[P] [M] hello from the other side
#1
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I am so sorry for the length, but I really wanted to establish the scene, as well as to tell a good story I could use for Akantha's Area of Study! WC: 1,223 For Shaamah! Please don't feel you need to match length. xD



It had been Bane who had kindled the idea and like a flame it had taken hold. Akantha spent hours pouring over the journal she had created, making sure that the rough cursive captured what it meant to be a wolf born of Khalif. It was savagely beautiful, a religion that would have had no place in the courts of Onuba – but something that attracted Akantha to the womans story all the same. Bane had explained the differences between the dark wolves and the light, and the Onuban couldn’t help but wonder what sort of life the woman would have had, had she not escaped the hands of her Aunt and The Mountain.

The journal had been dyed a rich mahogany at her request, and the packs Sodalis had happily acquiesced to her request in exchange for a stolen moment amongst the rafters of his workshop. The leather created by Vedetta was soft and smooth against her fingers and she found herself absently stroking the edges of the journal as she wrote. In their moments spent together she had begun to learn more about the Auditore man and the Spanish territory he had come from – this too was added to the books pages.

The study of other luperci had not been Akanthas original intention, but now as the days grew shorter and the nights crisper, she found that she was caught up in the stories that had begun to take shape beneath her eager fingers. There were pieces of her inlaid in each page, and she found herself drawing parallels between her life in Onuba and the lives of the many Luperci who had found homes for themselves in the rustic land of Nova Scotia.

Now, as she sat in Amhurst’s Tavern she eagerly eavesdropped for details that other men and women dropped about their places of origin. Akantha had set out early in the morning with Florian to explore the sleepy traveler’s town, and had been excited at the notion of meeting new faces. There had been new members slowly trickling into their own territory, perhaps to take shelter from the oncoming winter; though many seemed to disappear as soon as they arrived. As a woman of the court, the notion was not foreign to her (members trickled in and out like a river), but somehow she had come to expect more from the Sapiens and their rolling Estate.

It was the mans voice that broke across the slow murmur in the tavern and drew the rose-gold woman’s attention.

’-Never seen anything like it.” The mans voice was low, though it seemed to carry in the tiny room as a deep rumbling baritone. Immediately Akantha pricked her ears, settling her delicate hands against the smooth fabric of her dress as the conversation continued. ”There’s a place in the woods where they all come together, chanting and hooting. They call themselves The Tears of Iell,” A hush followed the man’s words, and Akantha couldn’t help but spin on her stool at the sound of exclamation that came from a nearby woman.

”I’ve heard of’em,” The woman who spoke alongside him was gruff sounding and cool. ”Claim that the sacrifices they mimic were what their great one went through in the time before.” She snorted roughly through her nostrils, and Akantha began to slink closer to the circle of wolves. ”I met one’o’em had no ear, another claimed her eye had been sacrificed in the name of her god.” The heavy cloak about the mongrels’ throat was fringed in thick furs and baubles, and as Akantha entered the circle she glanced between her and the dark man at her side with a curious expression set about her lips.

The man smelled of heavy smoke and pine, and the woman was beautiful in a rough, travelled sort of way. The Sapient cleared her throat, ”I’ve never heard of them,” She blinked owlishly, her dark lashes fluttering, ”Would you mind telling me more?” The man and woman shared a glance between them and allowed the Diplomat into their conversation with a shrug. ”They say that they recruit new members by kidnappin’ them – startin’em off young. When y’reach the proper ages then they ask that you make your sacrifice-“ Akantha couldn’t help but cut her off, her voice imploring, ”-but how do you-“

The woman shifted the heavy cloak to reveal a smooth arm that ended in nothing more then a gnarled nub.

Akantha gasped audibly, and leaned closer to inspect the woman’s scars as the man spoke, ”She was one of them until I found her.” Suddenly the Spanish woman had more questions then she could put voice to, her expression drawn carefully somewhere between a frown and a grimace – the beauty of her lost in the small tavern with its shadows and flickering candlelight. Her eyes widened as she gestured to the barkeep, ”Tell me everything you can.” The man waddled over with a tray, and together they settled into the shadows – their stories flowing as easily as the wine on their tongues.

The man was a better story teller then the woman – and they both revealed their names as the night went on. Brack was from the far north, a brute of a man who had happened upon Osana some months prior. The more Akantha listened to them, the heat of the drink pooling pleasurably in her gut, she knew that there was more to their story. They cast small glances to one another across the table, the woman’s good hand brushing the grainy wood that separated them as she recounted her side of things. Hers was a good story, though at times her thick accent made it difficult to understand what it was exactly that she had been through and how she had recovered.

Akantha drank it all in, her elbows propped upon the table as she listened, spell bound.

Ciellen would have chafed at her naïveté and insisted that another be present to accompany the lady to places such as this one – but Akantha was dedicated to her pursuits and found their company to be jovial enough. To anyone watching it would have looked out of place, the lady of Sapient drinking amongst such ruffians, but for the sake of their story Akantha allowed herself to look past this with well practiced charm.

Everyone swayed unsteadily at the table, their breath heavy with the scent of drink that the barkeep was only too happy to supply. It was only when Osana retired for the evening and the man was left alone with her that she realized the predicament she had put herself in. He had slunk closer to her through out the evening, and now sat with his stool teetering beside her – the edge of his thigh pressed to her own. Akantha felt her actions slow, and when his hand found her own she found that she hadn’t the heart to pull it away.

It was only when the mans hand found her thigh that she curled her lips, ”Don’t-“ He leaned close, blinking slowly with an expression that flickered and deepened like embers, ”Shhh,” And when he caught her mouth in a kiss it was too warm and too close –

She bit him with a snarl, shoving him away from her so that the stool fell with a clatter behind him.





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#2
[[OOC: I know you said I didn't need to match length, but I got carried away! You built the atmosphere so well, I had so much to work from! ]]

Large footpaws stepped over the scored bark of a fallen timber, the clout of tall and able columns carrying the beast forward as he made his path through the North Shore brush and forestry. It had been months in the coming, but the warrior found himself in a position to which he had not often become. The pent up energy, still not yet spent in these past few weeks, had boiled over. The sparring, training, lessons, scouting and all around fulfilling of duties had not been able to spend what was stored deep within. The nomad was on the move to make his body ache with travel, his senses sharp to the din of nature and his mind needed the space. He had gone from a wandering wretch to a dutiful soldier all but overnight after claiming his name under Sapient. There had been no transitional period. A change so drastic was only expected to eventually nip at his heels, and he took the sudden urge to move without hesitation.

More than the urge of gallivanting about the wilds had been stationed away, however. Primal yearnings that had always been filled upon their arrival were now put on a shelf to collect dust. The man may be educated in his own right, and a loyal soldier at heart, but an the existence that he had called his own was survival. His instinct was a practiced ritual. His experiences, though seldom spoken and even less thought of, still crept about his subconscious. The events of his life had sculpted him. A machine. A beast. A monster. As all monsters do to achieve satiation, Shaamah was fulfilling the need that had kept him alive. Like all monsters, Shaamah was hunting to fill a very special need.

War had built him. It had birthed him. It had claimed his immediate family and any ally he'd ever come across in his early years. War had been foul to him. Despite his dedication to the battle field and his success therein, the gods that slipped their tendrils into such things wouldn't allow him reward. He was more loyal to his land, than he was his life. Even as a king, the scars on his body were the only thing he could claim from his past life. War had destroyed him. Heart, mind and soul were torn from their trifecta and tossed aside. Such things hadn't been needed in his existence, and therefore were laid to rest before they had time to blossom. Logic replaced wonder. Malice replaced empathy. Emptiness filled even the lightest ray of his spirit. There were no friends beneath the suns of his final years. There was no love. There was no joy, no sadness, no fear. Anger sprouted in his deepest wounds, and anger was a hungry demon to fill.

It had seemed the most of his travels had been left to isolation, until now. Only the few souls that he had passed as he temporarily retired from Sapients territories had crossed his path, the length of his journey filled with the scurrying of rodents, the shiver of foliage or the lonesome call of the birds that overstayed falls welcome into the winder nights. Amherst had come into sight, and with it, came those who traveled about in trade or pleasure. The beast moved from the outskirts of town, toward it's innards, the faces of strangers gawking in awe or turning away plaguing him as he passed. He didn't care for those who saw him as a miracle of nature, nor did he give a bit of concern to those that saw him an abomination. His body did it's job. His scars served their purpose. His eyes burned straight through these numb-minded strangers as he moved, until that feral gaze found the calling of many a drunken fool.

Beast moved into the bar, his mass dipping below the door in order to fit through. Tall black harks caressed the ceiling lightly as he moved against the wall, offing a single glare to the bartender in a silent order to keep away from him. Shaamah meant to cause no trouble in these walls. A rest for stiff joints was necessary before making the return home, so as not to damage himself. Feral gaze met no other eye as he settled himself in an unadorned corner of the tavern, lifting a table to the side so as to prop himself up against a wall. He'd learned his lesson with perching on chairs quite some time ago, and wasn't very interested in the idea that the bartender might address him for shattering one. Not that the soldier had anything to trade for the damages. The cost was likely to fall upon Sapient. It was in his best interest no to destroy property out of carelessness.

Broad shoulders lurched forward as the skull atop his thick neck rested on the wall behind him. One leg was propped up, bent at the knee, while the other was allowed to loosely stretch outward. Brawny arms crossed over his chest as his attention finally fell across the room. His eye was immediately tuned to Akantha, whom he had met upon his arrival to Sapient. That woman certainly traveled a great deal for having little to no ability in defending herself, while advertising herself and her pack as clean, healthy and social. Sapient seemed perfect for the likes of the she-dog, in great contrast to the soldier who sat in the corner. Presentation only meant a fight more easily deterred when in need of energy preservation, rather than to make any creature under the sky assume that Shaamah was presentable. The fact that they had come under one room, despite their small distance from their residence, only seemed to amplify the irony.

Akantha seemed might interested in a man who spoke of something Shaamah wasn't able to fully catch. The whole bar had likely their fill of some sort of drink that turned their minds to putty and their skin heated. A woman moved away from the group and the duo continued on through the night in each other's company, unaware of the world around them. Shaamah hadn't left a blind eye to the rouge who carefully slithered toward the golden-locked diplomat. The beast showed it very little concern. What she would choose to do on her own time wasn't any of his business, especially if it was out of the pack territories and she wasn't doing any harm to her pack mates alliances. As the scene had completely unfolded, however, the warrior was able to read the pages clearly.

Akantha had denied the rouge his touch, yet he continued to move in toward her maw. Even from across the room, Shaamah could see the glaze in his eye. A very different primal urge that afflicted a very different kind of beast. The hulking form kept his place, until the woman retaliated from the poison of a drunken kiss. Shaamah's duties had suddenly followed him all the way from Sapient as he lifted himself from his corner. The stool found the floor and the rouge stumbled back, the noise hiding his heavy footfall as the boards creaked with the weight pressed upon them.

The soldier couldn't see the man's face, but as the strangers hand reached to his mouth so he could view the warm blood that seeped from his tattered lips and Shaamah had found that Akantha did have a little fight in her. The rouge, however, wasn't about to allow her any sort of victory. In the time it took for the soldier to reach the small quarrel, the staggering man had moved to grab the slight woman's arm with a wildness in his eyes,” You bitch! You're not going to get away with that!” The words echoed through the tavern and the barkeep made himself scarce. The man lifted on hand high over his shoulders, exaggerated by drink and fury, before throwing it toward the Onuban's face.

As the rouge attempted to batter Akantha's precious comely features, Shaamah had finally found purchase on his quarry. The beast brought his arm out straight and with the inertia of the pivot on his hips and the shift of weight from one foot to the other, sent the rouge sailing. The clothesline had thrown the stranger into the stools at the table beside, and with enough force to keep him off of his feet for a moment. Shaamah offered the woman a sideways glance, an inquiry, for her to offer herself as sound. It was likely that their trip to the tailor in Sapient had offered her enough insight to know what the look had meant.

[[WC: 1471]]
[Image: rnGRPkV.png]
#3
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<3



The haphazard smear that spread across her lips was angry, marking her clearly as a woman of Sapient in ways that she had yet to understand. Her edges hardened, her once soft curves trembling with fury. Bracks blood was hot, warmer then anything she had ever experienced and it was only with a soft sound that she wiped the mess from her mouth to the sleeves of her once pristine blouse. It had been pulled to the side in their scuffle, the smooth fabric creased from where he had grabbed at her.

In Onuba such an act would have been met with harsh penalties – men with swords and noble dignity would have swept in to save a lady from such a plight. The bar was silent in the wake of their explosive action – though slowly the murmuring had begun again, some eyes trailing the edges of her skirt with inelegant curiosity. Cups and mugs clunked heavily against wood as they were set down from lazy mouths, and like the heart of the tavern the sound beat through the candlelit space.

The arm he raised was corded with lean muscle, created from years of travelling over terrain of all kinds. For a moment she felt herself still beneath the weight of his gaze and realized for the first time that his eyes were a perfect crystalline blue. His mouth swam crimson, and Akantha cowered from his oncoming fist with a sound caught somewhere between a yowl and a cry. Despite her confidence she shrank from him, her eyes wincing shut as she prepared for the inevitable blow. Her toes curled into the dark wood beneath her, her delicate hands clenched firmly into fists.

Her lips twitched with silent Spanish prayers, and for a moment she found herself wishing for Sin Luna the precious blade that always hung at a certain Salcedos hip.

But somehow, the blow never came.

Brack was swept away from her with a sharp sound as the air left his lungs, and she felt her eyes snap open at the realized that someone was there to stop him. It was as if all the noise in the room disappeared as she recognized the heavy-set form of Shaamah, the brutish mercenary who was a newly crowned Sapien. She gaped, opening and closing her mouth as she clutched at her now stained elbows, her expression pulled into a frown. The length of the grey mans arm had caught the man just beneath his chin, and it was obvious by the mercenaries stance that he was prepared for any altercation.

”S-Shaamah,” She began, her gaze flicking to the man who had begun to right himself amongst the now scattered chairs, ”I’m alright.” Akantha took a breath, willing the tremble from her hands with a sharpening of her expression, "I'm alright." It was a mantra, one that had her adjusting the skirt about her hips, straightening the set of her blouse so that it fell properly across her chest. A button came loose and skittered wildly across the floor only to fall as it connected with Shaamahs large foot.

Brack had righted himself with some trouble, and now stood swaying angrily as he surveyed the man before him. Blood dripped slowly from his split lip, and he glared with a gaze so cold that Akantha had fear of staring too deeply. The assault had sobered her, and she padded her way towards Shaamah to take up a silent vigil from behind him. The vagrant blinked slowly as if to clear his head, "Got me good," his head gave another shake as he took a step towards the taller Shaamah, "She asked for it."

He raised a hand as if to reach for her, and Akantha backed away, her lip curling to reveal nothing but slick white teeth.

"Puto," She hissed the words through clenched teeth, though the curse filled the air with a familiar spanish heat, "Do not touch me!"







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#4
His name had dropped like a pin in the silence of the tavern from Spanish lips. The trepidation she had held so tightly to, before the rouge could land his blow on her now tousled features, slowly formed it's way into a small confidence. The veteran could find the shivering of her extremities, and the wild fire of adrenaline swept beneath her golden gaze, but she managed to steady herself enough to pull herself from terror's clutches. Her reiteration was enough for the beast. If she could speak so well and stand upright, the woman was well enough. A familiar adjustment of the woven threads draped about her body came as Shaamah began to turn his crown away from her countenance, the intensity of his gaze meeting the small item that had reached for him across the room, before finally reaching the rouge.

For the first time in his miserable life, it seemed, Shaamah had done something that differed from his nature. Granted, it was for the greater good of his alliance with Sapient and he could accuse himself of such, but he had done a good deed, nonetheless. The brilliant azure of the stumbling cur's eyes found the woman whom moved for a much more defensive position behind the castle wall that was Shaamah. The beast could have easily left the situation as it stood and allowed the diplomat to take her leave, but a strange new taste given to him by the frightened Akantha behind him moved upon his tongue. The fear of others was often his motivator when he was in the position of aggressor. It was what he sought. The begging of a dying man when all was lost and there was nothing left to gain but life itself. It moved him to the monster he had easily become. Yet, this flavor was much different.

Someone was on his side; someone needed him.

It was more than the frivolous play of a spar, a favor or a job. The honor that laid dormant, only before to rear it's gnarled head when called upon by a king, shook away the dust of time for this moment. Shaamah squared his shoulders in a different way. His tactic was often intimidation, but he didn't seek out the alteration of this drunken fool's gaze. The beast moved his weight, shifting from the center to the side, to shield the woman that curled away at the rouge's reach from view. Dark harks curled back while hackles danced urgently atop his nape. A roiling growl rose in his tattered mane, the longest strands trembling with the low vibrations that threatened the traveler with more than just a battle. For now, as long as she would have it, Akantha belonged to Shaamah. Turning the woman into territory was the only way the warrior's mind could translate the fire that burned in his psyche, having so often fought for land rather than living souls, fueling a silent rage so deep that the word 'protection' couldn't even define this new charge that would not be compromised.

There wasn't a soul on this earth that had coward behind Shaamah, calling for his protection with such an unspoken power.

A strange word spat from the woman's lips and she commanded Shaamah's arm with the fire of her words. Large handpaw snapped up from it's resting at the monotone monster's side. The dull charcoal claws that peaked on each fingertip drilled into the arm of her aggressor, his grip unrelenting in it's crushing hold. The space between the two males closed as Brack leaned in, his eyes still swamped with liquid confidence. There was a strong spirit in the daft mind of this rouge, and it crept through a laugh that reached across the room before silent, slurred words were uttered,” What're you gonna do, huh?”

Lexis rung with the whisper of alliances spread throughout Nova Scotia. Shaamah knew nothing of them, not a damned thing. This man could be from an ally pack, and simply made the mistake of imbibing a bit too much while able to throw his weight around. This rouge could be a high seated member of an enemy, a territory on the brink of war with Sapient and it's people. A spy attempting to destroy an allegiance between two packs, in order to gain for his own. The cards were wild. The stranger could simply be a loner, a fool, tempting soldiers into traps. There was a good deal that sat on the line if Shaamah made a mistake. Not only this, but Sapient's culture tapped on his shoulder with a mild murmur. Was murder a profitable endeavor while beneath their claim? The calculations ran opaquely behind the warrior's eyes as they cut through the rouge in his grasp. Neutral territories, however. Neutral territories were a completely different story.

The two remained locked in gaze with Bracks arm tightly bolted in Shaamah's colossal and tightening grip. The atmosphere of the bar weighed enough to hold the silence, a diamond unlikely to cut the tension that brewed between them while not a single mug dared to clatter in fear of breaking it. Finally, the gravelly slice of Shaamah's low yet patient tone had risen from his black, tattered lips,“ You are mistaken,” The warrior spoke, his tune malevolent. Brack's brows curled inward as blue eyes narrowed. The rouge's attention darted to Akantha, perplexed, before finding Shaamah again. The soldier very well may have seemed insane, but the calmed demeanor despite the latent hostility that emitted from him demanded for the undivided attention of the slowly sobering drunkard,” What?” Brack's lip raised, his head moving from side to side with the confusion.

Dark hackles from Shaamah's nape to hips flared as the energy moved through him,” There is nothing 'good' about how I've 'got' you,” Composed voice lifted with the muscles that tightened through his body, the nerves shooting signals past his inhibition and straight through to his clenched hand. The soldiers waist pivoted as he pulled his opponent's arm straight, as his opposing hand came quickly from his side. An open palm found the rouge's elbow and with the force of Shaamah's mighty weight the sharp crack of a shattered bone echoed beneath the man-made ceiling, followed by the hoarse cry of sudden and intense pain.

Shaamah's grip had yet to relent as he pulled the rouge closer by his broken arm, only releasing the wildly flailing man to grip at his throat. The cur had managed a few blows against Shaamah's face, arm and shoulder, but none of it would even be recognized by the beast. Brack struggled to return the attack with any force he ad left through the fire he endured in his arm, finally battering Shaamah's bicep as he was lifted off of the floor. The attacks ebbed as Brack gripped the scarred warriors forearm. His precious breath was being stolen from him and the pressure against his throat allowed very little through. The gurgling hacking of asphyxiation erupted from the rouge's mouth while Shaamah eventually added one last vocal jab at the pitiful sight,” Or is this not what you had asked for?”

Certainly the man wasn't to know that Akantha had a companion nearby, but it was Brack's poor luck of the draw that it happened to be a monster of a soldier with the might of a bear and the mercy of a badger. Perhaps, he would be lucky. Perhaps, Brack could tempt the dealer of life for one last hand of cards. The rouge's bloodshot eyes, so contrasting to the brilliant blur of his iris, reached out for the woman that stood behind Shaamah. A pleading rung so deeply to her as the grip on his neck pressed foam from his mouth, snot from his nostrils and tears from his eyes. The monster that held him high knew nothing of compassion. He prayed that the woman he'd assaulted, naught but moments ago, could shine with a very different color.

[[wc: 1372]]
[Image: rnGRPkV.png]
#5
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Shaamah was powerful in a way that the other men in her life had not been. The men of Onuba had their pursuits, the swordplay, the horses, the women – but Shaamah was built large enough that he had no need of these things, and his terse mannerisms made him all the more enigmatic. He was nothing like what she was used to, but despite this she found herself drawn to him. One hand steadied herself against his broad back, and she couldn’t help the snarl that brewed deep within her chest as Brack came forward -- his tattered lip dripping crimson against the dirty collar of his shirt.

The Mercenary made a sound that was so deep Akantha felt her chest tremble with the might of it, and the soft sound that escaped her had her backing away in the shadows. Brack was powerful in his own way, and the ice of his eyes was concentrated on the pair of Sapiens – his lips pulled into what she took as a cruel smirk. ”Didn’t mean anything by it – I thought she liked me.” The man hissed through his teeth, the smooth bubble gum pink of his tongue swiping across his dark lips. Akantha recoiled, giving her head a soft shake as Shaamah surged forward, muscles tense.

Akantha was not opposed to violence – as a member of the Onuban court there was often times a fine line between beauty and savagery. The horses races were sometimes dangerous, and animals were forced down byb their riders and put down with a swift swing of the sword. Assasinations were not prevalent but were sometimes whispered lowly at the court – such as the assassin who had found Rafaels sweet sister Lilia. There was always a darkness to all things, but to be here and witness it – Akantha found herself holding her muzzle in her hands as Shaamahs large clawed hands found the mans elbow.

She gasped audibly with the rest of the tavern as Bracks arm shattered, and the silence that followed was louder then anything else in the room.

Akantha couldn’t help the sound that escaped her in the wake of the action, ”Shaamah!” She stood before the panting beast with her soft eyes and glanced at Brack, ”Stop -- You’ll kill him!” Her shoulders were thrown back defiantly, and despite her diminutive stature it was obvious that in some small way she had her own sort of power. Bracks breath bubbled in his throat, his good arm scrabbling at the brutes grey arm, the broken one hung lamely at his side. Shaamah held the man aloft, and Akantha beat a tiny fist against his side in an effort to stop him, "Stop!"


Akanthas skirts swished at her feet, and when she felt the prick of a dagger against her arm, it took her a long time to realize what had happened. No one had made a sound as a burly woman pushed her way through the crowd, the sheen of her eyes lit with anger. She had thrown the knife from her spot amongst the crowd and it notched itself with a loud sound into a nearby table, though not before catching Akanthas arm while on its path. For the first time, Akantha cried out with a keening wail.

Osana had obviously been roused by the commotion downstairs and stood with her arms out to the sides, her legs stiff with fury. Akantha gawked, stumbling away from the woman with a nub for a hand. "Osana -- please, you don't understand --" Akanthas voice grew shaky as she realized the dagger had split the sleeve of her blouse, her blood mixing with the long smears of the man held in Shaamahs grasp. For the first time she felt fear, and it made her quake, her small hand wrapped around her upper arm in an attempt to stave the bleeding.

For a moment the throng seemed to ebb closer, and Akantha allowed herself to be pushed to the back of the small room -- her back side pressed against the nearest wall. Shaamah was in front of her now, Osana seething with rage as she heavily padded her way forward in an effort to challenge him. The scent of her own blood on the air had her feeling faint -- and not for the first time she wished Semini was there with her sling shot.

”Drop him.” She hissed, another knife emerging from the folds of her leather bindings, ”Or I will come and claim him.”






UGH SO FUN! :D :D :D SHAAMAH CRACK SOME SKULLLLSSSS


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[html]<div id="sig182797" class="signature"> <style> @import url('http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Alegreya+SC'); @import url('http://sleepyglow.net/rp/icons/signature-icons.css'); .akanthaSigOuter {width: 400px; margin: 0 auto; text-align: center; margin-top:-30px;} .akanthaSigName {font-family: 'Alegreya SC'; font-size: 28px; text-shadow: 0 0 5px #fff; margin-bottom: -30px;} .akanthaSigSplit {border-bottom: 1px solid black; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: -5px;} #signature-icons a { background-repeat: no-repeat; display:inline-block; position:relative; margin:0; opacity:.35; filter:alpha(opacity=35%); transition:200ms linear all; -moz-transition:200ms linear all; border-bottom: 3px solid transparent; } .akanthaSigOuter #signature-icons a:hover, .akanthaSigOuter #signature-icons a:focus, .akanthaSigOuter #signature-icons a:active { opacity:1; filter:alpha(opacity=100%); border-bottom: 3px solid #89AA1F; /* change the color under the icons when you hover over them on this line */ } </style> <img src="http://i.imgur.com/tkYbIst.png"> <div class="akanthaSigOuter"> <span class="akanthaSigName">Akantha Amaranthe</span> <div class="akanthaSigSplit"></div> <div id="signature-icons"> <a href="#!" class="reply-medium" title="REPLY SPEED: MEDIUM"></a> <a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Amanda3" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a> <a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.Akantha" target="_blank" title="CHARACTER WIKI" class="character-wiki"></a> <a href="#" class="apparel-accessories" title="Dark colored skirts (brown, grey) usually accented in ruby-colored accents. Usually seen with pendant and light colored blouse."></a> <a href="#!" target="_blank" title="Akantha speaks Spanish, denoted by <>" class="foreign-language"></a> <a href="#!" class="optime-preference" title="OPTIME unless otherwise stated."></a> <a href="#!" class="accompaniment" title="Character is typically accompanied by her gelding, Florian or her donkey, Ambrose."></a> <a href="#!" class="skill-social" title="Character is skilled in social skills."></a> <a href="LINK" title="OPEN FOR THREADS!" class="open-for-threads"></a>

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#6
The thickness of his vest allowed for a barrier between the soft touch of the woman behind him and the skin that was heated beneath it. Each and every contact to his form was foreign, was a threat, and with a battle born mind, instinct would have him crawl out of his very own skin whether the touch was serene or malevolent. With the tunic that adorned him, however, the lack of immediate contact brought about a buffer, the press of her hand against his taut back encouraging the ferocity of his warning to the rouge.

Her palm had retreated with the thunderous growl that boomed deeply within him, and it was for the best. The more space she made between the two of them, the better. Shaamah was a freight train of movement in a fight, and the chances of her getting caught in the cross-fire were likely even as she stood aft. To the cur's comment that reached through the Mercenary and onward to the frightened she-dog received no such shift of countenance from Shaamah. He'd catch no change through a beast that knew the power of words on an unprepared mind, and his was a wit that was nie so subliminally changed. Brack would learn that quickly, as hollow lexis found their backing against the break of his arm and a grip on his throat.

The shallow wave of startlement rippled from every corner of the tavern, one audibly recognizable from behind in Akantha's lilted tune. It was then that the eyes of the barmen and women were growing hesitant in their chosen option to continue with their short cut nightly gaiety. As the eyes of strangers began to wander about the room, their bodies as still as their voices, Akantha's voice rose above all else. The soldiers name had been called, but her tune did not call upon him, this time. Her note challenged him. It bayed him back. Intense heterochromic sights would not separate from his quarry, even as she called for a cease fire on his behalf.

Only when the slight, clenched fist pecked at his side did his attention break away. The wild fury was thick in his eyes, his pupils tapered to pricks and his lips lowering to shield the vanilla tinted ivory beneath. She'd not asked for his intervention in this assault, as it was gifted to save her from a brutal battering in which she did not warrant, and as it were she could not ask him to hold himself at bay. The beast knew full well of how he worked and what his profession called for, not to mention, the future that it brought. There wasn't any commanding the brute this far in, not without consequence that vengeance brought from the man he claimed injury to. Akantha might not know of what a brawl might bring, but Shaamah wasn't willing to leave any frayed knots to tie up later. Turned backs were the most likely to be carved into.

There wasn't a word that could be spoken before the glint of steel slipped across his sights. To the symphony of Brack's gargling cries, Akantha's lament and the clack of the blade that rested in the table aft, the warriors eyes darted to the crowd. Bodies were pushed away as a woman finally broke through, to whom the wounded Sapien gave name and preached her innocence at the situation that branded the duo as guilty as they looked. The wood beneath Akantha's heels echoed with her stumbling. Shaamah knew the golden luperci was losing herself in the chaos, but for as long as she kept to the background and out of the fight, the soldier could hold his own just as well. The light curls of her hair and decorated fabrics of her frock were as good to her now as the wound on her arm. He couldn't help but recall the day he had initially met her. The question she had asked. What were her weaknesses, she had inquired.

The hard footfall of Osana's step followed after Akantha had found herself pressed against the far wall. The glint of another blade reached out from beneath the leather that clothed her and a threat was made to the monster who still clenched the rouge. The attempted breathing of the man was nothing more than a convulsion of his lungs as they fought for any air they could grasp. Shaamah's nature was not to leave the snake's head intact. Dark harks spun back, the silver cropping from his canal seeking out any sound that Akantha would make. Osana commanded him. Shaamah's eyes narrowed.

This would not be the first time a blade has had the taste of his flesh.

Claw tipped thumb reached into Brack's throat, forcing the hard bone to the back of his esophagus. The last inhale that Brack's body had attempted forced his trachea to collapse. Shaamah glared with a brutal malice in his gaze, lips lifting as he initiated the finally to their static stand-off,” Then claim him,” The feral rumble of his voice reached lowly to Osana as his palm snapped open, dropping Brack on the floor to leave him with his terminal rasping to the convulsing as the throws of death surrounded him with darkness. He was certain that Akantha wouldn't approve, but there was little beyond this point that Shaamah was concerned with, save for the battle at hand.

Osana's battle cry reached beyond the bar and into the streets. A second blade cut through the space between them, the shimmer of metal faster than the feet that carried the maimed woman to Brack's murderer. The knife reached only so far as the monster's arm slapped it from it's course, the blade digging into the thick muscle of his forearm before it's deflection into the bottles of liquor that lined the backboard of the serving counter. The dark ruby of his fresh wound dappled from the floor to the wall, the movement of his hand slinging the fluid and it's stench across the bar.

Osana came only seconds after, her onslaught fueled by the fire that burned from his own brutality. The woman managed a couple of fists to Shaamah's abdomen before his muscles tensed to deny her the privilege of causing further damage. His elbow dropped from above in retaliation, but Osana was quick enough to slip away and circle the beast, her hand gripping the blade that had only lapped at Akantha's skin. If Shaamah was going to land any kind of attack on this woman, he'd have to take a risk that he only gifted to special situations. Akantha's life was just that.

The next clash between the two happened in a split-second. Two furious motions, simultaneous, leaving only one victor between them. Osana threw her blade with a veteran's skill. Shaamah gripped the thick, wooden table that managed to stay upright between the previous brawl and shifted his weight to lift it. The metal tongue ran deep into Shaamah's shoulder, brought to a halt by the thick blade of bone. The beast absorbed the electric fire that churned through him and redirected it. The arch of the sensation leapt from his mouth in a savage,” RRRAAAAGH!” as he moved his weight, his pain, into his arms. His back arched as the table lifted and came around, his legs following through to add a greater force. The edge of the table caught Osana's crown, the woman grunting as she and the furniture tangled and fell to the floor in a heap.

The heavy rise and fall of Shaamah's chest called through his snout in wild breaths, his teeth clamped and the look of his eyes distant and wild. One fist remained clenched at his side, while the other hand remained with an open palm, the warm caress of blood that tenderly rolled down his left arm. One shoulder sat square atop him, while the other caved inward over his chest. His back, however, remained straight. Tall. Defiant. The table that sweetly kissed Osana's head wouldn't have completely torn the fight from her, but now she was unarmed and certainly in no better shape than Shaamah himself. It took a few moments of breathing for the sharp dart of Shaamah's eye to reach to Akantha again. Another silent inquiry to test if she was still alright amid the battleground that the tavern had quickly turned into.

[[wc: 1444]]
[Image: rnGRPkV.png]
#7
There was beauty and then there was beast. Akantha stood numbly, her hand stained a deep crimson as the blood seeped slowly through her pale fingers. Her hair fell in tousled waves about her shoulders, the pin that had held back a wave of hair hung crookedly against her cheek. Shaamah was a sight to behold as he stood towering before her, the deep grey of his pelt ringed in his own blood. He frightened her this way, though Akantha could see nothing else but the silver flash of Osanas dagger as it bit into the wood behind her -- and for the first time she felt a scream building in her throat. It was a useless emotion, this fear that threatened to have her sinking to her knees, and for the sake of her pride she remained standing -- a trembling sticky mess hidden amongst over turned chairs and tables.

The tavern had slowly begun to empty, the man behind the bar disappearing as the fight escalated to encompass the burly woman. Akantha watched the mercenary of Sapient rise to meet her, his thick chest barrelling towards her as she pounced -- graceful as any predator. They clashed in a flurry of noise and metal, and though Shaamah came unarmed he used a full arsenal of techniques. Akantha did not understand them, but watched in horror as blood trickled down his muscular arm -- the womans daggers biting deeping into his flesh.

"Shaamah!" She shouted his name as he grunted beneath another onslaught, the woman spinning just out of reach as he roared. Akantha was all but drowned out by the strength of it, and shrunk even further into the shadows, her amber eyes pulled tightly shut. Pain seared her arm now, each frantic beat of her heart echoed by the pulsing wound pressed beneath the palm of her hand. Shaamah fought bravely, and it was the table that finally brought Osana down -- the heavy wood splintering against the dome of her thick skull. Akantha's teeth chattered, and she deftly began to pick her way through the rubble left in the tavern, her eyes glassy with adrenaline and pain.

She reached for him again, her good hand brushing a stretch of dark fur.

"S-Shaamah," She began, her arm clutched against her chest now -- the blood matching the ruby pendant at her throat, "Take me home."

For the first time since she was a child, she felt her chin quaver -- the tears at the corners of her gaze threatening to spill down her cheeks.
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#8
Her cry had been lost against the chaotic thunder of their movement, and drown in the blood that coursed through the thin skin of his ears. It had fallen to the background of the rush that coursed through his nerves and the bellow that erupted from his chest. It's urgency fell as silent as the bar after Osana crashed to the floor. Whether it was a warning to watch out for the attack or a call of endearment to his injury, her shout made it's small mark in the pandemonium that ensued beneath the once sleepy tavern ceiling that now fell quiet with the brutal scene that had been the night's display.

As the beast heaved his heavy chest with the wild sound of his breathing, the tavern had finally fallen as silent as the golden woman that quivered against the wall. Osana's body hadn't attempted a single shudder, a single shiver beneath the splintered woodpile that was once a table, and Shaamah wasn't about to move from his spot until it was clear the fight was over. His frame was still tense and the muscle of his wounded forearm quaked, wide spread palm absorbing each pounding, each pulse of blood that crept from his split flesh. It wasn't until Akantha moved from her place hidden in the mess that had been made in the brawl that the warrior released the ferocity of his gaze.

As the she-dog neared, he pressed back the wild nature that clawed inside to assure that Osana, the female rouge, was completely void of life. The diplomat's countenance no longer held the elegance that she often portrayed, but rather, she had the eyes of a child who had been punished without reason. Shaamah had expected nothing more from her, as her life had seemed to be more lavish than drown in the darkness that held a soldier from the light of day. It was only a glimpse into a dirty world that she must have believed she had no purpose in, whether it was too slaughterous or morally obscure. The beast was above the social construct of releasing the tension after a fight, however. He'd not jest with her for what she lacked and certainly wouldn't attempt to make her feel better about anything that had happened. This was real. He needed her to believe it.

Then, her gentle hand brushed against his pelt. Hackles stood erect immediately, the flooding of his pulse ringing in his ears. With a quick jump back and a sharp snarl, he made his space between he and Akantha. The fight still coursed through him, his eyes tapering to the point of a needles while his skin crawled with the innocent touch. Only for a moment did he lose himself, his vision tunneling with dark edges before sight returned to him. It was a hollow outburst, and as the beast centered himself, a heterochromic gaze reached to the honey eyes of Akantha. Black lips sheathed alabaster weapons as his nape settled down, the vista before him filled with no enemy that he could see.

Her voice tremored, and it called out to him. As if he'd not reacted to her gentle touch at all, he closed his eyes and offered her a cautious nod. A short glimpse passed over the Osana's wooden burial for the night, before he turned to the door. The electric bite of the blade that lingered in his shoulder crept into him, his gait stiff and pulled to one side as he neared the door. He'd leave it in until they were a safe distance away and under the cover of the early morning shadows, at least then he'd have the time and patience to remove it without causing more harm than good,” Come,” Low, collected, and patient voice drug ruggedly from his throat as he pressed open the tavern door, the hinges creaking just the same as he had entered.

The streets had cleared themselves, prying eyes only peeking around corners and windows of the small town. The word of the fight had made it's way quickly abound and a hasty leaving would be in their best interests, 'lest Akantha sought another show of force. He'd not wait for her to follow behind him if he hesitated, but as he made his way down the street toward the edge of town, his good hand reached for the cloth of his belt and released the knot that held it there. The belt hung within his clenched fist, the motion of his arm and the weight shift that it made adding to the shallow speed of his uneven trod. It would take the morning to reach Sapient, longer if he chose to make breaks for the wounded woman. Her adrenaline would wear off quickly as they made their path back to Sapient, and Shaamah was not in the best of shape to carry the frightened creature.

[[wc: 836]]
[Image: rnGRPkV.png]
#9
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Akantha stood for a long time, frozen.

Everything was too hot, too cold, too close. Shaamah stood as he anchor, the emptied tavern silent in the wake of his destruction. Osana was silent, her breath softly huffing from beneath the collapsed table. Akantha felt her lips tremble, but she forced herself to stand up tall, her one hand still buried in the dark fur of the mans forearm. Whether or not he had meant to he had proven himself a worthy protector, and Akantha was loathe to abandon the safety he offered as the barkeep ordered them to leave. Silver flashed, though she did not wait long enough to see more -- and instead ran out into the darkness beyond, Shaamah leading the way.

He was bleeding too, some of his fur sticky and dark in places that it hadn't been previously. She grunted softly, upset that she had allowed everything in the Tavern to progress so far. Semini wouldn't have been surprised, and Ciellen would be chafed that she had allowed Brack to come too close, too fast -- though he would have had his own reasons for thinking such things. Akantha struggled to keep up with the Mercenary, her one hand clasped tightly about her wound as she snivelled and cried. The forest was dark now, darker than she remembered -- and for the first time since joining Sapient she felt herself wishing for the comforts of Onuba.

Shaamah lead them silently, his face set so stoically that Akantha forced herself to remain silent -- save for the occasional whimper that escaped her as they went.

It was obvious that he knew the way, and she found that she trusted his judgement. The blood beneath her fingers was clotting, heavy and sticky and she found that the further they went the more and more she just wanted to find her bed. Sapient was far away -- but together they would make it.









This is last post! Time for new thread in SP! :) Thanks so much Dark! This was super fun! :)


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