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In Ex Nihilo 2 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
𝔅𝔞𝔲𝔟𝔩𝔢


‘Why is a fish judging a crab?’

Bauble’s whispered telepathy resonated through Haila’s head again almost instantly after her second question was complete. Then the following statement became distorted and broken as the telepathic words began to be replaced by an audible voice: ‘None of us should be so quick to point a talon. These humans may not be so very terrible as you think.’ While the message was being delivered, Haila would have seen the air beside her move, first like a mirage coming into view, the moist waves of which then filled with colour and solidified into a person… but not a dragon. The end of the statement was only audible, spoken in the tone of a young human male. Just a teenage boy. He was sitting on a branch of the neighbouring tree.

He was maybe in his late teens to be generous, legs dangling, feet swinging back and forth. His feet were bare, but he wore knee-length tattered green shorts, a dull and collarless buttoned shirt, and a typically mischievous teenage grin. It was incredible, really, the detail of this round-faced lad, right down to the youthful twinkle in his sky-blue eye, the two small pimples on his chin, a few fading freckles on his cheek, and his short, unkempt auburn hair.

He clicked with his tongue and gave Haila a wink, then in one swift movement he was up on his feet. Now standing on the limb he faltered for a moment and swayed, his arms flailed, expression of exaggerated fear; a believable impression of a reckless teen showing off to his crush. Done with his act, he corrected his balance with a second, playful wink and proceeded to walk the length of the limb - heel to toe as if daring a tightrope – and then leaned in on the trunk of the tree, head angling around to peer with sarcastic suspicion at the people gathered in town.

‘And you would know better, all of you would, if you spent more time with them. Like I have…’ Said the teenage human Bauble, turning a shifty, narrow stare to Haila, “…I’m the orphan stable hand.”

Before Haila could reply, Bauble lifted his hands, palms up, and sighed despairingly like a boy who had broken a toy, and then squatting low on the branch he popped his eyes as though he just very well had to tell her a secret he’d been holding onto for years.

He whispered low, ‘Let me show you something….’

Though Bauble did not move or reach out, the following event would have felt invasive to Haila, like a physical hand reaching into her head to place a tangible item in her mind. The item was a memory - a memory suddenly coming back to her, but a memory not her own. In the memory she would have seen a war-torn area of land. The land was mostly ash, houses were burning in the distance, the nearby forest afire. In the middle of this land was a group of powerful human mages. These mages had in the grip of their power three arist dragons, two adults and one infant, pinned to the charred ground by some type of red forcefield. All around and looking on were humans and various breeds of dragon, all of them battered, dirty and bloodied as though they had all been through a battle, and all of them now looking on at what the mages were doing.

It would have soon become clear to Haila that these wicked, powerful mages were torturing the three arist dragons, taking turns as they laughed and enjoyed every second of it. The arist's wailed in agony, calling for help, struggling to break free from the magic field that not only held them there, but prevented them from using magic of their own to defend themselves. Yet, no dragon came forward to try and help. No, not one. Neither did any human step forward - well, there was one. Just one. A human female. Just a hatchling, no older than twelve. The girl's clothes were tattered and stained as she pulled free from her mother’s hand. The dirt on her face – a face that very much resembled that of the human hatchling Haila had been referring to now in town - was cracked with tears. Her sweet, broken voice pleaded and begged for mercy on behalf of the arist's. But the mages did not yield and the child came running and screaming, her tiny fists beating at the arm of the nearest mage who turned to her with a mocking smile. He placed one hand on her head, muttered a curse, and the child fell dead where she stood. Her mother screamed and came running, only to be stopped by a bolt of lightning from the heavens.

Now was when Haila’s implanted memory faded to black. Bauble was still a teen boy, seated on the branch once again, feet no longer swinging. Sorrow was his portrait. He asked her in a solemn, cracking voice:

“Did you see any dragons trying to help me? Did they try and help my mother? My Father? No. They did not….’ A tear welled in Bauble's human eye. ‘Despite the danger. The threat. Only a human girl came. A hatchling.’ He turned his head towards the town. ‘Just like that one.’

With a blink the welled tear vanished. He composed himself. His feet began to swing again.

‘All three dragons, the last of my kind, were said to have died that day. But no…. I survived. So please if you will, Haila, be careful whom your judgements fall upon. I have been living as one of them for quite some time – and I tell you now, dragon, they are not so bad as most would say. They, just like us, fear what they don’t understand.’




𝕭𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖘 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝕳𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖆𝖍


Hannah didn’t know what to think. She didn’t know how to feel. She was so very traumatised – not just by the events over the last day, but also by her own behaviour – that her emotions were taking a rollercoaster ride. For the moment she was on a low, and she did not want to holler or scream as this very strange girl had implied she might. In fact, by the way she was currently feeling, she didn’t even know where those previous outbursts had come from, as she also had no idea about the power she’d apparently been wielding.

For now, and perhaps it was a convenient distraction from the real issues at hand, Hannah was intrigued by this new possible friend of hers - Eri, as the dragon had called her. She leaned with curiosity, hanging on Eri’s every word. She watched carefully as the spikes of some sort of magic appeared in the air between them and the crowd, and then while Eri shifted her attention to Boris she considered - with what appeared to be great concentration - the request that Eri had made. After a moment of careful deliberation, and proceeding a moment wherein her face screwed up like she had bitten into something sour, Hannah called out to the crowd somewhat less aggressively than Eri had probably hoped:

‘You should all go home now.’

She then gave Eri an apologetic look, shrugged one shoulder, and referred to the hovering magical spikes with an apprehensive glance. ‘What are those things?’

Meanwhile, Boris had paid no mind to the look Eri had given him. He was too involved with his drawing to care about anything else, his tongue still protruding and writhing with concentration as he vigorously scribbled away.

There was barely enough time for Eri to respond to Hannah’s enquiry when one of the townsfolk felt daring enough to speak up. It was a man, perhaps 30, dressed like a common farmer, and probably a stall holder to one of the food stands that had just been destroyed in the market. ‘What is it you want with us?’ He called out, pretending not be intimidated by the looming spikes of magic before him. ‘We are just a simple folk! We only want that you leave us alone – you and your… your…’ he glanced at Boris, Hannah again, then glared at the girl he had formerly seen flying around. ‘…you and your brutes and your ungodly wings and your magic! We just want to be left alone. And if you happen upon that flaming king, well you go ahead and tell him I said so too! Just leave us alone! You might think you're tough with… with y-y-y-your - those WINGS and fancy magics – but this wouldn’t be the first time we had to fight off a WITCH like you!’

In response to a brave little spat, many other of the townsfolk were encouraged to step forward, yet while many of them called out in support of the farmer in various ways, the terror in their voices couldn’t be ignored. Some other townsfolk broke off into groups, conspiring in heating whispers, while a few souls took off in search of weapons. It was simple, though; their town had recently been ravaged by the king's dragons, it was likely that many of them had lost a good chunk of their livelihood, and they couldn’t in good conscience just stand by mute while any further threat literally hung in the air.

Boris lifted his head, giving the farmer a sideways glance, then noticing the hovering blades of magic as if to question their existence for a fleeting moment, but still, again, returning to his drawing.

Hannah sighed a certain sigh as she observed the townsfolk's reaction, the sound she sometimes made when realising she’d been mistaken. She pushed some hair back behind her ears and looked around at the encroaching crowd. ‘Stop!’ Her voice was loud again, even louder with the following words, ‘Don’t be stupid, you will die!’ It was like the words themselves were pulling to the surface another burst of heightened emotion, dredging with it an energy that once again frightened her as much as it made her feel like her body was about to explode.

It was hard to ignore the arrays of dark colours fluctuating down the length of Hannah’s arms and into her hands, resulting in sparks and smoke from her finger tips like she was some sort of malfunctioning cyborg. A glow of emerald light shone from her eyes. She levitated several feet above the ground. A dark shadow enveloped her person. The ground started to convulse and shift like the planets seismic plates were suddenly undergoing maintenance.

Boris looked up from his notepad. He finally put it away. He spread his feet to keep balance against the rising tremor. The dragonbone on his back began to glow a deep turquoise hue. Yet he did nothing, for the moment at least - more delighted than anything else, as though he were watching a butterfly break free of its cocoon.

This was more than the townsfolk could bear. What courage they had was swiftly removed. They started scattering like a group of ants suddenly alarmed by a drop of water.

But it was also right then that an old man was present. Whether he had strolled up, or somehow just appeared, could not have been clear to anyone, since nobody knew he was there, yet. But there he was, standing on the road between the misfits and the bridge out of town. The man had a mule. The mule, as traveling merchant mules often were, was laden with all manner of luggage. The old man himself, however, was hunched with what appeared to be pain induced by the burden of too long a life, and leaned most of his meager weight on a cane that wobbled under the strain. The cane had the look of something hewn from the twisted and knotted branch of perhaps the first tree to ever exist. His clothing appeared almost as old; a faded brown cloak that touched the ground, tied about the waist by a fraying rope that was obviously defying the laws of physics by being able to secure anything any longer. His face was sunken, cheek bones almost perforating his dusty, wrinkled skin, while his jaw was jutting forward, chin raised, thick bottom lip pulled up over the top of his mouth and nearly touching the hairy curls extending from the flared nostrils of his long and lumpy nose. His eyes, however, were without doubt the creepiest aspect of the old man. One of them were nearly shut, not on account of squinting, more like it was just being lazy, deciding that it didn’t really care what there was left to see in the world, and wanting no part whatsoever in the shenanigans of his second eye that was rather popped and wily, darting about in a crazed sort of fashion to assess the situation.

Somehow though, the old man was unaffected by the earthquake, his mule too, as he also found the strength to lean back a little, raise his cane, then drive its tip down hard against the crusty surface of the road – a small act of itself that nobody would have noticed, but caused everything to change. And it would have only been then, after the earth stopped shaking, after every townsfolk had vanished, after Hannah dropped to the ground in an unconscious heap, after the glow from Boris’s bone turned off, after the spikes of desire exploded into quickly fading particles of dust, and after the day was snatched away by night and two large moons hung low together in the heavens, that Boris or Erised may have noticed the old man there. If not (which would likely be due to everything else that had just taken place), he cleared his throat to make sure.

Boris didn’t hear the old man clear his throat, neither did he seem to care that the town was quiet, or even that it was night time all of a sudden. He had rushed to Hannah when she fell to the ground. It was only once he had swooped her up, Hannah looking like a tiny doll cradled in his arms, that his pouty expression happened upon the old man.

Due to the land being lit by Azul and Terrariell (the two largest moons of Nihilo hanging close together and symbolising the night after Beckon Season), and the immediate area lit up more so by two street lamps - one beside the stable entrance, the other across the road closer to Boris and Erised - there would have been no problem seeing the old man shuffle very slowly in Erised’s direction, sparing a moment on his tiresome journey to shake his head wearily at Boris, almost as if he were embarrassed by the massive brute. An uncomfortable amount of time later, with the mule keeping pace close behind, the old man came to a halt a few feet from where he had previously been standing, his good eye jittering hard in an effort to keep a glaring focus on Erised as he spat out the words –

‘What are you daft, you hyped up little self-indulgent abomination? After all this time you’ve spent existing and bitching about everything and achieving absolutely nothing, you let the universe get in the way of seeing the stars? Sure, yeah, I wouldn’t expect dumb-dumb over here to figure it out,’ He said with a glance to Boris, ‘but it’s pretty damn obvious that Hannah is going through a quickening.’ He mumbles something in some other language, and added, ‘You haven’t even figured it out, have ya, Erised? After all this time… it still hasn’t registered in that Dodo brain of yours that you are where you are because that’s where you’re meant to be. That’s life, stupid!’ He said the last part in a somewhat aggravated tone, but quickly relaxed while his good eyes spun in circles a few times and his mule made some stressful forlorn groans.

The sound of a cow was also heard close by, mooing loud and startling the night. But there was no cow to be seen. Boris looked around utterly confused. He also regarded Erised, and then Hannah passed out in his arms, suspicious that it may have been one of them that mooed.

‘The girl needs your help.’ Concluded the old man, and spared one more glance to include Boris in that statement. ‘She’s in your care. For now.’




Jack


There were no monsters. No transforming beasts. No six headed dragon. Just a couple of old farts suddenly pleading for mercy. Jack’s specific line of work made him well tuned to many things about human nature, and fear was one of those things. He’d been around, he’d witnessed it, he’d been the cause of it, he'd seen it so many, many times to know that the fear of this old couple was real. He lowered the sword to his side, tip of the blade rested on the mouldy floorboard as he stared into the eyes of the old woman while she pleaded with him.

Remorse took hold of Jack. He regretted his actions. Not for what he was doing right at that moment, but for something he had done over a decade ago. It was a memory, among a surprising few, that would forever haunt him.

It was one of the first jobs he did for Johnny Big after being released from Juvenile detention, and an order that came directly from Johnny Big himself. A home invasion: “Go to their house. Kill the guy. Collect the goods. Clean before leaving.” But Johnny, somehow, had the address wrong. The numbers had been mixed up. Jack burst in through the door of the house next door instead, subsequently scaring the living daylights out of the old couple watch TV from the comfort of their sofa. Jack was armed with a semi-automatic pistol, the cold hollow point of its silencer aimed at the old man’s head while a look of confusion crippled Jack’s face. He’d been expecting someone younger. Mid-thirties. Not this old decrepit fool and his wife.

The old man lost control fast, arms outstretched as he wailed and turned in circles in the middle of the lounge room, as if he’d just realised that everything in his life - his family and all his possessions - had suddenly been stripped away. Jack watched on, speechless, set aback by this spectacle, entirely unsure of how to proceed until the old man stopped: He gripping his chest with his right arm. His left arm hooked in on itself like it was having a cramp. He turned towards Jack. He dropped to his knees. His face paled. Physical pain screamed from his eyes as what were to be his last words whispered almost inaudibly from his trembling lips –

‘You… fuck….’

It was obvious the old man was having a heart attack, and his wife - who had up until that point been pleading for mercy from Jack - ran to embrace her husband. He collapsed fully into her arms, reaching for a final breath but got none. His face paled further. Life was fleeing his widened stare. His wife bellowed in a way Jack had never heard before. It was like as if a cow and hyena were screaming together in some sort of twisted opera. And then all became silent as she turned her face to Jack, eyes no longer full of fear. No sorrow. No despair. She was no longer a victim. She was now the embodiment of accusing hatred glaring up at Jack.

Then, right there, was the remorse Jack felt. That woeful feeling of regret. Swelling. Sickening. Ripping him open inside. What had he done? It wasn’t his fault! Surely? An obvious mistake – He wasn’t to blame! No, this couldn’t be happening! This couldn’t be happening at all. He couldn’t be responsible for this – no! Not now! Not EVER! All at once it hit him – in one overwhelming moment he knew he couldn’t bear it; a prophecy of eternal nightmares flooded his heart. There was no way out, no escape, no relief from the future life of torment he was to endure on account of this one singular act. It couldn’t be true - surely - But he could already feel it haunting him the rest of his days – that accusing look in the old woman’s eyes! He needed to go. He needed to escape. He needed to turn back time! He needed to end this NOW!

He urgently squeezed the trigger multiple times.

A procession of muffled gunshots danced about the room. The old woman’s brains, blood and fragment of skull now covered the TV screen where a new contestant was currently being introduced on The Wheel of Fortune.

Jack was jolted from his memory of the event when Cheryl pushed by him into the shack. He looked at her, saw her mouth moving.

The old man and woman, though now eased back on their bedroll due to Cheryl, were still watching Jack with lingering apprehension.

While Cheryl then claimed a section of floor and said something stupid about his daughter, he drew a small breath, steadied himself, and then raised his free hand as if he were a priest bestowing a blessing of calm upon the old folks. They gave him a curious look. He added a nod of his head and it appeared, at least a little, to help comfort them. Jack returned his attention to Cheryl.

He didn’t have one - a bedroll, that is. Cheryl’s looked like something a homeless man had been dragging around the gutters for the last 20 years. Didn’t matter, though, he was too tired to care about the condition of her bed. But ‘Tactful’, as it turned out, was obviously not a word she was familiar with, not in the slightest. Her attempt at empathy, followed by yet another ill-timed note of self-preservation, found Jack irritated more than ever at her apparent lack of humanity.

Without thinking about the correct way to react, but remembering the callous elbow she jabbed him with on the ride there, he hooked his foot under her buttocks as she squatted with a thoughtful frown beside her bedroll, then shoved her out of his way with a firm thrust of his leg.

‘Move!’

The movement would have been strong enough to lift Cheryl and slam her firmly against the corner walls on top of her bedroll, while Jack simultaneously swung the same foot to the side and kicked the stool right out the door. It exited the premises quite dramatically and continued toppling into the night for what sounded like a good distance.

Before Cheryl could have recovered, he was on his back on the rotting floorboards, head without a pillow. He had one arm resting on the edge of her bedroll. His exposed sword lay by his other side. His feet occupied the spot where the stool had been. His hands, coupled, were rested on his stomach as he stared up into the night, focused partly on the broken timber of the roof and partly at the stars beyond.

‘Just give me an excuse….’ He muttered a warning at her, then clenched his jaws as he repeated the warning in his head.




𝐹𝒶𝓊𝓋𝑒


It was so very dark now that the three moons had descended, and it must have been just a few minutes before the sun reared its bright and annoying head. The four people in the shack, or at least Fauve figured there was three or four, would have been asleep for hours.

She had been biding her time to ensure, with no certainty however, that all of them were fast asleep, and she had been keeping a good distance downwind to ensure that the annoying little pygmy would be less likely to catch a whiff of her presence, which meant crouching in the darker shadows of a Colossaquo tree at the edge of Dragon Grove across the road. It was finally time to make her move. The only issue was getting across the road quietly and undetected, which meant being unpursued by the unhappy Phantoman that was standing right beside her.

The tall and very creepy Phantoman had arrived just minutes earlier, but as much as she pretended not to notice it standing there, or the several times it had run its cold, pointed finger down her back in what was probably to it a failed attempt to gain her attention, she could no longer hold out from acknowledging its presence.

‘Look,’ She whispered firmly, turning her head to see the dim outline of its form looming over her, ‘I’m not here to rain on your parade or hurt your family or whatever it is you have a problem with right now. I’m just hiding for a minute, okay? So… can you go and loom over someone else? I promise I’ll be gone in a minute.’

She could see its head tilt curiously to one side. It didn’t appear to have any idea what she had said, but it might have. Its beady white eyes made an appearance with a glow that lasted an instant, just to let her know it heard her.

She sighed, then pointed at the shack across the street.

‘I’m going over there. You understand? There are some very rude people in that shack and I want to teach them a lesson in manners, okay? So if you just let me go without trying to follow or kill me, I’d appreciate that very much.’ She thought for a moment. ‘Can you let me know if you understand a damned word I’m telling ya?’

‘Bad manners.’

Now, Fauve wasn’t the easiest person to spook, but hearing the Phantoman’s reply to her comment made her skin crawl and her hair stand on end. Its voice sounded like some grated cross between that of a dying man and a very sick owl. But what was more was that it didn’t feel like the creature was just repeating what she had said, rather that it was using her own words to accuse her of the same thing.

She swallowed, trying hard not to let on how nervous she was suddenly becoming.

‘No, no, not me.’ She jerked her head in direction of the shack to try and shift its focus. ‘I totally respect you and your space. I really do. I just had nowhere else to hide. You get that, right? Hiding? You guys do it all the time. I promise…’ She said as she started to edge away, ‘…I was just leaving.’

It crept around the tree, silently following.

She paused, took a deep breath to ease her nerves, trying so very hard to once again ignore her pursuer, but she knew very well that at this point she had to admit facts. She was no longer out to teach anyone a lesson, her new goal was to save her own life. But... maybe she could do both.

There was no real way to tell how long it was going to take for the Phantoman to make its first attack on her. She had read in a book once that ignoring one might make it delay its attack, or even, in some cases, have it lose interest in its subject. She very much doubted at this point, considering the interaction that just took place, that it was going to lose interest in her, but she couldn’t be sure how long ignoring the creature would keep it from making its first attack. She had, however, quickly formulate a plan. It wasn’t the best plan in the world, there were just so many things that could go wrong, and if she timed it just right it might even involve the death of a pygmy dragon (not that that was a preference), but at least, at the very least, she might escape death and have a new horse to sell off. One can hope.

Avoiding any sudden movements, making it seem to the Phantoman that she was still only interested in the shack across the road, she kept her eyes on the shack and moved as quickly and silently as possible to remove the belt from her waist, roll it up tight, slip off her tunic, and then wrap the coiled belt up in the tunic like a makeshift sack. Then, reduced to nothing but underpants while holding the tunic bundle in her left hand, and not wanting to tempt fate for even one more second, Fauve launched her half-assed plan into action.

She sprung from the shadows and, almost clearing the width of the road with that one leap, landed with her legs already running, toes kicking up the dust in her wake as she bolted through the grass at an almost inhuman speed towards the pygmy and the horse.

As the pygmy, but thankfully not the horse just yet, would have then no doubt become aware of her fast approaching presence, Fauve was just as well aware of the monster chasing after her. While she figured it would have been left behind - if only momentarily in the wake of her sudden move - her intuition, which was always sharp as a blade, told her that the Phantoman would have already realised what was happening, that it would have already started to pursue, and that it would, right about now, be launching its first attack –

At the very instant she heard the sound, like the sharp, airy gasp someone might make after holding their breath for too long, she launched herself off the ground again as the dark, transparent mass, about the size of a basketball – endowed with enough power to knock down a man or remove any small animal clear off its perch – shot fast as a bullet under Fauve and directly at the pygmy. Airborne and still moving at the same speed as she was while running, but still a good distance from the horse, Fauve spread her limbs and formed sails between both legs and between her arms and body, similar to a gliding possum, and swiftly angled her trajectory towards the horse. Meanwhile - Fauve apparently having her timing and planning just right - the horse became alarmingly aware of the pending danger as well, and, just as importantly - whether the pygmy had managed to move out of the way or whether it was knocked right off the horse by the speeding Phantoman ball of energy - the horse's back was now clear. In one swift, graceful movement, Fauve de-formed her sails, kept her legs apart, and landed on the horse. Then, even though the horse wouldn't have needed any extra inspiration to start running like a bat out of hell in that instant, she promptly spurred it with a sharp kick of both heels and ordered it to go.

Moments later, with first light beginning to paint the sky, they had disappeared down the road; Guinea, Fauve, and a Phantoman in hot pursuit.
In Ex Nihilo 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay



Hokumtapaya Dragons

The Tapaya Dragon Group













































More to be added.

In Ex Nihilo 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
À 𝖑𝖆 𝕾𝖙𝖆𝖓
&
𝕳𝖔𝖐𝖚𝖒𝖙𝖆𝖕𝖆𝖞𝖆


~~The Two Clans of Nihilo~~


Nobody really knows exactly how long ago the first humans settled in Nihilo. What is known is that the first settlers were actually two tribes, The Hokumtapaya and The À La Stan. It is believed that the tribes were first nomadic allies who settled together in Nihilo because of the abundant resources and diversities it offered. What was perhaps centuries later, the two tribes became enemies and went to war with each other. It was after this, a war that lasted close to two centuries, that both tribes began documenting more detailed accounts of their steps through history. These writings are now referred to as Ancient Doctrine.

Though the first war had ended without a victor, the tension between Hokumtapaya and À la Stan persisted. Ancient Doctrine from both sides agree on what is said to be the only thing they do agree on, that this enduring conflict originally stems from their inability to agree on specific matters relating to the purities and superiority of magic types, both in Humans and Dragons. Over the centuries, however, their differing points of view branched out into progressive compilations of facts and perspectives concerning many various aspects of life, and eventually became two very distinct lines of Nihiloan knowledge and Philosophy, both of which are still studied and even taught in schools to this day.

More recently, the Hokumtapaya and À la Stan are often referred to as The Two Clans of Nihilo, and their teachings are referred to respectively as either Hokumtapaya or À la Stan Philosophy, and Hokumtapaya or À la Stan Knowledge.

Although the genealogy of the Hokumtapaya and À la Stan clans have been scattered and diluted over the many centuries of generations to become what the population of Nihilo is today, there remains a myth that a pure and untainted lineage of both tribes still exist as neighbouring communities, now residing in seclusion and at peace with each other somewhere in a magically hidden domain upon the highlands of Nihilo.

In Ex Nihilo 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
𝐹𝒶𝓊𝓋𝑒


…So there she was. A young woman in ragged clothes, no shoes, no baggage, nothing in her hands… just her on a quiet country road in the middle of the night. Ignored. She just stood there, a tad confounded, staring down the road into the darkness in the wake of the two riders, her face twisted as she slowly scratched her butt cheek in bemused thought.

‘What a couple of meatheads.’

In all fairness, she wasn’t all that surprised. Inconsiderate, even rude, self-absorbed people were everywhere in this world. Not so outrageous to think that a couple of cosy riders would turn their faces from a woman who appeared stranded in the middle of the night –

‘AND IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!’

She considered the face of the girl at the reins. She had seen Fauve, no question, but her expression had appeared a little vacant, like someone making a terrible effort to think while gawking at a brick wall.

‘What do I look like to you, bitch, a fucktart? Probably not, actually. You probably would have stopped for one of them. Tasty little suckers….’

But then there was the guy passenger. He had definitely seen her. He even looked back with his stupid face and his stupid expression as they continued on their merry way. What a wussbag. But hey, there was always the chance - even in the event that the girl had overlooked her, that he, the one who actually acknowledged her standing there, would be considerate enough to bring the situation to attention – and maybe, just maybe, they would find it in their simpleton hearts to turn around and come back, check and see if the young shoeless lady in rags on the road in the middle of the night was actually okay!!!

A few minutes later, Fauve was still standing there alone, staring into the night, now scratching her other butt cheek.

‘Nope.’ She sighed, rolled her eyes up at the sparkling night sky. ‘I think it's high time I teach a couple meatheads a lesson in common courtesy.’ She laughed - which was actually more of a snort – accompanies by a sharp shrug of her shoulders.

Before heading into the night in pursuit of the meathead duo, she stepped off the road and dropped to a squat next to the tubby corpse of a man face up in the grass, his glazed and soulless eyes gaping at the stars, his now cold and clammy face no longer receiving affection from the grass.

‘Well, buddy, thanks for stopping,’ She said, giving a light, playful slap to his face, ‘good to see there’s still some decency in the world. Next time don’t pull your stinky sausage out.’ She snorted again, amused at herself. ‘You ain’t rich enough for that shit.’

After returning her knife belt to her waist, and emptying the dead man’s person of any valuables - shoving it all into his bag and taking that too - and then pausing a moment to close his eyes with a gentle sweep of her hand, she set out down the road in pursuit of the meathead duo; arms in an exaggerated swing, little skip in her step, bare feet kicking up the cool night dust, humming a pleasant tune to herself.




Jack


Was this girl even aware of the implications she was making? Jack was dumbfounded. He slipped down off Guinea, top lip curled in contempt of the words proceeding from Cheryl's mouth:

“Before I was around.”

“She came back as the most feared witch around.”

“The old Hag’s connected to that witch.”

You mean my daughter? He was thinking, She was here before you were even born? She is now a witch that everyone is scared of? She’s tied in with that Hag I just met at the blacksmiths? My own now very old daughter is a witch? So I’m several decades too fucking late – is that what you are standing there telling me, you stupid apathetic fff….

Jack had to turn away, if only for a moment to maintain his composure. While Cheryl continued ranting, apparently about the shack now, he glared across the road at the massive trees of the adjacent forest. Just glaring in anguish over the possibilities surrounding his daughter. But his glare turned into a suspicious squint when he thought he caught sight of movement between two tree trunks near the edge of the road. In that moment - a very short moment - he thought he also saw two small beady white eyes flash back at him.

His body shuttered. Goosebumps dabbed his arms. He turned his head to look down the road in the direction they had come, in a fleeting instant considering that maybe the feral girl he had seen back there was actually in need of help. He discarded the though with a small shake of his head before turning back to Cheryl, who was now conversing with some old guy who had apparently appeared from inside the shack. Jack listened to their conversation carefully. Considered the situation. At last, when Cheryl turned and made some ridiculous comment about sharing (presumably with her) or sleeping outside, he wondered which one it actually was: That this girl was out of her mind - cuckoo - or just the dumbest bitch he’d ever met.

‘You can’t be fucking serious?’ He finally spoke. ‘Are you out of your fucking mind? Moons twisted your brain or something, lady?’ He looked at the shack, looked back at Cheryl. Shook his head with disbelief. ‘I’ve seen some naïve twats in my time, but are you seriously believing a word this old fart has to say?’ He threw his arms out to the side in an exasperated why-would-I-even-bother fashion, and then had to point out the obvious just in case she missed it. “Take a look around, Sherlock. Is there anything, ANYTHING at all in this place - in this very moment and time - that you even feel at all comfortable with? We pass some crazy possibly-escaped-lunatic on the road a few minutes back, we are now pulled up in front of a creepy-ass forest where two creepy-ass white eyes just looked back at me, we have three – and I repeat THREE,” He held up three fingers for effect; ‘moons hovering in the sky. And you have the bright-spark capacity to trust this old geezer at his word? Do you really, honestly believe that he is in fact just some old guy willing to invite two young strangers into this abandoned shelter to share the night with his aging wife? Your crazy mind sees nothing at all amiss with this situation? Really? Do you even live in this world at all?

Move out of my fuck’n way!’

Jack had his sword out, and it would have been then that Cheryl saw its brilliant steel shimmering in the light of the falling moons, and she would have recognised it - the wavy reflections of its unique colouring - to be that of arist steel, as Jack then moved right past her with a purposeful stride towards the shack.

He soon arrived. Pushed aside the boar skin and stepped past the threshold inside.

Sword at the ready.

Him at the ready.

Ready for anything.




𝕭𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖘 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝕳𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖆𝖍


Bauble had gone without dignifying Erised’s remarks with a response.

Boris was dumb, and his goofy smile was continuing proof of that. His big, ironically brutish baby face had the look of an infant watching a stage show as Erised did her thing.

Hannah, now interested in Erised to the point of forsaking her own despair, watched on intently as well. By time Erised returned with a reforming hand – an aspect that couldn’t really be hidden by a glove – she had her head tilted and cocked, eyes narrowed with the concentration required to absorb Erised’s every move. When Erised offered her the horse, Hannah didn’t know what to say, since she had never been on a horse before. But when Erised finally showed - at least to Hannah - some vulnerability by stammering over her final question, she smiled. She smiled in the way that a girl who possessed the prospect of making a friend her own age in an otherwise scary place would smile.

‘I don’t know what that is,’ She said with a nervous yet hopeful kind of discarding laugh, ‘but I do speak English, if that’s what you mean?’

She took a step forward, glancing again to Erised gloved hand for reference. ‘How did you do that?’

Meanwhile, the townsfolk were becoming uneasy in the visual absence of Bauble, murmuring among themselves, some of them returning their attention to the smouldering ruins of their town. Others sharpening their stare on Erised, Boris and Hannah in an all too familiar where-are-our-pitchforks kind of way.

Boris, on the other hand, now becoming distracted by a thought, retrieved his drawing pad from his backpack. He flipped past a few parchments until arriving at a clean page, and then started scribbling something down with his charcoal pencil, tongue sticking out and writhing with childlike concentration.




𝔅𝔞𝔲𝔟𝔩𝔢


Haila’s effort to make contact with Bauble’s mind would have - at least for the immediate few second to follow - failed, as though some dark wall had been raised to prevent her access.

As she continued to watch on at the three humans of interest, nothing nearby that could have distracted her from events taking place in the town, not even the slightest crack of a twig or shift of a shadow – she would have suddenly felt a warm breath on the side of her face, accompanied shortly thereafter by a deep, whispered voice travelling through her head:

‘What are you planning?’
In Ex Nihilo 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay

𝕭𝖆𝖚𝖇𝖑𝖊, 𝕭𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖘 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝕳𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖆𝖍


Sonarlis was a mess. Fire. Screaming townsfolk. Animals wailing. Blood. Death. Dragons. The stench of roasting flesh, wood and fabrics. And the feeling of something epic taking place, as if he was, once again, part of something really, really big. Boris was very happy. Not so much because of all that death and destruction, or even the sense that something very important was taking place, but because - as the very honourably looking dragon took up position nearby - the little Girl, Hannah, slipped her hand into his again. She liked Boris a lot, Boris could tell. He smiled kindly down at her. She was so small, such a fragile little thing, that her hand was practically raised overhead to keep hold of his. But it was pretty soon after taking his hand that her own attention was taken, and it directed Boris to events taking place in the sky.

Boris looked. He smiled. He watched, expression first overcome by familiarity, because even though the person was too high in the sky to make out properly, he knew who it was. It was that other little girl he had recently met. She was up there with the very mean dragons, and she was doing amazing stuff. Plus, she was flying, and that made Boris smile even more. It wasn’t the first time he had seen a human fly, but he found it fun anyway.

Eyes twinkling with delight, he watched the spectacle like a child looking up at a rollercoaster during his first ever trip to an amusement park. Soon afterwards, as the final mean dragon fell from the sky, he grinned down at Hannah who was now holding a mutual expression of excitement, and told her, 'I sure do wish I had wings, don’t you, little miss?' Regardless of all the chaos and death, her childlike disposition shown with a giggle.

They both then continued to watch, and the honourable dragon too, as the flying girl descended quickly and landed by the stables. Boris frowned, thinking that if it had of been him flying around like that, he would have roosted on the roof – like a rooster!

He chuckled.

The girls comment, “Hey, uh, either of you a natural with animals? Cause it would be great if you could calm her down and then I'll be on my merry way", got nothing at all from Boris. He continued staring at her, but now in a kind of dumb fashion while Hannah receded, her grip on Boris fastening as she tucked herself away and peeked out from behind his tree-trunk thigh. Her sudden apprehension was however not for fear of the other girl, but instead on account of the dragon as it turned in all its majestic appeal upon its gruesome perch to face Erised.

With head held high, its unconscientious dignity was undeniable, enough to strike a sense of admiration in anyone, like some variety of transcending virtue. Despite all that had taken place, it was in that moment that even the townsfolk slowed in their terror and started to look back to observe the wondrous sight of a species – nay, a legend, once thought of as extinct, now come to life in all its heart-thumping prowess.

Bauble, an Arist dragon still of youthful age, stood at around three meters at the shoulders. Like all Arist, he had six main extremities; four legs and a set of wings, though his front feet clearly doubles as hands with opposable talon grips. His scales seemed to shimmer and change colour like the always changing reflection of a water’s surface, projecting shades of his surroundings in contrast to the delinquent slate-grey pigment of his scales. His wings too held a similar instability in their colouring, though for the moment they were tucked away and flattened to the contours of his ridged back. With the colour of his short, youthful jaw horns fluxing from blood-red to altering shades of dull blue, and the dark of his eyes murky with mists of cherry-pink, he stared down his nose at Erised.

The visual contact with Erised lasted but an intense moment. He seemed to be reading her. Glaring right into her soul – before one eyebrow perked up and his body shifted to turn and look away. He descended the dead dragon and walked just a few purposeful steps towards the burning ruins of town. He stopped. Like a cat catching sight of a sneaky mouse, his head lowered, eyes narrowing, seemingly observant of everything around him as a resonating tone, like that of a dull hum, caused everything around to tremble. Even the air seemed to vibrate. His torso inflated. His nostrils flared. His wings ruffles – and then at once, as though he were the center of an explosion, a shockwave expelled from his body as his torso deflated. It swept across the city, through everyone and across the land, and changed everything it made contact with: The fires were extinguished. The carcasses of the dead dragons, even the one that lay mangled far away on the mountainside, turned to dust and disseminated on contact with the wave of energy. In the following instant everything was calm, like the burst of power had in it a drug to subdue all life, like every problem in the world had been cast aside, as though the universe itself had been calmed. Including Erised’s horse.

All was still.

Boris in that same moment was struck with a subdued feeling. He felt light on his feet, his thoughts clear of any trouble or concern. It reminded him of the effects that alcohol had on him. He even swayed a little as Hannah’s grip loosened. She too was taken by a sense of overwhelming submission.

In the short time to follow, as the calmed and awestruck townsfolk began to gather in watch from a distance, Bauble turned back, glanced auspiciously at Erised's now calm horse, shifted to concentrate his virtue on Erised, and then he spoke. Yet not with a voice born of his mouth or throat. His mouth remained closed. The words were undoubtedly emanating from his person - like telepathy, but aloud, vocal; a deep reverberation that took the various forms needed to create words. It was like listening to the deep notes of a base guitar if it could speak:

'Your aura is strange, Eri…. I do not know what you are, but you seem too arrogant for your own good.' He paused, tilting his head in deep thought and further observation of her. 'So many colours. But so much grey.' His countenance than shifted to indicate a change of topic. 'Though the king is no more than the filth that accumulates at the corner of a troll’s mouth, he is nevertheless dangerous. He will be after you now. He will come. For you. His men. His witch whores. Their magic’s. Be aware.'

While Erised would not have been familiar with the audible language he spoke - the deep tones of his audio present only for the sake of others listening - Bauble transcended his meaning past the physical for her. It came through seemingly submerged beneath the vibrations of his words, yet in the very clear form of distinct and finely tuned levels of excitations, impressions, and depressions - refined notes of desire; feelings; emotions - what to Bauble was spiritual understandings, language, or even what could have been considered nothing but variations of energy, but a language that to Erised would have been just as easily understood as the spoken words were to the others listening.

Meanwhile, Haila, watching on from her position beyond the town, would have received the same message, only she would have heard an additional message spoken at a variance to be heard by her ears alone:

'Don’t be foolish, Haila. Listen to your brethren. Stay back. Humans cannot be trusted. Only family.'

At the same time, and although the now subdued townsfolk were listening on, it was not the message to Erised that they heard. They did not hear what Haila heard, either. They heard their own singular message from the Arist:

'You have seen me now. I will not hide from your eyes any longer. Spread the word if you must. No doubt you will. But know that I intend your kind no harm. For what good is a whip without understanding? You know not what you do, and I will not hold ignorance accountable.'

Once the first range of messages were delivered – Boris and Hannah, so far hearing only the message to Erised – Bauble shifted his glare to Hannah, and sending forth vibrations on a level that only they and Erised could hear, said, 'The king lusts for you. He lusts for the great power you yield, as he no less lusts for your flesh in the most despicable way. You will need protection. You will need to hide. Or kill him.'

As he finished speaking, Bauble changed. His entire body took on the many pigments of his surroundings. He was seen as nothing more than vapour, a mirage of his former self as he headed towards the tree line to leave.

Boris was impressed by all that the dragon had done, mostly by the way he just made the dead dragons disappear, but he didn’t pretend to understand what the dragon had said to Hannah. Not exactly, anyway. But he received a notion of what the dragon might have meant, and that notion wasn’t good at all. He was angered by it. He would have spoken out right there and then, said something to show just how much he desired to protect Hannah - had Hannah herself not spoken up before he got the chance.

'That’s not even true!' She spat, jerking her hand from Boris’s grip as she stepped boldly towards the retreating dragon, 'That king… THAT king!' She raised her voice, quivering with emotion, 'Doesn’t matter who he is – because he won’t get me. He won’t get me, DRAGON! I’m not scared at all, not of you, and not of any king, either! Because my dad will kill him, you just wait and see!!'

The faint form of Bauble paused to turn its head back and regard the child, poising motionless long enough to say, 'I have seen your vision. Your father is too far from here to come.'

'STOP!' She screamed.

Bauble did not stop, he did not regard her again. He said nothing and continued on his way. Hannah looked back to Boris. She looked to Erised. Her expression now one of destitution, like a child abandoned, not knowing which way to turn.

'Please, help me….' She began to cry, tears welling in her pleading eyes, jaw shaking in raw trepidation, 'I don’t know where I am….'




𝕶𝖎𝖓𝖌𝖘 𝕻𝖆𝖑𝖆𝖈𝖊
𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝕽𝖔𝖞𝖆𝖑 𝕮𝖎𝖙𝖞


After receiving the bad news from his wizard, King Eor fetched a concubine. Across half the castle grounds and up into his concubines bed chamber he dragged the teen naked by her hair, tied her to the bed, disrobed himself, and then proceeded to whip her legs with a plaited leather rope. With each stroke she screamed for mercy and got none. Every strike became harder, more vicious, increasing the kings excitement until her thighs were torn, swollen and purple. Her screams had become mute. But everybody knew. His guards. His servants. His wife. His royal counsel. They were not deaf. The castle became quiet as all that remained to be heard was the continuing lashes against tendered, blooded flesh echoing thought the kingdom.

Eventually he had to stop, not from lack of will, but just because he no longer had the physical stamina to continue. He was sweating, exhausted as he stared down at the half-conscious girl – her breath wheezing - his own breath laboured as he pushed out words with each exhale;

'Arist… do not… live… and alas they live….' His rage, so incensed, appeared to almost pop his eyes from their sockets as he continued; 'They humiliated… your king. You hear me… wench? They humiliated… me….' He wanted to give her one more lash of the rope, but his arm was too heavy to respond. 'That… is what they did…. That barbarian… that flying bitch… the arist…. They will... they will pay…. They will all be killed. And I will have… that little whore… to myself… her… her power… her untainted flesh… it will all be…. Mine.'

As yet another tear of so many broke away from her eye, the young concubine forsook her own life to reply to the king in a whisper:

'The God of life is just. You will perish in great pain.'

As blood flowed from a new gash in the girls neck and the last spark of life escaped the windows to her soul, the king left the bedchamber without first dressing himself, and descended to the basement where he met with his wizard once again. The wizard stood to greet his king, but kept his eyes to the floor as not to view the kings’ nakedness.

'Forget the dragons,' announced the King, 'it is time to do things the old fashioned way!'




Jack


The three moons were unreal, in any sense of the word. Well, the whole world was, needless to say, fantastic – but the moons this night, they added such an enchanting essence that it felt like he and Cheryl were galloping upon the spawn of a supernatural steed through a high-fantasy world created by CGI in Hollywood studios. It was overwhelming. Beautiful. Frightening.

Jack was a good deal taller than his companion, which meant that he had a good view all round, even to the front where he could peer down the road, over Cheryl’s head, but at the same time - despite the surrounding wonders - being crunched up behind this odd individual made the whole situation a tad awkward. Fortunately, Jack didn’t really get put off by the standard human feelings of discomfort, or even fears. He recognised them for what they were and set them aside, so it wasn’t long before the awkwardness faded like all emotions that weren’t fed and nurtured. Though remaining alert and on guard in this alien world, he relaxed well enough and enjoyed the ride.

Overall, he didn’t speak, and didn’t find the need to. It was what it was, at least for now. When not admiring the view, and when not suppressing the genital response to a bumpy ride, his mind was deep in thought, reflecting on the events taken place: The sword, the old hag he had met, the blacksmith who apparently didn’t even forge his sword but was told to give it to Jack anyway. And then there were these powers? And visions? All these new abilities he now seemed to have – what the fuck was all that about? There were so many things that made little sense, yet he knew that somehow it would all piece together in the end. Life was like that. Of course, the one thing that plagued his thoughts the most was Hannah; the vision he had back at the blacksmiths, the giant man she was with, the dragons, the burning town. His daughter had been there …or was going to be there. Somehow. In some way. And in a way, regardless of needing to keep moving and following the instruction of what information was being provided thus far, it felt like he was moving away from the only connection he had made with her since arriving in this world. It felt wrong, like seeing your child waiting on the side of the road in the shady side of town, but driving away without picking her up.

It wasn’t until a good half hour into the journey with Cheryl that Jack, seeing that the three moons were no doubt getting lower in the sky, finally broke the silence:

'I’d say it’s gonna be getting about as dark as a bears hibernating ass soon. And I’m getting tired. I don’t think I’ve slept in two days. Probably best we stop when the moons sleep. I won’t be trusting this place in the dark. And another thing….' He continued speaking, even though he felt himself to be saying too much, 'Does the name "Hag", as in "old Hag", mean anything special around here? Maybe a witch? The blacksmith mentioned one to me, apparently my sword came from one. I also saw her, the hag, right before I received a vision of my daughter in Sonarlis. It might have been the past, maybe the future. Don’t know. But I know she’s been there. Hannah. Don’t know how I saw what I saw, just that I saw it.' He was hoping the description of the vision would ring a bell with Cheryl. 'There were dragons attacking. The town was on fire. Hannah was being protected by a big dumb looking bastard of a man. And there was a dragon being referred to as… uh, Artist? Arist? Something like that. If that means anything to you as well?'

Jack felt he had misplaced his words. Like he shouldn’t have been so forthcoming with Cheryl in that moment – or even that he should have spoken up at all - but hoped at least the description would pay off in some way. He tucked back a deep breath, held it, and then let it out slowly. Now that he had expressed it all in words, he feared for his daughter’s life more than ever.

Not that anything he had just said mattered much anymore. Every word seemed to have gone to waste the instant he saw someone standing on the road ahead.

It was a young woman, maybe in her early twenties - not standing in the middle of the road, but to the side enough to allow them passage. She looked a mess. Short, thin, slouched and grubby, like some sort of feral forest dweller. She was dressed in a sleeveless rough spun tunic, her light shoulder-length hair frayed and tangled. Her hands were loose, open, empty, no visible weapons on her person, no apparent baggage. No shoes. She stood still, only her head turned slowly as she watched them approach, and gave an exaggerated wink clear enough for them both to see as they passed by.

Jack looked back, curious, and admittedly a little spooked.

She was not pursuing.

‘Weird-ass feral.’

In Ex Nihilo 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
~ 𝐹𝒶𝓊𝓋𝑒 ~




In Ex Nihilo 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Just a post to bring it back to the front of my profile page.
2


It seemed that the wolf was in no condition to attack, too weak to even snap like a wounded animal often would. It simply whimpered softly, twitching some, eyes falling closed while Mikeal caressed its head, its neck, slowly searching its body for a wound that may have been the cause of the animals suffering. But there was none. No blood, no sign of broken bones. Nothing. In fact, the animal, aside from behaving as if it were injured, appeared to be in perfectly fine health.

‘What is it, boy?’ said Mikeal, in a low, soothing tone.

It was then that the wolf lifted its head from the road, slowly bending its neck to regard Mikeal. Its eyes were no longer heavy, frightened or hurt. They were wide, glaring, and glowing a hot and furious red as it pulled back its lips to reveal its teeth with a sharp reverberating growl.

Mikeal, filled instantly with fear, attempted to back away, scuttling and slipping on the dirt and grass in his effort to escape. But it was far too late.
1


Mikeal had been traveling for near two days from the town where he lived, and was only half a day from arriving at the home of his family when he saw the wolf. The wolf seemed to be alone, its pack gone, which would have been odd had it not been severely injured.

It lay by the road, body hidden in the grass beside the tree line, its head lay revealed on the edge of the road, eyes heavy, hurt, frightened, yet displaying a glimmer of hope when it saw Mikeal. He had compassion on the animal immediately.

After quickly thinking the situation over, and being sure the rest of pack was not nearby, and since his compassion for the animal grew stronger, Mikeal rushed to its aid.
Part 11


A Thing
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