the fell clutch of circumstance

POSTED: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:19 pm

One day, his cousin showed up and never left.

He had been coming and going for a long time, spending a night here and there, returning to the cabin in the west others. O'Riley was prone to travel, it seemed, and often he and his horse would be gone when Grievous went looking for him. They didn't always see one another every day, for Grievous was still busy with other things.

His sponsorship was one of them, for his aunt had encouraged this and Grievous understood that it was therefore of importance. Luigi was a strong candidate for the place, the wolf thought. He was small and hardy, with a quick draw and quicker temper. They had run off a nosy black bear together, an incident which strongly reinforced Grievous' opinion of the man, and Luigi was eager to provide his help where it was needed. They lacked slaves, so he did manual labor like cutting wood and seeing to debris in the area. It was helpful and kept him busy, and it made Grievous' job much easier.

O'Riley had a tendency to disrupt things, simply by the nature of his character. He would show up with some seemingly half-cocked idea, then push them both neck deep into before Grievous could think of a reason to say no. Worse, since his promotion, the wolfdog had taken a page from Elphaba's book and begun using this to make getting his way easier.

It was easier, usually, just to go with it.

What had changed was that the last time he had shown up, O'Riley had been hurt. He was still cut up and bruised beneath his fur even now, though between the two boys they knew enough to tend to the worst of it properly. Rest and time helped.

The day had only just begun, but it was still very dark outside. Storms had lingered for days in the area, and each morning the threat of rain lingered. Grievous thought it would be coming sooner than later and elected to remain in his home, making use of the firelight to go through the medicinal stores he had left. He was not as efficient as his mother had been and most of his supply had been whittled down through carelessness and use. This only further proved to Grievous his own incompetence, though he believed it would not be very hard to do better. It was good, even, to see his faults laid bare. Salsola had a way of making everything feel so complicated.

He saw the cat go to the window and linger. Keenan was still the size of a regular cat (or so Grievous thought) and young, but living with a lynx was still new to Greivous. Some things he liked, though – this early alert system being one of them.

Grievous got to his feet and moved to the door. When he opened it, a look of surprise danced across his pale face.

Ah— he started, and tried to look anywhere but at her furious gaze. Guten Morgen. Do you need—?


masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull
Salsola
The Equinest
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
supernova
the fire rises

POSTED: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:17 am

Word Count → ??? :: ---

A grey drizzle began at her back as she approached the cabin. It was a miserable sort of day - the clouds pressed low over bluff and pine, and a churlish weather pattern languished in from the choppy sea. In spite of the pressing discomfort of the elements, Salsolan business continued; The young witch nodded her head to a passerby, and tipped her nose up at another before drawing the hood over her sharp ears.

She saw the eyes of the cat, watching her through the thick frosted glass, even as her feet crunched softly up the path. It reminded her in many ways of that evening, only days prior, that she had gone to see Oma; They had talked a little while about this and that. They had talked about the weather, the harvest, the herd. They had talked about her father. They had talked about a horse.

And other things, of course. But not everything. Elphaba had been raised too properly, too purely, for even that.

She knew better.

Before the young woman's knuckles - still a little tender, sparser of the fine dark hair that covered her - could rap smartly against the door, it swung open. She looked up at her cousin, the fine fur-lined hood sliding back behind the glossy braid wound and pinned about her crown as she did so. The entirety of Grievous was such that he filled the doorframe, a meek giant that even now lowered his voice to speak to her.

Elphaba smiled, but it wasn't a warm smile. "Where is he?" She asked genially, lifting one hand to push against his broad chest and cut off the flow of his words - that was all it took, one gentle push. The little witch lifted to her tip-toes and tickled the side of his cheek with her black lips in greeting, lingering only so long as it took to make him uncomfortable. "He's here, isn't he? Ah, don't bother - I know he is," Brisker now; She pushed past and into the warmth of the cabin, bringing a sharp gust of air and the fresh smell of rain with her.

"O'Riley," Her voice was oh-so-lovely, gilded silver and gold, rich like fresh wine. It took all of her not to bristle; She took off her hood and coat and passed them imperiously to Grievous.


we need a forest fire
Salsola
The Boss
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Alaine
Luperci Witch she hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit the queen is dead, long live the queen
hierophant
burn the witch
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POSTED: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:14 am

The house had once belonged to his aunt and uncle, and O'Riley recalled visiting it many times in his youth. It was different now that Grievous lived alone, and the smells of his family had begun to fade. Grievous had moved into the larger room, which left the open one free for O'Riley to hide out in. Already he had begun moving things as suited his needs, and bring items which stayed and permeated his scent in the room.

Now it was thick with the herbal mixture which had helped close some of the wounds, though he continued to wear a bandage around his belly. It grew irritated if he moved too much otherwise. He hated the sense of confinement the wound brought, but understood the precaution. These scratches had grown irritated and were taking longer to close. Grievous never used the word infected, because he was stubborn in his measure of his own skills. O'Riley believed him, more or less.

His grandfather had come looking for him once. Stannis had been blunt and critical in his assessment of things as they had happened, and what had happened afterwards. O'Riley felt a sense of shame in this, but the longer he had allowed this to fester the more it had begun to resemble frustration.

He was sleeping late, but the noise of voices was enough to rouse him. The wolfdog grumbled and got to his feet, moving to the main room with his fur still all tousled. His expression upon seeing the visitor was the same tired, irritable look he had been wearing for days.

What do you want? O'Riley asked her directly, scowling.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
The Erilaz
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Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
a tightening atrocity
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POSTED: Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:31 pm

Word Count → ??? :: ---

They'd always been thick as thieves, in spite of the age difference; Grievous, though larger and older, had made the ill yet natural choice of submitting to O'Riley's overt and demanding presence early on. She wondered if the closeness was only possible because they weren't actually blood siblings. Perhaps that is what it took - a different foundation rather than the same infected source.

Inside, the cabin smelled strongly like the clinic. The young woman wrinkled her nose. It was difficult not to be transported back to a different time with such strong aromas to tie her memory there, but she resisted the familiar cold fingers of recollection as they traipsed up and down her spine.

The sight of her younger cousin as he slumped into view was startling; Elphaba pulled her black lips back from her pearly teeth and rose her brows in sharp surprise. "You look a mess!" She ignored the scowl and stepped forward immediately into his space, where the air was warmer and the scent of medical pulp thickest. For a moment it looked as though she might say something cruel, but the expression faded - Behind it lived a very genuine concern. "Are you alright?"

There were more questions than this, of course, but it remained the most important one - her fingers flexed, the claws flicking vexed and sharp. As they grew, they learned these monstrous lessons about their own fragility; She swallowed each one like a dry pill, coughing and spluttering, refusing it all the way down into her gut.

They were Salsolan. This was supposed to afford them invulnerability; Yet still trouble came to crash against their shores. For a long time Elphaba had suspected that this was because of a rotten core, a weakness on the inside that left them vulnerable.

One man could undo a lot of things. This is why they made their women kings.

The thoughts reminded her of her talk with Maugrim, and she straightened her shoulders. "We need to have a little chat," Though she did not look away from O'Riley, one dark hand gestured to encompass Grievous and the interior of the cabin. "Is it private in here?"


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: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:44 am

He tensed at her approach, and visibly showed this. Elphaba had long been familiar to him from her pokes and pinches and prods, so those few moments when she showed empathy it bothered him. O'Riley frowned and watched her, wondering.

Something beyond his state had perturbed her. O'Riley could see that in her stance, in the wildwind way she had swept in and become the center of the room.

If you weren't followed, he grunted, and looked to Grievous. The big wolf shrugged and padded to the window. After a glance outside, he shook his head and returned. O'Riley glanced around huffed, settling on to a low area for seating. When his uncle and aunt had left, they had left behind the biggest things they could not carry. Plush furs and leather pillows stuffed with who-knows-what provided ample enough comfort, though the room had previously been so neat and tidy it might have been never lived in.

Why are you here anyway? O'Riley asked, and gingerly touched the bandages on his arm.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
The Erilaz
User avatar
Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
a tightening atrocity
ECLIPSE

POSTED: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:52 pm

Word Count → ??? :: can finish up on your next post in favor of fresh things?

She lived to surprise; But more than this, Elphaba had always been true to herself. What she felt, she felt, and how - each emotion a livid color, each vow a scar that marked her.

Seeing O'Riley wounded was a new feeling, and it gave a darker tint to the colors of her world. For a jarring moment she saw him not as her kid-cousin, little underfoot, but as a man who had fought and faced the possibility of losing. The wounds that scored him, though they reeked of pulp and paste, were not lethal - But still she experienced the queer and destructive sensation of experiencing mortality through a loved one.

Anger - anger was safer than this, and a color she knew well. She covered her fragility with an energy bright as wildfire and flame.

"I don't have patience for your attitude," The young woman began sharply, her fingers tracing the inside of one dark wrist over and over. "So do us both a favor and shove it. We need to talk about something important - Something that could get us all into a lot of strife if it leaks outside of this room." She turned to look at Grievous. O'Riley could be trusted implicitly; Strangely, Elphaba knew this as though it were one of grandmother's Laws. She waited until the white behemoth broke beneath the intensity of her gaze, and satisfied by this and his enforced loyalty, returned her attention to the Helsiborn.

Then, in a voice like the quiet before the tempest, she told her cousins about Lokr's mysterious departures, about her private suspicions - Oma was getting her a horse, and soon she would know for sure, but by then it would be too late.

So they had to do something, now. Leaning forward, Elphaba laid out the bare bones of a plan.


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: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:34 pm

Though he bristled at her tone, there was an undercurrent to it that drew caution from him. Elphaba had long existed as his elder (slight as this difference seemed now) and this carried authority. She carried authority. Here, in Salsola, the Law was everything. Bound to it as they were to one another, as Elphaba became to speak she wove her magic into the story that so clearly seemed to be one of treachery and deception, lacing it through so that they might better understand such suspicions in the context of their rules.

O'Riley recognized what she was asking long before the sordid plan, rough and fully unformed, was presented. He listened critically, as his grandfather had taught him to do, and presented his own ideas. Little by little, the two – for Grievous only listened, looking conflicted – put form to this design.

It would be simple enough. It made sense for her father, as the boy's mentor (a very interested mentor, all things considered) and family friend, to act out of spite. His authority would allow him to move without permission, as foolish as it seemed. Whatever happened, happened.

He cradled his wounded arm as they talked and kept thinking about Gavroche.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
The Erilaz
User avatar
Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
a tightening atrocity
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