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1 mo ago
Current There may be no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you, but making a character you love and not having anything to do with them is a close second.
1 mo ago
It's fun to think that play-by-post roleplays are basically just one giant rough draft.
3 mos ago
A quick thank you to Mahz and his minions for making this site into what it is! I've yet to encounter a RP site so aesthetically & OCD pleasing. You guys are the best!
1 yr ago
When you spend hours upon hours hunting for the perfect--or at least near perfect--character picture online, then stumble on one that works... already saved in your folders.
1 yr ago
When you're writing a dark, brutal scene, and your playlist throws in an Irish jig.


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Sorry, been fighting an excessive bout of insomnia this week. Which always throws off, well, everything. Will try to get to a reply this weekend, but if I don't, that's probably why.
Arla’s brows rose at Rayth’s explanation of the hoard. “Someone must have put in a good word for them with Lady Luck!” she interjected as he shook his head.
“Vegas,” she reminded him. “Casinos might be off-limits, but I’ve picked up a trick or two for poker. Used to play rounds every now and again with my best friend and her ex.”
It had always been for candy or whatever other type of snack they had on hand, but it had always been in good fun. She’d never been particularly talented at it, but she hadn’t been bad, either. At least, her wins-to-losses about evened out. Most of the time.
“Uh huh,” she drawled to Rayth’s reassurance he wasn’t the slob. “Sure you aren’t.”
Though a part of her wanted to recoil when he reached for her, she held firm when he tapped her this time, then followed after him. She kept closer to him than necessary, hoping to give the impression of still needing to be near to make him out well enough amidst the dark.
She suppressed a shudder at the thought of him being capable of hearing her heartbeat. Seemed to be a trend among the supernatural; the spindly monster that had chased her had demonstrated its use quite effectively. As quietly as she could, she took a deep breath, shoving the thought aside. It and Rayth weren't the same. It didn't take a genius to figure that much out by now.
The prospect of anyone being capable of enhancing their hearing caught her attention, giving her a concept to help toss aside the memory of her recent misadventure.
“Sign me up for that class, professor!” Arla grinned. “Could come in handy. As long as I don’t start smelling mice.” She scrunched her nose at the thought as they neared the end of the car. “That’s got to be annoying. Do you have any kind of control over it, besides selective… well, smell, I guess, in that case. Or do you have to use nose- and earplugs?”
Sorry, not sure if you read my IC yet, but deleted a sentence I'd meant to delete before posting, but realized I didn't when I linked someone to here. Wasn't anything important, but deleting it made me feel better. Also, I think making movie references is going to be a sort of nervous tick or something of hers at this point...
Arla made a show of rolling her eyes good-naturedly at Rayth's observation of skin tone between him and Snow White. “I meant because she bunks with dwarves. If you get any more tan, mijo, you'll be crispy-fried!” she finished with a chortle.
She shook her head at his offer to take his shoulder. “I should be alright for now. If that changes, you’ll know.” She adjusted her bundle to make sure nothing would drop out, then followed after Rayth.
If he’d thought it odd she could find her way around the beds, he hadn’t hinted at it. She hated downplaying her night vision, but, if he hadn’t picked up on anything off, maybe she was overdoing it a bit. The downside to having a different ‘normal’ than most, was it was harder to pretend to be someone else’s version of the word.
When they took a detour at his cabin, Arla’s brows rose incredulously at the mess that was his living quarters. She leaned against the doorframe, watching him expertly pick his way around the disaster zone. It made her extra grateful her own bunkmate seemed to be at least semi-tidy. Or, at the very least, cleaned up every once in a while. And didn’t have what appeared to be a mix between a hoarding and gambling problem. Though, if the latter was the case, judging by the amount of stuff, they were at least good at it.
“I’m going to guess I shouldn’t challenge any of you guys to poker?” she summarized her thoughts.
Her head cocked slightly as she read the lettering printed on the bag as Rayth slung it over his shoulder. She hadn't considered he might have gone to collage. She opened her mouth to ask him if that was his university, but stopped herself, unsure if pointing out something that detailed would be pushing it.
“So, how much of this mess is yours?” she asked instead as he stepped over the Jenga tower on the way back to her.
She blinked at him in surprise when he nonchalantly mentioned hearing the doors of the storage cars. “You can tell they’re already working on the Big Top just by listening?” She gave a soft whistle. “I figured you’d have hyper-hearing, but man, that’s impressive!”
“Really?” Arla exaggerated a surprised gasp at the news Rayth slept during the day. Though, she had to appreciate the confirmation. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, she was out of her element with him.
She paused and glanced to him as he continued, her brows raising before he elaborated.
“I guess that’s one way to save on space.” She pulled out the rest of the essentials for a shower, and wrapped them all into a bundle using the shirt she’d unburied from her backpack.
She shrugged at the apparent downside of her choice. “Unless that means I’ll have a long line to wait in, I don’t have any problem with walking to the showers.”
Despite Rayth’s statement that “no stealing” was among their guidelines, she shoved her camera case too the back of the bed near its corner, then blocked it with her backpack. It wouldn’t stop the curious from finding it, but it was better than nothing. Better safe than sorry.
Collecting the bundle of clothes, she carefully climbed back down and paused in front of Rayth. She nodded both her acceptance and thanks at him for the offer to walk her to the showers. It sounded simple enough, but she didn’t need to try her luck and wind up somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be.
Not yet, anyway. Going at least twenty-four hours before making trouble struck her as a smart idea. She’d already snuck into the circus without paying, after all. New member or not, she doubted that little detail would go over well if Frieda found out.
Bundle tucked under one arm, she stepped out of the compartment, moving out of the way for Rayth.
She glanced down the narrow, night-drenched corridor. She wasn’t sure what time it was, but she doubted they’d have much longer before the other troupe members started trickling in. If they hadn't already in the other cars. Bur for now, the place was still fairly quiet. Deserted.
She took a slow, deep breath, glancing to Rayth as discretely as she could. She’d survived the night so far, which was a testament to Frieda’s reassurances. And Rayth really did seem like an enjoyable guy to be around. Exhaling, she let the thought take some of the tension she’d bottled up. If he hadn’t attacked her yet, she was likely in the clear. For tonight, at any rate.
“Lead on, Snow White!”
Needs a break... is gonna break... You know. Something like that. xD

Oh my gosh. Yeah, I'd call that an accurate representation! What is that gif from?
Elayra’s heart sank the moment she realized the forest’s fate relied on Ghent. Ghent, huddled on the ground like a child cowering from his worst nightmares. Elayra growled her irritation, wanted to scream, to slap some sense into him.
Drust’s neck twitched again. Impatience glinted in his eyes as the boy hesitated, covering his ears. But the rare sensation of the world’s magic swelling to meet the boy’s silent commands kept the Knight silent. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled at the magic's presence, instinct preparing him to be ready.
He shot Elayra a warning glare when the girl stepped toward Ghent, her frustration—and even a tinge of fear—dusting her face. Catching her eye, he jerked his head, gesturing for her to back off as he stomped out the last of the flames on the pants.
Knuckles further whitening from his tight grip on his sword, Drust backed off in the opposite direction as Ghent opened his eyes and extended his hands toward the rising flames.
He cringed at Ghent’s stutter, the Curse turning the motion into a snarling a frown into a snarl. But at least the boy said it right, otherwise.
Elayra held her breath. She took a few extra steps asway, glancing between Ghent, Drust, and the tree. If Ghent's attempt went wrong, Drust could easily get hurt in the crossfire.
For the eternity of a heartbeat, the flames greedily continuing their feast. Yet, the aura of the magic pulsed around and through Ghent, the ancient force in no rush to obey this hasty, timid command.
As if releasing a resigned sigh, the magic dispersed from the boy, riding the invisible wings of his vocal and mental command.
Drust inhaled, sensing as it condensed around the flame of the torch. The fire on both it and the tree flickered. It changed to an enchanted shade of blue, their centers darkening to near black as the magic worked through Ghetn and took control of the element.
Instead of petering out as they should have, the flames gave a crackling hiccup in echo of the boy's stutter, and pulled from the wood. Only singe marks remained behind as they merged together, hovering mid-air between tree and torch. With a flicker, they shot into the sky and burst into a single firework.
Elayra stared up with cautious awe at the colored sparks. They drifted down, fizzling out harmlessly before reaching the treetops. With the danger neutralized and the spectacle gone, anger flooded back through her with a vengence. Her furious scowl turned to Ghent.
“How stupid are you?” she shouted, guessing at what had caused the fire. She pointed the tip of her sword toward Ghent’s bare chest. “Change your clothes! That’s all you had to—
Drust’s gravely voice sent a shiver down Elayra’s spine. Her grip on her sword tightened. She turned to her guardian, her animosity at Ghent shifting into survival mode. She moved to put herself better between Ghent and Drust, ready for a fight.
Gaze firmly on the ground, Drust jammed the tip of his katana into the dirt beside him. Chest heaving, he went to one knee. His empty, free hand tangled in his messy dark hair, his fingers and wrist twitching, nails digging into his scalp.
Elayra’s heart pounded in her throat. He was fighting. Fighting it harder than she’d seen in years. Without taking her eyes from Drust, she gestured for Ghent to go back to their packs.
Taking a deep breath, she sheathed her sword, cursing herself for thinking things couldn’t get worse. This was Wonderland. If there was one thing her home was good at, it was throwing new obstacles at them. Doing her best to push back the thought, she took a cautious step toward the Knight.
He raised his gaze to her, snarling, the colors of the Curse nearly consuming his pupils.
“Go,” he growled, voice strained, it's dangerous undertone wavering uncertainly. He pried his hand from his hair to point to where he’d found her between the tree and stream. “Wait.”
Elayra hesitated. If she obeyed, leaving him to his own thoughts, he could sink fully into the Curse. But if she didn't...
“Drust,” she started again, her voice exuding a practiced calm she didn’t feel. She struggled to find the good in the situation, to find some way to diffuse the negative excitement feeding the Curse. “The tree’s fine, and I’ll tailor—”
She gasped as Drust’s snarl deepened, and he sprung to his feet. His grip on his sword twitched open, letting it fall to the ground as Elayra reached for hers.
The girl didn’t have time to draw it. Drust grabbed her wrist tightly in one hand, yanking it from the weapon, and the collar of her shirt in the other.
“Think, girl!” he spat through his teeth. The Curse's colors pulled back from his pupils for an instant. Exasperation mixed with a silent plea for her to put something together he didn't have the restraint to say aloud, momentarily pushing out the hazy, mindless fury. His neck twitched as the colors pulsed closer to consuming his gaze, deepening his snarl as he rolled his chin down. “I. Gave. You. An. Order!
With a growling exhale, he closed his eyes, his grip trembling, and tossed her away from him in the general direction of their packs.

Aaaaand now that song's stuck in my head. Thanks a lot. :-P
... someone at work found my writing and was talking about it.

Add that to the list of reasons pseudonyms come in handy! Also, welcome to the Guild!
Arla chortled at Rayth’s comment about math. “And with that, any doubts about you being half human have been erased.” She offered him an amused grin, letting his rough guestimate sink in.
Thirty people. Thirty people to hide among. So long as she stayed more in the background workings, there would be little chance of any visitors to the circus recognizing her as a missing person. And, with luck, she’d be half way across the country by tomorrow night, anyway.
Her head cocked slightly as Rayth took a moment to answer her second question. Her chin dipped slightly in suspicion, before he finally answered, making her raise an eyebrow. What kinds of rules were so complicated that she’d have to hear them from the ringmistress herself?
“Okay?” she drew out the word, meeting his gaze when he glanced to her.
Yet, the simplicity of his summarization contradicted their apparent complexity. She inhaled at his add-on for himself, and she put the two together; he likely had a different set of rules to follow than everyone else. What, if any, restrictions were set for her would vary from his.
“So, it’s like the pirate code.” Her small smile returned at her own reference. “More what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual ‘rules.’”
Arla followed after Rayth as he led the way through a couple other cars. She took in each one, trying to imagine who occupied the surrounding beds. Some of the members had personalized their space to an extreme, while others were rather minimalist. Some sleeping areas were tidy, while others looked like a five-year-old hyped up on a pack of Mountain Dew had thrown a tantrum.
A chill crept down her spine as they passed a couple beds, though she couldn't say why. She shook it off as just nerves. Or a drafty window.
When they stopped the final time, she released her hold on the half-vampire’s shoulder. She glanced to him curiously, wondering why he thought now was a poor time to choose.
Because most people couldn’t see what they’re choosing in detail, she realized. She looked from him as he continued, a smug smirk involuntarily twitching over her face.
“Now that’s a guideline I can live by!” She glanced to him, then to the cabin before them. One of the shades over the windows had been left up a fraction, letting in a bit of light.
She nodded toward the last bed Rayth had pointed out, hoping the sliver of brightness was enough for the motion to pass as normal. “Looks like Juliette’s got herself a new bunkmate!”
Arla stepped toward the bunk. She hesitated for just a moment, a once buried instinct yelling at her for turning her back to Rayth. Taking a slow breath, she did her best to ignore it. She shrugged her backpack onto one elbow and closed the space to her new quarters.
Juliette had claimed the bottom bunk. Drawers lined the space beneath the bed. One sat slightly ajar, part of a clothing item jammed inside. Bolted, Arla assumed, to the floor, a narrow dresser nestled in the shadows between her chosen bunkbed and the next. A small, cushioned chair filled the space on the opposite side.
A blanket was still tucked neatly onto the mattress of the bed above. Wide-laced netting draped across half the bed, leaving an opening at a small ladder.
Arla tossed her backpack into the opening, then climbed up after it.
“I really don’t have much to unpack,” she admitted, sliding her backpack toward the head of the bed. Using the mesh to help keep her balance, she sat on the opening’s edge, her feet on one of the ladder’s rungs.
She unzipped her backpack. She carefully removed her camera case so she could get to the cleaner clothes beneath it. Pulling out a couple clothing items, she glanced down to Rayth.
“So, where do you sleep?” she asked, trying to sound nonchalant. Her gaze flicked to the other beds in her view. She couldn't tell by just a glance whether or not they kept the members segregated by gender, or if the cars were co-ed. For all she knew, the vampire could have one of the other bunks in the same car. “Or do you not need sleep?”
She reached into her backpack’s smaller front pocket. She freed a zip-lock bag of mini bottles of soaps her parents had collected from hotels they’d stayed at over the years.
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