[m] i've been bruised by your light

POSTED: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:58 pm

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.


The Concrete Jungle was a sprawl and Ciprian dedicated himself to learning it. Each morning he prowled the cracked streets, ignoring the rats that skittered beneath garbage and along building edges. Despite its dilapidation he found that the Jungle was still beautiful. There was color hidden beneath the concrete slabs, trails of red and orange that had been left behind from the time before.

He collected trinkets that he began to display upon concrete ledges that lead to his home; pieces of twisted metal that reflected sunlight and collected rain drops, and strange remnants of a society that he had never understood.

Ruckus had turned out to be a fine investment and alerted the man to travellers and miscreants with a threatening bark. Or a piece of red cloth that he flew like a flag from his concrete tower. The teenage boy was loyal so long as Ciprian continued feeding him, and like a street-dog the boy bucked at loud noises and preferred to be on his own.

Sometimes when Ciprian left out his portion of food he would attempt to ask the boy questions as he skittered out of the shadows, his pale hands trembling and thin.

”Where’d you come from?”

His voice was a hiss, and the boy would twitch his too tall ears as he scarfed down his food.

”It doesn’t matter.” He wiped his mouth with his hands, and Ciprian leaned forward – ignoring the way the boy backed away from him. There were whorls of color imbedded in his velvety-thin fur, thick lines carved into his arms – and an eye, a brilliant flashing eye that rose above a crooked line of horizon. The boy shivered, but Ciprian ignored him - instead gazing out at the setting sun.

He scratched his chin, the crackle of white fur along his throat flashing like lightening as he lifted his head, ”Tomorrow I'm going out. Don't wait up."

***

He rode through the Damp Wood on a paper-thin horse, the animal pale save for the muddy-colored fur that covered its face. He hadn't bothered to name it. He had seen Ruckus inspecting the animal from his roost, his doggish ears curious until he spotted Ciprian - and then it was back to the shadows, back to the quiet.

They packed a small amount, and the saddlebags bounced against the horses protruding hips as he guided him through the trees.

It filled him with a quiet rage to know what he had left behind in his home-land for this - but each night as he nestled himself amongst the land of concrete and iron he imagined her, and it warmed him. He knew she would still be in the Court, would expect him - would fall back on Salvador... but he would prepare.

He would make friends and create a network.

The words had him spinning his rings absently around his thin fingers, the signet ring glimmering gold against his monochromatic pelt.

He stopped only when the trees became to thick to pass, and with a grunt dropped from his horse to proceed by foot.

Ciprian is wandering through the Damp Woods - I am looking for him to meet some members of The Cartel! :)

Last edited by Ciprian Tenebriso on Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Loners
Wolfdog
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Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:26 am

smoke the night away

The itchy coating of mud slowly faded from Ichabod's fur as the days passed, only to be steadily replaced by the black-red crust of dried blood. Flaky patches littered his forearms and dusted the sharpened flat of his axe, stained the burlap knapsack that would (hopefully) hold today’s haul.

It was dirty work. Most days, it was enough.

He’d tried his hand at swindling at first, like he half-suspected some of the others of doing; Nazario, sullen as he was prone to be these days, did not often return to camp empty-handed. Something about him, though, seemed to wring sympathy from the eyes of others — what little travelers he’d managed to attract only rewarded the Scintillan’s pleas for help with muttered apologies and hasty retreats. His disheveled appearance screamed more shifty than desperate, his ragged clothing more feral than helpless.

After a while, he’d started talking with the axe.

The muffled clipping of hooves was what first drew the soldier’s attention as he weaved carefully through the trees, followed closely by the familiar stench of wolf. Glowing eyes quickly found the solitary slash of ink gliding through the wood, skeletal horse in tow. Perhaps more importantly, his eyes flickered hungrily up to the scanty-looking saddlebags strapped to the sides of the pale creature. Fat enough, he supposed, for a day's work.

Dark lips parted around ivory teeth as he slid into the view, the motion predatory.

"Hello," Ichabod drawled out, slow and easy-like, the sound threading between the dark trees. “What brings y’out to this neck a’ the woods?” The words hung lighter still than the suffocating air that permeated much of the forest.

A clawed hand wrapped casually around the smooth handle of the axe, the weight reassuring. Its cardinal-speckled edge glinted in the dim light and bared its jagged teeth.

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The Cartel
El Cuervo
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Sanba
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:49 am

Ciprian had decided a long time ago that names were dangerous things. He had grown up in the shadow of an Arena trader. He had been a nameless smudge of a boy who had decided his own name when he had been old enough to form words and decipher their true meaning.

Back then his nose had been straight – his fingers long but unadorned.

It had taken him years to cultivate himself, to comb through the parts of him that had been ill prepared and warm. Now he was cold and rough – with a smooth edge that that housed a silver tongue.

Names were dangerous, but he had begun collecting them.

They had started something without even realizing it.

He tugged the horse impatiently, ignoring the way the animal set his feet and leaned away from him. Ciprian had never been good with animals – he never understood the nuance that radiated off of them, the way body language explained thoughts and feelings that were beyond luperci physiology. The Onuban grunted, cursing in Spanish before kicking a tree.

“What brings y’out to this neck a’ the woods?”

For a moment he thought that Ruckus had followed him out of the small territory which he was comfortable with. The drawling voice was similar - but not.

The voice was slow, seeping like molasses between his toes. His lips curled, and he peered over one thin shoulder, the length of his cape shifting in the wind.

The first thing he noticed was the rust-flecked axe. The curve of it glinted against the sun, and Ciprian quietly adjusted the blades concealed in his sleeves. The Coyote was thin, with a swatch of ash-colored hair that was barely kept out of his ember eyes.

He reeked of desperation, and it made Ciprians grin expose more teeth.

He tapped a finger against the horse’s thin hide and stepped towards the man, ignoring the way his eyes lingered a moment too long on the saddle bags. ”Looks like same thing as you." His tongue flicked out across his lips and he squinted casually at the weapon, "Whats with the axe?"

Others can still pop in !

Loners
Wolfdog
User avatar
Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:35 pm

my heart was flawed, i knew my weakness

Maybe some of the others hadn't appreciated his thieving, his mannerisms, but no one spoke of it - everyone took a part of the spoils, and Nazario thought himself a regular Robin Hood. Each time a haul was procured, he was beaming with pride - he had found a calling, of sorts, a way to provide, be helpful, that still praised the Trickster within him that grinned with too-big teeth. He could play the bumbling, the helpless, the charming, the daft - and he could play it well; Sheepknuckles and belts, chewed up rind and potatoes - Diego had taught him well.

He wondered if the Cenizan man would've been proud of him, would've liked how Nazario had stepped up his game - more props, for convincing lies.

Ichabod, on the other hand, had adopted... Other methods, for Cartel gain. Big sticks swayed as well as woven tales, he supposed - he supposed he should've expected as much from a soldier.

Quietly, he had tailed the others, as he had done before - Vicira's little spy, but he operated moreso within the constraints of concern for the tactics of his fellow band - violence was a useful tool, but bred vengeance. Dead coyotes did not do well for the remains of Inferni's scattered ashes, and when Ichabod started tailing the ichor that bled through the woods on a pale, deathly horse, Nazario took an invested interest.

The thief rounded quick on Ichabod's flank, and propped himself on a tree, pinching his brow idly to examine the ink-swatch wolfdog and the way his horse craned away from his touch, repelled. Beneath the innocuous interaction, the smiles, light tones, there was tenseness. Grease, beneath their feet. Rio reached out, more easy-going with his expression, but pinched all the same, his smile thin, teeth poking through his black lips. His hand came to rest on Ichabod's shoulder.

"Ain't that a silly question - gotta say, ya don't look like no vaquero we've ever seen," Nazario eased into conversation, suspicion oily against the roof of his mouth. "What's with the cloak?"

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The Cartel
El Zorro
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Despi
Luperci
LadróN
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won't stay down

POSTED: Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:01 pm

smoke the night away

There had been a time, once, where he had believed in the possibility of a life separate from this.

The memory came in the form of glowing titian hair against a rune-dotted stone by the sea. He found that the more he recalled it the more twisted the recollection became, sepia-tinged with a mix of nostalgia and wishful thinking.

Why the thought of her came to the coyote now, though, was impossible to tell. Maybe it was something about the lilt of his tongue, the hissed curse unraveling smoothly from between the wraith’s glittering teeth, that threaded his image together with the Courtier’s. Maybe the soldier only saw what he wanted to see, finding connections in nothing. Maybe it was something.

Whatever the case, it mattered little. The axe’s wooden handle pulsed warm and alive against the flesh of his palm, beckoning. Ichabod blinked and the mirage was gone — all that stood between him and the day’s haul was the looming shade of a man and the faint click of his ivory teeth.

That and, apparently, a sticky-fingered fox.

The foliage shifted and the thief folded into existence. Ichabod blinked, mouth forming silently around words a name that didn’t come. Names and lofty titles alike were dangerous if thrown around without care; the thistle kingdom stood testament to this. Even if some the others cared not, trading their names like tokens of goodwill, he held the names given to him covetously.

Zorro,” came the sharp admonishment instead, followed quickly by a torrid surge of irritation. The name rolled stiffly off his tongue, rusty with a combination of disuse and exasperation. The youth was as flighty as his namesake, it seemed, and just as nettlesome to the ears. The soldier huffed, the fleeting glance he spared Rio caustic at best. “Play nice.”

This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. Vicira’s clinical touch followed them even now, it seemed, and the Scintillan had not yet decided where he stood on the matter. It was likely he would never.

If it were to be down to the two of them, then, they’d better make it quick — Ichabod resolved to fulfill his task quickly and wash his hands of the matter entirely. Whatever had drawn Nazario to him (like flies to carrion, his mind helpfully provided), he would not give the cyclops the satisfaction of witnessing it.

His tail flickered impatiently behind him, thudding unsteadily against the flat of his thigh. “The axe don’t matter.” A pause. “I know how t’ use it, if that’s what you’re askin’.”

Necessity has honed his instincts once before, down in the arid scenes of the holy war; he would no sooner give up the clothes on his back now than the familiar heft of his arms. His thoughts flickered briefly to the one-eyed youth, weighing their combined odds, before he exhaled again. Charred pupils flitted once again to the bony horse, dark with undisguised intent. “Say,” he started, grip shifting against the wood grain in his hand. “You got anythin’ in those bags a’ yours that might interest us?”

The boy could handle himself just fine.

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The Cartel
El Cuervo
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Sanba
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:45 pm

They both slid through the forest like ichor, their dark mouths set into grim lines. Ciprian recognized the hungry sag to their skin, the way their eyes glittered with desperation. It was a dangerous formula, but Ciprian was familiar with it – and he leaned back against the thin horse nonchalantly, his own teeth exposed in a slow-creeping smile.

They were scavengers, roughly hewn men with rusted weapons and tattered ears. They flexed their hands as if they were prepared to hit something with them, twitched their lips as they mulled over their words. They were men who were prepared for something, and Ciprian crossed his arms silently.

Vaquero.

The word rung in his ears and he hissed softly, a laugh trickling through his lips like drops of blood.

They didn’t understand who he was. The rings on his fingers glimmered as the clouds above them parted and for a moment he imagined that he was standing in one of his claimed alley ways – the triangular marks of paint that marked the district as his.

Out here away from everything and everyone he belonged to no one.

”Keeps me warm.” His tongue flicked across his lips, ”Unlike that cold hard steel.”

He shrugged, ”I came out here looking for civilization." The sneer that crept across his face was sharp like a blade, "Seems I still have yet to find it."

One of his fingers trailed the hidden blade, and he gestured with a long crooked nose towards his bags.

"Take a look," He took a step away from the horse, ignoring the strangled breath it gave as the coyotes drew closer, "There is little of use inside."

His eyes narrowed, "Where did you two come from?"

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Wolfdog
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Amanda
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