[m] strange hands halted me, the looming shadows danced

Drygrass Posse + Cartel

POSTED: Wed May 15, 2019 8:08 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.


And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

The bay of wolves echoed and clapped off the lake's surface through the night and into the early morning air, trailing low and thin into the reach of the Burnt Church camp.

Needless to say, sleep did not come easy. Light filtered through the din - the canopy cast its dappling of light with the budding leaves and speckled the gray fog of morning when Santiago rose, first to do so, at the waking signs of day. The clouds were pale, rolling - nothing that the sun could not burn off - but the air was damp and chilly nonetheless. Rubbing the cold from his fingers, eyes bleary, Santiago went to check on the remains of the night's fire, and toed over some cold charcoal, testing it, before he sought to reignite it to start breakfast for everyone.

The fire grew, slow, with the added tinder and kindling to feed from, and he sat back to watch his handiwork, pulling his hands through loose, wavy hair to tuck it back between his tall, ratty ears.

There was a pause, and his ears twitched in the quiet -

It was very quiet.

No wind, no rustling leaves, no birdsong - the air was still, and it was cool, smelling like morning dew and the rot of damp, old pine needles and dirt. Santiago furrowed his brow, and stood up, dusting his palms against his pants, and he glimpsed through the fog.

"What in the hell is that," Santiago asked aloud, his voice a graveled hush, his eyes focused at a distant shape lumbering through the mist and tall-stretched shapes of the pines.

-- | [wc — --] template by hilli, image from Wayne Stadler
Del Cenere Gang
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Despi
Mate to Evelyn Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 1:35 am

(000)

ooc

He saw the grave in his dream, a pile of fresh earth that rose higher in the middle than the surrounding grounds. Silver hairs clenched about his fist. The innocent were always the ones who suffered most.

John had cried that night, not the wretched sobbing that had called Briarblack upon his return, but something soft and broken. The man he had been, who'd been unable to allow a lady's soft whimper to continue. That handkerchief had sealed his fate.

Fitful sleep gave way to exhausted consciousness. A fire crackled nearby. Johnathan joined Santiago to warm his fingers, with barely a grunt of acknowledgement.

The tracking of green eyes followed along with the Hustler's attention, squinting at the shape emerging from the fog.

"The fuck..?" He muttered, hand slipping to the knife hanging from his belt.

Johnathan Winthrop
I'm a dead man walkin'
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Jace
Luperci You have to love yourself a fire

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 1:47 am

And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

The lumbering shape was drawing closer, and Santiago's stance widened, uncertain alongside the ruddy-coated Winthrop, only casting him an equally perplexed cursory glance.

"Who's there?" he called out to the impartial fog, when he felt unearthly chill creep up the nape of his neck, unsettling his hackles. His voice echoed the sentiment again, more authortiative this time as the shape took form of a rider - or at least, it looked like a rider, swaying and indistinct through the tree's copse. People were stirring from their sleep, now, one of the Cartel's girls poked her head out of a tent, blinking tired, amber eyes.

The stink struck them then.

Stale, damp, dank, and copper. Santiago'd hardly recognized the horse, saw the mare's trembling legs. A hat was resting on shoulders, though the figure was too short, too short. Bruni emerged closer to the camp, beelining on wobbling legs to those more familiar to her. The markings on her were black, dried, caking in her damp coat, already liver-chestnut as it was - a handprint pressed on the horse's forehead like some grisly calling card.

Transfixed, Santiago stood stunned alongside Johnathan as they watched the rider, eyes glued to the horse, before drinking in the rest of the sight.

Bruni came to a stop, and the limp shape, propped in the saddle and now noticably tied there, slumped forward slightly. Something was settled in its lap. A bulging, purple tongue, half-lidded dandelion eyes.

"Oh my God," Santiago breathed, bristling outwards as he quickly rushed in on the horse, which spooked minorly, folding her ears back. "¡Dios mio!"

At Bruni's start, the severed head of the Reverend slipped from the corpse's lap, and rolled onto the ground.

free for all posting now! PP of Larka was approved of; also Sorry Mandi ilu | [wc — --] template by hilli, image from Wayne Stadler
Last edited by Santiago Tejada on Thu May 16, 2019 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mate to Evelyn Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 10:08 am

the first cut is the deepest

She had been up most of the night. It was somewhat of a beautiful thing watching the sun set, the dark set in, the sounds of night, only to have it broken again by the golden lining in the distance.

But she was tired, and as soon as the sun hinted at its return did she finally find rest, curled up bare-backed on the fur in her small tent. Her sleep was dreamless and refreshing; when her slate eyes finally opened again she felt like a new woman.

Thin body stretched and creaked and cracked; her fur was damp with dew. Opening up the flap of her tent, Twelve found the world awash with silver light, a fog clung to the camp. She stood and arched her back, and then turned to spit the night-stink from her mouth.

There was a fire nearby; she turned her head and saw John and Butterface around it.

Twelve turned and made her way slowly to join them, still letting the sleep run out of her bones, when she suddenly saw that they both were fixated on the same spot. Canines pointing their noses in the same direction, and their bodies tense, immediately caused her to turn as well.

Then the scent of the fire was overwhelmed by the scent of death.

She knew what was coming towards them even before it appeared. Still, that didn’t help to lessen the blow of the visceral sight. A beheaded body atop an injured horse.

Santiago was released from his hypnotized state and rushed forward, the horse spooked, and then a head went rolling into the dirt. It was Calhoun. She could still see the golden face, despite its being twisted in death. Her stomach lurched.

Eyes grew wider than saucers and she stood frozen to her spot several yards away from the men. She had seen this kind of execution before, and this kind of warning. Eyes darted around the camp, looking for signs of any strangers, any ambush; they were in danger.

OOC || +337

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Nat
Luperci Gaucho Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 11:43 am

The promise of a new day glowed through a wisp of silvery morning fog but its gentle coaxing could not ignite the rods and cones that lay inert within her dead eye. Its corpse lay hidden beneath the grave of closed eyelids, set within the ruinous half of a face that might once have been pretty, and awash in a dim and dappled light it would never again see.

Tucked in the crook of her elbow, the fair half of her face lay hidden in shadows and cushioned by uneven tufts of dirty blonde tresses. She stirred gently when the damp chill swept in, pulling her knees up to her chest and settling again uneasily. The night had been long, the baying of wolves eerie and unpleasant, and she would have liked to rest a while more.

But fate had other plans.

As she lay, floating somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, her ears took in the surrounding sounds. A gentle shuffling of wood through ash – a sound she knew intimately from their time on the run together – told her that Santiago was already up and looking to wake a fire. The absence of his voice, though, suggested he was alone.

She should get up, Evelyn thought drowsily as her mind waded through the persuasion of sleep, keep him company.

”What in the hell is that.”

Sleep was banished in an instant and the Vicar’s eyes snapped open, her ears straining for words of assurance that all was well and there was nothing to worry about. Words that would never arrive.

Evelyn was on her feet, cloak wrapped haphazardly about her thin, small body, and her wispy, patchy mane amess. When she stepped out of the tent, feeling as though her feet were carrying her against her better judgement, there was a gathering of coyotes around her brother’s horse. And there, rolling to a stop in a patch of tender grass, her brother’s dandelion eyes peered dead and dull from a bodiless head.

Her mouth fell open and from its broad rift came the keening of grief and horror and rage, its sound penetrating and full of pain the intensity of which she had not felt since their flight.

Dropping to her knees, Evelyn held out her arms towards her brother’s head and wailed.

OOC: BROTHER NO

[WC — 387]


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Mandi
Mate to Santiago Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 2:23 pm

(000)

ooc

The alarm in Santiago's voice called to more than just the figure in the fog. Around them the camp began to stir, bolstered to life by a question that any nomad always asked upon meeting strangers.

Death came upon a trembling horse, daubed with a macabre symbol.

The dark slash of John's lips opened to the world, though they echoed no sound. Ropes and blood and a hat atop a body that was too short by a head's worth. John's stomach lurched, and saliva filled his mouth. He swallowed back the urge to vomit and even struggled forwards with Santiago a few steps. The frightened horse jerked, and the head rolled onto the ground.

Evelyn's wail of grief lit up their camp like fireworks in the night sky.

Them and Us poured to life in his world again. Fingers twitched on his knife, and wretched it from its sheath. The voices were screaming, screaming inside his head.

John turned, away from the dead-man, an angry yote-bark fading into the foggy morning. The stench of wolf bled heavily in his nares. Twelve reacting in the same way, suspecting the same thing, ambush.

"Stay inside." He told Larka, peeking from their tent with terrified eyes.

"Ron!" Johnathan's voice burst against the backdrop of Evelyn's screams, fueled with violence, "Boone!"

"Wayne!" It was an angry roar of sound, calling his brothers-in-arms. The drunken mess was gone, in its place the remains of a man who had taken down a gang very much like their own. The ones who had carved the scars into his back had paid with their life-blood

Johnathan Winthrop
I'm a dead man walkin'
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Jace
Luperci You have to love yourself a fire

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 4:17 pm

All things truly wicked start from Innocence

There was no doubt in anyone's mind that something strange was going on around here, both between the Cartel and the Posse alike. Both groups had been finding mysterious things around their camps, she and John having personal had to find a rather gruesome sight together. It put her, and likely everyone else, on edge.

At least this time if something was going to happen to them it would be by something she had led to this place. From what she could tell of Salsola and from their engagements in the past, this was not something they would do, whether it be to draw the coyotes out or to taunt them.

The gray coyote hadn't slept that well, even though she was once again at Boone's side. With so much going on, sleep was hard to come by. Stepping out of the tent, she stretched out her limbs, green gaze moving about the foggy morning that greeted her. How strange. It reminded her of another encounter she and John had shared, when they swam over to the island in the lake. There couldn't have been a connection between the two things could there?

Following along the trail to the Posse's camp, the sound of wailing caught into her ears. Picking up the pace, it wasn't long before she came to the sight, the bandaged woman having found her brother's head. Green eyes fixated on the head, her mind flashing to her mother's own mutilated corpse at her feet. Izual had not done this, he was long gone... but whomever had done this was not going to get away with it.

Lips began to curl up as her head shifted to John, watching him sink back into the fog. Following along at his lead, she paced behind him. She was no experienced fighter by any means, but she would put to use the chaotic blood Izual had gifted her with. If they were to be attacked, then their attackers were going to regret it.

+300 words.

Dahlia Winthrop

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Salena
Luperci Mate to Boone Chaos Star You have to love yourself a fire

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 4:34 pm

Do not cry out or hit the alarm
You know we're friends till we die

"Yer a fuckin' cheat Ron," Boone chided, casting his cards aside along the gnarled wooden table. Uncle Ron was on a roll and bleeding Boone dry. He'd always been a gambling man, or so he'd heard from John. He knew to hedge his bets, stacking probability against his young, impulsive nephew. Ronnie knew the game better than Boone, though he was remiss to admit his faults. He saw only a dirty cheater sitting across the table.

He huffed. "I should'a stayed in bed," Boone muttered, shaking his head in exasperation. At least then, he had the comfort of Dahlia at his side. It had been a folly to come here to gamble, he thought.

The scream the pierced the fog cemented that realization.

Uncle John's sharp bark followed shortly after. Boone knew a summons of such urgency meant one thing; trouble had finally found them. He grabbed his bow and took off toward the screaming with Ron following close behind.

It was a grizzly sight. The Reverend with his head in his hands, bound by rope and slumped over in his horse. Boone looked around with bow drawn. "Jesus, fuck --" he whispered, unable to process such savagery. Like his uncle, he too expected an ambush.

He would be ready.

OOC HERE.
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Ryan
Luperci Mate to Dahlia You have to love yourself a fire

POSTED: Sat May 18, 2019 12:42 pm

The stirrings around her and sharp voices, followed by a wailing scream drew Zsorthia from her reverie by the campfire where she'd been lost deep in thought, staring into the flames' reflection on the glinting surface of one of her twin blades. The sudden scream caused her to start, head jerking upward, ears perked and eyes widening with alarm and just as the rest of the camp did, she jumped into action wondering what the hell was going on at the edge of camp. Pulling free her second blade Zsorthia jumped to her paws and rushed over to the growing circle of people, coming up in the back, only just barely able to see the gruesome sight lain before the gathered.

"Aw, fuckin' hell!" She cursed softly. Bile rose in her throat as her stomach turned viewing the headless corpse of a man she had never met, but who was clearly familiar to the rest of the clan. A deep frown found its way to the red woman as the rich tang of blood and death hit her nose and she turned to the nearest faces beside her, her mind racing, body tensing, finding similar reactions in them. This was a warning, and something wasn't right. Hackles raised, Zsorthia bared her teeth in a silent snarl, turning away from the grisly sight and looking around them towards the trees, golden eyes narrowing. She lifted her blades, ready for anything, ignoring the throbbing of her already injured shoulder. She'd only just joined this band of rustlers and she'd been attacked by a cougar the first day and now it looked like she'd gotten mixed up in some serious shit otherwise. She did not sign up for this fuckshit. But she had no choice but to stand at the ready and be prepared to fend for her life. This entire scenario didn't sit right with her...
Zsorthia



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Westy
Luperci Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Mon May 20, 2019 11:01 am

Outside the dawn is breaking, But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free

Behind her she heard the snaps and growls from the demons. Run, just keep running. Fear coated every inch of her body as she darted between the trees and through the craggy valleys. Huge pine trees surrounded her, obscuring the location of her pursuers. A thick, warm stream ran down her face, turning her vision red. Mom, Felix, Rosalie. She had left their bodies on the floor of the den, in a dark red pool.

She felt the hot breath of the wolves right behind her. Her legs pumped faster, but only seemed to slow down; Her legs were lead. They are going to catch me. Just as she checked over her shoulder, he front paw caught on a root, lurching her forward to smash her face into the hard ground. She spun around to see those big, yellow teeth. With the smell of death on his breath, he spoke, "Tu es à moi, petit lapin."

Lyssa bolted upright, her body coated in a damp sweat. Her eyes darted frantically, searching in the dark. Her heart pounded in her ears, and her claws dug into the ground.

All she saw was the inside of her tent. Her breath quavered as she took a slow breath. You're in your tent just outside of the Posse, remember? Her nightmares had been much worse since her breakdown earlier in the week. Lyssa took a moment to just listen to the night, trying to steady herself.

But suddenly a new dread overtook her. It wasn't the normal night sounds she heard, but a urgent commotion and stirring of all the canines around her. She poked her head out of her tent. Lyssa saw everyone gathering around a tan coyote with a hat sitting on top of a horse... But why was the coyote so short? It took her a moment to see the truth; The coyote's head was in its lap, with blank eyes staring forward, tongue a deep purple hanging from his mouth. A familiar smell of blood and death filled the air.

Hot tears poured down her faced as she listened to Evelyn howling in agony. With her mind and body numb from the scene, she crawled back into her tent. She curled up into a ball and covered her ear with her hands. She could not bear to hear or see any more. She stared at the side of the tent, trying to ignore everything going on around her.

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Ruby
Luperci Wayfinder You have to love yourself a fire

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