COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Mastermind001 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:26 pm

sam4books wrote:----Meka: The Streets----

Shock turn to terror as the man in the polar bear cape begun burning one hundred talor bills. 'That's almost half annual pay' he thought, trying to determine whether he was hallucinating or not. Why would anyone in their right mind want to burn up money during a depression. It made zero sense. 'He must have a lot of money to spare' he concluded. Still, it bothered him. He never knew a rich man in his life that would idly throw away his money like that. Thus he came to another appropriate conclusion, '...Bastard' Either way he knew there was no point trying to attack him from the shadows now, he was caught. 'Oh, I bet they're laughing their asses off right now' he thought as he turned his head around to give the man a glare, wincing slightly at burning talor bill.

"Alright, here I am" he announced, turning to face the man. He took off his flat cap using his right hand as if saluting the man. His left hand was hidden by his left sleeve, slung to the side numbly. Placing the cap back on his head he gave a half smile half frown, his steel blue eyes wide open beneath the cap's brim. "You know...you're pretty bizarre, I don't know what to do with you honestly..." Those steel blue eyes glanced at the Ork. "But I was right...you are rich. Or you're bluffing." He pocket his right hand, his left hand swinging at his side as he stumbled over towards Leon. Leon would notice he was shaking. "Seriously, as if you're actually going to hand over that money for free. That is, unless you want information? That's what you want isn't it?" There was a hopeful tone in his voice, but it sounded weary, untrustworthy. His eyes danced between the three of them, hiding his arm nervously.


{Leon Borren}

_Streets_

Leon placed his hand over his eyes and burst into laugher, laugher that would chills down people's spines. "Such Action! Such Comedy! Quite a performance!" Leon exclaimed as he took off his hat exposing the scars on his face. He grin with teeth as he approached the would be robber, who seemed to be quite shaky. Leon had an arm around his new found toy. " Well bizarre...yeah, I won't lie, but that's why how am I. I mean, it did lure you right here to me, after all." He replied to the man.

Whispering into the man's ear, he asked a simple questioned " I'll bite, why are you afraid?" He could find how by simply searching for it, but Leon wanted to how he melted things first while he stalled for time. His tone, was normal now, but he still had an arm around the other man's shoulder. " Are you shaking, because of me, no, I think you fear something far worst, how about two hundred talors for your thoughts, hmmmm?" He asked and then went on to say " How about that, that sounds reasonable?"

" I'm in a playful mood, right now, so I recommend you agree to that." Leon warned to the man with that smile of his.
"Fate smiles on the strange. So its a good thing, I'm the strangest of all." - William Livingstone, Cirque de la Nuit
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Nyvyan » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:49 pm

As Razzim walked along his nose began to twitch. Something was tingling his senses.... something good. Almost commically, as if he was lost in a transe the young gypsy boy followed his nose, his eyes half closed as his breathed in the intoxicating smell. How long had it been since he'd had a meal that smelt that good? He could see it, a restaurant. He didn't care how much it cost he had to have that!

Unfortunately Razzim was forced to grind to a halt as he saw the men outside the store. It didn't take long for the conversation to drift to his ears. Hell no, I'm not getting involved in anything, just act natural the young gypsy thought to himself, pretending to look around non-chalontly as he kept his ears on the talk. Whatever it was it seemed trivial. The restaurant was going out of business (odd when there was a smell that good comming from it) and Snevelin (Razzim had never heard such a shady name in his life, just hearing it make him think of the tales he'd been told about spies and betrayal as a boy) wanted him to shut shop and send his son to the carnival.

At the mention of gypsies Razzim drifted off, floods of memories comming back to him. He missed that life, carefree, simple. Easy. The young gypsy was forced back to reality as he heard the shout, starting the young lad, his eyes flicking back into focus on the two. Shady Snevelin left, confrontation avoided. No way, food is not worth getting involved, just keep walking The young gypsy started moving past the restaurant. Just as he was about to pass it he was assaulted by the smells within again, forcing his stomach to let out a loud, crippling growl. Ah come on, it isn't worth it His stomach answered him with another growl Ah screw it With a defeated sigh Razzim turned gracefully on the spot, walking straight into the restaurant.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Soul » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:14 pm

-Xavier: Back Alley-
Step inside the mind of a crazy man with me.

"Very well," Xavier seemed absolutely giddy as the man began to shift. Dissection ahoy! He pulled the trigger on the weapon that had been pointed at the lycanthrope's head and immediately began to harness the black magic at his disposal. Since he didn't expect to simply be able to shoot a wolf-man-creature-thing in the forehead he began to channel his own 'helpers' from the shadows around them. Black magic, so much fun. Hat tricks! Knives! What fun this would be! What a way to DIE! Oh wait, I don't like that one very much.

Xavier whipped out two of his throwing knives as he heard the Shadows take form and slide to deal with the wolves while he could take care of this swindler. Oh what a swindler. Maybe he could swindle some of his organs onto a medical table. Or into his top hat. As they say two brains are better than one. Xavier waited, standing his ground ready do roll out of the way. He was visibly excited and the urge to kill something flowed off his body as if it were a pungent smell from an expired egg. He had hoped his shadows were formidable enough to deal with these demonic hounds, considering the area around them was bathed in darkness. Darkness which he would harness and use to his advantage.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby TheLivingCouch » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:07 am

-Meka Tribune Company Building, Flavius’ Office: “No Accounting For Taste”-

Alimbur smiled confidently until the moment the first photo sailed into the boss man’s waste bin. It deepened into an exasperated frown. The reporter could feel herself heat up with anger as one after another her other photos followed suit. “You nit picking piece of rapture shit. Those are some damn good shots and you know it. Sure the lighting might be off and the action shots might not be perfectly centered but damn. I’d like to see someone else do better when they’re surrounded by a horde of deadly pirates!” Alimbur bit her lower lip. It was all she could do to keep herself from giving Flavius a piece of her mind or better yet a good flogging. It didn’t take long for the man to dispose of her entire spread of photos. All that was left now was the shot of Captain Admon. That of all the pictures he had looked at was the one he’d stopped to ask about. Even now Alimbur wasn’t sure if that was good or not, but she could tell the man was clueless about the pirate in the picture. The reporter’s frown disappeared when Flavius raised his head to look at her, replaced by a more indignant expression. “That last photo is of the dread Captain Admon himself. This photo was taken just before he managed to escape with his life. As you can see the captain was heavily wounded in battle but he still made it. Admon is still at large, but without men and without a ship you can bet he won’t be bothering anyone for a while. When he does though, you can bet it won’t be pretty.” Alimbur explained at length. There was a bit of fire in her voice now but only enough to sound determined to sell this picture. “If you find it as lacking as the others I understand. I’m sure the Daily Record or the Skyward Beacon would be clamoring over each other to get their hands on a shot of Captain Admon.” She added hoping that Flavius held a grudge on at least one of the other papers in town if he didn’t already see the innate value of it.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby sam4books » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:53 pm

----Meka: The Streets----

He relaxed a bit, with the knowledge that he wouldn't die at this man's hand, but felt slightly awkward as the man laughed. Still, the relief was there, he decided to take the deal. Two hundered talors. It would pay for his past mishaps and more. He could be free, if this man could be trusted. And he could not turn away the offer either way. The man's methods were disturbing, and it wasn't like his pursuers were going to get any angrier.

"Why am I afraid?" he repeated quietly, as if the answer was the most obvious thing in the world. "Why shouldn't I be?" His eyes never stopped looking around, at the walls, the roofs, the side passageways. They searched everywhere, though the man's focus still remained on Leon. The man chuckled and continued, "They're everywhere. On the streets, the roofs, in the stores. No real talents of their own and so they use yours. So they want me dead. It's great! And all because some noblemen are handing our weapons over to the guard! ....Bastards." A dark look crossed the man's steel blue eyes, as he glared at nothing. "Bastards stripped me of my money, my projects, and they had a nerve to criticize me for creating them after they asked me to. What a waste! I-I-I mean-" He paused a bit, losing his train of thought, or forgetting what he was going to say. Or perhaps hesitant to say anything at all, perhaps due to self pity, guilt, or that fear that clearly plauged him. "I-I'm just a metalworker's s-s-s-son", insisting that there was no other truth. "A-A-And-" Though there were other truths, which were hard to muster because it was so embarrassing...

"I'm addicted" he admitted in a whisper. "Red smoke drifting from pipes, I used to think such a dazzling thing could not exist. I remember sparkles in the light of the Pyr, and I remember it smelling like the spices made in Sophya as well. I-I haven't had it in a-a l-long time...." Eyelids began to become half-closed, "I used to be able to pay. I could've goddamn continue paying. The bastards took away everything! I 'owed' them fucking everything! Personally, I think he planned this. My employer used to tell me people were going to fight over me. So why not take my products as their own and get extra money from the rich? Then use that money to mass produce and then here I am! Just standing!...out in the open...." Once again, those steel eyes started wandering. "They're everywhere."

----Meka: Restaurant----

The interior of the restaurant was decorated with eastern themes, mainly Xephamorian. The embroidery on the walls were geometrical with a jagged diamond theme and colors of reds, browns, gold, and black overlaying splotches of violet. At some ends of the jagged lines, the designs become almost floral, spiraling outward in black patterns. These tapestries hungs from cheap walls, each with different themes, and the appearance of an animal unique to them. Several tapestries were of a majestic bird with one eye. The tables and chairs were made from cheap wood that was quite common throughout Rathya, wood that was being slowly chipped away by age and bugs. It was a small restaurant, the sort where you were expected to just get your food and leave whilst leaving a big tip. Most of the other tables were outside, a lot of them actually, which Razzim had already past. Hanging from the wooden ceiling were lanterns that were the color of the sun as well as lanterns that were shades of green and blue. Near the back was an open kitchen, where two men and a women could be seen working while two children were cleaning one of the wooden tables. The man who was arguing with Snevilen was talking with the women, most likely about the incident outside. The youngest of the working two men, who seemed to be in his younger twenties noticed the gypsy and pointed Razzim out to his father.

"What is it?" the man known as Vimal demanded, "What is it that you want? Can't you see that we don't have the time for more customers right now?"

----Meka: The Underground Market----

_Artillery_

First thing Jeggred would've noticed was that the spicy smell has gotten stronger. In fact the air above him was filled with thick red clouds, circling above the heads of thieves, murderers, corrupted businessmen, whores, fugitives, the poor, and the hopeless. It was more then a place of illegal commerce, it was a safe haven, a club, and a chance to show off your skills in front of people just as heartless as you. The Underground Market. What one could describe as "stoners" stood against the walls, taking in puffs of the same red smoke that circled above. Another man with a briefcase was walking around, dealing with such people in secret. Around the corner there was a large area where people gathered around windows with accountants tending to their demands. Some waved talor bills in front of the caged windows aggressively, and quick fingered thieves snatched the money from them whenever they got the chance, taking them to round tables that were near the exchange windows. These tables were filled with gamblers and risk-takers of all sorts, some gambling with die and others cheating at card games, their faces almost unreadable save for the common drunken idiot. Waitresses who looked far from innocent walked around, handing jugs of beer to those who asked for them, every single one of them dressed in skanky outfits. Occasionally a looker will try to hook up with one of them, failing miserably. To the far right from the turn-corner was a miniature bar with seats that were right next to what seemed to be a large cage. At first glance it didn't seem that great but upon walking forward a bit one would notice that it was humongous. A greater number than those gathered at the exchange windows were gathered here, their greedy eyes fixed on the sheer power of the weaponry being presented below. They did not cheer for the lucky criminals who were testing them out, they were cheering for the weapons themselves. A commentator's box was connected separately to the rimmed cage, in which stood two men. One of the man exited the commentator's box after an orchestra of cheers sounded from the crowd.

"There ya have it folks. Once again Two-Fingers prevails against the sleek Mudpipe. That sad son of the bitch. Just goes to show what happens when you give explosives to the wrong person. I bet you heartless fucks want a taste of that cold hard steel huh? To see the whites in your enemies' eyes before you pull the trigger and let the lead kiss them a last goodnight? Well too fucking bad. It won't be on the market for another week, courtesy of Leaden."

The crowd resonated into an uproar. "Aww, come on!" "Lame!" "Piece of shit, I'll fucking kill y-"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP." yelled a different voice, the other man who was still inside the commentator's box. Unlike the first man who sounded Terrantulan, this one had a western Sophyan accent*.

"Thanks Damien. Now, as you all know Leaden's been a bit 'busy' lately, no thanks to you fuckers. And until he hands the improved schematics to the facs, you ain't gonna be able to sing that last serenade for a long time."

"I can find him and make him do it for you" suggested a random person from the back.

"No no, that won't be necessary. Last thing I need is a traumatized inventor who'll build some piece of crap that'll blow this shit up to infinity. I'll suppose he'll be back in his own time. In the mean time, if any of you are into making tools of death we have a spot open for ya."

"I'll be interviewing" chimmed in Damien.

"Yeah, yeah. Anyways, you can go ahead and pre-order at the exchange booths if ya want. Just make sure you're the one doing the stealing instead of the other way around."

As if on cue, the crowd began to dissipate, some stayed at the cage discussing their bets on the next two fighters, some went over to the bar to have themselves a drink, and the others went to wait at the exchange booths, warily observing one another.

----Meka: The Dark Side of Town----

"Ooooo! I like you~" the lycanthrope exclaimed, the excitement growing in his eyes. Around him, his canines attempted to bite into the shadow's skin, only to have their flesh being torn away by the shadow's sharp teeth. Howls and growls filled the area of the back alley, resonating off of the stone walls. "A masterful display of alchemy, it's a shame you have the indecency to attack my poor babies." It was then he took out a long black rope, covered with symbols of the old language.

"Did you know that I can do alchemy too?" He tied the rope up like a lasso, and lassoed one of the shadow creatures up before it could go in for the kill. He pulled tightly, and magical energy erupted from its symbols, embracing the shadows so that it could subdue its captive. "I stole this rope from an esteemed hunter, just like I stole his little pets. It's very good at dealing with beasts of any kind, even the non-corporal ones. I'd dare say it's a weapon of legend. Too bad I won't be giving it to you~"

----Meka: Meka Tribune Company Building----

Flavius sat back in his chair, musing over what Alimbur had just said. "Hmm, you're right. I can see it now...that bastard, Perry Shuster will come up to my door, on his knees, begging me for forgiveness! And ya know what, I won't give it to him. Shouldn't have spread those scandalous lies about my gambling habits. I've never gambled in my life! Have I Minerva?!" he yelled loudly.

"No sir!" the secretary answered from the other end of the hallway.

"Alright, your in. I already have the title: 'Crimson Skull Leader Crimson With Embarrassment'. It's great, it's swell, it's now! Now give this piece of crap to Lara before I hurl, I'll have Melissa talk to Radonna later or the story. Now where's my coffee?! I'm fucking dying here!"

"On my way sir!" called out Minerva, again, who presumably left for the lounge.

====================================================================================

*Think African.
Last edited by sam4books on Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Cheesemore » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:28 pm

-Jeggred Nalaar-

Jeggred was intially overwhelmed by the strong cloud of red spice in the air, coughing for a bit before finally moving his undershirt up over his nose to offer some relief. He looked around, the smoke seemed to be comming from a lot of the people in the area, which was much larger than he thought it was going to be. 'Feels like home.' he thought before finally proceeding, the door shutting behind him. Just as any black market, business was booming. Windows with accountants were overwhelmed, the gambling tables were of course near by as well.

If Jeggred hadn't already had something else on his mind, he would have wondered a bit more. Get a feel for the area, but there was no time for it. He had to find what he was looking for. After all, every minute he wasted was money out the window. His wonderings eventually lead to the bar with the cage near it. 'So they have a cage for theirs? I suppose the Great Machine in the sky would keep its identity even here.' he thought as he approached the bar and ordered a Scotch on the rocks, making sure to tip as well. After all, the Black Market was no place to short change. It took Jeggred a few tries before finally finding a decent amount that wouldn't get him shot for being cheap or flaunting his money.

Jeggred apparently had horrible timing though, he caught the announcer's speech from the begining, he'd missed the fight. The crowd wasn't too happy about the fact that a certain fire arm wouldn't be available for at least a week. 'I'd be pissed too.' he thought before he heard the Sophyan man yell at the crowd, effectively to say the least. 'Damien, huh? Good name to know. Sounds like he has a firm grasp here.' he thought before walking towards the cage as the first man announced they had an opening for a gun maker. 'Shame. Too bad I'm not a maker. Then again, this place really isn't somewhere where you want employment.' he thought, staring at the annoucner as he told them to order their guns. A good number of people left, leaving plenty of seats open, Jeggred grabbed one quickly. It seemed like there'd be a nother fight soon, so he figured he'd watch for a bit. 'Might as well check out the merchandize before I buy it.' he thought waiting for the next match to start.
Fenix13 : Cheesemore if you get any more awesome this thread is gonna explo- WHAT THE FFFUUUUUUUUUUU- *Everybody dies*
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Nyvyan » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:51 am

Razzim examined the restaurant with awe. Whilst the walls and the wooden chairs may have been cheap and feeling the ravages of time it was all cleverly taken away by the inticate foreign decorations. Tapastries of animals so unique they could only have been dreamed of and the one eyed bird... something to do with their religion and the great eye he assumed. Razzim had never been one to pay attention to his teachings.

His amazement at the place was quickly dissapated by the owner, Vimal. The young gypsy pursed his lips, taking a defiant stance with his hands on his hips. His green eyes, stared at Vimal looking almost amused. "Hmm, I'd have thought that a restaurant that was struggling to survive would be more readily available and grateful to accept business when it could. Guess I'll be eating elsewhere eh?" The young gypsy said in a lightly mocking tone, flashing the owner a confident smile before turning on his heals and heading back for the door. This could go one of two ways. Either the owner would bend over backwards to get his business and stop him from telling everyone about his rudeness or he would just let him leave. Either way was good. If he let him leave then screw him. Razzim would just eat elsewhere.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Mastermind001 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:25 am

{Leon Borren}

_Question Everything_

" Oh this city, never ceases to amaze me." Leon commented, out of the blue about this place. Pirate Attack and now something deeper and darker, a mystery, that possible have suspense and thrills, Leon was loving it. Mek was truly becoming more and more interesting, it was as if the city, itself couldn't allow Leon to be bored. " So tell me, my new found friend, what are they?" Leon asked as he returned to the subject at hand. " And what is this our weapon part, suppose to mean?" He mentioned as he noticed how the melter talked about the guards, and the noblemen.

" So what did the son of a metal worker make, that others had to take and leave you to...well die." Leon simply addressed as he was curious. After learning how the melter melts things, which is a transfer of his own body heat to something else, such a handy skill could help possibly craft certain wondrous things " And who is this schemer, you mentioned that seemed to have a plan?" He went on to say as Leon only seemed to have questions, upon for questions for this man. Leon took a mental note about this red smoke, the melter said he was addicted to.

First he was a valuable pawn and now he's scrap. He's being hunted thus the paranoia. And now he's suffering from an addiction while trying to rob others. In the end, Leon was right he about that he was no killer, just had killer powers. The man's story, is something that Leon will think of, but whether he's believe it or not is something that he'll have to observe over time. " By the way, my name is Leon Borren, what's yours? I'm tried of calling you the melter."
"Fate smiles on the strange. So its a good thing, I'm the strangest of all." - William Livingstone, Cirque de la Nuit
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby sam4books » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:39 pm

----Meka: The Streets----

"Ah...they are the crooks who are in charge of the sales. The sort of people who like to think they run the black market, snooping around for people like us to do business with. When I say they're everywhere..." he scanned the area again, "...I mean it. Fuck up once and they make sure you don't forget it, fuck up twice and you're dead. You probably ran into one of them already." He sounded as if he resented them. It wasn't surprising, much, that they were the sort who could not leave you out of their sight. The beginnings of an entire organization. The sort who thinks they run a show. He could have very well ran into them once or twice, it was entirely possible. They were the eyes and ears of the black market.

The next question caused his face to turn pale. "Erm, um...I didn't just say that did I? ....Craaap" he swore as the realization sunk in, in effort to distract himself, the man adjusted the rim of his cap, attempting to answer Leon's question. "Well, it's not like I work with anyone in the business weapon making or anythin-oh crap, I've said too much didn't I?" Just in time for question right after that too. He put up his hands in surrender, "Alright fine, so I make weapons, and I'm not talking about the mediocre kind. Any good gun in Rathya you can name at the top of your mind...well, I don't like to brag, but usually mine are better. I've always had this...uh...talent for making tools of death, people just tend to...uh...notice. It can get quite foreboding after awhile. Heheheh." He started chuckling nervously again, really wishing he wasn't out in the open like this. "People also tend to enjoy the metal itself, I've noticed. I mean, I always hated working with minerals that could rust easily, guns don't really perform that well, so I improve on it a bit. Make it stronger and...can we talk about something else?" His body tensed a bit at the mention of the "schemer". "Other than that?"

"Alright, I suppose I can get all the help I could get. He calls himself Simon, Khron knows that isn't his real name, but he owns a company that sells machine parts around here. We know, of course, what he really does. And yeah, I bet you'd like to meet him don'tcha? Can't say I can help you there. As for my colleagues...well, they kind of don't want to see my face again...heh. Can't blame them, really."

"Anyways, my name is Leaden, after the city. It's.... it's not really a good name."

----Meka Restaurant----

"Wait!" Called out a voice. But the voice did not belong to the man who owned the restaurant, but the young man beside him. He wore an apron over loose clothing dyed in blue. His hair, like the restaurant's owner was the color of ebony, and his irises were almost pitch black. "Please forgive my father" he begged Razzim. "Ever since that man started visiting our restaurant--"

"Silence, yourself Khenn. I did not give you permission to speak."

"Father please, let this man come and eat. I'm sure he means us no harm."

"He's right, Vimal" stated the other man, who unlike Khenn, who seemed to be Vimal's son, referred to the restaurant owner informally. "This man could be the only customer we get for a month. Try not to let Snevilen's words bother you." Vimal glared at the man before softening his face. The women stared hopefully at him, and the two children. He looked at Khenn, who was still holding his cutting life.

"Sir, would you consider staying if we gave you a buffet for the price of one small meal?" he offered to Razzim.


----THAT NIGHT----

--------

"So...mister...?"
"Dust, just Dust" the captured pirate stared with eyes full of hate at the member of the city guard, who's mask of sympathy made him sick to the stomach. He supposed this day could not get any better, but at least it couldn't get any worse. He already knew what to expect. A cold cell at night, and a rope to wake up to in the morning. Really wasn't all that surprising when you were a pirate, but at least it wasn't The Plank.
"So...Dust..." his interrogator repeated. "You are a member of the Crimson Skull, as I understand."
"Yes, what of it?" Luckily, the pirate was striped of all his weaponry at the moment.
"Well, since you are no doubt a high ranking member of the family..." Dust snarled at this, "...I think you can tell us what your guys were after."
"Don't count on it."
The sounds of chairs scrapping filled the air as the interrogator grabbed hold of the pirate's collar.
"Don't play dumb with me, pirate scum. I know that you know about our secret routes, that's what your precious captain was after wasn't he?"
His query was only met with silence so he gripped harder, "WASN'T HE?"
There was a brief pause before the pirate answered him with a voice dripping in defiance, "Yes, but don't ask me why. I do not know."
Harder he was shaken, "Do not lie, worm."
"I am being honest. You think the captain will tell anyone what plans on doing with those routes, let alone his own men? The Crimson Skull is a crew full of pirates, sir, there is no room for petty loyalties."
The interrogator stared straight into the pirate's eyes, not giving him the luxury of looking away. The man didn't trust his sort as it was. "Forgive me if I can not find the heart to believe you."
"Have a psychic scan me if you need. I do not know anything!"
The pirate was then released from the interrogator's clutches, who turned his back on the dirty dog before him, not caring to look at him in the face. "...I see. If you won't tell me what I need you to know, perhaps I can find someone that will... Strauss!"
The troop called Strauss saluted respectfully. "Sir!"
"Send out word...I want an eye kept on those new arrivals. Every single one of them. They know something that I don't, and I will damn well find out what."
"In the meantime put this piece of trash back in his cell. It will be his head soon."
"Understood!"


--------

Meanwhile...

_Go Back to Sleep_

All the little lambs were sound asleep.
All dreaming their little dreams. Dreams of control, of a cause, of adventure.
An adventure in a cold, metallic world. It is not hard to come by.
Tomorrow your adventure will truly begin.
Try not to stray too far from the path. You are guests in the land of the wolves.

Noises can be heard from outside, but do not awaken. They will know if you do. Instead, become lost in your childish fantasies. Right now, it is the only thing you have. Try to ignore the lights shining in your room. They mean you no harm. And do not worry too much about the spider in the ceiling. It is only spinning it's web. Do not have compassion for the fly. Why should you be concerned with such a lowly thing? A wolf is much more terrifying then the spider, you understand. It prowls around at night, looking for it's prey. And it howls at the two moons when it's work is done.

What's that? A monstrous noise coming from outside? Much different from the noises before?

Go back to sleep. Don't worry your pretty little head.
.
.
.
Tomorrow will be another day within the Land of the Wolves.










___________________________________________________________________________________________________


----BOOK IILand of the Wolves----

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Have you heard the story about the Boy Who Cried Wolf?"

A golden beam of light greeted the sky with like a long lost cousin, scaring away the darkness of the night. The clouds reflected shades of yellow and pink, lazily floating along, without a care in the world. Amongst them, was the ever so determined floating city of Meka. But...there was another.

A floating object, independent of the mechanical wonder, approached ever so slowly, and cautiously. In contrast to Meka's many greys, this one was one big orchestra of color. A city of tents it was, striped little cabins for the weird and extraordinary. Wooden carriages of all shapes and sizes carried within them nomadic groups. From the west they all gazed with hopeful eyes. Up ahead was their audience, and like every year they meant to put on a good show. Perhaps this year will be the show of the century. A show like no other.

The Circus Chroma.

--------

Little children scattered about happily in the streets. It seemed this day belonged to them. Little voices exchanged a single phrase to the young and old, the rich and the poor. All throughout the floating city everyone knew, "The Cloud Carnival has come!" The littlest ones were already at the far western portion of the city, waiting for the gates to open. Such gates were made from iron, patterns full of diamonds and ovals for each negative space, a banner of words marking the top. Beyond the gates the children could see the games, the stalls, and the performers themselves, waiting. From the sides, teenagers leaned against walls or watched from up above, some chattering amongst themselves. The overly rebellious ones played with chipped bits of concrete and metal, mischievously eying the crowd. The daring ones exchanged bets on who was going to jump over the fence separating the foreign thing from the city. Though they would have to somehow jump the gap between the two floating things. Supposedly, the carnival ran on the same form of energy as the city, though it's materials were more mix-matched and unprofessional looking. From up above prowling teens and workers could see that on the inside it was much like a little village, they even had stables for the animals and little makeshift gardens. Each tent followed a relatively similar structure, with one entryway, a large square in the middle where the main room was, and a back room (where the person's idol was placed). Some had small openings in the roof where smoke could escape, though a lot of the tents were absent of smoke at the moment. For the occasion, streamers connected one tent to the other, streamers of different colors and patterns. It seemed as if they were connected to tall columns made from sandstone and marble. There were many columns, and each of them had a different animal carved into the head, signifying a different tribe. The pillar in the center which was the largest had the carnivals owner on it, a ghastly reminder to the tribes who was really in charge here. One wouldn't be able to see what he looked like from afar. But there had been tales about, of how the owner was a monster.

Business around Old Dusk was booming with the arrival of the carnival. Artists of all sorts piled the streets, greeting the nation's new arrival with glee, greeting it in their own special ways; by song, by dance, or by potrayals in art. One such artist sat near a fountain away from everyone else so he could paint the scene around him in peace. He was a pale, frightful thing, who did not like to speak. His paintings, had a strange emotion to them, some claimed they told stories, frightening stories, yet said stories. It was like looking at the life of another, in their eyes. They were so realistic, many who came to peer at them had to look away. A boy with knives waited in the crowd gathered at his gates with his father, looking quite nervous. The father merely grumbled, you can tell he did not want to be here today. At the entrance of the Robot Theatre, a theatre bristling with activity, there were robots greeting children, acting and dancing for them while their masters watched. Some of them even had human-like faces, but you could tell they were just porcelain masks. A stranger in black wearing a mask passed the entrance way by, pushing a small box which played music when you turned the lever. It did seemed as if it was concentrated entirely on the crowd ahead, waiting patiently for something to happen, something that called for it's attention. But all the while it continued it's warning, which gracefully floated over the ears of the blind. "Let all who hear come and earn nothing" it seemed to say. And perhaps the most important person of all, the son of the emperor himself, a young boy eight years of age surrounded by bodyguards appointed by his father. "When will the gates open?" he asked the guards. "Very soon, young master" one of them answered. The arrogant look in his eye told he would not wait for far longer.

It was a moment of time before the gates would open.

And not a moment too soon, the intercom on the right head of the gate resounded a screech that interrupted the talk amongst the crowd.
"Ladies and gentlemen I thank you for gathering here today, and bid you welcome."
"It is always an honor to entertain this delightful city year after year. And this year we have something very special. The return of Circus Chroma!"

This announcement, for whatever reason, caused the crowd to cheer. They have heard stories of the Amazing Rio Chroma, and his masterful illusions. Hidden from the crowd a mouse's ears perked up at the familiarity of the name.
"Yes the master of rainbows himself shall be here to show you the wonders of light, along with his troupe; Zulay, the Fortuno Brothers, Tzila, the beautiful Magenta, and many more to feast upon. And while you're at it, enjoy the rides, the games. Let yourself get lost in the fantasy that awaits you. After all...."
The voice grew dangerously foreboding, "We only come once a year~"

The gate then opened it's arms in a joyful greeting to the excited crowd. No one wasted any time rushing in, wishing to enjoy every second of the wonderful carnival before the end of the weekend. Inside, there was everything you expected a carnival to have: games of chance and skill, food stalls with recipes from all over Rathya and candy to enjoy, a large carousal where decorated mares with horns galloped around in a circle, a giant Ferris Wheel that threatened to touch the heavens themselves, a ominousness looking house of mirrors, a haunting train ride, plus that large red ten near the center. The street performers that flooded a place ranged from men on stilts, clowns with balloons, firebreathers and eaters, jugglers, and men in masks. Masks could even be bought from stalls, mostly Xephamorian, but also Icilee styled. Those who sold them were obviously skilled maskmakers, dressed in rich clothing to signify their importance in society. Some awaited by the gates, selling their goods to the citizens of Meka right away, along with other goods. The smell of fresh food was about, daring each person to spend their hard earned money on fat. Amongst the festivities, the Stranger walked, not paying anyone any mind. It continued his song into the carnival, and fellow masked men gazed in greeting. It did not hail them. A young child passed it by, ordering the guard to buy him a balloon from the balloon salesman. The salesman grinned and handed the boy a red balloon. "A gift, for the Empire." The boy with knives and his father wandered aimlessly, stopping to watch a man swallow a sword. The father had a grave look on his face. And the artist, he stayed behind, content with drawing the empty scene around him.

Welcome children, to the new day.



====================================================================================

"Crimson Skull Leader Crimson With Embarrassment" by Radonna Sunshine, Meka Tribune wrote:Captain Admon, the name many have come to fear, the terror of the skies who would paint the world in shades of red. Now, it is his own face that is painted in red thanks to the combined efforts of individuals who were attacked by the infamous Crimson Skull earlier this morning. Leon Borren of the Borren Trading Company tells us that the "coward", as he called him, escaped after being "taught a lesson", as pictured above. It seems our diabolical friend has lost more than an arm and a leg, but his pride as well as he flees the seen looking awfully defeated and hopeless. It is clear that he will not be bothering anyone again. What he was after still remains a mystery, but according to Mr. Borren it could very well have been an attempted robbery.

A lone pirate has been captured at the scene of the crime, assumed to be a member of Admon's crew. He could be one of our only hopes to discover the pirate captain's motives. A high-class English tutor named Landgrave B. Slater claimed to have helped capture him, along with his companion Miss Kharrighan Loreley. As he describes it Kharrghan was attacked first, before he swooped in to save her. In his own words, "We are but humble citizens making our respective commutes to the great city! I know not where they are, but at least we have one of them in possession now. I think that is as great a deed as any man can do." Mr. Slater seems confident that as a high-class tutor, there is a lesser chance that the pirates would be out for revenge. We can only hope he is right. Last night, the city guard interrogated the captured pirate, word is not yet out whether there is an understanding of the pirate's motives, but the chief of the city guard, Viktor Kass, seems to agree with Mr. Borren that it was only a mere robbery.

Thankfully, the captain of the Sahana, the airship attacked, and his crew are safe and sound with their family. All of them are grateful to their passengers that they are still alive. Captain Oscar Fritz describes to us the events: "It was just a normal work day for me, we were on course to Meka and on schedule, everything was fine. Then we got this strange message on the telegram, and the power suddenly cuts out and we get another weapon. Naturally, I am worried, my crew is up in the upper levels in pitch darkness, who knows what could've happened." Out of his own dutiful instinct the captain goes to investigate, but hears an explosion coming from the axial corridor. One of the passengers meets him underneath the site of the explosion who informed Captain Fritz of two pirates that were responsible for the explosion, both of which are presumed dead. The passenger also informs him of another good Samaritan who helped aide in the rescue of his crew. "My one regret is that I never had a chance to thank him." The identities of both men remain unknown, but surely the entire crew of the Sohana continue to remain in their debt.

The Sohana on the other hand, sadly did not make it, and it is now a ruined shell of it's former self. It has been estimated that a new airship will possibly cost the MATC airlines 2,087 talors to build. Still awaiting word on the city guard's

-CONTINUED ON A2 IN COVER STORY-
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Cheesemore » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:13 am

-Jeggred Nalaar-

Jeggred had no trouble waking up the next morning, because well, he never went to sleep. Many an hour is lost in the depths of the underground black market, as is the case in most cities. He was used to it however, and he carried himself just as anyone would have had they had a full night's sleep. He emeraged from the same entrance he'd come through the night before, though this time he carried out a new toy. 'Glad to see prices are the same here. Though it did take some artful negotiating if I do say so myself.' he thought as he looked at the entrance one last time before signaling he was out, and the door quickly closed behind him.

As soon as it closed he looked up towards the sky, signaling the time of day in his mind. 'Already the next morning, huh? Time sure flies.' he thought as his attention was drawn towards the crowd moving towards the west. 'What have we here?' he thought as he carefully hid his new toy, he didn't want any unneeded attention, especially back out in the crowd. After dealing with that minor issue, he preceded back out to the street, his eyes darting slowly back and forth as if he were looking for something. 'He likes to hang out on the west side of town, so I should keep my eyes peeled.' he thought as he continued his walk with the rest of the crowd.

After a short while Jeggred found him and those he were following in a dead stop. He tried to look past the mass of people to see why he'd come all the way out here, but to no avail. He slowly worked his way over towards the edge of the crowd in hopes of a better view. When he finally reached the edge, a discarded newspaper caught on his foot. His curiosity caught the better of him as he picked it up and began to read.

It was the Mekian Tribune, and the cover story was about the pirate attack of yesterday. 'Not a surprise, after all it was a pretty major event.' Upon closer inspection, however, revieled a great deal of information, like the names of some of his fellow passengers aboard the Sohana. 'Landgrave B. Slater, Kharrighan Loreley. Those must have been the first two to adress the press.' he thought as he glanced downwards to notice the captain was mentioned, and that he ran into an unknown passenger, with the message "My one regret is that I never had a chance to thank him." Jeggred let out a laugh as he read the line, loud enough that he drew some looks, but nothing more. 'If only the poor bastard knew why we both were really there. A theif and a rebel, I doubt there'd be many thanks involved for the two of us.' he thought with a grin and started to put the paper away.

However, he stopped abruptly, as the one name stood out at the top of the article, Leon Borren. 'So that was the infamous Leon Borren. I should have known he'd make his way here as well. Though I was hoping I'd beat him to the punch at least.' Jeggred thought disappointed before finally discarding the paper. Almost immediately, Jeggred heard the announcement in front of the mob. It turns out it was a circus, that's what the mob had gathered for. 'A circus? Today of all days? My my, it seems almost too likely I'll run into him. They told me he likes two things, food, and big crowds to escape in.' he thought as he wandered in behind the crowd, making his way towards the smell of food. 'Now then, who will be spotted first? Me or him?' he thought happily as he glanced from side to side, keeping a look out for the one they called 'Mouse'.
Fenix13 : Cheesemore if you get any more awesome this thread is gonna explo- WHAT THE FFFUUUUUUUUUUU- *Everybody dies*
BeeAre : i'm just going to go ahead and say it: this thread is cheesemore's thread now. like. he's officially spam's last post crusader, always seeking the last post like a knight looking for the holy grail. poor bastard. godspeed you goofy motherfucker.
JesusChrist : 16. Cheesemore should always be addressed as "fucking Cheesemore" because he's so pathetic [see: Last one to post thread]
SoulScavenger : Cheesemore, your avatar is awesome. That is all.
Akaine : Cheesemore...if this was facebook, I'd approve of your comment with clicking 'like'.
sam4books : Cheesemore earns an awesome point.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Iris » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:04 pm

-Aethril Killegan- A Carnival...fantastic...-

Meka, the great floating city of wonder. The city of both hope and hatred. Of dreams, inspiration, promises and so much more.By the gods, I hate this place already... Killegan thought to himself bitterly as he moved through the busy and lively streets. The hawk-eyed man had to leave his cutter behind to get to this floating pile of miserable collection of people, an act that he sorely regretted now but unfortunately a necessary choice. He needed to cut some deals, maybe some other things as well if his possible client decided to bail on him.

Killegan resisted the urge to spit in utter disgust at his predicament, he recently had been busted trafficing and trading in some undercut goods (Some of which was actually illegal or stolen), thankfully it wasn't officially reported due to some small talk and a rather big bribe. Killegan lost his cargo and most of his 'hard-earned' cash. Now he had to stay out of the limelight, he needed to do something legit for a while, get to know some new trade routes, current trading and stand-points once he had that, he could go dark again, Killegan was almost certain that he'd found a possible lead. Don't get your hopes high you fucking idiot... remember that last dozen times...complete waste of time...the cap would be laughing right now...
He shrugged off his own remarks, Killegan had been on a possible connection to the demise of the August Raven again, he thought a nearby trade port had documented a strange ship passing by on the night of the raid but once again... it was only a rumour. Very few even knew what had actually happened to his crew and their beloved ship. Sunk they declared... because of carelessness they fething say. They could shove that declaration up where the light won't shine....

The man suddenly growled at the thought, scaring several passerbys who believed they had done something to earn his ire. Killegan was secretly amused that he still was intimidating to these kind of folk, he still had the 'touch' to frighten them without even saying anything. His looks did the work and at time he went out of his way to reinforce the proverb 'that looks can kill'.
"Keep focus ya bleeding half-wit..." He muttered to himself, he had been awake quite early so when a messenger came to bring an offer, Killegan was able to take 'greet' the young man personally, "A carnival...fan-fucking-tastic... I swear if this turns out to be an offering to join the circus..." Killegan clentched his gloved hands picturing numerous ways he'd show his appreciation to the would-be client for his 'thoughtful' suggestion.

After a while he mingled with the crowd as they slowly made their way into the festive place, he could hear the whinning of children and the sighing of their parents. Again Killegan found himself amongst folk he'd been avoiding through his travels, his quest-obsession Killegan absent mindedly corrected himself. The man had done everything in his power to dodge life but apparently the gods had a sick sense of humour. Killegan wondered if he'd managed to upset the goddess of luck again or perhaps the goddess of the seas... wouldn't really surprise him after all those two were some of the few that constantly followed him... almost like companions.
He gave a sigh and moved to a clearing to grab a smoke, he was a about to reach for one when there was a hawk's cry, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, keep ya feathers on... I remember... barely." Killegan announced moving his hands away from his pockets. Two sea hawks came down from skies, they had been ghosting him ever since he had been in the city only taking sparse breaks to prevent them from losing sight of their 'quarry'. Slowly Killegan stretched out his right arm and tapped it with his left hand, signaling he was ready for them to land. "And remember one at a time... me arm still aches after that last prank you two pulled on me." He called out as the female came swooping in, bit by bit she lost her speed and with grace landed on it's target.

The she-hawk looked at its 'pet' with silent question, puncuated with a curious twist of the head, "Don't ask me, ask the client... he's the one who asked us to come here...don't know why..." Another cry, some how it was able to create a sound of jealousy of the she-hawk's attention.
Out of instinct the man raised his left arm and felt the sudden weight of the second larger bird, it moved up to his shoulder to peck one of his dreadlocks, wanting some attention as well. "I swear you two have so much more in common with those little ones over there...." Killegan complained in a whispered tone to the hawk, he did however rather gently scratched its beak and then its neck.

Suddenly aware of how much attention the two birds had probably just gotten, Killegan groaned inwardly... The first idiot that offers to buy them... I'm going to defenestrate the sod...
Last edited by Iris on Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby TheLivingCouch » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:27 pm

-Meka, Circus Chroma: "The Gates of Opportunity"-

The sight of the Circus Chroma as it opened was nothing short of awe inspiring. With the circus came promises of thrills, chills, spills, delicious food, feats of daring do, and amazing wonders for people of all ages. Alimbur and her new companion from the Tribune were less than patiently waiting among the masses for the gates to open and the merry making to begin. “Since they’re handing out cake jobs at least I got the one I can try to enjoy. Mort knows Flavius could have posted us to some damned meeting of the teacher’s council or some other such inane nonsense.” Unfortunately Alimbur wasn’t much in the mood for having a night on the town. She wasn’t sure what angered her more, her pitiful assignment or the fact that she had to work when the Circus Chroma was making its annual visit.

Alimbur had spent the remainder of the day previous day shopping around to replace her belongings lost in the crash of the Sohana, and afterwards salivating at the latest models of motion cameras that would take her a year and a day to afford. The nine Talors she had been paid could go pretty far, but not that far. If there was one thing the merchants of vendor’s lane were all talking about, it was the coming of Circus Chroma. It was, according to them, the biggest, most extravagant, most amazing thing to ever grace the city with its presence; second of course only to the emperor himself. Of course. All they could talk about was how they wanted to see the performers and play the games of chance, sample the food and finally drink the night away. Plenty were packing up early just to go. It would be an unforgettable night, they said. Alimbur was sooooo lucky to have arrived when she did, they said. She shouldn’t miss it they said. All she could do was stand and smile knowing full well that she had work to do. More than a few at least mentioned something a little more intriguing. Today, of all days, was the birthday of the emperor’s son. A funny little coincidence that was. What better gift for the son of the Emperor of Mek than the greatest circus in all of Rathya. If it weren’t for that, this day really would be a total waste. There was hope yet.

“Tell me something Theo.” Alimbur said turning to him looking as annoyed as she sounded. “How long have you been working for the Tribune that they still give you these pissy cake assignments, eh? I mean the sheer nerve of these people.” The reporter reporter’s attention turned to the gate for a moment as a voice bid them all welcome. Alimbur happily ignored it in favor of ranting at Theo. “I mean can an honest reporter even get one lousy credit for a picture well shot. Then there is that article...” Alimbur was ready to rip it to shreds then thought better of it. “You know what, forget the article. Let’s just say I’d be more concerned with why the city can keep its own skies in sight of the city safe from pirates, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, at least they pay well.” She huffed admitting at least one good thing about working for the Tribune. I didn’t take long but by the time Alimbur was finished the gates were open and people were swarming the gates to much fanfare. A sly smile returned to Alimbur’s face as she began to more towards the entrance. “Come on Theo,” She said as a little of that old excitement returned. “We’ve got work to do. Let’s see if we can get some of the easy shots done quick. Then we can work on the night’s real prize.”
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Mastermind001 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:11 pm

{Leon Borren}

_Run Rabbit Run_


Today's suit was like the setting or rising sun depending on who you asked. It was a reddish orange, but the dress shirt under the jacket was dark purple much like the gloves and the mask he wore. The mask had tons of dark purple feathers with a painted yellow eye. He needed to conceal his identity for awhile, not for an important reason, but because he was attending a circus, hence why he dressed like a performer would. It also helped that other articles in this city has his picture and his famous quotes. He didn't wanted to be bothered by such details or get too excited, because deep down, Leon knew, there would be a round two for them .

Since Leon keeps track of things, like today's major event is a famous circus and the emperor's son's birthday, he wagered a guess that Alimbur would attend it due her reporting ways. And before his eyes standing front of him no less, was her, chatting with what he could was a fellow coworker. However, this is based on how she is talking to the other fellow and what is saying. However, it was good news to Leon that she found some work here, more things to discuss.

" What's tonight's real prize, Alimbur ?" Leon questioned as he made his presences known to her. If she were to turn to him, she would see that he carrying a package, a nicely wrapped gift with red paper and a purple bow. " Is it what the voice said in such a foreboding way? Honestly, it gave me chills." He said in such a playful way.
"Fate smiles on the strange. So its a good thing, I'm the strangest of all." - William Livingstone, Cirque de la Nuit
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby TheLivingCouch » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:01 am

-Meka, Circus Chroma: “Masked Man”-

Alimbur stopped in her tracks when someone rather loudly addressed her by name. Someone had been listening in to her conversation. The reporter didn’t like that in the least. She placed and hand on Theo’s shoulder indicating he should wait a moment. The reporter turned around to see a man dressed in an expensive redish suit along with shirt and gloves of deep violet. He also wore a mask of the same color adorned with a multitude of feathers. It looked ridiculous as a matter of fact. “Who is this guy?” Alimbur studied the man through narrow eyes, her face twisted into a look of suspicion and confusion. There were only so many people in the city who knew her name, and fewer still who would bother to pick her out of a crowd. “I don’t think it’s anyone from the Tribune. A merchant? Someone from the Sohana?” Whoever it was, Alimbur figured it would be best to lose him and quick. She didn’t trust anyone in a mask. It was too much her job to rip them off and show the faces people hid from the light of day. “I’m going to win the biggest prizes they got at the booths down the midway.” She said with an eyebrow raised. She was obviously blowing him off, especially if the shiny new press pass tucked into her hat had anything to say about it. “Either way I don’t think it’s any of your business.” The reporter’s sharp eyes gravitated to the colorfully wrapped gift in the man’s hand. “If you’re looking to kiss up to the emperor to be I’m sure there is a line forming somewhere. Now if you will excuse me I have things to do.” Alimbur turned once more and signaled for Theo to follow. “Let’s go.” She whispered to him. “I don’t like the smell of this guy.”
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Mastermind001 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:10 am

{ Leon Borren}

_ Candy_

Leon turned his turn his an awkward yet creepy way as he was confused. It did look, that she honestly, forgot, or at least couldn't recognize him. He can understand about the outfit, but his voice as well. His gaze became wide as he uttered an " Ah, I get it now." As he realized why she wasn't getting to A to B. It his tone. As Leon would recalled, when he actually talked to her, he used his real tone and acted more like his real self, than the clownish one in front of others. " You're used to the real me and not the clownish one before you." He said in a such a silly way to her.

" And please, you're here for a real scoop much like on the Sohana, when you were followed me to Admon." Leon revealed as he started to give her hints to his identity. " Now let's review, shall we? I'm a merchant, and I traveled with you on the Sohana, does that help you?" He went on to say, becoming more clear. " Also, big hint, since we have arrived, you don't trust me." Leon mentioned as that was something she kept to herself, than saying it out loud.

" Now, I don't care what business, you really have. I just want to hear your thoughts on a few things." Leon said to Alimbur. " The gift is a motion camera and its yours, if you're willing to have a discussion. I know, they are quite pricey." He mentioned and then added " Its a fine replacement for the one you lost on the ship."
"Fate smiles on the strange. So its a good thing, I'm the strangest of all." - William Livingstone, Cirque de la Nuit
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Winds of Change

Postby Soul » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:08 pm

Xavier cracked his knuckles, looking around the him. He seemed to be ignoring the woulds he had recieved from the lycanthrope as he looked for any witnesses to the fight. He sighed and shuffled around in his coat looking for something.

"Thanks for the rope and the map. As interesting as you are I'd rather not try and dissect you, your puppies could become quite the nuisance if they kept hunting."

He snatched up the lasso that the man had been using to control Xavier's shades, as well as the map to Mek that he had originally wanted. He examined the lasso as he held it wondering if he could use its properties in some other way, or transfer the magical effect to mechanics without expending its power. He shrugged and looked back down at the creature at his feet, his vision beginning to blur. Blood loss was not fun.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find some medical attention," Xavier began to walk away from the scene, slowly. Still fishing around for one of his pain medications that he had been experimenting with. He stopped for a moment to check the map for the hotel he was going to stay at. There he would mend his own wounds with supplies from some kind of pharmacy.

He stopped and looked back at the lycanthrope for a moment before turning and walking forward, "Passing up the chance to dissect a were-creature. Is there something wrong with me? Maybe? No. I'm fine. Perfectly fine. I hate dogs, I don't want his wee ones chasing me. Especially those dogs. They looked kind of strange. Like some kind of demon dog."

It took some time, but he managed to make it to the hotel, check in, and move up to his room without collapsing. Removing the clothes on his upper body and placing them on the bed in the room he began to search his coat pockets for the pain killers he had brought with him, grumbling angrily as he still could not find them. Slowly moving towards the wash room Xavier took some paper and water and began cleaning the large wound he had received from the encounter. Luckily it wasn't deep, but the bleeding wouldn't until he stopped moving or until it was sewed shut.

Untangling his fishing line and straghtening the hook from his disassembled fishing rod, the inventor began to sew the cut shut, growling in pain, but stopping the blood flow. He used one of his throwing knives to cut the line and collapsed onto his bed, shoving off the items that he had removed from his coat. Xavier passed out rather quickly, his bleeding having slowed considerably.

The inventor woke with a start, looking out the window trying to remember how he got a cut along his stomach. Oh right, were-creature. He stood up from the bed and stretched his legs before getting dressed. If he got lucky he might find a doctor who can heal his cut so he can go fishing again. Making his way out of his room and down to the lobby he heard talk of a carnival taking place. After last night's encounter he could use a chance to relax. Maybe he could find something there that could help him in his pursuit of knowledge, or maybe he'd just have fun.

With a grin Xavier exited the hotel and made his way towards the carnival, his coat jingling with each step he took.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Doctress Who » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:34 am

Hester Claerwen Willow – Not looking, but seeing

A small pale black and white shape of a female made her way down the street. Under one arm she carried a fold-away easel and canvases; with the opposite hand she carried a toolbox, the old smearings of paint on its metal sides. She’d left her backpack and anything she was sure she didn’t need with her back at the place she was staying, only carrying her artist tools and some spending money. Her fluffy white hair puffed out over her shoulders and down her back, looking as though it might stand on end if you only lightly rubbed a balloon against it. Her clothes were surprisingly clean, although, it was early in the day...knowing Hester, they wouldn’t be in the same state by the end of the day. No hat today – although she did have a paintbrush tucked classically behind her right ear, sticking out of the side of her wispy hair like an obscure wooden decoration.

However, Hester had her fair albino eyes shut tight as she walked along, seeming to not be looking where she was actually going. Her laced knee-high boots fell lightly with each step, seeming to walk confidently without hesitation. It was lucky that most people happened to be heading in the same direction, so she was spared the embarrassment of knocking into people on her journey...at least, not too much anyway.

Somehow, she managed to successfully stop just short of the crowd gathering at the Carnival gates. Blinking several times, she finally opened her eyes to see where it was she’d ended up.
“It worked; my third eye led me to the Carnival,” she smiled happily to herself. Her gleaming pinkish red eyes swept the whole scene, taking in the sights. She breathed in a lung full of air, before letting it fall back out in a big sigh.
“So, it must have been fate after all. I wonder what would have happened, if I’d deliberately gone someplace else. Would I have still ended up here in the end?” Hester pondered, apparently addressing no one but herself. After a moment lost in thought about this, she shrugged the idea off, listening instead to some announcement being made to the crowd. She was excited. She wasn’t sure why...she supposed it was the whole atmosphere of the place. “It’s contagious,” she agreed to herself, trying to stand on tip toe to see over the crowd, but with her small stature it was practically impossible.

Then the gates opened, and everyone went rushing in. Not Hester, though. She just stood there, watching everyone going in. She was in no rush, and she found it interesting to watch things. Observe the energy of so many people surging forward, like a boiling pot of colours and emotions merging into one. And then there was that emptiness; that beautiful silence that was left behind in their wake, making the world outside the gates seem suddenly lifeless, with all the fun now going on inside. Hester got goose bumps from it, just watching the atmosphere change from one state to the other. These were the things in life she lived for. The small things that other people forgot to enjoy, or took for granted. Oh, the carnival itself was exciting enough, Meka alone, in fact. But what she had just witnessed – that one moment, right there – that was what she loved the most. Moments like that made everything worthwhile.

“So...beautiful...” she sighed dreamily, standing and admiring the scene, long after the crowd had gone.
It was then, in the silence the crowd had left behind, she could hear the faint sounds of the fountain. She turned her head, her eyes falling on a man busy painting.
Another artist? I guess there would be, at a big event like this... She looked curiously in his direction, before making her way towards him. Putting her toolbox down for a moment and resting her easel carefully against the wall of the fountain, she popped up at the man’s side.

“Hello there,” the young albino greeted him kindly with a small smile, quite unperturbed. “...May I see?” she asked politely, nodding to the paintings. It was almost as if Hester couldn’t help herself...for her, seeing new paintings was an opportunity she could rarely pass up on. She couldn’t help but wonder, what this man’s paintings were like...what kind of things they would tell her, if they could...
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Acktoo » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:51 pm

[Radia Stelan Evanres, Vendor's Lane Alleyway]

Radia stretched his arms and yawned; this was the first day he had to deal with, well.. sleeping on the street (literally), and his body was aching a bit. Perhaps he should have turned in that mousy thief for enough money for room and board, but the man was so pitiful that Radia could not bear to be near him for any longer than he already had. A quick search of Vendor's Lane (through the alleyway) revealed some commotion, as if people were excited about some event.

A long grumble emanated from the young Sophyian's stomach; he hadn't eaten in quite some time. Perhaps whatever this 'event' was could lead him to a meal. With that (very thin) line of reasoning in his mind, the ex-noble left his 'bed' and made his way into the more populous street, intent on following the crowd.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Akaine » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:34 am

Kharrighan Loreley: Carnival du Freaks anyone?

Long dark wavy hair pulled to the side and loosely held there with a piece of stray leather, Kharrighan wandered near the entrance to the Carnival. She was looking around cautiously, particularly wary after what had happened on the zeppelin. Her see-through baggy pants and booty-shorts had been replaced with less conspicuous clothing...and by less conspicuous, meaning not see-through. Her belly-shirt had also been replaced with a dark navy-blue tank-top that has little beads sewn in a wave-pattern near the bottom edge.

With each step that she took, her sandals, that also had been replaced since she had lost one, made a muted tapping sound, which she tried to make softer by walking gingerly. One finger was hooked on to the white and purple shell necklace that she had made a habit of wearing, and a smaller version of her humongous travel sack, for lack of a better term for it. Inside said satchel was her knife, assorted beads and bones, the hand-sewn book and the smaller whetstone(just in case). She had left her large mandolin at the room that she was staying, after demanding that the security on the room be up to her standards, and she almost threatened that if anything happened to her mandolin, that she'd have the man haunted by spirits for the rest of his and his descendant's lives which probably gave the owner a stir.

Now that she was out of the room, and in front of the carnival gate, she looked around, unsure if she should go inside. She had noticed a few familiar faces, but wasn't quite sure that it was comforting. Even familiar faces could pose a threat. As everyone was rushing in, she saw a few other people holding back, possibly waiting for somebody in particular, or catching their breaths...or something else. Taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly, in a meditative manner, she opened her light blue eyes and observed the flow of the crowds. Once they thinned, she would enter.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby sam4books » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:49 pm

----Meka: Cloud Carnival Entrance----

_Alimbur and Leon_

"Look, I'll be honest, I don't like them either. Two years, and they still treat me like a bag of bones. But you don't see me complaining." He was clearly a bit bitter with this assignment, stuck with the new person at a carnival of all things. He didn't even care about the Emperor's son and his dumb birthday. It seemed like it always had to be some extravagant moment, to remind people who's still on top. Theo had his own doubts about the city, "This city has its resources, people would think twice before trying anything. That's what I've been told." He sighed when Alimbur went ahead into the crowd. Up ahead was the most ridiculous looking man he had ever seen in his life, and he has seen a few. Orange and purple? Those colors didn't match at all. And what was with the Rapture getup? Was he Xephamorian. He gave the man a weird look, not entirely amused by his appearance, and highly suspicious.

"Friend of yours?" he asked Alimbur when the man called her by name.

'Seems not' was the conclusion. Theo was more than happy to go along with Alimbur and get as far away from this guy as possible. Weirdos with Rapture fetishes weren't on his list of people to be affiliated with. "Glady." Unfortunately this guy just couldn't give them a break. Khron, he was so creepy, you'd think he was trained in the Creepy Academy for years,. But when he heard "Sohana" and "Admon", and it all became clear.

"Hold on a minute!" he exclaimed. "You're that guy, the one from the picture! I knew there was a reason I didn't like the look of you. And I mean that in more ways than one." The photographer crossed his arms in defiance of the man's presence.

_Hester_

He was working so vigilantly, he hadn't noticed the young woman until she addressed him. Every stroke of his hand was rough and quick, and seemed as if nearly zero thought was put into each stroke. His eyes were dark and distant...lost within another person's world. Yet, there was a certain sadness behind them, a weeping that inked through the brush. Mixed with anger and fear. There were emotions that weren't even his own yet they were a part of him. The artist had no need to look at his canvas, for he knew, he knew what he was drawing, and had to stop when he was interrupted from his trance of inspiration.

The artist peered at the albino, studying her eyes with curiousity. "Hmmm. Eyes full of wonder." he deducted. "Haven't drawn that in years..." He seemed to consider his painting for a moment, debating whether he should draw something else in..He peered back at Hester. "I don't think you want to see this. You have to accept a certain truths. No one else has been prepared for them. Sadly, yes, the subject matter is not for the faint hearted" The artist dipped his brush into his palette of color, which was filled with dark, gloomy, and also foreboding colors. Ironically, there was no brightness to this artwork of the carnival, a supposed happy occasion. Once again he painted, becoming lost in his surroundings again, always looking forward, never to the side. He had almost become lost. Before he even began painting again, he stopped halfway from the canvas. "Do you really want to know these people's story?" Once again, he peered at Hester, a frown on his face, an uncertain one. "Here are the people of the Empire of Mek."

The canvas was shown to her, it's once white and pure surface polluted with a storm of emotion. The faces in the crown were faces of fear, of depressed sadness, of great distrust. A far cry from the obviously happy faces currently in the crowd. And while the crowd edging inside the carnival looked up ahead, the ones on the canvas didn't seem interested in the carnival at all. Heads turned in each others directions, shooting each other suspicious, demeaning looks. Some didn't even notice, and were too lost within their own clouds of sadness. Even the children, even the children seemed distrusting. Only a few looked on with a fragile hope. The happy sky behind the gates was a sky of crimson darkness. A complete crimson darkness, warped was the scenery abound. What this revealed about the city was open to many interpretation, but the general mood was not hard to miss. These people were not happy. But there was a fear in them. Interestingly enough, some gazes were directed behind the crowd at unknown things, over the heads of people obstructing the eyes' views. Something beyond the carnival perimeter, in the old district.

"Tell me a story about these people." requested the artist.

_Jeggred_

A fragile mammal scuttled between people in the crowd, staying as inconspicuous as can be. His nose sniffed around for the best food about, and there was plenty. This place was the jackpot for him, easy to hide in, easy to eat. He didn't even need to steal, since people were prone to dropping their food on the ground to be eaten by the birds. He would find the gold before that happens. And besides, after that brush in with the rich man, he wouldn't dare trying to steal from a stand at the moment. The man could even be here at this very second, unknown to him. He figured he needed to lay low a bit and wait for the opportunities to present themselves. He had this weird feeling about today. 'Why do I feel like I'm going to regret coming here?' It wasn't like that feeling was new...

He just had this feeling that someone was bound to come after him....again.

This city was filled with tigers.

The mouse didn't even realize, that a man he just happened to pass by, was the one he needed to watch out for, and was watching out for him. He passed Jeggred by, intending to get to an area where he saw two birds. Perhaps they knew where he could find abandoned food.

_Killegan_

"Are you a pirate?"

The out of the blue question came from a rather waif looking boy with blonde hair. The boy wore a vest with fringes dyed in different colors hanging off of it. If he looked closely he would be able to tell that the vest's base color was brown. His pants were white and went just below the knee, yet they were so dirty they almost looked like the color of dry soil. His tiny feet sported brown moccasins with little fringes poking off the edges. From the looks of him, he seems as if he was born in Icilee, or northern Zorron, yet he had the clothes of a southern Gypsy.

"Sorry if you're not. I mean no trouble. It's just dey say dere are pirates here, and I see dese sea hawks..." An epiphany seemed to hit the boy as he reached another conclusion. "Are you a sailor den?"

The larger of the two birds started screeching, flapping it's wings excitedly as it's eye spot a certain treasure in the child's hands. The boy quickly stepped back, hiding whatever was in his hands away from the large hawk. The two hawks then began fighting with each other, over the thing the boy was guarding, like children fighting over a favorite toy. "Hey! I just bought dat!" The object wrapped by the piece of seaweed poked through, a piece of fish from the looks of it. It gave off a very distinctive and raw smell. In the midst of the frenzy a part of the fish fell on the floor, unnoticed by the boy.

From afar Mouse spotted the falling piece of fish, and his stomach reacted accordingly. Trying to contain the growling beast within, the small creature attempted to get closer so he would not be seen. Close enough to fetch some fish for himself.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby TheLivingCouch » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:15 pm

-Meka, Circus Chroma: “Calculated Risks”-

Alimbur stopped dead in her tracks at the mention of the masked man’s ‘real self.’ This guy just couldn’t take a hint. Alimbur, however, could and it only took one to realize exactly who it was she was dealing with. Her eyes narrowed but she didn’t back down. “Leon Borren.” She near sneered, letting Theo know exactly who it was they were dealing with given it wasn’t who he was thinking of in the least. “In all of Khron’s tangled web it just had to be you I ran in to didn’t it.” She shook her head. “I’ll have you know the Sohana was merely me being in the right place at the right time. Do you really think I boarded knowing we were going to be attacked? Mort be damned I’m not counting on another stroke of ill luck like that. The only scoop here is the festival itself and the fact that I have work, to, do. Take a hint will ya!” She gave Leon a fiery glare and then smirked. “Well aren’t you a bold face liar if I ever saw one. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble just to find me wouldn’t you?”

Then she choked. “What!” Alimbur was obviously taken aback. Her eyes went wide. For a brief moment she was in total shock. “For me!?” She choked again. There was so very much wrong with what Borren had just said. For a merchant, he knew things he ought not to much less care about. “What does he want from me? It’s not like I know anything more than he does. There’s no way he just wants to sit and talk. No possible way.” Alimbur took one, then two steps backwards before completely regaining her composure. “NO. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.” She said shaking her head, a nervous laugh in her voice. “No way Borren, not a chance. I don’t accept gifts. Think of what it would mean when it comes your turn under the spotlight, huh?” The reporter’s fire was back and fiercer than ever fueled by her own nagging fear. “What did you even do anyway? Get a hold of the Sohana’s cargo manifest? Have someone stalk me all day yesterday? You know what, no, forget it. Don’t tell me. I don’t even want to know. Mort be damned, I do not want to know.” Alimbur threw her hands in the air and looked away washing herself of the matter. She then glared at him and took a few steps forward, threatening to get right up in his mask. “If you really want to talk Borren, fine, we can talk but not here, not now. Meet me tomorrow noon at a place called Kim’s Moonside Café in the old dusk. I’ll be on lunch so you have an hour, tops. Come ready to spill.”

The reporter shot the man one last fierce glare before walking off, nearly dragging Theo with her. “Keep an eye out for that guy.” Alimbur whispered, straining to keep her voice down at all. “I don’t want him trailing us.” She glanced over her shoulder once to make sure they weren’t being followed. “That man wants something from me. I know it. I just don’t know what!” Alumbur’s frustration was evident. “You don’t get anywhere without taking risks Theo.” She huffed after she was in the clear. “Complaining is the least of things. Try it some time. It might get you somewhere.” She didn't like the thought of talking to Leon but it had to be done. She needed to know what he wanted and what if anything she could gain from it. This could work, she just needed to play her cards right.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Mastermind001 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:12 am

{Leon Borren}

_ Chroma Circus_ Perfectly Perfect

With his right, Leon placed a hand on Theo's shoulder while he still had his arms crossed. " Fair enough, because honestly, I don't like you either." He then, turned to his attention to the only person that matter, Alimbur . " And from those narrowed eyes of yours, you know. How grand." He commented in a rather insulting tone when Alimbur realized who she was dealing with . " To be honest, I could enjoy our debates, because clearly, you have interesting views. Let's remember the rich do crazy things, after all." He went on to say to counter Alimbur's remark.

" Of course, for you. Who else do I know, wants one." Leon remarked as he was being quite serious with her. " And why say no, when its easier to say, yes " He went on to say as Alimbur started to lose it with her nervous laugh and repeatedly saying "No". Honestly for Leon, it was a marvelous sight to behold, especially for someone like Alimbur. Yet it didn't last long as she quickly regain composure in a remarkable rate. " I have enough good PR out there, people would probably assume, I'm trying to win your heart."

" You just told me."
Leon simply answered after Alimbur's panic attack about how he would know. Of course, he has to play it that way, since she seems very reluctant about having a simple chat now. " Sure, sure, if you're that good at gathering information. It's not often, I let, someone play the cat, and me, the mouse. I look forward to it." With that said, Leon watched as Alimbur and Theo scurry off somewhere away from himself.

" I'm starting to like her. I hope, I meet someone just as feisty and cunning as her. Hopefully soon." Leon laughed as he merrily strolled in the Circus Chroma.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Cheesemore » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:49 pm

-Jeggred Nalaar-

'Where the hell is that rodent?' Jeggred thought as he continued to scan the crowd for the man. 'If I find out they gave me bad information, it'll be the last time.' he thought as he wandered over towards one of the stands and bought two Kebobs. 'They did say the little bastard was prone to try to lay low in crowds to steal food though.' he thought as he took a bite of the food. "Not bad. Worth more than their charging, but that's not surprising." he mumbled to himself as he glanced down at the ground. Jeggred noticed a small man, weaving his way through people as he passed by. 'He must be in a hurry.' Jeggred thought as he took another bite from his Kebob. As he began to chew, he realized something. 'Wait a minute, he fit the discription.'

Jeggred immediately began running in the direction after Mouse. 'Damn it, careless. I might just miss him now. Stupid food.' he was about to throw the other Kebob away when he stopped himself. 'Wait a minute, he likes food. This might come in handy.' he thought as he continued to run in the direction. After weaving in and out of the people, he finally managed to make it to the clearing. "Damn, now where did he go?" he said as he scanned the area. He noticed what appeared to be a Terrantulan sailor, with what appeared to be sea hawks fighting on him, and a small child. It was then that he spotted Mouse, he was moving towards the two of them.

'Great. Now what?' he thought as he moved towards Mouse just a bit faster than he was moving towards the other two. He hoped to catch him before the others spotted them. But then, an idea struck him, and it came from the food in his hand. 'They say he smells better than most people.' he thought as he threw the food in between himself and Mouse, trying to hide behind a few passer bys in the hopes he wouldn't spot him or realize it was a trap. 'If this doesn't work, it's going to be a pain trying to get his attention.'
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Iris » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:17 pm

-Killegan, Carnival ~ small, dirty and likely annoying~ -

"Are you a pirate?"
Came the question from a little boy, Killegan's eye twitched as the boy continued to speak, the noise made by people enjoying the carnival sounded suddenly much more pleasant but sadly Killegan could turn off his ears and ignore the little kid. The temptation just to walk away was very appealing to the hawk-eye man but unfortunately his birds had other plans.

Without warning the male hawk began to screeching, its wings sending small waves of air into Killegan's face, "Hey, hey, hey easy you. What in the world's got into you?" He growled as both his hawks before he caught the familiar smell of raw fish and groaned whispering, "So you two decide to fight over a fish...." as he brought his left hand to his forehead.
Sighing heavily he brought his hand to his mouth and gave a sharp whistle, the sound was surprisingly similar to to that of the hawks, "Alright you two feather brains, I'm not in the mood right now. I want both of you to apologize to the poor lad. He spoke in a stern matter before turning his eyes to the boy, for the first few moments the yellow eyes darted around the boys appearance trying to discover any hints to what he belonged to but his clothing and physical appearance made this difficult. Another reason why I stay off land He thought bitterly unable to determine what kind of social class the kid was from, he did know that that speech impediment annoyed him greatly, however since his hawks were the cause of the commotion.

Letting out a regretful sigh Killegan shook his head, "Sorry about the fuss kid, these two have a habit of deciding to play around at strange times, I think it has to do with the size of their brains. Can't seem to understand when not to go around screaming for attention or food. He paused to give both hawks another stern look before letting the mess slide somewhat, his eyes turned once more to the boy, "And no kid, I'm not a pirate. I'm a rogue trader, I trade in goods that are hard to get." He replied in a cold voice, it was a vague answer he admitted but then it was never a good idea to talk about how some goods were considered illegal or were priced under the regulated prices.
"As for that last part. No. I am no longer a sailor in the way most think. Gave up that part of my life a while ago."
The male hawk noticed something small moving on the floor and perked it head towards the movement interested. Perhaps it found something to toy with but before it could even try to and chase it Killegan shot it a glare that spoke volumes, reluctantly the hawks stayed perched on his arms once again look around for something of interest."If you two behave for a bit I'll see if we can get some grub for you two. He surrendered, Killegan knew from experience sulky people were incredibly hard to work with and this was not the time for him to have his hawks sulk.
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Re: COR: The Dark Ages IC----Land of the Wolves

Postby Doctress Who » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:19 pm

Hester Claerwen Willow – Interpreting and questioning

Accept certain truths? Hester thought, her interest growing. Not for the faint hearted? The artist may have meant it as a warning, but for Hester, there was nothing more appealing. She wasn’t one for ignorance and burying her head in the sand...the clouds, maybe, but that was another matter entirely. It didn’t stop her from wanting to learn, and keeping an open mind about the world around her.

“Please, I’d like to know,” the young woman replied, gently prompting him to show her. He seemed like a nice guy, despite the brooding atmosphere around his painting, and Hester guessed he was probably thinking she would turn away from it, like the others. And perhaps she would...but perhaps she wouldn’t. It was partly that reason, she felt she needed to find out.

As her pinkish eyes wandered over the painting, she chewed on a strand of white hair, frowning softly. She was surprised by the way he had painted the crowd; it was a striking contrast from the general vibe she had felt. It was almost like a twisted mirror version, where all the happiness had been turned into sadness, and all the excitement into fear or disinterest. It was completely different to the scene she saw, and yet it was unmistakably the same.
Was this really what it was like? Or was it just the way he saw it?

At the sound of his voice, Hester looked back towards him questioningly, seeming to be partly still lost in thought about the painting. “A story?” she repeated absently. Frowning, she returned her gaze to the painting once more, looking upon it in contemplation. After a few moments, she spoke. “Maybe...it wasn’t always like this. But something happened. Or these people found out something, and it made them frightened and depressed. But it’s something they don’t feel they can change, and they’re trapped by it,” she said, still staring at the painting. “But it’s something they’re frightened even to speak about. They just go to the carnival hoping they can forget and cover it over with bright colours, but they can’t. Something’s made them doubt everything and anyone around them, as if, some kind of fear has made them unable to trust anyone. At least,” Hester glanced at him, “That’s what I would say, at a guess.” Hester shrugged, before she added, with absolute seriousness, “Without actually calling out to them and asking them personally, anyway.”

She stared at the painting again, the frown still there. “...Is this how you really see it?” she queried. She wasn’t doubtful, just curious. “And,” she carefully pointed with a pale finger at the faces in the crowd, making sure to keep a safe distance from the paint, “What are they staring at?” She was indicating the people looking at something beyond the edge of the canvas.
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