There are no bargains between lions and men

POSTED: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:37 pm

Optime | January 19th | Etheral Eclipse, near Casa's borders
Alright so, the plan is for Amanda, Hydra and I to post for a couple rounds until things start getting really hairy, and then Jazzy can come in with Cedric and save poor Ciddy over here. Branwen is going to take off before anyone can take her, and Cidro doesn't have any supplies on him, but like, take his clothes if you want? I guess? I want him to be roughed up enough to leave some scars, just not on the face. But basically anywhere else on his body is fair game. Have fun everyone! (if you can call it that lmao)

The week following the Ball had been agonizing. Hangover and embarrassment aside, he couldn’t stop thinking about Cedric and how they’d left things. At first it’d been soft touches and tender words, them huddled together in their own private world as they flew across the dance floor— both clumsy and unsure, but loved all the same. He couldn’t remember a time when he felt happier. Cedric’s strong arms around him, his sweet words comforting him in his honest, steady way— he’d dreamt of this moment ever since their first meeting on that fateful summer night. It stunned him how such a dream could possibly come true. Of course, it hadn’t taken long for the weight of reality to come crashing down around him. All of a sudden it was Tessa in Cedric’s ear whispering heated words, Tessa curled around him in their private corner, Tessa following her role perfectly— the charming, feminine woman that any sensible man would desire. Of course Cedric would fall for her over him, it was foolish to think otherwise. It didn’t matter how pretty he made himself, how desirable he was to the sighted person’s eye. If Cedric wanted someone feminine, he’d obviously prefer a woman over a man who was a crude impression of one. And if he wanted a man… well, Cidro was never much of one, anyway.

He felt stupid for feeling so hurt. They weren’t together, and even if they were, Cidro didn’t own Cedric. Of course he could flirt as he pleased. It just hurt thinking he found someone who loved him despite his oddities, despite his non-conformity, just to be harshly reminded that he was still as unlovable as he always was. Anything that challenged that notion had only been a hopeful illusion. The pain of such a reality was too much to process sober, so the Marquis found himself quickly drowning himself in drink, hating himself for every glass he downed, but not being able to stop. He’d never drank before that night, alcohol only reminding him of the men in brothels— all grimy hands and disgusting breath. He couldn’t bring himself to care. If he truly was unlovable, why not make a mess of himself?

The rest of the night was blur— weak punches, dry vomit, and endless tears. He didn’t talk to Cedric for the rest of the night. He promised he’d return after he chatted with Cicely, but after finding him with Tessa… he just couldn’t bring himself to go back. He felt awful about it for a week, standing him up like that. He’d had time to think about it, and even if they could never be together that way, even if Cidro truly was unlovable, he couldn’t live with himself if he ended such a loving friendship. He had to clear things up. He had to see Cedric before it was too late.

He snuck out of his family’s shared home early in the morning, not even thinking to grab his cane, just throwing on his wool dress and cape and running off to the stables. His breath came out wild and ragged. He thought back to how his mother must have felt, leaving their home in Portland so abruptly, taking him far away in the middle of the night with no supplies or plan. He wondered if she felt as crazed, as driven as he did now. He mounted Branwen with vigour, tack adjusted hastily, both of them still half-asleep and unsure of what they were doing. He left without a word or a sign, his mind locked on one thing. Cedric. Cedric. Cedric. That same compass pointing north— persistent, direct, home. He felt his heart thump in time with Branwen’s hooves, the wind blowing through his long, loose locks, as wild and untamed as he now felt.

He wasn’t sure how long or far he’d travelled before panic started to set in. He’d never travelled to Casa on his own before, or anywhere far from the Court for that matter. He was frail and in an unsteady state of mind, the winter wind cold against his doggish pelt. He was frightened to realize he had no idea where he was, even Branwen seemed nervous— probably picking up on her rider’s wariness. He wasn’t even sure if he was going in the right direction. He slowed down Branwen’s gait, frame trembling both from the cold and fear. In a moment of weakness, he wished his mother was here, calming him with her gentle words. And Paloma… he’d left without a word. He’d been so selfish, so impulsive… and for what? To save a friendship that probably only benefited himself? He wished he could go home, forget this ever happened. Cedric would move on, Cidro only distracted him from his duties, anyway. But Cidro was lost, and had no idea where the Court was. He may be a yearling now, but he felt as much the child as he always was. Pathetically, he felt a few stray tears roll down his cheeks, hating himself for reasons he could barely even begin to understand.

Cour des Miracles
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POSTED: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:43 am

The heat of the drink that had settled in the pit of Brocades belly had him longing for the crisp cold of the pine forests that surrounded Salsola. The winter filled the solider with a certain level of joy each time the season rep through the trees, teasing hoary frost out of deep corners of the dark – the air sprinkled sparkling with snow. He came alive in the winter – and allowed the careful wandering of his feet to carry him far from the Kingdom to revel in the small freedoms that the tiny tavern in the trees offered to his kind.

As he had sat and drank and talked, he wondered if perhaps Hyacinth had ever felt stifled by the political undercurrents that ran through Salsola. There were furtive glances and quiet moments stolen away from the crown, but Brocade was uncertain of a great many things despite his position as the packs Director. All around him he could see the sprawling twisting lines that held the pack together and kept the Outsiders at bay – but sometimes it was a weight that hung like a pendulum behind his eyes.

He was driven sometimes to the drink and it made him a wild and formidable thing.

Brocade had abandoned the tavern with a rumbling cry, his body folding into a heavy secui form. The fur along his nape grew thick and full, and his teeth grew elongated against the new bulk of his thick muzzle.

He threw back his wolfish head and cried to the new moon, eagerly slathering his lips with his tongue as he glanced over his shoulder to the woman who bounded alongside him.

Her pelt flashed black and gold as they tore along the forest floor. The cold invigorated him, snapping and crackling along his shoulder blades as he pushed through dunes of heavy snow. The soldier had invited the woman to the tavern in an effort to get to know her better, and the two had drank together late into the night. It had been an evening filled with jovial stories and a stamping of heavily clawed feet.

Now he snapped playfully at the ruff around her neck – a beast who felt buoyed by drink.

The sound of the horse had the drunken pair rolling to a stop, the snow caught up between their toes.

"Look at that Madame Tradesman," He hiccuped in what he thought was a quiet whisper, angling his tail so that it rose above his hocks, "-Desoleil, Madame Tradeswoman."

The horse was already beginning to react nervously and stamped its hooves against the frosted earth.

The boy who sat bundled atop its back leaned over the saddle with eyes that picked up the surrounding colors of the forest. Brocade crouched lowly and clicked his teeth to announce their presence in the shadows of the trees.

this is filled with many assumptions! Hydra, please let me know if you want me to change anything <3 Feel free to assume that Brocade told her stories or danced with her at the Tavern! Brocade is in his Secui form and feeling cruel - I assume that the pair will frighten the horse and Cidro will fall off? Then be batted around like a cats toy. :>

The Director
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Luperci Vedetto, Milite
you forget I have a gypsy heart
listen to the wild

POSTED: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:22 pm

A headache and a lingering feeling of dread had accompanied her ever since the-day-after the party. Amnesia was an unfamiliar enemy, one the aged warrior didn’t know how to handle. The idea that she had just forgotten something that felt important was enough to drive her over the edge. Was she losing her wits? Had she finally lost the battle against time? She mulled over that thought for days, brooding over the subject until her headache intensified and became unbearable. During those moments of weakness her brain gave up and she succumbed to the need of rest. It was then that her brain was allowed to heal enough to produce the first flashbacks of the events that took place during Saturnalia.

Music, laughter and the sickly sweet taste of wine washing over her tongue. The images and sensations came and went, mixed up and distorted because of inebriation. It was all a blur but the colours red and yellow prevailed vibrant and threatening over the senseless mess that were her memories. She was certain there was something missing, a secret she had to unveil for the sake of her own sanity. Something had happened to her that night, something of great importance.

She resumed her usual activities once the throbbing in her head subsided enough to be bearable. It was truly a blessing that her chores usually took her away from the beating heart of the Kingdom. Now more than ever she felt the need to avoid the Quartermaster. Her gut told her the Lykoi knew what had happened that night but the thought of approaching her about it made her skin crawl in a most unpleasant way. Her loathing toward the red witch had changed, how and why she couldn’t yet pinpoint. The urge to do something unthinkable to the damned woman was lodged inside her brain, eating away at her self-restraint more and more every day. The line between desire and the need to dominate her enemy had blurred somehow. Confusion clung to her chest and she loathed the feeling. A distraction was very much welcome.

Brocade offered an alluring proposition for an escape in the form of a venture to a backwater bar. It was unlike anything she would have agreed to do normally however it would have been dumb to refuse an invitation from the Director. In the end she felt glad to have accepted. His company was pleasant and the hard liquor from the tavern proved more than efficient as a distractor from the worries that had been plaguing her mind recently.

She had dressed in nothing but her fur for the occasion. Her accessories and weapons seemed unnecessary for such a casual setting. They ought to be discreet about their identities and a set of jewellery made from luperci fangs and bones was anything but inconspicuous. The lack of armour and tools for warfare didn’t bother her as much as it would have during her youth. They both were skilled fighters. If trouble were to find them they would be more than able to protect themselves.

Of course trouble didn't find them, they found it.

Kaeli had shifted down to her secui form to race across the snowy landscape with him. The process was slower for her but he played the part of a gentleman and didn’t comment on it. She appreciated that. On four legs she was too a formidable creature, well-muscled and tall, so she easily kept up with his youthful stride. A nostalgic feeling invaded her, long forgotten memories of a feral pack running around and playing in the same manner flashed behind her verdant eyes as she smiled a wolfish smile and nipped at creamy ears.

Brocade halted suddenly and she planted her paws firmly in the snow to stop by his side. She was slower to identify the reason for she was less accustomed to the effects of alcohol and her senses had become less reliable than the Director’s. She followed his gaze toward the source of the disruption and her smile widened at the visage of the boy and his mount. ”Oh – would you say, is that a girl or a boy?” She tried and failed to keep the slur off her voice however at the sight of the androgynous stranger her eyesight became a little clearer and her steps a little steadier. She had a bad idea just then, and she looked at her companion with expectant eyes as they prowled closer. The adrenaline that came from anticipation sobered her enough for a familiar hunger to rise and intensify inside her being. They could have fun with the stranger. People disappeared all the time, especially when they traveled through the wilderness at night, alone and unarmed.
The Tradesman
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Spotlight Soul Luperci

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