the perfect party guests

POSTED: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:10 pm

Word Count → ??? :: I'm not saying it is, but I'm also not saying it isn't

There was a strong wind that rose from the distant horizon and swept in along the cresting waves. It brought the thick scent of salt and the morose cries of white-winged waterbirds with it, tangling through the young woman's long dark hair as she tossed it back over one shoulder.

The beach was nothing spectacular, just another little inlet surrounded by craggy bluffs. This far north the water was frigid year-round, foamy waves crashing against jutting rock and rushing in to lap at her ankles. They were not fortunate enough for the golden sands found further south; Underfoot were many tiny stones, most smoothed by the ancient and laborious breath of the ocean.

Elphaba stood with her hands on her hips, surveying the churning waters like a queen would her empire. The fine sheer silk sarong she wore tied neatly about her lithe frame was stitched with little creamy pearls that glinted when they caught the pale light. Behind her, the mountainous form of the mercenary caught some of the buffeting wind, as though he were another cliff brought to contest the great wide sea. "They're late," The young woman said in a rather ugly tone, her red eyes half-lidded to protect against the spray; O'Riley would be hearing an earful about it later, if the tapping of her foot said anything much.

Turning to look up at the big man, Elphie didn't bother hiding the sharp glint to her face - There would be time enough to compose it into something lovely and winsome later. "Neith will arrive soon," She said to the towering Bull, lifting one dark hand to flick some dirt from his armor - he had insisted on wearing it, though she suspected that she might be able to convince him to remove some layers once the fun got underway. "It's important to me that he doesn't leave; He gets confused sometimes about what he wants, very introverted, you know? So just keep an eye on him for me," She offered her trusted guard a little wink, but turned abruptly toward the sound of footsteps crunching along the pebbled shore.


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Alaine
Luperci Witch she hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit the queen is dead, long live the queen
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POSTED: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:11 am

You have to go, she had said, and because of her rank or because of who she was, Grievous couldn't say no. He had thought about it – thought up a half-dozen excuses that didn't sound convincing enough to stop her from getting her way – and agreed without argument. When it came to things that weren't work, or weren't important things like fighting and defending the pack, Grievous was generally content to stay in places he found comfortable.

The beach was one of them, all things considered. Generally it was a place that Grievous liked, but he was dreading the prospect of whatever it was he'd come across. It wasn't like his cousin to come demand his presence, and the fact she had insisted he bring something made him think they'd be stuck there. If he was more suspicious, he'd think that she (or someone else) had seen his most recent hunt and recognized he'd caught more than he needed. Yesterday had been full of butchery and gorging himself until he fell asleep, drunk on meat.

So with the bundles of venison wrapped up in broad leaves and grasses he had tied using long stalks, the wolf meandered slowly towards the sea. He hadn't thought to bring anything else.

He cut down a narrow path, naturally made for such terrain, and walked along the water's edge towards where he had been instructed to go. It was comfortable with the sun out and the breeze blowing, and he supposed this ordeal wouldn't be too bad if the weather was nice. Grievous liked it when it was nice outside, even if he didn't often make use of these days beyond the mundane.

Ahead of him, a red cloth stood out like a beacon while behind this a greater shape lingered. He squinted, then moved to meet them. It didn't seem odd to him that the woman brought her bodyguard.

H'lo, he greeted, and bent his head to make it easier for her to reach his face. Their more formal greeting concluded, he indicated the goods in his arms. Is this enough?


masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull
Salsola
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Mel
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POSTED: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:24 am

The Bull was not a very big fan of the ocean. Living most of his life in a sea of sand rather than water made him wary of it, though that wasn't to say he was afraid of it. He just had a vehement dislike, was all. The cold and humid feel around the ocean made him itch in his armor and he couldn't imagine why Elphaba insisted on having this childish outing unless it had some kind of ulterior motive. She seemed like the kind of woman to operate in that way.

So he grunted in response to her musings, a sharp tongue barking orders to him in a way that he had become a little too used to, with little reaction in response other than hums and grunts where there weren't words fully formed. His single eye scanned over the beach, pebbles crunching under his feet as he paced somewhat to take stock of what the area was like in terms of vantage. It was a relatively open within the inlet, though the only way in was through a specific pass. It would be easy to guard, but actually having a steady hold over any of the visitors — including their host — would likely pose more of a challenge.

Easier to chain him to the rocks, he grunted, watching her flick at his armor without moving. She did this too often for him to care anymore. That poor boy, though — The Bull almost felt bad for him and the attention he seemed to garner from his client. However, well, gold was gold and he ate pretty well as long as he kept his eye on the boy. The machinations of those in power were far from his worry as long as it didn't affect him negatively.

Eventually, one of their guests arrived — and with provisions, no less. He stood next to Elphaba, arms crossed with his knife handle sticking out of his armor and giving an obvious notion that he was still there to protect his charge, despite the laid back nature of the occasion. The Bull gave Grevious a curt nod as he turned to Elphaba, almost raising a brow to see what kind of reaction she would give to the guests who didn't seem to arrive on time. As per her terms, anyway.

This would be an interesting gathering for them all. Whether that would be a good or a bad thing remained to be seen.


[409]
Commissions are on hold for right now until I can free up my schedule a little more to work on them. PM this account or message me on Discord if you're interested, but keep in mind that they may take a while!

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Titmouse
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POSTED: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:28 pm

At the time of invitation by Elphaba, Neith considered twice the possibilities and implications such an extension could mean. Firstly, the beach she described was nowhere close to her beloved brother and Blackwoods, and where most of her interests seemed to lie. She would not necessarily be out of her element, but the summer had started its shift into autumn. The autumn beach was no place for a young woman with little bulk and a penchant for dresses.

Secondly, why was he invited? He feared early stages of a courtship ritual he hadn't realized was in progress, and spent some time puzzling on this as well. The two were like night and day, and he believed any correlations drawn between them were, or should have been, a necessary performance. Her story of the Blackwoods a part of him thought fabricated, despite his own reception with Maugrim. If she only wished to speak, why had she chosen a location so remote, even private?

He left behind his books and charcoal, but was certain to bring his rapier. Though he had climbed back into a position of Confidant after O'Riley's usurpation, her ranking alone at time of invitation was enough to demand his presence despite the uncertainty of the situation. Neith had also rationalized that perhaps it would not be so bad to familiarize himself with Elphaba while at great distance from the Blackwoods, but when he arrived at the beach of stone and winds and pebbles, he froze at the threshold with fingers wrapped on the hilt of his sword.

This was no private affair. He counted two men he knew to be Salsolan but little more, and Elphaba dressed light in spite of such breeze. It was by the comfort of one thought that Neith assumed posturing and marched down to them: At least O'Riley isn't here.

"Greetings, greetings," he said, and with his head high, nodded to the two white, towering men in company. He gestured to the wrapped bundle carried by Grievous. "I... was not aware I should have brought something. Shall I fetch my herbs and spices at home to use for cooking?"

He didn't introduce himself. With any luck, he wouldn't have to.

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Lin
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POSTED: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:43 pm

When Elphaba had shown up that morning, O'Riley had been delighted at the prospect of seeing her make a fool of herself. He didn't necessarily think that drinking would be all that fun, but he though that seeing his cousin act ridiculous might be. Beyond that, he had acquired a respectable bundle of his own goodies – a parting gift from the collie-dog for providing him with a blanket. He was old and complained about how he slept, though brushed off all the subtle suggestions O'Riley made about him settling somewhere. His cough lingered, and sometimes he moved slow and couldn't hide how he looked tired, but he was old and he was stubborn and O'Riley didn't waste his energy without reason.

He had been held up for no reason beyond his own, thinking that if she really was going that she might be late too – or not show up at all, if someone was tailing her at the Lord Commander's request. Of course, these days it seemed that her father was gone more and more. O'Riley had only become aware of this because he listened to others, and listened to the way his grandparents spoke when they thought he was sleeping.

O'Riley plucked a piece of dry brush from his dark leather skirt, and scratched at his chest. He was thinking of other things – what he would eat later, taking out his horse, the thought of getting a tattoo – as his long strides carried him speedily and easily towards the shore. When he spotted not one but several figures, he slowed and frowned. This expression fell away as soon as he identified them, however, and his tail was wagging as he approached.

You expecting anyone else? He called to Elpbaha, running a hand through his thick hair. O'Riley glanced sideways at Neith, all false-friendliness, and nodded at the towering Bull. The wolfdog moved to Grievous' side, and sniffed inquisitively at the bundles in his arms.

Everybody hit the ground
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POSTED: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:18 pm

Word Count → ??? :: ---

She took that well-deserved second, between giving directions to the Bull and glancing over at the approaching Grievous, to twist her expression. Transitions such as these were getting faster, more fluid; Only her guard, whose loyalty she purchased with cold hard coin, would be privy to seeing the truth as it was hidden behind a lovely and terrible smile. Since that particularly portentous day some many weeks earlier, Elphaba had come to rely on him unfalteringly, as though a secret understanding had cemented her decision to trust him.

"You came!" Elphaba clapped her dark hands in delight, as though she had given poor Grievous any other option. The illusion of choice was as important as the illusion of freedom from the Law. Standing on her tiptoes to brush her cheek against his, the young woman breathed deeply and found the stranger's scent faintly upon him.

These were questions for another time. They were here to have fun, after all.

She took the first bundle of meat from him and thrust it into Bull's arms. "Put this with the wine, won't you dear?" The little witch gestured loosely to the basket she had brought (carried, of course, by the burly guard) that was now propped against one of the jutting slate slabs of stone. Sunlight danced on the deep green glass within.

The liquor she had taken from Grandmother's cellar, with the Queen's blessing of course - Salvia had seemed strangely pleased to hear what Elphaba had planned, and if she'd any concerns about their imbibing of the rich sour or fruity wines, she had said nothing of it.

A slender motion caught the corner of her gaze. Looking beyond Grievous' broad shoulders to the winding trail that lead down from the high bluff, the young woman saw the current object of her interest at the same moment that he saw them. She acted very quickly then; Shooting Bull a covert but very important look, and twitching her elegant fingers in the ghost of a symbol.

Neith, who had frozen mid step, seemed to take a second to compose himself before heading on down the beach toward them. This absolutely delighted Elphaba, who had certainly omitted a lot of important information upon 'inviting' him to meet her here - Such as their company. Her wide slanted eyes took on a look of dangerous satisfaction, and the young woman brushed past Grievous' awkward stance to practically pounce toward the Heiwa man. "Nonsense!" She laughed above the haunting cries of the ocean, "You've brought yourself, and that's all that matters!"

She would have reached out to take his arm and pull him back toward the gathering when, lo and behold, her infallibly annoying cousin arrived. Irritation stole over her too-sharp features like a dark stormy cloud crossing the autumn sun. Leaving lucky Neith to his own devices for the moment, she sauntered over to O'Riley with a truly dangerous air. "Oh, and here you are; What happened, did you take a nap or something?" Elphaba smiled with too many teeth, and when she reached out to embrace him and brush her cheek against his, her sharp claws pinched at his arms. A deep inhale revealed what it was her cousin had brought, and pleased by this, she relented and took a step back.

Straightening, Elphaba shook out her long glossy hair again, her gaze darting covetously back to Neith. "Everybody is here," The Arbiter declared, and felt excitement warm her belly. "Are we all ready for a good time?"


we need a forest fire
Salsola
The Boss
User avatar
Alaine
Luperci Witch she hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit the queen is dead, long live the queen
hierophant
burn the witch
↟ ↟ ↟

POSTED: Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:06 pm

In the social order of Salsola, women would always be dominant. This carried over in all cases, but especially in those who had been brought up believing – or rather, knowing – that this was the case. Grievous thought it proper for Elphaba to be as domineering as she was, but it still made him terribly self-conscious. Mostly, he was worried about muddling something up and giving her reason to pass any news of failure along to someone more important.

There was some ease in the arrival of others, and Grievous was comfortable in falling into the din of the background. He knew the older man from Last Suppers and through passing, though did not think he looked too happy to be present. Grievous thought to introduce himself again, but soon enough O'Riley's appearance drove Elphaba to seize the conversation.

He wasn't entirely sure what it was she had planned and looked to O'Riley curiously, as if expecting him to know.


masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull
Salsola
The Equinest
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Mel
Luperci Mate to Idrieus
supernova
the fire rises

POSTED: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:28 am

It was rather curious to the hired hand that nearly every one of the participants of this party were related by blood with the exception of the young boy that Elphaba had her eyes on. Whether or not her cousins were in on this little escalade — or the ulterior motives she undoubtedly had — was unknown to him. Did he care enough to really dig deeper. Not at the moment, especially not when his charge had shoved meat into his arms for him to put away like a butler.

That was pretty much what he had been reduced to at this "party" of sorts. A towering elder observing amongst the children and their machinations, however big or small they were.

For now, he would be just that: an observer. As he shuffled away to set aside the bounty that had been given, his watchful eye scanned over the youngsters as they continued on with their conversations, keeping an ear out for any other orders barked from the witchy girl and the boy she tasked him to anchor to the beach if necessary.


[409]
Commissions are on hold for right now until I can free up my schedule a little more to work on them. PM this account or message me on Discord if you're interested, but keep in mind that they may take a while!

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Titmouse
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teeth of the combine

POSTED: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:28 am

No sooner had Elphaba swept herself up to his side than that damned O’Riley made an appearance, and a rock sunk in his gut. He cursed himself for his denied attempt at escaping their party by way of gathering spices; had he come up with something more convincing, perhaps he would have been gratefully spared the presence of the boy who usurped him.

Did Elphaba know what had happened? Did the others? Did this gathering have some ulterior motive related to it? Neith had no better explanation for the collection of invitees selected by Elphaba and turned his back to the treeline, where he would surely see someone coming for him. Just in case.

Neith stifled the boiling hate in his belly when O’Riley smiled at him, and returned to him a restrained and patient nod. This wasn’t the time for spite and anger; he assumed the witch would have none of it, and hated to imagine an infuriated Elphaba given her already quirky demeanor.

To Grievous and the Bull—both impossible for Neith to read—the Heiwa quietly introduced himself at some distance, then breathed deep and put together a smile for Elphaba. “With bated breath,” he said, not sarcastically. “I’ll mind the cooking while you all get started.”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:05 am

The thing about Salsola, he had come to realize, that no matter what happened good or bad it always seemed best to pretend. Presenting a false face would allow the normalcy of life in its day-to-day to happen without fail. Salsola functioned when all of its cogs, large and small, worked together.

Neith was simply weak, and O'Riley had capitalized upon that. It was a small thing, really. It was of little consequence in the great scheme of things. He certainly thought of it only as confirmation to his own superiority.

O'Riley rubbed at his sore arm casually, then went digging about in the bag on his hip.

You know how it goes, the wolfdog told his cousin. He lifted his head once he had found the small bundle he was looking for. It was carefully wrapped up, but smelled strong the moment it reached the air. What's the occasion? This isn't anything weird, is it? O'Riley grinned, like this was a joke between them.

Everybody hit the ground
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