line my skull with harmless lies

POSTED: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:26 pm

Not a day passed he did not think of Ask, and not a day passed did he not wonder whether it was Salsola’s corruption that taught him to plot and scheme in such a way. Two parents—one of which, his own father—mourned the supposed loss of their baby child, taken without a goodbye, and traded hands between strangers like a commodity. Not like a child but like a thing to prove, like a rude gesture against Salsola that Neith was too afraid to make with his own hands.

Each time his thoughts idled they returned to such grievances, and as such Neith busied himself at a constant. Krios no longer needed his minding (after all, uncle and nephew fought side-by-side during wartime; not the bonding activity Neith would have chosen, but alas), but Victoire and Garsea were something still of strangers to him. He spent time with them and his sister. He studied the bones under the furs in his room. He practiced with Lilia, more and more, and found himself more at peace in her company than he did among most Salsolans.

There was a solidarity there, he believed. He could not yet identify how or why, but something blurred in common between them developed into a fond and fast friendship.

It was from the training grounds he walked, the shoulder of his white tunic blooded beneath winter cloak and furs where a flick had gone wrong. From then their practice was called, though the bleeding had long since stopped and the sting like a papercut persisted.

Neith feared thought of scarring—too permanent, too ugly. Yet, this he did not mind. The tunic, his sister or mother could repair; the skin, if scarred, he could cover by way of clothing. He and his partner both had made a lesson of it, and went their separate ways friends just the same.

And as he wondered why such relationships seemed rare for him in Salsola, he found on the winter winds perfumes of one scarlet witch, and stopped to look all directions for her.

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
Luperci
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THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:59 pm

Word Count → ??? :: oh look its my ne❤th!

He'd been spending an awful lot of time with the Salcedo girl... What was her name again? Oh, Lilia, that's right; Her sister's favorite plaything, too. How could one insignificant person interfere with so many things?

It wasn't that Elphaba was jealous. Jealousy was beneath her now, along with most everything and everyone in Salsola. The weight of this elevation struck her curiously at certain times, and she fluctuated between feeling incredibly powerful and incredibly lonely.

Sometimes she wondered if this was how Lokr had felt, and then out of spite she would burn another one of the belongings he had left behind. Nothing cleared the mind quite like fire, she'd found.

The smell of smoke and blackberries still clung to her ao dai as she looped back around the path to where Neith might innocently pass. The arena was too out in the open to spy on easily, so she satisfied herself with other things, like the knowledge that the Heiwa man was recovering well from the war, and that he couldn't escape her sights in other ways.

When she communed with Maugrim, they sometimes talked about Neith. Elphaba had learned to be careful. Her brother didn't like to hear too many details, or too much fondness, in the way she spoke of him.

It had snowed in the night. A pristine white blanket fell over most of the kingdom, broken where the familiar pathways were walked again and again. As Elphaba strolled toward the arena, she took a moment to admire Neith - he looked very handsome with weapon in hand and fight-tousled hair. His eyes saw her almost at once (he was clearly on the lookout for her, too - how flattering!) and she lifted one dark palm in greeting.

Then she saw the red seeping through his shoulder, and a cold anger passed through her veins like ice.

"You're hurt!" The Hierophant exclaimed, when she was close enough that she didn't need to shout. "What happened?"


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
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POSTED: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:05 am

A gust by winter betrayed him. The tails of his cloak and furs picked up in accordance with Elphaba’s arrival, and the sheer and unfortunate coincidence of it had the rattled Heiwa glancing his back and sides in search of one Blackwoods ghost gone stray. But he was not there, and Neith was not sure what he had been expecting.

“I’m fine, I’m fine. I promise,” he coaxed, and motioned his arm about to demonstrate. “It’s just a scratch from practice, it looks worse than it is.”

There was a moment’s occurrence in which he realized she was not just Elphaba of the Blackwoods or Elphaba of the Coven or Elphaba of the Inconveniently Reocurring, but Elphaba the Hierophant, the Boss’s second, the sudden step-in for her exiled father’s role. In truth, Neith had avoided all consideration of this as if it was a fantasy not worth his time, and hadn’t properly prepared himself on how to address her. They had chatted here and there since her dive into the deeper Thistle tangles, but the Heiwa expected she would become too busy for seeking him out or idle chatter. Perhaps he was wrong.

Despite the sting of his wound, the young man untethered his cloak and flipped its furs around her shoulders without second thought. He was a gentleman, regardless whether her rank was high or low. “Don’t worry yourself, my dear.” His voice took on new depths in her presence than it ever had, a result of now necessary formalities. There was a visible adjustment as he tried to either clear it away or make it less obvious. “Let’s get out of this cold. Where are you off to? Would you like me to walk you?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
Luperci
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THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:57 am

Word Count → ??? :: feel free to PP homie

He had a startled look upon noticing her, as though someone had just tapped him on the shoulder. Her keen eyes didn't miss the spin, the rattled and uncertain cloud that passed over his face leaving only temperate sunshine in its wake. It confused her, but she wrote it off as Neith's usual jumpiness - Which was not necessarily undeserving, considering things she had opened his eyes to in the past.

They had not yet ever spoken of that night, in the woods, when she had revealed to him a most dreadful secret.

Elphaba thought that this was because the Heiwa man was fond of her and sought to keep her confidences quite private, or because he needed time to digest what was surely a shocking and complicated truth. So intrinsically connected to her plan was he, that she couldn't even conceive of his total and full rejection of what had conspired. He would come around to it in time, and she could be patient when she needed to be.

Patient like a cat, tail twitching as it watches the pretty bird.

He brushed off her concern with the warm courtesy to which she had grown so attached. The witch liked the way he spoke, like they were at court and he some chivalrous son of a lord - Which he was, in a way. The civility was customary, polite and welcome. It made her feel like a lady, like someone worthy of being taken care of and admired. She shrugged into his fur coat without a second thought, preening and soaking in the rich smell of him that clung to the fine fabrics.

"Well, I don't like to see you scratched up at all, but I suppose training is a noble pursuit; Please, just don't let your face get hurt, and be careful!" She was glad that Lilia had gone off on her own business, and possessively rested her hand on Neith's arm. "I was going to see my cousins, but it can wait. I couldn't rest easy without patching you up first. Escort me back to the throne room, won't you? I'm no curandero, but I think I can tend to a simple scratch."

There were questions that weren't questions to her remark, of course - She offered the words as though there was an option to consider, when the glint to her garnet eyes and the light pressure of her dark fingers quite clearly told him there was not. To sweeten the deal, the young woman smiled up at him, and reached over imperiously to tuck one of his more unruly strands of hair back into place. "Besides, it's been a little while since we've had a catch up, hmm?"


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: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:44 am

“To the throne room it is, then. Perhaps someday I will need this training to protect you, Hierophant, don’t you think?” Winking, he patted her hand atop his arm as they walked. “But I was not aware you were so worried about my face, though. Why is that?”

He could play her rank off as a non-issue; he could tease and poke fun, he could continue to be her friend. Now thrust into such an important role, more than ever would Elphaba need someone on her own level. Someone to mind her, to look after her, to understand and sympathize to the lunacy she sometimes spouted.

Neith had a window in, after all, and it made itself evident when she tucked back his hair. He blamed her fondness of him on both some natural charm he must have possessed, and on the shared witness of the Blackwoods’ ghost whom neither had spoken of since. Whatever the case, he had been allowed into her strange, swirling, exclusive world, and Neith intended to make well and productive use of his time there. He was her doctor, self-appointed. A dangerous role perhaps, but more important now than before. Not for sake of Salsola, but for sake of one troubled girl tangled up in more myths and responsibilities than he questioned her capability to balance.

For this reason, he dared the subject. “How has the transition been? No problems with the people, I trust?” A pause. “What with your father’s exile, I’ve wondered.”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:32 pm

Word Count → ??? :: ---

He obliged her as she'd known he would. Elphaba pursed her lips coyly, trying to stifle the urge to laugh; His protecting her did seem like a laughable idea, just then, but it wouldn't have worked in her favor to point out as much. Perhaps he was a better swordsman than she knew - But the idea of pretty-boy Neith standing alongside towering Bull and grizzled Brocade was a tickling vision.

"Because I like to look at it, of course," She replied coyly, with an airy voice that teased and provoked, "And because your mothers worked quite hard to make it, I imagine. It's no good to squander something valuable in favor of something less so," A basic tenant of Salsolan scripture - Always get the better deal. Its values were a part of her very blood and bone. The Heiwa man was the better deal, of course, though that was a private knowledge belonging only to Maugrim and herself.

They were nearing the familiar stone bulwark that bordered the pathway up to the Ruins Proper when he asked after her ascension, and her father. It was unexpected, and Elphaba frowned to cover her surprise. The people had not spoken Lokr's name to her since she cast him out, as though to do so would be to conjure some great and terrible misfortune - the mark of the Pentiti was contagious, after all. It was a dangerous subject for him to breach, and one that very few souls might have dared - But it was Neith, her Neith, and so the young woman relented with a sigh.

"As well as can be expected," Something in her youthful face slipped to reveal the silver politician underneath - She was not being as careful to hide it as she should, but perhaps that came with boldness and faith. "A show of force is usually enough to quiet the dissenters. People will forget my father in time; Until then, I must be strong and show them that they have no choice but to accept me."

They were mildly spoken words, but beneath them flowed a river of blood.

Then the sun came out from behind a cloud and Elphaba smiled again. The heavy wooden door to the throne room barred their entry, and the witch released her unwitting companion so that she could shove it open with one shoulder. "It swells when the snow melts, and then it can be hard to budge," She said by way of explanation, and waved him in to the cold dark interior.


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 Jan 01, 2018 10:08 pm

To speak of Lokr was taboo, he knew, and even moreso with the Pentiti’s daughter and usurper. He had taken the risk for concern of her and at expense of himself, and when Elphaba did not bawk or retaliate, Neith silently prided himself on his boldness and situational awareness.

She spoke of her father with a detachment he hadn’t expected. The established loathing between Revlis father and Revlis daughter was unknown to him; the Salsolan standard was a tight family unit, and Neith had known little to nothing of Lokr. His reaction to her words read surprise, less by her ability to cope and more by glimpse of ruthlessness.

“I’m relieved to hear that,” said Neith, and left it at that. If she was suffering beneath the surface, he needed time to dissemble and digest those words before he could formulate a plan on how to help.

That concern, though mild, persisted through to the throne room, and did not fade until his blue-green eyes raised to the swelling doors and the restricted realm beyond. Had he ever visited the throne room before? Had he ever reason to?

“I’ve never been in here,” he said as it dawned, and his pace slowed as if finding himself in a space he did not belong. Neith paused, looking hard at her, frowning. “You’ll pardon my forwardness, Elphaba, but... This room, it’s just not you.”

He smiled, just a little. “I guess I’m just so used to seeing you in the Woods.” The smile faded. “You’re certain you are doing all right?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

User avatar
Lin
Luperci
CENTRIFUGE
lost in the static
THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:41 am

Word Count → ??? :: good job neith now homegirl shook

The room that awaited them was quiet and solemn; A tomb of tall, winding stone. It was curious to Elphaba that her companion had never seen its interior before. On a whim, she tried to look at it through his questioning eyes, and found it unspeakably foreign to her as well.

Once this place had been warm and lively. Her parents' voices had laughed or murmured above the crackling flame that burned like a heart in the now-cold hearth. Osrath's bright silks had hung in bold array over ornery crack and nook, and Lokr's parchments had spilled haphazardly off of his desk and on to the floor. Like a vision, the memory of it danced before her eyes.

She blinked, and once more the room was grey and empty.

It had been her home, but the woods had a way of calling, calling. Even now, if she muted the gentle questioning tones of Neith and listened particularly hard, the young witch could hear it - him - beckoning to her.

What remained in this absence was so lonely that her eyes almost prickled. For a moment she watched the Heiwa man warily, as though he had invited suspicion with his kindly inquiry. Instead he had almost brought weakness into her heart, and in those precious rare seconds she looked very young, and very troubled.

In spite of this, she said: "Yes, of course! Don't be silly," and turned away to compose herself, shutting the heavy door firmly behind them.

"Grandmother has put a lot of... Faith, in me," It was a relief not to have to look at his seeking gaze for a moment, to let herself draw strength from the familiar sentiment, "I just don't want to let her down, you know? And I won't, so," She shrugged one shoulder delicately, and brushed past him.

It was easier now, confidence swelling in her breast where it had been momentarily shaken. Elphaba gestured loosely to the small wooden stools huddled by the wide stone-lined hearth. "Stoke the coals until I fetch my things, will you? There's wood aside it for kindling. It's chilly in here - I'm going to re-decorate, with warmer and richer things when I have the time. It's just been so busy since -" She almost stumbled into saying it, and her hands fumbled with the little glass bottles she was in the process of retrieving from an apothecarian's chest. They clinked like crystal in her palms. Quickly, she set them aside and began hunting for a pot of water to put on to boil.


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 Jan 15, 2018 2:21 pm

If he had visited before, Neith did not recall it. His visions of what the Salsolan throne room would like did not meet the reality he stood inside. He’d expected linens and banners. Weapons lining the walls. Slaves he’d never heard or seen before. For all the culture and polish he interpreted Salsola to boast, the emptiness of their throne room was jarring to witness.

It was gray. Hollow, almost. A bitter part inside him felt it reflected Salsola at its core.

In these moments Neith spent gawking over the room, Elphaba faltered. By time he returned his eyes to her she had recovered, and he knew nothing of a vulnerability he might’ve found.

“You won’t, you’re right,” he said, but his tone ended with an uncertainty that grew into a pause. “But just because you’re capable to lead, doesn’t mean you should.”

He dwelt on this moment, then put up his hands. “I mean no offense. I’m sure you could be a fantastic part of the next era for Salsola, Hierophant, but I... struggle to think this is what you were planning for. With how much time we’ve spent in the woods, and with Maugrim...”

To save face, Neith stoked the coals as she requested of him, and huddled close enough to the shallow embers to ward off some of the winter’s grip in that room of sunless gray. She stopped short of finishing a sentence, drawing his eyes and curiosity from the fire. “...Since?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

User avatar
Lin
Luperci
CENTRIFUGE
lost in the static
THE GOOD DOCTOR

POSTED: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:55 am

Word Count → ??? :: ---

To hear Neith speak his name without so much as a tremor surprised her. Elphaba grew very still for a long moment, and looked at the handsome young man with a deep perceptive stare. It wasn't that he'd upset her by naming Maugrim aloud - Quite the opposite, in fact. It was a little thrill that chased through her, hearing the sound of something so potent and so intrinsically hers leave his lips; Like he was whispering something private, something alluring.

Like fate, she thought with a rush of sensation, fingers tightening around the glass vials.

"Since the Lord Commander was made Pentiti," In spite of her quickened heartbeat the witch spoke flatly, her tone affecting no sort of reaction to the sentiment. It was becoming easier and easier to say, just as this empty room was becoming more and more her own. "I'm thinking red silks, some burning incense, maybe a couple candles and a shrine over there in the corner - what do you think?" Wanting to distract him and savor the moment, Elphaba painted the room newly with her words, and felt certain they would come to pass.

The Throne room would know grandeur and luxury again. No period of grief could last forever.

Setting her equipment carefully on the stool across from him, the young woman warmed her fingers up by the coals he had stroked back into a little fire. When they felt lucid and clever again, she turned to Neith and clucked her tongue imperiously. "First, we gotta get you out of that shirt so I can take a proper look at your arm," There was a coy tilt to her black lips, and her slanted eyes glittered curiously. She pulled up a third stool and scooted into his space, and unless he began protesting reached out to begin unbuttoning the fine tunic.


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
↟ ↟ ↟

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