Ruin

Between Marn and Shim, along the Ofriyu Mar river, is a stretch of dense woodland known as the Virdara Woods.
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Deilakrion
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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:19 pm

The forest slowly expanded back into norlmacy as the fox-flesh went away, and Deilakrion hid. The Hunt leered sideways at her from between the branches of bush and tree, silent accusations ripe with anger. Deilakrion cowered from them too, more afraid than she could ever remember. She had failed the Hunt. She should be dead. Did not the Hunt demand blood tribute? Did not Deilakrion, its creature by flesh and bone, always pay? She had broken a rule. She was not dead.

The fox-flesh should be dead.

Peek-a-boo red slithered through her mind. Deilakrion curled up, shaking her head, trying not to quiver with her repressed fear.

Kill the fox-flesh, and all will be well.

She could not. There was no way. She had made her play, and she had been rebuffed. There was no half-ground for the creature. The fox was dominant, stronger, and ruthless. A predator, big enough to swallow another predator whole. Deilakrion could not.

We must kill the fox-flesh, for the Hunt.

Deilakrion had failed the Hunt.

Bleed for us, but do not forget.

Her dagger was in her hand. A convenience for her, and she stared at its point kept sharp by sliding it along certain rocks. How much blood had she spilled with that tip? Blood for the Hunt. Blood for the Hunt. Blood for strength. Blood for death. Blood to live. Blood for sacrifice.

Deilakrion bled.

The next day she arrived in the clearing with plenty of time to spare. The sky was still bright, though the sun edged close as it could towards the edge of the world without getting near enough for the sky to begin to darken. Deilakrion waited, motionless, at the edge of the clearing. She was up in the tree, her eyes reptilian dead and ever so watchful. Two parallel lines marked each cheek, and the back of each hand, scabbed and faintly red around the edges. Traces of blood dotted her stomach and thighs, but that was not so unusual.

She was focused as she waited, and quiet. Watchful, ready, waiting.

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Niabi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Niabi » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:06 pm

As the light began to fade and the glowing ball in the sky slipped below the tops of the trees, Niabi removed herself from the rest of the herd. Normally, she wasn't one to stray far from the others after dark, it just wasn't safe. While the others sought out a secluded place to hide from the nightly predators who would soon be out on the hunt for quick meal, she made her way to the place where she had first met the strange fox.

The thought of being alone in the dark put her on edge. Whereas during the day when men crept into the woods to hunt down and kill whatever they could, there were things that came out at night that made all but the most bloodthirsty of men hide within their man-caves. Anything that could frighten a man could make quick work of a deer.

It was for this reason that she took her time making it to the small clearing. She slowly, carefully, made her way forward trying to make as little noise as she could. She took awkward steps so as not to disturb dried brush and twigs. She would stop and listen to each and every sound made by the nightbirds and insects. When she thought she heard something, anything, that seemed to be out of place, she would cling to the nearest tree and wait for whatever it was to pass.

It took some time, for which she could only guess at as clouds covered most of the night sky. However, it was darker now that when she first set out, but she had eventually made it to the cleaning. However, the two-legged deer woman remained squished against a tree rather than step out into the open.
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Hakujoumi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:59 am

Isis didn't sleep for more than an hour that night.

She had spent the dark hours in the town of Shim, waiting for an epiphany that did not want to come. Emerging from the forest as a woman in jade-green heels, she seemed a strange sight among the regular visitors of The Red Chalice. Out of place though she might have been, she was at the town's only tavern for a reason. A handful of men were inside the wooden walls of the inn, probably due to the rain lightly drizzling outside. Isis had always found it a bit strange the way that humans in particular shied so far away from a bit of rain. The irony was how much of a necessity rain was to humans, depending on their crops and cattle for food. She'd never been able to get a real grasp on why it was that they hated rain. It was a giver of life, not an inconvenience.

The nogitsune was there to choose a target. The act would hopefully seal her fortunes with the deer and the elf, making her two new, very useful, friends. Isis believed that all men deserved this fate, that all men deserved death, and early ones at that. She also believed that women should meet the same fate, but was slower to judge them than men; men were easy; men were weak. Even then, with no more than six of them giggling over themselves in a drunken stupor, she could see how pathetic they were. These men were all old enough that they had wives, and here they were, drunk as ants in mead.

"You ol' fart! You shoulda seen the look on that girl's face when you offered 'er a smoke," boomed a rocky voice from the largest man, leaning back precariously in a chair.
"Guess she didn't wan' te smoke with a forty-year old. Cannot blame 'er fer that," said a second man, the one with brown hair and a soft, gritty voice, like fur of a bear. He had a pleasant face and an overworked build, his hands gnarled and his small beard tainted with the grey of age. Isis hated him immediately.

It was a standard. The husband who couldn't deliver, didn't have the drive to keep going, to strive for the best. His name, she learned, was Farlow, though whether his surname or general calling, she didn't care. Sitting in a corner at their backs, Isis watched them from beneath thick lashes, sipping dry wine. Her hair was redder than usual, probably due to the rain she'd allowed to wash over it. It was frizzy and messed with static electricity, but it didn't matter. The test always worked no matter the state that she was in.

The woman stood from her seat and did the obvious; she walked in front of them. It was late enough that only scoundrels seemed to be in the room, as all of them turned to look at her. It was an expected reaction. They weren't stopped completely, still talking with themselves about birthdays and the hard work of the day. They watched her reach the door not ten minutes after she had first entered, and Farlow stood up.
"M'lady! Wouldn' ya care to join me with a smoke?" he slurred. She narrowed her angular eyes.
"Do you not have a wife waiting for you?" Her question had a sense of sarcasm to it, accented by her wily grin.
"She can wait!" And he roared with laughter, along with his friends surrounding him. As easily as that, Isis sealed her decision and walked out of the inn. Farlow would die tomorrow.

________________________________________

Isis pushed easily through the forest as a half-fox, weaving through trees with incredible agility. Her steps made whispers on the fallen leaves and her breath was cool in the chilly air, fresh with new rain. She only slowed down when she neared the clearing. It was always a good idea to know where your friends were before they did.

The elf was sitting in a tree, or perhaps at the foot of one. It was difficult to tell from the angle of the scent. Where she was, she was hidden well. Isis' sharp eyes couldn't capture her. The deer too was being cautious, and Isis could only tell by the smell that she was near. Her ears did not even find a twig snapping or an out of place step. Deer always seemed to be afraid of death. Perhaps understandably.

Isis moved out into the open, donning a black silk robe identical to the green one she usually wore. Being able to change her clothes at will had its benefits. Still, even in the dim light her red fur stood out. It wasn't yet dark enough for her to remain unseen. Luckily she didn't want to be unseen at the moment.

"I've tracked down our perpetrator, friends," she called out in a voice hardly louder than a whisper. "And I've made the necessary preparations. Niabi? Elf kin?"
She stood there with nothing but the deepest silence surrounding her.
shaam hai, jaam hai, aur hai nasha

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Deilakrion
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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:18 pm

Waiting was part of hunting, and Deilakrion had always been good at it. She kept her presence soft and quiet, unmoving when the deer-flesh joined her. She could smell the nervousness, and approved the caution. Prey-beasts needed to be wily. Violence was so often their end, but too did it tend to be the end of their predators. That was part of the Hunt.

The day slipped away, the world forging deeper into night in the half-silence of the forest. So quiet at night, so deadly dark as the night beasts woke and saw to their needs. So dangerous, dangerous for death, be it by claw and talon or starvation. She listened to them, heard their quiet tales that began and ended sporadically, either as they stilled or moved out of the range of her senses. Hunger soon. She could kill one to eat, to snack on, but the scent of blood might drive the deer-flesh from this place. The fox-predator would not like that. Deilakrion knew better than to do something the fox-predator wouldn't like. Not yet.

Ah, and there was the fox-predator moving whisper-quick. No sound, no sound but by those little beasts startled by the sudden appearance, by the movement through the windless trees. Darkness against darkness, marred only by the glint of red illuminated by twilight.

Deilakrion wasn't impressed by her words. Didn't want to speak. Would not test the fox-predator again so soon, not yet. The cuts she'd inflicted moved with her, causing pain. Sometimes causing blood. Reminders.

"Hunt now?" She asked, reluctant and sullen.

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Niabi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Niabi » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:05 am

Upon hearing her name called, Niabi emerged from her hiding place among the trees. With each clumsy step her clunky clay necklaces clacked against each other. Her latest concoction of twigs, leaves and flowers sat lopsided on her head. Her skirt pulled a patch of underbrush along with it, obscuring her tracks.

She watched the she-man as she spoke. The man-creature had better words than she did. She made it look easy. Niabi tried to imitate the way her mouth formed each word. She scrunched up her nose and opened her mouth wide.

"Huuu...nt."

It was one of those words she was only vaguely familiar with. She knew it had to do with killing creatures and it was something the men she encountered often said to her. The others seemed to know more about it though.

She looked to the fox for instruction. The fox seemed to know lots about men. Niabi was certain she could learn lots about men from the fox.
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Hakujoumi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:21 am

The deer, or perhaps, what once had been a deer, moved from behind her curtain of shadow. In this light, her beauty was raw, but gave way to an eeriness surrounding her that Isis could not place. The dim light from the sun's diminishing rays gave her skin an elegant glow. Her eyes were a portal to another world, dark and big and round. A younger Isis might have felt an envy for that tan skin, but wisdom brushed it aside the way a lion might flick an ear at a fly.

From up in the trees, the elf kin spoke a single question. Sophisticated conversation would get Isis nowhere with these two. She would have to be careful to use words that they understood, all while maintaining that she was smarter than any other person they had yet encountered. If they succeeded in the hunt, that would be easy enough.

Niabi opened her soft lips and echoed a single, broken word, "hunt." Isis looked at her, and the grin that followed would have sent chills racing down the spine of anyone who knew what it meant.

Isis thought the scent of blood was oddly apparent on the elf, and worried for a moment that she had injured herself somehow and was unfit to hunt. She would have to wait for her to come down from the tree and watch her closely for signs of that. If any of them were not in top shape, there was a possibility this would end badly.

An itch, like hunger, came to her.
"You will follow my lead. When I do this," here she raised her clawed and padded hand, "you will stop. And you will come to me when I signal without hesititation... without waiting." She repeated her own words in her mind, and deciding they were understandable to a two-year old, she moved back into the woods. The fox headed for the edge of the forest, where the road was met. The evening before, Isis had followed the man named Farlow back to his home. She knew where the doors were, knew where the livestock and dog were resting, and knew exactly when it was safe to attack.

She salivated.
shaam hai, jaam hai, aur hai nasha

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Deilakrion
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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:02 am

The fox-predator held Deilakrion's attention. All of it that she had to give besides the natural and necessary awareness of her surroundings (which was what the deer-flesh was counted as, and dismissively so) belonged to the fox-predator. It was a measure of survival as much as it was of respect -- if the word respect could be handled in such a crass manner. Though she was careful not to meet the fox-predator's eyes, she made it known by her attentive body-language that she understood and would comply. There was no other choice. This was pecking order. This was the law of the Hunt.

Following the fox-predator was a simple matter. Deilakrion was well-versed with moving quickly and silently through the forest. It was only at the edge of the forest that her confidence caught and wavered; no good memories lay within her past the boundaries of the wild and the ruin the fleshes made of the wild, but there wasn't much of a choice when it came to obedience. She followed. She waited for a signal, dagger in hand, eyes upon the fox-predator and senses keen to the world around them.

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