Solo Growing Claws

Another gift from a strange cauldron.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role play forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Herein lies Xyna's Outpost, and her gift to Mizahar's people. It is a magical place full of potential and possibility where all can gather and exchange ideas and commerce.

Moderator: Gossamer

Growing Claws

Postby Asterope on March 20th, 2020, 11:02 pm

Image

Night of the 25th of spring, 520 AV

She was walking down a long, white hallway; the floor was marble, cool beneath her bare feet as she walked noiselessly. The walls and even ceiling were marble as well, the ceiling arching far above her. If she looked up, she could see twinkling crystal chandeliers, catching the light and throwing off prisms of rainbows along the pale walls.

The walls had high, arched windows, but when she looked through them, all she could see was an endless expanse of clouds, tinted pink and orange by an invisible sunset. Why was she here? She couldn't remember.

There were a large set of double doors at the end of the hallway, so Aster kept walking. The hallway was light and airy with silence; it felt like a wisp of cloud rather than a thick and oppressive fog. As Aster continued to walk along the marble floor, her gaze was drown to the left.

Up ahead, embedded into the wall, was a door. It was made of stone as well, but the glossy black of it contrasted the pale hallway so greatly Asterope wondered how she hadn't seen it before this moment.

She drew closer, moving towards the door as if drawn by a magnetic pull. Standing in front of it, she could see her own wide-eyed, startled expression staring back at her from the polished jet black marble. Her hand reached for the stone knob hesitantly; her fingertips brushed it, and with a grating sound that echoed and reverberated down the whole hallway, the stone door swung inwards.

The room behind it was a void of blackness, but it felt familiar. Aster stepped inside, and the door shut behind her with a loud thud, the echo of it more echoed inside the dark room. A moment later, a hanging lamp on the ceiling flickered to life, the flame casting wavering shadows as the lamp swung gently.

Aster recognized the room she was in. It was small, or perhaps infinite; she couldn't see anything past the light that encircled the main two components of the room, a rickety set of shelves and a bubbling cauldron. The light faded past that, fading into an impenetrable darkness.

She knew what to do. The cauldron bubbled quietly, smoke drifting from it and falling thickly to the floor, swirling around her ankles; she could see the shimmering of the multicoloured liquid within it from where she stood. The opening of the cauldron gaped at her, a hungry maw waiting for sacrifice.

Aster approached the set of shelves. As it had been last time, it was filled with all manner of strange and wonderful and grotesque items. But one shelf in particular caught her eye; it was a shelf full of most of the few items she owned. It mimicked the small set of knickknacks she had in her room at the inn; the handful of sea glass from Imogen, the cat skull from Jala, a white dove's feather that she'd found walking around the Outpost, and a sunflower she'd bought. Her dagger was there, too, the curves of the flametongue blade glinting in the flickering light.

Grabbing a cloth off one of the other shelves to serve as a makeshift bag, Aster plucked a single piece of pink sea glass along with the other items from the shelf; the feather, the skull, the flower, and the dagger were all bundled up with the sea glass. Content with her choices, Aster walked over to the cauldron.

One at a time, the items went in. First she dropped the feather in; it floated on the surface for a moment before being sucked into the liquid. The sunflower followed, slowly swallowed up, and then the cat skull, plunking gently into the cauldron's brew. The sea glass sank immediately, and lastly, Aster gently slipped the dagger into the shimmering liquid, watching it disappear beneath the shifting colours.

The cauldron bubbled fiercely, the smoke billowing more thickly, and Aster took a step back as she waited for it to stop. Gradually, it slowed, and the liquid in the cauldron seemed to drain slowly before finally it was empty. Peering inside, Aster's brow furrowed. She could barely make out the items at the bottom; they were semi-translucent...ovals? There were ten of them, if she counted carefully. Reaching in, Aster plucked them out one by one and slipped them into her pocket. She could examine them further when she left, but for now, she was done in the room and with the cauldron.

The stone door grated open behind her, agreeing with her. Aster straightened up, making sure she had all ten little delicate ovals in her pocket, and left the room. The door shut with a boom behind her. Back out in the hallway, all of the chandeliers had gone out, leaving the white expanse shadowy and dim.

It made the back of her neck prickle. Wrapping her arms around her torso, Aster hurried down the rest of the hallway towards the double doors at the end. When she heard echoing footsteps coming from behind her, she didn't dare look back; instead, she broke into a sprint, her bare feet still silent on the now icy cold floor. She threw her hands out in front of her, shoving the doors open as she bodily hit them.

Image
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 520
Words: 529972
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Growing Claws

Postby Asterope on March 20th, 2020, 11:26 pm

Image

Aster woke up as her breath hitched as if she'd ran full-force into a set of marble double doors. Sitting up, she coughed slightly, blinking as she looked around her room. It was dark, save for the moonlight spilling in from the window. Aster stifled a yawn, rubbing the sleep from her eyes as the dream came back to her in bits and pieces, then all at once.

Immediately, she was fully awake. That strange cauldron again; the last time she'd dreamed of it, she'd awoken to find that whatever the cauldron had changed about her belongings to be a reality. Sliding out of bed, Aster walked over to the desk where she'd set up her few personal belongings, and where she'd left her dagger before bed.

Surely enough, everything was gone; all that remained were the handful of sea glass pieces that she hadn't put into the cauldron. For that she was grateful; she valued the tiny pieces of glass that Imogen had given her greatly. Her eyes slid across the desk, and landed on the ten small ovals that she'd collected in her dream. What were they?

Aster sat at the desk, picking one up. It was thin but sturdy; the texture was identical to the pieces of sea glass, actually, and squinting at it, she could see the piece was the pale semi-translucent pink colour of the piece she had dropped into the cauldron. Flipping it over in her palm, Aster finally realized it was a fingernail; a fake fingernail...made of sea glass? She frowned down at it, then looked at the other pieces; surely enough, each was slightly different in size, one for every finger on both her hands.

"Well," she murmured to herself, "Here goes nothing." The piece was tiny, probably the tiniest, so Aster held it over the nail of her pinkie finger; the fake nail easily molded over her own, adhering as if it was pained with glue. Aster's eyebrows raised; she waved her pinkie finger around, but it didn't feel any different. She tapped the nail, then flicked it, then tugged at it; but it was on so firmly, she would think it was her own.

Carefully and slowly, one nail at a time, Aster repeated the process with her other fingers until all of the nails had been melded onto her own, leaving her with the sea glass nails. She flexed her fingers, looking them over; they looked entirely natural, and felt that way too. As she watched, the nails lengthened slightly, tapering to a point.

They were longer than she usually kept them; Aster wondered if they would get in the way if she were to find work as an herbalist again. Even as she thought it, the nails shortened and flattened until they barely peeked over her fingertips. Concentrating slightly, she thought of the lengthened almond shape they had just been, and the nails followed suit. That was convenient.

They were certainly harder than any normal nails; Aster had to wonder what else they could be used for. Self-defense, maybe? She almost absentmindedly curled her fingers and swiped at the air, and nearly yelped when the nails on that hand suddenly lengthened by several inches, sharpening into a deadly point. Aster stared, wide-eyed, at the veritable talons protruding from her fingers. After a moment, she tapped a fingertip against the end of one of the claws; it was as sharp as any dagger or knife she'd ever held, if not sharper.

Image
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 520
Words: 529972
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Growing Claws

Postby Asterope on March 20th, 2020, 11:27 pm

Image

Relaxing her hand, Aster watched the nails return to the length they had been, unassuming and with only a mild point to them. Well. That was certainly something. She tested it out a few more times, somehow still startled every time she watched her fingernails, now matte and slightly sheer and a gentle pink colour, extend into sharpened and no doubt deadly claws.

She wasn't sure how to feel about it; a part of her was still dumbfounded. Another part of her was uneasy to have such weapons as...a part of her body. And another part of her felt this intense wave of relief to know that she would never again be left entirely defenseless against anyone or anything.

Now all that she had to do was learn how to use them.

Aster wondered if it was like using a dagger at all, or if it was more like the unarmed forms of combat she had seen. Would she have to learn to use them herself? Who would be able to teach her to fight with claws? Nobody that she knew, that was for certain. She wasn't even sure if any such a person existed; she wracked her mind for any races she knew of that had claws, but either she didn't know enough about the races she had met or there were races still that she didn't know about entirely, because she couldn't think of any.

Wriggling her fingers, Aster shook her head. Another problem for another day. For the moment, exhaustion was beginning to creep over her; it was approaching morning, and the cauldron dreams never quite left her feeling rested like normal sleep did.

Rubbing her fingertips over the matte surface of her new nails, Aster stood from the desk and returned to her bed, crawling under the covers and curling up. Despite her exhaustion, sleep was slow to come as she ran over what had happened that night, scratching her new nails idly over the fabric of the sheets. But eventually, sleep did claim her, and she dreamed of nothing for the rest of the night.

Image
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 520
Words: 529972
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests