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The Moon
 Posted: Jan 1 2018, 03:23 PM
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The Moon is Calling
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Pale light, moonlight
A man staggers along an empty street. The smell of alcohol is a near palpable cloud around him. He sings a drunken song, a celebration of the end of one year and the beginning of another. He is careless, fearless, alone.
Show these fools the way
Without warning, another voice joins in the melody. Soft and high and wordless, it weaves a discordant countermelody. It is not long before the man begins to slow, a glimmer of fear in his eyes as he seeks the source of the other singer, but there is none.
The night is full of shadows
Soon, it is the man who is weaving the harmony, and the voice that leads the way. His wordless yowl echoes through the streets as he lopes forward, shifting shadows growing and falling away as he passes the flickering streetlights.
The wolves begin to bay
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Pink
 Posted: Jan 1 2018, 03:55 PM
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The smell of ale was palpable on the man, but, in her experience, drunk people were poor liars, and a good source of information. He seemed to be singing a song, perhaps in accompaniment to the other voice that permeated the area. She hadn't been here but for a few hours, yet already she'd been overwhelmed by the cascade of sensations that came seemingly from nowhere.

The tall woman in regal, if antique garb, approached the drunk, "Excuse me, good sir. Mind telling me where it is we both currently find ourselves? I'll admit I'm a fair bit lost, and perplexed trying to find the source of all these lights and sounds."

She was prepared to put the man to sleep, if she had to. With how much he stank of liquor, it was likely he'd wake up and remember this whole conversation as a dream. Hopefully, he was cooperative. She didn't want any trouble with such a sorry display as himself.

"- and where does that music come from, the tune you're singing to? It seems a great many things make noise without mouths here."

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The Moon
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 05:45 PM
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The Moon is Calling
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The man pauses in his forward march, head rolling slowly upwards to face the approaching woman. For a moment, his eyes catch the flickering streetlights, reflecting green-gold in the light.

There is fear in his eyes. Desperation. His lips move as if trying to make words, but his singing does not cease.

The man goes limp suddenly, as if he had been a puppet, all threads cut save for a single supporting strand. He sways for a moment... and then just as suddenly lunges forward, teeth flashing sharp in the moonlight.
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JustCallMeNick
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 07:04 PM
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Martin strolls down the dark streets, whistling a tune. Outwardly, he is relaxed, serene, and blithe in his movements and demeanor. Inwardly, well, that's a different story. He doesn't know why hes walking this way, or what prompted the decision. Hell, he doesn't even know where he is right now.

He supposed it all started with a very odd feeling he had upon waking. It was sharp, acidic and cold, like his mind was full of bleach and dry ice. He couldn't quite explain what it was, or rather, why it was, but it nagged at him incessantly. At first, he thought it was his thirst, but after feeding on one of the other residents at the hotel he was staying at (a rather obese woman with curly brown hair. Her cholesterol was far too high, and it made him feel sluggish), he found that it was still there. He went back to the room, and sat down at his desk, pen in hand. He figured that, if he looked at the patterns, it might tell him if something was going on. So, he absentmindedly tried clicking his pen for the better part of an hour to get in the proper mindset. The patterns appeared, as they always did, but they were all garbled and muddy. Completely indecipherable. And still, the feeling didn't go away.

At length, he grew frustrated, and walked off into the night. Perhaps, he thought, it was just a stubborn hallucination, and a nice stroll, and fresh air would help him clear it right up. Of course, he found that it got worse as he traveled toward the night clubs, and various restaurants in Toytown. A few minutes of brain-freeze was more than he could stand, and he took off in the opposite direction, toward The Sprawl, and found that it got slightly better the further he traveled that way.

At any rate, he was here now-- where here was-- and could see a drunk singing under a flickering street lamp. There was a glow, or rather, the almost-complete-lack of a glow around him. The man's aura was a deep, black hole, save for small flickers of yellow here and there. Martin wondered what that meant.

The yellow was fear, he knew that much, but what about the rest? He might be a vamire, perhaps. Vampire auras usually looked like storm clouds, or a dark grey mist. And, he remembered seeing a vampire once that had taken a liking to the taste of other vampires, and recalled how dark the aura was there. But as dark as it was, it was nothing compared to this.

Martin stays hidden, and watches as a tall, plain-looking woman in outdated dress tries to address the drunk. "Jeez, lady, what are you doing? Get out of there!" he thinks. The drunk doesn't stop singing, but Martin can see the flickers of yellow around him flash bright before being again swallowed by the dark.

And then the drunk goes slack, and stands swaying slowly back and forth, and the yellow flickers finally blink out, one at a time until it is all dark.

The man lunges forward, arms outstretched, his teeth gnashing with sinister, shark-like suggestion (for added alliterative appeal!).

Martin was never really a big fan of letting innocent people get hurt by vampires-- or other supernatural creatures, for that matter. It was why he was so careful about his feeding. So, he couldn't just let that poor lady get ripped apart by.. whatever the hell that guy was.

He takes a deep breath. It doesn't make him feel any better about what he's about to do, but he doesn't really have the time to steel himself, does he? Martin then takes off into a full sprint straight toward the guy, hoping to intercept him.

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Pink
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 08:57 PM
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Carolyne would reflexively raise an arm to cover her face and gasp in surprise. Instinctively, the divine spark within her would respond and create a ring of runes at her feet, a sacred space of Sanctuary around her. However, the form of the magic was not what one might expect. This was not divine, celestial light that poured around her and made the glowing runes at her feet, but the impenetrable darkness borne of the Shadowfell. Only a being with exceptional will would be able to bypass it, but Lady Crow would not wait to see the results.

As she'd already planned she sent a potent sleep spell at her attacker, hoping the spell would render him unconscious. She did not know what made him attack her, but it did not seem natural.

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The Moon
 Posted: Jan 5 2018, 09:42 AM
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The Moon is Calling
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As the man lunges, several things occur.

Spell flies through the air. Another enters the fray. The man twists through the air and onto the pavement with the slap of wet meat. He is still for a moment, and then rises like smoke, standing on hands and feet like an animal.

Looking like an animal as well. The look in the man's eyes are not human, and the teeth too large the mouth. "Man" is perhaps no longer the word for the melting thing that circles, half-walking, half dragged by unseen strings. Yellow eyes fix upon Carolyne, before turning towards the newcomer.

The creature's song continues, uninterrupted by breath or exertion, as it turns its attack towards Martin, saliva flying from its jaws.
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JustCallMeNick
 Posted: Jan 5 2018, 11:25 AM
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Before Martin could intercept the man.. thing, it had flung itself out of the way, landing in ragdoll-fashion on the pavement with a wet smack. Its body then lurched upward like some kind of twisted marionette, and it ended up in a loose, slouchy feral crouch.

The thing's song did not stop, despite it clearly knocking the wind out of itself during its landing. It turned quickly to face Martin. There was a flash of teeth, and the sound of drool hitting the pavement as it raced toward him, in some kind of ungainly, yet lightning fast, half-crawl/half-slither. And before Martin could react, it was leaping through the air, hungry razor-toothed maw wide open.

Martin is caught off guard, and in a bout of instinct tries to dodge. He isn't fast enough, and the thing catches his right hand in its mouth, taking off two of his fingers with a loud KRUNCH! The attack is so fast that Martin doesn't have time to register that he had been hurt-- At least, until a sharp pain shoots up from his hand, causing him to scream.

The creature sits on its haunches behind him, enjoying its new snack.

"SONUVABITCH!" Martin shouts. He puts some distance between himself and the thing--
putting himself between it, and the lady, as he had originally intended. He takes a quick glimpse at his mangled hand. He's missing his index and ring fing--

It was gone. His wedding ring was gone!

He takes a deep breath.

"You can have those fingers." he says, with an eerie tranquility in his voice. "Because I have eight more.."

And then the calm demeanor breaks as his eyes flash crimson.

"AND I'M GOING TO USE THEM TO STRANGLE YOU, THEN TEAR MY RING OUT OF YOUR STOMACH!"

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Pink
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 01:48 PM
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The Lady, realizing the foe's attention was now on the unexpected guest, watched as it's teeth sank into his hand, and left it devoid fingers. She was no stranger to combat, nor horrors, but this was now how she'd expected a simple query about their location to go. She could hear the intensity of his emotions when he shouted his vengeance upon it. There would be no way of this ending without death now, and she didn't have time to write her Aunt to see if it was his time to pass.

She'd attempt to Hold the attacker with her magic. With any luck, he would be paralyzed as strings of Shadowfell magic shot out from her outstretched hand and attempted to sink their way into his mind and take control of his nerves. "My Queen," she'd give in silent prayer, "let your will be done."

If she was successful, it would be a simple matter for the man to accomplish his threat against the helpless assailant.

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The Moon
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 05:41 PM
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The Moon is Calling
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The creature parts its jaws, teeth bared sharp in a crude facsimile of a smile. Just as suddenly it jerks upwards, teeth parted, chest heaving in a pantomime of laughter.

And for the first time, the singing stops, and a voice echoes from everywhere and nowhere, layers upon layers.

the tͭaͣˢsͭtͤeͭ ͣˢoͭfͤ ͭsͣˢwͭeͤeˢtͤᶰ ͭsͥeͫnͤᶰtͭˢiͤᶰmͭeͥnͫtͤᶰᵗ
the cͨrͬʸy of ᵇbͥiͭtͭtͤeͬr resͬsͤˢeͤᶰnͭtͫiͤᶰmͭent
the taste of ʸaͮsͤhͭ ͭnͤever lᵇeͧaͭvˢeͪsͤ yͩoͥuͩ

The Lady's magic glances off the beast, the threads finding no purchase in the shifting creature's mind. It is as if there is no mind to twist, no nerves to pluck in its twisting form. There is a soft sigh as the creature shakes off the last vestiges of humanity, claws clicking on pavement, ears pressed back.

It looks entirely unlike a wolf, but perhaps wolf is the best word for the creature that tries, once more, to attack Lady Crow.
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JustCallMeNick
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 06:28 PM
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The thing.. which looks a tad more animal-like than it did before, laughs, sort of. And then, It finally spoke. Through the cacophony, Martin hears "The taste of (Yvette) never leaves you.. (B)ut she did."

Martin's closes his damaged hand into a tight fist, ignoring how much it hurts entirely. Between the imitation laughter, and the voices, he was fairly certain it was taunting him-- and, boy, was it working.


"How dare you speak her name?" he asks, voice dripping with venomous contempt.

And then, he relaxes, and chuckles coldly. Hoo boy! That poor freak had no idea what he was in for. Someone should have informed it what happened the last time someone had made things personal for him.

He sprints forward, delivering a knee to the animal man's face.

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Pink
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 09:53 PM
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Seeing the creature turn and charge towards her, she didn't have time to dodge left nor right, and used the only trick she thought would give her a chance.

From her back erupted great wings of shadow, like a crow, or a raven, and with a great beat she would attempt to launch herself several dozen feet into the air, hoping she was not too late, and that it did not grab hold. This was bad. She'd never shown so much of her power in such a crowded place, but she'd also never faced a foe like this. All her life, her mission had been to maintain the peace and safety of her holdings, and only occasionally venture out into neighboring lands when abominations that cheated death were present. The Raven Queen had a time for all things to pass, and it was her mission to ensure they did so.

The biggest threats she'd ever faced however were novice necromancers dabbling in the art of robbing life from others to extend their own. She knew more of the craft, in her study of it to better understand how to vanquish practitioners of the art, than they did. This was different. A single wrong move, and she'd lose far more than a pair of fingers. She didn't know what the man fighting alongside her was, but it was clear he was strong. He seemed to have no qualms engaging the thing directly, and that unsettled her. She shook her head, and refocused her resolve. Now was not the time for distractions. She had to disable the being, or destroy it.

Why hadn't Aunt Raven given her a sign? She still hesitated to destroy it without knowing when it was fated to die.

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JustCallMeNick
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 05:50 PM
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Martin wasn't so much a fighter, at least, not with his bare hands anyway. He preferred to fight using a sword, since he had fencing training (college fencing champion, two years running!), and it made him feel more like his hero, Erol Flynn, and less like an awkward, rail-thin, bookish nerd. But, his dad had taught him a few tricks for dealing with bullies back in the day-- cheap shots, and dirty pool mostly, but a little boxing technique had stuck as far as how to throw a good, hard jab.

It occurs to him that he hadn't practiced any of that in at least 20 years. He either didn't have to, or didn't have time to. During college, he had fencing classes, his studies, a part-time job, and trying to impress his soon-to-be wife, Yvette, to deal with. And then, after he got married, Yvette insisted on sticking up for him, for reasons he never understood. But even with all that, it never left his mind. And if nothing else, this would be a good refresher course, with a practice dummy that deserved to be practiced on.

There is a loud KRAK as Martin's knee connects with the beastman's face. The beast recoiled from the blow, and prepared to retaliate with a swipe of its newly-formed claws. Martin was beyond caring at this point, and focused solely on the retrieval of his wedding band. So, the creature swiped, managing to rake Martin's chest, shredding the sweater he was wearing and making him bleed. There is a brief pause as Martin backs off, and takes a look at his new wound.

"Shirt ripper!" he shouts, and then rejoins the fray, following up with a punch aimed at its temple, and then one to the nose, and the chin, and.. well, any area area of its ugly mug that he could hit, really. The fight wasn't one-sided, however. The beast snapped and swiped at him, and managed to sink its teeth into his right arm. Martin cried out, and landed a kick to the the creature's groin, followed by a headbutt that left him feeling a bit dizzy.

The beast uses Martin's momentary dizziness to lash out with its claws again, striking Martin in the face and causing him to topple backwards. Before Martin can try to get up, the beast is already on him, snarling and snapping its jaws, trying to rip his throat out. Martin reaches up with his damaged hand-- not his best decision-- and seizes the creature by the throat. He manages to hold it away, barely, but his grip is slipping.

"A little hel-- JESUS!" he says as the beast snaps its blood-stained jaws, barely missing his face. "A little help, please!"

Playing a hero sure did suck right about now.

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The Moon
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 10:12 PM
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The Moon is Calling
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The beast takes each blow without resistance, its flesh cracking and caving like damp clay. Silver liquid pours upwards from the cracks, drip-dripping upwards into the sky, while the creature continues to silently snap and claw at its prey... but with each motion, the cracks grow wider.

a voice calls for aidhelphelphelphelphelphelpme
but there is no responsethere is no one to hear

death casts no shadow hereonly blank eyes and broken wings


Up in the sky, aloft on black wings, Carolyne hovers under the baleful gaze of the full moon. Its pale light flows like water, whispering past her and pooling around the man and beast. It murmers at the edge of thought, more emotion than words, trying to slip in unnoticed - a wordless cacophony with a simple message.

aren't you tireduselesshopelessmeaningless
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JustCallMeNick
 Posted: Jan 9 2018, 04:36 PM
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For a brief moment, Martin was far away from the cold streets, and the monster that was currently trying to disembowel him. He was there, with Yvette. He rushes out to greet her, and holds her tight, as she showers him with kisses.

There is a pause, and she stares at him, eyes full of sadness and concern.

"Aren't you tired?" she asks. Truth be told, he was. He was very tired of a lot of things. He was tired of good people getting hurt, and the guilt that came with it. He was tired of scheming. He was tired of the lies. He was tired of the constant thirst for blood, and how that wore on him.

But most of all, he was tired of being alone. Of having no one to trust, or confide in.

"You don't have to be alone." she says. "All you have to do is let go. Close your eyes, and rest. Aren't you tired?"

Let go. Rest. That sounded nice.

"You don't have to fight for me anymore, Marty. Just let go, and we can be together again." she coos, and gently strokes his cheek.

Every fiber of his being is screaming for him to close his eyes, and rest. He's so tired, he shouldn't have to keep going like this. Surely, if anyone deserves a rest, it's him, right? He wants to quit.

He wants to stay there with her forever.

It's all he ever wanted.

But he is brought out of it by the sudden onset of sharp, searing pain. He opens his eyes to see the creature has managed to slip his grasp, and had bitten deep into his left shoulder.

Martin's not sure whether he's supposed to feel angry, or deeply heartbroken over what just happened.

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Pink
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 12:16 PM
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Aunt Raven wasn't giving any indication. What if she was wrong? What if she displeased her? Aunt Raven was her world. She did everything to please her. In a world where she was alone, Aunt Raven was her only confidant, only person who understood her; only friend. Yes, she was also her master, but so what? She would willingly serve her, even if they were equals, so the distinction was moot in her eyes.

Aunt Raven didn't tell her it was the creature's time to die. There was no point to this encounter.

She didn't indicate the man it's attacking is meant to die either.

It would take another significant bite out of him, and for a moment he made her think of her town's people. Yes, this was not her home. In the sky above she saw impossibly tall buildings and too many light spells to count, and strange sounds that originated from nowhere, and a world that reminded her of her study of Mechanus, yet was still wrong. However, he was a man, and the creature assaulting him was a monster, and he had come to her aid.

He had come to her aid.

The darkness was cast away a fiery light pierced it effortlessly. One after another a cascade of fiery light, scorching rays, shot as if from ballista aimed to pierce the creature's back. "There can be no shadow, with out light to bring contrast." she'd whisper as the six rays of fire left from her towards her foe.

Aunt Raven can scold her later. It was her duty as a noble to return his selfless act in kind, or else she should renounce her title and be called "coward", "craven", and of "unbecoming grooming". She was Lady Carolyn Crow of High Moor. She would act with honor, and defend it even against her beloved aunt.

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