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PLAYERS INVOLVED: LiteralBeauty | Concinnity | Nix | Izzy
(Open to anyone joining!)
SETTING:Ristell, Outside the town of Mosika (human town) Scene described below.
WEATHER: Clear, sun is setting
TIME: Current time
Literal Beauty - Characters
Riz-zira - Liniah & Soh-Lus - Nin
Kroal - Giant/Human Halfbreed
Concinnity - Aeliana
Nix - Lusin & Diell
Izzy - Tan'la
Residents of Mosika would be in for a treat on the morrow, even now the sounds of the carnival drifted through the air temptingly. It was chaotic and exciting, the jumble of noises that came from the newly arrived encampment. The main, loudest of these played constantly the happy upbeat jaunt of your typical carnival music. Underlying that if you listened closely enough you would hear the hammering, shuffling, and creaking of work being done; and mixed through it all would be the shouts of the workers as they coordinated the setting up of their establishment, and the roars, growls, grunts, whistles and twittering of the menagerie. Curious minded ones would be tempted easily enough by the sounds to sneak a peek of the attraction. The location was chosen at the base of the hill upon which Mosika sat, the clearing large enough to host the massive assemble of tents, booths, rides and oddities which were emerging from the hundreds of wagons that circled the area. Most of these wagons were in of themselves the booths that would offer entertainment, their designs crafted to be unfolded and expanded to expose whatever game or function they were to provide. Many of the back wagons though covered now would be opened to reveal the creatures that were housed inside, these wagons varied in size and were further away from the main tents to minimize stress to the inhabitants. More wagons still were being unloaded, their contents being put together to erect the small amount of rides that would be available. The main attraction stood at center, the two large connected tents that reached 30 feet into the air and were being filled with rows and rows of seating for the masses. The whole area was alive and bustling with movement, everything being moved or constructed, every living thing was a buzz of energy. All, except one.
Riz-zira sat silent and unmoving upon the bottom step leading up to Kroal’s private wagon. Silent because no one was close enough to exchange words with, and truthfully she wouldn’t have anything to say. Unmoving for the sole reason; that she detested the feel of the coarse burlap robe against her tender flesh. At least she was allowed to sit, instead of being lead around by Kroal as he checked on the other wagons’ inhabitants and the progress of the tent raising. For that matter she should count herself lucky that she wasn’t caged away in one of those many wagons, she was free at least. Was she really... free? No, she may not have iron bars separating her from the outside world, but there were bars around her heart or more aptly her soul. That train of thought brought an ache to her bosom and she crossed her arms tight around her middle, shoulders slumping. She welcomed the chaffing of the cloth as it brushed harshly against her delicate skin, even as she grit her teeth and grimaced. How was she to continue this way.. She thought dismally, and then pushed the negativity aside. They were only here for a week perhaps more, and then moving onward. Moving closer; just a few more weeks, Soh-Lus I’m coming.
Her thoughts were broken by a shout in the distance; she didn’t turn her head or lift it to see, what would be the point. Even if she were to reach up and push back the hood that draped down so far in front it brushed against her nose, she would not see through the wrappings that covered her eyes. Instead she turned her attention only, her sharp ears picking up once more the noises of the encampment that she had tuned out before. The tent was almost raised; the shout she had heard was Kroal’s command to have the horses pull the ropes tethered to them, which in turn would; through a series of pulleys bring the tents massive awning to the top of the center pole. It wouldn’t be long and he would come for her, night would be setting in and the animals would be restless with the bustling of the carnies setting up.
Kroal stood with feet spread apart and massive arms crossed over his broad chest; an imposing stance, made more so by the sheer size of him. He had always been over-sized even as a boy, and exploited because of it. Eventually he had stopped growing but by then he dwarfed most men by several feet; and enjoyed the advantage and ultimate freedom it had given him. Where once he was dressed in rags and forced into servitude; now his clothes were custom –fitted of the finest materials, and others kowtowed to him. He viewed his surrounds with pride; the first tent was already raised and secured to its center mast, the second was lifting smoothly into place. “Brom!” He barked, uncrossing his arms to motion with a hand for one of his underlings to approach. “I’ll leave the rest of the set up to you and the crew; I expect all to be in order before dawn, I don’t want unneeded commotion in the morning before the show.”
Brom had rushed over upon Kroal’s summons; his boss wasn’t a patient man or one that you wanted to anger. As he drew near he had to crane his head backwards in order to meet his boss’s eyes. He wasn’t a small man, perhaps slightly above average; even still he only came up to Kroal’s mid chest. “Yes sir, I’ll get it all in shape. We won’t have another episode like the last one if I can help it.” Brom winced even as the words left his mouth. Stupid… stupid… why’d you bring it up? He thought, his hand coming up to nervously slick his sweaty hair back on his head. “Ah, that is.. Nothing to worry about boss.”
Kroal’s visage narrowed, his thick brows drawing down in a V. He wasn’t pleased to be reminded of last month’s… failings. “Make sure of it.” He growled, his already deep voice sounding as if he were grinding rocks together between his teeth. He didn’t wait for an answer, he simply waved a hand, shooing him off. Brom didn’t waste time, and he watched him go for a moment glowering, his full lips pressed hard together. The buzzing of an insect around his head broke into his thoughts and he looked towards the darkening sky. Time for my kitten to play. His frowned turned into a smirk at his thoughts; and he set out for his wagon, his long legs covered the distance quickly with each thundering step.
Riz-zira felt the ground trembling beneath the hard flat wooden sandals she wore; it was accompanied by a low ominous thudding that was steadily growing louder as it drew near. Her nightly ritual was one of the few things she looked forward to, perhaps tonight he would allow staying longer, and surely the beasts were in need of it. Her harp.. no not mine she lamented sat behind her on the step above, it was a beautiful instrument, well made and played beautifully. It wasn’t hers though, merely a replacement. Kroal didn’t trust allowing her to use her harp outside of his wagon, she had argued that it would enhance her performance; she could do more in less time, not to mention it would be less taxing on her energy. The heavy footfalls were nearly upon her and she held herself stiff, feeling the vibrations starting from her feet and going throughout her petite frame. One last thud and she felt the whoosh of air that preceded his advance wash over her. She said nothing, did nothing, only awaited.
Kroal looked down at the huddled up Riz-zira, the burlap robe made her look more like a sack of potatoes than anything living. Especially when she held so still and silent, he reached over to the stair’s post and lifted the loop of rope off of it. “Come” He turned and started off at a much slower pace than before, not waiting for her to stand or get the harp. The rope hung slack from his hand and draped the ground; it wouldn’t do so for long, even in his slower pace and smaller steps, she had better hurry.
Come.. Just one word but it got her moving, she lurched to her feet twisting around and throwing a hand out blindly in the direction of where she had left the harp. Her hand bumped against it before turning to grasp it and pull it into her arms. She was turning then in the direction she knew they would be moving, unseeing, and started forward her small feet moving quickly. Not quickly enough she found out as the rope tied around her waist gave a fierce tug almost offsetting her, she stumbled forward trying to move quicker and keep up with ever leading tether. She bit her lip to stop a whimper from escaping as her foot tread upon the ratted hem of her robe causing her to almost fall to her knees, one hand going out to push blinding at the ground to keep her upright. The tension of the rope let her know which way to move and she concentrated on that feel, her short legs scissoring as she attempted to scuff her sandals along the uneven ground to avoid tripping on her hem a second time. Her skin chaffed under the harsh material rubbing against her with each movement, but they weren’t far from their destination. Sandals hit a large rock and as she once again had to compensate she heard Kroal’s amused chuckle. He enjoyed her silent misery, and she wondered briefly how one so cruel inwardly could have such a charming smile and trusting face. A pleasing mask to hide the unpleasant soul she shuddered and was pulled along.
This post has been edited by Literalbeauty: Apr 26 2018, 02:55 PM
Silver stripes shinning out of her black midnight coat Aeliana sat crossed legged on the bottom of her cage and watched the busy movement of a circus setting up. Set in circular rows, the prisoner's cages centred about an empty circle, a perfect place to stage a show.
She wrinkled her feline nose, revealing sharp fangs as her violet eyes flashed with anger as she thought back to her capture, the first in her life as a thief, and the way that they were kept.
If only... that now was the start of every thought, if only she had not fallen so deeply asleep that night... If only she had not been caught in that storm, a memory of the wind that had almost knocked her over a couple of times whispered in her ears. Then when she had found that cave and she had thought it safe to sleep. If only.
The Giant walked past leading the source of her shameful capture on the end of a rope. Setting her down in the middle of where all the captives where kept... then the music that had awoken her, numbing the world to a vague dream as hands had taken her weapons and other belongings away then lead her to this cage, filled the air.
With a sigh, she turned to look at the Lunar dragon held beside her. The only other that she knew of to not be lulled by the soothing music. With a wry smile, she thought back to something her mother used to say, "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
Yes, that music had held her locked away from her ability to act once, but there was something about it that allowed the strong-willed and aware to resist its pull. Although it was still tempting, the notes so easily calling if one even gave it half an ear.
But Aleiana was not going to give these thugs another chance to lull her. She was the Shadow, she was the hunter, not the hunted and just because they got her once didn't mean that they would get her twice.
She shifted around, tight black pants rustling and knee-high boots scraping against the hard wooden floor, to look more closely at the Lunar dragon beside her.
Although normally mistrusting, she knew that she was not going to get out of this alone and the Lunar was the only one near her that was not falling for the music.
Aeliana twitched her ears and decided, yes, she was going to broach the subject of escape with the Lunar once the Giant and his rope bound slave were gone. Pleased with the thought she pulled her long dark green coat closer about her, the evenings chill slowly seeping through the magic that kept them all prisoner.
This post has been edited by Concinnity: Apr 24 2018, 03:12 PM
Lusin couldn't figure out why and how her rider fell for this music to begin with. They had been easily subdued, with mostly fighting, and the Lunar still held the scars on her stomach from that.
The moon was high, though, and she felt its comforting light breath down on her. That was the only comfort she found in this, was that they didn't distort her view of the moon. Her head, instead of glued to the music's player, watched it's blue-silver surface. It relaxed her more than the music.
in the cage besides her, Diell sat cross-legged, watching the musician with apt attention. After getting captured, they kept the drow rider fairly sedated with spells, and the music itself. He was useless, for the most part, but he was also her weakness. They threatened to kill him if she tried anything, and even then she was pretty secured.
She spread her two pairs of wings before laying back down, grumpily. On the other side of her, a feline woman sat, the only one she knew that could resist the music as she did. The white tried to get comfy, but it was exceptionally difficult, even after all this time. It had been... what? A month? Two? She resigned herself to being unsettled, sighing.
She watched the moon half-sleepily. Ever since they had been captured, the keepers had been trying to change their sleep to be diurnal, but being nocturnal by nature put many a damper on that plan, including extreme grumpiness and general misbehavior that earned her rider the occasional scar or two on his back.
Speaking of Diell, the drow was thinking about nothing in particular. Weird, since his brain normally moved at a mile a minute. But he didn't question much, now, just kinda went with the flow. He turned his head to look at his dragon. Ever since they had begun traveling with these nice people, she had become so grumpy, more than normal. He sighed, wishing she would just behave and not be so mean.
The dragoness was ignoring him now, having fought with him for so long. She flicked one wing up, to block him from her view, using her other three to ignore her guards, who knew enough to stand far enough away to give her privacy, or risk getting seriously mauled.
Khrisstopher/Jhessikha/Angilicia/Xavier(Queen & Messenger)
One/Two/Three(Old friends and new places)
The thrum of activity as the circus was erected swirled around her, muddling her thoughts. They hadn’t been able to find a cage which could comfortably (or uncomfortably) contain Tan’la’s lengthy body, so instead she was contained by a thick iron collar fastened about her neck and connected by a heavy chain to a massive weight meant to prevent her from flying away. She had considered trying to escape, but she figured that would probably end worse for her than the alternative.
The amphithere lay coiled into a large pile of shimmering scales and feathers, her cat-like golden eyes watching the scene unfolding around her with mild interest. What were they being kept for? Would they be released from this prison at some point? She didn’t trust that she would regain her freedom without a fight, and fighting wasn’t in her nature.
With a sigh, Tan’la cast her gaze around in the moonlit clearing, attempting to make out the other shapes. It seemed like a lot of cages were covered, and even though she could see well in the dark, it was difficult to discern what most of the moving creatures she sensed were.
One source of comfort, however, was a soothing tune drifting to her from nearby. The sound of harp music, ethereal and sweet on the evening air, seemed to ease her anxieties and her melancholy at being robbed of her freedom to move as she pleased. The dragoness heaved a sigh, her nostrils flaring with the gust of breath, seeming to deflate as she emptied her lungs.
Kroal’s storm gray eyes examined the wagons’ inhabitants and those that were too large to be housed in wagons, as they walked past. Once he reached the raised dais he simply held his arm out over the railing to allow the rope to lead his charge up the steps and onto the platform. The single stool was placed to the back corner to allow her to sit and hold her harp comfortably, the railing only spanned the front and a foot or so of the sides. Cone shaped metal “amplifiers” were strewn along the railing to allow for maximum outreach of music. He dropped the rope over one of the posts and continued to walk along the wagons awaiting the sweet melody.
There was no warning of the obstacle in her way, her knee slammed into the bottom step of the dais and she fell forward. She wasn’t quick enough this time to get her hand down to stop her decent, instead she landed hard. The back of her hand and wrist holding her harp hit painfully against the second step and her body fell into the hard jutting angles of the harp before she slid down the steps to her knees on the ground. The only saving grace, her petite form was even lighter than it appeared so although bruised there wasn’t much lasting damage. She pushed herself up to her feet, feeling around for her harp against the steps she lifted it first then gathered her robe’s material in her other hand. Ascending the steps carefully this time she shuffled her feet along the platform until she found the stool left for her use. She settled herself shaking her hands free of the over-long sleeves and running her hands over the harp as she lightly plucked a few strands adjusting the tension until satisfied. She was tempted to reach up and move the wrappings on her eyes to allow her to peek through, she missed seeing her music, but it wasn’t worth Kroal’s wrath. Momentarily setting the harp aside she rolled first one sleeve then the next up to her elbows, revealing the delicate colorful drawings that covered her hands, wrists and even forearms. She retrieved her harp perched it on her lap, her legs helped to keep it in place on straight before her and the other bent to lend support to the base of the harp. Slender fingers danced along the strings and she lost herself in the music, feeling the energy filling her before moving down her arms and pouring from her fingertips to meld with the music itself. The hauntingly sweet music drifted through the air, almost tangible it seemed to add weight to the air and cloaked those susceptible to it. She imagined reaching out her hands to lost ones around her, soothing, loving, coaxing them to be still be safe. She hated what Kroal made her do to these majestic beings, but the alternative she knew would be worse. So instead she did her part, kept them calm and complacent, hopefully happy for a time.
Kroal let out a long pleasant sigh when the first notes hit him, no.. caressed him. He let his eyes shut momentarily and held still allowing the music to physically wrap around him. Perhaps tonight he would allow her to use her special harp when they returned to his wagon, allow her to lull him to sleep. It was tempting but also dangerous, her harp when paired with her magical element were powerful, so much so that he worried she would one day realize it and escape. She was weak however, they have been away from her other half for so long now that surely she was too weak to do much, and he could use a good night’s rest. He continued his walk to the ends of the wagons, ensuring the music drifted to the far reaches and had its effect on the pitiful creatures, several had settled down into sleep while others simply relaxed while eying him warily. He retraced his steps all the way back to the beginning of the wagons, pausing now and again to study the ones who seemed unaffected by the music. These could be a problem, but for now he had them under thumb either through spells, locks, threats, or promised rewards. Tomorrow would be a busy day, he grinned his eyes sweeping over to view the lunar beast and her “companion”, then the Felris housed next to them and finally the amphithere a few spaces down, yes indeed it would be an interesting day. Reaching up he doffed his top hat, his other hand moving to brush the semi long locks of inky blackness back from his face. Making his way back over to the dais upon which his kitten still played he twirled his hat in his large hands, he hated to stop the wonderful feel of the music surrounding him but the longer she played the weaker she became and that would not do. One last twirl of the hat as he lifted it to settle back atop his head, his words were softer this time almost caring. “Come Kitten, tis enough for the night” Her music always had a way to seeping into him making him… softer… somehow. He waited for her hands to still on the harp before he reached out and with just two fingers divested her of it.
She had known he was approaching, even lost in the feel and sounds of the music, she had felt the vibrations beneath her feet that his heavy footfalls made. Surprisingly or perhaps not, his voice was subdued. She knew he was affected by her music and at one point she had even hoped it would soften him, change him, she was losing that hope as time went on. He would never set her free. The harp was pulled from her and she let it go, she attempted to stand and swayed on her feet. Her energy was depleting too quickly of late, she hadn’t even played that long tonight and yet she felt devoid of everything. Her legs trembled slightly as she moved towards the step, she wanted to descend at least before he began tugging her along by that rope.
Noticing the sway of her frail body and the unsteadiness of her movements as she went down the stairs he felt a small twinge in his heart. Without examining the feeling too closely he reached out and wrapped his hand around her middle. She was so slight that his palm spanned the full width of her back, his fingers curled around her waist lifting her easily. He heard the small squeal escape her and ignored it, instead he raised her up to his shoulder settling her and making sure she was secured before releasing his grip. She was weak and he needed her to save her energy that was all, and he could move at his normal pace if she wasn’t dragging behind. The tiny harp was then dropped into his jacket’s pocket and he left the creatures to their slumber, his own wagon and slumber awaited. Even with the massive sized wagon, Kroal still had to duck in order to enter, this time not wanting to dislodge his charge he bent at the knees and moved carefully through the door. The interior was surprisingly spacious although dwarfed by his large frame, the far side there was another door and he moved over to it, opening it before reaching up to dismount Riz-zira from his shoulder. He placed her gently on the floor of her “room” and closed the door behind her. He laughed off the feeling of being.. Nice? It didn’t fit well, and he was tired and still harboring the effects of her music. Shrugging off his clothing he slid into his bed and was soon snoring softly.
Riz-zira was in a daze wondering where this attitude of Kroal’s came from, she was standing, albeit weakly, in her room. Even weak she didn’t waste any time with pulling the coarse robe from her body, her usually pale skin was awash with angry red scrapes from the robe’s abrasion and deepening blue and purple bruises from her clumsy fall. She ignored these, they weren’t the first ones she’d get or the last, instead she moved jerkily to her bed and slid beneath the soft coverings without bothering to pull anything else on. Her last thoughts were of Soh-Lus and sending prayers to Nirni for her safe keeping.
Aleiana sat and watched the whatever was hidden by the huge burlap play the harp, as she planned what she was going to say to the Lunar beside her and when.
Night time was possibly best as Lunars where known to be the most active during the night, also there were less awake and listening ears during the dark hours.
But she needed to wait, wait until the night was old, just to make sure and until then, a doze to keep her mind sharp and her body rested. She settled down and curled up into a ball, wrapping her tail around her hands as she fell into a light sleep.
As the full moon reached its peak, Aliana awoke and stretched, mind sharp and clear for the upcoming conversation.
With the grace of all felines, she rose and walked over to the end of her cage closest to that of the Lunar, "Good evening," she said, "I am Aeliana and I have noticed that you are the only one close that has retained her right mind besides me. I thought that we should maybe talk about it."
Lusin watched angrily as the ringmaster smiled at her, barely restraining a growl. Her tail whipped against the bars, but eventually, as the man and music left, she relaxed. Diell had fallen asleep. The lunar watched the moon half-sleepily, wings mantled as she soaked up the rays. When she sat, she appeared as if a queen, waiting... For what?
The moon was full and at it's zenith, and it calmed the white. She hadn't felt so calm in a while. However she was also strongest now. It may be time to consider escape, while her power was still near its own peak.
Then sbe heard a voice, turning her head to look at the feline. " I wish not to talk, madam Aleiana. It is true, I resist that siren's call of a tune. There is little to talk about, and I get the feeling I should beware tomorrow... The way Kroal smiled unsettled me." The dragoness went down, using her larger wings as feet as she turned to fully face the beast.
"I will not say this again, But if you are looking for escape, they have other ways of keeping me here besides music. " with that last sentence it showed how truly exhausted she was. Having dozed only fitfully for the past week, she was ready to pass out. And so pass out she did, curling up and using her wings to close off all conversation. Then, no matter how late it was, without her precious moon, the lunar dragon fell asleep. And should she remain undisturbed, would likely sleep all of the next day perhaps into next evening.
Khrisstopher/Jhessikha/Angilicia/Xavier(Queen & Messenger)
One/Two/Three(Old friends and new places)
The sweet music lulled her for a time, but it couldn't stop her from being filled with a swell of rage at the sight of the giant who seemed to be running the show. He mounted a platform, far enough above the ground for her to see him clearly, and she could make out that he was leading a slight creature by a rope. The figure tripped and fell, and the music stopped abruptly, breaking Tan'la's trance for the time being. She felt concern about the imprisoned being after the fall, but was glad for the reprieve. In the moment when the fog cleared from her mind, she began to make out a hushed conversation to her left. Upon turning, she spotted a caged dragoness a few meters away, and beside her a cat-like creature; the cat-woman appeared to be pestering the lunar dragon, who promptly went to sleep.
Tan'la was not finding it so easy to rest, however, and it didn't appear the Felris was going to sleep any time soon. "Miss," she called softly, hoping to get the feline's attention without attracting any possible guards to her location. "Do you have any idea what we've been brought here for?" She knew what a circus was, but what type of attraction relied on imprisoning so many innocent, intelligent creatures? She rested her chin on the top of her coiled body, wondering if she would get a response, or if she would simply have to lie here through the night and face whatever tomorrow brought. The cold iron weighed heavily against her neck, a reminder of her powerlessness.