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Firenze and Baelin find each other again, among other things that bump in the night.

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

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The Son of the Cursed

Postby Firenze on January 2nd, 2020, 3:41 am

Trodding through the city, her feet clapping loud against the uneven stones. Firenze huffed. She hated having to lug heavy carcasses. The deer had been a fine catch, something that she was proud of. Unfortunately, the person she worked for preferred the meat fresh. So she tried to carry anything she caught in as soon as possible, leaving everything intact for the butcher to do the work. Versus having her try to shred them to bits. Her previous attempts at butchery usually failed miserably and ruined the skin.

It wasn’t ever a skill that she’d felt she needed to learn. Her jaws were strong in her natural form, her teeth sharp enough to cut or bite through most barriers of an animal's carcass. With another sigh and a heave to shift the weight of the small doe back onto her shoulder, she endured. It was enough of a work out she could tell she was burning through the meal of squirrel she’d had prior to the large catch.

It was usually easier for her to eat the smaller things and turn the larger animals in for coin. She’d begun to notice that the butcher would take the smaller animals but it didn’t bring in enough profit to justify the work it took to catch.

Sure, she’d learned a trick of setting traps while with the Drykas but she was terrible at catching even mice with them. There was quite a bit of skill that went into trapping, something that she had yet to work on. Fire made a mental note to add it to the list of things she needed to learn how to do if she was going to go anywhere as a hunter.

Her natural form was great for her, easy enough to catch prey, but it gave her an unease after the incident in Syliras. Having been caught, abducted and stowed away to Kenash drilled a fear in her. One that she absolutely hated with a passion. The thought of it causing her already heavy beating heart to race just a little faster. It was shyke that she had to fear being who she truly was.

Fire’s knees began to shiver under the weight as she picked her way through the city. Her destination was in sight but it didn’t make the task any easier. Breathing deeply through her nostrils and letting it slowly out through clenched teeth she continued on. Her mind wandered back to the thought that had popped up a tick prior. Note to self, practice my trapping. Also… note to self, remember notes to self. A chuckle turned into soft coughing as her lungs burned from the strain of carrying the weight.

It wasn’t a particularly large deer by any means, but it had been since her stay in Endrykas that she’d done any actual labor. Sunberth had a tendency to make her slack in the effort. She didn’t have the training grounds available like there was in Syliras. Didn’t have the forced whip, like Kenash. There was no pressure to accomplish daily tasks to ensure survival like the Drykas required. There were plenty of people bringing food in trying to sell to make a quick copper or silver so she’d been spending money on rations instead. Choosing to take a mental and physical reprieve and instead laze about in the fields of her childhood.

She came upon the door to the Baker’s Butchery, hefting the still bloody carcass to the stones. With a swift knock on the door, she took a piece of cloth from her belt and began to wipe some of the excrement that had evacuated from the animal off her top. Needing a bath was going to be another task she chucked on the list, the priority of it was uncertain at this point because she was beginning to run out of daylight and was hoping to get one more catch before night fell.

The door swung open and a large frame took up most of the space. Kane chuckled at Fire as she bent over at the waist with a poor attempt at trying to not vomit from the exertion.

“Look at this fine catch lass.” He bent to look at the doe, inspecting the meat. “Seems to be pretty fresh. It doesn’t look like you made too much a mess of it this time.” Lifting one of the legs, with a check over the skin to see if it was salvageable.

With a huff, she replied, “I… I only bit into the neck… this time…” with a point to the obviously bent head that had flopped down at a weird angle when she’d dropped the body, “I… tried to keep… the rest of it clean for you.”

Another hearty chuckle rumbled in the man’s chest, “I can see! It seems however that you managed to… muck yourself instead.” His eyes crinkled at the corners and gave hint to his age. Kane moved back through the door, was gone for a tick, and returned with a wooden bucket filled with clean water. “This may help.” With a slosh, he set the container down in front of Firenze.

She dipped the cloth into the bucket, her breathing had slowed some. Bringing it up to her chest she scrubbed at the brown and yellow residue. Hair stuck out at odd angles and the side that had been doing the heavy lifting had matted in places.

“Do you think it will be enough? I was planning on returning to the fields to see if I could find anything else before the day ended. If I can’t get anything more today… will it be enough?”

With a cough, her hands dipped the rag again and began to scrub what she could of the waste out of her hair. He paused for a moment and then gave a small nod, “I suppose it will have to will it not?”

“I… I don’t suppose you have offal that you’d like to get off your hands do you? I’m actually kind of starving after the trek up here.”

He shook his head and gave her a small smile. Kane knew who and what she was, she appreciated the fact that he didn’t take advantage of the knowledge. After having talked with him about it he’d promised to keep her secret with the addendum that she is required to bring him all her best catches. She’d agreed and the two had come to a pretty fruitful arrangement.

Thankfully, he’d been okay with her also helping him dispose of bits that he couldn’t sell or use to cook with. As he turned to take the beast into the shop she worried for a heartbeat that he wouldn’t bring her anything. If he didn’t then she’d have to make her way back to her housing and then go back out to the field. Something that was going to burn more daylight. But, she needed to replace the energy she’d burned so it would have to be done.

Finished rinsing what she could, the water now tinged a dirty reddish-brown, she sat on the stoop. It wasn’t uncommon that she’d have to wait for the payment, especially if he had customers enter the store while she brought him goods. Her eyes glanced up to the sky to check Syna’s light. A few more hours maybe. It was hard to tell some days and at the current time of year she knew that it wouldn’t last as long, time was shortened.

Plus, she’d rather not be wandering the streets past nightfall. That was asking for trouble in and of itself. The door creaked again as it opened behind her. With a turn she watched Kane bend down and hand her the small pouch. Along with another small bundle that was dripping. A smile crept onto her face and she looked up at him.

“You treat me so well,” she hoped her appreciation showed. Fire took the bags, dumping the coin into her own purse and handing the small pouch back. Setting the other to the side to have an evening meal.

“I thought you might enjoy some of the deer that you’d caught. Considering you lugged it all this way without letting it empty itself first.” A twinkle lit his eye and he gave her a wink. He closed the door behind him and she peered into the ragged cloth bag. He must not have had a customer but instead had taken the time to take out the offal for her. The gesture brought a smile to her face as she peered at the liver, kidneys, and heart of the doe.

She grabbed at the heart and took a large bite. The muscle was tough but juicy and the blood trickled down her lips and chin. With a satisfied groan, she sat on the back stoop, enjoyed her meal and let it fill her belly. The sun warmed her skin and there was no breeze to carry the heat away.

After a rambunctious and satisfying burp she dipped her hands into the dirty water of the bucket she’d cleaned with earlier. Rinsing her face and using the damp cloth to dry. Fire rubbed at her protruding belly, the cloth from her shirt tight where her full stomach stretched. With a satisfied feeling, she stood and stretched out her legs and arms. With a quick glance back to the sky, she noted that she stayed longer than she should have. The bucket was placed by the door along with the dirtied cloth bag.

Another quick stretch and she slowly jogged out of the alleyway. She didn’t want to run to fast and chance throwing the meal back up but she needed to get back out to the field before Syna’s light was gone. Rounding a corner she came to an abrupt halt. Not of her own accord, but by force. This caused her to fall hard onto the jagged stones, her right cheek smacking with a thump. She called out in surprise, a moment passed before she could comprehend what happened. With a glance upward she saw a familiar figure. Baelin.

What was he doing here?

His back was to her. Firenze tried to look around his large frame but it was almost impossible. It had been months since she’d seen him. It didn’t surprise her considering that she hadn’t even known he was in the city before she’d run into him at Aquillar. It also didn’t surprise her because she’d mostly been sticking to her quarters and to the outskirts of town to catch prey. Her darkness had taken over that day and she had started to shy away from interactions with others. A very unusual thing for her.

Coughing she took a moment to stand. Her body groaned in protest. She knew she’d have a ripe bruise on her buttocks the next day. “Baelin?” She called out roughly, her voice catching in her throat through the pain. “What are y-” Her sentence was cut short as something whizzed by her head. She tried to duck but part of the object caught her ear. With a cry of pain, she slapped her hands up trying to protect the delicate protrusions.

A scream… no, an echo-y type of scream… rang out down the alley. It wasn’t anything like she’d ever heard before. The echo-y type sound seemed familiar but it wasn’t anything she could have ever placed. Another loud screech and she was glad that her hands covered her ears.

Crouching she chanced another attempt to glance around Baelin to see what in the actual petch was happening. What was he doing? What was that sound?

“Baelin?” She called out again, trying to catch his attention. It didn’t seem as though he’d heard her the first time, but then with the loud racket happening on the other side of him, it didn’t surprise her either.

“BAELIN?” Another call, this time louder trying to holler over whatever was making the awful sounds. The noises started to reverberate off the walls of the alley. An unfortunate event as they were close together and turned the small area almost into a cacophony of screeching.

“BAEOOOLIIIIN!?” This time she screamed as the echoes increased. She shoved her hand into the small of his back, still hunched behind his frame. The effort of trying to see the noisemaker tossed to the wayside.


She over pronounced each word, her breath punctuating the air between each as she tried to call up to him. Another howl joined the first and it hit her that he might not be in the best position to respond to her. As the noises came this time she dropped to her knees, trying to catch a glance between his legs. It worked. She saw an ethereal body moving back and forth erratically between the walls of the alley. It didn’t seem as though it were approaching but it wasn’t far away. She couldn’t tell where the second sound had come from, only that most of the bewailing was from whatever was running in circles.

Squinting, she tried to get a better look. It was difficult as large calves hindered most of her view. But, it was only a few ticks before she saw what had caused the howl. A large… see-through... animal joined the little figure running around. It appeared almost to be a dog of sorts and the sight of the two caused the hair all over her body to raise.

The fine blonde hair shifting all over was almost an instinctual reaction. She wanted to call her distaste to the foul beasts on the other side of her friend. ...Friend? ...Acquaintance? She shook the thought and would ponder on that later.
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The Son of the Cursed

Postby Baelin Holt on January 13th, 2020, 4:08 pm

In hindsight, investigating what he thought might be a nearby ghost was probably a bad idea. Because while the ghosts in Black Rock knew better than to hurt the island’s living residents, Sunberth held no such promise.

He had spotted the ethereal form of the dog first. And―for a moment―Baelin was convinced that was all he must have felt. Which… As far as Baelin knew, there was nothing he could do for an animal ghost. The reasons an animal held on after death were beyond him, and Baelin hadn’t the faintest what he could do about it. It was unfortunate, yes, but not something he could change.

He was about to leave when the first rock came flying. Baelin flinched when it hit him, but it wasn’t the projectile that really surprised him. No, his alarm was caused entirely by the sight of the small child that materialized next to the dog.

The boy had been a victim of a violent death. That much was obvious. Even sculpted in translucent wisps of soulmist, it was clear that his head wasn’t even close to domed anymore. A large dent crested over the boy’s forehead; it didn’t take a genius to guess that blunt force had played a major role in the child’s death.

Baelin inhaled deeply, steeling himself. He had an obligation to help. He might not know how, but he had to try.

The boy lobbed another rock at him, and this time Baelin caught it. He glanced down at the small stone in his hand and rolled it in his palm. He looked back up to the dead child, down again to the stone, and glanced over at the dog.

Maybe he wanted to play? Baelin took the gamble and threw the stone back. It sailed in an arc, and then passed right through the child.

The lazy swirling of the boy’s soulmist immediately spiked into a chaotic churn. Nope, that’d been the wrong play. Baelin winced. This wasn’t going to end well, was it? The boy screeched, ear-splitting and sharp. And―perhaps spurred by the boy’s own wailing―the dog threw its head back and yowled.

Maybe this wasn’t the best idea… Baelin carefully took a step back, his hands held up in an effort to show he meant no harm. But right in that moment, something jolted into his back. Baelin took a stutter-step forward, and the boy’s scream dropped to a pitch that was genuinely haunting. The dog joined him, its yowl reverberating down the alley.

Another rock rose from the ground as the boy concentrated on it, and this one shot towards him like a bullet. It missed, but the threat still hung in the air, the boy’s infuriated screams ringing in Baelin’s ears.

There was a shout coming from behind Baelin’s back, but he barely heard it. It was nothing in comparison to the tantrum the ghost in front of him was throwing. The kid blinked in and out of thin air, suddenly much closer, and Baelin knew he was petched.


Baelin blinked, not quite sure he heard right. The shout was accompanied by a shove to the small of his back. Not a hard or malicious shove, but definitely a demand for his attention.

He didn’t dare look away for too long, lest he turn back and the ghost child would suddenly just be there. But he did spare a fraction of a tick to glance over his shoulder. It was only just long enough to see a flash of blonde hair and the face it framed, before he immediately turned back. But it was a face he could absolutely recognize. One he hadn’t thought he’d ever see again.

Firenze!? What was she doing here? Baelin spread his stance―moving to take up as much of the alley as possible. With his ears trained on her and eyes locked on the ghosts in front, Baelin heard her next shout and grimaced. What was he doing? He was petching up royally, that was what. Worst. Eiyon. Ever.

She needed to get out of here. He had an angry ghost in front of him, an obnoxious amount of rocks and pebbles scattered in the alley for him to throw, and no idea what to do. She had to get out. Baelin turned his head to tell her as much, but didn’t any farther than “You―” before the ghost disappeared again.

The abrasive brush of another consciousness against his own told him exactly where the boy had gone.

Baelin stared in space dumbly for a moment, brain sluggishly catching up to the fact that there was someone moving his limbs. And, for a fascinated tick, all Baelin could think was that he’d never been possessed before.

Then the rage came.

That bastard should die. Bludgeon his brains in, see how he likes it, kill his pets first, anyone he loves, all of them.

Baelin recoiled. That was way too vicious for someone who’d been so young. Baelin’s hand slipped to his waist, fingers brushing on the handle of his hammer before he could even realize what was happening.

He froze. No. No, that wouldn’t do. Every ounce of Baelin’s will went into staying perfectly still.

His fingers twitched.

“No,” he hissed. Just…no.

His thumb hooked over the handle.

Out of the corner of his eye, Baelin saw Firenze. He didn’t dare turn his head to look, too scared that the moment he’d try to move, the foreign mind would take advantage of it. His thumb nudged the handle a little closer to the rest of his fingers, and he could feel the smallest of them already start to curl towards it. Petch he’d never felt this helpless before. How was he losing this?

“Leave.” It was all he dared to say. But by the gods, Baelin didn’t want her here for this. Because while he wasn’t entirely sure of what was going to happen, he had the distinct feeling that this kid wanted him to bludgeon himself. Which…

His thoughts had strayed. It was a mistake. A surge of victory washed through him, and it most definitely wasn’t his own. Hammer in hand, Baelin’s arm swung out to his side before he slammed his will back into the invader. His body froze once more, but Baelin had the distinct impression that he was losing.

If I’m writing the whole “battle of wills” part of possession wrong, someone let me know! Always happy to edit if I’m off the mark. Or take suggestions into consideration for future posts if I’m close enough to not edit, but still not quite right.
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