And Now We Rebuild

Kalypso

POSTED: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:51 pm

Tora stared at his journal as he sketched scenes of burning buildings and bleeding corpses, the things he knew best. A carefully drawn image of his mother with an arrow lodged in her windpipe stood next to the Hotel as it was engulfed in a haze of charcoal black smoke and fire. Once again he had lost everything. He had spent spent nearly a fourth of his natural life fleeing the death of one family only to have to repeat it all again. Was everything he cared about marked for destruction? Was he cursed to roam aimless and alone, watching helplessly as any home he tried to settle was scattered to the wind? He was a bad omen it seemed, a soldier without an army, a warrior who had failed to defend his people twice now. The small group of huddled loners he had attached himself to was a poor substitute for a true pack, and he was likely going to lose them as well.

Memories of his two lives resurfaced at random, completely unbidden and unwelcome. He could remember his father pointing out the dirty, unwashed men that sometimes straggled into town to trade for food or medicine, the ones who always kept a hand on their weapons and who's frightened eyes never seemed to make contact with another person. Rōnin, they were called. Literally it mean "wave man", one who was socially adrift. They had no lords or masters and had to eke out a life serving as mercenaries or bandits. Tora had been taught to look down on them, the way they sold themselves out to the highest bidder like common whores, how they always seemed to be caked with dirt and grime. What was most shameful was that they had failed to kill themselves as was proper at the loss of their master.

And now he was one of them. The ex-Courtier had considered doing what was proper, ending his life just as the life of his pack had been snuffed out, but couldn't work up the courage to do it. All that time spent ruminating on his eventual end had built up an immunity to fear of others, but doing it himself was an entirely different prospect. He was still a coward. He knew it and his father knew it. Akio hadn't said anything to him yet, but he could hear a hollow whistle in the air, a cold breeze that would sweep through him at random. The dead man was nearby, glowering at him with disgust and hatred with his one good eye. Tora would have to answer to him sooner or later but for now he seemed content with staying invisible.

At the very least Tora knew he should try and make himself presentable. He was completely naked from the waist up, the well defined muscles of his chest and torso decorated with scars from his adventures. He had started smoking sometime during the events of the previous month, ash from the almost dead cigarette clamped in his mouth falling and embedding itself in his fur. His hat and robe were still in the saddlebags hanging from his newly squired mare, his hair hanging limply around around his face that hid a swirling tide of emotion behind an impassive mask. He hadn't spoken a single word since the Little Court had formed. There was nothing to say, nothing to do besides draw and smoke and take swigs from the glass bottle he had managed to salvage from the remains of the Court. It helped, but wasn't nearly enough to drown his sorrows.

Wordcount:606
Last edited by Toraberā Tanaka on Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Petite Cour
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Luperci What the spud!?
Dishonor is removed through death

POSTED: Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:11 pm

-

Her life was a smoking wreckage, like a ship set aflame on the calm sea. No stormy wind filled her sails. She was adrift in an ocean that would not fulfill her, especially as she threatened to drown in the waters of her own misery.

Kalypso had noticeably deflated following their hollow victory against La Marea. They had fought the tide and won, but it was a bittersweet sort of victory. Their packmates had fled, gone to their new homes and other destinations. The Court proper was gone, away to the Outpost that would now house those that did not want to remain in a land tainted by bitter memories and angry ghosts.

The former queen was a shadow of herself and it was obvious. While her injuries had for the most part healed, she was clearly carrying the wounds of that day in her chest, close to her heart, and it threatened to sever the connection to her soul. Kalypso was shattered and broken. She did not know if anyone could put her pieces back together again.

How long had she been watching the man sketch, his backside exposed and her heart feeling nothing but angry sadness. Her children were out on their own, tending their remaining animals, collecting wood, and general being the kids they should have been. They had suffered more than she, but it heartened her to watch the trio bolster one another up in the fact of such heartache. They were strong kids, but they had been forced to be such.

Finally tired of staring, Kalypso sat herself down beside the man. A glance at his art showed destruction and she looked quickly away from the grisly scene.

I ruined this, she said finally, heaving a sigh as she pulled her legs up to her chest and wrapped her hands around her knees, like a young girl might.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:50 pm

He had thought he was the person still out by the old village, or at least the only living one. Evidently he had lost his basic senses as well as his home. Had he been more vigilant he would have caught Kalypso's scent or heard her approach behind him. Tora was slipping badly, losing his touch. Soon his steps would falter, his grip on his sword would slip. He was going to be caught off guard and killed sooner or later. Someone else would do what he couldn't bring himself to and he would welcome it with open arms. Perhaps then he would finally gain some measure of respect in his father's eyes.

For the time being however he simply sat next to the Queen. Or rather the former one. She had lost her home just like he had lost his, and had nearly lost more. He hadn't been there of course but Tora had heard whispers of what had happened to her children, how Cidro had been brutalized as he tried to to defend them. He didn't move from his spot as as the younger woman sat next to him, his only response was to turn to blank page as a courtesy. The charcoal pen scratched roughly at the clean paper, forming the outline of a raccoon with its grasping hands and ringed tail.

His head cocked curiously at the statement, ears perking up as Tora reached into his bag and produced his bottle. It was a sizable thing, nearly the size of his forearm and wider to boot. When he had found it the vessel had been nearly full. Now less than half of the amber remained. It was obvious where it had gone, his breath stank of alcohol. He had begun to ignore the lessons of the masquerade and his father's failing health. Smoking and drinking provided him with temporary escapes from his situation and he was in no situation to turn that down. His jaw opened and the dead cigarette fell to ground were it joined a small pile that had been forming since he had arrived early that morning. The harsh taste of tobacco was drowned by whiskey, Tora taking a swig before holding the bottle out to his fellow mourner.

"No it's not." he muttered in response, rubbing at his eyes tiredly. He hadn't been able to sleep properly recently and had been spending his nights practicing riding Jollie. "None of this was your fault, ma'am. Blame lies purely with the bastards who attacked us."

Wordcount:430
Petite Cour
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Luperci What the spud!?
Dishonor is removed through death

POSTED: Fri May 03, 2019 6:46 pm

-

She looked at the pile of discarded cigarettes at his feet and found that she did not care that he had slipped into vices while their demise slowly disappeared into the past. The smell of alcohol, took was difficult to ignore, but that concern was buried beneath the veneer of despair and heartache. Her fingers tightened in her calves, nails threatening to break skin, when she finally loosened her grasp and spread those limbs forward.

It was hard to imagine but she was still barely more than a young adult. Three years old with a trio of children and she had already led and lost a prestigious pack. Was that honestly something to brag about, though? Failure? It seemed like ash in her mouth.

The taste threatened to choke her, even as Tora spoke his platitudes that she could not swallow.

Got any more of those? she asked, jerking her finger toward the pile of cigarettes with a tired voice. Everything about her felt tired and she could not fight it any more. If she let go all the way, though, she knew she would end up sobbing in Tora's arms and that was not the place to let her broken heart loose. I remember smoking good island tobacco back then. Sweet almost. Where'd you get this? she asked, changing the topic that would rend her in two.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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the power that you crave
◄taste, what a bittersweet►

POSTED: Sun May 12, 2019 11:00 pm

He saw her look to to the scattered collection of dead cigarettes, knew what he must have looked and smelled like. He was a far cry from the proud man he used to be, a vagrant who smoked and drank because he had nothing else left to do. And he didn't care. He had no appearances to keep up anymore, no need to pretend to be some sort of noble warrior. He had squandered his second chance at life by letting the Court fall to pieces in his hands. Kalypso was no longer his Queen, he could act as he wanted around her. It was freeing in a perverse sort of way, knowing that no one would care about he dressed or spoke or acted. He was free to get as drunk as he wanted to whenever he wanted to.

"Thank God for small mercies I suppose."

As he waited for his offer to be acknowledged his brow furrowed in sympathy as her clawed fingers dug into her flesh, wishing for a rough set of hands to wrap around his throat and crush it. Honor and duty demanded that he do it himself but that was out of the question. He was a coward, too weak to protect either of his families and not brave enough to even die with some dignity. When it became clear that the younger woman wasn't interested he took another gulp, swishing the drink in his mouth distastefully before choking it down. It was foul tasting stuff to be sure but strong enough that he didn't care. The man gave an affirmative grunt as he shifted about, clutching at a pocket sewn into his robe and producing two paper wrapped tubes of tobacco along with a match and stone to strike it against. "Nothing that fancy I'm afraid." Tora said with an apologetic shrug. "Plain, grown in Virginia."He had no idea if the name meant anything to his companion and didn't much care either way. "I smelled smoke one day and followed it to the source. The woman who owned was at the source was eager to trade tobacco and rolling paper for deer and a few small trinkets."

As he spoke he lit up again, futile rubbing the match against the rock for a few awkward seconds before finally getting it to light. He inhaled pensively, holding the cloud in for a few seconds before blowing smoke through his nose like a dormant dragon. "Sorry I can't offer anything better." The taste reminded him of his first home, of the sight of his father puffing away for what seemed like hours while reading or cooking or yelling at his subordinates. It was bittersweet, more memories of his failings. "I hadn't thought I would end up losing everything again." Tora mumbled. "This family was supposed to be the permanent one. Guess that I was wrong about that, as I am a lot of things." He laughed bitterly, opening his journal again and flipping to a new page. The charcoal pencil began to scratch out another form, that of a person. Male or female, fur color and species, he didn't know. That would be revealed in time.

Wordcount:540
Petite Cour
Épéiste
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Luperci What the spud!?
Dishonor is removed through death

POSTED: Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:21 pm

-

Alcohol was her weakness. Unlike Tora, she chose to avoid it after her last imbibing event led to the birth of her three children. She was afraid that she would make so many more mistakes if she let the drink control her. What else could she do that was worse or more stupid than getting knocked up, though?

She accepted the rustic cigarette and racked her brain for the memory of the island-grown tobacco that had a sweet taste with an almost floral hint to it. She remembered the woman wrapping dried mint leaves and flower petals into the little wrappers, though Kalypso had first smoked the mixture in the woman's own pipe when her curiosity overtook her. It had been nice, pleasant, but she had never gone seeking the vice actively afterward unless freely offered it.

I should see if I can't get a hand on what I had on the island. I'd need to send a message to the Courtiers in Portland, but they're the new Court proper now, so I suppose I should just be happy I have anything, she said, devolving into self-depreciation with relative ease.

She fumbled with the match as it was passed on, pretending like she had a lot of experience doing it. It took her a moment but eventually she was smoking, the end lighting as she inhaled and forced the ember to flicker. It settled into her lungs heavily and she forced herself to exhale as smoothly as possible. Then, Kalypso started coughing somewhat as the bitter flavor burned up her throat.

The man was just as upset as she, but she wondered how she could comfort him. She was hardly capable of comforting herself. So, Kalypso put her hand on the man's arm and ignored the thick odor of bad alcohol that hovered about him. Look, you haven't lost everything. You're still here, a lot of us are still here. We're just not a Court anymore, but we can still be a family. We're not going anywhere. She gave his arm a reassuring squeeze.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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† ♥ SANG DE LA MER ♥ †
the power that you crave
◄taste, what a bittersweet►

POSTED: Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:07 pm

Curls of fouls smoke drifted lazily from the man's nose and up towards the sky, Tora allowing the rough tobacco to lull him into a false state of calm. His mind was still racing with thoughts of hunting down everyone who had been connected to the ruination of his family but he felt a less likely to break something in a rage. A little bit less anyway. He couldn't deny how good it feel to snap boards like he used to during his training, or to put holes in walls like his father used to terrify him and his mother when displeased. Or finding the corpse of the three who attacked him that past winter and stringing them up as a warning-

The wolf spat on the ground at the thought, forcing it it from his mind. He was losing control of himself more and more everyday and he knew it. It was like watching himself fall down a bottomless chasm and being unable to stop it. Eventually he was going to snap and being irrevocably damaged and there was nothing he could do to stop it. It was a certainly a sobering thought but not one he could focus on at the moment. Tora's ears flicked at the Speaker's words, looking towards the ground in shame. He wasn't the only one with problems. 'You have your children!" he noted with a nod of his head. "There's always that."

It didn't occur to him that Kalypso was a novice smoker, simply assuming that it was a lower quality smoke than what she was used to. "Yeah, it's rough stuff. If you do find a source of anything better, please let me know." The charcoal continued its path across the paper as they spoke, the figure taking on a familiar shape as Tora added a length of tail and a mass of hair. His eyes began to glaze as he zoned out, letting his hands do what they felt like. The feeling of her touch shook him out of the haze, the tired soldier so surprised by the gesture that he was only able to stare blankly as she reassured him. "You're right." he managed to get out. "Sometimes what I've experienced in life compels me to focus on the negatives of the past instead of the positives of the present. As long as I'm around I'll do my best to serve our little group as Épéiste."

Wordcount:419
Last edited by Toraberā Tanaka on Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Petite Cour
Épéiste
User avatar
Smike
Luperci What the spud!?
Dishonor is removed through death

POSTED: Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:46 pm

-

Kalypso felt his startled tension beneath her fingers and let go gingerly. It had clearly had the grounding effect that she had wanted and she felt that small flurry of elation in her chest over it. Perhaps, there was still more that the fallen monarch could offer the rest of her little court. Well. Not her's. Their's. She did not lead it, no more than anyone else in the group. Her authority was gone and remained more of a fragment of a past existence. She could at least provide whatever support she could manage since it was the very least she could do.

No one will deny you've had a rough go of it. Kalypso leaned back, relaxing somewhat after their faintly tense conversation. But doesn't that mean it can only get better from here? It was a halfhearted question, if she were being honest. She had thought that her experiences with Santi in the early days had been hell, but it had been clear that fate had saved far worse for when her ego and pride were too big to crash land fully intact.

What are you drawing? she asked suddenly, peering over his shoulder somewhat at the curved form that he was putting to paper. A woman? It certainly beat the previous one she had glimpsed. Ooh, a paramour? she asked slyly, a smile curving on the edges of her lips and her brows rose up in question.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

Player WikiCharacter Wiki
Petite Cour
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Gen
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† ♥ SANG DE LA MER ♥ †
the power that you crave
◄taste, what a bittersweet►

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