Open New Year, Old Crazy

Seasonal Challenge and setting ground for future giant plots

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 4th, 2016, 11:20 pm

1, Spring 516AV


Watchtower changing, and from Winter to Spring at that, heralding not only a new year, but the rise of life and hope once again. Even someplace like Sunberth, that was worth acknowledging, celebrating. Of course, Sunberthians would celebrate most anything, if it could be stretched to include drinking and whoring, there was just a much higher chance than most places that someone was going to get knifed during the festivities. Of course Sunberth being Sunberth, and people being people, as well as the parties, and the legitimate religious gatherings, there were also a higher number of soap-box crazies than usual. Now, given the average Sunberthians tendency to gut folks who bothered them, you'd think that natural selection would have weeded out said soap-boxers generations ago, but perhaps the added stresses of the city of anarchy meant they were created quicker than they could be killed off.

In any case, with the wide eyes, and the earnest, desperate speech that as oft as not sent spittle flying through the air, 'Chra and many of the street orphans were agreed in their opinion that said crazies were near as good as street theater. I mean, it was unlikely any of them were going to solve the continuing mystery of where the coin went and how it kept getting into peoples ears, but it was something to do on a boring afternoon anyway.

"You think the Djed Storm was nothing? That it's over? It's not over! It's a nod to the Valterrian, to the Cataclysm that wasn't! We're all meant to be dead, and so long as we're breathing, the Cataclysm's still coming!"

Oooh, this one was an end of the world one! That was fun. At not even three years old, the relatively speaking extremely recent Djed Storms were just as removed to her as the Valterrian itself. While most who heard the man could relate to him personally in some way, other than the crazy, 'Chra could and did not. He was entertainment to her, a story-teller, nothing more.

"Look at the Watchtowers! You think you're looking! You're blind! You're all blind! Each year they're weaker, they fade! When they die, so do we!"

"Look at how we fear to travel, fear to leave our walls! And it gets worse every year! EVERY YEAR. Do you think it coincidence that Aquiras lies dying?! Travel is his domain! When he dies we'll be well and truly trapped!"
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 5th, 2016, 12:06 am

'Chra chortled in approval at all of this. Not that she had any idea what he was on about. While an almost worryingly blank slate and probably about the easiest picking any religion, cult or gang could ask for, 'Chra had been left largely alone and knew very little about religion. In fairness, she knew very little about most things. The magic of the Watchtowers might have been fading, but it hadn't changed in any overly measurable amount during her life time, and again, her knowledge of them could be summed up as 'There's some towers out yonder, you can watch for stuff from them'. As far as Aquiras went, she was entirely unfamiliar, but someone hanging on the brink of death who had something to do with travel apparently sounded like a good story.

"And Priskil! Oh Priskil.."

Tears traveled down, following gravity's inescapable pull, washing lines of cleanliness in an old wrinkled face begrimed with.. well, grime. Encrusted would have been a better word choice really, but we've come too far. The point was, this was shaping up to be a real show, it wasn't just the anger and paranoia you got from most of this sort, there was going to be real emotion. Street Theater indeed.

"Our lady of Hope. Our lady of Vigilance, who watches over us, who's Illumination is all that keeps us from the Void of unbeing, where the Cataclysm-that-will-be seeks to send us all."

The tempo began to pick up again, the sorrow being replaced with fire. As often happened with these sorts of people. One minute eating their porridge, the next stabbing someone with a spoon. Never a dull moment!

"But are we vigilant? No! We take her hope, we stand in her illumination, and we do nothing to earn it, nothing to preserve it! Her love will die, her heart will break as his was stolen, and she will die just as surely! Just as travel crumbles with Aquiras, so hope will be gone with Priskil! And what have we done to stop it? Nothing! We have done nothing!"

Oh, didn't we? That's not very responsible of us. Still, if you asked 'Chra, dying of a broken heart was a little bit dramatic. It made for an awfully good story though! Drama always did. Speak on you crazy man..
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 5th, 2016, 12:34 am

"FIVE HUNDRED YEARS!"

He thundered, arms waving to make his point.

"Five hundred years to hunt down the usurper, the manipulator, the puppeteer who would kill us all to keep himself a god! Five hundred years and we have done and accomplished nothing!"

Now we were in full on ranting mode, you could tell by the amount of spittle flying through the air. There was now a pretty well established splash zone that passerby's had to be wary of less they find something wet and distasteful landing on their faces. Hopefully he didn't have anything contagious. The doctor of Sunberth wasn't one you wanted to visit casually. Of course there were a few decent herbalists and alchemists you could see instead. If you had any sense. And preferred things like not being flayed alive or having bits of other people sewn on to you and such.

"We celebrate the slow death of those we depend upon! We drink rather than take action! Sagallius continues his dastardly work, as mad a God as he was a Man! We are so obsessed, so blinded by the search for riches, so self-involved that we don't see that our inaction dooms our very world!"

"We should be thanking Priskil on this day! Pledging her our support, our service! Instead I see drinking, gambling, drugs, over-indulgences all! Parties when there should be prayers!"

Oh, were there proper parties going on? 'Chra quite liked parties. And the story seemed to be done, he'd moved on to lecturing, which would be interesting enough if there was nothing else going on, but if there were parties to find.

Fluffing the ruff of feathers around her neck decisively, 'Chra beat her black wings against the air, launching herself from her place on the eaves, and winged over the city. If there were parties she was going to find them. At worst even if the parties were private, a clever Raven could find a way in and pinch a few of the tastiest morsels.
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 7th, 2016, 10:50 pm

There was a tavern that would be a good place to check for one of these apparent parties. It was a bit dangerous, since it was oft frequented by slavers, and the main danger to 'Chra in Sunberth was in fact being nabbed and sold. Apparently people looked at a free unbonded Kelvic and saw a pay cheque. It was a problem. But not one that worried 'Chra too much. Nothing worried her too much. Benefits of being a relatively simple creature. The three story monstrosity, a rarity in the generally one or two story Sunberth, loomed up before her, the Drunken Fish. There was certainly enough noise coming out of it that there could be a party, but then, that was the Drunken Fish on any give day.

In wasn't hard, even as a Raven. A place as busy as the Drunken Fish the door was constantly opening and closing, and with that many bodies contained within, cooking fires etc, unless it was winter and bitterly cold, or raining horizontally, at least a few of the windows were usually open. Too bad street urchins and the like had discouraged the practice of leaving food on the windowsill to cool in most of Sunberth. Of course there was a rare dwelling or two that utilized a second floor sill for this purpose, but that wasn't the case here tonight.

Besides, 'Chra was slowly and unwillingly coming to deal with the fact that as much as she had absolutely no nudity taboos to speak of, other people did. Or they took it as an invitation. And sure, being a juvenile, she did occasionally engage in play mating, as all Ravens did, but only when she felt like it and with people she liked. Not just anyone who saw her in her human skin as people seemed to think ought to be the case. Really, it was like they thought a naked woman was an invitation. Ridiculous. For a people who had coined the term civilized, humans weren't very. Which meant that if she did find a reason to swap to human, she'd have to borrow clothes. Well. She'd deal with that when she had to. Maybe she'd stay Raven, no real reason not to. She was just as comfortable, it was just as her, and if she really wanted to speak she could.

Raven was clearly the best sort of Kelvic. Sure a parrot could speak, but they were so delicate, dropping dead when it got cold and all. Much better to be a Raven. The smartest, prettiest, most cunning and talented of birds.
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 8th, 2016, 12:56 am

Image
Day 1 - Spring 516 - Sunberth, the Drunken Fish


Door was looking a bit lively, plus someone was leaning on the wall beside it. That sort of behavior.. Well it didn't make 'Chra nervous because that was an emotion she didn't usually do, varying between mostly good-natured and sudden but brief intense panic as was necessary. Still, it was a possible threat that instinct suggested she avoid since she could easily do so. Instinct ruled much of her life, and this instance was no exception. An open window on the first floor became her target entryway instead.

Arrowing for it, a few backsweeps of her wings saw her landing neatly on the sill, rather pleased with herself for her precision. A hurled mug had her taking off in a rather less graceful manner with an outraged squawk. Still, her eyes had adjusted quickly enough that said mug only ruffled a few feather on one wing, rather than hitting her squarely, so that was something at least. She had brief impressions of gold teeth flashing and colorful clothes, but she was not intending to go back to that window thank you very much. Besides, it had looked like any other night, not like a proper party. There were scents in the air that were very appealing however.. But she'd not seen anything. There were other avenues to pursue however, and one well-aimed mug was not enough to deter a curious bird like 'Chra.

Second floor it was! She had to fly around to one of the other sides, but that energy and effort expenditure was almost negligible. Landing on another sill with a little more wariness and a little less self-satisfaction, she was not immediately chased off. Nothing was chucked at her in other words. Always a good start.

Head cocking from side to side to take in the scene with first one eye and then the other, as corvids were wont to do, a few pleased toc's resonated from her. This looked rather more like it! It seemed as if the first floor was business as usual, while the second was set aside for those who were taking part in the festivities. Or more accurately, those who had paid to take part. A little more effort had been taken to clean up, the whores who were trawling for customers looked very nearly presentable, and, most importantly, trestle tables of food were on display.

Now, to be clear, this was still The Drunken Fish, so swank for here would still have many a noble turning their noses up, but since 'Chra-the-Raven was perfectly happy to feast on rotten fish and offal, to her eyes and nose it was a grand array indeed.
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 8th, 2016, 6:52 pm

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Day 1 - Spring 516 - Sunberth, the Drunken Fish


Clearly she had to get in there and eat that food. In a human, this would be a want, 'Chra, although she mimicked and tried to assimilate with humans, was not one, and seeing the food, needed it.

"Cor, who brought a bloody skullcrow to th'party?"

A great big raven silhoutted in a window did tend to draw attention. I mean it's not like she meant to be dramatic, if she was trying she'd be mantling her wings in an ominous fashion and such, she just couldn't much help it. She did fluff her feathers and give an outraged kaw at the implication that she was a skullcrow however. Skullcrow indeed. Nasty little pechers those, going about wearing other avians skulls on their heads and hanging about the gallows. If there were dramatic eyeliner wearing kids of the avian community, it was the skullcrows. Every now and again 'Chra got into a tussle with them. They had numbers but she was bigger and smarter. It was with some satisfaction that she concluded a few of the skulls those twits were wearing belonged to their own kind and her beak had brought them down.

That was neither here nor there however, Skullcrows were seen as ill omens, and while you could quake about it, the easiest way to get rid of bad luck in some folks minds was to kill the source of it. Feasting in Raven form was probably not going to work then. Couldn't just switch here though, if folks saw there would be problems. With a bit of a grumbling noise, she once again lifted off from her perch, wings pumping to bring her higher. The things a girl had to do for a meal.

First floor had nothing of interest and was dangerous. Second floor had food, but was not Raven friendly. So she had to get to the second floor as a human without going through the first. And human meant clothes. So inconvenient. Well, there was still one floor left to be explored. This was a puzzle to be solved, 'Chra liked puzzles. Well, she liked them to an extent. As long as they could be solved eventually. Otherwise she got frustrated and when possible dropped them down wells or the like.
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 8th, 2016, 8:40 pm

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Day 1 - Spring 516 - Sunberth, the Drunken Fish


First window on the third floor, partly open, enough that she could squeeze through, as she neared it however the sounds of someone whimpering escaped it. You heard things when you were part of a vulnerable population. Young, female, Kelvic and unbonded, Fiachra was about as vulnerable as they came though it rarely occurred to her. Still, bits of information had been passed on to her. One of these was that the Drunken Fish sometimes let those who paid enough do the breaking in of their slaves. In the private rooms. Away from prying eyes.

This is the bit where the hero bursts into the room, lays about them with blade or magic and saves whoever the whimperer was. That's how every good tale goes.

Good tales don't take place in Sunberth though. Sunberth might be where the hero is born, raised in tragic adversity, and then he or she goes off to do their heroics elsewhere. Because some places you can't save or redeem. Sunberth was one of those places. Hell, it prided itself on being one of those places.

So although a slight shudder shook iridescent black feathers, Fiachra didn't enter the room. Didn't even look in it. She wasn't the hero anyway. Plucky sidekick at best. Probably gets killed tragically in part two to further spur the hero on. Or repeatedly gets captured or threatened as a plot point until you wonder why the hero doesn't just get some more capable friends. Instead she circled the building until she found another open window among the many closed.

There were also noises coming from this room, just far less concerning ones. The could be summed up as amorous from one party and uninterested from the other. Of course since the uninterested party was almost certainly on the clock, this didn't actually throw a wrench in the activities going on, which won't be described too closely. Suffice to say that what mattered for our part in the scene was that one persons eyes were closed as they perhaps tried to pretend they were elsewhere and the other wasn't seeing much save what was directly in front of him.

The other bit that mattered was that there were clothes strewn about the room. You perhaps see where this is going. It would have been satisfying to have someone about to look over at 'Chra and say something like 'Clever girl', but, it was not to be. Flying solo and all that.

..Flying is a bird pun, did you catch that?
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 14th, 2016, 11:56 pm

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Day 1 - Spring 516 - Sunberth, the Drunken Fish


With care, trying to reduce the amount of noise her wings made, for all that neither occupant was likely to notice, 'Chra flew into the room, landing on a throw rug to silence her talons. Rising as a human, she grabbed a fistful of clothing off the floor and let herself out, hearing movement behind her she added;

"Wrong room!"

Since the door had only opened once, and the behind disappearing out of it was bare, this was not questioned and the occupants went back to what they were doing. In truth, they'd barely looked up to start with. Had there been anyone standing about to see, a naked woman on the third floor wouldn't actually have caused much comment, there wasn't at the moment however, so it was a bit of a moot point.

'Chra pulled on the rough pants, too big, and the undershirt, white, baggy and hardly modest, she'd snagged, decided she was acceptable, and padded downstairs. She was still barefoot, but her feet were callused so it didn't bother her, and while having to continually haul the pants up was annoying, at least she was complying with The Rules.

Her gamble seemed to be paying off too. Since she'd come from the third floor, she clearly belonged, and between the whores and the slaves, even her haphazard outfit wasn't too far from the norm. After a quick casing of the room to ensure no one large, armed and angry was heading her way, she moved straight to the food. Again, not unusual. What went on upstairs often left a person hungry.

Oooh, tiny little egg pies! Quiche was not a word 'Chra was familiar with, but she didn't need to know what it was to know she liked them and wanted them in her face right now. Two were shoved into her mouth with three flaking slightly as the were held in one hand and she moved to see what else there was. Unless she was on her own and secure, or with people she trusted, 'Chra was not exactly a food savour-er. More of a devour-er. She enjoyed it, hells, she loved food, but you never knew when it was going to disappear or be taken away. Quality was nice, but quantity was even better.

Tiny sausages in pastry was met with a pleased noise. While she would eat anything, 'Chra quite liked meat. Meat for every meal would be just fine with her. In an almost shockingly short amount of time, 'Chra had devoured enough that her stomach was pleasantly full and moved over to a couch to curl her feet under her as she watched the room and people around her, fist still full of the mini-sausages which she felt had been a highlight. It was possible a human wouldn't want to know what they were made of, but since 'Chra probably would have eaten whatever it was even before it was cooked it didn't bother her in the least.
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 16th, 2016, 10:57 pm

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Day 1 - Spring 516 - Sunberth, the Drunken Fish


It was interesting just watching people sometimes. Although 'Chra was normally more of a jump right into the middle of things person than a watcher. Still, she was very full and as such feeling more sedentary than usual. A few people approached her, but with what she felt was a stunning display of cunning, she only responded to them in Nari, causing most of them to back off. To be fair, she wasn't really replying, she was mostly just reciting the words she knew, but since no one else seemed to really know it either this was fine.

"Hey Honey, you for sale? Or rent?"

"Spoon, egg and feathers, light rain, dogs balls turn it to the right."

"I-Right, never mind."

Genius!

People came and went, from both the third and first floor. For the most part 'Chra was content to just watch, half in a stupor, relatively secure in the knowledge that on a scale of one to Sunberth, this particular location was not overly stabby at the moment and guards could be at least partially lowered.

At least until some rather bright yellow and purple clothes came up the stairs, containing a large, scarred, swarthy looking man who when he grinned at the nearest whore displayed a mouth full of gold teeth. Here is a thing about Ravens, never-mind Kelvics; they remembered what folks had done to them. Good or ill. Hurling a mug definitely counted as ill. Raven instinct was to curse him out immediately. But then, had she been Raven at the moment she'd be safely out of reach. So she settled for clicking her teeth together in a semi annoyed fashion that wasn't really as satisfying as beak clacking but sometimes you had to make do, wrinkling her nose, which was very satisfying and not something a Raven could do, and looking pointedly away. It wasn't like he was paying her any attention or anything, but that was fine.

This state of affairs continued for probably about an hour, during which the Mug-Hurler ate a little, drank a little, disappeared upstairs twice, once with two women, one with only one. And then, to 'Chras great displeasure, he seated himself on her couch. There were lots of other perfectly good seats, what was he doing in her space? Yech. This intense dislike was raised exponentially when he moved in right next to her, threw an arm around her and pulled her in close.

"How's about you and I go upstairs?"

He asked, the hand around her shoulders dipping down beneath her shirt, while the other ran a gold miza up the side of her face.

"No."

This was not in Nari. This was common, plain and simple.

"Ah, you want to barter? Fine, I've always wanted one of you black-eyed desert witches."

He pulled her closer, head dipping down to her neck, hand touching and squeezing proprietorially.

"No. No barter. No. Go away."

Her own hand found the side of his face and shoved him away rather forcefully.
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New Year, Old Crazy

Postby Fiachra on March 17th, 2016, 11:43 pm

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Day 1 - Spring 516 - Sunberth, the Drunken Fish


"Bitch!"

Mug-Hurler was not in fact a gentleman, as one might have guessed. And he likely fit into and enjoyed Sunberth quite well. You could tell by how his immediate reaction was to drive a fist in towards 'Chras stomach even as the hand that had been around her gripped her hair in a fist and pulled back viciously.

'Chra meant to cry out in rage, but all that came out was a faint whistling of air, winded as she was. Mug-Hurler probably had points in body-building and brawling. Still, just because a person couldn't breathe didn't mean she was going to just sit there and take it. The grabbing was probably worse than the punch really. The punch had hurt certainly, she'd likely have a colourful bruise, but 'Chra really, really did not enjoy or approve of being restrained. It wasn't a phobia, it didn't scare her, she just hated it. So, being largely untrained and untalented in these sorts of things, she reacted in the way that came most naturally. She flailed.

Flailing in close quarters could be surprisingly effective, for a very short time, until the other person mentally adjusted and proceeded to wipe the floor with you because they actually knew what they were doing. Still, in that brief moment before that happened, 'Chra became a truly baffling creature with feet, hands, elbows and knees flying everywhere. A flying forearm connected with a nose, and broke it, more by chance than intent.

Mug-Hurler reacted as most might with suddenly watering eyes and his hand releasing her hair to shoot to his face, cupping the injured nose.

'Chra took this time to shoot to her feet and start lunging away from the couch and her attacker. It never got to be much more than a start though since Mug-Hurler was no novice. A broken nose wouldn't keep him down for long. He was up and grabbing for her. He recognized an unskilled brawler when he came up against one. All he had to do was get her in and land a few more blows. Then she'd be at his mercy. He hadn't decided if he was going to kill her or not yet though.

Perhaps you're wondering what everyone else was doing. This was Sunberth, they weren't doing anything. A few were watching, most were not. Unless it might be to their advantage, no one was going to get involved.

What he got a hold of was her pilfered shirt. This didn't even take thought. 'Chra was operating entirely on instinct. Down and pulling out of the shirt. 'Chra who didn't like it to start with had none of the usual human instincts to stay clothed. Her shirt was trapping her, she freed herself of it. And then she changed.

Where a moment ago there was a woman, now there was a Raven. The ill-fitting clothes played in her favour. They fell away cleanly rather than tangling with her as tighter clothing might have. A few sweeps of powerful wings had her up and out of his reach Kraw-ing down at him in rage and disdain. He looked up, momentarily baffled before surprise and confusion twisted into a look of ugly rage and he moved for one of the tables, reaching for the knives that rested upon it. Identifying the threat, 'Chra went on the offensive.

She dove, talons extended. Now, Ravens weren't strictly predators. This didn't have the same effect as a hawk or an eagle, but she had talons all the same, and the met his face, digging into his cheeks. His questing hands never made it to the knives, coming up to protect his face, swinging at her. One hand smacked into her right wing, and she felt a wrench that said she was hurt. Not badly, not crippled, but hurt all the same. In fury, fury at this one who intruded into her territory and her space and threatened her person, her beak drove forward, met slight resistance, and then the resistance was defeated by a beak that could kill small animals. An ungodly shriek filled the air.

Winging back and away, 'Chra darted through the window, prize still clutched in her beak.

As gulped it down, savouring the flavour, she took pleasure in the fact that he would have trouble hurling anything accurately at anyone with only one eye.

Happy New Year...
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