able to have enough food for the three of them.  She missed her family terribly, but she tried not to worry too much.  Kivan had promised that in a few days, they'd be able to send letters.  So that would ease her troubles.  His, however, didn't seem the type to be calmed by letters.  "You're worried about your partner, aren't you?"  It wasn't really something she could understand; she'd never shared such a close bond as the one between he and Keshayla.  But she knew what it was like to worry and fear for someone you loved.  "I'm sure she'll be alright...  She's a lycan, isn't she?"  She gave a soft laugh, mostly to herself.  "I've never met one, before I ran into her in the alley.  But, she seems like all the stories I've heard.  Strong and smart, and stuff like that.  More than able to handle themselves in a fight."  And was there the smallest hint of jealousy in her voice?  No, not quite jealousy...perhaps admiration, for those qualities just named, and which Markie wasn't convinced that she had.  She smiled again, looking down at her hands now.  "Kinda reminds me of a spot of trouble my brother got into.  Markus.  He's nine now, second oldest of the boys.  A couple years back, he and some friends went out hiking around the island, doing boy stuff.  Fishing, crawling through caves and trees and making a right mess of themselves," she laughed gently.  "Anyway, a couple nights after they went out, his friends came back, ragged and rough looking, saying they'd run into a bear, and had lost Markus while they were running away, and had torn themselves up good in a blind flight.  Gods above, those boys were terrified that they'd left him to die.  Whole village went out looking for him, but we couldn't find him.  Mother thought he'd died for sure, but I knew better.  He's always been good with the outdoors, real smart about what plants are good for this and that.  And sure enough, a couple days later, he comes straggling back into town, looking like he'd been through hell and back, but grinning like a fool with a story to tell."  She was almost laughing at the end, and then realized that she'd been chattering, and shut her mouth with a bit of a blush.  "Anyway...I'm sure she's ok."

He sat and listened to every word, taking it in, commiting it to memory, enjoying the chance to simply listen to someone new for a change. And he listed to what Markie had said; rolling off the ledge of the room, and catching himself from the light drop in a crouch. The prospect of food was pleasing, now that he was allowed to enjoy himself, and the meal was all the more worth while since there was company to share as well. Kivan plucked at the grapes, eating at his leasure as he listened to her stories, using the ledge to rest his back and sighed again. "Five brothers?" He smiled at the thought, mulling that all through his head. "Ah, what I'd give to have had even one." Did he even have parents? That was the sort of thing that was so far back, he couldn't even remember.

     It only seemed appropriate to share a memory, for a memory, he found himself relaxed around his Pearl, and it was indeed something he needed. Rearing his demon, a few hours ago, had been draining, and distancing himself from that particular bit of his life seemed like a good thing. "If I could say I had a sibling, Keshayla would be it." And he nodded slightly, as if confirming his thoughts spoke aloud. "A twin sister, perhaps? I'm the one always getting us into trouble, and she's been blessed by the gods as their source of entertainment; uncanny luck she has. Doesn't matter what the situation, she always seems to get us out of it with that damnable smirk of hers. And yes, you're right. She is a Lycan. Mind you, she's not exactly like the rest, wasn't bitten or infected in any way. Her family are all pure bloods, were, rather, a scratch or scrape from her won't cause you to turn furry once a month... but I'm getting carried away." He took a drink straight from the pitcher before settling back into his story.

     He had many fond memories with her, things that would get him holding his belly with laughter. But he knew that Markie probably wouldn't be comfortable with some of the stories he could share; like the time she had convinced the whole East district in Talisham, while they were out on 'holiday' that it was infected with the Black Whisper plauge, just so she could get a desent night's sleep. 'Intirely too loud here. I'm doing them all a favor.' Or how she prefected the use of over chewed orange pulp as vomit, in case she had to be entirely convincing for one reason or another. And if in a foul mood, had the pleasure of spewing it all over those who crowded too close. Or when she had to steal a body.... She was quick witted, and always on her toes. It saddened him, a little, what Markie just might think of them. Really, they were good people, they just held different morals.

     "You know, this is a little difficult to say in words. If I may?" And he help out his hand, palms flat and pointing upwards. "Just set your hand there. I'll ahhh...simply show you." If Markie placed her hand over his, she really wouldn't feel anything, not right away. A soft tingling in her fingers like pins and needles, which would stop over a short amount of time. But once she blinked, behind closed eyes she would experience his memory, as if she had been standing there right with them....

     The both of them were pressed with their backs tightly against the Glass Tower's wall, the ledge only eight inches wide, and hardly a crevice in the side to use as a hand rail. They were sweating, panting, and looking worse for wear but adrenoline induced excitement coursed through their veins as they watched the gangle of guards peer out of the window the both of them had barely managed to crawl out. Six hundred feet off the ground seemed more like a thousand, and Keshayla let out a shuddering sound in her chest. She didn't care for heights either. "Crooked Warden...." She started off as she normally did, and Kivan watched Keshayla's smirk push onto her lips at the creaking sound over head. He looked up and gasped. One of the elevator cages used to get into this gods forsaken tower was coming down towards them. It was in line with them on the ledge, and would pass by about three feet from the wall. "I'll do this." She continued her prayer, glancing to watch the guards struggling to sling off their armor to crawl out after them. "But only if you make me fucking forget...steel this from my memory and I will never climb more then three feet off of the ground as long as I live..."

     "Right. That is intirelly encouraging, Keshayla!" The gate lowered still, just above their heads, eye level, and then even with their height, and at the same time, they both kicked off of the building, (Keshayla shouting all the while.) and both hit the cage at once. Their arms linked inside the bars, and once they were secure, they made sure that the other was and the both shared a moment to smile before they pried open the door, and fell inside; panting, shaking, and giving off nervous, unbelieving laughs. "Well. That was fucking hideous."

     The pair looked up then to the sound of creaking once more, watching as another cage, twenty feet from them, was working its way up, full of well dressed nobels to the partake in the celibrations they had just crashed above. They both waved. Kivan half dreaded that the cage would stop, and then hauled back up, but fates were with them, and it continued it's decent down to settle on the ground before a wide eyed door man. "Excuse me." One of them spoke. "But were you... did you...were you in the this cage when it left the embarkation platform?"

     Keshayla didn't miss a beat. "Of course. That shape you saw, darting out from the tower? A bird. Biggest gods-damned bird you ever saw. Scared the piss right out of me, let me tell you. I say, are any of these carriages for hire?"

     "Go to the outter row, look for the white flags..."

     "Much oblidged." Keshayla rapidly persued the contents of a stolen purse she had collected earlier, and gave the door man a very satisfactory amount of gold. "It was a bird, right?"

     "Yes ma'am." Said the man, tipping the edge of his hat. "Biggest gods-damned bird we ever saw."

 

     Kivan was chuckling when he slowly slipped his hand away, he had always been fond of that memory.

She, too, listened closely, glad that he hadn't insisted that she come over to the edge with him.  She liked hearing people's stories and getting to know them better.  She had also noticed that he seemed more at ease now than he had been in the meeting, but, it was likely due to some time alone; hardly because she had shown up to bring him some supper and shared a silly story of her brothers.  "They're trouble," she grinned at his spoken wish to have a brother.  "Especially when they decide to jump you all at once, when you're carrying clean laundry and they've just finished rolling in a mudpuddle."  Oh, but Mum had tanned their hides good for that one!  

She was a bit uncertain about his offered hand, but laid hers against his.  Her brows quirked when she first felt nothing but tingles, and thought perhaps he was playing with her, but then she blinked, and gasped softly at the flash of an image behind her eyelids.  She looked to him briefly, but it seemed that the memory was still going, so, tentatively, she closed her eyes again, and watched.  

It was strange, seeing someone else's memory.  Similar to a stored one, like that saved to her pendant, yet...different.  This felt more personal that a simple recording of sight and sound.  Like she'd just dipped her hands straight into someones thoughts.  She could hear wind whistling by and the breathing of their bodies, and she could swear that she became a bit breathless, as if she had just clambored out to that tiny ledge with them.  And despite the harrowing situation, she couldn't help but smile to hear Keshayla's prayer, and to see the elevator lowering towards them.  She felt her heart leap as they flung themselves from the building, and tumbed inside with them.  And it amused her more to hear those nervous laughs; they didn't seem like they ever got scared.  It was nice to know they could be a little human now and again.  And Keshayla's line...Lords above but there would be something wrong with her if she wasn't laughing!  When he pulled his hand away, she was still laughing softly, the corners of her eyes crinkling with her mirth.  "A bird?" she laughed more, and had to take a moment to get her breathing under control again, and still looked at him like that story had been a steaming pile of pig dung, and she couldn't believe it worked.

 "I swear, on my honor, every bit of that was true." And he was beeming, those were the days he truely missed. When the two of them were able to simply step outside, and the gods seemed to rejoice so that they could have their fun. What was supposed to be the simplest of tasks always turned into an adventure. It was still like that, sometimes, but he felt a bit of himself growing darker as the days went on, and he went out less and less with Keshayla. It was only recent events that he started again, and he was feeling regret. Worry returned, and he gazed back out over the walls to where the smoke had been burning before, all signs gone now. "I'd like to get her a bird for her birthday." He smiled again, lifting the pitcher to his lips. "A Parrot, actually. A Macaw. Troubling things to find." And he rolled his shoulders in an elegant shrug. "Ah, but Luckas and Nesca. Dear friend of hers, family really. Adopted her for her birthday a few years ago as their 'sister'. I'm afraid that the news has hit her harder then she can say. Not many know that sort of news, but, well..." You always had to look ahead. Kivan knew, that if he were to burry his 'sister', that she would have three last names on the marker. And a mouthful they would all be. Ah, but this was depressing and he wanted to be rid of it.

     "I appologize. I believe I got myself carried away for a moment." And then a thought accured to him, and once again he smiled. "Have you ever met a mermaid?"

Oh...that smile...  Markie felt herself smile wider at the sight of it, as if it were some blessing from above.  Damn him, but he was too good looking for his own health.  But then he mentioned the parrot, and her smile took on a plotting lilt.  Troubling to find, perhaps.  If you didn't know the right places to look...  Her smile smoothed, and then fell, as he spoke of his partner's attachment to the royal couple, and her heartache at having lost them.  She'd never lost anyone close to her.  All of her family were still alive and well, and she planned on them staying that way for some time.  Her own musings were rather jolted when he changed direction on her, and she tilted her head to the side a bit and blinked a couple times to catch up.  "No...  Why...?"  And again a somewhat suspicious narrowing of eyes at him, though not so much out of any fear, but wondering what sort of trouble he was going to get her into.

     She would get that grin again, only this time it darkened to something mischievious, a bit bashfull at the same time, and certainly sultry as the corner of his mouth tilted up to a smirk. "Would you care to join me? Since ahh....Keshayla has been gone, there are certain duties she normal tends to in the evenings. She has a sort of...pet. And he gets lonely if no one shows up. It's been two days already, and it's a wonder why his braying hasn't reached the shores." He sighed and rolled his eyes even, exasperated as if this were some on going, erksome thing. But there was a hint of a smile all the same. Smiling was adictive around her. Curious. "It shouldn't take long. Promise."

That grin did nothing to ease her mind.  And damn that sensual tilt!  It was a wonder her cheeks didn't pinken at the sight of it.  Somehow, she just knew this was going to end poorly.  But she was also horribly curious...  It was going to get her into trouble one day, she just knew it.  "Pet?"  She lifted a delicate brow and cocked her head at him, and after a moment, sighed in mock defeat.  "I suppose," she rolled her eyes, then looked back with a bit of a smirk.  "It's not like I really have much else to do today.  You got lucky and caught me on a free day," her smirk widened with a wink.

Oh! So she played back? He liked that, he really liked that, and the half blood was soon on his feet, making a show of dusting himself off before scooping to snatch up his dishes and carried it over towards the door that led down the the kitchens. He set them there, besides the stairs, and then tugged out his sets of necklaces. There were just over a half dozen. Bothersome, really, to carry that many, but each one did something or another important; like keeping his demon at bay, so they never left his neck. "Pardon a moment." He said, fingers snaking around a black cord, which was linked to that pale black stone shaped roughly as a tear drop. He held out his hand to her again, scratching the nail of his thumb against the pad of his forefinger until it prickled blood, and smeered that little bit onto the stone. When Markie touched his hand, his fingers slid warmly around her, and he drew her to step in close, so that they were chest to chest.

     And he didn't have to, but she did play back, and he really had been wanting to do it for a while. She was close, and his lips whispered near her ear, fleeting words that she just couldn't catch onto. Then it felt as if the world was swept out from under their feet and ajolt later her feet would be sinking softly in sand. His arms tucked around her, making sure she was steady before he let go with only a brief lingering caress along her spine. It could be placed as accident, just in case she might have fallen.... but it wasn't.

     They stood on a beach, obviously near the city, but they were a good ways on the otherside of the safety of the walls. Markie was safe if she kept him close, there were still a good sort of beasties that lived in the dark woods at their backs, and black, boiling coils and things that lived in the seas that scavenged at night, but here, he seemed at ease, as if this were his summer get away. "Opps, almost forgot." And he winked at her this time, pulling free a thin, long whistle from his pocket that curled much like a shell. And when he placed it to his lips and blew, the strangest thing happened. A wind rustled from the trees, in out, in whooping laughter and high shrills came pixies of every sort. They buzzed through the air with little light bugs in their grasps, some letting them go only to chase them for the sheer fun of it. There were nearly a hundred, and their laughter came like bells in the wind. Slowly, pale green lights started to show, hovering in the sky above the water, a couple dozen, added with the slight lights of fireflies by the laughing pixies, and they were able to see as if it were dusk. One particular pixie flew towards Kivan with his hands on his hips, standing in the air with his wings buzzing. "Oi."

     "Markie." Kivan began, motioning over to the the girl where the Pixie's eyes and whole body turned to follow. He was nearly eight inches tall, the biggest of the lot, and clearly in charge. "This is Jenks, Abrwuo West. They're in Keshayla's care." He grinned, but there was a hint of annoyance as three pixie children, all of which were girls, tried to hide themselves in his hair. He swatted annoyedly at them, but smiled, and made his way towards the shore line. "Would you watch out flanks, Jenks? We're going to tend to our friend for a moment." The Pixie gave a full handed salute, before shouting orders to the other pixies, and with a flurish they were off like a swarm of bees, stretching out and into the tree line. "Best survielencers, I assure you. Nothing gets past the eye of a Pixie."

     There wasn't a whistle or a flashy light show this time, though the lights were left so they could see. Kivan strode right up to the water, until the foam and very edges of the waves touched his boots. Then he shouted. "Oi! Bernie!" And just like that, a rush of bubbles reached the surface, nearly ten yards from where he stood, and a great horn broke the surface. Kivan smirked again, looking back to Markie. "Allow me to introduce to you Bernie...I didn't name him...the worlds Dumbest Hippocampus." And he winced, because that braying he had warned her about started as the thing moved closer to shore. It sounded like a mix of an ass, a goose, a pig, and duck.

"I know a few as claimed to fight 'them," he said sourly.  "But I have my doubts.  "Those are things you drive off, not fight.  I knew a bloke called Christophe that they wouldn't come near.  He hired me to watch his back when he chased them out of a town.  Those that can call them generally have a few strong arms and weak minds to watch their backs when they raise them, and Christophe was no fighter."

Markie stood when he held out his hand, thinking that they would be going somewhere near.  She didn't remember the teleportation from the school; in fact, a lot of that night was a bit fuzzy. So she let out a soft, surprised yelp when he pulled her close, her hands pressed flat against his chest; close enough to finally bring that dusting of pink across her cheeks, especially when his lips moved so close to her ear.  It almost made her want to tilt her head, to bring her ear into contact with those lips.  And while she did wobble a bit when they landed on sand, she wasn't nearly in need of so much support as that sneaky hand across her back offered.  And she had to look down and away as they parted to cool the warmth in her face.  Oh, but he was a flirt!  

Once her cheeks were suitably pale again, she followed after him, glancing around herself at the new area.  She'd of course heard the stories about the woods and the waters, so she wasn't quite so eager to go exploring away from him.  Besides, they'd come here on a mission of sorts; best to not get distracted.  However, she became exactly that when the whistle drew the pixies out.  She giggled as they filled the air around them, eyes wide with wonder.  Stories did nothing to compare to the real thing.  She held her hand out to one, and laughed again as she danced across Markie's fingertips before fluttering off again.  She wished she could have chased after them, just like chasing after fireflies with her brohters, but Kivan spoke her name then, and she turned back to him still smiling brightly, and took a couple steps closer to be introduced.  "Pleased to meet you, Jenks," she smiled, and nodded her head in greeting, and then laughed again when Kivan had to chase the pixies from his hair.  She was a little sad to see them go, but turned to follow Kivan, keeping a few steps back of him, looking expectantly to the water.  She recognized the creature even as just the horn broke surface, and clasped her hands with a smile as it drew closer, quick steps taking her up to his side.  "Oh!  He's beautiful!"  And she meant it, though there was a definate wince at the call that grinded against her ears.  "And has healthy lungs," she laughed again.  She wanted to go out and touch him, but stayed where she was unless Kivan gave an ok.  She'd seen hippocampi before, but much smaller.  The young ones liked the shallow waters and thick reefs near her island, where they could grow up safe from larger predators.  The kids liked to swim with them, so she'd seen the babies many times, but had never seen one full grown.  Let Kivan say what he would, she already loved the thing.

   She would be lying, if she said that she wasn't a little dissapointed. Keshayla had hoped to hear of some great secret to drive them off; instead of playing the game of 'how-long-can-you-stay-standing' with those damnable creatures. Emma came, then, delivering the sandwich, as ordered, and Keshayla got a healthy serving of meat, potatoes and vegitables. Bless the woman. She made sure she ate good, and after a night she had, she'd need all the help she could get, before she passed out. "What news have you heard of the King and Queen?" Might as well see what the strangers were saying. Keshayla signaled Emma to place it all on her tab, and the woman smiled widely once more and left in a flurish of skirts.

Christophe did tell me once," he pondered aloud.  "That hid among the treasures of the palace were things that would drive them off.  He sipped his ale and thought.  "And I've heard of signs and such that kin do it."  

Then he realized she'd changed the subject.  "All I've heard is they're dead and we have a Duke looking to claim the throne.  Word is sketchy though."

"Here." Kivan pulled out a small, clear orb, roughly the size of Markie's enclosed fist. It seemed to flex under pressure like a rubber, but was soft as silk. He shook it a few times, until the orb began to glow brightly and Bernie jolted to attention. The braying stopped, and the Hippocampus nodded it's head like any horse would do. Kivan pitched back his arm, and threw, muscles flexing, and the orb streaked across the night sky, far past the light on the shores, and further still till it nearly was too far too see. "A little much?" He winced slightly, But Bernie was off with a great splash, those large, lavender eyes easily picked up where the light was coming.

     "He was a gift, of sorts." Kivan dropped back into the sand, the waters damp but he hardly cared. "Sihlo is the merking of the waters....has a bit of a soft spot for Kesha. Bernie gets himself into trouble, often by swimming too close to shore. He tends to want to play with anything he sees. Especially horses. Sihlo had us rescue him a few times when he went too far up the rivers for them to reach. Beautiful creatures, but this one has less wits then a box of raisens." Far off the victorious braying started again, dissapearing shortly after. "So, Bernie, whenever he saw Keshayla, thought he was playing. Started to shore himself whenever he saw her. Got her in trouble a few times, when trying to hide out around the Docks. So, with Sihlo's permission, she started playing with Bernie here. Now the damn thing doesn't listen to a word that Sihlo says, and she got stuck with him."

     Another great rush of bubbles, but just as the waves started receeding, Bernie broke through, the ball in it's mouth just like any sort of hound, and the thing hit slid across the sand on it's sid. Clearly happy and excited, spraying the both of them in Sea water. Kivan just blinked, padding Bernie on the side of the face and offered the glob to Markie after another good shake. "Care to give it a toss?"

      Well that was interesting. Her fine brow arched, head tilting slightly to the side as she glanced at Grater, before taking a deep drink of her ale. Treasures to drive them off? Luckas had never mentioned anything of that sort to her; then again, she had never asked. And there were many things that she hadn't shared with her 'brother' so why would it be any different with him? It was healthy to keep secrets. But a pest to know that you would never know the answer. "Hm." Was his simple answer, and Keshayla allowed her thoughts to distract herself for a time, and didn't speak up again, until she finished her food. "And what do you think, happened? Any thoughts? Theories? Speculations?" Suspiscions?

"We'll see more killin' before this is all done," he predicted.  "There are more than this duke with a bit of royal blood, and claims to the throne, and he'll spill all their blood he can.  And some of the damned fools will try and help him by killin' off each other.  They'll all be payin' for sellswords soon, mark my words."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2008, 11:51:09 PM »
She gave him a playfully annoyed look when he hurled the ball far into the distance, but Bernie didn't seem to mind at all.  She smiled hearing him tell the story, her weak human eyes struggling to find the animal again.  "He's probably just lonely," she mused gently, mostly to herself.  "Everyone needs a friend now and again.  If there aren't any near us, we seek them out.  Animals aren't much different."  She cowered at the spray of water, unable to get away in time, and laughed gently at his antics.  He was adorable.  Markie blinked at the offered globe, though, and didn't reach for it right away.  "I doubt I'd be much fun...  I throw like a girl..."  True, she could put a little magic into it for extra oomph, but she preferred to do physical tasks with her own strength.  She didn't want to end up one of those sickly, frail magi that spent all their time studying rather than going out and having a life.  But she still had a horrible throwing arm.

      Ah. Nothing that she herself, hadn't thought of before. But hearing it come from a stranger only made her that much more confident that their thoughts were on the right path. This was going to be interesting, normally when the gods played joked on her, she and Kivan laughed after words. But now? At the expense of her brother and sister's life? She wasn't amused. She was angry. Very, angry. Normally an angry Lycan wasn't something to be recond with, and she was rather determined to prove that right. "I hear the sellswords of this city, the 'Manor', I believe they call themselves, were rather taken with the king and queen. Other sellswords in their town...that's just a turf war, waiting to happen..."

"Those of "the manor" may just transfer their loyalty to the Duke," he replied.  "They like being associated with those in power.  But there are enough to go around.  Everyone with any wealth or power are making overtures to those considered good."  He smirked.  "Some are staying out of it, some waiting for the money to get good.  Some just don't like how things are shaping up."  He slipped his great coat from his shoulders, he still wore a lose tunic, but the outlines under it made it seem he wore armor beneath it. and the hilt of a sword of an odd length hung at his left hip.  "I'm just waiting in general."

 Bernie looked from one, and then to the other, impatiently waiting for someone to throw the orb next, and made an attempt at a short Bray that was as close to a demand as it was going to get. Kivan sighed, throwing it again just to silence the thing, and off it went again, slipping in the sand but managed to tumble on it's side in the waves before it sort of shimmied itself back into deeper waters. "Perhaps, you're right." And he smiled again, not bothering with wiping his hand dry. He was going to get soaked before the night was through, it always ended that way. "He and Isis never got along..." And he smiled slightly crooked at the thought, shaking his head before watching the Hippocampus dart back to them again.

     "Go ahead, you can touch him if you'd like." And Bernie's head turned to Markie as if he knew what the halfblood was talking about. "He has a soft spot, right here," He started carressing the scales above it's ear, the soft green patch besides the horn. "Pet him here." It started cooing, a watery impression of a dove, and Bernie slumped forward, pressing its head against Kivan's chest leaving behind a great wet smear of his shirt. He only signed, and looked past his horn to Markie. "Well... you saw how he reacted. Here." And with many bunching muscles and a slight grunt, Kivan leaned his shoulder into Bernie, shifting him very much like a stubborn horse so he turned his wet cooing towards Markie.


      She wanted to be bitter, but odds were he was going to be right. She didn't like the thought of there being traitors amungst those in her guild, but money so easily corrupted people. It was how she bought loyalty in some people, though loyalty only until someone out bid her. Keshayla scoffed softly, flickering her eyes off to the side. They weren't going to tranfer over to the Duke. Because they were going to see the Duke dead, as well as his fangy companion, the shit sucker Victus. And then one? Who was next in the royal blood line? Luckas and Nesca never had any children, and although Keshayla was adopted by the two, with legal proof inside the palace, she wasn't, thankfully, in line. And the Duke? Jaeric had been the only child of Nesca's sister, but the rest of the bloodlines remained a mystery to her. Maybe Luckas had a brother? A cousin? Anything was better then Jaeric, and was looking forward to snatching that crown off of his head, and shoving a stelletto in his junk so he wouldn't dare reproduce. Another. "Hm." And Keshayla started drumming her nails lightly on the wooden table. "Anything in particular that you're waiting for?"


Markie stepped a bit closer, so that Bernie wouldn't have to heft himself around on the land so much.  Those fins were made for grace in the water, not lumbering about on land.  And after a few misses, her hands found that spot, and the coo started instantly, much like a purring cat.  Though she was unprepared for the force behind that butt of his head, and shortly found herself stumbling back to her butt in the surf with a small yelp.  Not to be denied, the great head followed her down, and inserted itself in her lap, and she just laughed and began rubbing his head again.  "You spoiled thing," she smiled, her other hand trailing gently over the shimmering scales.


"I'm an independent sort," he shrugged.  "I've fought for flags, for money, over women,  and just because I felt like it.  Entanglements lead to complications, and I like to keep things simple, as much as I can."  He untied the ties of his tunic and let it open to show the armor beneath.  It was very unusual, fine steel covered with fine leather, the steel was decorate with old runes and was dark and showed no light, no reflections at all were seen on it.  "I find that being ready for all I can be is all the alliance I need for now, unless something changes that of course."  He looked her over.  "Ye know way of the sword?"

     He didn't offer to help, not once he saw her grinning, and indeed, that smile was infectious. Kivan felt the corners of his mouth lift, and even if he wanted to, which he didn't, he couldn't stop the grin from forming. "Good luck getting out of that." He laughed with it, patting Bernie on the side of the neck again, and went to casually checking over his flippers and fins, since Markie had his so easily distracted, and even waded up to his thighs in the water to tug at the end of his massive tail. Bernie stiffened and looked over at Kivan, snapping once with it's mouth but Kivan didn't look frightened, and only dropped the tail after a moment. "Less rocks on this end." He explained, moving to sit down besides Markie then, taking the orb and gave it a good shake. "He still tends to hurt himself, sometimes." Once more he offered the orb to her, in case she changed her mind about the toss.

      Keshayla took her time, eyeing the armor, studying the way it was all knitted together, all the grooves, coloration, those runes and the way it seemed to... be drawn in, somehow. As if light only reflected to things besides it, not the piece directly. Her brow arched, but she resisted the urge to run sensitive fingers over the craftmanship, or to askif its origions and a whole assorted amount of questions that such a unique piece such as that would bring. And then she smirked, just a brief, faint tilt of her lips in either corner, crooked, and then it was gone. Did she know the way of the sword? She weild a blade as if it were her own hand. No set fighting style, if that's what he was asking, Keshayla was known to be a brawler. She worked with the environment around her, and wasn't afraid to play dirty. She prefered it. "I know my fair share of things." She answered simply, but didn't bother to push back her cloak to show the blade she weld now. Or to flick her wrist to show off the stellettos that were set in springs in either gauntlet.

Markie gladly kept Bernie occupied, even as he splooshed and splashed more water against her.  What would it matter now?  She was already wet.  And it seemed she didn't have a choice in the orb business.  Though as bad as a thrower she was, she knew she'd regret it if she didn't give the ball at least one toss.  So she took it from him and bounced it up in the air a couple times, grinning as Bernie readied himself to chase after it.  Throwing was hard enough, but from a sit, it was nearly impossible to do anything but a rather miserable few meters out into the water.  Even so, Bernie was of after it, and returned it dutifully, dropping the wet thing back into her hands.  She stood this time, and after giving it a good, hard shake, she reeled back and launched it as hard as she could, giving it a little bump in the air with a small force push, changing the trajectory and throwing the hippocampus off for a moment, before once more he was after it.  Though even with the bump, it still only made it a rather embarassing fifty meters or so, especially when compared to his throws.  "See?  Horrible."

     He watched her while she tossed and played with the orb, as if measuring the weight of it in her hand, or readying her muscles before putting them through the actual motions. Kivan smiled, no uneven tilt of his lips, no other meanings towards it, he smiled just like anyone else would smile, and watched as she put everything into that swing. So what, if it didn't go as far as his? And again that devious grin was back, and he laughted softly. "Hardly." And he could have left it there, but he enjoyed teasing her- in more ways then one. "Not exactly fair, is it, when I'm not human, hm?" Even he had to use a bit to give an extra push, and the only reason behind that was so that they could tire out Bernie faster. The beasty could be at this all night, he needed Keshayla's throw, that was the one that really knocked it out of the park.


"This was once a much longer sword," he laid his own blade on the table, hilt close to his hand.  "The last foot or so was left in the eye of a beast that had no name I've ever heard.  It was reforget to this length, too long to be short, and too short to be long."

It too seenmed impervious to light.

"Its lineage is long, but unimportant for it is now in the hands of a vagabond, some say thief, some say adventurer. " His fingertips caressed the runes of the lower fuller.  "These are all that is left from my youth, an inheritance, indirectly ye might say.  I've followed the way of the sword for all of my life, this sword I should say.  I have more tools of my trades of course, but this is the way of my life.  Following a flag or a cause ties you to that fate, and I won't tie meself to anything lightly."

She scowled a bit at him, though it wasn't completely unhappy.  "You don't have to rub it in, you know."  She looked back at the ball, now dropped at her feet, and then got a thoughtful look on her face.  She bent down to pick it up once more, and pressed carefully on it, testing the give and spring of the surface.  And then a grin, as if she had just come up with a rather devious plot.  A few steps away from the water, ignoring the whimpers of the beast as she seemed to flee, and then she took a couple slowly running steps, dropped the ball, and booted it with a rather spectacular kick.  So while she couldn't throw worth crap, the girl could kick.  She watched it sail through the air, a bit of added force sending it more than double the distance before.  She wiped her hands off and set them on her hips with a satisfied grin, and glanced back to Kivan.  Yes, she had known he wasn't human.  And lest he wonder, "Humans have a certain feel to them, and yours doesn't really match."  Though she didn't know what he was.  Though it wasn't particularly important.  At least, she didn't think it was.  That opinion might change when she found out what his make-up was, however.  But, she never felt the telltale itch on her neck around him, so she had no reason to suspect him to be demon, partial or otherwise.  He was just...something.  But he was also her friend, so what reason did she have to care?


      She was curious as to why he was showing her this. She didn't think he was an old man, simply wishing to tell his tale to a youth, in case they may one day pass it on, so that he may live just a little longer, even if it wasn't physically so. Not exactly. But his words, they were....a curous thing, it made her wonder if he really knew who she was, or at least had a vauge suspicion. Was that important? No. But there was a symbol that was more important to her then the very thing that beats in her own chest. It was the sigal that was so carefully carved by her partner's elegant fingers, years ago, into the face of a white stone she wore tucked under her tunic, beneath her cloak. She ached to caress fingertips over it, just as he did to the runes on his blade, but she refrained. "Sometimes, even knowing that the fate may not be desired, you can't help but to fight for it, flag or not. A symbol, much like those forgotten runes on your blade, are powerful things, that stand through time when names are often forgotten. Surely that's important enough..."

"Fate is a double-edged sword," he smiled and sheathed his blade again.  "Either ye follow it, or it hunts ye.  Fate has led me many places, and brought me back here.  What fate has in store for any of us, none may see, but if we stand on our own two feet and face it, it'll see us through.  My end has been promised more times than I can count, but I'm still here, as are ye, and no matter how these squabbles shape up I'll follow my fate to end, or glory, or just another day beyond the last."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2008, 01:12:57 PM »
[Kivan]     Wicked, evil little things came to mind, ones that weren't appropriate to share alloud, because it wasn't fair that he wouldn't be able to act upon them. The smile from before had yet to leave his face, and he laughed joyously once that ball was kicked rightfully through the air. Bernie was off in his salty spray, leaving the two in the warm night's air at the surf.  "No. I don't suppose it would, hm." She didn't ask, he didn't say. It was a secret that not even Keshayla knew. Halfblood, not so uncommon, especially with the wild assortment of 'Others' around here. Fay, certainly less common, if not, nearly unheard of, and from there, people simply assumed. He was used to that, and it aided him in places and burdened in others. But he let it remain unsaid. Kivan layed back in the sand, his eyes towards the stars yet again, locating the constelations he knew by heart, and trailing the ones he vaugly knew. He loved the stars, they were nearly as calming as the surf. "Do you have any specialties? With magic, I mean."

[Keshayla]      She liked him. The man was speaking from experience, it wasn't the arrogance that money and high nosed upbringing that brought those words to his tongue. Keshayla smiled, wide on her full lips, and toothy, flashing a bit of fangs in the act that was entirely friendly, certainly nothing to give an experienced man a jolt. "Ah, I find that the gods have a sense of humor." She laughed softly, which certainly felt wierd, seeing how nearly an hour ago she had been fighting for her lift, and the life of others, against a demon who was rather animate in learning her name. "They favor a few, and those with their favors may find more difficult times then the average mortal, but, the gods smile and you're given an uncanny amount of luck that simply baffles those around you." Speaking of experience. She was the gods' comedian, they loved playing jokes on her, or on others with her. Keshayla leaned back in her chair, arms crossing her chest as she released a sigh.

[Markie]  Markie sat a short distance from him, a bit up from the water from where she'd kicked the ball, cross-legged and knees lifted, her arms draped across them.  "I do water stuff pretty good, but, bein' a fisherman's daughter, I got a bit of practice with that," she smirked.  "Fire."  Another grin, recalling their first meeting.  She felt a little guilty now, but he seemed to have healed up pretty good, so no worries.  "Little, practical spells, like sending a sight orb into tight spaces, or holding something still to work on it."  Another pause as she took inventory of her own abilities, and she sighed softly.  "Can't hardly do a lick of healing or blessing spells..."

[Grater]   "One thinks ye be younger than ye look," he smiled faintly.  "I'm just the opposite..."

He paused in what he was about to say.  "Smell that?" he asked.  "Its the oil that the black jackets rub into their horses.  I don't see how the poor buggers stand it.  But I don't think they'll come in here.   Would they be a problem to you?" He asked.  "I say this because I've taken your coin, eaten your food, and am drinking your ale, and that would place me in one of those obligations we discussed earlier... if they come in here."

[Ki]     "I've never gotten the hang of fire." Funny, considering, and he smiled wistfully at himself. "Or much of elementals. Potions, however, bindings to stones, teleportation, all seem to come second nature." Or, as Keshayla would often say. Give him a bug, some exotic root and a jar, and he's be able to made some sort of destructive balm that would leave a pile of ash on its intended target. If only it were that simple. "It is a mystery how things are so easy for one, and a struggle to others." Though he understood it, perfectly well. Every person was unique, different, with minds and experiences that were unlike any others. Why wouldn't their controls, strengths and weaknesses be different as well? "Classes will continue, though." He thought it best to say so, in case she had been worried. "Think of this as... an extended summer's vacation. Who knows? Maybe by the time of harvest, everything will be right again?" It couldn't hurt to be optimistic, though he himself was uncertain about things.

[Kesh]  She did smell it, and she had been silently praying that they would simply turn to go away. She was exhausted; wasn't that enough? Her school had burnt down, she was aching misserably, and now the front door was opening, gaining access for a handfull of blackcoats that left some of the patrons frozen with drink and food placed halfway to their lips, and puzzled looks from others. Hal and Emma regaured them with a cool calm that made Keshayla proud, but worried all the same. "Shit."

     Maybe going into the back room hadn't been the most dazzling idea, now that she had company.   There was no window to leap out of, no stairs in the room to take or trick floor boards to hide under- those were in the kitchens. "They sure as hell are a problem." She muttered, pulling up her hood once more and carefully tucked in her hair, assuming the roll of a priestess for the Lady Most Kind. She knew she shouldn't have come here. There goes the chance of sleep...

[M]   She looked over at him as he spoke of mysteries.  For others, perhaps.  And while the 'what' of her difference in skills was known, the 'why' had eluded everyone she knew to have studied it.  Though, just as he had secrets he didn't want to go about telling, she also had hers.  She wanted to believe him about harvest, but he didn't seem to believe it much himself.  "Maybe."  An agreement, of sorts.  To be optimistic pessimists; hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst.  Bernie and the ball finally returned, and again she booted it out of the shallows, smiling a bit to herself as she watched the water shimmer in the moonlight in his wake.  On a whim, she pulled off her wet boots and socks and rolled up the legs of her pants and waded out into the water, waiting for the 'seahorse' to return, arms folded loosely across her belly as a leg kicked idly through the water.

[G]   "Toads of glory," he scoffed.  "Come," he said to her.  "Sit ye by me and let them see ye read me fortune," he grinned and laid out his left hand as he slid his sword onto his lap.  "And when you do, make me sound a fearful thing, no matter how sweet me palm says I may be."

[Ki]   Funny, how he felt so compelled to get that smile back. Their conversation had started to slip; even if they were such basic, and trivial things in their art of magic. It didn't take a genious to know she was lost in her own thoughts. While at times, it was best to leave one there, others, it was best to distract, and slowly ease them out. So, Kivan stood after a short amount of timing, watching Bernie get distracted by a school of fish; which he announced for all the world to hear. He didn't bother with rolling up the hem of his pants; he was soaked through, and dusted with sand, a shower was certainly in order for him later. But for now he was comfortable, allowing his long hair to casually move through the soft breeze, until he stood to her left, lifting a hand to catch one of her own flickering locks of hair, and ran it through his fingers, before tucking it behind her ear, allowing his thumb to trace the outter edge of her jaw, and still he smiled, "Would you try burning me again, if I did something unexpected like the first time we met?"

[M]   She heard him come up behind her, not that it would be easy to miss him walking through the waterto her side.  Her gaze had since lifted to the stars as well, catching just the faintest signs of those she was familiar with at the edge of the horizon, the ones above her either foreign, or unseasonal to her.  Her breath caught slightly when he took up her hair in that incredibly familiar gesture, but unlike the first time, when it had troubled her, she felt her cheeks warm a bit, and her gaze turned shyly away from him.  He had her full attention, however, after he spoke, and she turned her head towards him, followed by the rest of her, and she speared him with a suspicious look.  "The first time we met you told me not to scream lest you had to make me forget what I'd seen," she scowled up at him.  "I thought you were going to kill me."

[Kesh]   She didn't know a gods be damned thing about palm reading; she always saw that sort to be foolishness. What could you really tell from someone's hands, other then if they weld a sword or bow? of perhaps the man was a nancy boy, who carried a weapon simply for decoration? Those were the things she knew, but fortunes were beyond her. But, just like with everything else in life, if she didn't know how, she was damn good at making it up as she went. Keshayla smirked at him, tucking her hood just a little lower to shade her eyes, until only the full lips of her mouth showed a tell-tale smirk. She flicked some coppers onto the table for decoration, and in the same motion, scooped up his palm, making sure to keep one free in case he had need to draw his weapon.

     "Seven." She mumbled, informing him on how many were inside, simply by a soft, flairing of her nose, taking them all in. Her own fingers, which were caloused and scared, obviously hands that were used to weilding a blade, curled around the different lines and arches in his hand, as if she really could read them. Then, a thought came to her head. "You'll meet a woman." She said, in the more calming, soothsayer voice she was able to manage. "She's beautiful, " She smirked. "charming, quick witted, but always in a heep of trouble." She paused a moment, simply to make sure that they weren't already found out, and returned to her proposition. "Her problem is; she works for a powerful guild that everyone whispers the name of. Only, she's confused about things, lost because two individuals who gave her a place in life again were ripped away from her. And now she's already loosing a war and it hasn't even begun... she needs help." And for a brief moment her eyes flickered up to Grater before falling back down to his palm. "Because she's very certain, that with, ahh, current conditions, she doesn't stand a change again even the humans in this room, nor their leader who very much wants to see her life stain the stones."

[Ki]     Again he laughed, that deep rumble rolled in his chest, very much like an exotic cat from far off in the East. "You were right, in that I am a very dangerous man. But there's one thing you should learn about me, Pearl." And he smiled all the while, pushing another strand of hair out of her face with his fingers, and slinked in closer, until just the heat of their bodies gave the illusion of contact. "I very rarely ask, and more then often take." And to prove his point, Kivan leaned in, steeling her lips with firm, lingering caresses of his own. They weren't forceful, but they were far from hesitant of shy. He was used to dealing with reprocussions as an after thought, and he knew what he wanted, and it was clear with deed. One of those hands lifted, slipping to her side where it rested there, and warm finger curled into the fabric of her shirt, and even when he pulled his lips away, just far enough to speak, he didn't pull away. "And I do appologize." He said with utter truthfulness. "We only meant to discourage you."

[G]   "Oi," Grater looked slowly to the door.  "Can't you tell I'm busy?" He said sternly.  "If you want your palms read go find a seer of your own."

"That's Grater," one of the Black Coats said from the door.  "The one the yellowbellies soil their knickers over."

"Have ye noticed that once you hang a title on some they get no end of fascination with the sound of their own voice," Grater asked the room in general.  "Is there something I'm missing or perhaps you lot were looking for a quiet room for drinking and buggery?"

He sipped his ale.  "Tell me my dear, do those funny little lines say how many I've slain, and how many more I will?"

[Kesh]    She deffinatly liked him. "Hard to tell." She spoke, keeping her voice soft in case they would be able to recognize her or not. "Theres so many here, it is hard to count how many have fallen, and how many have yet to fell. Seven." She repeated again, feeling the corners of her mouth tilt towards a smirk again. "At least seven."

[G]   "How convenient!" Grater smiled and kicked the table across the room, hitting and scattering four of them, the other three shook their head in wonder, but it was a little late for wonder.

"Lesson one," never talk when you should be fighting," he said as he feinted a punch and drove a heel straight into a kneecap, the sound of the knee joint coming apart was sickening.  "That was lesson two, I'll let you figure it out for yourself, he said as a second tried to bearhug him from behind, Grater swing his head back and felt the satisfaction of the cartilage in the guardsman's nose crunch, but it was the hand that reached back and squeezed the mans cods that seemed to do the most damage.  

"I didn't know my hand could close so small," he marveled.  "Lesson three, codpieces aren't just for looks." he shifted right to allow Keshayla into the fight from the clear side, where she'd be able to maneuver.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2008, 01:30:21 PM »
[M]   Gods above...  A very convenient breeze puffed by when he drew close, hiding the shiver that ran down her spine from the look she saw in his eyes.  And despite all the warnings he gave, she really wasn't prepared for that kiss.  At all.  

She'd always hoped that her first real kiss would have been nice, but she'd never expected it to be like that.  Damn but that had been nice...  Sure, there'd been a few affectionate pecks to cheeks, given and recieved, but, as she had said, people her age were hard to come by on the island, so there really hadn't been boyfriends like other girls had.  She had friends who were older or younger, all either more interested in the girls their own age, or too young to think girls were good for anything other than cooties.  

It almost left her lightheaded, and a small part of her regretted that his lips had to pull away at all.  And that light dusting of pink across her cheeks was now a full on blush that complimented her coloring so well.  She let go of the breath she realized that she was holding with a shudder.  She should do something.  React in some way.  An action like that was just begging for repercussion; perhaps another treatment of her fire, like he had asked about?  Though she could hardly even get her body to respond enough to do something so simple as slap him, let alone conjure up any magic.  And it had felt nice...

And then more words, talking of discouragement, and she finally got enough collected thought to step back a half step from him, a confused, and unsure, and slightly scowling expression on her face.  "Discourage me?"  Now she was the one who looked like she'd just taken a slap to the face.  "By embarassing me to high hells in front of my class, and stalking me for the rest of the day like a couple of hunting cats tormenting their prey?  You made me miserable!"  That scowl deepened, and she actually looked a little hurt.  "I very nearly left because of your 'discouragement'."

[Kesh]No fair.

      He took her trick. Keshayla was always very fond of flinging furniture across the room to act as random bits of projectiles. Her favorite was always stools, of they did shatter nicely, and their legs were proper clubs if she was ever in a bind, and had no other weapon. That was rare, her never being armed. But, whenever she shifted, there was always the problem of not even having clothes when she shifts back, if she had enough energy to stand on her two feet after words, anyways. So made do, with what she had. And right now that was an opening and she wasn't about to miss it.

      Now she was a small thing, put her in a pretty dress, run comb and ribbons through her hair, and Keshayla could be any Nobles favored daughter, and she could charm the pants off of a priest. It was a talent, really, being able to play parts from beggar to even, once, Queen. Acting always had come naturely, so this whole soothsayer bit was a walk in the part. And now that she had an opening to play with, well, she was exhausted, but an adrenoline rush, sometimes, was all that you'd need.

      She was on her feet just shortly after Grater, pushing to her feet just as the table went sliding back. In Grater's open she passed through without a sound of cloth, dropping low and into a slide followed by a sharp snap of her leg that sent the nearest blackcoat sprawling backwards. An advantage of being small; you were able to hide in small places, and she tucked under that table to miss the wide arch of a drawn sword. Quickly then, she rolled onto her back, placing her hands, palm flat near her shoulders and undulated her spine, kicking up and hard at the underside of the table to it launched itself back into the air, once more more into the guards were tried to squeeze themselves in. The table was a heavy thing, made from one solid piece of wood like furniture often was in those days, so she wasn't surprised when it caused one particular guard to fall, nearly trapped under its weight, but now that they were pushed back again, and Keshayla had more room, she drew her own blade.

      It was the length of her forearm, with a tip that nearly shaded at the end, but the metal was black, rather then silver-grey, and flat so that it didn't draw any light. The metal she hadn't a name for, normally one would have to dye or paint their blades for that sort of effect, but it had been a gift from Kivan, and, as she had learned earlier today, it bit really nicely into demon's skin. A human surely was no match, either, especially in her capable hands.

[Ki]   "And I am very fond of the fact that you didn't." And again, he was speaking the truth. He liked the way those doe-eyes of hers lit up with she was mad, a shadow of a memory reminded him about that fire, and he was almost hesitent to touch her again. Almost. But the halfblood's hand curved along her jaw, caloused fingers simply enjoying the touch of soft skin. "If I appologise now, " He murmered again, eyes passing over her face, down along the curve of her neck, to the necklace she wore and then back up again. "Would you believe me? I hardly think so, so just allow me to explain my actions. You had, rather obliviously, walked down into a dark, alien place. This city, as I'm well certain you know, at least now, isn't safe like your small island home. Cut throats, murderers, people who do whatever they damn well please for coin wouldn't be afraid to cut a girl like you who got in their way. These wretched things are ammetours, scallywags fresh from harbor, trying to make themselves a name by piling up bodies. What did you do, right after you ran, hm?" And he took to curling a strand of her hair again, coiling it around his finger, before letting it release and fall back to her shoulder. "Ran into guards perhaps? Or searched them out yourself? A wise choice, and what did they say?" He smiled, knowing very well what they had said.

     "Any other ruffian would have caused chase, the guards knew this, hence the patting on the head, the shooing or any other sort. But you had done something very stupid, Markie." And he was serious again, fingers curling into her sides to make sure she wasn't going anywhere just yet. "A simple parchment fell at your heals. It told us everything about you. Had we been that ruffian, you would have been dead in a week, tops. You were careless, frightened, understandably, but careless. Were you extra careful, after our appearance?" His brow quirked with that. "Surely a little humiliation is better then wasting your life." Bless the gods, he had been humiliated his fair share of times. Kivan released her, taking a half step back so she wouldn't feel as if he wasy bullying her, or any of the sort.

[G]   "Well played," he grinned at the sliding table.  "Lesson four," he said as he stepped into a man swinging a sword so the arm hit him rather than the blade.  "If ye live through this, beat yer sword master," and he head-butted the young foot flat on his back, a short stomp and he snapped the sprout's thigh like a twig.

"Lesson five, A black coat is no substitute for knowing what yer business," he kicked a chair into a man's face, and as a free lesson I'll add learn to duck ye boob!"  And a foot followed the chair into the face and bounced the squirt off the wall and into a second kick into the throat.

He looked at the last two and chuckled maniacally, turning to him.   He sighed at their stupidity, that left her behind them, they'd learn lesson six the really hard way, he suspected.

[M]   The touch along her jaw was gentle, and it might have been a very tender caress, were it not for the context.  Instead, it felt as harsh as barbed, patronizing words.  Her chin turned away a bit from his touch, but not entirely out of his hand.  Through it all, her arms had remained crossed, and they now tightened against her ribs, her face cast down to her feet as if he's just given her the tongue lashing of her life.  And now she felt like the one who should appologize.  Part of her, that small part that had a reason or an argument for many things, wanted to argue that, maybe, on a deeper level she'd know they weren't that sort of ruffian.  Afterall, he hadn't drawn a blade on her like he'd had the chance to, hadn't directly threatened her life, and had been friendly with her professor.  And Academie professors didn't associate with common thugs.  Did they?  Regardless, she knew she'd made a mistake, and knew that everything he said was right, so arguing wouldn't get her anywhere.  She probably was lucky to be alive.  Gods above, how did she get herself into these messes?  "...'m sorry..."

[Ki]   "Now thats odd." He whispered, head tilting to the side and those grey eyes blinked slowly. "An appology? My Pearl, it is not need, though greatly accepted. You may not ever know how long its been since I've ever heard an appology that seemed honest like yours..." The smile was back, that soft lift of his lips that soften the color of his eyes and eased the creases on his face. An appology was very different, when it came from the tip of a well placed dagger, or in a rush of words; things someone would want to hear just to save their own life. Sometimes he forgot that not everyone was so involved in the life he led. "But tilt your chin up." And his knuckle slipped down to her chin, lifting so that she wasn't starring down any longer. "Life is about learning; you'll learn, you must, or you fade away like ash in the wind. Don't let this...harden you, Pearl. I garuntee that these next days, weeks, perhaps even months are not going to be easy, and you will change. Write your letters tonight, we'll send them off on the morrow. Connect yourself back with your family, and hold onto them. They may not be here for you, physically, when everything gets hard, but keeping those memories fresh will help. All this will pass, and you'll see them again."

[M]   She felt that soft blush return to her cheeks when he lifted her chin, and she swallowed almost nervously when their eyes met.  But, the letters was good news, and she smiled faintly, the upward tilt removing the pull of muscles that looked like she was about to start crying.  But, it was short lived, and her eyes fell away from his again, though at least not staring at the ground.  "They won't be able to write back, will they?"  Meaning that it was not safe to tell people where she was, or how to contact her.  That seemed like a cruel thing to tell her family...  'Don't worry, I'm ok, but you can't contact me, just sit and wait for the letters that might one day stop coming...'

[Kesh]    With both of their backs too her, they wouldn't be able to see her grin; why they had done such a foolish mistake was beyond her, but perhaps with the secret peace, they had grown too soft over the years, and forgot to keep their guard. The one on the left fellt quickly, her blade bit through the armor like a hot knife through butter, and as the second turned to cast his attention to her; sword arm raised and ready to strike out, Keshayla jerked her blade free, kicking the man in the butt so he fell to the ground. In one movement she blocked the incoming strike with sword, and with a flick of her wrist, a stelleto freed itself from the spring at the wrist. She pushed into the locked blades, until the man was forced to steady his blade with both hands, surely not a match for a Lycan, and with his arms raised he left vitals open. The stelletto was punched into his side, right below the armpit, twisted sharply before being ripped out in a crimson spray, and the man dropped down to his knees with a cry. She made certain to kick his weapon from his hand before taking a step back to stand out of reach.

[Ki]     Kivan blinked, looking rather puzzled, and turned his head off to the side while he gave that some consideration. "I didn't think of it." Which meant that at least there was some comfort of it not being a flat out 'no'. It was so much easier to leak information, sending out the many letters to families was a sinch, as easy as breathing. His methods, of course, would remain a secret, the students wouldn't need to know how, just be garunteed that they will, be delivered. "Hm." This would take some consideration. Even if the students who would be sent to the castle sent letters home, there was a great risk. Those sort of things can be traced, and then their families would get involved. As much as he cared for his students, and he truely did, the halfblood wouldn't trade his guild for them. "I'll have to give it a deeper thought, ask the teachers, even. Two heads are better then one, as they say. But for now, we'll settle on the ever honest 'I don't rightly know'. But that isn't a 'no', either."

[M]   Markie turned her head back out to the sea, and then let her body follow when another bray came echoing across the water, Bernie apparently having found something else to captivate his interest.  She smiled gently out at the hippocampus.  Life was so much less complicated for him...  "You could just say no, though.  If what you've said is true, we're all in hiding now.  It's like when you're hunting rabbits away from their warren.  Your prey knows you're just waiting for them to come jumping out of the bush, so they won't make a sound, even to see if the others are alright."  She paused, and then frowned a little before turning a bit to glance back at him.  "Would they attack our families?"

[G]   "Lesson six," Grater said with a stern voice as he walked body to body and broke their necks for good measure.  "If you lose focus and concentrate only on the oppenent you fear, you leve yourself vulnerable to the one you discount.  None for six, I think you idiots failed this test."  He looked at Keshayla.  "Got a sewer grate handy?"

[Ki]     He shook his head. "There isn't reason to. Not just yet. As far as anyone is concerned, Jaeric included, he's made his point. It's a well known fact that the Manor supported the school, we made it what it was, and we didn't hide the fact. The attack on the school wasn't, however, because of you students, neither of you did anything wrong to warrent it. I hate to say it, but it was entirely our fault. We got too...comfortable. Came and go as we pleased. Who would dare touch us, we had the support of the King who we dearly loved. Jaeric wished to drive everyone away. Who would be hurt next? And more questions...what does he have against the Manor? Does simple association make you guilty? Are they next? He's trying to push people away from us, forcing aliance in his favor, simply through driving fear into those who don't know. We've never been public, peasents assumed we're just talk most of the time. Jaeric has no need to track and attack your families, because he already thinks hes won. The students have a right to be angry, and his fault is that he doesn't expect to be associate to these attacks. That's why a student, summoned the demons. A student got their hands on wrathstones for the sacrice. And it was the Manor, who was in charge and care of these students. Surely we're to blade, and the students should be angry at them, no?" He shrugged his shoulders, sighing and closed his eyes. "But. He wouldn't hesitate to use your family against you, and why wouldn't he? He killed his own family, just because they had what he wanted."

[M]   She just nodded.  That was the answer she needed.  For what she would say to her family.  She didn't know the exact words just yet, but she knew that she very well might be saying good-bye for a long time.  Truly, she had no intentions of getting herself hurt, or worse, but she was going spying in the palace, and if she was found out, she was as good as dead.  Kivan and Keshayla, nor anyone else, would be able to save her in time.  Whoever went would have to fend for themselves.  Markie sighed softly, once more looking out the water, then smirked, endeavoring to change the subject from such depressing tones.  "You're a filthy liar, though."  And her eyes flicked back to him, her smirk reflected there.  "You promised me mermaids."

[Kesh]    Keshayla smirked, cleaning the blade off on the cloak of one of the fallen guards, before sheathing it, as well as doing the same for the stelletos. She was going to need to properly clean them and their sheaths before she slept, they all had been put to good use. Checking her springs, she only had the one stelletto left. Clean weapons, clean self, restock, and then sleep. Rest was just getting pushed further and further back, and she sighed softly because of it. "In the kitchens." She grabbed one of the men's tunics, patting him down for anything that may be of use, and tossing such things on the only remaining chair in the room. Coins, badges, rings, letters or documentations of any sort. Official papers, even if they were mostly junk, were kept simply to use for refrence later. She wasn't certain if she'd have to break into the castle at all, and if they were to forge papers, best to watch them for any sort of codes. When all of these were collected, she whistled once.

     Hal came out of hidding, glancing into the room with the strange man he had been hosting for the last few days, and his friend looking all the calm with bodies at their feet. "You alright, luv?" She flashed him that toothy grin, tilting her head to the side and grabbed two men by the neck of their jerkings, hoisting them in a sit, where their heads lulled to the side at odd angles. "Better then a wet shit from a sick dog. A few trinkets for the chest, if you'd please. We need to make use of your shoots before any more barge through." Then it would be best to get the hell out of here, so she didn't bring any unwanted violence directed at her friends. And sleep...that was deffinatly on the menu.

[G]"Its a good job ye have the grates," he said with a slight bit of relief.  "The last time I had to butcher and grind bodies for hog feed.  Time consuming."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2008, 02:08:26 PM »
[Ki]     "And I still promise them to you, the evening isn't over yet. Bernie is a bit of a pain, often nudges the girls to the point of bruising; so I thought to wear him out a bit, but...." Another objext seemed to generate out of that pouch of his. For looking so empty, it certainly was able to hold a lot. He lifted it slightly to catch the light off of the pale green globes that hung in the air around them, a large black pearl the size of a robin's egg was held carefully between thumb and forefinger. Kivan turned then, wading into the water until his belly, not even so much as a hessitation when the cool water reached...certain places. "Ladies, if you'd be so kind? I have a friend I'd like to entroduce you to." And just like that, three heads lifted from the waters, the jewl really wasn't anything more then a bribe. Curious creatures, but rather shy, except for Loika, the redheaded beauty who adorned her hair with shells and that golden clip she had been gifted earlier in the week. She was closer then the rest, though still far out of reach of Markie. Percilla didn't speak the common tongue, and her hair was a strange shade of purple, almost violet, her fin was silver and even in the faint light it could be seen below the surface of the water, swishing once and again to keep her afloat. The last, a black haired maiden with sharp black eyes and pearls intricatly placed on her head as a sort of crown, watched the two cautiously, even she, who Kivan hadn't a name for, didn't get close to the two. He introduced Markie, but none of them had yet to say anything.

[Kesh]    "Swine will eat bone quicker then a hound." She nodded, unphased by their choice of conversation. Maybe that should have disurbed her, but it didn't, and she even smiled as she moved towards the back. She dropped the bodies only so she could free her hands, lifting the sewer grate and dropped it with a heavy clang on the floor. With a quick glance down, she easily peered into the dark gloom without the aid of throwing a torch, and kicked the first in. The body tumbled for a brief moment, then hit the stone below with a wet sound. She jumped in after, her nose curling from the smell. This was why they had the narrows, so they didn't have to deal with this....crap.

     One by one, the bodies went in, and Keshayla dragged them a good distance away from the grate, down where the air was moving more freely. Carrion would find them, she didn't doubt that. But it may take a while, and she really didn't want to have the stink, which heavily reminded her of Jasmine, a flower she loathed because of it, to fill the Inn upstairs. When the bodies were taken care of, she crouched, muscles coiling, and then released them light a tight spring so that she easily lept out of the hole and back into more comfortable surroundings. The grate was replaced, and she wiped her hands off on her tattering cloak.

[M]   She remained back towards the shore, only up to her shins in the water, even as he went deeper.  She wasn't sure what she expected to see.  Part of her figured they wouldn't come; stories told of them being very shy of humans.  Though stories also told of them luring sailors to crash on rocks, or of being so jealous of human women that those caught in their lagoons were pulled under and drowned.  So it was also a sense of self preservation that kept her at a safe distance and depth.  They were almost ethereally beautiful, the sort that gave pause and stole the breath from lungs.  Once she'd been introduced, she came a little closer, up to her knees now, and smiled gently with a small wiggle of her fingers in a wave.  "Hello."

[G]   "Job well done," he congratulated her.  "Is there any more of that roast beef, I'm famished."  He looked around.  "And we need to run those horses off before they cause questions.  A good scrub and no one will be the wiser to who they belonged to."

[Ki]        The one without a name ducked under the water so fast at the wave, she made a sort of 'plunk' noise, the sort that usually sounded when heavy things hit the water. Pricilla ducked lower so that only the fins around her face stuck up, and then slowly resurfaced, while Loika simply blinked. Her eyes turned away from Markie after a second, back to Kivan where she swam closer, and smiled for him. An affectionate hand slipped out, webbed between the fingers and seemed to have an extra didget from human hands, but still were graceful and ellegant. With her hands she touched him, his arms, his hands, curious fingers always working. She sort of...murred at him, a sound like a cat, if slightly deeper and echoed in the air. Kivan offered the jem to Loika, who took it in both hands and lifted herself further out of the water. That high pitched laughter sounded, she always like pretty little things but now that she had it, her attention to wrapped up with it. She watched as the light caught the surface, and then, just like that, she was gone, one a coppery fin splashing near the surface settled as a good bye, and Precilla ducked down after, slipping deeper into the sea. Kivan sighed. "They are... amusing, when they have an attention span longer then a crow."

[Kesh]    She allowed herselt to groan slightly, but that was only because she knew that was exactly what they needed to do. "Bloody hell." She muttered, washing the horses was going to take a good amount of time. But... she knew the stable boys, they often ran small favors for she and Kivan, and made certain to pay them good each time. They could help. Hell, they could do it all for them. Nodding, Keshayla straightened her cloak, making sure that her blades were hidden well before satisfied. "You eat. I'll take care of the horses, but then I'm going to get a room for however long the gods would allow me to rest." After, of course, she cleaned her weapons. That in itself could take up to an hour, depending on how much dried blood there was.

[M]   Markie smiled, almost ruefully, when Loika and the others swam away, and she slid her hands into wet pockets on her trousers.  "They seem to like you, or at least the baubles you bring them."  Loika's wandering hands had certainly seemed to be familiar with him.  Not that she would be jealous of the mermaid.  Not at all.  What a silly thought.  Just because he was roguishly handsome and could probably charm and woo the lock off a chastity belt...  Stop that!  Bad Markie!  Another soft blush at errant thoughts that were quickly squished down and scattered away.  Time for a subject change.  "How long have you known them?"

[G]   Grinder accepted a sandwich and devoured it in four bites.  "Ye know," he said.  "If that lass doesn't get a nap soon, she'll get contrary on us."  He spoke with Hal for a few moments and soon had two tightly-rolled bundles that he slipped into his pack.  Food and a few items of clothing they might need later.

[Ki]     "I've been trusted with their family for about eighty years now." That smirk was back, and he turned to slosh his way back to Markie's side, thoroughly sodden now. His clothes clung rightly to his frame, showing lean muscle flexing under cottons and silks, the slight creak of wet leather where his belts and many hidden sheaths were. "But these three in particular for nearly a dozen. We bring them gifts often to remind them that we don't mean them harm. Occationally they will tangle themselves in the fishing nets, and when someone of my order goes out to set them free, well...it's nice not to have to worry about the creatures in the deep and dark trying to eat you." Another reason, why he had 'tamed' Isis. "Loika is the bravest. Contact through them, as you saw, is a rarety. Though, I think they just like the sensation of dry things. Everything is slippery and cold down there. Expect the same, if one warms up to you, they don't have any sense of...boundaries, that you humans carry."

[M]   "Eighty, huh?  Well aren't you just the deceptive little charmer?" she smirked, and then blushed a bit.  Holy crap but that did NOT just come out of her mouth!  But it gave her a bit more idea of his age.  Based on his looks, and his stories, she'd expected at least sixty.  Now her estimate was around a hundred.  Which brought up a curious thought.  "How old are you, anyway?  If you don't mind me asking."  She already knew he wasn't human, and knew that some of the Others could live decades, even centuries longer than humans.  Though his description of the mermaids had her brows furrowing and her lips drawing into a faint, hesitatantly curious pucker.  "And I'm not so sure I want you to explain what you mean by that..."

[Kesh]    So she did just that: locating the horses, but she didn't go out there and round them up herself. Horses tend to...shy away from her, most of the time. Save her own, whom she named Tyro, never had she met a horse quite like him. Stuborn like an ass, but a personality much like a human. That's why he got a more thought out name, unlike Bernie, who she named after a court jester she had met once. He had annoyed the shit out of her, and it took all that she had to not clobber him good.

     The stable boys beamed when they saw her, knowing a good opportunity to make some money when they saw it, and she payed them handsomely for their troubles. The horses were rounded and brought into the stables, and with the proper instruction, thhey saw that the task would be done in a timely matter, and released through out the city. When she was satisfyed she didn't even hesitate. Sleep was long over due, and she could feel that ache settling into her muscles. She was going to sleep heavy, and she was going to sleep hard. Here's to it lasting.

     When she stepped back into the Inn, she flashed Grater a thumbs up, before catching a tossed key coming from Hal's beefy arm, and that was all the incentive she needed. She started stripping on her way up the steps: Cloak, sheathes, belts, and there were a good number of these straps. She wanted them off and ready for when she reached her room, one she used often, and when she pushed the door open with her hip, she secured it firmly behind, before locking it, the window, and shutters, before she set to work. She was careful, even as eyes dropped, thorough and precise in her work. And when her blades were clean, as well as the leathers and sheaths and belts, she strapped the stellettos back to her wrists and fell back onto the bed. She remembered pulling the blankets over her shoulder, but then she was out.

[Ki]     It always amused him how age mattered to some, how it measured the importance of some things. Maybe that was because he was older then anyone in the city, with the exception of a very few amount of vampires, one in particular being Victus. He almost thought about telling her something like 'Old enough'  or asking what he would get in return, but a moment's thought about this chose him against it. He wanted her to trust him, he really did like the human girl, firey attitude included, and having her distrust him, or think him a lier would only cause troubled in the future. So, he turned to look at her for a short moment, considering, weighing, judging his answers, and settled for the truth. "This will be my three hundred and eighty second summer." Here, in this side of life, but again, he didn't want to get her to worry.

[G]   Grater shrugged and took a room as well.  He stripped and stretched and took the time to knock out around a hundred handstand pushups and a few hundred situps.  That occupied the better part of a quarter of an hour.

He took advantage of the time for a bucket bath, in cold water of course.  Hot water was for women, pimps and fops.  He took the time to shave as well, and trimmed his pointed goatee.

He then scrubbed out his clothes rather quickly and laid them to dry as he tended his gear in minute detail.  Especially that damned codpiece, the bloody thing was chafing William and that would never do.

Blades of all sidzes were checked and oiled and returned to countless sheaths all through his gear.  Then he took a good look at a pair of hand crossbows.  Devilishly clever gadgets and had pulled his bacon out of a few fires.

Then he dressed in fresh lines and clothes and stretched hiself out for a rest.  He may have slept, who could tell, his eyes never closed.  One crossbow was aimed at the door, the other at the window.

[M]   Markie, who normally had a pretty fair grasp on the concept and practice of tact, simply dropped her jaw and stared bug-eyed at him like some dumb ape.  "Three hundred and...holy crap!  You've been around, like, forever!"  And then the rapid shutting of that mouth and a clamp of both hands over it, along with a grimmace at how incredibly stupid that sounded.  "I mean...well...damn!"  It wasn't so much a need to have that information in order to classify him in any manner, she'd just been curious about knowing more about him.  After all, he looked at her like he knew every intimate detail of her life, she wanted to be on a little more even ground.  And then a very curious expression rooted on her face, and her hands lowered again.  "What's it like?  Living so long?"  It was pretty amazing to hear, actually.  Honestly, the best she could expect if she got good at 'bodily maintenance' spells, was one hundred, maybe one hundred and fifty.  He had to know so much, things that other people had forgotten, gone to so many places, experienced so much.  It made her a little jealous.  Her trip to Ciln was her first trip away from the island in her entire life.  Most people she knew, and most who were born on the island, would spend their whole lives there without having ever seen the world beyond their shores.

[K]   Sleep was always a funny thing with her. Sometimes, three hours was all she needed, both Keshayla and her wolf would simply wake up after then, and be ready to move about with the rest of their day. Sometimes she slept longer, like a lazy humanher body struggled with sleep, repairing damages aquired through out the day, and insteady of 'resting' so sort of was in a coma like state, until she was 'fixed' and her mind as well as her body, finally drifted to sleep. It was times that those that she hated the most, aware of everything around her, but good luck on getting a reaction out of her, even if she wanted to. The worst, however, was the stupor. It happened, more often then rarely, but not enough to fear it as a monthly occurance. The stupor happened normally after a rather violent shifting, a particular draining fight, or when she had been rushed in healing herself, and her body simply used up all of her neutrients and was left with nothing. That was one of the reasons she had to eat so much. There were two bodies, after all, and both had a damn high metabolism.

     The sleep she had fallen into now wasn't stupor, just utter exhaustion. She slept like a rock, unmoving, muscles mending tears and aches, bruises faded, those damnable cuts from the demon's blade and claws scabbed and left scars that would piss her off in the morning. Through the rest of the day she slept, only sturring once late in the evening, and that was simply to turn over, onto her stomach, and pull a pillow over her head. Kivan would be angry, no doubt, that she hadn't made contact yet, but he could simply worry for now. She had been busy, exhausted, and taking care of the messy ends. Now, midmorning, dressed, cleaned, and feeling a hell of a lot better, she came back down to the common room.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2008, 02:19:51 PM »
[G]   He appreciated the weight of his armor, and all of his accouterments as he bounced once to settle his armor into place.  He didn't go to the extremes of some, Old Hob heps a small sheathed knife up his bum.  Stupid place to keep a weapon, while riding a galloping horse the damned thing jiggled out and sawed up his innards and he died with a load of bloody shite even down in his boots.

Pity that, he'd been promised those boots if Hob died, but after a week of trying to get the smell out he gave them to Young Hob, and then moved on when the daft sod actually wore the reeking things.

He gathered his possibles and strolled downstairs, it was breakfast time wasn't it?  Well, he hadn't breakfast yet so that was the proper meal, he reasoned and ordered a tankard of ale and a roast beef sandwich.

"Ye look lively," he greeted Keshayla.  "Ye missed yesterdays beef, melted in yer mouth it did."

[Ki]     He's laughed before, chuckled, rather. Kivan laughed now, the open mouthed, surprised laugh that happened when you recieved an unexpected answer that simply took you by surprise. "Ah, forever! Perhaps! Perhaps I have." Perhaps he has? Memories weren't the same for him. Kivan had...dreams, things that twisted and wrythed in his mind that were always fleeting and hard to grasp. He knew he was older then the mear three hundred odd years, and he knew that before he, himself, had been 'summoned' so long ago, he had been rather old then too. "It is...hard to discribe. I struggle with memories at times, things that I may thing happened just a handful of years ago really was a centry. Though it hasn't been until recently, living here in Ciln that I;ve ever actually felt alive. I feel like the exilerated youth, where death cannot touch me, or those I know, even if I do see them fall besides me. Like a teenage, as if I'm untouchable. But then..." His head tilted again. "It is rather sad. Love becomes very important, you grasp at it like straws, and the tighter you hold on, the more it hurts, because you know that although you love someone, they'll pass on, and you'll be alone to remember them. One can always make new friends, but as time goes on its just easier...not to."

     Now he had spoken too much, and Kivan was feeling very much like the fool. Why was he telling her all of this?

[Kesh]    "Emma is a blessed thing in the kitchens, she always out does herself." And yes, she certainly felt lively, especially now that she was able to catch up with herself. No sandwhich for her, Hal set down another goodly sized plate of an assortment of things that would stick with her for most of the day, and fill her belly well. Another bonus with her metabolism, was that alcohol didn't effect her; now with how hot her normal body temperature rested, it burned it off before it was even able to settle in her stomach long. Once more she pulled up a stool besides Grater, and before she dug in a thought surfaced. She felt slightly bad, but at the same time, simply offered out her hand like any friendly sort would. "Keshayla West." She spoke smoothly, that crooked, wolfish smile tilting the edges of her lips upwards. "Sorry for skipping my introduction earlier."

[M]   She felt even more embarassed when he laughed, but felt better when she knew it wasn't directed at her.  She smiled when he talked about youthful energy for life, and knew what he was talking about, lingering in it herself, and her brothers were starting to get into that 'invincible' stage as well.  Much to the detriment of her poor mother's heart.  The expression softened when he began to speak of love, and losing, and she found herself unable to meet his eyes.  And she wondered.  What had he meant by that kiss?  Was she one of his 'straws', something he was grasping at, or perhaps just a mere distraction in a time of trouble?  Hell, they'd only known each other for a week, and most of that had been her being afraid of him.  She opened her mouth a couple times, but the words just didn't seem to form right in her head, and so the silence drew on between them.  "But...you do have new friends..."  Her gaze returned shyly to him, just barely not meeting his, as if carefully gauging his reaction, holding herself at a safe distance in case it wasn't something she wanted to see.  She thought they were friends, but, a friendship could not be one sided, and she wondered if he felt the same.  A sort of moment of truth rose between them, at least for her.  Was she just a student who had gotten unusually close, or did he hold her among those called 'friend'?

[G]   "Things were moving a bit abruptly to observe the niceties," he replied.  "But Keshayla will work nicely I think.   Saves me from having to come up with one on my own, people do that you know.  Like fork, otherwise we'd probably call it pointy jabby thing.  I was thinking of Legs.  Actually I tell a lie, I was thinking "Nice Bum" first, but that could give folk bad notions.  Ye can't just yell that on the street, the men would all look for it, and the women would either get uppity thinking I meant them, or slap the shite out of me as a bounder."  He smiled and waved for more ale.  "It always pays to keep things straight in your head though, don't ye think?"

[Ki]     Ah, now see, he certainly was talking too much. He wanted to kiss her again in hopes to distract her and cause her to loose her train of thought. He also wanted to kiss her again because her lilps had been gentle and soft, and caused his stomach to flex and pull. He liked her shyness, it was attractive to him in a way that some men were attracted to a woman's eyes, or their walks, or a number of other things. Perhaps it was his Fay blood, that linked him with emotional levels of individuals. Whatever. It didn't matter, He liked her, that much was truth. That's why this whole situation was utterly foolish. "I'm a dangerous man." He reminded her softly, taking that step to close the distance between them again. The pads of his fingers trailed up her arm, curling around her shoulder and then up the side of her neck to push through her hair once again. "I have more enemies then friends. I'd like to change that. I want to be friends with you, Markie." But.... but he was a dangerous man, dangerous situations were always around the corner. A corner of his mouth twitched, attempting to smile but it didn't quite make it. "You remember the memory I showed you? Things such as that happen often. It wouldn't be fair if you don't at least have that warning. Things are never...quiet. Not for long."

[Kesh]    "Nice bum; that's not so bad. I prefer it much better then 'whore's unwanted get', 'shitsucker' or 'ma'am'... I hate being called ma'am." Was it wrong, that this felt like such a normal conversation for her? A man she hardly knew just complimented her shanks, and she simply rolled with it. That wolfish grin was back. "Of course, then there's the overly used 'bitch' which, let's be honest, how is that an insult?" Her brow lifted as if nearly expecting him to answer. Bitch, a female canine...she was a Lycan. "Let's see; mutt, mangrel, flea infest something or other, fleabag, I would take 'nice bum' if I had to, the other, especially the last, are far over used."

[G]   "I once knew a daft bugger that insisted on being called, My Lord, I said I call him no such silly thing, he wasn't my lord, I didn't have one and it smacked me of lying.  He got uppity so I suggested Yer Honor.   He didn't kile that even after I explained that it was his honor, because I wasn't giving him mine, so he made some noise so I pushed a nail through the top of his head and stuck his hat on him.  He was a hairy bugger so they buried him, spike and all without knowing.  I got a better judge the next day though, he saw sense and acquitted me right off."

He finished the last of his sandwich.  "Good beef!"  Then he seemed to recall what they were discussing.  "Keshayla will work, you look too young for a Ma'am, and if anyone calls you the rest, and you don't feel like throwing a good kick at them, let me know.  I've a whole bagfull of nails."

[M]   Her smile returned with his admissions, and she met his eyes fully.  He didn't have to remind her of how dangerous he was.  She met him in an dark alley by interrupting some very unsavory business.  Which, strangely, didn't seem to bother her as much anymore.  She was still a bit squeamish about the whole mercenary thing, but the fact that they'd been in arms with the King somehow...what?  Excused it?  Made it ok?  She wasn't real sure, but she was glad that they weren't thugs and murderers.  And she knew that he was a good person, she'd seen it in his eyes countless times, he just had a spotty past.  But if he kept brushing her skin like that and running his fingers through her hair the way he did, she was pretty sure she could forget that for a bit...  Her cheeks warmed with that touch, and she found herself becoming rather pleasantly used to them.  And she smiled brightest when he admitted his desire for friendship, though, inexperienced as she was, she knew his fingers spoke of more than simple friendship.  "Then we're friends," she smiled for him.  Just for him.  And it only softened a little when he spoke of the danger that was around him.  "Then I'll consider myself warned.  But things have to be quiet sometime, and everyone deserves a friend to encourage them in those quiet times."  A slight emphasis on that word, 'encourage.'  Playing off his earlier talk of discouragement.  She felt a little sorry for him; he seemed to have no happy place to call home, not like she had.  She wanted to share some of that with him.  Let him know how 'normal' people spent their time and had their fun when they didn't have to worry about this and that.  "Besides, someone's gotta show you how to relax, since you seem to have so much trouble doing it on your own," she teased lightly, smiling warmly again.

[Kesh]    For a while, Keshayla just sat there, a piece of bread lifted halfway to her mouth, simply watching Grater speak, and played it all out in her head like a movie. Shes never met anyone like him before, and shes met a good amount of characters. But oh, she took a liking to this man since the moment he had tried to lift her purse. Keshayla took a bite of her bread, leaning back in her chair and stretched out her long legs to get some circulation going. "Can I keep you?"

[G]   "Keep me where?" he asked.  "I mean I'm not all that fussy, but I'd feel a right pratt in a glass case or something."  He shifted in his seat uncomfortably in his chair.  "Is there a smith hereabouts?" he wondered.  "I've got a dent in a piece of my armor and its rubbing William wrong."

[Ki]     He leaned in again, though this time, when he kissed her, his lips brushed her forehead, before pressing a firm kiss there, and sighed before drawing away enough to look back down into her eyes. "Then pray to Keshayla's Crooked Warden, that there shall be plenty of these quiet times in these upcoming days." The smirk reached his lips fully this time, and his fingers combed through her hair, lingering before they drew away simply to keep one hand free. It was a habit that wasn't one that would every break; making sure that he was always able and ready to draw a weapon if needed. If anyone had been approaching, Jenks and his family would have informed well in advance, and the sea around them was filled with friendly mermaids and a tiring Bernie who would see them safe. But still, habits die hard.

[Kesh]    Oh, how she laughed. It was pure joy, a rare sound, coming from her but she didn't hold any of it back, and was only encouraged by his shifting in his seat. The gods certainly did have a sense of humor. "Yes, It's up the road a short ways, perhaps a dozen buildings down. We can go there, fix your armor, and then I, at least, have to return back to the Manor. Theres a lot of work to be done there, still. And all before we can get a good start into this...ahh, situation we're in."

[M]   It was almost a letdown when those lips pressed against her forehead.  She'd sorta been hoping for a second real kiss...  But she smiled back at him, and didn't have the heart to remind him that she'd be leaving soon...  She had practice with the sight orb spells she had in mind, and a meek, blind girl would be easy to trust.  Gods above, he was starting to be a bad influence on her...  "Well, no rush, right?  Unless you've got to get back...?"  She rather liked this strip of beach.  It was quiet, and the smell of the sea was comforting on a subconcious level.  She'd been glad when she found out the Academie was in a port town.  And hey, if the most she could do for him was let his mind drift away from stressing matters, then that's what friends were for.  And rather out of nowhere, she felt suddenly playful.  She should probably be tired.  Gods knew she could use more sleep.  It was like when you stayed up late, and after a while you just forgot that you were sleepy, and seemed to wake up a bit more.  She had a habit of getting silly when she hit those points.  And she couldn't resist the goofy grin that spread over her lips.

[G]   The smith looked ill at ease when Grater carefully retrieved his codpiece from inside his trousers.  He paused and looked back into his trousers.  "Mind yer manners and have a bit of a breather." And he set it on the bench.  "That dent is a bit of a bother," he said.  "Might I borrow a hammer?"

"Oh thank... I mean certainly," he nodded agreeably.  "But if you don't mind my asking, how did you dent that?"

"I beat a bugger t'death on it," he shrugged and removed the padding.  "I'll need to heat and temper it too." he said as he started tapping and forming it.  He looked back at Keshayla.  "If I don't temper it it'll be weak where it was dented.  Would hardly do."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2008, 02:32:31 PM »
[Ki]     "Ah, my Pearl. There is always work to be done. But here, strangly, I see an advantage. I am the boss, after all. Who's to tell me where and when I'm supposed to be?" Except for Keshayla, who, after speaking with Markie earlier in the evening, he agreed had to be alright. When she finally came back he already reached a decision that she wouldn't be happy about. He'll place his Glyph on her, that way, he'd always know how she fared, and it would ease his troubling mind emensly. Once again, that fine white brow quirked at the sudden change in mood. I don't believe I shall ever understand women.. But he was grinning wide, wider then before, if that was so. "Does something amuse you? You look rather pleased."

[Kesh]    Keshayla was forced, a number of times, to bite into the back of her knuckle , as if that act alone kept her from cracking up laughing again, and she watched the two exchange words. She couldn't believe that the day before she was fighting off demons. And now? She ran into a man, who had a dent in his codpiece, and tried to save a piece of his dignity by explaining it all to her. She shrugged, a graceful roll od her shoulders, but the grin never faultered or left. "Hey, understandable. You've got to protect the family jewels.

[M]   A bit of a snicker, and agian her hands lifted over her mouth.  "Sorry!" and another short laugh.  "I get kinda goofy if I stay up too late..."  A soft blush, as if it were an embarassing thing to be admitting, though that grin never failed.  "I think I just caught my second wind," she laughed, a little restless now that it had fully come over her.  Damn those late-night bursts of energy!

[G]   He tapped it out and heated it to glowing, then quenched it in a bucket of oil and carefully dried it.  When the padding was all back in he tucked it back into his pants.  "No mucking about William," he chided... him... himself.  Get in there!"

He slipped a few pennies to the smith, who asked him to just leave them on the bench.  "So, where are we going?" he asked Keshayla.

[Ki]     Just to simply be a pain, Kivan lifted his hand, pressing it against her forehead as if checking for signs of a fever, and then down to her cheeks with both hands, before moving back to her hair line again. "This is late for you?" The quirked brow tried to go even higher, but it didn't strain itself too much, less it tore something. "Should I be worried with how you deal with stress?" And then he winked at her, slipping his arm around her waist to turn her facing back towards shore. Bernie was distracted still, and Kivan had the feeling that he wouldn't return unless called. It was rare that one didn't leave Bernie braying like a fool, wincing at its pitch the further one went. Best to take the opportunity while it lasted. "Anything you have in mind?"

[Kesh]    She made sure that her hood was down low again before they surfaced on the streets, white cloak of the priestess present yet again, and a few people paused long enough to cross themselves; resting their right hands flat above the heart, then lifting to press their index finger above the bridge of their nose, dragging it down must like the path of a tear. The Lady Most Kind would forgive her for impersonating one of her priestesses, she was, after all, a good contributer to her dark palace. "Can't say." Which was as simple as that. "Or, 'won't', would be more apt. You'll have to forgive me, but some things are best kept from being uttered upon the wind." She could always sap him, that particular pouch was strapped to her belt, under her cloak. But a vial of potent smelling salts would work just as well; for a few minutes his eyes would be burning so badly he wouldn't be able to see where it was going, and the smell would dullen all his sense but touch and sound. She could take him to the Narrows, where the effects would wear off, and he'd simply find himself, rather unharmed, and in the tunnels. Or should she simply skip all that? Probably best, she'd just simply lead them to the Clearwater Estate, though walking was going to take a good deal of time.

[G]   "Well if yer saying 'shut up and follow me' that will suffice," he shrugged.  "The view ain't too bad after all.  Besides knowlege is power, and too much knowledge or power will get you killed."  He glanced at the genuflections.  "You have enough men staring at you without adding that robe by the way," he grinned.  "Maybe you should try looking like you have a belly full of baby next time."

[Kesh]    "Ah, now see, that'll only ruin my fun. I get to mock and chordle the guilty, who think that a simple gesture of their hand will give them salvation from thier sins. Who suspects weapons upon a priest? A woman knocked up and ready to burst with her little disease is expected to be...irritable." She smirked, just that expression vissable beneath the cloak, and it didn't look very priestly. "And if I ever have to use wiles to convince someone to see things my way, well, they enjoy the thought a little more by something as forbidden as a priestess, then a bloated waddling wench."

[G]   Grater listened carefully and shook his head quickly.  "Being a woman is too complicated," said after a moment.  "Its easier being a man, we think more logically," he winked at her, then saw a woman on her porch petting her cat and made a sign against the evil eye.  "I did that once though, dressed like a pregnant gal, but I didn't have to use a pillow or anything, I was sneaking Little Boris out of a whore house at the time, so I had a sack of feed tied to my waist going in and carried him back out.  Little Borsi was a drunk sot though, and kept burping and farting and giggling.  The daft bastard at the door told me it was a sign of a healthy baby, which just goes to prove he knew screw all about Little Boris."  He thought for a moment.  "He didn't mention my beard, but he liked my earrings."

[Kesh]    She didn't even faulter with her pace, but that smirk twisted and it took an immessurable amount of self control not to start laughing again. It hurt not to, but she can chuckle about it later. They turned North, working their way a lesser common street were guards wouldn't patrol so thickly. "If I get the chance, I'll introduce you to Bernie." She smirked again, allowing a brief, soft sound that passed as a laugh while they had the privacy for the time being. "He was a...gift? A Hippocampus, with rocks for brains and vocals that would put a Siren clapping their ears. Buggar had a sharp eye; I was down on the docks in Talisham, under the guise of a harlot, trying to set up an inside job. Beastie docked himself, taking my hit out in a swipe of that tail; ended up tipping into the seas and got his cocked sucked on by a bluetail shark...." She smirked, shaking her head. "Needless to say, easiest job."

[G]   "I can't abide sharks," he growled.  "I had one follow me in a small boat for six days once, convinced he was going to eat me.  The big toothy git kept coming onto the side of the boat and looking for me, so I grabbed the bastard and I had plenty to eat, but no knife, so I had to eat chew it to death.  Buggers left me on a boat naked, so the shark was handy, I used the skin to cover my burnable bits till I caught back up with the ship."

[M]   She batted at his hands until they fled from her face with a partially playful scowl, and then set her fists on her hips.  "Cute."  But she allowed his arm to wrap around her, and because her arm needed something to do, she settled her own around his waist and walked with him back towards dry land.  "In particular?  Not really..." she sighed. Normally when she got this way, at least one of her brothers was still up as well.  And their solution involved sneaking out of the house to run around on the beach and go swimming in the moonlight until they were exhausted again, and trying desperately to keep quiet while they laughed like loonies.  But the waters here weren't safe after dark, and she didn't know what else to do around here.

[Kesh]    "Ah, see. Did you make yourself some sharkskin boots, at least? A pretty penny, those are." She didn't blame him for not taking kindly to sharks. Keshayla only really feared a few things: Heights, and even though she had prayed hard to the Crooked Warden those many months ago, when she and Kivan were on the ledge of that tower, she never forgot what had happened. Her stomach flopped, remembering that jump and she frowned all over again. But damn, she did miss Kivan. She lost herself to those thoughts for a long moment, brows furrowing as she tried to ponder how everyone was. Klay hadn't looked to well on her knees, struggling with that shield she and the others had up for the demon, and her Pretty had been bleeding at the neck.

     The other thing that scared her was Darkwater.... being in a ship in the middle of the sea was something she really did not want to do. Boats in general, really. Keshayla always felt small when standing beside the Sea, and she only really found peace when Sihlo was with her, trusting his instincts and regal possition to keep her safe from things related to the likes of Isis. She couldn't breathe under water, and often refused to 'go for a swim' unless she was damn certain she wasn't going to get dragged under and drowned. She didn't want to drown. Death was an eventuality, she fought to slip away from its grasp but that was only because she had so much to do still.

     Like kill Jaeric.

[G]   "No boots," he replied, "But I did make a rawhide rope out of the captain's hide.  I lost it some time ago, but using it to get away was more important than getting it back."

[Ki]"A little game then, perhaps?" She didn't have to see his face to tell that he was amused, near grinning at the thought. He enjoyed games, very much, and the one he had in mind was a favorit. Keshayla's 'childish' nature was infectious, and this particular antic was all her own idea. "Rules are simple." He spoke, clearly she didn't have a choice in the matter if they were to play or not, and as soon as they reached the shore, Kivan began to strip.

     That shirt, which had been ever fortunate to be blastered to his broad shoulders and strong chest had to be peeled off, as if it didn't want to let go of his skin. With a sodden sound, he discarded it to the sand and pushed back the hair that was sticking to his back. Muscles on Kivan weren't bulging, veiny things. Build much like a cat, they were lean and hard, and often visable most when he moved, even in the simple motion like removing his sword belt. Agile fingers flicked restraints open with a breeze, and he tossed the short blade that had been hidden beneath his shirt ontop to save it from the sand. He had yet to explain the rules, but he was enjoying himself too much...tempted to take it further but the poor girl might run from him.

     That elusive pack was kept, strapped securely to his thigh, and the stelletos which were visable now on his wrists, remained. Just in case. It wouldn't be wise to disarm himself completly, Pixies or not. He whistled then, turning his head towards the forest just as Jenks came buzzing from out in the trees, a firefly held in his hands. "Oi." Per his usual greeting. "Care for much of a game?"

     Jenks drop kicked the firefly, sending the thing flying without the aid of it's wings, and fell onto the sand besides Kivan's gear. "Mean it?" Jenks hooted, zipping through the air in all his joy and glowed faintly yellow. The half blood crossed the beach, clean white sand stretching far and wide, and at a hundred paces he dipped his hands into that pouch, pulling out a handful of black seeds. These were deposited into the sand, where his wet boots covered them in sand. Crouching, he whispered again, those fleeting words that the ears could quite catch on to. A trembled in the sand followed after a moment, then the sand shifted, giving way to a vine that rose into the air, six feet tall with a wide, bell shaped white bloom. It glowed a pale pink after another word, mirrored by a second. From there, Kivan took a hundred paces, and did the same. Goals, of sorts. Jenks took the time to dissapear into the woods and returned with nine other Pixies who shrieked with their joy. Beilo, Jenks youngest doughter, held a pale blue orb in her hands, and took it over to Markie, where she dropped it for her to catch, before landing on her shoulder.

     "The Seer," Kivan indicated the blue ball, easily fitting into the palm of her hand. "Can't touch the ground. The point is simple, much like the foot games you humans have, you have to take the ball from one end of the goals, and toss it between the others. The Pixies will divide up evenly so we have an even amount of team players. I just advice you to be careful, clutch it in your hands, and they'll play dirty." He glanced at Jenks as if he had learned from his own experiences, and the Pixie beemed, placing his fists on his hips and zipped over to Markie. "Can I be on your team?"

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2008, 02:41:10 PM »
[Kesh]    "Ah, priorities must be made." She shrugged, again that graceful gesture of movements. "I'm sure that rope would have, ahh, had quite an odor after having it in your posession after a while. Perhaps it simply was meant to be."

[G]   He may ramble but his eyes and ears were busy.  "Other than a few hundred perverted glances no one has any interest in us," he said quietly.  "How much further?"

[Kesh]    "I think that last fellow was taking a good look at you, Grater. He was, ahh, checking out your work on your cod piece." Her grin was rather satisfyed with that, if slightly smug, but she nodded after a moment, towards the hills where the Blue bloods often made their residence. But it was the golden room top that peeked through the trees that she was imply. "Just up the hill, We're nearly there." She was taking her time, mostly, because she knew that there were those in the vicinity that would be watching them make their way to the temperary headquarters of the Manor, and her associates were making sure she wasn't going by force.

[M]   That blush returned in all its glory when he began to strip down, and she had to force herself to look away to keep from staring.  Though she didn't fail to notice just how many weapons he had on him, and those were just the ones he let her see.  And she became rather nervous about his notions of a game.  She watched him as he paced off the 'field', only distracted momentarily when the pixie came over with the orb.  And assuming that he gave her all the rules, they were indeed simple.  His advice, however, drew fine lines of concern across her face again.  That look on his face had her thinking that he played dirty too...  She looked to Jenks when he approached, and nodded slowly, with a bit of a smile.  "Sure..."  And then another look to Kivan.  "How do we tell the teams apart?"

[Ki]  "Don't you worry your pretty head." Jenks' small hands gripped her shirt to keep from falling over, settling himself in a sit while he whistles, and the Pixies turned to him in unison. "Break!" It was as simple as that, and they divided themselves so there were five Pixies on either side, and those with Kivan started glowing faintly red, matching themselves to the tattoo on the halfbloods right bicept and curled over his heart. "No switchin'!" There came a series of laughter, sounding like high bells from the group hovering over by Kivan. Jenks sighed and looked back up to Martie. "Occationally, they like to change their shade to look like someone on your team, but I'll watch them real good!" And he nodded, once as if that was the end of it, easily solved.

     "Shall we say, the first to ten?" Then, because he knew he was going to enjoy himself, and he very much liked watching Martie's reactions, Kivan crouched and held a very preditorial grin, directly at her. "Uh-oh..." Jenks was off of Markie's shoulder then, that soft white light marking their team. "Shall we? Go." Markie did, of course still have the Seer, and he only gave her a second to register that the game began, that he was moving, very quickly across their 'field' kicking up sand and heading straight for her.

[M]   OK.  Red versus...whatever they would be.  Not a problem.  Her stance was still fairly relaxed, as she was trying to take in the feild.  Despite the soft glow of the pixies, it was still dark out, and her eyes were only human.  She looked back at Kivan after he set the match point, just as he was settling into that crouch, and she almost had second thoughts.  She wondered if that was the sort of look animals saw right before a wolf attacked them.  And then Jenks fled.  Which was not a confidence booster.  "What?  Wait!"  She looked to him, which was likely a mistake.  "Shall we?  Go."  "Huh?"  Her gaze returned to Kivan, and she yelped and darted to the side as he came for her, looking for her own pixies to toss the ball to.

[G]   "Let him look," Grater shrugged.  "My bread ain't buttered that way, but who am I to deny him the chance to dream."  He smiled faintly and walked with her up the hill.

[Ki]   Kivan had to remind himself that he was playing with a human; the rare chances that he and Keshayla got to play Seer with Jenks and his family, he knew that he was aloud to play rough, simply because Keshayla wasn't afraid to cheat if she was loosing. So although he moved fast, it wasn't a blur if after images, a streak of white, or any of that otherwordly buisness. He played dirty, but he also played fair.

     The Pixies had been ready, the moment Kivan had said 'go' there was a rush of bells and they all darted and danced in the air, laughing and performing air acrobatics that were attempts to distract the other players, Jenks was the fastest, and although Markie had the Seer, a number of her teammates whooshed themselves over towards the goal where they squeeled with being free, waving their small arms in the air, ducking, dodging thier brothers and sisters. Kivan had missed on purpose, a wave of sand lifted in the air, but he was careful not to kick it too high, not wanting to damage any of the Pixie's delicate wings. So he biffed it, but was very soon on his feet again, Jenks was open, flying with the speed of Markie's run, and shouted a "Drop it!" at her, intending to catch the Seer before it touched the ground.

[M]   Markie glanced down at Jenk's voice, and then lowered her hand until it was just above him before opening the fingers that had been clenched tightly around the Seer.  And she watched it, even as she ran.  If he missed, she'd have a tiny window of time to call it back to her hand with a spell, so she waited to make sure the pixie had it before figuring out what her next move would be.

[Ki]   Pixies were agile little things. Jenks was able to roll onto his back, wings buzzing like a drangonfly's as he caught the Seer, and shot straight up into the air. Then it became a blur of lights, some of them fading from red to pale white like the others in an attempt to steal the orb, bur the sound of bells and squeals pointed out the cheaters. Kivan made certain not to swipe too quickly were the ball was being tossed back and forth. The Pixies were fast, but they'd much rather release the orb, then chance being hit by a hand, and were always good about passing it on to the 'big people'. They bounced back and forth for a time, until the ball was eventually was released, and soared through the air towards Markie's post. Kivan went for it.

[M]   "Oh no you don't!"  She'd gotten more into the swing of the game as it went on, and was now grinning as she ran and played.  And she too had been watching the pass of the ball in the pixies' hands, as well as keeping an eye on Kivan.  With the size difference, she was really the only hopeful defender against him.  And when his muscles bunched and released, and he started to go after the ball, she was on him like bees on honey.  After all, she'd had to find playmates of older kids growing up, and was quite used to being caught up in their rough and tumble games.  And at tackling.  And since it was sand, there were no worries about hard ground, rocks, or stains.  She had to give herself a little boost to catch up with Kivan, but she launched herself at him, wrapped her arms around his hips, and held on tight while bracing for an impact with the ground that would hopefully not end up with him landing on top of her.  As it turned out, they landed in such a way that her cheek was pressed against his stomach.  Though she hardly had time to notice this fact; as soon as they were still, she detangled herself from him and looked up, just in time to see the ball sail through the posts for a goal for her team.  Which brought her own arms shooting into the air with a victorious whoop and a grin that spread from ear to ear.

[Kesh]      It took nearly an hour, but that was mostly because Crestwater Estates was mostlu issolated from everything else, up along a long smooth cobled stone road that twisted and curved with its switch backs; an attempt to slow unwanted visitors. Keshayla had dropped her jaw the first time she saw it, mostly because Kivan had been living alone at the time, and she couldn't understand why with a place such as this. There were many narrowed windows and towers, some decoration only, with a gate decorated with gargoyles, such as those on the roof. It's lawn was green and fresh looking, the upkeep was certainly seen to, perhaps a little odd for Mercenaries to higher a groundskeeper, but they weren't a band of savages.

       Keshayla sighed once they reached the gate, pushing back the hood finally and took a much more casual and ungaurded stroll. She looked comfortable, and felt more at ease. It was quiet, though her keen eyes could make out movement behind the windows, and it was certainly the fullest the estate has been since she started living here. But she grinned, once those double doors flew open, and a woman with pink hair wearing a white and mauve dress game running out. The distance from where they were to the door was great, so she was only the size of her hand up gaining in height and didn't even slow until she was upon them and through her arms around Keshayla. "Where in the nine hells have you been, damn you woman! We were worried sick about you!" She pulled herself off, hands on her hips and looking stern like any older sister or mother would, then that look turned to Grater and her pink brow arched. "Who are you?"

[G]         It took nearly an hour, but that was mostly because Crestwater Estates was mostlu issolated from everything else, up along a long smooth cobled stone road that twisted and curved with its switch backs; an attempt to slow unwanted visitors. Keshayla had dropped her jaw the first time she saw it, mostly because Kivan had been living alone at the time, and she couldn't understand why with a place such as this. There were many narrowed windows and towers, some decoration only, with a gate decorated with gargoyles, such as those on the roof. It's lawn was green and fresh looking, the upkeep was certainly seen to, perhaps a little odd for Mercenaries to higher a groundskeeper, but they weren't a band of savages.

       Keshayla sighed once they reached the gate, pushing back the hood finally and took a much more casual and ungaurded stroll. She looked comfortable, and felt more at ease. It was quiet, though her keen eyes could make out movement behind the windows, and it was certainly the fullest the estate has been since she started living here. But she grinned, once those double doors flew open, and a woman with pink hair wearing a white and mauve dress game running out. The distance from where they were to the door was great, so she was only the size of her hand up gaining in height and didn't even slow until she was upon them and through her arms around Keshayla. "Where in the nine hells have you been, damn you woman! We were worried sick about you!" She pulled herself off, hands on her hips and looking stern like any older sister or mother would, then that look turned to Grater and her pink brow arched. "Who are you?"

[Kesh]    She has grown rather used to this man's...odd behavior. And she liked him all the more for it. Good to know that she wasn't the only one who didn't have a full wick. "Klay, this is Grater, been helping me keep out of trouble since the other night. Grater, this is Klay, she's one of the professors at the academy that had burned down." Klay's pink hair started to fade, each step she took with them it was a lighter color until it was utterly white, just like Kivan's. She had a tallent with altering appearances, a blessing to a mercenary. Klay beamed at the man, flashing him a wide smile before she armed herself with her index finger, pointing it squarely at the larger man. "If what she says is true, then you've saved yourself from the same pink fate, my friend. Touch my hair again, however, and I'll dress you up in lavender poney-tails." Keshayla shook her head, casting Grater a look that simply said 'she'll do it, too.' "Where's Kivan?"

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2008, 02:55:09 PM »
[Ki]   He landed with a soft 'omph', sprawling in the sand but she was light enough, and he knew she was there. So, as he fell Kivan twisted, catching her in a way so that when they were on the ground, she was still ontop, and celibrating as if she had just won the game. His grin was sly, and the halfblood easing onto his elbows with the grace he always seemed to show. The Pixies were already engaged with the Seer again, Jenks leaving the field for the briefest of moments, duty first, speaking with his eldest son before nodding and rushing back. His brow quirked, most likely a status report. A few of the Pixies switched out, trading places with those who have been working and hadn't a chance to play yet, dissapearing off into the woods. Kivan stood, the Seer shot high into the sky, and before Martie could so much as shift to head towards it Kivan returned the favor of a full body tackle. Most of the impact was taken through his arms, before she landed on her stomach, and he settled his weight carefully over her, a hand near either shoulder, and his lips press against her ear. "Tempting.." He nearly purred out the rich sound. "To simply lay here and watch them have their fun, isn't it?"

[G]   Grater nodded and took up his position just behind them, he didn't mind bringing up the rear, the view wasn't bad and he could pay more attention to his surroundings.  "I saw a lizard do that once," he commented.  "Change colors by what its surroundings were.  Put it on a plaid cloak and watched it lose its mind."

[M]   Another soft yelp of surprise when he ran into her, and she threw her own arms out in instinct to take the landing.  She had had a quip ready about the fairness of him sitting on her when the game was still going, but that all just sort of melted away in a puddle of warm goo low in her stomach when he spoke against her ear.  She almost couldn't form a coherent thought with his lips so close, and that flush of color that was becoming all too common returned to her cheeks again.  "This...hardly seems like a good time..."  Though with his lips right there, it certianly was a temptation.  "After all...I'm winning..."  Ah, a lame comment, but her mind was sort of...stuck, at that point.  She lifted her head and turned it to try to look over her shoulder at him, but with his hands holding her down, she only made it as far as bringing his lips against her cheek.

[K]    An hour later saw them standing in a set of woods, several dozen Pixies buzzing about, but after Keshayla's orders of not informing Kivan that she was near, they mearly returned to their watch in the surrounding areas. Pixies didn't have the eyes for the dark, but with all the fireflies around, and the faint light from Kivan's paper lanters, they had enough to work with. Keshayla stood, dressed in new clothes of dark grey, a shade that worked better in the dark then black, which, when the three moons were out and bloating as they were now, held too harsh of lines. "That whore's unwanted get." She mumbled, speaking to Grater soft enough so that their voices didn't cary. "I spent the last two days fighting off demons and black coats, with your help, mind you, and he's getting fresh with a student!"

     Keshayla's jaw just simply dropped as she watched them, grinning though. Kivan was sly, she couldn't lie.

     The halfblood smiled when Markie turned her head, such an innocent gesture, one that he couldn't pass up. With that every present smirk his weight shifted slightly, and he stole her lips again. His kisses before had always been simple, simply steeling her lips, the act was very basic. But here, under the flickering lights of the Pixies, the soft sound of the waves against the sand, he pressed deep and tasted her lips, shifting enough so that the angle wouldn't be too awkward on her neck.

     Keshayla sighed, looking over at Grater by simply tilting her head to the side. "It's cute, really." And her wrist twisted, a stelleto dropping into her hand and the most devious smirk crept onto her lips. "But what kind of friend would I be, if I didn't watch his back?" Really, she waited a moment more. Let them have their moment. Let them get....comfortable so that she could have her fun. With a simple signal with her hand, the Pixies nodded and glowed deep red the color normally signaled when they were scared, and their buzzing as panicking things was loud as they rushed from the woods, making a racket, some even screaming as if they had just saw demons themselves. The other Pixies, of course, were in on it. When Kivan saw the others trade out, that had been when Jenks' eldest informed him of Keshayla's request and he was in on it from a start.

     Seconds after the rushing Pixies, two gleams of iron were caught in the air, each landing expetly in the sand, one relativly close to Markie's hand, the other pinning itself into the ground near their faces. Kivan's arms instinctivly wrapped around Markie to keep her shielded as best he could, but there was a twin flick of his wrists, and his own stelletos were in his hands.

[G]   Grater leaned against a tree and watched the festivities.  He wasn't sure about the shenanigans, but it was making for interesting watching, the skinny boy had no technique, but plenty of enthusiasm, but he had self-assurance, that'd get him a little ways.

[M]   There was no helping the rush of air that came with her next breath in through her nose, and though her eyes had widened at first with a small sound of protest, it didn't last any longer than it took for her to exhale that deep breath, and her eyes narrowed almost to closing again.  And when Kivan shifted to ease the strain on her neck, her body followed, turning up slightly, and had he given her the room she likely would have rolled to her back for him.  Because that particular kiss had that warm puddle of goo spreading deeper through her body, and lower than just her stomach.  But then the rush of pixies, and Markie barely had time to comprehend that they were warning of danger when the blades stuck dangerously close in the sand, and Kivan had her wrapped close, and she felt a shifting of his body that she knew, despite not being able to see, that he was arming himself.  And that fear that Keshayla loved the smell of returned, and Markie tried to shrink herself down and grasped at him for protection, her mind still reeling from the rather sudden transition from Oh... to Oh fuck...

[K]    It got fun here, at least for her. Keshayla could see that determination in Kivan's eyes, even from this distance; his sight and senses really weren't any match for hers, Fay or otherwise. But swiftly he was armed, and doing very well to shield Markie from any frontal assault. Her nose flaired wide as the breeze favored her, coming in from the Sea, bring along with it the sharp smell of cinimon, and Keshayla almost started laughing. She was certain Markie was going to start hating her, it seems like their introductions have only been when she was scaring her. Part of her was tempted to simply turn around and leave, let them stay that way until Kivan dared to step forward, or until the Pixies tired of their ruse and gave her away. If she did that, though, he might assume that she was angry with him, when that wasn't the case. Annoyed, yes, there was a small part of her that felt betrayed that he wasn't at the Estate, waiting for her, but that was just childish.

     Though he hadn't fought any demons lately, and she had a fresh set of scars that irritated her so.

     Keshayla drew her blade, the black metal made not a sound as it was released from it's woll interior, no glim or catch of light, but she stepped heavy and wide to make soft noises that would reach their ears, and like a viper Kivan's stellettos struck at the air before her. She was expecting it, and the two pin blades he had released with knocked aside with the sound ot metal on metal. She paused there, stooping to pick them up and sheathed her blade again, taking to twirling the blades in both hands before she spoke. "Not even a message?" As per their usual greeting, and she finally stepped out of the shadow of the woods, stelletos twirled and caught like fabric scarved the jesters toyed with at the carnivals. "I stayed at the school for three bloody hours, by myself, keeping a horde of demons at bay? One of which, I might add, wouldn't stop asking me the same bloody question, all night long. 'What's your name?'. Tell me, why would he ask that? Annoying, really."

     Kivan shifted, rolling off of Markie and giving her enough room to stand, if she wished. The look he cast the Pixies was far from friendly. Some of them flew off, turning deep red for real, but others mostly laughed at their expence.

[M]   Markie had no such wish.  She got as far as stitting upright, though still stayed close to Kivan's back and made herself as small as possbile, as if she could hide behind his wiry frame from the advancing lycan.  She was afraid of the anger in her voice, and embarrassed that they'd been caught as they had.  If she could have, she'd have crawled under a rock right then.

[G]   There are times when you try and figure out what is going on, and other times when there's bugger all you can do but sit back and watch.

What more diversion can a man desire?
Than to sit him down by an alehouse fire
Upon his knee a pretty wench
And upon the table a jug of punch.

Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay,
too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay
Upon his knee a pretty wench
And on the table a jug of punch.

Let the doctors come with all their art
They'll make no impression upon my heart
Even a cripple forgets his hunch
When he's snug outside of a jug of punch.

Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay,
T too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay
Even a cripple forgets his hunch
When he's snug outside of a jug of punch.

He sang quietly, perhaps reminding them that it was a long dry walk here.

[K]    Grater's song made Keshayla smirk. Part of her was certain that if he hadn't been here, with her, Keshayla would most likely have allowed herself to get angry. In her view, Kivan didn't have the right to be angry with the Pixies, they weren't babysitters, and it wasn't safe for them to be zipping around like so in the dark of the forest. Their wings took a long time to mend, and Grater's presence wouldn't have been enough to hold back her anger, had something happened to one of them. She made a mental note to gift them with honey when the chance arrose. But what was most curious...what Markie. Keshayla's eyes turned to take her in, huddling behind Kivan as if she was going to hurt her. It would have been more amusing, if it didn't hurt, but that smirk remained where it was; plastered cooly on her lips. Keshayla stopped a few feet infront of them, tossing the half breed his stelletos, where they dropped with a soft shift in the sand.

     Kivan leaned back, allowing his weight to press against Markie slightly, the gesture was like a hand on someone's shoulder, comforting, before he took up the blades once more, and fastened them back into their sheathes. "Who's your friend?" There was suspicion in his voice, as if he was lookimg for a reason to get angry at her. It didn't work, Keshayla wasn't going to trade banter with him as if they were in a pissing contest. She smiled, stepping to the side. "Grater, a friend. He's been helping me watch my back since the morning of the attack." Like Kivan should have been. "We've been having a bit of trouble with the guards."

[M]   She pressed back against his back, grateful for his presence; had he still been wearing his shirt, she likely would have had her fingers curled in the fabric as if she were holding onto a safety blanket.  She hated being so afraid, but she knew that she would be no match for the woman if it ever came down to it, despite whatever skill in magic she may have.  She listened to their words as an outsider, hearing, but feeling that she shouldn't be privy to such a conversation.  She heard the irritation in her voice that was directed at Kivan.  But she didn't know...  She didn't know how much her partner had been worried about her...  But she didn't have the courage to say anything.  She just remained hiding behind Kivan.  Coward.

[G]   "Once upon a while back there was a bloke named Simple Cedric Semple, a daft bugger who thought to neglect payment of a thousand sovereigns to me for services rendered.  He remembered shortly after I sat him in a brazier of coals where his purse was.  But apparently I burned his arse in more ways than one.  So he plotted one night outside the Happy Harpie how he was going to pour coals down my pants and burn off poor William, who never did him a wrong deed, might I add.  Voices carry at night," he looked around meaningfully.  "And my throat is so dry I think I gargled sand."

[K]    Kivan looked absolutely confused when he looked at Grater. The halfblood blinked, looking from him, to Keshayla and back again before the frown set in once more. "Is he on wrathestone? Fighting off Gaze perhaps? The Black Whisper? What in the gods good grace is he talking about?" She was deffinatly annoyed now, and for a brief moment she let the amber eyes of her wolf bubble through her own hunter green, just for the satisfaction and mild headache to take her mind off of her brewing bad mood. I ought to club him... "He's saying he needs a bumfucking drink, you bloody mudblood." She settled with turning on the ball of her foot, a wave given to the Pixies who were startingly quiet at the exchange. "You two enjoy your fun, go frolic some more. We'll take care of the meyhem and the chaos that the city has become. Enjoy." That was that, Keshayla turned back to dissapear into the dark of the woods. To Grater, she simply started digging into her pocket, a pouch on her thigh very simular to Kivan's didn't have what she was looking for. Where's that bloody necklace... "I'm thinking some Rum is in order, my friend. Care for some?"

[G]   "Rum's my favorite," he replied.  "Actually whatever is closest is my favorite.  Lead the way, you know I won't be far behind."

[Kesh]       They walked, but only until she located that ever elusive necklace. Really, she should wear it like Kivan always scolded her to, but the damn thing was annoying, and she often didn't like wearing jewelry because they snagged onto things, which could slow her down or cause her to stumble, if the angles are right. Or was she simply being over paranoid? She did slip it over her head, however, when she pulled it free, and lifted her finger to her mouth, where she slid the pad of her finger sharply across her fang and split it open. The blood would act as the focuss needed, or so she was told, and once she had slipped her arm around Grater's waist, she muttered those fleeting words, and it felt as if the ground was jerked out from under them.

     They landed back at the Estate, inside the study with it's walls lined with book shelves, and ancient maps scattered about. It was a slightl jolt through the knees when the necklace pulled them back, but just as quickly as it all started, it was over with. "Rum." She spoke aloud for the simple pleasure of it, strolling across the room to a cabnet against the corner, tugging open its glass and cherry wood doors to pull out a bottle, hesitated, then grabbed a second. It was times like these she wished she could get drunk. Turning, she offered one to Grater, she didn't think a glass would be neededd.

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2008, 03:04:30 PM »
[M]   If ever Markie had felt like she'd just taken a verbal slap to the face, now would be it.  They were friends, and now they were fighting, and Markie couldn't help but feel that it was her fault because Kivan had been with her.  And Keshayla had actually made her feel guilty about Kivan kissing her.  She felt...dirty.  And those tears were in her eyes again, threatening to fall for real this time.  She wanted to run, to hide, to be anywhere but there.  But she didn't know where to go, and going alone was dangerous, so she had no choice but to remain huddled behind him, arms wrapped tightly around herself, and stare at the ground on the verge of tears.  Where was a giant rock or a hole in the ground when you needed one?

[G]   "Next ye'll be wanting fingerbowls," he chuckled.  "If ye need a body to slug it down with, lets get to it."  If he was surprised by the sudden jump he didn't show it.  "And if we need some good drinking songs, that's up to ye, I know only bad ones."

[Ki]      Kivan didn't move until after Keshayla turned and left. He was angry, but whether that was at her or himself had yet to be determined. Yes, he felt as if he had betrayed her, but not for being here, and enjoying the time he had been spending with Markie. He liked her, that wasn't going to change. The guilt, was because the world was changing, and there wasn't anything he could do to stop it. After everything his partner had gone through, loosing family, friends and blood line, always being forced into difficult situations and finding a means to pull through...he should have been there. But... but what? Maybe the guilt was really because he didn't feel guilty like he wanted to...

     When they dissapeared, Kivan turned around, still on his knees, and pulled Markie to his chest. He didn't say anything, because words left him and he never was any good at comforting someone. Sometimes people didn't want to hear anything, who knew if she felt that way or not. He let time slip by, giving her the moments she needed to get ahold of herself, or simply to let it all out at once, whatever she needed.

[Kesh]    Once again, she scoffed. There was no way in hell she'd be using a finger bowl. She cringed when she had to practise such formalities on a hit. With a fang, she uncorked the bottle, spitting the top in a waste bucket near the desk, and sat on it's table top, her head tilted back as she took a drink, letting the alcohol burn it's way down her throat. The heat was gone by the time it was able to pool in her belly. "I wonder if they make stuff strong enough to make a Lycan drunk." She murmered. She hadn't heard of anything, or managed to find something close, either.

[G]   "They do," he grinned.  "I learned it to win a bet.  A lovely young lass of lycan blood swore she'd never sleep with me till she was roaring drunk.  I spoke with an apotecary friend of mine and he allowed as how he'd trade my sword for the knowledge, and there I was between a rock and a hard place.  I couldn't let go of me sword, and William was being no end of trouble over this pretty lass.  So I traded the knowledge with him for the new price or relcating his arms.  Now, if ye've a store of herbs, I can arrange for you to be howling at the moon, without growing any extra hair."

[M]   She'd been trying not to cry.  She really had.  She felt miserable, but he had enough worries, he didn't need her hurt feelings heaped on top of it all.  But then he went and did the one thing that seemed to make it all better, and all worse, all at once.  He hugged her, drawing her into the warm safety of his arms, and on reflex her arms reached out and wrapped around his back, clinging to him like a lifeline.  And whatever restraint she may have had on her tearducts went right to hell.  

It was slow at first, the coming tears.  Simply big, fat drops that rolled down her cheeks paired with sniffles that tried to keep her breathing even and to make her eyes dry.  "I'm sorry..."  And then there was no stopping it.  Breathing caught and choked, and turned into sobs, and the tears came faster, until it was a constant stream.  And she cried.  For him, at first, and for herself, and then for everything else.  For being homesick, and knowing that she might not ever see home again.  For the strain of the school being attacked.  For being attacked even though she had no idea who these people were or why they were attacking.  For her new friends, their whereabouts and health still unknown to her.  And because, really, it had just been too long since she'd had a good cry, and the system needed to be washed clean.  

She didn't know how much time had passed before her sobs finally returned to sniffles and gently choking breaths, or how many times she'd whimpered her sorries into his skin in the interim, but she was sure that it was no few moments.  She was exhausted again, physically and mentally, and she shivered from a cold in her muscles that had nothing to do with the temperature outside.  Her cheeks were smeared with the salty residue of her tears, as was his chest, and her eyes were puffy and red by the end.  And still she held to him, clinging to that lifeline as if it were the only thing that could save her.

[Kesh]    Good gods. If what he was saying was true, then how in the hells could she pass it up? Can you trust him?  Why the hell not? He's helped save her ass all day, and if anything were to go wrong? She had a dame estate full of Magi. Keshayla grinned, flashing a toothy, wicked smile that normally caused men to stumble, and forget to watch where they were going. "In the cubboards, help yourself. Kivan has a thing for plants and herbs, chances are, he'll have what you need." She hoped.

[G]   "Come watch," he grinned.  "I reset both arms, so yer paid for to learn."  He looked through and found several liquid extracts and showed her the proper proportions and swigged down a full two inches on her bottle and poured the mix in with his thumb and shook it.  "This'll do it," he grinned.  "Give her a rip and see what you feel, like a nice warm ball in yer belly that spreads and says 'praise be!'," he laughed.

[Ki]      This was awkward for him: not knowing what to do. For a fleeting, panicking moment he looked around franticly. Klay would have been ideal, Klay was perfect for these sort of situations. But she wasn't here, she was back at the Estate. Desprit, he caught sight of the Pixies, pleading with his eyes for help. Some of the oldest girls silently flew over, each making a different gesture from the other, and still Kivan just held her, helpless, and watched the Pixies move about. They weren't helping, and Jenks flew in to save the day, and ushered them away. Kivan shifted his arms, pulling her in closer while the sobs deepend, and he sighed, feeling bad, wishing he knew how to comfort her.

     It was frustrating, just sitting there and not being able to do anything, but at the same time, he knew she was getting past the outburst, felt as muscles relaxed with the exhaustion that crying brought. His hand had took to stroking through her hair, up along her shoulders and down along the spine, relaxing motions that coaxed muscles to ease. She appologized, and this was the most confussing piece of all: What did she have to appologize for? Shouldn't that be what he was doing?

[Kesh]    She watched, curious and excited, commiting it all to memory simply so she would be able to get smashed again, if this was going to work. For the sake of the buzz! He swigged, stirred, and just like that the drink was hers. Keshayla saluted him with the glass, tilted her head back, and bottoms up. Just as before, it warmed down her throat, with a slight, almost almondy after taste. And it was warm still, when it reached her belly, hot even. She licked her lips, waited, and then grinned, "May they name a saint after you, Grater." She took another drink, deeper this time, and grinned wide.

[G]   "If they do it better not be the patron of anything you can discuss in polite company," he grinned and belted down a heavy slug.  "So what are we drinking to?"

[Kesh]    Keshayla leaned back, dropping into the same cupped chair that he was lounged into give his lecture to the student, drapping herself around it very much as he had; appearing as if she was expecting a photo shoot. "So wicked humor, sharp tongues, if you can't dazzle them with wits, may you baffle them with bullshit." And she drank to thank, deeply.

[G]   "And here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women," he raised his bottle in reply.  "Careful with that, if yer not used to drink it put ye on yer arse."

[M]   Her fingers were curled against his skin, arms locked around him such that her muscles would probably hate her for it later.  The hair strokes were soothing, and it helped her tightened chest to relax enough that she could breath freely again, but for the occasional sniffle.  She was quiet for a time, no more tears, no more appologies, just him and her and the comforting touch of his fingers in her hair.  She liked that.  Her father would toussel her hair affectionately now and again, just for fun or to help brighten her eyes, but this was different.  He was different.  She liked the affectionate touches and caresses, and that soft smile when he wasn't smirking, and those grey eyes that knew so many things.  And especially those stolen kisses that stole her breath.  She'd teased her mother once that any boy that presumed to steal a kiss from her she'd wallup good, after setting fire to his hair and putting an itch in his knickers.  But Kivan's hair was just too pretty and, with a soft blush, she didn't think she wanted to hurt anything in his pants.  

Markie took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then let it out slowly with only a small shudder, the outburst finished.  And then she did it again, that apology thing.  "Sorry....I leaked on your chest..."

[Kesh]    "Ah, but that's exactly what I need. Grater, I've seen twenty four summers, my twenty fifth is in less then a week. Others are able to burry their sorrows in a good, hard drink, but I've only been able to sort them out like pretty little things. The Crooked Warden must be smiling on me if he allowed me to run into you, and being graced with a stiff drink that works." Maybe she was feeling it. She was sitting down, and she's heard that sometimes you were fine until you stood up, then it was like a fist in your stomach. Either way, it was a perfect time to finally get shit faced, wasn't it? Her 'brother and sister' were dead, and it brought back painful aches and memories from when her pack had been issued that same fate, nearly ten years ago. But she wasn't so far into her drink that she allowed herself ramblings about any of them. She settled the bottle on her stomach and kicked so that she spun slowly in the chair. Maybe that wasn't a good idea. "

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2008, 03:10:54 PM »
[G]   "Is your compass spinning in the wrong direction?" Grater asked.  "Been that way a time or two myself.  Not as bad as Jackass Wender," he held up a cautioning finger.  "He drowned his brain in some home brewed skull buster and took a mule to the justice of the peace and demanded he marry them.  That fool did it and he wandered off with her, damned mule broke both of his hips when Wender tried to consumate things."

[Ki]      "You've been appologizing all this time when you don't need to, my Pearl. You haven't done anything wrong." He smiled, that light twitch on either corner of his mouth that softened the gray of his eyes. "And my chest was already wet." He pulled away enough to shift a little more comfortable, before leaning in, brushing his lips over the trails her tears had left behind, tasting the salt on his lips and he slowly licked them, savoring the taste of her there. "I believe its best if we head back, now. Morning is on its way, and we're both going to need sleep for the morrow."

[Kesh]    Keshayla's sex life might be full of cob webs at the moment, but she didn't think she'd ever try to get fresh with a mule. Horses and other 'pets' sort of got nervous around her, smelling the wolf burried deep inside. She smirked though, looking over the lip of her drink to the man and his never ending suplies of crazy antics and stories. He was certainly something. "Where do you meet all of these people? Maybe I should quite being doyen, and just go to wherever the hell it is you've been."

[G]   "Seen a lot of world, and I seem to attract colorful people," he shrugged.  "There just no telling what a body will see when they look far enough."  He grinned at her bottle.  "And how's that treating you?"

[M]   She almost let another one slip past her lips, but caught it before it met air, and swallowed it back down.  Seemed that once she started, she couldn't stop saying it.  She nodded to his suggestion, but was in no hurry to leave his warm embrace, though she did allow herself enough room to knuckle at her eyes once or twice.  And goodness, she still had letters to write...  "Will things be alright, between you two?"  She hated to think that she'd ever be the cause of a fight between such close friends.

[Kesh]    "Feels like my knees are sponge cake, got a bit of a tilt to everything, and I'm down right giddy." She looked at the bottle, sighing because half the contents have already been drained into her stomach. She was used to guzzling the rum, and now, she reminded herself, it would be best to sip. She's seen those who woke the next day, red eyed and free of all of the contents in their stomach, and Keshayla loathed spraying sick everywhere. "And you're self?"

[G]   Grater grinned and looked at the bottle.  "It'll take more of this," he shrugged.  "I grew up drinking nearly pure alcohol, called Demon Sweat, that or what we called Poppy Wine, alcohol with a mix of opium."  He grinned.  "It takes a sight to addle me."

[Ki]      "Just a batting of words, Markie. Don't worry about Keshayla and I. We often fight, like siblings, remember? Sometimes like brothers." And she had a right hook that made him cringe. "Don't get in your head that you were the cause of this. She...." He stopped himself, then sighed, as if giving up, and rocked back to sit on his heels, getting a better look of her face, but still close enough to touch. "Forgive me, for how barbaric this may sound, but it's the closest to the truth I know how to explain it. Keshayla is very much like a wolf. A dominant, wolf, and it works for her. She's a skilled assasin, quick on her feet, and a gifted tongue when it came to sarcasm and quip remarks. And like a wolf, a dominant wolf at that, she tends to bare her jowels and growl a lot. Give her some time, and she'll come around."

[Kesh]    She groaned at the mention of demon sweat, though it wasn't the alcohol that had made her cringe. "Good gods, I've had enough of that stuff to last me a life time." She had wreaked of that stink until she spilled herself in a hot shower this morning. She'd like to avoid that bit in the future, for as long as she was standing on her legs. She doubted that was going to happen, but perhaps the gods were to favor her once more, and for once, something would go the right way.

[M]   His words encouraged her a bit, but Keshayla had sounded really angry with him, so it was hard to believe completely.  But she nodded, trusting as much as she could in his assessment of his partner.  Though she did sigh softly once more.  "I was bit by a dog once when I was five or so...  And I was afraid of them until I was nearly fifteen..."  So she'd try, but she couldn't make any pormises.

[G]   "Anything you walk away from isn't too terrible," he replied with a small smile and took another drink, then held up three fingers.  "How many fingers do you see?"

[Kesh]    She leaned forward in her chair, eyes squinting slightly which was sign enough already. For a moment she hadn't been too sure on what she should be counting, then logic returned, prodded her in the right direction, and she sat back rather satisfyed with herself. "Four."

[G]   He looked for himself, "Close enough," he allowed.  "Have another at your leisure. "  He took another sip.  "And what mischief are we going to be making these next few days," he asked.  "Ye ain't harly the sit and knit sort."

[Ki]      Kivan's smile softened all the more, and a curious thought came to mind. He tilted his head to the side, then further still like a crow might. "Are you afraid of her?" All curiosity, in that question, he was slightly puzzled by this, but why not? Though....would that mean that she was frightened by him? She would be, if she knew. There is no doubt about that, Markie would simply run. And Keshayla would be angry...very angry at him for not telling her something so important.

[Kesh]    Again that scoff, and she rolled her eyes for the fact that he even mentioned the knitting. She knew how, as well as a slew of other things such as cooking, music, literature, art, things she has been training for simply for the use at the job. She never understood the knitting for leasure. "Tomorrow we've got to start researching, actually. We need a lead of what our options are, for replacing Jaeric of the mantle he's set himself on. Cousins, long lost siblings, anything."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2008, 03:22:39 PM »
[G]   "Well now," he allowed.  "That'll lead to some high quality bloodletting I think.  A good thing, or we'd get lazy."

[M]   Was she?  It was a rather simple question.  Shouldn't it have a simple answer?  It  should.  It didn't.  But the truth of it was that, yes, she was, a bit, and after a bit of a pause, Markie nodded, not meeting his eyes anymore.  But should she be?  She didn't rightly know.  She'd been very afraid of them both, in the beginning.  But while Kivan had made an effort to make amends, even if he had started said efforts by breaking into her room when she was very underdressed, he'd tried.  She knew him better, and though she knew, by his own admission, no less, that he was dangerous, she liked him, as a person, and as a friend, and a tiny bit more.  He'd been the one to come to her during the attack.  She felt safe with him now.  The earlier events of the night had only proved that.  Whereas Keshayla...  Every time she'd met that woman, she'd been scowling and unfriendly it seemed.  At least she had no 'fond' memories of any interaction they'd had.  Maybe it was just part of her nature.  But a dog that growled at everyone that came near didn't get pet too much.  Though she didn't want to discount Keshayla, either.  Much of her getting to know Kivan had happened over the last day, while Keshayla, apparently, was fighting demons and guards.  So it wasn't like the lycan woman had flat out ignored her or anything...  

Markie sighed again, and gazed off to the dark forest to their side, where the topic of their discussion had vanished earlier.  "It's complicated...  Like the saying goes, I guess...  'Once bitten, twice shy.'"  And she already felt bit.

[Kesh]    A good thing. Ah, now here was a startling realization. It was a good thing. Violence she was familiar with, knew how to react to with a smooth ease and cool head. People could be falling left in right, bodies dropping like flies and for Keshayla it would be a relaxful setting. When you condition yourself for hardship after so many years, you simply became comfortable with it. Theres been a lot of good times mingled with the chaos her life has been in, fond memories she held of narrow escapes, bless the gods, amusing stories, and some things that were complete bizare. She smiled, taking one last ling, slow drink of the rum and only pulled away after she felt the warmth spred to her limbs and cause a constant tilt in the world. "I like violence." There was only the slightest hint of a slur to her words, but better judgement set the near empty bottle to the ground. "It's comfortable, something familiar, like sort of dance, really. I know all the steps, and I've got the legs and muscles to keep going when others are too fucking dead to go on." Did that make any sense? Did it need to?

[Ki] This was a pirculiar situation. On one point, Kivan felt compelled to defend his partner, Markie didn't know a thing about her, after all. Keshayla was witty, fun, and kept that demon at bay with her optimism that was far from a facade. She really was charming in her own way, and he loved everything about her. He also knew how standoffish, domineering and harsh she could be. It wasn't a surprise hearing that Markie thought this was 'complicated' to answer, but that was answer enough for him. Did he tell her what instincts felt obligated to say? That she had to look at the situation differently? The long soft sigh could be answer enough, but he felt as if he had to argue both points. "On one hand, we have Keshayla." And he held out his left hand, showing off the same black pearled ring that his parter wore, marking them as Doyen. "Her family has just been murdered in their own bedrooms, betrayed by a nephew who has a black heart and most likely sold his soul for these demons used. She works the underground, with a mass of individuals who are meant to be forgotten, unnamed, passing faces in the crowd. For everything she and they have done for the city, she will never be thanked. She's had to encase herself with a shell, impenitratable, because she is under the assumption that if she gets close to someone, anyone, then they would only turn into victoms under prey of those who want to hurt her. There are many people who want to hurt her, names that can't be spoke aloud, because names have power. If Keshayla's shell was physical, it would be hard as diamond. She is your worst enemy. But occationally, over time, you may find a hole in her shield. And if you're willing to be patient with her, you'll see that she is the best sort of friend to have. One that isn't afraid of risking or giving her life for yours, she's the best sort of ally to have.

     "Then on the other hand." And he indicated the right, which was decorated with a old, tarnished ring marked with his clan, though the symbol itself was lost and long forgotten in the lands of man. "We have those who have been dragged into this whole affair." Which would be indicating Markie and her fellow students. "Those who had their lives altered because of being associated with the left. Though indirectly. Your own lives have changed, you've lost friends and possibly family as well, and this war that was supposed tobe private has fairly quickly involved everyone. Now Keshayla..." And once more he sighed. "She sees this. But what she sees is a little different. She thinks she's alone. Always alone, even if her friends are standing beside her. My point, is please. Please, don't hate her. Please don't be afraid of her, even if I am myself. Please don't assume that she is a monster simply because of her wolf. Please try. I think your good heart and noble head would do her good."

[G]   "Violence is only violence if yer being treated violently," he too set aside his bottle.  "If yer the one being violent, it is action.  So you have to get into action before those violent bastards can get violent."

[Kesh]    That made sense. If you didn't push it through your head too much, it made a lot of sense, actually. Sometimes the saying fight fire with fire was too perfect, like now. Only it was fight violence with violence, and she was entirely ok with that. Besides, without violence, she'd be out of a job. She loved her job. "Heres to hoping that we find this candidate rather quickly, so we can go one with using our blades." If only it were that easy, she had a feeling that they were going to be hovering over books for quite some time.

[G]   "Brain his legs, or something more permanent?" He grinned.  "Perment I'm thinking, but braiding, but me and Stinky Boles did that to Gar Greenteeth.  He didn't like it any at all, but he was more than happy to tell us anything we wanted to know after."

[M]   Markie looked back to him, those gentle doe-eyes uncertain, but trying.  She was trying to not be scared, but it wasn't easy.  This was a whole lot to be thrown at an innocent girl from a small island town where everyone knew everyone, and there was no word for 'neighbor', only friend or cousin.  She sat back on her heels as well, an almost defeated slump to her shoulders.  "It's not fair..."  But when was life ever fair, for anyone, not just her?  It certainly wasn't fair for Keshayla and Kivan to now have a gaggle of naive students to watch out for while they dealt with an attack on their system.  It wasn't fair for everyone who had gotten hurt, or killed.  It wasn't fair for their families, who would be worried sick.  "But I'll try..."  That was the most she could do right now.  "I promise."

[Kesh]    She wasn't certain on if she knew what the hell he was talking about any more, but Grater seemed to be full or crazy stories, and surely, if he had meant her any harm, he would have done so by now. Keshayla rewarded him, either way, with another toothy grin, and adjusted herself in the chair so that she was tilting with the rest of the world. I can't believe you've managed to get yourself drunk.... Ah, but bless the Crooked Warden that she was alone with Grater. Anyone else would be tsking her for her choice. They didn't understand. Sometimes you just needed to ache to take away other pains that festered worse then an open wound. "I agree. Much more perminent. Like castrating the git so he can't reproduce, and then sut him, and burn his inside."

[G]   "Easier way," he grinned.  "Sit the bugger on a stool with a brazier of coals between his feet, slice him hip bone to hip bone across his belly with a razor and kick him in the chest.  It'll all fall into the coals when he falls back.  It can get a bit smelly, but ye probably won't be planning to stay around anyway."

[Ki]   That was fair, an "I'll try" was more then he had thought he would recieve, and there was a promise there with it, too. What more could he ask her, then but to try? Demanding was unfair, and unrealistic, and even if he had that power, he wouldn't have done such a thing. Why did it feel as if he had no control over this whole ordeal? Overr everything that has happened. Kivan didn't like it, not at all, and it took a good amount of effort to keep a scowl off of his face. "Come." He stood, dusting the sand off of his knees, and headed towards the shoreline to pick up the rest of his clothing and weapons. The number of blades were all replaced with a smooth ease; fastening, belting and securing to his form, while the shirt remained off. It was soak, anyways, and covered with sand that had started to stiffen as it dried due to the salt. He was craving a bath.

     Secure, now that he was armed, and more baffled now then when he had first stepped foot on the beach, Kivan held out his hand for Markie, inviting her to step in close once more so that he could take them home.

[M]   She followed after him, and echoed his motions though only with her boots...which were about the only things left that were dry and salt and sand free.  She, too, needed a shower.  Her hair was getting crunchy from the salt.  She dusted herself off as best she could, and then stepped in and took his hand, brushing a bit of sand from his chest that he'd missed with a small smile.

[Kesh]    "Now see, I wouldn't mind going through the pains of time on him." And she had a particular dark glint in her eye. Keshayla frowned at torture, that area was left purely for Kivan to enjoy, and she knew he enjoyed it. But with Jaeric... her heart nearly pulsed faster with an almost giddy excitement. She was an imaginative person, and wouldn't it be an honor to show their Duke just what wonders she could come up with? No. No, Jaeric would be going through his own personal hell with what she had in mind, and that wouldn't be bad enough for him, in her eyes.

[G]   Grater studied her with a practiced eye.  "How bad is the world tilted?" he asked her, knowing just how unpracticed she was with intoxicants.  "Ready to try and sleep it off yet?"  He chuckled.  "I warn you, the dreams can be interesting."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2008, 03:41:38 PM »
[Ki]      He really had enjoyed his evening with her. A break from the reality of their world was much needed. Bernie's presence was enough to make anyone smirk. The creature truely was a fool, but at times, he was jealous and wished he could swim all day long, and not have to worry. Jenks and his family were playful and friendly too, and if he had brought any honey with him, well... honey was just like a very, very, very strong alchol. They drank it with gluttony, if given the chance, and it amused him to watch them try to perform the same acrobatics while drunk. None of that would be back at the Estate. The students would be bashful with their silence. The instructors that have survived would be meditaing, and collecting their thoughts for what they knew would be happening shortly, and Keshayla? Practising, most likely, out in the arena with one of Klay's spells, or possibly soaking in the hot springs below the Estate. There was routeen, such was his reality, and for the first time he didn't find comfort in knowing that he was going back to his Estate, with his guild members, there was a bit of dread. Was this where he was supposed to ask Markie to run away with him? The thought caused him to smirk, and in the same motion he lifted his hand to the necklace he had touched earlier. Blood was surfaced with a harsh bite of his nail, and those fleeting words filled the air before they were back with a flickering jolt.

     They both stood on the roof once more, the horizen was brightening, but still the sun had yet to rise. It was only with reluctance that he released Markie, and headed for the stairs down. His dishes from before were already taken away, probably from a curious Klay who had stepped up to the roof to take a curious peak of where they had been. He only sighed. "We'll send the letters off tomorrow." He reminded Markie, smiling once over his shoulder before holding the door open long enough for her to slip through. "And we'll figure out some way to get responces." But that was all he could do, for now.

[Kesh]    Was there a 'tilt' scale she hadn't heard about? For a moment Keshayla didn't know how to answer him, so she settled with blinking before her smile spread on her lips once more, and she started tilting her hand back and forth, the same level of her eyes and the seemingly rolling ground. "Oh... a good bit. You're right, though. Best I sleep this, ahh...off before I cover Kivan's books with sick. Some of these are older then dirt."

[M]   "Thank you," she smiled at him, and meant it.  A shining smile as golden as her hair, as if there hadn't just been an emotional eruption down on the beach.  She passed through the door, but paused at his side, just long enough to reach up on her toes and kiss him on the cheek just shy of the corner of his mouth, and then she scampered down the steps ahead of him.  And didn't stop that hurried scamper until she'd reached her room and her door was closed, and she tried to convince herself that her heart was pounding the way it did because she'd just been running.

[G]   "In that case, I'll get you to your door," he chuckled.  "And we'd better start now, those stairs are going to be a bloody big bugger of a mountain to climb."

[Ki]      It wasn't easy to surprise Kivan. With his line of work, surprises were often fatal mistakes, and that was something that couldn't be afforded. Through the years you learned to always be on your toes, to always be ready and on the watch. Markie surprised him with that kiss, as light and innocent as it was. And he was only able to blink in responce before she was off, scurrying away before he would have a chance to act, speak, or anything else he might have done. She was gone, just like that, and the halfblood remained blinking absently before he smiled. He liked her, that innocence was charming and the more he toyed with it, pressed it, the more he wanted it.

      When Markie was settling in her room with her pounding heart, Kivan took to strolling through his estate, making sure that all was well. The students were sleeping at this hour of the morning, and he found that Klay had left to get some sleep herself. He was feeling...restless, and didn't understand why, but he understood the need to follow his instincts, so he paced, moved room to room, and checked to make sure all of the wards and protection spells were up.

[Kesh]    Keshayla laughed at the idea, would the stairs really be such a problem? With how things were tilting and swaying now...most deffinatly. "I'm better then a cat with balance." She wouldn't know, really. She's never challenged a cat to walk the fence line with her to see who won. And she didn't have a tail....now. "But your help is much appreciated." She unfolded her legs, gripping the chair's arm as she fought to stand and did a great deal of wobbling and slurred cursing. "Fuck me, my knees are drunk."

[G]   "Hecause the drink settles into them and then the fumes run to yer head," he replied.  "Its a wicked process, but it lets you know that you spent coin on good booze.  Ye want to hold me arm going up, or should I follow ye to catch?"

[M]   Markie stripped down and tossed her wet, salty clothes in a corner to be dealt with later, and then donned a dressing robe and made for the shower that was thankfully not too far away.  Much as she wanted to linger under the hot water, she was quick about the shower, making sure all of the salt was out of her hair before stepping out to dry.  Though she left her hair slightly wet as she returned to her room.  

The sun was a bit higher now, though still not quite over the horizon, and she just now sat down to write her letter home.  She knew what she had to say, it was just a matter of how.  She sighed, and started with the usual 'Dear Mum, Da, Peanuts.  I hope this letter finds you well...' She tried to explain things a bit more, adding that this letter may likely reach them before her prior letters.  A recap on the attack, and that she was well and safe.  And added information that because they were with professors, and it was the professors that the attack was against, it would not be safe to tell them where she was just yet.  But reminded them that she was well, and asked her mother to please not worry too much.  'I hate to say this to you, because I know you will all worry, but please be strong for me.  I will take comfort in knowing that you all are well, especially you, Mum.  I love you all very, very much...'  Gods above, it sounded like she was saying good-bye...  More reminders to them that she was safe, even if her mind snarked that she wouldn't be for long, not after she went willingly into the palace.  She finally finished, two pages later and careful to not reveal anything that would put them, or the group she was with, in any danger, and started to close it, when a thought re-occured to her sleepy mind. 'Before I forget...  Please tell Jastaphan that when Mona has another clutch, I'd like to buy one of the chicks from him.  I'll send money and tell him where to send it as soon as I can.  Until then, take care.  All my love, Marchelle.' That would be another tip off to her family that it was getting serious...  She almost never used her full name.  But she wanted to let them know that it could be some time before she could contact them again, without scaring them outright.  She'd had to word everything carefully as it was to keep her mother calm.  She sighed, and finally laid the quil down, and set the last page out to dry before flopping backwards on her bed.  

The sun was just peeking over the horizon now, gentle light slowing touching the furniture and walls.  She should be exhausted, and she was, but she just couldn't get to sleep yet.  Ever since the drought, her mother had been in somewhat frail health.  She worried a lot that her family wouldn't survive the lean years, and it took a toll on her.  So even now, more than twelve years later, if something ever particularly upset her, she'd have a relapse, and would get really weak and sick.  She'd fallen into it when Markus had gone missing with the bear incident, and it had taken her weeks to get better again.  The last thing Markie wanted was to make her mother sick with worry...  

That was really about as far as she got in her worried thoughts before sleep finally caught her, and she slept deeply, curled on top of her covers with damp hair in nothing but the robe.

[Kesh]    "Lead on, my friend. I think I shall cling to you like a cold. Best that I make it to bed, safely, and hate myself in the morning. Up the stairs, down the East Hall, and seventh door on the left." She was fine standing, though she swayed as if she was in that damnable dingy of Kivan's. But she managed to take a few steps, and slipped her arm into Grater's.

[G]   He took her arm and carefully climbed the stairs with her.  His own intimacy with drink left him with good drunk reflexes and he guided her to the door easy enough and got her in the door and tapped on it till she locked it, then shecked it and wandered back to his own room.  He kicked off his boots and set his armor in a chair and laid back on the bed, a hand crossbow pointed at the shuttered window and locked door, eyes wide open and staring at the ceiling.

[K]     The Crooked Warden bless Grater, by the gods she didn't think she would have made it up those stairs without his help. With much stumbling and even a giggle, which she quickly stopped and threatened poor William, that if Grater told a soul she'd see it fall off. But he saw her safely to her room, which she quickly locked behind her, and stumbled to bed. Sleep came quickly and heavily, she felt secure in the Estate, she always did, and none of the previous precautions of knives were carried through. Maybe that was because of the alcohol. And in the morning, when she woke, nearing the lunch hour, she didn't hate herself nearly as much as she had assumed she would. There was still a fuzzy cloud over her head, but a shower with its blessed hot water cleared that up rather quickly.

     So it wasn't until lunch when Kivan knocked on Keshayla's door, tray in hand as she was seeing to the man blades she kept on her person. Her brow arched but the smell of food chased away any retort she had waiting on her tongue. She didn't know why she had been so angry with him, really there wasn't a reason than perhaps jealousy. She wanted that escape he had found, even for a brief moment. "Thought we should catch up." She smirked, tugging up her pant leg and slipped a long, thin blade at the back of her calk, and a second in the bands of the boot with it's soft leather sheath for quick access. "Right. You tell me about Pretty, and the other students. I'll eat. Then I'll tell you all about my end." And that's what they did. She ate her fill while Kivan explained to her the situation with the students, and Markie's suggestion about the breach of the castle. She was impressed, though not very pleased that he had spilled his guts about the Manor to all of those students. But what else was he supposed to do? Leaving them in the dark would only make them look untrusting and bring forth all manners of curiosity. So she kept her tongue quiet at that one, and when Kivan was through, she told her end, about how the fight went, the way the demon wanted her name, about Grater, their meeting, and the fight and cover up at Hal's.

     When they were caught up, Keshayla slipt on the identical blade she wore at the flate of her back, possitioned just like Kivan's, armed and ready for the day, and blessedly without a cloak. It was getting too warm, in her opinion, and there really wasn't any need to cover up the blades when she wasn't hidding. So, fed, Keshayla returned to the kitchens per Kivan's request, bothing the cooks for a short while longer, picking at their preps, eating fruit that was left unattended on the counters, and thoroughly enjoyed scavenging what she could, just for the sake of being a pest, and a bottomless stomach. She didn't leave until a tray was prepared, and this she carried to where Markie was housing herself. She knocked first, pausing a proper time before the door opened and Keshayla peeked her head in. "Breakfast?" She stepped in, showing the fresh clothes that were bundled under her arm and a tray of fresh fruit, bread and cheese in the other hand.

[M]   Markie, usually, was a rather bright-eyed sort of morning person.  However, since Kivan had kept her up until dawn, and she hadn't fallen asleep until after sunrise, she was still quite deeply alseep when Keshayla came in after lunch.  And what, typically, would have been a very restful, unmoving sleep, had made a mess of the bed.  Sometime in the night Markie had woken enough to crawl under the covers, though still in her robe.  And through some tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable, she was now a vaguely body-shaped lump under a tangle of sheets and light blankets, one foot sticking out from under the covers at the foot, and an arm draped down off the side.  Somehow her head had burrowed under the pillows.  Probably an attempt to hide from the growing light coming in her window.  Regardless, she was dead to the world, and didn't hear or respond to Keshayla's entrance.

[G]   Grater sat d question that had bothered him for years.  Not how did the soap always wind up under his bum, he'd given up on that years ago.  He was really curious to know why he had eleven toes.  

He saw no purpose to the little bastard, and it was webbed.  But there it was.  He got to wondering if it meant he was missing something in exchange, or if maybe something else was missing.

But no, all the counts came out right

Though it was hard to explain to his mum why he was bent over and staring between his knees with his cheeks spread in front of a mirror, but no, that count came out right too.  

So what the hell?  Did he get somebody else's?  Bugger them, it was his now.  

But what the hell was doing it there?

[Kesh]     For a moment, Keshayla was content to let Markie sleep. After all, she hadn't a clue as to when the poor girl managed to crawl into bed this morning. Could have been hours ago, could have been just before she opened the door. Rest was important, and she remembered her straining and pushing every ounce of will and strength into that light while Keshayla ran past to offer her own aid against the horde. She hated magic, and she didn't trust Magi, but she respected the effort and what Markie was willing to do to help others. So she felt a little bad when she saw that foot jutting out of the blankets, though she smiled devilishly, and started humming. It was a soft song, one her mother used to sing when she was a child and had difficulties going to sleep. It comforted her, and once, when Keshayla had been close to greeting her Crooked Warden in person; Kivan had sang it to her to pull her out of that dark mist. So she shared it now, as she gently set the tray on a bedside table. The clothes were dropped in a chair off in the corner, and now that both hands were free, she stalked over to her prey; the bare foot. Keshayla was perhaps one of the most ticklish people on this side of the realm. And her enemy was the bare foot. Her toes curled just thinking about it, and a slow passing of her nails, and the pads of her fingers rolled over Markie's feet, testing to see if she was nearly as ticklish as she.

[M]   One would think, that with five little brothers, Markie would have been numb to tickling by now.  But she wasn't.  Perhaps it was even her feet that were the most ticklish, since they were often covered by shoes, and therefore inaccessible to the ravages of her brothers.  Those experimental fingers earned a shift of the lump and a gentle kick of the leg, more of a twitching of muscles, and a garbled mumble from under the pillow along the lines of 'Go away, Peanut,' before she settled into sleep once more.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2008, 04:04:23 PM »
[Kesh]     Peanut?

     That got the ever popular arched brow, and a few moments worth of blank blinking, podering what the hell she was talking about. Peanuts?  Looking back on the tray she double checked the breakfast she had collected and indeed; there were no peanuts. Maybe she had been drinking last night just as she? Ah, but they were loosing time. Markie needed to dress and eat for another long day of sitting around and doing nothing but listening and going through books. Maybe she should let her sleep, so at least one of them wouldn't have to be bored all day long. But, if she had to suffer through it, then so did she! So once more, Keshayla looked down to that foot. It hadn't jerked under the sheets, but even that didn't stop her. Grinning, she slowly slid her fingers around her ankle, holding it in an unmoving, vicelike grip though she was careful as to not hurt her, either. Now her fingers were mercyless, and if this didn't wake her up, she was tempted to get the bassin of water.

[G]   Finally scrubbed and pruny he stepped out of his bath to warm up.  Nothing like cold water to invigorate a body, he reflected.  Let folks keep using that newfangled hotwater.  He looked at the towel by the tun and shook his head, literally, both to dry and style his hair.  It stood on end as always, giving him a slightly startled look.  He dressed and gathered his pobbilbes before slipping on his great coat, and clumped downstairs to eat.  Today, he'd mix it up a little, a roast beef sandwich and a dhoul eye, black beer with a raw egg cracked into it.  He winked at it and drank it down and ordered another.  Breakfast was the most important meal of the day after all, and as he ate his sandwich he watched to see what antics these people would do next.  Nice folks, but he was afraid they were all nuts.

[M]   Another small exhalation with the grip, but no other reaction.  Until the tickling started.  There was only perhaps a second of nothing before Markie reacted, starting with a high-pitched yelp and a jerk of that leg in an attempt to hide it under the covers.  However, since Keshayla's grip held it still, Markie was reduced to gasping laughter as she struggled to get away from a hold that seemed awfully strong to be from one of her brothers, as her sleep-addled mind was still partially stuck in her dream about home.  "No!  Stop!" and other such came gasped out between fits of laughter.  They must have gotten their father in on it, too, it was the only reason her sleepy mind could come up with.  "I'ma get you!"  And then with no more warning, the other leg came shooting out from under the covers, straight towards Keshayla's face.  But, Keshayla had much better reflexes than the brothers she thought were there, and her duck and subsequent jerking of Markie's leg brought her tumbling out of the bed and down to the floor in a tangle of covers and an 'oof!'  "That's it!  You're meat, Peanut!"  And then she fought her way out of the covers, a playful smirk on her face as she expected to face her brothers and father.  However, that smirk, and the laughter, died in a wide-eyed gasp as she found herself facing not her brothers, but the lycan woman.  And again, there was a faint taste of cinnamon on the air to Keshayla's sensitive nose.  But not just fear; there was also a heaping amount of confusion as well.

[Kesh]     She had a strong kick. Keshayla was certain she would have been seeing little stars if it had caught her in the temples. Luckily she was blessed with sharp reflexes and with a graceful jerk backwards, she avoided the oncoming foot and tugged, succesfully drawing Markie onto the floor in a heap. She herself was laughing, a soft sound that lightened her hunter green eyes to the color of fresh, Spring grass. The bridge of her nose wrinkled and she released her leg so that she might untangle herself but that laugh and smile faded to a carefully guarded look when cinimon reached her senses. It melted, though slowly, all the light faded and the creases of her dazzling smile eased into that smirk. Ah. She thought, taking a step back in an attempt to make the damn cinnamon stop. It was a pleasant smell, really, fresh, sharp and new. But she didn't like it, not when it only happened around her. So Keshayla motioned to the food, pushing her fingers through her hair and did her best to look relaxed. Why do you even care... She didn't know, but she did. "Brought you breakfast. Sorry. I'm not, ah..Peanut." You're people skills are astounding. She was better with a blade, then small talk. Speaking of which, she was rather armed, and she was certain now that it wasn't going to help her any. Wonderful... "Fresh clothes are on the chair, and there's a meeting in the study in an hour..." Time for a graceful exit... She was out of ideas, so she simply turned, and with a sweep of her fingers that passed as a wave she stepped toward the door. Tempting.... No need to appologize...But she makes you want to, doesn't she?

[M]   As soon as her foot had been released, it and its partner jerked under the covers, which, instictively, had been clutched tightly when Markie realized who it was.  Though she blushed faintly when the woman appologized for not being her brother.  And then she was leaving and Markie felt guilty, as if she had scared Keshayla away.  You promised Kivan...  "Sorry..." she murmured gently, forcing herself to look at her face.  "You surprised me, is all..."  Gradually, the fear eased, though not entirely, and she couldn't hold her gaze on her face.  "Thank you.  I'll be out soon."

[Kesh]     Why was this so complicated? Why did she care? Kivan likes her... He asked you to behave.... Ah. And that's why it was so difficult, wasn't it? The bastard so rarely asked things of you, so how could you refuse? She couldn't, but why did this have to be awkward? Why the hell was she so scared? You jumped in front of her and all the others to save them from the demons. They were falling... Stop it. She shook her head, pushing that smile on her lips, though it didn't last long. She was just getting herself frustrated now, and that was the last thing she wanted to do. She tried, really; small talk, anything, just break the ice but she only got a chip. That shake was passed off as a 'don't worry' sort of gesture and she was back at the door, which clicked closed behind her.

     It was a few paces down the hall that she stopped herself, rolling her eyes at how smooth that had went. "Great job." She muttered, and Keshayla bowed to no one, mocking herself with that graceful gesture. Too bad she didn't have that sort of grace around Markie. "Yes, truely it went well...." Scowling, she pushed away from the wall and flicked her wrist, letting the hilt of the stelleto comfort her hand. Only after did she push it back into it's spring and instead dug a coin from her pocket. She walked as she rolled the coin across the knuckles of her right hand, keeping her hands distracted helped, anything to keep her mind busy. She had promised Kivan, she'd be good, but why the hell were her feelings hurt? Another scowl. This was all rather pathetic. With a jerk she snapped the coin out of the air and stuffed it back into her pocket.

[M]   Markie sighed, and just sat on the floor wrapped up in the blankets for a few minutes.  Well that had been a righteous failure.  It wasn't like she wanted to be afraid of Keshayla, or that she wanted the other woman to feel like she was held at a distance.  Markie liked having friends, and often found them in some of the strangest people, but she just couldn't get herself past that initial meeting.  The run-in on the beach hadn't helped, either.  But did Keshayla know that Markie had been blind by the time they'd shown up?  The only reason she knew that Kivan had grabbed her was because her eyes had cleared enough to see him setting her down again before she passed out.  

Sitting and moping wasn't going to do anything.  Markie crawled the rest of the way out of the blankets and dumped the whole tangled mes back on the bed to take care of later.  There would be other times, other tries, when, hopefully, Keshayla didn't try to sneak up on her like she had that morning.  She ate breakfast, dressed, and spent an insane amount of time getting all the tangles out of her hair.  Even magic had its limits, and her hair was beyond those.  But, by the time she was done, her hair was smooth again, and she felt rested and ready to face the day, and emerged from her room with plenty of time to spare before the meeting.

[K]     Keshayla was once again in that chair that Kivan had claimed when he was informing the students of the Manor. And, just as he had been, she was drapped over it's arms looking rather comfortable and content. She wore less knives now. Or rather, they weren't as visable as they had been before; per request of Kivan and the intimidated looks of a few students. Kivan didn't look armed at all, though she knew where every blade on his person was; just in case she had need to draw one herself. It made her smile...really wan't fair that he was able to use all of that hair as a cover. She was eating again. As much as she enjoyed fruit, it didn't stay with her very long, so she had bothered the cooks long enough to swipe some bread and bits of jerky from their wares. It was always a game for her; see when she had the better scores, and whenever Kivan turned around to speak with her; she had something else being lifted to her mouth. Now it was jerky, and she grinned at him from across the room as if she had just swiped some sweets, and wasn't willing to share. "You never stop eating." She shrugged. "It's getting closer, I'm stressed, and I've been on running around non-stop lately. A Lycan is allowed to snack."

     "That's not snacking. People are going to start thinking I don't feed you...or that you're pregnant." Which only caused her to grin wide, just to annoy him, and he scowled which only made her smile all the more. "Our children are coming." And soon enough, he was able hear the small crowd of people gathering down the halls. This group, however, were fresh arrivals; the others who had managaged to escape the school and made it out on wagon. It had taken a bit to escort everyone up, and now that they were here, the two thought it would be amusing to surprise the other students of their camrades by having them sitting in the study, waiting for them to join in. One by one, timid, curious faces began to slip through, before instructors whom they at least recognized instructed them to settle and sit down. Only then did a faint whistle release in the halls, informing all of the other students, teachers, and guests to make their way to the study. Extra chairs, couches and cushions were brought in, making sure everyone had a seat. Moving to the front of the room, so he could stand besides his partner, Kivan smiled, settling his hand on her shoulder before slipping it away and settled himself once more against the wall.

[M]   She fell in with the others on their way to the study when the call was made.  She expected business, and lots of it, before they were released again.  She was concentrating more on the plan that she just had to be clever enough to come up with, working out some of the details a bit more in her head.  Likely they would discuss that as well.  So she didn't entirely hear the surprised gasps and exclamations of those who entered the study before her.  Though she realized, just as someone called her name, that there were new faces here, students who hadn't been there before.  And her head turned towards the voice.  "Tana?"  And there, forcing through the growing crowd, was one of her new friends, one of the girls that had been at the 'slumber party.'  Behind her were some of the others.  "Tana!  Kerin!"  Her face erupted into a smile, as bright as the one she had given Kivan the night before, and she met the other girls halfway for a mass group-hug.  There were smiles of joy, and a few tears, as everyone found friends who had made it out ok.  The professors may have tried to quiet the group once everyone was in, but they were, by and large, utterly ignored as tales of the last few days were exchanged.  Though Markie, for her part, kept her interaction with Kivan a secret.  Because, really, they didn't need to know.  And a tiny jealous female part of her liked to know that they all still swooned for him and those gods-awful gorgeous looks of his, but that she'd actually gotten to kiss him.  Twice.

[K]     It was entertaining, watching them. Keshayla remained lounged, twirling with a tap of her toe now and again simply to watch how one crowd was intereacting with the other. Who wouldn't be smiling in a situation like this, friends were being united, people were happy, even if a few cried. "Told you it was a good idea...." Kivan simply sighed, shaking his head. She saw the smile though, it was hidden, but there was a faint crease near her eyes that it took years of being with him to recognize. "Softy." Kivan only flicked his hair, which made her smile all the wider.

     Klay tried to settle the students down, but really, it wasn't working that well. When the teacher turned to look at the two Doyens, the both of them just shrugged and pointed to the other. They weren't in a rush just yet, and neither of them really wanted to break that happy mood in the students with a lecture and mindless information. But it was a game of stone, parchment and cutters that decided the fait of whom it would be, and best out of three cause Kivan to scowl and Keshayla to hoot in triumph. He never had been very good at the game, the halfblood selected blade everytime the first time. So, after a moment Kivan simply pushed off of the wall and glanced about the room. Keshayla expected him to shout, to clear his throat, ring a bell or do something that would cause them to turn the attention to him. Perhaps he should strip? There were certainly a number of eyes watching him. But Kivan simply lifted his right hand, fingers flexed, and what felt like a aftershock, a concussion of force pushed through the air in a ripple effect. Keshayla's brow just quirked, but others stopped speaking, gasped, or even a few yelped before eyes turned to him. "I am pleased to see that you have all found your friend. But I must interupt, because we have important taskts to perform and cover for the day."

     He allowed himself a smirk. "You may be out of a school, but I assure you, classes shall continue. You all remember your first period teacher? They shall be your guide for the time being, follow them, if you will, and they shall take you where you will be practising for the day." He only remained smirking after hearing a collection of moans from some students.

[G]   So these were the intellectual types, he pondered.  They were as nutty as some of the people he'd encountered in his own interesting little life.  Not that he minded, nutty people, he knew several of them.  It seemed that it was his lot in life to be a beacon of normalcy.  He shook his head and pulled a stool close to his chair and propped his feet up and slowly polished his sword's edge with the finest stone he had.  The stone slid with a doscordant note along the steel as he sand an old song quietly, anout a harper that went off to war to fight for freedom, and only found freedom in death.  Then, finding that to be a bit of a downer he switched to a song about a battallion marching off to war, and the efforts of a patriotic young lady to say a bedroom goodbye to each and every member, it was a long song, about 500 verses, but he had time.

[M]   Markie sighed softly with the others, but was also glad.  She'd hate to think that she'd come all this way for only a few days of classes.  Luckily, her first period had been with Klay.  In the time since the attack, Klay had become a sort of motherly figure to Markie, even if the woman couldn't decide if she wanted to look it or not on a daily basis.  That, and the two mercenaries liked the woman, so it was possible that they'd be hanging around that group more.  And as nervous as Keshayla still made her, she wanted to fix that.  

It was with sad farewells that she parted from her friends again, having a different first period than they, and she started towards the group that was leaving with her professor.  Though on the way, she heard small bits of Grater's song now and again, many of the verses causing a blush to dust gently across her cheeks, and for her to very specifically not look in Kivan's direction.

[K]     She sort of wished she had classes, Keshayla never did attend any of the schools while growing up, everything was taught to her either by experience, or through Kivan when she went under his 'care'. Of course, she picked up quickly, and she had a thirst for knowledge like dry cracked soil did for water. So when all the students began filing out, she wanted to go simply to sit and watch. But that thought was quickly interupted when Kivan's hand once again slipped onto her shoulder, and she looked up, having to crain her neck all the way back simply to look at him. "Oi?" Then a book was dropped into her lap, causing the Lycan to jump slightly, startled, and twisted to look at it's title before sighing her annoyance. "Daemonic Interpertations. That sounds like a gathering of hooey to me." That long, elegant finger simply tapped it's cover before Kivan turned and headed towards his desk. "Just brows through, if you wouldn't mind?" If she ever hated a part of her job, it was the research.

     But she did what she was asked, scanned through the pages in search of...what? They were all vauge ideas and speculations, most of which were so far fetched that she couldn't help but to scoff. But the large journal was unorganized, none of the pages seemed to be anything more then notes and figures, which occationally skipped around. Old drawings and the thickness of the parchment dated it back decades ago. But the use of common tongue on the pages were difficult to read at times, using slang and terms that often escaped any meaning to her. She wouldn't be surprised if the book was over a hundred years. Especially in Kivan't care. Most of the books on the shelves in his study were older then she was, all averaging around a hundred years, well used, but taken care of. History was important to the halfbreed.

     She was thankful for the interuption, even if it came from a man she dispized. Felix came strolling into the study, dressed in his fine suit and hulking frame, standing nearly over seven feet tall. He was intimidating and wicked, and didn't hesitate to use violence, even when it wasn't needed. The man got carried away too easily, and on the few hits she had worked with him, she was glad that they were on the same side. "I'm here to resign." Oh.....well fuck.

[M]   Once everyone was settled in a large room that was rather devoid of funishings, class more or less picked up where it had left off.  Everyone had something they had been working on before the attack, and after a little guidance to get them working without their usual books and notes, the students got busy, only chattering gently now and again, but needing no major reprimand.  Klay worked personally with Markie, continuing to see just what the new student could do, as well as formulating a plan for what she would need to learn before she went off on some mission for Kivan.  "Very nicely done, Markie.  Your skill is much higher than typical of new students.  Who did you say you studied under before?"  "Master Broderick, in Frescanvale.  He's the one that suggested I come here."  "Broderick..."  That name sounded familiar, but she could not place it in her memory.  Perhaps a former student who had made a school of his own?  "He talked rather highly of school, but none of the people he told me to look for are here anymore.  But, I guess he has been in Frescanvale for a while.  Most folks there don't remember when he wasn't," she smiled.  "Well, it's good to know we still have friends out in the world."  They might need a place to hide out if Jaeric won... And Markie's little island in the sun sounded like a likely place to lay low should they need it.  Strangers would definately be noticed.  "Ok, now try this one..."

[K]     If Kivan was ever related to any sort of animal, Keshayla would choose a fox. He was cunning, swift, and most dangerous when backed into a corner. But unlike a fox, Kivan had a feral nature, and it was best shown through silence, which now hovered in the air so thick it was nearly sufficating. Oh, he could bare his fangs, grind his teeth and say all sorts of creative little threats, but Keshayla was a little afraid of the silence. It sent chills racing across her flesh like fingers of a wraith, and it stretched on until even Felix looked a little troubled. "Looks like our Felix has a death wish." Keshayla spoke softly, just above a whisper, eyes intent on Felix. "Indeed." What was he up to? Kivan had told her about his proposition earlier, and how he had declined. Odds were, the hulk of the man was back to finish buisness. Felix had been part of the Manor even before she had stepped foot into town, though he had never raised to Doyen like she. Felix seemed...content, to stay in the ranks he had accustomed for years. His hits were dangerous and paid well, but all shady buisness.

     "I resign." He repeated, and then for all the world, Felix seemed rather content and in charge of the situation. Really, it was annoying, because his resignation meant death, and Keshayla already knew what she wanted to do most. Cut out his tongue, for all the vile and wretched things he's done in the past. Next his eyes, so the last thing he ever saw would be her smug, satisfyed smirk. Kivan had yet to say any more, though he carefully marked the passage in the book he had been reading, and set the old tomb on the rich oak counter he had been sitting behind. He stood now, slowly, hands in view. "And why," He spoke, eyes cast down to the table. "would you do such a thing?"

     Felix didn't even flinch, he smiled, and again it looked as if there were more then what they were seeing then and there. "You know what your problem is? You're too trusting. You're too soft. You're too passionate about this place. Were you to focuss more on the true potential for what you have," She knew where this was going. Keshayla and Kivan remained silent, just to push those man's nerves. And it war working. The two doyens were facing the first of their fall outs. Why did it have to be the most dangerous first?

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2008, 04:33:38 PM »
[M]   That stone room, with the spare furnishings, had a very good reason for being that way.  A reason that became utterly obvious when the spell of one of the other students got out of hand and exploded in a shower of flame and sparks.  Luckily, the only thing that caught fire was the desk he'd been sitting at, the feild each student had erected around themselves as they worked containing the blast.  He looked rather embarassed when Klay looked his way as a water spell doused the flames, and she sent him off to go change out of the charred clothes and to wash the soot from his face to the soft titter of his classmates.  "He's a good boy," Klay sighed.  "But he just rushes too much."  Markie quirked her brow, her eyes closed and concentrating on her own spell.  It was something of an adaptation of the one she used when diving for conch and other shellfish.  In the usual case, the waters were calm, so she could simply form a bubble of air in front of mouth and nose, and then run a cylinder of air up to the surface.  However, now Klay had her create the bubble from Force, and just to make her work harder, created a floating layer of water above Markie's head.  She watched as slowly that tube raised through the water, forging its way to fresh air, and then opened above the water.  Markie's hands were tight in their Focussing Form, a slight quiver in the muscles from the strain of her concentration.  Then, slowly and carefully, the tube widened, to allow air to come down more readily.  Markie was doing quite well, too.  Until another student lost control of their spell, the resulting pop breaking through her concentration, and causing Markie to look towards the sound.  The tube compressed and winked out, as did the 'bubble' around her face.  Klay merely smirked lightly, adjusted the field to now run just around Markie, and then let the water fall, drenching her in a torrent of cold water that left her gasping for air at the shock of it.  "And you, my dear, must work on your concentration," she smiled.  Markie blushed bashfully, especially when there were a few soft laughs in her direction.  "Alright, off with you.  I can't have you catching cold.  Dry and change, and back quickly."  So with a sigh, Markie rose and squished out of the classroom, dripping water all the way, and headed back towards her room on a path that would take her by the study.

[K]     "What is our potental? Land? Blades to be hired out for wars? To be passed around to the highest bidder like a harlot?"

     "We could own countries! Instead, you have us sitting here in Ciln like things that fleeting like shadows! No one truely knows that we exist, people should fear us!"

     "Why? Why should the people fear of us? Blast your ignorance, Foolish man! We keep to the shadows because people fear what they cannot see, even if they understand that we do all of this for them not for trinkets, the money of for power. If you seek such glories, add a little lace to your jackets and take up politics." Kivan had moved from behind his desk now, and leaned upon it casually, "Ah, my Luv, I do believe it is jealousy." Keshayla's eyes flickered towards Kivan, but she didn't let Felix out of her sights. "Felix has always been an forward man, he believes that you must see something to be real, however, a mistake on his part. Tell me, you spoke of guests? And where are they?"

     The vampire looked entirely too smug in Keshayla's oppinion, and she couldn't help the deep scowl on her face. Felix took the time to straighten the lapels of his suit, and simply turned with a pivot of his toes. He was going to make them follow him; no words, no direction, nothing but keeping their eye on him, and he was a damn fool for turning his back on them. Keshayla was on her feet before Kivan could even frown, and it was his hand singal that kept her from driving a blade in the vampire's heart. He had brought enemies into their home, their headquarters, the place where there was supposed to be security. Felix, a man who Kivan had trusted with the information of the Manor, most likely leaked out every detail in the hopes to win his new 'master's' favor. He deserved to suffer, before he died. Slow like a bleed out.

     Keshayla took point, she folloed after Felix with a good pace set between them; out of his lung range but fell in hers. Felix was a big man, and damn fast, but she was small and more agile and had flexibility on her side that the traitor couldn't even dream of. Let him think he's in charge, the man will only fall in a pool of his own blood, leaking from the hole that used to be his heart. Kivan's hand pressed to Keshayla's back, a gesture that may looked as if he were directing her which way to go, but by the shift of the sheath at her back, she knew he had simply released the leather straps that would keep the blade from slipping out. Making it easier for a quick draw. Bless him, Crooked Warden, he always thought ahead.

     They passed class rooms, hidden signs to teachers caused doors to close, heads to nod, and in Klay's case, a worried expression to cross her features before she covered them up. Down the hall, passed the sleeping rooms, and finally towards the stairs that lead down to the main entrance and a wide, open front room. There were no furniture, so the man who shouldn't even be there was forced to stand, though he looked entirely at his ease. Dark.... that was her first impression. He was handsome, much the way that Kivan was handsome; someone that looked too damn good for their own good. His hair she could see reached passed his shoulders, but what length, exactly, she couldn't tell because of the cloak he wore, hood up. That in itself was curious. What sort of things was he hiding beneath? And why keep his face from view? Keshayla hadn't even hesitated, she started down the stairs with her hand on the rails, much like she was about to attend some break ball. Kivan stayed behind, stopping halfway down the steps, just behind Felix who had stopped as well.

     "Ah, let me guess." She spoke with her most charming smile, and even Keshayla's eyes were alight with it. "Demons sighted in the last few days, whispered secrets about revolts, the King and Queen, rest their souls, murdered... and our lovely little Felix telling us how we don't run things properly. I should have assumed you would be involved, Japheth."

     The man smiled, though Keshayla wasn't sure if she would call him a man. She didn't know what the hell he was, her fine sense of smell couldn't distinguish him from one thing or the next, and really that annoyed her. Japheth bowed low at the waist, a graceful ease that nearly put her to shame. "My dear Lady West, it is a pleasure to finally meet you, and you," He straightened as he bowed his head towards Kivan. "Garrista of the Manor. Shall I feel threatened that you have sent your Pezon to greet me while you so humbly keep watch at the stairs?" Ah. Ah, so that's how it goes. Japheth was either an ignorant fool, or Felix hadn't told him that detail. "My former Pezon, actually." Even if he spoke at ease, Kivan's voice commanded attention without even raising in volume. "Japheth, allow me to introduce to you my partner, Garrista and Doyen of the Manor, Keshayla West. I'm afraid that if you've come here to challenge me and Mine, then you have two opponints to worry about." Japheth frowned, just slightly, but then it lifted into a tight smile. "Actually, that has just evened the odds. Felix, if you would?" There was the sound of metal on metal, of Felix unsheathing his blade. Keshayla didn't bother to turn and look, Kivan could take care of himself, and she had her own problems. She hadn't seen Japheth draw his blade, but a gleam of white and black flashed from under his cloak, and she had barely freed her own blade in time to block it. "I love that song." She grinned, sliding her left foot back to even her balance, and stepped when he stepped. "Shall we?"

[G]   "I feel a lot of energy in this room," Grater grinned from the doorway.  "So much excitement and drama."  He shook his head, the same slow smile teasing at his lips.  "When guests go for the cutlery its normally over their dinner, not their hosts."

[M]   Markie was just coming out of her room, hair still damp but once more in dry clothes, when the three of them reached the end of the hall, walking with distinct purpose in their strides.  And something didn't feel right.  She didn't know what, but Markie just knew that something was wrong.  She closed her door silently and, rather than returning to her classroom, followed after the deadly entourage.  A fleeting thought passed through her mind, something about feline mortality, but her curiosity, and the instinct to follow were just too great.  Even so, she was smart enough to keep a very healthy distance from them, lest she be discovered.  She was still well down the hall when she heard the sound of metal on metal, and she stopped short, the sudden lack of momentum in her body seeming to take its place in her heart.  Were they under attack again?  Who would come here?  Markie only traveled a handful of feet more before she stopped again, and rather than puting herself into possible harm, or causing a distraction to her friends, she knelt on the floor by the wall, a hand placed against its surface to keep her steady.  Her eyes closed, and with a mouthing of syllables a small green orb, roughly the size of her own eye, appeared before her, floating lazily in the air.  Her brow quirked, and then it shot forward with amazing speed, slowing before it reached the end of the hall and the stairs beyond.  

Her vision was tinted green now, and slightly blurry, but Markie had plenty of practice with this spell, so she was used to the slow bob and sway, as if the little sight orb were on a gently rocking boat.  The last few feet she crept slowly, keeping to the floor, until she was able to peer around the corner and watch what was going on.

[K]     Kivan moved with viscious cruelty, he wasn't merciful with his attacks at Felix, and the fair haired man had the brute back peddling and barely able to react to block his blows in time. Where Felix had assumed he had an advantage by being placed at Kivan's back at the stairs, he soon realised his mistake when he was forced to retreat without looking at his feet, a miscalculation to a stepp caused him to fall to his backside rather quickly, blade still meeting Kivan's with sharp sounds that echoed in the great room. The halfblood wasn't going to show mercy on someone who had betrayed him and those in his care, quite possibly bringing out deaths to those who worked the open field of the city. He needed to reach Klay as soon as possible to have her send out a warning to those under the Manor's aliance. But first, Felix had to be disposed of.

     But just as quickly as the vampire had been at a disadvantage, he recovered himself, pressing forward with strikes that tore at Kivan's muscles when he blocked, the ache numbing his limb where it recovered just in time to recieve another. Back and forth they went, until Kivan vaulted the railing to drop onto more even ground. Felix followed quickly behind, and charged Kivan with a growl and a flash of his fangs.

     "You're sloppy, Japheth." Keshayla danced when she fought. She was all liquid grace and even with a blade in her hand there was an eligance to her movements. Kivan had called it beautiful once, and to her, fighting was an artform. Where Japheth thrust his blade, she blocked and spun on the balls of her feet, changing her possition constantly so that the raven haired man had to stay on his guard. His frustration was clear with how he scowled, and clearly she was enjoying herself, even if he had yet to provide an opening for a fatal blow. It was about the time that Kivan vaulted the railing that she dropped to her knees to avoid a second blade he had drawn out, and again she had barely seen him pull it out. His body shifted and Keshayla reacted by continuing with the drop until she was kneeling with her shoulders touching the ground. A blade crossed the air where her head had been, and a leg snapped out in an attempt to catch her under the ribs. She kicked, the strong push caused her to slide across the ground and inches past the rear of Felix. No one had suspected that, and it had been entirely accidental. But she didn't pass up the opportunity. Bracing her weight her own leg snapped out to the side, causing the vampire to drop once again before she was on her feet, and standing back to back with Kivan.

     They were forced to fight back to back for a short period, Felix was quicker then Keshayla remembered, and she had to constantly keep him at bay while the halfblood worked on Japheth. Kivan ducked, bending forward so that his hands nearly touched the ground. She knew what to do, Felix's blade arched, the tip catching her stomach as she leaned back to avoid the blow. Red sprayed out, and Kivan supported her back and weight with his, giving her the opportunity to strike at Japheth. Her blade thrust out now, catching him in the side and twisted. Kivan began to straighten, locking his arms around her side to keep her steady, and both legs lifted to press to the flat of his back. When he was upright, she kicked, sending the both of them towards their opponants.

     She went up, and Kivan went down. The vampire's blade was aimed for chest height, but Keshayla was well above that now, her sword held in a two handed grip so that when she landed on him, her momentum added to her strength. It was quick. The blade sliced through between collar bone and shoulder at an angle, and pulled free before he could even gasp. The blow would have killed a human, but she just needed the time to distract him with the pain before her stelleto was stabbed into his heart, and her sword blurred with a spray of red. The sickening crack of bone splitting and fluids flowing caused Japheth to stop, looking just in time to see Felix's head fall from his shoulders and land before the body slumped and followed.

     Kivan stumbled back, breathing heavily and pressing his fingers again a wound against his chest that had yet to clot like the others. It was bleeding heavily and caused sharp prickles to race through his chest every time he inhaled. He had lost two stelletos already, but a third was quickly replaced, twirled in his fingers to loosen his tightening muscles. But Japheth didn't attack again with blades. His hand shot back, lips moving quickly, those same fleeting words teased their ears but the direct thing he was speaking was lost. Kivan didn't have time to put up a shield, his enemy had supponed his spell too fast and he was going to be forced to deal with his consiquences.

     It was the size of his fist, the twist black thing looked as if it came from a festering wound, occationally flickering a putrid green and pussy yellow, the colors throbbing as they swirled and melted into each other. But it didn't hit him in the chest as he had expected. Where Keshayla had come from he didn't know, but that orb hit her square in the chest and exploded on impact. He heard her startled yelp, how the sound seemed to be constricted out of her throat in a rush of air as it was all knocked from her lungs. Briefly there was nothing but the sound and the shards, but those shards quickly buzzed and seemed to come alive like swarming insects, each one focussing to latch itself onto her skin and hold on. She screamed once, but the sound was turned into choking gasps as the substance went into her mouth, absorbing into her lungs and burned tears from her eyes. Japheth's kick to the ribs sent her sprawling, slidding until she hit the wall's base and continued to claw and fight off the effects of the spell.

     Kivan's anger boiled, and he attacked Japheth with a renewed force that was short lived. The man slipped bloody fingers to his throat, grabbing a necklace much like Keshayla and Kivan were wearing now, and spoke a single word. His vissage broke into a pile of ash, dropping to the ground and swirled before it too dissapeared, leaving Kivan alone with a corpse and Keshayla's cries..

[G]   Grater walked to the pile of ask and knelt by it and shook his head, probing the pile with a dagger and finding nothing he wiped the ash from his blade and wiped his fingertips on his pants and rose to check on her.  "Good bit of bouncing and jiggling ye did there," he said as he knelt beside her.  "He never touched yer arse, so I stayed out of it, or should I expand me guardian duties a bit?"  He teased her as he looked her over.  "Breath for me, Lass," he said quietly.

[M]   Should death be beautiful?  Markie had never thought those two words could ever be combined together in a sentance, but there was no denying the grace in the way Keshayla moved.  As if she were dancing, and instead of clashing swords, it was to the sound of music.  But more startling than the way the lycan woman moved was the man she used those moves against.  She'd almost lost concentration for her spell when she saw the dark man, his appearance frighteningly similar to Kivan's.  Were his hair dark, and his smirk replaced by a scowl, she would swear that they were brothers...  But that was rediculous.  After all, Kivan had said that he had no siblings, and despite his claim of muddled memories, family was something one didn't forget.  She continued to watch, horrified and yet enraptured, unable to look away.  Was this what Kivan meant when he said he was dangerous?  She'd had no doubt that they were capable of fighting, but she was amazed at the speed of their movements.  And it seemed that, as soon as it had started, it was already over.  

Markie had heard the clashing of metal and other noises loud enough to reach her perch down the hall, though it wasn't until she released the orb and her sight was her own again that she really heard Keshayla's cries of pain.  It was those that kicked her into action.  Nervous she was of the other woman, but they were on the same side, and she didn't want anything bad to happen to her.  Markie jumped to her feet with only a small waver as she got used to seeing from her own body again, and darted into the nearest room.  She didn't know what the spell was that the dark man had hit her with, but it had sent something into her eyes and lungs, and that she could deal with.  Just like the spiny fish that shot vemon into the eyes of the unwary who came too close to their rock pools at low tide, or when the dust of rotten mushrooms was breathed in...  With hardly a thought as to how she would explain why she was there, Markie was quickly rushing down the hall for the stairs with a pitcher of water and several hand cloths.  And she didn't slow when she hit the top step; in fact, she hopped lightly, seeming to float down to the bottom.  "Kivan, hold her down!"  She ran the rest of the way across the floor to them, forcing her gaze onto Keshayla to keep from looking at the headless body of the man who had welcomed her to the estate only a day before.  And gods bless force spells; she had one over the top of the pitcher as she ran, otherwise the water would have sloshed out and all over the place.  

Markie knelt by Keshayla's head when she reached them, dumping the towels in her lap and setting the pitcher on the floor beside her.  "Hold her tight.  She's not going to like this..."  The first towel went into the water, was faintly wrung out, and then used to wipe at the ashy substance that caught on her face and neck, and then was tossed aside.  The next was also dumped into the water, though not wrung.  Markie grimmaced lightly.  "Sorry, Keshayla..."  And then the whole mess was shoved into her mouth.  Her gasps for air would take the water into her lungs to collect the debris in there.  Once enough water had accumulated, her natural reaction would heave it all back out.  Until then, Markie ignored the gasping sputters of the lycan woman, and shifted so that her knee pressed against the cloth, holding it in her mouth so she couldn't spit it out yet.  The third cloth followed suit, into the water, though her motions now were slow and careful.  Once she was sure Kivan had her head immobile, Markie set her fingers at one eye, one digit on each the top and bottom eyelids to hold them open, a third hovering just over the eye at the tear duct.  Her other hand lifted the wet cloth so that the end rested on the back of the first hand, and with a gentle squeeze began dribbling water down onto Keshayla's eye to flush out the debris, wetting the cloth and repeating the process a few more times before changing over to the other eye.

[K]     She tried to breathe, really, she wanted to tell Grater to piss off and could he please get her some of that rum? But every attempt to breathe in was met with icy pain that caused her lungs to heave and all sounds to be rushed out in one wave. She hated screaming, but it seemed the only thing she really could do at the moment. Those insects had melted like candle wax, leaving behind that dusty residue that clung to her skin and sticked to the lining of her throat like a foul taste. Damn that half blood, he could be a rotten fool! But it was her fault he was hurt, she had taken too long to reach him, he wouldn't have been so tired, Japhath wouldn't have gotten away so quickly.... The halfbreed was at her feet, she could hear his uneven breathing, feel his frantic pulse as if it were some live, trapped thing wanting out. And then something shocking: Markie, her voice ran g loud and clearing and coming from atop the stairs. She tried telling him to tell her to go back, that it wasn't safe but it only wracked up another bout of coughing fits. And curse the fool, she felt him holding her down. "Help me, Grater, or she'll break loose." And he remembered, too. She was stronger then he was, and if she wanted to break free, he deffinatly needed help to keep her from tossing him right off.

     A cool cloth his her face, it took some of that blind panic away now that she knew this crap was being taken off of her, and even that slight bit helped her breathe, but just barely. So when Markie appologized, she had expected to get doused with a water spell, which she wouldn't have minded. But the wet cloth down her throat reminded her very much about the time she and Kivan spent a week in a prinson camp over at the Isles of Duo Teal, and panic flaired again. She shouted protests, much as she did back then. And when she thrashed, Kivan's grunted and put his weight and remaining strength into it, cursing her for being strong, and would she just settle down? "Keshayla! Breathe! It'll neutralize it. Calm down, and breathe." She'll have to remember that, and return the favor some day. But the water was helping still. The sticky fire that was burning her throat was fading, and the cramping ache in her lungs felt better, less threatening then before. But that only lasted a short time, and with everything mixing with the water it began to take a liquid form, and very much like a poison, it made Keshayla sick.

     Kivan caught her hair, holding it tightly as he kneeled beside her head and locked her there. One by one her eyes were cleared out, thankfully, but their pupils were quickly splitting, and the hunter green was fading to amber. "Keshayla..." There was warning in his tone, a 'don't think about it'. When indeed, she was thinking about it. The other eye now, and that nausia cramped her stomach until it was too much She grunted once, a warning to Kivan. The halfbreed snatched Markie from around her waist and jerked her back, Keshayla pushed Grater off with a shove of her hand, and she was on her hands and knees once more, retching as soon as the cloth was dropped out of her mouth. Nothing came up, and it send a shiver down her spine as she gasped and breathed, eyes tearing still but clear. "Kivan.." Her voice was hoarse, but at least she wasn't screaming. "I need to shift." Quickly, as exhausting as this was going to be, she needed to purge this...substance, out of her system. Sticking her finger down her throat didn't seem like it would be enough.

[M]   She ignored the slow change in Keshayla's eyes.  Ignored the instinctive fear that humans as a species had of eyes like that from so long ago.  Instead she focussed on flushing those eyes of the ash, glad that it was starting to have some effect.  Markie was about to trade out the rag in her mouth for a fresh one when Kivan jerked her away.  She started to protest, that she wasn't finished, but it would have done little good, so she leaned back against him, sitting on her butt from being pulled backwards, and ran the back of her hand across her face to push some of her hair out of her eyes, the wet cloth still in hand.  "Lungs, Keshayla, not stomach.  You need to inhale more water to cough it all up."  And she knew from many experiences how miserable it was to inhale water, but it had to be done.

[G]   Grater knew many things, the most important was his own limitations.  This was a job for a pointy-headed finger-wiggler, and that wasn't in his repertoire.  He watched with some curiosity to see what was going to happen, and when this was over he'd mention to her that her sword style was too formal.  The object of a fight wasn't to strike blade on blade, but blade on flesh.  Blades would always hit now and then but the harder you push to the tender hide of your opponent the more off-balance you push them.  As an old master asked him, 'are you trying to kill me or the sword?'

What was coming at them was a war, or at least one helluva battle, and that was his strength.  He could feel the idealism in this place, and he liked it, but you protected idealism (as much with everything else) by fighting for it, and fighting wasn't following the rules of a 'fair fight,' a fair fight was the one you won.  If that  meant pushing your thumbs through a bastards eyes and into their brain, so be it, but the smart fighter kneed his opponent in the ballocks before he tried it.

He rapped his codpiece for luck.  He nodded at the thought.  Bastards won wars, and idealists were its martyrs.  He reflected that he let her desire to fight interfere with what he should have done, he should have split that bastard's spine.  He reflected over the meaning of the runes on his blade, on his armor.  They symbolized a great deal, but nothing that anyone here could likely understand, and he admitted ruefully if his brain worked like most he wouldn't either, but the time was not now, nor may it ever be to explain them to anyone.

She had one lesson down he nodded, begrudging her nothing, in order to kill you must be willing to die.  It was a lesson he knew well, once you embrace the thought of your own death you become the most dangerous thing alive, because no matter what comes at you, you know that it doesn't matter when you go, or how, or by who's hand, but that they took nothing from you, because you'd given it freely.  Hell with that, you've spit it in their face.

[Kesh]     She hated Magi's. They had dirty little tricks, and it didn't matter how experienced with fighting you were, on hit you weren't sure what you were going to get. The coughing wasn't stopping, and she kept shaking her head because Markie didn't under stand. She had a fear of drowning, there was no way she was going to keep breathing in water, not after what she experienced in those prisons, not after feeling so trapped and suffocated from this ash. There was another means to clear it all out, one she was comfortable with simple because she knew that she would be the one in control. She waved off Kivan's reply, though he had only gotten as far as opening his mouth but she knew. He was going to try to talk her out of it, You'll hate yourself later, rushing a shift like that.... But she already knew that, better then he.

     For a moment nothing happened. Keshayla didn't move, didn't breathe, didn't show signs of any life. She remained on her hands and knees, lips parted and the blood from the wound in her stomach was leaving it's own pool on the ground. Then her hand spasmed, fingers curling tight, until nail bit into the tender palms of her hands and they broke flesh with her nails. Keshayla seemed to breathe all over again, though deep, slow, and it caught with a slight gasp. Everything seemed to happen at once; a violent convulsion raced through her body like a shiver. It bowed her spine and took her breath away, Her eyes flashed open and with a soft sound in her throat, she began to shift. It started with her hands; it always started with her hands. The bones there shattered, reknitting themselves as calcium was taken from the rest of her body, bones restructuring themselves, knees and joints exploded with pops as they reversed and slid to other points of her body. Keshayla's spine bowed right before it began to elongate, pieces of clothing ripped where her body grew too large or awkwardly shaped to contain itself in the garment, belts snapped and her weapons clattered to the marble floors while ripples began to roll across her skin like water when a stone was tossed in. And where those ripples flowed, fur, the same rich redish brown of her hair grew. The shifting itself only took a handful of seconds, leaving behind the woman who had been gasping for breath. The only traces of her were the clothes and the weapons, and in her place was a wolf just slightly larger then most.

     She shook herself, just for the sake of stretching new muscles, those amber eyes lifting to stare at Grater, Markie and Kivan before she stretched and sat on her haunches. She would have been content to stay this way for a short time. shifting had changed the chemistry of her body, and the remaining bits of the spell that had made her so sick, had made it so hard to breathe, was gone. But she needed to shift back, she knew there was still a lot of work to be done. So with a sigh she did, and the same process reversed itself. The hair melted like max, just as bones exploded again, joints shatered, and even her eyes returned to their normal hunter green. When she was back, finished, she was sittin in a puddle of her tears and blood, the wound on her stomach was gone, and minus the few patches on her face, and the stuff on her hands, she was free of the stuff. Naked, which she wasn't bothered by, but able to breathe with only a slight scratch at the back of her throat. Her eyes dropped halfway closed, her body swayed, and then with a thump she crashed over to her side. Rushing a shift like that was exhausting, and she was feeling it all now. "Next time." She croaked, lifting her green eyes to Kivan. "You get hit with your own damn spell."

[G]   He chuckles at that.  "Spit in their eye," he said and rose, spinning the great coat from his shoulders and offered it to her.  "I think yer answering my question for me, I'll have to look out for the rest of ye too."

[M]   Keshayla was right.  Markie didn't understand.  She didn't know a damn thing about lycans or their bodies, or that simply switching bodies could heal wounds and neutralize poisons.  She didn't know what to expect when Keshayla began to change.  Part of her braced for the appearance of some great lumbering monster, like the werewolves of tales told to frighten children and the very gullible.  She didn't move from Kivan's grasp, though she'd also noticed, absently, that neither had he removed his arm from around her waist.  Which was comforting.  She brushed at her hair again to remove it from her eyes, a bit of shyness in the motion because of their proximity.

She watched the transformation with rapt curiosity.  No behemoth met her eyes, and the entire thing went much faster than she would have expected, though it was likely for the best; there were a number of snaps and pops from the woman in front of her that caused Markie to wince.  And then the shift back, with more of those stomach-turning cracks of shattering bone, and Keshayla was once more in her own body, though Markie found herself averting her eyes with a warming of her cheeks at her nakedness.  It wasn't that she'd never seen a naked woman before; hell she saw one everytime she took a shower.  But it just seemed impolite to stare, even if she and Kivan were used to it, and that other man who seemed to be with Keshayla had little manners more than to offer his coat.  Though she did smile a bit at her comment to Kivan.

[K]     Kivan watched Keshayla carefully, she has only ever lost control a few times; a rarity, really, but each time was after her body had been pushed too far, and she was too distressed to make the changes in her favor it just allowed the shift to take control. He wasn't sure if now was going to be like those other tiimes, and even with Markie held close, his weight was shifting into his balancing at his feet so that he would be able to jump back and get Markie out of harms way. Grater seemed undisturbed, whether he just trusted Keshayla that much, or had a deeper understanding then Kivan did of Lycans he wasn't sure. Either way, Keshayla was in and out of her bodies in under five minutes, and he could tell she was feeling it now.

     Nudity didn't bother her. It was natural and when you seen one boob you've seen them all. But she knew that it made other's uncomfortable, as was clearly visable with Markie's pinkening cheeks. But, Grater, Crooked Warden bless him, offered to her his jacket. Normally she'd simply stroll off to the bathrooms and plunge herself in a hot bath to loosenher joints, but with the students here, she wasn't too certain that was a good idea. So the coat was taken with a grunt of a thanks, and she grabbed Grater's hand before it could get too far away to use as leverage and pulled to help her stand. She was on her feet, wobbling but steady enough not to fall, and slipped the coat over her shoulders. Good gods, but it was big on her, Keshayla managed a grin and resisted the urge to fling open the jacket like a flasher down near the Docks would do.

     Kivan sighed, releasing Markie, though reluctantly, to stand to his feet, and collect his blades, sheathing them once the blood was wiped clean. "Keshayla, go take your bath, I'll clean up down here, then meet be back in the study. Markie." His eyes flickered to her before he carefully slipped out a white parchment from his pocket, and used it to push and pile up what remained of the spell that wasn't wet as he could. "I would do the same, you have some of that stuff on you, and it's best to wash it off." Keshayla halted just long enough to scoop up her blade and hold it loosely in her hand. There was no way in hell she was going to walk around unarmed if she could help it. With every pop and protest of muscle, Keshayla didn't complain. She was used to this, the deep ache, and prefered it over to that crawling, burning pain from before. But, Crooked Warden, was she tired.

[M]   She rubbed absently at her hair again and nodded.  She rose to her feet a little after him, watching Keshayla and Grater wander off, and then turned to look at where Kivan was bent with the parchment.  "Here...so it doens't blow around."  Markie held out one of her hands, fingers spread, and called up a cool mist from the stone floor, soaking through the black dust just enough to weigh it down for easier clean up.  When it was wet enough, the mist evaporated, and she gave a small nod of satisfaction before turning back towards the stairs.  She paused for a moment, a question on the tip of her tongue, but she closed her mouth again.  Wasn't her business.  Probably best for her to not know.  Markie swept up the pitcher and cloths on her way to the steps, and left without another word.  

She took the vessel with her back to her room, lest some of that black stuff clung to the pitcher, and dropped the cloths on the floor by her nightstand, the borrowed one set on the floor nearby, so as to not be confused with her own.  She rinsed her hands in the 'dirty' water, but already she could feel a minor burn in her eyes, a mere shadow of what had happened to Keshayla.  She sighed, and rubbed at her eyes with the backs of her wrists, trying to keep her fingers away from her face.  A splash of clean water seemed to help though, so she gave it no further thought.  Clothes were changed - again - and in short order she was once more walking down the hall to her classroom, returning much later than she should have for a simple change of clothes.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2008, 04:58:59 PM »
[G]   "Dammit, I already took a bath today," he sighed.  "I'll rust!"  He reached back into his pocket and took a flask from one side pockes.  "Your's is in the other pocket," he told Keshayla and took a long drink before he turned to return to his room.  "At least I'm waterproofed," he sighed and wandered back upstairs and soon found himself in another tub of cold water, picking up at verse 160 of the dirty ditty from earlier.

[K]  Keshayla took the flask out of the jacket with great appreciation. Grater thought ahead, bless him, she didn't think to save that special mix of his from last night, and if ever a time she needed to feel a buzz...again, it was now. She ached, each step protested itself with muscles throbbing and joints grinding, but still she kept her mouth shut, except when she used her teeth to hold onto the cap of the flask and twisted it off so she could take a deep drink. The Alcohol burned, and instantly she regretted it. But she swallowed it down anyways, and stuffed it back into her pocket.

     Straight to the bathing rooms she went, and Keshayla didn't stop until she reached the hotspring pool, slipped off Grater's jacket, and simply fell in. Cold water would have felt better, but she didn't want to put too much more of a shock on herself, so Keshayla simply floated, contenting herself and blinked in the water, drank deep gulps where it was coming fresh from the stream, and didn't get out again until sleep threatened to consume her. It was only then, when she was inspecting herself for any more patches of black that she noticed it. When the orb hit her chest it burned, before the damnable thing exploded and began attacking her flesh, and what she had thought to be smudges of the ashy, was actually blackened skin like the tattoos banding around her fingers. She frowned, and even scrubing at the mark above her heart didn't remove it. She'd ask Kivan about it later, but for now, if she didn't get out of the warm water she was going to sleep in it.

     She dressed, pulled her hair back in a leather thong as it dried, and toweled herself off before changing into new, dry clothes that one of the assistants had brought in. Only after this did she return to the study, her blade still in hand since she was lacking a sheath at the moment. Kivan was there, and he looked up from his papers with a relieved smile and nodded towards a chair. She moved there, setting the blade down on the chair besides her and leaned back, seeking comfort. "Have you warned the others?"

     "It is a very fortunat thing that our 'guest' hadn't seen any of the students. I believe his message today was simply to inconvience us. Any bystandards would have been used as bait. But yet, I summoned ahead, and those in our care have been warned to be careful. I believe a curfew is in order, the students here are not to be allowed outside of the grounds at nightfall, or perhaps outside at all. Bringing them here may not have been the safest of places as he had assumed. There is going to be a guild war on our hands." As if Jaeric hadn't been enough.

[G]   He stopped scrubbing at verse 202 and hopped out and dressed, then founf his backup bottle and downed a fair amount.  Strictly speaking he didn't feel all that swift, but the hell with it, drink a cold and chug a fever.  He made sure everything was in place and wandered by the kitchen and found a roast beef sandwich with spicy mustard and horseradish, and a large tankard of ale with a few shots of bitters and another of hot sauce.  Time to sweat this crud out, he reflected as he settled in the library to eat and read.

[M]   Klay had said nothing to her about how long it had taken her to return, though she could sense relief from the woman, even though she was working directly with other students now.  Neither did Markie go spouting off about what she'd just seen.  A sort of, 'don't ask, don't tell' situation.  

It wasn't bad, not at first.  Markie continued through class as if nothing had happened, hardly feeling a thing.  But the longer she went, the worse she began to feel.  Lights and sounds begame gradually more intense, her eyes began to redden and itch, and her upper body began to ache.  But, she still didn't think that it could be from the stuff she'd pulled off of Keshayla.  It had hit her much more strongly; Markie wondered instead if perhaps she had cought something while out on the beach.  Afterall, she'd never met a hippocampus before; what if Bernie had given her some sort of germ that Kivan was used to and unphased by?  

By the time supper rolled around, Markie was miserable.  Even normal conversation felt too loud, and dim lights were impossibly bright.  It was making her irritable, causing her to grumble at her friends, which only upset her more, because she didn't want them to think she was mad at them when she wasn't.  She hardly ate anything.  Muscles ached whenever she even thought about moving.  Probably best to just sleep it off...  She excused herself from the table and left her friends, wobbling slightly in her step and returned to her room.  Clothes were discarded and left ot lay where they fell, she stripping down to her underwear before sitting heavily on the edge of the bed.  Some water before she slept would be nice...  

Markie only absently noticed that the second pitcher and cloths were gone, and she poured herself a tall cup of water from the one that now stood on her nightstand, unaware that her nearly empty 'clean' water had simply been traded for the almost full 'dirty' water by an unwitting servant.  And while that water may have looked clean to any casual observer, it was still tainted.  Markie went through almost four whole cups before setting the cup down and crawling into bed, wrapping herself in the coolness of the sheets to fight against the unpleasant warmth of her body.

[K]     She tried paying attention. There was important matters to see to, after all, and Kivan shouldn't see to them all alone. But Keshayla struggled, as the day went on the burning returned to her eyes until words on pages were a blur, and they watered until tears rolled down her cheeks. Muscles felt torn and over used, and a deeper ache had settled into her bones, one that even shifting couldn't produce. Miserable became an understatement, and Kivan saw all of this slowly progressing through the day. Nearing the dinner hour he stopped finally, frowning at his partner who had begun drinking water like a drowning man. "How much worse is it?"

     "I can't take much more. That burning returned, I can't keep my eyes open.." The halfblood stood from his seat, crossing the room to kneel infront of her chair and took Keshayla's face from inbetween his pale fingers. She opened them for him, as wide as she could but she couldn't stop the way they fluttered, or how squinting was as wide as she was able to go. His thumbs gently pulled up her eye lids and even through the blur of the tears she could see him frown. "Your eyes are black."

     "My pupils are dilated. I'm sure there's green there. Fuck me with a poleaxe, what was that stuff?" Kivan shook his head, checking her pulse, which was normal if not a little slower, her temperature, which was hotter then normal, and last her mouth. She had swallowed a lot of that ash, and even shifting, he didn't think all of it was removed. That frown never left his face, and he was starting to worry. "Do you want to shift again?"

     She shook her head, slacking in the chair when he released her face. "Wouldn't do anything but tire me even more. Shifting once would have purged what it could. Just like when you poisoned me back in Tael av'Ryn, in our game with the Duke. But this...if I shifted again, I'm so tired I don't think I would be able to shift back. Maybe I just need to sleep it off?"

     "I don't like the idea of you sleeping, we don't know what this stuff is, and if it's reacting so strongly to a Lycan..." His frowned deepened, and Kivan glanced over his shoulder and to the empty door way that led to the hall. "Markie... she only came in contact with a little, but if you're reacting so badly..." Keshayla nodded, pushing herself to a stand and instantly regretted it. "The students should be in the Dinning room, eating dinner. She should be there..." And back into the chair she slumped, feeling the world spin and even attempting to lift her hand to her forehead didn't help as much as she would have liked. "Go..I'll be here. And check Grater, too!"

[G]   That rat bastard thing went and flung a hoodoo on him," he desided as the mustard and horseradish warmed him from the inside.  But, at least he could breathe, before that it was like being ridden by Big Thelma, once she topped a man there wasn't much of him left to see, and if her fuse was slow that night she was liabe to squish the life out of him.  He tilted his spare bottle again and decided he'd have to mix up a batch of Jambo's Cure.  He wasn't sure he'd like that, Jambo didn't piddle around with cures, they'd knock a man on his arse if they weren't careful.  Still, better that than being found rundown in a pinch.  And this place was full of pinches.  He rose stiffly and ambled to the stash of herbs and extracts she'd shown him and mixed heveral into a hald flask of pure grain alcohol.  Good stuff, it would strip paint or rust in a pinch.  He casually shook it all to mix it and gathered his nerve and drank halrf of the flask before lowering it from his lips and pushing back in the stopper.  He watched the room slowly spin and felt like somebody dropped a torch in his pants.  Yup.  It was working.  He sighed and wandered up to sleep and dropped onto the bed in his full kit, too late to worry about that now," he mused as he aimed his hand crossbows before drifting off, eyes still open.

[M]   Markie was long gone from the dining room by the time Kivan got there, having left only shortly after the meal had begun.  And he was arriving at the tail end of the meal, when many students had already finished and left.  

She wasn't sure how it happened with how horrible she felt, but Markie fell to sleep rather quickly.  Though it was far from restful.  There were perhaps only a few minutes of empty sleep before flickering shadows of images flashed behind closed eyelids.  Dark things in fleeting glimpses.  Nightmares, such as she had had when the demons attacked the school.  Such as she always had when demonic energy was around.  And in her sleep, her neck began to itch, and then burn lightly, a sleeping hand lifting to scratch at the skin.  But then it got worse...  

Markie's nightmares rarely took shape within her head; almost always it was just fleeting images of frightening things, and she would wake shortly after it started, a racing heart drawing her to wakefulness.  But it was different now.  The flashes became longer, the scenes more connected, and the terrors more frightening.  She saw things in her dream that the human language could not give sound or meaning to.  She was weeping, and thrashing weakly under her covers, trying to fight away from the dark things in her head.  But it seemed the more she fought them, the more real they became.  Until it was real...  

The ash was not simply some nefarious blend of herbs to burn the eyes and lungs, but something far more sinister.  The ash of a slain demon that was not completely destroyed.  And now, with the blood and water of her body, it was able to find life once more, or at least a shadow thereof.  Markie gave a choked whimper as it hovered like a shadow in the air above her bed, slowly becoming more solid, and drawing the energy to do so from her.  And still she couldn't wake, no matter the terror in her mind and the racing of her heart.  Though that heart was slowing, her whimpers softening.  Her life fading.  It had its full shape now, but was still a shadow of its former self, and still it drew her life from her to create its own.  Markie jerked to her side in her thrashings, arms straining for the door, trying to flee, and managed  a final cry of suffering before her body collapsed, unable to even jerk around anymore.  Her breathing was shallow and ragged, her skin pale, barely able to fight the thing any longer.

[Ki]     Kivan was reluctant to leave Keshayla. She seemed to be fading, or rather her energy was, and it worried him to see his 'sister' weakening like this. There was a heavy guilt there, too. If it wasn't for her, Kivan would be going through the same thing, or worse: whatever the spell was intended to do, Kivan's natural abilities were limited. Once again, he was certain he owed Keshayla his life, and she hadn't even passed it off as something new. She simply reacted, and when Keshayla was able to speak without shouting, she hadn't said anything more then her normal quip remark. And that was it. No complaining, no whining, nothing until he inquired, and then it was straight facts. But what about Markie? She had been spying, no doubt. Something he would have to speak with her about later, but only after he was certain that she was ok too. Would the small amount she had come in contact with effect her like Keshayla? Would it be worse? Surely he would have heard about something, if it was worse...

     She wasn't in the Dinning room.  That was unsettling. Klay caught his attention from across the room, and the halfblood crossed the hall with a stridefull purpose. "What happened? I heard there was a fight?" News traveled fast. "Felix betrayed us. He brought Japheth from the Order to our guild, and challenged Keshayla and I. Keshayla is...not well. Would you keep an eye on her, for me?" Klay's concern only doubled, and she nodded before leaving her meal to head towards the study. Kivan stopped her by grabbing her forearm, leaning in to whisper in her ear so that others wouldn't hear. "Where's Markie?" For a moment Klay simply blinked, before nodding her head towards the hall once more, indicating that she was in bed. Kivan nodded, released her arm, and headed to the guest's rooms.

     Dread grew in the pit of his stomach like nausia, the further down the hall, the worse it became, until that all to familiar prickling across his arms rose. Something isn't right... His pace hurried, Kivan's frowned deepened, and he was nearly running by the time he had reached Markie's door. The dread only grew, and Kivan listened to instincts. His foot lifted, kicking the door open where his boot caught right beside the handle. The door bounced, hitting the wall but before it could swing close again he was inside, and rather glad he was armed.

     Like a dark cloud, the wraith hovered above Markie, it's boney hands gripping the wood of the bed, and turned it black where it touched. That sound was all too familiar, like heavy breathing in a dark room, and what looked like shadows at dusk came flickering from Markie, towards it's mouth. Kivan only hesitated a moment. Just long enough to take in what was before him before the halfblood's scowl caught the attention of the demon. "Begone!" There was no room for argument in his voice, and he, for the first time in nearly fifty years, allowed his Fay blood to be overwhelmed with that other half, that darker half. Two demons in one room was like putting two dominant wolves in the same room. One had to be marked as the better, and Kivan rushed forward before the wraith could even turn.

     His blade was a special thing, blessed by the Thirteen, including Keshayla's Crooked Warden, so that when it bit into demonic flesh, the skin shrivled and burned, much as Keshayla's had done to the demon at the school. One hit had caused the wraith to break it's trail, and Kivan was a pale blure as be placed himself betwen Markie and it, blade held high. It screamed with every hit, drawing the startled attention from those who were leaving the Dinning hall to retire to their rooms. No one rushed, some turned white from that familiar, shrill cry, and how it seemed to suddenly end as Kivan ended it's existance, for good this time with that blade. The demon's fingers curled, it's body wrything before it seemed to dissapait, curling tendrils of smoke the only evidence of it's existance, before even that was gone. Breathing heavily, Kivan took the time to listen, making sure the Wraith wouldn't return before he struggled with the part of him that was a Fay, and used it to push back the demon before he touched Markie. His blade was tossed on her blankets, and Kivan kneeled beside her, fingers touching her face, her neck, her shoulders, voice cooing her name, for her to come back to him. "Markie...wake up, Markie.."

[M]   It was agony, beyond anything she'd ever felt.  Even in her weakened unconciousness it hurt, and the appearance of Kivan's demon self nearly pushed her to breaking, and she keened weakly in agony again as the demons fought and the wraith tried to draw more from her.  Her neck was bleeding again from the close proximity to them, soaking through her hair where it laid thinly against her skin, though not from the bright red scratches from her own fingers on the back of her neck.  In fact, most of it seemed to be coming from under that choker she always wore, and oozed from under the wide ribbon for a few inches, just rear of the vein and around to the back.  The ribbon itself, however, was clean; spelled to resist scratching and blood long ago to last through just such events as these.  

Markie whimpered gently when he first touched her, but the twisting agony in her face faded, though only slightly as his demon was fully contained once more.  Her breaths were still ragged and shallow, almost a wheezing gasp, fighting for every breath she took.  She didn't want to wake...it hurt too much to wake, opening her eyes would only make it worse.  The nightmares were gone, but still the pain persisted, and tears rolled still from closed eyes.

[K]     He didn't understand what was happening, or where that wraith had come from, but he knew that Markie needed his help, and it wasn't the sort that could be easily solved with a blade. So he whispered a spell under his breath, the same clensing cadence that was used with Klay to purify the Inn when they Geas was discovered in Tovin and his friend's hearts. Notably the air seemed lighter in the room, as if it had been thick and oily before and finally washed away. Cool fingers touched her hot skin, leaving cooling trails in their wake, coiling their way around her neck, the tops of her shoulders and collar bone, her arms and stomach, seeking to lower her body temperature while encouraging words were murmered against her hair. He needed her to wake up, he was telling her to wake up, to open her eyes for him. He'd make it better, he promised, only if she were to open his eyes for him, to breathe deeper.

*     *     *

     Keshayla tried staying awake. But really, it fell heavy upon her like when a vampire fell into turpor. And it seemed, disturbingly, that the harder she tried to stay out of the sleep, the more violent the need became. She knew somthing was wrong then. And she knew that if she closed her eyes, if she allowed herself to slip into that sleep... She couldn't fight it off. Maybe, if she hadn't shifted, and with Kivan near by to encourage her, she could have struggled better, or fight it off completly. But when Kivan left the study it's pull was seductive and deadly, like poison coated candies. She had breathed heavy, nearly panting, and a sweat broke out over her body as if she were breaking into a fever. A meek sound left her throat, a pleading for Kivan to come back, and she slipped out of the chair without the strength of her arms to support or break her fall.

     She dreamed. Everything existed in a void, nothing existed except the black around her so deep that light didn't exist. She stood in the middle of this void, nothing above, nothing behind, her flanks were clear but she was stairing ahead, looking at herself. Only then, when she realised that she was looking at a reflection did she notice that she was indeed gazing in a mirror. Curious, as Keshayla's nature often was, she approached the mirror, watching her image slowly getting bigger until she was just nearly a foot away. For a long while she simply watched, her life existed only around her reflection and with curiosity she watched it breathed, blinked, and simply live such as herself. But over time, there were changes. The breathing was off, it didn't match the soft rise and fall of her chest. The blinking was quicker, and Keshayla suddenly realized that she was no longer looking at a reflection, but another self.

     Curious fingers lifted, tentativly touching the glass with the pads of her fingers, where her 'reflection' hesitated only a moment to follow. Her fingers touched the cool glass moments before the other, and with that simple gesture she could feel tension on the other side of the glass. Dread began to fill her, and with that dread, the deeper it pooled into her soul, the more contorted the face reflecting herrs became. The eyes darkened, with shadows and bruise-like rings hollowing out the eyes. The face contorted with hate, and twisted itself with seething rage, and Keshayla was completly baffled as of why her image, what was supposed to be her, felt this way. Her lips parted, and when she asked the question, 'Why do you hate?' no sound followed. But the reflection still heard her, and it screamed soundlessly, and slammed it's fists against the glass. Keshayla jumped, watching the glass pannel tremble behind the impact, and instincts, even in a dream had her twist her wrists. No stelletos dropped in her hands, and once again the reflection banged its fists against the glass, though this time the glass began to crack where the impact had been hardest, and started a spider web effect. Don't let it out...Wake up. Don't let it out, or it'll kill them.

     Why was she thinking that? Why was she so confused? Keshayla glanced to the side, expecting to see....who? A partner... who wasn't there. Maybe he was somewhere else? With a cautious glance back to the mirror, Keshayla stepped to the side. The 'reflection' followed, anouth soundless scream coming from the other side that she didn't hear, but her body winced anyways as if it had. Wake up! Again she was confused, but a surge of pain raced from her heart through out the rest of her body, and with that brief tap into reality, Keshayla ran. The mirror was long, and when she had broken into a run, her image followed, looking much like the preditor that her inner wolf was. But there was an end up ahead, she could see where the mirror cut off, and with that dread of this...creature, breaking free, she slowed. Carefully, eyes  on the reflection, Keshayla moved with determination to reach the end, eyes locked with her image. But her image wasn't mocking her reflection any more. It's hand was outstretched, touching the glass like one would a banister leading down the stairs. And where it's fingers touched, blood streaked. You hurt. Wake Up. Wake Up. Wake up or it'll kill them!

     Keshayla was near the end now, just a few feet, but she didn't hesitate. Allow her reflection to come at her head on, if it dared, so she walked sideways to take a full frontal assult. Keshayla's lips open and she spoke her challenge to her reflection. Once again no sound came, but the reflection heard every word, and it screamed at her, banging its bloody fists at the glass. Again it began to crack, spider webbing down it's length. And when Keshayla reached the end, her image stopped. She was pressed in the corner, at the very edge of the mirror as if it was the angle in a wall. Still she seethed with hatred, and glass threatened to shatter with it's banging, demanding fists. Wake up! If her reflection wasn't after her, then why was she so terrorfied? Why was she suddenly sobbing, and shaking with fear? Wake up!

     Keshayla's eyes fluttered open, burning in pain with even the small amount of light that the study held. But there was a heavy weight on her hands, too heavy to lift off of the ground, and they burned with white hot fire. But it was that thing that caused her heart to stop, which was causing the burning to course through her veins. And, for the first time in her life, she screamed.

[M]   The pain in her neck that caused so much suffering faded with his words, the cleansing spell removing the pull of demon energy on her body.  Her neck still bled though, a slow oozing of rich red against creamy skin, though now that the itch was gone, her body would be able to begin to heal.  She gasped when those cold fingers touched her, as if she'd just been plunged into icy waters, but her body responded, and the pain faded from her features, leaving only the weak gasps for air from an exhausted body.  The tears had also slowed, though not completely stopped, and at her side the fingers of a hand twitched.  

Her dreamscape was very suddenly dark.  The nightmares and terrors were gone, leaving only emptyness.  But it wasn't a hollow darkness.  Somehow, she knew that she wasn't alone.  But she didn't know how.  Markie wanted to look around, to find this other, but she felt so tired.  She could just lay down for a little while, rest for a few minutes.  She could look around later.  Her body felt so tired, so heavy, like nothing wanted to work, and she lowered slowly to her knees.  

Markie's breathing became more troubled, more desperate, her skin almost too cold even as her heart struggled to keep itself beating against the pull of a more permanent sleep...  

Her eyes started to droop, and she leaned forward, bracing herself against the 'ground' with a hand, when she heard it.  It was a voice, or at least sounded like one.  Calling her name?  "Who..?"  It was so hard to open her eyes and look out into that darkness, and again she felt the presence of another.  Tired...  It could wait...  But the voice persisted, and she felt it more than heard it as it called to her, pulled her towards it, demanded that she respond, and then was gentle coaxing again.  And she felt compelled to follow it, to find this Other.  Back to her feet, a feat that was a struggle, and then slow, wobbling steps carried her towards it, though the only marker of travel was that the call seemed to come slightly clearer with each step.  

Markie's heart fluttered in a sparodicness that was almost dangerous, but then evened out again, and her breathing began to even out as well to a gradually healthier rhythm.  

She could hear the voice now, could tell by the timber that it was a man.  But who would be calling her here?  Ever curious, she moved faster, following those gentle words that she knew she knew.  And then she felt a gentle brush against her hair, and knew.  

"Ki...vn..."  Her face twitched, muscles jerking unreliably as she struggled towards wakefulness.  

"I'm here!"  She knew it was him, that it was Kivan that called so gently to her, and she wanted to go to him.  Why was he scared?  His voice sounded almost desperate, and she wanted to go to him, to tell him that she was alright.  And then, much as she'd felt the brush in her hair, she felt the pain in her neck, and even in the darkness, when she drew her hand away from her neck, she could see the blood on her fingers.  Why was she bleeding?  It only happened when there were demons close by...  Had there been another attack?  Was she hurt?  "Kivan...I'm here..."  But no matter how she called to him, it seemed that she could get no closer.  

Her tears started anew, rolling down her cheeks to the pillow below her head.  She was trying...gods she was trying...  Her hand twitched again and jerked a short distance over the covers, as if trying to reach for something.  Trying to reach for him.  A small whimper crawled from her throat as muscles twitched and spasmed across her body.  

'Wake up, Markie...Please wake up...Open your eyes...'  Markie sobbed softly, hearing his words, sounding so close, but unable to reach them.  There was light somewhere, she could sense it, but it was just out of her sight, as if coming from just outside her periphery, but vanished whenever she turned to look at it.  She reached for him in the darkness, willing herself to go to him, to find him and the light that he was in.  

And then suddenly, she was gasping for air, like one held under water for too long and gulping in the precious life-giving breeze.  Her hand jerked again, lifting from the bed and grasping tightly at his shirt this time, and after a few desperate, shuddering breaths her eyes cracked open, barely slivers in her face.  Her neck hurt, her whole body hurt, and the pale light felt like it burned her eyes, but she was awake, and she whimpered his name again, struggling to remain awake and aware.

[G]   A voice called to him in his dreams, such dreams as they were, darkness and strange noises.  They were actually familiar to him, he'd spent much of his life in such places.  The odd workings of his mind looked at them and wondered what was supposed to happen next.  It reminded him of when they tried to break him at Mirabor.  Dropping him into the Oubliette with all of the others.  They'd lost their minds.  The darkness and filth, the bodies rotting around them.  While the others shriveled and lost themselves Grater concentrated on the important thing.  Survival, escape, revenge.  His jailors peered fown to find him feasting upon rat, surrounded by raving lunatics and bloated corpses.  Now, oddly, when things got bad this was his place of refuge.  What was a nightmare to a man that had survived hell?  And so his oddly fractured mind looked at the darkness and waited.  Come ahead, in your own good time.  I've waited before, and I'm not the only one that doesn't know what waits for it in the darkness.

[Ki]     Kivan's sigh was heavy with relief. It hadn't been his full name, the vowls stuck and cracked in her throat but Markie had surfaced, had answered his pleading call and she was returning from that dark abyss. His arms wrapped around her, shielding her from what was no longer there, a cascade of long white hair helping to dull the little light in the room. "You're ok now, Markie. It's gone. You're alright, I promise." Again his fingers drifted, the caloused pads touching gently against her cheek, wiping those tears away with a brush of his thumb. When he spoke again, it was no longer in the common tongue, but that old lost language of the Fay. Words were lilting and musical like the elves, but they were also more complex and longer, as if it took more structure to explain things. He wasn't saying anything important, not really. But the sound of a voice to cling to, he knew, brought one back to itself, and he wanted Markie back, and he wanted her to stay that way.

     He spoke of their time at the beach, talking about Bernie, their game with Jenks and his children. The way sand felt against your hands, how the lights he had summoned cast luminious glows over everything. It wasn't important, but it was a memory he hoped to be strong enough. She may not understand what he was saying, but it didn't matter. He was there, and he wasn't going to let anything happen to her again.

[M]   She whimpered gently when he lifted her, a meager protestation of a body that hurt to even be lifted.  She laid heavily against him, cheek pressed to his chest and listening dully to the rhythmic beating of his heart.  Her other hand lifted slowly to reach for him, though ended up in more of a drape over the leg that straddled her, wrapping loosely around his waist, clinging to him as a lifeline as much as her weakened body could.  She couldn't really understand what he was saying, even when he spoke in common, but she focussed on the sound of his voice, using it to anchor her to the waking world and to him, to keep her from falling back into the world of nightmares.  He was here, and she was safe, and it was Kivan that was protecting her.  That was really all she could figure out in her current state, but that was all that mattered.

[G]  Grater sat at the head of a long, elegant wooden table that sat nearly seventy others. It was made from a single tree, having been hand carved generations ago by the elves that were neighbors to Ciln as a peace offer to the King. It needed a dozen legs to supports itself, each in the shape of peacocks with intricatly carved feathers in numerous poses that made the birds seem alive, more like guests at the table, then their foundation. Along the edges were butterflies, beautiful insects and ivy work with tiny garnets that acted as eyes, which glimmered in the candle light. And there were hundreds of white candles everywhere, melting in their cast iron holders, or along the stone where they sat, illuminating the dinning room with it's glorious feast of fine finger foots, with finger bowls conveniently at one's left, and an abundant amount of pasteries that had been shipped in from far over seas for this affair.
     The conversation, which Grater was the lead of, covered such things as politics, profits, land, the lower houses that were coming to power, or those who were falling to the dirt. It was a fine feast, with no sandwhich in sight, and the only beverage was fruity drinks made from watermelon juice and a clear, sweet liquid called "Elves' Tart Haven, Honeysuckle wine". Each guest was dressed in the top of fashion, each having privatly put in the effort to try and out due the other, but as always, Grater had that pleasure. He was dressed in such finery the king would have been put to shame. His jacket was ivory with gold woven through, simple golden leaves on the front, but at the back was a magical display of a meadow filled with bunnies, deer, butterflies, and flowers of such beauty that one wanted to weep when looking upon it. And with all that finery, his wild hair had been trimmed, so that the wigs of the wealthy such as him could be worn comfortably, all at the cost of fashion.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2008, 05:22:54 PM »
[Ki]     She didn't have to sit up, Kivan was hardly burdened by her weight, and he had adjusted himself so that leaning was made easier for her. How did this happen? It still baffled him, and the halfblood shook his head gently, causing his lips to pass over the top of her head with the motion. She needed a little more time before he asked questions, but his patients felt thin now that he had questions, that he knew that she wasn't going to slip away from him. But, he reminded himself, it wouldn't be wise to rush or push her, unless that triggered something that would cause her to slip from consciousness. Again he cooed, his voice returning to that of the common language, saying her name over and over until he was certain that she was stable enough, had a strong grip. Then, gently, he pulled his lips from her hair, just enough to drift down the side of her hair to press gentle kisses against her tear streaked face. "Markie." He waited till their eyes met before he continued, holding her chin gently in his hands so that they were looking directly at each other. "What happened? Do you remember anything?"

[G]   He stopped talking and looked around.  "Oh sweet hell," he growled.  "It's grandmum's country house."  He looked around wondering where the old biddie was hiding.  

"Tart haven," he pondered aloud.  "It sounds like a place I knew along the Whiskey Coast, I knew a lady that could put her hips out of joint and..." he looked down the table at the shocked and disapproving expressions.  "You know," he stared at them back.  "This really is like Grandmum's country house at that.  Is the old crone still with us, or is she looking at the daisies from the bottom yet?"

He stood up and tossed aside the wig and carefully tapped his groin.  "Be on your best lookout William, some cod-sniffer made off with your hat."  He walked over to the wall and slipped a rapier from its holder on the wall.  "Why don't you nice people bugger off?"

[M]   Markie felt impossibly tired, and had it not been for the terrors she was sure were still lurking in the dark corners of her mind, she would have been perfectly content to simply fall asleep in his warm embrace as he spoke gentle gibberish to her.  Another wince and weak sound as he shifted, and she with him, but then he was still again, and aching muscles could relax once more.  Had she been more aware of herself, she would have been red from hairline to chest with a blush at her state of near nakedness, wearing nothing more than underwear and a wrap of fabric around her breasts that snapped behind her back.  And of course, that ever-present choker.  The bleeding seemed to have stopped, though a thin trail ran down almost past her heart after being moved to sit upright.  He was speaking again, and slowly she became aware that it was her name.  Her vision was mostly blurry, but cleared now and again in small flashes of clarity.  It was hard to focus, but his voice was questioning, and then she was looking at him, her face supported by a gentle hand.  Her eyes were heavy-lidded, and she couldn't make out more than a pale face surrounded by white.  Somehow, though, she found grey, which seemed to stand out from the blur of light colors.  

What had happened?  Did she remember anything?  "...hurts..."  It was a struggle to speak, her breathing still too shallow, but the troubling wheeze had left at least.  "...demons..."  Her face pulled weakly in fear as a flash of nightmare returned, a faint whimper tightening her grasp on him when her eyes closed and sleep threatened again.  "...hurts..."  Fear turned to pain in her face as muscles jerked in a twitch, tears threatening once more at the eyes that struggled to open and focus on him again.

[Ki]     Hardly the answer he was hoping for, but then again, he was much used to his partner who spoke in codes if she had to. But Markie wasn't used to pain, and he hoped that she never would be. She was the sort that deserved a happy life that ended with a soft smile on an old woman's lips. Not one full of demons, blood and horrors. But she was stuck with that now, at least a little while. Being friends with Kivan and Keshayla brought one's life expectancy down. "It's ok." He murmered again, gently combing his fingers through her hair. "It's alright."

     Knowing it'll hurt, Kivan sighed once more before he shifted, moving quickly with out hardly a jerk to her body. He was sitting on it butt now, back against the headboard of her bed, legs extended. With this possition he was more comfortable, and Markie was slowly settled over him, head resting on his stomach so that she would be more comfortable herself. He'll stay here all night if he had to, and he made sure that his blade was free and near his hand for quick use incase he had need of it again. Demons...Hurts... Was that meaning more then what had happened? He wasn't sure how to look at it. Kivan frowned, puzzling himself over this question along with many others while he gently moved her hair from the back of her neck so that he could take a better look at that wound.

[M]   Had she had the mental acuity to do so, she might have grumbled at him to stop his moving to and fro, because it hurt, damnit!  As it was, she only managed a meek sound of discomfort, and then was settled down again.  But his stomach made a comfortable pillow, and her hands bunched in his shirt at his sides, and she sighed softly, still utterly oblivious to her lack of clothing, or the rather intimate position they were now in.  Her eyes drooped, and then closed, but she didn't sleep, more of hovered in a half-awake trance that was aware of the movement of his fingers, but didn't have to focus on words or bright lights or anything else.  

Her choker closed by a simple hook and eye set sewn into the ribbon at the back of her neck.  Red lines from scratches ran from just above the hairline to a little below the choker, lines left by hard, deep dragging of nails, as if clawing at something within the skin, trying to dig it out.  When he pulled the choker open to look at her neck, the scratches ended where the choker had lain, but continued below it, the ribbon giving more protection that it would have had it lacked its enchantment.  But worse than the scratches, was the cut around her neck that it hid.  The skin under the choker was several shades lighter than the rest of her, clearly rarely seeing sun, whereas the rest of her held a light, healthy tan from days in the sun.  

The cut itself was thin, as though created by a perfectly honed razor.  A line of discoloration ran from a few fingers' width forward of the main artery, the cut becoming gradually deeper until it bit into the skin and bled from just behind that artery.  It seemed as though it got progressively deeper as it ran around her neck, until it ended at the back of her neck.  If he wiped away the blood, he would also see plenty of scar tissue, both around the slice, as though it had healed and been opened again multiple times, as well as jagged vertical lines at the back of her neck, former scratches that had bit deep enough to bleed themselves.

[Will]   "It ain't no fair," Will grumbled.  In twelve years he hadn't been off of this bucket.  Everytime the call for shore leave came he was in the bad books of some bosun's mate or officer and he got to rot on this bucket another day longer.

"Bugger this," he reflected for the umpteenth time.  He was done with the bloody ballocky navy and this piss bucket of a barge.  He had it all worked out how.  He'd snuck together a fair stash of goods and tonight was the night to put it to use.  Tha last piece was the most dangerous, the captain's own purse.  And if that was found on him it was a thousand lashes, and that was dying with your ribs hanging out for the world to count.

He waited for the first watch to return and the second to clamber down into the boats to make his own move and lowered a cask with an oilskin bundle strapped to it over the side, and followed it into the rank water of the harbor and swam the few hundred yards to the shore.

He remembered a house from his youth, he'd look in on it first and then decide what to do later.  But, first things first he clambered ashore and made his way to a canal a few hundred yards away.  This carried drinking water to the city, so fouling it in any way was frowned upon.  He stripped off and caved in the top of the barrel and fished out a bar of soap.

He dunked himself in the water and hopped back out and scrubbed himself from head to toe.  It was officer soap, so it smelled nice and cut through the rank sweat, mildew and salt that seemed to accompany every sailor, then he tied his old clothes around a rocke and dropped it into the canal and dressed from the barrel.

It wasn't long and he was draped in the 'shore clothes' of a half-dozen officers, each piece carefully pilfered to match and to fit him.  He tucked the heavy purse under his buff leather jerkin and belted on a dressy cutlass and dagger, and oiled and strung his bow from the oilskin.  and slung it, his quiver and a knapsack over his shoulder and strolled the road that would take him around the city to the district he wanted.  His biggest problem now was walking in boots and trying not to get landsick as the newly minted gentleman traveler strolled the lane around the city.

[Ki]    He had been frowning before, and that look only changed by blank puzzlement. He didn't rightly understand what these woulds were from. How was obvious, nails left distincts scars, as many customers from Iva's Brothell could account for, if you were to visit the "back" rooms. Kivan's eyes shifted from the back of her neck, then back to his hand where the choker rested. He had assumed that the jewel had been an heirloom of some sort, a pretty little thing that was dear to her that reminded her of her family who was far from here. But now he could tell there were other intentions behind it, and those grey eyes calculated Markie differently. If she could whisper, what would she say? What secrets did she have? Was this demon from her past? Was there more then she had let on?

     Later. He'll ask later, when she was better. For now, those cool hands pressed to the back of her neck, the salt of his hands caused them to sting slightly but he murmered as he touched her, and a pale whitish glow enveloped his hand like some sort of illuminous glove. The sting eased, and cautious eyes watched as the scratches healed themselves, and that thin laceration, the one that really caused him uncertainty, began to close as well. There wouldn't be much he could do about the blood on her skin, his hands or in her hair, but that was just a minor thing. His lilting words of encouragement continued, inviting Markie to sleep, telling her that she'll be safe. He wasn't going anywhere.

[G]   "Hoity toity poncey buggers," he sighed.  "I forgot, ye've food and drink b'fore ye.  I'd have to set fire to you to bet yer sterling plated arses out of here.  And you lot don't look like fighters, so who is it among ye here to try me nerve?"

He looked down the table at them.  "Or how many of ye do I have to shove this knitting needle trough to find out?" He looked down the table, a look of unbrideled enthusiasm at the notion of pinning fops.

Real of not, there were some uncomfortable looks.

[M]   His healing hands seemed to draw the last of the tension from her body, until it was as though she merely rested from physical exhaustion.  In his hand, the choker seemed to clean itself, the blood running down and dripping from the edge as though the necklace itself repelled the blood.  A small bit got caught on the tiny onyx broom that was the pendant, running between the fine carving of the bristles, and then fell from those as well, until it was perfectly clean once more.  Markie simply sighed against his stomach, and snuggled sleepily closer.  She was tired, and Kivan was here.  He wouldn't let anything get her...  She finally gave in to the draw to sleep, this pull far more natural than that which had first claimed her, and fell into comfortable, restful darkness, her hands still tangled in his shirt.  Regardless of his plans to stay or go, she wasn't letting him go anywhere.

[K]     Kivan closed his eyes, releasing a heavy, yet slow sigh through his mouth while his finger played with Markie's hair, enjoying the silken locks while he drifted away to his own thoughts. Sunrise was approaching soon, everyone was asleep for the most part, save those on watch, or too restless to close their eyes and drift away. Just a few moments... Then he'll leave, he'll go tell the others that she was fine. But Kivan's eyes didn't open again, and he found himself relaxing far more then he had before. Sleep can't hurt...right? But he was already drifting, already falling into that heavy, exhausted sleep.

*          *          *

     Keshayla's scream stopped nearly as suddenly as it had started, melting off into a growl that stated, quite clearly, that she wasn't pleased. This is rediculous! She stopped her struggling, stopped her gasping and frantic pulse from bursting out of her chest. "Oi!" She shouted at it, because that was going to do a lot of good. "I just killed your ilk! Stop sproutin' out of the gods damned ground like mushrooms!" Needless to say, as Kivan knew very well, she had a tendency to yell and talk when she was nervous. Not only was she scared, she was angry, and anger was the best fuel she had ever found, better then adrenoline at times when it came to, ah, fixing situations like this.

     There was a heavy advantage to being a Lycan, one that Keshayla had found out long ago, and took advantage of it whenever possible. Flexibility and strength. She was sore as hell still from shifting earlier, her muscles felt thick and her joints popped when moved too quickly, but she didn't need stealth. The lumbering creature was three times her height, and just it's arm alone was pinning her arms to easily to the ground. But her legs were free, and she did have long legs. There was an advantage to all of this. She hoped. "Crooked Warden..." She lifted her eyes to the ceiling, which was being blocked by her hulking friend. "Don't fail me now."

     She used her braced hands for leverage, the muscles in her stomach flexed while her legs lifted from the ground and wrapped tightly around the arm to the demon. She hated touching the thing, and it's skin felt like dried, curdled milk but smelled far worse. Had she her stelletos, the blade would have been jammed into it's elbow's joint so that it would rear it's leg and free her hands. But her blade was on the table, on the other side of the room. Where the hell was Kivan. "Hey!" She yelled again, dropping when she found that she couldn't snap the limb like she had hoped she could. Not like this. "you damnable HALFBLOOD! Get your arse in here!" Nothing. He wasn't coming. Why wasn't he coming? He was her partner, he had never failed her before, and this was twice now, in almost as many days that he had failed her.

     He's protecting Markie. She couldn't survive something like this... But where did this come from? Was it the spell that Japheth had thrown at Kivan? Was that what that black, charred mark on her chest was for? She couldn't see it now, not at the awkward angle she was bent at, but fine, so be it. She was on her own. Klay came then, running from the hall and slid to a hault. Her hands gripped the door way to keep herself from fully entering the room, and her hair, which had been short and black turned white instantly. She screamed, eyes wide and back peddling until Keshayla shouted at her to bring her out of her shock. "Get the fucker off of me! Get me my sword! Do something, Klay!" The witch turned wide eyes to Keshayla on the ground, blinking and starting as if she had just noticed her pinned there, and the same misty fog that had left from Markie's body started to leave Keshayla's.

     Klay squeeked, eyes rolling up in her head before she crumpled to the ground. In that moment all Keshayla could do was blink, unbelieving that her friend, her last hope on getting out of this possition, had just fainted. But she felt faint herself, her vision was blurring from whatever the demon was doing to her, and the more she struggled, the more exhausting it became. Rolling her head, Keshayla opened her lips to shout at Klay again before Japheth stepped over her body, sap in hand which was being tossed like a bag of coins. She would have rubbed her eyes if she could, but her hands were numb now from the possition and pressure from the demon, and Japheth's precense hit her like a led weight. She growled at him, forget the demon, she wanted to kill him more, and jerked hard enough to tear at the muscles in her shoulders. It was a painful reminder that she was trapt.

     "Keshayla." He spoke the one word, and in his hand he lifted a fine needle, and tied to it was a silver thread that lead to his pocket. She could make out just a hint of a spool hidden there, and her body turned cold with realization. "It's a beautiful name. One I've never heard before. Easy to remember. Easy to...write." Crap. Fuck. She struggled harder and pressed with her feet flat against the ground, trying to use her shoulder to shove the beast off of her. It wasn't happening, and that scared race of her pulse started to return. Japheth took another step into the room, strolling and looking around the room as if he knew it, like a place he had grown up in that had hardly changed. When his eyes returned to her, that crooked smile, very much like Kivan's, pushed the edges of his lips. "Shall I stitch it for you?"

     "I'm rather content without, thanks ever so kind..." It would have seemed more tough if she wasn't the one on the ground. Japheth only smiled and pulled out a thick, leatheryly cloth that was either a pale shade of purple, or an off shade of grey. Shark hide, she knew by the smell of the leather, and that panick had her wanting to scream again. She swallowed it. Fuck this. Fuck Kivan. I hope he hurts for this... Fluidly, with such fine grace like the fingers of a harpest, Japheth began to thread the needle through the leather. In fine swoopy cursive he started to spelled her name. K-E-S-H. "Crooked Warden..." She whispered, eyes watching the needle with growing dread. A-Y-L "Kick him for me. Right in the a-AH!" A. It was going to be ass, kick him right in the ass. But the finally word was ripped from her throat at Japheth finished the last letter of her name, and his spell was complete. Pain, it boiled her blood, seeped deeply in her bones and muscles, caused her to wryth and with that the demon lurched, unable to fight back her strength. She screamed again, and she could hear voices down the hall, students were frightened at the things that they could hear but couldn't see. She screamed with pain, as if she were being tortured with red hot knives against her skin. And it only stopped when Japheth spoke. "Shhh...Sh. Sh. Shh. Keshayla. My dear. My pretty, little Lycan. That's your name. Your true name, and only your first name." He kneeled, looking down at her tear streaked face, watched the way she gasped and tried to breath, to blink past the fading ache.

     Students. She could hear the students now, they were making their way down the hall, and that wouldn't be good. Her eyes left Japheth to the door way, wishing she was able to close the study's door, to hide this from the students. He would kill them, he knew he would, and the demon was taking away her strength. Even if she was free, she didn't think she would be able to protect them. Japheth's eyes followed, and she could see him grin, his eyes turning back to her as if she had just told some grand joke. He touched the cloth, caressing the letters as if they were the name of a lover, and his eyes began to shine with humor. The pain returned, and Keshayla couldn't help the scream, the way it tore from her throat and cracked when her lungs ran out of air. It helped, in a way. The footsteps faultered, hesitation filled those who were trying to approach. But the moment the pain stopped again, Keshayla was nearly sobbing for breath, and the foot steps started again. "A name." Japheth whispered it, leaning his face closer to hers. Those long, raven locks brushed against her cheeks and his hand reached out, stroking the tears from her face. "Share with me your middle name. Your true middle name and I'll close the door. Your students won't be hurt, I'll leave them and yours be."

     Hardly a wise choice, and she hesitated, frowning for her answer. The Magi smirked, but he looked unhappy. So he turned to look at the door, his lips moving speaking words that seemed just out of hearing, fleeting. The longer he spoke the more goosebumps that broke out on her skin, and she knew he was going to harm them, knew that he would kill the first ones that so much as passed the view of the door. "No!" She gasped it, her voice thick and raw from the screams, but clear enough. "No! Promise me!" He smirked again, turning his head towards Keshayla, with his hand still lifted towards the door. "I need a name, Keshayla." Why are you doing this? For the students, for Klay who was begining to stir, for those people who could die over something so petty. A name. The demon wanted your name. So this was why. "Jay."

     Japheth's hands went to work again, that silver thread glowing slightly as he stitched. J-A- and she braced herself, but intent on the door. "Close it!" Y. There was no pain, but Japheth did close the door, and a satisfied smile spread upon his lips. She was looking through cotton, her vission was something that faded and seemed blurry around the edges, flickering shades of grey danced in her sights. There was a click as the door locked, and she could see the shadows of people on the other side, someone shouted but their words were far away for her ears, and the pounding on the door began. Japheth kneeled besides her, hands on his knees while he smiled again. "Jaeric will like to speak to you." Crap. Japheth lifted his hand to his neck, tugging out a necklace very much like the one she and the others in the Manor owned. He didn't need to use blood to cause it to awaken, she didn't know why she knew this by she did. Three words, glutteral and quiet were whispered in the air, and once more it felt as if she and the demon were pulled through the ground, stopping suddenly. She wasn't in the Estate any more. This room was too dark, there was no windows or beams of light from the sun she knew should be rising. But the demon that had been holding her down was released, Japheth had simply looked up and spoke another set of words before it winked out, just like that. Or maybe she had blacked out just at that time, because she was very suddenly aware of nothingness.

[M]   Markie wasn't sure how long she slept peacefully.  All she knew, was that it didn't last.  When the demon appeared with Keshayla, they returned to her dreams, causing her to shift and whimper softly against Kivan.  The nightmare wasn't as bad as it had been before, no frightened tears rolled from her eyes, but it still disturbed her sleep.  And it continued to gradually worsen as Keshayla tried to fight off the demon.  Her hands twitched and grasped tighter at Kivan, seeking him for protection, but still the nightmares came, visions of dark things running through her head, until her whimpers crecendoed into a cry that was almost a scream; only moments after Keshayla screamed in the study as her name was stitched.  The line on her neck, which had been white and healed after Kivan's touch, was now red again, as if the wound was infected.  She was awake now, shaken from her nightmares as she had been the night of the attack, and she trembled heavily in his lap, almost gasping for air again.  "Kivan...it's back...it's out there..."  Her voice was thick with her fear, almost sobbing her words out.  And then, with a flash of intuition that was hard to acheive in her weakened state, she remembered that Keshayla had been hit with that stuff too.  "Keshayla!"

[Ki]     Her whimper caused his eyes to open, just a crack, enough to survey the room with before they opened fully to take another scan. He was puzzled again, but when he looked down to Markie he tried soothing the bad dreams away with another soothing touch, more whispered things that were intended to ease her troubled mind. As she clutched Kivan's frown deepended, but his arms slid more protectivly over her and he was no longer whispering, but speaking as he normally would if they were having a conversation. But then she was crying, and Kivan was sitting upright and rolled Markie back onto her back, and his cool fingers pushed her hair from her face. "Markie!"

     It was back? How? And how did she know? They were questions he kept to himself, and the halfblood rolled onto his knees while he lifted his blade from the bed, holding it in one hand as the other rested on Markie to reassure her she was safe, aat least from physical harm. How could he stop the dreams? His senses flaired, eyes drifting closed while he searched for it, out...where? It was a tricky thing, he couldn't quite pin it... 'Keshayla!' Markie's finally scream caused him to stiffen, bbut he could feel it now, the lumpering thing, and one other. Shouting wasn't going to do any good. Desprite eyes turned back down to Markie. He had to go, he had to help her, and then with a bolt he was off the bed, flinging open her bedroom door, and sprinting down the hall as fast as he could.

     Students were in the hall, some teachers and other 'guests'. He pushed past the ones that didn't lunge themselves out of the way of him and his blade, shouting and cursing them as he made his way from one end of the Estate, all the way to the other. Markie was right, and he was able to feel the demon himself now, the closer he got to it, could make out the tingling sensation of the demonic powers being used, could hear Keshayla screaming in a way that caused him to fill with hatred and fear. His partner, his 'twin sister' as they joked was hurting, and the one doing this was going to bleed for it.

     Klay's body was up ahead, breathing but down, and one of the students looked up at the sound of Kivan's approach and started mumbling about her being unconscious, that she didn't know what happened, and there was someone else inside, was it another student? Kivan only lept over Klay to shoulder the door, the wood raddled against it's frame and he tried it again. "Keshayla!" She was screaming, she could hear it on more then just one level. Bracing himself, Kivan shifted his weight and kicked, his foot hitting just above the door handle, where the wood splintered and bounced from the frame with a crooked swing. The demon, Keshayla, Japheth, they were all there, and not nearly in the possition he had hoped. Keshayla was on the ground, blinking slowly and panting for air, but otherwise unmoving. Japheth held his necklace while he finished the last few words of his spell, and the demon turned it's head towards him. He ran forward, blade raised high but it struck empty air after Japheth spoke the final word, leaving him rather alone in his study.

[M]   Save her...gods, please let him be in time!  Her neck itched like crazy, like hundreds of bugs with pointed feet dancing over and under her skin, and it was hard to not scratch at it again.  She clutched at her neck, rubbed with the palm of her hand, anything to lessen the itch, even though she knew it wouldn't work.  But as soon as Japheth and his demon were gone, the itch faded, but did not stop.  With a groan of aching muscles, Markie heaved herself to the edge of the bed, towards her night stand, towards the vials nestled inside.  She reached blindly inside the drawer, and after a moment of nothing, her fingers touched, and closed around, the comforting coolness of glass.  Nearly face down in the bed, Markie pried the stopper out, uncaring as it fell to the floor and rolled away, and dumped the contents over her neck.  And as before, with the application of the blessed water, the itch and ache left her.  Gods...what had she done??  Please be alright...Keshayla, please be alright...  She stared at the sheets below her face, still clutching the vial, and prayed to every god she knew that Kivan had made it in time, that his partner was alright, that the demon was gone for good.  But even as she prayed, she knew, in the pit of her stomach, that the lycan woman wasn't alright.  And it's all your fault...  A new ache arose, gripping tightly at her heart, and her face contorted in pain that was from no physical source.  It was her fault.  Whatever happened to Keshayla, it was her fault.  Markie would never forgive herself if the lycan woman had gotten hurt, or worse.  He'll never forgive you, either...she's more important than you.  Gods, what have I done?

[Ki]   Failure. There had never been anything he's ever known that tasted so bitter. But thats exactly what he had done; failed his own partner, his 'twin sister' as they often joked. Seconds....that's all he had needed, just a few seconds more and he could have done more. Could have struck more then air, stopped it all completly. You fell asleep...you shouldn't have fallen asleep. Hadn't he always lectured Keshayla about being aware? Or always being ready to spring into action, even when you were at your laziest? He had drilled her, instigated, forced her into situations to hone that skill. Wasn't he the hypocrit?

     Kivan hadn't moved from where he finally haulted, his blade still held in the air as if he were able to will them back so that me may strike. It wasn't working, the room remained quiet, and everything in the whole Estate followed with that. Quiet...everyone is watching. Everyone knew I failed... He was supposed to protect them all, wasn't he? How could protect them, if he couldn't protect her? And why did she have to do that? Jump infront of the spell that was supposed to be for him, she hadn't given it a second thought only reacted. "I can heal better than you, Kivan. You've got the brains, I've got the stunny good looks, the charm, the personality and the brawns..." She had said that, she always said that after she did something so stupid like taking a hit for him, something that could prove to be fatal.

     His blade clattered to the ground, just moments before he himself slumped to his knees and then on his backside. They're going to kill her. Make an example...all because you were too slow. You shouldn't have fallen asleep... Where would they have taken her? To the palace? Where the Order called home? Some deep crevice in hell where Japheth had come from? "Kivan?" He hadn't moved, but Klay's voice was a welcomed sound. "Go check on Markie. Make sure she's alright. Get the students in their rooms. No one is aloud out unless escorted, expect trouble until sunrise." Did he really believe that? No. They have what they needed. But it was still something he should have done a long time ago.

[G]   "Nasty little bastard," a piercing woman's voice greeted him from behind.

"Prune-faced trout-mouthed old bat," Grater replied.  "Who the devil dug ye up?  I nailed ye in that box meself."

"You can't keep one of us down," she replied.  "You and I are blood, and we die hard."

"Blood has naught to do with it.  "I'm nutty and ye were evil.  Not even good evil, Twisted malignant petty evil.  And stupid.  Ye had circles run around ye by a wee nipper."

"I could nip you again," she smiled wickedly.  "I promised to cut that nasty thing off of you once, I can still do it.  And maybe some of these nice people will hold you down."

"Tell'em to pack a lunch and find friends, this is going th be the fight of their lives." He smiled grimly at her as they all rose.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2008, 05:43:01 PM »
[M]   Markie was still facing down into the mattress when Klay came to her room, except now she'd rolled to her side, back to the door, and curled in on herself, that sickness once more in the depths of her stomach.  Like she was so disgusted with herself that she wanted to vomit.  It was her fault...  She never should have gotten involved...  If she hadn't, she wouldn't have been exposed to whatever that stuff was.  She wouldn't have been attacked, and Kivan wouldn't have been with her.  He would have been with Keshayla.  He could have helped her.  Gods, she hoped the mercenary woman was alright...  Keshayla already seemed bitter about her and Kivan's 'relationship,' if it could even be called that.  She was bound to hate her even more now.

[Klay]   Klay had only hesitated a moment when Kivan spoke. Her lips parted as she stood in the door way, a had pressed against the lump against her head but she nodded. She was ridden with guilt as well, after all she had been sent to keep an eye on her, to help her, but the only thing the witch was able to do was scream and get sapped. There should be a spell against that, and it was something she'll look into after she got through the next few moments. But for now, there was a student she had to look after. She'll do a better job this time, she promised herself, and when Markie was well, then she would figure out what they were going to do about Keshayla....

     Klay gave the orders to those in the hall while she made her way down towards where the student's made their rooms, wincing when she had the privacy to do so but knew she wasn't bleeding. Later..Markie first. Klay turned her walk into a sort of jog the last few halls down, stopping with only the slightest change to her breathing when she reached her room and knocked softly on the open door. Again she paused in the door way but not to scream. She hated seeing Markie like that. Her student had always been so bright and optimistic in the classroom, ready to learn and smiling. She didn't need to see her face to tell that she was hurting, and not just physically. "Oh, Dear..." Klay stepped into the room, sitting on the edge of the bed before resting her hands on Markie's shoulders. "Markie? Talk to me, please?"

[M]   She was on her left side, the slice on her neck hidden below her, since she still hadn't put her choker back on, but it was clutched in her hand.  Her hair was draped over her face, obscuring her expression unless seen from the front.  She still hadn't dressed any more, either, not that she had the energy to do more than roll around in bed, anyway.  At first, Markie didn't respond, at least beyond the initial cringe away from Klay's hand.  Then a soft sniffle, the only clue to the silent tears that were starting to well, and another long silence before she spoke, her voice hardly above a whisper.  "...Keshayla...is she alright...?"

[Kl]   Her hand left Markie's shoulders with that cringe, which in turn caused her to look at her own hand as if it had just been burnt. Concern crossed her features, and Klay shifted so that she was sitting with her back to Markie, and leaned back to support herself with her shoulders. There was a pause, thinking about how it would be best to answer the question. There was no buttering it up, Keshayla had been taken but at least she was alive. She really didn't think that they were going to kill her. Whomever that man was, he had other plans. "Shes alive." She answered finally, softly, and her eyes starred intently at the door way. "I was..." Too slow. "A man came up behind me, with raven locks." She rubbed that sore spot at the back of her head as if explaining what happened. "They took her...I guess. I don't know why."

[M]   Another pang of guilt, like a clawed hand just squeezed her heart, and fat, hot tears rolled down her face to the mattress.  Her eyes closed, and she curled in on herself a little more.  Look what you've done...  She had to fix this.  She had to make it right.  Had to do something.  She had to at least try...  

When she spoke again, her voice was a little more solid, more determined, but still laced with her guilt.  "Will you take me there?  I can distill recent events from the room, but I have to do it soon, before the impressions fade."  There wasn't much else she could do.  But at least she could show them what had happened to Keshayla before she was taken.  She hoped it would help.

[G]   "This doesn't make much sense," Grater grinned as he eyed the crowd to see who ate steel first.  "It ain't hell because that pitchfork-carrying bastard would let me in.  It ain't heaven or that daft bitch wouldn't be here.  It can't be purgatory, the wine was too good.  So somebody has tossed a hoodoo on me."

He thought a moment.  "My friend Bat Barsky had a hoodoo thrown on him once, it gave him a thing for one-legged women," he said as he poked out the eyes of a fop.  "Do ye know how hard it is to find a one-legged harlot four hours before breakfast?"  He punched a hole in the throat of another.  "I mean ye'd think there'd be one of two left," he drove a butter knife through a woman's forehead.  "But nary a one.  It was like there was a run on one-legged harlots."

[K]   That was a surprise to her. Klay blinked a moment before she nodded and found a new fondness for her student. She smiled, though it didn't reach her eyes, and pushed herself back so that she was sitting upright. "Come then." She helped her up, before glancing around the room and settled with a robe for Markie to put herself in. Some of the other students were dressed the same, having been interupted from their showers by Keshayla's screams. When dressed, she helped Markie out of her room if she needed it, willing to take the weight with her shoulders so that they could make their way to the Study. The students had all be ushered off, shut in their own rooms while the teachers patrolled the halls. It was only the Manor's members that were around the study, watching the pair approach before returning their gaze to the halls and outter windows, just in case trouble arose once more.

     Kivan was sitting on the floor, one knee drawn up to support his elbow, his blade on the right side of him on the ground. His hand was pressed against his moouth, eyes distant while he lost himself to his thoughts. His white brows furrowed when he saw Markie, "Klay. She should be in bed." It was growled out, but one couldn't blame him too much with the guilt he felt.

[M]   Markie needed all the help she could get.  She barely had the strength to even sit upright in bed, but she managed to do so, and redonned the choker before Klay could see the scar on her neck.  And as Klay helped her dress, and navigated her through the halls, more than once she wondered if this was a good idea.  It would put a huge strain on her to try such a spell in her state.  But it had to be done, and Klay hadn't refused, or said that another could perform the task.  Besides, there was Broderick's First Rule.  Protect those who cannot protect themselves...even at the cost of your own life...  Would it go that far?  It very well might...  Markie was at the edge of her limits...  But it had to be done.  Keshayla, a smart, trained warrior was needed far more than some student.

She felt her dread growing as they neared the study, however, and her eyes were fixed firmly on the ground at her feet by the time they reached the door.  She couldn't bring herself to even look up to see where they traveled, in case she had to face Kivan.  The growl in his voice didn't encourage her any.  Make it right.  Do what you have to, but make it right.  "Where...where were they standing?"  It took a couple breaths to get all the words out, even the walk tiring her out greatly.  She wouldn't be able to do this on her own.  "I'll need some chalk, or ink.  Something to draw on the floor.  And close the door, please."  Best to keep things contained.  When she was directed to the right spot, she knelt on the ground, though with a wince at the remaining negative energy in that spot.  When she had her chalk, she etched small runes around herself, creating an oblong, though it was close enough to a circle to work.  It would help focus her energy some.  Even so...  No.  She shook the thoughts from her mind.  No time for that.  For a couple minutes, Markie just breathed deeply, trying to calm her body, and closed her eyes, slipping into an almost meditative trance. hands resting on her knees in their Focus form.  Then, the light in the room seemed to go dim, and outlines faded, as if Klay and Kivan were viewing the room as a photograph through a dirty misty window.  Then other images filled the room; people, mostly.  Depictions of past events.  At first, Markie went too far back; it was her first time screening this room, so there was a lot of history to filter through.  Old faces of former owners and their guests floating through the room like shadows, events that had been important enough, imbued with enough energy to have a lasting impression on the room.  Markie frowned, and the images sped, almost to blurs, and then faded as she searched forward in time.  Then images of Kivan in the early years of his residency, and then forward still to Keshayla's.  Another small frown, and the figures faded once more.  When they appeared again, the study was full of shadowy figures, still holding that dirty, misty window appearance.  Faces were discernable, but a little out of focus.  The meeting of the students just a couple days ago.  Markie's breathing was steady and deep, if a little faster than when she began, and the circle of runes around her began to glow ever so softly.  Time sped forward, people coming and going, showing events that had occured since they'd arrived.  The entire estate was charged with energy with so many added bodies and their emotions, so it was easier to distill these recent days.  Then last night, and time returned to normal.  There was no sound, but the images were clear.  Kivan and Keshayla sitting, reading.  He checking her, then leaving when he'd gone to check on Markie.  Keshayla falling to the floor.  

The circle was glowing brighter now, and Markie was sweating, her breathing starting to shudder through her chest.  But there was more.  She had to keep going...

The appearance of the demon, and her fruitless struggles.  Japheth.  The cloth and thread.  Her name stitched into the fabric.  The images were clear enough at this point that it was as though they were in the same time and place, and it was Markie on the floor that was the shadow, rather than the others.  And if one could read lips, they would be able to discern the words that came from the dark haired man.  Markie was faltering, but still she struggled, pouring what little she had into the spell to make it last long enough, just as she'd done with the shield at the academy.  Her life didn't matter in those moments, only the life she sought to protect.  Finally it reached the end, the necklace, the door crashing open as Kivan raced in, only to hit empty air.  The image lasted perhaps another moment or two before Markie failed, and the memory of the room vanished, the release of energy blowing out all the lanterns within the room and throwing it into darkness, followed by a soft thump as Markie collapsed to the floor.

[Ki]     He was looking for an excuse to unleash that anger upon someone. Klay had been it's intended target, but any foul words he had ready died in his throat when Markie started to ask for things. What did she plan to do? What could she do? The poor girl looked about ready to keel over, and he had already lost his partner, he didn't want to loose his new friend, too. Those furrowed brows drew tighter but he only grunted softly in responce, watching she and Klay get to work in building a circle, drawing those runes on the ground and concern started drifting away with curiosity. What was she planning?

     Images began flickering through, and Kivan watched intently, awed at the scenes, the old memories that weren't just his. But then, there, was Keshayla.

"...Just like when you poisoned me back in Tael av'Ryn, in our game with the Duke. But this...if I shifted again,...I'm so tired, I don't think I would be able to shift back. Maybe I just need to sleep it off..."

     "I don't like the idea of you sleeping, we don't know what this stuff is, and if it's reacting so strongly to a Lycan..." His frown deepened, and Kivan glanced over his shoulder and to the empty door way that led to the hall. "Markie... she only came in contact with a little, but if you're reacting so badly..." Keshayla nodded the concern clear on her face as she pushed herself to a stand and instantly regretted it. .....

     Keshayla tried staying awake. But really, it fell heavy upon her like when a vampire fell into turpor. And it seemed, disturbingly, that the harder she tried to stay out of the sleep, the more violent the need became. She knew somthing was wrong then. And she knew that if she closed her eyes, if she allowed herself to slip into that sleep... She couldn't fight it off. Maybe, if she hadn't shifted, and with Kivan near by to encourage her, she could have struggled better, or fight it off completly. But when Kivan left the study it's pull was seductive and deadly, like poison coated candies. She had breathed heavy, nearly panting, and a sweat broke out over her body as if she were breaking into a fever. A meek sound left her throat, a pleading for Kivan to come back, and she slipped out of the chair without the strength of her arms to support or break her fall......

     Keshayla's eyes fluttered open, burning in pain with even the small amount of light that the study held. But there was a heavy weight on her hands, too heavy to lift off of the ground, and they burned with white hot fire. But it was that thing that caused her heart to stop, which was causing the burning to course through her veins. And, for the first time in her life, she screamed....

     "Keshayla." He spoke the one word, and in his hand he lifted a fine needle, and tied to it was a silver thread that lead to his pocket. She could make out just a hint of a spool hidden there, and her body turned cold with realization. "It's a beautiful name. One I've never heard before. Easy to remember. Easy to...write." Crap. Fuck. She struggled harder and pressed with her feet flat against the ground, trying to use her shoulder to shove the beast off of her. It wasn't happening, and that scared race of her pulse started to return. Japheth took another step into the room, strolling and looking around the room as if he knew it, like a place he had grown up in that had hardly changed. When his eyes returned to her, that crooked smile, very much like Kivan's, pushed the edges of his lips. "Shall I stitch it for you?"...

     She screamed with pain, as if she were being tortured with red hot knives against her skin. And it only stopped when Japheth spoke. "Shhh...Sh. Sh. Shh. Keshayla. My dear. My pretty, little Lycan. That's your name. Your true name, and only your first name." He kneeled, looking down at her tear streaked face, watched the way she gasped and tried to breath, to blink past the fading ache....

     The Magi smirked, but he looked unhappy. So he turned to look at the door, his lips moving speaking words that seemed just out of hearing, fleeting. The longer he spoke the more goosebumps that broke out on her skin, and she knew he was going to harm them, knew that he would kill the first ones that so much as passed the view of the door. "No!" She gasped it, her voice thick and raw from the screams, but clear enough. "No! Promise me!" He smirked again, turning his head towards Keshayla, with his hand still lifted towards the door. "I need a name, Keshayla." Why are you doing this? For the students, for Klay who was begining to stir, for those people who could die over something so petty. A name. The demon wanted your name. So this was why. "Jay." ....

     "Jaeric will like to speak to you." Crap. Japheth lifted his hand to his neck, tugging out a necklace very much like the one she and the others in the Manor owned. He didn't need to use blood to cause it to awaken, she didn't know why she knew this by she did....

     "Keshayla!" She was screaming, she could hear it on more then just one level. Bracing himself, Kivan shifted his weight and kicked, his foot hitting just above the door handle, where the wood splintered and bounced from the frame with a crooked swing. The demon, Keshayla, Japheth, they were all there, and not nearly in the possition he had hoped. Keshayla was on the ground, blinking slowly and panting for air, but otherwise unmoving. Japheth held his necklace while he finished the last few words of his spell, and the demon turned it's head towards him. He ran forward, blade raised high but it struck empty air after Japheth spoke the final word, leaving him rather alone in his study....

     "Markie!" Kivan's voice sounded just as the images began to break, watching her slump forward and crashing on the floor in her circle. He didn't need to have light to see if she were well or not. Her skin was hot and clammy from her sweat, and once again cool fingers found her skin to try and ease away some of that heat. Klay was on her knees besides the two again, calling Markie's name and touching her face. "She's worn herself thin." She mutteed, "She shouldn't have done that!"

[M]   Even as she pitched forward, not quite unconcious, but far from lucid, she knew that she'd pushed herself too far.  And even from a sit, the floor seemed to come racing up at her far faster than it should have.  Though that could have been because her mind was moving at a sluggish pace.  But, she'd done it.  Given them the clues they would need to find and save Keshayla.  Or at least, that was what she hoped.  She was only dully aware of hands and voices, once again the limp rag-doll with glassy eyes that stared into space.  She needed to rest.  Her body demanded it.  But she was at a stage of exhaustion so deep that it was as if her body had forgotten how to sleep, so she remained in that stupor, stuck there until something jolted her out of it enough so that her body and mind could remember sleep.

[Ki]    "Markie, come back to me Markie."

     "She needs sleep, lots of rest and quiet. She's pushed herself too far, Kivan. She's placed her system in a shock. It can't handle that!"

     "Markie." His hands returned to her shoulders, rolling her over and drawing her into his arms. Kivan glanced up to Klay, who only shook her head. "Marchelle. Anlissa. Drakenthrone. Blink for me, come back to me Markie. What would your mother think? Your Peanuts? Come back to me, and I'll let you sleep. I'll watch you myself, Markie. Come. Back!  If you don't you'll never see them again, I promise this." He hated playing that card, but he didn't know what else to do. But Klay nodded her head slightly, perhaps tugging on a certain emotion would get the glaze out of her eyes. "Damn it, you foolish child! Look at me!"

[M]   She heard him speaking as if listening to a voice from the surface while underwater.  The tone and pitch were familiar, if warped, but the words impossible to comprehend.  The use of her full name, however, cleared that slightly, as if just speaking those three words held all the power in the world.  His words made it past the cotton in her brain, enough to start things moving.  Her mother...her Peanuts...  How did he know about them?  "If you don't, you'll never see them again..."  Never?  Why never?  "...I promise this."  No...  "...Look at me!"  

Her eyes snapped to him then, awareness once more in their brown gaze.  But she looked at him with wounded eyes, as though he'd just slapped her in the face.  Or worse, betrayed her.  But, the look didn't last.  All put together, it had been enough of a snap to her mind, and now that she was out of that daze, there was nothing to keep her from passing out.  So she did.

[Ki]     He hated that look. Of all the times to have betrayal flashed in his face. Keshayla. Now Markie. It hurt, tore things inside that couldn't bleed. He wished they did, a physical wound was so much easier to deal with then emotional scars. But it was for the better. They had to bring her back, he couldn't loose her too. He muttered an appology against her hair, allowing his eyes to drift close before they opened again to return to Klay.

     The witch sighed herself, pushing fingers through her hair and glanced over her shoulder to the closed door. They had more information then she had expected to gather. And a plan was forming. Kivan could see it in her eyes, and nodded, before scooping Markie up in his arms and made his way into a stand. "Keep it flowing. I'll see her to my room for the night. I think it's best that someone watches her, just in case. Bring me a fresh basin of water, if you will? And we'll discuss it in my chambers."

     The witch nodded, climbing to her feet with the aid of the chair since Kivan's hands were full of poor Markie. "An hour, tops." And then she turned to the door, leaving it ajar and started down the hall. Kivan followed, but he turned opposit of all the other rooms, and towards the end of the halls where the students were forbidden to travel. Up the steps, and a short time later he reached another long hall, but with very few doors traveling down it's length. He didn't stop until he reached his own room, tapping the door open with his boot so that it opened, and closed it behind before taking Markie over to his bed. Here, he settled her beneath the sheets, trying to make her as comfortable as possible before he himself settled besides her. An idle finger played with a lock of her hair, and for a time he simply watched her. Listened, taking care to pay attention for any sign that she may be slipping again. Why did it all have to come down to this?

[M]   She slept deeply, her face smooth and expressionless, that flash of betrayal utterly vanished.  She'd remain that way for at least a day solid unless something disturbed her, such as more demons to cause nightmares, or an intervention that demanded she awake.  Her breathing and heart were steady, if slightly labored, but it improved little by little the longer she slept.  Markie had pushed herself far beyond any limits she'd previously reached, and it had taken its toll.  Dark rings formed under her eyes, her skin pale.  Even her hair seemed to lose its normal luster and curl, laying flat against her head and the limp in Kivan's fingers.  Things that only time, and plenty of rest, would be able to cure.

[Ki]     Klay returned nearly at the hour mark, as promised, looking tired herself but sleep was something neither of them could afford right then. There were still a few hours of dark left, and with the way things were going, trouble would only sprout once their eyes had closed. So they spoke. They plotted, and they had come up with a plan. It was dangerous, one that screamed out numerous problems in it's set up, but the pair of them were willing to risk their own lives for their friend. But it wouldn't come to that. Because by sheer luck they knew how to get the harm out of the way; mostly.

     All the while they spoke, Kivan hadn't moved from Markie's side, fingers never leaving her hair, her face, simply contenting himself by the assurance he felt from her flesh. It wasn't until the sun was threatening to spill over the mountains that Klay and Kivan parted ways, and once more he settled to comfort himself for a nap.

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2008, 06:06:42 PM »
[M]   Her sleep was dark and dreamless, the deep restful sort that when you woke up numerous hours later, it felt like you'd just been falling asleep.  No images, or thoughts, or anything to disrupt the healing her body underwent.  And while her mind was certain that Kivan was mad at her, or would be, her subconcious and her body took comfort in his presence; had she not been nearly comatose, she likely would have rolled closer to him in the night.  As it was, she didn't so much as move an inch, nor was there a flicker of fingers or a flutter of eyelashes, nothing to show that she may have been disturbed by their lengthy discussion.  If anything, their soft, familiar voices were but another subconcious comfort.  She was among friends and those that would protect her.  She could focus on healing, and not worry about anything else.  She was so still that, were it not for her breathing and pulse and the gentle warmth of her skin, one might take her for dead.

[Ki]     They took turns. Klay left to tend to her wound, to shower and change while Kivan remained besides Markie. He was mulling over the information that had passed between the two members of the Manor, fixing slight problems as he saw them, adjusting his plan to make it all work. When Klay returned, Kivan went off to shower himself, taking a longer time then normal, and even went to the kitchens where he grumbled out an order for food. Even the staff was getting part of his frustration and anger. Through the course of the day Kivan only became moodier, and people started to avoid him. Two of the students he had made cry by a sharp tongue, but he simply walked off instead of apologizing and locked himself in Keshayla's training room.

     The Cage was a room larger even then the Ball room. The original use escaped Kivan, but he had changed and adapted the room much like a solarium. Keshayla used it with Klay's aid of summoning to train and practise durring slow seasons, or simply to get away when one couldn't truely, get away. Exotic flowers that Kivan had collected as buds were growing through out the room. The tiles had long since been removed, the ground soft grass and moss besides the pond off to the Eastern corner. Keshayla used it to escape, to train. Kivan used it to grow his plants and house some of his insects, anything to use for poisons or potions, things to be used on a hit of some sort. The most dangerous plants were kept on the other side of the pond, on it's own little island. He was sitting there, curling a long, yellow pedal from a strange orchid that grew out of a large rock which he leaned against. He was plotting, working out the final staged of his plan.

     Klay was humming, waiting to for Markie to wake up as she worked on sewing up one of Kivan's shirts, where the shoulder had once been ripped. She didn't mind the chance for quiet, either, and took advantage of it while she could.

[M]   Markie hardly moved at all.  She'd stayed exactly as Kivan had left her the entire time he and Klay watched her.  Once, a bit after lunch, she'd breathed a bit deeper, almost a sigh, but then was back into that deep restorative slumber.  Another couple later in the day, and a small twitch of facial muscles when a bell rang out through the estate to notify the residents that dinner was being served.  But still she had not awoke, nor did it look like she would any time soon.  

It was roughtly midnight when her face twitched faintly again, and then again, followed by a small shift of muscles underneath the covers.  She'd been asleep for a complete day, if not a little more, but finally, slowly, her body eased out of slumber, first into a shallower sleep, and then into hazy wakefullness, though it could hardly be called coherent, or even mildly alert.

[G]   He turned at last to the menacing old woman.  "The trick to finding a man's fears ain't as easy as ye think," He wrenched the knife from her hand and pushed her to the wall and placed the blade to her forehead and set his palm against the heel of the handle.  "I haven't feared ye since I was a lad in short pants.  Careful reading the minds of the mad, its a labyrinth between me ears, and ye may get lost."

He smiled.  "My regards to Old Scratch," he grinned and pushed the blade through her skull, it popped right to the grip and he let her fall.

He walked to the table and poured himself a glass of wine and took a sip, which sprayed back out as soon as it touched his tongue.

"Fucking hell," he scowled.  "Water?  Now thats just being childish."

[Ki]     Kivan had switched out with Klay after dinner, seeing how she ended up spending the whole day watching her while he contemplated and plotted in solitude. The anger at himself wasn't gone, but he felt calmer, now that he had an idea, something to work with. So long as they didn't start sending them fingers, he knew he'd be alright. If a lock of hair so much as reached him, he knew that he wasn't going to control his anger, and it was going to be a slaughter. It didn't matter who stood in his way.

     So, around midnight, when Markie was waking, Kivan was sitting in his window, carving once more but this time he was using more of a proper tool. The blade was curved at it's tip, allowing for deep grooves, while an assorted others were on the bench beside him withing arm's reach. Before, his creation had been an eligant swan for Markie, with it's slender long neck and detailed feathers. A simple trinket, something that was nothing more then pale wood. But now he had intention with his carving, a goal. It was time to waken the demon part of him, soon, in order to make his plan work, and he was going to give another gift to Markie when it was finished.

[M]   When her eyes opened, it was hardly more than a flutter of lashes at first.  The light was dim enough to not assault her senses when they first opened, and gradually, as she herself drew more towards conciousness, they opened further, until the reached a tired half-lid.  At first she just stared blankly at the ceiling.  Then it slowly began to register that it looked different than before.  It was higher than her room, and bore time-worn decoration.  Her brows furrowed lightly, and her gaze lowered to the bed.  Not her bed, either.  This was larger, and more comfortable than her own.  More confusion in the pull at her brow, and slowly she looked around the room.  Definately not hers.  Whose then?  She was just starting to pick up on the residual aura of the owner, when she spied Kivan himself in the window, intent on the carving in his hand.  She frowned to herself.  Why would she be in his room?  Didn't he realize this was her fault?  He should hate her...  Markie watched him for a few minutes, then turned away, looking blankly at the wall so she wouldn't have to face him.  Maybe he didn't know she was awake yet...

[Ki]     He knew. If his demon wasn't dorment, then Kivan would have been more intune to Markie, felt her awaking much like Keshayla would have. He would have heard her heart rate change, rather then just her breathing. Smelled the rush of adrenolines, blood and the like as her body shifted from one state into the other. It helped that he could see her.

     The carving was much smaller then the swan, roughly the size of a chicken's egg. He was using cherry wood. Not the easiest to work with, but he was experienced and knew how to manipulate the grooves of wood. Once more his object was life like. But this was something special, as she would soon see. He nearly smirked, but that expression seemed broken now so he only lifted his chin slightly and held his prize in the palm of his hand when he was finished. "Felling better?"

     Those gray eyes shifted away from his master piece to where Markie rested, his voice noticably thicker, almost a husky whisper as he spoke.

[M]   In the time that it had taken him to finish the carving, Markie had almost fallen back into that deep slumber.  She was already dozing again when he spoke, and again her eyelids fluttered, her breath coming in deeper as she tried to wake up, to focus on that voice.  After a a short time it clicked that it had been Kivan talking to her, and with a soft sigh, weary brown eyes turned towards him again.  It was a few more moments before she managed sound through her throat.  "Tired..."  Another deep sigh of a breath, her sleepiness making it hard to focus on him.  "Hungry..."  Now that she was returning to coherent thought, she recognized the ache in her stomach for pangs of hunger.  It had been at least a day and a half, possibly two, since she last ate, after all.

[Ki]     The halfblood only nodded for a moment, he had assumed she would be, and any moment now he expected Klay to come in with a plate full of food. Kivan glanced down to his carving again, being very particular to the way it was turning out. Annal maybe, but he wanted it to be perfect. Hence the many tools he had used on this one. When satisfied, a few moments later, Kivan pricked his finger. A full drop of blood was dripped into the 'eyes' of his creation, and instantly it hardened as he whispered into his palm, the blood shrinking slightly as the particles gathered closer, and after a few moments they were like rubies, if not a deeper, truer red. He was much satisfied.

     Here, Kivan stood, brushing himself free of the shavings and set his tools down on the bench, keeping his present in hand. "I'll let you sleep once more, but first, food. Klay should be here at any moment." He moved up to the bed, sitting with one leg drawn up and the other on the floor, facing Markie so that she wouldn't have to turn or shift to look at him. "I have a gift for you...But before I give it to you, I need you to swear that you'll keep these next words secret. It doesn't leave the room." There was pause enough for her to answer, and only then did he hold out his hand, offering her his newest carving.

     It was of a dragon, every detail down to the scales was precise, and it looked as if any moment it would start breathing. "Have you heard of a gollum before?" That white brow arched as he asked, but he didn't give pause for her to answer. "It's a guardian, I'm certain that you've studied them or at least heard the stories of mad mages who collect parts to form together their servants. It's an ability that was stollen from the ancent Fay race. They would have made creatures out of stone or wood, sometimes jems. If they chose to take a human form, normally these gollums, Drakes, would be worn on their person.." And indeed, if Markie wished, she would have been able to wear it as a piece of jewelry.

     The dragon's wings were folded backwards, resting against it's back much like a bird, and it's long tail was curled around it's front. When Kivan's hand was free, he sat more fully on the bed, and then laid down himself, propping his head on his hand and used the other to indicate the carving. "May I?" When it was replaced in his hand again, Kivan leaned so that he was supporting himself with his elbow, lifting the carving to his lips, and breathed life into it. For a moment nothing happened, but then the carving trembled and began to crack, before bits of wood began to splinter and fall off. Careful caloused fingers helped the tiny dragon merge from it's shell. It chittered, bobbing it's head and stretched out it's long neck until it was free enough to snap out it's wings. "His name is Tyro." He whispered, running a companionable finger against it's cheek where the dragon nuzzled it and made low, clicking sounds in it's throat.

[M]   Her eyes drooped again; it was so much easier to just let them lay closed.  But then he was settling on the bed, much faster than he should have been able to cross the room.  Dozing again...  She looked to him again, blinking frequently to keep her eyes open at all.  She furrowed her brows faintly when he spoke, and after a moment, she nodded her agreement.  Whatever secrets he had, she'd keep them with her life.  Especially when he preceeded them with a statement like that...  With something of clear importance hovering in the air, she woke a little more, eyelids lifting slightly more.  

Markie listened closely to his words, or at least as closely as she could while drowsy, and cradled the tiny dragon figure in her hands.  She couldn't quite focus on it, but her fingers could feel the detail he'd labored to create.  She was sure it would be breathtaking when she actually got a clear look at it.  Though she did have a certain fondness for the simpler swan, which still sat on her bedside table back in her room.  Her brows furrowed a bit more, thought pulling at sleepy facial muscles.  "And how is it that you come to know fay magic?"  There was a gentle lift to her brow as she looked to him.  The question was innocent enough, even held the barest hint of a grin, but she was just too muddy-brained to realize the deeper importance of what she just asked.  

She couldn't tell what he was doing at first when the figurine traded hands again, but then, against all logic, it moved.  Even through fuzzy eyes, she could tell that much.  And then the wood splintered and broke, as though it were a mere eggshell.  And then, with widening eyes, she saw that it was merely a shell.  And again, against all logic and learning gathered through a lifetime, there now sat in front of her a tiny dragon, a creature that wasn't supposed to exist.  At least not anymore...  "...how..."  She was quite awake now.  But even seeing wasn't enough to make her completely believe it wasn't just an intricate illusion...

[Ki]     Tyro's tail curled around Kivan's outstretched fingers, it's wings held out slightly for balance as it tested it's two legs, hopping across his palm, only to turn around and do it again. Then in barked, a sound like an angry goose, though softer with it's smaller lungs. It was a victorious sound, and it hopped again before waddling to the edge of Kivan's large hand and stopped on the pads of his fingers. The thing was calculating the distance to the matrice from it's perch, like a new bird getting ready to fly it was uncertain. Kivan encouraged him with another stroke of his finger, and this time Tyro acted like a cat in arching its spine and purring with chittering sounds. He was an affectionate buggar. "You knew I wasn't human." He met her eyes when he spoke, and he assumed that was all the answer she would need. How did he come to know of Fay magic? Because he was half Fay. And like the Fay, he had a close relationship with natural life. His insects, his plants, the knowledge he held was all through that particular bit of blood.

     Tyro jumped then, his deep red wings shimmered gold when the faint light caught them, and he flapped though fell to the matrice. Kivan managed a smirk as the small thing blinked and shook it's head. He carefully assisted it back to a stand, but didn't offer any further aid. It would have to learn on it's own, Tyro would need to harden himself. "He's young yet, you'll have to keep a watchful eye on him. A cat's curiosity is no match for a Drake. And he'll grow, though no larger then a cat. He'll be quite helpful, I'm sure..."

[M]   She looked at him for a moment in curious confusion, the drake forgotten in the light of that revelation.  And slowly it worked its way through the layers of wool still clouding her thoughts.  Her mouth opened slightly to speak, but no sound came out.  Again the small muscles of her face twitched and jerked in thought, her mouth belatedly closing to keep the flies out.  But...the Fay were supposed to be extinct, their race having died out long ago.  Well, he had said he was over three-hundred.  Closing on four.  She looked at him again, analyzing him more closely, reading his eyes and picking through his aura.  And with it came a faint frown.  He didn't lie about the Fay; but, there was more...something else...something she couldn't figure out.  Mixed ancestry, perhaps?  Her attention was drawn back to Tyro when he started crawling around on top of the covers, clawed 'fingers' at the ends of his wings used to climb up the small mountain that her leg made.  She nodded slowly to Kivan's advice, and carefully, experimentally, extended her own finger to the little creature.

[Ki]     At first Tyro hissed, determined to continue up her leg without any aid. Kivan rolled his eyes and watched as the Drake finally made it to her knee, bobbing its head again and squawked, stretching out it's neck, reaching for the attention of Markie's finger once more, on the verge of teetering to get another petting. It's as dumb as Bernie... Kivan scoffed softly, blowing his bangs from his eyes but a hint of a smile reached his lips. "If you wish him to return to his first state, just make this sound. Tsk." And just like that, Tyro curled into himself once more, his scales hardening to wood and he became a lifelike carving again. Kivan smiled finally, and made the same noise, and like melting wax Tyro unballed himself and shook to loosen himself. As if nothing happened, the Drake reached for Markie's attention again, chittering and reaching outward with one of it's wings, 'fingers' curling at the air as if beconing for her finger.

[M]   She was almost sad to see the drake curl into wood, but couldn't help the tired smile when he returned and picked up right where he left off.  She tried it herself, and at first got only a cocked head and a blinking of eyes at her as she didn't quite get the sound right.  The second attempt fared better, and the third brought him back to life again.  And again he shook himself out, and reached towards her finger.  A small wiggle of the digit brought him wobbling to her instead, and she smiled softly as her finger touched warm scales.  "Can anyone do that?  Turn him back, I mean."  It certainly wouldn't do to have the poor little guy bouncing back and forth if someone tsked at her.  She started playing with him then, uncurling another finger and wiggling it at him to get his attention, and soon drummed her fingers against her leg, as if playing with a cat.  She watched him closely, though; she had no doubt those claws and teeth were still sharp enough to hurt.  And she had enough faded scars on her hands from playing with cats in the past; she didn't need any more.  

Tyro was amusing for a few minutes, but then her brow furrowed again with a soft frown, holding her hand still and letting the drake have his way with her fingers.  "But...Why?"  Why give her such a thing?  Why give her anything?  She still blamed herself for Keshayla; that much hadn't changed in the least, and she didn't meet Kivan's gaze anymore.

[Ki]     He gave her an affectionate smile, she was smart enough not to get too distracted by his gift, she was right in assuming that there was indeed a 'why'. But to answer the first question, "There are only three, and only those I choose." He himself, and Markie, obviously. The third? Keshayla. Now, did he dare give up even more of his secrets? He wanted to..he wanted to share with Markie, because he wanted her to know just how important all of this was. With everything that has happened, he knew that chances were he and his partner weren't going to walk away from this. Keshayla had already been taken.... Out story.... like Keshayla, he didn't fear death, only to be forgotten. He wanted their story to continue, for their memories and good times to be shared with others. Trusting Markie into the privy of the information they held was dangerous, but she was already involved. It has to be her choice... Kivan sighed, long and slow.

     With a flick of his right hand towards the door he muttered a few words, barring and silencing the room from any unwanted ears. The burdens, the great weight on his shoulders showed, and for a moment Kivan allowed himself to slip free of the facade. "I failed her." His voice was barely a whisper, soft, and he didn't meet Markie's eyes when he spoke. "This isn't the first time. If she hadn't jumped infront of Japheth's spell to save me from it, it would have been me with those dreams, those demons. You saw the room's memory. I was too slow. I let them take her and now she's at their mercy. I need you're help, and Tyro can act as an extention of my hand. The last day Klay and I have been fine tunning the plan with the espionage at the Castle, and I have a task I wish your aid with. You'll be able to slip in, to play the role of helpless student. Jaeric will take you and the few others in. He needs to win the hearts of the people if he wants to follow through with his plans without a flaw. I... dead or alive, I need to find her."

 

Untitled Document

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