[m] through the night, down the hills

POSTED: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:16 am

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.



Side-thread related to Salsola's "New Year, Old Troubles" plot - Takes place after the attack on Bane, on the northern border of the Blackwoods. Anybody welcome! No more than two others though, please :3

He had not come with the intent to visit his son, but somehow Lokr found himself by the small unmarked grave.

He knew it only by the giant pine that grew above. The small rock cairn that Osrath had put above to stop the smaller predators from digging was already mostly dissembled. The moss and earth had already reclaimed what small marks her presence had made; Tangled roots fell back into place, cradling the smoothed pebbles, the deep black earth.

The eyes of the Blackwoods watched as the hunter knelt by the small grave. He spoke some words to the great pine, but whether it listened or not none could say. The forest swallowed his voice. No birds moved in the branches here; It was night, and the air held to it a misty, damp frost that bit at the throat and lungs.

Driven by twin urges to stay and to leave, Lokr stood, and brushed the dirt from his hands. He resettled the long carved bow over his shoulder; and was turning to head back South, when a sudden chill fell into his bones.

For a long moment, the man stood very still. The hair on his nape prickled, and the great pine groaned from somewhere deep within as though moved by a great breeze.

It was then that the scream rent the air.

With only the barest of thoughts, Lokr pulled forth his dagger, and ran to the source. The sound led him deep into the Blackwoods. Mist lapped at his heels, and the fading echoes of the cry urged him onward, like a madman's dream. At one point the Lord Commander felt horribly lost - But some whisper of recognition guided him on through the snarled and tangled underbrush, north and north again toward the waiting sprawl of Amherst.

Only when the trees thinned did he find her, and by then it was too late.

She was a young doggish woman; She lay where she had fallen, elegant limbs splayed and long raven hair tangled like a noose about her twisted neck. A glitter of gold peeped from the clenched fingers of her hand. With ice pooling in his gut and veins Lokr drew his great long-bow readily, and crept forward to better examine the body.

Her pale gold eyes, open and glazed with fear, stared up at him endlessly. The Lord Commander cursed softly under his breath.



slithered here from Eden

User avatar
Alaine
Luperci /
wrath of the north
a voice in the deep

POSTED: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:33 am

úlfhéðinn

Urho had yet to be witness to the bodies that started to litter the borders of the Thistle Kingdom, only hearing whispers about it from deep within as he continued his work to impress the watching eyes of the Family. What could he do anyway? He could tear apart whoever was doing this with his bare hands, but only if they walked right into his reach. He was not a runner, the numble sort that Salsola seemed to value in its members, but rather the brute, merciless force they could rely on when the time came.

Today, he just happened to be close enough to hear screams, ironically not long after he and Hyacinth had just discussed the murders. He had been out to go seal hunting, his hakapik in hand and bow slung around his chest, but the piercing shriek turned his attention away from the coast and further north, nearing the very borders of the Thistle Kingdom.

The Lord Commander beat him to the body, with Urho nodding in acknowledgement towards him. "Lord Commander," he added verbally, taking a place beside the man while kneeling down and looking over the poor girl who laid deceased on the ground. His hands uncurled her fingers to expose the glint he saw, the bit of gold she'd grasped in her hand while Lokr looked for other clues. She obviously held onto it as she died, but what was the significance? Maybe the Lord Commander had an idea, but something told the Finn that even his superior was as clueless as him about it. Even the rope felt out of place as a weapon — and Urho was very familiar with weapons.

"Why would they kill her like this? It doesn't make sense," he sighed. Why a rope? Why the gold piece? Why do any of this at all? The endless questions made his head spin.

HERE COMES BIG BOY URHO | [wc — 314] template by hilli
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Salsola
The Confidant (NPC)
User avatar
Titmouse
Luperci

POSTED: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:50 pm

Hai~ c: [ 374 ]

The dark mare like her namesake mirrored the sky, darkness dappled with a million points of light, though instead of stars it was snowfall shaken from the trees that glimmered upon the back of the shadowed equine. Midnight navigated the Blackwoods with little assistance from her even darker rider, who had set his attention squarely on the task at hand. Sanguine sights drifted attentively along the invisible line that marked the edge of the Thistle Kingdom, the boundary they had forged against the rest of the world. Ever since the first body had appeared upon the borders he had redoubled his efforts in ensuring its sanctity would not be violated again, but try as he and many others did, the victim count continued to rise.

The Tradesman had not encountered a body yet, but he had spoken with the young male who had discovered the first, familiarized himself with the killer's modus operandi, and kept it all at the back of his mind each day and night when he charged himself with patrolling the border. That night was no different, save for the piercing scream that shattered the stillness of the evening and cut through the sky like an errant blade. With a click of his tongue he spurred the black beaut onward and raced to the source of the sound, hoping to catch the killer offguard and unaware, but instead happened upon the Lord Commander and another male shortly on his heels.

Dismounting a short distance away so as not to disturb the scene with the heavy footfall of horse hoofs, he gently tethered the mare to the nearest tree and proceeded the rest of the way on foot. His maw was dipped low and reverently to the Queen's Right Hand as he made his approach with an acknowledging glance offered to the stranger before ruby reds set their attention upon the body before them. It was the same thing again, a hapless femme slain for no reason at all and deposited there for anyone to find with no effort to hide what had been done. Whoever did this wanted them to know they had been here, that they had done this, and the question that weighed heavily on everyone's mind was why.





Avatar by Eve; Siggy by Songbird
Salsola
The Henchman (NPC)
User avatar
Eve
Cazador, Veleno
VIRULENT
Valar Morghulis

POSTED: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:02 am


I like this squad - this squad is a good squad. (Band name: Lokr and the Giants - all we need is Basilaris on drums)
In your replies, you are welcome to find any of the following: a single set of male-sized footprints, a scrap of leather that smells like horse, or signs of a scuffle that suggest the woman was brought to the border whilst still alive.

A shudder in the line of trees gave Lokr the first warning that he was not alone; And even as his arrowtip jerked up to face the trembling pines, they parted before Urho's impressive girth.

The sight of the heavy man was, surprisingly, a welcome one. The hunter lowered his bow, and returned his eyes to the broken woman. He made no sound of acknowledgement; Though when the Finn asked his lonely, innocent question, Lokr could only make a grunt of dismayed agreement.

He did not know - none of them did. That was the problem.

His fingers were freeing her pale throat of the rope when the dark, massive shadow of Scorpius detached itself from that of the Blackwoods. His glowing eyes lifted to the Tradesmen, shining with adrenaline.

"She's still warm," He said quietly, to the two large men. It was a suggestion of information; Whoever had killed her had done so only moments prior, when the piercing shriek had cut through the silence of a long, dark Salsolan night. The Lord Commander rose from his crouch, and held out one black-clawed hand toward the Finn, beckoning for the gold coin he had pried from the dead woman's fingers.

"Look for clues - a footprint, a scrap of hair, anything," The dark one commanded, unable to keep the tight edge of frustration from creeping into his tone. Though the sinking feeling in his chest told him that they would find nothing - As they had found nothing at all the other murder sites.



slithered here from Eden

User avatar
Alaine
Luperci /
wrath of the north
a voice in the deep

POSTED: Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:47 am

úlfhéðinn

Urho expected the silence from the Lord Commander — he was just that type of person. He had a cousin not too much unlike the skinnier man, of few words and emotions, but was often heard when he spoke. Having much to say with few words was admirable for Urho, even though he himself had the tendency to let words flow like an endless stream. They all had their faults in the end, but now wasn't the time to be thinking of them.

Another body, a large one, joined them though he didn't add much to the silence either. Another Family member he had yet to meet, but that wasn't uncommon these days still. Urho gave him a nod in response to the glance as he passed, only turning his head to Lokr as he finally spoke up. He was right, her body still radiated some amount of warmth and they hadn't heard the scream that long ago. This was probably closer than they'd ever gotten to whoever was behind this madness.

The Finn placed the coin in Lokr's palm before nodding and standing upright. Clues — something no one had been able to find thus far — were desperately needed, but it was hard to gain a lot of knowledge from them in regards to pointing a finger at the culprit. They had to be really lucky with what they found to get anything substantial.

Looking up and around, Urho scanned around them, searching for anything that could hint at a clue. What the hell could they find here? There wasn't anything around except for trees and shrubs where the forest started to thin.

Maybe that was the key, then.

Around them were plenty of trees, but if you were tracking, one would look for signs of disturbance. Footprints, broken shrubs, or... bark torn from a tree. Peering at a tree not far away, Urho crept closer, as if the culprit could still be around (though he was likely long gone by now). Clear chunks of bark were torn away with some space between them. He placed his hands over them, grasping at the invisible pieces to be sure that this was a plausible idea. On a nearby identical tree, he tried it himself, finding that the marks left looked identical, though larger due to the size of his own hands.

"Maybe he carried her," he called out to the Lord Commander. "There's bark missing from this tree, like someone grabbed onto it." He stepped back towards the body, still scanning the ground for a anything. "If he did carry her and she was awake enough to claw at the tree, maybe she did some damage to whoever brought her here."

ooc | [wc — 452] template by hilli
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Salsola
The Confidant (NPC)
User avatar
Titmouse
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:03 am

Wasn't sure if it was leather from a horse or misc. leather that smelled like horse, so I went with the latter, as if it was torn from a saddlebag or something. Toss me a PM if it needs changing~ c: [ 418 ]

Ruby reds had already set to surveying the scene as the Lord Commander rose to a stand and gestured the rotund male to hand over the coin he had discovered, the shining trinket spared a glance before his attention returned to the body and its immediate surroundings. Nostrils flared for any particularly interesting scents but what remained was nothing worth mentioning just yet, his ears giving a twitch to the words as Lokr spoke them, taking note of his observations and acknowledging his order with a sharp nod of his muzzle.

As the other male moved to take a closer look at the trees nearby the Beast shifted in a similar direction, a curious scent beckoning him toward a small thicket of underbrush where a few wisps of coarse fur clung to the brittle branches and a small scrap of leather lay half buried in the snow. Narrowing his gaze suspiciously at the strands he gingerly plucked them from the brush before reaching in and retrieving the piece of leather, the two things holding the same scent, smelling evidently equine.

Turning around, he settled his gaze on the stout male first, listening attentively as he spilled his speculation. He was right. By the looks of things the femme was alive when she was brought within the borders and freshly killed on the spot, and from what he had gathered the murderer had more than likely fled in a hurry, presumably on horseback as the scent of the leather and fur had suggested. Snorting softly to clear his nose he stepped back toward the body and presented his findings to the Lord Commander, sanguine sights moving to sweep over the femme once again as he spoke to no one in particular.

"After everything he may have fled on horseback. Passing through those shrubs over there and leaving this behind. The leather is old but the scent is not." He mused simply, kneeling near the body once Lokr had taken the scrap from him for his own inspection. Cold scrutinizing eyes roved the fallen femme slowly and carefully, looking for more clues, more signs that would point in the direction of the killer. The evidence was few and far between, but there was something concrete now, more than they knew before, and if luck was on their side there had to be something else, something they were missing. They had gotten too close this time, surely it made the killer reckless, hurried, and sloppy. Something else had to be there.





Avatar by Eve; Siggy by Songbird
Salsola
The Henchman (NPC)
User avatar
Eve
Cazador, Veleno
VIRULENT
Valar Morghulis

POSTED: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:53 am


We can finish up shortly! Thank you for participating, loves <3

The two large men took to his orders with a solemnity that was appropriate for the task. They were hunting a murderer, after all - Someone who had seen fit to leave these grisly messages at the outer sanctum of their claim. It was appallingly arrogant - These were not gift to woo the Kingdom, as so many had assumed in the beginning. When no-one had come forward, and the bodies continued to pile up, their theories fell flat and their cynical smiles turned black and menacing.

These dead women were not gifts. They were threats.

Lokr would not stand idly by whilst an Outsider so vulgarly spat on their claim.

By the time Urho's deep voice pitched the quiet, the golden coil was warm in Lokr's palm. He clenched it so tightly that the engraved bird embossed the calloused flesh within his fingers. He crossed swiftly to where the hefty Finn stood, and looked for the signs that the large man had seen - They were there, deep grooves in the tree, lines close enough together that he could tell the hand that had made them was small.

There would be remnants of bark left beneath the claws on the dead woman's fingers. "Excellent work," The Lord Commander praised, a vicious tone of excitement coloring the unusual words. He did not give praise lightly, but any clue was hard-found, and Urho had done well. Lokr was turning back towards the body when Scorpius' low, melodious voice spilled out, dark as the deepening night around them.

"A rider?" The frown that punctuated the Lord's face was savage. "We hoped the offender - offenders? - would be barbarians. This is... Disconcerting news," For a moment, Lokr's black lips contorted. If the murderer had access to a horse, then they were adaptable to Salsola's civilization. They would not fall so easily to the clever traps Loki had set, nor be lured by unintelligent things. To ride a horse was to own a horse - To own a horse was to own property, and that hinted at more than some starvling mutt from the back towns and small families that lingered as Loners in this land.

He took the small scrap of leather from Scorpius' large hand, and surveyed it with dismay.

"I must inform the Boss," He said quietly, to neither men and to both of them. "She will be pleased with your efforts." It would be good to encourage such large beasts to patrol their borders - Lokr knew Scorpius' hunting prowess first-hand, and even if Urho was not as canny he surely looked the part, large and menacing to an Outsider.

"Who will bury this poor wretch?" He asked of them, in a quiet but cold voice. They could not leave her to rot and draw in other predators - Inwardly, he despaired that another life had been taken so close to the Blackwoods, for surely her spirit would be trapped there now. The aura of haunting despair that hung about the thick groves was heavy enough without the wails of a broken-neck maiden to wake him from his sleep.



slithered here from Eden

User avatar
Alaine
Luperci /
wrath of the north
a voice in the deep

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