Caislin Hallows

Caislin Hallows vs. Naiser Vale : This is a tale of two villages one of medieval, one of modern. While there is a mysterious fog that connects them where the water divides.

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To the Victor Go the Injuries

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1 To the Victor Go the Injuries on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:36 pm

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
The shadows of the moonless night birthed nightmares to prey upon mortal men, gave them form with which to seek souls to claim. A shade, shapeless in the darkness, had sought to sever the thread of life of one man so that his body would become an empty vessel, a limp marionette crumpled upon the ground like a discarded toy. But he had refused to become a broken puppet, for he was more than a man: he was a monster himself. He had lived through the centuries, wrested life from countless others so that he could live, and he would not let another deprive him.

One monster died so the other could live. It was the simplest rule of survival, and who was the Puppeteer to ignore it. Victory came at a cost, as he was drained and wounded, vulnerable to any other predator that stalked the night. Curse the long road from the castle to Naiser Vail, thought the Puppeteer with a sneer as he summoned up the last of his strength and teleported himself the rest of the way. He should have known better than to take a leisurely stroll in the forest on such a night. The Puppeteers magics exploded the strands of his suit around him and then they snapped tight into a ball, his flesh vanishing, and a moment, the ball of thread as well.

Within the nurse’s office, a metal tray meant to hold medical instruments clattered to the floor, spilling a jar of cotton balls across the floor that rolled around the Puppeteer’s feet like clouds of fog, as he materialized and stumbled into a cart. He would have toppled entirely had he not caught the handle of the cart and held onto it for support. He was thankful that whoever had used it last had set the brake so it did not roll. Giving voice to a soft groan, the Puppeteer lifted his head and peered across the darkened infirmary. He had missed the door, which had been his intended mark, by a good bit. Kicking at the cart’s brake, he managed to free the wheel, and he used it to keep upright as he limped towards the door. As he made his journey, he kept his eyes on the buzzer meant to summon the nurse, should she not be present when one entered the infirmary. The cart’s wheels squeaked, as if constantly nagging him, telling him he’d never make it.

Unfortunately, they were right, and he collapsed only meters from the door. As he lay, sprawled on his back, limbs stretched outward where they’d fallen, he began to laugh. The sound echoed in the empty infirmary, bouncing between dark recesses of the vaulted ceiling, as if overhead an audience watched and mocked him. The Puppeteer lifted a hand and snapped his fingers, and a black thread appeared, slithering across the button of the buzzer and depressed it.

“I… nearly… forgot…” he exhaled as a laugh before blacking out.

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2 Disturbance on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:01 am

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze

There was a spell about the Infirmary, darkness at its heart of hearts. Though the place held no true life her shadows graced it all the same, whispering the approach of potential victims whenever they should arrive. The infuriating buzzer had gone all but ignored since her arrival at Caislin, which is perhaps the only reason she was startled by it. Pager rested tucked in her nightstand, Kalika preparing for bed when the blasted thing started. A rumble of a sound growing in urgency the longer she tarried. Nails clicked the button to the side, digits threatening to break the contraption in half if it refused to cease.

None too pleased about the disturbance she moved without hesitation, wrapping glamour around her tighter than any form of clothing. Second nature became second skin, human appearance tricky when she was so rushed. Kalika worked as she moved, binding her hair atop her head. Though her flesh became a honey hue and her tresses darkened to rival the shadows, her attire remained the same. No time to change it, let alone fuss over the details, she clicked her way down the halls. Long legs easily moved in polished black heels, fishnet stalkings climbing over her skin to disappear beneath a tight leather skirt. There was a flash of tan flesh before the corset top wove against her skin, lace traveling the expanse between her breasts. Leather gloves adorned her fingers to just below her wrists. The whole ensemble perhaps hinting to the fact that Kalika may not have been getting ready for bed at all.

Kalika paused in front of the double doors, hands pressed against their oak surface as she tasted the air. Inner monster purred in her ears, something dark waited for her on the other side. Something that tasted faintly of… Lips curled into a slight snarl as she threw the doors open with ease. A miracle kept the massive things from crashing against the walls though it did nothing to sooth her temper. A feline could not have matched her hiss as she stalked forward, heels the drum roll to a death sentence. It took all her strength of will to keep from striking at him, to hold back her anger.

Tongue flicked across her lips as she debated on being a good nurse or not. So much fun could be had at his expense; a little torture wasn’t much to ask after all. If he happened to be facedown, she would reach over and roll him on his back. Looking over his form she let a frown mar her features, to loose such a specimen over a little fun was hardly worth it. Their deal prevented her from the torture she wanted to inflict, though it never said anything about taking her time in actually healing him.

She nudged his form with the toe of her shoe.

Only if he didn’t fully rouse would she finally reach down and haul him over to one of the beds. It wasn’t an easy task, Unseelie strength or not the Puppeteer was not exactly a light weight and she wasn’t use to pulling around bodies. Not anymore at least. It took more than a few curses and a little banter with her brain about how working out was now on the schedule, before she managed to get him on the bed. Fingers flicked to his neck then his wrist, double checking his pulse.

“What in the world have you gotten yourself into now, Puppet Master?”

3 I Ain't Happy, I'm Feeling Glad on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:55 pm

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
There were upsides and downsides of having an unconscious patient. As the positive, they couldn’t whine and complain a whole lot and were less likely to flail and make their caretaker need the services of the infirmary just as badly as they did. As the negative, the caretaker was stuck hauling the dead weight of the patient around, should they just happen to be laying on the floor instead of a bed or gurney, and the patient couldn’t say just what was ailing them. Kalika only had to worry about the former point of the negatives, as after she’d deposited him on the bed and double-checked his pulse, the Puppeteer gave a groan and stirred. His pale lids fluttered open, like the rippling lace of a fancy gown, and he peered up at Kalika with a pair of bloodshot brown eyes. He stared passed her at first, and then after a few seconds, his eyes focused on the woman peering down at him.

“Not the ritziest of accommodations,” he murmured, his hoarse voice cracking as his gaze drifted from her to the red velvet curtains of the bed, hanging over him like crimson cascades locked in time. The Puppeteer didn’t need to wonder long to determine why the infirmary might choose red bed sheets. Pushing the question of how many others have laid in this bed? from his thoughts, he forced a smile. “Good to see you again. Been a while.” His words were a faint whisper as quiet as silk sliding across silk, though his voice was as rough as ripping fabric.

The Puppeteer’s clothing, usually of unblemished black cloth, was stained in place with mud, frayed and torn in others, revealing equally unusual scrapes and bruises on his pale flesh. During his life-threatening scuffle with the shade, it had sent him for quite the tumble… down a cliff, by concealing the edge within shadows as dark as the Puppeteer’s own suit. After he’d plummeted several meters, bouncing down the rocky cliff face, he’d managed to summon his strings to bind himself to the cliff itself, threads twining into crags and crevices and anchoring him as securely as any rock-climber’s gear. He’d only earned himself a momentary respite to evaluate his injuries before the shade attacked him again. Things had only gotten worse from there, as for once, the Puppeteer wasn’t wearing his calling-card, the top hat always perched atop his head at a slight askew angle.

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4 Emotions are not Allowed on Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:35 pm

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze

Fingers drifted from one pulse point to the next; double-checking to make sure this creature was alive. He was positively no good to her if he did the most inconsiderate thing and died, that would perhaps ruin her entire night if not the whole week. If nothing else, she still needed his talents to design her a few outfits and redecorate her room. Kalika hoped he wasn’t that inconsiderate, to fade off into nothingness before she had a proper bout of fun with him. Both in the carnal and fashion sense. She refused to believe her emotions were anything other than mild annoyance and agitation towards him. Absolutely nothing else would be tolerated on her part.

She would forever deny that she felt any amount of relief when the monster before her began to finally stir. Just like there was no chance in hell she would admit to the sudden ease she felt when the Puppeteer finally focused. No. Never would she say she held any form of affection for the monstrosity in bed 13. It was all for the safe of their deal, all in the name of an ulterior motive.

Perched on the side of his bed, she sat up straight and kept her hands to herself for now. If it wasn’t for her keen sense of hearing, she doubted she would have been able to make out his words. Lush lips of a vibrant pink hue curled into a sweet, strangely hollow, smile. Her voice lack its charm for only a second, sounding hauntingly dead,
“Remind me next time to prepare you a four-poster bed with satin sheets and a maid to fluff your pillows.” Towards the end there was but a spark of amusement, a light hint of teasing.

There was a flash of something, an emotion that weaseled its way out from behind her glamour as she looked him over. Kalika took note of the frays in his usually immaculate attire as well as the lack of his usual instruments. Her voice was stronger the next round, humming with its usual flare of seduction and charm. Sweet enough to send a child into a diabetic coma,
“It has been a while, Puppeteer. Lucky me, this time you get to lose most of your clothes.” Donning a smile that was as innocent as could be, she motioned to his shirt.

5 I Got Sunshine in a Bag on Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:56 am

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
“Would you? That would be awfully nice. I think you could convince Bruxa to fill in as the maid,” he practically wheezed, his laughter afterwards little more than a crude cough. The Puppeteers eyes, brown rimmed by white streaked with red like bloodstains on snow, drifted down from Kalika’s as if keeping his gaze level with hers was too taxing. His pale eyelids closed like shutters, closing the windows through which he peered at the world. For a few seconds, his chest didn’t stir to even draw breath. He lay on the infirmary bed, awash in crimson like a soldier who’d seen his last battlefield, the pallor of his cheeks the hue of death’s skull mask, his body as still as the stone of a grave marker.

He gasped, air flooding his lungs as his eyes snapped open and he jerked upright, trying to sit up. The effort proved too much and he crumpled before reaching halfway, collapsing to the bed again with a groan. The mattress springs echoing his sound as they accepted his weight again. Sweat beaded on his brow like dew glistening on bone. He had barely registered her words and after a few seconds, his rattled mind pieced together their meanings individually and then, seconds later, fitted those meetings together like a puzzle to understand the sentence. A small smirk split his lips like a wound opening, noting the tease. The monster, nearly defeated, nearly dead, lifted his right hand and with a weak flick of his wrist, banished his clothing. His black suit with its dozens of different flaws evaporated, threads rising from his flesh like dark mist before vanishing, leaving behind an intact pair of black boxer shorts to cloth him. Surprisingly, the undergarment was only soft cotton, not sumptuous silk.

Only then, was the full inventory of damages to his body apparent. Previously hidden by his sleeve, the flesh of his left forearm bulge along the side—the obvious sign of a broken bone. Pale skin stretched taut across the end of splintered bone, and the flesh at the site of the fracture was already beginning to swell. In comparison, his other injuries seemed mild and unimportant. Only upon further inspection would she note the cracked ribs, also on his left side, his sprained right ankle, and a swollen bump hidden in his hairline. Truly, the Puppeteer had seen better days. But a smile cracked his dry, blood-flecked lips.

“For you,” he whispered in his voice that had more in common with the sound created by rusty hinges than by soft satin. He lifted his right hand again, and a small, heart-sized cloth bag appeared on his palm, its drawstring cinched shut.

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6 Re: To the Victor Go the Injuries on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:24 pm

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
“Yes, let me bring her in to eat my darling patients, that will go over well with the school.” There was only a touch of malice in her voice, of that she would swear. To mention another play thing in her presence was akin to saying she wasn’t nearly thought of enough. Things would have to change; if this sense of ease was cast much longer she would surely lose her edge. She would not allow that to happen.

Pulling her attention back to him she let a frown contort her features as he paused in his breathing. Temper rose, a charmed serpent ready to strike until the Puppeteer gasped and tried to sit up. There was not a touch of worry at the time it took him to understand her, not an ounce of joy when he obeyed. She pretended to be hurt, hand cast above her heart in a most dramatic fashion,
“You are positively no fun at all, here I was all prepared to cut the cloth from your body with a scalpel.” The amusement was back in her voice, the notes of teasing remaining as she looked him over. Reaching out she just ever so lightly snapped the elastic of his boxer shorts to his hip, “I must say Puppeteer, how unexpectedly hideous.” Actual surprise laced her words, considering she had expected something silken and showy. A style that seemed to fit the Puppeteer well.

Aside from all her jarring, she was undoubtedly careful with him. Digits slid across his skin, assessing what was major and what could be dealt with later by normal means.
“Who in the world did you tick off, dear?” She reached over to brush her fingers along his form before he offered up a gift. Leaning back a little she regarded the bag as if it were a monster prepared to consume her. Adjusting her focus she slid her nails over the little back, careful to barely caress the material. “You’re gifts will have to take a moment. First, we need to mend you; your voice is getting on my nerves.” Part truth considering the way his tone grated together was driving her up a wall. “Just, try to be quiet for a minute.” Nail tapped his nose, playful and shushing at the same time.

Leaning back a bit she looked him over, debating on how she would handle things. A moderate amount of power would surely suffice, nothing to blow the world away and nothing at all too showy. Closing her eyes for a minute she dug down a little, slowly undoing the bindings of her power, letting it build in her veins. Sparks danced across her fingers, how ironic that a creature of darkness could heal with the help of flames. She had to let her power build up before she could heal him, to keep her concentration in order to maintain the balance of control.

7 I'm Useless But Not For Long... on Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:39 am

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
“Oh, really? Like your motivations are much better?” he questioned before giving a scoffing laugh, the sound rasping in his hoarse throat “An altruistic unseelie who wants to help others? Unlikely. An unseelie who just loves the warm feelings she gets when surrounded by others’ suffering? Far more probable.” Again, his lips, slightly swollen, flecked with blood, split in a smirk like pealing a scab apart. Fresh blood glistened on his bottom lip for a moment before a quick swipe of his tongue erased the crimson.

Even in his weakened state, he tutted as she mentioned cutting his clothes. “No blade save my own will ever touch the clothes I wear,” he chastised as his gaze settled on her eyes for just a moment before drifting low again, lids drooping halfway to cover them. Even battered, skin torn in places like seams splitting, revealing the red stuffing inside, the Puppeteer refused to be defeated. Her uncharitable comment regarding his underclothing caused his lips to draw taut in a small sneer. Exerting more energy from what little reserve still remained, he transmuted the cotton to scarlet silk, the fabric glistening like fresh blood. “Better?” he asked before a fit of coughing wracked his fragile frame. After a few seconds, lips splattered with a fresh coat of crimson droplets, he slumped back onto the bed, wheezing softly for breath.

“Oh, no one special. I just thought I’d walk up to Death and give him a good pat on the back on doing such a good job trying to keep up with me over the centuries,” he managed in just under a minute, pausing every few words to take another rasping breath. “Seems he didn’t enjoy the joke.”

Pleasure, absolute and certain, showed on the Puppeteer’s pale, drawn face as Kalika scrutinized the bag with a leery gaze. Had he felt better, he might have loosed another laugh, but the desire to chuckle had since left him after his last. “It doesn’t bite,” he whispered, only to be cut short by her instructions. The Puppeteer’s brow furrowed in annoyance and his hand lowered to the bed, fingers curled around the velvet fabric of the bag—it almost seem to pulsate and shift within the ivory cage of his digits. “Fine,” he seethed and watched her through thin slits in his eyelids, waiting for the unseelie to work her healing magics.

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8 Re: To the Victor Go the Injuries on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:24 am

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
Glamour faded around the edges, power of her mask flickering like a light that refused to die just yet. She leaned forward before her preparations, just a tilt of the head really, to draw in a deep breath. His scent carried such wonders, such promise… such beautiful darkness. She could nearly taste the monster that the Puppeteer had come in contact with, the malice it had carried. Kalika pulled back, barely containing the idea of torture. It was harder than it should have been to hold back her hands, to keep her nails from caress his flesh in a most unpleasant way.

Distraction came as he spoke, breaking the slight spell of darkness with his wry humor.
“Oh come now Puppeteer, you of all should know I want nothing more than to help others.” Except Kalika’s help came with a price, a bargain that was certain to be in her favor, no matter how slight of an advantage it was. It was a deal, however, that was keeping her from what she wanted most at the moment. A promised that held her hands steadily at her sides.

Again she regarded the bag, again she decided against it. Curiosity bloomed behind her eyes, a gift from the Puppeteer could be either something grand or some bit of trickery. Either way, she couldn’t afford the distraction at the moment. She was about to do what most Unseelie would never consider, even for another of their kind. Unaccustomed to helping others, it took her a moment to center her thoughts, a task that was unsurprisingly less daunting when the Puppeteer graced her with silence. She couldn’t hold onto two pieces of power at once, not without testing the limits of her iron sick blood.

Glamour finally shattered, falling like broken glass around her, the power shimmered for a moment before it died off with an angry hiss. Free of her disguise she shed but one more restraint, inner monster loosely tethered. Darkness stretched beneath her flesh, unseen claws raking against her skin in its discomfort. Like a costume one size too small, it didn’t fit right. Kalika felt a wave of dizziness shake her world, her eyes widening for a moment as she tried to maintain control. It had been too long since she fed on emotions, too long spent in this world of iron. It had sickened her, made her weak until even this spell was tiresome.

Rich cerulean flames curled around her fingers in an extravagant little show before they soaked back beneath her flesh, leaving her skin chilled. As if she had kept her hands beneath the ice for a while, they appeared to hold a faint blue tint and, at present, a cold befitting the dead. This was her power, her darkness turned tangible, her flames that carried not a drop of heat. Her touch rivaled the brush of feathers as she glided across his chest and over his shoulders then his arms and back. It was a slow process, each move calculated to regulate the amount of power she let seep from her flesh to his.

Darkness spotted her vision, a most irritating thing really since she lost a touch of the precision in which she pressed her touch to him. Her digits lingering over the broken bones longest, most of her concentration centered on mending those before she even considered patching up his bruises and scratches. It took ages in her opinion, the constant back and forth necessary so that she didn’t risk freezing his skin. A most troublesome creature indeed…

Like the Unseelie, even her healing abilities weren’t kind. There was always a price to pay and it would likely be his pain. The bones would mend in a sort of reversed action, settling back in place and grinding together a moment before they fused back to perfection. She hadn’t guaranteed that it wouldn’t be a form of torture and she was technically helping him and keeping him safe.

Her hands began to shake, the lightest of tremors traveled from her fingers all the way up her arms. Oh how she hated this. This weakness that seized her in the mortal world, that took advantage of the iron around her. The bones would take but minutes to heal, if the magic was allowed to settle that is. So long as the Puppeteer kept relatively still and made as little noise as possible, she would be finished in maybe ten minutes. Should he give way to thrashing about and yowling, she would take double the time if not more.

Only when she was done would she pull back to lean against the wooden part of the bed that divided it from the others. Her breathing was only a touch labored; her vision was slow to clear as she rested her hands in her lap, muscles tensed. It took far more energy than she had hoped, on the bright side, she could see what was in the bag now without worry that he was going to die.

9 The Future Is Coming On on Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:54 am

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
Before the Puppeteer’s eyes, the Unseelie’s glamour faded and broke. He fancied the effect as a portrait aging centuries in just seconds, the paint cracking and pealing from the canvas as time ravaged the image until the frame rotted and the canvas had turned to dust. The face it unveiled was far less familiar, but it was the Puppeteer’s preference while in the company of the charmed woman. From former inspection, he knew of her porcelain skin, lined with scars like thin cracks in ceramic—the tiny imperfections that emphasized her beauty. How unlike him, a man who strove for perfection, kept the cloth of his suits speck-less and the dirt-free, who had also sacrificed the majority of his power just to preserve a worthless vessel of human flesh while he was entombed for two centuries.

Fury, similar to that of the beast that showed in silver gleam of Kalika’s eyes on occasion, swelled the Puppeteer’s chest as he remembered his confinement. He clenched his hands into fists, the fingers of one tightening around the black velvet back, the fingers of the other, barely stirring as pain—fresh and horrible—raced up the limb. He winced and bit his bottom lip to keep from making a sound as the Unseelie healer, a contradiction if he had ever heard one, concentrated on summoning forth her magics. His anger subsided, memories quickly forgotten as the flicker of cerulean fire glinted in his eyes to distract him from his brooding thoughts. Sadly, as quickly as they had flared up from her flesh, they disappeared again, though he noted the blue tinge her hands took on after imbibing the fire, and the show seemed to be over.

At least it meant he didn’t miss anything. After a few tantalizing feather-light touches that gave rise to goose bumps on his body like mountain ranges erupting across his flesh, her magic began to take effect in the most unsettling and unpleasant of ways. While he had not screamed when his arm had originally been broken, he did so as she healed it. His chest shuddered, drawing in a rattling breath and exhaling it as another cry of pain. The Puppeteer’s body stiffened, muscles tightening as if straining would reduce the pain. Agonizing seconds passed, the splintered ends of his bones scraping across one as they sought to fit the broken pieces together like a crudely made jigsaw puzzle. As fragments of thoughts flashed through his mind, interrupted by the pain, he thought of the process as slow and unsuccessful as a man reaching into the mire of murky, muddy water to find a lost ring, but for the anguish, he could deduce no analogy in the fleeting moments of coherence.

When it was finally over and he had endured the contradiction of Unseelie healing with all its torturous splendor, he was not entirely sure if he felt better or worse. The cracks in his ribs had mended. The bones of his arms were rejoined and fused. But he could scarcely breath and his body was bathed in sweat. The Puppeteer’s perspiration soaked into the crimson sheets, their hue darkening like blood clotting into a scab. “Next time… I think I’d prefer just a cast and a prescription for pain killers,” he panted, his eyes squeezed shut. His pale flesh trembled over quaking muscles as his body slowly relaxed after the strain of Kalika’s ministrations. The last thing on the Puppeteer's mind was the black velvet bag and its contents that he still clutched in his hand.

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10 Re: To the Victor Go the Injuries on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:39 am

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
Agony flooded her senses, drowned out all logical reason and swept away any of her buried emotions. So heady was the scent that it filled her mouth and spilled down her throat, burning her insides quicker than any drink could ever manage. Where alcohol simmered through her veins, the Puppeteers pain was nearly euphoric. His screams sweeter than any sound. Lashes fluttered, kissing the pale skin of her cheeks as she tilted her back and simply listened. Simply enjoyed. She couldn’t fully absorb the power that the emotions offered, not without wanting more. Not without becoming far too greedy for the creature before her.

The results though, were akin to ripping off a small portion of meat for a starving animal. Just enough to tease them, toy with them. Make them hunger for more. Her hands shook a little more as she finished, digits curling together to press her nails against the knuckles of opposing hand. Sparks flared to life again, dancing from her hands all the way back up her arms. Every flash leaving a stain against her flesh, skin turning from ivory to ashen wherever they touched.

The sparks died once the last traces of cerulean coloration had faded from her fingers and only then did she manage to appear at least somewhat relaxed. Flexing her digits she winced as every joint in her hands seemed to pop one after another, their symphony of rebellion. It seems her entire body didn’t enjoy the healing process, something she needed to be wary of should she try such outside of the infirmary. It left her both hungry for carnage and exhausted for going against what she was. Simply put, Unseelie didn’t heal people. They, more often than not, ripped them apart and usually made extravagant pieces of artwork out of the remains.

Rubbing her hands along her arms, she banished the residue of magic. Smirking over at him she couldn’t help the soft laugh that parted her lips,
“You came to me, remember? If you want a cast say so, you could have even asked for a less painful version. Be more specific next time.” Smirk warped to a grin, lips pulled back enough to show off her inhuman teeth.

She should have waited, she knew that, but she felt too exposed. Even in the back room of the Infirmary she couldn’t risk it. Magic shimmered in the air for a moment, like a serpent it slowly began to coil around her, tightening its hold until she couldn’t breathe. Lungs panicked for a moment, expanding as her heart gave a shuttering thump against its cage. The magic finally settled but it wasn’t much of a cover, her skin had turned back to perfection with only a touch of color to it. The white and silver faded in her hair but her lips still held their blue-gray tint and her eyes appeared normal in only their shape. The iris was still silver. It was all she could afford at the moment, out of practice as she was with everything.

The room swam when she tilted her head towards the little bag, though curiosity demanded she finally ask about it. She rested her head against the wooden divider of the beds and watched him through the thick veil of her lashes,
“So do tell, what did you bring me, dear Puppet Master?”

11 Finally, Someone Let Me out of My Cage! on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:04 pm

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
Even while her healing concluded, her magic receding with the gentleness of a forest fire that had set the entire landscape ablaze so that only ash remained atop the scoured soil, the Puppeteer was in pain. Once it was over, he panted for breath, muscles throughout his body spasming independently now and then as if each was a tiny city rebelling in the empire that was his stolen flesh. When she spoke, mocking him by implying it was his fault for the agony he had endured, he nearly struck her. In fact, he tried, lifting his left arm to lash out, but it barely raised inches above the sheets. As his limp thumped softly on the bed beside him, it the crimson sheet fluttered like a rippling pool of blood.

He was too weak to try much more for a few seconds and lay in silence until she demanded her gift. His eyes, thin slits between the lids, canted towards her. While he looked upon her as she restored her illusion, he gathered his thoughts from the scraps she’d left him. “A gift, obviously,” he answered at last, a small smirk forming at the corner of his lips like a thin crack in porcelain. Bit by bit, he was recovering. While her magic had mended his body, it had almost broken everything else.

With a slow determination, the black velvet bag captured in the cage of his fingers, he shifted until he was seated with his shoulders against the headboard, bare torso exposed to the warm air of the infirmary. He was no body-builder but the Puppeteer’s physique was more than adequate to catch the eye of the average girl—but then again, Kalika was far from a average girl, and average in most terms wasn’t of much interest to the demon.

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12 Devilish Suggestion on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:51 am

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
Lips twitched into the barest hint of a smile as she looked to the bag, one brow arching in silent question. Her tone could have drowned someone; it was so heavily laced with sarcasm, “Really? I never would have guessed.” The words came out far too sweet and the smile she had donned disappeared in a heart beat. She leaned forward as he settled himself against the headboard, for now she was focused only on the bag. One hand reached out, nails sliding along his knuckles, avoiding contact with the mysterious little package for the moment. “A gift, but what would you bring me, dear Puppeteer?”

It was natural of her to suspect a trap, though she couldn’t quit think of what that could be in such a devilish little package. Finally she pulled her gaze away from the bag and glanced over the Puppeteer. She had seen him just moments before, when his body had been ravished by imperfections. Now that the bruises had faded and scratches were all but nonexistent, she took in his looks. Kalika had seen many bodies, victims accounted for nearly half of that, yet there was something enchanting about the Puppeteer. Looks and mannerism included.

Kalika easily moved a touch closer, just enough to let her nails dance along his bare chest and down his torso. She paused when only when the sheets got in the way, a small smile ghosting over her lips,
“Pity you came to me broke. I could think of so many better things to do with you at the moment.” Digits tapped lightly along his chest, the barest caress before she pulled back and slid from the bed.

Straightening out she applied the finishing touches on her glamour, the guise completed once more. Her smile was sweet, displaying nothing of the monster it concealed, “As it is, you should probably get as much rest as you can.” She glanced around the empty ward and flashed him a grin,
“Lucky for you I don’t have anyone else in dire need of attendance, I’ll be right here while you relax.” She wanted the gift, to snatch it from him and give into curiosity. It was by sheer force of mind that she pulled the curtain half way and settled on a rather uncomfortable wooden chair beside his bed. Leaning back she slowly crossed her legs at the knee, hands resting in her lap. To the outside world she looked like nothing more than a mere worried nurse, tending to her patient to make their stay as pleasant as possible. To anyone that knew her however…well that all depended on how they interpreted her grin.

13 Now You Shouldn't Be Scared. on Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:59 pm

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
The Unseelie’s touch was unexpected but not unwanted. Goosebumps blistered across the Puppeteer’s bare skin like a pox afflicted by her fingernails while they trailed down his torso, tracing lower like a scalpel making an autopsy incision. Nurse or not, he was not entirely sure if he trusted her tender healing touch, especially how minutes before, it had brought him agony greater than the injury she sought to repair. “Oh really?” he murmured, lifting his gaze from her fingers on his chest to her inhuman eyes only to find her glamour masking their silver rims and flecks. Sometimes, he wondered how she could admire his craft if she wore magic as easily as others wore clothing.

A sly smirk spread across his lips as he heard the comment following her instructions. “Well, if you’ll be right here, then I will scarcely be able to relax,” he retorted, his tone teasing as he met her eyes. The reasoning was two-fold, of course: first, who could rest knowing an Unseelie watched over them like a predator observing its prey, waiting for a sign of weakness; second, how could any man rest knowing such a beauty was near, a single glance capable of lighting fires in his blood.

Better to appease her first before lowering his guard to rest. Reaching his hand out, his fingers unfolded from around the black velvet back like crumbling marble columns and stretched towards her to offer the gift he’d promised. “Take it, won’t you?” Still, he had yet to answer her questions regarding the contents of the pouch. Would she brave the unknown and retrieve it from his outstretched hand or would caution win dominion over the Unseelie? The Puppeteer doubted it would be the latter.

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14 Never Fear on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:00 pm

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
Lips split apart in that Cheshire grins of hers, a smile just a touch too wide for a mortal mouth. She flashed him those pearl white daggers she called teeth, her tone of sweetness clashing with the predatory gaze she pinned on him, “Really.” She was playful, akin to a shark nudging the side of a boat. Once could call it fascinating while another would likely scream. The smile vanished and Kalika mused she should have been in some dramatic play for how quickly she could change. It wasn’t just the magic, it was the Unseelie nature. Throw everyone for a loop and strike when they thought they saw a weakness. Except if that were the case, she should hardly be bothering with the Puppeteer, he was suppose to be nothing more than just a pet. A plaything for a simple bargain.

Leaning forward just a touch, the chair whispering its minor complaint at her actions, she watched him. The smile she donned remained within the human confines, as sweet and innocent as she could make it,
“Would you bid me to leave then, Puppeteer?” There was a chance she would do such, though there was also only the sliver of a change that she wouldn’t take offence to it. A dangerous gamble, one she wondered if he would take.

Once more she was offered the gift, except this time she reached out with little hesitation. If it was a trap then so be it, Kalika was not going to be put off by a slight wariness towards what was offered.
“Fine, let me see what exactly you have brought me.” Digits were careful to curl around the back, touch as delicate as could be. Her muscles tensed, tighter than the string of a drawn bow, ready to snap at any moment. This could be disastrous for either party. The darkness of her nature slithered beneath her flesh, power rising to the surface as if she expected an attack. In all fairness, that wasn’t something she would put past him. Then again, being what she was, she expected the worse from everyone, a surprise attack behind every smile. A knife in her back at every hug, not that she had been a part of many of those in her lifetime.

15 I'm Under Each Snare: Intangible. on Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:14 pm

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
“Never,” he answered, his words a soft chuckle after she had questioned if he’d rather she depart. After a moment of thought, he added, “I feel safer when I can keep an eye on you, my Unseelie Mistress.” His eyes settled on hers, waiting for any flicker of silver that he sometimes spied like the glimpse of beast between the bars as it prowled within its cage.

When she moved to snatch away the bag, he held steady and waited for her to lift it from his palm. Once she had finally decided to accept his dare and retrieve it, she would find its only weight was that of the fabric itself. Also, the cloth was soaked with neither a chill or warmth seeping from its contents—though it would be up to her to wonder whether it was a property of the bag or its hidden treasure. While she held it, she would be able to detect the faint fluid shifting of its contents dribbling across her fingers so that the fabric swelled into the small gaps between her digits. The man that bestowed the mystery gift upon Kalika waited in curious silence, a smile on his lips as he fixed an inquisitive and amused gaze on her. With his injuries healed, he had all the time in the world to wait for her to loosen the drawstrings of the pouch and reveal the surprise.

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16 Waiting for a Trap on Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
Kalika held the bag to the side, moved her hand to test its weight, trying to judge what little surprise it could harbor in its delicate clutch. Oh yes, the Unseelie was wary, bordering on slight paranoia that this was a trap. Who could blame her? Her kind were notorious for such things, wrapping their horrors in a pretty little package. She was a prime example of that. As the contents settled, exposing its uncanny liquid state she glanced at the Puppeteer. Silver flashed, bordering the human black, consuming its edges to show just a touch of the monster she could be. Madness warred within her mind, one side demanding she get it over with, the other suspecting a trap. It didn’t matter that it felt like liquid, Kalika had encountered all forms of that before. From acid to water containing flecks of iron, she was no stranger to trickery.

She kept the bag away from her, just a touch to the side incase it was what she expected. Muscles along her jaw tensed as she focused on the back, her voice a soft murmur,
“What do we have here…” Finally she plucked at its strings, though her actions were like a wary harpsichord player. Tentively she brushed her nails over it, caught the strings and gently moved them. Little by little on each side until she had but to let go of the last to reveal its contents. She hesitated for only a moment, a pause in time before finally dropping the last string and letting the bag open.

17 Pick And Choose. Sit And Lose. on Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:35 pm

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
As she wondered warily what was inside the bag, the Puppeteer’s smile broadened like a waxing moon. Mischief twinkled in his eyes like starlight. The suspense of her suspicion delighted the twisted tailor in ways she would so easily understand. Every hint of hesitation was another measure of his control over her, no matter how slight, as he played upon her insecurities with something that could be as benign as she imagined it was malicious. At long last, she tugged the drawstrings to loosen its opening. The fabric fell away like drawn curtains, crumpling onto the palm of her hand. What lay in the pouch, held by the rumpled edges of the bag like a reservoir was shadowstuff that shifted and swelled like the water at midnight.

“The essence of a shade,” he breathed, drawing back from the forward lean he had adopted while anticipating the unveiling of the gift and settling against the headboard again. “Not exactly the most common of things, my dear, or easily gotten,” he added, as if wondering if she knew the value of the gift. To him, it was worthless beyond an oddity to capture in glass and what as it stirred and shifted seemingly at random, churning like smoke one second and settling like silt the next. It may captivate his attention for a while, but others could put it to better use. Unfortunately, since his revival, the Puppeteer had yet to meet a shadowmancer, and the closest to their craft that he knew of was Kalika, the Unseelie nurse of Caislin Hallows and Queen of the Shadows, or at least the most deserving of that title of those that he had met so far. He knew not what purposes to which she might bend or bind the essence but that there would be at least one.

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18 Reflected Darkness on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:03 pm

Kalika Kali Ma

Kalika Kali Ma
Bronze
Bronze
The unveiling let to the grand display of contents and she couldn’t help it. The sound ripped itself from her vocal cords, tore apart her throat until it danced past her lips. The laughter was strangely light, soothing in its melody as she raised her hand above the essence. Darkness reached up, a hairs with away from her fingertip. Digits spread as she watched the shadows flatten, mimic her movements. The rise of her hand and it writhed for a moment, she could hear it, its content hum of the chaos it had wrought. Transfixed, like a child with a new toy she leaned back in her chair. Dipping her finger down to let the viscous mass shiver over her hand, she grinned, pulling away to watch it fall back in the confines of the bag.

“An unusual gift indeed, Puppeteer.” She pulled the strings taut once more, setting the bag in her lap to tie it with a small flourish. “One that is appreciated.” Nails stroked across the side of the bag, as if petting a creature rather than just the material. Her monster quieted, settled back in its caged of sorts. She was….content. The present just enough of a surprise to lull her for now. Strangely, it was enjoyable, a new little toy to play with, to experiment on. Glancing over at the Puppeteer she allowed him to another glimpse of her eyes, except there was only her usual measure of darkness there. No beast behind the mask, not yet at least. Lips curved on a genuine little smile, though there was still that edge to her, she offered no real threat.

“Relax Puppeteer, you have won over my protection for the night. I promise to do you no further harm until the sun rises, and by then, you should be well enough to make it to the room.” Lashes fluttered in a wink, the offer and the warning clear. She would protect him for his gift, make sure nothing disrupted his rest, but once the sun came up she would be back to her usual self.

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer
Bronze
Bronze
The laughter reminded the Puppeteer of the soft sound of satin sliding across skin as it left her lips. It was oddly disturbing coming from creature he knew to be capable of horribly harsh acts. He tensed, giving a faint shudder though no more than if coarse cloth had chaffed him for a moment. His only comfort was that while she laughed, her attention was focused on the gift. After just a glance, he too was captivated by the shadowstuff as it responded to her touch, one moment shrinking away, the next sticking to her fingers like putty. Of course, it had not responded to him in such a way, given that he lacked an affinity for shadows. He was a master of threads, not darkness.

When she finally sealed up the bag again, trapping the seemingly liquid shadowstuff inside, and turned to him again, her satisfaction with the gift obvious by her stance and expression. “I am glad, it was not easy to come by, as you might imagine given my state upon your arrival,” he said, finally providing at least a clue as to the source of his injuries. She need not know that the gift was only an unexpected byproduct of his encounter and that he had not been the one to seek the shade but the other way around.

“My, such a steep price for your protection for only one night,” he chuckled at last, easing again after the brief tension her laugh had inspired. “Well, I suppose knowing that I am being watched after, I should lay myself down for some rest then, hm?” he asked, though he was already lowering down onto the soft mattress. With a twitch of his fingers, the crimson sheet leapt up and draped itself across his body once more, its edge inches below his chin.

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