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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Niabi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Niabi » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:20 pm

The fox had a strange way of talking. She used big words that made her mouth and nose bunch up in funny ways just trying to follow along. Niabi tried to mimic these expressions, but they felt rather unnatural. At one point she nearly made herself sneeze in trying to form the facial movements the fox did. Very little of what the fox said had made any sense to her. She understood hunters they killed for food. Hunters meant death. She knew what foxes were, as did she kits, fox fawns. She understood hurt and kill and death. All those sounds that came from the fox was more than what Nia needed to hear.

She knew that the foxes, like deer, were killed and eaten by men. She knew how hard it was having to stand back and watched as men killed her herd while she had to hide in bushes and run away. It was heartbreaking every time she had lost a fawn to them.

Men no kill deer. Men no kill fox. Men no kill, she thought.

She would help the fox if she could. Men would not kill her kits anymore than they would kill her fawns. She would see to that.

"Men no kill foaks." She had a hard time trying to get out that last sound, but she felt confident that the fox would understand. She even nodded her head as if agreeing with herself, to back up her words.
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Hakujoumi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:10 pm

It had been too long since she had properly interacted with anyone. Killing had gotten boring and the fox wasn't entirely sure what to do with herself now that she seemed to have no connections to the real world, no reality. She figured the best thing to do was simply to figure out how to screw up a few lives and watch as everything fell apart around her. Humans were evil, and she would never be able to kill all of them herself. It was easiest to tear apart the humble little pieces of serenity and security they half-assedly maintained and watched when they panicked.

She'd done it enough times to have grown a sort of expectation for behavior. These behaviors were supposed to extend to nearly everyone and everything, and when they didn't, the fox could only describe what she felt as "intrigue."

Niabi had a heart born in nature as it should have been, a heart and understanding of the world very unlike her own. Something like envy passed over the one who called herself Isis, envy of simple thoughts, simple meaning to what was around her. A tiny smile creased her wily lips at the mispronunciation of her species, and her eyes traced over the natural beauty of Niabi's human face, the wheels in her head turning and perhaps creaking from neglect.

But the elf moved away after uttering a vague phrase that Isis could only apply to the idea of the fox kits being weak and thus deserving death. Such an idea might have angered her if it had not been from the mouth of what appeared to be a stupid, otherworldly elf. She felt it then, "intrigue," and seemed to fly in front of the creature, due to her quick movements.

"Yes, weakness deserves death." Her face was pleading, yet oddly cold. "And weak are these men who carry weapons, instruments to kill not just the weak but all living things. Things with a greater right to live than they," she said, and for a moment she looked stern. Her sentence didn't really make any sense; a right to live was a right in itself, there was no "greater" or "lesser" right. She postured her body slightly, standing tall and watching Creature warily. There was no aggression. Only want.

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Deilakrion
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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:20 am

Deilakrion stopped. She stared, though not at the eyes or the face. She looked hard at the fleshling hands and body, confusing and strange. Unwelcome, the feeling that welled beneath her breast, pushing out to twist her lips and buck her eyebrows across the bridge of her nose as her thoughts spun. "Then kill." She said simply, but didn't move. Something, some instinct told her quiet and quick to be still. Something in her knew that the waning strength that sprouted near tears in the beast-fleshling wasn't quite true.

It probably had to do with the fire, and the quickening that had blocked the creature's path. She left her limbs loose and easy, and narrowed her eyes till her face wrinkled unpleasantly. "This creature does not join Hunt for weak."

Jab, jab with the stick of words, jab jab for reaction. How far would the shadowy unknown before Deilakrion allow defiance? Was there something more beneath the soft defenseless skin? Deilakrion would not bow before those unable to fight, to tear and possess by the means of aggression.

She spared a brief second to look at the other other with hardness in her eyes, the two of the others weird and oddling and too strange to be chance. Her body was not taut with concern, but she grew tense still.

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Re: Ruin

Post by Niabi » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:05 pm

She continued to listen as the fox spoke of men and death and well other things that she couldn't quite put together. She somewhat rhythmically began to nod her head but as to if she were agreeing or simply testing out the limitations of her new form would be hard to tell. Niabi herself was not so sure as to what it was that she was doing. She was interested in the fox, that was easy enough to see in the way she stared at the creature. She wanted to know more of this friend, where she came from, where she had been, if she had been living in her home with a family of her own and yet the two of them had not met before. Perhaps the fox knew of others like them.

If her new friend needed help, she would be there to help. She was not family but a part of her shared that need to protect the fox and her fawns from the same harm that threatened her own. Men would not kill fox. Men would not eat fox and men would not wear the fur of fox where they lacked their own. She would protect the fox and her family as if they were a part of her herd.

She looked down at the body of the man that the man-creature had killed. He lay there on the ground. Blood still leaked from his body but much slower than it had at first. She felt the need to stomp on his chest. She wanted to hear the crunch of bones under her hoof and feel the soft stuff underneath being pressed down into the grass while he spit up blood. Men hurt and killed those around her and she was going to do the same to them.
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Re: Ruin

Post by Rutenchioth » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:01 pm

Men did indeed hurt and kill, but it was not only men capable of thought out violence. Away from the dead man and the three women lost to their tableau, another grim scene was playing out. It would not bother them.

A thin wail rose through the trees, a ghost of ash and smoke tangling with the branches. A fading wisp of sound, with the depth to crush souls as it faded away. The forest absorbed the sound, hovering in wait. Each cry was consumed with relish. The trees were man eaters. They had to be, innocent as they seemed. Men went into the forest, but did not always return, and the trees held their secrets, shaking with silent laughter in the wind.

They rustled encouragement to the little girl. They bade her in gentle sweeps to give up and die and nourish them with her rotting life blood. She was lost among them and trod haplessly upon their fallen leaves from autumns past. They all looked alike to her. She knew their silent malice, cried with fear at the sounds that drifted around her in a halting chorus that spoke only to her instincts. She was swallowed, but she still lived with her fading calls for Mommy and Daddy as proof she hadn't yet given up.

She was so small and delicate. Delicious, and perfect. Untouched by the ravages of anguish, without bitterness or cynicism. She was a child, unbroken by life. She hadn't developed awareness of her surroundings, and had only her deeply buried instincts for aid, instincts she had turned away from in the comforting small house with its small plot of land. Succored in there, she didn't understand the depths of the world, or the predators it bred.

"You are lost, little one." A man said to her left. She hiccuped surprise, and turned. He was cloaked and hooded, and his voice was deep, rich and gravelly. An adult's voice, sure and certain. He sounded sad. Sad for her, with her, and though she trembled she nodded her reply to him. Her eyes were big, and beautiful in their childish sorrow.

"Lost, and all alone. How terrible. I can help you. Would you like help?" A hand pushed toward her, and the man came closer. He sounded warm, and friendly. Helpful. His hand was gnarled and rough, like the men she knew. Like Daddy's hands. He was gentle. Strong. She took a step toward him, her puffy face upturned to him. Her instincts shivered, but she didn't know what else she could do. She put her hand in his, and he drew her up against him while patting her on the shoulder. He rubbed her between her shoulder blades, slow and firm.

"I will take you home." He said to her, and his voice grew deeper and acquired a hoarseness that made her think of running, maybe. But he was warm, and an adult, and she was lost.

He never did say whose home he would take her to.

Perhaps, if he had known the woman Hakujoumi had entered the forest he would have passed the tempting little morsel by in favor of grander treats, but he had not then been made aware of her, or the tidbits she lured in. He still had time left to enjoy his playful games, but it would not last forever.

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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:46 pm

The deer-woman and the elf were like collectible items to her, although she showed a far keener interest toward them than she ever had an individual object. She didn't have a scheme in mind as of yet, she simply wanted to test out and see what they could do. What they could do together, actually, was even more curious to her. She wanted to form this weird little trio as she had done with others in times before this. It was always a means of experimentation, pushing life together to see what power it could yield. To manipulate as she did was almost as much a thrill to her as the thrill of a hunt itself. Manipulation was one of her specialties, and she was mostly unaware of the inherent magic that it seemed to hold.

She watched the elf with a strange form of what could be called caution. She could break the elf in half if she wanted to and yet even after her purposeful display of magic earlier toward the werewolf, the creature seemed to show no fear, no remnant of self-preservation. Perhaps she knew that the fox wasn't going to hurt her even if she refused, not out of pity or morality but out of the sheer hope she would be able to convince her at a later time.

"Then join the hunt for the excitement of the hunt, and forget the details," she said. She might have tried to bribe the Creature with something, but she had no idea what to bribe a weird elf with. She barely knew what to say to get her to cooperate without blatantly threatening her. She kept her eyes on the elf, sharp and burning as ever, waiting, watching.

Patience had never really been one of her virtues.

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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:16 am

Why?

Hesitation wasn't easy for Deilakrion. She made decisions. Too much of her life existed on the edge of death, where speed mattered more than wisdom. She was not built for that, never had been much at anything beyond the simplicity of her now. The two fleshy-beasts before her didn't match any of the neat holes she'd made for anything else in her existence. She didn't like that. She was uncomfortable.

The fire-flesh was staring, waiting, and Deilakrion shivered under that gaze. She broke eye contact first and bowed her head, then took a step back. Another step back. Tangle with the fleshes for excitement? Lead them to her own territory? She did not like fleshes, yes. She liked being hunted by large groups of them even less than that. She would not risk her own hunt for the pleasure of stirring up a fleshy hive.

She turned abruptly, and walked quickly away to somewhere that would not confuse her.

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Re: Ruin

Post by Niabi » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:14 pm

The man-creature was a hard one to understand, almost as hard as a man. It drew closer only to back away again. The fox spoke to it, it spoke back and yet no agreement seemed to be made. It was like watching men talk to each other, so many words they used yet it never seemed to go anywhere.

Niabi thought that the man-creature had no understanding of the situation the fox was in. Men were killing her kind, but what did a man-creature care about that? Men were the ones killing the foxes so why would a man fight another man to stop such a thing? Seeking help from a man would not help. Men did not help, men hurt and killed.

They did not need the man-creature. Nia could help the fox kill the men responsible for hurting her young. This was not an issue that concerned the creature, this was a problem the creatures of the woods needed to deal with.

"Man no kill men. Man eats friends. Man kills friends' herds." The man-creature had to identified for what it really was, a man.
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Hakujoumi
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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:43 am

To be completely honest, she had half-expected that to happen. It was mildly disappointing to have lost a mental battle with someone, as she wasn't really used to that happening. It was clear that she was being over-eager and was very out of practice. These things normally took time. The fox guessed that Niabi was simply being passionate about this either out of kindness, understanding, or purely because of her strong ties to the forest. She was a deer, a strange one, but a deer nonetheless. They were symbols of the woods in their own way, fragile but always willing to fight or flee. They were also the most targeted of animals for their meat and hides, something that the fox understood, but did not agree with completely.

The predator let her prey slip away for now; she would return to the elf without Niabi at some point and collect her one way or another. She had always liked a challenge now and then.

She dropped her head and looked at the ground for a moment, listening carefully to the footsteps of the elf solemnly, or at least what looked like solemn. What she was actually doing was memorizing the stride and scent of the elf so she might be able to find her more easily later. The Virdara woods were large enough to keep hundreds of creatures, thousands if you went small enough. Finding anyone specific here was already a challenge in itself.

Niabi's words made her look up at the strange animal, a deer-woman not unlike herself, yet so very different from her in so many ways. "If she comes around later she's welcome to join us," she said simply. She had a plan for the creature, but that would have to come later tonight. Sometime when the deer wasn't with her, and wouldn't have the chance to witness her gifts with magical manipulation, as well as threats.

It was strangely charming to have the doe be so concerned about her kits, babies which did not actually exist but had once, long ago. In truth, Isis had not spent much time with foxes in Virdara, for she had not spent much time with anyone at all. "You will be able to help me with the men, Niabi. I will track the men who did this and we will come here together tomorrow. We will find him and stop him from ever hurting you or I again," she said. She was the predator. She had the equipment and the knowledge to find these mysterious individuals, so it would not seem weird to the doe that she alone could find them. Of course, 'they' didn't really exist yet, or at least had not been chosen from the people of Shim. She would take care of that, along with the elf, tonight.

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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:28 pm

Leave them. Watch them. Stalk them. Choices. Deilakrion didn't want choices. She wanted a clear, open forest without looming grey possibilities making her head hurt. Simplicity, that was what she consumed in the largest quantities, and those two were not. They would get stuck in her throat, choking her to death. Bad death. Not a death she would seek for herself. Really, she didn't want to seek death at all. The creature enjoyed life, when it was simple and easy.

What would she do to keep it that way?

Kill them for the Hunt.

Deilakrion moved through the trees, away from the fleshy looking things, and shook her head to clear it out. She should watch them. She shouldn't lose them, not like that. Hesitating, one foot delicately placed to the side of a prickly bush and the other placed firmly behind on leaves and other forest detritus, she turned her upper body around and inhaled. She stared out over her domain, with all the death on the ground and the life that grew upwards, and reached out to slap the side of a sturdy tree.

Stupid fleshes. Stupid everything.

She turned around.

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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:05 pm

The fox watched the deer, but Niabi didn't say anything. She just watched patiently and Isis acknowledged her statement about returning tomorrow for her. "Then it's settled," she said, "I have business to attend to now," and promptly disappeared into the shadows of the oak and birch trees around them.

Her first instinct was not to follow the creature. Instead it was to listen to the way the creature's footsteps sounded in the wood, and how much disturbance her presence caused in the grander picture of the forest context. Then it was to follow her, casually, slowly, silent as predators are when hunting. The creature made almost as little noise and as little breath as the doe had. It was as if the forest itself had raised her, and Isis found herself questioning the occurrence of such a strange animal. Now she wanted her more, wanted to use her for her own selfish purposes and tease that same bloodlust and aggression out of her that she had witnessed in the clearing.

The fox waited for a time, briefly though it was, mulling over the possibilities and how she could go about the next step. With Niabi out of her way she had a full range of options here including a more straight forward threat. That her manipulative abilities did not appear to completely work on the elf was puzzling, and only made her more desperate.

Finally she stepped out quickly in front of the creature, intentionally blocking her path.
"What is it you most desire?" she breathed, but her voice was hard and sharp.
"And what is it you most fear?"

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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:43 am

Should have sensed the fox-flesh. Should have known. Maybe it had been there, in the recesses of her mind; a fleeting awareness that had been too dim to touch the hot embers of her fleshlike worry. Deilakrion didn't like it. She didn't like the words that came from the fox-flesh, nor the persistence. There was something there that tugged at her instincts, beyond the snarling of Hunt-sense.

Deilakrion bared her teeth at the flesh. Smaller than she was, lighter, but not in a way that invited a quick dash forward with dagger upraised. It invited nothing but trouble. Stupid. So stupid. And all around her the forest spoke quietly, its evening shush an invitation that she couldn't answer. Not with the fox-flesh challenging her. Yes. That was it. A challenge, a laying of bait; a claiming of the space the creature walked and owned. She lowered her chin, wary and determined.

"Not worthy."

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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:20 am

In that moment, there was a kind of power. There was a sense of the world overturning on its pole all around them, one where every living thing and every rock and every ounce of dirt seemed to wait for something in the silence. All wild animals knew this feeling well; it came with the act of posturing. It came and went with the mating seasons, when two bucks faced off with antlers tangled, when wolves circled one another over lessons in dominance. With the silence came a skip in every heart beat and a fire in every contender's eyes. A challenge was exactly what it was, a battle of wills and hearts.

They were the same height, but not the same size. This was not a problem for the fox; it never had been. The frustration of her manipulation abilities not working on this animal made her waver, but she had to maintain focus to pull her little scheme.

The reason people lost to her was because they didn't realize she always had a plan.

The sound of hissing echoed from what seemed to be the trees, at least to the untrained ear, but actually was coming from everything and nothing. The sensation to the developed ear was odd. Isis had become used to it over time. More hissing, lounder, lower, snake-like and terrible. Spitting like venom.
"Not worthy?" she said, her voice almost strained. She tried to cover it but something was definitely out of place.
"I am a God."
And a snake, twelve feet long, miraculously sprouted from her palms and landed in front of them, coiling as if in pain, and then reeling toward the elf. Then it grew larger, and larger, and larger, until the creature was a foot thick in body size. It had a horned face unlike any real snake, and its breath and foul voice were from a nightmare. That was what this was; a waking nightmare. The snake was too quick to hit, too quick to kill. The fox stood behind it with a strangely expressionless face.

When the snake was about to strike, Isis broke the illusion and the thing dissipated into a phantom smoke. "I am fear."

Her energy was depleted but she tried her best to shove the elf.
"You are an insect. And you will do as I say."

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Re: Ruin

Post by Deilakrion » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:22 pm

Prey froze, trembled. Death was a tangible thing in the wild, a prescience that was base instinct and as finely tuned as any fleshy skill. Not all were worthy of the hunt. Prey was always falling to predators. Sometimes. . .sometimes predators fell to predators.

Deilakrion froze. The sense of danger not understood flooded her body with adrenaline until even her fingers and toes trembled. She knew but she did not know. She felt but she did not know how. All of it, every iota of her being, every living plant around her strained towards it, every lesser beast went still with it, to the fox-flesh. And it didn't make sense, because within the forest the creature had prowled as predator, she had become prey.

Fear.

Yes, fear. The snake, the cold killer of the lesser beasts. Efficient, deadly death.

The creature was prey. The mouse, the rabbit, the delicious meat the predator nuzzled into, taking soft sweet bites to sustain life. She was meat, meeter of death, staring into the eyes of the one who would take her in and shit her out.

"I am fear," the fox-flesh said, and that was all Deilakrion heard. Predators were fear to their prey, and in that moment the creature fell to her knees in the dirt, eyes averted to the greater predator. The shove was not avoided, was accepted for the posturing it was. Deilakrion showed submission.

"This creature hears," she said. She cowered. She remembered. "This creature hunts."

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Re: Ruin

Post by Hakujoumi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:23 pm

To Isis, it was little more than a puppet show. A make-believe thing, a moving painting, whatever you wanted to call it, it was simply not real. The fox took pride in her artistry, but it was a secret pride, one that few living people knew about. She had the ability to create fear, to create a world where even the largest of predators could become prey; the only trick was making an even larger predator.

She stood tall, her ears forward and the hairs on the back of her neck and along her backside standing on end. Three tails behind her flickered in unison, dancing aggressively. Smooth, burning eyes watched the creature at her feet, stretching her toes so her claws met the soft earth for a moment.

A grin, sly and wide, stretched across her canine face and she ran her fingers down the silk robe she wore carefully, noting how very much like real silk it looked and felt. The mind was a strange thing.

"You will find the doe Niabi in the clearing tomorrow evening. You will be there when I arrive, before twilight has set, or I will find and kill you," she said it like a fact. The way her words cut off gave her a weird pleasure of its cruelty. She was still grinning like it was all some funny joke.
"One must be wary of the foxes in the wood."
An old voice. Her brows raised, her smile faded, she turned, and left.

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