Completed [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light V

Tazrae is caught off guard and touched by true darkness.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light V

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2021, 3:33 am

Timestamp: 70th of Winter, 521 A.V.

Continued From: [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light IV


“Is this dying?” She asked, looking around her. The darkness that swallowed her edged back, and she found herself working in the kitchen of The Protea Inn. There was a giant cauldron on the hearth and she found herself drawn to it. Walking up, she peered into the darkness within. It reflected an image of herself – whole – back at her in the gloss of the enormous pitch black bowl. The image smiled at her and suddenly the gloss – like glass – waivered and another stood reflected in the giant kettle.

A beautiful woman stood there. She was ageless and moved like the serpent Tazrae had been swallowed by.

“You aren’t dying…” The woman whispered. “And you are not going to if I have my say. I need you. We all need you. The man that beats you has taken you before you were ready. It has always been a danger. But you will not die by his hand, not today, and you will have the time you need to become what we need.” The woman said, her beauty hauntingly familiar. Her lovely untamed hair sprouted jungle vines and flowered orchids that seemed to cling to the vines themselves. Her skin was like the smooth bark of some of the giants that made up the canopy of the Jungle Wilds. Taz could smell her earthiness and could see the stars of the night sky reflected in her gaze. Her skin had the tones of sunset, sunrise, and baked earth in them. And her eyes were a thousand shades of green. The loamy beaches wrapped around her like waves of the Suvan, making up her dress as it waivered in the gloss of the cauldron’s innards.

“Falyndar.” Tazrae named the woman, and the woman smiled back at her.

“Yes. And you need to make something of me… of your power. You need to prove to them that you have merit and are brave enough to live through this and not pass into Dira’s realm.” The reflection in the cauldron said to her. Then, the woman reached forward, an offering in her hand. It was a wooden spoon, huge in nature, quite large enough to stir the cauldron with.

“I don’t think I’m doing well in this. There is so much blood. He’s bleeding me dry.” Taz said, her voice desperate as she took the spoon from the reflection.

“You are doing well enough, having found yourself here and your power set loose. Go, gather five things from the room around us, and make magic with me. Make it five things you love.” Falyndar said softly.

Tazrae nodded, then began to look around. She had one of her large Massurana snakeskins laying on a shelf, the iridescence of its patterning reflecting dancing diamonds on the wall. She plucked that up and gently tossed it into the cauldron while giving it a stir. The next thing she spotted was a protea flower hanging in through the window. A bee gently drank at its sweetness, ignoring Tazrae’s inspection. She waited for the bee to depart with its load of pollen and plucked the flower for the cauldron.

Bree, slumbering by the fire, absently scratched an itchy spot of her scales, releasing one and sending it flying towards Tazrae. Taz scooped it off the ground and tossed it in, giving the contents a good stir. The last two things she added to the cauldron was a bright orange candle that represented joy, energy, education, attraction and stimulation. Along with the candle, Taz grabbed a chunk of Chrysocolla, one she’d been using as a paperweight on her desk, and tossed it in.


Words: 604
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light V

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2021, 4:10 am

Then she began to stir with a deep concentration.

Tazrae stirred the things she added to the cauldron with love, and watched the woman’s reflection who hadn’t yet been covered by the ingredients. She kept stirring and the items dissolved into a mixture of iridescence that reminded Tazrae a lot of her Res. Her eyes lingered on the mixture until Taz caught sight of the woman reflected in the Cauldron yet again. Their eyes locked and Tazrae was bombarded with images of the jungle.

She was leaping and climbing then, among the trees, where she loved the world best of all. She dove into a river and snatched a fat fish out of the current. She darted, wove, and danced through the underbrush, a sense of freedom she’d never felt flowing through her. The contents Tazrae stirred in the cauldron began to shrink, as if reduced down like a sauce, while the woman spoke again.

“You’ve made your choice. You’ve chosen me. I make you of me now… bound forever.” Falyndar claimed, her voice echoing through the cauldron. And the substance in the bottom of the cauldron vanished, as did Tazrae’s great wooden spoon. The sparkling of a necklace could be seen in the depth, and unafraid, Tazrae reached in and plucked up the jewelry. At first, Taz thought it was a necklace made from Bree’s scale. It was indeed an Ixam scale. But it was not one from Bree’s body, which would be deep emerald and blue. This one was as black as a Mussurana and flared with the tell-tale rainbow iridescence in the light.

Tazrae grinned, tossing the chain around her neck and glancing down as the scale settled in the V of her throat, between her collarbone and her breasts. It was beautiful as it flared with iridescent light and sank into her flesh, molding with the skin around it seamlessly. The thong it was on vanished. Then, as Tazrae focused on it more, she watched the scale replicated; more scales form in a clicking sound across her chest.

Before long, mere heartbeats, her whole body was covered in them, warping as the scales wrapped around her. The change didn’t take long and as Tazrae watched as if detached, her human form transformed beautifully and elegantly into an Ixam. She was on all fours, with a long tail she snaked back and forth, and a snout like one she recognized as Bree having. Wide eyes surveyed the world with a new perspective, and she ran straight up the wall and back into consciousness.

Nico didn’t notice, in his madness, the scale shimmering into existence on Tazrae’s throat. He only blinked, drunk and satiated by the bloody woman’s body before him, as she began to transform in reality. The change altered her shape enough the ropes were suddenly not taught. And she slashed them with her long talons even as she rolled off the rack as an Ixam and not as a woman.

The change had fueled adrenaline and she rode the new wave of energy as she lunged forward and took the man’s head off with her teeth. He died so easily, filling her mouth with his blood as she chomped at his corpse, glad that he’d conveniently removed his shirt so she could feast on his torso. The Ixam was fully aware of who she was and what she was doing, but food was food and he smelled good to her new form.


Words: 577
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light V

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2021, 5:07 am

The guards had orders not to disturb Nico, so Tazrae wasn’t disturbed as she feasted. She was a quiet eater anyhow, and Nico had died quickly. Screams from his tent weren’t uncommon anyhow. It was the long silences that disturbed the guards if truth be told. And when she was ready, Tazrae scented the air with her new form’s tongue and lunged out the tent door and into the dotted firelight of the after-dark camp.

She was bloody, slicked with bodily fluids, and she utterly didn’t care. The transformation hadn’t saved the mess of her flesh, but she was whole and free… and a little blood was nothing to her Ixam form. Her tongue flicked again, and she tracked Kami, making a beeline for where the woman was. The guards were startled by her appearance, calling a challenge to her that she quickly put down. They weren’t prepared to deal with a large free Ixam, as dark as the night was, streaking through the camp.

Fortunately, Kami was ready for her and though her appearance shocked her, the sister didn’t cry out or flee. Taz had no idea why the girl didn’t scream when she skidded to a halt beside the woman. Her sister had Tazrae’s backpack and one of her own packed and slung on her back. “It’s me.” Tazrae hissed, flicking her tongue. “Get on. Sorry about the blood.” The woman-turned-lizard hissed.

Fortunately, Nico hadn’t been torturing Tazrae’s back. All the blood was on her belly, legs, and chest. So, when Kami slipped into place, there wasn’t pain as Tazrae had half expected. Kami leaned forward, laying along Tazrae’s back, and the two sisters set off at a dead run. Taz had to stay on the ground because this group had cleared the jungle here, opening it up for their semi-permanent encampment.

Others scattered before them and when Taz drew alongside an Ixam picket line, Taz shouted over her shoulder…. “If you have a dagger, draw it… cut as many loose as you can.” She said, halting as if half the camp wasn’t already on them. Kami did as Tazrae asked, and jumped off her back to run down the picket. She cut headstalls free as she wove through the lines binding the Ixam to the highline picket stretched between two stumps.

Then Taz hissed, authoritarian in tone, as Kami rejoined her and jumped back into place on her back. Then she bolted off in the direction of the thickest jungle she could find. Being herd animals that roamed in big groups, several of the nearest Ixam bolted with her and suddenly the whole line ran with Tazrae, thundering off into the jungle as a unit… leaving no mounts in that group readily available for Nico’s men.

Taz ran hard, gasping for breath, not used to the new body and unused to free running in the jungle. She leaped obstacles, and as faster Ixam pulled up and passed her, the woman-turned-Ixam began to do what they did, run as they ran, and navigated as they did… catching her breath and working far less hard than she had been moments ago. Though Kami was easy to carry, Tazrae tired fast. Most of it was due to the blood loss resulting from Nico’s unwanted attention earlier.





Words: 546
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light V

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2021, 5:14 am

Sounds of pursuit didn’t manifest and Tazrae tripped more than once, almost losing Kami multiple times as they moved through the underbrush. She finally pulled up, breathing hard, and the rest of the Ixam’s did as well. The group milled around, waiting for leadership and someone to take charge. She was standing in a group of them, blending into the night, when a large hunting party stepped through the brush and confronted them. Kami froze on Tazrae’s back, crying out in alarm as Tazrae turned to fight.

The men and women that melded out of the jungle looked well adapted to it. They wore clothing that blended in and were led by a middle-aged man in excellent shape.

When she whirled around, teeth bared in her snout, she came face to face with Randal Zor. The fact he was here, surrounded by most of the rest of the jungle available males from Syka, including Buraga and The Rangers… Tazrae was so startled she lost her shape and dumped her sister with all their gear on her ass behind her. Taz started to fall, the blood on her human form far more noticeable now, when Randal lunged out and caught her.

Kami was just pulling a dagger to plunge it into the Founder’s throat when Tazrae managed to mutter…”They are friends…. every one of them.” She whimpered as Randal swung the Innkeeper neatly up into his arms like a child.

“Tazrae, what in the Ukalas is going on?” He hissed out, just as Tazrae gifted him with a big smile and lost the battle with her bloodloss and consciousness.

Kami, having climbed to her feet after being gracelessly dumped on her ass, stepped forward. “I’m Kami, Tazrae’s sister. We are… ever so glad to meet up with you.” She said softly, then glanced around. “There are a dozen or more Ixam’s here, sir. I suggest you have your men grab them before they run off. We could use the ride to wherever it is you call home before the men who own these animals get here to reclaim them. And truthfully, they won’t be long behind us.” She advised, turning to grab the headstall and reins of the one closest to her. She then grabbed the cut reins on a second one, offering the first set of reins to Randal. “Put Taz on this one, ride that one…” She pointed, and then made quick work of catching the third she’d pointed out. “We need to get going…” She said, as the Rangers scattered out around them, most of them grabbing mounts before those that remained gathered with Kami and Randal.

“She’s been tortured. Its blood loss and too much magic, I suspect, keeping her down. She’ll be okay if we can get her to safety and there’s someone that’s more of a real healer than me waiting. Nico...Florentin Arcadius's man, tortured her. He enjoys seeing people scream without actually killing them. ” Kami said quietly, waiting on Randal’s word. “She didn’t have much left. I’m glad we ran into you. She was running on pure sheer stubbornness. And we had no idea help was so close.” The young healer explained.

Randal nodded. He knew Tazrae and he knew how she could be in truth.


Words: 542
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light V

Postby Tazrae on December 27th, 2021, 5:23 am

Without more information than that, Randal took charge.

He had words with Buraga, and the man with his other Rangers fanned out, looking for the enemy and looking for free-roaming tacked-up Ixam. With quick gestures, both Buraga and Randal divided the group into two parties, one far larger than the other. The largest part of them followed Buraga and headed deeper into the jungle to find the new clearing the Florentin Arcadius’s people were in.

Randal then turned, with only a small portion of the rescue party, and headed for home. They made it back to Syka before dawn. This was mostly because the party had captured the Ixam. And because they had the Ixam, the rescue party didn’t have to take a long circular way back to the settlement to conceal it from any in Nico’s encampment. They went in almost a straight line, riding the Ixam through the canopy and leaving very little for a tracker to follow… especially a ground-based tracker.

By noon, Tazrae had still yet to awaken, though Jansen had worked on her extensively. Buraga returned by the time the sun passed its highest point in the sky, his sword and his clothing bloody along with the rest of the rescue party. He reported no survivors from Nico’s camp, so whomever they were planning on meeting up with would find nothing but their abandoned camp to greet them.

Kami asked after an elderly scribe that had been with them, recording and cataloging the expedition, but no trace of him had been found. The people from Riverfall had returned with more Ixam, some of them loaded down with what Randal considered artifacts and a sad collection of animal body parts and other components comprised of minerals and precious stones.

Then a watch was dispatched to the area of the camp to keep an eye on who might show up looking for the missing party. Only time would tell who came – if any – to find out what happened to the expedition.

And within a day, Tazrae was back up, on her feet… looking almost normal.

She’d told the Founders everything, from what Nico had told her to what Rhaus had said, even going so far as to recount the dream of the cauldron with Falyndar claiming her. The scale, it seemed, had stumped Jansen and he’d left it alone until they could study it further. They all listened carefully, Mathias and Randal exchanging looks when Taz recounted how Rhaus had reacted to Akvin and Vas being in Syka. When she was done, the group unanimously decided that Tazrae was on bed rest for a few days, so Kami stepped in to care for her sister and to take care of her Inn while Taz recovered.

Bree, it turned out, had made it back from the near-capture to the Settlement to break into the midst of a Tenday Celebration – the seventh of the season – screaming her head off that Tazrae needed help and that the Settlement was in danger. Then, when everyone had set off, Mathias had kept her back, making her keep him company fishing on his deck as Randal took charge of the rescue and subsequent investigation of who was knocking at their door. Jansen, of course, had worked on her hurts, and helped Mathias keep the Ixam under control while the others looked for Tazrae.



OOC NOTE: Tazrae collected a NANO 2021 prize award during this thread in which she dreamed of the cauldron and acquired an IXAM scale that gave her an abiltity to transform into a Jungle Ixam.


Words: 562
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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