I wouldn't dare to fix the twist in you

O'Riley

POSTED: Fri May 17, 2019 1:44 am

Optime | Pine Barrens | Late at night of May 4th or super early morning of May 5th | NPC: Cedar (+521)

Takes place directly after this thread.

The world was dark without a moon to light it. Stars shined brightly above, almost twinkling without a bright moon to drown them out in the night sky. The soft lull of nearby waters passing over river stones worked in tandem with the drone of nocturnal forest critters like crickets and frogs. Occasionally, an owl would hoot or she’d hear the scurry of some other woodland creature as it was chased or was the chaser.

Only one had been unlucky to have crossed the Kaiser’s path, and its arrow-filled body as it hung from a low-hanging branch was a telltale sign of what kind of mood that the Emissary was in. The fat raccoon had deserved it in her opinion though; a smart one would have turned and fled rather than try to pick a fight with her. It had been lucky that its death had been quick, even if its body afterwards had been used for target practice.

Her stallion, Cedar, stood idly nearby, likely dozing off where he stood due the ungodly hour that she had taken him out in. The mustang had been the quickest way to put as much distance between her and Krios as possible, and, after a quick stop by storage to grab a communal bow, Kamari had steered them around the southern edge of Millstone and its forest before plunging into the cover of shadows amongst the Pine Barrens. Kamari had stopped them just a little after passing Deception River, and, in the distance, beyond the cover of the forest and across the open terrain, she imagined that she could see the Pictou and the rolling hills of Drifter Bay.

After stringing up her makeshift target, Kamari had climbed up into a pine tree opposite of the dead animal, and had made herself comfortable on a thick branch a few feet above the average head height of many of her companions. Her back was pressed against the tree trunk, and her tail and hip quiver hung loosely on either side of her perch. Her thoughts were still turbulent as she plucked another arrow from her borrowed quiver.

She thumbed the feathering thoughtfully, her thoughts spinning inevitably back to the words and accusations that her drunk husband had hurled at her earlier that night. His stench—one of alcohol, smoke, Others, and flowery one of some woman—still lingered within her nostrils, and her lips twisted to reveal her sharp teeth beneath them.

“There’s work to be done, and he decides to drink and brood over things that he shouldn’t!” She snarled bitterly in Arabic.

She strung the arrow and aimed where she could make out the dark outline of the dangling raccoon in the darkness. When she was sure, she took her shot.

The construction of the Barracks, the restoration of the Library, even Loki’s murder was still unsolved, and Krios had decided to run off to Amherst to drink and be merry, come home late, reeking like he had, declaring things he shouldn’t have.

The dead animal’s body swung as the arrow hit it.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Sat May 18, 2019 10:27 am

O'Riley's wounded hand was all but healed now. He had wisely listened to counsel and given it time. There would be scars. It was lucky that this was all Delfina would leave with him, for her bite could have taken much more.

He had smelled the dead animal long before he saw it. The horse was too far for him to make out its shape, but if the wind turned just right there was a whisper of it there. This helped ease his concerns about finding some ill cause for the raccoon's demise – this was unusual behavior for Kamari, however, and O'Riley was instantly curious.

Draw towards the unpleasant sight, the tall wolfdog found himself gazing at the unfortunate target. O'Riley was less perturbed by the sight than he was by the shooter. A terrible thing had happened to Kamari, and its resolution seemed unlikely.

They were still Inquisitors. Delfina's death had not ended their search.

How many arrows do you have left? He called up to the tree, though did not turn to look for her. She was somewhere above him, but with the thick canopy and dark-moon night Kamari might as well have been a living shadow. O'Riley would not waste his time looking.

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POSTED: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:38 am

NPC: Cedar (+337)

Sorry for the wait! Dx

Her large ears flickered as she heard approaching footfalls, her breath quieting as she attentively listened, her eyes searching the shadowed darkness. Even her horse roused from his intermediate slumber, raising his head attentively in the direction of the noise. The Shadow waited until she was able to make out the familiar size and shape of the individual, a hulking mass whose lighter undertones were all that could properly distinguish him in the dim starlight. It was when his voice carried out though that she truly relaxed, reassured that she was in the presence of someone whom she considered a friend and ally. Cedar too, seemed to relax upon realizing the predator was someone he was familiar with.

“That was the last one, unfortunately,” she replied down to O’Riley, her voice still laced with the bitter feeling that she felt after the events of earlier that night. She shouldered the borrowed bow, shifting her weight and positioning on the branch before she swung down from it. The pine needles rustled, and she landed with the swiftness of a feline onto the ground below. Her shoulders were tense as she rose her full height, her hands rough as they clapped against each other to brush off whatever dirt might have collected upon them.

She looked in O’Riley’s direction without really looking at him—the sight of him reminded her of a particular accusation thrown by her husband—before she turned and made her way over to the strung-up raccoon. Reaching up, she steadied the body as she yanked the arrows free from it. “What brings you out here at this time of night, High Inquisitor?” She wanted to distance herself by not saying his name. “A patrol?” If so, she wanted in. Anything to keep her busy and from returning home to the same place as Krios in his drunken state.

One arrow, two arrows, three. Kamari wiped them clean on the raccoon’s fur before dropping them back down into the borrowed quiver.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:55 am

He cocked his head a little at the title, as if surprised by her formality. Given the way things were, and her recent state, O'Riley pretended to otherwise overlook this.

With a rolling shrug of one shoulder and a forcible tilt of his neck, as if stretching, the big wolfdog looked eastward. Salsola's territory was never absent of its people, and scouring their claimed lands was a task more suited to hunts, being as they went without the risk of interruption. Their borders were not always visited, for by now the inability to cross the Pictou made it a foolish route to choose.

Still, it seemed a cursed direction.

We could go on a patrol, he mused, as if the idea had only just now occurred to him. In the same breath he added: Or we could go across the river.

Though Salsola could not entirely protect the wild horses as they once had, O'Riley still understood that the animals belonged to their people. They had been won in war. Everything Salsola owned had been defended for nearly a decade, and he would be loathe to allow anyone to take what belonged to him.

It was a choice he offered to her without further inquiry, for already he was abandoning his two legs for four, eager to shed the slower confinements for something faster and far more deadly. His hand was better now. He wanted to run.

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POSTED: Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:10 pm

NPC: Cedar (+409)

We can still have them go check on the horses, I just didn’t want Kamari to conveniently mention it since she’s single-mindedly focused on finding a distraction right now xD

She glanced over her shoulder at him, and, in the pale starlight, she could barely make out the subtle gestures made by the large, darkly-furred Erilaz. He seemed reluctant to speak on his reasonings for being out so late. It wasn’t a matter in dire need or importance of pursuing though, so, she didn’t pester him for an answer. After all, he had not asked her for her reasonings, and her circumstances were arguably more questionable.

When he offered a suggestion, the Kaiser latched onto it quicker than a heartbeat. She cut down the raccoon and let it drop unceremoniously to the earth below in a crumpled heap. “Across the Pictou,” she decided quickly as O’Riley began to shift down. She turned, leaving the mutilated thing where it lay. Some scavenger would feast upon it soon enough. If not, the insects would. “Dark nights like this are perfect for bold troublemakers.”

Kamari trotted over to Cedar, touching a hand to his nose to ensure he was still awake before she swung up into his saddle and urged him to where O’Riley was. The grasslands would be safe enough to ride the stallion in, and—even under such poor lighting—it would be much brighter than the forested terrain they were currently in. Having scouted there often, Kamari felt little worry that the mustang would have any difficulties traversing the familiar terrain.

With a growled grumble, she added, “If we’re lucky, we’ll find one that needs taking care of.” The raccoon had not been enough to put out the fire that simmered in her soul from that evening’s argument with her husband.

When O’Riley was ready, she coaxed Cedar into following after the Eternity while they remained under the shadow of the trees. She made sure to have the stallion tread slightly to the side, however, as she didn’t want to run the risk of running over O’Riley. Kamari remained silent for much of the duration of their trek to the borders, trying to largely fight the urge to vent to man she often considered as a friend, particularly, since a part of the problem involved him.

The plains of Drifter Bay were saturated with the constant hum of crickets when they reached them. The tall grasses swayed from the spring night breeze, and Kamari turned her nose up to see if there was anything worthwhile to pursue after.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:44 pm

He let out a grunt in agreement, rolling his shoulders and enduring the aches of growing muscles and the deeper, more familiar way his bones fell back into a shape that made him smaller but better sometimes. They had all been born unable to stand upright. His earliest memories were of times like this, when he was a young boy. Less and less he remembered of these times, though the lessons and prejudices which had been taught to him stuck.

Enticed by Kamari's obvious wrath, he wagged his tail and flashed his teeth in the dark. Her horse was familiar with him, but O'Riley gave Cedar his berth. They – the horse and rider and O'Riley – were able to travel together because this was not uncommon. He loped ahead when the trail would not let them share it, and crossed the river where he did not need to swim. It was not a long journey and soon enough the forest fell away, thinning as grass as tall as his shoulder sprawled.

What sort of trouble did that raccoon get into, eh? O'Riley finally asked when he was certain they were alone. It was harder to spot a tail in the dark but the open field made following equally difficult. Kamari had good eyes.

She was a good shot too. That was part of why he felt so comfortable running around unarmed – if anything, he needed to match her horse's speed. The bristling Secui form allowed for this, though O'Riley was confident he could outlast a horse.

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POSTED: Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:03 am

NPC: Cedar (+575)


They traveled like they had on missions, keeping stride and easily maneuvering the natural paths and obstacles of the land like a single organism. There was no need for communication, they simply knew what to expect of the other; of where to travel abreast, to fall behind, or to take the lead. Infiltration required stealth, and the group of them were the very word embodied. And it was for the better that they knew each other’s movements so well, for, Kamari was sure her fiery tongue might slip in her current state of inner chaos.

O’Riley blazed their path through the tall plains grass, nearly hidden with its height and his dark back. If anyone was to see them, they would see Kamari and her horse before they ever realized the true danger that lurked closer to the ground. It would give the Salsolans’ the advantage if trouble found them. Onward they went until they were far out into neutral lands. He led towards one of the pack’s wild horse herds, she realized vaguely as her cornflower blue eyes scoured the waving grasses.

When his voice reached her ears, Kamari’s jaws clenched, as did her hold on Cedar’s reins and her borrowed bow. “It tried to pick a fight with me,” she answered, her voice tight. She had a feeling that he wasn’t asking about the actual raccoon though. Internally, Kamari debated, her heart quickened at the spike of anger her husband’s words brought at their memory.

How dare he. How dare he.

Kamari spotted the distant silhouettes of horses. “I think I see the Ash herd up ahead to our right,” she reported distractedly. From the distance and under only the light of the stars, it was hard to confirm, particularly when the Ash and Smoke herds’ ranges neighbored so closely to one another. Since they were out there, they might as well check to make sure someone hadn’t been stealing from the Kingdom.

She rode onward in silence, though, the tenseness of her muscles did not ease. Eventually, she found the courage to confide in her friend. Out there, they were alone. No one but O’Riley would hear her. “Krios came back from Biff’s reeking of booze and—” Of another woman, but, for whatever reason, Kamari thought it better to omit this fact, perhaps out of loyalty to Krios, perhaps not. “—we got into it.”

Her shoulders tensed. “He’s suspicious that you and I are more than just partners out here, when we’re on missions.” If Krios ever caught wind that she was out with O’Riley after the fight they had had earlier that night, it would have done nothing but solidified his suspicions too. “Suspicious that I let you…” She let out an irritable huff, stubbornly keeping her eyes on the open plains around them. “…touch me in ways that I have never let him even as his wife.”

Even lowborn and the daughter of two slaves, Kamari had never been someone’s property nor their prize, not a possession to be passed around. How could he possibly think she would do such a thing? Lifting her tail for just anyone? Dishonor the Kaiser name by being unfaithful and souring the connection that had been made between her family and the Heiwas and Revlis? Even though O’Riley was Erilaz, the Laws still applied, and Kamari was no whore.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:34 am

Turning at Kamari's direction, O'Riley bounded up the hill and towards the places where the horses had gone. He sniffed at old droppings here and there. When they reached a bluff he caught sight of tawny bodies in the distance. Most of the herd was dark. He liked sooty shades, like his own horse. None of these animals would be capable of bearing his weight, however, and O'Riley felt a secret sting of disappointment each time he looked at their vast collection.

Then, unprompted, Kamari told him the truth.

O'Riley faced her at once, recognizing that Kamari would not speak to him on these matters unless it was important.

His intense expression gave away his surprise, though there was a momentary flash of anger. There were rules in Salsola. What he and Kamari did was no one's business, nor was it inappropriate. Had Krios been spreading these rumors elsewhere? Had he babbled secrets to Outsider women like his stupid father before him?

Black suspicion filled O'Riley's thoughts. He growled deeply.

He said that to you? The wolfdog asked. His voice was carefully measured in a slow, purposeful way. Growing stiffness in his shoulders bristled the fur there. Silver strands cut streaks through the thickest part, trailing down to the middle of his back. Against his paler underside this effect was reversed – dirt clung to his dead-skin scars, illuminating them when he moved.

O'Riley gave his neck a shake, displaying his irritation.

What did you tell him?

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POSTED: Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:25 pm

NPC: Cedar (+421)


Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his head jerk in her direction, could feel the intensity of his lavender stare upon her at once. It was obvious that he had not expected what she had told him, his reaction to her words too quick and unchecked. As a Salsolan, and further still as spies, it was not often that they allowed their inner thoughts or feelings to be seen or heard, but they were alone, with no one to judge and no one to fool.

He growled, and his next question came out deliberately slow. “That, and a few other things in his inebriated state,” she growled lowly, her anger beginning to build the longer they stayed on the subject at hand. Krios had always had a knack of knowing just the right way to getting under her skin, but, after his mother had died though, drunk Krios had a tendency of acting in ways his sober self did not. She hated it. He said things, did things, that drove her over the edge, and, of others, that she refused to acknowledge.

The news of what had transpired between the couple seemed to have angered the Eternity as well, evidence of which the Shadow picked up upon his actions and his words. At the very least, it appeared that she hadn’t been wrong to be angry with Krios’ accusation. Her cornflower blue eyes finally ceased their searching of the plains and cut to the large male.

“That you and I have been partners long before the Queen ever chained my hand to his. Everything we’ve done has been for the Kingdom. We’re not two yearlings running around letting our hormones get the best of us.” She spat. “We both have our honor to uphold.” She had not worked as hard, had not climbed to Emissary, had not tried to bring honor to her family name, only to throw it all away for a secretive romp with another highborn.

She was loyal, and refused to play a part in those sorts of highborn games.

The herd was closer now, and, from their stillness, it didn’t look like they yet to notice their approach. Kamari slowed Cedar down, trying her best to remain in control of her emotions despite wanting to just destroy something. Her whole body was stiff, tense, her anger over her fight with her husband only festering as her brain unwillingly recalled all the terrible things they yelled and accused of one another.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:38 am

The danger with drink and drugs was simple – one could not control their actions and their words. It was a terribly convenient excuse.

Of course, he echoed. He sounds jealous of me. That's unsurprising, O'Riley scoffed. He let his focus turn back to the horses. The longer he looked at Kamari the more apparent her rising tension was. The energy spilled off of her and O'Riley drank it up, quick to find excuses for violence even when they were not needed. He craved it in a way that never felt fully sated.

The stillness out in the quiet dark did not ease the disturbance between them. Now that it had been spoken aloud the damn thing had power. O'Riley found himself loathing the simple minds of men and recalled his Oma's lessons.

Out in the dark the wind turned, carrying the scent of the horses with it. They were the largest herd, he thought. Someone like Grievous would know better, though O'Riley imagined it was his business to keep track of these things. They delegated roles for a reason. Everyone was supposed to work towards a greater goal.

O'Riley frowned. With rumors spreading all around them, the last thing he wanted was for his own name to come up among the gossip. The Mafiosi were supposed to be untouchable.

I could talk to him, he offered to Kamari a moment later. Make our position clear.

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