blackbird song

POSTED: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:53 pm

More and more The Bull had been thinking about what it meant to work for someone who shot up the ranks so miraculously and suddenly. He considered how much he had to be seen around someone of a higher rank, as well as the strain it would put on him, for he now had to protect her from many more things that lurked around both in secret and in plain sight. While the nice armor she had commissioned him looked very fancy and ceremonial, he needed something with bulk and strength, something that made up for the weaknesses he had so he could seem unstoppable and fearless. While he couldn't do that himself, the fat man of the Thistle Kingdom had grown some renown as both an armorsmith and a weaponsmith, providing a very useful trade for the mercenary.

Still, all of these ideas would take preparation and he hadn't even gotten a chance to speak face to face with the now Heirophant about her newfound position and what everything meant to her. Not to mention the toll of what her father had done and what effect it had on her and her sister. In the end, he was concerned about her mental state, since that was the only thing he had little to no control over. She was young yet and likely in over her head, but maybe he would be wrong about that.

He called her over to the hovel he had been holing up in that was nearby where she had been staying, though he would likely have to move now that Elphaba would be sucked into the power vacuum her father left behind, both in rank and in the Ruins. It was a simple place with very little possessions strung about that could easily be moved at a moment's notice — that was how The Bull liked to live, after all. Light on your feet and committed in decision, that was the motto. The knock on the door cause his ears to swivel in reaction, a habitual one despite knowing who was likely behind it. Come in, Elphaba, he grunted loudly, throwing aside some junk he had found and saved for his dealings with the jolly blacksmith.

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!

User avatar
Titmouse
Luperci
teeth of the combine

POSTED: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:53 am

Word Count → ??? :: ---

And a hovel it was - Little more than a shack, decrepit and ripe with the smell of mildew and early frost. Elphaba realized belatedly as she stood in the doorway that she had never been here before. Where the Bull went when he wasn't at her side was not her business, and when she needed him, he came.

It was a simple thing, like so few aspects of her life.

Resisting the urge to wrinkle her nose, the red-eyed witch watched curiously as the large man roughly moved his goods aside to clear a place for her to sit. There were all sorts of items - Things she would generally have considered junk, relics from the old world cast in tin and iron and lurid, fading color. The Bull, however, was not a fickle or whimsical creature, and so the items must have had some sort of value.

She nudged one with her foot, and watched it spin in a lazy lopsided circle. "You'll have to move closer to me," The young woman decided by way of greeting, though she didn't look at his one good eye, not yet. This felt important; It felt important to have him close. Since the morning of the gathering, Elphaba sensed prickling stares watch her every move. She was not easily scared - This was an Eternity thing, this braveness. Her father, the Pentiti coward, would have had Bull sleeping beside him in bed if he'd placed himself in such a threatening and precarious situation.

It was not as amusing a thought as it could have been, given the other company she now knew had kept his bed.

But even so, this decision was important. She hoped Bull wouldn't argue, and continued in a carefully neutral voice. "I could have a room set up for you in the tower, or the empty chambers opposite if you need more space."

She needed him to be closer; Close enough to hear her if she screamed.


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 Nov 27, 2017 7:35 am

He was so low on the proverbial totem pole that the thought of someone like him acting as a constant bodyguard to someone so important seemed wild. The Bull was still considered close to an outsider to many within Salsola, someone to keep on the outskirts until he could be trusted. Yet, the darkling girl trusted him with her life, providing valuables at first before it turned into a home and provisions. Now, he would be whisked to the heart of the Thistle Kingdom, if the newly dubbed Heirophant was to have her way.

I suppose, he responded in an oddly pensive manner as he continued to rearrange some things before turning to her. As you wish. He motioned for her to sit in one of the nearby chairs, rickety and unclean save for the bundle of cloth tossed over the seat to act as a crude cushion. The mercenary pulled up a identically worn stool for himself, scooting closer to the girl before breathing a heavy sigh. Most of his armor had been removed, leaving him bare chested with plenty of scars to see across his pale fur, and making him look a little more normal than usual. It was an odd feeling to sit without his armor, but soon enough he likely would be hard pressed to find a moment to take it off.

This... changes many things, he continued. You know. Huge target on your back now. Who knows what’s aiming at it. No doubt she felt pressing danger, or else she wouldn’t have asked him to be closer. Gonna get new armor from the big guy. Heavier. Stronger. A lot of his thoughts were akin to a checklist he needed to cover to make sure she was filled in with what he was doing. Give me whatever makes you feel safe. Room next to yours? Done. Little further? Done. Another breath filled his lungs, muggy with the mildew from the old hovel.

Elphaba, you hired me. Paid with coin. But... this is beyond coin. You’re still young. Your grandmother did a big thing, giving you your dad’s place. I don’t know if she even remotely trusts me, but... A cough echoed in the hovel, trying to clear the knot in the man’s throat. ...Hmm, I can’t leave your side. Even if she says you need someone else. Can’t trust anyone. You know.

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!

User avatar
Titmouse
Luperci
teeth of the combine

POSTED: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:38 pm

Word Count → ??? :: ---

His rank, though diminutive, didn't matter to Elphaba. She had chosen him - This was more important than the status the kingdom had granted him. She was assured of her own righteousness in this matter; That her decision, however impromptu, had and would always be for the better outcome.

She'd expected him to reject the request. When instead he pensively allowed it, a cold chill ran through the young woman; It was an affirmation of her concern. Bull wouldn't relent unless he saw it necessary. What had been an unspoken worry of hers was now a reality.

For usurping her father and assuming a position in the Mafiosi, some among them would want her dead.

As the giant man shuffled his weight opposite her on the dwarfed stool, she recalled that singular moment many months back when she had tested them both. It was a simple thing to Elphaba to have faith in oneself. Not many others would stretch their confidence in the way she had, falling from the sky to be caught in his arms moments from hitting the hard packed ground.

Then, as now, she locked her fear away in some small jail, guarded by that divinely strong sense of self.

Bull's voice was a pitch lower than anyone she knew, even Grievous or Scorpius, who were the only Queen's-men to challenge her guard for size. It rumbled from him like an earthquake, rusty pitches grinding like unused gears from deep within the scarred barrel of his chest. They'd spent enough time in one another's company, preparing for all manner of things, that the tone did not surprise Elphaba; When the man spoke, he was often given to wild negativity, the dour grey of his world leeching out into everything.

This time, he seemed uncertain. The sentences were short, broken by curious silences in which she could openly stare at his face and watch it seethe with underlying thought. When he paused for breath, the immensity of his size swelled impossibly larger, dwarfing the red-eyed witch with its bristling ivory broadness.

Her younger, more impetuous self - the one who had hired him, back in the beginning - would have reached out to poke at the livid scar closest, would have interrupted him to demand the story behind it.

She was not that same girl anymore; She was evolved. He of all people would know this, would see it in the deep blood red of her unblinking eyes.

"Grandmother didn't give me father's position," She corrected him mildly, though there was something strange in her expression, something dark that belonged to the Woods, "I took it. I know you think that I am fragile, little bones easily snapped," Dark, elegant fingers reached out to rest with the weight of a hummingbird against the large, gnarled joints of his huge clawed hand. The contrast was so stark that it seemed almost comical.

But there was an authority there, in that simple little touch, the weight of possession and terrible power.

"But with you to guard me, I have no fear. The crown will always have enemies; Watch me, Bull. I will burn them all."


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 Dec 04, 2017 8:37 pm

As much as he was filled with negativity and dour moods, The Bull often had a purpose behind them. He was a suspicious creature by nature, doubtful at most things and skeptical because he had to be. There was a lot that went on behind the scenes within the Thistle Kingdom, he knew that much. Backstabbing and sleuthing was a regular pastime in the desert, just as it was here. There was much more to the Tigress than even Bull likely knew, but what he could tell from the way she ran the place, she had a hand in nearly everything that happened — whether Elphaba wanted to admit it or not.

It isn't that you're weak. She's got more of a stranglehold on the Family that they'll admit, he breathed. You exposed your father, yes. You did that. But if Salvia didn't want you taking his place? Hpmh... would have made sure of it.

Her near-threat to anyone that wished her harm almost seemed... out of place for some reason. But it was something dark that he should have expected from someone that looked and acted like her. She felt much less rebellious and indignant now than she was when they first met, but now she had more of a purpose to focus whatever goals she had. Power did that to many and Elphaba was likely not excluded from the effects of it.

Maybe it was the fact that she was touching him without his explicit permission, but The Bull nearly recoiled when he felt her hand touch his. His eye turned down to the contact and then back to her blood red gaze.

I'll protect you, he nodded. But don't think it makes you invincible. I am one — and only one.

He was not a legion of soldiers that could surround her at all times, but something of a large shadow that lurked when many least expected it. For as stark white as his fur was, he was very good at not being noticed. However, soon enough he would likely be a very visible presence around the newly dubbed Heirophant — a towering golem sworn to protect his charge at whatever cost. Hopefully, it would not come to mobs and coups, which were probably the only thing he couldn't protect her from. A single attacker was nothing compared to a movement. Even he, a bounty hunter and single mercenary, wasn't skilled enough to quash a rebellion.

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!

User avatar
Titmouse
Luperci
teeth of the combine

POSTED: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:53 am

Word Count → ??? :: ---

There was a second reason that Elphaba trusted the Bull so much, and it was this: He did not trust her grandmother.

From the beginning - and to the young woman, the beginning was her birth, for what had come before that time was stories only - Salvia had puppeteered everything. Her birth had been by the tigress' design; Her father and mother had been wed because she decreed it so. Even the Law, which had preceded her reign, was as wanton to her rule as a feckless lover.

For all this and much more, Elphaba loved her Oma. The woman had helped raise her, when Lokr was beneath the task and Osrath busy with her own life - She had shown her the way, the path to the destiny she had been born to fulfill. If it weren't for the blood in her body and the silver hairs that began to flick the gold, Salvia Eternity might have been a god.

But she was not a god.

And Elphaba loved one other being in this world more than her grandmother.

So it was not laughable to suggest that Salvia might not have allowed her usurpal, or that at her hand any number of things could have come to pass. Much as Elphaba disliked to think on it, if her grandmother chose - at her grandmother's will - she could be killed in her sleep, and the Revlis line laid to rest. The Hierophant had learned at a young age that it was exceedingly important to remain in Oma's graces. She no longer spoke of the dead.

But there would come a time, and a place, where the balance of this great and heavy power would change. This was the workings of their mortal world. This was growth and decay; Life from death.

And at that time Elphaba inherently knew that she would need the Bull, more than ever before.

"Then be more than one," Was what she replied, withdrawing her hand to reach into a fold of her ao dai and pulling out a heavy pouch. It clinked and jingled in her palm as she weighed it a moment, before holding it out to the massive white wolf. "Use this for whatever you think you need - That new armor you are commissioning, plus extra weaponry. Hire more guards if you think it warranted;" The young woman paused a moment to chew on her lip pensively before continuing, "Talk with Brocade Valentine. I feel that he can be trusted, if you need a second set of eyes."

It was no small amount of wealth; A full moon's wages at the least. This did not worry Elphaba. Day by day, Bull was becoming less of an investment, and more of a guardian. She had not expected any closeness when she had first hired him, but the Hierophant had a way of making sane people do crazy things.

More than anything, she craved devotion.

Smiling up at his grizzled, scowling countenance, she said: "You need a bath. Buy some soap, too."


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: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:45 am

The idea of not working alone was an annoying prospect, but it wasn't one that The Bull hadn't resorted to before. Working in the raider group in the canyons, while somewhat profitable, had been a thorn in his side for as long as he was doing it. Even in the Thistle Kingdom, he could keep to himself for quite a while until he found that having a mission to carry out meant he needed to, as Elphaba had said, be more than one.

He sighed, taking the pouch into his hand with a quick swipe as he listened. Hope this Brocade is as useful as you make him sound. Maybe, maybe not, but he had to talk to the man first to see if he would be suitable as a second set of eyes, if not maybe a secondary bodyguard if need be. As for more bodies, I don't know how good that would be. Less people means less chance of double agents. Would rather stick with who and what we know.

A scoff burst at her comment, stirring the dusty air around them. Always a way with words, he grumbled, shifting in his seat before leaning back into the creaking wood of the stool as it somehow still bore his weight without crumbling beneath him despite the age. Just do me a favor— he started again, nodding to her. Don't say the wrong words to the wrong people. Might be good at your new job. Might not. Time'll tell. Hopefully, she was and made his job that much easier. She seemed to care more for her safety now that she had a much bigger target on her back. Being shoved into the spotlight often woke people up, just like it did for him when he was a younger man.

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!

User avatar
Titmouse
Luperci
teeth of the combine

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