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1
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: May 04, 2020, 04:08:09 pm »
Claudette sniffed when Criton moved as though she would walk into the Carver shop. Eatons had made a habit of respecting boundaries in Helter—well, most of them. She glanced back at Wyatt when he walked into the ruined shop across the street.

Connie called out an offer of tea and Claudette smiled politely but waggled her coffee cup in explanation, as though she’d drink any brew the Carvers handed her unless she was laid out on her deathbed—even then, she might be pigheaded enough to risk it and rely on her own body rather than their magic.

Connie asked about pack availability and Claudette took her opportunity to step away. “Pack business is pack business,” she muttered, took another sip of her coffee and nodded goodbye before heading away. She had a say in a lot of things in Helter Close—but not Medici business. They offered the Medicis contracts and schedules and the wolves either agreed or countered. Nothing was ever commanded, because wolves were not dogs and they sure as fuck would bite. Her mother had told her that and shown her a very ugly scar on her arm from her own youth.

-

Noel sighed relief when a cup of tea was pushed into her hands. She hadn’t realized how cold her fingers were until they pressed against that hot ceramic. She bit the inside of her lip to keep from laughing when Connie tried to antagonize the Eaton heiress with a skin masque.

She sipped and watched the big wolf in the doorway. There was no shadow following him—not like the one that followed Vester. Not all dead things stayed. Some went into the woods to become something else and some just…went. Noel couldn’t decide which she would prefer and wondered maybe if thinking that way was part of her problem. If she stopped thinking about fading—would she stop fading?

Not likely. Luck had never been a Laurent charm. That was Carver and Eaton magic, among other things.

-

Wyatt didn’t seem to notice the mess. Of course, the shop had been wrecked—they’d fought a monster there. He shrugged when asked if they could fix this—assuming the wolf meant Eaton money and willpower. “Sure. Why not?” he smiled. Eatons had built large parts of Helter, along with the mill. They dressed fine and held their chins high now, but they had all been raised to get things done and keep up appearances. They would do much worse things than sweat for Helter Close.

He swung sideways when he heard the shuffle, slide, of the teenage Medici coming for an eyeful of destruction. Wyatt smiled at her sharp words. Were there such things as nice siblings?

2
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 28, 2020, 01:22:05 pm »
“Ma’m” again. Maybe she did like it.

Claudette looked the Medici runt over from head to toe and then back up. He wasn’t much of a runt anymore—not since getting his Medici powers on. She slid her gaze past him, to the mess he’d made of this shop. There was a reason the wolves worked in the woods.

“Yes, well, it leaves a bit to be wanted, doesn’t it?” She tried to sound indifferent, but her pale eyes lingered on the smudge of ash remaining of the spirit, shadows decaying. It didn’t belong in Helter Close but it had come, because something else that didn’t belong was in Helter Close—growing every minute of every day.

She turned on her heel and marched back out of the shop, crushing glass under her heels boots and stepping out onto the open street. All concern was gone from her perfectly tamed face when she returned to the public. Marcy hurried to her, slipping past Wyatt’s efforts to keep the public a safe distance from the store front. Claudette managed not to roll her eyes at her cousin’s incompetence. He could have used a bit of Eaton magic to force them back. But Eatons had made a habit of not showing their cards—not because of the public, but because they liked the idea of the other families underestimating them. The Eatons were the politicians now. Peacekeeper smiles and a patience for bullshit that rivaled priests.

Marcy returned Claudette’s to-go coffee and asking in a hushed voice if everything was all right, straining to look past her and try to peek into the ruined shop. Claudette caught her arm, walking her back to the line. “Oh, it’s handled. We’ll all be sure to help Henry get his shop back in shape in no time. Never worry, we’re always here to guard Helter.” She said it all so easily, like she’d baked them a pie after a death and it was nothing big at all. Marcy nodded, letting out a big sigh of relief and rejoining her friends. They had been on their way to the market. “Go on about your business,” Claudette assured. “No one was harmed.” She thought about Vester and almost laughed—almost.

She didn’t even look at Wyatt, turning away instead and grinning wide at the other Medici. She had gone to school with Criton and saw him regularly out at the Mill. They had an understanding, of sorts. They both played their roles so perfectly. “If only you had been here sooner,” she mused, walking up to join him in front of Cleanse. “Poor Henry might have kept his shop front…” She sipped her coffee and glanced at Cornelia, nodding her head briefly. “Cornelia.”

Her gaze slid briefly past her, into the shop doors to meet the dark gaze of the fading Laurent. She sipped her coffee and looked away. No point talking to dead things.

-

Wyatt sighed when the crowd dissipated back into the market to talk. He crossed the street and leaned into the open cavity of the windows of Henry’s shop, glancing around at the ruin and the two men. He nodded at Henry before his gaze landed and fixed on the Medici. “Holy shit. Are you okay?”

3
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 22, 2020, 01:03:12 pm »
Forest spirits that size never came into Helter Close. Not into the town proper. Not ever. And that meant something when the families that settled the town had stayed all the hundreds of years since, keeping track of the behaviors of the creatures in the woods.

So why today? What had changed?

Noel was deep in thought, trying to find a difference in their small town from one day to the next. Her name snapped her out of it, looking up into a familiar face, Connie’s hands warming one of Noel’s. She nodded when the other woman suggested leaving the street, allowing herself to be pulled toward the Carver home shop.

-

Claudette raised one perfectly sculpted eyebrow when the wolf told her to sit tight and called her mam. She couldn’t decide if she liked it or hated it. She frowned all the same, eyes narrowed on the scene. One hand settled on her hip when Henry cleaved the antlers from the beast. What a mess they were making. She wanted her coffee back. She would have carried it in with her but that might have looked too cocky. No, the goal was always competent and capable, not gloating and careless. She had to look like she was taking this seriously, and she was, but the important part was to look like it. How stupid.

She missed the years in highschool when she’d taken up smoking. No one had ever caught her and made her quit. She’d never gotten into trouble. But she’d stopped one day, because she realized she wanted it too much. She was addicted. And Claudette had no room in her life for another force running the show. She already had the legacy of the Eatons to uphold. Everything else had to be her own. But right now, she kind of wished she had a cigarette in her hand.

She’d stand long enough to see that the monster was dead before leaving the shop and assuring the people everything was handled—everyone still safe. Well, as safe as anyone ever could be in Helter Close.

4
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close OOC
« on: April 17, 2020, 10:53:52 am »
I have SO MANY CHARACTERS! I love them. I might kill some of them.

I'm thinking of having possessed Caleb kill his dad... and maybe his aunt... and maybe Wyatt and then pretend to be Wyatt...

5
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 17, 2020, 10:52:06 am »
Noel stopped on the sidewalk when his arm came out to block her. It was a relief of sorts. What was she supposed to do about a spirit in Helter Close other than watch it? Could she kill it? Could she get close enough without it eating her first?

The women on the street let out shrill cries when the Medici tackled the nightmare at their backs. They swung around, confusion painted across their faces in waves that turned slowly to horror when they too caught glimpses of something otherworldly.


-

Wyatt’s smirk soured when the boy spoke again. He put the mug in his hands down but Connie was already snapping back at him, about to throw him out of her shop, when she swung toward the window instead.

Wyatt turned, catching glimpses of the spirit and the wolf before Connie was rushing past him and out the door. He sprang after her, catching her waist to stop her only a few steps out of the building. Her words caught up to him, her panic over the fading girl. She wasn’t hard to spot, a flare of yellow on a gray morning. The window across the street shattered, Wyatt turning on instinct to shield Connie from debris or attack. He clicked his teeth at the destruction and pointed her toward the Laurent girl standing on the sidewalk. “She’s fine.”

He nudged Connie toward her and took a few steps into the street, crunching glass, torn between whether he should reassure the frightened Helter citizens on the road or follow the fight into the hardware store.

He didn’t have time to decide, or maybe he was just too slow, because when her dark silhouette cut through the gray and stepped around the human ladies, the choices were made.

-

Claudette Eaton handed her recently purchased coffee to one of the two women standing nearest the scene, cupping her hand around the woman’s and giving her a reassuring smile. It was an Eaton smile. It promised that everything was being handled and no one need worry. It was the very face of competence and power. “Hold this for me, Marcy?” she asked. She knew every resident of Helter Closer by name.

She tsked at the broken glass across the street, shaking her blond head once and unbuttoning her jacket. “Wolves,” she said, loud enough for people to hear, to set their nerves at ease that this mess was a casualty of beasts. Beasts they needed, but still beasts. She walked toward the shop, unhurried, and cast a glance at her cousin. She dragged her gaze over him, unimpressed when no one but Carvers and Laurents could see. She kept all that contempt out of her voice when she spoke. “Keep an eye on the crowd, Wyatt?” Her heeled boots crushed glass.

She stepped over the broken window frame and into the shop, her burgundy lips pulling into a severe frown. If they had killed a citizen in this mess of a fight, there would be hell to pay. She had disappeared a few casualties of the families battles before but she wouldn’t do it for a dog. “Henry?” she called. The lights were flickering, even more glass inside than out. A girl screamed and the fight raged on.

She caught sight of the girl and forced a cool smile. “Bev, dear, go on outside,” she said, reaching out to offer the girl one gloved hand. Beverly sobbed, for a moment clinging to her hand before nodding and running from the store, sliding on glass but catching herself on the wall. The bell on the door chimed when she fled.

The sound struggled to compete with the racket of fallen metal and shelves. “Gods, Medici, could you have made more of a mess?” she called, stalking around the shelves in time to see Henry of all people swinging an axe at the forest spirit. She had seen plenty of spirits and monsters come crawling out of the woods to threaten the mill before, and seen Medicis rip them into pieces. But she never thought she’d see a broken limb of the Carver tree hacking at a spirit. Could he see it? Maybe as well as the humans? To her it was a dark shape, something between a deer and a crocodile.

She laughed in amusement, nodding her approval at the Carver. Teach monsters not to come barging into his store, she supposed. If he added another swing, he could teach Medicis not to throw them through his window too.

6
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close OOC
« on: April 12, 2020, 06:43:01 pm »
I did something. It doesn't have a limp but it is somewhat deer shaped... If that doesn't do it for him, we could injure someone on the street. haha

7
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 12, 2020, 06:41:40 pm »
Flirting with Connie was Wyatt’s own personal escapism. For fleeting seconds he could pretend he wasn’t an Eaton and didn’t have to go back to that miserable house of assholes. And that meant today he could pretend his brother wasn’t a walking monster locked in the basement, behind wards that strained to hold with every passing day.

The bell chimed and he stared coldly at the boy that walked in. Weren’t kids supposed to be in school by now? Wyatt stepped back, leaning against the counter and picking up his mug again, sipping the tea and watching Connie explain an overnight mask. He hid his smirk against the lip of the cup. He hated tea, but never said anything. Warm, floral water.

-

Noel played pretend with what was left of Vester. It was a reprieve for them both. She blinked at the sad gnome display. She squatted down beside him and laughed a little when he knocked over the one with the yellow hat.

She reached out to right it but her hand froze before her fingertips even brushed the fallen chocolate denizen of the shop. The shadows whispered and she stood upright, head turning to look out the window just as a dark figure moved down the street, into her line of sight. It was tall, deerlike but too slender, like bones dipped in ink and held together by sinew. It followed a couple of women heading toward the market, the two talking in high spirits and oblivious to the forest spirit. Its maw opened, teeth like a crocodile rather than a deer, snapping shut once and sending a jolt up her spine. “You see it too?” Noel whispered, moving toward the door, toward the reek of decaying trees. She had never seen one in Helter Close before—had only glimpsed them in the depths of the forest, devouring the remains of things in the woods, whether animals or trees. Maybe this was a part of her madness? Maybe it wasn’t real?

She pushed the door open, the bell chiming, and felt the wave of its hunger along with that stink. If had to be real. It was closer to the women now and their cheer had drained to the dawning sense of something not right, noses wrinkling when they too smelled it, tears welling in their eyes when they felt it.

8
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close OOC
« on: April 08, 2020, 12:49:25 pm »
Nonsense! And I extra love rping with you two because I get to make all the side characters I want. I love them. I love those stupid side characters.

9
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 08, 2020, 12:46:41 pm »
Wyatt smiled at the familiarity Connie offered up so naturally. He leaned against the counter, watching her make the tea. Carvers had such a different energy than Eatons. The scents of chamomile and peppermint rose up in the steam, competing with all the others permeating this shop. He laughed a little. “Are you giving me bedtime tea in the morning? Is it like an herbal roofie? You know you could just go for it, I’d let you take advantage of me.”

He never knew if the jokes were too close to home—too close to an almost their teen selves had reached for. There was a reason Eatons tended to marry nice, sweet, naïve people. They were all trying to find that missing piece, the warmth that didn’t exist in their home. He had realized since then how tragic they all were, because that warmth never survived in their family. They brought in kind people and made them into proud, cold things. Luckily, there was also a reason Sentinel families didn’t have romances—a lot of reasons actually, clear allegiances not the least of them. His father had found out and Wyatt had pushed their almost back to friendship.

“Oh, I’m sure the tea will fix all my problems,” he assured, reaching for the cup she offered. His hand brushed hers still on the cup, her gaze turned out the front window with narrowed scrutiny. She hadn’t been listening.

Wyatt followed her gaze. He had seen Vester on his way in but how had he missed the mud witch in bright yellow? There was something off with that Medici. They chalked it up to his girlfriend skipping out on him and the sudden awakening of his powers. If Wyatt had more room in his skull for other family’s problems, he might have dwelt on it. He would regret that he hadn’t someday. Instead, he assumed her focus was on Noel—the withering Laurent. His father said not all Laurents survived adulthood. Some just faded. Claudette had asked what that meant—fading—but he had just shrugged and smirked to himself.

Connie recovered herself quickly, all smiles and cheer and going on about a hand cream. She came around the counter and he put his tea down, catching her hand and pulling her back before she could get to the wall of samples. He lifted her hand as if inspecting it, sliding his thumb against her palm. “They are soft…” he conceded, flipping her hand over, palm up and scrutinizing it. He hummed as though serious. “You have a very healthy fate line, Con, but you’re head line is looking real shallow… Maybe you should have studied harder?” He stroked a random crease in her palm, no idea what he was talking about.

-

Bell had never told her what happened that night Vester came to the property. They hadn’t come up to the house. But even if she hadn’t heard it in the whispers of the ground and the dead, she would have known by that shadow following the Medici boy.

She blinked up at him when he asked about her family. Her mouth opened to answer but then he was leaning in, looking close and looking back—and the air around him changed. He looked right at it—at the shadow behind him, but he didn’t see her. Noel wished she didn’t see her. If she stopped fading, maybe she would stop seeing. If she finished fading, maybe she’d just be a shadow too. Who would she follow?

He asked if she was going and Noel smiled because whatever she was doing, she was going. Her hand came up, the ends of her sleeves frayed, and the backs of thin fingers pushed at her pale lips to try to control that reaction. She nodded and glanced around the street, toward the window of Cleanse. Wyatt Eaton was in there. She could wait to drop by. Eatons and Laurents didn’t mix well—spring water and mud. “Are you going to buy me something?” she asked curiously, turning toward the sweet shop and remembering walking these exact steps when they were younger, saying those exact words. Everything had been better then—for all of them. But maybe that was how things worked in Helter Close? They retraced their steps over and over until it all soured or until they ran away.

Historically, Laurents had been good at running away from Helter Close. Noel wondered if she tried to run right now—would the wolf chase her? Would she become another one of his ghosts? Her gaze slid over him, not entirely hating the idea of following him forever.

10
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close OOC
« on: April 06, 2020, 12:35:25 pm »
Eatons

Henry Eaton is one of the heads of the Eaton family. Sixty-one. Salt and pepper hair.

Vivian Eaton. Fifty-eight. Mayor of Helter Close.

Claudette Eaton. Twenty-seven. Chairperson of Helter Close town council and bookkeeper for the Eaton Lumber Company. Pale blond, slender, with green eyes.

Wyatt Eaton. Thirty. Identical twin of Caleb Eaton. Manager at the Eaton Lumber Company. Sandy blonde hair and dark blue eyes.

Caleb Eaton. Thirty. Identical twin of Wyatt Eaton. Handles marketing for the family business. Married and has two kids.

11
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close OOC
« on: April 06, 2020, 12:00:34 pm »
Okay! So we're doing the "Caleb Eaton is possessed" plot on the side and the longer he is in Helter Close and getting stronger, the more weird shit is going to happen and creepy things will be coming in closer than usual. And depending on how this goes, we could make the Eatons turn on the other families when they figure out what's going on.

I'm going to toss up more character info bits because I just made a bunch of random Eatons...

12
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 06, 2020, 11:54:09 am »
Wyatt’s jaw ticked, the way it did when he was trying not to look angry—not to grind his teeth or wrinkle his nose or narrow his dark eyes.

He was tired beyond belief. Just about everyone over twenty in the Eaton house was. They were weighed by a secret. Most Eaton secrets were benign, ancient things kept for the joy of keeping. Wyatt often thought of his family a legacy of hoarders. No one noticed, because what they horded was valuable and that made it acceptable. They horded wealthy, treasures, antiques, memories, histories, truths and lies. They kept their dead in the mausoleums out back, white structures of marble in the dark green of the woods, sealed away from anything that might reach out from the dark for their bones. They kept every book, every journal, every scrap of paper scribbled on by an Eaton logged away in the library. The halls draped in the portraits of their relatives. Nothing and no one escaped their family.

But this new secret, it was heavy in a way few others still were. It weighed them down every day, leaving circles to be covered up under their eyes and a tense quiet in the manor house.

“Let him go,” Wyatt said quietly, because no one else would. No one else had mentioned the idea since that first night, when they found Caleb in the woods—not the woods of this world, but the woods of another—and brought him home.

His father glared at him from across the breakfast table. The kids had all left to pile into the cars for school, leaving only a handful of them still at the table.

“Wyatt,” his aunt tried to soothe, setting her napkin beside her plate.

He stared at his father, an older version of himself and his brother. The old man had been so pleased to have two mirrors of himself. Even more so when they grew and he could pit them against one another—making them stronger in that endless competition. It was over now. Wyatt had won…and lost. “You know the rules—”

Henry rose to his feet. The table flinched, everyone but Wyatt looking away with chins high as though they could pretend to be elsewhere—too good for this dark conversation. “We make the rules,” he snapped.

Vivian wrinkled her nose but her face was turned away from her brother, so Henry may not have noticed. But Wyatt did. Eatons were prideful and bold, but they were not stupid and words like that were asking for trouble.

“You think we can not save him? We made this town. We protect it in a forest of madness and monsters. We made wolves into men. We push demons back into the dark. We have averted the apocalypse countless times,” Henry ground out each word.

Wyatt stared back at him, waiting until he was done before replying, “But we did not do any of those things alone.”

Henry stared, face as still as stone.

“Perhaps we could ask the mud witches to resurrect his soul?” Claudette suggested, his cousin taking another sip of her coffee before putting it down into the saucer with a final clank. She rose to her feet, buttoning her jacket. “Or kill the monster in him.”

Henry shifted his onyx gaze on the pale haired woman. “Say it again, little girl, and I’ll have your tongue.”

The air in the room thinned and not even Wyatt could guess who had done it. His father? Claudette? Her mother Vivian? Or one of the other cousins? The human relations cringed in their seats, chins down while the magic blooded pushed their chins high.

Claudette stared back at his father, her lacquered black nails clicking against the metal buttons of her jacket, hugging her waist and matching her slacks. “Try,” she urged.

Vivian rolled her eyes and stood. “Well, that’s enough of that. I have a meeting with the town committee to finalize the plans for the Autumn Festival. Which means, Claud has a meeting with me.” Vivian said, Claudette being the chairperson for the committee. His aunt rounded the table as she spoke, pausing beside Henry to place a hand on her brother’s shoulder. “We will recover your son and these times will be but a moment of darkness.”

Henry eased back, sinking into his seat. He was just as tired as the rest of them, but with more heartache.

Wyatt was relieved when his aunt asked him to drive her into town. It wasn’t really a request. Almost nothing an Eaton asked ever was.

Claudette took her own car, the white Ferrari 458. It was a stupid car to own in a small town, with only the road in and out of town other than dirt paths to the lumber yard. But Claud had wanted it and, like a true Eaton, she got what she wanted. Sometimes she drove it down the highway, as though she might leave the woods and her life behind. She drove it as fast as it could go, breaking before the edge of the trees and turning back. Wyatt wouldn’t be surprised if she just didn’t come back one day.

He drove one of the trucks into Helter proper, his aunt sitting beside him. They both watched Claudette’s white car vanish ahead of them.

“He’s not wrong,” Vivian spoke first. “We have done extraordinary things. Why not this?”

“Because we have never been able to do this. Because you taught us not to try,” he continued. Because if it had been me, he would have put me in the mausoleum without a fuss, he thought. “If we don’t bury him, we won’t be able to keep it a secret. The vipers deal in fortune telling. The wolves will know as soon as they see him. And the mud witches… Jesus, if we’re lucky they’re too distracted by their dying girl to notice.”

His aunt laughed shortly. “You’ve been playing Caleb too much. You worry like him now,” she said, the smile dying on her lips as the words escaped. It was easy to pretend he wasn’t dead yet, when they kept playing this game. Wyatt and Caleb were identical twins. So, Wyatt had played his brother for the investor video calls and at the lumber yard a handful of times since he first went missing—all to keep up appearances. “We’ll deal with things as they come up. Have hope, boy. We win often enough to bet on ourselves.”

Wyatt huffed and held his tongue rather than explain odds to her. He parked along the main street.

She leveled him with a serious stare. “You want to end this nightmare?” She was in her late fifties but no one would guess at her being any older than forty-nine. She had his father’s eyes, dark and cold at their depths. “Save your brother.” She held his gaze a second longer before looking away, waiting for him to get out of the truck and walk around it, opening her door.

They both wore different faces as soon as they were out of the car, soft expressions with easy smiles—like the whole world was a gentle place because they had made it so.

“Don’t go far,” Vivian Eaton said before walking up the steps of the townhall building.

“As you wish, madam Mayor,” Wyatt replied under his breath, shoving his hands into his jacket pockets and crossing the street. He spotted a wolf nearby. Vester. He had bloomed late—after his girlfriend skipped town on him. Wyatt tipped his head at the man before ducking into the Carver shop, hoping to catch Connie and not her mother. He didn’t imagine his family would like him playing too close to the fortune readers right now—but maybe that was exactly what they needed? Save his brother. That was all he had to do. What no one had ever done before. And yes, they had done impossible things in Helter Close before—but never alone.

-

Noel never walked hurriedly and the farther she got from her family property, the less attached she became to her surroundings. It was easy to know when someone came onto the property, to reach out in her mind and know who they were, but once she was elsewhere, she was just another person lost in the fog. She wondered if that was why the Aunties had stopped leaving home. It was unnerving to be lost.

Her fingers twisted in her hair, tying a tight, slender braid inside the waves and tangles. Her gray eyes slid over the morning market absently and for the most part no one noticed her. She could blame it on the fog or on their focus setting up, but it had never been common for townsfolk not to take notice of Sentinel Families. No. It wasn’t their fault. Maybe she had finally faded? Was that what it meant? Would she fade away?

She stopped when she inhaled the tangled scent of sugar and blood. She was at the edge of the market and could see the shopfronts on the main street ahead. Her pale nails slid out of her hair, hand dropping to her side when she turned to look at the Medici. Tears stung her eyes and she tried not to look at the shadow of a woman behind him—what was left of her anyway. Death whispered in her ear and it made her head hurt. Why did it whisper at her? She couldn’t understand those backwards words anyway.

“Morning,” she said, not yet sure if it was good or if they were on speaking terms. He hadn’t been to the Laurent house since the night it happened. No one talked about it. But Bellamy hadn’t left the property since. He played it off easily to the others, but Noel knew he was guarding the Aunties. Was the Medici a danger to them now? They had liked him so much before. They would never have done it for him otherwise—and they may not have done it if they had known it would work so well.

13
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Helter Close
« on: April 04, 2020, 07:57:33 pm »
In the early morning the fog clung to the yard, heavy and thick. It hid the haphazard garden the old Aunties tended and the downward slope of weeds leading to the road to town. The woods loomed in all directions, thick and green year-round.

Bellamy sat on the porch in one of the rickety old rocking chairs—easily older than his twenty-six years. He leaned back, boots on the railing. He couldn’t get away with that if the Aunties were out. If one saw him, he’d get a hard glare and be apologizing for days. But these days, they took longer and longer to rise from their beds. He was likely to see the end of them in his lifetime, if he didn’t have the good grace to die young like so many other Laurents—or run away like the selfish cowards many of their parents had been. No. He wouldn’t run. And something grim in his blood promised him a long and painful life. Sometimes the Aunties looked at him like they knew too, like they pitied him—but only for a second, and then they were back to their gentle berating and prideful resistance to any help at all.

The screen door creaked when it opened. Everything in their home-made sounds and no one ever thought to fix any of it. The house spoke to them, just like the sounds of the forest did.

“Where are you going?” Bellamy asked his sister without looking away from the oh-so-slowly thinning fog.

Noel was two years his senior, but ever since he grew taller than her in their teens, she’d felt like his little sister. She passed him on the porch, pausing on the first step as though something invisible were trying to keep her from leaving. She teetered, frail and drawn with circles under her eyes. Her yellow coat had a deep hood, flopped back on her shoulders to let those long dark tresses fall in tangled waves. Her long, pale nails clicked together once before sliding her hands into her pockets. “Town,” she mumbled.

She was far away. He could hear it just as well as he could feel it. Noel had been wandering for years now. That was what the Aunties called it. She whispered to the dead. The Aunties said it was a good sign of great gifts, but if she didn’t decide to live soon she might fade. Bellamy wasn’t sure what fade meant. They wouldn’t explain.

“Are you going to eat first?” he asked even though he knew it was futile. He was just making conversation while she stood there.

She huffed, almost a laugh, her breath forming a cloud. “Be nice to the boy,” she said before stepping down the porch in her clunky boots and marching down the narrow path—into the fog.

He frowned after her, wondering which boy she meant. They had a few kids in the family but—and then he felt it, someone walking onto the property and making their way up the path. He waited on the porch. The kid passed Noel in the fog and didn’t even realize it. Bellamy pretended it was because she was quiet and the boy was preoccupied and not because she was fading.

He finished his coffee and put his boots on the porch, leaning forward when the little shape of a person came through the fog.

The boy sniffled, no older than eight, with a box in his hands. He carried it carefully, taking slow steps up to the porch and stopping before the first step. He looked up at Bellamy, round face tear stricken and eyes more pained than fearful.

Bellamy cocked his head to the side, staring back at the child. Human.

The boy dragged a deep breath, shuddering it out and placing the box on the porch, pushing it toward Bellamy’s boots. “Please, Mr. Laurent,” he said.

No one but townsfolk ever called a Laurent “mister” or “miss”. He had heard the Eatons call them “mud witches” more than once.

Bellamy used the toe of his boot to flip the lid on the box before leaning forward to look down his nose at the contents. His dark curls slid forward, into his pale eyes. A dead thing. No one ever brought him gifts.

“What happened to it?” Bellamy asked. The puppy’s lungs were full of water.

The boy tried to hold back his sobs, using his sleeves to scrub his cheeks as the tears fell. “I was going to give him a bath. I turned on the water and put him in and he was happy and then I went to get his snacks and I forgot to turn off the water,” the words mushed together the farther he got until he was sobbing, shame and heartbreak thick in the air around him.

Bellamy frowned. “And what will I get for the trouble?”

Hope glinted in the boys eyes. That was how you knew he was too naïve and too young to be making deals. He opened his mouth, about to offer anything.

Bellamy cut him off. “Turn out your pockets.”

The boy blinked and then hurriedly shoved his hands into the pockets of his raincoat, pulling out fistfuls of wrappers, a few coins, gum, and lint. The air tasted like his despair when they both looked at what little he had to offer.

Bellamy snatched the gum before the boy realized he was on his feet, never touching his skin. He knelt down and reached into the box. He stroked one finger down the puppy’s cold back, still damp. That cold rippled up his arm and curled over his shoulder. He tasted bathwater and shoved the gum in when he stood.

The puppy jerked, spitting up water and whining.

The boy rushed in, pulling his pet from the box. With every pet and coo, the puppy grew more alive—more itself. Some deaths were easier to heal. Mistakes, fresh and with little trauma had the best results. Some things, like this, could be brought back to life. Some were just made undead. The Laurents had made a rule of not giving the townsfolk undead things. It never went well. Had Noel not only known the boy was coming with a dead thing--but that the thing could be saved?

Bellamy nudged the box with his boot when the kid started away. “Take what you brought,” he snapped.

The boy doubled back, grabbing up the box and mumbling a dozen more thank yous. The puppy was jumping in his arms now, licking his face and barking happily, looking around like it had no idea how they had gotten to this strange place, but would have gone anywhere with its boy.

Bellamy chewed his gum, shoving the foil rapper into his own pocket.

“Softy,” an old voice laughed from inside the house.

14
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 04, 2020, 07:06:52 pm »
Oh! Mine, please! I'm working on a starter post... I'm going to have a sickly Laurent, possibly cursed, going to the Carvers for fortune telling.


15
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 04, 2020, 06:47:03 pm »
LOVE IT! We'll do that! The Medici (or the whole family) could have made some bargain with the Laurent to "resurrect" their inner wolf and then thought it didn't work.

AND I'm thinking the Medicis are stock holders in the Eaton Lumber Company, since the Eatons needed the Medidics to act as guards against the stuff in the forest. So they "work" hanging out around the lumber yard and warding off the scary shit in the woods?

16
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 04, 2020, 06:28:35 pm »
Constance Laurent and Ida Laurent haven’t been into town for at least two decades. They stay on the family property or the woods around it. They’re actually cousins but everyone refers to them as sisters. All of the Laurent children, whether fifty years old or five years old, call them Auntie. The Laurents don’t keep good track of their bloodline. No portraits or family registry to keep them in order. No mausoleum like the Eatons, just a patch of burial mounds in the woods with stones on them. All of Constance and Ida’s own children are long gone, and the youths of the house would be hard pressed to actually determine which of the aunties might be their own grandmother or great grandmother.


Noel Laurent is twenty-eight and gifted, but recently she's been fading. Dark hair and dark gray eyes.


Bellamy Laurent is twenty-six. Responsible for a Laurent, handling any family business for the Aunties and keeping track of everyone. Tall with dark, messy curls, and pale gray eyes.




Okay, the Laurents are healers (who can also do the opposite and inflict pain, illness, and death if they wanted) and do a fair bit of necromancy too—BUT they’ve kept the necromancy under wraps enough to have other families thinking it’s a rare gift in the family so not everyone keeps on coming back from the grave. I imagine their property crawling with twisted resurrected squirrels and shit though.

And keep in mind not everyone in a bloodline has the same talents or levels of power.

17
OOC Discussion / Re: Helter Close
« on: April 04, 2020, 03:59:48 pm »
Jillibean! Yes, that sounds great. One of the ideas I was considering for the Medicis is that they were actually wolves in the woods before and one of the other families (Laurents) turned them into people back in the day, either because they needed the help or because of a debt of some kind. But all of that info is old legend now that not even all of the Medicis would believe. Oh! And the Eaton's own a logging company in whatever part of the woods is considered the safer part. They could have the Medicis out there to ward off anything extra scary from the woods that might come along and eat the workers.

18
OOC Discussion / Helter Close OOC
« on: April 03, 2020, 08:36:33 pm »
Hello beautiful forum!

It's been a while but I have ideas and I want to play.

I'm making a small town deep in a dark forest thread. I want witchy families and scary monsters and old old grudges and I have a plan.



HELTER CLOSE

Strange things happen in Helter Close. The only town in these woods, and in some directions--the woods never end. People have gone in and never come out. People have gone in and come out different. And more often than anyone would like, things have come out of the woods. For as long as the town has stood, four families have protected it. The townsfolk have always whispered, but these whispers aren't rumors--they're true and everyone that lives there believes it.

Sentinel Families are the four magic bloodlines in Helter Close.

If they leave the woods, move away for university or just to get away from the family, they’ll lose whatever powers they have and forget all the supernatural elements of Helter Close. That doesn’t mean they can’t ever come back, some families might even have relatives that have gone away to have normal lives outside Helter Close and come back for holidays—completely oblivious to the supernatural things they grew up with. It’s not uncommon for members of the Sentinel Families that didn’t get powers to leave—either because their family pushes them out or just because they have no pressure to stay and protect the town.

Eaton

The Eaton totem is the stag. They own the logging company, the primary source of income for the town. The Eatons live in a manor backed up to the eastern woods and facing Helter Close, symbolic of their position as protectors of the town. They take their position seriously, family members often serving on city council or as mayor or sheriff.

Laurent

The Laurent totem is the crow. They live farthest from the town, often considered odd even for Helter Close. They would probably be shunned if their family’s particular gift for healing didn’t keep people coming back to them for favors. Run by their two matriarchs, a pair of very old sisters who are often found either knitting or cleaning their shotguns. The kids of the family rarely finish school, but are usually well read—the house full of books and getting no internet service. They have one landline phone and an old radio that mysteriously still plays music and talkies from the 1930’s—just like the old ladies prefer things.

Medici

The Medici totem is the wolf. Some of the Medici's have fangs. And some have had wolf eyes. Lots of rumors circulate about why, from the idea that they were once wolves in the forest turned human, to it being nothing but a false aesthetic to intimidate.

Carver

The Carver totem is the viper.


Possible Ideas to Add Drama to Your Character!

  • Left the family, forgot everything, and returned. Alternatively, could be the teen of someone who left only to come back to this hot mess. OR a whole extended family group.
  • A bastard of one of the Sentinel Families, only able to prove it when they start showing powers.


Obviously by the gaps, I’m hoping to flesh this out with input! Ideas for family histories and specific powers and monsters are welcome!

And for characters, add notes about what the rest of the people might know about them—their scandals or rumors or well-known secrets. And let’s build some past drama and grudges to make everything super interesting! Feel free to do some brainstorming in the OOC.


19
Welcome Noobel Blewd! / Re: Beau told me to
« on: November 02, 2019, 12:24:39 am »
Same. Some ideas and stories I find myself daydreaming about and then back here to reread.  :redheart:

20
Welcome Noobel Blewd! / Re: Not Exactly New
« on: July 23, 2019, 01:55:53 pm »
Awww! I'm so glad I was over here weeding spam because I got to see this! I miss you, Beau!!! You're a treasure!

21
OOC Discussion / Re: Glass Shards
« on: January 31, 2019, 01:48:16 pm »
Oooooh! Love it! So the bastard will be new to The Garden??

I'm thinking the "kids" in The Garden range in age from like 14 to 22? Pretty much sent there until their parents decide to bring them into their own circles and drama.


22
OOC Discussion / Glass Shards
« on: January 27, 2019, 12:38:08 am »


Glass Shards
A decadent, post-apocalyptic, neon-Victorian, dystopian, romance-murder mystery.

Five towers in a wasteland of sandstorms and lightning is all that remains of life in the world. Built before the end. Once owned, then governed—now ruled like kingdoms in the sky.

The floors are counted from the tops down, Floor One being the penthouse and often the last dozen or two buried under the sands. Each Tower drills straight down into a water line and has factories and gardens near the bottom, citizens stacked up a physical hierarchy all the way to the thrones at the top.

Miniature kingdoms. Most of the royals and aristo families have never even been below the twentieth floor. It’s been generations since the world outside was destroyed—history reduced to grim fairytales of monsters and moving darkness swallowing the world. Sandstorms, ash rain and neon lightning often sweep past their plexiglass windows.

Libraries, gardens, cafes and clubs are alive and well and keeping the Upper Five busy. The families owning and ruling each tower consider themselves royalty, their children princes and princesses, and hand out titles to those around them. It’s been a hundred years since the last tower war—a dark decade of bloody betrayal and distrust. Now the Upper Five are at peace, as much as they’ve ever been anyway, and in an effort to promote those connections and good will they send their children to be schooled together in The Garden.

The Garden was originally designed as a meeting place for the Upper Five—a ten story complex of suites, parlors, and ballrooms suspended between the five towers and bridged directly to each. It has been renovated to house the teens and young adults of the aristo families. Sent to live and study there for most of the year, some believe The Garden is just an excuse for the upper families to get rid of their heirs until they’re needed.

Along with royals, the children of the best social climbers have even been admitted, sent to make connections and ensure the elevated status of their families in years to come.

 


-MORE INFO TO COME-

OOC chatter and character sheets to be added below! <3




23
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Our Blood in Light
« on: October 02, 2018, 04:21:56 pm »
Margo had been quite enthralled in his story until he snatched her up and pulled her onto his lap. Her round face pulled into a gasp of alarm and outrage, for a moment to surprised to even react more than that dropped jaw and wrinkled nose.

Emerald didn’t seem to notice, looking pleased instead by his news on the rising cult. “Well, as least Florian won’t be as dull of Catori proved to be,” he said, eyeing Agatha sideways though she ignored him. He had blamed her for agreeing to go to Catori—where there was nothing but murderers playing Born. At least cultists and princes would make for fun prey. No one ever died as enjoyably as the pious and the powerful. That look on their faces when they fell, surprised, like they didn’t know they too could die. If the greatest, oldest, dragons could fall—so could any man or woman. One of the best parts of being a Witch Hunter was the right to execute indiscriminately. It didn’t matter if the traitor was a baker or a prince—they were all subject to the discretion of a Hunter. Of course, not Emerald. Not yet. He was still indentured. The decision to execute would be Agatha’s. But, luckily for him, she had never been one for mercy.

Margo finally slapped her hand across the stranger’s cheek when he bounced her. It wasn’t a ferocious slap, her soft glove batting his cheek as she awkwardly pulled herself from him and pushed into her corner again. “Really!” she protested, cheeks red and eyes flashing to the other two as though they should have saved her. Emerald supposed she might think that, with some notion of chivalry at play. But both Hunters knew the difference between danger and teasing.

“Are you to be our guide?” Emerald asked.

“What a lovely idea,” Agatha added enthusiasm to his dry query.

“Hardly,” Margo mumbled, arms crossed and cheeks still bright red.

“Allyseus isn’t expecting us for another couple days. We could do a bit of sight seeing and still arrive uncomfortably early,” Agatha spoke as though negotiating, as though the other two didn’t belong to her in some way and weren’t subject to her unilateral decisions. She liked the illusion of democracy. “Where should we leave your dragon?” she asked Keyzer as though it had been decided.

24
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Our Blood in Light
« on: September 26, 2018, 01:08:04 pm »
Margo had been holding her breath from the moment he stuck his face close to hers until he said Dragon Born. She blinked, big brown eyes, fingers flexing against her bundle of knowledge against her chest and plump body wedged into corset, tights, and layers of skirts, actually leaned toward him. “Dragon Born? Really? There have been rumors, of course, but it’s been ages since anyone’s seen one. Have they found any or just victims? Do you think the bodies are still available for examination?”

Emerald grinned wide at that. “Terrified of everything living but not dead things,” he noted about the short woman across from him.

Margo ignored him, her lip curling at the mention of a cult.

Agatha listened carefully, managing to hold back a hunter’s grin at mention of trouble. A guild. It gleamed in her eyes though, meeting his gaze when it slid to her. Her poison? “Traitors,” she said. “My poison is traitors and rooting them out.” Why be coy when she hoped to get information? She had an edict from the capitol, the mark of a Witch Hunter, and the authority to save Florian from itself. “The Capitol has heard about Florian’s Dragon Born and seen fit to send Miss Adden,” she nodded to Margo. “to take a look.” It was the tip of an iceberg. Margo was to document and to testify when it was done—whatever happened next. Witch Hunters were rare, but they had quite the legend—not always heroic but definitely feared and their status aloud them to turn their inquest on even the highest officials of a city.

She doubted the princes of Florian would be happy to see them, though most smiled toothily and tried to direct the investigation. They’d spent four months in Catori only to find that the supposed Dragon Born was a hunter who had lost his mind on the blood, blacking out in the night and savagely murdering people in the streets with a set of false dragon teeth. It had been quite the disappointment.

“More often than not, Dragon Born are just stories,” Agatha assured. “But, as I said, we wouldn’t mind a guide. We’re supposed to be staying with a Prince—”

“Allys,” Margo inserted the name before Agatha even had to falter.

“Heard of him?” Agatha continued.

“Or her…” Margo reminded. Prince was just a title after all, a throwback to fairytales.

25
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Our Blood in Light
« on: September 24, 2018, 11:40:05 am »
Margo hugged her books and tablet to her chest, eyes bulging when the man got into their carriage. She wedged herself into the corner, back straight and gaze running up and down him, seeming to bulge more with every bit of grime and blood she took in.

“This is Margo, my personal library of sorts,” Agatha introduced flippantly, settling into her seat. The carriage whirred to life, rising a little off the ground before starting forward on the path again. “And Emerald.” She gestured to the lithe bodied man beside her. He was dressed much like her, somewhere between practical and formal, all black with firm layers and fine tailoring.

Margo pressed her plush mouth into a tight scowl at the other woman. She wanted to snap at her, to accuse her of endangering them by inviting strange murderous riffraff onto the carriage—but she couldn’t exactly do that without saying it out loud in front of said riffraff.

She eeped in alarm when the man spoke to her. “Book learning?” she sputtered. “Out there? Oh, well, that’s wonderful. Then you may know as much as the beasts…”

Agatha’s upper lip pulled up to hiss at the woman warningly. “He comes from Florian and likely knows more of the city than you do.”

Emerald lifted heavy lashes, eyes like the stone he was named for glinting out, made brighter with a bit of that witch tech woven into his retina. His red lips pulled at one side into a little smile at Margo’s discomfort before considering the stranger. He’d worked for Agatha long enough to stop being surprised by her whims. He sat up a little taller, arms sliding from the firm cross against his chest while he slept down into a casual collapse in his lap. “Business,” he answered first and stretched out one arm, offering his hand. “Your name was? Agatha has enough fortune not to care about manners, but I would be remiss to go a whole carriage ride with a man I didn’t properly meet.”

26
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Our Blood in Light
« on: September 19, 2018, 02:12:58 pm »
Agatha smiled easily when he didn’t recognize her for a witch hunter. They were far from the capitol city and Florian had never undergone a purge. She supposed there had only been a handful of witch hunters to pay it visit over the last century—standing on ceremony mostly. It was considered an honor to aristo families to be greeted by a witch hunter, some source of proof that they’re bloodlines have been looked upon with approval by the capitol.

“I’m afraid I’m new to the area,” she admitted. “I heard stories about this city—taken by the dragons and swarming with them—and thought I’d take a look before going on to Florian.” It was true enough. Most of the stories involved giant beasts setting upon the city long ago. The ones she’d read about though told of the insidious presence of dragons that weren’t completely formed—something between human and dragon—something more dangerous than either.

“I might be able to help get it back to the city, if that’s where you’re going?” she smiled because unless he kept a shed out here in the woods and liked to decorate it with rotting bodies, there wasn’t anywhere else he could be going. “I’m sure you’ll be paid well for that beast, but I’d rather have a guide. As I said, I’ve never been to Florian and wouldn’t mind hearing about it from a local.”

She took the handful of steps left between them and offered her hand. It was gloved, the crest of the capitol city in the palm of soft black leather. “My name is Agatha. I can get your dragon to the city in exchange for some local gossip on the way?”

27
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Our Blood in Light
« on: September 15, 2018, 11:24:05 pm »
Margo continued to lean out the window of the carriage, eyes narrowed on trees she couldn’t see through. “Did you hear that?” she said in a sharp whisper. It wasn’t the first booming sound or shake of the ground since Agatha left.

“No. I can’t hear anything over your heavy breathing and stupid gasps.” Emerald had not moved, eyes still closed to the world and head tipped back into his corner, legs crossed like his arms as though he were a strange corpse laid out for viewing. She wished he was a corpse sometimes…

“What if she needs help?” Agatha pressed.

Emerald huffed a little breath that could have been a laugh. “Well, if she dies I’ll get a promotion and since she hasn’t summoned me…” his voice trailed off as though this meant he should be napping and not talking.

-

The Chaser put on a show, though she wasn’t sure he intended to. A quick scan of the surrounding area confirmed that he had no team—fallen or lying in wait. Her head turned to follow his careen through the air, surprised when he looked back at her for a flicker of a second with the spread of arms as though to shout, “what the hell are you standing around for?”

Agatha grinned, eyes flaring with purple light. He didn’t have time to look at her again or yell whatever he might have in mind. She jumped down from her ledge and landed in a walk, following the trail of thick blood his dragon left. She didn’t step in it. She didn’t usually mind a mess, especially on a hunt, but she was still planning to make an entrance in the city today and upset the local officials and aristos. She’d like to save her bloodier image for when things became more serious and she knew exactly who she was looking to scare. As it stands, she hadn’t been to Florian since she was a child.

The beast made horrible sounds ahead, half inside a building, thrashing, claws digging up street.

Her witch tech lit up the dragon in thin gold lights, outlines brighter in open wounds. The Chaser was a darker blue, pulsing with his own gold, fainter where he had contaminated his muscles and brighter where he had consumed something for the boost. There were only two ways to kill monsters, dragon contamination or witch tech. Both could go terribly wrong for very different reasons. Both could make them into the monsters in the end—if they found themselves among the unlucky.

She hadn’t drawn a weapon, shoulders relaxed on her casual walk toward his kill. She pushed the hood of her jacket back when he made his way around the dragon and in her direction. Her hair was pale, white like her skin, and pulled back from her face into a braid. The edges of tattoos peeked up from her collar on the left side, reaching up her neck. “I would not have bet money in your favor,” she spoke first, stopping on the street beside a puddle of blood. “I would have lost. Do you stalk this area often?”

28
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Our Blood in Light
« on: September 13, 2018, 10:30:08 am »
The carriage jostled under mounting speed, zipping through the deep forest enroute to the grand city of glass and steal. The carriage itself was sleek black metal, sculpted with curling corners and the shapes of faces in the gleaming surface. Air rippled around the large human container, propelled forward, hovering over the ground with a driver sitting at the front, masked and hooded to withstand the winds, gloved hands pushing at levers.

“At this rate we’ll arrive days early…” Emerald said in his usual low voice, lean body leaned into one corner of the carriage seat. He had his arms folded across his chest, head back and eyes closed. If he didn’t speak, he might look like he slept.

“We did leave a day early…” Margo added timidly from the other bench, chewing her lip.

Agatha looked out the window at the smears of forest rushing by. “It wouldn’t be an inquisition if we didn’t surprise them,” she said. There were rumors going around about the grand city of Florian. Rumors of burned bodies, half-eaten. Rumors of sudden heat waves and rumbles but no dragon in sight. No, there had not been a dragon in Florian in a century. But Agatha knew that not all dragons came scaled from birth. That was a rumor too, wasn’t it? Every few centuries humans gave birth to what became new dragons. Every few centuries, they seeded the fall of a city without even realizing it.

Somewhere out here, in the thick of the wild trees, was a city like that—one taken by monsters and abandoned by humanity. They had been sent from the capital to make sure Florian did not meet the same fate—that the last great city in this forest did not fall to fire.

Something loud cracked through the trees. The carriage rocked sideways before the driver brought it to a stop on the rough road.

Margo eeped in her seat, brown eyes going huge and hands clutching her stack of books and tablet to her chest. “Is it a dragon?”

Emerald’s red mouth pulled into a grin, eyes still closed. “How can you be afraid of them still?”

“How can you not be?” she shot back in a seething whisper.

Agatha pushed the carriage door open and stepped out. The driver leaned over to look down at her, his beaked leather mask pointing at her. “It’s the dragon city, Lady. Chasers hunt bounty there.”

She looked off into the trees. A silver light circled the air around one eye, growing into a rune that spun as her vision searched beyond foliage. The witch tech was expensive, subtle and hard to temper. Her parents had been decided on her life path early on. Witch Hunter had sounded like something exciting when she was a child. She’d thought she’d be hunting actual witches—not a witch hunting snakes in human skin.

“Agatha?” Margo whispered, poking her head out of the carriage. Her big brown curls were barely pulled back from her heart-shaped face. Everything about Margo was soft and round. Even her voice. She was a keeper of information, dedicated to logging history and not much else.

“Wait here,” Agatha barely said before vanishing from the road. It looked like vanishing to Margo anyway. She rolled her arm through the air, sparking circles of runes and slipping through them, folding space and popping out further along into the forest. One. Two. Three. She was in the city. Another boom. Clouds of smoke ahead, barreling out of a building half crumbling. Out of the rising smoke came the body of a dragon. Not Immortal but not something to sneer at either. She expected to see the group of Chasers pushing it back, but when she came to a stop, she spotted only one.

She crouched at the edge of a low rooftop, already slanted in decay with a tree growing out one side. He lit up from within and the monster roared, baring toward him in a charge. Agatha touched the curved blade tucked against her ribs, gloved fingers ready to pull it, but hesitating. Was he in trouble? Or was this glory? It was hard to tell with heroes. The best triumph came when death was near. She’d been raised on legends just like everyone else. Her body leaned forward, ready to tip right off the edge and leap that last distance.

29
OOC Discussion / Re: Thoroughbred
« on: February 17, 2018, 01:22:14 am »
Bam! And, by the way Verse, I CRAZY loved Ebelt freaking out on Hiev and Hiev being sooooooo transparent!

30
Modern/Futuristic Roleplay / Re: Thoroughbred
« on: February 17, 2018, 01:21:02 am »
Grayson grinned easily when Apollo came upon him, easy delight on his features but bitter contempt in his heart. He turned toward him, looking him over pointedly. “I made friends at the party,” he explained, secretive about his lover though the state of his hair, his lack of a shirt, and the little trail of hickies yet to fade on his long neck were testament to the reality of that lover. “I was looking for a snack… thought not to wake the staff since they’re not my own and that just seems rude,” he continued, moving closer to the other man. “but I fear I’m lost.”

Ebelt rushed past them, not even pausing to take note of who was loitering in his halls. Grayson quirked a brow and turned his gaze to Apollo once more. “Are they still upset? It’s not like someone doesn’t try to kill Wicker every day. I’m sure Hyacinth will get over a couple Roses having a go at it.” A couple, he said, because he liked this rumor of Ebelt throwing poison at the champion. Winners were winners no matter how they got to the top—thrones had taught them all that lesson.

-

The greenhouse was bright, the lights on the plants certain that it was day. It was easy to lie to plants. It wasn’t so easy to lie to Gloria. The winding stone paths lead through lush greenery and brilliant blooms, many rare, a few considered extinct in the world outside Versailles.

She had a spot in the middle she liked most, with a little sitting area for tea and her work table to the side with little pots of almost plants to the side of mortars of powder and jars of dried leaves and, of course, the sheers. She heard the door on the far end open and close, her pale hand stilling over a bloom she’d been tempted to pluck. She listened to the steps until she was sure it was Ebelt. The bloom would live another day. She turned from it to greet her king when he arrived, ducking into the slightest of curtseys still impeccably poised. “I had hoped you would get some sleep.”

Jewl was slouched in one of the metal chairs at her sometimes-teatable. There was no tea today. Blood and saliva dribbled from his mouth, wetting his slacks where it gathered on her knee. “I didn’t need to bind him. I think he wanted to show his loyalty to Rose by not struggling. He was quite remorseful for the trouble he caused.”

She’d pulled up her white hair since the party, in a messy bun atop her head, with round, silver, thin-rimmed glasses on her little nose. She’d abandoned her gown from the ball for a white dress with barely-there straps, probably not wanting to risk Jewl messing up the other. Funny, since it wasn’t like she’d ever wear it again anyway. Still, Gloria was not one for unnecessary stains.

Sometimes Gloria thought, that if she’d had a mother, the woman would have said “waste not, want not” and she would have taken it to heart. Looking at Ebelt, that same heart wondered what she’d wasted to be left so wanting in life now. She’d gone over their time together, his climb to the throne, again and again. She still didn’t know what had gone wrong.

She was white in a sea of deep greens and dark soil and gray flagstones. She was a flower in her garden, but she was the flower wielding the sheers. She sighed like her night had been long and leaned back against her work table. “It seems Jewl thought he could be the one to kill Wicker. Not for any grand scheme or story, but just for the glory of it—the rush.” She sounded pointed unimpressed. “The boy had a bit much to drink, Ebelt.”

She hesitated, watching him. “I hear Hyacinth thinks you poisoned Wicker. Vinnia is quite set on it. Do you want me to do something about it? Put attention elsewhere or maybe find someone else for them to blame?” She looked thoughtfully at Jewl then before wrinkling her nose at the idea. It would still be Rose they pointed their calloused fingers at. Her head turned up to her old friend once more, her king. “Wicker was close with Alios tonight. It would turn some eyes to Jasmine and likely confuse everyone. He probably wouldn’t be punished for it, since Luna wouldn’t be certain,” she offered carefully.

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