Private Role-Play Amid the Arabesque

Discussion in 'Role-Playing' started by Paladin_girl, May 16, 2012.

  1. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Home, said the little voice in the wind.

    Calloused fingers tinkered the baubles around the wielder's wrist in silence. Her heels dug deeply against the sand dune that attempted to cover the rest of her covered legs, only managing to dance between she and the crimson cloth over her shoulders.

    A shadow greeted itself in the form of a thin strand, ribboned across her gaunt torso, its true presence resting over the firm breadth of her left shoulder. Cold and otherworldly, the halberd of the infamous Dhakashin waited against the wielder that it had chained unto itself, mellow amongst the heat between Rath's crimson cloak and madwolf Malris' furs.

    The symbol against her left shoulder had once again cracked scarlet down tan skin. It had been long since it had done so – then again, there had been much bleeding in those weeks. A spot below her ribcage seemed to stir pain in remembrance, a cold look passing the bitter woman's face. There was a lot to answer for; but the dread in her bones was not for those that had offended her.

    She knew why Dal Gren had pursued her. Pursued the Gael.

    Home. Home, home, home.

    The half-way point was drawing near, with Rasan staring outwards, his hooves stomping anxiously beside his seated companion.

    'Soon,' Dain murmured, 'very soon.'

    The she-warrior was yet to see Victory. A childish name for a dove, given by an angry, vengeful juvenile with no place to turn to. They had handed the small, white chick on a platter, whilst others wielded crows, ravens, eagles and kestrels. The young ones were barely aware that it was a hierarchy. The crow-children were footsoldiers, proud people. Ravens, solemn and quiet, restricted to the walls of the library. Eagles, clearly generals, who picked at any that glared at them. Kestrels...

    Kestrels saw what no other dared to.

    Dain remembered how the younger version of herself felt her blood grow cold at such a thought. She now sat brooding, wondering if that small, dirty child had ever left her, the chill everlasting in her bones.

    Something was approaching. She felt it in the arid land beneath her boot. Saw it in the bending of the sands. She smelt it in the air.

    The hurried flutter of wings caught her ears. Victory cooed softly, landing on his owner's dark knee, picking at the brown leathers that guarded it. With care lacking, the she-warrior brushed at the white bird's wings, her violet eyes searching the ambers that stared unnervingly back.

    Home.

    Dain sneered, pushing the famliar onto her shoulder before hoisting herself onto Rasan's back. He broke into an excited gallop, storming into the old, broken town with all due haste, hopping over the wooden gates like a happy child.

    Aside from the dead bodies, the town was empty. The she-warrior rose an eyebrow.

    These people were no townsfolk. Dain pulled the horse to a halt, kneeling to look at one of the men, turning his cheek to find his eyes put out and his torso gruesomely pecked away. The woman snarled in disgust, dropping the man, having seen the brooch on his chest.

    Only the Bloodmoon would have been so arrogant as to make sigils out of their blunders.
     
  2. Nevermore

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    "I knew a girl once," a voice seemed to slither over the stones from nothingness, "her face was one of solemn darkness, stoic as a statue but just as easily broken with rage as it was to remain the same. She intrigued me," the voice continued though the source was still unseen. The speaker spoke softly, but the tone would be soothingly familiar, "This girl, the only one to ever tell me no, not only tell me no, but not even be curious. I saw her smile and it nearly broke my heart, almost could've done it. She was rough around the edges, but she had this quality to her, if you knew how to look at her. She was a wolf, with a black lion's mane, wild and unkempt, eyes of the deepest violet, like the sky on a cold desert night, and her skin, a lovely, arabesque shade. I've missed that smile, her beauty. Missed it for a while now."

    A flutter of darkness exposed itself past a shattered building corner with the softest whisper of fabric as a gentle breeze swept over the area.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  3. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    At the sound of the voice, Dain's fingers snatched up a card, turning to face the source of the sound, her face bent in solemn seriousness. Like a predator, she did not relent, her eyes narrowing. She knew the man well. Recognised the scent so clearly, as if it were only yesterday that he had embraced her. She tilted her head challengingly. Her voice was quiet.

    'So. You're alive.'
     
  4. Nevermore

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    Rath turned the corner with a grin on his handsome face. His form was draped in darkness as a thin, yet fine, black cloak whispered softly with every motion. A crimson shirt covered his upper body and arms with long sleeves, the left arm covered with the signature Slaye armor with it's complex series of interlocking steel plates attached to a leather sleeve and bracer. His brown leather vest had been replaced with a black one. He gave Dain a long look up and down, taking in the sight of her as slowly as he could, admiring her before speaking with a soft laugh, "I hope that's not doubt I hear. Of course I'm still alive."
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  5. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    'Doubt?'

    Dain smirked bitterly; she had every reason to doubt him. Now was not the time nor the place for such thoughts. She glanced away as the rogue eyed her from her ruined boots to her wild hair. It was odd to see the man attired in such dark clothing, when all she had been used to was the sight of his messy doublet and the streak of crimson that had sought the sky beneath his dark brow. He had been relieved of his mechanical arm, the symbol of their first long journey, now to refashion himself after the second.

    Rath the horse trotted around the two, looking for his father, his eyes brightening at the sight of the rogue, hoping that Firemouth wasn't far.

    Dain glanced at the eyeless corpses on the ground.

    'Know anything about this?'
     
  6. Nevermore

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    Dain's indifference troubled the rouge, but not as much as it had before. He wasn't sure if it was sadness, or comfort that had made him so used to the coldness in the Midgardian's behavior, but whatever it was he easily let her doubt wash over him and he came out as dry as the desert sand that threatened to creep into his boots. His eyes fell to the gruesome sight before he knelt beside a mutilated body and examined it closer. "Desert bandits," his voice was rough, "After the fall of the Black Desert Gang..." his voice trailed off as he glanced away at the mention of the mercenaries, "the desert has actually become a bit more dangerous. Doc and I, we didn't kill all the men, just most of them, the rest scattered. There are some small gangs of bandits that roam these areas and occasionally pillage these villages, but I've never seen any of them left in this bad of shape."

    Rath offered his namesake horse a gentle expression from his lowered position. He tilted his head towards the corner he had rounded just moments before as he noticed the way the horse paced the area. Again, he was surprised by the level of affection the horses shared with one another. A soft neigh sounded from beyond a ruined house as Firemouth trotted into view with a toss of his head. The red horse bounced from foot to foot and kneaded the sand fiercely as he regarded his son proudly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  7. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Dain looked into the distance, spotting more bodies embedded in the sands. Certainly, there were gunshot wounds, but the severity of the bulletholes seemed to suggest that their infliction was at close-proximity... and at one another. The she-warrior couldn't help but wonder if the eyelessness was truly the handiwork of the vultures above that now circled overhead, but even they seemed cautious to approach the bodies of these accursed men.

    No, Dain thought, this was the handiwork of something else. The slight chills against her skin stirred her, made her narrow her eyes. These men had given in, would rather be dead than see the nightmare scorched in their minds.

    Whatever their torment was.

    'Look at the brooches,' she remarked. 'These men are the Bloodmoon. Arrogant, twisted and cruel. Mercenaries bound by nothing, as long as they are paid to murder.' Dain's voice had lowered to a neutral tone. It wasn't as if she had not been paid to do the same. She knelt beside the same corpse, looking at the man's gaping face. At point-blank range, the bullet wound to the head had been severe enough to leave some flesh hanging around his face. Yet the rest of his formal, overtly-dressed attire had given the sot away. 'This man. I know him. If he couldn't broker a deal with someone, he often shot them. Or took away their pride, regardless of their age.' Her voice remained matter-of-factly. She had no emotion to offer the dead. Especially one that cared for nothing but himself.

    She scratched her cheek lightly, turning her nose upward from the harsh scent of the corpses. It was safe to say that the men had been here for weeks, but not even the desert sands could – or would – devour them. The air suggested more than simple disagreements. Dain wondered if it would hurt to simply believe that and move on. She tried not to show her discomfort.

    Victory however, seemed indifferent to the notion, hopping onto the corpse and tilting its head towards the eyeless man. The sun made its feathers glow, as if it were celestial, untouchable by human hands.

    'I have seen no villagers. Just these men.' She frowned, 'Perhaps there was mercy in that. These men don't deserve a grave.'

    She stood up, smiling slightly as Rasan danced around his father excitedly, trumpeting jovially at the chance to see him again, gently lowering his head respectfully towards his father.

    'If you have found me, then perhaps we shouldn't stay. I had intended for this village to be a place to stay until … well. You're here now... and that suggests that you and Rislyn have won. Good. We should leave.'
     
  8. Nevermore

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    Rath watched Firemouth return his sons gesture before turning back to Dain. She seemed unusually nervous and suspicious of this place. He had heard the name Bloodmoon before, but he couldn't say he was very familiar with their practices aside from the brisk cruelty they were apt to apply to anyone that got in their way. It made him curious. If the Bloodmoon were cruel and strong, who had done this to them? The whole place smelled of foul play and the wretched sent of death. Dain was right, they needed to leave.

    "Aye, the bear is dead, at her hands, as she wanted it. And for the record, finding you wasn't very easy," he made a gesture at the pristine bird perched upon the ruined corpse, "that bird of yours is incredibly hard to track. But I agree, we should leave. Unless you know another place, I know of a city not too far from here from my travels with Doc. Oasis is a desert haven and the best place around. Perhaps the villagers went there? Either way, it's our best bet and," he glanced at her curiously, "Not sure if it matters to you, but it's quite beautiful as well."
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  9. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    'Clearly she did, otherwise you would not be standing there. I am glad about that. I had no doubts of success – only that neither of you would be alive to prove it.' Dain smirked faintly, the jest resting on the edge of a cool blade, that danced, but never sank into the flesh that it had drawn across. 'Oasis, then. Anywhere but here.'

    She beckoned Rasan from Firemouth, pulling herself onto the mount's back, securing the crimson mantle over her shoulders.
     
  10. Nevermore

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    "I reckon you shed a tear or two for me then," Rath offered her a playful grin, "since I was apparently dead. What am I, a cat in a box? Besides, I promised you I wouldn't die and that I'd find you again and here I am. I'm a man of my word. Oasis it is." He pulled himself into Firemouth's saddle and gave the fiery steed a gentle kick as he pulled him around towards Oasis. A short shout escaped the rogue as he shot into the distance at a challenging pace. Dain might not take the bait, but he knew Rath the horse would. She wouldn't be happy and it only made him smile.

    Oasis
    Heart of the Desert

    [​IMG]

    The city was only a half a days ride from the ruined village. Rath figured if the villagers had fled, they would most likely be in Oasis, not that he was looking for them. The rogue admired the city as they approached. Despite the harsh terms of living in the desert, Oasis had thrived on its namesake. The land it sat on was rich and lush with vegetation. It had an unusual amount of water, more than any other spot in the desert. He made a grand gesture towards the city. "Feast your eyes, m'dear," he said in an awe-inspiring tone, "The Heart of the Desert. Best place around."
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  11. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    When the rogue sped past the she-warrior, Rasan burst into movement with a loud whinny, sharply gaining on Rath with no problems, thundering across the arid foundations beneath his hooves. Dain smirked, the crimson cloak riveting in the winds, twisting against the long tresses of her dark hair, her eyes brimming in acceptance of the man's challenges and with no hesitations to back down.
    _

    It had been the smell of life that had stirred her first. Confusing, she thought, for a place situated in nothing but sand, but then 'home' was a land where the air was thick with spices. The vegetation danced across her tongue as lavishly as the water that streamed around the ambient citadel. Dain drew up beside the rogue, tilting her head slightly at the sight, saying nothing.
     
  12. Nevermore

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    Rth glanced over at Dain, eying her up and down before offering her a slight grin as he guided Firemouth into the city. The two guards that stood by the main entrance to the city gave the pair a suspicious glance but looked away with curses when Firemouth snorted at them indignantly. The rogue had to cover his mouth to hide the growing smile that spread across his lips. He took them down the main road through the city just as the air was taking on a golden quality that signaled the coming of the desert dusk. He turned to Dain and asked, "Is there anywhere particular you want to go, or anything you need to do?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  13. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    As they passed the guards, Dain narrowed her violet eyes towards one of the guards. Victory stuttered for a moment before his wings burst into movement, his frame scuttling into the sky. The she-warrior gazed at it in silence for a moment before giving a shrug. Her glare gleamed in the sunlight, the fray of crimson on her shoulders billowing softly as it covered part of her face. She looked aside, gently shaking her head, Malris' fur brushing against her cheek.

    'A tavern. I … need something strong to drink.'
     
  14. Nevermore

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    Rath glanced at her curiously but said nothing. He instead guided Firemouth down a side road, leaving the crowded main road for something less packed as he let his eyes scan the buildings for a tavern. It wasn't long before he caught sight of a brightly painted sign that made him grin. He nodded towards it before gently nudging Firemouth towards it. When he dismounted he glanced up at the sign again and began to inspect the rest of the building. The aptly named Watering Hole was a squat building wedged between a saddle shop and a seemingly abandoned building. Despite the wear on the wood and the obvious age of the buildings, the tavern was in good shape.

    He entered ahead of Dain and chose a table in the corner, away from the main crowd in the place, but still within good sight of the bar. A serving girl was by his side before he could even glance at the bar to see what ale they had. The girl was pretty with short, blond hair and bright green eyes, and very young. He suspected she wasn't even eighteen years old. She seemed eager to take his order but at the same time was having difficulty speaking when she asked him.

    "I'll have the house ale," he said, grinning to stifle a laugh, "and whatever the lady wants." He made a gesture towards Dain and the girl nearly jumped from her tunic when she saw the she-warrior.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  15. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Dain looked around curiously as they journeyed through the town, her eyes drifting towards fruit and vegetables that were unlikely to grow in the middle of the desert. Yet here they were, lavish and fresh, with a scent that drew eyes as well as an appetite. As soon as she heard Firemouth clip-clop to a halt, Dain dismounted and patted Rasan's mane softly in gratitude before watching him prance beside his father, proudly lifting his head.

    Dain scratched her cheek gently before making her way into the tavern, barely flinching when the young girl all but jumped out of her skin. She raised her eyebrows however, looking somewhat surprised before smirking faintly, nodding towards the rogue.

    'Don't worry. He'll give you a huge tip by the end. The strongest drink you have, lass.'

    Bloody Casanova.

    She pulled up a stool, seating herself down with a sigh, pulling off her cloak and furs, resting them on the floor, rubbing her face wearily.
     
  16. Nevermore

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    Rath let an audible sigh escape as the serving girl nodded quickly and retreated to get the drinks. He let the palm of his hand come down atop his forehead with a light slap before sliding it slowly down his face until he could peer between two fingers at Dain with a look that said, "I didn't do anything, must you do that?" However the hand was dropped to the table and a more curious look replaced the exasperated one when he noticed how tired Dain actually looked. He hadn't noticed it before because their meeting location was less than ideal (and he had really hoped for a simple, happy meeting this time, not that he expected to ever receive such a thing) and they had left there immediately to come to Oasis.

    He was silent until the drinks were set down before them by a burly man with thick, hairy arms. The man grunted, as if to ask if they needed anything else even though he'd rather not actually ask, and Rath waved him away silently. The rogue had never been happier to see an unpleasant man before, rather than a young serving girl prone to embarrassment. Their natural attraction to him, something he cursed his ancestor for, normally bugged him but wasn't nearly as tiring as it was when Dain was around. Somehow, he couldn't help but feel he was under constant surveillance as if she truly were a wolf ready to pounce and devour him should he ever hint at unfaithfulness again. He knew this wasn't the case, or at least he hoped it wasn't, but he still couldn't read the she-warrior perfectly and until he had her completely figured out he was always going to be somewhat jumpy. Ah, he thought as he grinned into his large mug of ale while taking a long pull, the dangers of loving someone good with sharp objects. Even so, he preferred it to anything else.

    "What's the matter?" His voice was soft, but the blue sky in his glance was piercing as he sought her eyes with his, offering her no chance to refuse his question. He knew how she was, but he wasn't going to let her bottle things up if he could help it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  17. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Dain gave the man a soft nod of gratitude before tossing her head back, the contents of the drink falling across her tongue, the fluids lashing against it with fiery vigour. It was surprisingly sweet, but the bitter after-taste had lingered after her lengthy draught. She rested the flagon on the table, barely realising that Rath had been watching her carefully. Something hollow had crash-landed into her stomach at that point, forcing her to glance away from the azure orbs that gazed gently at her. Her eyebrows creased, taking another draft of the flagon before leaning against the table, her violet eyes glancing up to peer at him.

    'Nothing. Just familiar territory.'
     
  18. Nevermore

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    Rath regarded her violet eyes calmly before taking another long pull of ale. An old sensation stirred in the back of his mind and he couldn't stop the urge to reach into his cloak and draw out an aged cigar. He turned the blunt end over end between his fingers before smelling it with a soft sigh. The dried paper smelled like honey and bourbon aged in oaken caskets. He placed the cigar between his lips but didn't light it for he knew that despite its sweeter scent, Dain still disliked the smoke it produced. The taste of it, and its presence between his teeth, however, did serve to calm his nerves, just not as well as it might if he could light it. It never failed, since Doc had started him on the habit, every time Dain was in his heart or on his mind he felt the need to smoke. There was something soothing, something emotional about the black smog he couldn't explain. It couldn't banish his loneliness on calm, clear nights when he could see the moon and think of her, but it was like blanket, or an old friend, the company of whom kept the chill off just a little, just enough.

    He wasn't lonely at that moment, but he still wanted Dain in his arms and not across a table. He could tell she was troubled and was in turn troubled himself. He wouldn't be calm until he had her and she smiled. The cigar kept him patient. "What territory is that?" He asked quietly, watching her carefully but not scrutinizing, "The blood and death of the village, or being once again stuck in a tavern with me?" The blunt between his lips bobbed slightly up and down as he spoke but barely managed to impede his speech.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  19. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    The she-warrior was silent for a moment, her hands cupping the flagon gently as her fingers felt the cold perspiration around it. She glanced up at the sound of rustling noise, seeing the cigar placed between the rogue's lips – she realised that she was staring and quickly glanced downwards, eyeing the alcohol that had grown swiftly barren amidst their conversation. Her subtle smile looked sad, the dull amber of the lights around them gently embracing her form and the soft glisten in her eyes.

    'That village had a lot of people. I knew a couple of them. Just shopkeepers. Some of the townsfolk. Good informants.'
     
  20. Nevermore

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    Rath chewed the cigar thoughtfully as he regarded Dain while she spoke. She was obviously concerned about the inhabitants of the village. He removed the blunt from his mouth to take another drink of his ale. The house ale was strong, but somewhat sweet with only a slightly bitter aftertaste. He rather liked the stuff. The cigar was placed back in his mouth as his attention turned back to Dain. "Remember what we saw there," his voice was calm, soothing as he spoke, "The only bodies we saw were Bloodmoon. It looked like the villagers escaped. I'm sure if we asked around here it would be easy to find the survivors."
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014