[P] [M] beware the beast in black
#1

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: Wrath shenanigans.

NPCs: Alastar
for Mike (and Manda+Mel, later on ;D)! forward-dated to mid-October.
lmk if i need to change anything; i tried to leave it vague for you to do what you'd like with it! ♥


She had no reason going as far out as she did.

Odalis had been preoccupied with something or another, and those were always the worst days. With no one to play with or keep her company, the Bambino took to wandering — and Mama had said not to go beyond the cabin, but... well, she just couldn't help herself.

So she walked, and walked, and walked, and she thought it was okay because Odalis hadn't come looking for her yet. She was so busy, anyway, so why would she? Marina dejectedly blew air through her nose, a little hurt that she wasn't the constant center of her mother's universe.

But that was okay. Alastar was keeping her company. Although as they came closer to the borders, he seemed a little skittish and reluctant to keep going.

"What's wrong?" she asked the old raven when he eventually refused to go any farther, and he ruffled his feathers, making a low gargling noise.

"Borders," he said. "Can't go. Not yet."

Marina pouted, whining loudly. "Why noooot? I've never seen the border before!"

Never mind that she had, but it was a long time ago, before her memories had been given a proper place in her mind. Alastar knew things the puppy couldn't even begin to understand, nor could he tell her. Not yet.

"Can't go," he repeated, and Marina just about threw herself at the ground in frustration when she heard a noise from far away.

Someone's voice. They were crying. Were they crying? Or were they screaming? Her ears drooped forward and her nose twitched, detecting nothing from here.

"What's that?"

Alastar's warnings were immediately discarded, and Rini sprung into action like a slingshot, making a beeline for the border despite his cawed, screeching protests.

[+3]
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#2

Since immersing himself in Salsola's culture—or, more accurately, wandering the lands, mostly avoiding everyone—Wrath had struggled to accept the ubiquity of the bipedal form. However, much as he detested the thought, it was wise to get used to it and also a little more familiar with suitable weaponry. However, with no money to buy such, and no favours to call in, a large branch would have to do. He'd snapped and chewed at it until it looked like a rudimentary club or bat. A few practice swings at the trunk of a pine tree, subsequently felled, was enough proof that he could just about hold onto it, and that it would easily knock someone's head off their shoulders.

A skinny Luperci named Sam hung upended from a snare by his ankle. He was a reasonably old wolfdog who had lost his mate and best friend in a tragic incident involving a bear only a few days prior.

He couldn't feel his right foot, and it wasn't long before the blood rushed to his head, thrumming in his ears. His skinny arms dangled, and claw-shod fingertips grazed the leaves and dirt while the old rope creaked and juddered against the bough of the tree it was looped over. "Why?" He asked the seemingly empty forest in regards to his latest misfortune. Life had been going so well until the bear. "I don't remember doing anything wrong... I was good to everyone I met! I lost my home to protect others! Why, why me?!"

Wrath's ears perked and swivelled to locate the exact direction of the disturbance. Snapping the last few smaller branches from his new weapon, he slung the heavy end of the makeshift club up and onto his right shoulder.

A grin grew across his mangled maw.

"You croshed a line."

Wrath uttered the foreboding statement as he let the thick end of his weapon slide off his shoulder and land with a thud close to the trapped man's head.

"Well, you could let me down! My vision is going blurry!" He frowned; although unnerved by the sight of the lurching monstrosity before him, Sam was under the impression that life couldn't get much worse.

"There are almost limitlesh thingsh I could do! That, however, is mosht unlikely."

He let the club swing like a giant pendulum ticking away slow seconds, before it clunked against Sam's head. Even the slow pace carried enough momentum to rock the old man and make him see stars. "You idiot! That hurt!"

"My new toy has many ushes! It'sh heavy, dangerous, unforgiving. The big end could shmash every part of you into pulp. The other end...well..." He flipped the bat-shaped branch over so the skinny end of the 'handle' was pointing down at Sam's face.

He began circling the inverted Luperci, moving behind him "What could we use thish end for? I wonder." He released a long growl caught somewhere between pleasure and anticipation. "Shtick it somewhere... uncomfortable?" He laughed, ejecting phlegm and saliva all over the place as he disappeared out of view.

"No! No!!! What are you doing, why?! Let me down!" The desperate whine morphed into a pleading whimper. He thrashed about, dangling by one foot from the snare as Wrath lined up his target from behind. The narrow tip of the club's handle nudged just below Sam's protruding tail, threatening to make his orifice a two-way street for the first time.

The old mutt screamed despite barely being touched, and Wrath was at first startled, then angry. He swung the heavy end of the branch in a wide, flat arc into the ribs of his captee. Sam wheezed, desperate to draw breath through crushed ribs and one now deflated lung.

Wrath lowered himself onto all fours, putting the tip of his nose close to Sam's, so they could regard one another from very opposite worlds. Sam's response was to spit blood in Wrath's face, which further angered the already baleful wolf.

Wrath leaned in, opening that impossibly wide mouth full of curved yellow teeth and clamped it over the smaller dog's face. One fang pierced one of Sam's pretty cerulean eyes with a soft popping sound, destroying it forever, while the array of other teeth punctured the old dog's head, face and skull in numerous places.

By the time Wrath pulled back, Sam was barely recognisable. In fact, with his half flayed face, he now looked more like his attacker than himself. He wheezed, whimpered, and every breath hissed and bubbled in his throat because of his punctured lung.

"Now." Wrath growled. "Where was I?"

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OOC: Got carried away! Let me know if I should change anything!

WC:750+

Hell is empty, and all the Devils are here...
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#3
NPCs: Alastar
NO NO I LOVE IT  Regdevious


Alastar was an old bird, not quite as ancient as the Kingdom itself, but much older than many of the denizens that filled its ranks. He had seen unfathomable violence in his time; brutal assaults, grotesque murders, man subjugating his fellow man, all under the guise of serving Salsola. Perhaps he had developed a sixth sense. Perhaps he knew that all that awaited Marina was pain and fear, just as it had awaited her mother all those years ago.

But she was blind. She was young and excitable and she did not listen, even as he swooped down to peck at her shoulders and nip at her tail while she careened forward to meet Salsola's very own nightcrawler in the midst of what he did best.

Curiosity very quickly devolved into bewilderment, then bewilderment into terror. The Bambino gasped as she skidded to a halt, kicking up mud and leaves in her wake, all at once very much afraid and confused by what she found.

Marina had never seen so much red before. Nor had she ever seen a face so mangled and unrecognizable, something straight from a nightmare.

The man on the tree, just barely clinging to life, seemed to notice her, his breath rattling in his throat as he tried to call out to her. One of his eyes was gone — no, not gone. It was melting, blood pooling in its socket.

What had happened to him? Who would hurt him like this? Odalis had said that no one would ever be hurt here in Salsola, her home.

Alastar shrieked again from above, demanding she run, but Rini was frozen in place, mouth hanging ajar, merle body shaking all over.

"Wh... W-What d-did... What happened to — t-to..."

Her words sputtered and tripped over themselves as her terrified gaze shifted to the man in black.

He, too, only had one good eye, the other clouded over and milky-white. Just like Odalis.

"Run, now!" the raven squawked again, but Marina couldn't hear him.

"I-I-I'm scared," she whispered, to herself, to the man, to the universe. She could not move, her bright blue eyes staring in abject horror.

[+3]
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#4

He left the man clinging to life. If he survived, his face wouldn't look the same again, but that was the point. He could tell the rest of the world about the horrors awaiting those who trespass in the Thistle Kingdom. 

As Wrath prepared the narrow end for insertion once again, he was distracted by the shriek of the raven. He growled and spun around to find a far more appealing animal had stumbled into the bloody scene.

His eyes ignited, two different hues burned brightly in their respective sockets. He grinned, and it was sickeningly wider than it should have been.

"Well, well." His mountainous Optime frame straightened and moved towards the young wolf.

Sam flailed in the snare, blood leaking from every hole in his head—including his mouth. He'd given up on himself, but the sight of the pup blanketed by the shadow of the approaching demon made his protective instincts kick in. The old man could handle his own death, but he couldn't stand to watch a playful little bundle of fur like that be torn to pieces. Sam screamed at Wrath, only able to issue two or three words on each short breath. "Stop! Fuck you! You're not so... tough, I'll kill... you, I'll fuck... you up!"

Wrath did not break stride, each new step shook the ground more intensely, and the club end of the enormous branch ploughed the dirt in his wake. He was almost close enough to scoop her up when he spoke. "Why shcared? Are you here for desshert?" Cracking a laugh as he unravelled the multitude of ways that question could be understood.

Wrath traced the mangled perimeter of his maw with his tongue, doing a terrible job of cleaning away Sam's blood. 

"Run, girl... run! He'll kill... you! He's crazy! Run... please!!!" Sam continued, but Wrath was struggling to digest the insult about his mental health. 

"Enough of you." He growled, then twisted his torso, swinging the makeshift club in another long arc. This time he released the weapon and launched it at the dangling Luperci. It hit Sam in the base of his throat. If he had survived, Sam might have reflected on the only positive aspect of what happened: He was unconscious while he suffocated on his collapsed larynx. 

His body hung, lifeless.

The exact moment the club hit the floor, Wrath turned back to his visitor and grinned.

-----

WC:400+

Hell is empty, and all the Devils are here...
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#5
NPCs: Alastar


Death was a foreign concept to her, young as she was. She understood that some things had to die, like the animals that Odalis brought home for her to eat. But to think that other luperci were just as fragile — this was a fact not yet understood. Much less had Marina ever thought she would witness someone dying in front of her.

His snarling words were impossible to ignore, too wicked and too otherworldly for her to block them out. She was just as helpless as she watched the poor man on the tree breathe his last, and fat, hot tears pearled at her eyes as she stared, unable to look away.

When he turned back to look at her, however, she yelped as if touched with a branding iron.

"N-No," she whimpered, not to any question he had posed, but to the prospect of her being next. "No, no, n-n-no."

Her legs quaked beneath her as a nauseating sensation clenched in her stomach, and she dry-heaved, like she was going to retch.

But the key had finally found the lock holding her as his captive audience. Stumbling backwards, the youth tripped over her own feet before taking off, eyes blurry with tears — not even sure where she was going, but anywhere was better than being here.

Marina did not make it far at all before finding one of Salsola's infamous border traps, however.

They were insidious devices, perfect for the unsuspecting trespasser; or the unobservant pup running from what was surely a certain death. She, of course, had never encountered such things, and she was running far too fast to notice the conspicuous leafy cover of the pitfall before she fell straight in with a loud scream.

It was a miracle she didn't break any bones in her descent, luckier still that the trapping pit hadn't been armed with sharpened sticks or rocks to skewer her alive. But for a disoriented, petrified Bambino, the high walls of the pit were just as terrifying and hopeless on their own.

She scrambled to her feet, breath hitching as she pawed at the walls — it felt like they were closing in, getting smaller, suffocating her.

When she shrieked, it scared off all the birds in the trees. When she wailed, it woke the dead.

"MAMAAAAA!!" Rini howled, pitiful, panic-stricken.

On top of it all — the fear, the pain, the encroaching dread — she could feel a tickling that began in her paws, an aching, stretching feeling.

"S-Someone please help me," she cried out desperately, bawling. "Please."

Was she really going to die here?

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#6

Petrifying young wolves was under-rated. Children, it seemed, faced an unadulterated version of fear. Wrath generally went for older generations, and that was fun, but this was the first time he'd seen such a pure expression of horror. Then gone in the space of a breath, as she turned and ran.

He laughed. The reaction was a surprise, but it was also pleasing. Perhaps he shouldn't have agreed to devour his litter with Aani; he should have kept them around, used them for practice.

He huffed impatiently, looking back at the dead trespasser, who was still hovering over a pool of his own blood. 

"Bit of a mess." He said, admonishing the upside-down corpse, before hurling the weapon up, back into position, with the thick end supported by his shoulder, then following the girl.

Wrath heard the crisscross of thin branches give way and the thud of her tiny form on the hard floor of the pit, then the sound of leaves and other dry foliage raining in.

There was a momentary silence before she registered what had happened, then the wailing began. Wrath closed his eyes and released a calming breath.

He looked over the edge of the pit, laughing again at her misfortune. He watched with casual curiosity as she began to shift, then sighed. He was left with three options: Help her, walk away, or stay and taunt. The last two were particularly appealing. He waited for a gap in the infuriating shrieks for help.

"Well that was shtupid." He explained. "If you don't get help, you'll die in there."

Each time she bawled, he closed his eyes, attempting to keep himself under control. Eating his litter was definitely his best decision. 

"Shut up!" He frowned, looking about for inspiration. He looked at the club in his hand, then back to her. Well, he knew what he'd like to do with it. But it had other uses. Once she had finished shifting it would be long enough for her to reach for and potentially climb back out. If she refused, he could always throw it at her to shut her up.

He waited, glad for the entertainment of her first shift while he waited.

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WC: 300+

Hell is empty, and all the Devils are here...
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#7
The morning had brought with it a pale pastel light, one that awakened Odalis slowly from where she lay sprawled across her chesterfield. In her half-awake state she reached through the tangled blankets to find Marina, her fingers grasping at nothing but empty air.

”Marina?” She murmured sleepily, reaching forward, ”… Marina?”

Her eye sprang open and she sat up sharply, her hands splayed against the dusty cushions. She flared her nostrils and scanned the room, leaping to her feet when she realized that the cabin was entirely empty. The front door creaked as a sea-breeze rippled through, the hinges groaning as it swung open to reveal a tiny patch of sky.

Odalis pulled on her sweater and took off through the doorway at a run.

At first, she thought that Marina had wandered to the tide pools, but when she scrambled over the rocks, they lay undisturbed. A seagull squawked at her, its nap interrupted, but Odalis carried on – her heartbeat quickening in her throat.

She wasn’t sure how long it took to find her – each time she thought she found the trail it twisted back around on itself. Odalis had never been a good hunter and she cursed as she wound her way through the forest like an ouroboros.

""MAMAAAAA!!"

The scream sent a shockwave down her spine and she felt her face go still like a plane of ice.

She loped onto the scene with a frantic snarl, her claws exposed as she flashed back to the little cabin in the woods. She had been stained red, the knife like an extension of her hand.

She stumbled upon the scene as a new born; blind and dumb with assumption.

Marina lay hidden in one of Salsola's traps, a crumpled bundle of merle fur that was barely discernible against the din.

Beyond the hole and her child was an unknown. Wrath stood like a shadowy behemoth, a bloodied bat balanced against his muscular shoulder. His face was marred by a scar which slid into the wet lines of his mouth - his blind eye gazing straight through her.

Odalis took a deep breath, the guttural sound rumbling in her throat pitiful against the sheer size of the man before her.

She wanted to shoot him, plunge her claws into his ribs and pull his heart out into the open. She wanted to rend him apart into a million tiny pieces. Rage filled her like an inferno, and Odalis could feel violence crawling beneath her skin. It was familiar, an echo of what she had felt as O'Riley cut Solomon down.

But there was no time for that. Not now.

Marina wept into the leaves and Odalis pricked her ears, sliding towards the trap so that she could comfort her shifting child.

The woman dropped to her knees at the edge of the opening, her eyes widening as she caught sight of Marina's lengthening spine. She was changing before her eyes - her vividly blue eyes streaked red and full of fear.

"Shh, it's alright. I'm here now. Just breathe." Odalis coached, "You're ok."

"And you-" She bared her teeth at the man, "Who the fuck are you?"

(///) | NPCs: na
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#8

He heard the incoming Luperci long before he saw her. She was a distinctive colour and a stranger to him. She appeared from the south and was unlikely to be an outsider, so Wrath took the time to check her scent.

Salsolan. 

His frame relaxed slightly, which was more than could be said for his expression, which was permanently horrific and contorted further to mirror her snarl.

He stood on the opposite side of the pit, his head canted, and after a moment, he smirked as she continued to growl. 

"She'sh fine. No spikes in the bottom of that pit... unfortunately." At least impalement would have justified the sound coming out of the little noise box. 

"Wrath." He stated in a disinterested tone. His eyes lidded as the child continued to whine and whimper. "Will you shut her up before I do, Mamma?" He grinned again, showing a mouth full of dangerously large and wickedly curved teeth. 

He leaned the bat forwards and studied it, frowning, before he peeled a sliver of Sam's cheek, chin or gums from the reddened shaft. He cocked an eyebrow, shrugged and tossed the pulp into the pit and in Marina's general direction as she continued to shift. 

He had an opportunity to leave at that point. The kid was undoubtedly a pack member and now safe, thus saving him the ordeal of answering questions about her predicament. But, perhaps unwisely, Wrath stayed. As Odalis consoled her troubled pup, he continued to watch. The pit was too deep for her to reach in and grab her child, and he figured things could still get interesting.

The minacious beast began moving around the pit before he tossed the enormous, blood-soaked bat onto the floor next to the gingered Luperci. "Ushe that." 

He did not elaborate on how to use it. 

Despite his significant size advantage, Wrath did not approach the coppery Optime. She was wild-looking, and he'd seen mothers fight to their last breath to save their children. He could no doubt crush her between his jaws or arms if it came to it, but he did not fancy swallowing that particular can of worms for breakfast. 

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WC:300+

Hell is empty, and all the Devils are here...
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#9
The commotion attracted the attention of a solitary hunter, who had observed the situation from afar. His presence and departure were easily overlooked – but this was the nature of lynx, who had spent an eon surviving in such a way. With his keen tracking skills, Keenan found O'Riley not all that far away, and explained what he had seen. He led the wolfdog back part of the way, but when all the shrieking started found an excuse to depart.

O'Riley, on four legs, moved quickly through the familiar woodland. There were obvious trails to follow in many places, and more hidden ones deeper in the forest. The further he traveled, the more obvious the scents became. He knew them all, and this eased some of his concerns.

He came upon what, in some aspects, was quite a humorous scene. There was Odalis, perched on her knees above a deep pit, and there was Wrath standing on the far end and looking quite monstrous. The smell of blood was present, though it was hard to make this out against the scarred wolf's black fur. More obvious was the gore clinging to the club, though O'Riley glanced at this only briefly. When O'Riley came to the edge of the trap, he caught sight of the girl inside – though she was changing now, morphing from her native form to the in-between like him and on, as the first change always demanded.

Uncertain as to what had led to this, and conscious of Odalis' state, O'Riley kept his tail flagged high and allowed no room for debate as to his lofty position and power to reinforce this. After that fight with the dog, he could not afford his people to see any sign of weakness.

“You stay with her,” he told Odalis. His gaze turned to Wrath. When the huge wolf had joined Salsola, he had made his intentions clear. No doubt, this explained the state of his fur and stinking, metallic-death smell hanging in the air. “Where is the Outsider?”
Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.
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#10
not sure who is posting next BUT feel free to PP rini dazedly holding out the bat for someone to pull her out! C: she'll need to be told because her soul has left this earth LOL


Between the ringing in her ears, the morphing of her bones, the stench of blood and flesh and carnage — Marina wanted so desperately to get away, but she was far too lucid and hyperaware to disassociate from the horrors that assaulted all of her senses at once, indiscriminately and brutally.

Odalis's voice rung out true above her own screaming, her forced calm doing little to reassure the young girl, but at least she wasn't alone anymore. It did little to stop the lengthening and rearranging of her bones, an arduous process made all the more tedious and slow because of her panicking.

Slowly, but surely, she had become someone else. The beast had made it so.

When she found the courage to open her eyes again, Marina discovered hands instead of paws, and mussed, stark white hair fell in front of her face. She had all of about five seconds to take it in before the nausea was too much to bear, and she promptly threw up all of her lunch beside her, the acidity of bile adding to the revolting miasma of scents.

Was this what shifting was? Her body did not feel like her own, as if she had taken someone else's and donned it like an ill-fitting shirt. Somehow gangly yet pudgy at the same time, Marina's body hadn't been quite ready for the shift, and she felt herself to be every bit of the pitiful creature the adults would perceive her to be.

"M-Mama," she called weakly, hiccupping with tears. In a daze she could hear a new tone amongst the others, but the fatigue clouded her mind and obscured his identity. Her gaze wandered to the bat, bits of skin and fur still clumped to its surface. She blinked blearily at it, not understanding.

"... I want to, to get out," Rini said, to no one in particular. "I wanna go — h-home."

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#11
Odalis narrowed her eyes, ”Don’t call me that.”

With a snarl she turned away from the beast as the bat fell with a thunk into the trap. Marina still wailed; her cheeks stained with tears as she completed her first change.

”Marina.” Odalis snapped her teeth together in an attempt to gather the girls attention, ”Marina, look at me.”

”I need you to take a deep breath. Look at me – good.” Odalis coached her, ignoring the shadowy presence that lurked just out of reach. Each time he took a breath there was a wet sound, as if the breath didn’t quite fit right through his ruined muzzle.

When O'Riley appeared Odalis had to look twice. His face was changed since the last time she had seen him, his silver cheeks marred by fresh scars. He prowled past on all fours to join Wrath, a name Odalis assumed he had chosen as an aspiration. Another snarl rippled through her, but Marina called out again and she turned her attention to her daughter.

White hair fell around her ears now, her body forever changed.

She gestured to the bat. "It's alright. Take your time - your hands will feel strange... just focus on my voice."

"Pass the bat to me and I'll pull you out."

O'Rileys presence reminded her that there was likely a scene of carnage just out of sight.

She pricked an ear towards the two men as she helped Marina from the hole, "What's back there?"



(///) | NPCs: na
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