LEVIATHAN

The region of Eyropa (the Western empire).
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Leni
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Name: Alenia Fisher
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LEVIATHAN

Post by Leni » Fri May 20, 2011 9:02 pm

Spring, 122PW

The night was cold. Rehu Ziyad had carefully built up the fire in his sitting room to chase away the chills and aches that sunk into him with tenacious claws. Despite holding such a high office in the Society of the Changed, he did not long linger on propriety. He sat on a rug, on the floor, as close to the fire as he could get. His dinner balanced precariously on his knees, which he consumed haphazardly with the aid of a knife and his hands. Greasy splotches in the shape of fingers marred the old doublet he'd donned to protect his more delicate clothing. Even one such as he was afraid of the wrath of his matronly servant.

She was sitting in a chair behind him. They enjoyed each others' company. It might have been a scandal, were they not both so old. Next to him on the rug was a younger man, by comparison. An esteemed Seeker, was Rolan Krattan, though his calling seemed to deal less with books and more with plants. He was chattering about the spring planting, and of the feast he conspired with the head cook to prepare. He was an eccentric: a simply pleased man. He was relaxing to be around.

The room was dimly lit. Rehu was drowsing towards sleep.

It made sense, then, that someone took to rapping urgently on the door -- they could scarcely leave him alone on the worst of days, so of course they would bother him when he dared to relax. Rehu ignored it. Rolan twisted towards the door, but Rehu reached out and tapped him on the knee. "Continue," he said, meaning to pretend the rapper did not exist, until they realized the futility and went away. He was in no mood for emergencies.

His servant, Melly, had already gotten up from her chair to attend the door. He heard her joints pop and creak. Rehu sighed. Rolan rose to his feet with the grace of the youthful middle aged, and Rehu eyed him crankily. "Get out then, if you see fit to gawk."

Rolan was used to Rehu's moods, and only smiled faintly as he bowed, and then excused himself past the scowling runner who had appeared in the opened doorway, doubtless offended at being ignored for so long. Melly, having completed her duty, returned to her chair. The runner entered, a stout lass who'd proven in the past to be immune to Rehu's moods.

"My lord Ziyad, His Eminency the Emperor sent a bird. His expedition to hunt the sea beast has failed. He has decided to fund a hunt, lead by the Society of the Changed. Madam Staunch has put you in charge of organizing. You are to start immediately."

The runner waited for orders.

"That old bitch." Rehu said. "Couldn't wait for me to finish my dinner, could she."

__________________________________________

Meetings and meetings and days later saw one Alenia Fisher standing on the busy thoroughfare beyond the Ballezan docks in western Corezo. She was nonplussed about the conditions behind her being there, standing next to a sign proclaiming riches that awaited for those brave enough to go monster hunting. A man stood on the other side of the sign, and looked fairly more confident.

"So, you're saying they pulled me 'cause they didn't want their precious top executioners killed on a wild goose chase, an' I'm just here to give some sense of official business to it?" Leni did not look at the man as she said this, instead picking at some scabs along her hands.

"They're on missions already. It's a dangerous mission, you know they can't pull everyone ranked high to go."

"Dangerous enough to offer bishani. I better get paid."

"Everyone will get paid. The Society won't back out. His Majesty the Emperor is paying out any way you look at it. Good way to get good talk going around if you ask me."

"You talk too much t' start with. This is dumber'n hitting a giant in the stones."

Beyond them, more teams had put up similar signs and advertisements, offering untold fame and fortune if they but signed up to go hunting the monsters of the sea. Imperial recognition would follow for those who performed in an admirable capacity. It would be enough to make even the poorest peasant consider, if even for a moment, though it was made clear that some experience with hunting beasties was required to get in on the untold riches portion. Not all positions were strictly for hunting, however -- there would be other necessities on such a large undertaking.

It was a campaign for the hopeful and the foolish. Those savvy enough with the business would recognize the confidence the experts had in the mission by the sheer amount of money being thrown at it. It was clear the big names had already refused, or perished.

After all, it was whispered, the beast they hunted was none other than Leviathan, the fell creature who haunted the deepest depths since the Changer's War. Bad luck to tussle with Leviathan. Death always followed those who dared to challenge the Changer's get.

Then again, hope had always been the fallacy of Pal Tahrenor's inhabitants.

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Leni
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Leni » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:09 pm

The day was long and grueling. There wasn't much to do besides pick at things. Pick at scabs, pick at old emotions constantly rising up to bother her, pick at Scraps, pick at the passersby. She was tired of it, as she was tired of standing, but she couldn't just out admit to either of those. Faded as her reputation was, like any sign of the straight posture she used to hold, it was still present. Her back had yet to give out on her. She'd been a fair hand in her time, and sometimes the threads of that woman still remained to her. It was all that kept her from being an Academy joke.

"How many fools t'day, think you?" She said it just loudly enough so the man who'd spoken briefly to Scraps while she glowered on the side like a hunkering old owl heard it as he left to try his hand at admittance.

"Alenia," Scraps said, one side of his mouth twitching upwards. Leni saw it. She watched him as she baited him, only sparing him quick covert glances. One mustn't let the target know one was aiming. It was rude, least of all. Wrinkles creased around his lips, and she stiffened when he caught her staring. Those wrinkles were her doing, Changers knew.

"Thoros." His true name passed from her on a disdainful air, her tone dragging it through the mud and the midden heap, besides.

She hated it when he seemed to act the elder. Loathed it. Knew that since it had changed on the daimon's binge she couldn't take that mantle back. Now here they were, proselytizing any halfwit knew to hold the dull end of a weapon over the sharp, and she might as well be some sullen brat paid a pittance of bishani to stand and smile. The frustration at the words that filled her up to bursting made her shift from foot to foot, but when Scraps looked at her all that came out was a loud "I'm hungry."

Piss and rot.

Scraps looked up at the sky for the position of the sun, though he didn't need to. For all his charming foolish humor he'd be blind and addled before he let such a small detail slide. There'd been a reason the Society'd let him keep her.

His faint smile turned indulgent, as it always was when she blurted out something stupid and selfish. It radiated from him. She scowled when he gave her a shooing motion. "Go on then, fetch some food. Nothing spicy for me."

She felt her face heat, so she turned and stalked off before he could comment on it. Sullen brat, yeah, she'd been at her best since she'd let her contracted daimon take her body out for a month long spin. She was almost old enough to be his mother, too old to act the way she did, but it trickled out of her like waste from those elderlings ready to die. She fingered the collar that kept her separate from that daimon, wondering if maybe she was just an old toothless dog ready to die. Leastways she wasn't pissing herself.

It was past noon by a few span, and the stink of the city swelled with the gnarly knot of bodies clogging the streets. Cenciu Balleza, capital city of the western territory within Corezo, stood proud and tall up against the coast. It was more than anything a port trade city, renowned for shipwrights and having just about anything anyone could get their greedy little fingers on. It was crowded, sprawling, getting bigger by fractions every rotten year. It stunk like any other city, waste mixing with the near tangible odors of fish -- sometimes worse due to the thick smell of the ocean.

Wicked place. Leni rather liked it. Everyone was just another stranger you shouldered out of your way, and she could be something other than a bitter old woman with the tell-tale scars of failure. No, if anything in a big city her scars made her look tough and capable. She didn't have to be ashamed. She could eat in peace without pretending she didn't see the pity stares digging into her skull.

She located a meatbun seller by the smell alone, and the queasy mix of a hundred other scents -- foul and pleasant alike -- didn't deter her from zeroing in on it and handing over her bishani. They were hot, fresh, and she was too hungry to not bite into one right there in front of the stall. She almost spit it out, the thing was so hot. She opened her mouth, fanning it, and didn't give a whit that she was showing off half-chewed mush to anyone with eyes.

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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Jeeko » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:25 am

With the sea laid out before him, Jeeko could not help but smile. It'd been years since he'd last seen it, and he'd spent the past two weeks just camping by the water, fishing and staring out over the horizon.

Only months ago, he'd been in Tian Xia, travelling the area for the cultural experience. He'd lived there for around five years before deciding to travel back down the Northern Trade Route, all the way to Keltaris. Once he managed to find a merchant vessel willing to take on a working passenger, it wasn't long before Jeeko had set foot in Cenciu Balleza.

He spent only two nights in the city before deciding to travel further north, to find a place where he could spend some time alone. That was when the past two weeks of ocean-contemplation had begun. Even with the boats that passed, it was quiet and peaceful.

It also gave Jeeko plenty of time to meditate, which meant magic would be easier to use for a while; a useful trait in a city like Cenciu Balleza. People were accepting of magic here, and it was a major trading port with plenty of wealthy merchants. It shouldn't be too difficult to con someone out of whatever valuables they had lying around.

And there would be plenty of interesting cards and trinkets for sale that said valuables could be traded for...

Besides that, it would be nice to eat something other than fish for a few days. Maybe some Corezan beef or pork, or those things with shells you could only get around the coast. "Let's go to the city, Jeeko," he said aloud as he made his decision, collecting his belongings and looking out over the water once more. "Might be nice to sleep inside, see the ships up close, don't y' think?"
__________________________________________


It only took three or four hours for Jeeko to reach the city on foot, including stopping to eat the little bit of leftover fish he'd brought with him for lunch.

The first thing he did upon arriving was hurry down to see what types of ships were currently docked in Cenciu Balleza. As always, they awed him completely. He loved ships; those huge beasts that rode the waves and the wind, far from land and safety. Such power... Such danger... It was exhilarating. He walked back and forth through crowds of people, trying to get a good view of the ships anchored out a fair distance from the shore. Gods, they're magnificent.

It took Jeeko about twenty minutes to notice that there were quite a few people standing around with signs. Of course, he couldn't read them, but he had to wonder if they were selling anything very exciting. It was worth finding out, at least. He wandered slowly up the nearest sign-keeper, checking to make sure his hair was still properly covered by the stolen Corezan hat he was wearing, and grinned as pleasantly as he could. "What's that you're sellin', sir?"

The man, to Jeeko's surprise, let out a low chuckle, replying with a grin, "We're hiring, not selling. You don't look like you could afford much anyhow."

"Hiring?" Jeeko looked over the sign, trying to understand something of what was written there, but it was a futile attempt. He glanced up at the man again, curiosity leading him to ask, "Hiring for what... sir?"

"Nothing you're old enough for, boy. You don't look a day over thirteen. I think they were looking for someone to muck out stables at one of the inns, just down a few streets," the man pointed, his tone condescending and his smile already faded. "You should try there, if you're looking for work. Now let me get back to my own."

Jeeko frowned, but he did as requested and walked away.

Finding an inn did seem an appealing idea, though not for the purpose of finding employment; instead, to seek information on the job being hired for nearby. Surely someone there would know, in a town based on trade by ship. Those places were always full of gossip about almost every place in the entire world, let alone what people were doing just down the street.

"Good idea, Jeeko. Good idea," he muttered, as he wandered in the general direction of an interesting tavern he'd seen on his way into town.
Last edited by Jeeko on Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Leni
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Leni » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:08 am

Leni savored the meat, greasy as it was, chewing with an openmouthed care for the heat. She held the remainder of her purchases close to her body, protective of it against the push of the midday crowds and the quick fingers of hungry urchins. They preferred money, but one could never be too careful when it came to delicious food. She was very hungry, and Changers knew she wasn't one to mince eating. Oh, she hadn't forgotten about Scraps of course, but he'd piqued her temper and embarassed her besides so she felt no need to spend more or stifle her hunger just for him. She could stand by the sign easy enough and he could go get his own rotting food.

She carefully scratched a spot on her scarred breast that twinged, sticking her hand in under the leather jerkin to get at it proper. That she would appear to be groping herself did not bother her in the least; she was no lady to worry over decorum. Whatever traces of that life had remained had been stomped flatter'n cow shit in a stampede. Piss on it, besides! What'd it ever got her? Trouble, like everything else. Trouble. She belched to show her derision for the mere idea, amused by both the length of it and the look on a young man's face as he passed her close by.

She was in a good mood as she passed by another set of sign bearers, and so felt an extra heaping of piss when one of the men she hadn't looked at too close called her name. She forged ahead, but stopped short when he called her name out louder, dragging out the second syllable with a provocative amount of familiarity she didn't really remember him earning. She swung around to glare, and didn't bat an eyelash when two huge hands closed over her shoulders and gave her a friendly shake. She was good at glaring. She bared her teeth for good measure.

"Len-neeeeey, you've been scarce! You got bits in your teeth, those any good?" Rhufir, a particularly dense man who also went by Boulder, stared first at her face without flinching, then down to the food in her hands. "Mind?" And he took one. He took food. From her. Without asking.

"You on break? Hey, I should go too." His words were mushy, like her food in his mouth. "Keep the sign a span Terey, I got catching up with good ol' Len here." He slung an arm around her shoulder while she was deciding if she should cut off a finger or his tongue, and crushed her close enough that she almost forgot about the food in the sudden stink of sweat and old blood. She wrinkled her nose at him in disgust, but he only said, "I'll buy you a drink." She was sprayed with wet bits of meat. He took her second to last bun, and she hurridly crammed the last one in her mouth. There was no arguing with him. She shouldn't cut off anything. It would get her into trouble.

"I'm not drinking. On duty." She told him seriously, tugging to get away with one free hand pushing at his side and the other on the knife she usually used for eating.

"Nawwwwww, not Leni! C'mon, I'll treat you to real beer, I knows a place. Hey, you're not mad about the buns are ya? Just a snack, I'll make up for it." He grinned down at her with stinking breath, and she reluctantly put the knife back in her belt from where she'd poised it to just nick him with it.

She couldn't stab a grinning man. It just didn't feel right.

"It's a good tavern, you'll see." He said, and began to drag her along without ever really considering if she did in fact want to drink or spend time with him. He was like that, rot him.

Jeeko
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Jeeko » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:23 am

Jeeko managed to find the inn without too much trouble, save for the strange image of an unkempt woman groping herself in the middle of the street. The building's exterior appeared rather rundown and generally uninviting, with no sign of stables within the immediate vicinity. An old sign hanging from above the doorway bore the name of the business, but again Jeeko could not understand what was written.

Not that any of it matters to me, Jeeko thought absently, as he pushed open the heavy door and stepped inside.

His eyes widened just slightly in surprise, as he walked through to the bar. From inside, the building seemed much more pleasant than one might have expected, even if it was still very far from luxury. It was reasonably clean, tasteful in the sense that it wasn't especially tasteless, and there were a surprising number of people already present. Overall, it looked the sort of place frequented by locals or those quite familiar with the area, rather than the travelers that most inns would try to draw in.

At least they should know what's going on in this city, Jeeko told himself, as he took a seat at the counter. The man behind it stared suspiciously, so Jeeko flashed him a friendly smile; of course, the barkeep took it the wrong way, probably assuming a child was giving him cheek.

He was a tall, thin man, his dull skin wrinkled and loose over his frame; a clear sign of his age, along with the grey in his thinning hair. Even though he was probably less than a decade older than Jeeko, most would assume the age difference to be nearer to a half-century. He placed one hand firmly on the smooth wooden surface between Jeeko and himself, leaning forward with narrowed eyes.

"You 'ave a reason to be here, boy?" the older man spoke in a threatening tone, his voice rough. Jeeko found his attempt to intimidate rather amusing, and couldn't help smiling wider. It was hard to believe those eyes could narrow any further, but they managed it somehow. "We don't allow children in 'ere, an' we don't go easy on any who wanna make trouble."

"Children?" Jeeko asked in mock confusion, pointedly sweeping his gaze around the room. "I don't see any ch--"

The dangerous game was fortunately cut short, as Jeeko suddenly caught sight of two people entering the room. The man was insignificant, for the time being, but the woman with him...

Yes, he definitely recognized the woman as the one he'd seen earlier - the one who'd been acting somewhat inappropriately in public. It distracted him long enough to bring him back to his senses. You're not here to piss people off, he reminded himself. You just need to get a little information.

Before the barkeep could say anything, Jeeko turned back to face him, making sure his expression remained serious. "Look, sir, I don't mean to cause any trouble, but--"

The man immediately interrupted him, the volume of his voice rising, "Well then you shouldn't'a come in 'ere if y'didn't wanna cause trouble. Go bother someone else already."

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Leni
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Leni » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:56 am

The tavern door banged shut, and Leni was half turned towards it ready to crawl back outside. Boulder had a grip on her, hands familiar and unforgiving. She was nervous and edgy as the smell of alcohol dominated her senses, and felt a sweat break out between her shoulders. She didn't want to be hauled around by a buffoon, but it was too late to stab him now. Not with a bar full of people. She started scanning the room to be on the safe side, just in case. You never knew.

"Baaah! No need for frowns my good man." She was squeezed closer to Boulder by the flexing of one great bicep, and his other hand slammed down on the shoulder of a boy standing opposite a rather dour barkeep. He slapped the shoulder a few more times. Leni watched the hand rise and descend, visibly flinching in sympathy. Maybe the boy would stab Boulder and she could get out and whine about it to Scraps. No. No, she wasn't going to do that. He wasn't daddy. She was old enough to be his mother!

"A round for me and my good friend," he shook Leni merrily and she stared down the barkeep, hostile at the thought the man might take the wrong impression, "and for this lad here too! Should court your future patrons, if y'know what I mean."

Leni tried to remain calm. "I don't want a round." She told the barkeep.

"Sure you do! Leni Fisher never says no to good beer!"

"I do not want yer stinkin' round." Calm, cool.

Boulder slapped her on the back, laughing at her. The force of it sent her forward, the upper half of her body bending over the bartop and her palms skidding over it. She made a noise then, a growly sound that effectively summarized her rage.

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Ika
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Ika » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:25 pm

Belleza was a word she couldn't pronounce. Many strange names of this region were mysteries to her, with bouncing b's and syllables that played the tongue's "S" sound into staccatos and slurs. When she tried to say it, the word felt in her throat like metal against stone, or thorns caught on her tongue. It was a landscape of language that was as unfamiliar to her as Zhaltevian cuisine, but she could get by using only misplaced words of the common tongue. She'd managed to get a room key at the inn hours ago and had gone out hunting out in the far reaches of the city, where trees still remained, sparse and few on the properties of fishermen and the lower classes.

She had never liked to hunt during the day; it was always easier in the long hours of the night for one reason or another. She owed it to Nukani to catch a real meal for him, as neither of them had eaten for a few days as they trekked over the vast plains between Zuhlmere and Belleza. A summon was not an altogether uncommon thing for her, but she had been told this hunt would be worth thousands of junikor fruits, a rarity and a currency lost in her homeland. In truth she did not know how much it was worth to be coming this far for a hunt, apparently difficult and dangerous. Surely a lot, although she did not know how much 'a lot' was.

To the empire's eyes, she was a dispensable: a faraway expert of hunting that came in a hundred breeds and thousands of specimens. She was barely more human to them than a well-made crossbow, but it really didn't matter, because she didn't know or care about that.

It also seemed painfully clear that this was the same for the looks she received from several people as she made her way back to the inn, and the ones that were even harsher once inside the building when she slapped down three furry animals onto the closest table by the door. She shoved one of the chairs and practically threw it to the side while she unsheathed a small spade-shaped knife from the string of weapons around her skirt, a grass-skirt, no less, and stuck it under the skin of what looked like an otter or beaver.

The man at the bar counter had been the one to issue the woman her key earlier, and was almost unsure of what to deal with first. He had three people sitting in front of him to handle, and now this weird woman had come back and was apparently using his table to skin otters. "HEY!"

She didn't respond.

"LADY!"
She knew several words for 'woman' and she knew she was now being addressed. She looked up for a minute, didn't stop skinning, and then focused on the task at hand once more. Judging from the weird, annoyed, almost frantic movements of the barkeep, she was doing an excellent job of stressing him. The knife slid harshly between muscle and skin. Expert hands pulled off the fur backwards as easily as the way one pulls off a sock. By the time he had poured two drinks without thinking about it, walked around from behind the bar, and nearly reached the woman, she was out the door with a single skinned otter. The other two were still furry, wet, and lifeless on the table. The man stared at them for a moment with an appalled expression, although he had seen plenty of dead animals before, and flew his hands at the air in frustration and submission, walking back to the bar to tend to his more normal customers.

He refilled an empty pint and muttered something about flabby breasts.

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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Jeeko » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:10 pm

Although the force exerted by the large man's hand had almost knocked Jeeko off his seat, he regained his balance quickly and barely gave the friendly pat a second thought. After all, most people acted that way in places like this, as far as Jeeko had experienced, especially the big guys who seemed to underestimate their strength. The woman, on the other hand, seemed far less comfortable with being knocked around, the look on her face one of obvious irritation, quite alike the bartender's.

But all of this was fairly normal behavior, regardless of how easily some people were bothered. It was only when the next person entered the inn that things started to get interesting. The way the woman was dressed, for one thing, seemed completely out of place in Cenciu Balleza. Assuming there's no weird festival I don't know about, Jeeko mused.

The way she handled a knife was rather impressive, at least, and Jeeko was disappointed to see her leave so suddenly. The old barkeep had forgotten about Jeeko for a moment, but as he returned to the bar, a look of reluctant resignation fell across his face.

"Yeah, well, if the boy causes trouble, he's your problem," the barkeep declared dismissively. Whether or not he meant the comment for Boulder, his eyes were on Leni as he said it.

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Leni
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Leni » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:55 pm

There was no simple irritation in what Leni felt. There was violation, and there was rage. She was having neither. The barkeep's eyes locked with her own for a second as he admonished them, and then she was twisting, hauling around with a bunched fist and a snarl. Boulder had time to rear back before her fist caught up with his jaw, and then they were retreating from the bar as he stumbled and caught his feet, and she was on him like a wildcat. She punched, hissed and kneed him as he backed up, deflecting the worst and grinning widely at her. That pissed her off more.

She stomped down on his inset, up in past his guard with a fist poised to uppercut him when he caught the hand up too tight and twisted her around. She moved with it, her other hand going to her knife and pulling it up and out as he slammed her down onto a table. She pressed the knife to where the artery ran close to the surface under his left leg.

"I don't wantcher piss beer'n company!" She said to the table.

"Well y'sure need it, feckin woman! Barkeep! A round!"

It had happened in seconds. Boulder hauled her up and shook her as if she hadn't been poised to deliver serious damage. She allowed it, sulkily, and sheathed her knife. "Hands off y'pissin' diddler."

But Boulder had already let her go and was slinging an arm around the lad. "Eh now, that's how y'handle a woman, boy."

Leni kicked the stool Boulder had been about to sit on, and the two shared a tense moment before Boulder dismissed it with a deep laugh. "Sit down, Len, yer tighter than a Puradyne's ass."

She sat, slouching, and wrinkled her nose. "Smells like dead animal, shouldn't let savages in here like that, hey. You should run while you still can." She said the last to Jeeko as she slapped the mug of beer away from her and towards Boulder. If she pretended hard enough she didn't want it, maybe he would stop tempting her. Scraps would kill her.

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Ika
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Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Ika » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:51 am

The savage in question returned to a tense scene with three individuals she hadn't given much thought to two minutes ago. Her hands had a bit of blood on them and she was flicking a small red feather with her fingers, staring openly at the person she had assumed to be a man. The man was actually a woman, which Ika could only see because there was a man evidently trying to fondle her or else just harass the shit out of her, or both. Such activity was something she was used to, but she'd never liked it because it reminded her of the way her husband had tried to treat her. She was too strong for most men to screw around with anyway, with reflexes too quick and a hundred "witchcraft" tricks up her native skirts. She didn't bother saying anything. She just sort of watched them with the kind of weird interest people have for lepers on the side of a road.

The bartend was too wrapped up in keeping an eye on the boy, Leni and Boulder to pay much attention to the bare-breasted woman skinning the second and third otter on the table. It took her hardly a few minutes before they were no more than pink and red heaps of flesh with three bloodied otter skins resting to the side, looking tired in the way men's coats appear when hung on a hook after a twelve hour work day, all full of sweat and filth.

The inn was warmed by a fairly large, although not grand, fireplace that sat at the further wall of the bar. Ika took the otter skins and meats to it, and reached into the belt of her skirt to pull a small stick from it, sharpened at its tip. She skewered the meats with the stick and stuck the meat into the fire to make her dinner. She was only at this for a few short seconds before she suddenly looked over her shoulder at the barkeep and blinked at him.

Well she knew he wasn't happy with her. The other people there didn't look very happy either, although she was halfway sure that it had very little to do with her and more to do with the stress of city life or some such confusing things. But, well, she was feeling generous today. So she took the otter kebab and the skins, walked toward him (he leaned backward as if afraid she was going to stab him with one of her heeby jeeby sticks), and reached out one of the skins to him. She grunted and tried to gesture for him to take it. He didn't.
"Tahbul," she said.
"Taw bull?" he said.
"Mh. Tahble," she pointed to the table she had used, with was messed with blood and a few innards she had left there. Still he stood there looking either baffled or disgusted or some kind of horrified, judging by the fact that his eyeballs had never left her dark nipples. She either didn't notice or just didn't care. Finally she slapped the skin on the bar, grunted at him, and then looked at the three individuals with a level of vagueness that could hardly be placed into a category other than 'bored.'

She had no idea the coincidental nature of the boy, the woman, and herself meeting now. So she returned with the otters to the popping and crackling fire, listening to the sizzle of otter fat while she waited for tonight's supper to cook.

Jeeko
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:20 pm
Name: Jeeko
Race: Human

Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Jeeko » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:34 pm

Further disappointment came as Jeeko realized the short-lived scuffle between the man and woman would not turn into a bloody bar-fight. He hadn't seen a good fight in weeks, even with all his time spent amongst sailors on the journey to Corezo, and it would have been a welcome end to his recent days of quiet solitude.

As a heavy arm was thrown over him, Jeeko decided that Boulder was definitely the too-friendly sort. "Eh now, that's how y'handle a woman, boy," the man advised, in a wave of warm, fetid breath. When Leni complained about the smell of death in the room, Jeeko had to dig his teeth into his lip to keep from laughing aloud.

This is fun, at least, he conceded; it was interesting to watch the couple bicker. Leni was, once again, refusing the man's incessant offer of a drink. Of course, the offer was, more likely than not, Boulder's attempt to get the surly woman into his bed. But why anyone would pursue a woman like Leni had Jeeko quite baffled; surely there were more attractive women in the city, and there'd certainly be those more willing.

Unless, Jeeko considered, it's the challenge he's interested in. Or perhaps she...

The bar seemed to quieten as the topless woman made her entrance once again, drawing Jeeko's attention. It was surprising the difference her presence made. While her appearance was completely out of place in Corezo, her behaviour didn't seem especially unusual; there'd be plenty of people dealing with meat and skins in a city like Cenciu Balleza, especially this close to the docks. Jeeko was pretty sure he'd seen women wearing just as little clothing around the city before, as well.

Whatever it was that people were suddenly bothered by – the barkeep, in particular, was rather on edge – Jeeko wanted to know who the woman was and, more importantly, where she was from. If it was a place he'd never been, then he would most certainly have to visit, but... he reminded himself that the business from earlier had to come first.

"Hey," Jeeko began, clutching at the awkward quiet, the brief lull in activity, before anyone else decided to. Directing his words at both Boulder and Leni, he asked, "Hey, you're from around here, right? Y'seen them signs around, with people hiring for somethin'? D'y'know what it's for?" His speech was only slightly hesitant, broken up by the odd pause or two, as he manipulated what he knew of the local dialect; it had been some time since he'd been in the area, after all.

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Leni
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:55 pm
Name: Alenia Fisher
Race: Human

Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Leni » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:12 pm

Leni twisted, nostrils flaring, to look at the savage with the otters. "Fuck's this?" She snorted and eyed the woman's flopping breasts. "Got worse tits'n me." She muttered and chuckled to herself. Her eyes were dark and flat as she turned back to Jeeko. Boulder was braying like the stupid ass he was, tickled pink at the boy's happenstance stab at conversation.

"There's a hunt goin' boy, one dangerous enough to get any lad's balls to drop." He was leering again, leaning closer to the boy. Leni had seen uncles act the same way, all testosterone bravado to imprint their own masculinity on their kin-young. She thought a dark moment about Spade and felt another tickle of an urge to sheathe her knife in Boulder, somewhere. Her collar felt tight about her throat, and she put a finger to it, worrying it against her skin.

"Emperor's right pissed 'bout it." She interjected, "Some'in out in the deep been suckin' ships and leaving splinters. Took one of the Emperor's own. Now the Society's involved. Loooots o' bishani on the line for them can take it down. It's a monster hunt." It was her turn to part her lips in a sneering grin at the boy, the lack of any type of parental instincts encouraging her to lean closer. "You wanna make some coin, boy?"

Boulder thought this was even funnier, and he roared his approval at her. The mug of alcohol was suddenly in her face, and as she inhaled a breath to tell him proper she caught its scent; pheromones to a cat in heat and oh, was she ever in heat for just a tiny bitty sip. She grabbed it, Scraps' dire sentencing and her own resolve disappeared by the beer's presence so solid in her hands. She tipped it. Everything was all right in her world. Boulder was slapping approval, an old drinking buddy unwilling to admit to any sort of problem.

His swing of good mood expanded outwards. "Yeah, yeah, you want in boy? Got bishani and glory enough to keep your dick wet for months after! We're the best see, nothin' stands in our way longer'n takes t' gut it dead."

Leni laughed. Best? The best was dead, and the rest of the pretty favorites wouldn't be anywhere near the water when first blood got shed.

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Ika
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:16 am
Name: Ika Juterheanitti
Race: Human

Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Ika » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:43 pm

They reminded her a bit of a drum circle in Semerkhet that she had attended more than once, a gathering of lust and dirt and people of all sorts. But the bars and taverns that she had been in more and more were not really anything like those circles, although she didn't know what else to compare them to. Both, at the very least, involved people and all of their misfittings and flaws and nonsense included. And neither, she knew, she belonged in. She didn't know how to joke with these people or interact in that odd, violent way they seemed to love doing. They seemed so comfortable yet so uncomfortable, a weird paradoxical social gathering that she didn't understand. That was all right. It had been a long time since she'd had any real fun and if she really felt up to it, perhaps she would attempt to join them after eating.

The otters popped and sizzled on their sticks, and she did that for a time without sparing a glance at the bickering and the loud of the people behind her. There was very little that she understood from them, but her attention caught firmly at the mention of hunting monsters. While she stared at the otters, they began to burn and char while she tried to listen in on the details, but all of it seemed to be in passing conversation. That, or she just didn't understand the rest of it.

She stood while the strange woman was laughing, and turned around to face them.
"I hear of dis mons'r of the sea," her voice felt loud and hard in her chest. The dreads and little braids of her hair swept into her face and she pushed it back. She walked toward them, violently pulling off an otter leg from her stick. She slammed a hand onto their table for emphasis and grinned as she chewed. Her teeth were large and stood out against her dark skin.
"I hear eet kill a thous' an man. Awake now fruhm the taim of Chanj'r." She meant Changers, but they could get the gist of it. It was easier to speak the language than it was to understand, due to regional, unreasonably thick accents.

Her breasts dangled over the table and it was unclear whether she was being foreboding, evil, or just trying to be conversational. A short cackle rose from her throat and she tore off a piece of back meat.

Jeeko
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Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:20 pm
Name: Jeeko
Race: Human

Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Jeeko » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:42 pm

Jeeko had always been one for stories and legends, and he was hanging on every word. He couldn't help his lips curling into a childish grin, his eyes all curiosity and excitement as he turned his gaze from one stranger to another. Leni's mention of coin barely registered, Jeeko's mind already filled with images of huge ships crushed like driftwood in the grasp of a giant beast of the sea. But it was the words of the bare-breasted foreigner that really caught his imagination.

"A Changer's monster? Is it... Is it magic?" Jeeko turned wide-eyed to Leni, thinking she seemed to know most about the situation. "What's it look like?" Unable to sit still any longer, he jumped to his feet and raised his brows questioningly in Boulder's direction, arms swung out to his sides with fingers outspread. "How y'goin' t'kill it if it's so dangerous?"

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Sam the Sea Monster
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 11:24 pm
Name: Sam
Race: Human and Sea Monster

Re: LEVIATHAN

Post by Sam the Sea Monster » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:31 pm

Weeks had gone by since the last good catch had been brought ashore. Sam wasn't the only fisherman who could be heard grumbling over the sparse yield, the majority of the men living in the South Pretana village he called home made their living off what they could hall in from the sea. If the men could not bring in fish they would not make the money needed to upkeep their boats, families would not have food to eat, women would have nothing to barter for the cloth to put clothes on their children or wood to keep their fires warm. Something had to be done or by the time winter hit many people would have to choose between freezing to death or dying of starvation.

For all the time that he had spent dwelling on this recent problem, he had yet to find a reasonably explanation as to why the cod that flourished in the Pretana Sea would travel up the warm current over Norroenirlund so early in the year. Cod were a cold water fish. They only went North as the ice began to reform over the surface and cool the temperature of the sea once more. So why were they migrating so early?

Sam had half a mind to follow them.

He could travel the current right along with the fish. He could spend the next several months letting the sea take him on a journey where he could be a part of the life cycle of the very fish he depended on. He would be able to witness firsthand something that he'd never be able to see from the village, but at the same time he knew that in doing so he would be leaving behind these people that cared for him. He'd be neglecting them in their time of need when they had been their for him so many times.

It just wouldn't be right.

As much as the sea called to him, he owed it to these people to help in anyway that he could. He needed to find out what was behind the strange fish migration and how he was going to help feed his village through the winter.

While there were those that chose to stay and bring in what they could catch, some of the villagers sent word around the island looking for what handouts they get. Sam was one of the few who thought to look outside Pretana for answers. Surely the migration had to be affecting more than just the local fishing industry. And because he was one of the few men who had yet to start a family of his own, Sam had no one to protest him leaving for the mainland in looking for answers.

Riding the Southern current, it didn't take him long to make his way down the Eyropan Coast. Of the few small ports he stopped in, he earned that Pretana wasn't alone in dealing with an unusual shortage of fish. Something had happened to drive the fish away, but what this something was the locals were unsure of. It wasn't until he got further down the coast that he heard word that there was some kind of gathering in Corezo.

Sam had never been to Corezo. He had hardly even heard the name in his thirty years of life. All he knew of the place was that it was some kind of modern capital along the coast. People of all walks of life traveled there for various reasons and if he was to learn anything, chances are somebody there would be the person to ask.

However, Sam never imagined that the city of Cenciu Balleza could be so large. Never had he seen so many people in one place. He had never imagined that so many buildings could be crammed together so closely. Somehow he had pictured a much smaller city, somewhere he could pull up his modest vessel, sit and talk with the local fishermen over a drink and figure out what was going on in the span of an afternoon. By the size of this city alone, Sam doubted he could walk every street or meet half the people in this city in under a week. How he was going to find his way within the crowd was as unknown to him as the answer to his fish problems.

The one advantage to the masses was that the scruffy fisherman with his unshaven beard, his knot of unkempt dreads, his simple clothing and the ever-present smell of fish could blend in without much notice. In fact, it seemed like a lot of such people had been gathering about the docks. Perhaps it was Corezo that had been causing such a problem. It hadn't occurred to him that the mainland could be overfishing and that was what had brought down the fish population. It made sense though, with so many people it would take a lot of fish to keep them fed.

Before he settled on his conclusion, Sam wanted to speak with some locals first. He wanted to take the city on in small doses. So he went to one of the places he would feel the most comfortable, a local tavern. He wasn't much of a heavy drinker, a fish that doesn't drink , he jokingly thought. Back home the tavern was the place where men gathered after work to share stories of the day and catch up on local news. It was like church, but for men.

Upon entering the building, Sam found himself an empty seat and looked about the room for those most promising of the local goings-on.

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