'Souls RPG

Full Version: [M] Is this revenge that I'm seeking, or seeking someone to avenge me?
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WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: language, stalking, abuse, gore, violence and potentially substance use mentions.

OOC: Lorien is in Secui form. tNPC used is Estelar who will likely die soon.

The gates of heaven had turned and opened itself to spew forth constellations aglow once more. Something - or someone - lay in wait for Lorien. It was seriously pissing him off. This was at least what he would have expressed to someone if he bothered to open up about this issue. He could have approached the Valar about a possible looming threat, but Estelar had never crossed the borders or even come close enough to it to be very visible or traceable. He thought he was slippery in that way. Lorien could take care of this himself. It would be embarrassing if it were to come to light and he did not want to be known as not strong enough to do this on his own.

What would it take to make Estelar let go of Lorien? He left the pack's territory with little external hesitance shown, but he bore that in his chest. When his paws crossed the markers, he felt his heart tense. He walked for some time, following what little traces of his ex that he could from the direction he last saw him in. His dark brown eyes had given him pause that night. 

"Estelar," Lorien called. "I can smell you. Expose yourself."

A dark dog leapt on two legs from a neighboring tree. He landed with bent knees, a hand steadying himself on the trunk. His dusty pelt ruffled and he grinned uncomfortably at Lorien. His teeth looked sharp.

"Lorien," Estelar rasped. "There you are. Ever clumsy with your double entendres."

"What the hell do you want from me?" Lorien demanded. He wanted him to just leave. Why was it so hard to just do so? He had clearly invested a lot of energy in following him and his littermates from Manitoba. He would kill him for that.

"Come back to Old Caledonia," Estelar said. "These fools don't know what they're doing."

Lorien curled his lips back in agression. His own teeth glinted in the starlight, though far less composed. He wanted to rip his throat out, but maybe he could just make him leave. All things said and done, Lorien could not bring himself to edge closer than he needed to. Estelar scared him, which he would never admit to the other man.

"Why not simply fuck off on back? Old Caledonia is gone, Estelar. My mother has passed, she resides with Nanin now."

"You wound me!" With a falsely poignant sigh and pout, Estelar shook his head. "You won't forget about your dead mommy, but you care not for my life. Now I have to have my revenge and take you back myself."

Quicker than Lorien knew, Estelar sprung. His Optime claws revealed themselves from the sheaths of his fingertips, wicked sharp and powerful. He swiped at him once, then twice. Lorien narrowly avoided injury, but his heart was hammering hard in his chest now. He had no idea how to respond to this. He could fight any other soul in the world. Any. Except him. He stumbled backwards in order to evade the strikes. Another was coming.

"Shit! Halt, fool!" Lorien shouted.
As horrifying as the war had been it had at least provided something for Hoko to do. She had been in her element there, a brute warrior on the battlefield crushing skulls and fucking shit up! She had even snagged a victory on the homefront, very publicly kicking the ass of an overgrown elder with too many burn scars and not enough common sense to counter his pride. Now she just ran around looking for loners to beat up, substituting Peers when none could be found.

She could only wrestle Hatchback to the floor so many times before it got old. Hokori was too large an opponent for pretty much anyone willing to tangle with her, made a victor by her prodigious strength and size. She was proud of those traits yes, but also concerned that they were holding her back. How was she supposed to prove herself a capable fighter when no one would actually step up and throw a punch?

The conundrum confounded her even as she walked, picking at her mind while she traveled along the riverbank. Like her father she had taken to staying strapped but she had the good grace to carry a sidearm instead of the whole armory. Her hip was adorned by the mace Iomair had made for her, a simple weapon for a simple woman.

It was a miracle of miracles that suggested the opportunity to use it.  Commotion beyond a thicket of birch trees made her ears prick up, raised voices and ugly words from Rand's offspring and a stranger. The fact that she didn't recognize the second speaker was enough of an excuse for Hokori to involve herself, a few hundred pounds of black fur barreling through the brush and behind the Stranger.

She put her shoulder into the charge, slamming into the smaller dog's back like a bull moose trying to toss aside a coyote.

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Estelar would not stop. The man was blinded by a rage, and Lorien swore he could only see red in those eyes of his. He knew his ex could be terrifying, and that was precisely why he dumped him. He only ever seemed comfortable enough with Lorien to give him the fright of his life, and would never step up to the plate when he needed defense from someone else. In the present, he was knocked off his center of balance as they performed their dance of blades. Aggressor and victim circled and whirled, all snarls and thrown insults.

"Stop, Estelar! This is why I left you!" Lorien shouted.

Enraged, Estelar bellowed.

"Fuck you! Nobody loves you! No one but me!"

The man looked truly overtaken, but he would never have him. Lorien would rather die than be trapped with him again. It would not happen. Estelar wound back both hands of razor, preparing to swing them forth as many tiny scythes. Before he could reap, a dark mass stretched from the shadows and bowled him over. Flesh hit flesh, and Lorien swore he could hear bones crunching. More startled than he ever had been in his life, he stumbled backwards onto the earth. Gravity had finally claimed his weight, bringing him to a rest on the earth.

With bulging eyes, he saw Hokori in all her beastly glory. She had cut down and felled Estelar like a cancerous tree. He lay splintered under her, though Lorien could not see the visible amount of blood between Estelar's teeth. It was too dark, and Lorien's mind was far too foggy and damp with memories of Manitoba. Estelar flailed and kicked his legs, the only limbs free of Hokori's brute strength.

"Stop!" he gasped. "I'm his lover!"

Estelar did not want to die. He had come all this way to take back what was rightfully his. But Lorien did not want him to live. As long as Estelar drew breath, he would hunt him down to the ends of the planet. Lorien would never truly feel safe knowing there was any possibility that he could be alive. With a sudden surge of strength, Lorien rose to his feet with a feral snarl. He was still in Optime, but he stood on all fours, hands pressed against the earth that he worshiped. Nanin had blessed him with aid in the form of his friend, Hokori Tanaka.

"Bullshit. Kill him, Hokori. KILL HIM!"

He could not bring himself to do it. If he ever had to touch Estelar again, he would vomit. He just hoped Hokori trusted him enough to save him from this monster. If she did, Lorien would never feel weak again.
She had stumbled upon a lover's quarrel. She recognized the possessive nature of the words and the resolution to never return to them, and any chance she had of feeling bad about the situation disappeared. When she struck the man he went flying, already off-balanced by his assault and unable to withstand a charging strike from someone so much bigger and stronger than him.

She hadn't even used her mace yet she had still managed to crack bones. The Stranger was left sprawled out on the ground, kicking and shrieking and pleading for the mercy that he had been unwilling to show just seconds before. "His lover?" She snickered darkly at the climb, one massive paw easily grabbing both of the Stranger's wrists. "Pardon me for interrupting your quarrel then, it seemed real cathartic."

The hand not restraining the man raked itself down his chest for no reason besides that it could, four long slashes from chest to belly that bled stark crimson against the black and brown of his pelt. "Lorien, you guys are lovers? Should I let him go then, or do we make this a threesome?"

The answer came in the form of a druid scrambling forth on all fours while screaming bloody murder, and Hoko didn't feel like objecting.

"How fun! Thanks for letting me cut in."

She spoke faux-cheer as she stood, dragging the Stranger by his wrists towards the water. The Miramachi was teeming with fish and bugs and other things this time of year, they'd be able to get a good meal in.

"Since you know Lori here from before, that means you're an Old Caledonian, right? You know anything about the Mud Goddess?"

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Something in Lorien felt appalled to see Estelar in pain. Another delighted in it. He would no longer be the weaker submissive to him, especially not if his body was so broken and the life was beaten out of him. Hokori made line after line, draining the hope of survival out of Estelar's eyes. It was delightfully terrifying. Lorien pushed himself onto his back legs once more, snarling wildly and snapping at the air. He could not bring himself to take Estelar down with his own two hands, but Hokori seemed to be itching to do it. 

When Hokori eased pressure off Estelar's chest and allowed him to breathe, his lungs rattled with blood that was now trickling into them. He could hardly breathe, but he labored after it regardless.

"Yes," Estelar gasped. "She will be smiling upon me when I pass. You two will meet the retribution you deserve when you die!"

Lorien knew this admission to be damning. Of all the things that he knew of Hokori, her hatred of Nin was among them. He may have felt complicated about that on any other sort of day, but that had no place in this moment. Estelar was as good as dead. He was hacking and coughing now. 

"Tell her to - to let go of me," Estelar commanded.

Lorien said nothing, inclining his chin upward. He looked down on his ex with narrowed eyes, thinking him the scum of the earth.
Hokori clucked her tongue, unimpressed by the talk of retribution and suffering and all that nonsense. "Sure, whatever you say.  I'm more of a Dúr gal myself. You see, me and the Silt Swallower don't get on very well." 

That was putting it politely. Hoko controlled her rage against the heavens by channeling it into more casual cruelty, stooping to dig a nail into one of the furrows carved into the Stranger's chest. He really needed to work on his conversational skills. The wild swings between threats of death and destruction and gentle pleas for his beloved to release him were not exactly convincing. 

The giant noted Lorien's silent refusal and continued her spiel, slowly scraping the stranger across the mud. "Some fanatics showed up, led by Lori's uncle actually. They trashed my home, hurt my family, killed a friend of mine. In return, I got my hands on the first devotee I could find and smashed her head in with a rock. I made sure that there was nothing for your god to recognize in the afterlife." 

The memory burned in her head, the struggle to keep a hold of the club as it became slick with blood and brain matter, the way the blind cultist had pleaded for the spouse she could not see leaving her to die. 

"Then I made a habit of ruining her shrines. The stone stacks, the carvings on trees, all of it. I doused her holy places in animal blood and ripped the offerings left there to shreds. And can you guess what the consequences were for my blasphemy? 

They were at the edge of the river proper, Hoko's feet sinking into soggy earth while water lapped at the Stranger's ears. She looked at him with hateful eyes and bared teeth, her savage desire to hurt someone once again allowed to shine through. 

"Nothing. Her followers aren't strong or smart enough to kill me and she herself hasn't struck me down. Here I am at the edge of her domain with a faithful servant at my mercy, and she isn't going to do a thing."

Hoko snickered, looking to Lorien briefly.  

"Dúr gives me strength to bend man and metal to my will. Nanin sent an avenging angel to Lori in the form of me. The Dual-Spirit acts through me as an eagle hunting vermin. Let's see if the Coward God gets involved on your behalf."

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Estelar's threats fell on deaf ears. He was utterly at a plain disadvantage. He was not just at odds with Lorien now, but Hokori as well. She was a giant of a woman, her form that of Dur's mountains. Lorien could respect that now. His perspective shifted ever so slightly and in an invisible way he could not have foreseen. Hokori spoke of how she had defaced shrines with the blood of animal and knife on wood. She even bragged about killing a Nin priest or priestess, which Lorien had not known of her yet. It must be the sort of thing you hear before you die. 

The Coward God. 

Lorien could believe that. Those that worshipped her as their priests and priestesses saw nothing but misfortune, and little was done to deter vultures come for their pickings. Estelar gaped in anger and offense, but Lorien found it funny. He smirked, his face dark.

"How dare you! The Goddess is not a coward! She'll come for all of you. Another war will exterminate you all!" Estelar shouted until he was out of air again, coughing and rattling.

"Coward. Coward. Coward. Coward," Lorien chanted. "I hate you. Coward."

Estelar was utterly horrified. He had never heard Lorien say something so personally offensive. Was it truly over?

"You don't mean that," Etselar crowed.

"I do."
The Stranger, predictably, took offense to Hoko's moniker. She gave him his second or two of defiant rage, let him express his belief that Nin would kick her ass eventually... and then she spat directly into his open mouth. "You talk too much." The hypocrite sneered. "Besides, even if she does start another war it'd only be doing what she did to you. Old Caledonia crumbled after one blow, the New will take many."   

She was indomitable in her pride, her grip around the Stranger's wrists unyielding. A muddy foot planted itself on his still bleeding chest, Hokori's evil grin only growing wider as Lorien rejected his "lover" entirely. "Coward...that seems accurate. You pick on someone smaller than you because that's all you can do. I fight people larger than me, people on horseback, groups of them at the same time. 

The foot pressed down, compressing the Stranger's chest so that he could do nothing but squirm with his arms held over his head. 

"The remainder of the Old Caledonia sent its best warriors, some of Nin's finest to try and stop the New. They failed. And I am the strongest of the New. As long as I remain loyal to the Realm neither God nor Mortal can bring it down."

Oh it felt good to stroke her ego. She was power incarnate, force and fury combined into one apocalyptic package. The Stranger had thought himself untouchable when he invaded her territory to try and mess with her friend and now she was going to prove him wrong.

"If you happen to see her, tell the Mud-Whore to send someone stronger next time."

And then the Stranger's head was dragged into the water, the foot pinning his chest dipping beneath the surface to hold his muzzle down. He would not be breaching until she allowed him to, Hokori counting the seconds in her head as she white-knuckled his wrists.

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Estelar gagged on Hokori's saliva. Lorien relished in his pain, glad to see him suffering as he had. It was not even a fraction of how prolonged it was for him. He prayed for it all to be over soon, but Hokori began to drag the whole ordeal on. He shook in anticipation. Was this regret? No. He wanted this to happen. It was better Estelar than Lorien. He had a future, a directive, a purpose. Estelar had nothing. He was nothing but the mud in the riverbed. With pleading and wrathful expressions, he implored and threatened Lorien or Hokori to free him.

It would not happen.

Hokori was truly powerful. Lorien did not mind hearing her spiel. Any second now, she would end this devil's life. With a final insult, a final instance of taking the Goddess' name in vain, she plunged him under the water. Bubbles rose and roiled on the surface, Estelar's breath ebbing in a whimper. He was relieved.

"Thank Nanin and Dúr," Lorien sighed, "thank Valleui and Valleuar. Thank you, Hokori."

He uttered his prayer to them all except for Nín. She would not help him. She would only cause him pain if he dare ask. He would not invoke the spirit of the coward's Goddess.
She held the Stranger under as easily as any man would have a puppy, keeping her victim trapped in his goddess's embrace with one foot. She could feel his head thrashing against the river bed, the water shallow but not shallow enough to save him. The surface was disturbed by ripples, signs of a desperate struggle to free himself. But like a fish caught in the jaws of a great shark the Stranger did nothing but ensure that he would die tired.

It took nearly a minute for the water to calm, and Hoko held him under a little longer just to be sure. Lori gave thanks to the gods as was proper, save for the one who had got him into the mess to begin with, and then thanked Hokori in the same breath. Her already prodigious ego reacted well to being spoken of in the same sentence as the gods, the giant wolfdog smiling a deeply cruel smile. 

"Don't worry about it. Any excuse I get to rip a Nin worshipper a new one is fine by me." 

Everything seemed so quiet now that the commotion was over. The river lapped gently at the shore, the current diverting around the now still dog with his head hidden beneath the surface. She put an arm around Lorien's shoulder and began to walk in the direction of Caledonia, steering the recently rescued druid home. "No offense Lori, but I think you have shit taste in men." 

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Lorien watched with transfixed eyes as Estelar was forced to inhale gallons of water. He could scarcely breathe himself, as clear as his lungs were of everything but air. He was grateful that he was spared to live another day. He would continue to make the most of it in the best way he could. Still, a dark expression took over his face. The circle of life would continue on, and Estelar was left to rot in the river as he had chosen with his belief system. Lorien knew that someday he would be buried in the earth, and that was just fine... He just hoped it would not be too soon. 

Hokori seemed pleased in her own way. Her grin was something proud, very insanely proud of what she had just done. And Lorien would have done the exact same thing for her in a heartbeat. The forgiveness in her heart did not come so quickly to him, however. He could still hear Estelar's voice in some ways.

Selfish. Sinful. Doomed. Foolish.

He shook his head violently. He needed to unwind after this. Hokori put her arm around him to guide him back, and heavy as though he had a thousand rocks cast into a thousand pockets born on his body, Lorien trudged his way back with her.

"Mmn. I believe you are correct. I am glad you were there, Hokori. I would do the same for you."

He had much to think about now. Nanin whispered comforting phrases into his mind, lulling him into a zombie-like state. His eyes were vacant, but he was calm. 

OOC: Lorien is plural. Lorien has an introject of the religious figure of Nanin in a system. This is not the literal god, Nanin, 'possessing' Lorien. This 'Nanin' is not the original and is just a part of Lorien's plurality. There is nothing supernatural about this, it's purely an internal and mental function of this character.