Recent Statuses

1 mo ago
Current Whoever ordered all this snow, please ship it back.
4 mos ago
When in doubt, SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!
5 mos ago
Sick in the head, sick to the bone. Your body's in shreds, your sanity's unsewn!
1 like
6 mos ago
It's interesting being the indecisive introverted leader of your group of very indecisive introverted friends.
2 yrs ago
It's fun to think that play-by-post roleplays are basically just one giant rough draft.


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Though more or less expected, Nikita had to fight the urge to step away and go for her machete when the elf mimicked her, reaching a hand toward her. Her breath hitched at his hesitation, but then she looked back to the elf’s face. It wasn’t disdain or suspicion that gave him pause, but genuine confusion.
Apparently, elves didn’t shake hands.
She gave a small breath of a chuckle. Before she could explain, he lowered his hand and stepped away. Her amusement slipped away, heart skipping in her uncertainty to whether that was bad sign.
But the elf only nodded his understanding. Though it did little to put her fully at ease, but a truce was a truce, no matter how questionable it may be.
All the same, she took what she hoped was a subtle, nonchalant step further from him. She returned her hand to her side, habitually moving to rest it at the hilt of her machete, but thought better of it.
“Nikita,” she answered reflexively. “Or Kita, if you’d rather.”
She’d barely finished speaking before Illion shifted back into his childlike glee and rapid-fire inquiries.
“Whoa, whoa!” She raised her hands and patted at the air, trying to stem the flow of questions. “Don’t forget to breathe!” Despite herself, one corner of her lips quirked up in amusement.
She took a deep breath, biding her time for a moment longer, unsure how much she could safely tell him. Though, if she played her cards right, maybe she could get some answers of her own. Answers she’d wanted about them since she was a child.
Though, alas, now probably wasn’t quite the right time to ask, ‘Why do your kind like to hurt us so much? What did my parents ever do to you?’
“I live in the town nearby, so no, not too far,” she said instead. Though there wasn’t any other village or town for miles, if Illion was as clueless about humans as he acted, she hoped that wouldn’t mean much to him.
“The others in town…” She shifted her weight awkwardly, incapable of hiding a scowl at the thought of the citizens of Baxtree. “No,” she admitted sourly. “They aren’t like me. There might be elsewhere, but not there.” Not anymore.
With that thought tainting her emotions, she glanced toward her machete as she came to the last of Illion’s latest string of questions. She looked him over yet again, noting his lack of visible weaponry. Though, perhaps one didn’t need to rely on such primitive protective measures when you could just curse anything that tried to harm you.
“This”—she patted its sheath—“is for protection and practicality, not picking berries.
“What about you, then?” she went on carefully, doing her best to maintain a genial tone. “I thought the elven city was supposed to be further out. This is rather close to town for your kind, isn’t it? Why come all the way out here if that’s the case?”
Why not just leave us well enough alone? she added to herself, bitterly.
“And you don’t exactly match up with what I know about elves.” Despite her best efforts, her suspicion leaked into her voice, the question of whether or not he was playing her for some devious purpose still niggling at the back of her mind. She left it at that, not wanting to risk insulting him by elaborating about how, exactly, he differed.
With Ghent firmly in his hold, Drust started to take slow, silent steps away from the entrance of the alley.
Feeling the movement, Elayra shifted to follow his lead. Her gaze slid toward Ghent when the other teen tried to conceal his eyes with his hood.
She gave a soft snort; with his shouted accusation of her being insane, she could only hope they’d be lucky enough that hiding their eyes would be enough now. If any of the Cursed had heard that—a voice and words not corroded by insanity—it was over.
The thought had barely flit through her head when a dry hiss came from behind them.
In… hhhhsss-k-k-k…ane,” it tried to mimic, sounding like it had something lodged in its throat.
Drust released his charges and spun toward the voice, one hand out in gesture for the teens to stay behind him. Elayra stumbled slightly from the sudden release.
Holding her breath from more than just the stench, she turned so her back faced the wall, giving her easy sight down both sides of the alley.
Movement caught Elayra’s eye. Further down, she noticed a recessed entryway partially hidden by stone shards sticking out of its frame.
A figure lurched out from the recess, body moving in odd jerks as if its muscles weren’t all quite in-sync. A woman, if its tattered skirt was anything to judge by, it staggered toward the center of the alley, and stopped. Grime and blood masked her gaunt face and matted her hair
If that was what—who, Elayra reminded herself—had spoken, at least it—she—was only one of the Forsaken. There was still a chance of skirting by.
As if some cruel entity had heard the thought and laughed, a second figure scuttled after the first. Ungainly and almost spider-like, it nearly rammed into the woman’s legs. The thing—the child, judging by its size, crouched low, its bony fingers dragging in the fouled gravel beside it.
As dirty as its companion, he—or she, it was impossible to tell—was clad in tattered clothes made from a hound; lupine paws protruded from the sides of its shirt. The child’s real arms and legs looked more like something from a corpse than something belonging to the living.
The woman had a forgen with her.
It noticed where its elder’s attention was pointed. It wheezed a whining hiss, baring a mix of normal teeth and pointed bits of rock or bone shoved into previous gaps.
It looked to the intruders. In eerie unison, both Forsaken and forgen’s heads flopped to one side. Their eyes, red veined with black from corner to corner, seemed to almost glow in the dimness.
Elayra swallowed back her panic. She twitched her head so her hair better fell over her face, and jerked her stance wide, trying to mirror both Drust and the child’s demeanor and expressions. She glanced to Ghent, subtly gesturing for him to do the same, but paused. Her gaze flicked toward the alleyway’s opening.
The Cursed on the main road had gone eerily silent.
Oo-ich-k-k-k?” The woman’s whole body shuddered as her voice stuck on the choking sound.
Drust gave a warning growl, his own stance low and threatening. Thankfully, he didn’t speak.
The forgen hissed again, fingers digging agitatedly into the ground.
Sp-e-k-k ool!” The woman’s eyes narrowed, the exact direction of her gaze impossible to gage. “Ne… Cur-en-k-k-SHEEEEE!
The child joined in on the woman’s high-pitched screech. The sound echoed from the opposite direction as those who had fallen silent picked up the cry.
Fingers curled like claws at her side, the woman rushed for the trio, but the forgen was quicker. Its bare feet kicking up the gravel, it rushed them with wild speed, jumped to the wall, and kicked off, flinging itself at Ghent and Elayra, cracked nails splayed and mismatched teeth bared murderously.
Snarling, Drust reached out to catch himself on the wall as he stumbled. Finding no purchase, he thumped down near the remnants of the stray corpse.
Elayra’s gaze barely flicked to Ghent as the other teen moved to her side, her attention locked on Drust. She pushed from the wall as the Knight swiftly turned to get back to his feet. She angled herself between him and Ghent.
“Don’t lose to it, Dru—!” she started, ignoring Ghent’s first order. But, instead of using her as a shield as she’d expected, Ghent grabbed her arm, his last demand echoing in the alleyway as he tugged at her.
She lurched after him, momentarily too surprised to resist. Heat radiated in her chest. Anger fully drowned out her fear, a new kind of disgust filling the space of her revulsion of the town. It was his mess she was cleaning up.
She clenched her teeth, got her footing, and yanked her arm from him. “Then leave!”
She moved to shove Ghent’s back, but a familiar hand clamped around her mouth from behind and pulled her away. With his other, Drust snatched at Ghent’s hood again to wrench the teen back and silence him as he’d done with Elayra.
Elayra stumbled back into Drust, trapped against his chest. Trying to not inhale the now foul odor clinging to his glove, she reached for the hand to pry it off and slip out beneath his hold.
“Quiet!” he snapped, the word a gravely hush near her ear. A glance at Drust’s face—closer to her in his half-crouch—stilled her.
Drust’s pupils fought for more real estate in the black-veined red of his irises. But, more importantly, he wasn’t focused on his charges. Instead, he stared, hard, at the alley’s opening.
She stiffened and eyes widened as she heard what the Knight had caught well before her: conversing voices.
Or, rather, a poor simulation of a conversation. First two voices, then three, then four. They echoed around the trio, their exact direction impossible for Elayra to pinpoint. Each of them was not quite right for a human voice, yet still undeniably human. Their ‘words’ jerked about in snippets, general sounds shoved together into a near incomprehensible mush.
The broken language of broken minds.
They had drawn the attention of the Cursed.
Elayra’s attention snapped from the rat to Ghent as the boy spoke. She hissed a wordless warning at him for his quiet denial, but the sound faltered; she did a double take as she at last noticed the ears on his hood. But its comedic effect was overshadowed as she registered his expression; his horror-swollen gaze roved the street-turned-dumping-grounds around him.
Apparently, her advice to not look had worked it’s magic a little too well.
The rat didn’t give her time shut down more sounds from him before it scurried toward them, distancing them and making matters worse.
The clatter of Ghent’s staff sounded like a clap of thunder in the quieter quarter of the city. Elayra jumped, heart in her throat. She instinctively reached for her saber, her own fear overshadowing her boiling frustrations. She cringed, pity tinging her frustration further as Ghent threw up.
The sound threatened to be the final straw to make the contents of her own stomach join the other rotten things riming the street.
Drust, too, had spun toward his sounds of distress, but his fury shone over his concern—if there was still enough of himself left to be concerned for their safety. His neck and fingers twitched. His arm jerked oddly, as if fighting with himself to not draw his katana. An irate sneer twisted his face.
Before Elayra could sort between the terror of potential discovery, anger that Ghent was—again—a hinderance rather than a help, and the confusing prickle of compassion for his predicament, Drust swooped past her.
“Drust! Don’t—!” She reached out toward him, but he was quicker.
Snarling, Drust gripped the back of Ghent’s hoodie at the boy’s neck. Heedless of Ghent’s condition, the Knight hauled him into the nearest alleyway, treading carelessly over a couple corpses in front of it.
Elayra hurried after them, scooping up Ghent’s staff without pause. The cobblestones turned into rubble in the new alleyway, the mix of stone, bone, and dirt crunching wetly beneath her boots. Wider than the one they’d entered through, someone had slathered careless patch-jobs of stucco mixed with children’s marbles on the buildings.
“Stay close,” Drust ground out, his gravely words low and clipped. Mid-way down the alleyway, Drust slammed Ghent against a wall. “Stay. Quiet.
One of Drust's hands fisted the front of Ghent’s hoodie, pinning the boy in place. He clasped the gloved hand of the other over Ghent’s mouth. The red of Drust’s irises had narrowed his pupils to pinpricks, the veins branching out from them pulsing with eager, hungry wrath.
“Two. Rules.” Drust’s head twitched, his face barely an inch from Ghent’s. “Two! You blithering… useless…!” He spluttered, his snarled words catching on his tongue. He pulled Ghent from the wall to slam him against it again, harder.
“Featherhead?” Elayra supplied, lunging at him with one of the sheathed blades to get him to back down before he did any real damage to Ghent.
Drust’s attention snapped to her. He released Ghent’s mouth to deflect Elayra’s blow. He gripped the staff just beneath the blade and wrenched it toward him, trying to stagger her. Instead, she used the momentum to kick at him.
To her plan, Drust fully released Ghent. He gripped her boot at her ankle and twisted it, forcing her to turn with the motion, or risk injury. Though she’d been expecting it, her hand already at her saber’s hilt and body tilted to counter drawing it, she failed to account for the slick gravel.
The ground shifted awkwardly beneath her supporting leg. He tugged on her foot, and she lost what balance she had. She caught herself before she smacked into the ground, but Drust released her ankle, and shoved her down with a foot to her back.
The stench of decomposing meat and feces filled her nose with a new intensity. This time, she couldn’t keep from choking on the bile that burned her throat.
Fighting to swallow it back, her hand shot out and grabbed the foot Drust had planted beside her. Using the looseness of the ground to her advantage, she wrenched it out from beneath him, and he fell back. She rolled from him and staggered to her feet. Blackish-red smeared her hair and chin where it had sunk into the sludgy gravel.
Her back thumped into the opposite side of the alleyway. She leaned her weight against it, knees shaking slightly, and spat out what she hoped was just her own bodily fluids. Her stomach threatened full retaliation at the thought of the alternative.
Because it dawned on me that I didn't get this to you, I thought I'd share the couple ideas I had for Ruby's supernatural savior!

I currently have two possible ideas for the entity. Maybe three, depending on what fits. Two story-based. The third is a backup for in case we can't make the first two fit into the rest of what you'd intended! And the story-based ones are, of course, open being changed if you have other ideas.

1) This one depends on if Alex's resemblance to Brahm's wife was intended to be a play on actual reincarnation or just a strong blood-relation resemblance. If the latter, then... The realm of the dead is an odd place, where time has no meaning, so sometimes, visions of the potential future can sometimes collide with the present. Brahm's wife died violently, so perhaps her spirit wasn't at rest. She sensed that there was a way to end the suffering of her husband and even her (misguided *cough cough*) murderer, but if Ruby had died that day, then it wouldn't have come to fruition. Right now, it's not in my head as a "chosen one" type deal, mind, just happenstance, especially if she ends up getting involved with both hunters and the supernaturals, which could help lead Alex and the boys to some sort of good place... At least, a place where Brahm wouldn't be compelled to torture Alex to torture Vander... as much, at the very least. Like, maybe forcing a frienenemy truce or something, that ends up continuing beyond necessity because of events yet unestablished, as a thought.

2) Similar concept, but it does delve more into an almost "chosen one" vibe. The entity was some sort of Fate or some such (whatever would fit in overall), not the restless ghost of Brahm's wife, though in that case it would make more sense to come up with something that deepens that reason, since it’s an overarching Fate rather than a direct MC link wanting to help Brahm and Vander get over their hatred, and save Alex from eternal torment at Brahm's hand.

3) More of a back-up for if the above don't work, and it's rather simple: the entity really was just a helpful ghost that took pity on a hurt teenager--maybe someone who died because of a similar trap now long since gone. The main purpose of the ghost here would simply be to serve as a driving force for Ruby's quiet obsession, and help make her quicker to accept the whole "Supernatural things are real!" bit.

Let me know what you think, if any of that sounds even remotely good to you!

“I'm already twenty-two Ruby, practically at spinster age!”
Ruby paused long enough to point an accusing finger at Alex. “Oh, nuh-uh. Better a ‘spinster’”—she added air quotes to the word—“than a miserable wretch hitched to Mr. Wrong! Besides. I’m not that much younger than you. So shush!” She accentuated the order by placing a finger in front of her lips and shushing her friend.
She let out a contemplative, “Hmm,” to Alex’s additions to the ‘terms.’ Ruby ran her tongue over her teeth as if seriously considering how much they would foil her plans.
“Fine,” she said finally though a sigh. Her grin mirrored Alex’s as the other girl completed their ‘contract.’
She cleared her throat, straightened, and donned what she thought was a diplomatic expression. “Then by the power of Blood and Soul, thus the Contract is sealed. A gruesome death awaits any who dare break it.”
She pretended to roll the non-existent paper up, and pop it into her purse.
“Well, of course!” she answered Alex’s question, her voice altering in a blink to playful hurt at the mere thought that she wouldn’t be coming back to Alex's home. “I mean, it’s past midnight. Wouldn’t be a full ‘girls day’ if we didn’t start immediately after your shift, would it?”
She winked, then glanced to Alex’s hair. “I think I have a few hours of consciousness left in me. I could give your hair a touch-up tonight so we can go straight to the makeup tomorrow after shopping!”
She glanced to the door as the last few patrons left. A whiff of the fresh, sea air wafted inside, momentarily drowning out the scents of the bar she’d already adapted to. She cast a quick glance around the bar, only then just realizing how quickly it had emptied.
“C’mon, I’ll help clean up.” She took another swig of her icy drink.
She stood and stretched, waiting to follow Alex’s lead in closing up for the morning.
“So, I’m thinking,” she began, redoing her pony tail to recapture some of the escaped strands, “maybe we go with something sleek, in shades of black and blue.” She eyed Alex again. “And a dab of purple for me. But if we’re going to a fair, no heels. And something that’ll work with leggings. You’ll thank me later for that on the rides.”

Hmm. Those do sound like cute little scenes, but to be clear, if this drags on with supernatural slice-of-life/Hallmark movie with vampire boy courting oblivious, insecure girl for too long, I will get bored. I like romance, but if that romance doesn’t form in between the story’s action, it ends up boring me. Though, I do have something to add into the fair scenes that might help with that for me.

I’m in on the mall and makeup scene (we’ll see how the whole thing actually pans out, though)! But, really, I don’t much care for Vander and Alex being neighbors. That’s ultimately too cliché for me.

So, you’ve said that the only way to kill this version of vampire is to kill their maker, so I’m wondering: would beheading them leave them incapacitated for a while, or are we going into MIB territory there?

Or maybe more this?

Asking to know what, say, a group of human hunters would have passed down through generations, since they can't be killed. 😉 I figure someone would've had to figure it out at some point. I feel like it would make sense for them to be temporarily incapacitated. Like, their head would decay immediately or something, but regrow after a short time.

Once Vander discovers that there’s a prominent vampire already in town, how much would he be capable of finding out about Rose by asking around? He does have contacts to help with that sort of thing, he just prefers to avoid using them to help keep from leading Brahm to them. And less civil methods to get information if it becomes necessary, of course.

Since I realized that Alex would know most of Ruby’s past, and even probably the truth behind what happened to her arm (supernatural elements excluded), I wanted to let you know that I updated Ruby’s profile with her bio, adjusted her personality and occupation section a smidge, and added a mental weakness one! And Parker has a photo for reference now!
But there was a scene I thought of that I wanted to run by you! I thought it'd be fun if we made them neighbors, perhaps him overhearing her outside when she gets back from the bar with Ruby. It's only for a moment but it wakes him from a nightmare, and after that maybe he's trying desperately to find her voice again. Maybe they miss each other at the mall in the crowd, maybe a they narrowly miss each other at the circus, before he ends up seeing her at the bar singing. What do you think though?
Shadow Writer

To respond to that Discord message (stupid 2,000 character limitation!):

Ooh, if you're thinking along those lines, I'm guessing that karaoke night won't be when Rose strikes, and Alex finds out that monsters of nightmare are real? Anyway. That sounds adorable! But, I did establish that Vander's renting a place in a "rich" neighborhood by a lake. Would that put a kink in that? For the circus, I feel like that could have a better use if we held off even just a day or two in-story on them going to that. Part of why I had Ruby point out what she did bout Tom.

And I want to ask; how would you like to play out the mall? Normally, I feel like I'd end up doing a partial time-skip for something like that, since we've got some form of relationship between our girls established in a more fleshed-out scene (it's the type of thing I'd expect to flash by in more of a montage if it was a show/movie), but if you have something in particular you want to do with that, I'll follow your lead! The only thing maybe notable that might happen for Ruby is a call asking her about the fire in the dumpster at some point. Which, I mean, I could also use that as an excuse if you need/want our girls separated at any point. I could see Vander realizing he needs more shirts (blasted bloodhaze. If only wandering around shirtless wouldn't be so conspicuous for him), so would end up at the mall sometime in the late afternoon (you mention nightmares, so he's gotta sleep sometime!).

Gosh, with the driving, it's the same everywhere I've ever been. People are getting more stupid and worse at driving everywhere.

I reread the sentence, and you did phrase it in a way that connects it like it's something specific to bartending. So I at least see where I got the thought from. I don't feel like as much of a doof now, at least! xD Though, emphasis on "as much." xD
"A spicy noodle mukkbang challenge." You're awesome. 🤣 I had to look that up to see if it was an actual thing. Now I want noodles. And considering the context of this, I'm not sure if I should be worried that that's what I got out of this!

No shame in that! I have to agree, cars (and their drivers) can be quite terrifying, all things considered. And I swear, I have no clue how people are getting their drivers licenses these days. People are getting worse and worse.

True that! Ha! Yeah, I can understand that. Besides, pictures are just outright fun things to have.

... ... *Thunks forehead down on desk.* Someone grab me my crown; I'm the Queen of Overthinking.

Alex’s reaction to Ruby’s last comment was comedy gold. Though she knew that that had to burn, Ruby’s own laugh burst free of her best attempts at suppressing it. She thumped her mug on the counter to keep from adding to the mess. Her outburst turned into a not entirely genuine apologetic grin as she watched the other girl begin to wipe up the mess.
“Okay, we gotta make a rule that you can't be funny when I'm drinking!”
“Hey, it’s not my fault you have an easy humor!” Ruby jutted her lower lip out in a pout.
She followed her friend’s gaze to her now ruined shirt. She cringed guiltily. “I'll replace that doe you while we're out,” she offered.
“It's been a while since I had any man truly drool over me. Well, any man who's not a sleazeball anyways.”
“Pfft, Alex, we have to get you some glasses. Men stare…” She shot a discrete glare toward the nearest of the men she’d heard laugh at Alex’s drink mishap. “Sober men, even! And rightfully so!” She winked at Alex and picked her drink back up. “You just don’t look back at them at the right times.”
Ruby continued to sip at her drink, hiding her excitement behind a contemplative façade as Alex went on. Suggesting getting matching revenge outfits was one thing. But an entire makeover? That had to be painful for the other girl to ask.
She sighed, frowning, placed her mug on the counter, and met Alex’s gaze.
“Like I’d ever say ‘no’ to that?” she managed in a scolding tone. “This is gonna be amazing!” She did a little twirl with her barstool, catching herself on the counter as she came 360˚.
“But”—she bent her head, a couple stray locks of hair falling into her face as she looked at Alex as if peering over a pair of specticles—“if we’re playing Extreme Makeover, we’re doing it right.” She glanced sadly at her partially consumed drink. “Which means…” She did a quick shifty-eyed glance, then leaned in toward Alex conspiratorially. She lowered her voice so only her friend would hear. “We rush into the fray early for a full girl’s day, and save getting smashed for a celebration of Girl Power tomorrow night.” She leaned away again on her stool. “Trust me. The mall and a hangover don’t pair well.” Her lips pressed together knowingly.
“Does that get the Zom stamp of approval?” She mimed sliding a piece of paper toward Alex for the said ‘stamp of approval.’

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