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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in mond's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
10:08 am
Might as well get it over with...
In the minute Nessa had allowed herself to think over what to do, the wolf girl and weredragon had managed to wander away. That made her life much easier, for the morning at least. She stood up, walked to the bottom of the stairs, gave the faerie elf a slight nod, avoided the dead cat, and walked off in the direction of the road that would take her home.

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, April 24th, 2005
3:59 pm
Attention Span? What?
Well, she could avoid confrontation and duck on after the morph. Or she could eat the dead cat. Decisions such as this were not easily made, especially by those whose minds tend to follow simply one track at a time to avoid confusing decisions just such as this.

Sempine made a distinctly unhappy little noise. Friend, cat, friend, cat. She couldn’t be forced to make such a choice! It was unhealthy! Wrinkling her nose and sneezing in frustration, she leaned over the cat slightly, poking it lightly to see if it would twitch at all.

Being dead, it didn’t twitch so much as roll slightly. That really wasn’t as fun as chasing a live cat. Live cats twitched when you poked them. Making a mental note of this, the girl stood up properly again, flashing the Faerie Elf a bright fanged smile. “Nei-ta, ‘n tag!”

Turning she trotted off amicably enough. The cat had taken her attention for the moment and now left her mind completely blank. She had the distinct impression that she really ought to be doing something… looking for someone… something… important…

A few feet away from her a brightly shining coin clattered to the ground, and instantly all further dredging through her memories stopped. Half-diving half-stooping she snatched up the coin, ignoring the angry yell and tomato thrown her way as she skittered off with her meager prize. A tiny smile lit her face a moment as she glanced up at the sun. Illecbra was supposed to be nice this time of year… or miserable. She couldn’t remember. It didn’t matter; she’d head in that general direction anyway. Or the opposite direction. Really, for a vampiric type her sense of direction was horrid.

With a little laugh that faded into an idly whistled tune, Sempine Corbin was off, heading boldly and with confidence in a direction to a destination. And she was damned if she really cared what that destination was, so long as there was work to be found.

Well, she was damned anyway, really, but the expression was common enough that it would most likely be overlooked in this case as a colloquial reference or some such.

Current Mood: hm?
Saturday, April 16th, 2005
5:09 pm
Sallah noticed the Weredragon looking a bit off, before she excused herself and hurried off. Sallah bent down to Phali, noticing the preditory look on the wolf-girl's face. She struggled to control her temper, angry with herself for not watching Phali more closely. Rifling through his clothes, she came across agreen vial and a parchment that was coded.

Her head began to throb, the onset of a migrane. She rubbed her temples. She needed a clear mind if she wanted to talk to the weredragon. She glaced from Phali to the wolf-girl, and back, hoping that the weredragon came back before she let the wolf-girl eat him.

Current Mood: thirsty
Sunday, April 10th, 2005
11:59 am
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
Tarja's dark eyes fluttered open to bright sunlight and a pinkish-black llama nose. It was well past dawn, much later than she'd intended to wake. She'd rented a stall of the Dragonwing's stables and spent the night curled up in the straw beside the llama.

The tall, white critter in question nosed gently at Tarja's ear and she sat up, stretching her arms toward the ceiling. "A'right, ye great beast. I'm up."

The llama's ears twitched in the direction of the inn as Tarja stood. There was some commotion at the entrance involving the wolf-girl from from the day before as well as two other young women she didn't know. Yesterday's sorceress was watching from the steps. The llama snorted nervously.

Tarja bent down again to retrieve her voulge, sifting through the straw to find it. "We're goin', don't you worry," she muttered, straightening up. She reached for the llama's tack, then slipped the bridle over his head, stroking his muzzle reassuringly. "We've got to find us a proper ship, mate. And a crew. Then we'll be the most feared pirates on the seas again." As she said this, a grin spread across her features and she planted a kiss between the llama's eyes.

He snorted again, disgruntled, and tugged at the reins, eager to be off.

Current Mood: awake
Friday, April 1st, 2005
8:53 pm
((stomach growls)) Eheh... ^^;
Kaida grimaced as she took the dagger back from the Elf. She hated cats on no uncertain terms, but she didn’t like to take a life either. Waving aside the Fearie Elf’s tight-lipped apologies, Kaida took a rag from her haversack and started to clean the blood off the silvery blade, ignoring everything but the knife and rag. Or tried to, at least. The coppery scent of fresh blood was making her light-headed, even though the full moon wasn’t for three nights hence.

She became aware of the quiet. No one was speaking. They were looking at her. Slowly, Kaida raised a pale hand to her head. Upon feeling the tips of small horns starting to sprout from her head, she paled further. Unconscious transformation was the mark of the unskilled. Either she was more worn out than she thought, or she was getting sick. Lycanthropes, wereanimals as they are more commonly known, are unusually strong in most aspects, and so immunity is no exception. But somethimes there will be the odd disease or common cold that slips through and wreaks havoc on the wereanimal. Anything can happen, from unwillful transformations to purple skin, you name it, it can happen. The first and last time she had been sick as a weredragon had been five years ago, when she had been ninteen. Il’sleth had had to endure an antlered Kaida and two left feet of his own when Kaida got him sick on purpose. Since then, he’d made sure to laugh behind her back.

“Entschuldigen Sie, bitte,” she said hurriedly. “Excuse me, please,” she said again for the Elf’s benefit. She ducked around the corner where a fresh breeze blew the scent of blood away from her. Feeling the horns slide back under her skin, Kaida sighed. Provided she didn’t visit any butcher shops, today might turn out alright.

Then again, probably not.

Current Mood: worried
Wednesday, March 30th, 2005
9:45 pm
Road block
A dead cat, a faerie elf, and a weredragon… Nessa hadn’t been expecting them. The wolf girl she was prepared for, but Skira had apparently flown off before the other three made their appearances. The sorceress stood at the top of the stairs, watching the scene for a moment. It appeared that the weredragon had just killed the cat, and the elf had taken out the knife. The faerie was addressing the weredragon, as the wolf girl looked on. It seemed that she was eyeing the cat’s carcass as a potential food source.

Nessa wasn’t sure what to do, as the group was blocking the bottom of the stairs, and she really didn’t want to get involved. She sat down on the top step, and tried to decide how best to get past them, while waiting to see what would happen next.

Current Mood: annoyed
8:58 pm
Sallah strolled down the streets with Phali in front of her, watching the shopkeepers set out their goods in front of their stores, on mobile carts, under tents. It was altogether a pleasant morning, and she would have attested to feeling almost cheerful, had it not been for the fact that Phali, who she needed very desperatly, couldn't speak. "Dammnit" she swore softly under her breath. A glimmer and shifting shadows caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. she stopped and turned to face it, peering at it, trying to figure out what it was. She took a step twords it before remembering Phali, and she turned back to find Phali streaking down the street. "Batyra!" she snarled, taking off after him. 'Catchupa!' Sallah swore under her breath, puting on an extra burst of speed and opening out her wings. They sent her forward, gaining on him rapidly. Phali turned and she did a hair-pin turn to follow him. they reached the back of a house, where two figures were standing, one the wolf-girl, the other the red haired weredragon. Sallah remembered, as Phali launched himself at the weredragon, that cats hate weredragons. the weredragon's eyes narrowed and in one fluid motion she had grasped a side-dagger in her boot and thrown it with deadly accuracy at Phali. "NO!" Sallah screamed, realizing it was too late. She caught Phali as he fell, seeing the light fade from his eyes. hurredly, Sallah put pressure around the knife blade before pulling it out. she laid her hand over the wound, it closing up. She muttered in the ancient tounge of the Faery-Elves, doing everything in her power to save Phali. But it was too late. Phali's eyes were glassy, blank. Her jaw clenched, she lay him down, closing his eyes. she looked up into the eyes of the weredragon, frustration, desperation and anger written in every line of her face. she picked up the dagger in her blood-stained hands and held it out to the weredragon. "I commend you on your accuracy." she said in a controlled voice, knowing that it really wasn't the weredragon's fault that Phali attacked her. "I beg pardon for my dead captive there." she gestured at his corpse.
Friday, March 25th, 2005
11:56 am
English? Was ist das?
There were worse things than being tripped over. Many of those said worse thing had most likely trampled over the scrawny girl, so when the red-headed morph went tumbling over the girl barely warranted so much as the bat of an eye. Grinning, the girl instead pulled herself to her feet, brushing off her shoulders before clomping down to lean over the young woman who’d landed so comfortably on her back.

“Guten Morgen, Roter!”

Amicably enough Sempine held out her hand, flashing a grin with a mouth full of glimmering fangs. Her over-extended canines were still slightly flecked with something sticky and red which any good predator would instantly have recognized. Of course the girl didn’t realize it was there. Her cheeks were flushed unnaturally red still; it was probably also clear to any predator or simply undead figure exactly how drunk she’d been on blood the night before. There was that sparkle in the back of her black pit-less eyes, that little giggle in her voice as she continued her little ramble.

“Vi fallenis! Mi wartenis für vin, und vi zurreiseas rüber min… Oi, dumma…”

It wasn’t exactly the same language the morph shared with Sempine, but it was close. Besides, the girl was in a good mood, relaxed now that she’d gotten over dawn and found her new friend again. Pulling the one she called Roter up to her feet, the girl proceeded to wriggle a little, much in the fashion of a puppy as she looked over the morph, brushing at the dust from the bottom of the stairs.

“Mi nicht habenas arbeiton sowieso, aber vi nicht benötigenis falleni. Mi denekos vin seinas wertlosan.”

It was very strange for her to be this attentive. She felt rather fond of this bright red hair and imperfectly accented voice. There was something endearing about the small older woman… well, not older, but more mature, anyway. There was something familiar about her. Perhaps it was simply the fact that she was abnormal. Sempine’s ears flattened slightly as she dusted of “Roter’s” shoulders. Abnormal… she’d come to expect treatment as ‘abnormal.’ Perhaps that was the attraction. The morph could obviously never have been considered ‘normal’ either. That was comforting. Misery loves company and all that rot. Someone who turned into a dragon was perfect miserable company for someone with twitchy brown wolf ears.

Besides, as the girl had said, there was no work to be found. Apparently no one in the capitol was looking to hire a ronin gang-fighter’s services… at least, not a ronin who wanted to be paid in buckets of blood.

Current Mood: bouncy... duh
Monday, March 14th, 2005
3:03 pm
On the streets of Poculum...
Fu had just finished scraping the contents of the frying pan -- a sort of omelette thrown together from the last few days' scraps -- out in front of three bony cats when it realized, quite suddenly, that the sun had already risen. And that the sun had probably been up for quite some time, and that it hadn't noticed. And that, consequently, the boss was going to kill it. Metaphorically speaking, of course -- the thing most likely to happen would be that it would lose its job. Again. Especially if the boss found out about the ear-in-rum incident from yesterday.

Bartending in (and generally taking care of) the Wandering Witch had been Fu's fifth's job since arriving in Poculum. The previous job, the fourth, had been lost as the result of a nasty accident involving a pack of hounds belonging to a young nobleman. Fu had been a scullery maid then -- the head of the nobleman's kitchen, a man called Quince, had called all his underlings scullery maids, regardless of gender or (lack thereof).

The Wandering Witch had caught Fu's eye -- solely on the basis of its name. When Fu had first set out, it had entertained the notion that a witch or a warlock might be able to attach its ear permanently. Since then, it had given up. The Wandering Witch was not, as its name led one to believe, a place frequented by witches, not even necessarily wandering ones. Of course, there had been the folks last night, all posessing some degree of strangeness, from the red-haired woman to the drunken pirate.

It was still past dawn. The Wandering Witch remained shut. And when the boss found out... Fu didn't want to be there when the boss found out. Maybe it was time to find somewhere else. Maybe it was time to give up on this idea of living as a normal person. Fu had at least ten Pants hidden in various pockets and folds of clothing, it knew, enough for a normal person to live on for several weeks -- but what was the point? What was someone like Fu going to do with them?

One of the cats, a calico, nibbled delicately on a large piece of bacon, while another, a black one, took it into its head to twine itself around Fu's legs -- and then stopped and sniffed experimentally. Detaching itself and acting as if nothing had happened, the feline disappeared behind a pile of assorted rubbish. The other two followed it, the calico holding the rest of the bacon in its mouth.

Fu collected its frying pan and spatula, and would've sighed if it had had the breath to do so. The animals who infested Poculum's streets would all die in due time. But for now, the cats would have their pride, and the dogs would bark. And the Wandering Witch would remain shut until the boss found someone else who would take orders. Preferably someone who wouldn't drop body parts in people's drinks.

Fu wandered deeper into the winding inner streets of Poculum, looking for something. Something new. Maybe a witch. Maybe even a wandering one. Or maybe a map, and a way out of here.
Sunday, March 13th, 2005
12:36 pm
"stupid Phali" Sallah muttered to herself. "why couldn't he have stayed where I put him?" She stalked through the underbrush, yet again, trying to find that dratted cat. She stood still, opening her mind to the forest. It whispered its secrets to her and she smiled. her wings sprouted from her back and she shot straight up into the sky, hovering above the tops of the trees. "there" the forest whispered, her eyes zooming in on a creature that had collapsed. she dove, tackling it from behind. She pinned it flat,then rolled it over, taking care to make sure it couldn't move. "why hello my little friend." Her mouth widened into a ferocious smile. "Where do you think you were going?" Phali gulped. picking him up, she shoved him before her. "time to go, kitten."

just before reaching the boundaries of the town, she stopped. "now Phali," she spoke to him as if a little child. "i'm going to untie you, but if you try to run away, I'll find you. you saw how quickly i found you in the forest, I can do it again." the cat nodded. 'Wimp" she snorted to herself. untying him, she grasped his arm and dragged him with her. 'Now,' she thought. 'to the Wandering Witch.'

Current Mood: crazy
Saturday, March 12th, 2005
7:05 pm
Kaida yawned and stretched sore muscles, popping stiff joints. Half-transforming always did that to her, especially when it was relatively close to the full moon. She blinked wearily in the faint dawn light. It was time to get moving; her contact wasn’t here (not that the information she was using was exactly reliable), and too many people had seen her half-form last night.

She sat up and ran her fingers through her long red hair. Almost everyone in Quadriigus had red hair. As well as a collective fear and hatred of the ‘abnormal’.

She had been from a well-off family, though she had to share everything with her three brothers. At the age of seven, she started to set things on fire with only her hands. Her brother, naturally, thought it hilarious when the family cat woke up one morning with no fur on its tail.

Her new ability was kept quiet for fear of the reaction of their fellow city-dwellers. The secret was kept for years, with few slip-ups from Kaida: a singed glove here, a slightly melted ice sculpture there, but nothing large. Life was good. That is, until Kaida’s closest (and only) friend, Atticus, suddenly disappeared.

A month later, on the day of the full moon, Atticus returned, haggard and hungry. That night, Atticus disappeared once more, but this time in his place was a ferocious dragon. It ravaged that town, killing people and tearing down buildings. When it reached the Turin household, twelve-year-old Kaida tried to fend it off with her pyrokinesis. It was like poking a large boulder with a lit match. It mauled the young girl before it was brought down by the city’s collective efforts. When they inspected the wreckage the dragon had fallen into, they found not the flying reptile, but Atticus’s cooling body.

Miraculously, Kaida, pyromaniac extrordinaire, had survived. Barely. Everyone feared the worst. She recovered abnormally quickly during the next four weeks. Their suspicions were confirmed when her skin burned slightly when pure silver was pressed against it, then healed before their very eyes. When the next full moon rose, the little girl transformed into a dragon and fled Quadriigus.

She returned three days later in much the state the late Atticus had returned in. But she found stony-faced people with barely constrained violence. She was given a pack with food for a week and told to leave. Kaida didn’t argue.

Quadriigus is among the most secluded cities in Mond, with the only mode of transportation being by ground through the vast Sered Grasslands. The closest city, Remus, was ten days away on a galloping horse (provided your horse didn’t collapse from the first half-day). So Kaida turned North without really paying attention to where she was headed, only minding where South was, so as to not get turned around and be killed on purpose by accident.

That was when she’s met Il’sleth.

A loud snore followed by an equally loud thump (followed by an also equally loud yell of pain) shattered Kaida’s unwelcome memories. The sky was less pink, and the first few vendors were setting up their wares, calling to early shoppers. A bird was squawking somwehere in the inn.

Deciding she was through reminiscing, the twenty-four-year-old weredragon gathered her things and walked down the hallway, unconsciously silencing her footfalls. She could hear another early riser getting ready to leave. Feeling a bit peckish, she detoured to the common room of the inn, in hopes of an early breakfast. What she saw, however, set her stomach churning with apprehension rather than hunger.

There, sitting in a straight-backed chair, sipping tea with his little finger at a dainty angle, was Geldringfea, the dark-haired Elf she had sparred with last night, and the reason she was so stiff and drained. Normally, she would jump at the chance of catching the Runner, but in her present state even a Human would give her a run for her money.

Luckily, Geldringfea had his back to her, and did not appear to notice that he was no longer alone in the common room. Thanking her stars, Kaida ducked through a door into the kitchens. Stuffing her pack as quickly and quietly as possible, Kaida made her way through the cabinets and magically-cooled cold-boxes. She left a Shirt wherever she pilfered something, careful to not hold the silver coin too tightly or too long. Going out a side door, she arrived at the front desk. She gave a few Socks to the bleary-eyed girl behind the counter (who took one look at the money and hurried off to stash it somewhere), then departed rapidly, shielding her bulging pack. Or, rather, would have departed rapidly, had she not tripped over a figure sitting on the steps.

Tumbling down the flight of stairs, Kaida landed on her back, unhurt, looking up at whom she tripped on. The figure stood up, also unhurt, and dusted itself off. The person leaned over Kaida, furry ears twitching, and said merrily, “Guten Morgen!”

Current Mood: sore
5:54 pm
Nessa was rudely awakened by Skira’s mental yelling. The bird was going on about a some girl, who sounded familiar, but this early in the morning Nessa wasn’t prepared to think of why. She shoved herself out of bed, and stretched, trying to sort out what the bird was telling her. «girl, pointy ear, inn, outside» Skira was saying repeatedly in Nessa’s mind, accompanied by an image of a young-looking female with pointy ears, sitting on the steps that led to the back entrance of the Dragonwing.

The picture made Nessa remember. That annoying wolf girl from the day before…. Her neck was still sore from where the girl had bitten her, a sign that it would have been in severe pain had she not taken the time to heal it over the previous night. An average wound would no longer be bothering her. Still, despite the annoyance, she now thought herself to have been overreacting when she sent Skira after the girl. It was just another thing to deal with. She wasn’t even angry anymore.

Calmly, she told the bird to leave the wolf girl alone now, and come inside. Skira didn’t seem to understand, but then, Skira didn’t understand most things Nessa did. The bird did as she was told, without needing to have it explained.

Nessa then turned to look at her few possessions, and started getting ready to leave. It was time to head back to Prout. On the way out, she would most likely encounter the wolf girl, but she could deal with that if she had to. She would be more prepared for an attack this time.

When everything had been gathered together, she left her room, and returned her key to the desk. Anne wasn’t there yet, so Nessa left the payment with the key and a note. Anne would understand that she couldn’t wait.

She took a last look around the Dragonwing, realizing it might be her last time there, and then turned to leave. She’d go out the back, as she had come in, and no one in that place would notice, except maybe Anne, but Nessa wasn’t about to make friends here, and she knew Anne wouldn’t miss her especially much, if she noticed she was gone at all.

Current Mood: blank
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
1:07 pm
Dawn {and} Fading Fire
{The first part of this post is for Sempine Corbin and takes place with the rest of the RPG. The second part of this post [after the *** and under the cut] in for Harrz Duivel and part of the antag plot. Why not make it two posts? Because this makes more sense to my mind. If it annoys you, make a note of it at poculum_ooc and I'll change it a little. Bwah}

Dawn was perhaps one of the most detestable things ever to poke its sorry way into the world of the undead. The girl hadn’t slept, of course. There wasn’t nearly enough werewolf in her for fatigue to get the better of her at night. This dawn would mean more than one family shrieking desperately to find their virgin children panting from blood loss and at least one unhappy merchant moaning in confusion at finding his apples had all been sucked dry of juice.

Sempine yawned softly, scrunching her nose up and flattening her ears like the pup that she was as she rubbed her eyes lightly. Dawn was hard to escape. At the exact hour she would be nearly asleep with the drowsiness that overtook her in nature’s vain attempt to kill her off. Once the sun was up she’d be fine. After all, she wasn’t a pansy sun-fearer. She could survive the irritation of sunlight for the better part of the day. But… dawn, noon and sunset… The girl winced just thinking about it. Scratching the base of her ear in thought, she let her black childish eyes roam the street a moment, seeking shelter. She’d made it back to the inn where the draconic morph and sadistic wizard were staying. Somewhere in that vicinity would be fine, unless her new best friend or new mortal enemy planned to get up during the dawn hour. Pouting a little she glanced at the lightening sky for the familiar sight of the owl stalking her. It didn’t make her stomach grumble, after the veritable feast she’d partaken in the night before. She simply snapped idly at the air in warning before focusing on the ground again.

There was a smashed water barrel across from the inn, half-hidden in the shadows of an alleyway. That would do for cover. Trotting over the girl dropped down onto all fours, moving the last few paces just as naturally as if she’d walked that way her entire life. It took her a moment, but she managed to squeeze in, sighing comfortably in the warm darkness of her hiding spot. Her black eyes shone out from the opening like a wild animal’s for a minute longer before slowly flickering shut. The ground was comfortable enough for her. Curled up like a cub the girl fell catatonic as she felt the sun beginning to sneak up over the horizon.

Lupine vampires tend not to dream, as they tend not to sleep. So Sempine simply drifted through time, half out of consciousness as the sun pulled at her mind. If she hadn’t eaten so much the night before, she wouldn’t be in this situation, the back of her mind chided mildly. Had she been starving still, she would’ve been functioning like a normal human being. As it was… Her ear flicked a fly away instinctively, scarcely disturbing the werepup from her zoned-out state. In an hour she’d be properly functioning again. For now she could rest. Just beyond her daze she could hear the market starting again, early rising merchants moving about to set up their wares before their competitors could arrive. The world would be waiting for her when the hour was over…

“Durch Valter, dieses ist von ungehört!”

The nearest vendor jumped about a foot in the air. He’d been there for only about an hour and already he was hallucinating. Usually it wasn’t until the full heat of day that his mind started playing tricks on him, but clear as day he’d just heard a water barrel shout out in some strange language and move about a little. Shaking his head he went back to lamenting over his apples, confused as to what sort of monster would want to drink the life-blood of all his fruit rather than steal it.

Had he continued to watch the moving water barrel, he might have seen exactly the sort of monster he was looking for crawl out from beneath the wooden planks and hoops with a sour expression on her face. The little canine girl did not seem in the least bit pleased to have come to half-buried in her little shelter. Pushing herself to her feet, the girl shook some of the larger wooden splinters off of herself with a pout before weaving her way through the now growing numbers of people filling the market in the early morning. Lightly she dropped down on the steps outside the inn. She’d wait for a few hours, but no more. Sempine was a ronin, after all; she could only be attached to a person for so long without money involved before she became bored and wandered on again.

***Collapse )

Current Mood: awake
Saturday, February 12th, 2005
5:30 pm
In which Shanorr finds pirates.
(NB: Antag post for Shanorr, though, I believe, getting closer to the normal flow of time.)

Robur had fallen quickly enough, quietly enough -- a few envoys, a few discussion over wine, a few of the right kind of glances... Lord Phanes had been easy to seduce -- metaphorically speaking, of course. Metaphorically. He was an...unsavory man, to say the least, and then again, there had been the positively murderous way his lady wife had eyed their visitor prior to their private counsel. Now, she would be a strong ally, if Phanes somehow failed him. And she did manage Robur's treasury. Which was beside the point, but...worthy of note.

Count Egestas had been spending more time, as of late, alone. He was growing impatient, and to mask it he had been subconsciously avoiding his men. No one but Niyati knew his plans for Mond -- it was too soon and too sudden to reveal it all now -- and no one was going to learn of them any time soon.

He kept the door to his counsel room locked, kept his maps and secrets, well...secret. During the day he disappeared into the streets of Egestas, passing adequately as a native. After all, not many of the common folk knew what their Count looked like, and as a rule they would always be expecting someone a good half a foot taller than Shanorr actually was -- someone who looked much more powerful, perhaps. It was an odd thing, the way stature was supposed to correlate with goals. Bother evil overlords and stereotypes.

* * * * *

At midday, when there were few people left in the streets, Count Egestas was skulking by one of the many wharfs on the outermost reaches of the city, being decidedly inconspicuous. There was a thick veil over his nose and mouth, and he was wearing the shapeless, undyed garments typical of desert dwellers -- just as a precaution, of course, in case there were any who would recognize him. He prided himself on always being one step ahead in situations like this, always playing his disadvantages as advantages. This was also why Shanorr, in his days as a mercenary, had aquired such a reputation as a backstabber. To his enemies, he was one of honey-coated words, of half-empty promises and veiled deceptions.

Pirates, pirates, pirates. That was why he was here. If he could find one relatively reliable ship (not that pirates were ever reliable), and have them spread the news that Count Egestas would pay them well for their services, half the job would already be done. Mercenaries in plenty he already had, though more were expected, and the man he had sent to the inhabitants of Lila's Desert would be returning any day now.

It was a beautiful, well-conceived plan, a very beautiful plan, just like all the rest. And he would have to do something very drastic if it went wrong.

Shanorr watched with interest as what seemed to be a large washtub, riding low in the water, slowly bobbed its way towards the far end of the closest wharf, and watched with even more interest as its five or so inhabitants climbed out.

"Bloody llama," one of them growled.

"Damned if we ever try and board a merchant ship again, eh, mates?"

"Bloody merchants. Bloody captain. Bloody everything."

The group watched in morose silence as the tub began to drift away.

Shanorr took his chance and began his way down the wharf towards the pirates, as that was obviously what they were. And if they weren't, well... Nothing lost. Pirates weren't that hard to find.

"May I speak to your captain, my good men?" he called out, finally stopping a few feet short of them.

Heads turned. "We don't have one," snapped the tallest one, a lanky redhead who towered even more than the requisite half a foot over Shanorr. “Bugger off.”

“How convenient,” Shanorr murmured. He swept a glance over them -- it had to be an upwards one, unfortunately -- and proceeded with his judging of them. They were all thin and exhausted-looking, clothes and hair crusted with brine. Desperate men. And women -- there were two. “So. How did you manage lose your captain? Very irresponsible of you.”

“Does it matter?” The redhead scowled. “Look, if you’ve come to offer us work, then get on with it.”

Shanorr laughed. “Very well. I’ll tell you now that can pay you substantially and outfit you with a new ship, under certain conditions. Firstly, you must tell me where you’re from, how you got here, and why in a washtub.”

There was an exchange of glances between one of the women and the redhead, who seemed to be the leader in the captain’s absence. “How much?”

Shanorr did some quick calculations -- he didn’t know what kind of sum they expected, but he knew his treasury well, and he knew that at this point, they would most likely take anything. “You’ll each be paid fifteen gold pants this first month, and then five a month after that, adding up to seventy-five for the entire year.”

The redhead nodded curtly. “We’re the former crew of the Alpaca, hailing from Utrimque. We lost our captain and the first mate in Romulus three months back, and a fortune in pants as well when the Alpaca went over the edge of the world.”

“Yet you made it back here. In a washtub, no less.” The fool’s grin was creeping its way back onto Shanorr’s face. “I am...impressed.”

The second woman, also red-haired, cut in. “Who’re you, anyway?” She darted a disapproving glance at the one who’d done all the talking -- from the similarities between their faces, they were obviously kin, though the woman was much older. “Shame, Lalokia, promising us to a pretty little landlubber at the mere mention of gold.”

Shanorr banished the grin and did not giggle quietly, as he was sorely tempted to do. “Let’s just say that I’m a fool who has too much power over this city.”

“A politician.” The woman looked like she was going to spit on the ground at his feet, or do something equally rude. “Probably corrupt, like all the rest.”

“I suppose you could say that.”
Monday, February 7th, 2005
8:27 pm
One of the cats began to wake. Sallah stood up, walked over and pressed the tip of the 29-inch-long blade against it's throat. "Tell me where you came from" she snapped, quite angry. The cat's uncaring expression didn't change, but the eyes were frightened."TELL ME!" she yelled into his face. He opened his mouth to speak and his voice was cut off. Sallah swore. 'just figures that they can't speak about it.' Her eyes widened 'If they try to tell me, is this one of those spells which would kill them?' She glanced at the others, who still appeared to be out cold. she poked the nearest one not very gently. It didn't move. Pearing closer, she saw a blue fluid coming from the corner of each of the knocked out ones mouths. She swore violently, enough to make a one-eyed carpenter blush. they were dead, they had commited suicide when she hadn't been watching. Looking back at the one remaining cat, she sighed. "well buddy, looks like it's just you and me now." He didn't look to happy at this prospect. picking up the dead cats and disposing them behind some trash cans, she then grasped the lead of the one remaining cat. "well Phali, do you mind if I call you Phali?" without waiting for an answer (although he couldn't respond) she continued "I thought not. Phali, it's just you and me now. Until I decide to kill you that is. We need to find someone to un-magic you, and then you're gonna tell me everything. But first we're going back to the forest to sleep."
she curled up in the trees, the cat cowering on another branch. "Halla, Shvvi, Musgof. Phali makes a move, you wake me, okay?" they squeeked their agreement, and Sallah fell into a restless sleep. It really hadn't been a good day at all.

Current Mood: bouncy
Monday, January 31st, 2005
9:24 pm
Kaida was silent for a moment, digesting the lupine vampire’s words. “Sorry, I’m not a morph, so I can’t sympathize with the furry-ear problems. Instead, I have scaly-ear problems.” She allowed herself a small smile at her stupid little joke. The dragonets had always liked her strange sense of humor, so she tried to crack jokes here and there, no matter how exhausting her day had been. Pushing away the thoughts of her adoptive family and focused on the here-and-now. Her wiry muscles were starting to ache dully, along with a mild headache behind her eyes, two signs that she was overworked and overtired. “I’m flattered that I’ve earned respect from someone, but I can’t very well eat it, can I? I’m having dinner, and then I’m going to sleep until midmorning. You’re welcome to follow me, providing you don’t attack anyone and it gets blamed on me.” Kaida Turin stood up and pressed the heels of her hands to her closed eyes and mumbled to herself, “On second thought, maybe I’ll sleep through tomorrow...” She gave the vampire girl a little, fang-filled smile, scooped up her previously discarded boots, and slipped over the edge of the roof.

Gliding silently over the unsuspecting heads of the townspeople below, Kaida navigated the narrow streets of Poculum, only scraping her wingtips every so often. She wheeled around a sharp corner, and abruptly wheeled back. She’d heard the telltale hiss of alley cats. Kaida suppressed a shudder. Nasty things, cats. As lazy and conceited as you please, hacking up wads of licked fur all over the place. Not to mention they hissed and spat whenever Kaida passed; apparently kitty-cats don’t like big reptiles. Kaida still had no idea how they knew what she is. Suppressing another shudder, the weredragon flew in the direction of the Wandering Witch.

She sensed more than saw the shape tailing her. Deciding to ignore it, she landed into a crouch on the upper porch of the Wandering Witch, an inn by the name of Dragonwing Inn. ‘Fitting, yet ironic,’ Kaida thought to herself as she walked into its dimly lit interior. The innkeeper, smile at the ready, took one look at Kaida and plastered herself to the wall, eyes showing too much white, like a frightened horse. Her expression was one of fear, mixed liberally with horror. Kaida grimaced. No matter how many times she saw that look, it would always tear through her. She rapped her thick knuckles against the wood of the desk. “Stop your cowering and come ‘ere.” When the fearful innkeeper stepped within comfortable speaking distance, Kaida placed a few gold Pants on the counter. “How much will this buy?”

The innkeeper, now realizing that the Demon wasn’t going to suck the flesh off her face, answered in a nonetheless small, slightly squeaky voice, “A one-bed room, dinner, and breakfast.”

Kaida flashed fang at her, nearly giving the poor woman a heart attack. “Fine. If you’ll be so kind,” she pushed the coins across the desk and held her hand out expectantly for the key. With the small brass key in her hand, Kaida searched for her room, managing to procure a pitcher of wine, a loaf of bread, some slices of underdone beef, a plate, and a goblet all from a tray outside one of the doors. She found her room, but had quite the time getting in before having the brilliant idea to put the pitcher and plate with food on the floor so she could grasp the handle. Once successfully inside, she sat down to eat, deciding that she would sleep after she had morphed back into a full human.

As she stuffed the bloody beef into her fanged mouth, she let her mind wander. The sounds of the inn were comforting; a cough in the next room, two people arguing from the adjacent building, the sound of wood creaking and sighing. It was quiet times like this when her faith in the human race was renewed, when no wrong could be done, and when there was no evil afoot. The world narrowed to a Spartan bed, one window, one table, one chair, one washbasin, rough-hewn boards underfoot, and the candles flickering softly.

Kaida licked a droplet of blood from the corner of her lips. Life was good.

Current Mood: content
Sunday, January 30th, 2005
6:25 pm
Sallah stood, facing the 5 cats, gazing at them impassively. Their eyes had narrowed to mere slits, their tounges licking their lips. Sallah broke the silence first. "yes? what do you want?" she asked, one eyebrow quirked. The cat in the center, apparently the leader, growled "your" hissing, he jumped and attacked. THWAK! her glaive hit him between the eyes, knocking him out. she found herself surrounded by cats, who all attacked her at once. THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! effectively knocking 3 of the four remaining cats out, and stunning one, not without gaining five new cuts down her face. Placing her left foot on the last cat's chest and pressing the blade against its neck, she hissed "who sent you?" Finding no response, she yelled into its face "WHO SENT YOU?!" She felt five claws dig into her left calf through her boot. She gave a grunt of pain and, with a flick of the blade, knocked the last one out.
Sallah sighed, bringing a hand up to wipe the blood away. Luckily the cuts weren't too deep. Sliding down the wall, she pulled off her left boot. she placed her hand against her calf and the claw-marks healed. After doing the same to her face(it always felt wierd, like her skin being rewoven) and replacing her boot, she tied the cats up (not an easy feat). resuming her former sitting position, however this time with her glaive at easy access, she resumed reading the letter.

Current Mood: sleepy
Saturday, January 29th, 2005
12:34 pm
If the moon was full, the tail would be wagging.
“Vell,” the smaller one replied matter-of-factly, grasping the other’s hand in a tight crushing hand shake for a moment before dropping her hand to her side and commencing to rock back and forth slightly, “Lo’ a’ ye. Yer either a veredrache or a morph, na? An’ tha’s ne’er s’ common a’ people’d ‘a’ ye believe. A’ter all, t’ be th’ one, ye’ve ga t’ survi’ an attackin’ dragon, an’ from pers’nal esperiance ah ‘appen t’ ken tha’ ‘s nein easy.”

For a moment the girl wrinkled her nose, ears flattening down into her hair and almost blending in. Her last run-in with a dragon had been quite enough to keep her away from the fire-breathing things for a good many years. She’d lost an arm, for crying out loud! Absently she reached up to touch her right shoulder, where there was still the slightest ridge of a scar from the week before. She brushed at it to smooth it down the tiniest bit before looking back up with a happy little grin. After all, she had her arm back now. So there was no reason for her to be upset or moody. Worse things had happened, and worse things were still to come. Besides, this partial dragon seemed in no hurry to dismember her in the least.

“Or, if’n yer t’other, an’ a bone-eh-fied morph, then yer qui’ nearly ‘s rare. ‘S na exac’ly the easiest thin’ t’ shif’ yerself int’ such a ‘uge munster, en? Sa if ‘s na by geneti’s, ye must’ve put years o’ effort int’ it, an’ ye ken people git so tir’d o’ tha’ sor’ a trainin’ sa easily… S’ either vay, ‘s an impressi’ thin’ an’ ye’ve qui’ von me respec’.”

‘Roter’ could surely earn ever more respect by having understood even the nub and gist of what had just been said. Sempine often felt that the more she tried to express herself in this language, the more lost other people got. Perhaps it would be best if she just reverted to speaking her own little language that only the dogs understood. Then people would stop misinterpreting what she said. Then again, they might simply misinterpret it even more. And where would that get her? Most likely she’d wind up chained to some fencepost with a silver collar clawing at her neck and whimpering like a caged wolf (which she essentially would be).

In response to the question as to her own pedigree, the girl perked up considerably, her ears snapping up attentively. She pulled her legs up and folded them beneath herself, sitting cross-legged now and leaning forward onto her knees, hands tapping the ledge before her distractedly as she grinned happily up at the other woman.

“A’ fer me, ‘m na such special thin’, sin’ ah was born thi’ vay, ja? ‘M jus’ a lupine vampir’ pup. Nothin’ tha’ excitin’, unless yer int’rested in stuffin’ me fer a museum ‘r summat.” One ear twitch almost imperceptibly. Apparently that had happened before. “Vat’s viel more useful ‘s tha’ ‘m a ronin, eh? An’ qui’ pleased t’ wor’ fer food ‘nstead o’ moneys. Dieses ist die Welt, die wir innen leben, ja?” The girl laughed a little, looking out over that people bustling below. There were fewer now as the day began to wane. The thought of the dawning moon excited the girl a little, making her eyes lift to the horizon expectantly. “An’ vat a vorld it ist, nein? ‘S far li’lier tha’ someone’ll vant t’ know vat yer price is zen vhy ye’ve ga furry ears.”

Aw, she liked her new friend! It was advisable that the part-dragon start backing away soon. She was fast falling into danger of being hugged by a perky little vampire girl.

Current Mood: comfortable
Thursday, January 27th, 2005
7:29 pm
Kaida flashed abnormally sharp teeth as well. She took the offered hand with webbed ears flicking. “Naw, naw,” she said, shaking her horned head slightly, “the honor is mine own.” She frowned slightly and asked, “What d’you mean by ‘one of mine’, for surely I’m many a creature.” Green-gold eyes shimmered like liquid trapped in glass orbs with something that might have been amusement or regret. A small smirk tugged at the corner of her lips as she spied the furry ears of her comrade. “And if only to satisfy my curiosity, might I ask what manner of beastie you be?”

Current Mood: curious
Tuesday, January 25th, 2005
1:54 pm
"It is an honour!"
The girl had nodded sharply with military exactness and attention, turning her attention elsewhere while her companion of the moment finished her business with the elves. She was quite glad to turn away from the pointy-eared creatures on the roof. Detestable, the little vampire thought rather smugly as she gazed out over the bustle below her, still banging her heels against wall below her in an almost rhythmic pattern. They were horrible detestable things, elves, and they smelled disturbingly like precious metal. Having concluded that in her mind, Sempine waited calmly for the part-dragon beside her to be done with whatever was happening.

She had gone strangely catatonic, it would seem, the way she was sort of staring out over everything with the bird stalking her constantly in the corner of her eyes and her ears swiveled forward to try and hear something far away. Her scrawny frame was leaned forward slightly, stretching out over the edge of the ledge she was seated on, straining for something without appearing in the least bit taut or even particularly extended. The youth was draining slowly from her face in her extended silence, leaving a much calmer looking young woman in place of the bouncy pup who’d appeared on the roof.

For a moment or two after the weredragon had withdrawn her attention from the conversation with the elves, Sempine remained completely silent, as if thinking. Her head tilted itself ever-so-slightly to the right in an attitude of listening, although it wasn’t clear what she could possibly be listening to so intently over the horrendous bustle from below. Age was visible in the depths of her clear black eyes, age that is ever only apparent in a form of infinite sadness that many immortals were so fond of lamenting. It was a stark contrast from the girl’s general canine energy and camaraderie. Quite suddenly she blinked and looked up at the morph, and the look vanished from her face, replaced by the familiarly smirking grin she tended to wear, hair flopping haphazard down over her face again adolescently.

“Na ta, Roter, ye qui’e done wi’ dem?”

That would be the third person she’d given a name to in one day. It almost made her proud. She was being social, eh? It needs hardly be said that vampire were solitary creatures, and their second cousins tended to tread paths alone as well. And here she was, breaking all the rules by interacting on a personal level with three life forces in less than half an hour. That had to be some sort of record among her people. She’d make a mental note of that for the records if she ever decided to go home.

“A gut thin’, too, spen’ too much time wi’ tha’ sor’ an’ yer boun’ t’ go squishy li’ them is.” Flashing a mouthful of rather sharp teeth which looked quite willing to rip through anything or anyone squishy, the girl stuck her hand out toward the other, ears flickering down slightly in a show of something like submission. “An’ mi’ ah say, ‘s qui’ a ple’s’r’ t’ me’ ye, Fräulein. ‘S na e’ry day one o’ yorn sha’s up on de stree’s li’ this. Es ist eine Ehre.”

Current Mood: quiet, for once
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