Open The Gallows Swarm

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

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

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Alric Lysane on December 28th, 2021, 8:24 pm



51st Winter 521 AV – Castle Commons & The Gallows

Alric had been going about other business when the word had spread, rippling out from somewhere near the docks like a tidal wave of whispers and paranoia. A mage had been caught! His heart had lurched a beat, for a series of chimes his own paranoia taking hold as if, somehow against logic and reason, they had meant him, that they were coming for him even as he stood there dumbfounded. Then he had had the thought that perhaps somehow the one he admired most had magicked their way to his city and had been detained. No, his mind told him such things were not the case but that hadn’t stopped the sinking stone in his guts.

As soon as the word had gotten out everyone had begun to shift, like a giant hive mind of a beast, closing stalls and shops, businesses and throwing down tools. They all made their way to the Gallows in the edged of the Castle Commons, the place where the city meted out its justices – or at least those that were determined to be so grievous that they required a public display. Use of magic was one such crime, a crime that required an example be shown. A message needed to be sent loud and clear, upon the winds of thousands of jubilant voices.

Use magic in Sunberth and you’ll be shown the error of your ways. Permanently. No trial, no recourse to judgement of fact, no second chances. Magic IS death. So mages GET death

Alric remembered his first such display and how he had joined in on the cheering. He had never been a cruel man as far as he was aware, but he had been a Sunberthian. Was a Sunberthian. Not laying a hand on someone, or killing them, had never been the same as allowing someone to die – ages especially. His philosophies had been simple, and his needs had been small. They had led to simplistic perspectives and an innocence that he sometimes wished he could go back to, even if it brought ignorance with it in its wake. As he found a higher vantage point, the top of a set of stacked barrels it turned out, his pipe smoke only beginning to set to ember, the man was dragged kicking and screaming through the crowd.

They wouldn’t hang his straight away, not they’d give him a good going over first, a display for everyone so that they could feel better they had caught one. That others knew what was what, if there were any, but there likely wasn’t because they’d found this one and given them a good going over. It was a circular logic propped up by what Alric now knew to be superstition and fear, rather than rationality or truth. Had he truly been like that a mere handful of seasons now past? He shuddered internally at that, though he was careful not to let it show outwardly. The last thing he wanted to do was draw attention to himself. He was but a man in the crowd, the barrels beneath him now filling up with watchers and lending him a certain anonymity.

The baying of the swarm was growing larger now as the man was thrown to the top of the Gallows, hands bound and already bloody and bruised. Alric watched as impassively as he could muster, his face a mask as internally things broke slightly. This would be his first time witnessing a hanging of a mage, for being a mage…as a mage. It could so easily have been him there, the man even resembled him slightly with his dark hair and beard, dirt streaked cheeks and darker skin tone. He bit the end of his pipe stem hard, forcing himself to stay quiet as he puffed away, waiting to see the inevitable.


Last edited by Alric Lysane on January 3rd, 2022, 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Anthoni Cole on December 30th, 2021, 7:50 pm

The Pigs Foot tavern was buzzing with drunken day goers, Anthoni amoung them. Sitting at a stool near the double doors which opened up into the large bar room. It was busy, busier than usual, as most tables seemed filled with chattering patrons. Anthoni could see from the bar that Merv, the old man who owned Pigs Foot Tavern, was helping his waitresses bring in chairs from the back. The customers were so demanding waiting for a seat that Anthoni was glad he'd gotten here early so as not to be caught in the rush.

He'd finished his third cup and stared at the empty tankard, as if it'd refill itself. His eyes drifted over to his hand and looked at the black scythe that was imprinted between his index finger and thumb. He bit his tongue before looking back over at Merv, who now came back to the bar and tended to the customers.

"Merv," he said loudly to draw his attention, "another will'ya?" Raising his cup before sliding a Miza in front of him across the bar. Merv nodded and began to walk towards him to fill his cup. However before Merv could get to him the doors to the Pigs Foot slammed open, a large man bursting in and knocked over someone standing to close to the door. The two men came crashing down near Anthoni's stool landing hard and in a cumbersome mess.

Spinning in his stool Anthoni managed to rock it back closer to the bar. About to yell out a curse at the pig who came blumbering in he was beaten to it by Merv. "The hell you doing you shite!" Merv screamed before coming to the bar section near Anthoni. The room instantly grew tense as seemingly a hundred heads all turned at the newcomer in utter silence. A stark contrast to just a moment earlier.

"A mage!" The man cried out as he wrestled himself to his feet.

Merv lead the tavern, "what?" He questioned as Anthoni found himself pressed back against the bar, mere feet from the stranger.

"A mage's been caught, there sending him to the gallows now." Anthoni's ears perked up as whispers could be heard rippling through the tavern. Merv looked around uneasily, dropping the tankerd which was about to fill Anthoni's cup. Anthoni could see some people gulping their drinks before slamming them on the table, others just looked at the fat man questionably, while some began stirring in their seats.

"You lie!" Someone yelled from afar, who and from where Anthoni couldn't say for certain. Instead he focused on the man in front of him, who was now standing tall with shoulders back. His face was stern and reoulute, as if he was coming to reveal a great truth that needed to be known. Anthoni believed him even though he was sure that the heavy stench of alchohol that assaulted his nose no doubt came from this newcomer.

"I ain't lying, I ain't lying," the man repeated over and over. "There 'bout to send him to the gallows now!"

The tavern lit up again, Merv looked on thunderstruck as soon his establishment bustled with an uncontrolable energy that seemed to ripple through everyone. Anthoni himself grew tense, hairs riseing on his arms, and accidently he tried to drink from his cup but found it empty. Then lowered his cup.

"To the gallows," someone yelled out and a tidal wave of chairs jutted out from the tables. Flows of patrons swarmed from the bar located directly in the heart of Sunberth. Making their way to the door and out into the streets of Sunberth. Anthoni looked at Merv, raised in eyebrow, then left the bar. A slight buzz made his steps a bit more focused but soon he was just a simple part of the wave that made it's ways to the gallows in unison.

"No magic! No Mages!" Someone roared.

"I'mma beat him," Anthoni heard someone say and other muttered their agreement or alterior motives. Anthoni said nothing, just made sure to watch his footing and make sure his coin purse was strapped to his belt. While he fumbled for that he made sure his dagger was also where it should be. It was.

It didn't take long for the crowd, mostly drunk, came bursting into the gallows. Up ahead Anthoni could see that soon his heard would merge into a larger one, and finding comfort in the crowd Anthoni merged with them. The gallow stand could be seen ahead, and as Anthoni was taller than most he could peer over the heads of those in front of him. It was obvious they were marching someone through the crowd. Large lanes formed in the crowd as a few big, bulky men dragged the mage through the crowd. Anthoni smiled, it really was a mage!

He pushed himself through the crowd, wanting to actually see him before the crowd had their way. Nothing good could be heard from his fellow Sunberthers. Curses, taunts and insults were the extent of the language. Anthoni zeroed in on the uproar ahead, curses were not the only thing going out as some in the crowd, perhaps the most energetic amoungst the Sunberther's, started planting fists into the mages face. Others sent wild kicks his direction and some even threw foodstuffs in his direction.

The crowd was going mad it seemed to Anthoni, throwing away food that some would kill for. But such was the logic of his people as the madness of crowds gripped them. The only sense of order and mercy the mage was offered was the privlage of being carried up to the gallows. Strewn about the wild authority of the moment allowed the mage to be seen by all. The smile on Anthoni's face was wiped away, but still he shouldered himself through the mob. Wanting to get a front row view of the ordeal, feeling the urge to be necasary for some scary reason he couldn't understand. It affected him.

Even still the crowd threw food and mocked the man. He wondered to himself why? Was death not good enough.
Anthoni Cole
Sunberth Street Rat
 
Posts: 43
Words: 51153
Joined roleplay: February 22nd, 2018, 2:46 am
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Alric Lysane on January 8th, 2022, 7:52 am



It was difficult to keep his eyes upon the scene, the violence beginning to unfold and begin the slow climb of escalation seeming somewhat distasteful to him. He was no stranger to violence, had caused much of it himself at times, but this was different. This wasn’t a fight in a cage, or an unexpected brawl during a spate of larceny, or even the striking down of terrible people like slavers. No, this was an execution preceded by torture. It was made all the more difficult by the knowledge that two seasons ago he’d have been a part of the beast that was taking out its rage upon the poor man – mage or not this was brutal.

“A release of pressure,” he muttered to himself, “all of the hatred, anger, frustration, fear of starvation, the random disasters this season and their effects…this isn’t about mage anymore…this is about venting their rage and fear”

It was a strange revelation, feeling the words snap thoughts and musings, from days across the season, together into his mind. He had spent much of his life in Sunberth, and despite his knowledge of his actual origins he still considered it to be his home. He loved the freedom despite it all. Now, though, watching the mob and its workings, he felt the first serious questions criticising it coalesce. This wasn’t necessary, if they were a mage and the rules said mages weren’t allowed, then they could be kicked onto the next boat. They could be simply executed. The ugliest side was shown to Alric now, with his new perspectives, and he felt the bile rise in the back of his throat.

What is the point of this? To make the city feel better? It won’t change anything at all, the food shortages will persist, the Storage Houses will still need partial rebuilding, the Brats will still roam around nibbling the drunken beggars…this solves nothing. Do they not see that? Are they so filled with the need to inflict misery that they can’t just fix the problems they have? he thought to himself, noting after a while how he used the term ‘they’ and acknowledging that he was removing himself from being a Sunberthian in that moment, for this event – rebelling the only was he currently could, in safety.

Had they not learned from the events during the flooding rains? He had been part of the groups that had sandbagged around the edges of the river, they had managed to protect at least the ‘important’ parts of the city. He had even managed to convince some of the more directly impacted to use the remaining sandbags, once they had finished, to sandbag the edge of the river around the residential area of the city – the Sunset Quarters. They had shown everyone that disaster could be avoided, even against the unexpected, if enough interest was garnered by enough people to do so, surely? He frowned slightly as he watched the food start to be thrown, puffing upon his pipe generously to hide his face somewhat.

He hadn’t expected the food given the current shortages, but it seemed the mob’s hate overrode their fear of hungry bellies – that, in itself, didn’t sit quite right for him. It was as if they were being hypnotised, or something similar as he saw no magic, into forgetting their pressing problems and focusing upon killing the mage. It was a strange thing and he filed the observation away for future consideration as he watched a particularly solid looking cabbage smash into the man’s nose, a spray of blood sending droplets over some of the crowd. He watched them recoil and scrape at their own face, getting it slapped off of them by others in the mob for being tainted. Having seem how magic worked now he was amused – if they knew his lineage they’d probably have to murder everyone who got touched by his blood.

“A good way to escape that” he snorted to himself, remembering to bleep copiously over everyone if he was ever discovered.

Mostly, though, as the food became more rotten and seemed to pile atop the man, he felt sorrow. He knew the Nymkarta had not done that well by Sunberth but to see it fallen so far from what it had once no doubt been…he couldn’t help but feel as if he were partly responsible. If he ever managed to figure out a way to bring Sunberth into the light a bit and still preserve its freedoms he’d do it in a heartbeat, he knew that now.

He groaned to himself internally as the tongs were brought out and the mage was dragged by his hair to a kneeling position given a few good kicks to keep them in place and then held firm for the next stage of torture – nail pulling. The screams were shrill and almost unbearable and Alric had to force himself not to turn away and make himself seem as if he were siding with the mage. It was difficult, though, and he winced slightly with every scream, feeling his stomach turn a little each time.

The truly sad things, though, was that this was just the beginning. You could sense it if you felt for it, the mob wanted more than blood as he had noted earlier, it wanted to vent frustration…and fear. And fear was a terribly powerful motivator.


User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Brisa on January 13th, 2022, 3:20 am

Brisa howled along with the crowd.

She wiped the back of her hand across her mouth, pulling it away shiny with saliva. Her mouth wouldn't stay closed. Breath was huffing through her exposed teeth.

"Petch, Bri, relax!", Kane's voice was stern and tight with stress. He had his fingers hook under her collar, trying to keep them together in the tide of people jostling in front of the rickety Gallows.

But she couldn't relax. The air was thrumming with the rage of a hundred people. Before them a man was being dragged up the rickety stairs by his hair, and between the heads of the people in front of her she could see his eyes rolling in fear. The sight sent a shiver of adrenaline up her spine. The dark skin of her throat was paling with the pressure she was putting on her collar.

With a curse Kane began dragging her back, towing them back to the edges of the crowd as tarnished metal tools were rolled onto the stage.

"Petching barbarians", The man huffed, too loud for Brisa's liking. She didn't resist being led away, but she walked backward, eyes fixed on the spectacle, nearly colliding bodily with a tall, black-haired man who was fighting to the front of the crowd in her place.

"No, it's a pack!" she suddenly turned, the release of tension causing Kane to stumble as they made it to the thin edges of the crowd beneath a tall stack of barrels. "Don't you see? A pack! A hunt! We're bonding over his blood. Kane, howl with me!"

She didn't wait for her bonded, but threw back her head and let her voice mingle with the dozens of voices flinging slurs and hatred toward the stage. She loved it. This feeling of being part of some greater beast was intoxicating. This was her city, these were her people, and they were finally unified for this one, single purpose. Their harmony was worth the price of this one stranger.

Kane's hand moved from her collar to her jaw, slamming it shut hard enough for her teeth to clack together. Far from the fire in Brisa's amber eyes, Kane's brown eyes were cold and getting colder.

"It's a mob, you idiot. As soon as he's dead its going to start looking for something else to destroy." From the stage, cutting through the angry slander, came sharp, animal cries of pain. "I don't plan to be here when it does."

Shaking off his hand, she spit blood on the ground from where she had bitten her cheek. "We can't be in its way if we're part of it." She pleaded, grabbing for his hand. "The safest place is here with our people!"

He pulled out of her grasp with a disgusted noise. "Your people, you mean. You belong with these bunch of animals." He straightened his faded jerkin with an imperious tug. "I'm going home. Don't get yourself killed, okay?" He left it at that, his voice dripping with contempt as he turned his back on the scene.

Go to him, her bond, that distinctly Kelvic part of her, begged in the back of her mind as he walked away. You've disappointed him. Go to him.

Another part of her, that animal part, the part Kane only liked when they were on the hunt, had something else to say.

She teetered on he heels, her heavy breath gusting over her lolling tongue as she fought with her two opposing instincts. Another cry rose from the stage, and the crowd reacted in nearly synchronous waves of answering bloodlust.

Unable to resist, she turned back to the stage. The mage was sobbing in fear, but he was still fighting. He was twisting in his captors grip like a rabbit caught in a snare. She couldn't smell him from this distance, but she could see the sweat shining on his chest and forehead and imagine the sharp, coppery tang of fear in it. The reaction it inspired in her was the same she would get from any rat or cat she managed to corner, but here it was multiplied by the dozens of warm bodies staring down that same prey.

The word 'mage' meant nothing to her. She had never met one, and had never seen magic performed. Her opinion of the practice swung wildly from a learned Sunberthian fear to Kane's mirrored ambivalence. The question of who was being punished mattered much less than what that punishment inspired in the people around her.

Her gaze dropped from the stage to the crowd, noting the clenched fists and puffed, red faces that all seemed to blur together. One, angry unified beast. But even as her eyes found the pattern, they recognized the pieces that didn't fit. Several paces ahead, standing slightly above the crowd was the dark, lean figure of the man she had bumped into. His gaze was focused up to the stage. She could read the tension in the line of his shoulders, and a movement in him she felt in herself too, but there was something off about him she couldn't put her finger on. Something alien. He didn't belong with the rest.

As she looked around she noticed the boots hanging over her head. The boots were attached to a lean pair of legs, that led up to red gloves casually holding a pipe to a face obscured by smoke. If the people under him were a tide the man on the barrels was the island it crashed against. He was in the crowd, but not part of it. An observer above the rest. He was almost posed as he looked down on the torture of another human being. If he was not part of the hungry pack, why was he here?

But even as the thought crossed her mind she understood. The safest place to be at this moment was right there, in the thick of things. If you didn't want to be part of the pack the best place to be was out of its way.

Brisa wiped at her mouth again. A branding iron and a bucket of glowing coals had been dragged onto the stage to riotous approval. She turned back to the spectacle. The pack was hungry for more.
User avatar
Brisa
Player
 
Posts: 12
Words: 8384
Joined roleplay: January 5th, 2022, 8:03 pm
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Anthoni Cole on January 21st, 2022, 4:33 am

The Sunberther's were hungry for more, Anthoni among them, and nothing could stop the blood lust. Anthoni had been a part of the group, unbeknownst to him, an unwavering solidarity had gripped the man. He was the crowed and their was no mercy. Anthoni had shouldered his way to front of the violence. He'd seen people take sharp jabs at the mage, also kicks of power reeled into his body, Anthoni had witnessed the savageness od the crowed. Food hurled it's way towards him, Anthoni himself seeing a patato smash against the mans face before he ws lead up the stairs to his final moments.

Anthoni had been through so much of recent he wanted someone else to pay. His sister weighed heavy on his mind. Very heavy. She was innocent, beautiful, smart and above all loving. Yet she'd been taken from him, bitterly, unjustly, and Anthoni wanted nothing more then to fill the void in his heart. This man, this mage, was that void. How dare he practice magic! How dare he try to take control of Sunberth, as every mage tried, in his city. Anthoni himself threw a tamato at the man, hitting him in his stomach with a rock solid throw before he was dragged to the top of the scaffold for all to see.

"Burn for enternity!" Anthoni screamed aloud. Wanting the stranger to feel his pain, anything. but nothing. You see most everyone had their own goals when cusifying the mage. The crowd was a violent mob which had no rules but Anthoni had rulses. He'd been a part of the mob, thrown food stuffs at the man at his own doing, but . nonetheless he'd wanted the mage to suffer. Painfully, It made Anthoni whole in spme sick and twisted way, Dira had been his champion, She was death and soon this man would face her.

Anthoni was now in the front of the mob, actually he'd been in the front. Almost to the scaffolding itself. HYe looked to his right and found a stranger, she clutched three patatos herself, and Anthoni made a grab at one of them, which she obliged, and Anthoni grabbed one of them. It was soft and warm in his hand, and as the man was fondeled onto the scaffold Anthoni hurled his patato at the man he'd smiled. It was satisfactory ro himself. Having such a good arm he managed to hit the mage in his face with a patato. The the food shimmered off him and went flying in

Laughing out loud Anthoni smiled to strangers around hunpredicted patterens, but Anthoni smiled.im in a proud kind of manner. "I got him!" he said loudly to strangers nearby, a he scanned for other foodstuffs near him but found none. " I hit the mage." Anthoni did nothing else as he waited for the true execuution to begin, He was just one in the crowd, sure but he resemebeled the whole crowd almost to a T.

Anthoni did shoulder his way to the front of the line, to the fore of the crowd, He used his natural size to advantage, Pushing smaller folk in a bullying way until he was at the center of the crowd, When the man was making his way to the center mass he'd shouldered a dark skinned women in a rough kinda way. He'd not known her but her words lingered in his head. Even if they were not meant for Anthoni heard them all the same. "It's a mob, you idiot. As soon as he's dead its going to start looking for something else to destroy." The dark skinned women said, one stranger apart from Anthoni, "
Anthoni Cole
Sunberth Street Rat
 
Posts: 43
Words: 51153
Joined roleplay: February 22nd, 2018, 2:46 am
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Alric Lysane on January 25th, 2022, 5:19 pm



He was having ever more difficulty watching the spectacle as it unfolded, not because he felt a kinship of magic with the man but because it violated some of his other, deeper beliefs. He had never liked magic or mages, even now it was a struggle despite the intervention of Eyris and the counsel of Taz, Moritz and others. Yet he had never had much stomach for pointless abuses, and that is what was unfolding before them. He kept his face carefully neutral as he knew the dangers of mobs, but within he was disgusted.

Is this what Sunberth has to offer the world? Lhavit has divine glass, Syka has food in abundance, Zeltiva had some massive knowledge library according to Remmy…and Sunberth has this…the lowest form of punishment…for fun he mused to himself as the last of his pipe gave him its smoke and he tapped out the refuse upon the heel of his boot, slipping the pipe back into his pouch.

He had been watching the crowd in between the torments of the mage, currently having food and refuse thrown as him between screams as the nails of his fingers were torn out, blood spraying over the front of the mob every so often because of that fact. He watched as a tall figure exclaimed at having caught the mage solidly with something, the crowd egging the man on further. He also saw something else that was even stranger, a dark skinned woman who couldn’t keep her mouth closed – almost as if panting like a dog and every so often wiping the drool from her lower jaw. She walked away from the man she had been talking to and eventually made her way to sit beneath him.

“Eyris preserve me, the day gets stranger” he muttered to himself as he leaned back, turning his head to see that he had a roof to crawl across at least if he needed to escape the vulgarities of the mob without making himself known.

The mage was sobbing now but screamed once more when the brand was rammed into his chest, the smell of burning flesh strong even as far away as Alric was. He doubted, as he gagged slightly, whether he’d have been able to stay down near the front even had he wished to be there. The brand rose, was heated and then was rammed home again, the ritual repeated multiple times to the baying of the mob. Eventually the coals were set aside for the removing of the eyes, the tongue being left for last so that the mage could still scream their fullest. His gaze broke from the man, seeking a refuge for a moment, finding the woman below him and noticing that she wore an oversize spiked collar and was still panting away quite happily. He frowned thoughtfully and wondered if the man had left her there, that perhaps she was not quite right in the head.

“You alright? Having trouble breathing?” he asked her, leaning down slightly to tap her shoulder gently, just as the attentions of the mob were drawn back to the gallows as the first eye was removed and thrown into the coals to cook, sizzle and pop with gruesome precision.



User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Brisa on Today, 12:13 am

The tap to Brisa’s shoulder seemed to break her out of her trance. Her mouth snapped closed and she climbed to her feet to regard the man on the barrels curiously.

Behind her an eye was being removed messily on the stage, the organ pulled out from a human being that was begging for death. Yet the stranger in front of her showed less emotion than she did at the worms that crawled up through her rotting floorboards when it rained. It took her a long moment of staring before she could read the tightness around his eyes, and the way his throat moved as the smell of body fluid and flesh hit them. Perhaps he was repulsed, but it was hard to say. If he was overwhelmed she would have comforted him, if he was angry she would have joined him. But he was nothing, and she didn’t know what to do with him.

“Freak”, she hissed without venom, unnerved by his outward show of apathy.

There was a second sizzling sound as the liquid of the second eye spat in the brazier, throwing up dark smoke like fatty meat over a fire. There were two fleshy pits where the mage's eyes had once been, curtained by ruined flaps of eyelid. Brisa wondered if he was happy he couldn’t see his tormentors anymore. The smell of burning meat was thick in the air.

She was howling along with the rest when the tongs came out. She didn’t know what they were for, but everyone else seemed to. Their excitement fed into her, and she was balanced on her toes, straining to see the stage, when something went wrong.

When the tongs forced their way into the mage’s mouth, cracking his teeth as they did, the man choked out a cry and slumped in his bonds. When he didn’t react to his tongue being pulled, another on the stage retrieved the burning rod from where it had been left to ripen to a cherry-red over the brazier. The mage was stabbed in the thigh, and again in the chest. He didn’t stir.

He couldn’t be dead, could he? Had he passed out?

Brisa felt it like a wave as the crowd reacted. Without the mage’s reactions, the focus of their rage had broken. The unifying tie of the entire mob had snapped like an overburdened string. But adrenaline couldn’t just be blown out like a candle. Once untethered it will look for other channels.

Brisa could feel it in her legs, this misplaced energy. At first she thought she wanted to run. But no, she wanted to chase. This adrenaline had redirected to her prey drive, and she instinctively zoned in on someone close enough to catch.

The dark-haired man who’d shouldered her was hard to miss, standing taller than the rest. But there was a body between the two of them, and he was closer to the dangerous, thicker part of the crowd. Her amber eyes flicked back to the stranger on the barrels.

Brisa’s nostrils flared. He smelt like apples and cinnamon and something darker. A flash of metal let her know he was armed. Her hands fisted in her dirty tunic. Kane was in her head, buzzing through their bond like a fly, reacting to her heightened state. If picking fights didn’t kill her, he would. Her mouth opened almost involuntarily.

“How fast can you run?”, she asked, her voice was oddly level in the burgeoning chaos, but her amber eyes were all fire. “Are you faster than a deer? Faster than a cat? Faster than me?”

Her lips split into a crazed smile. Without warning she lunged at him, faking out before she could get hurt, trying to goad him into fleeing. A disheveled woman was not going to motivate a man cool enough to regard torture with disinterest, but the fuss she was kicking up might. The shouting masses hadn’t noticed them yet, but they would.

“Run.” she finally demanded, her lips pulling back from a smile to a snarl. “Run!”
User avatar
Brisa
Player
 
Posts: 12
Words: 8384
Joined roleplay: January 5th, 2022, 8:03 pm
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

The Gallows Swarm

Postby Alric Lysane on Today, 7:37 am



Alric was somewhat surprised by the sudden shift in tone, he had done nothing but ask if she were okay as she had been acting visibly strange. That wasn’t just him wondering if she needed some medical attention, it was also a general level of empathy given that she was being the odd one out in the crowd. Cheering and throwing things was one thing, howling madly and panting visibly were another. His concern, however, was misplaced as she immediately turned hostile for little reason that he could see. Still, he shrugged and kept his attention upon the stage and the mage.

I was becoming more gruesome by the moment, the pain and the rage mixing together into something else, something beyond both. He wasn’t even sure that he could call any of those watching – himself included – human anymore. Certainly, he knew he’d spend many a day musing upon this moment in the future, wondering where it had all gone wrong for Sunberth and why its hatreds were so mingled together, its energies directed towards self-destructive means rather than building…well anything really.

Closest that comes to mind are the Gated Community lot, at least they’ve built up businesses. That’s something I suppose he mused as his pipe finished and was slipped away, the normal pipe and tobacco safely back in its pouch.

The show continued until the mage passed out. As with all things sense eventually became overwhelmed, but it wouldn’t last long. This was the middle stage, the fractious stage, and it was to be expected. People were muttering with each other, throwing things still to try to get the mage to waken once more. This stage only ever lasted a few chimes, but they were energetic ones as the mob unity was temporarily lost. Already he could see a few scuffles breaking out in the middle of the mob, near the stage and also towards the fringes. It was partly why he had decided to elevate himself, to be out of the way when the scuffles began – they always did and would stop once those on the Gallows got the mage awake again – he could already see them trying to forcibly rouse him with pain, there was some stirring but not enough for a good hanging, not yet.

He was further taken aback by the sudden rounding of the woman again, this time threatening him for no good reason and demanding that he run. He didn’t do anything at first, his gaze flicking to either side of her, trying to get het to see that the last thing she should be doing when fights were breaking out would be to draw attention to herself. She seemed bent on it tough and so he sighed, sad that the mob would likely find its next victim in her with her mad ravings and strange behaviours. He put his hands up in an appeasing gesture, and didn’t react to her anger, instead seeking simply to extract himself from her association before she was noticed as the stranger.

“Doesn’t really matter how fast I can run lass, the last thing you want to be doing is drawing attention to yourself right now. You’ve been seen howling madly and drool panting all over yourself. Now you want to attack someone who has walked these streets and dealt with many of this lot over the years. I’m afraid all you’re doing is trying to get yourself killed. So…that said, I’d calm down and get ready for the next part of the show” he gestured with his chin, the screams from the mage starting up once more.

“Enjoy” he said, standing and intending to make his way across the roof, where he’d not be noticed after a few moments, there climbing down the other side into there to disappear into the Commons and make his way towards somewhere a whole lot lighter and less filled with mental people.

As it was that plan didn’t go as planned.

“There we go, nice and screaming again! And we have a volunteer! Come on down lad, show some Sunberthian spirit!” the main man upon the stage declared, the mage roused, and it took a few moments before Alric realised he had singled himself out by standing up at the same time.

“Come on, come on! Might not last for long laddie, get yer arse down here for the fun!”
Alric met the woman’s gaze briefly, not saying anything but regretting having ever tapped her shoulder to check that she was okay. Pushing past her he made his way through the crowd, as they figured out what was happening some parted and the scuffles that had started died down a bit, or in many cases simply made their way elsewhere to continue to grudge-bound assault. At least that meant the crowd was smaller now, he noted, as he made his way to the stage. Nothing about him betrayed that he was anything other than a Sun of Sunberth doing his duty by his city.

“There we go lad! Here, carve a few bits of him eh?” a dagger was offered, one which Alric initially took but then, given the previous encounter and the animosity of the mob in general, thought better of it and handed it back.

“Don’t like a dagger eh? Whatchya want instead?” there was a slight look at Alric, wondering what he had planned no doubt.

“No no, I love daggers….I just brought my own” he said, kneeling to pull it from his boot as the man laughed uproariously and egged the throng on to cheer and scream their murderous intents.

Alric heard the would-be mage groaned and shift, though he was so damaged by now that the one gripping the back of his neck held him in place quite easily, simply a meat puppet for the mob’s amusement. Alric help onto that thought as he stepped in to do what he had been put on the spot to do – to survive was his mission, to entertain the mob with blood was a sad by product of the moment. He tried his best to disassociate himself, knowing he’d question himself into self-loathing later but at least able to summon up that old feeling, from back when he hated mages, to put on a sneering frown that would be convincing enough for those just come for blood and gore.

The daggers blade sheared through what was left of the man’s blood covered shirt, sending it to the wooden Gallows to be blown away by an idle gust of wind. He then cut across the man’s arms, deep enough to make him begin to groan and scream, every couple of inches down each arm, but not enough to sever anything important, just to create an outpouring of blood that the crowd all but declared their love for. There were chants for more and the man who had all but manipulated him to the stage prodded and encouraged, so the slices were made into the chest muscles now, really the only place left that wouldn’t potentially sever through something and end the ‘show’ prematurely. Once he was done, his face carefully crafted to be the picture of hating a mage, he stood, wiped his blade clean upon the man’s trousers and slipped it back into his boot.

“Had enough eh? Blood isn’t for everyone, know that well enough…though the crowd wants it!” the man shouted the last at the mod for more cheers.

“Just thought I’d leave some for the rest to have some fun with. Who else has got the stones?!” he said, loudly and with mirrored theatrics eve as he felt the hatred of himself bubble within. Gods he’d be drinking tonight, that he had already decided.

To suit his words he had grabbed the dagger from the man, the one he had been offered before, and held it up for the crowd, sweeping it hilt first across the front rows to see if anyone would accept the invitation so that he could get off the damned stage and get out of there without further self-recrimination. At least, he knew now, there could be no question of his Sunberthian loyalties amongdt those who had witnessed him carve flesh, though there were deep questions about his moral standing with himself internally, ones he hoped none would ever hear the beginnings of.


User avatar
Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
Posts: 368
Words: 468949
Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests