[M] And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame

[p. Maelyx]

POSTED: Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:08 pm

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.


Barn swallows flit across a dusk-lit sky, returning to their chicks nestled in the rafters of the old barn. Mares chased their foals playfully across the peat, while the sheep huddled near the kettle lake. In the distance, cattle grazed under the shadow of spruces and elms, then picked their heads up one by one as a haunting song echoed across the meadow.

It was a small herd – a pair of docile, shaggy beasts; a standoffish striped heifer; and a pretty dairy cow with a long-lashed calf at her heels – but almost as one they wandered toward the kulning. Close to the shade and safety of Marrgerd’s loghouse barn, a young woman with milk-colored hair cupped hands around her snout and howled again.

Seated with her back against a fencepost, Khael watched with ember-colored slits, then slowly got up and prowled closer.

Soon the cattle milled around Katinka, her prize cow and the scampering calf gifting her licks that tousled her pretty fur while she laughed. Even the once-wild brindle lingered nearby, lifting her white head to study the cowherd. Tink greeted them all, rubbing her soft wet noses, brushing shaggy hair out of their doe eyes, and once she had surmised that they were okay for the night stepped back.

When she took another step, she stumbled back against a warm, muscled figure. Startled, she lifted her hands for balance, but fingers wrapped around her wrists and guided her arms down to her belly, trapping her in a strong embrace.

Khael held her like this in silence, pressing her pointed nose against the softness of Tink’s neck. The Swedish-blooded girl smiled, closing her eyes. What’s gotten into you? she murmured.

Your singing attracts all the beasts, ya qamar.

You’re calling yourself a beast?

Khael smiled and pressed her teeth softly against Tink’s throat, making the cowherd shiver. I’ve always been a beast, she replied.

:)))

Last edited by Khael Lykoi on Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
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Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:50 pm

No... it cannot be... the words escaped the witch, though it felt like someone else was speaking them. But that visage was unmistakable. That scent. The way the snout tipped in her direction and the large feet stamped with excitement at seeing her, his former master, for the first time in months. She thought the ground was rocking but it was actually her own trembling, and her icy eyes shot back and forth to make sure nobody saw her, for in this moment she was weak.

Bogomo, her stallion, lost to her the day she was abducted by the beast, peered at her from over the wooden boards of the stable. He stretched out his nose to touch her, but she backed up instead, reeling away from his touch, trying to close out his soft nickering. This cannot be, she repeated to herself, staring at her horse in horror. Then she closed her eyes and shook her head furiously. There were a hundred possible reasons why Bogomo was here – chiefly, that he was a good, well trained animal, and anyone who found him could have traded or kept him to make a buck. It did not necessarily mean... but the sinking in her gut told her to prepare herself.

Hours had passed since she found Bogomo in the stables. Instead of sharing a warm reunion, Maelyx fled Grimrun. She needed to clear her mind and process the implications... and she needed not to be seen by anyone in her pack while she was so... riled up. The witch walked Salsola, but never found the tranquility of mind she hoped for.

Her wandering brought her to the fields of Marrgerd, a place she was growing fond of. She had met Brocade here and shared in a thrilling hunt for a big cat that had killed one of the livestock. The feel of the breeze here, the scent of the livestock, reminded her of that satisfying hunt, and as she paced leisurely through the fields with her bo staff making its familiar thuck, thuck sound in the earth at her feet, she finally began to feel the turmoil subside.

That was... until the winds changed and brought a scent straight to her nose... one that she could never forget... one that, though it had been disguised at the time, still carried the faintest tone of the woman... and Maelyx knew in that moment that her fears were confirmed.

But she had to see it to believe it. Holding her staff aloft, she jogged in the direction the scent came from, though stopped abruptly when she saw the fair haired woman pressed up against a lover. Maelyx stood there, astonished, head tilted. Had her nose really misled her?

That was when she realized the dusky colored arm, the cropped hair. Maelyx's lip curled and her hackles prickled, and she couldn't help but say the name in a low growl. Khael.... The moment she uttered the word she regretted it. There was no turning and excusing herself now, to steel herself for an encounter in the future. She would have to face this. She would have to face her tormenter.

(+500) ooc Set-up posts. Bleh.
Salsola
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POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:24 pm

Caught up in her wife's scent, her small contented noises, Khael did not notice the approach of her victim. It was not until Tink stiffened and batted at an exploring hand that she realized they were not alone, and she grumbled a low note, irritated at once again being interrupted (never mind the very public setting). Her ember eyes opened and flicked up past the wolfdog's soft shoulder to see who approached – then widened, burned.

The tawny jackal stared with teeth bared, growling her abductor's name. The look in her icy eyes was enough to make Katinka wilt back against Khael, her whisper nervous.

Who is that?

There was no answer for a moment. Khael stared at the other jackal without expression, but a muscle jumped in her cheek. Then, slowly, a synthetic smile stretched across her face, and she stepped in front of her wife and lifted her hands in an amused shrug. Her eyes, too-wide, the pupils pinpricks, belied that grin. She looked predatory, leonine.

Maelyx, right? There was no use denying that they knew one another. Please put your teeth away. You are frightening my wife.

She glanced back at Tink, whose blue eyes blinked bemusement, then smoothly spoke on. She weaved words plucked from the air, impressing truth into every syllable, because she knew that it was important to talk first, to control the tale.

We met in the mountains. She was hunting for gemstones; I was curious. But the mines are terribly precarious – and I lost her in a collapse. She laid her eyes on Maelyx again, smiling apologetically. I thought surely you would have died back there. I apologize for not searching the shafts; you were a stranger, a loner, and I did not want to risk my life.

A beat. I am sorry for stealing your horse, too.

Some tension left Katinka's body at this explanation, and she padded forward and struck Khael lightly on the arm. You're terrible, she said, and Khael shrugged.

but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
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Raze
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in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:43 pm

The fair woman noticed the witch first, and then came the frightening eyes of the hybrid. When those eyes, like low burning embers, turned upon her, Maelyx was plunged into darkness. Though she still stood there in the open plains, breeze tugging her hair and the low light kissing her skin, she felt the darkness of the mines creep in all around her until there was nothing left but those beady, red eyes.

But she could not go back there, could not let her mind take her back there lest she lose her footing in the real world. There was some kind of upper hand here, and it belonged to Maelyx, though she did not know just what it was yet. Khael spoke, and as though she actually cared to obey the fiend, Maelyx's expression relaxed, her fangs disappearing. She was protective of the other woman, and there was no secret about their relationship, calling her wife outright. Maelyx rested the butt of her staff upon the ground, trying to affect a casual air, but even her acting skills had its limits.

There was an awkward pause, that ugly stretch of pregnant silence, after Khael prattled out her weak excuse. Then the witch piped up. Oh, do not worry, she said laughingly, her South African accent thick. I do not blame you for that. She waved a hand as if waving off the whole thing, but even as she did so, the fur parted on her wrist and exposed a forever sparse patch of knotted skin where Maelyx had suffered a burn by Khael's hand. After all, one cannot know who in the wild is a survivor, and who is not. Equally hard to know... she actually braved a few steps toward Khael. ...who has the gods on their side, and who does not. There was a beat to match Khael's.

Well, I suppose as you only took my horse because you presumed me dead, now that we will be family, you will be returning him to me? her eyes flicked to Khael's wife. Quite the generous lady she is to take in the beast and not let it suffer in the wilderness alone. She could have just as easily been talking about Tink with Khael, as she was about Khael and Bogomo.

(300+)
Salsola
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POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:00 pm

Silence stretched between the jackals. Agitation made Khael's chest feel tight – not quite anxiety, she would never call it that. Whether Maelyx went along with the lie would decide both their fates, because if she said a cross word, Khael knew she would kill her. Ignoring Tink's screams, she would kill the witch with a farming tool, and bring her back to the depths of the earth to rot as she should have. Her fur prickled as if the clammy air of the caverns passed over her, but fresh air had always been within her reach.

Finally, Maelyx told her not to worry. Her burn scar glistening (Khael's eyes landed hungrily on the spot), she insisted that it was impossible to know a survivor – or a chosen of the gods. Perhaps she thought it was her gods who had saved her, in the end.

Few of the religious ever considered the suffering they endured in the first place was a punishment from their deities.

Convinced she herself was a god, and only her own fury and mercy mattered, Khael smiled and tilted her head. She glanced out at the fields, and before Tink could form a word, nodded. Of course. He is rightfully yours. I had no use for him but to give him to the pack. The beast never played into her plans, though now she considered that she should have eaten him. In hindsight, there were a lot of things she should have done.

I'm sorry for the trouble, piped up Katinka, moving to greet Maelyx with lowered ears and a waving tail. Khael narrowed her eyes. It was nothing personal. I don't think it crosses Khael's mind to help those who aren't already her friends. She raised her brows reproachfully at the jackal, but there was no bite to her words. Most in the Thistle Kingdom were out for themselves; some were just better than others at pretending this. Tink had made her peace with the morals of the wealthy pack long ago.

She smiled sweetly. I'm Katinka. What brought you to Salsola?

but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
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Raze
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in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:57 pm

That was it, a win, Bogomo was back in her possession! The animal had come with her all the way from Africa, and losing him had been a great blow to her morale. . . among other things, like being captured and tortured and going temporarily blind. . . so recovering him was one step in the direction to becoming her former self. This must be another sign from the Morrigan! For some reason, the triad goddess had sent her here, ordered her away from her family to this strange land. Now, things were beginning to come together, the payoff would be great.

Though, how great was it really to be forced to rub elbows with her tormenter for the rest of her life? Only time could tell.

Maelyx could not suppress the gloating grin that found its way onto her features when Khael agreed to give Bogomo back to her. For all she knew, the horse was a prize of Khael's, and she had just taken that trophy off of Khael's shelf. Although Khael still scared the shit out of her, she managed to make brief eye contact and the flash of pride and satisfaction in her eyes was probably enough to tell the fellow jackal what she was thinking.

The gods, she answered Tink smoothly, turning her eyes away from Khael only after she replied to the woman's mate. They sent me powerful signs that this is where I should come... and blessed be the goddess, for, she has today given me a sign that I have pleased her. Again, her azure eyes flicked to Khael. I came here with my daughter, Jaketta. You remember her, do you not, Khael? she inclined her head, innocently, one large ear twitching to flick away a fly. You see, she was with me in the... cave-in... but she was only a puppy at the time so perhaps Khael has forgotten her. Elphaba has taken her under her wing, as her ward, while I find my bearings here. I am quite confident that I will not be an Associate for much longer. It is a good feeling. A good feeling, indeed. She would be climbing the rank ladder swiftly, and she planned to be a threat to Khael's station.

Maelyx wondered if Khael's mate would so easily dismiss her love leaving a puppy behind to die, as she had a stranger. However, nothing would surprise her. This was Salsola. Katinka just seemed to have a gentler, sweeter disposition than most who lived here.

(400+)
Salsola
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POSTED: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:47 pm

OOC: We can wrap this up here I think! I'd love a fresh one whenever for Mae/Tink friend tiems. >:)

IC:

The gods -- always with the gods. Khael's mouth stiffened and threatened to bare the tip of a fang with disgust and disinterest. The most powerful sign should have been Khael's presence here.

Katinka played with one of her braids, listening with a small side-smile offered in the jackal's direction. Though her grandmother had kept gods, the cowherd had never been particularly devout -- and she was glad to avoid the entangled webs of the coven. All she needed was hard work, her own gut and faith in herself, not a sign of the right path.

She was far too polite to voice any of this, of course. Her smile lingered, and she listened and nodded, until Maelyx mentioned a puppy that Khael had left behind in the caves too.

To her credit, Khael only blinked. Her expression changed little. "If I did not think you had survived, why should a child?"

Katinka frowned and flashed her mate a look that suggested they would talk about it later, though the answer would certainly be the same. She did not want to cause a fuss in front of the new Associate, however, and her smile returned. "I am sure you already have your Sponsor, but if you need any advice, feel free to come to me. Salsola can be treacherous if you play the Game, but it can be a simple place too -- hard work is rewarded. We want for nothing. I'm sure your goddess steered you right."

Ember eyes narrowed again, but Khael said nothing.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
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Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:44 am

Though Maelyx tried to corner her in front of her wife, Khael managed to play off the mention of the puppy with cool ease, to which the African arched her brows and tilted her chin upwards just a bit. Oh, really? she muttered, affecting honest thoughtfulness as she touched her chin, pretending to picture the memory. I could have sworn you watched her run down the tunnel, moments before the collapse, but, she shrugged casually, I probably bumped my head or something, so what do I know? A saccharine smile angled towards Khael and Katinka in turn as she shrugged, laughing it off.

Maelyx's sharp eyes peered at Tink as she rattled off an informal, short speech about sponsors and what not. The witch kept her eyes trained on the fiend's mate, learning all she could from Katinka's soft features and kind voice. She suspected that this one was nothing like her dusty mate, and this was something she could use.

Oh, yes, that is very kind of you, Maelyx smiled. Yes, of course, I do have my Sponsor, Elphaba - ...name drop of the century... - but I appreciate your offer. I should be happy to take you up on it some time. After all, our queen is a busy woman and I am sure she would appreciate your helping me, to free up her time for more important matters. Ah, I think I already know a little something about that treacherous game you speak of, her eyes flicked to Khael for the briefest of moments, and I am prepared to play. I can already sense that it will be worth it. Yes, so worth it. Before coming here I felt like I had been captured by... life circumstances. 'Where is your power now?' one naysayer asked me once, she reiterated Khael's own words to her, now, remembering exactly the words the Lykoi taunted her with when she was her prisoner. So many do not understand the gods. So many do not understand how empowered one can be after a... struggle. But it's just like you said, my gods have steered me right... I think I came to that very conclusion just today. She gave a fake, closed-mouth, sweet smile to Tink and then to Khael. She meant to taunt Khael some, but more veiled threats and teases flew from her maw than she intended.

Well, I am sure you two would like to make the most of your time together, she said affably, executing a half-bow. I will not take up any more of your time. It was a pleasure to meet you, Tink. And Khael, I am sure it must be nice to feel that your conscience can rest, now that you know I survived the... cave-in. Well, I will stop by to see you soon, Miss Katinka. Thank you. Giving another slight curtsey, she bid them good day, turned, and brusquely padded off...

What did you just do, Maelyx? she chided herself silently as she hurried off. Now that she was just a shrinking shape in the distance, she finally allowed her fear to get the best of her, her hands to shake, her heart to pound. She had just prodded the bear without even stopping to consider the stupidity of her actions. What would happen now that she provoked an enemy within her own pack? One thing was for sure; she would have to step up her game. Only time could reveal whether she had just unlocked Pandora's box, or if Khael would remain an inert variable with the pack to keep her from acting out. Still, Maelyx could not shake the foreboding feeling that it was the former...

(600+) The End.... of this thread! ;)
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