[m] i've been drafted into your war

POSTED: Tue May 22, 2018 1:15 am

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.


It had been Brocades idea to deliver the gifts to the newly mated couple. He had explained to her the many traditions that came with being a member of the Kingdom - and gift giving was one of them. Brocade believed in tradition - an ode to his gypsy upbringing and the life he had been born into - and the rules of Salsola spoke to the part of him that revelled in being a Soldier. This place had been made for him, and to some degree Etoile could understand why he had risen here. She saw great ambition in him, and he spoke of how one day he hoped to train new recruits to defend the throne.

The ambition fuelled her too.

She thought of her plan each night before she slept, and she would tap her four fingered hand against her chest to the rhythm of his heart beat. He spoke in his sleep sometimes - of deep dark things that she did not remember - of fights and blood and magic and dust. Sometimes he rumbled deeply in his chest and it brought her to wakefulness, the slivers of his golden eyes lost and unseeing. He was tortured, somewhere deep down... and it gave her some sort of peace.

He felt pain too.

The gift in her hands felt heavy and awkward - a forced motion to make her fit in.

He had nudged her out the door like a child while that infernal cat had lingered in the window with its eyes filled with judgement.

"You will be fine," he said with that gleam in his eyes, "Make new friends."

And she literally felt like a child.

When she came to the new lovers door she hesitated, though she could not say why.

Later she would recognize that uncertainty for what it was, a warning - for she had grabbed the wrong gift, for the wrong person.

The poisoned bottle gleamed in her hands.

<3

Salsola
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Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Thu May 24, 2018 12:32 am

Among the best features of their new cottage was an old woodstove. Between the two of them they kept it well stocked with coals, which even now glowed white-hot as Katinka added the finishing sprinkles of traded herbs onto the slabs of venison. She sang under her breath as she did so, a muted kulning, until a sharp nose pressed into the crook of her neck and the note went high.

“I like when you cook for me.” Khael nibbled possessively, smoothing her hands up and down the loose fabric of her wife’s dress.

Tink tilted a head to allow her these ministrations a moment, but then she pushed Khael’s hands away and wrapped hers with thick hide so she could place the iron dish into the stove. “It won’t get done if you keep distracting me,” she said, smoothing an errand hair behind her ear.

The black jackal leaned against a counter, crossing her arms. Her ember eyes followed Tink without blinking as the girl finished preparations, dallying as she felt the other’s gaze.

Because once she ran out of things to do, the jackal pounced. Tink was swept up and seated on the counter, and the dress rode high. She flushed, batted away hands. Protested: käraste don’t,” but giggled and sighed and made other little noises when Khael was at her neck again. Her sharp claws dug into muscled thighs.

Knocking interrupted them. For a moment Khael still held onto Tink, drawing only inches back, her fingers squeezing almost enough to hurt and her eyes dark.

But she stepped back and stalked toward the entryway while Tink rubbed the mussed fur at her neck and smoothed her dress back down. She gave her mate a little swat with her feathered tail when Khael glowered at the door, herself opening it up.

“Oh hello!” Katinka greeted, batting her eyes in surprise. “You – ah! You are Etoile right? Is this for us – oh, come in! Come come!”

She waved the dark, slate-black woman into their home. The cottage’s main room and entryway was only sparsely furnished, but there was a wooden-framed couch with furs thrown over it and a table that didn’t match the rest of the room.

“It is not much yet but you are very welcome here. I am sorry we have not met properly before!”

As Tink chattered away, Khael watched without expression.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:55 pm

They seemed so happy. Etoile was surprised when the door was pried open and the chirpy swede greeted her, the long golden braids of her hair swinging over her shoulders. Khael was darker, quieter, the rich ochre of her eyes trained on the woman as she made her way into the newly mated couples home.

And it was a home. There were clues everywhere that exposed the heart of it to her, the scent of a meal, fabric and furs slung across an ancient looking couch perfect for two. It was clean and tidy, and Etoile wondered if this was what her home would have looked like had Ferdinand lived to marry her.

Brocades home was a Soldiers home - perfectly clean and sparse of a womans touch. He did not appreciate when Etoile moved his things around, and though she had stolen the golden coin from him and the pieces of red twine... he never made mention of it, and instead watched over her carefully. Etoile couldn't tell if he was mistrusting or just careful - a habit left over from his time as a mercenary.

The thought had her eyes darkening a moment, though she held the gift out to Katinka with a slow blooming smile.

”Congratulations were in order,” She glanced at Khael, ”And there are many faces that I do not yet know. I thought we could drink and get to know one another better.”

Her tail wagged slowly behind her, ”Brocade sends his regards.”

<3

Salsola
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Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:41 pm

Most of the homey touches were courtesy of Katinka, who had grown up knowing what a proper home was like: the scavenged woodstove similar to the one her mom cooked with, the scent drifting through the warm room just the same. Nostalgia guided many of her decisions.

Khael, meanwhile, had spent her childhood in a castle and her life overseas with riches and war spoils. But she wanted her wife to be comfortable, and so what Tink wanted, she found somehow.

The blue-black Etoile smiled and proffered a bottle, which Tink took with a quick smile of gratitude. “Oh thank you! We can open this soon – stay with us for dinner? A drink is better with a meal.” Her tail wagged too, an easygoing feathery sway that rocked her hips. She looked the bottle over idly then set it down on the table, cognizant of Khael’s languid stare and a little stiffer in her movements than she usually was.

But the jackal’s attentions shifted to Etoile easily enough when she mentioned the soldier Brocade. Khael was not a social butterfly and did not follow many of the rumors in Salsola, but she knew people by their skills if nothing else.

“You are an old friend of Brocade, aren’t you?” Tink asked innocently. “I am from Portland, myself! And Khael –”

“I was born in a castle by the sea, many miles south of here.”
The jackal smiled slowly, synthetically. “But why speak of where we came from? The present is so much more interesting. How are you finding Salsola?”

Tink’s eyes lit up, happy to see Khael making small talk.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:53 pm

”Yes, I would love to stay. Thank you.” Etoile was surprised by the womans warmth – a sharp contrast to the blank expression stretched across her wifes face. Khael was difficult to read, a jackal that twitched and watched as if from some wild place, her words carefully thought out. Etoiles tail wagged to match the golden swedes, and she took the proffered cups and poured the drink as Khael began to speak.

Etoile clicked her teeth as the drink bubbled in the bowls. She thumbed a droplet from the grooves of the table and sucked on her finger tip, glancing at the jackal as she considered her reply. ”Yes, we’ve known each other a long time. We fought together in Toronto.” She fingered the scar that ran across her mouth and leaned back in her chair.

”- that was a different time.”

Oh it was. Toronto had been vicious and dark – dangerous in a way that Salsola was not. Etoile drew winding lines between its players – tracing them back and forth as she learned the players in the packs political schemes. There were so many bodies vying for attention – but being here she found she was learning something of the newly married couple that surprised her.

They seemed happy.

She toyed with the drink, sloshing it around in the bowl as she continued the conversation, ”There has been much to learn, but Brocade is an enthusiastic teacher.”

<3

Salsola
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Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:26 pm

The slate-black woman poured the alcohol into the small bowls that Tink brought from the kitchen, and Katinka lifted a cup to her lips, lapping from it and humming appreciatively at the taste. When she reached to offer Khael a cup, though, the jackal gave a small shake of her head. Alone, with a night of privacy secured, she might have accepted – but with a stranger in her home, she wanted a clear mind.

She would be appreciative of that soon.

Etoile talked about her past only briefly, and with an apologetic noise Tink went back to the kitchen when the smells grew heavy in the air. She returned with the spiced venison steak, tearing an equal share for the women, and pulling a stool for Etoile to sit on.

She plopped onto the fur-cushioned couch beside Khael, who draped an arm languidly around the cowherd’s shoulders, nibbling the venison.

“There is so much,” Tink agreed sweetly, taking another sip of the alcohol. “Even Fort Preble is more lax than the Kingdom proper. But you find a job that you’re good at and – well, your skill is your strength. Or that’s what I’ve found, anyway.”

Khael smirked lightly as she took another bite of steak. Tink seemed such a naive girl in many ways – but she also hadn’t made enemies for the most part. The more entangled in the political game, the more to gain – but the more to lose, too.

Tink snuggled into Khael’s side a little as she chatted, without seeming really aware of it. No, the Wardens were comfortable as they were – even if they were not complacent women.

The three talked on, Tink giggling a little, looser-lipped as the spirits warmed her belly, or perhaps because she was happy to chat. She slumped a little more into Khael, who adjusted herself so that the girl was comfortable and watched Etoile as the mercenary talked.

She watched Etoile raise her cup – then swirl it, absently, as she made some remark. She set it down again, distracted.

Tink’s was nearly empty. The girl’s weight against Khael’s side became more substantial, bit by bit.

Even noting these signs as they happened, Khael did not know the truth of it until Tink moved away from her suddenly. The girl swallowed, multiple times, fighting back bile, and her eyes were hardly focusing. Pressing a hand to her mouth, her ears folded back, she murmured.

“I’m sorry, I – don’t feel very good, all of a sudden.”

Pieces came together. Khael looked at the girl, her eyes wide – a look of surprise that was rare for her. Katinka drew her feet onto the couch, eyes hooded and back pressed to the pelts, looking miserable.

The jackal glanced at Etoile – her full drink.

Very slowly she stiffened and the hairs began to rise on her neck and shoulders.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:38 pm

Etoile considered the tiny couple in their tiny home with their tiny lives - they seemed so simple and carefree. Katinka was chatty, a woman born from warmth and surrounded by it. Etoile couldn't help but wonder what family she had come from to emerge as such a thing. The Montgomery had grown up surrounded by demanding men, brothers and a father who had attempted to control every facet of her through training and a quiet mockery that ran through their cores.

She had stood stalwart in their wake, eager to prove that she was something more.

She liked to think that she had succeeded.

"I came from a large family, though not so big as this one." She considered Salsola and the way they referred to one another as family; relatives of a different type of blood. Etoile felt like she blended in well enough, but there were sometimes sharp edges that she was not prepared to conceal - rough pieces of her that she felt were exposed for too long.

She adjusted in her seat as the swede poured the bowls of drink - and Etoile thanked her softly, swirling the drink about in her cup.

Despite Katinkas bright personality Khael remained quiet - the lines of her mouth drawn firmly shut. She did not ask questions or partake in conversation, instead assessing the mercenary as dinner was served. The veal broke apart easily on the plate and the longer they chatted the more drunk the blonde woman became.

Katinka swooned, her hands splayed on the table - eyes glassy and unclear.

"Uh-" She gestured at the food with her long nose, "Maybe it was the food?"

She realized a moment later that she had brought the wrong bottle.

<3

Salsola
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Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:58 pm

“Maybe it was the food?”

In an second Khael jumped to her feet and, with the same violent motion, flung the empty cup at Etoile. It was thrown with enough force to leave a nasty bruise if it connected, but the dark jackal did not wait to see if it had. While Tink sluggishly reacted behind her, yelping in surprise, Khael vaulted the corner of the table and rushed for Etoile.

“It was poison!” she snarled, spittle flying, and her sharp claws seized a fistful of the woman’s tunic. She shoved the woman toward the wall with brute force, all teeth and rage, while Etoile hissed back “Don’t touch me!” and grabbed the arm braced against her. Their fingers dug in, hard, as eyes locked.

There was a din behind Khael. The jackal did not tear her gaze from the enemy in her home, but her ears flickered. Katinka, woozy from poison, had tried to stand and knocked into the table. An upturned bowl poured a dark liquid onto the wood floor.

“Khael!” she tried. “Khael stop–”

Khael shoved at the woman to bruise the back of her skull against the wall. Her eyes were wild, pupils swollen, eclipses. She would rip her throat out. She would tear her clothes and mutilate her corpse beneath until no one could tell she was a woman or a person at all.

“Khael!” Higher in pitch this time, more frantic.

The Egyptian Lykoi made a sound in her throat, something that punctuated the deep growling. She did not release her hold but did not advance again. Her eyes still didn’t leave Etoile’s face.

“You explain yourself quickly, mūmis.”
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:42 pm

For the first time Etoile felt as if she had misjudged the situation that lay sprawled on the table between them completely. The bottle had stood for something that she had not been prepared to offer, and now that Katinka was coughing and choking Etoile found herself clutching the tables edge with confusion flickering in her eyes. Khael was known as being a dangerously quiet woman, but in that moment she was explosive, her eyes sparking like tinder and crackling as Katinka clutched at her golden throat.

"I-I don't know what you mean." Etoiles tail hung limply and she attempted to make herself appear small, "S'il tu plait-" but it was too late, Khaels teeth were flashing brightly against the din of the tiny cabin. Suddenly it was too warm, and Etoile felt her blouse sticking to her chest as Katinka struggled to heave a breath through her clenched teeth.

Khael shoved Etoile against the wall, the small jackal surprisingly strong as she threw the mercenary's head back so that it cracked loudly against the stone wall.

Something spilled as if in slow motion, and Etoiles ears twitched towards the rythmic drip drip drip as the wine poured to the floor.

The womans arm was like a vice, her tail lashing behind her like an angry cat.

"Khael-" Etoile wheeze through her teeth, "It must be the drink. I took it from the store room. I swear." She feigned concern, eyeing the swaying girl over the jackals shoulder, "Are you alright Katinka?"

<3

Salsola
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Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:42 am

The bitch wheezed past the pressure on her throat, feigning ignorance, and Khael exposed all her teeth and gums in an angry snarl. You knew. You did not drink from it. All the time the jackal had observed her – and if it was coincidence it was a poor one. How would a poisoned bottle end up in the store room where any innocent could drink it? She opened her mouth to voice this logic, but ended up only growling again, her breath hot against the woman's face.

She poisoned Tink. She poisoned Khael's mate.

Tink – Etoile's silver eyes flashed past the monstrous face to the coughing girl, whose small noises of fear and pain Khael hadn't twitched an ear at. It was only when Etoile addressed the cowherd that Khael turned her head slightly, still keeping the mercenary in the corner of her eye, paranoid of retaliation if she released her grip.

Katika was slumped on the floor now, hands at her throat, tears in her eyes from coughing. She looked pleadingly at Khael.

The Lykoi spat a curse. She shoved Etoile one more time, stepping back. Get fuck out of my house, she snapped, her accent heavy and words dropped in her rage. She trembled. She did not feel like herself – a woman who remained stoic while someone screamed under her knife. It felt like her father Machidael's anger in her.

You can make your last reply and this can be considered done on your end! I'll make one last post after Etoile's exit to close it up though. <3

but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

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